Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Monkey Tilt

Today was my worst day ever. I lost $500 and my BR has dropped to $900 afeter having a nice upswing just prior to this.

I have self excluded myself from playing and will hopefully get away from poker and come back fresher and playing better.

On a nicer note I see im still up $700 on the month so im not overly disgusted.


So I finally got my subscription to Stoxpoker and will be looking to utulize their videos in improving my play. On chucks advice I am going to watch Ed Millers Holdem Made Simple Series first as he says it was the most helpfull.

I am really quite annoyed with myself at the moment and am quite frankly hating that I loost $500 in one day and about 1.5k hands. It was rediculous the amount of times people sucked out on my sets with overpairs and FD and SD.

Unfortunatly all this bad luck ahs come at the time I am trying to move up and for my total 9k hands at $50NL im running at $550 down compared to my Sklansky Bucks which sucks balls IMO.

I intend to step back down to $25NL and grind that only for the next month and hopefully I can cash out in the region of $700+ which shouldnt be to hard as I run at around $400/10k hands.

$25NL-$300/10k hands is sutainable IMO not sure about $400 :P

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$50NL hmmmm, thourgly out played?

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Friday, 22 February 2008


So its been a loong time since I last updated. My apoligies but recently I have not felt compelled to write. In a sentance, I'm lazy.

The poke has been going as good as I could have hoped for. Have manged to get up to just over 30k hands at $25NL/PL for something like $1260 profit and I am running at 16bb/100 or $4/100 anyway you can see all that in the graph.

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Yesterday I had 2 teeth extracted so I stayed home and played poker and did nothing much really. Was quite fun and boring at the same time. Managed to get up $93.45 over 4700 hands in 5 hours of play. Not to bad averaging like $18/hour.

Hopefully this month I will achieve Platinum star. I only need 3900 more VPP and I am doing virtually noting all weeken so I am going for 10k+ hands.

During the last week I cashed out $217.43 to help pay for my new monitor. Since then im up another $150 or so.

I have an awsome new Acer 24" HD LCD Monitor which will tile 12 tables with no overlap so I run that alongside my 19" and fit 16 easily. If I want to I can tile 16 on the Acer with a bit of overlap but the tables are tiny and hard to read.

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In future I think I will update more regularly and not be compelled to write an uber post each time.


Monday, 18 February 2008

The Secret Life of Pocket Pairs

Intro: Reccently Grundy from cardschat asked me to do a cross blog post. ie he writes an article for my blog and I write one for his. Here is his article, you can find Grundys Blog and my article at The Unlikely Guide To Poker. Enjoy!

Low pocket pairs can be difficult hands to play. On one hand, you want to bet them heavy to buy the blinds or to limit your opponents (hopefully to one) in order to get the best odds to win. However, if you do get that caller he probably has two over-cards leaving you with a coin-flip situation and somewhat pot-committed with your initial bet. So do you want to bet small or just call pre-flop? Well, not really. Then you would have more callers and each player who stays in the hand drops your odds to win with a quickness.

In good conscious, I will begin with a disclaimer that I don’t play pocket twos and pocket threes unless I am dealt them as big blind. These pocket pairs still work with the two below strategies, but for me they hold a high enough risk factor to not be worth my effort. And, yes, I’ve had some previous bad experiences. Inversely, pocket Jacks or better are hands that are premium enough that I play more aggressively then the two below strategies and will discuss them at a later time.

I have two winning plays with pockets pairs 10s and under. The first is only recommended in late position with no previous callers. I start by betting three times the big blind. It is likely this will buy the blinds with tight players, but if not I will probably only get one caller who I can assume doesn't have a super premium hand. So that rules out an over-pair and leaves either two over cards, or better yet, one over card. Keep in mind if the opponent raises my bet pre-flop I have to assume a super premium hand and will probably fold.

I watch closely after the flop because a good read on my opponent makes this strategy a lot easier. Do I think he hit the flop? If it is three low cards, especially if there is a pair on board, I feel more confident. I fire out a strong bet if I think he missed. The opponent will likely fold here. If you have a good read that he hit strong, you might as well check it because he will likely bet or raise regardless of your action. If you don't have a read, fire a bet if you can afford it. He may fold or at least give you information and a chance to see another card.

Strategy number two can be played from any position and starts with a call pre-flop. A weak play that I don’t usually recommend, I know. I use the concept of implied odds here. It is likely that you won't hit the flop, but if you do, you have trips. Trips is a very strong hand at after the flop and before the turn, allowing you to raise most bets without fear, or slow-play depending on the situation. You called pre-flop which means there are probably a few players in the hand, one of them probably caught top pair or even two pair. I can make a lot of money with this, but have to stay aware that I can be outdrawn on the turn or river. It is because of this I only consider slow-playing against one or two players; any more is far too risky.

In conclusion, trips=good, pocket twos=bad, mid-pocket pairs=depends how you play them. I should probably change my blog name to Grundy, Master of the Obvious. But seriously folks, pocket pairs are not for the passive players. You need to come in strong and read your opponent to profit, or cheaply wait for the relatively low chance to trip up. As with all of poker, it greatly depends on the situation.

This has been Grundy of HellsColdDay.com telling you to mix up your play, pay homage to the poker gods, and most of all, have fun at the tables.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Moving Up

Sorry for not having posted in a while my life has been very hectic with school work and that sort of thing. Although I have managed to play some Poker amoungst all that, but not find time for my blog. Prioritize people!

Poker Playing

In the last week or 5 days or whatever it was since I posted last, I have manged to put in another 1k hands at $25 NL which gave my the $1200 Bankroll to move on up to $50NL. I have played 3k hands at $50NL so far and have played pretty averagely.

At the start I was very timid and generally playing way to weak/tight to make any money. I have "aggro-ed" my betting up a bit and managed to play a little bit better. I think i still need to be betting a bit more agrresively on c-bet/semi-bluffs as I usually try to keep the bets small so as to not loose to much when I do get called/raised.

The major differences I am finding is that the number of solid regulars on $50NL is way more than $25NL. What this means for me is I need to be more selective on which hands I play against which opponents. It also means that I will need to vary my play more from the abc style that worked well at $25NL to a more unconventional variation of playing so as to make it harder for me to read. I may even revert to using a Random Number Generator to tell me what % of the pot to bet so that my bets will appear erratic and make it insanely hard for the multi-tabling regulars to read me. Although I dont think I will be doing this in the short term future.

Another thing I am finding with $50NL is that stacking off pre-flop is becoming very unprofitable with hands other than KK/AA. Hands like AK/QQ are more on the marginal, "wait to see a safe flop then go all-in" side of things that the "all in pre-flop! Yea baby!" side. Addmitadely this is majorly due to the number of Tight regulars that are playin $50NL.

Another game, Pot-Limit Omaha has been taking my fancy. I have played about 10k hands across various limits previously but this time I really read up on the strategey and jumped into some $506max PLO games and didnt do to badly netting myself just over $100 profit in about 450 hands.

Here ars some pretty graphs of my play:

$25NL-Complete record of all my hands at this limit

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$50NL-First 3k hands, notice the start where i was weak/tight.

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$50PLO, Heater?

EDIT: Dont Know why but this image wont upload so i cant show you the graph :(

Audio Blogiin/Video etc.

The vidoe that zach wanted me to make probably will never make it to the big screen and the same with the audio blog(but to the big speaker?) as it will take alot of upload space and I only have limited internet usage.

Alternatively Grundy from Cardschat approached me and asked me if I would like to cross post on our blogs. I happily agreed and we will have each others post up on our blogs by next week. So watch this space for the wisdom of Grundy!

In other things I managed to add some more links to my Blog list. There are a few new ones on there, so check them out. They are all from people who play around the same stakes as me.

Hackers poker blog
Thoughts of a Micro Stakes Grinder
Crushing The Donks
kQJtennine's poker quest
Poker Disasters
The Grand Slam Poker Source

Friday, 8 February 2008

A Downswing, Bad Play and getting a Poker Education

So the last three days of poker have seen various things go on. I have had my downswing that was inevitable considering my winrate. The downswing was also partly due to monkey tilt which can account for about 65% of the money lost during the downswing. Some amazing bad luck with big pocket pairs also attributed to part of my losses. A 24 hour stand down saw me ralling to get educated more on poker and some different concepts hopefully stretching my mind while allowing me to play better.

The Downswing

Wednesday was New Zealands National day (Waitangi Day) and also a public holiday. It saw me play alot of hands whilst not playing my best poker. I put in 3500 hands on wednesday and had a grand total og $140 lost of which about $90 was bad plays.

Here a some of the hands that i played badly:

AQ is well overplayed against a nit with 12/4/1.5 stats.

Badly Played KK, tried to slowplay and let him catch up.

Shoving TT on river with 2 overs and a paired board.

Feel free to analyze on what the better plays in these situations are.

I alos witnessed my fair share of bad luck with my big pocket pairs during the donwswing.

AA cracked by 2 outer

QQ gets flushed out.


KK runs into AA grrr.

As you will notice(in the not so pretty anymore graph below) all these unlucky hands came at once, the start of todays session actually. Fortunately I was able to not tilt by disciplining myself better and managed to scrape out $31.50 profit over 2 hours play. So turned into a nice $15.75 an hour profit. My winrate has dropped vastly from the 25bb/100(PL&NL) to 14bb/100(PL&NL). I tried to stick to NL as my PLbb/100 is 6 coampred to 16bb/100 at NL.

Pretty graph, note between 14k and 15k is the unlucky hands shown above.

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Getting a Poker Education

So after deciding to read up some on strategey and such i found this thread by chuckTs on cardschat.

His thread does a verg good job at demonstrating and explaing Pot Control and Commitment Bets. It also led me to this thread which talks about the wb/wa concept. Either being way ahead or way behind in the hand. Both are goo threads and inspired me to read more into the CradsChat Golden Archieves.

Videos and Audio Blogging

In other things I have been trying to make a video of me 16 tabling $25NL as suggested by Zachvac on CardsChat. I have got the trial version of Camtasia studio 5 but am running into problems with the cursor flickering on and off my screen making the play whilst reccording very difficult.

I am also trying to figure out how to upload an audio file to my blog of me talking about whats going on ind=stead of writing it. So far i can record my blogcast but cant upload it.

If anyone can help on thes two things it would be much apreciated.


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

$1000 Milestone

Yesterday marked an awesome milestone in my poker career. I oficially have a $1003.78 bankroll! This relizeation was accompanied by various phrase and action including the famous "yea baby!", "pass the sugar" both of which were paid there respects with a heart fist pumping session which lasted about 0.13334 of the 2 hour poker session.

After my last blog and the comments of how well i was doing, i espicially enjoyed zachs and chucks. Zach thinks that I may be doing something right to be winning at the rate I am. Whilst Chuck seems to think im going to be playing $100nl in the near future. Whilst i have every intention of doing things right in poker i have no intention of moving up to $100nl even if i had the roll because the plan as you will notice in my goals for 2008 i say that i wish to cashout 3.5k for my trip. So i think i will use the 50/50 bankroll build method.

The 50/50 bankroll build method is where you play for a set period of time at the stakes you want to play or the stakes you currently have a bankroll for. At the end of that set time period(in my case a week) you take 50% of your profit and cash it out. The other 50% goes towards building your bankroll. This method also aids in stopping you progressing to quickly through the stake levels as skill will naturally develop slower than your bankroll.

I will leave you with my january so far graph of winnings.

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Saturday, 2 February 2008

Poker, Life and an update.

Over the last few days I have sorted my shit out so to speak. I haves stoped playing any other games apart from NLHE cash. Mainly because most other games are breakeven or -EV for me. i personally find myself to be exceptionally bad at tourneys and SNG's. I think this is due largely to the fact that recently i have played a vast majority of cashgames rather than tournaments.

Tournaments aside my move up to $25NL full-ring could be considered extremely productive, whilst it is only a 5K hand sample it is still a very nice win rate of 39.81bb/100 which spreed over my regular 16 tables means that I am running at $65.25/hour, admitadely only over 8 hours of play but i will take what im given.

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Goals Update

So it was a day late but i managed to achieve and surpass my goal of a $750 Bankroll by 1/2/08. I currently have a very nice Bankroll and will be looking to hit $1200+ and atleast 15k-20k hands at $25NL before moving up to $50NL.

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I had been raking in FPP points(helped by my Gold Star Status), unfortunately i wasted 5400 on a sunday mill satty where the top 4 of 10 entrants recieve the $216 entry fee. I placed 6th when my AQs<99. I think that it may be possible to almost fold your way to the top 4 in these, although i really havnt had much expierence in the tourneys myself. Then turbo format seems to make players push to early on in the tournament at around level 4 it seemed that the game had become an all-in or fold.

I looked into to StoxPoker Training and i think when my bankroll hits enough for me to be able to purchase a 6month subscription and be properly rolled for $50NL I will buy the 6 montht subscription via Pokerstars transfer and along with it get "Professional No Limit Holdem", both which should vastly improve my game.

In things outside of poker I have taken up an interest in betting on competitions me and my Dad have. We often go out and have a game of tennis which I usually win although there was 1 time... I asked Dad if he wanted to play for $10 a match and he agreed so our next tennis game the stakes will be raised, but it should also add a more competive edge which is alsways fun.

I have also become interested in clay bird shooting and will be joining a team that shoots every week at the gun club and apparently they have a competition which is never a bad thing. I think living on a farm is a great thing, I mean how many people can just decide that they are gona shhot clay birds of their front lawn without some damn neighbour calling the cops? Admitadely I need to improve my shooting alot to be competive with Dad and other members of the Gun Club so I dont think I will be prop betting on that for a long time.

Today saw the NZI Wellingting Rugby Sevens commence with, I am gratefull to say, New Zealand winning the final in the last minute with a great try. WOOHOO!!!

Life is good, poker is good. For now.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Shares Trading and the simularities with Poker

This post is provoked by a recent Bussiness Studies Class that I had. In the class the Teacher was asking us to give her different possible sources of income such as wages, sponsorship, royalties etc. and ofcourse trading the share market. I piped up and said poker/gambling as a possible source of income. The teacher immediately said that gambling could not be considered a legitimate sorce of income. Funily enough she said that was the end of the matter and didnt give a legitimate reason that it couldnt be considered a source of income. The reason she gave was "it's a recreational game played for fun".

I then proceded to point out that Shres Trading has just as much if not more risk involved than poker does. I said poker was a game of probability where players used information provided to make the best mathmatical decision possible and in the long run the players with more skill would win more money because they would be more often capitilizing on their opponets mistakes while make less mistakes of their own. Which is much like Shares Trading where the people who make more money than others are considered better traders because they are better at spotting trends and predicting what the trends will be so that they know when to buy or sell shares.

I then went on to say that Shares Trading(with my relatively limited knowledge of shres trading) is probably less of a exact science than poker. Beacuase Poker is a game of probability and the probabilities never change. In poker if you always get your money in HU with a greater than 50% chance of winning then you will over the long run be a winning player. Wher as in Share Trading there is virtually no garentee that you will profit and you are in much less control of the outcome of your investments in Shares Trading than you are in Poker.

I came online tonight and found a few good links about this topic.

Here are the links to articles i found:

Making Money On The Stockmarket: A Game of Poker
A Big Deal