Friday, April 30, 2010

Having played rush poker the last couple of days, everything else seems so slow. I'm still looking into which part of the day there is more traffic to play and so far, it is early morning to lunch time (NZ time).

Beginning when I boot up my pc around 7am, the most players I've seen was around 800. Around lunch time, that number is about 400. As I write this, it is now 8.40pm and players in 5NL rush is 274.

An advantage I get playing rush is that getting my bonus is faster since I am playing more hands. Tied in with that is the rakeback. Since I am still getting something for my initial deposit bonus, these are deducted from any rakeback I get. I guess the rakeback is there for the time when I am playing higher stakes. At the stakes level where I play, I am definitely not getting any rakeback.

My schedule thus far is: Mornings to lunch, I play 5NL rush poker. I then let the kids play online alternating with them until a $150 freeroll comes up. Then I let them play again when I finish. I'm not sure if they are catching on, but they start hovering around when they see my stack is below $1,000.

Just now I finished the NZ freeroll and did not finish in the money. I was getting bored and impatient. With rush poker, I'd simply click on quickfold and I am dealt new hole cards. I quickfold continuously until I find the hands I want to play. I don't have to wait for the other players to finish.

Rush poker has really redefined how poker is played online.
"It's impossible." said pride.
"It's risky." said experience.
"It's pointless." said reason.
"Give it a try." whispered the heart.

I am making good at 5NL rush poker. What works for me here?

- Patience is not a factor. When I do not get good hands, simply quickfold and I am dealt a new hand at a new table.
- Reads? Each player is a different player at every given moment. If my HUD shows everyone I am Tight Aggressive, I can choose to play loose. I do not have to pigeon-hole myself and give them the advantage. Playing rush poker, I seldom look at the HUD, but play what is happening right then and there. I flat their raise, noting how they acted preflop and how the flop matches their hand range. I don't think a lot of players in rush poker ever checks the HUD until after the flop. I don't.
- if I don't have anything, I do nothing. No need to bluff. A new hand is always one click away.
- what if they are bluffing? It doesn't matter. If I have landed a set, I let them bluff. They can only bluff so far. It's their chips they are throwing on the table. You do this all the time, it shows on your winrate. If I do not have anything, or at best, top pair, top kicker, I call. Middle pair, I check, call or fold.
- the fold button is the most important factor in winning 5NL rush poker. The sooner I fold, the sooner I can play winning hands.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three points per day and I finish the $6 remaining in my initial deposit bonus with FTP. I think that is highly possible considering that I play in 5NL rush poker each day.

The last few days, I thought I was in a downswing. I found out I wasn't playing my A-game and was eXperimenting with something else.

I was calling when I should have folded. I was thinking that the other player was just bluffing. Typically, on a draw heavy board and I'd have top pair, top kicker, I'd call or minimum raise trying to get the other player to fold when I should have been placing them on a range.

I was trying to play someone else's game that I read from the internet. It must have served them well playing that way, but I should be trusting my read of table dynamics, play accordingly, always in this one moment.

I realiZed this going to bed last night and I felt better about my self. This morning, I played 5NL rush poker and made some good plays that I finished my morning session in less than an hour because I went past my daily quota.

Afternoon session, I had three fishes on the table playing celebpoker. Seeing the dominant whale was aggressive with less than strong hands, I played patient. And it paid off when we went to showdown with my JJ. He had Q4o and he doubled my stack.

Take home lesson for me here: be patient. If in a downswing, figure out what it is I am doing differently; using holdem manager, figure out which situations am I losing?

Here are my stats for the last 1,000 hands:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I am eXhausted with the kids always fighting and making noise while I play poker. I wonder how many full time online players have kids around when they play? How do they handle it?

It's hard enough to keep centered playing poker--but having 4 kids making noise, quarreling over the smallest of things and always grabbing your attention, it is easy to go on tilt.

I am going through a process at the moment where I am learning how to deal with tilt. This, to me, has more to do with self-image. I see myself as someone who plays well, and within this definition, I can observe my thoughts and emotions whenever I lose a hand, even a stack, and not let my self be affected.

This afternoon, this self-image was tested when I had several hands that did not do well. In the past, I'd close the game platform and do something else. This time, I kept on playing and simply observed the thoughts and emotions that would pop up.

I'd label these thoughts and emotions as those of someone who do not play well. Since I am playing well, these thoughts and emotions no longer affect me.

Win or lose, the action/s I made was appropriate for the given situation. Not doing so is not playing well. I learned something from these hands, paid tuition for them, and now a better poker player because of it.
"...So when you're playing in a tourney against someone with a short stack, be looser in your draws. Because each chip is worth less, you can play more hands and bet more with the hope of drawing the right cards from the flop. your chip may say $20 and there might be $100 in the pot, but the pot is giving you better than 5 to 1 odds because you have so many chips to play.

But if it's you who has the short stack, you probably shouldn't be chasing draws. Because each chip is worth more, you are not actually getting a great price. each card you pursue becomes more expensive. So it might look like the pot's offering you 2 to 1 odds on hitting a particular card, but it's not.

In cash games stack size doesn't matter. You don't need to make any adjustments to your play because your stack is bigger or smaller than your opponents'. A dollar is a dollar, and a chip is worth its face value. And in cash games, having a huge pile of chips doesn't give you as much of a psychological edge as it does in tourneys. Depending on their resources, an opponent can make a quick exit and return with more chips. As a result, bluffs don't work as effectively in cash games. When someone's running low in chips in a tourney, they should be playing more protectively. They're feeling that it's finite, and that if they lose, they're going to have to walk away from the table. As their opponent, it's relatively easy for you to put psychological pressure on them.

My tourney game is vastly more aggressive than my live game. In tourneys, playing aggressively is mathematically correct, and it's psychologically correct too. I play maybe 30percent of my hands in a tourney versus about 20 percent in cash games.

When I'm playing cash games, I don't bluff as much, but I tend to play a very trappy game--that is, I sit and wait until I have the good cards and then trap my opponents."

Source: Annie Duke: How I raised, folded, bluffed, flirted, cursed and won millons--and you can too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This afternoon, I decided to mow our lawn using a hired weed eater--those hand held machines with a rotating string on the end. It took twice as long for me to finish our backyard than what it would have taken if we paid someone else to do it. I did a good job at it, if I may say so. And I had a great time.

I had an insight while I was mowing. I know a few people who chose to do it as their business. They move about every day and mow other people's lawns and get paid for it. I realiZed it wasn't what I wanted to do. I could do it if I chose to, but it is not what I prefer.

What I prefer, what I choose is to play poker as a business. If other people can choose to mow lawns and make money out of it, why not play poker and make money out of it. For me, it is easier. I sit in front of my computer and make money work for me. I don't have to work as hard as they do physically, but the time and effort is there. It's the same eXperience, the same energy.

Some people choose to have regular jobs. I prefer to run my own business. None is better than the other. They are all the same. We are all supported in our beliefs, in the choices that we make.
I am looking into the possibility of borrowing money for bankroll. Say, $1000, payable in one year, plus interest. $1,000 is only about 6 big blinds profit per day.

The thing is, even if I had that much money, I couldn't just play in a higher stakes level. I still have to grow my skills through the ranks, otherwise, I'd only be donating my money for their cause.

Monday, April 26, 2010

After finishing in 204th place (out of 19,000) in the ftp round 2 freeroll, I decided to give rush poker a try. The idea of playing in 5NL rush poker has been cooking in my subconscious for some time now. The local mind had it all figured out that if I play tight enough at that level, I wouldn't lose a buy-in. I figured that I have gained 50bb suffice for a buy in at that level these past few days. The odds seemed to be in my favor. I lose that much, but stand to gain more. For one, I can win a buy in then take profits off the table; second, I gain much in confidence and familiariZe myself with play on those tables.

I have three no deposit bonus accounts in ipoker. Almost all of them are below 10bi's at 50bb. I have been playing and eXperimenting with those accounts all this time and I haven't busted any of them. The lowest I have right now is with titanpoker with 3bi's. Given that I am a better player today than I was in the past, I will surely stand well playing with the fish in 5NL rush poker.

So I gave it a try.

And I did win 50bb, in less than an hour's play. Now that I have an eXtra buy in for 5NL rush poker, I am going to play there every morning NZ time, when there are more than 400 players in the cloud. If it's below that, those are mostly regs. I wouldn't want to play in such a table.

Looking back, I have always played well in rush poker 5NL. There were a few times when I'd lose a buy in, but those were bad beats. AA gets drawn out on the river. At that time, my game plan was to only play pocket pairs, flop a set, and earn rakeback.

I was able to play well back then, but had this idea in the back of my head that I was under rolled for this level. After reading, and learning much about poker since, I think I can allow myself to play in this level from here on.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The last two occasions I played my titanpoker account, I gave away my stack. I am a bit edgy, anXious playing that account. It is now down to 3+EUR... 3 buy-ins. I don't really mind closing this account as it is a no deposit bonus, but still, I'd like to make good on this.

I am going to play tight with that. The times I lost my stack where multi-way pot and was pushed all-in. The last occasion was a three way pot where two of us had the same hole cards tied for the full house, but the winner had AA and got himself a higher full house.

The first stack I lost, yesterday I had two pairs but the other player landed his flush draw on the river. I think I played as well as I could in both instances. Things like these happen. They happen to them, they happen to me as well.

It is all part of the game.

Of all four accounts that I play, titanpoker is the one that's still down. I am going to play as well with this account from here on. What is going to change is that I am going to play this account when I am in a fresh and steady mindset.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Evening session I was at ftp. I didn't play much, waiting for good cards which seldom went my way, and it's ok with me. I lost a stack late in the afternoon session, playing AJo, had TPTK and was drawn out. These things happen. Can't, and I won't resist that. It showed me how to play high AX better.

Wife wants to use the pc. I'm calling it a day. 9.15pm. I am getting ready for bed now.
Full house with a big pot! Took profits off the table.
NL Holdem $0.02(BB) Full Tilt Game#20303068271

BigSteveGCAZ ($2.01)
Mactabilis ($6.40)
FunkBrothaStyle ($6.80)
Xoxx0r ($1.42)
YouGotaReRolled ($1.62)
Nosferatu77 ($2)
Now Open ($1.02)
Alukahs ($1.96)
MaterazziWin ($2.04)

BigSteveGCAZ posts (SB) $0.01
Mactabilis posts (BB) $0.02

Dealt to Now Open Jd Js
fold, fold,
YouGotaReRolled calls $0.02
Now Open calls $0.02
Alukahs raises to $0.06
BigSteveGCAZ calls $0.05
Mactabilis calls $0.04
Now Open calls $0.04
FLOP ($0.26) Th Jc Kh
BigSteveGCAZ checks
Mactabilis bets $0.12
Now Open calls $0.12
Alukahs raises to $0.24
BigSteveGCAZ folds
Mactabilis calls $0.12
Now Open calls $0.12
TURN ($0.98) Th Jc Kh Kc
Mactabilis checks
Now Open bets $0.02
Alukahs raises to $0.40
Mactabilis calls $0.40
Now Open calls $0.38
RIVER ($2.18) Th Jc Kh Kc 2h
Mactabilis bets $2.18
Now Open calls $0.32 (AI)
Alukahs calls $1.26 (AI)
Mactabilis shows 5c Qh
(Pre 10%, Flop 16.8%, Turn 0.0%)

Now Open shows Jd Js
(Pre 53%, Flop 69.3%, Turn 85.7%)

Alukahs shows Qs Ks
(Pre 37%, Flop 13.9%, Turn 14.3%)

Now Open wins $2.94
Alukahs wins $1.75
When I powered up my PC this morning, it couldn't connect to the internet, error 797. Using my previous tech support eXperience, I decided to change the USB cable to the one connecting with pppoe.

It worked.

I have table ninja running, the poker game platform is connected and holdem manager initialiZing. So far so good. If no issues are found, I'll shutdown pc, reconnect the USB cable to modem and pc and see if that was really the issue.


I tried replacing the pppoe cable with the original usb cable to isolate what the issue really is. I have internet connection. Nothing seems to be wrong with the PC. The error message I got was that the PC can't "see" the modem. With the pppoe cable, connection was restored. So I shut down everything, connected the usb cable, restart everything and tried to connect.

I get the error message.

So it was the usb cable that was the problem. I now have everything configured so that my pc will connect automatically on startup through pppoe.

I am now playing poker on ftp, everything is running well.

Issue resolved.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some of the worst bonus/promotions that I have seen so far are from the ipoker network. The cash bonus that they bait out for you isn't as big compared to what I see on full tilt, yet if you do avail of the ipoker bonus/promotions, the hurdle is so steep that you are going to have to spend a lot of time on their site just to earn the points for it.

Evening session went well. Played about 60 hands in my celebpoker account. Two fishes on the table, one after the other. Took some chips off the second fish as I was card dead starting off.

One thing I noticed about the all the fishes I see on the tables, they love going to showdown dominated. On those occasions where they got themselves pot committed preflop with nothing, they are going to try and scare the hell out of you.
Good thing I limped in, then folded--
NL Holdem $0.02(BB) IPoker Game#2234414143

4uBaPuBa ($2.56)
pointdownstream ($1.02)
WizarDer ($1.85)
KALI95 ($3.73)
TTR120025321 ($1)
Stearh ($0.77)
dragomircristi ($0.76)
Cachete26 ($0.78)

4uBaPuBa posts (SB) $0.01
pointdownstream posts (BB) $0.02

Dealt to pointdownstream As Ah
KALI95 calls $0.02
Stearh raises to $0.08
fold, fold,
4uBaPuBa calls $0.07
pointdownstream calls $0.06
KALI95 calls $0.06
FLOP ($0.32) Jh Th 6d
4uBaPuBa checks
pointdownstream bets $0.02
KALI95 raises to $3.65 (AI)
Stearh calls $0.69 (AI)
4uBaPuBa folds
pointdownstream folds
TURN ($1.72) Jh Th 6d 2c
RIVER ($1.72) Jh Th 6d 2c 5s
Stearh shows Ts Td
(Pre 65%, Flop 91.2%, Turn 95.5%)

KALI95 shows Js Tc
(Pre 35%, Flop 8.8%, Turn 4.5%)

Stearh wins $1.61
First hand for the afternoon session, Q2o, so I clicked on check/fold as I did not play these cards. All checked/called. Flop gave me two pairs with two players left and I was first to bet, so I raised. One folded, the other guy raised. Thinking he had at least a pair preflop, I called all the way to river where he pushed me all in.

He had QJ.

in the black

I just realized, for the last 1,000 hands, I am in the black--6.23bb/100 hands.

I only look at my last 1,000 hands rather than all hands. Past is past. I was a different player then than I am now. 1,000 hands stats are more relevant and gives me quick feedback as to how I am doing.

Good job!
  • morning session, playing in ftp.
  • i have this attitude when playing fish is that i am simply allowing them to collect the blinds when they steal a lot, and that they are going to turn them over to me in due time.
  • folded JTs on standard raise. I am BU. flop gives J. Raiser in EP TAG. OK that I folded.
  • fish on the table 48/17/3.3; winrate is -303bb/100. Plays a lot of hands, showdown marginal hands.
  • table vpip is 26/3.
  • practicing patience. i see that i want to have strong hands all the time. not playing marginal hands is where real practice is. anyone can do that. not everyone can sit and be still.
  • writing game notes in betwen hands is a good way to pass the time. i write down my thoughts, save them for later, and at the same time, get my mind preoccupied while selecting good hole cards to play.
  • i think i can use this method in rush poker.
  • added stat, fold to flop bet. looking how this number will show me advantage on flop.
  • just got myself more opportunity to see more flops after winning small pot with two pair.
  • A2s, checked down as kicker is low and everyone plays aces.
  • i get this idea that when i put money in pot, i should see a set. what would i have to believe is true in order to feel that way?
  • that it is limited.
  • got tt hole.
  • fear of losing money. big pot in the making.
  • good thing i folded. one had full house, winning hand had 4 of a kind. initial raiser folded.
  • this is playing well. focus not on results. that is only reflection.
  • i've been on the table more than an hour now. i haven't made any move i'd regret big time. this is good indicator that i am playing well.
  • be that and the reflection will follow.
  • playing ftp ain't that bad after all. i have a fish on my table and i am getting better in my game.
  • won another pot, still get to play for free. straight 98o.
  • stats 18/2/3..14. not seeing a lot of flops because of hole cards requirements. not too tight, not too loose either. just right. stack is consistent, no wild swings. i prefer it that way. i don't hesitate to shove all in, but in cash games, prefer to bet pot on srtong hands.
  • won another pot against fish showdwon who had K9o i had KQ pair on flop. get to play for free. win stats 27..100/13. nice and tight.
  • fish autorate is now whale, and is playing to my left. it seems that it don't really matter where you sit relative to them, but that you play well.
  • will have lunch shortly with wife. she cooks these days and will leave for work after lunch. she uses pc after breakfast while i do morning chores. that way, i get momentum when i play longer time than to let her use pc whenever she wants to.
  • we'll have a new pc. kids also want to use pc when they are home. a good laptop i am thankful for.
  • i think i may have a third fish on our table. all three now are on my left.
  • keeping to the straight and narrow while allowing fish to do what they do best. that's the game plan.
  • got rid of the whale notes. it complicates things. hud will tell me who they are when i play them.
  • original fish is gone. two remain.
  • vpip'd waiting for J to complete straight. didn't happen. i don't do that usually, but villain bet minimum so i called.
  • three vacant seats. time for a break.
  • i think i made a little profit here, not spectacular, but enough that allowed me to play and be a better player and at the same time, added a few big blinds to my bankroll.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I played my betfred account today playing at 4NL, as this was the next stakes level from 2NL. I was pretty much card dead that session. I had a few wins here and there, but the preflop raise made by other players made it more expensive for me to see the flop.

I threw away some pretty good hole cards because of these expensive preflop raises. If I remember correctly, I mucked AKo AKs and 88. The PFR was ridiculously high, more than the standard preflop raise I'd make myself, so I decided to fold them.

In hindsight, I wish I could have played them; at that moment, I thought that my hole cards still needed improvement when seen flop, whereas theirs, at the way they were betting, were monster cards and can stand on their own on the flop. I guess I shouldn't feel bad about it then.

I played the betfred account again tonight but on 2NL. I'd like to raise the bankroll up to this morning's level, then to resume play in 4NL. One is to center myself in the knowing that my method can hold water, and second to get some momentum going in to the next level.

It is 10:35pm. Kids are in bed, wife is on her way home from work, and I am tired and sleepy. Shutting down.

I just realized that I can start taking stabs at 5NL using my betfred account. It's a no deposit bonus account that I have been playing for some time now. The account is denominated in NZD and did not want to be bothered how it converts to EUR until now.

I'll play 5NL this morning based on my 10/1 rule, which states that I take stabs at the next higher stake level when I have 10 buy-ins (based on 100bb). I move back to 2NL if I lose 1 buy-in.

Some people will say this is risky--if you say it is, then it is so. I have been playing with less than 10bi's on my ipoker account and I am still here. At some point, some of these ipoker accounts have dipped below 5bi's. I paid a lot of tuition with these accounts, and now I feel that they will spearhead my intention to move on up the stakes, beginning with the betfred account.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I played boring poker today and made an extra 60bb in profit (bought in with 50bb, about 110% return for the money I put in this one table). I think I played around 80 hands for tonight's session, playing in celebpoker.

There were four fishes on the table as rated by HEM. All had vpip above 50. This means that they had been playing more than half of the hole cards they have been dealt since I sat on the table. Playing so many hands, not all of them are going to have showdown potential. It's an exciting way to play poker, but in the long run, I haven't seen one who is a winner at the stakes level that I play in.

Last hand I had 44 and limped in with everyone else. Flop came QK4r. I had a set, and anyone else who caught K or Q, I was going to watch. River gave 3spades, I raised pot. One called, rest folded, Went all in, he called. He had K4.

I took profits off the table for two reasons:
- I have been playing for more than an hour and was due for a break;
- I had more than doubled my stack.

Boring poker pays ;p

Chart above is for the last 1,000 hands. Steady uptrend on my winrate, still showing higher highs, higher lows, with break-outs above resistance areas--definitely an uptrend.

What am I doing right?

- I have been patient. At times I get tempted to play marginal hands, but try not to. I know that if I kept at it, I too, am going to get good hole cards. And I did.

- I feel like I am getting a good read on the table dynamics. I can sort of tell if I am ahead or behind on a hand.

- When reraised, it's hard to give up strong hands that I have waited for, like ATo, but these are going to give me trouble on later streets if I don't give up now. Times like these, I simply remind myself that blinds are going nowhere and that I'd still get good, even better hands later on.

- I have been playing by my rules.

Here are my stats to date:
Man, talk about learning to play poker for free--in full tilt poker, there is a freeroll that starts within 5minutes after I finish one. It's not always a freeroll where top place wins money, although they have those too, but one where you qualify for another event where priZes are bigger.

At my level, I am not after the priZe, but being able to play with others and finetune my game in the process.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Found myself on tilt after this hand. I placed the other player on AX as he did not raise preflop. These things happen. I don't know how else I could have played this. He was aggressive postflop and board was making straighr. I check/called all the way to the river. I feel I did a good play here; no other way I could have played it otherwise.

I found myself swallowed by the whale this time:

Full Tilt Poker Game #20212706120: Table Picnic - $0.01/$0.02 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:36:41 ET - 2010/04/20
Seat 1: lobagika ($1.76)
Seat 3: SEPK1313 ($3.22)
Seat 4: Ivomi1966 ($1.40), is sitting out
Seat 5: ILive2BustU ($2)
Seat 6: ncuxfc ($2.15)
Seat 7: Now Open ($1.02)
Seat 8: Blindguy ($3.06)
Seat 9: BillyBadass05 ($2.12)
ncuxfc posts the small blind of $0.01
Now Open posts the big blind of $0.02
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Now Open [Jd Jh]
Blindguy folds
lobagika folds
SEPK1313 calls $0.02
ILive2BustU folds
ncuxfc folds
Now Open raises to $0.05
SEPK1313 calls $0.03
*** FLOP *** [Qs Js Td]
Now Open bets $0.08
ElloraBoy sits down
SEPK1313 raises to $0.16
ElloraBoy adds $2
Now Open calls $0.08
*** TURN *** [Qs Js Td] [Kc]
Now Open checks
SEPK1313 bets $0.10
Now Open calls $0.10
*** RIVER *** [Qs Js Td Kc] [Ad]
ElloraBoy is sitting out
Now Open checks
SEPK1313 bets $0.10
Now Open calls $0.10
*** SHOW DOWN ***
SEPK1313 shows [Qc Qh] a straight, Ace high
Now Open shows [Jd Jh] a straight, Ace high
Now Open ties for the pot ($0.39) with a straight, Ace high
SEPK1313 ties for the pot ($0.39) with a straight, Ace high
Now Open adds $0.02
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $0.83 | Rake $0.05
Board: [Qs Js Td Kc Ad]
Seat 1: lobagika didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: SEPK1313 showed [Qc Qh] and won ($0.39) with a straight, Ace high
Seat 4: Ivomi1966 is sitting out
Seat 5: ILive2BustU (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: ncuxfc (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: Now Open (big blind) showed [Jd Jh] and won ($0.39) with a straight, Ace high
Seat 8: Blindguy didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: BillyBadass05 is sitting out

I quit playing shortly after this hand. I was on tilt. Good opportunity for me to practice tilt-allowing. I chose to do yoga to allow the energy to flow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mid-day session was played in ftp. I found myself in the table with a maniac again. First time I saw him with about $5 or so in his stack. His stack grew to as high as $7+. More than an hour later, he was bust. Not because of me, but because everyone at the table adjusted to his style and was playing back at him.

I think one of the reason that method fails with some is because they play too many hands and everyone reacts to that. Your head pops up and they see how you play. They then observe how you play and adjust their game. Not try to out-raise him or scare him off his hand, but to set a trap.

If I were to play maniac, I'd ease off on the low hands. I'd play only the good hands and go aggro on that. Doing so, when my hands are shown down, they see good cards and not air. When they consistently see good hands shown down, then the few times I push air, they will think I have strong hands.

I sometimes bluff, but not as often as I should. I tend to bluff more in tourneys than in cash games. The few times I bluff in cash games is when I play HU and am in the black.

Wife now needs to use PC.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mid-day session, playing in ipoker/betfred account. This guy was playing in every pot. He'd open limp, then bet aggressively post flop. The most stack I remember seeing him with was $5. Before I finished, we went to showdown and was surprised he went all in with only $0.10 (I wasn't paying attention the last few hands). I had two pair and he had JXo.

I've tried playing maniac before, just to get a feel for it. The highs and lows in that method are great. One time I'd have more than double my buy-in, next thing you know, I am down big time.

I think this is because the other players figure out how you play and begin to play back at you. If I were to play this, I'd leave the table after I double my buy-in, taking profits off the table, then find a new one. This way, other players can't figure out my game, and when I do run into them in other tables and go HU with them, I'd play differently.

Winnings are finally above my red line, making higher highs/higher lows. Short term uptrend is in place. I'm playing tight at the moment. At this moment, this method has the best return for my money. This means that, the times I put money in the pot, I am confident that I'd get a good return, and if not, my losses are as small as it can possibly be.

I don't get to play a lot of hands. It gets boring at times. I am playing one table the last few weeks. This so I will learn how to play based on my reads. When I feel confident of this, I intend to add more tables. In a way, I am developing a turnkey method, which I can play on multiple tables--like a franchise.

I felt anxious playing this time. The VPIP on the table was 30+. Every hand, someone was raising 3xbb. And if someone raises preflop, expect them to cbet. As such, I factor in the cost of seeing the flop based on these two bets. I guess I am playing such tables to learn how to deal with it. And I am. The tuition I paid to learn this was small. Wait a minute--I finished the session in the black. I learned a lesson and yet made money.

Time for my yoga.
Got my flush on the river.
NL Holdem $0.02(BB) IPoker Game#2226123491

xiaoqiang818 ($0.98)
NowOpen ($1.02)
starlektro78 ($0.98)
libing333 ($2.06)
landear ($3.54)
wgjones09 ($6.04)
bandeiraflu ($2)
RNXqAHA ($1.97)
HelenaGu ($1.89)
capitan160 ($5.18)

xiaoqiang818 posts (SB) $0.01
NowOpen posts (BB) $0.02

Dealt to NowOpen 8d Td
starlektro78 calls $0.02
libing333 calls $0.02
wgjones09 calls $0.02
fold, fold,
HelenaGu calls $0.02
capitan160 calls $0.02
xiaoqiang818 calls $0.01
NowOpen checks
FLOP ($0.14) Ad Kd Jc
xiaoqiang818 checks
NowOpen checks
starlektro78 bets $0.14
libing333 calls $0.14
wgjones09 folds
HelenaGu folds
capitan160 folds
xiaoqiang818 folds
NowOpen calls $0.14
TURN ($0.56) Ad Kd Jc 5s
NowOpen checks
starlektro78 bets $0.82 (AI)
libing333 folds
NowOpen calls $0.82
RIVER ($2.20) Ad Kd Jc 5s 5d
NowOpen shows 8d Td
(Pre 31%, Flop 39.8%, Turn 22.7%)

starlektro78 shows Qs Ts
(Pre 69%, Flop 60.2%, Turn 77.3%)

NowOpen wins $2.06

Friday, April 16, 2010

Showdown winnings for the last 1,000 hands, all accounts. I made good results on my celebpoker account on this one session. Chart is still in congestion, but I see bullish bias towards the upside.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I have just finished the Full Tilt Poker New Zealand freeroll. After more than four hours of play, I finished at 12th place, in the money (ITM) winning $2.00. There were 544 entries to this tourney and each and every one of them played well.

This win is encouraging. Now I am seriously considering joining the local tourneys in and around Auckland. There is one in a nearby pub that is held mondays when wife has her day off from work. I can go there regularly, see how it goes. The intention is not to win, but to connect with the natives and to grow that aspect of my game as well.

Qualified again for a sunday $1,000 freeroll.
I played afternoon session using my betfred account. It must have been two hours of play and only had one winning hand, getting to breakeven. There was a fish to my right. When I started, the guy had maX stack on him. He went out with Zero two hours later.

He was playing 95/60/2. practically raising everything he had. This guy to his right played into him and got most of his chips. When his stack was down to 50bb, he played more sober, calling most of the time and only raising when he thought he had strong hole cards.

I had position on the whale, but did not get enough strong cards to trap him. Oh well, at least I had a good session learning something about them whales.

Showdown winnings for the last 1,000 hands (all accounts) shows congestion. This feels like a bottom. My losses are minimal and far between while gains are steady and almost consistent.

I have been testing my method on ftp freerolls. I get more action there, and shifting to cash games, everything is more sober and I play tighter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
NL Holdem $0.02(BB) IPoker Game#2219770806

ClarkMonino ($4.97)
SMMGFYH ($1.08)
Uzelezz73 ($6.45)
pointdownstream ($1.12)
0tourtle ($2)
hoholok666 ($0.38)
GREG62930 ($3.05)
middledragon ($5.73)
StellaWin ($3.37)

ClarkMonino posts (SB) $0.01
SMMGFYH posts (BB) $0.02

Dealt to pointdownstream 7c 7h
pointdownstream calls $0.02
0tourtle raises to $0.10
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
SMMGFYH calls $0.08
pointdownstream calls $0.08
FLOP ($0.31) Ks 7d 2c
SMMGFYH checks
pointdownstream checks
0tourtle bets $0.20
SMMGFYH calls $0.20
pointdownstream calls $0.20
TURN ($0.91) Ks 7d 2c 5s
SMMGFYH bets $0.45
pointdownstream calls $0.45
0tourtle folds
RIVER ($1.81) Ks 7d 2c 5s 2d
SMMGFYH checks
pointdownstream bets $0.37 (AI)
SMMGFYH calls $0.33 (AI)
SMMGFYH shows Ac Kc
(Pre 47%, Flop 5.3%, Turn 0.0%)

pointdownstream shows 7c 7h
(Pre 53%, Flop 94.7%, Turn 100.0%)

pointdownstream wins $2.31

I was putting myself in marginal situations all afternoon--overcard, draw heavy board, and paid tuition for them. I lost a stack earlier, this hand brought it back, with a little profit. I guess the lesson here (again) is to be patient, know when to speculuate and when not to.

Hand Range

More changes to the Hand Range that I play:

5%: 99+, AK, AQs, AJs
8%: 88, AQo, ATs, KTs, QJs
10%: AJo, A9s, KQo, QTs
13%: 77, ATo, KJo, JTs
15%: A7s, KTo, K9s, QJo
20%: 66, A9o, A4s, K8s, Q9s, JTo, T9s
25%: A7o, A2s, K9o K6s, Q8s, J8s, T8s
30%: 55, A5o, K5s, Q9o, Q7s, J9o, T9o
35%: A4o, K8o, K3s Q6s, T7s, 87s
40%: 44, A3o, K7o, K2s, Q8o, Q4s, J8o
50%: 22, A2o, K5o, Q7o, Q2s, J7o, T7o, T6s 98o, 86s

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Play TAG and LAG

When you’re playing your TAG game you’re building a particular set of skills:

1. Patience (critically important to a poker player).

2. Value betting (recognizing when your hand is best and pushing it as hard as you can get away with).

3. Selective aggression (knowing when to fight and when to run away).

4. Positional advantages (even a TAG plays much looser from LP than from UTG).

5. Nut-peddling (not so much “getting the nuts,” since that happens to everybody, but “extracting maximum value WHEN you get the nuts,” a critical skill to the TAG’s bottom line).

6. Large-ball (a TAG must know how to make the pots he wins as big as possible, since they will be relatively few in number).

7. Creating fights (when a TAG is going to showdown, he usually wants a big pot; manipulating the pot in that direction is crucial to the TAG’s long-term success).

8. Using a strong table image (misdirecting opponents into folding when your hand is actually weak based on your past play at the table).

When you’re playing your LAG game, you’re also building a particular set of skills, but it’s a different set:

1. Hand reading (in order for LAG to be profitable, you have to know when you’re beaten).

2. Bluffing and semi-bluffing (LAGs need folding equity to perform optimally; creating and using that equity is a vital part of the LAG strategy).

3. Small-ball (a LAG must know how to win many small pots, since he’s going to get eaten alive if he doesn’t pick up more than his fair share).

4. Reversed positional advantages (unlike the TAG, the LAG must use position for bluffing, leading at pots OOP and raising UTG to delude opponents into thinking he’s actually got a great hand).

5. Post-flop aggression (to win the pot, a LAG must typically BUY the pot; he can’t just wait around for a showdown, because his hand won’t hold up often enough).

6. Avoiding fights (LAGs don’t really want to build many huge pots, since their hands don’t survive often enough to make it profitable).

7. Using a weak table image (misdirecting opponents into calling when you actually hit a monster, based on your past play at the table).


How to play blinds

Here are some things I have looked at or are on my "to do" list for plugging this leak.

- In the small blind, when it is folded to you, raise almost any 2 cards.

- In the big blind, when there is only a LP limper, raise a lot of hands.

- In the big blind, when the action is only the small blind completing, raise almost any two cards (but be careful and respect 3 bets, because people often limp big hands here).

- In limped pots, Hu or 3 way, bet any pair or draw you flop if the texture of the flop is bad.

- It's an oldie but goodie--consider betting with any two cards in a limped 2 or 3 way pot when the flop is paired.

- In the big blind, HU against the SB, if he checks, bet. always. seriously, always. If he calls, bet a lot of turns, too.

- Analyze your 3 betting. make sure you are 3 betting hands you want to felt and hands that are just barely not good enough to call a steal with--flat call with everything in between.

- Carefully analyze your 3 bet hands that see a flop. This is a HUGE leak, because these are big pots. Losing too much in these spots is KILLING my blind play. If you are negative in hands you 3 bet out of the blinds (excluding your monsters) you would be better off for the time being folding these hands while you crack the code on how to play these pots (most villains will not notice your temporarily unbalanced 3 betting range).

- Avoid getting into ego-driven pissing contests. I lost a $30 pot a few days ago in the big blind with 82o. Yep, true story! It folded to the SB, who completed, and I raised to 2. He called. Flop had two spades. He checked, i bet, he called. Turn completed the flush. he bet $10, I RAISED, lol, and he called. Common sense eventually returned, and when he checked the river I checked behind (and saw his flush). lol, oh well, meta-game. But really, $30 of absolutely mindless spew, just bound and determined to WIN THIS POT. lol, don't do it.


How to play limped pots

  • Take small stabs at small pots often – whenever you have equity in the pot and nobody has taken initiative, bet out. Whenever the board is dry and nobody seems to want it – bet out. Be first to act in the game of chicken
  • The fewer players in the pot, the weaker the hand you want to be willing to bet. The later the position of the limpers the more often you'll want to bet. (As a general rule of thumb, two mid to late position limpers and you're in the BB – bet pretty much anything that can make a hand by the river. 4 limpers from everywhere, and be a lot more cautious, betting merely good pairs or better and good draws).
  • Be very cautious when the pot gets big, and always remember the SPR on the flop
  • Take stabs
  • Barrel a lot of turns when you get called by a lone opponent (obviously, the more callers you get, the more reluctant you should be to bet again)
  • Take a lot of stabs
  • When they raise, they usually have it. So fold your weaker draws (two pair draws, idiot end gut shots, gut shots on two flush boards, or on paired boards, etc) and continue with your strong made hands and your better draws. Use some common sense (and Flopzilla) to determine what hands you can consider strong given opponent's general tendencies, board texture and SPR.
  • When JT makes the nuts in a multiway pot, someone has JT
  • Take even more stabs
  • Always value bet your good and OK hands (and generally use exploitative and hence exploitable bet sizing)
  • When somebody checks to you in a limped pot – they rarely have a hand they are happy about. When somebody checks twice to you in a limped pot – they never have anything.
Now reading "Heads up No Limit Hold'em" by Collin Moshman
I'm not sure I can do a session this morning. Wife and kids have a lot planned for the day. I want to go with them, take a break for a while. I also need to check if the annie duke book I reserved in the library is ready for pickup. That library is pretty close to the mall the kids want to go to. I can walk going there, get my exercise in for the day. I can do yoga when I get back.

I have clothes in the washing machine that's finishing up. I'll hang them now, then do the neXt thing on my list. We'll see if I can do a session later in the day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Finished tourney after three hours, placing 785th place out of 19,000. That was a long one. Last hand was KK, limping in. Someone raised and eventually got all in on a multi way pot. Board gave me three of a kind, but someone else had full house.

That was a good game. I am now more confident and will be playing cash games now. Three hours in cash games is easier as I can rathole and take longer breaks.

I'm done for today, but I am thinking of going to that poker tourney in the albany pub tonight. I think that starts at six. Might finish late, but we'll see how things go from here.

This is the biggest tourney I have joined so far with more than 19,000 players that Qualified during the week. I am not eXactly playing that much players. At about 10,000 players, I play approXimately ten tables for the duration. I guess in this tourney, I'd be playing say, 20 tables.

This might take some time. My wife was asking me last night what my plans were for the day. I told her this tourney might take all morning. Kids want to go to the library and there is grocery shopping to be done. I am going to finish this one, then have the rest of the day free for the family.

I awoke around 5am today. I have rashes in my torso. I think this is caused by the laundry detergent we are using. I think these started when I decided to use more detergent. I got up around siX and got the pc set up and ready.

While waiting, I did some game analying on HEM. It is interesting what I found today. That if I clicked on players, I can see their stats, and have an idea of how they are playing. The players who have the highest bb/100 are the lags, but the sample I have is very small, less than a hundred hands.

From what I see, the winning players, those that have positive bb/100, do not 3bet or cbet as much as I thought. They have numbers on those columns, but well in proportion to their vpip/pfr. These numbers line up well with their wsf, wtsd and w$sd.

What I have learned from this is that it's not really one thing, like do more 3bets/cbets, or do this or that, but everything taken as a whole. Table dynamics, how you play your hand relative to position--and more importantly, how you process available information.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I got this reply when I shared my predicament with a friend. This helped me see the light. Allow me to share this with you:

howdy jim,

thank you for your sharing, and the opportunity to reply.

what i received out of your post was a subtle, in not overt sense of guilt.

guilt = unworthiness = lack of self-love

the question is, do you hesitate sharing with others what it is you do because you are ashamed of it?

if so, then you have found the source of your feelings - you.

and, what you are hearing from your partner, is simply a straight forward reflection of those feelings; your guilt.

the voice of guilt says ever so firmly 'you cannot do that because it would not be right.'

of course we are all worthy of being who we want to be and we are supported in whatever dream we create.

all dreams are equal in the eyes of Love, thus all dreams are equally supported.

Love says, 'yes, you can do that' to all desires, to all dreams.

and, in the eyes of creation, being a poker player is EQUAL to being a senator is EQUAL to being a nurse is EQUAL to being unemployed is EQUAL to being a priest is EQUAL to being a movie star is EQUAL to being...

in other words, you have all the permission you need from god to be who you want to be, and to play.

the question simply is, will you give yourself permission to be who you want to be?

will you allow yourself to play?

if not, then why not?

well, perhaps this is where the idea of gambling becomes sticky in your thoughts.

gambling is (most often but not always) a result driven experience.

and that is where risk becomes involved.

play is not result-oriented, there is no risk, no chance of not succeeding.

meaning that,

one swings on the swing-set because swinging is fun.

with honest excitement, the return comes not at the end of doing the thing, but in the actual doing of the thing itself,

the return comes immediately, dividends are paid immediately in the experience of the experience.

now then, that is not to say in any way, that specific results are not playful, that positive dividends are not playful,

what i mean is that if positive results MUST be the result, then when one is playing, one has essentially disconnected from the moment at hand to focus upon the moment ahead, which is then to lose contact with play, with excitement, with joy.

it would be like swinging on the swing sets and not being happy because you are too worried that at the end of your swinging, you will not be given anything in return for your swinging.

the swinging itself is the dividend.

and so, perhaps the question becomes, would you still play poker if there was no absolutely no money involved?

the answer to that question might give you insight as to the reasons behind your desire.

another question you might ask is, 'does playing professional poker align with my own personal sense of integrity?'

after all, in the end, only you can know if it truly 'feels right.'

all that said, no matter what you choose, you will be supported by creation.

and of course the only trick in this deck of cards happens when you don't believe you are supported, because the universe will support you in that decision too.

in the end, if you can Love ALL of who you are, and that includes the things that you love to do, you will find that the 'outer' reality cannot help but reflect that Love back to you.

and you can dance down the street with your head held high and say, "I'm a poker player."

i know this not as a thought form to entertain, i know this as a truth.

big waves of Love and the Ace of Hearts to you,
I have an issue playing against LAGs--maniacs. As such, I find myself against them all the time. I guess this is synchronicity telling me, giving me the opportunity to re-define the issue and play well against such players.

What I find in myself is that I get impatient. There is this urge in me to beat them and teach them a lesson. In the end, I fail to put them on a range, overbet and lose. When I center myself, I play my A-game and it doesn't matter if I play with TAG or LAG.

I think I am using lessons learned before. I had TT, flop showed AA-something. Nobody seemed to have flopped a set, but on the turn, betting started. My pp didn't seem to be beating much and I decided to fold.
NL Holdem $30(BB) Full Tilt Game#19978846071

Now Open ($1,965)
jasperito88 ($1,455)
OBEZIANA12RUS ($1,487)
AllinToWin24 ($7,187)
pocketoda2 ($1,894)
Beatriz_orsini ($3,127)
jappie7 ($1,455)
Gennadij2 ($1,350)

Now Open posts (SB) $15
jasperito88 posts (BB) $30

Dealt to Now Open Td Tc
OBEZIANA12RUS calls $30
AllinToWin24 calls $30
Beatriz_orsini calls $30
Gennadij2 calls $30
Now Open calls $15
jasperito88 checks
FLOP ($180) Ah Ac 2h
Now Open checks
jasperito88 checks
AllinToWin24 checks
Beatriz_orsini checks
Gennadij2 checks
TURN ($180) Ah Ac 2h Jd
Now Open checks
jasperito88 checks
OBEZIANA12RUS bets $30
AllinToWin24 calls $30
Beatriz_orsini calls $30
Gennadij2 calls $30
Now Open folds
jasperito88 folds
RIVER ($300) Ah Ac 2h Jd 7h
AllinToWin24 bets $300
Beatriz_orsini raises to $1,200
Gennadij2 calls $1,200
AllinToWin24 calls $900
Beatriz_orsini shows Js 7c
(Pre 31%, Flop 0.0%, Turn 0.0%)

Gennadij2 shows Ad 3d
(Pre 39%, Flop 69.9%, Turn 81.0%)

AllinToWin24 shows 5h 4h
(Pre 30%, Flop 30.1%, Turn 19.0%)

AllinToWin24 wins $3,900

Limping with AA

Doyle Brunson's Super/System Advice on AA and KK

In early position, Doyle Brunson suggests limping in with AA or KK. He also says that if he's in middle position, and no one else has come in, he'll play it the same way. In late position he'll raise with them, hoping that someone will re-raise him and he can put them all-in. If other players have come in or bet, then he raises with AA or KK.


This works for me now and then, specially when playing against a maniac and every one else has folded.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm not sure if I want to do an evening session of poker. Wife is going to be home earlier tonight and asked if she can use the computer. That might take until bedtime. I probably wouldn't be able to play tonight then.

I am open to that. At least I get time off so I can be fresh tomorrow for the $1,000 freeroll. Probable staker sent PM earlier asking when I want a sweat session. I am having second thoughts about this. The reason I am entertaining this is synchronicity. There's a reason why this interaction eXists.

Maybe it is there as a reflection, for me to reinforce my preference and decision to make this work, as part of following my bliss. At the start of the year, I made a resolution that I am going to follow my eXcitement. The concept of following my eXcitement was taught by bashar as channeled through Daryll Anka.

Since I made the commitment, I am amaZed by the coincidences/synchronicities that have occured. Sometimes I don't get why something has happened or is happening. By allowing, I eventually get the big picture.

For one, my foreX trading business was going nowhere. That made it easier for me to shift to poker. In my second month, I was able to double my starting capital. In foreX, I was doing that since 2004 and I have been slowly and steadily losing money. I often wondered back then why this was so. I guess the universe was priming me to take a different direction. But it's not outside of me. I must have made that subconscious decision and was just waiting for something to come and change the energy.

Round 1 Freeroll ITM

Finished my first freeroll--Round 1 freeroll on full tilt poker, qualifying for tomorrow's freeroll for $1,000.

I guess I am doing something right here that I finished ITM. Kids are now demanding that it's their turn to use the computer. So I am now going to do the dishes, get my break and get these kids off my back.

I played how I would play in a cash game. I've always thought that it wouldn't work in a tournament because of rising blinds. But it did work. My stack was steadily increasing and did not experience as much upswing and downswing as the other players I saw on the table.
HUD stats show 31/0/1.1. Flop gave me 3 of a kind went all in. TAG on my left, 9/9/2 must have thought not much of my call.
NL Holdem $80(BB) Full Tilt Game#19953857782

Now Open ($8,270)
Chilly_Canadian ($6,385)
jasondakilla ($10,050)
flower54 ($765)
M-TORRES-22 ($1,975)
DizzyD79 ($1,060)
JairoAndree ($1,870)
ewokthebaby ($1,270)
BOBBY PAM ($1,100)

Now Open posts (SB) $40
Chilly_Canadian posts (BB) $80

Dealt to Now Open 6d 8d
jasondakilla calls $80
fold, fold, fold,
JairoAndree calls $80
fold, fold,
Now Open calls $40
Chilly_Canadian checks
FLOP ($320) 6c 3s 6s
Now Open checks
Chilly_Canadian bets $80
jasondakilla folds
JairoAndree calls $80
Now Open raises to $8,190 (AI)
Chilly_Canadian calls $6,225 (AI)
JairoAndree folds
TURN ($13,010) 6c 3s 6s Qh
RIVER ($13,010) 6c 3s 6s Qh 4d
Now Open shows 6d 8d
(Pre 38%, Flop 74.7%, Turn 84.1%)

Chilly_Canadian shows Js As
(Pre 62%, Flop 25.3%, Turn 15.9%)

Now Open wins $13,010
Sometimes, I feel like poker is just a waiting game...
NL Holdem $40(BB) Full Tilt Game#19953307888

M-TORRES-22 ($1,745)
fenix131313 ($1,800)
ewokthebaby ($1,440)
BOBBY PAM ($1,440)
Now Open ($4,617)
Chilly_Canadian ($4,430)
kbzaFC ($2,393)
lariik ($1,845)

M-TORRES-22 posts (SB) $20
fenix131313 posts (BB) $40

Dealt to Now Open As Qh
fold, fold,
Now Open calls $40
kbzaFC raises to $660
fold, fold, fold,
Now Open calls $620
FLOP ($1,380) Qd 6d 2h
Now Open checks
kbzaFC bets $1,733 (AI)
Now Open calls $1,733
TURN ($4,846) Qd 6d 2h 8c
RIVER ($4,846) Qd 6d 2h 8c 4d
Now Open shows As Qh
(Pre 62%, Flop 80.0%, Turn 88.6%)

kbzaFC shows 3s 6s
(Pre 38%, Flop 20.0%, Turn 11.4%)

Now Open wins $4,846

TAG paid for my game

Got paid here. Sitting on UTG raising KK. TAG on my left probably took one look at my hud stats seeing 30/4/0.2 and thought he got me beat.
NL Holdem $0.02(BB) Full Tilt Game#19952091349

illaev ($1.98)
wavegotik ($4.46)
MaterazziWin ($2.07)
TIKO-323 ($2.53)
Now Open ($1.27)
diambox ($1.57)
Voodgchoo ($1.97)
YanaKay ($2.10)
hammerva ($1.71)

illaev posts (SB) $0.01
wavegotik posts (BB) $0.02

Dealt to Now Open Kh Ks
TIKO-323 calls $0.02
Now Open raises to $0.09
diambox raises to $0.32
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
Now Open calls $0.23
FLOP ($0.69) Qd 7c 5s
Now Open checks
diambox checks
TURN ($0.69) Qd 7c 5s Kd
Now Open bets $0.95 (AI)
diambox calls $0.95
RIVER ($2.59) Qd 7c 5s Kd 2h
Now Open shows Kh Ks
(Pre 65%, Flop 81.2%, Turn 100.0%)

diambox shows Kc Ac
(Pre 35%, Flop 18.8%, Turn 0.0%)

Now Open wins $2.42

I decided to take profits off table after a few more hands. I've been playing for more than an hour. I am not that sharp and might make a call I'd regret. I thought it best to book this profit, take a break, then play again later.

Discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons.

This was a one-table session. Wasn't after take2 points or anything, but to finetune my game and play the self image.

My ftp chart still looks bearish, but this is a reflection. It's an echo. I've changed the way I play, I am fresh from a break. Be the change you want to see and the reflection will follow.
Play in position. Play for information.

These words popped in my head when I woke up this morning. These two I learned from last night, while playing freeroll after freeroll.

When I play in position, I can get information. When I have information, I can play in any position. Any one who is not aware of these is the ATM.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Funny, but I am enjoying myself. A few days ago, I was glued to my pc trying to make 5 points on 2NL just to finish take2. Since yesterday, I have been spending more time outdoors. I've been getting more sun and fresh air. Now and then, I play freerolls on ftp. They have one almost every hour.

I am finetuning my game, as always. This laidback schedule plus the no-pressure-to-make-money situation I am in is good.
Here's a leak. First freeroll for the day on ftp.

I raised AJo, one called. On flop, I did not bother to check his range when he called my cbet. I had nothing and he might (and did) have something. My tendency is that on flop, I only check if I have the nuts or not and it's raise or fold from there. I am now going to maXimiZe my timer to place villain on a range, then look at his/her actions to see if anything matches the board.

Tuition paid, lesson learned. Moving on.
NL Holdem $30(BB) Full Tilt Game#19927472111

Now Open ($1,680)
pepsiaces ($1,320)
zorlp86 ($1,455)
hopelessitdis ($4,425)
jr61069 ($1,395)
ngaytho ($1,455)
DUMDUM121 ($1,665)
4-Spades ($1,230)

Now Open posts (SB) $15
pepsiaces posts (BB) $30

Dealt to Now Open Ah Jc
hopelessitdis calls $30
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
Now Open raises to $120
hopelessitdis calls $90
FLOP ($270) 6h 9d Kh
Now Open bets $210
hopelessitdis calls $210
TURN ($690) 6h 9d Kh Kc
Now Open bets $525
hopelessitdis raises to $1,050
Now Open raises to $1,350 (AI)
hopelessitdis calls $300
RIVER ($3,390) 6h 9d Kh Kc 3c
Now Open shows Ah Jc
(Pre 70%, Flop 18.5%, Turn 0.0%)

hopelessitdis shows Ks Js
(Pre 30%, Flop 81.5%, Turn 100.0%)

hopelessitdis wins $3,390
I am going to play ftp freerolls all day to practice placing hand range. I don't necessarily raise with these hands, but use these as a guide as to what other players will raise given their circumstance--

22 +, AJo+, ATs–AKs, AKo
KQs to TJs, KQo
56s – T9s (raise on weakness)
Add ATo+, AXs+
KJo to QJo
Add A8o+,
T8s, 98s, T9s, J9s, BRo
Button - 30-40% of profits
Add Axo
1gap 68s+
2gapper T7s+
J8s+, J9o+
Small blind when it folds to you (pretty much same as UTG+1)
TJs, QJs, KQs, KJs
QJo, KJo, KQo, AKo
Big Blind when it folds around and someone completes (same as CO)
22 +
A9o +
A8s +
T8s, 98s, T9s, TJs, QJs, KQs, KJs, KTs, QTs,
K9s, Q9s, J9s
TJo, QTo, QJo, KTo, KJo, KQo, AKo
Big blind when there are a few limpers 99+ (sometimes raise with lower pockets if the table is fishy)
AQo+, KQs+, AKo

* Call SC raise if their VPIP 40+
* low pp call raise if VPIP >30 (flop set 1 in 10)
* Standard raise is 4xbb plus bb/limp (3xIP).
* 3B raise or fold.
* If hand not good to reraise, fold!
* Widen range IN POSITION.
* raised preflop? cbet 60-70% of flops. They will only hit the flop 1 in 3 times.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I have just downloaded skype and teamviewer. It's amazing how these kinds of software are available for download and use FREE of charge. I used to work as tech support in a call center back in manila. These were the kinds of software we used to troubleshoot customer issues.

I downloaded them for possible use because I got PM'd in 2p2 about staking. The person is talking to his partner now. They were planning to stake 2, maybe 3 players on 5NL. he mentioned that one of his "students" in sweden got staked at 2NL. Three months later, the student is a 10NL regular taking shots at 20NL.

I think it's good that I'll get staked. Stakers have a vested interest in my game and are there to help plug leaks in my game. Cons to this is that I am going to put myself under scrutiny, like being interviewed for a job and that I have to do this or that to keep the job. I don't like that feeling. I guess that's the pay off to having someone else give you money.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

These are my winnings for the last 1000 hands on betfred. Short term, the trend is up. This shows me that what I am doing is profitable. I get a better return for my money when I put it in the pot.

Compare this with my full tilt account, same last 1000 hands:

Does it have something to do with the fact that I am playing with a no deposit bonus with betfred whereas in ftp, I play with scared money? Or is it because players in full tilt are tougher than in the ipoker network?

Regs will tell you that there is very little difference, specially in uNL. If so, then it could be that I am playing scared money.

So how do I deal with that? Observe the thoughts and emotions while playing. If they come up, then I just shine my light on them, look for the definition behind it. I've been through this before. I guess that I am choosing that definition still.


Now I compare the stats between the two accounts.

In the betfred account, I am allowing myself to see more cards. Aggression is pretty much the same for these two accounts.

What made the difference between winning and losing between the two accounts was in w$atSD. At showdown, I won more dollars with betfred than in full tilt. WtSD is pretty much the same, but wSSD% with betfred is smaller than with full tilt. That tells me I won at showdown less but won proportionately more dollars with betfred.


What this tells me right now is that I have been going to showdown with weak hands. Why is that? I play the same hand range with both account. I think it has something to do with the maniacs that I played with recently. I let myself get affected by that encounter. I can't and am not blaming those maniacs for my loss. It is still up to me. I own it. I am responsible for the loss I am going through. TAG or LAG, it don't really matter as long as I make money.

I see two players in ipoker who almost have the same win stats: player A and B. Player A is 9/6/38 while his w$SF is 27, w$SD is 50 and wtSD is 22. Player B has 16/5/4.4 and his win rate is 34/50/24.

Looking at their charts in HEM tells me player B is making money while player A has wild swings and is now on the downswing. Based on vpip/pfr/ag, player B is seeing more cards than player A. That could be a factor. Also, player B seems to be winning more dollars than player A even if their winrate is almost identical.

But player A is a nit. He goes to showdown with tight, strong hands. How come he makes less dollar per winning? He gets outdrawn? Could be. That can happen. But player B also gets outdrawn. Everyone else does.

Maybe it has something to do with the fold button. I remember going to showdown in full tilt with TPTK. In the betfred account, I tend to c/c or fold if the other player shows strength. Strength meaning they bet/raise more than the normal amount.

Small hand, small pot. Big hand, big pot.


I had been feeling bad all day. After seeing my performance in betfred and comparing that with ftp, I see what I have been doing differently.
I am taking a break now. I feel "off center," confused. I am in a downswing and don't know what else to do. I'll come back later just to finish the day's take2 quota and that's it. I'll get out of the house and do something else.
Whaling in the morning session. I found a leak. I wasn't playing as aggressive as I used to. I was missing out on a lot of limped pots, giving the other players a lot of free cards. The more free cards they get, the less odds for me to win.

I resumed raising on my hand range. Initially, I minimum raised just to get the numbers on my hud to show it. Getting comfy with it, I started raising for pot odds. I was stealing pots, not because I was bluffing them, but because the hands I had were in my range and situation dictates that I raise. On the times that I hit a wall on flop, I fold. A few times, I find my middle pairs winning thru river.

Im going out with the wife and kids in a short while. Kids want to go to the hospice shop and library. I already have 3.66 points for take2. I'm sure we'd get back sometime after lunch. I can finish off the points Quota by then. If not, I might have to do so thru rush poker.

"...Again, there is no "formula" I can give you regarding stats and winrate because it depends so much on postflop. There was a post about the datamining of high stakes games where it emerged that all the winningest players had totally, completely different stats, like not even close to alike. Everyone has their own style and you need to make your game work for you and let your stats take care of themselves."

4. What is the most important advice you can come up with for one to improve his game?

THINK. Don't just do. Dont just say "well ama said raise 75s OTB so I'm gonna do that". You have to treat poker like a serious subject. It takes a huge amount of study and time to be good and I think a lot of guys on this forum are too young and have their heads full of stars so they dont appreciate this. You have to apply yourself to poker or you just wont get anything out of it.

Take the time to really think about hands, dynamics, pot odds and stuff for YOURSELF and understand it for yourself. Thats how you grow as a player, when you move from "being told what to do" to "actually doing for yourself".

"...Generally I just sit at random tables and if there is someone giving me real trouble then I'll move. I usually choose my tables based on average pot size, the bigger the better."

Take2 on track. I am paying tuition, but that's ok. Tuition I am paying is so much cheaper than the $50 fee for a coach. Not that I am negating that, only that it is not what I prefer. I prefer to learn and improve poker the way I see it. If I hired a coach, what I will learn is how they play. Besides, I don't have that in my budget at the moment, so it is not a choice.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I paid tuition again in the afternoon session. One of the players in the tables was a maniac. VPIP/PFR was 75/60. He was practically raising anything postflop. I played tight choosing my cards well, but two showdowns that I remember, I got drawn out. I got upset because I did not know how to handle situations like that. That is probably the lesson there. Learn how to deal with such a player/situation.

So how do I do that?

When they play loose, I go tight? Not really. Play accordingly. Play down to the 25% level call their raise see the flop. Play middle pairs doing call20 or better. One other idea I had was play short stack.

I played LAG before, tried it out rather. I think there is a certain level where they know that the other player has good hole cards. But it's still a fog to me how to deal with such a player when I am not confronted with one. When I am in that situation, it comes to me, unless I think about it too much.

Gameplan is to earn points to finish take2. If I can't keep my self centered when playing with maniacs, then I will choose a different table.

More insights:

I have expectation that I should be winning. Who said I should be winning? I only started playing NLHE January this year, barely three months. I win now and then. I am playing well. When I do not win, I learn something, and I become a better player for that. Not winning then is good. The situation shows me what the next lesson is. I master that lesson, then I move to the next level.

I do not have to win--I only need to play well, each and every moment.

2 hours later, more insights...

That maniac I played with, he showed me what I was striving for: LP/TA. He was raising enough when he opened, played a lot of cards preflop that his HUD showed him to be a loose player. Postflop, I did not know what he had. I was clueless. I could not place his range.

This is why I was upset. I couldn't put him on a range. He plays anything and everything and knows when to stop. TAGs like me are easy to read for him. He probably knew that I'd have to get out of my comfort zone if I were to confront him.

Good lesson there.

Morning session.
I played about two hours, more than a hundred hands 2NL. Initially, I was down, lost some hands here and there. I can put them down on not having a good read on their range. So I paid tuition to learn the lesson given the given situation.

A hundred hands later, I found my stack slowly increasing. There was a whale beside me in one of the tables, but I was making profit off the other players. Bottom line, tuition was paid for this session. No hard feelings with that. I learned something in return and am a better poker player from here on.

Incidentally, I made changes to the hand range that I am using. I went into HEM and, like picking good stocks, I found that these hands have performed better than the other hand combination over a 7,000 hand sample:

5% : 77 to AA
10%: 22+, KQs...
15%: AKs to ATs
20%: A5s+
25%: 65s+

Wife's day off today. She and the kids went off to the playground to get some sun and exercise. I have about four points for take2. I am taking a break now, finish the quota some time after lunch. I have until 5pm to make 5 points. No hurry.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I have ZERO social life at the moment. The only times I get out of the house are when I bring the kids to school, or wife drags me shopping with her.

A few times, I take time off and go for a walk around the neighborhood. That's part of my get active routine. Once a week, I ride my bike and visit the medical clinic--both to weigh myself (I'm on a weightloss program, lost 30lbs so far since the start of the year) and to get my blood pressure checked.

When I was single, I'd be home only during mornings. Afternoon, I'm out the door and won't be back until midngiht. I hang out with friends, have drinks, see a movie. Most times, I spend time with my girlfriend.

I don't really miss those times. I am enjoying myself growing this business. A poker playing business. That's how I see it. A business is a gamble. So why not gambling as a business?
Typically, I'd still be playing cash games at this time, until around after the kids have gone to bed. But I feel tired. I was thinking I'd do some hand analysis, but that doesn't sound like fun.

I'm going to shut down now, get the kids, and myself, ready for bed. This so I can start fresh and early tomorrow. Incidentally, Mondays and Tuesdays are my wife's day off. Not sure yet what she has in mind. I usually take half day off from poker when she is at home.

Wait a minute--the kids are on term break, so everyone is home tomorrow. We'll see what happens.
This hand, the whale got me--

Full Tilt Poker Game #19805255541: Table Haplo - $0.01/$0.02 - No Limit Hold'em - 4:12:25 ET - 2010/04/04
Seat 1: Pingu2k8 ($2.26)
Seat 2: jumpfreak888 ($1.52)
Seat 4: Rebanen ($1.86)
Seat 5: thebakoy ($1.79)
Seat 6: No_Johnny_No ($4.52)
Seat 7: 67KEVIN ($1.56)
Seat 8: ZaFrost ($2.47)
Seat 9: Hero ($1.02)
Pingu2k8 posts the small blind of $0.01
jumpfreak888 posts the big blind of $0.02
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Th Ad]
Rebanen folds
thebakoy folds
No_Johnny_No folds
67KEVIN calls $0.02
ZaFrost calls $0.02
Hero calls $0.02
Pingu2k8 folds
jumpfreak888 checks
*** FLOP *** [5d Ah 4s]
jumpfreak888 checks
67KEVIN checks
ZaFrost checks
Hero checks
*** TURN *** [5d Ah 4s] [Tc]
berritas sits down
jumpfreak888 checks
berritas adds $1
67KEVIN bets $0.09
ZaFrost has 15 seconds left to act
ZaFrost folds
Hero calls $0.09
jumpfreak888 folds
*** RIVER *** [5d Ah 4s Tc] [5h]
67KEVIN checks
Hero bets $0.20
67KEVIN has 15 seconds left to act
67KEVIN raises to $1.45, and is all in
Hero calls $0.71, and is all in
Uncalled bet of $0.54 returned to 67KEVIN
*** SHOW DOWN ***
67KEVIN shows [Ts Td] a full house, Tens full of Fives
Hero mucks
67KEVIN wins the pot ($1.96) with a full house, Tens full of Fives
Hero adds $1.02
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $2.09 | Rake $0.13
Board: [5d Ah 4s Tc 5h]
Seat 1: Pingu2k8 (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: jumpfreak888 (big blind) folded on the Turn
Seat 4: Rebanen didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: thebakoy didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: No_Johnny_No didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: 67KEVIN showed [Ts Td] and won ($1.96) with a full house, Tens full of Fives
Seat 8: ZaFrost folded on the Turn
Seat 9: Hero (button) mucked [Th Ad] - two pair, Aces and Tens

I took time off the table to center myself while I post this.

What's the lesson here? I should have taken my time and figured out what the whale's range was. Would I have folded? Maybe not, but I probably would have been more cautious, check/call to river.

Tuition paid, lesson learned. Moving on.
After dinner, I did not feel like playing. Kids were watching a cartoon movie, and the wife wouldn't be home until after 10pm.

So I decided to go for a walk--out under the moonlight.

I was practicing yoga and the idea hit me--Whale hunting!

I get a table, play until holdem manager IDs the fish, then figure out how to best get a piece of their stack. Sometimes I get eaten alive, a few times I win--but hunting table whales sure is fun!

Still on day one of Take2 and I made ten points. This is a definite shoo in for the day. The promo started 5pm NZ time. I had plenty of time yesterday and today to make ten points.

I just finished a session and made back some of the tuition I paid the previous sessions. There were three fishes in this one table I played. They'd go all in with each other now and then. If one lost, he'd simply add more chips and go at it again. I made sure I tagged these whales for future games.

Also, I have decided to graph my most recent games instead of doing all hands. At most, I'll have 1,000 hands. This so I can see and enjoy the improvements I make as I go along. Looking at the big picture, I tend to stay in that vibration. By choosing the most recent hands, I find it easier to shift.

Soon as I am in positive territory, I'll resume posting all hands.
If money were not an issue, how would I play?

ABC poker


ABC Poker:

Distilled to its essence, ABC poker is a simple idea. It's a model of a solid game that is concise, simplified, and easy to use. ABC poker needs to be 3 things:

1) It needs to be easy to learn and implement
2) It must be +EV and easy to understand why it's +EV
3) It must minimize variance

Simply, ABC poker is a non-complex approach to playing with generally static preflop ranges and betting standards. It involves making very basic adjustments, and playing hands postflop in a simple way (little to no slowplaying or tricky play).

The reason why ABC poker is so good for small stakes players to learn is because ABC poker is very easy to implement and get working for you, and it'll create results very quickly. The overall strategy is made to be +EV against the average microstakes table, and although it's always going to be far from optimal, it will never be in a bad spot except in a very strong game. It does well against almost any type of opponent, and it gives you a good springboard upon which to learn more complex approaches to the game.

When we talk about ABC though, we're generally referring to the ABC game that you learn when you begin playing the smallest stakes. There is a sense in which there is also an ABC game at 5/10, which is the game that 95% of regs have in common (i.e., there is a large % of all spots which most every regular will play essentially the same), and we refer to the sum of these spots as "ABC play," which in the same way is optimized to be maximally +EV against the average opponent. Of course, it's harder to learn and more complex than the 5c/10c ABC game, but the idea is the same. It's a springboard on top of which the real "games" are played.