Monday, June 28, 2010

Day off.

Friday, June 25, 2010


End of day stats update. Played ten tables at pokerstars. Made a few wins, tuition paid were minimal, but that doesn't mean I am not learning anything new. For the last 500 hands, most big blinds won was 64bbs, while most tuition paid was 5bb.

It is 11.21pm here in New Zealand. Time for bed.

Morning session. Playing better now. Last 500 hands on HEM shows:

Number of wins: 21
Total bb won: 262.50bb
Average bb won: 12.5bb

Total tuition: 11
Total tuition paid bb: 34
Average tuition bb: 3.09bb

The most tuition I paid was 6bb compared to biggest win at +174bb. This is what I am going to look for after every session--500 hands ratio between tuition paid in big blinds compared to winnings. As a business, I want my winnings higher than my expense at every session. I had to compute these manually. I am going to find a way to get these stats automatically; there must be some kind of filter inside HEM that I can use to get them.

I played ten tables at pokerstars. This keeps me from playing back lite at perceived fish. If I don't have the nuts, even if I think they are bluffing, then I don't play. First time the chart showing break past short term resistance.

Time to do my morning chores.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Playing to plug a leak--calling on draw heavy board. I looked at my hand history in hem, sorted them according to big blinds lost and found this to be my biggest leak. I plug this, the profits will take care of themselves.

Basically, these are situations where I have a set on a flush-heavy or straight-heavy board; a situation where another player is betting aggressively and the cards on the board shows I should fold.

This has been a consistent issue for me. I am shifting from this once and for all.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I am trying a new schedule starting tomorrow. I'd do pretty much the same thing in the morning--get up, get the kids ready for school, have breakfast, do morning chores; but instead of waiting for the wife to finish her turn on the pc, I'll head out the door with my bike and do something.

I can go to the park and run. I can ride my bike to the library and spend the rest of the morning there. I can ride my bike and go to places I have never been to.

Rain or shine.

Morning session played at pokerstars. I have decided to simply post the individual account charts instead of an All-Accounts charts. This way, I can see how my game is doing per account.

Pokerstars shows my game is working. I have made a few more tweaks in the game making me play ten tables now--maximizing points while limiting my downside. Thanks to holdem manager, I realized which hole cards and actions were making money and which ones were not. Holdem manager is well worth the investment I made if only for this capacity to analyze my game regularly.

I've also decided to play my pokerstars account exclusively until I have cleared all my deposit bonus. When I am done with that, I will then concentrate on the full tilt poker account and bring that back in the black.

I accidentally purged all hand records in my holdem manager yesterday while doing maintenance. I had to reimport them from archive which took several hours. Synchronicity, if I may say so, giving me some time to take a break.

Wife is in ignore mode again. Mornings are my primetime. The kids are in school, I am feeling fresh and it is afternoon to late night in both europe and US. It is the peak time when a lot of people are playing poker and not just the regs. I allowed her to use the computer on the assumption that it will only take her an hour to check her email and do her other 'stuff' then she is off for workout.

She cancelled workout just like that and watched a rerun of Glee, taking more than two hours of poker prime time. She should have told me that she wanted to watch Glee, I could have given her more time later in the day. She did not. She simply said I should let her watch since I am 'playing' on the computer all day.

I decided to just keep my mouth shut. I am going to have a talk with her later when the clouds clear. In the meantime, I am going to pick up the kids from school.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I am trying too hard. I went down to 2nl pokerstars. I just read an article from ftp saying that raising is the way that works. With that, there was a question whether my method works. There was a question in my head while playing, thinking that 'what if they are right?' and my game suffered.

My game was working. All methods work. Not all the time. But this method that I am using, it works well FOR ME. It wouldn't work for everyone. Their method works some of the time, as well as mine. When theirs wouldn't work, then someone else's will--even mine. When my method will not work in a given situation, then someone else's method will work in that given situation.

It's this AND that, not this OR that.

I have this negative vibration inside of me. I am observing that, working with that vibration as I play. By playing in the light, seeing all this negativity, then I am integrating all that is. I'm not sure where this is going to take me, but right now, I feel like this is the right thing to do for me.

It is not going to be perfect. I am not going to win all the time. I accept that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I am feeling resistance at how I am playing right now. It's the same issue--calling into draw-heavy board with tptk. AA, KK, I called in EP hoping to get a raise then I'll reraise. Nobody did. Flop someone must have made a set and I practically gave them my money all the way to river.

This is the kind of situation I'd love to be in on the other side.

I'm calling it a day. Tomorrow, I'm driving the wife to work, a daughter to church recital, then pick up wife from work later in the evening. Kids are going to be home and we'll be alternating using the pc round the clock. I am going to get one more computer soon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Business of Gambling

I received an email from an old friend a few days ago. In the email, he mentioned that he suffered his second stroke. He was asking for financial assistance as he had no work and he needed constant medication and therapy.

I honestly told him I couldn't give him money at this time, but offered to share with him how I run my poker business.

One week later--no reply. I guess he wasn't interested. I don't blame him.

I used to have a definition that gambling is not good. You make a little money in the short term, and lose a lot in the long term. Also there's a lot of media attention on "gambling problems."

I am no longer that person who has those belief.

I have been an entrepreneur almost my entire adult life. Owning a business IS a gamble. As bashar said, it is this AND that, not this OR that.

friday morning session


Chart slowly picking up from the lows. I played in ftp rush poker yesterday and feel like I just paid blinds. For some time, I did not get anything good to play and I was pissing away the blinds. I decided then to go to pokerstars, and there I got the wind behind my sail and made some good plays. Nothing spectacular. Simply making a small pot here and there, and that's good.

Starting the day in the right frequency is getting to be a challenge. My 5yo son doesn't want to go to school. I don't mind that, in fact it's a welcome situation for me. I'd rather have them homeschooled than to go to school. But my wife insists on getting it her way. So she makes sure the little boy gets up. When she can't coax him, she turns up the heat and resorts to anger. The little boy doesn't want that energy so he calls me to help him get changed for school.

This takes a lot of energy from me. I guess there is a lot of resistance in me. Maybe I should just accept that my mornings are going to be like this from here on. I have early breakfast, but I don't play until the kids are all off to school. Not that I need a long time to play to make money. When I am in the zone, I make money in a short period of time. Outside of the zone, it takes longer play time just to get above breakeven.

I think the solution here is quite obvious.

Time for my break. Wife needs to go online and I gotta do my morning chores. Will play again later. I am about two buy-in's away from moving up to 10NL. I am looking forward to that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Evening session played 5NL pokerstars. I didn't get much good hands, but that's ok. I was able to play that many and did not slip big. The big losses I got before was because I was calling on draw heavy boards and the other player is betting pot. In tonight's session, there were a few instances where I was able to practice restraint, folding with a heavy heart but knowing it was the right thing to do.

I played much in rush poker earlier today. I was enjoying it--getting a few good winners here and there. So far, I noticed that I make good playing daytime than I do at night. I do make money at night sometimes, but it feels more uphill. Daytime, I know that if I just played my game, I'd catch some big fish now and then. Night time, I play my game but the fish are not biting.

Am I in a down cycle again? I don't think so, but I am easing up a bit.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Big tuition paid this morning, playing 10NL at pokerstars. The lesson? Everyone gets lucky.

My hole cards were QQ in early position. I called. Player to my left raised 4bb. Everyone folded, I called. Showdown, the other fellow had AJs and had 4J. I had full house. Calling was the best play I could think of.

I get on the winning side at times, and everyone gets on that side of the road sometimes. I felt tilt coming in so I quit playing for the rest of the day. It was only after dinner that I played again. I went to ftp, played 322 hands at 2NL. This to show my self that I make good decisions still.

I'm going to slow things down a bit until I shift into positive again. For now, I point downstream and simply be in the state of being that I prefer.

Chart showing breakout past recent high.

I just discovered something new and that I like better than rush poker--Ante Tables, with pokerstars.

Sure, I don't get to play as many tables as I did with rush, but the fish come out to play, and I get more points per table. With rush, I play more tables, but if someone raises preflop, I find less players on the flop as everyone has quickfolded to a new hand.

Ante tables, you get an incentive to play as the pot is bigger. Players will want to steal the pot preflop, but someone else will want to steal back. You get more action. More action can lead to bigger pots on the river.

It was kinda dry last night playing 10NL. This morning, I got back the tuition I paid last night and made a little profit. I play better in the morning. I feel fresh, mind is quiet, and there seems to be more fish because of the time zone. I am going to observe and note how I play in the different sessions throughout the day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Bankroll was at the right level so I played in 10NL at pokerstars. It was the afternoon session and things felt tight. Players felt more defensive, I saw less mistakes being made. Maybe it was the time of day that I was playing. I think I only made one error, playing QQ differently. I typically limp in with this, see how things go. I raised instead and saw an Ace on the flop on multiway pot. One player raised immediately and I chose to not pursue the pot.

I am getting the impression that I should not play late afternoons to evenings. Tables tend to be tight and it wouldn't be easy to get good returns for my money.

I'd play again tomorrow, but back at 5NL. My bankroll went down a bit paying blinds. This was a valuable learning experience for me, and I paid cheap tuition to learn the lesson. I'd play 10NL soon as my bankroll breaks above $100, even try the ante tables and see how it goes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

end of day


Big gains made these last few days--I am so happy that I am giving myself a pat on the back. Good job!

Evening session, not much happened. I played 2Nl ftp, made a little, lost a little. I just finished my first deposit bonus with pokerstars. Doing good tomorrow, I'll start poking around 10NL playing three tables. When I lose a stack, or finish the session sideways, I go back to 5NL. If I make good, then I stay there.

We had birthday dinner for my daughter who turned 9 today. I was so stuffed I had to take a nap. Tomorrow, sunday, wife takes the kids to church so I can expect a quiet sunday morning poker.

I am disappointed with the rakeback at ftp. I played a lot in that site and I am barely making any progress. In pokerstars, I have $10 VPP bonus waiting for me and I just made it past 20%. This is one of the reason I play more in ps these days. The games are softer, easier to make profits and easier to earn points. Too bad ps doesn't have rush poker. If they did, they'd bury the competition.

Morning session. Played first in ftp, not much happened, then moved to pokerstars after breakfast and doubled my stack in one of the three tables I was playing. Chart shows action at pokerstars, breakout past all-time high set a few weeks back. Chart for live money is back up in the black, but I'd rather SHOW-OFF my ps chart for now ;p

Pokerstars was played at 5NL, while ftp was back at 2NL. Game feels softer at ps. I get at least two whales on every table that I play with pokerstars, whereas I'd be lucky to have one whale in my table at full tilt poker.

I tend to post more when I am making money. Now it's time to make lunch. It's my daughter's 9th birthday today. I'm making spaghetti for lunch. Wife will make baked macaroni when she gets home and we'll also have ice cream and KFC, aside from the cake they finished icing this morning.

Friday, June 11, 2010

pokerstars +$17 run


Early evening session. One hand after the other, separate tables (I was playing 3). I had AA in one table and 44 in another. Both hands went all in, both multiway pots, both hands won! Overall live money account almost back at breakeven although the pokerstars account is near its previous high.

It's friday. Glee is showing tonight and already booked to see it at 8.30pm with my kids. I'll play again when the show is finished.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Good day today. Pokerstars account is now back in the black. I think I made some good plays late in the evening session, I forgot which hand that was. I am about 17points away from having my initial deposit bonus of $10. That can be finished before the end of the week since I am now comfortable playing three tables at a time. I played rush poker at ftp and made some good plays too.

It's not that I have gone back to playing more again then losing. I have learned a lot paying all that tuition. As such, I am a different player now than I was when I was playing more poker a few days back.

One thing that's changed, as I have mentioned before is that I don't have to know what cards the other fellow has, but can get an idea what he has by the way they play. I catch myself wanting to call when I shouldn't--and I don't. Money saved is or can be used later to invest in big hands.

It's 10pm. I am done playing for the day. I think I started playing around 6am today. My son sometimes wakes me up around 5am. He awakens around that time, gets scared of the dark and calls out to me. I can't get back to sleep then so I fire up the pc and play poker.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I feel like I haven't been posting as much as I did before. That's OK. I've got a lot on my plate recently and need to digest that over time. My game has been showing improvements the last few hundred hands. Short term resistance has been breached, telling me the changes I have been doing works.

For one, in big pots, I take the time to figure out if I am ahead or behind. This is a consistent lesson for me. I try not to label a player as fish or reg. Anyone can get lucky and land good hole cards. I play based on what I see in front of me, taking into consideration their tendencies. Sometimes it makes me money, sometimes I pay tuition.

My brother back in manila is still in the hospital. He doesn't have work, his wife is earning less than minimum wage. His doctor is asking for P13,000 for less than a week's work. They were able to stabilize his condition, but I don't think he is clearly healed. I don't have the capacity to help financially at this time, but my prayers go out to them.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Good day for me today. I doubled my stack just before dinner. I was on small blind and got AA. I raised all in. Big blind called and showed 77.

I wasn't as patient this time, giving back profits from recent breakout calling when I should have folded. I was tempted to call on the river with two pairs AQ, but the other fellow was betting pot since flop. I don't think he was that kind of a player to bluff strongly, or maybe he was and I was wrong, but I didn't want to pay his price so I folded to save my chips.

There is a difference between playing cash games and tourneys. Cash games, the regs can afford to wait for nuts. Some play LAG and get away with it. I am not quite there yet. I tend to tighten up most of the times, and it pays off well for me.

At least the chart is showing bullishness showing a higher low. Looking forward to seeing more cards tomorrow. Wife will be in the office and kids are home after church.

Two things I need to mention.

1. I tried out a table scan software. It tells me who's playing on which table and gives me their hud stats, telling me, as they claim, where the fish are. I tried it for a few hands, but I didn't really see any advantage to using it. It felt more like a crutch, or a shortcut. It shows me who is playing tight or loose, but doesn't help point out who the bad players are. It does save time as I do not have to sit a full rounds to determine who the loose players are. Still, it is the bad players, the ones who make poor decisions that contribute heavily to the poker economy. That's who I want to play.

2. I tried playing two tables for a few minutes. It was more 'exciting' than playing single tables, but I loose the ability to read table dynamics and instead tend to just flip cards. There's a thin line there. Playing singles or several, I still wait for my ideal hole cards before I play. The only difference is that playing singles, I see how each player's tendencies--when they raise, why and with what cards. Knowing these, I get an idea of who makes poor decisions and on what street.

After these two, I am back to playing single tables and feel content and confident about it. Maybe I should figure out what to do on those times when I get no wind on my sail. Taking down notes on player is a good practice, but it can only keep me busy for a while.

Oh well. This sure beats getting a regular job. I'd rather be bored waiting for good hole cards than to waste my time working for someone else.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Bankroll broke past short term resistance. This may be the bottom of the bear cycle.

I made good early this afternoon. There was this fellow on the table who was showing down poor hands. I was on big blind and flopped me a straight. I bet one big blind, one fellow folded and the poor-hands fellow called. River was didn't seem to help. River was an Ace. I bet all in. The fellow called. He had ace-high.

So what am I doing right this time?
- I wait for good cards.
- Seeing the table dynamics, I get an idea whether I am ahead or behind. If something feels odd, I fold.
- I am patient. I go for punts instead of trying to hit homeruns each time.
- I identify which players will try to bluff out others playing lite.
- I respect their raise, folding when I do not have the nuts.

Second season of Glee starts in a few minutes. I'll be watching that with the kids, then play some more going into bedtime.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


End of day stats. I have been playing single tables on either pokerstars or full tilt poker. The chart is now in consolidation, which is better than going down. I'm not playing any tighter, just more aware of the table dynamics; being aware of who are playing for the pot and paying attention to how the other players play their hands. I am taking down notes, and learning to play better given the situation.

I'm done playing today. I have confirmation from NZ immigration that my work permit has been approved, but need to renew my Philippine passport. This is good as I can use some time away from poker.

Morning session. played in both ftp and ps one after the other, mostly with ps. Sideways, winning small here and there. Almost all of the tables I saw were tight. No drunks today.

In one week, I'll apply for the no deposit bonus with party poker. We'll see how that goes. Wife is off to work. Today, the confirmation letter for my NZ work permit arrived. I don't really have any intention on getting work outside. My wife knows this and is sort of OK with it. She said understands. But if she can have it her way, she thinks we're better off if I get a job. Short term, that is true, but long term, I'd rather work for and grow my own business.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Looking back at the big downswing, I cringe at myself thinking how I could have done that. I was playing multi tables. This is the second time this has happened. The first big downswing was again, multi-tabling at ftp. I sobered up, played single tables and was able to bring my bankroll up to black. Then I got my tableninja license and again started playing more tables.

One motivation I remember is that I will play breakeven poker on more tables so I can get the deposit balance soonest. I did get the bonus, but the loss I made was far more than the bonus I got.

I am sober now. I am awake. Now back to playing single tables. I use table ninja more for convenience than to multi table. I only press hotkeys on my keyboard rather than move and click the mouse. Playing hours upon hours can leave a strain on my shoulder if I just played using the mouse. With hotkeys, I play with my elbows lowered and my shoulders relaxed. Plus everything has been preset on tableninja, from seating out the next hand/blind to potbetting and fixed betting.

Morning session was played in ftp. I won about half a stack in an hour of play. After lunch, I played pokerstars and found the party on my first table. This guy was going all in almost all the time. He'd lose a stack, sit out, and on the next hand he's back with 200bb. I waited patiently for good hole cards, and finally got 44. Flop gave me trips, but with two spades. The party guy bet hard and I was all in calling his bet. In the end, I won and he had nothing, not even a flush draw.

A few hands later, I played AQs. I made my three of a kind on the river, but party guy got his set on the turn. I lost my stack. Two hands later, I got AA. This guy to my left shoved all in. Party guy called and I was all in calling their bets. I made three of a kind Aces. I got back what I lost and made an extra 50bb (1 buy in for me) in the end.

Party guy played some more for about half an hour. Not much happened for me then. He still kept giving away money. In the end, he restacked with 50bb instead of his usual 200bb. Was his bankroll empty? When he lost that stack, he left the table. I too, left soon after.

Still a long way to go getting back to that previous high. I've learned my lesson here. Now moving on.

It has been raining all day. Wife left after lunch. I am making roast pork shoulder for dinner. This will take almost 4 hours to make, now boiling the pork with spices for an hour. Wife said she'll pick up the kids. I can go out and meet them soon as I am done boiling the pork.