Thursday, September 30, 2010

air showdown

Here are a few more reads generated by notecaddy--villain facing aggression postflop, showdown with nothing. Not that they are playing bad. Most of these are probably draws that failed on the river. My notecaddy definition specified nothing hands, not even bottom pair. Their hole cards wouldn't show if they did not go to showdown, but they did.

The following are a few villains that tried to get away with it:

rosekind: [R] air SD {KQ,Q8s,Q4s}(3)
SABON04: [R] air SD {T9s}(1)
Sculpin2: [R] air SD {JT,T9-2,J9}(4)
Setops: [R] air SD {J3s}(1)
shaky411: [R] air SD {T3}(1)
sicario xene: [R] air SD {65}(1)
Sitalov: [R] air SD {Q9s}(1)
Siupelys: [R] air SD {Q8s}(1)
skinner1947: [R] air SD {T9}(1)


Here is a player I come across on the felt a lot of times. Villain multi-tables and has vpip/pfr of about 15/10-ish. From what I have seen so far, villain's pfr tends to be 4bb plus 1bb per limp.

Here are notes that notecaddy has gathered:

ROMANKOZLOV: [PF] 3b lite {AQ} Ace High/Two Overs BigBlind(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [PF] ai preflop with {AKs,TT,T8s,J8s}(4)
ROMANKOZLOV: [F] cr flop Fold Check/Oversize Raise(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [F] donks draws High Flush Draw(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [F] draw aggro Medium Bet/3-N Raise None(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [F] draw aggro Pot Bet Medium Bet(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] flat to river Top Pair/High Kicker(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] showdown Bottom Pair(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] showdown KK Underpair(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] showdown Pocket Pair Under High Card(3/3)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] showdown Top Pair/High Kicker(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] showdown Top Pair/Mid Kicker(1/1)
ROMANKOZLOV: [R] showdown TT Underpair(2/2)

- villain values top pair; facing aggression postflop, will call to river.
- preflop, will call all-in with drawing hands.
- 3bet lite, probably in position.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

notecaddy: slow play nuts

Here's another notecaddy definition I just got to work: villain who slow play when they flop the nuts.

Here are some of the notes I got thus far:
-LT456-: [F] slow play nuts Mid Set Call Medium Bet(1/1)
91jeepman: [F] slow play nuts High Flush Check/Pot Raise(1/1)
AkaUk: [F] slow play nuts Mid Set Call Pot Bet(1/1)
aldeeraan: [F] slow play nuts Bottom Set Check(1/1)
alextorres74: [F] slow play nuts Quads Check(1/1)

I'm not sure how much help this would be. If someone check-raised me and I don't have the nuts myself, I'd fold. With this definition, I have 3k notes for my database. I want to trim that down a bit. One player had ten note/definitions on him. That tells me that villain plays very tricky. Still, I am looking for a way to improve on these notes. I'll keep this for now. It is 10.49pm. I am tired.

slow pc?


Startup Menu - How can I add/remove programs to help speed it up?
The wrong startup programs can slow down your PC at boot time and beyond. Unnecessary startup applications not only bog down the boot process, but they also run (often hidden) in the background and consume valuable system resources. Too many background applications will eventually leave nothing left for active programs.

If your computer came with some irritating little program that runs at startup (i.e. MSN Messenger is one particularly annoying example for some people), you can get rid of those—and add your own startup items, such as your favorite joke program or Internet connection.
The major problem with getting rid of startup items is that they can be in four different places on your PC. The easiest place to find and remove startup applications is in Windows’ Startup folder. From the Start menu, select Programs (All Programs in Windows XP) and find the Startup folder. Delete anything that doesn’t absolutely need to run automatically all the time. Firewall and antivirus applications are two of the very few types of programs that should always be running on your PC. Not all vendors are up front enough to place their applications in the Startup folder, however. Use Windows’ System Configuration Utility to remove hidden startup applications. From the Run prompt (in the Start menu) type msconfig and click OK. Select the Startup tab to check out what other apps are launching at boot up. Uncheck anything nonessential. Many processes and programs have cryptic or obscure names. It may be difficult to tell which program is which when you’re trying to remove them. (MSN Messenger, for instance, appears as “msmsgs.”) Remove programs from the startup list with caution. When in doubt, search the Web to find out what a particular process is supposed to do.

If the offending program isn’t in there, try going into My Computer, double-clicking your hard drive, then choosing Documents and Settings, All Users, Start menu, Programs, and Startup.

If you still haven’t found the program, it’s time to check your Registry. Open the Registry Editor by going to the Start menu, choosing Run, typing regedit and pressing ENTER. (NOTE: Use caution whenever you edit your Registry. Some tips in the following articles involve editing the Registry, a critical file in your OS. Always back up your system before making any Registry changes. Registry errors may render your computer unusable, so tips involving Registry changes are for more advanced users.)

Now click the little plus sign (+) next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Scroll down and click Software, then Microsoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Run. Scroll through the panel on the right. One line should show the file name of the offending program. Scroll back to the left, click the beginning of the line and press Delete.

Still looking? There’s one more place to check. Go up to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then choose Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, and Run. That’s the last place a startup program might be hiding.

Finally, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. The program will no longer run at startup.

Adding new startup items is much easier than removing mysterious ones. Just go to All Programs on your Start menu and choose Startup. Make a shortcut to the program you want to run at startup and drop it into the Startup folder window that appears. In the future, it will run when you log in. If you don’t want it to run at startup, remove it from the folder.

afternoon so far

sideways is good. I'll take sideways anytime of the day.


- I am tweaking my tools; getting used to them, improving my game with their help
- I am adding a different dimension to my game: learning how to float, adding more tricks into my bag.

I've been using the gamepad for the last 2k hands. It is easier on my shoulders and back. I am in a more relaxed posture. I am not making twice as many hands, but I am more at ease; less tension in my body. That was a good investment then.

Now I have four software running on my pc; five if you will include the pokersite's gameplatform. A hobbyist doesn't play like this.


The logitech gamepad arrived this morning. At first I tried the xpadder v5.3, but turned out too complicated for me to configure. Instead I used joytokey which had a much simpler setup, and best of all--free. All I had to do was click on a button, assign a key to it. Took about five minutes to setup this up. Problem is, my brain/fingers are hotwired to the keyboard settings. I had a few misclicks here and there. Good thing the all-in button was way out of the way. I guess it'll take about three days to get used to this new setup.

I find it easier to play now. I am sitting back on my chair, slouching even. My arms are resting comfortably on my lap with the gamepad. Very ergonomic indeed. I am so relaxed in this position, I found myself getting spaced out now and then. So now I take a break.

I had my physical check up yesterday. This was a requirement for getting our NZ permanent residency. I've gained 10kg and my blood pressure is up 138/90. I'm having fasting lipids test next week. I'm going to have to step up my exercise routine, eat more sensibly, doing what it takes to make myself feel better.

notecaddy: air showdown

In today's morning session, I ran across villains that raised a few of their hole cards on every street, only to showdown air. I think these are newbies who saw videos of Phil Ivey or Tom Dwan pushing villain off their hands with nothing. Finding opportunity, I'm adding a new definition for notecaddy--air showdown.

I have just made a draft definition, running notecaddy to see how it turns out. At the moment, it made a total of 3819 notes made on my hem database. That is a lot. That might show situations where all players had nothing and checked/called to river. I am limiting the definition where:
- villain was raising at some point then had air on showdown;
- villain plays high vpip;
- probably villain with weak showdown stats.

In a different light, I got confirmation from the seller last night that the gamepad was picked up by their courier yesterday. Checking into the courier website, the package is now in the courier vehicle and on its way. I have already downloaded xpadder and joytokey. I'll have them up and running before the end of the day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

villain going all in with junk

After dinner, I chose not to play and instead went over my hand history. Doing so, I found a note I can define in notecaddy: villain going all-in with non-monster hands.

Here's a sample of what I got:
*villain: [street] action {hole cards} (frequency)

-rawkiwi-: [PF] ai preflop with {KQs}(1)
-Snacketti-: [PF] ai preflop with {A7s}(1)
(SIC)KT(SIC): [PF] ai preflop with {KQ}(1)
_TU3_: [PF] ai preflop with {AKs}(1)
| zeeero.O |: [PF] ai preflop with {AT}(1)

I play 12 tables at a time. I do not have time to see how any particular hand will showdown. Whenever a predefined circumstance arises and villain acts accordingly, notecaddy will make a note of that and automatically posts this note on the HUD. Next time I find myself in that particular situation, I will get an idea whether villain is behaving consistently or not.

Notecaddy pulls this information from the hem database, appends the notes to them. I have 270k players in my database. All notes appropriate for every circumstance defined is automatically made for each of the 270k players.


cake poker

I got an email from cake poker a few weeks back. Cake poker was giving me $10, crediting my account. The email said I can use the money to play NLHE microstakes at the lowest level, which was .02/.04 stakes table. They said I cannot withdraw the funds unless I add more to the account, or earn a certain number of points playing in their tables.

I took their offer. I can always use the extra bankroll to play and improve my game. Who wouldn't take the opportunity?

So I went ahead and downloaded their platform, signed in to my account and indeed found the $10. At that time, they only had 4k+ players online. I see why they were giving me $10. At the stakes level I was playing, 4NL, there were about only 5 tables and had to wait a few minutes to get a seat. But when I clicked on the "Seat Here" button on the table, a pop up window came up. It told me that my bankroll was not enough for the stakes level I wanted to play in. That I should either move down to a lower stakes level (there wasn't any), or add more funds to my account.

I was going to play one 4NL table--not ten tables, not even two tables. Just one table. I had $10 in the account. I had enough bankroll for one table--20x the big blind. Playing at pokerstars, I started with $10 and at one point, that bankroll went down by 50% and I could still play 2 tables at 2NL. On my titan poker account, at some point, the account only had $2 and I was still able to play one table at 2NL.

What a clever marketing ploy! You got me there cake poker. Nice try. Now other people are learning about this. This is no way to run a business.

Monday, September 27, 2010


300k+ players. That is the most number of players online at pokerstars that I have seen thus far. It seems their player base is growing. Pokerstars just celebrated dealing 50 BILLION hands. I saw on youtube that bots proliferate in the other pokersites simply because they (the poker site admin) look the other way--as the video claimed. With less customers, these lesser poker sites have to generate revenue. Giving rakeback to volume players is one way to generate volume.

So how can you tell if you are playing against a bot? I don't know. I can't tell if the player on the table is bot or not. One thing I noticed comparing my bankroll between ftp and pokerstars is that I never made good money playing in full tilt ppoker, whereas I am running hot in pokerstars. What's odd about this is that I play the same way in both sites. Consider also that I am also running hot in my betfred and celebpoker accounts (ipoker network).

Is it possible to run hot in two poker sites and terrible in one considering that you are playing exactly the same way in all of the sites?

Is it because there are far better players in ftp? Probably so, why not? But does that mean all of the terrible players play in the other sites? I don't think so. Regs go where the fish are. I think pokerstars is more diligent about their 'no bots' policy. Maybe regs in ftp have AI playing for them that reads and adapts to other players well. If that is so, I should get a bot to play for me as well. I'd let that bot run on a second pc 24/7. That if things were going well, I'd have a room full of pc's running bots that play poker 24/7. The AI doesn't have to run winning strategy. All the AI needs to do is to play breakeven poker, and earn rakeback.

Here's how I fared, monday morning session (chart filtered to show last 20k hands):

It's still sideways, bouncing off support. That's good. I am plugging leaks. Short term there is bullish bias. Plug da leaks and the bulls will start coming in.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Plenty of donkeys on the tables right now--high variance players pushing one pair to river on draw heavy board. I'm getting myself bluffed off my TPTK with smaller pairs. Rather than push thin value myself, I'd rather sit this one out, log back in later.

Two of my kids now have the flu. I'm going out for a walk.

Friday, September 24, 2010

logitech gamepad

I am taking steps to make my multi-tabling experience easier. I won this from a local online auction for about $20 (includes shipping). Soon as I get this, I'm installing a software that will tie this in with tableninja.

evening session

Last 20k hands: It's still sideways, steadily forming support base.


Afernoon session, pretty much breakeven, which is good. This means I plugged the leak. I am taking a break now. Kids want to play games for a while. I am going to make dinner now.

Feeling a lot better than in the previous days. The cough is "productive," which means my body has adopted and healing. I'll resume regular activities tomorrow. I have six kids in the house right now. Four are mine, plus two friends sleeping over. Today is the last day of school. They go on term break for the next two week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I was doing OK all day, making small gains here and there. After dinner, I had a draw to the nuts with villain raising I decided to go all in. That was a gamble. Tuition paid, lesson learned, moving on.

At least I saw that my game was good all day, and if I keep to the low variance play, I'd be OK. I'm tired and recovering. I'm calling it a day at 8.37pm. Tomorrow's another day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

wednesday - afternoon session

Winnings chart is on a downtrend. I am shifting down to 2NL. I think I have the flu. I did not sleep well last night, cough with cold and a slight fever. My eyes are burning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

not forex

Good thing I quit forex trading when I did--

September 20, 2010


The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued new rules concerning off exchange retail forex transactions which become effective on October 18, 2010.

As a "Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA)", "Commodity Pool Operator (CPO)" or an "Associated Person (AP)" of such entities, you will likely be required to register with the CFTC under the new rules and to become a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). Definitions of these registration categories are included in the Glossary below.

Some CPOs may qualify for an exemption from registration as outlined in the following NFA notice: If you are qualified for exemption from CPO registration, you must still electronically file a notice of exemption from registration through the NFA's electronic exemption registration system.

There are also some limited exemptions from the CTA registration requirement described in the following NFA notice:

The NFA has begun accepting registration applications, and has provided a registration overview at:

If you are not currently registered, you must comply with all registration and forex requirements. Even if you are already registered as a CPO, CTA or AP you must still apply for Forex firm or Forex AP approval.

Any retail forex entity that does not complete the registration or exemption process by October 18, 2010 will be unable to conduct retail forex business with OANDA until registration and all necessary approvals and designations are granted.

morning session

I think the notecaddy tweaks are finally over--at least for the major ones. I have almost all the notes I need on villain. It's not a lot. I try not to clutter the tables with unnecessary notes. I only have notes that will confirm villain's behavior based on hud stats.

Morning session was good. Last 20k hands show upward momentum although support is tested now and then. I have been in front of the pc since 6am. It's 11.34am. Time for a break. Washing the dishes, clean the house, then take a nap. I have a nasty, dry cough at the moment, drinking plenty of water to get better.


I am still at it, tweaking notecaddy with my definitions. I find that if there were too many criteria, it tends to process slower. I had to remove OEM definitions that I don't need, or tweak the ones I need to be more specific.

This is taking time away from table play, I know. But getting notecaddy to work, and getting the reads on villain is +EV in the long term. I play lots of tables at a time and I do not have time to take down notes, nor review hand history. Getting notes-taking automated is going to be a big help for me.

So today, I tweak some more, then test on live tables. My win-rate suffers a bit because of this. I am playing on lower stakes, playing breakeven poker. One thing I have gained from this experience is that I wouldn't want to be a software developer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

monday, morning session

Pretty good session, considering I was doing tweaks on notecaddy. Whenever I found a definition for notecaddy, I had to quit all tables, reset notes and set criteria for notecaddy. After that, I test on the tables see how that comes out.

I noticed that maximum buy-in for 5NL is higher than that of 10NL. Why is that? 5NL is softer than 10NL, with less donks. Playing 10NL, I can easily make more points, whereas 5NL, I make more profit. Hmmm...

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have been so preoccupied tweaking notecaddy that my game has been affected. I am going to shift back to 5NL, get back up to previous levels. I think I have notecaddy figured out by now. It's not showing as many notes as it did before, plus I got rid of the color codes.

It's 9.11pm. I'm done playing for today. I'll resume tomorrow. Wife and kids are watching New Moon. I'm not really into that. I'll just sit here browse the net until the movie ends. Then it's bedtime.

9.29pm. With nothing else to do, I decided to pay the partial payment for the notecaddy license--and not have to wait for the trial period to expire. It's a good product. I am making good use of it, so it's best to get this behind me now.


I am moving through tweak limbo. I play half an hour, find tweaks on notecaddy and update everything for one hour. I think I have things ironed out for now. I am going to play long stretches, and just take note of tweaks that are needed and do them later on my break.

It is a sunday. I work full time even on weekends. This is what being in business for yourself is about.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

new toy--NoteCaddy

You know how I multi-table a lot, 12 or more tables at a time. Before I got to this level, I took notes during hand history reviews. I seldom find time to do that lately, and it shows during showdown where I need all the reads I can get on villain.

Notecaddy does all the note taking for me, either from my database, or from the hand history archive. I find that notecaddy gives me the notes/information to confirm if villain is being consistent or not.

The only concern I have is that, as a first time user, Notecaddy is taking too much time to configure. I had everything installed after dinner last night, finished setting up and reading the manual around midnight. This morning, I made a test run on 12 tables with HEM and tableninja running all together to see how my pc can handle all that load. I did not see any significant slowing down on the pc's performance. What I did not like was all the colors on my tables--data overload! I had to reset everything and tone down the data I am getting.

HEM/HUD tells me villain's stats to-date. Notecaddy will tell me which hole cards they had based on their HEM stats. One set of data confirms the other. These tools does not, and cannot tell me what they might have at the moment of choice. These tools give me an idea of how villain played in the past, contrast this information with how villain is playing now and I will know what to do. All this makes decision-making a lot more easier, doesn't it?

I am still in the process of getting my configurations (how I want the notes to look on the tables) this morning. I am estimating to have everything perfect according to my specifications before the end of the day, with minor tweaks here and there until the end of next week.

I got holdemmanager a few months back, and to this day, I am still tweaking its settings to get the most info on villain that I can. It is going to be the same with notecaddy. As my game improves, so will the tools and resources improve in lock step.

At $50 for a lifetime license, it is well worth it. BUT WAIT--THERE'S MORE! As a business startup/microstakes player, I can avail of notecaddy with a full license with a $10 installment for the next five months. That sure makes it hard for me to say no. Playing 10NL on silver star level, I can make $10 each month easy from the VIP bonus alone.

Here's the link to their website. Try notecaddy for FREE for 10 days, then make a decision.

I am not an affiliate with/for notecaddy, and do not gain anything from them writing this review. I find notecaddy to be a noteworthy tool that might help improve my poker game.

Friday, September 17, 2010

morning session

Morning session was pretty good, better than yesterday's. Things have changed for the better. This is why losing sessions I do not define as bad or something I am resisting. If I define losing sessions as negative, then I get a negative reflection out of it.

I think the situation yesterday had to happen. Because of that, I had to move back to 5NL and see that things are not really that different. The only reason I was not playing well was because I was not playing well. I was letting myself get intimidated.

I read in some peak performance book that the technique is irrelevant. You can use as many techniques as you can, but it all boils down to the athlete. Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and all the legends of sport knew the same fundamentals as every professional athelete does. What put them a level above the rest was knowing who they were.

Time for my break. I'll do some chores, reset my head, then play again--one hour.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Winnings chart filtered to last 10k hands. I started the day playing at 10NL. I did not do as well and by the afternoon session, I decided to go down to 5NL.

I have this issue when moving up a level. I have this belief that players at that level play better than the players in the previous level. I was pushing thin value again, going all-in preflop with AA (although there's nothing wrong with that). There is this gnawing feeling in me--anxiety while playing. This emotion shows that I have this idea in me that I might do something I do not usually do and lose a stack. Or maybe go all in on perceived nuts only to find villain with a better hand. But these things happen all the time. And I have come to accept this fact. I guess these come up more often whenever I move up (now I know what to do).

I resumed play after dinner at 5NL and was surprised at the number of fish paying tuition at the tables. Usually, around this time (GMT+12), I come across regs and nits, and if I am not careful, I end up paying tuition.

I did not play as much morning session. I had things to do outside of the house, mostly immigration-related requirements that had to be processed. It was a good time away from the tables giving my head time to reset. I'm taking a short break, get the kids ready for bed, then probably do another session then.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


6pm and I haven't played a hand of poker so far. I took time out for myself. The kids are going to have their term break next week. Time out for me as I am going to have my hands full during those two weeks when the kids are at home. It's not just my four kids, you also count in the friends that are coming over for the day, and one who might sleep over. That is a handful. I might not be able to play as much at that time, but we'll see what happens then.

I wanted to take a swim at the leisure center. I took my bike going there and was freezing all the way. I changed my mind--did not go for a swim as planned, and went home. Even if the pool was heated, my body temperature will be lower after the swim, plus I am going to have to ride my bike home afterwards. I don't think I am going to enjoy that. At least I had time outside in the sun.

Am I going to play poker after dinner? I might. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pokerstars VIP


PokerStars VIP Rakeback - SilverStars, GoldStar, and PlatinumStar

Again, as you move up in VIP levels, the rate at which you earn FPPs will increase (but VPPs will not). Depending on how active you are and the games/stakes that you play, your VIP level may increase or decrease. Everyone automatically starts at BronzeStar, and if you play A LOT you can eventually earn yourself the Supernova Elite status, which is the highest level. If you've earned enough VPP's to move up in level, you will stay at that level until the end of the following month. For example, if I just joined PokerStars (I'm a BronzeStar) in July, and in July I've earned 1,500 VPP's, then I will automatically be a part of the SilverStar VIP level until the end of August, regardless of my level of play IN August.

SilverStar - SilverStar is the first VIP level you can rise up to. Many people can achieve this in one day! You become a SilverStar when you collect 1,200 VPPs in one month. At this level, you earn FPPs 1.5x faster than at BronzeStar. You will get access to special SilverStar items, including the $50 SilverStar Bonus for 5,000 FPPs. Once you purchase this bonus, you will have to collect an additional 350 base FPPs within 90 days to clear it. This SilverStar bonus isn't a very good purchase and it is recommended to wait for the higher levels before spending your FPPs on cash bonuses. This bonus only yields a value of $0.01 per FPP ($50/5,000 FPP's), but many other purchases at this level can yield a value of $0.015 per FPP. You can earn between a 8% and 26% PokerStars Rakeback at this level, depending on stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store. (We will get to some of the math later in this document.)

GoldStar - By playing more you can move up to become a GoldStar. You do so when you collect 3,000 VPPs in one month. You earn FPPs 2x faster. You will get access to special GoldStar items, freerolls, and bonuses. These freerolls are HUGE! You can take part in the weekly $20,000 freeroll, or monthly $100,000 freeroll! You can also purchase the $285 GoldStar bonus for 25,000 FPPs. Once you purchase this bonus, you will then have to collect an additional 1,995 base FPPs within 90 days to clear it. The GoldStar bonus is better than SilverStar, but it is recommended to wait until at least PlatinumStar to claim bonuses. But even at the GoldStar level, you can earn the equivalent of 16% to 43% PokerStars Rakeback, depending on stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store.

PlatinumStar - The next level is a PlatinumStar, which you become when you collect 7,500 VPPs in one month. As a PokerStars PlatinumStar you earn FPPs 2.5x faster. There are additional items from the FPP store that you can purchase when you become a PlatinumStar, including major tournaments like the WCOOP and the WSOP. You have access to all the freerolls as a GoldStar. You can also purchase the $650 PlatinumStar bonus for 50,000 FPPs. Once you purchase this bonus, you will then have to collect an additional 4,550 base FPPs within 90 days to clear it. You will earn about 17% to 46% PokerStars Rakeback at this level, depending on stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store.

In general, we can estimate the value of a FPP at these levels at $.015 - unless you redeem all your FPP's for tournament buy-in's, in which you could maximize the value of each FPP at $.016. This valuation is based on the article at 2+2 which breaks down good purchases at the VIP store (where you get higher value from your FPP's), plus the value of participating in the available freerolls to VIP members. But in terms of estimating a rakeback percentage for these levels, these levels are standardized at $.015. Once you reach Supernova and Supernova Elite, we assume a value of $.016 for all FPP's.
PokerStars VIP Rakeback - Supernova and Supernova Elite

Supernova - If you really grind a lot and want the best rewards possible, then you will want to become a Supernova. A PokerStars Supernova is someone who earns 100,000 VPPs in one year. It doesn't matter how or when you do this, just as long as you reach the 100,000 VPP mark before January 1st. (You will keep your Supernova status the following year as long as you earn at least 10,000 VPPs each month). Supernovas earn FPPs 3.5x faster.

There are many items in the FPP store that are exclusive to only Supernovas, including a concierge service where PokerStars will try their best to get you anything you want that isn't in the VIP store, or otherwise reimburse your for something you've purchased. There are very few restrictions, and this PokerStars Concierge service requires its own article. Utilizing the PokerStars Concierge service is one of the best things you can do with your FPP's, hands down.

You also have access to all the Gold/PlatinumStar freerolls, and also a special weekly Supernova $50,000 weekly freeroll! You can earn some serious cash by becoming a Supernova and cashing in these weekly freerolls! However, probably the most attractive perk of Supernova are the HUGE bonuses! You can purchase the $1500 Supernova bonus for 100,000 FPPs. Once you purchase this bonus, you will then have to collect an additional 10,500 base FPPs within 90 days to clear it. At the Supernova Level, you can earn anywhere from about 25% up to 92% rakeback! Of course, this also depends on the stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store. But this also depends on what milestone bonuses you can reach within the Supernova level.

In addition to the $1500 bonus, as long as you keep your Supernova status and keep grinding, the bonuses get better and better. There are special VPP milestone bonuses, every 100,000 VPPs starting at 200,000:

* $2,000 at 200,000 VPPs
* $3,000 at 300,000 VPPs
* $4,000 at 400,000 VPPs
* $5,000 at 500,000 VPPs
* $6,000 at 600,000 VPPs
* $8,000 at 800,000 VPPs

Each special milestone bonus costs only 50,000 FPPs, so as the bonuses get better, they even cost less! Clearing them even gets easier as well, each bonus needs to cleared at 5x base FPPs and must be earned in 120 days. So if you make it to 200,000 VPPs you will qualify for the $2,000 bonus and will clear it when you collect 10,000 base FPPs. This is more money and less time than the $1500 Supernova bonus! So, as you reach these milestone bonuses, your effective rakeback percentage improves. At the highest Supernova milestone bonus, which we'll call "Supernova7" and you reach $800k VPP's and the $8,000k bonus, you can earn up to 92% PokerStars Rakeback! If you think these bonuses are nice, wait until you see what is offered if you reach the top level...

Supernova Elite - You should be proud if you can call yourself a Supernova Elite. SNE's are the ultimate grinders, and they get the best rewards anywhere. There is no other VIP club or reward system which even comes close to comparing to PokerStars Supernova Elite. However, don't think it will be easy. You become a Supernova Elite if you earn 1,000,000 VPPs in one year. Yes that is one million VPPs. (You will keep your Supernova Elite status the following year as long as you earn at least 50,000 VPPs each month). Supernova Elite isn't for the casual poker player, it is for the serious grinder who is obsessed with being the best. How long it takes you to earn 1 million VPPs depends on your commitment and stakes you play, but has been done in as short as 2.5 months! So what are the perks of being a Supernova Elite? You earn FPPs 5x faster and get all the special treatments as a Supernova, except a little more.

As a PokerStars Supernova Elite you will automatically be given free entry to the WCOOP main event ($2600 value). You may also choose one of the following two options: Option A: Any two packages from PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, WSOP Main Event, EPT Monte Carlo, APPT Sydney (Each option worth around $13,000) or Option B: Any one of the above packages plus $10,000. So just for making it to SNE, you will be given nearly $25,000 to major tournaments! It doesn't stop there...

If you thought the Supernova milestone bonuses were good, you haven't seen anything yet. The Supernova Elite milestone bonuses are worth even more and still cost the same:

* $10,000 bonus at 1,250,000 VPPs
* $10,000 bonus at 1,500,000 VPPs
* $10,000 bonus at 1,750,000 VPPs
* $20,000 bonus at 2,000,000 VPPs
* $10,000 bonus at 2,250,000 VPPs
* $10,000 bonus at 2,500,000 VPPs
* $10,000 bonus at 2,750,000 VPPs
* $20,000 bonus at 3,000,000 VPPs

All of these special bonuses cost just 50,000 FPPs, which will be laughable if you are able to reach this level. You then have to clear 5x the bonus amount in base FPPs within 120 days. You will earn anywhere between 32% and 150% PokerStars Rakeback with these bonuses! Yes, that's right, 150% is achievable!

So as you can see, even though PokerStars doesn't allow direct affiliate rakeback, you can still potentially earn WAY more than you could from other rakeback programs. Just adding the bonuses together, if you happen to make it to 3,000,000 VPPs, you will have earned over $150,000! How's that for rakeback?? A few recommendations:

- Don't use the cash bonuses until you are at least a PlatinumStar
- It may be easier to start building your bankroll elsewhere (if you aren't rolled for 50nl)
- Be rolled for at least 50nl before attempting to achieve Supernova
- Studies show that the $1/$2 Fixed Limit 10-Max games yield the highest rakeback percentages.


Afternoon session. Chart is filtered showing last 10k hands. I feel like I am getting donked left and right. I get top pair, two pair and someone else gets a set or higher. I am breaking even, that is a consolation. I am taking a break. My ego can't handle that I am folding top pair on donk bets. I will resume either tonight or tomorrow morning.

This is how I am moving up a level. I am intimidated. I have this idea that players at this level are better than I am. Is that a fact? It doesn't matter. At any level, there will always be someone winning and losing. To not be on the consistently-losing side, I need to accept the fact that I will win some, and I will lose some. And that it is best long term that I keep losses to a minimum. If I keep to my game plan, I will come out ahead.

Kids want to play on the internet. Wife is on her way home. Time for a break.


Triple milestone today:
- I got my $10 VIP bonus (3rd since last month).
- I am now playing at 10NL.
- I have reached silver star status.

Here's the email from pokerstars:


Congratulations! You have achieved SilverStar VIP status.

Your VIP level lasts for the rest of this month and all of next month.

This entitles you to the following rewards:

- 50% FPP Multiplier - you now earn 1.5 FPP credits instead of 1 FPP credit
- SilverStar VIP Store access - choose from new and exclusive merchandise in the SilverStar store
- USD 500 Daily VIP tourneys - 3 x a day - 10 FPP entry
- USD 30,000 Weekly VIP tourneys - Saturdays at 14:30 ET - 100 FPP buy-in
- USD 100,000 Monthly VIP tourney - last Saturday of each month - 130 FPP satellites available

These exclusive VIP tournaments can be found in your PokerStars game lobby under the 'Tourney > VIP > All' tab.

To remain a SilverStar, you need to earn at least 750 VPPs next month to maintain your level.

There are even more rewards for you if you hit GoldStar VIP status. Earn 3,000 VPPs in a month and you will earn GoldStar status. To learn more about the VIP Club and the rewards offered, visit our web page at


The PokerStars Team

Silver stars plus 10NL (x 12 tables) play means I earn more points per hand played. More points earned means I get to get more stuff from the pokerstars VIP store. I ordered the beanie and baseball cap two weeks ago. They say it'll take 4 to six weeks for them to get here. I just orederd a red pokerstars t-shirt just now to celebrate this triple milestone event.

Monday, September 13, 2010

end of day update

stats by position, filtered for last 10k hands.

Winnings, all hands--pokerstars

I am pooped. It has been a good day. Time for bed.


Morning session was a bit rangebound, but still looks bullish. I tried playing twenty tables, but my pc couldn't handle it. I got a "system resource is low" message on the taskbar. I decided to tone it back down to a manageable 12. What keeps everything manageable is the sit-out-next-hand button. I get a table that needs more attention, I hit that key and everything sits out.

I'm going to miss out on my afternoon session. It's a monday, grocery day. I won't be back until around six pm. It's just me, Marcus and smokey the cat in the house. Time for a break.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Major resistance breached

The bulls are still at it. Got my set on the flop, villain was betting strong, probably had a set, and reraised me. Board had two flush cards and I don't think villain will reraise on a draw. I went all in and villain called. He/she had mid-set.

How did I get here?
- played loose preflop, tight post flop.
- patient, but playing 12 tables.
- learned how to play floaters. Check their HUD stats. If solid player, fold. If otherwise, call/raise to river.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No study

I haven't made a hand history review in more than a week. I used to do hand history review at least once a day. I am not worried that my game will suffer if I do not do them as often as I used to. I did check back on a few losing sessions. I wanted to see if the loss was due to variance and couldn't do anything about it, or due to poor decision-making. I am learning and improving my game by actual play. I don't think I would gain much if I were to force myself to study anyway.

I use time away from the table for rest and recreation. I take a nap, exercise, be with the wife and kids, or simply do something fun for myself. All these are important, and the reason why I am in this business.

100K hands

Milestone today: reached 100K hands with +3.63bb/100. Winnings chart still in consolidation but showing bias towards the upside.

What was I doing right?
- not pushing top pair beyond flop.
- being patient.
- played 12 tables, small ball poker/low-variance LAG.
- taking regular breaks when I feel tired; not pushing myself, enjoying the process.

I am probably on a heater, but so far, ~10% ROI per week (on average) is attainable simply by playing good, disciplined poker. If we include bonus from pokerstars (not possible to show in the chart), my weekly ROI is higher.

From experience, this is far better than trading financial instruments: low startup capital, minimal risk, great return on investment.

Friday, September 10, 2010

pokerstars VIP status

With 20 days to go til the end of September, I only need to make 14-points per day to move up to silver star level.


not much happening--playing small ball poker.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

cash games vs. tournaments


In a cash-game, the best players are able to play marginal hands that should definitely be folded in a tournament. If a less skilled cash-game player raises pre-flop, and a better player would knows that his opponent is holding two aces, he could still call with a hand like 7 8 suited. The better player knows that the guy with the aces probably will over-play that hand. If the better player makes a straight, flush, or even two pair or trips he probably wins a huge pot. Therefore, he can make the call even when he knows he is a big underdog.

Cash-game players also tend to have a better feel for the game. They are better at reading their opponents and see if they are weak or strong. In a Tournament, players play their own cards; they wait for a hand they are prepared to go all the way with, and then start throwing chips into the pot. They wait for a high pair, AK or something they are willing to risk all their chips with. Cash-game players, on the other hand, focus more on their opponents hands. If someone knows that he can make his opponent to lay down his hand, it doesn't really matters what the hole cards are.


Watching Discovery Channel, I saw this show about survival in the wilderness. That, and growing your poker business is pretty much the same.
  • It's all in the head.
  • You get by one day at a time, not having regrets for the past, and no anxiety about the future.
  • You work with what you have, and improve as you go along.

pokerstars and tableninja software updates

Pokerstars added new features to their game platform, and ow tableninja doesn't work with it. TN support says I can use the old pokerstars platform until they come up with software updates, but it's too complicated for me at this time.

I have things to do around the house anyway. Wash the dishes, cook dinner, walk over to the stationery shop for printer ink & paper; I can do these things while tableninja works on the update. I am going to check things out later in the afternoon then. In the meantime, I have just finished breakfast while watching the Discovery channel. Next house we get, I am going to have a TV in my poker den.

katas ng poker

His home is awesome, but I want a girlfriend like that!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How much do you pay to play?


PTR will soon be launching a comprehensive section dedicated to explaining the true cost to play at the online poker rooms we cover. In order to preview this information, let’s look at the cost per 100 hands at the different levels of full ring games.

Rake is often difficult to quantify by just looking at the rake tables published online and trying to understand exactly how much the poker sites are charging you to play in their games. This table contains the amount paid in rake per 100 hands played by the average player. It’s a great way to compare the true cost to play at the sites.

You can see that the amount you pay to play 100 hands at the different sites can be dramatically different. The standouts in terms of cost are Full Tilt, Poker Stars and Cake, who are across the board the best in terms of the rake paid per 100 hands. In some cases, the cost to play at these sites can be as much as half of that of their competitors. This translates to significantly less bb/100 you need to earn in order to break even.

Cereus, whose basic rake structure is comparable to Tilt and Stars, takes extra money out of every pot in order to build the bad beat jackpot. We decided to include this cost in our comparison because it is so unlikely that you will ever win this jackpot. All but the tiniest percentage of players will experience the bad beat jackpot as a hit to their bb/100. We used the same reasoning for Party Poker’s BBJ drop.

For all you players out there outraged about the increased rake at the French site, you can see very clearly how dramatic the increase in rake is. At 100NL you would need to earn over 3bb/100 more just to maintain the same earn rate.

In the future, we will be taking a look at how dealt vs contributed rakeback mgr calculation methods affect these numbers. It turns out that there are dramatic differences in your effective rakeback percentage depending on your VP$IP when playing on a dealt rakeback site.

Monday, September 6, 2010

happy tables

I made some people happy at the tables today. Suck-out? No. Bad play on my part. I kept playing TP "hoping to get lucky" and improve by the river. This always gets me. I guess I make money on a few plays from them, but lose a lot when they don't improve. This is what motivation is about. You move towards that which you think will give you pleasure, and move away from that which you think will give you pain. I hold on to top pair because I have a definition that says that top pair will hold on the river; consequently, folding TP after PFR and CBet will cause pain.

So how do I redefine this? That TP is a "win a little, lose a lot" kind of a situation. That will cause me to move away from playing TP. What's the other side of the coin then? That playing well (knowing when to play, or not), I will always (all ways) be a winner in the long term.

Tuition paid, lesson learned--moving on.

There is also an undercurrent issue going on here. Last friday, wife asked me to come with her when she takes her driving test. I don't want to, but will go out of obligation. I hate situations like that.

What I hate about it is that we are going to have to go to the other side of Auckland to take her test. There's a satellite office nearby, but she failed that one before. She doesn't want to go thru that pain again and it's easier for her to drive all the way to the other side.

If I were her, I'd take the one where I failed before. This way, I can improve on whatever item I failed on. Tomorrow is going to be her third attempt. The second one was also with a different office--also a long way from here. But she wouldn't listen to me. She never does. I can't teach anyone, anything anyway. People learn. And she has to go through all that process to learn something. Unfortunately, I have to be/go with her. Maybe there is something for me to learn too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

end of day update

Paid tuition at the tables today. I'm not sure where the leaks are at this time. I'll go check them tomorrow. I am pooped. It's 10.08pm. Long day with the kids at home. It is all a part of doing business at home.

Shutting down the pc for a much needed rest.

HEM import

I had about 1k+ HH files to import and left the pc running overnight. When I got up at 6, HEM was able to finish 1/3. I'm done with that for now. I'm going to leave that for now as I don't see any immediate benefit for me. I am better off playing in the moment, than getting off center trying to upload stats in anticipation that they are going to come in handy in the future.

I'm keeping the 25NL HH and deleted the higher stakes HH. Next time wife wants to drag me away from the pc, I can leave HEM to import them.



Oh, how I love them. When I don't get one in a session, why do I feel like a terrible person? It feels like homeruns are the exception than the norm. Even at ten tables per session, I get one or two. More often than not, I remember the suckouts more than the homeruns I make.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

HEM import

I am currently importing hand history files to HEM. Total number of files is 4k+, where 50 files is ~20k hands. I had to break down the files so HEM imports them by chunks. After each import, I run postgreSQL admin to vacuum and reindex database. If I import all 4k files at once, it will take seven days and I don't think my pc can handle all that work.

Second batch importing now.

report card: 5NL

Free HH

Following a trail of links, I ran into this site where I was able to download probably a million hand history files from the poker site of choice. The files were dated 2009, so I guess these will come in handy in some way.

The files are so big that it takes a while to download them to my computer, then import to HEM. For every import, I need to do a vacuum and reindex. This is going to take all day.

poker bots

...understand one thing: you don't have to create a winning poker bot in order to make money with a poker bot. All you have to do is create a bot that's capable of breaking even.


Friday, September 3, 2010

before & after

First two images are my stats playing in pokerstars since day 1:

Here are my stats after I decided to play better:

end of day update

Bulls surged today. What did I do differently?

I stopped pushing TP. AA and postflop villain gets aggressive, I call/fold. It's not always though. I check my HUD stats and see if this is something out of the ordinary. I raised preflop. I represent strength. If villain feels he/she's got something better than TP, I will get a raise. Why fight it? Anyone can bluff me, sure, but I'd lose only a small amount and that will encourage fish to bluff me again, or each time we get in the same situation. I want fish to think I am easily bluffed.

I want the table to think I am fish who raises often with weak hands. In some parts, it is true I raise with weak hole cards. This way, I get a good set, the table will call me light. That is where the big upswing surge comes from.

Monitoring my winnings chart is a big help for me. When the line breaks recent swing lows, that tells me I am doing something -EV, an action that I started doing recently that makes me lose money. I then check into HEM for the past losing sessions to see what my biggest losses were, what hands were consistent losers. This could be the reason that I get one or two swing lows, then it starts to move back up again. I check for leaks, fix them, test on the tables, and I am back in business.

What I stopped doing lately is reviewing my hand history. Maybe I can do that on a downtime or something. I stopped doing that because I'm too lazy to take notes. Playing ten tables, I do not have time to look at past notes I made on villain. I look at their HUD stats, compare that with how they are behaving at this moment, then decide from there. If I look at the notes, I am looking at previous action, compare that with HUD stats which is also based on past actions, then I am not playing in the present.

Just a month ago, I was playing like a nit. These past two weeks, I wouldn't be surprised if my auto-rate showed me a fish or a whale. That's how easy to shift gears. But if I looked at HUD stats, then compare them to villain's action in the moment, I get a good read. It's not easy to get this read. I'm still learning this and probably got this after playing more than 70k hands.

As I mentioned in a previous post, these are the stats on my HUD:
line 1: VPIP/PFR; 3Bet; #hands
line 2: Ag% Flop, turn, river
line 3: W$SF, W$SD, WTSD
These are all color coded. Green means optimal, red is not optimal play.

Combining all these, I get an idea of how villain behaved in the past, which tells me their style of play. I then compare villain's action in the moment with their HUD stats, then decide on my action. I usually discount their show of strength if their HUD stats are in the red. It is easier for villain to bluff me to fold if their HUD stats are all green. That means even their bluff are well placed. And I seldom regret folding good hands to such players.

I am pooped. It's 9.40pm. I am calling it a day from poker. It is my daughter's birthday tomorrow. I am not sure yet what the itinerary is, but we're going to have a grand dinner as a family.

friday morning session

...and da bulls are back!

Time for a break. Two of my kids chose not to go to school today. I am now going to make them lunch.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Winnings chart filtered showing today's progress. I have been paying tuition the last few days, hopefully the lesson is learned--again. Stop going to showdown for thin value.

I am aiming to get silverstar this month of september at pokerstars. I need about 70points per day to get there. At the rate I am going, I think it's highly possible that I will reach it. If my bankroll improves to $300, I can go up a stake to 10NL and make things faster. At silverstar level, my playing at pokerstars will earn 50% more points, making it sooner for me to get that bonus.

This chart filtered all-hands to show progress to-date:

I started playing evening session after dinner. After an hour and a half, I am taking a break. I'm making chicken salad for tomorrow--for myself and my wife's lunch. Then it's time to send the kids to bed.

Gus Hansen tutorial

How to Play Small Ball Poker


Small-Ball Poker involves deliberately playing in such a way as to keep the pot small, minimizing your risk of losing your entire stack in any single hand. This approach will both decrease your overall variance and increase the role of skill in the game – the chances of losing your stack to a miracle river card go down. Playing small ball poker involves good hand reading skills and astute betting. This article shows you the basics of this approach and how to profit from small ball poker.

See the Flop

The first consideration in playing small ball is to bet less before the flop. This keeps the pot relatively smaller on later betting rounds – since those later bets are usually sized as a proportion of the pot. A raise of 2 ½ times the big blind is likely to have a very similar effect on the actions of your opponents as a 3 ½ or 4 times the big blind raise. However if we look at the effect on the size of post-flop bets, especially on the turn and river, then these become significantly smaller.

Pot Size

Keeping the pot small in the early betting rounds will enable you to slowly gain a better understanding of your opponent’s hand. This makes position more valuable in small ball poker than when the bets are larger – there is simply more time for your good position to benefit you when betting is over several rounds. Combine this with the ability to gain cheap information (since you kept the pot small on early rounds) and you have a winning proposition.
Managing the size of the pot must take into account the texture of the flop. For example if there are many draws present then betting too small an amount may in fact give your opponents the correct odds that they need to continue with their draws. If you have a drawing hand yourself then a small flop bet from position may enable you to take a free card from position later - if you feel that the table dynamics warrant this.

Switch it Up

Employing a small ball poker strategy must be balanced with the occasional larger bets. This is because it may be difficult to build a very large pot when you hit a monster hand if you have employed an exclusively small-ball strategy. Escalating the size of the pot only after you have made a monster is most consistent with this style. After all betting big with only aces and kings (for example) pre-flop would give astute opponents too much valuable information to use against you.
Managing the size of the pot on later streets will often involve checking behind with a hand that is likely to be the best at the moment. While this carries some risks that an opponent will hit their hand, these risks can easily balance the benefits of the small-ball approach. If an opponent holds a pair under yours after the flop then they are 23-1 against improving to trips on the turn card. If they hold an ace then there are only 3 ‘outs’ in the deck that can destroy your hand.


To summarize, small ball poker involves deliberately playing in such a way as to keep the pot sizes small. This is used when you feel you have a skill edge over your opponents that will show over time – after all anyone can get lucky during a single hand. Betting less pre-flop will ensure that the pot is smaller on later betting rounds, giving you more time to read your opponents hands. Checking behind or betting smaller amounts on later streets will often depend on the board cards containing likely draws.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Bulls are losing steam. This means I am pushing thin value, or not reading table dynamics as well. Time for me to lessen tables from ten to five. Five tables feel optimal for me. Action is slow enough for me to take down notes on villain reads, but fast enough that I don't get bored waiting for my turn. If I need more time, there's always the sit next hand button.

I reviewed my hand history after dinner. I am faced with a challenge in dealing with floats/donk bets. I get them more often at 5NL. I see that typically, donks have low PFR, but predominantly high turn aggression. If their showdown wins are in the green, then I can/will fold. If their showdown numbers are in the red, I am going to check/call them to river, depending also on how they behave. The more reds on their hud, I will shift from aggressive to call station mode.

The new broadband modem was delivered this morning, but I was out walking the kids to school. I had to take time off playing to pick up the package from the courier office. I am expecting the phones to come anytime soon.