Sunday, October 31, 2010

baseline


It has been bullish for my pokerstars account for the last 165k hands. There was sideways movement around the middle of October due to personal issues that needed some attention.

After taking out money to expand my hard drive, $40 remains in the pokerstars account. I am playing 2NL with this bankroll; playing 12 tables, intention is to raise that up to $75, then move up to 5NL.


It's tough going back to 2NL time and again. I guess there's something here for me to learn, so no sense complaining about it. I am aware of the leaks I have that crops up now and then. This time around, I am confident that I can move up.

Here is a cashier screenshot for my full tilt poker account:

I will be comparing profit and loss from each site at the end of the week. I'll log in the same amount of hands played for each of the two sites. At times one site will have more hands played than the other, but I will try to make it close.

I'm not sure when I'll start, we'll see how things go at the end of the month. While pondering this, here's a thread on 2p2 that compares the VIP programs for both sites. In a nutshell, the person who started the thread thinks that pokerstars has a better VIP program that rewards volume players.

Personally, I prefer to play at pokerstars. I have a better winrate with them than at FT. I play at FT simply because of rush poker, plus I like the stuff they have at the FT store.

stake agreement on hold

Due to sudden changes in my personal circumstance, my backer and I agreed to put on hold our staking agreement for a few months.

rush insights

I am taking a break from poker but not writing, so I guess I'll be posting regularly. It's like poop, it has to come out or else...

Here are some insights gained these past few weeks playing rush poker:

- the tables are full of nits. You can practically raise preflop from any position; half the time everyone folds and if someone did call you, they'd fold on the cbet 2/3 of the time. But if they did call on cbet, or reraise you, they have something.

- you do not need a full bankroll to move up stakes. All you need to do is play breakeven poker, and earn rakeback.

- I haven't moved up yet, but I was playing 10NL and 5NL and the players aren't all that different. I only move down to 5NL when I am making villain happy giving him/her tuition for showing me a leak. When I am back in the black, I move up a stake. I am keeping to 10NL as this was the highest stake level my backer and I agreed upon. I think it is possible to move up a stake soon as you have three to five buy-ins for that level. Soon as you move up, play breakeven poker, earn rakeback, and move up again until you hit a plateau. Rinse and repeat.

- To move up a stake level, about 5 buy ins is sufficient, but I think it's possible to move up when you have three buy ins. When you lose one buy in, move one level down.

- the points doesn't count for much unless you intend to use them at the ftp store. It's the rakeback I am after. If I had 10 buy ins per stake as bankroll, I'm getting 10% ROI each week playing breakeven poker. This is one good reason to use a bot playing rush poker. You program your bot to play breakeven poker, play as many tables and watch the money come in.

- breakeven poker is, in a sense, simply avoiding marginal situations. You have AA in position. Flop comes up all spades and villain is betting 1/2 pot. Villain could be bluffing as HUD stats probably show you villain plays a lot of hands; or maybe has something made.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

october at pokerstars


The first few weeks of the month, I was playing 5NL, 10NL stakes. I then shifted my attention to the full tilt poker account because of the stake. Looking back, I could have kept playing at pokerstars to maintain my silver star level--but this is all in hindsight, and things happen for a reason.



I withdrew most of my bankroll and expanded my hard drive to 1TB. My bankroll with pokerstars is now $40, and I am grinding back at 2NL.

Playing rush poker these last few weeks, I noticed I was making 10% ROI just by playing breakeven. Tables are rather tight in the sense that villain isn't prone to make as many mistakes as pokerstars fish would. If I get played back without the nuts, I fold.

The only problem I have playing rush is that after about an hour, I go on auto-pilot. I then start making people happy at the tables, winning small but losing big. I am setting a time or stop-limit on playing rush. One hour of play and I check in on myself how I feel. If things aren't optimal, I am going to take a break.

I might not be updating this blog for a while, or at least not as extensive as I used to. I'm taking a break. I'd still play now and then, posting updates and insights. Soon as you see me making posts every day, that tells you I am back on the saddle.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

tuesday


This is one seriously long dry spell. Leaks? Minor, a few that I am aware of. I am playing rush poker, 5NL and it is incredibly tight in there. And to think that players do not have much of a read, I see more action on regular full ring than in rush poker.

Why is that?

My bankroll is in the black. I just don't get this process that I am going through. I think I have an idea of what this is--to show me that I can play and even if I do not win a lot of big pots, the method I am using will not result in big downswings on my account.

That is very comforting. I can sleep with that. And I will. 10.27pm, time for bedtime.

tuesday


I had a chat with my backer this morning. He's thinking of paying for a coach so I can move up from 10NL sooner. The agreement was that we both pay 50/50 for coaching fee. Since my share isn't that big, I offered that he gets 100% of the profit until he gets his money back (for the coaching fee).

I guess it's a fair deal for me. I wouldn't normally get coaching playing on my own at these levels. Getting a coach is easy when the bankroll is there, and is necessary to get a different perspective on the game.

Backer pointed out that I was playing rather tight with vpip/pfr at 18/15. I wasn't aware of this, thinking I was playing loose. From here on, I'm working to get that stat higher, raise more from late position, and choose how my attitude will be on the felt.

Bankroll is in the black. Full tilt poker sent the bonus from their take2 promo this morning plus I had some wins from the felt this morning.

It's back to work and school for everyone in the house, except for me and smokey. Yesterday was labor day and we spent the day at the mall. Wife wanted to get the kids some things. I too, needed time away from the pc.

I'm taking a break for now. I'll prepare my lunch, then go get some exercise out in the sun.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ag % - 25

Pokerstars account, HUD showing AG% stats

Full tilt poker account HUD showing AG% stats

10NL rush

I am taking shots at 10NL rush. Rush poker at this time feels like a very tight FR table. Maybe it's just me and I am new to that level.

I'm taking a break to bask and enjoy the fact that after being down two buy-ins yesterday, I am back in the black--playing 10NL rush poker even. This is one aspect of peak performance poker that I am cultivating--that winning feeling.

morning session


Chart is still sideways, at least short term things look bullish as chart makes higher highs and higher lows. I have been playing 5NL rush poker since three swing lows back. Time for a break.

5NL rush insights

Yes, I work on sundays--no let correct myself. I play also on sundays. Almost everyday of the week. But that is not the point. I had an insight playing this morning.

I had a sour session yesterday and paid two buy-ins playing full ring. So I had this question processing in my head on how I am best served by this situation. Waking up at 5.30am, I had an urge to play 5NL rush poker. I started with one table, after half an hour, I made it two; and that's when I had the insight:

Play rush poker like you would play heads up.

I've read Colin Moshman's book, Heads up NLHE and it is the one book that has greatly improved my game. In one chapter, Colin relates a session where he played heads up without seeing his hole cards. All he had going for him was how villain acts and reacts on the felt.

It's pretty much the same thing on rush, except that there is a greater probability that someone lands something on the flop. Read the book, then try it yourself.

Two hours later...

I reviewed my rush poker sessions (if they do not show click filter > clear) to see if there were notes I can take on villain. The hands that I went over are the ones that went to showdown and ranked according to pot size. The bigger pots showed first, showing top ten pots for the session. I limit my hand history reviews to only ten as it gets boring. I'll take noteworthy actions on villain, specifically what their actions meant given the circumstance.

So far, I see that players here play pretty much the same way they would on regular full ring tables. They might 4bet with broadway unsuited, but postflop, they play it straightforward. But these are showdown pots. Villain that tend to bluff with air, some of them are dumb enough to go to showdown with nothing and gets noted. The ones that I am not able to make notes on are good players that fold when their bluff is getting action.

Lesson: if you bluff and face resistance, fold.

HUD stats are not much use here as the samples are very few. If villain has more than 100 hands sample playing rush, and they seem to play more hands aggressively, then it's something to look into. I won't go to showdown with them with nothing. I've paid tuition for that before.

A few more HH to review, then it's time to play.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

11.77% profit for backer


I just sent 11.77% in profits for the week to my backer using ftp player transfer. Total ROI so far is about 33%. I played a total of 10,145 hands this week. I made $14.91 in rakeback, which is twice as much as net winnings for the week. Stats and hand histories have been sent to backer using skype.

Basing my assumptions on this week's performance, rakeback from full tilt poker is ~10% of total bankroll per week. Not bad.

I am posting this image to use as reference for my computations next week:

Friday, October 22, 2010

dry spell


Man, this has been a long dry spell for the last 8k hands or so. Do I have leaks? Playing TP against aggression, but I have that plugged. I feel like I am not hitting any sets lately. Am I that readable? I don't think so. Most of the villains I end up heads up with have about the same hand number as I do on the felt. Are the players that different? It's always different. Every situation is different.

Good thing the account is earning rakeback. At least that's moving forward. Do I need to change anything? Not playing back with nothing, but I don't do that. Not even against fish/maniacs, I'd go to showdown only if I had the nuts.

Maybe this is just a process I need to go through. This situation is probably here to show me that no matter how many hands I play, the method is stable and will not give me severe downswings. I play a lot of flops. I win some, I lose some and yet the chart is sideways. I guess I can take consolation in that.

I have been in this boat several times before, mostly with my pokerstars account. Things will go sideways, then all of a sudden, the sets start falling into place and villain starts calling all in against my nuts. But when you are in a dry spell like this, it's tough. I question my method, or whether I have just been lucky all this time. Maybe this dry spell is showing me just that. That I am seeing this as a negative instead of a process that I can use to get better. Maybe circumstances are giving me an opportunity to just react differently to a dry spell.

I can see it that way.

Time for a break. Do yoga, then make dinner.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

number of forex traders per site

I used to trade foreign exchange, and on my downtime, decided to check in on one of the popular trader forums and found these stats for the leading firms:

"...Oanda has almost 50,000 active traders, leaving IBFX (18,579) and FXCM (15,023) far behind. Gain (forex.com) is fourth with 11,344 and GFT is fifth with 10,358."


You can add all of their clients together and they wouldn't match the number of poker players on pokerstars alone on a weekend. I wasn't making money trading forex and fortunately found NLHE. I was trading forex since 2004 and only made 100% once in all that time, then busted that account a few months later.

There's too many unknown factors trading financial markets. I wonder why I chose to last that long trading and not making money? I was hearing about playing online poker in those days, but back then, I had a belief that playing poker is gambling and that gambling was "evil" and will only lead to failure.

thursday

I uninstalled the last two ipoker clients from my pc last night. I am not using them anyway these days, and I wanted to clear up space, so out it goes. The last time I played on ipoker was back when I was testing my game and it was on that network that I learned that the method works. Those two accounts were n0-deposit-bonus accounts and it did not matter much to me if I lost bankroll in them.

Not that I am not learning nor improving my game anymore that I removed the platforms. I am able to tweak my game on my pokerstars account anyway.

It is 7.19pm. I am waiting for tableninja to load, and I am going to play in pokerstars until bedtime. I don't think I worked as hard or as diligently as this when I was working for someone else. I start my day around 9am and don't finish until past 9pm. I play an average one hour each session, taking one hour breaks in between. I take days off whenever I feel frustrated. It's not even a whole day off, more like half the day off just to cool off, then get back on the felt, taking it easy, later in the day.

thursday


Chart is still sideways, but for this afternoon session, I finally won some big pots. It feels like an uphill ride on a steep gradient. I make very little progress yet so much effort is expended; and if I stopped pedalling, I'd slip back.

Time for a break. Kids want to play on the pc anyway. I'm doing yoga, then make spaghetti dinner.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wednesday

Blogger servers down for maintenance, I couldn't upload chart images.

I am not happy with how I am playing right now. It's still the same, didn't change anything in how I play, but I am getting nothing. Pokerstars account is sideways, ftp is also sideways but looks bearish.

Maybe I need to take a break. I'll take a break tomorrow. It feels like stale water in here.

I consider this business as a creative process, much like writing, painting and anything related to creating art. As an artist, one does not rely exclusively on the local mind. The local mind has very limited functions and I am not in a position to elaborate on them. What I know is that when I am feeling light, at peace at the minimum, much more so when excited, happy, and/or in love, that's when creativity is at its peak. But when I am having negative emotions--fear, sadness, frustration, no matter how hard I try, nothing positive comes out.

Same with poker. These past few days, I have been getting information and putting a negative spin to it. For one, my brothers back in manila are in dire financial straits and were asking if I can assist them.

I couldn't help them financially at this time, given my circumstances. But I did promise them that I'd help out soon as I can. All I can tell them was to hang in there, pay the least minimum just to keep things going. Not helping out isn't a bad thing, but I was putting a negative spin to it. As such, this negative emotion carries over on the felt.

This is why I need to take a break. Some people choose to work their way through. I am not that person. It is better for me to protect my bankroll, take a day or two off and come back when I am feeling better.

At the moment, I am not spewing money, it's just that I am not getting the nuts. I'd get one pair now and then. Since I am not getting paid, I'd play that TP in the face of aggression. Bad idea. Seeing this in a positive light, at least the lesson (not playing TP vs aggression) is reinforced in me. The other side of the coin is, "I am not making money anymore. Maybe I was just lucky all this time and it is time to get a job..." If I entertain negative thoughts like that, I am not going to last long in this business.

So what am I going to do tomorrow?

I can ride my bike, go to albany, hang out at the library. I can go to the beach. I can go for a swim at the local gym. What I do not have here are friends. I am in front of the pc almost all day. The only time I get out is when I need to go to the grocery to buy food, or when the wife and kids needs assistance on something. Maybe I should join a social club where I can meet people (nice ladies preferably). I can check out the library for such listings. One club that comes to mind is the local toastmasters club. There are several that meets lunch time for an hour. I can start with that. I wanted to be a toastmaster before. Maybe it's time to get going in that direction.

What else? Have an affair.

That'd be nice.

That would be exciting.

How? I don't know. But I am open to that idea.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

end of day update


Chart shows last winnings for the last 20k hands. It's been sideways with a bearish bias. Playing 5NL, plugging leaks.

I am ~4k hands into the stake deal. The deal is good for 120k hands. I have plenty of opportunity to profit--no sense taking chances in marginal situations. Tables felt pretty tight, not much action on my good hands. I reraise and it's an easy fold for them even with the table image I have.

Time for bed.

tuesday


Chart filtered showing last 20k hands.

Paid tuition early in the day. Full house lost to quads for one buy-in. I've been playing poorly since last night. My confidence is shot. I wasn't sure if I was just lucky all this time, or if the method really works. I decided to play lower stake at 5NL. If there's a leak somewhere in there, I wouldn't be paying as much tuition on the felt.

Time for a break.

issues

Yesterday morning, I made new highs on my winnings. An hour later, I lost a buy-in and was devastated about it. It's not that I went to showdown with medium pair, or was getting sucked out, or getting my aces cracked (altho one did). I was getting called on my cbet with nothing. This happened a several times.

I see now that this started after my AA were cracked. Someone raised in front of me, and seeing villain a tight player with a small stack, I 4bet all in. Villain called with KK. Flop brings villain a third king to make top set. From then on, I was feeling resistance, feeling negative about it, not wanting that to have happened; or that I could have just reraised, fold on the flop. But in hindsight, I don't think I would have folded on the sight of that king. Or maybe I would have.

This is what's eating me. Playing the hand in hindsight that I lose connection to the present moment. This leads to poor decisions on the felt. I stopped playing the stake account the rest of the day. I opened up pokerstars and played in there instead. I wasn't playing the full 12 tables. The HUD was all over teh felt. I realized I moved HEM to a different drive and made new configurations/settings changes. I had to play two tables to make sure HUD stats were showing on the correct player as well as the mucked hands.

I still have residual issues. I'll take it easy today. When the thought and emotion crops up, just shine the light on it, sit on it, allow them to be just there. This shows me I have a lot of expectations in place. I am not allowing a number of things that are there to help me improve.

Just take it easy today. Better yet, just play. Go play rush and have a great time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

ftp - back in black


I just realized this morning that my full tilt poker account is back in the black. This chart shows my winnings for the full tilt poker account, filtered to show all hands.

The lowest swing low (the bottom) was about a week before the stake agreement was made. It took 30k hands in more than 6 months to make that bottom. It felt like eternity when my winnings chart was downtrending, but soon as I got it, things went from red to black in less than a week.

If you are going to be picky about it, this winnings chart only show that the dollar value in my bankroll is now in the black. If you looked at the stats, specifically bb/100, it's still in the red at -6bb/100 in 34k hands. The first 30k hands were played in 2NL whereas the last 4k hands are from 10NL. The dollar amount won is bigger at 10NL but practically the same big blind value as that from 2NL.

This is why holdem manager was the first poker tool that I bought. I can make analysis on my game as well as other player's games. I can do that both while actively playing on the tables via the HUD (heads up display), or away from the tables to do in-depth analysis and make notes. And like any other tool, the intention is to wean myself from the tool and still play well. I can do without it if I had to, but it is a great tool to have anyway.

So what's different this time?

I'd rather play in pokerstars. The platform is more stable and works well with 3rd party software. I get more fish per table than with ftp. Looking back, I had this belief that players at ftp were tougher, and that I never get the nuts when I play there. This was back when I was pushing thin value playing in both sites.

Since I was playing more at pokerstars, that account showed improvements sooner. In a sense, that was where everything clicked together--avoid marginal situations. What does that mean? It's like having AA on a KQJ flop, I cbet and get reraised pot. Soon as I started folding in marginal situations, the chart went off the roof. When I am unconsciously not doing what I am supposed to do, the chart goes sideways. When that happens, I start looking for leaks, plug them, and see the bulls start running again. Soon as playing well was like second nature to me, I began to look into playing on my full tilt poker account.

First part of the morning session is in the bag. I am taking a break. I need to do the laundry, clean the house, attend to personal hygiene and all that. I will be back in about an hour.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

after dinner session


The bulls have shown strength--broke past recent swing high. I played a few hands, not the usual 500 per session, probably about a hundred. With the bankroll I have now, I can start playing ten, maybe 12 tables tomorrow. I have a 12-table overlap profile in place. All I need to do is open 12 tables and I am up and running.

This is what's beautiful about this business. Expanding is as easy as adding x number of tables, or move up a stake level. I can easily expand in a few minutes, run my business practically anywhere in the world. If I need added capital, I can offer a share of my profits on 2p2. If I don't want to dilute profits, I can use my credit card.

My theory is that, for my income to match that of a regular employee earning $2,000 a month, I need a bankroll of about $10,000. This equates to about 20% profit each month. For a consistent +4bb/100 poker player, I think this is easily attainable.

I am calling it a day, enjoy this so as to reinforce the feeling.

afternoon session


Chart is sideways, which as you probably know by now, is good. I am improving my game, making as many mistakes as possible, and yet I never lose more than a buy-in, and the account is earning rakeback.

I'll be reviewing hand history after dinner. If I finish early, I might play a few hands.

afternoon so far


Bulls are losing steam. Time to tighten up. I've hit some draws in the past calling postflop that I pay to draw thinking it will happen again. Like the addict before taking his drug of choice, saying to himself, "this time, it's different." But what makes it the same is that feeling of anxiety when making the draw. As bashar said, "what you put out is what you get back." Tuition paid, lesson learned. Moving on.

I decided to change the layout of this blog. Black is nice and easy on the eyes, but reading white on black strains the eye. That affects website stats. White background looks ordinary but very easy to read. Since I am getting more hits over time, I might as well make it easy for them to read. It's not the visuals that people google, but the content.

Time for yoga.

28% VPIP/PFR

Keep in mind:


Any Ace-high suited, broadways suited or not, high suited connectors, high unsuited connectors, 1gappers suited or not, pocket pairs. Fish call with these; LAGS raise with these.

....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

after dinner session


I did not play afternoon session as it was my daughter's birthday and we went out. I left holdemmanager running to upload hand history. It's mostly for 25NL from 2009. I got these off the internet a few weeks ago. I am assuming that some players in that hand history are still around, and some are probably playing down at 10NL. Who knows? I don't have much background on the players atm, so anything will help.

We got home after 6pm and HEM manager was able to upload +300K hands. Had to do a vacuum and reindex, then defrag to reclaim lost space, making the pc faster. Someone from the HEM forum offered to teamviewer help me move my database to drive J. I'll take him up on his offer and schedule a day next week.

After lunch, I decided to check out the tables at 5NL rush. I did not move up much. I'd win some, then lose some. Losing some money, I wouldn't call the session a negative. Surely, I paid tuition, but gained something in return. That is still a positive experience for me. I got donked with me having weak hands and I'd fold; or I'd get 3bet with my wide range pfr, and with no history on villain, I fold. So after dinner, I went back to 10NL regular FR, got back tuition paid early today, and made a little in return.

Once a day, I spend at least one hour going over my hand history. I'd typically go over the most recent session, or the most number of hands. i'd filter to show the biggest pots. I want to see how other players behave in such situations. With bigger pots, I get more information: 2barrel hands, 3bets, CR and RR hands. I get to see how each particular player will act in a given situation. i see the context from which their actions and decisions were made. I am making far fewer notes, but get to see first hand why villain behaved in such a way.

I finished the day's Hand history reveiw (HHR) early today, so I don't have to do it tonight. It's 9.55pm. It has been a long day. Time for bed.

*PS
I had an insight this afternoon while we were out--thanks to bashar. He said that you and I do not have tendencies; we make choices (aha!).

weighted contributed method

I just got my rakeback from the ftp affiliate today. This was for the week prior to my getting staked, playing 2NL. Considering that I was playing a bit more than before, the rakeback amount wasn't that impressive. This tells me that if I were playing like a nit, profit from rakeback was significantly affected by the change in ftp's rakeback calculations.

I got permission from my backer to go ahead and play rush poker, with a stop set on 6buy-ins (which I think is very generous). I'm not sure I want to play there as much at this time. I can get more volume playing there, but because of the new rakeback calculation method, I don't think playing rush is more of an advantage than playing regular full ring (FR) tables. I'll give it a try, play six tables with a tight stop in place. I'll continue with it as far as I am winning, but when I am down two buy-ins (bi), I am going back to FR.

+26.27% for backer

I just made profit sharing transfers to my backer. For the week ending today, I made 26.27% profit for him.

If the stakee will keep to the agreement and you have ten such good horses, staking is a great business investment. But of course, you get a bad apple now and then, this takes part of your total profit. High risk, high reward, but still manageable.

To limit your downside, you stake new players with money you can afford to lose, say $10. You add more funds over time, as the stakee shows character and competence. If player does not show improvement during the initial staking period, it's an easy decision--cut your losses. As with any investment, the longer you delay cutting your losses, the more headaches you will get until you make that decision.



I'm saving this image as a reference for computing next week's profits.

Friday, October 15, 2010

evening session


It was a profitable session after dinner. I was not getting as many good hands, but with the way I was playing, villain was calling lite on those times that I landed monster cards.

Tomorrow is the first day I report with my backer, giving his share of the agreement. I was pretty much on my own the last few days--not what I expected. I guess this is not going to be like being a prop trader where everyone is in the same room. Back then, I used to give and receive immediate feedback on what/how/why I was doing.

Intraday, I was having my usual doubts and anxieties. That voice in my head warning on every corner that something bad is about to happen. I hear the voice, but pay no heed to it, but rather see it as the other end of the stick. If something bad can happen, so be it. If that were highly possible, then the other end of the stick is true--that something very good is going to happen, too.

By allowing polarity to exist as they are, I am not stuck, I am not feeling resistance. This way, I am able to act/react in a more positive way on the felt. It's true that playing poker, the game is 90% attitude, 10% technique.

I wasn't able to play as many hands these past few days. Did I mention that I got me a 1TB expansion hard drive? I did. Before this, my pc will freeze whenever I played more than 15 tables. So I moved all poker applications over to the expansion hard drive, and this took more time than I had expecred. Holdemmanager was the main culprit. I think I installed-uninstalled-reinstalled that tool three or four times. Half the time, I had to import all hand history, which took a lot of time.

Each time I did a hand history import of such magnitude, I had to do a vacuum and reindex. This helps speed up my pc. The only poker tool that wasn't installed to the expansion drive was SQL. Somehow the HEM installer automatically installed it in drive C even if I specified the HEM combo installer to be installed in drive J. Maybe this has something to do with SQL working with a windows' .NET program. I could find a way to get SQL together with HEM on drive J, but that is going to take a lot of time. I am happy with the way everything is set up with my pc. From here on, it is time to put in the volume.

morning session


It wasn't really a morning session as I was out all morning, but a few hands I played when I got back, then decided to stop because of a headache. Yes, I have been drinking too many coke lites lately, and when I do, I get these headaches.

Things are starting to pick up. I stop pushing thin value and this happens. Let players think you are an easy pushover and they will shove on you all the time.

This morning I went to see my doctor. This is part of the requirements for permanent residency. I still have hypertension and was prescribed some meds for it, I forgot what they are. I was prescribed these a few months ago, brought my blood pressure to below normal and decided to stop taking them as I was having frequent black-outs because of them. I'll be starting on a strict low carb diet again sunday. I am doing low carb, but now and then I allow myself treats. Tomorrow is my daughter's birthday. I don't want to be a wet blanket and be the only one not enjoying all that junkfood.

And to that person who is following my blog--Thanks for subscribing!



I am going to take a nap.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

first 1,000 hands


...as a stakee has been choppy. One hand I was pushing KK overpair on a very wet board, and lost one buy-in. I think this is a common leak for me. I have this notion that players at this level are different, but I am wrong. Players here, make less mistakes than at 2NL, that's the only difference. Otherwise, I still find some who will try to bluff you with nothing, a few who will call your aggression to river with medium pair. Maybe if I did not hold dear to top pair, I'd be in the black, but that's in hindsight.

Tuition paid, lesson learned, moving on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baxxed

http://www.pokertips.org/weekly.shuf...ves/2009-01-25

Two players notorious for staking other players are Cliff "johnnybax" Josephy and Eric "sheets" Haber. Bax and sheets effectively run a staking corporation. At any given point, they fund the poker careers of between 30-100 broke degenerates. From my observations, they run a very tight ship. In live tournaments, players are required to call and leave a message staking their chip count during each break. This requirement is likely the product of wanting to ensure that they are not being scammed for thousands of dollars by players who they do not have a very close personal relationship with.

Staking players has turned into a full time job for these two players who earned their wealth through careers in the finance industry. On any given weeknight, they might have as much as $100,000 in play through their "horses" in online tournaments. On Sundays, that number might be as high as $250,000. In live tournaments, particularly during the WSOP, they are in a position to endure a million dollar swing over the course of the series.

This staking empire has spawned a new term in the poker world: when sharing details of their financiers, horses of this duo simply say they are "baxxed".

http://www.pokerkingblog.com/2008/07...-a-new-backer/

Anyways, he goes on to say that the Sheets / Bax empire currently backs "close to 70 horses" (wow), and that the "stable is too big". He also says that due to his poor performance at the 2008 World Series of Poker (he didn't have any cashes), Sheets and Bax decided not to put him into the $15k Bellagio Cup IV Main event.


http://archives1.twoplustwo.com/show...fpart=all&vc=1

I will try to address all relevant points, but forgive me if I do not recheck this thread for follwup...

In no particular order....

None of our players share in any profits made by other players. If that were the case, it would encourage team play which is why we do not set it up that way. Bax and I take the integrity of the game very seriously and would never ever encourage anything like that. As a matter of fact, when I first talk to people about backing them, whether online or live, I tell them straight up that if ....lets say...you are on the bubble of the wsop...I am on your right and open for a raise in the sb...and u think I will fold if u shove...and u do NOT shove...you will be fired...period. I got in this backing game because i know who can play and I want them to play their best game at all times, regardless of who is in the tourney.

As for disclosing who we back...well as for the online portion, who we back is perhaps the worst kept secret on the internet, and anyone can figure it out pretty easily by watching the last 2 or 3 tables of the stars 100 rb and 162 nl every day and see who bax and I scroll for when they are allin. (Pls note that sometimes we will be rooting just because we HATE the other guy, but that is not standard).

As for live, we usually have about 10 players depending on the situation, and the reason we dont disclose who is usually because the player himself wants to keep it private for many reasons, and we honor that as much as we can. It is obv very hard to do when we are sweating them and go nuts when something good happens, but oh well.

It is also pretty easy, though, to determine who we back live...Simply check the cradplayer updates for who sucks out on the river getting his money in as a huge underdog. Those that knwo about Teamsmd know that our money is simply luckier than other monet, and people who play for us simply suckout more than the average player. For a detailed analysis please go tohttp://www.mattmatros.com/sheetsbaxl...eofreason.html. Why do you think we get away with finding players who will play for us and only keep 5% of the winnings? Because they simply can't lose.

As for the issue of people leaving with makeup....yes that is obviously an issue, and one which must be worked out beofrehand. We tell our players in advance thgat they cannot voluntraily leave to play for someone else once they have makeup, and they agree to it in advance. No we dont make them sign anything, because if a person is going to be that much of a to go back on his word, having it in writing wont help either. We also have worked out are own control measure thought which works out just fine, as our players realize that if they left us, it would be very difficult to play with no arms. While we do trust people, te "no-arm" clause seems to work well for the business.

Of course, if people want a full list of our players and the set up of our business and everyone's payout and our secret suckout formula, fell free to check out www.lemonpa......etc etc.

sheets

ps...diablo u have my aim u can always just ASK me if u want rather than make me figure out how to get to this hidden section of the forums.




source: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29/news-views-gossip/nick-rainey-sheets-bax-make-1-million-month-backing-online-poker-mtt-players-785740/index4.html

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

staked!

On this day, I am officially a staked poker player!

Here are the conditions of the stake:
[4:15:59 p.m.] backer: we agree:
[4:16:19 p.m.] backer: you play minimum of 30,000 hands of poker per month
[4:17:00 p.m.] backer: you agree to transfer to the account of my choice 60% of profit each week on Friday by 10pm central time
[4:17:25 p.m.] backer: you agree to split rake back, frequent player points and bonus at 50%
[4:17:47 p.m.] backer: and that the same will be transfered to the account of my choice
[4:18:10 p.m.] backer: I agree to supply you with neccessary money to play in such games
[4:18:35 p.m.] backer: I agree to supply you with 10 buy-ins ($100usd) to be transfered to the account of your choice
[4:19:06 p.m.] backer: I agree that 25 total buy-ins will be available for your use
[4:19:44 p.m.] backer: we agree that term will be for 120,000 hands as recorded by pokertracker hand history files
[4:20:17 p.m.] backer: we agree that if player is negative by 10 buy-ins ($100), backer may terminate agreement
[4:21:38 p.m.] backer: you agree to not solicite, agree to, or participate in any other staking agreement without prior written consent by me- mr. backer

Nits


HUD shows villain is a TAG (tight-aggressive player) with less than average postflop skills. His W$SD is below 50%, plus his winrate over 433 hands with him is -8bb/100. Here's why--


Villain waited so long for Top Pair, he is not going to let go without a fight.

How would I play this? Imagine I were playing in his shoes:

"Preflop KK? Of course, I will raise. Aha, fish calls.

Flop, I am still good, KK overpair--but wait! Villain donks on the flop! That could either be that he paired with the jacks or the other rags. I still have him beat. But what does villain's HUD stats tell me? Let us look at villain's W$SD, WTSD, Ag%, practically all the number on my hud stats, these gives me an idea of the other player's tendencies.

He tends to play aggressively specially on the flop. Looking at W$SF, he tends to pick up a lot of pots, and goes to showdown often enough. Villain sure plays a lot of hands, so all the cards in the flop could have hit his range. Villain tends to raise on the flop a lot as shown by Ag numbers. Best case, he has top pair. Worst case scenario, he's got better hands made, or on a draw.

Does his hud numbers tell anything about him donking on a draw? Not unless I made notes on him doing so, but right now, hud tells me nothing.

Villain is probably on a bluff. As a nit, I get that a lot.

So I call. Preflop, my hands are best. Postflop, its value goes down. Top pair in fact becomes a drawing hand from here on. Small hand, small pot--I would rather keep the pot small to see a cheap showdown.

Turn is another flush card. Villain checks. I am going to check here myself to get a free card. If I raise here, villain could check raise me. Big mistake if that happens. One, raising would make the pot bigger. If villain check-raised me, what would I do? If I called, that tells villain I have weak hands (which I do). Better to check the turn.

River is a rag. Villain bets putting me all in. 3 flush cards on the board, villain uber aggro since flop. My hole cards are top pair, and with what I have seen so far, either villain bluffs aggressively, or has the nuts.

One way to find out is to call his raise and go all in, or I can fold and save my chips for later. I know I should have folded when villain donked on the flop. I know I should have folded when villain check-raised me. I should be folding here now. It's the right thing to do. I have plenty of money anyway, I am going to see what villain has so I will know what to do next time..."

tuesday


Chart filtered to show last 30 days.

THings have been sideways lately. I feel like plugging leaks here and there. One thing that did change recently was that I am playing tight tables where average vpip is below 20%. Before, I did not pretty much care what table I get. I just filter for waiting time zero and wait for 12 tables to open. Or is it the stake level? I don't think it's the stake level. I see pretty much the same donk and fish actions as I did at 2NL.

Is this a downcycle where the bears don't have enough steam to follow through? If that is so, then it's a good thing. This tells me I am not putting myself in marginal situations. I tend to fold top pair when nits check-raise/reraise me. If it was fish with positive showdown numbers, I fold.

Have I seen variance on villain's side? Yes, it is still there, but I too get variance playing on my side too. I can't point out what is causing this sideways momentum, but at least I am not on a downswing. I guess I am going to have to play my way through this.

Time for a break.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cyd

monday


I am making a few changes in my set-up. I activated HEM auto-rate but with my own settings. First three rules defines players who approximate how I play and those that I should watch out for on the felt.

Secondly, I filtered HEM to show performance for last seven days:



...or maybe the last 30 days looks better? Not too zoomed in, but not too zoomed out either, giving me enough feedback for improvement.



I'll use 30 days then. But filter for the last three days for hand history reviews, then purging them to make space.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Take 2 FTP

This might be interesting--

Take 2 at Full Tilt Poker to earn up to $25 AND double the Full Tilt Points that you’d normally receive for playing in your favorite ring games.

Running from Friday, October 15th to Sunday, October 24th, play at least two standard ring-game tables at the same time or any Rush Poker* table during Take 2 to receive double the Full Tilt Points. Play as often as you can during Take 2 and we’ll also reward you with up to $25 in cash, depending on how many days you play.

Earn up to $25 in Cash

The more you play during Take 2, the more you’ll earn. Earn at least five Take 2 bonus points on any five days during Take 2 to get $5 in cash. Do so on nine of the ten days to get an additional $20, for a total of $25:

Level 1: Play on any five days during Take 2 and receive $5
Level 2: Play on nine of the ten days during Take 2 and receive an additional $20, for a cumulative total of $25
Earn Double the Full Tilt Points

There are two ways to earn double the Full Tilt Points during Take 2:

Play TWO standard ring-game tables at the same time and receive double points at BOTH tables. For example, if you earn 60 points while playing on one table and 40 points while playing on the other, you’d normally receive 100 Full Tilt Points for your play. During Take 2, you’ll earn a total of 200 points – 100 points for your play and an additional 100 bonus points.
Play any table of Rush Poker* – the world’s fastest poker game – and receive double the points. For example, if you earn 100 points while playing at a Rush Poker* table during Take 2, you’ll get an additional 100 bonus points for a total of 200 Full Tilt Points. Rush Poker* is the fastest way to earn double points during Take 2.
You can use your bonus points to get some great gear from the Full Tilt Poker Store, including plasma TVs, iPods, custom Full Tilt Poker jerseys and more. You can also use your points to enter special Full Tilt Points Sit & Gos and Multi-Table Tournaments.

How to Participate in Take 2

Follow these steps to participate in Take 2 and claim your cash and bonus points:

If you haven’t done so already, download Full Tilt Poker and set up an account.
Log in to Full Tilt Poker and click on the red Cashier button in the game lobby.
Click on the My Promotions box and then the Take 2 link.
This will lead you to your personal Take 2 page. Follow the instructions on this page – you must elect to participate in this promotion or you will not receive cash or double points for your play during Take 2.

sunday


It has been sideways the last few days, with a bearish bias. Thankfully, I am getting back some of the tuition paid from yesterday.

Working out and through some stuck energy inside, I am taking my lunch break now.

notecaddy cancelled

I received this email from notecaddy this morning:

"I just saw your blog entry http://jimspoker.blogspot.com/2010/10/notecaddy-bugs.html. While I must admit that NoteCaddy has had some issues, I do believe this is pretty much par for the course with new software. Even Holdem manager, which has been around for several years still has problems reported almost daily in their forums. I do believe a blog is a good place to vent frustrations, I must say that I strongly object to the following:

“Tech support takes 24-hours to respond.”

I don’t believe it has ever taken me 24 hours to respond to you. Given that you are clearly not satisfied with what I have sold you, I have went ahead and transferred you back your $10 on full tilt and cancelled your license. Best of luck to you
."

I am subscribed to a broadband provider. Before subscribing to their service, I shopped around, comparing different service providers to ensure I make a good decision. What helps me decide is their commitment that their service will WORK as intended. The service provider I chose, Brand X works 99% of the time when I need it. When I want to connect to the internet, more often than not, I am able to connect. I paid for the service, I expect the service to work.

When it doesn't work, I contact tech support and the response I am looking for is ISSUE RESOLUTION--that the service will work as promised. When I contact Brand X's tech support, the issue is resolved within one hour that I made contact. They do not say, "try this, or try that and see what happens." That is not the response I was looking for. They tell me to do this, and if it doesn't work, they stay with me until the issue is resolved. Getting the product to work as promised IS the response I am looking for.

Isn't that what you want when you buy a product or service? That the product/service works? We, your customers are asking for help: "hey, something is wrong here, can you help us?"

With regards to holdmmaneger being around for years, as you claimed, and are still receiving issues in their forum everyday--I don't care about how many people have issues with HEM. I have been using HEM for more than six months now and I only posted a few times in their forum with regards to an issue with their product. I am using notecaddy for less than a month and yet I am having problems with your product almost everyday since I started using it.

I paid HEM their asking price. I paid your asking price, no questions asked--but why am I getting more problems with your product? You advertised that your product will make notes as I play poker. It did, a few times, but most of the time, I couldn't use it as intended.

As a disgruntled customer, I should be posting this to the poker community.

notecaddy bugs


I am not happy with notecaddy. Four out of the last seven days, I haven't been able to use this tool because of this or that bug. Tech support takes 24-hours to respond. Each time they make software updates, another bug comes up.

Aside from that, it takes 15-minutes for the software to load and initialize. You wouldn't find that bug until that 15-minutes are up, so I close it, restart the pc if needed and repeat the whole process. The thing is, the software has to somehow 'install' on my pc, then it checks for updates, then it checks for downloads before it can initialize itself. It's like the software is reinstalling itself each time on my pc before it can run.

Tableninja used to take too long to run--5minutes. Now notecaddy has that prestigious title. To run all three--tableninja, notecaddy and holdemmanager, takes half an hour.

It would be nice if Holdemmanager comes up with this feature. Even if pokertracker were to come up with this, I am going to use that instead. Holdemmanager has better support network whereas notecaddy feels like it is a one-man team.

The only consolation I get out of this is the fact that I did not pay full price, choosing to pay by installments of $10 a month for five months. I am not actively using notecady when I play, but feel like I can do without it. I am going to miss out on the notes/reads that are needed on showdowns, but really, if I don't have the nuts, even if I have tons of notes on the fish, I am still going to fold.

If notecaddy doesn't clean up its act, I am going to drop this off my list. The software is so buggy it's not useful anymore. I am going to have to play without it (again) today.

Friday, October 8, 2010

notecaddy: action/position - meaning

I am at it again--making people happy at the tables. I am calling with top pair on wet flops all the way to river. There is the hope that my hand will improve somehow. That feeling of hope, it never was a positive emotion for me, specially in poker. Next time I get that on the felt, I should be folding.

What's good about this is that I am now tweaking my notecaddy to give me better reads. The definition I made was to tell me when villain makes a weak bet (meaning half pot bet/raise or less) on either the flop, turn or river, notecaddy will tell me whether villain was in position when the action was made, and what hands they had on that particular street (if they went to showdown).

Thus far, these are a few of the notes that were generated:

1Cavemaaaan1: [F] Medium Bet/Call - OOP - TT Overpair(1)
1Chip1Putt: [T] Small Bet - OOP - Mid Straight(1)
2008gopoker: [T] Small Bet - OOP - High Flush(1)
24_jaho_24: [F] Medium Bet - OOP - Top Pair/High Kicker(1)
24_jaho_24: [T] Medium Bet/Call - OOP - Top Pair/Flush Draw(1)
4zik: [F] Minbet - OOP - Middle Pair(1)
59hundreds: [T] Minbet - OOP - Full House(1)
011235813213: [T] Medium Bet - IP - Top Pair/High Kicker(1)
2 The Sky: [F] Medium Bet - IP - Bottom Pair(1)
23cubs23: [T] Small Bet - OOP - Trips/Low Kicker(1)
*I may or may not have been playing in these hands.

As you can see, some weak bets actually represent strength, like 59hundreds' minimum bet out of position. He/She had full house. Calling that, worse, reraising that will definitely put me into trouble. Next time villain leads out with a weak bet on the flop, turn, or river, I'll have an idea what they have.

Some of you may be asking, "why not make reads for when villain makes big bets?"

I can make a read for that, but we all know that when villain makes a big bet, even the standard 2/3 pot, that's a value bet, it could be a bluff even. For me, if I don't have the nuts, I'd rather be folding. It will only clutter my HUD if I made a read for situations like that.

I have more than 200k players on my HEM database. Total notes generated by notecaddy for all the definitions I have is 4,760. I have 3 notes on average for each player; tags and rocks have less, even zero notes while fish/whales have at least five.

This is why I get frustrated when notecaddy is not working. I am hooked to using this tool. As any kind of tool, the reason I am using this is to learn and improve my game that eventually, I do not have to use the tool anymore.

Time for a break!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

ftp


I got my first swing low since the bounce up. I was getting donked left and right, plus short stackers going all in on a fart. I am going back to six tables tomorrow.

I'm also upset that notecaddy isn't working--not exactly on tilt, but there's that thought at the back of my head looking for notes on vilain and finding nothing to help me with my decisions. I'm going to call it a day. I'm sure the notecaddy tech support will resolve this issue by the time I get up tomorrow morning.

I am going to be out early tomorrow morning. I am taking my fasting lipid blood test as part of our permanent residency application. I finish that tomorrow, then monday I get my chest xray. The sooner I get this behind me, the sooner we get that status before the end of the year.

+4.08bb/100 over 148k hands



*applause! applause!

thank you! i couldn't have done it without you. thank you very much!

best advice

morning session

Notecaddy is finally up and running. It was more a server issue, on their side of the fence than an issue on my pc. There were a few other members on the support forum who was having the same experience.

I won't be able to play this morning. I am taking my kids to the doctor. One is having his physical check up for immigration purposes, and the other one has an ear infection that's been on for a week.

We are leaving after 9am, and won't be back until after lunch. Good time for me to spend time with the kids and get some outside exposure.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

wednesday

Interesting--my bankroll with full tilt poker is now up 50% since I started playing with them again. What's different this time? I'm not sure. Maybe this has something to do with the rakeback changes and the regs left the site...?

Could be.

The games are as soft as pokerstars lately. Fish will try to scare you off your PFR/CBET with medium pair, or worse, a bluff. I played this villain on one table where he/she will minimum 3bet my pfr, but will cbet minimum on the flop. Villain is practically giving me the opportunity to make my hand, and a few times I did. I'd then raise on the river and villain almost always called with one pair.

I had an insight while playing. Maybe full tilt poker is trying to change the perception on their site. WCM (weighted contributed method - rakeback) encourages rakeback pros to give action on the tables. This makes the games more exciting, and obviously more profitable for the better player. The nits who sit on the tables 'earning' rakeback doing nothing are not helping make the tables more exciting--well, in a way.

From here on, active players, the next generation of loose aggressives will sign up for rakeback with full tilt poker knowing they'd get rewarded for giving action. The number of players may not be as much as what you'd find in pokerstars, but you will certainly find a lot more action with full tilt.

But this is just one side of the coin. The nits, in a way, are part of the game. They too give action when they have what they think are the nuts. All methods work, otherwise, there won't be any game of poker at all.

For someone who is in the business of playing poker, how will I profit from all this?

I'm not sure yet. I'd definitely play at pokerstars to increase my bankroll. The games are definitely softer there, and I get more fish per table (2 at least). The software runs seamlessly with all my tools making it easy for me to play more tables. The more tables I play, the more points I make (for the VIP bonus), plus I have odds on my side.

I am opening my options open with full tilt poker. I like the idea that I'd earn rakeback for loose play, which is what I have been lately. Comparing the VIP bonus from pokerstars with full tilt poker at the stake level I am at the moment, I'd get better rewards with full tilt poker.


Since I am going to be an ftp reg again, I am going to start posting my ftp winnings chart from here on. It's a shame to show how bad it has been, but if I can make as good as I did with pokerstars, then it'll be a great story to tell me grandkids.

The lowest swing low (the bottom) is where/when I started playing again after ftp changed their rakeback method. Chart shown bouncing off this bottom, no major resistance/swing high has yet been broken.

I am playing 7 tables, started with 5 a few days ago. Each winning session, I add one more table until I have 12 running all together. I can go for ten tables tomorrow with the way things are going.

notecaddy: error validating application

I did not get o play as many hands today. There was something wrong with my notecaddy definitions, posted this on the support forums, and was told to download the latest beta. So I did. Six hours later, I am still trying to figure out how to make this thing work.

I have posted in the support forum about this issue about three hours ago, still no reply. I guess it's the time zone difference. I am going to have to sleep on this, check the forum first thing tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I reinstalled the previous release version.

Five minutes later...

It still doesn't work. I am going to have to sleep on this then.

wednesday


Last 1,000 hands has been very choppy, played at pokerstars. Plenty of donks during the day. Some would raise you all the way to river and showdown air. Some get lucky and hit whatever they were after. Frustrating sometimes, but on the flip side, very rewarding. Knowing who to call, fold or reraise is key and I am learning that as I play.

Those that have red numbers in my HUD I tend to discount and call their bluff. If the player has zero reds and mostly greens, I respect their bet and fold marginal hands. When I do so, I try not to look back, nor to think about it too much. Otherwise my head is going to make a big issue out of it and I'd miss out on what is happening in the moment.

I am tired. I just came from the grocery by bus and had to carry everything in my backpack. Although it is a short walk to the bus station, it was an uphill walk going up to our home. I am going to take a nap. We are going to have dinner soon. I'll be playing at full tilt poker later on.

full tilt poker


With the recent changes in their rakeback structure, I have been playing in full tilt poker to see how things are doing. (Jennifer Harman looks unhealthy in that picture, doesn't she?)

Definitely there has been a big reduction in the number of players in their site. A few months ago, in the morning session, the number of players in their site was half of that in pokerstars. Pokerstars this morning had 250k players on all tables. This morning, full tilt poker only had +30k. That is a big cut in the number of players in their site. I wonder if ftp management knew that this was going to happen?

In the email announcement that I got from them with regards to the changes in rakeback policy, ftp claimed that changing from dealt rakeback method to weighted contributed method was best as the latter was the FAIR method of rakeback. You get a proportionate share of how much money you put in the pot. If you are a loose player, then you benefit from this structure. On the other hand, tight aggressive, more so the tight passive players will not benefit from these changes.

While playing in the tables. I used to have this notion that even if I were to not play a hand, I knew I was getting back something with rakeback. With the changes in place, doing nothing, waiting for good hole cards adds to the cost of doing business. No wonder the nits are gone.

One thing I noticed was that the tables are somewhat SOFTER. My bankroll has increased by 40% since I started testing the waters on their side of the tables. I wonder if this had something to do with the regs moving out to better rakeback waters.

I also wanted to see if there would be any significant increase in the rakeback that I get. I have been playing looser in pokerstars, and I carried over this style of play the last thousand hands with ftp. If the weighted contributed method was indeed the better rakeback method, surely I will see a bigger rakeback deposit sometime soon.

So which site will benefit from full tilt's situation?

If I were a rakeback pro, I'd move to cake poker. They have the same rakeback system--dealt method. I don't think these nits will move to the merge network as the system there is contributed method.

What about the cereus network? Probably not. They claim to be in good standing with the US players, but their image has certainly been tainted by that scandal. If I were a 'rakeback pro' and full tilt did "this" to me, I wouldn't move my money to a network whose reputation says "customers are not a priority on our site."

What about pokerstars? Anyone can see why this is probably the best poker site today. Their software works well with tableninja, and other third party poker tool software providers. Customer service is prompt. Moving funds is a breeze. Most of all, they have been pretty consistent with how they take care of their sheep. Rakeback pros can play their games in there, go for supernova, then get the same, maybe even better rakeback/VIP bonus from pokerstars.

At this writing, I did not see any significant increase in the number of players in pokerstars in any of my day's sessions. Could it be that ftp regs have been slowly moving to different sites way before the rakeback changes were instituted? I have been noticing a slow decline in ftp customers the past couple of months. Probably.

If I were made the new marketing manager of full tilt poker today, what would I do?

I'd ask questions. I'd bring back the dealt method. People signed up for that in the first place. They should have given their customers an option if they want to keep the dealt method, or the weighted contributed method.

Surely ftp management expected this to happen. We'll see what happens by the end of the year.

As someone who plays poker as a home-based business, how will this affect me? I never did rely on rakeback alone. It is good to get a little something in return for my loyalty to your site (plus the higher the stakes, the bigger the rakeback amount), but what builds up the bankroll is playing good poker at the tables.

As everyone here knows, I have been showing poor results with ftp in the past. I have rakeback with ftp and that wouldn't even make a dent on the losses I have incurred. It's a small consolation prize from the poker site for giving my money to the other players.

I have been giving it some thought adding more funds to my full tilt poker account. I have been playing loose lately in pokerstars, and I am getting good results. I am going to peg a few hours each day for play at ftp from here on. I am thinking I'd play there after dinner, but still devoting more time to my pokerstars account.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

12 tables

I enjoy playing multiple tables. I don't get bored. Whatever I lose in one table, I can easily gain back in all the other tables. This is playing the odds in your favor. Playing only one table, chance affects me. We all know that on some days, anyone can get zero good cards. Playing 12 tables, variance is lower. I get good cards in some tables, in others, I barely play any hand at all.

Some tables I get fish, others I have rocks. Every situation is different. Every situation I learn from.

morning session


Bulls are still at it, making a higher swing low then breaking recent swing high made yesterday. This was me playing at 5NL.

I spent some time with notecaddy this morning, found a situation where a note wasn't made on villain. I had to post the xml file, plus the hand history and relevant info on the support forum. They got back with me on that issue after about an hour. They said something about villain not doing anything which invalidated the definition; they thought it was sort of a bug and will work on a patch for it in the next 14-hours.

I am taking a break and make the kids pizza for lunch. After that I'll do my workout, then it's back on the grind. I love it and enjoy it when things are working out with my game ;p

villain has nuts...?

Monday, October 4, 2010

notecaddy - river bluff

You know that situation on the flop where you have a small hand--not a monster hand, but something you can limp and showdown with if possible. It could be TPTK, two pairs, trips even, but the board texture tells you someone else could easily have the nuts? Everyone else checks/calls a small bet, except for this villain who suddenly donks on the river. Villain probably has something this time, you think to yourself, but how often does he/she do it, with what hands, and on what board texture?

Using HUD alone, one can tell when villain is fish or tag. If it's tag leading out on the river, it's an easy fold. But tags can and will deceive some times, don't they? And fish will have the goods sometimes when they too, donk on the river.

I just came up with a definition on notecaddy. The definition shows villain check/calling on the flop and the turn, but suddenly leads out on the river. The notes will show me:
- how often villain has done this in the past (instance vs opportunity),
- with what hands they donked on the river and showed down
- an estimation of how much they bet (minimum bet, pot-, or oversized bet)
- the board texture on the river.

*This definition will only work if the hand went to showdown.

Running this on my hem database, notecaddy came up with the following:
*villain: [river] river bluff Nothing (=villain's hand) - size of bet - board on river - (instance/opportunity)

/8 Blues: [R] river bluff Nothing - Small Bet - JT254(1/1)
AcesMcCoy: [R] river bluff Nothing - Pot Bet - 57J88(1/1)
alex3m65: [R] river bluff Nothing - Small Bet - 59Q49(1/1)
Angel50rus: [R] river bluff Nothing - Minbet - 486K3sss(1/1)
Briosa4ever: [R] river bluff Nothing - Small Bet - 6J4TK(1/1)
Doc1130: [R] river bluff Nothing - Oversize Bet - 6TJJQ(1/1)
DYFO: [R] river bluff Nothing - Small Bet - TA5A5(1/1)
eplgrinder: [R] river bluff Nothing - Medium Bet - 69Q76(1/1)
finix555: [R] river bluff Nothing - Small Bet - 23Q4T(1/1)
Firegoat777: [R] river bluff Nothing - Pot Bet - K7266(1/1)
fokstrot152: [R] river bluff Nothing - Small Bet - JA39Asss(1/1)

*these are some of the results that came up, definitely a lot more notes were made on my database.

Looking at the above examples, villain could easily make a minimum bet, pot bet, even an oversized bet on the river trying to represent something, then showdown nothing. I can't make a decision based on these notes alone as the sample size is still small, but it gives me an idea at that moment of choice whether to call, raise or fold.

Things to consider when making a decision are:
- vpip/pfr
- aggression on the river
- W$SD stats
- WTSD stats
- recent insights on villain.

all-time high


Morning session played at 5NL. Just broke past major resistance, winnings chart now at all-time high. Winrate at 3.99bb/100 over 144k hands. Just 0.01bb shy from 4bb/100 and it'll be another milestone achieved.

What is different this time? What is the same?

I am playing more detached. I don't know how villain is going to react, and I can't control how villain will react. But there's the key. Villain is reacting, not me. I am the one giving the choices.

If villain reraises me, bluff or not, I fold. Unless of course, I have something up my sleeve. It's not about the cards you play, but how you are perceived at the table. PERCEPTION is the key.



I just realized how late PTR updates player's stats. Comparing my present stats with what they have, I see that their stats are about three days behind. I realized this because I am in touch with a potential staker, and the person claims that my stats are marginal and not as I claimed them to be.

If I were subscribed to PTR's service and based my in-game decisions based on their stats, I wonder how I would fare? I guess it's still a tool. Everything still boils down to how you use them. As you know by now, I have hem and notecaddy running side by side game time, but when it comes down to that moment of choice, I still look at player's action and tendencies, then compare them to what I have and how I am perceived at the table. If things doesn't add up, I fold. More often than not, when it's not easy for me to make that decision, I fold.

Time for a break.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

higher swing low


Winnings chart is inching up again, making a higher swing low, then breaking the recent swing high. This gives me permission to start playing 5NL.

Swing high/swing lows are patterns used in technical analysis. Here is a website giving a more detailed explanation of what they are. As technical traders will tell you, when a swing low is breached, expect momentum towards the downside. Consequently, when a swing high is breached, there is more momentum towards the upside.

Looking at my winnings chart, after breaking out of consolidation, it formed a higher swing low, then broke the most recent swing high. This tells me that what I am doing, and the changes I recently instituted are giving positive results. If the chart went back into consolidation and broke the lowest swing low in that range, that tells me I have a leak and that I should pay more attention--either while playing, or review recent hand history to find that leak.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

breakout from consolidation


How did that happen, and how can I replicate this?

I had some good showdowns early in today's morning session. Was it because of luck? I'd say it was, but to rely on luck for the long term will not sound good with the shareholders. But to disregard luck altogether is not getting the big picture. I got lucky in a way that variance was working for me this time. I got made hands early and not on the river, and I value bet on it while villain was calling.

I also had some hands where variance did not work for me. Villain got better hands on the river when I had it made on the flop. On these instances, I did not have to showdown. If villain bet big, I fold, even if villain was bluffing on the scare card.

One situation where I did otherwise was with fish that was aggro and playing lotsa hands. This is where HUD and notecaddy comes in handy. Even though I wasn't paying attention to that table, I can see from villain's HUD that he/she was playing a lot of hands and was overbettting them, scaring everyone off their hand. Poker odds say you get good one out of three hands. If that fish was playing more than that, there's going to be some junk in there somewhere. To make the long story short, I called when fish went all in on a scare card and I called with pocket aces on a QQX flop. I had made hands and this time, variance decided to do nothing.

*I do not write this much in a morning session. I had to reset notes on notecaddy to make changes to some definitions based on the situation mentioned above. It takes a while to re-write the notes, so I write.

Was I playing any different this time to get the breakout from consolidation?

I think I was, in a sense. I am seeing more flops. I decided to be more detached with the outcome of each hand. If I get raised on the flop and I have nothing, I fold.

Is it time to move up to 5NL?

I'd love to move up, but I won't. I'd rather wait for a retracement, test for support. Winnings chart should form a higher low, then break short term resistance formed by today's breakout. When that happens, today or next week, I am moving up 5NL.

I could have been lucky with this breakout. If my method works indeed, then I will see a retracement towards support (variance working for villain), then resume towards the upside. Variance is always a factor, can't change that. But poker is a game of perception.

affiliate programs

Did you notice the cleaner blog format? I decided to give up on affiliate marketing programs. It doesn't work for me. They get free advertising on my blog and I get their clutter. I feel like I have to go through hoops just to get approved to place their ad on my blog.

The last straw came from moneybookers. Their email reply said that my affiliate program application was almost there, almost approved, but I had to do one more questionnaire. In it, I had to tell them the stats on my page, how it will benefit them, etc. I'm doing all the work for them. I have this idea in my head that someone else will do it for me instead of believing in my self.

I enjoy writing. I am having fun growing this business from the ground up. From here on, I am focusing on content--writing about my experience playing poker as a home-based business.

Friday, October 1, 2010

friday morning session


My winnings chart has been sideways the whole week--whew! I was questioning my method and my sanity, trying to figure out where I went wrong. Looking over my hand history, I haven't changed anything that drastically. It's just a dry spell. I get a big hand, villain folds. I raise preflop and I get three, four villains wanting to see the flop. I get coolered--well, not a lot, but that is a convenient excuse. I get lucky myself now and then so I can't complain about variance.

What's good about this is that, even in a dry spell, my winnings chart goes sideways instead of breaking down. I am making enough in-game that I feel like I am seeing a lot of flops for free. That I am improving my game without having to pay lots in tuition like I did in the early months.

I can easily play more than five hundred hands per session, thanks to my new logitech gamepad. While playing, my back is straight, my shoulders loose and low and my hands are relaxed and low. I don't get strain or fatigue, not as easily as I did before.

Time for my break.