Monday, July 30, 2012

How To Improve Your Luck - An Experiment

lucky charm

I am starting an experiment on how to improve my luck.

Wikipedia defines luck as... "Luck or fortunity is good fortune which occurs beyond one's control, without regard to one's will, intention, or desired result."

From what I have learned and experienced so far, everything in life is a reflection--what you put out, is what you get back.

My opinion is that, if I feel good about myself, then I will get more experience that will reflect back to me that good feeling.

Feeling good about myself has something to do with self-esteem. Improving my self-esteem is within my circle of influence. I can do something about it.

My theory is that, by improving my self-esteem, I am going to feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself, the universe (...GOD, creation, chance) will give me more opportunities to experience and feel good about myself. In a sense, "all the planets are aligned".

What are the things that I can do to improve my self-esteem?

Plenty. Here are a few things that I found off google to get me started... how to build self esteem - Google Search -

From now on, when I have to make a decision, I am going to ask myself...

"How is this going to help build my self-esteem?"

"Is this going to help me feel good about myself in the long term?"

Understand that my intention is not to get lucky in poker. I am doing this experiment making these changes to show myself that it is possible to CONSCIOUSLY bring good fortune to my life. And that, if I can do it, anyone else can do it.

I will post updates on this blog on how things are doing. Stay tuned!

Tough weekend

pokertracker4 pokerstars win rate chart
Win-rate for July 2012. Click on the image to enlarge

This win-rate chart reached all time high some time around friday, then I gave back most of the profit going into the weekend.

I ended the stake Saturday morning (NZ time), if I remember correctly. After that, I was unlearning some of the habits I picked up that were not working for me.

One thing that I noticed playing with a poker tracking software and watching my win-rate is this--if the chart is not constantly breaking all time highs, you are not making that much money.

When my win-rate is going sideways, I am not making money. The chart above shows my win-rate as well above breakeven. But if you can see my beginning balance for the month, and compare that with my end of month balance, it is barely breaking even. My bankroll would be in the black if I can unlock the VIP bonus.

I can just imagine the hemorrhage that other players go through whose win-rate charts are choppy and pointing south.

Profitability also has something to do with the rake at micro-stakes. I can't remember the exact figure that we pay playing micros--but it's somewhere around and above 5bb/100.

The sooner we get out of the micros, the better, don't you agree?

And to do that, here's my game plan... I don't think that winning poker is about making wild bluffs to make villain fold. It's more about pot control, while investing in your meta-game.

...and more importantly, keeping your cool when fish gets lucky with a suck out on a big pot showdown.

In the meantime...

I have been playing more than my usual number of hands this weekend. It has been raining... wife and kids were cooped up in the house. There was not much to do, but play poker, goof around and eat junk food.

The sun is out today--what a relief!

The forecast for the next three days is rain. I guess--and hope that they are wrong this time. I have laundry to hang, dishes to wash, then I'm out riding my bike to the gym.

I will resume the grind after lunch.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

FTP >> Pokerstars, done deal?

Take a look... Full Tilt Poker Deal Successfully Completed According to Report -

Stake cancelled

I decided to cancel the stake agreement today.

This is the third time that I chose to cancel a stake. I wasn't doing well. I get performance anxiety whenever I get staked. Wanting to do well, I play in spots where I shouldn't... hoping things will turn out in my favor.

Take a look...

Click on the image to enlarge

The chart looks like I'm breaking even, but the bankroll is down by about 20%.

The stake started July 5ish. The stake bankroll wasn't in the black when I cancelled, so I sent back the remaining balance, plus make up = $100.

The stake was $100, which was "sufficient" to play 10NL zoom tables. I'm going to show a negative PnL for this month. So be it.

Tuition paid, lesson learned--moving on.

All hands. Click on image to enlarge

Friday, July 27, 2012

Play poker for a living

This came up on my radar this morning. It's a reddit AMA from a casino "insider".

Click on the image to enlarge

These gives credence to the fact that you can make a living playing poker...

Click on the image to enlarge

"...With this question, I am going to assume you go to it with OPTIMAL play. AKA, playing it flawlessly, where applicable. The games I can currently think of, in order from best to worst:

1) Poker. No specific advantage, but the house has absolutely no stake in who wins or loses other than cutting out a small percentage for the house in each hand. Hundreds of thousands make a living off of it. Its "gambling" is akin to playing the stock market...."

Here's the link to the AMA...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stake update

Stake update... and Synchronicity

13 days after getting staked...

My bankroll is hovers 25% below from when I started. Again, when the bankroll is below $80, I play 2NL zoom tables. If it goes above that, I move up to 5NL. Only when the bankroll is above $100 that I play again at 10NL.

When I find myself in this situation, I play tighter than usual--small hand, small pot.

To-date, I have played 10,864 hands. I did not get to play as much last week as we were busy moving house. It seems to my that, on average, I have been moving to live in a different location every three years.

Because of this, I don't accumulate as much stuff. When I am packing and unpacking and I find something that I haven't used in the last 12 months, I throw it out.

This last move has been full of Synchronicity for me.

I was resisting the idea that I had to clean up both the new house, and the previous one we lived in. All of a sudden, the previous landlord decided that he was not going to give us back our deposit (they call it "bond" here). I did not want this happening as it would upset my partner. She was hoping to use that money as deposit for the new house we moved into.

But something happened that turned things around.

I had an insight to ask for help. All this time, my daughter has a friend who always came over to our house. Right after we moved, I notified that child's mother that we have moved, and in case her daughter might come and visit, gave them our new address.

The mother replied offering to help us move. I replied that we were almost finished anyway, and thanked her for it. She replied back that if we needed help, that I text her.

When the previous landlord denied us our bond back, I knew I needed help. The insight that came to me was, "ask her if she can help."

And I did.

To make the long story short, the mother lent us money.

It's Synchronicity for me because... this person doesn't know me that well, and yet she lent me her money. I think she trusted me and my partner because we took care of her child without asking for anything in return.

In a way, what would have been a problem situation turned into something good.

Cleaning the other house, which I resented, was abruptly stopped, and yet we were able to make the deposit for the new house.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9 Stake Update

pokerstars cashier bankroll balance

Ending balance: $72.65

Autohotkey close all tables


During dry spells, I spend time away from poker learning something new. This time, I added a tweak to my autohotkey script. Here it is...

IfWinExist PokerStars Lobby - Logged in as PLAYER NAME ahk_class #32770
WinActivate PokerStars Lobby - Logged in as PLAYER NAME ahk_class #32770
Sleep 200
Click 997, 19
Sleep 100
Send {Enter}
WinActivate PokerStars Lobby - Logged in as OTHER PLAYER NAME ahk_class #32770
Sleep 200
Click 997, 19
Sleep 100
Send {Enter}

As you know, my wife also plays multi-table on pokerstars. Instead of making a different autohotkey script for her to help with multi-tabling, I changed a few lines on the script that I am using.

ice cream truck
Here is what the script will do...

Basically, autohotkey will check if the pokerstars lobby is running. If I am logged in, then the script will execute the "If" line. If my wife is the one playing, then the script will execute the "Else" part of the script.

By hitting one button on the gamepad, the autohotkey script will open the pokerstars lobby, close it and close all of the other table.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8 Rail

pokerstars cashier

Ending balance: $72.05

After that big drop in my bankroll yesterday, I decided to move down to 5NL zoom.

After a few hours of TAG play, I lost another stack, and moved down, again, to 2NL zoom. I'll be playing at this level until my bankroll is back to $80, then move up to 5NL zoom.

Here's a snapshot of how my game looks like since the stake started...

pokertracker4 win rate chart pokerstars zoom tables

The Secret to Winning In Online Poker

"...if you focus on minimizing losses, the profits will take care of themselves. A person who makes 25% profit annually is a king of wall street. Many top flight money managers would give away their first born child to be able to do this. A trader who consistently doubles his money each year is a star in this business."

- Michael C., Trend Following

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pokerstars ZOOM New Hand button

I keep getting the "New Hand" button when I play pokerstars' zoom tables and decided to do something about it.

You see, in my wife's pc, which runs on linux, when I play zoom tables and I click on "Fast fold" I am given a new table to play. With my pc, after I click on "Fast fold", the "New Hand" button shows up.

I tried looking at the PS client if there was a setting that can take care of it, but did not find any. All I knew was that, if I CTRL-click on Fast fold, the New Hand button will appear--it's a built-in feature which allows players to see how the hand unfolds.

Since I was rolled to play 10NL zoom, I decided to do something about it. I emailed pokerstars support... got transferred to technical support, and after sending them the log files, they found the problem.

I use autohotkey instead of tableninja when I play multiple tables. The hotkey setting to fold a hand is CTRL-ALT-X.

So when I fold a hand, the CTRL button is activated, the Fast fold button is clicked and I get the New Hand button.

I changed the hotkey setting, then played a few hands on zoom tables--problem solved!

To be sure, I changed some of the autohotkey settings to make sure that I will not have any conflicting key issues in the future.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

NEW - Staking poker staking

I accepted a staking agreement from

The backer transferred funds a while ago, and has given me access to resources--videos, coaching, etc. that can help improve my game. Initially, I am rolled to play 10NL full ring ZOOM tables at pokerstars. The agreement is good for 250,000 hands.

The last time I had a backer was more than a year ago. I had two backers, which were several months apart... but I chose to back out from both after some time. Back then, I felt like I wasn't ready for it.

After months of playing on my own and seeing my bankroll grow, I had the insight that I should start expanding my comfort zone. This is how I have been doing since the start of 2012--

win rate chart pokertracker4

I wanted to play differently. The path of least resistance that I found was getting staked. It's like laying down the foundation for a new house. I now have access to resources that can help me get better.

I could have used my credit card to add more to my bankroll, but it's going to be just me. By accepting the stake from, I am part of a team. It's a new experience that I am looking forward to, compared to grinding it out on my own.

Stay tuned!