Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seriously Considering Getting a Job

...frustrating. But if I were to put a positive spin to it, at least I'm making VPPs while breaking even. This chart shows my win-rate for the last 18 days, down 0.81bb/100.

Today I dusted off my resume and sent my first job application since I got laid off from work. It's for a help desk position. If I get hired, I am putting poker as a side gig.

It has been a frustrating day for me. My right foot is swollen and I can't even stand up properly. I get around the house crawling on all fours. It has already been a week since I injured myself. The foot is still swollen and I am thinking it's not muscular.

Wife was asking if I need to see a doctor. This got me thinking that maybe I should take it seriously to get work. Getting a job will at least get the wife in a better mood when she's at home. I can grow the poker business on my free time. At least there's less pressure to get that win-rate up.

When I have more cash flow, I can also add funds to my forex trading account. I may have an trading bot that needs funding.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Black and Whites

I am about to start another session and had an idea to start taking black and white pictures of my day. I was watching 2 Broke Girls yesterday and the episode was about a photographer. She said something like, "...a good photograph captures the truth."

Something about that statement resonates with me and made the decision to see where that interest leads to. I found an android app that takes black and white pictures...and here I am.

Before bedtime, the wife was asking about the poker business. She asked, "are we on track?"

On track, she meant, are we profitable? I said yes. "Bills are starting to pile up and my pay isn't scaling up. Your business' cash flow will help, the sooner the better."

I had a good run up last week. The following days was an echo of the dry spell that I was going through. Here's my win rate chart for the last two weeks or so...

I injured myself while running the other day. I have been walking with crutches since yesterday. My foot feels better now than it did yesterday. A few more healing sessions while I sleep and it'll be good as new.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

2.45bb/100 this week

Winrate for the last 7 days--looks good so far?

What am I doing here that I think works?

You don't know what is going to happen next. Put your money on strong hands. Contribute to improving your meta-game.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One of them good days?

It sure felt like it. The morning session got off at a good start--big hands getting big pot showdowns and winning almost all.

What's different here? What am I doing differently here?

I don't think I made any changes to how I play. For sure I stopped playing the way I was required by the previous stake, but I have been playing my way for several days now.

Maybe it's because I don't have the burden of trying to make good because of the stake. I felt more at ease since I sent back the stake money. Yesterday felt easy even though I wasn't winning big pots, I wasn't losing them either--small hand, small pot.

I am taking a break now. Wife is working over time tonight. I am going to pick her up later so I have two or three sets to play later.

Not Stake, Get a Loan Instead

It's official--the stake is over. I sent back the stake bankroll the other day.

I couldn't play poker their way. Their method doesn't work for me as you can see in my previous winrate. I don't think it would be fair that I play my way using their money so I thought it would be best to send the money back, and continue with makeup.

It's a long way back up that mountain. I get intimidated just thinking about it. I am unlearning some things and playing with a few ideas.

I have been down this path before. The lesson back then was that I don't need a stake. I am better off with a loan. From experience, it is easier to get a loan and pay that back within the year plus interest. With a stake, when I don't make a profit, I am going to pay it back anyway while my profit is cut in half. With a loan, I still pay it back, but all profit is mine minus the interest I pay (about ten percent).

Beginning balance is $63, my own money. At the moment, I am playing 2NL zoom tables, full ring. To set a baseline, here is my winrate chart starting from the day I sent back the stake.

I'm scheduled to do a run this morning. There's work being done on the field. I might go some time around lunch, see if they'd be finished then. I'm going to play a few sets in the meantime.

Monday, March 2, 2015

PnL Ending Feb 2015

Ending balance to-date is $132.10. The bankroll is down 32.95%. Here is how my game looks like since the start of 2015...

Last night I emailed my stake manager that I am on makeup.

What did I get from this experience?

You don't know what is going to happen next. I don't think the method of play recommended by the stake team works for me. There were a few things I picked up that helped improve my game--cutting down on cbets, putting the other player on a range of hands.

What is going to happen now?

Life goes on. I am full time on this and wife expects that the cash flow from this business is up and running by the end of the year. I'll grind up the bankroll and if the stake manager still wants me on their team, well and good. If not, there's more than one way up the mountain.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Remove 6max, More Full Ring

From that high after 13,897 hands, I decided to add 6max tables into my mix. From then on to the most recent low on that same chart, I was playing 6max + Full Ring tables.

As I mentioned in earlier updates, I still have plenty to learn playing 6max. After that recent low which was last night, I decided to stop playing 6max tables, concentrate more on full ring tables.

Here are my stats based on the above chart...

At this time, I am not sure if my win rate going down is due to me playing poorly at 6max. There's not enough sample to prove that. What I do know is that I get more variance playing short handed, which affects how I play.

I will test this out by playing FR exclusively in the coming days and see if I can bring that winrate back up again.

End of day update.

Things went sideways the rest of the day--that's good, I think. At least it's not going down. I haven't really changed anything in my game. It does get slow as there are more players to play their turn, and I can deal with that.

Here's my chart...

Friday, February 20, 2015

3.18bb/100 over 5,070 hands

It felt like a breakeven day today. Morning to midday was good. Sometime in the late afternoon, it felt like everyone else had something and I couldn't even get top pair. But that's just my wanting another good run.

I think I played ok today, but there were spots were I started playing back at aggro villains and that somewhat affected my "mojo". I am taking a long break now. If I don't update this post later, that means I called it a day.

Here are my stats for today's play, and the chart below is my win rate for 2015 to-date...

Barry Tanenbaum, Poker Skills

Thursday, February 19, 2015

5,513 hands today, up 17.69bb/100

Morning session thus far. I played 2,460 hands and making 11.54bb/100. I have about three or four sets lined up for the rest of the day. I don't follow a fixed schedule. I play whenever I feel like it, for as long as I want--mostly about an hour or so, never two hours. When I don't have plans to go out, my breaks are also within an hour's length.

Looking at my win rate for all hands, it looks like the bulls have shown up and starting to pick up steam...

I played 18 tables, both full ring and 6max tables. I quit that quest for SuperNova Elite because I couldn't win playing with that staker's game plan. Now that I am playing my way, I think I have a shot at getting SNE sometime around 2016. Or maybe not. I've had this discussion with myself before. It's better to improve my game and move up stakes than to go for SNE.

I woke up at 4.30am as the neighbor's car got out of their garage. I couldn't get back to sleep and decided to get up. I just finished my second set. In between sets, I had to make school lunch for the kids, then get the wife to the bus stop.

It's the wife's birthday today. She has work so I'll hand over her birthday gift later in the afternoon. I don't have anything big planned for today. But it's only for this year. Next year, I'll make it up with her and the family and plan something big for all of us.

In the meantime, I am going to take a nap.

I couldn't sleep so I decided to play another set. Here's how things are going for the day...

We're scheduled to do the grocery today. I'm waiting for my son to get home and see if he wants to come along. He'll be here after school, about an hour from now. I'll do the dishes now. I am bored.

Total hands played today is 5,513, up 17.69bb/100

Win rate, all dates...

General stats, today only...

Click on the image to enlarge

If I haven't mentioned earlier, it's my wife's birthday today. I am waiting for her to get home. The kids are in bed. I had carbs today. There was ice cream and junk food earlier...I was tired and used that as an excuse to eat. I am done playing for today. I think I'll watch 2 Broke Girls now.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

6bb/100 over the last 10,618 hands

Win rate chart shows how things are doing since I went on make up.

What am I doing differently this time? (this is for my own reference in case I stop playing again)

I stopped using the stake's method of play and am now playing the way I did back when I was winning in 2012. Without going into too much detail, I am using randomness to make a profit. What others consider as a leak in my game--low 3bet, cbet too high--is one of the cornerstones of how I play.

Is this sustainable?

I played 18 tables today. I can add more tables by the end of the week. If it were not sustainable, my win rate would have gone down when I play more than ten tables per set.

Jim, if you are reading this, the notes on how you play this way are in buried in this blog. Go through 2010 and 2012 blogs. In case you can't find them, you instinctively know by now which starting hands to play and how to play them. The keyword is play with randomness. All you have to do is fire up a few tables and start playing.

IMPORTANT: At least once a day, ideally in between sets, fire up pokertracker 4 and go over your hand history. Find some difficult spots, take notes and learn how the others play.

How I Play Pocket Aces

I'd rather go all in preflop when my pocket aces have better equity than to take my chances postflop. You won't find plays like the one below on my hand history...

There are times when I limp in with pocket aces, and see if I can flop another ace. If I don't get top set on the flop, I'd probably fold to aggression, depending on what is on the board.

It is now 10.26am. I have been playing on and off since 6am. It's time for a break. I'm going out for a run. Here's how things went this morning.

This chart shows hands played since Feb 15

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thursday, Feb 17

I had a roller coaster ride this morning. I played 4 zoom tables and the rest was regular tables. It was mayhem! After lunch, I sobered up and cut back to playing zoom tables exclusively, and that's when the chart headed up north to (almost) breakeven.

It's my wife's birthday on Thursday. We decided to celebrate tonight over dinner. It's only 9.03pm. I am thinking of doing another set in a few minutes if I feel like it. In the meantime, I am going to see another episode of 2 Broke Girls, Season 1.

"...Once you go Ukraine, you will scream with sex pain." - Oleg, the cook.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stake Bankroll Playing FR 2NL

First session playing 2NL FR NLHE. It's a "feeler" session for me. I haven't been here for about three weeks as my stake had me playing 6max tables. I played five tables this time. Next session I am going to add 4 zoom tables to the mix. The intention is to play 12 regular tables and 4 zoom tables to get the most FPPs.

I am not really gunning for SNE. I am getting this bankroll back to breakeven. I get there sooner with the help from cash bonuses from FPP. Target is about 4bb/100 over a decent sample. Here is a screenshot of my bankroll at this time...

I am about to take a break. Wife is at work and will be home late. I'll be up waiting as I play more after my break.


892 hands played total today, win rate is above breakeven. I had a few flush draws that did not work out and put money in the pot. I had one big showdown where I won the other player's stack. It felt like there were two drunks in the zoom table pool. I'd see 4bets and all in pots prefolp. I'm going through pokertracker 4 now and go over my hand history for the day.

-3.47bb/100 over 89,989 hands

This is devastating for me.

I asked my staker that I be on makeup from now on. I'll be playing FR NLHE and grind this back up to breakeven.

How did I get here?

The stake requires that I play 6max their way. I have been playing FR since day one and feel confident about my method. Playing 6max their way, I feel lost.

I don't know how long it will take to grind this up to profit. I'll be playing multi tables full ring, maybe a few zoom tables to get more FPPs and unlock bonus from pokerstars.

Does this mean I've given up playing 6max?

For now, yes. Soon as my winrate is in the black, I'll open up 6max tables and pick up from there.


IMO: AKo Play

I found this in one of the poker forums that I frequent...

I would have played this hand differently. AK is a problem hand for me and seldom play them postflop unimproved.

First, hero. Your cbet pot size was ok and expected when you are representing strength. Since you did not really have anything, you could have made your second barrel bet smaller 1/3 pot or half pot to see if villain will reraise or not. If villain reraises you on the turn, then you can give up right there and save your money for future draws. If villain calls, it's probably a pair or a draw. River, check-fold.

I sometimes slow play pocket aces myself. On the turn and unimproved with my opponent betting 3/4 pot, I will either reraise if you are a LAG. If you have been playing tight, I'll fold.

Ahead or Behind?

PokerStars - $0.02 NL FAST - Holdem - 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4:

BTN: 148.5 BB (VPIP: 23.08, PFR: 17.95, 3Bet Preflop: 6.25, Hands: 40)
SB: 99 BB
BB: 102.5 BB (VPIP: 9.38, PFR: 6.45, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 32)
UTG: 113 BB (VPIP: 12.50, PFR: 12.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 41)
UTG+1: 90 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 18)
MP: 113 BB (VPIP: 2.50, PFR: 2.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 41)
Hero (MP+1): 167.5 BB
MP+2: 86 BB (VPIP: 17.65, PFR: 8.82, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 34)
CO: 213.5 BB (VPIP: 16.67, PFR: 13.89, 3Bet Preflop: 8.33, Hands: 39)

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 6h 3s
fold, fold, fold, fold, MP+2 raises to 2 BB, fold, BTN calls 2 BB, SB calls 1.5 BB, BB calls 1 BB

Flop : (8 BB, 4 players) Js Qc 7s
SB checks, BB bets 4 BB, fold, BTN calls 4 BB, SB calls 4 BB

Turn : (20 BB, 3 players) Kd
SB checks, BB bets 7 BB, BTN raises to 29 BB, fold, BB calls 22 BB

River : (78 BB, 2 players) 6c
BB bets 67.5 BB and is all-in, BTN calls 67.5 BB

BB shows As Ts (Straight, Ace High)
(Pre 73%, Flop 85%, Turn 97%)

BTN shows 9h Td (Straight, King High)
(Pre 27%, Flop 15%, Turn 3%)

BB wins 205.5 BB


How do you know if you are ahead or behind in this hand? Both winner (SB) and BTN are on a draw. What clues do you look for whether to continue or not? Or is this a "cooler" situation you just can't walk away from?

Looking at their actions, you can tell BB played the cards well. She let him believe that he (BTN) was ahead on the turn and simply called his bet. On the river, going all in, even I will see that as someone with a set trying to get max value on a wet board.

I don't think there's anyway BTN could have avoided this--what do you think?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday and about to shift?

282k players--that's the most I've seen on pokerstars so far. This happened a few weeks back and did not get around to posting these here.

I am running poor in 6-max tables. My win-rate is about -6bb/100. That is not good...rather, it is a steep tuition to pay learning to improve my game. My stake is down about 40 percent. How do i turn this around? I don't know.

What concerns me is that the chat history that I have on skype with them is gone and I haven't received any messages from them for the last three updates that I made. Either they are also on a break, or a shift is happening here. Maybe they decided to cut their losses? We'll see what happens this week. Maybe it's just that they are taking a break from playing.

I switched back to pokertracker 4. I like their interface better. I am able to sort the hands by the size of the pot, something I could not figure out how to do on holdem manager 2. In between sessions, I go over the biggest pots, and take notes on the player and the motivation behind their actions. This is an important exercise for me to improving my game. I do this at least once a day. The intention is to do that after a session, or when tired, I do them in between sessions. Here's a screenshot...

So far, I've made notes on a few players, and even made color coding on the hud fur future reference. I'll be playing another session when I finish these. The kids are now in bed. They have school tomorrow. The fix-it person is coming at 9:30am to replace the broken window. I may have to get up early and get bread for everyone's take away lunch.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

86,822 hands @ -3bb/100

What's the leak here?

These last three days, I have been playing my a-game most of the time. I'm guessing there are a few minor leaks here and there. The downswing from 72,844 was the result of frustration and anxiety as a result of expectations that are out of alignment.

What does that mean?

I have this expectation that I "should be" beating 2NL by now. I keep seeing other players completing their gutshot by the river even though I bet for value with a TPTK plus a flush draw to the nuts. But that was one hand that stood out off the top of my head. I am not blaming luck, I'm guessing here that it's variance that I am going through at the moment. There are a few leaks here and there. Looking through my stats, I seldom showdown with an overpair or less.

Looking back though, I was applying a few things I learned about 6max play and got into the zone. I thought I was breaking even all that time I was playing. I am staked to play 5NL but I am playng 2NL. This way, any leak that needs my attention will not cause too much damage to the bankroll.

Here is how things are for the week...

PokerTracker4 says I need to improve my 3bet stat. As I tend to play more hands from LP, I am going to do more 3bets from this position. So my choices now from CO and BTN are either to fold, raise or 3bet. Target is about 5 percent 3bet by the end of the month.

The kids are now in school. I have clothes in the washing machine. I can do another set before going out for my morning run.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Shifting Gears

F*ck that quest for Supernova Elite. From now on, I'll play one table and pay more attention to improving my game.

My game since Friday has been terrible. I've lost eight buy-ins since. I made poor decisions specially with big pot situations. In the past, when I sober up and play less tables, my results get better.

Instead of going for SNE, my goal now is to earn one buy-in each day (on average). I'll have equilab up and running as I play and learn more about +EV plays. I will also make it a point to keep notes on the players on the tables.

Here's the math, correct me if I'm wrong here...

Play one hour (minimum) sessions, four to six times a day, six days a week. If on average I win one buy in, at the end of the month, my bankroll would have grown by 24 buy-ins for that stake level. I will then have about ten buy ins for the next stake level. I then repeat the whole process at that level and the next until I reach my sticking point.

I was making $120 a week working as a call center agent. To make that much playing poker full time, I should be playing 100NL or higher. I am currently staked to play 5NL. I do this for the next three to months and I'll be at 100NL, hopefully sooner.

The question now is, can I do this?

Here is a screenshot from 2012 when my game was running good...

I was making 12bb/100 playing up to 2012. I have experience playing at that skill level. Maybe it's because I am expecting to play the same way after a 2-year break. From what I can recall and going over my notes here, I was doing a lot of hand history reviews. I was reading books and watching videos on poker.

The reason I stopped playing was because I started that quest to reach SNE. That chart doesn't show that part when my win-rate started to suffer. I was playing so many hands that I wasn't playing my a-game anymore. I burned out shortly after that and quit poker altogether. When I started playing again this year, my goal was to get SNE. And now I am back where I left off.


...and this is why i keep this journal.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weekend Downswings?

It's not that I spewed on the tables and made everyone happy. I was playing tighter, knowing that my bankroll is below breakeven. I was playing with a level head (and emotions)--I did not tilt. The sessions today and yesterday felt like, I flop a big hand, villain folds when I bet 3/4. but when I have air, they insta-fold.

Maybe I should not play saturdays and sundays and see if things will improve. My stake bankroll is down -11.34% today. I wonder if playing 2NL has anything to do with it? It's easy for fish to call you down just to see what you represent, but I don't think it'll hold as an excuse.

I am definitely not playing tomorrow (Sunday). I'll be spending time watching poker videos tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Stake is Down 4 Percent

After four days of play, the stake is down four percent. I'm not worried. I am aware as to why it's like this--impatience. I've made adjustments in my game. I went down to 2NL instead of 5NL. I tend to value top pairs/overpairs less. I am playing less tables, but the last two sessions at 2NL I was playing ten.

I have sweat sessions scheduled for tomorrow with my staker. He mentioned there were a few more leaks he'd like to go over with me. I still haven't sorted out that neteller situation. I am headed to the govt office and see if I can get some sort of ID. I can take the driver's license exam, but that costs $75, which I don't have at the moment.

It is now 10.40pm. I have been playing since 9am. I must have played four or five sessions, no more than two hours each session. It's true what they say, "it's better to have a bad day fishing than a good day at work".

Cash flow is a bit tight right now. That's expected. It's a small price to pay for going after your dreams.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Number of Hands to Reach SuperNova Elite


Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 Tables 2NL & 5NL

Win-rate is going sideways. Putting a positive spin on it, that's good considering I am not a 6-max reg.

How am I playing well? If you look at my W$SD, you'll find big hands with big pots. You won't find TPTK in all-in spots unless it's AA. I am making an effort to keep my flop cbets low. This was a leak pointed out to me--keep flop cbets low and I the turn and river cbets will improve as well.

For a moment, I was making 3bets from the SB position, mostly against players with steal numbers on the red. There were two particular players that was giving me problems. I could look them up on holdem manager but the stats are less than a hundred samples. Either they are running hot, or I was getting nothing on the flop.

I played ten tables today, mixed 2NL and 5NL.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Digital Nomad Millionaire Poker Player

Playing 6-max

I'm not hitting my daily quota of 3,000 hands playing 6-max, but at least my stats seems to be improving...

I think I am getting the hang of it. The same principle applies when playing FR or 6-max--"Small hand, small pot. Big hand, big pot".

I couldn't transfer the funds from my stake. They sent it via neteller and that site requires that I verify my ID. Sheesh--they are tighter than paypal. Unfortunately, my passport is expired and I don't have my driver's license. I did send them screenshots of my passport. Let's see how they respond later in the day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Adapting Play at 6-Max: Day One

It was unfamiliar situation for me playing at 6max. I tried out the team's HUD and wasn't getting answers when I need them. I had to end the session to tweak that HUD to suit my needs.

And then I was gung-ho with Top Pair. This was foreign to me. The only times I showdown Top Pair was when I am on tilt. As a workaround, I had to look up the best way to control the pot when playing Top Pair.

I've always thought you had to be aggro to make it good at 6max. My perception here was dead wrong. Winning poker is about making good decisions. I had to make changes in my game to reflect that idea.

What's good about today is that the uptrend on the chart still holds. Now it's going sideways and I am ok with that. At least I am making FPPs with every hand I play. I am comfortable playing 12 tables today. I'll add two more on my next session and see how that feels.

One more thing...I observed that on a typical day, I get one or two big hand, big pot situations per session (I do at least three sessions per day). Good days are when I have three or four. When I play only good hands, I have a better chance of winnig those big pots. That means the intention is to stay afloat while waiting for the planets to line up--steal pots, invest in my meta-game and learn. Watch out for top pair going to big pot showdowns. That's a big no-no.

New Stake, Playing 6-max Tables

Since deciding to go full time playing poker, I can move up and play higher levels sooner if I had a stake. I went over to 2p2 and started a thread on "Stakes-Seeking Offer". Within six hours, I had two offers...

Both these offers were good--50/50 profit share, coaching, etc. I took the offer from the one above. Their team gave me two hour-long sweat sessions knowing that I was considering one other stake offer.

In these sweat sessions, they pointed out some leaks in my game. I knew I had problems in those spots, I wasn't sure how to adapt. Being part of a team like this will help me downstream--my game play improves and I can move up sooner.

What's going to be different now is that I'll be playing 6-max tables at 5NL. I'd start at 2NL though, my decision as I am not familiar with game play on those tables. I also have a new set of HUD stats that'll help improve winrate. It might take me a few days to get these connected and working in my head.

I'm not sure I'll be able to play multi-tables off the bat. I'll start with one table to make sure that the HUDs are in place. I will then add more tables as I get comfortable with my setup.