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.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

AutoHotKey Script I Use

;---- Poker helper script

; sit out next big blind
Click 29, 698

; close on window X to close, enter to ok
;Click 1251, 18
SendInput !{F4}
Sleep 100
SendInput {Enter}

; pause all tables
Click 72, 49
Sleep 100
Click 368, 108

; resume all tables, click easy seat from lobby
Click 72, 49
Sleep 100
Click 381, 74
Sleep 100
WinActivate ahk_class #32770
Sleep 100
MouseClick, left,  580, 652

; go to lobby close all tables
WinClose ahk_class #32770
;WinActivate ahk_class #32770
;Sleep 100
;Click 996, 18
Sleep 100
SendInput {Enter}

It's pretty basic. The pokerstars client has hotkeys for player actions. I use a gamepad and joy2key to access those hotkeys. This ahk script helps make it easy for me to play 20+ tables. I find the pause/resume function most helpful. When I find myself in a tricky situation, I pause play on all the tables and pay attention to that one hand. Soon as showdown is over, one button resumes play on all 20 tables.

Almost Breakeven Now

* NOTE: I write this for my future self, in case I have issues with tilt or go through another dry spell.

My win-rate is almost back at breakeven. A week ago, I was reeling from that tilt. What did I do different these past few days?

I used holdem manager to look up players I often find on the tables and see what their actions mean. I also spent half an hour or so playing one table observing player actions looking up their stats if I had to.

The only thing that changed from the method that I've been using is that I steal blinds more often, and 3bet in position.

Early in the sessions, I invest in my meta-game. I play a lot of hands making it look like I am a loose player. I don't spew though. This way, when heads up with the nuts I can get aggressive on the turn and river, as unsuspecting players will think I've lost control and call me down with top pair.

How to get a grip on tilt

Expect variance. Sometimes you get lucky, most of the time, someone else will get lucky. Play more tables. The most number of tables that I played this week was 20 tables earlier today. On average, I played more than ten tables each session.

Also, never showdown TPTK. This is full ring cash games. If it's a big pot, someone else is going to showdown a hand better than TPTK. I'll go all-in preflop with AA, but postflop and someone is betting against my AA, I fold.

Take a Break

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Intention: From Winning Outcome to Playing Well

Chart formed a 123-bottom. That could signal a reversal.

I have dealt with the recent tilt issue. How?

I was focused on making money instead of playing well. Back when I got set over set, I was upset because I was "losing money". This time, if I get into such a situation and I played my game, I put that in as variance--nothing I can do about it.

I can choose to take a break when I get that on the table. I try not to look at the end results while playing. I can do that later after I am done with the session. That way, the outcome will not affect me. It's hard to play 20 tables and you have to deal with negative emotions.

In the past, I was able to recover from dry spells. I've made a few changes to my game this time. I set aside time for one table sessions, watching poker videos and going over my hand history.

Dealing With Downswings - Felix Schneiders

One of the few poker players I follow on youtube, Felix Scheiders. In this video, he addresses a question about questioning your game--what I am going through right now. When Felix showed this screenshot on the video, I felt better already.

He goes on to explain how he dealt with the 15,000 hand dry spell where he was not winning much. See if you pick up something you can use here...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

After That Spew

Disappointing, isn't it?

After all that effort, it took one session of tilt to lose all that progress. At least I learned something in the process. I am scaling down tables to accommodate my bankroll.

I have been playing zoom tables those last two sessions. I thought I was making progress there but it turns out I wasn't. I'm going back to regular tables, 2NL full ring. I am going to tighten up a bit.

If I am doing this full-time, I can't have sessions like that. Variance is ok and expected, but tilt is not. What can I do about it? I turned off the bb stat in hero. This way, I won't look into results and expectations until I finish a session. Not meeting my expectations and turnout affects my mojo.

Variance? Adjust play. Shit happens. No need to fight that. At least I am aware of it now.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

24-Hour Self-Imposed Break (Plus New Resolution)

Tuition day...went on tilt. I put myself on a 24-hour break from pokerstars a moment ago. I'm going to do this every time I have a losing day from now on.

This is the most number of players online that I've seen

It's good that I locked myself out from pokerstars. I am using this downtime to go over this site and see if I have changed my game or it's just variance. After reading this post, I think it's only variance--and that I am choosing to get upset/tilt over it.

Compared to how I played then, I now have tightened up my open range. I stopped playing loose on ep, and widened up play on later streets. I am comfortable 3betting when in position than I was back in 2012. Overall, my game is still solid, I think. It's just that I'm going through a dry spell.

I won't be playing until after lunch tomorrow. Here's what's different this time:
  • After a negative bb day, I take a 24-hour break.
  • Play using the 2015 version of my a-game--less ep, more down street.
  • Everything here and now. Imagine how a winning cash games player would play--be that person.
  • Take a day off after three days of play.

One more thing...I am going through an adjustment period here. I had a job and steady cash flow for about two months. Now that I am a self-employed poker player again, I am emotionally adjusting to the lack of cash flow. My wife does not say anything about it, but I can feel the "heavy undercurrent" when the kids bring up the topic of buying.

I am 47 years old. Rather than go out there and find minimum wage work, I would rather use that time to get my stats up over a decent sample, then get my cash games staked. Short term the cash flow is going to hurt, but I am going to enjoy this "line of work". Long term is bright and sunny down this path as well. I am building up my playing skills as I build up my bankroll--I am building value in what I do. Taking on minimum wage work, I am not building value in my self.

I'll keep this in mind and start feeling good about it.

Flat Weeks

I feel frustrated. It has been more than a week of play and I am not getting homeruns--big hand, big pot.

It gets like this once every several months if I remember correctly. At least I get to use this contrast to be in my a-game. I use this as an opportunity to practice not-tilting. There's nothing else I can do anyway.

Maybe I should take a day off the rest of the day and start fresh tomorrow?

It's important that I write about days like these. I use these as breadcrumbs for my future self. If I had a time machine and that successful-poker-player me can give me tips on how to go through this, what message would that be?

Hang in there. Use the contrast and be in the light--no conditions. Just be.

Sideways STill

Thousands of hands each day and breaking even. At least I am getting good practice out of this. Back in 2011-2012 I had a month or two with negative ROI. This is part of the game, Jim. See if there be leaks in your game that needs fixing.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Plugging Leaks

Here is one more leak I am changing from today...

As you can see, I played more out of position (EP) and getting less profit from it. Starting today, I am going to play less from EP and more from late positions.

Keeping to my commitment to play 3000 hands each day, here are today's stats...

PokerStars Steps Up Marketing in India and Japan with New Team Pros

This is good news for grinders--more fish coming up soon.

The population in India at the moment is 1.252 Billion. Let's say pokerstars gets good media mileage from this event, and say, one half of one percent of that population responds to the campaign and that's 6.2 Million new eyeballs thinking about online poker. Now convert 20-percent of that 6.2 Million and we'd probably see 1.5 Million new players.

That's a lot, so I am guessing that my numbers are wrong. But still, with a population of 1.252 Billion, a majority of whom are looking for ways to earn US$, expect more people wanting to learn how to grind.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

5057 Hands Today - Now Playing 20 Tables

I usually post these mornings the following day. Wife is out and asked that I wait up when she gets home, so better do this now.

My win-rate is still sideways, but has bullish bias. What am I doing differently?

Pot control, basically. I try not to showdown with small hands. I may get bluffed out of TPTK and that's ok with me. It's part of my meta-game. I am hoping that players see me as fish on the tables. This way, when I do get a big hand and playing back, they'll think I am bluffing.

187,438 Players Online

This is the most number of players that I've seen in the last two years. Is online poker starting to get more attention worldwide?

I hope so. More players could mean more fish on the tables.

4,630 Hands Played Plus Lesson Learned

I learned something new last night--when you feel tired, stop playing.

Looking at the chart above, you see that I lost two big showdowns. What's not good about it is that the hands I played were no better than two pairs. We just finished dinner and I didn't have anything to do. I felt tired but decided to play anyway.

One play someone played back and triggered my neg ego--lost my stack with tptk. I closed out of that table immediately. A few minutes later, I get someone else playing back but this time, I think I had two pairs and thought they were good enough for a showdown.

Wrong again. Tuition payed, lesson learned. It's time to move on.

What's the lesson here? Play like that prospector. Showdown ONLY with big hands. Keep that up from now on and you will find your win-rate start to go up for good. Make that as your motivation.

I made my quota of 3,000 hands yesterday. My win-rate is still above breakeven. It's time to get with my a-game.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Goal To Play 3,000 Per Day Six Days A Week

Net won vs All-in EV chart...

HM2 Sessions By Day stats...

Yesterday I played 5,000+ hands, well above my target. I played more than an hour each session. My target was an hour and a half setting the timer countdown on my phone before I played. It's a bit of a stretch for me, but as I posted earlier--a bad day playing poker is better than a good day working at the call center.

I am also posting these screenshots to my 2p2 goals & challenges thread.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Memo To Self


Next time you find yourself going through a dry spell, remember--it's only variance.

Keep playing your a-game. Don't go to showdown with weaker hands just because (you think) everyone else is getting lucky. Stick with the plan. If you want, take a break. Take the rest of the day off even and do something nice for yourself.

You still have leaks here and there. You will fix these over time, be patient. What may be hard to fix is the damage on your bankroll when you let yourself tilt.

Have fun with it!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Finding Leaks (-6bb/100)

My win-rate has been sideways with a downward bias. I go into holdemmanager2 to find leaks and this is what I found...

I am not playing optimally in the middle and cut-off position. Zooming into the MP position, I paid more tuition for TPTK going into showdown and draw hands hoping to get lucky at the river.

It's pretty much the same at CO...TPTKs with a big ego and draws that pay expensive cards...

Now, what am I going to do about this?

Small hand, small pot. Big hand, big pot. The only times I will go to showdown with a big pot is when I have a set or better. Anything less than that, I fold on aggression.

10.37pm - End of day update.

I think it worked, somewhat. At least the bears are docile now...

Now, what did I do differently?

I stopped playing TPTK on showdowns. It seems lame folding aces, but when I do that often, I pay tuition--and I tend to tilt more often. I would rather lose set vs set, at least I had a big hand to go with that pot.

On a personal level...

My kids told me that they saw their mom shed a tear at church today. No wonder she seemed distant the rest of the day. I think she's worried about our finances. She don't get it still. On boxing day, she bought a bigger flat screen tv. I warned her that my job was not yet secure. She did not listen.

As much as I am helping her, she has to learn her own lessons. You can never teach anything to anyone anyway. But that's just my contrast. It's not this or that... This IS that. It's all connected. I am curious as to how this path will unfold.

5NL 2 pair on flush board, facing 3bet on river?

If I were villain, my response will depend on what your showdown stats are. If you have been winning most of your showdown hands, here's how I'd play this hand against you...

Flop. You must have made your set to donk on the flop like that. If I only had TPTK or two pairs, I'd probably fold. However, if I had a flush draw, I'd call. If I too had a set, I will reraise 2/3 pot until we're both all in.

Turn. I see that you bet again. You still have top set, or you made your flush draw. The question for me is, what's your high card? I'll call. I can reraise you all in here if I I have the nuts.

River--What's stopping you? If you had a set or better, you should be all in by now. If I had a low set or made my flush earlier, we'd both be all in by now.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Quit My Job

Today I made the decision to quit my job. The team leader that I work with told me that if my sales performance does not improve in the next seven days, I "might not have a spot on his team".

I'm glad this happened. I hated my work. It's a bucket shop anyways. I feel negative about this now, but I see this as an opportunity to be more of who I am. I don't think I would have lasted 90 days in that job anyway. I took that job because wife has tax problems she caused but blames on me. She spent the money, did not include me in decision-making and yet I am blamed because I did not have a regular job like everyone else.

F*ck that.

I am moving on now. I won't show up for work tomorrow, then send in my resignation on monday.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Results at 2500+ Hands Playing Full Ring Hands No Limit Hold'em

I switched to holdemmanager2 after I learned that pokertracker is now merged with them. No wonder pt4 was buggy.

It's still my day off. I have been playing two hours on average each day. I think I'd be able to keep up this schedule in the coming weeks. The intention is to make $500 per week playing poker full time. I still have to figure out what stakes level to play, how much bankroll is needed and how soon I can get there.

I tried tableninja2 earlier today but did not like it. For one, I had to use Aero theme in windows--doing so slowed down my pc big time. I have a dual core with 4mb RAM. Maybe when I get a pc upgrade I'll get one. In the meantime, the pokerstars hotkeys will do just fine.

I can't figure out why autohotkey is buggy with pokerstars. Some of the functions only work now and then. I tried changing table themes and it still won't work. The ahk script will work on different windows applications, but gets buggy with pokerstars. I am going to let it go for now. It'll come to me later.