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.