Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 is over

Well it is for my poker anyway. My last day was a bit crap and a poor way to end the year finishing down -$1.2k in very few hands without doing a whole lot wrong really. The month overall was pretty good I guess, I had $4k in winnings and have played hands at all limits from 100nl to 1knl and the only one were I was a loser at was 100nl. 400nl is still remaining to be really tough and high variance for me with 5 days this month with loses between $1k to $2.5k but also had my best ever winning day this month of $3.2k.

I'm off down to Cork now to see the girlfriend and bring her back up to Donegal for New Year's Eve and then back to Dublin after that so lots of driving for me over the next few days which I ain't looking forward to at all. I'm half considering driving to Dublin and then onto Cork because half the road that way is Motorway but going down the midlands would be a lot shorter. The prospect of either ain't to appealing right now.

My quick review of 2009 is basically:

$13k online cash winnings
€2k tournament winnings
$1.5k live cash winnings
~ $8k rakeback
Fingers crossed for an Irish Open ticket.

Aspirations for next year are:

Keep up the coaching
$50k in online cash winnings
Play the Irish Open
Qualify for the WSOP ME
Play a WSOP side event
Be the future star of Irish Poker (Thanks Gary Clarke!! :) )

Personal goals are to:

Get good at golf
Go back to the gym and complete a triathlon
Do well in my career as a telecommunications engineer
Start saving money from poker on a monthly basis and use it to buy something really nice like a house deposit or nice car!!

So that's it for 2009, next year will see my start the year with a bankroll of $15k and hopefully this time next year will be killing the 5/10 games on the internet.

Good luck to anyone who read this this year and a Happy New Year to you all

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Update

November was a decent enough month. I got the most amount of hands so far this year and had a winning month. I also finished my Irish Open promotion and I am now waiting to get my hands on the ticket. I played a few tournaments this month also.

First one was the Bruce Poker €250 and didn't do great, ran my KK into AA after about 8 hours play which is annoying but pretty standard really. I played well at the start but kinda tilted a bit after some donk sucked out on me in a big pot that would have put me up to 75k when the average was about 30k, instead I was back to average and spewed off some chips. I calmed down over the dinner break and later got moved table and I shoved QJ in the first hand for the flop to read JJJ and my opponents TT drawing dead. Put all my chips in a few more times but got no customers which was a good thing. Was a well run festival with the usual people at it. A lot of familar faces from Killarney there.

The other tournaments were today where I satellited into the Sunday Warm Up and cashed for $406 which was fine and also the $75 6 max game on FT were I cashed for $133. I tried a few other small buyin tournaments and satellites as well today but nothing of note to report.

About 15mins ago I lost HU for a $2.8k package to the GJP deepstack game next year. Played pretty poorly in this to be fair, got lucky a few times but the structure was a pure crapshoot with the final table being allin or fold. My exit hand was as follows which was kinda strange to say the least. The villan limped the btn which I seen him do 4 hands ago with 35s. He had 36bb and I had 12bb. I look down at 9dTd and ship them in. He snap called with Q8o and takes down the ticket.

Cash went pretty ok this month, had $1.8k in winnings. The last week went well as I was stuck before that. Stats and graph are below as usual. I have been meaning to write a post about being in the right frame of mind and having the correct attitude before I start into an online session. Hopefully I will get it written up in the next few days. Bankroll is just over $10.5k at the moment with some bonuses to come in, about $500 so that will boost it to $11k by the end of the week. Hopefully I can have a heater now for the end of the year and get as close as possible to my inital goal of a $20k roll for the start of 2009. Going to be pretty unlikely now unless I win some tournament as I can't see me winning 45BI at 200nl this month.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

October, poor online, good offline

October is best described by the title really. Online was not much of a success at all. I started the month with a $6k bankroll and by the end I had $8.9k but $2k of this I had deposited from winnings in a 1/2 and 2/5 cash games in Las Vegas. I had brought money out of my roll to play over there so felt it was only right that I put it back online again. I didn't put my Killarney win back into my poker account, basically funded some of my holiday with that and lived it up a bit more than I would have had I not have won.

Online I won about $30 playing about 13k hands or so which is the lowest amount I have gotten in this year yet. Results wise I done ok at 200nl and not so well at 400nl. I think I played well enough at both I think, I made some high variance plays at 400nl that I probably should have avoided considering I was taking a shot at it. Making some plays like 5b shoving 89s and TJo against light 4 betters didn't work out to well when I got called by AT and AQ even though I had a nitty image.

I've been playing more HU last month again. Some of the results aren't in the graph as I played some on my brothers laptop and FTP didn't save the hand historys for some reason but the results are good which is the main thing. I really like playing it, especially if I can get 2 tables going against the same person. It makes for some interesting spots depending on what hand is going on on 1 table and what's happening on the other and create some good dynamics. In general 100nl HU is very soft on any site I played it on. I will try and take a few shots at 200nl when the bankroll gets bigger. 60+ buyins would be what I would like for 200nl HU as the variance is so much higher. The annoying thing about it is that its quite hard to get games if there are no fish around. The so called "regs" don't want to play you if you are any way good at all. So many times I've sat down to play, the "reg" is basically hoping I'm some fish but after 20 hands or so types in "gg" and leaves.

So October is over and we are in November already, things have started of well this month and hopefully they will continue like that. My goal when I started this blog was to have a $20k roll at the start of 2009, that is never going to happen now, as I type this it stands at 10.5k, I have taken out more money that I would have liked so if I had not of withdrawn I would have about 16k which would probably have seen me with the 20k roll but hey you got to treat yourself every now and again as well. I'm getting closer to clearing my IO ticket, I'm about 73% of the way there now. Another 12k hands at 200nl should see my clear it so hopefully I will have that done by the end of the month. I guess the new goal for January would be to have 400nl as my regular 6max game and 200nl as my regular HU game.

Graph for October attached below, ran a little bad to be fair, low green line shows what I should have won if there was no "luck" in poker but hey thats poker :)

Will post graph later, at work now!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Las Vegas & Killarney Trip Report

Killarney Trip Report
I'll start at Killarney, I went down to play the Ladbrokes €550 game there a couple of weeks ago. I had bought in myself after trying 1 online satellite with no success. It was the biggest tournament that I have ever bought into before. My father bought 10% in me for the fun and I usually do well in any games that he has a small stake in me so it was a good luck omen as well which did work.

So I got down there on the Friday after driving down from Dublin, I was feeling a bit wrecked when I got down there so by the end of the night I was really just waiting for the clock to finish on Day 1. I was never used to playing for such a long time in a poker game and it was pretty tiring both mentally and physically. I was lucky enough on my first table down there, it was a soft enough table and not 1 person was really playing back at me at all. I was liberally raising every pot I entered and throwing in a few 3b with air as well which were quite successful, especially one with 8d4d which made a straight on a 8765 board where I won a decent sized pot.

My second day was a hell of a lot tougher where I encountered several good players over the course of the day including last year’s winner and also this year’s winner. I came into the day with 3 times the average chip stack and finished the day just below average. I had quite a few interesting hands over the course of the day but I had tightened up considerably since the day before as my antics from the previous day just would not fly on these tables. I probably was too tight around the bubble but I actually really wanted to go home with at least €1k considering I had bought in myself.

My third day was a real non starter, I think 39 players or so made it back and I ended up coming in 29th, the very first hand I made a push with Q4o in the CO after it was folded to me and I got the button to fold AQ which was a good result, 2 hands later I pushed again with KQo and got through which was brought me up to just over the average stack. After that I really saw no cards at all, I seen ATo when I was UTG but I folded it as I only had 11bb so it was basically push or fold for me. My main demise was when I pushed the button with Q6s to run into a smaller stacks TT, first card out was a Q but 2 more Ts really crushed me!. Very next hand I had 3.5bb left and I had A6o and I pushed only to run into TT again which only made a set this time!

So that was a brief report on Killarney, it was a great tournament, really well run with a good blind structure, even though it did turn into a bit of a crapshoot for me at the end but that’s the way these things go I guess. It was my biggest tournament cash to date which I was happy with, would have loved to have got near the real money but it wasn't to be. I did get a Hendon Mob profile though so I can now consider myself a true poker great!! :)

Las Vegas Trip Report
I was on holidays last week in the US, I flew out to San Fran last Saturday for 3 days before I my stay in Las Vegas. This was my second time in Las Vegas, was there on a J1 a couple of years ago when I was pure broke. This time I had some money with me so it was going to a different story. I had booked into the MGM Signature which is a complex of to the side of the MGM hotel and casino. It was just a stunning hotel which really was above my expectations. I booked a suite which had a fully fitted kitchen (which I never used!) and a living room with HD LCD and then the bedroom with another LCD and even one in the bathroom as well which was the size of my bedroom at home.

I had booked a helicopter trip to the Canyon before we went out, my girlfriend, my friend John and his girlfriend Ciara all went out in what was just an amazing experience. I had never been in a helicopter before so that was an experience in itself, but it was so cool to fly over the Hoover damn, Lake Mead and then finally fly through the middle of the Canyon and land at the bottom of it and have a champagne picnic at the bottom. We flew back into the Sunset on our way back to Las Vegas for another night out on the beer.

The next day we had booked tickets to see Cirque du Soleil in the Bellagio. We went to see "O" which really is an amazing show for anyone to go and see. It is basically several gymnasts doing acrobatics over a swimming pool which will leave you in awe the entire show. We had great seats up near the front of the theatre, there was so much going on, at times it was hard to know what to focus on.

I played a few hours of poker while I was over there. I had put some of my online roll onto my credit card so I could play some while out there but in the end only played 2 days while there for about 4-5 hours in total which is very little for live poker. I ran pretty well while over there, the first day I played some 1/2NL in the MGM while the standard was just shocking and I got paid off pretty easy by bottom pair and the like. The second day I played a bit in the $2/$5NL game in the MGM. The standard was a small bit better but more comparable to 25c/50cNL online. I ran really well in this game getting paid of for pots over 1.2k with both AK and AA, I finished up this session with $1.9k on the table from a starting stack of $500 which would go down in my top 5 best poker sesisons ever which was sweet.

I played a little blackjack over there as well in which I done ok in, I don't know much about this game so I was definitely a fish as far as the Bellagio and the Venetian were concerned. I won about $100 or so playing this and another $250 playing roulette. I only played roulette when drunk. Me and John both decided to put down $50 each on black for one spin while we were on the way to a club. We won and it bought a few drinks. Next night I took one $50 spin on black again and won, following night me and John gave it another go while enroute to Ghostbar in the Palms, out luck was lasting and again we won.

On my final night I went for a meal in Craftsteak with my girlfriend. I had decided before I went over that I wanted to have a Kobi steak while I was in Vegas. This restaurant specialized in steaks so it seemed to be the place to get it. Before I went out I had said I was going to spend no more than $200 on a piece of meat but I seen the "8 oz Japanese wagyu beef grade 12 A5 filet mignon all the way from Kagoshima in Japan" I had to try it out, $240 of the finest steak I have ever had. It really was just a melt in your mouth steak, so tender and juicy and delicious flavors helped by the sauce that it was sitting on. I would recommend anyone to try on of these once.

On the last day I missed my flight from Vegas to San Fran and was in great danger of missing my flight from San Fran to Dublin which would have been a real disaster. I slept in to 9:30am when my flight had departed at 9:28am!! We rushed to the airport hoping to catch another flight ASAP but the next one was not until 12:10pm while out flight back to Ireland was at 2:35pm. In fairness to US airways they done every single thing the could have to make sure we made our connection back home. They put our luggage through from one plane to the other which was a huge help, gave us seats at the front of the plane and asked the other passengers to wait for us while we departed the plane first at San Fran and didn't even charge us for the flight!! We rushed through the terminals at San Fran, running to the Aer Lingus checkout desk to print of out boarding passes so we could get through security and make our flight home. We eventually did, I was really thinking that my poker winnings were going to have to go on a flight back to Ireland as I am pretty sure Aer Lingus would not waive the costs of the flight these days.

Online Poker Update
Poker has been going really well this month, I had a short session at 2/4 last night which was good to get back into it. I have spread my bankroll over a 4 sites while I try to look for the best games going. My Irish Open ticket is about 59.6% done at the moment so hopefully I can get it close to 75% by the end of the month. I have only played about 6k hands online this month so far but have been doing pretty well, about $3k in winnings which is nice and total winnings of the month from live and online are about $7k, so hopefully I am on course for my best month ever.

That’s it for now, hopefully I will get another update of how online is going at the end of the month with a better recap on online poker.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vegas in the morning

That is all...........

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tilted off a lot of money

Today was the biggest losing day I've ever had in poker. I lost $2.3k at 200nl which is pretty tough going. To be fair I can't go and say I got unlucky in ever hand and got it in as a favourite all the time. I was only down about $700 in EV so there is about $1600 that I have to take into account. I did have a lot of 3b and 4b pots where I stacked off with houses, sets, top pair only to lose to quads, flushes and a lot of sets.

I probably forced myself into playing as I wanted to get this bonus cleared asap so I can move off ipoker once again. I was 12 tabling today and ended up getting in 5k hands which is the only good thing that I can take out of today. I now have 35% of an Irish Open ticket so just need to keep grinding away and hopefully do it without losing. I am still up about $1k for the month so its not to bad.

I've been trying to organise things for my trip to San Fran and Vegas. Got my hotel in San Fran booked, its in Union Sq. which is in the centre of the city so its in a great location. I plan to book the helicopter trip to the Canyon this week and also book a show. Looking like "O" is the one that we will go see.

I also bought into the Killarney game which is on in 2 weeks time. Cost me $775 to do so, After today this stands at around 10% of my roll which is probably not a great idea but its a one of thing so I will let it slide this time. I guees to be fair when I bought it my roll was over the $10k mark but today its considerably less.

Couldn't be bothered putting up any graphs or stats as they are just tilting to look at, as glorious and all that they are. So thats it, just a quick update really of whats happened in the last week. Until next time.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Traffic, traffic, traffic!!!

I changed jobs there about a week ago. I'm still with the same company as I was before hand but now I am working in an office out in Dundrum and travelling from Blanchardstown everyday which is proving to be a real pain in the ass. I used to work as a field engineer for a mobile phone network before this and things were a bit handier to say the least which allowed me a lot more time for playing poker and reading about it etc.

Now I have to leave the house everyday at 7:30am and try get to work for 8:30am, not easy some days with the traffic going into Dundrum off the M50 does be really bad some mornings. I have been trying a few different routes from going in through the city centre and exiting the M50 at Tallaght but all my efforts have been been in vain, with the time always being around the 60mins. Luckily in the evening its not quite as bad, usually around 45mins with the new barrier M50 helping a lot. So this means I don't get home now until around 6pm which really messes up my evenings poker meaning a lot of evenings I don't have time or am less bothered in playing because I am tired or whatever.

Before hand I used to be able to play in the afternoons if things were quiet at work and I could get my session done nice and early or perhaps read 2+2 or watch a few Cardrunners videos. Basically a long story short my time for poker is a lot lot shorter now and will continue like that for the forseeable future.

So far this month I've gotten about 9k hands of 100nl and 1.5k hands of 200nl. 100nl has been really frustrating for me to play on Ipoker. I'm finding it tough to adjust to all the passive NITs, I'm break even over those hands at 100nl and I think I'm playing pretty well but running pretty poor to be honest. I've has set over sets a couple of times and the usual AK and KK into better hands all in pre flop. But what I wanted to take out of this was a confidence boost. A lot of sessions I played I went into the red at the very start so often and often found myself down 4-6BI after 10 minutes. The only good thing about this is that I put in longer sessions when this happens which is good as I need to accumulate as many points as I can so I can win my Irish Open seat.

Right now my bankroll is about $8.2k so from now on I am going to play 200nl as I really can't be bothered with 100nl anymore. Last Sunday Betdaq had a €100k freeroll were I got a free ticket for it. I wasn't able to play it so I ended up getting blinded out but took about $410 from it so was pretty happy with that. My poker coach is off on some trip at the minute so he won't be able to coach me now for a while. I may look into getting another coach but hav't thought to much about this yet.

I really really want to play this tournament in Killarney. I've the Friday booked of work now so I just need to qualify for this or have a good month and possibly buy into it. I was going to play a JP poker satellite on Friday night but went out on the beer instead, which resulted in me being in poor shape on Saturday and played no poker at all on Saturday or on Friday. So I will really try and play the next satellite he has and then one on Ladbrokes if I've no luck in that one.

Above are the stats so far for the month. I was playing pretty loose and aggro at 100nl and calmed down a bit when I started playing 200nl I've been happy with my postflop play, picking out the bad spots to c-bet more often and winning my fair share of pots. As usual my biggest strength in poker is taking down pots that nobody wants and putting lots of pressure on players. This can be seen in the graph below where the red line indicates pots I have been taking down without getting showndown.

Anyway that's it for now. GL

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Moving back down for a while

I took a week off from poker after not really taking any sort of break for quite a while now. I've moved down levels now probably 9/10 times now since the start of the year and twice I've dropped down 2 levels in a short space of time. Thankfully this doesn't bother me too much, obviously I would rather have move up all the time but using good bankroll management is probably what I have done best this year since playing. I've never played with less than 15 buyins this year and 95% of the time never less than 20BI. At the minute I am well enough rolled for 200nl but I really want to get some confidence back again, so to do that I'm going to play 10k hands or so at 100nl and LAG it up for a while and try to get some confidence back into my game again.

I have started to play on ipoker again and to be honest I really am hating that god damn site. I'm playing on it because I want to clear a bonus that will give me an Irish Open ticket. I need to generate 100k points which I should be able to do in around 50k hands at 200nl which is where I hope to be clearing them but I would imagine it would take around 70k hands at 100nl. I've got 7.5% of it done so far after 3k hands at 100nl and 1.5k hands at 200nl. The Irish Open ticket is worth about €3.5k and is an event I would absoulety love to play in. I went out there last year for a while to watch it and there was a great atmosphere there with some really big name players there.

So far this month I've played nearly all 100nl and I am not enjoying it at all. The software is really bad on ipoker and my tables overlap even on a HD moniter. The 100nl games are as tight preflop as 400nl on Everest are which I thought were pretty tight but at 400nl its normal enough. There are so many 14/12 regulars at ipoker and quite a lot of 25/4 types as well. Then there are all the shortstackers who are the bain of a lot of players lives. I am having trouble adjusting to the non aggressive nature of 100nl. Very few players are 3b/4b light at all which is just something I am going to have to adjust my game too.

Hopefully next week or when I put up a new post I will be getting ready to move back up to 200nl for about the 5th time!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August is now done

August started of great for me at 400nl but ended badly to say the least. I got off to a great start at 400nl, I was running well and just not getting into any bad spots at all. Poker was going so easy, when I had a hand I got paid off and I was also able to lay down hands as well. Then something happened around the 13th August were every single big pot I was in was a pure nightmare, the most common theme was people playing badly against me and me paying them off all the time. Most of these are just coolers and I have to learn to accept them so once again a good learning month poker wise. At the end of the month I finished down $1650 across 200nl and 400nl with me losing around $6.5k in the last 12 days or so. I also had a few tilty sessions and there was several days were I lost over $1k but again this is nothing really to worry about when a buyin is 400nl.

The bankroll once stood at $15.5k during August but due to me cashing out $2k to buy an amazing 46" LCD and losing $6.5k its back down to around $7k. This isn't the end of the world by any means but is a big blow in my aspirations to have a $20k bankroll by the end of the year. In fact only about 2 weeks ago when I was ruling 400nl over a short sample I was thinking I'm going to be playing 1kNL by the years end. Dreams can fade fast sometimes.

The plan now is not to play any more poker until at least September and hopefully I can come back with a new self confidence in my game. When I start back into I think I will play 100nl for 10k hands or so and try to rebuild from there. I'm still rolled ok for 200nl but I think it would be no harm to play some 100nl for a while again. I'm also going to be 24 tomorrow, nothing much planned, will go out for a meal with the girlfriend and will most likely go back home to Donegal for the weekend. My trip to San Fran and Vegas is getting closer with it only being about 6 weeks away now so really really looking forward to that. I still have to book an hotel for San Fran, hopefully I'll sort something out there in the next week or so. I usually don't get all the excited by holidays but I really am looking forward to this one.

As usual I have my monthly graph above, pretty grim reading. Back in September.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My July, My July

Since I last updated I have taken some more shots at 400nl. They have went well in monetary terms but I did find it pretty tough. When there were no fish at the tables I probably was the fish so I stepped back and moved back down to 200nl again. While at 400nl I won 2 pots worth over $1500 each which was an amazing feeling I have to say. I was on such a high that evening, to be fair in one of them I sucked out a little. I opened 77 UTG and 2 fish call. We are all nearly 200bb deep and the flop is 478 rainbow. I bet into both players and I get minraised by the first player and the other guy folds. I re-raised him and he again min-raised me, I had a set so I wasn't folding and he showed me 56 for the nuts but an 8 on ther river shipped me a pot of over $1500. The sickest thing is this guy had just lost a $1500 pot to me 3 minutes earlier on another table so I ended up the day $1700 which was my biggest ever winning day in online poker.

The following day I played some more 400nl over the next few days and I lost most of what I had won the previous days. I have to admit I did get coolered a lot on those few days. I got AK in very far behind twice, QQ in vs AA and I lost AA to AQs. All those hands I got all the money in preflop and didn't win anything. Other than these I think I played well enough but I think I got a very cheap lesson in that I am not rolled for these games even with over 20 buyins. These hits are what made me drop back down and grind it out at 200nl for another while. I hope to be able to take a few more shots at 400nl in August. Most of these will be while I am getting coaching which has been working well so far. When you know that someone who is watching over you that you respect I tend not to do anything stupid and play very solid.

In other sorta non poker news I booked my holidays to San Francisco and Las Vegas in October for a week. I booked all my flights and also my Las Vegas hotel but I still have to book an hotel for San Francisco. I really can't wait to go. I'm going with my girlfriend and a friend of mine and his girlfriend so it should be a great time. I don't intend on playing any tournaments over there as they just take up to much time and I am going for a holiday rather than poker. No doubt I will play some cash games over there though!! I also want to go to a show, see the Grand Canyon and I read about this shooting range there that sounds like a good buzz. A helicopter ride over the strip is on the agenda as well. I'm going to start withdrawing $200/week from poker for some extra spending money while I am there which hopefully will allow me to do some things that I would not have done otherwise.

So the customary graph for the month is below. I really am delighted with how I done this month and I have to be honest I hope to beat it next month so hopefully the poker gods are listening and will give me some more positive variance for the month.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Half way review

I've been meaning to put up a post about how the year has went so far and as its been just over 6 months since I started at 50nl, so it seems appropriate to do this now. Looking back now, I'm not really sure why I couldn't beat 50nl but with the rakeback and sign up bonus I was rolled to play 100nl so I moved up anyway. Perhaps one of the reasons why I wasn't a winner at it was because I was running way to many bluffs versus calling stations and being overly aggressive in a game that you don't really need to be all that aggressive to win at. I guess I also had FPS (Fancy play syndrome) which just means trying to make the perfect plays/bluffs all the time. One thing I am sure of though I had really really bad tilt issues back then and I still have tilt problems but not to the degree as I had them back then. When moving up limits this will really slow you down and I spent quite a while at 50nl so my top tips for anyone trying to beat 50nl are:
  • Get the basics right, cut out the limping, play your big hands strong and fast.
  • Always play ABC poker, no need to do anything different to beat the game
  • Make sure you have rakeback and a clear-able sign up bonus.
  • Avoid tilt.
  • Table select the best games (lots of NITS at 50nl trying to move up, loads of fish at this level so need to play against them).
  • Sign up to a video training site, this will improve your play a lot by watching how experts can easily beat these games.
So I then moved onto 100nl and went on a heater at the start, making 20BI in about 4k hands so I was off to a flyer. I just ran really good, was putting coolers on so many people and rarely getting sucked out on and of course sucking out myself the odd time. I found the move from 50nl - 100nl really easy because of this but once I was settled in at 100nl and the heater was over I found things started going downhill and I needed to improve my game. The aggression at 100nl was pretty high and had lots of spewy regs stacking off PF with KQs, AQs, TT etc and I also found myself doing this.
At this point I took a step back and tryed to figure out what was the best way to couteract this. I figured folding to 3b was making me a lot of money. I could easily outplay most of these guy post flop so thats what I needed to do. There was no need for me to be getting into inflated pots with 78s and being OOP against some aggro guy. These hands play so much better in multiway raised pots not 3b ones. So my tips for 100nl would be:
  • Don't call 3b OOP with less than TT/JJ and sometimes fold AQ. (This may seem weak but I found it to work well)
  • 3b IP more than you do OOP. Regs at this level didn't like folding to 3b so you want to be playing these pots IP.
  • Spew less, this is the biggest leak for all regs. They are just to aggro.
  • Start figuring out good spots for value betting, this will improve your game a lot.
I took a very quick shot at 200nl when I had 20BI and well I was playing 50nl after that so enough said. I then rebuilt again and also moved sites. This worked very well for me as I again went on a heater when I moved to 100nl, I moved through 100nl very quickly and started getting some coaching and started taking shots at 200nl. This time 200nl went pretty well and I was up to 8k and was starting to think about 400nl again. Doomswitch then hit and I was back to 100nl again rebuilding my roll.
Around this time I decieded to get a new desk, comfortable leather chair and a new 24" moniter for the new desk. Set up below:

I think comfortable surroundings are really important when playing poker. I have the desk pointing towards the wall so its hard to look at the tv when playing so less distractions is good. The new screen is a great investment, I was able to 10-12 table without any overlap which is great when mulitabling. I really hated having to stack tables on top of each other and misclick quite often which is a pure pain.

So at the minute 200nl is going really well, I've also done a coaching session at 400nl and the games seemed good which is encouraging. I've got just over $9k now so I will try and hold off taking a proper shot at 400nl until I have at least 25BI. I guess my aims now for the year will be to have taken a few shots at 1kNL. This is highly ambitious but I am that way anyway so no harm in it. To play 1kNL I would really want to have at least $30k so time will tell if this is achievable. Hopefully it will be as I don't cash out to often. I'm also planning a trip to the US in October, going to visit San Fran and Vegas over a week, I've being to both places before but I loved them when I was there so no harm in going back again.

Below is all my stats for the year so far. 125k hands is a lot for me but I think I have learned a hell of a lot and I am 10 times the poker player I was 6 months ago. All the top players say that there is so much to learn in poker and I really am starting to believe this. I think I have come along way since I started playing 50nl in January. I've played a decent buyin tournament which I played well enough in. I've moved from 50nl to a stage where I'm starting to take shots at 400nl which I'm delighted with.

Looking at my stats I think its quite interesting how they have slightly changed since moving from 50nl to 200nl. There are constant trends in them all. So as I moved up through the levels the following has happened:
  • Win rate has gone up in them all, but the sample size at 200nl is to small to really know how good of a winner I am at it.
  • I've tightened up as I moved up levels but not to a point where I've got to NITTY, I would consider my 200nl stats as a decent TAG.
  • My PFR/VPIP has merged closer to 1, 73.3% at 50nl, 81.8% at 100nl and 82.5% at 200nl.
  • My 3b% has decreased, I put this down to playing better players who play back more at you so I had to decrease this.
  • My 4b% has increased but this should happen as my 3b decreases my 3b range will have gotten tighter so my 4b range of hands is pretty similar, slighly wider if anythings.
  • I am squeezing a bit more but hopefully I am picking better spots for it.
  • My WTSD% has increased which I am a bit worried about but to be honest I am not really all that sure on the relevance to it for the way I play.
  • W$SD% is fairly similar, I would love to get this higher but I bluff quite a bit so inevitably this will stay low when I bluff in bad spots.
  • One thing which is good is that my W$WSF is increasing all the time even as I have moved up limits. I'm really happy with this as this is a really good indicater how capable you are as a poker player and how well you play post flop.
  • My aggression has also increased which I think is natural as the games are more aggressive as you moved up.
  • My 3 barelling is quite high as I do it quite alot and its even higher at 200nl than any other level. At 200nl I calculated it to be 5.84% of hands that I open with. This is probably quite high but it's not a stat I have really looked into and havn't compared it much to other players. It was 5.09% at 100nl so it just means that I am being more aggressive.
  • So overall I think my stats are going mainly in the right direction and it shows that I have adjusted pretty well to each level I think.

So a recap on the poker goals for the next 6 months are:
  • Play some more big buyin tournaments, the Killarney festival and the Paddy Power Winter festival. Playing one of these is a big ambition.
  • To be able to beat 400nl and 600nl, with an aim to me ready to take shots at 1kNL
So thats it until probably August now where hopefully I will have more positive news, Until then good luck at your games.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Its been a while

Haven't got around to updating this in a while mainly because I'm playing bad. Right after my last update things went very downhill. At one point I was -$3610 on what I was. When you see the drop in my graphs you will see that I dropped $1k in about 40 hands, 4 of these were me just plain tilting, something I have obviously not gotten over. And once again I did $400 being an ass at 1kNL but hey I'll learn yet.

Things in July have been fairly swingy so far, I've had 4 -$800+ sessions but I am up about $1400 so far this month and I have played nothing but 200nl this month so far. I've been happy enough of how I've been playing so far this month. At the minute I am fairly confident about my 200nl game. I've racked in 22k hands so far and I am beating it for 4.25BB/100 or 8.5bb/100 so thats a fairly decent winrate but the sample size is to small really to take much meaning from it.
I've found the games a lot more aggro than 100nl and I've tightened up my game quite a bit since I was playing 100nl. I can have session at 200nl where I am 17/14 but so far this month I am 20/16/3.5 over 10k hands. I think I play my best around 18/15 when I try to NIT it up a bit and don't get involved with the insane 3b/4b that is going at these levels. In one session this month I was 3b 35/270 hands which is quite insane and 8 of those was from the same player who really was killing me and I dropped $450 to him that day, each time I shoved over his 4b, once with AQs and the other with 66, both plays aren't good so I gotta give him credit, he MADE me do it really so well played him!!

Currently my online cash bankroll is $7.6k. I really hope to be getting close to $10k by the end of the month and hopefully sometime in August/September I can start taking some shots at 400nl. This is where I want to be playing, the level above where I currently am!! I really want to keep moving up all the time, likelihood of me ever reaching high stakes game 10/20+ are slim to none but I will keep trying until I have resigned to the fact that it is impossible. Poker is only a hobby for me and the money I have in my account is all winnings so going bust wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but hopefully I will have the discipline not to do that. Hopefully valor will be back coaching me again after his WSOP was cut short due to a family death. My condolenscence to Gavin and his family.

My stats so far for this month are shown below, a few things I need to work on are my "W$SD%" and "Avg All-in EV%" as both are below 50%. I am also losing from EP and MP so far this month so I really need to plug those leaks also. Hopefully with getting in more hands and really working on my game I will achieve this. I have also signed up to Deuces Cracked which is so far been very good. I think Foxwoodfiends videos are excellent and he explains things really well.

I hope to have another update in before the end of July so until then. Good luck.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No WSOP, some APAT, tons of clapping and the usual cash.

It's being my 3rd eligible year to play in the WSOP due to my age and also since I started playing poker and I still haven't played!! This isn't a huge surprise, a few months ago I played a few satellites on Stars to try and qualify but I was only wasting money, played numerous Step 1s and never even made it on to Step 2, I could have played at least 7-8 of these and never to have progressed is just a disgrace I think. So what do all good poker players do when they can't beat a level or lose money at it......... yes they move up so thats what I did. I bought into a step 2 and was onto step 4 without having to replay step 2 or 3. So I decide to hold off on Step 4 for a few days and then one Friday evening I play, after about 4 hands I get a phone call and there is a mobile phone site down in Sandyford........ just great, have to go through the M50 traffic at 6pm on a Friday and leave me $215 buyin tournament. So I'm on the way over coming up to the toll bridge and I ring the network monitoring center and what do you know the site is back on air. Well this probably just sums up my WSOP attempt this year. I didn't play another sat after that and that was about 2 months ago now.

But I still really wanted to go as I thought my game has come on a lot this year and I have went from 50nl-taking shots at 200nl with 20Bi and moving straight back down to 50nl afterwards but I'm now back up at 200nl and very well rolled with over 40BI and getting closer to a magical 5 figure bankroll in so far less than 100k hands which is a good achievement in itself I think. I've also played a few live tournaments this year and played fairly well in them I thought so with that in mind I was going to buy into either the Stars 200 seat guarantee or the Full Tilt 150 guarantee but as it got closer to the time I realized that working Monday to Friday just doesn't really fit in with the playing satellites to 7am on Sunday morning. I could have asked for the day off and probably got it too but hell if my boss/parents/girlfriend thought I was going to take a day off work so I could play a poker tournament then this wouldn't go down well at all. Now don't get me wrong this wasn't really the reason I didn't do it. I just didn't really want it enough this year and I feel this time next year I want to be playing 600NL and 1kNL, then I will be in much better shape to be thinking of Vegas for the WSOP so I will have plenty of time and a much better bankroll to be playing such tournaments. I do intend to go to Vegas this year in October with my girlfriend and another couple, it won't really be to play poker thought but I'm sure I'll get a few cash hours in when I am over there.

I played the APAT on Saturday, was hungover as could be on Saturday morning, didn't get to bed to 6.30am but don't think it affected my game to much in the early stages anyway, later in the day I was getting tired for sure but in deep stacked tournaments this is probably to be expected. I started off on a table which has had 3 dead stacks and as these guys had paid in they weren't going to be lifted until they were blinded out which took about 5 hours, this left for lots and lots of easy steals and at one stage another dead stack came into my right. One guy from Birmingham wearing some Full Tilt gear had a dead stack to his left and 2 to his right, he had the best seat in the house as the guy who was button to his BB let him have 6 walks and this guy as counting them each time and letting the table know about it, unfortunately I was in way too early a position to be stealing them but that didn't stop me stealing other peoples blinds, by the time I was on 35k the biggest pot I had won was 4.5k which says it all really, the guy to my left who was just unbelievably tight I was able to take his BB 6 times in a row when it was folded around to me in the SB and he never played back once, same went for when I was on the button, nobody wanted to play back at me at all.

By the time I was on a stack of about 40k I got involved in a 36k pot against the only player at the table who was willing to play back at me. I opened AhJd to 3k at 600/1200 in early position and he called on the button. The flop was Ad3d3x and I lead for 5k, full sure I have the best hand and I was prepared to call a shove. he shoved for 9k more and I snapped called him, he tabled 7d8d with the flush draw and the fact that I had the Jd he was about 25% to win the hand, but he hit a 9d on the turn and even then I still had a good few outs to hit but it wasn't to be. After that I was back down to about 24k when I should have been on about 60k so it was a bit of a setback. My stack didn't get much bigger than this for a long time.

We got moved tables when we lost the dead stacks so I had to adjust a good because I had to go from 6 handed to 10 handed and straight onto a new table full of new faces. I played very few hands at this table, stole the blinds a few times and at this stage players were dropping like flies. When we got down to the last 30 people it slowed down a small bit as they were going to end the day when they got to 20 people or at the end of the 14th level, which ever came quicker. I was on about 25k and the blinds were at 1k/2k so I was in push or fold mode, I could never get a hand to push with and when I did someone else had pushed before me. I got 55 and 77 during this time but I felt they just weren't good enough to be calling off most of my stack with. So then a player with an 80k stack opens to 10k at 2/4k and I ship over for 13k more with TT and he calls with his AQs, I was feeling good about it as TT had been hitting sets on this table all day long, and when the flop came ATx I had the hand almost locked up. Now at this stage I felt is where I should have started pushing more to try and not get blinded out as the blinds were going to be 3/6k soon. Instead I played tight and eventually pushed with ATs and got called by AJ and he held up.

Now I was in deep trouble, we were on the 3/6k level and I had about 20k in chips and 1 more person needed to be knocked out before that day ended so it comes to my BB and I don't look at them until everyone else has, I don't usually do this but thought this was a good time as I don't want to be giving out any tells that I have 72o or something. So the SB pushes on me and I snap call him with my AJ, hes got 8sJs and even on a A8x flop which has 2 spades I get knocked out when the spade falls on the river. Overall I was very happy with how I played in this, don't think I done a whole lot wrong all day but just didn't catch the breaks when I needed to. I think I will play a few more live tournaments in the next few months, there is a €500 game on in my home county Donegal in 2 weeks so I might take a trip home to play that.

The one bad thing I would think about the tournament was the need to clap for every person that got knocked out, fair enough having a clap for the first knocked out and then one for yours truly when I was the last person to go on the day. It's just a bit annoying when you are in the middle of a hand and everyone all of a sudden and when it gets to the stage when people are getting knocked out quickly you are clapping every few minutes. Our table did have a really good clap when the first dead stack eventually got knocked out!! Was kinda funny to see people take a look around and nobody leaving the table!!

So I got in 5.5k hands of cash this week which wasn't to bad considering I didn't play at all on Saturday or Sunday. I ran good at 200nl and played less than 200 hands at 100nl. Will be playing 200nl full time now unless the games are really bad or I fall below 35BI for 200nl. I think I am adjusting well enough to 200nl and the added aggression so far. I started off really tight a few weeks back but I have opened up a lot more and have become more aggressive myself. I am also approaching 100k hands for the year so I will likely do an update with all my stats for each of the levels varying from 0.01/0.02NL to 10/20NL!!! Stats for the week and a graph are below:

Until my 100k hands update in a few days.......

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A solid quiet heater of a week

Had solid week since I last wrote up here. I didn't play too much this week due to a mate being up for the weekend so had no poker on Saturday and very little on Friday or Sunday. Was hungover on both Saturday and Sunday and combined with the fact that I had little time to play I didn't bother.

Again this weekend is going to be similar, I have work day out on Friday. The boss is bringing us to the Rally School in Monaghan, I really can't wait to drive the Impreza rally car and the BMW, mk2 escort and the mini should be great craic as well. Heading on the beer then after than, followed by me playing the APPT in the Fitz on Saturday which is a 2 day event and should be good. Havn't played a live tournament in 6 weeks which is about normal for me. Hopefully I learned something from the JP Masters event and I can go deep in this one.

Sunday night I have bought in for the Full Tilt WSOP 150 seats satellite. The damn thing is on at 11pm on Sunday night so its not ideal. Its basically 1/24 chance of qualifying, there is one on Stars a couple of hours earlier but it works out at about 1/35 chance, buyin is smaller of course but I just decieded that if I was going to buyin I would give myself the best odds of going through. I could easily pull out of this at the last minute, will probably try a satellite as well as I'm not 100% comfortable with paying this much into a tournament ($535).

So to my cash games, I'm still grinding away at 100nl mainly and taking the odd shot at 200nl when there are some soft looking tables. I've been sticking to this fairly well and don't intend to play 200nl fully until I've got 40Bi for it, so cash BR has $1300 to go before I get to this stage. So I managed to play 500 hands of 200nl and 3.7k hands at 100nl. I done well in both and ran really good at 200nl. I only played the softest tables I could find and well it worked a treat. I won to pots worth $620 and $880 and a few other ones here and there. I'll post up the $880 one as I should have folded the flop but I decided to peel the turn and hit my set which turned out to be a real action card as it gave my opponent the nut flush draw on the turn and he went with it. Thankfully I held up and took down the biggest pot I have ever won. Screenshot of boards post below:

So the general consensus was to fold as he will only be firing the flop into 2 players with a strong hand and there are very few turn cards that I want to see and the size of the pot will be get really big and make it just to difficult to play.
So the weekly graph and stats are below:

So hopefully next week can go well with a couple of good tournament scores which would go down nicely. Would love to be able to go to Vegas this summer so fingers are crossed

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's been a crazy past 9 days or so

Things have been crazy since I last played, I've hit incredible bad variance at 100nl, played a tilted 18 hands shortstacking 2kNL, had a really good coaching session and done well at a small shot at 200nl.

So the bad shit first, well 100nl has been a disaster, I ran 11BI below expectation which has been damn hard to deal with considering I had played fairly well, just the usual bad beats from the donks but I have to admit it has just been really tough to deal with mentally. The strange thing was I ran the worst when the games were really really good. I went online on Saturday night and set up about 10 tables, loads of fish everywhere but I was down more than $700 in less than 30 minutes so I just left it and went to bed. Trouble was I couldn't sleep to well, just thinking about this bad beat and that one.
So next morning I get up an play some more, next thing I know I am down $400 more and tilting so bad. So instead of stopping I jump into a $2000 game with $200 and proceed to get stacked 3 times, each time it was like a 65/35 type hand in my favor but none of them held up so bah. Anyway this is just so wreck-less and I hope I learned a lesson from it. Funny thing is when I see some guy sit into my regular games with 10BB I laugh at him. Joke was on me this time. Graph and stats for the 100nl period are below.

Had another coaching session this week and I was very happy with it. I played some 200nl as I felt this would be better value and more educational for me and had valor watching me and advising on what he thought the best lines to take were and talking about the different situations that came up or could have arisen. I just played very tight and tried not to play OOP were possible. I then played about 2k hands myself in the following days and things went really well. I ran a couple of BI above EV and got paid off with a lot of my big hands which is nice when you start off. Graph and stats are below:

When I was trying to withdraw money from Everest the strangest thing I have ever heard off regarding a poker site happened me. I took out money twice from my roll to pay for the coaching and got it transfered to Neteller. About 7-8 days later I still hadn't received either withdrawal so I sent Everest a mail about it and they tell me that they never took out my original deposit of $500 from my CC as there had been some error with the CC company. Now the strange thing was they never told me this and let me play away with the $500. So now I need to withdraw another $300 and we are quits. So basically I withdraw the money to them!!! Quite bizarre I think.

There are 2 big WSOP satellites on Full Tilt and Poker Stars that I intend to play on Sunday 15th June, they are a $535 and $370 buyins with 150 and 200 packages guaranteed respectively. I'm not exactly rolled to buy directly into them so I will try a few satellites first but I do intend on playing in 1 of them and if that means having to buyin directly then I will. Other option is I have $600 on Full Tilt that I will probably try and spin up to the $905 required to play both.

Finally the total online BR at the minute is $5.6k with $4.8k of this for cash and the rest is on Full Tilt and GJP for the odd tournaments that I might play.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Almost a 10k hand week

Its been the most amount of hand I've squeezed into a week ever I would say and well I certainly didn't match last weeks record profits it was a good week learning wise anyway thats for sure. I had to deal with a 13BI downswing but I grinded that out by running really good at 12 tabling 5k hands on EVT. I had my coaching session with Valor on Friday night and found it to be good, he was very observant of what I was doing as I would have expected and asked me lots of questions about why I was doing certain stuff and what my ranges would be for calling certain players and what ranges I put them on just based on their stats. I found it kinda hard to reply to his questions while playing 4 tables as when I am playing I really need to just play and concentrate on the game. Overall I think he thought my game was ok, I definetly cbet way to much and am probably over aggro.

When I was 12 tabling on EVT I found that I was a lot lot tighter obviously as I just can't play as many hands on that many tables without losing tons of money. So I played less aggressive, cbet less pots and just didn't really play back at many players who were 3b or 4b me, they really needed to do it a lot before I would play back, simply because I didn't have time to be doing that. This resulted in me being way more stable, just value betting all my TP hands etc and earning a nice bit of rake. I'll post up my stats and graph for the week below. One thing that is really obvious from the graph is where I started to play 12 tables, just right at the point where the red line starts leveling off, this is fine as my won at showdown shoots up.

Now I want to figure out where I make the most money, playing LAG on few tables or playing TAG on many tables. Also looking forward to more coaching sessions this week so until next week!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An Update

Well, things have went very very well since I last posted. A few things have happened since then. The biggest one has been I have moved my roll from Carlos to Everest, I returned the moniter to Argos and bought a new one. I also moved back up to 100nl when I had 2.2k as I felt that I was wasting my time trying to grind it out at 50nl when I could already beat 100nl well and 22BI should be enough to take a shot. I have also organized more coaching for myself and also won a ticket to the JP masters €750 game which I have played.

So I'm playing 100% of my cash games on EVT now, its been working out very well for me, I have been killing the 100nl games there over a small sample and the softness of the games so far makes up for the small rakeback %. I'm playing about 27/22.5/3.3 so far on the site and I am finding this to be a winning formula so far. I've had to make some small adjustments to my game since I moved to EVT to adapt to the loose play there compared to Carlos. My stats and graph are below and its been a great past 4 weeks for me. Bankroll now stands at $3.9k.

I returned the moniter I bought from Argos, after getting used to it I really was lost without it so I bought this one. It was supposed to arrive on Friday but UPS didn't bother showing up with it, so hopefully I will get it tomorrow. I found the extra moniter great for playing poker as I could play 8 EVT tables with no overlap on the 2 screens. My new moniter had full HD resolution so I really am looking forward to getting it set up.

I had gotten 2 coaching sessions from ianmc38 from boards which I found very good. However with Ian traveling in the other side of the world it was hard to organize some sessions so I have organized with valor, also from boards for coaching which should be good as he is a high stakes player so I should pick up some good stuff there.

I played my first big poker tournament about 2 weeks ago over the May bank holiday weekend. I won a $55R satellite on GJP and took the ticket worth $1150. I found it a great experience and though I played well for the most part of it, I was disappointed with my exit hand as I called an allin when I was very far behind with only 12mins to go in Day 1 after playing for 8 hours. But I will put it all down to experience and hopefully one day I can use it if I can mange to play more big events. Hopefully the WSOP and Irish Open over the next few years.

So thats it for now, good luck at the tables!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekly Update and playing for pure fun

Have had a good enough week poker wise, didn't get many hands in at all at 50nl but was very happy with how I played at it. I really loosened up my game from what I was playing at 100nl. It's just so much easier to do it at 50nl though. But the idea is to be able to do the same at higher limits. I haven't played many hands at all just because I decided to go back to Donegal for the weekend to see the family and stuff. On Saturday morning I sat in at a 100nl for a short while when a friend was online. I was just messing about open pushing over raises and just having a bit of fun with a $20 stack. Then I played some 0.01/0.02 just to play for pure fun, I was opening nearly every hand and chatting away to the other players in the chatbox. It was all good fun and enjoyed it immensely, its a break from the seriousness of the grinding. Had a few interesting hands that I posted on boards. Other than them there wasn't to much that was interesting. My stats for the week are shown below. Really happy with my LAG game at 50nl and I enjoy playing like this, it can be very spewy at times but this is quite hard to avoid when playing like that.
I also bought a desk for my laptop this week as it was just messing the kitchen table way to much and the girlfriend was getting a bit annoyed with it so I bowed to the pressure!!! So with the nice big desk I impulse bought a 22" Samsung moniter from Argos. I fully intend to take it back within the 16 days as I just bought it to see would I like it.

I played about 150 hands with it today and I didn't really like it so far. I'll give it a few more days before I decide wether I will buy one or not as this one is going back regardless. Its way to expensive in my opinion for what it offers. I would rather get one with 1920x1200 resolution as it would be much better for playing poker. But we will see how it goes.

Last thing is the bankroll now stands at $1584.17 so I just need to keep on building and try to get back playing 100nl as soon as possible.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Its going to be a fresh start

Not sure at the minute how cut out I am for poker. This year has went fairly well to be fair and I've made a bit of money at it. Up until the end of March my BR stood at $4.2k and I was beating 100nl for 4bb/100 which I was happy about to be honest. I then took a shot at 200nl and it went a total disaster, I tried to play my 100nl game at 200nl and I got destroyed to be honest. I lost 1k in about 500 hands playing badly.

Now I have taken out the remainder of my roll and put it into my bank account and I'm going to keep it as profits for the year and I'm left with $1150 which I'm going to use to play 50nl again and this time I am going to destroy it and try to kick out any mistakes I have in my game and just try to learn it better. I also plan on putting up weekly updates on here on Mondays.

The new plan is to take the $1150 bankroll and build it up to 3.5k and then start taking shots at 100nl. I'm also only going to play 4-6 tables and actually concentrate on my game and what others are doing but most importantly put more thought into my decision making and thought process.

Unitl next time......

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Since I posted last things havn't really been going great. When I got to $4k of a roll I took out my original investment to Carlos of $1.5k as I wanted to just be playing with the profits that I have made from online poker. This just makes me feel more secure when I am playing as I now know that the money I am playing with wasn't my hard earned cash to start with.

So this then left me with $2.5k or 25 BIs for 100nl. I got of to a terrible start at 100nl for the month, In my first 1600 hands of the month I managed to drop $1100 which was a bit soul destroying. I then moved back down to 50nl for a while and made a bit back, I felt that I was crushing this game at the time as in my first 2 sessions I made 10BIs, but then I started playing badly again and was back to were I started again.

At this stage I then started watching some cardrunners videos and this was very worthwhile to watch. These players are just a different class and its very good to watch their style of play and try to learn from it. Their thought process in hands is very insight-full and this is something that I need to improve on when I am playing. I took a few days of from playing poker so I could try and come back with a clear head and stll have my bankroll in tact.

When I came back I stupidly took a shot at shortstacking 600nl and 1000nl. It was very profitable but pure luck as well, I won all my races and sucked out big time one guy when I flopped a set and check the flop, he caught up with a straight on the turn where all the money went in but I filled up on the river to give me a $600 pot. The plan is the next time I play 600nl I will be rolled for it but this is a pipedream at the minute.

I also played a few tournamnents this month, I cashed for more than a $100 in the 35k guaranteed on ipoker. I made a stupid call when I was 11th in chips with 72 left and crippled my stack. I went out in 55th I think which isn't to bad out of a 1400 player game. I also came 4th in a 100 man $10 rebuy game for $225. My bonus also cleared this month which gave me a boost of $300 and at present my bankroll stands at $3020 so with rakeback to come in I hope to be at around the 4k mark for the start of April.

I'll post up my 100nl graph and stats for the period so far. Its very gloom looking but I am starting to recover at least.
So thats the story so far this month. The plan at the minute is to start taking shots at 200nl in April and be properly rolled for it by the end of April which I want somewhere over $5k for it, preferably $6k, but we will see how it goes. I'll try stick in an update at the start of April and see how things stand when I get my rakeback in the account.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A fresh start in 2008

At the start of January I opened up a new account with Carlos Poker with a good cashback deal. I think this is crucial to any poker player these days as you really need that extra bit of money to boost your bankroll and it can turn a losing month into a bad one.

I said to myself that I was going to start afresh in 2008 and just forget about what ever money I had won or lost up to that, to be perfectly honest I'm not sure if I have been in profit since I started playing as I didn't keep any accurate records, I actually think I am up about €1500 - €2000 but this could be wrong as its easy for anyone to forget the money they lost and just think about the times they've won. So with that in mind I am taking note of whatever money I have deposited into different accounts or played with in the casino. So to date my spending is as follow:

Carlos €416.04 / $600 - I went on to lose this and deposited another:
Carlos €681.58 / $1000
VC poker €50 - wanted to play in an Irish Open Freeroll
Poker Stars €15 - played the Sunday 100k once, other time I forgot to play it and lost the $11!!
Sporting Emporium €55 - played the €75 scalps game one night
Jackpot €150 - a drunken night at the end of January

Holdem Manager €50 / $80 - poker tracking software.

So to date I have spent about €1420 on poker and my online BR currently stands at $3617 (rakeback of around $250 is still to be added to this) which is the equivalent to €2400, so to date I am up €1000. So where this money has come from is described over the next couple of paragraphs.

The screenshot below is from sharkscope where I made a few $ playing $20 30 man tournaments and some other 10 man sit and goes, also in there is a $110 6 man SNG which I played while chasing loses one day. Something I have tried to cut out of my game.

I also played a good few hands at 50nl and at the end of it I was actually down money which was very annoying. I thought I would be able to beat this level quite comfortably but due to tilting problems I had a few sessions where I dropped a lot of money, around $500 3 times, this was very upsetting at the time and every time I made the money back I done the stupid thing and I would tilt it all back again. You can see some really quick drops in the graph, basically where I played bad and then tilted ever more off. But it does make for a funny looking graph!!
So if you examine the graph you will notice that I make money in a completely different way to most poker players. I make my money from pots that don't go to showdown red line, basically I play my hands very aggressively and they don't get show down, in showdown pots I am really bad because people call my bluffs so the showdown winnings are bad blue line. My actual winnings green line is the difference in the two and as a result of bluffing to many calling stations which is poor on my part, I lost money playing 50nl, with the rake back added in I showed a small profit over 25k hands which is very disappointing. My stats from poker tracker at 50nl are shown below. I have split them into 2 as basically on the 23rd of January I had a coaching session where the only thing that we discussed was my PF game, which as you can see I did improve a hell of a lot which can be seen from my winnings and stats:
Some of the main differences in my game from the coaching was my PF raise, instead of calling and limping more I now raise a lot more. I am still playing the same % of hands but playing them a lot more aggressively, you can see that my stealing % is also a lot higher which means I am picking up a lot more pots from the button and the blinds, this is very important in improving your win rate. Basically I have improved my game quite substantially in my opinion for this level.

Once I had $2000 in my poker account I started taking shots at 100nl, to date these have gone very well over a small sample size of hands. I am now comfortably bankrolled for 100nl and I am feeling pretty good with my game. I am going to finish this post of with the same graphs that I have used above.
So as you can see I ran really hot over the first 3.5k hands or so, since then I've had 2 $450+ downswings but I recovered from both of them so I am happy enough. One of the main differences is that I am up money in showdown pots which is where I want to be. Its also nice to be still making money in non-showdown pots, with the 2 of these combined I think I have the basis of a good game. My stats over this period are below:
1 thing I want to work on now is improving my PF raise and getting my W$WSD higher as I think these are important to my game. My stats aren't as good as they way they were at the end of my 50nl so I'm going to take a few days of playing poker now and try and work on this. I'm also going to sign up to cardrunners and watch some of their videos as I have been hearing nothing but good reviews about these from fellow 100nl players. So thats it for now, I will try and keep this updated each week from now on. Next week probably won't have much of an update as I don't plan on playing many hands this week, more of s review week and study week.

My poker story so far

The first time I remember playing poker for money was back in my first year in college when a few of my college mates emptied out their money boxes and we started playing some 5 card draw for 1c and 2c. To be really honest I don't remember if I won or lost, but the next time I played poker wasn't for another couple of years.

Then when I left my work experience in Xilinx my colleagues at the time gave me a poker set for my leaving present. I brought it home that evening to my house and the next evening we started playing poker fairly regularly. We played a few times a week, usually 5 of us for €2 a game.

Then it started, I had a betting account with Boylesports and put some money into a poker account and started playing very low stakes cash games and sit and goes. I had no bankroll what so ever, I usually put in €5 and cashed out when I got to €100. I was doing well at this and was able to give myself spending money while in college. I think this was when I realized that I could make a few extra euros in the week from what was an easy way of earning a few bob.

Since then I have played hundreds of thousands of cash hands and quite a few tournament both online and live. I rarely ever play live, usually when I have been out for the night and have had a few pints so this is something I try not to do anymore as it usually ends up costing me money. To date my high points in poker have been splitting a €100 buy-in last Xmas 4 ways for €650 each, doing really well out of the GJP freeroll with 2 1st places a 2nd and a 3rd, collecting me a total of around $1200.

Perhaps one of my biggest highlights was 4 days in Las Vegas were I spun $20 at a 2-4 limit table up to $700 over 4 days, where I got involved in my biggest pot to that date. I had sat in at a 1-2NL table with $60 and played really really tight, basically I had all my gambling money on the table. After a while I had gotten up to about $250 and called a $7 straddle in the pot with QhJh. There was 4 other players in the pot and the flop came out 89T rainbow flop. I checked as a beginner would usually do with the nuts, the player after me goes all in for about 50, another player calls and I re raise all in. The player that flat called looked at me for ages and started talking to me saying I know you flopped the straight but I call anyway. I heart was racing at this stage. 80% of me wanted him to call, the other was kind of wanting him to fold because I didn't want to get outdrawn and go home a tell a bad beat story. Anyways he had a set of 9s, the other player had a set of 8s. I was never as nervous in my whole life, even though I was a big favorite to win the hand it felt at the time like I had to miss every card in the deck. Anyway the turn and river changed nothing and I scooped my biggest pot to date.

Hopefully I will be able to return to Vegas later this year around the time of the WSOP event, I will try a few satellites on Poker Stars for the main event. I would love to play it but at the same time I know it wouldn't be in my favour to play it but if I get in for cheap well I ain't going to say no.

A getting started post

I've tried a few times already to start a blog but it has just never happened for no good reason. This time I am just going to put up a post to get it started and then go from there. I'm going to try and update it every week about my poker progress from 100nl up.