Saturday, 28 May 2011

April and May have been pretty bad months for me, especially at the cash tables, but boosted by a few donkament cashes to make results bearable. Doing 8 weeks of contracting definitely knocked me off my A-game and I've struggled since to get back on track. I was planning to get some coaching but for various reasons I've postponed it.

I fly to Vegas in a few days, staying for 2 months this time in a nicer house (with a pool!! :)) with a few of the same guys as last year. I can't wait and I'm looking forward to some live cash as well as playing 3 WSOP events and a couple of events in the Venetian Deepstack series. I have sold 60% of my action which sold out in a pretty incredible 40 minutes based on my tracked results from last year. I hope I'll also be able to fix some of the nasty tilt and leaks I've developed these last 2 months.

"Black Friday" has been only a minor inconvenience for me in the end.. most of my bankroll is safe so I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm sure its a tough time for my american friends, but I think in the end it will be better for everyone. There is simply too much demand for, and money to be made by the poker sites for it to simply die out and fade away. I look forward to the times when recreational players can easily and safely deposit and play again.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

March review

It hasn't been an awesome month for poker, but with contracting all of Feb and most of March I wasn't expecting anything great.

My game has definitely suffered, or at least my perception of it, during my time away from the tables so I'm focussed on getting back to where I was. I am planning to get coaching, but I want that to take my game forward and not use it fix leaks I've developed over the last 2 months so it will be a couple of weeks before I book any lessons probably.

Only 2 months to vegas now, so getting super-excited! I'll be playing 3 WSOP events and 2 events in the Venetian Deepstack series this time (total buyin $4200). I advertised 60% of my action for sale on 2+2 a few days ago and sold out in 40 minutes, even getting an offer to buy 1% of my main event action if I was playing! I think the ME isn't a wise investment for me at this stage but I would love to play it some day. I'll have 1% of Gary's attempt, so that will have to do for this year.

Monday, 28 February 2011

February review

It has been a disappointing poker month but it was always going to be when I'm also doing the contracting job. The first week was great.. did my days of contracting and then had a great weekend of poker, but as time has gone on I've been more tired and my decisions have been getting worse as I haven't been as immersed in poker as I normally would be.

Playing enough hands to maintain iron man and black card has compelled me to play when I'm not at my best and also playing at some of the worst times of day doesn't help.

I expect it will be much the same for most of this month until I finish contracting on 24th March. I'm going to try and make the most of the situation though and be as aware as possible of my mental state and the kind of mistakes I am making under this scenario. It can only equip me to handle bad sessions better in the future.

I can't wait to get back to poker full-time and have some sessions with my new coach.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Low volume month

With contracting I'm not getting much time to play poker at the moment, but I put in a winning 3.3k hands today to get my monthly volume up to 18.7k. Results have been ok, but I've made some silly mistakes when playing a bit too tired in the evenings and not being 100% focussed on poker. I have one week more to go in my job contract but I suspect it may go on a bit longer.

Got my vegas flight booked today (way more expensive than last year unforunately). It has one less stop and I'll be travelling with one of the other guys in the house for the London->Vegas leg so it should be better than last time.

I've also finally found myself a new coach. He crushes midstakes so I hope he will able to help me get better at 100 and perhaps start taking some shots at 200. However, I'm not going to start with him until the contract is finished so that I can make the most of the lessons and applying what I learn.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Go Packers!

Green Bay Packers are one of a few american football teams I like (for no real other reason than I like their logo and have a T-shirt). I like the game but really don't have a clue who any of the players are but I'm looking forward to the Superbowl tonight anyway.

Its been a tiring week getting used to the 9-5 grind again, but its been a very good week financially with the contracting and some really solid winning sessions at the tables when I have been able to play.

I was at the casino last night to play the monthly £33+£20 addon/topup which had one of the biggest fields for a long time .. 90+ I think with top prize of £1500. It went pretty well, but when I made a shove with a flush draw the villain had flopped top set and had an easy call. The turn brought my flush but also brought him a FH :( I was crippled but made it to the last 2 tables but didn't last too much longer calling a 3way allin blind, and my above average A7o

Monday, 31 January 2011

January Review

Cash has been disappointing this month - a lot of runbad and some bad play by me (in some part induced by the runbad) kept my winrate down. My volume was a little higher than the last couple (41k) but not as much as I'd hoped.

I've just noticed now that I've put in the least hours in a month since June, so the plan to increase number of tables has gone ok, but I think the runbad and some other stuff has kept the volume down. I don't feel I can attribute any of my bad play to the number of tables I was playing so I'll continue to try and play more hands/hr.

Results were boosted by FT's end of year bonus clearing and some tournament winnings as well as a small cash heater these last 2 days so it tuned out ok in the end, although not quite as good as the record last 4 months of last year.

I'm disappointed that I've done no studying, hh review sessions or villain analysis. I've given one coaching session but have yet to make any steps forward in finding a coach for myself.

We're close to getting a house sorted in Vegas for June and July so I'm getting really excited about that and will be booking flights soon :)

In other news I started a job today for a few weeks.. I was offered a contract out of the blue by the company I worked for before Vegas last year. As before I have mixed feelings about doing it but am working Mon-Thu only this time which leaves me Fri-Sun to get some hands in and make the most of the softer weekend games. There are a few good reasons for me taking the job, but the most obvious of which is having guaranteed money so that I know I can cover the cost of flights and rent for Vegas now as well as some money to save to cover bills at home while I'm away.

This will definitely affect my volume target for this year, so I think a wiser goal is for me to aim to increase my hands/hr which I should be able to achieve no matter what else might be going on. For the last 6 months hands/hour have been


so my goal for next month is to get > 270/hr. Getting the next tier of black card is also out of the window for now I think as my average is much the same as at the beginning of the month - 843ftp/day and a long way off the required 1500ftp/day. If I can get my hands/hr up then it should follow in due course.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Good day

After the disappointing start to cash this month (b/e results, horrible non-showdown winnings) I approached my session today differently after reflecting on some of the possible short-term leaks I'd developed:

  • playing a bit too loose for my post-flop skills
  • not paying enough attention to 3bet ranges esp when opponents are quite deep
  • playing for value that can be too thin and against a very specific portion of villain's range
  • playing too many speculative hands in late position
  • ignoring reads
  • autopiloting too much
  • not finding fold button enough
  • taking too many opportunities to isolate
  • not always taking time to use hud information available
  • not believing and ignoring hud information when I do look
  • overestimating implied odds
  • taking weak lines and folding when I do have odds because of how I'm running
  • cbetting too much (esp multiway and oop) and taking thin opportunities to barrel
  • not questioning myself on reasons for betting
  • not bet sizing correctly given action, ranges and villain reads
  • making mistakes becuase I feel like I deserve to win after some runbad and stacking off incorrectly compounding the issue
  • trying too hard to win every hand
I went to the casino last night to play a live donkament for some fun and to get away from the virtual felt. Live action can be pretty slow but it gave me the opportunity to think about the above list and try and get my thought process back on track in the live hands. I played well but was shortstack by the time we made the final table of 9. I finished 7th in the end and mincashed but it payed for the event, some food and a little petrol for the car but I think the time to reflect and take a break was much more of a win.

I thought my session stats today would end up reflecting a more nitty approach but I was a lot more aggressive and also called a lot less so my VPIP/PFR gap was much lower than it has been recently. Its a small sample and I did run better than I have been with some great river cards to contrast the recent terrible ones so that stats might not mean that much, but it was my decision making process that I was most pleased with today and selection of spots to play. I could be blinded by a good day of results so I need to make sure I am as focused in my future sessions and to come back here and read this If I feel like I've let things slip.

I think getting the list of things above right and consistently is what can separate the winners from the b/e players who might appear at a glance to be very similar in nature. I saw a reg today squeeze 35o at a 5-handed table from the BB vs a minraise with two very fishy players who were very likely to be calling and how he thought his hand would play well against them oop and multiway I've no idea. He obviously flopped the nut straight and stacked one of them, but he is clearly not a thinking player despite having very TAG-like stats. He does seem to be a small winner but the sample size is fairly small so I'm not sure it will last.

Anyway, here is my brag graph for the day -

With today's session and the MTT cash the other day the month is definitely back on track :)

Here is a trivial hand today from a $2 Omaha Hi/Lo Rush Rebuy (I had a small cash in the end finishing 29th / 683), but always nice to beat a pro in a pot :)

Volume target : 750k+ Current: 15.4k Projected : 620k
BC rolling avg target : 1500 Current : 869.26