Friday, 27 June 2008

June Review

June has been a pretty good month, mainly playing Sit & Gos at Full Tilt with a profit of around $800 (and a couple of T-shirts!). For the first time I've reached Iron Man status (Silver) although it doesn't mean much except for a small icon on your avatar at the tables and entry to a freeroll or two I think.

Played quite a bit of live poker this weekend, but didn't get many cards and found it hard to find any good opportunities to make a move. At the Office Poker Team Event we surprisingly finished just out of the $$ in 4th= of 16 teams. It was much closer than last time but the format tweaks weren't quite right - some players were left in a sit n go with all their team out and nothing to win even if they came first. Personally I had very few decent cards. As the blinds increased I shoved with 44 hoping my tight table image would induce folds but ran into KK and finished 7th :( If I'd known we only needed a couple more points I should have perhaps waited for something better - I think some of us will feel the same about our performances. We picked up our winners medals that we should have received last event so didn't leave empty-handed. I tried my first live casino cash game for experience - it was very loose and agressive. I left the table £1.25 up!

This will be my first $$ towards my Vegas fund even though that wasn't the plan at the beginning of the month. I've spent some of this on a PokerTracker license and also bought a 4% stake in Bazclef's attempt at WSOP 2008 event #52 ($60). Good luck Baz!

In order to get to Vegas I'll need to win

  • Enough to travel and stay in Vegas
  • Enough for a decent bankroll when I'm out there that I can afford to lose and still have a good time
  • Enough to leave $2k in neteller so I don't come back and have to start from scratch
  • Enough to pay for a holiday for Andrea so she lets me go!
This is why I'm not setting a specific date when I'm going to go.. if its in 3 years time then so be it. I don't want the pressure of having to win a specific amount by a key date to affect my play and who knows what else life will throw in the way.

The story so far

I've always been a fan of games and gambling and the internet so poker seemed like a great combo when it started to appear online. It looks like I played my first online hands at the end of 2003 playing initally at Ladbrokes and then Party Poker. I didn't keep any records in the early days but was probably up around $1.5k before I started to track my incomings/outgoings at the end of 2005. At this point I set up a Neteller account and tried to build an online bankroll so I could safely play without risking any of my wages.

I soon had a couple of good multi wins at Party Poker (best was $1.6k in a 1st/2nd split of a $20 Omaha Hi/Lo PL Rebuy) and soon got my Neteller balance up to my target $2k. I had a terrible run between September 2006 and May 2007 and almost lost it all before my luck turned and I managed to build it up again. I can only think I must have been a lucky idiot at the beginning and hope that I am now a more solid player!

Until now I've taken anything over this out as profit and spent it on gadgets (XBox 360, PC for my firewall and an EEEPC) which skews my neteller balance graph a little.

The profit graph below corrects the skew and is a better representation of my progress to date.

These days I mainly play at Full Tilt and Pokerstars although I'll probably reconsider where I play in the future to make the most of any rakeback and bonus deals available, as well as finding the most profitable games for me.

These are my sharkscope graphs from the above rooms (sit n' go only).

Full Tilt:


There isn't much point in analyzing my play to date as I don't have all the hand histories, but I think a general upward trend is good?!

As for live play my experience is much lower and I don't have any records but I'm pretty sure I'm above break even (wins of £330 and £265 are my best from buyins of the £10-£30 range).

So, now its time to focus!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Opening Post

Inspired by Bazclef's trip to Vegas I've decided to try and go next year or the year after around WSOP time.

In order to get there I'm going to have to sort out a few things

  • Study
  • Pick the right moment to play
  • Pick the right game
  • Build a good bankroll
  • Play more live games
Study: I play too much without giving it proper thought and rely on instinct over solid statistics. Starting to use PokerTracker and a decent HUD is a must and any other legal tools at my disposal. Analyzing is also going to be essential rather than trying to forget those nightmare hands! I've always been good with numbers and stats and with a Maths degree I really should be applying my brain more.

Pick the right moment to play: Far too often I play when tired and end up on a downswing for all the wrong reasons. Playing less hours but more quality profitable poker is the target.

Pick the right game: Online I jump between NL Holdem, Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi/Lo, but live there is little choice in Edinburgh except for NL Holdem. I think my preference would be for Omaha Hi/Lo in an ideal world, but without the benefit of live practice it may not be the best choice. On the other hand, the Omaha WSOP events are generally cheaper and probably have a smaller field.. lets face it - the chance of winning the main NL Holdem event are tiny!

Build a good bankroll: This is an obvious requirement for a trip to Vegas so picking the right kind of games to make money is key.

Play more live games: I've played enough to feel comfortable in a casino, but am a long way from making good reads on other players.

I'll post soon about my poker journey up to this point as I try to embark on this new one.

A quick mention for The Random Outs as we try to defend our title at the Office Poker team event this year - go team!