Sunday, 30 November 2008

November review

This month I've gained $200, 2 books, a $5k freeroll entry, a $30k freeroll entry, a $26 satellite token and a copy of SpadeEye from a total of 22k hands.

I reached the top "Iron" Iron Man Level at FT - its taken quite an effort to get 200 FTP for 25 days of the month. I've definitely played a few sessions when my mind wasn't as focussed as it should have been and probably drop a few $$ as a result. Mental note: bonuses are exactly what they say they are .. bonuses. Play to win and if you get a bonus then great, not the other way around.

I've mainly been grinding 0.5/1 FR which has gone a lot better than my other poker so wish I'd stuck to the main task for all my hands (only 16/5k @ 0.5/1). (I'd be up $900 including rakeback if I'd won at the same rate).

November goals review:
1. Play mainly cash (0.5/1) - probably target around 20k hands
2. Move to 4-tabling from 3-tabling
Achieved and have done a couple of sessions with 5 & 6 tables.
3. Try and play more focussed sessions (1-2hr) and learn to quit better (poker element #5)
Done ok but still needs constant work ... had the quit feeling on the last day of the month and would have been $300 more up if I'd listened to myself
4. Read more and watch more
Not watched any videos but have read some 2+2 posts, articles and have read some of Poker Mindset. I definitely plan to join CR/Stox and watch more videos next year.
5. Play a few MTT/Multi-Table SnG
I did but it didn't go very well :( Best was a low cash in a $5 6-handed rebuy MTT.
6. Play a few live casino games
I did but haven't cashed for a while there now. I'm sure I'll play a few in December over the holidays.
7. Try and do more/better analysis and maybe get some coaching?
Coaching looks like it will happen but still need to analyze more.
8. Win $$££!
Barely achieved!

I came back from quite a bad downswing 3/4 of the way through the month and feel my A-game has come on quite a bit as I finish the month. It would have been better if my month hadn't seen me drop $300 in my final few hands including these below. The first is just a horrible suckout for the other guy (he was playing 73/23/6) and the second they had quite a few outs and hit.

$0.5/$1 No Limit Holdem
6 players
Converted at


Hero (CO)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 6 players) Hero is CO

2 folds, Hero raises to $4, 1 fold, SB calls $3.50, BB calls $3

Flop: ($12, 3 players)
SB checks, BB bets $4, Hero raises to $20, SB folds, BB calls $16

Turn: ($52, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $49.50, BB raises to $99, Hero goes all-in $34.65

River: ($235.15, 2 players)

Final Pot: $220.30
Hero shows:
BB shows:

BB wins $232.15 ( won +$109.15 )
Hero lost -$108.15
SB lost -$4.00

$0.5/$1 No Limit Holdem
4 players
Converted at

Hero (CO)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 4 players) Hero is CO

Hero raises to $3.50, BTN raises to $12, 2 folds, Hero calls $8.50

Flop: ($25.50, 2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $18, Hero raises to $61, BTN goes all-in $79, Hero calls $18

Turn: ($183.50, 2 players)

River: ($183.50, 2 players)

Final Pot: $183.50
Hero shows:
BTN shows:

BTN wins $181.50 ( won +$90.50 )
Hero lost -$91.00

Friday, 21 November 2008

Live Omaha tournament

I'm looking forward to tomorrow as I'm going to get a chance to play in my first live casino Omaha tournament, to be run by Office Poker. I've no idea how many of the usual 70-odd will be playing but it should be fun :) The format is a £10 Omaha Hi rebuy so I expect the play to be pretty random, especially at the beginning.

I'm mainly playing Holdem these days, but I've played a fair amount of Omaha Hi / Omaha 8 online in the past, so hope I might have a good chance to cash if I get some cards and a little luck.


It was a bit random as expected at the beginning with some misreads and everyone played as if a pot sized bet was compulsory. I suffered pretty badly for the first hour, my drawing hands not hitting and my good starting hands beaten (AAKQ lost in a 4-way allin pot by 95xx) so cost me a few rebuys. After the hour it got much better and I was at 19k chips after the add-on (double the average stack). I made a couple of bad calls after the break at lost a few k. I finally went out in 17th/34 after missing all 20 outs on the river (had nut straight draw, nut flush draw and would have won if the board paired too I think). It was a lot of fun though and made a nice change to the usual Holdem games.

Net result : -£61 (-buyin - 4*rebuy - addon)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Poker bots

As a programmer/scripter I'm very interested in the possibilities of scripting and automating for multiplayer online games. I spent a lot of time the in 90's (gosh that makes me feel old) writing scripts for playing telnet text-based MUDs (Multi User Dungeons). Different MUDs had different rules regarding this. The one I played most allowed scripting but only on the premise that you were atk at the time and the scripts were just aids to help you deal with repetitive tasks. The advent of unmetered internet access also had a big effect and truly allowed 24/7 botting. It became a form of competition in itself to write a better, faster, more intelligent bot that could cater for many scenarios. As time has moved on and the player base has drifted off into playing CStrike, WoW, poker and the next generation of online gaming the rules have slackened to allow full botting when afk although restrictions do still apply. My MUD bot still runs although I haven't been atk there in months and I'm sad to admit it (along with those that are left) after all the hours put into characters and scripts the game is dying. My online time there puts the game hours of the current generation to shame. In the 16 years since I joined this MUD in 1992 I probably have an online time of around 8-10 years.

The illegality of all poker botting activities has kept me away from attempting anything with online poker, but I was interested to read this article on poker bots.

I wonder if the future of poker will see our bots playing each other as we all move our concious selves to the next big thing? If poker botting advances beyond the capabilities of detection with neural nets on quantum PCs then any poker other than live play could become futile.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Mid month review

Its halfway through the month and I've settled into mainly 4-tabling at 0.5/1, trying to put in 1-2 hours per day. Consequently I've just hit 10k hands (1/2 of the month's target) and have also qualified for Silver in the FT Iron Man Challenge. Another 5 days at the same level of play and I'll reach Gold, or another 10 days and I'll reach the maximum level of Iron. Overall I'm up around $250 including rakeback after some tourney and 6-handed losses.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The casino has moved all games to start at 8pm rather than 9pm - I showed up the other week for the Friday rebuy late to see a much reduced field of players, so I don't think I'll be going to that again.

This week I went to the Saturday night £30 double chance freezeout instead with a more respectable 68 entries. I did pretty well up to the break finishing with 8.5k chips with the average at 5.5k.

After the break the blinds started to eat my stack and finding myself with 5BB and AA i pushed hoping for at least one call but none came :( A few hands later I pushed with 88 and got a call from AK who hit their A on the flop and I was out in around 37th. I didn't make a wrong move all night but just wasn't my day.

Net loss : -£33

Friday, 14 November 2008

$0.5/$1 No Limit Holdem
8 players
Converted at


UTG ($45.50)
UTG+1 ($200.10)
MP1 ($18.50)
MP2 ($101.50)
CO ($167.70)
Hero ($122.60)
SB ($99.00)
BB ($100.00)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 8 players) Hero is BTN

1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $2, 2 folds, CO calls $2, Hero calls $2, SB calls $1.50, 1 fold

Flop: ($9, 4 players)
SB checks, UTG+1 bets $5, CO raises to $13, Hero calls $13, SB folds, UTG+1 folds

Turn: ($40, 2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $20, CO calls $20

River: ($80, 2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $42, CO says "so sick if you have it", CO calls $42

Final Pot: $164
Hero shows:
CO shows:

Hero wins $161 ( won +$84 )
SB lost -$2.00
UTG+1 lost -$7.00
CO lost -$77.00