Saturday, 31 January 2009

January review

Its been a record month for me: +$2400 overall with rb/bonus/stt/mtt in around 28k hands :) I've reached my bankroll requirements for 200NL and have had a few shots which have gone really well but haven't faired so well at 100NL so I'm going to continue to focus there. Changing my BR requirement to 50BI with shots at 30BI+ might give me the time to make the improvements I need. I'm also playing some 25NL and 50NL to get familiar with making adjustments between levels, trying to ignore the $ amount on the table and think in BB.

I think I now have enough hand history to suggest that coaching is definitely +EV - I've only marked the first proper session but it really felt like a turning point. Thanks Baz!

With the good exchange rate my hourly rate is in the same ballpark as my day job.. food for thought!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Change of goals

My original goal was to get enough cash together to have a long holiday in Vegas, experience the WSOP and leave a little over as a seed bankroll to keep playing.

Now this really seems to make no sense.. to build a bankroll and then possibly blow 80-90% of it is just bad bankroll management. Much better to grow the bankroll further and then take 5-10% for the trip.

This means I need a new goal with Vegas still as a side goal! I don't want to set a huge $$ target so I think the best thing would be to strive for a good $/hour winrate over the previous 3 month period. The previous 3 months have seen me make $7/hour excluding rakeback and bonuses at NL100+ but I'm closer to $25/hour this month so $50/hour over 3 months seems an achievable but stretching target for now.

I plan to achieve this by

  • Playing better!
  • Playing at higher stakes if my BR/skills allow
  • Finding the optimum number of tables for me to multi-table
EDIT : Good start for the new goal : $90/hr over 2.5 hours :)

Monday, 26 January 2009


Tried my first session of 8-tabling today at 100NL and it went pretty well. I only made a few minor mistakes like trying to setmine against the raise of shortstacks and I'm sure I missed some stealing opportunities but fortunately it wasn't too costly. I didn't time out in any hands so its definitely within my capabilities to play 8 or more.


  • Harder to pay attention to everything that is happening
  • Harder to find the time to make notes on players
  • Easy to throw away marginal hands in late position and miss stealing opportunities
  • Harder to quickly get to the relevant HUD stats for a decision when 3-4 other tables are needing your attention
  • Harder to table and seat select without losing focus on the active tables
  • Easier to get away from potentially costly marginal decisions - my biggest loss in all the hands of the session was only 12.5 BB
  • Speed of play prevents any boredom and stops me trying to engineer situations against fishy players
  • I won't see rakeback stats till tomorrow but I'm sure this should be good
  • FT points come much quicker
  • Volume of hands helps smooth the variance. (managed to play 938 hands in 152 minutes)
The pros definitely seem to outweigh the cons and I'm sure with practice it will become easier to cope with the pace.

One bonus was that when I was shutting down the tables I missed unchecking 'auto-post blind' on one table so was dealt in for another round and this happened:

I finished up the session up $283 so it continues my good run over the last few days.

Definitely think I'll invest in a 24" monitor so I can try and keep all tables on the same screen - I'm currently coping with 4 tables on each of my 19" monitors but its a bit like watching tennis!

This was the other big hand of the night:

And just to remind myself it doesn't always go smoothly this was a cooler from yesterday although I managed to make the money back after. Was really pleased how I handled it though.. not a hint of going on tilt :)

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Weekend of Live Poker

We played a home game at Andy's on Friday which was fun as usual. I hit quad 9s at one point and finished 3rd for £19 and a profit of £7. (Sorry for the 97d hand at the end of the rebuy period Jas!).

After I got home I played 6 tables of 100NL for an hour to win $330. I ran great.. big pairs prevailed, cbets worked, i hit sets etc. This was the best hand for my biggest ever single hand win at 100NL with a pot of $357 (+$200). Wish I could always win at $309/hour and 44.21BB/100!

Today I played the office poker £30+3 freezout in my first casino trip for a while. I started out well but dropped a little approaching the break then was knocked out with a hand that played itself. I raised in EP with AA and was called by TT. The flop came 789 and I was reraised allin after I bet the flop and I didn't even have to wait beyond the turn for the J.

I'd been thinking about playing some live cash with my recent online experience and the above created the perfect opportunity.. the table was filling up and I was tilt-free after the way I went out the tourney. I sat down with £40 to a very loose aggressive £50NL table with plenty of bluffing. I dropped down to £25 after some calls for value didn't hit and bought in for another £20. It didn't take long to double up with AT v A8 to £90 and i won a few more pots to get up to around £125 then this hand happened..

Most of the table limped round to my SB of QhJd so pretty much had to call the 25p for value. The BB who had sat down recently and had been involved in a few pots made a pretty low raise to £3.50 and with all but one of the limpers calling I was forced to call for value again. The flop brought AsKcTs and the nut str8 for me. I checked and the BB bet £7 into a pot of around £20 and was called by limper. His range had some outs and with a spade draw I rasied to £47. He thought for some time before calling and the turn brought 6h (other limper folded). With £120 in the pot and £76 behind I pushed allin on the turn and after quite some time thinking and muttering about QJ he called. The river was a harmless 3d and I won the £270 pot. He never showed his hand but pretty sure it wasn't a spade draw.. perhaps AQ/AK. I thought this was my biggest cash pot ever, but it works out at around $370 with the poor exchange rate on the £ - definitely my best live pot though. I got max value as I had him covered by about £1.50 and he left straight after. Apparently I didn't even microflinch when he was talking about QJ so can thank my daydreaming stare into the table for his call :) I stayed a few more orbits but didn't get involved in much else and left with £262 and £176 profit for the weekend.

The play at the cash tables really was pretty poor and its so so so exploitable - especially armed with my online experience. I'd go more often if it wasn't for the higher stakes and bigger volume online but definitely looking forward to the next trip whenever that might be.

This has completed a wonderful 4 days of poker and I'm feeling really good about my game as well as feeling lucky! Tuesday was terrible and I dropped $280 with mixture of blad play (2/3) and bad luck (1/3). Got back on the horse on Wednesday and won $140 as well as releasing the $300 iron man bonus. Thursday saw me up another $255 and with Friday's $330 above and £176 live its been a very profitable few days. I'm mindful not to be too results-orientated but is definitely giving me positive feelings and that can't be all bad.

Its a little early to say yet but its looking like this will easily be my best month to date : much more A-Game and much less B/C-Game.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Played well at both holdem and omaha as well as having some sick luck :) I was around 20th of the last 50 then started to gain chips and was 1st by the time it was down to 20. I was 20k chips clear of 2nd going onto the final table and powered through for 2nd taking out 4th & 5th players in one hand. I probably commited too many chips of my stack in the final hands of HU omaha where I maybe had an edge in the upcoming Holdem level but still a nice cash.

This leaves my bankroll around the magic $6000 (30BI at 200NL) but I've still got a lot to learn at 100NL so won't be rushing to move up other than the odd occasion where I'm feeling good in my game and the tables are soft.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Quitting sessions

I was coming to the end of a session last night.. I'd run bad early on (AA losing to AK flush) and was $100 below EV but things improved and I was up $100 despite the EV. I was tired and made that horrible decision - "I've been running well in the second half of the session and have a seat at 2 lovely tables so I'll just play a couple more orbits".

The cards started to run colder but yet I still didn't quit. It took me losing almost a full stack at 100NL before I closed the tables. (I'd 3bet with AKs and had 2 callers and stupidly started to bet on a Q high flop with only 1 spade against two fishy calling stations and having got rid of one I pushed on the turn to be called down by KQ and no A came to save my foolishness).

The section about quitting in Elements of Poker came to mind and in particular .. if you have a good session and are X Happy, how much happier are you going to be if you play on a few hands and win a bit more compared to how unhappy you are going to feel if it goes bad as above?

The trouble with quitting decisions is that you might make great quitting decisions most days, but you never have any concrete evidence that it was a good decision to help reinforce good quitting behaviour.

This was definitely a -HAPPY decision and I'll have to watch out more for this in the future. I only ended up down $60 for the day so its probably a good value lesson. Much better to go and donk away $10 at microstakes if I really don't want to quit straight away in situations like this.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Back at work

I'm back at work this week and hating the cold, early mornings, less hours at the table and not being able to pick and choose the times I play. I think it has made me realise more than ever that I really like the idea of going pro and ditching the 9-5 job. However, I've got a long way to go and am not going to rush into it. I figure I'd want at least 6 months in a row earning more than I do now as well as a healthy bankroll before I'd even consider it and would probably want some other sidelines - perhaps doing some coaching and some freelance web/programming work to go with it.

Played a frustrating session last night with the limited time available - lots of fish around but just couldn't get decent hands at the right time. I even 7-tabled for a while but ended up down 0.3BI in 800 hands. When I didn't hit my cbets were being re-raised and when I did hit a hand there was no action :( Anyway thats all just variance and I won't be dwelling on it.

My FT Slippers arrived but are definitely not built for for a Scottish winter!

Sunday, 4 January 2009


Now that he is advertising I can reveal my coach is Bazclef. I've had 2 sessions so far during December and a lot of hand reviews and discussion. It was reassuring to find out the bits of my game that were good, and also to discover the areas that I could improve. I feel my game is getting much more solid as a result and pretty sure I'm making more money already - I'll post some suitable statistics when I've got enough hands to compare.

I'm 4.5k hands into the month, up around $600 with $100 bonus secured and $130 rakeback due so early signs are good :)

Thursday, 1 January 2009

January goals

No real goals for the month other than continue what was good in december and close in on bankroll for a decent shot at 200NL :)