Saturday, 28 February 2009

February review

Its been an odd poker month.

My play has been up and down as have my results from losing quite a bit at 50NL and 200NL, playing mainly 100NL pulling 1.84BB/100 and having some amazing but foolish and tilty shots at 400NL. I lost a chunk playing STT when I was struggling with cash games but then recovered some with the MTT prize below. In hindsight I seem to have been tilted after having a bad start to 100NL dropping a couple of BI in my first big session. I'm sure wanting to beat my record previous month was a factor but this results-orientated kind of tilt I need to work on. It was only 2BI after all and hardly a bad downswing!

All in all I feel slightly lucky to come out of the month being +$400 ($1000 above EV!) in around 21k hands and it was cool to win my biggest pot ever ($803 as I cracked AA with KK after putting in $400 preflop!).

In the last few days I've had a coaching session and I'm feeling more grounded again and the MTT & casino wins are filling me with good feeling for the new month.

Next month I'm going to concentrate on a couple of things. I HAVE to be more disciplined so no more 400NL! In fact I'm going to restrict myself to 100NL FR and 25NL/50NL 6max exclusively, the odd cheap MTT and no STT. Along the same lines I'm going to more disciplined with my decisions at the table and take more time to make them watching out for the Invisible Information. In turn this will require sessions to be more focussed so I'm going to enforce a 2hr max on sessions with mandatory 30 min break and no on-screen distractions (IM, email, video etc..). These all seem to be essential skills to master to really get value out of poker. Many people say that online poker is much harder than it used to be in the past and I'm sure its true. However, the game seems far from dead and there is money to be made but every small edge needs to be taken. A very solid 200NL regular posted his monthly stats and its an inspiration and something to aim for (+$25k, 100K hands, 6hrs a day 16-tabling). His 800k hand graph has lost the signs of variance is a straight line moving ever upward.

4th *2

I played a $10+1 knockout MTT last night and came 4th of 410 entrants to win $295 which helps my online numbers for the month greatly. Went out with the best hand as a larger stack who had been aggressive and had already been caught raising from the button with J3o shoved over my BB. With less than 10BB left I called with K9o and his K3o hit a 3 to knock me out.

Today I was at the casino for the office poker tournament (£30+3 freezeout) with 64 players. I'd gone quite prepared to lose the tourney and play some cash again, but the casino has started a £25/hr charge for each cash table which seems to have killed all the action :( I played pretty steady for most of the tournament hovering around average chips. My only pair bigger than TT all day was a single AA on the button that could only steal the blinds around level 3. Closing in on the bubble I dropped some chips and was forced into shoving 99 after a raise with my last 12BB. The tourney organiser was 300 chips shorter than me and had to call with 77. The original raiser folded and my 99 held up and gave me a 36.1k stack to take to the final table (around 5th in chips).

The blinds were rising brutally with antes but with a stolen pot and a fold to my BB I stayed around 35k till the first players went out. I was forced to call a shortstack allin (3k into a 15k pot with Q8 which spiked an 8 and beat QJ) which propelled me up to around 50-60k. Blinds had risen to 8000/4000 + 800 ante and into the last 4 I managed to steal some blinds from my button to still have 50k (8BB) before my last hand. The chip leader (180k?) had been making quite a few raises showing 72 earlier and opened from UTG against my BB. Finding KQc I shoved and he called with KJo. The flop brought a J and it was all over for a win of £190.

Its a bit brutal to have lost both times with a better Kx against Kx, but better to have it happen for 4th rather than at the bubble so very pleased with my game. Perhaps my biggest mistake of the night was...

bit loose not very good player who likes Ax (20k) in CO raises 2.4k into pot of 2.8k blinds&antes

me (14k) on BB with 44 thinks about going over the top but folds

ok player in SB (16k) calls 2.4k

Flop : K44

SB shoves KQ
CO calls KT
me in BB cries on the inside :(:(

My numbers above aren't exact but the blinds were around 1200/600 + 200, 27ish players left, so our stacks didn't give the odds to setmine, but perhaps this is cashplay thinking? Partly based on this, my instinct was that a call wasn't the right move especially with only 12BB. Shoving was an option but if villain called I'd probably be the underdog in a race for my tournament life as well as there being another player yet to act. I'm still not sure which option I prefer - I think fold, call or push could all be reasonable and I should probably run some ICM calculations to compare. I think the way it played out just makes it seem disappointing and a worse decision than it might have been.

Net gain : +£134 (£190 - £33 - £3(parking) - £20 (op membership renewal))

Thats my first win in an Office Poker torunament in quite a few attempts (other than the team event) so very pleased to rack up my first points in the league and bring a positive end to the month.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

today was stealing some blinds from WSOP bracelet winner Vitaly Lunkin.

Everything else is best forgotten..

Its amazing I'm still up for the month and certainly don't feel I deserve to be - I'm hoping a coaching session will help me get back on track.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Home games are rigged!

My hand was the 99.. we obviously chopped!

I had to rebuy a few times as Mr Swift was his usual aggressive self and also running hot - a fearsome combo! (hand above was with him too). Finished 3rd for £18 to cover my buyins exactly.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


has to be one of the most depressing places to go and I have the joy of visiting today for work.

Loaded up with poker vids and 2 poker books for the 6 trains I'll be on to try and pass the time and make it not a complete waste of a day. It will ruin my evening session though :(

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Better again

Started out pretty poor tonight but it picked up in the late stages of the session and I finished up 2 BI again over 1k hands to make it +4BI in the last 2k hands (over $60/hr).

I flopped quad As this time but it wasn't a big payout, and hit quad 4s on the river after I already had a shortstack beat with my set.

This was the biggest pot won of the night.

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


Hero (UTG)

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

Hero raises to $3.50, UTG+1 calls $3.50, 6 folds

Flop: ($8.50, 2 players)
Hero bets $7.50, UTG+1 raises to $15, Hero calls $7.50

Turn: ($38.50, 2 players)
Hero checks, UTG+1 bets $38.50, Hero raises to $83, UTG+1 goes all-in $33.40

River: ($193.40, 2 players)

Final Pot: $193.40
Hero shows:
UTG+1 shows:

Hero wins $189.90 ( won +$88.40 )
UTG+1 lost -$90.40

Monday, 16 February 2009


I had much better 100NL sessions tonight and felt more focussed, although I did make a couple of poor calls against shortish stacks. Despite this and losing with AA to QQ (he hit straight on the river of course after we were allin preflop) I ended up 2 BI.

I think my good results from last month may have caused me to be chasing big numbers this month which has adversley affected my play and could explain the shots I took at 400NL. Fortunately it hasn't cost me and I have 2 weeks to try and turn things around.

This was my favourite hand from the night, flopping quad 2s. I'm not sure if I would have got the call on the river if I'd pushed all-in. I think he probably could have got away from the hand if I'd re-raised the flop or turn so probably got the most value I could from the hand.

Villain is a 13/11/3.5 reg (but not a great one). TR has him as my 7th best friend and me as his 4th worst enemy.

$0.5/$1 Deep No Limit Holdem
9 players
Converted at


Hero (MP2)

Pre-flop: ($1.50, 9 players) Hero is MP2

1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $3.50, 1 fold, Hero calls $3.50, 2 folds, BTN calls $3.50, 2 folds

Flop: ($12, 3 players)
UTG+1 bets $8, Hero calls $8, BTN folds

Turn: ($28, 2 players)
UTG+1 bets $14, Hero calls $14

River: ($56, 2 players)
UTG+1 bets $29, Hero raises to $58, UTG+1 calls $29

Final Pot: $172
Hero shows:
UTG+1 shows:

Hero wins $169 ( won +$85.50 )
BTN lost -$3.50
UTG+1 lost -$83.50

EDIT: Probably should have raised on the turn.. next time :)

24" monitor

I got myself a new 24" widescreen monitor a couple of days ago which I'm really liking, with 19" widescreen beside it. Its much better for multitabling and I could play 9 tables at a time on the main screen. I'll need to make some adjustments to my HM Hud to make it more readable as the tables are now a little smaller than I'm used to, but 4 or 6-tabling the tables are BIG and clear! :)

My poker has been pretty poor so far this month, losing at 50NL, 100NL and 200NL, STT & MTT. My only salvation has been some foolish but profitable shots at 400NL inlcuding my largest pot ever ($803 for my KK cracking AA) to make me breakeven so far (inc. rakeback). I've tried playing less and other things but can't seem to shake the gloom when I do sit down at the tables. (It was nice to take Queen of the South to the Champions League in championship manager 2008 though!).

I think I need to just try and play through it and concentrate on making good decisions and ignoring the $$. The 400NL shots have to stop even if they have saved me from a loss so far. I'm going to try and record each 100NL session I play now with commentary. I'm hoping this will make me more focussed and if that doesn't fix the downswing I can send them on to my coach to review. I'm pretty sure I haven't developed any leaks since last month but it can be very hard to be objective in your own hands when you are running/feeling bad.