Wednesday, 31 March 2010

March Review

I'd like to thank PJ Harvey for accompanying many winning hands of poker this month :)

The month continued well although not quite as hot as the first half. I finished with a new record win for a month in just over 60k hands. Volume is down a little from my record last month but I played more quality hands and didn't waste too much time playing tiny stakes Rush. According to a certain site I'm the top 50PL Full Tilt player this month by a long margin winning at over 7BB/100 and also top so far this year winning at over 6BB/100 so I'm feeling pretty good about my game and poker at the moment.

In other news I've been offered a contracting job for 5 weeks which I've decided to take, starting in a couple of weeks. Its been a tough decision with poker going so well and the idea of mornings and commuting. However, I think its important that I keep my options open in case poker turns out not to be the career for me. This will put something in my CV as well as solidify some contacts should I need to approach them for a job in the future.

The downside is obviously that I won't be able to put in the same volume and will be restricted to playing at probably the worst hours of the day during the week. My other big fear is that it will disrupt my current progress and the hot streak I'm on at the moment. However, I've realised this thinking is probably flawed and results-orientated.. any attachment to "success" in an arbitrary timespan is meaningless in a game where only the longterm matters. Then I thought it about it some more and probably out-levelled myself so decided it's not worth worrying about!

However, the bonus is that as I'm being paid contracting rates on top of whatever I can make through poker the rest of the time, it means I'm now almost 100% certain I can afford to go to Vegas this summer :)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The month is going really well so far and I feel my decisions at the table have been slowly getting better and better (for the most part!). I'm hand-reading so much better than I used to although still plenty of room for improvement as its such a tricky art to master.

I've not managed to increase the number of tables I'm playing but its been going so well I'm not feeling the need to change what seems to be a winning formula at the moment.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Table chat

I dedicate this post to Journey__xxx__man54 & comb__xxx__sgator.

As far as I'm concerned there are two golden rules when playing at the tables (online or live)..

  1. Don't berate the bad players
  2. Don't educate the bad players
Rule #1

What possible value is there for you in talking trash to a bad player.. probably after they have made some awful play and somehow got there? If they are bad they are most likely a recreational player and are playing to have fun, pure and simple. If you are nasty to them they are going to be more likely to leave the table with your money without giving you the chance to take it back (and more). Say "nh" and move on. When you suck out or cooler them then say "ul" and move on. When two bad players start at each other then fair enough, but when regular players do this I cannot understand why. If they are smart enough to be regular players and possibly depend on poker for a living then its definitely -EV. I'm sure there are villains who will stay and play even worse if you do wind them up, but unless you have some prior experience with them or a degree in psychology I still don't think its +EV.

If a reg feels the need to vent in table chat then they have a leak imo and need to find another way to deal with it if they have any desire to improve. If I see this going on at the table then I tend to try and deflect attention from the bad player and say something about how terrible the reg is.

Rule #2

Any bad or recreational player is unlikely to have much knowledge of poker terminology, theory or poker tools such as HUDs.

By talking strategy at the tables with another regular player you risk the chance of the bad player reading it and reacting. They might decide to do some reading and educate themselves to become better or more aware; they might discover that people play with HUDs and discover they can store and review their hand histories; they might discover you can (although its not permitted) buy hand histories; they might discover tools such as PTR and realise how much they are losing; they might decide that poker is rigged and they will never win so stop playing.

The table might be full of mainly regs but even a single 45/6 at the tables is enough for me to think its -EV. Maybe the fish that is your biggest donator is on the waiting list and observing waiting for another chance to test their mighty poker skills against you. Do you really want to take a chance (however small) that you might never get the chance to play them again?

Regs should know there are plenty of other ways to talk strat... via IM, 2+2 etc so there is no need to do it at the tables.


Poker is a game of small edges so can you really afford to give up any edge you have?

I moderate comments so if either of you want to discuss rule #2 (or laugh at me!) you can send your contact details. Don't get me wrong.. I don't think you were commiting the crime of the century or anything, but as I now make my living from poker I try and treat it seriously and want to preserve any edge I have at the tables and keep the bad players exactly as they are... at the tables and bad.