Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in review


Well, how did 2008 start? Poorly. 31 December 2007 I had been playing for almost 6 months and had built my bankroll up to $2,658 after taking off my inital deposit which was actually $800. On the 1st of January I then managed to lose 50BBs on the $1/2 tables, and then on the 2nd I lost another 50BBs, which meant i'd lost almost 10% of my bankroll in two days. January did turn around though and ended up boosting my bankroll by nearly 50%.

In February I decided to start this blog which seemed like a good idea at the time. I should actually look back through those first few posts where I talked about table selection, bankroll management, rakeback/bonuses, reading material and software.

April saw me fire up a few of the double up sitngos just for a bit of a changeup from cash. I still play them from time to time today, although obviously still play mostly cash.

May was my best month in terms of total return ($1,750) where I had a decent heater on the tables for table winnings of $1,200. Even then one third of my return was from rakeback/bonuses.

June I scored my most bonuses in thanks to a juicy Littlewoods bonus and rake race. I actually lost at the tables that month to the tune of $670, but made $1,820 in bonus cash, so it still ended up being a pretty good month. A real cooler compared to May though.

August turned out to be my worst month of the year, as my cooler continued and I dropped another $460 on the tables. Partly this was due to a shot at $4/8 on bodog where I got slaughtered. Accidently played an orbit of NL400, and ended up winning my largest ever pot at the time of $191 when my pocket 4s turned trips. Rakeback/bonuses kept my return positive for the month. I guess its easy to see why you need to have a good deal or two going.

November turned out to be a fairly ordinary month results wise again, and was again due to taking another shot at Bodog. It could have been a disaster but I won my biggest ever pot of $281 when I hit the nut flush on a paired board on the $4/8 tables. November does contain a couple of important posts for me to revisit though - attributes for a successful poker player, and long term poker goals.

December saw the WBCOOP, where I actually qualified for the final, and made it into the prizes .. just. Took another shot at Bodog $4/8, and managed to fail again, although a late turnaround averted complete disaster.

2008 also saw me implement a withdrawal strategy to make sure I do get something out of the effort I put in. At the moment i've withdrawn about $8k, and am simply withdrawing $1k for every $2k my bankroll increases. I still do keep it as bankroll but i'm unlikely to call upon it.

The year also saw me find a bunch of fellow bloggers who are a great read and often post useful comments when i've played like a muppet. Cheers guys, and good luck in 2009.

Overall Results

I finished the year with a bankroll of $15,800, so all up a gain of $13,100ish - which to me is more than I could have expected at the start of the year as a low volume casual player. About 1/3 of my winnings have come from the tables and about 2/3 from rakeback/bonuses.

Bonuses cleared
  • Fulltilt iron man year end bonus from 2007 + rakeback - RakeTheRake
  • Pacific sign up + more - RakeBackStat
  • Interpoker sign up plus monthly no deposit plus rakeback - RakeTheRake
  • Bodog monthly reloads - RakeBackStat
  • Ultimate free cash kickback - PSO
  • Mansion kickback - Rakeaway RakeAway
  • GNUF kickback - PSO
  • Sun monthly no deposit plus rakeback - RakeTheRake
  • Party poker various reloads
  • Littlewoods huge sign up + rake race + rakeback - RakeTheRake
  • Cake reloads - Raketherake
  • Pokertime kickback - rakeaway
  • Pokerstars kickback - PSO
  • William Hill - sign up bonus + rakeback - RakeTheRake
  • Everest kickback - PSO
  • Chan poker (rip) kickback - PSO
  • 24 poker kickback - Rakeaway
  • Pokerroom kickback - PSO

Regular sites - actively playing on now

Regular sites - deals that I could and do use from time to time

Current bankroll: $15,800

December summary

A reasonable result in the end for December, without a huge amount of play, although I have got in a few hours over the xmas break.

A couple highlights:
  • Got to the WBCOOP finals on Stars which was quite fun, but fairly time consuming. Good for something different though, and learnt a few new games in the process like 2-7 lowball, omaha, razz etc.
  • Blew my $86 ticket that I won in the WBCOOP very quickly
  • Took another shot at $4/8 on bodog and was unsuccessful again due to running extremely cool
  • Recovered from my shot at Bodog remarkably quickly
  • Hit my third ever Royal Flush, and picked up a $50 bonus for it (50 times the big blind .. unfortunaly was only playing $1/2 at the time)

Last month's goals for December:

  • Clear as much of my Bodog reload bonus as possible (try to get closer to taking another shot at $4/8). (cleared a huge chunk of the $200. Took a shot and lost)
  • Clear a chunk of my remaining Cake reload bonus (cleared $60 of it)
  • Spend some more poker points and hopefully convert some to cash (nope)
  • Play some Pacific through my RBS deal (yep, had a small heater, but now need to buy the hand converter to upload into PT)
  • Pray for another Cake reload ... and don’t screw it up this time (didn't happen)
  • Maybe sign up on Eurolinx through RTR (didn't get round to it)
    Maybe sign up for another kickback bonus through PSO (didn't get round to it)

The gain of $1,200 for the month was made up of:

Bonuses/VIP: $310

  • Bodog: $200
  • Interpoker: $50
  • Cake: $60

Rakeback: $130

  • Cake: $40
  • Fulltilt: $60
  • Interpoker: $30

Poker bankroll Interest: $60

Poker winnings / (losses): $700

For January the goals in order of priority are:

  • Clear as much of my Bodog reload bonus as possible (try to get closer to taking another shot at $4/8)
  • Finish my remaining Cake reload bonus
  • Clear my monthly interpoker bonus
  • Spend some more poker points and hopefully convert some to cash
  • Possibly purchase the Pacific hand grabber to play there
  • Pray for another Cake reload ... and don’t screw it up this time
  • Maybe sign up for another kickback bonus through PSO

Current bankroll: $15,800

Monday, December 29, 2008

SitnGo bankroll management

Had a mate of mine ask me about SitnGo bankroll management the other day.

The conversation was something like:

Q: How many buys ins do you need in your bankroll?
A: At small stakes probably 60 for STTs, 100 to be fairly safe if you're a winning player

Q: What stakes SitnGos do you play?
A: $5 - $15

Q: Okay, so 100 times 15 is?
A: $1,500

Q: And your bankroll is?
A: $15,000

Q: Ummm ... why are you playing so small stakes then?
A: Well, I only really play SitnGos for fun, as I don't think i'm that good at them - they're not my game of choice so there's no point blowing a lot on them. That being said, if I was losing on them, I wouldn't play them at all. My ROI is around 16% (and then rakeback on top of that) from about 200 games, and the majority of those are double ups which i've researched a little on how to play them.

Q: What should I be playing?
A: Well, start with your bankroll and calculate what that allows you to play. Then research your game of choice, be it Cash games, STTs or MTTs. Everyone has their own style and a game which suits them best, although i'm sure anyone could be a winner across all three if they put in the time and effort and have the skill. Obviously you need to know what you are doing before jumping in, and make sure you track your results to make sure you are profitable.

For me obviously cash games are my game of choice, and I will only play on soft tables. I'm also a bankroll nit as most people will notice, as i'm still mainly playing only up to $3/6. Maybe when a shot at $4/8 actually goes my way i'll move up a bit more permanently.

I've actually got in about an hour and a half of play in the last day since my nasty little downswing followed by moderate recovery. I'm pleased to say that I hit a mini heater, and returned a positve 15BBs at $3/6 on cake, followed by a good 45BBs on Pacific, which I decided to check out when I couldn't find enough tables running on Bodog and managed to find a super soft table there.

I'm thinking of taking up the Ladbrokes PSO offer in the new year to kick start the bonus chase for 2009, but I figure i'll still be mainly kickin around on Bodog, Cake, Interpoker for their reloads/rakeback.

Current bankroll: $15,650

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another shot at $4/8

Found a bunch of decent tables on bodog this morning, with 3 decent tables of $1/2 and one superb $4/8 table. I decided to sit down at the $4/8 with two vpip 50+ guys on my right, two on my left, and one tight passive opposite me.

As per usual though, I got off to an absolute shocker right from the start. My hands were not even holding up against 72o ... which obviously my opponents were playing against me, and for some reason they thought it was good ....

After 72 hands I still had not won a showdown, and by about 130 hands I was down by 60BBs on the $4/8 table, which is a decent dent in the bankroll. I'd had to buy back in twice, but I knew I was playing well and had fantastic position on a super soft table so didn't really consider quitting. To top it off, at the same time on my other 3 $1/2 tables I was also down 60BBs ... so that's a 120BB downswing in the space of an hour and a half.

After playing for another 45 mins or so, however, I had recovered a solid 30BBs at $4/8 and 30BBs at $1/2. Why can't I start like that?? Still down fairly substantially, but could have been a lot worse.

Overall on Bodog $4/8 i'm now all of 523 hands VPIP 25% PFR 16% WTSD 42% W$SD 40% ... = -10BB/100. At $1/2 i'm 13,000 hands VPIP 26% PFR 19% WTSD 37% W$SD 48% ... = -0.5BB/100. Overall my W$SD is still under 48%. It would be nice to run a little warmer .. or at least to expectation for an extended period of time ... I also want to push up the vpip a little - probably mostly through playing my BB a little more whenever there are cold callers in addition to an open raiser.

I also played my WBCOOP step 3 ticket on stars, and got absolutely nowhere ... I think I was second out after flopping 3 good, but second best hands (including one runner runner flush draw - argh!) and I ended up shoving a weak ace versus a better ace to lose badly.

Current bankroll: $15,300

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cake gold card fishing and Pokerstars reload

Actually played a couple hours this morning on Cake when they had their 4x gold card promotion, where gold cards are supposed to drop four times as fast as usual.

They hold a gold card lottery each day and give away either cash or a freeroll when you trade in your cards. The rarer the card the higher the value cash or freeroll.

I picked up a few cards on the $3/6 and $2/4 tables, but only made a couple BBs overall after several nasty beats. It was one of those sessions that I was never really down in, but never really up either, although on a $1/2 table I did need to reload after dropping 25BBs, but that was more than made up on a $3/6 where I was up 10BBs.

Also received my monthly Bodog reload bonus which is a nice little boost to the bankroll, so also deposited another $200 for my next reload. I think I will receive a rakeback adjustment shortly for my bonus payout so I have dropped my total bankroll by a bit to compensatte.

On top of that I deposited only $100 on Pokerstars for their reload. According to 2p2 its only worth around 20% rakeback, but i'll play the double ups on there whenever i'm bored of cash, and since their rake is lower, its more like an equivalent 38% rakeback on the normal double ups, and even higher on the turbos, when compared to say the crypto double ups.

Current bankroll: $15,600

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sometimes I am a muppet

Played a couple hours today, and misread a board again ... which is the second time in not very long. It cost me 4BBs which kinda sux, but I guess it would be far worse playing NL.

I had the 4 card nut straight ..... and that was on a table I was still making money on but luckily it was only $1/2.

I fired up a couple Cake $3/6 tables and was quickly down 30BBs there when my W$SD was under 30%. My note on the guy to the right said "HUGE FISH, will open limp any 2, and call down 44 on a AKQ board". Obviously I couldn't leave and half an hour later my note taking had paid off and i'm up 10BBs which was a fairly nice turn around.

Managed to lose a few BBs on the $2/4 tables though so actually ended up down on Cake for the session, even including $20 in bonus cash.

On the plus side, I made 20BBs on the $1/2 tables on Bodog where I always had a 50+ VPIP fish to my right for the entire session. About time I had a decent win really, as i'm still running like poo there.

Current bankroll: $15,450

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Xmas break

Didn't get on to the tables last night, but got a $60 rakeback credit, so the bankroll is still heading in the right direction.

Probably won't get on for a couple days over xmas, so won't be posting for a few days unless I find some spare time.

Happy holidays all, and good luck!

Current bankroll: $15,400

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back to cash

The tourney journey appears to be over for now. No more worthwhile freerolls for a bit as far as I know. It was fun as a change up, but i'm now really looking forward to getting back into cash.

I played all of 10 minutes last night, opening a couple bodog tables, where I had one player on the table who was willing to bet all streets with Q high and no kicker. Called him down with K high 3 times, and won the hand 2 twice and lost once when he rivered his T to pair his QTo holding which he'd bet all streets with no draw. Also had him call me down once when I had at least TPTK, and he called the river with air. So in two orbits i'm up about 20BBs.

I also found a juicy Cake table, and noticed the guy on my right do exactly the same thing as the guy on the Bodog table. I scored one hand in the first orbit of AQ on a Q high flop, and he bet or called me down the whole wasy. Unfortunately for me Cake decided it was maintenance time and closed all their tables for a few minutes, so that was the last hand I played there for a handful of BBs.

Its now that time of year to start thinking about my goals for next year. Might have to make some notes for a future post.

Current bankroll: $15,350

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wbcoop final - The end

The third session started badly for me. Mainly with one hand where i've called an UTG+2 preflop raise in the Big Blind with KTs and flopped Kxx with xx being low semi connected suited cards, but not my suit.

He has then raised, and I repopped him, only to see him go all in without much thought. To call that would have completely crippled me. I was possibly in front, but with only 140ish players remaining and my aim for the top 100, I eventually crumbled and folded with my top pair, average kicker. Not sure if that one's the right decision, but it left me with about 7k chips and out of the top 100, and blinds reasonably high, say 250/500ish.

Great .. i'd halved my stack and was sitting out of the 100.

Got nothin much for a while except a couple blind steals. However, the guy on my right had stolen my blinds a few times, although he had also tangled with wouldbe almost every 3rd hand by the looks of it, who was sitting on his right.

I ended up taking a stand when it was folded to the SB when i'm on the BB looking at KJo. He shoved, which put me all in, and I snap called, only to see TT. Fortunately for me I won the race with a K on the flop, so was now comfortably back in the top 100 with the bubble getting ever closer.

From then on I was fairly card dead. I once had 55 in UTG+1, and the next hand in UTG I had 66. I folded both preflop as I really didnt want to see a raise behind me. Was a little irritating to see a 5 on the first flop and a 6 on the second one though ...

When the bubble burst I was still on around 6k chips but blinds were 500/1k. And not only did I have a couple aggressive players on my right, the tourney big stack was only one or two to my left, and was calling relatively often, with generally good cards.

To kick me out, I had the princely T8o when it was folded to me in the CO, which i've then tried to steal with for my 6BBs. Big stack called with ATo, and its good night for me. Maybe I should have been more patient and waited for a better spot ... but I didn't. 87th was okay though for the first attempt. Now i've just got to figure out what to do with a steps ticket. Is there anyone way to convert it to T$? I'd rather just play the double ups.

Wouldbe was kickin along okay at this stage, as he'd basically accumulated another 20k chips, so hopefully he came out okay.

Blindman was on the rail cheering us on, although he'd been knocked out a little earlier TPTK v trips. I saw Joppa was going okay at one stage, but didn't check again before I ran off to work.

Overall, the WBCOOP was an enjoyable experience, where i've learnt quite a lot as well as a few new games thanks to the 8game qualifier. I probably have to do a bit more reading on NL tournament strategy though, but since I only really play freerolls at NL or double ups, i'm in no rush.

Its definitely taught me though, that tourneys really aren't my game. I'm sure the concentration starts fading, and when i'd finished one of the qualifiers, I'd really had enough of poker for a bit, and even though I could have played cash afterwards, I didnt bother until the next day.

I played a few Bodog cash tables while tourneying and a couple other freerolls i'd qualified for through affiliates. One freeroll I placed near the bottom of the money for a huge $12, and in the other I received a horrible beat (one of those 2 outer jobs) to go out in 16th when top 10 were paid. The bodog cash tables smashed me though, with a <30% W$SD. Overall my W$SD there has dropped below 48% again. FFS.

Current bankroll: $15,300

Wbcoop final - part 2

Survived to the second break, mainly through one single hand.

First hand after the break I started with QQ. Everyone folded preflop.

Second hand after the break TT. Everyone folded preflop.

Fourth hand after the break TT. One caller. He folded flop.

My cat then decided to knock my breakfast bowl off the table, with shattering results which was handy. So between hands cleaned most of that up.

Key hand of the session. 99 in earlyish position. Flop trips on a 2 suited and semi connected board. Slightly shorter goes all in to my flop raise and I push all in. He flips over JTs for a straight draw and flush draw, which fortunately for me misses, and i've basically doubled up to be in about 60th in the break with 12k chips.

addendum #2: That 99 hand has been posted in a replayer on the Pokerstars wbcoop blog .. just do a search for shearin88. http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/2008/12/wbcoop-main-event-live-blog.html Apparently he was some dude called 'Micon' who can play a bit.


In this session I also managed to make one fold preflop that I thought was a small miracle. UTG (who had me covered) raised it 4BBs and I was sitting in the SB with JJ. It got folded around to me and I was sure I was raising this up, but for some reason I decided to fold at the last minute and hit the fold button instead. The big blind then pushed all in which UTG snap called with AK. Unfortunately for him, the Big Blind had AA, and I breathed a massive sigh of relief. I'm pretty sure this can't be the right play from me, but I was almost in doubleup mode at the time where I just wanted to make the top 100.

Wouldbe also joined my table halfway through and is lookin okay but a little short on 4.5k

Wbcoop final part1

Well, i've been pretty much card dead to the first break, although I did have AKo twice early, but I actually ended up folding to early position preflop bets of 400 into a big blind of 30 chips. Not sure if that is the right thing to do, but c'est la vie.

I did pick up AKs once, but I only won blinds with a 3xbb preflop bet.

I've made a few steals and one c/r flop steal against a very loose preflop stealer to maintain my chips stack at 6.3k ish ...

One key issue for the moment .. my monitor keeps cutting out ... could be a big problem when i'm staring at a blank screen ....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wbcoop 8 game - part 3. The end

Well, i quickly dropped 1k in chips straight after the restart when I raised a half decent hand preflop that missed badly and then faced a raise on the turn.

A few hands later I doubled up to about 6k when my KKTT held up in 7 card hi/lo for the high. From then on though, I got literally nothing, and didn't have any blind steal opportunities. Things were looking pretty dismal with about 2k chips and 77 players left. I think I was 2nd to bottom at one stage.

I ended up folding into 71st. Thanks go out to one muppet at our table decided to steal from the sb for about 4k chips from the table big stack in the big blind. SB turned over 9s4s. BB turned over KsQs ... K on the flop and he's out.

Went out next hand after the bubble burst in Omaha in the SB with bugger all chips. Had a pair of 3s so just pushed my 1.5BBs. Unfortunately up against KK who flopped a K. Anyways, very happy with the result. Cyas in the final! Although i'm beginning to think NLHE is actually my weakest game (apart from stud).

wbcoop 8 game - part 2

still hangin in on the 2nd break with about 5,500 chips. average is 11,632, but 6,000 gets you into the top 72. Currently 98 left.

I was totally card dead that session ... except when getting huge hands like full houses AAAKK in razz .... anyways .. reraised a stealer all in from the sb once with A6o when I was down to only 2k chips, and it held up versus his 86o.

Hopefully i can crawl into the 72. Just one hand of the nuts would be nice ...

wbcoop 8 game - part 1

At the first break of the 8 game and i'm on 4500 chips. 320 left of 456, and average stack is 3,562. I'm a little out of the top 72 but not too far off.

Its interesting, i've actually made the most from the lowball and high/low games. I think its cause other people even have less clue than me ... particularly the guy in 2-7 triple draw who showed down trip tens ...

I did misread one omaha hi/lo board which cost me about 400 chips, but I think thats my only mistake so far. i've got absolutely nothin on the NL orbits, but maybe thats a good thing, as its kept me out of trouble

wish me luck!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

WBCOOP fail #1

First attempt at qualifying for the finals this morning didn't go great, although I guess I did give it a bit of a shake.

Got up at 5.15, but was able to concentrate okay. Actually had a speculative hand or two early, that just didn't pay off. A3s limped in 6 ways flopped my flush draw. Obviously missed by the river, although an A on the turn gave me a small hope.

About 3 other similar hands where I started with a strong holding and flopped either a draw or nothing lead me to being down to 1.3k chips from the starting 2.5k. I then managed to steal a few blinds or win pots with good cbets to get back to a bit above my starting stack.

At about the 40/80 level (somethin like that anyways) after an hour I even managed to luck box a double up with my 99 versus QQ with my 9 flopping sweetly. From there I kept my stack at about 5k for the next half hour, mainly through stealing blinds as I was pretty much card dead. Scored AA once, but still only got the blinds with a 3x raise.

When my stack was about 4.5k and the blinds 100/200 I found myself with AKo in middle position with one early limper. With the pot at about 800ish I decided to just shove from the HJ, as i'd stolen the previous two hands as well. The CO with about 2k behind him decided this was worth calling with K7s. The button with 3.5k behind him also thought his 66 was worth a call. With the flush hitting on the river, and me getting no help i'm then crippled on just under 1k chips. I guess my shove was a poor decision ...

I fold a bunch of hands then eventually find it folded to me in the CO with 54s. I decided to shove to try to steal blinds since I only had about 700 chips left. The sb calls me with JTo, and even though I flop the flush draw, I find myself out in about 250th of 500ish.

Oh well. There's always tomorrow in the 8game crapshoot.

I had a few cash tables open at the same time, and cleared enough points on Interpoker to clear my $50ish bonus for the month. It took opening and closing a few tables to find one with decent position, but eventually I found one that was okayish (well okay since I only needed a few points to clear my bonus, but not ideal for a long term table). I made a few BBs in the process as well on one of the $3/6 tables.

I also had a couple $1/2 bodog tables open, and managed to find one of the best tables that i've ever played on. All three players to my right had a VPIP of 60+ and preflop aggression less than 10. The two on my left were tight passives - one so tight that he folded 100% of my blind steals ... although admittedly there weren't too many stealing opportunities with limpy mclimpster playing on my right.

It started horribly, and I was quickly down 40BBs as the limpers were eating me alive. One of them at one stage had a win rate of 60BB/100 over 70 hands. A good chunk of those wins were from my pocket. Slowly though it turned around, as they kept calling me down with crap and I pounded them constantly with raises. I probably ended up about 20BBs or more, although a couple of the fish were still showing a profit after 150+ hands.

I had one interesting hand where I had AdTd UTG. I obviously open raise this, and get two callers. Flop is KdQdJd ... so my third royal flush ever I believe. SB bets into me, which I just call hoping CO calls as well which he does. Turn is a blank 2 or something, which SB bets, so I raise. River is a blank 3. SB checks and I bet. SB folds.

Then I suddenly think to myself ... doesn't Bodog have a royal flush bonus running at the moment? OMFG .. what if they don't pay if there's no showdown? what have I done? I quickly fire up the website, and read some of the sweetest words i've read for a while -

"The hand does not have to go to showdown "

So there's another $50 bonus (at which point I start to realise ..oh its only $50 .. but then again .. better than nothing!), and all I had to do was fire off an email to their support. It should be credited in the next couple days when I will add it to my bankroll.

So all in all, even with the disappointing tourney result, not a bad little session.

Current bankroll: $15,300

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Learning other games for WBCOOP

With the 8game event coming up in the WBCOOP, i've had to madly surf the web for:

a) the rules of the games
b) the basic strategy in each

I figure its fairly unlikely that i'll place in this particular event, but I don't want to go in completely clueless either. I've also found I quite enjoy learning new games so i'm finding it reasonably interesting.

I can already see it though, that I will misread a board thinking I have a great hand, where in actual fact I have complete rubbish. I've got the basics on a cheat sheet to show me where flushes/straights count or don't count, where A is high only, and at least some basics around starting hands for each of the individual games, and what is a good or bad flop, and what the nuts looks like. I suspect a number of people will be in a similar position so you never know I may have a chance of sneaking into the money.

At the end of the day, with most games tight is the right way to play, so I'm also figuring i'm not going to lose a lot of value even if I fold in some of the games where I have pretty much no clue.

I played about 20 minutes last night, and only managed to find a couple fishy tables where I had good position. One of them was an Interpoker $2/4 table, which then broke up halfway through my first orbit. Damn annoying that, as the guy to my right was a fairly big maniac at 93/60/3/45 ... and had spewed a heap of chips on every hand that i'd seen.

I did play the whole session on a couple $1/2 bodog tables, and they donated me 25BBs in pretty quick time. Again I had position on a maniac on one table, so i'd basically call down with mid pair when heads up. He paid me off with air three hands in a row which was nice of him. Once admittedly I had the nuts, so anyone would have paid me off. On my second table, I had position on a semiloose passive, and on his right was a big fish, so I decided to stay there. I simply value bet top pair at every opportunity on that table, and they also paid off fairly regularly but I only ended up a few BBs on that particular table after a couple 2 outers went against me.

Current bankroll: $15,200

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bit of a cooler

After my half hour session yesterday, had a quick look at my stats. Any time you run at a 14% W$SD its not going to be pretty.

Fortunately I guess, most of it was at the $1/2 tables, because every single one of the 5 $2/4 and $3/6 tables that I opened had vacant seats in terrible positions with respect to the fish, so I closed them straight away.

I twice had KK cracked, which obviously happens reasonably often, although once was against KJ, and the other against 32s on a K high flop. The 32 guy was actually in the CO facing my UTG preflop raise. Go figure.

It was a pity I couldn't keep playing longer, as the tables that I did have running were super fishy and I had great position on every single one of them. Obviously that doesn't guarantee a win given I managed to drop 50BBs in quick time, but i'm sure with time i'd have grabbed a fair chunk of that back. One of my few winning hands was pocket Js on a KJJ flop, with my opponent bluffing into me with A2o and calling my turn c/r and river bet.

Good luck to everyone in the blogger today. As predicted i'm missing it again!

Current Bankroll: $15,150

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blogger championship times

This post is kind of more of a reference for myself, in working out when I need to get out of bed to play in the blogger championship. The tourney timeframe doesn't look all that pretty for me! It looks like I might play in one, maybe two of the qualifiers.

The qualifying tournament schedule is as follows:
  • 124189658 - Dec 15 - 14:00 ET - Pot Limit Omaha = 5.30am ... couldn't be knackered getting up that early. I noticed only 450 entrants though, so there's probably reasonable value entering even without much of a clue

  • 124189659 - Dec 16 - 17:00 ET - No Limit Hold'em = 8.30am would have to take the morning off work ... a chance ... but very unlikely

  • 124189660 - Dec 17 - 22:00 ET - Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo = 1.30pm middle of the day at work .. no chance

  • 124189661 - Dec 18 - 14:00 ET - No Limit Hold'em = 5.30am ... bah early again ... although at least i know how to play holdem.

  • 124189662 - Dec 19 - 17:00 ET - 8-Game Mix = 8.30am hmmm bit of a problem if i dont know what i'm doing, but at least I can play this one, since its on saturday for me.

  • 124189663 - Dec 20 - 15:00 ET - No Limit Hold'em = 6.30am .. might make this one

Good luck to everyone else (particularly in the events I dont play in ....)

For my cash play last night, I literally played a single orbit on two tables. I couldn't find many tables running, and those that were I couldn't get good position on the fish, so I just decided to quit and come back another day. That being said the single orbits did give me about 15BBs so I can't complain.

Current bankroll: $15,250

Patience is a virtue on the poker table

I managed to play an unusually large 4 hours over the weekend, which is quite a lot for me these days. A one and a half hour session was driven by a raketherake freeroll this morning so that gave me the chance to multitable a few cash games at the same time.

In my one and a half hour session on the Saturday, my bankroll literally did not move. I think the biggest swing would have been about 5BBs, and that's with 4 tables open at the same time, mixed between $1/2, $2/4 and $3/6, and all of which I had position on a pretty big fish. Thank god for rakeback or it would have been a complete waste of time. As it is, i've probably made a decent chunk of rakeback out of it. (And am not far from clearing my 30 pound bonus on interpoker).

On one table the player to my left was running at 65%/0%/0.3/45% ... so basically a huge fish. The player to his left was running at 96%/4%/.2/60% - a super massive fish, about as big as you can get. However, in 100 hands, the 96%/4% guy also had a W$SD of 60%. She basically won over half of the hands played for 100 hands solid. She ended up about 80BB/100. It was interesting to hear in the table talk that even though she was up about $150 ($1/2 table), she was actually down $600 for the day - not really surprising to be honest. I ended up actually down a couple BBs by the time the two fish left which was disappointing, but that's poker - sometimes the fish do win over a fair sample of hands. I guess it could have been a lot worse, but the guy to my immediate left donated a fair few BBs to me, even after the player before him kept on sucking out.

My first hour on Sunday was almost the exact opposite. Although I still had good position on a couple of fish, these were more aggressive than the day before. Add on me flopping the nuts or turning the nuts, and these guys are reraising and capping the flop and turn, I found myself up a good 60BBs, mainly across the $1/2 and $2/4 tables. Obviously I lost a few pretty big pots versus their aggressiveness when they did hit, but they paid me off at least a couple 25BB pots. Interestingly I was at a very low VPIP of around 21%, so I guess my patience in waiting for the right spots was actually paying off. At the same time, this result actually put my play at Bodog back into the green, so i'm actually showing a very small, but positive BB/100. Interpoker also continues to improve.

The cash tables when I played the freeroll were back to Saturday's form. I did managed to start off in front a few BBs but basically just didn't get anywhere. I had a couple great tables going, but a few nasty suck outs and any profit quickly evaporated.

I couldn't actually find the hand that I really wanted to post, but here's a couple others. Although they may not be particularly interesting, I may have made a mistake or two so will post them anyways:

Hand 1:

$1/$2 Limit Holdem • 6 Players
UTG 49.13 (bit of a lagfish)
Hero (UTG+1) 48
CO 94.5 (taggish)
BTN 101.38
SB 75.19
BB 58.33 (loose fish)
Pre-Flop (1.5 SB, 6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with KhTh (not bad but can be a trouble hand)

UTG calls, Hero raises, CO 3-bets, 2 folds, BB calls, UTG calls, Hero calls

Flop (12.5 SB, 4 players) (i obviously have to bet here, but the 3 bet kinda sux)

6h8hQd (FD so looks good given the pot is so big)

BB checks, UTG bets, Hero calls, CO raises, BB calls, UTG calls, Hero calls (i'm just calling the UTG bet given CO is still to act behind and i'd hate him to raise out a caller or two. UTG open limped then called 2, and has now donked. Weird line, although he is a bit of a LAG but quite loose with a 50 VPIP. Possibly trips? CO raise after me kinda sux though ... AA, JJ, TT, 99? AK overplayed? AQ most likely? QQ would be annoying. I can't let go the K high FD obviously)

Turn (10.2 BB, 4 players)

Qh (gives me my flush ... but also pairs the board)

BB checks, UTG checks, Hero bets, CO calls, BB calls, UTG raises, Hero calls, CO calls, BB calls (After 2 checks I'm raising here. Not super confident after the UTG c/r, but pot is way too big to fold and I could easily be in front. He might even have Ah)

River (18.2 BB, 4 players)

2s (excellent card for me .. complete blank)

BB checks, UTG bets, Hero calls ......

Would you play same? (results to come)

Hand 2:

$1/$2 Limit Holdem • 6 Players
UTG 94.46
UTG+1 16.65
CO 56
BTN 66.15
SB 36
Hero (BB) 59.4
Pre-Flop (1.5 SB, 6 players) Hero is BB 7h4h (kinda sux .. but possibly playable)

1 fold, UTG+1 calls, CO raises, 1 fold, SB calls, Hero calls, UTG+1 calls (I called here only because UTG+1 was an extreme passive so i figure i'm getting 7:1)
Flop (8.0 SB, 4 players)

7s8h4d (awesome. i'm hoping CO is on either big paint and drawing almost dead or a big pair drawing very slim)

SB checks, Hero checks, UTG+1 bets, CO raises, SB folds, Hero 3-bets, UTG+1 calls, CO 4-bets, Hero calls, UTG+1 calls (i'm going for the c/r here with my check. Surely no one has 65, and there is absolutely no way CO is in front unless he has 88 .. which he may have overlimped with rather than raising preflop. The cap is somewhat disappointing, but i'm hoping he's on a big pair.)
Turn (9.0 BB, 3 players)


Hero bets, UTG+1 calls, CO calls (I was debating a c/r here, but thought I really don't want this to get checked through. Since he just called I'm sure he's not on 88. UTG+1 could be chasing a gutshot I think. With two diamonds on the board I figured it would suck to get checked through and another diamond on the river)
River (12.0 BB, 3 players)

2s (sweet .. a blank)

Hero bets, UTG+1 calls, CO folds (i was a bit surprised by the CO fold here, but meh)
Final Pot: 15.0 BB
Hero shows 7h4h
UTG+1 shows Ad8s

Hero wins 14.2 BB ( won +9.2 BB )

Oh ... almost forgot, my freeroll. Jeez, these things are frustrating. It was only a $3k, 110 player raketherake freeroll on Interpoker, and after an hour and a half I found myself on a slightly smaller than average stack (say 4.5k avg 5k), with blinds about 200/400 or 300/600 and a smallish ante. I'm in the CO with 88, and there is one limper from middle position. I shove and get called by the super short stack buttong, and also SB who has a stack of 6k with AKo. Flop included an A, and supershortstack was holding one of my 8 outs, and its goodbye to me. So about an hour and a half for nothing. At least I earnt a bit of rakeback on my other 3 cash tables whilst playing it though! I really should read some poker theory on how to play tourneys. Maybe shoving at that stage is not the right play at all. The chip leaders at the time only had about 15k though so i'd have been right back in it if i'd held up.

Current bankroll: $15,200

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Room review - Bodog

I've decided its time to start writing my thoughts on particular sites. I figured i'd start with Bodog, as that is one of several sites that I often play on at the moment. Please bear in mind this is my opinion only and relates specifically to limit poker, and some of the strengths are more relevant to my affiliate than to Bodog itself.

  1. Great bonus deal on Bodog which provides very good bonus $ including monthly reloads!!(feel free to click my rakebackstat link and let me know if you sign up!) RakeBackStat
  2. Easy to see how much in bonuses you are earning (daily)
  3. Often fairly fishy opponents - its rare when a table is running that its not worth sitting down
  4. The loyalty points system on Bodog converts directly to cash
  5. You don't have to clear the entire reload bonus each month - you receive any earnings to the nearest 1c
  6. Some bonus cash doesn't need to be redeposited to Bodog
  7. Appears to be fewer sharks as you need to buy third party software to capture hands into Pokertracker
  8. Stability - I haven't had a crash yet, although I believe others have had problems


  1. Not huge traffic. Often only 2 or 3 tables running at $1/2, and at night times for me there are often none running that I want to play on.
  2. No 6 max tables between $1/2 and $4/8 (so I need to build up my roll on there)
  3. You can only play 4 tables at a time (not an issue for me)
  4. You need to get third party software to capture hands into Pokertracker
  5. I believe US players have major cash out issues. Not a problem for me though.

Rake structure

25c/$5 for the $1/2 games with a max of $1.50, which is not quite as good as fulltilt due to the maximum of $1 there. Probably better than ipoker that has 5c/$1, although that has a max of $1 as well.

At $4/8 it has a poorer structure of 50c/$10 compared with say fulltilt at $1/$20

My performance

I ran incredibly cold at the start of my Bodog experience, and am only now beginning to pull it back. Overall i'm back to about -0.4BB/100 which is actually a loss at the tables. Given it started at a hideous -2BB/100 or worse, i'm slowly edging my way back towards expectation.

I've had a couple shots at $4/8, and although i've had fishy opponents, both shots were largely unsuccessful. I believe that was variance more than the game not being easily beatable.

I was going to copy and paste in a chart of my Bodog bankroll movements, but it doesnt really make sense due to deposits and withdrawals. Overall i've deposited $1,300 onto bodog, withdrawn $1,050, and have a current bankroll of $800. So overall up around $550 in around 12,000 hands. Actually a bit disappointing, but the results are kinda skewed by the shots at $4/8 being fairly big losers.

Small addendum: I'm still running at a 37% wtsd with a quite cold 47% w$sd. That's probably costing me at least 2BB/100 and maybe more compared to a normal winrate with a 37% wtsd.

Small addendum 2: Now running at 48%W$SD, and actually showing a positive 0.1BB/100 after the weekend's session

My current plans

I will continue to take up their monthly reloads, and clear as much of them as possible. Part of my bonus cash I will be withdrawing every one or two months. I'm hoping to build my bankroll up on there to be playable on $4/8.

Who am I signed up through

As discussed above I signed up with Bodog through RakeBackStat . Have had no issues with them so far, and cash outs are on request. In fact through one error they actually credited me for the inconvenience even though it was the room's error and not theirs.

Overall opinion

I actually quite enjoy bodog which I guess is fairly obvious based on my above plans. Yes it has its drawbacks, and i've had a relatively poor run there, but overall they're not enough to stop me playing there. The relatively good deal through RBS and the monthly reloads make it a great site to play on. I think I will be even more successful when i'm up and running on the $4/8 tables rather than the $1/2 as they also appear to be quite fishy.

If you're only playing on a single site, I couldn't recommend it due to the lack of volume. However, if you're looking for a part time site to play on whilst playing on other sites simultaneously then go for it. At the moment, I effectively use it in this manner when tables aren't available on the other sites that i'm clearing bonuses on.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Variance doesn't always go your way

I actually got in almost two hours play in the last couple days. More than I played in the entire last weekend, but I digress.

It started fairly well, up about 25BBs on the $1/2 tables inside the first 20 minutes.

I then found a seat on the left of a bit of a maniac on a $2/4 table. He was running at 80/40/2/50. I then proceeded to rapidly donk off about 40BBs. Every possible runner runner, or rivering he would hit. The times my AK hit, he'd show some crappy pair that had made a set on the turn or river. Unbelievably frustrating, as I ended up with something like a 30% WTSD (yeah I clean missed a LOT) and a W$SD of 30% due to some of those very rude suckouts.

I actually meant to capture one of the hands against him which i've lost now. It was an interesting spot, which i'll try to find. I think I had something like JTs in the BB and reraised his steal attempt from the SB and he then 3 bet me preflop (although he was a maniac with the first raise he often did not 3 bet, and would often fold to a raise if he just limped in the sb). The flop was AJ2r, which he bet and I called, so i'm figuring there's a fair chance he has the A - ie given his 3 bet preflop, i'm in trouble here reasonably often, but given its 7:1 and I have a pair in a blind battle i'm not giving up yet. Turn is a K, which is pretty horrible although does at least give me a gutshot. Here he checks .... and i'm thinking wtf ... how can he not bet that? It gives me a gutshot at least.

So the question for anyone is what do I do here? Just check behind? Or take a stab to see if he folds? Maybe my pair of Jacks is enough? This is probably a no brainer, but I actually had to think about it for a bit and i'm still not 100% sure I took the correct course of action.

Anyways, that was my last hand on that table before it broke up which was annoying. Hate having to leave just after i've paid a BB.

Add on another 10BB loss on the $3/6 tables and my bankroll is shrinking quicker than i'd like.

Fast forward another half hour or so, and i've had a fairly decent run and nailed a couple big pots with the nuts. (Also managed to lose one particular hand in a largish pot of say $70 when my opponent hit a runner runner two pair whilst holding T5o with no draw on the flop versus my QQ. Go figure .. and yes I am always playing on the left of a fish who does chase that kinda crap, although I guess they are not THAT bad very often). I had probably recovered about 30BBs, and it could easily have been a lot more if a couple other key hands had gone my way. I was still down statistically on my W$SD, which would have at least evened me up, and more likely put me in profit if I was running to expectation.

The last half hour of play saw me giving back a little of my recovery, where again a in a couple big hands I got crucified on the river by some punk chasing a runner runner gutshot to bust my AA on a A high rainbow flop.

Add on a rakeback credit from the other day, and my session only ended up being a moderate loser. Plenty of very frustrating beats though where I was ready to punch someone, but you get that sometimes.

Current bankroll: $15,050

Monday, December 8, 2008

Playing with fish

I played all of 20 minutes yesterday, and ran quite well, ending up about 30BBs across 4 tables.

In that time though, I really didn't have any hands of significance. A number of hands I simply had something like AK, AJ, KQ and had flopped top pair, and at one stage the same fish had called me down chasing a gut shot four times all the way to the river, and even called my river bet with 3rd pair no kicker, or even just air.

Needless to say that betting every street versus someone chasing a gutshot is always going to be profitable in the long term, and I guess this emphasises why value betting every street is important versus these types of players. Of course you get sucked out on when they hit their four outer ... but that is only happening about 16% of the time.

On another table I had position on a true maniac. In the first 8 hands on that table he raised or 3 bet every hand preflop. On one early hand I reraised with KQ, but a 3rd player then capped it. An A on the flop and I couldnt continue. A bit more patience and I eventually received AJ and was able to 3 bet to isolate the maniac. Flop was A86r where he bets and I obviously raise. He 3 bets and I cap. Turn T and he bets which I raise and he calls. River is a 2 and he checks and I bet. He calls, and shows 52o ... well I guess at least he had a pair on the river... but thanks for the cash. I quite enjoy playing against the maniacs. Its just a game of patience, waiting for a half decent hand, isolating, and then value betting if I hit, or often calling down with a marginal made hand. Higher variance, but in the long run, very profitable.

Current bankroll: $15,100

Sunday, December 7, 2008


As expected, December is looking like a lean month for poker. Since Friday i've put in under an hour worth of play. And even then that play has netted me only a couple BBs and a little rakeback as well.

I actually continued to run fairly cool for my session, and just couldn't seem to hit a draw, or when I did have a solid hand my opponent's draw would hit. Quite frustrating, but I also actually got my opponents to fold quite often to flop and turn cbets, which basically kept my nose above water.

I'm going to have to put in a few hours at some stage though, just to clear the monthly Interpoker bonus. I've done about 20% of it so far, mostly in a single small session, so it shouldn't be too difficult - its just finding the time to sit down and do it.

I had a quick check of my stats on both Interpoker and Bodog. Interpoker, i'm crawling back up. From running at an insanely cold -3BB/100 early last month i'm now a still rather crappy -2BB/100 over 4,000 hands. I think I should be able to keep closing this up and eventually turn positive. With bonuses and rakeback however, i'm actually still up on the site.

Bodog in my 11,000 hands i've also crawled up slightly, getting back to -0.5BB/100 after dropping to almost -1BB/100. It still sucks to be running so cool, but i'm sure i'm due for a half decent heater sooner or later. There's actually one opponent in my Bodog database with stats of 39%/8%/2/40% and he's showing winnings of 1BB/100 over 4000 hands. He does play a lot as he always seems to be on there, but I just can't see how they can be the stats of a winning player. I know he's taken a number of very rude hands from me, mainly from playing suited crap and hitting backdoor flushdraws, but i'm sure it will even out over the next 10k hands.

Current bankroll: $15,000

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pokerstars WBCOOP

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 446771

Poker hand reading

I guess its reasonably obvious that hand reading is your ability to deduce what hand or hands your opponent may be holding based on betting patterns and your understanding of their skill level.

I must confess its taken me a long time to get this concept, and how to put it into practice, but as I play more hands, it actually comes a bit more naturally.

For some reason I was under the impression initially that when people talked about hand reading you were putting people on an exact hand .. eg AdKs. Whilst it is actually possible to do this occasionally (or even rarely), what is far more important is putting your opponent on a particular range of hands, and then working out where you sit against that range.

You then use that read to adjust your play, and then refine that read further based on the action happening on every street.

For example, say you are sitting on the button with AJ and middle position has raised first in. What do you do? Well, the answer is ... it depends.

Against any LAG/TAG opponent my default is to reraise because a) i'm probably in front and b) my reraise will often isolate by getting the blinds to both fold. However, if that raise comes from a tight or loose but very passive fish, then often I would fold - particularly if they have stats that read 30/1/.2/30. In that situation a PFR of 1% would indicate that they only raise the most premium of premium hands - ie AA, KK ... and just maybe AK or QQ. If they have any of those holdings you are completely dominated and either losing a little post flop if you miss .. or losing a lot if you hit a decent piece of the flop which is still not good enough. Of course you might hit your 3 outer v KK or QQ and win ... but most times you're basically in trouble.

As a second example I might steal one of Adam's hands and modify it a little.
  • Full ring, you are in the BB with 87o.
  • UTG+1 limps in, and its then folded to the cut off who raises.
  • UTG+1 is fairly fishy and quite passive (as hinted at by the open limp) and CO is your averageTAG.
  • So at this point in time the range you put on UTG+1 is extremely broad - pocket pairs under JJ, suited connectors or even suited crap, weak aces or kings, QT, probably unsuited connectors as well.
  • The TAG is likely isolating but still should have a big pair say 99+, AK-A9, KQ-KT, QJ. Probably doesn't have a small pair as he probably would have overlimped.
  • You decide to make a call which is a little loose, but are confident it won't get raised behind
  • UTG+1 calls and 3 of you see a flop of 875r
  • Based on those ranges you are now miles in front of the TAG, with him having virtually no chance of being in front. If the TAG has a big pair, he's drawing to only 5 outs on the turn and possibly 8 outs on the river
  • Against the fish, you are a long way in front of his range, as only 55 is actually in front and T9 or 66 or 65s has a nice draw but is behind by a long way. So you now know you need to maximise value on the flop
  • Since the tag raised, he will most likely cbet if you both check. Fish checks, you check, TAG raises on queue, and you check/raise. Call, call.
  • The calls don't really narrow their range much, but i'd suspect the TAG has either a big pair or A9.
  • Turn is a Jc, which now puts two clubs on the board
  • Not a brilliant card for you as it puts the flush draw on the board. It only completes T9 though so your position is still strong, which you do have outs against.
  • Overall against both players range's you are still winning far more often than losing.
  • You have to bet out for value here to make anyone pay for draws (and also since your c/r on the flop represents strength you should keep up that representation).
  • Any club except the 7c could be an out against you now, and KT or QT now has a gutshot. You will be happy if both opponents fold to a bet, and if you get reraised ... well ... i'd still call
  • Both players call
  • That rules out 55 which definitely would have reraised there and T9 as well who wouldn't want the flush to draw free. Also rules out JJ. TAG could still be on a big pair, and there's a fair chance fish is on a draw.
  • River is an extremely ugly 9c - completing both the flush draw and a gutshot for anyone with a T, as well as a straight if the fish had 65.
  • Into two opponents now you're in a bit of trouble although i'd be fairly confident i'm in front of the TAG (except for TT and 99), so i'd probably check/call.
  • You could still be in front, in which case you're hoping an opponent bluffs.
  • I suspect the pot is now too big to fold, although i'm sure some people would argue bet/fold is the optimal river play.
  • If you check and are facing two to call, its definitely a fold, as you can then adjust your read based on that action towards the fish holding a straight or flush. A TAG (unless very aggro) wouldn't normally bet with only trips here on a board this dangerous, so that should also be taken into account.
  • It gets checked round
  • Fish showsdown JTo for the straight.
  • In this case you'd have lost, but given he was chasing a gutshot, and then had a couple more outs on the river, you are correct in betting all streets to make them pay to draw out on you. You were correctly in front on the flop and turn.

How long does it take to go through this thought process? Preflop a second or two between folding and calling. Flop about half a second to know to checkraise. Turn about half a second when my check raise doesnt get reraised. River maybe a second or two.

So I guess my key points on hand reading are - take a stab at putting your opponents on a range - dont worry about getting to an exact hand, and then value bet relentlessly if you are in front of that range. (Although listen to the betting/raising that come back at you to narrow their range).

Often defining a narrow range can be tricky with passive fish. It took me a while to actually work it out but its really simple in the end. Put them on a very broad range (DUH!!), then value bet constantly with even 2nd pair. Often they will have 2nd pair no kicker, third pair and a kicker, or complete air. Of course they will sometimes have a good hand, or some ugly two pair or hit a miracle runner runner draw, but for every time that happens there will be two other times they just call down and pay you off.

I didnt actually play last night so no change to the bankroll.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A new graph .. interesting results

After a comment from TiocfaidhArLa on my last post, I've added a new graph to the blog, at least temporarily, which shows results by month split between poker profits/losses, rakeback and bankroll interest earnings. Who'd have thought doing such a simple graph could be quite useful for analysis? (oh and sorry about the size. dunno how to get anything bigger in there).

By the looks of it my total poker earnings are around 2/3 from rakeback and bonuses, and 1/3 from actual poker play. I believe that does seem reasonable for a limit player given the relatively high rake, but don't know of anyone keeping those kind of stats, and haven't read about it on 2p2 that I can recall.

I guess it really does highlight the need for a good RB/Bonus deal at all times!!

The graph also shows a few lean months lately for August, October and November. November I was expecting a much slower month due to a lower volume than usual. I'm probably expecting a similar result in December because I know i'm fairly busy this month most weekends so will be lucky to get in 3,000 hands this month verus the usual 5 or 6. I'd also note that i'd played more in the first few months of the year than I have been playing in any of the last 5 months.

So, what happened in August and October? Well in October it looks like I hit a fairly decent sized downswing, and was having a shocking run at showdowns. In almost the first 3 weeks i'd made a grand total of $100 including bonuses!! So in the end the final October figure was probably better than expected.

August was my real horror month. Even by the 27th of August I was actually down $350 for the month, and again had a good rally in the last few days, so results could easily have been much worse. It looks like one of the main causes was losing 100BBs at $3/6 in two hours, which is always going to be painful. However, the whole month appeared to be cooler after cooler, with a number of sessions having W$SD < 30%.

So overall, nothing really to worry about. A bit of variance in those couple months which given my low volume should be expected. I suspect that monthly analysis is not particularly useful, (albeit interesting) although could be used to potentially identify areas for further investigation.

I played for an hour last night, but struggled to find good tables. Ended up spread between $1/2 and $2/4 and quickly found myself down 40BBs to some massive fish who somehow thought T7o was worth a call against a raise on a flop of AK7 and called down to hit their two pair T on the river versus my AQ. (One of many, many beats that kinda sucked).

I kept at it though and recovered about 35BBs as these guys were massive fish. Bodog even gave me a profit for the first time in ages, although Cake gave me a losing session for the first time.

Current bankroll: $15,000

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poker session length

Although I didn't play much today, on Sunday and Monday I played about 3 to 3.5 hours on each day.

I hear of guys who play 8-12 hours in a day, and somehow my 3 hours as an extreme day for me seems pretty small.

The thing is though, by the end of those three hours i'm actually starting to get pretty bored of poker. That level of keen-ness and passion for the game is starting to wear pretty thin. Its at that stage that I think right, i've got to quit very soon or risk either not paying attention properly and losing a heap of BBs or possibly worse, getting sick of the game so much that I need to take a break for a while.

On Monday for example, toward the end of my session, I actually misread the board for the first time in probably six months, where I thought I had a straight and checkraised the river (my FD had missed but I thought my straight had hit), only to then find that I was check/raising J high. I guess it would have been a great move if he'd folded to the check/raise, but he wasn't goin anywhere and reraised me back. Cost me $12 all up so not a total disaster, but a good indicator that it was time to quit.

So far i've always chosen the first option in just quitting the session when i'm getting bored, since i'm not playing to live off a poker income, there's no point in playing when I don't feel like it.

Hmm ... this post is more about daily play than individual session lengths but I couldn't think of a decent and succinct title for the post.

Yesterday's play was all of 15 minutes, and somehow I managed not to lose any BBs, even with my AA being cracked twice, and more than my fair share of nasty suckouts, with a W$SD of 35%. Luckily I hit a couple big hands against a maniac who was all too happy to 4 bet the river with a single card 2 high flush versus my Q high with the K on the board. Rakeback credited me around $30 so all in all a small boost to the bankroll.

I also realised I had forgotten in my goals for December the Interpoker monthly bonus. I'm only taking it up for 30 pounds for 300mpps as I know I can do that quite easily. Getting rakeback at the same time means I should be getting around 60%rb or maybe more I think ... but will see.

Current bankroll: $15,050

Monday, December 1, 2008

$15k milestone

In the last couple days my bankroll has reached $15,000 for the first time which is significantly more than I had expected at the start of this year when my bankroll was all of $2,500. I will probably reflect on that in my end of year post, but its nice to know that my hobby that I really enjoy has been making me about $1k per month.

I had yesterday off work again as I just can't throw this cold/flu/whatever it is. Putting in about 3 hours of play resulted in me clearing my Party bonus, and making enough profit on the tables to just squeak over the $15k mark. I actually wasn't specifically aiming for it, and was a little surprised when I entered my end of day balances in my spreadsheet to see that i'd crossed that milestone. (Particularly when taking into account that about a week ago my bankroll was under $14,000).

Being unaware was probably for the best, as its not really good for your play to be aiming for a certain amount - I subscribe to the theory that you should always just play as you normally play, as close to optimally as possible depending on your opponents and the play that is occurring within the current hand.

If you're aiming for a certain value it could easily influence your play, even unconsciously, such that you may play tighter when you get to your target and potentially leave value on the table, or (and considerably worse) you might start falling away from reaching your target and play looser to try to meet it (ie TILT), which inevitably will result in further losses. I guess for some people it might occur the opposite way round, but anything that makes you play looser when you really shouldn't be can't be good for your overall bankroll.

Current bankroll: $15,000

Party to the rescue

Its funny how things tend to just work out in the end.

I wrote the other day how I screwed up my Cake reload, by accidently depositing $50 instead of $400, which meant my bonus was all of $12.50 instead of $100.

On Saturday I then receive an email from Party offering a 20% reload that clears at 3x party points. For a shorthanded player that is equivalent to around 120% rakeback, based on my play, and for a full ring player it would be even higher. So basically its a no brainer to take up the offer.

The thing is, if i'd have taken up the full Cake offer, i'd only have $100 left in my Neteller account, and may not have been able to take up the Party offer. As it happens, my screw up left me with $500 in my Neteller account, basically exactly the amount I needed to take up the Party offer in full.

Over the last couple days i've cleared the $100 Party bonus on the $2/4 tables, and whilst clearing also made around 40BBs on the tables and added enough points to my party points balance to get a $25 cash back payment as well, so all in all, a tidy little exercise. In summary, I deposited $500 on Saturday and then withdrew $800 back to neteller on Monday.

The only bit of a problem I have with party is that there are tons of TAGs there, and I seem to be forever shuffling tables. On Sunday, when 2 tabling whilst playing a tourney, in the space of 3 hours I opened up and sat down at 18 different tables. Monday was quite similar with 21 tables being opened in a 3 hour window. However, as i've discussed before i'm refusing to play on tables that are too tight, and now make it a rule that on my immediate right I either have a fish, or a complete maniac or I have to leave the table.