Thursday, October 29, 2009

October summary

All in all, a decent result for October, and my bankroll is back up to an all time high. Finally got off my ass and installed Pokertracker3 and upgraded my database as well which was one of my goals for the year.

I've also just signed up to buy a house which was a bit of a time consumer over the past month with organising all the paperwork etc etc.

For October the goals in order of priority were:

• Make a profit! (tick)
• Put in some more volume than August and September .... (same hours as September)
• Clear as much of my Bodog reload bonus as possible (haven't cleared as much as i'd like to but still going okay)
• Clear some more of my Cake reload and see if I can score a few more gold chips (played more cake this month and qualified for my freeroll again as well)
• Play some more Pacific if it seems fishy (didn't get on there as much as it wasn't as fishy as i'd thought)
• Spend some more poker points and hopefully convert some to cash (fulltilt?) (should have played at least a session or two but didn't)

The profit of $850 for the month was made up of:

Bonuses/vip/rakeback: $220

• Bodog $150
• Cake $50
• Pacific $20

Poker bankroll Interest: $60

Poker table profits: $570

Goals for November are:

• Make a profit again
• Put in some more volume than August and September and October
• Clear as much of my Bodog reload bonus as possible
• Clear some more of my Cake reload and see if I can score a few more gold chips and qualify for the freeroll again
• Play some more Pacific or Microgaming if it seems fishy
• Spend some more poker points and hopefully convert some to cash (fulltilt?)

Current bankroll: $20,750
October time played: 13h30m

October profit / (loss): $850

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where did everyone go?

Jumped on for an hour last night, hoping to find a few big fish, even though midweek is normally pretty quiet on the tables.

Quiet would be a huge understatement. Cake had one table running between $1/2 and $5-10. I can't remember ever seeing it that empty. Maybe they'd just had a reboot ....

Bodog was the same with literally no 6max tables running so I sat down at a 10 handed $2/4 table which only had five seats filled so was effectively playing six max.

I then opened Pacific - no tables running at all for 6max $1/2 to $5/10. Argh. Then opened a microgaming site, and they had 2 E1/2 tables going although one was surprisingly full of TAGs. This was my first attempt on Microgaming since installing pokertracker3, and it would not import properly. Afterwards I decided to read the instructions, and this was easily fixed - clearing the database after importing is apparently extremely important.

I ran fairly averagely when I did get a seat, and really should have kicked off a Fulltilt points sitngo but didn't think of it.

One hand cost me a fair few BBs where I had TT on a 88T flop when the river was another 8 and of course my boat doesn't hold up ... but apart from that there weren't many big losers or winners.

Current bankroll: $20,700
October time played: 14h
October profit / (loss): $800

Monday, October 26, 2009

A few more software battles

Played about an hour in total since my last post, with a bit friday night and monday night. After the wedding I went to on Saturday I was just too knackered to play on Sunday at all.

I went to try to play pacific, and then found i'd accidently deleted it in my rush to get my PC working when my database had completely filled my hard drive causing it to grind to a halt. Simple enough, you'd think, just download and install again. Apparently not. First time I downloaded it, I got a slightly different version which installed itself to a slightly different directory. This version was particularly annoying as it had a different log in screen which required me to select cash or play money, as well as having a number of options blanked out.

Went to click uninstall, which then came up with an error, and so just deleted it manually, then deleted a couple remaining files from my previous email. Downloaded the software again, and installed from scratch. This time it has installed the correct version, with all options available. Go figure. But finally back in business.

In my couple sessions I struggled a bit to find decent tables whilst messing around with software. Started really well ... down about 40BBs before recovering them all from a couple fish at $3/6 and $4/8. Pretty non descript sessions though as I lost a couple big hands when my full house was beaten by a bigger full house, and another ran into quads. However, I also then won a few big one's when a couple aggro muppets decided it was a good idea to bluff and raise into three other players on every street where they were drawing basically dead to my top set.

Current bankroll: $20,700
October time played: 13h
October profit / (loss): $800

Thursday, October 22, 2009

HUD stats - and how to use them

After a bit of thinking I believe i'll set up my HUD with two rows of stats. The first row will be VPIP, PFR, AFq, WTSD with the second row 3B, ATS, FBBTS, FTCbet.

I'll quickly describe the first four now and what i'm looking for and the next four in my next post. Mostly because I am too lazy to type it all out now. Please bear in mind they are all for 6max fixed limit holdem.

VPIP - volutary put in pot. This is probably one of the key stats to determine if you're up against a total fish. Anything much above 40% is pretty loose, and means they're playing a wide variety of hands. There are exceptions, say if they have a 25% PFR to go with their 40% vpip, then they might not be too bad. I like to have someone with a 50%+ vpip on my immediate right with a low PFR, and even another to their right if possible. Anyone with a 90% vpip is a dream come true. That being said I don't mind having fairly tight guys on my left that I can steal blinds from.

PFR - Preflop raise %. A decent player is normally around 20%, and I really like to have passive players on my right - less than 5% is perfect. If someone is say 2% it means they are basically only raising AA and KK, and I know to get out of their way.

AFq - Aggression frequency - How often they bet compared with check/calling. I understand that a decent player is around 40% - 60%. Anyone under that is passive, which is what i'm looking for. Anyone over that is very aggressive and is often betting fairly poor hands - I will tend to call these guys down more often with weak but winnable hands. Sure they have the good sometimes, but often they don't.

WTSD - Went to showdown - How often a player does go to showdown. A high percentage here often means they're prepared to call down with fairly weak holdings. A decent player is around 35%-40%. If someone has a high vpip and a high wtsd i'll try to get in as many pots against them as possible as I know they are likely showing down trash fairly often.

Generally I use a combination of the above statistics to work out their range of possible hands. As you can narrow their range of hands you can work out how likely your own hand is to hold up, and whether you should bet, raise or fold. That really is the key of the statistics and the HUD - using the information to better predict your opponent's range of hands.

For example if i'm on the button preflop and someone with a PFR of 40% raises before me and I have AJ, i'm going to 3 bet here every time and try to get it heads up. If i'm in the same situation and the guy doing the raise has a PFR of 3% i'm throwing my AJ in the muck as his range has my hand completely crushed.

Post flop I look to AFq to give me further information on the type of hand they might be holding compared to what is out on the board. If someone bets into me and has an AFq of say 20%, then I know unless I have a very strong hand i'm going to have to fold because he more than likely has the goods. If on the other hand he has an AFq of 65% and i'm holding second or third pair i'm calling down. If my hand is stronger i'm probably even reraising this player.

Okay that's enough theory for now. Pokertracker annoyed me again last night, and decided to creat 200Gb of log files which brought my PC to a grinding halt. I ended up having to delete files just to get my PC running properly again. I then just extracted my hand histories in smaller chunks and now have an up to date database ... I think.

I also found one of those dream players a 95%/0% (vpip/pfr) sitting on a $3/6 table with no one on his left. I sat down, and then got creamed, whilst he was then kind enough to give my money to the other players. My AA got busted by his 62o when he hit quad 2s on the river, and he also just called instead of raising my river bet. A few hands later his 75o was too good for my J9s after a flop of 789 ... obviously the river was a 6. Had a worse result on the $1/2 tables where I dropped about 25BBs in pretty quick time. The river was not my friend.

Current bankroll: $20,700
October time played: 12h
October profit / (loss): $800

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pokertracker3 installed

Downloaded Pokertracker3 last night and installed without any hassles and now have it running as a trial. Converting my existing databases wasn't quite as user friendly as i'd like though.

I started with Bodog where I have about 50,000 hands in my database and hit the convert option from within PT3. The first few hands flew through before hitting the wall at about 1,000 hands where it started to process about 10 hands per minute. Obviously that is never going to finish, so time to implement plan b.

So I fire up PT2 and export my bodog database to text files. This takes all of 20 minutes and then about another 5 minutes to import into PT3. Problem solved. Cake then imports fairly quickly although since I only have a few months of raw hand data, and for those months I haven't been playing much Cake there weren't that many hands to import. Pity really, as I'd like to know how i've been going overall on Cake as it seems to have been a site i've regularly withdrawn from. I do the export / import with Pacific as well withouth incident.

Next up though is the challenge - Fulltilt - about 300,000 hands. I waited until this morning to start this one and figured i'd just leave it running if it took too long. Started my text export and it flies through the first 230,000 hands in about 25 minutes, before suddenly hitting the wall and slowing down to about one hand per second or two. At that rate it's going to take another day or two, but I figure if I just leave it running maybe it will pick up pace again .... I'll check when I get home from work tonight.

Setting up PT3 seems to be very simple with most sites being automatically detected. I ran a couple tables in between exporting and importing, and the HUD came up very quickly on each table. I still need to set up the HUD with the stats I like though. I'm currently thinking VPIP, PFR, AFq, WTSD, FBBTS, ATS. I then may add 3B, FSBTS, FTCbet. I don't really use those three stats, but I really should be I think.

Might post next time about each of those stats and how I use them. I have been using AF in the past, but have to get myself up to speed on AFq asap.

Current bankroll: $20,800
October time played: 11h30m
October profit / (loss): $900

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PT3 may be sooner than I thought

My new version of gametime+ occasionally freezes up, which also freezes up my bodog client - a big problem when you're in the middle of a hand.

With this added issue, I think it's time to download the PT3 trial, and make sure that it works perfectly with my PC. Knowing my luck it probably won't, but i'll give it a go in the very near future. Apparently you get 60 days free, so that is plenty of time to check it out and get it up and running correctly before I have to fork out any cash.

When I do eventually need to buy it, i'll probably go through Pokersource as their store seems to be a relatively cheap way to obtain it.

Had an interesting little session last night, where in the first 15 minutes I only won one hand whilst playing on four concurrent tables. It wasn't looking real good, and I was prepared for a very painful session. Being midweek there weren't many tables running so 3 of them were only $1/2 and the other a $3/6 table. At least my single winning hand was on the $3/6 table....

For the next 15 minutes though, I just could not lose a hand - the absolute opposite of my initial run where I was down the best part of 50BBs. All of a sudden, most starting hands seemed to be premium pairs or AK. Even my T2o in the big blind hit quads on the turn. By the time the fish were cleaned out (which didn't take long) I was back to a few BBs up. I then had to quit as my fish had been replaced by TAGs.

I found one really nice looking $3/6 table, but ended up just sitting on the waiting list for the entire half hour, and the seat opened up just as I was quitting. Oh well.

All in all, pretty happy with the session, even though I didn't really make much. It's funny how psychologically you feel pretty good with not much more than a break even session, but it always seems the case when I start off with a horrific run.

Current bankroll: $20,750
October time played: 11h
October profit / (loss): $850

Monday, October 19, 2009

Forgot to reload

Sometimes I'm more scatterbrained than I ever thought possible. Logged into Bodog the other day to check whether my monthly reload had been paid with the plan to reload again if that was the case. Promptly then forgot to reaload and only realised I hadn't done it today. Only missed a couple days, but still, not a good sign that i'm forgetting that kinda stuff. Maybe I need to exercise my brain more.

Can't say I really have played much poker since the weekend. Maybe 60 hands where it was a struggle to find, and stay at tables that were fishy enough to be worthwhile playing at. In fact of the few tables that were running several were in the low 20%s of players seeing the flop. Ugly.

Ended up dropping more than a few BBs on the $1/2 tables, but made a couple at $4/8 to come out only slightly down. Had one interesting opponent that I had to take a note on who was fairly aggro, and more than willing to three bet the flop with top pair and no kicker against my early position open raise. I ended up capping the flop with my top two pair, and he called me down. In hindsight he was probably aggressive enough that I could have check/raised the turn instead .. but as per usual, I generally don't play made hands slowly.

Current bankroll: $20,750
October time played: 10h30m
October profit / (loss): $850

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sometimes the fish amaze me

Played a home game with the boys Friday night, and after that didn't get in a lot of online poker over the weekend. Probably a little under an hour online all up, but in that time ran super hot against some super fish.

Won about 10 BBs on a couple $4/8 tables, and well over 50 BBs on the $1/2 tables in a very short space of time where the fish kept on paying me off.

Add a $100 bonus credit and my weekend was pretty good, even without putting in any volume.

Thought i'd share a couple hands where in the first I was just scratchin my head when I saw what the guys had at showdown, and the second happened where I was allowed to check my big blind with trash ....

Hand 1

$1/$2 Limit Holdem • 6 Players
UTG 105.85
UTG+1 37.26 (very loose fish)
CO 46.07 (tightish but passive)
BTN 31.60 (passive fish)
SB 163.23 (huge fish 80+ vpip)
Hero (BB) 100.00

Pre-Flop (1.5 SB, 6 players) Hero is BB with AsKs (not a bad first hand at the table!)

1 fold, UTG+1 calls (could have any 2) , CO calls (tightish overcall .. mid strength hand?), BTN calls, SB calls, Hero raises (well this is going to be a big pot!), UTG+1 calls, CO 3-bets (interesting overcall then raise ...), BTN calls, SB calls, Hero 4-bets (no turnin back now - if this hits it will be a monster), UTG+1 calls, CO calls, BTN calls, SB calls

Flop (20.0 SB, 5 players) 7s4s2d (happy with a flopped flush draw here)

SB checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 raises, CO 3-bets (hmm .. a big pair .. surely not 77 with the 3bet preflop?), 1 fold, SB calls, Hero 4-bets (debated for a second here whether to just check or raise further - i figure these guys probably can't fold though in a pot this big), UTG+1 calls, CO calls, SB calls

Turn (18.0 BB, 4 players) 3s (the virtual nuts .. sweet)

SB checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 calls, CO calls, SB calls

River (22.0 BB, 4 players) 3h (you gotta be kiddin me! I'm still bettin out though)

SB checks, Hero bets, UTG+1 calls, CO calls, SB calls

Final Pot: 25.2 BB Hero shows
Hero wins 25.2 BB (net +19.2 BB)
UTG+1 lost 6.0 BB 8s6h (seriously wtf was that flop reraise and the river call with 8 high??)
CO lost 6.0 BB 8c8h (can't blame him too much for callin down in the huge pot)
BTN lost 2.0 BB
SB lost 6.0 BB 4h5h (called 3 cold on the flop with a pair and not much ...)

Hand 2

$1/$2 Limit Holdem • 5 Players
UTG 40.50
CO 28.50
BTN 113.25 (passive fish)
SB 70.06 (loose but somewhat aggro)
Hero (BB) 96.50

Pre-Flop (1.5 SB, 5 players) Hero is BB with 6s2s

UTG calls, 1 fold, BTN calls, SB calls, Hero checks (thanks for lettin me check that)

Flop (4.0 SB, 4 players) 2c6c6h (hehe)

SB checks, Hero bets, UTG calls, BTN raises, SB folds, Hero 3-bets (i figure a club will kill any action so may as well bet here. might be a mistake, although I suspect that every time you bet a huge hand it's a small mistake at worst, whereas slowplaying can be a bigger mistake), UTG calls, BTN calls (happy that both called!)

Turn (6.5 BB, 3 players) 3d
Hero bets, UTG calls, BTN calls (both called again .. bonus!)

River (9.5 BB, 3 players) Ac (awesome flush has hit - please let one of them have it)
Hero bets, UTG folds, BTN calls

Final Pot: 22.5 BB Hero shows
Hero wins 11.0 BB (net +7.0 BB)
SB lost 0.5 BB
UTG lost 3.0 BB
BTN lost 4.0 BB Kd6d (all he needed to do was bet preflop and the pot was his ... I would have raised the turn in his position too)

Had a few of those hands where I was able to check my BB and on two occasions hit my trips on the flop and quads on the turn. From memory in one hand I had T4o and hit quad Ts, and the other I had 83o and hit quad 3s. All I can say is thankyou for the fish. It was also kinda nice to have a session that wasn't full of suckouts.

Current bankroll: $20,750
October time played: 10h
October profit / (loss): $850

Thursday, October 15, 2009

HUD back in business .. for now

After downloading what I thought was a fix for my gametime+ HUD issue with my converted database, I quickly found that it didn't work at all.

Didn't take long though to just download an older version of Gametime+ which seems to work, although it automatically pops up tables which is a bit annoying when i'm not even sitting at the table that I have open.

It was the normal midweek struggle to find decent tables, although somehow I spotted a couple $4/8 tables which had a couple tags and three fish that I could get position on. Started off up a few BBs, but quickly gave that back and dropped about 10BBs to a big fish opposite me on the table. AK can't seem to hold up for me this month - and got done twice in the space of one orbit against A5 and A7 respectively.

However, my fishy friends decided to keep calling me down trying to hit their three outers, and after missing several in a row I was back up for the session. After that a player or two quit each table, and one of the fish actually stood up and moved from being on my right to sitting on my left, which was extremely annoying. I decided to just quit though, as the table was getting shorter than i'd like. I'm still not overly strong on the seriously short handed tables, and prefer at least five players, but even more so six.

Back to a new peak of the bankroll now, and due a decent rakeback credit as well. Hopefully I get in a bit of play over the weekend, as I have a wedding next weekend so the poker tables will be pretty quiet.

Current bankroll: $20,450
October time played: 9h
October profit / (loss): $550

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pokertracker database change

I finally got round to one of my goals for the year - changing my Pokertracker database from Access to Postgres SQL. At first the process seemed a lot simpler than i'd first thought, and the installation was done within a couple minutes.

A while later and i've converted several of my existing databases to SQL, and was applauding how simple it was.

Then I opened a few tables, and tried to run Gametime+ .... fail ... some kind of authentication error code "80040e4d" so that it could not access the database. Then spent half an hour surfing for a solution whilst playing three $1/2 tables, and mostly found a bunch of dead links ... great.

I have hopefully now found a patch that works now and will try tonight, but i'm not holding my breath. I know that I need to upgrade to Pokertracker3 by March next year, so this may even accelerate that upgrade if it doesn't work. It will also give me a more informative HUD so is probably worth doing anyways.

On the plus side, I found that I could fairly comfortably play the three tables whilst surfing around - although I was quickly 30BBs down after a string of beats. By the end of the half hour I was back to even relying on player notes rather than a HUD. Most of my notes simply gave VPIP and PFR, but even that is enough to spot the big fish.

Got credited a few rakeback dollars as well, so now i'm back to my peak bankroll that I last saw on the 30th of August.

Current bankroll: $20,350
October time played: 8h
October profit / (loss): $450

Monday, October 12, 2009

Intermittent monitor problems

I seem to be cursed with PC hardware problems these days. I can't remember having this many issues with a PC before. Now my monitor has decided it doesn't always like the power connection, and occasionally turns off and wont turn back on without reseating the power cable several times. Add to that the DVI input also appears to have connection issues and occasionally disconnects for a split second which effectively restarts the monitor.

So far no really horrible results caused by this - although one hand on a $1/2 table I had AQ and ended up getting timed out preflop because my screen was blank, only to later see i'd have flopped my A against a maximum of two opponents.

As an interim solution i've switched power cables, and then also switched my monitor from DVI to VGA. Currently cursing having to do this as once you've had DVI, there's no way you want to go back to the fuzziness that is VGA. It's not terrible, but its not a super sharp digital picture either.

After all that screwing around I ended up having all of about 15 minutes for poker, and struggled to find any good tables so never really got started. Although I did make a few BBs on the $1/2s another few at $2/4 and a few more at $4/8 for a $50 gain. Basically I stayed just long enough for one of my huge fish to get cleaned out on one of the tables - pity he didn't give much of it to me though.

Current bankroll: $20,300
October time played: 7h30m
October profit / (loss): $400

Sunday, October 11, 2009

$1/2 revenge

With the day off work on Friday, and a spare few hours on the weekend I played a few hours of poker including one of the Cake gold card tournaments.

I still dunno how you tourney guys do it. The cake tournament was a rebuy which had what I thought were very quick blind rises. Starting stack of 1,500 chips, and at the first hour break the blinds were 500/1000. I'd improved my chip stack to 9,000 at the break which was probably slightly below average. I'd survived one lucky all in earlier on during the rebuy period where I had 2 pair and my opponent had the straight, but hit my boat on the turn. Anyways, about two orbits after the break I'm fairly shortstacked compared with only 7,000 chips left and see K2s in the sb with it folded to me. The big blind has a few k more chips than me, so I push all in. He flips AA and its gg me. Just seems frustrating to me to spend over an hour for nothing.... although I did have some cash tables open at the same time.

I guess if I really think about it i'm not far off even from a whole month of cash table play - but it just doesnt seem the same .. and its not.

Speaking of the cash tables, one $1/2 table donated me 50BBs in the space of about 150 hands where I hit quite a few TPTK hands, which miraculously held up multiway relatively often. Made another around 40BBs on another $1/2 in a later session, and I more or less broke even on the $4/8 and $5/10 tables for the weekend.

Things were looking a little poorer when I was down 25BBs on a $4/8 table where I had position on a huge aggro muppet running at 85/45, and I just could not hit a hand ... until ... I had 99 and he'd as usual raised UTG. It then got capped by one of the blinds so was already a big pot preflop. Flop was an amazing 966 with two spades. I didn't play it fast on the flop which I think in hindsight was possibly a mistake, although I did get to raise and cap the turn which was a Qs completing a potential flush draw. Would have been disappointing if either opponent had 66 or QQ but I'm almost always going to be betting and capping here. Anyways both opponents didnt have it and that 25BB pot put me over halfway back to even, and a couple other small pots before quitting left me only a few BBs down.

Current bankroll: $20,250
October time played: 7h
October profit / (loss): $350

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stinkin it up at $1/2

I still can't take a trick at $1/2. Dropped about another 40BBs last night, so had a quick check of my stats so far this month. Overall, i'm showing down less than usual, and winning significantly less than a normal percentage of showdowns. I have to put that down to running pretty cold, rather than any obvious consistently bad plays.

Fortunately though i've made a few BBs at the $4/8 level again to at least maintain my bankroll rather than losing some fairly big chunks. I am about 150BBs down at $1/2 for the month - which would be far far worse if it was at $4/8. Variance can easily do that to you though - I guess that's why they invented bank roll management.

Current bankroll: $19,950
October time played: 4h
October profit / (loss): $50

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Yoyo sessions continue

Played almost an hour since the weekend, and have again posted one of those sessions where I've started horrifically before recovery most, if not all.

The $1/2 tables on Bodog smashed me for 50BBs in the space of half an hour, spread over two or three tables. Missed a few draws, and got sucked out on quite a few times by the fish, and it was looking ugly. It is amazing how quickly you can lose a lot of BBs on some hugely fishy tables. Come the next half hour and it's turned around completely. My big hands start holding up, I hit a flush draw or two, and i've recovered 45BBs.

Then it was my turn on the $4/8 tables, where again, I can't hit anything to save myself. On one hand I have a huge hand with top pair, an OESD, and 2nd nut flush draw up against two players - one with an underpair and one with a gutshot. Inevitably the guy with the gutshot rivers his two outer, and I lose a 20BB pot. That really was the story of the session there.

Made up for it on a $5/10 table though where again I started off horribly with Ks9s versus JsTs with both of us going for a flush draw in a huge multiway pot, and him rivering the Td. However, a few hands later I have the nut flush draw and am up against the second nut flush draw which we both hit on the river and he is happy to cap the river betting. So that single pot puts me up over 10BBs after another relatively poor start. I think I would have cried if he had shown the straight flush ...

Current bankroll: $20,000
October time played: 3h
October profit / (loss): $100

Monday, October 5, 2009

Long weekend kickoff for the month

Well you'd think a long weekend would mean gettin in a heap of poker....

Unfortunately no, although I have played a couple hours. It's been an interesting session or two though, where the swings have been 60 or so BBs downwards, followed by a crawl back to even to end each session.

The weekend had been fairly generous in providing fishy tables to play at on both Cake and Bodog - although a few did dry up when I cleaned out my fish, so I had to quit as the remainder of the table were generally tags.

Overall in net BB terms I would be down as the fish have been slaughterin me at $1/2, but that's been more than made up with some okay, but not great sessions at $4/8.

Current bankroll: $20,000
October time played: 2h
October profit / (loss): $100