Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Goals

I think i'll keep my goals for this year pretty simple -
  1. Be disciplined - only play on semi-loose to very loose tables with position on a fish
  2. Continue to make a profit - let's aim for $10k for the year
  3. Maximise my return through rakeback / bonuses
  4. Continue to read forums / blogs - both for strategy and entertainment
  5. Maintain my interest in the game
  6. Stop using the chat box!! (my one lack of discipline which must be improved)

#1 is probably by far the most important - if you get your discipline right with all facets of your game - table selection, bankroll management, tilt then you're maximising your chances of being a successful player.

#2 I wont be too concerned if I miss this goal, but will be disappointed if I don't get at least halfway there. I am moving house shortly which is going to cut my play by a bit, but the one thing that is going to take a lot of my time away is my first baby is due at the end of May. I suspect this will significantly reduce my play on the tables ... It might help with goal #5 though if i'm playing less then the passion for the game is likely to remain high.

I think that's really about it. I'm not too fussed if I move up levels this year or not (although I will hit $5/10 tables when they are fishy), and I am probably still too lazy to learn NL properly.

I only really play a handful of freeroll tournies or points qualified SNGs so there's not much point in setting any specific goals there either.

2009 review


I think I can best describe 2009 as a solid year of poker for me. After a somewhat disappointing start to the year i've still made a reasonable profit of $8k.

More importantly I still have my passion for the game which I think is partly due to the fact that i'm not playing huge hours and never force myself to play when I don't feel like it, so that interest in the game is well and truly alive.

I've maintained my current bankroll theory of withdrawing $1k for every $2k that I increase my bankroll by. I'm due for another withdrawal, but am still hoping the Aussie dollar devalues a bit more sooner or later to improve my return. Bank interest on those withdrawals is now up to about $80 per month, which is starting to become significant when you look at it over a period of time. (I am someone who likes to have passive income that I don't have to work for).

My goals from the start of the year:

Maintenance goals: (a continuation of what i'm doing now)

•Results: Average approx $1k per month total return (inc rakeback). I will be more than happy with a bankroll of $26k by the end of 2009, with half of that offline in some income earning investment. Ideally it would be good to produce this result with fewer hours played at higher stakes.
Result: A profit of $8k for the year. Whilst less than what i'd hoped for, playing fewer hours limited profits most months - as well as less bonus chasing. The first half of the year only produced $3k, so I had a much better second half - mainly in the last three months.

I had five months where I actually lost money on the tables (compared to two in 2008) although only one was still a losing month after rakeback. Still - this was my first losing month although all losses were recovered in the following month which was reassuring.

•Discipline: Only play on loose tables where I have good position on either a fish or maniac. Result: 100% achieved. I still can't recall the last time i've stayed on a table where it's turned poor, or even sat in on a poor table

•Discipline: Play within my bankroll and keep tracking results.
Result: 100% achieved - and with PT3 i'm now also tracking Cake (really should have installed that a lot earlier)

•Bonus chasing: Find at least one other long term site to play on (even if it a site I currently use on an irregular basis).
Result: Cake, Bodog, Fulltilt, and Pacific somewhat regulary. Pacific has dropped off in the last month or so

•Bonus chasing: Continue to research and take up the best bonus deals to maximise my return. Result: Have been a bit slack here as i'm a bit more settled in regular rakeback deals. That being said I still take up all added bonuses and the Fulltilt bonus was a great suprise.

•Research: Continue to check 2p2 and other forums a minimum of weekly for bonuses or specific site news and play advice.
Result: 100% achieved

•Research: check out other's blogs.
Result: 100% achieved although some have tailed off posting

•Motivation: Maintain motivation through occasionally mixing it up with freerolls and double up sitngos.
Result: 100% achieved although I am finding now that playing a lower volume is resulting in me staying motivated for as many cash games as I can get into

Motivation: Do not push myself to play when I don't feel like it.
Result: 100% achieved

Specific site goals:

•Play the Bodog monthly reloads until conditions change making them not worthwhile.
Result: 100% achieved - still playing them

•Play the interpoker monthly bonuses until crypto is no longer EV+.
Result: Unfortunately crypto is basically no more

•Take up the cake reloads whenever offered.
Result: 100% achieved - still clearing although clearance rates have halved, MGR deductions have also disappeared

•Pray for a fulltilt reload bonus .. I mean come on .. once every couple years sux.
Result: Score $300

New Goals from January 2009:

•Tournaments: Finally tabling at least two freerolls (mainly for the practice). Although having this goal probably won't change whether I do or don't enter tourneys. Affiliate tourneys always appear to be good value.
Result: Fail - although haven't had too many to enter this year so volume is a problem. Not a priority

•Reading: Have a read of the harrington tourney books so that I can at least see the reasoning of why i'm making particular moves and apply it consistently.
Result: Fail - and still not a priority

•Stakes: Get back into more $3/6 tables and at least take a couple shots at $4/8 on Bodog (and with any luck stay permanently there!).
Result: Achieved. Have played a bit of $4/8 (approx 3,500 hands) on Bodog where I initially ran super cold but am slowly clawing it back. Have also played a few $5/10 when the tables look good and results have been good so far.

•Results: Improve my BB/100 by focussing more on seat selection than I did last year.
Result: In theory successful. In practice failed, although the last few months have been very solid.

•Other: Am I going to get into no limit cash games? Doubt it.
Result: Haven't

•Tracking: Get round to converting my PT database to SQL ...
Result: Completed with my PT3 upgrade. Much better than before. Should have done it earlier.

I was hoping to have another $10k+ year, but didn't achieve that, however, i'm not actually disappointed with my results. I've achieved or mostly achieved the majority of goals that are a priority to me, so am happy with that as well.

From my midyear goals:

Is there anything that I want to add for the last half of the year? Well, not really. I'm hoping that my table and seat selection will start to show through in some more positive results on the table, and would like to also play a bit more at the $5/10 level, but those goals are both really encapsulated in my goals from the start of the year.
Result: More positive results were actually achieved in the second half of the year.

Current bankroll: $24,050
2009 profit: $8,250

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 2009 summary

Between xmas eve and the 30th I hit a 120BB downswing, on average somewhere between $2/4 and $3/6. I've had a small recovery today up 55BBs on a $1/2 table, but still down from my peak for the month.

Just as well I started the month running so hot as it's still been a great month results-wise. In terms of volume, I put in 50 hours which is closer to what I was playing in some months in 2008 and by far my biggest month with a total of 11,914 hands.

Clearing a few bonuses and a chunk of rakeback has also limited the damage done.

Is it just me or is the volume of players on ipoker much smaller these days? And a lot tigher? I dropped $300 on william hill clearing a $25 bonus .... although admittedly a lot of it went to a couple huge fish on massive heaters.

For December the goals in order of priority were:

• Clear the remainder of my Fulltilt bonus (done)
• Clear some more of my Cake reload (cleared $50, a bit more still to go in Jan)
• Qualify for the Cake and Fulltilt freerolls in January (done)
• Play the December Cake and Fulltilt freerolls (done and got shafted)
• Take up as many xmas freerolls, gifts and bonuses as possible (grabbed a few)

The profit of $1,700 for the month was made up of:

Bonuses/vip/rakeback: $510

• Bodog $60
• Cake $140
• Fulltilt $280
• William Hill $30

Poker bankroll Interest: $80

Poker profits: $1,110 (less $80 PT3 licence)

Goals for January are:

• Clear my ironman Fulltilt bonus
• Clear some more of my Cake reload
• Qualify for the Cake and Fulltilt freerolls in January
• Play the December Cake and Fulltilt freerolls
• Maybe do the William Hill new year bonus although ipoker has been a little tight

Current bankroll: $24,050
December time played: 50h
December profit / (loss): $1,700

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some ordinary xmas poker

I've played a reasonable amount over these holidays, and started well over xmas, but then dropped a quick 60BBs on the $3/6 tables at fulltilt. I had position on one guy running at -100BBs/100. Apparently the only time he ever had a hand, was when I had something decent but not as good. Annoying.

Checking him out on pokertableratings showed me he was overall running at -40BB/100, however, I was basically top of the list of losers against him. Even more annoying.

Anyways, the last couple days i've pulled it back even, and should have a couple half decent rakeback credits to come as well. Hopefully i'll have one or two more decent sessions to finish the year off.

Current bankroll: $24,200
December time played: 38h
December profit / (loss): $1,850

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An early xmas present on the tables

I'd lost all 26 hands on one table in my session last night after seeing over 50% of flops with basically premium starting hands almost every time. My W$SD was 0% from 10 showdowns with a mixture of strong to weak (A high) hands.

Then I got paid off with the following hand -

$3/$6 Limit Holdem
5 Players

UTG $145.38
CO $268.50
Hero (BTN) $108
SB $72.50
BB $140.50

Pre-Flop: (1.5 SB, 5 players) Hero is BTN Jd Js
1 fold, CO raises, Hero 3-bets, SB 4-bets, 1 fold, CO calls, Hero calls

Flop: 6s Jh Jc (13.0 SB, 3 players) hehe not often you flop the stone cold nuts
SB bets, CO calls, Hero calls i generally wait for the turn to c/r in these situations

Turn: 7h (8.0 BB, 3 players)
SB bets, CO calls, Hero raises, SB calls, CO calls nice to get two calls to my c/r

River: Ac (14.0 BB, 3 players) surely this helps someone ...
SB checks, CO checks, Hero bets, SB calls, CO calls nice. two callers again.

Final Pot: 17.0 BB
SB shows TwoPair Qs Qd
CO shows TwoPair 4h Ah him hitting the flush draw might have been even better
Hero shows Four of a Kind, Jacks Jd Js

Hero wins 16.5 BB (net +11.0 BB)

And all is right with the world again.

Current bankroll: $24,200
December time played: 31h
December profit / (loss): $1,850

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Any more xmas bonuses?

Now that Fulltilt is out of the way it's time to find some more xmas bonuses. They seem to be a bit thin this year, but hopefully something comes up.

In the meantime i've still got $100 of my last Cake reload to clear which will take a while, and i'll probably up my ironman to gold for fulltilt which means I need to do another 3 days of 100 fulltilt points (about half an hour per day). After that though, i'm not really sure.

I noticed Bodog has opened a $3/6 6max table, so I gave that a shot last night, although it broke up pretty quickly. I have to really have a closer look at Bodog, as I believe they have a much higher rake structure than somewhere like Fulltilt. (In practice its a solid 0.5BB/100 higher over about 40,000 hands).

Add to that the fact that i'm running at about 0.4BB/100 over 40,000 hands (after a 30,000 hand breakeven stretch ...) at $1/2 on Bodog compared to over 1BB/100 everywhere else i'm not sure what to think.

This month i'm running at a profit at $2/4, $3/6, $4/8 and $5/10 but a loss at $1/2. Can't complain about that at all - wish it always happened that way.

Current bankroll: $24,100
December time played: 30h
December profit / (loss): $1,750

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not enough bonus chasing?

Having a look at my monthly graph for this year shows a big drop in the amount of bonuses i've been clearing on a month by month basis when compared with 2008 (the red part of the results graph).

There's probably a few causes of this -

  1. I've been playing a lower volume this year which will result in fewer bonuses
  2. Any months with losses at the table should show as red due to the way the graph works
  3. I haven't been actively chasing as many bonuses this year through sites like Pokersource

I think the main contributor #1, as the lower volume has meant i'm not raking back as much - particularly if I look at this month and the last month where i've played more like the volume I put in last year, my rakeback/bonuses have increased significantly.

That being said #3 allowed me to pick up 100%, 200% or even more in rakeback by doing hit and runs on various sites through Pokersource. Basically easy money, but only for $100 or $200 per site.

I'll have to think about it some more for next year as i've gotten fairly comfortable just playing on a few sites that give regular bonuses that are probably close to 50% rakeback, rather than chasing the bigger deals (percentage wise) on different sites.

Current bankroll: $23,950
December time played: 28h
December profit / (loss): $1,600

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday, not my day

Played in the Cake freeroll on the weekend with about 100 entrants and the top 20 paid. I received a number of premium hands early but didn't get any bites so basically just collected a bunch of blinds. The only time I did get called I was holding KJ, and whiffed the flop, but a 1/3 pot cbet was enough to take it down.

At about the 40 minute mark I was a little above average with 2,200 chips, and looking at AA in middle position. UTG had raised a bit over a third of his stack with 400 chips (8xBB) so I figured I'd just push all in and hope he'd call off the rest of his stack. The table muppet who played most hands to date then called all in for 2,000 chips with QQ, a short stack with 200 chips called with 84o and the utg raiser also called with KJo.

Flop 922r, turn 9, river obviously has to be a queen to basically punt me out. Not happy, as I would have been chip leader if my hand held up. Next hand its folded to me in the CO with QJo so I push all in - muppet calls with QQ again and i'm out. FFS.

I then went out mountain bike riding and was cruising downhill when my brakes fell off, so I had to lay the bike down to stop which turned out to be fairly painful. This was really not my day. Particularly given i'd had my brakes repaired on Friday.

The cash tables were reasonably generous though so it wasn't all bad, and I ended the weekend a couple hundred in front. It could easily have been more, but my last session lost me about 30BBs at $1/2 where the river suckouts kept hitting thick and fast to the aggro retards who kept three betting the turn when behind and hitting 2 or 3 outers on the river. I was disappointed I had to close the table while those guys still had cash.

Completed my Fulltilt bonus bonus and have qualified for a silver ironman. I'm thinking of playing the 100 points per day for the next 5 days to qualify for gold to increase my end of year bonus.

Current bankroll: $23,900
December time played: 27h
December profit / (loss): $1,550

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sometimes things just go right

Had a nice little session last night, and although I didn't get a huge number of premium hands I still scored a nice little profit.

This was mainly through three or four hands in a very short period where I ended up calling down with an average, but not strong hand heads up against a fairly aggresive opponent, and won them all. They were the type of hands that you don't expect to win often, but just often enough to make the call down worthwhile. String a few of those together that pay off, and your session will end up pretty good.

Of course by doing this you'll occasionally feel pretty silly calling down with your pair of tens versus trip kings, but as long as you're winning your one in six or one in eight and the odds are dictating a call, then it's worthwhile.

Might not get in much poker over the weekend as i'm off to golf and out mountain biking as well. I'll make sure I get in enough to just complete my fulltilt bonus before it expires.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $282
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $18
Days left: 3

Current bankroll: $23,700
December time played: 22h
December profit / (loss): $1,350

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poker table ratings

I've seen a few guys reference pokertableratings in their blogs, so thought i'd check myself out.

For some reason on Fulltilt it only shows a little under 10,000 hands and gives me the following ratings:

Overall: 47/100 (higher is better)
BB/100: 2.85 (must have recent sessions in it as that is running very well)
Tilt score: 32/100 (lower is better)
Bot score: 4 (lower means more inconsistent)

What does it tell me?

Not much. I'm a little surprised at my low overall rating (I assume 47 is low?) whilst running pretty hot. And also a bot score of 4 apparently means i'm hugely inconsistent which is probably even more surprising as i'd consider my play to be very consistent, although opponent dependent.

I checked my Bodog stats as well which gave me an overall rating of 21, with only my results at $4/8 recorded which is where I basically started with a 150BB downswing. I've clawed over half that back, but haven't played on Bodog for a while. Given my play would be exactly the same on both sites, but the ratings are so far apart I have to assume they are more results driven than actual play style driven. This would mean the rating aren't all that useful until they have logged thousands of your hands - probably hundreds of thousands.

I made a few more BBs on the tables last night, although finished the session with a bad beat on a $80 pot which was disappointing. The fact that I was disappointed with a winning session may mean i'm getting a little too comfortable with this current upswing. I need to make sure I keep concentrating and playing my best without tilting through overconfidence.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $272
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $28
Days left: 4

Current bankroll: $23,450
December time played: 20h30m
December profit / (loss): $1,100

Monday, December 14, 2009


Again another reminder of why I don't play MTTs. I figured i'd give an Aussie Millions gold chip semi final qualifier a shot on Cake as I had the day off work and nothing better to do.

I triple and quadrupled up early on when I saw the number of muppets on my table shoving with stuff like 92o preflop, and they were more than willing to call a preflop shove from me holding KK. At the one hour break and end of the rebuy period I had about 12k chips after starting with 1.5k and was near the lead.

After that I was completely card dead, and met some big resistance to several steals so had to lay down some half decent pots which was disappointing. Towards the two hour mark, there were 12 players left, with the top 10 getting a ticket. Unfortunately I was in 12th.

The guy in 11th then pushed all in from the cut off, with me in the SB with AQo. I was guessing his range was pretty wide here, and somehow convinced myself to call all in with about 11,000 chips left and blinds of 1,000/2,000. I'm not sure its the right move, although when he flipped over A2o I was miles in front. Obviously the river was a 2 which sent me packing, and for no result after two hours.

The cash tables started on fire with me picking up pots left and right, making a quick couple hundred. I played on and off for the rest of the day, but didn't do much more than break even, and that was including a fairly long session against a huge fish who just kept on hitting. He scooped two massive pots holding the mighty 54o and another with 52o (versus my AA).

Can't complain though as it was still a profitable day.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $265
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $35
Days left: 5

Current bankroll: $23,350
December time played: 19h
December profit / (loss): $1,000

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Failed another freeroll

Hit up a fulltilt freeroll and lasted about an hour before crashing out for no return. Ended up having to push KdQd utg with 10BBs and got looked up by JJ. Diamond flop but no help and i'm gone.

I've got the day off today and am about to enter a semi final qualifier for the Aussie millions on Cake. Not really holding out too much hope but I guess you never know.

Got in a bit of play over the weekend and made sure I hit my fulltilt poker points targets. Running a very hot 16BB/100 at $1/2 over 900 hands so far this month, but only about 1BB/100 at higher stakes.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $258
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $42
Days left: 6

Current bankroll: $23,100
December time played: 14h
December profit / (loss): $750

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where'd the aggro pills come from?

Struggled a bit to find decent tables last night on fulltilt to get my 100 points, so ended up playing a few where there were only one or two fish that I didn't necessarily have position on. What that meant was that I had a few more run ins with LAG/TAGs three betting and making positional raises against me.

However, several of them were taking it a tad too far. One guy 3 bet my CO raise with J7o and then capped a flop of AhKhJh. I had an A but no heart and called down his turn and river bets. River was a heart as well even, but neither of his cards were hearts.

A few hands later my AKo UTG raise is three bet by aggro with A6o on the button. Flop AQ7r and again I get capped on the flop and even raised on the turn before I decide to call down and win.

Admittedly it did backfire for me on one hand where I got to see a free flop in the BB with 63s on a flop of 643. Aggro boy capped the flop, bet into a turn of 7 and bet into the 5 river. He then flips over 86o for the runner runner straight.

All in all a reasonable session for me though, winning a few BBs at the $3/6 and $2/4 level which could have been a lot more, but also winning about 25BBs on a couple $1/2 tables where a couple fish were giving their money away.

Home game with the boys tonight which should be fun. A busy weekend though so i'm not sure when exactly i'm going to get in my 100 fulltilt points worth of play each day.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $239
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $61
Days left: 10

Current bankroll: $22,900
December time played: 11h
December profit / (loss): $550

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cake gold stacks

Cake poker have just implemented a new rewards scheme called gold stacks. It's basically just a small additional award that is allocated based on how many gold chips you collect. (Gold chips being an existing awards scheme).

At first the rewards are just gold chips, but after that they become pending bonuses that you then clear like a reload bonus, and as you get even higher they become purely cash bonuses.

Some guy on 2p2 worked out that the impact is about a 2.5% to 10% increase in effective rakeback depending on how many levels (ie stacks) you've already completed.

I'm not sure if i'll get too far through it, but hey, its some more free money so I won't complain. (although if they stop doing reload bonuses I will be very disappointed).

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $230
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $70
Days left: 11

Current bankroll: $22,800
December time played: 10h
December profit / (loss): $450

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fulltilt lagging

Seems like a bit of a flurry of fulltilt posts from me lately.

Last night was a horrible experience. Tables were lagging and sitting me out, although luckily it only started when I was about 10 points short of my 100 points for the day. It also didn't appear to cost me much as I didn't actually lag out on any hands that I wanted to bet or raise with. Very concerning nonetheless. I had a look on 2p2, but there didn't seem to be anyone reporting the same issue.

I'm hoping its all working fine for tonight otherwise I might have to ditch the idea of clearing my bonus and qualifying for ironman completely.

Just in case it's pokertracker related i've set all my database maintenance running. Will try it withouth pokertracker if my problems continue. Obviously though, timing out makes it unplayable.

I still ended up with a small profit for the session so can't complain too much as it could easily have turned out much worse if the lag had cost me a large pot or two.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $225
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $75
Days left: 12

Current bankroll: $22,750
December time played: 9h
December profit / (loss): $400

Monday, December 7, 2009

Reimbursement from Full Tilt Poker‏

Received a nice little email from Full Tilt last night:

"The Full Tilt Poker Security department has recently concluded an extensive investigation and we have determined that some of your opponents were in violation of our site terms.

We have permanently closed all of the offending accounts. In cases of proven cheating, 100% of the confiscated funds are returned to the players who were victimized. The reimbursement calculation is based on the number of tournaments or hands played against the offending players, and the amount won or lost against them.

We have determined that you are entitled to a refund of $17.60 which will be placed in your account in the next 72 hours. "

Admittedly not big dollars, but it is reassuring to know Fulltilt do look at cheaters, even in the $1/2 to $3/6 fixed limit games.

I have played almost four hours since Friday, clearing my 100 Fulltilt points each day. A couple of those hours were single tabling whilst watching TV so all up not a huge volume.

I'm trying to remember any interesting hands, but nothing much comes to mind - I probably shouldn't be even playing when i'm not fully focused and watching TV. I do remember one hand where I held KK on a AKK flop, and villain capped the turn and river which was nice of them ... particularly as he was holding A6o.

No big swings either in that time to speak of, just a series of small wins in each session with only one table where I ran memorably cold winning only one hand in 56.

I guess bigger things are happening away from the tables, with my house purchase settling yesterday which has taken a fair bit of my attention over the last few weeks, particularly dealing with the bank which could most generously be described as painful. Now that's done we'll be moving in late January which will result in less poker that month too.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $220
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $80
Days left: 13

Current bankroll: $22,650
December time played: 8h
December profit / (loss): $300

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Change of plan on Fulltilt bonus clearing

I realised last night in order to qualify for the iron man bonus I should be aiming to stretch out my current bonus clearing for as long as possible to obtain the best January bonus.

So for the last 17 days or so, i'll be simply clearing 100 fulltilt points per day. This means that i'll probably throw in some Cake, Bodog and maybe another site into the mix once I get the 100 points each day.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $195
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $105
Days left: 17

Current bankroll: $22,450
December time played: 4h
December profit / (loss): $100

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stomach ache plus online poker doesn't work

...... Particularly when you need to make a quick exit.

I guess you could try Amatay style, and play on your laptop and take it to the bathroom with you, but I think i'll pass on that option.

Since my PC is a desktop I ended up having to go with the quick clicking sit out on all tables.

I guess it would be worse again if you were playing live.

Anyways, played a bit last night, cleared some more bonus, dropped a quick hundred, before gaining it back and then some. I should really try to hit an ironman bonus on fulltilt this month so that would give me another bonus to clear in January.

Fulltilt bonus cleared: $185
Fulltilt bonus remaining: $115
Days left: 18

Current bankroll: $22,400
December time played: 3h
December profit / (loss): $50