Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mexico

So I ended up getting my passport in time to go to Mexico. There were many visits to the passport office involved and many problems that surfaced between submitting my application and actually receiving my passport in my hand. Rather than go into all of the details of my passport situation I'd rather just try to forget the whole experience and try my best to NEVER WASH MY PASSPORT AGAIN (did it 3 times in 4 years...hence all of the hassle). I'm not quite sure why or how I always seem to make the same mistake but I do know that I was extra careful to check every pocket of my clothes before turning on the laundry when I got back from Mexico a few days ago.


The trip was great and I am indeed very glad that my passport showed up before my flight was scheduled to leave. The main purpose for the trip was to attend the wedding of my girlfriend's best friend, who she has known since kindergarten and is still very close with. We stayed in an all-inclusive resort near Playa Del Carmen and it was pretty fantastic. The food from the buffets was pretty mediocre but the dinners at the restaurants were all very solid and even the buffet had a few gems (favorite was the hot omelet stations for breaky). Along with the food, the drinks were all free and most of the time I chose different drinks off of the cocktail menu since you can easily get away with ordering fruity drinks at a tropical destination (also the beer wasn't great). Mojito's and Miami Vices (half strawberry daiquiri/half pina colada) were two of my go-to choices during the trip. On our last night my gf and I splurged on a nice $22 bottle of wine with our fondue dinner (which was amazing) since the free wine was described to us as "gasolina" by our waiter as he poured it. I'm not sure if he realized that the Spanish word for gasoline is only 1 letter different than from English but either way I was able to crack his code after tasting the wine. Needless to say that it was $22 well spent on the upgraded wine.

So we arrived a few days before the wedding was supposed to take place, which turned out to be really nice because it gave everyone a bit of time to get to know each other (probably 30+ people came down) and adjust to the time difference/climate (only 2 hrs ahead). One of the guys that was with the group was actually one of my gf's ex-boyfriends that she broke up with like 5+ years ago so that had some potential to be pretty awkward but fortunately it wasn't. He was a nice guy and their past relationship was never even brought up for discussion, which was especially good because she ended things and he seemed completely moved on with a new gf who wasn't on the trip. On the last day of the vaca, I played in a massive 16 person double-knockout beer pong tournament and the ex-bf took me out in the semi-finals! It was quite devastating but I guess I'll give him that ;)

 
 

I only left the resort once during my stay in Mexico and that was to go into town one night to check out the CoCo Bongo nightclub. If you haven't heard of this club you should google it or check out some videos on YouTube. It's kind of hard to describe but the club is basically a gigantic 3-5 story venue that packs in several thousand people for music, dancing and entertainment. There's a mix of Hollywood acts and singer impersonators all accompanied by confetti, fog blasts and balloon guns. The place is crazy. We had a standing table for our group and a waiter would emerge from between the crowds every so often to bring us fresh drinks all night long. Also, throughout the night girls are being pulled up on the center bar to dance...my girlfriend was pulled up early in the night but managed to escape rather quickly. All in all I had a pretty great time and thought the place was a cool experience. If crowds aren't your thing though you won't like this place at all-I was even feeling a bit claustrophobic and annoyed at times. You will be spilled on.

The weather was very nice for the vast majority of the trip. Unfortunately, the one day that a big storm flew in was on the day of the wedding! The ceremony was supposed to be on the beach but had to be diverted to dryer land. The bride seemed 100% cool with plan B though so that was great to see. My girlfriend volunteered me to be in charge of video recording everything at the wedding since she was in the wedding party. I don't have much experience with filming anything but aside from zooming in/out wayyy too much I think I did a decent job, especially recording the speeches. It was fun to be involved and after recording the ceremony, toasts, cake cutting, speeches and other random scenes it was time to put the camera away and break out the dance moves. At first the camera actually didn't go away even though the battery had died. Instead, I brought it with me onto the dance floor and pretended to be filming people to see their reaction. Unfortunately, that didn't last too long because what I thought was "funny" turned out to be "creepy" to my gf and the vast majority of people that were throwing shapes on the dance floor. I was definitely getting quite drunk by the time the dancing had started and I also remember taking a fork full of wedding cake onto the floor and trying to feed it to a girl (unsuccessfully).

I was worried that I would wake up the next day and my ankle would be throbbing with pain. I had it taped up for most of the trip and to my pleasant surprise I awoke the next morning feeling no more pain than usual and little hangover. I actually didn't feel hungover much at all the whole trip. I wasn't drinking a massive amount (even on the wedding day, I've drank far more in my day) and all of the drinks are filled with a lot of ice to keep you hydrated. It was great. Getting back to my ankle though, it actually was bothering me a bit until after the wedding night and then it started to feel much better (not really sure how/why). I almost re-injured it on the last day though. A few of us were just sitting on the grass while waiting for our ride to the airport and a girl walked by and dropped her wallet and didn't notice. I announced to the group that I was going to "make her day" and then sprung up to get the wallet, took one step on the wet cement and my foot shot forward and I fell backwards on the ground. I got a couple of scrapes but nothing as bad as the embarrassment felt. To make matters worse, when I got up and hobbled to catch up with the girl she was like "thanks but there's nothing in there anyways." Awesome.

Anyways, I'm back now and ready to grind. I've been taking care of a big to-do list over the past couple of days but now that's taken care of. I have no vacations planned for the rest of the year aside from maybe a couple small getaways in the summer. I'm going to resume grinding 200nl zoom tomorrow and hope to work heavy hours for the rest of the month and gear up for a big May. My initial thoughts on 200nl is that it's going to be quite a bit harder than 100nl but the VPP rate is massively better (avg .22 at 100nl and .38 at 200nl over a 3k sample). Hopefully I can run well at 200nl so that I don't have to drop back to 100nl. Also, I'm probably a bit rusty but we shall see. Time to start chasing down SNE!

gl at the tables!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Movin' on Up- March Recap

Well, all of the work that I've been putting into my 6-max game finally started to pay off in March! I've finally nailed down what I think are near optimal opening ranges from every position, although I could be slightly off for sure and also think that the ranges are probably different at various stakes. At 100nl anyways, I feel comfortable with my opening frequencies for now though. I haven't come up with anything groundbreaking by any means and my strategy falls right in line with the standard tight from EP/MP and loosen up in later positions. It does get quite complicated, particularly in late position, when you have to decide not only with what percentage of your opening range that you want to defend with but also how you want to defend (ie calling or 4betting and what hands to do what with). Again, mainly through trial and error, I think that I'm more or less comfortable with my defending strategy and it seems to be working well so far. I don't want to get into the specifics of my opening percentages, defending %'s and defending strategy...I mean it's pretty unexploitable anyways but at least for now I'd rather keep the finer details to myself for obvious reasons.

With that said, I didn't make very much money overall in March but I'm hoping that what I learned will be valuable in the coming months of 2014. Also, considering things went so poorly for most of the month it feels good to end the month on a 25 buy-in upswing, consequently right after I made a couple of key changes to my opening ranges. I did also just flat out run way better in pretty much every way possible. Here is the month graph:

 
 
 
Session by day: 9 winning days after said changes
 
 
 
Alright, well my plan was always to move up stakes aggressively so I see no reason why I should deviate from the plan at this point. I'm going to start April off at 200nl 6-max zoom on a 10 buy-in shot. It's not much and even the very best players can rip through 10 buy-ins in a day but if that does happen, Plan B will be to drop to 100nl again until I pull back to even and then take a 5 buy-in shot at 200nl, rinse and repeat. That's obviously the worst outcome and while it is fairly likely, there are 2 other outcomes that boast very well for me. 1) obviously I win from the start and never look back and 2) I break even or stay within the 10 buy-in range for a while and earn much more VPPs in the process. This is basically how I approach moving up stakes in games that I'm not very confident in...I find a game that I'm quite confident that I can beat to fall back on (100nl) and then take a fairly low-risk shot in terms of dollars at the next level.

Volume-wise, March was decent in terms of hours and hands played but lame in terms of VPPs. I earned just around 23K, which puts me about 150K VPPs behind SNE pace at this point. Obviously, I'm hoping to make up for this in later months by playing higher stakes games :)

I'm going to not bother with a March profit tally since I'm treating April almost as a continuation of March and the $1k+ table winnings is funding my 200nl shot, more or less.

Volume will be important in April but is still not a top priority (that would be results and learning). In May, that will change as volume will most likely be my main point of focus not only for that month but the remainder of the year as I try to chase down SNE.

At this point, I may or may not be going to Mexico for a week in April. The trip is booked but I'm waiting for my passport to arrive before my flight...dealing with the passport office is one of the most tilting things that can be done so we'll see if it arrives in the mail as it's supposed to. Alright, have a great April everyone!

gl at the tables!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Micro Millions Summary/6 Max Update

The Micro Millions has come to a close and although it was a lot of fun again, I did very poorly in the series this time around. I initially wanted to try and make a run at a top 10 leader board finish and as a result, I ended up playing almost all of the MTTs over the first 3-4 days. Unfortunately, I didn't end up racking up very many cashes over this period of time so the thought of placing high on the overall leader board started to look dim at best. I continued to play most of the events over the next few days to see if I could put some kind of hot streak together but alas, that didn't happen either. I think that my play was fairly decent throughout the series at least and I wrote down a bunch of my bustout hands...lots of bad beats, a decent number of flips and a few spots where I got my money in bad but still feel ok about the situation. All in all, it can be a tall order to land a top 10 spot on the leader board when there's so much variance in each and every MTT...however, on the other hand, variance can also be the beauty of MTT poker and the cause of excitement when things go your way and you make a deep run or tally up a bunch of cashes. I'm already looking forward to the next Micro Millions series so I can try all over again lol.

The Last Longers that I were running out of my facebook page were a big success! Participation was high for each one and when it was all said and done, 8 people were freerolling the Main Event after winning a ticket from these LLs. I think that all of the feedback was entirely positive about this promotion so I'm glad that you guys seemed to have some fun and I'll definitely look into running this promo again, or something similar, possibly for the SCOOP or the next Micro Millions series. Promo-wise, this was also a pretty big success for me and the series I think. I picked up a decent number of fb/twitter followers and saw many tweets and retweets about my last longers with the hashtag #MicroMillions flying around cyberspace-so thx for that!

Cash games at 6-max have not been going well for me this month. I'm not overly discouraged yet because a) I haven't really lost a lot in terms of buy-ins or dollars and b) I'm actually playing EV positive poker so that's all that I can really control and focus on...hopefully the variance evens out sooner rather than later. Here are my results for this month and then since I started my 6-max adventure in the end of February:


 
 
 
As you can see, I'm running about 12.5 buy-ins under EV this month and am close to being out 28 since the end of Feb! That's pretty gross but I also just don't care or put too much emphasis on my results at this point because I know that I'm not playing that well and am still learning the game. I feel like I'm just starting to play fairly well now and am getting used to people's ranges in various spots but still have a lonnnng way to go. It's quite possibly for the better that I stay playing 100nl for a while to get better before tackling higher stakes where the players are much better and the swings will be higher. The thing that I find quite difficult about 6-max is that at 100nl, the player pool is relatively large compared to say 500nl (where you're battling a smaller number of regs over and over) and you're facing so many different regs with different playing styles it can be hard to nail down pre-flop ranges. For example, there are some regs where I'll be wanting to fist-pump 4bet/call AQo in late position because they 5bet shove A9o and seem to basically just be clicking buttons but then there are others where I'll be hesitant to even stack with QQ because they're so tight. I'm not trying to say that 500nl is easier because there are fewer regs lol, just that there are a lot of spots where it can be hard to play based on a small sample size with various opponents.

Anyways, I'm going to continue to work on my game away from the tables by watching some training vids, going over my results etc and most importantly I'm going to keep playing to get more live experience, as this has usually been the best way that I learn in the past. I'm still feeling very driven by the thought of moving up stakes aggressively and am basically planning on making up SNE pace this way as the year unfolds. Who knows though, at any point in time I might just give up on 6-max and go back to full-ring :) We shall see. Grinding zoom is pretty much the nuts though...so easy to start/stop sessions and need to pay 0 attention to the lobby. This is coming from someone who completely table selects when playing normal tables too.

Away from poker, the month has been run and fairly eventful but nothing too crazy has occurred. I'm still nursing my healing ankle but have gone out a few times and it's been a blast. It was my 2nd year anniversary with my gf this past weekend and also her Bday around the same time so we went out for a nice dinner at the Keg to celebrate. I'm going to Mexico for just over a week in April with my gf for a friend's wedding and that should be awesome and something that can't come soon enough...I have a small sweat waiting on my new passport to arrive via mail but it should be here with plenty of time before I leave. I think that it's really nice to have trips planned here and there to use for motivation for playing poker. I'm going to try and log a bunch of hours before I go away because I know that if I'm feeling burnt out that I'll be able to refresh myself on vaca anyways. With that said, time to get to work!

gl at the tables!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Micro Millions 7 Promo!


The Micro Millions series is back on March 13th-23rd and once again I will be playing a significant number of events in order to try and place well on the overall leader board. Despite this being my 3rd time trying to do well on the leader board, I'm not discouraged much at all by my previous two failed attempts. There's always going to be a lot of variance in MTT poker so even if I'm not a top-ranked MTT player, I still feel like I have a decent edge in all of the tournies so we'll see what happens. The last two times that I played the MM series, I've kind of hung around in the hunt a bit for a leader board top 10 finish but ultimately have never got very close. I think that the last two series have been profitable (the last one definitely was, can't totally remember how I did the first time), however, and I did make a really deep run last time in a 6-max event where I eventually finished 36th in a huge field with a first place prize over $15K.

Anyways, what I'm excited to tell y'all about is a pretty sick promotion for you micro grinders that I'll be running throughout most of the series. Basically, what's going to happen is that for certain events I'll be running a freeroll "last longer" from my facebook page. As the name says, it will be totally free to enter and anyone who's playing the event can sign up. If you win the last longer (for those who don't know what a last longer is, it's self-explanatory...everyone joins before the event starts and the person who lasts the longest in that tournament is the winner), you're going to be credited with a Micro Millions Main event ticket! So yeah, no strings attached and zero downside...again, this will be ran from my facebook page and I haven't 100% decided on what events that I'll be doing this for but I will be starting with the very first event of the series. I'll open registration for the last longer 2 hours prior to the first event so keep your eyes on my facebook and twitter if you'd like to join. Hopefully this will be fun and a nice way to keep everyone motivated, including  myself. Oh yeah, if I end up winning the last longer, I'll make sure to give the ticket to someone else ;)




6-Max has a bit frustrating but not too discouraging thus far. I'm trying to win 10 buy-ins before jumping up quickly to take a 5 buy-in shot at 200nl but winning those 10 buy-ins is proving to be no easy feat. As you can see from the graph, I got close pretty early in the month and then swung back down pretty hard and have been on a bit of a break-even roller coaster ever since. I'm becoming more comfortable with my play at least but the variance is fairly high so we'll see how things shape up over the rest of the month. My volume has been pretty unspectacular but I expect that to pick up significantly over the rest of the month, especially since I'll be grinding throughout the Micro Millions series a lot.

I had a doctor's appointment for my ankle recently and was told that I could ditch the crutches and start walking on it a bit but was also told that It's going to take another month+ to be back to where it was. That was a little discouraging but it didn't stop me from going out both Friday and Saturday this weekend! On Friday I went out for dinner with three friends + my gf and after a couple of fish bowl sized drinks, dinner turned into a night out on the dance floor. One of my friends is recently single so I volunteered for wingman duties if called upon. This would later prove costly for me and is probably worth noting that talking to other girls in the presence of your girlfriend is actually not as good of an idea as it might sound. All that happened was that I was doing my thing on the dance floor, in my walking boot (no idea why it's taking my foot so long to heal), and then some girl dropped her drink behind me and it broke. When someone came over to clean up the drink, the girl started jokingly blaming me for causing the mess and then started asking me about my ankle (sympathy time!). She was with some friends and I thought that this would be a great in for my single friend so I started talking to her...sure enough, my friend came over shortly after and started chatting with one of her friends. What a great wingman I am. Unfortunately, my gf didn't see it that way and claimed that this girl was staring at me for a while and then purposely broke her drink to talk to me lol. I mean I know my dance moves are pretty good but even that seems a bit far-fetched. Also, at one point this girl brought out her phone and it looked as if she was giving me her phone number but in actuality she was digging up a picture of her knee that had some stitches in it to show me...one of the more questionable pick-up moves that I've ever encountered. Anyways, the conversation was dragging on for a while so I excused myself to go to the washroom and came back to my gf. All was well (except for my friend, who failed to land any #'s :( ) but I might need to holster these dance moves a bit more in the future. I forgot what kind of affect they can have on the ladies.

I didn't get to work at all on Sunday because I was dealing with an unexpected problem with my apartment. I was sitting down enjoying a nice breakfast when all of a sudden I heard this weird tapping noise and looked over and saw water pouring out of my ceiling! Obviously I panicked and had no idea what to do but I grabbed a bucket and towel and fortunately the leak stopped on it's own. There's wasn't very much water everywhere but there was a hole in my ceiling and the roof was wet in a confined area. There are 2 apartments above me so I went upstairs and told them about it and they said that they had a "leak" in their bathroom, whatever that meant. I called my building manager and they sent a handyman over and basically what had happened was that the people above overflowed their toilet and the water had gotten underneath their baseboards and came down through my ceiling...wonderful. Right now I'm waiting for someone to come back and cut out the rotten parts of my ceiling, make sure everything is clean and fixed and then patch everything back up. The good news is that this won't cost me a dime since it's not my fault but the bad news is that I have no idea how long this will take to get fixed or how distracting it will be to the poker grind. The joys of being a homeowner I guess.

Alright, that's all for now...

gl at the tables!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Down the Mountain-February Review

February is in the books and I'm disappointed with my results in the second half of the month but am pleased with my effort throughout the entire month...for the most part. I could have played a bit more, especially over the last few days but I was still entirely focused on poker and just chose to watch some 6max training videos and vastly improve my HUD instead. Without further adieu, let's get to the results and talk about em a bit.



 
6-Max

 
Starting by looking at my monthly graph, you can see that my results take on the shape of the dreaded mountain. I guess it's better than a slide but I'd much rather have a ladder...

I wasn't very surprised by the time I checked my results. I felt like I was slowly losing money since mid-month and was checking my 6max results anyways over the last week or so and had a ball-park idea about where I was at. I was running pretty hot for the first couple of weeks but the slide in my results is almost entirely my own doing. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, I began getting away from my game plan and started playing way too fancy and sub-optimal in the full ring games and then switched games entirely to take on 6-max.

The full-ring play is whatever, that can easily be corrected and I don't regret switching over to 6-max. The thing is, I need to start thinking longer term sooner rather than later if I want to make SNE. 6-max might not be the answer but I want to play something that earns me more vpps/hand and I think that my results would be better by sticking to NLHE then playing PLO or something. Like, ultimately making SNE is 99% about the money (maybe 1% status bragging rights) so I'm not going to play some game where I'm losing money or breaking even when I could be clicking buttons in my sleep and printing money at full-ring (slight exaggeration). That said, I'm pretty turned on by the thought of moving up stakes aggressively at 6-max at the moment so that's what I'm going to try and do at least for now. I think that the profit ceiling is higher at 6max and the convenience of 200nl/500nl zoom is something that isn't even an option at full-ring, unfortunately. On the other hand, Stars is rolling out their anti-shortstacking measures in early March, which is obviously awesome in every way (especially at full-ring, where there are an abundance of SSers). I don't know how/if this would affect my win-rate but I might be tempted to find out, especially if 6max is going brutal.

As for volume, I fell well short of my 60K VPP target but did end with my highest total in a LONG time, clearing a bit over 40K. I actually feel pretty ok about that number considering that it will be easy to make up for lost time is I can do alright at 6max/higher stakes. If I do poorly, I'll have to either try playing something else or just stick to my profitable games and see how many VPPs I can grind out by the end of the year. I'm going to give 6max a pretty legit shot though, like I'm willing to stick it out until I lose something pretty demoralizing I think...probably like 50 buy-ins or so but we'll see. Usually a downswing of 10 buy-ins tilts me for a week lol so I can see myself calling it quits a lot sooner than 50 BI. At the end of the day though, it doesn't matter if I clear 8k or 14k over the first few months if I can be cranking out 5-figure months for most of the latter part of the year through playing higher stakes.

Oh yeah, almost forgot the numbers:

February

$3, 217.93 Table Winnings
$2, 240      FPP Value
--------------------------------------
$5,417.93 USD

Factor in some coacing, other stuff and a sexy USD/CDN exchange rate and I'm approaching 10K so I'm pretty satisfied with the money when it's all said and done, even though the total could have been much better given how things started.

Away from the tables, things really weren't all that exciting considering that I've been grounded in my own house due to my fractured ankle. I try not to think about all of the hockey games that I've been missing and about how long it's going to take before I can do anything active again. The foot's feeling a bit better everyday but is still pretty useless when it comes to doing anything remotely taxing. I've got a doctor's appointment on the 4th and if things look alright at that point I'll be able to start doing physio on it. I'm hopeful that I can be back in action before the end of the month but really wouldn't be surprised if that's not the case. I have managed to watch the 2nd season of House of Cards though and actually finished the finale yesterday...fantastic show.

As for March, I'm going to set my VPP target at 70K. I really think that I can attain this but it will be very challenging. I'm going away for about a week in early April so I'll have enough motivation to grind hard until then before taking a week off to recharge.

That's it for now,

gl at the tables!



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

6-Max

I don't know exactly why but I always seem to do it. Things will be rolling along quite nicely at the tables and then I'll suddenly have the need to become a playmaster in order to squeeze the maximum value out of my hourly. I'll start by changing the winning formula from a tight-aggressive approach to a cold-4betting happy, 3bet-isoing aggro superstar. Of course, my hourly does not increase as I evidently learn that while I may try to rep the nuts, they actually have it. I either do that or I try a different game (see PLO experiment from the past).

This time, I'm trying a different game again :) Over the past few days I've been playing a bunch of zoom 6-max. I've dabbled in 6-max before of course but have never really focused on it 100%. The reason why 6-max is appealing to me is because it's a much more realistic approach to get SNE. You earn much more VPPs at 6max relative to full-ring at comparable stakes and I also think that the ceiling for stakes/profit is higher at 6max. Zoom 500nl runs all of the time and there seems to be much more higher-stakes 6max games running than full-ring. Not that my sights are set on those tables but it's always nice to have something to chase.

Anyways, all of this info isn't exactly new to me and I didn't just have some sort of epiphany but for whatever reason, I now have a craving to learn and play 6-max :/ I do think that it's important to play something that you enjoy playing, especially when you're mass grinding for something like SNE, in order to stay engaged and motivated toward your goals. The full-ring grind is great and even though winning at any game isn't easy, I've been able to consistently win there for 4 years and know it will be there for me if and when I fail at 6-max.

I do think that if I'm going to attempt to increase my daily VPPS, I might as well do it early rather than before it's too late. I'm a big advocate of working hard but also smart. That said, I could easily be back at the full-ring tables as early as tomorrow ;). I'm not sure exactly how much time and money I want to invest into this little experiment as it's gone pretty poorly so far. Obviously I've got a lot of work to do to become a better player but I think that I've been making strides and getting a bit better everyday. I'm down about 13 buy-ins but ten of that is EV so I think that my play has been almost good enough to breakeven but I also am not going to wait a long time to find out. It's a bit unfortunate that this will be cutting into my monthly profit but that's just taking the short-term into consideration and the potential payoff of beating 6-max could be big later on in the year. I would imagine that if I hit a loss of 20 buy-ins that I'd probably frustrated enough to go back to full-ring, at least for now. Hence my statement that I could "be back at the full-ring tables as early as tomorrow ;)."



My ankle is feeling much better since the fracture about a month ago but I still can't really do much. I've abandoned the crutches for the most part and haven't taken any Tylenol in weeks but the ankle is still pretty weak and I've been trying to keep my weight off it for the most part. I have an appointment coming up in about a week to see that it's healed properly and then I can start doing some rehab on it...I can't wait to be able to exercise again and get back out on the ice.

I managed to get downtown on the weekend for my uncle's 50th birthday dinner at the Shangri La in Vancouver. It's not the usual spot for our family gatherings (very luxurious) but we had an amazing 5-course dinner and I actually ended up having 7 because my girlfriend didn't like a couple of the seafood plates :D I had a bunch of wine too, which ended up spoiling my plans of waking up at 4am to watch the Canada-Sweden gold medal hockey game. My alarm went off and I knew it wasn't going to happen but I did get up to watch the replay at 10:30am and didn't check any social media so I didn't know the result. It was awesome to watch Canada win gold again even though the game was pretty uneventful as the Swedes were outmatched in pretty much every way.

Alright, I'm off to bed. My friend Ben is in town for a job interview and is crashing on my futon tonight so I'll probably start the day tomorrow going for a coffee (somewhere close enough to hobble) and breaky and then get back on the felt. Just a few more days until the monthly review, which I have not checked but am no longer thrilled about to say the least. Talk soon,

gl at the tables!

Friday, February 14, 2014

February Mid-Month Results




Well, I've put in a whopping 6854 minutes of play this month according to HEM 2, or about an average of 8 hours a day with no days off. The heavy volume has been a result of my fractured ankle and me wanting to try and achieve SNE status by the end of the year. Fortunately, the results have been great at the tables so far and it's always nice to be rewarded for putting in a lot of effort because in poker, that's not always going to be the case.

Graph:


By Stakes:


By Day:



I often get asked what my daily swings are like, so that should give you an idea of how all over the map my days are. I could literally play no different from day to day and win over a thousand dollars on one day and lose that much the next. There's just a lot of variance in the short term but if you choose to focus on what you can control, such as putting in the hours, taking the best lines, working and tweaking your game etc. it will help you feel satisfied even on losing days.

Like I said, fortunately this month I've been running pretty well and playing fairly well overall thus far. It's been a bit of a struggle to stay sharp when playing so many hands each day and especially these last couple of days, I've found myself playing pretty awful from time to time and I think it's from mental fatigue. When I say "playing awful," I'm not spewing off stacks left and right or anything but am just not making some folds that I might normally or am not looking for good spots to steal pots enough. There was a hand yesterday where I cold 4bet a BTNs 3bet with AKo, planning to get it in against that player but then the initial opener in the CO jammed and the BTN folded. I thought the CO was a bit nitty and probably had only AA here. I think that a lot of people might just click call and chalk it up as a cooler anyways but I told myself about 4 times to fold and then just clicked the call button. They had AA and I lost. The outcome of the hand doesn't really matter, nor does the debate about whether or not folding or calling is even the right play...what matters is that my brain was telling me to do one thing and I was unable to listen, instead relying on the "standard play," all the while completely ignoring my reads and instincts. Anyways, I'm sure we've all been there and hopefully I can at least continue to recognize when I'm not playing my best and work around that.

As for volume, well my vpp/hand is probably the equivalent to the average 25nl grinder lol so my VPP count is not great. I was hoping to have close to 28K VPPs at this point but am instead at almost 23.5K, so not too far off but a bit behind my ideal target. I'll be looking to continue with 8+ hour days and hopefully get as close to my 60K month target as possible.

I said that if my profits were over $3,000 by this point that I'd add some 400nl+600nl tables into the mix so that is exactly what I'm planning on doing. I'm not sure if any sort of significant volume will come from these tables but they should help out with the vpp/hand rate a bit. I know that if I want any shot of actually making SNE that I'm going to have to eventually play all mid-stakes cash games (possibly including 6max) so if I stick to the plan of keeping as close to pace as possible, hopefully I'll be able to hold off moving up until I feel totally ready.

You also might see me grinding some micro+low-stakes MTTs while I'm grinding cash. I have some T$ (bit over $1k) and I'd like to use them to grow into a healthy MTT bankroll (like $3K+) so I might fire up a few tournies each day during my sessions. I've been playing both MTTs and cash games over the last few days and I've found that it can be overwhelming at times and my focus on both the cash games and MTTs can be lessened by playing both at once. Playing the tournaments does make the time pass by a lot faster for me though so I'll need to see if it's possible to find a comfortable spot on the spectrum between being too bored and too overwhelmed. I'll keep you posted on how the MTTs are going probably only if anything significant happens, otherwise my attention will be given to the cash game grind.

Biggest pot won this month: Pretty standard flop top set vs bottom 2 and FD and hold...;)

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (9 handed)

SB ($259.69)
BB ($83.38)
Hero (UTG) ($203)
UTG+1 ($100.47)
MP1 ($200)
MP2 ($118.64)
MP3 ($160.43)
CO ($220.47)
Button ($312.96)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 9, 9
Hero raises to $4.56, UTG+1 calls $4.56, 2 folds, MP3 calls $4.56, 4 folds

Flop: ($16.68) 2, 4, 9 (3 players)
Hero bets $10, UTG+1 calls $10, MP3 calls $10

Turn: ($46.68) K (3 players)
Hero bets $32, UTG+1 calls $32, MP3 raises to $144, Hero raises to $188.44 (All-In), UTG+1 calls $53.91 (All-In), MP3 calls $1.87 (All-In)

River: ($424.33) A (3 players, 3 all-in)

Total pot: $424.33 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero had 9, 9 (three of a kind, nines).
UTG+1 had J, Q (high card, Ace).
MP3 had 4, 2 (two pair, fours and twos).
Outcome: Hero won $421.53

Biggest pot lost this month: Just happens to be a pretty sick bad beat, so I get to post it :D Super lame since their hand is so obv face up...to be fair it's a tough spot with kings since I usually fold all worse if they 4bet but I probably slow down with worse after the cold-call as well. Not sure if having a cold-calling range here is better than just having a cold 4betting range, I can see pros and cons to each.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (8 handed)

BB ($200)
UTG ($209.93)
Hero (UTG+1) ($216)
MP1 ($266.28)
MP2 ($207.84)
CO ($425.57)
Button ($145.70)
SB ($80)

Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with A, A
UTG raises to $6, Hero raises to $19, MP1 calls $19, 6 folds

Flop: ($47) 6, 5, 8 (2 players)
Hero bets $32, MP1 raises to $64, Hero raises to $197 (All-In), MP1 calls $133

Turn: ($441) 4 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($441) K (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $441 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero had A, A (one pair, Aces).
MP1 had K, K (three of a kind, Kings).
Outcome: MP1 won $438.20


I got possession of all of the photos that I did at the PCA photo shoot back in Jan! I've updated my twitter and facebook page to one of them and that's what that pic from the top of this post is from as well. I'll probably post a bunch of them in one spot once frosty012.com becomes my home base again but for now I'll trickle them out on various blog posts and spots to fulfill some of your creeping needs ;)

Man, there really hasn't been much else going on for me right now with this ankle besides poker. I've been watching the Olympics when I can, usually during poker breaks and my girlfriend has been stopping by occasionally to hang out and bring me groceries. Even the simplest things like getting food for yourself become difficult when you're carrying crutches around and it's a difficult task just to crutch to the store in the first place. My roommate and I went out together today to do a big Valentine's shop for our gfs...we both have similar nights planned and I'm cooking a nice steak dinner for my girlfriend tonight at my place. I also picked up the finest $20 bottle of white wine that the liquor store had to offer and a couple other surprises so I'm looking forward to a good night!

All right. I'll be back on the grind tomorrow and am looking forward to the first Supernova Freeroll of the year! I have a pretty decent cash % in these things I think, although to this point I've been left on the sideline to watch my fellow grinders take home huge scores at the Final Table. Nevertheless, the opportunity to make a deep run in the tournament is always exciting so gl to all those that are playing.

gl at the tables!