The thing I hate the most about mixing different stakes into a session is that if any big hands go down on the higher stakes tables, the rest of your tables become almost irrelevant as your profit/losses will be so heavily impacted by the highest tables that you are playing. You can imagine my frustration then when I say that I've been running pretty badly at the higher limits this month. Nothing catastrophic but lots of stupid stuff like this (and of course, according to good ol' all-in EV I was supposed to lose because I was behind! Nevermind that half of his stack was in on the flop ;) Hands like these are really why the all-in EV stat is pretty useless (of course, it also can't measure obvious coolers like KK < AA in the blinds)):
Poker Stars $400.00 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
Hero (UTG+1): $406.00
CO posts a big blind ($4.00)
Pre Flop: ($10.00) Hero is UTG+1 with K K
UTG raises to $16, Hero calls $16, 5 folds, SB calls $14, 1 fold
Flop: ($56.00) 7 4 2 (3 players)
SB bets $40.00, UTG folds, Hero raises to $126, SB calls $86
Turn: ($308.00) 3 (2 players)
SB bets $154.10, Hero calls $154.10
River: ($616.20) 9 (2 players)
Final Pot: $616.20
SB shows 4 3
Hero shows K K
SB wins $613.20
Anyways, I was down just over a couple $K a day ago, which isn't really even enough to be considererd a downswing by most but it's frustrating nonetheless. With so much poker left to be played this month, things could get pretty ugly or they could shape up nicely...it's all going to depend on how I run and of course how well I play.
Alright, enough of this negative tone because here's where things get positive. For the most part, during my entire poker career I've really put off doing any extra-hour poker "homework" to help my game. It's not because I think my game is perfect or that I'm really lazy-it just can be hard to spend even more time at the computer after a long session when you know how much poker needs to be played ahead of you (even now I feel like I should be grinding and not writing this post, even though I'll have more than enough time to play later). Anyways, this mini-downer is what I've needed to put myself in the mood to do a bit of learning so I hit the net yesterday to do some surfing for some free poker-training vids. I don't have a subscription to any training site and I don't have plans to subscribe in the near future but I thought it would be a good idea to see what I could find just to get a different outlook on the game. Most of the stuff that I found was pretty meh but a couple clips that I stumbled upon were pretty great. Most of the free content that I found was pretty outdated (or like 2-5 min samples) but it gave me a refreshing outlook on the game nonetheless.
Perhaps the most beneficial thing that I took away from one of the videos had nothing to do with strategy at all and instead has to do with aesthetics. I'm taking about the look of the table theme, cards and chips. For the longest time, I've just stuck to using the Hyper-Simple table theme provided by stars (with custom dark-grey background), along with the standard deck and chips. I've always been aware of sites like tiltbuster.com that provide different table/card/chip mods but haven't really like many of them...enough to purchase anyways. However, in one of the videos that I watched I saw the most amazing deck...I've never been a fan of 4-coloured decks (they kinda tilt me even though most people love them) but this one that I saw was so slick and refreshing because it was so simple. It's called the "Solitude-Stars" card mod on tiltbuster and I just went ahead and bought it for $10.
Now, I also didn't even realize that you could change the look of the chips as well but after a bit of browsing and another $10 purchase later I'm now sporting these puppies (Stars Paulson Chip Set on tiltbuster):
I didn't really prefer any of the actual table mods that are available as I think the hyper-simple with grey background is pretty much the nuts.
I've only played one session with the new look and found it very confusing for a while but was in love with it by the end...especially with the deck, it certainly makes it easier on the eyes for grinding out long sessions to see everything so clearly.
Getting into more technical stuff, I also finally got around to reconstructing and understanding my HUD in Hold'em Manager. Currently, this is my HUD for those that are curious (and I allllways get emails asking to see it lol):
It's quite simple but at the same time provides me with a ton of info. If you're wondering what the stats mean here's a link to the vocab index that you might want to bookmark:
One important thing to realize is that by simply having all of this info made available to you, it still means nothing if you don't know how to interpret it. So what if someone's 3betting 15% of the time? Is this a often or infrequently? These are things that you'll need to determine by either doing your own research away from the table, getting a coach/teacher or most simply, by playing yourself!! It shouldn' take a heck of a long time to get a feel for the stats and compare other players to yourself to better understand the pros/cons of different playing styles
With my new look I booked a small profitable session today and thanks to a decent sized win yesterday I'm down less than $1K at the moment (which is often 1 bad day). It's going to be a rocky road from here on out, no doubt about it but I'll try to keep a level head and look to run well and get back in the black. Here's hopin' it gets better before it gets worse lol!
gl at the tables!