Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Night and Day

There's been a bit of a weird pattern occurring since I resumed playing poker after my weekend vacation. It seems as though my boomswitch gets turned on after 10pm and then gets turned off before 10am. You might even say that the contrast between how I run when the sun's up and when it's down is as clear as night and day :)

You won't hear me complaining about the running bad (yet) though because I've still managed to turn a profit in the worst of times. Even though it hurts to look at my EV graph for my daytime sessions, it doesn't really bother me so long as I'm not losing a lot of money. On the same note, I don't really get tilted at all even if I do book a loss so long as the blame can be put on EV. I don't often lose my cool over a bad beat to a recreational player either...I understand that it's part of the game and is the reason why poker is profitable to begin with (since getting it in with the best of it will be favourable in the long run). I will become frustrated though if say a regular pulls some horrible move and sucks out on me. Even still, It's a million times more tilting to be placed on the wrong end of an obvious cooler situation (ie. KK into AA in the blinds) then to lose all-in as a statistical favorite.

Anyways, I just thought it was kind of interesting to see a bit of a pattern developing...even if only over a couple of days.

Day 1

Night 1

Day 2

Night 2

Day 3

I'll most likely be putting in a couple of hours tonight as well so we'll see if the pattern continues and if I can strap on my Nikes and run well again.

I've been sticking right to my game plan as far as VPP's are concerned with regards to retaining SNE once again by the end of the month. I need to average 4K VPP's a day from here on out, which is doable but I have a lot on my plate right now outside of poker. The main issue is that my 1-year lease on my apartment is expiring at the end of the month so I'll have to move all of my stuff out of here and look for a new place. Thankfully, some of the pressure of finding a place has been taken off of me since I can crash at my parents place (WINNING) for a couple of weeks until I find a new home. I'm actually really excited about the move because if all goes according to plan I'll be living with my good friend Mark before September.

Aside from relocating, I've also been busy with a couple of other things. I just set up a bunch of investments with the bulk of my earning from last year so instead of keeping 6-figures in a "high interest savings account" at the bank, I will actually have my money start working for me. Or I will lose everything, only time will tell.

I also went to the barber today and shaved my head, lol. I've done the buzz cut before in the past and figured now is as good a time as any since the weather's decent. I think it looks alright and it's always a great feeling to step out of the shower without having a wet mop on your head.

I guess I'll close by saying that this has been a great month so far on and off of the tables. Hopefully the upward trend on my graph continues for the rest of July and I can book a solid 5-figure month. Things that I'm in the process of working on include finishing my "poker story" and a look at my upcoming WCOOP schedule that I'm really looking forward to.

All right guys, gl at the tables.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Since taking the first two weeks off of July, the latter half of the month has been broken into two parts (which I'm going to call Phase 1 and Phase 2 for no particular reason). In between Phase 1 and 2 lies my weekend vacation up to my good friend (and recent financial advisor) JP's cabin, which serves as a nice break to get away from all of the poker and enjoy the hot weather. Well, after working for 6 days (4K VPP's per day), phase 1 is now in the books! I got off to super hot start where I ran very well and played equally solid for the first 4 days. Unfortunately, I have since cooled off and was brought down to Earth yesterday, though I still turned a small profit. Today was a pretty big disaster, however, and although I wasn't playing my A game I pretty much just got beat by the deck...just one of those days where I couldn't hold with a set vs. flush draw, a made flush vs. a set, flush over flush, cooler after cooler etc. All things considered, this month is off to a good start (feels funny saying that on July.21 lol) especially after comparing July's early results to June's (where I was actually down about $1700). Here's the graph:

Running Good

No-Limit Hold'em, $4.00 BB (8 handed)
MP1 ($149.25)
MP2 ($400)
CO ($314)
Button ($327.55)
Hero (SB) ($400)
BB ($400)
UTG ($183.50)
UTG+1 ($260)

Preflop: Hero is SB with 8, 7
UTG calls $4, 4 folds, Button calls $4, Hero calls $2, BB checks

Flop: ($16) 6, 9, 3 (4 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, UTG bets $8, Button calls $8, Hero calls $8, BB calls $8

Turn: ($48) 5 (4 players)
Hero checks, BB checks, UTG bets $20, Button raises $76, Hero raises $336, 1 fold, UTG calls $151.50 (All-In), Button calls $239.55 (All-In)

River: ($850.60) Q (3 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $850.60

Button had 6, 6 (three of a kind, sixes).
Hero had 8, 7 (straight, nine high).
UTG had K, K (one pair, Kings).
Outcome: Hero won $868.05

Running Bad

No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (8 handed)
UTG+1 ($391.40)
MP1 ($399.35)
MP2 ($281.70)
CO ($207.50)
Hero (Button) ($273.85)
SB ($209.90)
BB ($203)
UTG ($213.25)

Preflop: Hero is Button with K, K
1 fold, UTG+1 bets $5, 1 fold, MP2 calls $5, 1 fold, Hero raises $26, 3 folds, MP2 raises $95, Hero raises $247.85 (All-In), MP2 calls $173.85

Flop: ($555.70) A, A, 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: ($555.70) 2 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($555.70) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $555.70

Hero had K, K (two pair, Aces and Kings).
MP2 had J, A (three of a kind, Aces).
Outcome: MP2 won $552.70

Anyways, this vacation couldn't come at a better time since I was feeling a bit off while playing today after logging a ton of hours this week. I'm heading up tomorrow around 5pm with my buddies Matt and Iain and am really looking forward to it. The cabin's right on a lake and we're bringing a boat up to do a bunch of water sports while we're not busy sitting in the sun doing nothing with a cold drink in hand. This trip used to be somewhat of a tradition amongst my core group of friends dating way back in the day but for various reasons most of us have been unable to make it for the last couple of years. Some of the best experiences of my life have been created from these trips, including crashing some random wedding along the beach, learning how to double wake-skate while drinking a beer, and perfecting the down-the-shirt boob grab with some random girl that I met at a drive-in movie on the hood on her car. Ah, memories.

Hopefully I return on Monday refreshed and ready for a busy week ahead of me to close out the month. I've earned 20K VPP's in July, which means that I'll need to earn 30K in 7 days when I get back-certainly attainable but difficult to say the least. Maybe my run-good will restart, which would be nice because the games have certainly seemed to be above average in quality as of late.

gl at the tables!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back at the Office

Yesterday was the first day of the month that I logged some hours on PokerStars after I played about 4200 hands in 3 hours. The first day back can always feel a bit rusty but I think that I played decent enough and ran pretty well too. I ended up booking a win to the tune of a few buy-ins...which obviously means close to nothing at this point but feels satisfying nonetheless. The game quality yesterday seemed to be a bit above average and I was able to find spots against randoms where I could win big pots with little to no risk. Case in point:

No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (9 handed)
UTG ($203)
UTG+1 ($247)
MP1 ($210.30)
MP2 ($202)
Hero (MP3) ($200)
CO ($270.05)
Button ($171)
SB ($251.40)
BB ($85.25)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with 7, 8
1 fold, UTG+1 bets $6, 2 folds, Hero calls $6, 2 folds, SB calls $5, 1 fold

Flop: ($20) 7, 5, 8 (3 players)
SB checks, UTG+1 bets $9, Hero raises $36, 1 fold, UTG+1 calls $27

Turn: ($92) 8 (2 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $56, UTG+1 calls $56

River: ($204) 6 (2 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $102 (All-In), UTG+1 calls $102

Total pot: $408

UTG+1 had J, 10 (flush, Jack high).
Hero had 7, 8 (full house, eights over sevens).
Outcome: Hero won $405

I talked a little bit about what I had been doing with my time off in my last post and I mentioned that I was heading up to Penticton for the weekend with my two good friends Ben and Brandon. Well, that trip has now come and gone and I had a great time up there despite the vacation being relatively short. I'm used to the weather being a bit hotter than it was but on Saturday it was still about 26-28 Celsius and sunny all day, which meant perfect beach weather. After waking up at some unearthly hour (8am-9am), we grabbed a quick breakfast and then made our way into the center of the city with plans to tube down the canal that runs through the city. For those that have no idea what I'm talking about, one of the "things to do" in Penticton is to grab some kind of flotation device (or you can rent tubes) and some beers and spend 2-4 hours chilling while floating down the river towards Skaha Lake. Since it was about 10am and we were all somehow hungover from the previous night (all we did once we arrived around 9pm was sit on the balcony and slam some drinks while randomly creating offside parody lyrics to "Last Friday Night" by Katy Perry because the song came on Penticton's one music station every half hour) we skipped the brews and brought a football instead. There was so much water in the canal this year that we went down in 1/3rd of the usual time, which was fine because that meant more time could be spent at the beach later. The tube ride was relatively uneventful-though at one point Brandon almost lost our football by trying to through it over a bridge that we were floating under. I told him that he didn't have a chance of making it from his sitting position but he insisted that it wouldn't be a problem...he through it up and at first it looked like it would be lost forever as it was heading for the center of the bridge. Luckily, it didn't even have enough juice to make it that far and hit the near ledge and dropped back into the river. $10 saved.

After the canal float, we gathered our beach supplies and headed to the lake. Obviously the most important part of the beaching experience is choosing prime real estate close to as many girls as possible so that you can try and meet them throughout the day. I guess that there are many icebreakers that one could use to introduce themselves to those around them but something that has worked well for me in the past has been to through a football just out of your partner's reach and have it land near the target. Once the girl has kindly returned the football you can thank her and ask her to join in with a witty line, such as "thanks, you actually throw better than he does, did you want to join in?" I can't tell you how many girls that I've rounded up for a campfire later using this technique (at least 1). It is quite immature and slightly retarded but that's what I am sometimes.

Anyways, while the beach was somewhat crowded it was mostly filled with families and there was a noticeable absence of people in my age range. It was slim pickins' and unfortunately I didn't even get an opportunity to hit anyone with my football. We just spend the day relaxing in the sun over some beers and it was quite nice.

We met a couple of guys at the end of the canal float that recommended two places that we should go out to at night-the first being a bar right on Lake Okanagan and the other being a club down the street. Both places were pretty good, although the crowd was definitely on the douchey side of the spectrum. We were at the bar for a while because it was beautiful sitting outside on the patio and pitchers of beers were only $10. For no particular reason, I suggested that the three of us swap names with each other for the night and from that point on I introduced myself as Brandon for the duration of the evening. Unexpectedly, the swap turned out to be slightly in my favour after some drunken bafoon ended up sitting next to us later in the evening and introduced himself as "Tyler." He basically lost his shit with excitement when he found out that Ben had the same name as him (after having to introduce himself as "Tyler") and I didn't have to deal with that. Our waitress was pretty cute and very nice and she spent a lot of time almost hanging out with us lol. She seemed to enjoy our company as I'd like to think that we were a relief from the normal crowd that she has to deal with, such as Tyler on our left, whose response when asked if he was doing alright was "No, you're too slow again. I had to send my buddy up to the bar to get drinks." I also realize that it's her job to flirt for tips but our entire bill for the evening was less than $30. After Tyler (who now decided that he was a boss) ordered shots for our table and the table on his right (3 girls that wanted nothing to do with it), I had to endure one of the most painful conversations of my life with his buddy who slurred out a story about how he installed Andrew Ladd's cable and it was the greatest moment of his life for almost an hour. WINNING. It was getting quite dark out by now and after Douch Mcdoucherson (Tyler) spewed out some comment about how the Germans really won WW2 because they killed 6 million people, our friendship could no longer be bought with free shots and we headed inside.

We ordered a few more beers and played a bit of Foosball before some random girl came up to Brandon and straight up asked for his phone number. He thought it was probably some kind of immature dare and said she was "terrible" anyways, although I thought she was cute. Obviously one of us had more to drink at this point I suppose. He gave her his brother's phone number. We eventually made our way over to the club around midnight but the three of us were almost like zombies by then. Drinking in the sun all day seems good in theory but in reality has some flaws-such as having little to no energy by the end of the night. We didn't stay very long...I remember making a single effort to meet what I thought was a cute girl on the dance floor, only to discover that she was a 4 at close range and left after a brief conversation that was heading nowhere. We went back to our place and shot some hoops before passing out around 2am.

The next day, we were all awake before 10am and just spend the day playing a bit of tennis and chilling at the beach briefly before making the 5 hour drive home. I'm definitely looking forward to more vaca's this summer, even if they are just weekend adventures.

I was at the gym yesterday and looked out the window to see this sign. I lol'd so I thought that I'd share:

Alright, I should probably start work for the day.

gl at the tables!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Can Go Out Any Night of The Week (June Review)

I decided to load up the last two weeks of June with a ton of hours instead of distributing my time evenly throughout the entire month. The main reason for this approach was simply because I was mentally exhausted at the end of May after my 40 hour, 3 day poker marathon SNE saving session. With that in mind, June turned out to be a pretty decent month, especially considering that after the first of two weeks I was actually down around $1700. Fortunately, things turned around pretty quickly and the second week was much better...netting me a profit of about $8k-setting my winnings for the month at around $5.5k. Combine my winnings with a 4K bonus and I'm looking at a month just shy of 5-figures! Keeping in mind that I didn't even hit a milestone bonus this month, I'll certainly take it!

$5,486.42 Table Winnings
$4,000 Cash Bonus
$9,486.42 USD

I can't believe that the year is already halfway over and after doing a quick review of my results for 2011 so far I'm very satisfied with how things have gone. Here's a quick summary of my poker winnings thus far:

January- $2,064.01 USD
February-$17,918.34 USD
March- $11,002.81 USD
April- $20,300.00 USD
May- $18,243.18 USD
June- $9,486.42 USD
$79,014.76 USD

I've taken a completely different approach to this year than I did for 2010. Last year, poker was somewhat of a "feeling out process," meaning that I began the year without really knowing what to expect and I put in a lot of effort more or less hoping for the best. I thought that my best chance of succeeding at poker would be to play as much as possible to try and reduce the variance and learn as quickly as I could. Without having very much money in the bank, things were obviously more stressful as well and I couldn't really go against my personality and just take a lot of time off before I had really accomplished anything. The end result was that I ended up distributing my work time evenly throughout the month and while I never had frequent marathon sessions at the end of the month, I was almost definitely logging more hours than I have been this year.

Now that I have a year of experience under my belt and have become a lot more comfortable to the nature of poker (ie. the swings, playing 24 tables, etc.) and with my poker abilities, I have inadvertently been taking "blocks" of time off this year instead of taking routine days off. Although I haven't made a conscious effort to play on and off for week long stretches, it has kind of worked out this way due to a combination of me burning myself out at the end of each month and having less immediate financial pressure-due to not having a ton of expenses each month.

Given that I've played much fewer overall hours this year, it's certainly nice to see that I have results that are almost as good as last year (84K). This can probably be attributed to a bunch of factors, such as me playing much better than last year and playing when I more or less want to instead of when I "have to." Of course variance plays a large part into anyone's results as well and I also began playing the year at higher stakes than I did in 2010. It's worth mentioning that I haven't been factoring my Team Online salary into any of my monthly results either and after taking that into account I've far surpassed my 6-month results from 2010.

I'm optimistic and looking forward to the latter half of the year for a couple of reasons: 1) I'll start to clear the higher milestone bonuses (up to this point, I've only cleared the 100K and 200K milestones) and 2) I have around $7K worth of WCOOP buy-ins to spend in September due to achieving SNE last year + a couple K worth of leftover SCOOP buy-ins that I never used.

I'm finally starting to get a clearer picture of what should be in store for me for the rest of the year. July and August will probably be relatively slow months in terms of playing poker (will still plan on clearing at least 50K VPP's) due to a bunch of reasons, such as my lease expiring/looking for a new place to live, having a bunch of really good friends back in town and having several awesome vacations planned. Come September, however, I'll be ready to work and am looking forward to playing a ton to close out the year.

So far July has been a pretty awesome month. The weather has been amazing and since I'm once again planning on playing around 120 hours over the last 2 weeks of the month, I've been taking time off up to this point to basically just enjoy life without feeling too guilty. I spent some time at the beach yesterday with some friends and then went out for dinner and drinks afterwards, although it was all very low key. I also went on a date a couple of days ago that went pretty well but it was just a dinner. A few days ago I went home to my parents house for a couple of nights to spend some time with family and friends that are still back home and to get my car tuned up. While my car was in the shop, I spent time playing some golf in the park as my dog ran around, I played some tennis and I walked along the sea wall a couple of times, all the while workin' on my tan. Thankfully, Old Betsy came out of the ER in "perfect condition" and all that needed to be done was an oil change.

I'm going to need Old Betsy to run as fine as she can tomorrow because I'm off to the interior with Ben and Brandon for a weekend trip at the lake. I'm super stoked about the trip and the weather's supposed to be awesome. Should be a great weekend for bird watching and I'm about to go put a playlist together for the ride up. Hope you're all having a good one and GL if you're playing in the Main Event this week, I'll certainly be keeping an eye on how things progress!

gl at the tables.