Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Update

So things have been a bit stagnant at the tables this month. As you can see from the graph, I've been mildly swinging back and forth pretty much since day 2-3 and the end result has been a break-even stretch for the month, after the initial early profit. I'm out a bunch in EV and feel pretty good about the way that I've been playing so hopefully some positive variance is right around the corner!

Here's a cool hand that I won though. Given the positions pre-flop, I decided to flat rather than 4-bet and make pretty much everything but AA fold since this is nit-ring. I think that raising the flop here is obviously fine but I don't think that I'd ever have many bluffs here so I decide to call and rep the weaker part of my range...if the board was 2-tone or if I had some kind of read that the villain would never fold a hand like Kx then I'd probably make an exploitable raise anyways. I think that the turn card is really bad for me after the villain bets again...they can credibly have all combos of AQ and the SB can even have it too I think when you consider their pre-flop calling range in that spot and price that they're getting on the flop (especially if it has a BDFD). I'm pretty much not folding any river anyways (unless the action went like SB shove and BB call, then maybe I'd consider it depending on the actual river card) but I think I lose action from some stuff by shoving and want to keep trying to rep a hand like AK or KQ and let villain dump in the rest for me on the next street. I also think that I'm coolering a set regardless too. Anyways, I get an absolute dream river and the rest of the hand just plays itself:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed)

UTG ($104.67)
UTG+1 ($143.20)
MP1 ($130.09)
Hero (MP2) ($181.79)
MP3 ($48.97)
CO ($101.50)
Button ($98.50)
SB ($103.50)
BB ($100)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with K, K
3 folds, Hero raises to $3, 3 folds, SB calls $2.50, BB raises to $12.50, Hero calls $9.50, SB calls $9.50

Flop: ($37.50) 2, J, K (3 players)
SB checks, BB bets $15, Hero calls $15, SB calls $15

Turn: ($82.50) 10 (3 players)
SB checks, BB bets $27.50, Hero calls $27.50, SB calls $27.50

River: ($165) 2 (3 players)
SB bets $48.50 (All-In), BB calls $45 (All-In), Hero calls $48.50

Total pot: $307 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
SB had J, J (full house, Jacks over twos).
BB had A, Q (straight, Ace high).
Hero had K, K (full house, Kings over twos).
Outcome: Hero won $304.20

I'm going to be playing a lot of hours over the next 5 days to try and bump up my volume a bit and close out the month with some solid effort. Between vacations, distractions and weekend commitments, August hasn't been as high-volume at the poker tables as I would have liked but with a relatively clear schedule for the rest of the year, there will be lots of poker to be played yet.

Speaking of distractions, I'm entering 2 fantasy football leagues and my first draft was tonight. It's a 12-team league and I got the 12th pick...since it's a snake draft that's not necessarily a bad thing though and I actually much prefer it to a mid-round pick. Anyways, here's how my team shaped up:

I took Bryant and Marshall in the 1st/2nd round, which amounted to me being stacked at WR but pretty weak at RB. I was lucky to get Tate in essentially the 6th round to give me at least 1 starting RB but Jackson is pretty iffy considering Spiller's a big part of Buffalo's running game. I am excited about Cameron and Patterson and overall I'm pretty happy with my team so we'll see how things play out.

I've been busy away from the tables this month as well. I've been keeping up with crossfit and have been going very frequently...I'm seeing huge improvements across the board and my time seems to be paying off with increased fitness and strength. I've been to a wedding, going-away party and my friend's birthday party all this month too. I also did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and donated as well:

And practiced my rap skills on my most recent road trip:

So yeah, things have been pretty busy and the month has been good. It would be nice to catch a bit of a heater to cap off August though and get me a bit closer to my $100K goal! End of month report coming soon,

gl at the tables!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014-500K VPPs + $100,000

I have a very clear vision now for what I want to accomplish over the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, SNE will not be happening. I think that I could make it in 2015 should I choose to go for it but it would require zero procrastination, as logging near-SNE volume every month would be vital to my success. At this point in the year, being just over the 200K VPP mark, there just aren't enough hours in the day and enough mid-stakes games running to realistically achieve the status by the end of December. Reclaiming my black stars will have to wait.

That said, I'm very focused now on what it would take for me to deem 2014 a financial success. The number that I'm striving for is nothing short of 6-figures-a goal that will be challenging but definitely possible. I don't usually like setting profit goals for the reason that you can't totally control your poker results. I think that most professionals would agree that your energy is better spent on playing as well as you can and on the things that you can control, rather than the short-term results at the tables. For that reason, I'm coupling my $100,000 financial goal with a VPP goal of 500K. I'll stay focused on the VPP target, which is supposed to go hand in hand with the profit goal and we'll see how things fall into place.

Earning 300K more VPPs by the end of the year will be no easy feat for me. I'll be sticking to my main low/mid-stakes games and will need to average about 60K VPPs per month...something that I don't think that I've done yet all year, although I've been close on more than one occasion. As for the profit, I'm currently up around $40K on the year after a slow start so I'll basically have to bang out 5-figure months from here on out. By sticking to my normal games and getting in the required volume this should be doable, although variance will play a large role in my success/failure...still though, the key will almost certainly be simply logging the hours!

Finally, I have the website that I have always wanted! I spent a lot of time over the last few days designing everything and in the end I wanted all of the bell and whistles (email subscription option, YouTube/Twitter/Facebook links, Google followers gadget, sitemeter) but I also wanted a CLEAN look. I'm happy with the result and think that the website is fully-functioning but also not too busy. I also got around to updating my blogroll finally so if you asked me a while back to add you, hopefully I did. Anyways, there will probably be some tweaks here and there but the site is by and large complete...I hope you like it!

So the first couple of weeks in August were largely planned vacations. I went on a family fishing/surfing/island relaxing trip and almost immediately following that I had a guys weekend up in the interior of BC. The trips were both amazing but now I'm ready to get to work. I don't have any planned getaways for the rest of the year so other than a few weekend things my time will be dedicated towards poker. I've played a bit so far this month and got off to a pretty hot start before running ice cold over the last couple of days:

Fortunately, the losses have been chalked up to almost entirely EV and there have been a few sick cooler spots where I've put in the money in terrible shape. I'm still posting a win-rate of over 3bb/100 and an EV bb/100 close to 6, so I'm feeling pretty good about my game at this point. With so much poker left to play this month it feels like pretty much anything could happen.

Alright, I'll be back to update things as the month unfolds.

gl at the tables!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Micro Millions Last Longer Winner Finishes 14th in the Main Event!

            I recently received an exciting message from one of the winners of a Micro Millions Main Event ticket that they won via my recent freeroll contest. They told me that they had made a deep run in the Main Event…how deep? Well, out of a field of 57, 886, they finished 14th! The score was good for around $4,000, which is pretty awesome for anyone let alone a mico-stakes player. I thought that this was so cool that I wanted to do an interview with the player, ooRSZABOoo and see if they could share their experience of making a deep run in the Main Event to maybe provide some motivation for anyone else that dreams of taking down a big event. Here is the interview that ooRSZABOoo was kind enough to do:

1. Can you briefly tell us about your poker background? How did you get started and what games do you usually play now?

           I started playing poker about 6 years ago but took it more seriously over the last 3 years. I started with 10nl 6max and moved to 50nl, then went back to 25nl and am there now. I play 25nl 6max zoom and 16nl deep ante 6max everyday and I do some mtt sessions on some Sundays and also when series like the Micro Millions are running.

2. How many Micro Millions events did you roughly play and did you have any specific goals for the series?

My goal for this series was to play some events that were running while I was grinding cash games and hoping to make some deep runs. I played about 12 events in this series.

3. How did you hear about frosty's last longers and how many did you participate in? Which one did you end up winning the Main Event ticket in? Were you going to play the Main Event regardless of whether or not you won a ticket?

           I was already a follower of frosty’s page and saw on my facebook that he was going to do a last longer and I thought it was good to have extra motivation for the series and to try to win a ticket for the main event that I already had planned to play if I didn't get the ticket from the last longer. On my second attempt on last longer #3, I made a deep run in event 30, $3.30 holdem turbo hu, finishing 140th and winning the last longer for the main event ticket.

4. Can you walk us through the tournament and maybe explain any key pots that you won? What were you feeling as the field became smaller and smaller and the money kept getting bigger?

            On the initial level I had two big pots, which I don’t remember the specific hands but I got to 18k and then to 26k. After that, I just won and lost some small pots until I was in the money with about 20 big blinds. At that point, I was down to my last tournament table of the day and I watched some videos along with the MTT and it was quick until we were down to 800-900 players and I was guaranteed $150. After that, when were 500 players remaining I was getting $250 and the pay jumps were really interesting for me. It was $50, $70, $100  and the pay jumps were always getting bigger. I was always around 10-20 big blinds and I was trying to steal some blinds and win the flips when I was all in. I was closely monitoring the lobby and watching the pay jumps on the bubble of a pay jump because I was short. Fortunately, I was getting hands when I needed to double up and always managed to win those hands. My next goal was always the next pay jump over and over again until the last 3 tables when I was getting $2.5k. During the last 2-3tables, I won some pots in a row and managed to get a top 5 chip stack and at that point, I was starting to dream that it was possible to get to the final table and win a huge prize. However, with the stacks so shallow and without hands to play I became shortstacked again and had to shove my last 6bb with a4s and got called by 66. I lost the hand and finish 14th and the dream was over. I felt terrible at that moment to be so close to a big money prize but moments later I forgot that and felt very happy for the $4k, which is my best MTT result.

5. What are your plans with your $4k score?

            I don’t have any plans for the 4k, I’m just going to withdraw the money to my bank account because I already have my bankroll on Stars and don’t need more money to play the stakes that I play but maybe I’ll buy small present for my girlfriend and I.

Congrats to ooRSZABOoo for their score and be tuned to my facebook page for similar contest giveaways in the future…you never know where they might lead J

Gl at the tables!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July Review-A Train Wreck

After back to back 10K months, July was a total train wreck. Part of the disaster was my fault but I think that part of it was also just variance. More on that after the ugly pics:


So, right off the bat you'll notice the big gap in EV, which is never fun. If you look closer at the stakes, you'll notice that I donated about $2,300 playing PLO in July :O. I wanted to experiment a lot in July with different game types and formats to really try and find a better way to earn more VPPs and ultimately more money. However, the lesson that I learned that I should have already known was pretty expensive...that I suck fairly hard at PLO and the variance is always going to be especially huge in that game. As far as NLHE went, it was a lot of me bouncing around various Zoom games and getting away from my bread and butter regular tables. It looks like I lost in every zoom format lol so I don't have much of a defence for that other than the sample size are pretty small and I think I ran pretty bad. Here is the breakdown for July:

-$6,898.71  table winnings
-$183.70     tournament winnings
+$2,057.30 fpp value
+2,600        200k milestone bonus
-$2,425 USD

The silver lining is that with some salary and coaching I actually turned a -$7k month into a profit of a few hundred bucks :/ To have such an epically terrible month (2nd worst month ever, after my December chasing SNE in 2010) and still pocket some cash is pretty incredible.

Factor out the PLO and consider the stakes that I was playing and the downswing isn't even too far out of the ordinary for a lot of players I think. Regardless, August will see me returning to my comfortable games and to re-evaluate my year end goals at the end of the month. I'm not giving up on the SNE chase just yet but it's looking far more realistic to shoot for 500-600K VPPs and then manage my time much better in 2015 and try again then. We'll see though, there will be no shortage of effort in August. I ended up earning about 40K VPPs this month so obviously August will have to be much better than that :)

Away from the tables life is good but busy. My girlfriend is settled in with my at my place now and that was quite a distraction in July in terms of staying focused on poker. The place is looking good though and although there are quite a few small projects/upgrades on the horizon, everything is comfortable and more than livable (as opposed to looking like a storage locker for most of July). I've been following a pretty awesome routine of waking up at 6:30am and going to crossfit at 7am and did that everyday this week, actually. It feels great to start the day with a workout and just waking up that early allows the day to be so much more productive. I'll be looking to continue the trend in August.

I'm very looking forward to August. I've got 2 small vacations planned and then I'm basically going to be in poker lockdown mode for the rest of the year. I'm going away on my annual fishing trip for 4 days, coming home for 1 day and then heading up to the interior for a guys weekend. The weather's amazing in Van right now and that's supposed to continue for the next little while.

Alright, that's all for now ladies + gents...

gl at the tables!