Wednesday, March 31, 2010

march review

I had set forth a few goals for march... report card time:

1. Achieve platinum star- DONE! a 2.5 multiplier effectively increases my rakeback, but the real question is whether I can achieve supernova. If supernova is achievable, then it may be better to hoard all of my FPP points till then, but that won't come till november at the earliest I think.

2. Have a 2k month- FAILED! But I did come fairly close and had my best month ever.

3. Put in more volume- DONE! This month I put in 33,891 hands over 41 hours, which although not that heavy volume compared to the small stakes full ring pros it's my best ever by over 10,000 hands, so I'm proud of that.

I feel pretty comfortable with my game right now, and feel like I am making good decisions quickly.

There's been a lot of change in my life this month. We've closed on a new house, and I became a canadian this month! So that makes putting in this type of volume especially nice. Overall, I'm excited to be starting this new phase of my life. Like I mentioned before, there will be changes in my career which will hopefully give me a little more freedom...

OK, so what was the end result?

First, a graph for the month:

As you can see I had a nice upswing at the very end of the month to help me get back to my original peak after a 8 buy-in downswing.

Again I haven't figured out how to import my Player summary stats, so here's the manual form:

58 hands, -$124.35 won, -53.60BB/100

32,957 hands, $1,361.80 won, 2.07BB/100

I also played a small sample of 50NL, which yielded about $30 profit.

The end result:

$1,267.48 table winnings
+373.13 rakeback (9328.36 VPPs* 2.5FPP/VPP (as a platinum star)*1.6c/FPP)
+170 in stellar rewards ($10 for 3,000VPP, $10 for 4,000 VPP, $50 for 5,000 VPP, $50 for 10,000 VPP, and $50 for 15,000 VPP)
$ 1,810.61 profit

playing about 41 hours equates to about $44.16 hourly rate. Not too shabby!

So I almost made all of my goals. I didn't realize that I was that close to 2k in profit! I feel comfortable enough making my first withdrawl, as I hope to not deposit again unless there is a free money bonus.

Overall it was a fun month. So on to April...

1. play 45,000 hands. I would like to start 18-20 tabling this month, and I think that 45k hands will be easily attainable. Furthermore, I anticipate having some downtime in the next few weeks,which could give me an opportunity to get ahead of supernova pace.

2. play at least 3,000 hands of 200NL. I think if I table select well, I could hold my own at this level.

3. have a 5k month of profit. I really haven't considered how significant rakeback can be to the bottom line until now, so let's aim high!

4. achieve an hourly winrate of $65. I think to really consider doing this full time, considering that I would not have any benefits or vacation, an hourly rate of $100 would be needed. I hope to achieve this by the end of 2010... then at least a few more options would be available...

So i'll end with a fun hand from tonight's session. Villain was a decent tight aggressive regular. The button was a loose passive fish preflop who turned into an aggro monkey postflop. Once villian just called the button's cutoff, I knew he couldn't possibly be slowplaying KK or AA. So I knew either I was dominating JJ, or was flipping with AK when he shoved... Thank God for sets!

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

saw flop | saw showdown

MP1 ($122)

MP2 ($103.65)

MP3 ($92.45)

whiterice197 (CO) ($104.15)

Button ($329.25)

SB ($100)

BB ($69.50)

UTG ($104.20)

UTG+1 ($100)

Preflop: whiterice197 is CO with Q, Q

1 fold, UTG+1 bets $2.50, 3 folds, whiterice197 calls $2.50, Button raises to $6, 2 folds, UTG+1 calls $3.50, whiterice197 raises to $22, 1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $100 (All-In), whiterice197 calls $78

Flop: ($207.50) 6, K, 6 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: ($207.50) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($207.50) 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $207.50 | Rake: $3


UTG+1 had K, A (two pair, Kings and sixes).

whiterice197 had Q, Q (full house, Queens over sixes).

Outcome: whiterice197 won $204.50

Sunday, March 21, 2010

how not to play aces

Here was a fun donation from a megadonk during my saturday night session. Villian was playing about 70% of his hands.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (8 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

UTG ($60.80)

UTG+1 ($54.60)

MP1 ($18.10)

MP2 ($18.50)

CO ($54.75)

Button ($105.20)

SB ($19.70)

Hero (BB) ($102.25)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 7, A

4 folds, CO calls $1, 2 folds, Hero checks

Flop: ($2.50) J, 8, 8 (2 players)

Hero bets $2, CO calls $2

Turn: ($6.50) 6 (2 players)

Hero checks, CO checks

River: ($6.50) 5 (2 players)

Hero bets $6, CO raises to $18, Hero raises to $38, CO raises to $51.75 (All-In), Hero calls $13.75

Total pot: $110


Hero had 7, A (flush, Ace high).

CO had A, A (two pair, Aces and eights).

Outcome: $110 returned to Hero

So I had my first extended session 16 tabling. I played about 3,800 hands and cleared about $480 at a 6.42ptBB rate. Nice!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Got it!

After much negotiating, I've finally convinced my better half to let me purchase a second monitor. It took begging, pleading, but ultimately the dangling carrot offer of a new wallet (not cheap!) sealed the deal. Not sure if this is a +EV situation...

Last night I tried out the second monitor (same 23 inch acer model as the other), and 16 tabled for a session. It was a little difficult I have to admit, but I will get used to the extra movement needed eventually.

I broke even for the session, but spazzed out in a hand where I bet thinking I was heads up, but was out of position in a multi-way pot. Also, I accidentally folded QQ preflop.

Pitt looked good in its opening round game against oakland. I picked them for the final four so if they're my make or break team. I've got kansas, kentucky and duke rounding out my final four...

The new house looks great. There are a few cracks in the cement already, but was told that was to be expected. Otherwise I'm excited to be moving in.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

other areas to improve

Just to continue off my last post, there are a few other areas where I think I need to spend more time evaluating:

*hand reading- it should become second nature to be able to say what the villian's range is and how often they show up with a particular holding.

*along the same line is knowing villians calling range when I am value betting. villian needs to have enough hands in his range that I beat for it to be a true value bet...

*a final goal is to be able to play better in 3 bet pots. So often I feel lost in them and especially struggle deciding whether to cbet after i've whiffed on the flop...

I feel like my journey in poker has been a lot like professional school. Take medical or dental school for instance. Typcially, the first two years consist of basic sciences, which lay the groundwork for the clinical work to come. In your third year you typically rotate through different specialties and in your fourth year you do more of the same except with more freedom and responsibility. Likewise in poker, i've spent the last two years studying a lot of the theory on different styles and how to become a winning player.

This journey began in the winter of 2007, and now over two years later I feel i'm beginning to develop my niche, and am putting into practice much of what i've learned. That said, I still need to work on my game vigorously otherwise I will be left in the dust.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

so far so good

Thus far in march i've been running and playing well. I've posted a winrate just a shade under 2ptBB. I've been 12 tabling100NL almost exclusively, and feel I am a winner at these stakes.

So far I've won about 750 not including rakeback. Some things I would like to work on

1. running more two barrel bluffs
2. squeezing suited connectors more
3. bluffing more with outs

bring it on!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Working for yourself

I've always admired people who work for themselves. A true entrepreneur is rare. In some ways, my goal of becoming an online poker pro is very entrepreneurial. I'm hoping to use poker to achieve a few lifestyle changes. First, I want to achieve financial independance through being able to use poker to finance non-poker businsess pursuits. That way the money would be able to compound. But maybe more importantly, it would enable me to have a certain amount of freedom. Right now I have a 9 to 5 job 5 days a week, and it is a grind. I see the people around me who are older and still grinding away and I see how jaded they are.

So I'm at a point in my life, where I am still young enough to decide what I want to do. I can keep plugging away at the 9 to 5 job, which is increasingly becoming more money oriented (for the stockholders and not for the employees). I think I have the type of disposition where I can truly enjoy that type of lifestyle, and be content working in that type of environment for the next 30 years. However, it is not a path toward finanical independance, or even time independance.

So venturing into a path as an entrepreneur, not just as a poker pro, but in my profession as well is something that I think is worth aspiring to, and worth the risk at this point. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be reckless and just quit and hope for the best. But a gradual transition is something that may be in the cards in the future.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

raisin light, tough call

A few hands from tonights session. Villian in the first hand is a 11/11/6 reg over 1,329 hands. He cbets 81% of the time. On a relatively dry flop, I expect his continuing range to be AK,KQ,KK,AA only. I expect to fold out 77-QQ. Because of how high his cbet is, I decide to turn 1010 into a bluff, and this time it worked. In retrospect, considering he is a positionally aware player, and is in early position, makes this play only slightly EV at best, as a decent amount of his range will have me beat.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

whiterice197 (Button) ($122.25)

SB ($217)

BB ($57.15)

UTG ($167.95)

UTG+1 ($148.85)

MP1 ($20)

MP2 ($78.05)

MP3 ($37.10)

CO ($100)

Preflop: whiterice197 is Button with 10, 10

UTG bets $3, 5 folds, whiterice197 calls $3, 1 fold, BB calls $2

Flop: ($9.50) 2, K, 6 (3 players)

BB checks, UTG bets $5.50, whiterice197 raises to $19, 2 folds

Total pot: $20.50 | Rake: $1

The second had is against a 9/8 TAG reg. After he called my 3bet, I put him on QQ+, AK only. So with a KQ2 flop, I was wasn't happy. On the turn he makes a strong lead bet, and I elect to make the safe play and call. At this point, his range consists of KK,QQ, AK, and some scattered bluffs. On the river he shoves, which is a slight overbet. His range now is polarized to KK (rarely, as he would most likely have 4bet preflop), QQ, 1010, and air. I timed down and called his bluff. I suppose my reasoning was that if he did indeed have a set he would not have shoved, in order to get a little more value out of his hand, as my hand looks very much like AK. However, looking back on the hand, shoving is certainly not a bad play if he did have a set. I don't think raising the turn is the optimal play in this case, as I will just fold out worse hands except for maybe AK.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.50 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

UTG+1 ($55.80)

MP1 ($49)

MP2 ($53.35)

Hero (MP3) ($50)

CO ($36.65)

Button ($74)

SB ($50.45)

BB ($21.65)

UTG ($50.45)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with A, A

1 fold, UTG+1 bets $2, 2 folds, Hero raises to $6.50, 4 folds, UTG+1 calls $4.50

Flop: ($13.75) K, Q, 2 (2 players)

UTG+1 checks, Hero checks

Turn: ($13.75) 10 (2 players)

UTG+1 bets $10.50, Hero calls $10.50

River: ($34.75) 6 (2 players)

UTG+1 bets $38.80 (All-In), Hero calls $33 (All-In)

Total pot: $100.75 | Rake: $3

Ok, so off to watch the Pitt/Providence game on DVR. I'm really surprised at Pitt this year, after losing Sam Young and DeJuan Blair to the NBA. I think that Pitt will do OK in the NCAA tournament only- maybe a sweet 16 at best. But it is a young squad, and no matter how they do in the tourney, they have a very bright future.

Also having a bright outlook are the Penguins. It's amazing how the penguins will make a move, trading a second round pick, for a player that will help them for this season only, in order to try to win a cup, while the Pirates, in the same market, keep acting as a minor league club for the Yankees and Red Sox of the baseball world.

Oh well...

my luck has changed?

Could this be the start of a beautiful month?

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

Button ($38.40)

Hero (SB) ($101.85)

BB ($97.15)

UTG ($16.95)

UTG+1 ($77.70)

MP1 ($47.50)

MP2 ($20)

MP3 ($105.05)

CO ($40)

Preflop: Hero is SB with A, A

UTG calls $1, UTG+1 bets $5, 1 fold, MP2 raises to $20 (All-In), 3 folds, Hero calls $19.50, 2 folds, UTG+1 calls $15

Flop: ($62) 7, Q, 6 (3 players, 1 all-in)

Hero bets $19, UTG+1 raises to $57.70 (All-In), Hero calls $38.70

Turn: ($177.40) A (3 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($177.40) 8 (3 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $177.40 | Rake: $3

I played a very short session today, due to all of the moving details that needed attending to. But hey, a short but sweet session beats out hours of grinding anyday...