Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy holidays!

Me and the fam will be having a nice all-day party with plenty of booze, games and strippers - I...I mean caroling. We grabbed a few cases of keiths, stella and corona (blegh), as well as some harder stuff. Me mum baked plenty of goodies to munch on all day. Should be fun though; I'm not sure I'll find time to get any poker in, but tbh I'd rather take a break tomorrow anyways. Come to think of it we could actually get a family poker game going. I'll let you know how that goes if we end up playing :p

Poker's going well still. My last few sessions have been a little swingier than I'd like, but I still haven't really had a significant losing day since I started 50nl. I started today off with some ugliness (both from me and my opponents), but still managed to end the day up $100; new graph added on the right there. I'm still maintaining a very healthy 8BB/100 overall through 25nl and 50nl and I'm very happy about it still.

I'm gonna make this one short, as I'm VERY tired after playing a nice ~ 3 hours of shinny hockey with my old man earlier tonight. I hadn't played since last spring and it was soooooooo fun. Gotta play more.

On a brief side note, I made gold...

Dear ChuckTs,

Congratulations! You have achieved the "GoldStar".

We invite you to learn about your many new PokerStars VIP privileges by visiting


PokerStars Team.

...and also ordered myself a nice little ipod shuffle. I was eyeing some nicer, higher-end nanos, or maybe just one of those monstrous 80GB ones, but really a cheap shuffle (for 7000FPPS) is all I need. If this delivery is anything like my previous FPP store 'purchases', it should be here well before the forewarned 4-6 weeks.

On another side note, I just saw Control, and thought I'd toss out a little tribute:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

~20k hands landmark

Well I've got actually more 25nl hands under my belt than I'd thought - about 11k as it stands now. I've also just reached 9k hands of 50nl and my results are looking nicer and nicer.

My bankroll is probably big enough to move up to 100nl soon (hard to calculate as it's sparsed out over 3 sites + I'm lazy), but I think I'm staying at 50nl for another 10 or 20k hands. I'm doing very well, but like I said I still have leaks that I need to fix, and I'd like to make sure I plug those leaks before I hit 100nl. I could also use some money in my real life here, so I may withdraw some and rebuild at 50nl for a while and take shots at 100nl every so often. We'll see what happens.

Today was supposed to be a whole-day thing but tbh I got lazy. I played for a couple hours, ran a little swingy (several beats, a big cooler, and two big pots where I played like a donkey) but still managed to finish the day $110 up through about a thousand hands. I was a little afraid I'd been doomswitched but it turned around quickly:

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Anyways, all's still going well and I've cracked $1000 since Dec 04 which was when I started this whole FR ordeal. Very very happy :)

Overall graph updated on your right there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rich and broke at the same time :/

Well things are still going strong in the poker world for me. I didn't play yesterday, but stuck in a few hundred hands today 6-tabling again. I ran into one big hand today, my 97h vs J3h vs K8h all turning flushes, but still managed to finish off the day about $80 up and at 11bb/100.

I couldn't be happier right now playing full ring. While I realize I'm running fairly well, I still think I can beat 50nl by an even bigger margin than I already am. My 7.5BB/100 so far is very solid and I'm more than happy, but I've lost more stacks to bad calls/pushes, beats and coolers than I can count on my fingers and my toes :). In other words, I'm not only still getting my share of beats and coolers, but I'm also still making some bad plays that I think I can correct and I WILL correct.

As you know, I'm 8-tabling, and it's proving to have GREAT benefits for me.

For one, I get way more hands under my belt in a smaller amount of time so I can actually see the long-term effects of certain adjustments in my game sooner. ie I can see leaks better, I can see if calling raises with small pairs for set value is worth it, I can see if 3-betting light is worth the trouble, etc etc.

Another effect is of course the fact that my winrate is much better overall than it would be had I been single tabling or even 2 tabling. Right now I'm running at ~6.5BB/100 through both 25nl and 50nl per table, but am running at a much nicer 28BB/100 if I'm reading my PT database properly. Anyways, the fact is that I make a lot more as I have more tables open. I didn't used to be able to handle 8 tables or even 6, but now I'm actually looking to possibly buy a new monitor for even more tables. That actually brings me to my next point - FPPs. I'm earning them at a much faster rate, and once I reach goldstar this month (only 464 FPPs left :) I'll be earning them even faster. I'm not completely sure what I'm eyeing with the FPPs I'm earning, but like I said, a new monitor would be nice...

Multitabling also has some positive psychological effects on me. For one, I end up being a lot more distracted with more tables open, and that forces me to play a tighter game - ie the most profitable style for 50nl. Another thing is that since I'm seeing 6 or 8 times as many hands in the same amount of time as I would be 1-tabling, I'm actually seeing sets and big pairs a lot more often which is a nice way to deal with tilt. If I lose a stack to AA vs KK all in preflop, I'm never that far away from stacking someone with a set :)

Anyways, I'm kind of ranting and bragging a bit, but I'm just so happy right now with my poker progress that I had to share. Oh, and another thing that's nice about seeing so many hands is that I actually run into tough hands frequently enough to keep the cardschat HA forums pretty busy. Lately we've been getting some very good discussions going on and I'm loving it.

On a side note, my family's completely broke right now and we might even have to sell our house for the near-zero value it's worth. Hooray. All's good though. Times are stressful but we'll get through it; my step father got a new job so that should help some, but we'll see how it all works out. It's so bad right now that we've all agreed that we won't be exchanging gifts this christmas which will kind of kill the spirit, but we're going to have a big drunk-fest with monopoly, poker and scrabble instead. Should be fun :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

CCCOP Main Event and more 50nl

Well the Cardschat Championship of Poker came to an end tonight with the $30 deepstack main event. 5000 starting chips, 20 min blinds and $100 added to the already massive prize pool. I had a blast playing, initially being dealt a terrible table draw with rex and klitkat (bubbasbestbabe on cardschat, a VERY aggressive player). I managed to maintain my stack size through some swings, then eventually got moved to a slightly more favourable table with position on rex.

Again I threw some chips around, stole some blinds, but my stack was still dwindling. I ended up restealing with A8 vs rex's SB steal, only to have him snapcall me with AQs. Lucky for me, I got real kinky earlier today and shoved a horseshoe up my ass. I spiked an 8, doubled up, and crippled rex - pretty much the ideal result :)

After winning that pot I went on to try to bully the table a little more, and added a good chunk to my stack before this crippling blow:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t400 (8 handed)

SB (t9140)
BB (t9063)
Hero (t10877)
UTG+1 (t11845)
MP1 (t4095)
MP2 (t2661)
CO (t8755)
Button (t19707)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with Ac, As.
UTGA raises to t1100, 5 folds, SB calls t900, 1 fold.

Flop: (t2175) 6c, 5s, Qd (2 players)
SB checks, UTGA bets t2100, SB raises to t4200, UTGA raises to t9752, SB calls t3815 (All-In).

Turn: (t19942) 9c (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t19942) Tc (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t18205

SB has Qc Qh (three of a kind, queens).
Hero has Ac As (one pair, aces).
Outcome: SB wins t18205. Hero wins t1737.

As much as I would have liked to double up there for a good shot at the ~$380 first prize (6 get paid, ~15 left at this point in the tourney), I'm really not disappointed at all. I played well, got tricky in some spots, but in general played solid and eventually got unlucky. I of course did get extremely lucky myself vs rex, but I still stand by my play there. In the end, I was put in by rex from the SB again, and I called with K2 getting odds for pretty much any two cards. He showed K9, I don't improve, bye-bye CCCOP :/

After the tourney while chatting with Rex and Tenbob on msn, I fired up some ring tables and witnessed the beauty that is the sunday feeding frenzy. For whatever reason, Pokerstars' sunday million tourney seems to put people in uber-donkey mode, and it's obviously quite a profitable time to play the rings (thanks for the tip TB :)

On a side note, a cardschat member and I have discussed coaching him and this will go down in the next while depending on when he's available. If it's successful and he feels I can actually help, then I may just start a little side business coaching micro limit players. I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but I think I could definitely help losing/break-even players at 25nl or under.

Anyways, graph at the right is updated (and looking a hell of a lot prettier), and I'll keep you guys updated daily on my progress.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Well, as far as my progress has gone, 50nl has been swingy to say the least. I started playing a couple days ago - only 4 tables in the beginning - and within about 5 hands, had my first stacking with an overlplayed AA that got looked up by AK for top pair (HA thread here).

I ended up playing 6 tables for 2k hands that first day, and finished almost exactly break even (a little on the negative side). I did run into more coolers and beats, but played pretty poorly overall. I stacked a few fish with some sets, but played poorly enough to still manage to come out at even for the day.

Today I played some more, starting out terribly again but ending the day ahead by a good chunk - so much so that I've brought my ~0BB/100 up to about 4BB/100 so far at 50nl through 4700 hands (already!?).

I plan on hanging around a lot longer at 50nl than I did at 25nl for a few obvious reasons. For one, I probably should have played another 10k at 25nl anyways, but got a little impatient. I also want to get a little more discipline and it would obviously be much cheaper for me to learn that at 50nl than at 100nl. I think I may play up to 50k hands at 50nl depending on how comfortable I feel with my play later on. 10k for now is my absolute minimum.

Anyways, again I just want to say this side game ordeal has been great for me and I'd suggest trying out full ring side games to anyone who plays poker. Lots to be made at the stakes I'm at. I'm actually making $14/hr as it stands, even through my bad beats, coolers and my occasional terrible play. I'll keep updating frequently.

On a side note, I'm going to add another graph over there on the right for my 50nl/pl progress. Notice how much swingier it is (SO FAR). :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's a celebration, bitches!

10,315 hands done! In that span I...

-ran at 6.67BB/100 hands
-made $348.70 in profit
-spent $182.60 in rake (grumble grumble)
-made ~2000FPPs
-achieved silverstar status until Jan 31 and I think platinum is possible this month
-learned to 8-table and counting (may buy a second monitor)
-biggest pot won:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (9 handed)

UTG+1 ($29.50)
MP1 ($24.75)
Hero ($26.20)
MP3 ($12.50)
CO ($12)
Button ($7)
SB ($20.90)
BB ($31.05)
UTG ($29.20)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with Jh, Th.
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $1.5, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.50, 1 fold, CO calls $1.50, 3 folds.

Flop: ($4.85) 6d, Qh, 6h (3 players)
UTG+1 bets $1.5, Hero calls $1.50, CO calls $1.50.

Turn: ($9.35) 9h (3 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $6, CO raises to $9, UTG+1 calls $9, Hero calls $3.

River: ($36.35) 8c (3 players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $14.2 (All-In), UTG+1 calls $14.20.

Results below:
UTG+1 has 2h 4h (flush, queen high).
Hero has Jh Th (flush, queen high).
CO has Ah 4c (one pair, sixes).
Outcome: Hero wins $64.75.

-biggest pot lost:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (7 handed)

Button ($23.80)
SB ($23.55)
Hero ($27.80)
UTG ($22.95)
MP1 ($56.65)
MP2 ($37.05)
CO ($16.10)

Preflop: Hero is BB with Ac, Ad.
UTG calls $0.25, MP1 raises to $1, MP2 calls $1, 3 folds, Hero raises to $3.75, UTG folds, MP1 folds, MP2 calls $2.75.

Flop: ($8.85) 8s, Ah, Qc (2 players)
Hero bets $6, MP2 calls $6.

Turn: ($20.85) Jd (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 bets $27.3 (All-In), Hero calls $18.05 (All-In).

River: ($66.20) 3h (2 players, 2 all-in)

Results below:
Hero has Ac Ad (three of a kind, aces).
MP2 has Kh Td (straight, ace high).
Outcome: MP2 wins $66.20.

Anyways I'm more than happy with my outcome from the 10k I played at 25nl, and I'm going to decide in the next few days whether I'll be moving up to 50nl, maybe just taking the occasional shot at it, or I might even play another 10k hands at 25nl.

Video of my biggest winning hands and biggest losing hands. Only 30 megs and maybe only good for entertainment value, but I go on a couple minirants about wa/wb and other concepts.

Oh, graph to your right updated as well. You can see the beginning was nice and swingy, but soon picked up a much more consistent upwards direction after a few thousand hands. I did run into a few big bad beats which accounts for that little dip at the top, but I'm fine with those.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Upswings are fun

Well I'm chock full of confidence now with my recent results in my 25nl adventure. That obv means the doomswitch is going to hit me any day now, but w/e. Enjoy it while it lasts, right?

So far at 25nl:

-I'm running very solid (~8BB/100hands) even through a few beats/coolers and some bad play on my own part
-I'm actually gaining some discipline! I folded bottom set vs what was pretty obviously the nut straight where I wasn't getting odds to draw out - something I'd be snapcalling without thought normally
-I've already ripped through 8k hands (almost at my 10k goal) playing 8 tables but I think I may even stick around for another 5k or 10k after to polish things off a little before hopping up to 50nl
-My PS bankroll cracked $1000 for the first time in months. I had to withdraw some funds quite a while ago and ever since my BR has been hovering around $500-$1000. Paying the ~$200 for the stox subscription put a huge dent in it too, but I'm now back where I want to be :)

Well I'm now going to keep an updated graph of my progress on the homepage for your opticalismic stimulation. Ya that's right. Opticalismic. I'm running so good I can make up my own words.

Unfortunately I haven't been running as good in tournaments, save for a razz MTT where I actually placed 2nd for a nice $144 and forgot to mention it in the blog. Should have won the damn thing, but oh well. I haven't played as many tourneys but I'm fine with that - I think I'll be treating tourneys as much more of a thing that I'll do when I treat myself for playing well in the rings.

Here's your song for the day. Big collabo here and then another great song from the other end of the musical genre spectrum:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Leafs run good = I run good?

Well while the leafs were crushing the lightning tonight in a 6-1 win, I was having fun trying to emulate their success in the 25nl rings. I ran through a good 1500 hand chunk again today 8-tabling at 17BB/100 for a nice in-the-green session which perfectly mirrored last session's ugliness. I did manage to donk off a few big pots (namely this one) but even through those bad plays my good luck and good play brought me a nice $130 day through about three and a half hours of play. I'm sincerely confident that I can crush 25nl if I can plug my somewhat large leaks.

One of them was very evident in that previously linked A4s hand where I couldn't let go of a weak two pair in a situation where it was pretty clear I was up against a bigger two pair or better. My hand literally has a mind of it's own in similarly tricky hands like that and I have to find a way to stop and really think about a hand like that so I can stop getting myself into so many bad spots. I mean I literally said to myself out loud "you're not beating anything at this point that takes his line - just fold", but my hand disobeyed me :(

Anyways I was thinking about moving up to 50nl already - I am bankrolled for it after all - but have opted against it until I rake in a few more thousand hands at 25nl or at least plug those big leaks. That might take a while so we'll see what happens.

On a side note, I've got to get my goddamn driver's license. I've never really needed to use a car - the TTC is fine enough for me and I've never really needed to travel to driving-distance places frequently enough to ever need a car. The thing is that in order to get an electrical apprenticeship, a car is pretty much essential. There's no way I'm going to be able to drive around with someone all day so they can teach me simple little residential jobs etc.

The only catch about getting my driver's license is that the testing centre is so $#*%ing far that you need a car to get there. I suppose I could take the TTC but that'll end up being a whole-day affair. Well I guess I don't spend my time doing anything else that would be more constructive anyways...

Leafs, I heart you, and poker, I heart you too.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ups and downs

Well I'm really grinding out the 25nl tables and now deal with 8 tables at a time which seems high but I'm handling it fine.

A couple days ago I tried 8 tables for the first time and found that I maintained focus just fine, but I soon ran into a couple terrible coolers (see KK vs AA), beats (see AA vs TP vs FD) and unlucky hands (see combo draws missing for stacks) that got me down like 5 buyins. The ensuing tilt stuck me for a couple more and it wasn't too fun. I ended up getting so pissed at myself for not being able to beat fucking 25nl that I forced myself to play a solid game. I ended up winning back enough to only be down $80 instead of $170, but it still hurt. The next day (yesterday) I grinded it out again and had a nice $40 day through only a few hundred hands which brought me back up even more. I recorded that ~hour session so I'll post that soon too.

I'm still not progressing at all in getting a job/new apartment so stay tuned for some updates there (hopefully). Getting sick of this slobby lifestyle.

Gonna grind out the rings again today and maybe play the $3+R if I'm up to it. Wish me luck!

p.s. I've updated the hand histories thread after completely forgetting about it for the entire month of November so go check that out if you haven't participated in cardschat's HA forums lately.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Good and bad news

The good news is that everything's going very well in the poker world for me. I'm now 6-tabling 25nl with a nice ~16BB/100 winrate which is probably unsustainable, but I've still been running into quite a few beats and still manage to scrape out that winrate so I'm pretty confident. I'm basically playing as many tables as I can so that I stick to a very nitty game and don't get out of line. To put it in perspective, I'm making like $20/hr right now which is fantastic. Unfortunately this is only a couple thousand hands into my ring game foray, but I'm happy anyways.

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I've been playing a lot of the $5+R $55 satellites lately as well and have won tickets in every one I've entered this week which is also nice. Unfortunately all the $T I'm using from those hasn't brought great results, but it's mostly due to some bad beats in the games I've been playing and of course I'm fine with that.

I just finished a little $5 HU match with vanq which was also fun. I took it down with some luck (yay AJs>AJo) and I'll be posting a video analysis soon too.

On to the bad news...basically, I'm ready to leave my house. I've obviously been playing a lot of poker lately, and my mother is getting a little frustrated with me, obviously not considering poker a 'job'. I've been meaning to move out for a while now, but I won't be able to do so without either winning more with poker (fat chance making enough to completely support myself), or actually getting a full-time job. I just may have to work a dead-end 9-5'er at sobey's grocery store or whatever, but ideally I'd like to get into some type of construction or trades type job.

Anyways, times are a little tough here around the house but I think we can manage. As soon as I get up off my ass everything will be alright. The first step is always the hardest though; I'm such a procrastinator...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Booya silver

Well not only did I achieve silver status on stars tonight, but I actually kept 2-tabling 1/2 for an extra hour and raked in a hefty profit.

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I still have a problem with bluffing a little much and going too far with them, but aside from that, limit is a cakewalk when your cards hit. Simply take the best line to make the most profit and you're good. I had one player call me down every single time I bet to the river, and he showed down all types of crap - bottom pair, busted draws, mid pair, ace high, king high...

Anyways, the bankroll's already nearly back to where it was before I transfered that $189 to stoxtrader for my subscription and I couldn't be happier. I've only watched one or two FL videos and they've already helped tremendously. I've got plenty to learn still, but I can't wait to dig in.

I'll be hitting up the FL side games as well as lots of STTs and the occasional MTT, so stay tuned for updates.

Leafs won!!!...?

I'm actually genuinely surprised we won last night. I was a little (ok exceedingly) drunk though so I don't remember all of it. I ended up spending $40 on half of what I drank last night, my old man buying the other half. Saw my good buddy who I haven't seen in ages and had a fun night all in all.

There's video of the highlights here if you're interested:

I mentioned before I got my stoxpoker subscription all sorted out and have already ripped through like 3 videos. So far they're great. I also got a free copy of SnG Wizard which is an EV-calculating tool that incorporates ICM; I'll be using that from now on in close bubble situations and it should really help as well. The forums aren't quite as active as I'd hoped, but I'll definitely be posting there as well as on CC from now on. 2+2 just pisses me off with all their snide comments cluttering everything up. I'm just about done with them.

I'm also happy to see that I'm not the only one at cardschat who's unsatisfied with the state of things there. This thread was recently started up and has gotten a lot of replies and views and whatnot. Glad to see that other members have the same motivation to make the site better like I do.

Anyways, I was 100FPPs short of making silver today, and after half joking that I'm too lazy to finish them up today (last of the month!), I've been scrambling a bit to rake those last few FPPs in. Silver will allow me to make FPPs %50 faster and also enables me to join the weekly and monthly freerolls so that'll be nice.

Fellow poker degenerate Vanquish set me straight and said I should just play an hour of 1/2. I was going to take my first shot at 1/2 soon anyways, so I thought what better time than now. Early in my first session I managed to suck out big time on one hand where I was trying to make a hopeless bluff with ace-high, and managed to spike an ace to rake the pot in. Aside from that I actually played very well by my standards and am enjoying the raise in stakes - it's giving me a little bit of the nervous butterflies for the first time in a while but that's kind of a good thing. I'm giving more consideration to every decision I make and that can only be a good thing.

Anyways, I'll leave you with a song that just popped up in my iTunes playlist and is so kick-ass that I can't not share it with you:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Leafs win!


Well tonight I'm off to see my old man and watch a leafs game with him tonight, but unfortunately we're in one of the shittiest slumps we've been in for years and I'm not exactly banking on them winning.

Anyways, I played a $4/180 today and ended up placing 5th for a measely $30 or something. I was recording while playing and the video will be up on cardschat soon enough. I also decided to finally register for a poker coaching video site, specifically, and hopefully that will turn out well. $189 for the next 6 months is pretty pricey for someone as broke as me, but I'm very very eager to move forward in my poker 'career'.

I've been playing a lot more lately, especially STTs and a couple MTTs. I said a while ago that I was pretty much sick of preflop poker, but have really gotten the itch for tourneys lately and am doing fairly well. Unfortunately the $6.50 STTs are killing me, but I'm still doing fairly well in the $16s so it's all good.

Short post this time; I hope to be back with some good news about the leafs and poker for next post :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poker time!

Well exams are over. I purposely packed my backpack light, leaving my 100lb textbook at home to make the 20 min walk quicker, only to find that my prof decided that the goddamn exam was going to be open-book (with NO sharing). Fantastic. Luckily, I brought my notebook along which was allowed to be used during the exam as well, but I still managed to botch the exam enough that I'm not sure I passed the course.

A good chunk of the questions were literally copy and pasted from old tests, and all that was needed was to copy my old answers. Easy-capeezy. The rest was a little tough. Some of the questions were on parts of the course I hadn't studied enough and I managed not to have anything on in my notebook. Had I brought my actual textbook I could have looked up the terms and figured out the questions with common sense, but I know I screwed a good chunk of them up.

I needed exactly %44 on the exam to get a passing mark in the course, so I'm pretty confident I should be seeing a congratulatory letter in the mail soon.

With the exam done and not another course until January, I now have plenty of time to grind out the bankroll
and try to get a job. Seriously, I've been thinking a lot about my long-term plans, and have to set my priorities straight.

Number one on my list is a job. Ideally I'd like an electrical apprenticeship, but I think I have little to no chance of getting one in Toronto without a driver's license since most of the work will probably be driving out to either people's homes or wherever to do electrical work. I remember about a year ago I called every electrician in the phone book to apply for an apprenticeship, and the few that actually had spots open required driver's licenses.

The problem with getting a license is that a) the test centre is so far it actually requires a goddamn car to get there from downtown Toronto, and b) if I get my G1 license it'll still be a minimum of 8 months before I get my G2. A G1 only allows you to drive with someone who has a full G license (next step up from G2), and I obviously can't work with my mom driving beside me the whole time :D

Anyways, I'll have to find some other type of manual labour job that pays well. I simply won't work as a waiter, grocery store clerk or any other job like that. I hate dealing with people who act like asshole for the simple fact that you're behind a counter - I'd much rather shovel horse manure all day or some other dirty job than deal with people who decide to take their after-work stress out on the 20-year old store clerk.

Like I mentioned in my first post, I plan on using poker for a significant supplementary income when I finally do get my electrical career going. Rex's routine interests me a lot. He basically doesn't really apply bankroll management rules, but simply keeps a good chunk of money online, and plays whatever level he thinks he can beat until he thinks he's good enough to move up. When you depend entirely on the income generated from your poker bankroll like I do, you have to practice proper bankroll management or else the possibility of going broke gets bigger and bigger depending on how much of your BR you play with. So right now, I'm kind of stuck at stakes that I think I can beat somewhat easily, but they're so high-variance that building my bankroll is taking ages.

Eventually, I just want to be able to come home from a hard day's work either running my own electrical company or working for viciously nice wages at a big-name company and grind the tables (whilst having fun) for some good pocket change every month without risking significant amounts of money.

My brother also plans on starting his own restaurant eventually, and I'd love to manage it for him. Maybe I'll turn out to be one of those multi-source-income people :)

Anyways (wow I'm ranting again), I've decided that a subscription is a definite option for me soon, but with my limited income I might have to wait. I'll have some free time in the coming months and will probably be playing a lot of poker so expect a lot of blog posts with it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Well my last week of my course finally crept up on me, and I've got my final exam tomorrow. To be honest I really screwed up in the beginning of the course; completely forgetting to go to the first three classes and missing an early assignment put me behind the whole class and I still don't get some of the earlier concepts and things that were taught.

On the other hand, my teacher is very nice in that each weekly test we've had, he's used the exact same example questions that he used to teach that concept to test us with. He dropped a hint to review those old tests and I'm almost sure that he's just going to take the toughest question from each test and make an exam out of that, so studying should be a breeze. Add on the fact that my class is almost entirely immigrants trying to make their way in Canada, and that all the tests are written very simply and straight-forward, and I shouldn't have too much trouble if I get today and tomorrow's studying in.

I'd actually planned on studying yesterday, but got caught up with a razz table that turned out to be a half-day (and 1500-hand) affair. I'm really liking the change of pace from hold'em. Not only that, but .5/1 is chock-full of maniacs and nits, so making a profit is easy even for someone like me who barely knows the basics.

Unfortunately I don't have PT stud, so I can't give you exact numbers, but I brought my Stars bankroll from ~$600 up to $720 yesterday with razz alone. I'm actually thinking about picking it up (or maybe the discounted OH/Stud combo) to expand my poker horizon. Like Zolotow said, be the fox, not the hedgehog. Specialize in a variety of games - not just one.

Back to hold'em, I actually haven't played that much lately, but have been winning when I do. I'm still hovering around 5BBs/100hands at .5/1 FLHE, but haven't played any tournaments in ages. I'm kind of missing the STTs and I might take a shot at those again. MTTs too, actually. Maybe I'll get my feet wet in a few small satellites after I'm done with my exam.

On a side note, I've been an absolute slob the last few months. Not getting enough exercise, not eating properly, staying in too much etc etc, and I've actually lost a few pounds which is no good. Lately I've been getting the urge to start working out again and to start eating healthier, and I feel a lot better. I've only really started doing push-ups and sit-ups again, as well as some running on the side, but that little exercise that I do get helps a lot.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Don't laugh

Hai hai! Outwitted! Hai! Bad smell air!

note: only good after cheeba dosage.

Malkovich: Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. MALKOVICH!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Busy but not really...

Well I'd like to say I've been busy doing something constructive, but to be honest I've been very idle and just didn't feel like writing. Sorry :(

Like I mentioned, I bought CoD 4, and it's freaking amazing. I was playing it for like three days straight and eventually overdosed to the point where I felt I had to stop. It's still a great game, but I did't want to play it so much that I lost interest. So I bought a Wii. Yep, bought a Wii. $400+ with a couple games (Super Mario Galaxy and Zelda: Twilight Princess - both contenders for best game ever in my book). My brother has been wanting one for a while, so I've decided to sell it to him instead of keeping it. Poker is consuming enough - I don't need more video games. I've also got a busted xbox 360 that I need to get rid of...anyone interested? :)

Anyways, after my crazy downswing at 25nl, I went on a brief upswing which quickly went back down again.

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I don't know exactly what it is, but nl rings are not my game. I simply have too many leaks. And big ones at that. I overvalue TP type hands, don't practice proper pot control with marginal hands, bluff too much, pay people off too much...the list goes on. On top of it all I've been running terribly, but a good chunk of my losses are from my own bad play.

I did play a few fixed limit sessions, and have been doing fairly well. Overall I'm running at 5BBs/100 hands over about 4000 hands, and I think that winrate is pretty consistent with my quality of play. I've made a few bad (but repairable) mistakes, but overall I'm pretty much on the ball. I'm not sure winning 5BBs/100 is really enough to warrant moving up, even if I sustain that winrate at the 10k hands mark, but it's certainly good enough to bring in a nice profit and to keep me happy. I think once I reach 10k hands, I'll start taking shots at 1/2 every four sessions or so, and eventually make it so half my sessions are 1/2, and eventually play exclusively 1/2.

As it stands right now, I've still got a long ways to go and might have to play up to 20k hands at .5/1 before I actually move up. I'm not sure I'll maintain interest in FL for that long but It's really growing on me. NLHE is something I think I'll play mainly in tournaments as opposed to side games. At least until I learn a few lessons. Hell, maybe I'll try grinding up like Tenbob did; starting at 10nl and working my way up. It could be a humbling experience seeing just how bad I really am at rings :D

On a side note, I've been reading Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein, and it's fucking great. A++ for that book - if you haven't bought it, please do. It's not your typical poker book. I've also skimmed through Stoxtrader's Winning in Tough Hold'em Games, but tbh it's over my head. For one, I don't play in games that this book's concepts really apply to. The fact that the book is oriented around short-handed play does help somewhat since I play 6-max, but the majority of players at my level aren't aggressive enough to be making steals with ranges anything close to what stox suggests, so his advice really isn't applicable. SSH is much better for the conditions I play in, but nevertheless, WiTHG is still great. Information is power.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Break time

Even after having a nice upturn to my progress at 25nl, I've decided I still need a break. I'm happy with my discipline and the fact that I stopped all the madness (so far) to play sound poker, but I've got other things that need attention in my life.

I'm currently attending college for an electrical course. My prof comes back from his trip to the UK on the 12th for class, and we've been assigned a midterm project and take-home test, neither of which I'm close to finishing. I don't feel much like failing a course that a family member actually paid for, so I've got to get on the ball with it and get the assignments done by next monday. The due date really crept up on me there.

As I said before, I love video games, and there are two biggies being released in the next while that I've decided to buy to get my mind off poker for a bit. Crysis is coming out some time next week, but Call of Duty 4 came out on the 6th I think, and I'm gonna go pick that up today.

Kind of counterproductive, breaking from my poker only to start playing video games, but meh.

I'll no doubt still be playing in the next while (I never hold my word with poker), so I'll still stick in the occasional post. Just don't expect two posts daily from me for the next while.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Starting to turn around

While yesterday morning's sessions were disastrous, I managed to play a sound game and only lost one big pot. I ended up getting my stack in on a Q96 two-flush flop with KK in a reraised pot, and saw AKs hit it's flush. Even with the stack (I was actually slightly deeper than 100BBs), I managed to have a nice little upturn in profits, and I think I'm on the right track now.

I've taken a step back and really looked at what I was doing wrong, and found a few problems. One of them was just plain playing too aggressively. I was raising limpers with too big of a range, and going too far with weak hands. Another thing was 3-betting light too often, especially out of the blinds where I stick myself in a really bad situation: OOP in a reraised pot with a marginal hand. Not good.

So I've decided I'm not going to stack without a) a very good read, b) a very strong hand, or c) something where I'm committed, like AK for TPTK in a 4-bet pot PF or whatever. Play it safe. I've also got to make sure I don't put myself in sticky postflop spots by playing more sound PF. I'm usually used to playing with a ~20 or 30BB stack, so playing AK from the blinds is fairly easy - reraise preflop and shove the flop. With 100BB+ stacks, I've really got to play a hand through. The disadvantages of being OOP really start to rear their ugly faces.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Really not very happy with myself right now. I've been playing a lot of 25nl 6-max. The only problem is that I suck.

Well, not really. I actually am playing very well, but have had several beats, several coolers and several situations where I was truely clueless about what to do. My old habit of making terrible calls has come back to haunt me, but I'm working on that. Though, through all the beats and all my bad calls, I've still managed to break even since my first disastrous session. I'm very confident that I can crush these limits in the long run, but only if I can overcome my uncontrollable urge to make fishy calls.

For what it's worth, I'm having the most fun playing poker I've had in a while, and feel like I'm really playing again rather than taking the role of a pushbot in all those damn turbos.

At the moment, I'm four-tabling the 6-max tables, and am actually having no trouble dealing with it. I know I mentioned it in a previous post, but I'm really happy about how easily I'm handling four tables because I have a feeling I can possibly move up to around 8 profitably which will skyrocket my winrate.

First thing's first, though. Gotta stop making donkey calls. STOP AND THINK dammit. $20 to be taped to my monitor as soon as I'm done with this.

For your entertainment, here's my hideous, hideous graph of my 25nl winnings so far. Enjoy!

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Monday, November 5, 2007

They call me the wanderer

I never was a NL ring person. I did have my moments at 100-400nl, but that was back when I was a crazy and was seriously gambling.

Anyways, I watched an old dbitel instructional-type video, and it really got me hyped about ring games. I'm getting pretty sick of PF pushing and calling ranges and all that bunk, and found myself very interested in certain concepts of postflop play. Things like the WA/WB concept, and even simple things like why you make bets has the gears in my brain turning again.

Well I decided to sit down at a 25nl table, and soon found myself 4-tabling without any trouble. The only problem was the beats (KK < QQ, KK < A9, QQ < A8) and a few flat-out losses (combo draw loses to AA, JJ < QQ, some bad plays on my part). I managed to drop about 3 buyins worth, but aside from my brief tilting after the beats I managed to play very well and plan on possibly playing more ring games overall. Tournaments are just a little crazy for me sometimes; playing my heart out for three hours and seeing my stack vaporize on the bubble from a beat doesn't exactly appeal to me anymore. Anyways, I do realize I'm probably not going to stick with this, but I found myself multitabling without any trouble, probably due to not having to worry about the dynamics of tournaments. I think I can grind out a nice winrate with possibly even more than 4 tables at 25nl, then I'll try my luck at 50nl when (if) I do. I'll still be playing FL, but NL rings are luring me in...

EDIT: please see the kickin knowledge thread again. Some updates with some killer 2+2 archives. Killllerrrr. Seriously.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

$6.50/18 video(s)

Decided to record a video earlier today, and again would appreciate any and all input/criticism.

Cardschat discussion thread, download Part 1 and Part 2.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Love it, hate it, hate it, love it...

When I first started playing I had naive thoughts of becoming pro by the time I was 20. I remember hearing from more seasoned players that they would never consider playing pro in their lifetime, regardless how good they were, and thought they were bonkers. I'm only now beginning to understand them.

Simply put, I think most intelligent people could develop the skills needed to make a living from poker. There's more to it than that, though. It takes a very disciplined, psychologically very strong person to be able to deal with the ups and downs of this game. Poker is swingy. "Poker" and "consistency" should never be in the same sentence, save this one. Or one with "is not" before "consistent". Well you get my point anyways.

I played several 2-table SnGs earlier today, and got tossed around like a ragdoll. AA loses to AKs. ATs loses to A9s. Top two pair gets flushed. More beats. I got so pissed at one point that I slammed my desk and said "what the FUCK is with these swings???". That's poker, Chuck. Suck it up.

Poker is all in the long-term, and as Larry Phillips puts it, the long run is longer than you think. If you can ignore the frustration and tilt that the beats brings as well as the 'winners tilt' and overconfidence that winning big pots brings, then you're set.

Back to poker; I ended up taking a break, eating some lunch and walking the dog, then I came back to play some more. Queue upswing. I fired up two SnGs, and go on a rush which mirrored the ugliness that happened earlier. AA first hand doubles me up on one table. KK on the third hand doubles me up on the other. QQ wins another big pot. JJ pads more to my stack. It goes on.

I somehow ended up only barely cashing in one of those two, but end up finishing the day with positive profits after playing a few more. But god damn I hate the swings sometimes. It's like Mike Tyson decides to come along and practice his hooks and crosses on my emotional body. Then Jessica Alba comes along and porks me 'til I feel like a king. Sigh.

Well needless to say, I don't think I could ever be a full-time professional; probably not because I don't think I have the drive and skills to do it, but because I don't think I could handle the emotional stress. I think the farthest I'll go will probably be playing a few hours after I come home from my regular job, hopefully raking in some 5k+ paydays occasionally to help pay for the toys et al.

Then again, you never know what the future will bring. Maybe I'll fall in love with live poker and find I'm much better at it than I am online, and become a millionaire. Maybe I'll find that this is all just a gambling problem and I end up on the corner of Queen and Bathurst drinking Listerine.

I'm ranting again...anyways, today ended up finishing the day with another FLHE session; this time only one table and only a hundred hands, but I did well. Maybe not as well as I should have considering the cards I was getting dealt, but I'm happy.

On a side note, I really haven't worked on my midterm as much as I should have so far. Have to get to work on that sooooontime.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Well after thinking a lot about what I talked about in my last post and how I don't play as well in the lower buyins as I do in the higher ones, I've smartened up some. I played several $6.50/18s and $16/18s and although I haven't won any, I've cashed enough to give me a nice profit. Some bad beats and some shorstacked pushing gone bad resulted in some 3rd and 4th place finishes.

Stars actually has some very evenly-weighted payout structures (%10/%20/%30/%40) which means shooting for first shouldn't be as much of a priority as it normally is with STTs or MTTs. Placing regularly in any pay spot should show a nice profit long-term; it's just that first isn't a huge deciding factor in your long-term success.

Anyways, I played a few of those, played well and made a little dough. I also just finished playing my first FLHE session in quite a while, and finished up well there too after nearly doubling my buyin in only a hundred hands or so. The more I read SSH (almost done now), the more I realize how much work my game needs. I'm still terrible with pot odds on the spot, and still can't count outs as well as I'd like (it goes beyond flush draw outs/overcard outs etc).

I also went to the job fair I mentioned earlier today. My buddy came along and drove us there which saved a lot of time and money, but the job fair wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Most of the jobs were for banks, financial advising companies and other jobs I wasn't looking for as opposed to trades. There was one trade booth, and they said they were offering apprenticeships strictly outside of Ontario. Yay.

Something I've semi-seriously considered is actually trekking out to the prairie provinces to get a job where the economy is apparently just booming. I've heard of people going and working on oil rigs for a year or so and having money to live for the next ten. The oil rig jobs are bringing more people in, which in turn create more jobs for services (restaurants, bars, clothing chains etc etc). Hell, even McDonalds apparently gives $12 starting wage.

Just a thought.

Here's your video for the day. Andrew WK fucking rocks, and I don't care if you disagree or think all his songs sound the same.

There. If that's not the best love song you've ever heard, then you're nuts.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Psychological barriers

I think a big problem of mine is that I rarely play my "A game". While that sounds like a nice, cocky excuse for not winning as much as I'd like to, I really do think it's true.

Online poker separates you from the money you're playing with. I rarely play live anymore, but I know that a player is usually in a different mindset when they put $200 in cold hard cash down on a table rather than $200 'online dollars'. When you rarely see the actual physical money getting moved around, it starts to feel more like a video game than a game of poker; I personally find that I don't value each buyin for what it's actually worth, and I no longer play my best game.

For some, that could actually be a good thing. They say that the best of the best completely separate themselves from the money in order to play optimally no matter what they're playing for (how else would Ivey and co. play 50/100k HU?). For me, though, it's a big problem.

I'm posting this because I realized how much better I played in that $60 tourney in comparison to how I play in the $6.50s or $16s. In my first year or so of playing, I used to have a note pinned right under my monitor that read in big, bold letters, "STOP AND THINK". I would often make spur of the moment decisions without thinking a hand through, and it cost me bundles. I've had it removed for ages now after finally overcoming that problem, but I might have to do something similar to try and correct my new problem. Maybe I'll tape a $20 bill there instead to remind me what I'm playing with.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For the second time in three days I registered for a goddamn $60 tournament by accident. Thank god this time I did well with lots of luck, but I really have to watch out for this in the future. This can't happen again; it's too costly.

Anyways I finished second for short of 3 bills. The tourney was filled with 5 and 6-figure-winning players, and that had me a little intimidated, but not enough to throw me off my game. I got lucky early on winning a race when my AK spiked a king vs QQ, and got lucky again several times with smaller races to build a massive stack. I maintained the big stack until we got ITM, and I started to steal lots.

One player (who ultimately won) was playing back at me postflop like crazy. He chipped away at me, and eventually we got heads up where the chips were flying back and forth. He dominated me postflop somewhat, but preflop I think I had a significant edge, and kept my stack at a comfortable level.

Eventually, I trap-limped the SB with A8 (he'd pushed my limps nearly every time), and got him in with KJo. The thing with HU is that you're never really a huge favourite, and pushing would have been a better play. Long story short, he ended up winning that 60/40, and I eventually lost my crippled stack and took second.

The only real highpoint against him was one pot where he played back at me (yet again) 3-handed, and I made a tough call. Here's the HH:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t600 (3 handed)

BB (t6025)
Hero (t12370)
SB (t8605)

Preflop: Hero is Button with 5h, Ac.
Hero raises to t1500, SB calls t1200, 1 fold.

Flop: (t2800) 5c, Td, 9h (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks.

Turn: (t2800) 4d (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets t2000, SB calls t2000.

River: (t6800) 2d (2 players)
SB bets t3000, Hero calls t3000.

Final Pot: t12800

Hero has 5h Ac (one pair, fives).
SB has Qh Jc (high card, queen).
Outcome: Hero wins t12800.

Anyways, apart from poker I've been somewhat busy lately. I went back to the youth employment centre I went to for help a while ago, and they've referred me to a job fair that's happening this friday. Hopefully I can get an electrical apprenticeship out of it, but the damn thing is out in Etobicoke. Too far for me.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Swingy as always

Well I had better start learning to control my anger; it seems that Party is only the swingiest site out there, and I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it.

I played a few games today - two multitable SnGs, and an STT. In one MTSnG, I took a beating and ended up eventually losing my short stack with AJ vs TT AIPF (so many abbreviations; I know, sorry). In the other, I found myself shortstacked again and all in with KQ vs KT and 77. I hit my Q, but 77 hit his set on the river and I was busto yet again. Getting frustrated at this point. The STT, on the other hand, went very well (why couldn't it have been the higher-paying MTTs that went well???).

Early on, I nearly doubled up with AK vs A6s on an ace-high flop that got bet and called to the river. I started to dwindle my stack away little by little, but was never short stacked. Long story short, as the game went on I went on an insane card rush and blind-stealing frenzy. Boy, oh boy, are party players nitty on the bubble. From ~6 handed all the way to HU, I got:

54c hit a flush vs slowplayed AA
A5 stole
A7 stole
A9 stole; all in a row
QQ no action in BB
K8 stole
A6 folded to button minraise which was probably beating me
AQ stole
Q5 for steal
AJs stole
KJo stole
AA stole; AJ and on were in a row
J9 from BB lost to the button pushing A5s; I had a pot odds call
A7 stole
JT in BB; tiny stack limped, and I pushed his remaining <2BBs in
KK vs QQ to take us to HU play, and
AJ to win it vs K7 AIPF.

If everyone at Party plays this tight on the bubble, I'm going to make a bloody killing. I think I literally could have even won it had I got rags the whole time we were shorthanded. When the blinds hit 200/400, people just plain didn't want to play. The funny part is that the loosest, most aggressive players were the last ones left too, and it surprised the hell out of me just how tight they got.

In other news, I actually did well in a $4/180! I managed to actually play well and not take any major beats, and that got me a 3rd place finish. I ended up a little shortstacked 3-handed vs a couple of monkeys, and had to resteal with 77, which ran into KK and didn't improve. So 3rd for around $80 or $90 made up for my losses from last night. Let's just see if I can ride the upswing.


Well last night was no fun. It was so not fun that I was angry enough not to bother writing about it.

I was playing a few $4/180s and some other 2-table SnGs. I end up making a terrible play in the first 4/180 and get money in with KK on an A8xxx board, with my opponent ending up having a set of 8s. I smack myself in the face and promise I'll smarten up.

I then register for two more $4/180s, play well, and ultimately end up busting in one on standard short stack play, and getting far, but losing to a beat in the other. The beat super-tilted me because it was against a chronic blind stealer. I reraised his button minraise, he calls with 6s vs my Ts, flop off 222 doesn't matter because the turn is a 6. Then I realize the last $4/180 I played wasn't a $4/180. It was a $60/45. GRRRRR.

Anyways, I played about 3 more 2-table tourneys and don't fare well in them either, and I nearly slam a hole through my desk. Still not completely over tilt :)

The OFC freeroll and buyin was also last night, and although I thought I played well, I ended up busting out of the money in both.

I made a particularly good laydown, IMO at least. I saw a free flop from the BB in a five-way pot with J3o, and we saw a JxQcKc flop. Checks all around. Turn comes Jc, and the SB, a player who I knew wouldn't bet here without a flush or a jack, came out betting. I snapmucked my J3o, and he ended up showing down AJo for a FH, and I patted myself on the back. He was fairly nitty though, so maybe that was standard.

Anyways, not a good night in poker. Down quite a bit and my BR is dwindling. I've got a meeting set up this week with an employment counselor. If I end up getting a good full-time job, then I'll have to put a few hundred more into the BR to give me some more building blocks. Gotta make sure this doesn't become a recurring theme though.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I have a confession to make. I'm a *huge* video game nerd. I think it all spawns from the fact that video games were what most of my friends had, and I could never afford as a kid. Once I hit an age where I could make my own money, the majority of my earnings went towards new systems like PS2, an xbox 360, and more recently a fully customized PC I built myself. I've spent a lot of my poker winnings on games and a beautiful 32" LCD TV/monitor that I'm staring at right now :)

Anyways, sometime in November, one of, if not the most, anticipated game of the year is coming out - Crysis.

It's basically the game with the best graphics and great-looking gameplay. You can take a look at some gameplay videos and trailers at Gametrailers.

Today, the demo comes out, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop.

Today's tracks

Overcast, melancholy day here in TO so we'll go with music that fits the mood:

<3 Bill Murray, <3 Sigur Ros

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Kickin knowledge

Aside from the ongoing discussions in poker forums, here are some of the greatest free resources online for poker strategy. Some of these contain articles that really changed the way I view poker.

-2+2's High stakes NLHE best of section. Haven't read all of it but assume it's good.
-2+2's MTT 'Anthology of Wisdom' section. Gold.
-Mike Caro's (free) University of Poker. Also Gold.
-Cardschat's Golden Archive. Some very nice articles and threads in there.
-Cardschat's articles section
-dbitel videos here and here
-More archived 2+2 links (omg goldmine)
-2+2 PT article
-2+2 Valuetown article

I know there are more, so I'll edit them in later on when I find them.


It's set in stone. Me and V are final tabling party tourneys next week. I don't care about variance or my own bad play - it's happening. Why? Because I said so. That's why.

In other news, I make another $4/180 FT but manage to only scrape out about $20. Hurray for 3 more hours wasted of my life. But really, it's starting to bug me how deep I'm going and that I'm not winning a damn thing. It'll come. I know it. Stay tuned for a big win. I swear.

In other other news, I'm going back to the youth employment centre I've been getting help from lately, and I'll hopefully get a good solid-paying labor job that'll support my gambling and alcoholism. Seriously, I've been planning on moving out for ages now, and I obviously need a job to do so. Hopefully my counselor can actually find me one.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More to poker than Hold'em

I hadn't played anything but NLHE or FLHE for ages. Yesterday, skoldpadda posted a brag thread of a very nice draw (and pot) he had in an OH8 game. It reminded me just how profitable those games are when you play nothing but a tight, mechanical style.

I had a little case of insomnia last night as well, so I thought I might play some Razz. GOOD idea.

The table was ridiculously bad. There was maybe one good player, but he soon admitted he was hitting the bottle and his play got increasingly worse. Players would call raises with J+ doorcards, would call any number of bets on later streets if they started with three small cards (and would sometimes raise lol), and would reraise my aggression with xx8 or 7 showing against my xx3. One particularly hilarious player would complete her bring-in every time with J-K doorcards. I don't know if she didn't know that she could just bring-in, or if she was doing some kind of odd protection play.

Anyways, I finished the session with about four times my $20 buyin. I ran good (ok, great), but really these games are so soft it's laughable. Pleeeeeease go and play .5/1 Razz on Stars if you have any knowledge of the game. I wish I could provide a PT graph, but I only have PT Hold'em, and it obviously can't import stud hands.

Here's one of the bigger pots of the night:

Hand #12853227363
*Razz* ($0.50/$1.00), Ante $0.05, Bring-In $0.25

*3rd Street* - (0.70 SB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s___raises___calls
frasse85: xx xx 6d___folds
FunkedUp: xx xx Tc___folds
LilMoRock: xx xx Js___*brings-in*___folds
ckspinner: xx xx 7c___raises___calls___calls
Hero: 5d 3s 4d___raises___raises
Romedawg: xx xx Ac___calls___calls

*4th Street* - (17.20 SB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c___bets___raises___calls $0.40 and is all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c___calls___raises
Hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad___raises___calls
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d___*checks*___calls___calls

*5th Street* - (16.50 BB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c 9c___all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c Kh___*checks*
Hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad Th___checks [didn't realize Jongej was AI; should have bet]
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d As___checks

*6th Street* - (16.50 BB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c 9c Jc___all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c Kh Qc___*checks*___calls
hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad Th Qs___checks___calls
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d As 6h___bets

*River* - (19.50 BB)

Jongej: xx xx 8s 6c 9c Jc xx___all-in
ckspinner: xx xx 7c 3c Kh Qc xx___*checks*___calls___folds
Hero: 5d 3s 4d Ad Th Qs 2d___checks___raises___raises
Romedawg: xx xx Ac 3d As 6h xx___bets___raises___calls

*Total pot:* (28.50 BB)

Jongej mucked [Ah Jh 8s 6c 9c Jc 4c]
Romedawg mucked [7s 4s Ac 3d As 6h 5h]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Party time

Well thanks to the help of Rex, I've now moved a small amount funds to PartyPoker, mainly for MTTs. I only moved about half of what I originally planned to move there, and I'll probably only be playing the $6s and $11s until I either get more bread on the site, or until I win enough not to have to.

My respective mini-bankrolls on Stars, Mansion, and now Party, have shrunk with my recent downswing and the splitting of my bankroll, so I'll be dropping down in stakes and will start grinding back up the ladder again. I think having bankrolls big enough to play $10 tournaments should be sufficient for me.

I already played one $6 MTT on Party, and loved the action. I'm not sure if Party really is looser than everywhere else (namely stars), or if it's just its reputation that's making me think so. Anyways, I played the $6 MTT, getting involved in two - count 'em - two hands total. I opened with JJ early on, got seemingly more callers than there were players behind me, and shut down on an AK9 flop. Later on, the blinds got to 50/100, the table was still in ultra-donkey mode, and I picked up AKo. Long story short, I get my 25BB stack in with AKo against an AA who limped behind in a 5-way limped pot, and I'm busto.


I also played a $6.50/18-seater on Stars, and played well on top of getting great cards. Another super-monkey got to the final two with me, and we end up getting our effective 10BB stacks in with my AT losing to his KT.


Anyways, I'm really looking forward to starting the low-limit grind again for whatever reason. I'll be playing lots of $4/180s, $6 and $10 multi-table SnGs on Stars, and the occasional $6 or $11 MTT on Party. Not to mention the .5/1 on Stars when I take in everything from SSH. Hopefully I can get my funds out of Mansion, but the bastards purposely make it as difficult as possible.

Today's tracks

I'll be posting videos once in a while from whatever the hell I feel like.

I really don't like fan-made videos, but none of these had actual music videos.

Today is Tupac day:

Spare time

Well my teacher/professor is overseas in the UK to teach some courses there, so I'll have next week's classes off. If you know me, then you know that translates into more poker time. I do, however have a midterm to do over the time he's gone, so I've got to make sure I remember that.

I recently ordered Small Stakes Hold'em and Stox Poker's book from Pokerstars' FPP store, and they arrived yesterday only after a few days of placing the initial order. Ace on the River is also on it's way. I've always loved Pokerstars' customer service and the speed of everything they do. Best in the business.

Anyways, like I said, I'll have plenty of time to read the books in the next two weeks, and they'll hopefully help shed a new light on FLHE to put me back on track to a winning record. I've already read about a quarter of SSH, and it's exactly what I was hoping for. StoxTrader's book is geared for high stakes, and I may have to put that one off for a bit until I get all the basics down.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I stopped playing FLHE for a bit because I was on a bad run. I've played a few tourneys since, and while I feel I'm playing well, I haven't had great results. Last night I played a few, going deep in a $4/180, nearly winning a $10/18 and also going fairly deep in a $3 rebuy.

In the $10, I nearly came back from a ~4:1 chip defacit heads up against a loose-passive monkey, but ended up losing in a standard AQ vs AK all in preflop. Nothing I could do about that and I was happy with my play.

I also played very well in the $4/180. I ran so well throughout I'm surprised I didn't win it. I hit 2 sets in smallish pots that turned huge, picked up monsters at just the right times, and picked my spots very well by my standards with steals. As the tourney reached the final three tables, I was stealing and getting stolen from; not moving up or down with my stack much, and eventually reached a point where my stack got to an M of 8 or 9. I picked up KK in the BB, a LP player stole, and I ended up getting my money in vs AJ, which hit an ace.

Regardless what happened that hand, I feel I overplayed it a little. There's no question I was getting my money in with KK, but I feel I could have gotten more value from some of the lesser holdings he could have had.

Anyways, I also played the 10k guaranteed $3+R twice. The first time I played well and ran into another hand, but the second was a little different. Again, I felt I played well throughout, bringing myself up to one of the top 10 stacks (of ~2000 runners) at one point, but misplayed one hand that turned out to be my downfall. Discussion of the hand is still going on here.

Thankfully my winnings from the $10 covered my losses from the other MTTs, but I'm really getting antsy here. My bankroll keeps dwindling and I'm banking on a final table or two very soon. My play still needs work, but I'm still playing well enough to reach a FT.

On a side note, I'm considering more changes. One of them is actually moving money to Party. Vanq and Rex have been having some great successes there, and the MTT fields look like they're much smaller than PS's. Right up my alley.

Another thing I'm considering is quitting turbos for a while. Playing the regular speed tourneys is making me realize just how much more play there is in between blind levels, and this can only help a player who has any significant edge over his opponents. Players who have more knowledge over ICM and inflection points have the edge in turbos, but players with postflop skills and patience have the edge in the regular speed tourneys. I'm sick of playing preflop poker, and the regulars are just more interesting to me right now.

On yet another side note, I'll be visiting my buddies up in Guelph Uni this weekend for some Halloween shenanigans. If someone brings a camera, I'll post pics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Variety is the spice of life

I've always made really ambitious claims in the past that I would grind out 500 STTs straight, or that I would (cough cough) play about 20k straight hands of FLHE.

In the past I haven't been able to stick to my word, shifting between STTs, MTTs and rings after getting sick of playing the same game day in and day out. Not only do I get sick of the same game, but my quality of play drops like a stone in water. I start making careless plays and not playing my game, and that's obviously never good. I've decided I have to spread my time across different games to make sure I don't go nuts like I nearly did yesterday. Especially when the MTTs are as juicy as this:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t150 (9 handed)

CO (t3725)
Button (t12550)
SB (t5095)
BB (t13680)
UTG (t7514)
UTG+1 (t6026)
MP1 (t14341)
MP2 (t21780)
Hero (t11573)

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Kh, Ks.
4 folds, Hero raises to t485, 3 folds, BB raises to t13680, Hero calls t11088 (All-In).

Flop: (t25328) 8s, 8d, 3d (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: (t25328) Qh (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: (t25328) Ts (2 players, 1 all-in)

Final Pot: t23221

Results below:
BB has 3c 3s (full house, threes full of eights).
Hero has Kh Ks (two pair, kings and eights).
Outcome: BB wins t25328.

I've obviously noted villain in this hand. I'd stolen his blind once (yes, only once) up until this point, betting the rag flop and taking it down with my unimproved KQh. I could tell the way he folded that he wasn't happy with my steal and that he'd probably be fighting back at me if I continued. Queue KK, queue flopstars and the bad beat.

I'm not bitter at all, I'm actually very happy with my play and will be playing the $3+R more frequently again (I used to play it religiously) in the near future.

On a side note, I'll probably have to delay part two of the FLHE strategic post series. To be %100 honest, right now I'm running so bad in rings that I'm going to need a little break and some change of scenery to refresh my mind. I'm actually still up in winnings with fixed limit, but my winrate keeps shrinking with every session.

Monday, October 22, 2007


and it's cure:

Today's FL sessions not going well. Taking a break, going out and getting some fresh air with the pooch, and I've got class later on so I might as well wait until tomorrow to play. Man I'm steaming.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Old cardschat posts

I'm too lazy to figure out how to import old posts from other sites (if it's even possible), so I'll just link you to them.

My old posts, as well as FPau's fantastic posts can be found on the blog.

If you take a look at my more recent ones, you'll see I was planning on doing a series of strategic/documentative posts, all focused on fixed-limit holdem. I'll be continuing them here in the near future, so stay tuned.

I caved.

I hadn't played MTTs in a while, and after opening up PS last night, an $11 6-max MTT was staring me right in the face, and I couldn't resist.

I rarely if ever play 6-max tourneys, probably just through habit of playing regular MTTs more than anything, but it was actually very fun. The pace is expectedly much faster as you have a smaller M value. M is no longer [your stack]/[starting pot], but is now the proportional M to how many players are left (ie [your stack]/[starting pot] * [number of players left]/10). Essentially, you have to play much more aggressively to maintain a healthy stack with the blinds hitting you every 6 hands rather than every 9 or 10.

This became a little bit of a problem for me since I had the great fortune of being put on the maniac table and didn't get any premium hands with which to double up. I was constantly being bullied, having my KQ steals pushed around, but I maintained a semi-healthy stack long enough to survive until I got moved to another table.

The first hand at the next table, I'm in the BB and to my delight I'm looking at two kings. CO raises, button calls, and I push with my somewhat smallish stack. I double through as the CO calls with TT, and I'm healthy again. I keep making small steals with the occasional big resteal, and build my stack little by little. I pick up a pretty big pot again when the short stack at the table pushes into another KK of mine, and I double through again, this time by way of villain's 88.

I get moved again, and really start stealing and putting on the pressure. One of the more interesting hands was here.

I'm still maintaining a somewhat TAG image at this point (with respect to 6-max), and decide to make a move on a player who's been getting very aggressive. He raises 3BBs utg, probably with a range of any broadway, any pair and some suited connectors, and I push with my TT, sticking his remaining 16BB stack in. He goes into the tank, and I'm almost sure he's going to fold, but he ends up calling with AQ. Flop comes xxA, turn Q, river is a brick. Queue sad face.

Thanks to my earlier aggressive play, I'd built up a healthy enough stack to still have about 15BBs at this point, but blinds were going to go up again very soon.

I play shortstack poker for a while, maintaining a ~10BB stack by stealing from the weaker players. I finally get a double-up hand, JJ, and get a raise from utg who's the big stack, and who has open-raised the last 4 hands straight. I push without much fold equity, the dreaded AQ shows it's head as big stack calls, and he busts me on the bubble after hitting an ace.

While I was somewhat happy with my play, I don't think I would have made it as far had I not picked up the kings earlier on. The tables were just too aggressive and with my reluctancy to stick in most of my chips with KQ and AJ hands early on, I had dwindled down quite fast.

I'm sure I'll play another 6-max tourney soon though; the fast pace was a lot of fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Torontonian kid grows up in lower-middle class family and quickly realizes how much he hates being poor. After going through high school and receiving sub-optimal marks after being too bored with school and it's depressing concept of preparing one for more schooling and ultimately an even more depressing career, kid works for a couple years doing grunt work for old ladies and pricks, and, as expected, isn't happy.

Kid realizes that the poker he played when he should have been in class is very profitable, and sees potential. Kid plays online, kid wins money and builds comfortable bankroll after a couple failed attempts. Kid wins money. Kid wins more money. Kid gets cocky, moves up to stakes his bankroll can't handle, kid loses most of money. Kid smartens up and has been playing solid ever since.

Hi. I'm the kid. My name's Taylor Lackie and I've decided to write this blog because I plan on either making a solid second income to supplement whatever work I'll be doing in the future, or make a career out of poker, and I thought I'd drag you along for the ride.

I used to write, and still do occasionally, on's poker blog alongside the very knowledgeable, very guru-ish and very Swedish Fredrik Paulsson. I've decided to switch to writing in my own blog here because I've found that there's a lot of added pressure having to represent an up and coming site like cardschat. Nick, the site's owner, is very lenient and doesn't expect much out of me, but I really don't like it when I don't write an entry for a month and blow it off like it was nothing.

I'll be trying to update this blog at least weekly. I'll be writing posts to document my more interesting days, but I'll also be posting some strategic posts. I've been fairly busy lately and might not be able to update the blog as often as I'd like. I'm in the process of finishing the second of two electrical courses to further my career as an electrician (yawn), will hopefully be moving sometime this winter and of course need a job to do so, so you can imagine I'll be quite busy in the coming months too.

Anyways, on to the good stuff: the poker.

My poker 'career' with an $11 freeroll cash. I had cashed many times before, but every time I tried to build on it, it would either just vanish or I would build it up to about $200, and then it would vanish. For whatever reason, the $11 cash managed to grow and grow, and I've been playing with it ever since.

I mainly hovered around $200 or $300 for the most part, and finally hit a few big cashes to bring my bankroll up to about $700. I mainly played STTs and a few MTTs, doing fairly well in both. I brought my bankroll up to about $1500 when I got the gambler's crave to move up and really start ballooning my bankroll. I moved to cash games and started playing way out of my bankroll limits at $1/2 and $2/4, and actually did quite well. I slowly built my roll up at 200nl, but stacked a few times at 400nl with some solid hands and brought my bankroll up to about $2800, the highest it had ever been.

Variance, poor play and the resulting tilt hit me very hard. I had a few days where I lost hundreds, and I decided it had to stop. I took a step back, realized just how bad it was for me to be playing those limits, and made some changes. I withdrew some money because at the time I was in need, dropped down in stakes and stopped playing ring games as frequently. I bought and read several books including Super System 2, the incredible Harrington on Holdem series, Zen and the Art of Poker, and about a dozen others. They all helped my game tremendously, and I still reread them every so often.

My whole ordeal up until I started to rebuild my bankroll was documented in this thread on cardschat. I've changed much since then.

I've since been playing lots of STTs, specifically the $16 turbos on PokerStars, as well as the occasional MTT and cash game session. I was playing so many STTs for such a long period of time that I pretty much got sick of them. I still play them occasionally, but the very preflop-oriented play that comes with turbos and tournaments in general lead me to try something new.

Limit holdem was something that I never found much interest in, but decided I should try out since it deals with tons and tons of postflop play, promotes lots of discipline and it was a nice change of pace for me. I only started playing FLHE seriously about a week or two ago, running through 3000 hands so far while two-tabling at about 5BB/100hands at .5/1. I think I can squeek out a slightly better winrate than that in the long-run, but we'll just have to see.

I plan on playing about 10,000 hands before I move up to 1/2 (if my bankroll and winrate allows it), and will probably play about 5,000 more hands at 1/2 before I get sick of FLHE and decide to go back to tournaments.

Anyways, I'm rambling (something you should get used to if you plan on reading this blog), and I'll leave you on that note.