Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another month gone by

April Results

While I can't say I'm disappointed with this month's results, I still feel they could have been better, and that I could have put forth a better effort. Put bluntly, this month was half-assed. I could easily have put in 50k more hands, made twice what I did, and felt a lot better about myself.
  • 21,406 hands of 100nl and 50nl FR, and a small amount of 50nl 6-max early on in the month
  • 100nl was break-even: 5k hands, .7ptbb/100, 40BB profit
  • 50nl 6-max was a disaster: 1,600 hands, -17ptbb/100, -260BB profit
  • 50nl FR was fantastic: 15,000 hands, 9.5ptbb/100, 1,423BB profit
  • Maintained gold status
  • Ordered gift cards for monitor, they still haven't come ffs
  • Got HoC vol 1 and 2, and unfortunately that's deterred me from finishing Dawkins' book
  • $1,234 in profits

I think the fact that I was running so well in the second half of the month made me quit early on so many occasions both in fear of losing my profits and because I often didn't feel that I 'needed' to make any more that day. Silly stuff and hopefully I put more hours in this coming month and ditch that retarded mentality that makes me quit a session early.

May goals

Now that spring is here I'm debating whether or not to start doing landscaping work, and my boss is pretty much waiting for my call to let her know I'll be coming in, so I have to make my decision soon. I can actually see it being beneficial for my poker progress - when I come home from work I can actually
  • Play 30k+ hands of 50nl full ring
  • Don't touch 6-max
  • Watch and study more coaching videos
  • Bank as much money as you can for the new flat, whenever it actually happens
Not much different here from last month, I just want to put in more hours and more hands at the rings. I'm happy I got back to winning $1k in a month, but I'm hungry for more. I know I can reach $2k in a good month and that'll be my goal for May barring a really busy landscaping season.

I hope everyone else's April was profitable and that your May will be just as good :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

742 hands, $151.75 profit

On the fence

So now it turns out that my Dad got his information all screwed up and that we actually do still have the apartment. I'm really not sure how accurate his 'intel' is this time around, so I've decided I'm not exactly planning my life around the new flat. I will be grinding and saving as much moolah as I can in the coming months, and if our spot does actually open up in what my old man says is June or July, then I'll move. Until then, it's pure grinding. I do have some things to look into - getting my driver's license, new college courses, and possibly traveling - and the money will certainly help me get some of those things done.

Soooo shitty

So like I said my buddy came to town to visit, and Sunday night, as planned, was an absolute shit show. (cue Dave Chappelle style whiteboy beer-counting...) I killed a six-pack with my buddies on the way downtown, got pretty hammered and we all settled down at the local bar. We had quite a few people with us, and even more coming - eventually the second wave of people gave us a call and said they had beers they wanted to kill at a park before they came to the bar, so we go out and meet them in the park. Down goes one Colt 45 king can, I start to feel sick. Hadn't had that shit in quite a while, and it brought back some fuzzy memories of drinking in random parks across the city.

So we all headed back to the bar, played pool and shot the shit for a while, and eventually got physically pushed out of the place by the bartenders and the owner. I guess they're pretty strict about serving within the legal ours. We grabbed a shawarma, and all got ready to head home. Then someone mentioned tequila (why oh why), so of course we all headed to the afterparty. Most of us had bikes except for Braden (the traveling one), but he's a physically active guy and happily ran along side us. We somehow lost him within 5 minutes, assumed he was going to meet us at the house, and kept going.

The weird thing was that he actually never got to the house, and considering his past, we all assumed he had either passed out on a park bench or found a nice safe jail cell bed to crash in. We got back to the house, one thing led to another, my other buddy yacked all over the porch, we head home for, oh, 5am.

I woke up the next morning to the incredibly annoying sound of my alarm clock at 8:30 am and found a scribble on my hand that I remember being my attempt at reminding me that I had to help my dad move that morning. Don't ask me how I expect an arabic-looking scribble on my palm to wake me up in time. I had to really exercise some self control keeping whatever was bubbling in my stomach down, and eventually helped my dad move all his shit for a few hours. Got home later, slept all day, and here I am. Still not feeling tops :/

Slow as molasses in...April

April's wrapping up, but unfortunately I really haven't played a lot lately. I've only played like 700 hands since my last post, but I'm still running good, so I'm semi-satisfied about that. This is about the time of the month when I look back at last month's goals and see if I actually reached any of them. Unfortunately I always seem to set them with tons of enthusiasm and zest at the beginning of the month, and end up forgetting about them by the end. I'll save my full review for tomorrow or the day after, but I definitely could have squeezed in more hours.

I've obviously been running very well for most of this month which is nice though. I'm trying to take a look at the big picture and figure out what went wrong at 100nl, and what happened at 50nl. I know I basically didn't run badly at 50nl, but looking at it overall, I didn't really have too many crazy heaters either. Overall I've run at 9ptbb/100, and I'd guess that at the very minimum I can make 6ptbb/100 long-term, possibly up to 8. 12-tabling 50nl for an average of around 75 hands per hour, that equates to $54/hour at 6ptbb/100, and $72/hr at 8ptbb/100 if my math is correct. Who needs a goddamn day job :)

I'm still thinking about moving up to 100nl, but my main concern right now is money, and 50nl is providing plenty of that at the time being, so for now I'm fine staying where I am. One thing I've been thinking about is whether or not I can or should play more tables. I'm already finding myself play a pretty mechanical game, though I can definitely still mix it up with 12 tables. The big problem with my current monitor is all the overlap, so I'll have to see what I can sustain with the new monitor.

Speaking of the new monitor, I'm pissed. Pokerstars emailed me about sending the gift cards separately, giving me this very confusing piece of information last Tuesday:

They are shipped separately. I apologize for the delay in processing your
VIP store order. Your gift card orders were placed with our supplier on
April 14. The average delivery time is 3 weeks. However it may take up to
4-6 weeks for package processing and delivery. You should be receiving them
within 10 days.

Right after, I got a shipping confirmation notice with a tracking number, and of course I assumed it was the gift cards. I got the order yesterday, and it turned out to be The Poker Mindset book I'd ordered last week so I was kind of disappointed.

So what do you make of the situation? 10 days from last Tuesday? 3 weeks? 4-6 weeks!?!? bah!

I even got all excited and expected the delivery yesterday. I was going to go out and buy it last night :(

Saturday, April 26, 2008

809 hands, $112.65 profit

Still running like a god

It's a little irritating and is something I'm still struggling to overcome, but I have a small case of winner's tilt. Whenever I go on a streak like this, my psyche starts expecting an inevitable downswing. Of course we all know streaks don't really exist - each hand is independent of itself and our minds only form these non-existant patterns over long streaks of hands. On top of playing a little scared, I actually found myself making some pretty poor plays as if I was expecting to win. For example I raised in EP with a small pair, got 3-bet by a nit in LP who definitely didn't give me odds to call, but I did anyways. When your confidence starts to overcome your logic, well of course that can never be a good thing.

I'm glad I'll be getting The Poker Mindset in the mail soon, and I'm also still looking for a way to get Tommy Angelo's book. Those should both renew my outlook on poker for the better.

Flat flop

Unfortunately it looks like someone else who lives in the same loft building as the pad we were looking at already had dibs on the place, and we were not informed until just a few days ago. Bummer. The place sounded perfect - most of the top floor of a loft building, spiral staircase to the rooftop which we only had access too, twice the size of anything else we were looking at and for an actually cheaper price...ah well. It's not completely out of the window, but my dad, who's been doing all the 'negotiations' and such, is the type to get completely excited and anticipate moving in no matter what if the landlord tells is it's a 'maybe', then completely get depressed and abandon the idea when she tells him it's a 'maybe not'. What a goof.

This may actually be a good thing for me as I was really tight for funds. This should give me some time to save up for the next flat we find, or if I decide to get my own. I'm disappointed, but not devastated.

Back already?

I got a surprise call a couple days ago from my good friend who's been traveling non-stop lately. It makes me ashamed to see how much he's doing with his life. He'd been taking firefighter courses and doing volunteer work for ages, and had gotten a call to write a final exam back here in Toronto. He's already written it, but he's here until Sunday which is when we're all going to get absolutely plastered. I did have a few beers with him last night, but it was nothing too big.

I actually witnessed something last night I'd never seen/heard before. We were sitting in the local park having some brews, and we all could hear like a slight crackling all around us. My friend is a big nature buff and guessed that it was all the insects spawning out of the ground, and although it sounds a little farfetched, I still think it's the actual plants popping out of the ground. Hell, maybe it was both. It wasn't windy at all, and you could look over and literally see the small blades of grass and weeds twisting out of the ground ever so slowly, pushing dead, dried leaves out of their way making the crackling sound. Anyways it was a little weird that I'd never witnessed this before, but it was pretty cool.

Every time he comes back he tells me about his incredible journeys through numerous south american countries, and he's really, really convincing me to either go and visit him down there, or actually go travel somewhere else myself. The problem is that I'm really not that much of an outgoing person, and tbh traveling really doesn't seem like it's for me. Life is about experiences and meeting new people though, so maybe I'll make some changes. I just think if there were a time to go, it would be now, before I'm locked up with a career and mortgage payments etc. Well he's made a strong case to get the hell out of this drab city.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another day, another dollar

We're going streaking!

Seriously, I'm on a pretty crazy streak. I guess this I'm actually averaging my 'expected' winrate at 50nl (8ptbb/100 if my previous results were accurate), but I think the contrast between this and winning like 1ptbb/100 at 100nl is just making this feel a lot better. April went from an up and down rollercoaster (damn you 100nl and 6-max) to a nice solid winning month. Of course I'm not counting my eggs before they hatch yet, but I'm playing well and getting rewarded which is all a poker player can ask for. Yet again, I present you with some of the more interesting hands.

Villain was a certified maniac, around 60/40/5 or something. I was actually a lot more afraid of the ten than the flush draw since he'd most likely have raised that earlier in the hand, but I mean how can I not look up a guy like this:

EDIT: sorry, the replayer screwed that one up. Player 7 limp-called pf with Q7h, called me down and then shoved the river when checked to.

Would actually like your thoughts on this one. Villain was a 40/2/2 or something like that.

There were a few medium-sized pots I lost including a 4-bet JJ against that guy from the AA hand and I had to give up on an AKx flop. Some other small ones where I lost to short stacks etc etc.

Looking at the hands in review I'm really running well and I have to drill that in my head so the inevitable lowered winrate doesn't crush my morale. A very high percentage of my monsters are facing some *slightly* worse monsters at exactly the best times for me. Again, I'm playing well though and that's all that matters.

Dear PokerStars, I love you.

Seriously, I don't know of any poker site, let alone any company that has customer service this good. I mentioned before about my FPP store problems. Well they weren't really problems, I just wanted my gift cards sent sooner. And pokerstars obliged. They were originally going to be sent with the signed Sklansky/Miller book but I asked them if I could either change my book order or get them shipped separately, and they said I would be receiving the gift cards within 10 business days of yesterday, so I should see a new monitor next to my Acer pretty damn soon. Can't say I'm not excited :)

So A++ for pokerstars. Seriously, they've got the best support in the industry, there's no denying it.

Stoxpoker combo beta

Bryce Paradis has outdone himself. There are still a few bugs and what not (it's still a beta after all), but the program is very clean, very easy to use, and very effective. It's going to be a beast in all hand analysis forums. Check it out.

Also, an introductory video from Bryce:

Monday, April 21, 2008

I run goot? Unpossible!


I only really logged 600 hands, but MAN were they profitable.

The beginning of the session saw me pick up a flurry of big pairs, but none of them really brought in any big pots. I kept grinding it out and eventually the pace started picking up. I not only started flopping sets and hitting draws, but I was lucky in another way in that every time I had a hand, my opponent had a hand good enough to stack with but not good enough to beat me. Here are a couple of the more fun hands:

(played oddly, I know)

I even got a nit to stack me with 77 vs my AA on a rag board. He called a 3-bet out of position, donk-called a rag flop, and donk-called my shove on a rag turn. Juicy stuff.

Thank you Mr. Postman

Well I got my cheque from FedEx today, 1000 big ones, and out of both curiosity and eagerness to get the gift cards delivered, I contacted PokerStars' FPP store to find out what was taking so long. At the beginning of the month I ordered Sklansky/Miller's TAP alongside three $250 gift cards. Since then, I've ordered the HoC series which came less than a week after I ordered it, The Poker Mindset which I only just ordered like two days ago, and of course a withdrawal which arrived today after a surprisingly short time.

It turns out that the reason it's taking so long is because they have to actually ship their books out to Sklansky to get them signed (he's of course a busy man too), and then they get shipped back to PS, and finally back to me. I was told by PS's support that it would take 3-4 more weeks. I'm too impatient for that and asked that they send me an unautographed version - no offense, Sklansky ;) We'll have to see if they can meet my request.

I'm kind of bitching here about small things, and really couldn't say enough about pokerstars' support. They've always been extremely quick with deliveries, and will always in my book be the best site for support, among other things, on the market.

RIP Brandi

This is a little late, but I never really gave my respects. To be honest I really don't know much about her other than the fact that she was involved in some shady business. I looked her name up and found some videos of interviews with her and she seemed like a real cutie. Such a shame; a lot of people are making jokes and posting disrespectful shit. Really, to be in a state of mind where you don't feel like living anymore is something most of us can't imagine. RIP Brandi, hope you're happier now wherever you are.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday juice

There must be something in the air - I actually ran well on a Sunday!

I really didn't play much and don't have much aside from the graph below to update you with, but I played well and got rewarded for it. I think there were maybe two significant mistakes I made today, both of which were close decisions, so I'm happy.

The huge spike is from a record hand in terms of BBs won (fyi the CO had posted out of turn here):

I'm ripping through HoC and so far it's great. Like I mentioned before, I really don't have much knowledge on commitedness aside from the info from stoxpoker videos. Don't get me wrong - their videos are great - but the way Harrington lays it out really hits you and makes you understand it fully. I may actually be reading through it too fast. I think I'm going to go back, reread what I'm already done and take simple notes so I can really drill this stuff in my head.

Hope everyone's getting their Sunday juice on. Plenty of guppies around in the rings and the big Sunday tourneys.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Action Dan has arrived

Harrington on Cash Vol 1&2

I came home from Guelph to a nice surprise this morning - both books arrived only five days after I ordered them from Pokerstars' FPP store which was awesome. I'm glad it was so fast, but it leaves me wondering what the hell is taking so long with the other 'package' of gift cards and TAP, which I ordered back on the 2nd of the month. I haven't seen the fruits of my poker labours for quite a while now and it's going to be great when I get those gift cards and go pick up a 24" monitor and a digital camera knowing I bought it with my poker winnings.

I'm only starting part two of Volume one, but the read is great so far. Harrington's tournament books made a huge impact on my game back when I was playing almost strictly donkaments. I'm expecting a lot from his side game books - I've read plenty of poker books, but not many that are both new and apply strictly to cash games. The main issue that no other books I've read really go in depth with is the deep stack factor and commitedness. I know PNL revolves around stack to pot ratio (SPR), and I'm looking forward to reading that one too.

I'll be reading these two books non-stop for now (sorry, Selfish Gene, you'll have to wait). When I'm done I'll whip up a review.

Speaking of reviews, Mr Sticker of cardschat wrote a nice one on The Poker Mindset, a book I'd been looking at for a while. It sounds like it's a quality read and I decided to grab it from the FPP store as well.


...was a shit show as usual. We had to wake up early this morning since my buddy who drove had to get back to work by 10am. As usual we start trying to piece together the night and figure out what the hell we did all night, and pretty much drew a blank. Some things that come to mind were getting a philly cheese steak from Quizno's, getting a sharpie tattoo of a random guy with his organs outside of his body on my calf, playing flip cup to get unnecessarily more drunk, and dancing like a monkey. No pictures of the debauchery yet, but I'll post some when I get a hold of them.

Childish games

I'm still feeling pretty shitty even though I slept most of the day once I got home, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to lay off poker for the day.

I watched Tygran play a session back on Thursday which was fun. He's been on a bad run for a while and I hope I helped him plug some leaks. He's going to send me a small chunk of his database so I can take a further look, and with his permission I might make it into a video which will of course be posted on cardschat.

I've been keeping a close tab on my progress since I'll be needing all the money I can get once I get the new apartment. I'm on pace to play more hands this month than any other I've played which is good. The results haven't been great, but I feel I've been playing well. I've been on a tear at 50nl which is great, but 100nl has been pretty swingy. Had I not lost more than $250 in a 6-max stint I played early in the month, I'd be...well I'd be $250 richer :)

The important thing is I've been 12-tabling 50nl for a solid 6ptbb/100 over 10k hands so far this month and I feel I'm playing my A-game. If I can sustain 5ptbb/100 over an average of 20k hands per month that means I'm making a grand a month which is pretty much what I'll need for living expenses. Tack on the fact that I'll probably be working part-time with landscaping for a few hundred extra monthly and I'm all set.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Getting busy...


Things are still going strong. I played for an hour or two today logging a good chunk of hands and a good profit as well. I started the day calling a beluga shove on the river against a player who turned out to be a nit (my stats hadn't popped up on him yet) and also happened to have quads to beat my boat. I think my call was 'ok' against an unknown as there was a busted draw and of course a good chunk of the time I'm chopping, but had I known he was a nit it would be just terrible since I'm at best chopping.

There was one other hand that kind of frustrated me because the way it turned out just made me want to gag. I called an EP raise from a tight player with a small pair to set mine. I hit my set on a board with a flush draw and decided to lead-push or lead-call and check-raise all in on the turn. I lead, he raised me, and I called. I went for a check-raise all in on the turn, which filled the flush, but he checked behind. And another flush card dropped on the river. Several of the 12 tables I was playing had hands running on them too, and I ended up block-betting the river, got raised, and had to fold. *slap* wake up Taylor.

From then on out I played pretty well. I played a bunch of small pots with mixed results, and eventually got some stacks in with AA vs QQ, a couple sets, and some other smaller pots.

I also played a little bit yesterday, finishing the day up like $20.

Oh, also I was talking with Tygran of cardschat about doing a sweat session today. A while back I 'coached' him for a session and it was a lot of fun. He seems to be on a pretty bad run and hopefully I can help him out with his game as he seems to have lost a lot of confidence. The last few sweats I've done (with Liam, Zach, then Jagsti) have all been screwed up with the sound recording levels. Hopefully we get this one right and me or Tygran can post a good video for discussion.

A visit

My buddy who's been traveling like crazy lately stopped off in Toronto again and we had a few beers last night. He's been all throughout South America for a while - Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Artgentina, the Easter Islands. His dad is a geophysicist and so he always gets the chance to do field work in remote parts of the world (which involves lots of gear-carrying and digging). He got called up like a month ago to go to northern Saskatchewan, and on his way back down south to Peru or wherever the hell he's going next was when he dropped by. Anyways his next plan is to stay down there where he's basically living in a paradise for another year or two, he's not sure.

I'm easily persuaded when drunk, and admittedly have lost some of my enthusiasm from last night, but all the stories he was telling me last night really really made me want to travel. I'm really thinking about it, but as you know things are a little busy with me trying to get this new apartment and I'm really not sure what I'm going to do. I'm in dire need of some new experiences and I think what I'll eventually do is settle down in my new flat until at least winter, and if I have enough funds saved up at that point then I may ditch it and head down south. Who knows.

Speaking of the apartment, my dad who's of course going to be living with me has been talking to the landlord and it sounds like we may even move in as early as the end of this month. I've been desperately trying not to touch this rent money I have sitting here, but I caved a few times and will probably have to make another withdrawal from my poker account. That's fine though as even now I'm 12-tabling the 50max tables with a $2,500 bankroll which is more than enough. Actually I'm going to go withdraw now so I have it in time in case we do get the place for next month.

It's in the mail!

A couple days ago I was just looking through the FPP store and to my surprise they had Harrington's cash game books available, so I nabbed both of them as soon as I could. As you know I ordered three $250 futureshop gift cards and Sklanksy/Miller's TAP book as well.

Today I got a nice email from pokerstars giving me two different tracking numbers for my orders, and when I checked them on the tracking site they were actually already in Toronto. I guess I should expect them either today or tomorrow then, right?

I'm sure TAP is a great book, but to be honest I don't think I'll be able to resist Harrington's ring game books. His tourney books sparked one of the biggest changes in my game back when I played STTs and MTTs almost strictly, so I'm expecting big things from the cash game books.

I've been looking for a copy of Miller's PNL for ages now in my local book stores (and the FPP store) but haven't found one. I could order it off of barnes & noble or amazon or something, but right now I just can't afford it. Oh, also looking for Tommy Angelo's Elements of Poker which is supposed to be great (right Fredrik?). Apparently he sells it on his site, so when I free up some money around here maybe I'll order both of those too.

I'm ranting as usual, but spring is finally here (really this time, 19C!!!) and I couldn't be happier. I'm gonna go eat something and take a bike ride, then do the sweat session with Tygran.

Oh, one last thing. My buddy is having his annual keg up in Guelph tomorrow which should be fun. I can't promise anything, but if we get any good flicks I'll post them here or at cardschat. It's always a shit show up there so it should be fun :)

Random track of the day:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Milestone time

100,000 hands of full ring

Well I finally cracked the 100,000 hand milestone and I think so far my venture into the rings have been a success. I've learned tons, and am progressing every day. I've really taken leaps in my game from money management to discipline, and of course my actual poker skills.


For those who don't know, I started playing full ring back in December of 07 after basically getting sick of tournaments, namely STTs. I actually started with 6-max, but decided after some meager results and some advice from Liam to try full ring.

Easily the biggest difference I found between tourneys and the rings was the implied odds and reverse implied odds. I could make tons off of small pairs and suited connectors if I got in the right spots, whereas I could lose tons with top pair type hands if I got too carried away with them.

After a small I ran pretty well through the ~11k hands I played there and quickly decided I was going to move up as soon as my bankroll allowed. I made about $16/hr playing anywhere from 6-8 tables at a time.


Moving to 50nl was a little different in that I started to actually see 'decent' regulars who played a winning game. There were definitely winning players at 25nl, but nobody who really killed the game. 50nl was where I started to have to actually exercise good table selection in order to avoid the regs. Aside from that there really weren't many differences in the move up. I found that stealing and isolation raises were a lot more profitable, but I also found some of the tougher players would pick up on this and would also do it themselves.

I took a decent amount of time to settle in to 50nl, but after I found my niche in terms of playing style and adjusting to the regs, I did fine. I made an average of $39/hr 8-tabling and more recently playing 12 tables at a time. The ease of moving up from 25nl left me with big expectations for 100nl...


100nl was a different story. I think that I can say, taking a completely subjective point of view, that I am one of the 'decent' regs there. That is, I'm no longer one of the guys that kills that limit like I did (and do) at 25nl and 50nl. I have run pretty damn badly through my 60k hands, but I definitely have not played optimal poker either.

The move up didn't make me play scared because the stakes doubled, but it in fact made my swings sting way more. I've had my worst swings at 100nl, and am currently on a ~25k hand sideswing. I'm pretty much at a brick wall right now at 100nl. I do know I have had very bad luck at 100nl, but it's run on for so long and with the poor play strewn in between the downswings as a result of the tilt, it's getting increasingly difficult to tell exactly what type of winrate I can achieve there long-term, or if I'm even a winning player. On average I only made $14/hr playing anywhere from 6-12 tables of 100nl.

I ran so poorly more recently (see march) at 100nl that my bankroll dipped down to a point where I could no longer comfortably play there. I'm currently playing 12 tables of 50nl at a time, usually for about 1,000 hands daily before my brain asplodes, and it's going very well. My MO at the moment is profits rather than progress, so just like my decision with 6-max vs FR, I'm sticking with 50nl. The new monitor is going to be in soon too, so I'll actually be concentrating on adding more tables which = more $/hr.

So overall, ignoring the fact that I can't seem to do well at 100nl, my venture has been a great success. Some random info:
  • Average of $21.35/hr on an average of 6.3 tables at a time
  • Avg of 4.24ptbb/100hands
  • $4,833.70 in profit
  • $3,828.55 in rake :O
  • Biggest pot won/biggest pot lost:


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Running like a Kenyan

Who needs an extra monitor

...well I don't need one, but I'd still really like those goddamn gift cards to get here soon. I guess I got so used to pokerstars' exceptional service that I forgot that the "4-6 weeks" of delivery time is stated for a reason. I might actually have to wait a bit for them. I don't think it matters how long they take though - I'm running good at the moment and I couldn't be happier. Since that 'fuckit' moment last week, around when I started seriously 12-tabling, I've been running very well and I couldn't be happier.

In other news, I'm obviously very bored and have too much time on my hands. Don't ask me what MJ's doing there, I just thought I should include him.

omgomgomgomg hud

Well this is something us poker nerds have been looking forward to for a while. Pokertracker has been developing version 3 of their software for quite a while now, and the integration of the heads-up display (hud) is something that's been pushed back several times. They finally released a new beta which includes the first version of the hud, and man is it nice. Very customizable, very fast, very sleek. There are still plenty of things left to be desired - after all this is only a beta - but it's got us poker degens drooling with anticipation for the full version.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but originally PT3 was scheduled to be released early this year which of course was a flop. The website now says:
PokerTracker 3 is tentatively scheduled for release by the end of April 2008.
Which of course could be completely inaccurate as well. It's all good though because they're putting a lot of work into making the program the best they can, and I really can't wait until the final version. I've been contemplating using the beta instead of my current version of PT, but it's just too risky. I can't take the gamble when I'm 12-tabling and see my hud crash in the middle of like 5 key hands. Just gonna wait for the final version (PLEEEAASEEEE before May?).

Hot date!

The landlord for the new flat contacted my dad to let him know it'll be available June 1st and that she'd need the first and last rent in chunks. I had to cough up $300 of my half of the rent today and it's starting to hit me with how much I'll need to be making.

When you physically see the money exchange hands like this and watch your stack at home dwindle down you finally start to put everything into perspective and realize just how much you'll need for living expenses and rent. I'm not really worried, but the first few months will be a squeeze. I'll be working like a dog with both poker and landscaping. I don't mind though, I've been idle for too long :)

NHL playoffs

Admittedly I really didn't watch that much during the regular season this year - maybe 10 leafs games - but the playoffs are just completely different and I'm just magnetized to the sports channels watching the games and the replays of games I've missed.

The western conference is absolutely stacked this year and I really couldn't say who I think is coming out on top. I'm going to guess Detroit simply because they've been a powerhouse for the past decade or so and I don't see them slowing down any time soon. Though I would like to see Tootoo continue his trainwrecking ways...

The east is a different story. Barring some crazy luck-filled turnaround, I doubt whatever team comes out on top in the west will lose to the conference champions in the east. They simply won't be able to compete. To my great delight, Ottawa is getting creamed by Gary Roberts and the Penguins. When it comes down to it, you want a fellow Canadian team to win it, but that's NEVER the case as a Leafs fan with the Senators. I don't think I've ever rooted for them in any way shape or form. Biggest rivalry in the NHL :)

Unfortunately I didn't remember to join in any playoff pools, even the free ones, so I'm missing out on that fun. For shits n giggles I'll take a stab and say it'll be Detroit vs Canadiens in the final, and Detroit wins. Any takers, gentleman's bet?

(umm...skip the first two minutes of gheyness, there's some good Senator-whooping in there somewhere)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Going strong

Patience is key

I think I've found my 'zone' again. I'm in that zen-like state where I can see the big picture and can play my hands well without going into an enraged "MUST MAKE BACK LOSSES" mode. Aside from a couple mishap hands where I played kind of poorly, I've been playing very well and am running neutrally for the first time in a while.

Things are a little hectic here at home, plus pokerstars seems to be lagging quite a bit today which means that I won't be playing much. I fired up 12 tables, but the combination of my dog whining for me to throw his ball, my brother bumping his music and pokerstars keeping me a little on-edge with their server problems is making me just want to take the day off. No need to play if you don't feel you can bring your A game.


I've been mixing it up between 100nl and 50nl. I'm just barely rolled for 100nl at the moment (~$2300) but I'm not sure I can handle 12 tables of it, so I kind of mix it up either with 8 100nl tables, 12 50nl tables, or 6 and 6 or whatever. Sometimes I just go for whatever's juicy.

To give you a perspective of how I'm doing at each individual limit, here's a much nicer-looking graph:

The one big dip is from a pretty big setup vs a fish:

The guy had a really high fold to flop bet %, so I jacked up A5 even out of position. The flop gave me top pair and I didn't see much value in betting unless he had a flush draw. Essentially a wa/wb spot and I just wanted to see a cheap showdown. That is until the turn where I basically put him on the draw, a marginal ace or a slowplayed monster which was pretty unlikely, so I got my money in. I don't think I played it poorly if you look at it street by street, but the results hurt obviously. meh.

Scrimp and save

This is becoming a real pain in the ass. I've got like $600 sitting right in front of my eyes that I can't spend because I have to keep it available for rent should our landlord ring us up about the apartment. It's getting pretty tough because aside from that money I'm broke as fuck and have like $10. My buddy, who's been in a pretty tight band for some time now, had a show last night the silver dollar over on Spadina. Guess where I was all night (pouts).

Ah well, it'll all pay off handsomely when we finally get this fucking place. I'm just sick of waiting around. I think I'll just let my passion for the new pad channel into my poker and hopefully build myself up enough funds to get some new stuff like couches, new computer chair etc.

I'll keep you updated as usual! Any comments, criticisms or whatever are always welcome.

Couldn't find a studio youtube version of that track but it's still dope.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Call me Undecided

To 6-max, or not to 6-max?

That is the question with the glaringly obvious answer. Such a tough decision: should I continue playing full ring...

...or should I play 6-max?...

It's become glaringly obvious that I have a lot of postflop leaks. I do see some light at the end of the tunnel in that I can improve my 6-max (ie postflop lag) game. The thing is, as I've mentioned before, I need money. Like now. So my progression at 6-max is just going to have to hold itself off for a few more months until I'm financially stable enough that I don't have to worry about a break-even month or even a marginally losing one. Full-ring it is. I *think* it's official this time.

Up, down, up, down...

I played some 6-max yesterday and ran so badly that the results rivaled some of my worst days ever in terms of buyins lost. I pretty much decided at that point that 6-max was something I really had to work on and decided to ignore the day's losses and go see some friends. A buddy was in from university, so we all got shitfaced and went to the local hole in the wall. It was kind of cool because they had a low-key band playing (a RARE occurrence at this place) and of course they have a nice beat up pool table in the back too. The bar has no stage or anything like that, so the band (guitar, harmonica, piece of shit drum machine and their trailer trash groupie) just sat at a couple tables and played some pretty good blues while we fed our faces with booze and shot some pool in the back.

Anyways I woke up today, hung over and all, and said "FUCK IT! I'm going to ruin the tables today". And I did. I've now learned to 12-table profitably at 50nl FR and got like 1400 hands in in a very short time, raking in like 5 buyins which was nice. I ran pretty well, managing to stack AQ with a set on a rag board, winning a race very deep with another set vs AKs for overcards and the flush draw, and a handful of other smaller pots.

A while back I wrote about how much moving to 8 tables from 6 helped my game, and I should basically rehash that post as I'm loving what 12 tables is doing for me. It will help me see the long-term in a shorter time span, help me identify leaks quicker, and best of all I earn more $/hr as well as FPPs/hr this way unless my per-table edge really drops (which it hasn't and won't). The only problem is that on my current monitor there's basically a TON of overlap, but as soon as I buy myself that new monitor I can split the tables up between it and my current display without any overlap. Who knows, maybe I'll shoot for 16 tables.

Well I've been getting more and more into blues lately, and the band we saw only fueled my flame for it even more. I have a really love/hate relationship with the 80s, but stuff like this definitely falls into the love category. Stevie Ray Vaughan playing one of the best songs ever written:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

All or nothing


Like I mentioned before, I'll be getting a new apartment some time this summer; we basically have one lined up and are waiting for the current tenant to find a house to buy so she can move out, and of course so we can move in. Put simply, what I'm doing now just won't fly when we have that new place. I'm going to have to make a lot of changes, namely to how I 'work' with poker, how my 'workplace' is set up, and I'll have to make myself a new routine.

Now most people who don't know poker would look at this and laugh at my new 'goals', but fuck 'em, I really don't care what they think. Poker may seem like a joke to some people but I know there is money to be made, I love the game, and I have first-hand experience to know that it's possible to make a legitimate income off of it.

Now I've been on quite a ride since late February and the stress as well as the swings are really getting to me, but I know I'm improving and I'm picking up on a lot of things I never used to. The problem is I'm not taking it seriously enough yet. If I'm going to be playing poker for the majority or all of my income in the coming months, I'll have to approach it like a business and respect it. As it stands now I wake up whenever the hell I want to, don't really have any daily routine, eat irregularly and fairly unhealthily and don't exercise nearly enough. Another thing I do is I check my regular lineup of sites like an addict, refreshing cardschat/stoxpoker/digg/gmail/etc every few minutes to see if something new is up. I guess you could call me an internet addict. Rather pathetic if you ask me, and I've decided I'm going to set myself a maximum number of times I'm going to check those sites daily. Anyways I could go on about all that's fucked up in my life at the moment, but I don't want to bore you nor do I want to get myself in a state of depression, so I'll only be looking forward for now.

Some new goals:
  1. Follow newly written daily routine beside my desk
  2. By way of following the daily routine, play at least 1k hands daily
  3. Start training myself to play more tables
  4. Save like crazy
  5. Post at least one hand daily for analysis at both Cardschat and Stox
  6. Profit
I managed to get nearly 1500 hands of 100nl in yesterday, a new record, but unfortunately I ran into some beats and definitely tilted some money off too, so I lost a good chunk. I did feel that I played well though - I was chunking away at some really terrible players, then I'd finally get their whole stack in on either a setup or a hand where they drew out, rinse lather repeat, and eventually got pissed off and overly aggressive at a shorthanded table which of course bit me in the ass.

Canadian spring

Well 'spring' is here, and as usual the long winter has had me thinking so much about it that I've developed this false image of nonstop beautiful sunny weather and cloudless skies. Aside from today which has been just about the only really nice day (ok, BEAUTIFUL day) so far this year, I couldn't have been more wrong. It's been overcast, pissing rain and around 5C for the past two weeks or so. It's been slowly warming up the last week or so, but the forecast says it's going to basically drop back down to 5-9C and piss more rain all of next week which is just fantastic. I really can't complain though, today I went and walked my dog with shorts on which put an uncontrollably large smile on my face.

It's only been like 5 days, but I'm already getting eager and overly impatient about my FPP order. I can't bloody wait for the new monitor. I think unless my bankroll drops dramatically or something else unexpected happens, I'll be trying to play 12+ tables of 25nl or 50nl like a nit just trying to grind as consistently as I can. I need first and last month's rent on-hand until the landlord rings us up to tell us the apartment's ready. I guess that would more than likely happen at the turn of the month, but I can't risk spending some of that rent and not being able to get that amount back in time when we get called. I will most likely have to start working for my friend's landscaping company to supplement my income for a while, but they're not even in Toronto at the moment so I'm not sure what's happening with that.

I'm ranting again...I guess I'll keep you guys posted with my progress et al. I'll be putting some hands in today (sunday bloody sunday...) so I'll put a graph in when I do.

Anyways one of my favourite spring/summer songs here. This track always reminds me of sitting on a porch with brews or bumping songs in my friends' rides (goddammit I need my license)...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April will be goot.

Deciding on full ring or 6-max

So I've been really hopping between full ring and 6-max lately. 6-max is actually going fairly well, but like I mentioned in my last post, one of my goals is to play a lot more full ring. The reasoning for that is basically because FR is my bread and butter game. Eventually I would like to be playing the bulk of my hands in 6-max simply because it's more profitable and it will accelerate the learning process for me. As it stands right now I'm very inexperienced with shorthanded play, so I think I'm going to stick with FR until my bankroll swells to a size where I don't need to worry about profits too much (say 4-5k).

Now while I'm saying this with what sounds like full confidence in me abiding by my new rules, I seriously doubt I'll be able to keep myself off the 6-max tables. I just want to make sure that the bulk of my hands are played at FR for the moment because I just plain need the money.

My recent progress has been pretty good this month and my bankroll has gotten to a point where I'm comfortable playing 100nl. I played another 8-tabling session today and it went very well. I also dropped down in stakes to 50nl and tried 12-tabling which results-wise didn't go great (-$10 over a short span), but I felt comfortable playing that many tables. It's definitely hectic and I won't be able to do it long-term with my current monitor, but...

FPPS spent!

The reason I'm practicing playing more tables is because I'm getting myself a new monitor or two! Well that is unless I change my mind by the time my goods get here, but I'm pretty set on this. I spent around 55k FPPs on three $250 futureshop gift cards and Sklansky/Miller's No-Limit Hold'em Theory and Practice (autographed!). There is an issue though: I can't support three monitors with my current setup. I did look into how to make that possible though, and have basically figured out what my options are.

I can either buy a 24" monitor (~$400+) and have some left-over money (<$300), or buy two 22" displays (~$250+), an extra video card (to allow for a three monitor setup; $75) and leave myself with small pocket change. Still deciding on that, but I'll have plenty of time as the gift cards have yet to be mailed still. Then again Stars never ceases to surprise me with the speed of their deliveries, so I could be in for a surprise sooner than I'm expecting.

I'm still kind of longing for that Canon Rebel Xti, but that's just something I can't afford right now. Being able to play more tables with my new display(s) will actually make me money with enough time, so that's what I'm getting. Maybe next time I save up 59k for the camera I'll nab it up, but for now I'm fine with the monitor.

It was quite a while since I'd bought myself something with my poker winnings and I was starting to forget to treat myself with the fruits of my labours. Poker was almost becoming a chore at one point, but I'm happy at the moment :) I was actually going to write a whole blog entry on this subject (treating yourself, not me being happy). I can't recall who it was, but a well-known poker authority and author (Greenstein or Harrington?) basically suggested not to be too nitty with your spending. Money management is very important, but if you're not spending your winnings on 'fun' things, then you're turning poker into a normal, life-consuming job which is obviously no good.

To be honest I don't even think I have space to set up two or three monitors at the moment...I might have to do some rearranging of my workspace here to make it all work. I can't complain though, it's a nice 'problem' to have :)

Spring is in the air!

Yeah that's right, a whole section dedicated to the weather. It's been beautiful lately. It's not quite spring weather yet, but it's creeping up on us. Right now it's like 8C but the sun is so bright it makes it feel like it's summer. I guess it's all relative - this fall I'll be complaining about how cold it is when it's the same temperature.

About my apartment, it's still up in the air. The current tenant is moving to a house (hence why we're getting the apartment), and I have to keep my share of first and last rent on-hand for when she does move out. Unfortunately it's pretty hard not to spend money that's sitting right in front of my face when I'm this broke, so I have to exercise a lot of discipline. The new place is going to be massive, very open and lofty and I'll be getting/making myself a new desk for my new monitors. I'll post some pics when it's all finished.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

March: good riddance!

March review

Well march sucked. Definitely my worst stretch considering how many hands I played. I gained some invaluable experience, but can't say that I'd prefer what happened to winning another ~$1500. Having this disastrous month couldn't have come at a worse time now that I'll be moving in the next few months and need the money.
  • Played 25k hands of 100nl FR, 50nl FR, 100nl 6max and 50nl 6 max running at a sad -0.1PTBB/100 overall
  • Failed yet again to achieve platinum status, maintained gold
  • Played a good chunk of 6-max and didn't fare too well
  • Withdrew $1000 for personal costs, bankroll dipped low enough to have to drop down to 50nl
  • Really came back to study and work hard in the last few days, watching plenty of coaching videos and reviewing a lot of my hands
  • Can't believe I was down about 'only' winning $1600 last month, heh

Looking at the overall results they're really not all that bad (at least I wasn't down $1500), but the fact that I missed out on a possible $1500 in profit means it left an especially bitter taste in my mouth.

I'm back with a vengeance though. Mark my words!

April goals

Unfortunately I'll have to grind my way back up through 50nl, but it was so profitable last time around that I really don't mind it all that much.
  • Play 25k+ hands of 50nl full ring
  • Don't touch 6-max
  • Watch and study more coaching vids
  • Post more HA hands
  • Get out more! It's spring!
  • Finish The Selfish Gene and start reading The God Delusion
  • Get back to my $1000+/month ways
  • If all goes well money-wise, pick up Elements of Poker, Professional No-Limit Hold'em and the Harrington on Cash series
  • CRUSH the fucking rings. No more chump change.
  • Play more sweat sessions with Liam/Jagsti/Zach or whoever else!
I'm setting my sights high for April. I should have a lot of time on my hands which means plenty of hands to get in. Taking a pure numbers view of it, I can easily manage platinum, it's just a matter of me putting in the hands. Playing 50nl FR I won't be able to do it (I only make .23 VPPs/hand which means I'll have to play upwards of 43k hands), but at 100nl I make .38 VPPs/hand which equates to only having to play around 26k hands. Scratch that idea I guess :/

For the past few months I tend to play a lot of hands in the beginning of the month ('I can make platinum!'), end up accumulating so many points that I think platinum will be a breeze and slow down mid-month, then squeeze in a lot of hands at the end of the month too ('shit! Crunch time!'). Hopefully I'll be more consistent this month.

I don't like setting cash goals, but I'd like to crack $2,000 this month. Setting cash goals is a little silly since it relies on results, which of course as poker players we realize are never set in stone, so I think the primary goal is to play more, secondary is to win.

A nice problem to have

I've debated for around a month now on what I want to spend my points on, but I think I've finally decided what to get. I want something that will be an asset, not a liability. Having a Canon digital SLR camera would be great, but that would spark a(nother) time-consuming hobby that would actually cost me money in both the sense of directly losing me money (batteries etc), as well as the sense that the time I spend using it could be used to make money instead.

I think for now the best choice is simply to get myself a new monitor (or three). Added monitors at better resolution means more tables which means more hands which means more profit. I was going to grab the 24" samsung from the FPP store, but as Zachvac pointed out it's really not worth the money. That one costs 55k FPPs, while three $250 'Canadian electronics store gift certificates' are only 52k points. I know a 24" monitor doesn't cost $750 any more, so maybe I'll go and pick up a couple 22"s or something. Still looking into it. I've emailed PS support about their asking them if it's actually guaranteed to work. I just don't want to order these things and have them denied at my local futureshop or bestbuy or whatever.

Sweat sessions are a go

Well I had my first sweat session with Tenbob yesterday and it was a lot of fun. It's not every day that you get to actually talk intelligently to someone about poker. Liam didn't want to play, so I fired up four tables of 50nl FR and ran pretty damn well. Luck of the Irish I guess. Bad joke, I know Liam :p Here's the link to the video. Unfortunately I fucked the audio up so you can barely hear Liam's commentary, but we'll get it right next time.

I tried later on last night to get a session going with Zachvac and unfortunately my mic decided it didn't want to work anymore, so we couldn't get it going. I did a system restore, everything's working again, and I'm actually off to play right now with him! I'll post that video as well and hopefully everything works out this time.