Sunday, August 31, 2008

August results, September goals

Well 6-max has been good to me. Even through a solid number of beats and a dismal number of hands logged, I've still got my best month to date. You've heard the same story a million times from me: I could have played a lot more. I don't hate myself nearly as much this month as in the past though. Some personal stuff has kept me busy, plus moving to 6-max has made playing a million tables a little tough, so I'm not going to kill myself over my results in that area. I guess setting a record day for me yesterday through a tiny session boosts my confidence some, but I still know I could have played more.

So, August results:

-Ran at:

-Coaching is going well, though I should ship him a few more HHs
-Played almost purely 6-max
-Didn't fix speedbag, didn't skydive, survived birthday binge (which was a marginal 7/10 vs last year's 9.5)

Next month is pretty simple.

-More hands. Seriously, MORE FUCKING HANDS
-I'll be coaching at the very least one person from CC, so that will take up some of my time

Saturday, August 30, 2008

1,264 hands

Big day

Ignore, this is a brag.

First thing's first, I'm not sure how prepared I am to share this with the public (or rather with the 10 people who read this thing). I can't even remember who I've shared this information with either, so whatever. My aunt recently had a stroke and has been in a sort of coma for several weeks now. She had pretty bad brain damage and basically the doctors told us not to keep our hopes up. Even through several surgeries and intensive care, she seemed like a vegetable when I went to visit her a few days ago. Just today however we got a call from my uncle saying that she's begun to speak, albeit not really 'sensibly' yet, but it's a HUGE step and I couldn't be happier. It looks like things are turning around for her and hopefully her condition continues to progress.

We had a mini celebration here at home after getting the good news, so all of us got a little drunk and played scrabble (WOOO PARTYYYY). But really, it was good fun. Time to retire, I come up to my bedroom and low and behold, have the best session I've ever had. 430 hands, some coolers and some solid play later, and I'm $900+ richer.

The winnings are nice, but really what I'm happy about is the fact that it gave me another huge confidence boost. I like playing a fairly lag style - by my standards anyways - when I play 6max, and it's a little intimidating at first moving to new stakes and expecting the regulars to eat you up. I feel very settled in and barring my roll dropping some in the next few months, I expect to stick around at 200nl. It's pretty odd seeing that 400nl is just around the corner. To be %100 honest, I'm terrified, and very excited at the same time. When I watch videos of stox coaches and they say they drop down to 600nl and 400nl when their regular (1000nl+) tables aren't good, well you can imagine what I feel. I expect to have to plug at very least 200k hands before I make another move up in stakes, but who knows. It could be 50k hands. It could be 500k. I could go broke trying :)

So I'm happy. Some of today's hands; some of them HA-worthy, others just for entertainment:




Readless. I think it's a little loose, but pretty standard given everything missed and he so rarely has a 9x/4x hand.

HA thread on CC.

I somehow have managed to lose the other hands in HEM I wanted to post, whatever.

Happy day, happy day. I'm done gloating, gonna go get some rest. I stayed up til 5am yesterday trying to beat a certain part in Assassin's Creed that frustrated the shit out of me. Beat that today too :)

kk I'm done, see you guys around the forums.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

944 hands


From 0 down to $200 under, up to $325, back down to zero.

I tilted for like 10 mins today for the first time in what feels like forever. Was kind of a good exercise trying to cool myself down. I was actually in the middle of recording a video for Stosh (which I will no doubt send, tons of tough spots) and I was just getting run over. Lots of floating me, 4betting me light, raising my cbets, finally hitting a set and then getting set over setted. meh.

Sucked it up, pulled my shit back together and ended up roughly break-even on the session. I felt I was playing pretty well, I think I just played a little bit too aggressive in spots where I should have been tightening up, and managed to run into a lot of hands. In the end I made some pretty good reads, 4bet bluff some restealers a couple times and brought myself back from down 2 buyins to -$30 or so.

Some of the hands I posted on CC and stox:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1,570 hands

A late berfday present

Mum promised me a gift back on my birthday and today she came through. I've been wanting/kind of needing a new desk for a while now and we finally decided to take a peek at the Ikea warehouse. We found a few nice options for tabletops with custom legs, but this combo stood out and I'm more than happy I got it. The desk is huge, I can now keep my overheating and dusty-ass PC off the ground (and stop using it as a footrest) along with my two monitors comfortably. It was surprisingly cheap for the solid model it is - it was $30 per leg (which is actually two adjustable legs which include a shelf thing...just look at the pic below) and $150 for the solid pine tabletop. I was planning on getting a glass table cover thing to put over it, but I think that can wait. It's just not something I need.

Note the open-case PC for aeration.

I mentioned it earlier, but I'll be getting another 24" samsung to replace the acer that I'm shipping to my mom, so that'll free up even more space both on the desk and on my desktop. Should be a pretty sexy setup imo.

Looks like it's gold again...

I guess that's not much to complain about, but I really have to stop slacking so I can keep platinum up and clear supernova (38k to go still) by the end of the year. It should be a grind. I envy the work ethic of you guys (bw, jay, zach) who plug in 30k-60k hands monthly. I just don't get it. It's doubly hard logging that many hands now that I'm playing 6-max (ie fewer tables), but even when I was 12-tabling FR it was tough for me to crack 30k hands. Just something I'll have to work on I guess.

Poker's been fun though. What I tend to do now is boot up 4 tables and record videos for Stosh (sometimes with two on the side making 6 tables of 6max). I've yet to send him a video for the third hour of our coaching bit, mainly due to the fact that I've screwed up a lot of the recordings by forgetting to turn my mic on, or misclicking to erase the video or whatever. My last few sessions have definitely been interesting and tough enough for me to have qualified them to send to Stosh. I think just about every 6-max session is for me. Always marginal spots, but I love it.

Been taking lots of shots at 200nl and am feeling very comfortable at the higher stakes. Unfortunately I'm only breaking even atm, but that's much better than losing. What I do like is that I pay very very close attention to each table and I actually think every decision through! It's been so awesome moving to 6-max. Such a relief from the robotic nut peddling full ring play.

Some hands...

Villain was passive which made me question shoving some, but I think it's fine. I'm not sure he can fold a jack (which is about the best we can hope for in his range), so it's still a little marginal. Don't think I can really fold or flat it though.

It's easy to say I don't get mad at these hands now - I'm sure I'll be going apeshit when I have it happen 5-10 times in a day, but really I'm handling beats so well now. I seriously yelled out loud (in a funny way, not like WHAT THE FUCKKK LEMME SEE IT I RUN SO BAD *CRY*) "SHOW ME 66! SHOW ME 6s!!!!!!!!!!!". And then he did. And I laughed :)

Villain was a massive massive fish. Him and the player to his right were going at it for a while, cussing back and forth, and I'd only wished I had position on him. I think calling the flop/turn is fine, but after he puts out that kind of bet on the river I just don't think I see many hands I beat. He's like 45/25 or something though, so whatever. Just a sick spot.

Really I don't have all that many interesting winning hands. Just a bunch of small pots, some decent coolers and just boring hands altogether tbh. I've been paying a lot less attention to results lately (*pats back*), but do occasionally check. The last few days have been pretty break-even, but I don't really care. $70 in the 1,570 hands. Uh, lol at like 1.6 ptbb/100 being 'break-even'. I'm gonna cry so hard when I hit an actual swing :p

Will be playing more in the next few days too. Played like 300 hands this morning, got a little busy with the new desk and didn't bother playing later on (ie now). Gonna have a nice healthy breakfast tomorrow and get back on the grind.

A great song from a band I've been getting more of a feel for. Good ol' Ontario boys, they're from up in cottage country area. Studio version of the song is pretty awesome too.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

696 hands

Slacker McSlackey

Yes, you read that number right. Stuff has been pretty busy at home, but even so I should have been able to stick another 5-10k hands in since my last post. The lack of play has brought a lack of content to write about, and so my blog has been pretty dead for the bulk of August.

Birthday binge week was a shit show as usual, but wasn't as great as I'd hoped. One of my good friends ditched me for a cottage trip on my b-day which I'm pretty cheesed about. The next day a friend came back from summer-long tree planting in BC just in time to get wasted and have a little fun on his birthday. Then the day after, my best friend ditched us all on his birthday for a road trip to Montreal, which of course I'm also cheesed about. So I dunno, things weren't that great. My brain is finally back to %95+ though, which is good. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera around that week, and while other people took some pictures, I haven't seen them posted online yet.

Another spending spree?

I'm sooo bad when it comes to blowing money. I've got like 10 >$200 things I'll be splurging on in the next while. Aside from house costs which I should chip in on (redoing the backyard, fixing the oven, buying a cage for my brother), a lot of other stuff has been falling apart and I really want to fix it all.

Firstly, my speed bag drum (wooden part) broke ages ago, and I'm craving a new one. A friend's dad is a serious carpenter, and I was thinking he could make me a nice one for relatively cheap. The problem is if I stick with my heavy/speed bag stand, it'll have to stay outside since it's so big. Canadian winters (even Toronto ones) aren't too pleasant though, so I've been thinking about dropping like $300 on a nice indoor wall mounted one.

My mom's been wanting a big screen TV for a while since her old CRT piece of shit is...a piece of shit, and I figured I could chop her my 32" samsung which I bought for like a grand for the price of another 24" samsung (~$400). I guess that won't be an expense, but that would be awesome.

My desk isn't exactly broken, but it's definitely getting there. It's also just impractical for what I use it for. All I need is a big open space, and it's got this retarded elevated portion of it that takes up like half the desktop. I want to buy something really nice, like a thin version of a butcher's block, but that would cost upwards of $500 which is ridiculous. Something simple, big, and solid oak or something would be awesome.

Then there's the skydiving. Unfortunately all my friends are broke pussies, so none of them will come with me. My dad (lol!) said he would love to come, but he's the most unreliable person in the world, so I'm expecting nothing of him. I'd hate to go by myself, but I really want to do it before the end of summer. That's another ~$270.

I also got a promise from mummy for a new piece of furniture for my room. My old chest of drawers is falling apart and isn't even big enough for the clothes I own (half of which are piled on top instead of inside), so I think we're going to scrap that and buy a cheap-ish new one from Ikea or something.

One more thing that's scaring me is my PC. Lately the CPU has been getting hotter and hotter, and I've seen it crash more often than normal. The smart thing to do would be to plan ahead by buying a backup CPU or something (maybe a new pc overall?). I think I'll just run it into the ground and fix it up when it breaks down.

Now that I put all that in a list it doesn't even look that expensive (excluding the PC problem), but I'm sure my pockets will still be like 1.5-2k lighter by the end of the month.

This is a poker blog?

So as I mentioned, poker has gone deathly slow. Which sucks. The poker that has gone on however, has been awesome. I'm still running at 10 big bets which is just sick, but then again it's only over an 11.5k sample, most of which happened in the first half of the month. Had a good session last night and I still feel very comfortable at the tables. A huge turnaround considering 6-max was by far my worst game a few months ago. One thing that's definitely given me some confidence is Stosh's coaching.

The first hour, a sweat session, was nice but we didn't really cover too much. Doing what I did for the second hour was much better. I prerecord a 4-tabling session with my thought processes, and he sends me an mp3 with his thoughts on certain hands and general critique back to me. I posted the second hour in cardschat's video section. Video and mp3. In order to get the 'full effect' of his coaching, you'll have to play his mp3 while playing my muted video. He has some minor problems with his eyes, so sometimes he'll say someone is 20/18 when they're 20/10, or he'll say something is at 15:20 when it's at 16:20. Just something to keep in mind. He seemed very impressed with my play which was awesome. Huuuge boost in confidence and I'm realizing now that my technical game is pretty solid, but it's my mental game that needs work.

I should be playing a lot more in the coming weeks now that I have some more free time (dog's gone on a one week trip to the cottage, no more walking!), and I'll probably be posting my coaching sessions as well.

Looking back, if I look at the actual money I spent per hour on Stosh and what I could buy in real life, I'd think "what the fuck am I doing!?", but looking at it in terms of two buyins and the fact that I made up everything back within a week of hooking up with him, I'm perfectly happy.

Back to the grind, see you guys around the forums.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Binge week

My birthday last night, buddy's birthday tonight, best friend's birthday tomorrow night. Wallet's getting lighter. As is my head.

Going to mandarin today to refill the tanks, then it's off to kill some more brain cells tonight.

Haven't played poker in a good 5 days, so no updates or interesting hands unfortunately. I shipped my video to Stosh a few days ago and he said he'd be done by Monday or Tuesday as he's pretty busy as well, so that's about the only poker-related thing coming up in the next few days. It feels kinda good to get a break from it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

4,800 hands

Still running like a god!

An insane 10ptbb/100 this month over the (almost) 10k hands I've played equates to about 2k profit. I'm kind of posting a half-month update here because I plan on being alcoholically handicapped for the next week or so, and probably won't be blogging. A handful of friends and I have birthdays in the middle of August, so naturally there's always a huge binge with tons of parties. Tonight is a lady friend's party and so the binge begins! I'll be posting whatever pics I can.

As for the poker, I'm still genuinely curious what I can sustain at 6-max. I've definitely made my share of bad plays this month for stacks, but have still managed an insane winrate. I guess only time will tell, but for now I'm perfectly happy with 10/100.

For the second hour of my coaching with Stosh I've played a 4-tabling session with commentary and he'll analyze it and basically give his feedback. I've recorded the video, but as it stands right now stoxpoker is down due to updates and upgrades to the site. Stosh's contact info is in my pm inbox at the site which I can't access, so I'll have to wait a day+ for that to clear up before I can ship him the link. I was initially under the impression that he was going to give his commentary over my video, but I'm not sure he's doing that. If he does make a video out of it, I'll be posting it at CC which should be fun.

So even through running like a god when I grind, I'm broke as a joke in real life. I'm owed money from a few people, but they're delaying the paybacks. So I had to withdraw another grand from my account which is ok because I'm overolled even for 200nl at the moment. As for right now though, I've got to go see if I can collect some debts, and if not I'll have to borrow money for the binge week :(

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1,450 hands

Unfortunately I'm finding 4-tabling the 6-max tables makes for an incredibly hands/hour rate. I played 4.76 hours yesterday and only managed 1450 hands, something I'd do in well under two hours at full ring. Oh well, I'm not too disappointed in that as the FPPs are worth a little more per hand, plus the fewer tables I'm playing is really helping me play a good game. Unfortunately I still manage to make a few silly plays once in a while...

I knew this guy was floaty, and the turn makes for an easy check-call. The river however was one of those things where my hands acts before my mind can think, and I made a terrible call. I've been playing hands like these, marking them in HEM and going off to post them in HA after my session, but by the time I look at the hand history again, I 'solve' the hand. In this case, 'solving' the hand is just folding the river.

This one was definitely a result of me not being used to 6-max ranges. On the flop I'm putting him on a lot of overpairs, but basically only KK+, maybe QQ will stack if I ship it in there. Then again don't you think QQ- flat the flop? I dunno, this one had me a little confused. The turn brought an ace obv, but that card didn't concern me all that much since I didn't think he would raise the flop with any ace but AA or AKs/AQs. Turns out his range was much wider than I thought. Not sure about the river call either...

Blegh, against a fishy shortstack. Just spew, he probably doesn't fold AK there.


Interesting spot. Donk bettor is a chronic donk bettor....guy behind me is a nitty player, same guy as the A7s vs KK hand above. I like raising the donk because he'll have such a wide range there and I can often fold a lot of that out, but it puts me in a very tough spot if (when) the button 3bets or shoves on me.

fwiw I snapcalled that out of spite against the guy :p

Ship. Against that KJ vs 42s guy.

Why in the fuck are you leading?

Just love getting thin value with these guys' calling ranges.

moar value

I'd been very lag as usual and he'd started check-raising me a ton. Basically his ch-r here is an extremely polarized range, so either he's flopped a set or he's bluffing me. He's never got a big ace there, and would never take that line with it anyways. So anyways, a little bit of a silly bluff, but it felt pretty good getting that strong read on him.

Weee! I get lucky (for once in my life, I'm so unlucky, blah blah blah, whine whine whine).

So even through the retarded hands where I've played for stacks with KJ on a xJ345A board, or made silly bluffs, I'm still running at 11ptbb/100 in 6-max this month. I've only played short of 5k hands so far however and obviously realize with the extra variance in 6-max this doesn't mean dick, but I'm feeling good. I've heard about how 3ptbb is basically crushing any game (save like 2nl where you should be beating it for 100ptbb or whatever), but I really feel I can do better. Again, I guess only time will tell.

Off to have breakfast and start grinding. Stosh and I agreed our next hour of coaching should be a review of a ~45 minute 4-tabling video of my play, so maybe I'll record that today.

I don't know this guy, but he's awesome. Short but sweet...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Turning over a new leaf

Well I think this is it. I won't say I'm 'fully' moving to 6-max, that is I won't be playing strictly 6-max games from now on, but I can definitely say the majority of my play will be there.

Some of the issues that held me back were the increased tilt factor, my actual skill set, and whether or not it would actually be worthwhile in terms of hourly rate and fpp accumulation (which are one and the same, I guess).

I don't think the tilt and skill factors will really be a problem. I'll be in a constant state of progression with both, and I'll need to improve upon both in order to progress and move up, so why not take the harder, faster road?

My hourly rate is the other factor, and I'm still not %100 certain on this, but I think it will actually be another non-issue. I initially thought that playing half the tables I normally do at FR would kill my hourly rate in 6-max, but the combination of the higher-than-expected winrate I think I can achieve and the higher number of hands played per hour pretty much nullify that, if not overpower it. The FPPs also come in quicker due to the higher hands/hr.

I'm not sure what it is, but I just love playing a more aggressive game. I've gone so far on some tables as to reach stats that would be considered lag for a heads-up match. Profitably. I love it though - you can squeek out so much more value from spots I'd never ever bother to in a full-ring game.

Anyways even with several big mistakes (and bad beats) in this month's 6-max venture, I'm still running really really well. I really have no idea what my sustainable winrate is going to look like, but I guess the only way to find out is to grind out more hands. My guess is that it's going to be a LOT higher than my full ring rate...

First sweat

So I finally had my first coaching session with Stosh today. He's an awesome guy and I'm very happy I bought up some hours from him. We started off trying to set up a screen-sharing program, but his PC kept bugging out and quitting skype or just crashing. Eventually we got everything working, and he extended our session to like 90 minutes instead of an hour because of the problems we were having earlier.

I (we) ran like shit during the actual session, which was kind of balls. I think I dropped a couple buyins or something like that, but felt I played well. He touched on a few things he thought I could improve on, but overall what helped most was his 'in-between' chat about just general poker stuff. We talked about table selection, general strategy, tilt control, his experiences, books (Tommy Angelo's book wtf I have to pick it up already), and of course general strategy.

It's a little hard gauging how much the hour was worth, or rather if the $200 I payed was worth it. I honestly feel like what I got wasn't worth it, but at the same time I know this whole experience will be worth way more than the $800 total I paid him. I dunno, a little hard to explain. How about this...if he asks me to give some feedback on his coaching, I'll definitely say I'm a satisfied customer. Well that is if the next three hours go as well as this first hour went of course.

So, I've got like 100 vpps to clear in order to unlock my $650 bonus, so I guess I'll do that before I get to bed.

Friday, August 1, 2008

July results, August goals

July? It sucked. I played fewer hands, ran like shit in the last ~third of the month, and played like shit when I ran bad. As usual this is all going to be a nice big lesson for me in the long road that is my poker career, but right now I'm stuck in a ditch, gunning the gas, and seeing my wheel go further and further into the mud. Or make it cow shit, that fits the analogy better. Tilt control will be Rachel McAdams miraculously driving by in a tow truck every time I get stuck.

I can't wait until I reach Irexes status. That is, nothing relating to poker ever affects my emotional state, and I play my A game %100 of the time. Yeah, that'll be the day. I think sitting down and actually reading The Poker Mindset (as well as rereading the Zen book) should help. I just have to stop reading one page at a time when I'm on the can.

Today's sessions actually went well! I figure it's foreshadowing for August which will rock for me. $4k, I guarantee it. Hands off that doomswitch, Lee Jones...or whoever replaced you. But ya, I think I played 4 tables of 6-max with my tightish 22/19 style and played pretty well. There will definitely some spots I could have played better (cough...

...cough), but the big thing was that I didn't tilt much. Key word: "much"...

I don't want to get to ranting here like I usually do. July results weren't anywhere near satisfactory to me.

- 20k hands
- something like $1300 profit
- back down to gold star

I mentioned I just finalize the coaching 'deal' with Stosh, so that will be a big part of August for me. I'm not only getting a bigger craving for the 6-max he'll be coaching me on, but I'm playing better shorthanded too (when I'm not tilting). I remember looking at 100nl 6-max like some kind of unbeatable game, but I'm doing very well against even the tougher regulars when I play my A game. That mans when I'm not tilting and throwing my chips around like an enraged ape.

...Anybody noticed a primate-based theme around my posts lately?

Anyways, August goals will be...

- Play more hours, more hands
- Play more 6-max
- Make the most out of my coaching
- Finish reading The Poker Mindset
- Fix speed bag platform ffs
- Go skydiving!
- Survive birthday binge in mid August


Running like shit, playing like shit, and I can't pull myself away from the tables when I tilt.

Yesterday was a perfect example. Some full ring, some six max, and after several hands like these:

(posted this in HA for whatever reason; I know it's completely standard)

...I basically went apeshit and did all of this.

I surprisingly cooled down last night though and just enjoyed some Arrested Development, and feel fine today. Kinda sickening getting used to -$500 days. Sick sick sick.

Anyways I think one thing that's definitely been a factor in my monkeytiltedness is dropping the $800 on Stosh's coaching, but on the flip side I hope he can help cure that tilt. He's a pretty big monster in 6-max cash games and even if these four coaching sessions don't get me completely settled in to 6-max I'm sure it will still be worth my while. It's just the fact that I dropped $800 of my then $5k bankroll for him. That's a lot of moolah for me.

I'd planned on writing some big post explaining tilt and the effects of certain factors, but really it all boils down to bankroll management, how much you rely on your BR for your everyday expenses, mental toughness, and your ego. I play with a tiny portion of my roll, but even then, since it's my livelyhood, I live off it and it really affects me when I lose. As I mentioned before I seriously don't think I'll ever get over tilt until I play with like a 100-buyin roll. The ego is another huge part of it for me, admittedly. I can't help it. I have a big ego. I hate sitting at a table for hours setting a player up, then having my three big hands against him busted. I want to take that money back. I consider it "mine". And that's a problem.

So anyways I think today I'm taking a break from playing. Just got a call from my buddy who might drop by and play Risk, and if you know that game you know it'll take until 2010 to finish. Seriously it'll take all day, then that same friend is throwing a house party, so fuck poker for now. I can wait 'til tomorrow :p

As a lot of you know, music is a huge part of my life. I think I listen to music in some way or another about %90 of the time I'm awake (that's probably why I have bad hearing...). It can completely change my mood around, and listening to some upbeat, happy music yesterday helped me cool off. Even though sting is a cheezeball, he was great when he was leading The Police...