Sunday, November 30, 2008

November review, December goals

I can't find my November goals post, so I'll just post results rather than how my goals went.

- 20k+ hands
- Good tilt control
- Played lots given the time I had
- Adjusted my play well
- Improved!

I was approaching monkey tilt during my ~3k downswing weekend, but I kept my cool, tried some new things and ended up having a fantastic last few days which brought me back up. I'm feeling really good about myself right now (and was even during my swong!). If it weren't for home life being really fucked up and twisted, I'd be a very happy camper right now.

December should be good. I'll be getting my laptop any time now, and that means more hands. More hands, more poker, more profits hopefully. One thing I'm looking for in either Dec or Jan is another coaching program. Mr. Paulsson seems to be having a great time with Jason aka code1234567 of stoxpoker. I think he's currently booked but will be opening up with a new program in January, and I'll definitely have a look at that. I've pm'ed him at stox to see what's up.

I've got some stuff that will keep my wallet busy in the coming month, so it looks like I probably won't hit 400nl for a good month or two, minimum. I think realistically I would win if I were to move up, but it would probably only be around the 0-3ptbb/100 mark, and the variance would be considerably higher than what I'm experiencing now at 200nl. So 400nl will have to wait until a) I get some more coaching, and b) my bankroll is >40 buyins for the level.

New goals:

- Breeze by SN while plugging a million hands
- Buy laptop with futureshop giftcard that will come sooner than later hopefully...
- Get back to practicing Jared's metal game concepts
- Look into coaching, also deucescracked/leggo/cardrunners
- Play lots, 25k+ hands
- Keep rehab'ing back
- Go to the boxing gym now that your back's better!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2201 hands

Poker's going great for the first time in what feels like forever. I've been finding tons of really great tables lately and have generally just been running pretty damn well. What's awesome about streaks like this is that I'm really not running that great (all in ev says I'm miles above expectation, but as has been argued in forums, that stat isn't exactly accurate for all luck). I just feel really confident. I guess yet again I shouldn't get caught up in the winnings and start feeling like I'm unbeatable again. It's just hard not to when you catch a terrible beat (88>TT aipf), then go ahead and win the stack back within like 30 hands. So poker is good. 2k in two days is always nice.

Going to the chiropractor is awesome too. For a good day and a half there I was in the worst pain I've ever been in. I woke up after my typical shitty sleep feeling just 'kind of' shitty, then it just snapped out of place and the pain was so bad I wanted to puke. Usually I can lay on my back or stand straight and the pain goes away, but this felt like swimmer's foot for your back, multiplied by 10. Anyways I finally got it all set up and went to the chiropractors, and he's A+. I think he's done a good handful of nhl player's backs so I definitely trust the guy. There's something about someone physically shifting your back into shape. I walk out of that place feeling like I'm standing taller and straighter every time. Not having chronic back pain is nice too. Thanks Dr. Marv!

Just something that came to mind now, I think I'm realizing one of the big reasons I ran so well a month or two ago or whenever it was. Reading Elements of Poker is making me understand it. I used to play a ton of short sessions. Tommy Angelo preaches taking tons of breaks, and making sure you cut sessions while you're still on your A game. Put simply, if you cut your sessions off right when you reach your C game (or well before you reach that point), then your overall play will consist of a higher % of your A game, meaning you can lop that C game off and start playing your A game more often. I think I was quitting for the wrong reasons (I'd be up a buyin or two and quit mostly out of worry of losing it then finishing the session pissed off and feeling 'down' for the day), but now I know that it in fact helped me, and it's something I think I'll go back to. Short sessions ensure you don't start zoning out, which is something I often do too.

That's today's rant, just kind of rambling aimlessly yet again. Thanks for reading my boring shit, if you got this far. Oh, here are some hands since I'm guessing that's the only interesting part to the blog :)

Against a reg! hah!

Thank you Mr. Slowplay

Pretty marginal, but I like it. Villain is a reg who loves to defend his blinds, and rarely folds to 4bets. I could be wrong, but I think we're in pretty good shape here.

It's like looking at a mirror, except me last month!

Thank you Mr. Fish.

Little bit of steam coming off my head there.

Against an aggro fish. Pretty happy stacking there, especially after just flatting the flop raise.

Against another, less aggro fish. Probably a bad calldown. Snap minraises usually don't mean trips, but I guess here it did.

And those are literally the 3 losingest pots I've played in the last two days. I run goot.

Monday, November 24, 2008


So, this month took a turn for the worse. After a nasty day at 1/2 where I really didn't tilt, but still managed to lose about a grand, I decided to take a shot at 2/4. No, this wasn't some 'jump up and even your losses out' type thing. I've been thinking about moving up for a while, and for whatever reason decided saturday was the day. I took my shot, played some big pots, most of which were beats and coolers...

...and called it a day. There were a good handful of smaller pots, some of which I played terribly, others I played fine. They basically evened themselves out. The big pots ate me up though, but even then I still maintain that I'm playing my A game or very close to it. Looking at those 400nl tables made me realize that it's very very beatable. Granted it was a saturday night, but I found some excellent tables, even by 200nl's standards, within seconds of scanning them with telescope. Sure, the regulars are tougher, and the fish are fewer and farther between, but it's beatable. People over-adjust when they move up, and that includes myself. All you have to do is look at each situation and play it the best you can. It's not like players have some magical quality at the next stakes up, they just have more experience and are more well-rounded players. Look at their stats, find their leaks, and exploit them. The regs look pretty beatable, and maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself but I'm pretty confident about 2/4 when the time comes. In the future, I'll probably hop up when my roll reaches 40 buyins or a little more.

Anyways, hop on over to sunday, and we have another brutal day. I'm going to cut the whining to a minimum, but I'm really just running like shit. All in pots are killing me; I'm either running into the top of my opponents' ranges, or I'm getting sucked out on. This month's profits have been wiped out. Oh well.

Just trying to stay confident. The only thing that's really tilting me is the fact that my fucking giftcard for my laptop still hasn't come! I guess I'll email them one more time; this is the longest anything from stars has taken to get here, and it's only a fuckin gift card! How long does it take to grab a gift card, scan it in your computer, input $1000 in credit, then fuckin mail it!? Bah.

Oh also, I really really need to get back into shape. For about a week and a half now, my back has been in writhing pain. I slept wrong on it one night, and sitting at the pc every day hasn't helped it. I'm literally sitting here in spasms, groaning in pain every 30 seconds. I can't move my head past about...60 degrees in any direction, and I wake up about 10 times each night because of it. It's back to the chiropractor for me, and once that treatment has at least relieved the pain, I'm going to start playing hockey and going to the boxing gym again. Time to whip myself back into form.

So building on the exercise thing, I've got a few more goals which have become priorities for me:

- See chiropractor
- Go to gym and get a membership when the back's better
- Look into a serious ergonomic chair, maybe an Aeron or Steelcase
- Finish Elements of Poker and PNL
- Think about Christmas (it's wtf close!)
- Achieve Supernova

Supernova is going to be a big priority of mine, even though it's well within reach. I've achieved platinum the last few months and I don't even need to accumulate as many in Dec to reach SN, so all should be fine. It'll completely fuck me over though if I somehow fail to do so, since it's a yearly VIP level and since it's such a big raise from platinum. IIRC it means going from 12c/hand to 22c/hand in rakeback, but I could have done my calculations wrong. Either way 22c/hand is nothing to sneeze at.

Ending this with a nice sunset with the doggy:

Thursday, November 20, 2008


...and so the long battle with winter begins.

Really, it's actually very nice though. I know I'll be dead sick of it as soon as January and February come along, but for now it's putting a smile on my face :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tommy boy!

Tommy Angelo's Elements of Poker is my new favourite book. No, not just poker book, favourite book. And I'm only through about a quarter of it (ripping through it as fast as I can remember reading any book fwiw).

I have to admit that running well is helping lift my spirits and possibly instill some extra confidence, but this is the most confident I've been in ages. His writing style is pretty unique, and it's really hit home with me so far. He just makes everything so simple that it makes me want to drop the thousands on personal coaching from him to get even more out of his head. Anyways, I'm really excited and will no doubt reread the book several times. If you want to see a sample of what his writing style is like, check out his site above or look through his coaching bio page thingy over on deucescracked.

So like I said, I'm running well, but I'm also just gradually taking a different, more ideal mindset. Obviously we all know poker is about the long run, but I'm finally getting the feel that each session really doesn't matter. Not in the results category at least. Daily results, weekly swings, monthly reviews - they're all just kind of arbitrary. What really matters is playing each hand as best you can. Constantly reviewing the table conditions, your mental state, your opponent's mental states. Recognizing not only when you're tilting, but how close you are to crossing that line. Flat-out ending your sessions when you feel you're too close to it.

Naturally I'll still be posting monthly updates because I'm only human, but I really do feel like I'm progressing as a player, on and off the tables. Like I mentioned in earlier posts, my goals now are simply to progress as a player as much as I can, and make as much money along the way as possible. I knew I was going to make big changes this month and I'm starting to feel them :)

Unfortunately something else disastrous has fallen upon my shoulders. Left 4 dead was released. I'm just too much of a video game addict not to pick this up - it looks like such a fun multiplayer game. Cool thing is now that I'll have my laptop (still have yet to get the giftcard though), both my brother and I can play multiplayer games together, or maybe lan or whatever. This winter will be fun :) Unfortunately it's actually something that's going to dig into my poker time. Just got to make sure it doesn't take up too much.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Only about 1000 hands since my last post unfortunately, but it's been a nice 75c/hand. I didn't think it was really possible, but real life got even more fucked up. This time with details I'd rather keep to myself, but it looks like this is the real turning point for all of us. All I can do at the moment is take care of my grandma when I'm needed, and chip in a grand here and there to keep us afloat. I've decided not to buy my couch, instead helping out with the broken stove and broken washing machine. I'll have to buy the laptop since I've got a giftcard, but that will help with my hand-logging as I will then be able to play and take care of my oma - grandma in dutch :) - at the same time.

Poker has been going well this month, and unfortunately with last week's real life bullshit I had to really cut down on the number of hands I played, but even so I'm on pace for a great month. I'm just trying not to fall into the trap of seeing results and cutting down on playing, like last month. This time I really do have an excuse, but I want to make the most of my free time by plugging in as many hands as I can.

Another thing that's keeping me a little busy is study away from the table. Bryce's recent tutorial on the Stox Combo beta gave me motivation to start studying common situations so that they come more naturally to me at the table. For example, if my opponent is a typical tag with a %5 3bet, what will his distribution be on a Q92 flop? I have no idea! Hence the studying :)

With my crazy motivation earlier in the month, I was playing tons. I finally got the feel for plugging in big volume (relative to my 6-tabling style), and logged my biggest day ever at 3k hands earlier in the month. I can definitely see putting in a good solid number of hands in the coming months, maybe 30k or 40k. And with more hands comes more profit. It's just unfortunate that I've been snuffed a little bit.

Looking back at my goals for November, I'm following them pretty well. Admittedly I've really lost my way studying Jared's tilt control videos, the main reason being that even though I was breaking even for a good 5k hands or whatever, I still feel that watching his one video and practicing loose warm-up, wind-down and breathing exercises does wonders for me. Not that I don't need tilt coaching anymore, but I feel good right now. Otherwise, my goals have been going pretty well. Halfway through the month I'm at 10k hands despite not playing much for the last five days, and I've stuck to 6max the whole time. I've 'SUCKED IT UP, BITCH'. Now my problems are beyond 'how can I get rich and buy myself stuff'. It's now 'how can I help my family get out of his rut', and the answer is to help out with my oma, play as much as I can on the side, and put that money to good use.

Enough rambling. Here's my month so far followed by some fun hands from last night.

And the last hand I'll post will be in HA since I find it pretty interesting. Would like some input on it if you guys don't mind.

edit: oh, another thing! I finally got Tommy Angelo's book! Thanks for taking the time to buy it and ship it to me JD! This book is just awesome. It's the most excited I've ever been to read a book, hands down. Ever. And it's delivering. If you haven't bought it yet, do so. I love it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

8,521 hands

Basically, shit sucks right now. Poker is going fairly well. I'm up about 2k since my last post and have been feeling pretty good about my play and my discipline. I plugged a good 3,000 hands today in what I think was my longest session ever at 7 hours (almost nonstop). Too bad I ran kinda bad and made a few questionable plays that left me at a buyin and a half under for the day.

Against a fish, had a set in the back of my mind the whole time.

Also against a fish, but I can't take anything away from him. I got %100 trapped here on a timing tell and his whole line in general. I was going to say this one was a little tilty, but I think it was more of me acting before fully thinking a hand through than me tilting. Semantics really, I guess it was just bad either way.

Barf. Against a fish who floats like crazy, turn check was with the intention of CRAI.

Against he same guy. This is where I cry about running bad and say that my sets never hold up and my combo draws never hit like everyone else's do against me :)

Against a tag. He calls the flop without much thought and I really didn't put him on a king, hence my turn bluff. I expected all underpairs to check back for the showdown, and all his floats to bet, so I went for a bluff raise on the turn and got stuffed on.

Plays like those definitely have their place, but I think I make them just a bit too often. If I had the discipline (which is slowly coming) to fold instead of run a bluff like that every time, I'd probably be up in the 8ptbb/100 area rather than the 5-6.

Real life sucks. Some new shit I'd rather not talk about (as well as rewatching the first half of Goodfellas) has given me the motivation to play lots more and basically get rich. I'm sick of this broke ass lifestyle, sick of living in this mouse-ridden, broken down, hundred year-old house, and I'm sick of my family not having enough money to fix it all. Time to suck my fuckin pride up, make good laydowns, grind more, stop running low-percentage bluffs, study more and move my way up through 400nl and 600nl so I can make some serious paper and fix this mess.

Monday, November 3, 2008

438 hands

Bad session in that I played pretty poorly and by the end was steaming pretty badly, but a great session in that I'm kicking off Jared's system of warming up and shutting down and I feel just great overall.

Before I start a session, I read my newly desktop-linked txt file which reads:

1) Food/drinks/washroom/clear desk

2) Set goals on pad (hands, time, tilt, strategies)

3) Warm up poker brain

4) Bring important poker/mental skills or challenges to the front of your mind

5) Deep breathing for a minute
-Think about A game
-Think about C game
-Strategies to manage tilt

Also something that I simply can't just implement immediately and do every time, but by the end of the month I'll hopefully be doing something along these lines every session:


1) Set goals
2) Review/warm up your poker brain
3) Deep breathing to get focused
4) Visualization and comparison of A game and C game

Ending a session:

1) Extract learning
2) Evaluating goals/progress
3) Reviewing my play

At the moment it honestly seems like a lot of semi-unnecessary crap to do, but I do understand all this will help tremendously. There's no big, easily-understood secret for curing my tilt. It's just going to take some serious work and understanding of what Jared teaches. To some this is all just voodoo bullshit, but for me it's essential.

My good friend is leaving for a working and/or fun trip to Vancouver for at least a month this wednsday. Already making excuses, I'm going to have to postpone some of that post-session analysis until tomorrow.

Some hands for your enjoyment:

'Meh' push against someone who started off as a maniac (not just raising lots of pots, but 3bet shoving $100 every other hand), but who tightened up to the point where I'm not sure shoving here is good.

A little over aggressive preflop vs a lag who folds often to 3bets, but postflop I think it's fine.

One of the hands that got me steaming. As Jared says, frustration is nothing but the lack of acceptance of reality - or something like that :). I fully undertstand I got outplayed here though. IIRC villain is funkeemunkee or something and is a complete nit at like 14/12. I'd been stealing tons and I often get the false feeling that they play back at me more than they do.

vs a fish. bleh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

971 hands

I was serious when I said I wanted to make some big changes in November, and today's first session helps a little bit with the confidence. I ran into a few tough spots that, had they happened a few days ago, I would have been furious about. But I kept my cool, kept grinding it out, and decided to stop the session when I started to feel a little bit hungry and tired.

Funny how a two hour session can be considered my work 'day'.

No doubt my goals will change slightly this month as my original November goals post was written in an enraged flurry, but they will be similar to what I wrote down. Most of what I plan to do revolves around my mental game, how I prepare and wind down for sessions, and I'll be looking to post more HA stuff and study my own hands away from the table. I just may have to retract my point about not playing any HU this month as a new Stoxpoker coach, Cole Robinson, is coming out with a very sound-looking video series on HU play.

I've been taking a serious look at what went wrong last month, and although obviously tilt was the main catalyst to my losing month, I definitely feel like I wasn't on my A-game at any point in October. So...more HA, more review, more videos and video reviews, more everything.

Hands of the day:

Sloppy-ish call vs a maniac.

Only real tilt-induced play on the day, and I kind of smacked myself to stop going down that road.

Hooray for fish!

Times two!

Weird line from a tagfish. I actually almost folded river, but couldn't lay it down getting almost 3:1 against such a nonsense line.

Tomorrow I'll most likely be a little busy, but may get some hands in later in the day. I'm expecting my futureshop giftcard in the mail, which will go towards a new laptop. Stars has been so good to me and so quick with every little thing they deliver that I instinctively looked for the card the day after ordering it. I'm still hopelessly expecting it like tomorrow, but realize it could take up to a few weeks.

Pics of halloween and the new laptop to be posted when I get my hands on either one.