Saturday, December 12, 2009

***Site has been moved***

My site has officially been moved to

I'll continue posting my blog there (WAY more frequently, I promise), as well as offer coaching in the near future.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Trip report: Niagara Falls

This was a pretty spur of the moment thing. BW got a hold of me at the beginning of the month saying he and Zach were going to take a trip to Niagara Falls for some poker before doing their whole San Diego thing on the 17th, and that I should come down with them. The greyhound bus was only like $20 each way and the hotels/motels we found online were pretty cheap too, so I decided why the fuck not?

I got in around like 2:30pm Thursday and got a taxi to Fallsview Casino. BW booked the room so I couldn't get in until they did. I checked out the Fallsview poker room but soon found out they only spread 2-5 (100-300 buyin), 5-5 (300-500) and bigger - above what I planned on playing. They mentioned the 'old' casino spread 1-2 but I had no idea where the fuck that was, so I wandered around looking for it for a good hour or two before getting a call from bw saying he was in the hotel.

(Fallsview hotel: sick looking room, nice TV, but the internet connection sucked, and they didn't even have wireless. At like $150/night it was too pricey imo, thankfully we split it 3-ways though.)

It was cool meeting bw, he's a super nice guy and we had a lot of fun. So in about 5 minutes we get the itch, and we're off to find the old casino for some 1-2. We pretty much play poker all day, grab some food, then play some more poker until 2-3am.

I ran pretty good - should have noted some hands in my ipod but I was just too lazy. I remember playing pretty snug for a while, but loosened up once I got reads and found some spots to value bet thinner and bluff. Some hands, from memory:

I come back from lunch break to a big pot, one guy playing AJ on Jxx super fast, the other guy felting kings and taking it down. AJ guy (who will now be known as 'Huge fish') rebuys with a $500 chip which the dealer almost doesn't accept because noone uses them for poker. Later, huge fish limps in EP, I iso to like 15-20 or so with KK, folds back to him and he calls. Flop comes J8x with two clubs, he check-calls ~pot. Turn is a Tc and he donks something like 1/2 pot, I call without the Kc. River is a jack, he checks to me and I check back, he shows 97d for the gutter turned straight. This guy's sitting on like $500 and is only a couple seats to my right, but unfortunately he tightens up enough that don't get any of that stack back by the time he leaves.

Later, I raise 9T on the button after a bunch of limpers, get one caller directly to my right: nitty old vet. type of guy. He like 1/4 pots an AK2r board, I raise smallish, he gives a hilarious hollywood, sip-his-drink, stares me down for like 3 mins, then pitches probably like QJ or some garbage.

Soon after, I get AQ, bump it up with several callers and flop AQQ. I decide people might chase gutshots and never fold Ax, so I cbet. Caller behind, folds to another guy who calls to my right. Turn and river are bricks and I get the rest in against one of the two guys who slowplayed Q4o. Yay monies.

Another hand I open deuces big w/limpers in the pot, get like 3 callers and flop T23r. I had some aggro guys behind me who just fold their air should I cbet, so I go for a c/r or a c/c, c/r turn. Flop checks through, turn's a K, checked to me and I bet big. I think I got like one shorstacked caller then got the rest of his money on a Qr river and he mucked.

I remember at this time there was some bulgarian dude sitting to my left who was pretty aggro and was fucking up my game by repopping my isolation raises and stuff like that. I would have switched tables/left because of him, but it was already late so I just headed back to the hotel with bw. Zach had by this time lost a couple buyins at 1-2 and then headed over to Fallsview to play 5-5 I think. I think I ended up like a buyin on day 1.

Back to the hotel, and we remember we only have 2 beds so we call for a roll-out thing and flip coins for it. I lose, fuckedy fuck fuck.

Day 2, we get some breakfast and immediately hit the tables. We get put on a new table, and I'm lucky enough to have Zach directly to my left and bw a few seats behind him. Yay. We have some predicted fun with limping, iso'ing, 3betting and 4bet jamming each other, mostly between Zach and bw. One notable hand saw bw open 24o utg, get 3bet by Zach from the blinds, and call. Zach cbets an 865dd flop, bw jams thinking he has a gutter and not the double gutter(!), and Zach calls. Yes, you read all that right. bw hits a 3 and takes it down. Table thinks they're insane. They are. I can't stop laughing.

I get JdJx in EP and open, bw calls IP on me (asshole). Flop is Q9x, two diamonds. I cbet, he calls. Kinda sloppy already. Turn is a wonderful Kd, I c/f and he shows K7s, hahah.

Later I raise 24h utg cause I get bored and the table's playing weak, and bw flats IP on me again. I cbet something like K62ccc, he calls. I decide to barrel a Qr turn in a low-level-thought 'I REMEMBER U FLOAT ME' play, and he jams. I fold, he shows KQ.

Another hand I open A8c and get like 3 callers, flop comes ATx with one club. First player donks like 1/4 pot, next guy calls, I make a kind of sloppy call. Turn's like a Qc, donk bettor puts out like 1/3 pot, I call after middle guy folds. I river a nice 6c for the nuts, he bets another ridiculously small fraction of the pot again and I jam for the rest of his stack. He calls and I rake his stack with an invisible fistpump.

Another big-ish pot: one guy who folds pf accidentally flips up a Q. I pick up AQo and see the action go limp, limp, raise to ~$15 from a pretty tight player and I flat. Probably a bad idea given my read and the fact that one of my queens is in the muck. Folds around to the two limpers including one bluffy guy, and only he calls. Flop comes Qd9d4x, and bluffy guy donks smallish. PFR folds, and I flat. Turn is the 4d, donk bettor leads again, this time pretty big. He's definitely still donking Qx, JT and sometimes something random like 9x with a diamond. River bricks off another 4 and he bets like 1/2 pot, I don't see any merit to raising so I flat. He shows KdJx and I take it down.

Last hand I remember is a while after this dudebro sits to my right. He was actually kind of funny, definitely one of those portuguese construction workers my hood in toronto is home to so many of. He's limping a ton, and literally minbetting every street which even he is making fun of. I iso him for the millionth time with 67d in EP/MP, he calls. He donks a 589ss flop for like minimum, I pot raise, he calls. Turn is a Js, he c/c my ~2/3 pot bet. River is a random spade, putting four on board, and I decide to look up his weird river ~1/2 pot donk. He shows 85o. Why the fuck he's not reraising flop both confuses and frustrates me since I only got like 1/2 of his stack instead of everything, but whatever, I can't complain too much I guess.

That's that and I make my way back to our shitty motel through the misty rain that engulfed the whole city all of Friday. Next morning I wake up bw and zach for a quick goodbye and take off at like 9:30 to catch my bus back to Toronto.

The trip was awesome, it was nice seeing Zach again and great to meet bw. I'll definitely be considering visiting you guys in San Diego in the coming months.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The great depression begins

Toronto winters suck. I mean the only thing I look forward to in the winter is watching and playing hockey - aside from that, Toronto's nothing but a big depressing pool of dirty, salty slush for like half the year.

It's only 8C and I'm already busting out the box heater and blasting it on full. (That's right, I don't even have proper heating in my house).

So like I've mentioned a million times before, I'm going traveling this winter. I still have responsibilities here at home, but they'll just have to wait for a few weeks while I go on a nice trip to South America with Deb.

Speaking of Deb, it was both our birthdays (12th and 16th) in August, and for presents we decided on Leafs tickets for myself and a Cirque du Soleil show for her.

OVO is a bug-themed one, the only one currently showing in Toronto, and the show's this Saturday! So excited, this has to be one of the best shows on earth. I cheated and watched some youtube footage of the ovo show and it looks fucking awesome. Tickets were like 250 for two great seats, about half the price I expected. I'll let you guys know how it was after the show.

Leafs are looking pretty solid this year. News articles say good and bad, and basically the gist is that we've improved but still aren't top contenders. Brian Burke, our new GM with a very solid track record moved quite a few people around, including bringing Phil Kessel in which is awesome, but he definitely can't carry a whole team. I'm just excited to watch some more games and potentially see an awesome game live down at the ACC :)

Oh, this is a poker blog, isn't it? Looking at it now, I actually played 20k hands in September...considering my ipoker account has been locked for about a week now I'm not so disappointed. My site's been undergoing a merger for a while now and they really fucked some stuff up, so a bunch of players like myself are left hanging with no info (only info I have is through my affiliate who knows the site manager).

Anyway I ran kinda bad, a little spew in there...ran good at 50nl and 100nl, ran like poop at 200nl. Still a positive month with lots of studying and thinking about the game which I'm happy about. My first stox video came out, and despite it being pretty slow and tbh a little boring, it got good reviews. I now have two videos scheduled for October, the 17th and the 31st I believe, and am working on coming out with something a little more exciting for them.

As I'm writing this my affiliate's actually giving me the OK that my dafa account is now good to go. Now I have the fun of choosing a new nickname :)

Off to grind after that's done, happy October everyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Long time no...write!

Been pretty busy with poker things and real life things lately, so I haven't been around forums at all really.

My days now are mostly spent grinding/studying, having fun with my very special lady, seeing friends, and just enjoying my summer. I've been trying to stay off my PC as much as possible, but that's been hard with the grinding, the seinfeld watching ( is the shit), and blowing off steam playing call of duty or whatever. I actually just bought Mass Effect. Stupid fucking idea iyam, especially for someone that's a 'completionist' (gotta find all the stupid little secrets and stuff, and that game's full of them). Still a geek at heart, I can't help that.

Anyways I figured I'd just give you guys a little update on what's up in my life.

I'm still playing at ipoker which is going pretty well. I was running like god for a while until a few bad days brought me back down to earth, but I'm still very happy with my ~3ptbb/100 and ~%50 rakeback (tangent: get at me if you want a rb deal there. I can't give direct quotes of acutal rb %s, but the guy's super reliable, pays out daily, and I don't care about taking referrals, so you get a solid payout. Just PM me or whatever, I can't gives stuff out publicly. End tangent). Overall I've crushed this year's downswing in BBs, but I've been playing smaller stakes so I don't think it quite adds up. Not that it matters - I feel good, I'm cutting down the dollar variance a ton with the higher rb and smaller stakes, and am making pretty good strides in my game.

I mentioned in the forums that I was on trial as a stoxpoker coach. Although my first video (released Sept. 5th if you want to watch it) was a little slow and really not that great imo, it was well-received and they seemed happy to keep me on the team. The pay is good enough for me to really try to punch out a solid video or two per month, and to really keep me on my toes. I think it's a great thing to have happened to me, and really see it as a potential catalyst to my improvement. I think I'm on deck for another video next month, so watch out for that if you liked my first one.

Winter is somewhere down the road and my girlfriend and I have decided that we'll have to kill ourselves out of depression if we stay here for the whole season. We thought about a cheap all-inclusive type of thing, but to be honest that just sounds so boring and touristy. Lots of my friends have gone traveling and several of them have some cool tips on really cheap <$10/day shacks on the beach which would be awesome. Wake up, take a half our run up and down the beach, wash off in the ocean, then explore the jungles, or rent a motorbike and double-ride through the countryside or go check out nearby cities. All the while grind here and there on my laptop to fund the trip a little bit. Should be a lot of fun. We're thinking about South America, but there are some other places on the wish list too.

That's about it. I will be posting more in the future, looking to do more pokerazor stuff, equity breakdowns and other stuff I'm not as keen on as I'd like to be.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Las Vegas: Day 6

Today was the day I thought I was leaving but didn't realize I had time for another big session, yay!

I had to check out by 11am, so I packed my bags and went out for breakfast at caesar's again. My flight leaves at 9:45 so I had nearly a full day to do whatever I wanted (that means poker), and headed over to the MGM where so far I'd seen the softest play. The room's also pretty nice and service is good, so off I went. Surprisingly, I actually run into Debi again randomly in the casino, she says she's going to go get something to eat and then come sit with me for my last session.

Ended up having a pretty good session overall; I think I made almost a buyin without any big pots so I was pretty happy. Table was pretty juicy, lots of limping and calling pf opens.

Some hands from the session:

Early on I iso with AQd, get only one caller and he checks what I thought was a 997 or 998 flop. Turns out it was something much more coordinated like 986 or something. I only realize this after I cbet and he calls, so I check down two bricks and he shows something like A5. I start to get excited.

Shortly after, maybe even next hand, I open JJ and get two $50-80ish stacked callers. Flop comes J85ss, I cbet, both call. Turn comes an offsuit ace, both have less than a pot bet so I shove when checked to. First calls with A9, second folds. Cha-ching.

A while later I make the mistake of not checking stack sizes. UTG fish limps, folds to me in the BB and I bump to $10 with QJs. I didn't notice he only had like $30 or $40 left, and when he jammed I was committed. I end up flipping with 66 and winning, lucky me!

UTG fish limps (same guy I think), UTG+1 lag-ish player who hates to fold opens to $12 slightly deep (effective), and it`s folded to me. I decide to call with 67s, dont really like it but meh. Fish calls too. Flop comes 754ss, no flush draw for me. I check-call the flop, the fish folds. Turn comes an offsuit 7 and I donk big. UTG hates it but eventually calls. River comes an offuit 9 and I decide to donk out again, but I think I prefer c/r or c/c instead. He ended up folding which shifts my decision, a little results oriented but I think if I check river he`ll bluff missed draws and will value bet strong overpairs whereas if I donk he folds a good chunk of that range.

I end up dwindling about $40 in smaller silly pots later on (pair+FD played passively and missed, two AJ hands where I iso`ed but couldn`t continue, etc), but overall I made almost a buyin.

I only realized now that I left the casino WAY too early, and am now stuck for like 3 more hours at the airport. At least I`m on time. Excited to get home and see my lil lady and treat this sunburn!

Had a ton of fun with all the guys and girls on this trip and will %100 be coming out next year if I can afford it then. As long as I`m still with my lady I`ll be dragging her out next time too. I`m definitely disappointed I didn`t end up actually making money in what is easily the softest player pool relative to the stakes, but I had a great time and after not playing for weaks before the trip, I`m motivated to grind my online bankroll out and get myself back on track. It was awesome meeting all of you guys and I guess Ill see you around the forums!

Las Vegas: Day 5

Another interesting day. I woke up late to a call from Sean who wanted to go hit up the pool and meet up with Debi, Fredrik and Lori later. Pool was nice, but looked like a puddle in an alleyway compared to other places. I only just realized I got completely fried; my chest is burnt and will hurt like fuck tomorrow. Will have to pick up something to help out with that...

So we finish up at the pool, then head over to meet up with Debi at the MGM, then over to the Monte Carlo to have lunch with Fredrik and Lori. Had a nice time, couldn't help but gawk at little Ben's cuteness, and the meal filled us all up great.

Next, it's back to the MGM for some poker, with Fredrik for the first time.

He unfortunately had a horrible time in terms of running well, but we had fun nonetheless.

Some hands...let's see if I can remember more than 3 considering all the booze they fed me.

For the first hour or so I can't really recall any big hands, but there were a few iso spots where I either took it down pf or cbet the flop successfully. After that I moved seats to the other side of the table so I could get the bigger fish to my right, and less importantly the tight Debi and Fredrik to my left.

The big difference today was that I actually played tight and stayed away from bluffing, at least for the most part. One instance where I definitely could have slowed down was where I iso'ed with J9d or something, one of the blinds called the limpers folded. Flop came K77ss, and the blind player donked into me. He was unknown at this point, but had a slightly smaller stack and seemed kinda bad (I think he may have limped or something a few times). He donked out for like 1/2 pot and while I tried to raise it up I accidentally string bet (put in amount for call without verbal announcement of a raise, then put in the raise amount after). He got a little scared of that, and checked to me on the turn. I bet small, basically to fold out his bluffs which either had me beat or had some kind of equity against me, and he called. I gave up on a blank riv and he showed KQ which was never folding. Considering his whole range though, he either had a flush draw, Qx, 7x (none of which are folding), or a very rare bluff. So I don't like messing around there at all really.

Tag to my right opened in MP, I call IP on him with 22. Flop comes pretty good: 26Qss, and I just hope he caught a piece. We end up getting it in, not sure what he had but I took down a full stack in what seemed like the first time all trip.

Orbit or two later I limp in EP with 55, get several calls behind and we see a 456ss flop. Fishy player to my right check-raises me, and while it's not a fantastic spot to stack generally, I thought he'd felt any overpair, 67 and other pair+draw hand, some flush draws, any two pair, maybe 6x once in a blue moon. So I got it in, turns out he had 44 and I held. Looks like I'm finally winning!

Our session is winding down, everyone's kinda playing tight, and then Mr. AJ sits down directly to my right. He's about 14 drinks deep, loud as fuck, correct in his ways in every way possible, ignorant as can be, and he's sitting with a full stack. Nom nom.

Early on he raises A8 like utg or something, gets a call from tattooed, 9 1/2-fingered biker guy who busted Fredrik twice, and bets an AQJ flop. Biker calls. Q comes on the turn, AJ starts freaking out about how he must have just drawn out, checks it to the biker who drops a stack in the middle, and AJ check-raises all in. Biker had KQ and called, and AJ loses it, becoming even more of an asshole than he was before. I'd have minded if he wasn't so horrible at poker, directly to my right, and sitting with a full stack - he rebought right after that hand too.

Unfortunately I don't get any piece of him by the time he leaves, but he was definitely entertaining.

Next was the most interesting hand of the trip by far for me. Llater on, I'm sitting comfortably on 300 or 350bbs, and have Debi behind me who has me covered.

I limp-call 22 utg against her, and flop comes 2TJ. As much as I like Debi, I was pretty excited about winning a big pot at this point. I check, she cbets large, and I check-raise. She thinks for a bit and repops to $145 total. Remember we have about $600 behind. At this point I'm completely 'wow'ed, and am seriously considering folding a set. She raises pf with AK, JJ+, maybe TT, and only repops the flop with TT, JJ, AA and maybe KK, and both overpairs are pretty likely to call as well instead of repopping.

I decide to call to induce more from AA/KK, plus I can't fold a set yet because I'm a fish. Turn comes beautiful, an offsuit A. I think this card saved me, actually. I have about a pot bet left, check it to her, and she thinks after a while. She's actually a little off-put by that A. Or at least she's acting like it. She ends up shoving, and I hate life just a lil bit. I really think it saved me though; she's now tripped up with AA, KK is slowing down, and AJ/AT/KQ doesn't reraise the flop and may not even be in her range at all, so it made the turn a much easier lay down than had it come a 5 or something.

I fold, she shows JJ, and I pat myself on the back. Turn fold is actually probably standard, but I think I can even fold the flop.

That was that, I actually feel good about losing nearly a full stack, and we decide to call it a night.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Las Vegas: Day 4

Played at the Mirage earlier in the day with Sean. Had a decent table of nitty players, a few fish on the other side of the table to my right-ish.

While Sean is railing me waiting for a spot to open, I get AA with a raiser in front, bump it up, get folds all around back to him. He asks how much I have, I say a little over 200, he sort of reluctantly calls. Flop comes nice, J42ss, he checks, I cbet 2/3 pot, he calls fairly fast. Turn comes an offsuit 8, he checks, I bet a committing amount, he CRAI, I call, he shows 8s. Fun stuff.

Short while later I've won back nearly my entire stack with iso pots and stuff like that.

Later on one of the fishy players limps along with several others, and I bump up AA again. Villain has been playing really loose, calling a not-so-shortstacked player's shove with T6s for example. Flop comes J89, he checks, I bet nearly pot, he calls. Turn is a brick, same thing: he checks, I bet big, he calls. I'm putting him on a lot of pair+draw hands and even single pair no draw hands here and am pretty excited about a decent pot. River comes an A, I shove my less than pot bet when checked to, he folds. Poo.

Next was a hand I'm not happy about, again. UTG is a loose-passive fish who I've seen call down light and stuff, and doesn't open very wide pf. He opens $8 utg, gets a caller or two, I squeeze to $30 with AK. I think this is a %100 standard squeeze/fold since he's calling all his marginal hands that either have beat or have good fold equity against (AQ,AJ,pairs up to TT,JJ), and shoving all his monsters. He ended up raising all but $25 of his stack and I jammed, losing the flip to QQ. I think his range is pretty much AK, QQ+ there though, so I hate jamming.

And that's it for the Mirage. Sean took off while I was in the crapper, and I decided to take a nice long walk and potentially play some other juicy place. The bigger the room, the more prone it is to attract the WSOP guys who are all pretty much decent, so hunting for the small rooms with drunks and old farts is probably the +est EV. I end up not playing anywhere since all the games look kinda dry, and head back to my hotel for a dip in the pool which I hadn't even done yet (and I bought a pair of swimshorts just for the trip!). Pool ends up being closed, and I when I go back to my room I get a call from Sean who wants to meet up with Jason and Debi over at the Venetian. Jason was playing the $550 deepstack and was doing fairly well in like his 8th or 9th hour. Sean, Debi and I have a nice meal while Jason grinds away, then we decide to hit up the Mandalay Bay which I hadn't been to yet.

Pretty fishy play, and unfortunately I think I end up $100 down or something with some annoying plays. Some hands I can remember off the top of my head:

AK I open, get loose fish to call, nitty tag reraises to basically min. Cold caller behind, one of the limpers I iso'ed calls, and I decide to flat as a weird play instead of reraising. Probably the AK hand from earlier had me a little afraid of stacking it pf, especially with the "please call me" minraise. I end up check-calling a K98ss flop and have to fold after some heavy action, and fish beats the tag with a suckout, KJ vs AK.

Soon a new guy sits down who is awesomely bad. Doesn`t know what the hell he's doing, but is obviously here for fun and looking to 'get lucky', so we chat it up and stuff and I try to keep him seated at the table. He soon busts with some random crap, thinking he has a straight when he's one card short or something, and heads out. About 20 seconds after leaving, he comes back with an "I can't leave on a bad note" attitude which gives the table a little smile and I start licking my chops. Long story short, he ends up actually leaving with a few stacks and I don't get a chance to make anything off him.

Can't remember anything else; I delayed writing the second half of this post until later in the day so I apologize. I do know I dropped a little bit but started to feel a lot better compared to the day I went to the Venetian.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Las Vegas: Day 3

I promised myself that I'd play a long session yesterday, and while I reached that goal, unfortunately it was with the caveat of losing like 3-4 buyins.

I can sum up the answer to my problems with one sentence: stop bluffing and start value betting thinner. I made what I think would be very effective bluffs in a typical 1/2 online game where people can hand read and potentially fold marginal and weak hands, but live is a different story.

Zach, Sean and I started the day by heading over to caesar's for breakfast again, and decided to meet Jason at Binion's. The card room turned out to be pretty dead. We checked out the Golden Nugget across the street, but it was just as bad. So Zach and I headed back to the strip to hit up the Venetian while Sean and Jason went to Treasure Island I think?

Zach and I went to our separate tables and managed not to find each other by the end of the day. I sat down at a table with like 5 hilarious danish guys who seemed to have pretty good knowledge of the game but were just there for fun; straddling and chasing and goofing around. Unfortunately I ended up OOP against the loosest of the bunch who was also sitting with the shortest stack at like $100. He foiled several hands of mine where he donked into me, leaving half his stack left and stuff like that. I thought about leaving for another table, but the rest of the players were bad enough that I thought it was a pretty +EV table.

Yesterday saw me lose quite a bit, and while I'll review some hands here, the solution was simply to play tighter and value bet the hell out of these guys.

I opened J2s (mistake one) in MP and got a call from one of the Danes who had position on me. Flop came QQ5ss, no flush draw for me, and he flatted my cbet. Could be Qx, a flush draw, but more likely I thought 22-44 and 66-99. Really hate my turn/river play here, but I double barreled a offsuit 6 turn, he called, then I check-folded a 5 river. What I really like in spots like those is betting really small, especially if you weight his range more heavily towards draws. We get an insane price on our bluff and these guys think well enough to realize it looks like I'm going for thin value. Anyways I really hated my play because he's rarely slowplaying a Q there unless he's boated up (live players are terrified of FDs because most other live players love to play suited cards), so he's more likely to be on a draw, and since the only real draws he can call with are Axss and 6xss, I feel like I get tons of folds with even like a 1/4 pot or 1/3 pot bet.

A short-ish player sat down behind me and there were a couple hands I played against him. He seemed tight but ended up being really weak.

One hand I opened 77, he flatted. Flop is 874 and I bet big, he flats. Turn is a Q and I bet huge, trying to rep a double barrel, he thinks and calls. River is a T and I stick him in for less than pot, he folds. I ask if he had 9s, he doesn't answer but asks if I had AQ (so he must have had 8x/99/9T/some other crappy pair).

Another hand I open 97 in LP, he flats from the blinds, and we end up stacking his ~$60 stack on a T97 board. I improve to a FH, he says I sucked out. Yay!

Only goes downhill from there though.

Another one of the Danes opens in EP, gets two loose callers, and it's on me in the BB with JJ. EP Dane at first seemed like a nit, but opened up like crazy later on and at this point I thought he would call any pocket pair to a squeeze, and tons of big card hands like KQ/AJ/other random shit, and obviously jam some better hands. I squeeze his $10 open to $37, he gives the stare and asks how much I have, and shoves. He either outleveled me or is one level below what I expected him to be (just showing strength when he's strong), but he did win the pot with QQ. Thought my read was right, didn't mind the stack, but it was disappointing.

Few hands later, a bunch of limpers in EP, LP tag bumps it up to like $14, I call with 33 from the blinds to get calls behind, everyone calls. Flop comes A35 with a flush draw, I end up check-raising the preflop raiser who folded. HATED my check-raise. It was pretty much a textbook spot for a lead to trap all the weak limper's calls in between, hope the tag raises AJ+, then get in a big reraise. Hate hate hate my c/r there. Lesson on that hand is to slow down with your decisions. As soon as I checked I regretted it.

A couple more hands here, both of which I played horribly, and both of which I got punished for.

Old fart sits down across the table from me and has been doing weird shit like baluga'ing Q9 on T965 and rivering trips (not against me). He limps utg, I iso J6s, everyone else folds. Flop comes 854ss, no FD for me, I cbet, he c/c. I raised enough pf and on the flop that the pot was pretty big on the turn. K drops on the turn, perfect barrel card even though he's still chasing some draws, and I double barrel fairly big. He thinks a bit and calls. River comes a 6, and I end up checking back. I reeeally thought about betting river, but I thought "I'm actually beating most busted FDs (except Kxss/bigger 6xss), he's never folding two pairs (56/86/K6/etc), and a 7 is a pretty big part of his range as well". He flips over A8o and takes it down. Getting frustrated at this point and decide to leave fairly soon.

A few hands later I get my cue. New guy to my left who I remember flatting QJ pf, calling a cbet on AK2, and checking it down calls my LP raise with A7o (which I hated too btw; tilt showing). I cbet T85, he calls after some thought. I put him on any pair, some random overs, most straight draws, and the rare monster. Turn comes a J putting a flush draw on board. I double barrel big, he thinks long then calls again. River comes a Q and I decide to jam for nearly pot. He thinks forever and ends up calling with AQ. "Good luck guys", and I stand up and leave.

So like I said, in summary: value bet more thinly, and stop bluffing with air.

I grab my beer and head out to the strip (oh yeah, drink anywhere outside in Vegas btw :). I take a nice walk, cool off and decide to head back to my hotel after getting disconnected from Zach and not knowing where everyone is. I end up getting a couple messages that everyone's at the MGM having drinks and that they're about to play poker on Joe's last night in town, so I head on over there. I can't find them or get a hold of Debi (she never picks up her phone :p), and start to head over to the food court area to grab some eats, but bump right into her and Joe. Looks like everyone headed over to the Sahara to play some tourney at 11pm, but it's already started and I'm pooped, so I say goodbye to Joe (very nice, classy guy and it was a pleasure meeting you Joe :), grab some food, some more cash for the next few days and head back to my hotel to pass out.

I feel pretty rested today and ready for more poker, but dammit yesterday was dissapointing. I think my goals for the next while will be to make sure I've got good position at the table and to quit or find a new table if I don't like it. There was definitely an element of chasing losses yesterday and I'm really not happy with myself. I think the thing with live poker is that you're usually at some really loose table, and considering it's full, 10-handed, ring, you simply have to play super tight and get it in good. I mean isolating a single limper with any broadway is fine, but usually there are like 3-4 limpers, or a raise and a couple callers, and you just can't get carried away with trying to push them off a flopped top pair or something.

I'll be back at it today. Took out some more cash last night and will be hitting up the tables once more. Maybe back to the MGM, but the Venetian was pretty juicy. Just have to play more sensibly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Las Vegas: Day 2

Day 2 started with breakfast at Caesar's Palace with Zach and Sean and it was awesome. Will no doubt be going back today.

Then we headed out to meet up with everyone at the Rio to watch Fredrik play (he's in the WSOP ME remember). His registration ended up getting delayed through some fuck-up in the system, and he didn't play until we all left the casino. Last update I heard was he dropped to 20k (30k starting). All the luck in the world to ya Fredrik! (minus a little for myself this trip..)

Then Zach, Sean and I headed over to the MGM to grind for an hour before heading up to the cardschat party in Nick's suite. I came out a little more than a buyin up with a nice card rush. Some memorable hands:

Literally the first four hands I get dealt, I pick up preflop monsters and win about half a stack. I purposely show a couple of them to see if I could lay down an image and start running some bluffs later.

Very next hand (yes, 5th hand), I pick up KK, open, get a caller or two, and a young internet(?) player squeezed to like $35. We're both about $300 deep, so I 4bet to $90 or $85 or something. He folds, and I show again.

A little while later, a fishy player to my right who's friend says he's playing in the ME opens. His friend to his left calls in the SB, and I squeeze QQ to like $25 I guess, and cbet a 994ss flop. He folds.

Next I open AK in EP and get 3bet by a $40-60 shortstack from Toronto who's tilting like crazy. I ship obviously, and win the flip against 99.

Last, and definitely most interesting hand: UTG (guy who squeezed and folded to my 4bet) limps, a couple limp behind, and I iso to $15 or so with AK. Folds back to UTG who 4bets. I have serious doubts he does this with worse hands for value or bluffs often enough to get it in good. Not really sure about it though; on the one hand I'd been pushing the table around pretty bad, but on the other hand I had been showing lots of legit hands. Pretty sure a taggy utg limper doesn't just decide to turn JTs into a bluff there, but I could be wrong.

Not sure there were many other hands that session, but I do remember leaving an hour later to some grumbles. Probably felt I was hit and running.

Next, it's Nick's party. He has a ridiculously awesome suite up on the 357th floor of the MGM hotel, and catered with drinks and everything. It was tons of fun and nice to meet more people and get to know others better.

We all agreed to play a STT downstairs, and ended up playing two $60 games. Structure was horrible, starting with 20bbs and the blinds doubling every 12 mins. Was still fun; I busted in both getting my money in bad, and was left itching to play some 1-2. The game also featured some hilarious play and commentary by Jason, aka Alien Genius, including a hand where he lost an all-in, and fell backwards to the ground from his chair to the disapproval of the rest of the room. Had us all in stitches.

I don't know what was going through our sick little heads, but we decided to play each other with 1-2 instead of playing the fishy casino regulars. Obviously it's fun to have an all-CC game going, but I have to say I'm going to be avoiding these guys so I can actually play a significantly profitable game.

Some hands from the session (don't remember all that much after like 10 beers though...):

I open AJd in EP, get a flat from Zach in the SB. Flop is something like 2d6s8d, and he leads for like 1/2 pot. I bump it up, happy to get it in, and he 3bets me. Had Zach been anyone else at the table I'd have seriously considered folding there as the worst they have is a combo draw and monster made hands, but he'd been playing pretty aggro so I shipped it in. He later told me he had A3s or something for a gutter with a backdoor.

Later, Zach opens, I think Joe (Debi, aka Dakota-xx's husband) called the SB, and I squeeze AA to $26. Both Zach and I were like $250 deep and in retrospect I like a bigger squeeze pf, to like $30. Zach says he has AA, then when the flop comes Kh9xQh, he says he actually has JT. I cbet like $30, he raises to like $70 or something.

I can't see him stacking any one pair hand here; he doesn't flat PF then raise that flop with AK, and doesn't stack worse kings or other pairs obv. If he had a flush draw I don't really expect him to raise an inducing amount there; I expect him to jam or flat it. I mean if he has 67h there, raising and calling it off is just going to kill his equity since my hand range will be so strong that he'll only be drawing to a flush. Also, I really don't see him bluff-raising a wet board like this since it hits my range so hard. So I don't like my play of not raising more pf, since it gives him some room to call and make pain in the ass moves on boards like this, and gives him better odds on a set mine. I also don't like my play of jamming here, since basically he only calls with huge combo draws (like GS+NFD or 9x+FD) and hands that have me crushed. He snapped my shove and my heart sank: he had JTs.


A few isolations later and a couple small pots lost, I'm too lazy to reload and I have like $160. I open QQ in EP, get a call from Tammy, and JD gets a little shaky-handed as he squeezes to like $35. I'm genuinely worried at this point; although JD had been a little aggressive today, in general he's a fairly tag player, and I put him on a very strong range. That said, I think the fact that we were shorter stacked, there was some dead money in there, and a significant chance he was squeezing AQs or TT/JJ and calling it off, I don't really see a fold here. I end up getting it in against aces and kick myself for not reloading when I suck out on the river. Sorry Brian!

Not too many hands after that. We all were playing fairly seriously until Zach started getting minraising wars going which was hilarious. He also posted an interesting hand in HA with minbetting involved, funny but interesting stuff.

Last hand was against JD. I open AK, he calls in the SB, we're heads up. Flop comes QQ2, he weak leads for like $12 into $16 or something. I put him on 33-99 pretty much exclusively, and figure raising definitely doesn't get folds on the flop, and gets too expensive on the turn if I decide to fire again. So I flat with the intention of getting aggressive on scary turn cards, and baluga'ing some blank ones because I strongly feel he has to fold 33-99 at that point. He bets like $30 on a blank turn, I raise to $80, he folds. At least I actually thought about one hand well and executed.

Don't remember many other hands; got to bed crazy late last night and somehow woke up early this morning, ready for more. Think I'm going to the venetian today which supposedly has an awesome card room. GL me!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Las Vegas: Day 1

Figured I'd give you guys a bit of a rundown of how each day is for me and how the trip is going. It's been fun so far.

Wake up time is 3:30AM EST, but I'm completely on edge, excited about the trip. I'm freaking out a bit about whether or not I packed everything and have the proper paperwork for tickets etc.

Get to the airport, am completely lost, but end up finding my way to my first flight by 7:46AM. Lucky me, I'm sitting behind 3 skull-candy-sporting, fluorescent pink wayfarer-wearing loudmouth 15 year olds. End up wanting to reach over and slap each one in the face, but restrain myself. Flight is something like 3hrs.

Next is a 2.5hr stopoff in Denver. Didn't do much there, just tried to get some sleep, watch a dogisheadsUP video, and hopped on my next flight to LV.

Second flight is much better, everyone's quiet and I get about an hour of sleep before waking up over I guess what was the grand canyon. It was a little hard to gauge how big the canyons were since we were so high up. Got some nice pictures.

Finally I arrive in LV, get on a shuttle bus, check in to the Imperial Palace, and get a phone call literally within 30 seconds of opening my hotel room door. It's Debi, she's at the MGM, and apparently everyone's already there and having drinks.

I can't tell you how surreal it was to meet everyone. It reminds me of meeting a celebrity: you've seen tons of pictures of everyone, but when you meet them in person there's just this weird surreal feeling. Anyways everyone was super nice and friendly, and made me comfortable as soon as I sat down. We knock back a few, then we all get the itch to play some cards (we are in Vegas after all...). We sit down at a 1-2 game at MGM, and almost have a table full of CCers. There was one aggressive but fishy shortstacking lady with $40, and a couple of decent but slightly weak-tight Swedish guys who were nice, and later on a weird weak-tight player sat down (who did stuff like donk 1/3 pot with 88 on KT9r).

First hand, I toss in (literally) a raise, and as Sean (Icemonkey9) put it, "he nearly took someone's eye out". "I'm used to a mouse", I reply...

Anyways I calm my nerves a little bit and settle down. Not too many interesting hands to post, but I played aggressively for a FR table and took down a few isolation-spot pots, some bigger than others. I was held back a little bit by the aggro shorstacker behind me who loved to get in on every pot and spoiled some of my iso attempts.

We end up heading out for dinner a couple hours later and have some really good mexican food which was nice.

After that, I head back to my hotel while everyone else decides to play some more cards. I'm exhausted, my eyes feel like they're melting from the 40C (100+F?) heat and decide I really need some rest.

So the first day was awesome. Met everyone from CC, some of which I've known for like 5 years!??! Had a nice intro to live poker as well, a nice dinner, and finally got some rest to overcome the jetlag.

Speaking of which, my internal clock is still a little off. I woke up at 8am today LV time, looks like I'll have time to wander a bit before railing Fredrik's first day at the WSOP ME.

More to come tomorrow morning about the day ahead, hopefully more poker to talk about!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Long time, no post...

Every once in a while you kind of need to take a step back and evaluate what's going on in your life. Right about now would be a good time for me, and where better to do it than this rarely-updated archive of boring shit some people call a blog.

I guess we can start with poker.

Last year was fantastic. On pokerstars I moved from 50nl FR up to 100nl, then switched to 6max and played as high as 400nl with solid success. I studied frequently and learned tons about poker theory; enough that my biggest problem was (and still is) no longer what to do and which spots, but applying it all with the proper frequencies. Anyways, I did well, ran well, and thought I was the shit. So much so that I viewed 2009 with a big goal of making 100k. Laugh out loud.

(That's nearly exactly the same actual dollars and EV at $25,000)

This year...well this year was another story. I started off with a nice 25k hand boomswitch, but since then it's been downhill. The differences between this year and last year are simple:

- Last year, I ran well in EV. Dollar-wise, I ran almost exactly the same, but relative to the stakes I ran very well.
- This year, I've been running like shit. Much worse though, than I ran good last year. ie, this year 2BB/100 EV, 0.2BB/100 actual rate. Last year, 3.8BB/100 EV, 4.2BB/100 actual rate.
- Last year I felt I ran relatively even with coolers
- This year I'd literally guestimate that, Feb-May especially, I lost probably $10k in coolers. I could easily be off since guestimation is never really accurate though. Who knows - maybe last year I ran like a god, and this year I'm running even, so my actual 2bb winrate is showing it's depressing face.

(That's $3,500 actual dollars, $9,300 EV)

- Last year I played a 'snug' 24/21 style.
- This year I've played 26/23, and 27/24 at 100nl, my main game of late.

Playing looser is my way of 'rushing' to pick up lots of money ASAP. That of course doesn't work. Well, not really...

- Last year I played exclusively at pokerstars.
- This year I've played at stars, gnuf (microgaming/prima), and most recently expekt (ipoker).

Both gnuf and expekt have completely different player pools than PS, and my adjustments have maybe not been the best. At gnuf, I could literally play 30/28 (very) profitably since the majority of the player pool was either 12/10 nits, or 50/2 fish who folded very well postflop. I could isolate to my heart's content, and rarely got punished for it. I guess I could call expekt the middleground between PS and gnuf. Lots of fish, but a much bigger, tougher player pool too.

For various reasons, I've come to the conclusion that playing tighter - maybe even tighter than my previous 24/21 style - is ideal for my current situation. There are a ton of good tags on expekt, and I just don't think raising more than %20 of hands is doable without some very high variance, even if I played postflop perfectly. I'm not going to list out all the benefits of playing tighter; FPau listed them quite nicely here and definitely influenced my decision.

I've got an awesome rakeback deal, but it only pays out once a month, and my rakeback guy has actually been on vacation for the last few weeks so I feel almost as though I'm not making anything.

What I really need at this point in my poker career is low-variance. Playing a tag style, more tables and soaking up the rakeback will definitely help with that.

Finally, the last difference between this year and last year is that this year I'm spending money like there's no tomorrow, whereas last year I saved it a little better. I'll have to come up with a plan for that too.

So, given this depressing-ass post so far you're probably wondering why I haven't killed myself yet.

In a word, the answer is probably "summer". I've been getting out as often as I can. I didn't really take advantage of summer last year, only going out to have drinks, really. This year I've been to the zoo (with a nice bottle of gin, wee), bike everywhere, have been doing some running, have been seeing lots of friends, went to my cousin's wedding, and am about to go to vegas! I'm ripping through my roll right now, but at least it's for a good cause: I'm actually having fun.

My personal life has been pretty fucked up the last while, and it feels good to smile again. My aunt had a stroke - she's recovering well by the way, we have a drug problem in the family, my mom and Joe, her partner and main supporter in the house, are probably about to break up, collection agencies call us about 9 times daily, our house is 100+ years old and is falling apart and isn't worth anything on the market, we can't even afford it, and now my motherfucking fridge broke down.

Right now though, I'm super excited about Vegas and am not even thinking about all that shit. Fuck it, just fuck it. I have a list of shit to pick up and do, and have to get on it asap, so I'm out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Steady as she goes

Gotta say I'm feeling pretty good right now. Poker's going well, it's finally (well, almost) summer, and I'm just feeling more healthy.

I bought a beautiful Kona Jake bike a week or two ago and am finally getting a chance to ride it. The first five days after I bought it, it literally either rained or I had to stay at home to take care of my Oma. Was just itching to get on this thing.

Finally the weather's cleared up and I've taken a couple trips down to my old school to get a few sprint-jog-sprint-jog laps in. They also have monkey bars for a few chinups as well. It's funny how quick my body reacts to exercise; I'm already bulking up a little bit (lol, compared to my normal skeleton frame at least) and am constantly craving healthy foods.

I bought the bike through Pokerstars' concierge service which at first felt awesome. Slap it on my credit card, take it home, scan the receipt, shipt it to PS, they take points away and ship the cost of the bike to my account.

Then the assholes had to announce instant cash/fpp exchanges exclusive to June. 150,000 points for $2,400, and before I bought my bike I had 132,000 saved. I tried to reverse the concierge service but they won't let me :(

Would have been a nice boost to the bankroll instead of fpps just sitting there waiting to get spent on something I don't need.

Gnuf (microgaming) is going well. It's pretty killer with the shorstackers - at least two at every table - but I've still managed to grind out a nice 5ptbb winrate over almost 15k hands, clearing $780 so far of my $1k bonus. That will be a nice, welcome addition to my ailing bankroll. Looks like I have like less than 5k hands to play.

I also hooked up with Stosh recently for another Stoxpoker video. If you have a subscription you can view it here. Turned out pretty well and we plan on doing more; who knows, maybe I'll turn into the next Owen Gaines and have my own series at some point :p

So that's about it! Poker's going well, life is going well, and I feel good. I do have to say that one of the main reasons poker is going well is because I'm learning more. It's something I haven't focused on enough in the past, and can definitely attribute my last swing in some part to. I was paying too much attention to my winnings, and not learning enough. I was probably not so far behind the player pool that I got run over or anything like that, but the more you learn, the better you get, and the more money you make. Worrying about each and every buyin is one of the biggest leaks you can have, and its' something I'm in the process of fixing.

I'm not even bothering posting monthly summaries anymore. I guess I'll throw a graph in here and there for fun, but I think my main focus will be to grind hands, study even more, stay healthy in 'real' life, and see where it takes me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Expekt and the Gnuf bonus

Just a quick note.

My expekt deal (ipoker) finally went through. I get a certain percentage through the site, and a certain percent through my rep, and it adds up to %50. First full month I get more than that though since my rep wants to make up for having it delayed for so long.

On the other hand, I'm 5500 points into clearing my gnuf $1k bonus, and I'm not sure it's more worth it to stay there and grind it out or to start hitting up the ipoker tables.

The expekt deal lasts until November, after that my rep says there will be other deals available.

Very excited about this as it will bring a lot more consistency to my profit line, give me some experience adjusting to a(nother) new player pool, and will also force me to play fewer tables, in turn giving me time to think deeper about my decisions and in turn forcing me to play more hours to make good volume.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"This did not go well. I think I might be allergic to them."

Also check out his drink recipe video with David Cross.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

...and the run continues

Welcome to poker hell. You big hands don't get paid off, when they do, it's because they're up against better hands, your bluffs never work, and it happens for so long that you start to doubt every single aspect of your game.

This is how it's been for me for a good 3 months now. The money I've lost from the beats, coolers, and bad play of my own have dwindled my bankroll to a fraction of what it once was. It's not the end of the world, but I can feel myself approaching that point where I just don't give a shit anymore, but obviously I really don't want to see myself vaporize the rest of my bankroll. I still believe there's money to be made in the game, and that I can propel myself either into a full-blown professional poker career, or kickstart some other career for myself should I choose to leave the game.

So I need a plan. I need to figure out what's wrong, what I need to do to fix it, and how I will do it.

One thing that I can't help is the luck. I'm down nearly $8,000 in EV in the last 75k hands, and would guesstimate there's another 2k in coolers in there. Not fun, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about that except play within bankroll restrictions to ensure I don't go broke. That by the way has led me back down to 100nl for the first time in months. A big hit to my ego in a sense, but as I said there's just nothing I can do about it. Moving down might actually help me in that the regs and fish are so much worse that it may boost my confidence again.

Otherwise, I have to spot the leaks in my game. I'm not a stats genius and am having a little trouble running filters and stuff to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I could get coaching, but my bankroll's so small I just don't think I can afford it. Luckily, both Alan and Stosh are in a position where they can offer free sessions here and there. Alan himself has been on a massive 300k hand breakeven stretch (remember he's formerly a massive mid-high stakes winner over millions of hands). It scares the shit out of me to think that someone so strong can run bad for so long.

Talks with CC members (Fredrik, BW, and coaching Icemonkey) have been great. It always helps to discuss poker and start thinking of it in a logical way rather than "for fucks sake, he's got the nuts again" type thinking.

So with respect to poker, I can apply myself a little better and start bugging you guys and the stox coaches for more sessions. That has to help.

With respect to my mental game, I'm not sure how much longer I can afford Jared's coaching. He's phenomenal, but he's about 250 per session which is starting to hurt. I unfortunately fuck up my side of the bargain by not doing a lot of the stuff we talk about, so maybe I can simply get coaching less often from him and apply myself more to try and actually get the stuff we talk about done.

One more thing that's been taking way too fucking long is this rakeback deal. There's all type of delays happening with Expekt's rep and a mixup with my username, and it looks like it'll still be a while before we close the deal. That should be a huge help, providing some sort of consistency to my profit with %50 rakeback(/bonuses). I've even looked at propping, but there are so many restrictions with it that I'm not sure it's something I want to do.

I have a feeling that once the ipoker deal goes through, the change of scenery and added rakeback could spark a change in my swings. I reeeeally hope so, because I'm really getting sick of all this shit.

So anyways, my plan is:

- more skype/aim talks with friends/coaches
- mark hands in HEM for general leak-finding
- replay audio of last session with Jared, take notes
- maybe reread Elements of Poker
- get out more, spring's always good to put a smile on my face :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yet another reevaluation

I'm still running like shit, it's still tilting me, I'm playing bad because of it and I need to fix this, or I'll go broke. Plain and simple. I realize there are a select few people who actually read this blog on occasion, and to those select few: I'm sorry it's been the same old bullshit the last few months, and that this has turned more into a self-help/self-analysis thing than anything else even mildly entertaining. I wish I had awesomely successful months to tell you about, and advice for you on how to make 10k+ per month, but I can't do that if I can't even break even anymore.

It seems like the way it used to be was that even on my worst runs, my poker abilities were enough to push through it. I didn't need to have a constant eye on my mental state, I didn't have any confidence problems, I didn't have nearly as many -$1k days as I am today, and I didn't need to hire a mental game coach to help me manage it all.

Ultimately it comes down to me running like shit, dropping from my A game to my B game, and having such bad results that the tilt pounds me down to my F game where I lose massive amounts if it goes unchecked.

The beats are one thing. Looking at the theory, if I keep getting my money in good, in the long run I will profit. Fine, but when I run bad for long periods of time, I eventually fall of the "F game cliff", and have a LOT of trouble getting back on top of it. I've been on and off this cliff since the beginning of March (and counting). So how do I make sure I don't fall off again? One thing I can do is define my A/B/C/F games so that I know how close I am to doing so. Have certain characteristics and traits for each stage written down so I recognize where my head's at. Let's do that here:

A game:

-Always checking stats
-Can play 6-8 tables, but usually I'm playing 4-6
-Aware of opponents' state of mind
-Owning the preflop game
-Thinking before each decision
-Quitting when I need to
-Relaxed, clear mind
-Folding well with marginal hands vs lots of action from fish
-Managing pot size well

B game:

-Forgetting some minor stats
-Playing more tables than I can manage
-Not aware of opponents' state of mind, dropping down a level in thinking?
-Making a few mistakes PF (not checking stack size, 4bet bluffing a bad spot, making weak calls vs 3bets etc)
-Not thinking before each decision fully
-Mind a little distracted, not focused
-Paying off fish a little
-Not paying attention to bet sizes

C game:

-Often forgetting stats completely
-Playing 8 tables, refusing to drop tables because they're juicy
-Not thinking at all about opponents' states of mind
-Sloppy preflop play
-Rushing decisions
-Distracted, on autopilot
-Making sloppy calls, just 'hoping' I'm good
-Using betpot instead of thinking about bet sizing myself

F game:

-"On tilt". Furious, enraged, apeshit crazy tilty state of mind
-Not paying attention to breathing at all
-Backraising silly hands all in
-4bet bluffing way too much
-3betting too much
-3 barreling too much
-Check-raise bluffing in horrible spots
-Spewing in general

Just as both Tommy Angelo and Jared Tendler preach, if I can chop off the times when I'm playing at my worst (read: F game), I'll play poker with a higher percentage of A-C game, and as such make a higher hourly. Knock off the time I play my C game, and my hourly rises even further. By that logic I don't really need to even improve my A game in order to run a bigger winrate. I guess improving my A game will help me beat 2/4 for a bigger winrate and push me through the midstakes, but right now I need to stabilize myself to get back to actually winning at 1/2.

When I ordered Mr. Angelo's book I asked him to sign my book along with some advice for me, an aspiring professional. His advice: "Remember - order to win at poker, you have to be very good at losing". So that's #1 on my list: recognize when I'm approaching that F game dropoff, and quit. Wish me luck.

No really, I need some luck.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dont Stop Believing - Journey

Had another session with Jared, will post a fully thang soon. Lots to look forward to, and I'm foreal about actually applying myself this time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Winning? wat?

Yep, finally winning again for a change. I really forgot what it felt like, and oh god is it sweet.

What did I change? Well for one I took that huge long three day break from poker. This cooled me down, I took a quick look at my game and saw obvious leaks left right and centre (mainly that I was playing like a raging maniac), and fixed them. I'm back down to my usual 6max style, still changing small things for the better, but sticking to a solid lag/tag style. No 30/26/%12 3bet, raising every other flop as a bluff. It just doesn't work unless you're playing completely abc players, which there just aren't that many of at 200nl anymore.

For those running like shit, please heed my advice: take a break. Seriously, if only for a day, take that break. I hated the fact, but not playing poker actually felt good. I know you insist that you're playing your A game still and that there's little to no tilt involved, but believe me, there is. There always is when you're not running well unless you have no pulse.

BalugaWhale's book now has a price and a release date; you can find the info on his site. There's also an option to get it for a certain amount of MGR through one of their rakeback deals. Sounds pretty good, but moving to a new site with different software, no info on the player pool and having to figure out bet pot and all types of other shit is just going to be a pain in the ass. Might not be worth my time.

I've thought for a while about moving to a different site with straight rakeback, and although that deal is enticing, I just don't think it would be worth moving without a rakeback deal worth more than your standard %30. Stars' support, the familiarity, the info I have on the players I know, keeping supernova, I'm just not sure it's worth it.

I'll think about it a bit, but either way I'll be getting the book when it comes out early May.

It's a little surprising that I started running so well before even having a session (since my recent shitty stretch) with Jared. I've got one booked tomorrow and will get my act back together. I'm almost on pace for a 'good' month in terms of number of hands, but could definitely play more. Spring stuff has gotten itself in the way of that for the meantime. I haven't done any mental game exercises at ALL this month, despite setting a goal to do my warmup/warmdown stuff for %75 (was it?) of my sessions. I dunno, I think I just have to take a step back and look at what I'm trying to do with Jared and my mental game, and get it done. I can't keep dropping hundreds on sessions with him only to dick around and not do the stuff he's laying out for me.

Speaking of coaching, I hope he doesn't mind me mentioning it but Icemonkey9 approached me for coaching a while back and until now I wasn't sure I was going to do it. I still don't have much experience coaching one on one, but I think all the posting and videos I've done have convinced Sean I'm good enough to help him out with 6max for a reasonable price, and we're starting soon! I'll be taking a look at his DB, spotting leaks, and preaching to him what I think is a winning 6max style. Should be fun, Sean's a great guy and hopefully we can get some videos of the sessions out for you up and comers.

I think that's about it. I realize I haven't posted a graph or even a hand on this piece of shit blog in ages, so here's this year's madness. I'm sure you can understand why I was getting so frustrated now that I put the swing in perspective huh? :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cooled down?

To recap, March was a disaster, dropping a few grand and tilting worse than I have in a long while, only to nearly break even by the end of the month, lifting my spirits. Then April started with a nice downward ~$4k slope. Since then I took a break, did some fun stuff outside of poker, got back to review my play and get back on the grind. I think I was having a somewhat frustrating break even stint before a few winning sessions brought back some confidence. The biggest difference? I'm tightening up.

One factor in me playing so loose (I think I was 28/24 for a while there, with proportionally high 3bet/4bet numbers) was the HU play on the side. I think I've improved my HU play dramatically lately, and that includes my tilt control during those sessions which was undoubtedly my biggest leak, but it has a side effect of altering my perceived ranges in 6max. I think everyone's making plays when really they simply have hands.

Mr. Paulsson has recently been playing a much tighter >20 vpip style, and honestly I'm starting to think it might be optimal in today's low/mid stakes games. I guess you could swing that argument back and forth, but for now I think my MO should be to drop my game down to somewhere around a 22/20 instead of the approaching 30 vpip style I had.

A big problem with playing tight is that it's an ego thing for me, honestly. I do believe I'm in the 5th percentile at 200nl 6max, and kind of wish more than believe that I can play superduper aggro and run the tables. That of course has it's detrimental side in that I try to play that style, people play back at me or show up with dominating hands in big pots, and I get furious that they 'show up with the top of their range'. Of course I am running like shit lately, but playing so loose is definitely a part of it. While a 19/16 style is definitely exploitable, it very well could be the highest earning style atm. Honestly if you look through the PTR ratings of highest grossing 200nl 6max players this year, most of them are the nits who we 'good' players think we're exploiting! Like 17/14 nits! What the fuck!

Not to mention that with that style they can play a million tables, increasing their hourly wage tenfold or whatever. Fuckers.

Anyways, that's the first thing on my plate: tighten up. Not quite 17/14 or even 20/17, but at least back down to my usual 24/20 or 23/19 or whatever.

Some other stuff on my plate:

I was going to do coaching with BalugaWhale, but looking at the guesstimated price for his new ebook coming out in a few weeks, the courses don't even look worth it to me. The book covers 'everything', is in a format you can constantly refer to and have forever, and is only ~$1000. The course I'm looking at is specific to 'beating aggressive games' (not entirely sure how much content or the variety of content is in there compared to the book), is a one time thing that you can't reread (maybe they record it as a video though?), gives you the advantage of speaking directly to BW himself, but it's almost 2.5x the price of the book. So really you're paying extra to interact with BW and the other students. Not sure the price difference is worth it for me.

The course doesn't start for a while and not all the info is out on the book, it's pricing, etc etc yet, so I'm seeing if I can wait before deciding.

Another thing I need to do is have another session with Jared to get myself even more level-headed and get some goals set out. I simply can NOT afford another blowup like March/early April.

Kind of a scattered post, but that's the way I feel right now.

I almost completely abandoned this month's goals so I could clear my head of poker for a while, and I kind of regret it. Haven't done a bunch of shit on that list, and some of it I think I'll benefit from. If any of you low stakes 6max guys want to start getting some sweats going, let me know.

Cheers guys. I know for some of us cardschatters, poker's been pretty shitty for the last while. Keep your chin up and get through it. Remember those 5k+ months and they'll come back :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

One step forward, two steps back


A couple days ago I was in such a bad mood I really truly was thinking about quitting poker and moving on. The variance is bad, but the stress it was putting on me just added to the problem.

I haven't played since then and although I'm already getting the itch to play again, I think I should keep breaking for a few more days. I'm running like shit, but my tilt is at such a level that the variance is but a fraction of the million bbs I've lost lately. I don't care to look, but I think I'm down 3800 this month alone in about 3 (long) sessions. Not fun.

So just like I always suggest to downswingers in the forums, first and foremost you should take a break because most likely the variance isn't the only thing contributing to your bad run. I know for a fact my tilt is the HUGE overwhelming factor.

A good way to explain my state is with another concept of Jared's which I've mentioned before. I'm too lazy to draw it, but think of a graph with a bell curve. Left to right is your emotional state, top to bottom is your performance level. Imagine dead centre, a '50' on the x axis, is your tilt threshold. You cross that, and it's very hard to come back from it (which coincidentally is why Jared preaches paying close attention to your state relative to this point so that you can't cross it). Usually you have to quit your session. Anywhere in the ~40-50 range is your ideal place to be in. "The Zone".

Now my problem is that instead of starting off somewhere around a '0', gaining more focus as I wake up and warm up my poker brain, I'm still tilted enough from the dark cloud above my head that says I'm down $X in the past day or week or month or whatever, and I start at say a '40'. That would be ideal if I could stay there, but I get upped on the emotional scale so quickly if I lose a make a mistake, get bad beat, or coolered, or whatever, that I much more easily cruise past that '50' mark, the tilt threshold, and there's no turning back. Most of my recent sessions have been marked by constant desk slamming, forhead on keyboard action, "you can't be serious"s, "why does this always happen to me"s, and "why can't I ever run good"s.

So, what's the plan? I think the break will help me forget about all this shit and bring my starting point on the emotional scale back down closer to a zero. Then after that, I most likely have to look over my sessions and see (aside from the tilt) what I've been doing wrong.

Thanks to Fredrik, I'll be talking smart poker once again with him soon, and can hopefully straighten myself out.

I've also got another very lucrative learning experience available to me, but unfortunately it costs $2400. Balugawhale, the coach of all coaches in my mind (you're great too Alan!) does group coaching, and is available for I think the 15th of April. If you haven't watched his DC videos, do so, and you'll understand why I'm willing to drop so much on him.

The course runs over 8 weeks, once session (which is ~1.5hrs) per week, and the group is no more than 8 people deep. It works out to $300/week which sounds a hell of a lot better than $2400 in one plop, but it's still most probably out of my range. I have zero doubt in my mind that this is what I need right now (alongside some more mental game coaching), but considering how much my bankroll has dropped recently I just don't think I can afford it. Really unfortunate :( I suppose I can wait for his next session, but as we all know, coaches increase their rates over time and I just don't know if he'll be worth it for me in a couple months or whatever.

So anyways, I'm making progress in some areas (scheduling my time better, playing WAY more), I'm failing miserably in others (warmup/warmdown, tilt control, quitting). I'll break for a little while longer, but when I come back I have to address those things I'm failing at. Right now, my dog has developed some kind of skin thing just this morning where his face swells up like crazy. It's sad because I can tell he's in some pain, but I can't help but giggle because it's like looking at a fat version of him. teehee. Time to take him to the vet.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A long first day, looking ahead to next week

Had a nice long session yesterday, but unfortunately definitely tilted big time.

At first I hit up Prima for some easy HU action. I 2-table a 50nl (maybe euro, nto sure) who turns out to be a maniac. He's extremely aggro but is very spewy. Early I decide to call down AK in a 3bet pot oop on a 4889ss board and he shows K4. Next, he 3bets into my ATs, I call, peel a KT6 flop and get the money in on an A turn and he shows KQ. I run goot. Last hand before he runs, I 3bet KTs and ship it on a Kxxss flop against his Q5s for a flush draw, I win, easy game. I've played very few hands on Prima, but even their regulars are just horrible, and I mean it.

Next, I decided to 2-table what seemed like a 100nl reg HU, now on stars, and I can probably say he ran me over. I'd like to think I was coolered, ran bad and didn't get my chance to value bet the hell out of him since he was calling down so light, but I think he may have just played better.

For one, he minraised his buttons, even when we got 400bbs deep, which I give him credit for because it made it very tough to adjust to. Building pots was harder, as was 3bet bluffing, the minraising gave him more room to bluff postflop, and it just plain was a pain to deal with. I probably shouldn't play any more minraisers until I really study how to exploit them.

So the stacks got deeper and deeper, and we began the postflop crazybluff war. In other words, he'd raise button, I'd 3bet, he'd call, I'd cbet the flop, he'd bluff raise me. Then occasionally I'd rebluff him. Most of the time he made the last bluff, often committing too much for it to be profitable in my mind, and I was just waiting for a spot to get it in with some kind of equity or made hand, but only got that chance maybe twice in the 1,000 hands I played him. That's the part where I feel unlucky, but no doubt that fact is because I was 3betting so light that my hands were too weak to flop that kind of equity often enough.

Anyways long story short, I started battling back from a lowpoint of like 8 buyins, stacked him a few times to get to ~2BI down, then the biggest hand of the match: 400bbs deep, I open J9s, he 3bets, I call with the intention of flopping a big hand/draw and coaxing another re-re-rebluff out of him, and making some moves unimproved. I flop KQT with a flush draw, the raising war begins, and I get my money in vs AJ. GG, he remembers he has to go to sleep directly after that hand...great timing.

Credit to him, he played very well, and I'm not sure I'll play him again without more HU experience, but it would have been nice to run well. Such is the game of HU I guess. I really can't complain, I spewed in a few spots for probably 2-3 stacks anyways.

On to 200nl 6max and I run pretty bad, dropping like 5 buyins or something before making most of it back.

I think my girlfriend is getting sick of me whining to her over the phone, heheh.

So I played a grand total of 2,700 hands yesterday which is an awesome start to the month in that category, but I both forgot to do my warmup/warmdown, as well as my plan for the week. I'm not sure I'm playing much today, so I won't be able to fix the warmup/warmdown problem, but at least I can set out my week's schedule now:

Today: Play 1-2hrs if possible

Fri: Busy with Oma, but can squeeze in 1hr of HU during the day. Play 2hrs of 6max if you have the time

Sat: Wake up at 10am, walk dog, play 11am-1pm, break for an hour, play 2pm-4pm, go party!

Sun: Wake up at 9am, walk dog, play 10am-12pm, break for an hour, play $5 CC WSOP satty, possibly multitabling cash alongside.

Mon: Busy with Oma, squeeze in 1hr of HU play. Play 2hrs of 6max if you have the time

Tues: Wake up 9am, walk dog, play 2hrs, break 1hr, play 4hrs.

Wed: Same as above, redo next week's schedule.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why haven't I been posting as many reviews?

Well first and foremost I'm lazy. On a serious note...

Although goal-setting is extremely powerful and almost essential imo, the fact that they are required to be set within predetermined time zones like days, weeks, months or years forces us to form bad habits and develop bad thought processes. By that I mean, for example, instead of just looking at our poker goals (like number of hands, strategical improvement, tilt control, hours of study etc) from month to month, we also look at our actual poker progress as broken up into months. I think it's destructive because it pushes us from the position of looking at poker as one big game, and instead we look at the results of smaller chunks of the big game, and as such focus more on the day to day variance. And that kills your tilt.

So instead of looking at each hand individually and separate from others (with metagame considerations obviously), we look at the results of our session; "FUCK, today I lost $X, and it's going to be harder for me to win $Y on the month now". Of course the results of each month are insignificant and arbitrary, and the important thing is simply playing each hand as best you can.

So that's one of the reasons I'm trying to ignore monthly results. That, plus the laziness of course.

So this being the end of month wrap-up, I'll be looking at my poker goals instead of my results, which have obviously been less than stellar.

One of the reasons I shied away from getting mental coaching from Jared in the beginning was that I just didn't feel there was enough time before, after, and during each session for all his warmup/warmdown/breathing exercise stuff. And I think it's partly true, but I could definitely have done better in that area this past month.

I only have 9 entries in my warmup/warmdown booklet for the entire month, and a good chunk of those don't contain a warm-down. This was mostly for the reason that I was so enraged after so many of this month's sessions that I didn't give a shit about writing down "why I felt angry", or "what can I do next time to improve". But therein lied the problem of why I was so tilted every time I started the next session.

How did I get out of the loop without actually adhering to the entire process? I have no idea. I think my desire to hit the ebooks, coaching videos, forums and sweat sessions helped boost my confidence tremendously and I've been on a nice heater for the past few thousand hands because of it.

It's just hard doing the warmup/warmdown every single session. I'll have to revise something, but it's just not going to happen when I decide to play a 1/2 hour-1 hour HU session on Prima with a horrible reg. Maybe it should, but I'm far to impatient and lazy to do so.

I think, before I start really ranting, my month can be summed up as such:

- Played 25k+ hands despite having my internet cut out for 1/4 of the month or more
- Was put to a real test with my tilt control, failed miserably in the beginning, but pushed through like a champ in the end
- Did warmup/warmdown for well under 1/3 of my sessions. Big fail.
- Really improved my work schedule and have been playing far more hours than I ever have. I can now actually visualize playing 4 hours a day.
- Really took a look at my game and studied lots. Very happy about that.
- Even played HU with all my tilt problems.

And although I'm posting a a graph below of my winnings (or lack thereof), I'm doing so purely for entertainment value. It's not any measure of anything except maybe my tilt problems early in the month. Most definitely the swingiest month I've ever had in my poker career, and I hope it will hold that title for years to come.

I mean really. I've made almost $34000 in my career, and this month is but a drop in the ocean. I finished the month ~$1000 under, but what the fuck does that even mean? It means relative to the beginning of the month, another completely insignificant point in time, I've dropped that amount. Relative to the beginning of my poker career, I've won $34k. So what does the month matter?

Obviously results are what we're looking for in poker, but paying attention to the monthly or even daily variance is just going to do nothing but break your brain. That said, here's the horror I've been complaining about all month, along with the slightly depressing all in EV line :p

My goals for next month:

- Play 35k+ hands
- 5k of which HU, 50nl-200nl
- Play at least 3/4 of my sessions with a >5 minute warmup and >5 minute warmdown.
- Get at least one more hours of coaching with Jared even if you feel like you don't need it
- Persue coaching with balugawhale
- Play all the WSOP satties from CC
- Set weekly goals including certain days where you have a certain number of hours to play, starting tomorrow
- Do at least two more sweats with fellow CCers, post videos of them (one of Icemonkey and myself coming soon btw)
- Spend less on sushi
- Go skydiving if you can find someone to go with you
- Get sub to gym before the 5th of the month

Can't think of anything else at the moment, but that's quite a list as it is anyways.

I should probably start making weekly summary/goal setting/review posts from now on. Think I will.

Here's to making progress, gl at the tables guys.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This is by far the month with the biggest difference between all in EV and my actual winnings. Normally that would freak me out and send me on monkey tilt (ahem, see the beginning of this month...), but right now I feel truly good about my game.

At one point I even took a small 100 hand shot at 3/6 to try to win some quick moneys back. Something I haven't done since my Titan poker days where I was playing 2/4nl with a $2200 bankroll. That actually makes me laugh out loud now that I think about it. I truly thought I could make it back then :p

I think my work with Jared has done a lot for me. Unfortunately I've slipped off with my warmup/warmdown stuff, but I've been paying a ton of attention to my mental state and working really hard on keeping it on an even keel. Usually what happens after a bad streak is I hit a good streak, and voila! My tilt issues are solved. That of course was the problem since I never worked on my tilt issues, so the next time I hit a rough patch I would blow up just the same.

Not to say I'm some zen master now, but I do feel a lot better.

Another thing I've decided to take a swing at is heads up. It's been a nice test for my tilt control, to say the least. Lots of typical HU craziness like stacking an overpair in a 4bet pot with tiny SPRs, only to see my opponent has 78 for a straight. Tilting stuff in the moment, but I've dealt with it well. Take the beat, realize he's calling 4bets way too much, adjust.

I'm still in the red with HU, but am running at a solid 6.5bb/100 sklansky winrate which isn't bad for someone who used to spew stacks left right and centre.

One thing Jared's taught me is that money 'lost' to fish isn't money lost at all. They're borrowing it. You can look at them as a huge school of fish; they are all one entity, and they are unending. You get unlucky or make a bad play and they win your stack? Another one is just waiting in line behind him to give you his stack. Make those winning plays in the long-run, and you will make that money back.

So instead of looking at real dollars (which I still obviously can't help but do), I've tried looking at each hour, calculating my average winrate over my career, and figuring out what amount of virtual bucks I've made, which in the long run will converge of course.

In the past week, I'm up nearly $4,000 virtual bucks. In reality, I'm only up $1,300.

Another thing that's helped tremendously is actually studying and posting HHs again. It sounds completely egotistical and is just nonsense, but I thought I'd got to a point where I could just figure out my poker problems myself, and would only post if I found myself in a really, really tough spot. I've tried changing that recently and am pleasantly surprised at how much response I'm getting.

I've made some significant changes to my game too, mainly (and from solid advice from some material and former coaching) to semibluff WAYYYYY more in big pots. A quote from one source of material says (and I have to note this is about mid-higher stakes where you can actually get floated light and can fold out your opponents later) is that if you decide to bluff, unload the whole clip. Don't just fire a cbet, or cbet and turn cbet then give up. Fire all three. And that's helped.

I also made a video which some may have missed:

Other than that, not much happening I guess. I've dropped so much dough lately that I had to kind of give up on the apartment for now. I just don't have enough in the bank anymore to be sure I can hold up that one year lease. It'll still be there in a few months and by then I might even have changed my mind, but for now I'm fine getting back to grinding.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My week so far

-PS gets laggy
-Internet dies soon after
-Called internet provider, turns out they didn't bother to tell me they halted my account until I called them about renewing my service with them
-Internet back up
-Try PS, still not working
-Find out modem is dead
-Replace modem
-Find out router is dead
-Dump router, so wireless is dead until I buy a new one
-Try PS, it's working, but lagging like fuck, and cuts me out in-session twice
-Call ISP, it's not them
-Phone is dead
-Call phone company, play phone tag with 3 different assholes before finally getting someone with half a brain, and only today is my internet 'working' (still lags some)
-I barely trust my connection playing online
-Go out to dinner with the lady to blow off steam
-Drop my awesome headphones on the way and step on them, crushing an earbud

Usually what happens is the phone line comes into your house, into a demarcation box which splits the lines so you can have more than one phone jack, and everything's good. What's happened in our house is that we did renovations, somehow lost the location of the demarcation box, and because of that they put a line directly into our house and into one phone jack which leads to our wireless phone hub. The problem with that is that there is no longer one rubber-coated line coming into the house. It's a flimsy little wire that's been connected outside our house that can easily be affected by rain, snow, or a fucking chipmunk running across it.

right on cue, my internet has cut out. Thank god for Blogger's post saving system.

So you can tell, this hasn't been the best of months. I've still managed 10k hands somehow, but they've been pretty horrible. Dropped 3k within the first 4k hands, started to claw my way back up to a highpoint of 1k under, then had another horrible day that dropped me back down to 2.5k under or so. Ran well today but I'm still pretty disappointed this has all come down at such a critical point.

I'm trying my damn hardest to work on all the stuff that Jared has been teaching me, but it's been hard. Well that is it's hard when I play. When I can't play, I can't practice tilt control or following the process model (of prep., play, and evaluation).

I'm planning on moving out, getting my own place and having my girlfriend live with me and pay her side of things while she does. I've still got about 20k CDN, and I think that'll be enough for a place with ~$1500/month rent. I figure for one or two people with utilities and food it shouldn't be more than 2k/month. And having said that, I believe having 10 months expenses is pretty safe. Not that that 20k is static and guaranteed, but at least it's there now. Most don't even have first and last saved up when they get an apartment.

Once I did move out and got everything sorted (I figure one month to move all my shit, maybe two if there are delays), I think I'd be in the clear. All the time in the world to grind and start actually having to take care of myself.

The apartment is also awesome because it's a huge warehouse, something that the owner doesn't care about taking care of. ie, I could drill a speedbag mount into the wall as well as my flat screen and all that type of stuff.

Not to mention an ACTUALLY CONSISTENT internet connection!!! Imagine that!

I think before I make the commitment I need to really sit down and calculate everything to make sure it would work out alright. Unless I go on some ridiculous run where I drop 10k or something, I'm not really in any danger of not being able to pay for the bills though. That feels pretty awesome.

I played for an hour or so today, ran really well which was nice for a change. Still have a bad taste in my mouth from the rest of the month, but at least I reminded myself what it's like to actually win.

Spring's here and I'm sitting writing a blog, how lame. Gonna go grab a beer and chill on my porch, invite some friends over and then go celebrate St. Paddy's day! Have fun all, and don't die Liam.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Clawing back

Back on the upswing, still in the red for the month though. Have felt a lot better the last few days - still tilting, but to a much smaller degree, and my results were break-even before tonight as opposed to losing $500+ per session. It's so easy to lose confidence and just give up, but in my experience all it takes is getting back to the fundamentals, studying more, playing more, and trying your fucking hardest to stay level-headed. My arms are feeling pretty strong from all the pushups I've been doing. Knuckles are a little sore.

I have a feeling a lot of the tilt comes from the fact that I've been trying to 6-8 table as opposed to my now 'normal' 4-6 tables. I feel %100 fine following the action, but it's a little harder to tell how much the tilt factor is increased with the added tables. It was starting to feel like 40k+ hands per month was going to be a breeze 8-tabling, but after this past week or two I've realized I have to work with at most 6 tables for a while longer, and that means either the same hours and lower volume per month, or I'll have to kick in some more hours to make up for that.

I've gotten to rereading and reviewing some material I hadn't touched in a while, and am comtemplating rereading Elements of Poker again. Stosh also contacted me about doing a second Stoxpoker video with him, this time with his hands, so that should be fun and will no doubt refresh my poker mindset. Sweats with Fredrik have been great too, it's just a little coordinating it sometimes even though he does a great job of freeing time for them.

On a side note, the videos entitled "Sweat session with Fredrik Pt. 2" and "Taylor Sweats Fredrik" sparks a little bit of confusion with the girlfriend. She jokes about my homoerotic side :/

Can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I've been trying to find myself a really good rakeback deal on another medium-volume site. That includes some form of prop playing, but so far nothing's worked out. I put $500 on BetOnBet (prima) and like the software (even bought PrimaEye for table selection), but there are a ton of small problems that keep popping up that keep me from moving more money there and putting in more volume. I got an offer for a really awesome %40+ rakeback deal on ipoker but it turned out I already had an affiliate tagged to my account, bunk. The tables are so incredibly soft (even the regs!) on ipoker/prima/any other site other than PS and FTP, but even so I'm starting to think it's not worth the hassle. Who knows, maybe I'll try in another few months or something.

Thinking about more coaching, but to be honest I'm just not in the right state of mind and my game isn't sharp enough for me to be learning new shit right now. DeucesCracked and Stox are enough for me at the moment, on top of my regular studying and rereading old material.

Errm, that's about it. Here are some more interesting hands from today:

Against wwwBTHEREcom who's a solid winning reg. Don't think I can fold given I was playing a loose 30/25 game at the time, and the fact that there are just so many draws out there. I dunno, it could be a fold utg vs btn, meh. Don't hate stacking.

tee hee.

Against a good but tight (postflop) reg. Not so sure about the push; a lot of my decision was just tilt, I was desk-slammingly tilted at the time. Don't think it's terrible, but he had really low raise cbet stats.

Other than that, been paying more attention to my value betting and have been experimenting with overbetting (bluffs and for value). Things are looking up again :)