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.