Archive for November, 2009

20
Nov
09

what my day looks like

I figured I’d post a pic of what I look at when I play for those of you who don’t play poker. The left monitor is my 30” and the right is a 24” turned on its side (although the whole monitor is obviously not shown here). And yes, I was actually sitting at all of these tables when I took the pic. :)

photo

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17
Nov
09

moving up status update

Well, I meant to write this last week, but it didn’t happen, so now I’m seriously multi-tasking. I’m watching 6 tables of Heads Up high stakes poker (over $2.5M total on the tables), listening to a poker video, chatting in a poker chat room, and blogging.

So I moved up to 50NL at the beginning of the month. It started off pretty slow and in the first few days I won 2 buy-ins…followed by a slow steady slide down where it seemed that whenever I cbet with nothing, I would get raised. If I 3 bet preflop without AA, I’d get 4 bet. If I had KK, they had AA. Bleh. So after my first 11 days in the month, I was basically at breakeven…which isn’t terrible, but it’s not great either. Not to mention my non-SD line (red one) sucked pretty bad.

Then my days started toggling. One day, I’d have an awesome day where I’d make a buy-in or two, and my non-SD would be 1/5th of my SD line (which is about where I aim to be). The next day would be the exact opposite. I’d either breakeven or lose, but my non-SD was terrible. This pattern has been repeating until the last 2 days, where I’ve felt my game come together a little more at this level, and even when I’ve started off poorly during the day, I’ve fought back. I’ve been down 5BI’s and end up down only 1 for the day, or I’ll be down 3 and end up almost 2. I’ve made some bad plays, but am learning from them for sure.

In any case, this is my month so far:

Start

You can clearly see the impact of my non-SD (red line) on my winnings. There are small sections where my red line is ok or even trending upwards, but mostly it isn’t good enough. So I’m half way through the month and am up 8BI’s. It’s a start, and certainly helps build the confidence at this level.

I’m definitely enjoying poker more and more, and am not at all feeling like it’s a grind. There is so much to learn and I’m usually pretty exhausted at the end of the day. In some of the videos and articles I’ve read, I found something interesting. Basically in a “normal” office job (may exclude part of the people that work at MSFT), people are usually involved in serious decision / thinking / working for maybe 1/2 of the time they work. For some, it’s a lot less…there is socializing, meetings, etc. When a poker player is playing 9-16 tables of poker, there is no downtime. During any session, there is constant decision making – and making them incorrectly gets you a negative paycheck. There is serious thinking about each of the 8 other players at each of those tables, the notes you’re taking on them, their stats so far, their recent actions at the table, how they think about your play, etc. It definitely takes some focused concentration – and any poker player can tell you that one lapse in that can cost you your whole day’s profit.

Damn, this is fun. Gotta go…more to learn.

Oh, and by the way, in the time it took me to write this, Phil Ivey has won $500k at his two tables.

02
Nov
09

First day of moving up

I told myself I’d start out slowly, so I 4-5 tabled for a little more than an hour today at 50NL. The play is definitely more aggressive, and hardly anyone open limps. But in my short play, there are still quite a few bad players willing to give away their money. I ended up almost 1BI, which I was plenty happy with. I felt I played well, was aggressive, made a few steals, overbet one pot (that probably cost me a nice bit of profit), and cbet effectively. Tomorrow, I’ll amp it up and play longer and maybe 6 table. Here’s my graph from today…it’s not many hands, but check out the non-SD red line. :)

Day1

02
Nov
09

Moving on up

Back in my first coaching session, my coach asked me what my goals were. I said I’d like to move up to 50NL by the end of October, and hopefully to 100NL by the end of the year. As we all know, I’m a bankroll nit, so I wasn’t moving to 50NL until I had won 50BI (buy-ins) at 25NL.

As of October 30th, I was 1/3rd of a buy-in away. I sat down on Halloween to play and hopefully make it. My session started off pretty bad and I dropped a buy-in (nothing out of the ordinary and to be expected but when you’re just trying to win a little to make a goal, it sucks.). About 45 minutes in, I was dealt KK. I made my standard 4BB raise, and got 4 callers. That’s not what I wanted. Fortunately the flop was K42 with 2 spades. I bet, was raised, 2 folds, and another guy pushes all-in. Usually with hands as big as mine, it’s hard to get all the money in – you gotta love it when people do it for you. So I obviously shove all-in, and the first raiser thinks for a while and then calls. The cards turn up and it’s as you would expect, the first raiser has a flush draw, and the other guy has a set of 2’s. The board blanks out and I take down a huge pot pushing me over the 50 buy-in mark!!!

WOO HOO!!! I quickly sit out on my tables and am done for the day (and month). It took me almost 90,000 hands to earn 50BI. I started this quest when I signed up for the DuecesCracked site on August 15th.

25nl 

As you can see, there are definitely some big swings in poker. I had two 7.5BI downswings. You can also clearly see the improvement over time as I was learning from the site, my coach, and my experience at the tables. Over this period I ran VPIP/PFR: 14.0/8.8. (This isn’t indicative of the style I ended with which I’m still working closer to a 14/12 or 16/14.) My flop cbet was 65.2% (which shows how much I was cbetting later in time, as this started as about 45-50%.

I also keep track of how many tables I played and won vs. lost. From August to October by month, this stat rises from 42.65% to 47.13% to 51.28%. That’s great, but I’m usually playing 8-10 tables, so my session stats (counts all tables I’m playing during a session) from August – October look even better winning 46% in August, 60% in September, and 72% in October. That’s what I’m talking about. :)

Next stop…50BI’s at 50NL. Go go go go go go!!!




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