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Less than 25k to go!!!

I just officially passed under 25,000 VPPs to go. WOO HOO!!!


November report

Well, my first month of 50NL is over. And I’m up almost 21 buy-ins at the new limit!!! It started out with about a 20k hand breakeven stretch, which definitely doesn’t help motivate me to play. After that I gained momentum and had a steady climb for the entire month, which was great. This month actually pulled me out of the negative cash game hole I’d been in for the year. Finally. (Most of my winnings were from tourneys in the early part of the year.)

Here’s the graph of my month. If you look closely, you’ll see a lot of stretches that are breakeven followed by some fast climbs, only to breakeven again for a while. Variance definitely has some to do with this, but me not winning enough in hands that don’t go to showdown is also a culprit. I’m working on it.


In other news, I decided about ten days ago to go for Supernova. This entails earning 100,000 VPPs (player points). At the limit I’m playing, I earn one about every 5-6 hands I play. Thankfully I have already earned about 65k when I started. It’s basically a 1k a day grind from here to the end of the year, which is currently taking 6-8 hours per day. Every day. I’ve been pushing a little the last week to give myself a few days off (oh gee, like Christmas and New Years maybe :) ). As of right now, I have 25,572 left to earn.

My first day of December really sucked. In the first 30 minutes of play, I ran JJ into KK twice on boards with undercards. Then I flopped two sets, but my opponents both turned straights, then KK vs. QQ all in and Q hits the river, then KK into AA. Yuck. You can see I held it together for the most part after that, but it was a depressing day. Nothing like finishing a great month and then losing big to start the month, especially when I’m having to put in so many hours. This is the downside of Supernova – you can’t stop playing when you normally would. However, my second day of the month started great. I was up more than I had lost after my first two hours, but lost some of it back through the rest of the day. That felt much better.


Because I’m putting in so much volume (basically 18 tabling a lot of the day), I won’t be able to focus on improving my game as much as I have been, however, when January arrives, I’m going right back to fewer tables and getting better so I can move up in limits again. Or at least get my red line to breakeven all the time instead of being a ski slope. :)

Back to the tables…


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. :)



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:


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.


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. :)



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.


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!!!


my studies are paying off…

Ok, it’s a small hand sample size, but I’ve been reading poker articles and watching poker videos like they are going out of style tomorrow. Everything from table selection to blind stealing to cold calling. You name it, I’m reading it. 2p2 once you start digging has some great thinking…not all of it, but a lot of it.

In any case, I sat down today to play 4-5 tables instead of 10, and focus on being aggressive even when it felt uncomfortable. If someone limped in, and I had a hand I might usually limp behind with, I was raising. If someone raised from late position, I was considering a 3 bet every time. If I raised, I was betting the flop, and maybe the turn, even with air (even though this can be a bit over the top at 25NL).

Besides the fact that I made a huge 3 bet with AA, got called and stacked off to a flopped set of Jacks, I was still up more than 1 buy-in for 310 hands. (That’s like 45 minutes on 4-5 tables.) Super small hand sample size, but very telling in what works at these limits. My aggression paid off. Instead of being the one taking a lot of heat, I was dishing it out, and it made life much easier. My decisions got easier and my opponents got harder. That’s always +EV.

My usual stats for VPIP/PFR/3bet have been around 13/9/2.5 (at their best). Today I was 20/15/5.2. That’s more like it! My steal% was up over 10% as well, which I’ve been trying to do, but just haven’t been successful with it. Here’s a graph. Green line is actual winnings. Blue line is showdown winnings. Red line is non-showdown winnings. (And the red line is even positive!!!)


So perhaps I was lucky, perhaps not. In either case, I definitely felt like I had a breakthrough. Now I just need to bust out the last 6 or 7 buy-ins at this level and then move up. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that by the EOW. But I do have other goals this week – about 20+ hours of videos to watch and DJ Hero comes out tomorrow. So we’ll have to see how things go…