Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 – A year in review.

Firstly a brief wrap up for this month.

Start of December 2008 BR = $1780.10
End of December 2008 BR = $2448.75

Overall $668.65 profit
Bankroll increase of 37.56%

Where did the money come from?
Ring games = -$13.41
SnG's = $513.30
MTT's = $98.76
Bonuses = $70.00


Now how has the entire year gone?

January 1st 2008 BR = $100
December 31st 2008 BR = $2448.75

Ring games = -$8.53
SnG's = $1290.40
MTT's = $927.13
Bonuses = $144.80

I’d said to myself in the end of 2007 that 2008 was going to be a trial year for me. Prior to 2008 I had lost money consistently so to not bust once and show continuous growth is a massive achievement for me.

What’s really interesting is between January 1 and September 1 I made a profit of $366.97. September 2 through to the end of the year I made $1981.78. So approximately 80% of my profit came in the last 4 months. Exceptional growth, I can only wonder what will happen in the new year.

I am happy with my bankroll management system, its’ proved to be great protection for me. There have been several instances throughout the year where I moved up in stakes and had to move back down. Was real kick in the guts when that happened but it’s all about playing what I can afford to play in without putting myself at financial risk.

At the start of the year I was playing $1 SnG's, 10cent MTT's and playing .01/.02 NLHE cash games. Cash games didn't change all year and they are going in the can until I get some official training as I clearly suck at ring games. I'm currently on $22 SnG's and almost rolled for $22 MTT's. I am however strongly considering increasing my buy-in requirement for MTT's to 200 buyins.

Following last months data here are stats for my 3 main accounts for SnG's.



My most profitable game recently has been the $10 double or nothing at Titan Poker, the results are below.



These games have got me a hourly rate of $10.56. If I can attain the some ITM rate on the $20 games then $21.12 per hour is starting to look a lot better.

Plans for 2009

One of the best moves I've ever made this year was not focusing on cash so much. The biggest hurdle I find myself coming across is fear when I move up levels. I'm not going to start saying I want $xxxx by this time next year. I'm focusing om still playing my best but also start looking at my money in terms or buy-ins. Rather than saying I'm $600 away from $3000, start saying, I'm 15 buy-ins away from the $30 game. Ultimately I want to be multi-tableing $100 SnG's and MTT's by the end of 2009 but that's still along way away. I may even find I switch to playing 1 table at a time as the competition may be a lot better and it may be more like playing actual poker, however having viewed some of the hands played by CC colleagues on 200 or 400NL, I suspect it may be similar.

Another one of my goals is psychological. I've had a tendency to enter games with minimal expectations. Hoping just to cash in MTT's or hoping to cash in 5 out of 8 SnG's to make minimal profit, and generally that's exactly what happens. Highly inspired last night after watching the 2005 NBC Heads Up Championship several players were interview. They were Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Fishman, T.J. Cloutier, Chris Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth. They all have different styles of playing but their primary message was clear.

The Warrior Mindset
In order to win, you must think like a warrior. Let no-one put you off your game and show no fear at any stage. Shoot for the stars and know that you can do it. Don't be bothered by uncontrollable set-backs as they are unavoidable. Let nothing deter you and fight harder that you've ever fought before. This will be probably my biggest challenge to date as changing the way you think does not and will not happen over night. But with a positive outlook and critical thinking I can get it down, the only question is how long will it take.

Playing poker aside, I also intend on becoming a more prominent member at CardsChat. Having been helped by so many down to earth good people, I'd really like to give something back to new players, not so much in terms of how to play, more so how to think and keep positive.

Shout-Outs and Thanks

All CardsChat members that have given my advice throughout the year both via chats and responses on threads. Way to many to list but primarily, IceMonkey, KingCurtis, Chuck, Zach, Jurn, Insocre, Jagsti, thank you for any assistance and following the blog, I look forward to many more posts next year showing fantastic results.

Christopher Squirkle.

Mate, even though you don't play, you following the blog and watching the progress and all the comments are highly appreciated. Your one of the only people I know that doesn't play yet reads every post I make. I look forward to that big win where we can have a massive celebration, my shout obviously :).

And finally,
The one who doesn't believe in superstitions.
The one that's teaching me critical thinking.
The one that points out my grammar mistakes so I can edit my posts after they've gone live.
The one who went bananas with me when I took down that 360 player 10cent tourney.
The one who's trying to convert my from PC to MAC (I'm still not sold by the way)
The one I'll be working with even closer next year and in many years to come and some unbelievable exciting ventures.
Yes, I'm speaking of the infamous Dr.G.

You have been with me since I started with $1 in August 2007. I can remember being so excited about making 17 cents in a session because it showed a positive ROI. We haven't broken any rules and showed unbelievable discipline which will continue. I'm super excited about the projects coming up next year such as the blog migration and what the "Jabber" is working on for us. We are still a bit away but we have some unbelievable times ahead of us, or that needs to happen is to keep the focus.

So that's it for 2008. Over the moon with my results and looking forward to a bigger and better 2009.

Happy New years all.
Custo

Monday, December 29, 2008

No shortage of fish

Thought this screen shot would be a good eye-opener for anyone playing and not happy with the profit they are making.



Here I am 4 tabeling SnG’s with the SharkScope HUD running. This HUD is only useful for player information on their past performances. Names have been hidden to protect the innocent.

I have selected 3 main icons to be displayed above all people. From left to right they are:
• Games played
• Average ROI
• Total profit/loss

Here I have 20 random opponents, 18 displayed as 2 were already knocked out by the time my 4th games started. Every single person here shows a loss!

For me, when I get frustrated that I’m making minimal amounts of money and impatience starts to kick in, I look at this and remind myself, I am making money, which is the main thing.

For anyone that may read this post, my message is: If you are making money, be happy! There are so many bad players out there. Don’t get impatient or frustrated with small profits and always play your A game, the results will come, in turn, so will the money.

I’m not making millions yet, but I’m starting to make money. Don’t let bad players tilt your performance. Bad beats, suck-outs and shocking showdowns will happen on a daily basis, get used to it, get over it and get on with it.

Play the way you know best, have discipline and above all be happy while you do it.

Custo

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Now I’m getting excited.

Being close to the end of the year now I am so excited because yesterday my BR allowed me to enter a new level of SnG’s, $20 games. This is an absolute milestone for me. January 1st this year I was 4 tabeling $1 games at Stars, 12 months later I’m 4 tabeling $20 games. I attribute this, not to being the best player, because I’m far from that, but to sticking to an unbelievably strict BRM system, and not breaking it once. I have not succumbed to temptation like I did in the past and the results have reflected that.

Played my first session yesterday, 8 $20 double or nothing games, the donkament of all donkaments, and cashed in 7 out of 8. Bubbled the 8th game on a coin flip, can’t win them all I suppose. I don’t know the exact amount but I suspect the total BR is just over $2100 now. Not bad considering I started with $1 in August 2007.

I am in preparation of writing a full 2008 review for both public viewing and my own purposes which I look forward to sharing with you all soon. I will also be entering my 2009 goals.

That’s it for now, just wanted to express my excitement about the new levels I’m at. Keeping this post short cause the next one will be the wrap up for the end of year and by the way it looks, i expect it to be massive, so keep your eye out.

Merry Christmas to all and a happy and safe New Years.

Custo

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is why you never give up!

A story of a Multi-SnG today.

I've had a bit of a bad run this month on my MTT's. I had played 12 so far and only managed 1 cash, which was a 20th placing in a game that paid 20 spots. I have been upset about my MTT BR going down but more so my confidence was starting to drop. I thought I was due for a really dry spell. I really needed at least a cash today, just to break this horrible run.

I entered a 18 player $16 games at PokerStars. Somehow, I survived to make it to the final table. I played textbook tight at the start only focusing on making it this far to start with. To be honest, I was completely card dead for the duration of the first table aswell.

The moment the tables merged, there was already an all-in taking place and 1 player was eliminated 9th, before I was dealt a hand. This means I only have to survive 4 more people leaving and I'm guaranteed a profit.

Below is the first hand of the final table. You will not see anything special here, but it will show you my stack, my competitors stacks and the blinds and antes.


With just under 10 big blinds left, I needed a hand and needed one fast. People say that you will need some serious luck to win any tournament. Here you will see the hand that got me back.


Yes I know, I got ridiculously lucky there. How about that flop. 4 all-ins preflop, 1 guy has the over pair, 1 guy flops an open-end straight draw and the other guy flops a set.......And Custo wins.

With my new stack, I knew I could afford to both sit tight and do a little bullying in the right positions.

Playing everything to perfection, I managed to make it to heads up. Here is the first that got me to heads up.


Small problem now. I have less than 4BB's left and my stack is 3K to his 23K. All games this player just could not miss and to be honest was playing exceptionally well making great calls and being very aggressive. I had a feeling luck may be on his side but certainly was not giving up. I knew there was only 1 way to approach this battle, hyper-aggressive. I raised every hand in my SB, and he folded. I'm not sure why, but he turned really quite when we were heads up. Always folded to my SB raises and even folded his own SB when I was BB. I wasn't complaining.

Here is the hand that switched the balance in power.


Rags vs Rags and my rags won.

Now I'm in contention. Here is the very next hand.


Coin flip preflop, very nice outcome for me. Just when you need the coin tossed the way you call it.

Next hand, whether I'm dealt AA or 72o I'm putting him in.


All over, thank you very much.

Monday, December 8, 2008

16 hours in 1 day = bad idea!

Don’t normally admit this but I think I have to today. Yes, I played too much poker. Aside from a 1 hour lunch break I’ve played from 6am – 10pm and yes, I have nothing to show for it.

It all started by setting the bloody alarm clock 1 hour too early. PokerStars host the biggest donkament I’m aware of, over 22,000 players and $11 entry fee. It’s on at 7:30 Australian time and I thought, as I’ve got Monday off, why not give it a shot. Of course stupid me set the alarm for 6am rather than 7am so I had nothing to do for the first hour. Why not quickly grind some SnG’s? Opened 4 tables $11 each and BANG! Lost them all. Great way to start the day isn’t it? Wake up and immediately flush $44 down the toilet.

Left absolutely bedazzled about what just happened, as it’s highly irregular for me to lose 4 games straight, my PokerStars game started.

Well 3 suck-outs, 2 bad beats and 1 wrong all in later, I was out within the first hour.

At one stage today I was down around $150. Having a small breather, I managed to regain some composure and grind a little back up, I think for the whole day I’m down around $70.

I’m not blaming anything but me today. I played way too many games and chased losses too much. In the future if I intend to play an early MTT, I'll stick to that then play my main games at my normal playing time.

I’ve estimated I spent around $500 today on buyins so to be down only $70 isn’t as bad as it could be, but for the time I invested it totally sucks.

Tomorrow, ill be taking things slower, much slower.

Now, its time for bed, and a bloody sleep in!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

PokerStars WBCOOP

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 133207




Good luck to all bloggers and I hope to see 9 CardsChatters at the final table.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Results for November 2008

Start of November 2008 BR = $1244.11
End of November 2008 BR = $1705.30

Overall $461.19 profit
Bankroll increase of 37.07%

Where did the money come from?
Ring games = -$4.75
SnG's = $178.70
MTT's = $287.24

November is over and I’m left to scratch my head. When I put all the results together I’d confirmed my earlier suspicions. On Tuesday night, November 25th, I felt I was up marginally for the month. Turns out that as of the 25th I had a net profit for the month of $19.69. 5 days later, I’m up $441.50. That’s a profit of ~$92/day. Now that’s making things exciting.

Admittedly I did have 2 large MTT cashes after the 25th, but even if I put them aside this happens.

Net profit in 5 days = $441.50
Net profit – Recent MTT profits = $441.50 - $237.50
Total profit without MTT cashes = $204

New total profit $204 / 5 days play = ~$40/day.

Certainly fells better than the $2 or $3 I was profiting per day 6 months ago.

Official poker rankings has boosted my global ranking from 38,995th up to 35,559th, not too shabby and my 2 cashes didn’t even come from Poker Stars so moving up ~2,500 spots for a few minor cashes I’m very happy with. I’d love to win a big tourney at Stars and wee what that does to my ranking.

The first 25 days in November really were swings for me, losing big then winning small. The last 5 days have been a real confidence booster. I’m no longer worried about the $10 buy-in games so it took a month to get over that.

I have no intentions on moving up stakes next month; my main goal will be to have more consistent growth rather than a repeat of last month. I know my end results were good, but if the month had ended on the 25th, I would have a $19 profit to show for it.

Below you will see my 3 main profiles on the different sites I play at. First positive, everything is in the black. SnG's are still my focus at the moment and I hope to grow these even more by the end of the year.



These results have been tracked since I first started playing 3 years ago. I'm sure, Poker Stars especially, the total profit would be higher if it tracked me from when I started playing seriously.

Overall results for all sites are here:

Poker Stars


Pacific Poker


Titan Poker


I ended setting no goals at all for the month of November. I do have some hope of where I'll be at the end of the year, once they are finalised I'll put them up.

But for now, I'm going back to the tables.

Thanks for reading, will report back soon.

Custo

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another deep session.

Seriously this first place must been soon. My game has improved so much and I just cant crack that first place yet. 3 days ago I came 4th out of 342 players.

Today played exactly the same game and got this result.



I went out in heart-breaking fashion aswell. Blinds were 1000/2000 and I had around 60,000. Table folded to the small blind who raised it to 6000. Now whenever it comes down to the blinds and the SB raises instantly you assume it's a steal. I however was dealt KK in the BB. I re-raised to 22,000, SB paused and went all in for his total of around 40,000. Needing only 18,000 more and also having KK I insta called only to have my dreams shattered in front of my eyes. Yes that's right it was AA. I screamed at my monitor for that 3rd K but it wasn't to be.

Left with around 15,000, less than 8 big blinds I waited for K 10 suited. All in preflop against opponents 88. At least it was a coin flip which I knew I'd have to take to re-build. Opponent flopped trips and it was all over for me.

As per usual happy to cash and grow the BR, yet so upset to come so close and still not make it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

4 spots away from a record.


Played one of the best games I've ever played. Unfortunately, fell 4 spots away from what would have been the biggest win I've had to date. Still nothing to be upset about.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My new poker life – now with PT3.

Yes I’ve finally done it; I’ve joined the group of Poker Tracker users. I’m so excited! Best part of it – I didn’t pay a thing!

Titan poker has an offer to earn 500 points and I got Poker Tracker 3 with HUD (Heads Up Display). So I joined, played 30 $11 Double or Nothing SnG’s and cashed is 19 out of 30 of them earning me just over the required 500 points, better yet, netting me $50. So technically, I’ve been paid $50 to get some $90 software for free.

After a lot of technical assistance, THANK YOU ICEMONKEY, I’m about to test out this new database. I’m not going to start importing files from December 1, so I’m giving myself a week to basically see if I can break it, and put it back together. I still may import all my old files to see some results, I’m just waiting for their support to confirm that if I do import, can be removed so I can start from scratch.

It’s been a little while since my last post, sorry about that. Just completed work at a bank here with some crazy hours leaving me no time to play poker at all.

I unfortunately do not have a good feeling about my end of month result. Whilst I know I’m currently in the black, I feel it is very little. It seems that November is slapping a lot of people around, maybe were all just cursed this month?

November was my first month playing $10 games and I was really expecting to be higher than I am at the moment. I’m still getting used to playing bigger buy-ins which I think is messing with my head. Even though it’s been 3 weeks, and I can more than afford them, there’s still a level of unsureness, which is purely psychological. Not overly worried, I’ve experienced this at every level climb, it will just take a little time.

I’ve also recently joined up with Lucky Ace Poker. Only reason being, they have an offer with SharkScope to earn enough points to get the SharkScope HUD for free. As I’m currently an avid SnG player, I feel this HUD will benefit me more that the Poker Tracker one.

So I’ve really been all over the place this month. Reconciliation is now only 6 days away. I’m going to put some serious effort into grinding away at the SnG’s to build that little more before the month is out.

Custo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Deficit fixed.

Perhaps writing yesterdays entry was the best way for me to regain my composure.

Awesome results yesterday and I mean awesome!

Firstly, played 4x$6 SnG’s, 3 losses and 1 3rd. Not the best result but I lost due to a couple early mistakes.

Jumped back on and had 4 for 4 cashes. I really wanted to capture a screenshot of 4 top 3 tables at once but timing wouldn’t allow it so this is the closest I could get.


2 wins, 1 2nd & 1 3rd = guaranteed profit.

After a break, it was close to midnight and had the urge to play a game with a larger field. This was inspired by watching day 2 of the 2008 Aussie Millions. I opened stars and bought into a $12 - 45 player SnG only to be knocked out 40th. Bought into my 2nd game to be knocked out 38th. Both games I tried to accumulate an early chip lead by playing loose which was an obvious mistake.

Being conscious of my bad play I decided, win or lose I’ll play 1 more with my standard TAG opening approach.

I remember the game got down to 21 people left and I was the 3rd lowest in chips, around 1200 with blinds at 100/200. Being confident with my short stack strategy, I waited for the best spots, got my money in and managed a couple o double ups.

Before I knew what was going on this happened.


Chip leader at the final table!

I played an aggressive game putting pressure on everyone knowing that no-one wants to come this far and miss a pay off. It worked to perfection stealing blind after blind and growing my stack. I had one opponent trying to bait me by talking garbage in the chat box and going all-in on my big blind. I didn’t sink to their level by calling blind or talking back, predictably he self destructed and I survived.

The final result.



This win, on top of 5 out of 8 cashes in SnG’s has clearly put me back in the black and it only took 1 day.

I thank my ability to focus on a task at hand and not concentrate on getting back the money I’d already lost this month.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Psychological barriers at higher levels.

I am writing this to attempt to keep myself calm and look back on it in the future for personal reference.

I can remember moving from $3 games to $6 games, I thought that was the biggest jump ever. I remember failing miserably and panicing heaps. I managed to overcome that and now I’m going through it again.

At the start of the month I’ve moved from $6 games to $10 games. Everything started well to be honest. On Saturday afternoon I was 10 for 10 cashes in SnG’s.

After only 2 bad days, Tuesday & Wednesday, I’m down around $70 from both MTT’s and SnG’s. $70 isn’t a huge amount of money and it’s also small in comparison to my bankroll, however, I’ve never been down $70 in 2 days.

I know that this is something I’ll have to get used to. As I move up in levels I have the chance to win more and also lose more.

The really annoying part is it’s only about 7 games I’ve lost which out of the total I’ve played this month would be about average at any level for me.

I really thought I’d have a problem with the new types of opponents at the $10 level, but now that I’ve played them for a while they are all pretty much the same as the $5 games so in regards to my play I’m really happy.

This problem is purely psychological.
• Seeing the total balance drop by $11 when I buy into a game.
• Worried more about losing money than focusing on playing A-grade poker.
• Chickening out of pots in case I’m beat and wont make 3rd when most of the times I know I’m strong.

I know people reading this may be laughing at the moment as they can lose this amount of money pre-flop in a single ring hand.

I think the key is to
• Try and forget about recent results
• Give every session, every game, every hand my absolute best
• Pay zero attention to money
• Don’t play weak poker at all

This is just a battle with my own head that I’m going to have to overcome. I just need to find the best way to not focus on it or worry about it.

I look forward to posting again in the next couple of days with reports of some nice results.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My first ring video available for viewing.

"The only way to improve is to be strong enough to admit weaknesses and look for improvement from superiors"
Custo - November 2008

After much deliberation I've released my first multi table cash game video. Over the next few days I look forward to comments and feedback from well liked and respected players from CardsChat.

What kills me is I’m doing well at SnG's and MTT's but getting murdered at ring. The best way I feel to improve is to show others what I'm doing and have them provide suggestions and feedback for me.

The video is available here for downloading.

My first video 6 tables of 2NL

Warning about this video.
The following contains no sound and some very bad play. It’s only 20 minutes long and I will not be posting another video until I do have sound so I can walk everyone through my thought process, and provide some good Australian jokes and colloquialisms. :)

If anyone has problems with the link please PM me for help.

The original thread in CardsChat is found here.

Feedback from CardsChat members.

Custo

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Results for October 2008

Start of October 2008 BR = $921.74
End of October 2008 BR = $1244.11

Overall $322.37 profit
Bankroll increase of 34.97%

Where did the money come from?
Ring games = $1.62
SnG's = $139.30
MTT's = $181.45

First and foremost, with this bankroll, this is officially the most money I’ve ever had for poker. The most money I can remember ever having was around $980. So this bankroll on it’s on is a massive milestone for me.

A highlight for the month was more regular final tables at MTT games. Last month I profited $249.96 in MTT's. However, from 1 game I won $287.11. If it wasn't for that 1 big cash I would have shown a loss. This month I achieved 3 final tables with a 1st, 2nd & 3rd. The fact that I'm achieved 3 final tables against 1 in the prior month proves that my MTT game is getting better.

I dabbled in my ring games and unfortunately got what I'd expected, major inconsistencies and no real profitable results. Whilst I didn't lose money, which was my primary goal, I'm really not enjoying ring games at the moment only because I’m not seeing a positive result. I clearly need some help/training and hopefully this will come before the end of the year.

What's so exciting about November?
Finally, after 10 months of play and not breaking BRM once I am cashed for double digit tourneys. I see this as a graduation from micro stakes to low stakes.

I believe in a negative formula which is predominant at micro stakes which is as follows:

Micro stakes = Horrible plays
Horrible plays = Bad beats
Bad beats = Tilt
Tilt = Net loss

It has been so hard playing micro stakes for 10 months and not going crazy. So many people ask me why I don't play bigger games and can't understand my excitement when I win $70 off 1 game. But it's not the win, it's the return. In theory, if I can make $200 from $5 SnG's, then why can't I make $2000 from $50 SnG's?

I always knew the journey while in micro stakes would be long and rough. I certainly don’t expect it to get easier, but common sense tells me that opponents will play with more respect in a $10 game as opposed to a $1 game. Once of the hardest things to deal with in micro stakes is that people will play and call you down with anything. I still expect this to happen as I move to bigger games, but hopefully it will be to a lesser degree.

Also, just for fun, I'm going to keep track of my online status at Official Poker Rankings. In 2007 I was ranked 450,676 out of 615,667. At the end of October 2008 I am ranked 38,995 out of 597,229. Quite happy with that jump. Link to the website is found in the top left hand corner of the blog.

The biggest and hardest part of the month was sticking to the $5 SnG's. These seem to be my bread and butter, a consistent way for me to make money. I was technically cashed up to play $10 starting this month, but to cover variance and a little psychological fear I had, felt it was better to spend 1 more month to accumulate as many extra buy-ins as I can so if I do start playing $10 games and have a bad run I will be covered.

Now I can go into November confidentially knowing variance can occur and won’t damage my BR that badly.

I’ll probably be avoiding ring games for a while and start grinding away at $10 SnG’s and play as many $10 MTT’s as I can.

I’m strongly considering not setting any type of goal for November as starting on $10 games is a big enough move for me. I think it’s better to get my head around these games before posting goals. Will keep you all updated with progress in these games.

Wish me luck and good cards.

Custo

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Final Table.

Was a funny morning to be honest. I played another 210FPP satellite yesterday and won getting me $11 tournament dollars. This is becoming a bit of a habit for me. I bought into the 10am $11 MTT at Stars which normally has around 3000+ entrants.

Started out really well slowly building my stack then after 15 minutes went card dead for the next hour. Unfortunately I ended up dwindling away and was knocked out around 1100th.

Also play 1 SnG at pacific and had my opponent hit a 2 outer on the river which crippled me early on, ended up losing that too.

Saw that Pacific offered a $6.60 MTT game at 10:45 and thought I’d give that a shot. The structure of this game I’m not a huge fan of as it was a turbo game, blinds up every 5 minutes. I love and pretty much only play turbo SnG’s, but MTT’s I like slower games.

Entered with 90 other people and sat tight at the start. Really didn’t catch any good cards until 20 minutes in or so, by this time blinds were around 75/150 and my stack was around 1100. Following the rule of, if stack = 10bb or less, move all-in prelfop with the best hand I come across. Got a couple of double up’s and was ale to relax for a bit.

I remember the game got down to 30 players and I was a little over the chip average. My only goal at this point was to make a final table. Luckily with the size of the blinds and most other people panicking so much, I was able to sit back and watch people goo crazy trying to survive.

The pivotal moment was when there were 12 people left. I had both tables open as I wanted to view what was happening at the other table, see if someone gets knocked out. The blinds were around 1000/2000 and I had a little over 5000, in other words, I was pretty much in a death zone! Once again, to my amazement, people panicked and made some stupid plays against dominating chip leaders and were knocked out getting me to the final table.

Once final table started blinds were 1500/3000 and I had about 2200. Sat tight and waited for a decent holding then committed. Had a few double ups and managed to re-grow my stack. I was so fortunate just to make it to the final table I would have been happy with any result, good for me I lasted a little longer.

Result below.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ace on the River - Barry Greenstein

I've now completed Ace on the River and following my last post wanted to share what I got from Barry's book. I'm sure that everyone who reads Barry's book will come away with different understandings and key areas of knowledge. Below are the main points that I took in from Ace on the River.

What I appreciated and respected most about this book was the style messages were delivered in. As previously mentioned, this book was not just about starting hand requirements and how much to bet on different streets, it really goes deep into both beginner and advanced theories of poker.

Playing poker for the right reasons.
If poker will be your chosen profession, make sure you are choosing it for the right reasons. Whilst I personally haven't been able to make it my profession due to financial restrictions, I have chosen for, what I believe are the right reasons. If you intend to play poker to hope to win a few big tournaments on pure luck, you are approaching this game for the wrong reasons. If you want to play to make as much money as you can and blow it all on an over-luxurious lifestyle, you are playing for the wrong reasons. Any profession needs to be taken and treated seriously. I've been playing for around 4 years now, yet I've only really taken it seriously for about the past 12 months, co-incedentialy I have not gone broke once in that period of time. When I first started I'd put all my money on the table in a single session, play, and generally lose. Now, after extensive research, I approach the game in a correct manner. I play poker as I've made the decision for this be my profession quite some time ago. I'm confident that I working on a winning system and more than confident that I am playing for the correct reasons.

Play where you are comfortable.
Barry talked a bit about playing in 'good games'. But what is a good game? The interpretation I got from this message was if you see a game that is an easy beat, get in it. Having a sound bankroll management system is an obvious fundamental to the game, but if you come across a game that you know you can be successful at, get in it. Also, lets say that your personal bankroll supports you to play poker at a cash level of 600NL ($3 & $6 blinds) yet you know that you are far more successful at 400NL ($2 & $4 blinds), stick to 400NL. Even if you can afford 600NL, if you are only making a 10% return per week from that game and making a 45% return from the lower game, stick to the lower game. Don't feel you have to play a certain level of poker because that is dictated by your bankroll, at the same time, never ever ever break your basic bankroll rules.

Don't throw your life away on the game.
Upto recent times, I've played an unbelievable amount of poker. Having the attitude, if I just play 1 more game or 1 more hour I'll make that little bit more. There are stories of people that play 12-18 hours per day, 5-7 days a week. Whilst some, very few, of these people do make very good money, what is the cost to them. If you are single and without responsibility, you may get away with it, but it will catch up to you. Don't play when your tired just for the sake of playing. Have a break, a table will still be there in a few hours or the next day. Don't play when you could be spending time with family and friends. Don't play when you are consistently losing, if your having a bad session STOP, the game won't disappear. In my opinion the time to stop is when you feel the game is getting bad or your not playing at your peak performance.

Make sure you give something back.
It is more than clear that Barry is viewed as a leader in the poker community for giving something back. "The Robin Hood of poker" he is known as. Making his personal money from cash games and donating tournaments winnings to charities. It is actions like these that have earned him so much respect in the poker community. This does not mean that anyone playing poker successfully needs to donate to charity. But at the very least, make some time of positive contribution back to society.

To share a personal story, prior to reading this book I made this decision back in 2005. My eldest daughter developed a hemangioma (strawberry birthmark) just after birth. We took her to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and after a few consultations she was booked in for surgery. Surgery on, at the time, my only child you was under 2 was unequivocally the scariest moment I've experienced in my life. She's 'my little girl' and a bunch of doctors were performing surgery on her. Their professionalism put my mind at ease. They looked after her so well and the surgery was a success. Once she had woken from surgery I made a vow to myself that when I come into some money, I'll be donating it to the plastic surgery department at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I felt I was able to already give a little back at the time. The surgeons asked if they can keep samples and blood from the operation for research and without hesitation I told them yes. But if I am able to give some money to further assist and improve the service offered there to help other children I'll feel so much better.

This road is not and will not be easy.
“Playing poker is the hardest way to make an easy living.”

I’ve heard that so many times now and after Ace on the River it is so more apparent. There are factors to poker that, regardless or experience, education or success just can not be controlled. I believe the hardest thing to control for poker players is the mental game and emotional rollercoaster’s. There are reasons that the best players in the world don’t win 100% of their sessions and don’t win every tournament they enter. If we could control both the cards and the actions of other players then the game would be dominated by the best all of the time. But poker deals with 2 key components.

Cards, which are completely randomised and unknown.
Humans, who while a lot of the times have patterns, shows and tells, can still, be highly unpredictable.

To be able to control your attitude in poker, in my opinion, can be the biggest hurdle to encounter. It is so easy to get upset when you’ve played a situation perfectly and the outcome is the complete opposite you were expecting. But, if you are strong enough to move on from negative outcomes immediately and keep your focus on the big picture, the hardest part of the battle is won.

If you are weak mentally or emotionally, then either learn to toughen up or choose to do something else, because this game can really break a person and I’m speaking from previous experience there. Fortunately I decided to educate myself better and toughen up.

Once again, a big personal thank you to Barry for taking the time to write this book the way he has. I for one can say my game is moving up and this is due to what I have learned from Ace on the River.

If anyone has not read it and is currently playing poker, be it recreational or professional, I, with the strongest conviction, urge you to get a copy immediately then be ready for the next level.

Custo

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thank you Barry Greenstein.


From a self-development perspective, I had one of my greatest days today! I covered the first half of one of my most favorite poker players books, Ace on the river by Barry Greenstein.

Unlike so much literature I've read before, this book doesn't just talk about what hands to play and what position to play them from, it covers every element imaginable associated with playing poker professionally. I'm only half way through and I have to take my hat of to Barry. This book has hit home for me in so many ways. Not only does he talk about poker, but covering so many other aspects easily forgotten in day to day life. It's the collaboration of information that makes you want to finish the book cover to cover.

To give Barry the full respect and credit he deserves for such a marvelous book, I'll be posting a small personal review upon completion. If I can encourage at least one more person to get his book, I'll be happy as it really is eye-opening and practical on so many levels.

Once I'd got home from work, all I wanted to do was jump on the tables and practice what I'd just learned.

Once things had settled at home I fired up 2 games. 1 was a 6 man $5 SnG. The other a small MTT. 2 pivotal experiences happened in each game within the first 5 minutes and the outcomes were determined by what I has just learned.

Experience #1.
SnG Game
6 players all start with 1200 chips and blinds at 10/20. Dealt QQ in early position I made a standard raise to 80 and was called by the player under the gun. This particular player was having a shocking run and was already down to around 550 chips. The flop came out 4 4 2. Instantly he went all in and I called. Both hands flipped up, my QQ and he showed A 9. To his fortune an A came on the turn the the river was a 7. I was so frustrated. In my opinion not only should he not have called a pre-flop raise when playing a short stack in such an early part of the game, he shoved A high after the flop came knowing I was still to act and I made the original raise. Just as I went to type something, I remembered Barry saying, don't let these people bother you, just pay attention to what they do and use it to your advantage throughout the game. Sufficed to say, I was the one to eliminate him 15 minutes later and ended up winning the SnG.

To be honest, when something like happens, and most poker players will agree with this, all you want to do is scream. Berate the other player, "How the hell can you make that move?" Instead I breathed in deeply, re-gained my composure and focused on the bigger picture. I suppose it goes back to the old classic saying, "he may have won the battle, but I won the war!"

Experience #2.
MTT Game
This game was a turbo MTT which I'm not a huge fan on. I don't really like fast games with big fields as it tends to force the action a little to fast. The point of an MTT is a marathon, not a sprint. I only played it as it was the only one available tonight that meet my BR requirements.

Once again, it was early in the game, I remember the blinds were still 10/20 so it must have been within the first 5 minutes. I was second away from the big blind. Under the gun min-raised to 40 and I called with pocket 10's. In early position and so early in the game, knowing that these games are crazy at the start I wasn't prepared to raise with my hand. Immediately to my left the player re-raised to 400. The table folded around including the original raiser and it was upto me. All I could think was "why are you raising me 10 times the amount so early. A lot of the time I'll see people doing this early on with marginal hands like pocket 7's or A8 suited. Calling was out of the question as calling means I'm committing 40% of my entire stack before a flop and within the first 5 minutes. My only choice was to re-raise all in, or fold. I chose the later. It was tempting as pocket 10's are a very strong hand but his range was wide, and it was too early to take any chances. At this stage I had only committed 40 of my starting 1000 chips so I got away from the hand, which can be a very hard thing to do.

Making this early lay down, once again proved to work to my advantage. Rather than telling you the result, you can have a look for yourself.



You wanted to see a first didn't you? So did I, but still, an effort not to be frowned upon.

Once again, same as the SnG game, it was remembering Barry talk about patience and focusing on the bigger picture that got me this result.

Now, I look forward to playing after finishing the 2nd half of what I feel is the greatest asset to any poker player in the world.

Thank you Barry Greenstein.

Friday, October 10, 2008

1st place baby!



I have to admit, I played this tournament to perfection (in my opinion). That is not a brag, well it is a little, but result aside, I am exceptionally happy with how I played every situation I was in. Had a good start place about 3rd when there was about 35 players left and took a horrible beat almost threw my entire game.

Had AK before the flop with blinds at 25/50. Raised to 200 with 1 caller. Flop rag rag rag, can't remember exactly but I remember it was a 7 high flop. At this time I had a little over 3K in chips and opponent had around 650. I c-bet 450 and he flat called. Turned an 8, I bet 250 he called which put him all in. River was another rag and he flipped up K8 off. I lost it! Not only did he call 4xbb pre-flop but flat called 75% off his stack with K high, not even a flush draw. Started to type abuse in chat box but before I hit enter I deleted all text reminding myself that venting of abusing will not change the situation and certainly wont win me the tournament. I think the discipline not to abuse the player, as much as I wanted to, helped to take the game down. I re-gained my composure, played a tight aggressive short stack and came back to win.

The win could not have come at a better time for me aswell as I'm coming off a couple of bad losing days. The only problem is I've been losing money on SnGs and this boosts my MTT BR. At least it's put my morale back up, next to keep grinding at SnGs and all will be well.

One for little snapshot for the road.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

$7 Sex.

A couple, both well into their 80s, go to a sex therapist's office.
The doctor asks, "What can I do for you?"

The man says, "Will you watch us have sexual intercourse?"

The doctor raises both eyebrows, but he is so amazed that such an elderly couple is asking for sexual advice that he agrees.
When the couple finishes, the doctor says, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with
the way you have intercourse."
He thanks them for coming, he
wishes them good luck, he charges them $50 and he says good bye.

The next week, the same couple returns and asks the sex therapist to watch again. The sex therapist is a bit puzzled, but agrees.
This happens several weeks in a row.
The couple makes an appointment, has intercourse with no problems, pays the doctor, then leave.

Finally, after 3 months of this routine, the doctor says, "I'm sorry, but I have to ask. Just what are you trying to find out?"

The man says, "We're not trying to find out anything.
She's married so we can't go to her house.
I'm married and we can't go to my house.
The Holiday Inn charges $98.
The Hilton charges $139.
We do it here for $50, and
I get $43 back from Medicare.

(I just had to post something not about poker for once :))

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Goals for October 2008.

Ring Games.
Since the start of the year I’ve had nothing but problems with ring games and I think I’ve figured out why. I’ve been playing them for too long and trying to make too much money of a single session. Turning $2 into $3.93 then saying “I’ll try and hit an even $4 then leave” and of course I end up going broke.

I’m going to go back to 1 table at a time and keep my sessions small. I’m on an absolute mission to get off 2NL and the only way to do that is to grind patiently as 2NL is one of the craziest games online.

As this is my first month with a new approach, my primary goal is simple, don’t lose money like I have almost every month to date.

No Reconciliations.
Something I did in July & September but not in August. Funnily enough I had the biggest months in both July & September and I lost money in August. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, having a primary monetary focus is a big mistake. When I focus on playing every day, session, hand to the best of my ability, then the end result reflects that. When I worry about needing to make $xxx by the end of the day, diaster strikes.

Sticking to $5 tournaments.
Last month I saw at 2 occasions I could afford to move to an $11 game. I moved up twice and lost twice and moved back down twice. If I had a good run at the start of the month I could easily afford to move up again early/mid October, but this is a long term process for me and with recent successes at $5 games, I figure it’s in my best interests to play them for 1 more month. Hopefully if I keep a high ITM and positive ROI I’ll have an additional 20-30 buy-ins for the next level starting November.

That’s all, nothing extravagant, still just sticking to basics and keep moving up.

Results to start the month couldn’t have been scripted better in my opinion. Played the $5 MTT, didn’t cash but made some stupid mistakes so all my fault.

Played 4 $5 SnG’s and didn’t just cash but won them all, very nice ROI there.

Also played my first 210FPP game at Poker Stars and cashed. If you don’t know what this is the buy-in costs 210 FPP (Frequent Player Points) it is a 20 person tournament with the top 6 finishes getting a ticked into a $11 MTT hosted on Monday mornings. As I won’t be able to play it I have the option to sell my ticket for a cash value of 99.5% or use that $11 in any other tournament. Still deciding what I’ll do.

Lastly, a nice picture to end a great starting month.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's the result for September 2008?

Start of September 2008 BR = $466.97
End of September 2008 BR = $921.74

Overall $454.77 profit
ROI of 97.39%

Where did the money come from?
Ring games = -$1.59
SnG's = $206.40
MTT's = $249.96

Biggest cash win for the month but not the biggest ROI. To be honest September was a massive improvement on August. I showed an overall loss in August for the month and fortunately have improved on that significantly. As I did in July, I did no daily reconciliations so I was not focused on money. It is very hard to do becasue I glimpse at all accounts when I'm registering into a game on all sites I play and can't help but wonder where I'm at but the surprise at the end of the month is well worth it.

I feel I could have had a slighter better month but there were 2 instances where I may have got greedy. Twice I moved upto the $11 SnG's, which I was cashed up for at the time, and lost all games lower me back down to $5 games. I had 3 buy-ins over my allowance and surprise surprise, each time I moved up, I lost all 3 buy-ins and had to go back down.

To cover psychological factors and variance I'm slightly amending my BRM. I'm still requiring 50 buy-ins to play any type of tournament, but I'm adding another 10 on top of that. So when I do move up next, if I run bad at the start, which history shows I do when I start a higher limit, I'll be able to afford the early losses without being penalized by moving back down it stakes, which by the way absolutely sucks but I'm proud I now have the discipline to.

September was also help by my 4th finish in the $5 MTT netting me $281.61.

I'm yet to finalize my October goals, they will be up in the next 24 hours. I'm also seriously considering "taking the plunge" and purchasing PT3 before Christmas.

The only other thing that's getting to me and I have to improve are my ring games. I've been stuck on 2NL since the start of the year. ChuckTs is very kindly making training videos covering 10NL to 100NL which I am really looking forward to watching. Reading training material can take you so far but to see someone successful in action is priceless. The only thing I'm going to ask, and I hope your reading this Chuck, can you please please please make the same vids for 2NL & 5NL, make it a full set. 2NL is my stuck limit and I know watching them would get me moving up. (We'll talk later if we have to :))

Shout outs this month go to Dr.Garner for support and guidance in September, look forward to working with you again in October and November and well you know this will go on for quite some time.
KingCurtis for all advice and help in MTT sessions. I still have a million questions for you mate.
Icemonkey9 for a few things. One being the recent article he wrote about becoming a cash game player. Also the 210FPP video, I thoroughly enjoyed that and learnt a fair bit, I'll be trying that game myself this month. Finally for the, lets call it the financial re-numeration. If you don't know what this means then watch Ice's video, around 12 minutes in :).
Jurn8 for all help with the blog, remember I still may come back for more help.
Sindri93 for the SnG session, hopefully more to come mate.

So thanks to all, looking forward to a big October.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why call when I can raise?

Amongst my readings done by professional poker players yesterday, I luckily came across one of my favorite articles by one of my most respected players, Chris Ferguson. Firstly if you have not read any of his articles I highly recommend you do. His website is available below.

Chris Ferguson's Website.

The particular article that inspired me most is below.

Making the first call.


The main message I got from this is, when calling a raise pre-flop you obviously must be holding something strong. So if you are strong enough to call, why not raise. Make your opponent see that you are serious and will commit. It also sets a good image showing that you wont be bullied and fold to any raise. Continuously calling raises, even with marginal hands can be seen as a sign of weakness. Raising a raise shows that you are serious. If in 10 hands there have been 7 pre-flop raises and you call them all, regardless of what your cards are all other players at the table will see you as a calling station which, generally, are the easiest people to win against becasue they are so predictable.

Even if you think just calling to the raise is the right move with your A9 suited, you have to remember the cardinal rule: If the hand doesn't go to showdown no-one knows what you called with.

After reading this I put Chris's words into practice. Look below, I'm sure you'll be as surprised at the outcome that I was.



Now let's break this hand down to some key points.

1:) Why raise 7 times the big blind pre-flop? It's still early stages and no need to risk that much. To be honest, I'd generally call being afraid of a higher pair or overs, even though there is only 1 combination of cards that can be better than my hand at this stage.
2:) Opponent called my re-raise with QT suited. Are you serious? Why risk almost 25% of your stack before the flop within the first 5 minutes of a game and they still had 1 more opponent to act after them.
3:) Unlucky flop for opponent. Lets admit it, this is a pretty sick example. We both flop a full house only mine is better.

In my opinion, this opponent caused his own demise by committing so early with a marginal hand. Unless he had a read on me, by the way this was the first hand I played, calling my re-raise was a very bad play.

Another good example in action.


Quick analysis.
1:) Button raise of 4 times the big blind. First guess, steal attempt. AQ suited I'll happily commit with that when I think a opponent is stealing.
2:) Aside from a gut-shot, I have completely missed this flop so what to do. Well, opponent could not have been that strong otherwise my re-raise pre-flop would have been raised to an all in. Flop comes, I miss, if I check I'm admitting I've missed. I've set good posture by re-raising pre-flop so must continue with a post flop continuation bet. Surprise surprise, opponent folds.

This is just a hand I'm proud of.


500 bet on the river. I'm sorry Mr. Opponent but I don't believe you have a 9 in your hand. If they had a 9 there would have been a bet on the flop for sure. To be honest I put him on a heart draw. Lucky he had Q 2 off.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plan for the rest of the month.

Where am I at?

Aside from the fantastic effort in the MTT on Saturday, poker has been a bit of a rollercoaster. In my 2nd to last post I talked about moving up levels in the SnGs too fast which shot me in the foot. Since then, I don't know what I'm on BR wise, but it seems to be around even based on the daily results I've had. For the remainder of the month I'm going to slow down a little and only focus on cashing as much as I can on the $5 games. With a high ITM rate over the next 7 days I should hopefully acquire enough buy-ins for the $10 games starting in October.

I still may dabble in my daily $5 MTT game, but I'm going to focus the majority of my efforts in the $5 & $6 SnG's. Hopefully starting next week, I'll be able to play at the next level with a BR to support variance.

The results since the last post about moving up too fast are as follows:
54 SnG's (varying sites between $5.50 & $6.50 buy-ins)
14 wins, 8 2nds & 6 3rds

So for the next 7 days, grind grind grind.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

4th out of 1044 = very nice pay day!


Today I had the biggest win I've had to date. $281.61 profit! It took 6 hours & 8 minutes until I was eliminated in 4th position. I really had the feeling today that my game is getting to a new level, not the best level, but a better level than it was 12 months ago. This win must have sky-rocked my bankroll, now I'm really looking forward to seeing the numbers at the end of the month.

For re-living the experience purposes I'm embedding my biggest and most memorable hands. Sit back, press play, and enjoy the ride.

Aces played to perfection.

Getting AA pre-flop is one thing, the next step is to get maximum value from them. Fortunately I did in this hand.

Lucky deuces

When the first pre-flop raise came, I considered laying down, but after 2 other callers I was getting good odds to call. With villains river bet of $150, I was a little worried that me going all-in would have scared him off so I bet enough to induce a call. Once I saw his hand, he probably would have called anyway.

9's hold

After villains post flop call of my raise I honestly didn't know what to think. When he called my re-raise after the flop, I put him on K with weak kicker, lucky he was chasing with A high and didn't hit.

Lucky deuces again

To be honest, nothing overly exciting to most viewers about this hand but it was special to me. Opponent had a nice chip lead on the whole table and was playing very loose. Once he called my pre-flop raise I knew I'd bet between .5 - .75 of the pot blind, normally I'd miss the flop and fold.

Can't win them all.

Coin flip, I lost. Go on tilt or focus more? I choose focus more.

TY sir.

I suppose villains M was about 5 so going allin can't really be argued with. Lucky I had him dominated.

This is the hand to watch - SICK FLOP!

And to think I almost go involved aswell.

I can crack ACES baby. (part 1)

Opponents biggest problem, he shouldn't have limped pre-flop. Had he have raised 3x BB I would have either called or even folded. Once he came over the top I was too committed to fold. But I will admit, I SUCKED OUT.

My poor opponent.

Wrong step at the wrong time, but not for me.

Nice big pot but.....

I regret betting so strong on the turn.


I can crack ACES baby. (part 2)

Cracking aces once is huge but man I got lucky to crack them twice. It was after this hand I knew I was up for something big today.

I don't believe you have it sir.

I really have no idea what his thinking patter was. Bet 9K on the flop, 3K on the turn then 6K on the river. Glad I flat called him all the way. Not the most professionally played hand, but it dragged a nice pot for me.

The days when you just can't miss.

Yes, I sucked out again. Someone really liked me today :)

FINAL TABLE TIME!




All that started going through my head now was my last FT at the same game back in July. Read about that one here - Last FT at $5 MTT.

I did not want to come 9th again, no matter what!


Just when you need to win a coin flip.

PHEW!

I've eliminated someone (part 1)


It's all over for today

Beyond short stacked, I flop a straight and lose to a boat.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moved up too fast, then came tilt.

Last night, after possibly the best streak I've ever had in my life which was 10 straight cashes in 6 man SnG's, I had a quick peak at my BR and saw that I was cashed up to move to the $11 SnG games. I couldn't have been happier. I played my first game at that level last night and won it. $30 first prize, after buyin in $19 profit. I was over the moon.

Waking up this morning I realized that I no longer needed to play $5 or $6 games and lookoed forward to playing the $11 game.

First game - lost. Put if down to bad luck to be honest. I had KJ suited and flop came K 4 4. After betting back and forward my opponenet turned over AA. Cooler I thought, bad luck try again.

Second game - lost, against AA again funnily enough.

Third and final game - bubbled. QQ vs TT and of course, he hit a T on the flop.

After 3 losses I knew my BR could no longer support the $11 game.

Entered into a MTT $5.50 and couldnt not have scripted a better start.

First hand AA. blinds 10-20 and I opened for 100. Player 2nd after me re-raised to 200, then came a caller. Got back to me and I shoved allin with both of them calling. 1 had JJ and the other AK. Fortunately community cards missed them both and in the first hand I tripled up and eliminated 2 players. The field was on 20 players and with that first hand I thought I was a shoe in for sure. Long story short, made some mistakes and came 9th.

With such a bad start to the day I thought I'll go back to what I've been having so much success at. 4 tables $6 games at stars. Sitting down after so many losses and with completely the wrong mentality can you guess what happened. LOST THEM ALL!

That's it giving it a rest for a while.

Looking back, what went wrong and how can I fix it?

I looked at my BR progress - that's it. I saw I had moved up enough to go to the next game and crumbled. As upset and frustrated as I am at the moment, I'm really not in the slightest worried. Only 2 or 3 weeks ago I had exactly the same problem when I moved from a $3 game to a $6 game. For some reason, as I move up in stakes, I play with fear, something that I need to overcome asap.

As far as my BR progress goes, I now know I must be up a bit over $150 for SnG's this month. As I said at the start of the month, I'm not doing daily reconciliations and just focusing on my game. However, in the separate spreadsheet where I've been recording all data to put together at the end of the month I've been running a profit column, so seeing how I've been doing really isn't that hard. Once this post goes live, that column gets deleted. It will mean a lot for work in the reconciliation process at the end of the month, but, it will also mean I'll have no idea what I'm on day by day, something I should have done at the start of September.

Where to from here?


Delete the profit column & grind away at the $5 & $6 games. If I'm ready to move up, I won't know until the start of October, by which time hopefully I'll have more than enough buyin's for the bigger game to support a bad day or 2.

Monday, September 15, 2008

1 session - 4 games - 4 cashes!

Bragging time! :)

For the first time at the $6 SnG level, whilst playing my 4 games at the same time, I cashed in all 4 of them!

2 2nd's & 2 wins.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^That had to have its own line.

Had played 2 other sessions.
Session 1 had 2 losses and 2 wins (happy with that)

Session 2 had 4 losses (3 bubbles) - that p***ed me right off.

I think it was due to the result in session 2 that made my success in session 3. I was so focused and determined to do good, and that's what happened.

Played a MTT today with a dismal performance, knocked out within the first 30mins.

But back to the SnG's, I can't get over the fact I cashed in 4 at the same time, with 2 wins.

Anyway can't glote to much, tomorrow is another day. Need to stay focused. Can't wait to reconcile at the end of this month.

Just wanted to put in 1 more screen dump. This was taken from session 1. At this stage had already lost 2, but got to HU and eventually won them both.

You can probably guess how I played each hand below.



44 hand



KK hand.

This was absolutely amazing. I doubt I'll see this again in a long time. Just before I took this screen shot I forgot that I had the exact hand in the hand before, even the same suits! Watch what happens.



and then from the screen shot



He must have known that Stars dealt me the same hand :)

Thank you poker gods.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today was a good day.

As per usual tried to $5 MTT today. Got very deep again but just couldn't make the FT. Result was 60th out of 909 giving a ROI of 106.73%. Glad to have made money but once again can't help to be a little frustrated for getting so close, remembering I had a 31st out of 873 just 2 days ago.

On a much happier note played 13 SnG's with a result of
3 wins, 2 2nd's & 1 3rd. Results like this in any game guarantees a profit. The most recent session was the far by best. After an early elimination on 1 table 1 managed to get into the top 3 on 3 tables at the same time, a feat which is pretty rare. The speed of play is ridiculous, you have to be so fast to think, analyze, decide, react and play at the click of a finger.

Felt like putting a picture in so why not show the screen shot of the final consecutive 3 FT's.



Very intense, but very, very cool!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Back to the tables.

Little upset with today. Played a $5.50 tourney, 873 players and came 31st. Played a really good game all round. Coming up to this hand which knocked me out I felt I had a great read. I was ahead pre-flop, I was ahead post flop, and then came the river. To the players credit against me, I could have been doing a button steal and after the flop he did have outs and he had me covered by a mile in chips. I stand by my decision and would probably do the same move 100 times over in the future.

31st got me an ROI of 138.18% so it's not all bad. But if my hand held up I feel I would have at least made a final table.

Try again soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Baby gets her first buy-in.

I'm sorry but I had to do this.

My dad has this thing, for each new born we have he gives them a crisp American $100 note. So obviously I had to do this.

Welcome to baby Chloe.

It's been a few days since my last post for a very good reason. September 9, 5:48am, my 2nd daughter, Chloe Mikayla was born. Was a successful delivery and we are all back home now. Below are some pictures of my new angel.

With a wife, 2 daughters and 1 son, I can now offically say, I have a full house, Queens full of Kings.





















Thanks to everyone for their best wishes for me and my family.

Monday, September 8, 2008

08/09/08

Quick summary of today's activity.

21 SnG's - 3 wins, 4 2nd's & 1 3rd.

Crazy day today. My wife and I are expecting our 3rd child and the due date was today. 9:15pm now and still no sign. Had a false alarm this morning but it looks like little Custo is happy relaxing and not ready for the world yet. Lets see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, especially for my wife's sake, we will be ready for our little girl.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The will to win must be greater than the fear of loss

Today I had the best poker experience I can remember. Thanks to some good words from CC members, particularly Icemonkey, I re-found my mojo in the $6 SnG’s. I’ve been struggling with the transition from a $3 game to a $6 game. Purely psychological which I’d expected and now confirmed.

I played 2 sets of games today. First set was 4 x $6.50 SnG’s. Lost them all! After a short break I reflected on those games and realised that I played scared. I was overall happy with my game and decisions I made, but I wasn’t being aggressive enough, playing far too passive. I let my fear of losing overtake my desire to win. After a break I asked myself the question ‘am I prepared to try again and lose $27?’ Because that is the cost of my buy-in 4 times. I answered yes and decided to play the game with the same mindset as I approach the smaller games.

The hands and positions I play were exactly the same but I showed no fear which gave different results. This doesn’t normally happen often but in the 2nd set of games I played I cashed in all 4 of them!

2 wins, 1 2nd & 1 3rd.

During my play I made some massive lay downs pre-flop with turned out to be the best move. See below.


With the pot being raised from early position and then re-raised from middle position I felt problems coming. It was a hard fold, normally I'd come over the top without hesitation, close my eyes, cross my fingers and pray to flop the nut flush or something similar. I'm so happy with that laydown. Even if I had have won, it's a big move to be able to flop AQ suited pre-flop, well for me it is anyway.


Yes, I tried to take down some blinds :). Once the pot was called and then re-raised, normally I'd call thinking I'm priced in for it but I decided to fold here which once again turned out to be the correct play. With all that money in the pot and the blinds where they were I would have called but thought, I can still play a shortstack and try to make it into the top 3, which I did.

Now to make some difficult calls.


I figured the BB was putting me on a steal attempt and to be honest I came very close to folding here. To be honest I actually put him on a steal attempt and once he decided to come over the top of me I thought here is where I take my stand. With 88 in this part of the game, I would have normally folded. This time I stood my ground and with the better hand.


To be honest, I consider my pre-flop call here a little loose. Once again normally I would fold there but thought JT suited, not the worst hand, I'm getting a good price and anything can flop. After the flop with a draw I was always going to call the shortstacks $110, but would fold to any raise after that. Luckily i made the nuts on the turn and was able to get paid off for it. The funny thing is, if the short stack had have gone allin pre-flop and not just doubled the bet, I would have folded without hesitation.


Putting this played on a steal attempt I instantly decided to make him commit. I'm either going to take his raise plus the blinds or get involved with AJ suited. GLad he flipped up AT and didn't suckout on me.


Some of you may think this is crazy, but I would normally call that. Any pair with a M of under 3, I'm shoving it in. This time I thought, under the gun has shoved and the blinds are still to act, once again it turned out to my advantage.


I almost folded pre-flop again. Look at the hand. BB is more than pot committed, button has raised so BB must call. I thought if I can sit this one out and hope the button take out the BB then I'm in the money. Then I thought if BB gets lucky then I'm all-in the very next hand and if I get unlucky I'm out on the bubble. I went in with AQ with very little chips and it held. Even if I had have folded pre-flop you can see that I still would have made the money. Coincidentally, I ended up winning this tournament. Not bad with a stack of $340 and the blinds were $400/$800.


The next hand. Now that I'm in the money, I'm going for the win in this game. A high, yup lets go for it. Thank god a A flopped making it easier to take the whole game down.

Overall, I'm very happy with the laydowns I made and the positions I stood my ground. I hope I'm over the fear I had when I first started these games. After this, I'm pretty damn sure I am.

Thanks to all for your comments and feedback prior to this post. It was the guidance and suggestions of friends and colleagues that allowed these results, so congratulations to you aswell.

Bring on tomorrow.