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 :)


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.


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


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.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Quick summary of today's activity.

8 SnG's - 2 wins

Not a good ITM rate but a positive ROI. Am waiting on some feedback about the $6 games until I try them again so these results were all in the $3 SnG's.

Some more fun hands to watch are below.

Lucky for me the player with top pair & top kicker checked the flop allowing me to draw to my set on the turn for free. Any bets on the flop and that wouldn't have happened. I was a little scared about an overset after his raise on the turn, but a set of 4's must be the last hand they could have put me on.

The video doesn't show it, but after the 2 all-ins before me I waited forever contemplating that call. Glad I made it. Subsequently this was one of the games I won and it was probably due to that hand.

Poor guy. Flopped a straight and couldn't beat me.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Quick summary of today's activity.

12 SnG's - 1 win & 4 2nd's.

Must have been a profitable day, yet again. Only played 3 sessions, 4x$3 buyin. Had a lot of very seat-clenching hands so for entertainment purposes, let's all enjoy them again.

I think I'll call this one - I love donkeys!

To be expected I was really worried when I had 2 callers to my all-in preflop. Fortunately, 1 decided to go all in on the turn with no pair and no draw allowing my A high to hold. Stupidest move I've seen as I thought they would both check it down to the river to knock me out. Can't complain tripling up with A high.

Lets call this one - getting maximum value.

My only thought looking back was my flat call after the flop. When the flop hit it was an obvious choice of call or raise. I contemplated raising the flop in case he was drawing but felt I had the best of it pre-flop and post flop. Glad I played it the way I did.

This one being called - NO ACE NO ACE NO ACE!.

I only thought I'd put this one in as so many times with pocket Kings an Ace seems to magically appear. As it was for my tournament life and would have resulted with a bubble I had leaped from the chair screaming NO ACE NO ACE NO ACE.

This being called - Custo gets unlucky.

Can't win them all can we.

Unfortunaelty the website I use to create these videos is expeirecing some bugs and the videos aren't working correctly. I'm going to post them anyway cause they were awesome hands. Aplogies for them not being proper videos.

That's all folks.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Finally a winning day.

04/09/08. I'm no mathematician, but I must have made money today. As per everyones advice I tried playing the $6 game on stars again, but this time I played it without playing anything else. Guess the outcome? First place. Instantly a $20 profit.

There was a hand I'll never forget that took place in this SnG. I have no idea why this guy did what he did but I wont complain. See below.

I understand going all in on a bluff if you first to act, that's fine but who the hell calls a completely missed flop for their tournament life. Oh well, helped my stack.

Later in the same tournament I had one hand that I felt I really played well. It was one of those hands very every decision on every serious of betting was the correct decision and allowed me to get the maximum value for that hand. See below.

Once I flopped the flush I knew that flat calling him all the way was the best way to get as many chips as I could. Raising him on the flop I felt may have scared him off. I generally don't bet so passively in heads up, but this hand was perfect for it. Subsequently it gave me a massive chip lead and set me up for the tournament win.

After my SnG success I decided to play the 3pm $3.30 MTT. This game normally attracts around 1500 people. I had no cashes in this game the past 2 days, mainly to being card dead and over-playing some bad hands early on to try and get a big kick start early. Today I lasted 2hrs & 53mins giving me a result of 120th out of 1602 players. Being a $3.30 MTT I didn't receive the biggest payout but I did get a 89.39% ROI, and a positive ROI, to me, is what it's all about.

I went out in style in the MTT, just unlucky to run into the hand I did.

AK vs AA! Can't do anything about that.

Aside from the $6 SnG win and the place in the MTT I played 2 SnG's at Noble with no success. Felt like playing some multi tables so fired up 4 $3 games back at stars and surprise surprise, 2 losses 1 3rd and 1 win.

Positive day all round. Glad I played the 1 $6 will stick with that until I've figured out how to multi table them. If I get the urge to multi table, there's always enough $3 games to go around.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Quick summary of today's activity.

22 SnG's - 4 wins, 3 2nd's & 2 3rd's
3 MTT's - No cashes

I've discovered a problem in my game, I now need to find a solution. I started a thread on CC to get feedback, can be view here. I played 8 $6.50 SnG's today with bad results, 1 3rd and 7 losses. I then went back to the $3.40 SnG's and had 3 wins, 2 2nd's and 1 3rd. I can't figure out why I cant get the same results at the next level. I'll be looking very closely at this over the next couple of days as I'm more than bankrolled for the $6.50 games. I also played a little on Noble and Pacific. Pacific had no luck but Noble had 2 games 1 1st & 1 2nd.

I'm probably going to concentrated on the $3 games @ stars for a few more days until I can figure out what I'm doing wrong at the $6 level. If you have any suggestions I'm more than keen to hear them.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Quick summary of today's activity.

20 SnG's - 3 wins & 2 3rd's
1 MTT - No cash

Up or down? I must be down.

Played way too much today due to chasing and a bit of boredom. Should have fixed this for tomorrow as I have a idea I'm looking forward to trying out. No excuses today, I played too much, and drank, BIG BIG BIG mistake. Not the happiest camper at the moment, but a good night sleep and no alcohol tomorrow I'm sure will equal success.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Quick summary of today's activity.
10 SnG's - 2 wins & 1 3rd
1 MTT - no cash.

Up or down? I'd say down but not going to look.

Took an absolute horrible beat but these things happen. All I can do now is laugh about it.

Sometimes even flopping the nuts just isn't good enough.