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.


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.


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.