Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My proudest MTT result to date.

Was a good Sunday last weekend. I’ve been trying recently at the PokerStars nightly $70K MTT. It was my 3rd attempt at it and I finally got this result.

I’ve had bigger pay-outs than this one and this certainly isn’t my biggest ROI but I really felt my tournament game just went up another notch being able to make it into the top 10% of the field at this level of play.

For years now I’ve been playing $10 games and under. With a re-visited BRM I’m able to play in games of this stature.

As proud as I am for cashing in it I’m a little disappointed with my own play. I came out strong in the first 30mins making moves and calling 1 guy down who tried to bluff me with air to almost double up immediately. Once the 2nd hour started I really hit the breaks. I did run quite card dead but I let fear of not making it ITM overtake my desire to run deep, where the money really starts. I played a scared and safe game to creep into the money and that was the exact outcome I got.

I remember there were about 100 people to go before getting paid and I got dealt AA in late position. With a little over 13 big blinds I thought “stuff it” and pushed all in. no one called and I collected the blinds and antes. The very next hand and weirdly after that I got dealt AKo back to back. Without hesitation again I put it all in and once again, no calls. Perhaps my rock image was being taken into consideration. With those 3 blind shoves I was able to accumulate enough chips to practically sit out and guarantee a pay day. Once the money started I waited for the first decent holding to try and double up. I waited until I was down to 7 BBs and then from the SB with K7c I went for it. I was quickly called by the BB with A2o but had me out-chipped by about 6-1. I didn’t hit anything and was taken out.

Was an awesome feeling to cash in a game like that next time I can hopefully take it to another greater level?

If you’re reading this and experienced with MTTs of $50+ and fields of over 1000, I’d love some feedback.


Monday, May 18, 2009

And the announcement is………

I’m going pro on Sit n Go’s!
I’m completely quitting all forms of Cash Games.


I’ll start with Cash Games.

The only way to put this is I don’t enjoy them and that’s putting it politely! I’d convinced myself earlier this year that I have to master cash games and if I don’t I’ll never make it. This decision was a sudden knee-jerk reaction to a massive downswing I had in January playing 6man DoN SnG’s at Titan.

After 4 months of “experimental playing” I really have absolutely zero desire to play these types of games. I made a loss last year from them and things are looking the same this year.

I’m not going to crap on and on about negatives in this post, but cash games won’t be happening for me. This is obviously not a life-long decision but a decision I’d say for quite some time. To be honest, if I hadn’t of had such negative variance in my SnG’s at the start of this year, I probably never would have thrown everything I had at cash games.

The style of play just doesn’t do it for me, and if I’m going to do something I’m going to do it 100%. I simply have zero passion for ring games.

There is so much talk and emphasis on cash game poker that I got myself to the point where I basically felt guilty for not “following the crowd”. But I’m on my own journey and hopefully all players I know and respect that are ring players will support my decision and understand that this is what I want and this is how I believe I will succeed. Maybe down the line I can even give something back to aspiring SnG grinders.

So, onto the positive news.

Professional SnG Player:
This is where my passion is and this is what I want to do.

Specifically the games I’ll be playing will be exclusively, but not limited to, 9 player turbo’s.

I love SnG’s. I’ve mastered the basic strategy and getting much better at advanced strategy. I’m so comfortable with the games and ready to take them to the next level.

After running a filter on SharkScope for 9 player turbos with a buy-in between $6-$15, I noticed that the best players are between 5-8% ROI. I expected it to be heaps bigger. Bearing in mind that their game size is a little over 20K. I’m very confident that with a little more study and practice I can get myself up there. After 3.5K games on PokerStars I’m currently on 5% ROI.

I’m seriously considering signing up with Sit N Go Grinders Still just have a little more research to do. Looks like their annual cost is ~$200 so I want to make sure it’s worth it.

This new approach is also having a large impact on my Bankroll. The original reason I set-up separate bankrolls was to protect me from potentially losing heaps on cash games if I had a large tournament win.

EG. If my BR was $1000 and I won $15,000 in a MTT, then I could go directly from 10NL up to say, 200NL. A jump like that without experience at levels in between could kill a player. As I’ve decided to abolish cash games entirely I’m operating under the following:

This is a design I wrote a while ago but never implemented it, I’ve tested for a little while and am now comfortable enough to LIVE BY IT!

Single Game Play = 2% of BR (50 Buy-ins)
Multi Game Play = .5% of BR (200 Buy-ins)

Why the above structure?

Let me explain.

Even though I have 50 buy-ins for a $16 SnG, when I’m multi-tabling them and have a bad run, say 1 cash in 4 sessions, psychologically and financially the hit is just too hard.

Picture this:
BR = 1000
Buy-Ins for $16 SnG = 62.
4 sessions of 4 games with 1 cash (3rd) = $229
BR after 4 sessions = $1000 - $229 = $771
BR loss of 22.9%

All of a sudden after 4 sessions, which for me I can do in a single 4 hour sitting, I’m down a level.

Whilst the above is almost impossible to happen on a regular basis, the reality is it can happen and when it does there’s nothing that can be done about it.

This year I’ve literally been a mess having bad runs, changing the BR without telling anyone, then changing it back to the original structure. I think I’ve changed my own rules over 10 times in the past 4 months and it’s completely stuffed with my head.

I now know more than enough about both Bankroll & Money management. I know the importance of protection against both bad play and unavoidable variance. I also know the importance of not being overly nitty where games become boring as the stakes are too small relevant to what cash I have. I’ve found my happy medium, finally, and I’m locking this in for good.

A major plus to this new structure is I can, and did for the first time last night, play games larger than I’ve played before. Last night for the first time I played a $38 game which resulted in a 2nd place netting me a little over $50. I’d expected and was dead right that the playing style was more like playing poker rather than playing against 8 maniacs. It’s no hidden secret that the larger the buy-in, the more respect is given to the game, although completely avoiding those crazy plays seems like it will happen at any level, just much less at the higher ones. I noticed an unbelievable difference in that game as opposed to a $6.50 game. An example was the first played was knocked out when the blinds where 75/150, in a smaller game, by the time the blinds are at 75/150 it’s normally down to 5-6 players left. I tested a strategy in that game which worked to perfection and will be copied every time I play 1 game at a time. Not sharing the strategy (can’t give away all my secrets).

It was fun playing the 1 game, I was able to get reads on every single player and anticipate what was going to happen, something that is next to impossible when playing 4 games at a time. It really felt like playing poker.

So that’s it for the time being. Next step is to finalise research on Sit N Go Grinders to make sure it’s a positive investment and play without distraction and continue my journey towards freedom.

It’s been a sluggish 5 months so far this year, but now with direction and admitting to myself exactly what I want to do and how I want to do it I feel I’ve got myself back on track to get where I want to be.

Thank you for following so far and reading such a long post. I didn't intend on it going this long but sometimes when you write you just can't stop. This is clearly a pivotal point of my online poker journey, one that’s been going since August 2007. I'm looking forward to sharing success stories soon and providing help to anyone that asks in the not too distant future.


PS. To all cardchatters, I'm coming back shortly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A massive announcement to be made…..

This weekend!

I need to write it properly and explain my reasoning but I think, like a revelation, I’ve realised why I’ve been playing break even poker for the past 5 months.

My decision is final and will be announced shortly. The only hint I’ll give is I’ve never done this before.

Come back soon, I’m keen for your feedback.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Alt-Tabing between Stars and Tilt

I was all over the shop last month. I'd have days where I made $80 on Stars SnG's then dropped $100 on pacific playing $20 HU SnG's. I've decided to play only at Stars & Tilt. I've drained all the money out of Pacific and have a very little amount left at Titan which I may use for an occasional MTT on the weekend, my last MTT at Titan I came 3rd out of 97 and the one prior to that I went out 20th which was right where the money started.

The idea behind this is focus. I'm in the process of clearing 2 bonuses, $120 at Stars for a re-load offer and $600 at Tilt, yes I know I finally joined Tilt.

I'll be 4-tabling the $12 SnG's at Tilt, mainly during happy hour to double my FPPs. I'll also be 4-tabling 25NL at Stars.

I'm still reading a lot of blogs, recently just finished Chuckts, Icemonkey's, Fredricks and Jurns and it seems like everyone is struggling at the moment. To you guys and anyone else who is struggling (myself included) I really hope shit turns around asap, we are all better than this.

I made a shift in money allowing me to play 25NL, and I’ll be making a video of it shortly and keen for feedback, I’m just still in the process of re-building this machine since I discovered the old one had 14 Trojans on it, may explain all the bad beats I took?

Anyway I’m off to hit the tables, happy starts in 15 minutes and I know what I have to do.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Results for April 2009.

Start of April 2009 BR = $2568.39
End of April 2009 BR = $2668.40

Overall $100.01 Profit
Bankroll increase of 3.89%

Where did the money come from?
Ring games = -$11.95
SnG's = -$39.55
MTT's = $69.01
Bonuses = $82.50

So without bonuses and 1 MTT cash I had for a little over $100, I would have lost again.

Truth be told, I've been on 74 different forms of tilt since the start of the year and now I've fucking had enough!

Money money money money money! That's all it’s been about. I forgot about playing poker and only thought of making money. Doesn't work that way.

I have one goal and one goal only now, it's going to be hard but if I can full this off, I'm going nowhere but up.


That's it! Nothing fancy like trying to make xbb's/100, or have a 40%ITM rate. None of that shit anymore. Just make correct decisions all time.

This year so far has been one of the biggest emotional roller-coasters I've ever experienced, and I'm hoping it's the poker gods testing me to see if I'm cut out for this in the long run. I already know the answer; I just need to seriously re-adjust my attitude, expectations, goals and play.

It's so fucking simple it's not funny anymore. If I can beat my own head, watch out, I'll be posting some serious news soon.

That's it.

Will re-join CC shortly, haven't been there for a little over a month cause I've been all over the place attitude wise. Will start posting more frequently again, haven't done so all last month cause I had NOTHING positive to contribute.

You’re seeing a changed man. Poker has tested me and I'm still standing, hence the variance can't beat me.

Be back soon, I'll have some big news coming.