Tuesday, March 30, 2010

End of 2nd week coaching with Team Moshman.

12 months ago if you told me I would play over 800 DoNs in 2 weeks for no profits I would have told you to %^&* off

However, as I've repeatedly said, this is a long term process.

As far as week by week is concerned I had a much better week than I did last week. I am still at an overall loss though, even though I am 20BIs below EV.

As far as volume is concerned I’ve tried & tested multiple things since starting. I’ve gone from:
16 tabling single sets
20 tabling single sets
16 tabling 50 games continuous
20 tabling 50 games continuous
16 tabling 2 hours straight
16 tabling 3 hours straight
10 tabling single sets

I’ve found for me, that my best results are coming from 10 tabling single sets. Playing mass tables continuously is a lot harder than it sounds. Not only do you have multiple games that are bubble played with blinds @ 300/600, at the same time you have multiple games where the first hand is being dealt. So the attention to detail is so paramount. 1 wrong click can stuff everything up.

What makes it even harder is once 2 or so hours have passed and I haven’t lifted my butt from my computer chair physical pain beings. My back starts to ache, my eyes get strained and holding a mouse with 1 hand and having my index finger over the “y” key (for folding) makes my hands feel like they are about to become moulded into an un-natural shape.

So for the time being I will continue to 10table which is simply stacked 5 tables top left, 5 tables bottom right. It’s also interesting that even though there are 10 games going, my critical thinking time has increased exponentially allowing me to make those more solid decisions as opposed to just clicking away. So for me to hit my target I’ll have to play 40 sets per week, not too difficult.

I wont lie, but I’m still struggling folding, what I consider monsters, at the start of the game, but it’s becoming more obvious why it is correct to fold hands like AKs & QQ at the start.

So I’m at 830 games in so far and still at a monetary loss, I did have a brief moment where I was in the black 

I’m feeling super comfortable with the number of games going and decision making process.

This is proving to be one of the hardest grinds I’ve ever done, only because I’m at a financial loss. But I do feel within the next month we’ll all see something substantial.

But without further adieu, here is the graph from the start.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Disconnected whilst 20tabling! FML

It’s probably the 3rd time I’ve been disconnected in my life so I really can’t complain to much, plus the circumstances in which it happened is unfortunately totally my fault .
I play 2 stacks of 10 tables, 1 stack top left and 1 stack bottom right. I keep my mouse in a position where it’s always over both tables so when I table pops up I can quickly hit fold on the keyboard (I’m basically folding 90%+ of my hands now)

There is a stupid link on the top left of all PokerStars tables for the turbo takedown. If you click the link it opens up a webpage. The problem is running HEM, Table Ninja, PokerStars lobby and 20 tables is stretching my computer to its limits.

I basically moved the mouse accidently and mis-clicked, clicking on the webpage link and Firefox tried to open but the commuter crapped itself. So everything completely froze and I was forced to have to reboot, which for me takes around 5 minutes, maybe a few more.

By the time I came back online my remaining tables were down to around 2-3 BBs everywhere, plus I’d lost a couple. What obviously makes matters worse was the fact this happened mid/late game. If it was early game I would have probably just missed levels 10/20 & 15/30 where I’m basically folding everything so it wouldn’t have mattered as much, but of course it had to happen at the later stages. $%^&

Anyways, that’s really upset me so I’m taking a break tonight.

Here’s the graph so far.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

End of first week’s coaching with Team Moshman.

It just struck me that I’ve only been posting updates in CardsChat and not here. Whoops, will post in both places moving forwards.

If you wish to follow the progress there please click link below.

I’ve joined team Moshman. This will be my progress thread
Please note that registration to cardschat is reuqired so if you are not a member quickly sign up to follow and put "custo80" in the referal section.

Anyways, had an absolutely abysmal week, the worst start I could have imagined. This only happened due to me completely misinterpreting good advice and implementing it the wrong way.

My first weeks graph is below and hopefully as you can tell by the last 100 games or so, I’m starting to figure it out correctly again.

Sorry for the lack of updates and stay tuned.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I’ve joined team Moshman. Coaching starting shortly.

As of today, I am officially receiving coaching from team Moshman. If you haven’t heard of Collin Moshman, well I don’t know what you’re doing following poker blogs.

I contacted the management team via their website http://collinmoshman.com/ and applied for a coaching deal. Within 24 hours I was contacted and an offer put on the table. The original deal was that I play 400 $5 double or nothing tournaments per week and pay 50% of net profits for a period of 6 months.

Without much time I quickly asked to re-negotiate these terms as 6 months of half my profits is far too long for me. So I suggested I’ll play 6,000 games which I aim to have finished n 2 months and still pay 50% of my net profits. Without hesitation they accepted this and I signed the contract last night.

As I am writing this I have played just over 1,300 games this year for a net result of 6.8% ROI which is .5% under EV. I strongly feel that 6.8% ROI is quite bad for the $5 level. Clearly I must expect to have a slightly lower than average ROI as I 16table these games in sets of 50 at a time. I’m sure if I was 4tabling them I’d have a higher result due to being able to concentrate more and make perhaps better decisions as opposed to just going through the motions. But, on a personal note, I only have one objective at the moment and that is to rebuild my bankroll as fast as humanly possible.

I’m sincerely hoping after some coaching and critiquing of my game I can be at 10%+ ROI playing in exactly the same manner. From there start to move back up the levels.

What I found most attractive was their policy of “No win, No Fee”. I have had a coaching session before at the rates of $65/hr from a private coach and whilst it was good there is only so much one can learn from a one hour session. I need something on-going. I’m hoping this will be easy for the team to help me develop as I can at least say I am a “marginal winning” player.

In this thread I will share what I am learning and post my results of the 6,000 games I play for the duration of the agreement. If all goes well, I look forward to hopefully becoming an integral part of their team.

Collin Moshman’s reputation is self explanatory and in my eyes, legendary. So it’s very safe for me to assume that anyone within that circle can achieve successful results.

Feel free to ask questions and I hope you enjoy as much as I will the journey that is about to start.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Result for MiniFTOPS Event #1

So close.

So bloody close.

I came 159th out of a field of 18,875 players. Aside from the Sunday 1/4 million at PokerStars, this is the biggest field I’ve ever played in.

I got very fortunate in the early stages min raising with pocket 5s and the flop came 885. Here is the hand.

So this really set me up well given me over 130 big blinds to work with.

I thoroughly enjoyed the structure that Full Tilt offer in this game. 5000 starting chips with the blinds starting at 10/20. I’ve not played a great deal of deep stacked poker but was very comfortable with it.

I ended up playing for around 7 hours and cashed for a little over $200. I never actually intended to play this event but my good old friends Icemonkey offered to stake me with the conditions of if I bust out I pay nothing and if I cash I pay back the buy-in plus 55% of net profits. So I was happy to make some money for myself and my friend.

The event was full of Full Tilt Pros and at one stage I was on the table with Lee Watkinson.

Funnily enough Lee raised my blinds 3 times on the table and since he’s a pro, he had to have something. Right?

It does hurt to miss out on $55,000+ that was awarded for first place but once again I am proud of my accomplishment of running so deep.

I am going to look closer at the rest of the MiniFTOPS events and decide on what else to play. I'll also start playing to satellites at Stars and try and get into some SCOOP events.

Lastly I would like to say thanks to everyone at CardsChat that was on the rail for me for several hours last night. It meant a lot and really appreciate everyone’s support. Hopefully I can bring you better results shortly.

Here is the rail thread:

Rail for Custo

That's it for now.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brag: Consecutive 180 player tournaments, both ITM!

Well things are gradually picking up for me. I’ve been trying to stay as consistent as possible with respect to the types of games I play and it is working out better than expected.

I have always noticed that the best online players were generally logged in at the same times and playing exactly the same games and number of tables. So recently I have been 16tabling the $5 DoNs for 2-3 hours at night time and playing some 180s and mtts in the mornings.

I am hoping to extend my playing time at night to 4-5 hours just to get through more volume. I have noticed something that really shocked me. Just out of curiosity I visited SharkScope to view the top 20 players in Double or Nothing games with cost from $2-$5 and to my surprise a lot of the players have either slightly higher, the same and in some cases a lower ability score as me. The stand out difference is they all have around 10,000+ games played and I’m at around 5,500 at the moment. I’m seriously wondering now that I am increasing my volume and not diverting from the type of game I play if I will make the top 20 in the category. I would consider that a major brag. Whilst the game isn’t exactly rocket science I think to be considered in the top 20 of any type of game is something to be proud of. I wonder how many people that is out of. Must be thousands.

Anyways, let’s get back to the title subject.

First off, I am becoming even prouder of my poker playing ability. I’m feeling more comfortable, making better decisions, and yielding better results.

I attribute this to 2 main things at this stage.

1: My purchase of TableNinja.
2: That one session I had with Jamie.

Now with TableNinja I no longer think of playing a set of games of being able to lose x and need to win y in order to have a good session. I’m paying less attention to my all-in hands with is allowing me to make better decisions with whatever I am faced with at the time. Previously, if I was playing 16 games and I was all in pre flop with KK, I’d quickly drag the table up so I can always see it and watch the play. If I was called by QQ and saw the Q flop I’d instantly become upset and aggravated which in turn affects my play until I’ve gotten over it. If I was knocked out of a game I’d begin to say to myself “Well, I’m playing 16, just lost 1, have 15 left, so need at least 9 out of 15 to show a profit for this session”. Thinking like that is a recipe for disaster. The logical side of me knows this but the emotional side outweighs logic more often than not.

Now I’m of the opinion, “I’m going in with the best hand and whatever happens, happens. Let it be and focus on the next hand which is waiting for me". The other benefit is when a DoN gets down to 6 handed and on the bubble, when the game is over it simply closes without me knowing if I’ve won it or not, so I really have no idea what is happening whilst I play. All I have to do is focus on playing A+ poker and the rest takes care of itself.

Ok, now I’ll get on to the title subject.
(Have I been rambling too much again?)

Consecutive 180 player tournaments, both ITM!
Pretty cool stuff.

I actually played 4 games this morning. 1 which was the $2.75 mtt with over 7,000 people and 3 $4.40 180s alongside that.

I missed the cash in the $2.75 and 1 of my $4.40s. To be truthful I wasn’t paying as much attention to them as I should have because I was to focused on what was happening in the other games.

1 game I was in the top 20 of chips for the whole game and the other I had won a coin flip to put me in top 10 with around 50 players left.

In fact the game that I was in the top 20 for I was actually 1 out of 179 after 2 minutes when my QQ held up against AK all in pre flop. Always helps, thank you PokerStars.

I’ve had multiple ITMs while playing 9 player SnGs more times than I can count, but I’ve never done it at the same time in a 180 player SnG.

See for yourself.

Can you tell by now that I like pictures? Pretty cool huh!

Yet alas, this was about as good as it got. I finished 13th in the one I was short stacked in on the right and 7th on the left after I called an all in with QQ vs AJ and watched that lovely A drop on the flop, once again, thank you PokerStars.

Once again, I'm left with mixed emotions. I am upset with no win but from a personal growth perspective my game is finally approaching a new higher level.

This is justified not only by today’s results but also the following previous posts I've made last month and this month here:

February 18th 2010
won a 18 player SnG after being down to less than 1 blind.

February 22nd 2010
came 2nd in a $2.20 180 player SnG.

February 22nd 2010
came 6th in another $2.20 180 player SnG.

March 3rd 2010 had the highest cash ever in a $3.30 2000+ player mtt.

So my begging question is, am I simply on a heater? My answer is unequivocally NO. I am becoming a better player and so I should be for all the time, studying and training I've had over the years.

I’m still quite some way from the top but it feels damn good to know within myself I am getting better, admittedly probably slower than most people but its getting there.

For anyone that is of the belief that luck really is a factor and determines out outcomes in this game I can now really laugh in your face because for all I’ve gone through and where I am going now playing poker is clearly a game of skill.

And I'm getting better as each day goes on.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Correlation isn't necessarily causation?

To quote a comment left on my recent post I wanted to explore this statement and get other opinions.

Here is the quote:

“Just remember, correlation isn't necessarily causation.

There might not be a relationship between your finish and any change in your play style - you only have a few data points so far. Also there might not be a relationship between a change in your play style and that win.

...or there might be?

This also applies if you have some big losses with no wins for a while. It doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with your play - just keep at it.

Think long term.”

So the question is can I account this recent success as a result of my paradigm shift or is it just a massive coincidence that I happened to have the best finish of my life 2 days after the sweat session?

Well I think I’ll put this to a personal test.

The Test.

I intend to play 100 mtts with buy-ins ranging from $2.20 - $11 with field sizes of 500+ and 15 minute blind levels. I will not put any form of timeline on it as my intention is not to rush this and I’m not an mtt grinder. I will only play these at PokerStars and only play when I feel like it.

I am hoping with this new style of play to have an ITM rate of 10%+ and at least 1 final table. I will not revert back to my old approach of shutting down if I get close to the money and I’m average on chips and I will continue to play for the final table then the win.

I do have to consider the fact that I may have 0 ITM finishes and have accepted that fact, although I’ll be very surprised if that was to happen.

Once 100 mtts have been completed I will have all results made available and we will see just of this new approach have improved my game long term.

I am very interested in everyone’s feedback and will regularly update on results as I get through the games.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sweat session with Buffslayer and 2 days later I have my career high mtt cash!

Warning: Longest post I’ve ever done so you might want to make a cuppa before you start to read. :)

I have so many mixed emotions about this post I am actually struggling t articulate what I wish to say.

A few weeks ago a fellow poker player by the name of Buffyslayer1 was kind enough to start a thread on 2+2 offering 5 player that are struggling with there mtt games some assistance. After contacting Buffyslayer he was generous enough to say yes to me and offer some of his time and expertise.

We arranged a time for me to watch him play some mtts and I feel it has completely changed my entire approach as to how I play these games.

I watched him play 4 mtts, for memory they were:
$3.30 > 2000 players
$5.50 2 rebuys & 1 add-on > 1000 players
$11 rebuy > 2000 players
$55 > 1000 players

We were speaking about all sorts of strategies and tactics used to get through these large fields and making it to the final table.

One of the biggest leaks in my mtt game is the “In The Money Bubble”. Something I’ve had fear of for far too long.

My general mentality with any form of mtt is simple. If we are around 100 spots from the money bubble and I feel I have enough chips to make it but not enough to take shots and try to build my stack, I simply end up blinding out and min cashing. The reason I always do that is I keep thinking “I’ve already played for 2-3 hours and I want to get something back". The problem I also faced is by the time I make the money I’m generally down to less than 5 big blinds and have no real chance or growing my stack back up to run deep.

So the main thing I’ve completely changed about my game is not even considering the money bubble, in fact as Jamie said (Jamie = Buffyslayer1) “There is no such thing!” There is only a final table bubble.

This session happened on a Saturday morning my time. The next day I opened 8 Mtts, 5 of PokerStars and 3 on Titan poker and had the following results.

Titan Poker
$5+$1 titan double. Lost AIPF KK<1010, villain flopped a 10
$5+$1 titan double. Simply lost.
$5.50 > 600 players. Busted 7 spots from the money which I didn’t know at the time AIPF QQ < 77 as villain flopped a 7. In this particular game I had around 30 big blinds and was more than healthy to cruise into the money but because I didn’t pay attention to how many spots were left I took my shot with a clearly stronger hand an got unlucky. Obviously if my hand held up I would have been in fantastic shape to run very deep in the game.

$11 Sunday 1/4 million. I overplayed KJ on K42 board and ran into KQ within the first 30 minutes. Mistake on my behalf.
$2.20 >5000 players. Busted 22 spots from the money after it checking to me in BB and I had J3 on AJ3 board. Obviously villain in SB had A3 and we both got it in on the flop.
$2.75 > 7000 players. Simply lost
$11 > 4000 players. Simply lost
$8.80 218th out of 3230 players. ITM started at around 320 but I didn’t know that at the time. Unfortunately blinded down to 5bbs and took a stand with A2 then snap called by AK from BB.

So the above results I played 8 with only 1 cash but I wasn’t playing to cash, I was playing for the final table. Had I have taken my normal approach I would have cashed in both the Titan $5.50 game and the Stars $2.20 game but my focus was growing to get to the end, not cruising into the cash.

Historically I have a rather large ITM rate and very low Final Table rate. I now suspect and have pretty much confirmed with this new style of play my ITM rate will drop substantially but I will run much deeper when I do make it.

I have told you about all the above results in build up to this……

Are you ready?

Are you excited?

My Career high cash and best mtt game I’ve ever played.

This happened the very next day.

Sunday, March 1st 20:00 AEST.

Buyin $3.30 with 2045 players.


8 hours & 5 mins to turn $3.30 into $539.88

My biggest cash prior to this was $287.11 when I came 4th out of 1044 in a $5.50 mtt.

So as you can see it has been some time since I had a final table experience, yet I can tell you a million times about making it into the money.

To be truthful, I am absolutely kicking myself for not changing this attitude earlier. I was always conscious of it but it was Jamie’s complete disregard for min-cashing that made it so apparent to me.

I played this game to get to the final table and nothing else. This is clearly proved by the picture below showing the first hand of the final table.

You see I was dominant chip leader. Having such a large stack in comparison to the blinds and opponents I remember getting a little to cocky and confident and took some perhaps unnecessary shots.

I remember within the first 5 minutes, “mrbibo788” had managed to double up to 500K and we both got it all in pre flop with my 77 vs. his KK. He raised, then 1 3bet, he 4bet so I, feeling like I’m indestructible, 5bet shoved only to see I’m dominated and dwindled down from 2million to 1.5million changing my entire outlook on the final table strategy. With that stack I simple intended to bully in the right spots.
I ended up playing a little tighter as people started to drop off.

I was actually amazed as to how long this game went for. By the time we reached the final table it was 3:00am and I was a combination of absolutely knackered and get so much adrenalin pumping through me.

When I finally busted 3rd I was lost for words. I was so happy about my accomplishment yet so disappointed I didn’t win. I suppose I will have to get used to this feeling as it will happen many more times.

Jamie, if you’ve read this far, which I suspect you have, I can not thank you enough for your time and words of wisdom. Whilst all we did is watch you play I learned so much about psychology and mathematics in mtts and can’t feel any better.

There is no way any of this would have happened if I hadn’t of spent all that time with you.

To everyone reading this, thank you for staying for such a long post but generally the more excited I get about something the more I tend to say.

With this cash coupled with my results from 5NL and $5 double or nothing I have got my bankroll back up over 1.2K from the $500 re-deposit so things are starting to look up again.

I will continue to play mtts from $2.20 - $11 and I really look forward to cracking that $1000+ win from a mtt. There will be many bad beats and bust outs coming up, but with this new approach there should be some more final tables and hopefully that win is right around the corner.

Thanks for reading.