Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.

I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).

Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.

I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Benefits of a LAG image part II

Just played a short session, but you know the player who had seen me play very loose and got it in with JJ overpair against my aces? Played another hand with him tonight. I'm not going to upload the HH as I don't want to be nasty since overall his game seems ok other than spewy post flop tendencies. He obv likes to get the money in light, unless he just sees me as a superfish. Anyway, standard raise from the cutoff; I have 99 and get called from villain in the small blind. The board comes A98 and he leads into the pot. Obv that is good from my perspective and I was unsure what to do. I decided to play my hand weird - my usual line would be to call. I raised a little less than pot where he then minraised me. That usually means that someone wants to play for stacks so I pumped fist and thought lets get this shit going! Well, the money went in and V had AQo. This guy must be seriously pissed at me now. I expect to see an awful lot more of him too since he has been on here every night that I have. Unfortunately I played a little tighter this evening so he may start adjusting. But now I should have more fold equity so might try taking one of these lines as a bluff. What I am doing though, as you should too, is mix up my play. On the AAvJJ hand, I actually checked behind on the baby flop hoping to get action from his range and did. So he might have labelled me as a slow player and immediately thought that my raise in this hand must be bluffy... Anyway, confuse the regs and they'll spew. Fact.
EDIT: Just been checking over my history with this player, I'd got him to fold in alot of big pots that I couldn't remember through multitabling memory loss. He really must have viewed a pair of aces as the nuts against me. This is the HUGE benefit of image and must be why the loose players make so much money.

Overall in the session we finished about 33 dollars up as I took down some more pots aggressively on the other tables. All that for not alot of work...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

ok ok ok

we didn't have a great day, finished a buy-in down. wierd day, hit loads of hands, got a fold every time. Every time I felt I had good bluff equity, they didn't go away and played back. Sigh, it happens. Never the less, I actually made money from non showdown winnings, so once again I'm doing things the right way in terms of stealing. The hands I lost were mainly where I had the favourite on the flop and turn and the loose players got there on the river. I also made two loose calls but blah nevermind. I just need to get some hands paid off and our graph should start to climb again nicely. For the first time on any site, there is a few regulars that I have got several hundred hands on. None of them are super aggressive but a couple look like they're reasonable and there's two or three bad regs too. So I'll try and take notes on these players and try and pick up their tendencies and exploit exploit exploit. GG

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Latest News

The benefit of a maniacal image
Sat at a table with one of the players who I'd been playing with when I'd been raising nearly half the hands as the table had been so tight. It's not often that I believe it's profitable to play like that - that was just one of those times. Anyway he'd obviously remembered because he called a four-bet when I had AA and got in a 200bb stack with an overpair of JJ. That's the great thing about playing in this way, the players assume you are a spewtard on every street. Not just the first one ;)
I have a day off and want to put in a long session. Plan on spending a couple more hours on flop combinations first (since my hand reading seems to be improving immensely by doing it)and then get stuck in. I'm a bit unsure how to proceed at the moment. Playing as much as I can while the games are this soft is just a given, but do I play as many tables as I can to maximise hourly or concentrate on playing four really well? This may be one of those situations where more tables might just be better. The play is so bad and one dimensional that the tricky spots don't come along much. I think two buy-ins per 1000 hands is easily achievable at this site at these stakes - and that's without taking into account rakeback. So hopefully I'll win around 50 bucks tomorrow. Will strongly consider moving up stakes very soon also but will try and finish my combinations work first so that multitabling decisions become easier.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Just had to say it

I am so glad hardly anyone reads this blog. Absolute games are so soft I really cannot quite believe it. Even at fishy microstakes, I've never known games like it. I played a few hundred hands on two tables tonight. One of them was nit city - no player was playing more than 15% of hands. So I was playing like 40% and raking in pot after pot after pot. The other table was the opposite. Players seeing like 60% of flops and folding every time to a c-bet unless they had the nuts. Crazy, easy money. I have seen maybe two players that looked like they knew what they were doing in nearly 3000 hands. Jees, I guess the scandal really did put the regs off. Oh well, let them have their tough stars games. I'm going to be enjoying making alot of money!

A Common Hand Reading Mistake

This is certainly a weakness in my own game that I am currently addressing. Here's what happens: We get to the river and all of a sudden our opponent shows strength. Say the board is 4682J. We suddenly think, "oh no our AJ cannot be good he must have a suited one gapper for the straight". But actually, since the player is only playing 15% of hands preflop over a sample of a few hundred hands and has played his hand from under the gun we cannot reasonably include any low one gap hands in his range. We are acting on the river in a general sense without thinking about all the information we have. I was made aware of this mistake by poker pro/coach [vital]Myth from the cardrunners videos. He's a great coach and I highly recommend listening to what he has to say, you'll learn alot. Anyway, what this advice has led me to do is to create some rules of thumb for general play.
A player who plays less than 12% of hands will usually not have any suited connectors in his range. This is why good players often call in position against these "nits" since if we flop top pair on a 652 board, we'll have the best hand most of the time; or we can take the pot away if low cards flop.
A player who plays between 12% and 20% of hands will usually only be playing suited connectors without a gap in. So on the first board we can pretty safely rule out straights when making our decision.
A player playing more than 20% of hands can usually have any suited connector and many Ax suited hands so nothing can really be discounted. This is part of the reason why most of the top professionals play 25-30% of hands. It is hard for most opponents to figure out their hand.
edit: A player who plays over 30% of hands will actually have quite a large percentage of bluffs in their range and so we can safely start to call more lightly and give them less credit for having it, despite it being within their range.
Important Note
Unless the hand sample size is really large, these rules should only be used lightly. It may just be that someone has been dealt 73o 50 times in a row.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

No play today

But I haven't been idle. Spent the day looking at combinatorics and poker... Basically I feel that I need to improve my hand reading. So I have studied some maths and numbers that should help me in this regard. Basically if you can give someone a hand range in a certain situation, then for the pot odds calculations it would be a huge bonus if you could estimate the percentage of villain's range that is likely to be a bluff. Right now it's just a guess for me. It's likely not a bad guess, but if I can do this more accurately it will allow my decision making to improve which is what we are striving to achieve, is it not?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Loose aggressive play

Well, I have been given some advice to loosen up a bit since the low stakes players mostly play so straightforwardly or badly after the flop. Back to the Steal and Showdown concept - maybe I am underestimating how much equity I have with certain marginal hands against weak opposition. So today I played considerably looser than I normally would and managed to get paid off when players started adjusting badly to my image. When we can get 5 people to play a big pot when we have QQ+ it has to be a good thing. Anyway after 2k hands at Absolute I can confirm that the play at these stakes is much fishier than other sites I've played. Added to the rakeback which is accumulating nicely I think winrates of 10 PTBB/100 are certainly achievable. That's two buy-ins per 1000 hands to those who don't know what I'm talking about. After 2k hands my non showdown winnings is still in the profit - which is awesome! My increased and selective aggression is paying off. Although of course against weaker opponents this was bound to be the case even with previously more passive play. So, things going well. If I keep up the good work I should be ready to move to the higher limit by the end of November. My ultimate goal currently is to be able to win a buy-in every thousand hands at 50NL which could earn me $18250 in a year if I played 1000 hands a day. Money that certainly shouldn't be laughed at. Providing there isn't a huge leap in skill between the current limit and there, sometime next year I hope to have achieved this goal. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


The 20/4 rule
No, this isn't some statistic about my game you'll be sad to hear but a rule that I read about at www.flopturnriver.com. Basically, over 20k hands you should beat a game at better than 4PTBB/100 before considering moving up in stakes. Over roughly that sample during the summer I was not beating the micro games for that much which is disappointing. But I kind of know where my leaks are and I'm currently working on fixing them. The long and short of it... I'll stay at deep stacked 0.05/0.10 until I can achieve this win rate before moving up to the deep stacked 0.1/0.2. Aspects of my game that need improving include bet sizing and hand reading. Once I'm at the higher limit and bankroll permitting I'll use this same guideline before moving into the more - serious stakes at 0.25/0.50 and higher where I'll hopefully be able to supplement my regular income with a tidy poker side income.

Monday, 19 October 2009

My thoughts on how to win at poker

Last post I kind of said some things that were a bit hazy and general about this game; I'm going to post here some more thoughts. The more I play the more I feel that I'm thinking along the right lines, although obviously I expect many people to disagree. Anyway here goes.

Winning Poker
I have done a fair amount of analysis of poker and one concept that was introduced me by the Small Stakes NLHE e-book was that overall equity was the sum of steal equity and showdown equity. Steal equity is the money you make from getting your opponent to fold. Showdown equity is the money you make from getting your opponent to showdown with a weaker hand. In order for any particular play to be good we want to maximise equity. If we have aces our showdown equity makes this hand profitable on it's own. But playing suited connectors, for example, relies on significant steal equity to be profitable. In other words, we need our opponents to fold a large amount of the time to make them playable. This is the simple truth that the e-book taught me. But we can generalise this.

Table Strategy
One thing you often see players do is open suited connectors with players behind who rarely fold. It is my opinion that this is often a big mistake. Since you have little steal equity you must rely on showdown value to make the hands profitable to play. Now and then you'll flop a hidden monster but this is very rare. Unless the stacks are super deep and you really feel your opponents can fold at some point in the hand it is better to fold. Another situation it is bad to open suited connectors is when you are being reraised liberally. You'd be suprised at how much steal equity you lose overall if you are often reraised and have to fold (although you could always reraise again sometimes and regain the initiative). So when approaching a game, it is no good printing off hand charts and playing the same way as you are never getting the best of your equities by doing this. When you sit at a table the hands you play should be dependent on the table dynamics. This is the beauty of poker and what the very best players do. If they are raising K2o it is because they believe their opponent will fold a significant amount of the time. We can generalise again.

Table Selection
Doing some research at pokertableratings and looking at the big winners, often the message boxes are spammed with people who slate these players and call them derogatory things such as 'bumhunter' and the like. They see table selection as a weakness; think that these players are not good enough to mix with the best. The logic here is terrible. When sat at any table we try to make the best decision; the one that maximises our equity at the time. So why when making the decision to sit at a table in the first place are we not equally concerned about maximising our equity? If we sit at a table where our ability is equal to every other player, we have negative equity due to the rake. We must maximise our equity by choosing a table where we can overcome the opponents plus the rake. This is how we should approach table selection. Going back to the Steal + Showdown concept, often we can find a table where we can pound it to death giving us good enough steal equity to show a profit. Other times we might find a table with players willing to call down 3 bets with 33 and obv now our showdown equity is good. Whenever you are sat at a table, ask yourself where your equity is coming from. If you cannot answer, and the table is too tough, leave.

The overall point is that the Steal + Showdown concept has really opened my eyes as to the mechanics of poker. For some reason everything makes so much more sense since I learned this simple truth. Every single decision in the game can be analysed using it. I happen to believe rather pessimistically that the games are drying up and poker may not be a good investment in a year or twos time. So while we can still find tables where that steal plus showdown equity is good we should still play. When it is no longer possible to do this, our best equity decision will be the neutral one - stop playing altogether.

Low Stakes Advice
If you are just coming into cash I strongly advise that you find tables where both your equities are good. In other words try and sit with tight players to your left, and get the fishy players to your right. If you do this and play a solid game, you'll make shit loads of money. In other words, bumhunt. I am a bumhunter, make sure you are too.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Evening of play

Played a brief 500 hands and made $30. Basically, poker boils down to two things. Money you win from getting people to fold, and money you win from people putting money in the pot with a weaker hand. So every decision you make whether it be table selection or betting the turn depends on these two factors. Tonight, while playing on Absolute I felt that the table conditions were really favourable for both of them. When playing on Full Tilt last month, many hands were contested and not easily won - so non showdown equity or money won to folds was poor - but there was still some value to be had from showdown winnings. On Poker Stars, typically the play is more passive and you can win money from bluffing. But I've never in recent times played on a site where it felt that we could make money from both. Towards the end of play people started adjusting to my aggression so the profit from non showdown winnings tailed off, but I still made $10 there. And a couple of spots players just donated me money when I had the best hand on turn and river. In other words, I think that this site could be hugely profitable and I'm certainly going to continue playing on here until I get fed up etc. Good luck at the tables

Further thoughts

Two things really. The first is something I've noticed in the videos I've been studying is that the very first thing that good players do is not look at their own relative hands strength but they consider the villain's range. Then they look at their hand and estimate equity before making their decision. I've read about this process before, it has been called the REM process - or range, equity, maximise. I'll really try and bring this simple analysis technique to my game.
The second thing is an idea for bankrolling. Basically, the recommended bankroll for any limit is 100 buy-ins. But this assumes that you are not going to move from a limit at any time. Due to certain stock market theories specifically kelly investments you should be able to play on a much smaller 'roll providing you adhere to a strict structure where you grade your investment according to your bankroll at the time. I might incorporate a strategy like this into my play so that I can get into the higher limits and make some money before the games get too tough. Will post more thoughts on this in the next few weeks I suspect.


I want to continue playing at pokerheaven, but I decided to sign up for a rakeback account with Absolute Poker and to give them a go. The main reason for this is that when I checked the www.pokertableratings.com table finder, there was always a large percentage of absolute tables that showed up. Now, due to the cheating scandal that this network endured I know there are alot of good players who no longer trust the site. However, I found some huge plusses during the short time I have just played there.
1> Rakeback - crucial for me trying to make some money from this game
2> The cash games are deepstacked - postflop edges against weak players are magnified
3> Weak play - albeit over a very small sample size I was able to win a high number of pots without showdown
4> Software is better than pheaven for multitabling
Sooooo.... I will give this site a go for a while and let you know my findings. I guess a large part of good table selection is good site selection too. The higher the percentage of fish overall at a site the more good tables there are likely to be and therefore more money to be made. Will try and do 5k hands this week 4 tabling 0.1/0.2 with a $20 stack and post my results at the end.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Today's play

Got 2k hands done, will try for this number every day off from now on and really try and move through the limits with supplements from my disposable income helping to top up bankroll every month enabling me to do this quicker. Am also studying cardrunners vids again - I did this for a time last year but now I'm making detailed notes. This has always helped me to absorb things better and I think I'm picking up good habits from the pros there. Some figures from the session, lost about $31 dollars but all to preflop flips. Really not hitting many hands either so feel I'm not getting much luck. However, whether it's the play being weaker here or that I've opened up with aggression on later streets but my $ won without showdown was exactly break even - a target I've set myself. Then, providing we play good cards and solid poker the showdown winnings should grant us our profit. It's an improvement anyway. Will let you know if it continues...

Monday, 12 October 2009


Ok, let's cut to the chase. First hand simple, got in a fight with some player with QQ and ran into AA - fair enough. Next hand this...

BossMedia Game #1814357524: Table Table TH 1560 - €0.12/€0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:55:09 - 2009/10/12
Seat 1: Jossarian (€25.55)
Seat 3: __robin__ (€52.51)
Seat 4: BankOrBet (€25.77)
Seat 2: Chyenne (€24.23)
Seat 5: d1amonds (€34.50)
Jossarian posts the small blind of €0.12
Chyenne posts the big blind of €0.25
d1amonds is the button
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to BankOrBet [Js Kc]
__robin__ folds
BankOrBet raises €1.00
d1amonds folds
Jossarian calls €1.00
Chyenne folds
*** FLOP *** [As Jc Kd]
Jossarian checks
BankOrBet bets €1.75
Jossarian calls €1.75
*** TURN *** [As Jc Kd] [Jd]
Jossarian checks
BankOrBet bets €4.31
Jossarian calls €4.31
*** RIVER *** [As Jc Kd Jd] [2c]
Jossarian goes all-in with €18.49
BankOrBet calls €18.49
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot €48.80 | Rake €2.55
Board: [As Jc Kd Jd 2c]
BankOrBet won (€0.00), mucks
Jossarian won (€48.80), showed [Ah Jh]
Chyenne won (€0.00), mucks
__robin__ won (€0.00), mucks
d1amonds won (€0.00), mucks

I puke. Can I get away? Well let's be hyper critical. I have no info. For this to be bad we need to put villain on better or equal full houses ONLY. {JJ, KK, AA, AJ, KJ} covers it. I haven't included 22 since I find it very unlikely that two barrels will be called with it. How can we fold a full fucking house??? I need to forget this hand, right now, it's a cooler straight up, right? Ok lets add in some other hands... Straights. If opp has a straight, what's our equity? Well now we're near 80% favourite over that range. What about AK? Now we're just slightly bad. Add in a bluff or two I really don't think we ever fold. Otherwise we'll get Pwned, surely. Nevermind. On to the next one...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

ok... some newz

well I hadn't intended to post again today but felt compelled to do so since my play and the reaction of the table to my play seemed to radically change to what I'm used to. Basically I decided that any flop that I c-bet I was going to follow up (hit/miss) with a bet on the turn. I was seriously suprised at how often players would call a flop bet then give up when the second barrel went in. And as a result of this increased aggression, I found that often I was getting played back at when I actually had a hand. So I guess the old argument "exchange small mistakes for big ones" holds true. I didn't end the session in profit unfortunately, I slow played aces against a couple of short stackers and got setstacked. The credit for this change in strategy goes to Alvin Lau - a cardrunner pro - who gave some stats in a video that showed me that my turn aggression was WAY too low. I need to be careful that I don't become exploitable though. Anyway, it's enjoyable changing styles. Never sure what might happen... I'm happy if I spew a few hundred quid if it helps me to become a better player.


hi, today I looked at some of my stats. I have - with the help of a poker training video - identified some leaks in my game that I will try and address this month and check when I do my summary later in the month. In short, I don't continuation bet the turn often enough. I also tend to play polarized ranges too often and finally I don't defend my blinds quite often enough. So, I'll get into the games and try and fix some of these leaks and let you know the results. In case you are interested, the video was from www.cardrunners.com. I've been a member there for over a year and learned a great deal from the great players that teach there. Highly recommended for anyone looking to make money from cash games.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Just a few hundred hands...

so far at the new site, and def going to stick around now that the rakeback deal has been confirmed. One of the site rules is that you need to have earned 30 euros minimum monthly for it to be paid. As a consequence I will have to play 0.12/0.25 (or 25NL from now on) in order to build this up quicker. There is clearly weaker play at this site overall so I anticipate being able to make some decent money. Might even play some sit n gos to break things up. I'll try and find an interesting hand or two to show. By the way, I cashed out 360 from Full Tilt, so that's $110 profit on what I uploaded last month and there's still $100 left in case I play a few hands there at some point.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Def recommend this company although still very early days. Software is the boss media network client, and it's pretty reliable so far. The interface and options are simple but do everything expected well and securely. Boss media offer 30% rakeback which must - in today's competitive games - be used. For the noobs out there, every pot has a commission taken from it - called rake - by the company that provides the software client. This is usually approx 5%. So playing 0.5c/$1 NL with a $100 stack, if we get all in then the $200 pot will be raked for ten bucks. Getting a third of that back for every pot that you get all-in adds up very quickly and can add a alot of profit to your winnings. Don't sneer just because it sounds so little. It adds up quickly!! So if you don't have an account at pokerheaven sign up through a site such as www.rakebacknation.com and get some of the money back. Rakeback also applies to tournament buy-ins. A $10 buy-in game will tend to be raked for 50c to $1 so you'll get a third of this back.
Report on the play... same as when I last played on paradise. Pretty poor. Although this is obv microstakes. I played some tourneys on here a while back too and the play was dreadful. Can highly recommend. Weak play + rake back??!! - Must be pokerheaven. General style of play? - very loose. Not many players with sound stats. Very exploitable tendencies. I don't think we can expect much non showdown winnings from the games. I tried an aggressive style straight up, but couldn't buy a fold. So I think controlled losses from judicious folds and a high showdown win percentage is the order of the day here. OK, pokerheaven minireview done. Will keep you posted on the progress.

New Site + rakeback

Well, now the promos have finished on stars and ftilt, I decided to check out some other sites. Well, pokerheaven offers rakeback as well as being compatable with my poker database software pokertracker. So it was an obvious choice. Have uploaded some funds and will now need to adjust to the software which feels very different to what I'm used to. For a while I'll just 2 table until I feel comfortable. The play def feels a bit weaker, as you'd expect at one of the smaller sites. Will stick here and let you know how it goes. Could be this becomes my site of choice from now on due to the rakeback, weaker play and ptracker support.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Back and rested.

Ready for more pokes now hols have finished and been completely free of the game and poker books etc throughout the break. However I did have some thoughts while away that may help my game...
I tend to group the top hands together; that is, big pairs and big non-pairs. However, the frequency with which these two different hand sets actually hits flops differs greatly. {JJ+} will flop an overpair 60% of the time approximately and an overpair or set or better 71% of the time. Unpaired big hands only hit approx a third of flops. So maybe I'll focus on playing a different (though still balanced) strategy with each set of hands. Will require some more thought but have scribbled some ideas down and will work on implementing these into my play with the help of pokerazor which is superb at working out the likelihood of certain things happening. If I start to see a rounded strategy developing I may post a long strategy article on here. We'll see how it goes!