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.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Weird Graph, Analysis of a Leak

Things at 25NL have gone well so far. The games are pretty weak, but I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing a patch of long overdue run good too. I honestly can't remember the last time I had a heater, so hopefully it continues for a little while just yet.

Anyway I've included the graph so far, but as the blog title suggests - it's a little weird. There has been no great change in my approach but yet suddenly my red line (won money without showing our hand down) has rocketed through the break even barrier. This is very unusual and highly likely to be a result of good variance. The unfortunate aspect of this is that at some point I'm going to have a stretch of hands where NO bluff works at all and the graph will correct.

Anyway, the important thing is that I've had a good patch of cards and won enough money that I'm very close to my 50NL switch over threshold. This is quite exciting. If I can play a good volume of hands at that limit I should be able to clear a decent percentage of my milestone bonuses by the end of the year. I don't expect the games to get radically tougher, but I will likely have to table select a little more often than I do currently.

Game Improvement
I have been spending time studying equities - both preflop and postflop; I think my preflop ranges are converging to a pretty solid strategy that any opponent should struggle to exploit. This was a big goal from early in the year and I feel I'm pretty close now. Post flop I am still pretty weak, but I definitely think that I'm improving pretty quickly and session by session I'm getting tougher to outplay.

My biggest leak at the moment is river curiosity I think. Hence the second portion of the blog title. The following is a sample transcript:

me: "Oh shit, he's f*n triple barreled me. WTF? I was so sure my hand was good; I don't think he's got enough bluff combos here for me to call profitably"
devil: "He could be bluffing."
angel: "Trust your instincts Simon, you're probably right"
me: "Shit, but if I don't call, I'll never know and that will tilt me."
devil: "Like I said, he could be bluffing."
angel: "Seriously man, he's got a gazillion more value hands than bluff combos, fold."
me: "... but he could be bluffing, I CALL"

This sort of thinking is going on far too much lately. Twice this session in fact; I think that part of me is justifying the call due to absolute monetary value. Just because it's only a few bb does not make it insignificant. In fact if I stopped calling with pure bluff catchers completely I think I'd do far far better than I am currently from a pure EV point of view so once again, I have to try and temper my calling station tendencies.

Anyway, I continue to strive for improvement. On my A-game, I think I play pretty well. On my B-game, I'm a calling station and likely break even at best. I should try and bring the former to the table more often. GL

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