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, 21 December 2011

Sessions Improving + Research

So over the last few sessions I've tightened up somewhat. Basically, I think that the run bad has affected my game and so many of the marginal hands probably became losers. I also noticed that I was leaking money when raising utg and utg+1. At the micros everyone loves to 3-bet bluff and I wasn't willing to stack off with anything less than JJ or AK, plus I didn't feel happy with a large bluffing range in those spots in case my opponents were just getting good hands. This meant that I was super exploitable to 3-bets when I was raising in those positions. I don't believe my opponents were consciously exploiting me, but the aggressive fish that propagate this limit were definitely making money when they re-raised. So I have adapted my ranges so that my CO through SB ranges are just a little tighter but my UTG and UTG+1 ranges would be described as pretty nitty by any regulars. I'll see how it goes!

Results have picked up, although I expected they would eventually. There's no way (even as a losing player) that I should have dropped so many buy-ins in so few hands so a correction was due.

I have just bought my Fiancees old laptop off of her and after a day of ram clogging program deletions and msconfig/service adjustments I've got it running reasonably again. After a further frustrating couple of hours struggling to install hold'em manager I can now play poker on it!. This may or may not help with volume...

Anyway, mindless update over. Will blog again with something more interesting at some point perhaps. But if not, Merry Christmas!!!

EDIT: In order to get a better understanding of the games and a knowledge of what the winning players are doing I've paid for some premium content on poker table ratings. I will use the information I glean to further fine tune my strategy.
I have already noticed some interesting things; the most intriguing being that there is a wide variety of styles that can do really well, from tight to loose and all between.

The most useful thing that I've learned is that - at least preflop - I don't think I'm doing too much wrong. If I can cut out the post flop mistakes that characterise my play I think that I can make some decent money still. But of course I need volume.


In an effort to try and get more volume in I'm going to (try to) learn to stack tables. I definitely think it will take me time to adjust to this new method, and I've come across a potential problem so far too; without investing in table ninja if I time out during a decision there's no Stars' function to sit back in automatically. There's also no way to bring those tables where I'm sat out back to the top so that I can sit back in manually, so I have to either move the tables aside (obviously an atrocious solution) or click through the table names at the foot of the desktop (only a slightly less atrocious solution). Perhaps cascading is a better way of doing things, maybe I'll try that as this would allow me to bring up the offending tables more easily.

Which ever method I decide to begin to use, I think that it's essential for my volume to increase. Even if I cannot manage more than 6-8 tables at a time I'm currently doing about 10-15k hands a month which isn't nearly as much as I want to be putting in. The last three weeks I have played around 150 hours on skyrim. Using this time for poker could have allowed me to play about 75k hands - this is how often I would like to be playing the game in the next few months.

I played a session today and made two or three big river mistakes - calls with bluff catchers. I've blogged about this before, sometimes I have something like trips or two pair. Good hands, but in terms of the board texture they are at the very bottom of the strong hand range. In instances like this, and facing a bet I tend to think like: "I can't fold trips because... it's a good hand!" which is horrible thinking. Unless I can curb this fishy way of thinking then I'll not improve. So I'll be looking for spots like this and trying to smother the calling station in me from now on.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Final Effort

This year's poker has been pretty average to say the least. Most of the money that I won (around $1500 I suppose) was taken when Full Tilt went insolvent. In other words I have finished the year break even which is really disappointing.

It has really been a story of two large down swings. I'm at the bottom of one currently (and God only knows when it will end) and I went through another during my play on Full Tilt itself in the Rush games. This tells me a lot about my game really, that I'm not as competent as I once thought; that despite a pretty good knowledge of expected value and maths I make too many mistakes during play. I don't believe that I'm beyond hope and that I can continue to improve and remove these errors from my game and that is how I'm going to approach the next year.

The games seem to be increasingly full of competent players but I do still think that money can be made. I don't believe that poker will always be profitable in it's current format (rake must eventually be revised for the good of the game in my opinion).

This coming year is going to be my final effort to make money from the game. If I come out at the end break even again then I'll likely end my poker playing days and pursue other hobbies and income sources.

So, wish me luck. Once more to the breach! GL