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.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Revising Expectations, A New Beginning

An Admission
I have been operating under the false belief that I was a winning poker player, but I am not. Over the first large block of hands that I played I was fortunate enough to benefit from some positive variance and this pushed up my expectations. More recently I have broke even in the games over quite a significant sample now. I believe that this in itself is an achievement since it means that I'd be beating a rake free game for about 10bb/100, but I had believed that I was better than this - that I had been beating the rake too.

After my last post (that I have now removed) I did some soul searching with regards to poker. What do I really want out of the game? I had once harboured half dreams that some day it could become a meaningful source of extra income per month. I don't think that this is the best way to frame poker in my life any more because it detracts from the enjoyment I get from purely playing cards.

I have come to the realisation that I don't want to stop playing poker. But from now on I'm going to treat the game as a hobby; something to work on and improve just so that I can challenge my competitors better. I'm back at the 10NL 6 max games and I'm just going to attempt to improve my understanding of the game and my ability to hand read. I will remove all indicators of win rate from my database windows because this has certainly affected my decision making in the past. I will periodically still check these numbers as a measure of my current skill level, but only after I've completed a significant sample of hands - 100k seems reasonable.

As for blogging, I've put up some real garbage over my time on here. I think that I'll start posting again but create some rules which will limit my output to fewer but hopefully higher quality blogs.

So this is a new beginning for me as a recreational poker player, and hopefully my blogs will positively reflect my new outlook on the game.

Stars Rake Changes

It's a good time to start playing again. Poker Stars are about to reduce the ring game rake in the games, which is a great move. Hopefully they'll benefit from increased traffic as a result.

Good luck at the tables

Edit: 23/02/2012

Haven't played much volume; now that I'm playing more recreationally I'm just tending to play when I feel like it and this isn't very often after all of the hours I put in last year. I guess I'm a bit burned out with it. However there are two events coming up that should stir me into playing a bit more regularly.
1/ Full Tilt Mk II opening for business. I intend to cash out $1200 or so and leave myself a handful of buy-ins for grinding in the Rush games.
2/ Stars launch their own version of Rush called Zoom (rumoured to be very close to launch).
This will have the effect of doubling my playing volume and if it's anything like before Black Friday I will want to play a lot more (because it's just so easy to get through a ton of hands at once). I really hope it has the same effect on me as I'd like to play some 6-max over a big sample to have a better idea of where my leaks are at the moment.

I just got the Poker Stars iPhone client and I'm very impressed. Even over my usually dodgy 3G network signal I've been able to play without a problem. My only annoyances at the moment are no colour coding or note taking options (and obv there's no HUD so I have to use my memory which sucks).

Finally I just bought the 'Building a Bankroll' book by Pawel 'Verneer' Nasarewicz (of Cardrunners fame) and I'm really enjoying that at the moment. It's well written and produced (although some reg knowledge is necessary due to all of the database based explanations and analysis). There was also a hand written good luck note from Pawel at the front which is pretty awesome!

Anyway, once I'm able to quick fold everything but aces again and put in some decent volume I'll try and think up a decent post. Until then, GL.