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.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Time for a Riskier Approach?

I've been thinking lately that it might be time to adjust my obscenely nitty bankroll strategy and bring a greater element of risk into my global poker strategy. If I include the money that is returning from Full Tilt's reopening then my 'roll stands at around $4000 and I'm still playing $25NL. 160 buy-ins seems very over the top to me for these limits. If you consider that I'd likely move down to 10NL if I ever dropped below $1k, this gives me a total of 220 buy-ins.


At one point (I'll admit it) I harboured ambitions of turning poker into a profession and leaving the world of real work behind. That was back when I earned less and had no real career to speak of. Now that I do have a fledgling career, and now that I'm undertaking professional training that may increase my earning capability beyond what poker can currently offer I don't think that I need to be so risk averse with my bankroll.

I also think that I'm ready for a bigger challenge. I think it is time that I tried conquering the small stakes limits.

How Much Risk?

Providing that I'm happy to move up and down limits (and I believe that I would be based on my history) then I wouldn't be taking on too much extra risk by moving to a mixture of 50NL and 100NL from now on.

I've also considered returning to HUSNG as returns in that field still look good. The problem is that I'd need a lot of game work to get my self into winning shape at that format. However the potential hourly would be better than I expect at cash despite it being my strongest area. I could perhaps begin at the $50s and see how I get on.

The long and short of it is that I feel that I should take slightly bigger risks in order to allow myself the potential for some bigger rewards. I'm happy to move back down limits if it doesn't go well. So wish me luck!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Progress (plus Zoom graph)

Hi there. Apols for the lack of recent blog updates, the new job and other life changes are not leaving me too much time for poker any more and when I do get a moment I prefer to use it playing! Never the less, I'm long over due a detailed post so I'll provide one in the near future.

The purpose of this was just to give a little update as to where I am with my game and my recent results. I've just come through a rather nice heater but that seems to have ended now (dropped 5 buy-ins yesterday). But I'm not bothered, the great thing about getting towards a million life time hands is that variance affects me less and less as I can just look at my life time graph and know that it is almost certain that I'm beating the micros - even though my win rate doesn't seem that impressive (a little under 3bb/100).

In general I feel like my game is improving a lot. The most recent progress I've made is to be cold calling less in the blinds; and by this I mean that in situations where it's probably close between a call and a 3-bet I'm tending to favour the 3-bet a little more - especially in the small blind. I think that this is the best approach even though in pure game theoretical terms it means I'm probably a little unbalanced. I'm also squeezing a lot more than I used to. I don't think I truly ever comprehended how profitable a play it can be and I'm certain it has got me winning more dead money.

I think that I've also improved my play in those situations where I do cold call out of position. I used to play the check/call/check line almost exclusively, but there are so much more effective lines available. Donking against players who rarely c-bet should be routine strategy but was never part of my arsenal before, and the check/call/donk line is perhaps the most under-rated line I've come across in my poker life time.

But I must also mention areas where I think I could improve. I've obviously worked on my OOP play quite a lot this year, but I don't make enough money on the button. My winnings hover around 22-23 bb/100 and I think that this number should be in the high twenties at least. So this is where I'm going to focus my study for the forseeable future. I'll work on my opening, 3-betting and flatting ranges as well as which boards smash my range versus blind callers (because I don't double barrel nearly often enough). If I can move this win rate up I think it will have a really positive affect on my game.

Finally, I deposited a little money in order to take advantage of the recent Stars bonus and so my bankroll is currently large enough to move to 50NL which is something that I haven't done yet. I'm working on clearing the bonus, which I'll best acheive four tabling 25NL Zoom in my opinion but as soon as it is cleared I'll be mixing in some 50NL tables and hopefully make that limit my new home by Christmas.

I hope you're all running well. GL


P.S. I've played over 100k hands at Zoom poker now, and I do believe it to be beatable (graph included). This isn't an especially brag worthy graph, but I think it's semi decent evidence to back up my claim.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Intriguing Hand

Apologies for no updates for a while, I've actually been playing quite a bit but just not got around to posting. I'm trying to clear the WCOOP bonus at the mo so I doubt I'll post much for a bit as I'll be busy playing but I thought I'd post an interesting hand. I actually time out folded on the river so unfortunately we'll never know what villain had.

NL Holdem $0.25(BB) Replayer Game#85795121236

mag2012P$ ($33.57)
Genius4832 ($27.53)
Recazy ($26.25)
Stolarr ($25)
BOGEC73 ($35.16)
BankoBet ($47.98)
Mr.KALABS ($38.07)
Szwejoslaw ($25)
Dzhigurda ($32.64)

mag2012P$ posts (SB) $0.10
Genius4832 posts (BB) $0.25

Dealt to BankoBet Qh  Th
fold, fold,
BOGEC73 calls $0.25
BankoBet raises to $1
Mr.KALABS calls $1
fold, fold, fold, fold, fold,
FLOP ($2.60) Js  Kc  As
BankoBet bets $1.75
Mr.KALABS calls $1.75
TURN ($6.10) Js  Kc  As  Qs
BankoBet bets $4
Mr.KALABS raises to $8.25

Villain's stats are 14/12/5. When he raised it really suprised me because I can't think of any hands that would do this... think about it. Villains with stats like those will not often call with much other than pairs and good broadways pre-flop. I think raising JJ here is too thin; I think he has to have a flush or maybe a straight (if he's not full of shit). But what flush hand calls in MP? KTs gives him the royal flush.... Maybe some weird suited connector? TT with a spade?

If he'd been a bigger fish I'd have called down but I just got the impression from his bet timing that he was really serious about his hand. I soooo wanted to call on the river, just because I couldn't think of hardly any hands that would play it this way.

BankoBet calls $4.25
RIVER ($22.60) Js  Kc  As  Qs  9c
BankoBet checks
Mr.KALABS bets $14.25
BankoBet folds
Mr.KALABS wins $21.58

Meh we'll never know. If his stats suddenly converge on 57/37 I'll be kicking myself.