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, 28 October 2012

Savings and Compound Interest (Not a Poker Post)

I've been very foolish over the years when it comes to money. The number of pointless things that I've wasted it on is just unbelievable. This is just a short post encouraging anyone who reads not to make the same mistakes that I did.

Since I left school at 18 I've spent most of my time getting into debt and then repaying it; a cycle that I'm only just breaking.

Before I go any further, I'd like to draw your attention to a mathematics article that explains the value of saving and compound interest:

My girlfriend and I have begun to discuss mortgages. The problem is we have jack shit in savings so we are going to have to wait until such time that we can afford a deposit. If I hadn't been such a pleb when I was younger and had put up say, £1000 a year for the last ten then using the equation from the article I'd have about £12.5k (assuming I had invested wisely enough to get 4% interest on average), nearly enough to pay for a mortgage deposit. If I'd put up £2000 per year I'd now have £25k, more than enough.

And just to demonstrate how much my hapless spending may have cost me, consider the following two scenarios. 
1/ I started saving £2000 a year when I was 20, and managed to get 4% annual interest; and I continued until I retired at 70 (assuming retirement ages have risen by that stage). I'd have £317,547.53.

Note that only £100k of that is savings, the rest is compound interest!

2/ I started saving at 33 years old and put up £2000 a year and managed to get 4% annual interest; and I continued until I retired at 70. I'd have £169,940.67. About half of what I could have saved. 

These are very reasonable assumptions. I have probably cost myself a six figure sum in interest earnings through pure foolishness!

If you are in your early twenties, I encourage you not to fall into the same pitfalls of spending that I did and to try and invest for your future. If you are older like me, then we must make the best use of the time we have left. I estimate that I can still just about double my savings through compound interest in the remainder of my working life (providing interest rates climb again in the near future), and I'm going to strive hard to make sure I don't return to my old ways. Good luck!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Opportunity Knocks


I may have mentioned before but I'm currently studying accounting and I'm working in an accounting assistant position. The course that I've been doing thus far is the AAT certificate, and the plan had been to finish and then begin the ACCA chartered accountant training next year. However an opportunity has arisen and I might be starting with ACCA immediately.

If I do, and as a condition of the opportunity that I have been offered I will need to pass the exams in quite a short space of time. Maybe within 3 years. The down side of this is that for the next three years I'm going to have to work really hard. The up side is that I could probably expect to add 10k to my yearly earnings for the next 25 years or more if I qualify. So essentially the rewards are huge for this work investment.

The other down side is that those spare periods of time when I'd often play cards will likely be very few and far between. I will always enjoy playing and I'll strive to fit in the odd session but this post is mainly a message that blog posts are likely to be pretty rare from now on.

So that's where I'm heading, and I feel very lucky that in the current climate these opportunities are being presented to me. I always was a bit of a luck box.

This isn't the end, but until I blog again good luck!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Good Evening

Hi there.

I've played nearly 5k hands at 50NL Zoom so far and I feel like I've settled in now. In truth it plays very similarly to 25NL (or at least it has over that very small sample). There are plenty of fish, and a range of regulars from decent to terrible.

I played just two tables for a while, but have now increased it to four. I'm really pleased with how I've adjusted to the new limit. I began by making a couple of mistakes but now I feel that I'm playing as well as I was at 25NL. With the larger bet sizes I was concerned that the increased risk might make me play sub-par but that hasn't happened at all. Although I suppose it's easy when you flop quads in three bet pots.

So yeah, I've had a bit of a heater today. I dropped a handful of buy-ins in the first 3-4k hands but have more or less made that back now. It's obviously very early days and over the next few weeks I'll find out if I've really got what it takes to beat this limit too. Pleased so far though.

Among the changes I've made to my game recently is an effort to fold very marginal pre-flop spots rather than open raise, or to raise rather than call in places where the EV is close. I mentioned this a long time ago in the Rush days, but it's pointless wasting time in close to neutral EV spots because folding actually has some equity... This is hard to explain but the easiest way is that you could get dealt aces in the same time span that you just wasted raising QJo UTG and seeing three streets to showdown. Obviously this equity is offset somewhat by paying the blinds tax but I definitely think that the time factor should lead to a different style of play. I believe that it enhances fold equity; calling adds more time to the hand (on average) and therefore in close spots I believe that the more aggressive option should always be taken.

But this is just a belief, and I have no proof mathematical or otherwise. I just think that time should be a consideration when playing this format of poker.

Right, I think I've waffled enough. I'm shattered (who'd think that the weekend has finished?!) so I'm going to pop a tinny and head to bed. GL all!