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.

Friday, 31 May 2013

2.5k hands so far

Super small sample, break even overall.

I have a habit when playing after a break to fight for too many pots, and this showed itself again in two different forms.
1/ I recklessly 5-bet shoved A2o against an aggressive late position opener who 4-bet from the button. I was convinced in terms of game flow and given his wide steal range that he would be 4-betting light in that spot quite often plus I had a blocker. He did call though and I was dominated.

The trouble with 5-bet shoving light is that the odds we're laying ourself aren't that good. If I have 25% equity against a calling range (true in this case) and I'm risking two and a half times the pot then I need a large percentage of his 4-bet range to fold for it to become profitable (I think it's around 40%). This sounds possible but pretty unlikely.

2/ I made a call with ace high on a double paired board against an aggressive fish. The board played out in a way that it counter-fit all of his low pairs and all of the draws missed. So I decided to play bluff catcher.

I can name plenty of times in the past when this might have been a reasonable call against certain opponents and I guess I threw this guy in with the same player type. The problem was I had very few hands on him. He was certainly a fish (weird bet sizing plus less than full stack) but I don't think I had enough hands to reliably make an ace high call. He could have turned out to be a really passive fish who only bets the nuts (which he had in this case).

Other than these two big mistakes I think I've played pretty solidly. Enough of my opponents were making errors against me that I'm pretty confident that I can beat this limit providing I can cut out mistakes like the above.

I can sense that some of my sharpness is returning with time and hands and I think that I will make fewer mistakes as time goes on. And really this is the essence of poker; the challenge is to reach a standard where the very best players at your limit are making no fewer mistakes than you are. GL

Sunday, 26 May 2013

I'm Back

Good Morning

It's a rather lovely British bank holiday Sunday and I'm up for some Zoom poker.

In the last few weeks I've begun to get a bit of an itch to play again so I've decided to put in a few thousand hands at 50NL Zoom. I'm pretty busy so I'll have to fit it around other commitments but hopefully I'll be able to manage a few thousand hands per week.

Once I've reached a milestone (maybe 50k hands) I will post some graphs and give some thoughts on the current state of the games.

I really don't anticipate much because after a year out my game is likely to be very rusty. Additionally I imagine that there are new trends and theories doing the rounds that I will not yet be aware of.

I'm not sure how much of a renaissance this will be but for now I'm back at the tables. GL!


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PokerStars Zoom Hand #99121709247:  Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2013/05/26 10:32:19 WET [2013/05/26 5:32:19 ET]
Table 'Arp' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: Interface21 ($25 in chips)
Seat 2: wordsmt ($55.04 in chips)
Seat 3: chachar73 ($43.75 in chips)
Seat 4: Blood Out444 ($61.76 in chips)
Seat 5: daveaneo ($25.50 in chips)
Seat 6: Hero ($56.68 in chips)
Seat 7: tezonchik ($54.64 in chips)
Seat 8: faustus2 ($48.50 in chips)
Seat 9: The Cambist ($50 in chips)
wordsmt: posts small blind $0.25
chachar73: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [9c 9s]
Blood Out444: folds
daveaneo: raises $0.65 to $1.15
Hero: calls $1.15
tezonchik: folds
faustus2 has timed out while disconnected
faustus2: folds
The Cambist: folds
Interface21: folds
wordsmt: folds
chachar73: calls $0.65
*** FLOP *** [9h Js 9d]
chachar73: checks
daveaneo: bets $2.50
Hero: calls $2.50
chachar73: calls $2.50
*** TURN *** [9h Js 9d] [5d]
chachar73: checks
daveaneo: checks
Hero: bets $6.50
chachar73: folds
daveaneo: folds
Uncalled bet ($6.50) returned to Hero
Hero collected $10.70 from pot
Hero: doesn't show hand
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $11.20 | Rake $0.50
Board [9h Js 9d 5d]
Seat 1: Interface21 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: wordsmt (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 3: chachar73 (big blind) folded on the Turn
Seat 4: Blood Out444 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: daveaneo folded on the Turn
Seat 6: Hero collected ($10.70)
Seat 7: tezonchik folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: faustus2 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: The Cambist folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Edit 2:

Initial thoughts are that the games don't immediately seem too dissimilar to before. Many of the regs that I used to bump into are still present in the games. I imagine that they have improved beyond my old standard by now though.

I was reading through some old posts on this blog, and it's clear to me that I used to think at a much higher level than I do now. A year out of the game is a long time, and I may never return to that standard (in fact I'm pretty sure that I won't).

However what today's play has reminded me of is that I used to love the challenge of playing hands against thinking opponents; the challenge of assigning ranges and making the right decision. I've missed the battle with these regs that I used to compete with day in and day out. So I'd like to keep this little renaissance going; perhaps I begun to take the old battles for granted and forgot that I actually relished them.

So expect to see more posts in the near future as I begin to rediscover my passion for the game. I'll never be as sharp as I was but at least I'm back!