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.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Big pot... Didn't go my way. What do you think of my river shove?

OK, so just got out of a session and it was defined by one large pot.

My thinking for a typical opponent on the 4h6hKcJcKs river with trips is that most players would just shove their very best hands out of position here as they'd be afraid that I'd check back for showdown and therefore lose value where I'd also call a river bet. So I weighted his calling hands towards vulnerable trips types like KQ - which most villains at 25NL would probably call my river shove with.

So it was a thin value play which didn't go my way. I put a couple of ranges into Stove and it seems that there was value here if villain is calling with KQ, especially if I'm right and the river check was an unusual way for someone to play such a strong hand. It's just a shame it didn't go my way - but that's thin value bets for you. You lose the pots nearly half of the time.

So are there any better players out there who would have given different ranges here? Has play improved so much that regulars are snap folding KQ in this spot? Would love some input.

By the way, to justify my pre-flop call, it was just a stack size thing. I didn't want to get all-in with large effective stacks so decided to play a pot in position with a hand which probably dominates much of his 3-betting range.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

To build a roll (again)...

Good Evening.

So a few days after my last post I find myself with a brand new swish laptop with PokerStars and Poker Tracker 4 ready and operational!

Just played a few hands and lost a buy-in or so, mainly due to some loose passive who limp called a 5bb raise UTG w/ 47dd - winning obviously versus my AA in MP. Villain turns trips when I'm pot committed. Far from being pissed off though, this gives me hope - there is still sub optimal play in these games!

So the situation is this, I have about $240 on Stars left, and a load of Full Tilt tickets that need cashing in. Probably $300 worth or so. The result is that I'm going to start at $25NL full ring Zoom and attempt to crawl my way back up to $50NL (I'll move back up when I've got $1000 in the cashier.

Wish me luck! This will be a long and probably painful process, but last time I played somewhat regularly I had a lot of fun with the game and this blog so let's get this going again.

I have no more reads - the database is new. To be fair all of the old info is probably way out of date anyway but I'm fascinated to see what the playing pool is like these days once PT4 starts to get some statistics again.

Small warning - I'm still hugely busy so this will likely be made up of a 30 minute to an hour session in an evening every now and then, but I enjoyed the last few hands and it would be nice to see how much my game has held up / deteriorated in my absence from the tables.

I'll try and convert those FT tickets to $ somehow and then update with the bankroll, and then as usual post graphs and hand histories to track my progress. The first goal is obviously $50NL and then we'll reassess - I think that will take long enough. And it's quite possible that my edge has permanently disappeared. Whatever happens though, I'll try and appraise my performance objectively and honestly and perhaps we can all learn something.

Talk Soon!


Friday, 16 January 2015

Good evening 2015!

Hi interspace.

Nothing is worse than a blogger who does not post, so for that I apologise. Life is still very busy, and it's rare that I get a moment to play or post these days.

Work is still progressing well, I almost have a fully fledged career now. Just got to get through my finals and I'll have a profession to call my own. My sincere hope is that when that happens, I'll have weekends and evenings back for my hobbies - in particular poker. I'm not sure how much effort would be required to become a winning player after such a long break but when I do play the odd hand these days, I still find that I remember the old ranges and think about hands somewhat logically - my fear is that the rest of the field has advanced so much that my knowledge is no longer my edge, but has become widely adopted and practiced.

Part of the reason for my lack of play is my current setup. I still have an old PC that has served me well for several years, but I can't use it later at night due to it's location. Basically in the odd late night hour that I might play a few hands I only have an iPad - and while I can and do play poker on it, there's no HUD or database software. So I can either play standard ring games and take notes (difficult on an iPad) or just play read-less at Zoom. Even choosing the former option does not allow me to easily analyse hands after the occasion, so I just don't often choose to play.

Perhaps I could invest in a good quality laptop and use one of the database licenses that I have for it. If I had a fast laptop set up to multi-table Zoom with a HUD - that I could boot up quickly at 10.30pm for an hour or two - then I might be tempted to play more often. Watch this space!

Another part of the problem is that I'm playing quite a lot of chess. I'm not an expert, I'm probably about 'B' grade by USCF standard, but I used to play tons of chess when I was young and I still find the game fascinating. And it's easier to play on an iPad than poker!

Anyway, to any who still check in on me - I hope you're all doing well.