Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Review / January Goals

I ran into a situation that made me realize that, at times, mixing stakes is a must do whether I like it or not.  It's either that or not play or get my volume cut in half.  Being WSOP is a Nevada only site the majority of the cash players are playing the first two levels, $2NL and $10NL.  Once you hit $20NL as I have now the amount of tables is definitely reduced.  $20NL for many hours throughout the day only has 2 tables going.  The same can be said for $50NL and for $100NL it's a single table.  During the late afternoon and evening hours it can improve, but not always so in order to maintain the volume I've grown accustomed to there are going to be times, perhaps more often than not, I will be running two tables of one stake and two tables of another.  I'm just going to have to do my best to keep a close eye on the tables that are not automatically topping off to make sure the stacks don't get too low. 

December Review

What can I really say about December.  My restart on December 12th being day 1 after ironing things out, after getting my act together, and when I did so things took off so much more than I could have ever have dreamed of.  I would have counted an earn rate of 5bb/100 as being successful and at $10NL mine was 17.5, three times higher than expected.  15,692 hands played and total profits at the $10NL tables of $274.62.  $20NL which I started out a couple of buyins down ended up 1884 hands played and $52.49 in earnings starting out with a 13.9bb/100 earn rate there.  I cleared $35 in bonuses, earned $20 in CPs, aka rakeback, ala loyalty rewards, or whatever you want to call it and I also made $118.75 from the APP leaderboard promotion and $2.55 in 3 freeroll cashes.  When you add it all up the month of December provided $503.41 in profits, bonuses, promotional earnings, and loyalty rewards.  The whole scenario was more than I would ever have hoped for.

The only negative from the month of December was my last three sessions of $10NL resulted in 2.2 buyins in losses, but at the same time it covered less than 1000 hands so I cannot put anything into that.  I would have liked to get in more volume as from December 12th being my starting day one till the end of play today which I did not put in much volume at all because of the tables falling apart and with it being New Years Eve and all the 12th-31st covered 20 days and out of those 20 days I only put in what I would consider a full days worth of play in 9 of those 20 days.  Granted I was able to play some hands on days that I didn't think there would be any poker, but they're also days where I just slacked off on my volume.  That is something that I need to work on. 

January Goals

30,000 hands played.

$240 in table earnings

8bb/100 overall earn rate at $10NL
6bb/100 overall earn rate at $20NL if played.

I'm still convinced that my current earn rates are not sustainable over the long term.  Maybe for somebody that has been grinding cash games for a long time but not someone that's been doing it for less than a month like I have.  No one is that good, that quickly, learning a new form of poker and let's face it cash games and tournaments are two different entities.

$30 in converted points to dollars

Well there you have it.  I will be making a $200 withdrawal from the online account in January, but as I stated before any withdrawals will be for a poker related endeavor regarding cash games.  When Nick comes to town on the 21st there is a high degree of probability that we will be playing some $1/ $1 at the Linq and for that purpose I want to have a couple of buyins on me for that and since it is a cash game activity it will come from my bankroll.  Any other expenditures such as transportation, eating out, and tournament play will come from my monthly personal money. 

To start 2016 I will be playing exclusively the $10NL tables.  Overall I am showing a profit now at $20NL,but playing those stakes with 20 buyins is definitely not in my comfort zone.  I much prefer what I have now and right now that would be 50 buyins for the $10NL game and just thinking about it I find myself completely comfortable with that aspect.  Playing, or taking a shot on 20 buyins makes me realize that a simple 5 buyin downswing, not uncommon in multitabling,  would be 25% of the entire bankroll.  I don't like that thought at all.  Just for my own comfort level it seems to me taking a 5 buyin shot at a higher level when I have 30 buyins makes much more sense.  Even if I were to lose the 5 buyins on the stop loss that I will put in place I would still be dropping down with 50 buyins for the lower level.  It would also mean that a 5 buyin loss at the higher level would be a loss of less than 17% of the total bankroll.  It all boils down to comfort zone and I don't want an uncomfortable situation to effect my play in a negative manner which I believe it possibly could so therefore before I play $20NL again my bankroll will be at $600 and if I were to lose 5 buyins doing so I would still have $500, which is 50 full buyins at $10NL.

I know some of my readers may feel that I'm being foolish about the whole thing, that I need to play outside my comfort zone, but when it comes to bankroll management I feel it is better to be more conservative then the opposite option.  I invite my readers to chime in on this.  Do you think I'm just acting scared of the higher level, am I just chickening out because it's double the money involved, or is a comfort zone for a poker player an important psychological aspect.  In my mind I'm not avoiding playing higher levels, I'm just allowing myself a little bit more of a cushion, but whether you agree or disagree, I most certainly invite your thoughts and comments on this.

That's going to wrap it up for now.  I hope everyone is having a very happy and safe New Years Eve and to my readers and everyone out there I wish you a very good and prosperous New Year.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Mixing Limits Ended

I will not be mixing my limits any longer.  I had a situation arise today.  I'm only able to automatically top off on one stake level but the other stake level I need to manually do it because if I let the computer software do it automatically for me on all tables there's no way in the world I would be able to figure out how much I won or lost at $10NL and how much I won or lost at $20NL.  It was an incident on tge $10 table which was the tables that I was doing the manual top offs and I had a hand on one of those tables where I lost a good size pot, part of the reason why I lost 1.3 buyins in a very short amount of time on the $10NL tables today and lo and behold I had forgotten to do the manual top off and I pkayed a hand with less than a dollar in my stack.   Naturally I won the hand too lol.  That told me right there and then I need to keep my limits the same all around whether its four tables if available of $10NL, four tables if available of $20NL, or four tables if available $50NL, or whatever it is, the stake level needs to be the same.   I continued the daily grind on just the NL tables, had some fluctuations up and down specifically when I flopped trips, ruvered a full house, but the turn had given my opponent a two outer and in the end a larger full house than mine, but in the end I earned 1.25 buyins, a total if $25 on the $20NL tables which brings my total losses at $20NL to now less than a half a buyin.

To be totally honest I like playing the same level on all the tables, but I'm finding I'm not totally comfortable with doing this with just 20 buyins for the level.  I have decided to convert my wsop points to actual dollars for the bankroll on a daily basis rather than doing it once a month, but that's only a couple of bucks a day so it really doesn't make a big impact.  20 butins is the minimum standard, but utilizing that it only gives me 5 buyins to play around with as a stop loss and I've had sessions where I've lost five buyins and then made a comeback.  It would be better to utilize a stop loss of 10 buyins, but of course if I did run into a bad streak where I lost 10 buyins that would be 20 buyins and that would need to be earned at the lower level just to get me back where I was so in that case sticking with the 5 buyin stop loss is probably the best.

To be quite honest now that I have gotten a taste of $20NL, unless I have to, I don't want to go back to a lower level.  Utilizing proper bankroll management I will do so if I am forced to because of losses, but all in pots of $40, pot sizes of $10, $12, and $14 being slid your way instead of $4 or $5, I've got a taste of the higher amounts of money and I don't want to let it go.  20 buyins may not be my biggest comfort level, but as long as I utilize and maintain a stop loss for the higher level it keeps the bankroll safe from any sort of financial disaster.  I ended today with $418 in the bankroll and tomorrow I will be hitting the $20NL tables.  I noticed the $20NL tables starts to pretty much totally fall apart around 10pm so tomorrow if this is indeed the case I will jump on four $10NL tables to finish off the night.  The only reason I quit tonight when we were down to just two $20NL tables was I started yawning and that told me my poker day was over.

The consistent daily profits is giving me such confidence in my game and the fact that I'm looking at peoples hands and predicting accurately what they hold is giving me a feeling as a poker player that is almost undescribable.  I feel like I'm the best player in the world that I'm so in the zone with cash games that I'm on top of the world and nothing can stop me.  Fear not, I will not allow arrogance to get ahold of me and I know one downswing is all it takes to snap a poker player back to reality, but I cannot accurately describe in mere words how good it feels when you know that everything you're doing, almost every move you're making, every lay down that you're making is the absolutely exact and correct thing that you should be doing.  Rhere's no feeling in the world like when you know everything about your game is top notch and you are firing on all cylinders, as I said the feeling is almost indescribable.  However that does not mean that there is not so much more to learn.  It does not mean that I have ceased my poker studies because I know everything.  This is a lifetime learning experience and I'm in my infancy in cash games, but right now, as far as poker goes, even though my bankroll is small and I'm only an up-and-coming player, I feel invincible although in reality I know I'm not.

That's a wrap up for tonight.  Going to go on youtube and watch a couple of strategy videos from the Poker Bank specifically "splitsuit" himself and see if there's not something I can learn from them.  Take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Buyins Not Dollars

Well the Christmas holiday has passed and I'm really looking forward to the new year.  Spent about 4 days celebrating the Christmas holiday with my friend Melanie and had a really enjoyful time hanging out with her as I always do.  She is such a great person and the talks and debates..... we get into everything from politics, tp poker, to the war with Isis, to any other subject that comes up.  It's so nice to spend time with a friend who is not just enjpyable to hang out with on a personality level, but is also someone you can have an intellectual conversation with.   It's so rare, but awesome when you have a friend like that.

I did play a little bit of Poker during the 4 day stretch of the Christmas holiday, but not much comparatively speaking.  Christmas Eve I played 512 hands and earned $13.  Christmas Day I just played a few hands and between the two limits of $10NL and $20NL and this was the first day that I replaced a $10NL table with a $20NL table, I ended up making $24 at 10NL and lost a buck at 20NL playing just a little over 250 hands in total.  On the 26th it was no poker played and on the 27th I took a loss.  271 hands of $10NL and a $14 loss and 92 hands of $20NL and a $4 profit.  Today the 28th was the first day back to a full schedule and I got hammered at $20NL tonight.  However, my first instinct is to say hammered since I took a $38 loss, but I have to get used to the higher dollar amounts.  $38 is less than 2 buyins. This is something that Pokerdogg cautioned me about in one of his comments that I have to be careful not to let the higher dollar amounts effect me and look at everything as buyins.  448 hands played at $20NL and a loss of under 2 buyins.  I would swear I ran into opponents hitting sets on me at least 5 or 6 times so all in all I'm probably fortunate the loss was as small as it was.  I took $39 in losses on two specific hands one where I flopped a set of kings and got beat by a straight and the other I flopped top 2 pair and got beat by flopped set.  Those two hands alone accounted for $39 in losses and there were at least for all the times that I got beat by sets so the fact that I only want $38 shows me that overall it wasn't all that bad and obviously I was able to contain the damage.  1413 hands at $10NL was my saving grace for tonight as I turned a profit of 3.4 buyins or $34.  With the $10 bonus that I cleared and the additional $3 from convertible points that were transferred to the bankroll I ended the night with a bankroll of a little over $403.

However I must say I don't particularly enjoy only having one table of $20NL going and would prefer to have at least two tables of $20NL and two of $10NL.  So instead of adding them one at a time I will be adding them two at a time.  20 buyins I believe that can be my minimum starting point for a higher limit.  A bankroll $400 allows me two tables of $10NL and two of $20NL.  If at the end of a session I am under those 20 buyins for the higher level then the next day it's back to $10NL exclusively until that 20 buyins for the higher level is reached once again.  When i have 30 buyins for the higher level for $20NL that's $600, I can run all four tables of that exclusively assuming there are 4 available to play.  20 buyins of $50NL would be $1,000 when that is reached I will be able to run two tables of $20NL and two tables of $50NL and so on and so on.  I like this approach much much better for a variety of reasons the least of which is hopefully and potentially I will be able to grind up the profits that much faster while still being very careful with my bankroll.  I don't want to have to start all over again because I did something foolish and this is why I treat the bankroll like it's my lifeline. 

That's going to end this entry.  I want to hit the tables possibly by 12 p.m. tomorrow as I noticed recently that even at 12 p.m. the table percentages are decent. With just the the one table of $20NL tonight,  approximately 50 points were earned today.   Running two and two tomorrow is going to increase the CPs which so far this month I have converted $16 worth of wsop points which as I stated before can be looked at as rakeback.  No matter how you want to look at it, extra dollars in the bank roll is never a bad thing.  I might, just might get two more bonuses cleared before the 2nd.  Take care everyone.  My next blog entry will be a review of December and some January goals.  As always, I'll see you at the tables.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bouncin Back

After a 3 day struggle where I was only able to accumulate profits of $2 over the span of 5233 hands I seem to have bounced back from that whereas in the last 3 days I have accumulated profits of $47 over the last 2782 hands.  

I had mentioned to Misty that I was getting an early start Wednesday the 23rd to do some Christmas shopping and as the conversation continued she offered to drive me wherever I needed or wanted to go and then later scolded me for not asking for a ride.  That's just not how I do things.  I was fully prepared to be bussing around town going where I needed to and would not ask for someone to help me in that way when I have available transportation, but since she offered I gladly accepted.  That means the days activities concluded much much quicker than I anticipated and I was able to get in a session on the 23rd which originally I thought I would be taking the day off, of 911 hands and a $26 profit.

I am spending Christmas Eve and Christmas with my friend "Melanie" and earlier this afternoon me, her, and her friend who I will call "Daffney" ended up going to the store for some last minute Christmas shopping.  I had met "Daffney" once before and she seems like a pretty cool lady.  After we got back to Melanie's place we were just hanging out chillin watching some movies when the taking of a pain pill earlier knocked me out for a little bit maybe about an hour.  Shortly after that Melanie decided that she was going to get some sleep and since I felt wide awake after that mini nap I got in a short session on Christmas eve of 512 hands upon which I was able to accumulate a profit of 1.3 buyins or $13.  That puts profits at $10 an hour of 250 $2.60 covering 12866 hands and I'm holding an earn rate of 19.6bb/100.

My poker study time that I have been taking of late has been extraordinarily helpful sometimes by just looking at a situation that I have seen several times before, but looking at it in a slightly different way.  Listened to a great podcast from Red Chip Poker the other night on aggression and 3 betting and definitely took some good things from that.  The podcast was about 26 minutes long and well well worth the time.

At this point I find myself somewhat conflicted.  Conflicted between wanting to utilize the correct approach specifically within that of bankroll management, conflicted between that and wanting to get to my goals in the fastest way possible.  I so want to jump feet first into $20NL.  However within those poker studies that I have mentioned have been watching some videos on bankroll management and one of the videos I watched utilizes the 5% rule which says you never have more than 5% of your bankroll on the table at any one time.  Since I 4 table and have $40 that I buy into on those 4 tables that would be talking a minimum bankroll of $800 or 80 buyins per level.  Ughhh!!  I want to proceed with discipline, but that means I'm not going to be able to hit $20 NL at least four tables of it until I have a $1,600 bank roll. That is somewhat depressing.  I asked "splitsuit" on twitter if that is in fact what it meant.  He is the maker of the videos I have bern watching it is also a poker coach having coached over 300 people so I trust his judgement.  He tweeted back that he felt 30 buyins would be fine.  So if I have 30 buyins for $10NL which I now have in excess of due to profit at the tables and a $37.50 promotion award for finishing in the top 20 in the App leaderboard for week 3. now that I am gold status I am not eligible to compete in that promotion in the final week, but that's ok as the promotion brought $87.50 added to the bankroll so I'm extremely happy with that. 

So if I go with the 30 buyin bankroll management structure which is what I am doing and feel very comfortable with, and coincidentally enough happens to be the amount of buyins that I said I wanted to have to play the live cash games full time, that means $600 in the bankroll and I will be able to play $20NL, but the more I thought about it the more I thought maybe I could quicken the pace slightly while still adhearing to solid bankroll management rules.  There's no doubt that having $600 before 4 tabling $20NL is the way to go, but what if I simply added a single $20NL table into the mix one at a time.  If 30 buyins for $10NL is $300 and for $20NL it's $600, that's a difference of $300.  If we divide that $300 by 4 we come up with $75 so it seems somewhat reasonable to me to be able to add one table of $20NL every time I accumulate $75 over the $300.  When the bankroll reaches $375 instead of four $10NL tables play three of them and a single $20NL table.  If after the session the bankroll was under the $375 mark I would simply go back to four tables of $10NL.  Another $75 which would put the bankroll at $450 and then I could be playing two $10NL tables and two $20NL tables, and simply continue switching out $10NL tables for $20NL tables each time an additional $75 is earned weather through profits, bonus or promotional money and switching back if necessary if I drop below those $75 increments.  After the short session on Christmas Eve my bankroll since at $379 so I will be able to implement this my next phone session I play.  I doubt highly I will be playing at all on Christmas Day, but on the off chance that I do get in a few hands I will not add the $20NL table until I know I will be getting in a full session.  So if I do end up playing a short session on Christmas day I will stick with 4 tables of $10NL until my next full session which I assume will be Saturday. 

Some of my readers may feel that playing two different stakes is not a wise choice, but as I increase the levels I'm not going to have any choice.  As an example even when I am fully rolled for 4 tabling $20NL I've seen several times through the course of the day there are only 2 tables available of it depending on what time it is and under those situations in order to get as much volume in as I can if there were only two tables of $20NL available I would fill in the other two tables with $10NL.  The higher you get the more likelihood is that there will only be 2 tables available as I see this is the case many times with $50NL and at $100NL sometimes only one so there are going to be times that I will have multiple stakes being played at once so with that being said it should not be an issue. 

Well that's going to wrap up this entry.  I want to wish everybody out there a very very Merry Christmas.  I hope the holiday finds you having good times with your friends and family and that you are looking forward to an upcoming prosperous New Year.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

The First Session Loss Since The Awakening

The Awakening. I kind of like that term that describes my poker journey as to this point because back on December 12th I did have an awakening.  It was on that day that I realized what I should be doing, how I should be doing it, and when I should be doing it.  December 12th was the day I finalized my starting hand selection, that was the day I started having 100% focus on the tables at all times with just a rare exceptions, it was the day that I took and kept improvements that I had made in my previous attempts at No Limit cash games and got rid of other things that we're not wise, acceptable, and/or profitable. December 12th I had my awakening and then followed 7 straight sessions of profits.  The 7th session was just barely a profit as it was a struggle session as you know, but in the end I was able to get it back in the green.  There would not be an 8th winning session however, the streak ended at 7 as today was another absolute struggle day almost from the very beginning, but in the end I recorded a loss. 

It was a day that could have been a lot worse than it was. Almost from the very beginning I found myself down 2 buyins and not from any huge hands, but from continuation bets that went nowhere, decent hands that we're facing huge raises, the type of thing you just know you're beat and you have to let it go.  Unfortunately as it progressed it seemed to get worse.  The first 270 hands down $20, after 410 hands it was down $31, after 685 hands I was down $46, and it was not long after that it was over 5 full buyins down just like yesterday.  Around the 700-750 hand mark down just over $50 for the session.   I know the money doesn't matter and as long as you're making good decisions that's the most important thing, but I will admit it does get frustrating at times, but whereas previously I would let the frustration to get to me, to make me to try to push edges that weren't really there, since December 12th that no longer happens.  I know the hands will be coming my way I just have to wait for the real deal to arrive.  It started to and after 890 hands I had picked up 2 buyins back and after 1036 hands I was only down $19 and then it seems I had a great deal of card deadness as I fluctuated from about $19 down to $32 down and from draws that went nowhere, missed flops, that sort of thing and then just before 11 o'clock it switch back yet again.  When I ended things for the evening I had reclaimed a couple more buyins in the previous 35 minutes and finished down a little under $11 for the session.  I ended up cleaning a $10 bonus so the actual bankroll did not change hardly at all just a few cents, but it was my first loss in eight sessions.

Earnings are $206 in the first 10,084 hands since "The Awakening".  Damn I like that term lol.  Even with the last two days my earn rate is still 20.4bb/100 and quite frankly I expect that to go down even further.  At 20.4, I am in the earn rate area of what "Black Rain" calls the elite cash game players and while I feel that I am a good player there is no way in the world I am elite by any stretch of the imagination.  If I can run it at 8bb/100 I will be an extraordinarily happy person, but if that is what I will end up running at, I still have a few losses headed my way.   I've only played 10,000 hands and the numbers are still fluctuating wildly depending on how the session comes out so at this point nothing can be determined. The only thing I can do is to continue learning, continue studying, and continue bringing my "A" game to the table at all times.

Speaking of that "A" game, even when I do that, invariably I will still make errors from time to time.  Let's look at yesterday first.  It was a $5 profit, but by my calculations I may have made potentially in excess of $29 in errors which could have made that $5 profit a profit in excess of 3 buyins.  $29 covering only 3 hands.  Damn when I do something I don't nickel and dime it do I, lol.  Let's have your thoughts.

1st Hand:

I raised this hand to 50 cents UTG and got two callers.  3/4 flop continuation bet called by Villain and the other folded.  On the turn I fired 3/4 yet again and was called.  I checked the river to entice a bet from Villain and got more than I bargained for.

If you will notice this particular Villain is color coded blue, which in my system means he is a donk or a bad player.  Donks to me are not wild and insane insted they are players that make poor decisions, but usually with half decent cards.  They callpot size bets with gutshots, they stack off with top pair, call 3 barrels with 2nd or sometimes even 3rd pair that sort of thing.  The notes I had on him previously were that he cold called a preflopraise and a preflop 3bet with A5o.

Can we ever be good here??  What's your play?

 2nd Hand:

I had raised this preflop being in  late position and BAM!!! we flop a strasight, but not likingthe two hearts I came out firing.  When the 2nd 8 hits my second bullet is raised, but with an open ended straight flush draw I cannot see me folding even with the paired board.

What did he raise that turn with??  Trip 8s with a gutshot??  Did he flop a set and turned a boat?   Was it a freaky thing where he too has T9s perhaps in hearts.  Do you make this call?  Does the fact that I only have about $6 left and am getting near 4-1 make a difference?  What if I had $10 and were getting just over 2-1??  Thoughts??

3rd Hand

Hmmmm a 3 bet,but less than 2x.  Are you calling oris the fact that it's a 3 bet to my UTG preflop raise enough to getyou to fold?

So I called the 3bet preflop and the Villain who had cold called me shoves the flop.  WTF!!  Top pair and an openender, but my entire stack save 5 cents and the odds aren't great, but still.............

And a couple hands from today. 

1st Hand:

I 3 bet him preflop.  A touch light perhaps, but he had folded to my preflop 3 bet previously.  What's your move, call or fold??  Even if he has a set I still have a lot of outs.  Is it worth it??

2nd Hand:

 Naturally I had raised preflop and this very wet very draw heavy board comes out and naturally Villain donk bets me.  But how do you react to it with that board texture?

I simply called his flop bet hoping my call would slow this boy down, but the turn did not exactly do me any favors.  Ughhh.  No notes on him either.  Grrrr.  I called.  Just how many ways have I completely screwed up in this hand so far??

Have we gone too far to turn back now or is every dollar we save an extra dollar in our bankroll.  With him firing time three is there any way we are good here??

So that's it for tonight.  A couple of videos from Poker Bank and then I will call it a night.  Tomorrow is the final day of week 3 in the APP leaderboard.  This morning I had moved into the top 30 and I ended up earning 41 points today.  Can tell there will be no $50 top 15 finish this week, but even a top 30 finish will help.  I will go over these hands posted in a couple of days for anyone that has any input.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Leveling Out

There are many analogies I could  use to describe today's session.  Yoyo, roller coaster, up and down like an elevator, but no matter which one I would use you would get the general idea.  Today's session went 10 hours, covered 1982 hands, and from the very beginning it was almost like I could tell it was going to be a struggle.  After 465 hands I was up $5, just 235 hands later I was down $32 or 3.2 buyins, 300 hands after that I was losing $1, then 350 hands later I'm down $23, then things got crazy and ugly very fast.  After nearly 1400 hands I was down $13 and got slammed left and right to where I was down 5 full buyins.  It was about 10 p.m. and I only had an hour left.  Im down $50 for the session and even though I knew had made a couple of costly errors during the days play I felt overall I was still on top of my game.  I was just hoping today would not be too hurtful.  I finished the session and in the last hour I came back with a 5+ buyin bounce back and ended the session in the green, just barely, with a small profit of $4.64 for the day. 10 hours for $4.  I seriously need psychiatric help lol.

It's basically pretty evident that if you win 3 buyins or more you probably don't  really don't need to do a session hand review.  I mean let's face it, your not winning multiple buyins making errors, but foe a session loss or tiny win yeah, its definitely needed.  Started it earlier and will finish it in the morning, but already found one $14 river bet that I called that should never have happened.  I hate when I make mistakes or commit errors in gameplay, but I suffer from a serious affliction............ I'm a human being and unfortunately human beings do  make errors from time to time.  The best I can hope for is to learn from them.

Today's session produced over 50 APPs today so that gives you an idea I was pretty active in larger pots.  I only average 25-30 points a session.  It's pretty good timing because hitting the top 30 in the APP leaderboard for week 3 is not as sure of a thing as I first anticipated.  Seems to me for this week the point totals ate highet so more of the other steady grinders may have jumped in.  Gold status and higher is not eligible, but because I was less than gold when I opted in I am grandfathered in for the entire promotion.  Before last night I was in 43rd on the list. 

As I am gold status now I have the opportunity to play in a freeroll satellite at noon on Sundays with the top 5 finishers getting a free entry into the $200 deep stack at 3 p.m.   The tournament is so moronic, 3 minute blinds so it's  nothing but shove or fold.  There is absolutely no real poker being played and I hated every second of it.   Finished 18th out of 170 or so, but not sure if I will even bother with it next week.

My withdraw is waiting for me and I will pick it up Wednesday morning and do some Christmas shopping.   I will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my friend Melanie.  If I was not going to be hanging with her then I was headed to the Strip Christmas Day.  No way I'm gonna stay at my place on that day.  They are gonna have at least 10 or 12 people crammed here and quite frankly there is mo way I'm hanging with that scene.  I won't get into particulars, but lets just say too many phony people in this world and I'd rather spend my time with those that are real, just sayin. 

Looking forward to my March move out of here just not sure if I want an actual apartment or rent a room in someones house.  Obviously each has its own positives and negatives.  I hope to be as close to the Strip as possible or even downtown, but obviously I will not be too particular about location. 

I'll end this here.   Back at it Monday at 1pm or so.  Got my alarm set for 10 so I can finish the hand review before I start the session later on.  So for now take care, be well, and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Withdraw

Back on the 12th of this month, I had my final fresh start of what I've been trying to do in this transition to being a cash game player.  I had $180 online to try to make something happen.  Everything else that I have now in addition to that original $180 is from earnings at $10NL, bonuses received, & a freeroll cash.  I had planned on withdrawing that original money anyway and having my actual bankroll only be earnings and bonuses at some point in the future anyway, but with Christmas coming now seems just as good a time as any.  I really wanted to wait until I had $500 in the bankroll because then by withdrawing $180 that would leave me $320 still giving me over 30 buyins for my current level, but with upcoming bonuses within the next 3 days I'm pretty clise to that right now.  Ended tonight with $453.  A minimum $25 will be credited Wednesday from week 3 of the APP leaderboard challenge.  I will definitely finish in the top 30 for week 3.  Trying to scoring another $50 in it is questionable at best, but I will definitely finish in the top 30 which is a minimum $25 added to the bankroll and within that time I will also clear a $10 bonus, plus I have $5 in CP's right now which puts me at $40 added to the bankroll within 3 days and damn close to the $500 mark providing the worst I do is break even at the tables berween now and then.  I plan on taking Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off from poker so I probably will not score any cash from the APP leaderboard on week 4 since I will only be grinding 4 days during week 4 and I don't know if that'll be enough you get me the top 30 since I have figured out I average approximately 25 APPs per day that I play.  After the session tonight I put in the withdraw for $180 leaving me a bankroll of $273.13 the amount of earnings and bonuses accumulated since the 12th and still over27 buyins for my current level with another $40 minimum being added by Wednesday.  Just in case I take an overdue loss I didn't want to be a Scrooge and change my mind.   From this point on any future withdraws will, at least hopefully, be for poker related reasons such as live cash play, live tournament entry fees and stashing away in building towards the final goal of $10k. 

The downswing that is headed my way I am simply hoping will not be too painful.  Yes, my game is vastly improved, but nobody can run at 34bb/100 forever.  Everyday I figure it's about to end or something happens at the table that gives me a slight clue this has run its course and everyday I am surprised.  Today's session was no different.  Getting closer to that magic number of 1500 hands a day there were a couple of hands where I got taken down for full stacks with AA getting cracked and running into a flopped set and usually these are the kinds of events that tells you that what was good previously may be slowing down, but instead of slowing down it's simply a small bump in the road and good fortunes combined with good play keeps increasing things.  1353 hands and $46.40 in earnings for today.

I achieved Gold Status with today's play giving me an APP to WSOP transfer rate of 5x.  Looking toward January I am shooting for 27 of 31 days played, a minimum of 1500 hands per day, 40,000 hands played for the month, an 8bb/100 earn rate, $30 in CPs for January, and minimum earnings of $320 which could be higher with a step up to $20NL looming in the very near future.  James "Splitsuit" Sweeney a poker coach and creator of the Poker Bank videos I watch as part of my of my poker study time recommends taking a 1-2 buyin shot at the higher level when 15 buyins have been achieved for that higher level.  Going on that theory that means a bankroll of $300.  I don't entirely agree with that as I see 2 buyin swings as being commonplace when multitabling.  For me and my comfort level I'm thinking more along the lines of when 20 buyins are achieved and a 5 buyin shot so that means when the bankroll is at $400 taking a five buyin shot at $20NL and if $100 is lost drop back down to $10NL still with 30 buyins for that level. 

The homefront is better with Misty and I having talked about things and the most recent tirade she threw at me and while I can forgive, forgetting is another matter entirely.  I can maintain a civil atmosphere and even a friendship, but after recent events it will never be as close as it once was.  The trust has been annihilated and once destroyed it is almost impossible for someone to regain it from me again.  I am still going to be renting another place March 3rd and there will not be any further long term loans made to her or anyone else here.  This month I will pay the share of expenses I agreed to, I will purchase the money order when I get paid, she will give me Jan's share before I purchase said money order and Rays portion will be given to me a few days later when he gets paid. 

With me taking the withdraw and utilizing it for Christmas that shoukd give me about $250 spendable when Nick arrives in Vegas on the 21st and we have talked about some $1/$1 cash game play at the Linq and perhaps a $45 tournament thete as well, but with the Linq only having 15 minute blinds we might be better off grabbing the 10pm tourney at the Nugget or perhaps something with just a touch higher entry fee nearby, but that will be figured out at the time it happens.  I am very much looking forward to meeting him. 

That's all for tonight.  Ending my sessions at 11 p.m. and I'm going going to try to be on the tables by noon from now in giving me 11 hours to get 1500 hands played and ending at 11 gives me enough time for studies, article reading, video watching, forum browsing, and whatever, for now free resources, are available.   Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The High Ride Continues

Another great session tonight, over $47 in profits, nearly five buyins up at the tables in less than 1200 hands.   Add to that the $10 bonus that I cleared gives me a grand total for the night off +$57 not counting change.   Bankroll since the 12th when I had $180 has now surpassed $406.  Profit of $10 and L are in excess of $165 so in just under 5000 hands I have earned over $165, over 16.5 buyins, another $60 in bonus as I ended up finishing 11th on the APP leaderboard not the 5th I was hoping for, in fact I lost a few spots as those above me did put in a solid grind, but nonetheless it was worth an additional $50.  Wednesday and Thursday started the new week for that and I did not play either of those days so I have a bit of making up to do to be able to hit the top 15 and score another $50 on Tuesday when week 3 ends.  I have $70 in bonuses left to clear which I will not come close, but I will definitely clear 2 of them for an additional $20 before the month ends, and possibly a third for an additional $10.  I currently have $4.42 in convertible points for cash which from now on I will just refer to them as CPs for convertible points.  These are points that I can convert at anytime so in essence it actually is part of the actual bank roll since a simple click puts it in my account so with that said bankroll is actually $411 at this moment.  I seem to run $1 in convertible points for every 1000 and played. so, if in January I play 40000 hands, under current circumstances that would be worth $40, but in very short time as a matter of fact I think by the end of play tomorrow I will be gold status and therefore beginning the conversion rate of APPs to wsop points of 5x, but for my purposes I am still going to figure on $1 per 1000 hands played that way if it happens to be a little extra at the end of the month so much the better.

This winning streak then I am on has really thrown me for a loop to be completely honest.  Yes, I am focusing on the game like I never have in my life, I am taking more notes than ever before, I am avoiding distractions like I never have before, but at the same time I know that there is no way in the world, that alone, can explain an earn rate in excess of 34 big blinds for every 100 hands played.  It is absolute insanity.  I didn't think it was possible to win that much in cash games.  Obviously I'm running on a major heater right now, in fact I'm on fire, but it makes me wonder that although obviously I'm on a heater, if the fact that I am laying down big hands when necessary, getting away from draws when I should because I'm really reading my opponents is that adding to the current good fortunes as well.  Is this 50% a heater and 50% my improved play by simply paying attention?  I have no idea.  I will say that since I have started really buckling down and focusing on the game large swings have not happened.  The worst I've been down at any one point is a buyin and a half and whereas before going up 3 buyins I could turn around and be down 5, but that hasn't even come close. The worst thing I've seen so far is a two buyin downward swing within a session.  So far anyway, things have been absolutely great, but it appears in brings bit of an issue to deal with and I'm going to get some opinions from you readers as to what I should do.

Let's do some assumptions here. let's assume that I don't run into any major down swings are disasters between here and Tuesday and let's for the resume is that in that time I am able to clear another $20 in bonus and finish in the top 15 in the apt leaderboard for an additional $50 plus profits. The bottom line is that you going to bring me to $500 in the bank roll if all of these things transcribe as soon. With that said, what should I do. I recall in a previous entry saying something along the lines of I should play 50,000 hands of $10 an hour before I can say I have proven myself in it, but I'm going to be honest if I've got a $500 bank Hall, enough of a role for a 10 by and try and $20 an hour, it's going to be extremely difficult for me not to be adding $20 and out tables and grinding that. I will be honest I want to do what's best for me in my ongoing education as a poker player so I put it out to you experienced players. should i which of the following should I do?

1. As soon as the bankroll reaches $500 no matter how many hands have bern played at $10NL, make the jump to $20NL on a 10 buyin stop loss.

2. No matter what the bankroll amount is whether it's $500 or $5,000, do not budge an inch until I have played at least 50,000 hands at $10NL.

3. 50000 hands is not necessarily needed to prove oneself and it can be done with a different amount.  If you choose this option please tell me the amount of hands you feel is necessary.  

Tonight's session was great and I did not want to quit, but at about 8:30 I started yawning and I knew I needed to stop right then and there as much as I didn't want to.  I will be getting my January disability payment on the 31st of December as it turns out and I will I need to get to Walmart and get a bottle of caffeine pills to keep me going through these longer sessions that I want to play.  I want to get a minimum of 1500 hands in a day and obviously I'm not going to be able to do that without a little caffeine assistance.  I've been starting at 2pm and from what I can tell it's going to take playing from 2pm to 10pm or 2pm to 11pm or 2pm to 12am depending how many breaks I take during the day to get those 1500 hands in but this yawning at 8:30 or 9 o'clock is not getting me the volume that I want, but after that disaster I suffered I refused to play tired or sleepy so it looks like I will be elevating the blood pressure and the heart rate to 180 a minute to get through these sessions starting in January.  I know it's not the best idea of the world, but the way I look at it it's all part of this business part of the poker life.  As poker players we do what we have to do. 

So that's all for today.  Going to watch at least one more poker video today this part of my poker studies before I go to sleep and hopefully get at least 8 hours sleep so I can run 1500 hands tomorrow.  Take care, have a great night everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Final Goal Amount

Currently on a 4 session winning streak where is total profits in those 4 sessions are in excess of 10 buyins.  The last two sessions have been nowhere near the volume that is the daily goal, but I have made the most of it logging $24 and $19 winning sessions respectively.  Been hanging out at my friend Melanie's place for a few days as the situation at Casa insanity has deteriorated greatly which I will touch on later in this entry.  When I am playing poker I am continuing to do my best to stay extremely focused on the action at the table, the action at the other tables, and this is when I'm in a hand and when I am not.  I am further continuing to make some very good laydowns because I'm looking at the action and in any particular hand am asking myself questions.  With what has preceded what is this really telling me.  Taking the clues and solve the mystery of the hand to the best of my ability.   Between that and the focus that I have developed and am continuing to develop, I think that's at least part of the reason why I am running so good right now.  Earn rate in excess of 31bb/100 which I know is totally unsustainable, but for right now just keep on doing what I need to do at the tables.

The person that called me a few nights back and we had a good conversation over the phone about poker, the person that I have given the alias As "Kevin", I was told by that person that an alias was not necessary that he had no problem with me saying who it was.  That person was Coach, the writer of 4 blogs on my blog list and best known for his blog Bikini Hill.  During her phone conversation where the topics we touched on was the bankroll requirements that I feel is necessary to play the live game on a steady basis.  One thing coach said to me, and he was quite correct, was that while bankroll requirements and management are an important factor and part of the game that does not necessarily mean that I have to obtain that goal amount of dollars in my bankroll before I can play a session here and there at $1/$2 No Limit live or $1/$3.  The conversation got me thinking just what is necessary for this requirement.  Currently my goal is $15,000, which would be 50 buyins  of $300 each because as a regular player I don't ever want to be sitting with less than the maximum.  There's no way in the world, whether I'm playing online at a $10 game or if I was playing live in a $1 /$3 game, and that I'm not going to have as close to the maximum as possible.  The last thing in the world I would want is to have a monster hand that happens to beat my opponent's monster hand and have maybe half a stack on the table. Completely negative EV.

So with that said is 50 buyins really necessary for a live game?  I think the answer to that would be an absolute yes if poker we're going to be paying for my monthly expenses but as I'm on disability that's not going to be the case at least not to start off with.  I'm still going to have to check whether disability counts money made from poker as gambling winnings or earnings and if they look at it as gambling winnings everything can go on as normal.  The only thing is I will have to claim them on my taxes.  If disability counts those as earnings once I am making over $1,070 or $1090 a month from poker then disability will start taking some of the money they give me each month away and while I realize I'm a long, long, way off from that, it's still nice to know what goal I'm shooting for.

20 buyins just seems too low to me and seeing the experiences of the Trooper that I watch his blog about, the experiences of Rob I read about, and also what players at 2+2 have stated their worst down swings were in a live venue which city could be about $3,000 or 10 buyins or 15 mins if they were buying in for $300 so because of all this information I am thinking of that $15,000 number is not completely necessary and that I can go with $10,000 instead. I'm too damn tired to change the blog right now so I will adjust it tomorrow, but this is now officially a $10k run.  $9k that would give me just over 30 buyins and an extra thousand for miscellaneous expenses starting out. 

Now for the household update.  It is a fact misty and I are absolutely no longer anything but simple roommates.  She has destroyed the friendship and as far as I am concerned it is not possible to repair the damage.  I am starting to question her mental state because the latest incident was just so off the wall it's ridiculous.  The guy that she met and they were official then became just friends the other day she tells me I've got news for you were a lot more than friends.  Well that means you lied to me about it, but the funny thing is she can continued on with this tirade s my attitude since she started spending time with this guy is different.  I was the one, amongst others, who encouraged her to search this out.  I stated before her having a boyfriend is great for her and it's great for me.  I love the fact that she has somebody in her life.  I would swear than a lot of her anger is because I'm happy about this.  I think she expected or wanted me to act jealous or to somehow be upset about it and when I wasn't I think that really upset her.

Her tirade continued saying my friendship has conditions on it. Really??  I wonder what conditions she's talking about.  The fact that I have bailed her ass out financially more times in the last few months than I can count, the fact is that as a friend and knowing that she has an injury have done everything I can to make sure she didn't aggravate the injury further by doing various tasks for her such as making sure she's not lifting heavy things, grabbing all the groceries to bring it to the house so she doesn't have to, that sort of thing.  The tirade is continued with her saying get a part time job, all you do is gamble.  Well I've been down this road with her before, but the fact of the matter is what I do is none of her business.  She seems to hate the fact, and on a most unreasonable level, that I'm a poker player. I don't know why it should affect her one way or the other. She continued on saying poker playing is just gambling and she said a lot of people think the same way.  Well, this is true as there are many uninformed ignorant individuals in this world, I wonder which she is. 

I don't know where her verbal attack came from' maybe it was the fact that I gave her a 60 day notice but there are several things that I have not been happy with her recently including and not limited to the fact that she has tried to rip me off twice in repaying the $247 loan that I made to her to cover their share of the rent for December which I'm probably going to get stiffed the last $15.  As far as I'm concerned there is nothing that she can do to repair this damage and she even texted me earlier today asking if my 60 day  notice was still in effect' aka she's afraid I'm just going to move out without saying a word and she would have to find some way to pick up my portion of the rent so she asked me if putting our 60-day agreement in writing would be a good thing and I told her yes it would probably make everyone feel better. I had to do laundry today so I left Melanie's place went back to my place to grab my clothes and take them to the laundromat.  As I walked in her oldest daughter never said a word to me which by the way she unfriended me from Facebook over the latest incident with her mother which is expected and Misty simply said I think your towel is still hanging up in the bathroom and other than that there was not a single word spoken between us.

That's all for now. I'm staying at Melanie's tomorrow and then leaving sometime Friday morning and will get back to the full time grind.  I ended up finishing 11th in the App leaderboard challenge for week 2 so that was worth a $50 bonus added to my account.  Bankroll going into my next session is $349.  Should be able to grind some hands tomorrow here at Melanie's place and then Friday I will get back into my usual full time daily grind.  I'm going to be taking Christmas Eve and Christmas off from poker.  Take care everybody, good night, and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Realizing More Changes

I'm learning even more about my poker game and what I mean by that is thought processes going through my head during the session.  Yesterday I called it the light going on syndrome and I don't know how or why it happens all of the sudden, all I know is that they are with me and I'm not about to let them escape.  In my last entry I told you how I was paying so close attention to what was going on around me and @chipxtractor in one of his vlog entries talked about just that so I could have had that in the back of my mind.  Today I noticed more things I thought that we're not only going through my mind, but also what was not going through it.  Again like a light switch going on.

The session only went 995 hands.  I started yawning profusely at around 9:30 p.m.  I was going to have trouble getting the 1500 hands in  today anyway as I took an extra long break around dinner time.  Today's session was a lot of folding, very little action except for two hands which I got it all in, once on a flopped set and I don't remember what the other hand was. I got less than 6 hours sleep previous to last night's session so that's why I probably started yawning so early.  The very first hand of the sessions I was down over half a buyin and that increased to about $16 down early on and I realized my entire attitude was it's a long session a lot of things can happen, a lot of things will happen. It was then that I realized that previously the main thing going through my mind was I need to find a double up so I can get out of this early hole. In a lot of ways I may have been pushing lines that weren't even actually there.  Not yesterday though.  I sat back and waited dor whatever would eventually come my way. 

I was down 1.5 buyins with the first 200 hands or so.  At 475 hands I was down ($9) but nothing major happening.  Continuation bets that didn't get called, betting in position when everyone checks, you know playing poker.  A couple of hundred hands later I was down ($7) and then just a couple of hundred hands after that I was up $16 that's when the two all in situations occurred.   After 995 hands the profit was just over $18.  Not once as a played was I thinking I need a double up to get back in the green, not once was I pushing an edge that wasn't there, not once did my mind say "Oh I refuse to believe you even though the betting pattern has told me a story and even though I really feel that I'm beat I'm calling anyway.  That pretty much sums up what I was doing previously.  I feel like such an idiot having to admit that, but if I'm honest with my readers and more importantly myself, that's exactly what was happening to me just a few days ago. 

Tony Bigcharles aka TBC asked in a comment where I was going to end up living next, well, actually in his own way he asked me what new babe I was going to end up with next lol.   Tony, I'm not even looking just yet except to get pricing ideas.  With the amount I get from disability i need to max it out at $500 a month all utilities including wifi included. In this town that is fairly easy to do whether I rent my own studio or small one bedroom, or if I rent a room in a house and have roommates.  With that last option I can find it for an average of $400 a month.  As for a gal I'm hangin with I'm kickin it back.  Not exclusive with anyone.  Just chillin.

That's where this entry ends. Its just after 10 a.m. and I might fall back to sleep before my session starts at 3 p.m.  I would like to get in 1500 hands a day but there are going to be days like yesterday where I get in less than 1000 and if I'm feeling good and on my "A" game there may be days I get in 2000 hands.  I will try to average 1500, but how tired I feel and whether I feel like I am playing optimal is going to dictate that and nothing else.  Have an absolutely great day everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Realizing More Changes

I'm learning even more about my poker game and what I mean by that is thought processes going through my head during the session.  Yesterday I called it the light going on syndrome and I don't know how or why it happens all of the sudden, all I know is that they are with me and I'm not about to let them escape.  In my last entry I told you how I was paying so close attention to what was going on around me and @chipxtractor in one of his vlog entries talked about just that so I could have had that in the back of my mind.  Today I noticed more things I thought that we're not only going through my mind, but also what was not going through it.  Again like a light switch going on.

The session only went 995 hands.  I started yawning profusely at around 9:30 p.m.  I was going to have trouble getting the 1500 hands in  today anyway as I took an extra long break around dinner time.  Today's session was a lot of folding, very little action except for two hands which I got it all in, once on a flopped set and I don't remember what the other hand was. I got less than 6 hours sleep previous to last night's session so that's why I probably started yawning so early.  The very first hand of the sessions I was down over half a buyin and that increased to about $16 down early on and I realized my entire attitude was it's a long session a lot of things can happen, a lot of things will happen. It was then that I realized that previously the main thing going through my mind was I need to find a double up so I can get out of this early hole. In a lot of ways I may have been pushing lines that weren't even actually there.  Not yesterday though.  I sat back and waited dor whatever would eventually come my way. 

I was down 1.5 buyins with the first 200 hands or so.  At 475 hands I was down ($9) but nothing major happening.  Continuation bets that didn't get called, betting in position when everyone checks, you know playing poker.  A couple of hundred hands later I was down ($7) and then just a couple of hundred hands after that I was up $16 that's when the two all in situations occurred.   After 995 hands the profit was just over $18.  Not once as a played was I thinking I need a double up to get back in the green, not once was I pushing an edge that wasn't there, not once did my mind say "Oh I refuse to believe you even though the betting pattern has told me a story and even though I really feel that I'm beat I'm calling anyway.  That pretty much sums up what I was doing previously.  I feel like such an idiot having to admit that, but if I'm honest with my readers and more importantly myself, that's exactly what was happening to me just a few days ago. 

Tony Bigcharles aka TBC asked in a comment where I was going to end up living next, well, actually in his own way he asked me what new babe I was going to end up with next lol.   Tony, I'm not even looking just yet except to get pricing ideas.  With the amount I get from disability i need to max it out at $500 a month all utilities including wifi included. In this town that is fairly easy to do whether I rent my own studio or small one bedroom, or if I rent a room in a house and have roommates.  With that last option I can find it for an average of $400 a month.  As for a gal I'm hangin with I'm kickin it back.  Not exclusive with anyone.  Just chillin.

That's where this entry ends. Its just after 10 a.m. and I might fall back to sleep before my session starts at 3 p.m.  I would like to get in 1500 hands a day but there are going to be days like yesterday where I get in less than 1000 and if I'm feeling good and on my "A" game there may be days I get in 2000 hands.  I will try to average 1500, but how tired I feel and whether I feel like I am playing optimal is going to dictate that and nothing else.  Have an absolutely great day everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Mental Game

The session tonight went about 8.5  hours including breaks.  I returned to my TAG style, I revamped my starting hands and even tweaked it a little in progress as the session was in motion.  As it turns out between the mix of what I've always known and what I read it turns out I have opened up my range slightly, sort of a middle ground that I'm very comfortable with. 
Tonight I did more than play a session of Poker and once again it was the light going off syndrome that seem to hit me out of nowhere.  As I began playing I realized I was subconsciously doing something tonight which made it to my conscious level that I realized I had not really done previously except on rare occasions, but tonight I dare say I did it every single time I was involved in a hand.  If I raised preflop I looked at how many players had called me, exactly where was my position in this post flop and what was the texture of the board.  This dictated whether or not I fired a continuation bet or checked it off.  When I did fire a continuation bet  and I was called I took a second look at the board and was asking myself questions such as "what did you call me with preflop", "did you pick up a piece of that board or are you on draw", "if I fire a second barrel estimating what you may have or what I feel your range may be in this situation will I get you to fold or will you call that second bet if I fire with air. 
I was completely engrossed not with just the cards that I was receiving, not with just the bets I was making, calling, raising, but in every instance the mental aspect of the game was at the forefront of my thought process.  Tonight I was an actual player of the game not just a participant.  Rarely  did I click over to the Internet as I was too engrossed in watching whatever table seem to need my attention at that particular moment.  Sometimes it was the table that I was involved in a hand on, sometimes it was that table and another I wasn't involved in, but a person, but a player may have raised that I didn't have a note on so for a couple of seconds I kept an extra eye on that table to see if they would showdown and I could pick up some information.  I focused on players and even though the majority of the time I had four tables going I focused on opponents, what they did, the size of the bets they made, when I wasn't in the hand and I knew they were going to show down silently to myself try to predict what they had.  Pokerdogg talks about the mental game.  Is this part of what he meant??  Have I been so lacking in it before tonight that I wasn't thinking poker when I played, I was only playing poker.  Lastly, because of my involvement in every single hand that I played, because of my involvement in what was happening with opponents on other tables that I wasn't even involved in is it mere coincidence that I had the best session that I have ever had since I started this little adventure.  A profit of over $56, in excess of 5.6 buyins added to the bankroll in just over 1500 hands.  

I wish I could say that this is the start of steady profit, but I know for fact a 5.6 buyin increase in 1500 hands is outrageous.  Why did I do so well?  I'd like to say it was through pure skill,  but he fact of the matter is while I did take what might be considered some bad beats the important part of that was I didn't let it cost me as much as I had previously.  A prime example was when I flopped threes full of fives.  Perhaps I slow played it a little too much, but when it was all said and done I got beat by tens full of fives and I folded that full house on the river.  I knew I was beat and although I hate to have to admit this if this was yesterday's session I would have called that value bet  that he threw out there, but not tonight.  Tonight when I knew I was beat I let things go.  There was only one hand that got to showdown that I would have won with if I hadn't folded compared to I would say at least 20 that when I folded was the absolute correct decision because  the opponent had me beat.  It also helped that almost every big pair held up , but again the big pairs that didn't hold up I knew when they had me in new when I was beat and do not allow myself to let stubbornness or insistence get in the way. I let things go when I had to.

This was my new day one I guess you could say because as I said previously it did not make sense to group the results for earnings and whatnot with what I had done previous and what I am doing starting last night.  An entire new world in so far as frame of mind was opened up with last night's session.  The major accomplishment, in my mind, was not the $56 profit although that's a wonderful fringe  benefit, but the major accomplishment as I see it was the mental aspect of this game.  The asking questions, the observing, the figuring out what people had, the laying down big hands when I had to, that was the major accomplishment, but one night is not sufficient.  I have to make sure I am doing this exact same thing each and every night that I am at the tables and I can not be surfing the web in between hands. I can not be writing blog comments on my blog or others that I read while I am playing poker as I have been guilty of before last night.  Every single night that I play I must be as focused as I was tonight and if I catch myself not in that frame of mind, I need to shut it down for the night because if that's the case I'm not a poker player I'm just a screen name sitting at an online table and it is vital that I remain a poker player each and every second that I am playing.

So why did I end the session earlier than planned.  I had planned on playing from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.   You might think I wanted to book the win and not take the chance of variance reversing, but believe it or not that was not the case.  At about 11:30 p.m. I started yawning. at first I ignored it because I didn't feel tired, but the yawning continued and although I wasn't tired enough for sleep I was tired enough not to be playing poker.  Something I did not do previously, something I ignored before, but not this time. I tallied up how many hands I had played and realized that I had just over 1500 and it suddenly came to me I've been looking at my sessions in the wrong way.  I shouldn't try to set a time frame of 8 hours, 10 hours, or 12 hours when playing online, I should set a goal or amount of hands played.  1500 sounds extremely reasonable to me and should take 7 or 8 hours of playing and when I hit that 1500 the day s done, but nothing is written in stone.   If I'm in a game and I hit my 1500 hands and I'm running hot as fire it would be insane to leave or stop for the night.  Like many things in poker whether I stop at 1500 hands will depend on the circumstances.  It will depend on my level of tiredness or fatigue, it will depend on if the game is ultra juicy or just something normal and if it is not ultra juicy than 1500 hands will be sufficient for me.  That should give me 40,000 hands played a month in January and with 40,000 hands played since I will be gold status in the next two to three days I'm looking at approximately $35 in convertible wsop points to cash at the end of January for the month of January, my version of rakeback.  For  December I'm thinking in the neighborhood of $20 at the end of the month.

In 3 days my bankroll could see a significant increase in one fell swoop.  I should clear another $10 bonus in a couple of days, but week 2 of the APP leaderboard ends on the 15th and I am currently in 7th place.   I only earned 27 points tonight.  7th place would be worth $75 added to my account.  Looking at the current leader board I think I have a shot at the top 5 if I can in fact make it, 5th place is worth $125, fourth place would be $175 and 3rd place would be $250.  A lot will depend on how much volume those above me put in, but but even though I only earn the 27 points tonight I still think I have a chance at 5th place and $125.  

I got a direct message on Twitter tonight and it was from a guy who follows my blog, but instead of making a comment about several points that he wanted to go over he asked if I had a phone number that he could call so I gave him my cell number.  As is my habit, much like the infamous Rob at Robs Vegas Poker of assigning aliases to people especially if I am unsure if they want their true identity revealed so for this purpose I will call this guy "Kevin"   We had a very pleasant conversation and discussed a variety of topics including poker literature, bankroll management, live play sessions, fatigue, long hours, you name it we talked about it.  I am so appreciative to Kevin for taking the time out of his evening to give me a call to talk about these things just simply for no other reason than he wanted to try to help me in these areas.  Whether it's Kevin, Pokerdogg, Poker & Gambling 24/7, Lightning and several others it simply never ceases to amaze me how the poker community reaches out to others.  Not because of anything in it for them, just to try to help someone who shares the poker passion as they do.  I'm truly honored to be a part of this community.  

Finally, yesterday I gave Misty my 60 day notice once again, well actually an 80 day notice, but I told her that I would be moving into a different place the beginning of March.  I made this decision not because of any argument we got into as we have overcome that major one that we got into, but the fact of the matter is our friendship is not what it once was.  She calls me her best friend, but rarely confides in me anymore, we hardly talk, and I just feel that our friendship has diminished and if that's the case there's no sense in me being here any longer.  The other two roommates start jobs the beginning of January and Ray is working a part time one now, so on a financial basis they should be fine and quite frankly I would like a place where I'm sleeping on an actual bed in my own room.  Misty has no idea about my real reason for making this decision because financially speaking it would be better for me to stay here.  I confided my reasons to Ray, but I simply told her that I wanted to be near the strip or downtown near the action.  I can't really say why this friendship has faded if not completely definitely much less closer than it used to be, but these things sometimes happen. 

So,that wraps things up for tonight.  The weekly $500 Invitational freeroll is tomorrow evening,or I should say later this evening and I have already registered for it so the screen will automatically pop up when it begins. Who knows if I can make a deep run that could be a nice addition to the bankroll, but it would bring up a dilemma  I have $236 in my account.  Supposing I won the freeroll, and finished 5th in the APP leaderboard, that would had over $300 and give me a bankroll of $500,enough for $20NL, but I have yet to prove myself at $10NL.  I think the best course of action is not to move up, no matter what the account balance is,until I have a minimum 50,000 hands played and am showing not only profits, but an earn rate of at least 5bb/100.  Goodnight one and all.  Time to watch a few poker videos for my study time before I head to sleep.  Good night, sleep well, and I'll see you at the tables.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I Never Surrender

Woke up sometime after 1 p.m. today and read the comments.   I wanna thank you guys for your input.  Even before I read the comments from you experienced players i had come to a decision, but some of the comments made helped reinforce that decision to be quite honest. I have decided that FlushhDraw may be many things, but he has no quitter. he does not know the meaning of the word surrender.  I have often said many times that tenacity is one of my biggest attributes and I'll be damned if I'm going to let 1 horrendous session steer me away from what I really want to do.  With that said I am returning to the $10NL cash tables with my $180 bankroll, but with some definite changes being made.

Lightning is very correct when he basically said that the nitty reg  grinders is not the way to make money and he's absolutely correct it's not.  If you going to make money in this game you need looser tables.  During the mornings and early afternoons we're talking no limit tables that have a percentage seeing the flop as low as 17%.  Even when you hit big hands you hardly make anything on them and the only time you're going to make money is if two of those regs both happened to have monster hands.  The funny thing is that I have noticed over the last two days that during the evening and the later hours these tables really loosen up.  There are more players calling down with mediocre holdings and consequently with more players seeing the flop bigger pots to be won.  Therefore there will be a change in the schedule. Starting today December 12th I will be playing from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.  10 hours is more than enough for a grind and pushing myself longer than I love you could very well be due to poor performance, poor choices, and poor decision making because quite frankly after 10 hours on the tables I'm starting to get tired and a  portion of the losses last night at least 4-5 buyins may have been from continuing to play when tired.

Pokerdogg pointed out that opening the range as i have is going to increase variance and he's right.  To be quite honest although it did show some early initial success I have never been totally comfortable with it.  You're talking to a lifetime TAG and to all of a sudden change that after 10 years is disconcerting at best.  The question is did I have initial success with that style.  Yes, I was up $80 but you have to remember $60 of that profit came from a single hand.  Overall that shows me that the looser style is not successful and I need to return to the poker player I really am.  If you want call me a nit so be it.  I don't feel that's the case, but I'm going back to my tight aggressive style that showed me success in tournaments over the years, success in limit cash games over the years and I can't for the life of me see any reason why it would not show me success at no limit cash tables.  It's possible I went too far in the opening range.  Yes I was taking the advice from the Sklnsky book, but raising any suited Broadway cards in early position was something I was never comfortable with.  I did it because that's the recommendation I saw, but after a certain amount of experience, you have to come to a point where you base your decisions not on what someone else says, no matter how experienced they are, but on your own experiences and your own successes not somebody else's.   I'm new to the No Limit cash scene and therefore felt that I should base things not on my own experiences and knowledge but on somebody else's.  I may be new to No Limit cash games but I need to base my decisions on my own knowledge and  experience and even if I fail at least I did it on my own merits.

I am going to restart my grind today, wiping out the stats that I had accumulated thus far because in my mind with two completely different styles results mixed cannot be a true representation of success or failure whichever it may be. 

I refigured my entire starting hand selection.  I am going to keep up the aggression as far as raising in position, but much more selective with what.  As far as bankroll management goes with multi-tabling I'm completely lost at this point.  I have seen so many different opinions from readers, from forums, from articles I don't even know where to begin. I have 18 buyins. Is it enough, I don't know.  What is enough, I don't know.   All I can do is a rough estimation and for my purposes I'll go with 30 buyins as the base.  Is it supposed to be 30, 50, 100, 300, I am so confused at this point by all of it I don't know so I guess this is just another point of trial and error for me.  I do know that if I do manage to be successful and am able to step up to $20NL ar some point it will be in on with a 10 buyin stop loss and no more than that and ensuring that if I do have to drop back down I drop back down with 30 full buy ins for the lower level so for this case to try $20NL I need $500, but the very first thing I have to do is prove I can make money at $10NL before I even think of anything higher.  If it turns out I am highly successful cash game player but I will return to what has been my bread and butter over the years, tournament play.  Lightning pointed out in his comment that recalled a tournament we both went  deep in one time and how he has railed me on Bovada and he has seen me be successful and it's true. He has seen me be successful at tournaments.  Part of me thinks I should give up this and simply go back to what I know best, but there's a huge part of me that wants to be able to do this, that wants to be able to grind cash games, to show that I am NOT just a one hit wonder at tournaments.  A huge part of me wants to be able to play the poker that has less variance, but up until this point although cash games are supposed to have less variance than tournaments I have not seen it. If even after readjusting back to athe I find that I continue to lose and if this bankroll drops down to $100 I will then return to being exclusively a tournament grinder once again.  I won't look at it as surrender I will simply look at it as playing to your strengths.

That's all for now.  It's quarter to three and time to get on the tables for today's session.  Time to get to work.  I won't give up, I won't  surrender, and one thing's for sure, I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll Not Enough

After a mediocre start I ended up losing about 15 buyins in two days.  Something is seriously wrong with that picture and I am not going to continue along with this facade any longer.  Tonight every single time I had a big hand someone had a bigger hand.  If I flopped 2 pair they flopped a set, if I flopped top two pair they flopped a straight, if I flopped a set I got no action if I got action they got runner runner to beat me almost every single time. The big pairs, AA, KK, QQ.  If I got action on them the KK was up against AA or the big pair was up against a lower pair who naturally flopped a set.  Every single buyin I lost, I went in with the best hand and got outdrawn.  I did a little checking from other online cash game players and 25 buyin downswings for multitablers are not uncommon.  So the last couple of days, aggrivating as it has been, is not unusual, but if that's the case I want nothing to do with online cash games.  

Rob not too long ago had one of the worst cash game trips he's ever had by his own account and the Trooper before his break went through some serious beats losing a lot of money and these guys are live players playing one table.  Then I realized you get twice as many hands online as you do live therefore one online table is equal to 2 live tables.  Since I play 4 tables I am playing the equivalent of 8 tables live.  Therefore if a person loses 16 buyins in a downswing to equate this to a live play it would be equivalent to losing 2 buyins live which is nothing hardly.  If the standard bankroll for live play is 40 buyins then the standard bankroll for online play has got to be 8 times that amount.   The funny thing is when I was doing some research online about online bankroll management I actually came across somebody that recommended 100 to 300 buyins for online cash games.  When I read that, and I don't remember what site it was, I thought to myself this person has to be absolutely insane.   Guess what, he's not.  He's absolutely on target and in fact he stated that for his online bankroll he keeps 300 buyins.  What I thought was insanity previously I now realize is actually necessity.  I saw many recommendations for a bare minimum of 100 buyins for a multitabler.   If 100 is the bare minimum for multitablers and 300 is extremely conservative then even if we go right in the middle, 200 buyins, for $10NL that would be a bankroll of $2,000.  I absolutely guarantee you I am not grinding $10NL online if I got $2000 in my pocket it is so not going to happen.

So, what is going to happen.  I have no idea what to do next.  I have $180 after this miniature disaster, but hey it's still more than $160 I had when I made the $108 deposit on the 3rd so I'm not sweatin it too much.  I have 3 options.  One option is to play the tournaments on WSOP, but with $180 I will only be able to play the $3 rebuys if I simply buyin for the $3, do not rebuy, and do not addon.  I know it sounds crazy and yes a good player starting with an $8,000 in chips instead of $4,000 has its advantages, but good solid play at the tables I believe can overcome any disadvantage.  If I cjoose this option, I fully intend on playing those $3 rebuys and letting my opponents up the prize pool and this is what my schedule should look like should I go this route. 

9 a.m. $3 deep Stack Rebuy
11 a.m. $2 Rebuy
12 p.m. $3 Deepstack Rebuy
1:30 p.m. $2 MTT
4 p.m. $3 Deepstack Rebuy
6 p.m. $2 MTT
7:30 p.m. $3 Deepstack Rebuy

The second option is to do a total withdraw and take the money and hold on to it, then add as much as is humanly possible from my January disability payment, put it all together, and start playing $1/$1 at the Linq.  Here is the huge problem though.  If I am not successful in my No Limit cash game try at the Linq what the hell do I do during the day, no poker to play, just hanging out in this house. I will go insane. 

The third option is to cut the tables to just 2 tables and return to grinding, but the problem is playing these low limit tables is ridiculous.  Pot size bets, 3/4 pot bets nothing matters they call, call, call.  That was the primary reason I kept getting outdrawn.  Its too easy to click a button, the money is not real to these players.  In a lot of ways its worse in the tournaments so I'm at a loss as to what direction to go.  This sucks.

Its almost 5am.  I'm gonna sleep and hopefully come up with a fresh idea.  Good night all and I'm not sure if I'll see you at the tables or not.

Friday, December 11, 2015

I Should Consider Myself Fortunate

First and foremost I would like to welcome the one, the only, the indispensable pride of Texas, the one and only Coach.  If you check my Good Reads blog listings you will find 4 different blogs written by the coach himself.  Glad to add you Coach as your blog has always been interesting reading and to my readers I highly recommend his as well.

Let's talk about tonight or should I say today's session which by the way for the first time I grinded for 12 hours over 2200 hands and after about 1800 or 1900 hands I was down over $80. All the profits since I started grinding on the 3rd gone in one night, I mean really??  I ran into a lot of crap today.  Flop 2 pair only to have the board for flush, flop a set  only to have somebody hit a two outer for a bigger sett, flop trips and have somebody hit a two outer on the turn to give them a full house, flop a full house only to have my opponent flop the identical full house. Really?? FML!!  Which of the poker gods that I piss off today??  I was trying to play through. Could not seem to make a bounce back so I decided to play one more hand and it was going to be my last hand of the night so I was a bit loose with calling a 3 bet with T8s.  Actually what happened was somebody raises to $0.45 and somebody else called.  I had T8s and I made the call as well the next person folded and then somebody who plays $10NL who is on Twitter and I won't mention his name because he may not want his name to be mentioned  and that will be fine he 3 bets to  $2.45.  I believe there was one person that made the call and I made a very loose call I totally admit that, and the only reason I did it was I was done playing for the night, but I turned around and flopped a flush.  Had to sweat it out that a fourth suit didn't come or I would have lost the hand but when I won the hand I immediately sat in all the tables again.  I mean if that was going to be the start of some sort of rebound I couldn't leave then.  It was less than an hour I would estimate and I pick up four and a half buyins back and ended up dropping $35 for the day and it's probably the best $35 I have a lost  because it could have been so much worse.

To say I made mistakes on hands tonight is an understatement. I started to do a hand review and just in a couple of tables and only a couple hundred hands I probably pulled out $9 in errors.  I didn't even bother going on from that.  What was the point I screwed up on more than one occasion.  Yes I took some rough beats, but I made mistakes.

There are times I wish I could use some sort of tracking software on this site but of course it's not possible and also it's prohibited, but  there is one area I am unsure about in these cash games and that is calling raises with suited Broadway Card.  KJs, QJs, KTs, QTs specifically.  

Ended the night with $286.19 in the bankroll. I also earn 63 points which exceeds my average of 40 a day and I made silver status for all of this month and all of next month.  Every single APP point is worth 4 wsop points. 100 wsop points is equal to $1 and I already have $1.09 that I can convert into cash.  I will do so at the end of the month and according to my estimations by the end of the month I should have another $70 in bonus cleated, $30 in points conversion, a minimum $50 in APP money, nut I will be gold status before the week ends so not sure if that will disqualify me, but a minimum of $100 in bonus money converted and cleared and possibly above $150 and another 25,000 hands played with minimum projected earnigs of $125 so ending December a bankroll of a $500 minimum.  After that the next $160 earned gets withdrawn then I will need $200 in earnings and promotion bonuses to make the step up to $20NL.  Target date for this is March 1st, 2016. 

I am continuing to tweak my starting hand chart that I have come up with and as a matter of fact I tightened it up a little going into tomorrow.  Not back to the way I was certainly and nothing is going to stop me from being the aggressive raiser that I have become, but there were just certain hands I was just not comfortable playing in early position and completely felt that they belonged in middle position and consequently hands that I was playing in middle position that I feel are late position hands only.  I think I have tweaked it to what I consider to be the perfect approach as far as starting hands goes.

That's all for tonight. I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open but I really loved getting the 12 hours in and getting over 2,000 hands played, that was absolutely awesome.  The $35 lost brought my earn rate down to  - 5.5bb/100.  Even though I have always stated 5bb/100 is my goal if I'm honest with everybody my secret goal has always been 8bb/100.  I'm going by Black Rain's blog where in one of the entries he stated that the average $10NLplayer will make 4bb/100 and an elite player will make 18bb/100 so if you double what the average makes and cut in half what the elite makes it pretty much comes out to 8bb/100.  I am in no way shape or form going to try to say I'm an elite player but I definitely want to be above average and 5.5 is above average, but just barely and it's not as much as I've been secretly hoping for.  Of course, I have just under 10,000 hands played and the earn rate will fluctuate wildly until I have at least 50000 hands played at the tables.  Notonly that, if I can stop myself from making errors as I did tonight that will only help matters.  Take care, sleep well, and I'll see you at the tables.