Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, Last Update of the Year

so i stopped running awful and put in an 18k hands session in order to close out the 100k prop bet. won 1.3k and finished the month up 4.2k on the tables. so i am satisfied. more confident than i was even 3 days ago and ready to start the grind tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a Happy and crazy New Year. It is 730pm in NYC and I am going to go out and start up the craziness in an hour or 2. Bring on 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The end of the year is in sight...Running like garbage

Hey guys so I was intending to update this every week but I didn't quite get around to it. Finals finished off okay and I did fairly well. To poker; So I am going to miss every single one of my goals that I set for myself at the end of the month mainly because finals actually ended up taking time. Which is fine. I usually set goals as something to strive for and then don't mind missing them.

So this month, I am right now as I type up 3k on the tables for the month. This is of course awful. For some reason I am playing 100nl because it is usually quite easy money for me. But wow, I have never truly run bad before as they say. My high for the month was 5k around 2 weeks ago after a nice little heater at 200nl. That daydream of a 5 figure month quickly ended with the subsequent 2k downswing. Having been traumatized by 200nl, I decided to grind out the rest of the month at 100nl. It started off great with me winning at a steady clip and eventually winning back about 1.2k over the next 15k hands. Which is when the run bad started to happen. I then proceeded to lose everything possible in the most ridiculous situations I have ever seen. You name it, I lost it.(well not AAvKK but considering I never got AA in against KK that makes sense, I have however been setmined in 3 and 4bet pots by JJ from 11/8 types about 3 times!)I proceeded to drop 1k. Then two nights ago I thought I finally broke out of my downswing, shipping about 750 in 3 consecutive winning sessions. Then tonight happened. It was painful, brutal. It still hurts. I am currently down $760 in tonight's session. Of that, I am of course the customary $450 below ev, but that does not even include the most ridiculous things I have ever seen. So there you have it, 3 1k+ downswings this month in 80k hands. And I have been spewing less than usual. Let me tell you something folks, this stuff hurts.

I mean I guess the only thing to do is to keep on grinding because I am fairly sure that I am better than 95% of the players at 100nl (arrogance itb(in this blog)). Really I would like to quit for the rest of the year because as I outlined in my 2010 goals I need to play an insane volume but I am still 20k hands short of the 100k prop bet and I really do not like to lose. My intent is to put in back to back 10k hand days and then take the 31st off. Party for new years. And then whenever I wake up on the 1st I will switch to grindcore mode.

Also, something that has been bothering me lately. I have been talking to my brother about other poker networks besides Stars and FTP. Of course the traffic is less on them and the high volume rewards deals are not as good (SNE etc) but the rakeback is great and the games are soft. Apparently some of them also offer special holiday promotions that sound like awesome fucking deals. I was thinking that next year if I do not end up pushing for SNE and stop my play at 700k or 800k I would switch my play to one of the other networks. Or maybe even before those VPP numbers because if I hit 800k not going for SNE seems dumb. Something that goes right along with this is the large amount of money that seems to be available at 6max. Maybe I will contemplate switching. As well as PLO.

So I might as well set goals for January and 2010 now.
[ ] 300k-400k hands
[ ] 15k month
[ ] 20% 200nl, 80% 100nl

[ ] somewhere between 600k-1million vpps
[ ] 150k profit from poker in total
[ ] learn HU/6max/PLO
[ ] do well in classes and find something interesting to do in the summer (suggestions anyone?)
[ ] go to the gym some
[ ] enjoy life and hit up vegas/AC when i turn 21 in March


December Results, New year goals

December has been a tough month poker wise, I really wanted to make platinum star and started 12 tabling 50nl. I did that for half the month and I wasn't doing really good. I then dropped the number of tables to 8 .. and I may soon drop that number to a big 6 and work on my game (because yes, I am still overrolled for the level) a bit more before attempting 12 tabling that level.

December results:
  • Down 12 BI at 50nl
  • Donked a BI at 100pl PLO
  • Won 20c on PKR as a tilt management mesure (I have a roll now there bitches!)
  • [ ] Made platinum
  • [X] Made gold star
  • [X] Got coaching
  • [/] Read part of my books I had to read
  • [ ] Pass all my class (fuck)
Can't remember the others and I'm too lazy to look them up.

January goals:
  • Focus more on school
  • [ ] Win at 50NL
  • [ ] Get a session review by my coach
  • [ ] Read again in my poker books
  • [ ] Be nice to goose
The graph:

I think most of it is some run bad, except for the 100 at PLO. Let's play some solid poker next month!

Happy New Year !

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas to all grinders ! May the odds be with you !

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Have a few thoughts that I needed to get out there

1. I need to be mod of the unl stars reg thread
2. Martin has to be some collaborative gimmick account, nobody can be that stupid.
3. I need to put in about two 500k months next year if i want to get SNE.
4. I need to be mod of the unl stars reg thread.
5. Jab, that post is entirely too long and i'm not reading it

-future mod

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Poker is not dead


Last week I used the new HEM feature called "Hold'em Vision" and I came up with a pie chart of different player profiles.

Here is what came up :

As we can see, poker is definitely not dead. Most people are unknowns or loose passive, and you can easily regognize the TAGs and LAGs at your tables and try to avoid them if you feel outskilled.

Just wanted to share the chart, I think it's cool!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December Wrap Up, Plans For New Year

December was a fairly short month poker-wise. I only had the chance to play 75k hands which took 65 hours. This was good for 15$/hr before rakeback. Since I am only platinum star at the moment, rakeback at 50nl is only worth about 10$/hr. But 25$/hr playing cards isn't too bad :).

I started the month at 25nl since I hadn't played for 10 days due to studying for my actuarial exam. My results at 25nl were very good (5ptbb over 25k hands, but I ran SUPERGOOD). I also played a lot looser at 25nl than I would at 50nl. I suppose this is due to my comfort at that those limits.

My results at 50nl were somewhat mixed. On one hand, as soon as I moved up from 25nl to 50nl I immediately dropped 9BI in 1 session (-$450). On the other hand, since then I have been able to mass table (24) and maintain 2.5ptbb. Also, during this stretch there were a number of times were I played poorly, paid people off, spewed a few stacks, and generally played poorly. If I were to cut these out, I'm sure my winrate would be over 4ptbb over this sample (40k hands). Assuming I can stop making those mistakes when I return, I will definitely consider moving up. Finally, today I ran like god at 50NL and made 10BI in a cool 5.5k hands (9ptbb, lol).

Here is the graph of today, so pretty!

Here is the monthly graph.

My goal previously was to improve my redline as I thought this was a major leak. As you can see my redline is much better over a lot of the sample but the overall winrate is not. I cannot be entirely sure that the redline dip near the end is correlated to winning more - or if I was just running way better. Regardless, I feel a little more comfortable playing somewhat weak-tight; I need to find the right balance to maximize my earnings - regardless of if it's with or without showdown.

I will be taking most of the rest of the month away from poker to study for finals. I have 4 finals spread over Monday and Tuesday next week, the most difficult (and only difficult) which is Tuesday morning. For the next few days, I will be banging my head against the wall in the library. After finals, I fly to Uruguay on X-mas eve and fly back New Years eve (GG FML :( ). My grandparents live down there and my grandfather recently turned 90 so the family is heading down.

When I return in January I have 19 days off before my final semester of college.
My immediate goals are:
  • Not forget entirely how to play poker
  • Jump back into 25nl and win at 4ptbb/100 over decent sample before moving back up, hopefully take no more than 3 days
  • Move back up to 50nl and get comfortable again - win at 3ptbb/100 masstabling, play 10k hands a day for 14 days (at least)
Long Term:
  • Move up to 100nl by march
  • Win at 2ptbb mass tabling by May
  • Get coaching if necessary - although I'd really rather develop my own style and progression
Here are a few interesting hands from today in order of my favorite:

Hand 1 is against a very strong reg at 50nl, perhaps one of the best players at the limit. I do not have particular history with him but he knows who I am and knows that I know who he is. Also, in retrospect this is a pretty bad play - his 4bet range is only 1.6% in my DB, but it just felt like he did not have it. 5-bet light anyone?

Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 429925
The Official Hand History Converter

BB: $55.00
UTG: $50.75
UTG+1: $104.70
UTG+2: $50.00
MP1: $53.70
MP2: $51.40
CO: $50.35
Hero (BTN): $52.00
SB: $47.35

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BTN with A of diamonds 3 of diamonds
5 folds, CO raises to $1.50, Hero raises to $4.50, 2 folds, CO raises to $12.50, Hero raises to $21, 1 fold

This second hand I would appreciate feedback for. I'm not really sure if it's a +EV move; it worked this time but who knows. Villain is 13/11 over 1.2k and a solid winner at 50NL according to PTR. He check raises flops 11%. My image should be pretty nitty looking, but from the CO my range includes all sets on the board + nut straight and I know that he knows this. My flop 3bet should be negligible in his DB.

Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 429927
The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $50.75
MP1: $54.90
MP2: $99.15
Hero (CO): $99.80
BTN: $68.80
SB: $56.70
BB: $25.75
UTG: $50.00
UTG+1: $56.70

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is CO with 2 of spades 2 of diamonds
2 folds, UTG+2 raises to $2, 2 folds, Hero calls $2, 3 folds

Flop: ($4.75) 5 of clubs 7 of clubs 6 of hearts (2 players)
UTG+2 checks, Hero bets $2.50, UTG+2 raises to $6.50, Hero raises to $12, UTG+2 folds

Again, I would really appreciate feedback. This would probably be a better bluff assuming I actually had some equity if he calls like a gutshot or up and down or something... I assume if he had a set he's calling in order to bink FH or shoving and definitely not folding.

And finally, one hand where I run like god (like I said, been running like god all day). Villain here is a 45/3/1.8agg mega fish. Pretty sure after he minraises the turn I can get his stack assuming I improve. I was not expecting aces, but obviously made a note on him after the hand.

Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 429930
The Official Hand History Converter

CO: $47.35
BTN: $55.65
SB: $77.00
Hero (BB): $50.00
UTG: $68.05
UTG+1: $57.95
UTG+2: $25.00
MP1: $60.70
MP2: $58.95

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with 4 of spades 5 of spades
4 folds, MP2 raises to $1.50, CO calls $1.50, 2 folds, Hero calls $1

Flop: ($4.75) 3 of spades K of diamonds 4 of hearts (3 players)
Hero bets $3, MP2 folds, CO calls $3

Turn: ($10.75) 6 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $3.50, CO raises to $7, Hero calls $3.50

River: ($24.75) 2 of clubs (2 players) SKEEEEEEEET
Hero bets $19, CO raises to $35.85 all in, Hero calls $16.85

Final Pot: $96.45
CO shows A of spades A of hearts (a pair of Aces)
Hero shows 4 of spades 5 of spades (a straight, Deuce to Six)
Hero wins $93.45
(Rake: $3.00)

Have a great holiday everyone and see you on the tables in 2010!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conquering yourself.

Though I haven't played too much this week, I feel quite happy with myself. It always sounds silly when I hear the ole 'everything happens for a reason,' and I chuckle at the young girls justifying themselves with it. I can definitely see the real value in the statement though, you are who you are because of what has happened to you, and of course you should be happy with who you are.

My last few months have been anything but smooth sailing, but I could not really see it playing out in a better way. Without question I get the most out of losing sessions, searching for the spots I can improve on, and my game continues to get better for it.

After being what I think was a marginal favorite @100 for the early part of the month, and watching my redline plummet, I finally retooled my game and things are looking a whole lot better. Half of the battle may have been realizing that the regs @100 aren't for the most part good, but rather are better than the regs @50 at exploiting some common leaks.

So I feel pretty confident in my game, now I need to learn to really apply myself to playing. Talking with a friend of mine last night, he suggested setting goals / scheduling your days. As a successful person himself, I believe that trying this may help me, though I cannot be motivated by feeling 'as a failure,' so hopefully something else with goals can motivate me. If anyone has any suggestions on motivation, I would love to hear it !

Run good guys !


Friday, December 11, 2009

Blogs and More

Hey Guys,

Its been sometime.Gotta remind myself to update it every week or so.It's great to write sometime instead of mashing the check,fold,raise,call and arrrriiiinnn buttons!

Been playing a lot in the month of October and November at 50NL,but i had to make a big withdrawal for real life.I've gotta to eat,right?So i had to drop down to 25NL to grind it out,and i have to grind BIG,as i want to push myself back to 50NL in January.I'm pretty glad i made the drop as it made me a better player,i think!I'm not going to explain a lot about it,but its just a gut feeling that i learn a whole lot more in terms of Full Ring.I'm in the 100k prop bet for this month and I'm at 50k hands as of today.I probably need to grind out 5k hands per day the next 10 days or so.I could be grinding less with 20 days to go,but I'm taking a week off for Xmas holidays.I'm heading to Dubai to visit my dad.I'm pretty excited about the trip as I have never been to this part of Asia and it will be a good time to take some time off from grinding.

As for the goals for December(it's a bit late,but what the hell).
I'm planning for
a) 100k hands 25NL FR
b)4ptbb hopefully
c)2-3k including rakeback.(the most important)
d)Finish up reading on 2 poker books
e)Finish up Coaching Tree S1 again(i could probably finish this during my flight to Dubai)
-takes about 11 hours including a stop at Doha

2nd-Blogs and more Blogs.
I read blogs almost every other day,but only poker blogs.Stuff from Phil Galfond,Card Runners,Deuces Cracked and others to name a few.The stuff they post is pretty inspirational.The last blog from Phil Galfond and Cole South were pretty good.Not going to say much from it,but you guys should read it.Everything should be balanced.Poker,Life,being happy and so on.Good stuff imo.

So,Im studying in Germany and I'm quitting my degree after approx 3 years here.Well,long story short!It's tough!I'm studying Electrical Engineering at the moment,and i hate it,i seriously fucking fucking fucking fucking hate it.There's a lot of factors why i hate it,but people would be really asking,why did I study it in the 1st place,right?Well a) I thought i would like it,seeing how science was my shit back in high school,b) My country's Education System is so fucked up,that it makes us think that Science is good,and being in the Business is bad.What I should have done,is to quit earlier,but no!It didnt really hit my mind to quit after the 1st year,because it wasnt so bad.As time passes by,it just got worst and worst,and I've come up to a point where enough is enough!

Well,i could go on and try to finish it up like a robot but it could take some time.At the end of the day,I'm just so tired of it and i need a new start.As for the factors

a)The University where I'm at,is so bad especially my faculty(fellow students,professors,lecture halls,environment and etc is just purely bad)
b)Language is pretty hard
c)Life here is pretty bad overall and I am very unhappy at the state of which I am in right now(I hate of what I've become studying here)
d)Culture,Food,and People really depends on personal preferences,so I'm not going to delve into it.

As for the new start.I'm going to take up a Finance Degree in the States.I believe that this degree is my thing and i will definitely excel in it!No doubt about it.As for when?I am planning to start studying in September(Spring Quarter,and if not Winter Quarter).As for where?I am not sure yet,I'm still looking around on which University to go.Studying for a Degree in the States is so fucking expensive,and with me being out of state,is like a poker player running -50 BI below EV.I am going to grind so hard that I cant even see clearly for the next 6 months to finance my own degree.So I'm basically withdrawing everything for my studies and I believe that this will be the most profitable thing for me to do for the next 5-10 years.It's going to be hard and long,but it's the best option for me right now.

Well,it's a fucking long post.Thanks for reading!
Run gooootttt people!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Random thoughts out of boredom

Here I am sitting now at work for one more hour with not much to do. And since I can not surf at the forum I just will throw some random stuff out here to kill the time a bit.

So far I have something like 6.4k hands down this month which is pretty okay for me. But I am only break even over this sample which is ~1.6pt (about 4BI) under AIEV only. I know HEM EV calculation is not 100% right. But it is at least an indication that I am not running that good especially the other funny things like set under set, set under straight or straight under straight are not into this calculation.

I know this is just variance and over the longrun the distribution between good and bad run is for everybody the same. So I can not really care about it even it makes me sick what kind of beats I get.

But what I care about is the fact that I have the feeling I just give every single session like ~1.5pt (maybe a little bit lesser) cause bad / suboptimal play away. A main problem is still my red line but my not good run influences that, too. But besides this I have still so much work to do especially on turn and river I think.

But then again I maybe try to plug / optimize too many things at once. It seems like I should really concentrate on one or maybe two things at once and therefore doing them right.

I have the hope I can turn things around for this month and have a shot to win / tide the prop bet. I do not care that much about the $50 I put on the line but I simply do not like to lose bets lol.

Another thing I am really looking forward is the solution on SSer FTP wants to make this month. I am bit afraid they will not pull off something this year because we are talking abot FTP which have not the reputation to change things really fast. Anyway a real solution on this matter would make the games so much better i.e. profitable IMO.

Already talking about FTP: the next Mini-FTOPS are there. But I will only play one event, the $22 tourney on 18th Dec (150k GTD). I considered to play a few more but this would just collide with my work/school shedule and I am not in the mood to pony up too much in tournaments entires when I am struggling at the cash tables. When I run good in this toruney I will maybe play the $55 ME on 20th Dec, too.

Thats enough for the moment. I killed enough time and can finally call it a day here.

At the end a funny hand I played when I started a table last Staurday.

reflop: Hero is SB with ,
Hero bets $0.65, BB calls $0.50

Flop: ($1.50) , , (2 players)
BB bets $0.25, Hero raises $1.50, BB calls $1.25

Turn: ($4.50) (2 players)
BB bets $0.25, Hero raises $4, BB calls $3.75

River: ($12.50) (2 players)
BB bets $19.73 (All-In), Hero calls $18.98 (All-In)

Total pot: $50.46

Hero had 3, 3 (three of a kind, threes).
BB had Q, 9 (high card, King).
Outcome: Hero won $49.96

May all our opponents be like this.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Introduction, November, Looking Forward, Life

Hi, my name is Josh and I am a junior at NYU studying Physics and English. No, they have nothing to do with each other. I have almost no direction in life, and at this exact moment I don't think I really mind that much. A blog serves a dual purpose, one of self-reflection and one of education of our readers. I think that the former should most definitely supersede the latter. But this is irrelevant and I seem to be prone to ramble. Onto business.

I started playing poker and found the uNL forums of 2p2 sometime around April of this year.
I post as Vanguard on the forums. The forums have truly helped me become good at what I do and enabled me to reach a point where I could write my own entry to the vital COTW (Concept of the Week) series. I am currently a reg somewhere in between 100nl and 200nl full ring who is trying to gear up (pad my roll) for a Supernova Elite (SNE) run next year at 200nl. This grueling feat is well worth it monetarily but is extremely trying both mentally and emotionally. With SNE and table winnings I hope to net somewhere in the neighborhood of 150k+ in earnings.

November was a decent month for me with respect to poker. I made about 3.3k on the tables and nearly 2k in rakeback all while receiving coaching from petteytheft for my move to 200nl. This was crucial due to my mental block with respect to moving up. I also learned a few things. Despite this essentially tying my best month with respect to earnings, I am very disappointed because this was the first month where the tilt monster reared its ugly head. I ended up tilting off about 3k which obviously is quite a significant sum of money. Live and learn I suppose. This is my November graph.


December is supposed to be a big month for me. I need to get my roll to where I want it to be for 200nl SNE run. What I want is about 15k. At the moment I have 8.5k in cash, and 160k fpps. Basically I want to buy a 4k bonus, clear it, and hit the 200k milestone, all while staying at mainly 100nl grinding out my usual 2.5ptbb or 3ptbb. I have fallen way behind on hands needed for that because of school, but this was expected. Once I complete my last final on December 22nd, I am going to move into grindcore mode. With one week done I made about 900 on the tables. After going up a quick 1200 I have been basically break even with a small downswing over this past weekend. Games have been awful with people chasing bonuses. I hope game get better but whatever, I can beat nits. Wish me luck!!!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Quick Life Update

I passed my actuarial exam (pretty surprisingly, I might add!) so I will be returning to poker for the next 2 weeks or so at which point I will take another break for finals.

Most of my time will be spent at 25NL for the remainder of the year trying to tweak my game. I have invested some time into learning how to use AHK scripts and I find the increased efficiency pretty cool. If anyone has suggestions of scripts that are extremely helpful please post in a comment. I'm looking for a script that will minimize all tables I am on in which I am not in the hand (if this is possible) - will ship 50$ to anyone on stars who can find this/write this.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

gogogo TEAM !

Lets all make this a good December !

So everyone has some nice goals, I am hoping to play 200k hands, and post a WR > 1.5pt, got a nice boost this morning with a +650 sess. Hopefully I can finish the hands and not owe goose a nice christmas egg.