Sunday, 24 August 2008

Holdem Manager

I complain and complain and complain, and what does it get me? A PT3 refund is what. I hadn't really been able to use the HUD for the past 2 months due to lag issues, so I had gone back to using PT2 and PAHUD which sucked since after using the next generation software, going back feel horrible. I thought, ok I'll wait it out for PT3, but eventually I realized it's not going to happen and said screw it, I didn't pay for PT2 and PAHUD, I paid for a working version of PT3.

I explained that I did not pay to be a beta tester. Let me cut off those that always seem to say "well there's a trial version." I tried beta 11 for the month before commercial build 1 was released and it actually worked really well. I assumed that build 1 would be just as good and include tons of features to make it at least as good as PT2, import faster, and possibly have awesome new features, so I bought it the day it came out. Unlucky for me. I had nothing but lag and hours and hours of reimporting hands into new databases to try to get this worked out over the past 5 months.

After I got my refund, I went and downloaded the trial version of Holdem Manager: Yes, I am smart. SMRT. Tried it for 1 day and was thoroughly impressed and I bought it, although it is slightly slower than PT3 so far - that said, I haven't vacuumed or anything yet.

What definately sold me on it was the absolutely incredible amount of detail available in the HUD, especially in the pop-up stats. I am no longer guessing that this 20/15 only plays 8/6 in EP, I know it. Just incredible. I found the HUD much easier to customize as well, although the default turned out to be exactly what I had planned on changing my PAHUD settings to prior to buying HEM. I love this software - I highly recommend it.

I changed things around a bit, I used to have:
VPIP / PFR / AF / hands
Cbet / Fold to Cbet / ATS / Fold to Steal

I thought why do we put AF in the first line with preflop info and ATS and Fold to Steal in the second line with postflop info?

I now have:
name / hands
VPIP / PFR / ATS / 3bet%
AF / Ag Freq. / Cbet / Fold to Cbet /

I also really like the idea of making the colour coding fainter for smaller sample sizes when the numbers are not solid enough to rely on, which HEM does automatically. I'm not sure at what point they consider each stat sample to be large enough, but it seems to be working well.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Stuck in a rut

Well I feel officially stuck. Got sucked out on time after time in the last couple hours.

First hand of the day: AA

So a while later I say screw it and fire up a 100NL FR table. Get dealt JJ OTB and 3bet a couple of late position shortstackers. I get cold called by the SB with AQo - wtf - and he c/c the flop on Q83cc, checks a blank turn. I check behind. He bets 1/2 pot on a blank river and 2p2 says I have to call here even though I know I'm screwed. So I quit for today.

I feel totally unmotivated. I don't know if it's the bad run I've had the past couple weeks or what. Probably partly that and partly the feeling that I can't beat 50NL which is really discouraging to me, and I'm starting to get spewy at 25NL already because I'm feeling impatient to win more money to try to move up again. I would really like to see a site that would play with # of BBs rather than $, that would be awesome.

It's just so depressing to think you know how to play a game and win and you read strategy shit non-stop and you play nearly 200k hands of 25NL because you can't beat the next step up.

I think part of it too is that I used to wish I could do this for a living. Then I realized I knew nothing and had a lot of work to do and that I would probably never do this for a living. Now I've improved to the point where I can see it actually being possible, but it's just out of reach and I don't know how to get to that next point to push me over the edge. I think this is essentially what is so extremely frustrating. I'm concentrating more on crunching numbers to see if this is feasable than just playing my game consistently like I have in the past.

I think I might just take the rest of the month off and get a fresh start in September.

Kind of unmotivated...

I don't know why but I haven't really felt like firing up the tables lately. I ended up going on a mini-vacation last week and I've only played about 45 minutes since Tuesday, lol. I'm going to try to put in a few hands tonight, but full ring feels really unappealing right now.

So here's my plan for tonight, in order:

Try to play 4 tables of 50NL full ring.
If I get bored, go to 6 tables of 25NL 6 max and LAG it up.
If I'm still bored play some omahaha.
If I'm really just bored, quit.

What's really stupid is I've been playing stupid free games online after I googled "bored." Such a waste of time. I also picked up Frontlines: Fuels of War which is really awesome and has also wasted some time - I'm not much of an FPS guy: poker or video game wise, haha, but this one is really good. I pretty much stopped playing video games when I found poker but every now and then if I find a game that's highly addictive via my brother's review (he finds all sorts of awesome stuff), I take a break from poker when I'm running so-so.

Also I may be playing live in the WSOP $40 No-limit tournament this weekend in some guy's garage. It looks like there are 50 entries with 1st getting 30% of the pool and I've heard it's a marathon. "W" obviously does not stand for World...

Sunday, 10 August 2008

1 Week of Holidays!

I'm on holidays from work this week. Hopefully I can put in some good hours but I wouldn't mind taking off and and travelling for a couple of days either.

I've been absolutely dominating 25NL so far this month. I'm currently ~18 tabling with a nice winrate of 8 ptBB/100 over 17k hands and I'm starting to add a few more spots where I can play a hand in position against the right players. This amounts to more than double my salary (per hour) at my day job, lol.

50NL is another story. I basically have the same winrate, but sadly it is negative =). Thankfully it is over far fewer hands so I've actually made some money this month. It's going to take me a while to adjust and I'm actually considering just grinding out 25NL for another month or 2 without dumping money at 50NL, and perhaps moving up to 100NL at that point. ime I've always found 100NL to be far more straightforward postflop than 50NL, but it could just be me. Guess I'll find out and hopefully I'm not totally wrong. I'll just set aside a few buyins to play with and take a shot in the next while. I think I had such an awesome start at 50NL last month because of the 2x VPP promotion going on bringing out all sorts of fish and people were multitabling like mad and not paying attention. That all went away the second week of July and the game got 5x harder for me.

I'm in the process of clearing the reload deposit today, so I've accomplished my goal of clearing an FPP and a reload bonus by August 15th. It's going to be pretty close for retaining Platinum this month if I continue to play exclusively at 25NL.

I also added Speedle's blog to the list of blogs I read. He just started it up yesterday and it should be quite interesting. He plays mostly 200NL and has really helped me out with my game as well. Check it out.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Weekend variance finally going MY way

I started rebuilding confidence today. Had a nice little heater during a 4 hour session for 13 buyins at 25NL. Yeah, I know: Why can't every day be like today? I guess Stars wanted to give me a do-over after the dismal start to August that I had yesterday, so I'm back on the positive side of the graph for this month.

I keep a binder with the most influential posts I've found on 2p2 and printed them out as well as a group of my own theories and notes I've made to remember the little nuggets of gold I find reading strat books.

Reading through some of these today kick-started my brain again. I think I had been autopiloting off my HUD for a bit there, and re-reading Pokey's post on how to use my HUD was really helpful. I think I'm also starting to trust my instincts more and I'm starting to relegate my HUD to a guideline as to how I want to plan a hand.

One thing I've found particularly helpful is checking WtSD and W$SD stats as soon as someone cold calls my raise or if I'm considering calling a raise. This gives me a couple extra seconds to figure out what I'm going to do on the flop in terms of whether to cbet or float, and also my bet sizing.

I'm also starting to get that feel for when peoples' lines don't make sense and I can bluff raise them to steal a pot with air. This is quite rare - and I'm not making hero calls or retarded bluffs, but every once in a while you can pick off a nice pot. That and I can start to figure out if my set or better is good or not. I'm not laying them down often - so far I think I've folded about 3 sets in the past week in hands which were not obvious flush draws that made it, and I am almost positive I've saved myself 3 stacks in those cases. That being said: "never fold a set!" =)

In most cases you can't lay down a huge hand like this. The general advice is that if you can beat AA, you are committed. But there are a few very rare times where you have bottom set and alarm bells are going off because villain's line really looks like a set - then you check the stats and he's a TAGfish with something like WtSD 15% and W$SD 65% and he wants to get the money in and you get that intuition that you are no good.

I say trust your reads, and don't ever ask anyone if you should fold a set, because they don't have those reads and they can't help you. They will just say "never fold a set" and if you go with that, you will be +EV in the long run anyways, and there's no shame in that.

July Results

I suppose I shouldn't complain about July. But I'm going to =) I really thought I would be crushing this month after the start that I had, but 2 really long breakeven stretches put an end to that. They started to really get to me and I really started questioning my game.

I'm back down at 25NL right now trying to work out what's changed. I don't feel like being an escalator taking my winnings up to 50NL and depositing them there to go back down, as someone in the 2p2 full ring forum said.

I mean, I can see exactly what my problem is in my database - not playing enough hands - but I can't quite figure out how to fix it. I've been trying to cold call a lot of the hands that I used to be able to open raise with at 25NL, but I just seem to hit a run of cold cards and coolers when I move up there and I tighten up again. That and I'm not quite comfortable playing for stacks here with top pair. Then I get tilty and play bad. I think that when I tighten up like that my range becomes very narrow and very obvious to the regs and they are exploiting this regardless of position and I've been picking very bad spots to play back. I'm really trying to keep that frame of mind that I talked about in one of my last posts, but it doesn't always happen.

So graph is needed obviously - graph + $285 in bonus cash. I unexpectedly made Platinum as well which is nice. I really wish I would not have gotten stupid towards the end of the VIP 2x tourney. I think I really had a shot at cashing that for Supernova.

Plans for this month are to play 25NL until I regain confidence. If I run bad at that, I will be playing some SnGs. They have a new $3.40 9 person that I tried out. Slightly high rake, but they are extremely soft. I cashed 3/4 with 2 1st place and 1 2nd place. I think I would be able to play about 10 of these at a time if I wanted.

I've also been putting off updating PT3. The new beta is out which I need, but I hate making new databases constantly and reimporting hands because they have fixed stats and can't convert the current database. Suppose I should let it go overnight tonight.