Saturday, 30 May 2009

Burn Your Calendars! (plz)

So May is just about over (cry). That's too bad since this has turned out to be by far the best month of poker I have ever had. I got off to a rediculously good start running about 5 to 6 ptBB/100 at 50NL and 100NL over the first 40k hands. I really have to credit the Coaching Tree videos from BalugaWhale on DC (ty Greg for telling me to watch that series!!!1!) along with some coaching and all the hand history discussion I've done with people lately for the massive increase in winrate.

At some point I was starting to wonder if this was just the biggest heater ever or if I was really playing that well, but after going through my database and analyzing a lot of stuff I have to say that I played way better than I have in the past.

Then I went and messed it up for the next 20k hands. I took my crazy LAGtard image and pushed it to the edge of what I thought I was capable of. In the process I learned a ton about postflop play, equity and aggression, but I stayed at about +/- $300 for a week straight which was a little draining and made it tough to put in the hours. I did run quite bad (5% flopped sets and 42% W$SD) but I'm happy to breakeven during those stretches. I'm convinced I am on permanent donk/buddy lists and regs pay me off nicely now.

I decided to tone it down just a bit again and got back on track yesterday. Today just put me over the top again with an hour long session resulting in +5 buyins. Yay!

So if I add up profits + rakeback x exchange rate, I'm looking at more than 2x what I made at my fulltime job this month and I've still got tonight and tomorrow to go. This obviously makes me a very happy poker player! This came in very handy while I'm finishing up my house. Fences are wicked expensive. This is why you all need to burn your calendars and make it May forever :)

I'm pretty stoked to say that I did not fire up a single 25NL table this month and put in 30% of my volume at 100NL and also put in a tiny bit of 200NL which I run insanely good at (16 ptBB/100 over 1000 hands lol). The plan is to up that 100NL volume and start to play a bit more 200NL by the end of next month or so. I really think I'm going to enjoy 200NL - from what I can see there's an attempt at metagame, people are always in 4bet/fold or squeeze mode and just like 100NL, the only thing that changes is preflop gets harder. Postflop is still the same 25NL game with varrying degrees of stackability at different stakes ime.

I need some suggestions for what to watch next on Deuces Cracked. I'm obviously playing fullring but I have no issues with watching 6max videos. I absolutely loved the stop the video and discuss theory format that Andrew used in Coaching Tree so anything similar would be perfect. I haven't watched anything else there except for some Pr1nnyraiding but I'm not that interested in head-up right now.

Friday, 15 May 2009

<3 this game...

... both poker and the game posted below. I've put in 40 hours already this month which is great and I'm gradually moving into more 100NL when the games are good and beating 50NL for 5ptBB/100 vs all the morning regs when they're not so I'm super happy with everything right now.

I'm really hoping that I can put in more volume and at higher stakes. I would love to get to 200k VPPs for a milestone so that's something to work for.

This game is so addicting, I've probably played through it 4-5 times in the past few days while taking a break:

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Update and biggest pot ever!

Thought I'd post an update seeing as how I don't get around to posting that much anymore. I've been watching a lot of videos lately on DC. Most notably the Coaching Tree videos with BalugaWhale and his team. Incredibly awesome stuff!

I try to watch one every day or so and have noticed myself progressively playing a lot more spots comfortably. It kind of feels like everything is starting to click. When I previously tried to loosen up my game, I think I went about it the wrong way. I was basically just trying to play more hands. That's going to result in disaster (or at least no improvement in winrate).

But now, I'm finding I'm playing all sorts of hands without even realizing that I'm running super loose until I check my HEM stats after a session. I think that tells me that I'm doing it right now.

It's not a matter of playing more hands for the sake of playing more hands. It's a matter of seeing more and more profitable spots and pushing my skill edge in those spots. I totally understand the framework behind what's going on when I see high stakes players on edited poker TV shows or at the online nosebleeds pushing garbage around in what looks like donk-on-donk violence sessions.

I'm also starting to make the move up to 100NL permanent. I've put in about 30-40% of my volume there this month with fantastic results along with a lot of hours at 50NL grinding out buyins, experimenting and really focussing on improving my game. I like to use a 3 stake system where I can play low if I am not on my A game but want a poker fix, play my A game and grind in my "home" level, and take shots at the next.

So far this has been 25NL/50NL/100NL for the past few months for me. I've started to put in a little bit of time at 200NL although hardly anything yet as I'm trying to make 100NL home and 50NL the low end. I have not opened a single 25NL table this month.

Also really liking the HEM Scanner. I kind of sucked at table selection prior to this but apparently I have a good scoring system since the tables with the highest scores usually have a monster waiting list. I'm not sure if I'm going to just buy the client side for a one time payment or pick the subscription for server side. Server side is so much faster and a lot of fish are long gone by the time it's finished scanning in client side.

Anyways, BIGGEST HAND EVER in my life happened this week:

UTG+1 is 8/6. MP2 is a squeeze-happy supernova elite.

I had a mini-heart attack on the turn.

Poker Stars $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 119198
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (MP1): $203.00
MP2: $200.00
CO: $216.20
BTN: $336.00
SB: $214.50
BB: $41.80
UTG: $59.15
UTG+1: $200.00
UTG+2: $200.00

Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is MP1 with KK of spades KK of clubs
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $6, 1 fold, Hero calls $6, MP2 raises to $24, 4 folds, UTG+1 calls $18, Hero raises to $72, 1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $200 all in, Hero calls $128

Flop: ($427.00) KK of diamonds 44 of clubs 44 of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

Turn: ($427.00) AA of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)

River: ($427.00) 55 of diamonds (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $427.00
Hero shows KK of spades KK of clubs (a full house, Kings full of Fours)
UTG+1 shows QQ of clubs QQ of spades (two pair, Queens and Fours)
Hero wins $424.00
(Rake: $3.00)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Retooling Your HUD

I read a great poohbah post by RapidEvolution the other day about loosening up your game. It made me think about what I've done since loosening up my game and the big thing that stood out for me was that I failed to effectively use my HUD. I was using it as a crutch and looking at useless stats at the same time - a disaster for decision making.

So I thought about this for a few days and decided to go through all the stats available and think "how would this stat help me?" "What situations do I find myself in a lot and which stats do I need to help me in those spots?" Some stats are going to be more important than others for you depending on your style.

And then I did something I should have done long ago that I didn't. I put in minimum number of samples for the stat to be displayed. Without doing this you are essentially using a faulty crutch. Displaying fold to cbet when you have 100 hands on someone doesn't really tell you much. How many cbets has he faced? 2 or 3 if he's a nit for 0%, 33%, 50%, 67%, or 100%? That's a pretty big range that tells you nothing so just put it out of site and out of mind. On the other hand, you might have a LAG that has a decent sample to go off of much sooner than the nit and you need to clarify when a stat becomes suitable for use.

The resulting HUD looked somewhat bleak at first glance - it was more than 1/2 empty for most players. Some players that I have more than 2k hands on still only have 3/4 of their stats displayed. But after thinking about it, this is going to improve my game tremendously. It is going to stop me from making decisions based on stats that are not accurate, plus it is going to force me to do my own hand reading and pay more attention to the line they are taking.

Stats should take a big back seat to reads, lines and hand reading to begin with. Using a faulty HUD is a recipe for disaster, so figure out what you need out of it and when you can start using it.