Sunday, 27 September 2009

New Look

I thought I'd try out a new look for my blog. Unfortunately I forgot to save the old template first, so my blogroll got deleted in the process. I can't remember everyone who was on it, so if I'm missing you just leave a comment! Also leave a comment of your opinion on the new look.

Other than that 6max has been going exceptionally well. I thought I would have significantly less volume but that's not the case after running some numbers on hands/hour. I try to put in a few sessions with 6 tables to work on stuff a few times a week and the rest of the time I'm able to easily keep up with 12 tables and if my brain is working even as many as 18 - leading to actually more volume than FR.

It's pretty much turning out to be my best month ever and I haven't really noticed any significant variance. Apparently 6max variance is supposed to be much much higher than in FR because the game is more aggressive, but I think the whole thing is a bit overrated for micro games. I think this is due to the fact that variance is reduced by having a higher winrate, and my 6max winrates are 2-3 times higher than what my FR equivalents are. I can see variance being a bigger issue at small and midstakes where winrates are going to converge a little closer to the FR winrates.

So far it's around 75% 6max, 25% FR and will probably be close to 100% 6max next month. I'm having a bit of an issue with my mouse so if anyone has advice I'd love to hear it. I have a wireless bluetooth based Logitech Revolution MX which has, by far, the best configuration of any mouse I've ever seen for poker and gaming and general browsing. The problem is that it's starting to freeze for half a second every once in a while which is kind of bad when you're trying to multitable.

Edit: A fun 50NL 6max hand I played yesterday. Even though it's spew I like to call it a soul read. Action plan: c/f turn. Actual action and read: "Hey wait, this guy is FOS. Arrr-in for value?!?" =)

Good times - Squeeze gone wrong, then worse... then wait... squeeze gone right!

BTN: $90.95
SB: $13.95
Hero (BB): $59.85
UTG: $24.45
MP: $71.55
CO: $10.80

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is BB with K of hearts 9 of clubs
3 folds, BTN raises to $1.75, 1 fold, Hero raises to $6, BTN calls $4.25

Flop: ($12.25) 2 of spades A of spades 8 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $7, BTN calls $7

Turn: ($26.25) K of clubs (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $16, Hero raises to $46.85 all in, BTN calls $30.85

River: ($119.95) A of clubs (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $119.95
BTN shows Q of spades J of spades (a pair of Aces)
Hero shows K of hearts 9 of clubs (two pair, Aces and Kings)
Hero wins $116.95
(Rake: $3.00)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Book Reviews

Wow I've learned a lot in the past 2 weeks. I read Hilger and Taylor's Poker Mindset and Schoonmaker's Poker Winners are Different along with watching a lot of videos. I have a completely different outlook with regards to the realities of variance and it has really focussed me on all that matters at the table: making correct decisions.

Poker Mindset started out with the best mental framework I have found for this game. They do a wonderful job of describing just exactly what variance is and how to think about all the down sides there are to it. They don't go into a lot of detail about the upsides of variance because no one really has an issue with that lol. I used to worry about every buyin I lost and feel extremely upset about suckouts and coolers because I had already spent that money before it was even shipped to me ;-)

I got rid of my fear of downswings by realizing I have an oversized bankroll. I got rid of the tilt that showed up after each beat and caused spew by getting rid of that feeling of entitlement. I good sentiment in the book is that our society has become based on this feeling of entitlement: kids passing classes they have no business passing, affirmative action in our post secondary education, every team in the kids' baseball league wins a trophey etc etc.

"You are not entitled to anything at the poker table except cards and a seat if you have the money and the time." It's the only game that, imo, resembles real life as it should be. You can try your best and make all the correct moves and shit still happens and you can't do anything about it but learn and move on.

At the same time, the Law of Large numbers states that if you make the correct moves over a large enough sample, you absolutely must win. So while winners are not entitled to win this hand here or there, they will end up with all the money in the end making this a perfect merit based system. Looking at the game this way has made it a lot more enjoyable for me first because it fits so closely with my real life ideals, and second because this stack here and those five stacks there don't mean anything when I know for a fact that I will eventually win money while my opponents lose money regardless of what happens in this hand. The only goal then becomes to make correct decision after correct decision.

That said, while the first few chapters revolutionized my mindset, I found the rest of the book rather bland. I mostly consisted of a lot of definitions of different tilt inducing scenarios without a whole lot of solutions other than to refer yourself back to the poker mindset and I felt like I was reading a glossary. I realize it was mostly filler because a 30 page book on how to think like a winner just wouldn't sell even though that's all that would be required here.

I then read Schoonmaker's book Poker Winners are Different. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I have his others. Each chapter had me try to objectively rate myself on a number of different topics. It was one of the more realistic poker books I've read. All the math and strat based books assume you are going to play tilt and emotionally free poker, but this one says that is just not going to happen all the time. I was quite happy with a lot of my ratings in the book but it got me to point out a few huge leaks in my thought process and forced me to look at them and think about ways to fix them. For example, I played sub-optimally in bigger games for a number of reasons, and I don't study nearly as much as I should be and I'm now taking action to correct these leaks.

I've been watching a lot of videos lately to try to improve my game and a lot of concepts are really starting to mesh really with my overall strat. I realized just how much value I was missing postflop even though I thought my postflop game was really decent. It was A LOT of value (understatement) and I think that a lot of people pass up truckloads of value for the safe haven of showdown. When I think about it now, you know, this is micro stakes, people aren't messing around when the c/r the turn so why are we ever worried about being bluffed off the best hand?

I think I would like to make a 25nl 6max video and try to highlight some of the postflop value that I've been finding.

Monday, 7 September 2009

A lot of learning going on

Thought I'd add a quick update here. In the past week I finished reading The Poker Mindset by Hilger and Taylor. I was planning to write a review on it but decided to put that off until I've finished Schoonmaker's Poker Winners are Different - I'm about half way through that and want to compare them.

Other than that poker has consisted of 100NL 6max shots going super-bad and 50NL 6max and FR grinds going super-good. 50NL to 100NL 6max seems like a lot bigger jump than the FR equivalent and I'm quite surprised at either my terrible game selection or a huge jump in opponent skill level. The dynamic is quite different but I don't want to go making huge adjustments yet. I think it's a range problem that I'll have to do some math work on.

I'm just glad I have gotten the majority of my tilt under control and those -3 BI 100NL sessions don't turn into -6 BI monkey tilt adventures anymore and I can get my composure back to easily grind it back at 50NL every time.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Winrate, VPP and FPP Calculator v.2.1

Hey guys, I made a few changes and updates to my old excel calculator.

Version 2.1 can be found here.

The new one simplifies a few items and also includes new calculations for milestones, rakeback equivalent, and exchange rates. The milestone calculations currently only work up to the 600k VPP milestone since Stars skips the 700k mark bonus (and people that make 700k VPPs make me sick anyways :p ). I especially like using this calculator for long term calculations where I make my session length the amount of hours I would play in a month or year.

Same as the last one, only fill in data in the white spaces. Formulas are all open for you to re-configure for yourselves.

Let me know if you think any of the resulting data is incorrect or unnecessary or irrelevant. I'm thinking of removing some of the stuff on the left hand winrate calculator side.