Thursday, 29 April 2010

April Wrap-up

April turned out to be really swongy. Thankfully the swong ended on a nice upswing towards the end of this month. I've nearly completed 100k hands of fullring for the month to finish out the 2 group volume props for this month totaling $250 so I'm thinking I might make a little off of that. Doesn't hurt to throw my name on the list when I'm pretty much guaranteed to play enough hands - it is a good motivator.

Had some really sick variance in 2/3 of the 200nl shots I took this month running top fullhouses and AA into quads several times. Variance is expected over 5k hands though. The 3rd shot ended nicely though and I think I'm going to be taking more controlled shots there a lot more often in the near future. Currently running 100nl at 3 ptBB/100 over 45k hands this month and I've only managed to put in about 10k of those on the weekends.

Games are running extremely well in small stakes. Table selection continues to be absolutely amazing with the Stars structure changes and there are still way more 40-100 tables than 20-50 tables which is a good sign. I've heard people complaining at 600nl+ that this is not true. I don't see a reason why Stars couldn't adjust structure according to different stakes depending on current strategies and player bases - no reason for everything to be site-wide. The counter-argument is obviously that it's unethical to try to shuttle fish into regs' preferred games and could be detrimental to the future economy of the game. Overall I think they did a really good job still.

Tried out several Rush donkaments on FTP and all I can say is wow. The fish:shark ratio in tournaments is generally higher than in cash games but these tournaments are off the chart. I obviously only finished on the bubble in both that I played and couldn't keep dodging the minefield forever. Crippled with KK<65o AI on the flop on T75r and a couple standard KK<AA (one on the first hand lol).

I have 8k hands to finish up today and tomorrow which shouldn't be a problem. Right on pace. I am having trouble putting in 6 hours a day with the rest of life going on but that's ok. I'm going to scale this back to a 25 hour week schedule next month.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

PokerStars Buyin Changes


(understatement - I am slightly more ecstatic than I was when I received video games at Christmas when I was 6 years old)

The change to buyin requirements has finally been implemented on Stars:

There's been a lot of worry on the forums about the overlap between 40-50 bb and that the fish that buyin for those amounts would gravitate towards the shallow games. So far, at least in small stakes, it doesn't appear to be a problem. In my estimation, fish tend to like to see flops and call multiple streets to see if they can hit their draw. They can't really do that in a preflop/flop shove structure and I think even if they were to start out playing those games, they are going to get sick of shortstackers' "strategy" faster than regs did at the 20-100 bb tables.

As of last night and this morning, the deep and medium buyin levels have been outnumbering the shallow games by at least 2:1 at small stakes which is a good sign, despite all the shortstackers that 24 table. There's also been somewhat of an influx of shortstackers in the 40-100 game buying in for 40 bb and so far they've been getting crushed trying to implement their style as far as I have seen. They look completely lost by the turn with an extra large (to them) PSB left. Hopefully they'll try out the medium games for a while and be the new fish.

I haven't really had to table select much at all at 100nl since the change. There's generally three 60-80 bb stacks at a lot of tables so I hardly even have to waitlist at all. I guess some of the 40-50 bb fish might be playing the shallow games, but having all the 40-80 bb fish that avoided the 50bb-min games is a laughable tradeoff. The games seem to have loosened up dramatically, especially the deep games - I tried out some 50nl FR deep-ante and was running at about 0.45 vpp/hand which a few other people confirmed. I don't know if that's going to sustain or not, but that's a ridiculously good rate for 50nl.

Overall I really like the changes and I think they're going to be good for the game. But I think PokerStars needs to implement a couple tweaks to the new structure to fine tune it:

I still think they need to get rid of the overlap in buyin. There really is no point to it other than to give the 20bb stacks a decent edge over the 50bb stacks. 40bb is going to drastically reduce that edge imo, as 4bet shoves are going to be much more correct. 50bb just makes awkward stack sizes vs 3bets (unless you make some adjustments and just minraise all the time - assuming the shortstackers are not going to adjust at all to that and 3bet smaller). Haven't done the math on this yet so this is just my logical guestimate - not sure if I will do the math considering I don't plan on opening any 20-50 tables other than to have a laugh at the shortstack on shortstack violence rakefest.

Re-label the buyin structures "Shallow, Medium, Deep" and colour code accordingly as per Full Tilt. I prefer "Normal" to "Medium" but a ton of people think that's unethical wrt the fish thought process. The lobby is a mess of descriptions right now. The last thing you want to do is have recreational players have to read through a somewhat complicated looking information banner and try to find the game they want in a lobby that's currently a wall of text. This re-labeling and especially colour coding  is pretty much a no brainer and just about everyone is calling for it so I would expect this to be implemented relatively soon.

Overall, good job Stars. A few minor fixes should make the site completely in tune with current strategies and player bases.

Sunday, 4 April 2010


I officially started my 7 months of test-pro on Saturday and will for the most part be putting in my hours Monday to Friday with at most 4 hours on the weekend. I have several goals in mind:

  • Set up somewhat of a schedule.
  • 30 hours per week.
  • Focus on improving and moving up.
  • Watch a lot of videos.
  • Get some coaching.
  • Hammer out a few milestone bonuses.

If I can make a decent run at this without being able to play much on the weekend, I should have the skill, mindset, bankroll and savings to actually do this for real. The conditions I’ll be playing in now will be slightly tougher than conditions for being a real pro: more hours squeezed into fewer days, no weekend fish (although without the stress of actually needing to make money).

Saturday and Sunday are my "days off" where I go to my day job, but I managed to get in a couple hours Saturday anyways and won 4 buyins in a couple hours so I’m already ahead of schedule =)

I’ll keep any updates related to this under the “Test-Pro” label until the end of October.