Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tilt Breaker Contest!

*** Terms of this contest changed as of Saturday November 6th. Updated contest info HERE.***

Here's your chance to win a completely FREE copy of Tilt Breaker. As I stated in my last post, this is amazingly effective, must-have software for helping you keep tilt from severely damaging your bankroll. Lifetime licenses are currently retailing for $49 at

To re-cap:
  • Play more of your volume on your A game.
  • Trailing stop loss to keep you from blowing away your profits.
  • Stop checking the cashier during your session.
  • No more bankroll crippling monkey-tilt sessions.
I got in contact with the people from Tilt Breaker after my last post and they would like to give one of my blog readers a free copy of their software.

Here's what you have to do:

Send me your best (worst) or funniest poker related tilt story. You can use whatever format you would like. Written, video, photoshop, mspaint, xtranormal or whatever else you can think of.

Email me with your entries by Monday, November 8th. I will pick a winner on Friday of that week and post the winning story on my blog.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Software Review: Tilt Breaker

As I'm writing this, I'm on a "tilt" break. I'm pretty impressed with Tilt Breaker.

This software has been in beta testing for a while and I believe they are almost ready to officially launch. There's a ton of stuff in here for helping you control your tilt, and beyond that, just plain helping you play within the specifications of your A game. I've been using it for a couple of days, and although I think it may cut down a bit on your volume, it's going to make sure the volume you do put in is solid.

The big feature with this is the ability to auto-break your sessions. There are 4 ways to do this and they can be used in conjunction with each other:

  • Stop Win - for the people that are into that sort of thing
  • Time Played - if you're optimal play is within a specific time frame
  • Hands Played - similar to Time Played
  • Stop Loss - This is the big one for me. It's not a simple stop loss although you can set it up that way as well to calculate from $0. For me, the best thing about this software is the peak stop loss. It prevents you from blowing away your profits during a session. If I have my stop loss set to 1.5 buyins, my session ends if I start off losing 1.5 buyins since the peak is $0. But just as important, if I win 4 buyins and then proceed to lose 1.5 buyins from that point, it tells me I'm done and my session ends at +2.5.

Once it's running, you're not getting around it. Can't reload. Can't open cash tables. Can't reg for tournaments. And there's a delay countdown timer that says you have x amount of time to finish your hands before we're going to shut you down completely. I tried killing the process a couple of different ways but it's pretty stubborn and pops back up. Serious business. ** Tournament tables already running will continue to run so no worries there.

Several other interesting optional features:
  • Tilt Breaker Panic button
  • More detailed session info similar to HEM Table Manager tray icon
  • Block your cashier box during a session

Everything is fully customizable in terms of what you consider to be a break, how long you need to take a break and how long you want to be locked out for each individual option.

A+ software. It's like Table Ninja for your mindset and your bankroll.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Rebuilding My Game

I'm sure you're all aware from previous posts that my results have been less than stellar since right around June. I am happy to say that I am finally having a great month again. I've started rebuilding my game from the ground up (with a LOT of help).

Where I'm at right now:
  • Learning how to play poker. No. I mean really learning poker.
  • Confidence is about 90% of all time high.
  • Still grinding some 50nl FR - but starting to see glimmers of possible crushing coming back.
  • Figuring out why people do the things they do.
  • Figuring out why I do the things I do.
  • Excited about future implications and looking forward to 2011.

It's nice to be back to being an optimist. It makes life a lot easier.

On a side note: I got a sick "mouse mat" today.

I will end up literally buying everything in the store that has the new spade logo on it.

On a life note: My 2.5 year old daughter has nearly perfected the art of getting out of being scolded and I am definitely in for trouble. "You're my faaaaaavorite," is tough to counter =)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Finally! (non-poker related)

WARNING: Canadian entertainment ramblings below, eh, not an ounce of poker in this post.

Netflix finally launched in Canada last month -- streaming content -- and I signed up right away for the 30 day trial. I've spent a good couple of hours in the movie rating section already so that I can get some good suggestions. It's also oddly addicting. Apparently I've watched at least 700 movies that I specifically remember were bad/decent/good in the past 12 years. That comes out to 1 movie every 6 days, which is kind of an understatement considering that the standard equation for movie watching is movies/week = 2 - (x)(children) unless of course you count The Tigger Movie and the Sesame Street movie Follow That Bird as movies.

So despite the 700 I've rated so far, there are a total of 80 in the Watch It Again section. Not terrible I suppose but they really need to get their act together in terms of selection. I'd estimate that of 2009-2010 material, it's probably closer to 5% max of total movies and TV out there. I was instantly disappointed when my first search for The Office came up blank.

I'm not really sure why this is, but it wouldn't surprise me if it might have something to do with our overzealous cultural protectorate over at the CRTC which requires some obscenely high % of content shown in this country to be Canadian produced. So we end up with a boatload full of half assed filler material designed to make sure you sleep-in or put you back to sleep when it's all crammed into early Sunday morning when no one's watching and runs until NFL afternoon kickoff. I think the last decent Canadian show I've watched in prime time would have to be Corner Gas. I can't remember anything else before or after that. My bet's on CRTC shenanigans or Netflix is just slacking when it comes to licensing

Oh well, can't really complain when I'm paying crazy amounts for cable and satellite's no better. I can live with paying $7.99/month for poor movie selection and cut out half of the cable packages I don't watch anyways instead. I did manage to find about 100 movies they have available that I haven't seen yet that might be worthwhile. Hoping that will tide me over until they start ramping up availability.

I've been holding off on buying a PS3 and a new TV for a while now so I've been watching movies on everything but my TV. Desktop, netbook, ipod. Kind of funny that I have a Wii and was looking through their app store on Saturday saying this is stupid, they should have a Netflix app, while I was waiting for the required disk to show up in the mail. I finally get it in the mail today and simultaneously check my email on the way back home to find out that they've just launched a downloadable Wii app ("don't worry about sending the disk back," gee thanks). Read my mind, good job guys.

Come on Netflix. The Office (US version). One time!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

New Avatar

I figured it was time to change it up in the avatar department so if you're looking for the old happy flower on 2+2, it's gone into retirement.

I was image-googling synonyms of facepalm -- is that possible??? -- and "exasperated" came up with this gem on the first page as part of a gambling addictions ad. I didn't even type in facepalm or poker or anything but exasperated, lol.

Good times!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

ABC Poker

I wrote this up yesterday in what appeared to be a bit of a trainwreck of a thread on 2+2. The OP of the thread was questioning whether "ABC" poker was still applicable in today's games. I was decently surprised at the way it came out so I thought I might as well post it here for everyone, too.


ABC poker is not nitting it up waiting to easy-bake a fish with TPTK+. Sure, a lot of advice on 2+2 is a hold-over from the boom where people c/c down 3 streets with J high at 25nl. It's all advice about how to stack people that are literally throwing money at you faster than you can pick it up. It's the most LDO advice out there, but it certainly doesn't mean you apply it to everyone at x stake. It used to make up a huge portion of ABC strategy because that's the type of player that made up a good portion of the player pool and was, and is, still the easiest money to take.

ABC poker is simply (imo):
  • Playing your hand in a straightforward, optimal, exploitative way based on your opponents' tendencies.
  • Maximize EV for this hand.
  • Not getting sucked into the FPS bluff vortex.

Conversely for comparison, ABC poker is not:
  • Playing hands in a sub-optimal, balanced way.
  • Maximize EV for future hands.
  • Being overly creative.

The worse your opponents are -- and by 'worse' I mean in a hand reading sense because this is what everything boils down to -- the closer you need to play to ABC. The better your opponents are, the closer you need to play to non-ABC. Optimal ABC strategies for playing K9s on J95r against a 40/5 are going to be vastly different than optimal ABC strategies for playing the same hand against a 10/9. There is no single ABC strategy.

Yes games are tighter. Yes games have a lower fish:shark ratio. Yes, not everyone stacks bottom pair anymore. None of that has anything to do with ABC poker. The fact is, all that has happened is that your average card advantage has decreased due to the above circumstances. Despite that, I really don't think the level of hand reading has increased that much, which means that solid ABC poker still wins money in the micros. The majority of the pool is still level 1 thinking, they're just playing their hand. It's just that they've decreased their disadvantage by tightening up and show up with showdown value more often than they used to.