Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Goals, Results, and the State of Poker

Let's see...where to start?


January was a good month for me. Up to this point, I've gotten in 9k hands, I wanted to get to 10k, but it didn't really work out that way. I'd play more right now, but there aren't really enough tables going to make it worth my while. Maybe in a little while. I don't have to be at work for 6 hours, so we'll see. Like I said though, it was a good month for me, I made $310 in cash games online and almost another $190 in rakeback. I've got about $1270 in my FullTilt account right now and I achieved the Silver level in the Ironman which was my goal for the month, so all in all, I'm pretty happy with my performance.


My goals for Febuary right now are kinda conservative. It's a short month and I'll be moving towards the end, so 6-8k hands doesn't seem unreasonable. I'd like to play those at mostly 2/4 and 3/6, with a little 1/2 and 2/4 SH mixed in. Monetarily, I'd like to get my FullTilt account to around $1600-$1800. With the current state of online poker payment methods, the money in that account is essential my bankroll now. I really would like to have enough by the end of February that I can feel comfortable playing no lower than 2/4 and playing a ton of hands in March if I need to. Since I've yet to get a job, playing poker for a living starting in March is kind of a fall back plan for me right now. Of course, that requires me to be able to get at my money which I'll touch on in a moment.

The current Neteller fiasco is kind of scaring me a little. I'm lucky to have no money currently on Neteller and it's probably gonna have to stay that way. Unfortunately, this fucks up my plans as I'd planned to have my rakeback deposited on Neteller and withdraw it from there with the Neteller card, which is supposed to be in the mail for me right now. That doesn't look like an option and I really feel bad for all the people with thousands stuck on Neteller right now. I opened an epassporte account and I'm currently awaiting the verification deposits. My hope is that that will go through in the next week or so and I'll be able to get epassporte up and running and use that to withdraw money when I need to. If that doesn't work out, I'll probably try Wirecard, the new payment processor FullTilt is supposed to have set up in Feb. I can always put my rakeback money in my FTP account, but of course that doesn't help me with getting it and that's what I really need right now. The upshot of all this, maybe I should try to get in as many live sessions as humanly possible in Feb.

In January I played live twice and ended up winning $300 in like 16-17 hours. It would be really helpful if I could do something like that again in Feb. For now though, I'm just playing it by ear and hoping things work out well in the next couple weeks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Revelation....or two

I had a revelation the other a moment of surprising clarity, I realized that even tight poker games are beatable. I was playing 2/4 FR on FTP the other night and twice I picked off bluff raises on the turn. It was then that I realized that just b/c everyone at the table is hovering around a VPIP of 20, doesn't mean the game isn't beatable. We need to look deeper at what these people are actually doing and find ways to exploit it. Some of them are way too passive both pre and postflop. They don't really play too many hands, but they don't play them right. For instance, a 22/5/.63, plays a few too many hands, but not ridiculously so. His big problem is that he's way too passive. Therefore, we can get away from hands when he raises us and since we know he calls too much, we can pound him with value bets. Pretty simple stuff, but it's something that I'd never really sat down and thought about before. Another example would be a player with decent pre-flop stats, but a really high AF. This guy probably bluffs a bit too much and also may fold a bit more often than optimal. Again, these are exploitable flaws. These games may not be beatable for 2-3 BB/100 like a good online game or 8 BB/100 like a good live game, but I believe they are beatable for 1-1.5 BB/100 and if you add in rakeback, it's certainly worth playing. It's just requires a bit of an adjustment from playing against a lot of loose players.

The other realization that I came to recently is that I do better when I play shorter sessions and less hands in one day. I don't think this can be entirely chalked up to luck and variance either. I believe that the more hands I play in a day and the longer I sit in front of the computer, the worse my decision making and attention to detail become. This could very easily turn a winrate of 1.5 BB/100 into a 1 BB or worse. Therefore, I've decided that I'm not going to play long hours any more. I'm hereby limiting my sessions to no more than 2 hours at a time and no more than 4 hours total in one day (from the time I get up until the time I go to bed again). I can still play upwards of 1k hands in a day with this plan if I choose to, but most days it'll probably be more like 400-600. I think I can still get in 8-10k hands in a month, which will give me a nice rakeback payout and allow me to slowly move up to where I may again have a bankroll that I can draw from if the need arises.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Current Goals

I realize that the last couple of days I started to get over my head a bit. I'd been winning and I think I tried a little too hard to force things and I got shoved back. So, for the next while, no more 5/10 til I'm fully rolled for it (that means $3k for FR and $5-6k for SH).

I'm going to play within my limits (and that means pretty much exclusively 2/4 FR for now) from now on. I'm going to play with a BR rule of 300 BB for FR and 500-600 BB for SH. I'm at about $1400 right now so that means 2/4 FR only. I can 4-table pretty effectively and that's what I'm going to do for a while. I may mix in a table of 3/6 when I'm solidly over $1500 again, and when I get to $1800 I may go for an even mix for a while. At $2k I'll try to be playing mostly 3/6 FR and a little 2/4 SH, at $2400 I should be playing those two games exclusively and maybe in a fairly even mix. If that is, I can beat those games. I do think I can win 1.5 BB/100 long-term from 2/4 FR, so maybe I just need to stick to that game, use what I can win and rakeback to supplement my income a little and be happy. I'll know more in a couple of months.

For now, my goals are thus. By March 1, when my lease is up and my life situation changes, I want to have a $2k bankroll. I want to have earned enough in rakeback and cash to make my first car payment of $180 and possibly a $135 student loan payment that I need to make by then. After that I will re-evaluate my plans based on winnings and how close I've come to those goals. I'd like to get in 12-15k hands between now and then.

My Last Two Posts from the Goals Thread...

From 1/16/07 (late night)

Put in 1550 hands today at 2/4 and 3/6. Most hands I've ever played in one day. I did it in 2 sessions, the first was 2 hours and about 800 hands. The 2nd was 750 hands and again about 2 hours. I got kinda tilty toward the end when I kept taking monstrous suckouts and eventually decided it was time to quit. Ended the day down about $70 at the tables and one $26 tournament buy-in, but I cleared plenty of rakeback and got plenty of hands in which was the most important thing. I was kinda due to run bad and I really did. I won the blinds with AA several times, yet kept running into and paying off other people's Aces, it was pretty frustrating.

While I'm not sure I could handle playing this many hands every day, I really can't wait to get back on the horse and play again. I just know I'm better off not doing so today.

From 1/17/07 (late night)

So, just when I was thinking that I might be able to pull off playing for a living by basically working for rakeback and winning 1-1.5 BB/100, I sat down tonight and had the worst day of my life. For about 100 hands, every good hand I had ran into a monster and every big hand I had got sucked out on. Then I went on tilt and lost more, I managed to grind back about $50 before quitting multi-tabling at about 400 hands and down like [color="#FF0000"]$320[/color]ish.
Then I decided to try to get some of it back by 1-tabling 5/10 6-max with a short buy-in of $150. That was a mistake. All told, I dropped [color="#FF0000"]$477[/color] today. Roughly 25% of the roll that I'd worked very hard to build up over the past 1.5-2 months. It's depressing, but I'm not crying and I'm not drinking. I know that I need to go back to the drawing board with some discipline and just try to rebuild. I'll be back to playing 2/4 exclusively when I come back in a couple of days, but for now I think my best decision will be to take Thursday and maybe Friday off.
I realize after today's session and my second session yesterday that discipline is the most important thing in poker and especially for me. I need to stick to manageable games and manageable session and I need to stay solidly rolled for what I'm playing. I played 2 tables of 2/4 SH and one of 3/6 SH while I was getting ass-raped and that was too high for the roll I had. I need to stick to 300 BB for FR and 500-600 BB for SH. I'm capable of beating these games for at least 1-1.5 BB/100, but I need to deal with the bad times and make sure to avoid tilt and always play my best. That's all I got for now.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2nd to Last Table....Soooo Standard

The Good news...

I had a +$300 day today and I'm officially robusto again after losing a bunch and cashing some out at the beginning of the month, I'm back up over $1600 not including my outstanding sports bets on Bodog (which include a $100 bet on the Chargers that I placed for my friend, and some others).

I played 5 tables of 2/4 FR and 1/2 SH for about 2 hours tonight and finished that up about $230 for 820 hands. That was pretty exciting. I really feel like playing a mix helps a lot. I'm probably a little bit better EV at the FR, but I think I clear more rakeback at 6-max, so mixing them together works well. Lately I've been playing 3 2/4 tables and 2 1/2 tables and I think that's a pretty ideal setup. Plus, I can get 400-500 hands in in a pretty short time, so there's not much excuse for me to not get in a decent number of hands on most days.

I cashed in 2 out of 3 tournaments I played tonight. In the FT Midnight Madness, I squeaked into the money, then picked up JJ right after the bubble and managed to double up the guy on my right who had AA. After that I was micro-stacked and ended up putting the rest of my chips in with A6s in the BB and lost to QQ. At least I won $6. I didn't do so well in the 1 am $12k on FT, donking out in the very first hand I played. I limped JTs UTG, then ended up shoving the turn on a board of KQ5x and losing to 55. Yeah, I'm an idiot.

I did hit a very nice run of cards in the Stars Midnight $22 and was even the chipleader for a while, but eventually things came to a crashing halt in that one too. I was in very good shape at 76k with about 30 or so players left when MP make it 8k (blinds 2k/4k) and I shoved from the BB with QQ, he agonized for a while and eventually called off 30k more with 88, of course he flopped quads, so that was a kick in the nuts. I managed to rebound though and made it to the next to last table in decent shape. Won a couple of pots and was like 5/13 when my bustout hand came...

MP had been opening a lot of pots and made it 12k (blinds 2k/4k) and I elected to call on the button with KdQd. The flop came Qs7d3d and we got it all in, he had AhQh and I bricked out. Blah, in hindsight I guess I could have folded pre-flop, but I think that might be a bit too tight. He HAD been opening a lot of pots, so I don't hate my call with KQs and of course it pretty much plays itself after the flop. Just sucks to get that close to decent money again and be knocked back. UGH.

Oh well, overall I stil had a very good poker day.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks and I guess quite a bit has happened. My last post was on 12/17 and since that date, I've increased my bankroll my about $450 after being as low as $1228. I did it playing mostly 1/2 6-max and 2/4 FR LHE and those will be my regular games for a while going forward.

2006 was a very bumpy year for me poker-wise and I don't think I ended the year a whole lot better than breakeven. I didn't keep tremendous records, so I don't really know for sure, but at best I was probably only up $1-2k in '06. I do feel like I learned some things and got a ton of experience though and I'm ready to come back strong in '07 and dominate. In December I qualified for FullTilt's Bronze Ironman freeroll for the first time and earned about $110 in rakeback (a personal best for me on Tilt). I feel like there is still room for me to improve on that as well.

My current plan for 2007 is to play as much as I can, mostly in LHE cash games (since that seems to be my best game) and mix in some MTTs as well. I will also continue to play low limit Stud8 and the occasional HORSE game since I feel like I do have an edge in those also. By the end of '07 I'd also like to feel good about my ability to beat NL cash games, however I'm not really going to get into those until I've managed to rebuild my roll to a respectable amount and I've read NL Theory and Practice, which I intend to buy in the next few months.

Right now my goal is to get in about 5k hands a month, mixing 6-max and FR and playing 4-5 tables at a time. I think right now it will probably be 2 tables of 6-max and 2-3 tables of FR during most of my sessions. My bankroll is currently at about $1675, so I feel like I'm in good shape for 1/2 6-max and 2/4 FR (maybe even a bit overrolled). I plan to stick to those until I have $2k or so and then I maybe move up to 2/4 6-max and 3/6 FR and continue in that vein. I really don't want to play 6-max with less than 500 BB for the level and I maybe even want to have more, and I'm probably not going to play FR with less than 300 BB.

My hope is that with a little bit of luck, a lot of play and some skill I can finally have a +$10k year in '07. The plan for now is to cashout my rakeback at the end of each month so that I'll have something tangible to show for my play, but to leave my bankroll intact, unless I absolutely need money for a major expense. I hope that I can earn $150-$200 a month in rakeback and that should help me make the payments on the car that I need to buy in the next week or so.

Those are the plans and goals for '07 for now, hopefully I can keep to the plan for once and not get derailed. I think if I start going into a major downswing in 6-max again I may just give it up entirely, but I'm hoping that won't happen as I have been playing less hands and paying more attention to position since I got back into 6-max and I think it may be paying off a little bit. Hope everyone out that has a safe and profitable new year.