Archive for the ‘general’ Category

ride it ’til the wheels fall off

Man, I’m tired. This will be a short (hopefully), simple post. First of all, my run continues.

Since my last post, here are my stats…

1136 total hands, 14 hours (7 hours on two tables), $221.75 won, 61.77 BB/100. My total bankroll is at $573.

This thing is crazy. I’m feeling good but reminding myself not to get cocky. I’ve read enough books, blog and forum posts to know that variance, or an up and down cycle, is to be expected. And I also know that a 61 BB/100 winrate is not usually sustainable (more like 7 to 10). But right now I’m just gonna ride this upswing for as long as possible.

Actually I moved up a level yesterday and I was a little apprehensive. This was really the first time I did it in the manner that many online poker experts and pros suggest. With the proper bankroll.

General consensus is that a winning player should keep at least 20 buyins for each limit he’s playing. Excluding poor beginner play, bad bankroll management is the biggest reason that new players go bust. Do yourself a favor and only play in games you can afford. — MicroNL Temporary FAQ, The 2+2 Forums

So, when I had over $400 I moved up. I remember reading something somewhere that said you should just keep doing the things that worked for you on the previous level when you make your move. So, that’s exactly what I did. I am a very aggressive player, but fairly tight as well. Actually, I just recently (over the last couple of weeks) tightened up my starting hands, and it has made a big difference in my profit margins. I never open limp. And with anything decent in late position (66+, KQs+, AJ+), I will put in a second raise, depending on the table. I’ve been doing these things as I grow more confident in my postflop play. I’m getting much better at dumping hands that are probable losers.

So I’ve been pretty much just eating up chips like Pringles. One thing I can say, though, winning poker does definitely have an inescapable element of boredom to it. Especially at these microlimits. In the past, as I surfed various poker sites, I have come across comments from successful poker players regarding how they eventually just got sick of poker. This always puzzled me.

These comments were coming from people who had supposedly made thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars from playing poker. How do you get sick of making money for playing a game? While I am far from getting sick of poker, I can understand the disciplined grind it requires to win at cash games. It’s really pretty simple to win at microlimits. It’s mainly just a matter of discipline. And that’s where the grind comes in.

When I was losing consistently, now that was exciting. I would go on extreme tilt and push my entire stack in with 72. And sometimes I would win! That is real entertainment. I was truly gambling, and it’s no rush like that. Putting all your money on the line with only a hope and a prayer. On the other hand, there’s really nothing exciting about sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time, weighing each hand, thinking about expected value, position, another player’s VP$IP percentage, etc. “I bet the flop here, if he reraises I autofold… 1,2,3…1,2,3…”

I’m oversimplifying (a little), but at micro-limits, it’s not too much more complicated than that. And I think that is what some losing players don’t get. Without fail, everytime I sit down to a table online, I hear one player giving another player holy hell about one specific play. And usually the playing giving the lecture is the “good” player berating the “fish.” But a truly good player understands that over time, grinding it day in and day out, thoughtful, disciplined play will be profitable. I don’t need to do anything fancy. And if I’m losing over time, say months and years, maybe, just maybe I need to take a look at my own game.

But speaking of profits, in my last post I mentioned something about waiting until my bankroll reached $2100 to make another withdrawal. Now I’m admitting that that idea is pretty much totally unrealistic. I’ve decided that I’m gonna stay at my current level for a while (maybe 20,000 hands), take my time and enjoy some fruits of my labor. The first thing I hope to do is buy myself another mobile phone. I want to be able to leave in $450-$550 when I pull out the two bills I need for the phone. So I need to work up to at least $650. This bankroll management will be one of my greatest challenges.

I’ll keep you posted.

let me hold those chips for you

My writing muscles are rusty but here goes… For the past week I’ve been doing okay. A couple of big ups and downs, but overall I’m still profitable. The day after Thanksgiving I made about $125 in six hours (about 20 BB/100) playing $50 NL. Then the next day I lost most of my profit. Today I salvaged a mediocre day.

· 250 hands of micro stakes ($0.05/$0.10 and $0.10/$0.20) Limit; won 7.98 BB/100 for a whopping profit of $1.18.

· 230 hands of 6-max No Limit and Pot Limit ($5 up to $50); won .31 BB/100 and $68.13.

· What? How’s that? Well, I lost two buy-ins at $10 NL, got mad and moved up to $50 NL (I don’t recommend doing that… most experts suggest dropping down a level, not moving up two after suffering a major loss). There I found another player even more on tilt than I was and literally took him for $85 (161.17 BB/100).

Here are the two most profitable hands…

I had played about 20 minutes with opelastra and had noticed that he was extremely aggressive, so I made a mental note to wait patiently for a good spot to get his stack. In this hand I’m on the button, so my range of raising hands is a lot looser. I decide to reraise him here and hope for a good flop. Bingo! I flop trip sevens and I’m thinking that it’s no way he puts me on a seven. He raises and I pop him back. I’m not even surprised when he calls. On the turn he decides to push and I am absolutely loving this guy.

** Game ID 1057534209 starting – 2006-11-27 17:19:13
** Donetsk [ Hold ’em ] (0.25|0.50 No Limit – Cash Game) Real Money

– 21dec sitting in seat 2 with $49 .50
– opelastra sitting in seat 3 with $75 .54
– TwinFives sitting in seat 4 with $66 .20
– speedchaser sitting in seat 5 with $51 .00 [ Dealer ]
– RJ0204 sitting in seat 6 with $23 .00

RJ0204 posted the small blind – $0.25
21dec posted the big blind – $0.50

** Dealing card to speedchaser:
opelastra raised – $1.00
TwinFives folded
speedchaser raised – $4.00
RJ0204 folded
21dec folded
opelastra called – $4.00

** Dealing the flop:
opelastra bet – $5.50
speedchaser raised – $15.00
opelastra called – $15.00

** Dealing the turn:
opelastra bet – $53.50
speedchaser went all-in – $32.00

** Dealing the river:
speedchaser shows:
opelastra mucks:
speedchaser wins $100.75 from the main pot

By the time I play this next hand, I just don’t give the guy any respect now, he is basically a maniac. Again, I have position on him. So, on the flop I figure I have a good chance of out drawing him with my two overcards. I’m playing No Limit Hold ‘em, he’s just playing No Fold ‘em. (Ha ha ha! Boy, I slay me!)

** Game ID 1057552540 starting – 2006-11-27 17:27:57
** Donetsk [ Hold ’em ] (0.25|0.50 No Limit – Cash Game) Real Money

– 21dec sitting in seat 2 with $39 .16
– opelastra sitting in seat 3 with $41 .17
– TwinFives sitting in seat 4 with $65 .20
– speedchaser sitting in seat 5 with $98 .90 [ Dealer ]
– RJ0204 sitting in seat 6 with $53 .60

RJ0204 posted the small blind – $0.25
21dec posted the big blind – $0.50

** Dealing card to speedchaser:
opelastra called – $0.50
TwinFives folded
speedchaser raised – $2.50
RJ0204 folded
21dec folded
opelastra called – $2.50

** Dealing the flop:
opelastra bet – $0.50
speedchaser raised – $3.50
opelastra called – $3.50

** Dealing the turn:
opelastra bet – $4.50
speedchaser raised – $16.00
opelastra called – $16.00

** Dealing the river:
opelastra checked
speedchaser checked
opelastra shows:
speedchaser shows:
speedchaser wins $42.75 from the main pot

I must say here that I didn’t get too full of myself. I believe more than ever that poker is a game in which the best player is the one who makes the fewest mistakes. On any given day, under the right circumstances, our positions could have been switched. Watching him play I just kept saying to myself, “Man, that’s me.” He was playing too many hands, raising preflop, making big bets attempting to bluff. I say attempting to bluff because according to Ed Miller, “For a bet to be a bluff, there must be some chance that a player with a better hand than yours will fold.” This guy was just building the pot.

By the way, I am still reading Mr. Miller’s book, Getting Started in Hold ‘Em. And so far it is helping me identify and correct some of my biggest leaks. Some of these are playing too many hands, staying in a hand too long, going on tilt, and playing more loosely with a short stack (as in, hell I only got half a buy in left, I’ll just call his raise here and hope to get lucky).

One important idea that I have learned so far is that I need to think more in terms of the number of bets won or loss rather than the amount of money. This helps me get a better idea of my actual performance, especially across different game stakes.

A few parting shots… I just moved most of my money over to BetOnBet, a Prima site that offers rakeback (I went through RakeBrain). So far, so good. The customer service seems decent. I needed help with my deposit and got it immediately using the online chat feature. I still have a bonus to clear at PokerShare, another Prima site but I am wary about them now. The customer service sucks donkey private parts and it took me five days to receive my cashout to NETeller.

Well, good luck all, and I hope you flop the nuts (except, of course, against me).