Semi-amateur poker

Playing great!

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on July 2, 2010

So my roll is now at $70 from around $10-15 purely from the 7-game.

I’ve been playing some amazing poker; identifying the bad players and targeting them pretty well. There are a few regs but I have tried to avoid them as much as possible. They don’t seem particularly decent but it’s always bad to play with the guy that’s always there.

Here’s the spreadsheet of my play for the 30th and onwards. I didn’t bother to condense the notes section because they’re mainly for my own benefit. Also the names of the column are missing simply because I forgot to add them but they are fairly self-explanatory.

Anyway, so yeah, because I’m playing with such a weak bankroll I’m having to hit and run a lot so please forgive me for that but I will be sitting down for longer when my roll is more stable. Razz is easily turning out to be my most profitable game; people are mistaking it for Stud and that confusion is filling up my pockets, I must admit.

Gotta get back into the game. Good luck all!

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End to the freerolls… hopefully…

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on June 30, 2010

Well, not much has changed since I last posted. I gave up with the whole FR attempt after I missed my round 2 FR MTT on Stars after finishing 7th out of 3,800-something. I woke up about an hour or two late and didn’t see a point in jumping into the fray after blinding off 7 or 8 levels. You can do that in a live MTT when you start with 30k in chips… but not with 1.5k.

Anyway, I deposited a small amount of money and have been one-tabling the 7-game on FTP. So far I’ve been playing great and have almost triple my original mini-roll.

Here is a screen shot of my sessions so far:

Understandably it’s a very small sample size (taking a guess, I’d say I’ve played around 200-300 hands so far) and I haven’t given variance enough time to kick in just yet but I’m feeling great about the way I’ve been playing. Of course I’ve definitely caught some lucky cards but I’ve been helped out by the fact that new players come and try the games, dump off their chips, and leave.

That’s what I think The Big Game in Las Vegas used to be like with Chip Reese and Brunson; they would try and invite players to sit down and take shots. Of course they’d lose. ūüôā

Anyway, I’m just trying to grind out a roll from these games (which, apart from PLO, I’m all very comfortable with) and stay focused. I’ll keep you updated as I go along.

Good luck!

The day is over

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on June 17, 2010

I just finished 7/3,893 in a Stud Hi qualification tournament (the top 64 qualified for a $2,000 freeroll). It was a gruelling 4 hours and 30 minutes but was definitely worth it; not only for the experience but also for the validation that I am a decent stud player. Weirdness: Why did PS make us play for a winner?!

The whole tournament was filled with chasers and gamblers that would bite a chunk out of you purely out of ignorance and for entertainment. On the whole, I think I played really well considering stud isn’t one of my best games and I only have experience with it while playing the 8-game mix.

The day, in itself, was wholly unproductive. The NLHE FRs are the toughest I’ve ever played in; the amount of variance and the tiny spec of fold equity anyone has was enough to make me feel sick. NLHE FRs really are the lowest of the low. Bottom of the¬†barrel. Last chance central. The bane of the poker world.

I found most of my deep runs for the day (you can look through my Twitter feed on the right to see comments and chipstacks at the time) were in the limit games. I think this is due to the fact that everyone is, in comparison to 2003 standards, “good” at NLHE and have focused all their effort on that particular game. Another advantage for me was that it’s almost impossible to bluff someone (amateurs at least) in LHE which forced me not to spew light.

Overall I think I am still running bad but playing some really good poker (this is not a brag but a self-esteem boost!). Some of the hands I laid down in 5 card draw and Stud Hi were immense!

Anyway, I’ve been awake for 24 hours now and have played poker for the past 12. I registered, with my Stud Hi ticket, to the Saturday $2k freeroll. I really hope today’s slog of a grind was all worth it (probably not). The structure for the freeroll looks awful with lots of quick jumps; I need to run mega hot to take it down… Hahahahaha… When do I ever run mega hot? Except for 2 blind levels at that Party Poker FR last year… Sigh.

Promised update

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on June 17, 2010

So I promised an update on my progress but I have had none. But that’s to be expected, I suppose.

I’ve played about… um… a stab in the dark, ten? Ten, we’ll say, freeroll MTTs of a whole bunch of different games. I can play all of them quite well (when my roll was on Poker Stars I used to multi-table the 8-game mixed cash games) but it’s just the huge fields, little rewards, and high variance that is adversely affecting my results.

The deepest run I’ve had today was in the razz FR when I finished around 900-ish out of a 3,000 player field.

I’m still in the 2-7 no limit single draw game; it’s my worst game but I still have a massive edge against this very, very weak field. Just before the break a guy was eliminated because he thought the game was actually 5 card draw. I have 2.3k (was down to 1.5k from a 2k starting stack), average is around 3.2k and we’ve only been running 19 minutes. Crazy!

Anyway, generally I’ve been playing well and making some good laydowns. I have bluffed¬†occasionally¬†and I would estimate that I’ve only had a 40% success rate. I just can’t seem to give these fish (and, I swear to God, these player’s are fish) enough credit when they raise me. I have seen quite a lot of reckless play from certain players but when we come to tango it almost seems as if their past tendencies play no role in their decision making. It’s difficult to adapt from the money games to the [practically] play money games. I’m always in the aggressive 3 and 4 betting light mode and it’s very tough to stop spewing even though those plays would usually work against money players.

Anyway, new FR’s are on the horizon: one Rush PLO freeroll (with an amazing 1st prize of $18!) on FTP and a HORSE FR on PS.

See you in a few hours.

Back again

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on June 17, 2010

It’s been a long time since I last updated this poker blog but I’m happy to be here again.

In the last year-ish, I only went broke online once when I was at Uni and I made the mistake of playing drunk. Since then I have had some amazing live tournament and cash game success that has given me more than ¬£600 profit (from 20 sessions of cash/MTT roughly). Unfortunately, I’ve had to use those profits to live and am almost broke.

I am now returning to the freerolls to rebuild my roll!

I am going to grind these “donkaments” like never before starting this morning. I will play freerolls from now (3 am ish) until 5 pm. I woke up yesterday at 3 pm so it’s going to be a tough slog but hopefully the volume will even out the variance.

Here are some self-imposed rules:

  • Play will be ABC TAG on all freerolls
  • No bluffing unless 80%+ sure of a fold (field is so clingy to small pairs/gutshots etc.)
  • Will not play real money games until roll is $225 or above in order to have 100 buy-ins of $2.25 180 mans
  • Will play all games (Razz, LHE, PLO, Omaha 8 etc.)
  • Will play on all sites offering freeroll games no matter how dire (Party Poker, Stars, FTP etc.)
  • Will take breaks from playing if on tilt
  • Will not play drunk
  • Will not play cash games or Rush cash

These rules should be enough for now; if need be I will extend them in the future if I think of anything else or if my circumstances change.

Tonight I have already played a few freerolls:

  1. PLO on Stars – Ran top pair and flush draw into trips
  2. NLHE on Stars – AA vs. QQ – All-in pre – Standard Q on flop (Btw, last time I grinded real money games I was playing high volume MTT SnGs, I suffered the worst downswing I’ve ever seen; I was running miles below my expectation)
  3. NLHE on FTP – Doubled with a full house but then busted with my top pair outdrawn to a turned straight
  4. LHE on Stars – Still in with 1.2k (1.5k starting)
  5. FTP $150 Rush freeroll – Just starting now

And then some more in a little while.

Anyway, I will update this blog, hopefully, in the next few hours to give you some details on my progress.

Wish me luck!

Past couple of months…

Posted in No Limit Hold 'Em by insigniared on September 3, 2009

Apologies for not writing a new post in a while…

July – with my bankroll I dabbled in a lot of different areas; cash games, SnGs mostly, MTTs etc. This was mainly a warm up month for me…

August – I played almost every day and managed to reach the bronze frequent player level. This was the first time I’ve ever played poker “full time” and I was introduced to a lot of new things; chiefly variance and how much it sucks. I never realised how often suck outs actually happen as I’ve never played at such a high volume before. I’m slowly getting better at tilt control as I realise that suck outs happen and there is little you can do to stop them but get your money in good all the time.

At the beginning of the month I played mostly 9 man $1.25 tournaments but did very poorly with them so I eventually stopped playing them in favour of 6 man turbo’s.

My 9 man stats for August:

Tournaments: 130
Amount won: $132.82
Net won: -$29.68
ROI: -18.26
ITM: 36.15
1st place: 13
2nd place: 16
3rd place: 18

As you can see, I’m pretty bad heads up. I think I’m too overly aggressive. As I played more over August I think my whole game did generally improve as I multi-tabled a session of 9 man SnGs on the 28th and did quite well to recover a little.

About half way through the month I decided I’d put my “over-aggression” to good use and play 6 man turbo’s and I was actually $15+ in profit until I multi-tabled too many and blew it. My stats for 6 man turbo’s are the following:

Tournaments: 291
Amount won: $356.40
Net won: -$7.35
ROI: -2.02
ITM: 40.21
1st place: 65
2nd place: 52
3rd place: 43

I think my main problem aside from the playing too many tables error was that my bubble play was inadequate. Far too often I would raise with junk to steal the blinds and get pot committed. Also, I think my aggressive play actually contributed to the massive variance swings that are common with turbo SnGs.

So, in September, to combat the variance, I began playing normal 6 man non-turbo SnGs with 6 minute blind levels. Although my sample size isn’t so big yet, I’m seeing a difference:

Tournaments: 28
Amount won: $50.08
Net won: $15.08
ROI: 43.09
ITM: 64.29
1st place: 7
2nd place: 11
3rd place: 3

Couple of points: I suck at heads up obviously although I did think I was pretty good. I think my heads up opponents generally have a difficult time folding bottom pair et al but it’s my fault for pushing so hard. Second point, I haven’t bubbled nearly as much; my approach has been to stay tight and maintain my stack at all times and only make the occasional steal with an optimal hand. I think this strategy is working out great to be honest. Although, I am naive in assuming anything just yet; 28 SnGs is not nearly enough to get a good idea of how I’m doing.

One more quick point before I move onto my cash game summary:

I played a few $1 to $3 MTTs with fields ranging from 500 to 9,000 people. I had a really rough beat about a week ago at the hands of a Dutch LAG. I won’t go into details but he did river a flush and I finished three from the money with an above average stack when I was just ahead in the hand (something like 55%)… It hurt a lot. Poker can be so cruel. Oh, another thing that I’ve been introduced to since I increased my volume is runner-runner straights and flushes. They hurt so much that it almost makes me cry. Maybe not cry, but close…

My cash game play has greatly increased in the past month or so. I’ve learned some valuable lessons: never play bad hands just to get heads up with a mega fish. I was playing 0.05/0.10 cent cash one night and I saw this incredible fish play every single hand and wouldn’t fold bottom pair. It was hilarious! The sad thing is I ended up shipping him $10 trying to push him off of hands and raising just to get him heads up. Most likely he is busto now and his money has been fed to the sharks… Sad times for me.

The 0.01/0.02 cash games are full of fish but the massive variance makes it incredibly unappealing. I think I’m up about $6 after about 13k hands which is terrible. I used to buy in for the full $2 (which is technically correct to give you best chances for maneuvering) but I usually hit a downswing and loose it all… and that hurts if I have $2 on each of my 9 tables. Lately I’ve been short stacking it at the minimum buy-in of $0.40 and open-shoving with a pair. It’s an experiment that has so far worked.

I’ve also played some higher stakes game and am pleased to have posted $75 profit from that. Although, I have been naughty and have been barely bankrolled for those stakes. Fish still exist up there which I guess is great for the regs. I’ve always wondered how higher stakes cash game players even make money with NLHE being so “easy” to become adept at.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have any questions, concerns, or criticism’s please feel free to comment!

Update for 19th/20th July

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on July 20, 2009

Okay, so I suffered a major downswing yesterday (19th of July) that I just cannot seem to get over. After winning a 45 man SnG, I then went onto play 5 more on the 19th. Here are my results (and bare in mind the money starts at 6):

8/45 K8o vs. JTo (JTo guy went all-in after my stealing raise)
8/45 TT vs. QQ
40/45 A7 vs. AT (We both made two pair)
26/45 Crippled with QQ vs. 888

Then I played a $2 tournament with around 700 entrants. I built my stack up quite early but then went completely card dead. Out of rougly 110 hands I saw about 10 flops. That’s poor. In my last hand (with a short stack), I had AJ and hit the J on the flop. I checked, an LAG bet out, I shoved, he called, and turned over nothing with KTo… spiked a K on the river.

July 20th I avoided 45 man SnGs and chose to play my previous venture, 9 man SnGs. I played two (individually) and lost two. Finishing 8/9 and 5/9 respectively. My bust out hands were Q7 vs. KQ (hitting Q on flop) and A2o vs. 4c2c (flop came 3c 5c As… Nice eh?).

After that I chose to stay away from SnGs for a while and, instead, focused on cash games to rebuild my bankroll. I played mostly 0.05/0.10 games and made $7 in around an hour and a half. While that may not be a lot for some, it’s a great deal for me as I suck at cash games.

I thought I’d end the night by playing a 9 man SnG (thinking maybe my luck would turn around!). I was out on my second hand: I limped in the SB with A8s and the flop comes 8JJ, I check (and I’m thinking to myself: “No one could have that Jack!”), BB minbets (30 into a pot of 120; either clever or just a dumbass), I reraise, and the BB calls. Turn is an A and I check, BB bets pot, and I shoved. He turns over JT and takes it down.

I was stupid to think that no one had it. Sure vast majority of the time no one will, but it’s still disheartening to be beaten like that. Oh well. We’ll see if things go better tomorrow; perhaps I just need a clear head and some rest.

Good night.

SnGs and multi-table cash games

Posted in Mixed games, No Limit Hold 'Em, PLO, Razz by insigniared on July 19, 2009

A really up and down day. Played 4 table cash games for the most part. Initially, I was up on 3 tables at a time but heavily down on a fourth. Regardless, I still made a profit on quite a few sessions and was up at least $5. Eventually, through lack of concentration, bad play,  and bad luck I ended up being at minus $5 after a couple of coolers.

A little on tilt, I then decided it’d be a good idea to multitable 6 $1.25 SnGs at once. Of course, it didn’t turn out how my adrenaline filled mind thought it would. I ended up finishing 2nd twice and missed the money on 4 tables. To be fair, I did have a bad run of cards and some general misfortune. A couple of times my well-intentioned slow play of KK went awry against a weak ace, and you don’t often expect someone to call a preflop raise with K4s against your AQo.

By the end of the evening I was down to around my starting bankroll. I then tried a 45-man SnG and played extremely well finishing 1st for $17 pushing me well into profit. The competition was pretty soft and I made at least one good (if not obvious) call and I might be interested in continuing to play them.

To wind the day down I played some low limit Razz and mixed games. I was in profit on the Razz but slightly down after I got sucked out in PL Omaha Hi.

Oh well! Generally happy with my 45 man tournament victory. Feeling good after a bad day. See you tomorrow!

$5,000 freeroll 2

Posted in No Limit Hold 'Em by insigniared on July 17, 2009

A couple of days ago I finished 8/12,494 players for $70. The first prize was $475.

After 7 grueling hours of hanging on I managed a huge deep run. While I obviously didn’t run perfect I still managed to suck out quite a few times and made some brilliant plays.

Since then, with my new bankroll, I’ve been playing $1.25 SnGs and have been making a decent profit. Sorry for the shortness of this post but I’m eager to get back to playing!

$5,000 freeroll 1

Posted in Uncategorized by insigniared on July 14, 2009

This tournament is one of a series (one every 5 hours) currently being played. Players enter for 5 frequent player points and share a prizepool of $5,000. There were 20,554 entrants into the tournament I played and I finished 1,255th (well into the money).

I think I played great to go that deep into the tournament. Made many great bluffs and some great laydowns too. Of course, with these large tournaments there is a greater time span to make errors, and, of course, I made quite a few. At least 3 or 4 times I made a bad play that set me back but fortunately I managed to grind back every time to a workable chip stack.

The great thing about having a giant field of players is that the donkeys are balanced out by the good players. More often than not, on my original table, they would often play tight. This was great news for stealing blinds and really made me more comfortable. Also advantageous were the first 5 blind levels which started incredibly low. This allowed for plenty of play and plenty of opportunities to increase my stack at the beginning.

The bad thing about a tournament that size is the length of time it takes to finish it. You can become exhausted very quickly after a couple of hours. Another disadvantage is the need to get lucky at least once. Rarely will you find yourself never having to go all-in. Fortunately I was as lucky as I was unlucky.

All-in-all it was a fantastic tournament and I’m really looking forward to playing in some more tonight and tomorrow but unfortunately the series ends on the 19th of July. Looking forward to them though.

My bust out hand was J7o vs. KJo and a Jack hit the flop. Ouch. See you in a couple of hours!