Wednesday, January 17, 2007

When the year is through

Well I guess the silence says it all. In case you havent guessed, I didnt reach the 100k mark. My winnings for '06 hit the 75k mark so I'm not going to be complaining whatsoever. The past year has thought me a lot about what it is to be a professional poker player. And its certainly not as glamorous as it may seem. The amount of ups and downs you have to deal with are very very testing and it is this that makes or breaks players. Numerous times throughout the year I felt like giving it all up and saying to hell with the bad beats, tilt and dry patches. But in time you realise that this is just part of the job. Its not about winning, its not about losing. Its just about maintaining yourself whatever the cards might bring. If you can do this, and do it well, you will win. If I look over my hands from the whole year, I dont care about the odd incredibly lucky winning session or a session where I may have dropped 4 buy ins in an hour. The only thing that matters now is the line that cuts through it all. The line that any serious player has to swear by. So after all the bullshit, short term variance, joy and tears, its the hourly rate that really counts. And knowing this and playing in accordance to this is what I have to do in the future. Its the only thing that can be relied on, and the only thing that makes sense. I have wasted a lot of time, health, energy and money by allowing small ripples of bad luck effect me....and to what end? It's a very hard thing to do to detach oneself from the outcome of cards but it has to be done. I know I will never be 100% free from it but I do know that I have a much better approach than I did going into '06. Poker has a tendency to take over your life, in positive ways as well as bad. This was a part of the game I really didnt like...the fact that I'd be stressed out or pissed off after a big loss. I think this is the same for a lot of players too. I have more respect for the game now than I had a year ago. Because I know that it is only my thoughts and my actions that create this negativity. Poker is a constant, people are literally playing 100% of the time. When I play I am only dipping my toe into a vast ocean of events, completely random and without mine or anyone elses influence. So why should I worry about the outcome of one card, when millions are taking place at the same time? What's so important about my hand, that it deserves so much concern, stress and worry? Here's to '07. .

'Everything is as it is. Why resist it? Why hate it?' - Japanese proverb

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

$33,991.05 to go

I'm attempting to move up to the $3/$6 tables. I have decided to try take stabs at the higher stakes and play the smaller tables ($1/$2) when I feel under pressure, unfocused or if I just want an easy session. The $200's are so beatable it provides me with a good safety net while at the same time I can focus on getting used to the habits of the $600's without having to worry about my bread and butter.

I only have just over 2,500 hands on 3/6 recorded in Pokertracker. And for those hands I am down $1,280.66 which is fine.

My stats have been VPIP 26.91, PFR 15.2...I have been getting into a lot of pots because I'm trying to get used to the parameters of the table habits. It seems so far that 3/6 is all about position. Continuation bets aren't respected and people will test you all the time. So getting into tricky situations when out of position is very dangerous.

As well there is an increased value in bluffing and representing strength. Players are good enough to make tough folds so you can take advantage of dodgey looking boards especially when you have position. I hope to rack up another few hands on 3/6 and hopefully I'll push into the +'s.

EDIT: Had an $1100 win on the 600s so nearly out of the -'s.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pokertracker graphing feature

This is a handy new feature of Pokertracker...the ability to graph all the data so you can visually analyse how you are doing. I've actually found it to be helpful when going through a rough patch. When you are suffering a long series of bad beats and your in the red for a session, its easy to think that there is no way your luck could be THIS bad, blah blah blah. But having a graph to look back on you can see all the dips and climbs your BR has gone through, reminding you to cop on when it comes to variance. Here's a graph of my October progress;

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And here's a graph about position for October so far...showing how I am doing when I'm on the button/cut off/blinds etc.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

$38,093.42 to go

Well it's been a while since my last post! Approaching mid October, and I still have a looong way to go to reach the 100k mark.

I was supposed to be hitting an average of $8333.33333333(and so on) per month. Meaning I would be on target if I had $25,000 to go. Which I dont. So, unless someone is willing to play heads up for 13k, and willing to go all in every hand and wait til I get AA, the glorious 100k mark may be a no-show this side of '07 :(

Going by my performance so far, a fair estimate would be he 80k mark. Bah...why didnt I call this Blog seventyninegrandtogo!

As many of you would know, there is an impending bill to be signed by one G.Bush. When this is passed, online poker and the profitability of online poker could take a serious dive. With thousands of Americans willing to blow their hard earned cash suddenly turned away at the door, us greedy bastards will be trying to steal blinds off eachother and grinding like we have never ground(?) before. Then again this could be all pessimistic babble, maybe the tables will not be too much worse. Maybe. Emm...maybe.

Poker has been a tough 'ol slog lately. I have learned a good bit this past while. My game has improved. But my enthusiasm to play has not. When I have the choice between doing something calm, relaxing and non stressful...or, playing poker, I tend to go for the former.

I watched a DVD of Des Bishop doing his work experience documentary. While it wasnt as funny as I had hoped, it brought back all the memories of all the minimum wage jobs I have done...and how easy poker can be in comparison. No boss breathing down your neck, no clocking in and out, no permission needed to take a piss. I just sit on my arse and play cards, and get paid for doing it. Maybe I should do a couple of weeks in my old Superquinn to scare me back into avid poker playing.

Now that I have broken the ice, I promise to update you sooner next time blog.

Friday, August 25, 2006

$44,841.18 to go

Well, I've broken the landmark 50k barrier. It may be a bit overdue, but nonetheless I'm in the latter half of the 100k so I can see what happens for the rest of the year.

The $200 tables are very straightforward compared to the $400's. I'm planning on stayin on the 200s for just a bit longer until I have built up a solid bankroll to go at the 400s. It will be good to be on the climb again, but in a lot of ways Im not looking forward to it. People on the 200s are giving you gifts nearly every session, and that kinda stuff rarely happens on the 400s and beyond.

Playing the 200s has been so much less stressful than what I was going through at the 400s, which is another reason going back will be hard. So many times the 400s left me totally frustrated and stressed out whereas the 200s are quite easy to remain focused and just play solid poker because the plays are less intricate, the decisions less critical. This means that I am more confident to sit down and play, and dont have to worry about whether I am in the right frame of mind.

But getting too comfortable is a bad thing. If I am to get really serious about this game I need to keep pushing myself through the stakes. If I am to complete 99 grand to go, I need to keep pushing myself through the stakes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

$51,180.03 to go

I'm edging close to the 50k mark. At this stage I am quite off my target (I should have won around 60k at this stage). But I have had a fair few hiccups that have thrown me. I'm still happy with my progress.

There is talk about moving into a new place with a few guys who play a lot of online poker. We're still looking for a place but if this happens it can only help my game. One of the things that I have found really helpful is just having discussion about poker and arguing over different hands etc. There should be a lot of this in the new place!

It'll be interesting to see if it how it effects my 100k goal.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

$54, 402.34 to go

The past two days have seen thousands of hands and very few "hands". I played over 2000 hands both days but the action was very slow. Due to this I got frustrated and slightly tilty, trying to build pots with mediocre hands and then committing myself to them when I shouldnt have been.

It's annoying playing so many hands and ending up down - even though its only $100 or so. These couple of sessions have shown me that things can run bad for extended periods of time even on the 200's:P

I'm hoping this little patch will end shortly but its definately reminding me of the necessity of trying to play your A game no matter what happens.

Make BIGGER bets!

Just looking over some of my hand histories and I have fallen into a bit of a trap over the past couple of days. Because I have been getting relatively few good hands, I have been under playing them so as not to scare off my opponents. This is bad poker. Rather than building the pot, giving draws bad odds and getting good value, I have been making smaller bets to ensure a call. Then the turn would also be a small bet and then of course also the river.

If someone is calling, they have a hand. People dont just throw their chips into the pot without any kind of hand. So, if they DO have a worse hand, they will call a bet that is bigger than what I have been making.

For example, I raise preflop with AA. The flop is Kxx, he checks, I bet 1/2 the pot. He calls.

Why only bet half the pot?! I am setting myself up for a fall here.

If he has a strong K, he will call a close to pot size bet. If he doesnt have a hand, not only will he not call a close to pot size bet, he wont call a 1/2 pot size bet either. While at the same time if he has a drawing hand I am letting him in for cheap, so when he hits I will only have myself to blame.

So from now on I am going to try make sure my bets are stronger.