Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Poker :: 15months after

Lately I've read quite a few rambling posts about how someone is gonna grind out living or even get rich from online poker. And then after ethusiastic start nothing happens one, two, three months... and you stop hearing anything from them anymore :) So here is what I think and my short poker story summary which might serve someone as an example and/or discourage from taking poker overly serious.
Tillerman got good bottomline once in his blog, when he still used to update it - absolutely anyone having average talent and better than average discipline can make it to six figures profit per year playing poker.
It is true. Its just that average discipline is so bad and initial expectations are so high that it constantly lead to extended tilt periods, overheating, disharmony and various digesting problems ;) You dont need make things happen in poker - let things happen. I didn't follow this rule all the time and maybe thats the reason why I'm playing at my current limits, and not two-three step higher, but anyway. Here is what happened during my first year of poker (i'm writing this from my memory without doublechecking with my previous posts, but exact details are not important anyway:)


February-April: Created account, played mostly during lunch break playmoney tables, reading poker books (harrington, sklansky, few others).
May: Depostited first $50. Playing NL2 cash, $1.4 two table SnG.
June: Switched to $3R tourneys, $4.4 180man SnG, and as bankroll grew switched from NL10 to NL25 and to NL50 cash, which I usually played over my head. Bankroll built to ~$800, subscribed to - amazing stuff which improved my game enormously. Clocking ~15h/week.
July: lost it all at NL100 cash, holidays, didnt play much poker at all.
August: same micro tourneys, NL25/50. Building slowly back up, but no real profit.
September: Deposited $600 to, started playing exclusively cash, NL25, with "20x bankroll for the new limit" rule.
October: moved up to NL50, NL100, first 4digit profit month, but did put in quite a lot of hours (~15-20h / week)
November: almost got bankrolled to NL200, but got into downswing, and without hesitation cashed out everything from PartyPoker, since there was huge decline in player number cause of US legislation anyway. Deposited $600 to PokerStars for their 10billionth hand celebration bonuses.
Dont remember when, but for two months: playing exclusively 1 table SnG. $5, then $10. Averaging ROI of 140%, built 4digit profit only from these. Extremely improved my tournament final table and 4man bubble play.


January-April: much less hours (4-8h/week), taking a break from everything - finishing Master studies.
April-May: back to cash games, NL50/100 for reasonable profit. Still watching majority of the PXF videos :) 10-15h/week. GoldVIP.
June: cash NL100 games, solid 4digit profit. Occasional NL200. 12-15h/week.
July: big score in accidentally played $8R tournament for 3.3k which allowed me to move to NL200 with extremely safe bankroll. I was about to move up anyway though :) Good results in NL200. 12-15h/week. Very good profit. PlatinumVIP. Started playing cheap small live tournaments for practice.
August: Target bankroll reached. Playing NL400/NL600. 4-8h/week. Not really enough for PlatinumVIP - would need ~10-12h. For the first time showed a profit of my whole monthly sallary in one cash session :) Still have a quite long list of leaks in my cash game which I seek to fix :)

Moral of the story is that during all this time I didnt stop educational side of poker game - reading new books, articles, and all this pokerxfactor thing - it really helps to constantly reevaluate one's game and gives some fresh ideas. And thats important. Other thing is that routine poker usually is not profitable poker. I noticed myself, that putting much less hours nowadays really doesnt hurt my profit bottomline that much - profit comes from good play, creativity, and not from many hours. And it is hard to keep up A game all the time playing very many hours. Also, I think it is important to try out all the different kinds of poker - cash, SnG, HU, MTT, and different games (Holdem, Omaha, Stud etc). I kinda slack on this, but lately I started adding one NL25 PLO table to my usual cash tables and I was several buyins up after playing my very first 100 hands of this game :) I did read one article on PLO beforehands though, but that was it :) And I feel quite comfortable in any low-mid stakes SnG, MTT, and HU with all that practice.

So I think this is what could an average talent and average discipline dude expect during his first year of poker as a hobby activity. And I do believe quiting job right now and turning 100% pro I would make it to Tillerman's estimate. But who needs that - more money doesnt make ppl more happy - guy with 9mill is just as happy as guy with 10 ;) So dont worry, be happy :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Poker :: Small rush

So following the worldwide trend of the stock indexes accent, my bankroll improved a lil more also lately. After 2-3 weeks of little ups and downs finally had some good cash sessions. What is good I hit the target bankroll watermark which I will plan keep till October or so before moving up to a new level. So anything extra will simply be cashouts or buyins to local live tourneys. Especially I have in mind that local 600eur buyin main event of local Olympic poker series in the middle of October. I know I suck in tournaments, but still, it would be a nice opportunity to play with all the local 'pros' :)
Problem with these middle stakes online cash games on PokerStars is that the good fullring tables are not always there - all the worst players are online more or less from 11pm till 7am (in my local time zone) which is when normal people usually sleep or make other things, much less stressful than poker. And during local evenings (6pm - 9pm) there are only 2-5 tables running and usually there are some good but very tight players in it, where you just play the blind steal and resteal game. Anyway, I stopped playing NL200 alltogether and now moved up to NL400/600. From my play statistics I see that I average much better BB/hands rate at these new levels (played ~20k hands already which is not smth to rely on but gives good ballpark estimate) so there is no sense to look back. It is also very nice to play at the same table with some of the guys I used to learn from watching the PokerXFactor videos - BodogAri, Schnitzeltoe and such. And yesterday even crossed Tamsusis, who promissed to stay away from cash games and sit&goes for good in his blog ;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Poker :: Even more live

After pondering the meaning of this blog finally decided to make it more poker oriented with only occasional includes about sports and fun (mostly just photos, to make things a lil more colorfull:)
So, after cashing in my third live $8R in the 7th place last Saturday, below goes the overview of what was good and what went wrong in the last Tuesday's $8R (my 4th live appearance) :

Rebuy period.

Tourney started with 5 tables, 45 players.

My starting table included several firstcomers, 2 loose older dudes, MariusLT, and one tight abc girl. Me and MariusLT kinda were most relaxed and dominated the table at least in the banter compartment. Feeling like a table captain which is always good :)

Rebought to 2000 before the play. Chipped up pretty quickly to 4000 by reraising and cont beting flops. Then for no reason started doing horrible big preflop calls with bad hands - K5s, QTs etc. Some of them did connect pretty well, but initial callers managed to suck out and I had to rebuy. Quickly after won few pots and then the big hand just after the rebuy period - KK vs 99 on A45-9-K board when I busted one player and became chipleader at the table.

Bad boys table

Soon we were down to 4 tables and I got moved to other table, right on the right of one extremely bad loose aggro player who happened to have tons of chips. I tried to double up through him by limpcalling his raises, but didnt hit flops and bleeded off 1/3rd of my stack. At least it was done with strategic plan in mind. Too bad the loose aggro player gave his chips away to other players, so all my strategy was in vain. Luckily, soon I got moved again to other table with several very good players and few very tight abc who folded a lot to my raises. And then I made two big mistakes - raised and called reraise from EP with AQs (checkfolded all rag flop), then reshoved one very good player's UTG raise with AQo... He called with JJ and on the flop AQJ I was dead. I thought I was out but then found out I had good player covered and left with ~1800 chips at 300/600 level. Next hand I picked up AA and doubled up, and when my BB came I found KQs and reshoved MP raise, and sucked out vs AK. So I had again ~5000 chips which was tiny stack but at least I survived.

Final table

Another key hand came with 10 players left (final table bubble) and I was in BB with 58o. We had UTG limper, LP shortstack limper, and the beatiful flop of 467 two clubs. UTG checked, shortstack pushed, and I made a mistake of pushing - if I called, utg would have called too and I would've pretty much trippled up. At a showdown UTG folded AKo (he told so, also told about the call if I hadn't pushed), LP had AK clubs. I managed to dodge third club and so we got to final table. Early at the final table I picked up 99 in BB, called MP raise, and doubled up on the A69 flop with former chipleader who called reraise allin with.... A8o. So horrible. At this point I had ~30k chips with 180k chips in play. The rest of the final table was pretty uneventful, shorties busted out one after another against one donkey with a sick luck, who just won everything - from 77 vs KK allin pre to KJ vs AK allin on 3KA flop :) At the blinds 2000/4000 we were left 4 players, myself sitting on ~40k stack and donkey player raised 20k from the button. I had ATo in the BB, so reshoved him allin, lost a race vs 66, and went out 4th. Maybe I could've waited a little longer - at this point you rather want to be a raiser than a caller, but overall all tourney was more or less ok.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Random :: Screw this

This blog is so fucked up, don't you think? :)