Sunday, October 26, 2014

Zoom Hour Winnings Giveaway!

Hey everyone, so I had my Zoom hour yesterday as part of Team Pro Online week and it was a lot of fun. I was told to play my A game and ended up crushing pretty hard, to the tune of 251 bb/100 lol! It wasn't due to any sick play, however, as players were highly incentivize to pile a lot of money into the pot and cash in on the 7x multiplier that they would get for showing  a profit off of me. Despite what the graph may describe, a lot of people did end up winning some nice pots against me-including the top winner banking almost $70 in bonuses plus the pot.

Anyways, what I've decided to do is give back all of my winnings won during Zoom hour to all of my followers! I've set up a Home Game Poker Club and created a play money tournament for everyone to join. The ID and PW is:

ID: 1955150
PW: freedollars

It will be today at 18:00 EST. If you open the tournament lobby, you'll see the payouts written down in the notes. Since there's not a ton of cash to spread around, I'll just be paying the Final Table. I'll be accepting members up until 16:50 and don't panic if you aren't accepted right away, I'll be checking throughout the day.

I'm also coaching the Sunday Special today for PokerSchoolOnline at 16:00 EST today. I'll be doing a hand review of some of the biggest pots that I've played in can register for free here:

Alright, Looking forward to a fun day on and off of the tables!

gl at the tables!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Team Pro Online Week Twitter Contest-Road to the PCA!

Hey everyone! So I'm sure that by now you've heard about the twitter contests being held by all Team Pro Online members (we're also going by Team Pro Online now, instead of Team Online or Team Online Pro or whatever else you've been calling us ;) ) so I wanted to give you all the details about my contest, which will run from October 20th-24th.

First of all, for those of you that are still unaware, the prize for each twitter contest is one entry into a special 22-man tournament where the top 2 finishers will have a chance to take part in the Team Pro Online heads-up challenges on October 27,  and play for a a free PCA package. Even if you don't finish in the top 2 though, you're still guaranteed $50! Not bad if you're just starting out building a bankroll at the micros.

Now, to the details of my twitter contest. I'm keeping things very simple, as you only need to retweet the following tweet to be automatically entered into a draw that I will hold on October 25th! The winner will be chosen at random and announced via my twitter account, which can be found as @frosty012:
I figure that this will be a nice way to cause a buzz for the Team Pro Online week promotion and allow everyone an equal opportunity to win entry into the special satellite! Have fun during the week-take advantage of all of the cool promos being offered and be sure to check out the other contests being held by Team Pro Online members for more chances to win.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to Turn "Pro" Successfully

So you've decided that you want to give playing poker professionally a shot. Ok, now what? Before you stick it to the man and quit your day job there's a lot to consider...even though there's only so much you can control at the tables, you still need a solid plan in place to succeed. I want to offer my advice on how to make the transition from whatever you're currently doing to playing poker full-time. I'll draw upon my own experiences of how it all started and share how I've been able to make a living playing cards going on five years now...

1. Build up an adequate bankroll and do it by playing part-time. I know you are probably feeling hasty and eager to start playing poker full-time but building up a bankroll on the side of your regular job or studies can do a few great things to improve your success rate when turning pro. First and most importantly, you'll have some kind of idea about what to expect when you turn pro. You still won't know exactly how your results will turn out but you will have a fairly good idea of how you'll perform at the tables. You'll also gain the confidence to succeed knowing that you've been able to beat the limits that you want to play at a higher volume up to this point in time. Finally, it's fairly obvious but by starting out your career with an adequate bankroll (think 100 buy-ins for cash games), you're giving yourself a much better chance of surviving any negative variance that may come your way. Instead of just throwing a few thousand dollars online and not really knowing what you're getting yourself into, take the time to grow a bankroll after work or school and sharpen your skills along the way. Remember that there's no quick, easy way to be successful at poker in the long-term and it's going to take a lot of work so be patient.

I started playing cash games at the micro-stakes in the later years of my time at university and it really doesn't take that long to move up limits and be bankrolled for the games that you eventually want to play. I think that it only took a few months before I had moved up to 100nl, had my bankroll locked and loaded and was confident that I could beat the games with some consistency.

tyler_frost_portrait_psblog.jpg2. Plan for the worst case scenario. This has got to be my most important piece of advice because although you want to be full of enthusiasm and optimism, especially at the start of your career, you also need to be realistic and understand that no matter how skilled of player you are you're not bigger than the variance that comes along with the game in the short term. Even if you're adequately bankrolled for the limits that you want to play, you've never done this full-time before and you don't know how your results will be affected by numerous factors-including increased hours, tables, tilt, real life emergencies etc. You just want to have a backup plan in place and be honest enough with yourself that you consider the fact that failing is a possible outcome. I don't mean to scare anyone away or sound like I'm deterring them from turning pro...if anything planning for the worst case scenario had a tremendously positive affect on the start of my career. Once I had my backup plan in place, I was able to play with nothing holding me back! I didn't let the daily swings get to me as much and was really able to just go for it and if it didn't work out, well then it didn't work out and I'd be just fine.

To give you a clear example of what I'm talking about, for me, I had steadily built up a $10,000 bankroll while playing casually over my years at university and during the summer before my last semester at school I wanted to do a trial run of going pro. That bankroll was basically all of my money at the time, as my bank accounts usually got pretty dry by the end of the school year and I'd typically refill them over the summer by working a random summer job. Needing about $5,000 to cover my school expenses for my last semester, I decided that I'd give playing poker full time a shot but if my bankroll ever dropped to $5k I'd stop right there and quit, withdraw the money to use for school and re-evaluate poker at a later time.

3. Treat poker like a day job and set goals. Even though poker can offer you tremendous freedom and flexibility, you're not going to achieve financial success by playing a couple of hours a day (well, depending on your stakes I guess ;)). You probably need to plan on playing 4-8 hours a day at least to ensure that you're putting up consistent results. I would recommend setting VPP targets every month to keep you on track and take the emphasis off of results and back on things that you can control-the hours that you put in. Starting out with a year-long VPP target is a very good idea and that will let you know how many VPPs you're going to need to average monthly/daily/hourly etc. to hit the year-end number. Especially when you're just starting your career, having a bunch of smaller goals to supplement your year-long plan will be helpful to keep you on track and give you an idea of how much you should be playing.

When I started playing poker full-time, I was all-in and fully invested. I was playing tons of hours and hungry to succeed. Having an empty bank account will do that for you. My social life still existed but was largely scaled back...I was playing poker, thinking about poker and dreaming about poker at night. I was probably playing too much, as there's always a point where your play becomes much worse with increased volume but when you're that focused on succeeding it will bother you to not be playing. If I could go back and do it over again, I would just try to have more of an organized playing schedule in place but my hours would still be heavy.

Anyway, if you have the passion for the game and want to give turning "pro" a shot then hopefully you'll find my advice helpful and maybe I'll see you at the tables in the near future.
If you have any more questions, I'm always available on twitter (@frosty012), Facebook Tyler "frosty012" Frost), or right here on my blog.

gl at the tables!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

September Review-Slow Progress

September wasn't exactly the most exciting month at the poker tables. I didn't experience any big swings but unfortunately, I couldn't get much going in terms of catching a heater to get the ball rolling upwards. It felt a lot like last month, where I felt that I was running fairly poorly overall but still playing alright and making money due to winning enough "gifted" pots. I did manage to book a small profit from the WCOOP at least, after cashing in a $320 event early on in the series. All in all, I booked a small winning month but have a long way to go if I want to reach my $100K profit goal!

There are a couple of positive things working in my favour to reach my $100K goal, despite booking a relatively small profit of around $3k in September. First, I was reviewing my monthly totals for the year and actually miscalculated my annual earnings thus far by $5k lol. Fortunately, it was a "good" mistake as I've actually earned $5k more than originally thought. Second, October has the potential to be a booming month with the chance of 5-figures worth of bonuses depending on my volume! Hopefully things pan out a bit better at the tables and I might have a slim shot after all. I have to adjust my volume target though...I think that 500K VPPs was unrealistic from the start and now it's going to take a lot of effort to make 400K but that will be the goal. To be clear, I'm not changing my profit target and the volume goal was never important in terms of having to reach's just there to supplement THE goal of earning $100K.

So my ice hockey season is off to a completely opposite start to last year, where we pretty much lost every game by 5+ goals. Now we're in a lower division and are lighting it up! 6-0, 39 GOALS FOR and 6 AGAINST lol. It's been a fun ride but we're getting bumped up a div after the next game. You would think that moving up a division wouldn't be that bad since on paper it looks like we're an unstoppable force and it might not be...but I think that we look a lot better on paper then we actually are. Like the games have been weird-they'd be close for 1 or 2 periods, even tied and then the flood gates would just open up and we'd score 5 goals in the third. Also, one game was a forfeit and 2 wins came against the same team so yeah, we're definitely the best team in the division but I'm not so sure it's as clear cut as it seems. Regardless, we should at least be in a bunch of close games in the new division and hopefully win our fair share. I've personally been playing pretty was a rusty first couple of games but I've made an adjustment in my wrist shot and have since scored 8 goals in the last 3 games and I'm in the top 2 point leaders on the team. The change in my shot was just starting to get my top hand more involved in the shot by pulling backwards and really flexing the stick. The power increase has been pretty dramatic and it feels like I'm firing darts out there!

October's going to be a pretty jammed packed month. On top of all the poker that I intent to play I've got the usual weekly hockey/workout stuff and then I've got my birthday, a couple of Thanksgiving dinners to attend and of course, Halloween. It should be busy but it should be a lot of fun too! The progress bar is updated and here's to hoping it moves a lot farther to the right when October's all said and done...

gl at the tables!

Friday, September 26, 2014

New HOTW-Turning a Made Hand Into a Bluff

Just wanted to do another quick post to upload my latest Hand of the Week to the blog if you missed it on my other social media outlets. As I mentioned in my brief intro in the video, the plan going forward for 2014 will be to release 2 HOTW vids and one special "Team Online Strategy Video," featuring a guest each month! I'll aim the get the TOSV posted around mid-month and flank those with the two HOTW videos on either side :)

Monthly review, including results will be coming up shortly at the end of September. Till then,

gl at the tables!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Team Online Strategy ft. DaWarsaw

Hey everyone, I just wanted to do a really quick post to share a recording that I made with DaWarsaw yesterday, in case you missed it on my other social media outlets. I want to keep these Team Online videos as a separate series from my "Hand of the Week" videos and plan on doing more of them over the rest of the year if you like them, so please let me know (all feedback appreciated).

In this particular strategy clip, Greg and I talk in great detail about 2 recent 100nl 6-max hands that I played recently. As per the description:

"Frosty and fellow PokerStars Team Online member Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz engage in a lenghty discussion about 2 100nl 6-max cash game hands that were played by frosty earlier in the month.

Hand 1: Topics include how to play against aggressive opponents 3-betting from the BTN vs. the CO, what hands to 4-bet and call with, the merits of fast-playing vs. bluff-catching, what HUD stats should be considered when making our decisions...among others.

Hand 2 (34:48): Topics include the merits of 4-betting QQ from MP vs a specific villain on the BTN, flop/turn/river play OOP on the given run-out and also include relevant HUD stats to keep in mind."

Let me know how you feel about the duration and speed of everything, as I can shorten the videos in the future if people are losing focus, add more hands in the same length or even talk longer if that's what you'd all like to see. Here's a link to the first T.O. strat video ft. xflixx:


gl at the tables!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WCOOP 2014+A Coulpe of Hand Histories

So September's well underway and things have been a little frustrating at the tables so far. As per usual, I could always benefit from a bit more volume but aside from that I've been running pretty cold across the board. I'm out almost 7 buy-ins in EV but the coolers have been more of an annoyance...when it's all said and done though, I'm still up a few buy-ins, feel like I'm playing pretty well and a heater could be right around the corner because the games have been good!

I won't bore y'all with the bad beats or paste out all of what I consider to be "coolers" but here are a couple examples of what I'm talkin' about for the sake of showing some hands:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (6 handed)

MP ($122.24)
CO ($38.84)
Hero (Button) ($118.94)
SB ($105.62)
BB ($100)
UTG ($184.28)

Preflop: Hero is Button with K, K
3 folds, Hero raises to $2.50, SB raises to $8.50, 1 fold, Hero raises to $19, SB calls $10.50

Flop: ($39) 7, 6, 8 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $21, SB raises to $86.62 (All-In), Hero calls $65.62

Turn: ($212.24) 7 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($212.24) 9 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $212.24 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero had K, K (two pair, Kings and sevens).
SB had A, A (two pair, Aces and sevens).
Outcome: SB won $209.44

This flop spot is kinda weird/annoying because without specific reads or history involving this exact pre-flop action it's very tough to know what kind of 4bet/calling range we're up against. I think as a general population read though, we're looking at something like AJ+/KQ+/JT+/99+/ know, stuff that doesn't want to shove and get called but has enough playability and strength to not fold. I'm not confident in that range being an accurate representation of the average 4bet/call range because I think it varies a ton from player to player...some might call all pocket pairs for example, while others will be super tight and even mix in some slow played KK/AA, as we see here. I do assume that most players are probably tighter rather than looser and the 4b/c range is going to be heavily weighted towards hands that do well against the button's 4bet bluffing range and will be less likely to include super value (so hands like AQ, or hands that have decent playability against Axs bluffs like KQs or JTs). With that in mind, I still think we can be pretty happy about bet-calling this flop since most opponents can probably show up with 99-QQ, pair + draw type hands or quite possibly be even weaker. Even now that I've seen this villain show up with slowplayed aces, it's hard to know if I'm always just beat by this flop c/r or if villain would play 99-QQ the same way...sample size seems to be too small to know.

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (8 handed)

Hero (UTG) ($100)
UTG+1 ($110.98)
MP1 ($80.04)
MP2 ($100)
CO ($96.34)
Button ($106.17)
SB ($132.58)
BB ($101.50)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with 5, 5
Hero raises to $3, 2 folds, MP2 calls $3, CO calls $3, Button calls $3, 1 fold, BB calls $2

Flop: ($15.50) 6, 5, 10 (5 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $10, 2 folds, Button calls $10, 1 fold

Turn: ($35.50) J (2 players)
Hero bets $25, Button calls $25

River: ($85.50) 3 (2 players)
Hero bets $62 (All-In), Button calls $62

Total pot: $209.50 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Button had 10, 10 (three of a kind, tens).
Hero had 5, 5 (three of a kind, fives).
Outcome: Button won $206.70

Here we have a bit of a loose open from EP but the BTN was a 51/33 weaker player so I wanted to get involved in some pots with them. I get an absolute dream run-out and I strongly consider going for a check-call on the river since our villain looks so draw-heavy but ultimatelyy decide against it for 2 reasons. Basically, I given that all draws missed I think that villain is almost always calling with Tx or wider...also, I have no idea what kind of bluffing frequency this player has. I wanted to go ahead and target the villain's calling range rather than risk a check-back from a weaker made hand, which would obviously be a disaster. I think our hand is a decent one to shove too since we don't block any potential pairs that our villain could have...if we had a hand like JT, I might be more interested in bluff-catching since now the villains range would probably be more draw-heavy. Anyways, I decided to shove and to start planning what to do with my new found $100. Bad idea.

Month so far:

I've been eyeing some WCOOP events to play and am tentatively planning on playing the following events:

19- $109 NLHE
20- $320 NLHE
43- $215 NLHE
47- $320 NLHE
48- $215 TKO
64- $215 8Max

Hopefully I can make a decent run in something :)

Other than poker, my days have consisted of family birthdays, ice hockey, crossfit, house renos and football! I won my first week fantasy matches in both of my leagues so that's off to a good start. I'm in some trouble in one of the league's though since I'm short on running backs to begin with and Tate went down with an injury on Sunday. In my other league my team is pretty ridiculous though...I have Moreno and Benjamin just sitting on my bench as well as having Josh Gordon stashed (looks like he's likely to play again this season based on recent reports).

My ice hockey season is off to a good start as well...we won our first game 6-1 and although I felt pretty rusty I think that I played pretty well. Things definitely seemed to start coming together more as the game went on and our line was pretty dominant throughout the entire game, although our team was just stronger overall. We won our second default by forfeit...super lame but after last season, we'll take all the wins we can get! I've got another game tomorrow so hopefully the other team shows up...I'm not sure how some of the other teams are in this division but my guess is that we'll likely get moved up at some point.

Alright, that's all for now...

gl at the tables!