Monday, September 1, 2014

Bouncin' Back-August Review

August turned out to be a nice bounce back month from July. Since my last update, I managed to catch a heater that ended up lasting for only a single day but it was indeed a great day. The heat came on this past Saturday to the tune of 14 buy-ins at 100nl over almost 8,000 hands that I played straight without stoppage.

Unfortunately, those positive variance days were almost non-existent throughout August and I was battling through some runbad for most of the month. Nevertheless, all things considered I'm happy with my play, effort and overall bottom line when it's all said and done. The numbers keep me behind pace for my $100k goal by the end of the year but with increased volume and milestone bonuses on the horizon, I don't need to be earning equal amounts every month to ultimately make it.

Unintentionally, I ended up playing 100% of my volume at 100nl in August. I wasn't trying to be a 100nl hero but it just sort of worked out that way due to a combination of me wanting to hammer out some consistent winnings and not sit around waiting to get enough mid-stakes tables up and running. Through a mixture of full-ring and 6-max I was able to get 20+ tables up in a hurry and grind with relative confidence.


$1,139.15 FPP Value
$250         MTT cash (Quarterly FR) 
$2,648.16 Table Winnings
$4,037.31 USD

After adding in a bit of salary and coaching and a favourable exchange rate, I ended up clearing close to $6.2K CAD in August to add to my annual total...bringing that up to just over $46K.

Biggest pot won: Not much to say, I decided to just shove rather than 4bet small since I thought that at least 1 villain would probably call (both fishy IIRC).

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed)

BB ($130.69)
UTG ($143.06)
UTG+1 ($151.10)
MP1 ($43.28)
Hero (MP2) ($135.21)
MP3 ($101)
CO ($108)
Button ($98.50)
SB ($100.50)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A, A
3 folds, Hero raises to $3, 2 folds, Button raises to $9, 1 fold, BB raises to $15, Hero raises to $135.21 (All-In), Button calls $89.50 (All-In), BB calls $115.69 (All-In)

Flop: ($360.38) 7, 6, J (3 players, 3 all-in)

Turn: ($360.38) 9 (3 players, 3 all-in)

River: ($360.38) 2 (3 players, 3 all-in)

Total pot: $360.38 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Button had Q, Q (one pair, Queens).
BB had 8, K (high card, King).
Hero had A, A (one pair, Aces).
Outcome: Hero won $357.58

Biggest pot lost: This just happens to be a gross bad beat too but meh, it was the biggest pot lost so what can I do? ;) I overshove turn b/c I think that I had a read that the villain was strong and didn't think they'd fold exactly what they had.

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

SB ($145.65)
Hero (BB) ($121.76)
UTG ($83.84)
UTG+1 ($103.21)
MP1 ($100.80)
MP2 ($100)
CO ($100)
Button ($183.66)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 8, 8
4 folds, CO raises to $3, Button calls $3, 1 fold, Hero calls $2

Flop: ($9.50) 8, A, Q (3 players)
Hero checks, CO checks, Button bets $7, Hero raises to $27, 1 fold, Button calls $20

Turn: ($63.50) 3 (2 players)
Hero bets $91.76 (All-In), Button calls $91.76

River: ($247.02) Q (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $247.02 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Button had Q, A (full house, Queens over Aces).
Hero had 8, 8 (full house, eights over Queens).
Outcome: Button won $244.22

Away from the tables, it's been handyman frosty around the apartment all month. The first order of business was installing blinds for all of my windows...I've lived here for over a year now and aside from the bedrooms, there have been no blinds anywhere. I have 11 windows and am surrounded by neighbouring apartment buildings-I can only image the things that they have seen over the past year :o. I originally took down the blinds that came with the place because they were dirty and ugly and I intended on replacing them soon. However, you know how it is, more "important" stuff kept coming up/I got lazy and kinda used to it and the next thing you know you're known as the guy without blinds at the building's summer BBQ. That all changed this month though because my girlfriend could get us a sweet deal from her work on some high quality blinds and in frosty fashion we managed to save a few coin by installing them ourselves. It was a pretty brutal 4-5 hour process of manually screwing in a lot of brackets but in the end it was mission accomplished. Here's the before and after pics:

Not bad eh? You can see we did a bit of painting too. Other than the blinds, the most recent project was replacing my bedroom closet with a brand new one. That turned out to be a slightly smaller cause of frustration and the biggest challenge was sawing the ends off of 2 metal bars to make them fit in the closet space...not a fun activity when you only have a small hack saw lying around and I wouldn't recommend it :/. Here's how the closet looks before and after though!

There was basically not much on the left side (my side) before, just a coat rack and some cramped shelf space above it. On the right side (her side), the space was all organized in a messy and frustrating way. Afterwards, we now have some shelves for towels/hats/belts/shoes/etc. and plenty of room to and all of our shirts/pants in an organized fashion. Yes, this is exciting...

I expect September to be a very busy month for me both on and off the tables. Aside from the continuous apartment renos, I'm also starting up my ice hockey league again this week and my fantasy football season. Combined with the usual crossfit training and weekend commitments, there will be little time to waste if I want to be as productive as I'd like to be at the tables this month. I'll be aiming for 50k-60k VPPs, so we'll see what's in store for me in September! Stay tuned for updates,

gl at the tables!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Update

So things have been a bit stagnant at the tables this month. As you can see from the graph, I've been mildly swinging back and forth pretty much since day 2-3 and the end result has been a break-even stretch for the month, after the initial early profit. I'm out a bunch in EV and feel pretty good about the way that I've been playing so hopefully some positive variance is right around the corner!

Here's a cool hand that I won though. Given the positions pre-flop, I decided to flat rather than 4-bet and make pretty much everything but AA fold since this is nit-ring. I think that raising the flop here is obviously fine but I don't think that I'd ever have many bluffs here so I decide to call and rep the weaker part of my range...if the board was 2-tone or if I had some kind of read that the villain would never fold a hand like Kx then I'd probably make an exploitable raise anyways. I think that the turn card is really bad for me after the villain bets again...they can credibly have all combos of AQ and the SB can even have it too I think when you consider their pre-flop calling range in that spot and price that they're getting on the flop (especially if it has a BDFD). I'm pretty much not folding any river anyways (unless the action went like SB shove and BB call, then maybe I'd consider it depending on the actual river card) but I think I lose action from some stuff by shoving and want to keep trying to rep a hand like AK or KQ and let villain dump in the rest for me on the next street. I also think that I'm coolering a set regardless too. Anyways, I get an absolute dream river and the rest of the hand just plays itself:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00 BB (9 handed)

UTG ($104.67)
UTG+1 ($143.20)
MP1 ($130.09)
Hero (MP2) ($181.79)
MP3 ($48.97)
CO ($101.50)
Button ($98.50)
SB ($103.50)
BB ($100)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with K, K
3 folds, Hero raises to $3, 3 folds, SB calls $2.50, BB raises to $12.50, Hero calls $9.50, SB calls $9.50

Flop: ($37.50) 2, J, K (3 players)
SB checks, BB bets $15, Hero calls $15, SB calls $15

Turn: ($82.50) 10 (3 players)
SB checks, BB bets $27.50, Hero calls $27.50, SB calls $27.50

River: ($165) 2 (3 players)
SB bets $48.50 (All-In), BB calls $45 (All-In), Hero calls $48.50

Total pot: $307 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
SB had J, J (full house, Jacks over twos).
BB had A, Q (straight, Ace high).
Hero had K, K (full house, Kings over twos).
Outcome: Hero won $304.20

I'm going to be playing a lot of hours over the next 5 days to try and bump up my volume a bit and close out the month with some solid effort. Between vacations, distractions and weekend commitments, August hasn't been as high-volume at the poker tables as I would have liked but with a relatively clear schedule for the rest of the year, there will be lots of poker to be played yet.

Speaking of distractions, I'm entering 2 fantasy football leagues and my first draft was tonight. It's a 12-team league and I got the 12th pick...since it's a snake draft that's not necessarily a bad thing though and I actually much prefer it to a mid-round pick. Anyways, here's how my team shaped up:

I took Bryant and Marshall in the 1st/2nd round, which amounted to me being stacked at WR but pretty weak at RB. I was lucky to get Tate in essentially the 6th round to give me at least 1 starting RB but Jackson is pretty iffy considering Spiller's a big part of Buffalo's running game. I am excited about Cameron and Patterson and overall I'm pretty happy with my team so we'll see how things play out.

I've been busy away from the tables this month as well. I've been keeping up with crossfit and have been going very frequently...I'm seeing huge improvements across the board and my time seems to be paying off with increased fitness and strength. I've been to a wedding, going-away party and my friend's birthday party all this month too. I also did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and donated as well:

And practiced my rap skills on my most recent road trip:

So yeah, things have been pretty busy and the month has been good. It would be nice to catch a bit of a heater to cap off August though and get me a bit closer to my $100K goal! End of month report coming soon,

gl at the tables!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014-500K VPPs + $100,000

I have a very clear vision now for what I want to accomplish over the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, SNE will not be happening. I think that I could make it in 2015 should I choose to go for it but it would require zero procrastination, as logging near-SNE volume every month would be vital to my success. At this point in the year, being just over the 200K VPP mark, there just aren't enough hours in the day and enough mid-stakes games running to realistically achieve the status by the end of December. Reclaiming my black stars will have to wait.

That said, I'm very focused now on what it would take for me to deem 2014 a financial success. The number that I'm striving for is nothing short of 6-figures-a goal that will be challenging but definitely possible. I don't usually like setting profit goals for the reason that you can't totally control your poker results. I think that most professionals would agree that your energy is better spent on playing as well as you can and on the things that you can control, rather than the short-term results at the tables. For that reason, I'm coupling my $100,000 financial goal with a VPP goal of 500K. I'll stay focused on the VPP target, which is supposed to go hand in hand with the profit goal and we'll see how things fall into place.

Earning 300K more VPPs by the end of the year will be no easy feat for me. I'll be sticking to my main low/mid-stakes games and will need to average about 60K VPPs per month...something that I don't think that I've done yet all year, although I've been close on more than one occasion. As for the profit, I'm currently up around $40K on the year after a slow start so I'll basically have to bang out 5-figure months from here on out. By sticking to my normal games and getting in the required volume this should be doable, although variance will play a large role in my success/failure...still though, the key will almost certainly be simply logging the hours!

Finally, I have the website that I have always wanted! I spent a lot of time over the last few days designing everything and in the end I wanted all of the bell and whistles (email subscription option, YouTube/Twitter/Facebook links, Google followers gadget, sitemeter) but I also wanted a CLEAN look. I'm happy with the result and think that the website is fully-functioning but also not too busy. I also got around to updating my blogroll finally so if you asked me a while back to add you, hopefully I did. Anyways, there will probably be some tweaks here and there but the site is by and large complete...I hope you like it!

So the first couple of weeks in August were largely planned vacations. I went on a family fishing/surfing/island relaxing trip and almost immediately following that I had a guys weekend up in the interior of BC. The trips were both amazing but now I'm ready to get to work. I don't have any planned getaways for the rest of the year so other than a few weekend things my time will be dedicated towards poker. I've played a bit so far this month and got off to a pretty hot start before running ice cold over the last couple of days:

Fortunately, the losses have been chalked up to almost entirely EV and there have been a few sick cooler spots where I've put in the money in terrible shape. I'm still posting a win-rate of over 3bb/100 and an EV bb/100 close to 6, so I'm feeling pretty good about my game at this point. With so much poker left to play this month it feels like pretty much anything could happen.

Alright, I'll be back to update things as the month unfolds.

gl at the tables!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Micro Millions Last Longer Winner Finishes 14th in the Main Event!

            I recently received an exciting message from one of the winners of a Micro Millions Main Event ticket that they won via my recent freeroll contest. They told me that they had made a deep run in the Main Event…how deep? Well, out of a field of 57, 886, they finished 14th! The score was good for around $4,000, which is pretty awesome for anyone let alone a mico-stakes player. I thought that this was so cool that I wanted to do an interview with the player, ooRSZABOoo and see if they could share their experience of making a deep run in the Main Event to maybe provide some motivation for anyone else that dreams of taking down a big event. Here is the interview that ooRSZABOoo was kind enough to do:

1. Can you briefly tell us about your poker background? How did you get started and what games do you usually play now?

           I started playing poker about 6 years ago but took it more seriously over the last 3 years. I started with 10nl 6max and moved to 50nl, then went back to 25nl and am there now. I play 25nl 6max zoom and 16nl deep ante 6max everyday and I do some mtt sessions on some Sundays and also when series like the Micro Millions are running.

2. How many Micro Millions events did you roughly play and did you have any specific goals for the series?

My goal for this series was to play some events that were running while I was grinding cash games and hoping to make some deep runs. I played about 12 events in this series.

3. How did you hear about frosty's last longers and how many did you participate in? Which one did you end up winning the Main Event ticket in? Were you going to play the Main Event regardless of whether or not you won a ticket?

           I was already a follower of frosty’s page and saw on my facebook that he was going to do a last longer and I thought it was good to have extra motivation for the series and to try to win a ticket for the main event that I already had planned to play if I didn't get the ticket from the last longer. On my second attempt on last longer #3, I made a deep run in event 30, $3.30 holdem turbo hu, finishing 140th and winning the last longer for the main event ticket.

4. Can you walk us through the tournament and maybe explain any key pots that you won? What were you feeling as the field became smaller and smaller and the money kept getting bigger?

            On the initial level I had two big pots, which I don’t remember the specific hands but I got to 18k and then to 26k. After that, I just won and lost some small pots until I was in the money with about 20 big blinds. At that point, I was down to my last tournament table of the day and I watched some videos along with the MTT and it was quick until we were down to 800-900 players and I was guaranteed $150. After that, when were 500 players remaining I was getting $250 and the pay jumps were really interesting for me. It was $50, $70, $100  and the pay jumps were always getting bigger. I was always around 10-20 big blinds and I was trying to steal some blinds and win the flips when I was all in. I was closely monitoring the lobby and watching the pay jumps on the bubble of a pay jump because I was short. Fortunately, I was getting hands when I needed to double up and always managed to win those hands. My next goal was always the next pay jump over and over again until the last 3 tables when I was getting $2.5k. During the last 2-3tables, I won some pots in a row and managed to get a top 5 chip stack and at that point, I was starting to dream that it was possible to get to the final table and win a huge prize. However, with the stacks so shallow and without hands to play I became shortstacked again and had to shove my last 6bb with a4s and got called by 66. I lost the hand and finish 14th and the dream was over. I felt terrible at that moment to be so close to a big money prize but moments later I forgot that and felt very happy for the $4k, which is my best MTT result.

5. What are your plans with your $4k score?

            I don’t have any plans for the 4k, I’m just going to withdraw the money to my bank account because I already have my bankroll on Stars and don’t need more money to play the stakes that I play but maybe I’ll buy small present for my girlfriend and I.

Congrats to ooRSZABOoo for their score and be tuned to my facebook page for similar contest giveaways in the future…you never know where they might lead J

Gl at the tables!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July Review-A Train Wreck

After back to back 10K months, July was a total train wreck. Part of the disaster was my fault but I think that part of it was also just variance. More on that after the ugly pics:


So, right off the bat you'll notice the big gap in EV, which is never fun. If you look closer at the stakes, you'll notice that I donated about $2,300 playing PLO in July :O. I wanted to experiment a lot in July with different game types and formats to really try and find a better way to earn more VPPs and ultimately more money. However, the lesson that I learned that I should have already known was pretty expensive...that I suck fairly hard at PLO and the variance is always going to be especially huge in that game. As far as NLHE went, it was a lot of me bouncing around various Zoom games and getting away from my bread and butter regular tables. It looks like I lost in every zoom format lol so I don't have much of a defence for that other than the sample size are pretty small and I think I ran pretty bad. Here is the breakdown for July:

-$6,898.71  table winnings
-$183.70     tournament winnings
+$2,057.30 fpp value
+2,600        200k milestone bonus
-$2,425 USD

The silver lining is that with some salary and coaching I actually turned a -$7k month into a profit of a few hundred bucks :/ To have such an epically terrible month (2nd worst month ever, after my December chasing SNE in 2010) and still pocket some cash is pretty incredible.

Factor out the PLO and consider the stakes that I was playing and the downswing isn't even too far out of the ordinary for a lot of players I think. Regardless, August will see me returning to my comfortable games and to re-evaluate my year end goals at the end of the month. I'm not giving up on the SNE chase just yet but it's looking far more realistic to shoot for 500-600K VPPs and then manage my time much better in 2015 and try again then. We'll see though, there will be no shortage of effort in August. I ended up earning about 40K VPPs this month so obviously August will have to be much better than that :)

Away from the tables life is good but busy. My girlfriend is settled in with my at my place now and that was quite a distraction in July in terms of staying focused on poker. The place is looking good though and although there are quite a few small projects/upgrades on the horizon, everything is comfortable and more than livable (as opposed to looking like a storage locker for most of July). I've been following a pretty awesome routine of waking up at 6:30am and going to crossfit at 7am and did that everyday this week, actually. It feels great to start the day with a workout and just waking up that early allows the day to be so much more productive. I'll be looking to continue the trend in August.

I'm very looking forward to August. I've got 2 small vacations planned and then I'm basically going to be in poker lockdown mode for the rest of the year. I'm going away on my annual fishing trip for 4 days, coming home for 1 day and then heading up to the interior for a guys weekend. The weather's amazing in Van right now and that's supposed to continue for the next little while.

Alright, that's all for now ladies + gents...

gl at the tables!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Micro Millions Aftermath

So the Micro Millions came to an end today and as is fitting with the rest of the month, things ended in disappointment for my top 10 leader board quest. This was my best attempt at doing well on the leader board though and if I didn't register my highest point total throughout a given MM series, it was only because I stopped playing most of the events on the final 2 days once things were out of reach. I knew that reaching the top 10 would be a tall order and in hindsight it looks like you needed about 400 points to get there...that's averaging about 35 points per day. Over the first 3 days, I managed to hit 20, 20, 45 points with my deepest run coming in an $8.8 NLHE. Unfortunately, day 4 hurt a lot as it was brick city and I put up a whopping 0 points for the day. I didn't give up there though since 1 final table could have put me not only back in the game but ahead of it. I was pretty consistent over the next 4 days posting 20, 25, 15 and 30 points respectively. It was enough to hang on and stay in the hunt in hopes of breaking through for that really big day (don't even need to final table, just make a few deep runs really). Alas, it was not meant to be as the next day was another big doughnut and at that point there was almost no shot at making the top 10 so I called it quits. I still wanted to make the top 100 but I wasn't going to stay up playing around the clock just for the prize of 1 Sunday Million ticket. I also figured that I would have a decent enough shot at still making the top 100 if I just played events during the day alongside my cash game grind. It looked like I needed more than a decent enough shot to crack the top 100 though because I fell short of that too and landed in the top 200 instead. I ended up missing more events than I would have liked over the last 2 days (some just by accident/not noting how much late registration was allowed) and didn't really give myself a great shot at making the top 100.

In total, I played 73 events and posted a loss of about $183. It's hard to post a profit in MTTs without any Final Tables, even in micro-stakes games. I mean I ended up finishing in the top 100 in the $8.8 NLHE (deep run that I mentioned earlier) and first place paid almost $7k. I took a bad beat to bust and cashed for about $96, my highest score of the series. Anyways, I think that I ran pretty decent throughout the series overall but in the end the run-good was just too inconsistent and lacking in the pivital moments.

Highlights of the series for me included making a deep run in a $3.3 heads-up event, where I won something like 6 rounds before busting and a 6-max shootout event where I won my first table. I also enjoyed going crazy in a 10 cent rebuy and built a monster stack during the rebuy period and ended up cashing for some points later on. All in all, it was a fun series and even though it was tough playing so many events around the clock, I really enjoyed the challenge and already look forward to the next series!

The last longer promotion that I was running out of my facebook page was another big success! Thanks to everyone for participating and hopefully the winners were able to grab some cash from the Main Event (I heard that one person cashed for $127!).

I just wanted to keep this post breif and about the MM series, as I'll dive into more detail about how July has gone for me on and off the of the tables in the monthly review. Cliffs are that it's been pretty disastrous on the felt for a variety of reasons and I'm just trying to chip away at a sizable deficit at this point. No chance of getting into the black pre-rakeback I'll say that much lol.

gl at the tables!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Micro Millions Last Longers Are Back!

Back by popular demand, I will once again be runnning last longer events out of my facebook page over the first 7 days of the Micro Millions series (July 17-27). I will pick one event per day off the MM schedule and whoever signs up (free to join!) and outlasts the other contestants will win a ticket to the MM Main Event! Everyone seemed to have a good time being involved in these last time and I think that it's a good way to help motivate each other to go deeper into the tournaments.

I figured that I'd kick things off with the very first event, 001-$0.11+R Hyper Active. I'll make a new post on my facebook page announcing the official sign up details where you'll just have to leave your Stars ID in the comments to be registered. Also, I'm going to limit each winner to a 1-ticket maximum to spread the prizes around as much as possible :)

Anyways, I always get pretty excited for the Micro Millions series and will once again be trying to play all of the events (at least at the start) and make a run for the top of the leaderboard! I haven't been too successful in the past but 3rd? time's the charm!

I wanted to keep this post on topic about the MM so I'll talk more about how my month has been going both on and off the tables in another post when I get some time in the future. The cliffs are that it has been going pretty awful on the tables due in large part to me experimenting with a bunch of stuff. You might have seen me at the PLO tables at various stakes and wonder wtf is going on. I'm also wondering that. Haha but I actually am working on a plan to achieve SNE it may be through PLO but it may not we'll see how some stuff including aggressive shot taking works out. Like I said I didn't want to dive too far into this yet but I'll try and be less cryptic in my next post and be more detailed about what I've been dealing with at the tables this month.

I'm also back teaching at PokerSchoolOnline for the Sunday Special (July 20th) so come on out if you want to discuss some NLHE strategy in depth!

Alright, I hope to see you guys signed up for some last longers and enjoy the Micro Millions.

gl at the tables!