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!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Slow and Steady-2014 June Review

June is in the books and the month really flew by! It's been especially busy over the last week or so because I'm currently in the process of helping my gf move into my place, as she's recently sold her place that was a couple of blocks away and we've decided to live together. We've been together for over a couple of years now so it's a nice step to take and the timing of the sale is good as well because my current roommate is moving abroad for a while starting in a couple of weeks. I'm excited to make some changes to my place, such as turning the 2nd bedroom into an office, buying some new furniture/tables, painting the walls and I've already ordered a brand new king size bed that I'm stoked on. Right now though, my apartment looks like a public storage locker with boxes piled everywhere and excess furniture scattered around each room. Moving sucks but once things settle down in the end, things will be great.


Things went fine on the poker front in June. I was playing 200nl normal tables (both FR and 6-max) for most of the month and things were moving along swimmingly. Unfortunately, as you can see on the graph, I hit a train wreck day where I lost somewhere around 10 buy-ins to knock down my upward momentum. It was just one of those days where variance was against me...pretty much lost every all-in, ran into the top of villain's range etc. Anyways, after that I decided to just play some zoom to cap off the month since I wasn't getting as many hands as I would have liked at the normal tables anyways. As you can see, it ended up being pretty uneventful as I went up and down in minor fashion (looks like I ran kinda bad in terms of EV just looking at that graph) and ended the month up about $5.3k.



Here's the breakdown by stakes. It looks like I lost pretty much everywhere at first glance but consider the sample size :) (think that 1 cent/2 cent was just HUD testing). So almost 75% of my volume was at 200nl normal tables and I ended up winning at 4.05bb/100, which I think is pretty good considering that I was "mass tabling" most of the time. I put "mass tabling" in quotation marks because it rarely was 20+ due to limited games running. That will factor into what games I play in July but more on that in a sec. June breakdown:

June

$5,301 Table Winnings
$1,970 FPP value
---------------------------------------
$7,271 USD

Once I factor in some salary and the US exchange rate I'm looking at my 2nd 5-figure month in a row, which I will pretty much always be happy with :)

What I'm not so happy with though is my VPP count, which is sitting around 165K. As ridiculous as it sounds I'm actually not giving up on SNE and think that I can still make it. I'm not sure if I've ever been so undecided as to what games I want to play though. What I'm leaning towards at the moment is actually something that will be pretty fun/outrageous. I'm thinking about playing 8 tables of 100nl zoom (FR+6max) and then every time I win $1k I'll just take a 2 buy-in shot at 500nl zoom and see what happens. It's not so much a desperation attempt as it is something to help me stay motivated to grind everyday. But yeah who knows, I could get sick of zoom pretty quickly and then I'll have to make a solid attempt to increase my hours at the normal tables, which I feel more comfortable at overall. Anyways, I'm going to try and make July more about the VPPs than I have in previous months so we'll see what happens.

Other than poker and the move things are good. The weather's been fantastic recently so hopefully that continues, even if I'll be stuck inside working for most of the day. I did the Grouse grind on Canada day and had a BBQ afterwards in the evening. We played some self-invented baseball-hockey pool game that could quickly catch on as the nation's next big sport!


Alright, that's all for now but stay tuned for some promo stuff in the near future and some more YouTube vids.

gl at the tables!



Friday, June 13, 2014

frosty's Free Coaching and HOTW Video Series

Back in 2010, when I was on my journey to achieve Supernova Elite VIP status, I would frequently blog about hands that I played during my sessions to give the reader some insight into my thought process towards poker. I realize that readers not only want to follow along and monitor my progress for various reasons (to see how SNE can be done, perhaps for inspiration/motivation) but that they also want to learn and better themselves as poker players as well. I am grateful to those that choose to follow my blog, have a genuine interest in my poker career and have contributed to my success over the years. As a result, I'm more than happy to share some of my hand histories and offer in-depth analysis on certain spots, even though I am potentially exposing my game to my opponents (although I don't think that I really reveal anything top secret anyways ;) ). The thing is though, I genuinely enjoy talking about poker and by reviewing my own play through offering up hands to be critiqued and debated I can actually improve quite a bit as well.

Fast forward to 2014 and yet again here I am on another journey trying to regain that illustrious SNE status. What I decided to do recently was to re-ignite my Hand of the Week YouTube video series that I dabbled in a bit last year. What this means is that every week, I will choose an interesting hand (or several) from my database from that week and go over the hand in great detail in a YouTube video. Everything will be current and relevant to today's 2014 games. Poker has changed a lot since 2010 and I feel as though I'm playing better than I ever have before...I'm thinking about the game on a much deeper level and have been pleased with my results and improvements thus far. The videos can be discussed, debated or berated it really doesn't matter...all that I'm trying to do is spark some conversation and teach some poker. Here's an example of a video from last month:



What I wanted to do going forward was to take my HOTW concept one step further and actually review/talk about hands played by you guys, the readers. I will still talk about hands that I play as well but I thought that it might be beneficial for a lot of people to review hands played at different stakes and in spots that I may have not chosen myself. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming HOTW video, all you have to do is get the text of your hand history (from HEM/PT etc.) and send it to me in a private message on my facebook page HERE.

I am up for listening to suggestions and ideas as to what you'd all like to see as well. In fact, someone simply left a comment on one of my HOTW videos and asked if I would be interested in doing a session review of 20 minutes of their play, to which I said yes. The result was my most recent HOTW video, part 1 of 2 whereby I simply commentate and offer my thought process on someone else's play:



I won't promise that I will do something like this at every request (and I've already received more requests from people wanting their play to be reviewed) because it is quite time consuming but every once and a while it's no problem. So yeah, that's it, if you'd like to get some free coaching from myself and would like to submit a hand to be featured in an upcoming HOTW video please feel free to send me the hand history text as mentioned above. The hand doesn't have to be something super crazy and in fact, it would probably be better to discuss more standard spots that occur quite frequently. Alright, on that note, I'll post a link to my facebook page, YouTube channel and let's see if we can help each other stay on top of our game!

gl at the tables!

YouTube

facebook

Friday, May 30, 2014

Satisfaction-May Review 2014

Well, I managed to end May on a solid note after all :)


The upward slop beginning around hand 70K wasn't exactly coincidental. Good things started happening when I chose to move away from Zoom and play the normal tables again, drawn to them by the 700K miletstone promotion that was happening on Stars. Zoom hands were not eligible for the promo so it made sense to spend my hours grinding at the tables that could possibly bring me a nice bonus at any instance. I didn't end up binking any milestones but I did seem to catch some rungood and started winning with more consistency. I think that the Zoom 6 max tables are higher variance than the regular tables but not by as much as my results might suggest...you can actually see that my EV graph begins to spike well before hand 70K (when I was still playing Zoom) so I think most of my turnaround can just be attributed to variance. Also, I did play another session of zoom a couple of days ago when there weren't a lot of normal tables running and won almost 3 buy-ins so yeah, I think variance is by far the bigger factor in my upswing compared to the type of tables that I was playing.


Here's the breakdown by stakes ^^

May

$4,090 Table Winnings
$2,000 FPP Value
$1,000 100K Milestone bonus
------------------------------------------
$7,090 USD

Factor in some salary and a nice US exchange rate and the month turned out to be pretty satisfying. My volume let me down a bit again but I think that I did earn the most VPPs that I have in a single month in 2014, accumulating around 36,500. It's a start at least. I'm running out of time on the SNE chase though so I'm going to have to actually put up a respectable VPP count in June if I want to make this happen...I'm not even going to throw out a number to target since I've been so unsuccessful at hitting them but I am going to play as much as I think that I can.

Away from the tables, things also shaped up quite nicely at the end of the month. I've been back working out and eating better, which has allowed me to feel much better both physically and mentally. My ankle seems to be holding up alright and it was one of the least sore parts of my body after the first workout back in roughly 4 months...

I've been back on YouTube this month with my Hand of the Week series and I'm looking to continue that in June. What I wanted to do for June though, is analyze hands that are sent in by you guys. If you'd like to submit a cash game hand (any stakes) for me to review, please just send me the hand history text in a private message on my facebook page: LINK Don't worry about finding a super crazy hand or anything, the more standard ones are actually probably more helpful for people. I'll see how many submissions that I get but I'll probably plan on just picking the first 4 interesting ones that I receive and release 1 per week. If this is popular I can obv continue taking submissions in future months, or do some sort of mix of my own hands+hands from y'all.

Alright, I hope everyone has a good weekend. I'm wrapping up May 1 day early to take care of some chores tomorrow so that I can clear my plate by June 1. The weather's getting to be very nice again in Vancouver so I'm also going to be hosting a BBQ tomorrow night with some friends...my girlfriend also picked up the new Mario Kart today so I'm looking forward to that BBQ turning into a Mario Kart party later in the evening! I've only really played MK for the N64 but I'm assuming that my skills will be transferable to the Wii U and if that is indeed the case, everyone else better bring their A-game.

gl at the tables!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The SCOOP Aftermath

Well, the SCOOP was pretty much a disaster. This whole month has been pretty frustrating at the tables actually but I'll talk more about the cash games in a bit.

I ended up cashing in only 2/18 SCOOP M events that I played and unfortunately they were basically min-cashes :| Fortunately, the MTT losses aren't going to hurt my bottom line. My play seemed to be fine...like pretty much all of my bustouts were flips or bad beats. I probably could have done myself a few more favours by trying to pick better spots or be more patient but it's always easy to say that in hindsight. The fact remains that how successful my SCOOP was going to be was basically going to come down to how I did in the M $1050 Main Event. The tourney turned out to be pretty uneventful though, as I only played a couple of really meaningful hands. The first hand saw me open AA and Cbet an Axx hhh flop and get called...Turn brought another heart and it went check-call...River put a flush on board that didn't pair and I check-folded. Not too long after that I found myself all-in with AK vs. QQ and missed. I started to make some ground in the $109 wrap-up turbo but in an ending that only seemed fitting to the SCOOP I ended up busting about 1 orbit before the money bubble. I was proud of my bustout hand though...I ended up calling the CO's jam with A3s knowing they were likely light on about 10bb's each. Like obv A3 isn't doing great against anything but I don't think you can pass up those spots in a turbo if you're trying to go deep...anyways they had KJo and binked. There's always next time and I'm glad that I'm already looking forward to the WCOOP and am not discouraged by how SCOOP 2014 panned out.

I have to say that it's been a really interesting month at the cash game tables. As hard as I'm trying, I still don't feel like I'm in full grind-mode yet. That said, this will be my highest volume month of the year (if it hasn't already been) and hopefully a warm up for the remainder of 2014. I'm sitting on about 27K VPPs and should end the month with at least 50K. As for putting in hours...well I'm probably putting more hours than I ever have when you combine my play at the tables with off-hour studying. Things feel like they're coming together on the 6-max front but the run-good just isn't there right now. Obviously I'm not playing outstanding but I'm quite convinced that I am a winning 200nl Zoom player and I'm not sure how many Zoom regs can say that before rakeback. I mean, you get some quality players that dabble in 500nl and 200nl but then there are some other regs that just seem like there's no way they can possibly be making money. Anyways, here's the graph of the month so far:


So I mean, you can see my EV line shoot up towards the end there but the only line that really matters dropped downwards. Well, I guess I should say that normally the green line is my #1 concern but right now I'm actually more confident in seeing my EV line head uphill because that's telling me that my plays are winning long-term. I was looking through HEM to see if there was any interesting hands to point to the EV discrepancy but it looks like they're mostly standard pair-over-pair hands that got cracked.

So anyways, I'm only down what...like 5 buy-ins I guess and it's all EV. It's pretty much nothing but anytime you have a long break-even/losing stretch it can mess with your confidence. I've got to keep my focus on improving and hopefully get some run-good to finish out the month strong. I'm actually going to be playing normal tables while the the $700K Milestone Promotion is currently underway. Zoom games are not eligible so you won't see me passing up the chance at landing another milestone-it's been a while.

My life feels like a bit of a mess right now. I think that breaking my ankle really affected me a lot more negatively than I expected it to in terms of messing with my lifestyle. Without being able to exercise or do anything active, my healthy eating habits have also reverted to more convenient cooking/eating and some occasional culinary binges. The result has been that I just haven't felt as mentally sharp or as good while playing too. The good news is that I'm going to be back at the gym this Thursday I think. It was supposed to be sooner but I had to take care of some other chores and seemed to reinjure the ankle a bit a few days ago. It feels good to go right now though so I'm looking forward to sorting everything out. I've got a lot to figure out...I've got to decide what games I want to play, I've got to get back to exercising and eating better and I've got to figure out how the F I'm going to get SNE in 7 months when my highest monthly VPP total will be 50K. I've got to figure it all out but I know that I can do it.

gl at the tables!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The latest SCOOP

Just wanted to drop a brief update on how the month has been going as I'm currently in the midst of my heaviest grind of the year (not saying much). The cliff notes would be "not particularly well" but just saying that wouldn't make for much of a blog post now would it?

The SCOOP has been less than spectacular for me so far, cashing in 2/9 Low events and 1/7 M and both cashes were for the min or close to it. I think that my play has been alright and most of my bustouts have been pretty standard or just bad beats (lost AA < QQ<JJ in the $82 AU yesterday). I'm still planning on playing about 10+ M events and at least that many L's so we'll see if I can make a deep run in something before the series is over.


The zoom tables have been pretty rough this month. I think that I'm playing fairly well...at times I feel like I'm playing outstanding and at others I find myself playing a bit sloppy in spots and doing a bad job with the little things (ie bet sizing to set up future streets, stealing the BTN w/out looking at who's behind me etc.). Frankly though, I think that I've been running flat out bad overall and hopefully have some rungood coming around the corner. Just looking through my sessions yesterday, here are a couple of non-standardish hands that I lost:

This was fairly interesting. BB is a reg with a 20% 3bet from those positions (15 hand sample) so I think flatting pre is optimal most of the time. Flop seems standard as I wouldn't have much of a raising range in this spot. Turn gets interesting when it brings another club and the villain makes an unusually small donkish looking bet. I actually talked about this hand with fellow Team Online Pro xflixx and PSO coach GarethC23 and we all kind of agreed that my line is probably best and that the river was just unlucky. I knew it seemed fine but initially tried to make a case for raising the turn with my AK non-club combos, along with some stronger semi-bluffs (ie AcX) but quickly agreed that splitting our range there doesn't seem great. I think that AKo is still a strong enough hand to call with on a blank river and the strongest part of my range (ie nut flushes) wants to call turn to let the villain barrel off with bluffs. We talked about maybe having a raising range on the turn comprising of bluffs with our worst flop-calling hands (ie 89ss, JTss, QJss, 76s etc) and I was thinking that could be balanced with our sets/2-pair and maybe AA no-club.

PokerStars Zoom No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (6 handed)

Button ($250.72)
SB ($312.62)
BB ($240.03)
UTG ($354.66)
Hero (MP) ($206)
CO ($116.40)

Preflop: Hero is MP with A, K
1 fold, Hero raises to $5, 3 folds, BB raises to $18, Hero calls $13

Flop: ($37) K, 7, 5 (2 players)
BB bets $21.20, Hero calls $21.20

Turn: ($79.40) 3 (2 players)
BB bets $23, Hero calls $23

River: ($125.40) Q (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

Total pot: $125.40 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
BB had Q, K (two pair, Kings and Queens).
Hero didn't show A, K (one pair, Kings).
Outcome: BB won $122.60


Here, I wasn't sure what to make of the BB because they were full-stacked but after seeing the CC of the 3bet and then another call of my 4Bet I assumed they were just a rec-player. I think that I played this hand well. I toyed with betting bigger on the flop to get in as much money as possible since villain is probably never folding but it's so dry that it's likely that betting smaller could even be better to induce some spazz. The only turn card I don't want to see is an A and even then the villains range is probably wide enough that I can never fold. I figured that checking-back to induce river spew is probably best but unfortunately it didn't work out here.

PokerStars Zoom No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (6 handed)

Hero (Button) ($208.55)
SB ($233.24)
BB ($217.44)
UTG ($200)
MP ($294.07)
CO ($200)

Preflop: Hero is Button with K, K
3 folds, Hero raises to $4, SB raises to $15, BB calls $13, Hero raises to $45, 1 fold, BB calls $30

Flop: ($105) 5, 3, 9 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $54, BB calls $54

Turn: ($213) A (2 players)
BB checks, Hero checks

River: ($213) 9 (2 players)
BB bets $118.44 (All-In), Hero calls $109.55 (All-In)

Total pot: $432.10 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
Hero had K, K (two pair, Kings and nines).
BB had 9, 7 (three of a kind, nines).
Outcome: BB won $429.30


Anyways, I'll spare y'all the straight up bad beat hands and the full house < quads but you get the idea. I'm still only down about 2 buy-ins so like I said, hopefully some rungood is around the corner and I can continue to improve. I think that if I lose 10 buy-ins then I'll try to mix things up and play some normal tables for a bit. More on that though if it comes to that. Like 10 buy-ins is nothing but it will likely depend on my frustration level when/if it happens lol.

Alright, back to the grind. I'm basically just working through this weekend and won't be doing anything too exciting. I also have the roof guys coming back on Monday and Tuesday to fix my ceiling where it had that small leak so I'm not particularly looking forward to working through that...not sure exactly whta I'm going to do. I'll be calling things a bit early on Sunday though to head home for Mother's Day :)

gl at the tables!