Thursday, 30 July 2009

Focus, and another VIP day

This month I have played absolutely all over the place. I sucked at 6max, crushed at HU, sucked at 6max some more, got completely owned again at PLO, spewed off at HU, won a bit shortstacking, lost a lot shorstacking running 30 buyins below expectation, and finally... started crushing at 6max again.

Soap kind of hit the nail on the head when I met him at Teeside, saying that I'm concentrating too much on rake and the bonuses that entails. I would lose £100 a day but rake £300 and I'd think, "ah well that's ok". Suppose it is as a one off but it became a bit of a trend. So this last week I've slowed things down a lot and concentrated on just four tables of 6max. I've since installed a program called PlaceMint, which arranges windows into 'slots' by program title. This is awesome and has also helped me focus on four larger tables, with two smaller slots on the side of my screen for table selection. I'll be keeping it like this for the foreseeable future.

I wish I'd done this a lot sooner. One good month last month giving me a good bankroll to play with, I try way too many new ideas and just bleed money. Lesson learnt. Sod's law that they now introduce a new rake race for Killarney, but I should manage a €1.1k package within the next couple of months regardless.

Anyway, tomorrow I am off down to London for a Helicopter lesson! It's another Ladbrokes VIP day which, if anything like the last one at The Derby, should be absolutely superb. I get a personal lesson, a free lunch, then a helicopter tour of London.

This should be pretty decent Stratosphere training. If you haven't deduced already, I have to go on all Stratosphere rides when I'm in Vegas in September, and I'm shit scared of heights. Infact, it's not that I'm 'scared'. It's damn sensible to be wary of edges leading into massive falls and inevitable pizza-like death. Somewhere down the line my ancestors realised this and I am now programmed to wince like a girl when walking over footbridges or looking out of high rise windows. Hopefully being in control of the craft will go someway to help me overcome this. I shall post some pics upon return.

Finally I would like to wish my good friend Ben a Happy 40th Birthday for Friday 31st. Please pop in to his blog and wish him well. He's away in Paris with the missus for some 'sightseeing'. Life starts at 40...

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Gay poker

I didn't play any NL50 since my last post. At least not in the traditional sense. I did a bit of strategy reading about shortstacking and decided to give it a go. A few sessions later and I'm a 5bb/100 winner at NL100 shortstacking 20bbs over about 3k hands. I can easily play 10 tables with this style and with the double up and leave strategy I constantly need to be cycling and sitting on new tables. This is great for the rakeback, as any Prima regular will testify in regard to Fish_Crusher owning the rake race leaderboards. Pretty sure he's a losing player though.

Anyway I had a nice handful of sessions to start and decided to move up shortstacking 1/2 at $40 a time. Queue 25 'buyin' downswing finishing $780 behind EV. Great timing. The climb in stakes was a bad move though, I didn't fully understand the variance in this style of play and paid the price. Add to that at any one time the chance of Brenos running like total shit is about 95% and it's not good. I've since steadily built back up to some semblance of a bankroll shortstacking NL50.

A few months ago give me a chance to talk to a "professional shortstacker" and I wouldn't have had much nice to say. But actually playing and understanding how you can put people in hugely -EV spots unexploitably is really quite *gasp* "fun" to play. Twenty buyin stretches behind all-in EV excluded. Still got a few spots to fine tune but I shall plug away furthermore in an attempt to rescue my third awful month in four. I couldn't resist buying in full on one table tonight though and taking a couple of regular buyins from one monster fish.

Also over the past couple of weeks I've been playing in Photoshop creating a modded card deck for Prima/Ladbrokes. This has taken probably far too much of my time but I'm really pleased in the final results and this deck of cards provides awesome visibility for multitablers and especially anyone playing Omaha. In what can only be a plus EV and high Karma move, I've shared my creation on the 2+2 forums, check out the last page of this thread for link and instructions. Good luck all :-)

Monday, 20 July 2009

The week

Can't believe not updated for just over a week. I've played a fair bit of poker this month, and experienced a huge swing since the last post. I recovered nearly £1k to go up £400 for the month, and have consistently lost since to go -£1.4k down. After I got into the black I started to 9 table and it's harder than I remembered. I dropped a few hundred there but by far my worst results again are at PLO. The game continues to take huge shits on me. Thoughts on this hand? Fold the turn? Gay hand nonetheless.

I came up to Newcastle on Thursday for a long weekend starting at Aspers for £30 freezout where I ended up missing out on final table by a few players, shoving over a 'steal' with 33 but finding KK. Onto the cash tables and made a few hundred, making a few nice hands versus one player who just loved putting money in the pot. Easy game. Super LAGtard Holmes plays crazy (link amended on right) and eventually gets AQ in preflop versus QQ but finds the 3 outer.

Friday I would have played the £20 at the Grovesnor which has seen awesome numbers lately. But I'm still banned. Not going into details here but it's really quite farcical. So me and Holmes just dossed around all day playing on the Wii in between poker sessions. I dumped off another few hundred at PLO Friday and early Saturday before the rest of the lads came round for £5 rebuys, four player Mario Kart on the Wii, muchos pizza and muchos beer. I'm shit at Mario Kart but pretty handy at bowling.

The poker I end up rebuying a few times, raising and betting quite a lot, which I really can't get away with anymore. Everyone knows I'm a spewtard at these home games. Fortunately mid game with reasonable blinds I go on an epic card rack heater and with my distinct lack of any kind of table image, I amass most of the chips in play. It still takes a huge suckout HU when I shove with Q3 to find TT but get there anyway. Ship the £60. Six pizzas, 10 cans and four 12th places later we play a £10 freezout and I am deservedly the first player out, calling far too much preflop. Around 4am Sleepawoody makes an appearance and it's time to call it a night.

After approx 4 hours sleep a night Thursday-Sunday I have slept ALL DAY today. And I do mean ALL DAY. I had planned to put in about 6 hours of poker today but it's hard to play when you're asleep. I went to bed at midnight Sunday, slept till 8am, had a piss then a glass of water, slept 9am-1pm. Woke up, had lunch, sent some emails, watched some CR stuff, fell asleep 3pm-7.30pm when I was rudely awoken by a text from Holmes accusing me of slacking off as he hadn't seen me at the tables. Yeah but seriously thanks for that or I'd probably still be in the land of nod now.

After my latest downswing I shall be moving down again but this time with a bit of a challenge. Holmes is running amazing well so far this month, with a winrate of around 20bb/100. This is obviously not sustainable and we both have a laugh about it, but at NL50 and concentrating on just 6 tables I think I can actually sustain 10bb/100 which would mean I'd be back to even for the month in just 14k hands. Mid month I was just looking to autopilot and my only aim was to rake about £300 per day, which is BAD BAD BAD target setting. Time to get back on track and win my moneys back. If I do manage to breakeven this month I'll still be banking about £2k as I have already raked an enormous amount. Will wait to see how the fine points of the new PP system works as I think I might save my PPs up as I should hopefully have 100k by the time Vegas comes round, which would be a nice $1k 'bonus' to cash in just before I go. Anyway 14bb/100 tonight over 600 hands, going to play another session on the late shift tonight, sustain Brenos, come on!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Bad knee, worse poker

I had the knee operation on Friday. Went well with no hiccups. That general anaesthetic is powerful stuff! 'Count backwards from ten please...', 'Ten, ni...' ZONKED! Turns out my orthopeadic surgeon is one of the top boys in the country too. I was talking to the other patients in the waiting room who also had surgery on the day. One fella had already had his right knee done by my Doc, but had his left done by another. He said the difference after surgery was amazing. A nice clean bandage and a reasonable amount of mobility for the first, but a bloody and pussy bandage and being laid up in bed for a fortnight after the second. I was in good spirits anyway but I immediately felt better that I was in good hands. Which is more than I can say for one young teenager who was literally puking with worry and was shortly after given his own room. Another old bloke was a goldmine of knee information as he had not one, but two replacement knees. Can't say he has knee crack! (groan)

I can hobble about, but am far from independant. I can't carry anything as I need both hands at all times for stablity, the stairs especially. I had hoped I'd make the gym by mid-week and be able to drive. Absolutely no chance of that. It's really quite painful today. The most annoying thing by far though, is not being able to bend your knee. Try only moving one knee within five degrees for an hour or so and that's bad enough. I've got another week of this shit. I was given paracetamol, some codeine and some diclofenac sodium enteric. I know codeine fucks you up after I was on it for disclocating my shoulder, dunno if this diclofenac is stronger or what but I plan not to take anything as long as I can bear it. Could be playing Devils Advocate there though, as poker has been shit today.

I've cooled down a bit afer writing this so far, and I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself as it's pretty awkward doing anything, but sajkhfjkldsanbgld tilted for the first time in aaages today. I decided to play 9 tables at thankfully lower stakes. I was up a bit but over 5 buyins below EV as every all in was beaten. All my winnings were non showdown. Fair enough I thought, I'm still up, just chill out. Then I instantly lost a couple more buyins as I say that to myself. Shifted the leg a bit and that hurt, so took a huge radgie out on the poker tables and just got megga aggro spew monkey. Again to be fair a few of the spots were standard that I just happened to lose, but I did silly shit like turning 44 no club into a bluff on QT77J four clubs. We were mega deep like but I really don't need to being doing this crap, gg 220 BBs. He actually re shoved the river after leading two streets after I 3bet pre, so only quads or QQ makes sense.

I'm now about £400 down for the month, not horrible but I should be doing way better. I've been a complete spew tard at 6max this month. So much so that Thursday night I decided to play some gay poker and 9 tabled the 10 seater full ring games in an attempt to tighten up. Even there I was far too loose but I crush that field so badly it makes sense to play more hands. I won five buyins in an hour. So that shows how bad things are. I think I'm about 15 buyins down at 6max and a decent bit up at HU. I played some tougher opponents HU this week. One very aggro player who I managed to get the better of, and another player who I thought was mega aggro - but wasn't - got the better of me for a couple of buyins. He had made a couple of moves early in specific spots which I won't go into detail on, but he is pretty polarized to hold monsters or bluffs. My style of play is basically bet lots, and it's a strength of mine that I merge my value betting and bluffs so well. If you can value bet 2rd pair on the river you can bluff more effectively. A consequence of this is that I have to be a bit more liberal in dealing with check raises. I think I do this very well actually, but in this instance the guy was a total card rack. Everytime - this is the nuts or a bluff - so I click call and run into top 2% of hands each time.

HU really is so much fun though. It really changes the way you think about hands, and so much is down to gameflow and feel. Hope to be a bit more pain free than I have been and can play lots this week. I only have so many DVDs I can watch!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Ugly, pretty, pretty

UGLY: 6max

PRETTY: Heads Up

PRETTY: Adriana Lima

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

6max is dead?

Well my stats tell me I should quit!

To be fair I have been getting coolered to hell at 6max so far this month, whilst simultaneously running awesome at HU. I've been lucky to sit with an easily tiltable person, win a few early spots and have them spew off some more money to me afterwards.

But not great in being £200 down. Also my volume sucks, only done ~7k hands and thats just in 2 days. However I am pleasantly surprised in that I should be able to pwn (Soap) the RTR rake race for $3k. Current top player plays my limits and I raked half his total for the month in one day. This could be skewed slightly as he may have taken a 5 day break like I did but I guess mid month I'll know better. Barring disaster I should be raking over $6k, so if that can return $3k alone from RTR, plus ~$2k from Laddies new player club thingy it's well worth a good graft this month, even if the weather has to pick up again after this week.

In other random, short sentence news: I killed a rat with a shovel yesterday. I'm benching 105kg in the gym. It's my knee operation on Friday. I know loads people who have had a baby in the last month. Congrats to Jackal who I think is my only reader. Congrats to Soap on luckboxing another huge MTT win. Good luck to Ben in his first month on the pro circuit ;-)