Sunday, November 30, 2008

Maximised my WillHill Safety Net

... by donking off 25GBP in hardly any time at all on a FR PLO table. It reminded me how painful the interface is and I am now looking forward to getting my money back. The math was interesting when down GBP25 as it would have been crazy for me to continue playing as I would have to win 50, to receive 25 more. Anyway, I don't think that the Safety Net is a good promotion for the site, apart from the fact that 25 is peanuts.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

William Hill Safety Net up to GBP25

Seems too good to be true. Play the cash tables this weekend and if you lose up to GBP25, they'll recredit your account. It came by email and isn't on the site, so maybe it is because I've given up playing there since they changed my monthly bonus on me mid-month.

Will give it a go and let you know how it pans out. It's not a bad concept to encourage people back. Has anyone seen this promotion before?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Expected Value of Happiness

I had typed this as a response to the Blindmans comment on last nights session (please read it first) but have elevated to this level as I'd be keen to get some comments on the EV of Happiness and results orientation ...

"Very perceptive as always on the end. I subscribe to the theory that life should be treated as one big poker session yet I can still be results oriented ... an observation made by way of comment to BCG in the last few days.

Now, there is also EV in happiness. Some might say much more than the few dollars I risk at the tables - especially my recent 1c/2c foray.

The last bet on the last hand was a unique occassion. If the game was continuing I would most likely have value bet. But here's the rub, according to Daniel Negreanu in a recent PokerRoad podcast (I think) ... Never ... never ... make a bet if you don't know in advance how you will respond to a raise. ... I've been trying to keep this in mind and it is very important in NLH. Limit, you just call down, but in NLH the bets grow exponentially.

Remember, we're both relatively deep, its late, last hand, error prone. The pot was $100, so what would I bet? $30 invites a raise, $50 maybe, $70 probably, $100 definitely becomes a re-raise or fold for the other guy. What would I have done if raised ... I'm not sure and I didn't fancy the spot at that time. You are right though, I probably wshuld have fired $70 mid-session and hoped to be called down.

Back to happiness EV, I went back to my hotel very pleased with my play in Auckland, live and online. Had I re-opened the betting and lost to a full house it would have undone my good work and may well have changed my psychology for future sessions. As it stands, I can't wait to get back to the tables."

... So what do you think? It would be great to be a non-tilting machine, but realistically, even the best guys play better when in the zone or confident. Thinking it through, +EV is much more than the maths of one out of context Structured Hand Analysis. A similar situation is when top players go on a cooler, they can sometimes just start to play a lower variance style to regain more confidence.

So as we near the end of the month, happiness should form part of my goal setting balanced scorecard if I was disciplined and honest enough to get around to that.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts on this concept ...

Aussies 2 - Kiwis 1

An unexpected win at the casino last night. I'd been out for dinner and turned up late for a short session.

I was playing tight when a new player joined the NLH60-100, $1/$2 blinds game. By paying attention, occasionally you can spot little opportunities, even if they are against you overall style or plan at your time, especially live. One such situation occurred.

Fist hand for the new player, UTG he straddled for $15. Next position called and everyone folded to me on the button with pocket 9s. I had $108 and even though it is a very uncharacteristic play, I put it AI to isolate the straddler (obviously a gambler). (Mathematically, it is probably an OK play - would be keen to hear your thoughts.) He looked at one card and called and the player I wanted to lose folded as expected.

Board came A8Q J 7 and I was sure that I was done for. However, it turned out that he'd seen the T of a T4o and called. Easy double up in the end but the key was being awake to the available date. I love straddlers, its such a -EV play for all but experts and generates overly loose play (like mine, perhaps).

Kept playing TAG and ran my stack up to $280 when I called four callers on the button with my pocket 55 for $10(standard min raise in Auckland). Six of us see a flop of 567r, BB bets out $15 into $60 pot and gets 2 callers, on the button, I make a substatial pot-sized raise to $115 with my trips ... fold, call, call - bugga. Turn comes 9r ... bugga bugga ... check, check and I check for pot control . River blanked a 2, check, check and I checked fearing the 8, or set over set. Flop raiser had JJ and caller had 66 to scoop away a $400 pot from under my nose. I was behind the whole way and could have lost a lot more, so I was actually happy in a weird poker way. Only $125 of the pot was mine.

Two hands later I had T4o in the BB. LAG checked KT7 flop, I raised $15 and he called. Turn was a 4, he checked, I raised $30 and he called. Flop came 4 for my full house and he checked. His stack was $85 so I bet $100 and he called with KQo. I'd just won back what I'd lost.

My stack let me play a little then and then there was one more memorable hand. Again, a piece of data and a big element of luck. Last hand before table break, I had 7h4h in the BB. All players limped and I checked. Flop came Jh, 9h, 2h. Being the last hand, I led out for $15 and got 1 caller. One other player only had 1 heart and stated "I think you only have 1 heart but it'll be higher than mine, bugga". Turn was Kd, I c-bet for $30 and got called. Final card was a 9s, probably good for me but a little scary with both of us having $300+ behind (this was the guy that won set over set). I checked intending to call down and was relieved to see opponent had AhKc. In retrospect, there was more money to be had there, but I was right to control the pot.

Final result +$285 which was a pleasing positive variance end to the week. Big silver bird back to Sydney at lunchtime today.

Aussies 2 - Kiwis 1

An unexpected win at the casino tonight. I was playing tight when a player joined the NLH60-100, $1/$2 blinds game. UTG he straddled for $15. Next position called and everyone folded to me on the button with pocket 9s. I think you need to spot little opportunities and as I had $108, I put it AI to isolate the straddler (obviously a gambler). He looked at one card and called.

Board came A8Q J 7 and I was sure that I was done for. Turned out that he'd seen the T of a T4o. Easy double up in the end.

Kept playing TAG and ran my stack up to $280 when I called four callers on the button with my 55 for $10(standard min raise in Auckland). Six of us see a flop of 567r, BB bets out $15 into $60 pot and gets 2 callers, on the button, I make a substatial pot-sized raise to $115 with my trips ... fold, call, call - bugga. Turn comes 9r ... bugga bugga ... check, check and I pot control check. River blanked a 2, check, check and I checked fearing the 8. Flop raiser had JJ and caller had 66 to win a $400 pot. I was behind the whole way and could have lost a lot more, so I was actually happy in a weird poker way. Only $125 of the pot was mine.

Two hands later I had T4o in the BB. LAG checked KT7 flop, I raised $15 and he called. Turn was a 4, he checked, I raised $30 and he called. Flop came 4 for my full house and he checked. His stack was $85 so I bet $100 and he called. I'd just won back what I'd lost.

My stack let me play a little then but they were the most meorable hands. Final result +$285 which was a pleasing end to the week. Big silver bird back to Sydney tomorrow lunchtime.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Enjoyable evening

If I were a professional sportsperson, I think the range of preferred sports would go from darts at one end to golf at the other. Triple twenty, Triple twenty has got to wear off surely. That said, I enjoyed my years of snooker. I'd like to say that it was red, black, red, black but it wasn't. (Aside, just watched Sullivan on Sky Sports get 4 out of 5 frames with century breaks one week after 5 out of 5 centuries in Belfast for a best of 9 win. How good must that be?)

So last night I must say that I had the most enjoyable session for some time. I checked emails while waiting for a phone call. Opened the lobby while still waiting and there was a $2 NL super turbo rebuy. I don't mind coin-flippling in these so they can be fun. Long and short, I bubbled 6th out of 30 something.

At the same time, I opened 2 full ring PLO games 1c/2c and 2c/4c. When you can buy in for $5 it is really deep stack which I thought that I could play tightish and run up a healthy profit. Problem is with that many callers, there are a lot of seemingly bad beats. In reality, if you ran the odds calculator, you're often not more than 30% or 40% even flopping the nuts. That's my excuse for losing both BIs quickly. Pleased to report that I more than doubled up the next 2 so left with a modest profit and a bit of experience for the Blindman's PLO game in Perth.

Realising I wasn't going to make a living there and feeling good, I found what looked to be an active 6-max table and vowed to play TAG with a max stack PLO50. The guy to my right was extremely fishy and donked off a couple of BIs. It got really interesting when 4 of us had $150+ at the table and this turned out to be great experience for me.

I'm still the fish amongst the regulars but starting to hold my own these days. Nice profit for the evening but most pleasing was the fact that I really enjoyed every moment and felt that I was learning a lot. Deep stacked, I slow played my AA a lot and got away from most losing hands and cleaned up when flopping an A. I was more aware of position than usual too.

It's funny that the casino just didn't hold any appeal relative to the table that I had online. I will try to get up tonight though which is my last night in Auckland for a while and score 2 goals to turn around the 1st leg deficit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kiwis in front at half time

Just one trip to the casino this trip as I've been working in the evenings. Landed Sunday and after a swim in the hotel headed up there quite early. I decided to shortstack as it is a gambling culture here in Auckland. Standard raises can be $12-$15 in a 60-100NLH game.

My 60 got whittled away to 40 with blinds and a couple of limps with suited connectors when I flopped top pair and got it AI on the flop to see 3 callers. Thankfully held up to get me up to $160.

Got sucked out on once, whittled away further and then QQ went down to KK for the remainder of my chips preflop. 5 hours later I had lost my $60, well within the bounds of variance.

The two nights online at the hotel, I came 2nd in a $3 NLH rebuy with 28 runners for $72 and last night short stacked a 200PLO for $40 where they were all large stacks and being ultra aggressive. Got AI with JJT9ss which hit a 678 and held up against 2 opponents. This time, on the positive side of variance, I stood up a couple of orbits later with $150.

As you can see, not much to report.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

NZ 1 - Australia 1

You guessed it, at the airport waiting to see if I can take the lead against the Kiwis at the Casino. It's a tie at this stage, apart from the Casino who always win with their excessive rake.

For the record, I have always been an All Black fan as they used to come to Ireland when no sporting team wanted to know us. Thankfully the draw of the Black Stuff was too much for them. Anyway, that transfers to Rugby League where we have been hosting a non-event World Cup. The Aussies made a tactical error taking on the kiwis at the hakka and proceeded to lose the Final. I must admit to a smile as AFL is my sport of interest these days.

Let's see if I can make amends ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The week that was ... (warning, please grab a coffee)

I can't believe that it has been a week since I last blogged. Mainly, because there is so much to report and I have been active commenting on the few blogs that I do follow. Ironically, I held off blogging because I wanted to share with you in detail my most recent dabble in the PLO world. A week later, I can't recall what was so compelling. That's probably the value of a blog as a diary for myself.

I do know that I am really impressed with River's Hand Replayer, that is pretty cool and so enjoyable to consider how I might have played in the same situation. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to work with the XML output from my iPoker site, Hansa Poker. A friend that I met in NZ has shared with me a Replayer that works with Hansa, so I will get around to posting a few important hands if I can find them.

Omaha Experience

As regulars will know, I really enjoy the game but have so much to learn. I've gone just beyond the basics. I've been trying to focus on NLH though for a while so I neglect it for now. Eventhough I think that PLO is the future of high stakes poker and I have a chance to be in on the wave earlier. Amazing how I'm regretting (in advance) not having shifted focus earlier.

Anyway, I digress as always ... Omaha - Hold'em on steroids for gamblers.... my 4 big hands in 24 hours included:

- an AAxx $800+ (read, a lot of money for me) pot that held up;

- 88 on 98x flop for a couple of hundred, followed a few hands later by 88 on another 98x flop for another couple of hundred. Both times I lost to 999. I stood up having won just over $20 for my rollercoaster.

- next morning, a hand that I will try to find and post where my opponent was so far behind throughout, almost a 1-outer on the flop as I had all of his out covered (nearly). Needless to say, my A high flush lost on the river to his gut shot str8 flush.

NLH Experience

I've been running over the NLH50 tables a bit lately, not much $$$s but has helped my aggression factor post-flop. Anyway, after my Omaha roller-coaster, I decided to restore confidence with a bit of grinding. Trouble is that I sat down expecting to run over the table and got cold decked a bit early. This translated into getting called down light and re-raised a lot. All in all, not a pleasant experience losing a couple of BIs quite quickly with the rare humiliation of lol comments (deserved, I must say).

NLH Live

Given my experiences, I went down the local RSL for my first tourney there ever. I work in the City so I always get home too late for a Monday night. Fundamentally, I'm confident that my theory is relatively sound as long as I get my fair share of hands (not lucky, just an average mix). I had the chance to stress test this alcohol induced as you get 2K extra in chips if you buy 3 drinks before the break.

Anyway, I was sat to the left of a player I had played against months previous at another venue. He was a young "CardRunners" type character. I'd remembered him because he'd abused another player for calling his AI shove in an Omaha round when it was actually a "wrap" coin flip against his trips - but he didn't know it. I don't like dealer or player abuse.

What a great seat ... He'd raise and I'd 3-bet. He'd call, the flop would come, he'd Hollywood, check, I'd c-bet and he'd fold. Then I'd let him raise a few while I folded. Then we'd do the 3-bet routine again. Basically, he stole a lot and gave it all to me.

I played with the big stack for our table all night. When we merged to a 10-seat final table, the blinds were so high that it was a bit of a crapshoot. I can't recall if I got lucky or not, I don't think so. Lucky not to be called in spots maybe :-). Last hand I got AK and we we're ready to get into an AI anyway. I raised, opponent shoved, I insta-called and was disappointed to see 22. Basically, my AK was reduced to 34, but that's HU, I guess. Flop came K (I think) and I took it down with ease. Ultimately, I got cards at the right time all night.

So I won ... 1 out of 1 at my local. That gets me into a bigger tourney on Dec 6th, not sure if I can make that one as it is an all day affair and isn't really fair on my family. I'll try to be good between now and then.

Online Tourney experience

Buoyed by my RSL win, I thought I'd give a tourney a go last night. There was a $5 PLO rebuy happening. 1 Rebuy and an Add-on later I departed 9 out of 43 (I think) with 5 places paid. Not bad. Again it can be a crapshoot near the end as the money goes in liberally preflop and your rarely more than 60/40 ahead, even with AAKKss.

On the side, I needed some fold action to pass the time, so I played a couple of $20 Double Up S&Gs. I won 2 x $20 on 6-max and came 6th in the $10 10-max. Very small sample size, but they look very beatable for grinders.

Real Life Experience

On the weekend, we had a great Brazilian BBQ sampler meal in the City followed by Hunger the movie about the Hunger Strikes in the Maze prison (formerly and more accurately Long Kesh), near Belfast. I'd love to hear what people think about the movie when you see it, I won't spoil it here.

Let me say though, it is so real for anyone that lived through that era as I did. It isn't necessarily accurate as some of it is artistic licence. If anything it was worse in reality for those with first hand experience which luckily, I didn't. I found the portrayal balanced (but I'm biased). My wife had a good point, if you didn't live through it you would miss a lot as they don't spell out the why. As such, try to find a Belfastie to go with.

A few bits of trivia for my new found blogging friends that have made it this far:

- a bit of name dropping, I went to school with one of the screen-writers;

- Tiocfaidh Ar La means "Our day will come", pronounced Chucky Our La, the true meaning is only experienced by those that grew up in Belfast and if you've found this spot in my blog I am happy to share with you as it is probably politically incorrect for many;

- for the statisticians, when Bobby Sands got elected the turnout was statistically more than 100% (when allowing for dead and absent voters etc). And that is with non-compulsory voting.

The End

As this is non-compulsory reading, thank you for taking the time to get this far. I'll try to post more regularly in future so you don't need to endure the likes of this post again. Time for dinner.

PS I wonder if the River won his first Live PLO Tournament ... he's been very quiet about it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gotta love that Turn

Starting a new hand (#1263649108)
Texas Holdem NL $1/$2 - 2008-11-11 10:54:23 Server
Table Mamadysh (No DP)
Seat 1: katazrofi80 ( $215 )
Seat 2: thesantaclaus ( $217.85 )
Seat 4: Hero ( $286.60 )
Seat 5: hansruza ( $76 )
Seat 6: BourneReady ( $198 )
Seat 9: OriEy ( $228.85 )
BourneReady posts Small Blind $1
OriEy posts Big Blind $2
Dealing cards
Your cards Ts Jc [Hero]
katazrofi80 folds
thesantaclaus calls $2
Hero calls $2
hansruza folds
BourneReady folds
OriEy checks
Dealing Flop 8d 9d 7s
OriEy checks
thesantaclaus bets $7
Hero raises $22
OriEy folds
thesantaclaus calls $15
Dealing Turn 8d 9d 7s 5h
thesantaclaus bets $40
Hero raises $262.60
thesantaclaus goes All-in $153.85
Dealing River 8d 9d 7s 5h Qs
thesantaclaus shows 8c 6c
Winner is Hero $504.45

Monday, November 10, 2008

Knowing your Limits - The "Coin Flip" test

It struck me tonite when I thought about playing 1 table of NL200 or 4-tables of NL50 that there is a very good game selection litmus test for me.

Basically, how do you feel about coin flipping for your stack pre-flop AK v QQ, or similar? If it was NL1, I can't see you giving it a 2nd thought. But NL1000 for me, that wouldn't be my idea of fun, or skill.

As I get increasingly aggressive though, I'm finding that it is essential to be willing to coin flip to avoid being 3-bet off strong marginal hands in position. Playing too weak there can be exploited easily (and its costly - 20+ nit hands a pop).

My last live game, I short stacked for $100 in a NL100-NL250 game, just so I could play comfortably and gamble if need be. I'd never thought about it before. Can you relate to this?

Needless to say, I took the multi-table option tonite, scored a relatively easy $16 over 1 hour of 3 NL50 tables, no risk, no stress and I've even written this post when grinding it out.

PS As if to prove my point, I'd unclicked Autopost Blinds and was in SB with QJ on one of the tables. Bet pot and LAG BB raised pot to $5.50. I shoved $50ish expecting a fold but got called to my dismay by AK. QxxJx - woo hoo! A nice +$73 session in the end. Goodnight!

Live Tells ... so much to learn.

If you haven't already checked out the RedPro Forums on PokerRoad, please do. They are clutter free and incredible! Here is an extract from a Tony "Bond 18" Dunst request for advice on Tells ...

I thought about betting but by now I decided he either has AT-AQ or he has a flush draw that missed. So I check and he grabbed like 4k which was more than half his stack and about a pot sized bet, and he throws his chips in with a flick of the wrist, giving the chips that kind of "spin" throw... I don't know if this is how he value bets or if this is how he bluffs but I decided to stand up from my chair and yell "YOU DID THE SPIN THROW, THATS ALWAYS A BLUFF" just to see what his reaction was, he remained just as still and quiet. At this point I knew that if I talk for 2 minutes I'd eventually be able to get one or two tells that will let me decide whether or not I can call. So for the next 2 or 3 minutes I kept saying stuff like "I cant beat anything, but I can probably beat you" "I make one sick call per tourney, this might be it" etc etc....this guy wasn't giving anything away, and finally I decide to go under the table and look at his feet. Navarro says the feet are the most truthful part of the body and whenever I look under the table people always think I'm just being a clown and they don't change the way their feet are positioned. So I go under and see his feet are flat on the ground, I come back up and I say "your feet say you're bluffing" at which point he smiles at me, I throw the chips in and he mucks his hand, I show the 22 and the guy announces to the table "You know what the sick thing is.....I've seen him do this before" pretty sure I didn't get bluffed again at that table.

It's identical to my Eric Assadourian experience in Auckland (I was at the next table) ...

Just incredible to witness and very very intimidating. Had I been at the table, I would have felt like just handing over my chips there and then. In reality, I now know that it is just a skill that has been learned and passed on between Pros. Not sure that I could combat it.

You just gotta love all aspects of poker!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

1 hr 4-tabling NL50

-37, +54, -13, +7 = +$11 after 1 hour. Took a few pretty bad beats and stole quite a bit. Let's say 280 hands, that would be about 8BB/100 over a very small sample size. I had been up $40 and down $12 during the session and played the same either way. Enjoying the grind!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pocket Rockets Live in Brisbane, what would you do?

I had 90 minutes to kill before heading to the airport after a day's business in Brisbane. I headed to the casino where they had about 8 tables, I think - 5 were active. The lowest limit was a NL100-NL250 BI with 2.50/5.00 blinds.

My table seemed to be full of regulars and a few poker-savvy backpacker types. I bought in for the minimum as I wouldn't have time to get a read and didn't want pushed off a good marginal hand for a 250 stack. 100, I'll coin flip (worst case) for stacks.

I ended up the session +$36 with relative ease. Had great p/f hands but missed all flops. Stole blinds once, c-bet once, folded all others. The other interesting hand, I'd like comments on.

The 4 players to my left were all LAG. 4 to my right were a mix of TAG and T/P. 20 hands into the session I was dealt AA. UTG limped for $5, I knew that I'd be raised, so I limped. Next player had just sat down and min-raised. one caller, BB called, UTG called so there is $45 in the pot and I have $95 more in front of me. Everyone has me covered.

What would you do?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quick session update - modest profit

Always easier to write up a win. Fun aggressive session, 1 hour x 3-tabling NL50 before bed with -$28, +$15, +$59 results for approx $50 profit. Lost 2 coin flips, flush draw came in on river and I stole an obscene number of blinds.

Long term poker goals

Inspired by BCG ...

Do I have ambitions to turn professional? Yes, I grew up playing cards around the kitchen table. I watched the Sting every time I could. I played pool and cards for money at school and was a consistent winner. I had a brief time being a side-kick for a NY pool hustler who paid me at the end of a winning night. I've rarely gambled and close to zero in the last 10 years. In yesterday's Melbourne Cup I took the +EV position of bookie to those wanting to avoid the TAB queue. I love risk assessment and finding +EV situations. Poker creates that opportunity daily on countless occassions. The challenge of finding those spots stimulates me. As I approach retirement, I would be keen to take it seriously as an income stream.

What is my motivation to play? I like winning at whatever I attempt to do. I wasn't smart enough or motivated enough to study earlier in my life. I am ahead of the pack - but well behind the regulars at poker. I enjoy the nuances and mathematics of the sport. It stimulates my risk based thinking and keeps my mind inspired.

Will I switch to no limit or some other form of poker? I have done and its tough but exciting for all the reasons above. If I am to be serious, I need to focus more and I'd like to master all of the games. Ultimately, I'd like to be playing competitively at HORSE on a regular basis, plus Badoogie and whatever else comes along.

Will I move up limits? Up and up and up within my bankroll limitations. I have no set limits on how I can go realistically. The game is more enjoyable against better players, I just can't win or afford the potential variance losses yet as a marginal winner.

What do I want out of poker? Get healthier. I'd like to take the time to jog, swim in the ocean and travel.

How do I stay motivated? Basically I play when I want to play. At present, that is any spare time that I have. When I took up golf, squash and snooker I was similarly obsessed. This phase will pass and I'll settle into a nice routine with a healthy balance, I hope.

So where would I actually like to be in a couple years? Travelling for pleasure and logging in from Tuscany, Mexico, Macau, Kenya and Belfast to supplement my income.

What is wrong with the higher stakes? Nothing as long as I'm winning. In fact, having deposited only $25, and ground out 1c/2c for quite a while I am already at the higher stakes in a lot of ways. I will never challenge Ivey or Durrr. I'm not that smart, dedicated and I certainly don't have that much gamble.

Tournaments? I love the fact that everyone sits down equal regardless of wealth or race. This is where I hope to beat the best of the best on an even playing field. My dream is to win the $50K HORSE at the WSOP.

Live play? I enjoy online a lot. A good live game is great for the company and the added stimuli. I'm not good at live yet but need to spend the time studying people at the table if I am to win a bracelet. Good to dream, eh? I'm realistic to know that it is a million to one shot though, or worse.

What about education? I've read a lot of books. Plan to read a lot more as more is written about the other forms of poker and definitely plan to subscribe to CardRunners etc. I got a birthday present of a subscription, but can never find the time to watch a few videos. Maybe I should give up blogging for a few months :-).

How will I stay on track to achieving these goals? Actually, I'll never achieve one quarter of what I've written as I don't set goals or take this nearly seriously enough. That's me and I'm cool with that. Well above average should come relatively easily and that will do me.

So I am going to .....? just keep cruising along. Everything always works out in the end

Might add some more if I think of any ....

Thanks BCG ... you are an inspiration!

Nosebleed stakes ...

Have you checked out the largest online pots that have been falling over the last couple of months. Ten pots between $500K and $750K ...

... including a mega bad-beat river, trips over trips, AA v KK and the Q2 pair of 2s taking down $609K+. Wow ... a long way to the top!

The formula for online poker success!

Work has gotten the better of me again and I have been slack with my updates. Last night I had 1 hour 4-tabling NL50 and got into 6 or 7 big pots, I must have lost two more than I won as I ended up down about $30 overall. It was an aggresive fun session that could have gone either way. No big deal.

One memorable hand was AKs v QQ AI p/f for $50 with my A on the Turn going down to a Q on the River. Best hand held up, so I can't complain ... bugga!

Now what I wanted to let you know about is two very insightful posts from our idol the BCG. He has very generously documented his formula for success, it is a must read. I'll try to include a balanced score card by the weekend showing why I have failed to emulate his successes.

In the mean time, please read and learn here ...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Coming up with goals ... Why do we play poker?

November is here and I'm impressed by the bloggers and 2+2ers that post goals and then report on them monthly. I'd like to do the same, but I really don't know what goals to set.

I'm happy with my volume, mixing it up with a variety of games, bankroll treads water (goes up, I take a shot - goes down, I knuckle down and grind), I still love the study (read a few more pages of Small Stakes Hold'em and want to get back to Limit Multi) and I feel overall like I'm getting better.

I'm not complaining, by any means, but I do envy the focus and discipline of all you other guys (any girls) out there that can track your progress so clearly.

One post I was going to include was - why play poker? I remember clearly reading Alan Schoonmaker's explanation. Then I read this on Alex's blog "Tower of Checks"

For the record, as at Nov 08, my motivation would appear to be:

1) Measuring myself: 45%
2) Money: 10%
3) Accomplishment: 30%
4) Excitement: 10%
5) Socialize: 5%
6) Pass time: 0%

Anyone out there like to let Alex and I know what your motivations are? Based on the above, any suggestions on goal setting for me?

Variance evens out

I have just returned from travelling so can't spent too long online. Had 20 mins at NL100 and made profit, +$78, single table 6-max. Later that night, fired up 2-tables for 40 minutes -$17 and +$45. Then picked daughter up from party and played 30 mins at 1:30am, went well initially on running $100 up to $213, before running into flopped 777, str8 and then flush to wipe me out. Nett result, +$6.

I'm always wary of playing tired but I felt good about all 3 sessions, had my fair share of luck, good and bad.