Friday, 10 February 2012

Jan Review & WBCOOP

January has gone largely to plan. Behind schedule for my $50k target but was always expecting to be at the start of the year short of binking a nice big tourney... I've stuck largely to my plan of playing mainly 180 mans and turbo mtts but also added in a few Omaha hi/lo 18 man turbos and non turbos if i feel like a little change.
I ran fairly average most the month with my profits being helped out a lot by getting 2nd place in a $35 180 man. Should've won it, Got HU as chip leader & got it AI as a 70% favourite on the turn but the river wasn't kind. Also went deep in quite a few mtts but came up just short on countless occassions. Putting myself in good spots though and this will convert into $ in time. Stats for the month below:

Games: 809
ROI:     26.5%
Time:   88 Hours
Profit:   +$2553.65
Hourly: +$29.02 p/hr

Mildly satisfied with those figures. Perhaps should've put a bit more time in at the tables but 20 hours+ a week is quite good me & my hourly isn't too bad. Would ideally like to be getting over $50 by end of the year though.

Made a few investments in Jan. Main thing was spending £560 on a new screen. Bought a Dell 27" Ultrasharp with the intention of tiling more tables although having tried it i've recently converted back to  stacking/cascading as i find it easier to keep up. I then just pull the important tables to one side to give them more attention.

I also bought a back massager seeing as i spend a lot of time sat at the computer and often have a stiff back. I found it pretty nice to start with but think i overused it and ended up with a really bad back for a few days :( I'll use it more sparingly in future.

Today Pokerstars have just announced their annual WBCOOP schedule which looks bigger and better than ever. I'll be taking part in a few of the events as usual and hoping to ship a few SCOOP tickets and my share of the $5000 main event prize pool to help boost my bankroll for the year!

See you at the tables!

Monday, 9 January 2012

2012! THE PLAN.

2.30am here now & I'm feeling pretty tired. Went to bed at midnight (very early for me) but couldn't sleep so got back up at 1am. I've not been well for the past few days. Its an odd illness as i feel OK in myself, still going out and doing my usual stuff but not feeling like food. Whenever i do eat, even small amounts, i feel sick & worse afterwards... Hoping it clears up soon as it's a nuisance.

I've been intending to go on a mini diet for ages now. I've never dieted in my life before and don't really need to - I'm hardly fat & reasonably active/healthy. Being a bit of a perfectionist, i wouldn't mind losing a bit of belly fat I've acquired over the past few years. Losing body fat is apparently 80% diet & 20% exercise so plan on cutting down my meal sizes and carb intake as well changing my gym program a bit to include more cardio & less weights (as it's currently near enough all weights!). Seeing as I'm off my food at the moment with this virus, ill probably start now seeing as it's probably going to be easier to eat less now rather than cutting down while I'm eating normally.

Anyway, not the best start to the year health wise but hopefully i'm getting the bad bits out of the way early on :)

On to the poker side of things.

2011 - I started the year with plans of making a decent income of the game - taking it more seriously & generally making a respectable income off it. I started off playing largely HU sngs for the first couple of months & did reasonably well at them! I had a sharkscope star in them.
By March I'd gotten a bit bored of HU, my volume had dropped considerably (it wasn't exactly great to start off!) so i switched to 18 mans. Again, i found them pretty decent to play, posted some good results and again posted a reasonable profit. I found my volume was far too low in the smaller field tourneys though to give a decent $/hr income.
By April I'd found myself back at the mtt tables at various sites & also mixing  in plo & plo8 cash games with mixed success. Another profitable month but i was hardly making anything worth shouting about!
May through to July my volume was really down. Possibly a result of Black Friday, me cashing out & generally having no direction.
The rest of the year i picked my volume up a little although it wasn't exactly consistent.... I was playing mainly mtts & plo8 18 man sngs on Stars & continued posting reasonably solid results but nothing great.

I finished the year posting a profit of $11,564.50 - Hardly great for someone calling themselves a pro...

Good points i think were my ability to post winning results in a variety of games. The only area i struggled to be hugely profitable in were the cash games but i think that's largely down to my tournament mindset. I'm also pretty pleased with the consistent profit i was posting each month. Only had one losing month and that was during the summer when i hardly played - Was too preoccupied playing golf! lol

Pokerstars results during 2011
(exc. rakeback & results on other sites)
As you can see from my graph, my volume is just awful! A lot of pros could post those results from a month, not an entire year! Really got to work on that although being realistic, i don't see myself managing to break the 2000 game mark in a month, especially playing mainly mtts/180 mans (which where I'm going to focus my efforts - more on that shortly)

so... 2012 - Happy New Year! (a little late i know)

Planning some big things this year poker wise. A few months ago i stopped drawing a wage from my business on the side so even though I'm still a director of the company, i won't be taking any money from it or doing much work with it from now on. I'll remain a director but that's about as far as my involvement will be. As a result i really need to take poker more seriously.

As you can see from my 2011 graph, my best results came when i switched to playing mainly mtts & mtt sngs - This news isn't exactly new to me. I've always know they were my best games and that i could achieve my best$/hr playing them. I've just not liked committing the long hours in front of the computer, always choosing the more flexible sngs over more profit.

This year I'm setting myself a bit of a challenge. I never normally set myself public challenges as i'm awful at sticking at things & hate failing so i avoid them. I think i need to make it public though to give me that extra incentive to achieve it.

Inspired by 'Chilin_Dude' 2011 challenge ($300 to $100k - excellent 2+2 thread) I plan to take my current bankroll (about $5k) and turn it into over $50k by the end of the year.
Chilin_Dude successfully turned his $300 into $100k without putting it ridiculous volume and was playing exactly the types of games i will be focusing on & have always done best at so in theory, it should be a walk in the park for me to make $50k this year. We'll see... I definitely need a PMA (positive mental attitude) throughout!
I'm going to be focusing my attention on largely 180 man sngs & turbo mtts. I probably will play some reg speed mtts but focusing on turbos will both give me my best $/hr ($50/hr is my target) & also mean my sessions aren't stupidly long as even the big field turbo mtts only last a few hours.
Naturally, I'm going to encounter my biggest ever downswings but on the basis, I'm also going to have my biggest ever profitable days/weeks & months so bring it on! :)

So, with the scene set, we're already a week into 2012. I started brilliantly by not actually playing at all New Years day or today... Although so far this year i have logged 223 games, 21 hours of playing time & $262.07 in profit. I'm reasonably satisfied with my volume, not overly impressed with my week 1 profit but it is just that... 1 week. I think I've run a bit below EV in the higher buy ins although i have won a few 180 mans which has helped my claw back my losses and make a bit of profit. This is of course just variance though & of course I've not landed any mtt scores just yet.
Overall, I'm fairly satisfied with my start and feeling reasonably positive!

Going to try to keep everyone up to date here as much as possible but i don't seem to have the ability to write short blog entries so if you want to get in touch/keep up dated a bit more, give me a follow on twitter @The_Ivydrive


GL at the tables!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sleep Schedule

I've been slacking with my blogging lately! Not posted for a few months.
It's not that i haven't been playing - In fact, i have more than ever probably! I've just not had the inclination to blog. If anybody is really missing my blog posts (as if...) then give me a follow on twitter as i find that a lot more convenient to update fairly frequently :) I'm of course going to keep my blog going, Just not promising to update it every few days.

Pokers been going fairly well recently. I've been doing my usual style of not sticking to any 1 game in particular and just playing whatever i feel like at the time or whatever fits my schedule best. I've been playing a lot of PLO8 sngs on Pokerstars and even gone back to grinding 9 man sngs on Pokerstars.FR the past week - Mainly driven by the ability to make the BOP leaderboards with relative ease thanks to the lower volume of players. You don't have to run like god to get a decent enough score which is nice.

Been trying to fit in a few mtt sessions whenever i can which usually work out ok but i find that my random schedules make them quite difficult to commit to as i don't have big enough blocks of time free (Too many social activities clearly...)
When i do manange to squeeze some in i've been doing fairly well. Nothing life changing but managed to ship a few smaller tourneys for a reasonable payday. Still need to commit to playing some of the bigger buy in tourneys though which i still haven't got around to. Mainly because i always seem to have ice hockey matches on the weekends which i enjoy too much to sacrifice for 'work'.. lol The length of time the big mtts take to play out when you go deep is also something that puts me off them. That said, i am half planning to play the Sunday $10m Guaranteed on Stars this Sunday seeing as i have no ice hockey which takes away my usual excuse! My sleep pattern is shot again so can't blame needing to be in bed by 1am to keep that in line either this weekend...

That leads me on to my blog title... Sleep Schedules (If you're here to just follow poker updates then i suggest you stop reading now!)

I've noticed a lot of poker players having really messed up sleep schedules so it's clearly a hazard of the job but thought where better to seek some advice than off some fellow 'sufferers' :)
I've never been very good at sleeping since i was kid. Well... Not so much the sleeping part, just the going to bed bit.
I hate ending the day and going to sleep - It feels so unproductive & a waste of time. That said, once i'm in bed and asleep, i sleep well (clearly shattered) but then really struggle to get up the next day. I'm really unmotivated in the 'mornings' at the best of time and even more so if i haven't had 7 hours sleep.
I think its mainly a mental issue but am not convinced that my body clock doesn't think theres 24.5 hours in a day as i seem to get tired a little bit later every night. Once i get to the point where i'm sleeping 3am-11am i find it'll quickly implode and ill be sleeping stupid schedules like 8am-3pm within a few days. I usually struggle on with that for a few weeks before i get fed up and try to force myself to basically switch time zones which usually involves me feeling like death for about a week and quite often ended up feeling ill too. Not exactly ideal.

Does anyone else have these kind of issues and how do you feel best to deal with them? Be it advice for changing sleep patterns back effectively or even preventing myself getting into bad patterns in the first place? I've been to the doctors to ask for advice, kept sleep schedule records, tried herbal pills, non herbal pills, etc etc. Basically tried everything but with no success. I used to blame poker but i cant even do that anymore since Black Friday seeing as the best games are usually in the evenings in the UK. I would like to get it sorted or at least a bit more under control but am a bit lost with who to turn to seeing as my doctor was entirely useless and basically told me to just live with it. You speak to most people and they say go to the gym, work harder, get a proper job and you'll be tired. They don't seem to understand that even when i'm shattered i don't seem to want to go to bed though! Most people seem to grow out of it when they get older but if anything, i'm worse now than i was in my teens & i'm now 25...

Doubt anybody can help as even google can't but i thought i'd throw it out there :)

Friday, 19 August 2011

On a roll! Grindcore

Its that time again... an update on my progress. I've continued to grind a mix of mtts and mtt sngs - concentrating on mainly hold'em turbos and plo8 - over the past few weeks. I'd set myself the target of playing at least 20 hours per week and have so far easily been achieving it.

Not only have been putting in the hours but I've been getting a few decent scores too in both the 180 mans and mtts. Came up frustratingly short in a $5.50 rebuy turbo cashing in 7th for just over $700 when my 9's couldn't hold against AK. I had a few other deep runs too and managed to take down a couple of mtts which is always nice (pics below). I'm actually quite enjoying the tournament grind at the moment too which makes for a nice change to struggling for motivation like i was just a few months back!

The only thing i'm still struggling with a little is volume. Not because i'm not putting the hours in but because i'm playing most my poker on my mac so can't run Tableninja software. I find it so much easier stacking (or even cascading) the tables but don't feel comfortable doing so on the mac (especially in turbos with the smaller time banks) as i find myself timing out unknowingly on some tables which is obviously quite -EV... I tend to tile up to 9 tables across the screen, starting my sessions with just mtts then mid way start adding 180 mans then filling it up with 18 mans as i get towards the end of my session. Life would be so much easier with tableninja though!

$27.50 freezeout win

$3.30 PLO8 win

Hopefully i can keep up the grind and keep my motivation over the coming months. Really need to start to look to satellite into some bigger tourneys & take some shots rather than being my usual conservative self when it comes to bankroll management.  Thats the plan at least :)

Ice Hockey season starts up again next weekend with a warm up match before the season proper getting underway first weekend in September! Can't wait! Bring on the away trip carnage again!

Been getting into going to gigs again recently! I used to go to loads through my late teens but then lost a bit of interest. Getting back in to it now though - Saw Lost Prophets (in Solus which is quite a small venue for them) & Kids in Glass Houses (another local band who've made it pretty big), both in the last week. Also saw Funeral For a Friend just a couple weeks earlier - Another local band who I've followed since they were opening little shows for bands in all the small underground venues!
Got a draw full of tickets too for gigs over the next few months - Should be fun.

Monday, 25 July 2011

A few results to report.

I've finally achieved my Sharkscope Star! Not quite a Diamond but will settle for gold. I've been pretty much guaranteed it for quite a while now but had stopped playing the 180 mans so took forever to get it!

I've been putting in quite a few hours at the tables the past week (almost 40 hours in the past 8 days!) playing mainly mtts. I've been putting myself in quite a lot of good spots but keep coming up short!
Managed to win a $22 PLO8 mtt but it was only 50 runners so not much to write home about.
Managed to go deep in a $5 rebuy today and pick up 4th/1225 for $1475 but as usual, just ran out of luck at the money end of the tourney! Went into the Final table as a big chip leader and was doing really well until we got 4 handed. A couple of lost 60/40's later i was super short and shipped my 6BB stack with AT only to walk into AQ which held. GG me!

Nice to be putting myself in good spots though and i'm sure a few nice results are only just around the corner if i keep putting the hours in!

Friday, 22 July 2011


A much overdue update.... Just haven't had the time or inclination to update here recently.
I seem to have hit a patch of run bad the last few months. Not losing much but not winning much either. Could really do with making some $ soon having spent so much on the house recently! I've been playing a load the last week - 27 hours of poker in the last 5 days! Thats A LOT of poker for me.... Only $53 of profit to show for it though!
I've been playing mainly mtt sngs and mtts the last week - looking for the big score i guess. Took down a $9.90 mtt yesterday but it only had 31 runners so hardly a great achievement! I've made quite a few final tables though and been putting myself in good spots - Just coming up short all the time - so despite not having much to show for my efforts, i still feel surprisingly positive about things! Can't change the way the cards fall so as long as i keep getting myself in those spots the $ will come!

I'll try and update my blog a bit more often again. Just keep the posts to a more sensible length so it doesn't take me forever to type or bore you to death.

Until next time....

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Long overdue!

I've been very poor with my blog updates recently! Just had loads of non poker stuff going on and not really had the inclination to update. As I've probably mentioned before, I've recently bought my first house and am in the process of doing a lot of work (well... paying people to come in and do it...).
Had a new boiler and heating installed throughout the house (there wasn't any upstairs before!), New double glazing fitted in every window, totally opened up the garden and laid a new private driveway, gate and parking area out the front. Now got the builders in building an extension for my new bathroom.
Nice to see it all starting to come together! The bank balance isn't so healthy anymore though, already quite over budget and only about halfway through the planned work... sigh.

In the poker world things haven't been going too badly. Just had the usual 'volume' problems - nothing new there!
I continued Feb where i left things in Jan - playing just HU sngs. After my profitable Jan I hit a bit of a break even stretch of 100+ games (which is quite a lot for me and my naff volume!) but finished the month reasonably strong. Started moving up stakes as well once I'd got out of my break even stretch moving up to the $23 and $34.50 games which actually went really well. I was table selecting my opponents quite a lot but even the profitable regs didn't seem too tough to beat, if anything they were easier to grind down with my hyper aggro mode employed than some of the uber calling station luck box fish were to beat. My HU stats for Jan and Feb are listed below:

Month   Games played    ROI        Profit
Jan               357            26.9%     +$1042.92
Feb              176            10.4%     +$247.03

I have to admit I'm amazed at my stats! I started playing HU for fun, really not expecting to be any good at it but seem to have picked it up pretty quickly. Low volume i know but my overall roi's in the games seem reasonable enough.

March - New month and a new game. No real reason for me leaving HU other than fancying a change of scenery and i was struggling to make many VPPs due to not being able to multi table.
Having followed James Atkins blog for quite a while and seen his success in the 18 mans so far this year i decided to jump on the bandwagon. The change has gone pretty well so far!
Almost $800 profit from 164 games giving a 32.4% roi... Totally unsustainable i know but still - I shan't complain.

Been playing all my poker so far this year on my old laptop! I bought a brand new 27" Mac but the lack of table ninja software and Hold em Manager makes me feel like I'm giving up an edge and more to the point, not able to play as many tables comfortably. That said, I'm getting a little frustrated playing 18 mans on the laptop as it's overheating a lot and lagging once i get to about 10 tables which is frustrating as i could quite easily be playing twice as many with a bigger screen and a quick computer to play at. My 'old' desktop (a year old but basically brand new as I've had problems since i bought it so it's barely been used) is back at PC World getting its new hard drive tattooed so fingers crossed, once i get that back it may actually work properly for the first time ever and ill be able to play on a quick machine.

Anyway, got to be up in less than 6 hours as my girlfriends dads coming over to see the house (he's not seen it before) and I'm not sure he'll appreciate me still being in bed - Not so sure he approves of the idea of me playing poker for a living so will have to make half an effort to actually be semi awake by the time he turns up at midday :)

On a slightly sad note... A year ago today i was in Vegas on my West coast US tour! Another trip is long overdue i think!
Me with some Gorilla in one of the hotels...
I did most the photography so i struggled to find a pic of me in Vegas! lol

Bobby's Room, Bellagio