Friday, 31 October 2008


4.30am GMT Friday October 31st.

As good as the end of the month so I'll make an end of October post (i want to get this month out of the way and move on!)

So the aim this month was to concentrate on cash games and see how quickly i could move up. I've actually enjoyed learning and playing them more than i expected (i was expecting to be bored stiff but doing it because of them supposedly be a better way to make $). I've been using the cash game videos on Card runners to learn them and cant see how I'm not beaten them better. I think I'm a level 3 thinker, or at least level 2 and listening to what to card runner pro's say i should be crushing these games. I don't feel like i am though.

I've played mostly on Full Tilt as its the best site to data mine and nice software and at low stakes, the games aren't too tough. Ive tried out ipoker, Party and Stars too though. Over the month I've logged 5306 hands. 4292 of which were on Full Tilt. I actually ended in profit on Full Tilt, albeit just $28.90 4.5BB/100 (a win rate that isn't actually that bad - should be getting about 6BB/100 or maybe a bit more at $25NL. Overall i ended in the red though!

-$185.49 - OK, it's nothing drastic but my first EVER losing month since i started tracking my results properly a year ago! I think that tell me something about cash games.

I genuinely believe that i can easily beat these games if i put in enough hands. 5000 hands is hardly enough to get a good idea of variance but i don't think i want to keep concentrating on something that is obviously not that profitable for me! I'll continue learning and playing cash games now and again however for November am going to move back to tournament and sng play! Back to what i know and we'll compare the results.

Onto the specifics... After my losing session last time i took a couple days off from playing then returned to the tables on Wednesday. Ended Wednesdays 25minute 4 table session +$33.25
My only big pot was $52.50 ($27.50 profit) holding AQ v AJ on a A24 rainbow flop - Got all the chips in on the flop and the best hand stood up.
Biggest losing pot that session only cost me $3.50 with K's which i raised pre with 1 caller, i was in SB so out of position. Flop A44 which i cont. bet, got flatted so didn't put any more in. Folded on the turn.

Earlier today things weren't quite as straight forward - played for just over an hour 6 tabling ending the session -$19.05. No huge pots for + or - really... biggest losing pot was with A7 against a fishy player who was quite passive. Board read AQ2TT and he had KJ. Should've realised he had KJ though as i kinda knew it once he got more aggressive after the turn so should've saved myself a few $ there! Another interesting pot was an unraised one, SB v BB v Button. I had KQ in SB so completed. Board 56Q43. I bet every street and just got called down. Don't think there was too much i could do really on that hand as felt i was good and bet river as a kinda blocker bet.
Biggest pot i won was $22.60 with J's v AT which i was quite pleased with how i played it. as the flop was K high yet i still got value out of him and read his holding well (flush draw).

The session I've just finished though was the icing on the cake i think! lol ended the session -$33.55 but there were a few big pots, some of which were quite frustrating! For the first time all month, i found a table with a player i just couldn't help sticking around to play with. playing about 50% of pots and about 25% of them he just open shoved or re shoved. We'll start with the plus points of the session. Two nice pots, the first was $44.20 profit - a $91.15 pot at .10/.25! lol
I button raise with A9 and the loon (who actually had position on me which wasn't ideal) open shoved again. He'd already showed down so much rubbish so i called and he actually had A8! (the best i actually saw him have all session! lol) - this time the best hand held up. The hand before that i won a $55.40 pot on a board of 7QJK4 (3 hearts on the board.) - I actually reshoved him all in on the river - my holding... K9! he called with J8! lol Gives you an idea of how he was playing! They were the plus points of the session. I had a lot more frustrating pots though! lost a $65 pot against the same guy (if you want to know his ID just ask! it was on Full Tilt - I'll def be looking out for him in future) where i button raise with 9's, he reshoves all in, i call and he shows J8os! board runs out 5Q64J grrrrrr
I lost a $60 pot 'racing' with Q's v AK, all in pre (against a different player on another table)
Another pot of $50, all in preflop with AK against the loon who had K7! on a rainbow flop of AK5 you'd think i was fairly safe to win - Not against this guy though who catches running clubs to scoop the pot!
Another frustrating pot where i made a poor read but that said, struggled to put him on much, i had AQ and 3bet someone preflop, he called so we saw a flop HU. Flop 7JT (2 diamonds) he checks, i cont. bet and he calls. Turn pairs the board and he checks again, i fire again - this is my mistake as my bet of $6 makes the pot $15 and i fail to notice he only has $10 back. He moves in and i call as it's only $4 to call with 2 overs and a gut shot. He's got 98 and has flopped the straight... nice for some.

Anyway, enough bad beat stories from me :) One thing that has struck me about the cash games online is the amount they rake them! Especially at lower stakes. Q's v AK is usually about 66% v 44% which should mean its fairly profitable to move in with Q's against AK - apparently at low stakes though the rake actually makes it a -EV play in the long run! On Full Tilt alone, playing $25NL over 4292 hands Ive paid $126.05 in rake!

So... anything you'd like to see my concentrate on playing in November, i really should set up my Poker Tracker Omaha software seeing as Ive bought it. Perhaps I'll try learning that. Play a bit of Razz maybe and just revert back to a few mtt's and sngs. I may try to improve my HU game when i get around to it. I hear it can actually be a pretty profitable form of poker. I'm not sure, Let's just have fun and hope it results in some profit as it'd be nice to win something for a change after having a few crap months!

How the hell have i spent an hour typing this! I really should go to bed! busy weekend coming up so i doubt I'll get much chance to play after today... Saturday i have ice hockey in the evening, then off right down to West Wales (Talbenny) early Sunday morning rallying then back and pretty much straight to Newport to the Feeder gig. Monday evening is then 'Franny's Fright Night' - Basically the Devils Halloween party so I'll be out chatting up Peter Aubry again. lol

Monday, 27 October 2008

All downhill from here...

Don't seem to be catching too many breaks at the moment! It's been a bit tough. Not too sure if its my play and I'm getting a reality check after my good start to the month or just standard variance. I'm hoping the latter and think it probably is to an extent. Obviously there's always room for improvement and i know that ive made a few sloppy & spewy plays recently which have probably cost me about $25 in total - not a lot but it adds up and effects your BB/100 a bit which is largely what I'm playing for. The money isn't really enough to be of big interest as I'm used to trying to take down a few thousand in the mtt's - $25 is just one buy in so i cant think about the stakes too much - I'm actually impressed how Ive focused on just playing solid poker and not thinking about the stakes too much.

Early Sunday morning before i headed to bed after a long wet night out rallying, i thought I'd have a crack at Stars games again to try to at least get my graph into the green... It wasn't to be though. Just seemed to pick up big draws and never hit in this session. For example, raised from the button with AT suited and got a re raise from the SB. flop came K42 with 2 spades giving me the nut flush draw and a pretty good flop. The sb cont. bets the flop in position strongly so i decide to re pop him, expecting a fold but instead got a call from Q's somehow - not sure how he could have done that given the way I'd played the hand but there we go... obviously the board bricked out. Stacked for the first time.

Next big pot i limp in from sb with KJ suited and get re popped by the bb so i flat him. Flop come 39T with 2 spades giving me a flush draw, straight draw and 2 overs. I opt for the check raise and he obliges by betting $3.5, i raise to $9 and he re shoves all in. At this point I'm expecting to see Q's. K's or A's but am obviously still calling given the pot size and my many outs. Of course, he flips over AKos with no spades and once again the board bricks giving him the pot with A high! Stacked for the 2nd time...

So frustrating although i can see the positives in it too as these people aren't too great. I'm certain the 2nd hand was the correct play. My first flush draw hands was just down to a wrong read and i perhaps built the pot up too much pre flop/ on the flop which meant i had no choice but to call with my flush. Still, i don't think i did too much wrong. Please feel free to disagree!

Basically, i ended up ending the session $44.95 down overall which wasn't the best.

Decided to have a shot at one of the matrix sng's on Full Tilt just for fun and a change to the cash games which weren't going my way and ended up doing quite well. Won 2 of the 4 tables, 3rd on another and 2nd overall... Perhaps i should go back to sng's/mtt's?! lol

Sunday night/Monday morning i was feeling a bit tired and unwell but thought id have a game anyway to pass the time (or more to put off going to bed)! Wasn't too sure what to play. Was very tempted to play some sng's again but told myself to stick at the cash games... Sat down at a $2/4 razz tables for about 10 Min's but couldn't really track it properly (as i haven't bought PT stud) so opted to leave after I'd won a couple of pots... $20 up wasn't a bad start given i only played about 5 hands!

Then sat down at the Full Tilt cash tables which have so far been fairly kind to me unlike Stars! My bad luck/play decided to follow me over from Stars though and it was the start to another dull session. lots of small insignificant pots then when i get it all in I'm either behind or failing to win the hand! i decided to 4 tables and accidentally sat down on 2 $50NL tables but thought I'd take a shot as I'd been quite good so far with my bankroll management! The other 2 tables were $25NL tables...

My $25NL tables were OK really. just standard ups and downs but as has been the case recently, a bit of a grind. The $50NL i found were surprisingly soft. They seemed almost softer than the $25NL tables, part of my reason for sticking around. The 1 table i was pretty much break even the whole session but the other one got all the action.... I actually ran quite well with starting hands but they weren't good news.

First up, dealt K's and think excellent, time to double up (as I'd already lost a few small pots but use auto top up so had a full stack of $50)... Raised from early position 5 handed and got 3 bet by a fairly solid seeming player but I'm not folding K's the way i feel. i guess you could say i was chasing a bit which isn't good but I'm not folding K's anyway i don't think! After his 3 bet i think we can get in pre as he wasn't 3betting me lightly and i was correct when he re shoved my 4 bet all in. I obv called only to run into the inevitable A's and despite making a set, it couldnt beat his set! Not a lot done wrong, just a cooler so i battle on just dented slightly. A few hands later i pick up A's and have a lot of people enter the pot so i make a big raise only to get re shoved pref lop. i was clapping my hands as thought i was going to get my original $50 back as didn't think he was too strong given his stats and weak open. i obviously call only for him to have A's too so we chop it up! ahh well, onto the next hand i think. Next i run T's into K's although this is a hand i think i may have slightly overplayed as he played his K's strongly. i think i may have been on tilt a bit, mixed with no sleep, i just wanted some chips back! lol lost another pot of about $12 when a short stack open shoved preflop so i re shoved to isolate and got HU's with my AQ v's his 4's. Q on the flop but a 4 also spelt the end to that hand... i lost another biggish pot with AQ v's K's against a LAG player, overplay JT trying to outplay someone tight on a safe flop, Q's into A5 on a AA3 flop - you get the idea.... lol

I played 262 hands in the session and had only 5 hands i won which were over $5 pots! and they were all fairly marginal ones like AK, 5's and KQ which most didn't even get to showdown (as you'll see my my graph below in a sec.)

Sorry for the bad beat diary today! I'm just tired and fed up! looking back over my hands I'm not too surprised i feel like i do mind. Ended the session $92.05 down. it gives me a BB/100 of 6.5 overall for the month which isn't actually all that shabby i suppose. still $48.25 in profit overall although it's not going to be that way for long if things don't change around pretty quick!

Not too sure what my plans are now to be honest. Do i continue plugging away at the cash games, concentrate on a different form of cash game as I'd originally intended - i always seem to do quite well at the razz games and enjoy the plo games too - they're probably more profitable than the hold em too! or shall i go back to mtt's. not too sure. I'll have a think and come back with the answer in the future. It's likely to be a combination mind. lol

5.08am been tired for the past 4 hours so I'd better head to bed. Before i do though i'll end on a positive note... Excellent evening of hockey with Devils beating Capitals 9-nil, 2 fights and generally an entertaining game - Went for a skate after too and was chatting with Peter Aubry (Devils net minder), congratulated him on his shutout. Pleasant to catch up with him again after our 2 hour long chat at the bowling evening a few weeks back! :) lol I have a weird thing about being friends with Canadian hockey players i think. lol

One final question... Should i start playing myself again?.........................................

Friday, 24 October 2008

Poker stars here we come...

Up until recently Ive been playing just on Full Tilt so decided we'd have a change of scenery and test out some new waters...

Monday - playing on Full Tilt i had a fairly relaxed couple of short fun sessions really. nothing serious and ended the day with a small profit of $12.55. One thing that baffled me today though is my 'red line'.... My show down winnings were pretty good today but my non showdown winning (AKA red line) were dire! If i knew where the cash was going it'd be OK but i really struggle to see where I'm losing all these pots without showdown! not sure if its variance or me playing poorly. I'm going to guess the latter based on the fact I'm too much of a fish to work it out even with the Poker Tracker stats in front of me!

Tuesday - Didn't play today... In fact I'm not too sure what i did today! would have hardly noticed if the didn't exist!

Wednesday - After a £20 buy in shorthanded home game where i finished my usual 4th outside of the cash i headed home for a short late night online session - First stop was Party (with my very limited bankroll of just 2 buy ins for $25NL - i will reload there at some point i expect). The games on Party were pretty good, very loose and passive. I think it'd take me a while to adapt to that kinda of player as full tilt has a mix of good players and bad. Party seems to be largely poor play which is almost more difficult to play against to start! The software was a bit frustrating as it didn't seem to work with my HUD stats properly which annoyed me a bit. Overall i ended up $19 down which was frustrating but the session was a positive one and the games are definitely profitable long term! most of that loss came from a hand, all chips went in preflop where i had A's v QTos... you work that one out - he naturally outdrew me though rivering a straight... After that a couple other beats i decided to call it a night and protect what little bankroll i had left for a day when I'm running better!

Thursday - Weathers been naff today! hasn't stopped raining all day! (well my day anyway which starts at about 4pm! lol Went to a motor show in the evening and then out with the motor club for a Chinese. The motor club boys are really unbelievable - gotta be seen to be believed. Some of the stuff they come out with is soooo funny but hugely embarrassing to be associated with them - i genuinely don't know how they don't get us thrown out of the restaurant.
Tonight was particularly funny as they decided it'd be a good idea to pretend it was the one guys birthday when he came in late and sang happy birthday at the top of their voices (i quietly joined in and played along) in this restaurant all so they could try to scab some free food. then decided to do it again when the other lad came in late and told the waitresses they were twins! lol (they obviously aren't and neither was it either of their birthdays!) - They did managed to scab balloons and a slice of cake with candle, and attention from the staff mind! After a nice and sideways drive home through the lanes i settled in to an evening/night of ice hockey and watched as my beloved Maple Leafs turned a 2 nil deficit after the 1st period into a 3-2 win by the end of the game! yay! They're playing well this season! Also, a pretty impressive hit by one of the Bruins players that put Mike Van Ryn THROUGH the plexi glass! only people hurt were a couple of fans though who got covered in the shattered glass! lol

Anyway, after all that i settled into a couple hours poker... Decided to give ipoker a shot but couldn't get poker tracker to track the games for some reason. Hardly seemed worth the hassle either as the games were unexpectedly tight and small average pot size which i wasn't really expecting on the ipoker network - it's usually pretty fishy. Anyway, after losing a $10 pot by attempting to represent an A by three betting someone i had no stats on i decided it best to run to a different site. Poker stars then became my site of choice and i was actually pretty impressed! There were some very tasty looking tables on offer! i quickly jumped into 2 and they didn't disappoint! People 3betting and even 4 betting with very little. My cards were very nice as well being dealt plenty of premiums... The only problem, and it proved to be quite a costly one, was that my hands were being outdrawn relentlessly! After 30 minutes at these awesome tables i found myself over 4 buy ins down! $110 almost in the red! Rather than give up, i opened up another 2 tables and then soon after changed the original 2 tables as the profitable players had hit and run with all my money! i ended up spending the next hour and half grinding my way back up! Still ended up $30.20 down but its a lot better than it could've been!

To illustrate the kinda results i was getting here's a few examples.
Hand Amount of times dealt in session Amount won/lost
AA 2 -$10.75 (vs T2 despite me 3 betting preflop!!!)
AK(os) 8!!! -$4.70 (i don't think i hit the board once all night!)
AQ 6 -$17.50
AJ 5 -$1.75
KQ 9!!! -$36.45
KJ 7 -$19.85

Anyone notice a trend? Some of it may have been down to small mistakes by me.. possibly my AQ hand where i tried to squeeze with TPTK but walked into a set but other than that it was largely down to missing flops and cont. bets not getting through. Need i say it but my red lines not too good on stars either! lol I'll definitely be putting some more time in on stars though as the games were actually much softer than I'd expected...

This updates gone on a bit tonight so I'll leave it there for now! I shan't bore you with any graphs this post either. It's long enough already! wish me a bit more luck for future sessions please?! i need it to avoid life tilt :)

Over and out...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Ups and Downs...

Mixed feelings about my game the last few days. The negative variance has set in and Ive seen myself have a few losing sessions recently. Just keep losing all my big showdowns such as J's running into A's on a low flop, 9's into T's, K's V AQ on a Q high flop (all in on flop with a 3rd Q showing up on the turn) and the list goes on... On the plus side though, i think I'm getting the hang of utilising position, flop texture and aggression to win a lot more pots without going to showdown so despite my losses when it gets to showdown, Ive actually improved my red line and am for the first time showing a profit with Non Showdown Winnings! woo. It looks from the graph below like my losing at showdown stats are directly as a result of my improved non showdown winnings but i don't think they are really connected - just bad luck and perhaps some marginal calls on my behalf.

Overall, I'm still quite positive about my results at the cash tables so far... I'll continue to play at .10/.25 stakes for the moment simply to put in enough hands to get a decent idea of my BB's/100 earnings at the moment it's dropped down to a much more normal looking 8.32 BB's/100 but that's after my recent poor run. If things pick up and i can maintain a BB/100 of above 5/100 after 10,000 hands then I'll start playing at .25/.50 and start logging some hands there. Doubt I'll notice too much difference in play but still, going to do everything properly...

Away from the poker tables its also a mixed story. I had a terrible test day for rallying today - had no sleep (literally) over night, then over 5 hours of driving up and back to the test venue only for the drive shaft to go on the car as we pulled out of the garage 1st thing in the morning. Spent most the day under the car, trying and failing to botch it together so we could at least get some testing done - We failed though! On the other hand, i had an enjoyable evening at the Wheatus gig - good old and new memories. Ive also discovered that i can actually enjoy going out and drinking a few alcoholic beverages given the correct company! lol and also rediscovered my love of making new female friends. hmm. I'll leave it there...

Back to the Card Runner vids and Full Tilt tables tomorrow i guess!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A few days in... All is good!

I'm pretty pleased after my first few days at the tables. I've not actually played many sessions and the ones i have played were pretty short but fairly sweet... I think i must be running well at the moment as my hands seem to be holding up in general and i even caught a 2 outer in one hand with J's v Q's where the chips went in pre-flop vs a relative short stacked player.

I'm not sure how long other peoples sessions are but i find mine are pretty short. I tend to take a few hands to settle into the table then start making a few chips then after 30 mins or so start feeling a bit uneasy and itchy and end up finishing the session. I think I'm scared of having a losing session! lol Not sure if its good or bad - I'm guessing the latter...

Above is a graph showing my October earnings so far (well i say October, i only started tracking 6 days ago...). All is well apart from a couple of issues i have.
I'm actually about $25 down with my 'money $ won with showdown' which i need obviously need to do some work on! It's not a big problem at the moment as even in the top cash players it usually only accounts for a relatively small proportion of their earnings - Most the money comes from hands that go all the way to showdown... That said, i shouldn't be losing money from it!

Also, something i cant do much about is rake. Ive paid $40.65 in rake so far and have no form of rake back program on Full Tilt. It's quite annoying really as i don't want to change my account name and have to reopen a new account but it's like throwing money away not claiming rake back... I have rake back on Cake poker but PT3 doesn't work with it at the moment and i think I'd struggle without it! Even in a commercial fishing pond like Cake!

I'm going post on the PxF forums i think (as i find them better than the card runner forums) about your expected $/Hr rate or BB/hr rate at different stakes. I'm currently running at 52.7 BB/hr & $26.35/hr at the $25NL and that's playing just an average of 2.2 tables at a time over 8 sessions (each session averaging 49 mins each).
The above stats strike me as being pretty impressively high so I'm just bracing myself for variance to kick in and my numbers to plummet. Anyway, while it's going well I'll just keep grinding i guess!

If anyone can help with any of my above queries feel free to drop me message! Cheers

Saturday, 11 October 2008

The Beginning....

So... I've decided to take the plunge and start keeping a blog to keep track of my progress as i venture into what is a new form of Poker for me.... Cash games.

Since the beginning I've always specialised in multi table tournaments and SnG's however have been lacking motivation recently and as a result, lacking in results and therefore money! In an attempt to re motivate myself, i decided to subscribe to Card Runners (as well as PokerXfactor where I'm already a long term member) and also invest in some cash game tracking software so set about purchasing Poker Tracker 3 and Poker Tracker Omaha. The original plan was to play non hold em based cash games as the Razz games ($2/4 & $3/6) on Full Tilt have proved pretty profitable so far. I've actually found myself playing Hold em though and it's been a pretty good start.

I've been playing at FTP as it's easy to data mine the tables and the games don't seem too tough. I think that the mixed cash games are probably more profitable and i will get onto playing those in the future however am going to basically start at the very beginning and try to build a bankroll using cash game NLHE and PLHE.

Having uploaded my old hand histories it became evident that i had never had a winning session in NLHE cash games! I hadn't played too many but it still came as quite a surprise considering my relative success in mtt's over the past 2 years. I think Ive simply been far too aggressive in them and playing them like sngs! This is clearly not a profitable strategy.

The poker tracker software is awesome and has already helped me massively both to keep my game on track, track other peoples play (so i know when to steal to blinds and when not to, etc) and also to generally keep track of my sessions and profits. It's made for some interesting reading...

I've been playing a few short sessions at .10/.25 (low stakes i know but going to try to rebuild a bankroll from the bottom and work my way up slowly) and actually had some encouraging results. Having played 4 sessions so far, all 4 have been profitable so far! I know it's a very small sample size but considering my past results I've clearly improved vastly already! Not too sure what kind of hourly profit is good at .10/.25 limits but I'm currently working on $28.78 p/hr. Better than i earn from my day job so just got to see if i can keep it up and improve it as i move up the limits now. Total profit so far of $99.30 - not huge but its certainly nice to be winning consistently unlike my recent mtt and sng results which weren't going so well!

Anyway, apologies if my grammar isn't great (as if anyone will be reading this anyway!)

Haven't written anything like this since high school a good few years back!