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

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Jan review

Jan has been a reasonable start to the year i guess. I've spent the majority of the month playing the $11.50 HU sngs on Pokerstars and currently have a Sharkscope star for making the the Top 20 for Profit in $5-$15 HU sngs in 2011. My first ever Sharkscope star! First of many though i assure you.

Jan profit: +$1051.91
Hours played:  67

I'm +$804 from the 301 HU sngs I've played and +$352 from the 25 180 mans I've played. I've only unlocked 1 Stella reward so far so that's +$10 from that. Other than that, I've clearly lost a little bit playing random other games. Most probably the plo8 games i was playing last night while tired. That said, i usually do well in the plo8 sngs  but having only played a few, variance got the better of me!

I joined and have watched a couple vids but as usual, don't think i get much out of them. They just help refocus me i find if I'm running or playing badly - Usually a combination.

I haven't played all that much the last few days of the month though and when i have, i dabbled in the 180 mans again. As you probably notice the sudden increased variance towards the end of my graph! Binked one of them but no results from any of the others worth mentioning.

Ignore the Red EV line - It shows me as running well above EV but its largely down to it not working properly in the 4 msn shootout HU sngs I've been playing. The guys at Hold'em Manager tell me the issue has now been fixed and the new release will be out shortly. I've been waiting a couple of weeks the new release though and there still no sign of it! Come on HM - You're usually pretty good! As a result of this though, I'm not running quite as hot as it would appear :)

Not too sure what Feb holds if I'm honest, as usual I'm feeling a little lost as to what games i should play. Think ill start off playing a combination of HU sngs and 180 mans depending on how i feel each day. May toss a few mtt days in too if i feel that way inclined. As usual, no insane plans for the coming month, just continue to grind and perhaps move up to the $20 HU sngs. The fact I've got a Sharkscope star for the $10 level though makes me want to keep hold of it which is inevitably not going to happen if i stop playing. I've missed 2 days of playing and have already slipped from 14th down to 18th place so I'm close to losing it already if i don't play a bit more...

Away from the poker tables, I've been putting a lot of work into clearing my garden. As I've mentioned before, I've just bought a nice house in the countryside but the garden was so overgrown it looked really small before. Ive stripped it right back and cleared all the hedges and bushes out with the intention of getting it all nicely done in time for summer. Also planning on putting some private parking and my own driveway in. May even build a double garage if funds allow. We'll see - Will try to get some pics up as i think it'd be cool to keep track of the progress as I've putting a lot of hours in and have no pics so far.

Going out to have a look at some kitchens and bathrooms tomorrow morning to get some ideas for what i want to get fitted over the coming months so gonna go get a bit of sleep so i can get up at a reasonable time!

Off to Belfast again for an Ice hockey game next weekend! Lets go Devils! We're currently top of the league but only by 1 point so theres a lot of big games coming up! Fingers crossed we can pick up some Silverware this year! Will update soon with pics provided i survive all the bomb threats, etc that seem to be kicking off over there recently!
Any tips for decent clubs while I'm there? Think of heading to Golden Mile after the game - Sounds like its the student part of town?

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Pokerstars Home Games & WBCOOP time again!

Pokerstars Home Games... Excellent idea and addition to Stars software. I think it's a great way to help people encourage their friends get involved in the online game without the worry of playing with loads of strangers/sharks who're going to take all their money (or at least this is probably how many newcomer to the online game think!). I'm certainly going to use this new feature as a way to encourage my home/pub game friends to sign up up and try out the online scene!

I may even start my own blog poker club in the near future... Watch this space :)

In other news... Its that time of year again... The WBCOOP is coming! Later this month bloggers from around the world will lock horns in battle to claim the crown of WBCOOP champ. I plan to show Daleroxxu the way to do it.

Anyone else planning on playing?

Online Poker
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker! The WBCOOP is a free online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers, so register on WBCOOP to play.
Registration code: XXXXXX 616283

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Year... New Game...

As the title suggests, I'm not playing my usual mtt sngs so far this year. I've played a few of them during the first few days of Jan but didn't really make much from them. In fact i think im a little down in those games this year. I did however somehow fall upon a new game... Heads Up.
Its never before appealed to me much as i've never liked the idea of playing to win such small amounts. I'd always imagined the possible roi would be tiny, variance big and that i'd be rubbish at it.
I think this opinion has come from my experience of HU which is usually at the end of a sng with big blinds where its pretty much shove every button, fold every BB until eventually someone gets bored, calls and then sucks out on the other person. Not really that fun... (slight exaggeration i know but you get the idea!)

Having played a few HU turbo sngs over the past few days, I've quickly learned this isn't the case. There's actually scope to get a fairly consistent win rate going and make a fairly healthy and consistent income from them while keeping the flexibility in my schedule that i seem to crave so much - Each game only takes about 20 mins max to play out and are usually much quicker. I don't like multi tabling and you can't really multi table HU so thats a good excuse for getting away from the grinding. I only play one or 2 games at a time at the moment and am really enjoying it. Its very interesting studying your opponents individual style and traits and gets away from the boring ABC sng strategy.

I imagine I'm probably just running well at the moment but from what i read and see, the variance in these should be relatively low so fingers crossed i can keep up a reasonable win rate. I've not actually had a losing day yet. Running a little above EV but not hugely. I started out playing the $6 games for a bit of fun but quite quickly moved up to the $11 games. I've been doing really well in the 4 man HU shoot outs too which has probably helped boost my roi somewhat but its a pleasant start all the same! Hold'em Manager graph with EV line below for just HU & 4 person HU shootout games since the start of the year.

I've signed up to so will watch a few of those videos over the coming month and hopefully improve my game, continue to plug away at them and hopefully continue to see some nice results.
The only downside I've seen so far is that they don't produce much rake and as a result it will be impossible to hit SuperNova playing these all year. If i keep winning at this rate though I'll be able to grind up through the stakes in no time. We'll see how it goes. I want to put in at least 1000 games at about the $11 level before i consider moving up just to prove to myself this isn't just a super hot run.

I'm not ruling out a return to the mtts and mtt sngs sometime soon but my immediate focus is improving my HU game.

On a separate note, i thinking of jumping on the bandwagon of coaching/staking. I've got a few small plans/ideas and am currently coaching a couple of friends to turn them from novices to online superstars. If that goes well, I'll look into taking on some new 'strangers' to coach and mentor and hopefully turn them in to profitable players. I've got a few ideas in my mind of how i can make it affordable and my kind of target market but will play it by ear while i get some feedback of my current 'students' and see how their games progress... If anyone is remotely interested in having a chat about coaching options feel free to get in touch.
If not, i should have something a bit more official in place in the coming months!

In other news... Isildur1 is Viktor Blom?! Who'd have ever thought!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2010 Review & 2011 Plans

2010... It came and went pretty quick! I barely remember it!

Not my best year of poker but i think that's more down to my volume as opposed to results! As I've mentioned throughout this blog, i really struggle to motivate myself to put any real volume in. I simply don't enjoy poker when I'm playing more than 6 tables at a time. I think it gives me a better roi and lowers my variance somewhat but at the end of the day leads to me making less $ than the real grinders. Something i plan to work on in  2011 but I'm certainly not going to tie myself down to any targets just yet.

2010 monthly breakdown

Jan +$604.40
Feb +$2281.91
Mar +$263.33
Apr +$90.11
May +$1441.27
Jun +$2363.21
Jul +$346.75
Aug +$164.28
Sept +$45.64
Oct  -$35.64
Nov +$26.75
Dec +$667.54

Total Profit +$8259.55

A bit embarrassing considering i call myself a pro but i bet my hourly rate is pretty damn good! lol
My year on Pokerstars: Bare in mind both my mtt wins were on Party and Full Tilt so aren't included above; hence the figures not tallying

Jan and Feb i played quite a lot and ran pretty well. Played mainly 45 man and 180 man sngs but also mixed in a few hyper turbo sats on stars which helped top up my T$. I played more than half my years volume at Stars during these first 2 months!
March i spend almost entirely touring around California, Nevada and Arizona. Drove over 2000miles over there and enjoyed every minute of it! Really wanting to go back now! As a result i played hardly any poker but still managed to luckbox my way to some mtt sng wins and show a reasonable profit.
April i spent in holiday mode still. Put very little volume in. Just played a bit of plo8 cash and some super turbos on Party. Ran pretty badly over at party and lost quite a bit of my profit from earlier in the month off stars but still scraped a small profit.
May was much of the same except i managed to bink a win in an $11 mtt on Party which made up most of my months profit.
June we got back to grinding the 180 mans and ran like god. I was winning them for fun. I remember one set i played where i final tabled 3 at the same time and won 2 of them and got 3rd in the other. Pretty good considering a set for me consists of about 12 games max... lol
After my previous 2 good months i went into anti poker mode and just totally lost the will to play much in July, August and most of September. Just playing bits and pieces at random sites.
I eventually decided i needed some $ as my bankroll was quickly evaporating. I decided to grind the Full Tilt Super turbos as they would give me some flexibility as they are so quick to play.
This didn't go to plan.
I was basically a microstakes rakeback grinder over a load of games. It was a real grind and i just felt like i was running well below EV but couldn't face playing anything longer plus the fact i wasn't winning when i felt like i was capable of crushing the games drove me to grind on. In the end, i decided i was wasting my time. Even if i could crush the games, the variance was being too harsh to justify my time when i could win standard turbos so much easily.
With a severely depleted bankroll, December saw me return to my home - mtts. I played quite a bit and put a load of hours in at the microstakes mtts. Eventually managed to take down a $5 turbo which saw me turn a reasonable profit. After I'd taken down the tourney though it cued an end to my grinding and i pretty much took most the rest of 2010 off as i was so busy with family functioned etc around Christmas.

2011... I have some loose plans but nothing set in stone. I'd like to make a bit more $ which i think is simply a case of putting in more volume! I'd also like to play a bit more live and perhaps take some more shots at bigger mtts as i never satellite into anything - well, if i do i usually take the T$ instead! I plan to perhaps keep a bit more structure to my year as 2010 was all over the place but I'm not going to commit myself to a certain game as it will just lead to me getting bored! I would also like to have a shot at Supernova. People have proved its easily achievable yet I'm not convinced ill get anywhere near it again. Will give it a shot though :)

I'm absolutely shattered so will leave the typing there for now. Apologies for the rambling (as usual) but really don't have the energy to reread and edit it now!

All the best for 2011 - See you at the tables!