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Oh ****, that Gamer guy is back!

    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Hey there, everyone!

      *crickets chirp*

      Ah, it feels great to be back! :D

      I've decided to come back after a bit of a hiatus from poker in general. I cashed out in August after a massive downswing gutted my bankroll at Cake and left me down about $350 in one month (playing NL10 and finally NL4).

      Anyway, I was bored yesterday and logged back on. I noticed that they were running some SnGs with a 11 Gold Chip entry fee (2 6-max tables, top 6 get $5). Seeing as I had earned nearly 300 chips over the time I had been playing there before, I decided to give them a shot. Sure enough, I ended up winning one after 5 tries, and now I'm back on the tables.

      This time around I'm not going to be doing anything profound yet. I'll just be posting key hands and what stakes I'm playing at every few sessions and keeping a tally of my bankroll. Will I be able to do what Chris Ferguson did and get to $10k from nothing? Probably not, but it'll be fun trying.

      Anyway, here we go!

      15 Dec 2010:
      Played single table NL4 and one $2 DoN.
      No significant hands to post this time around, since I forgot to set the software to save hand histories. :evil:
      Current bankroll: $10.27 (+$5.27)
  • 19 replies
    • justkyle88
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 7,613

      JK, wish you the best. Good luck.
    • Dendra
      Joined: 28.01.2009 Posts: 479
      how are the micro cash games on cake compared to pokerstars/partypoker and such?

      btw gl @ poker tables :)
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Holiday activities have really cut into my poker time this last little while. I've only played around 1000 hands since my last post.

      Since my bankroll's still relatively low, I've been playing NL4 BSS on both the 6-max and full ring games. Half the time I've been playing on the short-stack tables ($2 max buyin) just because of table availability. It's quite the aquarium there with lots of loose fish looking for action; I've been able to double up quite regularly by playing mostly solid, ABC poker (although I think I'm chasing my draws too much - gotta work on that.)

      So as of 24 Dec 2010:
      Bankroll: $20.75 (+$10.48)

      Hm, looks like my New Year's resolution is to get my act together enough to actually get some hand histories and data to post. :P

      With the way things are going this will probably be my last post of 2010, so have a merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year everyone! May Santa bring plenty of donkeys to your tables!
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      *Casts thread resurrection spell*

      Wow, that was nearly a 2-year-long Christmas break. :( I think getting a 'real job' also had something to do with it. too.

      When we last left our hero, he was splashing around on the micro-stake tables at Cake. Since then, he has moved on to the greener (fishier?) pastures of the micro-stake tables at PokerStars. Armed with a $40 deposit and a determination to pull himself up through the ranks, he set off on another epic *snicker* journey...

      ... I'm still there after almost a year. :P

      I hope this blog lasts longer than my previous try at it. Three posts was a pretty pathetic attempt last time.

      Anyway, I've been splitting my time between the NL2 and NL5 tables depending on where my bankroll is at. I've also been fairly successful at the $1.50 SnGs, especially the turbo Fifty50s, so I play them once in a while to shake things up.

      In the future I'm aiming to play roughly 300-500 hands a day. I've also just installed Free Poker Database, which should fill my tracking needs until I get HEM.

      I've changed my game a lot lately. I've been paying a lot more attention to position and my opponents' actions, and making lots of use of player notes, too. Sometimes it works and sometimes, well, not so much, but it'll work out in the long run, I'm sure.

      Here we go again.

      So to (re)start things off, I'll be posting the first of whatever interesting hands I came across. I will also post my thoughts in the hands as I go along. I am still going to make tons of mistakes in my play so hopefully those of you who read them will give me some feedback.

      Not long into my last session, I ran across this hand:

      $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Holdem
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by

      UTG ($1.96) 39bb
      UTG+1 ($12.08) 242bb
      MP1 ($3.86) 77bb
      Hero (MP2) ($2.73) 55bb
      MP3 ($1.99) 40bb
      CO ($5.02) 100bb
      BTN ($3.74) 75bb
      SB ($5.01) 100bb
      BB ($5) 100bb

      Pre-Flop: ($0.07, 9 players) Hero is MP2 K:diamond: Q:diamond:
      UTG calls $0.05, 2 folds, Hero raises to $0.25, 5 folds, UTG calls $0.20

      I'll admit that I play KQ a bit too much, especially when playing SSS or MSS. Still, the UTG limp screamed 'Hey! I'm a fish!', and I had position on him. I figured that I should be able to isolate the villain with a preflop raise, and it worked. Had someone 3-betted, I would have folded since I would probably have been crushed by whatever monster they would have had. The flat call of my raise told me that the villain probably had a decent hand here, but nothing great.

      Flop: 5:diamond: 2:diamond: J:diamond: ($0.57, 2 players)
      UTG checks, Hero checks

      Ooh, second nuts! :D I decided to slow-play here to show some weakness and try to get a payoff on the turn.

      Turn: 2:heart: ($0.57, 2 players)
      UTG bets $0.40, $0.4 to Hero ($2.48)?

      ... and this is why I should have just bet out instead. Still, I'm ahead if he now has 2 pair or a set (but I can't see a 2 in his range), but drawing dead if the deuces filled him up... Aaargh.

      So, any thoughts here? Without any stats on this guy, should I have done something else?

      Total hands played: 14280
      Bankroll: $53.96
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Another weekend, another downswing. *grumble* X(

      It's funny how bad beats happen in bunches. This time it started with me shoving with KK being 3-bet preflop by 8s-7s (seriously??). One runner-runner straight later, and it began.

      I at least had the presence of mind to switch to NL2 after losing a half-dozen buyins (though I was really tempted to stay at NL5) to ride out the storm. It finally turned around a bit over the course of a couple of days, but when the dust settled I was down to around $35.

      It was at that point that I decided to bite the bullet and - gasp! - reload.

      Up to now I was proud of the fact that I had never needed to reload. During my last stint on PokerStars I was able to build a $50 deposit to over $350, which ended up partly paying for a vacation. :D I thought that I was better than enough fishes at this level to stay afloat.

      This time, however, I had my doubts. I've actually been able to fight my way back up from worse, but this time around I noticed that I was paying too much attention to my bankroll and it was starting to affect my game. Normally in this situation I would move down a level to give myself a cushion, but at NL2 there's no where else to go.

      So I went and added another $20. Maybe it was a subtle subconscious boost or sheer coincidence, but I think the ship has been righted. The downswing looks like it's over and I'm playing with a little more confidence.

      Be that as it may, I have no plans to do it again.

      Total Hands: 19,506
      Bankroll: $66.90
    • gigenieks
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 130

      Hi there!

      I'm wondering:
      :club: Are you multi tabling?
      :club: Do you use any HUD? (PT4 / HEM)
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Hi there, gigenieks!

      It's good to see that someone else besides myself actually reads this. :P

      To answer your questions: I'm usually on two Zoom tables or four regular tables at a time. Any more than that and I sometimes feel a bit rushed and end up either misclicking or making blunders.

      I don't multitable SnGs yet just because I want to be as focused as possible if I get into a tough situation.

      As for using a HUD, I use the one provided with FPD. You get what you pay for, so while it's adequate, it can be a little quirky.
    • martoman2k10
      Joined: 27.08.2010 Posts: 669
      Bankrolls from scratch are fun, I'm currently doing that (been doing it for over a year).

      Thought about doing kickback bonus whoring? That helps quite a bit on a challenge like this.
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Hi martoman,

      I'm afraid I'm not really familiar with that. Do you mean taking advantage of whatever reload bonuses the sites have, or is there something more to it?
    • gigenieks
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 130
      I'm also playing 4 regular FR tables.

      I'm using PT4.
      FPD you say? Never even heard of it until now. Does it show stats correctly as PT4? Or is it a bit buggy?

      I think it's time for some graphs here (if FPD can generate one)! :f_biggrin:
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      It's late October, and for a lot of people in North America it's World Series time. I'm talking about baseball, that is. The other World Series that we're interested in is, of course, next month.

      It's also *supposed* to be hockey season for most of us here in Canada, but I won't go into that. X(

      One of the more frustrating things I've been coming across in full-ring games is the monster hand -- more specifically AA or KK. Now, I'm not talking about facing one (although that sucks too), but rather getting one.

      Short-stack strategy (and tight-aggressive style in general) is all about waiting for big hands and aggrssively forcing your opponents out of the pot or, to use a baseball analogy, knocking one out of the park if they decide to stay in. All too often, though, something like this happens:

      $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Holdem
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by

      UTG ($4.61) 92bb
      UTG+1 ($5.62) 112bb
      MP1 ($8.66) 173bb
      MP2 ($5.94) 119bb
      MP3 ($2.43) 49bb
      Hero (CO) ($4.12) 82bb
      BTN ($3.43) 69bb
      SB ($6.34) 127bb
      BB ($4.76) 95bb

      Pre-Flop: ($0.07, 9 players) Hero is CO A:club: A:spade:
      5 folds, Hero raises to $0.20, 3 folds

      Final Pot: $0.12

      Hero wins $0.27 (net +$0.07)

      And so your 1-in-216 hand managed to steal the blinds, whoop-dee-doo. It's even worse when you get your monster in the big blind and the entire table folds around to you. Congratulations, you won a small blind which you post on the next hand.

      A friend of mine told me that, for him anyway, it has reached the point where he just shoves pre-flop if he has a monster. Really weak fish will call anyway and better players get out of the way regardless of his bet size, so what's the difference anyway?

      The answer is that by doing so you lose a lot of value from smaller hands that would likely not call a shove such as AT, AJ, KQ, TT, JJ, and so on. They may bail to a bet on a later street, but at least you get something out of it. And even if you manage to "just" steal the blinds, you're still better off than you were the hand before, and that's never a bad thing. While home runs make a baseball game exciting, it's the singles, stolen bases, and sacrifice flies that will put the runs up on the board and numbers in the 'W' column.

      It's all about patience. Getting frustrated over not taking down big pots whenever you get a big hand will lead you to the seemingly contradictory situation of getting tilted over being dealt monsters.

      Okay, that's enough introspection this time around.

      I've been able to build on the momentum I gained since my last update and have been doing well on the ring game tables. I've been able to break even playing the $1.50 Fifty50s, and even took second in a $1.50 27-man SnG (A3 lost to Q4o, but he had a 5-1 chip lead on me so I'm not complaining,) If I keep this up I should soon be able to head back to NL5 regularly instead of ignoring proper bankroll management and poking my head in there occasionally.

      Today's featured hand is one I'm rather proud of. I'm sure I played it correctly, but please feel free to nitpick. :P

      $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Holdem
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by

      UTG ($22.21) 444bb
      UTG+1 ($4.65) 93bb
      MP1 ($9.16) 183bb
      MP2 ($7.22) 144bb
      MP3 ($2.31) 46bb
      CO ($2.68) 54bb
      Hero (BTN) ($2.50) 50bb
      SB ($5.35) 107bb
      BB ($2.45) 49bb

      Pre-Flop: ($0.07, 9 players) Hero is BTN K:spade: A:club:
      UTG calls $0.05, 1 fold, MP1 calls $0.05, MP2 raises to $0.10, 2 folds, Hero raises to $0.30, 2 folds, UTG calls $0.25, MP1 calls $0.25, MP2 calls $0.20

      Standard pre-flop raise.

      Flop: K:diamond: A:heart: K:heart: ($1.27, 4 players)
      UTG checks, MP1 checks, MP2 checks, Hero bets $0.20, UTG folds, MP1 calls $0.20, MP2 calls $0.20

      Second nuts again (this seems to be a habit with the hands I post here.) Since I'm pretty certain I would have been 3-bet by AA preflop, I'm sure I have this hand. I went for a small bet in an attempt to make it appear that I had either a weak Ace or was on a flush draw, and was more than happy with the number of calls I got.

      Turn: 5:diamond: ($1.87, 3 players)
      MP1 bets $0.60, MP2 calls $0.60, Hero calls $0.60

      I felt that raising would just scare everyone off.

      River: 7:diamond: ($3.67, 3 players)
      MP1 checks, MP2 checks, Hero bets $0.40, MP1 raises to $1.45, MP2 folds, Hero goes all-in $1

      One last small value bet, and I'm overjoyed to see one opponent shove.

      Final Pot: $6.47
      Hero shows a full house, Kings full of Aces
      K:spade: A:club:
      MP1 shows three of a kind, Kings
      10:club: K:club:

      Hero wins $6.20 (net +$3.70)

      MP1 collects $0.05 (net -$2.50)
      MP2 collects $0.00 (net -$1.10)
      UTG lost $0.30

      So that's it this for this time. Comments? Thoughts? Did I play this right, or did I just get lucky? Let me know.

      Total hands: 22,990
      Bankroll: $75.47
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      FPD, or rather FPDB, is a freeware program. You can find more info here:

      I believe it's still in Beta, so there's a few bugs that still need to be worked out. Specifically, tournament winnings don't seem to import properly, and HUD displays occasionally need to get repositioned. Still it's fine for a free program. It's no Elephant, but it does the job well enough.

      I'll post a graph or two next update.
    • gigenieks
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 130
      Yeah it does suck when you finally got that KK or AA, and everyone around slowly folds. I know the feeling.. :s_biggrin:
      Usually when I see that table had become very tight, I will change it for a better one.

      "A friend of mine told me that, for him anyway, it has reached the point where he just shoves pre-flop if he has a monster."

      What does "shove" mean exactly?
      I'm seeing this term quite often in poker forums; does it mean just going all-in?

      I've been able to build on the momentum I gained since my last update and have been doing well on the ring game tables.
      Good to hear! Keep it up. :s_grin:

      "Today's featured hand is one I'm rather proud of. I'm sure I played it correctly.."
      Isn't it much more beneficial to post hands where you lost $ or was uncertain what to do (or both) rather than a winning one?
      (says guy who haven't posted a single hand in forums or launched blog.. YET! :f_confused: )

      As for hand you posted - I would played the same.
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Thanks for the feedback!

      What does "shove" mean exactly?
      I'm seeing this term quite often in poker forums; does it mean just going all-in?

      Yes, that's exactly what it means. :s_grin:

      Isn't it much more beneficial to post hands where you lost $ or was uncertain what to do (or both) rather than a winning one?

      I've been posting a few of my hands in the hand evaluation boards as well so that some of the coaches can give feedback on them.

      Posting hands here in the blog allows me to record my thought process as I played the hand, so I can look back at why I made a particular decision. I guess you could say it's a learning tool for me as well as something for everyone to discuss. :f_grin:

      I'm not sure if I made too much sense there. It's past my bedtime. :P
    • gigenieks
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 130
      "I've been posting a few of my hands in the hand evaluation boards as well.."
      Why don't you post links in blog? So your blog followers don't need to check (search) for your post in hand forums. ;)
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Why don't you post (hand evaluation) links in blog?




      *slaps forehead*

      Now why didn't I think of that!? Thanks!

      I'll start doing that in my next update (which I'm going to do regarly on Monday or Tuesday from now on).

      In the meantime, I felt I have to share this hand - not that I have a question about it or that it needs to prove a point, but simply because it was so... well, weird. I love this game sometimes. :]

      $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Holdem
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by

      Hero (UTG) ($2.50) 50bb
      UTG+1 ($6.45) 129bb
      MP1 ($5.19) 104bb
      MP2 ($3.32) 66bb
      MP3 ($7.56) 151bb
      CO ($4.86) 97bb
      BTN ($3.70) 74bb
      SB ($2.45) 49bb
      BB ($2.62) 52bb

      Pre-Flop: ($0.07, 9 players) Hero is UTG J:heart: J:club:
      Hero raises to $0.20, 7 folds, BB calls $0.15

      Okay, it's not a really strong hand and it's under the gun, but the table's been tight so maybe I can take a stab at it...

      Flop: J:diamond: J:spade: 9:heart: ($0.42, 2 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you flop the nuts :D . A check in front tells me he doesn't have a decent pocket pair or a 9, or that he's really scared of a set. Might as well slow-play and try to get some value later...

      Turn: 9:club: ($0.42, 2 players)

      Well, that's just great. How am I going to get value out of this now?

      BB checks, Hero checks

      River: 9:spade: ($0.42, 2 players)

      Oh, for...!

      BB checks, Hero bets $0.05, BB calls $0.05

      At this point even a min-bet is better than nothing.

      Final Pot: $0.52
      BB shows
      K:club: Q:spade:
      Hero shows four of a kind, Jacks
      J:heart: J:club:

      Hero wins $0.50 (net +$0.25)

      BB lost $0.25
    • gigenieks
      Joined: 18.10.2010 Posts: 130

      One of the most profitable moves in micro-stakes are value betting. What was your opponents: VPIP, PFR and AF ?
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      Well, so much for updating on Mondays. Curse you, real life! *shakes fist*.

      With my day job and family stuff occupying much of my time lately, I've only been able to squeeze in about an hour's work of playing per day. It's still a lot of hands, especially if you're playing the Zoom tables, and I should be hitting the 30k hand mark sometime tomorrow.

      The relatively limited amount of time I have to play has made me gravitate more and more to the Zoom tables on PokerStars. For someone like me who has played a ton of short-stack strategy and, until recently has never heard of mid-stack strategy, it has been quite an adjustment, even with basics like pre-flop bet sizing (see the discussion for this hand I posted a little while back).

      Incidentally, ever since my last full update I've been getting a lot more action on my monster hands ever since going from the 4BB + 1BB/limper pre-flop bet of SSS to MSS's 3BB + 1BB/limper. It could be sheer coincidence (impossible to tell since there's no way to do a controlled experiment), or that single big blind bet is making a huge difference.

      Another adjustment I've been making is one that was brought up by gigenieks last post. I've been trying to value bet more when I'm sure I'm ahead. I used to be a very conservative player in these situations since I would be afraid of scaring off opponents. I would try to entice a bluff from my opponents in the hopes of letting them build the pot for me. Perhaps value betting say, 1/3 to just over 1/2 the pot (depending on the texture of the board) might get weaker hands to call. So far, so good.

      That's about it for this time. My ring game play has been doing all right, I suppose, but my bankroll took another hit this past weekend. Fortune favors the fish on Fridays, I guess:

      So October is in the books and I'm up about $25 since my first post. Sounds rather impressive, I guess, until you factor in that $20 I reloaded with a couple of weeks ago. Ah well, any session you walk away from with a profit is a good session.

      Total Hands: 29829
      Bankroll: $75.79
    • Gamer135
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 253
      November looked promising -- for about an hour. Then the rout was on. Again. I've spent the rest of my time trying to dig myself out of another hole, and I'm almost back.

      After a lot of reviewing, I have discovered a major leak in my game. In a nutshell, I seem to have a problem with realizing that, even though I might be ahead early in a hand, I may not be ahead later on. I don't have a hand history, but here's an example from memory:

      I'm dealt K:spade: K:heart: in early position. I bet, everyone but the villain (in middle position) folds. He's been playing pretty passive but not very loose.

      Flop: A:club: K:diamond: 3:heart:

      I bet 2/3 pot, villain calls.

      Turn: T:diamond:

      I bet ~2/3 pot, villain calls.

      River: J:diamond:

      I bet 1/2 pot, villain raises enough to put me all-in. I think...

      Mouse hand clicks on 'Call'.

      Brain: Wait - WTF AM I DOING!?

      Villain shows A:spade: Q:diamond:

      Now that I'm aware of this, I can hopefully catch myself from making that mistake too often.

      I'm also falling prey to sets pretty regularly. I find it's really hard to get away from them, especially when I'm playing an overpair. I'm not too sure of the maths here, but I'm leaning towards the idea that this is a stretch of bad luck and that it may be more profitable to play aggressively anyway. It's pretty unlikely that the fish are going to hit two-outers every time, right?

      If the board is paired, well, that's an entirely different situation!

      Total Hands: 40,957
      Bankroll: $64.42