Microstakes to a cruise around the world

    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      Hi all, my name's Matt, and I'm making this blog to keep track of my evolving mindset as I play poker, and to put my goals into an organised format.

      I currently play the $1.50 6max hyper SnGs on PokerStars.

      About me: I'm 22 years old, I live in Australia, and I've been playing poker on-and-off for two years, though have only recently become serious about improving my game. I love the challenge poker presents, and I want to prove to myself that I can overcome the challenges that I will face.

      I've recently had my first coaching session with a user from this website (Tim64), who I'm certain is an extremely good player. I hope to purchase more coaching sessions from him in the future, as I was very happy with the previous session.

      GOALS

      - Short Term:
      1) Start 3-tabling.
      2) Volume goal: play at least 50 games per day. (75 when 3-tabling)
      3) Do at least 30 Nash quiz questions on SimpleNash every day.
      4) Get as many coaching sessions as I can (getting lots of different viewpoints on the game will enable me to pick a style that benefits me the most)

      - Mid Term:
      1) Grind up to $800 profit so I can afford a coaching package from the King himself: Collin Moshman. :D
      2) Get out of the microstakes!

      - Long Term: (very, very, very long term :P )
      1) Grind up to ~$30000 profit so I can buy a round-the-world ticket on a cruise ship.



      20th August, 2014
      Heh, off to a good start :rolleyes:

      http://i60.tinypic.com/263ge9z.jpg]http://i60.tinypic.com/263ge9z.jpg
      Will play a few more games before bed to reach my goal of 50.


      Thanks for reading, stay tuned for updates. GL and run good! :D
  • 37 replies
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,153
      Hey Matt,

      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com :)

      Awesome to see you starting a blog here and I'm sure it will make good reading. Plus I have another Aussie to talk to. :]

      You are certainly on the right track with Tim64 and CollinMoshman. Outstanding coaches and nice guys as well. :f_love:

      You may as well check out the free money as well. This will give you lifetime Bronze access, a tracked room to earn StrategyPoints, the ability to send friend requests and private messages and being able to post images directly into your posts.

      Defo following

      Laz
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      21st August, 2014
      So yesterday I met my goal of playing 50+ games. I also 3-tabled for about 45 minutes, feeling semi-comfortable. I'm a noob, so 3 tables is pretty fast for me, but I felt okay with it for this session. Honestly, I don't think I'm the kind of person that could play 10+ tables. At least, at this point in my life, it seems unlikely. I'd rather play 4-6 tables comfortably, but I'll have to wait and see.

      22nd August, 2014
      Mindset: Today, I'm hungover from last night, entertained some company, so I won't be 3-tabling today due to my lessened mental capacity. I'll still definitely try to play at least 50 games.

      One thing I've been worried about recently is my EV-line. Before I had coaching, my EV-line was plummeting, sinking like the Titanic:
      BEFORE
      After coaching, however, there's been a significant improvement:
      AFTER
      (I'm such a lucky bastard, always running over EV :P )

      All credit goes to Tim64 for identifying my leaks. The declining redline was the direct result of two things: playing too tight, and not exploiting my opponents enough. Nowadays, my play is more in line with nash ranges (as best I can, still drilling the ranges into my brain), and I've loosened up considerably. I'm now getting better at isolating passive players, and I'm playing a lot more post-flop (whereas before, I was scared of post-flop play, and tended to avoid it, which is a big mistake against weak players).

      So now it's my goal to turn my break-even redline into an increasing redline, which I'm sure will require a lot more study and leak-plugging.
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      Mindset:
      Found this little gem today, after having recently watched the Wolf of Wall Street film:



      I've been lying to you, and to myself, in respect to my poker goals. Originally, I thought I'd be conservative and make small, manageable goals. Goals with a sprinkle of fairy dust in them, you know the type: "I just want to make a profit, no matter how small it is" or "I just want to be constantly trying to improve my game, and to have fun while trying to outplay my opponents". I did this because I was afraid of ridicule, afraid of being told "You're too ambitious, you'll never achieve your goals", and so I settled for mediocrity.

      Well here's my thoughts on mediocrity (and pussy little "sensible" goals):

      Fuck. That. Shit.

      New and improved longterm goals:

      1) Make $100k a year through poker.
      2) Buy a ticket on a round-the-world cruise ship.
      3) Get shredded like Zyzz (famous bodybuilder. I've already been working on this for 4 months, have put on 8kg since I started, still going strong).
      4) Live life to it's absolute fullest.
      5) Fuck high-class hookers in Vegas.
      6) Travel the world as much as possible, meet as many people as I can.
      7) Buy a ticket on a Space Tourism vehicle, such as the Virgin Galactic.
      8) Reach SuperNova Elite in the next two years.

      So there's my goals, and I'll be damned if anyone ever tries to tell me they're not achievable. I'll arrange a personal meetup so I can literally laugh in that person's face and say "Watch me". If I'm too ambitious, so be it, but at least I had the balls to take a shot at what I want in life. So go ahead and laugh, because while people are sitting back and laughing at me, I'll be working my ass off every day to accomplish my dreams. :D



      Till next time. Peace out
    • FFRRAANNKKIIEE
      FFRRAANNKKIIEE
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.12.2010 Posts: 3,107
      I'm in. glgl :)
    • shanesmith
      shanesmith
      Global
      Joined: 17.07.2009 Posts: 202
      Hahaha,

      Love the blog dude, added to favs.

      Go crush those hippos \o/
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      Thanks Lazz, Frankie and Shane :D

      25 August, 2014
      Breakeven EV line continues (this doesn't concern me, as I'm glad I've made progress from being a losing player at the $1.50s). Have almost kept up with my daily volume goals, but my real job got in the way, so from here on out, my daily volume goals don't apply to Sundays, which is the 1 day a week that I work.

      More Break Even-ness

      Recently had to purchase SimpleNash, as my trial ran out. I'm getting better at the quiz for bubble situations. Today I scored 81.7% over a sample size of 60 questions. I'm going to push it to 90% in the next few days! A thorough understanding of Nash will be crucial in higher stakes as I progress.

      Mindset:

      Listened to various audiobooks on motivation and success, one of which I highly recommend is "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill is a shining example of how a man should think and act. He talks about the power of visualization. If you want something: you need to SEE yourself in possession of it. I'll be blocking out all negative thoughts from now on. None of this "The games are getting harder" bullshit. That's what quitters say. As long as poker is played, it will be beatable.

      I'm now setting my sights on moving forward! I now know that I can play at my current stakes without losing money, but of course, I want to start making money. So! It's time I did some serious review and study for the next few days. More importantly: I'm trying to source another coach for this week, as I want to have at least one coaching session per week (Tim64 is having a vacation in France at the moment [don't blame him, who wouldn't want to go to France?] :D ).

      This week: I make some money. :s_cool:
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Originally posted by TheFireBeard
      Listened to various audiobooks on motivation and success, one of which I highly recommend is "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill is a shining example of how a man should think and act. He talks about the power of visualization. If you want something: you need to SEE yourself in possession of it. I'll be blocking out all negative thoughts from now on.
      I have think about this every now and then and this is the thing that everyone talk about when they talk about how to succeed somehow. But how you put yourself in to the position where you have whatever it is that you visualize to yourself? How to act/think like you already have it?

      None of this "The games are getting harder" bullshit. That's what quitters say. As long as poker is played, it will be beatable.
      Well said. It need more hard work than after that huge poker boom but games are beatable.
    • rompas
      rompas
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.02.2014 Posts: 2,872
      nice blog , i agree with goal setting, goals must be high and outside the comfort zone, think and grow rich is a great book, to read it and understand it and aplicate it in life will make a huge impact :-)

      good luck and will follow
    • 3prswins
      3prswins
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.07.2011 Posts: 204
      Originally posted by TheFireBeard


      5) Fuck high-class hookers in Vegas.

      Nice one Matt!! :f_cool: GLGL
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      Thanks rompas and 3prswins! I appreciate the good luck wishes :D

      Originally posted by NutzAreOk
      But how you put yourself in to the position where you have whatever it is that you visualize to yourself? How to act/think like you already have it?
      I've just started doing this, but for me, every morning when I wake up and have my shower, I get myself pumped up by reciting affirmations in my head. I imagine, in as much detail as possible, my pokerstars bankroll reading "$100000" on screen. I also imagine myself playing with top world champions like AWice, slayerv1_fan and spacegravy and seeing the 7 black stars (supernova elite stars) around my picture. Then I imagine travelling the world and seeing, up close, the wonders of the world, like the pyramids, stonehenge etc.

      By the time I'm done with my shower, there is a huge grin on my face, and I'm ready for anything, ready to crush. :D


      27th August, 2014

      I've had a killer few days! My EV-line has increased. I'm studying hard and have organised another coaching session for this coming Sunday, with a coach named Christy Keenan. This week, my EV-line finishes in the green, I'll make sure of it!! :D

      Last few days - Graph

      Mindset:

      On point. I am the master of my own emotions and destiny. I have no interest in tilt, the worst bad beat won't even make me blink. :s_cool:


      GL to all!
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      29th August, 2014

      BOO YEAH!! I just had my best poker week so far :D
      My EV line is soaring like an eagle, and I'm on top of the world. Next step: take my EV line into the fucking stratosphere!



      Next week: I'll be fresh from a coaching session with Christy Keenan, so be prepared to see some huge fucking mountains in my graph!

      Going to Sydney for a buck's night this weekend, so I won't be playing any more poker until my coaching session on Sunday (will go to the casino and play some live cash games if possible though).

      Run good you sexy bastards!
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,153
      Lol. Awesome Matt. :s_cool:
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      7th of September, 2014

      I just had a breakeven week EV-wise, and I lost a few buyins in actual value. Despite this, I'm in great spirits, I'm 100% confident that I have played better than I've ever played before in my life. This fuels my inner fire and makes me want to study harder! :s_biggrin:

      I had two coaching sessions this week, one with Tim64 and one with Christy Keenan. Both of which were extremely eye-opening. I'll add that when Tim64 was reviewing my HH, I was highly elated when he kept saying "Very good shove", "Very nice", "Excellent" (I'm getting much better at memorizing Nash pushing ranges). Of course, he did still identify leaks in my game, but it's a huge improvement from my first coaching session with him.

      Leaks that need plugging:
      -Nash calling ranges. I'm still too tight in this area of my game. I've got the shoving ranges down pretty well, next step is calling ranges.
      -I need to realize that lower Ax hands (like A7o and below) aren't as strong as I think they are when 4-6 handed, especially since villains' calling ranges include a lot of higher Ax hands like AT and above
      -undervaluing suited connectors, they have a surprising amount of equity against legitimate hands, and are perfect for shoving in spots that I previously wouldn't have shoved them
      -post flop: This is quite obviously my biggest leak, and I have little edge against my opponents (the general level of post flop play is pitiful at the $1.50 SnGs, so this is saying something about my own skill level). This is something I've been trying to involve myself in much more recently, and trying to put myself in uncomfortable spots so that I can learn from my mistakes. I am highly confident that improving my post-flop play will gain me a huge edge over my opponents in these games.
      -Adapting to my HUD stats: I'm definitely improving in this area preflop, but have no experience in applying stats when in post-flop situations.
      -Only thinking one move at a time: like chess, poker involves multiple moves and streets. You can't play chess without thinking AT LEAST 2-3 moves ahead, and poker is the same. I need to be thinking in terms of bet/fold, check/shove, check/fold, etc etc, instead of simply "Okay, I'm gonna raise here and see what happens and cross the next bridge when I come to it".

      Mindset:

      I've been actively repeating positive affirmations to myself every morning after I wake up. I'm working diligently at maintaining a positive attitude at all times throughout the day. While this is a challenge, I'm finding myself getting better and better at it :D I realize that having the goal of reaching Supernova Elite in the next two years, there is absolutely no room in my brain for any form of doubt or self-pity. It pains me to even type the word "doubt" because I am so 110% sure of myself that I will succeed, that I want to expunge the word from my vocabulary.

      Lately I've been thinking that we only get one shot at this life, and that I want to make my life exactly what I want it to be, and the funny thing is: I have the ability to do it. I don't know why I've never taken a shot at my dreams before, because I have literally zero limitations. In fact, there is only one thing in this entire universe that can stop be from becoming successful: myself. I will attain complete mastery of myself, and in turn, my reality. Nothing great is ever obtained without huge amounts of effort, so as long as I'm working my ass off every day to achieve my dreams, I know I cannot fail.
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      11 September, 2014

      I've had my best week so far!! I have to end this week early because I'm working for the next 4 days in a row, which will limit my volume massively. On the plus side, working for 4 days will net me almost $1000, with which I'm seriously considering getting coaching with Collin Moshman. However, I think I need to be a more advanced player in order to maximize the benefit I get from his coaching, since he operates on a level I can't even comprehend at this point in time.

      Graph for this week:



      Mindset:
      I can feel a huge change approaching my life. I no longer see problems, I only see challenges. I no longer say "Should" or "would", I say "Will" and "Must". I no longer tilt. There is no 1-outer that could cause me to bat an eyelid. I focus on decisions, and I don't watch all-ins. I press the button to shove, then I focus my attention on another table. Card distribution is meaningless.

      My mind is evolving for the better.
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      It's time to flesh out my short-term and mid-term goals.

      Short Term Goals

      - Record selected sessions and upload to youtube to get feedback from other players (must be completed by 19/9/2014) [COMPLETE] (recorded session, but still figuring out how to upload in maximum quality)
      - Re-watch all of the silver SnG strategy videos on this site to brush up on all the basics (must be completed by 19/9/2014) [COMPLETE]
      - Choose 5 interesting hands EVERY SESSION and mark them for review (must develop this habit forever) [COMPLETE]
      - Run through my list of affirmations before bed, not just after I wake up (must develop this habit forever) [COMPLETE]
      - Get live coaching AT LEAST once per week (must continue this for the foreseeable future) [COMPLETE]
      - Prioritize study and learning for next week, with a heavy focus on post-flop play (as a percentage: 60% play and 40% study) [COMPLETE]
      - Jog AT LEAST 3 times per week (Currently only jogging once a week while working out 3 times per week. Must be completed by 19/9/2014, must develop habit forever) [COMPLETE]

      Mid Term Goals

      - Beat the $1.50s by the end of the year ($200 profit = $350 bankroll)
      - Get coached by Collin Moshman before June 2015
      - Complete an insane volume challenge (such as 70 hours of playing in 1 week) to test my endurance and burnout threshold (must be completed before the end of the year)
      - Develop a draft plan for my supernova elite run in 2016 (this MUST be started before march 2015, I will be gunning for SNE with a definite and concise plan of action, and planning well in advance is hugely important)
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      21st September, 2014

      This week, I ran HOT HOT HOT! :D
      My volume has increased (due to me 5 tabling for the first time) AND my studytime has increased. I put in a LOT of work this week. I'm extremely happy with how much study I've done, and I've definitely set a new standard of study for future weeks. Had coaching with Christy Keenan who opened up a whole new world of bubble dynamics to me, so I have a LOT more work to do to gain a better edge over the $1.50 playerpool, and I'm super excited to put in the hard yards!! :D

      Graph for the week:



      I'm gunning hard, aiming to beat the $1.50s ASAP!
      Next week: more study and more volume! Gogogo!

      Goals for next week:
      - Play at least 500 games.
      - Get comfortable 5 tabling.
      - Work on new bubble dynamics.
      - Get used to new stats in HUD (TOT sb steal, Fold vs sb steal, 3bet, fold vs 3bet)
      - Start thinking about how to exploit opponents' stats.
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      29th September, 2014

      Another amazing week. I set a new standard for my own volume. 30 tabling in no time! :f_biggrin:

      This week:


      - 6 tabling
      - 500 games
      - $30 in bonuses



      I'm getting better at putting villains on ranges, adapting to villains stats, and noticing when villain is adjusting their range to my play (most notably in HU situations).

      Things for me to work on: HU play, over the past 2500 games, my finish distribution is 17% first place and 18.5% second place. This leads me to believe that my HU game needs work (either that, or I'm the small stack HU the majority of the time, which may point to my bubble game needing some work, but I'll ask my coach about this).

      This graph shows my progress ever since I got my first coaching lession with Tim64:


      :s_love:
    • TheFireBeard
      TheFireBeard
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.08.2014 Posts: 38
      5th October, 2014
      Once again, I've had my best week ever! (I wonder how long this trend of record-breaking weeks can continue! :D )

      My game keeps improving and so does my bankroll!

      This week:


      Raking in bonuses left right and centre!
      10 tabling!!! >>> I started stacking instead of tiling, and was able to instantly add more tables comfortably.

      Next weeks goals:
      -1000 games!
      -$40 in bonuses
      -try out tableninja for the auto-register system so I don't have to worry about registering for tables constantly
      -Focus on improving HU game
      -watch at least one 6max hyper vid per day (vids by Truck T from snggrinders)
    • shanesmith
      shanesmith
      Global
      Joined: 17.07.2009 Posts: 202
      Nice results matt, seems your getting your head around these pretty fast know, its nice to see how far you have come in such a short space of time mate.
      Keep up the good work.
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