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Liar Dice - SnGs & PLO

    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. MrMardyBum, I have added you on skype (at least I think I have), so give me a call when you have a moment.

      It's been a slow start to this month (runs 11/7 - 10/8) with a dip of $800 coming four or five days in. Only my ironman end of year bonus has brought me back to a very small profit for the month, just in double figures...

      Today I almost didn't play at all since a Fulltilt update to the hand history format has left poor Holdem manager reeling, completely unable to cope. Thus no HUD and no notes on villains. Only my FT colour coding to give me a clue.

      After a while of hanging around the HEM Forum waiting for someone to announce a fix, I decided the need to get my daily 200 points exceeded my need to play stat-assisted poker.

      I quite enjoyed it, actually. The knowledge that most of the other regs would be as handicapped as I was and just playing by cards and table reads. Anyway, it worked out quite well and I managed to turn a lot of flushes, and even made quads on one occasion, to get me out of the red.

      I for one would be delighted if statistical analysis programs were banned from poker sites. They favour people who are incredibly good at pushing tiny mathematical statistical edges and are much less useful for people like me who start to panic when they hear phrases like "fold equity formula".

      Anyway, I expect tomorrow HEM will have found a fix for the problem and I will start mindlessly relying on someone's 3bet to steal stat and stacking off my pocket 77s against the obvious paired aces...

      I know I am due to provide an explanation for my folly in deciding to go pro (based, I freely admit, on what are clearly massively overambitious win rate possibilities), but it will have to wait as tonight we are celebrating having exchanged contracts on our new house. Chin chin!!
    • i5bet72o
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,615
      hehe, pt3 is still working.
      poker is much harder without stats but they are not really neccessary . I also wouldnt mind if poker sites banned HUDs b/c i know i play fine without one as well.
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Just a few words, because at the moment it's less expensive to write than to play. It's clear that this is going to be one of those months that never gets off the ground.

      I've just had a fairly depressing $800 losing session including, most frustratingly, getting completely outplayed by some astonishingly good regular who is making over 6bb/100 at nl100. He didn't fold to any of my 3bets, seemed intuitively to know when I was full of it and basically made me spew about $150 his way.

      After the session I opened PTR to see what a huge fish I had been playing against, only to discover his PTR was in the 70s, coloured red hot.

      I shall be doing everything I can to stay positive and not to allow myself to question the decisions I have made, which have been based on months of play, just because the last 10 days have been not much fun.

      Most importantly, I need to focus on how much enjoyment and satisfaction I get from just discussing interesting hands with fellow Poker Strategists. It reminds me of analysing chess games with my opponents. Endlessly intellectually stimulating and a world away from what I've been doing work wise. Even if I have got the numbers horribly wrong and there is no living to be made from poker for me, the game will remain a source of fascination for me regardless.
    • jbpatzer
      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,957
      Oh dear! I hope it turns around for you.
    • RahXephon1
      Joined: 14.04.2009 Posts: 972
      Just msg me sometimes this weekend if you want we can do some hand reviews, which always helps to put things back in perspective after some tough period.
    • _Anonymous_
      You will be ok Tim, hit me up on skype if you need anything
    • MrMardyBum
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      Bump in the hope for an update! You call call anytime I'm on skype also. I just don't like to call you incase you are playing and I disturb you.
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      How can I deny a request for an update? I think the easiest thing to give some flavour of how my month has been going is to post two hands from today:

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $1(BB) Replayer
      Hero ($109)
      BB ($92)
      UTG ($111)
      UTG+1 ($52.80)
      CO ($102)
      BTN ($81.80)

      Dealt to Hero 7:diamond: 8:heart:

      fold, fold, fold, BTN calls $1, Hero calls $0.50, BB checks

      FLOP ($3) 7:spade: 7:club: 9:diamond:

      Hero bets $2, BB calls $2, BTN folds

      TURN ($7) 7:spade: 7:club: 9:diamond: 2:heart:

      Hero bets $5, BB calls $5

      RIVER ($17) 7:spade: 7:club: 9:diamond: 2:heart: 9:spade:

      Hero bets $17, BB raises to $34, Hero calls $17

      Hero shows 7:diamond: 8:heart:
      (Pre 44%, Flop 87.8%, Turn 95.5%)

      BB shows 9:club: 2:club:
      (Pre 56%, Flop 12.2%, Turn 4.5%)

      BB wins $82

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $1(BB) Replayer
      Hero ($280)
      BB ($100)
      UTG ($97.80)
      UTG+1 ($105)
      CO ($113)
      BTN ($108)

      Dealt to Hero J:club: J:spade:

      fold, fold, CO raises to $3.50, fold, Hero raises to $12.50, fold, CO raises to $50, Hero raises to $125, CO calls $63.90 (AI)

      FLOP ($228) Q:diamond: 7:diamond: K:spade:

      TURN ($228) Q:diamond: 7:diamond: K:spade: K:diamond:

      RIVER ($228) Q:diamond: 7:diamond: K:spade: K:diamond: T:diamond:

      CO shows J:diamond: J:heart:
      (Pre 50%, Flop 52.3%, Turn 60.2%)

      Hero shows J:club: J:spade:
      (Pre 50%, Flop 47.7%, Turn 39.8%)

      CO wins $225

      So, this kind of thing, along with some bad timing and some poor play has resulted in losing nearly $2k so far. I still have 1/3 of the month to go, so I may even get that up to a -$3k loss if I work hard :D

      The good news is that I don't think I'm playing that badly - most of the hands I post seem to be reasonably standard and no one is saying things like: "go back to nl5, you donk". Also positive is that I have already played 45 hours poker this month (40 hours was my aim), and comfortably achieved IronMan status. I've also ensured that the hand posting section remains gray (i.e. I'm responding to all the threads). These are the goals I can control, so these are the ones that matter.

      One kind of amusing moment from this morning's play. Villain and I had been tussling in a 3betting war...

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $1(BB) Replayer
      SB ($114)
      BB ($51.75)
      UTG ($100)
      UTG+1 ($107)
      Hero ($101)
      BTN ($259)

      Dealt to Hero J:spade: K:heart:

      fold, fold, Hero raises to $3, BTN raises to $9, fold, fold, Hero raises to $23, BTN raises to $259 (AI), fold

      BTN shows A:heart: 7:heart:

      BTN wins $47.50

      Villain flashed me his 'bluff' A :heart: 7 :heart: as if to congratulate himself on getting me to fold the best hand. I didn't have the heart to tell him he was a 60:40 favourite all the way :)

      So far, the whole 'going pro' thing isn't what I would call a mind blowing success story, but as Louis Armstrong sang, "we have all the time in the world".

      Thanks for reading,
    • vhallee
      Joined: 30.09.2008 Posts: 1,539
      Awesome blog Tim, sorry I didn't have the chance to congratulate you for it any sooner. Keep your chin up through these tough times, old chap! I have full confidence in your abilities. And if that doesn't work, try some more tea and crumpets - that should do the job :s_evil:
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Thanks, Boss. :)
    • Gerv
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 17,683
      I think our interview-scout has just arrived :D go get diamond you! :f_biggrin:
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      I think our interview-scout has just arrived go get diamond you! fish biggrin

      Ahh, Gerv... such cynicism in one so young :)
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      'I just had a winning session'.

      "What was that?"

      I said, 'I just had a winning session'.

      "No, I still don't believe you; try it one more time?"

      "I just had a winning session."

      'Well, I still think you are ball shooting me, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt this time.'

      By the way, just in case you were wondering, "Ball shooting" isn't some new sport. It's just what my very refined and polite speech recognition program wishes to interpret "bullshitting" as :D

      Session stats: 397 hands, Profit: $137.65, w$ds 63.2%.

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $1(BB) Replayer
      SB ($77.20)
      BB ($106)
      Hero ($115)
      CO ($100)
      BTN ($184)

      Dealt to Hero 8:spade: 8:diamond:

      Hero raises to $3, fold, fold, SB calls $2.50, fold

      FLOP ($7) J:club: 3:club: 5:diamond:

      SB checks, Hero bets $5, SB calls $5

      TURN ($17) J:club: 3:club: 5:diamond: T:diamond:

      SB checks, Hero checks

      RIVER ($17) J:club: 3:club: 5:diamond: T:diamond: 4:diamond:

      SB bets $6, Hero calls $6

      Hero shows 8:spade: 8:diamond:
      (Pre 82%, Flop 85.7%, Turn 95.5%)

      SB shows 7:club: 7:diamond:
      (Pre 18%, Flop 14.3%, Turn 4.5%)

      Hero wins $27.55
      :) :s_biggrin: :f_biggrin:
    • lessthanthreee
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      congrats tim! hopefully this is the turning point for the run bad.
    • Gerv
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 17,683
      I am not packed with a negative attitude :f_cry:

      nice hand you posted :) !
    • MrMardyBum
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      Hey Tim,

      Great news on the winning session lol, I hope next month starts and ends well for you and you not only make up your losses but make a healthy profit too.

      I hope this doesn't deter you any from your hopes of turning pro, because I don't think I'm going to make it anytime soon. And following your progress is the closest I might ever get! :f_biggrin:

      Best of luck for next month, I'll be reading every entry you make here. :)
    • conall88
      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 1,715
      and Bang goes the dynamite :f_cool:
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      I have said some pretty daft things in this blog. Things that demonstrate quite some naivety as regards the world of online poker.

      "My plan is to build my 'roll up to an equivalent of 40 buy-ins for NL200 bss and then begin play on that level. I am pretty sure that, purely from the point of view of knowledge attainment, I would be best off remaining at my current limit, nl100. After c20k hands my EV winrate is a very respectable -- but by no means crushing -- 5.5bb/100. And what I should probably be doing is trying to get this closer 10bb/100 before thinking about moving up."

      This was about a month ago, at the end of June. It's pretty clear now that 10 BB/100 is not a sustainable win rate for mere mortals, at anything beyond the micro-stakes. Looking at PTR one sees that the big winners at nl100 and 200 are often those making no more than 5bb/100, but really putting in the hours.

      I think I have been under the illusion that I could easily reach that sort of win rate. The reality is that that's almost certainly not going to be possible. I continue to make such obvious mistakes that, whatever my achievements, this is not a game that comes completely naturally to me as it does to some on this site and others out there in cyberspace.

      I have had this idea that I could potter along playing three hours of poker day five days a week and get by comfortably. Frankly, that's dreamland. There's almost no chance of ending this month with anything other than a sizeable loss. It's not the loss itself that bothers me, but more the fact that it's a demonstration that playing 30,000 hands per month isn't going to get close to overcoming variance. That would be fine if I just wanted to make a few hundred dollars each month for treats. But I'm talking about living off poker, supporting a family on it. And for that it going to take a hell of a lot more time, commitment and hard work. Virtual blood sweat and tears, you might say.

      I'm not afraid of hard work and I will give this plan a decent shot. But obviously it wouldn't be fair to ask the family to scrape by on a minimal existence while my bankroll inches up agonizingly slowly.

      So I need to come up with some parameters for "success". Some indicators which, after - say - six months, will let me know whether there is a future for me in online poker. Most importantly that's going to involve playing enough hands to be reasonably sure -- after variance -- that I'm a comfortably winning player. At the moment I average about 400-500 hands an hour. Those who know about online poker tell me I need to be playing 100,000 hands a month. That's at least 200 hours of poker, or 50 hours a week. Given that a standard working week in this country is 35 hours, that's really some commitment.

      I'm toying with trying to increase my tables to 8 in an effort to increase my hands per hour. Of course, I can expect a drop in winrate if I do this. As always it's a balance between this and the increased rake back and variance-busting benefits of playing more hands.

      The biggest factor in all this will probably be my health. If I can't find a way of comfortably playing five hours a day, six days a week I don't think I'm really going to have any chance of making this work. basically, I'm going to have to become a grinding machine. We'll have to wait and see on that one and all I can do is try to keep healthy and fit and not spend too much time blogging. Ahem. :rolleyes:

      Next update will include some plans for when I officially turn pro - 11 August is the date, barring unforeseen problems. I also want to come up with 'parameters for success' (at least rough ones) and also some regular leak-finding ideas, which I tentatively intend calling 'Leak-a-week'.

      That's all for now, thanks for reading.
    • Tim64
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Planning for Pro

      Someone once said (I have it on good authority from Waiboy) that the best way to become a professional poker player is to quit your job. Yesterday was my last day in the soulless call centre that has been my office for just over a year. So, over the next couple of days I will try to set out the thinking behind my decision to go pro, the assumptions I have made, the "business model", scheduling plans and some thoughts on positive and negative EV activities.

      In this entry I'm just going to cover the broader financial planning.

      Hourly Rates and Volume

      Assumption a). By 8-tabling NL 100, I can earn $10 per hour in rakeback on FT.
      Assumption b). A five hour day, six days a week = $1200 pcm.
      Assumption c). $1200 is just short of 'subsistence' earnings for us as a family. Things will be quite tough if that's all I make, but we will at least have enough to eat. The weekly rakeback payments can be set aside from my poker bankroll and transferred out of the system on a regular basis.
      Assumption d). 8 tables = approx 600 hands per hour, giving 3000 hands per day or 72,000 hands a month.
      Assumption e). Given the possibility of 100,000 hand breakeven spells, we will have months when we make nothing aside from rakeback, but over a 2 month+ period we should be able to combat variance satisfactorily.
      Assumption f). We can rely on existing savings (and, if necessary, bankroll) to cover our financial needs if we run into extended periods of no earnings.

      Bankroll Management and Limits

      Assumption g). 100 buyins for a given limit is a nitty but comfortable bankroll. It enables one to play without looking at the cashier and therefore to play, effectively, without bankroll considerations.
      Assumption h). We therefore wish to reach a bankroll of $10,000 as a first priority. Until that point I plan on using the vast majority, if not all, of my non-rakeback earnings to build my bankroll. Depending on winrate this may realistically take anywhere from 220,000 hands (1BB/100) to 74,000 hands (3BB/100) - variance aside.
      Assumption i). We will not play any higher limits until we have 100 buyins for NL 100.
      Assumption j). Once we have 100 buyins for NL 100 we will give consideration to taking shots at NL 200. At the moment I plan replacing one NL100 table with a NL200 table at the rate of 1 table per $400 increase in bankroll. We will remove these tables on the same basis (or more conservatively if necessary).

      Long-Range Planning

      Assumption k). The games are getting tougher. The fish are getting less fishy; the regulars more numerous. We can expect it to become harder and harder to make a living at poker as time goes on.
      Assumption l). If after one year as a pro I have not averaged at least $20 per hour (inc r/bk), we will close the endeavour. A year should be enough time to reach NL 200 and if I can't make a decent living at that limit it will be time to accept my limitations and move on.
      Assumption m). If my earnings are at least $20 per hour I will reassess whether I enjoy making a living in this manner. I will be about 35 and a half years old then, and if I don't enjoy being a professional poker player it will be time to do something else. In a hurry.

      Thanks for reading
      :s_cool: Tim64 :s_cool:
    • lessthanthreee
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      fantastic plan tim.

      A well thought out proposal for your career.

      Please make sure you stick to a solid daily routine, spend plenty of time away from poker, have varying hobbies that keep you interested away from the game, and make sure you keep the 'office' at the office!

      Take regular breaks to give your back and shoulders a break. And stretch regularly to avoid further health problems.

      Remember that even if you increase your work day by 30minutes its a 10% increase to your earnings ! Maybe consider this as a medium term goal? If you really focus on your health and well-being as a top tier priority as well.

      Good luck!