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Moving up! - Zooming through NL5 FR at pokerstars!

    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Edit: Well the bio still stands I guess, but now I play zoom poker at pokerstars :s_biggrin:

      Skip ahead to page 2 for the start of my zooming career!

      That was it:

      I've enjoyed reading Geds Ace on the river, and lessthanthrees SnG blog, and I thought that I should start my own little blog, mainly to put down some goals, and to make sure that I don't do any stupid stuff like breaking BRM.

      A little about me:
      I'm 25 years old, I'm currently on my masters in classical music in Norway (going to Stuttgart in a couple of months for an exchange semester). I've enjoyed poker as a hobby for the last 3-4 years, but I've always been a fish, just gambling at bwin, ladbrokes and pokerstars. Some periods with good success, and some good cash outs from MTTs, but I've never really developed my play.

      Last year, I did a bit of reading on and felt it helped my game, but I would never stick to proper BRM. If i placed in 3-4 sngs consecutive, I'd jump up a limit, and be surprised if I didn't place in the next 3-4 there (and if I did place, I'd probably move up another limit!). So it was a roller coaster, I went bust a couple of times, did some small deposits. Some cash outs etc. I was a big fish!

      But a couple of months ago, i was chatting with a guy at a final table at Pokerstars. He tipped me about this site, and I referred to him when I joined. I joined, watched vids, joined some coachings, read some articles, and decided to wise up!

      I've always loved normal SnGs, but unfortunately, most of the coachings here are for BBS or SnG-turbos. I don't like the turbos, so I started playing BSS. It went well, and after a while I was playing 8 tables at once, and making a decent profit. But I didn't really enjoy it, I got impatient and moved up the limits. And my 50$ deposit which I worked up to 80 bucks went down to 22 (one moronic drunk sessions took me for 20 bucks, I ran so good the first 20 mins! Then......)

      So well, I decided to go back to the thing I really enjoy: normal SnGs.
      I boosted my account to a bit over 100$ so that I could skip the 1+.20 and I've now played the 2.25 for the past two weeks.

      I'm really happy with the way I've progressed. It took me about 50 SnGs to get comfortable, but this is my graph after I started playing 2.2 SnGs:

      I was pleasantly surprised with rakeback and bonuses contributing so much to the beginning of my career, and I'm really happy that my BR now has passed 200$, and it feels like I'm flying towards the 5.5$! And I'm really exited about moving up:)

      At the moment I play 4 SnGs at once, I prefer tiled tables so I can watch all my opponents and keep my edge, and with my 13.3" laptop, more than 4 tables doesn't work. And I really prefer the sofa with my laptop, and TV/music in the background to sitting at my desk, grinding with two monitors!

      So I have some goals:

      Immediate goals:
      1. Moving up to 5.5$ before february
      2. Getting better to review my hands
      3. Getting better at putting my opponents on ranges

      "Medium term goals":
      1. Moving up to 11$ before april (Pref before I move to Stuttgart in mid march)
      2. Getting a higher volume (looking forward to making 1k SnGs!)
      3. Getting tougher around bubble and ITM

      Long term goals:
      1. Getting a decent monthly income next to my studies (My goal is 500 / month)
      2. Not ever depositing money again (solid BRM!)
      3. Get MTT experience, and begin to win in MTTs

      And one thing is imperative for all these goals: To enjoy poker, and have fun!

      So that's it. I hope I'll be able to keep this blog alive. I'm hoping to gain some insight from the community contributing here. And I'm always open to suggestions when it comes to goals, tactics, BRM, playstyle - anything really!
  • 40 replies
    • Vildcz
      Joined: 09.12.2010 Posts: 743
      Hi there Tskille!
      Nice blog, I'll be following as a fellow SnG grinder. Which site are you playing at?
      Btw I like your country, I wanted to work in Norway this summer, I even started learning some phrases (my biggest success is sentence "nei, jeg har ikke bil i Oslo!" I hope I wrote it correctly) but about 2 months ago I discovered this site and I think it's more +EV to stay at home and play poker :)

      Good luck at the tables!
    • gedwashere91
      Joined: 20.07.2009 Posts: 2,387
      Good luck dude! Prepare for some sick variance. SnGs are a rocky ride but they're lots of fun.
      Cool to hear that my blog is enjoyable, too :D
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Thanks guys, and thanks for your blog:)

      I've only played aroudn 60 SnGs since last, and had some really dry sessions. Every time i went AI with AT on the bubble, i seemed to meet AJ :) Also had a lot of SOs against my monsters, but I stayed focused, and didn't tilt. Ended up around 20$ down. But today I've been running good again, and I'm only 10$ away from hitting the 5.50s.

      Yesteday I had a pokernight at home with 6 other mates. A little tournament with ca 8$ buy-in / rebuy / addon. So we played for 4-5 hours, and I ended second. Happy with the way I played, I actually felt that I could do some decent reads. (Some were really obvious tho, one guy allways said: I can rebuy if I bust out right? Ok. I'm All In (and he allways had the nuts:-) ). In heads up I was BB with A6s, Villain limped and I pushed and met K3s (same suit). He ended up hitting his K on the river, and then I was small. Made my push with QJs, and he had picked up 88 which held up.

      Really nice evening with beer, booze and good company!

      Anyways, as I said, I'm only 10 bucks away from the 5$ SnGs, and I'm really exited to get started there :)

      If I run bad, when should I drop down? 180$ish ?

      And another question: Which stats should I use on my HeM-hud? Is there an article, or a good thread about it on the forums? Or could anyone tell me their settings?

      Have a nice weekend all!
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Ended with a BR of 242.5$ after tonight. Only 8.50 to go for 5$s! :-) Ran OK, but here's some hands

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $80(BB) Replayer
      SB ($1,770)
      BB ($690)
      UTG ($4,135)
      UTG+1 ($1,790)
      Hero ($1,210)
      CO ($1,665)
      BTN ($2,240)

      Dealt to Hero Q:diamond: A:spade:

      fold, fold, Hero raises to $240, fold, BTN calls $240, fold, fold

      FLOP ($600) 7:heart: 2:diamond: 3:diamond:

      Hero checks, BTN checks

      TURN ($600) 7:heart: 2:diamond: 3:diamond: Q:club:

      Hero bets $970 (AI), BTN calls $970

      RIVER ($2,540) 7:heart: 2:diamond: 3:diamond: Q:club: 2:spade:

      Hero shows Q:diamond: A:spade:
      (Pre 62%, Flop 9.3%, Turn 18.2%)

      BTN shows 3:club: 2:club:
      (Pre 38%, Flop 90.7%, Turn 81.8%)

      BTN wins $2,540

      I was amazed when I saw him flip 23s there... I had to check if I'd really 3betted preflop ....

      Then on the bubble on another table:
      I kinda wish I'd went All-In preflop, but I think the result would've been the same...
      Quite tight table, except for UTG1 who'd allready folded, so I'd usually get folds with 2.5bets...

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $300(BB) Replayer
      SB ($2,380)
      BB ($2,740)
      Hero ($3,530)
      BTN ($4,850)

      Dealt to Hero A:heart: J:club:

      Hero raises to $750, fold, SB calls $600, fold

      FLOP ($1,800) 8:spade: 9:heart: T:club:

      SB bets $1,630 (AI), Hero calls $1,630

      TURN ($5,060) 8:spade: 9:heart: T:club: 5:spade:

      RIVER ($5,060) 8:spade: 9:heart: T:club: 5:spade: 9:diamond:

      SB shows T:diamond: A:club:
      (Pre 27%, Flop 58.5%, Turn 75.0%)

      Hero shows A:heart: J:club:
      (Pre 73%, Flop 41.5%, Turn 25.0%)

      SB wins $5,060
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      BR: 260.73$ The first deposit bonus has helped me with clearing the 2$ so fast :) Here's my graph:

      I'm excited to see if I'll manage the same ROI on the 5$ and really looking forward to further improving my game :)

      Does anyone have any thoughts of how to best spend FTPA points and FTP points? I'm considering just saving up to buy the oval poker table top for 22.500 points, would be nice to have for my home games, and it seems to be decent quality :) But that might be a waste...? Thoughts? :)
    • Vildcz
      Joined: 09.12.2010 Posts: 743
      Nice graph man!
      The table looks ok, but I think any table will do the job :) I'm saving points for the chip set + shirt + book by Gus Hansen, that's everything a future pro needs :D
    • javafonso
      Joined: 26.12.2009 Posts: 781
      nice blog. keep posting ;)
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318

      I haven't gotten any big volume at the 5$s yet, been a lot of work, school and events lately. But I've gotten the odd session here and there, and yesterday I ended the day with a couple of tables in bed. But don't you think... HeM fucked up, so I reinstalled it. I thought all the tournament history etc would be saved even if I did uninstall it. I have my data from the 2$s backed up, but been 5-6 days since I've backed it up, so I lost almost all my data on the 5$s.

      But it's going really well:) As I said, I haven't gotten any big volume, but it looks good so far. I think my ROI and ITM are both around 40-50%! I'm up to 350$, and I've only played 20-30, so there's not much to go after yet.
      One of the reasons I've been going so good is that I've only gotten short breaks to play, and I've only played 2 tables at the time, and when I play like that I feel I can stay on my A-game all the time.

      Oh well, does anyone have any tips to get my tournament history back?
      And, still looking for some good settings for my HeM-hud, would be glad to take some advice on the matter from someone else playing SnGs.
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      I thought I'd make a quick post with a couple of hands (nothing really interesting, but just fun bad play by opponents) and my lifetime graph at FTP. The arrow is where I hit the 5$. Ran really bad the first couple of tables, and played a bit scared and cautios after moving up.

      I enjoy the 5$, and think I'm gonna stick on the 5$ untill i hit a BR of 660$, that way I have 60 buy ins for the 11$, and can take a downswing without moving down easier.

      My graph:

      Atm my ROI at 5$ is 30.3% and I have 48.7% ITM, which I'm very happy with!:) But I've only gotten 76 tourneys on the 5s, so things might change!

      Here's some fun hands, unbelievable how some ppl play:
      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $40(BB) Replayer
      SB ($1,595)
      BB ($1,485)
      Hero ($1,455)
      UTG+1 ($1,050)
      UTG+2 ($1,185)
      MP1 ($1,530)
      MP2 ($1,815)
      CO ($1,455)
      BTN ($1,930)

      Dealt to Hero A:diamond: A:heart:

      Hero raises to $120, fold, fold, fold, MP2 calls $120, fold, fold, fold, fold

      FLOP ($300) J:diamond: 4:club: 6:spade:

      Hero bets $120, MP2 calls $120

      TURN ($540) J:diamond: 4:club: 6:spade: 4:spade:

      Hero bets $320, MP2 calls $320

      RIVER ($1,180) J:diamond: 4:club: 6:spade: 4:spade: 2:diamond:

      Hero bets $895 (AI), MP2 calls $895

      Hero shows A:diamond: A:heart:
      (Pre 81%, Flop 88.4%, Turn 95.5%)

      MP2 shows 3:spade: 3:club:
      (Pre 19%, Flop 11.6%, Turn 4.5%)

      Hero wins $2,970


      This hand: I've just robbed him for most of his chip with a nutflush, he lost his stack with a mid-pair J kicker... (J7s)... Big fish, I laid a bait, and he took it:)
      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $40(BB) Replayer
      Hero ($2,335)
      BB ($1,965)
      UTG ($1,470)
      UTG+1 ($850)
      UTG+2 ($1,560)
      MP1 ($1,290)
      MP2 ($1,450)
      CO ($1,440)
      BTN ($1,140)

      Dealt to Hero J:diamond: J:club:

      UTG calls $40, UTG+1 calls $40, fold, MP1 calls $40, fold, fold, BTN calls $40, Hero raises to $300, fold, fold, UTG+1 calls $260, fold, fold

      FLOP ($760) 5:diamond: 4:diamond: 2:club:

      Hero bets $549, UTG+1 calls $549

      TURN ($1,858) 5:diamond: 4:diamond: 2:club: 5:spade:

      Hero bets $40, UTG+1 calls $1 (AI)

      RIVER ($1,860) 5:diamond: 4:diamond: 2:club: 5:spade: K:club:

      UTG+1 shows A:diamond: 4:heart:
      (Pre 29%, Flop 36.8%, Turn 20.5%)

      Hero shows J:diamond: J:club:
      (Pre 71%, Flop 63.2%, Turn 79.5%)

      Hero wins $1,860


      These two last hands are from the same table, just a couple of hands a part! (Slow play is going to bite you in the ass!!!!)

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $300(BB) Replayer
      Hero ($4,070)
      BB ($3,240)
      BTN ($6,190)

      Dealt to Hero 9:diamond: T:heart:

      fold, Hero raises to $750, BB calls $450

      FLOP ($1,500) 7:diamond: 2:heart: 9:spade:

      Hero bets $800, BB calls $800

      TURN ($3,100) 7:diamond: 2:heart: 9:spade: T:club:

      Hero bets $2,520 (AI), BB calls $1,690 (AI)

      RIVER ($6,480) 7:diamond: 2:heart: 9:spade: T:club: J:heart:

      BB shows K:heart: K:diamond:
      (Pre 84%, Flop 78.4%, Turn 18.2%)

      Hero shows 9:diamond: T:heart:
      (Pre 16%, Flop 21.6%, Turn 81.8%)

      Hero wins $6,480


      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $300(BB) Replayer
      Hero ($7,610)

      Dealt to Hero 5:diamond: 6:club:

      raises to $600, Hero calls $300

      FLOP ($1,200) 7:club: 8:diamond: 9:spade:

      Hero checks, bets $300, Hero calls $300

      TURN ($1,800) 7:club: 8:diamond: 9:spade: 7:heart:

      Hero bets $600, raises to $1,200, Hero raises to $2,700, raises to $4,990 (AI), Hero calls $2,290

      RIVER ($11,780) 7:club: 8:diamond: 9:spade: 7:heart: 2:diamond:

      shows A:heart: A:club:
      (Pre 81%, Flop 4.7%, Turn 9.1%)

      Hero shows 5:diamond: 6:club:
      (Pre 19%, Flop 95.3%, Turn 90.9%)

      Hero wins $11,780

      You can imagine I was pleased with these last two!:)

    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Cool, just wanted to check sharkscope before I went to bed, I actually made the 2$ leaderboard before I moved up! Hope I'll make the 5$ to, but those I recognize from FTP I know play 10-16 tables, and I do 4 max! Oh well, maybe one day :)
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Weird stuff! I've played quite a lot today. A bit annoyed about the big little tournament on FTP, it made my client lag, and I couldn't play any other tables, so I decided to go kamikaze style to either get big or just get out. (I got out)
      But after todays session, I felt it didn't go to well, I did a couple of bad plays, some due to lack of concentration (I was watching a couple of movies, and when it's intense action in the movie, it's easy to do a rash decision, or not notice that someone has bet quite a bit, and call what you thought was a limp with 77!)

      So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered I was 44$ up! 42.1% ROI and 42.1% ITM (what's the odds of that? exact same numbers!!). In todays session.

      Current BR: 450.54$

      Also, completed the SNG by the numbers 10 times, so now I've just started the Middle-Stage SNGs challenge. Looking forward to playing more! ROI on the 5$s is still above 30%. Hope I'm not just on an upswing, and that I can keep it up:)

      (And btw, if anyone's reading, please comment, I'm feeling lonely here!)
    • anx1ety123
      Joined: 07.06.2008 Posts: 4
      nice blog ! I will be reading it since I also play SNG on FT. today's BLT was a dissaster, me and a couple of friends couldn't even play as the tables didn't pop up :( . Lost 13$ there.

      good luck
    • stevegold87
      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      hey man,

      I don't mean to bust the bubble or anything but 30% + ROI on any types of SNGs is pretty much unreal.....expect to have a downswing soon. ...(Again I don't mean to be mean...just want you to see the reality.)

      Also I am pretty jealous of that graph it looks nice :) . Hopefully I am wrong and that heater will continue for you, good luck friend!
    • Hlynkinn
      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Originally posted by stevegold87
      I don't mean to bust the bubble or anything but 30% + ROI on any types of SNGs is pretty much unreal.....expect to have a downswing soon. ...(Again I don't mean to be mean...just want you to see the reality.)
      You should probably read the chapters about upswings and downswings in "The Poker Mindset" if you haven't already.

      In fact, if you look at it from a purely theoretical perspective, downswings do not really exist at all. They are merely a name given to an observed pattern in a random variable, in this case, an observed aggregate result caused by individual session results. Individual session results are in turn just an observed pattern derived from the results of individual hands. Or, to put it more simply, when you look at your results and think you see a downswing, all you are seeing is the individual results of a number of hands. Think of downswings like the Big Dipper that can be seen on a clear night. The Big Dipper is merely an observed pattern in the random arrangement of stars. There is not a lot you can really say about it other than point out its location, because it doesn't really exist. It doesn't have a substance or any real properties in itself.

      Downswings are effectively the same. They are not an entity in themselves, but an observed pattern in results. Consequently, you have to be careful when talking about downswings, lest you inadvertently assign them properties that they simply do not have. For example, the following are statements that are frequently heard from the mouths of poker players.

      • I'm on a downswing, but I think it has bottomed out.
      • I've lost 200 big bets now, so the results must turn around soon. I'm not due another downswing for a while.

      Can you see what is wrong with each of these statements? They all rely on the assumption that downswings are actual entities in themselves with a fixed shape, size, or frequency. In reality, you could never say any of the above with any degree of certainty.

      No one can ever expect a downswing. And no one can give an upswing a time frame..

      and it's true I don't think anyone can maintain 30% roi at stt's.. but you can in mtt sng's =)

      and yea nice blog I've been reading it regularly although I haven't commented until now =)
    • stevegold87
      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      You are right Hlynkinn, I apologize for saying "expect a downswing soon" it is more like, expect to slow down a little, maybe some break even moments of like 100 SNGs.

      Good luck anyways I truly wish you the best as a follow pokerstrategist :)
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Thanks for the comments :) I haven't read The poker mindset, but thanks for the quote. I've seen many quotes, and many people referring to it. I read Sklansky's Theory of Poker a while back, which was nice for the basics, but I prefer reading articles and watching videos to having a book on my night stand table. But maybe I'll come around. I enjoy reading books, but preferably novels!

      I realized I've posted the same hand twice at the end of the spoiler, a couple of posts back. I've fixed that and posted the correct hand now...

      When it comes to the earnings, I kinda expect them to slow down a bit, 30-40% ROI seems a bit extreme, but I don't really expect any big downswings. I feel the 5$ normal speed is quite soft, especially since I try to do some careful table selection, and avoid the best regs. Even if I end up with the most profitable regs, I feel I'll beat most of them. They typically play 10-16 tables, where I play 4, so they're easier to exploit when approaching the bubble. (They are often good re-steal targets at the bubble!)

      At the moment, I've of course had some periods where graphs been pointing momentarily downwards. But if I feel it's because of bad play I take a break, or run SNG-Wiz on the last few tables, or post a few hands on hand evaluations. Then after a break I'll find something on the telly and try a couple of new tables.

      BTW, funny thing from my stats:
      1st. :16.8%
      2nd :16.8%
      3rd : 13.7%
      4th : 7.4%
      5th : 17.9% !

      I think the reason I have so many fifths is that I play very tight in early phases, and I often find myself with a stack of around 1k chips when blinds are 80/160-100/200, and that's when I'll start picking my spots. Earlier on I'll just raise my premium hands and play them aggressively and just limp some pockets for set value, and maybe call a raise with big aces or pockets if I'm really deep. It works well, and I'm usually able to pick up some blinds or double up when bubble is approaching as I've been quite tight earlier on:)

      Oh well, enough rambling from me. I'll head back to practicing my music, and hopefully I can take a set or two in my breaks during the day:)

      Again, thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts! Have a nice day
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      Oh well, january ended with a "baddish" day. I ran a 7 BIs under EV line at first. I also joined Umams coaching, was a bit curious about the MTT sngs after seeing Bigniux' impressive blog and graphs. Don't think it's for me at the moment tho, they last to long for me. I played 4 90 man 3$ KOs and I busted out with AK, AA, KK and JJ, annoying!

      Oh well, I did a session with my regular 5$. At start it didn't go to well, I lost a lot of flips were I was ahead, and when I done around 23:00 I'd worked my back to only -25$ or something. Then I decided it was a bit to early to get to bed, so I fired up another 4 tables, they ended with one bust, one second and two firsts. And suddenly I was back on track:)

      This day has started good:) Played 12 tables and I'm up 40$, quite nice ROI! No firsts tho, playing a bit to aggressively HU today, i'll try to improve that the rest of the evening.

      I thought I'd end with setting some goals for February:
      :spade: Playing over 300 SnGs.
      :spade: Doubling my BR from january to 900$
      :spade: Reaching 11$ normal
      :spade: Studying more videos!

      And here's the goals I had when I started posting:
      Immediate goals:
      1. Moving up to 5.5$ before february
      2. Getting better to review my hands
      3. Getting better at putting my opponents on ranges
      [/quote]I reached all those goals, and the first one with a good margin! I've already played 75 sngs at 5$ with a ROI of 32.7%, and I'm allready halway to reaching the next limit:) (I'm aiming for 660$ before I hit the 11$)

      Good luck to you all in February, I hope it will be as good to me as January was :s_biggrin:
    • DucksEatFish
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 318
      I hate the other SNG challenges. Now I'm done with SnGs by the number i took the middle stages challenge. Everything is really easy, except:

      With 4 to 7 players remaining in a real money, 9-player NL Hold’em S&G that pays 3 spots, open-raise with A-x (x is 9 or lower) and fold to a re-raise when your stack is 12 big blinds or more.

      I've played quite a lot the last two days, and that hasn't happened once. I even tried min-betting just hoping someone would push to complete it. Hopeless=/ It's -EV!

      Oh well, been a good day. ROI 46.5% (ITM 54.2%). Felt quite confident. And had a little luck as well. A bit to many second places, so I guess my pledge of better heads up didn't work. But my BR is over 500$ for the first time! :) Oh happy days.

      When I hit 2.000$ I'm gonna buy a new lamp. I'm looking for something in the kitchen window, and also a lamp for my desktop.

      These would look good in the kitchen:

      And this one would be nice on the desktop:

      Oh well, since I'm renting out my apartment while I'm in Stuttgart I guess it's not much point investing in stuff like that now!
    • Schrader69
      Joined: 08.03.2008 Posts: 345
      grats on the rungood.

      heres one: