Challenge: NL2 SH -> NL100 SH in 8 Months

    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      About Me

      Well, I'm 27, I have a two year old daughter, a 6 month old son and an awesome girlfriend that I've been with for 8 years. I work in a middle of the road job, just plodding along in the rat race but my ambition is to earn some serious cash, firstly from poker and a bit later from Forex trading. My absolute first love after the missus and kids of course is motorsport and me n the best mate have got a kart that we endurance race.

      My poker history

      I'll start from the beginning... I started out with a few cash games on Ladbrokes in Feb 2009 after reading a little bit of strategy. I had never had any clue about the game before and only tried it because I'd seen others compare it to Forex trading which is something I've immersed myself in since 2004.

      Poker quickly took over when I lost a few K in the credit crunch because I figured I could turn a few $$ into a few thousand in a reasonably short space of time and go back to trading. Well, lol, trading hasn't really started again and poker has taken over.

      I started playing sng's on Party once I registered here but quickly blew the free roll and after some donking about in freerolls, one of which I won I deposited on Pokerstars. I've played about 5k sng's, mostly DON's and a good few hundred MTT's. My results have been mixed but over all I'm a loser and it's because I play too many tables and variance tilts me.

      Variance has in the past caused me to jump from game to game, strategy to strategy. Each time I try something new I run like god, build a roll, hit a downswing, tilt like a coked up monkey and move on to something else.

      At the beginning of this year I decided to start again and to be honest still fucked up because first I was playing $1.75 sng's, then hu sng's, then 6-max nl2 lol. The same thing happened, didn't really get off the ground with the sng's because I hit a downer as soon as I started and 200 games saw me lose pretty much my full roll which I built back up with hu sng's, moved up too soon, lost it again and moved to cash.

      I've played 80K+ hands of nl2 SH this year with a win rate of about 5bb\100 but to be fair, within those 80k there's been some self inflicted downswings and a 20k hand break even stretch because I was playing 24 tables so my win rate could and should be much much higher. I moved up to nl5 sh but had to move back down due to some serious suckouts and some bad play on my part. I also tried the MSS at NL5 FR and managed to lose $50 in 15k hands lol Clearly my play wasn't very good and I was running like shit as well but meh, no excuses, it was my fault.

      Where I'm at now & my goals

      My account is currently sat at $84.25 and I've self excluded myself from any limit higher than nl2, no tournies and no sng's. I can play 100hrs per month and I plan to play 1k hands per hour (12 tables) which is a place where I'm happy that I can play my A-game.

      My goals are super simple. Concentrate on improving my game and not on a monetary target although I have set myself a goal of hitting nl100 by christmas but this is really just to be used as an indicator of my overall performance and improvement. If I do it I can be happy, if I don't get past nl10 then poker probably isn't for me and it's time to give up.

      My Strengths as a player

      Erm, well I've read an absolute shit load of strategy and I'm pretty clued up on how to play to be honest. I get myself in to all the right spots with good judgement on pot odds, implied odds and villain's ranges when I pause and think for a second or two.

      My weaknesses as a player

      I don't stop and think for a second or two. I call too much when I'm beat and bet too much when only a better hand is ever gonna call. For example, I have AA and bet bet bet - The river completes a FD\SD and villain shoves... I know he shouldn't have been calling me and I should fold but I call like a dickhead and lose 50bb's more than I needed to. Or, same situation but on the river instead of checking oop I bet when quite clearly only the flush or straight is gonna call me. My winrate at nl2 would be 20bb\100 easily without these mistakes because I'm pretty confident they cost me at least a stack every 1k hands and that is no exaggeration.

      I play too many tables. Recently I've been playing 20-24 tables because I'm a fuckin idiot and have no discipline. At 16 tables of nl2 sh I'm comfortable, can think clearly and crush. At 20 I'm rushed and start doing the odd silly thing like checking the nuts, folding rockets pre etc. At 24 tables I'm a break even nit bot and nothing more. This has to stop. Really it does. This has probably been my single biggest flaw since I started playing poker and learned that multi-tabling was good (to a point!).

      I don't put enough time in to reviewing my own play. Actually, this is something I've only just started doing - Properly understanding when I've played badly, win or lose.

      What I want to achieve with this blog

      I've started a couple of blogs before but they never lasted more than 2 pages because I hit some variance, tilted and moved to a different game but I'm not going to move to a different game this time.

      I will have HEM by the end of this month once I have my laptop back (being fixed at the mo) and I will start properly analysing my hands for 1 hour each day. Once I have HEM I will post 5 hands a day in here for review and a monthly graph. I would like input and support from other members of the community. I've been around here for a while now and it's about time I book my idea's up and get on with it. I cannot afford to waste time putting so many hours in to poker without improving. I must have put 2-3000 hours in over the last two years and never really improved. I've improved more in the last two months in terms of tilt control, discipline and my overall play than in the 18 months prior to that.

      The next step

      So, my aim now is to get my roll up to $250-300 and move to nl5 sh ready for when I have my laptop back and HEM. I have a $50 stellar reward to clear (600-ish vpp's to go) and 3k fpps. When I reach 4.5k fpps I will purchase the $50 cash bonus so that's +$100 rakeback and in the time it takes me to clear that (about 50k hands nl2) I need to make $100 in winnings which means achieving a consistent win rate of 10bb\100 hands. This is definitely achievable if I keep on top of my leaks and so this is my target for April.

      Kudos to anyone who has bothered to read that lot, I really hope this blog will be worth following in the coming months.
  • 6 replies
    • tcs35
      tcs35
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.01.2009 Posts: 3,583
      GL :)

      I did the same but then lost it all :)
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by TobyCS
      GL :)

      I did the same but then lost it all :)
      Thanks and yeah, I saw the graph. Pretty brutal!
    • amplifyd
      amplifyd
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.08.2009 Posts: 1,769
      Seems like you got the motivation and drive at least - good luck!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      I'm still plodding along at NL2, account is at $105. I don't feel the need to post hands at the moment, partly because I don't have a tracker so it's difficult finding them and partly because it's NL2 and there's not a fantastic amount of skill involved in beating the limit. For sure I'm still making mistakes from time to time but I've got the limit beat and just want to move up to nl5 with a decent roll.

      I've taken two shots at NL5 previously, the first under my old account was a disaster and it was all my fault so meh I won't be dwelling on that. The second time, quite recently, I ended up down like 15 buy-ins and had to move back to NL2. Out of the 15 stacks I would say that 5 or 6 were entirely my fault and could have been avoided, the rest is just plain old bad luck which leads me on to something...

      Variance and your play. When you're running good you can be making pretty huge mistakes without ever realising it and still be anhialating everyone in your path - It's only when you start running bad that these mistakes really kill you. These days I'm analysing my play very honestly and know from set to set how many stacks I've made\lost through good\bad play and after a good session I often say, well I'm 3 stacks up but made mistakes that cost me 2 stacks. This is significant, really... Think about it. If every 5k hands you lose 250bbs through mistakes that's -5bb\100 hands and when you hit a downswing it's going to be amplified by those mistakes. Your account may be at $150 but without obvious mistakes would have been $180... You hit a $30 downswing and you're at $120 where as without the silly mistakes you'd be at $150. Then we must also assume that you make the same mistakes on your downswing but the problem now is that you're not running good, you're not getting lucky - Your mistakes are costing you each and every time so rather than 2 or 3 stacks down through making mistakes it could be 5 or 6 and over time this is seriously bad for your roll and will turn what might be a standard 10 buy-in swing into an account crushing 20+ buy in swing that forces you to move down a limit.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by amplifyd
      Seems like you got the motivation and drive at least - good luck!
      Cheers! Yup, got the motivation and drive... Luck seems to pass me by most of the time though! lol guess I'll have to learn to play well :f_cool:
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Got my laptop back sooner than expected so here's my NL2 graph for this year! It's around the 46k hand mark that I stopped playing 24 tables and I think the improvement from that point is pretty clear.