Get Under My Skin - A blog to keep my mind on my mindset.

    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      A lot of blogs that are started and kept up appear to help the author of the blog get better at poker. So here's my attempt...


      I have been playing online poker regularly for a year now. I started with limit and lost a £20 roll. This was before I read anything on BRM etc. It was mainly to get me used to playing with real money without losing my whole roll within a couple of hands. When I discovered BRM I deposited $40 into FT and started playing NL ring games. I played for a long time and just broke even. I have not since had to redeposit from losing my roll, although I do deposit any profit from live games.

      Since then I have changed to SNG's. I have played almost 2000 and am having trouble marking up a profit. I played 950 SNG's on William Hill and this is my graph:



      After realising after 500 hands I should have been up, and then not being up, I started losing, then hit a downswing that resulted in me being down $70 from EV.

      I believe this got me pretty tilted because I moved my whole roll to 24h Poker and did this to it:



      Ya. Super. Super Turbo, to be more precise. After never reading an article or watching a video on Super Turbo SNG's I decided to play up to 6 tables at a time until I almost busted.

      Now I have decided to get back on to the standard SNG's, forget about the downswing and start aiming for a profit. I hit 90%+ on ICM Trainer in sessions of over 500 hands, and play tight as per the instructions on this website, but I am still not doing something right. I believe it's heavily influenced by my mindset. Sometimes I can get steaming, but I am getting better at shrugging off bad beats. Multiple bad beats in a session though, especially a session where I know I can play for 6-8 hours, and I'm only half an hour in... that's when I get super tilted.

      That's why the name of the blog, I need to stop letting things get under my skin, and I need to start getting under other people's skin! Oh, and because I'm a huge Reuben fan...



      Grave goods get under my skin, GO.
  • 16 replies
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      I logged into William Hill today after posting this blog and found I had just enough to play 3 SNG's (BR is on 24h Poker atm). I decided that today i would play with this. It was quite a good coincidence actually because I normally play 4 tables on Will Hill but I was trying out the HEM HUD for the first time, so was going to only play 3.

      I watched a video (I think by <3) about the HUD to understand what I should be using it for and am very grateful already. How amazing is it to sit to the right of 2 regs who both fold 70/80% of the time to a steal? Brilliant.

      I've set my HUD up like <3;


      vpip/pfr/3bet/steal
      limp/sb raise(first in to pot)/af/fold vs steal


      My first set of 3 standard SNG's went brilliantly, I was up 4 BI after playing them, which was helped by the HUD. I played well and didn't get annoyed when I bombed out of one when I was well ahead pre flop (AIPF). Normally playing Super Turbo's I rack up about 50 a day, but today I only played 9 SNG's over 3 hours, and finished the day 1BI up. It was probably the last set that ruined the day, I should have had a break before playing them but failed to, worrying about time. D'oh.

      After the first set I did 100 hands on ICM trainer but then went and threw a few darts just to rest my eyes. I work 8 hours a day on computers and when I get home I try and play, train or study Poker for 5-6 hours, so my eyes get very drowsy and strained!

      1 BI up for today will do me just fine. I'm absolutely sick of Super Turbo's. They are just way too sick! :tongue:

      (And on a PS point related note, todays play will guarantee Gold for another month. Sweet!)
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Had a bad 2 days!

      I switched my bankroll over to William Hill from 24h Poker and so far I'm down $13 over 18 SNG's! Great stuff. I'm down $11 today but EV wise I'm up $1. X( This is the problem I seem to have, when I am up, I'm up 1 or 2 buy in's, when I'm down but should be up, I'm down plenty of buy ins. I never see a graph that says I should be down but am up. I'd really just prefer to see a graph that has both lines up!! :(

      You get it in good and you will win over the long run they say, but sometimes it is just too hard to believe. I've been marking my odd hands down and I plan to go over them all on Saturday, it's not a very quick process without SNG Wizard! I don't think I've been making too many mistakes, but I pushed AJo UTG into 4 others when 3rd (6.5 x BB) in chips. Got called by the chip lead with AQo. I haven't checked this hand out yet but I know I felt pretty tilted when I did this so I think it probably wasn't the best push. Maybe AQs UTG would've been good? I dunno. I also 4 bet into 2nd in chips 3 way when chip leader after he had folded to every one of my raises. I had A6s. He had AQo. I was in a great position to get heads up but I completely ruined that and busted in 3rd three hands later.

      My patience was tested in my first bust out of the night. Picked up AA and 3 others pushed! Couldn't believe my luck until someone flopped trip kings. Always a great tilt-test! :P I actually recovered pretty well after that, just loaded up another table and cracked on. It's weird how I can shrug off losing when AIPF with AA, but if I'm holding JJ vs 99 and a 9 hits, that actually effects me more! Weird. Maybe it's because losing AA effects you more when you are new to poker, so you remember them more than any other hand so you "get used to it". So all I need to do is lose every possible hand from a winning position over and over again until I completely don't care about it! I'm pretty sure I am doing that now anyway. :f_grin:

      I'm not sure whether I'll be putting in any volume tomorrow, but Saturday I'll be on for a full day. No work, no commitments, just poker! :)
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Great weekend! :D



      Up $16 (with $5 bonus)! Played over 12 hours in the last 48 and notched up 42 standard $1 SNG's :s_cool: I love the weekends.

      I started out this weekend by checking over some hands. I realised that even though I was indeed getting the money in good, I was normally getting it in only marginally well, 53%-47% type and I came to the conclusion I needed to be getting all in with better hands, 60%+ hands. Obvious, right? :P

      I also looked through my HEM scores for Multitabling and found an odd occurrence. I had played about 70 sets of SNG's 3 tabling and 4 tabling. When I play 4 tables my win rate was over 3 times as good per hour. Although they were both losing, 4 tables had -15 cents, where as 3 had -53 cents!!

      I decided to move up to 4 tables again, I'm fine with the hud now so thought I'd try it out. Amazingly, I have now got my win rate (well, loss rate!) playing 4 tables down to only -8 cents. Overall it's -62 cents, -28 cents EV adjusted.


      On to my "mindset". Obviously I had quite a good mindset today to pick up such a win, but here is the very second hand of my session today...


      ***** Hand History for Game 1111111111 ***** (IPoker)
      Tourney Hand NL Texas Hold'em - Sunday, July 24, 09:48:00 ET 2011
      Table Toronto 609047631 (Real Money)

      Seat 2 is the button
      Player3 posts small blind [$10.00 USD].
      Hero posts big blind [$20.00 USD].

      ** Dealing down cards **

      Dealt to Hero [ K :club: K :heart: ]
      Player5 raises [$80.00 USD]
      Player6 folds
      Player7 calls [$80.00 USD]
      Player8 folds
      Player9 folds
      Player10 folds
      Player1 folds
      Player2 folds
      Player3 folds
      Hero raises [$300.00 USD]
      Player5 raises [$1255.00 USD]
      Player7 folds
      Hero calls [$1015.00 USD]

      ** Dealing Flop ** [ 8 :heart: , 2 :diamond: , J :diamond:]
      ** Dealing Turn ** [ A :diamond: ]
      ** Dealing River ** [ 4 :heart: ]

      Player5 shows [K :diamond: , A :spade: ]
      Player5 wins $2760.00 USD from main pot



      When this happened, I was annoyed but quickly, even before the chips had moved over to the other player I had calmed down, shrugged it off and forgotten about it. I even doubled up 3 times and cashed in this tourney! I was mightily impressed with myself.

      That really puts into focus how important a mindset is in poker. Imagine the second hand of a whole day session and you are steaming! I could have been well down after playing such a long session today but because I shrugged it off, it gave me a much better chance to end the day over 12 buy ins up.


      I can't wait to get back on the tables tomorrow. Hopefully work will just whizz by and I'll be back on as soon as I know it. :]
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Finished work, worked out, had dinner and am feeling good about grinding away the rest of my Monday! If you're taking a break from grinding to read some blogs, here's 5 of my favourite bands for you to get your listening gear round :D







    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Played 16 SNG's tonight (4 sets) over 4 hours. Ended 3.5 BI down, EV was evens though and felt I played well except for 1 set, I made a ridiculous push to end 10th for the first time in a looong time against 2 people who had called half pot bets on the flop and turn against my 2 pair, when the river made a flush. Both players had a flush of course :tongue: Straight after I 3 bet all in the SB when BB with AQ, his stats were very tight and he turned over AK :( We had even stacks too and both had a chance of ending ITM. Need to stop doing that!

      Did bump into a lot of coolers and flipped against lesser pairs and lost many times. I lost 5 flips where I was over 70% on the flop. One flip stuck in my mind, my JJ against a shortstacked 88. He hit a flush! Also ran KK into AA, standard :O I think the first time I won a flip was when I had only 2 tourneys left of the whole night. That's what happens though and I'm amazed at how nonchalant I am feeling about it. Writing this blog is really helping :) I won't ramble anymore about the bad beats tonight though, before someone posts this...



      I was even further behind with the last SNG going and there were 4 players left. I was short stack and I so nearly just shoved with rubbish (Finger Tilt for those who have read Elements Of Poker by Tommy Angelo! I would definitely recommend it!). I did restrain myself, kept cool and ended up coming 2nd.

      So overall I'm quite pleased with my play, although I wish I had played the 2nd set better. I didn't have a break between them which was a problem as I kept getting distracted near the bubble. A couple of minutes break and that wouldn't have happened I'm sure.

      Here's a video of the bassist from one of the bands I posted above (InMe, the top vid on the above post) appearing on Sky Poker! He runs a Poker hall in Essex apparently. If you like heavy, technical or melodic metal (or a lovely mixture of all three) then definitely check out some more InMe, they're so good.

    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Loving Poker!

      Up another 5BI's today. I'm feeling so good about poker right now. When I play I'm so chilled out. I don't know how it's doing it but writing this blog has massively improved my mindset. Maybe it's because I don't want to admit to anyone who might read this that I lost money because I'm a douche bag so it pushes me to chill out! :s_cool:

      My $/Hr is now less than -60 cents! That is my next goal, to chalk up a + $/Hr. Even when it hits $0.01/Hr I'm celebrating :D

      Made a great call today against someone who pushed all in on the SB, he had very tight stats over a medium sample, but his "push when in the small blind and acting first stat" was 69! Called it with 76s and won :f_cool:

      Wish I could get away with only sleeping 4 hours a night! :tongue:
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Another 9 buy ins up today!!!

      Today I have definitely had a bit of an upswing! I have been playing superbly though, so it is well deserved :tongue:

      I now make 10 cents per hour when I 4 table! Woo :D I haven't got any idea of whether I should start introducing a 5th table, or if I should keep playing 4 until I've crushed it for a long time. I'll have to work some sort of plan out I guess.


      I'm worried I may start to let my studying side down if this carries on so tomorrow before I start grinding I will play 200 hands on ICM Trainer. I definitely feel I am playing brilliantly though and I really think I can make my way up to $2 SNG's in the near future :]

      It was confirmed today that my monthly live league game is going ahead this Friday which is awesome because we haven't played in the last few months. It's 2 £15 tourney's with between 6-10 players. I play pretty good normally, last year I was brand new to the league and I came top :s_cool: I normally take along some beers which is great because I never drink when I grind online so it's more like a chilled out more fun game, instead of serious business :tongue:
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Shocking weekend!! :(

      First I was completely card dead for my live game, then when I picked up anything I was beaten after being ahead and since then I have had the exact same thing happen all weekend online. Sucks balls, man.

      I haven't really blown my top over it, which is obviously good but it is so frustrating. I had 2 days of running good (first time I've ran good in about a month) and then I'm back to running terrible. I've been 2 outered twice today :facepalm:

      What's even worse is I've been put in irresistable situations all weekend when just outside the money too. Does anyone fold QQ or AK ever? The amount of times I have woken up with QQ or AK when 4 or 5 players remain and got it all in to lose is unbearable. Some times they have AA or KK, but the majority of the times they have something terrible..

      ***** Hand History for Game 1111111111 ***** (IPoker)
      Tourney Hand NL Texas Hold'em - Monday, August 01, 12:06:31 ET 2011
      Table Toronto 611744291 (Real Money)
      Seat 3 is the button
      Player4 posts small blind [$300.00 USD].
      Hero posts big blind [$600.00 USD].

      ** Dealing down cards **
      Dealt to Hero [ Qc Qs ]
      Player2 raises [$3743.00 USD]
      Player3 folds
      Player4 folds
      Hero calls [$3143.00 USD]

      ** Dealing Flop ** [ 4d, 3c, Ts ]

      ** Dealing Turn ** [ 4s ]

      ** Dealing River ** [ Ad ]

      Player2 wins $7786.00 USD from main pot
      Player2 shows [Ah, 2d ]



      My BR is straight back down to what it was before I ran good too.

      Bleurgh.



      Does anyone have any tips on how I can improve my game and find leaks by using the stats in HEM? ?( I would really like to start using it for more than seeing how much I should have won!
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Sweet, over a hundred views! So people are reading this :tongue:

      I guess a blog where someone just keeps breaking even is no fun though. Hopefully I can go on an entertaining run soon enough :s_cool:
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      such a shame its a SNG blog. :evil:
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Originally posted by vonki
      such a shame its a SNG blog. :evil:
      Not interested in SNGs? :tongue:

      I've tried my hand at cash games and didn't do so bad and enjoyed them but I also like SNG's so it was a flip really (just like most SNG's boom boom!!).

      I definitely want to play cash again sometime but getting out of the micro's in either strategy is first priority and I thought SNG would be the best way. Not too sure now! :tongue:
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      No I don't really care for SNGs at all, hence I don't follow many SNG blogs either :D
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      4 BI's Down.

      Had another day of finishing 4th quite a lot. I don't know if I should tighten up a bit or keep going. I don't understand the "Always try to win" mentality. Surely poker is about winning money? I understand finishing first means you win a lot more than coming 3rd, but trying to finish 1st ends up with me finishing 4th a lot of the time. Which of course means I win no money! :tongue:

      I played for over 4 hours today and played 14 SNG's, which isn't bad volume for a weekday. I didn't finish 2nd all night, but I did finish 1st twice. :s_cool: I watched some of chenny888's Heads Up video, so I'm sure that had something to do with it :)

      Here's a hand that I was happy with after reviewing. I always get sucked in when I'm the BB and I hit anything. I thought I might have been good here, but thinking back there's no way. He probably had something like AT and took my flop bet as a cbet. If he had anything bigger surely he'd have let me bet again? So I doubt he had a 6 although that would explain the check call. I definitely think I was beat anyway and am happy with the fold :)

      IPoker Network No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t150.00/t300.00 Blinds - 4 players - View hand 1392962
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      Hero (BB): t2240.00 7.47 BBs - VPIP: 15, PFR: 12, 3B: 4, AF: 3.9, Hands: 62190
      CO: t4480.00 14.93 BBs - VPIP: 21, PFR: 16, 3B: 5, AF: 3.7, Hands: 563
      BTN: t5580.00 18.60 BBs - VPIP: 29, PFR: 3, 3B: 3, AF: 1.6, Hands: 231
      SB: t2700.00 9 BBs - VPIP: 19, PFR: 8, 3B: 13, AF: 1.3, Hands: 59

      Pre Flop: (t450) Hero is BB with 5 :club: A :diamond:
      1 fold, BTN calls t300, SB calls t150, Hero checks

      Flop: (t900) 6 :club: 5 :spade: 6 :spade: (3 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets t450.00, BTN folds, SB calls t450

      Turn: (t1800) T :club: (2 players)
      SB bets t600.00, Hero folds





      And here's my bad beat of the day...

      84% to win when the money goes in the middle :f_cool:


      IPoker Network No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t300.00/t600.00 Blinds - 4 players - View hand 1393024
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      SB: t140.00 0.23 BBs - VPIP: 14, PFR: 5, 3B: 0, AF: Infinity, Hands: 85
      BB: t6230.00 10.38 BBs - VPIP: 39, PFR: 12, 3B: 0, AF: 4.3, Hands: 117
      CO: t4170.00 6.95 BBs - VPIP: 11, PFR: 9, 3B: 2, AF: 3.0, Hands: 255
      Hero (BTN): t4460.00 7.43 BBs - VPIP: 15, PFR: 12, 3B: 4, AF: 3.9, Hands: 62190

      Pre Flop: (t900) Hero is BTN with Q :spade: A :heart:
      Hero raises to t1800, 1 fold, BB calls t1500, 1 fold

      Flop: (t4200) A :spade: Q :club: T :spade: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets t2660.00, BB calls t2660

      Turn: (t9520) K :spade: (2 players)

      River: (t9520) K :club: (2 players)

      Player5 wins $9520.00 USD from main pot
      Player5 shows [J :diamond: , Q :heart: ]
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Half a BI UP! :P

      Not many hands of any note today! I played some good poker but I did tilt twice which caused me to drop 2 BI's. I called my whole stack against a tight pusher with A7o because I wasn't paying enough attention. I can't remember the other time. I only marked a few hands which were just calling hands which I knew were quite close and wanted to review.

      I also tried out reloading new SNG's when I busted tonight instead of playing in sets. It worked out pretty well to be honest :) It left me with more time to decide on heads up plays instead of playing 3 or 4 at one time!! Although I think I played 2 to many tourneys tonight. I definitely zoned out for the last couple, I busted 4th when the shortstack was sat out :( so I should maybe take more breaks. I'll remember that next time.

      I have won my fair share of flips tonight which is always super! :D Although I lost QQ to 66 and JJ to 55, but that's just standard I guess. I didn't finish second at all yesterday, but I came second more than any other position today.

      I played 17 SNG's in 4.5 hours today. :) And it is SO HOT TODAY!! It got to about 27 degrees here today (England) which is definitely at the hotter end of our spectrum. I'm sticking to my sofa :f_mad:
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Over 2 BI's up today!

      Been listening to...



      while I rocked the tables today :s_cool:

      I had a bit of a lapse in concentration at the mid way point today. Stupidly I was doing something else on the net and I seem to have got to the push/fold stage with about 8 blinds left on 4 tables. Silly me! I would have been about 5-8 BI's up otherwise I reckon. My concentration is something I have to work on.

      Here's one article I've read: http://www.self-guided.com/concentration-techniques.html

      There's lots of techniques available on the web, but the most realistic seems to be the same technique you use for normal exercise. Which is... just keep on going, concentrating on concentrating and pushing yourself further than you've gone before. Mind over matter etc


      Another place I have worked on which helps my mindset is where I play. Normally I play with my laptop on my legs but this gets hot and uncomfortable. I've now set up camp on my kitchen table. The problem I now face is the chair is not too comfortable for sitting at for hours on end! :tongue:


      I'm averaging about 4 hours a night now, I want to try to push that to 5, but that might mean waking up earlier, which is haaaard! :tongue:


      Here's a sweet hand from today. I only called the raise pre because the player was loose. I then just got lucky on the turn after a standard cbet on the flop. Against a loose player I guess the cbet was a bad idea but the push when the second 7 popped up definitely made him think and may have made him fold AJ, AK or even AQ fearing trips or a boat.

      IPoker Network No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t30.00/t60.00 Blinds - 8 players - View hand 1395634
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      CO: t1580.00 26.33 BBs - VPIP: 19, PFR: 9, 3B: 1, AF: 2.9, Hands: 491
      BTN: t1800.00 30 BBs - VPIP: 38, PFR: 3, 3B: 3, AF: 1.6, Hands: 258
      SB: t2920.00 48.67 BBs - VPIP: 30, PFR: 13, 3B: 0, AF: 1.0, Hands: 54
      Hero (BB): t1460.00 24.33 BBs - VPIP: 15, PFR: 12, 3B: 4, AF: 3.9, Hands: 64308
      UTG: t1660.00 27.67 BBs - VPIP: 51, PFR: 8, 3B: 0, AF: 2.4, Hands: 37
      UTG+1: t1300.00 21.67 BBs - VPIP: 29, PFR: 15, 3B: 13, AF: 0.7, Hands: 48
      MP1: t1400.00 23.33 BBs - VPIP: 11, PFR: 7, 3B: 7, AF: 0.0, Hands: 54
      MP2: t2880.00 48 BBs - VPIP: 19, PFR: 9, 3B: 1, AF: 2.9, Hands: 491

      Pre Flop: (t90) Hero is BB with A :spade: T :spade:
      UTG raises to t120, 6 folds, Hero calls t60

      Flop: (t270) Q :diamond: 6 :spade: 7 :heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets t135.00, UTG calls t135

      Turn: (t540) A :club: (2 players)
      Hero bets t270.00, UTG calls t270

      River: (t1080) 7 :spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets t935.00, UTG folds
    • GraveGoods
      GraveGoods
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2011 Posts: 209
      Been running good!

      Won 2 live home games on Friday, so I started off the weekend pretty good. Then had 2 days of running good, I got up to about 8 buy ins up and then today had a shocker and am back down to where I was on Thursday :tongue:

      I was killing the game though and feeling brilliant about my play so I decided to add a 5th table. This may have added to my losses.

      Since beginning this blog though I have noticed an awesome change. I was always breaking even and then when I got a downswing, I couldn't recover back to where I was originally. Now it appears that I am adding profit but a downswing brings me back down to break even! Which is obviously a massive positive to my game :D

      Now I just need to win so much that a downswing brings me to above where I started, or quit earlier when a downswing hits! I hate quitting though. If I'm still playing my A game then why should you quit just because you get unlucky? I definitely was not playing my A game today though and I should have quit earlier. I will definitely have to bring in earlier stop loss limits when not playing my A game, or make my C game better. I may have to read Elements of Poker again.


      If anyone reading this has any ideas that could help my game, or any comments on this blog just speak up, I won't ignore you :tongue: :)