My Blog: From fish to shark.

    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      I am Metamorphis.
      I'm 23 years old and I'm destined to become good at poker. The road to success will be rocky, it will be brutal, hard and involve blood, sweat and tears. But I'm going to make it. I know I aint the only one that has claimed this, but I'm sure the future will speak for it.

      In this blog I will share my poker experiences, my life and how I get time to do what I love. I'm an active skateboarder, I love hiphop and write lyrics all the time, I got a regular job and I love a great party. To get time for poker is limited but I'm having trouble with my sleeping pattern wich in a strange way is a huge plus when it comes to poker. It's currently 03:27 AM and I'm going into the battlefield of the micros as my quest for real success begins!

      Extended Intro and the story of how I got introduced to poker:


      To understand how I became fascinated by poker I will share some bits of my past. I promise that my posts from here on out wont be a huge wall of text!

      I was introduced to poker at the age of 17 by a mutual friend here in Norway. This mutual friend was on vacation at my friends house when I was 16. The three of us ended up hanging out alot, BBQ'ing and whatever guys at our age would do. Since he was on vacation and lives in a different country and completely different timezones, holding to the friendship we developed became rather hard.

      We started out playing first person shooter games online but that wasn't what we would spend most time on in the future. He told me how he used to play poker in order to make some extra cash while studying. He also told me about his adventures to Atlantic City. It opened my eyes for a completely new world. A world of chance and guts. Something I lacked.

      He lives in the US and I registered on pokerstars. We went on the playmoney-tables at first to have something to do while talking on MSN. We eventually went on to play the MTT's. 27, 45 for 10k playmoney buy-in. It was fun and I eventually accumulated about 800k worth of playmoney.

      He learned me the basics. I didn't focus too much on my game back then, just playing with him was fun.

      The playmoney adventures was fun at first. One day I was playing at a playmoney table on my own. I ended up speaking with another person. Up till then I didn't know about the freerolls where you could earn an entrance to real money tournaments.

      I joined Hubbles once.. I joined it again, and again, and again... The competition was ALOT harder from the playmoney tables. As I became better on the freeroll tournaments, my playmoney strategies got worse and I eventually lost the 800k I had little by little.
      This was probably the first time I started to focus on strategies and the difference between playmoney and real money. I wanted to learn it the hard way first and thus neglecting to make a deposit or read anything. I had a theory in my mind; In order to understand the basics you need to fail at them first.

      A few of my friends knew I was playing on pokerstars and the interest in poker grew even more. We was a group of 5-6 friends that played a little bit using the software.
      One night we met up, got a hold of Cuban Cigars, the Godfather movies and other mafia flicks to really set the atmosphere to make our first night of poker perfect. It was fun. 17 years of age with booze and cigars. We didn't have real chips to use. We only had a deck of cards so the chips we used ended up being pieces of paper with value on them and a bottle cap as the button.

      I lost at second place that night but that didn't matter. It was fun and a something I'll never forget. My most important lesson in poker got to me the second time played. I was chip leader by ALOT. It was me versus another friend. I was new at poker and he had literally given up. I went all-in with rags the first hand to end it, hit the flop but lost at the river. He went all-in again, I had AK, he won again. Eventually we was even in chips again and I was on tilt and eventually lost.
      I learned that no matter how far behind or how much chips you have, the outcome is solely dependant on you and how you play. Because of this I never give up even if I only got 180 chips left in a tournament where the Big Blind is up to 200/400, a chip and a chair is all I need and I've managed to get back up from that several times.

      The interest of poker in our group withered while my interest stayed. Another friend of mine was never introduced to these guys but he still had a interest in poker. We ended up playing the Hubbles freerolls on pokerstars alot. He eventually made it. I was destined to make it as well and three weeks later I did. Even though he didn't make it to the money in the 2000$ freeroll, I did. I made about 34 cents and I was really happy about it.

      I grinded my way up to about 9$ that I eventually lost again. I didn't know what bankroll management was and literally played on tables higher than my bankroll allowed me to. I was frustrated and left poker by itself for about a year.

      I take notice of the pokerstars commercials and downloaded the season for WSOP 2010 Main Event. Instead of jumping onto the pokerstars client I decided to check out strategies instead. I read a few tips here and there and went into the pokerstars client. Since it was only playmoney I ended up talking with another person about the differences in real money poker and playmoney. He told me to check out pokerstrategies.com and I did.

      Since I was already a member of pokerstars I joined Betfair and got my 50$ there. I played a little bit on the real money tables and SnG's. The variance was huge but at least my bankroll management was alot better. The poor thing about Betfair is that there aint alot of players to choose from and the gaming in general became bland to me. I didn't really enjoy the software and I actually feel ALOT of remorse by the fact that I've been given money for free by pokerstrategy.com and the site didn't really do it for me.

      Either way, I continued to read strategies and learned alot. I'm constantly looking at ways to improve my game. With the knowledge I got from pokerstrategy and Betfair I decided to make a deposit on pokerstars about two weeks ago and see how it goes, if it goes bad I'll get back to Betfair and try again.
      In order to stay with the same strategies and learn the important aspects about bankroll management. So far the variance is still huge but at least I don't lose as much as I used to.

      I've been up to 58$ but I'm down to 45$. I've yet to go below my starting capital though. I'm currently reading strategies on pokerstrategy.com and checking out hints and tips on youtube. Most of them have improved my game.

      At the moment I go for 9 man SnG 1.50$ as there isn't anything lower. There are 0.25$ 45 MTT's and 1$ 90 man SnG's but I can't seem to do well in those. What I've made most money on is the 9 man 1.50$ knockout tournaments. I understand the psychology aspects and often make it seem like I'm willing to risks to get the reward for knocking them out while I'm already having the nuts.

      I try to focus on a loose-agressive playstyle dependant on who I'm playing against. I will use this thread to vent, post hands and update how my playing goes. I don't use any huds or programs because I want to learn to play poker without help and rather based it on my instincts/skill-level.

      Any hints and tips is appreciated.

      - Signed, Metamorphis.


      Blog post #2: Downswings, upswings and Lessons learned!

      12th May, 2012. 05:43AM.

      I've been on a pretty bad run lately. I was down to about 25$ when I started the day.

      (Note: I know my bankroll management isn't exactly great at the moment, it's actually pretty bad. But I still got some kind of control over it even though the variance is huge at the moment. 1.50$ 9 man s&g's is those I usually manage to get in the prizepool of (about 6-7/10) so I go for it.)

      Since Pokerstars don't allow Sit&Go's 9 man tables for less than 1.50$ wich is what I've been playing today. I have also tried to Zoom, but it doesn't really do it for me and I end up losing in the long run. My main focus has always been tournaments/s&g's and cash tables is a completely different style of play. Because of this I choose to stay to what I know unless I got $'s I can afford to lose in order to learn cash table play as well.

      Anyways, I started the day with 25$ and got myself back up to 33$. I played one 0,55$ 3k guaranteed and one 1.10$ but got sucked out pretty early. I also played a few 0,10c 360 Turbo as well that didn't exactly go my way. Went for the depositor freeroll and managed to get 1.34$ (or something along those lines) from that. I lost at 213th place of 12xxx players. I went all-in at a bad spot, went over the hand a few times before I left and learned a few things about why I lost wich was a valuable lesson I wouldn't have got if I had won it. I also managed to champ two 9 man 1,50$ s&g's.

      The reason I wanted to blog about my day in the field is because I'm actually feeling pretty good about my last game and the fact that I learned a few valuable things in the tournaments I lost. In my last s&g I was down to 8BB's. 4 people left in total and only the top 3 get to the prize-pool. Instead of going all-in in with mediocre hands I decided to stay patient instead. When I was down to 2BB's (Blinds: 100/200) I went all-in and won the hand. A couple of hands later I managed to double up again and I was back in with the starting chipstack.
      In order to not fall down again I made sure to blindsteal a few times and bluff in position as the table respected me. The important turn in this s&g was when I was on the button and someone called my min-raise.
      The difference this time was that I actually had a hand. The flop was pretty good as well wich I didn't complain about. I chose to slowplay the hand and checked the flop, so did my opponent. On the turn a dead card came up. I chose to disguise my hand as a bluff by raising and was hoping he had a draw or somewhere along the lines of one pair. He called and my read on him had been pretty much accurate most of the game so I knew I had him on the flop when he just called.
      The river was another dead card to the board wich was exactly what I was hoping for. I chose to check the river and he raised me all-in as a result to him thinking I was bluffing or was on a draw and that his one pair was good. I called his raise and officially became the chip leader of the table.

      Since I prefer the 9 1.50$ Knockout gameplay I managed to get a few bounties as well on my way to the win. Allthough I am still down by 9$ (based on my first deposit of 42$) I still got a good feeling inside of me after todays effort and will constantly look on more ways to improve my game. Even though I lost in the early stages of the important tournaments I still think I did a solid job in the s&g's.

      - Metamorphis.
  • 16 replies
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      i read your wall of text :D

      Originally posted by Metamorphis
      I don't use any huds or programs because I want to learn to play poker without help and rather based it on my instincts/skill-level.
      could you elaborate?

      you're just handicapping yourself for no reason. your opponents will use these :f_biggrin:
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      Yeah. The reason for that is that I don't want to be dependent on it. I'm afraid it will hurt my game if I should play some games in real life. But then again, I've never used it so I can't say anything and don't know how to use them either. How helpful are they when it comes down to it? I switch up my game alot when I'm playing and I guess alot of others do the same thing as well so I would have a hard time trusting it.

      Also; Thanks for the read, I didn't really expect anyone to read it so it's cool to know that someone did :)
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      Originally posted by Metamorphis
      Also; Thanks for the read, I didn't really expect anyone to read it so it's cool to know that someone did :)
      i know the feeling :f_biggrin:


      as for the rest of your post...
      live we have physical tells, online we have huds :f_biggrin: obviously they don't amount to quite the same thing but just saying

      hud stats are just pointers to help your instincts, not something for you to blindly base your decisions on. also at our microstakes most people won't really be changing their game a lot (if at all) so you shouldn't be too worried.
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      Cool, I got to look into it as long as it's supported by stars ofc. :) Got any huds you can recommend?

      Another dry day at the poker tables though. Playing 9 man SnG's. When there was 5 people left in one of them I was given bad hands for about 40 hands. 49o etc. and people got desperate because of the blinds and literally went all-in almost any hand. The sad part with that particular round of SnG was the those that went all-in seemed to win against people with better hands and whatnot. Eventually lost at 4th place as well. Sucks.

      I'll be able to climb up again if I play my cards right. :) Currently in a 9 man SnG now, same thing as before but the blinds aint that high so it's not really a problem and it will most likely pay me off once I get a good enough hand (and it usually does). After that I take it with ease and let the others beat eachother out unless I get a good enough opportunity to take them out.
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      the "top brands" are holdem manager and pokertracker.

      i guess someone else may be able to expand on this later. i'm too lazy now :f_zZz:

      [edit: stars allows huds. what's not allowed is to use hand histories from hands that you haven't played yourself (aka "buying databases")]
    • IngridN
      IngridN
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.03.2011 Posts: 12,162
      Welcome to blogging Metamorphis! :) Enjoy your stay and good luck with your goals! Nothing is impossible ;)
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      Thanks alot IngridN! :) I'm going to try to find some creative ways of writing my future blogposts so they wont be boring to read. Hopefully someone will find them interesting. ^-^ Still climbing the micros as good as I can!

      Also, First post updated: Blog post #2: Downswings, upswings and Lessons learned!
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      I couldn't edit my first post? Why? Anyways, time for another blog-post:

      Blog post #3: Upswings!
      After going on a bad run for some time, positive variance comes along with a massive hug to comfort me!

      The high you get from winning is awesome but a great player know when to stop, take a deep breath and analyze the situation. What I mean by this is;

      Yes, I've done decent the past couple of days.. But, did I play as good as I can at this stage?

      The answer to that question is; Yes and No. I managed to stay alive in one tournament due to a bluff on the turn that eventually got called and the river saved me. The bluff was good, but obviously not good enough against this type of player. That means I did a mistake allthough luck came around and saved me. It was that situation and a few other less interesting hands.

      Beside of that I have looked into Turbos. Watched a few videos and read some articles and incorporated the knowledge to my play, and thought out some strategies for myself and tried them out. With my strategy (no, you may not know, it is mine until proven it doesn't work!) I've managed to win one 0,10$ 360 people turbo, got to the money in a 1.10$+R (65k Gtd) along with a couple of others.

      I have also joined a few 1.10$ NL Draw (200$ Gtd). It's hard finding any info about this game at all so I've tried to incorporate my knowledge of HE, Stud and my minimum knowledge of Omaha to see how it worked out. I have developed some strategies for myself that seems to work.
      The first time I played it I lost at around 70th with about 400 people registered. The second time I was the ''bubble-boy''. The third time I did a horrible mistake at 200th and took some notes for myself, took a step back and went through the game, betting sizes, how and when people bet/bluff and whatever else I could think of. So, at my fourth attempt I made it past the bubble and today I lost at the final table and got away with 20$.

      I think I'm beginning to understand the dynamics of NL Draw and Turbo HE alot better than I did before. I also feel like this month has been my most productive month so far as I have learned alot by playing different games and reaching the final table really adds on to your knowledge of playing styles. The thing with the final table is that people ALWAYS do their best, to focus on your game and how others play is the best way to achieve more knowledge about the game we love so much.

      I wont let it get to my head but I think it would be stupid not to be happy and take a step back to let the good feelings flow when it goes well. :)
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      Originally posted by Metamorphis
      Yeah. The reason for that is that I don't want to be dependent on it. I'm afraid it will hurt my game if I should play some games in real life. But then again, I've never used it so I can't say anything and don't know how to use them either. How helpful are they when it comes down to it? I switch up my game alot when I'm playing and I guess alot of others do the same thing as well so I would have a hard time trusting it.

      Also; Thanks for the read, I didn't really expect anyone to read it so it's cool to know that someone did :)
      I suppose you could become dependent on it, but hopefully what it will really do is help teach you how to respond to different player types and make it easier to keep track of "who's who" online.

      When you play live, you see far fewer players, and it should be easier to keep track of them.
      Online, the player pool (especially at Stars!) is way too big for you to keep track of opponents w/o a HUD & database.

      The software will also be very helpful in tracking YOUR play.
      it makes it much easier to review hands, spots, tables, tournaments, whatever.
      you can use it to find YOUR leaks & weaknesses as well as those of your foes.

      The ability to review your own play in depth & detail can not be overstated.
      If you truly plan on becoming a "shark" you need these tools.
      Can you get there without them?
      Sure.
      If you are really good, somewhat lucky and have a lot of time to invest.
      but it does not seem very shark-like to handicap yourself.
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      Indeed William.. But these tools are really expensive. Unfortunately I can't afford it atm. :/
    • fruktpuff
      fruktpuff
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      Hi metamorphosis.

      Hold'em Manager 2 offer a 30 day trial, and I believe PokerTracker offer 60 days, so you can get a solid 3 months with tracking software while working up the roll to invest in one. And you get the benefit of trying the two market leaders to see which you will prefer when the time to buy one comes.

      Sorry for arriving late for the blog, and a belated welcome to our blogging section.

      Will be following your journey, and good luck.

      Regards,
      Richard
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      Oh, that doesn't sound too bad. 90 days with those tools sounds like a great deal. Yeah, I'm definately going to try that when I get home from work today. Didn't really give it much thought about using the trials until now tbh.

      I'll update the blog after I've tried it out for a bit. :)
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      I should also add that for the low stakes version, HM2 is ~$60.
      it was cheaper recently thru a promotion.

      I would not call $60 "really expensive", although I would agree it's not "cheap".
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      If you got a pretty good bankroll, win alot of money online etc.. It's just a reaaaal tiny percentage of your bankroll. I got a bankroll of my own to take care of. :p 60$ to me is 60$ I could have spent on food or a new deck or trucks as I got skateboarding as a hobby I do actively with friends as well, ya feel me? Right now I'm cruising around on a friend of mines deck I bought used for 7$. It aint going to last forever and I need irl activities to function as a human being, lol.

      It aint cheap but the ammount of work and the people constantly improving the programs (I noticed PokerTracker offer trackins of Omaha as well) I guess it aint that bad.. Just wish I had a bit more money in my bank account, hehe.

      I aint got a great job that pays good atm. either. The job I got is -EV on my life style, haha. It pays just enough for me to pay my bills and the money I got left isn't much. The 42$ (I'm up to 60$ now though) I put on pokerstars a month ago is about as far as I can go when it comes to poker right now. I hope to get better at poker and if I manage to win something by the small ammount of money I got on it now; Yeah.. I'll definately buy it. But at the moment my irl bankroll and poker combined doesn't allow me to do that just yet. I will start saving 20$ a month from now so I can get pokertracker in a few months unless I manage to win big in one of the huge MTT's.

      But! If the 60 days pay off I'll definately cash out and buy it. HoldEm Manager didn't have a trial so I went for PokerTracker and I got to say I really like it so far. It helps you to make better decisions.

      I have played on one 0,02/0,04 cent table for an hour or two now to get familiar with the program and see how it would affect my play. This is the graph of today;



      I plan on focusing on MTT's & SnG's though. But I can look more into money tables and the prog more between the major micro tournaments in the meantime. ^-^

      I definately love the fact that you can ''mark'' interesting hands so you can view them later. I'll get the full version of pokertracker sooner or later! (Hopefully sooner!)
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      I'm glad that you have gotten the trial version.

      and I did not mean to imply that the price was trivial, just that it's "not expensive" relatively speaking.

      and, as you have already seen, PT or HM is an "investment" in your game.
      one that I expect will pay back many times in the (not so long) run.
      unlike decks & trucks it will not depreciate or wear out.
      and unlike food, it won't turn to poop. :D

      hope the 60 days help show you how worthwhile it is.
      gl on the tables.
    • Metamorphis
      Metamorphis
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 47
      William: Yeah. So far I like it. And yup, pokertracker wont turn to shit and it wont break, that's for sure! Hehe. I only got one problem with it though.. I got a friend I sometimes play poker with. He plays on the playmoney tables.. I have been nice and given him a few dollars now and then so he can try out the real thing but pokertracker seems to add the playmoney wins to my overall winnings. Is there a way to fix this? There's times when I play both playmoney and tournaments/cash tables and there's no way I'd win 14.393$ on money tables with the bankroll I have now. :p

      Blog Post #4: NL 5 Card Draw and the wildest rollercoaster of a tournament I've been in so far!
      [Spoiler]I'm getting more and more into NL 5 Card Draw. Finnished at 8th place today at a 200$ GTD tournament on pokerstars. I've gotten to the money 4/10 times and finnished late 2/10. I have also won a few heads up matches in this game type. And I start to think that NL 5 Card Draw might be the game for me.

      And the tournament I played today was SUCH a rollercoaster! When the blinds and antes actually mattered I didn't get a single playable hand for 50-60 hands in a row. I stayed alive solely by using the slowball approach and bluffing in the right spots and all of this happened when there was 110 people left. 54 paid spots. I was down to 6k at one point. Managed to bluff myself back up to 12k and when someone picked up on what I was doing he called me with a pair of kings (only this time I actually had a decent hand) and I managed to get my chipstack to 20k.

      When someone got the amazing title as the bubbleboy I was in a tough spot as more people started to gamble in order to reach the final table. Antes and blinds going up, bad cards again, bluffed on the right spots to keep me alive. Finally got a hand and double up with a better full house. Phew!

      Then, the rollercoaster ride takes place again. A bluff gone bad made someone understand my game a bit more but I was in position. However, I had flush before the draw and went all-in after his raise and disguising my hand as a bluff, and he called! Not just that, he exchanged 2 cards so he had trips, he did the right thing against a player like me (not really ofc, that's how I play draw, make people think I'm weak and push when it matters). My ace high flush got beat by him though, he picked up a pair after the draw to give him a full house. Luckily I had him covered, but with only 12k chips left and blinds being crazy things didn't look good for me when there was 17 people left.

      Cards were on my side again, doubled with a decent hand and tripled up by luck against the same player that donked me with the full house. Don't blame the dealer!

      Managed to get my game back on track but still 50k below chip average I had to play tight-agressive. Blinds and cards not really being on my side plus people going all-in right and left.. I managed to stay alive and lost at 8th with 999 vs JJJ and got away with 9$. One of these days I'm going to take the trophy! I have a strong feeling about it.

      Stay tuned![/spoiler]