William340

    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      hello!
      I've been on Poker Strategy since February, but never started my blog.

      I am a 45 year old American player who has fooled around at the lowest microstakes since May 2009. I missed about 10 months of online poker after Black Friday.

      I play "recreationally". I have a regular 40 hour a week job and a number of "adult" responsibilities (house, etc) so I do not have a lot of time to put in big volume.

      When I was playing on Poker Stars, I played about 16k hands of small tournments and 12.8k hands at .01/.02 and averaged about 20bb/100 in the cash games.

      I now play .02/.04 on Carbon. I have played about 16k hands since February and am averaging 11.5 bb/100.

      I am aware that despite the fact that I have been successful, my game needs a LOT of work. Most of my winnings come from players that are terrible, and the good players (yes, there ARE some good players at the lowest levels) often give me a lot of trouble.

      I was fortunate to finish 2nd in a 5k freeroll (about 265 entrants, I think I was invited because of my rakeback provider) and won $800.
      Between that & my winnings at 4NL, I have increased my $100 deposit to about $975.

      While I could now "afford" to move up, I have no interest in playing higher until I play better.

      I was fortunate to find out about PS at 2+2 and get 3 months free membership. Unfortunately, as a US player, I cannot get the $50, or earn points to try to keep my status, so soon I will be "buying points" and likely become a "Silver" member.

      You have a great community here, and I am hoping that I can make a worthwhile contribution to the site.
  • 22 replies
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,926
      Welcome to our blogging section William340!

      I wish you lots of run good :)

      Great start so far with that $100 deposit. You are obviously playing very well!

      I too find it hard to find the time for Poker with a full time job as well as "adult" responsibilities but we can only do what we can do :)

      Good luck, I'll be following ;)

      Gary
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      one of the things I want to do since I was so late in getting this started was to catch up a bit on what has gone on before.

      I've played poker for a fairly long time before I played online, but it was all "home games". Usually the games were 5 card draw or 7 card stud with your occasional wild card. I did ok, losing some times, winning others. THe stakes were always small and the games friendly.

      I had heard of Texas Hold 'Em, but had never played it or even seen it played (this was well before the heavy ESPN coverage of the WSOP or any of the shows that would follow). I had read the rules of the game in a poker book and it seemed kind of silly to me that you would only get two cards and all the rest were community cards. It wasn't until I actually saw it being played (WSOP of course, but well before 2003) that the game made any real "sense" to me. My increased appreciation sent me on to Poker Stars, where I first played for play money and then started dabbling in .01/.02 NL.

      I was successful at cash games, not thru any great skill or luck, but simply because the other players were even worse than I was.

      I'm going to post these 3 hands here, because
      1) they illustrate how bad I was
      2) they illustrate how much worse (some of) the other players were
      3) they were against the same villain in 13 minutes of actual time

      $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Holdem
      PokerStars
      5 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG Villain ($7.33)
      CO William340 ($1.30)
      BTN Player8 ($3.74)
      SB Player9 ($1.17)
      BB Player1 ($5)

      Pre-Flop: ($0.03, 5 players) William340 is CO 7:heart: 8:heart:
      1 fold, Villain calls $0.02, 1 fold, William340 calls $0.02, 1 fold, Player9 calls $0.01, Player1 checks

      Flop: 4:club: J:club: 9:heart: ($0.08, 2 players)
      Player9 checks, Player1 checks, Villain checks, William340 checks

      Turn: J:spade: ($0.08, 2 players)
      Player9 checks, Player1 checks, Villain checks, William340 checks

      River: 10:heart: ($0.08, 2 players)
      Player9 bets $0.02, Player1 folds, Villain goes all-in $7.31, William340 goes all-in $1.28, Player9 folds

      Final Pot: $2.66
      Villain shows three of a kind, Jacks
      J:diamond: 6:spade:
      William340 shows a straight, Seven to Jack
      7:heart: 8:heart:

      William340 wins $2.56 (net +$1.26)

      Villain collects $6.03 (net -$1.30)
      Player1 lost $0.02
      Player9 lost $0.04

      yes, he waited until he was behind to bet, and then went all in.

      *********************************************************************
      $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Holdem
      PokerStars
      7 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG William340 ($2.53)
      UTG+1 Player7 ($3)
      MP Player8 ($5.87)
      CO Player9 ($1.99)
      BTN Player1 ($5)
      SB Player2 ($1.77)
      BB Villain ($6.89)

      Pre-Flop: ($0.03, 7 players) William340 is UTG 8:heart: J:heart:
      1 fold, William340 calls $0.02, 1 fold, Player8 calls $0.02, 2 folds, Player2 calls $0.01, Villain raises to $0.12, William340 calls $0.10, Player8 folds, Player2 folds

      Flop: 6:heart: 4:spade: 7:club: ($0.28, 1 players)
      Villain checks, William340 checks

      Turn: 10:club: ($0.28, 1 players)
      Villain checks, William340 checks

      River: J:spade: ($0.28, 1 players)
      Villain goes all-in $6.77, William340 goes all-in $2.41

      Final Pot: $5.10
      Villain shows a pair of Fours
      4:club: K:spade:
      William340 shows a pair of Jacks
      8:heart: J:heart:

      William340 wins $4.85 (net +$2.32)

      Villain collects $4.36 (net -$2.53)
      Player2 lost $0.02
      Player8 lost $0.02

      yeah, I'd limp early w/ "suited gappers" then call a raise.
      once again he lets me get to the river for free, then decides to bet once I have something. I, of course, think nothing about calling off my stack w/ TPWK, but it works out.

      and finally,

      ***************************************************************************************************************
      $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Holdem
      PokerStars
      8 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG William340 ($4.85)
      UTG+1 Player7 ($3)
      MP1 Player8 ($5.85)
      MP2 Player9 ($1.99)
      CO Player1 ($5)
      BTN Player2 ($1.75)
      SB Villain ($4.36)
      BB Player4 ($3)

      Pre-Flop: ($0.03, 8 players) William340 is UTG 8:spade: 9:spade:
      1 fold, William340 calls $0.02, 1 fold, Player8 calls $0.02, 3 folds, Villain calls $0.01, Player4 checks

      Flop: 10:heart: 4:spade: 7:spade: ($0.08, 3 players)
      Villain checks, Player4 checks, William340 checks, Player8 checks

      Turn: 6:heart: ($0.08, 3 players)
      Villain checks, Player4 checks, William340 bets $0.04, Player8 calls $0.04, Villain raises to $0.20, Player4 folds, William340 calls $0.16, Player8 folds

      River: A:diamond: ($0.52, 1 players)
      Villain goes all-in $4.14, William340 calls $4.14

      Final Pot: $8.80
      Villain shows a straight, Three to Seven
      3:diamond: 5:spade:
      William340 shows a straight, Six to Ten
      8:spade: 9:spade:

      William340 wins $8.40 (net +$4.04)

      Villain lost $4.36
      Player4 lost $0.02
      Player8 lost $0.06

      so that was how it was when I was starting out.
      playing loose/passive and having money thrown at me.
      :f_biggrin:
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      just to illustrate how silly it was, in my first month, I played 199 hands at .01/.02 NL. Obviously single table. :D
      I won $22.43 ! Which comes to a smooth 563.6 bb/100 winrate.

      which explains why my Poker Stars graph started nearly vertical.



      so, like most bad players, I thought I was pretty good.
      Not "great" or "world class", after all, I was just ignorant, not delusional!

      I then had the good fortune of finding a poker thread on the car forum that I frequented.
      A very solid player was hosting private tournaments on Poker Stars for members in the forum, with the object of improving everyone's game thru discussion & play.
      The tournaments were $10+1 buyin and everyone played "to win", but after the Monday night games we would spend the week discussing hands, strategies, etc.
      Sometimes there would be $5+0.50 buy-in games or even $1+0.10 games.
      The "headmaster" even had a tournament where (by decree) you could not limp in. in order to see the flop, you had to open raise or call someone's open raise.
      I began to learn a few things:
      1) tournament play is a LOT different than cash
      2) decent players would knock me down, run me over & steal my money with little effort.

      I was ill prepared for an environment that had a few solid TAGs and a couple of LAG wanna-bes. But the discussions were great and I began to see the light.

      I should mention now that I have always been a "reader" (of books, not hands or people!)
      So, my collection of poker books began to grow as I scoured the auctions on Ebay, hunted the used books on Amazon and occasionally plunked down full price for stuff I couldn't find anywhere else.
      I still buy poker books and re-read the ones I have already read before, knowing that some of the lessons were far beyond my ability to learn them at the time (due to lack of game experience, not reading comprehension!).

      The car forum tournaments went about as you would expect.
      In general, the money moves towards the better players.
      Sometimes variance dictates that it does not.
      So, in general, I lost to the better players. I regarded this as the tuition cost for the lessons I was getting.

      I also played a lot of freerolls, .01, .10, .25 buyin tournaments, then some $1 sit n go's and $1 double or nothing tournaments.
      The only thing I had a positive ROI in was .25 MTT. I decided to concentrate on cash games.
      I bought HM1 and started playing more and more seriously. But before I had made much progress, Black Friday removed me from the online game.
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      after I had played some online hands, I built up the courage to try playing Hold 'Em in a casino (Atlantic City).
      my first experience was certainly a "learning experience", as I discovered what aggression looked like and how different it was to call off $50 instead of 0.50.
      I took my lumps and realized that I was WAY to green to play 1/2 NL.

      being a Nervous Nelly, I decided to play 1/2 Limit instead of 1/2 NL on some future trips.
      (that was not a swipe at Limit Hold 'em players, I am making fun of me. All of my online practice was at NL, but putting $100 or $200 on the table and risking it in one pot was too scary).
      While the limited betting was much more comfortable, the frustration of the villains ALWAYS having the price to draw against me began to weigh against playing limit.
      Due to bad luck & bad play I always lost or played around break even.

      getting to AC from my house took almost 2 hours. So I would end up driving 4 hour round trip to play for 5 or 6 hours and lose $100 or so or maybe win $60. It was not a trip I made more than a few times a year.

      I kept working on my game online, and decided I would only play NL live.
      I am still "uncomfortable" playing live, and sometimes make the most embarrassing mistakes.
      here's a few of them:

      when I sit down, I am the BB, I post w/ $5 chip as that is all I have, big stack guy directly to my left declares a straddle.
      there are a few calls. I have junk. but, I am an idiot.
      completely ignoring the stradlle, I "check my option".
      big stack guy raises to $12, one caller. I fold. dealer gives me $1 chip.
      I look at it as if it was a peanut, or maybe a raisin, trying to figure out where the other $2 he owes me is. I say to my right side neighbor: "this is the 1/2 game, right?"
      he laughs and says "yeah". dealer explains my check and keeping my cards was a call of the straddle, as my $5 chip had it covered. obviously, it I had posted w/ $2, they would have asked for then other $2.
      I am immediately exposed as a half-wit. my table image is now 'idiot tourist'. swell.
      not much else happens for a while, but I see that Mr. big stack almost always straddles UTG, and will button straddle if UTG does not. a few players to his left do the same, none of the guys to my right ever straddle.
      I get dealt pocket jacks, there is a raise before me to $12. I reraise to $32.
      I get two callers (guy behind me cold calling 2 raises & original raiser) and the sudden realization that I have created a big pot w/o a true big hand.
      the flop comes J-9-3, two spades.
      original raiser checks to me, and I move in. or at least I attempt to move in.
      except that I am an idiot, and leave the two $5 chips that are sitting on my hole cards as protectors. so, despite my declaration that I am ''all in'', I'm not, exactly.
      as it turns out, it doesn't matter, as the guy that calls me has less chips than my bet, and the original raiser folds.
      on the other hand, I continue to make myself look like an idiot who has never seen chips before.
      the flush does not get there, nor does the straight draw. I show my J's, the caller mucks, and I have more than doubled up.
      and I still look like I've never seen cards or chips before.

      I am up to $264 from $100 buy in when I leave for dinner.
      when I come back, I buy in for $100 again.
      just a few hands in, I get KK. there is a raise in front of me to $10. I re-raise to $40, short stack behind me goes all-in for $79, original raiser calls, I go all-in for $97, original raiser calls that and complains that our stacks are "so small" (he has maybe another $60 back).
      I smile and tell him that I am hoping my stack will be bigger in a minute. table laughs, he looks pissed.
      neither of the other players reveal their hands, so I don't show mine either.
      flop comes A-A-4. I have the horrible realization that if either of these monkeys got in w/ Ax, I am screwed. if they had AA, I was screwed from the start, but I already knew that. this is much worse. next two cards come pretty much blank.
      dealer says "show me a winner". short stack shows 44 and says full house.
      cue the music.
      I, being an idiot, muck, unintentionally ceding the side pot to the other guy who had us both covered. he of course, has QQ, and scoops the $36 that I so cleverly gave away.
      I am pretty sure (at the time) that this may be the stupidist thing I have done in the category of "unforced errors".
      I am not happy about the 2 outer, but the side pot thing is really grating my cheese.
      I wait a hand to gather my scattered wits & rebuy for another $100, trying not to think about the $36 I threw away, nor the $176 that I was a huge favorite to win.
      the $36 dollars is much worse, actually. losing the pot seems to be "bad luck" as a big favorite. mucking the side pot was just noob idiocy.

      I guess when you play almost exclusively online, you are protected from these "procedural errors".
    • fruktpuff
      fruktpuff
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      Ooh, an american blogger! Though you have already been welcomed by our dear HollyMichelle(he sure has a misleading name, our Gary...), I would also like to tell you that you're very welcomed to our blogging section!

      We unfortunately don't get all too many American members who are active, due to the situation of online poker on your side of the pond, so we're very happy you like our community and enjoy it enough to become an active part!

      Regarding mistakes during live play, I've done a few interesting moronic moves, myself!
      The most recent one was only a week or two ago, playing with lots of PokerStrategy.com employees when I was on a brief visit in Gibraltar at PS.com HQ.

      There were 5 of us strategists, and a fish at the table, playing £0.5/£1(which is a bit more than I normally play), and I was so focused on the pot I was in with the fish, bet on the turn with like third pair and a gutshot while a flushdraw was showing, and he folded, so I wanted to show him the 9, to show he should stop being a nit(setting him up later, for if I really had a hand..). Only to be told, while showing it and being told "Uhm, Richard... I'm still in the hand...." by our MJPerry. That was a true facepalm moment :( . I had TOTALLY been so focused on the fish that I missed him having been in the hand the whole way, needless to say the hand went somewhat downhill from there...

      On your comment that you're safe from "procedural errors" being an online player, I've actually seen people not call for their split pots during live play because they're so used to it happening automatically, so surely you're spot on there!
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      Thanks for the welcome!

      When I first got here, I (foolishly) thought I was "above" the beginner stuff, but having attended some of the coachings and posted some hands, I decided that I was likely mistaken.
      And even if I was right, there are just so many fundamental weaknesses in my game that the simplest (and smartest) thing to do would be to be willing to start from the beginning. Make sure my foundation is square & solid and build up from the bottom.
      It's funny that "everyone" knows that poker is a game where almost everyone thinks they are "good" or above average, but most of us think that it's "everyone else" that is delusional. I decided to admit (or at least consider) that despite my success, I'm not really very good. Most of the time I am better than horrible, and most of the time, I am playing people who are horrible.
      If I am ever going to be able to confidently play above 4NL, I need to improve.
      One of the things in my favor is that I don't "need" to play higher.
      Poker is a pasttime & entertainment for me, and I want to be successful, but I have a "day job".
      I don't need to make a living at the tables, or try to make a living on rake.
      I don't need to "take shots" and try to establish myself at 10NL (or 25NL or 50NL).
      While I think it would be "fun" if I could play higher & win, I can admit that I would get killed by the regs at higher limits right now.
      In fact, there are a couple of 4NL regs that pretty much run me over. If I end up OOP to them, I just leave the table. It's that bad.
      Fortunately, I know there's no shame in "running away". Sticking around and getting pummelled would not "prove" anything other than I am stubborn & stupid.
      I am content to abandon the table and look for a better environment to win some chips. When I am offline, I can look over the hands against the tough regs and study on how to counter them.
    • fruktpuff
      fruktpuff
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      Learning from the bottom and up is always a good strategy, I'd say. Sure, "I know this.." and then skip 3 paragraphs might work for most people, but that way you don't take in the things between what you know that you need to learn, so kudos for that approach!

      I like your insight into how everyone assumes they are better than they truly are and that they think everyone else is word, very nicely put down into words even though most thinking players have probably considered it at some point.

      Leaving a table when seated OOP to someone you know gains a significant edge on you from being IP is a brilliant approach, shouldn't feel shame for approaching the game with a logical and structured approach and I am glad to hear that you don't! Ego can put huge dents in your bankrolled, not having an issue there is a great start!
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      I may have learned it from a Tommy Angelo book.
      Although I have read Schoonmaker & Tendler as well, so I am not sure who gets the credit.
      The sharks WANT the fish to be stubborn and sit tight, trying to (futiley) outplay them. The only way to "beat" them (when you can't beat them) is to take your chips somewhere safer, out of their reach.

      I use the free lookups on pokertableratings to "check" out the regs on my site, and also to look up the maniacs.
      I don't buy hand histories, as that is clearly (to me) unethical, but I have no problem with looking to see how much a guy plays, what stakes he plays at, and how he is doing.
      When I see my nemesis is a solid winner at 4NL and has played a bunch of hands at higher levels (with varying success) I know that caution is the way to go.
      If I see the guy who was 3 betting & shoving left & right is a BIG loser at every level he's played at, I know I can play against him if I pick my spots.
      Even maniacal fish hit a hand sometimes.
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      played today. first time in about a week.
      I've been reading poker stuff, watching videos, posting here, etc.

      now, I am not one of those people that think onlone poker is fixed.
      I do, however, think that I might be dumber than a bag of hammers sometimes.

      you may have noticed in my posts that I say that I make most of my winnings because my opponents are really bad?
      well, sometimes, they're not.
      and then, I'm the pretty bad one.

      ladies & gentlemen, I give you
      this gem

      kind of hurt my efforts for the day.

      end result: -$2.57
      350 hands (2 tabling)
      vpip 13
      pfr 6
      3B 1.8

      other than the debacle above, I never lost more than .14 on a hand, either calling for set value & missing, or being the pfr and flopping horribly.
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      reviewing the "big" hands (big pots, anyway) from today's session & came across this beauty.

      not sure if the original pfr was a mis-click, but that was only the beginning.

      $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Holdem
      Merge
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG Player4 ($12.54)
      UTG+1 Player5 ($2.62)
      MP1 Player6 ($4)
      MP2 Player7 ($2.46) - VPIP: 29, PFR: 6, 3B: 7, AF: 1.3, Hands: 107
      MP3 Player8 ($4.06)
      CO Player9 ($4)- VPIP: 21, PFR: 15, 3B: 0, AF: 3.0, Hands: 34
      BTN William340 ($4.91)
      SB Player2 ($2.46)
      BB Player3 ($2.80)- VPIP: 24, PFR: 1, 3B: 1, AF: 1.6, Hands: 279

      Pre-Flop: ($0.06, 9 players) William340 is BTN 4:diamond: J:spade:
      3 folds, Player7 calls $0.04, 1 fold, Player9 raises to $0.96, William340 folds, 1 fold, Player3 calls $0.96, Player7 folds

      Flop: 5:spade: J:diamond: 9:club: ($1.98, 2 players)
      Player3 bets $1.80, Player9 calls $1.80

      Turn: A:diamond: ($5.58, 2 players)

      River: 5:heart: ($5.58, 2 players)

      Final Pot: $5.58
      Player3 shows
      8:diamond: 7:diamond:
      Player9 shows
      10:heart: A:club:

      Player9 wins $5.38 (net +$2.62)

      Player3 collects $0.04 (net -$2.76)
      Player7 lost $0.04

      welcome to 4NL !! :f_p:
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      mark player9 as a sick soulreader.
      you see that he got his money ahead all the time
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      this was my big chance to win a nice pot today.
      unfortunately, Player 6 had other ideas!

      $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Holdem
      Merge
      8 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG Player8 ($3.61)
      UTG+1 Player9 ($1.04)
      MP1 Player1 ($1.85) - VPIP: 38, PFR: 15, 3B: 0, AF: 0.0, Hands: 13
      MP2 William340 ($4)
      CO Player4 ($1.75)- VPIP: 18, PFR: 5, 3B: 6, AF: 0.0, Hands: 55
      BTN Player5 ($1.37) - VPIP: 37, PFR: 21, 3B: 0, AF: 3.0, Hands: 19
      SB Player6 ($5.06)- VPIP: 17, PFR: 14, 3B: 9, AF: 0.7, Hands: 35
      BB Player7 ($1.03)

      Pre-Flop: ($0.06, 8 players) William340 is MP2 6:club: 6:heart:
      2 folds, Player1 raises to $0.08, William340 calls $0.08, Player4 calls $0.08, Player5 calls $0.08, Player6 goes all-in $5.06, 1 fold, Player1 calls $1.77, William340 folds, Player4 folds, Player5 folds

      Flop: 7:spade: 6:spade: 10:spade: ($3.98, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: J:heart: ($3.98, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: 10:heart: ($3.98, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Final Pot: $3.98
      Player1 shows
      A:diamond: K:heart:
      Player6 shows
      K:spade: K:club:

      Player6 wins $10.21 (net +$5.15)

      Player1 lost $1.85
      William340 lost $0.08
      Player4 lost $0.08
      Player5 lost $0.08

      nb, player 6!
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      so, where was I?
      Black Friday had ended my budding "career" at Poker Stars, but luckily I got my funds back. Not a lot of money, but it's the principle of the thing, right?
      I was not amused that I had purchased HM a few months prior and now had no use for it.
      Some of my online poker buddies moved to Merge, but most of us sat out & decided to wait & see what the government did.
      I played for play money on Stars, and made an autohotkey script to convert my hand histories so my HUD still worked and I could look at the hands in HM.
      This worked until Stars booted me off the .com and made me play on .net.
      Suddenly there were no more HH to use!
      I didn't care so much for the play money HUD, but now there was no way to analyze my vpip/pfr etc.
      Very frustrating.

      I played play money tournies for a while, then played play money "cash".
      Of course I was hugely successful, as no one (but me) takes it seriously, so it's pretty easy to win.
      I moved up to higher buy-ins and the games were a bit better, but still barely poker.

      so, in February, after 10 months on the sidelines, I sent an PM on 2+2 for rakeback info, joined a rakeback site and deposited $100 on Merge.
      Of course, I soon learned what any "real player" already knew:
      unless you play real volume or higher than the smallest tables, you have no chance of earning any deposit bonus or rakeback.

      I had a 150% deposit bonus deal that basically would give me $1 for every $7.50 of rake I paid.
      I quickly figured that I could earn a few dollars back at most.
      I then discovered that the bonus was paid off in $10 chunks, so I would need to generate $75 of rake in 3 months to get anything at all.
      Not really possible for a recreational player with insignificant volume playing 4NL.
      At the end of the 3 months, my total rake was ~$34.
      Enough to "earn" ~$4 in bonus, but not even halfway to getting anything.
      No surprise there.
      I was not overjoyed when I figured this out (during the first month), but I realized I was not really losing anything. I was no worse of if I had signed up w/o rakeback, and maybe down the road w/ more volume or when I moved up I could get something back on the rake.

      My 2+2 rakeback info request also got me a PM from PokerStrategy.com with an introductory offer. 3 months of Gold membership to try out the site.
      As you can see, I took advantage of that.
      As a US player, I can not get the $50 starting money which is understandable.
      I also have no way to earn membership levels by playing poker, which is also understandable, but sad. :f_cry: (boo-hoo for me!)
      In a few days, my free Gold status will run out, and I will have to "buy points".
      I am likely to get a Silver subscription as the price is right, and it is the best match for my current playing level.
      I have mentioned the site over on my car forum poker thread, but hardly anyone is playing anymore, so I don't know if they have come & looked it over or not.
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      I have decided to put a hand in here every now & then just for laughs.
      THIS is why a player like me can win money playing online.

      I was just an observer at this train wreck

      $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Holdem
      Merge
      7 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG Player8 ($7.31)
      UTG+1 William340 ($4.21)
      MP Player3 ($1.14) - VPIP: 20, PFR: 6, 3B: 2, AF: 3.5, Hands: 169
      CO Player4 ($4.11) - VPIP: 19, PFR: 11, 3B: 9, AF: 1.5, Hands: 353
      BTN Player5 ($6.42)- VPIP: 21, PFR: 16, 3B: 5, AF: 3.2, Hands: 265
      SB Player6 ($4.64)
      BB Player7 ($3.98) - VPIP: 56, PFR: 0, 3B: 0, AF: 0.4, Hands: 16

      Pre-Flop: ($0.06, 7 players) William340 is UTG+1 8:club: A:heart:
      1 fold, William340 folds, Player3 raises to $0.12, Player4 calls $0.12, Player5 calls $0.12, 1 fold, Player7 calls $0.08

      Flop: 3:heart: 4:club: 2:heart: ($0.50, 4 players)
      Player7 checks, Player3 checks, Player4 checks, Player5 bets $0.25, Player7 calls $0.25, Player3 folds, Player4 raises to $1.50, Player5 raises to $6.05, Player7 calls $3.61, Player4 folds

      Turn: Q:diamond: ($9.72, 2 players)

      River: 7:spade: ($9.72, 2 players)

      Final Pot: $9.72
      Player5 shows
      4:spade: 4:diamond:
      Player7 shows
      J:heart: 2:spade:

      Player5 wins $13.62 (net +$7.45)

      Player3 lost $0.12
      Player4 lost $1.62
      Player7 lost $3.98

      bottom pair & a backdoor flush draw would HAVE to be good there, right?

      *******************************************************************************************

      here's me actually making money. easy game, right?
      MP1 is a solid player that I have seen around. have not seen him get out of line.
      my notes on the BB are that PTR shows him as a pretty big loser at all stakes on Merge.
      his 3B% from BB is 14% and I was tempted to flat call & see if he would squeeze.
      I decided to play my hand and not try to be clever.

      as a point of reference, I had been completely card dead at this table and when I did get something interesting, my position or the circumstances were bad.
      so, after 77 hands I was vpip 6 / pfr 1/ 3B 0

      $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Holdem
      Merge
      8 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG Player5 ($11.80)
      UTG+1 Player6 ($4.62)
      MP1 Player8 ($7.40) - VPIP: 14, PFR: 9, 3B: 4, AF: 2.3, Hands: 410
      MP2 Player9 ($2.74)
      CO William340 ($4.21)- VPIP: 14, PFR: 8, 3B: 1, AF: 2.6, Hands: 16849
      BTN Player2 ($4.26)
      SB Player3 ($0.82)
      BB Player4 ($4.10) - VPIP: 19, PFR: 11, 3B: 9, AF: 1.5, Hands: 353

      Pre-Flop: ($0.06, 8 players) William340 is CO K:spade: K:club:
      2 folds, Player8 raises to $0.12, 1 fold, William340 raises to $0.36, 2 folds, Player4 calls $0.32, Player8 folds

      Flop: 4:heart: 8:spade: 4:diamond: ($0.86, 2 players)
      Player4 checks, William340 bets $0.57, Player4 calls $0.57
      the flop did not fill me with joy, but I am betting my hand. if he is slowplaying 44 or 88, I'll find out quickly, right?

      Turn: K:heart: ($2, 2 players)
      Player4 checks, William340 bets $1.50, Player4 goes all-in $3.17, William340 calls $1.67

      obviously, the turn is just what I wanted to see.I did not do a great job balancing my bet of 3/4P with my remaining stack. turns out it didn't matter. unless he has 44, I'm good.

      River: 2:club: ($8.34, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Final Pot: $8.34
      William340 shows
      K:spade: K:club:
      Player4 shows
      J:club: J:diamond:

      William340 wins $7.93 (net +$3.83)

      Player4 lost $4.10
      Player8 lost $0.12

      I don't know, but if we traded seats and I saw the table rock 3B a solid reg, and then bet F & bet T and the turn was a K, I'd be awfully worried about KK or AK. I don't think my line would be c/r AI there w/ JJ

      that hand saved a pretty sorry session where I never seemed to get any traction.
      my next biggest win was .17 !
      my biggest losing hand was .36
      319 hands, + $1.31
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      played a short 100 hand session, mostly single table.
      wanted to try to play looser, steal a bit in position so maybe my real raises would get some calls.

      results varied, even though overall things went really well.
      but that was more form being a card rack then anything else.

      and then I had this enormously frustrating hand.

      $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Holdem
      Merge
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com

      Stacks:
      UTG Player4 ($9.39) 235bb
      UTG+1 Player5 ($3.10) 78bb
      MP1 Player6 ($4.68) 117bb
      MP2 William340 ($6.18) 155bb
      MP3 Player8 ($4) 100bb
      CO Player9 ($3.11) 78bb
      BTN Player1 ($1.68) 42bb
      SB Player2 ($4) 100bb
      BB Player3 ($2.76) 69bb

      Pre-Flop: ($0.06, 9 players) William340 is MP2 6:club: 6:spade:
      3 folds, William340 calls $0.04, Player8 checks, 2 folds, Player2 calls $0.02, Player3 checks

      Flop: 6:diamond: 10:club: J:club: ($0.12, 4 players)
      Player2 checks, Player3 bets $0.12, 1 fold, Player2 folds

      Final Pot: $0.12

      Player3 wins $0.40 (net +$0.24)

      Player2 lost $0.04
      William340 lost $0.04

      I was making a note in HM2 that player 8 bought in for $4 & posted and it froze my poker window.
      before I could close the "not responding" HM2 note window, I timed out.
      I was going to raise pot. X(

      on the bright side, I got all in preflop w/ KK twice.
      once vs 88 & once vs AKs
      AKs flopped a flush draw, but I held.
      88 guy was playing 75BB

      naturally, this gave me a nice result for the night
      101 hands, +$6.39 (158bb/100 :f_grin: )
      pfr 16
      vpip 13
      3B 5.6 (the two KK hands)
    • fruktpuff
      fruktpuff
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      That's a pretty sweet bb/100!

      Yeah, we've all had spots with beastly hands time out due to various reasons, often connection related in my case, it's always horrible :(

      Only 3betting with KK whole session? Seems like it could get a bit exploitable as you move up, I imagine NL4 on merge people won't even realize..
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      Originally posted by fruktpuff
      That's a pretty sweet bb/100!

      Yeah, we've all had spots with beastly hands time out due to various reasons, often connection related in my case, it's always horrible :(

      Only 3betting with KK whole session? Seems like it could get a bit exploitable as you move up, I imagine NL4 on merge people won't even realize..
      yes, my 3B % is the source of considerable amusement.
      since I started playing on Merge on February 16, I have played 16,950 hands
      my stats
      vpip 13.7
      pfr 8.2
      3B 1.5 :f_eek:

      3B by month
      Feb (2,963 hands) 2.2% (21 times) +$5.03
      Mar (3,579 hands) 1.8% (20 times) -$4.50
      Apr (4,969 hands) 1.0% (16 times) -$9.00
      May (5,439 hands) 1.2% (20 times) +$22.83

      until this month, I was actually (on the average) losing when I three bet,
      due to bad luck and/or stupidity.

      It should be VERY exploitable, but it has not been exploited.
      possibly for different reasons:
      1) fish have no clue that I "only" 3B AA, KK, AK, QQ, sometimes JJ & TT and (once) KJs, so they call & 4B w/ all kinds of crap.
      2) the few regulars either get out of the way or think they can outplay me after the flop. (they are correct, sometimes)

      anyway, I REALLY want to work on 3B more.
      I'm going to have to play one or two tables and work on finding spots .
      because I am not "getting" it.
    • fruktpuff
      fruktpuff
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      Four days and no updates... Where's my favourite American blogger gone?!

      Changed from gold to silver, eh?
    • William340
      William340
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.02.2012 Posts: 170
      Well, it seems I hit the summer doldrums.
      This is where the huge difference between being a recreational player and an aspiring pro really comes into play.
      I guess in the summer, there is just so much "other" stuff for me to do that poker gets pushed to the back burner and then taken right off the stove!
      Between house, car, yard, lawn, garden, and, oh yeah, my real job! I don't seem a lot of time to play like I do in winter & spring.
      And so, long story short, I have not played a hand online (except for a freeroll) since May 30! :f_cry:
      Last weekend I did play in a small private tournament ($10 buy-in, rebuy first hour or so) and did not do much, finishing 9th or 10th of maybe 16 players.
      most amusing hand, completing from SB w/ Q9o, seeing a 997 flop, betting out & getting 3 calls, turn J, bet out, 2 callers, river Q, no longer worried about kicker problems I shove, get snap called by BB and other player folds. We show them down. BB had Q9o . . .

      so, I have not played for 2 months, and I am not sure if I will get much play in August. I have a couple of trips that will keep me offline, so I don't expect much.

      I have been watching videos & reading articles, as well as reading James "Splitsuit" Sweeney's Dynamic Full Ring Poker on my kindle.
      great book, but the Flopzilla charts are brutal on the small screen, and do not zoom.

      in answer to the gold to silver queries that I get, I originally joined w/ 3 free moths of gold thru an offer on 2+2.
      As a US player, I have no opportunity to earn status though online play.
      (of course, given my "holiday" from the tables, I would not be likely to maintain it anyway).
      so, I purchased a year's Silver membership as I think that level best represents the stakes (& non-volume!) I currently am at.

      I guess that's it for now.
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