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Climbing the NL ladder! [FR/SH 2NL -->5NL -->10NL]

    • Vip3rNZ
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      OK, so I'm Andrew and i'm 21 and I live in New Zealand, I enjoy writing so i've decided to start a blog which I plan to PACK with graphs, hands, WALLS of text explaining my poker journey and hopefully a few comments from some of the community! :f_biggrin:

      I've been playing poker since October 2011! My journey started when I saw a video on YouTube about someone grinding from 2NL - 100NL and making over $300k + Super nova elite + team poker stars online pro the very first year he played poker. I thought that was pretty impressive and thought well if other people can do this, why not me? Even if i can only make a few extra dollars or even lose a few, i'll have some fun while I'm at it.

      Here's where I Google "Poker Strategy". So that's how I ended up here at!

      First thing I did was figure out that I could get $50 starting capitol, but i had to wait a few days to get it after passing the quiz, and I wanted to play poker NOW! :f_mad:

      So I deposited $10 at pokerstars, run it up to $18 playing 2NL following the starting hands chart for BSS and doing the best I could post flop, by now I'm thinking this is the easiest money ever! So I gave $4 each to 2 of my flatmates, and they lost it and then never played again, so that didn't work out so well for me.

      Here's where I get my $50 starting capitol at Party Poker! so I decided to leave the $10 I have at stars and start playing at Party Poker, I manage to run the starting capitol up to around $65, This is due to 75% luck and 24% really bad players at my table and possible 1% skill. But I was getting really cocky by now and thinking how can I win so easily and my flatmates lost so easily, I must be really good!

      I'd been playing between 2 and 4 tables before now, but i decided i was good now and I'm a very impatient person generally, so i wanted to speed things up, i started playing 6-8 tables and within about 30 mins of breaking even i was really getting impatient so I opened it up to 12 tables!
      I of course was able to break even for a little while but then I got a few coolers and tilted most of my bankroll away and was left with about $25 at Party Poker, after this emotional beating I stopped playing poker for about a month, then came back and in one session of random tournys, tilty fishy cash games and just trying a bunch of stuff out, i managed to lose the rest of the $50 starting capitol. After this I stoped playing poker for a few months over Xmas.

      Came back to playing poker in January 2012 I think it was, Started back with the $10 I still had in my account at stars, also this is when I bought holdem manager as the trial I had previously used was finished by now, right after i bought the low stakes version for $50 I think it was, pokerstrategy had a deal offering the full version for less then this, i was pretty mad i didnt wait/look around but how could I of known lol - Anyway I have a graph here of the 100k+ hands I played at 2NL since January 2012, so this does not include my starting capitol which I wasted :f_eek:

      As you can see this graph shows alot of changes in play style aswell as some really crazy variance, tilt, you name it, its there! The first 20k hands or so are SH and i was playing only 4 tables with huge table selection, i would colour code every player at my table and if none of them were fishy I was goners!

      At around the 40k mark is where zoom poker came out at pokerstars! I went on an awesome heater (+10 BI) for about 10-20k hands and was really addicted to zoom by now! but i was due for some down variance and here's where it hit, and at a huge volume because i was so into zoom, and was really getting into the huge volume thing, making vpp goals, calculating hours per day at what stakes to hit supernova ect, all kinds of crazy things.
      Anyway as you can see i went on a pretty brutal 40k hand downswing! this was alot of change in style, obv no table selection at zoom anymore, and my hud was gone, started playing FR like a super nit and running badly, tilting like crazy, it was a mess.

      Anyway as you can see, at the 80k mark, something changed. This was a 1 week break from poker, where i did alot of hand evaluation, reading articles, watching vids, and just trying to figure out why I went from a winning player, to a losing player. After alot of thinking, I decided zoom was what changed that made me a losing player. I didn't know if it was table selection I needed, hud, less volume, or just not zoom.

      During my break one of the videos i watched was one about someone playing 24 tables stacked on top of each other, before now I'd never considered this and had always played multi tables tiled. I thought I'd give stacked a go, so I made a table layout for 24 tables stacked on top of each other, smallest size possible in top right of my screen, opened up east seat and selected 16 FR tables, with minimum players seated of 7, and minimum Table VPIP of 30, eventually 16 tables were stacked, and I was finding it hard to type bets into the box fast and it was really time consuming!

      Luckily being someone who plays other multi player games online and always trys to have the greatest edge possible, I already owned one of these mice

      Which helped me alot, because i was able to bind table actions to the 12 buttons on the side! the way I have them setup is

      (1) Check/Fold (2) Bet 2.5BB (3) Bet/Raise 45% Pot
      (4) Check (5) Bet 3BB (6) Bet/Raise 70% Pot
      (7) Call (8) Bet 4BB (9) Bet/Raise 100% Pot
      (10)Nothing (11) All - IN (12) Nothing

      This made 16 tables stacked very easy. I never needed my keyboard, I never moved my eyes, I never moved my mouse. Only my thumb moved.

      So as I kept winning, I kept adding more tables until I was playing 24! It was alot like zoom, only more hands, but seemed easier, and the players were alot more fishy because i could choose only tables with 30% or higher table VPIP and I could use my HUD, which helped ALOT.

      It wasn't long before I had 25 buyins for 5NL, so i started taking shots, a few failed and I'd move back down if I went below 20 buyins for 5NL, so i was taking 5 BI shots. I think it was the third shot that stuck with some help from rakeback bonuses from pokerstars. I played the same style ( very nitty ) on 24 tables stacked at 5NL as had been working very well for me at 2NL, except i had a looooooooooong breakeven streak and evenstally started to fall!

      Here is the graph for 5NL

      After this very long depressing run of luck, i was about getting ready to move back down to 2NL, when one day I decided to take a 1 buy-in shot at 10NL on 888Poker, so I deposited $10, and started playing 1 table.
      The first thing i have to say is that i cant believe how fishy they were at this level, I thought 4 sure I was just gona go busto with my $10 and just wanted some entertainment really, but with the help of a really sick run, and some extremely bad players at 888, i managed to turn the 1 buyin shot, into 18 buyins!

      Here is the graph for NL10 at 888 Poker

      Uploaded with

      I think one thing that helped was that after stacking my first fish at 888 a few times, i had so much confidence for isolating the fish there, i was isolating them with almost anything and getting out of the way if any of the tight players were in the pot!

      But mostly this is really bad players at 888, here are a couple of examples!

      Pacific, $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 9 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      MP3: $10 (100 bb)
      CO: $21.43 (214.3 bb)
      BTN: $12.50 (125 bb)
      Hero (SB): $19.84 (198.4 bb)
      BB: $15.06 (150.6 bb)
      UTG+1: $24.74 (247.4 bb)
      UTG+2: $10.86 (108.6 bb)
      MP1: $10 (100 bb)
      MP2: $18.04 (180.4 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with 3 3
      UTG+1 raises to $0.65, UTG+2 calls $0.65, 5 folds, Hero calls $0.60, BB folds

      Flop: ($2.05) 6 5 3 (3 players)
      Hero checks, UTG+1 bets $1.53, UTG+2 calls $1.53, Hero raises to $8, UTG+1 raises to $19.95, UTG+2 calls $8.68 and is all-in, Hero calls $11.19 and is all-in

      Turn: ($50.64) J (3 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($50.64) 8 (3 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results: $50.64 pot ($2.53 rake)
      Final Board: 6 5 3 J 8
      Hero showed 3 3 and won $48.11 ($28.27 net)
      UTG+1 showed T T and lost (-$19.84 net)
      UTG+2 showed A 6 and lost (-$10.86 net)

      Pacific, $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 9 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (BB): $42.57 (425.7 bb)
      UTG+1: $23.29 (232.9 bb)
      UTG+2: $2.15 (21.5 bb)
      MP1: $14 (140 bb)
      MP2: $10.92 (109.2 bb)
      MP3: $10.03 (100.3 bb)
      CO: $10 (100 bb)
      BTN: $15.07 (150.7 bb)
      SB: $11.06 (110.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with A Q
      UTG+1 raises to $0.70, 7 folds, Hero calls $0.60

      Flop: ($1.45) Q 8 T (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.08, UTG+1 calls $1.08

      Turn: ($3.61) A (2 players)
      Hero bets $3.61, UTG+1 calls $3.61

      River: ($10.83) 8 (2 players)
      Hero bets $37.18 and is all-in, UTG+1 calls $17.90 and is all-in

      Results: $46.63 pot ($2.33 rake)
      Final Board: Q 8 T A 8
      Hero showed A Q and won $44.30 ($21.01 net)
      UTG+1 showed A K and lost (-$23.29 net)

      As you can see, table selection is well worth it!! after this really awesome heater i decided to try out some 10nl at pokerstars now that my confidence has had a huge boost, and my new found love for table selection at my side and i considered my self rolled for NL10 now having over 25 buyins between 888 and stars.

      Here is the Graph for 10NL at stars

      As you can see it started off very badly! but eventually my luck turned around and i figured out that its best to wait on waiting lists at stars to get on the tables with fish at this level, even the highest vpip tables with 1 person missing, is normally where the fish was sitting b4 he got stacked!
      Anyway, after i started to rebuild my roll at stars I withdrew the money from 888 poker and never ended up re-depositing it at start, it would of been spent on various things.

      That leads me to where I am now, at the end of a rather annoying break even stretch at stars! ( well hopefully the end ).

      Currently my bankroll at stars is $297 and i have 5k FPP = $50 ( i will claim this when it is the last bit i need to move up in stakes and take a 5 BI shot or, when i have to move down, to avoid having to move down untill i really do have less then 20BI for my current limit.

      For the month of August 2012 I'm going to be trying for a few goals!

      :spade: Reach gold status at pokerstars meaning 100 VPP/day
      :spade: Post my 3 biggest hands of each day in hand evaluation (winning or losing) And link them to this blog for everyone to see!
      :spade: Re-Read one gold article each day, and watch the video with it, if there is one
      :spade: Hit $400 bankroll and take a 5BI shot at 16NL
      :spade: Post an update along with a graph once per week

      Well, thats all i have for now, please feel free to comment! :D
  • 5 replies
    • Vip3rNZ
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      Ok, so far i've failed on the posting hands and reading articles every day this month, except today!

      I've posted 3 hands for evaluation in the Hand evaluation forums! i'll post the links here if anyone would like to check them out, and maybe give me a pointer or 2 :D

      10Nl Qq

      10NL AJ AAK flop

      10NL Fold flushdraw on turn to checkraise

      I've been running really badly so far this month, hoping to turn it around soon!

      Currently my bankroll is at $256 after having 2 really bad days in a row! If I go below $200 i will claim my FPP bonus! and Above $350 i will also claim it, so i can move up to NL16!

      Hopefully will have some more hands for anyone interested tomorrow! I'm off to go read a couple gold articles and watch a video!
    • Vip3rNZ
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      OK so the first week of august is coming to an end, so Here I have a graph of this week!

      It's been a very swingy week, but mostly a bad one and a couple of days I had to end early after running badly and hitting my 2 BI stop loss for one day. A couple of times I even stayed after 2 BI and lost another one to tilt before finally dragging myself away from the tables! So i'm about 1 day behind on making gold for this month at pokerstars!

      I also have a few hands i've had evaluated recently, if anyone would like to take a look at them :f_biggrin:

      10Nl 77
      Nl10 77
      NL10 A8s
      NL10 88 hit flush
      NL10 77 floped house
    • Vip3rNZ
      Joined: 11.11.2011 Posts: 340
      Week 2 graph!

      This one is very break-even which I'm happy with, I made my VPP goals and am still on track to hit gold status at pokerstars by the end of this month!

      I have a few interesting hands to share also, i'll put them in spoilers to save some space :D

      First one is a crazy play I made against a guy who's down 3 BI's in like 100 hands, I caught him bluffing real big a few hands ago, and wanted to show him this 3bet bluff so I could get it in more easily if I was to hit AA or KK in the near future Turns out I floped well and he got it in with top pair weak kicker!

      Poker Stars, $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 8 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (SB): $16.47 (164.7 bb)
      BB: $10 (100 bb)
      UTG+2: $10 (100 bb)
      MP1: $10 (100 bb)
      MP2: $14.23 (142.3 bb)
      MP3: $4.73 (47.3 bb)
      CO: $9.22 (92.2 bb)
      BTN: $10 (100 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with 7 2
      5 folds, BTN raises to $0.30, Hero raises to $0.90, BB folds, BTN calls $0.60

      Flop: ($1.90) 2 2 Q (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.30, BTN raises to $3, Hero raises to $15.57 and is all-in, BTN calls $6.10 and is all-in

      Turn: ($20.10) 8 (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($20.10) 6 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results: $20.10 pot ($0.90 rake)
      Final Board: 2 2 Q 8 6
      Hero showed 7 2 and won $19.20 ($9.20 net)
      BTN mucked Q 9 and lost (-$10 net)

      This second one is a HUGE pot that I lost, I think if I'd analysed this hand longer before making the decision on the river I could of found a fold, he was playing 18/6 over 100 hands in zoom

      Poker Stars, $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 9 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      BTN: $11.30 (113 bb)
      SB: $5.30 (53 bb)
      BB: $16.99 (169.9 bb)
      UTG+1: $10.15 (101.5 bb)
      Hero (UTG+2): $27.59 (275.9 bb)
      MP1: $11.58 (115.8 bb)
      MP2: $16.72 (167.2 bb)
      MP3: $39.33 (393.3 bb)
      CO: $4.77 (47.7 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG+2 with 9 9
      UTG+1 folds, Hero raises to $0.30, 2 folds, MP3 calls $0.30, 3 folds, BB calls $0.20

      Flop: ($0.95) 3 A 9 (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.70, MP3 calls $0.70, BB folds

      Turn: ($2.35) 4 (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.70, MP3 calls $1.70

      River: ($5.75) K (2 players)
      Hero bets $4.50, MP3 raises to $36.63, Hero calls $20.39 and is all-in

      Results: $55.53 pot ($1.50 rake)
      Final Board: 3 A 9 4 K
      Hero mucked 9 9 and lost (-$27.59 net)
      MP3 showed 7 A and won $54.03 ($26.44 net)

      Well, that's all I have for now, hopefully i can find the time to post a bunch of hands during my next week, but we'll see!
    • Tomaloc
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 7,158
      what? snapfold river there

      i am also guilty of missing some obvious folds though :D
    • PokerGuirri
      Joined: 11.11.2014 Posts: 1