Privet, comrades! Have you money for vodka?

    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Hello, Pokerstrategy! My name is Vadim (sounds strange in English, doesn't it? You can call me whatever you like), I'm a typical crazy Russian who drinks vodka and plays the balalaika with his bears all day long. When I'm not drinking vodka or crafting matryoshkas to sell to buy more vodka I enjoy trying myself at online poker. I started by playing with my bears. They took my money and vodka and matryoshkas and balalaika before I learned to play well. I'm 21, a lazy student on my 5th year and I play in my spare time (and I have plenty because my parents are providing enough for me to not get a job yet (I could, for the experience, but I'm lazy and I'll put it off until graduation)).

      I guess I've been trying poker out for two or three years so far. I think I got interested after seeing some poker programme on TV, then I watched some stuff like High Stakes Poker on YouTube and decided I'd have to give it a try. I started by playing in some online play money poker to learn the rules. After a while I installed PKR and played there, got a bit of money from freerolls, increased it slightly, lost it back.

      Playing at FullTilt

      I installed FullTilt after that and immediately liked the simple 2D format over PKR's unnecessary 3D (like 2D and 3D chess on the computer - in the end, 2D rules, 3D only distracts). I played there under the screen name of Schizbeard (like a schizophrenic pirate), won a couple of bucks in a freeroll after a while, lost them, after another while I won a couple more, bought into some small sit-n-go, won it, and proceeded to increase my money in cash games. I played pretty randomly based on intuition then. I think I once got up as far as $50 there, but generally I stayed around $30, going up and down (that's a psychological phenomenon that still plagues my game - after a winning streak my level of play decreases and I lose until I reach a critical point when I have to get focused and start winning again - and this goes beyond streaks of bad and good luck). Then FullTilt closed down. So it goes. I hear I'll be getting my account back soon.

      Playing at PokerStars

      So I registered on Pokerstars under the (somewhat gay?) screen name of PiperAtDawn (taken from the Pink Floyd debut album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", I was really big on them at the time), and that's still where I primarily play. I started by making my first actual poker deposit: $10. I played for a couple of months like on FullTilt: went up, went down, circled around $10-20. Then I lost them. So I deposited another $10 and played them for a while too until I was down to $2 after a tilt ride. I decided that if I lost this deposit too I would quit. So I took a couple of days without poker, read some basics (I had not read anything on the subject before) and returned and turned $2 back into my $10. And my whole current bankroll was built from those $2. Right now I have $300 and around 10000 FPP, alough at some point I had around $500 and 20000 FPPs but went on a two or three week tilt marathon and ended up spending all my FPPs for cash and going down to around $200. I was trying deepstack nl10. So it goes. Mainly I'm a nl2/nl5 6max cash game player, recenly got into 6max pl2/pl5 PLO. I multitable generally 9-13 tables (since only 9 fit relatively comfortably at minimum size on my screen), but I have played up to 24 on nl2 at one point and have even had my table limit automatically increased by Pokerstars to 28 and played 26-28, but I can only pull that off at the weakest stakes and when my mind is very fresh and sharp. Also, all that big multitabling was part of the reason for my big tilt marathon. I've had some success (profitable sessions) at deepstack 6max nl10, but with my bankroll size any streak of tilt breaks me to a point when I have to go down in stakes, and I tilt fairly often when I sit down to play tired or angry. Getting into deepstack nl10, however, did increase my level of play considerably since there are more good or just plain agressive players there than at nl2/nl5, where a tight conservative style works all the way. I almost never play tournaments since every bad beat is so devastating and you can't just rebuy and take it back from the fish. Tourneys are pretty boring for me compared to cash.

      In conclusion, in case you're not bored enough to quit reading yet!

      I still haven't read much, a few articles online (you can figure out holdem without them, but PLO's a real bitch), a bit of Harrington's book on online cash games, got a 3month silver account here recently to read some stuff and see if it helps. I don't use any software. I've thought of holdem manager but I decided to only get it if I can push my bankroll back over $500. A somewhat counterlogical decision for a person who has decided to keep playing, I know, but I'm purely a recreational player - for me, incidentally, the fun is in beating my opponents and getting better, so recreational here doesn't mean throwing money to the wind and buying in to go allin every hand. I may work on my game, but I am also extremely lazy, too lazy to bother configuring HM and figuring out the stats when I'm doing fine without it. I probably will do it at some point though since I like to multitable.

      Most recently out of boredom I've taken the $10 test here and thrown it into Partypoker to see if I can build a bankroll out of $10 again for fun. So far I've turned them into $25. Registered there under the screen name of BatChainPuller, another weird name and obscure musical reference.

      So, thank you for your attention if you have stuck with me all the way so far, and... spare some change for vodka?
  • 39 replies
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,338
      hello LedZayats and welcome to pokerstrategy!

      what a post! i have to admit, your story of depositing $10, losing it, depositing $10 and telling yourself "this is the last time! if i lose this, i quit" sounds scarily like me last year. it's good you didn't bust that last $10 :D and i have to agree with you about tourneys.. although one day i am determined to ship one.

      good job on getting the silver status too - the silver articles helped me the most and i still think they are some of the most useful ones here.

      good luck at the tables, and see you around the forums!
      Lewis.

      p.s. i think this would make a good blog. if you like i could move it into the blog section and you can update it regularly.
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Haha, damn, I kind of lost my enthusiasm about writing this stuff, that was a one time-good mood kind of thing, as it always happens. :D If you're still up to it you can move it to the blogs, since I'll never make a better first post, and maybe this time my good mood will last a bit longer. :f_biggrin:
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Hey Vadim, where have you been hiding, in the off-licence again! :f_eek:
      Or have you been busy graduating perhaps?

      Ok, so I'll move this to blogs for you, then you can keep the mood going and update it just a little more regularly please!?

      Have fun,

      Mal.
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Thanks, Mal! Yes, in fact, I have graduated, but mostly I just burned out poker-wise for a while after two crazy days... it was in January, I think. A night and a day, to be precise: one night multitabling PLO5 like crazy I won something like $200 and got my bankroll up to $860, then the next day I played like an idiot and lost all my profits and continued going down and ended up around $500 after a couple of weeks. Funny coincidence: I'm going through the discography of experimental musician Scott Walker, and just as I started writing this I got to the album "Tilt". :f_biggrin: Very appropriate.

      Anyways, lately I've been having a resurgence. I couldn't really get anything going for me in NLHE, but PLO just sucked me in, and I think I'm doing quite well, although I do tend to go on swings because I play aggro and risky and I sometimes go on tilt runs, but not very often. Mostly I was 16-tabling PLO5, but in the last week I tried zoom PLO10 and 4-tabling it suited me much better. As usual, after a good start I hit a run of bad luck and tilted: I lost $100 in an angry session of 8-tabling zoom PLO10 and zoom PLO25 and playing TERRIBLY. :f_o: But thankfully, I've grinded it back after a few swingy days.

      So my Stars bankroll right now is $690, I might take a shot at zoom PLO25 if I go over $700 and keep playing well.

      P.S. I also wrote about getting a free $10 on PartyPoker - well, I grinded that up to $130 and kind of grew bored of that after some bad luck.
    • taavi1337
      taavi1337
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.05.2009 Posts: 2,920
      Haha, I love your style! Privet, sosed! :f_biggrin:
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      By the way, I was pretty surprised when I realized how often people are just outright bluffing in PLO. When you start you expect that everyone always has a hand since how can 4 cards miss?! But it makes perfect sense with all the tight beginning players who are waiting for the nuts. It's also a lot easier to read your opponent's hand strength than you'd expect precisely because of the careful nature of most players.

      P.S. I played like maybe a 10-15 minute session of omaha after the last post and got my bankroll up to $730, and that's after losing back $20. That's PLO for you! Could've just as easily been down that much. :f_eek:
    • whatsuup
      whatsuup
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.03.2010 Posts: 1,192
      hey LedZayats! Seems like you are Russian? aren't you?)
      Why don't have a blog on ru.pokerstratefy.com then?) Russian is a bigger community)
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Originally posted by whatsuup
      hey LedZayats! Seems like you are Russian? aren't you?)
      Why don't have a blog on ru.pokerstratefy.com then?) Russian is a bigger community)
      When the general thing you hear from your comrades at the poker table is "Ya tvoyu mamu ebal petuh"... :D
    • whatsuup
      whatsuup
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.03.2010 Posts: 1,192
      Originally posted by LedZayats
      Originally posted by whatsuup
      hey LedZayats! Seems like you are Russian? aren't you?)
      Why don't have a blog on ru.pokerstratefy.com then?) Russian is a bigger community)
      When the general thing you hear from your comrades at the poker table is "Ya tvoyu mamu ebal petuh"... :D
      Really?...I thought they are all humble and polite. I guess I need also to start a blog here...in English community, not in Russian one
    • bugashin
      bugashin
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2013 Posts: 23
      Hahaha, 'typical crazy Russian who drinks vodka' - well that's how the rest of the world sees you. xD
      Yours is an interesting story, I will certainly follow it, provided that you don't get too lazy to update the blog.:P
      P.S. What does 'petuh' in 'Ya tvoyu mamu ebal petuh' mean? I can understand the rest :D
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Originally posted by bugashin
      Hahaha, 'typical crazy Russian who drinks vodka' - well that's how the rest of the world sees you. xD
      Yours is an interesting story, I will certainly follow it, provided that you don't get too lazy to update the blog.:P
      P.S. What does 'petuh' in 'Ya tvoyu mamu ebal petuh' mean? I can understand the rest :D
      It means rooster, but it's prison-slang for a guy who was raped by a stronger guy. :D
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Okay, so bankroll up to $770, although with all the swings I prefer to think this is as good as $700. :D Also my real bankroll size is actually 150 bucks larger because I have $150 in VPP cash bonuses but I don't cash them so that I would feel more motivated by the smaller bankroll! Also for some crazy situation maybe if I play drunk and bust my whole roll, but I don't bust more than $200 in such situations. :f_biggrin:

      So, I thought maybe that since I have sort of a blog I can feel smart now and post some poker thoughts! Actually, I'm actively developing my game, so there is a lot to think about, although it's mostly an intuitive process and lots of playing.

      WARNING: I CAME TO NO REAL CONCLUSION AFTER ALL THAT BELOW!

      But anyway: I've had some thoughts on balancing my 4bets in PLO, because they're not balanced, they're 100% AAxx, often I don't even 4bet AAxx, I just call. That's goes in sharp contrast with my 3bets, because a 3bet from me from any position could mean anything: it could mean AAxx, it could mean connectors or a double suited hand with an ace, it could mean I felt weakness or just got bored, or I have a vendetta with someone because of a bad beat. :f_confused: PLO is fun, you have options. :f_biggrin: Not sure if all of them are +EV, but they are 100% +fun! :f_biggrin:

      So I balance my 3bets, but not my 4bets, and that kind of seems like a problem, but on the other hand, the general stacks of 100-200bb don't really leave much space to maneuver after a 4bet. Moreover, people very often have AAxx for a 3bet, so more often than not I would just be 5bet for my stack.

      On the other hand, I play very loose aggressive, so I often get 3bet with a range that is obviously much wider than just AAxx (I know for sure because I almost never fold to 3bets and often get to see what they have at showdown :D ). Also I think you almost never get 5bet with worse than AAxx, so after a 4bet you go to the flop with control of the betting (but most likely out of position)... or gamble like a donkey with a random hand vs AAxx. :D

      I'm not thinking of making someone fold with a 4bet, of course, but it might be profitable to 4bet and then bet big/set them in on the flop, when fairly often they will fold, some of the time I flip with AAxx versus something, some of the time I win with an unexpected hand. It would be high variance, of course, but I don't mind. :D So maybe I'll try it when I'm on an upstreak and playing crazy loose aggressive. :s_biggrin:
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Does anyone want to see graphs? Well, you won't.
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Well, who knows. The fact is, I stopped playing and writing the blog after a huge downstreak, and now I’ve beaten the downstreak, so I feel confident enough to write something again. Also, I felt stupid with my thoughts on 4betting “light” (if you can call it light with the close preflop equities in PLO), but it actually turned out to work quite well in an otherwise balanced game, but with deeper stacks. My old game wasn’t exactly balanced. I definitely did a lot of stuff I won’t do now. How did I learn not to do them? No idea. That’s the way my brain works. I gave it a break, it mulled over the accumulated experience, and as I sat down the PL2 tables to regain my footing, it corrected my game. I also watched a couple of videos of Phil Galfond talking about PLO as he plays a session, maybe that helped me realize some errors in my range of starting hands.

      So, what happened in a few words was: I shot up over $800 in a frenzy, playing very aggressive at zoom PL10, and then I hit a streak of bad luck, which combined with a depressive mood, so I felt very strongly that I was still playing good and deserve it back right away! I think I even took shots at PL25, but maybe I just threw myself at PL10 until I was down to $400. Then I realized that if I don’t stop, I’ll bust my whole roll. I knew that I could start grinding back at PL2 and PL5, but I was so crushed by the drop and I wanted it back so quickly that I decided I’d rather just stop for a week or two. Well, it ended up being over a month. But now as I’ve sat down to play PL2 and then PL5, I’ve steadily grinded my bankroll up to $570 and, as I’ve said, fixed a lot of problems in my game. Also, having gambled away stacks after stacks at PL10 really helped me distance myself from the money and focus on the decisions at lower stakes.

      So what next in poker? I don’t know, but I’ll be taking it slow. Maybe will write some more soon, since I have some thoughts on PLO (but I have trouble phrasing them), maybe not.
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Up to $610 after a relatively long session today. Well, I went as high as $640, but had no luck for a while and quit so it wouldn't spiral out of control. I had plenty of luck, but still, I'm definitely back in form, made only two or three decisions that I really regret.
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      So I was out with some friends all night (nothing superexciting, I'm not into partying), but I returned quite fresh, not only because I have a ruined sleep pattern, but also because we ended the night with some green tea in a coffee shop. It was actually the first place in town that I was served real green tea, not in tea bags!

      So I returned and sat down to finish a bad session (from which I was interrupted by my friends) which had me drop to $580. And in like 20 minutes I made $70. Mainly from one table where I quickly made a good stack after some lucky hands and then gambled with good aces vs a loose deepstacked guy for around 600 big blinds. :f_biggrin: It was a multiway pot and altogether I dragged in $68, my biggest won pot so far (yes, I'm one lucky fish!). :f_cool: A bit of icing on the cake of a good night. :D
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      An afterthought after finishing the post: Yeah, I realize I write too much with too little points for it to be interesting, but I'm doing this more for myself than for anything else. :f_biggrin:

      So, I'm kind of in still waters in cash games - can't get a good streak going, but I'm not losing either. I've reached an equilibrium at somewhere around $600 and decided to take another break from cash games. But I've been playing some tourneys while I do other stuff online, and somehow I have improved my understanding of tournaments and 9handed play. Possibly from watching videos from Pokerstars of notable online tournament final tables. It actually did reveal some things I realized I could and should do better - like smaller bet sizing.

      I used to just smack the flop with a bet I might make in a cash game - half pot and bigger. This is obviously usually a wrong thing to do. First and foremost because you don't need to bet as much to get the desired effect since people are constantly nursing their stack - another aspect I had to stop looking at as in a cash game where I just always have autoreload on. Of course, if you only play monsters, you should bet more, but if you balance your range, smaller bets are enough.

      Also I wasn't sure what to do with a stack of 15-20 big blinds and usually just open shoved with it when I got a decent hand. But actually you can do a lot more with it, especially if you watch your opponents. Plus, my range for different positions was wrong because I understood full ring play worse than I do now - at least for tourneys.

      But really, what this post is about is: PEOPLE ARE LUCKY IDIOTS. Add 10-20 swearwords of your choice. :D Before when I played tourneys I didn't care much since I knew I didn't have a strict plan. Now I do, more or less! And in the last few days in every tourney I've played, I've been happy with almost every decision and play, especially the ones that got me knocked out. That's what got me mad, not the elimination itself, because I was really getting what I wanted: being seen as weak with a strong hand and called by a weak hand where I may have not gotten value at all had I played it too obviously. Aaand I get rewarded by 2outers and whatnot. Not that I didn't expect this, it's poker, after all, but it's still frustrating. The bright side of the last few days is that one second place for $17 covered all my recent tourney expenses (I've been playing cheap ones for $0.50-$2).
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      And right after I write how bad my cash games are going, I play a +$110 PL5 session. :f_biggrin: Variance was into irony today.
    • LedZayats
      LedZayats
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2012 Posts: 67
      Had a nice +$60 run the day before yesterday, but I lost it all in the same session and quit. Then had another +$60 run today and quit while I'm up. :f_biggrin: So my bankroll has once again broken the $800 mark and stands at $815. At this rate I will make at least another $50 VPP rakeback bonus this year, which is great. Also, I may try some more tourneys since I've been making much better tournament decisions recently (but getting unlucky, so no significant cashes).
    • 1
    • 2