Spades aren't for Digging

    • golaking
      Joined: 17.04.2011 Posts: 44
      Hi guys,

      I've finally decided to sit myself down today and attempt to write a decent blog. Thought it would be a good way to get feedback and try to improve my play. Can only be a good thing I suppose!

      So. I'll give you a bit of background to start of with....

      I'm from the UK, Belfast in N.Ireland to be exact. 34 years young but am baffled how that actually happened?!? (still think I'm about 24) I worked in retail for about 12 years, was a manager for Topman and had some great times! Packed that in a few years back and opened my own shop. Unfortunately 6 months later the credit crunch fully kicked in, needless to say my poor little enterprise didn't last long. After 3 years I had to pull the shutters down and have been coasting through a few jobs with no real idea what I want to do any more. Not good.

      When my shop went tits up so did a few other things unfortunately. House repossessed. Car sold to clear debts. Girlfriend given the boot. :(
      Yeah some tough times to be had.
      Luckily though I'm a battler when the chips are down and came out the other end relatively unscathed.

      Since I'd a bit of free time on my hands I decided to become my mum's carer. She's just turned 70 and has bad asthma (as well as about 100 other ailments!). I take her out a few times a week for lunch, shopping and doctors appointments. Fun times! :D

      I was working in my sister's bakery as well as looking after my mum, but was getting more and more pissed off. It just wasn't what I wanted to do at all. So I made the decision to pack it in and look for something else. Possibly a tad rash, but hey, it's done and i'm not one for regretting my choices.

      I've always wanted to take a break from life and focus on my poker game for a good few months. At the minute I find myself in the unique position to do so. I've got a relatively small income at the minute, but am staying with relatives (who are unbelievable supportive) and don't really need much cash to keep me afloat. Plus the fact that I've got over 100 buyins for the SNG tourneys I'm wanting to play.

      I've decided to make do with what I've got at the minute and look for a new job around the end of January.

      So I'm viewing the next two months as my 'Poker Sabbatical'!! :f_p:

      That wraps up the background I think, now onto the poker.....

      So. Poker. The Final Frontier.

      First time I played I was 17 I think. Brothers stag night the next day and we were heading down to Dublin for a session. 5 or 6 of his mates and me playing in a booze filled home game. I somehow manage to make it down to the final two and hit a Royal Flush to win about £120. No word of a lie.

      Needless to say, that was me hooked.

      Over the next 15 years I floated along merrily thinking I was a decent player. I wasn't. I was a complete fish. Tried my hand at internet poker and won a few dollars here and there. It wasn't until i finally picked up my first poker book that realisation started to kick in. Continuation bets?? EV?? Pot odds?? I realised I'd been playing blindfolded all these years.

      I'll be the first to admit that I'm still swimming in the shallow end, but I'm hoping with a good 2 months to work on my game I can start making a few waves!! :f_cool:

      I'm playing on Pokerstars at the minute, Turbo SNG $1.50. Using HEM2, Table Ninja and SNG Wizard. Trying to multi table 4-6 tourneys until I feel my game is solid enough to add a few more. Just finished my first full week and will try and post a few graphs etc to chart my play, once i get my head round how to do it!

      Managed to grind out 250 tourneys last week and $36.46 profit making my ROI around 7%.

      I'd been experimenting with a more Lag style of play up until Thursday. Wasn't really working for me. So moved back to standard ICM Push Fold play again and seen more of an improvement. Definitely the best approach.

      On the plus side I made my first finish on PS's 'Battle of the Planets' leader boards!! Really happy about this as it shows me my game isn't quite as far behind the other players as I first feared. Finished with a solid 26th on a set of 20 and about 250th on a set of 100. Pleased enough with these but need to improve each week.

      Well guys I'll leave it here for now. I'll be adding some goals for the week, maybe sometime later today. Man Utd vrs Man City starting soon so need to get myself mentally prepared for that one. (I'm a Man U fan, don't hold it against me...) :f_p: My best mate supports City so it's always a tense time...

  • 3 replies
    • golaking
      Joined: 17.04.2011 Posts: 44
      So these are my main goals I'll be aiming for this week...


      10% ROI for the week.
      Post at least 3 hands per day for review.
      Commit Nash Ranges to memory for HU play.
      300 SNGS played for the week.
      Work on my bubble play using SNG WIZ.

      Goals for the Month of December

      Achieve Silver Status on Pokerstars.
      Buy points in so I can watch the Silver Training Videos (my Pokerstars account isn't linked so I don't earn points ;( )
      Maintain a 10% ROI for the month.
      Grow my bankroll to $350 so I can move up to the $3.50 SNGS.
      Post more hands for review and actively review hands myself.
      Learn the Hand Ranges I've been working on.
      Add 2 more Tourneys so that I'm multi-tabling at least 8 at a time.

      I feel these are all realistic and easily achievable goals. Looking forward to the next few weeks!! :f_cool:

    • golaking
      Joined: 17.04.2011 Posts: 44
      Had to post a quick update before bed as I've been having a truly amazing week so far!! I'm running so hot it's frightening, just finished my first block of 100 SNGs for the week and the results are as follows...

      Weekly Stats
      SnGs Played - 104
      Current Weekly ROI - 37%
      BR - $309.79 (+$100 this week)
      Finish Distribution
      - 20 First Places
      - 20 Second Places
      - 10 Third Places
      Bonus - $20 from last weeks BOTP Leader Board Finish.

      Battle of the Planets Leader Board Rankings on PokerStars

      20 SnG Block - 407 - Ranked 76
      100 SnG Block - 1575 - Ranked 4th

      I'm so happy and proud of my leader board ranking for 100 SnGs!! Shows me that last week wasn't a fluke and that I'm getting better and better. Want that top spot though!! In my last 4 SnGs i needed 4 first places to top the leader board..... got 3!! Sooooo close!! Not complaining tho!! :f_p:

      I managed to discover and plug a major leak last Thursday that was effecting my game. I'd been busting out in 4th place far too often. The difference this week has been great, as my stats show.

      I must get a graph up tomorrow at some stage. My HEM2 has been pissing about the past few weeks and not logging all my 3rd places in the winnings column. I've had to add the missing amounts in as bonus $$$ to keep a proper track. Pain.

      I'll leave it here for the night with an interesting hand..... If only I'd called my day would have been complete!!

      Poker Stars, $1.32 Buy-in (100/200 blinds) No Limit Hold'em Tournament, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      MP: 3,010 (15.1 bb)
      Hero (CO): 6,208 (31 bb)
      BTN: 782 (3.9 bb)
      SB: 1,645 (8.2 bb)
      BB: 1,855 (9.3 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with A T
      MP calls 200, 3 folds, BB checks

      Flop: (500) J Q K (2 players)
      BB bets 1,655 and is all-in, MP folds

      500 pot
      Final Board: J Q K
      MP mucked and lost (-200 net)
      BB mucked and won 500 (300 net)

      I have no idea why I folded this at all!! Ohh well....

    • golaking
      Joined: 17.04.2011 Posts: 44
      Thought I'd add a few graphs for my performance this week so far, and the month overall.

      My Bonus/Rakeback line is pretty high because HEM2 wasn't correctly logging all my 3rd Place wins. There is $23 worth of 3rd places added on as a bonus so I can keep a track of my total winnings.

      Weekly Graph

      Monthly Graph

      I've extremely happy with how this week has been going so far. I feel like I'm playing the best poker ever. I've played almost 170 SNGs so far this week and am well on track to hit 300 or more.

      My bankroll is looking healthy at $317, only need another $33 and then I can move up to the $3.50 SNGs!! Should get there by the end of the week if things continue the way they are at the moment.

      My only concern is my red line. I know I'm pushing light once the antes kick in, to try and double up. But I think I'm pushing/calling too light once HU with excess of 20 BBs. I'm going to look into this and try to plug it, see if I can pull my EV back in line.

      Overall though I'm very happy!!