The +EVolution of a Poker Player

    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Hello everyone !

      I'm a 23 years old guy from Romania who decided to start a blog here after watching Raskolnikov's Think Like a Champion video. I'm currently a staked player... Why? Because I busted my online/ live bankroll 4 times until now on parties, alcohol etc. . I played ~ 400k hands for my backer and I have another 80-85k to go. After I finish my staking contract on pokerstars I hope I will have some profits to chop and start building my own bankroll by playing tracked and clear the FDB on a few sites. I have little to no experience higher than 50nl, I played only ~50k hands at this limit in late 2011 and the beginning of 2012 with mediocre results (losing/break even ish player after rakeback).

      The purpose of this blog to:

      - keep me motivated to become really good at something, something other than quitting when things get hard..quitting chess/football/school/jobs etc.

      - meet people with similar interests/ who play the same limits as I do and get better together, maybe start a study group/join one

      - improve my english skills


      This graph from the last 6 months represents the starting point of my journey.



      My goal is to become a winning regular at small/mid stakes nl hold'em 6 max in 2013 with a solid bankroll. I want to avoid setting monetary goals because right now my biggest leak is my mindset.

      I like to keep this simple so my monthly goals are:
      - A minimum of 50k hands played (I usually open a few tables and start playing, then I start scrolling the lobby for better tables, joining waiting lists and after 30 minutes I have 12-15 tables flying all over the place so I want to get into the habit of playing 4-6 tables especially as I start moving up and focus on quality rather than quantity )

      - post for evaluation 50-100 hands

      - watch 10 videos

      - read a poker book


      The goals for this month are :

      -finish watching The Thin Red Line
      -finish reading The Mental Game and re-read Think and Grow Rich
      -play a minimum of 50k hands
      -post 50-100 hands
  • 22 replies
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,974
      Welcome to our blogging section!

      Nice graph, let's hope that green line keeps going up, up, up!

      Happy New Year!
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Thanks Michelle ;)

      Here are a few hands from the last sessions:

      UTG is a 29/11 who never folds to a 3bet, never 4bets so far ~300 hands
      MP 44/8 calling station
      CO is unknown but seems very fishy

      I think this was a value squeeze against these guys but a clear fold if UTG 4bets

      What do you think about bet sizing ?

      Poker Stars $0.08/$0.16 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2049821
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      CO: $5.12
      Hero (BTN): $16.00
      SB: $15.84
      BB: $16.78
      UTG: $12.67
      MP: $16.45

      Pre Flop: ($0.24) Hero is BTN with J:diamond: J:club:
      UTG raises to $0.48, MP calls $0.48, CO calls $0.48, Hero raises to $2.08, 2 folds, UTG calls $1.60, 1 fold, CO calls $1.60

      Flop: ($6.96) 9:diamond: 3:heart: 7:club: (3 players)
      UTG checks, CO checks, Hero bets $3.28, UTG calls $3.28, CO calls $3.04 all in

      Turn: ($16.56) 4:spade: (3 players - 1 is all in)
      UTG checks, Hero bets $10.64 all in, UTG calls $7.31 all in

      River: ($31.18) T:spade: (3 players - 3 are all in)

      MP seems to be a regular, has a low fold to 3bet/ high 4bet% and his bet size looks like he does not want to commit too many chips so that's why I didn't jam. On the flop his bet size looks kinda strange but since I have the nuts I decided to let him value bet worse hands/ bluff and since he bets the turn and has few chips behind I shoved.
      What do you think ?

      Poker Stars $0.08/$0.16 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2049824
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      Hero (CO): $22.46
      BTN: $17.50
      SB: $13.01
      BB: $16.00
      UTG: $15.77
      MP: $16.00

      Pre Flop: ($0.24) Hero is CO with A:club: A:diamond:
      1 fold, MP raises to $0.48, Hero raises to $1.60, 3 folds, MP raises to $3.04, Hero calls $1.44

      Flop: ($6.32) J:spade: 4:club: A:spade: (2 players)
      MP bets $2.56, Hero calls $2.56

      Turn: ($11.44) T:spade: (2 players)
      MP bets $5.67, Hero raises to $11.34, MP calls $4.73 all in

      River: ($32.24) Q:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      BB is 75/5 calling station
      CO seems fishy .. small sample
      FLOP (I just called to keep BB in the pot),TURN bets look very weak like 2nd pair type hand (A5, 66-JJ or some draws) so I wanted to make him fold a better hand + I have a decent amount of equity if i get called.

      Poker Stars $0.08/$0.16 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 2049833
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      SB: $30.90
      BB: $9.33
      UTG: $16.00
      CO: $15.46
      Hero (BTN): $16.71

      Pre Flop: ($0.24) Hero is BTN with J:heart: A:heart:
      1 fold, CO raises to $0.48, Hero calls $0.48, 1 fold, BB calls $0.32

      Flop: ($1.52) Q:heart: 5:diamond: 3:heart: (3 players)
      BB checks, CO bets $0.80, Hero calls $0.80, BB folds

      Turn: ($3.12) 4:club: (2 players)
      CO bets $1.28, Hero raises to $3.56, CO calls $2.28

      River: ($10.24) 2:heart: (2 players)
      CO checks, Hero bets $11.84, CO calls $10.62 all in
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Rough start .. it's kinda hard to put in volume when nothing seems go work but what can you do ? Be nice to your customers and keep moving forward :D .
      I feel such a donkey after this hand.. I knew I was beat and yet I pressed the call button.

      SB is 40/18 after ~ 100 hands, 50% WTSD and 25% river aggression frequency
      Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2050124
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      UTG: $22.72
      Hero (MP): $27.19
      CO: $25.00
      BTN: $10.00
      SB: $24.61
      BB: $25.00

      Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is MP with 3:heart: 3:diamond:
      1 fold, Hero raises to $0.75, 2 folds, SB calls $0.65, 1 fold

      Flop: ($1.75) 3:club: T:heart: 8:heart: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $1.30, SB calls $1.30

      Turn: ($4.35) K:club: (2 players)
      SB bets $2.25, Hero raises to $7.50, SB calls $5.25

      River: ($19.35) 2:club: (2 players)
      SB bets $15.06 all in, Hero calls $15.06



      A small break, good vibe music and it's time for another session.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-sH-3whAkM
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,974
      Can't comment much on the bet sizings or hands as I'm just playing NL2 6 max myself :D

      Have you checked out our hand evaluation forums?
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      I don't think I can post in the hand evaluation forum as a bronze member :) .
      I looked at your blog today, I played for fun ~5k hands at zoom 2 and 5nl last year and from my experience you can bet/3bet bigger with very good hands and people still call so you can get more value (the AA vs TT in 3bet pot on Txx board comes to mind).
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,974
      :( ah I forgot about this limitation but you can always play on a tracked account or even buy a status :)

      Even not just for the Hand evaluation forums but our live coachings, videos and articles!

      Yeah, really enjoying my poker at the minute and learning a lot thanks to everyone posting so don't be shy :D
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Playing tracked is on my TO DO LIST :D


      One interesting hand for today:


      SB looks like a weak,nitty reg 19/13/6.5 3bet and very low fold to 3bet, 3.7% 4bet range after 400 hands
      BB is laggy type 29/22/9.7 3bet after 200 hands, squeeze happy from the blinds
      SB's min 4 bet has "Value " written all over the place but with AK and 18$ in the pot I just could't let it go :f_biggrin:

      Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2050961
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      BB: $30.40
      UTG: $41.38
      MP: $48.92
      CO: $10.30
      Hero (BTN): $29.18
      SB: $42.73

      Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with A:diamond: K:spade:
      3 folds, Hero raises to $0.75, SB calls $0.65, BB raises to $3, Hero calls $2.25, SB raises to $7.50, BB calls $4.50, Hero raises to $29.18 all in, SB raises to $42.73 all in, 1 fold

      Flop: ($65.86) 6:heart: J:spade: 4:spade: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      Turn: ($65.86) 4:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      River: ($65.86) 5:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      Variance is testing my mindset right now but I'm happy about this because in the past when I was running bad I stopped playing for days but now I managed to put in decent volume ~ 9k hands.
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      I was talking with someone about long break even stretches, mindset and what a good/successful session means and I got a very good reply so I thought some of the readers could learn something from this:

      " Success isn't dragging a big pot, its not having a +5 BI in day, its not spending the money you've made at the tables. Success is following through on what you think the best play is. Success is finding a weakness in your opponent and exploiting it. Success is being self aware enough to know when you aren't at your best and changing your goals to match that. Its going over your hands, its making good decisions. If you can get to where when you are done at the table for the day, and your feeling of happiness and achievement comes from the satisfaction of having done your best, rather than where the line on your graph ends up, then these bad runs won't have the same effect on you."

      One interesting hand for today that I want to share.. I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad fold but villain plays " honest poker ", more of a nit than a regular 15/12 after ~ 300 hands, 67 flop c-bet, 67 turn c-bet. On this good board to c-bet his check behind looks like 2nd pair type hand/nuts. His small turn raise and river bet made me think he has a range of 55, KK, KJ, JJ.

      Poker Stars $0.08/$0.16 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2053769
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      BTN: $31.49
      Hero (SB): $16.32
      BB: $16.00
      UTG: $21.18
      MP: $21.34
      CO: $18.23

      Pre Flop: ($0.24) Hero is SB with 6:spade: 6:diamond:
      1 fold, MP calls $0.16, CO calls $0.16, BTN raises to $0.96, Hero calls $0.88, 3 folds

      Flop: ($2.40) 6:heart: K:spade: 5:club: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN checks

      Turn: ($2.40) J:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.60, BTN raises to $4, Hero calls $2.40

      River: ($10.40) J:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $7.04, Hero folds
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,909
      If he plays honest poker it's a get in on the turn vs 55, KK, KJ and JJ. There's no reason to slowplay when equities are so static and it's clear villain has a hand as well if you are ahead.
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Thanks for your hand analysis & for stopping by. :P

      I will know the correct play in the future in a similar spot vs this kind of opponents.

      This is a fresh hand from the previous session I just played.

      CO 18/15/3.4 3B % after 100 hands
      SB 69/15/18.2 3B % after 55 hands

      DYNAMICS/NOTES against SB:

      1.) min donks/folds to raise 3way pot K99s

      2.) limps utg/min 3bets, min bets Kxx folds to raise

      3.) with 1-2 orbits before this hand I stacked him in a limped pot after I completed from sb 33 vs AJ on AJ3s so I guess he was steaming a bit

      I wanted to play HU against him, what do you think about my play/4bet size?


      Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2053883
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      BB: $33.16
      Hero (UTG): $62.55
      MP: $27.65
      CO: $25.00
      BTN: $25.00
      SB: $23.88

      Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is UTG with J:club: J:diamond:
      Hero raises to $0.85, 1 fold, CO calls $0.85, 1 fold, SB raises to $1.45, 1 fold, Hero raises to $3.45, 1 fold, SB raises to $23.88 all in, Hero calls $20.43

      Flop: ($48.86) J:spade: 2:diamond: Q:club: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      Turn: ($48.86) 7:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      River: ($48.86) A:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      ~20k hands update (10% nl10, 40% nl25, 50% nl16)

      6 days,19945 hands in 28 hours

      It's a fact: You can't win on Sundays :s_cry:

      I'm really happy about my play, especially from the last ~ 2k hands, this is the first time I could keep playing good poker during tough times.. in the past I would instantly close all the tables and stop playing for a few days. I feel like I improved a lot in the mindset in the last few weeks but as long as I feel the need to whine about variance I'm still a mental game fish. :f_biggrin:



      I have to put in more hours, play less tables, study more, stop playing while bored/tired on auto pilot [check the red line and you will understand :D ]and the results will come.
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Yesterday I took a day off, I had to go a funeral and later I spent some time with friends. Today I played a short session 6 tabling and it's more enjoyable and I feel less tired than grinding 10+ tables. I also stopped watching thin red line and I started to focus on moving beyond micro-stakes because the videos, from the first series, at least the first 4 episodes are 100nl so I don't feel like I need this kind of information right now.
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      51/9 guy got owned :s_biggrin:

      Poker Stars $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2058363
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      CO: $16.63
      BTN: $20.11
      Hero (SB): $10.27
      BB: $6.66
      UTG: $4.00
      MP: $6.51

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is SB with 3:spade: 3:club:
      3 folds, BTN raises to $0.30, Hero calls $0.25, 1 fold

      Flop: ($0.70) K:club: 3:diamond: 5:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN checks

      Turn: ($0.70) 3:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.50, BTN calls $0.50

      River: ($1.70) Q:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.30, BTN raises to $3.10, Hero raises to $9.47 all in, BTN calls $6.37

      Final Pot: $20.64
      BTN shows K:diamond: A:diamond: (a flush, Ace high)
      Hero shows 3:spade: 3:club: (four of a kind, Threes)
      Hero wins $19.71
      (Rake: $0.93)
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      I don't know what's going on.. after more than 300k hands lifetime at 25nl with positive win rate I feel like I'm "taking shots". I crush 10 and 16 nl.. building my roll but constant cash outs and buy ins lost at 25 are stopping me from moving up. This is so frustrating .. I post hands, watch videos and take notes, I make session reviews and I don't have results. After ~ 35k hands this month I up something like 150-200$. I need a database review/ coaching asap.

      I will make an update with graphs, maybe even stats when I have 40k hands played this month on Sunday/Monday morning.
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      40k hands update.

      nl16 looks softer than nl10 :f_confused:

      nl25 is like the wild west but good things come to those who wait [ run good :s_cool: ]

      I feel like I have problems against the better regs when I get 3 bet especially oop.. sometimes my mind is going blank and I don't know what to do. I have to focus on this problem and get better.

      I'll post some interesting hands in 3 bet pots this week.


    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      A few thoughts I would like to share about game selection.

      This post was made by one of the best FR players on stars, I think it's not a good idea to put links to other forums so I'm going to copy-paste some important ideas.

      "Game selection is the most important skill for maximizing your win rate at micro-small stakes. At higher than 200nl, you'll need to exploit regulars and balance your range, but below that, the key to success is to find fish and stack them. [...] I can only speak about the games on Pokerstars, but I'll describe my table selection process. First, I filter the lobby for whichever games I am comfortable playing (in my case it's usually 100-600nl, but sometimes 200-1000nl). The reason I like to mix tables like this is because I could find a 200nl table where I have a 1pt edge, but would be better suited playing a 1000nl table where I have a 1pt edge or a 100nl table where I have a 4pt edge. I view myself as a small-midstakes fullring regular. Not a 100nl regular. Not a 200nl regular. There's just not enough good tables running to limit yourself to one stake, so even if you're given the bankroll to test out 200nl, there's nothing wrong with mixing in some 100nl or even 50nl if you find fish or whales."


      Hand vs reg.. I'm not sure I played optimally in this spot.


      17/15/8.7 3bet over 250 hands

      48% aggr freq on the flop, 22% on the turn

      His ~60% flop cbet does't look very strong (small pairs 22-JJ, overcards and some flushdraws) so I decided to win the pot on the flop but when he calls I put him on a range of 99-JJ and I thought I can make him fold those kind of hands shoving the turn and I case i get called I still have decent equity.

      Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players - View hand 2068078
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      SB: $12.82
      BB: $26.99
      UTG: $27.20
      CO: $25.35
      Hero (BTN): $31.34

      Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with Q:diamond: A:diamond:
      2 folds, Hero raises to $0.60, 1 fold, BB raises to $2.25, Hero calls $1.65

      Flop: ($4.60) 5:diamond: 3:club: 8:diamond: (2 players)
      BB bets $2.75, Hero raises to $8.50, BB calls $5.75

      Turn: ($21.60) K:heart: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $19.60, BB calls $16.24 all in

      River: ($54.08) 9:heart: (2 players - 1 is all in)



      26/19/10 3bet 400 hands

      post-flop aggression:
      39% flop, 35% turn with 20% ck/raise, 18% river, 30% WTSD, 45% W$SD

      I think I lost value not jamming the river but when I was playing I thought the doesn't have too many worse flush hands in his range.. something like if he's bluffing I win and he folds if I go all in / if he has the a flush I'm beat most of the time

      Poker Stars $0.08/$0.16 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 2068083
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      MP: $22.48
      CO: $16.12
      BTN: $8.68
      SB: $23.38
      BB: $23.89
      Hero (UTG): $37.38

      Pre Flop: ($0.24) Hero is UTG with J:spade: Q:spade:
      Hero raises to $0.56, 4 folds, BB calls $0.40

      Flop: ($1.20) 7:spade: 8:spade: 4:spade: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.72, BB calls $0.72

      Turn: ($2.64) J:heart: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $1.60, BB raises to $3.84, Hero calls $2.24

      River: ($10.32) 9:club: (2 players)
      BB bets $7, Hero calls $7


      Things are not going as planned .. by the end of the stake I think I'll be under rolled even for nl2 :s_cry: . I really need to take a few days off.

    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Epic fail poker wise this weekend.. played less than 2k hands, had two birthday parties going on yesterday and today I'm too tired to play.

      I also had to move down in limits again, mixing 10&16nl.. hopefully I won't be in make up at the end of the stake. :D
    • motanu89
      motanu89
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 65
      Another 20k hands to go..

      - volume is decent, at the moment I'm grinding back my roll to play 25nl

      - i'm behind schedule with my study ( reading, watching videos, posting hands) so this will be my primary focus for the end of the month

      - the plan is to move in February on micro-gaming, grind some bonuses, get gold/platinum on PS and get some coaching

    • TidyGRNMD
      TidyGRNMD
      Basic
      Joined: 24.12.2010 Posts: 1
      Hey man, enjoyed reading your blog. I can't send you a PM coz I guess I have to make a certain number of posts or something? Anyway.. I liked this thread because I have similar goals and I'm hoping to learn and move up too. I started playing 6max in December and managed to grind my bankroll up just enough to start playing 10NL a few days ago so some help learning would be awesome.
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