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gavinonymous' blog of micro tourney success..

    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      ..and failures. I took 3 months off poker and came back this month thanks to a random stake from an old friend.

      the story so far. I've played poker for 770 days of my life over several years. started with SNG's, and moved to cash, then to multitable tourneys. I like PLO and other variants too.

      I'm a musician and chemist, and spent much of the winter hibernating in Canada and writing playing music.. that's what led to the staking one drunken night when a friend asked me if I was any good..

      I got $500, and went right to the $3.50 45 mans for some decent immediate success. Spent a lot of time reviewing games and I still make mistakes, but then sometimes it's hard to know what a mistake is - the 45 man structure does have some quirky bubble structure with 2 tables left where it's not strictly cEV, and preserving your stack means more than taking out the small guys even if you are giving up +EV spots. I put it down to edge (short term pain, long term gain)

      Slowly I'm finding my game. I've played one month and already going through some mental challenges. I did really well the first half only to lose all profits within a few days and then some. Staying focused was tough, but I visualized my goal, and where I want to be, and slowly it's coming around again. I think I rode the variance alright - even if it did result in a chat ban, that might have been the best thing for my game.

      Also I upped the tables to <18 more than I usually do and it's going better. for the last 4 days I've won back all the profits and more playing stacked tables.

      I have been taking more 1sts than 2nds which is one of my main goals this year. So much of my ROI comes from that heads up that can be overlooked.

      Today made a huge mistake in a tourney, embarrassingly folding to two all ins before me because I wanted to preserve my stack - instead of going for the win. finished 12th out of 4000 runners.. getting closer to my win, the goal is to win big tourneys while grinding lots of little ones. It feels horrible when you know you're making a big mistake, but hell if the cards had run out different I would be telling how I dodged a bullet.

      If things go well I'll update again.. good fortune.
  • 11 replies
    • Lazza61
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 11,187
      Hey gavinonymous,

      Nice to see you back blogging :)

      As a fellow 45 manner, I have noticed that the bubble play actually seems to start once people start being eliminated from the final 2 tables. Can make a lot of chips there by punishing people who start to tighten up as tables become more short handed.

      You're previous blog was awesome and so my expectations of this one are high.

      Happy Grinding

    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Thanks Lazza for the nice words, I feel bad that I haven't updated in so long now.

      I stopped blogging for the month out of superstition.. I hit a downswing as soon as I posted that last entry. lost all the profits, and then made them all back in a couple of days..

      since then I've worked hard on my game and really started to take advantage on ICM, but still give up some spots if I don't need to steal and stacks are scary. (too small or too big to shove into)

      I finished 8th in a big $2.20.. first was $1800, I shoved AKs with 7BB over an aggro's minraise 66 to bust.

      I hadn't noticed but I looked up my sharkscope for scheduled tourneys and I was running about 27% ROI lifetime in MTT's.. not sure if this is partly from miscalculation of rebuys, but HEM is saying the same thing.. mostly I guess due to a couple of larger cashes last year.

      I had a shot at regular speed tourney's on Collin Moshman's advice, playing $4.50 is ok, I did finish a second, but they are awfully slow and I'm not used to final tables so deep. Still they were a good exercise, when I went back to turbos, I noticed a big improvement, especially with patience.

      I wanted to post this hand in the forum, but I notice I need silver, I'll have to deposit to another room, or take a second starting capital at one maybe. Here's a recent hand from a 180 man.

      Poker Stars $2.28+$0.22 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t600/t1200 Blinds + t125 - 8 players - View hand 2483768
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      UTG+1: t31298 M = 11.18
      MP1: t16386 M = 5.85
      MP2: t12107 M = 4.32
      Hero (CO): t21407 M = 7.65
      BTN: t7426 M = 2.65
      SB: t25680 M = 9.17
      BB: t21938 M = 7.83
      UTG: t5409 M = 1.93

      Pre Flop: (t2800) Hero is CO with 9 :club: A :club:
      UTG raises to t5284 all in, 3 folds, Hero raises to t9600, 2 folds, BB calls t8400

      Flop: (t26084) Q :heart: 8 :club: A :diamond: (3 players - 1 is all in)
      BB bets t12213 all in, Hero calls t11682 all in

      Turn: (t49448) 6 :heart: (3 players - 3 are all in)

      River: (t49448) 9 :spade: (3 players - 3 are all in)

      [Spoiler]UTG had AJo, BB had KK[/spoiler]

      what do you think? I should have just shoved it, but I honestly thought during the hand that I might only minraise and consider to fold to a shove from a very tight player. so when BB, a decentish reg - only flats - then insta shoves the A hi flop.. I snap called.

      I've shifted from 45's to 180's only now, unless traffic is slow. also I'm mixing in as many MTT's as fit my BR, including a few rebuys. the $1 rebuys are nuts, but soft.

      I was able to cash out last month a bit for expenses, and have about the same profit this month. this considering two downswings that completely wiped out all profits. I'm happy with my improvements in anti-tilt, and taking bad beats and coolers in stride. probably the toughest part about being a tourney player - going through 100 buy in downswings repeatedly. I must be a masochist.

      Graph coming soon, just busted my last 180 of this short session in 2nd. I'm hitting final tables with nice stacks now or not at all.. stealing selectively, but most of all calling off correctly. this is the biggest improvement I've made to my game so far. More on that in future posts.

      here's the graph as promised.. only for the last week - 400 tourneys low volume, but concntrating more on quality.

      Good fortune at the tables!
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Been a while since an update, but cut down on volume for a few weeks. I spent a lot of time studying with SNG wizard, and Holdem Resources.

      Main problem was calling to tight and getting the ICM tax wrong near 10-14 left. Also being aware of players that don't bother with ICM, and playing some spots more agressively. HU game is as best as I've been.

      Yesterday was one of my winningest days at 90% ROI over 80 tourneys. I'm still playing cheeseburgers, though I'm fairly confident I could be easily 10% ROI and maybe more overall if it weren't for some really bad fortune during the last 5k games.

      As it is, I'm running 8.5% ROI in all tourney, and it's been much too long between FT's in large field tourneys. Eventually my 77 will beat AQo or my AJ will hold vs A7 for that crucial double up late allowing me to chip up easily from there.

      No graphs today, but going for an epic week. I have changed a few aspects of my game, and balanced confidence with consistent positive results.

      I'm thinking about taking another stake, to move up to the next level, but I'm almost there if I can avoid cashing out this month/win a nice tourney.

      one wish for PS. Instead of offering me more starting capitals (I only have time and CPU to play one room) I wouldn't mind a status upgrade now and then. ;)

      cheers and good fortune

      Poker Stars $3.19+$0.31 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t75/t150 Blinds - 7 players

      Hero (BTN): t3570 23.80 BBs
      SB: t3215 21.43 BBs
      BB: t1815 12.10 BBs
      UTG: t1255 8.37 BBs
      UTG+1: t4270 28.47 BBs
      MP: t1570 10.47 BBs
      CO: t1395 9.30 BBs

      Pre Flop: (t225) Hero is BTN with T :diamond: T :heart:
      1 fold, UTG+1 raises to t316, 2 folds, Hero calls t316, 2 folds

      Flop: (t857) 3 :diamond: 3 :heart: J :spade: (2 players)
      UTG+1 checks, Hero checks

      Turn: (t857) 5 :diamond: (2 players)
      UTG+1 bets t450, Hero calls t450

      River: (t1757) 9 :diamond: (2 players)
      UTG+1 checks, Hero checks

      Final Pot: t1757
      Hero shows T :diamond: T :heart: (two pair, Tens and Threes)
      UTG+1 shows K :heart: A :club: (a pair of Threes)
      Hero wins t1757
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Interesting week. I swear I have the worst unbelievable luck sometimes that defies logic, but still almost 60% ROI for a low volume week.

      I cashed out my roll a while back down to $1.50 games - a break even streak on them,and decided to go back to the cheeseburgers (I can actually get two double cheeseburgers for that,at BK) I'm glad I did. I might move to the burrito games this week if all goes well monday and tuesday.

      amazing to think could have done much better. maybe time to move up. still considering stakes, we'll see how next 9 days go.

      good fortune at the tables
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      The last two weeks have been painful, but profitable. I put in average volume, taking a couple of unexpected days off.

      Still I manged about 30% ROI over the period and some deep runs in big fields.

      I hit a 4th in a 4000 field tourney a 9th in a 3000 field, and today a 6th in a 500 field tourney. They were all micro buyins but I'll take it.

      The 45 mans go well, also about 30% ROI and very few losing days and a few big winning days.

      I am easily rolled for the $7.00 tourneys. I think I will start on Monday and keep the tables low. Tomorrow is best for MTT's, being sunday. I might take a shot at a $10 buyin for fun and challenge.

      I swear my luck is terrible in the most crucial spots, but maybe I only notice those more and they happen with normal frequency - if infuriating in the way it happens, especially when you made a great read or call and were far ahead only to lose in a screwed up way. I'm getting used to it, but I still hate it. Haven't been seriously tilted in a while, maybe only a couple of games in recent sessions.

      My post flop game is improving but I'm still hesitant to splash around chips late-ish in MTT's when I could really chip up. calling 3 way all ins seems much easier in 45 man tourneys.

      here's the graph from the past 9 days of play. If I can put in 25 like this a month, I might not need or want to move up stakes but I should.

      Here's an interesting hand against a TAGish player early in an MTT. He gave me grief for this but I think I played it well. I was preparing to shove on any river.

      Poker Stars €2.00+€0.20 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t125/t250 Blinds + t30 - 9 players - View hand 2529407
      DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

      UTG+2: t2679 M = 4.15
      MP1: t10231 M = 15.86
      MP2: t5491 M = 8.51
      CO: t6785 M = 10.52
      BTN: t4232 M = 6.56
      SB: t6742 M = 10.45
      BB: t9404 M = 14.58
      UTG: t4040 M = 6.26
      Hero (UTG+1): t9706 M = 15.05

      Pre Flop: (t645) Hero is UTG+1 with A :diamond: J :heart:
      1 fold, Hero raises to t500, 6 folds, BB calls t250

      the flop misses most of his flatting range, but also most of mine. we are deep so I don't want to inflate the pot.

      Flop: (t1395) 3 :club: 7 :heart: 3 :diamond: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      On the turn his donk makes no sense except to fold out my air. He could flat AQ, KQ, or QJs preflop but if he flats that then he flats a lot of other hands that might have to fold to a small raise here. If anything I get to see the river, and I can continue betting with initiative and position on the river.

      Turn: (t1395) Q :spade: (2 players)
      BB bets t781, Hero raises to t1750, BB calls t969

      River: (t4895) J :club: (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks

      No point to bet in case he does have a better hand. Maybe could min bet to induce, but decided the pot was enough. what do you think? is my analysis off anywhere here?.

      Final Pot: t4895
      BB shows 5 :spade: 5 :diamond: (two pair, Fives and Threes)
      Hero shows A :diamond: J :heart: (two pair, Jacks and Threes)
      Hero wins t4895

      cheers and good fortune at the tables.
    • TJtheTJ
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,753
      Don't think your analysis is off but against a looser player you could also just flat turn with the intention of checking back river because he'll have a lot more air hands in his range.

      Even against a tighter player you could consider that line against hands like JTs/T9s etc with which most players won't 2barrel especially in MTTs imo. But raising should be fine too to make him fold hands like small pairs.

      Also nice graph :f_thumbsup:
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      it's been a while since playing tourneys. I had a good run and then tried some cash, which has been basically breakeven.. and only due to consistent bad luck/coolers.

      in the last few days I ran KK into AA 4 times, and set under set 5 times. also AA cracked a few times for stacks when far ahead - seemed a bit unfair.

      i guess that was a message to go back to tourneys. I've applied for a stake for $2.50's since I cashed out a lot of my roll.

      I played a set of 20 or so $1.50 45mans just to make sure I hadn't lost the feel. It seemed to go well enough at 300% ROI - and went deep in two micro MTT's at the same time. 15 tabling at max seemed ok, but a few timeouts.

      So I absolutely crushed it today, and one thing I did different was not taking too many unnecessary risks, and minraising more than shoving. still shoves held up well, and didn't run into too many suckouts. final tables went very well, really well, so I haven't lost it, maybe I've absorbed it so it comes more naturally, by taking a break.

      We'll see how the next few sets go. Hopefully someone wants to make some easy cash and gets in on my stake. It's only 1BI for some of you guys!

      good fortune at the tables.
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      My week has been mostly positive, even if I'm playing lower than I should.

      Sticking with the 45's but had a shot at playing all normal speed tourneys on Sat. I did a little better, but not so much, nice to see not so many 'regs' but again, they are more unpredictable.

      I'm back on the $3.50's with a bit of a short roll, but some behind if I need to deposit.

      Today went like this:
      Poker Stars $3.19+$0.31 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t100/t200 Blinds - 7 players - View hand 2568898

      Hero (SB): t3080 15.40 BBs
      BB: t1820 9.10 BBs
      UTG: t2130 10.65 BBs
      UTG+1: t7195 35.98 BBs
      MP: t1660 8.30 BBs
      CO: t3889 19.45 BBs
      BTN: t2594 12.97 BBs

      Pre Flop: (t300) Hero is SB with T :diamond: T :club:
      1 fold, UTG+1 calls t200, 3 folds, Hero raises to t800, BB calls t600, UTG+1 calls t600

      Flop: (t2400) 3 :heart: 3 :spade: 8 :club: (3 players)
      Hero bets t2280 all in, BB folds, UTG+1 calls t2280

      Turn: (t6960) T :heart: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      River: (t6960) 9 :diamond: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      Final Pot: t6960
      Hero shows T :diamond: T :club: (a full house, Tens full of Threes)
      UTG+1 shows 3 :club: 3 :diamond: (four of a kind, Threes)
      UTG+1 wins t6960

      makes up for the royal flush I hit yesterday and got paid on, also got paid with quad kings today so that was kind. the flipside is bluffing is near impossible, and people are too often calling down with marginal to nut hands.

      still managed to eke out 40% ROI in the $3.50's today while 15 tabling. this is a good sign. I got screwed over in so many tourneys, knowing I had bad variance and could win more is encouraging. looking for another 100% + ROI day soon.

      my stake application is still available, It's not the most attractive deal, but I'm a proven winner and grinder -IMO it's free money. I might stake myself again if nobody does.

      heads up is on lately. I won 3 tourneys coming from behind with patience and some skill on FT's. thinking I would like to play some more HU tourneys, but the action is too much for multitabling for me.

      good fortune.
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      finally broke out of my break even slump, but still lots of variance to deal with. I'm becoming inured to losing AA and KK so often getting sucked out on or running into coolers.

      I especially seem to hate when I see that I folded a winning hand, when folding in a relatively break even, or slightly negative spot.

      I don't think I'm being bluffed too much, occassionaly I'm catching people, but rarely I'm calling AI's on the flop way behind. If anything I'm folding too often.

      I've given up a lot of marginal spots towards the endgame, and vascillating between steamrolling the table with 2 tables left in a 45 man and a big stack, or being shell shocked from coolers..

      the dilemma is that when you think you have a marginal shove you might give it up i- especially f you don't need to steal the blinds.

      there are always people calling too wide at low limits, or very timely coolers and suckouts to avoid.

      at the same time you can't afford to give up many of these spots in a turbo format, so you have to shove your 96o on the SB and take your lumps. on the plus side you will occasionally suck out yourself which is redeeming in an odd way.

      it feels strange to play that way, but I know it's effective. the trouble is at some point others will start calling you very wide and even spite calling you, then you adjust to shoving tighter, and if they adjust faster than you, you are going to lose.

      today I was taking it easy but too many final tables with short stack or no stack at all. I won 2 tourneys second in another and several other smaller cashes for some decent profit - about 20% I ended the day with a nice $100 upswing.

      there are a few spots I need to work on. mainly shoving wider, and knowing when to minraise fold/call - it's a more demanding style to play mentally, but I think it's more +EV (depending on the opposition) since the field is so mixed with absolute morons and very decent regs, it becomes a real chore to decide which to do.

      Here's a hand that I found interesting. I've seen a lot more of this lately.

      Poker Stars, $2 Buy-in (25/50 blinds) No Limit Hold'em Tournament, 9 Players

      SB: 2,830 (56.6 bb)
      BB: 3,286 (65.7 bb)
      UTG+1: 2,820 (56.4 bb)
      Hero (UTG+2): 3,270 (65.4 bb)
      MP1: 3,323 (66.5 bb)
      MP2: 3,065 (61.3 bb)
      MP3: 1,858 (37.2 bb)
      CO: 4,230 (84.6 bb)
      BTN: 1,793 (35.9 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG+2 with J A
      UTG+1 folds, Hero raises to 125, MP1 calls 125, 3 folds, BTN calls 125, SB folds, BB calls 75

      Flop: (525) A 5 Q (4 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets 450, MP1 calls 450, 2 folds

      Turn: (1,425) A (2 players)
      Hero bets 900, MP1 raises to 2,748 and is all-in, Hero calls 1,795 and is all-in

      River: (6,815) 8 (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      6,815 pot
      Final Board: A 5 Q A 8
      Hero showed J A and won 6,815 (3,545 net)
      MP1 showed K T and lost (-3,270 net)

      enough rambling for now and back to the study and tables. good fortune.
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      little update;

      My ranking on OPR is looking better the last 120 days. Too bad it's not translating into profit. I'm on an upswing long term, but it's been much too gradual lately. I think I might have a leak - but 99.5% is pretty good. how good do you have to be to beat the rake?

      120 Days 99.43% $6,566 - 2,138 19% 2,840 of 500,960

      I've been hitting every suckout and cooler but still managing B.E. play. When luck turns my way again watch out. Also, my volume was kind of low over the summer, but hey, it's summer.

      p.s. stake is still open for anyone insterested. I'm flexible on terms stakes etc.. see the staking forum or PM me.

      goalwise and businesswise:

      - exercising more
      - eating not so regular meals lately but nutrition is improved
      - sleep is regular and restful but odd hours (nothing unusual)
      - meditation visualization improving.
      - procrastination needs work
      - cleaning work area and apt. has improved
      - stacking tables works well, up to 18 tables comfortably - stats show better ROI with more tables (smallish sample)
      - tilt factor is down. not chat tilting as much, and able to keep focus during suckouts/beat onslaught
      - better able to leave/diffuse the emotions at the table.
      - need to improve folding when I know I'm beat, but just 'have to see'

      I'm going to start playing more nights. Even though traffic is low, I'm at my mental peak, and think I see my best results at night. Also, I'll be avoiding the throngs of 'regs' I've seen at my games lately during the day.

      take care and good fortune.
    • gavinonymous
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      double post