Poker? I hardly know her!

    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      WARNING: Blog may contain traces of bad puns.

      Right... Well then...

      Hello.

      My name is Jamie and I'm 22.

      (Bear with me ((Get lost bear.)) while I go copy and paste bits from my introduction post, ah, here it is...)

      My journey in poker began a few years ago as a friend introduced me to the game one night when there wasn't much to do. I was hooked. I imagine this is how the story begins for everyone... the thrill of your first game, winning a big hand... losing it all straight away. Good times.

      I immediately found an online poker room, wasted some money and that was that. At first I thought it was like any other casino game... just luck.

      Fast forward a few years and I have been playing online poker on and off for a while now. I found this website relatively soon after I started playing online, always very interested in learning how to become a winning player but never quite fully committing to it until now.

      I am currently in a full time job in London, UK, but I am planning to spend as much time as I can on the tables improving my game and hopefully become a winning player on 2NL, before considering climbing the micros. I'll also spend time posting hh's, reviewing sessions and contributing to the forums all of which I hope will contribute to becoming a good player!

      I logged in to PokerStars with my old account and found I had £7 lying around from the last time I played on the site! Result, I thought, let's try and build this into a bankroll and I won't even have to deposit!

      I am now 4 days into my new regime and I find myself obsessed. Every spare minute I have I'm thinking about poker. Whenever I'm travelling I'm reading forums or more recently BlackRain79's 'Beating the MicroStakes' over and over again and drilling the most important bits into my head.

      I'm going to try and post here after every session and pick out anything that stood out for me. Below are my stats after 4 days. Obviously nothing can be judged with such a small sample size, but I'd like to have it here anyway so I can see how I progress over the coming months.





      Anyways, thanks for reading!

      More to come soon!

      :f_biggrin:
  • 19 replies
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,972
      I'm in for the ride! :f_biggrin:

      It's great that you're putting in all this effort, but don't drive yourself crazy. It is important to take a few breaks from the game now and then.

      And don't be surprised if you start dreaming about poker a lot at night, it's common.
      (I remember having dreams about Blackjack, now that's degenerate...)
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,705
      Hey Jamie,

      Welcome to the blogs. :)

      The dam has burst. The tide has changed. The lurker has become a poster. Believe it or not, I was once a lurker. For almost 2 years I lurked. Then one day I posted and the floodgates opened and now I can't stop myself. :f_biggrin:

      Good luck and hope to see you crushing.

      Regards

      Laz
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Thanks for the warm response guys.

      I just got off the tables after roughly 4 hours... All I can say is I'm loving Friday night fishes!

      I felt it was a good session - I started out tight and agressive and stacked off a few opponents early on. Caught a few maniacs going all in with ATC and widened my AI range to compensate before the other regs did. By the later hours of the session I think I could tell I wasn't playing my best and although I did make a couple of big wins, I will need to review a lot of hands and focus on not getting distracted the next time.

      I will do a session review tomorrow and post any hands I thought were tricky. I think it'll be easy to spot the mistakes I made on most hands as they were more due to lack of concentration than anything.

      Here are my results for the session as well as my all time graph updated.





      Time for bed, see you tomorrow!
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Unfortunately after reviewing yesterday's session I realised how badly I was actually playing. A lot of the big pots I won were due to stupid decisions and I luckily got payed off with them.

      Here's an example.

      PokerStars - $0.02 NL - Holdem - 8 players
      Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

      MP+1: 56.5 BB (VPIP: 50.00, PFR: 50.00, 3Bet Preflop: 50.00, Hands: 4)
      CO: 29.5 BB (VPIP: 41.38, PFR: 3.45, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 29)
      Hero (BTN): 147.5 BB
      SB: 100 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 17)
      BB: 70.5 BB (VPIP: 63.16, PFR: 5.26, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 19)
      UTG: 20 BB (VPIP: 60.00, PFR: 13.33, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 16)
      UTG+1: 100 BB (VPIP: 7.69, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 13)
      MP: 100 BB (VPIP: 12.50, PFR: 12.50, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 16)

      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has Q:heart: A:diamond:

      UTG raises to 2 BB, fold, fold, MP+1 calls 2 BB, fold, Hero raises to 11 BB, fold, BB calls 10 BB, fold, MP+1 calls 9 BB

      Flop: (35.5 BB, 3 players) 9:diamond: Q:club: 6:spade:
      BB bets 9 BB, MP+1 raises to 45.5 BB and is all-in, Hero raises to 82 BB, BB calls 50.5 BB and is all-in

      Turn: (200 BB, 3 players) 5:spade:

      River: (200 BB, 3 players) Q:spade:

      BB shows A:club: A:heart: (Two Pair, Aces and Queens)
      Main Pot [172 BB]: (Pre 70%, Flop 68%, Turn 74%)
      Side Pot#1 [28 BB]: (Pre 93%, Flop 91%, Turn 95%)

      Hero shows Q:heart: A:diamond: (Three of a Kind, Queens)
      Main Pot [172 BB]: (Pre 7%, Flop 9%, Turn 5%)
      Side Pot#1 [28 BB]: (Pre 7%, Flop 9%, Turn 5%)

      MP+1 shows 7:heart: 6:heart: (Two Pair, Queens and Sixes)
      Main Pot [172 BB]: (Pre 23%, Flop 23%, Turn 21%)

      Hero wins 193 BB


      Is the re-raise preflop the right move here? My thinking is I want to play with the fish and I should be ahead here most of the time, so I want to maximise value from the off.

      Flop - I know I should have folded here. Rule number 1 at these passive stakes is to most of the time fold to signs of agression... Instead I re-raise. This is what I was talking about, losing focus. I was up a few BI and felt untouchable so why not re-raise. Silly move.

      Lucky river put me 2.25 BI's up. This was the biggest win in my session but there were a few other big pots like this where I got lucky rather than actually played optimally. So over all not the best session I think.

      Do you think my evaulation of the hand is correct? I surely can't have played it well if I can't even justify why I re-raised.
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      What a session! I officially hit $25 on my bankroll from my initial 12! :)

      This is the first time I've managed to get more than 1k hands in one go as I generally tend to play 2-3 tables for a few hours after a full time job in the weekdays.

      It didn't start well at all. Once again I ran into the same problem of losing focus on the tables and playing too loose, within the first 200 hands I had lost about 2 BI's...

      I let my first BI loss affect me too much and as a result I loosened up and stopped playing my A game.

      I have a shitty tendency to always check my results graph. I know I know, I shouldn't be result oriented, and shouldn't really be paying much attention to it, but I think in this case it helped me.

      What I noticed is everytime I start losing focus or slightly tilting my 'won at showdown' line starts dropping gradually and my red line increases as I become to aggressive with marginal hands...

      As soon as I spotted it I realised it was the same thing I had done yesterday so I snapped myself back into shape. The difference was instant, I immediately went back to even and eventually ended up with 3 BI's extra! Good stuff.

      I think a short term goal here is to stop myself from losing that focus in the first place and play the same game as long as possible.

      ----------------------

      On a different note, something else interesting happened at my last table. As you'll see below on my session graph, I managed to pick up an extra BI or so right at the end of the session.

      Basically I was closing my tables when the chat box of the last table I was on caught my eye... There were a couple of players arguing and taunting eachother, both of them with pretty high VPIPs over a fairly good sample size.

      Anyways, my thought here was that potentially this could be worked to my advantage, I started goading the bigger fish on and siding with the other player... Slowly but surely everytime I was raising he was calling me so he could 'outplay' me and take the piss. This had the great effect of him not being able to fold AT ALL. Bingo. I started to raise pretty much double my normal range as the table was full of nits who hadn't cottoned on, so as soon as they would show any agression I could safely let the hand go.

      Eventually I got him on this hand:

      I'm not sure if the check on the flop was the right move, especially with the button having raised preflop, but I took a chance as the fish tended to fold the cbet if he didnt hit anything but bluff as soon as I showed any weakness.

      PokerStars - $0.02 NL - Holdem - 6 players
      Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

      SB: 194 BB (VPIP: 15.15, PFR: 6.06, 3Bet Preflop: 8.33, Hands: 33)
      Hero (BB): 257 BB
      UTG: 102 BB (VPIP: 47.37, PFR: 15.93, 3Bet Preflop: 6.25, Hands: 115)
      MP: 97 BB (VPIP: 28.75, PFR: 5.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 80)
      CO: 335 BB (VPIP: 9.40, PFR: 4.05, 3Bet Preflop: 1.85, Hands: 152)
      BTN: 164.5 BB

      SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

      Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has 2:diamond: 2:spade:

      UTG calls 1 BB, fold, fold, BTN raises to 5 BB, fold, Hero calls 4 BB, UTG calls 4 BB

      Flop: (15.5 BB, 3 players) 8:club: 4:heart: 2:heart:
      Hero checks, UTG checks, BTN checks

      Turn: (15.5 BB, 3 players) 9:club:
      Hero bets 11 BB, UTG calls 11 BB, fold

      River: (37.5 BB, 2 players) 3:diamond:
      Hero bets 90 BB, UTG calls 86 BB and is all-in

      Hero shows 2:diamond: 2:spade: (Three of a Kind, Twos) (Pre 49%, Flop 92%, Turn 100%)
      UTG shows 9:heart: T:spade: (One Pair, Nines) (Pre 51%, Flop 8%, Turn 0%)
      Hero wins 202 BB


      Before he called my last raise I sent a message on the chat box. "Call this mate :) ". I went all in and made it look like I was bluffing and trying to scare him away with my message. It worked wonderfully, I was sure he was calling with literally ATC in the last few hands so I was confident I had the best hand here 80% of the time.

      I felt guilty after this as I'm not really one to be an arsehole and generally tend to frown upon people talking like this in a poker game... however, it did get me thinking about it all. Is it wrong to be doing this kind of stuff? I mean, any edge you can get counts for something right? These people are coming to the tables with their money and so bar cheating all bets are off.

      Something to consider for me in the future... There probably won't be many times where I can use this tactic again but while it lasted I felt like I had found another way to adapt to the opponent and give me a bigger edge.

      Anyways, novel over. Here is my session + overall graph.



    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Meh... lost a couple BI's trying 6max and zoom games to see what they were like... I think I'll stick to what I know for now and try 6-max later down the line.
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Another good session today :) I hit the 30$ mark!

      I think I need to ground myself a little bit as I know the upswing can't last much longer... can it?

      Anyways, 3.5 BI's up at the end of that one. I tried 6 tabling today and I think it actually improved my game due to the fact I wasn't trying to make fancy little moves like I usually do on 1-2 tables. Stuck to solid TAG strategy and adapted to the regs and fish.

      I'm actually finding it really easy to play against the regs which I didn't expect being relatively new to the game myself. A lot of the time these people don't seem to realise you know exactly how they are playing.

      VS Regs:

      - Restealing blinds.
      - C-betting 90% of boards when they cold call PFR raises (as they're set mining 90% of the time)
      - Check-Raising C-bets on wet boards. (This one's probably a bit risky and I won't do it with EVERY reg.)

      All the above seem to be working really well against the regs at NL2 and I think that's why my red line seems to be on the up too.

      Again though, maybe the cards are just in my favour so far. But I'm feeling quite confident of my ability at this level. :)

      Will probably put another session in today.

      Session graph:

    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Ended the last session another BI up... feels good! :)
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      After doing a bit of reading I'm going to try a few MTT's today... I really like playing them so it's about time I actually learn how to!
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,972
      Be careful, you need a pretty big bankroll to properly play MTTs.

      The articles on this site recommend 100 BIs, but I've been told that this kind of BRM is a little outdated and 200-400 BIs is a better rule now.
      I don't think you'll find any suitable tourneys to play with a $30-40 bankroll, unless you just want to play one or two as a test for now.

      How about you play some big field MTSNGs instead? They are played in a similar way.
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Yeah that's a good point, I think I'll try a few SnG's after this. Just about to hit the bubble in the mtt I entered though.

      Mainly through luck.
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Buy-In: $0.50/$0.05 USD
      185 players
      Total Prize Pool: $92.50 USD
      Tournament started 2014/05/26 13:02:00 WET [2014/05/26 8:02:00 ET]


      Dear Jamie29h,

      You finished the tournament in 35th place. A USD 0.60 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

      5 Cents profit! Winning.
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,972
      Not a bad result at all for the beginning.

      You always need luck to do well in an MTT, there is no shame in admitting to it. I think everyone who reaches a final table, whether it's in an online microstakes tournament or the WSOP, at least had to go through a couple of coin flips to get there.
      That's also the reason why you need such a big bankroll to play them consistently, the variance is higher than in any other format of Hold 'em.
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Bit of a crazy one today... I got my free poker money on Betfred and deposited £10 pounds to unlock my bonus. Unfortunately there wasn't ANY traffic on my stake so I decided I probably wouldn't be able to play that muchon Betfred... Big mistake :/ What a waste of a deposit!

      I thought I might aswell see whats around as the money isn't going to be able to be withdrawn...

      I didn't expect there to be so many fishes. I played around on 2NL, 4NL and 10NL and ended up 20 dollars up in about 100 hands. I know variance was at play but there were 90/10 fish at 10NL which I really didn't expect. Anyways maybe I will stick around here for a while if all the tables are this juicy!
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,972
      Well, congrats on the good run!

      I just checked for myself, and it seems like most players on iPoker prefer to play shorthanded tables, as these games appear to have decent traffic at NL2.
      Did you check both GBP and EUR tables?
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Yeah, I did see that, but I make a few mistakes at 6max that may be best to iron out at the $.2s on stars than playing in pounds! I am working on it as 6max is where I want to be eventually :)
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Well, the more I play on the iPoker network the more I like it. I plunged headfirst into 6max as I have to at some point and subsequently 6max zoom at 5nl (Lowest stake they had at zoom).

      I know it wasn't within my bankroll but I really wanted to do zoom to clear the bonus and build up the volume fairly quickly. I was half expecting to lose it to be fair as I wasn't taking this free money too seriously.

      Turns out I should be taking it seriously as the game seemed pretty soft.

      I think my problem at 6max before was confidence. This time I played it like my normal FR game with a bit more blind stealing/restealing and I now have about £53 from my initial £15 on Betfred. Not bad :) I'll keep playing these games until I unlock my bonus and if they are still profitable and it's not just me on a heater I may stick around!
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      A bit of a crappy week at work + a busy weekend has meant that I didn't get much playtime... As a result I have been studying my shorthand theory quite a bit, in particular, w34z3l's new series has really helped me out!

      I'm also almost rolled for NL5 - so after clearing my Betfred bonus I will probably try my luck there!
    • Jamie29h
      Jamie29h
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.07.2011 Posts: 32
      Another slow week for me I'm afraid.

      Did a lot of studying and a couple of 6max zoom sessions at NL2 on stars and managed to go about 6 BI's up which was good. I now have a schedule in place in which I can play 4-6 hours during the week. Not much I know but I think having a schedule in place will help my game as I don't focus if I just play while in the lounge with the gf and the tv on!

      Will start grinding again tomorrow and see how it goes... I'm about $25 away from my NL5 target.