Mikel's way

    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      Hi there!

      I finally decided to take the plunge and start a poker blog of my own. Yes it really has been hard to actually sit down and write something; since I know once it started, there’s no going back. Numerous people here have suggested that you if you’re serious about learning poker, you should start a blog. This seems like a brilliant idea as it will keep me more committed to sticking to the goals I have set and provide me with a platform through which to analyze my game. In short it will be handy in keeping track of my progress.

      I have been playing poker for a little over a year now. Until about 4 months ago, I didn’t have any online experience and the only games I played in were very low stakes, “for fun” games. Then I came across an ad for poker bankroll website. Intrigued I joined and instantly delved into the dark world of online poker.

      Ah, the perils of ill disciplined BRM! I played well above my BR and quickly squandered my $50. About half-way through my BR I was on intense tilt and therefore declared that I would never again play online. Well that was that until about a month ago when I spotted the PS.com website. Its free bankroll offer looked similar to the previous one I joined, but the content appeared to be of a vastly higher standard. In fact I’m not really sure if the offer website had any content. Well I snapped up this opportunity and decided that this time would be different…

      I am currently grinding NL10, playing SSS. I gave into the words of many successful PS members who had started with SSS. They were crying out to the hordes of impatient beginners who were frustrated with SSS – well at least somebody listened! :D

      My bankroll at Party poker is just under $50. I have another account at full tilt poker which I signed up through another affiliate (sorry PS.com, you’re still my favorite!) and my BR there is about $170. I had opened this account as a backup, but I began to like FTP and played quite a lot there. One of the problems I had with the other account is that I kinda didn’t play there the first month and totally missed out on my bonus. Really stupid on my behalf, but in my defense I was very busy that month! I have recorded about 20k hands at this limit and I must say I’m still learning the basics, but I do feel quite comfortable with it.

      Goals

      To ensure some form of poker success, some goals are in order. The only way to ensure success is to set yourself targets that you can aim at and constantly raising the bar as you accomplish those targets. I have put these goals in three categories: namely short, medium and long term goals. Short term goals will be updated every week, whilst medium-term goals will be revised at the end of each month. My long term goals will be the things that I want to achieve with my poker game in a period of between 6-12 months.

      For starters I am going to set myself goals for the month of November:
        :diamond: Firstly I aim to play at least 16k hands this month
      :diamond: Move up to NL25
      :diamond: Make about $25 profit
      :diamond: Post 5-10 hands every week on PS (20-40 a month)
      :diamond: Update blog at least twice weekly
      :diamond: Play about 15 SnG's
      :diamond: Read through all of the silver articles available plus some books I have at
      home
      :diamond: Reach Gold status

      To reach my first goal, I plan on playing about 500 hands on weekdays and 1500 hands on the weekend. Above and beyond my main focus will be to seal off all of the major leaks I have at the moment playing SSS. Therefore the hand posting goal will be of utmost importance.

      So my goals for this week will be:

      :club: Play at least 4000 hands
      :club: Post 5-10 hands on the forums
      :club: Re-read silver articles
      :club: Analyze hands played to find leaks

      Long term goals are harder to establish: since right now there isn't anything serious I want to achieve with poker at the moment. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be any long term goals.

      So right now I hope to: (in about six months time)

      :heart: Have a bankroll of about $500
      :heart: Beat NL25 at SSS
      :heart: Move up to NL50
      :heart: Have gold status and be close to Platinum
      :heart: Be well versed with most poker concepts

      I feel that the goals I have set myself are totally achievable and no too far-fetched, that is if I remain disciplined and stick to my schedule. I believe a far more difficult challenge will be keeping this blog up to date. So please wish me luck! :P

      P.S. I do apologize if this post was a bit too long and perhaps even boring. But hey you did decide to read all the way to the bottom, so it couldn’t have been that boring! :D

      Cheers to all and the best of fishes at all your tables!
  • 5 replies
    • jmackenzie
      jmackenzie
      Silver
      Joined: 04.06.2008 Posts: 1,241
      Nice one.
      You seem to be well organized which is normally an indication that you have the required discipline to play sss well.

      One thing you may want to avoid is having hand amount and money orientated goals.

      More often than you might at first think, things can pop up that lead to you missing a few hours/days/weeks of poker time. This personally has happened to me before which lead to me overplaying to catch up to my hand goal, to reach a desired bonus that I wanted. This actually resulted in bad play and I lost more than I won in my bonus.

      Variance is also alot bigger than most players new to poker think, you can have more than month long downswings at times.

      Just aiming to play your best poker would be my advice (having hand posting goals and article reading goals are far more benificial).

      Dont forget to post graphs, stats and any interesting hands you have. We do like graphs and stats around here.
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      Well its only my second post and already I'm starting to slack! As I stated before I truly intend on updating this blog on a more regular basis - but sometimes things do pop up. For example this week I was really swamped at work and hardly had time to play poker nevermind updating my blog! But really this is no excuse and I will try to remain focused on my objectives.

      Weekly update:

      This past week has been really mixed and although I feel as though I am improving, I still make some questionable decisions which cost me. The reason I say "mixed" is due to the week's sessions being very swingy. See for yourselves:

      Hands $ BB BB/100

      Monday 10 Nov 644 $-3.54 -35.40 -5.50

      Tuesday 11 Nov 422 $4.70 47.00 11.14

      Wednesday 12 Nov 391 $-5.73 -57.30 -14.65

      Thursday 13 Nov 720 $1.15 11.50 1.60

      Friday 14 Nov - - - -

      Saturday 15 Nov 161 $1.16 11.60 7.20

      Sunday 16 Nov 1072 $7.20 72.00 6.72

      Summary: 3410 $4.94 49.40 1.45


      Monday - Wednesday: It was crazy - I would go from insane bad beats to winning massive multi-way pots with the nuts. A bit swingy for my liking but not really due to playing bad poker, just variance I guess, insane variance.

      The rest of the week was fine - I played very solidly and hit a very nice purple patch on Sunday.

      I plan on doing I more thorough analysis tomorrow to determine my actual performance regarding decisions made. I feel it is a truer reflection of performance than merely calculating profit/loss figures. I can also determine my leaks.

      That said it was a rather positive week and although I didn't reach my quota of 4000 hands (due to not playing much on the weekend), I am satisfied (for now).

      Review of goals:
      • Post 5-10 hands - not achieved. Posted about 4 hands and will post more tomorrow
      • Re-read silver articles - achieved
      • Analyze hands - not yet achieved. Will do tomorrow
       All in all probably not so good but considering it was my first week of "focused" poker - it's not so bad.:D Onward we go! @ jmackenzie: Thanks for showing interest and for your positive remarks! ;) Regarding the goals: I completely agree with you concerning the money targets (it tends to create unrealistic expectations), but the hands target is more of a "soft-goal". A target I use to make sure I make time to play poker regularly. For if I don't make time, I probably won't play very much. :( Cheers and I will look into posting some graphs. :P
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      Wow, apparently I'm finding great difficulty in updating this blog! Well slowly (well snail pace) but surely this blog is getting started - now if I could only stay committed!

      About two weeks have passed since my last update. In that time things have progressed and I feel as though I'm slowly reaching consistency in NL10. Yes there are still a few mistakes here and there, but I'm becoming far more disciplined than I was a month back.

      I will begin by first overviewing the previous two weeks

      Week 10-16 Nov

      Hands played: 3410 Overall $: 4.94 BB/100: 1.45

      Analysis:

      I mostly played very consistently and achieved consitent results; excepting two bad sessions (one of which was very painful). The very few mistakes I did make, prevented me from making an even bigger profit. Though it must be said the session on Wednesday 12 Nov, consisted of many bad beats.

      Bad plays


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is CO with Q:club: , K:heart:
      5 folds, MP3 raises to $0.20, Hero raises to $0.50, 3 folds, MP3 calls $0.30.

      Flop: ($1.15) 4:club: , 3:spade: , 9:club: (2 players)
      MP3 bets $1.10, Hero raises to $1.35 (All-In), MP3 calls $0.25.

      Turn: ($3.85) J:club:
      River: ($3.85) J:diamond: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.85

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows a pair of jacks (Qc Kh)
      MP3 shows two pairs, jacks and eights (8s 8d)

      MP3 wins with two pairs, jacks and eights (8s 8d)

      This was probably my worst played hand of the week and frankly no comments need to be made!


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is SB with 9:spade: , Q:spade:
      3 folds, MP2 calls $0.10, MP3 folds, CO calls $0.10, BU folds, Hero calls $0.05, BB checks.

      Flop: ($0.40) 9:club: , 8:heart: , 9:heart: (4 players)
      Hero bets $0.50, BB raises to $1.00, 2 folds, Hero raises to $1.79 (All-In), BB calls $0.79.

      Turn: ($3.98) T:heart:
      River: ($3.98) 7:heart: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.98

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows three of a kind, nines (9s Qs)
      BB shows a straight, ten high (6c 8c)

      BB wins with a straight, ten high (6c 8c)

      This is the perfect example of a great catch gone incredibly wrong via a bad play! Voice of eternal wisdom: "never slowplay monsters!"


      Cool SSS moments:


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with J:heart: , J:spade:
      Hero raises to $0.40, UTG1 raises to $0.70, 8 folds, Hero raises to $1.00, UTG1 calls $0.30.

      Flop: ($2.15) T:club: , Q:club: , 5:heart: (2 players)
      Hero raises $1.00 (All-In), UTG1 calls $1.00.

      Turn: ($4.15) A:heart:
      River: ($4.15) T:diamond: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $4.15

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows two pairs, jacks and tens (Jh Js)
      UTG1 shows a pair of tens (3d Kh)

      Hero wins with two pairs, jacks and tens (Jh Js)

      Two-outer pot-odds call?


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is MP3 with Q:spade: , Q:heart:
      UTG folds, UTG1 calls $0.10, 2 folds, MP2 calls $0.10, Hero raises to $0.60, CO calls $0.60, BU folds, SB raises to $1.88 (All-In), BB folds, UTG1 calls $1.78, MP2 folds, Hero raises to $2.30 (All-In), CO calls $1.70, UTG1 calls $0.42.

      Flop: ($8.98) 6:heart: , 4:diamond: , Q:diamond: (2 players)
      UTG1 checks, CO bets $1.00, UTG1 calls $1.00.

      Turn: ($10.98) 5:heart: (2 players)
      UTG1 checks, CO bets $2.80, UTG1 raises to $2.73 (All-In).

      River: ($16.51) 8:heart: (4 players)


      Final Pot: $16.51

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows three of a kind, queens (Qs Qh)
      SB shows high card ace with king kicker (Ad Kc)
      CO shows a pair of threes (3c 3s)
      UTG1 shows a pair of sixes (Ks 6c)

      Hero wins with three of a kind, queens (Qs Qh)

      I sure love the calls by CO and UTG1!

      Bad beats:


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is SB with K:spade: , K:diamond:
      4 folds, MP3 raises to $0.30, 2 folds, Hero raises to $1.90 (All-In), BB folds, MP3 calls $1.60.

      Flop: ($3.90) Q:diamond: , 5:club: , 4:diamond:
      Turn: ($3.90) 2:diamond:
      River: ($3.90) A:club: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.90

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows a pair of kings (Ks Kd)
      MP3 shows a straight, five high (As 3s)

      MP3 wins with a straight, five high (As 3s)

      Maniacs I spit on you!

      Summary:

      Overall I think I played quite well and didn't make many mistakes. The mistakes I did make were outrageous and I think at the time I knew very well that I was being an idiot. Therefore I couldn't identify too many leaks in this week's analysis.

      Possible leaks: stealing too many hands, Conti-betting a tad too much.

      Positives: played with good discipline

      Rating: 8/10


      I will follow with the next week's analysis...
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      Week 17 - 23 Nov

      Hands played: 2230 Overall $: 4.79 BB/100: 2.15

      Analysis:

      This week also went particularly well. I started the week with two back-to-back bad sessions. Whilst feeling frustrated I pushed on and hit a mini purple patch, three consecqutive profit sessions. This is probably one of the keys in poker: Stop playing when it's going rough, but also quickly start anew with a positively reinforced frame of mind!
      My only real criticism of this week lies in the amount of hands played. I really feel that I should at least be playing 3000-3500 hands, optimally 4000+ hands.

      Bad plays:



      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (7 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 8:heart: , J:club:
      3 folds, CO calls $0.10, 2 folds, Hero checks.

      Flop: ($0.25) 9:club: , J:spade: , J:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO checks.

      Turn: ($0.25) 7:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.20, CO raises to $0.40, Hero raises to $1.00, CO raises to $1.60, Hero raises to $1.85 (All-In), CO calls $0.25.

      River: ($3.95) 6:diamond: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.95

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows three of a kind, jacks (8h Jc)
      CO shows a straight, jack high (8d Td)

      CO wins with a straight, jack high (8d Td)


      Again with the slow-playing. Damnit!! :evil:



      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is MP1 with A:diamond: , K:heart:
      2 folds, UTG2 calls $0.10, Hero raises to $0.50, 3 folds, BU calls $0.50, 2 folds, UTG2 calls $0.40.

      Flop: ($1.65) 6:spade: , T:club: , 8:diamond: (3 players)
      UTG2 checks, Hero checks, BU bets $0.78, UTG2 folds, Hero raises to $1.25 (All-In), BU calls $0.47.

      Turn: ($4.15) 9:heart:
      River: ($4.15) 6:diamond: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $4.15

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows a pair of sixes (Ad Kh)
      BU shows two pairs, nines and eights (8h 9s)

      BU wins with two pairs, nines and eights (8h 9s)


      Here I really should have c-bet and then check/fold. This is a typical play by the big-stacks on NL10 - they'll call with trash and then call a c-bet on the flop with top-pair (no kicker) or even second pair. But still it pays to c-bet in this type of situation.

      The next hand illustrate their playing style:


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is BB with A:club: , K:diamond:
      3 folds, MP1 calls $0.10, 2 folds, CO calls $0.10, BU calls $0.10, SB calls $0.05, Hero raises to $0.80, MP1 folds, CO calls $0.70, 2 folds.

      Flop: ($1.90) 8:club: , 9:diamond: , 2:club: (2 players)
      Hero raises $1.00 (All-In), CO calls $1.00.

      Turn: ($3.90) 8:diamond:
      River: ($3.90) 7:club: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.90

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows a pair of eights (Ac Kd)
      CO shows two pairs, nines and eights (9h Kc)

      CO wins with two pairs, nines and eights (9h Kc)


      Cool SSS moments:



      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is CO with K:spade: , K:club:
      UTG1 folds, UTG2 raises to $0.80, 3 folds, Hero raises to $1.70 (All-In), 3 folds, UTG2 calls $0.90.

      Flop: ($3.55) 4:diamond: , 7:heart: , J:heart:
      Turn: ($3.55) Q:heart:
      River: ($3.55) 2:club: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.55

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows a pair of kings (Ks Kc)
      UTG2 shows a pair of threes (3h 3s)

      Hero wins with a pair of kings (Ks Kc)


      Hehe!! :D


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is CO with Q:diamond: , Q:club:
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.40, BU calls $0.40, SB folds, BB calls $0.30.

      Flop: ($1.25) 7:club: , J:club: , 7:diamond: (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero raises $1.40 (All-In), BU calls $1.40, BB folds.

      Turn: ($4.05) T:diamond:
      River: ($4.05) 4:spade: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $4.05

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows two pairs, queens and sevens (Qd Qc)
      BU shows two pairs, tens and sevens (9h Ts)

      Hero wins with two pairs, queens and sevens (Qd Qc)


      Awesome air dude!! ;)


      Bad beats:


      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is CO with 8:heart: , 8:club:
      UTG2 calls $0.10, 2 folds, MP3 calls $0.10, Hero raises to $0.60, 4 folds, MP3 raises to $1.10, Hero raises to $1.55 (All-In), MP3 calls $0.45.

      Flop: ($3.35) 3:club: , 9:diamond: , 4:spade:
      Turn: ($3.35) 6:spade:
      River: ($3.35) Q:club: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $3.35

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows a pair of eights (8h 8c)
      MP3 shows a pair of nines (9c Kc)

      MP3 wins with a pair of nines (9c Kc)


      Wouldn't really have bothered me if I lost this hand, but considering what I lost to...



      Very lucky escape:



      0.05/0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.62 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is CO with Q:diamond: , K:diamond:
      UTG calls $0.10, 3 folds, MP2 raises to $0.20, MP3 folds, Hero raises to $0.60, 4 folds, MP2 raises to $1.00, Hero raises to $2.00 (All-In), MP2 calls $1.00.

      Flop: ($4.25) 2:heart: , 8:diamond: , T:heart:
      Turn: ($4.25) K:club:
      River: ($4.25) Q:heart: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $4.25

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows two pairs, kings and queens (Qd Kd)
      MP2 shows a pair of aces (Ac Ah)

      Hero wins with two pairs, kings and queens (Qd Kd)


      Yeah well sometimes the poker gods look past your indiscretions and reward you!! :tongue: I imagine the victim will be posting this hand under his "bad beat" section.


      Summary

      The week was quite a rollcoaster: diving down and then climbing back up quite nicely. Mostly this was just due to variance and not really due to bad play. Again a few mistakes which I'll look into, but nothing major I feel.

      Possible leaks: The one or two hands where I know better but choose the wrong play.


      Positives: Consitency. Adjusting negative outlook and recovering losses


      Rating: 7/10


      I think this "double post" should make up a bit for my recent lack of posting. My next post will be on Wednesday - I will be posting some of the hands played this week so far.

      Cheers guys, good luck and great riches to all (except if you happen to play NL10 on party, hehe!)
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      Well I was planning on posting yesterday ( Wednesday) but then the unforeseen happened - my onboard lan decided it would a good time to bomb. The network is just plain simply gone, as if it never had existed! The motherboard is under warranty so that isn't really a problem, it's just now I probably won't have my pc for the next few days. I am quite astonished, I haven't ever heard of a similar case before, where the onboard lan just died - I mean everthing else on the mobo is fine!

      Due to this I haven't been able to play much poker obviously. I'm typing this on a work pc which doesn't allow me to install anything. I really hope to get this sorted quickly, so that I can continue my poker journey.

      The one session I did manage to play (Monday when my lan was still working), was a complete disaster! I ended something like $7 in the red over about 600 or so hands. I don't have the stats with me - formatted my pc and haven't reinstalled everything. There weren't really so many bad beats, it was a case of being card dead. I had minimal playable hands and everytime I did have something, either there would be too much action or I wouldn't hit the flop. I feel I played quite good and didn't make any mistakes that I can think of. I will be analyzing it thoroughly once I get everything up and running again.

      Computers - ingenious invention, but don't you just sometimes hate them?!