Running Free (From the Micros)

    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      So, I have decided to join the BR challenge, since I have more or less a free month alone in my flat, on vacation, before my Schoolyear starts. I have played about 7000 hands up to now, but I'll start again from 0 hands.

      I play mostly 2 tables of 2NL Zoom, it keeps my mind busy enough not to second-guess myself, and Zoom is perfect for getting the fundamentals right (even though it's a bit tougher).

      Initial BR: 24.72€
      Objective: 1000€

      Have fun at the tables!
  • 19 replies
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      It's been a hell of a couple of days.

      I was doing kinda well at 2NL 2-table Zoom, and got to about 25€. Then, I decided to take a 1BI shot at NL5. I know it's really really wrong, but I figured that I was more or less safe grinding 2NL, so I could make up for the loss of that 1BI, and it would be a great way to test the waters, and learn something. Plus, I have no hurry on getting to my bankroll goal, and I do this purley to have fun, so I figured it was +"entertainment EV", even though it was not really +"game EV". I just had to make sure that I had the discipline to quit if I lost that BI.

      The thing is, I ran pretty well for the first 700 hands or so, and got up to about 40€. 5NL is not actually so different from 2NL, except people are generally tighter, so the open-raising and the c-betting work wonders against non-regulars. That's what went right. What went wrong is that the regulars are better. There are not many players at 5NL in PokerStars.es, and therefore there were moments where the zoom tables were something like 5 Regs, 4 Sorta good players, and 5 Fish. Really small fishpond, and I should have quitted when I could. That cost me a bout 10€.

      Today, I got my queens cracked by 33, and it got me tilted. I started making calls when my gut told me that "he has a full, fold you set" on the river, and now, after about 2500 hands at 5NL, here I am, almost where I started:

      Hands played: About 2500
      Bankroll: 23.78€
      Delta: -0.96€

      Now, I have two questions:
      - Should I pay attention to my gut when it tells me that I'm beaten, even though I have a monster? I am fairly inexperienced (less than 10k hands), so I don't know if my intuition is correct. Also, I hate playing on feel, so I hope to improve my hand reading skills - fast. That's actually top priority for me.
      - Should I take another shot at 5NL, by table -selecting better, quitting bad games, and just quitting when I tilt?

      Thanks for reading trough the wall of text.

      Good luck at the tables!
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,108
      He kerith,

      welcome to our BR challenge! We're always waiting for your report and sick stories from the tables!
      If you decide to posts graphs or single hands with specific questions, this will for sure benefit the discussion (as a microstakes player you have a bit of a handicap vs our highstakes sharks!)

      For your questions:

      - You play microstakes. Players here often are honest. If they raise you BIG, they have it. So if someone pushes allin after flop :Kh: :9h: :8c: and turn :Jc: on the river :Qh: - then i would strongly tend to believe the flush on microstakes.
      Have a look at this gem, it might be a help for you: http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/bss/2361/1/

      - Playing on certain stakes is a very personal question. With 4-5 stacks, there is a certain and certainly not small risk to loose all. This said, if you are good in learning games and have a job that can support the loss of the 24$, then go ahead. If you are insecure and would probably get in bad mood about loosing that money - stay on NL2!

      CU,SvenBe
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      So, this is my monday:

      Hands played: About 7500 (can't say for sure, SideKick crashed at one point and lost the records)
      Bankroll: 15€
      Delta: -8.78€



      So... yeah. I played a lot, played poorly sometimes, and had bad luck. Mostly this downswing is because:

      • I try to push people out of hands, with air. This is obviously a mistake, especially at the micros, since most people can't fold top pair or better.
      • I stack off too lightly when a short-stack open-shoves. I called these shoves with something like AJ+, TT+, which is too often dominated.
      • Calling shoves on the river, or getting called when I try to push people off on the river.
      • So, as much as I have improved my hand-reading an post-flop plays, most of my value goes down the drain.


      To combat this, the measures I will try to take are:

      • Tape my sessions, and record myself commentating on them. I am expecting a lot of "Wow, why the hell did I do that???" moments. I will also upload and post them here, just in case someone is interested.
      • I am going to play poker with a calculator in front of me. Like an actual physical calculator. I feel like a lot of the time I get lost estimating my odds, so I end up calling the turn or something like that, just to see the river.
      • I will take a 5 minutebreak after losing a big pot, or making a bad move, just to cool off.


      Good luck at the tables :)
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109


      Tonight's update:
      Hands played: About 300
      Bankroll: 15.80€
      Delta: +0.80€

      I really liked my play today, especially because I had to talk trough the plays, and that made me realize that some spots where I would have just given away money. I played really tight, maybe too tight, but for now I refer it that way.
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      Had a phenomenal run today (really awesome luck):
      Hands played: About 1000
      Bankroll: 36.53€
      Delta: +20.73€


      I have switched to regular 6-max tables, 2 in 2NL or 1 in 5NL. I think that, besides running really really hot, my game is progressing, and I am finally developping a shorthand for notetaking, which is great.

      I find that, when I really really concentrate, I feel more confident, and that can lead the wrong path. That's why afet losing a medium pot, I always rest for about 5 minutes. I think that helps me play better.

      Although I find it very exhausting, I think I will stick to 1-tabling 5NL, and taking tons of notes.
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      I'm back at 15€...
      Honestly I have improved a ton, I am thinking about my opponents, the hand, the board, the stack sizes... But two things happened:

      • I took a shot at NL10, and found that the games are really easier there, if you know when to x/raise. However, I took a bad beat:
        PokerStars - €0.10 NL (6 max) ZOOM - Holdem - 6 players
        Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

        BTN: €9.26
        Hero (SB): €13.17
        BB: €7.50
        UTG: €14.05
        MP: €9.32
        CO: €16.30

        Hero posts SB €0.05, BB posts BB €0.10

        Pre Flop: (pot: €0.15) Hero has K:club: A:club:

        fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to €0.35, Hero raises to €1.20, BB calls €1.10, BTN calls €0.85

        Flop: (€3.60, 3 players) A:spade: 8:heart: 6:spade:
        Hero bets €3.41, BB calls €3.41, fold

        Turn: (€10.42, 2 players) 5:heart:
        Hero bets €8.56 and is all-in, BB calls €2.89 and is all-in

        River: (€16.20, 2 players) 2:heart:

        Hero shows K:club: A:club: (One Pair, Aces) (Pre 71%, Flop 89%, Turn 93%)
        BB shows A:diamond: 2:diamond: (Two Pair, Aces and Twos) (Pre 29%, Flop 11%, Turn 7%)
        BB wins €15.37


        ... And that got me tilted. I screwed up, and ended up at 15€, which is my stoploss for taken shots.

      • The second thing is that I really really get confused playing the turn and the river, I feel that my preflop and flop play is solid, but I really think that I loose equity on later streets.


      All in all, I am pretty sick of poker right now, because I can only play 2NL, but hey, you have to do what you have to do.

      Cheers,
      Kerith
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      I think I am not going to take any more shots, and will follow the following BRM method:

      • 2-100€ -> 2NL
      • 100-250€ -> 5NL
      • 250€ - 500€ -> 10NL


      I think that playing in 2NL tilts me wayy less, son I will be able to play better.

      I will take building a 100€ BR as a minichallenge inside the bigger BR challenge.

      I am sorry for all the complaining, but after a big losing session... well, better to get the feelings out.
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      A level up moment, right after having my aces cracked by KK, and my not straight sucked out on the river:

      Level up:
      PokerStars - €0.02 NL (6 max) ZOOM - Holdem - 6 players
      Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

      BTN: €5.45
      SB: €2.62
      Hero (BB): €2.22
      UTG: €1.21
      MP: €2.01
      CO: €1.99

      SB posts SB €0.01, Hero posts BB €0.02

      Pre Flop: (pot: €0.03) Hero has J:heart: J:diamond:

      UTG raises to €0.04, fold, CO calls €0.04, BTN raises to €0.10, fold, Hero raises to €0.28, fold, fold, BTN calls €0.18

      Flop: (€0.65, 2 players) 2:heart: 5:spade: 2:spade:
      Hero bets €0.41, BTN raises to €5.17 and is all-in, Hero calls €1.53 and is all-in

      Turn: (€4.53, 2 players) J:spade:

      River: (€4.53, 2 players) A:diamond:

      Hero shows J:heart: J:diamond: (Full House, Jacks full of Twos) (Pre 57%, Flop 72%, Turn 100%)
      BTN shows A:spade: Q:club: (Two Pair, Aces and Twos) (Pre 43%, Flop 28%, Turn 0%)
      Hero wins €4.34

      Comment:
      This is a level-up hand, as simple as it may seem, because it's one of the first hands that hand reading skills earn me money.
      The reasoning was: I 4-bet with JJ, since I am fine with a MW pot (then I'd be set mining), and I'm also fine with BU calling. If BU 5betted, I would have assumed he had something like : AK+, QQ+, and would have folded.
      Since he called, I guessed that he had to have somehting like AT+, KJ+, 99-JJ. Postflop, I bet, and he raises all-in. Since he did't raise preflop, I guess that he can't have a pp bigger than mine, and thus he completely missed the flop, and he is buffing.

      It may seem obvious to many, but it's a great achievement for me.
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      Results for week of 21-28/09/2015 (Week 3)

      Hands played: 7092 (Sidekick works again)
      Bankroll before: 24€
      Bankroll: 26.73€
      Delta: +2.73€
    • la55i
      la55i
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 27.01.2013 Posts: 5,292
      You have a nice blog here :) I watched your video.. Loved that AQ 3bet "oh shit, what do I do now" hand :f_biggrin: I could give you my thoughts of that hand. First of all I'm not sure if we should 3bet AQo vs 3 players and out of position. Maybe it is ok but your bet size is too small. Standard 3bet size would be 3x open + 1x every call, so your 3bet size should have been 0,3€ instead of 0,18€, maybe a bit less is fine too. Second thing is that our cbet is waaaaaay too small to get any of them to fold, it should be at least 1/2 pot, preferably even more. Third, when we get raised the pot is already 1,4€ and we have to call just 0,22€. I think we can't fold here. Keep up the good work. :)
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      Hey :) Thanks for reading the blog, I really appreciate it.

      About the AQ hand... well, I just went back and re-watched it, and it was hilarious!! You are absolutely right, looking at it now I would definitely fold preflop as a first option, and if I squeezed it's got to be waay bigger.

      The hand was totally off, and I don't even think I should cbet, but well, another thing learned :) Thanks for the pointer, and of course your thoughts, you just saved me lots of money on future squeezes.
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      New week, really not much time to play (I really had to try hard to not play when coming tired from Uni)

      Results for week 4

      Hands played: about 400
      Bankroll before: 26.73€
      Bankroll: 26.41€
      Delta: -0.32€
    • forexas11
      forexas11
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.12.2011 Posts: 38
      Originally posted by kerith
      It's been a hell of a couple of days.

      I was doing kinda well at 2NL 2-table Zoom, and got to about 25€. Then, I decided to take a 1BI shot at NL5. I know it's really really wrong, but I figured that I was more or less safe grinding 2NL, so I could make up for the loss of that 1BI, and it would be a great way to test the waters, and learn something. Plus, I have no hurry on getting to my bankroll goal, and I do this purley to have fun, so I figured it was +"entertainment EV", even though it was not really +"game EV". I just had to make sure that I had the discipline to quit if I lost that BI.

      The thing is, I ran pretty well for the first 700 hands or so, and got up to about 40€. 5NL is not actually so different from 2NL, except people are generally tighter, so the open-raising and the c-betting work wonders against non-regulars. That's what went right. What went wrong is that the regulars are better. There are not many players at 5NL in PokerStars.es, and therefore there were moments where the zoom tables were something like 5 Regs, 4 Sorta good players, and 5 Fish. Really small fishpond, and I should have quitted when I could. That cost me a bout 10€.

      Today, I got my queens cracked by 33, and it got me tilted. I started making calls when my gut told me that "he has a full, fold you set" on the river, and now, after about 2500 hands at 5NL, here I am, almost where I started:

      Hands played: About 2500
      Bankroll: 23.78€
      Delta: -0.96€

      Now, I have two questions:
      - Should I pay attention to my gut when it tells me that I'm beaten, even though I have a monster? I am fairly inexperienced (less than 10k hands), so I don't know if my intuition is correct. Also, I hate playing on feel, so I hope to improve my hand reading skills - fast. That's actually top priority for me.
      - Should I take another shot at 5NL, by table -selecting better, quitting bad games, and just quitting when I tilt?

      Thanks for reading trough the wall of text.

      Good luck at the tables!
      Hey, Kerith,

      I enjoyed reading your blog. I have my notice on gut. I think you should listening it as much as you can. Gut is very important skill, in the future it will make you the opportunity to make impossible calls and win. As we all know it, poker can be played by rules, but there is a factor of luck. If your gut is running good, you should listen to it, although if it not, then avoid it. When you're playing poker, if you're starting player, I think its good to not listen to your guts, cause good players can manipulate that, leaving you a room for mistakes. At the beginning best way is to learn basics. Also, you shouldn't listen to your gut at the start of the game, because gut is like sum of many details. To get those details you need to watch your opponents and make some notes, best way to do that - turn off your head for first one or two hours and play simple plain poker, then you will start to notice things, that you wasn't able to see before. Online poker also has it's tells, very often its how much player bets - preflop, on flop, on turn, on river. If you pay close attention, you will see that there are players, for example: if a player have a good combination, he bets 1/2 pot every street till the river or very often you can find players, which bets small on every street if they have a draw. When this kinda of look starts, then you should listen your gut as much as you can, there a lot more tells in online poker, and when you combine your attention and gut felling, you starting to play at "hard" level. I hope you got my idea, have fun!
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,108
      He kerith,

      how is it going? Did you agree with forexas advice?
      I anyways wanted to come here to ask for an update for the BR challenge - or still too busy to play? You can also at anytime request holidays from the challenge,too.

      Here is the reporting thread: Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread

      CU,SvenBe
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      I'm sorry for not answering, I really have been busy. I think I'll have to request holidays, yes. Before that, a quick update on last week:

      Hands played: 480
      Bankroll before: 26.41€
      Bankroll: 27.71€
      Delta: +1.30€
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      @forexas, Really love this sentence you say about the gut:

      " because gut is like sum of many details"

      So, if I understand correctly, what you mean is that the gut may be able to "notice" things that the conscious mind doesn't, and thus can help make better decissions, and that's why you tell to play a couple hours before listening to your gut, because your mind has to be "loaded" with all those details.

      The problem with beginning players like me is that our brains are not yet trained to detect (even subconsciously) those details, or even to know what they are! That's why can't trust our gut as often. My guess is that, as we train more, our instinct will develop, and we'll be able to recognize patterns more easily, like timing and sizing tells, etc. Furthermore, even though our gut may be right, I probably won't adjust correctly, and will end un screwing worse xD , so that's why I prefer to try to ignore my gut, at least for now.

      However, your point remains totally valid, I'm just not at that development stage yet.
    • vonki
      vonki
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      Would be a shame if you had to go on vacation, just found your blog and i loooove them BR challenges... GL to you!! :f_thumbsup: :f_love:
    • kerith
      kerith
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.07.2015 Posts: 109
      I unfortunately cannot put the volume in right now, on a good week I can crank out about 2000 hands, and that's not really gonna get me very far.

      HOWEVER, whenever I play, I love to record myself, and so I will post videos here whenever I can:



      Good luck at the tables!
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,108
      He kerith,

      how is it going? Back from your BR-challenge holidays?
      The video did not get much exposure, maybe if you do another one we can mention it in our weekly recap news :-)