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Life is what happens in between

    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Hey guys. How is it going? :welcome:

      After a long time thinking about it - I've decided to call a blog "Life is what happens in between". That's inspired by the lyrics of one of the most epic and goose-bump-generating songs called "Dash" of one of best ever and one my most favorite guitar player Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. This song always made me choke, stop and look around...

      Anyways, without further ado - let me introduce myself...
      Background and bio
      My name is Jay. It's been several months since I begun this blog and still couldn't find time to update it with some bio/background information. There always was something more important to do and still there is. But I'm having a break now and I'm in the middle of the tough patch in life - it makes sense to take some time and write it down. For my own sake perhaps, even if no one else is going to read it - at least I'll look back to how my life went, what I've done, what I could've done better or at least try to, and maybe it'll help me to find my way into the future. So here it is - Jay's story.

      Origins and early life

      I was born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Well, at that time it was called Leningrad, USSR. Both of my parents are Armenians and come from Yerevan, Armenia. At that point it was one of the Soviet Republics, so it was quite easy to move around at will. So my parents did - after they got married in 1979 and I was born in 1980. So for whole my life I had both sides in me - Armenian and Russian languages, culture, traditions, education etc. Of course at some point Armenian part was suppressed, perhaps after I went to school when I was 7. Still I can understand almost everything in Armenian (well, sometimes it's complicated with dialects), can speak more or less (with childish accent though, as some of my friends have noticed) and can't read at all, except for couple of letters.

      Let's go back a little to add some more confusion. My parents gave me a Polish name Andrzej. It became Andzhey in my international passport - and that's impossible to pronounce for most of English-spoken people. Actually it came from Rolling Stone's song "Angie" - which is of course a girl's name, but my parents liked the sound of it so much that they picked up the name as close to is as possible. They still call me exactly as it goes in the song - it does sound more like "Angei" than "Angie" though. Basically it consist of two parts "And-Jay" - so most of people I know call me either "And" (which is more shifted towards Russian language) or "Jay" (which is more English).

      My brother joined us in 1982 and we lived together as a family for 20 years until I left to study. Well, that happened much later of course. I would say my childhood was as happy as it could be. Only later when I grew up I had a chance to compare my family and my parents to other people and I learned how blessed I was. We had good times and tough times, but we always stayed strong and fought through everything as a family.

      Guess who's the happiest boy in the middle?
      Education and career

      Kindergarten was the worst of all I remember of that time. And thank God - I remember a little of it. Perhaps I was too young to socialize with people plus I was more Armenian-oriented kid too - my parents didn't speak Russian too good, and they still are not perfect. The school was much better - I was a smart kid, not physical though, but my mind helped me to handle the surroundings. I still remember one particular teacher - she was picking on me ALL the time no matter how good I was, just because I wasn't her nationality. She actually was a Russian-language class teacher and I was always one of the best students - that didn't stop her. That's how at age 8-9 I was taught about "the difference" and hated that since. All people are equal - that's what I've learned and it's rooted deeply in my conscience.

      When I was in the last year of the school - I still wasn't sure what am I going to do after. The last couple of years I moved to another school and there was this old lady - physic's teacher. And she was great - firing up interesting in physics in all of us, but perhaps the most - in me. I was fascinated by the simple yet complicated laws of nature that surrounded us. And they were expressed with math the way it could be broken down to smallest bits and digested. I am still thankful to that woman - she's one of the main reasons my life went THIS way, not some OTHER way.

      So after the school I passed exams and ended up in Physics department of Saint-Petersburg State University. Actually, my uncle was a physicist too - but I met him once in several years so he didn't impact my decision. But afterwards when I was choosing the direction to go in physics - he came up with a well timed visit. I was hesitating between Astrophysics and Nuclear physics - didn't know which is more interesting - the smallest objects in our Universe or the most gigantic. And he was the nuclear physicist, gave me some books and advice. One of the book was especially fascinating - it was called "Quarks: The Stuff of Matter" - and oh boy, I was blown away. I immediately signed up for nuclear physics and never looked back.

      I had such a great time in University. Met my future wife on the first day. Met friends I still appreciate. Had the education - or I would rather say - the work-ethic, or even more precisely - learn-ethic - that is still in me. It was a great time indeed, well, probably, it's always great when you're 17-18 years old, full of energy, hope and bright future lies front of you.

      After a while I ended up in the laboratory group that was working with ALICE experiment on the LHC. In the end of 2002 I went to CERN, Switzerland to work for a month. Since then I spent more than a year total over almost 10 years of my scientific career at CERN. Looking back now - it was amazing. The LHC was on it's way, we had tons of work to prepare and simulate events, and the whole world was mine. I traveled all over the Europe, participating schools and conferences. One of the greatest experiences were the night-shifts in the actual ALICE/LHC control room during the test-runs, those monitor setups and blocks of code are what science meant to me.

      The problem was - that didn't allow me to move out from Russia with my wife and son - so that brings us to the year 2011 when I got my PhD. Before I do that though - there are some other topics and passions of mine I'd like to shed light to.

      I don't quite remember exactly how old I was when I got my first guitar. It's around 10-12 years old. The guitar was terrible of course, piece of wood came from Soviet timber company or something. After seeing us fooling around for a while my father hired a teacher for me and my brother. Actually I've always dreamed of being a drummer. But around that time I was listening to Deep Purple and decided to give it a shot. After some lessons of making stupid guitar noises and singing nonsense songs I realized it has nothing to do with the music I loved. So teachers didn't help much but I've discovered a book called "Rock Improvisation". There were guitar solos from the great rock hits including (finally!) Deep Purple - so I dove in. Now... if you think about the guitar I had... with thick metal strings... my actual age... the whole complexity of the music I was trying to play... those sleepless nights in the kitchen when I was doing that trying not to wake others with my "music"... it's kinda crazy. I still remember the time when I had deep cuts on couple of my fingertips and I had to fix them with the ducktape so they won't bleed... Geez... But I was having fun of my life and eventually learned to play some of those solos.

      Electric guitar came into our home when I was around 17 years old. It was whole new world of course and the books were already torn to pieces. Bit later I've discovered music other than Deep Purple, more guitar-oriented too - virtuosos like Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, later bit different guys like Andy Timmons (who's signature model I actually ended up buying), Nuno Bettencourt, Steve Salas - I mean, I could go on and on forever. At that time I joined my first band and also begun to compose some simple music. I played in public too, it was lots of fun. Later in around 2005 I was invited to a first more or less serious band called Athruta as a lead guitarist. The music they've played wasn't the type I enjoyed the most - but I took the opportunity to take part in a serious project. We had couple of great years playing on several festivals and actually releasing one cover-song in a 2CD album. We had some of our own songs and were doing some records but then again - it's all had to stop at some point.

      After 2011 I shifted more towards classical music, discovering another beautiful world of classical acoustic guitar. My experience and background allowed my to catch up pretty quickly and I'm happy with the pieces I am able to perform, but I realize how much time I have lost, so I'm not having any illusions of becoming a really high-class guitar player. But... anyway - music and guitar take a special place in my heart, and they always will.


      I never was a physically advanced kid. But I was always fearless and competitive - to some extent. I was always motivated and driven to become "the best in the yard" in whatever I did - the problem was - it stopped at that point. I mean - after reaching certain level I would consider my mission completed and move on to the next one. At first it was soccer - me and my brother were always one of the best players. My technique was always my focus - I wasn't strongest or fastest on the field, but smartest and quickest - for sure. Then there was ice-hockey - although I've never played on real ice. It was just a substitution for soccer for winter season - we were cleaning a yard, stomping and pushing the snow around till it was flat and slippery. Then we were playing damn hockey! Me and friend of mine became Gretzky and Boure - destroying everyone who tried to play games with us. I also loved to play as a goalkeeper - took my mother's old wide boots and was a goalie no one wanted to face.

      When I was 14 I suddenly became a HUGE basketball fan. Again - I wasn't tall at all, my highest was around 175 cm, but damn I was so into it. I was playing days and nights and soon became "the best in the yard" again. At the age of 19 in the University I reached my best shape - and I was able to touch the rim when I jumped. I was also asked to play in a Uni-team once but at that time I was focused on some other stuff.

      I might add Go and Poker to this list I guess. Go is the ancient Chinise game which I fell in love with when I was a kid but never had a chance to learn or play up until I was around 25 years old. Me and my wife went from zeros to decent kyu levels in months with no help and ended up organizing a whole Go club in University, which was the best free student club in whole Russia. I was doing the coachings too, some of my students went as high as 2nd place in Russian Go Championships and high places in European Pair Championships.

      I think poker deserves it's own section in this bio and I will come back to it later in this post.
      Programming and gaming
      Being competitive and a gamer in my heart and soul for whole my life - I was also fascinated with computers and programming. I think first sort of a computer I got was when I was less than 10 years old. The name was ENTERPRISE and it looked like this.

      It had built-in BASIC interpreter (not even a compiler) and a HUGE manual in English which I didn't know of course. I still remember those days I spent deciphering the manual, learning the languages (both English and Basic) on my own and those moments of happiness when the code actually worked... But anyways... I got carried away as always... Fast forward like 25 years, skipping tons of programming for fun, FORTRAN for science, Perl for both science and Web, C++ in CERN and then for fun again... to this day... In 2015 Unity (and Unreal Engine too, but I stick with Unity) announced their free-to-use license and I jumped in, refreshing my knowledge of C# and OOP (it's "object oriented programming" this time, not the "out of position" ) and fueled by my passion towards gaming. I've created several basic applications and "games". And now I found couple of interesting start up projects with reasonably deep game mechanics etc - and I'm eager to dive into it again.
      Family and Germany

      This is the toughest part to analyze and explain. And the most personal...

      As I've mentioned I've met my future wife in 1997, she was the smartest and of course most beautiful in our group. We got together a couple of years later and got married in 2003 - I went for the honey moon to work in CERN right after! Of course I worked my way through the system and the same Summer we had a great two months back in CERN - together this time. She also went on with her career, choosing theoretical physics - quantum mechanics to be more precise. But she wasn't as lucky as I was in terms of career - so while I was traveling around she had couple of conferences and not much more. And although I had a good things going on in CERN and future was bright - I knew she's way smarter than me and she deserved a chance of her own.

      Our son Rin was born in 2008. Now it wasn't just about me and her - it was about our kid too. He was struggling with environment too - food, weather, etc. So even physically we knew it is better to get away from our country as soon as possible. Now, don't get me wrong. Our Homeland did both good and bad to us - we never were huge patriots, but my wife being a Russian - probably is less patriot than I am, being not-Russian. Go figure.

      Anyways - our plan was - we're going to get our PhD's around 2010-2011 and we're going to look for a post-doc position abroad. Several factors came in - but basically my wife found a decent spot here in Germany. CERN was "here and there" basically - I was associate researcher and couldn't get a long-term position at that time - Russia wasn't a full-part member of collaboration, more like a sidekick. So we decided to give it a chance in Germany - it was a one year position and we could work our things through from there.

      So in January 2011 at age of 30 (and kid was 2 years old) we sat in our car and drove to Germany to our new life. It looked like a dream but came out to be a nightmare in some ways. First of all - we had no idea what's in there for us next year. Every year we hoped for another year - and we actually got it. But you can imagine how tough it is to settle down when you have no clue about the future. We begun studying Deutsch, then we stopped, the continued - etc. Then - me and a kid. I was going to take care of him and find a job when we find a Kindergarten. Well, I didn't have the permission to work until 2014. OK, so 3 years went by with me with a gap in my resume, no job, no ideas. Then I got the permission - great! Is been two years since then - I still have nothing. They don't need me here in Germany - they have a lot of young smart students who can fill in any position instead of a 35 years old immigrant.

      So for the family - it was a great decision. My wife has a great career going on, it's getting better recently in terms of stability. Kid is healthy and happy, he thinks of Germany as his Homeland and I'm sure his future as way more well-shaped than ours, so I think we played our role in terms of evolution. But me personally... it feels like I'm dead. You know how the fruit gathers juices and vitamins only to drop on the ground at some point, dry out and give it's all to the seeds? That's the way I feel - like I sacrificed a lot for others and the worst part - they don't really appreciate it.

      I lost my shape, gained weight... lost my hair... lost my focus... and finally I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes last year. Bah, we've seen worse... But that's the way the stress, pressure and losing myself affects me. I hope I will be able to turn things around and fix some of the stuff I fucked up before it's too late - I can't imagine what else I might face around the next corner.

      The poker part is going to be described later - here I'm just wanted to explain how it worked out in this context. So basically I had a lot of time when we came here in 2011 - and I dove into the studying and practicing. I had to give it up when I got the working permit - I was hoping I'm going to get a decent job soon, but it turned out not to be that easy. So now I'm a bit desperate, still looking for a job, trying to fix all the mental and physical damage the past 5 years dealt to me and my relationships with my wife, chasing all the shadows from the past including basketball, guitar, programming - and also giving it another (probable the last one though) shot at poker. Speaking of which...

      We've been playing all sorts of games since I was a kid. My father taught me and my brother chess, backgammon and other games, including card games. Poker never was a favorite in our home, my father wasn't a fan of gambling idea, just playing for the sake of getting better, learn new things and exercise the mind. But later when I was around 17-18 years old we began playing more complicated games with my friends, favorite was of course Five-card draw. Bit later I've discovered No-limit Hold'em and whole world of online poker, testing waters on Betfair and PartyPoker, weekly freerolls for cents etc. It was all fun and games until I got a poker-set for my birthday in 2008. We played regularly with friends of mine, from 6 to 12 players, on weekends - it was tons of fun. Of course I was the biggest winner (still have a Excel graph somewhere) - it couldn't be the other way, because everything new and challenging I met in my life - I wanted to study it inside out. And while others did nothing - I jumped in, reading and learning as much as I could. At that time I've discovered - go first 50$ and tons of materials to dwell on.

      I begun to treat online-poker more seriously in around 2010 - just before moving to Germany, because I knew I'm going to have time to spend on it. So in 2011 I begun my journey. Before that point I was doing several formats - including some MTTs, SNGs, a lots of DoN/Fifty - and some FR/HU poker. Actually been studying Omaha too for a while. But in the end I've decided to pick one type and stick to - shorthanded cash games.

      I worked my way from 2NL up to 50NL in the early 2011, reaching bankroll of 2k. But then dropped back to 100$, couldn't handle the 50NL I guess. Next year 2012 went the same way - reached 50NL (this time playing newly introduced Zoom on PokerStars and with MSS 50bb strategy), then dropped back. That year I grinded extremely hard the last 3 months (300k hands at 25NL) to get the Supernova - and did it. And the next year I had the biggest success money-wise - had deep runs in MTTs. I spent some of that money to work with the coach (now he's a popular coach here, on and also moved from MSS back to BSS.
      Basically those 3 years I cashed out around 3k total profits - which is 1k per year. In the end of 2013 after another tough and fruitless period I looked back and decided that it was not profitable enough for me to continue. I summarized my experience and... well, tried to figure out what stopped me from being successful. The whole background situation was stressful enough, then add the pressure and expectations to that, overall mentally I was pretty unstable - and all that basically didn't allow my advantages to reach their full potential.

      Current period of poker started in Summer 2015 after 1.5 years of break. This time it feels like I have nothing to lose, even though it's the same "wall behind my back" spot - but I don't feel the same pressure and expectations. I focus on other important things (you can see those in this blog) and treat poker as one of the opportunities and options. I'm working now full-throttle and trying out all possible directions - and if poker is going to work out for me - it would be as good as finding a job or having success in game developing area.

      Now I'm looking forward to year 2016 - the first six months are going to be the most intense both in terms of poker and pushing myself in other things. It's all-out all-in swim-or-die year for me and I hope you'll come along and enjoy the ride with me.
      Thanks you for reaching so far! I really appreciate the time you spent on reading all this stuff and it means a lot to me. It gives me strength and motivation, and hopefully it might give strength and motivate others - that would already be a success.

      I had couple of blogs already so you might just look it up. Also my screen name almost everywhere is "DemonRax" - on Skype, PokerStars, PokerStrategy - you name it.

      Anyways, here's my plan. I had my ups and downs, quit poker couple of times, came back couple of times. It seems to me that I lack discipline, motivation and self-control. So here's my new challenge where I'll try to push myself as hard as I can :fouet:

      Current poker goals
      - 33$ PokerStars starting bankroll (+10$ worth FFPs)
      - Zoom 2NL SH starting limit
      - Zoom 100NL SH final limit
      - Daily hands played - at least 3000 - during the week
      - Weekends are family time and are not mandatory, but I might have time to play some hands
      - Daily morning analysis and review on the forum

      I'm not setting any $$$ goals because everyone knows that's wrong :f_cool: But anyone also knows that you need a bankroll management plan and time put in plan. So here we go:

      - at least one month on each limit and having a bankroll for the next one
      [v] 20 buy-ins for moving up to 5NL - that's 100$
      - reached on Day 10, here are the report, stats and graph
      [v] 30 buy-ins for moving up to 10NL - that's 300$
      - almost reached on Day 35, here is the report
      [x] had to move down to 5NL for a while
      - after losing 20 buy-ins in a row at 10NL had to stop after Week 9
      [v] 30 buy-ins for moving up to 10NL - that's 300$
      - again reached on Day 51, here is the monthly report
      [v] 50 buy-ins for moving up to 16NL - that's 800$
      - reached on Day 81
      [v] 40 buy-ins for moving up to 25NL - that's 1000$
      - reached on Day 84
      [_] 40 buy-ins for moving up to 50NL - that's 2000$
      - in progress
      [_] 50 buy-ins for moving up to 100NL - that's 5000$

      I'm going to include all rakebacks and bonuses into the bankroll, be it directly or virtually (meaning if I have FFPs for the bonus but not spending those to get the better bonus later - I'm gonna count that as a part of a bankroll). I don't plan to cash out anything until I reach my goal and boosting my bankroll is important. Another reason is... well, check out below for the giveaway part.

      Time estimation: well, I'm not going to rush myself here. Approximate time I'd like to at least reach 100NL is the end of 2016. That means I have around 15 months to do that, it's like 1 month 2NL, 2 months 5NL, 3 months 10NL, 4 months 25NL, 5 months 50NL - seems to fit perfectly. Although I realize that it might all go slower than I plan - shouldn't feel down in that case.

      Plans for first half of 2016
      With a bankroll around 500$ right now I'm taking a last shot to reach the decent limits and start earning and cashing out the money. Well, no actual cash out plans until I reach at least 50NL for sure. So that shapes up as a first part of the goals for the six months:

      Reaching Zoom 50NL - that means I gotta beat 10NL and 25NL in six months, and as a stretch goal - have a decent result at 50NL and move towards the next limit. This might include 16NL actually, still haven't decided yet - but I think when I'm done with 10NL - I'll give it a try and see what's that limit looks like. Moving from 10/16NL to 25NL - I'm thinking 1k bankroll (which will end my bankroll challenge by the way) and steady winrate of 3-4bb/100 at least. Next step - 2k for 50NL and of course decent winrate at 25NL as well.

      Get in a good shape - I feel that importance of it grows every year. Currently I weight around 90kg and don't feel too good about the overall physical shape. So I'm going to move towards 80kg and increase physical activity by:
      - Work outs - preferably 2-3 times a day
      - Basketball - at least once a week, but hopefully find another gym to add 1-2 more days
      - Running and jogging - in the morning at least 2-3 times a week
      - Food and eating - set my already stated to shape habits with less fat/junk food and more healthy diet

      Learning Deutsch - since it looks like we're going to stay in Germany for at least several more years now - it's become essential to progress with the language learning further on. Currently I speak basic A2/B1 perhaps level, within next six months I'm going to repeat A1-A2 and move to B1-B2 using the books and perhaps some other materials.

      Programming - my passion came alive recently and it actually might help with my career too, so I'm planning to focus a lot on Unity/C# as a main game engine and programming language. I'm currently involved in 3 game projects as a lead or support programmer, and the goals are:
      - Learning programming - get better at Unity and rise C# knowledge to the expert level, using courses, books and perhaps going for the Microsoft certificate exam.
      - Learning Game Design - signed up to couple of Game Design courses at, will see how it goes.
      - Projects - lead or help others to move one or several projects to the release or Kickstarter level and join/start couple of other projects

      Lesser goals are by no means less important, maybe some of them are even more important than poker or learning a language. But they are basically background and more like a habits or a blueprint to follow. The difference is - those are not as easily measurable as the first ones. I can track the time I spend on it but it's not as effective and they are basically a river flow rather than a stairs with steps. Anyways, they include:

      Daily schedule - since I'm gonna need a lot more time to reach my goals this year, I'm going to do my best to free up as much time as I can every day. That will include waking up at 6 a.m. and cutting down the time-wasters such as browsing, watching YouTube and TV shows and playing video-games. This is how the schedule is going to look like actually, as a brief sketch:
      Family time - spend all free time I can have with my son and my wife. Son is going to school and he always busy with something - and I try to provide help and answers to all the questions he has. But at the same time it feels like it's overwhelming sometimes - so I'll focus on that a little bit more this year because that's really important. This also includes working on relationships with my wife and the family as a whole. This is kinda out of the scope of this topic - but nonetheless is very important part of my plans.

      Guitar - unfortunately this is going to be the least prioritized thing to focus on this year - I'll try my best to play at least couple of hours per week, but that's not going to lead me towards anything reasonable in the future, so it's just a pleasant hobby to me. It was a tough decision but I had to make it.

      Get a job! - it's the last in the list but definitely not the last one of importance. Actually, if you throw everything else away - this is the most important goal I'm going to reach this year. But the idea is - other things like poker, learning German, getting in a better shape and improving my programming skills - they are all going to lead me to this - getting a good satisfying job be it a professional poker player or a senior VR programmer. But at the same time I'm going to spend a lot of time almost on a weekly basis to scan the job market and look for anything I could apply to. Later I'm going to even widen up my search range so it will include less attractive jobs like a taxi driver or a post-office worker. If nothing else helps - I'm ready to do whatever I need to find a job.


      Old stuff 2015

      Schedule (since December 2015, approximate)

      All daily and total graphs can be found here.
      Recorded videos of me playing are here.
      Since Nov 10th 2015 I've started poker log to track my performance, here's the spreadsheet

      Here's the bankroll-giveaway part. After first two months of the experience I gave away 6.72$ in 6 hands (offered 10.51$ in 11 hands) but had to stop it because it didn't work out well enough. The old info is under the spoiler.

      Thanks for bearing with me to this point xD I'm not sure if anyone did this before so it's kinda experimental. I'm going to run this for at least until the end of this month, October 2015, and see how it works. Basically I'm going to analyze previous day's hands and write down a review here in the blog. At the same time I'm going to pick on of the biggest hands I've lost where I think I made no mistake or I'm not sure - and post it here. First member of the forum who replies with the explanation why that is a mistake will going to get half of the money I've lost because of that mistake. If two members reply almost the same time and both got good points in their posts - I'm gonna transfer another half of the money to him as well.

      Now, guys, before we begin - I'd like you to understand, the goal of this giveaway isn't to make you rich. So please don't spam nonsense and flame in the posts. It's up to me to decide if you convince me I made a mistake so I can learn from it. The goal is to make me learn and thus - progress through the limits. On the other hand - you benefit from it as well, because you spend time really thinking about the hand, helping both me and yourself to learn poker and in a long run, if everything works out well - you're going to get bigger chunks of the prize when I move up to 50NL and instead of 1$ (50 big blinds of 2NL) you may earn 25$ at 50NL.

      To make it clear the " half of the money I've lost because of that mistake" part, here's an example:

      Let's say preflop, flop and turn were played perfectly, 40 big blinds are in the pot already. On the river I bet smallish like 10bb into 85bb pot, Villain shoves and I call. If the correct line is to block-bet/fold - then my mistake was to call - so 50bbs lost this way is the money in question. I pay 25bbs to the guy who proves it. If the whole bet/call line was a mistake, say, I had to bet 2/3 of the pot and fold, or just check/fold - then my mistake cost me 60bbs and the guy earns 30bbs. If it was a mistake to play this hand from the preflop in the first place - then mistake size is whole 100bbs. You get the point...
      Another condition I have is - please make sure you have a PokerStars account. All money transfers I'm going to do there. If you don't have PokerStars account - you can't claim the prize because as I said - it's not about me making you rich, it's about me making myself better player. So if I have to waste time to register on some Skrill or go to bank to transfer you 1$ - it's not going to work this way, sorry. My voice is also going to be decisive in any conflict or unclear situations. Those are the rules I'd like to set for this challenge :wtf: On my side I promise to do my best to stick to the plan and pay everyone who help me out with this.

      You might ask me what is all of this for? Well, as I mentioned in the beginning - I need to improve my discipline, motivation and self-control. I've been thinking a lot how can I just stop making the same mistakes over and over again and this is the idea I came up with. Have no clue if this is going to work or not but it sure worth a try. Well, I hope everything is clear and feel free to ask any questions :gl:
      The study part explanation. Well, as you may have noticed - there is no study part! I went through 2NL to 50NL several times already and just recently again - from 20$ at 2NL to 370$ at 10NL, only to drop down from there again. I'm not saying I don't need to study but for the first couple of months at 2NL and 5NL - I think I'm going to stick to analysis and reports. It will also take some time to deal with this hand-review system. So study part is going to be revisited and planned through when I reach 10NL. Until then - nothing mandatory, just going to finish some poker books, watch a video or two, etc.

      The other part of my self-challenge are additional goals, so feel free to skip it, because there are no money to giveaway :sorry:

      Additional goal a.k.a. sport
      Recently I got my weight back to over 90 kg, today it's 91.2 kg. My goal is to get it back to at least 80 kg during the same period of poker challenge. Currently planned are:
      - Everyday morning workouts with the program (again except weekends for now)
      - Every Wednesday night - 2 hours of basketball (might find some additional clubs/days)
      - Daily additional light work outs before lunch - chin ups (which I was always bad at), planking and skipping rope :banana:

      I went through this program last year for around a month before something happened, I liked it and I lost some weight. Here's the spreadsheet for the monitor purposes. There are also couple of other programs I might jump into after I go through this one for couple of months, we'll see.

      Additional goal a.k.a. music
      Starting Day 3 I've added myself another goal - to play guitar at least 30 minutes every day. For now I have 13-14 pieces I "know" so I will practice them for couple of days first before I forget them completely. Then I have around 20 more pieces I "knew" but forgot partially or completely... I'm going to go through the list and learn some of them again. After that the plan is - to start recording those I know and start learning new pieces.

      Additional goal a.k.a. Deutsch
      Starting Day 36 I've got a new goal - study German language for an hour every day.

      OK, so that's it for now. Let me know what you think or if you have any comments/suggestions/corrections/questions etc. Going to start playing later today and make a first report tomorrow morning.
  • 220 replies
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      2016 April Postponed
      Current bankroll: 997$ (+3$)

      2016 March done Report
      Current bankroll: 1450$

      Played at Zoom 25NL and 50NL 6 max: 32960
      Net result: +285$ and +201$ by EV
      Workouts days: 8 of 20 days
      Deutsch study: 3 of 20 days

      All stakes stats

      All stakes graph
      2016 February done Report

      Played at Zoom 10NL, 16NL and 25NL 6 max: 42129 of 40000 hands
      Net result: +125$ and +131$ by EV
      Waking up at 6 a.m.: 15 of 20 days
      Workouts days: 18 of 20 days + 2 days basketball and 3 days swimming pool
      Deutsch study: 8 of 20 days

      Poker playing and study: 82 hours
      Game dev and study: 72 hours

      All stakes stats

      All stakes graph in BBs
      2016 January (starting Jan 11th) done Report
      Current bankroll: 764$

      Played at Zoom 10NL 6 max: 39544 of 45000 hands
      Net result: +52.97$ and -54.78$ by EV
      Waking up at 6 a.m.: 15 of 15 days
      Workouts days: 7 of 15 days
      Deutsch study: 14 of 15 days

      Poker playing and study: 68 hours
      Game dev and study: 74 hours

      Zoom 10NL stats

      Zoom 10NL graph
      2015-2016 Holidays done Report
      Current bankroll: 513$
      Spin & Go's played: 199 of 500
      Net result: -5$
      Played at Zoom 10NL 6 max: 7998 hands
      Net result: +40.08$ and -18.05$ by EV

      Zoom 10NL stats

      Zoom 10NL graph

      Spin & Go's Stats

      Spin & Go's Chips

      2015 December done Report
      Current bankroll: 445$
      Played at Zoom 5NL 6 max: 21374 of 22000 hands
      Net result: +121.38$ and +79.81$ by EV
      Played at Zoom 10NL 6 max: 28650 of 28000 hands
      Net result: -51.29$ and -77.86$ by EV
      Total hands played: 50024
      Total net result: +70.09$

      Hyperturbo SNGs: 6/25 x 235 FPPs won/played with net +66$
      MTT VIP Freerolls: net +24$
      Spin & Go's: 80/185 won/played, net: +74$
      Poker playing: 68 hours
      Poker analysis: 10 hours
      Poker study: 18 hours (videos, books, etc)

      Workouts: 11 of 12 days + 3 of 3 days of basketball
      Music: 6 of 10 hours
      Deutsch: 14 of 15 hours

      Zoom NL10 and NL5 stats

      Zoom NL10 stats

      Zoom NL10 graph

      Zoom NL5 stats

      Zoom NL5 graph

      Spin & Go's Stats

      Spin & Go's Graph

      Spin & Go's Chips

      2015 November done Report
      Current bankroll: 290$
      Played at Zoom 5NL 6 max: 58752 of 60000 hands (within 2% error margin)
      Time spent playing: 65 hours, 77 cash games sessions
      Net result: +75.55$ just +13.28$ by EV
      Money gave away: 1.24$ of 3.42$ in 1 of 3 hands offered
      Spin & Go's: 66/174 won/played, net: +8$
      Poker analysis: 13 hours
      Poker study: 18 hours (videos, books, etc)
      Workouts: 13 of 16 days + 3 of 4 days of basketball
      Music: 7 of 15 hours

      Stats Zoom 5NL

      Graph Zoom 5NL

      Spin & Go's Chips Graph

      2015 October (starting Oct 12th) done Report

      Current bankroll: 130$
      Played at Zoom 2NL and 5NL 6 max: 45024 of 45000 hands
      Time spent playing: 59 hours, 69 cash games sessions
      Net result: +72.78$ just +66.71$ by EV
      Money gave away: 5.48$ of 7.09$ in 5 of 8 hands offered
      Spin & Go's: 120/304 won/played, net: +21$
      Poker analysis: 12 hours
      Poker study: 18 hours (videos, books, etc)
      Workouts: 12 of 15 days + 3 days of basketball
      Music: 10 of 10 hours

      Stats Zoom 2NL and 5NL

      Graph Zoom 2NL

      Graph Zoom 5NL

      Stats Spin & Go's

      Graph Spin & Go's

      Weekly reports 33$ to 1000$ challenge
      2015 Week 01 | Week 02 | Week 03 | Week 04 | Week 05 | Week 06 | Week 07 | Week 08 | Week 09 | Week 10
      2016 Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17 | Week 18 | Week 19

      Weekly reports 1000$ to 5000$ challenge
      2016 Week 20 | Week 21 | Week 22 | Week 23 | Week 24

    • SvenBe
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,534
      He DemonRax!

      Looking forward to the first posted hands & your BR challenge updates!
      Btw, did you hear about our promo in the strategy boards? Whenever you discuss in a hand in the hand discussion forums, you can earn 5 Strategy Points per day.
      Link: Discuss Poker and get rewarded

      But of course you can also feel free to post your hands here ....

    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Thank you, will check it out.

      Just realized I also got FFPs worth of 10$! I won't buy the bonus yet but effectively my starting bankroll is 43$. YEAH, BABY! :profit:
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Saw this thread with the community bankroll challenge - opted in actually. Why not? Set my goal to 1000$ - that's the 25NL point in my plan. Should be a nice additional motivation.

      Done so far: did first pack of exercises of the work out course before breakfast. Actually felt not too bad unlike the first time I tried it last year - then I felt I'm going to die right there xD Didn't do too many of repetitions - but it's fine for the first time. I think I'm gonna just do the same pack for the whole first week to get into the shape a little bit and starting next week gonna do more advanced ones. Also went through pre-lunch light-work out.

      Played a little Zoom 2NL poker, 4 tabling, feeling good. But most of the grind comes afternoon - so I'm going to start now and report in tomorrow morning.

      Jay out.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Day 01 (2015.10.12)
      Had a pretty decent Day 1 to be honest. Played little bit more that was planned but towards the end of the day I felt I was pushing it through a little bit. So I'm going to try and distribute playing time over the day more evenly from now on.

      Not much of a sample of course, but the first stats I always pay attention to are WTSD/W$SD, and yesterday those were 21.2% and 51.8%. That's probably the best result I've ever had in my life :s_thumbsup: Mostly because I didn't want to make a stupid call down or just a river call and then show it to you guys, feel embarrassed etc. So I think so far the plan with the blog works - I feel more pressure in terms of discipline and self-control.

      Anywho, here are the results and graph for Day 1:

      Hands: 3064 (total 3064) in 6 sessions of 2NL Zoom SH
      Net: +19.35$ (total +19.35$) and just +17.73$ by EV
      Bankroll: 52.58$ (+10$ FFPs)

      Now let's take a look at some hands:
      Hand #01 - TP on monotone flop
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      Hero (MP): $2.49 (124.5 bb)
      CO: $4.10 (205 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is MP with :Kh: :Ah:
      UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.06, CO raises to $0.16, 3 folds, Hero raises to $0.42, CO calls $0.26

      Flop: ($0.87) :6c: :Qc: :Kc: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.65, CO raises to $3.68, Hero calls $1.42 and is all-in

      Turn: ($5.01) :Ac: (2 players, 1 is all-in)
      River: ($5.01) :7c: (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results: $5.01 pot ($0.18 rake)
      Final Board: :6c: :Qc: :Kc: :Ac: :7c:
      Hero showed :Kh: :Ah: and lost (-$2.49 net)
      CO showed :Jc: :Jh: and won $4.83 ($2.34 net)
      I would consider this hand as a mistake. Even if his range has not AA/KK, just made flushes, TT/JJ with one club and some AK/AQ/A6 hands with one club - still I got like 52% equity and pot odds were around 56%. We actually ran it twice and he won both.

      Hand #02 and #03 - two bad calling down hands
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      Hero (SB): $2.18 (109 bb)
      BB: $1.66 (83 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with J:diamond: J:club:
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.06, BB calls $0.04

      Flop: ($0.12) 6:spade: 9:heart: 8:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.08, BB calls $0.08

      Turn: ($0.28) Q:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.17, BB raises to $0.34, Hero calls $0.17

      River: ($0.96) 3:heart: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BB bets $0.44, Hero calls $0.44

      Results: $1.84 pot ($0.06 rake)
      Final Board: 6:spade: 9:heart: 8:spade: Q:heart: 3:heart:
      Hero mucked J:diamond: J:club: and lost (-$0.92 net)
      BB showed T:spade: J:spade: and won $1.78 ($0.86 net)
      So this is SB vs BB spot, JJ feels like a nuts here. The guy flats pre and on the flop. At this point his range is super-wide, I can't even begin to narrow it down. But since there are draws and weaker pairs - I've decided to second barrel on turn for value. And he min-raises. Basically I have to just fold right there because even a lousy Qx hand beats be. But I thought he wouldn't raise Qx and thought that I block JT hands for a straight. Probably both of those assumptions weren't correct - just had to fold. On the river when even a backdoor flush draw completes - I'm already running downhill with no brakes whatsoever - I'm just annoyed and check/call. Don't like this hand at all.
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      SB: $0.68 (34 bb)
      Hero (BB): $2.34 (117 bb)
      MP: $2.28 (114 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 8:spade: 8:diamond:
      UTG folds, MP raises to $0.07, 3 folds, Hero calls $0.05

      Flop: ($0.15) T:heart: 2:diamond: T:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.08, MP raises to $0.16, Hero calls $0.08

      Turn: ($0.47) 3:spade: (2 players)
      Hero checks, MP bets $0.22, Hero calls $0.22

      River: ($0.91) J:heart: (2 players)
      Hero checks, MP bets $0.44, Hero calls $0.44

      Results: $1.79 pot ($0.06 rake)
      Final Board: T:heart: 2:diamond: T:spade: 3:spade: J:heart:
      Hero mucked 8:spade: 8:diamond: and lost (-$0.89 net)
      MP showed K:heart: K:diamond: and won $1.73 ($0.84 net)
      This hand felt weird because I was distracted by action on other tables. Basically I flat 88 for a set-value plus some post-flop maneuvers if possible and then for some reason I donk the flop. As a default I wouldn't donk though. The guy raises and I call - I don't trust min-raises on paired flops :s_rolleyes: Anyhow all that was in an autopilot fog of some sort because I woke up on turn having no clue how did I get there. So I confusingly check/called two half pot bets only to see an overpair.

      Hand #04 - hand I'm sure I played well - 0.38$ are there for you!
      Sorry, guys, there were not many hands I've lost yesterday and most of them were pretty clear mistakes to me. Here's the one I think I played well - calling turn shove vs a short stack fish. Since it's a small shove I'm gonna give away the full amount, not the half of it. But make sure you explain clearly why I shouldn't call here so I could change my mind and fold next time :s_thumbsup:
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      CO: $0.64 (32 bb)
      Hero (BTN): $2.15 (107.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BTN with 9:spade: A:spade:
      2 folds, CO calls $0.02, Hero raises to $0.11, 2 folds, CO calls $0.09

      Flop: ($0.25) 5:diamond: T:heart: 2:heart: (2 players)
      CO checks, Hero bets $0.15, CO calls $0.15

      Turn: ($0.55) A:heart: (2 players)
      CO bets $0.38 and is all-in, Hero calls $0.38

      River: ($1.31) 8:diamond: (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results: $1.31 pot ($0.05 rake)
      Final Board: 5:diamond: T:heart: 2:heart: A:heart: 8:diamond:
      CO showed A:club: 2:spade: and won $1.26 ($0.62 net)
      Hero showed 9:spade: A:spade: and lost (-$0.64 net)
      Phew, it took a while! And I didn't quite analyzed more hands as I planned, was busy with this report post. Will try to do it faster and more efficient tomorrow. Most of the time I've spent trying to fight the good converter for the forum - any of you guys can give me an advice on this? Have to edit the hand code manually to get those nice cards and suits like in the first hand. Thanks! Now to the other results of yesterday.

      Going to copy yesterday's work out results here as well to be consistent:
      Weight: 91.2 kg
      Push ups: 25
      Towel raised jump squats: 21
      Mountain climbers: 70
      Burpees: 9 - I hate them!
      Breast stroke: 20
      Knee to elbow plank: 20
      Chin ups: 4
      Skipping rope: 50
      Plank: 45 sec

      Peace! Jay out.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Day 2 (2015.10.13)
      Another good day, almost as good as the first one. I felt more relaxed and as a result start to falling back to my old habits. WTSD/W$SD are 26.5% and 49% total which is decent, but in the beginning of the day they were much worse - I had to pay attention and I'm glad I did. River call efficiency also dropped from 1.8 in Day 1 to 1.25 in Day 2. At some point it was as low as 0.8 - again, I had to focus and fight through those. Anyway, the numbers!

      Hands: 3003 (total 6067) in 5 sessions of 2NL Zoom SH
      Net: +14.71$ (total +34.06$) just +12.37$ by EV
      Bankroll: 66.80$ (+10$ FFPs)

      Starting up HM2 today I was expecting a lot of huge pots and mistakes but surprisingly all those river call were minor. Basically there were two big hands I've lost that I'd like to share with you. Here they are:

      Hand #05 - calling raise and calling down
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      Hero (UTG): $2.62 (131 bb)
      BTN: $2.48 (124 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with Q:diamond: K:spade:
      Hero raises to $0.06, 2 folds, BTN calls $0.06, SB calls $0.05, BB folds

      Flop: ($0.20) 8:heart: Q:heart: J:diamond: (3 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.12, BTN raises to $0.24, SB folds, Hero calls $0.12

      Turn: ($0.68) 6:club: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $0.60, Hero calls $0.60

      River: ($1.88) 2:heart: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $0.62, Hero calls $0.62

      Results: $3.12 pot ($0.11 rake)
      Final Board: 8:heart: Q:heart: J:diamond: 6:club: 2:heart:
      Hero mucked Q:diamond: K:spade: and lost (-$1.52 net)
      BTN showed 9:heart: T:heart: and won $3.01 ($1.49 net)
      Open raising KQs UTG is fine, BU cold calling range is rather wide I think at this limit, including all kinds of suited stuff alongside with "legit" broadways, AXs and pocket pairs. On a pretty wet flop I cbet for value and protection and the guy min-raises me. At this point his range can contain tons of hands - any hit, any SD, any FD, any GS plus random bluffs. I didn't want to re-raise because wouldn't want to fold to a shove - he might just shove almost everything mentioned above. So I just flat. So far I think it's fine. And turn call is fine as well since his range has tons of draws. But on the river huge chunk of those hit and I had to check/fold right there.

      Hand #06 - hand I think I played well - at least 1.23$ are here for grabs!
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      Hero (MP): $3 (150 bb)
      BTN: $2.59 (129.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is MP with J:diamond: J:spade:
      UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.06, CO folds, BTN calls $0.06, 2 folds

      Flop: ($0.15) T:spade: 4:spade: 3:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.10, BTN raises to $0.20, Hero raises to $0.55, BTN calls $0.35

      Turn: ($1.25) T:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.75, BTN calls $0.75

      River: ($2.75) Q:heart: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $1.23 and is all-in, Hero calls $1.23

      Results: $5.21 pot ($0.18 rake)
      Final Board: T:spade: 4:spade: 3:heart: T:heart: Q:heart:
      Hero showed J:diamond: J:spade: and lost (-$2.59 net)
      BTN showed K:diamond: T:diamond: and won $5.03 ($2.44 net)
      So here's why I called river. On the flop I cbet for value and protection as usual and facing a min-raising again. Unlike the other hand here the range is different. Not many SDs but a lot of FDs and Tx hands plus random crap. So I re-raise with a plan to get it in if he raises/shove. But he flats. Actually with the same range I think. I'm not sure of the raise size though, probably have to raise bigger or even overbet shove here. What do you guys think?

      Anyhow, turn brings another T and the Tx hands now beat me. But paired T kinda block those hands and there are tons of SD/FDs left in his range, AND crap. I bet again and he flats. I thought he would've shove with Tx since board has now two flush draws. On the river I was confused since BDFD and overcard to my hand came. I was thinking to shove myself but decided not to - he would call only with better hands, so I checked to bluff catch his missed draws. He shoved and I decided to call - he might had Qx with missed draws or Tx or backdoor hearts of course. He might also not shove some of those hands too. And I needed ~25% for a call - playing around with Equilab gives me from 30% to 38% depending on what I think he would shove here.

      Anyway, guys, paying off full amount today - whole 1.23$ might be yours!

      Moving on to other stuff. Continue to do work outs of course and today's a basketball day! After a couple of months break I'm looking forward to play some ball! The numbers:

      Weight: 91.0 kg
      Push ups: 23
      Towel raised jump squats: 22
      Mountain climbers: 70
      Burpees: 8
      Breast stroke: 26
      Knee to elbow plank: 25
      Chin ups: 3
      Skipping rope: 60
      Plank: 55 sec

      I've also decided to add another element into my daily challenge - guitar playing. Currently I'm not playing nor practicing regularly and consistently enough. So I'm going to try and spend at least half an our every day doing that. We'll see how it goes. Will put it on the first page too.

      Good luck everyone,
      Jay out.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Re-arranged posts a little bit and added special post for results for the better and faster tracking.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Day 03 (2015.10.14)
      Had my first bad sessions and a bad day yesterday. At some point I was down more that 4 buy-ins and was thinking to stop it but then I went through hands I've lost quickly and decided there was nothing criminal in there. Basically I got set vs set and KK vs AA type of hands several times. I've played couple of more session later on and had a better results. WTSD is a good 24% but W$SD is as low as 41% which definitely an indicator of a "bad variance". River call efficiency is also pretty low - around 1.1. Unfortunately I was unable to play all 3000 hands because of basketball in the evening - I'll have to re-arrange my time a little bit on Wednesdays in the future I guess. I've also skipped light-work out because I was afraid I'm gonna be all sore and out of energy for basketball. Next week I'm going to try it anyways.

      Here are the numbers for yesterday:
      Hands: 2204 (total 8271) in 3 sessions of 2NL Zoom SH
      Net: -4.21$ (total +29.85$) and -4.28$ by EV
      Bankroll: 62.22$ (+10$ FFPs)
      Putting all coolers aside I still have some hands I've played badly. Here are three bad river calls - hands #07, #08 and #09:
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      SB: $1.57 (78.5 bb)
      Hero (MP): $2 (100 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is MP with K:diamond: K:spade:
      UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.06, 2 folds, SB calls $0.05, BB folds

      Flop: ($0.14) T:diamond: 2:club: 7:heart: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.10, SB calls $0.10

      Turn: ($0.34) 9:diamond: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.25, SB calls $0.25

      River: ($0.84) 4:heart: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.55, SB raises to $1.16, Hero calls $0.61

      Results: $3.16 pot ($0.11 rake)
      Final Board: T:diamond: 2:club: 7:heart: 9:diamond: 4:heart:
      SB showed 8:club: J:club: and won $3.05 ($1.48 net)
      Hero showed K:diamond: K:spade: and lost (-$1.57 net)
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      BTN: $1.95 (97.5 bb)
      Hero (SB): $2.44 (122 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with J:spade: 9:diamond:
      3 folds, BTN calls $0.02, Hero raises to $0.11, BB folds, BTN calls $0.09

      Flop: ($0.24) 3:heart: J:heart: 3:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.15, BTN calls $0.15

      Turn: ($0.54) 7:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.35, BTN calls $0.35

      River: ($1.24) 6:spade: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $0.60, Hero calls $0.60

      Results: $2.44 pot ($0.09 rake)
      Final Board: 3:heart: J:heart: 3:spade: 7:heart: 6:spade:
      Hero mucked J:spade: 9:diamond: and lost (-$1.21 net)
      BTN showed T:heart: A:heart: and won $2.35 ($1.14 net)
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      BTN: $2 (100 bb)
      Hero (SB): $2.01 (100.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with 5:spade: 5:club:
      3 folds, BTN raises to $0.06, Hero raises to $0.20, BB folds, BTN calls $0.14

      Flop: ($0.42) 3:club: 8:spade: 2:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.18, BTN calls $0.18

      Turn: ($0.78) J:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.35, BTN calls $0.35

      River: ($1.48) J:club: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $0.44, Hero calls $0.44

      Results: $2.36 pot ($0.08 rake)
      Final Board: 3:club: 8:spade: 2:heart: J:diamond: J:club:
      Hero mucked 5:spade: 5:club: and lost (-$1.17 net)
      BTN showed K:club: K:spade: and won $2.28 ($1.11 net)
      I'm especially annoyed with the last hand - turned 55 into a bluff and then on the river decided to bluff-catch. But those hands I know I did bad. Here's a hand where I thought I played good and lost. 0.97$ is there for you to grabs, guys! Still nobody claimed their prize though :f_zZz:

      Hand #10 - hand I think I played well - vonki got 0.97$
      Solution recap - don't isolate yourself with medium strength hands by 4bet shoving, call 3bet, keep Villains range wide and play postflop.
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      Hero (SB): $2 (100 bb)
      BB: $2.50 (125 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with T:club: T:spade:
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.06, BB raises to $0.18, Hero raises to $2 and is all-in, BB calls $1.82

      Flop: ($4) 4:club: 8:heart: 8:diamond: (2 players, 1 is all-in)
      Turn: ($4) 8:spade: (2 players, 1 is all-in)
      River: ($4) 3:spade: (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results: $4 pot ($0.14 rake)
      Final Board: 4:club: 8:heart: 8:diamond: 8:spade: 3:spade:
      Hero showed T:club: T:spade: and lost (-$2 net)
      BB showed Q:club: Q:spade: and won $3.86 ($1.86 net)
      The BB guys is actually a nitty one, 12/10 with 6% 3bet in just 51 hands. BB vs SB he 3betted twice and folded twice. So I thought my hand might be good. I thought about 4betting normal size but my plan was to 4bet/stack off, not 4bet/fold. At the same time if I 4bet and he calls - most of the time I won't like the flop with overcards etc. So after some time thinking I decided to overbet shove as a 4bet. This might isolate me vs top of his range but at the same time I thought he might call BB vs SB with hands like 88+, ATs, AJ+ and that's a coinflip which is +EV taking into account the dead money in the pot and fold equity. Anyways, I'd be glad to see your opinion.

      Weight: 90.9 kg
      Push ups: 22
      Towel raised jump squats: 24
      Mountain climbers: 70
      Burpees: 8
      Breast stroke: 32
      Knee to elbow plank: 30
      Chin ups: 0
      Skipping rope: 0
      Plank: 0 sec

      Also played almost 2 hours of basketball at last!

      Spent just 20 minutes refreshing my memory with some pieces. All of them require some more practice and learning because I forgot some parts completely or partially. Going to try and play everything else today, spend a little more time and write down what needs to be done.

      As for now - good luck everyone,
      Jay's out.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Day 04 (2015.10.15)
      Had such a tough day yesterday. Everything went wrong from the beginning, got couple of coolers, got tilted, made couple of monkey shoves as well - slow and steady dropped around 8 buy-ins in first sessions. Had to take a break, tried to calm myself down, relax - sat back and did a little better. Again WTSD is decent 25% but W$SD is just 46% - it was a bad variance a lot. And take a look at the River call efficiency - it's 2.08! It's on a high end - and still a losing streak.

      But it wasn't all "bad luck" of course. I've lost at least 10 buy-ins vs trips, sets, coins and KK vs AA type of hands. But also at least 3 buy-ins shoving in frustration and 3 more due to mistakes. So all in all I could save a lot of money. But I'm glad that I was able to recognize it, sit back for a while and got back strong. The numbers:

      Hands: 4137 (total 12408) in 4 sessions of 2NL Zoom SH
      Net: -8.38$ (total +21.47$) and -11.99$ by EV
      Bankroll: 53.36$ (+10$ FFPs)
      It's kinda tough to pick up hands for posting. It's so tempting to show off some coolers and shit I got yesterday. But that's waste of time anyways. So I'm going to pick up a hand with the biggest mistake I think I've made and another one of the prize offer. Here we go.

      Hand #11 - top pair top kicker in a 3bet pot
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      CO: $3.81 (190.5 bb)
      BTN: $2.17 (108.5 bb)
      Hero (BB): $2.29 (114.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with J:club: A:spade:
      2 folds, CO raises to $0.05, BTN calls $0.05, SB folds, Hero raises to $0.21, CO calls $0.16, BTN calls $0.16

      Flop: ($0.64) 7:heart: T:diamond: J:spade: (3 players)
      Hero bets $0.40, CO folds, BTN raises to $1.96 and is all-in, Hero calls $1.56

      Turn: ($4.56) 5:club: (2 players, 1 is all-in)
      River: ($4.56) 9:heart: (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results: $4.56 pot ($0.16 rake)
      Final Board: 7:heart: T:diamond: J:spade: 5:club: 9:heart:
      Hero showed J:club: A:spade: and lost (-$2.17 net)
      CO mucked and lost (-$0.21 net)
      BTN showed 7:club: 7:diamond: and won $4.40 ($2.23 net)
      Well, I KNOW that top pairs in 3bet pots are valuable. But c'mon, the guy flats pre-flop, then calls my squeeze, and then overbet shoves on a board with no flush draws possible? I gotta know better. Of course I need just around 35% for a break-even call, but it's high variance even if I have 35%. According to Equilab even if he's shoving hands like AJ/AQ/AK - I got 43% at most. Move one of those hands out of his range - it's a -EV call. Gotta fold those. FOLD!

      Hand #12 - hand I think I played well - 1.05$ claimed by AlphaVillain
      Solution recap
      - don't always cbet dry A-high flop with top pair, let them hit something or bluff, and in case of a huge overbet in a small pot - play more tight, find folds and don't overestimate hand strength.
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      UTG: $3.05 (152.5 bb)
      Hero (CO): $2.27 (113.5 bb)
      BTN: $0.89 (44.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with Q:club: A:heart:
      UTG calls $0.02, MP folds, Hero raises to $0.06, BTN calls $0.06, 2 folds, UTG calls $0.04

      Flop: ($0.21) A:diamond: 8:spade: 8:club: (3 players)
      UTG checks, Hero bets $0.12, BTN calls $0.12, UTG raises to $2.99, Hero calls $2.09 and is all-in, BTN calls $0.71

      Turn: ($5.46) 5:club: (3 players, 1 is all-in)
      River: ($5.46) 4:diamond: (3 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results: $5.46 pot ($0.19 rake)
      Final Board: A:diamond: 8:spade: 8:club: 5:club: 4:diamond:
      UTG showed 8:diamond: 9:diamond: and won $5.27 ($3.00 net)
      Hero showed Q:club: A:heart: and lost (-$2.27 net)
      BTN showed A:club: 2:club: and lost (-$0.89 net)
      This hand is in some way similar to the other one. But it's single raised pot and multi-way. But still I'm felt this hand is much easier to stack off with. Both guys are fishy and one of them shortstacked. When the guy shoves on such a dry board - of course he might have 8x in his hand. But I think even the dumbest fish might have something going on in his brain and might decide there is no point in shoving trips. I was expecting to see more Ax hands, the probability of Ax is the same as 8x. Well, I was wrong. Apparently it makes sense to people to shove trips there. Fine... The other guy had an Ax though... Anyway, I think I made no mistake by calling there. What do you think? Let me know for 1.05$.

      Felt a little bit sore after basketball so I skipped light-weight training. Will try to skip it no more. Otherwise felt pretty good.
      Weight: 91.0 kg
      Push ups: 24
      Towel raised jump squats: 27
      Mountain climbers: 78
      Burpees: 8
      Breast stroke: 36
      Knee to elbow plank: 35
      Chin ups: 0
      Skipping rope: 0
      Plank: 0 sec

      Full 45 minutes of music yesterday! Play some old pieces, still need more practicing those. And spend some time improvising and having fun - as a part of the anti-tilt relaxing campaign :f_thumbsup: I guess it worked. By the way - as long as I don't have pieces I play practiced good enough and recorded - I'm going to put some of them here from YouTube. Let me know if you guys like it or not. Check out below the spoiler - it's the Chaconne by J.S.Bach - by far my favorite piece of music for classical guitar although originally it was written for violin. Whenever I play it - I feel the touch of meaning of life and death, such an epic piece. Unfortunately I'm not too good at it and have learned just the first half (around 6 minutes of the video). But nonetheless - gives me goosebumps and inspiration whenever I pick first chords of it. Enjoy.
      Well, that's it for today. Still waiting for someone to respond but till that happens - it's going to be just my diary, which is also fine with me.

      Jay out.
    • SvenBe
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,534
      Hi there,

      regarding the A8 hand, have you tried to see your odds of winning with the help of Equilab? A bit problematic is here the cold-caller, who is probably most of the time any Ax.
      Btw, for such quizzes,i think posting the hands without a result let's the reader be more unbiased.

    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Hi, Sven.

      You mean AQ hand with A88 flop? Hand #12? Well, yeah, I fiddled around in Equilab, but the problem is - I can't really assign a real range there. If I assume 8x hands won't do that, at least not all of them, and if there are bunch of Ax type of hands - it looks good for me. But it's also kinda blurry - how many Ax hands would he do that with? Are there any other hands like underpairs he's going crazy with? Should we add 5-10% bluffing here as usual, assuming flop is so dry and it's 3-way? All those questions leave blank spots when I try to approach this mathematically.

      That's why the hand is in the giveaway part - I'd love to see someone break it down for me!

      As of hidden results - makes sense. But it's obvious that I've lost those hands anyway, right? :f_grin:
    • asimos
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,451
      subbed... go go go !!! :f_drink:
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Thanks, mate! Appreciate that.

      Day 05 (2015.10.16)
      Phew, first week is gone. Had a good day in the end, played little tighter I think, again WTSD 25% and W$SD 43% like yesterday, but guess what? Today I'm in the profits. Damn, can't figure out how this poker thing works :f_mad:

      Hands: 2671 (total 15079) in 6 sessions of 2NL Zoom SH
      Net: +12.03$ (total +33.50$) but 15.96$ by EV
      Bankroll: 64.63$ (+10$ FFPs)
      Hand #13 - it's working!

      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      SB: $1.83 (91.5 bb)
      Hero (UTG): $2 (100 bb)
      BTN: $3.48 (174 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with Q:heart: Q:spade:
      Hero raises to $0.06, 2 folds, BTN calls $0.06, SB raises to $0.26, BB folds, Hero raises to $0.65, BTN calls $0.59, SB calls $0.39

      Flop: ($1.97) 9:diamond: K:heart: 4:club: (3 players)
      SB bets $1.18 and is all-in, 2 folds

      Results: $1.97 pot ($0.07 rake)
      Final Board: 9:diamond: K:heart: 4:club:
      SB mucked and won $1.90 ($1.25 net)
      Hero mucked Q:heart: Q:spade: and lost (-$0.65 net)
      BTN mucked and lost (-$0.65 net)
      Aggro-looking guys squeezes from blinds and I 4bet to around 1/3 stack size so if we go to the flop I could just shove. Both called actually and on a Kxx board this guys shoves himself. And I folded! This blog and diary thingy works! YEAH! :pokerface:

      Well, do I have to fold though? Was it correct to 4bet preflop? What do you think?

      Hand #14 - I think I played it fine - 1.06$ claimed by AlphaVillain
      Solution recap
      - second barrel/fold turn with strong draws or use block bets to set the cheap price, also pay attention to Villains' bet sizing and don't overestimate fold equity when they bet heavily.
      Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      BTN: $2.43 (121.5 bb)
      Hero (SB): $2 (100 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with T:heart: A:heart:
      3 folds, BTN raises to $0.05, Hero raises to $0.17, BB folds, BTN calls $0.12

      Flop: ($0.36) 6:heart: 8:heart: 5:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.20, BTN calls $0.20

      Turn: ($0.76) 2:spade: (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $0.57, Hero raises to $1.63 and is all-in
      So I 3bet a guy, he flats, I flop overcards and flush draw and check/shove the turn. As Sven recommended - not showing the result after my action. But was it OK to do that? I thought equity plus fold equity is good enough, the bet sizes feel right, so yeah - that was my decision. You think I was wrong? Then 1.06$ are yours!

      Plans for the weekend
      We're going to have a family event on Sunday morning, so I'm going to enjoy it. I'm also planning to play weekly Saturday night VIP tournaments and maybe will add some 1$ Spin-n-Go's for a change. I am also going to fully enjoy the Rugby World Cup Quarter Final matches! Any of you guys follow rugby? Not sure about working out and guitar playing, will try to squeeze something in. Also will write a week-report for this blog and for the Community bankroll challenge.

      This time I just completely forgot to do the light-weight training! Damn, I have to be more focused. This week was tough and long though, hopefully I'll do better next time.

      Weight: 90.9 kg
      Push ups: 28
      Towel raised jump squats: 28
      Mountain climbers: 80
      Burpees: 9
      Breast stroke: 36
      Knee to elbow plank: 39
      Chin ups: 0
      Skipping rope: 0
      Plank: 0 sec

      Played guitar for more than an hour today. Actually something hit me - and I decided to re-learn Paganini's Caprices #11 and #16 - went through first parts of both of them - they're so cool. It's bit tougher on the classical guitar, I might want to use electric for those, will see. Here's the today's piece for you, guys, hope you'll enjoy it - it's bit complicated for me, I'm not playing it at full speed - but still very enjoyable Vals op.8 No. 4 by Agustin Barrios Mangore (played by John Williams).

      Well, have a nice weekend everyone.

      Jay's out.
    • AlphaVillain
      Joined: 09.10.2014 Posts: 368
      About hand #14:

      The hand is played well until the turn. Considering the fact that he bet 75% of the pot, his hand will usually be pretty strong here, at least 1 overpair, the other more probable options being 2 pairs, a set or a straight. Either way, with the pot odds of about 25% that he's getting and that range of hands, it's hard to imagine he's ever gonna fold here, even if he has no idea what pot odds are. This check-raise only gives him more value for his strong hand.

      Given that you are out of position (so your implied odds if you hit your flush are smaller) and you don't have the pot odds to call for the flush (which should be the only hand you should be drawing to) and your fold equity is almost 0, folding the turn is the best option if you don't continuation bet it. If you just call and hit a pair on the river, this will probably cost you even more money, as it's probably not the best hand. If you hit a flush and a card doubles, you might be facing a full house. What I'm trying to say is: you don't have as many true outs as you might think. True outs are only the outs that make you the best hand. For example, if you have a flush draw with overcards and the opponent has a set, your only true outs are the 7 cards that make you a flush and don't make him a full house.

      Key point to take away: don't forget to take into account the opponent's bet sizing for hand reading! Also, modify your planned actions according to your new reads on every street if necessary.

      I'm going to give you 2 alternative lines of play, but you should always try to hand read and choose the best action accordingly, and this will bring you a lot more profit than remembering fixed lines of play.

      Line 1: Flop: bet-shove or bet-call a shove. Bet sizing: about 55%.
      Turn: Bet-fold to any raise unless it's a min-raise and you have the pot odds to call for the flush.
      River: Shove if you hit the flush or you have strong reasons to believe that the opponent will fold enough of the time to make it profitable. Check-call a small bet if you hit a pair, but if it's around 2/3 of the pot or more, you probably don't have the odds to call, because this is only a bluffcatcher and your opponent will usually be betting a busted draw or at least 2 pairs. At low stakes, it's unlikely that people will bluff the river, so calling a large bet here would be a huge mistake. If you bet your rivered pair, you are unlikely to get called or raised by anything worse, so don't, unless you are against a complete calling station.

      Line 2 (preferrable versus non-aggressive opponents): Blockbet the flop and the turn around 30%-35% of the pot and check/fold the river if you don't hit or bet it around 50%-60% of the pot if you hit a pair or a flush. You are now betting pairs because your opponent gets to the river with a weaker range of hands and he might call again with just a pair. The river dynamics of this situation are too complex to describe here and they even allow for a bluff if the opponent is not a total calling station, but you shouldn't try to do that when learning the game's basics. Also, NL2 is not really a limit at which you want to bluff rivers.

      You will be surprised to see how many folds you get on the first 2 streets with blockbets and you also see the next card for a smaller price most of the time. Especially on the flop, some people won't even look at your bet sizing before folding if they already planned to fold (like you already planned what to do on the turn, but didn't take the opponent's bet sizing into account). I also get surprisingly many folds on the turn, probably because more observant opponents will call the flop with a weak hand on the flop(like overcards or a small pair) because of the pot odds and then they assume that I'm betting small for value on the turn and they just give up, since their weak hand feels targeted by my small bet, and nobody likes to get baited.

      Stars ID: NightShade_P. You can also add me to friends on PokerStrategy if you want to connect on Skype.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Hey, AlphaVillain!

      Thanks for the input, man! It was a deep analysis of the hand. So basically what you're saying is - fold equity of a turn check/shove is extremely low and hand equity is also not high enough this move to be +EV. I agree with that and I like those line suggestions, especially with blocker-bets. Gotta incorporate it into my game more often.

      1.06$ transferred (let me know if you won't receive it), hope to see you around for more, thanks!
    • AlphaVillain
      Joined: 09.10.2014 Posts: 368
      Originally posted by DemonRax
      So basically what you're saying is - fold equity of a turn check/shove is extremely low.
      Just for this particular hand because of the opponent's bet sizing, just to be clear.

      I've added you to friends, I don't really check the forum much, but you can often find me on Skype if you want more reviews or advice from me, and i'm not gonna charge you by the hand:s_biggrin: .

      Hand 13: played fine in my opinion.

      Hand 12: This should always be a fold. People don't usually check-overshove their entire stack on the flop with something that you beat with top pair, expecially if you don't even have top kicker. When the opponent does this, it usually means 2 things: he's a very bad player and he has a very strong hand (monster), so unless you hit the flop mega-hard, you should always just fold. On this flop, he usually does not have anything less than AA,A8 or 8x. Yes, AA is in there too, but extremely rarely.

      Think about it this way: the pot is still very small, but you have to call your entire stack against a very rare top pair or crazy tilt bluff or against a much more probable monster hand that has you drawing nearly dead.

      Now, about the continuation bet on the flop: I think it's too big for how dry the flop is, and I also think it's a better idea to check it. This is because when you continuation bet on a flop this dry, the opponents usually continue with a very small part of their pre-flop calling range, so you isolate yourself against the strongest part of their range. On a flop this dry, hand protection is not a problem, so a better idea would be to check and give one of them a chance to bluff. You could bet the turn if nobody bets until then to get some value from turned draws or weaker aces. You should not aim to get 3 streets of value here, so there's no hurry in betting the flop.

      Key points: Give idiots credit for their hands and don't bet super-dry flops for value, because the bet usually works against you.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Hey, AlphaVillain!

      Thanks for hand analysis, yet another 1.05$ goes to you!

      I agree with your reasons too, except maybe of checking the flop. With A2-AT I usually check, yes, but with AJ+ I think there is value to be extracted and vs fish I might even go for 3 streets - especially 3-way, some of them might have a stubborn Ace to call down. Sizing though - should definitely be smaller, maybe 1/4-1/3 of the pot?
    • AlphaVillain
      Joined: 09.10.2014 Posts: 368
      About 1/2 or slightly less would be fine. I still think checking is better. You can get value from that potential ace on the turn or river anyway. If you check, the opponent might hit a pair on the turn (and draws too, like I said), for example (and it will happen quite often, since you have 2 opponents here, so 12 outs for a pair if they both completely missed), and if you didn't bet the flop, fishier opponents won't give you credit for an ace right away and they will call at least one bet with a weak pair.

      So, instead of extracting 3 streets of value when someone has an ace (which is a very low percentage of the time, since there are only 2 aces left in the deck), it will bring you more profit long-term to check the flop and extract value from lots of other hands that completely missed the flop, which is the majority of hands.

      I sent you a message with my skype ID.
    • DemonRax
      Joined: 11.05.2009 Posts: 359
      Week 01
      I'm pretty happy with how the first week went. I've had a good start, then it all fell down but I was able to recover in the end. I've started a blog, went on with work outs, added music as well - got pretty much all covered :f_cool: I've also met people - both new and old friends, which is always nice. I'm also pretty happy with my stats - not much of a sample of course, but I like the numbers so far. 3bet and squeeze from BU and BB might be higher for example. And I'm extremely proud of myself having WTSD ~24% - it's been always my biggest leak.

      So, here are the results and stats. Also reported at bankroll challenge thread.

      Played at Zoom 2NL 6 max: 15079 hands
      Net result: +33.50$ just +29.79$ by EV
      Spin & Go's: 12/28 won/played, net: +1$
      Current bankroll: 62.52$ (+10$ FPPs)
      Weekend 01
      Didn't plan to play or study a lot, but it happened. Played two VIP tourneys on Saturday, read a book for a while and begun watching Spin & Go video series. I've always felt my game is getting fancy when I play non-stop the same type of poker. So I think Spin & Go's are good, cheap and quick way to keep my mind busy all the time. Kept watching some more videos on Sunday and played a little. Nothing really do discuss so far, still learning how the ranges work etc.

      Had tons of fun actually. Spent hours playing through Paganini's Caprices, finished learning (well, re-learning I should say) the #16 which is probably my favorite, done with the first parts of #11 and #3, and picked up a little from here and there too.

      Didn't do anything at all! Watched Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals - two games were just amazing. But I was mentally preparing to start off from Monday.