Gavinonymous Poker Adventure (SNG $6.50)

    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Hi all, thanks for reading my poker blog.

      I live in Canada - I've played on and off for a few years, and signed up here to become a winning poker player. Previous attempts were mixed, and I've only ever won a few decent sized tourneys.

      I chose to play sit and goes, mainly because I like how the action changes as the blinds go up. I also like MTT's, but don't play very many of them since they can take so long!

      I guess my goal is to turn this $50 into a regular income as an alternative to taking on a part time job for extra income. When I thought of all the time spend going back and forth, the cost of transportation, food and coffee...poker could make so much more sense if I was only more consistent at it and followed a proven winning strategy.

      Starting out at $3.40 games on PokerStars is probably bad BRM, but I'll drop down a level if I hit $35. The next level down is $1.20 and I don't see how you can climb very fast at that buy-in with such a big rake - even with a good win rate.

      So far 4 games (not much time to play today)

      I won one, came third in another and lost two (one at the bubble on BB with KK to A4 SB raise!)

      so I'm almost at decent BRM for $3.40 - still, I don't like the rake!

      BR = $56
      Next milestone - $75
  • 51 replies
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I downloaded ICM trainer and went through the 10 levels in one go - and then went on to have a slightly losing session. Still, it's a good warm up for a session. I now also have the ICM full version, but it's kind of slow for some reason.

      Only 12 games in, but getting a feel for this level. I think I'm giving players way too much credit, but don't want to loosen up the same.

      ITM is about 42% but ROI is -0.75%, still only 12 games, so not a sample at all. At least I'm accumulating points.

      I got knocked out on one bubble with KK in the BB, and A4 minraised - I reraised all in, and lost when an A hit the flop :(

      I'm still confident I can beat 3$, jeez, if I can't there's not much hope for me.

      Next stop, 6$ games.
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I've reached my first milestone - having a really good day today, $3.40 is really fishy. I'm only playing 2 tables at a time, I can't imagine how some people can handle 8 or even 16!

      I hit a lot of seriously bad beats on the way - losing like 8 of 10 at one point, to 2 outers on the river, or runner runner straights etc.. maddening!

      Anyway I stuck with it, and soon I got some of that luck back. I sucked out nicely with QQ on the river to KK, and coaxed 2 players all in when I had the nuts (4 J's)

      Here's a picture so far - bit of a shaky start

      Next goal is silver and $100.00 - wish me luck.
    • cannell555
      cannell555
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2008 Posts: 2,410
      Hi gavinonymous,

      Nice blog. I won't comment on the fact you started on the $3's with a $50 BR, as you have set a clear goal to move down at $35 if necessary. I however wouldn't move up to the $6's at $100 BRM. I think you should wait and move up with about 30 buyins. Then move up the next limit when you have 40 buyins, and so on. This just gives you a nicer cushion to soften the blow of swings.

      I wouldn't play extra, just to make silver status on pokerstrategy. You should play as much as you feel you want to. With such goals you may often play when your not at your best.

      I'll be sure to watch you progress with this blog.

      PS: your a lucky guy, I just posted my 2000th post in your thread :D

      Goodluck,
      Stiev
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Thanks for the honour of your milestone post Stiev :D

      I figure you're right, it's a fast pace BRM I'm on. If I find that I'm killing $3.40 (and lately I am) it won't take long to get to 30BI for $6. As I get close I might mix in a few to get a feel for it. I don't see any reason to switch to turbo if regular speed is going well?

      Finished for today, good stats, 20 games, 60% ITM, and 62% ROI. BR=$91 :P
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Ok, this is starting out to look really good. I'm being called all sorts of names, and I can only think it's because I use ICM.

      ICM is fantastic - it allows you to walk all over people around the bubble if you have a bigstack. I think my record in the last session was 8 times all in in a row! Usually it's not so easy - I play so tight early that I'm usually fighting my way back from the rail near the bubble. In that case ICM is very helpful, allowing me to push all in with weaker hands at the right moments.

      Last session was much like the one before. It looks like we may have a trend? (Hope so!)

      I'm not moving up to $5 just yet - thanks Stiev. I am going to mix in a few $5 games once in a while - so long as I'm not going lower than $85 this time - in which case it's back to strictly $3.40 matches.

      I played in the 10000 player SnG and finished in the money (oh well, only $1 for almost 3 hours, is still something)

      Overall ITM = 53%, ROI = 37.5% (I guess that's pretty good!) and my BR is...(drum roll please)...a whopping $116.60.

      My next milestone is $150.00 and safer BR for $5 games. I also hope to be able to keep up this pace by concentrating on my play - not doing anything automatically without thinking. ok, well try to keep it to a minimum.
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Played a few more games the last couple of days, not too many cos I'm only playing 2 at a time, and at regular speed.

      I'm convinced my success is due to a few things:

      1) regular speed giving me more time to play my edge - or more chances to come back from the small stack. Most games are going to the 100/200 blind level max - a lot different than what I found when playing turbo games.

      2) $3.40 is simply fishy. There are many VPIP over 40 even 50 and 60's. A few of the tight players don't seem to get when to push over the blinds. There's a lot of bluffing going on and loose players are tightening up a lot at the bubble. All in all a lot to take advantage of.

      3) I'm only playing two tables. I figure I can handle 4, but I'm not confident about playing 4 heads up at once - maybe I should stagger 4 in sets of 2 games.

      I'm almost at the BR to move up - if I was more aggressive with my BRM I would have by now.

      I'm really not sure whether to move up to $5, or continue to enjoy this winrate and low variance - maybe increase to 4 tables, or maybe eventually both?

      Anyway, here's the stats. Running kinda hot I would say @ ITM 55% ROI 44% BR $144
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146


      Happy New Year - it's started off pretty decent. Although I had a short stretch of almost tilt - about $20, or 8BI - I managed to laugh it off and continue to absorb the ridiculous bad beats, suffer folding better hands to donkeys - or worse calling them and getting sucked out.

      I still managed to raise my bankroll to $153, above my milestone for moving up to $5.50 games. I will move down if I hit $100, or <20BI. My BRM strategy is now to move up to $10 games when I hit $300.

      The first few games at $5.50 were completely different than at $3.40 of course

      - much tighter play (mostly)
      - several multitablers (it looks like this limit is full of regulars)
      - people who know ICM
      - average lag type players who sometimes tighten up at the bubble

      I think I lost a few in my small downswing and after playing well at $3.40 again, I managed to cash in my last set of 3 of $5.50 games.

      I also now have enough points for Silver! Which is great, because I really need to read those articles, see the videos - especially Chenny's new one. also hopefully attend some higher level coachings.

      So my goal is to study up - post some hands, and do some more ICM trainer work. I think more players are using ICM, or something like it now at this limit - ok some of them appear to be. The suckouts are bad, but winning blinds and avoiding bubbling out is well worth it.
    • Kruppe
      Kruppe
      Black
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 2,144
      nice graph :)
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Thanks Kruppe :)

      After 350 hands on ICM trainer I'm averaging 92% - my leaks seem to be:

      Not pushing any two at the right time
      Pushing too loose from the button
      Calling KK with 2 all ins and 3 players left same size stacks?
      QTo,Q9o,A6o and a few others, like 22, 33.

    • cannell555
      cannell555
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2008 Posts: 2,410
      Hi gavinonymous,

      Just thought I'd write a note to help you and maybe others.

      We fold KK here, not because of ranges, but because one of these guys is going to bust which will hand us a 2nd place. When we were most likely going to finish 3rd anyway.

      Look at the pro's and con's.

      If we PUSH: and win, we are HU, have atleast 2nd place prize money, but still are outnumbered 2:1 in chips, and more often than not we finish 2nd. There is that chance we loose the hand in which case we finish 3rd.

      If we FOLD: we will end up in a definate HU situation, and guaranteed 2nd place winnings, for no risk.

      There is ofcourse the slim chance that these guys split the pot, but the SB has such a tight range here, that a split pot wont happen very often at all.

      Regards,
      Stiev
    • LuborC
      LuborC
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      There is actually more reasons not to call with KK here.

      1) BU pushes for 32 BB. Nobody would do that with any two he has to have some kind of a hand.

      2) SB calls the 32 BB push even though there is a shortstack at the table. That means that he has to have a MONSTER hand. I think AA, KK and possibly QQ is the range here.

      3) If SB loses you are second. If BU loses you are not the shortstack anymore and are very likely to make the second. If you make the call you have only about 40% equity against their ranges which means you will bust and finish third more often than not.


      92% is not too bad but you should try to have at least 95% correct every time. Just keep practicing and maybe you will be able to maintain the ROI pretty close to what you have now..

      OK, nevermind. I'm typing too slow. I'll just leave this here anyway since I already put the effort into it.. :D
    • cannell555
      cannell555
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2008 Posts: 2,410
      The reason I never even thought about their hands is because I personally would even fold AA in this spot. Their hands (or ranges) are not imprtant at all in this spot. ;)

      One of the very few spots in which i'd fold AA.

      I'm waiting for the swarms of "donk" comments from alot of micro limit players now. hehe, JK.
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I'm now playing at a new level, $5.50 games. It took me a few games to get used to the change in style. I think it's much less fishy, but when there are fish they are still very fishy, and the tight ones try to be more tricky.

      I'm using stats from pokertracker HUD to help me decide how to play post flop better. I think it's working. I'm able to see the loose callers, opportunities to play cheap postflop draws etc.. it's a work in progress. Mainly I'm seeing how my expectations of their play line up with what I see in hands I'm involved or not involved in.

      My really tight image pays off nicely for the first few pushes, or mid game raises. I'm raising more than pushing around 14 BB, or when the 50/100 blinds come around - I'll raise to 250, sometimes 350 depending on the situation.

      I spent a lot of time on watching videos and reading some strategy, posting hands, and attended a few coachings - the hours kind of suck for me, I wish there was some way to record them.

      Since I spent so much time learning, there wasn't much time for playing - but 20 games into $5.50, and I'm positive ROI - and climbing. My winrate hasn't suffered much yet - still a small sample. The main thing is I'm now comfortable playing this level of sng, and it seems to be improving.

      Here's the latest graph- updated with annotations. I just passed a milestone 100 games = 7776 hands (not a lot for you multitablers, but hey - it's the quality the counts for me at this point)

      I'm also really happy I've improved my heads up and bubble play a lot - getting more 1sts and 2nds lately. Last 8 games were 3 wins and 2 second place - hopefully real signs of improvement and adjustment to the new level.



      Current (poker) goals:

      94% score over 200 hands on ICM trainer (with ranges)
      Post more hands - especially my mistakes
      Review all tourneys
      Finish reading the silver articles
      Enjoy playing, and don't stress about how many tables or speed of progress.
    • SoyCD
      SoyCD
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 6,356
      Oh a nice new interesting SNG blog :)

      Very good progress so far - and very nice explanations of that KK hand LuborC and Cannell :D

      Good luck with your future climb - just make sure to keep working on your game and to post hands in the evaluation board!

      Best regards
      SoyCD
    • LPLDS
      LPLDS
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.07.2008 Posts: 192
      this blog is a must read for every begginer in sng´s!
    • cannell555
      cannell555
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.03.2008 Posts: 2,410
      Hi gavinonymous,

      Your last post is pretty impressive. I like your view on the game, and how your approaching it. Quality is definaitly the key to success for new players. I'm sure you'll go far if you keep that attitude.

      Best regards,
      Stiev
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Thanks guys for your comments. The forum support here has been great so far with the hand posting, videos, and silver articles.

      I had a period of about 20 games at $5 that I didn't feel so comfortable and was inconsistent - up and down 6 BI or so.

      Flow offered a free coaching (to help also with his English) which was very useful at this time, I took advantage of it. Thanks very much Flow!

      I hooked up with the teamviewer, kind of strange cos Flow could move my mouse - still it worked very well using skype for audio.

      We had a good session, busting out a couple of times, but winning the last $5 sng, coming back from short stack and dominating through the end game.

      I learned a lot about what I had been doing that needed adjusting - mainly.

      1) fold even good hands UTG early
      2) don't worry so much about calling for set value
      3) no need to complete drawing hands - image is more valuable
      3) be very aggressive around the bubble
      4) play for first place

      I played 4 more games after the coaching session slightly differently and came 3rd twice and won another.

      I busted out third when the SB went in with 26s, and I called with KQo. Not sure if it was a good call, but I had a good read that he was straight ICM and pushing almost ATC. (in fact he told me after the hand that it was an ATC push for him)

      Poker Stars $5.00+$0.50 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t200/t400 Blinds + t25 - 3 players

      BTN: t2700 M = 6.75
      SB: t7735 M = 19.34
      Hero (BB): t3065 M = 7.66

      Pre Flop: (t675) Hero is BB with Q:heart: K:diamond:
      1 fold, SB raises to t7710 all in, Hero calls t2640 all in

      Flop: (t6155) 7:spade: 2:club: A:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      Turn: (t6155) 3:spade: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      River: (t6155) 9:diamond: (2 players - 2 are all in)

      The most interesting hand of one of the tournaments was at a 3$ turbo 10 player - I mixed in to get more coaching help in the late game.

      Poker Stars $3.00+$0.40 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t50/t100 Blinds - 9 players

      UTG+1: t1460 M = 14.60
      UTG+2: t2650 M = 26.50
      MP1: t1285 M = 12.85
      Hero (MP2): t1310 M = 13.10
      CO: t1365 M = 13.65
      BTN: t215 M = 2.15
      SB: t1780 M = 17.80
      BB: t3530 M = 35.30
      UTG: t1405 M = 14.05

      Pre Flop: (t150) Hero is MP2 with K:diamond: K:spade:
      4 folds, Hero raises to t300, 1 fold, BTN calls t215 all in, 1 fold, BB calls t200

      Flop: (t865) A:heart: 5:club: Q:spade: (3 players - 1 is all in)
      BB bets t400, Hero folds

      Turn: (t865) 3:club: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      River: (t865) A:spade: (2 players - 1 is all in)

      Final Pot: t865
      BTN shows 8:heart: 9:diamond: (a pair of Aces)
      BB shows K:club: Q:club: (two pair, Aces and Queens)
      BB wins t170
      BB wins t695

      Unbelievable - I'm glad I'm done (I hope) with the $3 games. I have a more solid confidence in my $5 game now, and latest results are looking better.

      Here's my graph (I always like to post when sharkscope says 'hot' ;) ) you can see the downswing period right before the coaching, and the last 9 games including the coaching session games.



    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Best day yet!

      I played in 16 tournaments today, and I've moved up to $6.50 turbo sng's.

      Since Flow's coaching I had a bit of a swingy period but I was still winning 2 or 3 in a row during this time. I had a period of adjustment to playing for the win.

      I then attended 3 SNG coachings, and one today that I asked a lot of questions at. After that I decided to have a serious session, put on some good music (today was the stranglers, and the doors) constantly post hands and play my best.

      Everything just clicked, and I felt like I was playing my best poker ever. Even getting sucked out with AA to a straight on the river from a loose calling K2s didn't bother me.

      BR is now at $260, and need to set some new milestones. I'd like a roll for the $16 games of $480 at least. I also want to score on the leaderboard. Now I'm playing turbo I might have a chance to make the 100 games required. Turbo isn't much different, so far I like it. I was afraid it would go too fast, I have to get used to having blinds come up so quick - and going to 300/600 much more often. (regular only went to 200/400 most times)

      I'm folding some hands with only a few BB left, but also pushing mercilessly. I'm playing for the win, and it's starting to pay off - as you can see by today's stats.

      [CENTER][/center]

      It's looking good on the graph :)


      And here's the stats for all my sng's so far:
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Played only 8 games at $6.50 turbo and I seem to be dominating the limit. If this keeps up I might not want to move up for a while!



      Thought I'd post it while it lasted