mbml's gold rush

    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      Hi I've decided to start a poker blog. I'm from Singapore, and I'm 19 this year (serving in the army). Hopefully if I am successful, those lousier than me can gain inspiration from me, and those better than me can give me some advice. I managed to get Gold status in 2+ weeks and Silverstar status in Pokerstars.

      Strategy: SSS (a bit of BSS)
      Bankroll: $284
      Poker site: PokerStars
      Date when I really started grinding: Dec 20
      Current limit: SSS (NL25) / BSS (NL10)
      Total number of hands played: 57 000 (I'm a grinder :D )
      Average number of tables: 18-24 (I usually try to play max which is 24 at pokerstars. SSS is quite boring, always waiting for a good hand. Plus I want to get more FPP and PS points)

      Basically when I first started out in Dec, I was always breaking even or losing. I also had a lot of leaks (overplaying weak cards). Then my miraculous milestone hand on Pokerstars boosted my bankroll to $150 (+$100) after losing $20 in an 8-hour session (I should have stopped but I wanted to make back my losses so I continued grinding for the entire day).

      After that I moved up to NL25, earned $100 in 4 days (9000 hands) and lost it all (-$133) in 3800 hands. It was the most horrible downswing I got. I didn't really tilt. My luck was just horrible and I ended up winning about 30-40% of the pots (a shortstacker should be winning 60-70% of his pots at showdown on a normal day to be making some profit). Two days later I decided to grind again and I was +$86 after 3410 hands (downswings are always larger than upswings because of rake =D )

      Here's my January chart:


      With my current bankroll, I can move to NL50 already. I took a look at the tables available and it seems that there are limited tables above 40% players/flop. Looks like it is going to be a little tougher.

      Accomplishments in Dec/Early Jan:
      - Gain a good feel for multi-tabling (auto rebuyin was godsent, it took me 1.5 weeks to discover it)
      - Pokerstrategy Gold Status
      - Pokerstars Silver VIP
      - Climbed to NL25
      - Unlocked PS Elephant
      - Mastery of Basic SSS, read most of the SSS articles
      - Unlocked my first bonus ($50 using FPP to purchase)

      Goals for Jan:
      - Learn more BSS
      - Learn more advanced SSS
      - double my bankroll to $600 and start NL100
      - make greater use of stats (currently i mainly use VPIP and PFR because I seldom get a large enough sample size)

      Long-term goals (by 2009)
      - get a bankroll of several thousand (I think it's highly possible since I am fully dedicated to poker now)
      - maybe fully switch to BSS since it's more fun and profitable

      Current knowledge of SSS:
      1) Continuation betting: 1/2 pot for rainbow flop, 2/3 for drawy board, take a check-behind if EV is more
      2) Stealing: I started stealing more often within the last week with hands like AXs, KT+, QT+, JT against unknown players. If stats show that players behind me are tight, I tend to steal with any hand from BU or SB. If stats show that they are loose, I just steal with the slightly stronger ones like ATs, KJs etc.
      3) Adjusting re-raise range: I didn't memorise the tables cause there are way too many values. However I have sort of adapted the knowledge from "how to play against another shortstacker" article. So for example if someone with VPIP/PFR 5 raises from UTG, I will fold my JJ or AKo

      What I wish to learn eventually (SSS):
      1) More advanced C-betting and post flop play
      2) Having an optimal way of stealing (with any fold to bb value)
      3) Learn how to resteal (I can't do that at the moment since I am still playing micro limits and I have limited sample size of my opponents)
      4) More advanced re-raising
      5) Maybe some of the harder stuff from Platinum articles

      Somebody please guide me in the right direction and give me a few tips for advanced SSS. Thanks a lot!
  • 15 replies
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      hm I have a question as well. I'm playing 20+ tables now so at which limit should I start to cut down and start analysing my opponents more? NL200? Since there is a shortage of nice tables at the upper limits but an abundance of loose tables at microlimits
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      did some reflection about how I am currently playing. I guess as what burek said, the stacks I play with are too large (>30 BB). This definitely worked fine in NL25 but I seriously doubt it will work in the higher limits. I shall try to stick to <25BB.

      Finally decided to reread and try to memorise some of the "adjusting your reraise range" article. I think I'm going to print out the table and place it next to me when I play. I'm also going to alter the range slightly to make it easier to remember.

      The article

      Here are some patterns I noticed in the table:

      1) Basic SSS uses JJ+/AK for reraising
      Opponent in UTG/UTG+1: PFR=10 has similar reraise range
      Opponent in UTG+2/MP1: PFR=8 has similar reraise range
      Opponent in MP2/MP3: PFR=6 has similar reraise range
      Opponent in CO/BU: PFR=4 has similar reraise range

      2) Certain pocketpairs come with certain Ax
      TT comes with AQs for the tighter PFR ranges, TT comes with AQo for the looser PFR ranges. Same goes for 99 and AJs/AJo

      3) Each pocketpair has two columns allocated to them on average [there are some exceptions]. (I'm not going to make a distinction between the different positions for Hero because they are similar) For example in the UTG+2/MP1 table, we have the following table:
      PFR: 4 6 8 10 12 15 18
      pair: QQ QQ JJ TT TT 99 99

      There is one column for JJ in the UTG+2/MP1 and the MP2/MP3 table.
      There are two columns for JJ in the UTG/UTG+1 and the CO/BU table.

      By using these patterns, I can make an estimate without memorising the tables (of course it is better to make a more conservative estimation)

      Example 1: opponent stats: PFR=11, MP2,
      We take the lower boundary so we use the PFR=10 value. When our opponent is in MP2, we use the third table. In this case, PFR=6 uses the JJ+/AK reraise range. PFR=10 is two columns away from PFR=6. With my estimate, I get a range of TT+/AQs+/AQo+. This value happens to be quite close to the actual value stated in the table.

      Example 2: opponent stats: PFR=17, CO
      We take the lower boundary so we use the PFR=15 value. When our opponent is in CO, we use the last table. In this case, PFR=4 uses the JJ+/AK reraise range. PFR=15 is 5 columns away from PFR=4. With my estimate, I get a range of 99+/AJs+/AJo+ which is a little tighter than the given range of 88+/ATs+/AJo+

      Maybe I'll print out the sheet, then make the estimate and compare it with the reraise table then hopefully over time I will remember everything. I think it is really a hassle to memorise it from scratch.
    • justkyle88
      justkyle88
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 7,596
      Nice blog.
      Very detailed.
      goodluck with your career.

      Hopefully Gerv reads this blog but I think with multi-tabling there is no limit just as long your not loosing reads,playing badly and therefore loosing money.

      Obviously the more the harder it is to keep track even if you have stats.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      I didn't blog about yesterday's session so I shall do so now.

      Games:
      1) afternoon
      Number of tables: 5
      Number of hands: 400
      Bankroll: $284
      Net profit: -$8
      Time: 1.5 hours
      Limit: $0.05/$0.10
      Strategy: BSS

      Still working on postflop play. And I realised that I didn’t read the strategy articles properly. I wasn’t sure how to react to a reraise behind me. Also burnt my entire stack with AK vs AA for nothing.

      Preflop: Hero is BB with Kd, Ah
      UTG2 calls $0.10, MP1 calls $0.10, 2 folds, CO raises to $0.60, 2 folds, Hero raises to $2.00, 2 folds, CO calls $1.40.

      Flop: ($4.25) Ts, 9c, Jh (2 players)
      Hero bets $3.00, CO raises to $8.15, Hero calls $5.15 (All-In).

      Turn: ($20.55) 4s
      River: ($20.55) 8c (2 players)
      CO gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $20.55

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows high card ace with king kicker (Kd Ah)
      CO shows a pair of aces (As Ad)

      CO wins with a pair of aces (As Ad)

      2) night
      Number of tables: 15-18
      Number of hands: 1547
      Bankroll: $297
      Net profit: +$13
      Time: 1.5 hours
      Pots won at showdown: 60% at the end I think. It was like 30% at the start and I was down $50. Felt quite disheartened for the rest of the session until my upswing in the last 500 hands.
      Limit: $0.25/$0.50
      Strategy: SSS

      This limit feels very difficult. Everyone is tighter and more aggressive. Throughout the session I had many many AA but everyone kept folding to me at the start. Then towards the end of the session everyone suddenly became looser or just had inferior pairs. My VPIP was only about 5-6% compared to my usual 7-8% because everyone is more aggressive and keep on raising in front of me, forcing me to fold hands I could otherwise play. I think I will drop back to $0.10/$0.25 until I feel more comfortable with a larger bankroll as well as advanced stuff like adjusting reraise range.

      After some other pokerstrategy members gave some advice, I think I’m going to start using the Sklansky-Chubukov numbers when I ascend to NL50. I think the opponents are already significantly tighter and I need some sort of edge. Then I would have to deactivate auto rebuyin. I’m also going to tighten up my freeplay and only play top pair with J+ kicker. Played too many KT and K9 which isn’t very safe.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      Games:
      Number of tables: 15-20
      Number of hands: 1107
      Bankroll: $262
      Net profit: -$34
      Time: 1 hour +
      Limit: $0.25/$0.50
      Strategy: SSS

      Everyone is still very tight. I used the Sklansky-Chubukov numbers to push about 3 hands.
      1) Hero is BU with A9o, $9.25 - Win $0.75
      2) Lost $5.45

      Preflop: Hero is SB with As, 7h
      7 folds, Hero raises to $5.45 (All-In), BB calls $4.95.

      Flop: ($10.90) 4s, Ks, 8d
      Turn: ($10.90) Qh
      River: ($10.90) Tc (2 players)

      Final Pot: $10.90

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows high card ace with king kicker (As 7h)
      BB shows a pair of kings (Kd Ah)

      BB wins with a pair of kings (Kd Ah)

      I think I'll need to rethink the situations in which I will use the Sklansky-Chubukov numbers.

      Games:
      Number of tables: 15-20
      Number of hands: 1000
      Bankroll: $310
      Net profit: +$48
      Time: 1.5 hour
      Limit: $0.10/$0.25
      Strategy: SSS

      went back to the micro NL25 limit. so much easier. I shall let all the loose donks call my value bets and eat their money up. I shall get $400 first and stick to my initial plan. NL50 is too swingy for me, especially when I have yet to master the advanced moves. I timed out a few times in the first session as I had to look at the chart before deciding on my move.

      Right now I am mainly playing JJ+ when my stack doubles up. Still not sure how I should play a midsize stack (40-50BB).
    • justkyle88
      justkyle88
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 7,596
      @ That A7o hand.
      I don't think you need to shove there.
      If you get called very often your way behind.

      Just raise 3-4x BB in a blind battle and obv fold to a re-raise and re-evaluate on the flop if called.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      Games:
      Number of tables: 15-20
      Number of hands: 2500
      Bankroll: $337
      Net profit: +$28
      Time: 3 hours
      Limit: $0.10/$0.25
      Strategy: SSS
      Pots won at showdown: 35/57 (61%)

      Mistakes:
      1) Folded AK once because the stats from pokerelephant was blocking it and I couldn’t see my cards properly
      2) Folded QQ instead of reraising because the raiser had a VPIP of 4 and I thought he was raising from UTG when he was actually in MP1
      3) The stats blocked me again and I thought I had AJ. Instead I had A3 but I had a straight in the end and won some money (would have lost if I had AJ) :D

      Super huge upswing but it went downhill after that

    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      I tend to steal a lot now but I wasn't sure if it was profitable so I decided to make some calculations on my own. I will be using a 3 BB for an open raise at the button and a 3.5 BB raise at the SB (4 BB - 0.5 BB posted)

      Stealing from BU
      When BB%XSB%=65%: EV = 0.65 X 1.5 - 0.35 X 3 = -0.075
      When BB%XSB%=70%: EV = 0.7 X 1.5 - 0.3 X 3 = +0.15

      Of course 65% is quite marginal and I could steal with Ax or QJs perhaps since these hands have good playability.

      Stealing from SB
      When BB%=70%: EV = 0.7 X 1 - 0.3 X 3.5 = -0.35
      When BB%=80%: EV = 0.8 X 1 - 0.2 X 3.5 = +0.1
    • mikelstwe
      mikelstwe
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.08.2008 Posts: 156
      Hey mbml,

      This seems to be a good blog and I must say you show a lot of dedication, a skill necessary to be successful in poker.

      You seem to be multi-tabling an enormous amount of tables. When you start making mistakes whilst playing, I would suggest that you scale down a little bit. Btw what setup (screens etc.) are you playing on?

      Your inter-mixing of BSS and SSS is really interesting. I think to be really good in poker one needs to consider and study all styles as this will give you more insight into other player's tactics. However I would advise that you chose a style and concentrate on it as you'll progress faster.

      Another thing remember BRM! I feel despite having the right bankroll, you need to feel confortable with a limit before you move up.

      Anyways good luck with all your goals

      regards

      Mikel Stwe
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      yeah im concentrating on SSS first, playing some bss during the weekends for an hour or two. i think i'll just leave the learning process to the post-session self review.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      Games (session 1):
      Number of tables: 18-20
      Number of hands: 2095
      Bankroll: $319
      Net profit: -$19
      Time: 2 hours
      Limit: $0.10/$0.25
      Strategy: SSS
      Pots won at showdown: 26/51 (50%)

      Got VIP Goldstar status after this session.

      Games (session 2):
      Number of tables: 18-20
      Number of hands: 1433
      Bankroll: $403
      Net profit: +$84
      Time: 1.5 hours
      Limit: $0.25/$0.50
      Strategy: SSS
      Pots won at showdown: 26/45 (57%)

      Most of my profit can be attributed to winning two consecutive pots with AA. I won a three-way pot at first, trippling up from $10 to $30. Then I doubled up from $30 to $60 with another AA. However, this win was compensated by the fact that I lost one AA to KK (trips) and two KK to AA. Here are the hands:


      Known players:
      Position:
      Stack
      BB:
      $60.90
      MP1:
      $20.80
      MP2:
      $12.15
      Hero:
      $10.90

      0.25/0.5 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.67 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is BU with A:diamond: , A:spade:
      UTG2 folds, MP1 raises to $2.00, MP2 calls $2.00, 2 folds, Hero raises to $10.90 (All-In), SB folds, BB calls $10.40, MP1 folds, MP2 calls $8.90.

      Flop: ($34.95) 4:diamond: , Q:heart: , A:heart: (2 players)
      BB checks, MP2 bets $1.25 (All-In), BB calls $1.25.

      Turn: ($37.45) 3:spade:
      River: ($37.45) T:diamond: (3 players)


      Final Pot: $37.45

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows three of a kind, aces (Ad As)
      BB shows a pair of kings (Kd Kh)
      MP2 shows a pair of queens (Qd Ks)

      Hero wins with three of a kind, aces (Ad As)

      Known players:
      Position:
      Stack
      MP1:
      $59.10
      Hero:
      $33.25
      BU:
      $52.60

      0.25/0.5 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: PokerStrategy Elephant 0.67 by www.pokerstrategy.com.

      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with Q:diamond: , A:diamond:
      UTG2 folds, MP1 calls $0.50, Hero raises to $2.50, 2 folds, BU calls $2.50, 2 folds, MP1 calls $2.00.

      Flop: ($8.25) J:heart: , 5:diamond: , Q:club: (3 players)
      MP1 checks, Hero bets $5.00, BU calls $5.00, MP1 folds.

      Turn: ($18.25) A:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $25.75 (All-In), BU calls $25.75.

      River: ($69.75) 3:heart: (2 players)


      Final Pot: $69.75

      Results follow (highlight to see):
      Hero shows two pairs, aces and queens (Qd Ad)
      BU shows a pair of aces (As Ks)

      Hero wins with two pairs, aces and queens (Qd Ad)

      Anyway after my Strategy points are updated, I will probably hit Platinum status xD . I'm like the poorest and noobiest Platinum member ever haha.

      Chart for today:


      I think NL50 isn't that hard. Just that due to the nature of the tighter players, I get into coin flip situations more often (so many times its KK vs AA)
    • slikec
      slikec
      Global
      Joined: 04.02.2008 Posts: 1,155
      Your volume of hands is quite sick and you are just beginner :D

      Good luck with SSS i found it very hard above NL25 and am switching to BSS ;)
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      Didn't come home on Thursday so I started grinding on Friday morning.

      Games:
      Session 1
      Number of hands: 3900
      Number of tables: 15-20
      Bankroll: $397
      Pots at showdown: about 50%
      Time spent: 4 hours
      Limit: $0.25/$0.50
      Strategy: SSS

      Made many mistakes throughout the day and lots of bad luck too. Bought the $50 bonus again with 5000 FPP and I'm currently in the process of clearing it.

      Session 2
      Number of hands: 400
      Number of tables: 7 (wanted to play 5 but waitlisted too many so I just played them all anyway)
      Net profit: +$25
      Bankroll: $422
      Time spent: 1 hour
      Limit: $0.10/$0.25
      Strategy: BSS

      Won 2 big pots at the start with trips. Then after that I lost a little here and there. Still not quite sure how to play proper BSS although I applied some Way Ahead/Way Behind knowledge in a flop with JJX with my KK. I used the line bet flop check turn blockbet river.

    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      Games:
      Number of tables: 5-6
      Number of hands: ~800
      Profit: +$50
      Bankroll: $520
      Time: 2 hours
      Limit: $0.10/$0.25
      Strategy: BSS

      Just started using Pokertracker. Much better than elephant but im still trying to get used to it. Elephant lags so hard and frustrates me (every startup can take at least 5 min and it crashes regularly). I think I am going to concentrate on BSS more now and cut down on the grinding which is more swingy and boring.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      My bankroll got raped within 3 hours. I played 2 sessions today. One in the afternoon (2 hours) and one more at night (3 hours). In the first part of the second session, I was playing NL25 BSS and lost about $60 due to horrible luck (QJ vs 22 on a QQ2 flop, losing 88 to four of a kind jacks on a board with 3 jacks). Then I switched to NL50 SSS and lost even more money.

      I came across many situations in which I was quite sure I was behind but I still chose to push because of the pot odds. E.g. I open raise with TT, one person reraise behind me and another coldcaller. I knew I was dead already but I had 4:1 odds and just shoved anyway. I shouldn't play in such situations and just fold.

      Current Bankroll: $405 (lost >$100)
      Total generated rake: $4600 (omg I wished I was playing at Fulltilt so that I can get $1200 or something). It's a pity I dislike the fulltilt software and I think that Pokerstars software is really superior to all (I also really like the Pokerstars black theme)

      Still need to work on my postflop play and avoid all the stupid decisions which costed me money. There was a particular hand in which I had AQo. We reached the river, this big fish betted (he had some low pair and he has 96% VPIP). I knew he has a pair but I called anyway just to prove that I'm right and find out his style (which I eventually did - he will play nearly any hand till the end if he has any pair and the opponent doesn't show that much aggression). So I burnt $3 in the process. Too bad my premium hands weren't appearing in the table he played in.

      On another note, I finally discovered how to view hands in pokertracker. You have to select your own name first. Previously I had no idea why I was looking at the name of others but I finally realized it. Now I can start posting more hands in the forum and improve on my game.