Climbing the Zoom ladder

    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Introduction & background

      I have been playing poker on and off for the last 4 months or so, with a couple of failed attempts at blogging and improving. (1st & 2nd) I always start out positive and motivated, then I lose more flips then I can tolerate and end up spewing. In total probably down about $500 which isn't ideal but isn't the end of the world.

      So what is different this time? Hopefully my motivation and discipline. However just in case that isn't enough I have limited my account on PokerStars to only let me on tables NL2 for now. This way it should be pretty hard to punt my whole bank roll if I get too tiled, and hopefully I just take a break instead.

      Bankroll Challenge

      I have decided to opt in to the get rich or die trying thread, just in case I do make it then I can get a free upgrade :f_biggrin:

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $30
      Target: $1000

      Goals & plans

      I have now tried a month of cash and a month of SNG in my previous blogs. With this experience I have decided to go for cash games (Zoom NL2). This mainly comes down to the limited time I can put into poker. With SNG I found that I could spend a hour miss the money and feel like it has all been for nothing. I just didn't have the time to put the volume in. With cash games I can just dip in and out when I want. I might still try the odd MTT on a Sunday as I am never going to have a life changing win in cash games, and you never know I could get lucky in the MTT. :f_drink:

      I also find cash games more fun to continuously play. With SNG/MTT I found that it was a whole load of folding, followed by a quick shove fest. As this isn't meant to be an income stream and more a hobby I would prefer to play what I enjoy regardless of the return on investment.

      Even with the limited time at my disposable I am planning on trying to do about 70%/30% play/study. Ideally I want to do some reading/studying for a bit before I start to get in the right frame of mind. I am also planning on focusing on certain areas at a time which I will hopefully try and discuss in this blog to get feedback from others.

      Thoughts & discussion

      The first thing I am looking into is my blue and my red line. Below is the graph for the last couple of days.



      To my mind the red line shows that I am playing to aggressive and pushing people out of pots when I could potentially get more if I took them all the way to showdown.

      The blue line shows that I am calling too much at showdown and/or value betting myself. The value betting myself I am kind of ok with. A quote from a Tonkaaaap stream "You're not value betting enough if you don't value bet yourself once and awhile". Now I know this was a bit of a joke, but I do think in general I use to not value bet enough and might have gone a bit far the other way.
      The calling to much at showdown I think is coming down to not considering peoples ranges enough as well as getting blinkered to only what my cards are. For example betting my two pair as the nuts because I have be blinded to the fact there is a possible straight out there.

      So this is what I plan on focusing on this week in my studying and play.

      So that is all for now, hopefully I can stay motivated and stick with it. But mainly I hope I can keep enjoying playing else it isn't meeting my main goal.
  • 34 replies
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,470
      Well structured post & GL with your challenge (+ winning the upgrade :-))
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Mid week update

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $30
      Current BR: $28.76
      Change : -$1.24

      Hands this week: 6,449
      Hands total: 6,449



      I think in general I have played a bit too much with auto pilot just playing and breaking even ish, then calling to wide on the river every now and then taking my into a loss position. I have been marking hands as I go (wish I had goggle how to do it on HM2 sooner by using hotkeys :f_mad: ) then reviewing either at the end of the session or before the next session starts. I have also been checking any big wins/losses that aren't marked. Some of the big loss at showdown have come from me suffering from blinkers still. Callings against flushes/straights that got there on the river and the villain bets hard, yet all I can see is my two pair/set. I think I just need to take a bit more time with every post flop decision to make sure I am thinking it through entirely.

      I have also posted some hands on the forum for discussion and I am very grateful for the feedback from others. :f_drink: :f_drink: Hopefully when I improve I can start commenting on others hands.

      There have been some hands were I have lost a full buy-in but I feel I was more unfortunate rather then playing it bad, such as set into set. But I am trying to manage my reactions to these situations as in general I think the lines taken have been ok/good and it is only that specific hand that I would lose to. The more frustrating times are people calling all the way with nothing to catch something on the river. But again trying to think on the positive side that they could do this and not catch on the river and have just paid me for my good hand.

      Edit for today's play

      So managed to play 1161 hands today, and was pretty happy with the play. There were a few spots that I avoided my usually pit falls. However still a few hands I plan to review/post on the forum. But am working away next two days so wont get a chance to play or study. Here is the graph for the day, put a smile on my face :f_drink:

    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Week 1

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $45.81 (Had been $30 but did a further deposit of $15.81 for the beat the clock bonus tickets.)
      Current BR: $59.46
      Change : +$13.65 ($5.12 from the beat the clock tickets, $8.53 from ZNL2)

      Hands this week: 11,250
      Hands total: 11,250

      Goals & plans
      In the first post of the blog I outlined a very woolly version of goals and plans. This could be whittled down to; study 70%/30% and not really much else of any really substance. So before continuing I thought I would outline some more hard and measurable goals.
      Poker goals
      - Study 20 mins for every 60 mins played. This is study of articles/videos/books.
      - Review 20 mins for every 60 mins played. This is reviewing previous sessions, posting hands on the forum, looking over hands posted by others.
      - For now I am not setting a volume goal as I don't think I want to be tired down to anything.
      Not poker goals
      - Maintain a streak on the language learning app duo lingo. I am studying Spanish on it and have it set for a goal of 20 mins a day.
      - Play one sport a week. I play 5 a side football and also go rock climbing.
      - Only drink a max of 6 units when I go out.
      Bankroll management
      I am still considering my bankroll management. I want to move up pretty quickly but at the same time I would hate to move up and destroy and confidence by having to move down straight away. With that in mind I am going to be doing the bankroll management on more of a consistency basis rather than just on the number of buy-ins I have. For now I am happy playing in the ZNL2 as I still have a lot of areas that need working on, and this is a much cheaper area to find and fix them in. As mentioned previously I have also set limits on my PokerStars account so even when I do want to move up I'll have to wait 24 hours for the restrictions to be increased.

      Reviewing my game

      HEM
      I have now created some more tags within Hold'em manager for when I am playing. The tags are;
      Unsure - When I really don't know what the best move is.
      Too agrro - When I feel I have lost value by playing to aggressive.
      Too passive - I have just been calling and either missed value or got myself into difficulty as I haven't been actively involved in the hand.
      I thought have them separate would make it easier when reviewing as I would know why I had marked the hands.

      SnowieApp
      I have read mixed reviews on the use of Snowie, but I am currently trying out the SnowieApp free trail in Hold'em Manager. So far I think I will probably help improve my game as long as I don't try to be a slave to it, and also take it's suggestions with a pinch of salt. Currently it has Snowie's EV at $20 above my actual Net won. This Is where I think I need to not really take it at face value. However what I am finding useful is where it is showing that I make the most mistakes.



      Looking at the colour graph on the far right showing how well Snowie think's I played, the river is by far the worse. And I would have to agree with that. A lot of the time I have gotten to the river convinced I am ahead only to be blind sided by a set, or at other times just not trust my instinct. For instance in a 3 bet pot on the flop I put villain on AK which hadn't hit the flop so I bet my pocket pair and got called, then the turn completed a flush. Even though my instinct was that I was now beat I called his massive over bet to be looking at AKs. I think I still have trouble accepting that fact that every now and then I'll be bluffed and I can't always catch it and should trust my instincts more.

      I still have 10 days left of Snowie and am going to see if it helps, so far it has mainly only pointed out hands that I had already marked, but there has been a few which I thought were fine but Snowie disagreed.

      Thoughts & discussions



      My blue and red line have sorted themselves out a bit since the last graph. It does then get a little messy after the 9k to 11k hand mark. But this was more to my concentration rather then anything else really. I was playing stupid calling wide and bluffing in bad spots. This is mainly at the river and for large amounts, my better playing stages I would describe as low variance. I didn't go all in, never really over bet the pot but was slowly chipping up. At one point had 6x buy in without a single all in. I think this might be a preferred way of playing for me, but then it relies a lot on others staying in the pot when they shouldn't so probably can't be relied on, I am also probably losing value on the hands I am in front with.

      Edit: Adding Sunday

      So just to add to the blog (didn't it first in case didn't get a chance). I had a busy day but managed to squeeze in 2,200 hands. Was pretty decent, kept my cool after the first hand was all in QQ into 77 only to lose, but kept on playing on knowing that over the long term it would be positive. So a more constant end of the week graph.

    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Mid week kicking
      So since playing a little on the Sunday both Monday and Tuesday I have taken an absolute kicking, in a very short period of hands (about 600) and had to stop.



      Feels like everyone can just see my cards,I have good cards I get walked or people fold on a small bet after flop. When I think I have the best cards I run into a monster. Have had most AK running into AA (3 times in a 10 min period), most of my sets run into straights, and then a full house over full house. One set someone 4 bet me with 66 only to get a 6 on the river after heavy betting. So both nights stopped play very early on, and kept trying to tell myself over time it will even out, but when I look at my graph since the start;



      It looks like an cliff edge. If it wasn't for a pretty rampant red line could be in a very -ve position. So going to try and regroup and hopefully not let this send my blog into a massive down spiral as has happened in the past due to frustration. However I do have to take a little of the blame as at one point I heavily bet a set with a straight on the board with this short clip summing up my feelings completely (saw the video just after doing it and was like that is me :f_mad: )



      Edit: can't seem to get the emmeded youtube to work.. but the link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTpWNEEdGSA&feature=youtu.be&t=10m4s and it is Doug Polk talking about Gold when he all in's his set and Doug says "It is almost like he is like don't have a straight and just rips it into the pot"

      Development
      Looking at my database and the information from SnowieApp my pre-flop is OK, however my post-flop is pretty terrible. Which is something I can definitely feel when playing. It can also be seen by my terrible blue line on the graph. In general I have been a lot better if I just don't bet or call on the river, but I know in real terms this would be losing serious value. So I have broken post-flop into several areas which I am going to be looking into. They are;

        -Cbet
        -Bet sizing
        -Range advantage
        -Hand reading/ villain ranges


      Reading and videos
      So I have been reading a few articles here and watching some videos from another site (due to my bronze status here :f_cry: ) but I am getting the feeling of can't see the wood for the trees with all the information that is out there. However reading someone else blog I saw mention of a book called "The Grinders manual" which had good reviews, and when looking it up I was first shocked at the £36.99 price tag, but then happily surprised as it is included in my amazon unlimited :f_cool: So I am currently reading that and so far it read very well, if it is actually good in practice I will have to wait and see.

      Starpoints
      What to do with them? I currently have enough that I could change them into $20 cash. But do I want to? The only other way I can think that would be good for spending them are starpoints entry MTT. However as I don't play MTT probably would be a profitable decision on my part. What are peoples thoughts?
    • pokerplayernumber1
      pokerplayernumber1
      Gold
      Joined: 05.06.2010 Posts: 238
      Hi Catonthemat :f_biggrin:

      Cool blog, cool video.

      I like that starpoints can be changed to cash, the ratio is same as tickets, but you can sure take some staff too.
      Pokerstars is a recommended site so be sure you will get it in short time.

      Gl at zoom tables, I believe we will see each other at the tables in short time.
      Hope not at nl10 :f_biggrin:
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,470
      Hi Cat, how is your spanish going?
      I also did it with Duolingo and played till I had a 365 day streak! But then I stopped because it is then very repetitive and you just do it to keep everything on gold.
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      @Pokerplayernumber1 Thanks. Hope to see you there, just need to get out of the swamp that is ZNL2 :f_mad:

      @SvenBe



      Not very far, I have last year got a lot further (almost full tree) with an extreme streak. However was doing a 2nd degree through work so had to give it up so started a fresh. My problem right now is I get a 6 day streak then Friday arrives, I go out and forget to do it :f_cry:

      Still never tried to speak or use any of it even though a good friend a work is fluent in it. Maybe when get a bit more confidence back with it.
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Week 2

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $45.81
      Last week BR: $59.46
      Current BR: $53.60
      Change : -$5.86

      Hands this week: 10,310
      Hands total: 21,560

      Variance

      This this week has been pretty tough going. I continued running full houses into higher full houses, if I got a set they got a straight/flush on the river. All in EV also took it's toll this week.



      (Not sure if all hands got tracked as poker stars balance has it as a lowwer loss since I last posted.)

      So nearly 5 buyins difference in All in EV. However taking heart in the fact that all my all ins were correct and I was ahead by a long way when I choose to do them.

      The graph is also showing me that I seem to suck at showdown. Some of this is in part due to a lot of my good hands running in slightly better one. However I have to take the blame for some of it, as some of my biggest losses I had a good hand, then a flush/straight hit on the river, the Villian donk bets and I just call because I don't believe him. I am also finding that sometimes if I don't know what to do I will just call all the way through.

      Graph since start;


      Goals & plans
      Poker goals
      - Study 20 mins for every 60 mins played. This is study of articles/videos/books.
      - Review 20 mins for every 60 mins played. This is reviewing previous sessions, posting hands on the forum, looking over hands posted by others.
      - For now I am not setting a volume goal as I don't think I want to be tired down to anything.


      I think that I managed th study 20 mins for every 60 mins. I have been reading "The Grinder's Manual" a lot. I have tried not to start reading other things along side it, as sometimes reading in different places gives me conflicting ideas. So for now going to stick to just reading that book.
      My session reviewing has been pretty haphazard. So really need to start working on that more. I have been using a site called "bossranger" which can be used for guessing the players range. I am going to start trying to do that for some of that hand in my database. That way I can practice the reads along with the info the HUD might have on them.

      Not poker goals
      - Maintain a streak on the language learning app duo lingo. I am studying Spanish on it and have it set for a goal of 20 mins a day. Managed 6/7 days this week. The missing day was due to going out for a party. Next time will try and do it before I go out.
      - Play one sport a week. I went go rock climbing this week.
      - Only drink a max of 6 units when I go out. Failed at this one during the party. Probably closer to 30 units... :f_mad:

      Bankroll management
      I have decided that when I get to about $80 I am going to use my StarCoins to top it up to $100. I am then going to take a shot at going up in the limits.

      Software
      HEM
      I have added some more stats to my HUD, and really finding that it is making a difference. Especially in some spots where I am unsure what to do.



      SnowieApp
      The trail ended due to too many hands. I didn't get much more use out of it before the trail ran out. I am still in two minds about if I should get it or not. For now going to just stick to reviewing the hands myself, then get it later if I feel I need it.

      Next week
      Next week I am away with work for two weeks, so the volume is going to be down. But there is a lot of travelling time so will try and use some of it for studying. Might try and take my laptop so that I can go over my database. Hopefully the hands I do play will be decent and I can try and climb out of ZNL2.
      I am going to try and put more effort into not calling when I "know" I am beat but for some reason don't believe it yet.

      Goals:
      - Study 20 mins for every 60 mins played.
      - Review hands played 20 mins for every 60 mins played.
      - Complete duo lingo everyday.
      - Play sport at least once.
      - Don't drink too much.
    • AgapieGheorghe
      AgapieGheorghe
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.07.2011 Posts: 1,250
      Hello good luck with your goals ! After reading your blog today I got the The Grinder's Manual, now I have something new to read.

      Fold to 3bet - is something you can use in your hud.

      Gl grinding !
    • ettorek
      ettorek
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2011 Posts: 69
      Glgl dude for your challenge!
      Nice red line btw :P
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      @AgapieGheorghe Thanks. Yea I really like the book, the more I read on it. Not sure how "good" it is as I wouldn't know any better :f_confused: But the structure and style of the writing is really nice, and it flows from one thing to the next. Very handy for anyone suffering from the "Can't see the woods for the trees" with all the information that is out there. Running a bit low on space on the HUD, mainly due to laptop screen size :f_mad:

      @ettorek Cheers. Yea that red line is going crazy, very unintentional. Have a feeling I play my strong hands to hard and scare everybody off. Checked out your blog before, good luck and keep up the momentum.
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Quick Monday Update

      So I managed a good 1k hands today, but that isn't want the post is for.

      Whilst doing my session review I liked the idea from boss ranger of doing each step and narrowing down the range, however I couldn't upload my hands. So next I tried just reading it through but it just didn't feel the same. So I turned to my first love (before poker :f_biggrin: ) Excel. Rather than explain it I did a quick video;



      I really like it, have already though of a few improvements, but hopefully it should help me with my hand ranging. Now this probably already exists, but don't tell me :f_tongue: I really enjoyed making it.
    • AgapieGheorghe
      AgapieGheorghe
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.07.2011 Posts: 1,250
      Nice excel skills :f_biggrin:

      :f_drink:
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      The video was just for example of how the sheet worked, wasn't me guessing the ranges :f_biggrin:
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Mid week update

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $45.81
      Last week BR: $53.60
      Current BR: $54.32
      Change : $0.72 Should be higher but played a $3.30 6 max MTT for fun, went ok but failed to cash. Enjoyed it though.

      Hands this week: 1,002
      Hands total: 22,563



      So I have only been able to play on Monday due to working away last 2 days. These have been really long days and have meant I have missed several targets, such as doing duo lingo. I also haven't done any studying because I feel if I am too tired to play I am too tired to learn. I would prefer not to read something whilst tired and miss out on the benefit.

      Not out this week so should be able to get at least another 7k hands in before Sunday. But going to try for quality and quantity and keep an eye out for when I start just clicking buttons.

      Going to be putting more focus on session reviews, with the help of my new excel sheet for hand reviewing. I am also going to try and put a template together with things to consider about the session so I can fill the in when reviewing the session so I can compare session reviews easier.

      Good luck out there on the tables. :f_drink:

      Edit: Managed to play some hands
      So managed to play some hands today, and I really wish I hadn't. Ran straights into higher straights. When I had good hole cards I would get a walk (7 walks with AA), and if I ever did get called it was because I was beat. All KK and QQ called ran into AA or KK respectively. I know without variance there wouldn't be any profit in the game, what I am struggling with is my wins are small as I can't get anyone to put any money in, and when I lose it is a lot bigger because both me and the Villain had a decent hand. Feels very much like everyone can see my cards when I am playing. *End of rant*

      Going to review the session and see if there are any glaring mistakes, but in general I feel I took the right lines.

      One hand that did baffle me was due to the craziness of ZNL2. I was trying to narrow down ranges as I went, I was convinced I was ahead by doing this, then when it came to showdown the Villain had open raised from UTG with T8o which is miles outside any range I would have considered.
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Week 3

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $94.81 (+$49 for an offer deposit)
      Last week BR: $102.60 (+$49 for an offer deposit)
      Current BR: $86.95
      Change : -$15.65 (Not sure how it is so much different from what HM record of a loss of (-$9.34))

      Hands this week: 8,399
      Hands total: 29,959

      PokerStars Christmas calendar
      Have been keeping an eye on the PokerStars Christmas calendar offers. So far only one got my interest, and that was to deposit £40 get and mystery prize, so I did and was a big winner;



      Hopefully some better ones come about before Christmas.

      Stars Points
      Still sat on $20 worth of points. With the extra deposit I should really be rolled for moving up. However I am only breaking even at ZNL2 so probably not worth trying right now. So am going to just sit on the points for now.

      Graphs

      This week


      Since the start


      Variance
      Bit of a rant about variance, spoiler'd as I don't want this to be that "sort" of blog, however need a vent. (Short version currently running 10 buy ins below EV).


      So since starting my EV all in difference is $19.93 or nearly 10 buy ins. I feel I lose some many all-ins from ahead, which really effects the rest of my game.I have come to expect that when I am all in I am just going to lose regardless. I try to stay positive and understand the fact that in the long run my play would have made money. But I am so focused on trying to get out of the swamp which is ZNL2 (more on that later) that those 10 buy ins really would make a difference now. With the all in EV being so obviously against me currently, it makes me notice other EV situations where I have got the shitty end of the stick. Like blasting KK in AA or going all in post flop with only had that could beat me being Q8o, which just happens to be what someone opened with UTG then called a 3bet (again more on that later). I know it happens to all of us and I am not a speacial snowflake. But currently I really do feel like the unluckiest man in poker (bit of an exaggeration). Hopefully it will pass, but makes motivation to study very difficult.


      Needs improvement
      Leaks
      All in EV a side, the graph is still pretty terrible. Even if I was running at EV I would be exactly break even for this week. Not a great sign if I want to move out of the swamp. I think my biggest leak is calling hands that I know I am beaten by, but just can't give it up as I have gotten sick of losing or that I don't want someone to get away with bluffing me. I think this really comes down to my mental game. Which is getting worse as the challenge goes on.
      To try and help me make better decisions I have created a help sheet (another excel sheet) with different things on for different phases on the hand for me to consider. Such as things to consider when CBetting, ISO raising, what a 5%/10%/.../70% open raise looks like. I am hoping that as I play I will start referring to these less and less so it becomes more of a learnt skill.

      Mental Game
      I think that this is contributing to a lot of the leaks mentioned above. So for the next week I am going to stop reading "The Grinders Manual" and re read "The Mental Game of Poker". Hopefully going over it again, and putting more effort into the activities it suggests will help me snap out of the cycle of start challenge, tilt, quit challenge, rinse and repeat.

      Range Reading
      I am still practising range reading using the spreadsheet I made. I am finding it useful to a certain extent, and have been using it on some of the hands which I over called just to prove to my self that had I thought it through a call was chips suicide. The only problem is that people in ZNL2 can not be relied on to play "properly". I wouldn't expect everyone to play the same, but some of them are crazy. I went all in post flop with the only had that could beat me being Q8o, which just happens to be what someone opened with UTG then called a 3bet. Granted these sort of plays do work out nicely when EV goes the right way, had someone bluff all in 72o from UTG and I called with my KK, however when people are using very strange opens makes narrowing them down to a hand near on impossible, or if I assume they would use a "normal" range I normally come unstuck thinking I am head, as I would be for those ranges.
      But hopefully the practice comes in handy later on in the challenge.

      Goals
      Last week goals:
      - Study 20 mins for every 60 mins played. Completed
      - Review hands played 20 mins for every 60 mins played. Sort of completed
      - Complete duo lingo everyday. 6 out of 7 days complete (due to being away for work)
      - Play sport at least once. Failed
      - Don't drink too much. Ok had 10 units all week (mainly with meals whilst away with work)

      Next week goals:
      - Study 20 mins for every 60 mins played - focusing on Mental game.
      - Review hands played 20 mins for every 60 mins played - focusing on hands where I over called.
      - Complete duo lingo everyday.
      - Play sport at least once.
      - Don't drink too much - might be difficult with 2 Christmas parties :f_drink:

      Good luck on the table this week. :f_cool: :f_cool:
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Quick Mental Game idea - self fulfilling prophecy

      As being unlucky has become a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy with the more I see have been "unlucky" the more I expect to be and then the worse I play. I have now got my Hold'em manager and removed net won as a stat. I also plan on not checking the "active session" and will only be checking my Graph on a Wednesday and a Sunday when I post it here. That should hopefully help me focus more on the quality of play rather then the results.
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 287
      Mid week update

      Starting date: 19/11/2016
      Starting BR: $94.81
      Last week BR: $86.95
      Current BR: $78.78
      Change : -$8.17

      Hands this week: 3,887
      Hands total: 33,846

      Graph
      This week


      Overall


      All in EV


      Thoughts
      So I have decided to set myself a new set of study/play rules. I watched a video by Doug Polk saying one of the biggest mistakes of a beginner is playing too much (https://youtu.be/vljeEXTY8T0?t=1m29s). So with that in mind I am going to be focusing more on the study. I have decided rather than just coming home from work and going straight into playing I am going to have at least 30mins to 1hour just relaxing. Then I plan to do 1 hour of study, be that reading articles, practising hand ranges, review past sessions. After that hour I shall play until 2100 at the latest (maybe earlier depending how long I have been playing). I will then take an 30 mins to wrap the session up.
      As I am currently focusing on mental game I have started a OneNote Notebook where I shall be making notes during every session. This is going to have things that get me frustrated during the session as well as spots that I feel I need to look into as I was a bit clueless at the time. Going over these notes will be part of the 30 min wrap up session, with the larger problems/issues that are identified being part of the study the next day.

      Some examples of frustration that have come out are;
      AA/KK getting walked.
      Struggle to read people's range, had people raising UTG 96s, or calling UTG in MP with K2s.
      Getting drawn out on when people have been betting as a bluff but then get lucky (not talking draws but spiking two pair)
      Thinking "I haven’t had a winning session in over a week"
      My idea with identifying these frustrations is to tackle them so that I no longer think like that. The easiest one on the list was the last one. I went on HM2 and I had a winning session 3 days ago, and when I look back over the whole challenge I have 50% winning sessions. Hopefully this factual proof will help me stop "thinking" I am a special snowflake who is cursed.

      I also identified some areas of the game that I found left me a bit confused during the session;
      How to tell when my TPTK is beat by 2 pair.
      Has someone landed a set?

      Early feelings
      Since starting this update I have had 2 sessions of the hour study followed by the playing till 2100. So far I am finding it very helpful, I am very glad that I set up a OneNote notebook with all the research in during the 1 hour study. Also logging thoughts and feelings during the game has been really helpful when it comes to the wrap up session. Helps to target certain areas. Whilst reading "The Mental Game of Poker" one part caught my attention as it is probably the stage I am at right now; "Know too much, Master too little". I m hoping that this more structured approach to study will help me keep the learning in perspective to what level I am at. I have also started planning a "warm up" this is currently brief segments for me to review and think about before starting; for example a value bet flow chart :f_cool:

      Rest of the week
      AS it is Christmas coming up, i have a few parties that I am going to.I am going out straight from work tomorrow then same again on Friday.:f_drink: :f_drink: :f_drink: This means I am probably not going to have anytime to play, but hopefully should have a chance to do some reading using the kindle app. But I am promising myself that when I come back to it on Saturday I stick with the structured study first before I go into playing.

      Best of Skill on the tables everyone :f_biggrin:
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Gold
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,913
      i haven't really read the whole thing but i noticed the bits about red line and running massively below EV

      people relate red line to aggressiveness, but maybe you are just not folding? when you don't fold when you are beat, your red line stays even, but it's the blue line that takes a big hit.
      about the latter - well, it happens. i'm happy if i get EV profits, the winnings just tend to get close to the EV line in the long run, and while being below EV always sucks at least you're running like this at the lowest possible limit.
    • 1
    • 2