Full-Time student & Part-Time straddler - Bankroll challenge blog

    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Get Rich or Cry Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge Blog


      Introduction
      I am born and raised in Sweden and will be turning 30 in February. I have a degree in Network Engineering, which I acquired in California, and then worked as an IT-tech in Sweden for about 4 years. Most recently I have worked as a Technical Support Engineer for companies within the home entertainment industry. This was almost one year in Latvia and then another two in the Netherlands.

      I am currently back in Sweden again, to get another degree in Biology. Most likely in Chemical or Technical Biology. Starting my second semester today, actually.

      In my free time, besides poker:
      I like fitness and health. I go to the gym regularly and I recently turned pescetarian diet, even though I do not like to label myself as one.
      Music is also a big part of my life and I have played guitar since I was 12. I enjoy all genres but I do prefer the more brutal side of metal.


      Poker History
      I have been playing poker, on and off, since I was 17, so for about 13 years now. This was during the poker boom that occurred at the time, with televised WSOP and online poker. I have red some books and studied som basic game theory. But it have always just been for the fun and thrill of it.
      I did make a few extra bucks during high school, but overall I have most likely lost more money than I have cashed. Which is about to change. :)

      In the last 2-3 years I have only played live at casinos. But since I started school again, in August 2016, I have spent a lot of time playing online poker. Just to refresh my skills and see if possible to make a source of income during my studies. I got this idea since it was difficult to find a job that also fits my schedule.
      I joined Poker Strategy in December, which have helped a lot with refreshing my poker game and have also motivated me to go for it.

      So here we go, this is my Bankroll Challenge.


      Game Plan

      I will be playing at William Hill, at least during the beginning of this challenge. As I received a 2nd starting capital bonus from PokerStrategy, which was also a motivating factor to start this challenge. It consisted of a deposit bonus, 12x €1 Twister-Tokens and some other goodies.

      I will mainly play full-ring cash-games, which is what I enjoy the most and also where I feel the most comfortable. Starting at NL2 and will be working my way up once my bankroll allows me to. I will start with playing two tables at the time, to be able to keep focus on my game and I might increase if I feel comfortable to do so. I will play some freerolls occasionally, but otherwise I am staying away from MTTs and SnGs.

      To study poker, I will start to go through all articles available here at PokerStrategy. I will also post hands in this forum whenever I encounter a difficult spot. I will be using PT4 to track my play and will try to review my play at least once a week.


      Time Management
      I will be quite busy with school this semester and it will be a challenge to balance school, poker and life.
      I have set a few goals for myself to help me achieve this.

      School(excluding Lectures): 4hrs/day
      Poker(Studying/Playing): 2hrs/day
      Morning Yoga: 15mins/day
      Evening Meditation: 15mins/day

      This is only during weekdays and I will use the weekends as a buffer to catch up on School, poker or get some well-deserved rest.


      Bankroll Challenge
      Starting: $100
      Goal: $1000

      Challenge Status
      (2017-01-23)
      Current Bankroll: $85,72
      ΔBankroll: -14,28 :f_cry:

      Sorry for the long post, but I figured it will be more fun to follow if you know who I am and why/how I am doing this.

      Thanks for stopping by and any feedback is welcome.



      Kind Regards,
      Microstraddler
  • 38 replies
    • metalmonkey80
      metalmonkey80
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 15.08.2013 Posts: 2,095
      Hello Microstraddler,

      Welcome to the 'Get Rich or Die Tryin' bankroll challenge. we will be looking forward to your first update which you should post by Monday of each week in Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread.

      Also having just started a new BR on William Hill myself, I look forward to reading how you get on with the starting capital and maybe see you at the tables :f_thumbsup:

      Have fun and Good Luck

      Regards

      Matt
    • AgapieGheorghe
      AgapieGheorghe
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.07.2011 Posts: 1,250
      Hello Microstraddler I´ve read your whole post and I love the way you structured it , was easy to read.

      Good luck with your goals :f_thumbsup:

      Evening Meditation: 15mins/day
      Can you give more details about this topic ?
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      @metalmonkey:

      Thanks for the welcome. :)
      I purposely started the challenge on a Monday to have a full week to report in my first update. :)

      I had my first session at WH yesterday and never seen so many weird plays! :P
      Hopefully it was just a one-timer, otherwise I will need to adjust my game a bit.

      Cool, I followed your blog as well. Hopefully we can both increase our BR. :)
      See you at the tables and good luck! :)


      Cheers!
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Hello, @AgapieGheorghe

      Thanks for reading and for your feedback. I am glad you liked it! :)


      I might not be the best person to talk about meditation, but I can certainly tell you what it means to me, what I do and how I got started. But I will try to keep it short otherwise it can easily turn in to an essay. :D


      For me, meditation means to do nothing. To have no thoughts and to be unaware of your body.
      This means that I just sit down, close my eyes and enjoy my time outside my body. ;)

      But it is not easy in the beginning. To think about nothing, you have to first think about everything.
      So instead of depressing your thought with TV, music or whatever you do to unwind. Sit down in a quiet room and let your thoughts run wild.
      The first few months, I could sit for up to four hours and thinking I was going insane.

      So you definitely need a lot of patience to be able to reach meditative state.
      Then, all of a sudden, when you sit there in your lonesome, it feels like you wake up, but still aware that you have not slept, and it is amazingly calming.


      After time and practice, you will reach this state faster and after a few years you can almost just snap in to it.
      Although I still have to practice and it can be more difficult depending on what I have going on in my life.


      Kind of turned in to a mini-essay anyways, but hopefully this makes some sense to you. :)


      I am not big for inspirational quotes, but here a few that help me to realize that I needed/wanted to meditate:
      "Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded." – Buddha
      "Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." – Buddha
      "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting." – Buddha


      Cheers!
    • AgapieGheorghe
      AgapieGheorghe
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.07.2011 Posts: 1,250
      Hey microstraddler thank you for your answear :f_drink:

      For me, meditation means to do nothing.
      Spot on ! I like to do nothing :fuckyeah:

      What are your thoughts on binaural beats music ?
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      @AgapieGheorghe

      No problem, I hope it made sense :P

      What are your thoughts on binaural beats music ?
      You mean simulated headaches? :D
      I have experimented a bit but I do not like them. Some frequencies even made my tinnitus act up so I stay away from them.
      I am also a bit skeptical to the concept. Would it not be better to "listen" to a low-frequency sound directly?

      Have you tried them?


      Cheers!
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,471
      He microstraddler,

      also welcome from my side to our BR challenge - great stuff here and already a good amount of posts to go through...
      I am curious to see how you'll be rolling it up!
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Hey Sven,

      Thank you.
      I was a bit hesitant to make the first post long, to not discourage reading, and keep it strictly to the challenge.

      But so far, it seems to pay off.
      Always happy to discuss, even topics other than poker. :)


      Cheers!
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Finally weekend! :f_love:

      First week in school have been intense. A lot of information to process and still adjusting to waking up earlier in the morning.
      The Swedish winter is also very dark and drains some energy. But overall I am happy with my performance.

      What I have been doing this week:

      Mathematics:
      • Trigonometric formulas, identities and equations.
      • Methods of mathematical proof

      Physics:
      • Torque
      • Centripetal Force
      • Two-dimensional motions and numerical modeling.

      Poker:
      I mainly focus on playing, rather than studying as I want to get a database of hands in before I can track leaks and review hands.
      Have played ~1700 hand so far and about half of them was played on Friday. My goals is to get the same amount of hands over the weekend.
      I got my 2hrs/day but went overboard on Friday and played for 6 hours. But the goal is 2hrs+, as long as I can keep focus.

      I did take time to read the first articles on basic strategy:
      • Bankroll Management
      • Preflop strategy
      • Postflop strategy

      I did not learn anything new from these articles, but I do believe it refreshed my memory a bit and that it will help my game.

      Today
      I am trying to keep my routine and will rise early even on the weekends.
      Unfortunately, the traffic at the cash games is pretty much non-existent that early and I was craving some poker. :)
      I am still learning PokerTracker, so I clicked around a bit and trying to figure out how to use all functions properly.

      Once the urge to play poker was too big, I decided to use my Twister-Tokens I received as part of the signup bonus.
      This is definitely not my cup of tea but I might as well use them.

      Twister Race:
      The 12 Tokens I had were divided as this:
      €2 = 1/9 won
      €4 = 1/2 won
      €6 = 0/1 won

      €6 in winnings with a 17% win-rate.
      Could be better but I see this more as gambling than as poker. Free money is still free, so I am happy with the result. ;)


      Cheers!
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Bankroll Challenge Update:

      Week 1
      Hands: 3151
      Starting Bankroll: $100
      ΔBankroll: -14,28 :f_cry:
      Current Bankroll: $85,72

      Comments
      What a week! :( Did not expect to loose this much.
      I wish I had a good excuse, but the truth is, I just played sloppy poker.
      There is probably a lot to say about my game, but I have tried to narrow it down to a few things that I have noticed and need to work on for the following week:

      I definitely need to play tighter:
      :spade: Opening too wide in early-/mid- position.
      :spade: Overplaying pockets post-flop OOP.
      :spade: Underestimating villains / Overusing HUD(?)

      Need better patience & focus:
      :club: Throwing myself at the tables/Not following my warm-up routine.
      :club: Which leads to not having the right mindset for the session.


      Gameplan for week 2:
      :heart: LAG ---> TAG
      :heart: Warm-up before sessions.
      :heart: Printed a starting hands chart and follow religiously.


      Graph:
      Viewer discretion is advised.
      As you can see, the blue line is super choppy, which I think is a cause of underestimating villains.
      Calling too many weird shoves.
      Looking at the red line, I think I played a bit tighter at the end but might have been my confidence level going down.



      Side-note:
      I will only count what I win/loose at the tables during this challenge.
      My WH account is in SEK and tables in EUR or GBP. Ugh... Currency conversion is hard. :D So I will trust PT4 to handle this for me.
      I am also doing this challenge to win at the tables, not from bonuses and what not.



      As always, all feedback is welcome.


      Cheers!
    • mostlyfolding
      mostlyfolding
      Silver
      Joined: 31.10.2016 Posts: 141
      Good luck with the challenge. I also meditate every morning, however I am still at the stage where many thoughts come in. I can manage a few breaths while thinking about nothing but that's as good* as it gets at the moment.

      *disclaimer - I realise that 'good' is putting a value judgement on the experience and, of coure, not to judge, just to experience, is the aim. Damn I'm so zen:f_p:
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      @Mostlyfolding,
      Thank you very much. :) I also wish you the best in achieving your goals.

      I am happy to hear you have decided to meditate as well. Even only for one breath, it is better than nothing and it is how it must begin. Even after years of practice, I still have this problem at times. But it definitely gets easier with time so just keep practicing. :)

      Haha, you zen as hell man! :f_wink:
      But I do not believe the goal is not to judge and just to experience, but rather to accept and you will experience.


      Cheers!
    • R2PNZ
      R2PNZ
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2017 Posts: 68
      Hey Micro,

      Your blog seems to be going pretty well! I'll take an example from you and update mine as well. Been using "life get's in the way" as the main excuse lately for not working on my goals.

      Your graph looks a lot like mine after the first couple 1000 hands. I found that the more my red line goes up the more the green line goes down. I'd say it's taking to many hand way to far and your opening up a little too wide pre. (side note My 30-day trial on PT4 ran out yesterday ... so I bought it :f_biggrin: )

    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Hey R2P,

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

      Yeah, I used the same excuse this weekend. I would like to summarize the week but did not happen. :P Maybe we can try to motivate each other somehow. :)

      That is what I take from the graph as well. Playing too many hands might work when none calls but when you get called, it will be dominated more than not. But your doing real good. Red-line stays on the positive side so keep it up.

      My graph have improved week, but the red line is way too low. As you will see in my upcoming update ;)


      Cheers!
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      Bankroll Challenge Update:

      Week 2
      Hands: 3140
      ΔBankroll: +6,02 :f_thumbsup:
      Current Bankroll: $91,74

      Comments
      My gameplan for this week was to play much tighter and to have better focus during my sessions. I did this by printing out a starting hand chart and planned to follow it religiously. I feel that the chart is a bit tight sometimes so I did not follow as strictly as I should have and I can still tighten my game a bit more so I will try to modify slightly and follow it more.
      I also did a warm-up routine that I have followed before EVERY session this week. I feel it helps a lot to keep me in the right headspace and helps focus throughout the sessions. So, before every session I start with asking myself two questions. Why? and How?
      WHY do I want to become a winning player and what does that mean to me, and my future. (Visualizing my goal.)
      HOW am I am going to achieve this. (Following my gameplan.)
      Then I meditate for at least 5 minutes just to get relaxed.

      I watched a few videos on bet-sizing, because I feel like my bets can be a bit random. I need to get better at finding the right bet for the right spot. I also red a few articles and watched a video on how to utilize a HUD properly. This is still a bit new to me, even if I know what all stats means I need to get better at knowing when to exploit them.

      Overall I am happy with the week. I did follow my gameplan and I actually feel more comfortable at the tables.
      I will keep the gameplan for next week as well, but I will allocate more time to study the game.

      Gameplan for week 3:
      :heart: Tighten up a bit more.
      :heart: Keep warming up.

      :club: Study bet-sizing
      :club: Study HUD utilization



      Graph:

      Looks so much better than last week. :D
      I am hoping to tighten up a bit more and study bet-sizing and -timing, to improve my red-line.



      As always, all feedback is welcome.


      Cheers!
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      This is probably boring to most, but it is a good way for me to just quickly summarize what I have done in school.

      Mathemathics:
      • Trigonometric curves and derivatives.
      • Radians

      Physics:
      • Magnetic/Electronic/Gravitational fields.
      • Mechanical Waves.
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,471
      he microstraddler



      now i feell stupid..
    • R2PNZ
      R2PNZ
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2017 Posts: 68
      Hey,

      Good update! Looking way better! Love that you're almost up to$100 as well. Still crawling along at $106 myself. I think the mind frame starts are a great idea. I should adopt that as well! Know a lot about that stuff from my sales background but haven't really applied it in poker yet. Way in the beginning, I used the charts although I feel, like you say, that they are too tight and to strict. Great to start with but ones your post flop game improves you can deviate from them for sure. Especially with blind stealing, if there are 2 nits in the blinds I open +/-%80

      When it comes to your HUD, I use BlackRain79's HUD you can download it for free from his website. His free book is pretty good as well. 30 min read and easy concepts to win at the Micro's http://www.blackrain79.com

      I played on Party poker more this week, mainly because the games are way weaker and I didn't feel I was in a good enough head space to grind out some good sessions. I use Party more as a fun to play environment. Have $29 on it and feel the NL4 is very soft there. (I posted a weird hand in the hand thread as well).

      Planning on doing a big session this weekend (Monday off WOOHOO) and updating my blog after.

      Cheers
    • microstraddler
      microstraddler
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.12.2016 Posts: 154
      @SvenBe

      Haha! :D
      I have much more where that came from. ;) But I honestly feel more stupid for knowing that stuff. :P


      Cheers!
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