Poker after hours...the casual way to climb the ranks!

    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Hi everyone,

      you could call me an old regular. I started playing back in the 2000s, quickly made a couple of thousands from my initial $50 and also had a 1-year period where I regularly went to a casino grinding NL100. During that time I often thought about going "pro" but never really went through with it. That's a long time ago and nowadays I work the usual 9-to-5 job in marketing and sales. Don't get me wrong, pay is good and I enjoy what I do. But poker and the thrill it brings never really left my mind and I always wondered how far I could have gone...well, I believe it is time to find out!



      That's all I have left on Stars, so this will be my starting point. I will convert those T$ into actual $$ by playing $1.50 SnG's and $1 MTT's. Once all of it is converted, I will also play NL5 6max cashgame

      Bankroll management

      30 BI for cashgame, 100 BI for SnG's and 150 BI for MTT's


      Theory

      :club: (re-)read many books and articles about poker strategy

      :club: reviewing hands on the forums and with an ICM tool


      Since I work full-time, have a long-distance relationship (weekends are mostly booked), play sports competitively and also like to see my friends IRL from time to time, I won't be able to spend much time on poker each week. This means I have to be efficient with my time and my climb up the ladder will be slower than usual. I am curious how far I can take it, especially with these limitations. This blog is my way of keeping track of my development, getting some useful pointers from other players and...having some fun while doing it. :s_thumbsup:

      Without further ado: "Dealer, shuffle up and deal!" :gl:
  • 15 replies
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 35,920
      Nice that you started a new blog and good luck with your new adventure :gl:

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Originally posted by SDK1987
      Nice that you started a new blog and good luck with your new adventure :gl:

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
      Thank you! It started out well this week, poker-wise and in RL. I had a free evening where I registered for some tournaments and MT-SnG's. Sadly I didn't win the important flips in the bigger tournaments but I was able to win a 45-man SnG which gives my BR a decent boost.



      Almost half of my T$ are now converted to actual $ and I will continue with SnG's and MTT's for the rest of it. There are some ridiculously bad players at the $1 level and I am confident that I can get to $350-400 quickly and then move up. I am currently buying components for a new desktop PC and will have a proper setup (playing on my old shabby laptop at the moment) with two screens soon. That will make things a lot more comfortable and once I have the PC set up I will test both PokerTracker and HoldemManager. I used HM in the past but let's see how they compare nowadays...

      Aside from poker, I had a successful start in the table tennis season. I managed to become regional champion in single and double competition in my class and started again to train twice a week. I also had a beautiful prolonged weekend with my girlfriend due to one vacation day and a statutory holiday today. Tomorrow I'm back to work and I will probably continue with the next session tomorrow evening.

      Poker Summary
      15 x $1.5 ST-SnG (3x1st/1x2nd/4x3rd) -> +$8,70
      3 x $1.5 MT-SnG (1x1st) -> +$14,50
      9 x $1.1 MTT (Turbo/Hyper) -> +$3,43

      BR: $172.63 (+26.63)
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 1.5 Tournament, 15/30 Blinds 4 Ante (8 handed) - Converted at http://www.handhistoryconverter.com

      Hero (MP2) (t1,651)
      CO (t1,151)
      Button (t1,540)
      SB (t1,835)
      BB (t1,337)
      UTG (t1,360)
      UTG+1 (t1,413)
      MP1 (t2,002)

      Hero's M: 21.44

      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A:spade: , Q:spade:
      UTG raises to t90, 1 fold, MP1 calls t90, Hero calls t90, 3 folds, BB calls t60

      Flop: (t407) 10:diamond: , Q:diamond: , 2:club: (4 players)
      BB checks, UTG bets t305, MP1 calls t305, Hero calls t305, 1 fold

      Turn: (t1,322) 7:club: (3 players)
      UTG bets t961 (All-In), MP1 calls t961, Hero raises to t1,252 (All-In), MP1 calls t291

      River: (t4,787) 3:spade: (3 players, 2 all-in)

      Total pot: t4,787

      Results:

      UTG had K:club: , K:spade: (one pair, Kings).
      MP1 had A:club: , A:diamond: (one pair, Aces).
      Hero had A:spade: , Q:spade: (one pair, Queens).
      Outcome: MP1 won t4,787

      Some veeeery questionable calls this week. I find myself not believing that those donks really have it. Well they actually do...who's the donk now? :facepalm:

      Since the weekly challenge is for Spins, I played quite a few of them this week and got two tickets to the "Road to Bahamas Weekly Final". Never played Spins before but at $1 they seem to be pretty soft. Still...a bit too swingy for my taste! I will use one of the tickets this Sunday and hope for a heater all the way to Nassau :coolface:

      Regular SnG's didn't go too well since my last update but I still think I have more of an edge there and can grow my roll faster by playing them. That means I will concentrate on 9max SnG's next week. For a "normal" 9-to-5 week, I was happy with my volume since I only have a couple of hours to play in the evenings. However, that left little time for theory. I read a few articles but didn't really analyze any games in detail. I will try to spend some time with the ICM Trainer next week to make up for it.

      Also fyi...my desktop PC project is still ongoing and I will order the last bits tonight. I also went back to my parents' house for a short visit and grabbed my old monitor. I already bought a matching second one. So I should have a proper gaming setup soon! :f_love:

      This weekend my GF is coming to visit and we will do some hiking, have a BBQ and beers with some friends and - most importantly - get some :megusta: in there as well. That will refresh my energies, so that the goal for next week is to play 60+ SnG's and to invest 3h into theory. I also want to start adding some 6max CG soon but I will wait for the new setup and some tracking software before I do that. I'll keep you posted!

      Poker Summary
      58 x $1 Spins (1*x6/4*x4) -> +$8.00
      41 x $1.5 ST-SnG (4*1st/4*2nd/5*3rd) -> -$8.96
      6 x $1.5 MT-SnG (no cashes) -> -$8.50
      1 x $1.1 MTT (no cash) -> -$1.10

      BR: $162.07 (-$10.56)
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 35,920
      That’s a tricky AQs hand for sure. I would defiantly fold this hand on the turn when you need to commit yourself with only top pair against an all-inn and a call and I expect based on your nice win in the 45 mans that you have an edge on the players as well.

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Originally posted by SDK1987
      That’s a tricky AQs hand for sure. I would defiantly fold this hand on the turn when you need to commit yourself with only top pair against an all-inn and a call and I expect based on your nice win in the 45 mans that you have an edge on the players as well.

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
      I still don't know why I didn't simply fold there. It cannot get much more obvious that your tptk is beat :truestory:
      Well...this week went better and I am actually very happy with my play but the results don't really match it. That's fine though...i'm here for the long run. There are still many areas that I have to work on, most importantly pushing and calling ranges at the bubble and playing HU. Yesterday I did another review session and found that I was pushing too little and calling too much, especially at the bubble. Since that is a big loss factor, I have to work on it quickly. I am using some of my coins to try out "The Deal" since the jackpot is pretty high right now and I am hoping for a share of it. Not sure whether it is +EV but who can resist a good gamble? :megusta:



      One more week of SnG/MTT only and then it is vacation time. We booked 9 days of Portugal and will explore Porto and the northernmost areas right at the border to Spain. Viana do Castelo and Caminha are the other two focal points and we will make trips to the surrounding countryside from there. I hope there is some sun left for us this late in the season. If anyone who lives in Portugal or has visited the area has suggestions for us, they are much appreciated!

      That obviously means that I won't be playing for a week and a half. By that time my PC setup should be ready and I will test out HM and PT to see which one I like better. Once the software is in place, I will alternate between SnG's and cash game to make the sessions more interesting and keep up my motivation to play each day. Only playing one game type is really not my thing, so that'll mix it up a bit.

      Poker Summary
      50 x $1.5 ST-SnG (7*1st/9*2nd/3*3rd) -> +$10.07
      8 x $1.1 MTT (one mincash) -> -$6.65
      3 x $0.10 T$ from chests -> +$0.30

      BR: $165.79 (+$3.72)
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      I just used $10 for the "Bet 10 Get 20 Challenge" to (hopefully) boost my bankroll somewhat. Here are my bets:
      :diamond: $10 bet - win for Bate Borisov vs FC Köln (@2.75 - $26.12 possible return)
      :diamond: $10 "free" bet - win for CSKA Moscow vs FC Basel (@2.20 - $11.40 possible return)
      :diamond: $10 "free" bet - win for Olympiakos FC vs Barcelona (@34.00 - $313.50 possible return) :profit:

      No particular reasons for my choices...just a gut feeling. I'm not even interested in soccer and thus I don't watch it. But tonight I might check on the games from time to time. Wish me luck! :coolface:
    • Primrose6789
      Primrose6789
      Silver
      Joined: 01.07.2016 Posts: 1,872
      Hey, my poker story and my poker goals are (almost) the same! And of course also the time "problem", packing grinding and studying somehow into some hours free time.

      One thumb up and:

      [x] in
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Originally posted by Primrose6789
      Hey, my poker story and my poker goals are (almost) the same! And of course also the time "problem", packing grinding and studying somehow into some hours free time.

      One thumb up and:

      [x] in
      Thanks for the support, Prim! :f_drink:
      I'm generally OK with the time limitations. It forces me to be more efficient which I wasn't back in the day...

      This week it's gonna be a short update since I still have to pack my things, drive 4h to meet my GF and tomorrow we leave for Porto. So I'll sum it up for you guys: slow progress but progress none the less :appl:

      I have the feeling that I was pretty unlucky in some tournament runs. Multiple mincashes but shortly after the bubble I always lose a flip or run into monsters. SnG's however are running smoothly and I think I might give the $3.50 hyper a shot once I have 60+ BI's a.k.a. $210. Maybe test a 3:1 ratio and see how it goes. Since I used to play $33 SnG's a couple years back, I'm hoping to still have an edge there. Also, I've seen that some of the (not so solid) $1.50 regs are also playing $3.50. So the difference shouldn't be too harsh.

      My sports betting challenge didn't go too well...also because I was trying to gamble a bit too much. I did get a nice boost through the Deal Jackpot though. Probably going to play that one regularly if the jackpot is big enough :profit:

      The next session will most likely be on November 6th. I'll give you guys a quick update on how the trip went and then grind some more. The next poker update should be in around Nov 13th, i guess. So good luck to everyone at the tables until then! Now...where were my sunglasses again? :pokerface:

      Poker Summary
      41 x $1.5 ST-SnG (8*1st/5*2nd/3*3rd) -> +$14.52
      4 x $1.5 MT-SnG (no cash) -> -$6.00
      20 x $1.1 MTT (several mincashes) -> +$2.96
      1 x The Deal Jackpot Share -> +$4.33
      1 x Sport Bet Challenge -> -$0.92
      1 x $0.20 T$ from chests -> +$0.20

      BR: $180.88 (+$15.09)
    • Mantelo
      Mantelo
      Gold
      Joined: 12.05.2009 Posts: 644
      Good luck with a challenge!

      A little tip - never bet against Barcelona. And I am Real Madrid fan :f_biggrin:
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Originally posted by Mantelo
      Good luck with a challenge!

      A little tip - never bet against Barcelona. And I am Real Madrid fan :f_biggrin:
      Thanks man! Is the tip with Barcelona an insider? Did you bet against them and Real lost hard? :coolface:

      I will give a full update sometime this weekend. For now just two interesting hands. Please let me know what you think about the lines!

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1 Tournament, 20/40 Blinds (2 handed)

      SB (t780)
      Hero (BB) (t720)

      Hero's M: 12.00

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 9:spade: , A:heart:
      SB calls t20, Hero raises to t120, SB calls t80

      Flop: (t240) 3:spade: , 10:club: , J:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets t120, SB calls t120

      Oop I contibet here since most people fold too much, especially HU.

      Turn: (t480) 8:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets t480 (All-In), SB calls t480

      After he calls, I have potsize left and two options. Sure, I could just check and see what he does. But that looks rather weak and if he shoves, I cannot call for 3:1. Since I rarely see him on Ax here, I give myself 11 clean outs and decide to shove. On top of my outs I also have some FE vs. small pairs, Tx, other draws and maybe even weak Jx. Suggestions?


      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1 Tournament, 10/20 Blinds (3 handed)

      SB (t490)
      Hero (BB) (t490)
      Button (t520)

      Hero's M: 16.33

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 4:diamond: , A:heart:
      1 fold, SB calls t10, Hero checks

      I could raise Ax here but people call often and I'm happy with a small pot.

      Flop: (t40) 10:club: , 5:club: , 3:diamond: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets t20, SB calls t20

      Turn: (t80) J:heart: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero checks

      River: (t80) 2:club: (2 players)
      SB bets t450 (All-In), Hero calls t450 (All-In)

      I hit my straight and am faced with a huge shove. Do you guys call here? I am beat by the flush and 46. But would he really shove them? I thought that there are enough 2pairs in his range as well and called. Curious to see what you guys think.
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Alright, here's the update for the last two weeks. First of all, the vacation was great! I usually never take pictures, so getting a few decent ones is above average for me. Here you go!

      The weather was great for November: 20-25°C except for one rainy day. So we had plenty of sunshine to explore the north. The countryside is beautiful up there, a lot of forests and some beaches that almost remind me of the Pacific West Coast. Many small villages and surprisingly many ruins or run-down buildings everywhere, even in Porto itself. Not sure if that is just the Portuguese "style" or whether there is no money to maintain stuff.
      My gf loves culture and sighseeing, so we did the church-castle-monument walk and took the obligatory picture here and there. I gotta say...I mostly don't care. I've seen enough castles in my day and most of the so-called "tourist attractions" are boring and waaay over-priced. I rather skip all those traps and ask locals what non-touristy places and activities they can recommend. We did some of both, so it was a fair deal ;)
      Accomodation was pretty good. I can recommend the Moov Porto Norte (close to the airport and good connections to the city centre) and the Muralha de Caminha in same-named town. Budget but well-maintained. The third hotel in Viana do Castello was older and a bit run down (e.g. heater not working properly at night). For all three we only booked the rooms and got all our meals somewhere else. Which leads to the most important: food! We went out eating every day and tried everything from francesinhas (local specialty) over mussels to tapas and your regular meat and potato dish. And almost all of them were delicious. Mushrooms with garlic-lemon sauce are my favourite now! :f_love:
      Some of the locals were very nice, some were kind of grumpy when they realized that we couldn't speak Portuguese. So that was a mixed bag. But you'll find the same grumps in Spain and France too. Didn't ruin our mood and we just enjoyed sun, beach and very good food. Pretty sure we will make another trip there soon. My gf still wants to see some portwine cellars (didn't really have the time last week) and I am actually playing with the thought of buying a vacation home there at some point. Although there was still plenty of sun, it was also very windy and the water was too cold to swim in the Atlantic, so we will try it one month earlier next time to see whether that makes a difference.

      Poker
      When I logged back on last Monday, I saw the new Spin challenge. After checking the potential rakeback, I just HAD to play it this week. And I'd say it paid off. It mostly took me 12-15 Spins to complete it and that meant >50% rb, even on the lowest cash draws. :profit:
      Sadly, I didn't really run too well with the higher multipliers so pre rakeback it was pretty much a break-even week @Spins.

      This is the first weekend in awhile where I did not meet up with my gf, so plenty of time to grind some tournaments. :s_thumbsup:
      Some deep runs but rather unlucky when it comes to the big cash. In the Hot $1.10 I busted 97/2850 with AKo<AQo for a top10 stack, in a 6max hyper I ran into JJ with my A9o with 26/1380 left. I also donated some money to MTT qualifiers and regged for some more later on tonight. Maybe I can crack the $200... :gl:

      Poker Summary
      87 x $1 Spins (1*x6, 5*x4) -> +$3.00
      25 x $1.1 MTT (several mincashes) -> +$7.32
      7 x Qualifiers for MTT -> -$3.93
      5 x $1.5 ST-SnG (1*2nd/1*3rd) -> -$1.25
      Rakeback SaG Challenge & T$ from chests -> +$3.60

      BR: $189.62 (+$8.74)
    • Primrose6789
      Primrose6789
      Silver
      Joined: 01.07.2016 Posts: 1,872
      What kind of tourney were those hands from?

      A9o: awkard stack to play postflop. What about a pf jam?

      A4o: would check back flop. We have showdown value and I don´t see too many worse hands call or better hands fold here. I snap call river.
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Originally posted by Primrose6789
      What kind of tourney were those hands from?

      A9o: awkard stack to play postflop. What about a pf jam?

      A4o: would check back flop. We have showdown value and I don´t see too many worse hands call or better hands fold here. I snap call river.
      Both were $1 spins. I could've jammed A9o pre but I see many also folding to a raise. Wanted to lower the variance a bit. What do you think about postflop?

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 1.1 Tournament, 15/30 Blinds 7 Ante (6 handed)
      Button (t3,000)
      SB (t3,000)
      BB (t3,000)
      UTG (t3,000)
      Hero (MP) (t3,000)
      CO (t3,000)

      Hero's M: 34.48

      Preflop: Hero is MP with K:club: , K:heart:
      1 fold, Hero raises to t90, CO calls t90, 3 folds

      Flop: (t267) K:diamond: , 2:spade: , A:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets t267, CO calls t267

      Turn: (t801) 4:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets t801, CO calls t801

      River: (t2,403) 3:heart: (2 players)
      Hero bets t1,835 (All-In), CO calls t1,835 (All-In)

      Total pot: t6,073

      Results:
      Hero had K:club: , K:heart: (three of a kind, Kings).
      CO had 5:diamond: , 4:diamond: (straight, five high).
      Outcome: CO won t6,073

      :f_eek: :facepalm: :ayfkm:
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      I am officially a rakeback whore! I managed to win my first x10 multiplier and pretty much exclusively played around the current promos. That way I was able to collect over $25 in rakeback (including a jackpot share of $5). It's a good way to increase my roll more quickly. Sadly I donated most of that money leveling myself at NL5 and busting early in all of my tournaments. Ah well...shit happens. I'm still running $6 under EV at cashgames and want to concentrate on NL5 for the next few days (unless a juicy challenge appears). I will post a CG graph once I make it to 10k hands which might take a while. I am only 2-tabling, taking extensive notes and trying to improve my game further. And maybe, just maybe, people will stop hitting the river against me
      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.02 BB (6 handed)

      MP ($5.09)
      Hero (CO) ($2)
      Button ($2.11)
      SB ($2.16)
      BB ($2)
      UTG ($4.61)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with J:club: , J:spade:
      2 folds, Hero raises to $0.06, Button calls $0.06, SB calls $0.05, BB calls $0.04

      Flop: ($0.24) 10:spade: , J:heart: , 3:spade: (4 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $0.18, 1 fold, SB calls $0.18, 1 fold

      Turn: ($0.60) 3:diamond: (2 players)
      SB bets $0.58, Hero calls $0.58

      River: ($1.76) K:spade: (2 players)
      SB bets $1.34 (All-In), Hero calls $1.18 (All-In)

      Total pot: $4.12 | Rake: $0.14

      Results:

      SB had K:heart: , K:diamond: (full house, Kings over threes).
      Hero had J:club: , J:spade: (full house, Jacks over threes).
      Outcome: SB won $3.98

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.05 BB (5 handed) - Converted at http://www.handhistoryconverter.com

      SB ($5.07)
      BB ($5.04)
      Hero (UTG) ($8.99)
      MP ($4.12)
      Button ($5.40)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with A:heart: , J:heart:
      Hero raises to $0.15, MP calls $0.15, 3 folds

      Flop: ($0.37) 4:diamond: , 10:club: , A:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.25, MP calls $0.25

      Turn: ($0.87) K:diamond: (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.50, MP calls $0.50

      River: ($1.87) 2:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets $1, MP calls $1

      Total pot: $3.87 | Rake: $0.16

      Results:

      Hero had A:heart: , J:heart: (one pair, Aces).
      MP had A:diamond: , 2:diamond: (two pair, Aces and twos).
      Outcome: MP won $3.71

      :pcuser: :why:

      Poker goals for the next 1.5 weeks
      [] Play another 1.5k hands NL2/NL5 (using both Card Matches)
      [] Watch 3 theory videos for CG
      [] Review 3 sessions and post 6 hands in forums
      [] Test Hand2Note - seems to be free for small buyins

      Meanwhile, in the real world winter has finally come and I had to get my car fixed up real quickly. The first waves of snow are hitting my area which sadly means an even longer commute to work each day and thus less time for other stuff like grinding. Right now I am sick at home for the rest of the week though, so if I feel a bit better I hope to get some volume in. Apart from that I am trying to decide where I want to celebrate New Years. I don't like the big crowds, so probably something smaller. As a kid I had a firecracker blow up while I was still holding it, so I developed a healthy respect of fireworks. And crowd are usually stupid. Not too keen on joining the large amount of people spending their New Years in the hospital because some idiots decided to light their rockets horizontally. So a small group it is. Let's see what we can put together this year.
      Also managed to snipe a cheap keyboard/mouse combo on Black Friday, so I'm collecting more and more of my gaming setup. Only a processor and a grafic card are missing now. But the ones I want are still a bit too pricy right now so I put them on my watchlist. Should be a good Christmas present to myself! :megusta:

      Poker Summary
      2.553 CG hands (NL2/NL5) -> -$9.05
      114 x $1 Spins (1*x10, 3*x6, 7*x4) -> +$12.00
      14 x MTT ($0.55-$2.20) -> -$14.76
      2 x Qualifiers for MTT -> -$1.50
      1 x The Deal Jackpot Share -> +$5.19
      Rakeback (Spinball, Card Match, chests) -> +$20.55

      BR: $202.05 (+$12.43)
    • DaToepFa
      DaToepFa
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.11.2006 Posts: 4,260
      Not running too hot the last two days :yaoming: