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Working on my game

    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      EDIT: topic title changed

      so, here goes, I'll start by introducing myself.

      I'm 22 years old, I live in Belgium near Antwerp and I've been playing poker for like 4 months now. I started out during Christmas holiday's: bored, couldn't sleep was zapping a bit & I stumbled across this poker show. Several times before I had thought about checking what the game was all about, like a lot of people I saw Casino Royale which awakened my interest in the game but then I never really got around to actually checking it out. This time thou... I was definitely going to.

      Googled around about, found a chart with hand values moved to PartyPoker and made an account there. So with the card values in the hand I started playing some play money games. Didn't take me very long to realise this had absolutely nothing to do with poker at all, every hand was like a 4-5 way all-in. Couldn't be arsed with that so I deposited like €25 ($35 then) and I started playing. I lost most of it pretty fast, crashed to $10 dollars. But then some way I managed to work my BR up to $70 again. I pretty much played some kind of self developed SSS, without even knowing what that was of course. Then of course I had Aces, lost against some unpair or something, felt completely violated (WTF how is this possible??? this is so unfair!), raged, had similar situations a few times and quickly lost that $70 again.

      Didn't play for a week or so but then I just couldn't stay away and I started playing on Pokerstars after seeing broadcasts of the Dortmund and San Remo 2008 EPT's. After some back & forth movement on my BR I went broke... again.

      That's pretty much when I came across a link to PokerStrategy on the poker section of a local games forum, half way through march. I checked the website and of course instantly noticed the promise of free poker money. Started reading the articles and then pretty much noticed just how many weaknesses I had in my game. So I basically read up on everything I could, did the quiz, passed and started playing on Titan Poker.

      Titan Poker... played a few SnG's & then I just quit again. Not because I did horrible, on the contrary, but the software was no where even near as good as PP & PS and I just moved back to Pokerstars at the start of April, and decided to give it another shot there. Made a new small $20 deposit and started playing 2NL and to my surprise I easily crushed the tables this time. At first I thought it was just a heater like I had on PP when I first started but I played up to $50 fast, moved up to 5NL (and playing some $1 SnG's in between) and just continued my good run there. So the month is coming to an end more or less and my Pokerstars BR is up to $110 now. Oh yeah, I'm also at around 390/500 VPP's to clear my $50 deposit bonus :) . The only thing I regret is not being able to collect Strategy points on pokerstars as my account isn't linked to Pokerstrategy but I'm thinking about trying one of the other clients a shot as soon as I clear my stars bonus so I get access to at least the silver & maybe the gold articles to. The bronze ones definitely helped me to improve my play a lot at least.

      Anyway enough of a live story here I guess, this piece turned out to be way longer then it was intended. Guess I'm just a gifted writer... what? :D
  • 9 replies
    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      Gonna instantly make a first update. I was gonna do this in the original post but that one turned out way too long already.

      Been focusing more on SnG's lately rather then FR games because those get so dull after a while.

      Yesterday I ran quite horrible... lost almost every crucial 50/50 flip. And then of course I also got knocked out of 4 SnG's after shoving all in from the CO or the button with a weaker Ace or KQ to then get called by the limper UTG who would then be playing AK. That made me rage properly yesterday, but I made a post about that somewhere else so I'm not gonna go on about that.

      Today then... last night I saw there was a SnG coaching today from 11:30-13:00 so I decided I would check it out. I overslept but I managed to tune in for the last 30 minutes anyway so I could at least pick up some stuff. At least learned a thing or two again, thank you Chenny/Havoclol. The most important thing I picked up was that I could play $3 SnG's instead of $1 SnG's with my $100+ BR even thou that's not what strict BRM says. So I followed Chenny's advice on this one and one of the games was kinda crazy...

      I managed to reach the heads-up phase with a slight chip advantage. A few hands into the heads-up the following hand plays:

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $3.00+$0.40 Tournament, 100/200 Blinds 25 Ante (2 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      Hero (Button) (t8565)
      SB (t4935)

      Preflop: Hero is Button with 4:heart: , 5:heart:
      Hero calls t100, SB bets t400, Hero calls t200

      Flop: (t850) 6:heart: , Q:spade: , 7:heart: (2 players)
      SB bets t200, Hero calls t200

      Turn: (t1250) A:spade: (2 players)
      SB bets t200, Hero calls t200

      River: (t1650) 3:heart: (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets t800, SB calls t800

      Total pot: t3250

      Ok so what a straight flush... rare, but they do happen. The next hand however plays exactly 6 hands further in the heads-up:

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $3.00+$0.40 Tournament, 100/200 Blinds 25 Ante (2 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      Hero (Button) (t9615)
      SB (t3885)

      Preflop: Hero is Button with 6:diamond: , A:club:
      Hero bets t400, SB raises to t3860 (All-In), Hero calls t3460

      Flop: (t7770) J:spade: , A:spade: , 10:spade: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: (t7770) 5:spade: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: (t7770) 8:diamond: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Total pot: t7770
      SB wins pot with Q:spade: , K:spade:

      Preflop: 54/46
      Flop: 0/100 :D

      I found this pretty comical at least. I mean, how often do you see a Royal Flush, especially 6 hands after a straight flush?

      A few hands later we're all in again, this time I push all-in with KQ he makes the call with Ax... of course the Ace holds this time. But no worries, I totally outplayed the guy and I won the SnG anyway. :)
    • p0kerQT
      Joined: 28.03.2008 Posts: 1,300
      gl with ur sng's and blog, n have fun :) keep us updated with ur progress
    • ovechkin91
      Joined: 09.06.2008 Posts: 201
      nice blog
    • AndySk
      Joined: 06.12.2007 Posts: 174
      it's the name of my blog :P
    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      Cleared my bonus on Pokerstars! Katching! BR @ around $165 now.
      Probably gonna move my bankroll somewhere else. First of all for the bonus ofc but most of all so I can actually start earning Strategy points. Everest looks cool. The table interface looks decent at least. Not sure... Party & Stars are awesome software wise. Titan blows, Full Tilt... I dunno I don't like FT that much. Why can't all sites just have a table with cards, why does it have to show people sitting in chairs... doesn't add anything for me at least.

      Anyway, I was amazed at how fast it went the last 2 days with all those $3 SnG's. Those same SnG's didn't work out to well for me thou. Down 5 BI's or something. I'm still not quite sure about push ranges, guess I'll have to practice a bit more with ICM trainer.

      Overall it was pretty decent I guess. Except for one spot where I pushed with A9 from what I thought was the CO, it appeared to be the Button with the player UTG that had opened to 2BB: snap call, can't remember what he had but I lost :p. Or how not paying attention for a second can be pretty fatal.

      Also played a regional tourney [NL+BE] today on Pokerstars. 333 players, $1+0.1 buy-in $100 added. Finished 51st. Completely card dead during the first 30 minutes, didn't play a single hand, not too bad I guess considering the biggest donks were out by the time I got a few hands. Doubled up with AQ vs KQ. Stole the blinds a few times. Stayed pretty short thou, doubled again with A2s vs 86 (the guy missclicked he said). Then not so far away from the bubble the hand below plays. The guy on the button had been stealing my blinds the last 5 orbits, I shove, assuming he would fold, snap call... QJo, I'm all like WTF, why do you call? Then the flop comes and I'm even more WTF :D . Oh well, I prefer exiting a tournament like this rather then making the fatal move myself...

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00+$0.10 Tournament, 200/400 Blinds 50 Ante (8 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      Hero (BB) (t7776)
      UTG (t4060)
      UTG+1 (t8295)
      MP1 (t16427)
      MP2 (t5755)
      CO (t20270)
      Button (t10600)
      SB (t5440)

      Hero's M: 7.78

      Preflop: Hero is BB with K:club: , A:club:
      5 folds, Button bets t1600, 1 fold, Hero raises to t7726 (All-In), Button calls t6126

      Flop: (t16052) Q:diamond: , 5:heart: , Q:club: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: (t16052) 6:club: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: (t16052) 8:spade: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Total pot: t16052
      BU wins the pot with J:club: , Q:spade:

      Anyway, month is coming to an end soonish and I have to say I'm very happy. I think this is my first winning month. I might focus completely on cash games again from next month thou. If not I'll probably start playing normal SnG's again instead of Turbo's. I think I have an edge on most players @ micro stakes when it comes to post-flop play and I simply can't make use of that in Turbo games since they turn into a crapshoot after 15 minutes.

      Don't even ask about the 6max session I played there. It was so sick, I still don't completely understand what happened there but I don't feel really comfortable playing 6max atm. I need to read up on the subject a bit more as I find it quite different form FR.

      PS: changed the blog title to keep Andy happy :)
      PPS: Fixed the image
    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      I did it again... I made a perfect read and I bluffed someone with the better hand out of the pot. Well I did improve my hand on the turn but I didn't even need that king. I was gonna pick up the pot with any card there I knew before it came. :s_biggrin:

      Hand converted with online hand converter:

      $0.02/$0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (7 handed)

      Known players:
      Preflop: Hero is BU with J, K.
      2 folds, MP3 calls $0.05, CO folds, Hero raises to $0.2, SB folds, BB raises to $0.35, MP3 folds, Hero calls $0.15.

      Flop: ($0.77) A, 7, 3 (2 players)
      BB bets $0.35, Hero raises to $0.7, BB calls $0.35.

      Turn: ($2.17) K (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $1.40, BB folds, Hero gets uncalled bet back.

      Final Pot: $2.17.

      Mstlc said, "QQ? :) "
      tonk54 said, ";-)"

      Cash games started off good again this month. I'm up $25 in the first 400hands of the month on 5NL.
      I shifted my focus away from SnG's again cause... well because of the same reason I can't play SSS. You don't have real control over the game, it's too swingy and everything comes down winning those all-ins.
      I still love to play an SnG left and right but cash gaming BSS is definitely more my thing. Don't get me wrong, I love the thrill of being all-in but I prefer grinding up my BR on FR rather then in SnG's. I'm still playing MTT's thou when I think there's a good one up.

      One MTT I'm playing every day now is the local NL+BE $1+0.1 on pokerstars. I've played it the last 4 days and it's just too sick. There's between 240 and 350 people playing... the majority is just BAD, 10c 360man SnG bad. In addition it's $100 added, in other words pokerstars is effectively adding around 30%, making it +++EV to play it. I told you about the first of these 4 in my last post where I went out with that AK hand. The last 3 days I cashed.

      Today I even made it to the final table but I busted in the very first hand: I'm in the SB and it gets folded around to me and I decide to push with K 8 for my last 10BB's. I have one of the bigger stacks on my left (he had 50-60BB's there) and he makes the call with A9. Flop blanks, turn Ace and I'm out. But honestly I have to say I lucked out a lot today. I was completely card dead for 1.5 hours. I won 2 hands, 2 coinflips, doubled up with eights & sevens. Was enough to get me to the bubble but then I got extremely short and I had to push right before the bubble, making a gaint suckout.

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00+$0.10 Tournament, 300/600 Blinds 50 Ante (7 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      Hero (MP1) (t2345)
      MP2 (t9302)
      CO (t5550)
      Button (t4530)
      SB (t16199)
      BB (t19070)
      UTG (t5595)

      Preflop: Hero is MP1 with 7:diamond: , 6:diamond:
      1 fold, Hero bets t2295 (All-In), 4 folds, BB calls t1695

      Flop: (t5240) A:heart: , 5:heart: , 7:spade: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: (t5240) 4:club: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: (t5240) 3:heart: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Total pot: t5240
      BB shows J J (a pair of Jacks)
      Pre-flop: 21% chance to win

      Then... not much later already in the money I had to push again and yet another gaint suckout. I simply couldn't believe my eyes:

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $1.00+$0.10 Tournament, 400/800 Blinds 75 Ante (7 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      Hero (Button) (t3715)
      SB (t6902)
      BB (t3015)
      UTG (t21124)
      MP1 (t15925)
      MP2 (t13669)
      CO (t21370)

      Preflop: Hero is Button with 4:heart: , 6:heart:
      4 folds, Hero bets t3640 (All-In), SB calls t3240, 1 fold

      Flop: (t8605) 2:club: , 5:club: , 5:spade: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: (t8605) Q:club: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: (t8605) 3:spade: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Total pot: t8605
      SB shows 6 6
      Preflop: 15% chance to win.


      To finish this update off my goals for May:
      [ ] Build out my bankroll to $300
      [ ] Move up to 10NL
      [ ] WIN that regional $100 added MTT
      [ ] Move (at least a part of) my bankroll to another site and get Silver status on Pokerstrategy.
    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      The day turned out to be a lot less then what I expected from it...

      During the afternoon I browsed the Pokerstars lobby a bit... checking if there were any good MTT's for me to play tonight. My eye fell on the Sunday 1/4 Million. $10 buy-in, a bit much for my $200 BR. But there were satellites. Picked a $2.2 36man SnG with the top 6 gaining entry and qualified without much of a problem.
      Meanwhile I had been playing cashgames, 5NL... those hadn't been running too well. Down almost $15, I haven't really reviewed the entire session yet but I lost most of it due to coolers. AA vs flopped set... KK vs AA etc, you know... standard situations.

      The evening then. Played 5 MTT's.
      EPT live freeroll: not like there's any value in there but hey... didn't play too serious, managed to win 28c or something I think... yeey!
      Regional NL+BE freeroll: can't remember how I went out. I didn't cash at least. I should really stop playing freerolls, it's a waste of time. Freeroll qualifiers is one thing, but these normal $100 or $1000 freerolls... meh.
      $2.2 - 10k guaranteed: not much to say here. Shoved it in from the CO with AQ and one of the blinds called me down with KK.
      Regional $1.10 - $1000 added!: 550 players... needless to say this one was sick value again... except this time I didn't get any of the value :) . Busto in a standard coinflip situation.

      And then of course...
      The Sunday 1/4 Million: I just... sigh... words can't describe how fucked up this Tournament was...
      I was really looking forward to this one and it all started off really good. We started out 7 handed with 3.000 point start stacks (150BB's deep), which I'm happy with as it gave some room for post-flop play. I didn't really get hands but I managed to build my stack up to 3.500 with a few blind steals and c-bets in the first 3 lvl's. That's pretty much as far as I got and where the good bit ended...
      After 3 blind lvl's the late registration was STILL open... this wouldn't have been a problem if not for the fact that none of the tables got broken up as long as the registrations stayed open it seemed. Some guys really started bleeding chips at our table and in a timespan of 5 minutes two people busted by the hand of the same person. So our table chipleader was playing over 10k in chips and started raising pretty much any pot, meanwhile I was completely card dead... I dropped down to around 2.200 points and when the blinds went up to 100/200 and I found 66 on the button, I decided to shove and steal the blinds... chipleader in the BB snapcalled, Aces. No help from the board, and out I went, before the first break even. I don't think I've been this disappointed in these 4 months I've played poker. I was just so annoyed that the chipleader at our table was bullying us around and that we were stuck 5handed so the blinds were going around insanely fast. The chipleader wasn't even a very good player... in one of the hands where he busted another player, the player that went out opened to 3.5BB's with AK, and the chipleader called behind with A2s!!! The flop comes QJ2... initial raiser c-bets, chipleader shoves all-in with his pair of twos, and the initial raiser is commited there... The other players at the table are all going like "WTF!" and the chipleader is like "He blinked wrong"...


      Since I was done with these tournaments pretty early I decided to go do some cash gaming. I decided to take a shot @ 10NL after taking the advice from a friend that said 15BI's would be enough, if I just moved down again if I dropped below 10BI's... played 1250 hands and after a really swingy session I ended up: -$0.30...
      I reviewed the session and I have to say I definitely didn't play my A game every where. In several spots I paid too much for my draws.
      Then again I didn't really have variance on my side this session either. I didn't hit a single set in a spot where it would've gotten paid off for example. But there's 2 hands that are just perfect illustration of what the session was like in general:

      Someone opens to the standard $0.40 in mid position, I'm on the button with AK and I just decide to raise to $1.2 cause AK is a strong hand and I have position. He calls and I put him on a pocket pair there. The flop comes QAQ. He bets out, but I find his bet weak there so I raise, he shoves over the top... ****... I'm pretty sure I'm beat there but I have so much in the pot already there that I feel committed and I still have my outs... so I call the last bit. Showdown... QT!!! He raised QTo OOP! and as if that isn't bad enough of a play he also called my 3 bet... and then luckboxed on the flop >.>. This is the exact reason why I almost always re-raise with AK...
      In another hand a shorty raises from the button to a standard $0.60 after 2 limpers, I have AK again there and I decide to put the villain all-in by re-raising to $2. SNAP! The board comes 8 2 5 T... K!!! there's my king! :] or... Showdown: BU wins with Q J (Flush, king high)

      When I think about it... these hands make me happy. Cause in 65% of the cases, I get paid of here. Today that just wasn't the case :)

    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      We'll see soon enough... I moved back to SSS today. The samplesize is a bit small atm but I'm down quite a bit :/. We'll see if it's just a downswing, or if I should really just play what I'm best at: BSS!
    • Mstlc
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      So I got PartyPoker to lock down my old account and I made a new one, this time linked to PokerStrategy.
      I'm really excited that I'll finally be able to earn strategy points at a site that isn't horrible *cough Titan*. I played some on Titan again yesterday, since afterall I still do have a free BR there, what can I say... first off all, I got bugged for about 30 minutes by someone from support to make a first deposit and about the bonus I'd recieve. Like that wasn't enough, I realised there's no function to change seats at a table, making multi-tabling, very annoying. In addition there seems to be something really wrong with the speed of the game. When someone folds it takes like 2-3 seconds for the action to go forth to the next person... in the end you probably play double the amount of hands on a Pokerstars FR table then you do on a Titan FR table :/

      Anyway, so tonight I'm moving most of my Pokerstars bankroll to PartyPoker. Should be able to get silver status in around 2 days I reckon without too much of a problem. Once I manage that it's time for an whole lot of reading again :) .

      Goals for may:
      [ ] Move up to 10NL again playing BSS (I lost too much playing 25NL SSS to continue playing 10NL BSS atm :rolleyes: )
      [ ] WIN the regional $100 added MTT on Pokerstars

      [x] Move my bankroll to another site where I can earn strategy points
      [ ] Achieve Silver Status on Pokerstrategy.
      [ ] Read all the silver no limit articles
      [ ] Re-read all the silver no limit articles
      [ ] Read all the silver SnG articles
      [ ] Re-read all the silver SnG articles

      [ ] Try to make it to gold status (this one is probably gonna be just a bit out of reach but if I really do make silver in 2days I think I can go for gold!)