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::::My quest to remain unemployed:::: (SnG mtt+stt)

    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146

      My name is Dan, I live in Brisbane, Australia, and for the last two months I've been living off poker. I've been paying rent, buying groceries and keeping the girlfriend happy, and it's all been good.

      It was all fine while I was upswinging at Party, however a recent break-even/losing streak at Stars has me rethinking whether I can keep it up. I've just cashed $1200, which should keep me going for the next month or so, but if I can't keep up the profits I might have to get a job, which I'm really not keen on.

      Like the rest of you I started off with $50 and a crappy job while I was at Uni (I'm studying Architecture at University of Queensland).

      I worked my way up through the sit and go gauntlet to the $22 9 man's at Party, where I had a pretty sick run.

      I went overseas with my gf, and when I got back my job was gone, so I decided to cash some of my poker winnings and see how long I could last :]

      All up my $50 turned into about 3-4 grand, most of which I've cashed, leaving me with about $800 to play the $16 games on Stars.

      Here are a few of my graphs (in time order):

      Starting at FT

      Party (Belive the stories, SO fishy)

      Stars so far

      So. I have the next 1-2 months to try and hustle up another grand or so. Since I switched to stars I've been pretty much breaking even, which I think might have something to do with 15 tabling, so I'm gonna try tiling 9 games again and see how that goes.

      Also gonna get way more active in the Sample hand forums. While I was smashing at Party I got a bit cocky and was all like "hah! I know how to play! Who needs learning - I'm gonna be riiiiich!!!" Now the upswing has ended and my ego is bruised. Hopefully next time I run hot I'll be able to keep a level head on my shoulders. This blog should help a bit. If you see me getting all arrogant again, feel free to put me in my place :]

      So...apart from immediate survival, my goals are to play the perfect ICM game and....get rich!

      Also it would be nice to convince my mother I don't have a gambling problem, but I'll work on the money first :]



      After reading some other blogs I've decided to set some concrete goals for myself.

      • Reach $1500 by June 1 (complete)
      • Get a 90/100 on the ICM trainer by May 11 (tweaked settings) (complete)
      • Get a 95/100 on the ICM trainer by May 10 (complete)
      • Get a 100/100 on the ICM trainer by May 10 (incomplete)
      • Find a spare $100 to buy SnG Wizard (incomplete)
      • Reach a %10 ROI on Stars (complete)
      • Reach a %15 ROI on Stars (incomplete)
      • Reach a %20 ROI on Stars (incomplete)
      • Stop smoking weed (incomplete)
  • 59 replies
    • Waiboy
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Originally posted by sgaf
      If you see me getting all arrogant again, feel free to put me in my place :]
      An arrogant Australian? Does such a thing exist?

      There are enough Kiwis and Poms on this site I'm sure we'll detect any arrogance if it slips in... :f_tongue:

      Seriously dude, best of luck - at least you won't lack for motivation. :f_thumbsup:
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      no good Kiwis hatin on us Aussies! :P

      On another note...I'm retarded:

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t400 (4 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of

      BB (t1015)
      UTG (t2030)
      Hero (t4915)
      SB (t5540)

      Preflop: Hero is Button with K:spade: , 4:club: .
      1 fold, Hero raises to t4000, SB raises to t5515, 1 fold, Hero calls t890 (All-In).

      Flop: (t10455) 3:spade: , 8:diamond: , 7:club: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: (t10455) 7:heart: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: (t10455) 5:heart: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Final Pot: t10455

      Should've minraise/folded...what a waste of 20 bucks.
    • viewer88
      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      good luck on the unemployed thing: I support your struggle ^^

      btw I would fold the K4 hand preflop, although shoving vs. tight SB is ... OK. Minraise/folding is not a good idea since SB will shove really really loose if he's a good player.

      gl with it!
    • LuborC
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      I know this is probably all or nothing situation for you but 50 BI BRM is way too aggressive if you want to go pro. I would use AT LEAST 100 BIs if I were you. You can easily make over 1000$ a month even on 6.50$ or 5.50$ SNGs..

      Anyway, I hope you will make it.
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      You're right viewer a fold was best. I blame 15 tabling...aaaand maybe lack of education :] It's so easy to think you know everything about this game.

      Yeah Lubor...I'm losing on $16 9 mans at Stars atm so I think a drop is gonna be necessary. Sucks :(

      Might be that I got too used to the PP blind structure, although I swear their $22 games are softer than Stars $16.
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Skipped Uni today to get in some pokerage :]

      I decided to drop down to the $6.50s on Stars and damn are they soft. People all around calling early overshoves with AJ, making hero calls on the bubble with's manic!

      I think I should be able to hit up a pretty good winrate on these until I have a more realistic bankroll for the $16s again.

      Bankroll: 644.26
      SnG wiz quiz score: 81/100
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Players at Stars $6.50 are

      I feel like crying.

      Well not anymore, but still - what the fuck!?

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t100 (8 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of

      MP2 (t1675)
      CO (t1420)
      Hero (t1470)
      SB (t1230)
      BB (t1750)
      UTG (t725)
      UTG+1 (t3385)
      MP1 (t1845)

      Preflop: Hero is Button with K:club: , K:spade: .
      UTG calls t100, UTG+1 raises to t400, 3 folds, Hero raises to t1470, 2 folds, UTG folds, UTG+1 calls t1070.

      Flop: (t3190) T:club: , 6:club: , 9:club: (2 players)

      Turn: (t3190) 2:club: (2 players)

      River: (t3190) 3:diamond: (2 players)

      Final Pot: t3190

      Results in white below:
      UTG+1 has 4h 2h (one pair, twos).
      Hero has Kc Ks (flush, king high).
      Outcome: Hero wins t3190.

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t20 (9 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of

      CO (t1500)
      Button (t1460)
      Hero (t1480)
      BB (t1500)
      UTG (t960)
      UTG+1 (t1500)
      MP1 (t1460)
      MP2 (t1500)
      MP3 (t2140)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with K:club: , K:spade: .
      UTG calls t20, 2 folds, MP2 calls t20, MP3 calls t20, 1 fold, Button calls t20, Hero raises to t300, 1 fold, UTG calls t280, MP2 folds, MP3 calls t280, Button folds.

      Flop: (t960) 5:diamond: , 8:diamond: , T:spade: (3 players)
      Hero bets t600, UTG raises to t660, MP3 folds, Hero calls t60.

      Turn: (t2280) 5:heart: (2 players)

      River: (t2280) 3:diamond: (2 players)

      Final Pot: t2280

      Results in white below:
      Hero has Kc Ks (two pair, kings and fives).
      UTG has Ac 4h (one pair, fives).
      Outcome: Hero wins t2280.

      Maybe I'm just playing when the Kiwis are online ^^
    • Ejeckt
      Joined: 06.12.2008 Posts: 517
      Nice! Hope that luck continues for you :P Good blog too. And I see you are very active in the SnG hand evaluation boards. Thanks for your input there. I'm sure the insight into other's hands will also improve your own game :D GL!
    • Waiboy
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Originally posted by sgaf
      Maybe I'm just playing when the Kiwis are online ^^
      Okay, this is your first warning.. arrogance meter just got raised to 2 on the possible scale of 6. :f_tongue:
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Uh...double post by me oops.
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Ty Ejeckt I frickin NEEEEED some luck.

      I flat out suck since I've switched to stars. Played 5 sets today, a total of 63 games of watching my bankroll spiraling slowly towards its doom.

      Current Bankroll: 589.96

      There is a definite drop in player skill at $6.50. I mean there are regs there too, but the amount of retarded things going on even from some of the regulars probably has my Mormon neighbours thinking I have tourettes (psychological condition. Symptoms involve random, volatile shouting of expletives.)

      Despite all this $6.50 volatility, and I KNOW that its probably just variance and I'm being a little bitch, I am not winning, and I don't like that. I keep telling myself I'm doing the right thing and I just have to stick it out, but my graphs have been going limp for about a month now, and it feels like somewhere along the line I forgot how to play .

      But, you know, I guess the only remedy is to keep on learning. The more I won at Party the less I studied, so maybe this downswing was needed...or maybe it was even caused by my fleeting over-confidence and resultant know-it-allness. (Soooo a real word).

      Come to think of it, this might just be me still adjusting to the blind structure at stars. I had to change my strategy pretty radically from FT to Party.
      At FT I basically learned to stay tight till the last 3-4 because the blinds curve quite slowly.
      Party is way different. I played the speeds, and as soon the those blind hit 200 you need to be ON IT. 400 its maniac time till you have a 4k stack. Then you just try and reach 10BB at all times till you win or till the blinds get massive and you go nuts again.
      Stars...well it seems to be somewhere in the middle, and I think that I haven't adjusted yet.
      It would seem at $6.50 you generally have less fold equity than at higher limits, so I have to tighten up my game as a whole. I'm also changing gears too quickly, so I need to smooth out the rise of my aggression.

      One other aspect I want to reintroduce to my game is taking my image into consideration when making pushes. If I just shoved KK and AA the last two turns it's probably not worth making that marginal 78s shove this one, because people aren't going to give me any credit. I found this kind of thinking took my game to another level a while back. It is of course possible that I was just upswinging when I was doing this and I'm full of shit. It's so easy in poker, and life to build beliefs off a series of randomly serendipitous circumstances.

      Anyway, my graph:

      So I need a boost. A 375mg shot of confidence and poker gurudom straight to the jugular. My plan is to read some of the other blogs. Hopefully I can find someone in my position and think:

      "Hey Dan, you turn that frown upside down buddy, cos even though things aren't going your way right now, there's someone here who sucks even more than you :f_biggrin: "

      I'll start with the Kiwi :D
    • alejandrosh
      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 4,346
      Originally posted by sgaf
      SnG wiz quiz score: 81/100[/SIZE][/B]
      try getting this at least at 90 imho.
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Yeah probably a good idea :)

      Kinda went back to the ICM trainer, which I've hit 91 on now. Used to get 93+ every time buuuuut I got cocky...and then slack.
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      woohoo 96/100 on ICM!! Party time!! No poker this weekend.

      Architecture owns me :(
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Justy got back from party and found I won $50 free for posyting hands - wooo! <3 Pokerstartegy
    • NickParkes
      Joined: 07.07.2008 Posts: 1,526
      Hey Dan

      Good luck in your quest... it is really tough, I have tried something similar so I look forward to seeing how you do... I have found that relying on profits has a big psychological dent on my game so I am trying to move away from that, move up the limits to a point where I can make far beyond what I need in a month... Grinding hard to make $1000/$1500 a month is a grind and it becomes really tough to move up the limits...

      I look forward to seeing how it goes for you, and never forget that to be able to live off poker permanently is a LONG term project... Good luck...


      (completing the tri-nations account in this thread)
    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Thanks for the support bru!

      So I'm sitting in front of my laptop...again....when I'm meant to be in class. Oops :P

      We're only "learning" photoshop today anyway. I swear its like preschool all over again: "Ok kids this is how we resize an image! Who can tell me what an image is?" Soooo retarded, I mean WHO ever took lessons on photoshop!? It's a program where IMO the best play is to learn by tinkering. Wow...yes I DID just write "best play," completely by accident...ty poker for consuming my life.

      On topic:

      I have been sessioning the ICM trainer recently. You know how I was all like "waa waa I've forgotten how to play?"

      Guess what? I had.

      I have been playing WAY too aggressively for Pokerstars, and I'm going to declare that my "downswing," was really just me...playing shit.

      It is mainly due to the switch from Party to Stars. In their speed games I think you can get away with my extreme LAGginess because you literally have 5-10 minutes before your stack is gone. At Stars this is not so. Just because you have 10BB left doesn't mean you have to turn kamikaze to fend off the blinds.

      So I was shoving near any two from the button every time once my stack hit 10 - NO WONDER my graph was fucked.

      After practicing ICM quite heavily I have seen an immediate difference. I have tightened up my game and smoothed out my aggression curve, and at least so far, it's looking pretty good.

      All my sets yesterday were break even or profit, except for the last one when I was tired (makes a big difference for me).

      Current Bankroll: 671.43

      woot woot!

      On a not so woot woot note the Mormons next door are trying to convert my girlfriend...and they seem to be doing quite well.

    • sgaf
      Joined: 07.12.2007 Posts: 146
      Just finished up for the night.

      While I am aware that this could merely be the card's will as opposed to my skill, it would seem that all this ICMing has paid off.

      Current Bankroll: 719.43
    • SallaMC
      Joined: 20.09.2007 Posts: 721
      Hi there,
      I just saw your thread here and I find it quite interesting. I have to say though that you should try to get a job for some time so you have time to built up a bankroll of minimum 2.5K as your backup and then try to be successful at 22$-26$ buy-ins. Also, make sure that the site where you play offers a decent rakeback.
      Lets say you play the 20+2$ SNG's on FT and your standard set is 15 tourneys.
      You would get around 8.5$ rakeback per set you play. 5 of them a day is 42.5$ and playing for 20 days a month will get you to 850$. I think this is an amount that you would have as a minimum every month, and having some sort of fixed poker income will help you to keep your A-game up, because you don't have the pressure to win, but to play break even. I am sure this difference would have a significant impact on your A-Game and will be boosting your winnings in the long run. I wish you best of luck.
      I will be Pokerpro for 2 months in November and December, since my working contract runs out and my next job only starts in January. I am looking forward to that experience, but know about the swings already and thus work on a 2500$ roll right now myself (currently around $1600, I do mainly play NL50BSS and MTT's though, SNG's are just for fun - I am probably the fish that sucks you out on the bubble if we ever meet at the tables)