My SNG blog: *now taking* a beating in the $5s... 30 BI downswing in 4 days.

    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      After a playing for a while, I've decided to start my SNG blog. I will appreciate all the feedback I can get from you guys, so feel free to comment.

      First of all, a little about me. I am 38 y/o, married with one 6 y/o kid. I have been playing for around 4 years, mostly in a local pub league. I work full time as an architect and also have a part-time job as a college professor, so I can't log the long sessions grinders do. But I try to play almost every day, looking to someday in the future to get a big score, pay off my debts and dedicate myself to teaching. But I'm not hurrying things; I am taking this as a career project. I am preparing myself to get better each day, and build my bankroll slowly.

      It is very weird that I love poker, since I actually hate gambling. You won't ever see me betting on horses or playing any other casino games or slots. I don't like to put my money at risk into something I don't have control of, and even worst, playing against the odds. But I have learned that poker is actually a different game, in which strategy, math and psyche win rather than the actual cards you hold. As long as your opponents commit mistakes, you win, and that just thrills me. On the other hand, I miss competition since retiring from basketball due to bum ankles. Its even better than I can keep playing poker for the rest of my life.

      So, I play sng's and tourneys almost exclusively. I've taken a few shots at cash games, but at the time I actually don't enjoy playing them. Right now I love the thrill of changing gears, the different stages of tourney play and the fear of facing elimination. I also feel that I can control better the amount that I put at risk with the tourney buy-ins. And because tourneys can be so long, I play mostly stt's, and a few mt sng's.

      I started playing on Stars about a year ago. As a Mac user, I don't have many options (old Mac, so no Windows). I had already a Tilt account that I had opened w/o rakeback so I barely play there. I have been keeping thorough records of my Stars account since I began, using a free web tracking site. I have to manually enter my results, but with a couple of templates it gets a little easier. I can get graphs, ROI calculations, hourly rate (which I have been too lazy to input the data for), and also apply filters and actually see which games, times, days are more profitable, so I'm very pleased with that service. It would be great if PStrategy could add this feature to this site.

      Anyway, here are my stats to date. In a total 1,693 tournaments, I have an ITM of 37.22% and ROI of 13.25. I started playing the $1.20 sng's (regular) and in 288 tourneys I was ITM 39.22% and ROI of 13.57%. Then moved up to the $3.40 regulars. The vast majority of my play is on this level, as I started multitabling, up to 10 at a time. Here my stats are: 1,067 tourneys, ITM 41.2 and ROI: 23.67. After a while, I moved up to the $5.50's, but in 196 tourneys I'm down close to 50 BIs, with a disastrous ROI of -22.77, ITM 30.1. So I've been moving back and forth between the $3s and the $5s. I've decided to give it another try at the $5s, and yesterday I finished ahead around $18 in 6 sngs.

      Lately I have been playing mostly live, and I got demoted to bronze, but looking to get back to silver status soon. I'll try to update my blog regularly. I don't know yet how to insert a picture of my graph, but will post it as soon as I get to know how.

      See U sometime at the tables.
  • 88 replies
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Nice start to the blog AquamanBT, good luck.

      Wow juggling Job, p/t 2nd job & young family with poker must be tough, but you sound totally switched on in terms of priorities etc.

      I agree with you regarding gambling, I've never been a big gambler, however poker is a strange mix though as not gambling in the pure sense although admittedly money is at stake. I tend to view more as a hobby/sport/pastime, but as long as people stay within their limits I guess. Interesting topic :)

      Look forward to seeing how you get on, good luck buddy, keep up the good work.


      Bart
    • steIIstuI
      steIIstuI
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,587
      I also started an SnG blog, currently I'm grinding $5 +0.5, and I'm an architect student in the second year.


      Good luck with yours. Do you have a goal set ?
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      You're right... it is tough, especially giving the necessary time and attention to my family. At least my wife knows I'm doing this responsibly, not compromising the family budget.

      As for poker being a hobby, I kind of agree that, at least at this stage, it is a hobby. I had taken golf as a hobby until I realized that I was spending a fortune without the slightest chance of earning a single dollar. So poker is a profitable hobby then. However, I take the game very seriously, playing each and every hand as if there were a million dollars at stake. I'm not playing for the sake of entertainment, but rather to win.

      In any case, as the economy is slow, my full time job is always in danger. If I end up being laid off I would then be playing a whole lot more to pay the bills, but I hope this is not in the near future.

      Goals? Well, I don't have any specific goals in mind. In the end I would love to practice architecture just because I like it and not because I have to. Architecture is a great career to study, but it is very hard, exhausting and time consuming. I almost dropped out of college with just my master's thesis to finish. I was working as a semi-pro musician, which helped me finance my graduate school. But my very wise mother convinced me to finish my career and then do whatever I wanted. I had to quit music, but I got my degree, so it is what has supported my family. So, steIIstuI, keep working hard and don't put all the eggs in just one basket. I wish you the best both in your studies and in the tables.
    • spb009
      spb009
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.05.2009 Posts: 73
      This is going to be a really nice blog i guess
      I am new player and have just lose nearly $50 that i got started
      so i am playing MTT (freerolls) to build my bankroll back up slowly
      Through the game i found MTT is more exciting !

      anyway , i will have to say thanks to you
      since i am a mac user as well i never know i can play pokerstars on mac before!!
      thanks for telling!

      I can play with my Macbook everywhere now !!!

      look forward to ur blog !
      :)
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      I played 15 $5+$0.5 sngs tonight and it went pretty well. I won four, one second and two thirds, good for a $44.50 profit. I also got two fourths, lost with AJ to J-10 and lost with AK to KK, in which after flopping the ace villain four-flushed. I am getting comfortable at this level, although I'm only four tabling. There are still lot of fish, maybe even more than what I was used to in the $3's. Could that be possible or is it just coincidence? One dude called my UTG pf raise (QQ) with A5os, called the c-bet and called the turn as well and got runner-runner straight. It was disgusting; but hey, I'll love if they keep calling my raises with such mediocre hands.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      I played 16 tourneys yesterday, six 2nds and two 3rds. No wins, so a tiny profit of $11. But hey, a profit is a profit. I must accept that I found a couple of solid players, especially heads-up. Although I got sucked out several times, I think that their plays were ok.

      One thing I've noticed is that I'm understanding more the nuances of the turn. The turn is a beautiful street. If we were playing no river hold'em I'd probably be rich by now. But because we aren't, I'm paying more attention to the turn play. It's in the turn where stories unfold.

      These last two days, I've made a couple of plays I think I hadn't made before. For the first one, I can't find the HH, but it went something like this. I had pocket 10's in the BB, and there were a couple of limpers, including the maniac chip leader. I decided to check. The flop was K-10-10. Wow!
      I checked as did the first limper, maniac bets 2/3 the pot. I flat called, other limper folds. The turn was a 4. I checked, he bet 1/2 the pot. I'm thinking that if I flat call again, alarms will start blaring. So I raised 2.5x his bet. I don't think he ever considered that I could have the nuts, so he 3-bet me all-in. OMG... I don't have to tell the end of that story.

      My weak raise at the turn was the key to winning that big pot. The pot was sweeter, so I guessed he had committed himself to the pot.


      This next hand is pretty cool:

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em Tourney, Big Blind is t400 (2 handed) Hand History converter Courtesy of PokerZion.com

      Button (t5820)
      Hero (t7680)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 6[:diamond:] , 4[:spade:] .
      Button raises to t900, Hero calls t500.

      Flop: (t1425) 8[:spade:] , K[:club:] , K[:heart:] (2 players)
      Hero checks, Button bets t900, Hero calls t900.

      Turn: (t3225) 9[:club:] (2 players)
      Hero checks, Button checks.

      River: (t3225) K[:diamond:] (2 players)
      Hero bets t1200, Button folds.

      Final Pot: t4425

      This was very risky, but worked well. Flat calling the flop might have triggered some alarms. And the check-check turn told me he didn't have a thing. I put him on A-x or a very small pair. I thought, what is he putting me in? I called his pf raise, even when I had folded to lots of his raises. I'm representing a hand like K-J, K-10, K-9, A-9 or A-8. However, villain ended beating me afterwards, when my QQ ran into his A-5 wall... He played good though, and I tip my hat off to him.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Boy, do I hate my job... Well, actually my work environment is the one that sucks more than anything. My co-workers are the most ill-mannered people I know. They fart, burp really loud, they sing (awfully I must say), they play their "desk percussion" non-stop... Is this an architecture workshop or what?? Well, none of them is an architect, as all of them are draftsmen, but I mean, c'mon, I'm talking about general work etiquette. This is supposed to be a professional environment. But because they have been working here more than 20 years, who can tell them to stop?

      Ok... I took that off my chest. Last night I played at a local pub league, and it was a complete madness. I'm not playing there no more. I folded every hand for almost two hours, and then I got 2-2 UTG. With 10 blinds, I decided to push. I hate pushing those small pairs but I figured I had established a super tight image. Anyway, I got called with Ad-10d. WTF? He got the flush. Nauseous.

      So I went home and played a total 12 $5 sng's. I have now increased to 6 tables. There were lots of regulars, as I shared tables with at least 4 of them. And their stats were good. I ended up winning 3, one 2nd and one 3rd for a profit of $24. I also got two fourths, that did hurt me, but again it was a profitable session.

      This week has been good, with total earnings of $100.50 in 48 tourneys. I've been ITM 50% of them, ROI of 38.07% and avg. finish of 4.2. I know that the ROI in such small sample means nothing, but this having been the level where I was consistently losing, it does feel good. I am playing now with more confidence and with more caution.

      My only misstep was in the first hand of the night, with AK utg. I raised, MP player called and BB called. The flop was A-J-4 rainbow. BB checked, I c-bet, MP called, and BB raised. I pushed, MP folded and BB called with a set of fours. Duh! Awfully played, but after that I played solid. I am still learning from those mistakes.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Today I was desperately trying to finish playing the 100 tourney block for the leaderboard, but I finished 19 tourneys short. I was running good, but my laptop screen doesn't allow me to play more tables simultaneously. The most I could play was 9, and they don't even fit in the screen.

      For the week I'm up $185, averaging $2.28 earnings per tourney. :D I have placed ITM 52%, ROI of 42%. The key stat is that my average finish this week is 4.2. Before August, my avg. finish in the $5 sngs was 5.1 (190 tourneys) and had a "negative profit" of $257.50.

      Top shark graph:

      [img]http://www.pokerprolabs.com/Personalization/AsyncGraphController.ashx?id=14068291&pnid=1&tt=2&dt=3&gt=2&w=240&h=180[/img]

      This is an absurd spike, at least for my standards. I was about even from early June to late July, and all of a sudden, in the first week of August the graph line is almost vertical. I'm very, very happy with this week.

      I think that there are a couple factors for this good run. First, I went back to basics, starting hand charts, and I'm not getting that much in trouble with hands that are easily dominated. Second, I'm getting more comfortable at the push/fold stage.

      I hope this streak continues.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      [img]http://www.pokerprolabs.com/Personalization/AsyncGraphController.ashx?id=14068291&pnid=1&tt=2&gt=4&w=900&h=300&minbuyin=5.5&maxbuyin=5.5[/img]

      This graph filters only my $5 SNG's. After losing almost 50 BI's I have gone almost back to even in a week. Notice the sick spike at the graph's end.

      I'll do my best to try to get some BOP bonus. I think it is more doable in the high orbit than in the low orbit.
    • steIIstuI
      steIIstuI
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,587
      How many SnG's you have total at the $5 buyin ?
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      I have now a total 285 $5 sngs. From last Monday I have 103.

      LOL... I misclicked and registered in a $6.60 SH sng, and won that one as well. I sincerely hope that this means that I'm getting better, rather than just a good run.

      By the way steIIsuI, how's your challenge going? I hope you the best.
    • steIIstuI
      steIIstuI
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,587
      Well, I've been on a variation swing, but today I played 6 SnG's and won 3 and one 3rd place so now I'm at a total of 460$
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Today I experienced the law of gravity. Everything that goes up, must come down. So many suckouts in the bubble that was really disgusting. Dude shoves from the sb, I call with KK in the bb, he shows Q-10 and flushes me. Dude raises, I push with AK, he calls with 9-6, hits two pairs runner-runner. Dude shoves from the sb, I call w AJ, he shows 9-3 and hits the three. I limp with KK from the sb, bb raises, I push, he calls with A-10 and hits 10 in the flop and 10 in the river. Severely short, sb pushes, I call with A-6 he shows 9-10 and rivers the straight. I push with 8-8, dude calls me with QQ, I flop the set and he rivers the Q. That one was really a re-suckout, but hurts as well.

      I played 12 tourneys and cashed in just two. I lost $34.50, so I stopped playing. Sure I'm mad, but I really kept my cool while playing. I was like, ok, sometimes you're gonna lose, get your mind back in the game and make sure you play the right way. I am searching through the hand history for a hand that I'll post for evaluation that ended costing me the tourney. I have like 12 bb, CO goes all-in, button goes all in over the top and I have JJ in the sb. I folded, they had AK and AJ and no one hit.

      Tomorrow will be another day...
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      So far this week has not been as fantastic as last one, but the important thing is that I'm in green numbers. Last night I played 28 sng's for earnings of $30.50. This week I've played 75 tourneys, earning $91.30, despite a losing session a couple of days ago.

      I've been thinking about the previous question about my goals. I had never set a monetary goal, because I'd not put that kind of pressure on myself. However, I guess setting some goals will help me push myself to achieve them.

      My first goal is to reach Gold level in Pokerstrategy by next month. If I accomplish that, I will be automatically upgraded to Silver Star VIP level in Pokerstars. To reach Gold level I need to get 800 strategy points or 1,600 VPP's. This means I need to play a minimum 640 $5 sng's a month. This is an average of around 22 sng's a day. Although I can't commit myself to playing that much every day, I'll do my best. I've got a family and I feel my wife is kind of getting sick of watching me playing at all times. My son is staying with his grandmother from Sundays to Fridays until my wife finishes her college degree in December. I will not be teaching at the university at least until November, so I have around three months to get all the points I can in this "free" time. I hope that around November my bankroll is strong enough to be multi-tabling the $10 sng's, so I would "only" need to play 320 sngs a month to keep the gold status. But I guess I would by then be shooting to become Gold Star VIP and Platinum status...

      I have always thought that I'm being on the conservative side with my BRM. I feel comfortable playing with close to 25 buy-ins for each table I play simultaneously. Right now I stand at $887. Probably at $1,200 I will start 4-tabling the $10+1. When my BR goes above $1650 I will then start playing 6x $10+1.

      Today I was browsing the web and found a formula for proper BRM for multi-tabling sng's, and its very close of what I have been doing. They suggest 25 buy-ins for the first table, and subtract one buy-in for each additional table (25*x, 24*x, 23*x...). According to that formula, if I'm playing 6 tables of $5+0.50 sng's, I need a minimum of $742.50. For six-tabling the $10+1, I would need a BR of $1485. Although almost everyone suggests to exclude the rake, I won't.

      For my ultimate long term goal, I would like to retire before I'm 45 (sounds a lot for most of young poker players today, but I'm about to turn 39...). With "retire" what I mean is that I wouldn't NEED to work a full time job, but work in things that I really enjoy doing. I would still work, doing some kind of consulting job, teach at the university, do some charity work, and so on. I don't ambition a lavish lifestyle (although I wouldn't mind... ;-)) but I'd rather be a free person. I only need around $100k to pay off all of my debts, including my home, so it is not unthinkable that I could do it in six years. So probably my long term monetary goal is a mere $200k, of which I'd keep a poker bankroll of $100k, and pay off everything else. So, I'm a little below 1/2% right now in my journey, but moving forward.
    • anx1ety1223
      anx1ety1223
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.08.2009 Posts: 11
      hi

      great blog I will be reading it so keep them coming.. I am also trying to build my bankroll at full tilt.. I am moving to 2$ SNG right now.. I was wondering which tracking site do you use ?
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Originally posted by anx1ety1223
      hi

      great blog I will be reading it so keep them coming.. I am also trying to build my bankroll at full tilt.. I am moving to 2$ SNG right now.. I was wondering which tracking site do you use ?
      Thanks... I will. I hope that I'm not in violation of any of this forum rules by telling you which tracking site I use... it is http://www.poker-tracking.com. The only drawback is that you have to enter manually the results. Now I've set my templates for the $5 tourneys, one for every position from 1st to 9th. So, what I'm doing is that when I finish a tourney, I close the table but leave the lobby open. When I take a break, I write down all the results and then add each session using the templates, so I don't have to write down the amount I cash in.

      The part that I've been too lazy to do is adding the start time and finish time for each session, so I can't really tell how much I earn per hour, but it is possible to do so. After you've logged in a bunch of sessions, you can see which games, structures, day of the week/time, or level of competition is more profitable. It's been very helpful.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Oops... slight miscalculation.

      Pokerstrategy status is awarded in blocks of four weeks, not months like Stars. So for me to get the 800 points, I have to play 160 $5 tourneys per week... Let me check:

      $0.50 rake/tourney= 2.5 vpp's
      1 SP= 2 vpp's
      800 sp= 1600 vpp's
      1600/2.5= 640 tourneys
      640/4 weeks= 160 tourneys/week
      160 tourneys/ 7 days= 22.85 tourneys/day

      So I need to average 23 tourneys per day, not 22 as I had calculated before. Not that it is much of a difference, but I would hate to find out that I was short for 28 tourneys to achieve my first goal. I also have to take in account the days that I wouldn't be playing that much (or at all...) so I have to shoot for at least playing 30 tourneys whenever I sit down.

      By six-tabling I can play around 9-10 tourneys per hour. Of course, the higher this number means I'm busting early, so I'll try my best to keep this number under 9. So, yeah, I think it is achievable... tight but doable.
    • anx1ety1223
      anx1ety1223
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.08.2009 Posts: 11
      I entered all my tournamets :D I played 183 9 players 1$ SNG's and made 40$ profit.. and it show I have 50% ROI.. It is a nice site. I am also using templates so it is easier to insert data