From SNG's to Cash... BSS is the way forward, for me at least

    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Hi all,

      I've decided to start a blog to keep track of my progress playing BSS, get some advice and post any interesting hands that may crop up.

      Some may remember my sng blog from a while back so a bit of history and what's happened since then...

      I blew the roll I had (surprise, surprise) mostly playing large MTT's, my roi at these is around -50% but I do quite well in them, I've just not hit the final table in one yet :( I also tilted some cash away playing HU sng's and trying to multi table 45's n 90's boku stylee which backfired! I moved some of the roll to bet365 purely for strategy points but ended up playing more blackjack than poker :f_confused: so that quickly saw an end to the cash I had there.

      I won $30 or so in an MTT a couple of weeks back and decided to take a shot at the $1.75 18 mans on stars and this went well, I got the account to $215 after a heater then 300 sng's later and some brutal variance saw the account at $116. This was a couple of days ago.

      I tilted $12 on a 180 man sng and decided to give myself a slap... A change was needed.

      After thinking about my play and spending some time with sng wiz I decided that ICM and the variance it brings when players at low stakes call very wide is not for me, I cannot handle the swings. This made me think about what I'm good at... What can I handle?

      Well, I understand pot and implied odds, I understand when to bet for value, when to bet for protection and when to fold those aces. I like to play more hands than turbo sng's allow and let implied odds along with reads lead the way so cash really is the best option for me.

      I should have made this change a long time ago, I know variance exists in all forms of poker and I don't get upset over bad beats but I just cannot handle 300 sng's of being beaten relentlessly in push fold by some complete plank who has 13 BB's and thinks he should be calling a shove with K6s or whatever.

      So, I started playing NL5 (6 tables) the night before last and I've been on a nice heater - I've played nearly 2500 hands at 38bbs/100 hands so the roll is up to $150.

      My first goal is for the end of this week. I want to play another 7.5k hands and hit at least $180. This target was set before I ran nicely for 1600 hands today so should be easily achievable provided I don't lose a load of stacks to bad beats.

      Here's the graph:



      I know this is a heater and a smalle sample size, I still have a lot to learn but hope that this blog will be a good read and that I and others can learn a lot from it.

      Thanks for reading.
  • 19 replies
    • AugustusCaesar
      AugustusCaesar
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2008 Posts: 377
      Hi Wurble,

      I made the exact same decision just now and also started with NL5 :f_grin:

      Good luck with the CG improvement and the blog
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by AugustusCaesar
      Hi Wurble,

      I made the exact same decision just now and also started with NL5 :f_grin:

      Good luck with the CG improvement and the blog
      Thanks Augustus I hope you get on well with cash games as well! Are you playing NL5 at stars? If so, would you care to share your username? I will know to stay out of your way then lol

      In general I don't really give any of the players much credit, even the multi tabling regs as most of them are pretty awful...
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      First lesson.... TPTK IS NOT THE NUTS!

      OK, well I knew that anyway but I need to give players a little more credit when they call my raise preflop and then stack off on the turn!

      The hand went something like this (i'm at work so don't have access to the actual HH)

      I was holding AK on the CO and open raised as anyone would, I was flat called by one of the blinds. The flop came 2K? and I threw a pot size bet in which was flat called, fairly standard I thought, the turn came - Not sure what this was but it wasn't a scare card so I throw out another bet, this time about half pot and then the man with the hand threw his stack right back at me... Awesome I thought, just another donk stacking off with top pair shocking kicker.... Nope, he shows me 22 and the river gives him a FH just to rub some salt in there.

      To be honest I'm not sure about this hand, I feel I should have folded to the shove but then at this limit people are often shoving with worse and I didn't have any reads on this player - At this limit, with no reads if the player is at only one table I don't give them much credit.. Maybe I should start?
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      OK, time for an update...

      It's safe to say that I've run pretty well at nl5, I've played just under 15k hands at 12bb/100 hands and last night my account was just over the $200 mark. I understand that this is a small sample size but I don't feel any need to hang around at nl5 for any longer than is necessary to build my roll enough for nl10.

      I played 20 tables for a few k hands to see if I could and it was surprisingly easy, my average number of tables has probably been 12 though as I add more when I'm feeling fresh than when I'm tired after a day in work.

      I decided to take a shot at nl10, playing 6 tables and I think I'll stick to this number for a while, it seems there is more of a jump in skill level between nl5 and nl10 than I expected. I know 20 buy ins isn't proper BR management as taught here but I'm happy to move back down to nl5 if I lose 5 stacks.

      So far I've only played 2k hands at nl10 with 2bb/100 hand profit, I should have run much better than this but I lost 2 stacks today, one with KK into AA pre and another between two tables, one where my KK got beat by 55 when he rivered a set and another who rivered a flush to beat my TPTK.

      This leads me to a few observations... Firstly, against winning multi tablers KK is to be folded to a preflop re-raise. I've actually lost money with KK this week and most of it (at least 3 stacks) has been all in pre against AA.

      Secondly, unless I have a particular read on a villain, TPTK is getting thrown away if I can't keep the pot small... I lose more than I should to sets and this particular leak has cost me at least 6 stacks at nl5 and at least 1 at nl10. I learned this lesson quickly but still made some mistakes although I am finding the fold button much quicker now than I was.

      Here's my graph, it seems to have included nl10 hands as I've literally just lost a couple of stacks and that drop at the end definitely shouldn't be there for nl5.



      Goals for this week... 20K hands at nl10 with a 5bb/100 hands win rate.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      A quick note about BRM... 20 buy ins is not enough for me.

      I started some nl10 tables and after winning a few stacks I lost them and then one more which put my account down to $190 or so. I realised then that losing 5% of my roll each time I lose a stack is too much!

      I dropped down to nl5 again and seem to be on a little cooler, I'm down another couple of stacks so my account is now at $180.. It's one of those days where my AA/KK get cracked or get no action at all and every villain I'm in a pot with improves on the turn/river.

      I've played around 5K hands today, most of which while playing 24 tables. For me, this number of tables is not good at all, I'm ok until I have to think about a hand then before I know it I'm sat out of half of my tables.

      I've decided that from here on in I will play only 9 tables because I can see them all tiled on my screen and I think that offers the best compromise between playing enough tables that I don't get bored and not so many that I can't see the action and get reads.

      So, I'm not sure yet when I will move to nl10, maybe at 30 buy ins, maybe 40. At least then I will know that I can properly beat nl5 and won't be scared of losing a few stacks when I move up.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Oooh it's been a bad week, possibly the worst of my poker 'career' so far.

      Here's a post I've put on FTR asking for some help...

      "After deciding to move to cash after some brutal sng variance I beat NL5 FR at 6BB/100 hands over a 30k sample. My roll was sat nicely at $210 and I decided to play 6 max, I figured this would only improve my game and set me up nicely to start moving up the limits once my roll hits $300.

      I watched a ton of video's and read all the strategy articles I could find but got my backside well and truly handed to me. My all in EV line is about $45 below my expected all in performance so that amount at least is down to me being all in with the best of it and getting beat. The problem is, I'm not only $45 down, I'm $90 down and I've not even played 5K hands yet.

      It seems that everytime I show down a hand I'm showing down second best which is making me fold a lot of top pairs and two pairs when I've likely got the best hand.

      One side of me says "Just go back to NL5 FR and forget it" but I can't because if I can't beat NL5 6 max now I must have massive leaks which will be exposed once I move up the limits so I'd rather just get this sorted now!

      I'm in work now but have PT3 at home so please tell me what you need to see in order to help me with my game... I'm in desparate need of some advice before my BR goes pop and I refuse to stop playing 6max micro stakes until I am consistently beating it."

      That pretty much sums it all up!

      I need to work on my 6 max game a lot and will not move back to full ring until I am rolled for NL10 (min $300) because if I can't beat NL2/5 6 max then I'm gonna get bent over a barrel and violated when I get to NL25 and beyond :(
    • woopstash
      woopstash
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.01.2010 Posts: 94
      Hey Wurble, nice blog so far.

      I'm a NLHE microstakes grinder too. Played 20k hands at NL5 and have since moved to NL10 and am very very close to NL25.

      I haven't played a lot of 6max myself (<1000 hands actually), but I think that if you've had success at FR tables, why make the change? You've already made mention that 20 buyins is not enough for your BRM strategy, so it seems you're not a fan of high variance poker. From what I've gathered, SH is more variance-rich than FR, so again, maybe you should stick with FR.

      As far as TPTK goes, I find I can stack off with it against fish a lot easier, but against nits, if they are raising the turn, they probably have you beat.

      I'll try follow your blog. I've been looking for a few people to start up microstakes NLHE FR blogs. Keep it up!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by woopstash
      Hey Wurble, nice blog so far.

      I'm a NLHE microstakes grinder too. Played 20k hands at NL5 and have since moved to NL10 and am very very close to NL25.

      I haven't played a lot of 6max myself (<1000 hands actually), but I think that if you've had success at FR tables, why make the change? You've already made mention that 20 buyins is not enough for your BRM strategy, so it seems you're not a fan of high variance poker. From what I've gathered, SH is more variance-rich than FR, so again, maybe you should stick with FR.

      As far as TPTK goes, I find I can stack off with it against fish a lot easier, but against nits, if they are raising the turn, they probably have you beat.

      I'll try follow your blog. I've been looking for a few people to start up microstakes NLHE FR blogs. Keep it up!
      Hi Woopstash,

      Thanks for reading my blog... I know what you're saying about variance and 6max, my other half said the exact same thing!

      The problem is, I don't see why I shouldn't be able to beat any micro stakes poker, I mean, if the goldfish bowl that is NL5 6max gets the better of me then as I move up the stakes I'm in for learning some harsh lessons! I would rather get it out of the way now :)

      I have dropped to NL2 6max, so far have pulled back $20 after a few K hands. I will build my roll back to $200 at NL2 SH and then from $200-$300 at NL5 SH. Once I've done that I'll move to NL10 FR... Hopefully as a better and more rounded player :)
    • woopstash
      woopstash
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.01.2010 Posts: 94
      I agree that there's no reason you shouldn't be able to beat micro 6max either. I like what your doing in 'starting over' in 6max by going back to NL2. It seems like the strategy can be quite different in certain spots.

      I've kind of wondered about doing the same thing myself, but until my winrate drops, or I get too bored playing FR, I figure why fix what isn't broken.

      Good luck and keep the blog updated.

      Ps. What site are u playing? And if you dont mind, what username?
    • advola
      advola
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.06.2009 Posts: 361
      I dont understand the stvurness(dont wrote it right i know)
      if your good at fr stick to it!! You way of thinking is so wrong
      when you say you need to "short it out now with 6max"
      you realy think that if you will now beat nl5 sh
      you will realy beat becouse of that nl50+ sh? The answer is no
      its different...

      I worked out my way from nl10 to nl100-200
      and just with fr.. And i dont feel the need for a change...
      The cunclution is: if your good at something - stick to it!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by advola
      I dont understand the stvurness(dont wrote it right i know)
      if your good at fr stick to it!! You way of thinking is so wrong
      when you say you need to "short it out now with 6max"
      you realy think that if you will now beat nl5 sh
      you will realy beat becouse of that nl50+ sh? The answer is no
      its different...

      I worked out my way from nl10 to nl100-200
      and just with fr.. And i dont feel the need for a change...
      The cunclution is: if your good at something - stick to it!
      Hi Advola,

      I figure my postflop skills will only be improved by playing shorthanded, I don't think for a second that if I beat NL5 SH I will then go on to crush NL50... I suppose it also has a lot to do with pride.. When I look at poker table ratings I see that I made $90+ at NL5 FR then lost it all at NL5 SH which annoys me big time! I would like to at least make those losses back and show a profit at each variant I've played.

      In SH games I find myself in many more marginal spots than in FR. In FR micro stakes I find it very easy to read peoples hands but in SH I struggle because the ranges are sooooo much wider - I'm getting better all the time which can only be a good thing?

      The same thing will see me have a crack at $1.10 45/90 man sng's at some point in the future. When I played SNG's I was prone to tilt often so my sharkscope graph is horrendous - Take a proper look at the figures though and it becomes clear that I showed a decent ROI at each game I played alot and lost all of that profit when I tried something else and didn't stick at it (mostly MTT's).

      Maybe it's silly that I want to show a profit for everything I've played but I believe I'm not a bad player so I don't like it when my stats show otherwise due to ill informed or tilted decisions I've made.

      Once I'm beating cash properly and am back to nl10 FR with a decent win rate over a decent sample then I'll likely assign $100 of my BR to hitting all of the micro sng's that I've shown a loss at ($1.10 27/45/90).

      My long term goal is to play poker for a living and for sure this is unrealistic but I aim to keep improving my whole game, it's a game I love and even if I can't make a living from it a second income would be awesome so this blog is about my journey and thoughts along the way... Maybe I'll come good, maybe I'll go broke, either way I'll learn a lot and hopefully so will anybody who reads my blog :)
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Woopstash - I play at pokerstars, my username is Wurble2408 - Crappy username I know lol but when I signed up I didn't realise that would be my screen name :f_confused:
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Starting this blog and posting on FTR along with watching every video and reading every article I can find has made me analyse my game more than ever before.

      I have to admit that when I was playing sng's it was very much a straight forward 'by the book' game... It doesn't take any advanced play to beat micro stakes so until now I found poker quite an easy game to show a profit at apart from when I did silly things like play $10 mtt's and kept jumping to different variants and then being tilted by variance which lead me to play bad etc you know the vicious circle this kind of play creates for fish like me.

      I've only been playing for a year, before I signed up at pokerstrategy I had only been playing for a month and before that I didn't know a thing about poker - My interest had been in trading the financial markets and I had heard that poker was essentially the same so when I lost around £2000 to the credit crunch by being in the wrong place at the wrong time (FTSE100 short just as it shot up 600pts, JPY/GBP when volatile as hell) I decided to take a shot at poker.

      After donking my first $100 or so as most do I started playing a fairly solid game, don't get me wrong, I'm probably down $300 or more in total because of silly things I've done but take those out of the equation and I'm showing a comfortable profit.

      So the main things for me to do now are as follows:

      1) Stick to one variant of poker at a time
      2) Don't play out of BRM.. For me I've found this to be at least 30 buy ins (could be more)
      3) Stop firing 3 barrel bluffs... For some reason I started doing this at 6max and it's where $40 of that $90 loss went!
      4) Learn about equity of different hand ranges in different situations - This I really don't get yet... I have some serious work to do and could probably do with some coaching.
      5) Don't let variance tilt me - This is probably my biggest leak over all because variance makes me jump to different variants which is silly when I know full well what variance means and how it works. It seems that when in the moment all rationale and common sense fly out of the window.

      If I stick to this, which believe me I plan to, I am confident I can crush micro stakes cash and work my way up. I could have done this a long time ago but I think that for all but the most well rounded and emotionally stable people everyone goes through the same kind of cycle I have when they first start playing.

      Now it is time to get my head down, put in the work and hopefully reap the rewards. If not I'll go broke and you can all laugh at me :)
    • ghaleon
      ghaleon
      Black
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,877
      Bluffing in general is not the best idea in micro stages. If they don't fold to cbet they don't fold to 3 barrels :)

      Haven't played much cash, but with my little experience one should stick pretty much in basic abc poker till NL50 or NL100.
    • woopstash
      woopstash
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.01.2010 Posts: 94
      Originally posted by ghaleon
      Bluffing in general is not the best idea in micro stages. If they don't fold to cbet they don't fold to 3 barrels :)
      This.

      The only time I'll even contemplate a double-barrel is if I have a specific read on an opponent. Usually those that love to set mine and don't like folding low pocket pairs on a flop that easily hits my raising range (but will give up on turn if they dont hit). Other than that, cbet any board that could easily hit your range, and check/fold further streets if you don't hit.

      I've sort of have the same mentality as you with losing in certain variants. I've won in most variants I've played, but Full Tilt's RUSH poker is my kryptonite. I kept going back to it to try 'win back what it stole from me'. I have since realized how big of a leak that is, and I have let it go.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by woopstash
      Originally posted by ghaleon
      Bluffing in general is not the best idea in micro stages. If they don't fold to cbet they don't fold to 3 barrels :)
      This.

      The only time I'll even contemplate a double-barrel is if I have a specific read on an opponent. Usually those that love to set mine and don't like folding low pocket pairs on a flop that easily hits my raising range (but will give up on turn if they dont hit). Other than that, cbet any board that could easily hit your range, and check/fold further streets if you don't hit.

      I've sort of have the same mentality as you with losing in certain variants. I've won in most variants I've played, but Full Tilt's RUSH poker is my kryptonite. I kept going back to it to try 'win back what it stole from me'. I have since realized how big of a leak that is, and I have let it go.
      Yeah, bluffing is something I never really bothered with in FR apart from in certain spots.

      I don't know why at SH I suddenly decided to bluff so much, I've stopped doing it now unless I have A high and I think villain has been chasing a draw which hasn't completed.

      With regard to Rush poker... Do you think you are unable to beat it or do you just think it's not worth trying?

      I have been writing things in this blog pretty much as I've been thinking them so have put forth my reasons for believing I should continue to play 6 max until I've made back my losses but now I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing then?

      I mean, it'll take me longer to make the money at 6 max than FR and in all fairness I don't even know if I can beat 6max over a decent sample yet :f_confused:

      I hate being so indecisive.
    • woopstash
      woopstash
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.01.2010 Posts: 94
      Originally posted by Wurble
      With regard to Rush poker... Do you think you are unable to beat it or do you just think it's not worth trying?
      I'm sure I could beat it as the skill required is no different, I just find it tilts me too much. I'll raise/shove with a set on a super drawy board and the guy will call with a FD and hit runner runner straight. This happens in 'regular' play too, except now the villain is at a different table and I can't get my money back. I start spewing and voila, I'm a few buyins down. When I sit down at 'regular' tables, I usually play super super tight for the first few orbits. I like to find out who the fish are, and what stealing range the BU and CO have when I'm in the blinds. You can't do that in RUSH poker so everything just seems more marginal.

      Originally posted by Wurble
      I have been writing things in this blog pretty much as I've been thinking them so have put forth my reasons for believing I should continue to play 6 max until I've made back my losses but now I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing then?
      Like I've been saying all along, I don't see why you want to switch. FR has been working out for you. You admittedly don't enjoy variance and swingy poker, and 6max obviously affects your A-game (you are triple barrelling when you wouldn't do that in FR). This is tilt. Go back to what was working for you. Maybe trying to recoup your losses in 6max is beating a dead horse.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      lol you're right I guess. I've played around 12K hands of SH in total including the losses at NL5 so have played 7K hands of NL2 and have ended up breaking even at NL2.

      I have to say I've not felt entirely comfortable with 6 max and I think it will grate on me for a long time but I started up 12 NL5 FR tables about 30 mins ago and feel immediately at home :f_biggrin: I've also stacked 3 people which is nice.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      I'm going to end this blog here and start a fresh one. If anyone is interested in the reasons then please head over to the new blog.

      I am in need of a fresh start at a new site where I can earn strategy points, I have realised that I am missing out on some fantastic resources - Articles, Video's and coaching sessions.

      I will move to Everest poker which is a tracked account and start again at NL2 with $100.