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Kitty at the aquarium.

    • Catinthewall
      Joined: 17.09.2009 Posts: 50
      Pertinent information:
      21 and a third years old. Super math geek. Hobbies include writing the first half of short stories, and listening to audiobooks.

      What do I want from my poker career?

      I currently live in Estonia after growing up in the US. This was not my idea, moving to a country you can't speak the language of when you're 16 sucks, and ground educational prospects to a halt. I've lived more than five years limited to communication with a few dozen people offline, and none of them my age and smart enough to be enjoyable. On the plus side, I live rent free, have a computer and get free food to boot. Poker is literally my ticket to freedom.

      How has poker been for me in the past?

      At first, I got the $50 starting amount on Party Poker. Short stack NL, slowly dwindled down to nothing. never got a shot at the bonus $100. Looking back, I attribute this to a few major flaws. Not selecting profitable tables, never managing to get Elephant HUD to work (Thanks a lot Vista!), and of course, playing SSS in the first place!

      Broke, I pretty much played freerolls for a while before giving up altogether.

      When I got offered a second bankroll at Everest, I jumped at the chance, as I had occasionally been playing on Triplejack, a purely play money flash room, and wasn't going broke there.

      SSS and poor table selection brought me down to $30, then a minimum deposit for the bonus kept me afloat only barely, the only reason I was not going broke was the bonus coming in just fast enough. When half of the bonus was gone, and I was down to only $20 from a few bad beats, I decided that if I didn't change something that instant, I was going to be broke again.

      So I went through and read through some of the SnG articles, which kept directing me to the BSS articles. I felt the late stage dynamics of SnGs were too variable to play with, I didn't feel like seeing a lot of hour+ long games ending after a push close to the bubble. That left BSS. I read everything up to the silver section, besides the SH stuff. it said up front it had higher variance, something I really didn't want. I reread the pre and postflop articles a second time. I brewed an especially strong cup of tea, and began two carefully selected NL2 tables.

      When that session ended several hours after midnight, I had not only rebuilt my bankroll to nearly my starting capital again, I had gained new vision into this was how poker was meant to be played! It wasn't just raising pocket pairs and high aces, it was so much more! contibets and blockbets and 3bets and position position position. Playing adaptively was something clear to me instantly, and with enough points to actually get a license of elephant going, I hooked it up, managed to get the hud working, and began grinding in earnest.

      It's been a month since my deposit bonus on Everest expired, and I've recovered nearly all of the losses SSS caused. I withdrew all my money from Everest, got $100 out of my meager bank account (Which would have been spent on chips and soda otherwise), and now I wait.
      Come April first, I tackle Full Tilt's FRNL10.

      What have I done to prepare?

      I've read everything in the gold BSS section at least once, many articles twice.
      I've read and will continue to read opinion pieces of experts from 2p2.
      I have planned out a schedule to match Titan's peak times. (the best 8 hours look to be from 4pm to midnight GMT.) I am currently forcing myself out of a nocturnal cycle as I type.
      I am planning to grind a fixed amount each day, I have seen +12BI sessions become breakeven days due to overstretching endurance. I do not wish to repeat that.
      I have low stakes HEM and table scan turbo ready to roll, the former convinced me on the trial to be vastly superior to Elephant, and the latter is free, so why not?
      I have mooched off my dad a 1920x1200 monitor (he upgraded to an even bigger monitor, the geek). No more cascading tables! :f_biggrin:
      Also mooched is an ancient copy of Harrington on holdem 1-3 that he got years ago to win in his poker games, which was just a monthly live low stakes tourney with his friends. I'm hesitant to read it, I'd rather have one good strategy in my head, however reliant on fish it is, rather than having conflicting information jumbling me up. Opinions?
      I have made sure there is plenty of tea.

      That's all for now, probably until April. In the meantime, I read, I think, I watch the fish and wait.
  • 5 replies
    • purplefizz
      Joined: 12.03.2008 Posts: 4,508
      wishin you lots of luck in your goals!

      the road is long and hard, but there are many here who have inspiring success stories.

      just keep reading and learning and playing and watching and doing wat you gotta do. :D
    • EagleStar88
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Great intro, wish you every success and enjoy your poker. Will follow with interest.

      I just love the title of the blog ;)

      Good luck & best regards,

    • Catinthewall
      Joined: 17.09.2009 Posts: 50
      Thanks for the moral support. I've developed a habit of thinking in overly metaphorical language, mainly so my table hunting and managing thoughts don't overlap with actual play strategy. Fish and sharks are in the aquariums, I don't want to get into the shark tanks. to my right are the surface fish, easiest to nom, the left, the deepest. It's fun when I'm the one that breaks the glass, but I have to get up after doing that, as a half-full tank is a lot harder for me to play.
    • Catinthewall
      Joined: 17.09.2009 Posts: 50
      Well that first goal failed, but not due to anything I could do. Estonia is one of the countries Titan doesn't accept players from. Well foo. My best choice now is Full Tilt, even though I can't make the full starting deposit bonus. Managed to get a bit more money to add to my bankroll, so I'm starting with nearly 500.

      However, I'm going to stick to FR NL10 until I've played at least 10k hands, maybe even more before moving up to a higher limit. To me, Bankroll management rules are a guideline, and even if you have the bankroll, moving up without the confidence and discipline to play at a higher limit is stupider than moving up without a bankroll that can survive a downswing.

      taking a skim of the tables, I couldn't help but stare in shock at the table stats. I was lucky to see a few tables with flop 40+% on everest on NL2, and the shortstacks on NL10 ruined the flop% to the point where 30% was high. FT's tables have dozens, NL2 has 60%s, and NL10 is only a little bit lower on the peak. I can't wait for my deposit to clear, here fishiefishie!

      Another FT bonus: I don't have to play at ungodly hours, there's so many more players that I can fish whenever I want. It's gonna take ages to build up a new fish folio, but I'm gonna say it'll be worth it.

      Looking at the FT academy, I'm really digging the concept of the challenges, I normally detest video game "achievements" as most are hardly worth the name, and the ones that are rarely do anything more than display a pretty image. Sure, you have to opt to only one set at a time, but that's fair considering they're effectively paying me again to play poker well, I'll have to be sure I don't focus on them too much. For example, one challenge is to make another player fold with a check-raise while holding an unpaired OESD or flushdraw. It's a possible move, sure, but I don't plan on doing it against anything other than another TAG, unless it's a real monster draw.

      Everest poker has a few deep stack tables, where the buyin is 50-300 bb. FT has similar deep stack games with 75-200 bb BI, I'm kind of unsure about playing them, As I've only seen one article on playing deep stacked, and it focused more on playing after doubling up. If I see a juicy deep stack table, what guidelines are should I follow? should I buyin for max or 100bb? How much of my bankroll should I invest?

      Minor gripe: FT three canine avatars, and only 1 feline avatar. Stuck up Persians.
    • Catinthewall
      Joined: 17.09.2009 Posts: 50
      Progress report, five days into playing on full tilt.
      I spent the first days trying out Rush nl10, and failing miserably.
      down 8 buyins, I switched to rush nl5. I did decently, after about 2000 hands I was up nearly two buyins. Then bam, half a dozen bad beats interspersed with hands I could have played better, and I was in the cooler, down 8 buyins there. I pulled myself away after that two day "adventure" into rush. I'm going to stick to normal tables.
      Down $120, a quarter of my entire bankroll, I decided to go back to where I learned the basics and set my mind back atop the precarious hilltop that is proper poker play. A day of that and my tilt was cured. Sure, I had bad beats, but there, the fish didn't pop after each hand, and I managed to earn back every penny and then some. up a whole buyin and feeling solid, I had a go at NL5.
      Over two days, I racked up nicely. Peaked at +$40 dollars after a thousand hands, two buyins above EV from taking out two fish who would go all in with top pair, or worse, and so I felt my flushdraw plus overcards were enough to risk calling the maniacs' all-ins, and I hit the flush. :s_biggrin:

      After that the lady took her due, and by the end of the day I had been hit with several bad beats, leaving me only 5 buyins up. The fishier the game, the swingier, EV had barely moved.

      Next day started with a bang. A maniac nibbled away nearly ten dollars while I kept failing to hit the board, and I wasn't the one who got to skewer him. The rest of the day saw boring tables and a slow win rate, after a thousand hands was nearly back to zero for the day, when the maniac came back and paid out. and paid out. and paid out. Up past my previous peak, he quit, and the rest of the day was just boring grinding compared to that.

      I've only played 3k hands on NL5, so I'm sure more swings will come, but I'm running hot and happy, especially after using skill to rebuild after crashing into rush poker. I'm going to take my time now.