Confessions of a Pro

    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      I have decided to start this blog to record my progression or otherwise as a professional poker player.
      To give some background, on 10th February I became a sponsored player with another site.
      I am currently playing part time in the evenings as I also have a full time day job but my aim is to build enough profit to turn full time professional within 12 months.
      The deal works like this:
      I receive a daily loss limit into a nominated poker account. At the end of each day, any profits are removed to a holding account and any losses topped back up to the daily loss limit level. I receive 50% of profits calculated monthly, and this is paid in 2 parts, some monthly, some annually.
      At the moment, given that most of my poker experience has been in stts and mtts, I am sponsered to play these only, no ring games and I can only enter tournaments with a value of 5% of my daily loss limit.
      I am suppossed to play 400 stts/mtts per month or 40 hours per week, but this is only a guide.
      I started with a daily loss limit of $300, this was increased shortly after to $500 and has just been increased again to $750. I can therefore play stts/mtts at 5% of $750 which is $37.50. In reality this means that I play a mixture of $20, $30 and $50 tournaments.
      My account is on the ipoker network.
      I usually play from around 7pm until I get too tired or the traffic is too slow, usually around 12 -1 unless I am still in a mtt, in which case I carry on til the end.
      I prefer to play the double stack stts as there is more room for good play.

      Hmmm, trying to paste my stats from PokerTracker in here but cant, anyone help with that?
  • 82 replies
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Today, the first day of my blog has actually ben quite eventful.

      The day started badly. My friend and colleague Bill, who I have mentioned in previous blogs, called me this morning asking if I can pick him up from town. So instead of going straight into work, a ten minute drive, I have to go into the city centre. It turns out that Bill has been on a 12 hour plus bender, culminating in him blagging his way into a private party with Whitney Houston’s road crew and drinking champagne on their tab til 6 oclock this morning. I know, nice work if you can get it!

      Next I get an email saying that my mentoring session planned for Thursday has been cancelled because my mentor has internet connection problems.

      Oh I didn’t mention, on this program I have a mentor who watches me play every couple of weeks and gives general advice if he thinks its needed.
      My mentor is actually someone I know from the old Ladbrokes days when it was quite a sociable network. He now lives mostly in Thailand taking advantage of their, shall we say, relaxed attitude and living very nicely thank you on his earnings from playing poker.

      I sit down to play tonight at 7.30pm. My night is interrupted several times. I get 2 lengthy phone calls, both work related, one to cancel a meeting and one to arrange a meeting in London tomorrow. My 6 year old daughter wakes up twice, and as my wife is working late, I have to get her back to sleep. It’s a glamorous life isn’t it?

      Anyway I manage to play 4 tournaments before I am interrupted once again by my daughter waking up yet again and my wife coming home. I should say that this is not a normal night, I can usually play quite happily for hours with no disturbances.

      I come 733rd in the $10 entry $10K guaranteed, busting out with AQs against AJ off when villain makes a river flush. I tend with these tournaments with well over 1000 entrants to be quite happy to get my chips all in on a flip early on to try to double up, so no worries there.
      I also play a $10 and $30 double stack 6 seater and come 2nd in both, actually not bad considering the constant distractions tonight.

      The only other tourney I play is a $30 30 seater. I finish 4th, with AKs v QQ and not improving.

      As I write this I am $92 in profit for the day. I have played nowhere near enough games today, usually I try to get somewhere between 10 and 20 every night. The traffic lately on ipoker stts has been dreadful. Sometimes I have to wait ages to get a game, especially the double stack stts.

      I don’t like the turbo tournaments as they are too much of a crapshoot and I prefer to play games that are weighted towards my supposedly superior skill level. My tactic generally in stts is to play very tight aggressive early on. I almost never limp into any pots, I am either raising, re-raising or folding. Despite the generally accepted 10-12 big blind shove rule, I find in these games that once the blinds get bigger, you can actually let it get down as low as 6 or 8 big blinds before getting to the must shove stage. That being said, my experience so far suggests that the more aggressive you are late on, the more chance you have of winning.

      It is most important to guage how ones opponents are playing when the latter stages are approaching and when I can see that there are no massive stack calling station heroes, I am shoving pretty light in position.
      If I have managed to build a good leading stack, I absolutely 100% am taking advantage when we are on the bubble and I am going to be putting my opponents to a decision for all their chips every hand whatever I am holding. I particularly like it when there is a short stack who is holding on to reach the money because I will leave him alone and bully the other villain(s) who doesn’t want to go out when the shorty will blind out any minute.

      Anyway I am waffling on when I should be either playing or sleeping. Hope you enjoy this blog and I will update again soon.
    • Atoks
      Atoks
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,354
      Greetings and welcome back!

      I've enjoyed both ur other blogs very much and it's easy to read from this one that u have only built on ur experience since them. I'll follow ur blog keenly since I've always been interested in exactly how much the non-turbo games vary from the turbos (which I play 99,9% of the time). On top of that ur mix of RL and poker stories is virtually ideal and it's always a treat to read such blogs.

      I do have a few questions, what is ur average ROI since u've taken this deal on? What kind of limits do u assume u would have to play vs. the time u would have available to play in order to meet ur goal of funding ur life with poker? Do u plan to move to another poker network?

      There'll be others I'm sure, but for now I'll wish u luck and lots of success with ur plans!
    • saywhat
      saywhat
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2008 Posts: 253
      Interesting reading, might even check out your other blogs. Hope you hit all your goals. Looking forward to following your road to making it a full time career.
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Here are my overall stats details up to last night, any constructive criticism welcomed.

    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Originally posted by Atoks
      Greetings and welcome back!

      I've enjoyed both ur other blogs very much and it's easy to read from this one that u have only built on ur experience since them. I'll follow ur blog keenly since I've always been interested in exactly how much the non-turbo games vary from the turbos (which I play 99,9% of the time). On top of that ur mix of RL and poker stories is virtually ideal and it's always a treat to read such blogs.

      I do have a few questions, what is ur average ROI since u've taken this deal on? What kind of limits do u assume u would have to play vs. the time u would have available to play in order to meet ur goal of funding ur life with poker? Do u plan to move to another poker network?

      There'll be others I'm sure, but for now I'll wish u luck and lots of success with ur plans!
      As you can see above, my ROI overall is 26.34. It seems that my stt games are funding my mtts.
      I am not sure that tournaments can fund a full time living, certainly not on the ipoker network as there just isnt the traffic. Maybe on FT or Stars but currently there is no deal available on US sites with my sponser although I am told that negotiations are underway.
      I may have to turn to ring games in order to fulfil my ambitions, and I am able to do that but at the moment I am holdng fire pending the outcome of taks with the US sites.
      At the moment I am killing $10 stts, only to be expected and am starting to show a better return at $20 and $30 levels
    • Magijec
      Magijec
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.10.2007 Posts: 91
      Why dont you take 100% of your profits with your own bankroll? I know this way you are less stressed because you cant lose your money, but when the downswing comes, they will probably stop funding you anyway.
    • Atoks
      Atoks
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,354
      It's really difficult to deduce anything from ur stats because in this sample u have every type of game u have played. Different games yield different results. Also the sample isn't that big. I like ur fold BB to steal % and the attempt of steal % (though it's hard to deduce from this sample if ur making the right moves every time), maybe ur fold SB to steal % is a bit low (even if it depends on situations a lot). Anything else would require more of a breakdown through different blind levels and games.
    • ihufa
      ihufa
      Gold
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      how on earth did you get such a deal, and can you sign me up??
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Yesterday was a bit frustrating actually as far as poker went.
      My day first, I get a call from a guy in London who owes me some money. I am “holding” his car until he pays me. He has a buyer for the car and promises that I will get my cash once it is sold. As I cant legally sell the car myself I agree to him sending someone up to collect it. That someone turns out to be Paul. He is also owed money by this same guy. I have known Paul for about 5 years, he was a business partner of the guy who owes me. I wouldn’t call him a friend of mine as such, he is a mate but not someone I would trust entirely and in any event he is a cokehead lunatic. I have had some mad nights out with him, one almost ending in a fight which is not to be advised as Paul is one of these guys that doesn’t know when to stop and takes absolutely no notice whatsoever of how many times you hit him, you know the sort. He is originally from Middlesborough now living in Surrey and he works as a doorman at China Whites, a “celebrity” club in Soho. His employer is one Vic Dark, who if you google him is described as a deeply terrifying man, the most notorious armed robber in the London underworld who has served 19 years in total for his exploits. In other words, not a man to mess with and if Paul is working for him, you get the picture. Anyway, Paul turns up all smiles eyeballs on sticks and takes the car. He is Keen to get back into proper business but he is currently barred from being a director and under investigation for tax fraud so I think best to keep clear for now.
      The rest of the day passes pretty much without interest and I finally sit down to play poker at around 8pm. I play 9 tournys in total, the $25K guaranteed in which I crash out early losing consecutive hands with AK and 77 against JJ and A6 suited respectively, 7 stts and a $20 30 seater in which I come 5th, cashing for $48.
      In the 30 seater I come up against 2 other players sponsored by the same people as I am. I have a bit of software that warns me if I am seated at the same table as another sponsored player and the rules are that we should avoid each other. If I sit at a ring game and the warning flashes up I have to leave, but in tournys its ok as long as I don’t soft play them. In other words I have to treat them the same as everyone else and try to get their chips, excellent. The advantage is that I know they are decent players and they should also know that most of the time I am not bluffing them. Despite that, one of them reraises me all in after I have raised with AA and manages to double himself up with his KJ offsuit when the board is kind to him. OK maybe he isn’t so smart after all, and later I stack him off with flopped trips v his AKsuited.
      The nights stats are that I won 1, 2nd in 2 and the 5th in the 30 seater and that is that, $8 up for the day, as I said frustrating. I check my hands and see that the games I didn’t cash in, all but one I had the best hand going in and one I bluffed off with K10 on a K high board to a guy who flopped a full house, doh!
    • LuborC
      LuborC
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      Awesome blog! More! MOORREEE!!!
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Originally posted by Magijec
      Why dont you take 100% of your profits with your own bankroll? I know this way you are less stressed because you cant lose your money, but when the downswing comes, they will probably stop funding you anyway.
      There are measures in place designed to limit downswings, hence the daily loss limit and as long as I dont continually lose all my daily loss limit its fine. I never lose my entire limit, if I lose half of it I quit for the day.

      The benefits far outway only getting half the profits. I can sensibly move up the limits without fear of going broke. At $750 a day, I am being funded to the tune of $22500 a month, and I couldnt afford to do that personally. I get paid monthly out of the profits so can budget too.

      Also its not just about the funding, the mentoring is important too, if I have a bad spell, sound advise is at hand.
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Originally posted by ihufa
      how on earth did you get such a deal, and can you sign me up??
      The rules of posting on PS prevent me from naming my sponser and I dont want this blog shut down, but deals are out there for winning players, you just have to look.
    • delyron
      delyron
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.07.2007 Posts: 33
      rigged ;<
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Not a lot to report actually from yesterday, had a quiet day, no gangsters etc.
      Only played 5 tournys last night, 3 mtts and 2 stts. Came 2nd in 1 of the stts went deep in all 3 mtts but only cashed in 1, the $30 entry $5K guaranteed. Final tabled and went fairly card dead. Raised once with AK and got called by big stack who then shoved on a JTT board so I folded and had a mid position raise with QJ suited overshoved by 2 similar size stacks (they had TT and AQ) so again folded.
      Finished 7th in the end shoving in SB with 63suited BB called with Q2, cashing for $243. Ended the day with $150 profit.
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Hi all, very quick update, had a quiet day with the family today, usual stuff, shopping, homework (my daughters not mine), take her dancing etc, had a nice BBQ. No poker so far today and pretty tired after last night so may not play much if at all.
      Last night played only 5 tournys, 3 $20 stts, (2nd in 2, 4th in other), $10 $10K guaranteed freeze and $10 $30K guaranteed rebuy.
      Came 95th in 10K for $14 taking a bit of a bad beat:


      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      9 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      $10,000 Guaranteed Freezeout Buy-In: $10+$1

      Stacks:
      UTG (19,929)
      UTG+1 (8,170)
      MP1 (13,895)
      MP2 (24,630)
      MP3 (19,545)
      CO (28,514)
      BTN (20,565)
      SB (16,065)
      1rhinoneil (22,795)

      Blinds: 500/1,000 Ante 100

      Pre-Flop: (2,400, 9 players) 1rhinoneil is BB J:heart: J:club:
      4 folds, MP3 raises to 6,000, 3 folds, 1rhinoneil raises to 22,695, MP3 goes all-in 13,445

      Flop: K:club: A:spade: Q:club: (44,540, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: 4:spade: (44,540, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: A:diamond: (44,540, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Final Pot: 43,540
      MP3 shows
      J:diamond: K:spade:
      1rhinoneil shows
      J:heart: J:club:

      MP3 wins 40,290 (net +20,745)

      1rhinoneil collects 3,250 (net -19,545)



      Did better in the 30K though, came 5th for $1693 but think I should have done better. Played these two hands against same villain one after the other. Snap called the shove and still think I was right given previous hand.

      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      5 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      $30,000 Guaranteed R/A Buy-In: $10+$1

      Stacks:
      1rhinoneil (436k)
      CO (782k)
      BTN (730k)
      SB (995k)
      BB (2,433k)

      Blinds: 50k/100k Ante 10k

      Pre-Flop: (200k, 5 players) 1rhinoneil is UTG 2:club: 2:diamond:
      1rhinoneil raises to 426k, 3 folds, BB calls 326k

      Flop: A:spade: 9:diamond: 4:club: (952k, 2 players)

      Turn: Q:heart: (952k, 2 players)

      River: 3:heart: (952k, 2 players)

      Final Pot: 952k
      BB shows
      10:diamond: 5:diamond:
      1rhinoneil shows
      2:club: 2:diamond:

      1rhinoneil wins 952k (net +516k)

      BB lost 436k

      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      5 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      $30,000 Guaranteed R/A Buy-In: $10+$1

      Stacks:
      UTG (772k)
      CO (720k)
      BTN (935k)
      SB (1,997k)
      1rhinoneil (952k)

      Blinds: 50k/100k Ante 10k

      Pre-Flop: (200k, 5 players) 1rhinoneil is BB 9:spade: A:diamond:
      3 folds, SB raises to 1,987k, 1rhinoneil goes all-in 842k

      Flop: 5:club: 10:heart: 7:club: (3,029k, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Turn: 3:diamond: (3,029k, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: 6:diamond: (3,029k, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Final Pot: 2,979k
      SB shows
      3:club: A:spade:
      1rhinoneil shows
      9:spade: A:diamond:

      SB wins 2,979k (net +982k)

      1rhinoneil lost 952k

      Anyway, was still happy finished the day $1691 up
    • Renmerb
      Renmerb
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.06.2009 Posts: 152
      Nice result, despite the last hand.

      Like the blog! Keep it up!
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Had a really frustrating couple of days. I guess I am down around $150 but have had real problems with my laptop and cant see my P&L report. Also had problems with Pokertracker but hoping that is more or less sorted. Cant find any viruses or anything so really not sure what the problem is.
      Have also had issues logging on to Ipoker and with it freezing, just a nightmare.
      To top it all, and without doubt the main reason for my frustration has been the complete lack of sng games available. I am trying to play ideally double stack 6 seaters between $20 and $50 buy ins but it seems nobody is playing them. I cant seem to get a game in the non double stacks or 10 seaters either. Its actually getting very annoying. To play my target 400 tourneys a month I really need to be getting close to 20 a night, but the last week or so I cant get close to 10. Sitting around waiting 40 minutes for a single table to fill is not my idea of fun!
      In order to cut down on the variance, its obviously most important to play plenty of tournys and I have been trying to do that and if I had any hair left I would have pulled it out.
      It seems everyone wants to play turbos. I just don’t like them. In my opinion the element of skill required is less and the luck factor increases. That takes away what ought to be my edge as a decent player. Of course, I understand that turbos do require their own skill set, but even so for me its just too much gambling and not enough playing poker.
      Word is that we are closer to sorting things with the US sites and to be fair to him, my mentor is pushing hard for me so I am keeping my fingers crossed that the deal will be done soon and I can switch to Stars or Full Tilt. If that’s done I should easily be able to play 3-4 mtts plus 10 – 15 stts every night without too much trouble.
      Other than that, not much has been happening, the Mrs is going away mountain biking on Thursday for 4 days and if I can persuade my parents to have my daughter for the night I will either be on the lash on Friday night or up to the Broadway Casino in Birmingham to play the £30 double chance on Saturday night.
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Played 5 tournys last night, cashed in 4.
      3 stts, 6 seaters, came 2nd 2nd and 1st, $10K freeze, out early, $25K rebuy, 86th and in the money so ok.
      Total profit for day was $137.
      Now if I can only play like 4x number of tournys with the same return or better I will be happy
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Had a crap couple of days. I am down $230 for 17 tournys.
      Of these, played 10 stts and cashed only in 2, one first one second.
      The most worrying thing though is that of the ten I finished 3rd in 6.
      Looking over my play, I think I am playing too aggressive on the bubble. Most of the 6 I was chip leader and bullying but think the opposition are catching on to it, doh!
      Was really annoyed with one particular hand when I lost a load of chips on a totally unnecessary call, just plain stupid and after this lost a couple of flips to finish 3rd:

      No Limit Holdem Tournament
      3 Players
      Hand Conversion Powered by weaktight.com
      Berlin Buy-In: $30+$3

      Stacks:
      1rhinoneil (4,801)
      SB (1,280)
      BB (2,919)

      Blinds: 30/60

      Pre-Flop: (90, 3 players) 1rhinoneil is BTN 8:heart: 7:heart:
      1rhinoneil calls 60, SB folds, BB checks

      Flop: 2:spade: 7:club: 5:heart: (150, 2 players)
      BB bets 113, 1rhinoneil raises to 488, BB goes all-in 2,859, 1rhinoneil calls 2,371

      Turn: A:club: (5,980, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: 3:spade: (5,980, 2 players, 1 all-in)

      Final Pot: 5,868
      BB shows
      J:diamond: 7:spade:
      1rhinoneil shows
      8:heart: 7:heart:

      BB wins 5,868 (net +2,949)

      1rhinoneil lost 2,919


      Other than this, think I have been a little bit unlucky, crashing out of tournys with QQ (TWICE), KK, TT (TWICE), 88, JJ, AKs, AKo, KQs.

      Problem is of course that when I'm only playing a few tournys, variance bites more.

      Incidentally, is anyone out there playing the $20, $30 or $50 stts on ipoker or the $10K or $30K guaranteed tournys, post your screen name and I will look out for you.