freespirit47's uNL journey

    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      Hi there folks,

      i feel ashamed when i read all the succesful blogs (and especially those Slovak ones, like TLN + Silent one), but i decided it's about time to start my own, mostly to help me motivate myself and hopefuly get some advice/help from you guys.

      Let me first introduce myself - i am 29yrs old, born in Martin/SVK, currently living in Prague where i work as a web developer/programmer. I started playing poker at the end of 2008, first just homegames with my friends when i visited my hometown, then i started to play online too. I didn't have much knowledge about what's going on, so i busted few bankrolls before i forced myself to study about poker. In late december 2008 i started to visit local poker clubs in Prague and first three months of 2009 i was really successful, making about 40.000CZK (~$2k) in live tournaments and cash games, which were really soft. However, since April, the hotrun was over, i lost about 15k and decided to take a break from poker for a while also due to a lot of work (i also have my own company in slovakia + working in prague). I got back to grinding at the end of the year, being mostly breakeven/sligt losing. I bought a HM and started to review my sessions once in a while, i could clearly see the mistakes i was making , but still i am unable to completely plug the leaks which keeps returning in a loop..

      3 months ago i decided to change the pokerroom and moved to Merge platform (BigBetPoker) where i found an interesting rb offer plus instant 20% bonus. I really tried to take it seriously this time, reading forums, watching videos, reviewing sessions.. i gained a lot of knowledge in last few weeks, but somehow i am failing to apply it to my game long term.. i play exclusively 6max, my worst enemy is NL10 , where i'm just failing big time, everytime when i gain enough confidence at NL4 and move up, i just get destroyed..

      ok, it's getting kind of 'tl;dr' style, so i'll try to make it short - here is my graph from BB, together with my stats.. I know the VPIP/PFR stats are terrible, i just can't manage to change my habits like completing the SB too much or flatcalling marginal hands into raisor like KTs+, Axs+ or setmining almost every pp..








      after my last terrible session i decided to move down to NL4 again and try to work on my leaks once again....i know i have to work on the vpip/pfr ratio, stop calling 3b so much etc... i will give it probably last serious try , this time i have to do it..

      i will update with my new sessions on a regular basis with some HH's too, hopefuly some of you guys can tell me what can i do better..

      to make it a little less pathetic, i will try to save it with a smallish brag - i attended the Unibet Poker Festival in Pardubice/CZK where i played in the main event (36+4 EUR) , which was unofficialy the biggest tournament in middle europe a week ago with 500 players, i made it to day 2 and finished ITM at 24th place (144EUR).. but that's the only positive poker moment in last few months, hopefuly i can turn it around soon..

      if you manage to read it to this point, thank you for your time :)

      freespirit
  • 106 replies
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      i may as well start with recent hand histories:


      HAND 1:

      BU was a typical calling station, i knew he would pay me with any K.. should i had to slow down on the turn/river?

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.05/$0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)

      Known players:
      SB:
      $8.46
      BB:
      $17.90
      MP2:
      $9.72
      MP3 (Hero):
      $19.98
      CO:
      $9.24
      BU:
      $10.27


      Preflop: Hero is MP3 with A, A.
      MP2 folds, Hero raises to $0.35, CO folds, BU calls $0.35, 2 folds, BB folds.

      Flop: ($0.85) 6, 3, K (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.85, BU calls $0.85.

      Turn: ($2.55) 2 (2 players)
      Hero bets $2.55, BU calls $2.55.

      River: ($7.65) 4 (2 players)
      Hero bets $7.65, BU calls $6.52.

      Final Pot: $21.82.
      Results follow:

      Hero shows a pair of aces(A A).
      BU shows two pairs, kings and fours(4 K).

      Hero wins with a pair of aces(A A).
      BU wins with two pairs, kings and fours(4 K).


      HAND 2:


      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.05/$0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)

      Known players:
      CO:
      $20.38
      BU:
      $9.98
      SB:
      $11.37
      BB:
      $28.45
      MP2 (Hero):
      $14.89
      MP3:
      $16.21


      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with K, A.
      Hero raises to $0.35, 2 folds, BU calls $0.35, 2 folds, BB folds.

      Flop: ($0.85) 8, T, A (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.64, BU calls $0.64.

      Turn: ($2.13) T (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.07, BU calls $1.07.

      River: ($4.27) Q (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.70, BU calls $0.70.

      Final Pot: $5.67.
      Results follow:

      Hero shows two pairs, aces and tens(K A).
      BU shows two pairs, aces and queens(A Q).

      BU wins with two pairs, aces and queens(A Q).


      HAND 3:

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.05/$0.1 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)

      Known players:
      MP2:
      $32.63
      MP3:
      $5.75
      CO:
      $7.50
      BU:
      $12.42
      SB:
      $10.00
      BB (Hero):
      $10.57


      Preflop: Hero is BB with J, A.
      MP2 calls $0.10, 2 folds, BU raises to $0.40, SB folds, Hero calls $0.30, MP2 calls $0.30.

      Flop: ($1.25) T, 5, J (3 players)
      Hero checks, MP2 checks, BU bets $0.75, Hero raises to $2.58, MP2 folds, BU raises to $12.02, Hero calls $7.59(All-In).

      Turn: ($23.44) 4 (2 players)


      River: ($23.44) Q (2 players)


      Final Pot: $23.44.
      Results follow:

      Hero shows a pair of jacks(J A).
      BU shows two pairs, jacks and fives(J 5).

      BU wins with two pairs, jacks and fives(J 5).
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,908
      Hi!

      Post the hands in the evaluation forums section. It will be of good help, especially to steer you on track with your major leaks.

      First hand I wouldn't bet pot size on all streets, but value bet all streets nonetheless.

      Second hand you overplayed your TPTK. The river is a c/c most of the times, for me at least.

      Last hand you overplayed your TPTK again. Yes, villain shows suited crap to take it down, but what worse than TPTK would call your raise and shove on the flop? FDs and straight draws will more often than not fold. And you don't run that hot against that anyway. Usually in this situation you will get called by sets.

      The evaluation forums will help you more, it's a promise! I'll have a look once in a while to see your progress.

      Manu :diamond:
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      Thank you for you input Manu, i appreciate it!

      I will use the evaluation forums from now on and use this blog for progress updates, thanks for the advice.
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      so my first update is quite positive.. i decided to put some higher volume today at NL4 with the new attitude - tried to play pure ABC poker, value bet (x3) and try to avoid tough spots - i think i managed quite well, played my A game most of the session altho the second half was mostly b/e , i was quite card dead too and didn't want to make any funky moves with s/c and mediocre hands as i sometimes do when i don't get good hands for a while, which sometimes doesn't end up well as i definitely have some huge leaks postflop which i need to work on first, before i can implement this kind of play into my game..

      anyway - here's the graph and stats, i am really happy that i had the discipline and managed a great vpip/pfr ratio (i know, super nitty, but that what really works at this micro level , it seems)





      i know it's not a huge sample, but helped me a lot to gain a little bit of confidence again :)

      one funny hand from the session (can be easily spotted on the graph):

      Hand converted with online PokerStrategy.com hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.02/$0.04 No-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)

      Known players:
      CO:
      $4.47
      BU (Hero):
      $4.23
      SB:
      $2.95
      BB:
      $0.50
      MP2:
      $0.40
      MP3:
      $4.22


      Preflop: Hero is BU with A, A.
      2 folds, CO calls $0.04, Hero raises to $0.18, SB calls $0.16, BB folds, CO calls $0.14.

      Flop: ($0.58) J, 2, 7 (3 players)
      SB raises to $2.77(All-In), CO calls $2.77, Hero raises to $4.05, CO calls $1.28.

      Turn: ($11.45) A (3 players)


      River: ($11.45) T (3 players)


      Final Pot: $11.45.
      Results follow:

      Hero shows three of a kind, aces(A A).
      SB shows a flush, king high(3 K).
      CO shows a flush, ace high(8 A).

      CO wins with a flush, ace high(8 A).
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      another session update - played another ~1k hands, the session didn't start very well, run it to some coolers, everytime i raised i got 3-4 calls and it was really hard to play postflop, especially when i completely missed the flop most of the time.. i still had the confidence tho and felt i was playing good (apart from 1 hand, where i again overplayed my TPGK agains a set on a dry board) and at the end i managed to pull it back almost to even (finished 3/4 bi down after i was down almost 3 and 1/2).

      although it was a red day, i feel really motivated , it surprises me so much that with just a little bit of self control and concentration i can play standard ABC poker and maintain 80%+ vpip/pfr ratio, which was one of my biggest leaks last few weeks (getting bored and start calling raises with mediocre hands, limpcalling s/c's and sht like that..)

      here is todays graph and stats:



    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      todays session was quite frustrating.. i started pretty well, winning over 2bi's in first ~100 hands, but ended up break even and 2+ bi's below EV.. just simply adds to my already 15+ buins below EV at this level.. nothing to cry about tho, i understand the concept of variance and i'm a strong believer it will even out in the long run .. :)

      i maintained the 13/11 style today again and remain positive about this hole thing. Good thing is that i didn't (even slightly) tilt after few suckouts today, which is a good sign as well..

      graph:

    • fryandspicy
      fryandspicy
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.05.2010 Posts: 440
      In regards to those three hands you posted, i think the block bet on the river was fine on the second hand. If you check called there you'd often be paying more to see the showdown than block betting and then folding to a reraise. The last of the three was definately a fold when he went all in unless you've seen him go all in with middle pair before.

      On the blog overall - well done! It takes guts to be so frank about your bad poker form when everyone else is winning. Very inspiring and hopefully you'll turn it around soon.
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      @fryandspicy - thanks for the kind words sir, yeah it was meant as a block bet in the 2nd hand. The last was deffo overplayed, my common misstake .. :(


      Todays session went pretty smooth, won close to 2 BI's, finally also bit above EV :) I'm somehow starting to feel that i need to try and widen my play bit by bit, starting to open bit wider from the late position, but i'm still not sure if it's gonna work much at this micro level where people call any raises pretty light.. i guess i will give it a try anyway to prepare myself for my "comeback" to NL10..

      I want to play maybe few k more hands at nl4 and give another shot to nl10. I don't have any BR issues when it comes to that, i am properly rolled for nl10 already (~35bi's), but i want to be sure i am playing my A game most of the time.. I hope that if i stick to the play i'm playing these days (since i started this blog), i have a chance to maintain some (even smallish) winrate.. we shall see :)

      todays graph:

    • BOBOsvk
      BOBOsvk
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 2,505
      make bigger deposit and play higher, this is just a waste of time

      gl
    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      I don't think it's a waste of time building a BR from the nano-limits at all ?( It allows you to build up your experience and test out new theories.

      I'm currently about to move up to NL10 after building my roll from NL2 and I tihnk it's been time very well spent.
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      @BoboSVK: i have to go with wriggers, i don't think it's a waste of time at all.. it's much more efficient (and cheaper of course) to gain experience and play thousands of hands on microlimits, to build up habits like positional play, proper betsizing etc.

      For me it's not much of a matter of money at all at the moment.. i have a good paying job and poker is just a game for me right now.. but a game, in which i want to excel as much as possible.. i take all this time spent as an investment into my future possible attempts at higher limits, every played hand counts :)
    • BOBOsvk
      BOBOsvk
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 2,505
      idk if u can learn to paly poker at these limits where ppl call ur 2 barrels with 5 high and river gutshot straight :D

      btw. when i tried cash games i had 30% wtsd as you do. But my winning % when went to show down was little bit higher. Try to lower this and learn to fold top pair when its obvious u are beat
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,908
      I think NL2 and NL4(or NL5) are good to mostly for BR building and mindset training. If you can withstand players calling when they are clearly huge underdogs and suck out on you, then you can move up for sure when you have the right BR. Only after really starting to get the hang of the patience and discipline required in poker you will really be able make use of your skill advantage. Of course, if you have the financial resources to start at somewhere like NL25 I honestly don't see problem with that. But wanting to beat the nano/micro stakes are not a waste of time.
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      @boboSVK: well i agree it won't prepare me for the game style of i.e. nl50 or nl100, that's a different story.. what i'm focusing on tho - as i said, is to get some habits i can later build on. You're definitely right with the WTSD pctg, that's one of the things i'm really working on.


      Today i felt really relaxed and confident and decided to try nl10 (bit earlier as i was planning, but i really felt confident and wanted to give it a shot). The session was pretty rough tho, i've run into a couple of coolers (AA vs set of 8's on a dry flop after some preflop action, aiotf) and AQ vs another set of 88's on a Q8Qxx board. I ended up 1 buy-in down but overall i feel pretty good and i think if i keep playing this way, the results will come sooner or later. There was one hand in the end where i won a decent pot with AK vs QQ vs AT aipf, where i 3b the shortstack's MP raise from the BTN , BB flatcalled and ss went AI for like 1.50 more. I RRAI trying to isolate the flatcaller, still not sure if this was the right move - anyway, he called with QQ but i managed to win this one.

      here's the graph:



      i will probably not play much for a couple of days, friend of mine is coming to visit me in Prague, so i expect some party action :) hopefuly i will get back to the "virtual felt" on sunday/monday relaxed and ready to crush :P
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      After the short weekend break which i spent partying and sightseeing with my best friend, who visited me in Prague, i got myself back to grinding and decided to put in some decent amount.. and it's been a ride! during 2 longer sessions i've put in 3k hands and ended up break/even in the end.. especialy the second session was extremely swingy, i've run into a bunch of coolers (set over set, AA into AQ on an ATx board, run run str etc.) and was down over 2bi's at some point.. the end was pretty good tho.

      I find NL10 completely different world from nl4.. there is a bunch of regulars i have over 5k on, and there is quite a lot of 3-4 betting preflop, especially blinds vs. btn or bvb. I'm trying to adjust, and altho i made couple of smallish mistakes, overal i'm quite satisfied with how i'm doing so far. I feel that my "performance" at nl10 is much better from how it used to be before, so hopefuly some good results will start to kick in soonish :)

      here's the graph:

    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      tonights session was an absolute dissapointment for me.. i played pretty well most of the time, was up nice 1.5bi close to the end, and then i just ruined it all.. i'm still not sure what happened, seems like i was calmed down by the fact that i'm finaly up or something.. it all started with a terrible river bluff after i missed my draw with AQ, missplayed every street.. then i run AK into AA, closely followed by AA into 45s for the rivered flush.. there were some more fireworks close to the end, which were pretty standard tho.. aftermath - i'm down 1bi for today.. nothing to cry about when we look at monetary aspects, but what worries me more is the way i lost control over my play..

      well, i guess i'll have a sleep now and review the session again tomorrow..

      graph:

    • Wriggers
      Wriggers
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.07.2009 Posts: 3,250
      Nice blog man :) I myself have recently moved up to NL10 and am also finding it a bit different from NL5, currently $7 down on NL10 now, making my way back up after being $35 down :(

      Just wanted to pop in and let you know that someone else knows how it is and is in the same boat :) GL man!
    • freespirit47
      freespirit47
      Silver
      Joined: 04.11.2008 Posts: 354
      Thanks man, nice to see someone is actualy reading my blog :) I wish you good luck in your NL10 journey as well, hope both of us can post more positive results soon.. ;-)
    • Pincell
      Pincell
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.02.2008 Posts: 280
      Hi there :f_biggrin: nice to see another guy from slovakia in the forums :f_biggrin: It's been long since I last played NL10 so I'm not sure if I can help but you can add me on skype and chat :f_biggrin:
      gl at tables :f_biggrin: