Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tagged! You're it!

Looks like I've been tagged. I have to apologize for my absence, let's just say October was a doozy. Tons of things happened in my life (good things mind you) but they've also left me beyond preoccupied so I could hardly find any time to sleep, let alone blog.

So without further a due...

A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I won't tag anyone since I'm wayyy late to this party but here we go:

1. From the age of 10 through 16, I played soccer at an elite level but I just quit out of the blue cause I was, well, dumb. I've been getting back into it lately and I have tons of work to do to even be considered decent.
2. I picked my nose well into my teen years (Disgusting, I know)
3. I played the organ for nearly a decade but I mostly did it to please my mom. Haven't played it in nearly a decade and I don't miss it much.
4. I was dealt pocket aces in my very first hold'em hand, believe it or not. I also folded them pre-flop since the guy who was explaining us the rules had me all confused.
5. I've kept in touch with most of my best friends from high school. I live in a fairly small town and most people stuck around so It' been easier for us.
6. I was a notorious slacker in school but I'm an absolute workhorse at the job for reasons that escape me.
7. I lost my virginity at 19 to some 33 year old skank I picked up at a bar. She was actually pretty good looking and I have no regrets about it but it's still not something I brag about on a day to day basis.

So there you go. I'll try to put an actual post up tomorrow or Friday at the lastest about my October to remember.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Where are you going with this?

X-Grilfriend: So you're winning all this money at Poker but where does it end? Do you have a purpose or a goal? Where are you going with this?

Me: ...


God bless my x-girlfirend. She really made a conscious effort to show interest in my various hobbies but I never really managed to give her the answers that she was looking for. Most probably because I didn't know the answers myself.

So where am I going with this? Here I guess. And by here I mean at the foot of small stakes NL Hold'Em. The first few steps towards the promise land, the land of milk and honey: NL 200$.

Why NL 200$?

Because that's where the money actually starts to matter. This is the level where a pro can actually make a comfortable living through Poker and an amateur can start raking in some cash that can make a significant difference in his day to day life.

I've accumulated nearly 2k hands at this level and I must that it's not that different from NL 100$. The leap from NL 50$ to NL 100$ seems higher than the leap from 100$ to 200$. I'm doing okay so far, winning a lil' bit. I'll take it, considering I literally got my teeth kicked in when I first moved up to NL 100$.

I went on a tear getting tons of hands in throughout the last week of September. As a result, I've managed to book another 500$ of rake back for the third straight month in a row. I'm hoping October won't be such a close call.

BTW, my tournament game has gone to absolute shit. I've never been anything close to a donkament expert but this is getting ridiculous. I hardly remember the last time I've made it past the first hour of a tourney. Bleh!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

On Moving up and Taking Shots

When I first decided to move up to the .50/1$ games last month, the plan was to play 50K hands at that limit and re-evaluate from there if a promotion was in order. After a month and half, it's pretty much safe to say that those projections were a bit too much on the safe side.

Since I play Poker for fun, I'm extremely fortunate if I can manage to put in 25K hands in a month. On average, I'd say I have topped at the 20K mark since march. My benchmark is the amount of rakeback that I earn monthly. I usually aim for 500$ per month. This is a pretty reasonable amount for the stakes that I play since it proves that I've made a valiant effort of putting in as many hands as I could in said month.

With that said, I figure I'll be around the 30-35k hands by the end of September and I definitely believe that a promotion is in order. Why? Because staying within your comfort zone in this game will hurt you in the long run.

When I first moved up to .50$/1$, I was already over-rolled for those stakes. I wisely decided to cut my teeth at this level first before sitting at 1/2$ too quickly. The result? I promptly dumped 1/3 of my online roll on the tables in a month. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

Bankroll nits never progress, they stagnate. How can you improve if you keep playing against the same level of competition for extended periods of time? Getting my head kicked in for a whole month did more for my game than beating up on .25/.50$ retards ever could. I had to re-invent myself, learn to three-bet light in position, when to pull off squeezes, when and how to properly defend your blinds, etc. All concepts that were not really applicable or necessary at the lower stakes.

I also realized that the games themselves were not that much tougher once you figure them out. In other words, playing at the lower levels would also have hurt me where it matters the most: At the bottom line.

Now I'm not advocating that you run up to the highest stakes possible that your BR can tolerate ASAP, Lord knows that is not my style. On the other hand, I actually think that it's just as bad, if not worst, to stagnate at one level with 100+ buy-ins.

If there's anything to take from this text, it's this: Take safe shots, challenge yourself and reach for the stars. Your bankroll and your game will improve as a result.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Holidays, Poker, Work and Tilt

*Mic check, mic check, is this thing on?

Right, so where was I this time? Mostly travelling along the south shore of Montreal for a bit, enjoying the festivities of the International Beer festival amongst other things. That was the fun part of my absence.

The less fun part resolves mostly around tilt. Some Poker related but mostly from work. Nothing to do with one specific person, more with the moronic way they run things around here. I guess the worst part is that these morons can't basically do ONE thing right when I'm not here. Actually, I'd be quite glad if they failed while at LEAST trying to do something but no, it's almost as if they simply won't function if I'm not around.

It's pretty much gotten to the point that I specifically take my holiday at the absolute quietest times of the year just so I'm not totally swamped when I come back. You'd figure these idiots would do something to at least accommodate me but alas, I still wait in vain. I can't wait to find something else and see how they manage without me.

So in a word, I've been so swamped at work that the blog had to take a bit of a backseat.

Believe it or not, I still found lots of time to play Poker though! Let me rephrase that, I still found lots of time lose enormous amounts of money at Poker though! Nothing really special, running a bit bad and playing like absolute arse make for a bad recipe. Here's a graph that was taken a few days before the end of August.

You can add another 700$ down the drain on Cake Poker which almost adds up to a 2000$ loss; or 20 buy-ins if you will. The big spike in there was where the whole thing really went down south, a 12 buy-in loss in one day. I had stopped after four but I was so pissed at the various coolers and suck outs that I couldn't stay away. Boy did I learn the hard way the value of stop losses.

I did earn 520$ of Rakeback for the month and another 500$ since the start of September which takes me halfway out of the hole. If anything, a downswing forces you to take a step back and look at your game as a whole and make the necessary adjustments. The big thing for me was to bluff (read c-bet) a lot less, especially out of position. I've also layed down small pocket pairs in and out of position in three bet pots lately. It's all about controlling the swings and pushing the big hands really hard. Not the most exciting Poker to play but I can't really argue with the results.

I'll grind some more cash tonight although I'd really like to play a tourney. I might try to satellite my way in the 50-50. We'll see. I will be back tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Break Time

All right, I think I've pretty much nailed all my goals for the month and it's time to take a little break to soak it all in.

July has been a great month. I've played tons of hands and I've managed to reach 700$ in Rakeback. The fact that I mostly played 50$NL should tell you that is quite a shit load of hands to run through in a month. Yes, yes it is and I'm now on the point of a burn out so It's safe to say I've earned a few days break.

My play in the past few days shows the effect of wear and tear. Playing through the motions like a robot tends to bring result that are less than optimal. I would often make stupid borderline calls, get caught making one too many fancy plays, chasing without getting the right odds, etc. The proof is in the pudding: In the last three days on Full Tilt Poker, I've managed to play more than 3.3K hands. My net result for these past three days? 3, 70$.

That's not a typo.

And that's not counting the debacle on Cake Poker either. Sheesh!!

I'll gladly take this one on the chin and debate that, at the very least, it's not a big hole that I dug myself into. But I definitely need to stay away from the laptop for two or three days. I've been more tilt prone lately and am just generally mentally exhausted. My hasty exit in the 50/50 is enough proof of that. I'll spare you the details, they're embarrassing enough for me to keep to myself.

I probably would have been unable to play tonight due to prior obligations and my brother is hosting a home game on Wednesday. Thursday is still up in the air at this point but I could easily find myself something else to do by then. As of right now, all signs point to me returning to the tables on Saturday at the latest, which I believe is perfectly acceptable.

My plan moving forward will be to move up permanently to the NL 1$ level. I don't think I have much more to prove at the 0.50$ level anyways. I've beaten those games consistently at a 10BB/100 clip through 50k hands which means I'm definitely ready to graduate. I am currently rolled for NL 2$ so the money wont' be an issue either.

I've dabbled in the 1$ stakes before so I won't be intimidated by the money all that much. I guess my target for the next few months is to hit a decent win rate for the next 50K hands and reevaluate from there if another vertical move is in order. My main priority right now is to deposit 2K on the Ipoker network. The games look ridiculously soft and I'd like to build something down there. I would now have my bankroll split across three sites: Full Tilt, Cake Poker and Titan. I figure I could two table on all three sites and play 6 tables at the same time. I'm so smrt!!

So enjoy the next few days, I won't be a threat to your money for a little while!

Monday, July 30, 2007


I was running so ridiculously hot for the past few weeks that I was simply waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was literally incapable of losing a hand at time it seems. Get the money in with the worst hand in a pair over pair situation and I'd hit my two outer on the river. If I had draw it hit, a lower pocket and I hit my set, etc. The results were especially ridiculous on Cake Poker where my 625$ in my account became 2100$ in a week and a half of play.

Enter last Friday.

Wow, where to begin? How about getting stacked three times with Pocket aces against flopped sets? Where have you ever seen such ridiculous bad luck as this? Run into a set with aces three times in less than 250 hands? None of Hoy's lucksack BS of winning 470 out of 470 with these babies. Not here that's for damn sure.

Other than that, meh the usual. Flop two pair, someone else rivers a higher two pair. Set going down to straights and flushes and my absolute favourite, getting nailed with two outers, on the river no less, by smaller pairs against my monster. And pocket kings is by far my biggest loser this month, I'm down 300+$ with them for the month of July!

I like to come here and vent but I'm not really that upset. Let's face it, it would be incredibly hypocritical of me to complain considering how freaking hot I've been running for this past month. In fact, the past few months have been really great to me. Let's put things in perspective, shall we? On may 1st, when Neteller pulled out of the Canadian market, I cashed most of my bankroll and left 500$ on Full Tilt and 500$ on Cake Poker. As of today, my Full Tilt account stands at 3800$ and Cake Poker is a dozen dollars short of 2k. Add the 600$+ dollars of Rakeback that will hit my account in the next few days and you can clearly see that things are going quite well in the land of the Artiste. Long may it continue.

I also won what was quite possibly my largest pot of my Poker career. Sitting at 1$ NL limit table 200 BB deep, I got all my money in with a flopped set of queens against pocket kings and some other moron with an OESD. I filled up on the turn and the river failed to bring a king to ship a ridiculous 300$+ pot my way. Maybe just maybe the doomswitch has been lifted. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

More of the same in store for tonight. I really want to play the 50/50 but I'm exhausted right now so maybe I'll take nap and see how I feel by then. If I can't make it tonight, I'll figure something else for the rest of the week.

Good luck at the tables!!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Full Tilt crashed AGAIN last night

I don't know if anybody else was aware but after the BBT freeroll disaster on Wednesday, Full Tilt pulled the same stunt against last night. What makes this even more infuriating (for me anyways) is that I was just about to stack some donkey who was chasing a flush and his miracle card hit at the same time as my full house! Needless to say I was pissed. To add insult to injury, I couldn't log in anytime soon after to find out what happens with the funds invested in the pot when a situation like that occurs? Does the hand automatically goes to showdown? We'll see when I come back tonight.

One thing is for sure, this whole mess has definitely encouraged me to move at the very least half of my roll from Full Tilt and relocate at Titan Poker for the next little while. I'll still keep some money on Tilt for tournaments and blogger donkery but I'll pay the majority of my rake elsewhere for the next little bit.

Last night's session was a doozey too. I logged on the tables drunk out of my mind and I started playing a ridiculous laggy style on a equally ridiculous amount of tables. I was timing out of tables all over the place like crazy. Net result? Up 6 buy ins on Full Tilt down three on Cake Poker. And two of the buy ins that were dropped had me considerably ahead when the money went in. Can't win ‘em all I guess. Now watch me lose out my gourd when I sit down at the tables sober tonight. Such is Poker my friends.

Right now I'm just trying to get as much hands in as I can before the end of July. I'd like to reach 500$ of Rake back for the month. Before last night's play I was up to 448$ so there's no doubt I'm going to make it there but if I could hit 700$, that would obviously be better. Regardless, I'll be looking to go all out in the next few days

I don't think I have registered for one tournament this week which is pretty disappointing. I have to keep working at these things if I hope to win a nice score. I want to hit the 50/50 at least twice next week and I'll enter a few of these 75$ Token frenzies while I'm at it. The 75$ tournaments usually mean big prize pools and fewer donkeys to work your way through.

Enjoy the weekend!