Brand New Year, Brand New Blog!

Hola and happy new year! Yes I know it’s a bit late, but I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years. 

So as you all may have noticed… the blog has been gone for some months now. But I’m back baby yeaaaaaaa! 

For those of you that were with me around this time last year you will remember my new years post and goal setting. The plan was to hit Supernova VIP atlas once last year, plus some other goals. This however did not happen, mainly due to my laziness and work ethic faltering slightly as the year progressed! 

So here we are again, new year, new blog, new mission. 

To bring you up to speed a bit, the tail end of last year was pretty dire in terms of everything poker related. My volume of games was way down, I wasn’t studying enough and also seemed to get slightly doom switched and couldn’t win a hand. 

 All that said, it’s pretty standard stuff and nothing none of us have dealt with before. So that brings us to this year! New year, new arrangements and plans! So the most notable change for this years grind is that I am no longer playing with my own money. For those of you that play poker and know about backers/stakers you will understand what I’m talking about, for those that don’t, here’s an explanation. 

 I am now part of a stable of players for a group called Global Staking. This means that they give me money to play with and also supply coaching and a support network of other grinders and coaches to work with. 

 

Why do they do this you might ask, or why would I want to do this given that I’m a winning player with my own bankroll. So, they do it as for them it’s an investment, they and I both know based on my long term results that I’m a winning player and a worthwhile investment. Why would I want to do this? Well a few reasons;

 1) It means a lot of the stress of the swings gets removed as I’m not sat there sweating the money, this enables me to play better poker as there is no fear from playing with scared money.

 2) It means I get coaching for free in a sense as I get regular sessions without paying an hourly or set fee like I would if I was going solo. 

 3) Poker can be rather stressful at times and especially when things aren’t going well it can get hard to keep positive and believe in yourself. Having the support and belief in ones abilities from a backer, and support from a coach goes a long way to keeping focused and positive. 

 

So what do they get out of it? Money ultimately, although as we all know with poker this is by no means a guaranteed steady income for them, it is about long term investment. They get 50% of any winnings above my initial stake, baed on the weekly reports I send in (which conveniently are done on Sundays as well) 

 How’s it all been going then? Well not terribly well to begin with! The first week of being staked I was severely ill with tonsillitis and couldn’t grind. The second week I got crushed, I was playing badly and running badly. Upon review of a lot of hands I was making questionable bubble plays and generally not on my A-game. I somehow managed a streak of 30 games with only 2 ITM finishes! I’ve never seen anything like it. Now I’ve been unable to play due to issues with BT broadband customers and connecting to Pokerstars. This issue also cost me around 18 buyins when I got disconnected twice during sessions and was unable to reconnect. So not off to a terribly good start! As a result of this time off however I have been able to do a lot of study work and get my head back in the game after rather a long hiatus.

 In non SnG news I have been having repeatedly deep runs in a few MTTs on Full Tilt and Pokerstars, I keep getting some what coolered for very important pots when about 30-40bb deep. Oh well maybe I’ll bink one some day! In totally non poker news, I am still doing Krav Maga and loving it! WE have grading soon, and cannot wait, as I missed the previous one last year. Life is good, its going to be a good year, and I aim to be back at the $15 SnGs in no time! Hopefully these issues with BT get resolved and I can grind properly next week, thanks for checking in guys, see you next Sunday. 

 Here is a graph from the year so far! 

Image

 

 

 

Keep your mind on the Grind

Hello everyone, happy Sunday (now Tuesday due to long weekend!) to you all, I hope you have all had a great week on and off the tables, and hopefully have been getting some of the sunny weather.

This week I really got back into hard work mode with study and review, but still didn’t play as much as I should have done as once again I got landed with some extra commitments that I hadn’t planned for this week. Oh well, at least I’m keeping busy I supposed, on the keeping busy vibe, I have also started Krav Maga in the last couple of weeks. I’m seriously loving it and it feels great to be being more physically active again, and that in turn is making me eat better and drink and smoke less, so happy days!

I found myself doing hand history reviews at 8am one morning as I was feeling so fresh after getting good sleep and eating good food for a change, so long may that continue. It sounds a bit strange but in a way now that I’m technically busier and have less time for poker, I’m feeling more focused and am enjoying my sessions more again. I guess as Phil Galfond once titled a blog post, “It always comes back to balance, doesn’t it?” a thing regular readers will know I struggle with! http://www.philgalfond.com/it-always-comes-back-to-balance-doesnt-it/

So this week has been pretty good to be honest, I’m feeling refreshed and more focused, and it pretty damn great! I spent some time this week working on my HU (heads up) game a lot with my coach, doing some live sweat sessions playing HU SnGs and some review as well. I also broke my no MTT rule by playing the $11 Saturday Duel HU MTT, as I thought it would give me some much needed practice. This was probably the dullest MTT experience of my entire life, I got a by in the first round, so played no hands for over an hour until the next round started. ZzZzZZzzZzZz 

Round 2 Fight! Wohoo, some hands, finally I can get into some epic HU battle lets go! Right well…6 hands is all it took to dispatch the guy that took all of 5 minutes! He was pretty loose passive and a total fish bowl, I ended up donk betting into him with some draws and other random hands which seemed to put him on tilt pretty bad. That’s all it took to make him lose his mind with  a T high river bluff after I turned top pair. gg me! Sleep mode now for another hour til the next round… This next guy took marginally longer to beat, 26 hands! YYAAYY!! Next round is the bubble round, I drew a total uber mega fish (although I didn’t know this until after when i scoped him) The crappy thing was that I was quite tired and bored by the time this round arrived as it was getting late and the time between rounds was ridiculous. I failed to adjust to the guy and instead of realising he never folded pre, or post flop, I just kept raising a wide range of hands and insisting on barreling multiple times with air. Not a good strategy against a really bad player who never thinks about ranges or anything other than drooling over their own cards!

Losing to a bad player always sucks, but losing to a bad player because of my own inability to adjust, sucks even more, at least if he had just been sucking out with hands and getting lucky I could live with that. So that was that, I played probably 50 hands in over 3 hours…but at least I got to watch a lot of episodes of Parks and Recreation (proper funny show!) 

Oh the irony, I titled a post about keeping my mind on the grind and most of this has been talking about non grinding MTTs! I guess this is because it made a more interesting write up than writing about my SnG week would have done! It was a rather apt end to a pretty rubbish month, another break even week..

I was playing well and felt good in my sessions, there were a few lil mistakes here and there, where I re-shoved too wide into certain types of players a couple of times (this became apparent after reviewing hands post game) But overall very happy with my play throughout the week.

Games: 318

Coaching/Review: 1/3

Profit/Loss: -$7.48

screen-capture-2 screen-capture-3

So yea…overall an incredibly frustrating months poker, but it happens, and it could have been worse. It could have been a massive down swing to rebuild from, rather than just treading water. Even with the few wobbly moments I had this month, I still dealt with it better than I would have done previously, but it has also shown me that there is a lot more work to be done on my mental game. Being a professional player takes a professional attitude and dropping game volume or getting all pissy because you haven’t won any $ for a few weeks is not terribly professional! But I’ll get there, just gotta keep on grinding and working hard, oh yea and going to Krav Maga and getting rid of some of the stress is also great!

Thanks for stopping by guys, see you soon.

p.s I might be away this coming weekend so there may not be a blog!

Prop bet madness, and getting back on track!

Hello my lovelies, so sorry I’ve left you all blogless for 2 weeks now! I have been rather busy with “real life” stuff *yawn* but I’m back now and time to crush games and write blogs!

I didn’t play at all last week as I was away a lot and didn’t have the time to get to the tables, so that would make for a rather dull blog update after 2 weeks of nothingness. Thankfully the week prior to that I got in lots and lots of pokerz, a rather insane amount really, but it was great.

To set the scene let me explain why/how/what I was doing.

As you all know my goal for this year is to hit Supernova by August/September roughly (if not before), to get on track for this I needed to get my Platinum level back first, which I should of had by end of January, but didn’t due to various reasons. In order to get myself back on track I had to clear 4,898 VPPs by the end of February, which is about 1,700 games, in 8days!

In order to light a fire under my ass somewhat I decided I would setup a prop bet with some other grinders I know online. For those that don’t know, a prop bet is a proposition bet, eg “I bet you $X at X:X odds that you can’t do X task”

Poker history is full of famous and rather large prop bets, from million dollar weight loss bets and these days more reasonable volume bets, which is what I setup.

The Challenge:

Platinum VIP (4,898 VPPs)

8 days

Avg 208 $7 6m turbo SnGs/day

As you guys will know I have been working on my volume a lot so far this year. My recent volume increase has got me to 150 games a day average, with my personal best ever prior to this being 200 ish games, requiring me to take a day off afterwards! So this amount of volume was going to be a challenge, playing for 8 days solid with no breaks really.

Regardless of this, I was feeling quietly confident in my abilities otherwise I would never have arranged this prop bet. Aswell as potential to win some $ from the bet, playing this amount of games also clears roughly $150 in bonuses and rewards from the VIP program, so it could be a rather profitable week if all goes according to plan!

I tried to keep a daily poker diary during this intense 8 days, and have included some excerpts and music to accompany the day and reflect my mood slightly.

So, here we go…

Day 1: Feeling good but slightly apprehensive about the task I’ve taken on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvk6DJu26gI

Day 2: Same as yesterday really, although a bit more tired

Day3: Really feeling tired now, massively underestimated how fatigued I would get from this amount of games. Spilled cous cous on desk/mouse pad, thank god for optical mouse, cous cous in a roller ball wouldn’t be the one!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGkJE-mA_Ss

Day 4: Nice relaxing breakfast watching Frasier, feeling good, although I do feel like I might be getting a cold, could be bad! Finding it hard to concentrate as day goes on, getting tired, ill and tilting, stopped playing after 160 games.

Day 5: Feeling better after an early night, still not 100% though, tilting a bit, although it’s passing quickly and isn’t all consuming rage like yesterday. Gotta make up lost games from yesterday!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D-QD_HIfjA

Day 6: Today feels awesome, not sure why as I’m still a bit ill, but feeling focused and in the zone. Played 195 games without a break, then finished off a shorter evening session.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKO0RrM7LvI

Day 7: Wow am I tired now, finding it super hard to focus and keep playing, cabin fever setting in slightly as well. Making a lot of mistakes and misclicks (including an open shove at bb30 with 54o) Finding it hard to analyse hands in game and think decisions through.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO2yiVsiExI

Day 8: Started at 8am today to make sure I win this bet! Starting to get anxious now about my results for the week as I still haven’t checked how much I might be +/-.

So close to being done, but it’s not ever till it’s over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw

And we are done! as of 6:45pm GMT on day 8 I completed the bet!

I played a total of 1,660 SnG’s in 8 days;

1,606 x $7

53 x $15

1 x $30

I haven’t felt this happy with myself in a long time, I cannot believe I stuck to the insane schedule for 8 days. It really goes to show me what I can achieve if i push myself with poker, and I’m a very happy person.

The main lesson I’ve taken away from this is just how bad I am as judging how a day/week is going when I’m playing, as you will see from the graph below there was some pretty gross swings of $200-300 a couple of times and some nice up ticks aswell. These have almost no bearing on how I thought I was doing at the time, and make me appreciate how much of a difference not checking my results makes to my mind set. For example I really think I would have struggled to continue had I known I had lost $300 in the first day, or the times when I got even or + then lost it again would have really shaken my confidence and belief in my abilities.

screen-capture-2

So I ended up +$187 from the games, $150 from VIP/bonuses the bet. So not a bad week all in all and money aside, I am just very pleased with myself and I am really confident I can hit Supernova on schedule this year. Also I can now get back to the $15’s and get out of the $7 games! w0000000

Thanks for stopping by guys, I am going to get back on schedule with my blog update now, although I can’t promise one this Sunday as I won’t have much time to play as it’s Wednesday already.

Have a great week and see you all soon.