Tuesday, 29 June 2010

June 2010 Review

So, my first month as an FPP Pro is complete. I am writing this a day early as you will notice, this is because i am having the last day of the month off to troll around London in the hot Sun. I will be tempted to drop into 'The Vic' or the 'Empire', but i won't till next month now. Oh, and if anyone has any feedback on the Western Club, please mail me or comment below as i have never been there and am interested to visit.

How did my debut go then?, well in a word, disastrous..... I have had my first losing month in well over a year and i have also had to top up my bankroll.... something i have not done in ages as my account balance was previously large enough through built winnings to cope with my downswings.

The reasons for my loss are mainly bad beats. I reckon i lost around $2k in situations where all the money was in and i was a large or huge favourite. This happens to all pokers players, so i just got to ride it i guess. I can't blame it all on bad luck as i am definitely guilty of making quite a few bad river calls this month, around -$800 i think.

One of the big errors that i made this month was succumbing to the time pressure of playing 20 tables. When i had a big decision to make i would often find the waiting tables building up and then i would rush my decision in order to deal with the other tables so i don't time out. I now realise that if i need to correctly act on a hand worth $200 i need to forget about say 10 waiting tables where i might only be in the blinds for around $3, so if i time out i time out.... sounds obvious, but in the heat of battle, the pressure can force mistakes. This is part of the learning curve as a new player to full-time grinding. I am figuring things out one by one.

I have also had a play with my bet sizing, 3bet and 4bet strategies and also my starting ranges in various positions. I am still to finalise all these elements of my game and some of the things i tried this month were simply not profitable and i will change certain things in July. I have used a sound strategy for 5yrs and its worked extremely well, so i guess if its not broke then don't fix it. The only problem with the last statement is that i want to improve my game and that will not happen if i play the same way as i have always played. I have over the last five years won on average 71% of the time (calculated by month)

The final numbers for June are as follows:

-$2,793 (Table Losses)
+$100 (Stellar Reward for 90,000 VPPs)
+$1,000 (Milestone Bonus for 100,000 VPPs)
+$54 (2x Free Poker Books from the VIP store less 1 purchased)
+$40 (Free Gym Bag from the VIP Store)
+$44 (Live/Home game winnings)

-$1,555 (Total Month)

The YTD numbers as at the end of June are as follows:

+$5,745 - Jan*
+$3,385 - Feb*
+$467 - Mar*
+$1,620 - Apr*
+$1,234 - May*
-$1,555 - June

+$10,896 (Total YTD)

* indicates winnings attained as a part-time player

One of the things that i estimated before i began life as a poker pro was the attainment speed of bonuses. I thought i would pick up one $4k cash bonus and one milestone bonus every 25 days. I have now revised this figure to take into account time off and the work-life balance. Realistically at NL100 i think it will take me 35-40days to get the 2 bonuses worth c$8k. This will be quicker at NL200 but then i have a larger risk. In June i got around 42k VPPs. I need to get more like 70k VPPs per month to hit my bonus collection target. I blame it on the World Cup and Tennis distracting me.... haha.... I don't actually need an income till Aug as my previous employer is paying me till the end of July. So June was pretty relaxed.

I will set a target each month for the following month. So, for July my target is:

To hit the gym 20 times..... lol
I will not set a target for July as i will be pretty relaxed about poker till the 12th of the month. I may issue a target after that.

GL at the tables...

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Turbo Takedown Takes Me Down.....

I am just watching The Quantum of Solace as i write about how my worst poker month ever just gets worse and worse. I have had this film to watch for over a year now.... so its about time i got round to seeing it... lol

The story of my cash games is that its my first month of being an FFP pro and there are a few things that i need to get used to. Firstly, i have been playing longer sessions than i have been used to in the previous 5yrs and my concentration has slipped on a few occasions. I have almost addressed this and will be fine in July. Secondly for some reason i made changes to my ranges and played a bit more creatively which has not worked. I have now reverted to my previous hand ranges in each position and will reduce slightly on my creative plays. I have been a marginal winning player over the last 5yrs. If i can get back there and collect the FPPs i will be okay with my income as i work on improving my game. At the moment i seem to be the biggest fish at every table i sit on....lol... not good. Playing 20 tables is something i am not completely comfortable with at times, so i will trial between 16-20 to see how it goes. My bad plays this month have made me around -$800 i reckon, but the bad beats i have taken account for around -$2,000. If this had gone the other way i would easily be in profit with my FPP earnings this month, but as it stands i will report my largest loss ever for June.

I just played the $1,000,000 Turbo Takedown Tourni as i watched Argentina Smash Mexico playing football the way it should be... with flair, pace and great finishing. Oh, and England are out and they were complete rubbish... enough said about that... Hopefully those idiots at FIFA will bring in goal line technology and enter the 21st century.

Anyway, The Turbo Takedown is a fun Tourni with a 3000FPP buy-in, making it accessible to all players at pokerstars. One of the features that i like about this tourni is the prize structure, paying out around a third of entrants as opposed to the 10-15% player payout in most tournis. There is also a multiplier bonus for continued cashing and a bounty on PS Team Pros. Not that its any use to me as i have played twice and bummed out early both times. Its a fast tourni with 3000 starting chips and an Audi TT + $60,000 first Prize

Today's Tourni epitomises how my month has gone. After 45mins i should have been sitting on around 9000 chips but instead i am dumped out. Here's how it went:

I only played around 7-8 hands but here are the main ones:

1. I pick up JJ in mid position and bet 3bb. I get called by the cut-off and the Button. The Flop comes Q95 rainbow. I check, cut-off checks and the button bets around 30% of the pot. This is a situation early in a tourni so i think i have an argument to fold, call or raise. As his bets is small i choose to raise... he might have bet small to induce my raise or he may have a hand like AT or KT, but i want to know where my Jacks stand. I think i should have just called considering there is another player in the pot. The cut-off folds and the button calls. The turn is a T, giving me an up and down straight draw... now if i was deep in a tourni i would consider pushing with this, however i check and he bets big. I now either go all-in or fold... i think for a while and fold. I have around 2700 chips.

2. I pick up AT in late position and open for 3bb, the cut-off calls and all others fold. The flop is 835 Rainbow and my hand is probably still good as this guy has been playing many pots. Again deep into a tourni i would probably Cbet this, but so early with such small values in the pot i choose to check, he checks and the Turn comes a T, giving me Top pair with top kicker and putting 2 diamonds on the board. I bet around 60% of the pot, he calls. The turn is the K of diamonds, putting a potential backdoor flush and an overcard out there. I will check-call if he does not check behind me. He bluffs around 50% of the pot with AJo and i take it down to finish with 3500 chips.

3. I find AKo on the button. A player in early position opens for 3bb, all fold to me and i triple his bets. SB calls and the initial raiser folds. Flop is TA3 (2 spades). SB checks and i bet around 70% of the pot which is around half his stack. He will fold or move all-in, i don't see a call. He moves all-in, i call and he has AQ. You know what happens next, yes, The turn is a Q and he doubles up.... The story of my month, in with the best and busted by a 2 outer. I now have around 1500. I win a small pot a little later and have 1800 chips.

4. I pick up AA UTG and mini-raise 2bb. All fold to the cut-off who raises 3x my bet. I re-raise and he moves all-in, i call. He shows TT. The flop is 25Q and I'm looking good. But, i know what is coming and yes the 2 outer T appears on the Turn and i am busted. Thank-you and Good night....

That's Poker.......

Monday, 21 June 2010

Anyone for Tennis.....??

Yes, its here once again... The Wimbledon Tennis Championships start today and along with the World Cup that means loads of sport to keep me entertained.... how will i ever find any time to play some serious poker...!!

Anyway i have an even greater interest in this years tennis event as i have luckboxed my way to 2 tickets to the Men's Final... wooohooo, and with the new all-weather roof on centre court there is absolutely no danger of rain stopping play and i will be hoping to see Andy Murray destroy Roger Federer in the final... haha.... yeah right...

As for England's performance so far in the world cup, the less said the better.... We have once last chance on Wednesday to beat Slovenia and then maybe we can go on and peak just at the right time to lift the trophy.... oh wait... there's a pig flying past my window right now....hehe... Oh what a shame after the excellent qualifying campaign. It seems like the pressure on the big stage is just all too much for the lads... At the mo its all about the Latin American teams: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Mexico are smashing it. The only European Team of note so far is Holland with 2 wins out of 2.... The game goes on....

My poker exploits after 3 weeks of june are quite similar to an England game... woeful... In my last post i reported ending week 1 down around $200. Week 2 then picked up and i was up around $600 at one stage only too lose it all and end the week down around a grand. I fought hard to win pots, loosing many on the river when i had all the money in on the flop or turn with the best cards... the usual story... At the mo going into the final week of the month i am around $400 down mtd, still hoping to finish the month up by at least $1..... not too bothered either way as my focus will be on the Football and Tennis with a little bit of Cricket thrown into the mix (Asia Cup).

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Fpp Pro - Week1 Review

Its been a while since my last post... so whats been going?

On May 28th i left my Job as a Business Analyst. I had worked that role for around 4 and a half years. Had a couple of leaving nights out in London which were pretty fun.

I still get paid till the end of July so i got a kinda freeroll to trial Poker on a full time basis Jun/ July knowing that i don't need to make any money before I start my ACCA course in Sept

So why would a guy from a finance background take on Poker Full-Time. We are taught the concepts of Prudence, caution and risk awareness early on in our studies.... I think i should point out also that Chris Moneymaker was an Accountant prior to his amazing win

Well, firstly i love the game... its so simple in one sense but yet there is so much to it in another. Secondly, Pokerstars VIP bonuses program is second to none out there in cyberspace and rewards REGs quite substantially.....

Since I started playing poker in Aug 2005 I am up around +$50k which was made exclusively on a part-time, recreational basis. I remember playing the first few times with mates at home games and also online. I didn't have a clue as to what i was doing and i made 5 loss months out of the first 6 i played. I then read a lot of material and got up to speed with the basic concepts. The 2 best books that I read were Doyle Brunson's Super System's 1&2. I then won the next 13months in a row and bought a Lexus with the cash.

So how has week1 gone so far.... Pretty Awful to say the least. Day1 saw me make a loss of $1k. I managed to play a lot of hands and get good FPP value but this was only worth around $160. I also got my final Stellar Reward for hitting 90,000 VPP. Day2 started off really well and i found myself up around $800 in the first session of the day, plus i made 4th position on the NL100 winnings leaderboard on PokerTableRatings. Those winnings were then completely wiped out in the next 2 sessions of the day and was still around $1k down for the month. One of the run-bad features of the first 2 days was the 5 hands in which i flopped a set vs my opponents higher set and got duly stacked. Getting into a set vs set situation is quite rare and to happen 5 times in 2 days is crazy.....

The next few days continued with more bad luck and the river absolutely destroying me when i had all the money in ahead as a massive favourite on several occasions.

The last 2 days have been better as i have won all 4 sessions played so far. More importantly i can report that i have achieved Supernova VIP status for the first time ever.... wooohooo...!! I got my $1,000 bonus for that feat and hitting 100,000 VPPs.

The numbers so far for June are as follows:

-$1,346 (Table Losses)
+$100 (Stellar Reward for 90,000 VPPs)
+$1,000 (Milestone Bonus for 100,000 VPPs)
+$54 (2x Free Poker Books from the VIP store less 1 purchased)

-$192 (Total Month to date (Mtd))

My goals for June are to finish the month up, even if its $1. I won't be playing too much Poker as the Greatest Sporting Festival on the planet begins this Friday... Yes, it's the Football World Cup Tournament in South Africa... I heard a rumour that England even once won it around 200yrs ago or something... maybe there is something about that in google. I will be trying to watch every single game, so poker hours will suffer. Come on ENGLAND....!!

For July, I will do the complete opposite and be really focused and driven to my goals. It will be the first month that I commence as a Supernova and i should get 1 cash bonus ($4,000) and the 200k VPP bonus ($3,400). I set my self the goal of winning $100 a day or $3,000 for the month...

So, July Target is:

+$3,000 (Table Winnings)
+$4,000 (FPP Cash Bonus)
+$3,400 (VPP 200k Milestone Bonus)

+$10,400 (Total Income)

See you at the Tables.........
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