Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Challenge - Epic Fail

I haven't played in the last few days.. I decided to call it a year and take some time off. I posted my December graphs below. The final result for December is +7947, including rakeback. When you include leaderboard money, it should be close to a 10k month. I guess that's not terrible when I have ran 14k below EV.

This post will be short since I will recap 2009 in a post tomorrow, and set some goals for 2010. Happy new year everyone.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blog Contest Flip

It was a pretty epic flip, I enjoyed it!

I have continued my run bad since my last update... EV going up, winnings going down. Maybe this is the start of the run good?

PokerStars Game #37306987730: Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50 USD) - 2009/12/28 11:27:14 ET
Table 'Psyche' 2-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: mrrugball ($50 in chips)
Seat 2: Hero ($50 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind $0.25
mrrugball: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qh 5s]
Hero: raises $49.50 to $50 and is all-in
mrrugball: calls $49.50 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [Qs Th Qd]
*** TURN *** [Qs Th Qd] [Qc]
*** RIVER *** [Qs Th Qd Qc] [As]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
mrrugball: shows [6h 2d] (three of a kind, Queens)
Hero: shows [Qh 5s] (four of a kind, Queens)
Hero collected $99.50 from pot

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What's Going On??

This downswing is reaching silly proportions now. I had a pretty decent day and my EV line was above 0. But yes, I lost another 3k. It's getting stupid.

Outside poker, things couldn't be better. This game just frustrates me so much. Maybe if I post my graph of this downswing, my luck will change? Who knows. I just need to get on the right side of the poker gods. Here is the puke graph since December 15th.

That's an astounding 16.5k below EV, and 110 buyins below EV. I have obviously not played my best during this stretch, but it's still breakeven and profitable when you include rakeback. The last few days have actually been me playing well, but I just continue to lose.

My profit is now at 10564 for the month and unless I get on a real heater, this challenge is going to be very hard to complete. My single goal for the rest of the month is to play solid poker and make good decisions.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Quick Update

The flag counter just hit 30 flags with a visitor from Malaysia, so that means mrrugball won the contest as he/she predicted 24/12 and that was the closest. Leave your AIM/GTalk ID here, and we will do the flip.

I'm at +13723 with exactly a week left. I am not giving up and am looking to play a ton this week. I hope some run good comes my way. I got some new songs and am ready to grind!

Happy holidays everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Powering Through

Powering through reminds me of how awesome college was. Everyone had to "power through" the first awful tasting beer on a Saturday night after a long day of drinking on Friday. These last few days have been me powering through these super turbos. I have tried my best to keep my chin up after the brutal downswing and just put in volume. Although I have been making a conscious effort to think about every decision, it hasn't been the easiest thing to do being like 15k down.

I have been doing quite a lot of non-poker things, which has helped keep me sane. One of my friends got some sweet lights in his backyard, and we have been playing 5 on 5 football (soccer) almost everyday, starting sometimes late at night. I went out drinking last night with friends, and all these distractions has really helped me get my mind back on track. I am really determined to complete this challenge.

Here are my results from the last 4 days

Day 18: +1422, 0.9 hours
Day 19: -2149, 7.1 hours
Day 20: +730, 2.2 hours
Day 21: +3060, 6.1 hours

Plus I made around 850 in rakeback, so I'm at around +4000 for the last 4 days, running at EV. Today is the first day where I felt like I played really solidly throughout, and the red line reflected that.

Graph for the last 4 days:

I'm 5th in the leaderboard for the month, and pretty close to 2nd. I think a realistic goal is to shoot for 2nd.

The number of countries is up to 27 now... only 3 more to go until there is a winner in the blog contest!

Overall Profit after day 21: 15438

Friday, December 18, 2009

Blog Contest and Downswinging

Blog Contest:

I decided to stop waiting for Full Tilt's reply on my blog contest, so I emailed PokerStars an hour ago. They already replied and gave me the go ahead!

I added this super cool flag counter to the right side of my blog. It counts the number of unique visitors from each country that read my blog. I added it a week ago, and currently there are 24 countries represented. I want you to guess the date when my blog will reach 30 countries. In the entry, I want you to include the following details -

1. Date when it reaches 30 countries
2. The number of unique visitors USA has on that day (tiebreaker)
3. Your PokerStars username

Leave your answers in a comment. I will likely leave it open for two days, but get your entries in ASAP because I will close it whenever I feel like!

The winner gets $50 sent to them on PokerStars, but has to flip it with me at a cash table! I will post the hand history here. If you're reading my blog and don't have a PokerStars ID (mostly my real life friends), just put your name on there and if you win, create an ID, and we'll flip it.


Poker is no fun when you're on a downswing, and this current run is the worst I have ever experienced. I have had a 15k downswing at PLO, but that took a month. This one happened in 3 days. It's pretty devastating and I'm doing my best to not let it affect me. But, it definitely has, and I have not been playing my best. I really really really really want to get back to playing my A game in the next few days. It's going to be a long and tough struggle to complete this challenge, but I am still confident of doing it.

Overall Profit after day 18: 11483

The graph is really nasty. I went from being 9k above EV to 3k below EV. The worst part of the graph isn't the actual money I have lost... it's the stupid red line actually going down for the first time in super turbos. I am definitely not making good decisions, and that is changing starting immediately.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Worst Day Ever

I just completed my worst day of poker ever. The final damage was -11k. My EV line was around -3k, so I ran pretty horribly, but didn't play my best. I am pretty shocked, but am looking forward to tomorrow and getting back to my A game. I didn't even mention my internet going out on me as I was winding up just now. Ugh.

A guy called "scoss" at my tables berated me constantly. Anyone know who he is? He repeatedly pointed out that I was down 10k for the day and just kept saying stupid stuff. That actually helped me play better, so thank you whoever you are... jerk.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Golf Shenanigans + Poker Update

I played this golf tournament yesterday. It was a shotgun start and our group started on the 3rd hole. It was really really windy and none of us were playing well. Through 16 holes, I was 12 over, and one of my friends was 11 over. Since we started on the 3rd, we were on the 18th green after playing 16 holes. This is when we all decided to just walk to the clubhouse and call it a day. It saved us a long walk back from the 2nd green and also put an end to the bad golf we were playing.

As we are in the clubhouse and watching group after group come in, we realize that the winning score was 13 over!! It was windy, but not THAT windy. There was a 2 handicapper who shot 15 over. Everyone collectively hacked. Talk about throwing away a chance to win a tournament. The last 2 holes were straight downwind, so both my friend and I had a great chance of getting 1st and 2nd. I have never stopped playing a tournament midway, and lesson learnt for sure!!

Now to the poker. I didn't play yesterday after golf. Today was a solid day though. The red line was at 3000, and I won around 1600 pre-rakeback.

Graph for today:

I'm very happy with how I'm playing and hope this continues.

Overall Profit after day 13: 24600

I'm 6th on the leaderboard for the month with 10770 points. The leader is at 14300. The leaderboard is only about how much you play. I've played 56 hours this month, so it's pretty insane how much the guys ahead of me have played.

Tomorrow will be the end of 2 weeks of the challenge. I will post an overall graph and some stats... unless I run really bad and don't feel like it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Satisfying Day

I had set myself 3 goals for today -

1. Only Super Turbos - Done
2. Good Decisions - For the most part
3. Red line at +1500 - Done, at +1937

I focused on making good decisions and not overloading on too many tables, and it ended up being a good day. I made less money than yesterday, but the red line was up.

Today's graph -

I'm playing a round of golf tomorrow afternoon after more than a month, so that should be fun. Depending on how late I get back and how much I drink, I may or may not play poker tomorrow.

Overall Profit after day 11: 22794

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's Dark

The current just went and I can't sleep because of that, so here I am writing a blog post. I do have a UPS that lasts for 4 hours, and my laptop battery lasts around 3 hours. So for poker, the current going is not -EV, but for it is definitely life -EV.

Today was very similar to yesterday, it wasn't a day full of perfect decisions. In my first set, I was talking to a couple of poker friends on skype, discussing the pros and cons of super turbos. That was fun and reminded me of why I play enjoy them. I probably wasn't concentrating completely on the super turbos, but that happened right from the beginning when I loaded up a couple of MTT's.

Today's graph:

Goals for tomorrow -
1. Only Super Turbos
2. Good Decisions
3. Red line at +1500

I'm quite unhappy about the red line being just above 0. I did run well, but as I said earlier, I am obsessed with my red line. All I care about is it going steadily upwards. If that happens, then I know the money will follow if I put in the volume.

Overall Profit after day 10: 21221 (around 9000 above EV)

Here's a fun hand from today. I had no idea what on earth to do until DogGoneGood called!

Full Tilt Poker $160+$9 Sit & Go (Super Turbo)
Seat 3: Adam Junglen (960)
Seat 5: cal3274 (60)
Seat 8: DogGoneGood (1,520)
Seat 9: Hero (160)
DogGoneGood posts the small blind of 50
Hero posts the big blind of 100
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [Qh Qc]
Adam Junglen raises to 960, and is all in
cal3274 folds
DogGoneGood calls 910
Hero folds
Adam Junglen shows [Ah Th]
DogGoneGood shows [8s Ks]
*** FLOP *** [5h 3s 8d]
*** TURN *** [5h 3s 8d] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [5h 3s 8d Jh] [2d]
Adam Junglen shows Ace Jack high
DogGoneGood shows a pair of Eights
DogGoneGood wins the pot (2,020) with a pair of Eights

I need the electricity to come back NOW!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I played around 7 hours today, but it seemed like I played forever. That's because it wasn't one of my best days... I didn't play well, I didn't concentrate, I autopiloted.

Note to self:

There, I got that off my chest.

I played 3 sessions today -

1. I started my first session by joining a $6.50 Super Turbo MTT and the Turbo Hundo ($100 MTT). I final tabled the 6.50 and busted in like 20th in the Turbo Hundo. Pretty standard, right? Except, I put all my focus into the MTT's, because it had been a while since I played one and it just felt nice. As a result, I played pretty horribly in the Super Turbos and lost a bit.

2. I played only Super Turbos in my 2nd session. However, I tried a new setup by having my monitor and my laptop both as screens. I put the Full Tilt lobby on my laptop, and all my tables on my monitor. This saved me the hassle of constantly minimizing and restoring the lobby while registering. Then I had this problem - Link to 2p2 Thread. I broke even for the session.

3. For my last session of the day, I reminded myself about making the best decisions in every SNG, and pretty much did that. I got it back to slightly positive for the day, and more importantly my red line went up quite a bit.

I really really HATE not playing well and making instacalls and instapushes that I immediately realize are bad after I do it. That's why I need to keep thinking about every decision.

This has just been a rambling entry, but that's how I feel right now - happy this day is over and looking forward to tomorrow.

Overall profit after day 9: 17,744

Day 8: Didn't play
Day 9: +388

I had a nice day off yesterday, catching up on some TV shows and going to the gym. I am still waiting for the go-ahead from Full Tilt for the blog contest. Good night!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Week 1

After 1 week of the challenge, I am more than halfway through with my goal. Heaters FTW.

Day 1: +3378, 4.6 hours
Day 2: +205, 5.6 hours
Day 3: +37, 3.1 hours
Day 4: -185, 4.6 hours
Day 5: +6759, 5.4 hours
Day 6: +5393, 4.7 hours
Day 7: +1769, 3.4 hours

Overall profit after week 1: 17356, 31.5 hours played, 925 Super Turbos

Graph after week 1:

I'm around 7000 above EV, so even if I ran neutral, it would have still been a 10k week. I'm really pleased with how it's going and I hope the rest of the challenge goes like this!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back to Back

I have quite a lot to write about, let's start with


I am on such a ridiculous heater, and am loving it. This is the first time ever I have had back to back 5k days. The only downside to me running so well, is that I am not putting in the amount of volume I wanted to for the leaderboard. I'm not complaining though :)

Here is the graph of today's heater -

I was thinking about my future at super turbos. Unless Full Tilt adds a higher buyin level, this is as good as I can ever hope to do, which is not fun to think about. At every other type of poker I have played, there was always a higher level that I could aim for or look forward to. I guess I could always go back to PLO or even try some regular turbos for a change. I was chatting with James Akenhead in one of the super turbos, and asked him if had thought about higher buyins. He said that he had already suggested it to Full Tilt. Even for people who don't want to play higher than 169s, having a higher buyin would help them since a lot of the good regs and red name pros would move up.

Overall Profit after day 6: 15,587
Leaderboard: 7th with 5400 points, leader is at 7500


I think I might play less poker for the next couple of days. I am recording the final round of the Chevron World Challenge which I will watch sometime tomorrow. I also plan on playing golf in the next couple of days. I haven't played in a couple of months, and am getting the itch to play again. My handicap was 5 at one point, and now it's 8, because I have lost a ridiculous amount of distance. I never used to hit the ball far to begin with, and now I hit the ball as long as a 11 year old. I really need to practice, but am lacking the motivation after college golf.

Blog Contest?

I thought of an interesting idea for a contest for people who read this blog. It involves free money, guesswork, and flips. I sent an email to Full Tilt to confirm that this is fine with them. Once they give me the green light, I will post details here. Expect that in the next few days!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holy Balls, What a Day

Thank you for introducing me to that phrase Dave. Today was just an insane day. It's my best SNG day ever, surpassing the previous 5k day. The next time I run bad, I am going to look back on this post and remind myself about this heater. It's super fun playing well and winning every single allin. Today's graph is below, holy balls.

Overall Profit after day 5: 10,194
Leaderboard: 4th

On a completely different note, I was pretty bummed after the 2006 football World Cup, when England lost to Portugal on penalties in the quarterfinal. After that happened, I wrote this on my facebook profile - "england - world cup winners in 2010". The World Cup draw for 2010 was made yesterday, and England have themselves a pretty easy group, including an intriguing match against USA.

My prediction for Group C -
1. England
2. USA
3. Slovenia
4. Algeria

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Days 3 and 4

I haven't played much this month due to me being busy with non-poker related stuff. I've played 18 hours in 4 days, which would actually be quite a lot in my pre-blogging days. That's a good sign that I'm playing so much more due to these challenges.

The 2nd and 3rd days were pretty bad. I went back into the dreaded autopilot mode that happened during my last challenge. My EV (red) line was stagnant, and the swings were brutal. I got my focus back today and went back to playing my A game. The EV line started going up again, which I'm very happy about. Too bad I ran 2k below EV today.

Here's my graph for the month.

Overall Profit after day 4: 3435

I'm running insanely hot at the 75s, and pretty horribly at the 169s. I'm up a ridiculous 5000 through 172 tournies at the 75s (39% ROI). I'm down 2500 through 323 tournies at the 169s (-4.5% ROI). Please let me run good at the 169s for the rest of the month.

The High Limit SNG Leaderboard is pretty bunched up. I'm 2nd with 3400 points. The leader  is on 3670, and 10th is on 2600. The plan for the next few days -

1. Insane volume
2. Play well
3. Run good
4. ???
5. Profit

Did I do that right?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Are Super Turbos For You?

Playing poker professionally or part time solely from Super Turbos can be amazing, exasperating, frustrating, stupid, crazy, and just plain awesome. I've played various forms of poker for lengthy periods - PLO, NL, SNG's, DoN's, MTT's, Razz, and now Super Turbos. My favourite is definitely PLO and Super Turbos. I enjoy both very much and will definitely go back to PLO sometime in the future.

Top 5 Qualities you need to play Super Turbos (STs) -

1. The ability to withstand variance. If you are the type of person who whines after losing 5 buyins, then STs are not for you. You can lose 40 buyins in 2 hours while playing perfectly.

2. A good grasp of ICM and ranges. This is the fundamental part of STs. If you don't know much about ICM, then you are not going to be profitable in STs.

3. Constant reviewing. Since these take so little time, you can play a 1000 of them quickly. Playing so much could cause bad habits to creep in, so you have to constantly review and analyze your play. I can remember 2 pretty huge leaks that crept in to my play that was the difference between me being a breakeven player and a winning player.

4. Willingness to learn. Since the play is so shallow, you HAVE to take every possible edge you can get. If you have J2o and UTG pushes, it's obviously a trivial fold. But you have to ask yourself what's the worst hand you call with. Do this for every hand at every table, and soon your ranges become ingrained. Now adapt these to specific reads and HUD stats, and your game is even better.

5. Not being results oriented. If think a shove is 0.1% and you make it, you absolutely cannot think it was a bad shove when you lose. What you can do postgame is to go to SNGWiz and see if it actually was 0.1% based on what you thought his calling range is. Then do more reviewing and learning (points 3 and 4).

I feel that if 3 or 4 of these points fit you, but you don't have 1 of them, then it's going to take away from your ROI. There are a LOT of people who play only STs. The majority of them are breakeven or losing, like any other form of poker. But in STs, it seems like people just brush it off as bad luck, when in reality they have some serious leaks.

I am still learning everyday and perhaps in another 2 months, the list would look different. I do coach, so PM me on 2p2 or leave a comment here if you're interested.

Day 2 was pretty frustrating and breakevenish. I'm at 3583 after 2 days of the challenge.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let the Grind Begin!

That's pretty much going to be me for the next month if you replace the paper and pencil with my laptop, monitor, and mouse. 3 cups of coffee, a lot of thinking, and 270 minutes later, I find myself up 3378. I'm on pace for a 100,000 month... maybe someday. I wonder what percent of the poker population have had 100k months.

A ran ridiculously well at the 75's winning a little over 26 buyins in 46 tournies, for a ROI of 57%. I chuckled at the person who voted "other" in my poll and said "Will Make Profit, WIll Not Win Leaderboard". This is probably true, since "Take my Bl1nds" puts in insane volume month after month, and the leaderboard is all about volume. It's going to be a fun battle.

As of now -
1. Take my Bl1nds 1,296.2
2. Me 913.5
3. Ajeff007 629.0

I will probably wake up tomorrow and be down in 5th.

I have had a few people ask me about super turbos and coaching since I started the blog, so I thought I would write about them in a little more detail tomorrow.

Tomorrow's post - Are Super Turbos for you?