Friday, July 30, 2010

The Isildur1 Incident

A couple of days ago during a heads up session, I registered for a $102 super turbo. Someone joined and I was shocked to see that it was Isil1dur. Now although I am not a big poker gossip/high stakes railbird person, I have definitely heard of Isildur. I also knew that there was a "1" somewhere in his screenname. I immediately thought that the guy I was playing was the real deal and quickly hit Print Screen and pasted it in Paint.

Then it struck me to do a quick google search for Isildur. I typed in "isildur poker wiki" and waited with great anticipation. Although I have played with some big names online - Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch and Grey Raymer to name a few, isildur would have been a whole new level. My google search led me to this page and I was sad to see that the real one was spelled "Isildur1". So who was I playing against?

You know that something is strange when you would rather play against one of the most feared poker players in the world over a biggish donkey.

What happened against the fake isildur? I don't remember. I certainly would have if it had been the real one.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Top 7

I was looking at some of the google search phrases that people use to stumble upon my blog and some of them were hilarious. Here are my top 7 favourite ones:

7. full tilt poker super turbos more than $160 needed
Perhaps a bankroll management article is what you need.

6. poker what is jinx?
I hope you took away all my jinxes.

5. a blog about annoying day
Why do you want to read about people's annoying days?

4. is the poker boom over
Don't make me depressed.

3. ("superturbo" or "super turbo" or superturbos or "super turbos") ("full tilt" or fulltilt) player blog
Expert googler IMO

2. i got battered
Not quite the site you were looking for?

1. i hate myself for playing poker

Monday, July 26, 2010

Learning Curve for HU

It's been almost a year since I have seriously played anything other than the 9 man super turbos. I figured a day like today had to come around sometime or the other. I started off running hot in the morning and playing decently. I then watched the Grand Prix (poor Massa) and the senior British Open (Langer!) and then settled down for a session. I wasn't in the best mindset TBH - I had a slight headache and was even wondering whether I should play at all.

Anyway I started off and a few hands kind off got to me and then I started again playing a little recklessly. I feel that when I go down 400 to 600 chips after a few hands, I start to become far too aggro. This is something I wasn't doing a few days back when I started playing. I just need to focus more.

Having said all that, I still won 1100 today because I am a luckbox this month.

Today's graph: Puke red line

Atleast I managed to recover somewhat from my low point of -600 of my red line. I just need to look at today as a lesson learnt and to keep my sessions somewhat short. The last session of mine lasted a ridiculous 280 minutes. I would venture to say that a session more than 4 hours is not a good thing for 90% of non-MTT poker players.

To put things in perspective, my month of HU is still looking good.

HU this month - only 4 days overall

It's only been 4 days and it's a really small sample, but my red line is at 6% ROI. This means nothing, but this is all new to me so I am going to keep playing these for now. I am also going to post my first ever hand on the HU forum on 2p2. No flaming please.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A New Graph?

It has been another really good day overall. I played some poker and then abandoned thoughts of hitting the gym when I heard that 5 vs 5 football was on at a friend's house. I played football for around 2 hours and was utterly exhausted. It is far more tiring than any amount of cardio in the gym and way way more fun. I then got back and decided not to go out and drink because I was that tired. I had a cup of coffee and played more poker.

This kind of football for the Americans reading my blog

I went 48-34 at the 100s today at the heads up super turbos. I am definitely running hot, but am also playing really well. I know of a few recurring mistakes that I make and am trying to stop it. I made 1236 today and my EV line was at 1181 - a very satisfying day.

The new graph that I refresh quite a bit is my profit per number of entrants on sharkscope. Maybe my HU column will start to take off now if I keep playing them? Let's hope so!

Graph on Full Tilt
Graph on PokerStars

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Long Day of Heads Up

I played 108 heads up super turbos today and went 64-44 for a profit of 1784. I was 1-tabling and it took me around 7 hours. I would give myself a B+ or so on how well I played. I definitely was on top of things most of the time, but I felt myself making stupid plays towards the end without thinking. A couple of years ago, I copied and pasted this piece of advice (gold) from FoxwoodFiend's well on 2p2:

start thinking about why you're doing what you're doing would be my suggestion. if you ever find yourself doing something without knowing why and just because you want to win the pot, quit. poker is about too many close decisions to be making calls and shoves thoughtlessly, losing the discipline to make tough decisions is disastrous at any stakes.

For most of the day, there was definitely reasoning behind my decisions. Towards the end I felt myself making silly plays like shoving QJo at 10/20 with 500 chips after the guy 3x'd me for the first time after limping/minraising 10 hands. That is something I should just never do while 1-tabling.

Tomorrow's goal is to play my best at all times. Here is today's graph:

My red line disease is really bad to be worried about the dip from games 80 to 108. I seriously need to stop worrying about it. I am looking forward to another 100+ heads up super turbos day tomorrow with solid decision making. THINK ABOUT EVERY DECISION!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Plodding Along Nicely

I started the 1750 Super Turbo Challenge on July 15th and since then I have played only 508 super turbos. I have been a little busy in real life though, and I did play more heads up super turbos today than 9 mans. I am going to try my best to finish the 1750, but I might just play more heads up instead. Here is the graph of the 508 super turbos:

This is just 17 hours of playing, which means I am getting in 30 per hour which is very nice. Even though I increased my tables to 12, I still managed to save some cool/weird/WTF hands.

I played 86 HU super turbos today - all 100s. I went 49-37 while running a little above EV. I really love the structure. You start out 25BB deep and there is some room to play. If the game lasts 5 minutes, then it gets into the push/shove game.. which I don't mind at all. Here is my HU graph for the day:

And now to 2 of the hands I saved -

Here is the worst bubble call I have ever seen. It was pretty nice to coast into the money in a 100.

And here is my favourite HU hand. It's more of a brag than anything else. Villain was a fish, and his PSB on the river was pretty much always trips+ or air.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

100th Post: My Poker Journey

It's crazy that I have already reached a hundred blog posts. I enjoy blogging and thought some of you might enjoy the story of how I got started in poker. Here goes:

My Poker Journey:

One of my friends in college invited me over to play a poker game for $5. I didn't know the difference between a pair of 6s and 6 pears so I looked up the basic hand rankings and betting structures and off I went. Everyone was pretty bad and it was just a fun time. Thus began my poker career. On one of those nights, a friend said that there was a bigger game going on at a frat house. We decided to go play. I lost my buyin in maybe 4 hands when I c/c 2 pair on a 4 spades board. I remember this hand clearly because I was so intimidated at the time and had no idea WTF I was doing. I stayed for a few minutes, then went back to my room pretty dejected.

I immediately googled and read a bunch about Texas Hold'em online. I learned basic stuff like 3x raises, c-bets, etc and did fairly okay at home games after that. One day I had the urge to put money online. I put $50 on and immediately made an Excel sheet marking down times of small MTTs I could play. There was a freeroll for new depositors. It had around 5000 entrants, but maybe 80% were sitting out. I ended up getting 7th for $200 and I was so proud. I lost all the money pretty quickly after that. I deposited another 50 probably 15 times or so, losing it at NL50/100 and SNGs up to $20. Bankroll management FTW.

One day I stumbled across some site that offered to sell you the secret to winning SNGs. I paid $35 for a PDF that outlined basic strategies (tight early on, shove at the end). I could have found this on many sites online, but whatever. It was the best $35 I spent at the time! I also read a bankroll management article that I immediately followed. I started playing $10 SNGs and making meticulous records of every game I played. I think I used to play a $10 9 man, and a $10 heads up at the same time. Using the simple strategy that I learned, I built my bankroll up to around 1100. I probably ran hot early on to not bust that umpteenth deposit, but I was definitely beating the games 1 tabling. Games were soft back then.

Then came my biggest tilt session ever and the most important lesson I have ever learned in poker. I lost a few HU SNGs in a row at the 10s, and moved up to the 20s. I didn't do better there and kept moving up. My bankroll was down to 500 from 1100, when I joined a 200. On the first hand, I bluff shoved something on 22x2x board trying to rep quads. My opponent snapcalled with quads. I immediately closed everything and was in a state of shock. I also had exams starting in a few days, and I made a very good decision then to forget about poker.

I went back to poker during that summer having learnt a huge lesson about tilt. I am proud to say that I have been a bankroll nit since then and have played probably 300k hands at 1/2, but not A SINGLE HAND at 2/4. I have never since tilted and moved up stakes. Back to the story. I rebuilt my bankroll playing the 10s again, while studying on the side - reading forums, articles, etc. My bankroll was back up to around 600, when I binked a $10 turbo MTT for 1600 or so. That was pretty huge at that time. I then realized I was now up overall at poker, and I desperately wanted to not fall back into the red.

From there, it was relatively smooth-sailing. I built my bankroll from 2k to 5k playing HU, 9/45/180 mans, and MTTs. All this was on Pokerstars. I remember having a pretty bad day, and I decided to try out Full Tilt. I put 100 on there, and started at the 6.50s. I treated the 100 as a new bankroll and a personal challenge to get the roll up. I got it up to 1000 pretty fast and moved to the 11s and then the 22s. I made decent money at those and then moved back to Stars and continued to do well. It was around this time I knew I wanted to play poker for a living.

That is the story of my transformation from a home game donkey to a poker pro. I have made some great friends along the way and it has been an amazing journey.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

More Tables = More Money

For now anyway. I cannot believe that I didn't think of increasing my tables earlier. I have chatted with a few super turbo regs over the past few months, and invariably the conversation goes to how many tables we play. And I always get the surprised response asking why I only played a maximum of 9 tables. It's not like I cannot click buttons and think fast and I have 18 tabled regular turbos before. I have even 6 tabled 1/2 PLO 6 max along with 4 regular turbos.

So I FINALLY increased my number of tables to 12. And this has done a few amazing things for me:

1. I no longer have time to constantly refresh my red line and worry about it. This lets me focus my energy on just making the best decisions.
2. When I make borderline shoves/calls, I am now more likely to miss the result of the hand. When I used to see the result, I would sometimes become results-oriented and leaks could creep in.
3. I get in more games per hour!!!

My long term super turbos per hour has been 24. Over the last couple of days, I have played 200 super turbos in 6.3 hours for a 33% increase to 32 super turbos per hour.

I will probably continue to only play 1-2 sessions per day until the British Open is over on Sunday. A friend and I have an interesting low stakes prop bet on golf majors. We each got to pick 3 guys who have never won majors. We get around $25 if one of our guys wins a major in 2010.

My picks:
1. Lee Westwood
2. Ian Poulter
3. Henrik Stenson

His picks:
1. Steve Stricker
2. Paul Casey
3. Sergio Garcia

I love my picks because he is drawing dead with Garcia, and Stricker doesn't seem to contend in majors.

Anyway, 1550 super turbos to go for the month. I might increase the overall challenge from 1750 to 2000 super turbos, since I am getting in that many more per hour.

Friday, July 16, 2010

1750 Super Turbos Challenge

That is my goal for the rest of the month - 1750 super turbos. The British Open is on till Sunday, so I will be watching that a lot and will put in proper volume starting on Monday. I am also going to not play any 200s for now. I am going to try and increase the number of tables I play. All this while, I have been limiting my tables to 9. I am going to experiment with going up to 12 and seeing if it affects my play or not. I used to be able to play up to 18 tables of regular turbos, so I don't think it should be too hard.

I am going to start a session now, so that's it for now. Oh and no checking of the red line in the middle of a session.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Move Up

It hasn't been a successful move up so far. I have only put in 303 super turbos in the last 3 days since I started playing the 200s and my red line and winnings are down. It's been a frustrating 3 days as my internet has been acting up and I haven't been winning.

I am not giving up though. I have been studying and reviewing a lot. I am just running into a lot of unavoidable situations as well as making some bad decisions. I definitely need to cut those out. The goal from here on out is to think about every decision and not play on autopilot. I have to really analyze what's going on when it is my turn to act.

I contemplated moving back down, but am positive I can beat the 200s.

As I wrote that previous sentence, I think I changed my mind. The 200s seem insanely reg-filled. If I beat the 100s for 3%, and the 200s for 1-2%, then I would rather play the 100s with lower variance.

Well, I just made up my mind. I am going to drop back down and not play any more 200s for a while. I just feel so comfortable at the 100s/50s/35s, and don't feel much pressure. I think that makes me play my best. I am going to do try and put in some good volume and see what happens.

My mind is flip-flopping, but as soon as I decided to drop back down, a sense of peace came over me. It was as if I was dreading waking up tomorrow and playing 200s with the knowledge that a 5-10k downswing can easily happen. It's back to moving down and crushing!

Crazy blog post. I am not going to edit it... you can just read the mess that went on in my mind!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Need a Small Break

I finally moved up to the 200s today. I lost 1400, and my EV line was -600. I played pretty horribly. I just snap called and snap shoved without thinking about it. After I make the move, I know instantly in my head that it is bad. Then just now, the 200s/100s/50s weren't loading fast enough, so I 1 tabled some super turbo HU along with the 9 mans. Mixing two different game types usually ends up badly for me, and I lost 10 buyins at the 100s in HU... although I did run terribly. I actually thought I played decently.

I am going to not let myself play any 9 mans tomorrow as a punishment for playing so badly. I tend to get myself into these cycles where I feel myself go back into autopilot mode after playing a bunch.

Those are my stats per day for the month. Click on the picture for a larger view. You can see from the # of games I have been playing that I have put in quite a lot of games. Playing badly when moving up is not a good thing. So tomorrow is going to be an off day, where I am going to finish a lot of errands that I have been putting off, and then hopefully it's back to playing my best on Tuesday.

Come On Spain!!

I played 348 Super Turbos in the last couple of days, and my red line is up a little (1% ROI). I definitely made a few bad decisions, but I am trying my hardest to play my A game. It is dawning on me how much of a influence card distribution has on super turbos in the short run. I am going to keep plugging away and putting in the volume... hopefully the results will follow.

I have Spain in the STTF forum on 2p2's random pool thing. I win 300 if Spain win, so I guess I will be supporting them. If I didn't have money on it, I would probably want the Netherlands to win. Spain are just playing incredible football and are deserving of the title IMO. So let's go Spain!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Annoying Day, Good Month So Far

Today has been quite the annoying poker day.

I was planning on playing 175 super turbos today, to hit 1000 for the month. Little did I know what would follow. I woke up as usual around 10AM and went through my usual morning routine - brushed my teeth, ate breakfast, drank coffee, and watched an episode of White Collar (awesome show) that I recorded the previous night. I then opened Full Tilt, but saw there was a server update. No biggie, I just messed around and did nothing the whole afternoon.

After Full Tilt was back up, there was a software update. So I installed the new software, and finally sat down to play some super turbos. CRASH. Full Tilt crashed on me before I even registered for a game. That should have been my first sign to stay away and take the day off. But I persisted, reloaded the client, and fired up a set. I played for a couple of hours and everything was going fine, the red line was going up. CRASH. It crashed again. It took me a minute to get back, and that's quite a long time in the super turbo world. I ended the session there.

I then had dinner, and loaded up another session (WHY???). CRASH. CRASH. It crashed twice during the session. Then the weirdest thing ever happened. FREEZE. A popup on Full Tilt wouldn't go away. I wasn't able to press the "OK" button. I didn't have access to the lobby, but the tables were running fine. So I just played the tables, and new ones kept popping up. (Did I mention I had a problem with Table Ninja where it registered me for tournaments?). I kept playing. Then I had a thought - what if some of the tables weren't popping up due to the error? I frantically IM'ed a few people to check what i was registered in, and thankfully I was playing everything that I was in. After I finished the tables, GG Full Tilt for the day.

Oh right, I also got killed in that final session as you can see the drop at the end. HOWEVER, my red line was still at +267 for the day, and I even made a little money post-rakeback today. I guess I shouldn't complain, but it definitely was annoying.

I am still at 930 super turbos for the month, and it has been a really good month so far. The red line is at 7.1% ROI, and my actual winnings are a whopping 20.4% ROI.

It's so pleasing to see the red line at $5/game including rakeback. I finally feel like the hard work I have put in rebuilding my game is paying off. I really want to play more right now after that last session where I got killed and frozen, but I am following my brain instead of my heart, and not playing while Full Tilt is acting up like this. I hope these problems are solved and I can put in a lot of volume tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reached My Target

I said in my previous blog post that I would move up to the 200s once my red line reaches +100 buyins since I dropped down on May 29th. I was at +75 buyins then and it's already at +106 buyins 36 hours later!

I might just postpone the move up to 200s however. This is because I am feeling very comfortable at the moment at the 100s/50s/35s and am putting in some decent volume (26 hours this month with a day off). I am going to just play it by ear and move up when I feel like it. The next short term target is to reach 1000 super turbos for the month. I am at 664 and hope to reach it in 3 days. I will probably take day after tomorrow off because of golf.

Here is my sharkscope since May 29th:

What I am proud about is putting in the volume when I am winning. I usually never do that. Some of the inspiration has come from seeing jorj95's stats. They are just so ridiculously sick and make me feel bad about how much I have played in my life.

Compare that to my lifetime SNG numbers on Full Tilt (28k SNGs, average profit of 3, average stake of 98, average ROI of 4%, and total profit of 75k). He basically plays 1.5 times the stakes as me with the same ROI, but with TEN TIMES the volume. He is obviously at an extreme end of the spectrum being able to mass table like I will never be able to, but I still need to be a lot closer to him.

That only means some serious grinding in the next few months!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Target to Move Back to 200s

Super Turbos:

I stopped myself from playing 200s on May 29th after talking to Aaron "The Baron" Barone. The drop down has been very successful and has given me confidence again.

The red line is at +75 buyins (3.2% ROI), and I have actually won 275 buyins. That is 4k vs 17k in dollars. Before you go calling me lucky, I am still over 10k below EV lifetime at super turbos. But it does feel good to run good after a while. 2000 super turbos is a pretty poor effort of volume on my part, but I was away for 2 weeks. I am getting the itch to play the 200s again now. It will double my rakeback per hour to 30 from 15. I will probably give it 1000 games or so and see how reg-infested they are.

Since The Baron talked me into dropping down, I would like to hear your thoughts on moving back up. I think I will do it once my red line reaches +100 buyins at these stakes. That's a fairly good indication that I am beating these stakes at a nice clip. I have already played 433 super turbos in July, and am looking forward to putting in tons of volume.


Ever since I graduated from college and stopped being on the golf team there, my motivation for practicing has plummeted. As a result, I have probably lost 50 yards with my driver, and am hitting big cuts instead of a small draw. Golf wasn't fun anymore when I was hitting it so short. I am hoping that yesterday's round was a turning point for me. It was a club tournament and I was +10 through 6. I am a 9 handicap and that is probably the worst 6 holes of golf I have played in 5 years.

Then something clicked. I figured something out in my swing. I made 9 pars, 1 birdie, 1 bogey, and 1 double in the remaining 12 holes to shoot 82 after that puke start. I also started striping my irons and hit quite a few greens. I am excited to play golf again now!


It's Uruguay vs Netherlands and Spain vs Germany in the semis. I entered a couple of random pools on the STTF forum on 2p2 and I have Germany and Spain in them. I win ~300 if either of them win, so I will have a nice sweat in the final. If it weren't for the bets, I would probably be supporting either Netherlands or Spain. It's so ridiculous that Fabregas is on the bench.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Volume Filled July

I really want to put in some serious volume in July. I am not going to set any targets, but am just going to try and play as much as possible. I have played 4 days since coming back from Vegas, and I am enjoying it. I even played quite a few 45/54/90 mans, after AGES. I was getting destroyed and then got 2nd in a $69/45 man to get back to even.

I don't think I am going to play much more of these, other than mixing in a few of the 54 man super turbos, just because they are SO MUCH FUN!

The 9 man super turbos have been going pretty well.

Out of those 315 super turbos, 186 of them were today. That's a good start to July. I also thought of something else, and am going to name it...

Boom's Law: The amount of abuse you get at a poker table is directly proportional to how many chips you have.

I copied this chat from a table:
daveachtung: boom i,m going for you
daveachtung: boom subnormal
masteread: he is the luckiest on tilt

This actually happened before a super turbo started. It still doesn't go against my law because I did run insanely good at one that just ended. What is subnormal??

Good luck to deurdy in event 54, $1000 NLH. I bought 15% of him, so please run good!