Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I pretty much run white hot. There's no other way to describe it.

Played 3 hours tonight, good for $300. Played most of the 1100 hands with my favourite fish, who has now singlehandedly given me over $300. I will feel very sad once my poor friend has gone BUSTO. But seriously, he deserves it. I mean, I'm not a genius, but I pay attention.... and this guy is horrible. Everytime he has a good hand, he goes for a check-raise on the flop. If he's in position, he always checks through with a good hand and bets a bad one. It's like clockwork --everytime, without fail. If I get check-raised on the flop, I'm usually beat -- if he check/calls, he's going to showdown (usually with a weaker holding then me). Needless to say, he wins very little money off me, while I take him for stack after stack. It's such a simple pattern, but it's like no one sees it but me. He doesn't adjust, no one at the table adjusts, and I get all the moniez. Whatever, it works for me.

Anyhow - I hope I can do well in some tournies tommorow and crack that top 100 list. I will also update with my May stats at some point tommorow (pretty sure I will have cracked $4k for the month).

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Played a couple hours this afternoon and made some decent money. A bit over $100 through 439hands. Some people ask how it is possible to win money everyday, and my response is that is isn't. I'm running very well right now, and there will obviously be many losing days in my future. It's the nature of the game. But right now I'll take my good run with a smile.
The object of the game is to make better decisions than your opponent, and in the long run, that will lead to profit. The long run, however, is VERY long. So you have to take the losing days with the winning ones, and hope that the latter outweigh the former.

With the huge amount of poor decisions I see being made consistently at this level, it really is a goldmine.

No tournaments for me today, as we're having an impromtu 'drink-off' at a buddies place. Time to kill some braincells, and hopefully get a bunch of tournies in tommorw.

Lazy late night session : 654 hands good for $248

I hit a milestone tonight, as I've officially taken the $100NL game for 20buyins. This means that I have enough to move up in stakes to $200NL, and do so with a comfortable bankroll (The general rule is to have 20buyins available. This allows for the natural variance of the game to occur, and not end up being BUSTO). But right now my hourly rate is very comfortable and I don't feel the urge to move up. I think I'll put another 10,000 hands in and evaluate my situation from there. Hopefully by then I'll have taken another 20buyins.

Monday, May 29, 2006

After dropping about $120 this morning in cash games, I decided to play some tournaments for the rest of the day. Pokerstars ranks all of thier tournament players and then lets the top 100 players play for 2 packages to the world series of poker (each package is worth ~$12,000). So if I can crack the top 100, it would be sweet to have that shot. At the start of the day I was in the top 200 with 2400 points, while #100 had 2800. I'd have no idea how many players are ranked, but to put it in prespective, there are 75,000 players online as I post this.

I played about 10 tournaments and got a tonne of bad beats. Not horrible, but basically consisted of everyone hitting thier draws, while I missed mine. I only made the money in one tourny, and with a bit of luck, I managed to win it. The buy-in was only $4, and first was good for $220. I havn't ran the stats yet but I'd guess after all the tournies I'm up $160. I also managed to pull in another $60 from cash games while I was at the final table (I get so bored playing only 1 table, I had to fire something else up). So that's about $80 for day. More importantly (or prehaps not important at all), I managed to jump 60 spots and am sitting at #133 overall with 2692 points. I'll probably do the same thing tommorow and try to squeek into the top 100.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Well, I think I'm done for the weekend. It was a good one - +$782 over 2000ish hands. Weekends are easily the greatest time to play. This is when you have the most recreational players out, who are typically not that good and easy to exploit. This is especially true at night, as you get the drunks out to gamble as well. After this solid weekend, my hourly rate is now up to $28.21.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I slept in today until about 4pm. This was not an easy task, as I had to fend off the intruding light from my window, and the annoying rumbles of construction outside. I had to have woken up at least 4 different times. I really didn't feel like rolling out of bed because a) I was hungover, and b) I was having my usual dose of interesting dreams. I can usually just close my eyes and drift right back into REM sleep.

I did have an interesting dream though. Me and some friends were leaving a club and heading back to someone's car. I fell behind the group b/c I was sending a txt msg on my phone, and that severly inhibits my ability to walk. So out of the shadows comes this black guy (its always a black guy, isn't it?) with an angry dog who instructs me to give him my phone. I say no, and he reaches for a gun. I freak out a bit and say "Whoa whoa, relax. If you want it that badly you can have it. Just let me phone my friends and find out where they are so I can at least get home". Being the friendly criminal he was, he obliged. I get on the phone, and then I think I decided to walk off, so he promptly unleashed his dog. The dog attacked my arm, tearing violently into my flesh. This was slightly unpleasant. So I toss my phone at the guy and tell him to call the dog off. He says he doesn't know how. Interesting. So I kick the dog about as hard as I can in the nuts, and then once again in his head after it released my arm. The dog was laying motionless as our criminal starts to cry. He then tells me to give him all my money. I say I have none. I don't. He says we'll go to the ATM. Zing.

So we go to the ATM, but I enter this secret code so that the ATM accesses my fake account which is empty. I show the criminal I have no funds and he lets me go. (This is actually a great security feature all bank cards should have - you enter a special pin number, and your account appears empty).

Ok, so where am I going with this, and how does it relate to poker you're probably thinking. Bear with me, I'm getting to it, I swear.

So I'm playing a session of poker today and while things started off really well, I'm now back to about even for the afternoon. And then it happens - I get dealt 77(on the button) and JJ(in the SB) on two of my tables. I bring both in for a raise. I get 3 callers with 77 and 4 with JJ. Both flops are beautiful. On one table I flop the top set on a very uncoordinated board (I have the best possible hand). With JJ, the flop comes JKK, meaning that only someone with exactly the other 2 kings beats me, which is unlikely given the preflop action... either way, I'm going to try to get all-in on both tables.

With the 77 hand the first person to act moves all in for a bit more than the pot. The other player calls.

With the JJ hand I fire a pot sized bet, praying someone has the K and will raise me. My prayers are answered, and the button moves all-in for about $80. OMG, is it christmas?

So as I'm about to get rich, suddenly my music stops. Oh no. I've been here before. This is not a pretty place. The tables freeze up. I let out a quiet, disbelieving "noo". And it happens. My laptop shuts down. It's overheated for the third time this week (this is a fairly new laptop and should have no problem multitaksing in the manner which I am).

Several more "no"s follow this as I sit there stunned. I then shoot out of my chair and run down 2 flights of stairs to my basement. I figure I have about 1 minute before my hands are folded. The computer is already on, thank god. I turn on pokerstars furiously... It starts to load up when I'm greeted with the wonderful message... "Your version is out of date, click here to update". A few more "no''s escape. I click the update button about a million times. The progress bar inches closer and closer to 100%. Finally its done, faster than expected. I try to log in. I fumble on my password twice before getting it correct. I log in an my KK table pops up with 3 seconds to act. Call. The next table pops up. 1 second to act. Minraiselol! And the caller folds. Phew. Both hands hold up and I make the $133.98 I so desperately deserved.

So I'm wondering now if I'm physic or something. Which would probably be a fairly advantageous skill for a poker player....probably. But I mean, I had a premonition that I would almost get robbed, but then somehow managed to avoid it. And then this happens. TWILIGHT ZONE!! Ok, maybe not. But whatever, it's still makes for a good story.

Got home from a late night BBQ and fired up a little half-druken poker session. I played fairly well from what I remember, and got a lot of my hands paid off. 484 hands for 104bb's ($208), which is a pretty hot session. No hands were really noteworthy, but I do feel like I'm getting a better grasp on bet sizes and finding better spots for my aggression.

FWIW, there is no way my updates will be this regular once the novelty of a blog wears off.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A new focus

First things first, a bit about myself. My name is John, and I'm a recent graduate from the Univeristy of Toronto. I studied communications, culture and information technology, with a specialist in digital enterprise management, as if that matters. I'm passionate about a lot of things in this world, but few engross me currently any more than poker does. I'm not sure what it is about the game that attracts me, but it does. It's like a moth to a flame with me.

Maybe it's the lure of the money I know is out there, as I have friends who pulled in $1million profits last year. Maybe it's addiction - I mean, I play almost every day. My girlfriend asks me sometimes that if I tried, could I stop playing? And while I think I could, why would I want to? It's been a profitable hobby for me for many years, and has financed a decent portion of my education. What I do know if that I have a lot of gamble in me, and poker is a gamble with a positive expectation.

Few people in my life understand how this game works, and this blog isn't an attempt to enlighten them by any means. So what is it going to be? I really don't even know. It's being started for more selfish reasons than anything. Hopefully by having this I can refocus my game, and properly set and achieve goals.

My ultimate goal is to make $100,000/yr, which is both reasonable and attainable, as absurd as that may sound to some. It wont be this year, and it may not be next year, but it will happen. Currently I am playing No-limit holdem (NLHE) with a capped buy-in of $100. My monthly goals are $4000, playing ~25-30k hands. My current winrate is 9.52ptbb/100 hands (playing, on average, 3 tables at once) , which is ~$23.50/hr (this is low, as some of my sample includes $50 buyin tables). This equates to almost $50,000/yr.

My stats are still unstable, and I expect my hourly rate to rise as I have increased the amount of tables I'm playing (this will probably negativley affect my winrate, as it detracts attention from other tables). But it's all about that hourly rate.

For now I'll post a graph, and it includes every hand I've played since school ended 45 days ago:

In dollars, thats about $2000. I havn't put in as many hands as I would've liked in ring games, as I devoted a lot of May to a multi-table tournament contest I got involved in (which netted me an additional $2040 with my ridiculous ROI% of 314.09 over 110 tournies). I had two first place finishes, three 2nd places, and two 3rds. A super hot run, to say the least.

In case anyone is curious, that big dip around hand #10,000 was a $450 pot I lost with a big stack and a monster draw. I had AdTd and the flop came KdQd7c. SB bet the pot which I called, and a player behind minraises. Original raiser calls, and I push for another $150 (pot was already ~$72), representing a huge hand. Minraiser folds, initial raiser instacalls with Q7o and I get no help. I'm surprised he called with only 2pair, but I was still around ~40% to win the hand. C'est la vie.

Okay, so in summary: I'm going to make $4000 in June, or ~ $1000/week for the rest of the year. These goals will likely change as my life and bankroll do. This should be a lot of fun....