Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter grinding 12 hour sessions and random thoughts...


I've just finished a few days hardcoring the multi's putting into my practice my proposed grind-schedule that I'll be using after the Summer. And I've got to say I love it! I register from 5pm-11pm every night adding in the two full tilt hyper-turbos at the end of the night to spice things up for that last minute gamble.

At the moment I'm registering for tournaments on Ladbrokes, Full Tilt, Ongame, iPoker, IPN (Boss) and pokerstars. I'm starting to build up decent sample sizes on all the sites now and I'm quite pleased to report that I'm up a lot on all of them. Apart from stars. Grrrr.... But that could all have changed if I had won a couple of those damned crucial coinflips.

Anyway, I'm in two minds about the schedule. At the moment, I load up tournaments until I'm 6 tabling and then register for the next available tournament of my choice once I donk out of my existing 6. I have 4 tables tiled on my 22inch monitor and 2 tiled on my adjoined 15 inch laptop screen. After the Summer this old set-up will be off and away as I plan on investing in a new desktop with duel 30 inch screens. Pretty sick I hope. Regardless, I feel that 6 tables is probably the most that I can comfortably manage playing across so many sites. It takes you a couple of seconds to realise what's going on, who's raised from where, what the stack sizes are behind you, what notes you have on the players involved etc. etc. I just don't think I could profitably play more especially due to current screen space issues.

A possible solution I was thinking instead after the Summer would be to just stick to 2-3 sites. With duel-30inch monitors and a good resolution, screen space wouldn't be an issue, but the amount of down-time and stress I get due to different sites messing with one another could really be massively reduced. To pick these 2-3 sites I really need to base it on the tournament schedule and the level of the competition.

Ideally I would like to choose pokerstars, full tilt and ladbrokes. By far these three have the best software on the market, best support and best structures. It's a joke how much the other euro sites like ongame, ipoker etc. lag behind in this day and age. But whatever, somehow with their dodgy out-dated business strategies of doing fuck-all they are still managing to hoard in enough punters to cough up the rake on a day-to-day basis. You see stars and full tilt have the big problem that at the mid-high stakes they are significantly tougher than the euro sites. That coupled with the bigger field sizes making the variance much bigger just make them a no-no to grind on the regular.

Ladbrokes however is a good choice to specialise in. Alone however there just aren't enough tournaments to be worthwhile. The choice is then between ongame, ipoker and IPN (boss). Now, I could play all three along side Ladbrokes. Which is a good possibility. But to be honest, I'd like to just have 2-3 sites as my main focus so that I can be able to make better notes vs. the other regs and that everything can just run more smoothly. Both ongame and ipoker have pretty good schedules for mid-hig buyins whilst IPN (Boss) which is a smaller network is somewhat limited here.

I suspect then realistically I'll just try to make myself a regular on these three sites. The only problem is, ongame repulses me. I honestly think the software is disgusting, unreliable and clumsy. Yeh, it really is. But I've done so well there lately at the same time and the players seem to be so bad. I might try installing a mod to improve the look of the program, because at the moment it's just horrible. The structures aren't bad and they have great tournaments but it's just a repulsive piece of coding. Even down to the little things like note-taking it's just so tilting! I'll probably give it a shot, and I really hope the software is improved. So I'm not too sure what to do. If it does subtely tilt me while I'm playing, and I'm timing out because there's no timebank and I can't see that someone has raised in front of me because the graphics are too shit, then that is a problem. On certain hands I do like taking my time, really analysing the situation before making rushed decisions. This is just not possible on this network (or iPoker for that matter). But I've got to include either iPoker or Ongame in the mix as there is just too much value to be had.

So that's all my random thoughts about the potential schedule blurted out. To summarise for those who quite sensibly couldn't be bothered to read through the dribble:

-going to grind 5pm-11pm sessions

-going to stick to 2-3 sites preferably. Most likely Ladbrokes/ipoker/boss or possibly Ladbrokes/ipoker/ongame if ongame sort their piece of shit software out.

Anyway, the few sessions I had were fun. I played around my friend Chris' house the whole time as my internet at home is too unreliable to put in a decent session. It was nice to grind with someone else at the same time despite him focusing on SNG's which inevitably play very differently to the MTT's I was playing. I'd love in the future to be able to move in with some other MTT grinders as even though Chris doesn't play these, I still felt I learnt quite a bit just talking stuff over with him and questioning some of the plays he was making in his games and him questioning my decisions in my games.

Despite all this, it wasn't too successful. I managed 6 final table bubbles (2 on full tilt, 3 on ipoker and 1 on ongame) with only one final table in a $50/$10k gtd on OnGame where my KK wasn't enough to beat the oh-so-powerful JQ on a J-high board. Ahhh well, despite sounding whiney and now thinking about it in retrospect, I've still been very optimistic with the week and really enjoyed the sessions.

That's the last heavy grind session in a while. I'll be flying off to Dublin on Thursday for the Irish Open then Coventry. After that it's study time. I'll try to play as many satellites as I can for the WSOP main event so fingers crossed for that.

Other than that, everything has been going really well in life. And I made my second biggest hero call ever today!! It's pretty nice and I used almost my full timebank just going over the hand and thinking about various lines he could take and how little sense it made to me at the time. If there's any interest I might go into my logic behind the call in a future blog entry as you'll just have to trust me on this one, tilt wasn't the reason!!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Vegas, Ireland, Coventry yipeee!


I've just finished sorting some stuff out for the upcoming poker tournaments I'm playing.

- Ireland next week, flight booked and I can't wait. I'm still selling action for it if anyone is interested here: Where 1% is $79. I'm so ready to ship this!

- UKIPT coventry is close after where I won a £82 seat-only qualifier which should be fun. I think I'll just commute from Nottingham every day as it's only an hour drive down the M1 away..

-Vegas flights are officially booked! I'm going from the 6th June until the 12th July, staying in a house with a load of other grinders. It should be really fun as I've been dieing to go Vegas for years and now I'm finally of age with a little money in my pocket.

The schedule is pretty good, but unfortunately at the moment I'm way way under-rolled for most. So I'll probably grind a lot online and play the occasionaly weekly $1k WSOP freezeout possibly mixing in some venetian $300's or something. I haven't really got any set plans yet as I'll see what's going on when I get there but still plan on having a little bit of money when I come back.

I think there is a reasonably chance when I come back I'll have to significantly drop down in stakes and just grind the crap out of $50 freezes and under if I'm only left with a $10k roll. I want to take the gamble and go for the big-shot, in this once a year, and quite possibly once in a lifetime experience. It should be fun and I'll keep everyone updated with how things are going when I'm over there.

Full tilt have an amazing amazing promotion going on for the WSOP 2010 so I think I'm going to be trying my hardest to satellite through on their site to the $10k main event. Check this out:

- 81 player double shootout ($216) that runs twice a day at 15:30 and 21:30

- $1 mtt every sunday that guarantees 5 seats

- regular weekly qualifiers that run as follows:

Buy-In Time Guarantee
$300 Tuesday Direct Qualifier $300 + $22 21:00 ET Two $12K prize packages
--$200 Wednesday Direct Qualifier $200 + $16 16:30 ET One $12K prize package
$1K Thursday Direct Qualifier $1,000 + $60 21:00 ET Five $12K prize packages
--$200 Saturday Direct Qualifier $200 + $16 19:00 ET One $12K prize package
$600 Sunday Direct Qualifier $600 + $40 16:30 ET Five $12K prize packages

more importantly...

"In addition to the $10 million bonus, if you finish in the money at this year's Main Event, we'll give you a free seat to the 2011 Main Event."

So not only are they giving you a free entry into the following years main event if you cash, but if you are lucky enough to ship the whole thing you get a $10 million bonus on top. That is just insane.

I think I know what I'm going to be doing every Wednesday and Saturday night leading up to the Summer now..haha! I'm just interested to see how the other sites can combat this. Particularly stars, as everyone knows they hate to ever be out-done.

Check this youtube clip out. If you're not from England you might not get it as much but it's pretty damn funny.

Gl, later all!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Where's all the money gone?!

Unfortunately it's a fact that since the glorious Summer my bankroll has become quite depleted. A lot of this can be blamed on variance, although there are always measures to reduce this variance. On the other hand, it could be that I've been getting outplayed, and then there are always measures to combat this as well!

First let's start with what's been going well. Well I've been putting a lot more volume into the European sites which I've been doing very well in. Partly the smaller fields but also the weaker competition. So that's a bonus. However, a cycle seems to be emerging. Throughout the week I slowly make $1k-$2k on the euro sites and then on the Sunday I donate it all back, often with some more playing the higher buyin Sunday tournaments.

To prevent this, recently I've been selling some action occasionally or reducing the buyins of the tournaments I've been playing on Sundays (such as dropping off some of the majors). But they are SO juicy. For those who don't know, the Sunday tournaments each week attract huge fields on all the sites and are filled with weak satellite qualifiers and recreational players trying to hit it big. It really doesn't help that since the Summer I've had 5 final 2 tables in major tournaments where first place is typically $50k+ where I've bubbled the final table for around $2k. I guess I wouldn't be making this post right now if one of those times my hand held or I won that crucial coinflip.

Anyway, I didn't win that flip or my hand didn't hold, so I'm writing this blog post now. I think I've lost a lot on the Sundays and as a result for the meanwhile, unless it's a super juicy Sunday, I'll be stepping down from playing the Sunday majors. But the action is just too juicy. So instead, I will mark my bankroll from the start of the week and if I'm up for the week, then I can try my hand free rolling a few of the majors, whilst if I'm down I'll stick to the lower buyins and grind them out.

The other area where I've lost a significant amount of money over the past year and which has really been my downfall is the live arena. I still just can't seem to get any sort of a score going there. It's getting kind of ridiculous to watch as my aces get cracked once again on the bubble of a deepstack to some drooling idiot. Without going into too much detail, without my live tournament losses, I would now be in a better monetary shape than ever before. Alas, it's not to be just yet as the poker gods laugh on and I continue to brick every live tournament I play! To combat this, I'll be just trying to satellite into live tournaments and keep most of my volume in online as I can't afford to keep playing the £300 deepstacks without selling action despite how juicy the field is. I'll probably adopt a similar strategy on the month if I don't win a seat through online qualification by seeing how I'm doing for the month. If I'm +£2k or something, I could just buy myself in and freeroll it. I don't have too much problem with this as it's not as if I'm freerolling a tournament like the stars $100 rebuy where the field is very tough and I'm unlikely to be hugely profitable in the long-run.

Anyway! Onto the future. I aim to keep grinding out the euro sites until Easter. After that it's going to be quite a break from poker as my final exams at uni come along. I've got two live tournaments ahead of me; UKIPT coventry and the Irish Open to look forward to. After that it's a break and then vegas.

I still aim to have a $100k bankroll by the end of the year. After vegas I'm really going to get my head down and grind hard, getting in good volume. From August to the following August I am to get $500k worth of buyins to online tournaments by grinding 5-6 days a week registering from 5pm-11pm. If I can manage this with a 30% roi (which is more than achievable) I should be able to crack out $150k profit for the year. It's worth a shot at anyway even if it is for only one year. I'll have to make sure I'm staying alert throughout the period, exercising regularly and eating well as well as studying up on my game a lot.

I'll do a bit of that tonight as my horse Jon is coming over to review some hand histories then put in a sweat session together where we can hopefully go over some plays together and improve both our games.

It may not be looking too great at the moment, but there is certainly hope for the future.

Fuck downswings.

Gl all!

edit: pagehfan786 theorm in practice. Whine a load then bink a nice score :)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

March so far


Been grinding a little. Really my grind sessions were based around DTDPoker trying to win a seat to the £300 live tournament this weekend. I think I'll play regardless but it's always nice to win your way in! I'm really enjoying live poker after my cash in the side event at walsall. Can't wait!!

Played a few tournaments here and there this week. I managed to come 2nd in a $109 6 max freezeout for $850 on monday which was nice.

And today I managed to final table a €20r/€20k gtd on boss coming 9th for €450ish as well as finally shipping a donkament!

Still, it's not a huge win due to the limited number of runners. But I'm fine with having these reduced scores more often. Shame it wasn't on Stars. I still can't run good on that site for the life of me! Gahh! At the moment though, I don't really care. Shipping tournies is why we play them after-all and it's a good feeling. I feel like I'm really in the zone.

Might play a session or two more this week, other than that looking forward to the DTD deepstack this weekend.

GL all