Friday, November 30, 2007

Grindability Factor Set To High

As we near the end of November the progress continues to be slow but steady, as you would expect when playing as a self-proclaimed grinder. I once again picked up ground on my latest milestone target of $100, regaining the confidence I lost when I was used as a plaything during the week.

I’ve taken to stopping by Full Tilt each night after I’ve had my fill of the Party Poker $5 cash craziness to play a few $2 STT SNG’s. I’ve been meeting with a reasonable amount of success with a net profit so far the result. Now, I know this is a completely ridiculous suggestion but I’m going to make it anyway. I have been astounded at the number of times the big stack seems to hit a 1 or 2 outer on the river when someone’s gone all-in at Full Tilt. The comments along the lines of “that’s a Full Tilt Special” are commonly seen at the end of the hand.

Perhaps it comes from being able to see both sets of hole cards while the all-in unfolds, compared with at Party Poker where they’re not revealed in the cash games so you don’t get a sense for how often it happens there too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Irony of Poker

Hugely ironical or a timely reminder of how tough the game of poker can be, I don’t know, but a day after posting that quote about the value of failure I suffered my first losing day for 2 weeks. The reality is I was due for a loss, I can’t expect to win every time I throw money on the table, it’s just the timing that strikes me as rather poignant.

The difficult part about it was the fact that it felt as though I was being used as a punching bag at times last night. If I hit top pair on the flop and bet, someone would come over the top with a re-raise. When I bet on the river with a reasonably strong hand, the inevitable re-raise all-in would materialise. It seemed that every time someone chased their unrealistic draw to the river they were hitting against me (that wasn’t actually the case of course, it just seemed like it).

My mood wasn’t helped when I picked up AA UTG, threw in a standard 3 x BB raise and was popped all-in by a guy in MP. He then showed A 2o and proceeded to hit a 2 on the flop and another 2 on the turn to take me down. It’s cold comfort to know that although he might be a short-term winner, making plays like that will ensure that he is bound to be a long-term loser. I’ve just got to make sure I’m there when the ledger is balanced.

Current Bankroll Position : +176.22%

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Price of Success

As I am only a month and a half into my newly devised strategy to play poker profitably, I am on a very steep learning curve. I’m reading as much as I can – and not everything I’m reading has to do solely with poker. As you may have picked up from the bulk of my posts, I am relying on the power of goal-setting, combined with a basic poker savvy, to keep driving me forward.

I thought I would share the latest valuable nugget that might help you get over the next time you go bust:

There is an old saying: "Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first." It is not practice that makes perfect; it is imperfect practice that eventually makes perfect.

Whenever you start something new, you can expect to do it poorly. You will feel clumsy and awkward at first. You will feel inadequate and inferior. You will often feel silly and embarrassed. But this is the price that you pay to achieve excellence in your field. You will always have to pay the price of success, and that price often involves the hard work of mastering a difficult skill that you need to move to the top of your field.

Source : Goals by Brian Tracy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Week, Another Milestone

Another successful weekend has rolled by, the $80 milestone has been achieved and I’m now pointing my focus on the next milestone target of $100. While the numbers appear small, the progress feels enormous and my confidence is growing accordingly.

The full milestone target that I’m looking to achieve next is a bankroll of $100 by December 10. As things stand today, that’s a profit of $13.13 in 15 days or an average daily profit of $0.88 playing on the .02/.04 NLHE Cash tables. Given that my average daily profit for November is currently $1.45, the goal is more than realistic.

I’m still on track to build my bankroll up to a level that will give me a solid financial background to play on the $10 NLHE cash tables.

Having a look around at the various blogs out there, I can see that I am an insignificant speck playing tiny stakes games and earning a decidedly unimpressive profit. However, I have also noticed that, apart from a very minor percentage of the blogging populace, I seem to be one of very few people who have given much thought to devising a plan that will lead them to profitability. (Or maybe I’m just one of the few who constantly talks about it in my blog…)

There’s lots of moaning and bitching about the donks out there who beat their KK with an inferior hand (perhaps unwilling to admit to themselves or us that maybe their earlier style of play may have prompted the seemingly loose call, hmmmm?). I also seem to be reading about people who “had a spare hour so decided to jump onto the $100 table”. Certainly there’s little mention of anyone reaching a certain predetermined playing level and are now moving up to try their game at the next level.

Just out of curiosity, how many of you out there actually have a plan or a goal in which you hope to move up the various stakes games, be they MTT, SNG or Cash games? On the flip side, how many are just as comfortable to play for the entertainment factor and are willing to deposit more funds when the bankroll is fully depleted?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Australian Federal Election & Milestone Day

The Australian Federal Election is in full swing today as the nation votes to elect a (new) Prime Minister into office. The writing has been on the wall for Little Johnny Howard for quite some time and the expectation is that Kevin Rudd will take over as the Prime Minister of Australia. George Dubya will have to get someone else to kiss his arse for him in future.

Milestone Day

Today is also the day that I had nominated to have increased my bankroll to $80, as a minor milestone on the road to my longer term goal. After playing a few hours last night I finished with my account sitting at a little over $79.50, so a profitable session tonight should see me realising my goal on time.

Doing so means that I'm still on track with my attempt at averaging a daily profit of $1.25 on the .02/.04 NLHE Cash tables.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm A Titan!

I’ve opened an account at Titan Poker to go with my existing Party and Full Tilt accounts. I’ve done so for a number of reasons, but I suppose the overriding factor is plain ole greed.

I was reading an article that set out to determine the fishiest online poker room taking into the number of low-limit SNG’s, MTT’s, Ring Cash games and Tournament Qualifiers as well as the ratio of rank beginners to more experienced players. It came down to a battle between Party Poker and Titan with the title being awarded to Titan.

Wow! A poker site that is fishier than Party! That’s got to be reason enough for a small initial deposit just to check out the standard for myself. I’m still sticking to the micro-tables although I’ve stepped it up a notch to play the $10 NL 6 max cash games. A little bonus is that, as a first time depositer I also get the opportunity to play in the Beginner Freerolls. I’m not sure whether I’ll bother playing these because, the way I see it, the time I spend gunning for a pittance after 3 or 4 hours of play could be better spent fishing at the cash games.

I’ve had 3 sessions at Titan so far noodling out a profit each time and getting a bit of a feel for the standard of play. To this point it’s pretty much as advertised with plenty of people willing to chase their draws all the way to the river.

So the plan is to apply the same strategy that I'm using at Party Poker to the fish at Titan and challenge myself to growing my bankroll, progressing up the cash game ladder.

Note the Hole Cards At Showdown

One of the most important aspects, not to mention potentially profitable, parts of playing on the micro-tables is taking note of what’s shown down. Last night was a prime example of picking up a person’s playing style – or lack thereof – when a guy took down a pretty big pot with a flush showing his hole cards which were 9 2d. The fact that to get there he had to call raises after the flop and turn before hitting on the river made my night and flagged that there was a lot of easy money to be made.

Sure enough, time and again I played hands that were called to the river with either flush draws or straight draws that didn’t hit, only to see the hand folded when a bet is made. It’s taking advantage of the obvious poor players at the micro-level that will prove profitable in the long run. For every bad beat that you take off these calling stations there are numerous opportunities to exploit the craptastic.

Mr 8-3 Returns

Right back at the start of the month I moaned a little bit about the guy who called my pre-flop raise with 8 3o, prompting me to dub him “Mr 8-3”. It has taken 20 days but he finally made a return to the tables at a time that coincided with me. And you reckon the band didn’t play Waltzing Matilda inside my head when I spotted him? Like bloody hell it didn’t.

True to his previous – for want of a better word – style, he played every damn hand that was dealt to him, limping if it hadn’t been raised before him and calling if it had. Party time! He paid big time…and I plan on returning to the well in the future too.

Current Bankroll Position : +141.32%

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Progress Report After 5 Weeks

Time for another check on how my progress is going as I attempt to meet my bankroll goals. I find this kind of analysis is important to reaffirming my goals as well as ensuring that I’m not straying from my original strategy which is easy to do when beset by impatience, overconfidence and complacency. The temptation to begin pushing harder after a little bit of success can cause me to deviate from the original plan and away from the discipline that brought the success in the first place.

I acknowledge that I’m a better poker player than when I started this challenge, but I also acknowledge that I’m nowhere near as good as I will have to be if I am going to succeed at the higher levels.

Goal Actual
Play 100 hands / day Playing 99.7 hands / day
To show a profit Current profit is at 114%
To have a bankroll big enough to allow 20 buy-ins at the next level Bankroll = $66 Current profit / day is 0.98. The target minimum is $100 which works out at only 0.53 / day.

So I can conclude from this little summary that I am safely on course to achieve the goals I have set for myself. (Insert warm inner glow of indulgent self-congratulation here). I admit that I can improve HOW I play, but, for the standard with which I am mixing it, I'm doing OK.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Making Up For Lost Time

My internet connection has been restored, pay television (the deity my children bow down to) is returned and the poker fun and games has been allowed to resume.

I think the enforced break has allowed me the chance to take a breath, reassess the way I’ve been playing and not stress so much about copping a bad beat or two. My drive to meet my goals has caused me to play very passively out of the fear of taking a loss when often times, had I remained aggressive, I would have had more success.

I’ve jumped back onto the Party Poker $5 tables showing great patience with the numerous multi-way pots that are common there. So I’ve made myself a little mantra that no-one in the big blind will get a free look at the flop if I’m in the pot.

To welcome me back today our table was visited by a guy who announced as he sat down “I don’t play poker any more…but they gave me a bonus…I’m going to splash it around to you guys”. Oh year, I thought, that sounds like a case of Come In Spinner. But he was true to his word and he was kind enough to donate 2 buy-ins to my cause. A very handy little welcome back present.

Add to that a couple of $2 + 0.25 SNG wins at Full Tilt and it feels as though I’m making up for lost time.

Current Bankroll Position : +113.75%

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Things Sent To Try Us

With my new goals set and a steely resolve to grind my way to the daily profit I had become accustomed to, I thought I had covered all the obstacles that could get in my way. What I hadn’t counted on was the dirty great truck that would roll down our street and snag itself on our cable connection bringing the whole lot down in a tangled mess. Goodbye broadband connection, adios Foxtel.

The earliest we can hope to be reconnected? Monday!!!

5 days without cable television or access to the internet. It’ll feel like we’re living in the 1980’s again – without the techno-crap music, thank God.

So that gives me 5 days to study. I might crack my copy of The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky and go over a few handy hints that will give me an added edge. After a little fortune reversal lately it may not exactly be a bad thing to regroup, reassess and reapply.

Fortunately I can still sneak onto the internet from work and while Poker sites are blocked because of that whole gambling thing, blogs and forums are available for access, so at least I can keep up with what’s going on around the traps even if I can’t participate.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Pain of Losing

Here’s an interesting paradox that some of you may be familiar with.

On Monday when the Australian stock market took a dive I lost around $5,000 in one day, yet barely gave it a moment’s thought, accepting it as part of the frequent rises and falls that go with share trading. Yet when I lost 7 bucks – Seven. Lousy. Bucks. – playing poker on the micro-tables last night, I spent the rest of the night muttering and cursing, despising myself for some of the insane calls I made, reliving hand after hand, pissed off at the prick who played 89o and beat my set when he hit his straight on the river.

How does that work???

There are a few obvious reasons for the difference in my reaction (apart the fact that I’m just plain weird) to the two situations but logically they should be same. Why?

  • There is a known risk of loss when entering both transactions.
  • There a ways and means of minimising your losses in both cases – setting stop losses for the market, limiting yourself to a certain buy-in, for example.

But I think the main reason that I tool the poker loss so much harder was that I’d had so many winning sessions in a row that I simply wasn’t conditioned to accept a loss. My mind had conveniently overlooked the probability that, every now and then, the cards simply won’t fall your way and the money will move from your account to someone who is infinitely less deserving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When I Deviate - I Lose

I experienced another minor hiccup last night with a couple of hits setting me back, one of them was my own fault for being a dumbass and chasing when I knew I was behind, but the others were because of ridiculously loose calls pre-flop that hit from nowhere. You’ve got to accept the beats I suppose, after all if they were decent players they wouldn’t be wasting time on the $5 tables.

Last night’s loss wiped out most of the previous 2 day’s profit so while it has left a bitter taste in my mouth, it’s hardly devastating. The most galling aspect was that, playing at what turned out to be the last ring-cash table of the night I once again deviated from my stated strategy in a bid to chase my early losses and blew a 26% profit to eventually leave the table with a 38% loss.

As if I haven’t had the proof of the success of my “stand up with any profit” strategy already drummed into me, I received a further smack around the chops with it. Lesson : don’t tinker with what already works.

Smart Poker’s Muppet of the Day

A great way to approach some of the bad play that you encounter on a regular basis is to deride and make fun of those who exhibit a deficiency in game. Taking the opportunity to point and laugh, Smart Money has introduced us to Muppet of the Day. Hopefully it will be an ongoing feature of his blog, readers have certainly gotten into the spirit of the occasion with their own additions. Well worth checking out.

Current Bankroll Position : +101.01%

Monday, November 12, 2007

Adjusting the Short Term Goal

When I posted my initial goal-setting post I mentioned that the goals should be regularly adjusted as circumstances change. I had no illusions about my own progress or that the change of goals would come about because I had far exceeded my own expectations. After all, I had just exhausted my first bankroll, the standard of my own play was awful and there was no real sign that I was going to turn it around.

Some major cramming of noted poker books by Sklansky, Brunson and Harrington as well as diligently putting their theory into practice and some typically shoddy play by my fellow micro-table guppies has kicked me forward at a great rate.

New Short Term Goals

  • Complete 10,000 hands at the $5 NLHE tables. (I’ve currently played 3,000 hands).
  • Reach a bankroll of $140. To do this I calculate I must average around $1.13 / day which I figure is a challenge on the unpredictable .02/.04 tables.
  • Readjust milestone targets to (i) $80 by 24 November (ii) $100 by 10 December (iii) $120 by 26 December
  • I’ve bought myself Poker Tracker and plan to use it to identify weaker players to help me choose which tables I play at. Interestingly, when I loaded in my old hand histories the players who came at or near the bottom of the statistics were those players I had identified myself. I was fairly pleased that my own analysis was backed up by the numbers.

Long Term Goal Reaffirmed

  • Play at the $5,000 NLHE ($25/$50) tables by July 2010.

Medium Term Goal Reaffirmed

  • To play profitably at the $100 ($0.50/$1) tables by October 2008.

I’m happy with the knowledge that I have picked up so far by reading the various recommended poker books, but I still have quite a lot of work to do in calculating pot odds. I find it particularly difficult to do given the speed at which on-line poker is played, so this is an aspect that I will have to work on. I figure that when I fold a hand I should sit there and try to calculate what my pot odds would have been had I stayed with the hand.

So much of the success I'm trying to attain has more to do with effective goal setting rather than effective poker.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pay Me Bitch!

How’s this for a dream scenario.

You’re sitting at a table that contains a couple of absolute feebs who regularly take pots with massive overbets, backing the other players down. Occasionally the overbet is called and you see the bluff but it doesn’t deter them from making the identical play over and over again.

Finally, I’m on the button and pick up 9 Tc and make the call with one of those erratic players checking in the BB. The flop comes 8c 9d 9h – trips is a pretty fair flop, I’m pretty sure I know what’s coming and BB bets the minimum so I call signalling I’m chasing. The turn comes Jc and not only do I sit there with trips but I’ve also got a straight flush draw. The erratic BB predictably bumps the betting up 4 x the pot to scare me off the hand so I again make the call.

Well bugger me if the river isn’t the Qc and there I am with my second queen high straight flush in two days. Now if history is anything to go by…

Sure enough the aggro BB chucks me All-In. It’s one thing to pick up the absolute nuts but a whole nuther thing to get paid off to the max!

And what did the showdown reveal? A mighty 8d 2h!!!

Milestone #3 achieved!

Needless to say I flew past my 3rd milestone target yesterday and am now embarking on a new goal.

If I am going to play the $10 NLHE tables with the recommended bankroll risking a maximum of 5% with your stake, my minimum requirement is a bankroll of $100 for a $5 stake. Therefore my new goal at the $5 tables is to get as close to $100 as possible. I estimate it will take around 60 more days to play the 7000 hands to get me to 10000, so that’s only an average daily profit of 0.60 – a target that’s definitely achievable. Exceeding that mark will allow me to play with a higher stake.

Current Bankroll Position : 108.56%

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Of Tiny Cash Games and Limit Sit N Go

Another significant day today has drawn me to within $1 of my first money goal of turning $30 into $60. The 3 day losing streak at the start of the month is now a fading memory but still a reminder of what can happen if I get ahead of myself. The reins are still tightly in check and I am only playing quality starting hands wherever possible. I’m also careful to eject the hand when the texture of the board combined with the betting looks to be going against me.

Although the quality of the microtable player may not be terribly crash hot, the outlandish array of starting hands that people are willing to call a raise with makes it somewhat of a minefield to play in. The play is interesting at times to say the least.

Limit Sit N Go Tourneys

As well as the .02/.04 cash games I have begun playing a few of the Party Poker $3 Limit Hold ‘em Sit N Go’s. I’ve been reading “Small Stakes Hold ‘em” by Miller, Sklansky and Malmuth and have been trying to apply the concepts from the book. It’s early days so far but from the couple of Sit n Go tourneys I’ve entered I have picked up a 1st and a 2nd place finish. Some of the entrants in these SNGs are absolutely clueless about how to play LHE with the first 10-15 hands all raised to the maximum on every street. Not only that, last night one genius announced to the rest of the table “Damn, I thought this was no-limit, I hate limit.” Guess who was first eliminated.

So the sailing is smooth at the moment as I continue to learn the craft. The pace is probably slower than that which most would like to progress, but I am convinced that I can “get rich slowly” by doing it this way. The plan is that at some point the graph will develop into a nice J-curve.

Current Bankroll Position : +91.50%

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Tonight's my first night playing with real money"

How's this for the chance of a lifetime. Someone comes and sits at the .02/.04 table tonight and, before being dealt a card announces to the table that it's her first night playing for real money. (You could almost hear the girlish giggle as she said it). Well naturally, I thought "just pass the money over here - save us all some time".

And then the fun began. She played 92o like it was pocket aces...until the river where she checked it down and lost in a showdown. 86o was played like there was no tomorrow before the flop with a 12xBB raise, then it was checked after the flop, called to the river before going down (surprisingly for such a powerhouse hand).

Boom, ka-boom, her first stake was gone and it was a laugh riot to watch the zany action. The rest of us were fighting over getting our money in. She didn't miss a hand and I don't even think she was issued a "Fold" button.

But she didn't stop at one stake. Click - *Rebuy* and round 2 was on for young and old until that too was gone. Cick - *Rebuy* OMG I thought I'd died and gone to hog heaven.

But then all too soon she was gone from our I followed her to her next port of call. It wasn't all one way traffic, though. I watched her push, check and then call from UTG all the way to the river against one poor guy The board showed Td Th 3d (9s) (4c). He raised pre-flop, bet after the flop, bet after the turn and shoved All-In on the river only to find that she finally hit something on the river with her pocket 4s - a boat.

The betting was crazy and the starting hands were just ridiculous, but I tell you what, I have her name marked down and I'll be back for more fun and games tomorrow night. I hope she is too.

It's All Down In Tiny Town

There are grinds and then there are grinds. Last night I played a helluva lot of poker with absolutely nothing to show for it at FullTilt and then swapped over to Party Poker where I only played 28 hands and came away with a handy profit.

At FullTilt I entered the nightly freeroll that is restricted to Australian players. Once again I was experiencing a bit of flakiness with my broadband connection that was dropping out and back in a few times. This has only started happening since the latest server reconfiguration last weekend, my connectivity appears OK elsewhere and my ISP reports that everything is A-OK at their end.

Anyway, after a solid 2 hours of bumping and grinding, pushing and folding I found myself down to the last 80 of the field of 700. But I was getting short stacked and still 50 places from the money. It only took one ill-considered push at precisely the wrong time to see me out on my ear in 73rd place and nothing to show for my efforts. Uh, that is, except for the knowledge that I play these tourneys way too passively. Where I should have been accumulating chips I was folding my hand expecting something better to come along when in fact it had just passed.

The contrast between the tournament play and the tiny stakes of the micro-table cash games at Party Poker was enormous and the calling stations were out in force, falling over themselves to pay off my flopped sets and straights. Obviously I have tailored my style to be more suited to the set blinds where I can afford to wait for a quality hand to make my move.

The thing is, on a micro-table there is no such thing as a tight table image. I don’t think anyone noticed that I folded down virtually every hand for 2 orbits before entering a pot judging by the willing callers to my pre-flop raises. Not complaining – just saying.

Current bankroll Position : +63.57%

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Out! Out! Damn Broadband Connection

I had what I would consider to be my most frustrating night at the table last night and it had nothing to do with finding myself card dead, I really didn’t suffer from bad beats and I was fairly happy with my own play. My problem came with an extraordinarily uncooperative broadband connection that repeatedly disconnected me from the site. I had entered a STT Sit N Go and hadn’t even played a hand before the dealer’s comments announced that I had already been disconnected and reconnected 3 times.


My concentration was absolutely shot to pieces as I didn’t know when my screen was going to freeze midway through a hand. I’d come back partly through the next hand madly trying to work out who had taken down the last pot. This is something that has never happened to me before – perhaps it’s karma after my bitchy post from a couple of days ago complaining about the time taken by multi-tablers. That’ll learn me.

The fact that I made it to 4th was even more annoying with the blinds going up, my chip stack dwindling and the freezes becoming more troublesome. As it turned out, I was getting blinded out of the tourney by the auto “Post blind and fold” feature that kicked in when I was disconnected.

Before all of these fun and games I managed to fit some ring cash play in over at Party Poker and picked up a little profit to keep me on track towards my short term goal. It’s slow and steady but the direction is forwards.

Current bankroll Position : +57.54%

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Melbourne Cup Day

I had a relatively quiet night last night after experiencing my brief losing streak. I felt it would be more prudent to be circumspect for a day father than immediately go out to chase my losses.

As it turned out, I still got to play my fair share of hands for the day, but instead of hitting the cash tables I played a Full Tilt Freeroll followed by a Party Poker Freeroll. Full Tilt saw me crash out fairly early but at Party Poker I was lucky enough to make it to the money again picking up a small bonus for my efforts. The payout represented enough to keep me on target for reaching my next goal so I chose to rack my cue and have an early night.

Melbourne Cup today and it all feels a bit ho hum around Sydney. The equine flu outbreak that has brought the Sydney racing scene to a grinding halt seems also to have affected the interest with the locals too. I’ve falling so completely out of touch that I won’t be having a bet this year. The only interest I’ve got is in the yearly office sweep for which I contribute on a fortnightly basis. As it turns out I have drawn the race favourite Master O’Reilly – for what that’s worth.

Current Bankroll Position : +55.95%

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bad Moon Rising?

Reality hits hard and fast to remind you that it doesn’t pay to become overconfident. (When I say “you”, of course, I mean “me”).

For the 3rd day in succession I have finished in the red and my initial goal, which was looking ridiculously easy only a few days ago, now looks as though it will provide the challenge I was expecting.

The inevitable beats have started to have an effect. Add to that some deserved losses through dumb play – things I have tried to drum into myself like never slow-playing after flopping a set. Suddenly I’m left to reconcile myself with a close examination required of what I am doing differently.

Of the things I can control, I have made one change that has noticeably altered my daily results. I decided I could relax my rule of leaving a table the moment a profit has been made and twice over the weekend I went from showing a handy profit to bad-beating my way to losing the lot. The exact strategy that saw me patiently build my bankroll could have also helped me arrest the slide.

I can put the change in strategy down to 3 insidious factors : overconfidence, impatience and greed.

Current Bankroll Position : +54.49%

Sunday, November 4, 2007

An Observation on Multi-Tabling

Just a quick word to those of you who multi-table. You may think you're handling playing 6 tables at once (or more...or less), I can tell you do by the posting in blogs and comments in forums, but there is a factor that I don't think one of you take into consideration. It's got nothing to do with the fact that you're more prone to making mistakes by multi-tabling rather than devoting your concentration to a single table.

The factor I'm talking about is common courtesy to your fellow players.

If you were playing live, you wouldn't consider for a moment getting up mid-hand and walking over to another table to play a second hand, meanwhile making the players at the first hand to wait until you deign to return to check how the progress of the first is going. For starters, your fellow players wouldn't stand for being made to wait time and again - and nor should they.

I was playing at a Sit N Go today and there were 2 players at the table who were obviously multi-tabling. Almost without exception, every time it was their turn to act the game was held up while we were waiting for them to bother to turn their attention to our table. These self-indulgent bastards thought it would be quite OK to make everyone wait - blind-time slipping away - just because they were under the misguided impression that they can multi-table efficiently.

I've got news for you boys, you can't.

Plus, there's another little secret you might like to know about...the tells are much more obvious when a multi-tabler is around. If the calls, checks and raises are made promptly all of a sudden, I know that the hand you hold is big and important enough to make my table the centre of your attention. You're pretty much announcing "I've got a hand." If it takes ages for you to get back to us, well, your hand is obviously not quite so important and you're willing to risk it being folded down through a failure to act in time.

By all means guys, multi-table to your hearts content, just remember to be considerate to others. Poker is a social game and you're part of that society just like the rest of us.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Bump In the Road

I stubbed my toe for the first time in ages last night and it serves as a powerful reminder to play according to the type of opponent you're up against. I came up against a calling station who called my 3 x BB raise pre-flop and then proceeded to take down my A Qo with their powerful 8 3 o. (The useful rhyming slang "Berkeley Hunt" was muttered a time or two while I calmed myself).

I have made a note of this person (heretofore now referred to as Mr 8-3) and you can be sure I will be seeing a lot more of him and I'm counting on him assisting me towards my target bankroll.

So a lesson has been learnt - that's a positive. I will now be more careful to pay close attention to the game of ALL of my opponents.

The bankroll position for the day was in negative territory for the first time in 2 weeks, a pretty good streak that I will now aim to emulate.

Current Bankroll Position : +69.96%

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

I had a lucky escape last night playing my usual .02/.04 stakes, one that I should record to remind myself that, should I do it too often I will be seeing my bankroll start heading in the wrong direction.

Here’s the hand in question:

***** Hand History for Game 6463830369 *****
$5 USD NL Texas Hold'em - Thursday, November 01, 05:34:30 ET 2007
Table Table 126699 (Real Money)
Seat 7 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 2: ( $2.02 USD )
Seat 3: ( $3.88 USD )
Seat 9: ( $0 USD )
Seat 6: pizerule ( $4.48 USD )
Seat 10: ( $9.66 USD )
Seat 7: ( $4.82 USD )
Seat 10 posts small blind [$0.02 USD].
Seat 2 posts big blind [$0.04 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to pizerule [ Jh Kh ]
Seat 3 folds
Seat 9 has left the table.
xxxxxxxx has joined the table.
pizerule raises [$0.12 USD]
Seat 7 calls [$0.12 USD]
Seat 10 folds
Seat 2 folds
** Dealing Flop ** [ Kc, Qd, Js ]
pizerule bets [$0.12 USD]
Seat 7 raises [$0.24 USD]
pizerule calls [$0.12 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 9c ]
pizerule bets [$0.24 USD]
Seat 7 raises [$0.68 USD]
pizerule calls [$0.44 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ Jd ]
pizerule is all-In [$3.44 USD]
Seat 7 calls [$3.44 USD]
pizerule shows [ Jh, Kh ]a full house, Jacks full of Kings.
Seat 7 shows [ Ts, As ]a straight Ten to Ace.
pizerule wins $8.57 USD from the main pot with a full house, Jacks full of Kings.

Now, the problem was, I was pretty damn sure from the first time I was raised that I was behind, and I was guessing A T was the hand I was up against. But I got stubborn because all I wanted to see was that I hit 2 pair on the flop and it just HAD to be the best hand. The J on the river bailed me out, although had it not come I most certainly would not have pushed All-In.

As I said, I got lucky and more often than not, I would have taken a hit from it.

Free-Rolling Along

The Freeroll payouts are continuing to roll in with another little bonus to tack onto the bankroll. The adjustment necessary to play a Speed tourney compared to a Cash Ring game takes a little bit of getting used to. Whereas you can sit back and wait for the premium hands in the cash games, you can’t afford that luxury when trying to stay ahead of the rapidly rising blinds. At least it promotes creative play.

Current Bankroll Position : +81.22%

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Milestone #2 Reached

The milestones are coming much more quickly than first anticipated with my 2nd goal of growing my bankroll to $50 having been achieved last night. It’s amazing what a little bit of focus has done for my game combined with a moderate amount of education. Obviously I still have mountains of learning to do but I am already benefiting from the confidence of experience.

My original projected timeframe for reaching my second milestone profit level was mid-December which puts me way ahead of schedule. This means I’ll have to sit down and set myself some new milestones to aim for – some that are more challenging than the originals. I don’t want to run the risk of drifting along simply because things have gone better than expected. Like in trading the market, when things are going well you’ve got to push it even harder.

After all, my original plan was to play at least 10000 hands at the .02/.04 level and that hasn’t changed. As of last night I still have a further 8200 still to play before moving up the ladder.

Sit N Go

As a little celebration for reaching my 2nd milestone I decided to treat myself to a $3 Sit N Go tournament of Limit Hold-Em. It seems that 8 other people decided that they would get into the spirit of the occasion by allowing me to take down 2nd place. The cash was a nice little bonus but it’s the experience of playing in a tournament that I found even more valuable.

All of this is still very new and exciting for me and I feel a little sorry when I read how some people tell that they like to play 6 tables at once (or more), otherwise it’s just “too boring”.

Current Bankroll Position : +64.52%