November 23, 2008

New philosophy

Having ditched heads ups for the time being (a mix of boredom, hitting a bad run, and my consistant ability to jump levels and have bad runs ruining lots of the progress I had achieved grinding), I seem to have found some consistency in the form of limit poker.

After making my initial poker bankroll in heads ups a few years ago, I had my first hot streak playing ridiulously high level limit poker. I have gone down the stakes rather a lot now. But I'm finding 3 or 4 tabling the €2/4 - €5/10 (5-max) games very profitable at the moment.

I read an article in Flush magazine this month that one good way to set out as a professional poker player is to have a bankroll that you don't touch, and use rakeback as your income. As long as you play within your limits, this helps variance be less of an issue. Now I am playing poker to pay the bills rather than to avoid Uni work this seems like a good way to go! Limit Hold 'Em generates a fair amount of rake, and assuming I play a decent amount each month, I've realised "it will do" to break even in any given month. This is a nice spot to be in.

It's definitely looking promising for me being more than a break even player at limit poker. I've been brushing up on CardRunners, which has certainly aided my game. I've now played over 20,000 hands and have got a 2.3 big bets per 100 hands to show for it. Anything between 0-2 is considered to be a good winrate for limit poker, so even though this isn't the hugest sample, it's looking good.

Having donked off many a bankroll in my time, it's a nice feeling knowing you have a few hundred big bets to back you up. Any donking off of a bankroll can only really be done by jumping levels which I have promised myself I shall not be doing!

So my new philosophy is to make a living off of rakeback, all the while hopefully building my bankroll to go alongside it. Here's hoping I haven't jinxed myself like I did when I posted my favourable headsup winrate on Blonde Poker, only to go on a huge downswing pretty much straight after!

November 02, 2008

DTD £300 Deepstack monthly freezeout

My 2nd time playing one of these, courtesy of poker.co.uk, but again it was short and definitely not sweet. Had what looked like a reasonable table draw. 1st level I raise a limper to 200 (my first raise, blinds 25/50, 10k in chips) with AJ and heads up we saw a JT5 rainbow flop. He checks, I fire 250, he calls. Turn is a deuce. He checks. In retrospect this was the perfect place to check, and call a bet on the river or value bet if he checked. I decide to bet though, 450, and he raises to 1000. He's the kind of player I imagined would raise a set on the flop, and he doesn't have deuces, so I quickly call. He then fires on the 5 river. I thought his 500 chips were 1000 chips, so I say "wow". However it turns out his bet was approx 1500. I call pretty quickly and he flips JToff for top two on the flop. I don't think I'm supposed to pass here if I'm ruling out a set in my thinking, but I certainly lost the maximum. Checking the turn was the way forward.

Down to 7k in chips and I can't hit any flops, apart from winning a small pot flopping Th 8h 6s with 5h 7h. So over the next couple of levels I dwindle (about 5.5k now). I then raise a limper to 650 at 75/150 and get called by the button and then him. Flop comes down JJ4 and it checks round. Limper then checks the 6 turn, I fire 650, the button folds and the limper (Mr. JT from earlier) raises to 2000. It's all-in or fold, but based on the previous hand, and the fact it looks like I'm committed to the hand, this looks very strong and after a fair while of thought, I pass. He later tells me he had AJ, and I'm inclined to believe him, but of course can never be sure.

Down to about 4k, UTG limps in and he has raised most of his hands UTG. I make up the small with Ad 4d and the big blind checks. The flop comes down A35 rainbow. BB checks, UTG bets 600. I really doubt he has the Ace here based on his play, so I move all-in. The big-blind though has woken up with A5 and of course shoves, UTG quickly mucks and I'm dead to 4 outs which I miss.

Felt a little hard done by cos I didn't see that I did much wrong, bar missing a check on the turn with AJ, yet somehow I managed to lose 10k in chips in 3 levels. Oh well, I had fun talking to Blondeites Jen and NoFlopsHomer after I bust then drove home to watch a terrible decision on X-Factor. And Liverpool lost! Not the best day overall!!!