January 30, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 24/25

Profit: +€1800
It feels like the last week has been about nothing other than losing a bunch of money, to win it back again. You can probably see this in the graph, and it's been fairly frustrating that every day I've taken a big hit early, but I guess should be glad that I've won it back each time.

It's taken me nearly 600 games to get back to where I was before my huge downswing (discarding rakeback and other prizes). Hopefully now I can get my graph to continue on a reasonable up gradient.

Earning an average of €1.60 a game shows just how much of a grind this has been so far. However, I'm reasonably pleased with how things are going currently, I just wish I could just have a sick stint where I don't lose a match like I have occasional stints where I can't win one!

Played: 1161
Won: 626

Lost: 536
Win percentage: 53.9%
Total ROI: 5%
----------------------------------
Profit: €1300

Rakeback: €380
Leaderboard Prizes: €145
----------------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €1.62
Hourly Expectation: €16.58

(incorporates rakeback & leaderboard prizes)

----------------------------------
Day-One Starting Roll: €250
Yesterday's Starting Roll: €680
Tomorrow's Starting Roll: €750

Just wanted to post this feel-good hand of the day. This guy beat me twice in a row with huge suckouts when I caught him bluffing. Got him here though:

Seat 1: Hero (1910.00)
Seat 2: Villain (2090.00)
Villain post SB 15.00
Hero post BB 30.00
** Deal **
Hero [Jc, Jd]
Villain [xx,xx]
*** Bet Round 1 ***
Villain Raise to 60.00
Hero Raise to 180.00
Villain Call 180.00
*** Flop(Board): *** : [9c, Qh, 5h]
*** Bet Round 2 ***
Hero Check
Villain Check
*** Turn(Board): *** : [9c, Qh, 5h, 8s]
*** Bet Round 3 ***
Hero Bet 270.00
Villain Call 270.00
*** River(Board): *** : [9c, Qh, 5h, 8s, 6s]
*** Bet Round 4 ***
Hero Check
Villain All-in 1640.00
Hero Call 1460.00
*** Showdown ***
Total Pot: 3820.00
Hero shows [Jc, Jd] Pair of jacks Win: 3820.00
Villain shows [Ad, Js] Highest card ace Win: 0.00

January 28, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 22/23

Profit: +€1650
The last two days have been very swingy, and it seemed either I was winning a bunch in a row, or losing a bunch in a row. I'm actually rather happy to have made money the last couple of days, because there were some bad downswings included.

I've been playing a mish-mash of games from €10 to €50. I'm not sure if this tactic is really working. Generally I'm playing the €10s and €15s, but if I see someone sat at €20-€50, I'll give them a quick sharkscope, and if they have a bad ROI or especially a fish symbol, I'm inclined to play them. I have a positive ROI for all levels since I started this challenge (except for €10 games ironically!), but in reality I'm not ready to lose 4 or 5 €50s in a row and then jump back to playing €15s. So I'm going to be trying to stick to the same level over the next few days...

Played: 1045
Won: 568

Lost: 478
Win percentage: 54.9%
Total ROI: 4.8%
----------------------------------
Profit: €1150

Rakeback: €350
Leaderboard Prizes: €145
----------------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €1.56
Hourly Expectation: €15.85

(incorporates rakeback & leaderboard prizes)

----------------------------------
Day-One Starting Roll: €250
Yesterday's Starting Roll: €630
Tomorrow's Starting Roll: €680

Have to say I'm glad I'm getting rakeback, topped up a little by leaderboard prizes (although I haven't seriously contended for these, there are a couple of mega grinders each week).

January 26, 2009

€250 Challenge - Day Twenty-One (+ BSQ Sponsorship Freeroll)

Profit: +€1400
The dropping a level worked wonders, at least for today. I was playing a more confident game, and possibly a different style to usual; a bit more LAGgy. A win percentage of 67% is definitely more to my liking, although this did include a streak where I ran really hot, so is above expectation.

Even though I've created to play the bankroll a bit higher, I think there is an easier profit to be made at this level.
Played: 918
Won: 504

Lost: 415
Win percentage: 54.9%
Total ROI: 4.7%
----------------------------------
Profit: €950

Rakeback: €300
Leaderboard Prizes: €145
----------------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €1.54
Hourly Expectation: €15.48

(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

----------------------------------
Day-One Starting Roll: €250
Yesterday's Starting Roll: €472.50 (30 €15+0.75 buy ins)
Tomorrow's Starting Roll: €630 (40 €15+0.75 buy ins)

I played the Superheavyweight Freeroll on BlueSq last night, very nicely of them they still consider me a VIP from my Tribeca days when I used to win and rake a lot. 13 runners vying for a $5000 sponsorship package. Doubled up early after, 3 betting QQ then calling a 4bet shove; up against the JJ of Mr James Dempsey. Took the chip lead with 8 left winning a flip with TT vs AK all in preflop against Sam Trickett. Was playing well, and taking chips here and there when I could....

However it turned out AQ was to be my downfall. 5-handed I had another coinflip to have just over half the chips in play, 88 vs AQ, but lost this time. Managed to get back in it with a re-shove or two, and then bust the short stack with KT vs A5. Can't remember the hands but I got to heads up approx even in chips. The guy was pretty aggressive, and the one time he limped from the button I had AQ in the bb. I raised 4x and he called; ugly flop of Kxx but I had to c-bet and of course he shoved, and I passed...

Then caught the 2nd best hand a couple of times and found myself 5:1 down. Made a shove on the button J8, which I think is correct generally. He wakes up with, yep, AQ and I don't hit...

Was pretty gutted as $5000 is a lot of money compared to what I'm playing right now. And I was so close I could taste it. It's not as if I haven't had enough practice at heads-up recently either! Ah well, that's how it goes sometimes. Will just have to keep grinding and hopefully more opportunities will arise in the future...

January 25, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 19/20

Profit: +€1200
The weekend really didn't go well. Yesterday I played my ass off to make a €1.50, yes €1.50, profit. And today I barely played, but managed a super-sick run where I literally couldn't win a hand, whether I was 40%, 60%, 80% it didn't matter.

I calculate I roughly broke even the last week, which in some ways could be considered fortunate because of the horrible session I had on Wednesday, but is certainly contrary to my goals, and is not a good outcome considering the low level of games I'm playing and the amount of time I have invested. As far as I'm aware I'm playing as well as I was doing when my graph went in the up direction at a reasonable gradient, I believe it's just one of those runs where things aren't going my way the amount you can averagely expect...

I have decided over the next week to drop down a level to the €10 and €15 games. I'm getting involved with the €30-€50 games too often before my bankroll can take the hit of a bad run, and as only €10/15 games will be working towards the leaderboard I'll work on, I think this makes sense just to see how things go over the next week.

Played: 870
Won: 472

Lost: 399
Win percentage: 54.3%
Total ROI: 3.8%
----------------------------------
Profit: €750

Rakeback: €290
Leaderboard Prizes: €145
----------------------------------

Avg. Profit per game: €1.35
Hourly Expectation: €13.46

(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

Starting Bankroll Tomorrow: €475.25

I am depleating my bankroll to exactly 30 €15+0.75 buyins to begin with tommorow. I thought the stats were getting a bit confusing, so I am working things out around profit now, rather than bankroll and cashouts. I am keeping in the practice of cashing out reasonably often for the sake of discipline.

I am now 2/3 of the way through Moshman's Heads-Up book. Gotta say it's good stuff, but a large proportion I have learnt through the thousands of heads ups I have played myself. I guess that's unsurprising. It would definitely be a great tool for someone less familiar with the format, but I'm thinking it might polish my game up a little.

January 23, 2009

€250 Challenge - Day Eighteen

Profit: +€1350
A frustrating ass day today. Was going pretty nice and steady until this evening, where I kept getting outdrawn and colddecked in games of quick sucession. These 3 happened back to back...

All in with AK vs 22 on AQ2 rainbow
All in with A3 vs 36o on 2495J, featuring me raising preflop
All in with QJ vs Q7hh on 3h 9h Ts 8d

...But I guess this is inevitable within 51 games, which is what I managed to play today. For a kinda unhealthy profit as well. Well, €60 plus rakeback to the good. Better than the day I had two days ago!
Played: 781
Won: 430

Lost: 351
Win percentage: 55%
Total ROI: 5.4%
----------------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €750

Cashed Out: €300
Rakeback: €250
Leaderboard Prizes: €125
--------------------------

Avg. Profit per game: €1.64
Hourly Expectation: €16.49

(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

I want my pretty Sharkscope graph back! Maybe 2moro will help, I cleaned up last Saturday against presumably the recreational players that come out of hiding, hopefully I can dupilicate that!!

January 22, 2009

€250 Challenge - Damage Limitation (Days 16/17)

Profit: +€1100
Had the ugliest of ugly days yesterday, and my stats and my sharkscope graph have definitely taken a turn for the worse. I started the day off winning on the 20s, but then unprecedentedly lost 5 or 6 €20 games in a row. I went fish hunting on €30 and €40 games (not sitting, but playing the losing players who sat) and ran pretty bad. This then expanded to the €30-€100 range. By the time I managed to level out my losing streak I was down a hefty €500 - and that's accounting for the days rakeback! :-(

Yesterday:
€20, P:16 W:7 - €30, P:11 W:5 - €40, P:5 W:4 - €50, P:21 W:10 - €75, P:3 W:0 - €100, P:6 W:2

Makes for bleak reading, and I am very annoyed with myself for jumping up way too soon. What was noticeable to me in the 62 games was that I ran really bad at all-in showdowns, especially coinflips and 70%ers. But it wouldn't have been such a bad day if these had all been inflicted on the €20-30 level, so I really only have myself to blame. That's what a 45% winrate (my winrate yesterday) can do to you if you play the wrong games.

Fortunately I've managed to come to my senses today, and have managed to claw back just about a third of yesterdays losses, simply playing 23 games of €20s and 'fish hunting' 4 games of €30. And that includes 2 people dirtily coming back from the dead from less than 200 chips, getting their money in 30:70 against me 5 hands in a row each, and both winning all 5!

I did inflict my worst beat on someone today though. First level, dead even in chips, I 4-bet shoved A7ss on a 4d 5s 7c flop (his over-3bet felt like a 6 at the time, based on my previous play with him). But he actually had 44 and I was drawing dead. Well obviously not quite or this story wouldn't be here, it somehow came runner runner spades to give me a very fortunate pot.

The cards got me back later though. 1st level I raise KQcc on the button, villain calls, flop Ad Kd Qd. He open shoves for six times the pot. I assume he has something like Ac 8d, but I can't fold to this odd shove. He flips a bizaare Qs 6s.

Anywayz here's the not-so-impressive-anymore graph:

Played: 730
Won: 402

Lost: 328
Win percentage: 55.1%
Total ROI: 5.2% (Sharkscope calcuated)
----------------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €700

Cashed Out: €300
Rakeback: €225
Leaderboard Prizes: €125
--------------------------

Avg. Profit per game: €1.64
Hourly Expectation: €16.53
(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

January 20, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 13-15

Profit: +€1400
Had a very good run on Sunday, although I only played 19 games, but since then I have been struggling to win money, as you can probably see in my Sharkscope graph below. Don't think I'm doing anything particularly wrong, just one of those runs that happen occasionally.

Perhaps I was jinxed by the git that pipped me for €100 on the leaderboard and left me with €50!! (I didn't play Sunday night as it looked like I had enough points, but he nicked 1 win more than me. No biggie, but it all helps!)

Played: 636
Won: 353

Lost: 283
Win percentage: 55.5%
--------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €750

Cashed Out: €600
Rakeback: €175
Leaderboard Prizes: €125
--------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €2.32
Hourly Expectation: €23.71
(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

The Heads-Up book I mentioned in my last post has some interesting ideas, but since I started reading it, I haven't been doing as well! Will have to see if there is any correlation there the more I get through it and the more I play!

January 17, 2009

€250 Challenge - Day Twelve

Profit: +€1050
Managed a higher volume of games today, playing 59 heads ups. Definitely looks like playing as much as possible on the weekend is +ev, lots of players I haven't come across before were playing today, and I was crushing the games this afternoon. I was playing good but also running super good, but why is it that a 'super good' run is never followed by another good or even an okay run? It seems I had to suffer a really bad run just to even things out!

Nevermind, I clawed things back and ended up the day a very nice 10 buy-ins up, winning 61% of the games I played.

Played: 550
Won: 306

Lost: 244
Win percentage: 55.6%
--------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €700

Cashed Out: €400
Rakeback: €135
Leaderboard Prizes: €75
--------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €2.19
Hourly Expectation: €22.81
(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)


Hopefully there will be plenty more days like today!

Will be doing some reading over the next week as I just had Collin Moshman's book "Heads-Up No-Limit Hold 'Em" come through the post this morning. It's meant to be a good book and might help me step my game up another notch...

January 16, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 10/11

Starting Roll: €250 - Current Roll: €1050
Yesterday went okay, and ended up 3 buyins up over 29 games. However today I had my first real deviation from the plan, and I'm very annoyed with myself for it.

I lost 5 out of 6 of the first €20 heads ups I played of the day. So far I haven't hit too many streaks like this, but obviously this is going to happen and is nothing major. I thought I'd play a €40 against what I thought was a fish, and despite dominating the game, lost that and was €100 down.

Time for a break perhaps, cool down?

Nope! I make my first sidestep onto the limit cash tables. I wasn't playing anything majorly silly. €2/4. And it's certainly a game I know I can beat...but I'm not rolled for it yet, and wasn't playing it for the long term so it was stupid. I of course couldn't win a hand and dropped €85 more. One table broke up, and I left the other realising what I was doing was unnecessary.

Time for a break perhaps, cool down?

Nope! I go and sit in a €50 heads up and €100 heads up simultaneously. I took a lead in both games, and fortunately for me, I got 2 cold decks in my favour (TT vs AJ on JJTxx, and A6ss vs T5ss on Ad 9s 2d 4s ) and I won both games. I then went on to play sensibly for the rest of the day.

However, this was a wake up call to me to not let this happen in the future. One purpose of this quest is to irradicate behaviour like this, and if I'd held the AJ and raised the T5 preflop like my opponents, I could have halved my bankroll, and I'm sure what was left would have been at risk as well.

There's a couple too many regulars for me at the €20s (not that they're all that great, but solid players who stifle my winrate!), but other than that I'm keeping a steady winrate.

Played: 491
Won: 270

Lost: 221
Win percentage: 55%
--------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €625

Cashed Out: €250
Rakeback: €115
Leaderboard Prizes: €75
--------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €1.97
Hourly Expectation: €20.47
(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

The volume of games I'm playing at €20 level is still not to my liking. I'm considering dropping to the €15s next week when the leaderboards change as I was actually making more money last week than I am this week, which is probably because I'm playing 30-50% less games a day...

January 14, 2009

€250 Challenge - Day Nine

Starting Roll: €250 - Current Roll: €900
Ugh, today was the day of the cold deck.

AJ on KJJQ, I run into KJ
Q8 on Q863, I run into 66
J8 on J892, I run into QT
KK on T95, he's called a raise with 95!

They're just the recent ones I can remember, it's been like that all day. Somehow I've managed to be up 3 buyins for the day despite that. I feel very confident in my play, which is part of the reason I embarked on this challenge (to regain my confidence), so that is pleasing.

Finding it hard to keep the volume up with these as I was with the €10s and €15s. Sharkscoping, there's definitely more winning players on the €20s, so the difficulty and concentration levels are up. I notice my profit per game for €15 and €20 is currently exactly the same, so potentially it could be more profitable to rinse the €15s as I can play more of them. I guess I will re-evaluate on Monday after leaderboards finish, but my aim was really to climb up the stakes so I'm not sure about this...
Played: 426
Won: 234
Lost: 192
Win percentage: 54.9%

--------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €550
Cashed Out: €200
Rakeback: €95
Leaderboard Prizes: €75

--------------------------
Avg. Profit per game: €1.72
Hourly Expectation: €18.29
(incorporates RB & Leaderboard prizes)

January 13, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 7 & 8

Starting Roll: €250 - Current Roll: €850
Had Sunday off, and haven't played the greatest quantity since my last post. I managed to hit 3rd in the sit and go leaderboard to add €75 to my roll. I have decided to jump to the €20 Heads Ups this week, which count towards a bigger leaderboard . Almost played another week of €10s & €15s but after doing some reading on 2+2, it's thought €500 is a big enough roll to tackle €20s, and to be fair I'd like to jump up as fast as is sensible as I know I have a positive ROI at much bigger games...


I think there are less absolute donks in the €20s. I'm averaging 8 games an hour on these so far, rather than 11 with €10s & €15s (2 tabling most of the time). Gonna have to put in some hours this week if I want a decent piece from the leaderboard. Had a stretch where I won 9/10 today, only to lose 3 in a row. Thought it best to retire for the day at that point.

Played: 391
Won: 214
Lost: 177
Win percentage: 54.7%
--------------------------
Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €500
Cashed Out: €200
Rakeback: €85
Leaderboard Prizes: €75

I've been cashing out at numerous intervals, as I'm happy with the pace at which things are going. Definitely liking the stats so far, hoping I can keep going this steady, and climb through the levels briskly but comfortably...

January 10, 2009

€250 Challenge - Days 1 to 6

Starting Roll: €250 - Current Roll: €650
I'm currently mid-way through Day Six on the challenge. Bankroll was up to €600, but I just cashed out €100, just for the sake of discipline. So early into this, no need to start jumping too soon.

As you can see from the Sharkscope graph below I had a slow start, barely breaking even. But perhaps I've adapted to the badness of the players and have started running a bit better as I'm making steady progress now.
Current Stats:
Played: 315
Won: 170
Lost: 145
Win percentage: 54%

Starting Bankroll: €250
Current Bankroll: €500
Cashed Out: €100
Rakeback: €65

I definitely want to get that win percentage into the 58-60% region, but I'm happy with progress so far...

January 09, 2009

€250 Challenge & New Years Resolutions

I had a bad end to the year 2008 in the poker world, and to help combat this downswing I have decided to try and build a roll from only €250. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, to prove to myself I am worth my salt as a poker player, and I have a little side bet on the go to keep me motivated.

I started on the 5th January and it's going verryyyy slowly. Am currently up to all of €400, and have earnt €50 of rakeback so far. Though I guess relatively speaking, it's a good start. I am also working may way up a weekly leaderboard to get some cash on the side...

Currently I'm playing heads ups of, the €10-€20 variety. So far I'm surprised at how good the standard is compared to the €100 Heads Ups I usually play. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference, except for the occasional donk.

My New Years Resolutions for this year are simply:

  • Play within my bankroll
  • Have a break when too many buy-ins are lost
  • Don't play whilst tilting
  • Cash out from my bankroll at various intervals
  • To play longer sessions

I'll be keeping you posted on how the €250 challenge is going!