Archive for the ‘2011 Online’ Category
January 02, 2012
Here is my summary of 2011.
I made a profit, which was nice:
I mostly spent my online time in 2011 playing microstakes tournaments, on Pokerstars and 888 with a smattering of other sites. My game is quite a bit better than a year ago with more gears available instead of just being a constant nit. No big cashes in there, but nonetheless a reasonable ROI.
Here’s my 888poker tournament graph for 2011. Pretty, isn’t it:
I had two bouts of cash play. The first was early in the year when I had a bash on Sky Poker, taking my previous year’s shortstacking profit and trying to play “properly” with it. I was rubbish at it so I abandoned the attempt and went back to micro tournaments.
Late in the year I went back to cash on 888. This started off the same way as Sky, so I sought the help of a couple of online mates who got me into a better mindset to help me claw some of the losses back. Cheers and kudos to kgr00 and reg, I owe you both a drink!
There’s still work to do though, the pots I lose are still much bigger on average than the pots I win. So either I need to value bet bigger or I have to stop calling big bets. Maybe even both?
Here’s a breakdown of profit by site. It always amazes me how many different sites I touch during the course of a year:
Ambitions for 2012: Play less, win more. Simple!
December 11, 2011
November was my first losing month for a while. Here’s the damage:
As you can see, it was my decision to get back into the cash games that did the damage. I had $100 or so on WSOP.com that wasn’t doing anything much, the players on that site (it’s a skin of 888) are pretty poor, so it seemed like a good idea to dip a toe into the $6 games and see how I got on.
The answer was, badly:
It didn’t feel like I was playing badly, in fact I was reasonably happy with the way I was approaching the games, but I had obviously forgotten how to play cash. It was going the same as it did last time I gave it a whirl 6 months ago. So about half way through that graph – at the bottom of the slide, in fact – I looked for some help.
I watched some videos online, and two very kind people who play lots of cash – Keith on UK Sharks and Reg on EMS – gave me some very useful input. Keith looked through some hand histories and Reg sat in for a sweat session. This was all hugely helpful. Most of it was reassurance and encouragement, but none the less valuable for that. My two biggest takeways were to remember that:
- I have to make sure I think through hands properly instead of sometimes making hurried decisions
The second point follows logically from the fact that the micro tables these days are hugely aggressive. Every table has some players who are relentlessly raising it up with all kinds of hands. Because of this it is easy to fall into a pattern of playing trappy / passive and thereby letting the opponent dictate the pot size. This can mean that when they win they win bigger pots than I do when I win. So the way to beat these people is to play a higher value range of starting hands than they do and to get enough money into the pot when I am strong enough to get to showdown. And to remember that should they start folding to me then I can exploit that – not by widening my range substantially, but by recognising the spots where they have probably missed.
If I remember this stuff it will be fine. Indeed I’m feeling better about my cash game now so let’s see a better graph next time.
One other good piece of advice was from Reg – the rake on $6 games on 888 is horrible, it’s better to play the $10 games where the players are just as bad and the rake is less severe. So that’s what I’m doing.
In the meantime, here’s a hand where I was headed for cooler town but got very lucky:
Pacific Poker – $0.06 NL – Holdem – 6 players
SB posts SB $0.03, BB posts BB $0.06
Pre Flop: ($0.09) Hero has 9♣J♣
UTG calls $0.06, MP calls $0.06, CO raises to $0.33, Hero calls $0.33, SB calls $0.30, fold, fold, MP calls $0.27
Flop: ($1.44, 4 players) Q♣K♥8♣
Turn: ($12.30, 2 players) T♣
River: ($12.30, 2 players) 8♠
CO shows K♣A♣ (Flush, Ace High) (Pre 65%, Flop 84%, Turn 0%)
November 09, 2011
Volume fail – although it feels like I’ve played lots of poker, in reality I’ve only played for the small number of hours I’m not actually at work.
When I’ve played, it’s been almost exclusively low-level tournaments: forum games and micro buy-ins on 888.com.
Blogging fail – not a lot to write about poker-wise, so no entertainment for my reader.
Still, I’m here now. Here are the scores for the last two months:
As you see, I’m behind target again for the year, but still I’m in the black numbers just about. Which is fair enough.
One thing I’ve been doing is looking out for tournaments that have these features:
888.com and skins seem to do a few of these. The idea is to join as late as possible then hold on for the break and take the add-on. This means that although you join as a shortstack you are paying a lot less per chip than the average. So as long as you are adequate with a shortstack you start with a significant advantage in terms of EV. And even a mincash typically gets you like 4x your stake!
The theory is sound, but it would be good to take one or two of these down. Maybe in November.
September 07, 2011
In a very interesting article about something completely different, Kat Martin at Blind Straddle wrote,
This is me too. I noticed a long time back that at pretty much all games – darts, bridge, pool, golf, bowling, now poker too – I play best after a couple of loosening drinks but fall away as inebriation sets in. Quicker if the game involves standing up, obviously, but noticeably in any game.
So now I always have a glass next to me when playing.
Apologies to my reader for the long gap between posts, but here are the results of the online grind for July and August. Again I didn’t play a lot, but enough to keep my hand in:
Any profit is good profit. I’m sure the time will come again when I can get some volume in, but it might not be until after Christmas!
July 26, 2011
Filed Under (2011 Online) by crumble on 26-07-2011
I’ve been out on the juice tonight, so can’t play any poker.
But it’s a funny thing, when you’re not playing you find yourself thinking about the game in idle moments.
The first thing I though was, blimey, I haven’t posted my June results yet! So here they are:
I didn’t play much during June, so am happy to take a small profit.
It’s noticeable (well actually it’s blindingly obvious) that I’m focussing on micro buy-in tournaments at the moment while giving the cash games a miss. In fact it’s obvious that this is the only reason I’m continuing to be in profit.
It occurred to me today on the way home while waiting in the queue for the loo that there may be a fundamental reason for this. Not the fact that I’m in the queue for the loo, that’s a function of age and beer (I may need to modify the youthful formula of pees = pints + 2, but that’s another story). No, the fact that lately I’m doing fine at micro donkaments but rubbish at micro cash.
Today’s flash of enlightenment went as follows…
There are lots of ways of being +chipEV, but the main ones are:
Both of these can easily have the same long-term expectation in terms of chips; and actually most styles are either a or b or somewhere in between.
One style is much lower variance than the other.
If you’re playing microcash it doesn’t matter which style you use, the only thing that matters is your winrate, your +EVness, your PTBB/100.
But in tournaments it really does make a huge difference… and playing tight is far and away the worst option.
It’s a variance thing. It comes down to the payout structure: on most sites the money is disproportionately in the final table and especially the top 3 places.
Player A could play 100 decent size tournaments and scrape into the top 10% 50 times. This player will be roughly break even or make a small profit. Well done sir! This is the lot of the tight player.
But Player B might win 2, make the top 3 in 3 more, the top 10 in 5 more and donk out by level 3 in the other 90. The aggressive player with the same overall chipEV embraces the variance because that is the best way of getting into the big payout spots.
Player B will win loads more $$$ than Player A.
So maybe my results of the last 18 months show I’m starting to let a bit more variance into my game.
Or maybe I’ve just continued being a lucky fish? Don’t spoil it…
May 31, 2011
So, May turned a useful profit to get the average profit back over $150 per month for the year to date:
Basically this is variance kicking back in at the tournament tables. I’ve definitely been playing a little better and the cards have been friendly once or twice in sympathy.
I put the improved play down to two things:
Don’t laugh; facebook poker is so different from real poker it definitely exercises the poker muscles and helps get you thinking about what the random opponents are doing and how to exploit it. Also the winning gives you confidence that you can take to the real tables.
Mind you I’m going to have to step up the winnings to pay for those builders; you don’t get a lot of plumbing and wiring for $150 these days…
May 08, 2011
April was an eventful month for online poker.
Only if you were living in a cave will you have missed the US clampdown on the two biggest poker sites, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. On “Black Friday”, April 15, 2011, both sites, plus Absolute Poker, were indicted on various charges relating to “bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses, and laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds.”
As related on www.pokerblackfriday.com, this was followed by the seizure of internet domain names used by PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker as well as the freezing of 75 bank accounts utilized by those operators and their payment processors. Later, all three operators banned American players from their sites and froze their real money accounts.
Unsurprisingly this triggered a rush for the exits by millions of players worldwide. Including of course me; I have been playing regularly on both PS and FTP so I keep some money there routinely.
Frankly I wasn’t expecting the withdrawals to come to anything, especially as my first attempt to withdraw from PS encountered a software bug that had to be referred to their support.
But no, to my surprise PS fixed the problem and processed the payment; it took a couple of days longer than usual but I guess they were a little busy.
FTP paid out too, although it took them a full three weeks to get it sorted.
So congratulations to both sites for weathering the storm. PS have made some adjustments to their guaranteed prize pools and other minor tweaks to accommodate the reduction in players but otherwise the world outside the US is carrying on with its online poker as normal.
But I can’t help thinking that this is just another step in the slow process of global clampdown on internet gaming. Governments everywhere are looking at the money moving around outside of their control and trying to find ways of getting hold of it. I suspect they are looking closely at the US to see what happens next.
My bet would be that it is regularised, brought onshore, properly taxed … and run by Harrah’s or one of the other big names in US gaming.
Once that happens we will see the net closing in across the globe. Still it will be interesting to see things unfold and to see how the likes of PokerStars cope- after all they are the current biggest operator by far, with the best software and the best support. Surely they will have to do some more deals, like they did with the French operation (pokerstars.fr).
Worldshaking events aside, I know you’re wondering how I got on at the tables in April. Well I’m afraid it was more of the same: not much volume, not much rungood. Here’s the table:
Oh well, at least I already know May is going to be better.
April 04, 2011
So there goes another month. I didn’t play much in March, but when I did play I interspersed periods of playing decently with some too-frequent spazz-outs that undid all the good work.
Here’s the damage:
The reason for the lack of volume is two-fold: lots of work on plus weekends spent on the new house. Although mostly the work.
I’m not expecting much change in available time the next few months, so will have to play with more focus when I actually do play. If you don’t walk purposefully upwards the down escalator dumps you at the bottom in a heap.
Or I could just go with the flow and hope to get lucky. Yes, I think I’ll probably do that to be honest.
In any spare moments I’m planning to restart the gardening section of the blog, which will probably be more entertaining for both me and my reader!
March 02, 2011
So farewell then February, you won’t be missed.
Here’s the scores on the doors…
So, not good. Bad, in fact.
But I’ve been round this cycle before. It starts with running bad, then gradually I start to play worse. Eventually I just stop, have a day or two off, give myself a slap, plug a few obvious leaks and start again.
I stop giving chips away with such regularity and before you know it the poker gods are playing fair again.
I must be at the turning point, look at this abomination from last week…
I definitely can’t play any worse. So I’m sure March will be better!
February 08, 2011
As I mentioned in my last post, I cashed out my Virgin Poker Points at the start of the year to guarantee me a decent start to 2011.
I haven’t had too much time to play – work is busier than ever, also the Baglady and I have bought a new house that needs 6 mirrion hours of work to make habitable, so I feel I have to go down there at weekends and do a bit.
However I did run well at micro tournaments and so I put my usual January Jinx behind me and had my best ever start to a year. Here’s the summary:
This last weekend I was in Birmingham for the second annual Invitational Forum Challenge tournament in Star City. Ten teams of nine players each, battling it out for the trophy and the cash. £50 from each player went £25 into the individual prize pool and £25 into the team prize pool. Top 10 players and top 2 teams got paid, with team points worked out on the last 18 finishers – 18 points for 1st down to 1 point for 18th.
I was with the UK Sharks team. Here we are with the trophy:
Unfortunately that pic was taken before the game started and was as near as we were going to get to the trophy. Only 2 of us made it to the second day, after which I lasted just 3 hands and Serring (front row, left) only managed about an hour – so the team was joint bottom on zero points.
However, all credit to the organisers – PokerPlayersPlace forum and the Star City Casino cardroom’s excellent manager Lance – who made sure it was an enjoyable occasion even for the losers.
In the end it was the PPP Ladies team that took down the championship, the bragging rights and a nice £1500 to split between them as the top team prize. Very well done, especially since they had to carry both Baglady and Lucysaur, both of whom luckily outlasted me with Lucy somehow holding on to bag 10th individual prize and household bragging rights, well done my dear.
A top event and I hope to go back next year and show the ladies how it’s done.