NLHE

Back into the RING

Way too much time has passed without putting out a quality blog post but honestly I’ve been dealing with a huge break up, so I decided to take a little bit of time for myself to relax and get my mind right. Prior to this time away I was consistently beating the biggest Bitcoin NLHE tournaments on SWC. Just a year ago I was playing mostly freerolls and grinding the 5 mbtc level but once the original Seals with Clubs went down I took my game to Nitrogen Sports and ran my measly 200 chip BTC bankroll into over 5000 chips!

I owe my low-limit success to hard work. I’ve identified deficiencies in my game and found podcasts, training videos, and articles online to plug those leaks and turn the tables on my opponents. Bankroll management is also key, fuck what anyone says skill don’t mean shit if you can’t hold on to your money. I take pride in watching my bankroll swell and make it my number one priority to work on my game at all times to stay sharp, so I can continue moving up the stakes and eventually play poker full time. Being consistent is also key, luckily grinding the low limits is easy, playing ABC poker with the occasional variation play shows huge profits at these limits.

The problem is I work full-time, 40 hours a week and I commute, so grinding those 2-5 hours nightly add up. When fatigue sets in as it has lately I take these breaks where I do everything that makes me happy, I see family, I travel, I rest, I golf, I joined a softball league, I generally enjoy life and get my mind away from poker. These prolonged breaks feed my hunger for escape from the monotony of the full time job and the countless hours of poker played on computer screens.

But the time is now. I feel the fire burning inside of me and I must return to the tables. I plan to be the biggest tournament winner on SWC and continue to improve my on my mixed games, all while protecting my bankroll. I plan to post a weekly to bi-weekly blog so stay tuned.

So till next time, good luck out there.

Advertisements

SWITCHING TO THE MIXED GAMES

Throughout my poker career I’ve devoted myself playing No-limit Texas holdem, and as most of us I entered the game via the poker boom. Chris Moneymaker, WSOP Main event episodes, Poker after dark, ect…all played out in one form of poker, NLHE. That’s all I’ve seen so it’s all I really ever cared about.

Earlier this year I made a statement about how a player’s best shot at winning a bracelet was through some form of mixed game. I honestly believe this especially after playing the massive Colossus event and seeing how popular no-limit tournaments are to the average poker player. So for the past few months I’ve put time aside and have been learning the mixed games online at the 30/60 cent level, and to my surprise I have found a new passion. 

I’ve learned the basic strategies of Razz, 7-Stud, Limit Omaha HI-LO, OFC, and drastically improved my PLO game (Never overplay, Always draw to the nuts) to the point where it’s my main cash game now. I’m not the only one thinking this way, there’s lots of new people trying to the learn these games and it creates for some very loose profitable games that I would love to take advantage of consistently, so I’ve picked up a few books by Ray Zee, re-read most of Super System and have been watching training videos online to help with the learning curve.

No-Limit Texas Holdem will always be the Cadillac of poker and NLHE SNG’s will continue to be my bread and butter but the future of the WSOP and maybe POKER as a whole is mixed games. If that is true only time will tell.

Till next time, good luck out there.

I survived the LAPC

With the LAPC main event currently under way and the series coming to an end I decided to write about my experience at this year’s 2015 LAPC. I only played 2 events due to insufficient bankroll and time constraints. I managed to play Event #1 a $175 buy-in $100,000 guarantee No-Limit Hold’em tournament and Event #20 a $240 $500,000 guarantee also nlhe. I totally held my own and never felt outmatched in these massive +700 player fields. I played one hand at a time and just focused on my table and finding ways to beat them. Easier said than done, as anyone could agree that’s ever played in the giant Commerce Casino tournament room, the sea of players, dealers, and floor staff can be a bit overwhelming…..

image

Event #1 attracted a field of 892 players, I arrived early expecting a huge turn out and I was right. Thank god. I didn’t want to make the hour an a half drive to Commerce and still have to wait in line to play. Play started sharply with 5k starting stacks and I proceeded to lose half my stack in the 1st level. I blame it on butterflies in anticipation to play, but I recovered nicely and won all of it back plus more with a set of kings. I played a tight aggressive style for the next few levels winning a couple pots and running my stack to about 9k then… I got into a pissing match with a young aggressive player on my left with Q-4 and I busted him with a river Queen when he called my all-in bluff with 8-2 on a 10-8-4 flop lol.

image

Play went on for about 8 an half hours and I managed to maintain an above average stack till we reached 115 players ..15 players away from the money. I called 25% of my stack with A-10 of spades when a player in front of me moved all in. I should of moved all-in, but I didn’t and an aggressive player also called. The flop came two spades, I checked and the aggressive player bet and I called, the turn was a blank, and I checked, he bet and I called again. The river was a blank and I checked again, this time he checked and turned over a pair of 5’s. I was devastated, I was left with 8bb’s and resorted into squeaking into the money placing 83rd and winning $290.

image

Event #20 flight 5 of 5 attracted a field of 713 consisting of a couple bracelet winners and a couple Circuit event ring holders. We started with 7.5k starting stacks and I doubled up on the the 1st hand with a set of 6’s when a player moved all-in with 2 pair on the river. The first few levels I dominated and ran up my stack to about 30k with little to no opposition. I was playing and running extremely well, all a player can ask for in a $500,000 guarantee tournament.

image

All was running well till I was moved to a table full of really tough opponents. Everytime I raised, I was reraised, and everytime I bluffed I was called. For the most part I followed my solid game plan and won a few pots but being card dead wasn’t helping. I attempted a few bluffs near the money and was unsuccessful, plus I noticed an ace was slightly marked and I made a comment to the dealer. A pro player Phong “Turbo” Nguyen took it personally and proceeded to berate me and try to throw me off my game. I went completely card dead and only managed a min cash, I finished 85th for the day and 467th of the total 5 day starting flights for $390. I vow to use this as a learning experience and never back down to any player due to being close to the money.

image

Overall I had a profitable LAPC, but I need to drastically improve my play on the bubble if I want to succeed and take down one of these huge tournaments and make a name for myself. Hands down I need to get serious and really improve my play in the the later stages of tournaments….but I’ve continued my online grind and played plenty online tournaments, winning 7-8 tournaments with fields of 21-115 players. I won 65mbtc grinding freerolls, but it’s been an up and down since SealsWithClubs closed down and I’ve taken my game to Nitrogen Sports, but that’s for an other day……

image

So till then, good luck out there.

Grinding my face OFF

Call a doctor my face has literally fallen off!! Ok that’s a bit of an exaggeration but in all sincerity, I’ve played 30+ online tournaments in three weeks and have been extremely successful. I’ve made 10 final tables a 6th, 5th, 2x 4th, 3rd, 3x 2nd (including a chop) and 2x 1st places!! I won 69 mbtc more than doubling on online bankroll, bringing it to 128 mbtc. I’ve had most of my success in 6max tournament format, I chopped a 5 chip 6max tournament heads up on a Saturday and won it outright the next day!!

image

image

I also played 2 “live” tournaments during these 3 weeks, and had no success. I headed down to Morongo Casino and tried my luck at one of there daily $45 morning tournaments and proceeded to get my flush chased down by a 2 early position players trips when the board paired on the river. I rebought for $20 and played tight for about an hour, then I finally shoved my last 11bb’s with A4 in the big blind and got called by AJ and I was out. I also played the Sunday 5k guarantee at Pechanga and played super aggressively. I raised and reraised every chance I got and build a loose, crazy image. I shoved all-in preflop with AA and got called by a bigger stack’s QQ, I was looking and feeling good till the queen came on the the flop and I was out!

image

I did play one $1/$2 nlhe live cash game session at Pechanga and had great success winning $254 =127 big blinds!! My first hour was boring and uneventful, it consisted of 1 or 2 won small pots and lots of folding! I took a break and came back to the table to find a few new faces and also the table dynamics had totally changed. I started catching cards and made the nut flush on the river to crack a set of kings and I also won a nice pot with quad 3’s. I owe my low limit cash game success to being patient, waiting out the fishes is one of the major characteristics that all winning poker players possess, the kids call it “old man game”.

image

Overall I had some had some decent success, nothing to quit my job over but I feel like I’m setting a strong foundation. This path I look to journey down is full of pitfalls and obstacles and all this experience that I’m gaining by “grinding my face off ” will do nothing but bring me one step closer to that BIG score that we all chase.

Good luck out there.

New PLAN

2014 isn’t turning out to be so great, 6 months in and I’m already down $883! My online game has really taken off but my live game has taken a nose dive. I feel like not having a casino close to my house running cash games and tournaments is not allowing me to put in the heavy volume that you need to succeed at poker. Bad luck and bad play is also a cause of the problem, I estimate I’ve thrown away $515 due to bad play. I’ve played 13 tournaments and only cashed in 1 and I’ve played 3 cash game sessions winning 2 so it’s not really bad luck it’s amateur play.

image

Last year I lost a little over $100 playing a somewhat of a busy schedule, this year I’ve played significantly less but traveling and different stresses haven’t allowed me to get comfortable in the new rooms I’m playing in. I need to strongly consider getting professional coaching to help me improve my game and take it to the next level but my ego and pride plus money makes it hard to ask for help. This year I’ve also up’ed my tournament buy-ins, I traveled to the City of Commerce to play the Million guaranteed tournament at the LAPC for $150 (I finished 50 out of the money) the player that busted me went on the finish 3rd for 40k! I also played a couple $100 buy-in tournaments in surrounding Palm Springs casinos and Morongo Casino but I was unsuccessful in cashing in any. Those tournaments had some huge fields so I know variance also comes into play.

image

Playing the World Series has been my dream since I started playing and this year I actually got a chance to go. I failed to qualify for the $1500 event that I really wanted to enter while playing on wsop.com but I got a chance to play a $235 buy-in Rio deepstack event. My luck didn’t fair to well and I misplayed Aces after the first break and went busto vs A-5. I’ll use it as a learning experience but the good thing is I got to meet one of my favorite poker player personality’s Bryan “The Icon” Micon and I also totally enjoyed my vacation to the fullest.

image

I’ve decided to pull out $500 of my savings and dedicate myself to building it up playing $10-$50 tournaments twice a week and grinding at least 2 cash game session sessions a month. I will only play 1/2 nlhe at Pechanga before or after there $50 tournament and 2-4 limit at Morongo before there $10 Sunday tournament. I plan on playing 100 hand cash game sessions or 2 hours max and leaving if I lose my buy-in or if I double my money. I will also follow the hated Chris Ferguson bankroll plan and move up the limits accordingly.

image

Hopefully I stop playing like an idiot and my plan works and my luck turns around. Till next time good luck out there.

Taking a BREAK

I’ve been taking some time away from poker lately, not because of losing streaks or anything I just want to be refreshed going into my Vegas trip in June. I’ve been doing some research on my tournament stats lately and found out I’ve played roughly 125 tournaments in 3 MONTHS! Cashing in 33 and winning 4. Over the years I’ve averaged playing 30 live tournaments a year so technically I gotten almost 4 years of tournament experience in 9 WEEKS! I have been feeling a bit overworked lately so I’ve decided to get as much rest as possible and get some live playing time in preparation for my Vegas trip and satelliting into the WSOP.

image

I’ve played couple Freerolls on Sealswithclubs with no results losing huge flips early. I plan on returning back to putting in the heavy volume before heading to Vegas because I will be playing a few tournaments WSOP.com while in Nevada and I want to be sharp. I did play a $50 buy-in 30 player home game and I felt my tournament experience I’ve gained has help me with my confidence and allowed me to spot situations to take advantage of with little to no resistance. 3rd place paid and I got 5 due to bad beats and lack of patience. I could of easily made the money but I kept playing the coin flip style. I was also on tilt due to not being used to playing live…I forgot how annoying people could be.

image

I week later had a deep run in Pechanga Casino’s Sunday $45 buy-in 5k guarantee. I brought my headphones to tune out the idiotic players that tried to get under my skin and it totally worked. I won some huge pots as a underdog but still I navigated myself skillfully through a tough field. Unfortunately I fell short from cashing, I placed 24th when 18 paid out of 188 runners. I had 7bb’s and raised to 3.5bb’s from early position with A-10 and got re-raised all in by an older gentleman and I called. He showed A-K, the board ran dry and I was out. I usually fold A-10 from early position but I took a chance of winning the blinds thinking the player’s at my table would fold due to being so close to the money.

image

I know my luck will change and I will eventually win a couple of these low-limit tournaments I just have to continue trying my hardest to improve my game. Not everything was bad though I had a nice session at 1/2 and won $100 with pocket aces!

image

Good luck out there.

Finding BALANCE

I’m playing the best poker of my life right now. Yeah it’s against some of the weakest players and at the lowest limits online but a few months ago I was getting my ass handed to me playing the same limits! I owe all my success like I said before to changing my ABC style into a relentless controlled aggression style, combined with plenty of tournament experience. I’m also putting all my efforts on improving my cash game skills and I know with a little practice and a higher bankroll my results will improve.

image

This week I played 17 tournaments and I had 6 cashes. I had an 8th, 7th, 6th, 6th, 3th, & a 2nd winning 11.80 mbtc. In the tournament where I placed 2nd place I put my money in the middle with 18 outs on the flop but I just didn’t get there, or else I would be writing a very different blog! I feel like my tournament game is at a very high level right now, and it’s just a matter of time till I start moving up the stakes. I’m playing my best and I’m starting to recognize more betting patterns, timing tells, and other little nuances of the game that’s increasing my bankroll and increasing my confidence.

image

I also played 8 cash games sessions and won 4 but for only 1.08 mbtc. My cash game skills still need work, I dropped down to the lowest limits online and I saw a small profit. It could of been I little higher but constantly bluffing, mistakes, and bad luck really threw a wrench in that. I also had some crazy bad beats including AA losing to K-K twice!

image

Overall I had a decent week at the tables, I put in the heavy volume that I really wanted to do and I won 12.88 mbtc bringing my bankroll to 85.88 mbtc. I feel like I’m well on my way to finding that perfect balance and I’m excited to see some better results.

Good luck out there.