poker

2015 A year in REVIEW

The year has come to an end and I have a few stories on my low-limit journey to share. Some ups, mostly downs, but at the end of the day I got to play live and online poker whenever I wanted for a small profit and I throughly enjoyed myself doing so.

Poker is fucken tough. You can study everyday, practice strategy, watch all the training videos, and still lose. Luck plays a huge role in the equation, a turn of one of those 52 cards can make or break you and as we all have witnessed, most players including myself receive the latter.

One of the biggest things I learned in 2015 is how to control my anger and frustration when taking bad beats or playing bad. I simply realized that bad beats are part of the game. If the best players always won the bad players would go broke, leave the game and never come back. Now when I take a bad beat I laugh it off and tell myself “This guy had to pull it out of his ass to beat me” and that always makes me feel a little better. Bad beats tend to show up at the least opportune time so be prepared but always remain confident, the coin lands on the the other side too but we tend to forget.

I also learned when playing bad there’s no reason to get mad. You spend all this time and energy being upset when you should be studying and learning from your mistakes. There isn’t a better feeling in the world than improving your game by working hard and turning the tables on opponents that you couldn’t beat before. You have to be honest with yourself and work on your deficiencies or be prepared to be left in the dust.

Overall 2015 was a horrible year for my “live” tournament game. I played 28 events and only cashed in 5 for a total loss of $-1120. My highlight was finishing top 80 and in the money in two back to back LAPC events, one had a 900+ player field the other had over 800 runners and were less than a few weeks apart. An other highlight was playing my first WSOP event the $565 buy-in Colossus event. Even though I didn’t cash, it was a great learning experience and I can’t wait for my next WSOP trip Summer 2016.

My live cash game stats this year weren’t equally as bad, but were still sub-par. I played 17 sessions and only won 5 for an overall loss of $-375. My highlights were learning Omaha 8 high-low and holding my own at the $4-8 limit kill tables plus I had a couple nice $1-2 and $2-3 no limit sessions where I won a couple hundred dollars. My problem in the cash games was the lack of discipline needed to make the huge fold. I could of easily showed some profit in my live game if I could have made a couple key folds in pots where I had a strong feeling I was beat but I tried to get lucky (and pull it out of my ass). My #1 priority in 2016 will be to drastically change this and keep a level head when making decisions with piles of chips in front of me.

Now time for some highs! I totally crushed the low-limit Bitcoin tournaments online on Nitrogen Sports and SWC Poker. I took a shot at the 26 mbtc buy-in 750 mbtc guaranteed tournaments early in the year on Nitrogen and won, after that any tournament in the 5-100 mbtc buy-in range I consistently beat. I totally used the smaller field sizes as an advantage by using 6 max strategies as MTT’s on these sites only reach 15-20 players. My stats show I won 33 tournaments, 15 2nds, and 10 other ITM finishes while roughly playing 150 tournaments for 4410 mbtc won equaling $1908! I used a basic ABC style and pretty much just waited for the fishes to make mistakes and capitalized on them. I also learned and was competitive at mixed cash games and will use the experience I gained as a stepping stone moving forward and build on the skills I acquired and use them to take advantage of the players behind the learning curve.

Overall I finished the year up a disappointing $413 and it really feels like I lost. Yeah it was great to win those 33 tournaments online but I didn’t win a live tournament and I got throughly handled almost every time I stepped foot in a casino. But the future seems hopeful, I crushed online and will continue to search for ways to improve my win rate. I’ve also added a few tweaks to my live game and I have faith that my hard work and dedication will take me to the next level in 2016. Wish me luck as I’ll be heading out to the city of Commerce to play the LAPC as I have the past 3 years in 2 weeks and I got my eye on a final table. So till next time…..Good luck out there.

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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.

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.

Are you prepared for the WSOP?

The beast that is the World Series Of Poker is among us. It’s massive player fields with equally massive prize pools are only a few short weeks away. Are you ready? Have you prepared? Do you have what it takes to survive these 1000+ player fields filled with a bevy of established poker professionals and gaggles of amateurs taking their one shot? Can you navigate through these enormous minefields, and take home the coveted WSOP gold bracelet? Do you have it in you?

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I’ve been on grind mode as of late. Moving over to Nitrogen Sports has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve been showing consistent profit in their bigger regular tournaments. Moving up the stakes to the 25 mbtc level was hard at first, mostly do to the mental aspect of the game, but I’ve learned to take breaks from the tables when I’m running bad and take a mandatory 15 minutes a day minimum, to study on my game away from the tables. It’s really been helping, I’ve ran 65 mbtc I won playing freerolls, up to 900 mbtc! I’ve mostly been playing there 750 mbtc guaranteed daily tournament, I’ve entered about 20 and have placed 3rd twice, 2nd twice, and 1st also twice! Even though these tournament have small fields, it’s a great boost of confidence and bankroll and I’ll use this nice run as a stepping stone heading into the WSOP.

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Barring a huge score early at the WSOP, this year I’am only scheduled to play the Colossus event and the Lucky 7’s event both with a buy-in under $1000. I see these tournaments as being some of the most profitable, due to the large amount of recreational players entering. I play with these kind of players daily online and I can see some very profitable situations arising due to there the lack of live play, very long days and just the fact that these tournaments will be the highest buy-ins these players will ever pay in there whole career.

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I plan on continuing my regular poker schedule but I will be tossing in a few live events a week before I head to Vegas. I will definitely be studying hard in preparation these last few precious weeks. I have trust in my game plan, my experience at the LAPC has really helped get me ready for the long haul these higher buy-in tournaments could be. I plan to be well rested and have no stress on my arrival to Vegas so I just pre-registered for the Colossus flight #D May 30, 2015. So if you see me in the halls at the Rio, come up say hi and buy me a beer!

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I hope you are prepared for a deep run as I definitely feel I am. I wish you all a successful, enjoyable, profitable WSOP. I look forward to writing my next blog post on the feeling of winning my first braclet! So until next time, good luck out there.

Just WIN

Big or small, tournament victories are hard to come by. Winning makes all the difference. Long hours at the computer screen or at the felt can seem pointless without the victory. Being the last player left in a tournament is the best feeling ever, it means no ones skill or luck could overcome you that day.

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These two weeks back at the grind have pretty tough but I have shown some profit. I played 15 tournaments, made 6 final tables, I got a 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and I got two 1st places! I also ran deep in a 10BTC guarantee freeroll placing 54/600 players. I won 39 mbtc almost tripling my online bankroll, man it feels good to run hot! I had a great 2 weeks and I owe it all to devoting myself to my craft.

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I want to congratulate the 2014 WSOP APAC Main Event Champion Scott Davies on joining the WSOP history books and taking home the coveted WSOP APAC Main Event bracelet. Earlier this week he blessed me with some wisdom as he also started as a low limit grinder himself.

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I hope to one day follow the footsteps of Scott Davies and become a World Champion, but you have to remember first comes the hard work.

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Good luck out there.

Welcome BACK

I’m back!!! Sorry for the wait, I’ve just been distracted by life. Exhaustion, work, and a crappy social life has been taking up most of my time. I’ve been very distracted and my game has definitely suffered. I lost 80% of my online bankroll by taking shots in bigger games and playing when not feeling 100%. I totally tilted and strayed away from my profitable hyperaggressive style.

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The huge swings in the higher buy- in tournaments caught up to me and ate my bankroll up, but I did have some nice results. I won a 5 chip 6max tournament for my biggest bitcoin cash and multiple other small cashes but nothing like I know I can accomplish.

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I currently have 20 mbtc in my online account and I plan to follow a strict bankroll management plan and return to the profitable path I was following before I lost my focus. One highlight is my cash game skill has improved drastically, a tight aggressive ABC style shows consistent profit in the lower limit games because the players are extremely weak and will call you down with anything so don’t bluff!! 

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My live game has improved drastically both in tournaments and cash games but only the cash sessions have shown profit. I’ve had some deep runs in 300+ player tournament fields at Pechanga Casino and a 15th place finish event 5 at the HPT at Agua Caliente casino, but bad luck and bad reads derailed any cashes or final tables.

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Lately I have been profitable playing 1/2 NLH cash games. A super tight patient aggressive game is totally the right approach for these levels and it shows. I’m currently on a 6 game winning streak with a little over 400+ won!

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So my time away has been a little up and down. I understand now that to be a professional you have to be a professional away from the tables.  You can’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your dreams. Focus is easily lost if you allow distractions into your life.

Good luck out there.

You sleep, I TRAIN

Practice makes perfect. Pretty simple.

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I started to put in the heavy online tournament volume in preparation for my Vegas trip but I’m still shaking off some rust. That 2 week break is really killing me, I’m currently in a 10 tournament losing streak. I can easily accumulate chips but my lack of playing time has caused some impatience, and I keep bluffing my stack halfways through the tournament. I know as long as I get used to playing my game again I’ll be okay plus all the 10 tournaments I played were freerolls so I still broke even. I also played 1 cash game session and won 1 mbtc bringing my online bankroll to 86.95 mbtc….Once I get to 100 mbtc I’m moving up the limits.

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I played a live $10 Rebuy tournament at Morongo Casino Sunday and ran extremely well. I navigated myself through 60 players and made the final table with the chiplead! In these low limit tournaments the stacks are so shallow at the final table and the blinds escalate so rapidly that even though I had the chip lead I was still pretty short. I lost a big pot blind vs blind when I held JJ vs 10-7 all-in preflop. He flopped a full house. After that a conversation started regarding a chop 6-handed lol and we agreed at $138 a piece. If I would of won that pot with the Jacks I wouldn’t of chopped. I didn’t want to risk not cashing in the tournament with 4 BB’s as I’m trying to build back my bankroll so I didn’t want to gamble.

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I feel pretty confident in my game and I feel playing online and putting in the heavy volume has helped me plug some leaks in my overall game. Now the next step the WSOP.

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Good luck out there.