Saturday, November 6, 2010

WSOP Final Table is TODAY! and I wish I was there!

The November Nine is finally here, playing live since Noon PST (3pm EST) today.. (don't forget to set your clocks back for daylight savings time tonight!) 
Already out is Soi Nguyen in 9th for $811,823 and Matthew Jarvis for $1,045,743 in 9th and 8th, respectively.
The vibe at the theater is Great this year.. this will be an action final table, and I predict shorter than a lot of people expect, certainly shorter than I expected.  I had originally predicted Senti and Mizrachi in the top 3, but I'll have revise my prediction about Cheong and add him to the top 3 as well.. I just have this feeling when I see him on camera that he may end up in heads up reels for years to come...
I am certainly NOT rooting for Candio, he's just too wild.. and he may get paid off with that strategy, but it will not be as fun seeing someone win with a suckout, which is what I predict we'll see from him if he makes it to the top 3.
ESPN3 has a livefeed with 5 min delay, and no hole cards of course, with my favorite commentator from @PokerStars James Hartigan leading the commentary, and expect quite a few poker pro guest commentators..
I'm just going to make a short post for now.. I just watched Senti shove all in Blind vs Blind vs Cheong with K7o, obviously just making a move on the spot, and Cheong called with A9s (clubs).  Nice call by Cheong.
Jason Senti's is the dog in a 35% to 65% race for his tournament life, the flop is Jd-6s-3, turn is Ad, and the crowd starts cheering as he has a backdoor flush draw with a diamond on the river, @matthewjarvis is close with his prediction of the 9diamonds, as the river is the 10d for the backdoor flush in Diamonds, and Senti doubles up through Cheong!  This hand is a turning point for Senti ... mark my words!
The Twitter world is filled with live reporting of the action, is playing the livestream with a 5 min delay, and ESPN will air the broadcast with holecards on Monday or Tuesday evening.. good luck avoiding any spoilers during that time :)
A big shout out to all my friends live in Vegas, including BigFoot, as I wish I was there, but I started a great new job just last week.. see you at the next live event.
you can follow my tweets on the right of my blog or @thewookieway

Sunday, October 17, 2010

First the Big Game, then The Million Dollar Challenge, and now the Big Game x2!

I have qualified again for the Big Game! Time to make that video with the improved resume ;)

New post coming shortly along with my Big Game Video :)  

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Winds of Change in Poker Media, Isildur1 vs Jungleman

The winds of change seem to be blowing strong this month.  @change100 and @writerjen   have been let go from @pokernews  .  @kevmath  meanwhile, has moved on from Pokerati to join Bluff 
There are rumors of other changes in the poker media coming soon as well... 

On Monday, Oct 4th, from approximately 3:30pm to 6:30ish pm, Isildur1 and Jungleman12 tangled for some 100/200 NLHE action, that few seemed to report about! well screw that, if someone else doesn't do the job right, do it yourself. 
I caught the action, put it on livestream (one of the 6 tables) and you can watch it here "Isildur1 vs jungleman" Oct 4th, 2010 .. I left the music playing because I'd have to reset to fix my microphone and wasn't sure how long they would be playing (plus I was playing in a couple tournaments at the time)
I'll let Dan "jungleman" Cates sum up the session in his own tweet:
"good session vs isildur--+10 bis even while being stuck 10 at one point :) . Meanwhile nutsinho continues to own me on stars...
My own poker playing has benefited from the shift to MTT and SNG away from Cash.  I still play enough cash grind up some FPP for VIP tourney needs and silverstar status at minimum, but overall, have not been grinding cash like in the past.  Playing less often, more when I feel like playing it, has helped me avoid tilt almost entirely if I avoid playing when too tired.  I've noticed I only realyl tilt when I'm home alone as well.  I am fine in a live setting or with others around at home.  Strange.

Stay tuned for more breaking news.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aug21 Update 5 more cashes, 3 sats, and a few buys in Cash Grind

Just brief update before I sleep..
Aug 19  MTT Cash   58th of 3041
Aug 20  MTT Cash   14th of 1797, 153.2 TLB points
              2nd of 4 while sleeping! (thanks Pingu!)
              MTT Cash  328th of 2947 (NAPL?)
              1 Satellite
Aug 21  MTT Cash   250th of 2645, 43.98 TLB points
              MTT Cash   55th   of 393,  36.15 TLB points
              2 Satellites
And so far this week, in the Cash Grind: over 5k hands, I'm 30bb/100 at 2nl, 11bb/100 at 5nl, and 9.5bb/100 at 10nl, solid, and up about 4 buyins.  Good recovery from the previous weeks downslope.
Playing more MTT and supplementing with Cash has been working well for me, instead of the other way around.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug MTT update on PokerStars

ugh, i want my blog colors and setup but need to customize the format so i can change the width when i want to, but will have to spend some time doing that... -EV!!!

Since Aug 1, 2010, I have 46 emails from PokerStars support for MTT and Satellite winnings...the graph that doesn't fit below is TLB for the year.. and I have not yet begun to grind MTT like I can.  I've only played enough to verify that I am going to spend the majority of my time on SNG and MTT, and minority on Cash games.
Highlights: 15 Sunday 1/4 mil sats, 22nd and 10th in Twitter Poker League, 1st and 2nd in Shanoobigans, cashes in NAPL and PokerCast League, 12th, 10th, and 2nd for sizable cashes in large mtt's (2000 to 4500 entrants), etc...
I was going to type in all 46 results, but decided I'd condense with a summary here, and paste the TLB points below, but will still need to fix my blog to accept wider entries.

Better posts tomorrow ... btw, 3200 more hands of Cash to get my Zombie badge on PTR, it's the little things in life :P

Not all of the above points may count toward weekly, monthly or annual Leader Board standings. Only the 10 best results will be counted for the weekly rankings, 20 best results for the monthly rankings, and 100 best results for the yearly rankings. For more complete details, please visit:
Note: Ugly chart that doesn't fit my template will appear at bottom, will fix this later

Monday, August 16, 2010

Following in Boku87's tracks.. MTT and SnG successes on PokerStars

Long ago, I should have accepted that I am much better at tournaments than cash games, and not been so stubborn about making sure I learn to master cash as well. It's been a grueling 6 months in Cash, with taking shots and failing, doing well then being crushed in 1/10th of the time it took me to do well, etc.. Less than stellar results.
Upon returning my focus to Multi-Table Tournaments, and Sit and Go's, I have been doing very well. My ITM% is up to 24% over the past 4 months. My full tracking OPR it has gone up from 13% to 17%. I have cashed 2 to 6 times a day every day in August.
I happily play 6 to 10 tournaments at a time, and it's much more entertaining than the mundane and annoying roller coaster of grinding cash tables!
I'm a lot closer to being able to grind a volume that makes it worthwhile, but for now, trying to grind out an hourly that is worth it, just doesn't compare to playing tournaments and sngs.
More later.. Lot of topics to cover about the differences between Cash and Tournaments, and why people are good at one or the other but usually not both.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Burnout on PokerStars...

It's been a rough month in July. I started playing on Ultimate Bet, 4 tabling with great winrates. I played Rush week with no good results other than volume, but can play 1100 hands/hour there the easiest, so it's the best 'rakeback' farming spot. However, it feels more like a video game to me, than anywhere else becasue of my lack of stats on Rush players in Hold'em Manager. This will change as I get more info, but I'm not sure I'm collecting stats in hands where I quick fold, which will make my reliable stats grow more slowly than a Full Ring table where you always see the results. I started playing some Full Ring to fix my graph on PTR, as it'd be nice to have a current graph without past mistakes bogging it down.
I took a shot at UB.. took my $10 up to about $40, and then tried to Spin Up to a higher stake quickly. This involves risk and should be viewed as 'expendable' money, or similar to investing in volatile stocks. Only invest what you can afford to lose. It didn't work this time, but it will.
I took only my 3rd break from Poker in over 9 months. It was time, I was burning out.
The break was refreshing and I'm recharged and thinking more clearly, more "in the moment" which is necessary to play your A game.
I'll be checking out, and blogging about, the Poker School on PokerStars , and playing in the Twitter Poker League, along with Shenanigans and Shanoobigans tourneys from the 2+2 forums, and grinding cash on the #grindstream at Friendly Poker and my "TheWookieWay" livestream or Chiren80's on FP.

Come join me in any of these locations. See you on the felts.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life is crazy~!! Running out of time to sleep, no room on my schedule ...

I've been playing a bit on Ultimate Bet, and grinding out some serious winrates (more than 50bb/100 avg for the month so far...) I needed this because I was running so bad at PokerStars for so long that I was beginning to worry too much about my game. I played some RUSH during Rush Week and Full Tilt, but it drives me crazy because you almost have to play by a formula until you get enough data in your database to know how people play.. it's very difficult to get reads and actually play "poker" while playing rush. Though I was easily able to play 1,100 hands/hour on 4 tables a LOT more comfortably than playing on PokerStars with 18 - 24 tables!

I've got a new job coming up that will make me choose a path in the crossroads regarding Poker and the 'rat race'. It's a dream job though, as Head of IT and Developer Support, with a path into programming which is probably where my best skills will be the most useful. So I of course will choose the JOB for now, with Poker on the side. But if anything happens to not work out, I will be in that "you must sink or swim" poker role... not the best of situations, but I often work better under pressure, or at least I did when I was younger....

Blogs to maintain, volume to put in, reading and learning never ends in poker, never ends in the tech world where things change so fast... I really don't have time to sleep! I work all day, everyday, til it's time to sleep, get back up and repeat. Obviously playing Poker while too sleepy is a BAD idea for anyone, as things become less and less efficient, and it only takes 1 big mistake to really cut into or eat ALL of your profits on a given day/session, so a balance must be maintained.
I have usually been an all or nothing kind of guy often, so it will be interesting to see how my scheduling works out :) I feel like a medicine in the cabinet though as I get older .. "keep in a cool dry place, avoid direct sunlight"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some interesting hands, and a question that comes up a lot..

First, the big question... got in a long discussion with a friend about this, with no real math talk, which is part of my original question....
Here is a common situation, you bet for value on the river with a non nuts hand.. you get  min reraised (2x your bet).  Obviously people are losing value here by only min reraising if they have the nuts or near nuts, etc ... so my question is how does the math work out?  Are they losing value like I think they are?  What odds are they giving you by doing this?  Where is the breaking point for those odds as you increase the bet size in relation to the pot?  I see this every day while grinding and wonder if there aren't some people out teaching to do this, just min reraise to get calls...
Math guys welcomed to show the math in comments or direct us with a link to read about it.

Now, onto the interesting hands, 3 of these are winners, 1 is a loser, see if you can guess which is which? 

Hand #1

Poker Stars $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 796714

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $3.75
MP1: $4.03
MP2: $6.67
CO: $4.79
BTN: $11.75
SB: $3.40
BB: $15.89
Hero (UTG): $6.02
UTG+1: $5.19

Pre Flop: ($0.07) Hero is UTG with 6 of hearts 6 of spades
Hero calls $0.05, 1 fold, UTG+2 calls $0.05, 3 folds, BTN raises to $0.30, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.25, 1 fold

Flop: ($0.72) 7 of clubs T of spades 6 of diamonds (2 players)
Hero checks, BTN bets $0.90, Hero raises to $2.75, BTN raises to $11.45 all in, Hero calls $2.97 all in

Turn: ($12.16) Q of hearts (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($12.16) 5 of spades (2 players - 2 are all in)

Hand #2
Poker Stars $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players - View hand 796715
The Official Hand History Converter

BB: $8.62
UTG: $6.77
UTG+1: $3.22
MP1: $2.39
MP2: $3.42
CO: $5.17
BTN: $7.43
Hero (SB): $5.00

Pre Flop: ($0.07) Hero is SB with J of diamonds A of diamonds
5 folds, BTN raises to $0.15, Hero calls $0.13, 1 fold

Flop: ($0.35) 8 of diamonds A of hearts T of diamonds (2 players)
Hero bets $0.25, BTN calls $0.25

Turn: ($0.85) 9 of clubs (2 players)

Hero bets $0.40, BTN calls $0.40

River: ($1.65) 7 of spades (2 players)

Hero bets $0.05, BTN raises to $0.80, Hero raises to $3, BTN calls $2.20

Hand #3

Poker Stars $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 796716

The Official Hand History Converter

SB: $5.22
BB: $11.06
UTG: $12.21
Hero (MP): $10.00
CO: $11.31
BTN: $9.60

Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero is MP with K of diamonds K of clubs

UTG raises to $0.40, Hero raises to $0.80, 4 folds, UTG raises to $2.50, Hero raises to $10 all in, 1 fold

Hand #4

Poker Stars $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players - View hand 796717

The Official Hand History Converter

SB: $10.16
Hero (BB): $5.90
UTG: $2.73
UTG+1: $10.89
MP: $7.28
CO: $8.62
BTN: $5.07

Pre Flop: ($0.07) Hero is BB with 2 of clubs T of spades

1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.05, 3 folds, SB calls $0.03, Hero checks

Flop: ($0.15) K of clubs 6 of hearts Q of diamonds (3 players)

SB checks, Hero checks, UTG+1 checks

Turn: ($0.15) J of diamonds (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $0.10, UTG+1 calls $0.10, SB calls $0.10

River: ($0.45) A of spades (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $0.45, UTG+1 calls $0.45, SB folds

View all 4 hands

iCe (Whoever Psy Breaks Remix) by Whoever

iCe (Whoever Psy Breaks Remix) by Whoever

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Job, New results from grinding, something has clicked in my head


Some results from last nights epic session, I was running over 100bb/100 at 5nl for a while before falling gradually to 82bb/100 and 69bb/100 and finally dropping to 47bb/100 to end my session after 2 really foolish hands.  This has been a trend that will stop as I learn to just avoid those situations.

I am happy with anything over 15bb/100 at 5nl, as it's my unluckiest stake, but will try to post a few more sessions like this for all to see ;)

I have a new job coming up that will severely restrict my playtime/grindtime at poker, but I think this will actually work to my advantage, as I will be more focused when I play, and the shorter sessions will actually help me to play more efficiently.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 2 Update Million Dollar Challenge: Qualified!

Earning    -$1,947        -0.97 BB/100
Hands    416,668

Stakes    Hands        Net    Winrate        Rake
2nl     164,920        $114    1.73BB/100    $270
5nl    88,365        -$212    -2.40        $274
10nl    115,542        -$277    -1.20        $629
25nl    37,373        -$1,269    -6.79        $605

BR =     $216.12
Stellar    1167
FPP=     209.54
VPP=     69.21  (11,167.97)
TLB =     2,342.09 (year)

4:28 AM 7/3/2010  Mostly tournaments, Razz, sats, $1 rebuy, and qualified for Million Dollar Challenge today!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Latest for #Grindstream #TheWookieWay on @PokerStars starting DAILY blog

Tao of Poker ... Paul McGuire has a new book! click here
Love his writing style.  Highly recommend it for the REALISTIC viewpoint of the side of poker that you don't see on TV.

I'm going to keep some daily stats on my blog from now on. (as close to daily as possible)  This will help me keep my eye on the actual averages of my playing, and progress so far.  I'll be keeping track of stakes, #of Hands, Net profit/loss, winrate in BB/100 (=2bb/100) , Rake paid; PTR stats for Earnings total, Total winrate, Total hands;  BankRoll, Stellar Reward status, FPP's, VPP's,

Here are the totals for the past 2 days..
Stakes    Hands        Net    Winrate        Rake
2nl     159,970        $120    1.88BB/100    $262
5nl    85,374        -$205    -2.40        $265
10nl    115,008        -$281    -1.22        $626
25nl    37,367        -$1,271    -6.80        $605

Earning    -$1,939        -0.95 BB/100
Hands    408,187

BR =     $220.65
Stellar    931
FPP=     229.83
VPP=     848.53
10:32 AM 6/29/2010  Horrible day, -$4.64 on the day 2191 Hands, 4 hours playtime.

Stakes    Hands        Net    Winrate        Rake
2nl     162,783        $116    1.79BB/100    $267
5nl    87,229        -$204    -2.34        $270
10nl    115,325        -$283    -1.23        $627
25nl    37,367        -$1,271    -6.80        $605

Earning    -$1,945        -0.96 BB/100
Hands    413,172

BR =     $215.40
Stellar    1098
FPP=     105.50 (spent 375fpp on $6 micro reward)
VPP=     1015.36
8:09 PM 6/30/2010  Great session so far, +$15 mostly 2nl, 5bb/100 @ 5NL and 39bb/100 @ 2nl, 2018 hands, 3hrs

I will often be found at livestreaming on what I have dubbed the #grindstream
this month for July, they have MicroMania and VPP bonuses, as posted in my previous post on this blog, so expect to me grinding every waking hour that I am able to.  I have a new job in the works, and some projects to work on as well, so it will be a struggle to balance the time.

Monday, June 28, 2010

PokerStars changes to Rake at micro stakes, and VPP changes for VIP program

I have all kinds of things to report about 2nl, 5nl, 10nl, maybe even 25nl at PokerStars (full ring) and some Rush 5nl and 10nl at Full Tilt (full ring) but first... 
We interrupt this very busy grinder (aka slave!) schedule to bring you info re: Interesting changes over at PokerStars.  Here is the 2+2 forums post

PokerStars would like to announce the following changes to VIP Reward Bonuses effective immediately:

There is a new $25 VIP Reward Bonus available to all players, including BronzeStar VIPs, for 2,500 FPPs

The $50 VIP Reward Bonus has been reduced in price from 5,000 FPPs to 4,500 FPPs.

The $285 VIP Reward Bonus is now a $300 VIP Reward Bonus, for the same price of 25,000 FPPs.

PokerStars does plan to make any major changes to the VIP Program at the start of each year when feasible, but these changes indisputably benefit players so they were able to be made midyear.

The above changes are all permanent. In addition, PokerStars will be running a 'MicroMania' promotion in July to benefit those who play the smallest stakes on the site. This promotion increases VIP Club benefits in two ways:

Each player can purchase one $6 instant cash credit from the VIP Store for 375 FPPs between now and the end of July.

NL and PL Cash games up to including stakes of $0.05/$0.10 will offer 10x VPPs in July. All new tables created starting over 12 hours ago have been awarding 10x (as opposed to the usual 5.5x or 6x) VPPs at NL/PL tables up to and including $0.05/$0.10 stakes. A server restart early this week will ensure that all of these types of tables are awarding 10x VPPs before July 1st. VPP earning at these tables will return to normal after July 31st.

Additional MicroMania promotions not focused on the VIP Club will be announced over the coming week.

NOTE: this just in ...
Yes, and for MTT players as well.

From July 1st - 31st, 50-man $1 + $0.10 'Super Sit & Go' tournaments will be offered. Every player who wins at least one of these tournaments during the month will receive a share of $100,000, divided equally amongst all Super Sit & Go winners in July.

There will also be four daily $1 MTTs from July 1st - 31st, each with $1,000 added, taking place at 10:20, 13:20, 19:20, and 22:20 ET.

Last but not least, there will be four special $1.10 MTTs, each with a major tournament package (live) or entry (WCOOP) added, as follows:

July 4th: LAPT Florianopolis
July 11th: NAPT Los Angeles
July 18th: EPT London
July 25th: WCOOP Main Event
Over on 2+2 or on Friendly Poker, looking for Rake info for 2nl hands at PokerStars and Full Tilt for comparison!

Turbo Takedown on June 27th, 2010 
I didn't have 3000fpp to enter.  I satellited in for 500fpp.  Woot.
I cashed in Turbo Takedown, 1999 of 15,400 people, for $110.00
There is a promotion for consecutive cashes in TT's on PokerStars listed here:
particulary this:

Audi TT for EVERY Turbo Takedown winner

The player that wins the Turbo Takedown each month will be rewarded with a brand-new Audi TT*.

Bonuses for repeat cashes

If you cash in consecutive Turbo Takedown tournaments, you'll get a bonus with a super-fast 5x clearance rate, based on how many times you make the money. Cash in two consecutive tournaments and you'll get a $100 bonus. Make the money the following month and you'll get a $200 bonus and so on, all the way up to a maximum of $1,000. So if you think you are good enough to string together a few cash finishes, make sure you play every month to keep your good run going!

Team PokerStars Pro bounties

Every time a member of Team PokerStars Pro plays the Turbo Takedown, they'll have a $100 bounty on their head. This means that not only do you get to play alongside the biggest names in poker, you get to earn cash when you bust them.
Please note: Bonuses and bounties will be credited within 48 hours of the tournament's completion.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Slave to the Grind

Sometimes, we set goals for ourselves, that are not easy.  Sometimes, we become so focused on those goals, we lose perspective.  Sometimes, the only way through some obstacles in the way of what we want, is through lots of hard work.  Life, is one of those things you just got to find a way to balance.

My current goals are many, lofty, inspiring to some, and should be quite fulfilling in the end.  But for now, I am at a bottleneck.  Until I overcome my current obstacles, or find a way around them, all else is out of reach.  I am focused on overcoming any obstacles.  I am dedicated to this path, and the work required.  I will find the way. 

It is a shame the world revolves around money.  It is a shame that I must conquer these monetary goals now, as they are the gateway to allow me the resources and tools to apply my abilities in making the world a better place.  But it is my reality right now, and there is nothing else to do but move forward.

Apparently, this is also a walk a must make alone, for now.  So be it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Upcoming posts: Redonkulous, smashing 2nl stakes, BIG GAME qualified!

Upcoming posts... listed in title.  Here are a couple hands from my session which I will comment on later..
But ACE ON THE RIVER says it all!  LOL! 

Hand #1

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players - View hand 712442

The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (BTN): $3.28

SB: $1.73

BB: $0.34

UTG: $1.64

UTG+1: $2.74

MP: $0.84

CO: $4.80

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is BTN with 9 of clubs 9 of spades

UTG calls $0.02, 1 fold, MP calls $0.02, CO raises to $0.06, Hero raises to $0.22, 4 folds, CO raises to $0.44, Hero calls $0.22

Flop: ($0.95) J of clubs 3 of clubs K of hearts (2 players)

CO bets $0.02, Hero calls $0.02

Turn: ($0.99) 9 of diamonds (2 players)

CO bets $0.58, Hero raises to $2.08, CO raises to $3.58, Hero calls $0.74 all in

River: ($6.63) A of spades (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $6.63

Hero shows 9 of clubs 9 of spades (three of a kind, Nines)

CO shows A of clubs A of diamonds (three of a kind, Aces)

CO wins $6.33

(Rake: $0.30)

Hand #2

Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 712443

The Official Hand History Converter

UTG+2: $2.90

MP1: $1.61

MP2: $1.90

CO: $4.84

BTN: $4.03

Hero (SB): $3.08

BB: $1.50

UTG: $0.65

UTG+1: $2.05

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is SB with J of spades J of diamonds

UTG calls $0.02, 1 fold, UTG+2 raises to $0.10, 4 folds, Hero raises to $0.32, 2 folds, UTG+2 calls $0.22

Flop: ($0.68) 6 of clubs 6 of spades 6 of hearts (2 players)

Hero bets $0.50, UTG+2 calls $0.50

Turn: ($1.68) 9 of diamonds (2 players)

Hero bets $1, UTG+2 raises to $2.08 all in, Hero calls $1.08

River: ($5.84) A of hearts (2 players - 1 is all in)

Final Pot: $5.84

UTG+2 shows A of diamonds K of clubs (a full house, Sixes full of Aces)

Hero shows J of spades J of diamonds (a full house, Sixes full of Jacks)

UTG+2 wins $5.59

(Rake: $0.25)

View all 2 hands

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Poker relates to life so often.. but then maybe a lot of other things do, too?

Before I start my grind on PokerStars I thought I'd share some thoughts that relate to every day life as much as to poker.

Making the right choices all of the time.  Doing the right thing is worthwhile, even when you think no one cares or benefits from it.  YOU benefit from making the right decisions even when you don't see it.  The same is true in poker, where you will do best by making the right choices all of the time.  There are of course, exceptions to every rule, and common sense will help you here, but in general, the more you make the right choices in poker, the less of a problem you will have with variance, which is already bad enough on its own, so no need to make it worse with a few wrong choices :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Editorial.. Fish drvin' me crazy!

Some rambling thoughts about poker..

I grind.  Everyday.  For hours.  I play tournaments.  Several a week.  I cash in some, but haven't taken down anything sizable yet.

I get to deal with fish everyday.  Especially at 2nl on PokerStars and it drives me nuts.  Fish do crazy things, and get lucky.  And you get to deal with higher variance.  In the long run, you'll make more than the fish, but in the short term, certain fish can leave a big dent in your days profit.  They can also lose some rediculous pots to you.  It takes money to make money.  But I usually have a more relaxed time when NOT playing fish.  I prefer to play good players.  Then it's more like a game of Chess, and less like a game of CRAPS!  Crapshoots are not for me.

Software.  I used to complain about PokerStars software, until I played on Full Tilt.  I had an install bug with HEM where I could run Full Tilt once, but after that I would get an error, and could not get around it until I uninstalled and reinstalled the software.  Finally after about a week of asking for help and uninstalling and reinstalling software, we finally got the HEM fix that stopped this bug from occuring.
However, when multitabling on Full Tilt, you cannot easily cycle through the tables.  As you cycle forward or backwards, the z-order of the windows is changed! So you can't cycle back two tables to a table you were on, because the order changes, and it takes a while to find, and something else may take you away from that table when you find it, and start the process all over again!   PokerStars, does not have this problem! 
Why Full Tilt has not fixed this problem is beyond me.  More people being able to multitable = more rake for Full Tilt, so it's in their best interest, as it increases happiness of their grinders as well.   You can only play 16 cash tables max on Full Tilt, whereas on PokerStars you can play 24.

HEM is faster if you vacuum your database regularly (at least once a week as often as I play) but making the suggested buffer size changes in the advanced help, does the most good to avoid lag at more than 16 tables!

I wish TN would fix their set aside table slots.  I'm tired of the bugs associate with that, where you move a table and then can't view it as it redraws scrambled, and you have to move it again to get it to redraw.

Good BankRoll management is a must for a poker pro, but watching your PTR too closely is not conducive to playing well.  Play the best you can in the time allotted for as long as you are able to play your A game.  Then stop.  Take a break, mix in some reading, keep your mind healthy and alert.  Don't play sick, while drinking, while heavily distracted, etc....

So often, the thing I help people with the most, is keeping a positive mindset in spite of fish sucking out and getting lucky ;)  .... I have seen every kind of bad beat you can think of in the 300,000 hands i've played in the last 9 months. 
Some people should play tournaments, some should play cash games, and very few will be good at both.  My insistence to be good at both is part of my trouble, but I have goals and will meet them.  Sometimes I have to do things the hard way before deciding the easy way is best, but such is life. 

Review your hand histories.  Talk to people about them.  Read about poker offline where you have more time to think things through.  Continue to work hard, as that is what it takes to be great these days at Poker. 

May the flop be with you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

So much to cover, brief update: PokerStars, Full Tilt, Scoop, BankRoll, etc

I have a list of things written down to cover, but it will take me all week to catch up probably.

First thing first:  NBC HeadsUp Challenge.. after almost qualifiying to appear on TV, I hardly got to watch any of it :(   I really need TIVO or to set up a DVR on my PC.  Congrats to Annie Duke on taking down the victory!

Televised Poker: A whole lot of my friends and poker associates watch poker ONLINE. which has EPT, NAPT, etc, Poker Channel ATDHE , 247poker , or even live feeds from WPT, LA Poker Classic, Bay101 Shooting stars, or Livestreams like Chiren80 aka Athene and even  TheWookieWay .
Note: I can't link Daleroxxu or he'll call me a fanboy...

Now NAPT was on ESPN, but I missed that. I have been watching for it to be aired again, but ESPN seems to think I'd rather watch the 2009 WSOP AGAIN!  Give me a break!  The only part of that I'd like to see again is the Final Table!  GET A CLUE ESPN!  I can't help but feel whoever is in charge of Poker on TV doesn't play much poker.  Myself, I play every day. I talk to people who play almost as much as I do.  I read several poker forums.  I watch Poker After Dark and have for a couple years.  And you know what is missing the most?
TIMELY broadcasting!  Who wants to listen to old news???  Welcome to 2010, where I can retweet relevant news faster than any major site.
The leader in the future of Poker Broadcasting is going to be the one who can provide a timely turnaround on major productions, and LIVE event coverage like some of the links listed above.  There is NO reason there can't be simulcast concerts, tournaments, meetings, parties, ... you name it, the technology is here NOW.
If the right person isn't listening/reading, then maybe I'll just have to take it upon myself to see it done right ;)  I *did* have other plans though...

The Big Game is going to be the next big thing in High Stakes Poker type action, and I look forward to qualifying for this one, as it would be a HUGE boost to starting a career in poker :)  Certainly much more rockstar'ish than grinding the micro stakes (shoot me now!)
PokerStars is going to provide a qualifier with $100,000 buy in for the Big Game, and any profit they make over the initial $100,000 (that I hear they have to return) they get to keep for themselves.  I wonder how many people are going to get to experience playing with the pros on TV, let alone the chance to win a lot of money.  Poker is a game with a lot of variance, so even the worst player could have a GREAT day!  But it should make for good TV too.

I recently did well in a tourney, where I got well under 4BB, and made a nice comeback, to further add to the argument that you only need a chip and a chair to have a chance at victory.  I had some hands marked for posting to illustrate this, but due to bankroll issues, my priorities changed, and this got pushed to the back burner.  I will revisit this one likely soon, due to the SCOOP tournaments that started today.

Bankroll issues! Run Bad! Variance! Mistakes!  LEAKS!  Playing while too sick! Family problems. Frustration with a lack of consistency, etc etc etc ... quite a recipe for a bad beat story, eh?
Rather than waste time on a bad beat story, I'll focus on some of the leaks I found in my game.
LOOSE vs tight players, or TIGHT vs loose players.  The biggest part of my problem with lack of progress has been this.  When you play LOOSE tables (or fish with gamble-itis) you should be playing tigther, more premium hands. When you play TIGHT tables with a bunch of nit regs, you should be playing a little looser, albeit carefully and wisely.  I was doing exactly the opposite.  Tightening up on the nits, getting no where, and loosening up on the fish/gamblers, and experiencing HIGH VARIANCE.  Nothing worse than playing well, and being 15+ buyins UNDER EV.  This will truely test your patience and resolve when starting out in poker trying to build a bankroll.

I'll hopefully catch up with some detailed posts on certain subjects that a lot of beginners have been asking me, and that I am more than willing to share what I have learned so far.  There is so much to know about poker overall, just pertaining to No Limit, let alone all the other variations.  I feel like I have been studying in College for over a year now.  And yet, I still have a baker's dozen books and magazines to catch up on, and plenty to think about and discuss with other poker players.  See you next post.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tournament Tip ..

Ever wonder where you were in a tournament where 24 people earn a ticket, so everyone gets "1st" place? 
If you request tournament history from PokerStars client, it will show you, as you see here, where everyone was when the tournament ended :)

PokerStars Tournament #261229050, No Limit Hold'em
Super Satellite
Buy-In: 10 FPP
161 players
$79.20 USD added to the prize pool by PokerStars
Total Prize Pool: $79.20 USD
Target Tournament #306010925 Buy-In: $3.00/0.30 USD
24 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started 2010/04/16 15:13:00 PT [2010/04/16 18:13:00 ET]
Tournament finished 2010/04/16 16:34:49 PT [2010/04/16 19:34:49 ET]
  1: tkmoore (Spartanburg),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  2: kbertrand (Sudbury),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  3: black baran (New Waterford),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  4: jaxdevils (Tlajomulco),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  5: AOthegreat8 (Bethesda),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  6: piggypercent (Dana Point),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  7: Nutrixxer (Newtownards),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  8: konrad59 (Aarwangen),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  9: EUROPOLAND 7 (PRZEMYƚL),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  10: BlackSwordy (Stamford),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  11: anthony19719 (cambridge),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  12: ZomBParadox (Pinole),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  13: c0ley (plymouth),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  14: Alex Newski (Wuppertal),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  15: sarice477 (Beroun 1),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  16: alybo (arrasate),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  17: Colorado Pk (Machico),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  18: anousone913 (TROYES),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  19: sailcortez (victoria),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  20: josete741 (salamanca),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  21: Alexandra560 (Atenas),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  22: teck1986 (Custoias),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  23: Moneyboy18 (Stegaurach),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  24: asaone290 (brugge),  (qualified for the target tournament)
  25: vclx (Lisboa),
  26: TuckerTakALL (La Palma),
  27: sawyer2591 (liverpool),

My cash game has been extremely rough.  I have learned to never to try 'force' myself to play while sick.  My bankroll is  DECIMATED but I still have because of bankroll management.  Tis better to regroup and play the micros again, than to go broke!   I'll post more details later.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Busy Busy Busy!

I've been really busy, but that's a good thing!  I've been working on my game, and it sure does need it!  Results have been less than stellar at the wrong times.  I did so bad in January when I went busto, that it's taking some time to overcome that deficit, and not let it affect my game.  But that is the nature of the beast, you must be able to perform when opportunity presents itself.  So a good work ethic, and a lot of hard work, is a must to set things in the right direction.  So back to work I go!

I'll leave you with this from Friendly Poker . net ..
The Weekly tourneys are set up!   Be back later today with a report.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

22 hour work day. Focused. Efficient.

It was a long birthday, but it was fulfilling.  I've had to put a hold on helping others until my bankroll is healthier.  I've shared a considerable portion so far, but this will have to be put on hold until I'm more secure.

We had the first annual Wookie's Bday  Tourney for $1 over at Friendly Poker .  Maybe by next year I'll have a freeroll!  It was a lot of fun.   We have been wanting to battle it out amongst our friends for a while.  We'll be setting up some weekly tournaments starting this weekend, and mix those in with Chiren80's events and hopefully Chipstar1's as well.  That should keep us entertained!

I'm a little impressed at how much every has improved since January.  It's good to see everyone advancing their game, controlling their tilt, making progress, and enjoying da GAIMZ!! :D  The tournament really brings out the competitive side in some more than others ;)  I felt like I had a target on my back the whole time!  Next time, I'll put a bounty on myself and make it official so there's no question!

I did more research than work today, but it'll pay off.  I came close to advancing in 'the Big Game' today. Need to focus on that one tomorrow.  Need a battle plan NOW for SCOOP (have 4 tickets to use so far), and for WSOP satellites!  In addition, I need to solidly build my bankroll.  Lots of work ahead.
I started playing some S&G's today.. 6 cashes out of 11 tourneys, two 3rd, two 2nd, and two 1st for 180 leaderboard points.  need around 530 for first atm.. I think this is very doable in 20 tourneys.   I will probably play enough for High Orbit too (100games) for both leader boards on the micro level ($1.20), and then move on to the $3, repeat, and then evaluate my progress and future plans for Cash Games or Sit & Gos.

I'm going to start listing those books that I recommend for all those asking me about what to read, aside from forums.

Just a quick report, as I've been up almost 24 hours and time for sleep.  Sweet dreams.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

VIP video for PokerStars

I've been getting a lot of questions about the VIP program at PokerStars (aka rakeback) so here is a video!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I have some catching up to do!!

PokerStars is talking about a Twitter Freeroll, Twitter League... stay tuned for further details. Sounds like fun!

Friendly Poker invaded a couple more freerolls this week... one was an ambitious $3 rebuy! I placed 37th for $153, Liam placed 28th, and 3j55 placed 12th for $441 !
We had hopes that 3 of us would make the final table for an epic story, but sometime soon, we'll manage this.

I have help almost 90 people start their bankrolls through the Friendly Poker Community, but now I am myself struggling with 25nl. Sometimes up, sometimes down, but on a downward trend this week. It's time to ship it, or move down!!

I have been helping new players, and did not plan on doing any coaching until my graph was impressive, and my bankroll had a bit more cushion, but I have been helping a couple people through those early speedbumps you encounter when you get started playing poker for money ;)

For now, I am concentrating on my game. I have played 75k hands so far this month, and should be far ahead of where I am now. I'm down 5 buyins since I moved up to 25nl, and if I drop 2 more, it's time to move back to 10nl for a while. It sucks for an aspiring pro, but it's the most important part of bankroll management.

I may actually get some coaching for the first time... just maybe!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friendly Poker weekly tournaments, staking and Winners!

Over at Friendly Poker where we hang out and chat about poker, and WoW occasionally, Chiren80 has started a weekly 'staking' tournament deal where the members of community who fit certain criteria get staked in one of the $1+Rebuy tournaments on PokerStars and I do my part to help those that don't meet these requirements.

Today was the first of those, and quite a few people cashed, including yours truly (zombparadox) and 1 person that I staked.
The big news, though, was Timon1044 took down the victory for $1500+ !! Not bad, eh? Expect to see more Friendly Poker people at cash tables and in tournaments like this one.

I will be organizing some tournaments myself, or similar staking deals. It is a great community and you should check it out if you have spare time ;) Nothing more fun that having a bunch of your online friends rail ya during a deep run :)

Chiren80, a PokerStars Online Pro, occasionally livestreams and is VERY entertaining here
Feel free to come check it out, we are very new player friendly :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

10nl GRIND.., Reading

So I've been on this grind lately. Trying to get out of 10NL. I will be so happy when I finally move up. I would play longer sessions to get there sooner, but .. my winrate drops frequently the longer I play, and it definitely slows down when all the short stackers move in about 2 to 3am PST.
I hear Daylight Savings is on Mar14th. (tangent)

Lots of friends at and good to have people to chat with about poker. I have been helping others get started by loaning them $1.10 to get them started. $46 sent out so far. $7 refunded so far.

Reading, and more reading. Lots of CardPlayer and Bluff magazines to catch up on. Need to make a run to the bookstore, or order on Amazon, some new books to read.

Still working on GoldStar this month. Just bought my last $10 Stellar Reward, and working on the first $50 reward. Thank you PokerStars.

Just a brief update, and back to the grind...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

PokerStars revised SCOOP, & my Slave to the Grind

PokerStars Revised SCOOP schedule after input from players. Starts May 2nd, 2010.

I still have mega VPP to attain by Mar 7th, about 4600 or so left to go. So I am Slave the Grind until then.. with my Mother's Birthday on Saturday, that will cut into my time available.
I will not be able to clear all of my bonus or even most of it. At about 200vpp a day, i'll get about 1/4 of it cleared. Live and learn. PokerStars will be the death of me yet!

Been hanging out and chatting at the Friendly Poker community, which is beginner friendly ;) Stop by and say Hi, especially if you are thinking about getting into poker and haven't yet. Tell them Wookie sent ya!

Oh yea, I'll be sure to post some more this week, some strats, some BAD hands, what NOT to do, etc :) Hopefully, someone will find this helpful.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's the small things in life.... and NAPT comments

Listening to, and sometimes watching, the NAPT live commentary here:

Just watched Mercier put Moneymaker all in with KK vs AKcc .. and Moneymaker made a Royal Flush! Sometimes, you just KNOW a certain card is coming, call it out, and BAM, there it is!

PokerStars announces SCOOP schedule here: 2010 Spring Championship of Online Poker schedule

I currently have at least 3 tickets for this event, possibly 4, and will see how many more events I can afford by the time it gets here. It seems it was last year at this time when I REALLY got into playing poker, playing plenty of Hubbles freerolls, reading everything I could, like CardPlayer, Bluff, 2+2 Poker Forums, etc etc etc
What a year it's been!

I remember it like a year of college. Lots of studying and spending MONEY! I think it was as little cheaper, having only cost me 1 semesters worth of investment financially, but just as much time studying. I feel so much better to where I am now, and am happy with my choices for the most part. Some of the mistakes I had to learn the hard way, will serve me well later, when I have more to lose.

Last weekend, I had a horrible ride on the Variance train, to the tune of being down 15 buyins! It was so bad, I took a break for a couple days, even though I am on a tight schedule!

Today, I had a much better day, took some time out and little of my BR to invest in playing tournaments, which I am much better at than cash. And I CASHED in 4 tournaments (making 3 Final Tables), and just missed a 5th cash by 2 people. It seems easier NOT being the bubble boy even though you are 1 more spot away from cashing. But it was a good day after a good night of grinding followed by a good day of tournaments.

There was an interesting thing I noted today in the Freerolls. SOOO many people were playing SHOVE OR FOLD. Right from the start and throughout the tournament! Interesting. It's much harder to play against people playing like this, trying to force you into coin flips.
But, you can still pick your spots wisely, and use your patience to overcome their insistence on using luck, which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill! Isn't it???
And doesn't that relate to so many areas of life? Contracts, Record Deals, Marketing, Relationship Decisions?
There are many relationships between Poker and Life. Maybe that's why the game is still around...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Variance is a ... what a week, 5500vpp in 2 weeks??

Variance. Sucks. Ass.
I have been having a good and a bad week, all in the same week. Beating 10nl for 6-11bb/100 .. and then... -10bb/100 ... up and down sessions. I'm good at ignoring bad beats most of the time, but when you are down 7 buyins IN A ROW, it can get to you. If you let it.

To clear my deposit bonus, in 2 weeks, I have to clear 5500vpp!!! that's 15 hours a day at 10nl, even playing 650 hands/hour! I will be on a grinding marathon until I get back to 25nl. However, my Bankroll was up to 270, but is now back down to 160. That's 11 buyins total I'm down. Oy vey!

Friendly Poker has released FPCoach, to help beginners get up to speed in preparation for further levels of training for Poker. "It's all about da GAIMZ!"

"You are pro, or noob. That is life!" - Chiren80