Friday, May 17, 2019

"It doesn't matter"

The past few weeks have been up and down. I've went trough one of my (emotionally) worst tilting days in a long time, as well as found a place within myself where it felt, and I know this might sound strange, as if I was actually playing inside of the long term.

This has led me to name two states on oposite ends of the spectrum. The first state I call "I have to do something". It's nagging sense of unease, like there's something that I have to do to set things in order. It can be that I feel I need to move around, close the window in my room, get more coffee or to raise a hand soon (if for example I have been folding a lot in a heads up situation) or try to not get exploited.

The second is a very different state of mind, one that I have come to call "It doesn't matter". That's the feeling when I get here, a zen like state in which I can clearly see that an individual hand is all I can pay attention to, and yet, that hand in the grand scheme, the result of that hand doesn't matter. All I can do is put all my effort into playing the the hand to the best of my current ability, and then let go of the result. This can sometimes be easier said than done, but when done, is a blissful place to be. It also helps to remember that poker is a hard game, and that it's not about playing perfect, just about being less bad than your opponents.

I've also read "Deep work" by Cal Newport. In it he talks about how all things that have value come from people going deep into focus, spending time alone and digging deep to reach breakthrough insights. I'm very excited to implement the things he brings up in the book, as I think it has a lot of correlations to poker. I've been way to distracted recently, happy to have a youtube clip playing while grinding, or even distracting music.

Results this far for accountability:

Hope all is well with you, whoever and wherever your are!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Swings and Spins

The past 2 weeks have been characterized by change. I switched from playing 6-max SNGs to playing a format I use to grind a lot; spin and goes. The games still seem to be fairly soft, with players at the $15 level making some huge mistakes, which due to the chip EV format of them (winnter take all) benefits directly. In other words, due to the lack of ICM it's way harder to get punished by someone making too wide of a call on the bubble. Due to my mediocre results in the 6-max SNGs (<1% ROI after 1k games) I decided to make the switch, and have enjoyed the ups and downs that come with playing these hyper turbo lottery style tournaments.

When running bad, I sometimes enter a strange state. I finally managed to come up with a term for it. I call it "platonic paranoia". Platonic paranoia is a non-emotional state in which you assume your opponets have know your strategy/actual hand perfectly and are respondning to whatever you are doing. You are not emotional because you feel like this is just a fact. You then try to counter what you think they are doing to counter you, and end up plaing hands in all kinds of strange matters. Not getting value when you should, calling hands that you shouldn't etc.

The counter to this mindset is to remember that poker is a very hard game, a game of making less mistakes than your opponents. You don't have to play perfect, nobody does. I call this mode "The counterpuncher", it's a mode were you play your own solid game, and wait for your opponets to over extend into you. Then you get them. You don't have to "do" anything.

For accountability, here are my results for the first little bit:

Hope all is well, whoever and wherever you are!

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Nash trap

The first 2 weeks of playing semi-full time are done, and here are the somewhat underwhelming results:

After talking to a good friend an an excellent SNG player I found out I had a real case of Nash-fever. Inputing hands into ICMIzer and just clicking the very temting "Create Nash Equilibrium"-button. Don't get me wrong, it's a great tool and very good to get a baseline of what is a reasonable or even good strategy vs a compitent opponent, but can lead to some pretty big mistakes when it comes to playing against humans. I knew all this getting back into SNGs, but still fell into that trap.

In our conversation I realized I had a fear of getting exploited. This lead me to almost always taking the agressive action in game, i.e. shove/call. I basilcy found myself asking in our call (but not using those words) for promission to fold a bunch of nash calls generally, and vs unknowns/recreationals specifically. He said "yes", and since then I feel way better in game. There is more of a relaxed flow when I play, the flow of just playing my game and not worrying about getting exploited.

I also did a decent amount of studying, putting in 1-2 hours every with watching what people are doing (going through PT4 and seeing showdowns) as well as spending time with ICMizer.

The goals for April:

[] Play at least 1000 $15 games
[] Find a good setup and get comfortable 8-9 tabling (6 currenlty)
[] Find a study partner

Hope you have a nice week, whoever you are!

PS: Saw a guy make a -9% price pool call yesterday. That means that the call, on average, loses him $7.68. Might not sound like a lot of money, but considering the buy-in is $15 that a -51% ROI call.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Starting over again

Dear blog (and whoever may read it)

I'm entering a new phase of my life. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I know people tell me that going from being a student to being an "adult" is a transitation. With a job, a house (with my girlfriend, a friend and his girlfriend), a dog and 3-4 sessions of brazilian jiu jitsu per week, my life sure does look different than it did partying and staying up til 4 am a couple of times a week.

This brings me back to poker. Trying to save up a bit of extra money, and having something to get good at, I decided to start grinding some sit and goes. I'm taking my first crach at $15 6-max turbos and will be playing 1000 of them to see what the games (and my skill) is at. I'll be writing here once a week to start out with, to docuemt my (hopefully) progress.

Hope things are well, wherever you are

- Daniel

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh June

So June came to an end. The way things were going I wished June was at least another couple of weeks. I feel like I met almost the goals I set for myself:

[x] 15k VPPs
[x] Study (videos, discussions, on my own)
[x] Play longer more focused sessions

What I felt like I missed was more of the life goals I set for the summer. Been working out way too little and getting to bed at ~2 am has worked out... Well let's just say semi-good... But everything poker related is going better and better and I'll talk more about what I'm doing to keep it that way in my next blog!

Obviously a lot of my results this month is due to variance. I've ran really well in online MTT's as well as in live cash. Adding it all together it ended up being a +$18.8k month which is obviously a great month for me.

Feel like I'm getting the schedule down pretty well now and will focus more on 180-mans during the weeks and add in MTT's more on weekends, especially Sundays. Maybe even skip out on SNG's all together during Sundays. We'll see though. For the following week I'll be playing mostly live cash and a $500 MTT that I'm looking forward a lot to. Talk more soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Golden Sit & Go week

So the past week has been pretty hectic when it comes to online poker. PokerStars, in celebration of their 1 billionth hand(!), had a bunch of promotions. One of them was the Golden Sit & Go week where they gave away a bit above $1.4 million to SNG players, and everyone had a chance to win:

After the tourney started, if you were lucky enough, you could be part of one of 3 different Golden SNG's; 2x, 4x or 10x. If say, you were part of a 2x, you immediately got twice the buy-in + rake of they tourney back, and also the price pool for that tournament was doubled. If you were even luckier, it could be 4 or 10 times your buy-in back and the price pool being 4/10 times larger.

I was able to get into 3 2x ones, and not cashing in any of them led me to a net total of an extra $170. Not a ton, but will look at it as some extra rakeback. I did put in a lot of volume (for me) with an almost 45 hour week and a total almost 500 180-mans.

With a few deep MTT runs in there I ended the week +$2.1k so overall really happy with everything. I like that I'm back playing a bunch, but it's come to the point to really put in some time studying. I feel like I'm playing better and better, just need to get deeper into theory.

As the girlfriend is staying with me for this week I'll play a really soft schedule this week and still make it to the 15k VPP's I set up as a goal for June. Will be nice to have a week semi-off, rest, and be prepared to get back at it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer is here!

After a long year of school and waaay too little poker I decided to really get back into it this summer. This blog is intended to keep me on course and let me vent/share everything that happens during the summer. Hopefully I'll be able to keep it up post summer, as I'm going for Supernova after a slow start (5 months) to the year. But more about that later.

So almost 3 weeks in I can say that I'm really enjoying it. A lot. That said I haven't played as much as I hoped for. It's interesting, as I was talking to my girlfriend the other day she asked something about "isn't it hard to motivate yourself to play?" and I realized; I've actually never been in a relationship while grinding big volume, and I can see why that helped. Don't get me wrong at all, she is the best, and that's the "problem". Even though I don't spend enough time with her, it still takes away from the volume. I do 100% believe that while playing a lot you need to have stuff on the side to help you stay sane, it's just a bit more to balance.

So for the summer the plan is to be grinding 180-mans weekdays with the odd MTT mixed in and focus on MTT's on Sundays.

Goals for summer:
* 30'000 VPP's
* Get into "the zone"
* Train 5 times/week

So far the volume is still lacking but I feel ok with that. Will dedicate an entire blog post to the mistakes I've been making the last while when playing online and what I'm doing to get better. As you see on the graph there's a big upswing in the later middle. I was lucky enough to ship The Big $22 for a hair less than $10k on Wednesday last week which felt great. Not just because I was down money before that, but because I felt like I'd started to do stuff the right way and getting a score then feels extra good.

As for live poker I'm getting better there as well. Via a friend of mine I've also managed to get into a good private $4/4 game. The blinds don't really tell the whole story though, as the game usually ends up being uncapped buy-in and depending on who's stuck it might be straddled to $32. Needless to say the swings can get pretty big. My friend has played mostly live cash for a long time on the side of his job so we regularly swap 25% to keep the variance down. The game runs 1-2 times a week so I try to get away from the computer and play some live then, and thus far it's been going great. Been playing better and better but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't running good as well.

Feel like I just spit out a bunch and not sure how it came out. I have a bunch more things I'd like to touch on but I'll have to stop here. Will keep you posted!