Time to write again...

So I realized the other day that neither myself nor Pablo have really made any effort to keep this blog thing up to date. I think we both might have had a poker down swing and the fact that all you have to blog about is how you played bad, got another bad beat or got sucked out on, is a little hard to repeat in words. Ha ha

But perhaps it shouldn't be all about us, and as well as updating you to our failings on the virtual felt we can as well, perhaps post some links to cool stuff on the forums, as well as any strategy or news or anything we might want to comment on, regarding poker.

So just to let you know where I am (ollyscope), I managed to get my roll up to $400, that took about 3 months. But the learning curve on that journey was awesome and I learn a lot! I then managed to tilt off all of that in about 2 days, and the learning curve on that experience was also very very benefical, and costly! However, I have spun $30 into $348 in about 8 days. Which is quite cool. Mainly playing 10nl deepstack, buying in for $15 and multi-tabling on just only two tables!

I have read some of my eariler posts from last yea. Oh WOW... I cannot believe how bad I was, or how better I have become. To read some of the plays and lines I took, it's a little embarassing now, but thats what we should expect I guess, as we progress.

Well this is post number one for me, for the new year and I hope to do better in updates this year as well... hopefully Mr Bueno will offer some musing tomorrow, at some point.



Is Poker Rocket Science?

The Saturn V rocket - the one that launched the majority of Apollo missions - consists of three stages. The first stage, or first gear, had the job of lifting the weighty rocket off the ground, defying Earth's gravity. Fully fuelled it weighed 5 million pounds, and would take the rocket about 40 miles upwards in a little over 2.5 minutes.

The second stage of the rocket was lighter in weight, smaller in size and had a moving start. Second gear's job was to accelerate through the upper atmosphere.

The third stage was smaller and lighter still. The third stage was used to propel the rocket out from Earth's orbit, releasing mankind from the clutches of the world and throwing them towards the eternity of space.

So what has this all got to do with poker?

Well, I've been hovering around the $80 mark for quite some time. My goal is the $100 mark. I've hit it very briefly and then plummeted back down, and then gone on a good run and almost hit that three figure number again, but then gone back down. I seem to be bungee jumping all over the place. I'm constantly having a $30 swing and can't seem to escape the clutches of the two-figure numbers. I have momentum; I've broken away from the ground, traveling through the upper atmosphere. Now I just need my rocket boosters to kick in so I can slip clear of two-figure orbit.

And yes, that was a rather late, tenuous analogy!


It's been a while...

Don't worry, neither myself or Pablo have stopped playing poker... it's just been a while since our last post. I guess we have both been getting more "serious" if that's possible. A lot of analysis etc...

I think both myself and Pablo have had amazing winning streaks destroyed by equally amazing losing streaks...losing at least $100 each since our last post. But that is poker, and when you're on a learning curve like we both are, these swings can be quite sharp. However, I think we have curbed these swings somewhat, by stepping down to the 5c/10c from the 10c/25c and getting some Tilt control.

So now we are both on a steady upward curve, which obviously does have its ups and downs, but mainly is positively going upwards. And that is due to a simple but quite difficult mindset to get into. We both realize now, that if we have a losing session, which every poker player does, it's making sure that we lose the minimum, so that we are not playing catch up, when/if we go on a winning session in the future.

As all poker fans will know it's the WSOP... and it's the main event... ELKY is still in a healthy position with about 1.5 million chips, and James Akenhead is still up there with over 2 million chips... however Phil Ivey is up to around 1.5 million after being down at 275k yesterday.. what will happen if he makes another run tonight....

Pablo and I intend to play the main event... in about 10 years time! But we will play it....


Superdonk, starring Pablo_Bueno as the Pay Off Wizard

Here's the good news: over two weeks I'm up $30.

The bad: I'm down $70 on the week.

I'm so angry with myself right now. I can't believe how quickly I've lost money. Everyone seems to have better hands than me, hitting amazing straights and flushes on the turn and river cards. It's depressing. I'm chilling myself out on the 2/5c tables, waiting for the storm to pass. The problem is, the weather report is unreliable and I can see dark clouds all the way out to the horizon.


The Vic was LIVE!

So Pablo and I both played live, along with another friend of ours, Money DJH (don't ask...) at the Vic on Saturday night!

It was an experience to say the least, and having had a couple of days to reflect on this experience I felt I should write what I thought, as I promised.

So did I felt, no not at all, in fact I walked out with 55 bucks profit, which was amazing! I didn't expect to have such a great night, but I did!

I felted out a guy, when he had QQ and I held AA. I opened to 3 x BB and this guy re-raised to 10. I smooth called and the flop came down with 3 bricks. I checked to him and he continuation bet 20 and I raised him to 40, he called. The turn came down and he shoved all in. I knew at this point he was totally playing his hole cards and his hole cards only. I hollywooded and looked at my aces, as there was a heart flush draw on now after the turn and I had the ace of hearts. I called and the river was another brick, he asked if I had a nine, I showed pocket Aces, he showed queens... He put me on nines, which would have completed a set.

Then the real fun started, when his Phil Hellmuth wannabe mate, called my 3 x BB with aces gay! This guy loved checking in the dark and now for some reason, he and his other friend, decided it was time to felt me out! Luckily I could see that they were whispering against me, and I made sure not to play another pot with them again all night. He seemed a little pissed off at the end.

So I enjoyed the actual play of the poker, but these two cocky young poker wannabes made it feel like I was in a war zone. Maybe this is what live poker is like, and after more playing live I'll realize this. We'll have to wait and see.


Pre-Flop Shove! Oh Yea...

One thing about micro to low stakes online poker players, they love a pre-flop shove! What is it that they like about it? Poker is a game of skill, information and dis-information. It's about making the right decision, and being able to value the information that you have obtained from your opponent. That is why it is so popular, because using this skill can earn you a lot of money.

When you shove your stack pre-flop, before you have even seen a card on the table, you take all that skill, every single last drop of it, throw it outta the window and make poker a coin flip. And why oh why do these low limit players love to do it? Well, simple really, they don't have the skill to play poker even at these fairly uncomplicated levels. So they think if they can get their stack in, within a few seconds they could have doubled what they had. It's frustrating and boring to play against. But this is how it is, so you just gotta ride it out.

Pablo and I are off to the casino to play live, not online, tomorrow evening. I feel it may be brutal and disturbing, no doubt we will be writing about it in due course. If we survive.


Winning Makes Me Tilt!

Following in the footsteps of ollyscope, I left the 2/5c tables behind and headed to the 10/25c tables about a week ago. I had had enough of the bet-bet-shove, bet-bet-shove mentality...I wasn't winning, and more importantly, I wasn't learning. So, down to a bankroll of $22, I stepped it up - Chris Ferguson would have had a heart attack!

I pretty much took ollyscope's advice - on the 10/25c tables don't go in on a ridiculous pre-flop bet, keep it fairly tight but bet fairly aggressively when you have the best hand. You can pretty much read what a player has on the strength of the bet (there are a few exceptions, but compared to the 2/5c tables it's much easier to predict hands).

Long story short: I'm one week into playing to 10/25c tables. Started with $22, haven't bought back in, and currently stand at a bankroll of $107. So, I've increased my bankroll over five-fold in less than seven days. Obviously, I'm a happy boy. I firmly believe that this increase in wins is because I'm playing better, reading the game better, not being afraid to fold out a decent hand. And of course, a tiny amount of luck. But I have a problem...

When I get one part of my game sorted, I discover a flaw somewhere else. My problem is perhaps slightly unusual: when I win, I start to tilt. Yep, stupid I know. Shortstackers tilt. Donks tilt. And so does Pablo_Bueno when his stack gets so large he can't see the felt from the chips. For example, last night I won a monster pot in up around the $30 mark, so I'm sitting with a stack of $43 (my usual buy in is $20). My tight play goes out the window...I'm awesome now, I'm untouchable...let's have a go on this hand that I'd never dream of playing if I wasn't up...oh, what a rubbish flop, let's try and bully this other guy off the table...oh dear, he has the best hand.

So I lost part of my stack to the guy I won big from (despite ollyscope warning me I was a POW), and then I found myself in a pot with another guy (who had felted out twice already) after hitting a set of 3s. I bet big, despite the flush being on. Ollyscope warns me not to be a POW again. I don't listen. I call the flop. He shove all in on the turn. I call. Damn, he has the flush. But wait, is that another J coming down to give me a full house! An undeserved win. I couldn't function after that and I turned the computer off. Although I won the pot, I felt dirty because I did exactly what those 2/5c players did to me. Retribution, perhaps? I don't know.

What I do know is that I need to keep my head when I start winning big.