Friday, December 24, 2004

What a Year!

I started playing poker in February and I still consider myself a newbie. I have worked my bankroll up from the .25/.50 limit to currently $2/$4. (Hopefully $3/$6 soon). I owe a lot of what I have learned from the book Internet Texas Holdem and ITH site. A lot of people there have allowed me the luxury of avoiding mistakes made by most new poker players and I owe them a lot.

I have learned much since February but I narrowed it down to the top 8:

1) Each limit is its own entity. When moving up, your game has to adjust and change with each level. There is an adjustment period and you must have a bankroll and mindset to withstand the new learning period.

2) You will not win all the time or lose all the time. Don’t get to over confident with your good runs or to far down during the bad runs. The long run is all that matters and just keep making the right decisions

3) Your goals should not be short termed monetarily based. You shouldn’t set yourself up to make X amount a day or hour. Stretch it out and concentrate more on the proper way to play and not how much you make.

4) Don’t take the game too serious. Keep an even keel during play and what happens at the tables stays at the tables. Don’t let a bad session bleed over to your every day life.

5) Don’t keep extending a bad session “to get even”. Some nights are not your night, except it and leave. This was a hard lesson that cost me much before I realized that tomorrow was another chance to play.

6) Play within your bankroll. I use 300 bb as a standard. This goes hand in hand with #1. No matter how good a run your on, the odds will catch up and you need to be prepared.

7) You can never stop learning. There are many nuances to the game and once you get the basics down, more of the game will be uncovered.

8) Maximize your wins and minimize your loses. I know this sounds simple buy 1 bb won or lost over the long run can add up to thousands. If you play 300 hands of $1/$2 a night and miss 1 bb in half those hands that’s $300 a night lost. In the same vain, 1 bb saved is like a bb won.

What I want to work on:

1) Studying my own game and working on finding my leaks and plugging them. I will devote 1 hour a day to studying my play in poker tracker.

2) Make the most of my table experience by studying others when I am not in a hand. Try to read hands and understand betting patterns of other players.

3) Being more aggressive and fully understand that winning a small pot is better than winning NO pot.

4) Put together a bonus chasing plan together that is feasible and the bankroll to chase separate from my day to day bankroll. I will put this in place by March 2005 with $500 bonus chasing bankroll and a day to day bankroll to play $3/$6.

5) Keep the fun in the game.

6) Start the process of playing and understanding NL.

There is so much more that I learned but hard to quantify them all. There is so much more I need to work on but that will be another time.

Thanks to all that have helped me along the way by posting, answering questions and just being there. Thanks in advance to all that will be there in the future.

Here's to 2005 and another great year!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Chase is Still On

Thanks mostly to the excellent posting at Chris Halverson's Blog I will be chasing my $3/$6 goal and another bonus after all.

Going to The Gaming Club in the am and work on it. If my math is right I need 1500 hands to clear and if I two table and average 70 hands an hour, looking at about 4 1/2 hours a day and clearing in three days. I've got the time, and if I split it up some I think it is attainable.

I'll be leaving for my parents house Monday after Christmas for 4 days so I have to get this clear by then. Even with taking Christmas day off totally, I still should be able to get it done.

Still trying to get
Absolute Poker bonus cleared but since it doesn't expire, I will put it on the back burner again the get TGC.

It's been a good "almost" year playing poker(I started in Feb). I will be writting a post in the next day or two on what I have learned and what I still have to work on along with 2005 goals. Been interesting looking at old forum posts of mine and seeing the progression in thought patterns as well as progression in bankroll. I realized that there are a lot of people that answered questions that I have to thank for removing some of the pitfalls I may have gotten into.

Hopefully, it will be an entertaining read.

Till then,

Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.
Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

2 down 1 to go!

Knocked out Ultimate Bet and Interpoker bonuses. I will work on clearing AP tonight. Cleared bonus +++ at both sites so it was very profitable.

Found this at
ITH Forum about Full Tilt:

This bonus sounds good, but is nearly impossible to clear at low limits. I cleared $120 of the bonus and withdrew most of my money. Why? It took nearly 6100 hands to clear that $120. I played $1/$2 limit and four tabled most of the time. I had no problem finding a game, as there were normally 4-8 $1/$2 games going on at the same time. If you are going there for the bonus only, it is not worth it, unless you play higher limits

So I'm backing up again LOL!. Have a friend that said he will be depositing on Wednesday so I will wait and see how it goes.

My bankroll is a healthy $1300 and need just $500 more to be $3/$6 at end of year. Multi tabling $1/$2 has had its advantages and I don't feel like I have been on a good run, just good cards at the right time. Been up at one table and up or even at the other or even between the two. (Not counting the great IP run Friday night). I don't think I can reach $500 doing what I'm doing without a bonus. Not in a position to get Party's because it would take a few days to get it all in Neteller. So it looks like a have a choice: Risk a bad run and multi at $2/$4 or do what I am doing and get as close as I can. Leaning towards $2/$4. Being on a decent win streak, its hard to make that jump up. If it aint broke......., but it seems like the right move so I will decide for sure tonight.

Confidence is a funny thing. I'm not sure if it is another level of understanding I am at or just over-confidence or ego. Guess it remains to be seen but I have been down, sometimes big, lately and "feel" that it if I keep playing solid poker that this table will pay me off. I have been right most of the time. Last night is a perfect example. Was playing 2 tables and around even at both when both the tables changed with some new players coming in and I started getting "sucked out" on, sets beat by river straights, set over set, ect. River was KILLING me. Was down $50 at one table and $20 at other and it was getting late. With bonus I was only down $50 which I could live with but something kept telling me to stay. So i decided to extend my evening and hands started to hold up, draws started to come in and ended up even for the night after another 1 1/2 hours. I beleive I have started to recognize table dynamics a little better. I wasn't tired so I didn't play past my level of concentration and I wasn't tilting because I had resigned to the fact that I would have to make that money up in next session. (I rarely "table" tilt. Now I cuss,scream and hollow at computer and IM buddies :) but never capped 72os UTG because "everyone else is getting lucky") I have also just left after session knowing that a come back just didn't seem possible.

It seems I have gotten to the next level in the trusting of my own game. I realize some nights are just "not my night" and sometimes solid poker will come through for you in the end. It's a interesting feeling sitting at a table, down, and knowing its just a matter of time before you get your run. I'm not talking about cards evening out eventually, I'm talking about getting goods cards and getting beat and knowing, sometimes to the player(s) who I am going to get payed off from!

Oh well, enough rambling.

See you at the tables!

Monday, December 20, 2004

What a Feeling

Had a great weekend. For those of you who have followed me from the start, you should realize I am not a great NL player. I'm learning and using the freerolls as a practice grounds and I am starting to play some $5 MTT's. My goal next year is to become a good NL player.

With that being said, I had a MINOR (Real Minor) break through Saturday as I monied in the Bet 365 $5K freeroll.

Went like this: I am short stacked in 301st place(300 pay). I am forced all-in in the SB with A3o. I loose to A4o when he spikes a 4 on the river and I am 300th! I win a womping $4.50. I figure I beat 1545 people and that is pretty good. At least something to build on for '05!

Limit: Cashed $200 out of
Ultimate Bet and put into Interpoker. As you read I had a great day at IP and also added another $70 at UB (What cash out curse??). Played a little at Absolute Poker and added $25. All this and really didn't get to play a lot. That was really the only downer of the weekend.

Now a HAVE to clear these bonuses. IP and UB will not take long but looking at at least 2 solid days at AP. Really want to be at Full Tilt by Friday because I will be traveling back home week after Christmas so my playing time will be limited till New Year. So my goal is to wrap up all these loose ends this week.

Will write a year in review of my first year in poker along with '05 goals this week. It has been a wild ride but I have learned a lot.

Till Then:

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.