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June, my worst month ever!

June was my absolute, worst month ever. I played <4k hands online this month and was just under break even.

I made 3 trips to the casino where I lost ($480) net. I actually won 2 of 3 trips, but the losing trip was ($700) LOL, Q3s is the nutz!! I blew up on a bluff/value bet w/ bottom pair. I knew the guy was on a flush draw and that my pair of 3s was the best hand on the turn. I stuffed $154 into the $200 pot and the guy calls after agonizing for 2 or 3 minutes. He actually had a gut-shot and 2 overs to go with his FD, but he accidentally hit a pair of 4s on the river to crush my measily pair of 3s. Edmond says that I've got some kind of LaKong disease or something. Geez...

I lost ($250) at PLO. This was rather demoralizing since I ran so hot at PLO in May. I guess that I'm not as good of a PLO player as I thought I was.

It was definitely my worst month ever, I lost ($827)ish.

July goals:
Clear the GS bonus that I bought on June 2nd. Already cleared! Woo Hoo!!
Knock the auto-pilot switch off with my FR game.
Learn how to play 6max.
Make some good investments.
Finish my imperial campaign on Rome Total War so that I can focus on playing and learning poker again because losing at poker suckz!

May Results/ June Goals

Meh, swingiest month ever for me. Took my biggest downswing to date, but fortunately I did learn how to luckbox PLO.

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click to enlarge the image

May Goals:
Go to the new Ameristar room: Fail
Make platinum star: Fail

I nearly quit playing FR NLHE after this 11 buyin downswing (or more depending on where you measure it from.) I started watching Ribbo's vids on PLO and played a serious amount of it. I made a trip to the Horseshoe Bossier City and will hopefully be writing about it very soon. I really like PLO and think that it will soon become my primary game.

June goals:
Buy the Goldstar bonus and clear it on Stars
Visit the Ameristar room
Make money
Enjoy playing poker

April - a Goot month

I took a trip to the Horseshoe Bossier City this month, once again I was unsuccessful in bluffing the live donkeys. I've gotta quit trying to do that. One guy called me down on the river w/ pocket 3s when I tried to rep a flush that had gotten there on the turn. It seemed like an easy laydown for him to me, but he had a feeling that he was good.

I also got set over set and the bad thing was that I knew it too! I still paid off the $120 on the river because "you can't fold sets." The guy couldn't have played his set any more obviously. A huge pfr from the blinds into a multiway, limped pot. A donkey calls so I feel obligated to call w/ my 4s and stack the donk. The flop comes A Q 4 and the big preflop raiser from the blinds checks his hand. The donk checks, my radar shows bogies approaching but I make the obligatory bet of $50 into the $75 pot to see if the blind raiser is trapping. Sure enough he calls and the donkey folds. (This was not going how I intended it.) I check behind on the turn and on the river he pushes out $120 which I call since I can't fold a set. He shows me a set of Queens and I'm kicking myself for being a 2+2 bot! At least I saved $60 by not pushing on the river. (sigh)

On a happier note!
Other than that, my month went really well. I stuck my hand into the HU universe and played ~1k hands of HU 50NL this month, netting me $220. I can't say that I'm very good at HU, I think that mostly I ran goot. I did find that HU on UB is very effective in collecting the RAISE points that determine how fast you earn your deposit bonus. You only get RAISE points when you put money into the pot, therefore at FR you get points infrequently.

I also made the move to FR 100NL this month on Pokerstars as I indicated in my previous blog post. I was a month or so behind pace on this based on my December and early January estimates, but I'm there now and loving it. I was very surprised to see some of the 50NL regs that I had been battling also playing at the 100NL games. Seems that a dozen or so of us made the move together.

Speaking of the players that moved up: Props to Learning Curve on 2p2 for 2 solid months in a row which has allowed her to make the move to 100NL. She battled the micros for a long time and has really been a student of the game. She's an awesome cheerleader and motivator on the forums and I am uber excited about her success as a player!

PLO, once again, seemed evasive this month. I definitely feel that PLO will be the next big poker game to infatuate the masses. I'm trying to learn it but the price of learning seems expensive and when I consider the opportunity costs of not playing FR NLHE I just can't make myself play PLO that much.

Here are my results for April and goals for May:

Apr Goals:
Earn Gold Star Bonus Forgone for Platinum bonus in May
Maintain Silver Star on PS Even better, I made GS again
Focus on earning my dep bonus + rakeback at UB Did okay w/ this, HU FTW on this bonus
Reduce the number of tables that I'm playing so that I can focus on BB/100 (making 1.3BB/100 sucked last month) 6.4 BB/100 FTW!!
Post a positive month. A++++

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($245.00) Live Ring
$135.00 Bonus
$6.00 Rakeback
$5.00 SNG
($69.58) PLO
220.40 HU 50NL
1,160.61 Online FR
$1,212.43, $23.36/hr

May Goals:
Make Platinum Star and buy the bonus
Play at the new poker room at the Ameristar Vicksburg opening Memorial Day weekend!

March results: BLAH!!!

March was absolutely blah!!! I made 2 trips to the Horseshoe - Bossier City, losing $600 and $150 for the trips. Mostly I think that I was card dead but on the first trip I was trying to push around calling stations which is always a bad idea. I learned some things in March about Cbetting and getting value out of weaker hands but I think that I referenced that last time. Maybe I'm just playing bad but it seems like variance is flowing against me right now.

I did make $381 on the internetz, so that helped slow the bleeding some. I was really disappointed as I hoped to make >$1k again in March. Maybe I just need to reapply myself and start to focus more, but for now I think that I'm gonna try to focus on what's important which is my wife, kid and relationship w/ God. Therefore my goal for April will be to enjoy poker again and only play when I want to and not to play just because I need to earn so many FPPs to qualify for whatever.

Oh, I played at a new home game again for the first time in a long time. I don't go to most due to the levels of cussing, but there was very little at this game on the first trip, so I came back a 2nd time. I netted about $40 between the trips. I do enjoy home games, I am able to come out of my guarded game which I play at Pokerstars and play some poker. I love talking smack and pushing around players who think they know what they are doing. Most don't know what to do w/ 3bets and squeezes since most of the time those moves are only made w/ Aces or Kings.

March results:
Lost ($712.00) in live play
Won $380.97 online, $252.00 of which was at 100NL (1400 hands)
Rakeback ~$6
Net: ($325.03)

click to enlarge the image

March Goals:
Earn bonus + rakeback on my new UB account - Nope
Maintain Goldstar on Pokerstars - Yep
Make $1k online - Nope
Make a trip to the casino to take some easy money from the live donks - Yes and No

April Goals:
Have fun
Earn the last 4k FPPs for the GS bonus on PS
Play on UB to earn my dep bonus + some rakeback

Here are a few hands for some of you eggspurts to look at and tell me what you think:

A hand that I feel a lot of people over estimate their equity.

2 Hands vs an Overbetting Villain that really confused me

the Grind

Sorry that I haven’t updated in a while, poker has been kind of up and down this month. I’m up $300 or so online but down $645 in live play. We took a trip to the HSBC earlier in the month. I saw lots of the same weak tight regulars and ran into a plethora of calling stations and over aggro bullies. Playing overly aggressive tables isn’t my forte’ and I dumped 2 buyins in a little under 6 hours. I finally got all $90 of the money that I had left with me into the middle on a big combo draw. The pot was huge but I ran into a bigger FD who ended up making a pair on the river to beat my turned pair.

As for online play, my graph looks like the Andes mountain range since I’m having the hardest time beating 50NL consistently. I’m crushing 100NL at a 17BB/100 rate over >700 hands, but that’s just taking shots. I think that I’m playing more cautiously on my shots and am not making the stupid errors that I am at 50NL. Take this hand for example that I played this afternoon:

POKERSTARS GAME #16166664151: HOLD'EM NO LIMIT ($0.25/$0.50) - 2008/03/22 - 13:45:35 (ET)
Universal pokerstars Poker HH Converter Tool from TwoRags.com

SB ($47.95 in chips)
BB ($38 in chips)
UTG ($72.50 in chips)
UTG+1 ($61.25 in chips)
MP ($10.45 in chips)
MP+1 ($26.40 in chips)
Hero (CO) ($49.50 in chips)
BTN ($64.90 in chips)
SB: posts small blind $0.25, BB: posts big blind $0.50

Dealt to Hero [K Q]
UTG: calls $0.50, UTG+1: folds, MP: folds, MP+1: calls $0.50, Hero: raises $2.50 to $3, BTN: folds, SB: folds, BB: folds, UTG: calls $2.50, MP+1: folds

FLOP: [9 4 K]
UTG: checks, Hero: bets $5, UTG: calls $5

TURN: [9 4 K] [6]
UTG: checks, Hero: bets $12.50, UTG: calls $12.50

RIVER: [9 4 K 6] [6]
UTG: bets $2, Hero: raises $27 to $29 and is all-in, UTG: calls $27

Total pot $100.25 | Rake $3
Board [9 4 K 6 6]
UTG showed [K A] and won ($97.25) with two pair, Kings and Sixes, Hero showed [K Q] and lost with two pair, Kings and Sixes

The guy was 28/2/1, what’s he calling w/ here that I beat? I put him on a FD and still shoved it!

I think my problems now are mostly psychological. I’m running on autopilot a lot because I’ve started playing just to earn the Goldstar bonus (which I should hit by the middle of next month.) I’m stacking off too light, which is a strategy that worked wonders at Bodog but just isn’t feasible at Pokerstars. I’ve still got this hubris problem that plagues me. I expect to win by default and I expect people to put their money in bad against me. This expectation causes me to get upset at 3bettors and makes me want to throw things when my A-Ko gets ck/raised on a Jack high flop. I will definitely have to get adjusted to the 3betting since I plan to move up soon, and I really feel that I am a good player that isn’t playing his A-game right now and isn’t fully engaged mentally.

I did find and plug some leaks earlier in the month. Both in live play and on the Internet I was making too many cbets and wasn’t allowing worse hands to bluff or catch up. I worked w/ Threads13 from 2+2 and read some stickied articles about the subject and figured out that 100% Cbets was just too much. Firing 100% of the time worked at 25NL for a 6.67 BB/100 win rate, but has caused me mental anguish at 50NL. Cbetting on missed flops should be first villain dependent and second board dependent. Some people just don’t fold to cbets that often and a lot of players recognize the fact that a paired flop has probably missed everyone!

Also, Cbetting when you hit also needs to be judiciously done. I was always of the opinion that checking the flop w/ top set on a dry board was a rather obvious play that indicated that you held that exact hand. I bet the flop when I crushed the board every time because Cbetting was what I did. After some coaching I’m now trying to recognize when I’ve got a good lock on the hand and can squeeze out some value from a worse hand. I’ve learned that some people interpret a flop check as weakness and not the nutz. I’ve started extracting good values with this new mentality and feel that it shored up some big leaks in my game that were getting exploited by the 50NL regs.

I guess that’s it for now, I know it’s vague but it hit the highs and lows. A big shout out to Edmond for closing on his big card room deal last month. If you haven’t checked out his blog lately then you need to see what “the man” is doing. Hopefully, I’ll get my graph out for March right after the 1st, until then, I’m bailing water and pluggin leaks!
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