Archive Sep 2007: A Work in Progress: The Diary of a Micro-Limit NL Player/Poker Dealer

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Oct. Goals

So for this blog I decided to post all my goals both poker related and for many other things too. I think its pretty clear that my September was not what I wanted it to be. I thought I was playing some of the best poker that I have played ever and I was running really well, but I played less than 1k hands. I had a lot going on with moving to A.C. and being really tired after dealer's school at night. I have also been a bit lazy lately also, probably because I haven't worked out in a few weeks. I worked out 4-5 days a week over the summer and I was feeling great and had a ton of energy. Since I live in a barren wasteland (in regards to businesses), not only can I not afford to go to a gym but the closest one that I know of is 30 minutes away. I need to come up with some sort of program that I can do at home as well as get some running in during the morning hours.

As for poker goals, I would like to play 5k hands in October. I think this is a very attainable goal as well as a goal that is not going to force me to play too many tables or play when I don't want to play. I think if I play an hour or two each night I will do just fine as far as this goal goes. I was playing too well to give up a solid win-rate by not playing enough hands. I also want to study for around 2x the amount of time I play each day. So lets say I average about 1 1/2 hours each day of poker. I would like to at least read/post/read and reply to posts for around 3 hours per day. I think this really gets your poker mind flowing and it enables to make a lot of decisions at the poker table second nature leaving you some brain power to work things out instead of having to focus on making sure you are doing the basics correctly. This sort of goes along with my second goal, but I want to post at least two hands from each session played and reply to at least 5 posts per day (strategy) on 2+2.

For life, these are much tougher. Every second that I am not doing more important things I need to be practicing my dealing techniques. Throughout the first week of class I noticed that I am pretty good at the pitch and stuff, but it is still taking a lot of my energy to make sure I do everything correctly which is taking away from me knowing the size of the pot (how much to rake and when) as well as making a bunch of stupid mistakes because I have too much going on for me. Basically, I feel that making sure my pitch is super good is the most important. Once I get that down I think things will start to smooth out. After that knowing all the steps of a Stud hand (for a dealer) and making those steps second nature will make counting the pot, seeing who has the strongest hand, making side pots, taking the rake, calling out the action 100000x easier. I have a table, chips, and cards so there is no excuse to not be the best poker dealer to walk through that school as I have many hours out of everyday to work on my skills. Obviously the next goal is to get a job. I can't afford to live here for too much longer without one. I get the impression that we will get an audition upon graduation from school so if I kill it who knows I might be doing well quicker than I thought. Besides all that, restrict my spending. Since I can't go to the gym eating healthy is not a concern of mine right now eating cheap is. I just need enough energy to get through reading a book, dealing out a few cards and clicking a mouse all day so I don't need huge expensive meals to get by. I took a gamble coming down here and I need to only spend when I NEED to for right now. If I get a cash dealing job sometime soon things will obviously be different. I can pick up that flat screen T.V. and the Xbox360 I so badly want. I can dip into my wants if that happens, but for now I can only afford my needs.

I have one goal that I know is not going to be reached this month, but once I get a solid job I have to save. The real reason I am down here is to save up some cash to help pay to get my teachers certification. I want to be a gym teacher and I felt coming down here and hopefully making some good money combined with low rent will help me attain this goal much easier than I would have at home.

I think all of these goals are very reasonable and attainable with a little hard work and dedication and for some of them some really good luck. I think I have been fortunate in my life so far, but I have been through a lot of bumps in the road. This is by far the biggest bump, but I think I am mentally tough enough to get myself through October for sure. If I don't do well in my audition I will try try again. I signed a year long lease down here so I have plenty of time to keep trying to earn myself a job and some money as well. For the rest of you, I hope all your goals are reached in Oct and good luck.

Back Online

Hey guys, I am semi moved into my apartment now and I finally have cable and internet! I obviously have not played any poker and was not able to blog until I was online again. So I guess this blog will consist of an update on how dealers school is going and a little about what my apartment is like.

Basically, I live in this really small, quiet town in a large Victorian house that was changed into 4 different apartments. Mine is on the first floor and its a long rectangle. So the room are not very wide, but the amount of sq. footage that I have is much more than I actually need. I am playing $700/mo. +cable, internet phone ($99/mo.), gas and electric (heat is gas). So I am assuming its going to end up being somewhere around $805-$900/mo. I have a tiny like 13'' T.V. because that was all I needed throughout college and the couch I brought doesn't even fit in the living room lol. I have my poker table in the living room with my tiny T.V. and I just practice dealing for most of the afternoons until class starts at 8pm.

I moved in on Saturday and I live right behind a bar. So I am assuming after my first night alone that the weekends are going to be pretty loud around here at night. I woke up at 3:30am to a bar fight right outside my front door my first night alone. This made me suuuuper uncomfortable for the first few nights, but I am becoming much more comfortable now as the weekday's are very quiet and relaxing. I never thought living alone would be so difficult, but when you live in a town where you literally know not a single person it is quite taxing. I literally spent the first day or so without speaking a single word. I talked to a former roommate yesterday and he is doing the same thing and he put it perfectly he said, "It makes you appreciate everything you had so much more." When I would talk on the phone with parents when I was in college all I wanted to do was get off the phone, but now I truly enjoy speaking to them as well as friends. Anyway, while I am in school I would love to make a little money so I applied to places like Shoprite, Acme, Blockbuster and I hope to hear from them soon so I can like buy food and stuff.

Now, school is awesome! I have a really cool teacher and hes really good as well. I am learning 1-5 stud high right now which is a game I don't normally play so I am learning a little about how stud works. The first night was easy we worked on our pitch a little and we learned the basics of stud and hand rankings. The second night was awesome. We got into the box and went over an entire sequence of how a 7-card stud hand would go from the shuffle to shipping the pot to the winner. There is a special way to do everything and its fun to learn all this new stuff. I am also getting the impression that our teacher (a former poker room manager of a number of rooms in A.C.) is going to be getting all of us auditions which will be great because if we do well we get a job right away maybe. This got me super excited and I am ready to work harder than I have ever worked.

As for poker, I don't sleep well here yet. I don't want to play in the afternoons because the games are so much better at night so I have to get used to coming back from school at about 11pm and feel up to play. I have just been too drained to even try and play my A game so I haven't played a hand it probably a week. I got my first good night of sleep last night (because I drank a little vodka before I went to bed) so we will see how I feel tonight, I would love to put a session in. Alright, good luck at the tables and I hope to find a job so I can afford the gas to dive to the casinos and to school and to work and all that crap every day so I can start updating the A.C. poker room pages. If I don't get a job within a few weeks I will call a connection I have at Caesars and I can possibly get a job doing some bull crap while I am waiting for an audition(s).

A.C. Bound!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a few days I have been so busy getting ready for my move in tomorrow morning in a city outside of A.C. It all happened really quick. I went to look at the inside of an apartment and the landlord just randomly ended up giving me the keys. So, I start dealers school on Monday night and I am really excited to get to know the area and start working. Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes and hopes cause everything turned out great. I have a nice big apartment at a reasonable price and an opportunity which is all I hoped for. The plan is to start dealing and eventually go back to school and get certified to teach gym.

Start looking out for updates on the A.C. poker room pages as I will work hard on getting them as up to date and accurate as possible. Pictures are going to be hard, but I will do my best to get those as well.

I also have another thing to say, I hate Roy Winston. The guy who just won the Borgata Poker Open is one of the worst poker players that I have seen in play at such a high level. I understand why some of the top pros still come out to these tourneys, its because there is dead money like him still playing in them. If any of you watched poker on Live at the Bike you should already know who Roy is. He was a retired doctor who played in all the high-limit NL Hold'em games at the Bicycle-e Casino in L.A. From what I read on Cardplayer.com he either is working side by side with Yosh Nakano as a high limit host or he is THE high limit host there now, which is a joke to me. The guy is not a true poker player worthy of being a host in my opinion, but him and his also terrible poker player friends should now be flooding the high limit games at the Bike. If you guys are bankrolled for these games I suggest playing in them cause I am 100% sure that they are yummier than ever. Basically his is a piss poor rich man that doesn't need or deserve the money, but at the same time that money will make it back into the poker community through the cash games at the Bike I am sure. No, I am not jealous I just never really liked the guy and it makes me laugh that a person can run that good in a few months that they can take 20 something in the Main Event and win the Borgata Poker Open. This is a type of player that has to run good in order to do this well from what I have seen so far. Please, nobody make comments on hands hes played or whatever because I am waiting for the show to air so I can laugh at him.

No updates on cash or tourney sessions online because I haven't really played. I have been super busy with purchasing a bunch of crap for the house and preparing to move out. I hope I should be back online by like Monday or Tuesday. GL at the tables guys.

Dedication, Focus, and Running Well is a Winning Combo

I had my best session at 25NL to date late last night into early this morning. I went through all the motions that I had wanted to during the day. I woke up, ate breakfast went to the gym, came home and began posting on 2+2 reading posts around my bankroll level. I then at some lunch and read a few chapters in Pro NL. Then I went out with some of my buddies. I came home ready to take on a table with full confidence in my game. The first 1/2 of the session was pretty quiet. I flopped a couple sets without getting paid off. Then I just tore the game up flopping sets left and right. I 3-bet on the button w/AK against 1 PF raiser and one caller (who btw will smooth call with big pairs, so I consider this 3-bet a mistake after further review of my play) and the flat caller called a $5 PF 3-bet. Flop comes Q high and I pot it committing myself to the pot as well as him and he folded, whew! I ended up with a $65 stack when this hand came up:

Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.10/$0.25 Blinds - 9 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter)

SB: $27.45
BB: $29.20
UTG: $26.55
UTG+1: $28.60
Hero (MP1): $65.05
MP2: $25.00
MP3: $18.80
CO: $9.20
BTN: $13.50

MP2 posts $0.25
Preflop: Hero is dealt J K (9 Players)
UTG folds, UTG+1 calls $0.25, Hero raises to $1.35, 2 folds, CO calls $1.35, 3 folds, UTG+1 calls $1.10

Flop: ($4.65) Q 9 6 (3 Players)
UTG+1 checks, Hero bets $4.65, CO raises all-in to $7.85, UTG+1 folds, Hero calls $3.20
Uncalled bet of $0.00 returned to Hero

Turn: ($20.35) 9 (2 Players - 1 All-In)

River: ($20.35) 8 (2 Players - 1 All-In)

Pot Size: $20.35 ($1 Rake)

CO had 8 9 (a full house, Nines full of Eights) and WON (+$10.15)
Hero had J K (a pair of Nines) and LOST (-$9.20)

Tough beat, but what can you do? I was a 3/2 favorite on the flop, he was a 3-1 favorite very quickly on the turn with that 9. The plan was to stay in that game until it broke or I gave some $ back...well I "gave" it back there and I decided it was time to get some sleep cause it steamed me up. I reached the highest point in my BR history before that pot and the loss crushed my spirits a bit. GL at the tables.

A Different Type of Grind

I have been realizing that I need to make some changes in my game on and off the table lately. The first I realized was I need to stop multi-tabling. For those of you guys newer to poker playing micro stakes NL, stop multi-tabling! It is hurting your development more than you think. If you play more than 3 tables I don't see how you can really stop and think out every decision with a clear mind or even pay close enough attention to successfully put your opponents on a correct (or close to correct) range of hands, figure out your equity against that range and then figure out what your options are and choose the best one. So thats the first change, I have been single-tabling this whole month.

The second was clear to me for a long time, you have to put in work off the table. I have to start reviewing my sessions, posting hands on 2+2, and replying to more posts there as well. Along with that, I really have to re-read Professional No-Limit Hold'em along with NL Hold'em Theory and Practice. I read both these books while I was multi-tabling a lot and was never able to truly implement their concepts into my game. I would like to be putting at least 2x the amount of time on working on my game outside of playing at the tables. So that would be anywhere from 2-4 hours per day. Not too much even with a job.

As for on table things, focus is really important. I have to start putting on my headphones listening to music and just flow. When this happens I am less inclined to read 2+2 and 2rags while playing, I am less likely to see who is on AIM besides my backer (whom I talk to during the sessions, Shoutout kid happy b-day) and I am less likely to see what tourneys are coming up. When I know how my opponents are playing, they don't have a chance to outplay me. I am that confident when I am on my game, when I am off...I can't tell the difference between a clear value bet and an obvious bluff. Focus is the reason I am on or off. Going a long those lines, I tend to make decisions too quickly. From this point on anything but an easy fold I am going to take at least 5 secs to think about what is the best line. All-In situations (where I am calling) I would prefer my decision time to at least be 10-15 secs unless its a must call/fold.

These are just a few things I think I can change in my game which are really easy to do and I will become a better player for sure. I think the hard work will pay off in the long run as well. We will see though.
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