Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Go cry emo fishies

So yeah, I'll tap the fishbowl a bit here.

Recently there have been a slew of forums popping up on 2p2 talking about how online poker is dead and you just can't make a living off of it anymore. Now sure, I have a bias obviously since I am writing this blog, but I just can't stand some of the perspectives presented there.

Nothing, and I mean literally nothing in poker, is impossible. Hard? Sure, without a doubt. Harder than working for someone else for 40 years making their dreams come true? Harder than 60 hour work weeks getting stuck in rush hour traffic? That I doubt.

I didn't play back in the hay day of online poker where 16 year old high school students binked a freeroll and ramped it up to six figures before they were 18. I didn't play back in the day where reading a couple books and figuring out starting hand ranges was all it took to grind out the mid stakes. I started where you are likely to find 4-5 decent regs at every $1.50 nine man SNG at any given time. The point being here is the people who played back in 2006 and made tons of easy money fell into the complacency mind set.

It is too much of a shot to the ego for these people to admit they fell behind the game. It is too scary, too hard for people to admit they are nowhere near as good as they think they are. Maybe some people are just lazy and don't care to put the needed effort into their games. Who knows? But one thing that I know for sure is with proper planning, tireless study and determined execution anything is possible.

Job mentality, I feel, has penetrated the minds of these people who choose to whine on internet poker forums. That is, the job mentality of doing the least amount of work possible for the biggest return. Think about it, really that is what the governing principle is between employees and employers. The employee wants to do as little as possible and get paid as much as possible. The employer wants to squeeze as much effort from the worker as possible while paying them the least. Might be a bit of an extreme way to put it, but that is the paradigm we face today.

Some people just apply this philosophy to everything in life, including poker. And it is easy to see how that sets you up for failure in poker as well as almost every other area in life. I fall subject to that same mentality while putting in the hours at my job. I want to do just enough to fly under the radar and keep my job. I don't want to get more projects and more responsibility without guarantee of increased pay. I don't want my boss trying to get me to do more with less. If my job would allow me the freedom, and same pay, to leave as soon as I have my list of tasks complete, I would work my ass off for however long it took to do the job right and then take off. That is because I would have incentive to do so. The result would be the same amount of work completed to the same level of excellence, and maybe even better, in a much shorter time. Now if that isn't efficiency then I don't know what it. That is the way I approach poker. I work my ass off doing everything I can to grow as a player knowing the results will show when I have earned them.

So sure, it is hard. No way is poker as soft as it used to be and will likely get harder for the next several years to come. But I know that if I put my best effort forward I will overcome the average expected results and stamp my name amongst my poker heroes. Or at least replace my income and take control of my life not living up to the 50 hour work week demand society has placed upon me.

As Norman Chad said in the recent WSOP main event replay, "Winners win, whiners whine".

Now I'll get back to winning


BR ~$250

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life Hack - Update

Well it really has been a hell of a long time since I last posted, might as well keep this together.

One of the reasons why I started this blog was to have some kind of cool down procedure where I would write about my game. I have since been keeping point form study notes derived from review of each session. Not trying to make excuses, but I have not felt like writing until today.

The past month and a bit have been awesome for me all around.

Full Tilt


Overall I have been doing well at the stakes, logging about 500 games with a ROI of around 10%. Recent changes to my strategy have been to log 150 games per week, maintaining the stab at $1.50 on stars and studying not every hand but big or marked hands from every session. There has been a decent increase to the time put into study as well, but I don't track that so this is all the graphs you get. Once I get to ~$225 I will start to add $2.25 games from Tilt to my rotation.

I feel that since I started this blog my poker game has benefited yes, but more so the other areas of my life have felt an up tick. I really have been cracking down on my game, just relentlessly pursuing excellence and that has boiled over into the other areas of my life. Just because my mind is that much sharper, I perform better at work as well as with music. I remember a quote I heard once, something to the effect of "When one is excellent at one area of life he tends to be excellent at all areas of life".

As a result of that perspective taking hold I started a band with a couple friends over the weekend. We are doing it for more than fun; we want to fulfill a life long dream and ambition. Just as with poker, I dream of taking my talents to a larger stage and I know if I work smart enough I can get there.

BR ~ $205

Now for fun, I will leave you with one of the smartest life hacks I have ever seen

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Good vs. The Bad

Overall the switch to playing STTSnGs has worked out very well. I am getting more volume in, studying more intently and had some great improvement to the BR. Well, that is when you look at Tilt.

Not bad eh?

Not so good when you mix in what happened at Stars.

The stars games are a mix of the >50c MTTs which I was playing for value and the 1.5d 9 man turbos, so it is a bit skewed, but man does it look bad. Overall I am plus about 2 bucks for the whole month. Not sure what happened since my last post to throw the numbers off either because the BR is now ~$195.

Now to pad my own sob story, yes I ran ridiculously bad when I took my shot at playing the 1.5d games on Stars. Like REALLY bad, but whatever, that's poker. I just get disappointed when I know that from the outside looking in you see at best a break even player complaining about how his ATo monster gets cracked by KQs all the time. But really, you could add about 10 bucks to my running total to make up for the sick beats I was catching.

But to anyone who got this far, your scoffs are well founded. I did play bad as well to get there. I mean, I have only been playing the 9 mans for a couple weeks. There has to be some sort of transition phase from MTTSNGs. But I have improved quite a bit since the switch. There has been a ton of study which has helped tremendously. I have found leaks in my game that I did not know existed. I have also solidified some confidence in my game, I actually believe that there is hope for me to nail down my dream / goal of building a BR of $100,000 and live off of playing a game I enjoy. I read on 2p2 today that certain regulars feel that the average poker player can expect to earn $25-30K per year. The way that I have been improving, playing and logging solid volume, combined with my belief I can do much better than the average, that otherwise depressing news gives me something to hope for.

I missed my goal of logging 500 games this month, but I did hit the goal of breaking in the 1d games. I just didn't know it was going to be on 9 man sngs rather than 90 mans.

So for next month I have set down the following;

- Log 500 games
- Begin working in $1.50 games on Stars
- Continue review of almost all games, find and plug leaks
- Keep up to date with study notes
- Watch 15 hours of study videos

As for my personal life, I have joined the choir at my church. We have a concert on June 2nd and I am very much looking forward to it. I like the time that I spend there, it really helps to keep me grounded and focused. I must be crazy though, because I don't think there are many Christians who like to play poker and even less poker players who would consider themselves Christian. But hey, I always did march to the drum of my own beat.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Switch Up The Game

So I have been mostly treading water with 50c 90m turbos on stars whilst mixing in the occasional 1d 90m turbo. I think I may have got a little complacent in my study, but I do believe the biggest reason is the lack of volume. Really, I don't hit my prime until about three hours into a session playing these types of games and that can really drag on. Also, the stress of putting the volume in by playing about 8 tables on average during the session has been putting me in zombie mode. A combination of lack of binks, lack of fun, lack of motivation and lack of stamina caused me to make my most recent decision.

Currently I am playing 50c 9m turbos on tilt. It is kind of refreshing to go from an MTTSnG mindset to a STTSnG mindset. The action is a bit more intense, the swings are a bit jumpier and the volume gets crushed way easier. I still have to log in a ton more volume with those games to figure out what my win rate will be around, but I think I have proven to myself I am a winner there. It will also sharpen my game overall when I do make it to the final tables of MTTs and MTTSnGs. I will have a much better grasp of ICM overall and will be able to recognize spots to push my edges much easier. Who knows, it might actually be the best thing to do to build the BR. I could maintain bronze on tilt for the decent free rolls, play the stars less than a dollar MTTs and grind out some very fishy micro single table sit n gos.

At the very least I can practice my control of nerd rage quit; those variance bumps just smack you in the face as compared to MTTSnGs. Much easier to go 10 in a row without cashing imho. But hey, I may be wrong.

I fixed the problems with HM2, auto import isn't working too well so I have to manually do it. Not much I can do there, tried everything.

And SNGWiz seems to be running better. The last couple updates must have narrowed down the default ranges some and sped up the overall performance. Or maybe I have just not used it as much since playing the STTSnGs. It is hard to find the time to grab a HH while 8-10 tabling on stars rather than 4 tabling on tilt.

I have decided to forego Saturday night festivities for the most part with friends. I really want to dedicate Saturday and Sunday to the grind without nursing a hangover or getting lack of sleep. I have committed myself to going to church on Sunday to help commit myself to it as well. It sounds much better to say I am taking off early on a Saturday night to make it to church rather than to gamble for 14 hours. Well, I guess it depends who you ask.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Post Mexico

Tons of fun these past couple weeks. I took a two week vacation from work to play some poker, build the roll and went to a wedding for a couple of my best friends in Mexico. The sunrise pictures I got are stellar and I can't wait to go back for some more good times. Back in the grind I feel refreshed and ready to improve my game once again.

Tabledroid has been working very well for me; I am up to 10 tables comfortably. This has helped my overall win rate and also helped me overcome tilt somewhat. With being able to squeeze more volume out of my daily routine I am less fazed when the cards don't go my way. This is because partially because I am distracted with many other decisions to make at the same time but also because I get those wins more often in any given session to bump my roll. I fixed the computer up a bit also to help improve the speed of my game play. Glad I made those improvements.

Cardrunners also has just released the mobile version of their website which helps my game. I have some downtime at work right now with it being the time after spring break up which makes it slow. Now I can spend some of that time, about an hour each day, watching training videos on my phone without anyone at work noticing. So things are looking up all around.

Right now the main thing I have noticed improvement on is my ability to make reads on fishy players and adjust my game accordingly. I am starting to extract more value from them by making exploitative plays, things that they don't notice and walk right into my trap. Sure sometimes it backfires, but the long term benefit well outweighs the negatives. This has made it easier for me to accumulate chips early and mid game so that I can avoid the push fold scenarios until much later in the game. The thing I need to work on is differentiating between people randomly pushing buttons and the thinking opponents that you will find at the micros. Once I can hone that skill it will improve my win rate significantly.

 HM2 seems to be fucking up a bit, it doesn't seem to register all of my wins or all of the games played for a given session and shows my graph as worse than it really is. I think it might have something to do with desktop compatibility mode not registering correctly, but I am not sure. The steps listed in the forum as to how to fix it don't seem to be working for me. Doesn't really matter though as the hand histories are working fine, so my review still goes well.

BR ~ $200

I will leave us with one of my favourite moments from the trip.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Funday

Cut my Sunday grind well short of what I was hoping to get done today. As it always happens from time to time, the variance caught up with me and sent me reeling. Sure, I am only down 20 or so buy ins (about $10) but it was the fury of the bust outs and the way it happened that tilted me. The same old bad side of the coolers and losing more than my fair share of 2:1 dominated hands. So I quit. I was too tilted to continue and was beginning to play some bad poker. I would say it was about a 7 out of 10 on the old tilt-o-meter.

Anyways, time to eat some decent Chinese food and watch a new samurai sword fighting movie on Netflix.

Beat: tilt
Brag: Green onion cake
Variance: Laughing at my roommate getting his chest waxed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Choice is Tabledroid

Interesting couple days in the poker world.

First the G in NVG.

Twitter and 2p2 was blowing up these past couple days with Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari getting ridiculed for attending Choice Center leadership seminars. I for one will be a little biased towards this decision, refer to my other blog to understand why. I personally have no problem with people spending big bucks to attend science of mind training seminars, I go to them myself. Choice may have it's problems but I believe the good far outweighs the bad. I would just like to see a bit more of an understanding approach from the poker community. So many negative responses to this small blip on the world social scale that is frustrates me. Can people not just try and see the good in everything? Sure, I will forever remain naive because of some of my personal life decisions, but I just don't understand why so many people are scared of this program before they go experience it themselves. It is so easy to join the bandwagon and bash people from behind a computer rather than go out and experience life for yourself. Part of the reason why there is so much negative response in the social media realm is because people who are strong minded enough to take this training seriously do not bother with what other people think about them. Anyways, that is my rant. I could go on and on...

I would just like to see a bit more LOVE in the world is all.

The real point of this post is to describe my love for Tabledroid in a verse.

Roses are Red
My boss is mean
Tabledroid rules
Now ship me the green

Really impressed with it albeit my first experience with a script type piece of software. I really just wanted something that will snap my tiled 12 tables into chronological order, which is something that I have not found yet. TD can do that according to BB which is almost as good, except for when I am mixing in my MTTs with my regular MTTSNGs. I get a bit of lag with it, but the hot keys more than make up for it. Some more fine tuning with it and I will be set. Support is great as well, since it is a smaller scale operation. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start up being a mass table grinding zombie.

The study group is not coming along very well. Linked in has a bunch of techno-poker geeks but not many pros looking for a study group. Out of the few friends that have responded, none are really taking it as seriously as I. Most are just looking to get a better understanding of the game, like does a straight beat a flush, and the guys who have some decent poker sense are treating it as a get rich quick scheme. Trust me, it takes A LOT of time and effort and is by no means quick. Oh well, I am sure I will get some kind of network happening soon.

Set a new BR record today, combined over Stars and Tilt I am ~$175. I also broke 1000 tournaments today. Average ROI is 68% over wide variety of games ABI is somewhere ~$0.50, I am too lazy to try and figure out how to get it on HM2 at the moment.

Well, back to the old 9-5 and same thing tomorrow. GG GL.

Monday, February 18, 2013


So it starts today.

Welcome to The Fishbowl, a personal diary style blog following my daily grind out of the micros and into financial freedom. I have plenty of ideas to put here and will be updating it on a frequent basis, but for the most part this is a blog by myself and for myself. That doesn't mean anyone reading this won't at least be entertained or find a golden nugget or two, but you are forewarned that this may not be the most concise blog you have ever stumbled upon.

First of all, let me start with what I intend to accomplish here.

1. Create a growing personal archive of results.
2. Maintain a pulse on the attitudes shaping my poker though process as it continues to grow.
3. Provide a starting ground for all other poker related projects.

Let me summarize what I have been thinking about to bring me to this point.

I have been reviewing tons of educational material in the form of e-books, strategy websites and 2p2 posts and although these materials have been a tremendous help, I feel I need more. I feel that what I am lacking in is a concrete and structured way of organizing my growth. I know from past experience that writing down ideas, keeping a journal, tracking goals and making myself accountable to this process will do just that. With solidifying these ideas in my mind I am able to free up some creativity and will power to do what needs to be done >>>> the grind. Right now this blog will suffice as a central point for all strategy thought process, goal tracking and networking to build a great Edmontonian poker mastermind group. Of course anyone who is willing to can chime in even if it is just a slight criticism or bout of encouragement.

If you have got this far in my first post, thank you for reading. I look forward to growing as a poker player with you.