Thursday, August 5, 2010

Movin' On Up

It's been about a month since I last posted and it's fair to say that the planning and discipline I've been attempting to follow have made a significant change in my game.  Since my last post, I'm up +$118.15, with a current bankroll of $667.98.

Since July 9, 2010, I played 132 tourneys (all $5 BIs or below) and began coupling tourney tables with some micro stakes 6-max cash games ($.02/.05, I generally sit down with 80bbs).

I ended up playing (enduring is more like it) 356 $.25/90 mans and maintained a 109.2% ROI at that level.  I didn't get any significant cashes in the larger field MTTs, but a few min cashes along with the cash games got me past the $650 point, which allowed me to begin playing the $2.20 90/mans. And that was the original goal.

My next goal is to get my bankroll to $1200.00.  Once I hit that, I'll give the $4.40 90/mans SnGs a go.

The $2.20 MTT SnGs are a different animal.  Mainly - people know how to play and it's not just a shove fest or a get lucky-a-thon.  Because the players do know how to play, I feel like I'm learning and I think it's helping my game.  I focus on putting opponents on hands, taking notes of showdowns, playing similar hands in different ways, taking advantage of position, and all the things we're supposed to be doing to win.  After 10 of these tourneys, I've only cashed twice (a 3rd and a 12th) and have an ROI of 34.5%.  I'll take it!  I figure I'll be grinding this stake for awhile as I really try hard to improve.

I'll say that the time I'm spending reading and studying away from the tables has been important.  Some of my reading of late has been: The Poker Blue Print (Davis/Nguyen), Easy Game Vols I/II (Seidman/Colletta/Cesaro), Let There Be Range (South/Nguyen), and Winning Poker Tourneys One Hand at a Time (Lynch/Rizen).  Now, I posted to places where you can purchase these books, but if you're studying in a group and have good friends (or even search the web really hard, hint, hint), you can find the materials for a fraction of the cost - or free! (hat tip to @joeyyyoung, the man!)

Besides the forums, I'll also give a shout out to DeepStacks University.  Once you get past the basics, many of these modules have terrific concepts.  Watching the coaches "teach" while you "sit at the table" in a hand and run through a variety of scenarios, positions, and facts is not only eye-opening, it essentially embeds the concepts into you.  I found myself several times mid-tourney playing a hand that I'd just watched Alex Outhred or Nick or Michael Binger explain and explore.  Because I'd done the homework away from the tables, I was able to incorporate what I'd learned into my game - and it absolutely made a difference. It's not just listening to the teacher, either.  You're asked questions and after each response you give, the coach gives his (or her - Liv Boeree is also an instructor) comments about what your response might do, might mean, might create.  It's pretty cool and I'm happy to recommend it (no, I'm not getting paid to do so).

Now, if you've read this far (thank you!), I'll finish up with the cash component of my play.  If you've followed me at all on Twitter, you likely know I haven't had much of a cash game to speak of, either live or online.  I'm embarrassed to admit it but the first time I played online cash, I started right at the $1/$2 tables.  You can imagine how that turned out.  My live game experiences haven't been much different.

Because it's been so disastrous, I went right down to the micro of the micros.  It was only later I learned that those low stakes online are commensurate with the $1/$2 levels you find in the casinos.  People grind these stakes all day long and make a really good living at it, apparently. Ok, maybe not at the 2cent/5cent level, but I guess if you're really good and put in enough volume you could.

Two things I did to impact my cash game: read the SirCuddles 2+2 thread (thank you, @stevosez!) and read Dusty "LeatherAss" Schmidt's book, Treat Your Poker Like a Business.

Hands down, I'm seeing improvement after reading both, especially the SirCuddles thread. While Dusty's book is not fully a strategy guide - I'd say it's a must read if you're trying to make it as an online cash game pro.  Mainly, I'm just playing tight, no nonsense ABC poker.  Sure, maybe the stakes are uL, but I still have to have a plan for every hand I'm playing.  And I still have to think through each street and actively work at putting my opponents on hands.  In other words, I hope that means I'm trying to think like, and become, a poker player.  After 7793 hands at .02/.05, I'm averaging $0.26/hr.  Wheee!

Last but not least, I want to give a shout out to @txcardslinger and my buddies Bree and Ann.  We're meeting once a week to study and do the work necessary to improve our game.  I think it's helping us be realistic about our abilities and accountable to improving.

What about you - what are the things you're doing to improve your game?  Share 'em with me because I need all the help I can get!

Until next time - good luck at the tables! 


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