The highs n lows of a winning low stakes Sng player
Friday, March 30, 2012
Zip Sliding Away...
What an amazing day I had last Sunday.Stepping off the edge of the basket and zip sliding across the Clyde was a real buzz and from there Two Pies and I headed to Ibrox for the Old Firm game.Due to the points deduction Rangers suffered after going into administration, a win for our rivals would have meant them winning the league at our place.The thought of watching their fans and classless popcorn teeth manager celebrating their tainted title win in front of us filled me with dread and would have been hard to take.
Thankfully Rangers played them off the park and the 3-2 final score line ( they scored two late goals) flattered them.The atmosphere was unbelievable and it's taken me until today to properly get my voice back after singing and generally going mental for the full 90 minutes.We are the people!
I did hit the tables on Sunday evening and managed a couple of small cashes and the seemingly usual lost key coin flip that could have been another final table appearance had I won it.I'm down a couple of hundred dollars this month and will need a good weekend at the felt to make my monthly stats half decent.I'm not too bothered though if I do have another losing month as I'm still learning Mtt's and I'm well aware I'm taking shots by playing $44,$51 games etc on my current bankroll.
I mentioned being unhappy at Party poker charging me an admin fee for keeping $600 there and not playing for 3 months.At least the cashout was quick and hit my bank account this week.Despite trusting Stars I'm still not sure if I'll deposit on there now or keep it my bank account for use at Stars if my roll there dips below the $2k mark.
Away from the poker I had a laugh at work today when one of the women in my team was telling me of a funny incident in the smoking room a few years back.She looks after her granddaughter Charlotte at weekends and loudly announced that after a tough week she was looking forward to a bit of Charlie at the weekend to cheer her up.Apparently jaws dropped all round and until it was explained to her my colleague had no idea why!
First up thankyou to Rosie for kindly sponsoring me here for Sport Relief and for the twitter mention too.If any other readers would like to add to the pot there's still time and it's maybe worth pointing out that Sport Relief money is used to help people who need it all over the world and not just in the UK.Some of the stories on last nights TV Sport Relief show were truly heart breaking.It's hard to feel sorry for myself about any poker bad luck when there are families of 8-10 people living in shacks no bigger than a garden shed and drinking water from the same river they use as a toilet.
Reading over the info I was sent about the zip slide tomorrow I was slightly worried to discover I'll be going up the mobile crane in a basket and not in a sealed lift! The other part that was supposed to be reassuring was where it said that if anyone gets stuck half way across they lower the rope from one side.That's fine if it's being done on dry land but not if I'm half way across one of Scotlands biggest rivers!
Quite a few family,friends and work colleagues are coming to watch,support me and according to one of them "to sabotage the rope".With friends like that....
After the zip slide Two Pies and I will be heading a few minutes up the road to Ibrox to join the rest of our fellow Rangers supporters in wearing our red and black scarfs with pride and letting our rivals know that they can "Stick your tainted title up your arse"!
No concrete news yet on Rangers being taken over although apparently bids have been submitted by several interested parties including a Chicago consortium called "Club 9".
It's not been a bad week considering I was back at work after enjoying being off last week.I took Step A for a Mc'ds on Wednesday night and paid her to clean my flat afterwards.I did try and keep the "with age comes responsibility" and "the world doesn't owe you a living" lectures to a minimum.These were prompted by her deciding an interview for a job based just outside Glasgow was no good because it would take her over an hour to get there each morning.
On the poker front I've fallen out with Party Poker and come close to a few big( for me!)cashes on Pokerstars since my last post.Party had emailed me previously with a marketing spiel that implied they were crediting my account with £25 as I hadn't played there for a few months.When I logged on to their site I found it required hands to be played to clear the bonus.That didn't tempt me.Last week I got an email from them telling me I was being charged an admin fee ( about $6) because I wasn't using the account.Well after paying a further $3 cashout fee ( and probably being ripped off with the exchange rate too)I've cashed out my $597 balance and won't ever return.Robbing b*stards!
I was working until 6pm last night and by the time I got home,had dinner and walked Nacho I was too late to register for all my favourite usual 16-18 tourneys on Stars.I did play a few though including late registering for a $16,$27k Gtd turbo MTT ( 2100 players) and a $15,180 player turbo.
Those were the two I ended up going deep in.The $15 ended when someone called my AK shove with 33 and I failed to hit but the $16.50 exit was a really sore one.We were five handed on the final table bubble with $267 for 10th,over $400 for 9th and a top prize of nearly $6k.On my right was a player called DirtyBrasil.He is a top pro and "back in the day" I used to love watching his training vids on Cardrunners.I'm pretty sure this is a standard call.He was running at 27 vpip/22pfr and as expected with his stack size and skills he was running over the table and raising with a wide range at this point.
Although I had just paid the blinds I had slipped into 10th place and although the pay jump would have been nice if I'd folded into at least 9th and the final table,I was playing to win and if my tens had held I would have been in with a decent shout.If you think it was a daft call please let me know in the comments because I've played less than 600 Mtt's in my entire life and I'm sure I'm still making plenty of mistakes.
Watching a TPE vid on the studying/working side of the game showed me I really need to work harder on that side of my game if I'm to improve.Just watching pro training vids isn't enough and I need to review more hands,download pokerstove again and mess about with chosen hands v opponents ranges to gain more knowledge.
Thanks for reading and if I don't end up at the bottom of the Clyde tomorrow I'll be back soon....
After another late night grinding Mtt's this will be a short post.Next Sunday before the Old Firm game Two Pies and I will be zip sliding across the River Clyde in Glasgow for Sport Relief.The money raised is spent by Comic Relief to help change lives across the UK and the world's poorest countries.
If any of my kind generous readers would like to sponsor me please click here .It would be much appreciated.I'm paying the actual zip slide costs myself so all money raised goes to the charity...
I've been enjoying my week off so far with plenty of MW3 during the afternoons and hitting the poker tables in the evening.I've been sticking to Mtt's with a few $15 180 Turbo Mtt's thrown in too.So far this month I've played 198 Mtt's and have bought in for between $200-$500 per night in total buy-ins.These range from $5 Hyper turbos to $55 Hot turbo Mtt's.
I've had a few deep runs and a whole lot of bad beats and lost flips at key times but overall I'm really enjoying the challenge of playing deeper stacked tourney poker.It's not like me to break my strict bankroll management rules and take shots, ( which is what I'm doing with my bankroll and my nightly buy-in totals)however it's quite exciting to be playing real poker ( instead of just push/fold) for decent money.
The other major difference in my mindset is that instead of having part of my roll put aside for bills I don't have any cashout plans and unless I go as low as $1500-$2k ( including the $600 I have on Party) there's really no need to get too worried about having a losing month or two.Even if that does happen I'll probably just step down a bit and keep grinding Mtt's.
I've also joined the Tourament Poker Edge training site ( after letting my Floattheturn membership expire) and I reckon just watching some of the pro-players Mtt vids has already helped improve my game.
I'm also reading "The Raisers Edge" written by a few top Mtt pro's and although it's a bit dry there's a lot of good stuff in it too.It advocates the LAG style of play and although I did try and get a bit more aggro I found I wasn't picking my spots well enough and at this stage I'm just not good enough yet at Mtt's to be able to play that way.
The book does actually say that with todays games becoming more and more aggressive ( more 3-4-5 betting than ever before etc) that a tighter approach may actually be more profitable.I will still raise to steal once a table oribit or two and I love 3 betting light against habbitual blind stealers.Overall though I'd see my style at moment as being a nitty with plenty up my sleeve!
Ok,to the post title and after a few small cashes last night I was down to a couple of tables.It was nearly 4am,I'd smoked about 12 joints by this point and apart from hourly 5 min breaks I'd been grinding 8-10 tables for about 9 hours.
I made the final table of a $13.50 Standard Speed Knock-out Tourney with over 600 starters and as ever the pay out structure was very top heavy.I'd already cursed after folding AK to a raise and a reraise.The re-raiser was a total nit and I knew he had something big despite it looking like a standard squeeze move.He did have QQ but I would have rivered the King and would have taken a huge chip lead.As it was someone shoved A3 into my AQ in a blind v blind battle and when I 3-bet another player with QK he called with QJ and my hand held to bring me right back into contention.
When we got down to three players the other two were quite weak and I really felt I was finally going to bink a Mtt.I started off being quite aggro and chipped up nicely before taking my foot off the gas a little to try and retain my fold equity against these slightly fishy players.
When the hand below came up I'd let "IcallyouAA" raise my big blind and get away with it twice in a row and with the other guy being quite short I felt it was time to 3-bet and try and take it down there and then.
What happened next kept me awake long after I'd gone to bed feeling completely exhausted.I've set up the bet slider short-cut buttons ( under Options/bet slider on Stars) to allow me to bet either 2.5bb,2.25bb or "Max" preflop.When "IcallyouAA" makes his standard min raise I wanted to make it slightly bigger than min raising him back and ended up mashing the 2.25 button then the max key and then tried to reduce the amount using the slider.
I thought I'd done this and then to my horror my screen showed I'd 3-bet most of my stack instead of to 84k.Of course the villain lived up to his name,snap called and although I kept my head together as best I could I ended up jamming into his AQ with two live cards a few orbits later for $656 which I suppose at least puts me back in the black for March.
Loved this display below from the Hamburg fans when they played our rivals in '09.Wunderbar!
Bought my scarf from RedblackRangers.com All profits are being used to directly support the club by buying up tickets for upcoming home games.These will be given away to children’s charities, schools, football clubs, BBs, etc
Things did seem to look up a bit yesterday after the players accepted a deal to take huge pay cuts until the end of the season and there are also rumours that HMRC are willing to do a deal on the tax case that's been hanging over us.
Away from the football that's me off work now until the 19th.No plans other than to visit friends and family and play a ton of Mtt's and Modern Warfare 3.I started on the Mtt front last night and managed to final table the $9 Final Table only pays turbo tourney again,this time making 6th for $458 to finish the night with a profit after only a managing a couple of tiny cashes from the other games I played.
Feels good to get a off to a decent start for March but if I'm going to have buy-ins totalling $200-$300 per night over the next week or so and the following weekends a profitable start only really provides a small buffer against the usual brutal swings and variance.
Thanks to Dudleys run good text messages I had a decent weekend at the felt, winning about $400 over the course of 51 Mtt's.Results wise the highlights were a 4th place from 630 runners in a $9 turbo which paid $613 and 7th from 1245 players in a $25 hyper game last night for $508.
Whereas the hyper sngs are mainly a mindless button mashing grind I'm still finding I have to switch off the tv and focus when 6-8 tabling Mtt's.I think I'm beginning to get addicted to the buzz of going deep and making final tables.( even if I am yet to bink anything outside a 180 turbo) Part of the reason I've always shunned Mtt's in the past is the time they take to play but with turbo and hyper turbo's being so popular these days that isn't so much of an issue.
I had hit the tables on Saturday night after being at Ibrox to see Rangers lose 2-1 to Hearts and all the talk amongst the near 50,000 crowd was of the teams future and the hope we can avoid going out of business altogether.It just seems to be one bad news story after another coming out in the media at the moment.
Times may be tough but having the Rangers FC badge as my avatar on Pokerstars led to my favourite poker moment of the year/century so far.There I was happily minding my own business when some celtc supporter at my 6 max $15 hyper table started spouting off in the chat box about how he would be partying when Rangers close down.I was playing about 6 tables and didn't have the time or inclination to chat back but I did get my moment a short time later when he shoved all in and I looked down to QQ.
Now slowrolling is not big and it's not funny but all of a sudden I seemed to forget how to click on the call button.Tick tock went the time until my powers of recall magically returned with just one second of my time bank left.My hand held up v his A2 and he started going tonto in the chat box,calling me every name and wishing my family had died in the Ibrox disaster.Sick comments but as I sparked up another and sat with a huge smile on my face I was just delighted I'd managed to get under his no doubt unwashed greasy pock marked skin! Giruy!
Results wise I had my worst ever month at the virtual felt.The good news is that since I realised I can afford this years big bills without touching my poker bankroll I'm really not too bothered.Bankroll management has always been a major focus for me and as a hobby player it's been nice to gamble it up a bit for a change and take some Mtt shots, even if I feel like I've not been able to win a flip or get a hand to hold up recently.
I didn't post my KK v the villains A10 hand below as a bad beat story but because it made me smile at the up and down nature of poker even over the course of one hand.I get it all in preflop and when the cards flip over I go "yeah".The A A 6 flop leaves me saying "Noooo" before I hit my miracle King on the turn.Yeahhhhh!! The 6 on the river giving him a better full house completed the cycle with yet another "Nooooooo"! That's poker!
Taking a look at Sharkscope I see that a lot of my losses have come from playing Hyper Turbo Mtt's.If I'm going to take shots at the $51 and $25 games on a regular basis where the edge is tiny and swings are huge then losing months like this one are going to be quite normal.Hopefully they will be balanced out by more months with decent scores.
Despite running horribly I'm also still adjusting to Mtt's and although I never feel outclassed in low stakes sng's I can't say the same in some of the $44 Mtt games.I even had WSOP main event runner up Martin Staszko at my table in one game.
The poker plan for March is to keep playing Mtt's,run better and to try and keep improving my game.
Pokerstars $3526 ( - $1257) Party $602 ( =) Total roll $4128
I try and avoid bad beat stories because as we all know they are boring as f*ck. However as it's been my worst month ever ( and I've been playing online since Oct '05)and I feel like I deserve a moan. I'll keep them to the hand below and a quick whinge about my AK getting horsed by AQ in the $55 Stars Red Spade Open last weekend.
Away from the poker there's not been much going on.On the weed front my regular guy is spending some time on a holiday behind bars and another mate of mine is looking after his mobile phone.He called me the other night to say a text had arrived that said "got weed if need".After all the messing about on previous excursions to score I was dubious but I called the texter and arranged a meet up not too far from where I stay.
Look out for a big guy over 6ft and 19 stone he said.Parked the car at the side of the road and sure enough a couple of mins later this tough looking shaven headed bloke steps off the pavement and heads toward my car.I put my window down and say "Alright mate".He says the same back and I go to open my passenger side door.He keeps walking.Wrong guy!