Hi guys and gals!

This is my first blog since joining PSO as a hand analyzer, so I first want to give thanks to the team for the invitation. I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I took up the offer, but Dave (TheLangolier), John (JWK24) and Brian (TOO2COO) in particular have made me feel very welcome. The whole team is friendly and supportive, so I hope I can live up to expectations without treading on too many toes or making many mistakes.

It's only since joining the team that I've realised quite how much PSO has to offer its members. The forum, training sessions and video archive are already helping me to improve my game, and there's loads of new content being created every week. Added to these is something I can't recommend enough: The PSO HOME GAMES. I joined the club a few months ago, but never bothered investigating the home games. In the last week, though, I played some of the March Mayhem tournaments, in both real money (minimal buy-ins) and play money formats. I'm nowhere on the league tables, but that's not my main motivation. The home games are just brilliant FUN! Everyone's friendly and laid back, and the level of play is actually pretty good (no bingo-players), so you can develop reads on players, put them on a hand/range, or try the occasional bluff. I'm also happy to discuss strategy while playing some of the hands; explaining why I'm raising almost every button when it's three-handed, or advising a short-stack on the types of hand they should consider going all in with.
The sense of community in the HGs is great. Normally playing poker I feel quite isolated, and when I'm in a big tournament I feel like everyone is out to get me. It's "kill or be killed". In the home games, it's different. These guys are your friends, and when you say "Nice hand" or "Good luck in the Micro Millions!", you actually mean it. Well, I do, anyway.
Most of the March Mayhem games have had small fields, and you'll see the same guys again and again, but this isn't a clique. I urge everyone to get involved. We don't bite. You could play a few games for little or no outlay, improve your strategy or test out some new tactics you've just learned from a training session, and still leave with a smile when you bust out on the bubbble. So come and say hello. I'm certain you'll find it a positive experience.

Now a little bit about my current playing habits. I'm still grinding some cash games on another network, but I'm transitioning to tourneys (mainly 45- and 90-player SnGs) on Stars, with a plan to increase my volume (and buy-in level) when I'm bit more organised and have transferred some money into my Stars account. When I started in the 25c games, I had a pretty bad run. The results were much worse than I expected. I think it was mainly variance, but I've also tweaked my game recently (switching from cash to tourneys certainly requires some important adjustments) and the results are turning around very nicely. I'd thought for a while that I was better than 99% of the opponents I came across, and now a results-tracking site seems to agree with my assessment of my skills.

5 star rating

The sample size is laughably small (seriously, it's almost meaningless), so I definitely need to increase my volume, but I also need to do more post-game analysis, as complacency could send me to Bustoville in a hurry. Nevertheless, I'm feeling pretty confident about my game at the moment.

In the future, if time allows and there's some demand for it, I plan to write a series of articles for total beginners to cash games, as that's what I have most experience in and I feel I can give something back to the PSO community. The series will be something like '2NL for Dummies', and provide a step-by-step guide to playing fundamentamentally solid cash games at the lowest level. I firmly believe anyone of average intelligence can make money in the microstakes if they build on sound foundations, and I'd get a buzz out of helping them to get started on the road to profit. So if you're interested in something of that nature, hit SUBSCRIBE above and I'll start working on it when the demand is there and I have the time.

Till then, good luck at the tables!