Travels From 2014 to 2015:

2014 Update and Thoughts About 2015

Unlike most, I am unable to give a full review of 2014 as serious health issues forced me to take many months off poker. Nonetheless, I feel it incumbent on me to write this blog. Being accountable to oneself should come first but by making a commitment to you, fellow and sister PSO members, is invaluable. Sharing where we have been and where we hope to travel to, makes for a community of support. Only we can create that milieu where we compete at the tables but recognize shared aspirations.

I am predominantly a cash player and was primarily playing $25 Zoom and some Sit & Goes. From a year ago till mid-June, I accumulated $2200, and 9845 VPPs. I attribute any successes to a solid study program with an emphasis on my learning curve rather than a goal associated with a number. The study program includes the following: selective Live Trainings; videos/blogs by PSO members whom I learn from, many by trainers; videos including 'Poker Bites' and others by PSO team pro online members; and, private lessons with the best, Dave, 'TheLangolier'. Throughout, my goals have much more to do with the learning curve than any numbers.

As I think of 2015, initially I know I need to pace myself, particularly since I am delighted that I am working half-time, and I may need to cut back on my 10-hour a week commitment to studying--which I religiously stuck to prior to June--whether trainers' blogs/videos, including such terrific programs by PSO team pro member Randy 'nanonoko' Lew's five-part video on Zoom.  I take notes, I never rush through the incredibly rich material found on the PSO website. I include reviewing course material. It is quite amazing to do this as the first time round typically one is reading the material in a vacuum, having yet to be playing 'serious' poker. Live Trainings are essential and being selective fits in best for me as of now. Lessons with Dave are a must as together we set goals or should I say, I always turn to Dave for advice on what I should be working on! And bet-sizing combined with analyzing opponents' hands and how the board affects both my hand and potentially my opponents', are ongoing major goals.  

During December, I have played Zoom only eight days thus far, winning $200 with some Sit & Goes and Spin & Goes, for a total win of $100, bringing my total win to $2500 over about six months.During December, thus far I have accumulated 240 VPPs. I have moved down from $25 buy-in Zoom to $10, I see this as a necessity as I re-build my repertoire of skills and confidence. I trust this is temporary. Indeed, I write about my thoughts for 2015 and with optimism that, as for most of us, goals/plans evolve and I will share such through these blogs.

I was fascinated by Spin & Goes, particularly in contrast to Zoom. Can we agree, please, for the purposes of this blog, that the definition of poker is “a card game played by two or more persons, in which the players bet on the value of their hands, the winner taking the pool” while agreeing that the definition of gambling is often thought of as leaning much heavier on the side of pure luck. No doubt such semantics can be debated ad nauseum!

Let me share two hands, first a $10 Zoom, then a Sit & Go:

While I did not intend to raise .30 to .80., rather .30 to .50, clearly my opponent can't imagine anything can beat KK and at certain points, I can see him beating my two pairs with a straight or flush. Either way we are playing to win the pot and my secret weapon is my past experience with Villain 5 and my notes on him BULLY, leading me to hold my ground with JcTc.  Indeed months prior, Villain 5 initially set out to 'flirt' with me by asking me a question that good taste dictates I not repeat here. However, after his question, I took great glee in ‘castrating’ him when my two Kings beat his two Aces. He went all-in after the flop. Check this out to showdown: K A K  9c K! Since then Villain 5’s testosterone takes him to the far end of bluffs as he is so hungry to beat me. Regardless I call this poker.(I wish I had this hand for you but to make a long story short, I lost a good number of hands. . . too bad!)

Compare to the following:


This was a $7 Spin & Go buy-in for a pot of $60. I had the advantage, but not as large as prior ones. Having played two prior, I quickly learned one opened with any honour card! There wasn’t much to the play but an A6 was all I needed to beat an A3. I call my winnings here of $28, pure luck.

In summary, I am very pleased with my study program and will resume lessons with Dave in the New Year. Continuing to work on bet-sizing and assessing how pre- and post-flop boards impact both my hand and importantly, my opponents, are connected and key to improving my game. I will mainly play Zoom and if/when it makes sense to move up, I trust I will know. Additionally, I would like to play more cash tables as I need to learn the discipline of waiting for my opponents to bet, as such is the structure for cash tournaments.From time to time, I also enjoy Sit & Goes and seem to do well in them. And for now, I think I will not be playing Spin & Go as it is just as easy to unneccessarily lose money as win with no real poker skills to be gained, as I see it. For heads-up play, I'll stick to aiming to be in that position with Sit & Goes. And lastly but importantly, I commit to being accountable to you.

Wishing all a heallthy, joyous and prosperous holiday season and 2015. And to our trainers and Pro team online members who provide us with terrific material as well as Team Poker School Online, thank you for making PSO the best place to learn poker.