The dawn of a new month seems like as good a time as any to try and get back into the swing of things after going through a rough patch. If you've been reading my blogs the previous few months had been very hard going and the losing streak had taken it's toll. I had taken a bit of a break from trying to reach goals, lessened my volume and was trying to play just for a bit of fun every now and then. Which is all well and good but deep down I know poker is one of my main passions in life and I wanted to get back to trying to improve and move up so I felt some new goals needed to be set. Jus simple short term to try and get me back into the groove. I set two main golas; firstly was to aim for 200 VPPs during the month of May, secondly to make a profit at 5NL Zoom while doing this. The idea behind this was to get me back playing some volume on a semi-regular basis and if I made even a tiny profit it would get my confidence back. Two major things I feel I need in order to get moving again.

 

So I began the month fired up to play some Zoom but then realised SCOOP and the PSO series for the month were right at the start. Big tourney series are always too good to pass up and the PSO yearly leaderboard is still tight at the top and I'm in contention so there was no way I could pass these up. Unfortunately the way things worked out the timings for a lot of games weren't great so I didn't play much but I fired up a bunch of SCOOP sats and played in two of the Low events. Perhaps it was just as well I didn't have time to play more becasue in all games I was out pretty early. A little dent to my bankroll but still fun. The PSO series went slightly better. Again time was a factor and I only played 27 or so of the 40 events, very low for me. Still, despite a few sick beat and a couple of bubbles I did get some cashes including three wins and finished the series in around 8th place. 10th to 3rd were all really close so those few missed events may have made a big difference but then one event less played and I could have not been anywhere near top 10 so no point in dwelling.

So onto Zoom for the remainder of the month. My first few sessions went pretty smooth and I even had a real nice treble up with Aces which more than made up for any beats I took.

You don't always get rewarded when you have monsters so when you get all the action in the world and it works out it feels great.

Not long after this Stars started running one of their fantastic milestone promotions which inevitably lead me to switch to the regual 5NL tables. This is where I would learn an important lesson. I found the regular tables to be really soft, I knew where I was at most of the time and could read villains like books.. yet I was losing money. So what was the deal? Was I missing something, was it just bad variance? The answer: of course I was missing something. Zoom and regualr tables have very different dynamics and for each your strategy should be tailored to suit. In Zoom I find it correct for strategy to tend more towards GTO (Game Theory Optimal), which suits my style of play more. Whereas in regular games the dynamics are different and when you come up against a large number of less experience/skilled players the GTO approach is less "correct" and a more exploitative strategy should be employed. So yes at the reg tables I may end up getting sucked out on by rags a little more frequently but I should easily be able to make up for it by exploiting my opponents weaknesses and tendencies. I'll show an example of what happens at reg tables after I realised this in this month's "Masterclass". I have to say I'm really thankful for this promotion forcing me to play the regual tables so I could realise my mistakes in being too rigid and stuck in my ways with regards to my style of play.

So the month overall ended ok. Time factors meant I didn't reach my VPP goal but it was profitable in the cash games and I have started to get back into the swing, slowly but surely. So the numbers for the month:

 

Starting Bankroll (May 1st): $384.46

Current Bankroll (May 31st): $387.78 + Tickets: $2.20 MTT

VPPs Earned: 146.52

 

Fadyen's Monthly Masterclass

As mentioned above this hand is from a regual 5NL 6-max table.

When you are able to get reads and take notes on villains, especially weaker villains, it really pays to take a more exploitative approach compred to a GTO style. In this case I had noted the OR was a fairly weak/passive player, SB was a TAG reg and BB was a bit on the Laggy side but not a particularly good thinking player. I decide calling the OR is the best line with my decent but not amazing hand. Then the LAG makes what appears to be a pretty obvious squeeze. The OR come along which I take to mean not a premium as he tends to just shove these in this kind of spot. I figure the SB is never comeing along here ad he knows better so I think calling here to take it away later seems viable. The flop seems pretty good to me as it doesn't hit too many hands I feel are in the villains' ranges, at least not in a big way. LAG bets just under half pot which feels like a c-bet for the sake of c-betting. The OR folds so I feel I'm in a great spot to simply raise and take it here. I know a raise doens't make too much sense for me here and I'm not sure what I'm repping but against this particular villain I don't need to be repping anything, I just need to make him worry so I feel the small raise is great for that here. A little more than a click back and the pot is mine. when the pros say it you often here people disagree but really, your hand really often doesn't matter.

 

Quote of the day: Lessons cost money, good ones cost lots.