Haven't made a blog in a while and a lot has changed, so time for an update.

First, going to college in Canada would be way too expensive so that is not going to happen.  Going back to college for a second degree is still in the cards though... have an appointment Monday morning to discuss everything with an adviser.  Still not sold on the going back to school thing for me right now, but worth looking into.

Next, live poker is still on hold.  Basically decided live would be left for recreation only, when I can afford to play live recreationally.  That is probably not going to happen any time soon.

Finally, the BIG NEWS!  I'm back playing online poker again!!!  Extraordinarily lucky to be doing so in any sense.  The deck was stacked against me, but I somehow found a way back in.  Playing on the only site that I can, on the Merge network.  Wish I could be playing on Pokerstars though, it is MUCH better software, INSANELY better customer support, MIND BOGGLINGLY bigger player pool.... lol.  I got to do what I got to do though and right now I have to do it on Merge.

How I got back online is kind of interesting.  Shortly after Black Friday I signed up for a rakeback deal on Carbon Poker based on some advice given from a fellow PSO member.  Even though I had no plans on playing at Carbon at the time, it was good advice.  Months later, when poker was drifting from my mind and life, Carbon ends it's rakeback deals.  Then, appearently my state of Maryland passed some law that resulted in Merge not accepting any new members from my state.  Since I registered before that happened, my account was basically 'Grandfathered In'.  Even so, the primary method of depositing on merge (Western Union cash transfer) was not accessible to me because of living in Maryland.  On top of that, since I didn't deposit before the Maryland ban, Carbon did not want me becoming a real money player.  Also worth noting, every other US facing poker site straight up told me they wanted nothing to do with me when they heard I was from Maryland.  Things were not looking good.

I emailed a Carbon 2+2 representative and long story short he tells me I can play for real money, but they best(maybe only) option for depositing is getting a player to player cash transfer from another player.  Problem now is, I don't even know anyone playing on Carbon or Merge, or any poker site really.  Atleast well enough to have them transfer me some cash.  So my solution, or only hope really, was to take advantage of the awesome staking section of the PSO forum.  I have no accounts on any other poker forums/sites so no way anyone would consider staking me for anything.  

So thats what I did, thread can be found here if your interested:

Stake went very well.  End result was I had a starting bankroll of $70 and Darkman made $30 on his $40 investment.

I was playing 6 tiled 4NL cash game tables at a time during the majority of the staking deal.  Now that I am on my own, unrestricted, I decided to try pushing it further.  Tiling more tables is not an option with my setup, so I decided to try stacking the tables in the center of the screen.  Frosty style.  The biggest issue with doing this, is that you really need to see an important hand play out most of the time.  You can't just bet half your stack then instantly jump to a few other tables.  Frosty accomplishes this with Tableninja, allowing him to snap a table to a corner of the screen with just a click.  Unfortunately for me, Tableninja is designed for Pokerstars and no software with that feature exists for Merge.  

Half a day googling and I was able to solve this.  First there is Mergekeys, free software that immitates Tableninja to some extent.  No snapping tables out of the stack and back in though.  For that, I found Winsplit Revolution.  It is a freeware window management program that lets you snap windows to predefined regions of the screen with hotkeys.  It took some tweaking, but now I can snap a table to one of the four corners of the screen with alt+1,2,3, or 4.  To return the table to the stack, I have two options.  Holding ctrl+alt and dragging the table with my mouse into the stack will return it.  I can also press alt+q which will cause Mergekeys to snap all tables back into the stack simultaneously.  It is all a little glitchy, but it gets the job done.

Using this method, 12 tabling is surprisingly easy for me to handle.  I managed to push it up to 14 tables of 4NL at once tonight.  It was a lot more difficult at first, but I am getting the hang of it fast.  I can definitely see myself reaching the Merge limit of 18 cash tables at somepoint in the future.  Little disclaimer:  I said 12 tabling this way was kind of easy for me, but generally speaking it can be kind of crazy for someone to approach the right way.  It is a lot different than tiling tables, and on a whole other dimension than single-tabling.

On to goals.  To sum up my short term goal simply, it is to move up in stakes and increase win rate/tables played until I reach the point where I am profiting $15+/hour counting rakeback.  Once that is accomplished, some long term goals are worth consider and working towards.

My long term goal is to get back on to Pokerstars.  If I could get to the point where I can prove a $15+/hour profit playing online poker I could actually consider options such as moving to Canada to play on Pokerstars.  10+ tabling $25NL cash games could potentially provide such an income.  Or 6-8 tabling 50NL.  It is absolutely reasonable and within reach with enough effort.

Doing really well with the short term goal stuff so far.  I expect to be bankrolled for 10NL is less than two weeks from now.  Aiming for around $220 or 22 buy-ins to take a shot at it.

Below is my results so far at the cash tables.  The craziest thing about it is you can see that after the nasty downswing I had around 21,000 hands, I started stacking 10+ tables and my results improved!  Seems counter-intuitive yet there it is.