Hi all,

It’s time for another mailbag blog entry.  Sometimes I receive PM’s from members with questions, and from time to time I will share them with you in my blog if I think others might be generally interested or have similar questions.   As always, since the questions were posed privately, I will keep it anonymous here in my blog.

I was wondering in your opinion:
1. For a Reg Grinder what would u say is a ok / good volume of hands per day or hours of play? 10nl 6max 4 tables.O and win rate? Thats where i have found my comfort zone so to speak.

Volume is a personal thing… I would say whatever fits your schedule best.  If it’s   2 hour sessions, 8 hours per day, 1K hands per day, or whatever.   If you set volume goals, you might start with a long term goal and drill down from there.  For example, let’s say you wanted to shoot for Supernova this year.  You know that will require 100K vpps.  So you can take a look at how many vpp’s you earn roughly on average in a hand (look at how many you earned last month, divide by hands played to get this).  Then use that “earn rate” to determine approximately how many hands you would need to play to earn 100K vpps.  Let’s say you come up with 500K hands as the number (just making an example).   Then I would decide what is realistic for your play time, including into the mix time off with no play for vacations, sick days, breaks, etc.  So hypothetically let’s say you decide to factor in 2 weeks completely off, and only 5 days a week to play with 2 days/week off for personal time.  So to achieve 500K hands of volume with this play schedule you’d have to play 500K/50 weeks = 10K hands/week, split over 5 days is 2K hands/day.   Now, if you’re currently playing 4 tables of 6-max, you can estimate how long it will take you to play 2K hands.  Maybe you get 80 hands/hour/table, so 320 hands/hour = 6.25 hours of play per day.  Is that a realistic, attainable plan?  If it is, then you’ve got a nice outline.  If it’s not, maybe you only have 2-3 hours a day to play… then you need to make some adjustments.  Those may be factoring in more time per day, adding a 6th day per week, or increasing to 5 or 6 tables as you get comfortable doing so.  Or maybe adjusting the end goal and not hitting SNE this year, but working up to it next year.    Or moving up in stakes where rake attributed comes faster and less volume is needed to get the vpps, which if you’re winning at 10nl may be possible once the roll grows, you could also set a plan/goals for moving up.

As for win rate, anything positive is good.

2. I want to set goals for this year,but not sure best way to do so ???.

I gave an example above.  I recommend SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound).  For a nice example of setting and moving through a goal plan, if you haven’t yet read it, check out Sandrap’s 2013 Goals thread

3.  I remember from your last mail to me that you say, and most pros say that 2nl is easiest game to beat.  For the love of me i cant see why. I tryed 2nl for a good while and found there so many rec players throwing money around is almost as bad as freerolls, hence i tryed 10nl. IMO i find it a much better game and for some strange reason i can read players there far better.

The reason is that we make profit in poker from our opponent’s mistakes.  Bad players make more mistakes, and larger mistakes, and the microstakes have the highest concentration of bad players.  Players throwing money around in droves is a very profitable situation as long as you A) don’t tilt when they get lucky and B) don’t get fancy and C) don’t get sloppy/lazy.

4. The one thing i do seem to struggle with though is MTTs . Again i found low micro stake tournies like gold fish bowls, if you get my meaning.  One thing i have taken on board though is your comment about C betting every flop in tournies, i used to do same, now defo not. On the subject of MTTs. what do you do when you find yourself running card dead? ideas on that would be most use full.

I try to always be vigilant for identifying the folders.  Who limp/folds?  Who see the flop liberally and plays fit or fold?  Who raise/folds?  As the tourney progresses, who can I apply significant stack pressure to?  These are the players to attack in order to try and accumulate chips, and when you’re card dead you’ll have a tighter than normal image to assist in their willingness to fold too much to your raises.   You can not win in the long run in large field MTT’s by simply playing your cards, because strong hands don’t come faster than the blinds escalate.   You can survive the early stages, and pick up a decent % of min-cashes even, but will still be playing a –ROI game and not winning any events save for the few times the deck smashes you over the head in the right spots.  In order to deep run and win your share of large field mtt’s to pick up those huge (relative to the buy in) scores you have to find ways to accumulate chips without having a hand.  Start by identifying and exploiting the folders.

Thanks for writing, and I hope this helps.