My last post was in the middle of April, about three and a half months ago, so I have some catching up to do.

As usual I haven't played as much poker as I would like to be playing. Also, as usual, I have just been working a lot (I'm a long haul truck driver). Previously I have mentioned that the site that I have been playing on (The Site That Shall Not Be Named) sometimes has zero tables of 10nl running, and rarely has more than two to four tables going at any one time, but I have found that there are some times during the day when it is more active. Unfortunately, these times coincide with the times that I need to be sleeping due to my work schedule. There will be a little more on that later.

Back in the end of April, a couple of weeks after my last blog post here, I decided that I needed to start using a HUD (heads up display). I joke around a lot, but in the back of my mind I was feeling like I am a little bit serious about poker. I had to ask myself "How serious are you really if you wont pony up and buy a HUD?" I had just bought the first three seasons of Game of Thrones on DVD, and the total cost for those three was actually more than it would cost for Holdem Manager 2. I looked at myself in my mind, shook my head disapprovingly, and said "Really? Just really?". So, I got the trial version of Holdem Manager 2. When the trial for HM2 was over I tried the trial of Poker Tracker 4 for about five minutes, then went and bought HM2. Nothing against PT4. If I had tried it first then maybe I would have decided to use it instead (no I wouldn't).

When I first installed HM2 I was surprised to find that apparently all of my hands played up to that point on TSTSNBN had been saved on my computer and automatically loaded into the HM2 software. I'm basically computer illiterate. Sometimes I feel lucky when I push the "on" button and it actually turns on. I had played approximately 18,000 hands with a win rate of right about 3bb/100 at that point, but the reality is that saying I had that win rate is misleading. It's true that I did have that win rate at that point, but looking at my cash results graph made it clear that there was no consistency whatsoever. I had been going up and down like a yoyo with my bankroll. This is something that I already knew, of course, but actually seeing it in a graph made it more "real". My cash results looked like a big letter M with a little tail on the end of the right side going up slightly above the break even mark. That little tail on the end is where I got my 3bb/100. It was at this point that I made what I think was a mistake. I decided that I would start fresh and I purged all of the hand histories so that I would be able to have a more accurate view of how I would be playing. The mistake part being the purge of the hands. I didn't realize that I could just put a date range in if I needed to. There has been some times when I would have liked to go back and look at some of those hands again. Oh well. Since then I have purged the hand histories again one other time also.

When I was looking at a lot of the larger hands that I had lost in those 18k hands I felt that many of them were hands that I should have been able to lose less money on (or just never have gotten involved in at all), but due to bad play I just lost more than I should have. I also realized that I was playing way too much from out of position. This was another thing that I generally knew, but just wasn't fixing while I was playing. Seeing it in the hands as I was reviewing them just sort of crystallized the importance of correcting that problem for me. I know that every book, every trainer, and every poker video that you ever watch stresses the importance of playing in position, but I still wasn't doing it as I should have been. You can't always play in position, but I didn't need to be going out of my way to play out of position as I seemed to be doing, lol.

Armed with my new understandings, I began trying to play with a little more discipline. Things were going well for the next 4k hands or so. This many hands took a few weeks to play, as I have mentioned many times: I don't have a lot of time to play. I was having more steady results of around a solid 9bb/100 for those next 4k hands. Using the HUD was making a nice difference I think. It was interesting to see the stats on some of the players that I had played with previously. For instance there was one reg who I had been having some trouble with who I thought was pretty tight, but I didn't realize that he was actually playing like 13/10. I was playing with fire, though, as I often would load up some tables after working a long day even though I did feel tired.

A day came when I had started working at around 2am, and got finished at around 11am. I parked my truck in a truck stop. My next pick up was not until late in the afternoon the next day so I had a ton of time compared to usual. I went into the truck stop, got something to eat, took a shower, and watched some television. Generally just wasting time. Eventually I came back out to my truck around 7pm. I pushed the "on" button of my laptop and it worked. Then I fired up the poker site, just sorta thinking "There's probably no tables open". Previous to this I was usually always trying to play more in the early afternoon type hours, and that was when I would often open up the site and find only one table running, etc, as I have mentioned in a previous blog and earlier in this post. Well, on this day I opened it up and saw about 8 tables of 10nl running. In short order I got myself onto four tables and started playing. Things started out badly with two standard type all-in pre type scenarios which I lost. I don't remember the exact hands, but just typical AK vs QQ or AA vs KK type hands. Standard, but started me off in a hole. I have had this kind of thing happen in the past, and often have been able to just grind it out back to even or a winning session so I wasn't worried. Actually, that is exactly what happened in this session also. I played for a couple of hours and got back to just slightly over even for the session. Unfortunately, I didn't do what I should have done at that point which would have been to quit. I kept playing. I had been playing for some hours and was just gonna have a break even session?!? Oh, no no no! I didn't need to worry about waking up early the next morning for work, which was a real treat for me. I was going to keep playing! Never mind that I had already worked a full day, and been up for 18+ hours ... So, anyways, when I finally logged off I was down six buy ins on the session.

The next morning I woke up and did a review of the session. I came to the conclusion that maybe I could justify about two buy ins of losses for the session, the rest was just lagfish spew type stuff. I berated myself, and moved on from it clearly with the plan of not playing when I'm too tired.

The next few sessions did not go well, but just normal sort of downswing type sessions. No big deal, except that suddenly I was down about 8 or 9 buy ins in a row and my bankroll was sitting at around $35. I couldn't even open up 4 tables of 10nl if I had wanted to. This is when I realized that I was actually in danger of going broke on the site. In an earlier blog post here I mentioned that if I was to go broke on that site then I could just reload, but now that I was on the brink of busto I realized that I didn't want to send more money in. When I started playing cash games on that site I started in 10nl. I didn't want to play lower. I wanted to start in 10nl, kick ass, and then move up from there! HAH! ... Well, time to swallow some pride that you didn't deserve to have to begin with sir. I moved down to 5nl to try to avoid going bust.

As it turned out playing 5nl on TSTSNBN was like night and day compared to 10nl. The 10nl players mostly all had VPIP/PFR stats that were reasonable semi-reg type stats. Sure, once in a while at 10nl someone would show up who was way too tight or weak passive, but mostly guys vpip were in the 20s with no large gap between their vpip and pfr. In contrast, at the 5nl level there have often been several guys on one table at the same time who play like 45/5. I played one session with a guy for 145 hands who was playing about 83/45, and he was putting a straddle on each time he had the option, AND he was playing 100% of the hands where he put the straddle on, lol. When I came down to 5nl I went on a crazy heater for the first 1k hands with a win rate of 98bb/100. Some of it was the weaker player pool, but a lot of it was just me hitting every hand that I played. Obviously, that's not a win rate that I could keep up, but it was sweet for that short period of time.

At this point I have only played about 4k hands at 5nl with the last 2k or so just breaking even. I did end up not playing any poker at all from somewhere in the middle of June to the middle of July due to work and some family stuff that came up. When I came back from that is when I purged my hand histories again, which I don't really think was a mistake this time. I'm feeling good at 5nl right now on TSTSNBN, and if I was going to keep playing long term on that site then I would work up a correct sized bankroll for 10nl and move back up, then work on correct bankroll management to go for a move up to 25nl.

That's all for now.

Thanks for reading! Take care everyone.

 

T

8/4/14