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2013 Time Vault Challenge

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  • 2013 Time Vault Challenge

    My Goal for 2013 At the beginning of the year, I laid out my 'big picture' goals for 2013 in the progress blog I've been maintaining here at PSO for over a year, here: 2013 Agenda And I'm going to dedicate this Time Vault Challenge thread, to my main goal of wanting to finally master the fundamentals of solid play, so that I'll have a strong foundation upon which to build a more complex game moving forward. I'd like to do things like: - bet when I have equity * fold when I don't - avoid marginal spots by thinking ahead to how I intend to respond to future streets Those might sound like pretty basic moves, but I guess there's a lot of different ways to play and win at poker? And it's been pretty surprising to see how far I've been able to go without being a very good folder In the past, I relied a lot on player reads while playing SNGs to compensate for my lack of knowing a lot of post-flop pot odds (particularly when it came to those 'action flops' where everybody's on draws). And had a pretty decent win-rate at the entry-level games. And while playing Zoom (my current game, 5nl), I've tended to rely a lot on my HUD to get reads on people, I think as a way to compensate for my impatience, low threshold for boredom, and my high tolerance for gamble (translation: I float/bluff a lot more than most, with marginal holdings). And have an *okay* win-rate here too ... I wish it were higher - it's anywhere from 5bb/100 to 7bb/100 at any given time. But I'd like to take a shot at 10nl sometime this year, and I don't know if it's going to be possible to remain profitable, without being able to fold in very standard spots? Like the big leak in my game seems to be staying too long in pots- not folding when I should on the river ... or winding up at the river because I should have folded a lot sooner. So I guess that'll be the primary focus of this thread - folding. So that's what I'm hoping to use this thread for - keeping tabs on my folds day-in and day-out. Sorry in advance if this makes for a really boring read. May try to spice things up with contrast hands of the way I used to play ... those are usually good for some lols Thread Organization Just a note on how my thread'll be organized - I'll probably have a bunch if different stuff going into this thread, so I'll try to tag things by using a color-coded heading scheme, so people will be able to tell at a glance what's in each post. The color scheme'll be as follows: Orange - goal articulation, status updates Green - fun posts containing videos, comics, etc Dark Red - Educational Stuff - quizzes on ranging, optimal lines, etc. A lot of these'll probably focus on the type of villain that seems to give me the most trouble - passives (both loose and tight) Bright Red - Educational Stuff - big picture theory stuff (these'll be heavy reads, but'll have the potential to propel our games forward, for anybody who's willing to plod through the material and try to incorporate the ideas into our game? Hopefully? ) Blue - the boring stuff you can probably skip over, aka my hand histories. They're meaningful to me, because I'm trying to work on my leaks. But since leaks tend to be unique to the person, these might not make for the most interesting reads for anybody else? And there's probably going to be LOTS of these posts ... because I've got a lot of leaks lol!! EDIT: Thinking of adding the following non-binding 'goals': 1. Increase bankroll by $1,000 by end of year 2. Watch at least 1 video/week from the library I've got a win-rate of over 5bb/100 at 5nl, and used to play about 25,000/month. So the only way for me to make $1,000 by the end of the year would be to move up to 10nl sooner rather than later. The only thing I dread more than taking a shot is not meeting a goal, so ... am thinking that setting a monetary goal might actually be a good thing for me ... I'd actually like to watch more than 1 video/week until I catch up with my backlog. Guess if I don't spend as much time posting in this thread, and instead spend the time watching vids, there ought to be time? Will see how it goes I guess ... NOTE TO SELF: Things to do for this Challenge: 1. Post in this thread at least twice a week 2. Post a blog at least twice a month January - TVC 0101, TVC 0102 (January done!) New Goal for 2013 - updated March 15, 2013 Have to set a new goal - hope to use this thread now to practice hand ranging ... wish me luck! umbup: New Goal for 2013 - updated August 28, 2013 Time for a new goal - am hoping to learn how to play more than 200 hands/hour. So maybe I can use this thread to keep track of my attempts at trying to improve this rate? Gosh, this one is scary because the faster I try to play, the more mistakes I tend to make. So, this might be costly ... hope it doesn't go *too* badly New Goal for 2013 - updated Sept. 25, 2013 Back to hand ranging - and trying to play a more solid game umbup:
    Last edited by TrustySam; Thu Sep 26, 2013, 03:54 AM. Reason: Needed a new goal

  • #2
    Good Luck Sam and thanks for sharing.umbup: PH .

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    • #3
      Thanks Hitman!!

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      • #4
        Sounds like a good plan I look forward to reading more,

        Grade b
        I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

        13 Time Bracelet Winner


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        • #5
          I feel like You - I tend to call / bluff with marginal hands when it is not profitable to play!
          Good luck to level up Your mindset!

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          • #6
            @gradeb @KKNGroup - hey!!

            Yeah, lots of room for improvement in my game But there's nothing wrong with that, eh? At one point I was playing with a VPIP of 50, so ... isn't there a saying that making mistakes is like an opportunity to learn what not to do, or something like that ... or it's a chance to get closer to learning how to do something right, or something? Think that sums up my learning process pretty well so far ... LOL


            GL GL to all of us with our goals, and in having lots of fun at the tables in the coming year!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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            • #7
              Good luck on your challenge for the year. Don't forget that if you want to qualify for the >>Time Vault<< you will also need to write a blog about your challenge in the >>Blog<< section. All the instructions on how to qualify for this years Time Vault promotion can be found >>HERE<< Best of luck with your poker goals for 2013! Raiser umbup:

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              • #8
                The RR welcome post umbup: That's a relief to see, given that the people who made their posts in the wrong section don't get anything at all. So, it's nice to know I got this part okay Wow, Royal, this promotion's gotten so popular, eh? Never expected there to be 50 people signed up for this thing, given that there's only about like 30 people total who post on a regular basis. But there's already 50, and the month's just a little over half over - wow. Gonna be lots of work for whoever winds up responsible for coordinating this thing. I wonder if there'll be incentive type stuff throughout the year to help keep us motivated, that nobody's mentioned yet - like special Live Training events, or surprise freerolls or anything like that ... that'd be great!! Probably Royal's not checking into peoples' threads once he posts the welcome thingie since there's so many of us ... so I'm pretty sure I'm just talking to myself here lol. Oh well ... Back to the tables - for anybody who's stopped into read my ramblings, thanks for reading, and hope you have an awesome Sunday grind!!! umbup:

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TrustySam View Post
                  Probably Royal's not checking into peoples' threads once he posts the welcome thingie since there's so many of us ... so I'm pretty sure I'm just talking to myself here lol. Oh well ...
                  Boo! Raiser umbup:

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                  • #10
                    Here's a summary of how I've wound up where I'm at now - 5nl 6max Zoom - along with links to the blogs I've been keeping:


                    So I've been playing poker for over two years now, and have been blogging about all the fun/interesting things I've encountered since October 2011, when I decided it was high time I start trying to actually turn a profit at this hobby ... or at least try to stop losing money ... so much

                    I used to play the leagues, and found to be an awesome way to learn and practice solid TAG poker against quality opponents, and sometimes even make some nice money to boot.

                    Then I switched focus to $1.50 STT's (regular speed), after hearing a lot of profitable players say that picking one game to play is key to winning money over the long haul, and found that to be very true! I blogged about that experience here:

                    October 2011+
                    Goal: To try and turn a profit
                    - went in search of one game I could commit to and learn the ins and outs of
                    - started record-keeping (+/-$ per game)
                    - bought a good HUD (pokertracker)
                    - started playing $1.50 regular speed STT's
                    - started and stopped playing 5nl
                    - encountered variance, tilt, downswings
                    - encountered some tricky hands


                    February 2012+
                    Goal: To try and up my volume of play to 100 games for the month
                    - worked on bubble play (push/fold and ICM calcs, etc)
                    - encountered fatigue
                    - tried to think of ways to pick up and keep chips during a downswing
                    - encountered tilt and burnout, and wound up taking a break from my STT's
                    - started playing 2nl
                    - got to play against 2 pros in WBCOOP which was really scary, but so so exciting!!




                    So the $1.50 STT's wound up turning out pretty good - made something like $75 over 200+ games. But then I got bored and went in search of something new, and wound up deciding to give cash games a go. After continuing on with 2nl (6max), I then moved over to 2nl (6max) ZOOM, and have been having lots of fun, but am finding myself at best break-even in terms of the money. I blog about that experience here:

                    March 2012+

                    Goal: To move away from STTs and give cash games a go
                    - discovered that loose passives seem to be easier to make money off of than maniacs and solid TAGS
                    - discovered that bluffing could be very costly at 2nl
                    - found some articles on how to use certain HUD stats to better tell who's likely to call and who's likely to fold
                    - noticed some key differences between cash game play and SNG play (deeper stacks, need for stack to pot ratio awarenes moreso than relative stack sizes of opponents and stack size relative to blinds, blinds stealing and blind defense)
                    - learned about how to better table select to find those loose passives
                    - started noticing leaks in my game (staying too long in pots, not raising enough to protect my hands, chasing draws, etc.)


                    May 2012+ (Leak Busting Edition)

                    Goal: To try and become profitable at cash games
                    - bought a Leak Busters program to analyze my play and very quicky became profitable
                    - The three big changes I made to my game in the switch to 100bb play:
                    - 1. The deeper stacks allow all of us to play more speculative holdings like pocket pairs and suited connectors, that make big hands (like sets, straights, flushes, boats), so I had to adjust TAG ranging (especially continuing ranges) to include other stuff and not just TPTK
                    - 2. Found out the hard way that there's FAR less fold equity on the flop than in SNGs ... and that if you continue to barrel all the way to the river, the pot gets huge when people are 100bbs deep – ie bluffing can be very costly, especially at 2nl!
                    - 3. Deeper stacks makes it more costly to chase draws, since it's more common for opponents to fire another big barrel on the turn – and with rarely more than 27% equity, it's rarely +EV to continue – I still struggle with this actually LOL!!
                    - became profitable at 2nl with a winrate of something like 6bb/100
                    - my blog starts getting more interesting at this point
                    - moved up to 5nl
                    - participated in a full-ring vs 6max challenge where my shifted my blogging to this thread, along with the rest of team 6max: Challenge Thread
                    - have been profitable at 5nl, with a winrate of about 6bb/100 here as well
                    - started grinding like crazy and became a Silver Star
                    - but I've got a TON of leaks - there's still lots of recreational players at 5nl. But people are a lot better at this level than they were at 2nl, so there's less room for error



                    Cliffs Notes Version: Been playing poker for a little over two years now, and am currently working on sharpening up my game at 5nl by trying to plug up leaks.

                    Think that's it
                    Last edited by TrustySam; Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:49 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by royalraise85 View Post
                      Boo! Raiser umbup:
                      Aha - you got me!!! loloollloll - good for you Royal ... hardest working person at PSO umbup: umbup: Have a nice day!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TrustySam View Post
                        Aha - you got me!!! loloollloll - good for you Royal ... hardest working person at PSO umbup: umbup: Have a nice day!!!
                        All good Sam, I don't have answers to some of your questions in post #8 but hopefully an announcement will be made early this week. For now I was just told to give the reply with the links to the Time Vault instructions to any member that hasn't already started their blog. I wish you the very best in your challenge for 2013. Raiser umbup:

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Raiser!! umbup: Two-Tabling, Down to Chromestar for February, Playing Without a HUD How Many Tables to Play? A couple of weeks ago I decided to cut my 4-tabling down to two to try and improve my concentration as I try to work on improving the quality of my play. And I feel like it's been helping a lot! Playing one was even better, but two seems to be fine for learning, so I've stuck with that and intend to continue only playing two until I get better at this folding stuff ... could be a while ... Going Down to Chromestar in February So, now that I'm playing half as many tables as before, and I've been playing less this month than before, I'm WAY off pace for Silver Star, and don't see how I'm going to be able to make up the difference by the end of the month at the current pace I'm playing. Sometimes we can't have everything though I guess ... so since improving is my top priority, I've decided to stick with the two-tabling over continuing to try and stay Silver Star. I guess the rest'll come in time as my game improves ... Playing Without a HUD So on Friday, after PokerStars got updated, my HUD stopped working for zoom - and then Poker Tracker lost touch with my database of hands in addition to that. And having become so dependent on my HUD, I wound up having this moment of like, stress and panic, like 'omg omg ' lol! But, then I thought about how, if I'm trying to become less dependent on my HUD, what better way to kick that habit than to play without one? I wouldn't have thought it was possible to play without one, but there's a couple of people here at PSO who don't use one at the tables and are doing really well, so I decided to just go with it. And playing without a HUD the first 10-15 minutes was positively frightening!! It felt like ... driving blind I guess? And why anybody blind would want to drive, I mean like I don't know ... After that though, I kind of started to see some benefits, like becoming more conscious of the value of the cards in front of me, having an easier time making +EV decisions, having less FPS (fancy play syndrome). There's still some room to semi-bluff and stuff, but mostly I've been sticking to value. Will post a couple of interesting hands below that I wound up playing a lot differently than usual. My HUD is actually working again, but I've decided to keep it off. But my Poker Tracker still isn't loading up hands, so I have no idea how I'm doing win-wise. But variance-wise, my luck hasn't been so great, so I'm not looking at my graph over such a small sample would be that meaningful just yet? Will have to try and get PT working again today!
                          Last edited by TrustySam; Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:49 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Playing Without a HUD - Took a Different Line Than Usual #1 So I got AQs in the bb ... sometimes I'd 3bet/squeeze pre-flop into a raiser and a caller if I got the sense that in doing so I might be able to thin the field, and that the person might be inclined to fold to a cbet post-flop if the board texture were suitable for one? But without reads, I felt like I had to take a more cautious line with my AQs - because what if utg 4bet? what if utg just called and the button wound up calling too? Wow, so in this case I was *really* glad I didn't have reads - because if I had, I'm pretty sure I would have chosen to 3bet pre-flop. And might have wound up cbetting post-flop (even thought the board was suited and connected ... since it kind of lower value? Not sure, because there might have still been 2 people in the pot - not sure either would have folded to a 3bet?) And my ranging tends to be too conservative for looser players - like, wouldn't you expect somebody who raises utg to be pretty strong? And when somebody half-bets in position, doesn't that tend to look a little bit weak? I don't think I ever would have put either of those two on the hands they actually held. I used to check-raise with nut flush draws and overs, until I got the advice in HA that it's generally going to be too spewy unless (1) you've got a monster draw (open-ender, flush draw, and overs - with all outs being live), or (2) you're fairly sure the person will tend to fold. So I stopped reraising with draws, but here, gosh I was tempted after utg didn't cbet ... Does my line strike people as awfully passive? It felt a little funny to me, but I think it might have been okay given my lack of reads?
                            Last edited by TrustySam; Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:58 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Playing Without a HUD - #2 Wasn't completely sure what this person's re-raise on the flop represented, since it was so small. I've seen people reraise on boards like this with all sorts of hands, from TPNK, to 2-pr, to sets, to better (and worse) flushes. So readless, I figured since the A was on the board, my flush was probably the best hand on the flop. And so when the bb called, I prioritized getting value above protecting my hand, and just called to try and keep them both for at least one more street? I guess I could have tried to get the money in on the flop, but the bb should have been fairly weak given that the A was on the board and they didn't 3bet pre-flop, so I think I should have been a favorite to win, even multi-way? I posted a very similar hand in HA a while ago. Does it look to everybody like the button made a boat when the board paired? And since he was so short, and made the reraise on the flop, I don't think he was going to fold to a reraise, so I guess the end result would have been the same no matter what, eh? I really like my fold here!! umbup:
                              Last edited by TrustySam; Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:13 PM.

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