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Sentras' 2014 Challenge

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  • Sentras' 2014 Challenge

    Goals 2014:

    - I buy HM2, as soon as I have my credit card. (Januari / Februari)

    - I turn $100 in $5000.

    - I read 6 poker books. (2 read)

    - I analyse my crucial hands at least for 1 hour every week.

    - I beat 25NL by the 1th of september

    - I beat 50NL by the 1th of Januari 2015

    - I can grind 4 hours every saturday and/or sunday by the 1th of april

    - I can grind 6 hours every saturday and/or sunday by the 1th of july

    - I can grind 8 hours every saturday and/or sunday by the 1th of october

    - I can grind 10 hours every saturday and/or sunday by the 1th of januari 2014

    - I play one Sunday million, if not bankrolled or sattelited. I may deposit $215 for it.

    Some disciplines/rules I make for myself:

    - During a grind I may take breaks of 5min every hour, or when I feel tilt isn't far away.

    - Edit: I beat a stake when I win 25k hands in a row with 5BB/100 hands (I changed 10k into 25k in a row, which is a little less variance dependent.)

    - I am forced to start at 5NL. I unlock 1 higher table when I beat the current stake with 5BB/100hands for every executive 5k hands. (fe. If I beat 5NL with 5BB/100 for 10k hands I may play max 2 tables of 10NL. I may have a maximum of 33% of my bankroll on the tables. So for playing 2tables 10NL I must have at least a bankroll of $60. I am allowed to play as many tables as I want as long as I'm within my bankroll and have unlocked them.

    - Edit: This rule is dissabled! When I unlocked 'X' amount of tables I may only play as many as I am capable of beating the stake below it. (fe. If I beat 5NL with 5BB/100 for 5K hands multitabling 8 tables, but haven't yet succeeded doing it with 10. Combined with being bankrolled and having unlocked 10tables for 10NL. I then may only play 8 tables of 10NL, until I beat 10 tables 5NL. This is to protect myself from huge drops in my bankroll.)

    - I play MTT & SNG's with only 0.5% of my bankroll as buyin.

    - I am allowed to top up to $100 whenever needed. (This amount is then added above my $5k challenge.)

    - I always use the responsible gaming request to exclude me to play 12. every evening I go out/ have 2 or more drinks. This is to protect myself from my drunk self. (Know your weaknesses and tackle them.) Once I don't have an urge to play poker anymore when I'm drunk I may slowly stop doing this. In the end I want to control myself.

    - I restrict myself from buy in limits, where I do not qualify for. This to avoid my mind from convincing myself (which might happen over the course of the year.) This to ensure I stay within my own rules. + Rather safe than sorry.

    - FPP may be used for buying items or as bankrollboosts. If I have 13.5k FPP's I may buy a Sunday million ticket 1ce.

    - I may add or change rules as I see fit. With a week changetime to ensure that I don't abuse it. (If change occurs its most likely to add rules or make the challenge tougher.)

    - If I reach Goldstar, I am allowed to use 0.5 FPP for every VPP into sunday special tournaments.


    If your goals don't scare you a little, you probably made them too easy to accomplish.

    I'll post here my updates when I have something to share.
    Last edited by Sentras; Mon Mar 10, 2014, 06:37 PM.

  • #2
    Hiyaa, Good Luck!!!



    • #3
      Update 1: first week 11/01/2014

      I've been grinding on avg 1 hour and half after a long day of work. Totalling around 6-8k hands so far this week. Which is wonderful as I expected myself to get the most hands in during saturdays and sundays. (My goals are also aimed to make saturday and/or sunday a classic workgrind day.)

      Today and tomorow I'm going to try and grind 4hours in a row to try and achieve my goal of 4hours asap. I also feel like I want to get as many hands in as possible, while making sure I'm still focused at the tables. Currently I'm 4tabling zoom, but I might switch to regular tables as I please.
      Because I decided to play zoom I'm adding myself a rule. In order to play a zoom table of a higher level, I need to unlock three tables. (So in order to zoom 4table 10NL, I must at least beat 60k hands with 5BB/100 in 5NL., while never having more than 33% of my BR in play.)

      I feel these rules are really helping me out so far. Not only to master my own style of bankrollmanagement, but also about playing these lower stakes and gaining little profits. I really start to appreciate every dollar more in my BR.I'm happy after a breakeven session, knowing I made mistakes. So after avoiding those mistakes in the future, the previous session would've been profitable. That is an AMAZING feeling.

      As for my most pressing goal of getting HM2. I will succeed! I should be able to purchase it next weekend or the week of the 20th.

      Only goal I currently left behind is reading a book. I decided to first read some investment books, which is more useful towards my new job. Although I might just decide to start reading a pokerbook for at least 1hour every weekend to start it off.

      As for VPP's. It's hard for me to estimate how fast I gain VPP's as I really didn't pay much attention of how many hands i actually put in and how many VPP's I gained in that course. However my minimum goal (my progress bar) for this month is to reach 900VPP's. I truely have no sight whether this is too easy to reach or not. Hopefully it is, so I can jump that higher and get a way higher FPP amount by the end of the year .

      As for my bankroll:
      I decided to deposit $60 last week.This for the simple reason that januari is a promotion month by pokerstars. For this promotion I can deposit another 30$ over 3 days, which will give me freeroll tickets. And every amount helps to reach my goal, so I take full advantage of it all!

      My rule of responsible gaming really helps me, as it now is impossible to play higher than 0.55$ tournaments / SNG's and I can't register in the 10NL games. (I don't have proof of beating 5NL for 5k hands without HM2.)

      I'm feeling really confident about my challenge! So far I'm $20 up! Of course this amount means nothing concidering 1 bad run will wipe it out and one good run will double it easely.

      BR: $91.44 ( + $30 ) = $ 121.44
      FPP: 1463.37 Silverstar.
      (I have some FPP's from last year, which I will take with me for the challenge.)


      • #4
        Extra update:

        I've been fortunate to get $1.20 in the januari challenge freeroll, which is amazing. Hopefully I can win one this month or be lucky in the final one.

        Besides that I've participated in the big bang tournament for this month. I had to sit out in the start for a very long time as I had family over the floor. I managed to go to the "toilet" to come play a few hands to gamble my chips up so I don't chip down too low. Luckely all that didn't matter and I took it down! My first ever 500+ players win, although I haven't really focused on tournaments since 2010-11.

        Due to this win I have a great jumpstart towards my challenge! But in the end that won't really matter. My rules force me to play 5NL and until I have proof due HM2 that I've beaten enough times 5NL for 5K hands. Only then I can jump towards 10NL.

        I see the win as a blessing not for the money! Because, now $1 -$5 profit won't seem much, but due the rules I'll really start to appreciate every small sum added to my bankroll how little it might even be.

        BR: 1287,31 (+ $30) = 1317,31
        FPP: 1375,68 (I played the 100FPP buyin VIP Silverstar tournament.

        Tomorow I'll grind at least 4 hours, as today I didn't quite get to that
        I can't wait to have my HM2.

        "The real measure of all your poker wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost it all."


        • #5
          Congrats on the Big Bang success. umbup: It was fun to rail you for the second half of the tourney. Maybe I should try sitting out early on next time. I could have avoided a brutal cooler by hiding in the bathroom. You have a great roll to feel comfortable with in cash games now, but don't become a bankroll degen.
          Bracelet Winner


          • #6
            Damn congratz on your big score!


            • #7
              Update Week 2:

              I'll be buying HM2 around the end of januari.

              I didn't succeed in grinding 4hours on sunday as I felt I was playing worse and worse, due to having a rather bad run. I lost 5buy-ins after 2k hands. I decided that was my stoploss for that day and immidiatly excluded myself from playing the upcoming 12hours.Luckely due to the big bang I did realise 4hours of grinding :p
              I wrote a blog about the 'responsible gaming' feature, feel free to check it out.

              After reviewing my play and thinking of what mistakes I make the most. I came to realize I might make 2 mistakes. I overplay my strong TPTK hands and overpairs to the board.
              Secondly I decided to stop semibluff raising nearly every time. I feel I fold out all weak hands by raises and keep in only strong hands in which if I get it in on the flop, I will either be coinflipping or worse. Even a coinflip is -EV as the rake in microstakes is too high to do coinflips. So I rather let them bluff on or make mistakes when my draw hits. Often you get a nice price anyways on draws.

              After deciding this I took myself some post-its and wrote down on them:
              - Don't overplay mediocre hands/ Even in 3B pots!
              - Calling a draw with a good price could amke more money when you hit.
              I pasted it on my screen to remind me while grinding.

              I play break evenish with these 'mistakes', which raelly cuts out an enormous amount of BUY-ins profit of my last 2 weeks. Perfecting this play would make me from break even to at least beating 5NL for 3-5BB/100 hands. Thus taking me close to 10NL! I hope to be able to 4table 10NL zoom by mid februari.

              I also stop 4Betting KK's against 100BB stacks. 9 out of 10times when i get 5B shoved on I run in AA. Last 2weeks that happened more than it should but hey thats poker. I doesn't annoy me, but I feel by not 4B'ing i keep so many more weaker hands in the picture. And will probably stack JJ QQ's if they have an overpair to the board aswell. Maybe even 10's.
              Only bad thing is Ahigh flops, but thats part of poker and forces me to become a better postflop player, which I definately can use. NLHE cash microstakes is all about postflop play. I think the higher the stakes the more important preflop play becomes aswell. But by that time my HUD will help me.

              I'll be playing the weekly 30k silverstar VIP tournaments of 100FPP every saturday I don't have plans.
              I'm also looking for a partner to share the profits with this tournament.
              The rules are simple: When we both play:
              - When you cash you send 50% to the other player. Thus guaranteeing less variance and a more steady payout. 40% chance to get $3 (half of $6.), which on avg gives you $ 1.2, solely depending on mincashes.$1.2 = 76FPP so on average we would lose 24FPP, but that more than makes up for bigger cashes.
              - When a person goes deeper the rule becomes 20% payout to other plays. (20% kicks in whenever that payout exceeds the mincashshare so 3$ aka a payout > $15.
              Someone interested to partner up with me? => send me private message.

              I would like to grind at least 247VPP's more this month, which should be around 15 hours more of grinding. Concidering this week was around 130VPP, it should be reached rather convincingly.

              PS: I'm super happy I have forced a limit of buyin's for myself through repsonible gaming. Else I might not have been able to resist 10 or 25NL.

              BR: 1276,41 (I decided to not deposit the last $30, as I already finished 10 januari chall. I may decide to deposit it later with other promotions.)
              FPP: 1571,08

              Thought of the week:

              A big part of doing your work is defending your time and your attention so you can do your work. - Seth Godin

              This also applies to your poker challenges. You have to fights an reserve time to work towards achieving it. I'm now forced to keep at least 1 day in the weekend completely open to grind my 4, 6 and 8hours over the year. And Work als the time you Work! Poker is work for me now, and luckely I love my work! Same for my real life work! I love my work! I to work!
              Last edited by Sentras; Sat Jan 18, 2014, 06:44 PM.


              • #8
                Hey, *big* congrats on the *big* finish with the *Big* Bang last month - would have personally been thrilled to just cash lol umbup:


                • #9
                  Update week 3:

                  This week I'm rather dissapointed in my play. I have been experimenting a lot without any real success.
                  However I had many cooler spots this week I should have still been capable of playing breakeven this week. But due to too light calls and moron plays I've managed to drop my BR by around $ 30.

                  It makes you wonder whether I'm actually breakevening 5NL. Goals for upcoming week:
                  - Don't bluff a river.
                  - Don't hero call/ TP call with 3 big valuebets.

                  This week I am happy about my VPP's. I've reached my month goal of VPP. So I upgrade the goal. Now I need 140VPP this week. might be a tough grind to get this in 4 days after work.
                  The good news is I'll certainly have my first Stella award.

                  I also updraded my Buyinlevel for tournaments & SNG's to $6. If I drop under $1200 It'll move to $5.

                  PS: Still can't wait for my HM2 to arrive in a small 2weeks I should have it, ready for the big bang So I can defend my title!

                  BR: $ 1240.47
                  FPP: 1931.69

                  Thought of the week:

                  "Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.”
                  Thanks to everyone having everything in poker and contributing towards the smaller players such as myself.


                  • #10
                    Update 4: Januari

                    This month has been a struggle and so far not profitable in my Cashgames. However it has been very educational and my play is improving rapidly. Thus ending my last week in a small profit with various good folds, which I normally would have called.

                    The Big Bang tournament win in week 2 came as a blessing and added a very nice boost to my bankroll. So far I have completed 1/4th of my 5k challenge goal. However I don't see that as the challenge,
                    I want to achieve at least 80% of my goals listed in thread 1, before I 'won' the challenge.

                    Next weekend I'll be playing with my HM2 HUD. Finally! This will help me analyse my play and abuse weak spots in the ranges of my opponents. And avoid bad spots preflop.

                    I'll start posting some graphs in februari to show my losses and profits. In cashgames I'm still stuck at least buyins this month.

                    Goals for februari:
                    - read 1 book.
                    - Start learning the ranges. fe. 3bet of 6% (is this maniac? is this legit? what range is that?) These are all things I'll have to learn while playing with my HUD and on forums. For some of you this might be general knowledge.

                    This will only proof if I beat my challenge, that everyone is capable! So this challenge is not only for me, but also for you guys to hopefully show anyone can become a good winner in poker if you put your time in valuable learnings.

                    - Play two days of 6 hours, to get used of grinding more.
                    - Print out some graphs and statistics I calculate for how to abuse from certain stats. fe: Stealing vs SB & BB with any2, 3B due to foldto3B knowledge. 4B to maniacs. But also the knowledge of how often a bet has to work to make it profitable. And all other I need to get in my head. The print outs are there to constantly train my brain to learn them.

                    BR: 1267.52
                    FPP: 2116.30

                    *First Stellar award unlocked for $10*

                    Join me next weekend in a battle to reach the final table on the big bang.
                    Also Dave 'The Langolier' will be analyzing my crucial hands of the later stages of the last Big Bang. This will also start the 8th of februari at 13ET or 19CET (same time as the big bang!!)


                    • #11
                      Update 4: Week 5

                      * Goal 1 reached. I have HM2.

                      Holdem manager 2 got me fired up and I've been grinding more hours after and before work. I've also started reviewing my lost pots. I notice nearly all my big losses are by going out of line myself, together with variance.
                      I'm still miles away from effectively beating 5NL,however my many notes and stats now allow me to exploit a lot of spots which adds moneys.

                      Sadly that info also loses me money by not believing the fish. A costly mistake that happened quite too often, from which I'll certainly learn and improve.

                      Here's my total graph. As you can see I'm like a chart on wall street. Hard to predict the future. But if you watch closer you can see a pattern beside the big variance swings.

                      1: I've been losing heavely by bad play. The deepest point in the graph is nearing the end of Januari. This was not even close depressing me, I got psyched to get myself back on track.
                      2: Since then I'm steadely growing, together with some unlucky -EVdiff. But that'll even out eventually

                      I've started playing around 5% of my hands in 10NL. To get a better feel on that level together with getting some handhistories and notes on regs and recreational players

                      BR: $ 1304,66
                      FPP: 2558,41


                      • #12
                        Week 5: update => Review with graphs & stakes.

                        Last sunday I had a HORRIBLE horrible horrible day of poker. No cards fell my way and all went to mars. Mostly set-ups by a cold deck. It's hard to imagine worse set-ups in a row are possible, but I bet a few will. Without whining about all those bad beats I'll just add my graphs to show you guys that 1 horrible day can quickly be turned around.

                        Here's my 5NL zoom graph which was mostly played januari and 1week in februari.

                        Here's you'll also see a downswing of 10 buy-ins, but here it was just poor play by me. Probably playing my C-game at the time. However in general the tendency is good. When I play solid poker my winrate goes up smoothly. (Note here I had no HUD.)

                        Here's my 10NL zoom graph which was played partly in the first week of februari and mostly the last 7days.

                        Here you can notice a downswing followed by an upswing? Well lets hope its not an upswing. However with that EV line you can see I'm not yet running well enough. Also notice the steady growth line over 10k hands. If I can keep this line up I'll be beating 10NL for sure.

                        Here is the total graph for my first month and a half.

                        Notice how big the downswing looks in total, losing from my highest point to at least dubble my lowest point. Which was morally really devastating. However monday is a new day and I picked myself up playing my A-game. And the results came that I deserved. Steadily over the last 4 days I grinded it back up in a nice little upswing.

                        I decided to go for Goldstar this month. Which is about 100VPP a day. Which I've more than achieved for this week. I have never achieved this, but if I don't suffer a 20-25Buyin loss, I'll make it. (Unless ofcourse I have a 60 Buyin win )

                        Being a goldstar would literally mean at least 1250 FPP more, which is a profit of at least €10 every month on top by FPP's.

                        BR: $ 1385.37
                        FPP: 3653.14

                        VIP stellar award 2 achieved.

                        EDIT: hehe I just posted the graph and like last time after that all hell breaks lose down some buyins now
                        Last edited by Sentras; Fri Feb 14, 2014, 09:34 PM.


                        • #13
                          Graph analysis towards playstyle.

                          So I opened my graph again and I saw a pattern, which was worth investigating. The spots in the graph are highlighted with circles. You notice everytime I make a big drop a red line increase takes place at the same time or a little after.

                          So what does this mean?
                          Well I can recall every single circle. Those are the momente where I was playing way more maniacstyle. more 3Bets, Checkraises and bluffraising rivers. This was mostly when I felt somewhat irritated. This is the moment I play my C-game or am starting to tilt.

                          The tilt mostly comes from running in setups or when I'm dissapointed of my play.

                          However if you watch the image you can also see that the 4th circle is actually instead of a drop in BB in a big upswing together with my redline. Here I was running like a god, so 4 out of 5times so far the strategy didn't work. Once I ran like a boss and that pumped my graph up. But this isn't something to be proud of, as it clearly is bad play.

                          Am I saying you can't play with a strong redline? Not at all, it is all about your playstyle. There are people who are great in aggression and evaluation their spots in 3B 4B pots and can pound on the weaker players. It isn't my playstyle (yet.)


                          • #14
                            Week 6 Update:

                            I started playing 25NL!! I had a big upswing the first day I started 25NL. Thats why this week I was capable of playing nearly 16K hands there. Currently beating it by 9BB/100. However this is way too high due to the good running. I think I beat it around 2-4BB/100 atm. However we'll see when I get more hands in. In the meantime I'll keep analysing 25NL and make massive amounts of notes on the regs and fishes. I noticed that there are still many fish in 25NL.

                            Sadly enough I from time to time am the fish myself! I notice myself making horrible calls. I raelly have to kick myself in the head from time to time.

                            As for goals:
                            - I read 2 poker books this week! I really worked hard this week.

                            I just can't wait to go 50NL and beat that stake. However I'm not going to jump to 50NL any time soon. I really want to have a decent sample in. Besides at least 25K hands where I beat it by 5BB/100, however even if I make that right away I won't go up. I would like to have a bankroll of $ 2500 for that, with confirmation by HEM+ feel that I'm worthy.

                            BR: 1784.59
                            FPP: 5756.05


                            • #15
                              Good job man
                              Team pokerstars member Xflixx was switching from 25 NL to 50 NL on his challenge this days, i hope you are following him on the social networks or youtube it might be very helpful for you.
                              Good luck



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