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Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #2

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  • Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #2

    I planned the work, but I didn't work the plan. Re #1. After a little research via the video library, I soon realized that I was opening too tight, and then over-playing my hands post flop. It took about 1500 hands to lose about 1/3 of my bankroll. I would stack off with top-pair top-kicker, and would almost always run into a set. I also stacked off several times with trips, getting the money in versus full-houses, flushes, and straights. By the end of the third session I also found playing one table at a time to be too boring, so I experimented with different things, like cascading 4 tables etc. In the end I settled on 3 tables tiled, with my new opening hand chart in the 4th slot. The reasoning behind this is three fold: My computer has the super sensitive touch pad feature, so I am not clicking with a mouse, but tapping the pad instead. I also found that I could not take effective notes when desired while 4 tabling. Finally, being able to see all my hole cards in all my hands meant that I could take better advantage of the 'fast fold' button, and actually play more hands in the long run. Which leads to part #2 of my failed plan; I soon realized that my intended 500 hands per session plan was over in well less than an hour. This is - in fact - a huge bonus, because with the increased volume, I made it to 'chrome' status in no time at all. I will soon have the magical 150 VPPs needed to unlock those elite training sessions in the video library. I have watched several of Gareth's and Felix's 20+ VPP cash game videos, and found several things which I immediately applied with profitable results. I recovered my losses, and peaked my bankroll at $117.26. Today's session did not go well, however, and I am back down to $108.03 - where I originally started. I also spent all my 'tournament' dollars on shot taking, including an $11 Sunday Million satellite. The shots did not work out, but in principle I consider it to be paying myself; as if it was a cash out. Barring a massive down swing of fortune, I have probably achieved my intended goal of attaining traction at the bottom level of cash games. So next part of the plan is to grind up to $150, then play 2/5 NL Zoom. If the bankroll drops to $125, then I will move back down to 1/2 NL Zoom. Sounds good? As promised in the last blog, here is a hand where I foolishly lost my stack to an unknown villain. I thought I was being clever by check/calling flop and turn, then check/shoving the river. It never occurred to me that I was behind. Would you have folded? If 'Yes,' then when? Cheers
    5 Time Bracelet Winner

  • #2
    Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future Part #1

    Here is the link to my original blog on this topic:

    5 Time Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #3 http:// Apologies if the graph I am trying to display comes up twice or not at all. It is a link from my face book account. These are my results from New Years' Day to today, since recovering from the initial bankroll shock of being a cash game newbie. Zoom 6-max at first glance appears to be quite swingy - the stack grows quickly, then shrinks quickly. A couple of times I was thinking that I would be moving up to 2/5 NL soon. After all Felix did it in his "Grind It Up!" series in less 9000 hands, right? However, this disregarded that Felix actually knows what he is doing, and I am relatively new to cash games, Zoom, and six-handed tables. His videos make it look easy, but he put the effort, the study, the hours, and the hands to get to the level that he is at. (It would be fair to suggest that he is talented as well.) So at second glance of the graph, it appears that I have been a break even player. Not losing, but not having the skill to beat the game either. Though it still seems I have the traction to stay at this level - which was the initial goal - there is lots of room for improvement. The final downswing on the graph is partly tilt, variance, and old bad habits. The bankroll would be a lot bigger if I could learn to fold when I know that I am behind in a hand. In the span of a couple hundred hands (not even a half hour 3-tabling Zoom) I lost with AA twice, KK three times, QQ twice, and JJ twice. Great starting hands, but only twice - both with KK - did all the money go into the pot pre-flop. When I had AA on a 952 rainbow board, and got check raised on the flop, I shoved all in thinking, "I couldn't possibly run into another set in such a short period of time." Of course, this is not a great line of thinking when faced with a difficult decision. The villain had 99, and had previously opened the cut off, then called my 3-bet out of position. In a couple of other hands all the villain had to do was call as I bloated the pot on three streets. Bad decision making can also breed a cycle of more bad decisions. According to LeakTracker the two biggest potential problems in my game are folding to flop continuation bet %, and folding to flop bet %. In other words, backing down to bluffs, and not playing enough of my potential draws. On dry flops there is also the possibility of flat calling in order to bluff on later streets. At the lowest stakes players probably bluff less, but I need to learn to distinguish between when I am ahead versus when I am behind in a hand. In general, just learn to play better, and make fewer mistakes after the flop. Another potential leak discovered is not 3 betting enough, particularly in the blinds. I think finding players who frequently try to steal in late position are the best targets, but I would still like to keep my range tight - less than 5% - in the small blind. What do you think? Now for some fun stuff. Here are hands where I got stacked off. Since Mac computers can not use HUDs during Zoom, consider these villains to be relatively unknown. Kudos to those who get guess what they had: #1 Oh boy, I really fell deeply in love with these cards until show down: #2 This was from around hand 5000: #3 This is where I should stop and ask if I'm about to tilt:
      5 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #4 I updated Mac OS X to Maverick since the last post, and PokerStars now quits unexpectedly when I multi-table Zoom. Sometimes I am playing in more than one hand when this happens, and I lose because of it. So I decided not to multi-table Zoom for now. As a result I have only played 22,170 Zoom hands, but I really was clueless about what volume to expect. My win rate is +2.43/100bb - not very good - but my game has improved. Even when not winning, I know my decision making is getting better. Some leaks in my game have been plugged, and the truly bone-headed stack-offs are fewer. I am still 15 buy-ins from moving up in stakes, but the focus here is to be a better player. The Chrome Boost promotion last month should help with earning more FPPs next week, and VPPs are easy to come by playing Zoom. I used the VIP calculator at, and it says that you can make SilverStar status playing 25,000 hands. This does not sound reasonable, because I earned slightly less than 225VPPs last month. Maybe playing very loose it would possible, but can you be a winning player earning that many points in only 25,000 hands? Leave a comment if you have done it. I think playing a minimum of 50,000 hands would make more sense, but that is more hands than I could expect to play this in 28 day month. The only thing interesting of note regarding LeakTracker is that 22,170 hands is actually a comparatively small sample size - not large enough to give accurate results. In the last half of January the program stats suggest that I fold too often to river bets when playing in middle position. However, I won showdown (WSD) after river calls ZERO times in middle position. Zero times?! I lost with full houses, flushes, straights, sets, two pair, and sometimes TPTK. Either my hand reading skills are atrocious, or this is variance. The hope is that a larger sample will make this paradox less incongruent. Or maybe I would have won with all the garbage hands that I folded instead of calling. Here is a link to my Zoom hands graph: Here are two hands for your viewing pleasure. Give yourself a hardy slap on the back if you guess correctly what cards they held: 1. This is the one and only hand that I have played against this villain. I am certain he spewed off his entire bankroll was quite quickly. 2. I am very happy with my check on the river in this hand. I think it was a solid decision. I hope to play more often against this type of villain. Can you guess what he held?
        5 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5


          You don't have to play 25,000 hands! See my blog at:

          If I remember right I made over 1100 VPPs last month and about 6500 since more seriously playing since November, 2013. The difference is I play 25NL Zoom and VPPs are very dependent on how much goes in the pot. It doesn't mean you lose that money

          I started at 2NL and didn't even think of VPPs. I focussed on the game and learning. Take care and it will all come to be.


          P.S. At 2NL, I certainly wasn't playing more than ONE table!


          • #6
            Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #5

            Here is the link to #5. Please leave comments here in the thread, rather than at the blog.

            5 Time Bracelet Winner


            • #7
              Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #6 February was a month of ups and downs in the world of Zoom poker. The first week I ran very well, and made a tidy profit. Then week two saw me lose that profit, and everything else I earned so far this year. I was rather disgusted at the though of playing poker at that point, so instead, I took week three off to read and watch training videos during the time that I would normally spend grinding. It was almost a relief to watch Felix's "soul crushing" run bad session; it makes me feel better about the variance. The Olympic games were also a nice distraction. When I returned to playing poker a few days ago I put $5 aside to grind some of the MicroMillions satellites. This has turned out to be a good decision so far, because I am running well, and the competition has been generous. I also took 3 satellites shots today at getting into the 8th Anniversary Sunday Million. I exited the first two early with AA, and the third got crippled holding KK. I also played the Online Poker Show Freeroll, where I finished 12th out of 25757. So close and yet so far! Only the top nine are paid, with the winner getting the $215 ticket, and the rest of final table getting a $7.50 step1 ticket. Its about seven hours to get to the bubble, and the value is slightly better than one cent ($0.01) per entry. Meh. I got one more shot tomorrow with the PSO satellite; hoping to get hit over the head by the deck. But there can be some skill involved, to fill the gaps between where there is no luck. Here is a hand I submitted earlier for analysis, one where I knew I was beat. A couple of months ago I would have paid the villain off, and blamed the poker gods for being cruel. I believe these kinds of folds help the bankroll grow quicker. If you have 20+ VPPs, then check out Gareth's videos on how to fold absolutely strong hands. While grinding satellites I have been playing at least one table of Zoom. I have won back all my losses, paid for my satellite shots, and put my bankroll at an all-time high. On the one hand, this is where the downswing usually occurs. On the other hand, I may be in a position to move up in stakes by the end of the month. In the original post April Fools Day was alluded to as an evaluation time.
              5 Time Bracelet Winner


              • #8
                Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #7

                As said in the blog, I hit my bankroll target today for moving up stakes. I wanted $150 before trying 5NL Zoom. I have $130.92 cash, and T$20.61. So the question that begs to be asked is the T$ a valid part of my bankroll as far as cash games are concerned? Should I grind another $19 of real money before trying to move up? Every other shot that I have ever taken has failed; what can I do to make this one stick?

                I am formulating the plan as I type this.....

                1) I will grind to $135 real money, and then play one single table 5NL 6-Max Zoom only.
                2) I will play at only at specific hours, because...
                3) I will observe that game via the lobby one hour a day this week during my target times to scout some of the competition: The call stations, the maniacs, the TAGs, the LAGs, etc. Finding players to who are weak, and players to avoid. (I will NOT be using PokerTracker, but just taking notes on specific hands and player tendencies instead.)
                4) I will always use top-up, but if my bankroll is down to $125 real money, its shot over - back to grinding 2NL. No chasing losses, period.
                5) I will watch some 5NL videos to see if there is much difference in the play from 2NL to 5NL.

                What do you think? Did I miss anything?
                5 Time Bracelet Winner


                • #9
                  Sattie Grinding: 100 1st Place Ties!!!

                  Like the title says, I hit a milestone today.

                  Also changed my plans; staying with 2NL Zoom until I plug a couple leaks in my game. I am trying to bump up my 3-betting percentage to where it should be for a typical profitable player. Also need to improve my post flop play: floating, hero calling etc. Have gotten better at folding when behind, but probably getting bluffed off the best hand too often when checking later streets. Therefore, 2NL is a better learning ground to do this, rather than experimenting while taking shots at higher stakes. But thanks to the MicroMillions satellites, my bankroll has surpassed the $160 mark. With most of the profit has being T$s, I can wait until I hit $150 in real money before taking a shot at 5NL. There is no need to hurry, the goal here is to learn how to play poker; profit is secondary.

                  So the new challenge is to convert the T$s into real money after the MicroMillions. The easy option is to play $1.50 50/50 STTs. Another option might be to start a stake thread - sell half my action - and grind $1 180 MTTs. I would like to try the 180 man games, but my bankroll plan requires to have 200 by-ins to play these games. Selling some shares would help with the variance, though at games with 15 minute blind levels my +ROI is significantly above average. A third option is to try learning a new game, like sit & go $1.50 HU. A final option is to just save the T$s for now, and see what comes up down the road with regards to future promotions and events.

                  I tried some play money HU, where one of two things has happened: My opponent shoves all-in every hand. My opponent takes a stack or two from me early on, then leaves the table when I adjust to their game.

                  I have been trying to incorporate the concept of bet/folding for value at 2NL Zoom, and have not yet seen positive results - though I am sure there are benefits. I have been re-raised out of several large pots, which tends to create tilt in me, partly because I wonder if I folded the best hand. This causes me to call in other spots where I should not be calling. In one such multi-way hand I folded pocket QQ to a J high bluff. The next hand I stacked off KK into the big blind's K6s flush, where I could have checked the river, instead of betting, versus a wet board.

                  What is kinda cool is that I recently had a 2000 hand session where I got AA in for 200+ bb pre-flop and lost, then did it again, then got KK cracked several times. Then a couple of sets were rivered by a flush and a straight. I got 3bet frequently, where I had opened hands like QTo, KJo, A3s etc., and did not want to continue. I figured I had exceeded my stop-loss of 4 buy-ins, but when I checked my account, I was down only 1 & 1/2. Somehow all the little wins had made up for the big losses. I was fortunate that twice I river bet into someone holding the absolute nuts, and they merely called. Another time I had checked expecting to make a hero call on the river, but they checked back with the nuts. WHEW!
                  5 Time Bracelet Winner


                  • #10
                    Zoom is the Present, and Maybe the Future #9 (and the other new side plan)

                    Links Akimbo!

                    Sometimes I write a post in this thread, and then mention it in my blog.

                    Other times I write a blog entry, and then mention it in this thread.

                    ......This bankroll is big enough for 5NL Zoom....

                    But first I will grind fifty $1 180 man games.

                    5 Time Bracelet Winner


                    • #11
                      how is gooing with the zoom ? how many tables u play ? what's your stats and winrate ?


                      • #12
                        Tonks Shuffle! It was enjoyable reading your thread my friend. You have such a great learning attitude, better than I did in the past. I just want you to know that I have been where you are right now! I think I can really offer you some good advice, and I am sure I can learn lots from you as well I am wondering, if you would be interested in perhaps skyping some time and talking about strategy? Something I think you may want to look into is watchin videos of others playing zoom. Xflixx has lots of videos of where he has played and talks about the hands. There are a few things i'd like to tell you, but perhaps on skype.

                        Hope to hear from you soon, and good luck at the tables!


                        • #13
                          Verdict: Guilty of Killing 5NL Zoom! I confess! While zooming I don't use a HUD. I take lots of notes instead. And while playing 5NL I didn't look at my stats once; except for the bankroll stat. It took a fraction of the time and hands played to beat 5NL than it took to get past 2NL. Here are some reasons why: + Must have been on a lucky heater. ++ Must have gotten better as player. +++ Must have figured out the meta-game for playing deep stacked. (The rich get richer.) ++++ You are not forced to play for as many multi-way pots at 5NL. ++++ There are not as many bizarre suck-outs vs fish at 5NL. ++++++ Before moving up from 2NL to 5NL I railed (studied) the 5NL game, took notes, and labelled my new villains. There has been some significant adjustments made while learning cash games. While looking at LeakTracker I was confounded that I was losing too often at showdown, while it also indicted that I folded too often at showdown. This leak got plugged but, ...its hard to explain how. I was having lots of sessions where I was winning many pots without showdown, but if it went to showdown I mostly lost. So then I would start folding too often. I found that I needed to make a general shift across the whole spectrum of my game. This included the following: + tightening up (slightly) pre-flop opening ranges in early position. + loosening pre-flop calling ranges (slightly) in late position. + 3-betting lighter - instead of calling - in late position with hands that don't play well post flop (like ATs, for example.) + most importantly; taking a line that induces the villain to bluff the river. This usually entails checking TPTK on the flop or turn - it depends on whether or not your villain would expect you to bet one of those street, but instead, you don't. + The next logical step after inducing bluffs would be to re-raise the river, but this is tricky to do. It comes back to the axiom, "they'll only call with better hands." I decided to move up 10NL Zoom when I hit $300, but when I got to $297 I had a spell where flushes and sets got cracked by river cards, and lost 5 buy-ins. But things went much better today, so it is time to start railing (note taking) the 10NL Zoom game. I got past the $300 mark, and also have a $10 VPP bonus coming. So that makes 6 buy-ins for a shot at 10NL Zoom. If the bankroll drops to $250, then I will move back down to 5NL. When the grind gets to $750, that is where the 25NL shot happens.
                          5 Time Bracelet Winner


                          • #14
                            Hi super_wolf, Arv, Dr E, et al, I took a couple of months off from playing poker, and blogging as well. My win rate at 5NL Zoom is slightly better than +12BB/100. Unfortunately my loss rate overall at 10NL Zoom is close to -20bb/100. In fact it is -43bb/100 in my last two 10nl sessions! I have worked my way through 5NL fairly quickly four times now, but have run poorly after that. I do not think that the skill level between 5nl and 10nl is particularly different; it has just been variance that has gotten my stacks. My shots for 10nl have been 5 - $10 stacks ($50). When those are gone I have to move back down as my bankroll agenda is to play 5nl grind $250 to $300 before taking the 10nl shot. As soon as l am back down to $250, I have to start climbing the ladder again. The good news is that I have played a fairly small sample size of 10nl. My last two shots were about 1500 and 800 hands each, with variance really working its dark magic. My win rate with sets during the 1500 hand run was slightly better than 18%, so I guess I should be pleased that I lasted as long as I did. I have had a couple of worse stretches at 2nl. I ran KK into AA pre-flop 4 times as well, which is also unlikely in such a small hand sample. I think it should happen in 6-max around only 2.4% of the time. I have also learned a new trick where AA calls my 4-bet then gets the money in on the flop. Someone holding AA is unlikely to flat rather than five bet pre-flop, making it easy to get the money in on the flop provided he doesn't make a set. At least it has worked against me a couple of times. I think I will try this trick as well in the future. I know that the odds of someone flopping a flush is 118 to 1, so once again, I shouldn't be too worried when I see a suited flop. Here my opponents are running over EV as well - but it won't be forever. Here are a couple of hands to laugh at: 1) Slow playing trips, hoping to get the money in on the river. Too bad I got my wish - he flopped a full house! http:// 2) Versus a short stack, he min 3-bets pre-flop. I decide to flip seeing as how he should be committing all 15 of his blinds. At least the river card was a sweat. Nice hand Sir! http:// 3) I always play with auto-top-up. I think you lose out on potential profit if you don't. However, here I am down to my last stack when taking the 10nl shot, so it gets turned off. In this case, it saved me money. Getting hit by backdoor draws is why my win rate is so low - especially with sets. But I want to play more hands at 10nl soon, because players like this one will be paying me off eventually, and often. Hope to see you again, Sir! This particular hand is not a set, but you'll get the idea. Like Custer's Last Stand, my latest exit from 10nl: http:// Thanks to playing higher stakes, this is the first month ever that I have earned more than 500VPPs. So every dark cloud has a silver(star) lining.
                            5 Time Bracelet Winner


                            • #15
                              Win Rate Reversal Does anyone one know what the average win rate with sets should be? I'm guessing 70% - 80%, but I don't know for certain. Over the last month and a bit my win rate with sets has been abysmal. I should probably save a bunch of hands to submit for a coaching session. I now get the money in expecting to lose: http://
                              5 Time Bracelet Winner