Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September Milestones

August, finally is over, what a month, unbelievable month. I had my biggest downswing at the tables for the first time. Never had a downswing of this size by playing 9 man SNG (regular blinds). Last week I was down for about $100, what a negative stretch! Right now, I recovered almost half.

August Overall Numbers:
Total games played: 216
Total Profit/Loss: - $17

Now let's check out what games I played and where I lost/won:
SNG 9 Man:
Total games: 90
Profit/Loss: - $15.4

SNG 6 Man:
Total games: 6
Profit/Loss: + $43.2

SNG Heads Up:
Total games: 126
Profit/Loss: - $44.8

These kind of negative variance could happen sometimes, but instead of complaining about it, I just keep working on my game. Some poor results was due to bad beats and some river coolers, in others games I think I did not made the optimal play, so there were some leaks to identify and correct.

I have been playing 6 Man SNG (regular blinds) during the last days and I am happy with my results on them. For September I will try to play between 200 and 250 games and try to go for Silverstar. I will return to my grind on 9 Man or/and 6 Man SNG regular blinds. It is not good to make profit goals but I will make it anyway. At the minimum I will be break even, but I will try to make between $100/$200 in profit for September. Again, this is just a general idea and a straightforward path to have for September.

I am thinking in create some videos once in a while of my plays at the tables, but instead of putting a whole session, I will put a part of the session (for example the bubble, or the late game). Stay tuned for updates on this matter, but

See you at the tables on the one and only Pokerstars.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Poker Pro Elky Gives a Instant Interview

Here is a quick and small chat from Elky, a successful professional poker player. One of my favourites online poker players.

Very interesting the 1st question and more interesting his answer...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some Changes at the Tables.

I am taking a break on 9 man sng games and back to heads up play. The last downswing on the 9 man sng let me thinking that I should take a break on them and increase my study game. So the rest of this month I will play them occasionally, but I will focus on study the game and play more heads up sng games.

I enjoy playing heads up SNG, I made a full night play on 13th Of June, (before going on Hollidays), just playing 24 games of 1€ heads up games (I was more that over rolled, I just wanted to play them), played no more than one table simultaneously.

With this change of games, plus the study I will have more data to analyse my own game and evaluate the right direction at SNG play.

Good luck to everyone at the tables!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Funny Analogy For a Downsing

I am experiencing the worst month of my SNG play, but I am ok. Most of the decisions that I made at the tables were the right moves. Besides that I will increase my study time on the next week.

The reason I am posting is to let you guys with a music lyrics analogy to my current downswing, the lyrics are from a new popular and great music from Armin Van Buuren, - Going Wrong.

Yea I keep dreaming (of jumping to the next SNG game level)
That I have it all (all the good preflop hand)
Ooh I'm still craving
To have you by my side (the skill/luck at my side)
You're burning out of my head
And in my brain it's going wrong (with the all negative variance)

And I will live today (yeah, I will make it)
And I will live tomorrow (To turn the negative in to positive variance)
No matter what is said or done (no matter the outcome, the decision was the right one)
Even if it's going wrong
You're burning out my head
Even if it's going wrong

Monday, August 09, 2010

Though Times

It is not the first time, certainly will not be the last time. It happens, sooner or later the negative variance of the game will hit you badly. I am experiencing and feeling that right now (at least until yesterday).

Some numbers
I was up in profit $42.2 with 19 games this month (at 4 of August) and right now I am up in profit for only $33.7 ($23.7 from 57 games played + $10 in rake back). What was my reaction to this performance?
Well I reviewed my all weekend session, found some minor errors in some moves that I made but most of the games, I lost due to some coolers, few bad beats and lucky flops to opponents.

Some coolers
For example, yesterday (in one of my sessions) I played 6 tables at the same time. In 2 of the tables I made ITM (2nd and 3rd place), on another 2 tables I bubbled, on the other 2 tables I was out. On the 3 tables that I lost, I had some coolers, like losing to opponent river straight. Shoving better pairs preflop and opponent flopping the set!

The Pressure is a Good Thing
It's times like these that I feel the pressure, the pressure to keep going, keep working out my game, grind much more to turn things out. These are the moments that separates the winners from the losers. The way you keep focusing on your "A" game and challenge yourself to give the best you can in each and every hand played and avoiding tilting.

Good Bankroll Management is the Key
One of the things that a good bankroll management gives you it's that when you are experiencing a downswing, you can be sure that you have plenty of money to keep grinding for the long term success because you are over rolled. I am glad that I was wise to be over rolled for the buy-ins that I play.

Stay in touch, I am all-in!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

August Challenges

Besides being my birthday month, August is the Month that I enjoy very much because everyone is on holidays so there is a peaceful environment in Lisbon. What I do not like about is the hot weather, that is why I enjoy more the Winter than the Summer, the cold is so cool, I really love the cold weather and the snow.

Poker is unique
One of the things that make poker a unique game is that combines luck and skill in a very specific form. In the short term luck is going to be predominant but in the long term, skill is going to be constant.

You see, there are games were you cannot play to win or play to lose, the odds are the same no matter what you do. Take roulette, slot machines, some card games or even a very popular game in Portugal the Euro millions.

There is a Friday fever in Lisbon that suddenly when Friday arrives everyone wants to take that big shot on the, (at least), 15 millions. Euro Millions is a long term losing game, you cannot play to win or lose, the odds are always the same and you are giving your money away. Sure, you may be lucky to hit the big prize, but the odds are very, very small ("nano small").

In poker you can play to lose or you can play to win, there is skill involved. Another thing is that you are playing against other players so there isn't the "house" advantage (like happens on blackjack). Sure, there are some "bad beats" or "coolers" but that is the variance of the game, if you play skilful poker you are going to win money in the long term.

Personal Month Challenges

I am always inspired by winning players who make long multitabling sessions with a constant focused mind on the tables. To grind this game out you must really be willing to put your mind and soul at the tables, is takes very, very effort to put that kind of dedication.

My challenge for this month is to play between 125 and 150 games and profiting between $100 and $150. I will also try to have a poker marathon, what I mean is I will try to have a full night playing (like I did on June). If I make this marathon I will inform on twitter during that night, but expect to be in on a Friday or a Saturday night during the month.


I do not have the all time of the day to grind the game, but I do have some (at least) 2 hours per day to make the most out of this game. I commit myself to improve my game on one very specific variation in poker, that is the No-Limit Holdem Sit aNd Go (SNG) of one table (Single Table Tournament).

I have seen, felt and realised that hard work really pays-off in many thing in life where skill is involved and poker is no exception. If you review you poker sessions, correct some minor errors or leaks you have and study the game you will see your game improving and that will have a long term positive impact.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

July By The Numbers

I "grew up" as a 9 man SNG player this month. I played the games with more confidence and strategic/analytical thinking.

I finally decided and stayed with the type of game I enjoy most and where I have the best edge, the non turbo 9 Man SNG. Besides not making serious money, (at the moment), due to the buy-in level, I ended up making my best profitable SNG grind month of my career.

July Numbers
Still started this month playing 45 man and HU (less than 10 games on these two), then I played some 1€ turbos and finally decided to stick to the non turbos (regular) 9 man SNG where I ended up with more than 20% ROI in 96 games:

This is a picture, (from the site PokerProLabs / TopShark), where you can check out some more data filtered for 9 Man SNG this month.

In August I will be playing 9 Man SNG, (this is becoming a "cliché" word!). Will start to play in some point of the month the $5,50 buy-in level and mix with the $3,40 buy-in.