Saturday, 30 April 2011

Love The Process of Learning

A SNG Protege plug!,

I am now involved in Glitlr's site, SNG Protege. So in true shameless advertising style I'm gonna do a plug!

Glitlr has been my coach for the last year, and in that time he's turned me from a breakeven STT reg, to earning $13k in 6 months. I saw his vids on Grinderschool and I loved his teaching style and enthusiasm for the game.

If you have the willingness to learn and put the hours in, please apply at SNG Protege for low stakes MTT SNGs or STT staking. The site has been up for about 6 months now, and since then has produced some great players;

There are other great coaches there too, like Bagclip, Entim, and Bubbleoutcas, who will give you personal coaching sessions to help you with your progress.

Oh Dear, Its Starcraft 2!

Recently I've bought Starcraft 2. I would like to state for the record, that I have never played it before, despite knowing about it, but have never really had the urge to buy it. Mainly coz I also know what I'm like and I will play it obsessively non stop, which actually happened, as 2 days after buying it I went pokerless lol.

This is the main reason I got it. I started watching Day 9's stuff on youtube... and I never even played Starcraft before.

Yes it is 1 hr+ shows. Yes its a lot of talking. And yes its all about Starcraft!

This may sound boring. And it might be boring. But for me, its the presenter himself that really makes it interesting and exciting to watch. He's passionate about it, and so he makes the show good. Who else would add Dr Seuss with Nuclear Bombing? That def would have got me more interested in poetry back in schoool.

It really does make me think about my most influential teachers... they were all a bit like him in a way. Totally loving their subject, totally loving teaching, and showing all the students why they love their subject though their enthusiasm and attitude when teaching.

And even though he's a top level gamer, he emphasizes the *process of learning*... not just winning. In fact, winning is hardly mentioned, and the quest for improvement, and having fun! So thanks to him, I've gotten Starcraft 2, and I'm loving it. But I still suck. But... I'm OK with that, coz I will get better.

In Poker, I've always loved learning new stuff and applying it. Studying and coaching sessions are fun! I loved the process of it. Winning was something that was always gonna happen eventually, and should never be the focus of why I love to play poker. I think this is really really important, and still to this day I'm finding out new stuff that excites me, despite having played 40k games over 3 years!

I hope when I start coaching I can have the same enthusiasm and passion as Day 9! Coz its his attitude that we should have in poker to get more people interested in the game, like he did with me. I am glad that I got it actually, its nice to do something a lil' different at the computer.

MTT Progressionz

So its been two weeks now playing purely MTTs. I am really happy with my progress. I'm now at the stage in my bankroll where I am "allowed" to add in a few $3 rebuy and $7 180 manz to my 50 game sets. I'm really glad I started from $400 actually, to prove that the $2's were still profitable and that you could grind up a roll quickly enough.

My line is a lil funky in the middle coz I did add in some $5 non turbos (soooo slow but damn profitable), and some 50/50 Double or Nothings to fill up the empty table space since the $2's itself never got over 18 tables in my multi tabling madness addiction. Who would have said that before Black Friday? But despite that, the traffic has been ok still, but at its peak its around 220k players instead of reaching 330k, pre Black Friday.

Yesterday was my 7th winning day in a row, I won 3 180m. Every day I've played more then 50 games. Each session of 50 is around 3 hrs long, and the breaks are really nice. Admittedly, I cant say I've been playing 100% thanks to the snooker on TV lol, but I cant complain at all. Lets hope it keeps going well.

I still have a few leaks and things to improve on, its so nice to not see 4 regs sitting at my tables for once!

Moving Potential?

There is a real possibility that I will be moving to Manchester in the next few months. It has been one of the things that I have wanted to make sure that I do in 2011. I'm currently scouting out for a place. I've been there a few times and have a good circle of friends there which is probably the main reason why I've chosen that place. Its also waaaaaaaaaaay (that many 'A's) cheaper then London, which has a habit of taking your money without you realizing it.

I'm not really sure exactly when its gonna happen, and in a way I kinda wanna wait it out probably for another month to see how non USA poker is effected by Black Friday. So far its looking ok. I'm glad to hear that most of the players are getting their money back now. In the long run, if and when poker gets regulated, being a professional online poker player is a more permanent possibility. However, the "short run" of banning could last anything up to 3 years, with people speculating that changing gambling regulations don't want to be touched until after the election. 3 years might seem a long time (it is), but if the long run is... well forever, it is a short run indeed. However, I'm hoping that it wont end up like France and Italy where the regulations with only see them play against each other.

Not exactly this, but one stepping stone closer!

I'm off to watch another Day 9 vid now (I luuurve em!), so GS@TT and pz out!!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Welcome to MTTland!

Welcome to MTTland!
MTTland... The Land of MTTs Duuuh

So for the record, when I'm saying MTT (Multi Table Tournament), I'm talking about MTT SNGs, not the scheduled Tournaments which have like a bajillion players and take like 8 hours to finish lol.

Since last sunday, I've fully transitioned to MTTs, mainly playing $2 180 manz. Ooooh yeaaa I'm so baller man, playing $2 games wow hehe, but I'm playing these stakes for 2 main reasons;

1. With Black Friday happening and online poker banned in USA, it was uncertain whether PokerStars was gonna be closing since their being sued, so I left in an amount which I was able to lose should that happen.

2. It is the cheapest way to learn these damn games!

So welcome to MTTland! A place full of shoving fun and totally tight as hell to get a min cash players! Here's a preview of what to expect...

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, 2.2 Tournament, 500/1000 Blinds 100 Ante (9 handed) 
UTG+1 (t4980) 
MP1 (t4769) 
MP2 (t21783) 
MP3 (t7850)
CO (t2752)
Button (t12789)
SB (t13345) 
Hero (BB) (t13230)
UTG (t18864) 
Hero's M: 5.51 
Preflop: Hero is BB with 6, 7 3 folds, MP2 calls t1000, 1 fold, CO bets t2652 (All-In), 2 folds, Hero calls t1652, 1 fold <--------------waaaaaaaaaaat??? lol
Flop: (t7704) 5, J, 7 (2 players, 1 all-in) Turn: (t7704) 8 (2 players, 1 all-in) River: (t7704) 7 (2 players, 1 all-in) Total pot: t7704

LOL. 5 to 1 snap fold!!!!! puyan has AA! Soul read looool

Here's how thingz have been going after week 1 (guess at what point in the graph I realized I was waaay to tight)

The Aftermath

Its been over a week since Black Friday now, and nothing has really changed so far for the American players, who's money is frozen on those poker sites..

What is made clear is that the players will get their money back... eventually... whenever that is. This is actually great news despite all the doom and gloom, because it was conceivable that the Department of Justice could have regarded the money being used on their sites as being illegally used, and therefore confiscate it.

But in the land of the free, we see the government stepping in and telling people what they can or cant do. Doesn't sound very free to me. So free that the online grinders that wish to continue to have the right to gamble if they want to, are leaving their friends and families, and their country. GL to you, those guys that decide to choose this path.

As poker players, we are always encouraged to look at things in the long run. Short term results mean nothing. In perspective, this can be a good thing. Online poker is one step closer to being legalized. With the publicity being advertised from these cases, there's no doubt that the legalisation of Internet Poker has to be on the agenda within the next 2 years. But yea... ouch 2 years...

But think about it. Once its legalized, its done. Being a poker pro in USA can be a possibility... forever onwards! Revenues can be taken to help the country (so they cant use the argument of not contributing to society), and an explosion of fish coming with a possible 2nd poker boom. Who knows? Poker is worldwide now, so there's no chance in hell its ever gonne die out. In fact, PokerStars traffic is still pretty decent without you guys, I believe it will survive! (Full Tilt has higher volume of American players, so I'm not so sure about them imo).

I'm one of a smaller percentage of Brits who actually likes Americans (sorry guys, truth hurts?), but man your politics suck. So much corporate power, injustice, and totally over capitalized. Where has the power of your constitution gone to protect the people's rights? I feel for you guys...

Win or lose Supernova?

So far this month, I've made about 4k VPPs outta the monthly 7500 VPPs needed to maintain my Supernova status. With the stakes I've been playing, there's no way I'm gonna make it. However, Pokerstars allows a 1 month grace period if you don't make it. So next month I'll still have it. But to what worth?

Being a MTT grinder means that you are less reliant on rakeback packages, and more on actual money won. Despite being breakeven for 3k STT games, I managed to make $3k on rakeback bonuses which was great. But to get these you really do have to either play a huuuuge volume of lower staked games, or higher stakes. Right now, I'm not doing either.

I do think tho, it is possible to get 7500 VPPs by grinding MTTs. But no doubt I'll have to be playing $12s to help me. I will need $1360 in rake to achieve the minimum requirements for the month. This will depend on how quickly I build my roll to get to those stakes. My bankroll management has always been quite conservative which is why I've never gone broke. It sounds like a cool challenge to me, so I'm looking forward to it.

A Royal Wedding

As a Brit, let me tell you that its weird having a monarchy. Most people in UK don't want one and don't understand why they're there. They have no power, and cost us a lot of money. But despite all this, it does seem to give foreigners a sense of history to our dwindling empire, which they love.

No doubt, I will find the wedding weird. But its a royal wedding! How often are we ever gonna see this? I dunno, I'm kind mixed about this, coz on the one hand its kinda cool, but on the other I kinda also don't really care. However, I will find it interesting none the less, and it'll be interesting on how the UK reacts to it in this modern day. Lets hope the entrance will be like this lol;

(Parady of this btw)

GS@TT everyone, may ur outs keep droppin'

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Black Friday USA

Yesterday, April 14th at 12.30pm PT, PokerStars blocked USA players from playing real money games.

From Pokernews;
"On Friday, an indictment against the founders of online poker's "big three" was unsealed by federal authorities. According to, the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker were indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. There were also restraining orders issued against over 75 bank accounts used by the online poker companies and their payment processors, as well as five Internet domain names."

Wow. A damning move from the USA Feds. A sudden, deliberate one used to scare the poker community. We have been waiting for something to happen, mainly something about online poker legalisation, but I don't think we expected it to happen so suddenly and aggressively.

The intent is clear. They wanna take us down. They wanna make examples of the 3 big sites, PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker. They have issued a statement of intent of trying to these 3 sites down within 48 hours, but imo this would be very difficult because these sites are legally abiding international gambling laws, so I don't know how its possible to make them shut down.

And lets make one thing clear. The law in USA for Online Poker is GREY. The 3 sites took a risk in continuing to do what they did, but they have abided in the law in every other way. Hell, they even blocked all USA players immediately as they were told to do so, with hardly any warning to the players. What they did in continuing to operate is not what can be said as being clearly illegal, because the clarity of these laws had not been passed.

Today is a dark day for Online Poker. Who knows what will happen next? But most people are speculating that PokerStars and maybe Full Tilt (they have a bigger risk because their player base is a higher percentage of US citizens) will survive. Looking at the lobby of PokerStars right now, I still see 137k players over 20k tables online, looks steady and holding. Maybe their aggressive promotion for players outside the USA was a strategy for them to keep going if something like this should happen. No doubt that for now, these games are still running and holding...

Statements have been released by PokerStars and Full Tilt saying that your money is safe. At the moment many [international] players are cashing out and it seems from PokerStars there are no problems. Full Tilt doesn't seem to let people cash out from what I've read, but I'm not completely sure about that.

As for me? Well, I'm pretty confident that PokerStars will still be running outside the USA, but how this will be effected internationally is gonna take time to figure out. How confident?? I'm confident but I cant put my money where my mouth is, not the few G's that I have in there. I decided not to get the $4k bonus, settled for 2 x $1500 and have taken most of it out.

But for me, its an excuse to finally leave the STTs. Now I have enough in my account to grind MTT SNGs only, but also enough there that if the worst of the worst happens, I wont be missing that money *as* much. The Supernova chase will probably be put on hold coz of playing lower limits, but one of the reasons I want to move to MTTs is less reliance on rakeback, and more so on actual money earned. This will put less pressure on maintaining those statuses. I haven't had the best of months in 2011, and its time to move on.

But this is just me. The general feeling is that a lot of other players outside USA are still cashing out most of their money, all like me, simply because they wanna know how this is gonna pan out over the next few days without the risk of getting their assets frozen for a while. The statement from PokerStars is an expected assurance that players moneys wont be lost. Their fantastic reputation is under dispute otherwise.

As for my USA poker players, my friends! I feel for you, times are looking tough. The future is unclear now. Its is clear that the indictment wouldn't have gone through if they weren't confident of a successful prosecution. Until the results of this court case, and the eventual legalisation of Online Poker (probably 2013 according to Gary Wise because of the elections), it doesn't look great. Pray for that one outer!

How many USA grinders are willing to leave their country in order to earn their living?

Some references;
Fall Out Show with Court, BJ, and Gary Wise The US DOJ drops a major bomb on online poker.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Time For a Break

Bournemouth Take 2

I've realized that this year I hadn't taken a break. Nearly every day so far I've played poker, so I decided to take a break for a few days while I visit my friend who lives in Bournemouth. Nothing like some sun and beach for a good break. Course, its always a gamble in UK hoping for sun. In fact, when it does come out it seems like a general attitude that everyone literally sprints to the nearest beach/park/roof and get their tan whilst then can... coz in UK sun doesn't mean sun all day. It still means you should bring your umbrellas out just in case lol.

Anyways, the sun did come out and I had a great time. It was really cool to see how my friend was doing, and I got an insight into what her life was like. I'm glad that the weather was good, better then before. The city is pretty cool, although a lotta pensioners for real, but the beaches are pretty cool and there's a lot of nice bikini clad girls around. If I get super balla a beach house seems like something I might be interested in! ... Lets get there first tho lol.

There's always been a debate for whether you should take a break when running through a rough patch, or whether you should grind though it. I have more of a bias to grinding through it, mainly coz last year I took some time off, and when I came back I still ran bad lol. So imo it doesn't really make that much difference. But if anything, you will at least rake up those Pokerstars VPP points, and more stats on your opponents?

Pokerstars Updates

Stars has really impressed me with their continuous efforts on improving their software. I remember back in 2009 when I felt that Full Tilt really had an edge over them with their updates, but now there's no doubt that Stars is the place to be.

3 main updates now;

Lobby Cleanup - Lobby is now filtered to your taste! You can include what you want to see in order to distinguish between the games, or if like me you like it minimal then that's what you can do. When I first moved over to Stars I did feel that their lobby was a lot more confusing and messy, but now it looks much better.

Who's Playin'? - For STTs, you can see who's registered without opening a new window.

Bubble Chat - Chat is shown on screen in real time, so you don't have to look at the chatbox to see who's talking. This is great if you don't have the chatbox open.

For more specific info about the updates check out here.

Shrine to Sippin, God of Sixteens

The most common STTs are the $15+1 Turbos on Stars. This is because its at the right stake to be able to make a living off, and their super quick to load in comparison to the higher stakes. But because of this popularity, its full of regulars, and one could argue therefore its one of the hardest to make amazing money off.

But not for Sippin_Criss. It has to be said that he is quite possibly the best player at the $16s right now. He came 2nd in 2009 and 2010 for most profitable at these stakes and looks like he's adamant in making the top spot this year. Can anyone stop him? Surely it'll be mega bad beat if it happens 3 years running? But he's looking good so far;

For sure I have been guilty of playing pretty retardedly against him in the beginning, but more recently then ever it does feel like he's been getting the run of the mill moreso against me. Maybe its his $16s-God-Aura!
I have a set strategy but so far its not paying off. Really really not paying off... -7% not paying off! Ouch!

Final Transition Away from STTs?

Someone has come to me and decided to give me $4000 to play 3200 x $16s. How can you refuse? My client is... Pokerstars! Ha! I'm nearly fully transitioning to MTT SNGs now and the only thing stopping me is my $4k bonus. It'll be nice to get that, and kinda see the benefits of being Supernova for once.

There's no doubt in my mind that I've learnt shitloads from STTs. Some players say that STTs aren't "real poker", or say that their just a shoving game. But the reality is that the best players are the ones that treat it as poker and that's how they beat everyone else.

I also feel that I've had a pretty rough ride with the STTs lately. For sure I've probably over tweaked my game too much which made my break even stretch even longer, but I do feel that its kinda harsh considering my improvements since last year.

I will make a final push this month to get some decent results, and really try to make that goal of completing the volume I want. In comparison to some of the other regs my volume has been lacking, and with this new computer I've basically got no excuse at all now... GAME ON!

GS@TT guys, I probably need to stop making these megaposts lol. My last posts have included some online documentary style themed vids, so here's another one of my favourites. Check out Busto to Robusto for more. I hope that more come up coz they're really inspirational...

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

New Ballaaaa' Computer

Its Arrived!

Holy crap my new computer has arrived. Praise [insert your God here]!! It **only** took a month. Geez. I could have grown all the materials and made it myself in that time. Well, not reli lol.

And with this new computer comes more POWER. Hopefully I will have no more lagging issues.

But in giving in to my hope of grinding on Mac OSX (main thing is that there's no Table Ninja and HEM), I have to succumb to the idiotic mess that is known as Windows. Even though its Windows 7, I have spent the last day and a half trying to sort things out. Why cant it be simple plug and play??

Things like;

- Windows Updates
- Installing HEM/Table Ninja/Chrome/Stars/Anti-Virus etc
- Getting ridda Windows Internet Explorer and other Windows junk.
- Spent aaaaages getting my keyboard driver, + other drivers and updates
- Getting my HUD to work.
- Other stuff lol

But now that its done I can concentrate on the poker. Hopefully no more problems, and excuses for myself. I did enjoy multi-tabling 32 x $1.08 DON 50/50's and made $8!! Balleerin'!!! Not really understanding how ICM'ing them will stop collusion tho...

Milestone Hands, Cash Only Sorry

Pokerstars dealt its 60 billionth hand last week. That's pretty insane. 60 billion as in 60,000,000,000... that's a lotta zeros, and I totally confused myself about where the commas went.

One lucky guy shipped home $102k for winning the 60 billionth hand with Q3o. Honestly though, seriously... if your in the hand how the hell can you fold pre flop?? I mean the bonus of winning all that money in winning the hand totally outweighs losing your buy in for that game, seeing as everyone on that table wins money anyways. Even if I was dealt one card I'd totally ship it all in.

Stars had cleverly devised a plan to make people win more, the more hands they played before the milestone hands. But what they're missing out on... is us poor tourny players who have to sit there playing non cash tables and watching them all rake in da moneyz. Aren't our hands... hands too? Aren't our hands milestoney enough? Its a shame... coz I'm sure they'd get a ton more buy ins too if they somehow ran milestone hand to work in tournaments too. And man, wouldn't it be funny to see how that'd fuck up tournaments by suddenly having all the players go all in on the milestone hands lol.

LA Times?

There's nothing I can really say about my first 1/4 of the year's performance. Its been shit. That's what I'm gonna say about it lol. I still haven't got out of my rut at the $16s STTs, and I'm having some success at the MTT SNGs to see some potential. Mainly I've been trying different things (probably too different) to get some results. It has totally been tilting, and confidence killing.

My last quarter of last year I did so well, never expected that I wouldn't be in this situation again. I was expecting to be earning enough to consider other options for saving up, and moving out. But now those goals are put on hold as I am worryingly beginning to go back to square one. Of course, its never really gonna be the same square one, just in terms of money lol. I cant go round saying that travelling to Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, have been a waste, as well as buying this new computer. Its all been totally worth it.!

I am precisely 17,200 VPP from earning my $4000 cash bonus, so this month I'm planning to get that. 4 days in, I've hardly played, but now that my computer is here I have no excuse. But it will be challenge. The most I have earned was 17k back in November due to a prop bet with Mr L.Usher. I have totally fallen behind in the volume department, especially compared to the other amazing grinders. I just find myself "Calling it a day" early (pre 2am? Which is early for poker players) too often, and scared of losing my winnings. I wanna be able play all night, but find it hard.

So Puyan, the title is LA Times, what's up with that? Well... there is a possibility I could go to LA in the summer. I'm so tempted. It'll be a poker holiday. Lots of playing, and studying, and quite frankly, out of all the places I've been so far I've enjoyed LA the most! Its so... well different from UK, which is prob why I like it so much haha.

My last 2 months have been rather Goal-less, so lets put some down for this month. Its gonna be stupidly simple;

- Make 17,200 VPPs
- Win some money for Gods sake!

I plan to mostly grind out the $16s as usual, but also gonna throw in a bunch of 45 mans and 180s for good measure. Absolutely loving the $3 rebuy 180s, so profitable those games!

Incentive this month? Haha

It's A Kid's Game

And finally... I'd like to link up this documentary about Online Poker Players from Bluefirepoker that's been released. Its mostly interviews with some top players, but its pretty interesting. I can totally relate to the fact that a lot of us are part of the video game generation, and so Poker is kinda like a bit video game where we can make money, and that's one of the reasons why we like it so much... GS@TT and pzzzz