Sunday, 8 September 2013

Supernova, What a Grind!


Well I've done it, I've made Supernova! Only 2 months later then planned... but no matter I'm there! Such typical fashion to put a negative spin on it, gotta stop doing that!

On top of that I made the Sharkscope Leaderboard!! #Impressive

Oh wait, zoom out - that's not profit that's count. T_T #NotAsImpressive

Yes, well I can grind, but profits for sure has not been great at all. In fact I am a loser at these games atm, after having a pretty good January, I haven't had a winning month since, only breakevens and prev 2 months being pretty bad as well.

Reasons? Well I've been asking myself the same question of that. Logically I am a much better player then I was, and STTs (Single Table Tournaments) are supposedly easier then playing MTTs (Multi Table Tournaments). After my January month I thought I knew it all, but for some reason I somehow made money despite having a ton of leaks, including some big ICM ones.

Ahhh, ICM. Independent Chip Modelling. What a joy it is for poker players to talk about ICM to sound so professional. And Nash Equilibrium! Ooooh sounding so clever! But do most players really know what it means to their games? Probably not. I certainly didn't. I was playing as if it was 2010.

One of my biggest leaks was the fact that I have "adjustment OCD"... is what I'll call it. This is where I would come up with one theory or another about my game, and overadjust to it. Meaning my game would not be consistent and therefore it is hard to examine the results and come up with any kind of conclusion from it.

My weekly theories included stuff like;
  • I'm not bubble owning enough
  • I'm bubble owning too much, raise/fold instead
  • I should be overshoving 10bbs in certain spots
  • I should play push/fold end game
  • I should play raise/fold, raise/call end game
  • I should be super tight early game and get to end game
  • I should be try to see pots cheaply early game and get it in vs the fish
  • I should be tight until I reach ante blind levels and then "go nuts"
  • I should reshove more vs regs
  • I should 3 bet more vs regs and fold if they 4 bet shove
  • I should click raise, then run up and down the stairs before the timer runs out and therefore combine playing poker with exercise and become healthy at the same time!*
*I didn't do that, but would have been fun!

In fact, my redline had been goig downwards since Jan. It has been quite shocking to me that this was happening and I didn't know why. Well literally the last part of reaching Supernova I realized what it was. So now in a kinda reversal spin, I'm now shocked that I've kinda fluke-made so much money without realizing this huge leak. In a way I think I just did it accidentally.

The psychological effects of having these months of breakeven/losing really takes its toll. I would say that I have quite a strong mindset but after a while no one can say that they're immune to having it effect them. Especially when you look around and see others making lots of money and achieving their goals. 

Anyways this last stretch I've been really working hard at my game. I had a great leakfinder session with MachtiSonni and I'd recommend him for sessions for sure. He is an instructor for Cardunners.

One of the most annoying things during the end of this grind was the fact that I had to move down stakes from the $15s to the $7s. It had to be done, which meant that getting to Supernova with like 5k vpps was gonna take twice as long. However, in this process I think it was good for me. It was good for me to experiment with this recommended style of playing and to break out of my shell of nitty waiting for cards, and make things happen instead. So I ended up reaching Supernova playing the $7s, which is kinda funny... but I ended it on a high at the very least.

Red line finally up! Hooray!


This is not what I meant! I'm talking about Poker! (We say "Grind" as in playing a lot; Grinding out a lot of games). Although this is still pretty funny =D #ThereIsNoMusic

Since I'm apparently the master of grinding (2nd in leaderboard  for 5-15s STT 9m Turbos I'll have you know =D), I thought I'd give you guys some of my tips for doing it. I think a lot of very good poker players freestyle what, when and how many games they play without any planning at all. Even worse, is to play when you "feel like it" and that can lead to a loop of procrastination that would basically end up not playing!

  1. Make an overall plan - The very first thing that you wanna do is work out what you wanna do. We're talking in terms of the long run, so lets say for the year. For myself, it was to make Supernova by playing 9 man turbos. Having a VPP (points that you get for playing on Pokerstars) target makes the planning very simple, because everything will be based on reaching 100k VPPs. It is highly recommended to do this ready for the new year.
  2. Calculate - So then you need to break up your plan into more bitesize sections. Splitting by month is a good idea. Work out what is realistic and give yourself some leeway for days off. Too many poker players overestimate how much they can play and don't take into account certain life events or times when they should take a break for their sanity.
    • VPP Goals - Whatever you VPP goals are on Pokerstars or points systems on another site that you want to commit to, make sure you break it down by month/week/day to get a good feel for how many games you need to play. So in my instance I originally was being super ambitious going for 200k so my calculations where like this; 200,000/12 = 16,667 VPPs per month which is (/5.5) 3031 $1 rake games per month. Breaking it down more I left out say 5-6 days so 25 days would mean 122 $1 raked games per day to achieve this goal.
    • Cash Game Goals - This is a similar style of working things out, but based on your previous months you should have a good idea of how many hands you play per session and whatever that is you should be able to break down how many hands you need to play each month to achieve your goal. I'm also sure there will be give or take the times when tables are good and you have longer sessions.
    • MTT or Scheduled MTT goals - These are going to be volume based numbers, and since it is less about VPPs and more about profits, your scheduling can be more flexible in terms of making a set number. However, your planning has to include good times to play when there are good MTT tournaments around, so... not as flexible after all...
  3. Work Out a Schedule by Day - This is about planning when to play when you do. With the American traffic gone, scheduling is a lot more important and gone are the days when you could easily get in a good volume even at 3am in the morning. Work out when is the most profitable times to play and stick to it. For myself, I wanted around 100 games a day, but I don't like long sessions so I split it up into to, a session in the afternoon and another at night. Something like 3-4pm and then another one at 8-9pm. This would give me a chance to get some dinner inbetween my sessions and also just chill out away from the computer.
  4. Pre-Decide When You Will Play and Stick to it! - You may decide to be super strict and just already write down in a calendar the exact days that you will and wont play. But for me, I set myself the monthly VPP goal, and gave myself a flexible 5-6 days off. When those days were I never really determined. However one thing I was good at was deciding at least the night before whether I would play the next day. Sometimes I would have a half day, if I was to do something in the evening. It is extremely important that you stick to this. I remember reading something that the famous motivational speaker Antony Robbins was talking about was how you should not only be a person of your word to others, but a person of your word to yourself. So if you had already said that you will play your sessions today, you don't break that promise because you are a man of your word, and you don't break promises, even to yourself. This kinda self statement promises stuff really helped me in playing the insane amount of 18k games, even if it was going terrible, because I had a pretty good scheduling plan and I was a man of my word to myself.


So I'm basically gonna chill for the rest of the year now. I'm gonna do some travelling, more gaming (cant wait for GTA 5) and I will play poker but not as intensely as I have so far. I will work on some strategy stuff and focus more on quality now. It is a pleasant surprise to me that Pokerstars had downed the requirements for maintaining Supernova, so now I'm guaranteed it til the end of March. It does seem logical to me that it is way better to get it as soon as possible, so I will have to think about what I'm going to do next year.

I think I will try and blog more now, since I had a bit more time. Probably less posts poker wise, but we'll see how it goes!

Gonna end with this pretty cool mini documentary following 4 bboys in UK before they compete for RedBull BC One UK Qualifier. One of my best friends LB won this, and will be competing in Naples next weekend in the Western European Qualifier. Good luck for next week LB!

Friday, 6 September 2013

JCarver Poker

Sup Readers! I'm so close to Supernova I can literally lick it lol. There is probably gonna another 3 days worth of playing. Things have been going quite well since getting a coaching with MachtiSonni. He helped me find a huge leak and since then I've won all my sessions! Wow. I now have a better understanding of what I was doing wrong before and I'm actually enjoying playing this style of game, I think it suits me better. Anyways, hopefully things will continue well...


Would be funny if I was like... I GIVE UP! lol

JCarver Poker

I've been following Jason Somerville aka JCarver since he joined Poker VT and made some awesome videos, including his WSCOOP series ship. His style is super in depth, but not in a boring monotone voice like some other poker players. So here is my random promotion of him fanboy style!! haha

He has now started adding free content to his youtube channel and started streaming some live games on twitch as well. Its not necessarily instructional poker but it certainly is a great insight into his incredible thinking process, and well if it all flies above your head he's still entertaining to a newbie.

He is also a representative for one of the first [legal] online poker companies in USA [Nevada], Ultimate Poker, of which all of his current games are played on.

One of the things I really love about his channel is that it is FREE. Yes, its completely understandable that these poker players are wanting to have a variance free income from making videos that cost money, but here is a very high level player, who is giving out the content for free. It is trying to promote the game of poker to anyone who can click the links! 

Twitch is also something that I've been thinking about as a new type of content available for poker. Not only watching a player play, but also having the chat allows a great interaction between the audience. Questions can be asked on the fly and it is a more personal experience.

Twitter (Will Announce when he's Streaming!) -

It does seem to me that these days the poker community is rather negative about the future. Ever since Black Friday when USA was so suddenly kicked out, the exposure that it has had on TV has gone down. The boom was over. But it doesn't seem like that there has been much newer promotions in trying to get more people interested in the game. 

I think we need to see more things like this to come up and promote poker to the masses! I would love to see more live content on twitch, and maybe a more accessible poker channel on youtube or something where events can be streamed [and found] more easily!

I plan to do quite some travelling as my way of taking a break after I reach Supernova, so hopefully more blogs to come! Sorry for the huge blank stretch! GLHF at the tables!