Monday, 30 May 2016

500k VPPs Lifetime Achievement Award lolz

A few days I surpassed 500k VPPs lifetime! This means that I have paid $90,910 in rake playing on Pokerstars (5.5 VPPs per $1 Rake).

My average buy in probably is something like $12 I would imagine as I mainly played $16 9 man turbos back in the day, and a lot of $7s to grind up a roll.

If I played 500k VPP's worth of $15 Spins that would be 101,011 of them! What a crazy number! But if you break it down I've been playing for about 7 years on stars and I got Supernova like 3 times, so that averages out to about 14k games a year... which is actually kinda crazy.

But of course, these numbers aren't entirely right, I had played up to $30s until Black Friday, I had dabbled in other formats and some months played more then others. Having Supernova as a target was a good way to have volume targets and I've always been pretty decent at making them without being all

The Outsider POV vs The Reality

I'm sure others will see this as an achievement, and I've learned that when complimented about something like this, the best thing to do is say thanks!

However, what I used to do when someone complimented me on something they thought was cool (breakdancing or my graphic design work etc) was decide to accept it based on my point of view (the reality) of my field.

A typical reply would be like "Thanks, but its not that good... others have better work, I don't like it myself" etc. Maybe in Britain people are more reserved but it seems like a trend that we like to play things down. This makes the complimenter feel shitty, "the complimentee" unaccepting of the guys appreciation for his achievement, even if he is not an expert in that field.

How not to accept thanks! :D

So if you think getting 500k VPPs lifetime so far only playing low stakes is cool... Thanks!

The honest truth is that I'm not that proud of my achievement because of the lack of results. I have felt like that I should have been doing better for a long time, especially considering the coaches I've had, it really feels like there is no excuse by this point. I'm sure a lot of Spin regs out there assume that I'm bad and can see a ton of leaks even to this day. But either way, this is a milestone and I'm sure I'll get there because I'm driven.

Appreciate those breakeven regs that stick at it, this game is super easy to hit the tables if you keep winning, but how many would stick it out for the love of the game only living off rakeback and hope that things will turn around?

Blackboo's comment a while ago really hit the nail for me, and for sure its effected my confidence.

Anyways, here's to another 500k vpps? Cheers!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Overwatch 101: Its Noob Friendly! (Or Trying to be)

Trying to do a weekly post now, lets try and keep this up!

Tomorrow Blizzard's new game Overwatch is coming out and I have to say that I'm pretty excited about it. They had an open beta which let anyone download and play it for free for 5 days a week ago and since trying it out I'm sold.

It officially announced closed beta for popular streamers last November during Blizzcon with this trailer;

Overwatch for Dummies

Lets be clear. I don't really like FPS games because I suck at it. I'm so bad at them. I still enjoyed Goldeneye on the N64 with friends but I'd never do well at it. On top of this, I'm extremely particular about my games. As of this moment I play Hearthstone only, even Starcraft has taken a back foot now as my PS4 sits in the corner collecting dust for the last few months.

Overwatch is a first person shooter team game, of which you have to complete objectives to win the game. These objectives depend on the map and are chosen randomly. There are 2 different tasks;
  1. Defend or attack two areas of a map within the allotted time. 
  2. Assault/Escort a payload.
The main difference in this FPS is that you are able to change your hero in the middle of the game when you die, or go back to the spawn location. There are 22 heroes currently and they are split into four types;
  • Offensive - These are mobile, fast shooting damage dealing characters with lower health.
  • Tanks - These are beefy high health, high damage but slow characters.
  • Snipers - Long range shooters that are mobile.
  • Support - These characters support the others through healing and/or buff their damage up
The idea is to be constantly changing and adapting to your opponent's team composition of characters, and then completing the objective.

The Appeal to Noobs

Because of my lack of success within FPS' other games such as CS:Go and Call of Duty never appealed to me. Its realism makes it more "hardcore" and therefore appeals to that audience. When a new player enters those games, things are confusing and existing players may have better weapons collected by playing a lot.

They get completely destroyed, and it doesn't become a good experience. Add that to the toxic environment in chat and its easy to see how after a few games a new player would probably never want to play that game ever again.

It seems that Blizzard has done a great job trying to make it as appealing as possible to new players.

It has a great tutorial which helps new players, and the controls are very simple where each character has 2 special abilities on top of their normal shooting one, and an ultimate power ability that you build up towards. Enjoy an example of a tutorial of one of the characters, a British one, Tracer!

The cartoonish style and voice acting of each character is less "hardcore". How many more newbie players would play an FPS if Pixar did the stylistic branding? That's what this feels like. Also at the end of each game it shows an [seemingly sometimes arbitrary] "Play of the Game" which is always fun to get on there and watch that moment again.

Blizzard Marketing Like a Pro!

With the introduction of Twitch, Blizzard really had used this platform well in promoting this game by selecting certain popular streamers to have access to the closed beta. The audience all love watching those gamers, and in watching them play Overwatch would want to play the game itself, so its perfect cheap marketing towards a specific audience.

Blizzard has also created some amazing animated movies for the game, releasing them periodically, as well as creating an online comic to explain some of its story. It is an unconventional position to make a game without a single player campaign, but I think by not having one adds to the appeal and mystery of the backgrounds of each character.

The open beta was May 5th - 9th and it was widely successful. Over 9.7 million players participated according to released statistics and I'm sure that it swayed many people into buying the game.

The Blizzard Reputation

One big appeal to me and a lot of others will be Blizzard's reputation for keeping a game fresh after a long time, and not just be done with it and work on a sequel. This means their games have a lot more value in its reputation for longevity then others.

Existing games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo has lasted a long time by constantly introducing new things into the game, be it add ons like new maps or tweaking things that are too strong or weak.

Hearthstone is the biggest example at the moment where it is as popular as ever and kept its longevity by constantly introducing new cards into the metagame and more recently taking some old ones out.

They have skilfully managed to balance out the game where each hero is just as popular as each other, and from my experience in the open beta, this is true of Overwatch as well. When a strategy or a character is too powerful that everyone uses it and nothing is done, that game dies soon enough.

It also has a way for players to collect various skins to customise characters. CS;GO has shown how much money can be made from just their skins, but its unclear at this point whether micro transactions will be added into the game.

Blizzard has also now gotten a much better reputation with its community. There are open forums, social media, events, and an active YouTube page. They really understand the importance of building a fanbase, and in doing this well, how loyal they can become.

Here enjoy a clip from one of my games where my team all decide to play the same character for a laugh!

Well their release probably means less time for Poker and studying, but its gonna be fun! I hope you guys enjoy the game and feel free to message me to add me on! GLHF at the tables guys!

Monday, 16 May 2016

The 2nd 200x Spin


S'up! Blog posts have been pretty bad lately, nothing short of laziness on my part. I say this like its something that I should be doing, when the reality is that there isn't really a proper incentive to do so...

Well, the incentive really is the fact that I said that I would, and I think its important to be a man of your word, even if the word is to myself. I think this is one of the biggest concepts that can help people keep promises, even if its little things like being on time. The small things matter due to the Broken Window theory.*

Anyways, one thing that puts me off is the insane long posts that I do with multiple subjects. As nice as those are, it puts me off in a few ways, the main one being the feeling of upping myself with every post. So I'm gonna try shorter posts, with one subject only, and this should also help with the indexing of the content if I (or you guys) wanna refer back to it.

Another good reason to blog I want to mention is that its quite therapeutic to get your thoughts out there etc (and scientifically proven so), and since I play Spins that's not a bad idea!

*Read Freaknomics, its got some pretty cool interesting things like this explained!

The Second Coming

My last 200x Spin turned up early on a Sunday session, and this one early on in a Saturday session. Dunno why its always the weekend! But its kinda brutal to have to carry on playing after it especially after losing as it is hard to keep your mental strength intact. But I set myself some volume goals so it had to be done.

When it showed up 3 things came to mind;
  1. Play well! At least better then the last one and don't let the occasion get the better of you. No doubt the pressure got to me last time and I made some mistakes because of it.
  2. Am I against regs or randoms?
  3. Please don't let me get sucked out on for the win.
Its a reg's dream to be against two recreational players in this situation, if not vs one of them heads up. And that's what I got. Fantastic. 

With the Pokerstars "Simple Theme", the 200x is a lovely bright red. That way you cant miss it! xD
The game started a lot looser then expected, as I thought most recreationals would stay tight in these bigger multipliers. I soon gained the chip lead bluff catching one of them, and then later on knocking him out with him shoving his top pair into my straight on the turn.

Not only was this the dream of getting two recreational players, but I got the more passive one heads up, with a chip lead!

As I started chipping away more and more at his stack, he limp trapped 4bbs with AA as I squeezed and doubled up. So it meant, chipping away again, but as the blinds got to t80 he got more aggro with shoving. With even stacks, he shove A6, I called A9 and 6 came on the flop and that was that.

No.3 wasn't forfilled, prob my most expensive 70/30 lost. Aw well.

As much as it would have been nice to ship it, its more important to be consistently winning at these, and I still have a lot to learn, as I expect a lot of you spin regs that face me will know my leaks and bad plays...

TL;DR 200x Spin no.1 AA lost to Q9, 200x Spin no.2 A9 lost to A6 ftw.

Anyways, til next time... (I'll try this weekly hopefully) GL at the tables everyone!