Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Luckily I can sit up, so I got in a lot of hands yesterday and today already and will probably play more tonight. Running really well, and winning at a nice pace despite taking brutal bad beats. I lost preflop all-ins with TT vs ATs ($900 pot) and AA vs KK ($1000 pot) AGAINST THE SAME GUY about 20 minutes apart. If sympathy at that table was $$$, I would be pretty rich. Wait a minute, I AM rich, oh whatever. You will notice that I never write about it when I suck out on some guy, and you might think 'hey, that can't be right', but the truth is, I am the only human being in poker who NEVER sucks out on the other guy. Doesn't happen.
Today so far: +$1300
Late night edit: Added on another $900. Running insanely hot obviously, I can barely sit down before they start throwing chips at me. Disgusting, really. 3000 hands today at ~18 BBs/100 hands, much of it 7-tabling! I simply could not bear to shut down a single of one of my fish loaded tables. Btw, don't get into this online poker thing, it really sucks!
Monday, February 26, 2007
With online poker being such a young industry, no one can tell how the games will look in a few years. Even assuming 'they' will let us play at all, there are potential problems of poker playing computer programs, and simply an improving field sucking the profit out of online poker. Opinions on the future profitability of online poker range from cautious optimism to desperate cries of dismay.
The world will shed only a few tears if pimpled teenager geeks are no longer able to pull in 6 figures after a few months of experience, seeing how they probably all blow it on strippers and drugs anyway. A public outcry will probably not be heard unless you listen real hard. While many American poker players feel they are being treated unfairly at the moment, it is questionable whether or not the public really benefits from the existence of online high stakes poker, and whether same public will continue to allow it.
Only possible conclusion IMO: If you want to be a poker pro, leave yourself outs. The show will not last forever. As for me, I plan to take advantage of the opportunity for as long as it lasts, and I would be surprised if it doesn't go on for at least a few more years.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Then proceeded to blow $1700 in my regular 2/4 game. It was a set under set, two-pair under set kind of night.
Net loss: $1400.
Ate pancakes, mmmm.
On a side note, a Partypoker support story: I emailed Partypoker about being frequently kicked off table waiting lists for no particular reason. Their reply: Caused by internet delays, please run disk cleanup... DISK CLEANUP??? You just couldn't make this stuff up :).
A speaking poker player is often doing well.
The WPT Main Event winner will discuss how he came about to be a poker player, how he grew from a small stakes grinder to become a major hot shot. When attainable win rates are discussed in poker forums, players who do well will confidently tell you what you should expect as a winning player. Only rarely will you hear someone say: I've played poker for about a year, and I am not winning. From time to time you hear about prolonged periods of not winning, or losing significant amounts of money, but even then, you will usually only hear about those when they are over, and the player is on top again. I would definitely not have started this blog two months ago after 4 months of not really winning much, or at least it would have had a lot less poker content :).
The fact is, poker is a brutal line of work, and long periods of bad results are simply inevitable (Mr. Anderson). It is a trade mark quality of a good poker player to constantly question yourself in order to search for improvement, so a long period of running bad is not simply a question of waiting it out. It is a period of anxiety and nagging doubt if you still have it, uncertainty whether it is really just a spot of bad luck, or if the game has grown too tough for you, or you have grown too soft for it. Of course, a good poker player will have tools to evaluate his game properly, and he will be mentally tough. But even the most hard core professional will begin to have doubts when the downswing is long enough.
In my opinion there are the three keys to handling the downswings. In order of importance:
Bank roll management:
In order to play through a really bad downswing, you very simply need to have enough money to keep playing. This involves maintaining a large active bank roll, and moving down when necessary.
In short, the more your identity is dependent on your poker results, the less toughness will you have when it comes to handling a downswing. Maintaining a rich social life, doing sports, perhaps having a second job or fulfilling hobby will all help here.
It came as a surprise to me how many talented poker players was actually bad at math, logic and explaining their thoughts in poker discussions. It turns out, some people simply have a great 'feel' for the game that allows them to succeed without excellent analytical skills. However, when you are really taking a nose dive, analytical tools are very helpful to avoid fixing what isn't broken, and keep playing your A-game. 'Feel' and intuition are the first things to go when things turn bad.
If you want to be a poker player but have severe deficiencies in one of these areas, I predict you will run into trouble sooner or later.
Friday, February 23, 2007
C) Whisper 'Poooooker'
Won $500 tonight. Sweet. It seems this blogging thingy works wonders for poker results.
Must... remember... happy... feeling... for... rainy... day...........
Anyway, specifying precisely how a donk is bad is a key skill of NL poker in order to optimize winnings. If you just play your ABC poker, you will still beat a donk in the long run, no doubt about it. But if you pay attention and get to know him well, there is no end to the speed at which his chips can join their friends on your side of the table. I've had opponents where I've happily called 100 BB's ($400) on the river and won with 2nd pair because his play over 3-4 hours had shown me he always overbet with air, and underbet with solid hands. This is obviously a rare occurence, but I still find donk profiling and subsequent punishment to be one of the most enjoyable parts of poker. Probably because it makes me feel smug and superior.
Anyway, my new norwegian buddy was calling maybe 70% of my raises, and 100% of my flop bets. Then he would bet half pot on turn whenever checked to, even with hands like 3rd pair, overcards or gut shots (which I would sometimes call and be shown improved to the winning hand, or he would flash).
Then, hand of the day: I raise with AJ preflop, he calls, I bet flop, he calls. This is where the hand actually begins, because up until now, he has done what he does every time, so I have no info on him, and no reason to believe he has a hand.
Flop is 29Q rainbow, turn is a 5. I decide to represent a real hand, and check/raise turn strong, because I know he will bet practically anything. He calls. River is a T, pot is now $325, we have $400 behind. I decide the only way I am going to win this hand, is to blow him off his crap hand, and bet $200. He calls with... 66.
I obviously played it horribly since he is so strongly opposed to folding any hand, and disinclined to believe any form of trickery. At this moment I am sure he is writing his new pokerblog goingproshipitbatches.no about how he tore this danish maniac n00b a new one by calling him down 3 streets with 66 LOL ship teh $$$!!1
Thursday, February 22, 2007
It takes about 30-45 minutes, and will give you a breakdown of strengths and weaknesses if you complete a short survey at the end. Even if you don't care about your rating, there are some interesting hand questions.
I got a 'poker IQ' of 120 and was rated as a low to mid stakes proffesional player, so they got that one right. My computational time sucked since I got a phonecall in the middle, so if you beat me, thats probably why. (Always leave yourself outs, always!)
Poker results for tonight: Up $1500 after a monster 2800 hand session. This despite losing a $900 pot as a 97% favourite when the money went in! I studied this probability theory and stuff, and let me tell ya, thats NOT supposed to happen, like, ever!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In other news, work on my thesis is up, and a deadline is set for June 1st. I am not big on deadlines and my track record with those is not good to say the least, but this time I believe!
Poker results are also up, despite internet failing on me day before yesterday with a set of queens on one table! Lost $1000 that day, but won $2000 yesterday after playing a couple of giant donks. It seems more often than not I am playing 6 tables of 400NL instead of just 4, since I often can't decide which to shut down. I am not sure if it costs me many valuable reads, but I think it's not a big problem. Figuring out how many tables are optimal is nearly impossible, but I guess if I feel I am playing well, that is the most important thing. And if my math is right, 6 tables will let me play 50% more hands than 4. Is that right?
Monday, February 19, 2007
I am a 30 years old recently graduated actuary. After graduation (summer '07), I decided to take a shot at playing poker professionally. I live with my wife in our apartment in Copenhagen. I AM NOT BALD, JUST VERY CLOSELY TRIMMED!!!
I have played poker since the beginning of 2005, and I have been a winning player since day one. Don't confuse this with being a good player, being a winning poker player is all about knowing yourself, and making sure you are playing against worse players. Starting out by finding a good deposit bonus will ensure you are a winning player, at least for a little while. Nowadays, I have actually become a decent player, quietly making a very nice profit. My public poker alias is Baldnbroke, although I play under several different names.
Since the spring of 2007, I have held a spot in 'Pokerkontoret' (poker office) in downtown Copenhagen. It's a place where 12 professional poker players share an office, play poker and hang out. I recommend it to anyone who want to be a bit more serious about playing poker.
Poker can be a lonely business, and for that reason, and since I consider myself a very social person, I have chosen to share my thoughts with you on this blog. Please return the favor and comment my posts if you like. Or drop me a mail: blogmail at hasloev dot dk.
Friday, February 16, 2007
The right thing to do here would obviously be:
1) Pass exam
2) Start playing poker
Forget about it.
I opened the account immediately, and was 'hooked' as they say. I mean that in the best way possible, since I am sure 95% of all readers are instantly horrified by the compulsive gambling perspectives, and the remaining 5% are just happy that others got it as bad as them. I hope to get back to compulsive gambling sometime, but this is not the time.
Anyway, I progressed from bonus whoring (the activity of playing roughly break even poker in order to clear promotion bonuses offered by poker sites) to low to medium level Sit'n'Gos (1-table No Limit Hold'em tournaments) in about half a year, expanding my 100$ deposit into about $4000. From September 05 I started multi-tabling SnG's and went from 3-tabling at the $33 level to 9-tabling the $109's in another half a year. Then came Sunday, March 12, where I friggin WON the big Partypoker $215 sunday tournament. I beat a field of about 2500 players for a first prize of $95000, obviously my biggest score and it will probably remain so forever.
While a major turning point in my personal life since it relieved myself and the significant other from any financial stress, the win did nothing for my poker development. I did not move up in limits or start high rolling or anything stupid like that (boring, I know). I continued grinding the 109's until late '06, where due to a long period of running bad, I decided that SnG's were getting boring, and I switched to cash games. This has been a great learning experience for me, and the last month it has started to pay off in $$$ as I am now at a level where I am expecting the same hourly income as during my SnG prime. I play 4-5 tables of $2/$4 NL and a win rate of 6BB/hr will net you ~$100/hr, which is roughly what I have been experiencing over the last two and a half months. I could double that if I took the outlook of just the last month, but I like to take a very conservative view when it comes to poker winnings. The swings are bad enough without illusions of greatness. I hope to write more about that later (the swings, not the illusions).
Well, I have been studying to become an actuary (theoretical science of insurance) for a loooong time now, while working in the actuary business. I am currently writing my thesis, and while I am doing this I have quit working. Instead I have taken the plunge into semi proffesional poker playing, allowing me financial independence and a complete absence of fixed deadlines, short or long term.
The result is a LOAD of hours in front of the computer not doing much constructive work, and an intimate knowledge of various internet comics, the NFL and a steadily improving pacman score.
Today I woke up 6 hours after I got to sleep and couldn't go back to dreamland. While this may be a normal occurence to most people, the frequency of this happening to me is maybe once or twice a year. Instead of wasting the next 4 hours junk surfing like I normally would, I figured I would start a blog!
Of course today was not the first time this idea popped into my head, but I just haven't been able to agree with myself whether or not to actually do it. My ambitions for this blog are as follows: First, since I have so much free time and an active mind, I would like to document some of the random thoughts that run through my head from time to time. Allowing it to be read by others will hopefully force me to articulate them properly, perhaps turning these fleeting thoughts into something (slightly) valuable. Second, to document my life for future use by myself, my future grandchildren and anyone else I can force it on. Third, to inflict on the world my point of view on stuff, whether they like it or not.
Enough for now, I hope to get back to my motivations at a later point in time.