I haven’t been around all that much lately, it’s the end of the semester and also Christmas is coming up (well, was, when I started to write this post), I barely have time to play, let alone to blog… Given that the rest of the year will be the same probably, I decided to summarise my year earlier rather than never. It may not be the most interesting read for most of you, but I hope you’ll find some useful info, or at least a bit of motivation in it.
A couple of days ago I had a long chat with Boomer about who achieved what in the last year(s). The main conclusion for me was that I should probably try and look back at it more, since I tend to undervalue my achievements, that can be as harmful as overvaluing them.
The pattern of the year was self-doubting, searching my path in numerous ways, insecurity, and therefore jumping in-between ideas, games, etc. A lot of outside force effected that, but it mainly was my own sense of comfort messing with me. Well, who am I kidding, it is the pattern of my whole poker-carrier, but it has to end, if I want to lead a productive style – the beginning of 2013 will be all about that. The main question of the whole year was: should I stay at LHE, or should I try to play something else.
A lot of people say LHE is dead – I tend to disagree, but I get their point. For one, the action is seldom even at 5/T, and it’s even worse at higher stakes. Secondly, the regulars are better now, and you can hardly find edge on them – at least that’s what people say. On the second part I mostly disagree, I think the regulars mostly are god-awful, and the really good regs are as rare as fish – you may have 1 or 2 at the tables, but not much more. At least on 5/T, it’s probably woese higher. Still, I have to admit, that it’s not as good as in PLO, or in any other non-Holdem game. But at mid-high stakes, you can’t expect any different, I guess, so that itself is not a relevant factor. However, I have to admit, there is not much action, not even on 8 networks. That’s something I can live with, since I don’t play more than 3-4 tables at a time, and still – I usually can get 2 tables going in a short time. So I couldn’t disagree more with the above statement (from my perspective).
And these were the only drawbacks. There is nothing more, really. I spent ~3 years building up and perfecting my game, and although I feel I’m still nowhere at the moment, it looks like I did force most people behind me in terms of theoretical knowledge, and can beat the games pretty well. Also I spent so much time learning the game, analysing situations and hands I’m not even sure I could just start off learning a new game knowing I’ll have to put this much work into it – but never say never. So all in all, I feel stronger than ever that LHE is my game, but I’m probably cocky and results-oriented, we’ll see.
January – I started off the year pretty badly, I was in the middle of my 1100BB downswing, playing 1/2 and occasionally 2/4, feeling really insecure, still under the influence of FTP being shut down (and that influence lasted till the reopening). At February I hit the low point, and was on the edge of giving up, and then it suddenly ended. Well, it wasn’t that sudden. Luckily, I applied a tight BRM, so I played 1/2 with basically a 2/4 roll, so in $ terms I didn’t lose that much (yes I did, but not as much as I could have).
February/March – The second greatest miracle of my poker carrier happened: I got in contact with Hood, and had some coachings with him. I was just over the downswing, still feeling insecure, and his feedback on my game, additional advice, and of course the new perspective on poker gave me super-boost to attack the tables again. Needless to say, my results started skyrocketing, and in no time I was playing 3/6.
The new perspective Hood taught me (Balanced Range Building – I like to call) was a Hood-given gift to me. For starters, it was a completely new way of looking at the game from the very core, and it required a lot of work (that I admit I love to do) to get to know the concepts, figure out stuff that only the best figured out so far – and some stuff that they might not even could. For the first time in my poker life I felt like I invent stuff, I come up with new ideas that has possibly was never thought of. Maybe it has, but it doesn’t better, cause I figured them out on my own. And it gave me such a good view of the game, that I could instantly spot bad regulars from the good ones, and could exploit weaker players much more effectively.
May – I took my first shot at 5/T, running pretty good for the most part, and felt good again. In the upcoming months nothing really exciting happened, I grinded playing good for the most part.
November – FTP reopened, and gave me another boost. Firstly, there is 8/16 there, and my roll was definitely enough to play those stakes. I’m still a bit afraid of 10/20, just because supposedly the player pool is tougher, but will definitely take some shots as soon as I feel comfortable. The second thing is that when FTP went down I had a pretty shitty period of my life (quitting my job going pro days before 2/3 of my BR froze, having troubles with my girlfriend, etc. – these all added up), and probably I connected this subconsciously to FTP. Therefore FTP reopening made me re-evaluate a lot of things in my life, looking back at that year, and I somehow felt relieved. (I never ever played play money for fun till that point, but I played a couple of hours 10game playmoney on FT.) It was a pretty nice thing to realise that what was 2/3 of my bankroll a year ago is now less than 1/4 of my roll. Everything felt right, my life went mostly fine.
At the edge of 2013 – since I had that chat with Boomer, I had a little time to think about stuff, and dug a little deeper into what I achieved in the last 2-3 years, and I actually have to say, I’m really satisfied with every aspect of my poker life. Well, not every, but most. In the process I’ve done something I haven’t ever before – summed up my results for 5/T+. I guess doing it once a year doesn’t make you results-oriented that much.:)
I generally hate to post results, because I believe that’s private information, and also, I like to leave people guessing if I’m actually good, or just an arrogant fish.:) I let everyone decide that, but I have to say, I’m really satisfied with my little graph.
I’ll leave you with a hand I played yesterday – I guess my opponent haven’t read my article on overplaying:
Full Tilt Poker $5/$10 Limit Hold’em – 5 players – View hand 2048617
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is CO with 8 8
UTG raises, Hero 3-bets, BTN caps!, 2 folds, UTG calls, Hero calls
Flop: (13.5 SB) J 8 5 (3 players)
UTG bets, Hero raises, BTN 3-bets, UTG calls, Hero caps!, BTN calls, UTG calls
Turn: (12.75 BB) 2 (3 players)
UTG checks, Hero bets, BTN raises, UTG calls, Hero 3-bets, BTN caps!, UTG calls, Hero calls
River: (24.75 BB) 8 (3 players)
UTG checks, Hero checks, BTN bets, UTG folds, Hero raises, BTN 3-bets, Hero caps!, BTN calls
Final Pot: 32.75 BB
Hero shows 8 8 (four of a kind, Eights)
BTN mucks J J
Hero wins 32.45 BB
Have a great 2013!
Also check out the new blog of Toma, my poker mentor, great friend, and brother in arms!