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  1. "The two main goals of a professional gambler are to increase their bankroll and improve their quality of life"

    -Mike Sexton
    One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stu Ungar

    Hi I'm Mike, 1st time poster, long time lurker. I've recently decided to play because of the ease of deposits and withdrawals. I'm traditionally a live game player but I relocated about 4 years ago and the closest casino is about 2 hours away. I've played on a few different sites, but every time I decided to cash out, it became a process. Checks would take weeks to months to arrive, and I wound up getting banned from Western Union and Moneygram for frequently doing transactions with questionable countries. Pre Black Friday I was able to just link a debit card from an internet specific bank and withdrawals were credited in a matter of 2 days at the most.

    I treat these sites as my own in house poker room. I don't multi-table, I don't use a hud or tracking software, and I keep my playing to a minimum. Oh and I only play on my phone and my iPad... I know what a lot of you might be thinking, but my approach is to play no different than I was if I were playing live, and try to earn enough money to eventually make taking the trip to those distant casinos worth it.

    Well that's my current goal. My previous goal was to earn enough for a new piece of tech to play on, which is what I'm typing this on now.

    I'm hoping that blogging my progress will invite different perspectives and constructive criticisms that will assist in evaluating my play and prepare me to play the best possible poker.

    In future blog posts I'm going to go through and break down my play schedule, bankroll perspective, and various other topics that coincide with the Pocket Fives community.

  2. Today is an amazing day for my poker game, I will put some stats at the end for anyone interested. I literally can not lose a hand today and the cards keep coming one after the other. Today I have been playing micro-stakes cash tables and low stakes SnGs on ACR (WPN) and it was the second time a very strange thing happened while I was playing. This happened once before for about 30 minutes only, but today it has been happening all day and I can only describe it as some kind of ZONE but with very specific things happening regarding my play and thought process.

    Of course I have heard of being "in the zone" before, and I have been in the zone many times doing certain things like playing guitar, painting a car, bowling, writing code, racing gokarts etc. but never like this playing poker.

    I noticed the cards were coming in good early today during a $3.00 9 max regular SnG. A higher stake for me which I was playing only because I had done well in a bunch of other $1.50 9 max regular SnGs earlier so I took the shot and took first, eventualy moving up to the $5 game with the same success.

    The day and the cards got better and better and this weird phenomenon took over my playing awareness. First I noticed that the HUD was in my way and had to shut it down. Then I stopped thinking about opening ranges. Then I lost track of bet sizing. I figured I am just among the fish at a good table but it spread to my other games with regs that usually beat me at least half the time. I am now multi-tabling 3 games (soon to be 5 and I usually play one game at a time).

    Then I realized the strangest thing, my strategy on all games turned into playing just about every hand, or so it seemed (71%). Now I am just trying to figure out how best to get the other players to put their money on the table so I could take it. It really felt amazing and I wondered how many good players experience this often?

    After a good hour of straights, flushes, set after set, aces, kings, all colors matching holy crap! I had to make some adjustments to make sure I was getting all the value I could from my lucky streak. Added a couple more games to my screen and the cards continued to fall in my favor for the better part of three hours.

    I mean I was not even concerned with my own cards, only what will make these people part with more money/chips. Once I realized what I was doing, I toned it down a bit get more value from this great streak of cards or luck or whatever it was that was happening and the end result (if even over at this point, only stopped playing to take a break and write this, get some food/water).

    So I guess my question is, can I expect more of this?

    Doe sit have something to do with all the work I have been putting into my game?

    or is it a perfect storm of luck, variance, fish and I better buy a T-shirt because it will never happen again?

    I look forward to any of your experiences with this type of "in the zone" playing. So, my bank roll was entirely depleted this morning when I started playing down to a few dollars of the original $50 I deposited 29 days ago and now is up to around $50. Stupid pocket change for most of you but a great accomplishment for me as I have never come back from nothing before, always a slow gradual declining chart regarding winnings.

    As an overall update regarding me becoming a winning player, I have definitely leveled off my winnings graph chart. I think for the month I am at worst, a break even player which is huge for me. I think the difference between me and a winning player is very little and I am tweaking my game daily. Here are the things I did this month to improve my game:

    Watched any videos I could find created by Assassinatto, I think his non-poker videos helped me even more than his great poker instruction videos. If you have not seen him in the DFW Rap Battle vs Plan Nein, you are really missing something great. Not often you see a prof. poker player putting themselves out there like this without being hammered - very inspiring to me.

    Wrote a detailed personal email to Assassinato thanking him for the videos and shared a bit about my game/journey, how he inspired me. Even if he does not read it, I made the effort and shit like this affects your game and state of mind.

    Sharkscope searched and studied most of my SnG opponents, looked at their game habits, stats, ability compared to mine etc. got a visual of what kind of players they really are. Kept that visual with me as I played them.

    Looked through better players newsfeeds on P5 went through their cashing histories, then sharkscope charts, this is enlightening and inspiring to see how well less-capable players do because of game choice and other factors, & how poorly some great players do due to game choice.

    Followed my strict bankroll management plan (except for todAy)

    Stopped playing when I am doing poorly

    Telling myself I can fold any hand any time without stress

    Accepted PokerTracker4 data is incomplete and incorrect when using on WPN or ACR - I still use it for some basic data mining and the up side is that I am not half as bad of a poker player as I thought originally. PT4 had not logged/imported my (correct) winnings (among other important elements) for hundreds of SnGs. Check your PT4 data, my data had a 76% error rate. Only way to remedy is to manually enter all the data. I inquired about this, they blame others, say it is impossible to fix, this is in spite of the correct data being imported by numerous other sources/apps like here on P5, sharkscope etc. I'm over it, it's not scottish, it's crap.

    Tried to help a couple people in the P5 forums

    Shared some hand histories with a friend and studied a lot on my own through replayer

    Studied other players lives outside of the cardroom via blogs, news, other research - this help me not feel so alienated from better players. They are just like you and me.

    Till next time - and I am headed back for more taking candy from babies...

  3. Hello readers,

    Writing this update from the sunny Bulgaria. :D The weather here is killing me. In the first few days got pretty decent tan and obviously got really sunburned, typical heh? :D My legs got so much burn that I couldn't walk for few days straight, poor me, lol. Although is pretty fun here, everything is pretty cheap as well. Today decided to stay in the hotel/apartment and do some poker related stuff a bit more, as I got a bit exhausted of the sun. There is not much fun when you feel so sick burn on your skin every time sun touches it.

    June goals

    Play 450 MTTs - Went over the goal quite a bit, played 614 MTTs. Most of the volume really came from pre-holiday time.
    Study poker for 25 hours - Was able to study exactly 25 hours of poker. I think I could have done more but the holiday preparation and travelling got a bit hectic. :D
    Double my bankroll this month - Unfortunately we did not double the BR. I think this time I actually raised the bar too high, considering that my BR at the time of setting the goal was actually pretty big and I was playing quite overrolled for my stakes. But I did so to avoid any downswings as I needed the money for holiday and also to able to pay off the bills in the UK for few months. However I completed almost 50% of this goal which resulted in pretty decent profit.
    Increase my bb/100 to 11 EV - This month my bb/100 went to 11.55 and actual wr was 11.30 which I'm really happy with.


    Big blinds won

    Positional stats

    Just wanted to add short paragraph on my positional stats. As you can see below in the screenshot, my SB and BB winrates are considerably low compared to most players. It is quite funny that my SB winrate is actually worse than my BB winrate, however after examining various spots I noticed that I was running bad more than playing bad in the SB. However having a BB winrate of -13bb/100 is quite incredible to me. I know that I do not play high stakes at the moment, and that if I would face tougher competition it would change. But, I'm pretty sure that there are not many people playing MTTs in a range of $5-$30 that have such winrate. Most players usually have aabout -40bb/100 in the BB. Some people might not understand what is so great in this, well let me explain. If you fold every time you are in the BB, even hands like AA (pre-ante) your winrate is -100bb per 100 hands. So basically I am saving my BB, i.e. not paying the BB, in 87% cases. And that is a great boost in your bb/100. And in order to achieve this, you really have to pay attention every time you are in the BB. Which means you just cannot preselect check/fold if you do not like the hand you have been given. I am constantly seeking for spots when in BB, because there are a lot of people who play very straightforward, e.g. open too many hands, cbet too much or open too many hands and do not cbet at all, for me these are chipping up opportunities. So the tools that you need to implement in the BB is check/raising and donk leading. And you also need to know when to execute bat shit crazy 3bet shove with T3o in the BB vs BTN opener. :D In other words you need to play exploitative style.

    Positional stats

    July goals

    Play 450 MTTs
    Profit $4000
    Study poker 25 hours
    Increase EV bb/100 to 12


    So that is all I wanted to post this month. Hope you guys are having some fun this summer and that poker is going good as well.



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