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Recently I have been asked by a few poker friends, “how do you keep your win rate in the Big Blind so low?” Due to the frequency of this question I have decided to write this article focusing on the Big Blind play. In this text, we will discuss how someone should approach the position with the many variables that come into play.

Playing out of the Big Blind is one of the most common scenarios in poker. It’s curious then that so few players pay attention to it or study the position.

I’m not going to lie: Once I was like that as well. I tried to play as little as possible out of position because it’s harder to make money out of position than in position. Most other poker players I spoke to agree with this sentiment.

However, recently I’ve learned from my coach Alexander Fitzgerald that focusing on the Big Blind is what makes you a more consistent player.

Our goal when playing in the Big Blind is not to generate profit; it’s simply impossible in today’s game. No, what we’re aiming to do is to save as much money (chips) as possible. Here is why:

• This is the most expensive position in No-Limit Holdem (every time you are seated in the BB you pay 1 Big Blind, a huge investment).

• If you fold every single Big Blind you will be losing -100 big blinds per hundred hands

• Your win rate in the big blind has the biggest impact on your overall win rate because of the previous points made

This applies to both tournament and cash game players. How good you play in the Big Blind will determine how much money you will make in the long-term.

Flatting Out of Big Blind

Too many players in low-stakes games never defend the big blind. Too many players in high-stakes games defend their big blind too much. So, where is the sweet spot?

There is no trick to playing well from the Big Blind. However, we all underestimate the power of exploitive play. After all, there is no way to exploit another player without being exploitable yourself.

In order to save the most money in the Big Blind, you must employ exploitative play. Too many players get obsessed with GTO play that isn’t relevant to their stakes.

You need to defend your big blind constantly in order to save it. As we previously discussed, if we always fold the BB our win rate will be -100bb/100 hands. Many players do not play hands from the big blind, which means they’re losing 70 or 80 big blinds per 100. That’s a lot of big blinds!

However, there is a way to only lose 30 big blinds per 100 or even 20. Doesn’t that sound like a nice edge to have?

In order to get these numbers you need to work on the following:

Watch their stats. What statistics are important before you defend the BB? Pay attention to the following:

• RFI (Raise First In, this shows how often the player raises preflop)

• Flop Continuation Bet (Shows how often the player bet the flop as the aggressor)

• Turn Continuation Bet(Shows how often the player bet turn after betting the flop)

• River Bet (Similar to the Flop and Turn Continuation Bet statistics, just for river decisions)

Also, eye their preflop raise. If it’s larger than 2.7X it’s really difficult to profitably defend. Yet, against a min-raise (which is the most popular raise size) you should be aiming to defend about 80% of the time.

Playing Out of Position

Most of the time when defending the Big Blind you will be out of position. These are strategies to consider:

• Check/raise

• Donk bet

Players that we must target from the Big Blind are the ones with Raise First In 20% or more, Flop Continuation Bet 70% or more and low double/triple barrel statistics. Those are the easiest players to exploit. They raise with many hands and continue the flop with too many hands. This makes it hard for them to defend against a check/raise. Here is why:

20__RFI.PNG

We can see that our opponent has top pair or better or a good draw only about a third of the time. If our opponent continues the flop majority of the time that means that he/she will not have a good enough hand to continue over 50% of the time.

To apply maximum pressure, we must check/raise to the size of the pot. This play needs to work only 50% of the time. If they fold bottom pairs and Ace highs, they will be folding over 50% of the time. This makes our play profitable without any cards. If you have a draw or a backdoor draw, then the play needs to work less often due to added equity to the hand.

Against players who open similar range preflop but have Flop Continuation Bet 50% or less, we must donk bet. These type of players will be checking too many flops and we will miss value. The hand combinations to consider:

• Top pair hands that are likely to remain top pair on the turn or river (for example, A-Q on A72 flop)

• Small sets/trips

• Small flush

• Two pairs (Top pair and bottom pair)

• Flush draws

• OESDs (when there is a flush draw on the flop)

• Three to a straight flush (for example, Q-Jhh on Th3c6d)

Defending When Short

Most players undervalue the power of the short-stack. Hence why people overfold in the Big Blind. Being short-stacked in the Big Blind is an advantage. It’s very difficult to defend against a check/raise against a short-stack because they miss the flop 50-60% of the time.

You must constantly defend the Big Blind against 2x raises. The best hands to have are the high cards, for example, K-4 off-suit. You cannot make a mistake post flop with K-4 off-suit when you flop a King with a 14x stack.

CardRunnersEV is a great tool to find out if that is correct. Here is a calculation showing the Expected Value when defending the Big Blind with K-4 off-suit:

Capture.PNG

In the scenario, we have given our opponent 20% raising range. We also assume that he/she is going to Continuation Bet the Flop with a top pair or better, draws, and some pure bluffs. We also assume that our opponent checks the flop with many second pair type hands. That is what most people do. Then for simplicity sake, we decide to check/raise all-in the flop with top pair or better or with a flush draw. Our opponent calls with top pair or better and good draws. We look at the first BB node and underneath where is says EV it shows +683 chips. This means that our play is profitable for over half of big blind. Remember if you fold preflop you lose 1 big blind. By making this play, you get back your mandatory big blind investment and earn another 0.68 big blinds on top. This is a huge boost to your overall win rate.

I do recommend getting your own copy of CardrunnersEV and experiment with other calculations and see what other profitable lines you can find.

The important things to take from this writing:

• You need to defend your Big Blind constantly against small raises

• Keep an eye on the statistics all the time

• Target players with 20% or higher preflop raise frequency

• Target players with high Continuation Bet frequencies

• Defend when short-stacked (High cards are king!)

I do recommend to do your own research on these areas. I have made my calculations, therefore, you need to do them as well. This is the way to learn how to become a better player.

This post was shared on the Alec Torelli’s Best of Poker Series

The Year 2016

Hello readers,

Sorry for the long break before posting this but December and January are quite busy and I was in Latvia for about a month. December was a fun month overall. Managed to grind a bit but did real poor job on studying the game which I think kind of affected the results. But lets look at the numbers instead.

December goals

 

Play 500 MTTs - Played 591 games in December. So the goal was achieved.

Profit $5000+ - Literally hit this goal on my last session of the year. HA!

Study poker 30+ hours - Only 16 hours. *Cries in Latvian*

Keep bb/100 EV above 10 - 7bb EV... Not what I wanted, but also was running extremely poor in all-in spots.

Dec_graaph2.PNG

December graph

Dec_stats.PNG

December stats

Position

Wasn't too happy with my BB win rate this month. But mainly from what I managed to find was that I was running quite bad in that spot. There is quite significant gap between the actual win rate and EV win rate. But most likely my lack of studying had certain negative effects on me approaching each positions and situations individually. But that is my fault. But I have no regrets because I spent plenty of quality time with the family in Latvia and that was well worth it.

Live Poker

Had a few nice experiences playing live as well. I finished 15th in the Glasgow Grand Prix mini hosted by PartyPoker. That was really fun experience. Played very well both days. Sadly had to bust with my KK vs A7o.

Then I went to Prague for a few days with the wife during the EPT Prague. I met with my coach Alex (Assassinato). Spent few nights with him and his mom, we went to the movies and had nice dinner. Very lovely people. It is great that poker has given me this gateway to such nice new friends. Something perhaps that I have missed for a long time.

I also played some live cash in the EPT. Nothing major though, it was a 200NL game. Managed to make a decent profit. So basically I came to Prague with X amount of money and ended leaving with pretty much the same. :D

Then in Latvia I played this weird Double Turn-River tournament. Which I ended up finishing in 5th. The concept is simple. After the flop the turn and river are dealt twice. So it felt like playing some weird NL Omaha. :D Crazy format, not something I plan to play again because the swings were just ridiculous and technically if it was a norm NLHE tournament the game could have ended 3 hours quicker than we did, LOL.

Year Overall

So this is my sexy 2016 graph.

2016_Graph.png

2016

And here are my stats.

Stats.PNG

Yearly stats

Position.PNG

2016 by position

Overall I am happy with my year in poker as most of the stuff I wanted to achieve at the start of the year I did achieve and that is fantastic. I wanted to go pro, which I did. I wanted to cash in tournaments for $100k, I cashed for over $200k (closing in to that $250k badge). Although I did not reach PocketFives Top 300 rankings, I am still happy with what I achieved. All I got to do is to move beyond my current results.

I am happy making enough money to support my family and have the freedom that poker gives you. Even if I would now find a job in IT, I still would not make close enough money to what I made in 2016 by playing poker. So it is funny when people tell me to get a 'real' job. :D

Conclusion

After this post in couple of days I will make another 2 entries. One entry will be for 2017 Plans & Goals and second will be an article I've been working on the last few days. I just need to complete few more edits before I post it. Hopefully you guys will like it.

Regards,

Rihard

November review

Hey party peeeeeople!

Been a long time since the last update. Haven't had time until now to make this one. Been busy for the past few weeks. But hope you didn't miss it that much! :D

November goals

 

Play 600 MTTs - Played 806 MTTs overall, so pretty pleased with this.

Profit $5000+ - Happy with this as I finished in 5 figures in November.

Study poker 35+ hours - slacking on the study part of the game, did 29 hours overall. I guess I just have been making up some excuses lately, but have been quite busy with the University part, as I had to prepare for exams and do courseworks by the end of the month.

Keep bb/100 EV above 10 - Not happy with this again. Finished month with 7.25bb/100 EV. I know that I had been running not so great overall during month, specifically at 50s but I also had some leaks playing from SB that I identified closer to the end of the month.

Results.png

Graph

 

bb100.PNG

bb/100

bb/100

The bb/100 win rate sucked ass in November. But noticed that it was mainly due to playing 50s. I was running on those quite a lot under EV in general. When I was comparing with MTTs below 50s I noticed my win rate to be almost 12bb/100. Due to that I decided to cut down the 50s for a while. Just don't see the point playing them if I can get a decent run and this greatly helped to reduce the variance closer to the end of the month. My play in the SB also was kind of off the cue. I couldn't really figure out what was that. However, I did sign up for the recent Assassinato 1 on 1 training package which includes 5 lessons (6 for me as I was one of the first 10 that sign up, so we get extra 1 as bonus). Did the first session and we found out certain leaks in the SB. It is always fun to work with him because I make a challenge for Alex, he always struggles to find leaks in my game because he thinks that I'm pretty good, I doubt that lol.

positional.PNG

Positional stats

Live Poker 101

So the series are practically done now, however there is going to be a bonus session after the New Year once Alex gets back from Europe as he is playing live series. He just recently played the WPT Main Event and finished 8th. Pretty good start for him. The series have helped me quite a lot on improving my live game. I did play some live and had a final table finish. Also at the time of writing I am taking part in the GPPT Mini Glasgow event hosted by Party and got through Day 1 with a decent stack. Day 2 is the coming up Sunday.

Prague

Kind of spontaneously my wife and I decided to take a quick trip to Prague on 13 Dec to 16 Dec. Two reasons really. One, I always wanted to visit Prague because I've heard it is really beautiful and two, Alex is staying in Prague for entire December. So really 2 birds with one shot for me. :D This is gonna be fun. Also Bryan Paris is staying in Prague during my visit as well so will be meeting that pig as well. #Harambediedforyoursins

December goals

 

Play 500 MTTs

Profit $5000+

Study poker 30+ hours

Keep bb/100 EV above 10

Conclusion

Keeping light on certain goals as my volume will not be that great overall because of the exams and the trips I will be taking to Prague and then shortly after Prague I will go to Riga for a while. Will be enjoying the New Year in Latvia. So thank you guys for sticking with my shitty updates and I hope you do have a great December and take care of yourself and your families during the Christmas and New Year period.

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;CPpIAmvNrO8]

October review

Hello readers,

I'm back with another update. This one is kinda coming late, I do apologize for it, have been quite busy with everything. Hope you all had great October because for me it was pretty tough. :D

October goals

 

Play 550 MTTs - Played 868 MTTs. Quite a lot. Had to put in as much volume as possible to even out the negative variance that I had.

Profit $5000+ - Breakeven month this time. Haven't had these in a long time. But that is something that is bound to happen at some point, every player will have run bad at some point just gotta embrace it.

Study poker 35 hours - Studied 36 hours of poker in October which I kinda proud of. :D

Keep bb/100 EV above 10 - Not too happy with the bb/100 but something expected to be the way it was when looking how poorly I was running for the entire month and when combined with some poor plays. (7.6bb/100)

43edec35ff2d7a6d0983b80a76933386.png

Graph

 

e592dda72e954928bfed7dc97b41bb6b.png

bb/100

bb/100

Not happy with the bb win rate. After hours and hours of reviewing I did see how poor I was running over really long periods however it also caused me to make some silly mistakes at certain points, but nothing major. I guess it is just one of those months. Despite of this I was happy with my BB/SB win rates. The lower I keep those numbers the better my overall MTT performance is. One thing I noticed that during October I did reduce my overall preflop and postflop aggression which I think was kind of a catalizator for the poor results.

da4dc04f23918c1e577e50cd60e56f76.png

Positional stats

Live Poker 101

As I have mentioned in some of my previous updates I am part of the Live Poker 101 webinar series done by Assassinato. So far I have been really enjoying it. Really good series if someone wants to improve their live game. He goes through some really nice concepts with some cool real life examples from his recent experiences. So if you are not part of it yet you can still sign up while the series are in progress. I'm not sure how much it costs at the moment, however once the series are done the full price will be at $1k so you could save a hundred or two by joining now. :D

The Myth of Poker Talent

Great book written by Alex 'Assassinato' Fitzgerald. I got the book for a few reasons. The main one is that it is written by my coach that has taught me everything to beat the games and make a living. The book is fantastic. The best poker book I have ever read. He goes through all the basics in the beginning and then finishes the book with some advanced theory. If you are a beginner and pick up this book, by the end of it you will be able to put in some great work. The book compiles all of the great concepts that Alex has been preaching for years with some good examples with CardrunnersEV and Flopzilla in the book (yes it has screenshots and all). So the book is a good starting point and then if you need some further learning on specific topics you can move to webinars for those. Overall I rate the book 11/10. :D A must read poker book if you want to make money.

November goals

 

Play 600 MTTs

Profit $5000+

Study poker 35+ hours

Keep bb/100 EV above 10

Conclusion

This month not as much detail as I would want to as I got to wrap up now. But hopefully you all have great November. See ya later in the next update! The year is almost over.

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;7cLXPW0iHfM]

September review

Hey guys,

We are back with another episode of Update the Blog series. Hope you all had great September. I just recently started my Masters degree in University. I don't even know why I am doing it to be honest because I don't see my self doing anything else but poker for a living, but I guess it is just so my parents could leave me alone with all that education bullshit. :D But I will give my best anyway, eventhough it may be tough having to do Masters and play poker for a living I think that I can do it.

September goals

 

Play 600 MTTs - Fell short of this one, played 551 games. But I think it is fine considering the other comitments that I have now. It is not all about the volume nowadays anyway.

Profit $4000+ - Achieved this one, made more than $4k in September.

Study poker 30 hours - Nailed this one too, studied exactly 30 hours. However I am starting to think that I have to dedicate more time to study the game.

Keep bb/100 EV above 12 - Finished at 10bb/100 EV in Spetember, cannot complain as my actual win rate was 13bb/100.

September_graph.png

Graph

bb100.PNG

bb/100

bb/100

Pretty decent month if I look at my stats. Although most will think that I'm on some sort of god run BB wise, but I am not. When looking at my countless analysis and database reviews I notice that I often enough get a decent start at most MTTs EV wise. Would have some standard cooler spots which just end up going my way, but the later the tournament goes the worse it goes for me and less of an impact it has on my EV. Pretty frustrating month to say the least in terms of how good I am running at the late stages of tournaments. I think I have review the late stages a bit deeper, but from what I have seen so far I haven't found something that make me think twice, most of is pretty straighforward stuff. And it sucks to be honest when cannot find specifics to work on because that just your job as a poker professional harder. It is a lot more fun when you find leak after leak because then there is material that you have to cover, analysis to do, coaching to have etc. Just gotta keep working.

Although I'm pretty happy with my positional stats. Big bling win rate is great as usual, the small blind as well. Considering that most of my volume now comes from playing $55s and some occasional $109s.

positional.PNG

Positional stats

The setup

The Alienware Desktop I ordered works so gooooooooooood... Definitely a worthy money investment. Multi-tabling is so much easier now, no lag whatsoever. Got 3 monitors now plugged in which makes the work much easier and pleasurable. Have a look: 20160924_120804.jpg

Click to enlarge

Loving it. The actual PC case weights about 40kg. LOL.

October goals

Play 550 MTTs

Profit $5000+

Study poker 35 hours

Keep bb/100 EV above 10

Conclusion

So that's it guys, for now. I hope you have great time at the tables because at the time of writing this I have had pretty shitty start of the month but hopefully will be able to turn it around soon enough. Stay focused!

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;_g09kzQWEjs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_g09kzQWEjs

EDIT:

P.S.

Also forgot to mention that I have started to stream once in a while here:

Normally I would launch the stream with commentary if I get a deep run. So feel free to tune in when you can. :)

August review

Hey guys,

The time of the month once again. Hopefully you all had great August and summer overall. It's September... oh nooo... no more summer time. Well, as if there was any summer this year anyway. Don't know about other parts of the world, but in Latvia there almost was no summer at all. Cloudy all the time, lots of rain, and barely any sun at all. I am glad that I did spend a month in Bulgaria which was well hot and sunny. Okay, lets get right into the business shall we?

August goals

 

Play 600 MTTs - Managed to play 712 MTTs this month. Wasn't expecting that much, but hell I'll take it. :D

Profit $4000+ - Well, what can I say... The best month for me so far. Made $16,234.98 profit. Pretty sick. Will get into more detailed discussion about this later on.

Study poker 30 hours - Studied poker for 28 hours. It could have been more, but it is hard to allocate time while you are on a holiday.

Keep bb/100 EV above 12 - EV 11.91/100 this month. I know last month my BB/100 was better but there are various reasons why it has dropped this time.

Earn enough for a new PC + 3 Monitors - Have achieved this. Now have started to process orders to get my item once get back from holiday this Sunday.

bb100.PNG

bb/100

Results.png

Graph

bb/100

This month my bb/100 dipped slightly, however I cannot complain because having a bb/100 win rate at about 12bbs is great. The main reason I think why did dip is because I have started to mix in more mid/high stakes MTTs in my schedule where the fields are tougher in general. Even looking at my positional stats I notice that my win rate in the Big Blind was a bit worse than before, because people at higher stakes are just simply slightly better at postflop situations. However, I am still happy how I performed overall. I remember that there was only one week throughout the month where I was playing really sloppy and making really bad mistakes, in particular while playing from the Big Blind. But now I have fixed few leaks which should improve my results.

positional.PNG

Positional stats

Party Poker

Party has announced the return of Powerfest which is great because I really like these series. Lots of MTTs with boosted guarantees and weak fields. Hopefully this month we can book some decent final table wins. I was also lucky enough to finish 3rd in the Party Poker Main Event for a whopping $14k prize. That was great. The biggest final table I have played so far, and I know for sure that this is not an end. It is great that results are showing up when you put in so much work into your game.

New PC incoming

Finally I can reward my self with new PC system. Have decided to go for Alienware Desktop Area 51. I like how you can actually adjust all the specs the way you want as well. This is going to be a worthy investment for me.

PC_order_specs.PNG

September goals

 

Play 600 MTTs

Profit $4000+

Study poker 30 hours

Keep bb/100 EV above 12

Conclusion

So that's it for now. Looking forward to September overall. Soon I am coming back from the holiday and will have to emerge into the student life once again as university starts on 6 September for me. Hopefully I can cope with studying and grinding. I should be fine because I have my wife by side and she will definitely not let me down.

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;XzWcameJDow]

July review

Hey guys,

Hope you all had great July and you ran well at the tables. This is the time of the month where I can reflect on my performance and results. I am still on holiday, however currently in Latvia and most likely will stay here until September because the Masters course doesn't start before than.

July goals

 

Play 450 MTTs - Well within the target, managed to play over 541 MTTs.

Profit $4000 - Made $2,819.85 this month. Not super thrilled with the result as I had a goal of 4k, but still happy to make profit. I will get into more discussion for the reasons why I couldn't make it this time.

Study poker 25 hours - 25 hours studied.

Increase EV bb/100 to 12 - And last but not least, the most amusing achievement I have so far. :D So my EV win rate ended to be 15bb/100 but the actual win rate ended up to be 17bb/100. To be honest never knew that it was actually possible, lol.

BBwr.PNG

BB/100

July_graph.png

July graph

BB/100

So by looking at the graph and the overall statistics it looks like as if I have been running like god in July, although it does look like but I disagree with it. I decided to look through my database, because I was surprised why I was getting into more deep finished in many MTTs despite such a fantastic bb/100. Couldn't figure out why at the beginning but after working through HM2 I noticed a filter that lets you see hands played when there are X amount of players left in a tournament. So I decided to filter hands when there are 50 or less people left in the MTTs. I believe this to be amount of players when the 'deep' run starts, a lot of shallow stacks, people play selective because that final table is not far away. This is the graph I got:

deep_in_mtts.png

Although I did play with the settings a bit to see what is the difference when leaving 45, 36, 27 players in the MTT and there wasn't much of difference. So basically if I could run even slightly better when deeper in MTTs then my potential profits could have been higher. Not really complaining though, still had a pretty good month.

Positional stats

Just wanted to quickly go through the positional stats again. I think that by having these consistent results in terms bb/100, it only proves that anyone can do this as well if they put in a little effort. You have good win rate in the BB and SB you do not need to have innate talent of some sort, you only a good HUD and sound knowledge, and practice. A lot of players I encounter have so many obvious leaks, and even guys who are winning players, it just surprises. Lots of them play for years and they do not change their game, they have developed their ultimate strategy and they follow it no matter what.

Positional.PNG

Positional stats

If you want to really improve your bb/100 win rate you need to employ an exploitative strategy play. The biggest benefit of it when playing against regs is that it skews your stats against them. You may wonder, why? Well because if you against someone who uses HUD, they will see certain pattern because of the exploitative strategy but this same pattern most likely will not apply to them if you keep using the exploitative approach against regs. So for every player, your stats may look different and most likely you will be playing not the same way as those stats dictate, and that confuses a lot of regulars from my experience.

Party Poker

I have decided to grind on Party for the whole month. I know there are a lot of benefits when playing on multiple sites at a time, but for some reason I don't feel that it is for me. I can still put in decent volume on just one site and this way also I will limit my investments for sessions. When playing on multiple sites it is easy to overspend on buyins, because there is so much to play. However recently I have enjoyed playing on Party a little bit more than IPoker. I feel the structures are slightly better there with decent GTDs going on daily, some decent satties for online and live events, and of course their promotions are quite appealing at the moment.

August goals

 

Play 600 MTTs

Profit $4000+

Study poker 30 hours

Keep bb/100 EV above 12

Earn enough for a new PC + 3 Monitors

Conclusion

That's it for now guys. Hopefully this month will go better in terms of winnings. I want to buy new PC as well once I get back to UK. My current PC there is quite old now. I was thinking of upgrading it, but when I started to realize how much I will have to replace in order to upgrade few specific hardware parts I decided to just buy a new gaming PC that will be more smoothly. Fingers crossed. :D

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;A0rkfT6R4pM]

June review

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.

bb100.PNG

bb/100

Results.png

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.PNG

Positional stats

July goals

 

Play 450 MTTs

Profit $4000

Study poker 25 hours

Increase EV bb/100 to 12

Conclusion

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.

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;KH_9vUivBwQ]

May review

Hey guys,

This of the month again, when I write my review of how things went. :D Hope you guys had a great run last month. Quite a lot of interesting things to write. Made some decent money this month, had some nice final tables and had a pretty decent run in the PartyPoker Main Event last Sunday.

May goals

I admit, I sucked this month goal wise. Many things were happening, which really don't want to go into much detail with. So here is the list from last month:

Play 750 MTTs - Played only 679 MTTs in May. Stupid to say that 'only', it is still a lot. Mainly due to cutting on the amount of tables I was playing for the last 2 weeks of the month. I realized that playing 10+ tables just did not allow me to play my A+ game, so instead of going for quantity went for quality and cut my tables down to 8 max. And to be honest it did have drastic change on my performance and results.

Study poker for 28 hours - Managed to study for 24 hours in May, could have squeezed few more hours, however due to preparation to my June holiday and also because my wife is finishing her studies soon had to sacrifice some of the hours. It's all good though, I still spent quality 24 hours. Was watching really good webinars from Assassinato, writing my notes, implementing some of things in the CardrunnersEV etc.

Complete Craig Capurso's 30 Days Out workout - I'm a lazy twat. :D Same reason as above, just had to sacrifice some of my hours that could not get into the gym for a week and a half. Need to prioritize.

Triple my bankroll this month - I didn't triple my bankroll unfortunately, however I did double it. Which is still awesome. I probably could have gone higher in my winnings, I just had really sloppy start. Was playing bad and also running bad, when these two combine it gets REALLY REALLY bad. But it turned it around after plugging some leaks. Will discuss this in later paragraphs.

Increase my bb/100 to 12 EV - Was really close to increase this. I think I ended the month like 9.5 EV bb/100.

 

GPPT (Glasgow)

 

Unfortunately could not make it for the day 2 of this event. Was kinda disappointed to be honest. Was playing multiple day 1's, I think overall I spent about $70 through sats to play these. However, on every attempt was running super bad. Would get a lot of coolers and cold decks. Was fairly close in one of them to get to day 2, but my AK could not withstand JJ. The field in general there was very weak, most people had no clue what they were doing.

 

That's fine I guess. There is always next time! I will probably play the Online Grand Prix going on now. The satties for the $109 tickets are very easy to win, so definitely some really good value.

 

PartyPoker Main Event

 

Had a deep run in the Party ME last Sunday. Played really well there. The run was okay, I mean I was winning flips and losing flips etc. Finished 14th for $1k cash, but was too satisfied at the time because I got 3 outted, got AK in vs AQ and obviously the guy spiked a Q on the turn, was left with less than 2bbs and was on the BB the very next hand and was out. Great experience though. Will be taking more shots at these if I get the ticket on time.

Results

 

Had a pretty good month winnings wise. Doubled my BR. Had super sloppy start (graph below) but I recovered as I managed to plug in some leaks I noticed in my game. Could not figure them out at the start, but it turned out some really obvious that I had to facepalm for few minutes. My play in the Big Blind was fairly stupid, was losing too much money there. But once I fixed it, the winnings went up immediately, started to make some decent deep runs.

 

May_2016.png

 

I need to keep it going like this from the start of the month this time, and the money will come with it. The more I study the game, the more I realize that the results don't matter, they are just a bonus for playing good. So the main focus should always be the quality of the game, the better you play the better the results.

 

Poker study

 

Been watching lots of webinars from Assassinato. The most recent one he had was Test Your Poker, which was freaking amazing. It lasted for about 5 hours and was super intense. I would recommend anyone to get it, because it truly does test your poker knowledge, you get lots of feedback on various spots that you do not understand. I literally had made notes that take up about 5 pages in a word document just from that one webinar. I also got my self Why Apestyles is Right webinar and I can definitely say that it was the missing link in my game. Because I did feel like that I was struggling with rejamming from the BB/SB. I did not know the proper approach. After watching the first hour of the webinar it finally clicked for me. From the info I got, I was testing it in equity cals and my mind was blown of how wide can profitably rejam against specific opponents.

 

I also got my self a copy of CardrunnersEV. I was hesitant for a while, because I felt that the program is very complicated. However, after using it for a little while you actually a hand of it pretty quickly. The tool is so powerful. You can simulate so many different spots without even playing a single hand. Just construct a scenario and here you go, the answer is there! Super happy that I have it now.

 

June holiday

 

On the 19th of June I will be heading to Latvia and on the very next day we will be leaving from Riga heading to Bulgaria. We will be travelling by car, so we will be visiting many countries on the way there like Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, either Austria or Slovakia, Hungary, and Serbia. We might be staying in some of these countries overnight to get rest. In Bulgaria will probably spend about 2 weeks or so. If I find some live games there, might get into some casinos, not sure yet. :D I have laptop ready for this, so I hope that there will be no problems with Internet that much, so I can grind during some evenings. I have almost collected all the money necessary for the trip, just need few decent cashes and the mission will be accomplished haha. Most likely will be back somewhere mid August in Scotland so that I can pursue my Masters degree.

 

June goals

 

Play 450 MTTs

Study poker for 25 hours

Double my bankroll this month

Increase my bb/100 to 11 EV

 

Conclusion

 

So in terms of goals for June, I do not raise the bar that much mainly because I will be travelling. As because of that, I simply will be unable to spent that much of the time for poker. However, I will try to study as much as I can. I have made Evernote account and have stored all my notes there from my studies so that I can review them while on the road. Such a fantastic little tool, you write a note and sync with all of your devices and you can study poker while not being at the computer, genius! I hope you guys do have a great June and spent some quality time with your loved ones!

 

Peace,

 

Rihard

 

P.S.

 

Anyone who likes to watch some anime, I would recommend Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. One of the newer anime's and it is pretty epic.

 

[video=youtube;RawuknnGFqk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RawuknnGFqk

April review

Hey folks!

I hope you had a great month. I had pretty decent month so to speak. Quite a lot I wanted to discuss today with my April's review, so grab your popcorn, mountain dew and a butt plug, and let’s roll.

April goals

Play 650 MTTs - Smashed this goal, played a total of 898 games in April.

Study poker for 20 hours - Goal accomplished, studied exactly for 20 hours.

Hit the gym every day on poker days in the mornings - I would be lying if I said that I did this, due to some other real life priorities I had to skip certain days just so some stuff could be done. But that's fine, I will pick this one up next month.

Double my bankroll this month - Well definitely did not accomplish this. I will discuss this in next paragraphs.

Increase my bb/100 to 11 EV - And last but not least, my EV BB for this month ended to be 9.18bb/100. Even though I came under the goal, which is fine because my winrate shows that I am doing good in terms of the strategic concept of the game.

Double the bankroll

 

This was the toughest part of the month in my opinion. I started the month very poorly results wise and was running well below EV. At some point I felt really lost because I couldn't tell what exactly is not letting me get the wins I strive for, so I started losing on each session I would sit down to play. Before sessions I would open up holdem manager, look at my stats and would say to my self - 'I don't fucking know...' And this went on until my coaching session Assassinato. Once the date I so long waited for came, I was super excited, because Alex is a great coach and I've read so many recommendations about him etc. And I realised that every good thing I have heard about him is actually true. He is definitely the best poker coach in the industry. He looked at my stats and was surprised that I am not making the money that I should, so it was a challenge for him to find the 'cause' in my game that does not let me do that. Which he did, and pretty quickly, after running through various filters in holdem manager. He identified my leaks, gave a lecture how to combat that and explained why what I was doing wrong was wrong, and why the other approach is better. I had such a relief when I found that I have some serious leaks, because at that point I knew what to work on. Definitely an amazing experience, and also worth mentioning is that a session that I booked was for 75 minutes, but it lasted for almost 2 hours. The reason is because Alex is a great guy, who also likes to find out more about his students life, we also talked about random bullshits to make the coaching a more fun experience and he does not charge for that 'bullshit time', so if the coaching got of track, he compensates for that. After the coaching, within few days I got my recording from the coaching so that I can go through it again if I feel that something is missing. Overall I am satisfied in that sense.

 

So with help of Assassinato I was able to turn my month around drastically. At the start of the month I had a serious downer for my bankroll, not only I was able to recoup my losses but I also made a modest profit for the month. Here is my BB/100 graph for April:

April_2016.png

 

You can guess at which point in the graph I got my coaching. ;)

 

Bye bye PokerStars

 

I am pretty sure all of you know the situation with the Stars. Yes, they suck ass now... Implementation of rake to rebuys/addons, changes in schedules and tournament structures etc. I seriously do not find any value playing now on Stars. Now that the most MTTs how shorter blind levels and there are no longer MTTs I liked, such as the 2R1A MTTs, I no longer wish to play there. And it is not fun playing 1k+ field MTTs with shorter blind levels, with the older structure most MTTs felt like turbos but with the new one it is even worse. So for me bye, bye PokerStars. I will be focusing on the smaller networks such as ipoker, 888, party and winning. Those networks have much better value MTTs, weaker fields and also SMALLER fields. While playing on these networks I can stack more final tables in a month than in 5 months on Stars just because the structures are much better, and benefit more the skilled players.

 

May goals

Play 750 MTTs

Study poker for 28 hours

Complete Craig Capurso's 30 Days Out workout

Triple my bankroll this month

Increase my bb/100 to 12 EV

 

I think these are pretty solid and achievable goals for this month. The reason why I am increasing the bar on the bankroll goal is because this summer I will be going to Latvia with my wife and we will be travelling for a month around Europe and I need to put some money aside for various bills, pay the travel expenses etc. I already got myself an MSI Laptop to be able to play properly while travelling.

 

GPPT (Glasgow)

 

I have seen that Party are hosting an event here in Glasgow, and I have decided to participate. I will try to play the Day 1 online so that I do not have waste time coming in to play it Day 1 live. It is a $109 event with a pretty decent prize pool of 250k, first place taking about 35k and also additional 50k if you have won a Golden Chip on Party (which I have, hehe). So, I am really looking forward for the event. Will be working hard to get there, and hopefully ship it!

 

Conclusion

 

That is pretty much all I wanted to discuss. The post may be long, but whatever, I hope people reading it enjoy it. :D

 

Good luck at the tables!

 

Rihard

 

[video=youtube;z5UTNKXR8xw]

March review

Hi guys,

It is April now, we all made it there! :D Now it is time to crush through this month too. Overall March was great poker wise for me, which I will discuss in detail shortly. Most of my goals were achieved for the month. I know that if I do continue putting in the work the results will get better and by the end of the year I will be able to achieve my major goals I have set.

Another great fact is that I have booked my first coaching with the one and only Assassinato. A lot of people don't like him, but I love his approach to the game and coaching, and I am pretty sure that he is the best value for money when it comes to coaching, despite it being pricey. Looking forward to it.

March goals

Play 650 MTTs - We played 673

Study poker for 20 hours - We did actually for 23 hours

Hit the gym every day on poker days in the mornings - Oh, yes we did!

Double my bankroll this month - Almost tripled it!

Increase my bb/100 to 14 EV - Unfortunately the only one we missed. :( However, finishing the month with 11.5bb/100 and EV 8.45bb/100 is not a bad result.

Sunday Milly

Such a great experience during the Sunday Million Anniversary. I cashed there for about 2.9k, although I was aiming for that million I am still happy about the result, unfortunately I got coolered out of the tournament. This is not the first time playing the milly, however this was my first cash in it and it felt great, especially taking into the consideration that I satted through a $5.50 2 phase sattie. I will definitely keep taking shots into milly, at the moment I will be taking the advantage of the sats due to BRM. I think it is worth doing so, as the field there is very weak due to prizepool and you see a lot of weak players, nonetheless it is difficult to get through such a huge field it generates.

April goals

From last months winnings I had to cash out more than a half, as I have planned to purchase MSI Laptop. I need it for this summer as I will be travelling for about 2 months and I need a decent machine for it. My current laptop is fairly old, but it is okay when I have to switch from PC to it when playing 1 table in the bed etc. :D

Play 650 MTTs

Study poker for 20 hours

Hit the gym every day on poker days in the mornings

Double my bankroll this month

Increase my bb/100 to 11 EV

Okay, so the goals for April are pretty much the same. I don't want to set unrealistic tasks for the month so that I do not burnout. This is a marathon and not a race. I have to think what I put in the hours and not what hours to put in.

Conclusion

The review is fairly brief. I am planning to post another blog entry later in the month, based on strategy. Once I am done with the draft of it, I will do some editing and then it will be ready to be posted. I don't want to give out a lot of information on it for now, but I want to do a series of such posts. The main purpose of those will be just a focus on how I approach the game and why I think it works best for me. A lot of people might disagree on some topics of mine, but I don't care. :D Poker is a dynamic game, and everybody's approach is different.

Regards,

Rihard

[video=youtube;lqxm-Dovocc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqxm-Dovocc

February review

Hi guys,

Kinda late update, been busy the last few weeks and had most of the time available for the grind. February overall was kinda a so-so month, probably because of some other commitments. I feel that my game has improved a fair bit. From my previous goals I could not accomplish two of them, I studied only 16.5 hrs in February and could not double my BR unfortunately, ended the month breakeven. Which doesn't bother me that much because I was running fairly bad in all-in situations.

I am glad that I was able to improve my bb/100 quite significantly. To 13bb/100 EV. It may look like I was running well as I am 1bb above EV, but most of the times when I can tell I might have had some run good was early in the tournaments and those are usually nuts vs nuts spots which really mean nothing. My problem entire month was winning the important flips late in the tournaments where I could not get the luck on my side at all, but that's cool, breakeven isn't negative. :D

Feb_bb_per_100.PNG

Goals for March

 

Play 650 MTTs

Study poker for 20 hours

Hit the gym every day on poker days in the mornings

Double my bankroll this month

Increase my bb/100 to 14 EV

 

Lets make this bankroll grow again, no run bad this month! :D I will also try to play some satties for some live events to see if I can bink one. Another thing wanted to mention is that this month I will try to stick to PokerStars for the most part to see what is the difference results wise for me, before I was trying to mix various sites and it didn't work too well for me. But from the start of the month I play only on Stars and I have managed to get two 3rd place finishes, wonder if it is just coincidence.

 

Run good everyone!

 

Rihard

January review

Hello community!

January has passed. The month overall was pretty busy because I was sticking to my schedule I had planned for all my off-work days. From the targets I set myself for January I hit 3 out of 4, thus making it 75% success rate. The only thing I could not achieve was poker study time. I wanted to study at least 20 hours in January, but turns out I spent only 18.5hrs.

I think it is fine as it was the first month of the year and I was testing what I can do and what I can't to see how can I make all my goals more achievable over the year.

Poker

 

Results wise this wasn't a great start of the year, probably because I was testing quite a lot of things so that I can create perfect structure for my sessions. When was going through my stats on HM2 turned out I was winning around 8bb/100 and EV was sitting at around 9.2bb/100 which is great, because it is an overall 3bb improvement from December. Although it doesn't feel that I was winning much money because I just couldn't win the hands which were the most crucial in the tournaments. Nonetheless I have still keep working on my game, and make sure that my results keep improving. I still keep finding various mistakes when I review my sessions.

Targets for February

In February I will have more time for poker, which is great - more sessions, more final tables, more wins etc... I have set a little bit more targets for this month, however they work hand in hand with each other, so I if I start achieving few of them then most likely I will achieve the rest.

Play 400 MTTs (play 10 tables at a time)

Study poker for 25 hours

Hit the gym every day on poker days in the mornings

Double my bankroll this month

Increase my bb/100 to 12 EV

Conclusion

 

I feel that I could have done it better in January, but as it is the start of the year and the start of my new challenge it had to be expected. I know for sure that I have to give it 110% effort each month with no excuses.

Also I have started a series of hand analysis on our strategy forum, I have posted only one so far but soon I will posting another hand for breaking down the play. I have in plans few adjustments to the way I post these hands in order to motivate others to put their input.

Good luck at the tables guys and until the next update,

Rihard

Hey community,

Brief

As the title says I booked my seat for Elliot's webinar but had no time watch it live, essentially ensuring that I will receive the replay for it so that I can watch it later. Watched it, loved it. Will definitely re-watch it again later this month. It made me realize how much wrong I have been doing with approaching all my goals and that it has to be finally changed. I knew I have to change something in the way I approach setting/accomplishing goals but had no idea where to start and what tools to use, even if I would find a tool I would struggle to utilize it. I ended up changing my previous goal and setting up a SMART action plan. I will not go in great detail in terms of the SMART action plan, but I will briefly go through the goals I have and why I need them.

The Goals

I have set myself the following goals for this year:

Win $100,000

Reach P5s Top 300

Go Pro

 

I think most of you already think - "well that's optimistic", "haha, yeah right...", or "good luck buddy, Kappa" (Twitch audience will understand). Although the goals may seem to be optimistic for the player my level, I do not think that it is something that cannot be accomplished over 12 months period. Especially knowing how great tournament can be when you get good run etc... (not that it is something I hope to have, but would still be nice haha).

I do understand how tough these goals are to achieve, even if I don't, I will not be disappointed because I am focusing on the journey towards these goals. If I can the most of time during the year to make sure that I do all I can that is necessary to get there, I believe that I will. I have went through my SMART action plan and I know what I have to do and how will I do it. A great help was Elliot's webinar I mentioned previously. It had some great tips in it that have also change my overall perspective on poker and life as well. I will be focusing more on the reasons behind my goals instead of the goals themselves as they are just the end result, what matters is how you get there.

Planning

So I have my goals ready, now what? Well I will be setting monthly goals with weekly tasks and then basically I will be scheduling all the days of the week that I have available for poker and make sure that I make the most of them. This way I will be doing lots of stuff, and not just play poker all day, which is not great if you don't invest enough time to develop yourself as a player. I will ensure that I study every day before sessions for 90 minutes, have a break after the studying, and then get to poker. I will obviously evaluate my progress each month to make sure that I am on track with my goals and desires and make any necessary adjustments that I think will improve my progress going onwards.

Training

Every morning when I will be having poker sessions I will be going to the gym again to make sure that I have the endurance you need to have for long MTT sessions, and also that will improve my mindset because I will be feeling healthier as well. I only wish I had more time to commit to training, but having real life job as well, just make it a bit complicated.

Coaching

Very important obviously is to invest in proper coaching. At the moment I do feel that the coaching is not necessary as much on my stakes, because I have already had a fair bit of it and I am using the Alex Fitzgerald's webinar materials I have purchased which are very helpful and great. Obviously once I start moving into higher stakes I will be consider getting on some 1-on-1 coaching with the Assassinato himself as I admire his approach to the game. I am starting to learn how to properly use FlopZilla for my analysis, I am also considering to invest into ICMIZER to help myself improving my game when playing push/fold poker, and some other parts of my game.

Go Pro

This is big part of the journey because in September I will be starting Masters degree course, and I want to make sure that I can support my family while studying, thus have to leave the real life job. But I will not pressure myself into that obviously, so that I do not get unnecessary tilt when things don't go as planned. But it would be great to play for a living again.

Study group

I am also considering to find a MTT skype study group, which would have some dedicated player in it that like to learn poker. I have found that discussing poker with other people that have different views can be very beneficial for some specific parts of your game. Even anyone wishing to talk poker with me sometimes, do not hesitate to contact me via PM and we can share skype details.

That's all for now...

As the heading says. Nothing else to say. Will be updating when I feel like it is necessary to update. Once I have enough thoughts gathered that I want to share I will let you know guys. Thanks for reading.

Run good,

Rihards

Hello folks!

Haven't had much time posting any updates. Been fairly busy, December you know... But start off this post, wanted to tell that I recently went to Latvia for a week with my wife, to visit her family and also to celebrate wife's birthday there. Always good to be home and at the same time funny. I love how cheap a lot of the stuff are in there. My wife and I are planning to move there eventually just purely because it is cheaper and closer to family etc. But first got to complete education. I have actually been accepted for Master degree course in my previous university, so next September I am starting MSc Computing. Always good to have a backup plan in case poker back fires. :D

Poker-wise, been trying to put as much volume as I can but at the same time been running very bad in critical all-in spots with 80% equity hands. Due to that, haven't had any decent cashes recently, just can't get any where close to final tables sadly, sometimes even missing out on the money just because of the dumb variance. But whatever, life goes on, need to make sure that my decisions stay on top.

Closer to New Year, will be posting some resolutions for 2016. Will be keeping track of those in the blog, to bring in some variety. I also thought that I would post some graphs but then I realised that holdem manager skews some of the results, e.g. I play a $10 entry MTT on stars it would show that I have spent $300 on it, despite it being a KO freezout, WTF!?

Bankroll-wise, not much has changed, mostly because of the bad runs and also had to cashout some money for Latvia, so overall it could have been higher. :D

Goal: 16%

 

Okay, guys. Got to go to do some house choirs and then later some poker. :)

 

Run good,

 

Rihards Dobelis

Hi P5s!

I wanted to post just a brief update on my journey. This week shipped The Big $7.50 for $2.2k which I'm quite happy with, which means that the challenge is going pretty well. Will be trying to have some bigger ships next week, not sure if I will be playing tomorrow despite it being Sunday. Maybe will throw few tables in the evening, not sure. Next week definitely will be quite packed up as I will have more time on my hands later in the week.

Bankroll: $5,220.88

Goal: 17.4%

 

Have a great grind!

 

Rihards Dobelis

Hello P5s!

A week has passed since my first entry. Not much really happened, been working, playing, getting coaching and grinding. Running fairly bad recently, losing all my 70%+ hands preflop/postflop (all-ins). Sucks a little bit because I know that those hands could have made the difference for some nice deep runs, but that's MTT poker. Shit happens, I just have to accept it and move on, all we can do in this game. I just need make sure that when the cards flip over, that my range is in good shape against opponents range, then eventually the variance will go my way.

Bankroll: $3,311.62

Goal: 11%

 

I just keep working on my approach, I keep reading around the forums, get involved in some discussions... some of you might have noticed that already I guess. Gonna keep doing my best to reach my goal. It's a long journey, we always keep learning. I also subscribed for Assassinato twitch channel, just for a month for now. Probably not gonna be following much the live stream (unless I get the chance), but more interested in the replay/commentary broadcast. I just the love the guy, his approach to the game actually kinda inspired me to switch to MTTs in the first place, so I am pretty sure that I will be able to learn something from those videos, especially by also using the HUD he is using.

 

Going to keep you guys updated whenever I can. Thank you for your attention!

 

Kind Regards,

 

Rihards Dobelis

Hello my fellow P5ers!

Short Bio

My name is Rihards, Latvian poker player residing in the UK for the moment. I have stayed here for 7 years, most of the time spent studying. Planning to do Masters next year as I took years break from the University (got tired of all the bullshit), but thinking to complete my education. I have Bachelors in the Information Technology at the moment, but for some reason I don't feel that is still the path I want to take due to my interest in poker. However I still feel that I still should complete my education to have a backup plan for the future (which I will get into shortly).

I am married as well, no kids for now. This summer we will be married for 3 years, but we have known each other since we were 18 years old (so 6 years, holy sweet jesus, feels long :D). My wife is pretty much the only person I tend to spend my time together, we both don't have much friends. We have a few but all of them live very far away from us, so the only time we meet them are when we actually travel abroad.

Poker background

I have been playing poker for few years now, maybe like 3 years. I started off by playing cash games, where I played couple million hands overall. Was even playing for a living at some point, but was a rakeback pro which was rather hard in terms of a mindset. Running bad did not help either, as at some point I was like 150 BIs belov EV with my winrate, plus wife was not really happy with it and did not understand what is variance (she still doesn't), but because of that I stopped playing poker for a short while. Took few months off poker, decided to play some cash again but I felt that I have lost the love for the game. Tried some SNGs, they felt alright at first but got bored a little bit (tried various types, i.e. HU, 6max, FR, turbo, hyper, normal etc). Took another short break and decided to make a $30 deposit on Stars and play few MTTs. Soon I realized that MTTs are quite fun, despite the fact that I hated them before due to variance. So for now I have stuck with them and enjoy every session.

Poker goal

As I have mentioned previously, my goal is to turn pro again but by playing only MTTs. Also once I have enough money to sustain my self in the game, my wife and I are planning to return to Latvia as the life expenses there are very low and poker earnings are not taxed (not that in the UK they are, it is just the fact that UK is expensive overall and quite boring due to lack of good friends).

I will be playing on various sites to achieve my goal, i.e. Stars, 888, Party, IPoker. My bankroll has been spread across all those sites.

My current BR: $3,583.55 (turned from $30 and taking into account various cashouts I have had so far)

Goal BR to go Pro: $30,000

 

I know it is a long journey to reach this BR, but with few lucky ships we can do it in a week also right? :D

 

Action plan

Obviously to achive this I need to grow as a player overall. So I have to find each week a day when I will review my game/hands. Every week will be different as I have work as well with random schedule, therefore I have to adjust every week. I am planning to play 300-400 MTTs a month which is fairly achievable. Why the volume differs? Because it will depend on how well I am running, for example I will be playing 8-10 tables at a time and if I am lucky enough to go deep on each one of them, I don't have to start new MTTs up right? With so many tables up running I am able to make good decisions on the tables and follow the action.

 

I am also going to get occasional coaching from various coaches in order to attack different weak parts of my game. At the momeny I am taking coaching from untaktik, to work on my 20-30bb game at later stages of the tournaments.

 

I will invest money also in different software that is necessary for me to analyze my game and improve my decision making and also other learning materials. At the moment I use HM2 with NoteCaddy, and also I've got my self Assassinato HUD for MTTs, which is freaking amazing! I also have FlopZilla, where I want to start to work on my ranges properly (any suggestions are welcome). I am very stats based player, and like exploitative approach rather than GTO.

To make blogging interesting I will post monthly updates in terms of graphs (maybe not so necessary because anyone can check my profile for any ships), just to show how am I doing overall with my journey.

 

With my BR, I think good approach is to use 300 BRM at the moment roughly. So I will try to have ABI of $10 for now, until I am comfortable in moving up and once the BR meets the requirements. Until then, I will use the money to educate my self.

 

Conclusion

Thanks for taking the time reading this post. I am wrapping up this entry and will head on reading Moorman's book of poker. See you in the next post!

 

Kind Regards,

 

Rihards Dobelis

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