December 15, 2009

A Year Blogging - looking back

I started this blog 1 year ago, and so I thought I would look back at both the content of my posts and how they evolved, whether I think I have actually improved and similar stuff.

Using money I had won through a freeroll and grinded up playing up to 10nl, I deposited $510 onto Fulltilt in November 2008. I have managed to grind that up to a tidy 5 figure bankroll, without ever having added to the initial deposit. So as far as the Chris Ferguson $10K Challenge goes, I proved it’s perfectly possible. Hurrah for that.

With regards the stakes I played, I went from 10nl to 25nl, back to 10nl then from 25nl to 50nl and up to 100nl. In February I invested in a HUD and tracking software, which didn’t really make a huge difference to either my play or my results, in hindsight. Throughout this time I played full ring and I experimented with playing up to 18 tables. I found this somewhat boring.

In order to combat this boredom, I decided to muck about in late spring with a bet fold experiment. As Pokerstars was doing a promotion players at the time, I hopped over to that site, where I used a separate bankroll that I had grinded up, from an initial $100 deposit, to around $1000 playing solely sitngoes, almost all at $5.50 buyin level. I played 100nl full ring. Although I ran badly, I realised that when you start doing daft things like repping a set on any low board without either the relevant experience, but more importantly, while playing 16 tables, it’s a losing mentality. I tried this for a month without any real progress.

During that time I noticed how dreadful the problem has become, especially on Stars, of 20bb mass tabling push bots, which makes poker for non 20bb'ers (be they regs, fish, tags, nits, lags, fullstakers, half stacker and so on) far more difficult, to just have a game of No Limit Holdem. I think its worth noting that here, it being a micro and small stakes problem. I posted an entry about my feelings here, and a particular vocal response was effected by the "shortstack heroes", Lorin and Travis here. Although the discussion was constructive (you need to read the comments with my response as well as their post), my opinion of the mindset of someone that wishes to mass table at 20bb is still somewhat low, to say the least, and in fact it depresses the hell out of me that a) so many people seem to want to do it, and b) the sites continue to allow 20bb mass tabling. What is as depressing is that these guys genuinely aspire to this kind of activity and therefore they are defo here to stay. Durrrrr recently gave an interesting interview on his thoughts on it, and where the real skill lies, which I found highly encouraging. Not to put the boot in to just shortstackers however, I do feel a similar disregard to the 24tabling full ring 100bb autohotkey Reg Stars/Fulltilt bots, although they are far, far easier to exploit than good shortstackers, and have kindly provided me with a healthy amount of my current bankroll.

At this time, therefore, I was becoming frustrated with poker, but thankfully, through some very formative sweats from a 6max player and fellow blogger whom I now consider a friend, I realised that this 6max format was the game for me, despite my good winrate when nitting it up at full ring playing 9-10 tables. I therefore left a profitable situation to pursue something I thought I would enjoy more.

Enjoy = happy
Happy>Poorer (maybe)
but …….long run?
Happy = rich person
Rich person>rich

I moved back down to 50nl and played 6max for the first time and ran well for my first month, cementing my loving relationship with semi-deep-stacked short handed no limit poker. (200bb is really where its at if you’re a skilled player in my view)

From July onwards I have played 6 max exclusively, with the odd fun stab at Heads Up, at 50nl and now up to 100nl, and over a large hand sample, 4 to 5 tabling, I run at just under 4ptbb/100. I am absolutely delighted with it. Especially since I think I still can improve much more.

Looking back through my posts, its funny to see some of my early ramblings and how I would probably do a lot of things differently with my limited experience over the year. But that’s the joy of the journey of blogging, and I am glad I have got this stuff down as a record. I also posted my thoughts on player types, which I may extend into a 2plus2 post shortly, as I have never posted anything of note on that forum, and yet which is read by so many microstakes bloggers.

As the year went on, I posted more on interesting spots and hand reading, and less on associated stuff such as software, poker sites and books. I hope to build on hand reading discussion in this blog next year too. I have deliberately avoided posting about non poker stuff such as sport or politics, and I have also tried to stick to micro stakes in terms of poker talk. Next year I hope to bring some discussion into small stakes up to 400nl.

I had one brutal day, in October, spread over 2 sessions, where I lost 14 buyins at 100nl. It took me 10k hands to get it back. It was devastating at the time, but I came out of it better, as I know I can now go through these swings and recover from these beats without too much hassle. The first time is always the worst in poker. (nevertheless I hope I never go through it again soon…)

In terms of people commenting on what I have posted, almost all of it has been constructive and informative which encourages my opinion that the vast majority of poker players at these stakes, and especially those who blog, are thoughtful, modest, generous and intelligent. You know who you are as you read this, and I hope you go far, there is still plenty of reacreational money to go around for all. Re the scummy haters and slaggers that do pop up in the online poker community, keep on doing it if you like, its water of a duck’s back to me, I assure you, and you’re the real losers.

I will post about where I hope to be this time next year under a separate post in the next few days, as I think this has gone on long enough, no? Hell, I might even post the graph for the past year…….


  1. ooooh , i cant wait......nice post . you are an inspiration. gg and gl, L4

  2. Great post. I am someone who multi's full ring and I really realise I am not progressing my game further and only enforcing bad fundamentals. I'd love if you could go into detail about how you moved to 6-max. Im basically terrified cause in the short run it will be brutal. Anyway thanks for a good blog

  3. great post. I too have been blogging and playing for a year now. Not with quite the same success as you though :-)

    Anyway your posts are always informative and educational and I'm looking forward to the nest years worth :-)

    pease pudding


  4. I think your insights are spot on. Seems as good time to thank you for the support and encouragement you have given me over the last few months. GL.

  5. Great run in 2009 for you my friend and continued success to you in 2010. Making back 14 buyins in 10k hands is actually pretty damn amazing.

    Maybe when we're both ready to jump to 200nl 6max we should start studying and sweating each other. Let me know!

  6. thanks guys
    sweat sounds interesting icem, i will drop you an email sometime, or you at me.
    to anonymous: thats a good point about the transition from FR to 6max. Its actually harder in my view the other way round, moving to FR from 6max. Provided you are not a nit, a whole new world opens up on short handed play on moving from FR, but your agression and hand reading do have to change. but you're right, i will do a post on my own observations soon

  7. Have you heard that Full Tilt is raising the minimum buy in after the first of the year?

  8. actually i think stopping the 20bb buy in is a mistake. lots of non push bots want to play with that amount. let them. its the 20bb multitabling ratholers that create the problem, not just for 100bb regs, but for everyone. my preferred thing would be that you have 1 20bb buy in, but all other tables you buy into have to be 40bb or above. that seems fair to me.

  9. Thanks for your kind words. You are my first follower, and you left the first comment. You have earned a link on my page and a soft spot in my heart.
    Keep up the good work!