Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Change to the plan.... again...

Lately I have been messing around with SNGWIZ 2.0 has been fun and useful. To try it out I figured I would run a few 6-max hyper turbos to get some new data. The software has a few bugs to work out for sure, but being able to tweak the ranges as ICMizer can is a sweet bonus. Running a few trials of exactly the same situations also demonstrated the algorithm has changed as well. It does seem to have a closer to accurate representation of the true ranges, true weight of ICM and includes at least one future hand with Nash ranges included in the calculation.

The 6-max hypers have been quite the eye opener as well. A couple of the important benefits are that I can load up a full session quicker than 9-man turbos and can finish them up quicker when I want. This gives me a lot more freedom as to when I start and end my sessions and it takes a great weight off my chest when thinking about how I want to schedule my play. Just tonight I put two loads of laundry through, did the dishes, spent some time with the lady, wrote this post and got at least a couple hours and ~50 games in. I must have put in 4 or so quick sessions to get all that done.

The games themselves pretty much play themselves out to a certian degree. Just a quick glance at the basic stats and the situation I am in is usually enough to give me the decision I am looking for. There is a lot less effort I put toward making the best decision given the information present at all times, so I have a bit more brain power to give as well. With will power being a finite resource, this leaves me feeling fresh during the entire session and I feel I am playing better poker as a result. Also, maybe the most important thing about this is that I can sit on my laptop beside the lady while she watches TV in the background. She is pretty cool about me playing poker while she watches whatever she wants, as long as we are together. It is easy for me to zone out, so I don't feel that I am losing too much value while I am doing this. The plus life EV about keeping the lady happy is pretty awesome while I am grinding out a few bucks an hour building the dream, and she seems to enjoy watching my HM2 graph keep climbing almost every day.

So currently I am playing $1.50 Stars 6-max hypers to log the volume. I was sitting at $1.00 and $2.25 games at Tilt while doing this thinking there would be less regs, but it seems to be the other way around. The difference is likely miniscule in the long run, but I for sure feel more comfortable playing the Stars games. Of course the games load quicker, so it is likely better for the hourly rate as well. It isn't that they are all really terrible players at Stars, most actually seem pretty competent, but the difference is that the small mistakes seem to happen at a much higher rate. Antes likely are the main reason why this happens. The slight shove and call range errors that I catch out of the corner of my eye aren't too bad, but they are mistakes that someone who has a great understanding of ICM wouldn't make. I remember hearing that the real money isn't made about how many great decisions you make, but how many bad ones the fishes make. For that reason, as long as you can make a educated range adjustment, these stakes will always have money to be made for a good reg.

I know I have been running pretty damn well, but I do think I found myself a new main game and a new plan to move up through the stakes at the quickest pace. I'll move myself over to the $3.50 games in the next couple weeks I imagine, I just want to get enough data at the $1.50 limit to figure out where I am sitting. Over about 100 games I am sitting at an ITM of almost 60%, ROI almost 60% and running somewhat around 1.2x over what the EV line suggests. So obviously I am just killing it, but soon enough I will get my way around 1000 games and have a better idea of what I am doing. But I think I have got it close enough to demonstrate that I am a winning player at this game and stake.

Currently I believe my hourly rate to be around $3.00 - $5.00 playing these games.
BR ~$650

Friday, April 18, 2014

Haha, and I thought I was smart and current with online poker...

Like really, lol, did you know that SitNGo Wizard 2.0 beta has been released for almost a year and a half already? And I was just about to subscribe to ICMizer to get the future game simulation calculations included in my review.

Well, at least this might look somewhat promising to future grinders. If you can let something as important as this beta release slip under your nose for 16 months, you can still make money at poker.

Hey, at least I finally got it on my own eh? Here is to some epic fine tuning of my push-fold game.

And in case you missed it, ICM failing to consider future situations has been one of the topics I have been trying to wrap my head around lately.

Postflop will have to wait, lol.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A New Beginning

So it begins again...

I remember thinking about this period in my poker career at one point in time, must have been roughly two years ago. I imagined this time as the point where I would have a bunch of choices about where to take my game in the next short while. This comes as a result that I am finally grinding out my way through the low games, no longer in the micros. The regs that I see sometimes are actually significant winning players, the average losing players are getting closer to LAG rather than LPASS and every once in a while someone who is just crushing the stakes I am playing sits at my table. But the most important revelation is that I need to study and review the key hands of every session to keep the trend going. No longer does the ABC style of poker give me the most significant edge in the long run. I have to open my 3B against min raises more because they don't only mean the villain wants action on his aces. I have to open my late position ATS because those smallish +EV situations are so much more important. I have to play better post flop and extract full value from LAG regs and fish alike.

In short, poker has become much harder, much more exciting, but also a tonne more fun. Watching that BR grow also has it's way of making me smile.

I feel like I am learning the game all over again, and in reality that is not too far from the truth. I have spent the better part of two years researching, studying and deciphering the deepest aspects of ICM and it's application to poker. I still have a hell of a lot of work to do there, and I don't want to let my progress become complacent, but I do feel comfortable enough for me to open up other parts of my game to squeeze out every last bit of ROI that I can. ICM has been and will likely continue to be the strongest part of my game, almost guaranteeing me a slightly better than breakeven poker game at the low stakes, but now I want to learn more. I kind of feel like a kid who finally learned to read and is just opening his first Goosebumps book.

The concept I believe that I will spend most of my time on and give me the most value is basically post flop play. This has a lot of aspects to it, but mostly I am looking forward to being able to open up my late position steals, BB defends and the like knowing that I will outplay my opponents on the flop. Also, being more comfortable with deep stack play in early game situations will be another benefit.

This will likely be accomplished by spending more time on those types of hands as they come along and less on the ICM heavy situations that I have somewhat mastered already, but I have some other ideas. Basically I will take a look at giving cash games a try, mostly as a training ground for me to develop those concepts. I mean, it can't hurt really. My ABI is already more than a full buy in at 1c/2c, so as long as it takes me over 15 minutes to lose it I consider that cheap education. I already have tons of experience in MTTSNGs and MTT tournies, but post flop play doesn't take place too much at the micro turbos. Those seem to be more of a 3b/4b/ft3b game of value chicken to me rather than a place to practice basic concepts.

Aside from the practice, the real game plan consists of $2.25 and $5.00 games on Tilt for the grind. I have also started to play a mix of the $1.00 - 180 man hypers on Stars and $0.50 / $1.00 hyper 6max games on Tilt for those shorter sessions where I just want to chill and play some poker.


- moving up stakes
- expanding my theory in cash games
- looking forward to it

BR ~ $580