Saturday, 12 February 2011

First day up and 6tabling

Hi everyone!

After the almost going broke point, my bankroll got a boost by a deposit of 100 buy-ins. The first day I played with a bigger bankroll I ended up break even, but yesterday I had my first positive day! When I was done playing, I had more or less 14 buy-ins more than when I started, which feels great! I hope I can get a lot more positive days like this one, cause apart from being good for my bankroll, it's also good for my self-confidence.

Another thing that I wanted to talk about is the chat. As of the beginning of 2011 I've turned the chat off. One reason for that is the hater comments. I've worked really hard on learning how to steal the blinds at higher levels, and I'm still struggling with that. I don't need anyone calling me a donk when I'm blind-stealing and the person wakes up with aces or when they call me with something they shouldn't be calling in the first place and get lucky. It's not even about hurting my feelings anymore. It's about the fact that if I make a steal attempt that doesn't work and I'm being called names on top of losing the hand and sometimes the tournament, I know for a fact that next time a similar situation comes up I will be more reluctant to make a move even if I think it's the correct one. I start doubting myself, and bottom line this situation affects my play. Which is something no player should allow to happen, let alone a new one who is not sure about most of the things he/she is doing anyway.

Another reason to turn the chat off was the small talk that often starts in tournaments, the social part of the game.  Greeks were not so common to bump into (even though lately I'm happy to say that I run into more and more greeks at the tables), so every time I was in the same table as a greek it was almost for sure that there would be some kind of conversation. I also play with the screen name "katerina289" which makes it obvious to everyone that I'm a girl, so I would get questions like "Oh you're greek and a woman, that's cool, haven't seen that many women playing here, how long have you been playing, etc. etc." And don't get me wrong, I enjoy that kind of conversation, I'm not anti-social or anything. Sometimes I would even start coversations too, like when I saw a portuguese player from Lisbon I would go like "Hey I live in Lisbon too!" etc. etc. There are lots and lots of nice people out there. But that's all just a big distraction. I'd like to make a living out of poker one day, and chatting with random people while trying to learn how to play is not getting me there anytime sooner. On the contrary. So if you are serious about poker and you find that you have time to chat, my suggestion is turn the chat off and open more tables.

Speaking of more tables, I am 6tabling now. I moved up from 4 tables directly to 6, which I wouldn't do so by myself, but my coach/boyfriend insisted. And who am I to doubt the big pro, right? :P I did freak out at first at the idea of playing 6 at a time, and I freaked out a bit more when I opened them and my eyes couldn't keep up with the action going on, and my brain couldn't keep up with what my eyes were seeing. Huge mess at first, but after the first couple of hours it was ok. I've only played two days like this, but I feel fine 6tabling now. Not sure if I'm ready for any more tables at this point, probably not, but as long as I can play 6 and get results like yesterday's, I'm happy for now.

These were my news so far, good luck to you all!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Long time, no news

It's been three months since my last post... I didn't really plan on not writing for so long, I just got caught up with university and did some travelling which left little or no time for poker.

As of last week, I'm done with university and exams (yeayyy!) so I have more time overall. Therefore, this week I have been in a "poker intensive" mode. I'm back to watching educational videos, playing and reviewing my games on SitNGo Wizard. I gave up on the knock-outs and I'm playing the $1.75 turbos, basically because the turbo tournaments are faster, which means I can play a bigger volume. Also, the players at the turbos are much better in my opinion, which is good since my main goal now is to improve my game.

Having said that, it only took me a bit more than a week to go broke. I have played around 150 games total. I'm also using table ninja while playing (that program is so cool!), which made going broke a slight surprise since I wasn't manualy registering... There I was, 4tabling, when suddenly a message pops up saying something like "The buy-in of the tournament you are trying to register exceeds the amount in your account"... Niiiiiiiiiice...Well, technically I'm not totally broke, cause I won one of the tables I was playing at that time, so in theory I can still make a comeback :P

The funny thing is, it didn't affect me as much as I thought it would. I was feeling worse on other losing days than yesterday that I hit the bottom... I think that's cause I'm happy with the way I played most of the times and reviewing my hands on SitNGo Wizard I have been finding less and less mistakes lately. Also, I started with 25 buy-ins which is not THAT much anyway, even pros are expected to have downswings of 20 buy-ins if not more, let alone a new player like me. Have you ever gone broke? If so, please share your story, any word of sympathy during these difficult times will be much appreciated! :P

I'm still reading "Kill Everyone". That book is pretty big, and I spend most of my studying time on SitNGo Wizard anyway. What I've been loving about the book so far, is the way everything is presented. Apart from the content being extremely good, it feels more like a friend is talking to you about his poker adventures than reading a book. The examples are not "player A and player B", but actual people (quite often well-known players) and real situations in real tournaments. I dunno why, but I find that with this method everything stays in your head longer. This is the first time I've caught myself laughing out loud while reading a poker book. For example, this is part of the author's comment on online players : "When they make a bonehead play that knocks them out, they don't have to face the discomfort of slinking out of a cardroom (the walk of shame), while the whole table stares at them with mixed looks of pity and disgust". And later on: "Many players online will get married to top pair and you couldn't get them off it with a carload of dynamite". LOL. Not quite the standard poker book language, don't you think?

Speaking of getting married to a hand (I guess you remember my marriage issues from my previous post), I am proud to say I folded aces! It was on the flop, where after all the pre-flop raising and such, I found myself against two opponents and a JcTc9c board. Before I had time to do anything (I was on the button), the first opponent raises big, and the second one re-raises. The pot was huge, and considering all the action and the super scary board, I folded my pocket aces. I was lucky enough to satisfy my curiosity since both other players ended up all-in and showed their cards, one had pocket 5s and the other one was on a flush draw. As it turned out on the river I would win the pot had I insisted, but I'm happy with the way I played. After watching the replay coach/boyfriend confirmed it was indeed a good fold. :)

Overall thoughts about poker: this game is the deepest and toughest I have ever encountered (apart from chess perhaps). The more I study and get into it, the more I admire people who are good at it. And with all the information that's out there, sometimes I can't help but feel overwhelmed cause it's all too much to absorb. And there are always so many out there that are better than you and that are going to outplay you, that you feel like you are swimming in a sea full of sharks. At least that's how I feel sometimes. I definately understand the shark-fish poker talk a lot better now. :P

And just when I'm sitting frustrated in front of my computer screen, my coach/boyfriend shows up and puts me another quizz on SitNGo Wizard. "After doing this shove/fold from the SB 1000 times, you'll be sure what to do next time this situation comes up in a tournament". And I do. Even though I'm in the dark during certain parts of the game, I'm also 100% sure what to do on others. Taking one step at a time is the only way to do it I guess. (By the way, I've done 3k+ quizes on that thing :P )

Last but not least, I can always count on my coach to boost up my confidence:

-Katerina (after a losing session) : Am I the worst student you ever had?
-André: You're the best greek student I've had. : D
-Katerina: Really, tell me, am I the worst student you ever had?
-André: You're my best female student. : D

Needless to say, André's students were all portuguese guys. Good thing he's also my boyfriend. At least I can count on a tactfull answer :P

See you around, until then good luck at the tables!


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