Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Quantity vs Quality (+office tour!)


I hope you are all doing great! Some days ago, I had to go through a pretty intense conversation with my boyfriend about what stakes I should be playing and how many tables at the same time. As you probably remember from my last post, I was playing the $18.77 satellites, one table at a time. 

However, last Sunday we noticed that there were tons of satellites running for the MicroMillions, some events that Pokerstars will have between the 15th and the 25th of March. The satellites had pretty low stakes, with the lowest one being $0.35... André thought that it made sense for me to increase the number of tables I was playing but decrease the stakes. I, on the other hand, thought the exact opposite. To me it makes more sense to stay at the $18.77, pay attention at only one table and actually learn. I think I should only increase the number of tables whenever I feel more comfortable.

I guess it's all a matter of perspective, but on this subject our perspectives were different. If I was feeling like the players at the $18.77 were a lot better than me, I would voluntarily move down. However, I didn't feel so much behind and I could learn a thing or two from the better players around me. André kept insisting that I should focus on increasing the number of tables first and then work more intensively on my game. He wants me to be able to play 6 tables by the end of March, by the way. Just to prove his point, and even though I never said I could 6table, he opened 6 satellites of $0.35s and asked me to play. During the first level of blinds I managed, but at the second one I started losing it, making mistakes that I wouldn't make had I been able to pay attention to all 6.

I complained that there is no point in playing many tables against the people of those stakes because the game they play has nothing to do with that of the higher levels, so I'm not really learning much of anything. Not to mention that even if I can 6table the $0.35s, I will probably not be able to 6table the $18.77 because the average player is much better and therefore presents you with more complicated decisions. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, cause that's not the case, but people play a loooot of flops at those stakes. And how many flops can you play with a starting stack of 10BB? Not to mention those guys who are chipleaders on the bubble, yet they are trying to make sure that they finish the tournament on the 1rst position and shove like there's no tomorrow, even though the prize for the 1rst is the same as that for the 2nd.

And yes, I'm well aware that in poker you should always be happy to play with players worst than you, because with every little mistake they make they leak equity to you and increase your long-term profits. In the case of the $0.35 though, where the prize is $1 for the first and $1 for the second, I don't think I need to talk more about the "profits". Also, I played around 120 tournaments yesterday and got something like 7 VPPs. At this pace, I won't ever make it to SilverStar even if all I do in my life is eat, sleep and play poker.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash the MicroMillions or the micro-stakes in general. I think they are excellent for certain people, like those who want to built a bankroll literally from zero, those who want to qualify for a bigger even or those who simply want to have fun playing poker. I'm just saying that they are not suited for me in particular. But since André was insisting and one of us had to back up eventually, I let it go and I have been playing the $0.35s.

The very next day after that conversation, I spent some time with him reviewing some of my games. From the questions I was asking and the comments I was making, he decided that I should be playing higher than that. He told me I could move up as long as I had 100 buy-ins, which means that with my current bankroll I can play up to the $10 satellites. I guess he also realized, while reviewing my games, what I was saying all along: that these games are not at all educational. But since I'm a bit stubborn myself, I refused to move up and told him that since his plan was for me to play the micros, then that's where I would stay. I did keep playing them for some days. I like 3tabling during 4 hours to get 7 VPPs... Kidding!

Nah, I think a week of the micros was enough for me to prove my point and from now on I'll play higher. I haven't decided on the stakes exactly (with my limit being $10 per tournament), but I think I'll go up gradually so that the difference of the players doesn't make a huge impact.

Apart from that, I keep running good. Since I started playing again, I've only had one losing day and it was something like 4 buy-ins so not a bit deal. André has been quite helpful with answering my questions, even though I'd like to have more coaching. But he is pretty busy with his own stuff so, can't have it all I guess.

In my previous post, I mentioned that we have an office. André thought that it would be more productive to have a working space outside of the house. No more playing in my pjs! :( On the good side, it definitely helps you stay more focused at what you are doing cause there are less distractions. Anyway, since we will be spending a lot of time in the office from now on, it was important that both of us feel good in there. Therefore,  we both contributed equally in the decoration and the setup of the space. Here are some pics:

Cozy, isn't it?

André discovered that couch while we were shopping at IKEA. Excellent if you need to take a nap in between sessions!

FBI headquarters. Kidding, it's just our desks from the back...

My desk! With my beloved Mac keyboard of course.

André's desk. From this angle it kinda looks like the interior of a spaceship, don't you think? :P

My froggy and my plant! 

Entrance (Kitchenette on the left, printer and writing materials on the right)

Kitchenette with all the essentials: a toaster, a boiler and my new love: a Nespresso coffee machine!!! The microwave was already there but we never use it.

Fridge and food supplies

The idea was to make it comfortable, but not too comfortable at the point where we get lazy and we feel like we're at home. Cause then what would be the point of moving our working space, right? I hope you enjoyed reading this post. See you at the tables!


  1. Hi Katerina! I understand what you said about those limits :) and how frustating it can be :) Nice and cozy office you have there! Who is taking a nap there? :) Looking forward to visit you guys soon! Keep posting. It is always a pleasure to read it! ;) Big kiss!

  2. nice blog katerina ;) keep going GL at the tables

  3. Good luck for the new office and all that grinding ;)

  4. @Alexandra Tavares: Thank you! Guess who is taking a nap there on a daily basis... :P I'm looking forward to your visit! Hope to see you soon! Kisses!!!

    @RubenPereira & @Strac: Thanx, good luck to you too!

  5. Welcome back Katerina!
    I'm one of those who asked André about you.. eheh!

    Glad to see you return with full strenght to the tables and a very very nice office you both got there!! =D

    Good luck, and keep posting news!

    1. Helder, thank you for your interest and your comment, it's always nice to hear from the people reading my blog! :)

      You can count on more posts from now on!

  6. Well 1 or 2 days ago, i was tryin some Hypers from 2$ to 8$ and 4 my surprise there was a katerina playin @my table.

    I instantly reminded of andre's (i see is blog evryday since he made team online, and i respect a lot his way of thinking and working) girlfriend and asked in the chat if was you...and thought that maybe he was teaching you how to play those (Lucky you :P )

    i kinda liked my "shot" but with my bankroll thats not a very good wat to start plaing those sngs.

    Hope you keep doing well and GL on the tables.
    PS: You did crushed me on the 8$ sngs :)

    1. Hello Máfia!

      It was me probably, cause lately I have been playing the stakes you mentioned. However, I have my chat disabled, so I never saw your message.

      I hope that you'll rebuilt your bankroll and that I'll see you back at the $8s soon. Good luck to you too! :)


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