Sunday, 30 December 2012

I'm Supernova!

Hello everyone!

I just finished my last poker session for 2012. I should normally go back home since it's already 2:00 a.m., but I couldn't wait to share the news: I'm Supernova!

I finally reached my goal of 100.000 yearly VPPs. As you probably remember, I was missing something like 47.000 VPPs in the beginning of December so it was a pretty ambitious goal to begin with. I practically had to make in a month as many points I made through the rest of the year. Well I did it, and now it's time to celebrate!

Not only did I do it slightly ahead of pace, but I also got great results. December was by far the best month I've ever had. I think there were a lot of factors that contributed to that. First of all, it's that part of the year where people want to spend time with their families and loved ones. So I guess there were quite a few good players that decided to take some time off. Secondly, some people (like me) where probably chasing the points and possibly had to play higher stakes than what they normally do even though they are not necessarily good at them. Adding to that were the extra tournaments that were running for the upcoming TCOOP which helped increase the traffic. And last but not least, I was running good. :D

But let's not waste more time, here's the graph for the month of December:

I'm so happy for these results like you can't imagine! I've always heard of people having crazy months but it always seemed distant, beyond my reach. I never thought it was possible for me to have results like this. It feels awesome that all the work I've put in until now is finally paying off.

Also, this puts things in a different perspective. Out of all the years I've been working in "traditional" jobs, there wasn't a single year when I earned this amount of money. To think that I made in a month more than I previously earned in a whole year is... I don't know how to explain it. It's beyond words I guess.

And of course I know that not all months are gonna be like this and that this was an exception. I sometimes have some bad thoughts creeping in like "What if I was running crazy good and these results were completely undeserved?" But the thing is, I know I worked hard for it so I'll gladly take any help luck can give me and try to block any negative thoughts.

December has been pretty crazy schedule-wise. The first week I woke up early (around 10 o'clock), and took my time to enjoy my morning coffee. Then I busied myself with the house chores and I'd have lunch with André. I'd only go to the office after lunch, study a bit and then start playing. The thing is, I was playing until later and later every day and as a result I would wake up later on the day after. Slowly, my schedule got converted to what it is today: I wake up around 16.00-17.00. For your reference that is sunset time. There were days where I literally saw no daylight. Vampire style full on! Then I'd have a morning (?) coffee, get ready and go to the office. On my way there I'd grab lunch and dinner that I would later eat whenever I felt hungry. I stayed at the office until 3.00 and sometimes even 5.00. Of course when I got back home I couldn't fall asleep right away, so there have been days when I'd only go to bed at 7.00. At least then I got to see the sun! :P As you can imagine, it's not the best schedule for a human being to have but the truth is all the good poker conditions aside, most of the time I was 3-6tabling. And that's a really really low number of tables if you're trying to reach 47k VPPs in a month. So the only way you can make up for it is to spend sh*tloads of hours in front of the computer. Pardon the expression! Not to mention that I rarely got to see André cause he was obviously living like a normal person so we would only spend like 10 minutes per day together. And we live in the same house!

Anyway, that's all over now. All I need to do is to somehow switch to daytime schedule and enjoy my 2 days left of 2012. Adding January 1rst, I have a total of 3 days to rest! Wow!

Ah, I almost forgot. One of these crazy days (or crazy nights to be more exact) I played another MTT. Did you know that they have a $109 tourney starting at 4:00 a.m.? I sure didn't! That's why I forgot to unregister and had to play it. These people at Pokerstars they really organize tournaments for every taste! Anyway, I was really pissed at myself cause I was finishing my session and was planning to go home when the MTT popped up in my face! And if it starts at 4.00 go figure what time it's gonna finish.... I seriously consider to ignore the $109, turn off the computer and leave. But I'm not that good at wasting money so I decided to play. Fortunately, it paid off cause I made another final table!

Towards the end we were getting short so the game was right up my alley. I called a shove from another player with my pocket Jacks and he showed AJs which puts me ahead but... Unfortunately he hit his flush. Whatever, I still played my best and another final table is something I'm quite happy with! :)

I'll try to not make a habit of playing MTTs all the time. I have a lot of margin to improve in this, but I think I'm getting better...

Before I go and since this is my last post for the year, I'd like to share with you my annual graph of 2012:

2012 was a very different year. Full of ups and downs, as most of them are, but I never expected back in January that I when working in the offices of a big company that I would end the year as a full time poker player. I'm very excited to see what 2013 has in store for us!

I wish you all to enjoy the rest of the holidays and have a great 2013! :D

Saturday, 22 December 2012

My Bestest Day Ever!

I know that in my last post I wished you happy holidays and the truth is I wasn't planning on making another post before Christmas but I think that in this case a post is imperative!

First of all, calm down all you grammar maniacs, I know that "bestest" is incorrect but it sounds nice to me! Especially for today that "best" seemed to not be enough...

I've made quite a few posts before regarding my best and worst days in terms of results and my plan is to keep making them every time I break the record. As you have probably guessed by now, I have a new record for my best day and this time I don't think I'll be able to break it anytime soon. Without further ado, here's today's graph:

This is my prettiest graph so far! You can see that towards the end the road got a little bumpy, but oh well! I can't complain! :D

At the highest point of the graph I was up $7.3k which seems hard to believe. Even the final result of $5.936 is unreal. I keep staring at the graph and try to fit it in my head that it's my own graph I'm looking and not someone else's! Lol! :P

Not only does this break the record of money earned in a day (it's even better than my MTT finish!), but it's also a new record in terms of buy-ins which I actually find a lot more important. So, dividing the profit by the average buy-in we get an upswing of 96 buy-ins! Considering that my bankroll has always been around 100 buy-ins of the stakes I play, it's actually pretty scary to be thinking that I could have a downswing of this kind... I would have to move down at stakes of course, but seriously a downswing of 96 buy-ins would be very hard to take and I hope I won't have to deal with anything like that anytime soon...

Third record broken today is that of VPPs earned in a day: today I got 3205 VPPs which is great! It brings me a little bit closer to my Supernova goal:

The only record I didn't break today was that of tournaments per day. I'm not sure what exactly was the biggest number of tourneys I've played in a day, but it was over 500 so today's 471 doesn't cut it. It's ok, I'll live with that!!! :P

Anyway, I just wanted to make this quick update to share the good news with you guys! I'm not going to make any more posts before the holidays (unless of course something extraordinary happens again!) so I wish you Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Supernova Progress

We have a saying in greek "Η καλή μέρα απ' το πρωί φαίνεται". Very freely translated, that means something like "In the morning you can tell if the day is gonna be good". And when I woke up last Friday morning, it was raining cats and dogs. You know how on a sad rainy day all you want to do is curl up on the couch with a blanket, a hot beverage and a good book and stay there all day? Might not be the case for everyone, but that's what I feel like doing when the weather is like that. I usually say "This would have made a perfect free day", cause if I can stay in the house I actually like that weather. Too bad this time it had to be a Friday.

I got out of bed (which makes me a hero already!), got dressed and made a coffee. There wasn't much time to waste cause I had quite a lot of errands to run before going to work. Of course, the stuff I had to do was in the center of the city, which implied me getting stuck in traffic unless the weather improved. Needless to say, it kept raining all day long. I got traffic jams both on my way in and out of the center. Great. 

That delayed me enough to not get my lunch on time. By the time I arrived at the office, my stomach was growling as if I had swallowed 10 dinosaurs. I parked the car, got my umbrella and headed towards the mall to grab something to eat. As I was walking, I thought how impressive it was that during the whole day it did not stop raining even for a minute. That moment a gust of wind broke my umbrella. It really seemed like somebody was making fun of me.

When I finally got back to the office, my clothes were soaking wet but since I couldn't change I just sat down to eat and opened some tourneys. Thanks to the earlier traffic, I was starting ridiculously late.

After all this introduction, do I need to say what my results were like? I had a -$3k day, which I think qualifies for my worst losing day in terms of money. In terms of buy-ins I'm not sure, but it was pretty impressive anyways. Do I need to go on about my frustration of losing every single all-in? Nah, I'll just skip it to not bore you guys... I should have saved the graph of that day to put it here, but when I closed the last table all I wanted to do was to go back home. Now I can't retrieve the graph of that day alone cause it includes Friday's afternoon and Saturday's wee hours. Maybe that's for the best, cause it was an ugly graph anyways...

It was around 2:30 a.m. when I left the office. And just when you think that your crappy day is over and you'll finally go to bed, destiny finds a way to surprise you. I only made it to the garage door, which of course was closed considering it was so late. All normal so far. I rung the bell, but no one would open. Since I could obviously not get out, I parked the car again and went to the reception. There is someone there 24/7, and I was really curious as to why that person would not do their job and open the door.

When I arrived to the reception nobody was there. I waited and waited, thinking that the guy might have gone to the bathroom or something. Since no one was showing up, I even went to check the bathrooms to see if any were occupied. Guess what, they were empty. I'll skip the creepy part where I was waiting all alone in a dimly lit building where there was total silence. After a while I thought "*@!% it, I'll leave the car here and grab a taxi to go home". I headed towards the main door which is always open and... it was locked. I was officially locked inside the building! AWESOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!

I kept walking up and down until at some point I noticed a paper "I'll be right back" followed by a mobile number. It was hanging at a place easy to notice for those outside that wanted to come in, but not so easy for those inside that wanted to get OUT. I dialed the number and soon the security was back at the reception. Anyway, I did get home in the end, but it seems like I needed to have that fun little adventure at the end of a long bad day...

Fortunately, the next days went a lot better and I managed to recover. After last Sunday, my bankroll reached the highest amount it has ever been, which is great! (I had a downswing today, but still, I'm good). I keep playing the $37s, $74s and $109 hypers so the points keep coming in at a good pace. Here's my VPPs status right now:

19k points left! If everything goes according to the plan and I don't have any nasty downswings I will make Supernova with one or two days to spare. The only problem is that I haven't fully adjusted to this nightly schedule yet... I wake up around 13:00 so I cannot have lunch or dinner at normal times... But since I'm feeling well enough to play and I'm not sleepy during my sessions I guess it's ok.

That's all for now, I'll try to make another post next week about my Supernova chase.

Until then, I wish you all to enjoy the holidays and have a merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

I'm positive at MTTs!!!

So, yesterday was your typical Sunday where I go to the office as early as possible to play as much as I can. This particular Sunday I didn't go super early cause I've been playing until 2:00 a.m. all week long, so waking up before noon is out of the question. Not that I missed that much anyway, all the regulars I know where playing... And I'm not super excited to be the 6th person joining a game with 5 regulars waiting... Not only that, but the god of hyper-turbos jorj95 was playing the $74s so I'd rather stay away from those...

But since I needed the VPPs (let's not forget that I am on the hunt for Supernova), I opened some $37s and started playing. Around 13:45 I stopped opening tables cause the $109 NL Hold'em [$15k Gtd] was starting at 14:00. I removed those satellites from my TableNinja filters, unregistered from the tournament and went on playing my hypers... Of course the inevitable happened. I forgot to unregister from the satellites that TableNinja put me in before 13:45. It seems like one of them took a bit longer to start, so by the time I was done with it, it took me straight to my seat in the main event. *Sighs* Story of my life!

Frustrated that I was going to have to play yet another MTT, one that I had actually been prudent enough to remove from my filters, I put the table in the corner of my screen and focused on my hypers. Early on, however, I got some premium hands in the MTT and doubled up. When I checked the lobby, I saw to my surprise that I was first (!) in the rankings. I still paid little attention to it, cause the tournament had something like 300 players and late registration was still open so more could follow.

I went on playing, and was still hanging on after registration closed. Not only was I hanging on, but I don't think I ever dropped lower than 13th place. Time was going by though and I was starting to feel more and more tired. As you know, I normally do two-hour sessions and then have a 30 minutes break. MTTs only have a five minutes break every hour so... That threw me out of my routine by quite a bit. I was planning to go grab lunch from outside but that was no longer possible. Good thing I had some leftover soup in the fridge!

I didn't know what to do during my five minutes break... Go to the bathroom, make a coffee to keep me awake or close my eyes for a while to get that much desired rest? I was talking with André on gmail chat from time to time... He was going running, then he was back from running and was going to take a shower, then he was going to prepare lunch, then he was having lunch and so on... And aaaaaaaall that time I was there playing. Boy, MTTs are so annoying! Don't even get me started on why I don't like playing MTTs, I've already made a detailed post on the subject!

Anyway, the thing that really bothered me was that I had already spent quite some time on that tournament and I would feel awful to walk away empty handed. Which, considering my past experience in MTTs was a highly probable future. I was constantly checking how many players were left so that I at least make it in the money and it always seemed soooooooo far away! To make matters worse, since I wasn't getting my half-hour breaks I was feeling too tired to play the hypers at some point so I stopped playing them and only left the MTT open, thinking something like "Okay, I'm gonna lose this one, make a break and then go back to the hypers!"

Of course, life has a funny way of messing up our plans. In this case, the amount of good hands I was getting was ridiculous. And no, I'm not overreacting. It seemed like luck was making it up to me for all the previous MTTs I've been in... I remember one where I lost without ever getting a glimpse of a halfway decent hand. And this Sunday it was my payback time. Not only did I double up early on, but just when I was determined to play tight to make it into the money (that's really all I was hoping for), I would get Aces or Kings and be forced to go for all or nothing. Like, to give you an example at some point I was up against another player's all-in. I called with my AQs and felt relieved when he revealed AQo. We would be splitting the pot, so huuuuufffff, I could breathe again for not having to flip with a pair or be up against AK. I didn't even realize what was happening when I saw all the chips coming my way. I had made a flush! You know the expression "Better lucky than good"? They made it for me playing the MTT last Sunday. That crazy!

The bubble did burst at some point, and I was nowhere near going bust. Actually most of the time I was the chipleader at my table. André started taking more interest in what was happening as the tournament was closing in to the last two tables and he started cheering for me on his facebook page which was a nice twist of events since normally I'm the one that does that kind of stuff... Oh, by the way thanks to everyone who showed their support! I really appreciate it you guys! :D

I made it to the final two tables, and when it looked like they would soon be merged into one I did the unthinkable: I turned my chat on!!! As soon as we got into the final table, I typed "chop?" in the chat box. Nobody replied though... Don't get me wrong, I was actually the chipleader (although you cannot see two players' stacks below, I did have the chiplead at that point). I just wanted to get a deal cause I was super happy to make it in the money and then the final table and I have a very good notion of how far my skills go when MTTs are concerned.

Anyway, since everyone ignored my chop offer we just kept on playing. One player down, then another one, then another one... We were down to four people! Then came the decisive hand of the tournament... I raised with pocket 4s and the player on my left shoved... I called, and he showed 2s. I didn't have time to breathe before the flop came with a 2 in the middle... He hit his set, and even though I was still alive that hand crippled me. On the positive side, I was down to 11BB after that so it was my field all over again... Hyper-turbo style so that I go down in glory! Heheh! At least towards the end I'm 100% confident of my game!

It seems that some people did not take losing quite as nicely though. One of my opponents that I eliminated from the final table wished good luck to two of the other players (he acutally wrote gl X and gl Y) and ignored all the rest of us that were still playing. He also remained silent when I wrote "gg", but whatever! I'm not going to teach people good sportsmanship and I have my chat off most of the times anyway so I never bother with this kind of thing. Plus, I'm very happy with the way I played considering what I know and that MTTs are not by any means my field. I also recognize that I've had a very generous amount of luck which is why I didn't really sweat it with the 44 vs 22 suck-out. All is well that ends well and I got a nice $3024 prize to celebrate!

And I'm sorry if you have seen this kind of thing before, but to the eyes of the sng player this graph is so unreal that I had to share:

Straight line up? Haha, that doesn't happen! It makes the hypers progress look like I was fooling around at the tables or something! Epic! And finally, one last graph we need to take a look at: my lifetime MTTs graph.

Graph for more than 15 players

That's $565 positive! Yeayyyy!!! I think it's important to have it here for the record cause with the bad habit I have of forgetting to unregister from main tournaments I can't say that it will stay positive for long... Oh, and since the above graph is including some small MTTs, I'll also put the lifetime graph of the bigger ones with more than 180 players (that's were I'm doing all the damage these days anyway):

Graph for 180 players and above

In this one I'm $1286 positive which makes me wonder... When exactly have I been playing small MTTs and lost money at them? Must have been in another lifetime or something, or I have completely erased from my memory everything MTT related cause I really don't remember anything about the crime...

Anyway, I think that's enough graphs and numbers for today. Moving on to more serious questions... What to do with the prize money? Talonchick had a great idea of me going shopping (oh, thanx Adrienne for the support at the tourney!). Not that it didn't cross my mind, it did, but eventually I've decided that it's much better to leave the money in my account. I think my bankroll appreciates it more than my wardrobe would. Especially now that I'm going for Supernova and a downswing could mean not making it. Speaking of, this was a good week as far as points are concerned and I'm happy to say I'm on schedule:

After all the MTT craziness I immediately hit the mall to grab dinner. I had been playing for six hours which I'm not at all used to and I felt like eating something more consistent than a soup. And yeah, I did say that I wouldn't spend my prize shopping around like crazy, which we all know I would love to do, but I didn't say I wouldn't buy anything. I am a woman after all! Plus, what I did buy I really needed!

- A pair of the cutest fuzzy socks ever made! Cause I actually didn't have any fuzzy socks and it's cold and the heating at our place has been pulling some tricks on us lately and who wants cold feet in December? Plus did I mention they're super cute?
- A night mask with the eyes of an owl! Because sometimes André is at the office with me and he's working while I want to take a nap. And I can't take a nap with all the lights on! Plus, one can never have too many cute thingies! :P

That's all for now! See you soon with an update about my Supernova chase!

P.S.: I started writing this on Monday night but it turned out to be one of my beloved humongous posts... So I'm posting it after midnight and it will go with a Tuesday date. Just wanted to clear that out so that you don't get confused when I'm referring to Sunday as "yesterday". Cheers!

P.S.2: Now that I said cheers, I remembered, after I won the moneys at the MTT, André showed up at the office with some snacks and Porto wine to celebrate! Which makes me think... Hmm, maybe I should final table more often, this is cooooooool! :D

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fish, sharks and taking a shot at Supernova

Hello everyone!

I've been kind of absent from the blog during November, but it has been a pretty busy month for me. First of all, I focused on studying poker and improving the way I play. I didn't want to have another bad month like October so I did my best to avoid it. 

Halfway in November, my coaching sessions changed. Instead of sitting in front of the computer with André to review my recorded sessions, he would take the recordings and watch them by himself instead. During that time I would continue playing normally while he was taking notes on my videos and creating a review file for me to study the next day. It takes longer to do that than to make corrections through discussion while we are watching a video together, but I have more time to play like this. Also, the best part is that I have the files to review whenever I want and everything is in full detail so it's much better than me taking quick notes while he's talking.

Anyway, studying has been going pretty well and I feel like I'm significantly improving the way I play. But before I go on, here's the graph for the month of November:

As you can see, I finished with a profit of $3.368 after 5.311 games. Not bad at all I must say. On the negative side, I forgot or didn't have time to unregister from some main events so I had to play them... It was a total of 8 MTTs and I didn't manage to make a cash finish in any of them which took away $1.177 from my profit. Now that I add it all up it's actually quite a bit of difference, I could have finished with $4.5k profit in November but... Oh well, I think my frustration for being obligated to play those MTTs is enough of a punishment.

As you can see in the graph, the month was not missing its ups and downs. Around the 1.5k hands mark I got a good downswing and then between the 4k and the 5k hands you notice a significant upswing and an equally brutal downswing. I think the last two were in the same day (a Sunday) if I'm not mistaken. From that point of view, during the past month I've hit several highs and lows that were new territory (at least for me).

I discovered that when one is taking one bad beat after the other, being extremely unlucky or simply plays bad, Sharkscope has a special "reward" for them. They add a nice little fish next to the player's name when you search them up in their database. You don't believe me? Here, I took a printscreen:

And to be honest, the prinscreen doesn't do it justice... The little fish has animation and all, showing it swimming happily in circles in its fish tank and jumping out of it every now and then. Oh, and just in case you didn't get it already, when you move your mouse over it a label appears reading "Fish".

Great, just great! I had never seen that before, so I didn't know that Sharkscope did that. To find out this way, with the thing swimming next to my screen name was kind of harsh. As if my downswing was not enough... Anyway, at least the Fish shows up only when you search that specific day and those specific stakes (damn those $18s!) so I didn't get permanently stained with the Fish label. If it showed up in my lifetime winnings it would be worse :P And to make a last comment about this, wow, -27% ROI? I bet most people cannot do that even if they try (unless they sitout all day long, which was not my case). Talking about running bad!

And now the positive side... After discovering about the Fish, and following my tradition of getting excellent results after the really bad ones, I soon found out about the Shark:

At least it's good to know that I'm not just a fish, I can be a shark too sometimes. Lol. The Shark is animated too, moving its tail left and right. When I rolled the mouse over it, it read "Medium Shark", so I guess that unlike the Fish, Sharks actually have levels. Anyway, I got another shark icon yesterday, but that falls into December news so I'll leave that for later.

I took the last week of November off, because there was a big tournament of Magic: The Gathering that André and I wanted to attend. We had people from many different countries staying over at our place and  it was so much fun! Here's a photo from the tournament: 

Good thing I rested and enjoyed myself during a week, cause December is not only the last month of the year but also the hardest one. The situation is like this: 

Basically, if you consider that PlatinumStar is 7.500 VPPs per month and Supernova is 100.000 per year, you only need to make PlatinumStar 1,5x per month to finish the year with the Supernova status. Which, at my current situation is a very reachable goal. The only problem is, when I first started playing the hyper-turbos back in March, I started by playing the $1,5s or the $3s or whatever was the lowest stakes they had at that point. I was moving up and down in levels until July and only in August with André's more intensive coaching I started moving up higher without having to move back down so much.

Therefore, from a VPPs point of view, I lost half a year. The past couple of months the VPPs have been coming in faster since I play higher stakes and have increased the number of tables, but still... Supernova is far away. To be more exact, I'm missing 45.250 VPPs in order to achieve Supernova this year. I calculated the working days that this month has (I'm not really going to work on Christmas and I still need to take some time off every week to rest) and it's 20 days, today included. So I need to make around 2.2k to 2.3k VPPs per day. Which is crazy, and far more than I've ever done so far. Yesterday it was the first day in December that I worked and as you can see in the printscreen above, I only made 1.6k VPPs which is far less than the desired 2.2k.

I'm not saying that I'm going to kill myself at work trying to achieve Supernova. I think it's a far-fetched goal for me at the moment. However, there is a chance that I will make it so I'll give it a shot. There are some factors that I can't control of course, such as not having enough games running or getting a downswing. Currently, I can play up to 12 tables. If I'm obligated to be 2-3tabling because there aren't any games running, then so be it. I have no control over that situation so I'm not going to stress about it. Same thing goes for swings. Up to now my highest stake were the $74s, but yesterday I went up to the $109s.  I will also cut on the $18s for now because they only give 1,93 VPPs each which is rather irrelevant for what I'm trying to achieve. If I get a downswing while playing higher stakes and I'm forced to move down, then I will have to give up Supernova for this year cause I'm not willing to risk my bankroll trying to get a VIP Status. Since there are some important things outside of what I can control and I am extremely pressured by time, I don't know if I should be calling this a goal but... Here goes nothing!

Before I go, I'd like to share with you my graph from yesterday...

It wasn't my best day in terms of buy-ins (even though it was pretty close), but it was my best day in terms of profit. +$3.332! Awesoooome! :D

Anyway, now I need to take it day by day and see if making Supernova is still possible. Wish me luck cause I'll need it...

See you at the tables!


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