Monday, 30 September 2013

September Recap + MTT Surprise


September is already over and I have to say it wasn't a very exciting month poker-wise. I got super lazy and didn't put in a lot of volume. I was playing far less hours than I'm supposed to each day and then halfway through the month André decided to take a week off. That is totally understandable since he was working 10+ hours per day and was feeling burnt out. The bad thing is that I ended up pretty much taking that week off as well, even though I should be working more than normal to cover up for lost time. But when you are feeling lazy and you have your significant other sleeping until noon, watching TV or inviting you to go out it's very hard to resist and not tag along!

After André's week off was over, I got back to work but had some downswings that affected my mood and resulted in me procrastinating for a couple more days. The graph I have to show for September is not very pretty:

Yup. Final result: 4.6k games and -$118. Which is awful, not because of the break-even result but cause of the lack of volume. But what's done is done and there's no need to cry over spilled milk. I can just try my best to avoid this situation in October.

That said, the boring month of September decided to make a big exit. Yesterday was my last day playing for the month. I forced myself to wake up early to get the opportunity to play more games. You see, I was still missing some points for the 6.500 VPPs Supernova threshold. So there I was playing, when at 11:00 an MTT popped up. I found it really strange cause every other day of the week the satellites that I play in the morning feed tournaments that start 11:30. I should have another half hour, right? I checked it out and of course, the Bigger $33 starts at 11:00 on Sundays. Way to go girl!

When the tournament started, there were around 450 players registered but they kept coming. I checked the lobby, it said that late registration would be open for two hours. Geeeee, this is gonna take forever! When the registration closed there were 1852 total entrants. The top 234 that got paid seemed to be faaar far away so the chances of me getting my buy-in back were slim. I thought okay, calm down, instead of taking a two hour break until the $12 hyper satellites come back, you're just gonna play this one. I was basically ignoring the tournament, playing extremely tight while facebooking and youtubing. What do I know about playing with 100+ blinds anyway?

But two hours later, I was still alive at the MTT and the blinds had gone up quite a bit, bringing most people to around 10-20 BBs. My kind of game. Excellent! Since I had an idea about how to play and it had gotten more interesting, I decided to give it my full attention and not open any satellites on the side. Things kept going well, and before I realized what was happening we were close to the money. I had a decent sized stack and just had to not go crazy in order to be alive when the bubble burst. After it did, I was counting down in tens. Okay, let's make it to the top 100. Okay, now let's try to make it to the top 90. Now top 80... And so on.

When it was down to 4 tables, I started eyeing the 7th prize: $1.5k. Since this was a break-even month for me, I would have to cash in some of my FPPs to get the $1.6k bonus in order to pay the bills while leaving my banrkoll untouched. That 7th prize would solve the problem and let me keep my points for later. That's why it looked so yummy!

The wait to get to the final table was excruciating. I had a very good stack and just had to wait for one of the shorties to bust. It took some time but we finally got there! I was around 4th to 6th in chips most of the time and it didn't take long before 2 players were eliminated! When I realized that I was guaranteed to get at least the 7th prize I was over the moon! Grinning to myself, I took a sip of my coffee and watched as a player that had more chips than me got all-in against the chip leader. He got eliminated, taking us one step higher in the paying ladder. I'm telling you, those were the easiest 500 bucks I've ever made. Staring at my computer screen while drinking coffee.

I finished the tournament in 4th place, cashing in $3.6k. Awesome! I got a bit unlucky at the last hand where I got all-in preflop with 55 against ATs. It's a coin flip slightly tipped in my favor and for a moment there I thought I'd get it, until an ace hit on the river (it always has to be the damn river, right?). You can see the full hand here.

I felt a slight disappointment for losing that hand but it was momentary. I was too busy being happy about the $3.6k that literally came out of nowhere to save the day! :D And if I'm not mistaken, this is my best score at MTTs, my second best being a $3k finish last December at a $109 NL tourney.

After the MTT finished around 20:00, I was still missing something like 50 VPPs for the Supernova threshold. The $12 being long gone, I could either play higher or lower. I decided I didn't want to challenge my luck at the higher buy-ins so I loaded up some $3.75s to make the missing points. You know I love to share unusual graphs, so here's mine from yesterday:

Haha! Cool or what? Anyway, I hope I'll be more focused during October. It's going to be a challenging month because André has decided to do the vampire schedule which means he'll be waking up around 14.00 everyday. I want to keep my morning routine, ideally waking up at 7.30-8.00 which is gonna be tough because we'll be living in the same house without seeing each other much. I'm not entirely sure how this is going to work out. From past experience, I know that us having opposite schedules does not work very well. One of us always ends up following the other's schedule. Only this time it will be really tough because I have better games in the morning while André has better games at night. We'll see how this goes...

Until my next post, see you guys at the tables! :)

Friday, 6 September 2013

August, my daily routine and 16tabling


The first week of September is almost gone, so I thought I should hurry up and upload a post with my overview of the past month. Results-wise, it was not quite as great as July, but it was still a pretty good month. Here's the graph for the month of August:

I played a total of 9.684 games, which is more comparing to the 6k I did in July. However, if you take into consideration that those 9,6k games where spread over the period of a whole month, then the volume is not so satisfying (I played 6k games in a matter of two weeks back in July). I do blame the weather (partially) for that. August is the hottest month of the year and let's be honest, even if you decide that you're not taking any time off you still don't get super excited over working. Looking at the beautiful weather outside while you are stuck in front of your computer screen is not very motivational. Personally I'd rather be outside in the sunshine enjoying an ice-cream instead!

I've also been practicing a new schedule this past month and a half. As you probably know, most of my time as a poker player has been spent on the vampire shift or at the best case scenario gravitating towards working in the afternoon. Nowadays I wake up around 7.00 a.m. (8.00 a.m. tops). I'm the kind of person that cannot get out of bed right away, so I need to snooze at least 10 minutes. Once I'm out of the bed, I need a coffee asap. I used to spend around an hour drinking my coffee and having breakfast which is a huge waste of time, yet it's essential to get me up and going. I used to spend that time checking random stuff on the Internet (like Facebook and other time-consuming, useless yet enjoyable things) cause I could not focus on anything that requires me to use too much of my brain right after waking up. These days however, I make my coffee and go straight to open Pokerstars lobby. There aren't many games running that early, which is actually the perfect warm-up to start my day. At least it's more useful than facebooking and since it's only a few tables and most of the decisions are automatic, I don't need to sweat thinking about every hand. It usually takes about an hour for the games to get busier and by the time they do, I'm fully awake and ready for some serious grinding. I've been thinking of switching that warm-up session with an hour of studying, but I don't know if I can focus on studying that early.

I play until 11.00 which is when the Big $33 starts. Then I go to the super market or the grocery store, come back home and prepare lunch. I know this probably sounds mundane to you since most of my readers are male, but I am the woman of the house and I have to take care of that kind of stuff. Plus, since André is busy playing the MTTs and only gets a 5-minute break every hour, he couldn't really cook anything for lunch even if he wanted to. We used to eat out a lot more before, but eventually I got sick of eating out all the time and found myself longing for some home-made cooking. We eat around 13.00-13.30. Sometimes I eat in front of the computer while playing, sometimes I eat first and then go back to the tables. Either way, the plan is to play util 17.00. 

And that's where it gets messy. Theoretically, after five is the time that I have attributed for studying or physical exercise. But I've done very little studying during August and I haven't been exercising as much as I should. Most of the days I either go take a nap, or take the rest of the day off. I seriously need to work on that during September. I hope that the weather getting colder will help. I'm much more of a winter person.

Anyway, I've been mostly grinding the $12s. Sometimes I play a little lower, depending on what games are available but I never play lower than $6. As for the higher stakes... I gave some $38s a try cause they were super soft thanks to the upcoming WCOOP but they didn't go very well so I had to give up on them.

I do understand that 164 games is nothing with a capital "N" in terms of volume and that the variance is so high that this graph really says nothing, but I couldn't keep playing them for bankroll reasons. I actually think I had a pretty good edge at those games cause I was table-selecting them like crazy but I run bad so I had to take a step back. If there's one thing I'm very strict about that's bankroll management and even though it's a debatable subject as to what is optimal and what's not, I think we should all stick to whatever plan we make for ourselves and not deviate. Maybe if I run good at the $12s I'll be able to take another chance at the $37s-$38s before the WCOOP is over. Let's see...

Another novelty of the past month was 16-tabling. I've been writing this blog since I first started playing poker pretty much, so I have documented how I moved from one table to two, and then to three and so on. My general guideline was "if you get bored with the number of tables you are playing, then add one more". And that seemed to be working fine, until I reached 12. I've been 12-tabling since November 2012 if I'm not mistaken. That's almost a full year with no progress. Whenever I would have a 13th table accidentally popping up cause I did something wrong with the Table-Ninja settings, I would go crazy. So for a long period of time I thought that 12-tabling was the limit of my comfort zone. I thought I had reached the end of the line. 

Yet during August, I found myself opening facebook on the side screen while 12-tabling. I didn't have time to type or anything like that, but I would scroll down the home page and look around. I remember talking about that with André and he told me to try out 16-tabling. Of course the logical thing would be to go from 12 to 13, not 16 but I was really curious to see if I could actually do it. So one day after I finished my regular session of $12s I opened up some lower stakes. Not sure if it was $6s, it may have been $3.75s just for the occasion, after all I didn't want to blow up too much money in case the experiment went wrong.

I play in tile, which means that I see all tables I'm at at all times. In order for me to have 16 tables where there used to be 12, each table would have to be a lot smaller. The first impression was actually shocking. Everything seemed to be too small for me to see clearly. I literally had to stand up and move my face closer to the screen in order to see what was going on. I was sliding my face across the screen following the action of the mouse and probably looked like an idiot. That bad. André did not really get why I was acting so crazy or why I was laughing to myself about it afterwards. But then again, André's vision is at 100% while I use glasses. I have a small degree of hyperopia, which is not a big deal and I don't need to wear glasses when I'm outside or driving or anything like that. They really do make a difference when I'm in front of screens or reading though. If I play poker without my glasses on, my eyes get tired super fast. And 16-tabling... This was the first time I was challenged from a vision-point-of-view while playing poker.

Eventually I did get used to the size of these new, smaller tables. Now the only thing that I worry about is playing fast enough. Surprisingly, my first attempt went pretty well. I did sitout a couple of times, but I don't think I missplayed that much. Unfortunately during the hours I play and considering I don't have such a big variety of buy-ins, I don't get to 16-table all the time, so that slows down my practice a bit. I haven't gotten the hang of it yet, but at least I'm not horrible at it and I feel like it's possible. I didn't think it was possible for me one month ago, so that's an improvement!

Overall I really enjoy the morning schedule. I feel like it's a lot... healthier! I just need to be a bit more disciplined about how I spent my time in the afternoons and I think it will be fine. That's all for now... See you guys at the tables!


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