Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bringing it Back

With all of the chaos surrounding Black Friday and my subsequent upheaval, the blog kind of got left behind in the dust. It has certainly been a whirlwind couple of months but now that things are settling down into something resembling normality, I am going to bring the blog back and focus it towards my live poker and also my slow transition back into online poker.

As many of the readers to this blog will know, I packed my bags and headed to Vegas pretty quickly after Black Friday. I was lucky enough to have a place to live at the Flux house and also equally as lucky to be surrounded by quality players also looking to make the transition from online poker to live poker.

Let me first say this, living in Vegas isn't all that many of you would think. Vegas certainly has its upside but its really a grind at times. Due to being unable to multi-table, I am forced to play so many more hours than I did previously. An average day now is 12-14 hours of grinding whereas before a 5-6 hour working day was common. The biggest thing I have learned from this transition is how little I was actually working before BF. If I had only had the motivation I now find myself having, I most certainly would be in a great financial situation. At the end of my online days, I was struggling to hit 100k hands a month. Had I been able to work the 12-14 hour days I find myself doing now, I would of easily hit 200k hands a month.

Hard to dwell on the past though, so moving forward all I can do is embrace my new found work ethic and do the best I can. Having arrived in Vegas, I came with the idea that I would just crush the games. I mean how can I guy that won over 4 million + hands online not be able to destroy 1/3 and 2/5 live with people that are doing it for a few days whilst on vacation? Boy was I wrong.

The adjustments needed to win at live poker are many. First, you need to develop a limping and limp/calling range. Its unheard of online but in live poker, it is something that can be very profitable. You are often much deeper when playing live poker and therefore the rewards from limping and flopping the world can be plentiful. There are certainly many other adjustments that I made but for now I am going to move on although I may revisit other adjustments I made in future blog posts.
My adjustment period lasted for about 6 weeks. Most of my mistakes were self inflicted where I wasn't prepared to fold in spots where I assumed people could be bluffing. Turns out people aren't capable / don't bluff in spots that I am used to seeing bluffs. Live poker is value, value, value. Once you begin to realize that, the game becomes so much easier.

By the time that June rolled around, something clicked and I began to win at a decent clip. I am still trying to figure out what is a sustainable winrate. Over a decent sample of hours my winrate is about $25 an hour. Id like to think that I could squeeze out a few more $ but its hard for me to tell if that is possible or not.

July started like a house on fire. I was crushing and playing some of the best poker id played since arriving and then out of nowhere, I hit the wall... and hard. Having played for 8 straight weeks with very little time away from the felt, I was mentally fried. The WSOP had ended and I was trying to force through one more week before returning to Texas for a well deserved break. It was a mistake and was very costly. That said, I am confident that when I return to Vegas next week things will return to normal.

The break has been amazing. I was on autopilot in Vegas and being able to relax away from anything poker related has been so refreshing. Being around family and friends is so nice. That said, I am very motivated to succeed in Vegas and prove to myself that I can adapt to changing conditions.

The WSOP this year was a source of great frustration. I had sold a great package of events long before the Series started and was really excited for a breakthrough year. I however ended up going 1 for 9 on cashes, with the only cash being 161st in the $2500nl event for $5207. I played better than the results suggest though. I wasnt able to win any of the crucial flips late in the day. AK < QQ, JJ < AK and QQ < AK all managed to kill a chance for me to have a good stack entering day 2 of an event. The best chance I had of a deep run, the $1k, was shot down 10 before the money when I had QQ < A6s aipf in a 5bet pot against the only other competent player at the table. All I can do though is grow from the experience and hopefully return next year an even better player.

Ive started to play a small amount online again. Its only $10nl but wow does it feel good to be able to grind a session again. Im not sure how many hours I will be playing online being based in Vegas but its certainly something that I want to get back in to.

Im going to close for now but look out in the near future for a coaching offer that I am going to be making to micro guys looking to improve their online game.


  1. So where are you playing online now?

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