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Back to obscurity

Ahhh...nothing like a good hiatus post to start off the week. It's true...I'm leaving for a little while...again. Before you think that I'm giving up the ghost without a fight, let me run through the reasoning behind my latest hiatus. I'm hoping that everyone will agree that it is for the best.

First and foremost, certain things are occurring in my personal life that have impacted my desire to pursue poker as a primary interest in my life. I can't say what that is right now but it's a primary issue that has forced me to re-evaluate how I'd like to spend my free time.

When I started playing poker, I pictured myself making it to the WSOP and becoming rich overnight. As I've matured as a player over the past year, I've come to realize that I jumped into the game a little late in life. To become the best, you need to put in the time at the tables and hitting the books.

And so, I find myself at a crossroads. I can either continue to devote myself fully to poker and continue pushing to bring my best game to the tables night after night. Or I can take a more passive approach to poker, playing intermittently as the occasion presents itself.

To be the best that I can be requires countless hours of playing, countless hours of reading, and an ungodly number of hours spent thinking about poker. In the past few weeks, I've discovered something else that is more important to me right now. And for those smart-asses out there, I'm not talking about an Xbox 360 - although I do have enough in my bankroll to scoop one of those up...

The second reason for putting down my pen is for my readers. How interesting can a poker blog be when the author plays infrequently? Not only infrequently, but at extremely low stakes with little hope of moving up any time soon?

These are the ingredients for a pointless and boring blog. Sure, I could continue to brag about my small wins, bemoan my losses, and pimp the ever-loving sh*t out of my affiliates, but to what end? For a few dollars every month in affiliate money? I think I owe my readers a little more than a glorified spam site.

In closing, let me say that I have really enjoyed the feedback and insight from all those who've taken the time to write to me. I'm also grateful to those of you out there who've taken the time to read my ramblings.

And though I may not be writing for the next little while, I will continue to read up on those who continue to fight the good fight. I'm not turning my back completely on poker: I'll just be taking a few more pit stops along the way. I'll probably continue to update my challenge numbers for the next little while. Who knows, a few big wins and my feelings will change.

However, there's more to it this time, I think...

And now, my friends, time for me to slip back into poker obscurity for a while.

Until next time, enjoy your time with your families, enjoy your time away from the tables, and enjoy the poker...my affiliate links will remain active so please sign-up...thought I'd give it one last shot for old times' sake...

Keep reading "Back to obscurity"

Sick...

No witty banter. No bad beat stories. I feel like crap and have nothing else to say about that.

I'll be back and stronger than ever either tomorrow or Monday. I'll see if I can play some "sick" poker and give you all a "I lost my bankroll" post at some point.

In the meantime, go read these blogs:
Hometown Poker
Humanaut's Boring Poker Blog
Dumbasses Trump All
Building a Hold'em Bankroll
Freeroll 2 Bankroll
Go Be Rude
The Poker Chronicles
Ramblings of a Mad Man
Quest of a Closet Poker Player
The Randomness of Hoff

Have a great day everyone! Here's hoping you don't catch what I've got right now - unless you're sitting at a table with me...in which case, I do...I'm sick, what can I say...?

Keep reading "Sick..."

This seems familiar...

First off, thanks for the words of encouragement that I received after my post yesterday. In some ways, it's nice to know that others get smacked around at the tables from time to time and that I'm not alone. Although part of me also wonders whether the encouragement is simply meant to keep my "dead money" at the tables...

I'm kidding, of course. Or at least I hope I am. I've never been one to bask in the glory of another player's "nh" after I've just sucked out on them. Then again, it's very hard to really determine how good or how bad a player I truly am until I've got a suitable sample size of hands.

Anyway, I was out most of the evening yesterday attending my niece's 4th birthday party. It was a great evening filled with lots of food, happy kids, happy family, and the greatest niece ever! She so damned cute and my wife and I love her to death!

We left my sister-in-law's place at around 9 o'clock and managed to catch the third period of the Sens vs. Rangers game on the radio. The Senators ended up winning the Eastern Conference title and are all set to play Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs! Excellent!

I have tickets to the game this Friday and can't wait - it's gonna be awesome! Both Heatley and Spezza are riding point scoring streaks right now. I'm hoping that'll carry over into the playoffs and give us an easy first round victory over the Lightning. We'll see...

Back to poker. We got home around 9:30 and I had Full Tilt all fired up and ready to go by about 9:45.

First off - I can't believe how many full ring games are running at the $50 NL level. Coming from Interpoker, it absolutely boggles my mind! [I wish that the Cryptologic network had a larger North American following...]

And to make things even better, the play at the Full Tilt tables is so incredibly loose that I'm a little ashamed with my showing so far.

I find that the Interpoker NL players are very similar to the Full Tilt NL players in many ways. However, there are a few key differences:


  1. Interpoker players are loose because they don't know any better; Full Tilt players are loose because they think they know better.

  2. Aggressive Interpoker players bet big in order to win more money; aggressive Full Tilt players bet big as a means of displaying their cojones for all to see.

  3. Interpoker players make big river bluffs hoping that their opponents will fold; Full Tilt players make big river bluffs thinking that their opponents will fold.

  4. Interpoker players complain about their opponents' good fortune; Full Tilt players complain about their own misfortune.

Ok, I think I managed to insult enough players with those four points. I don't even know if what I wrote is valid or not: I'm just trying to be a sh*t disturber.

Seriously though, I find the difference between the two sites can be summed up in the following chat exchanges:
Interpoker
Player A: You lucky dik head!
Player B: f k you i m the best
Player A: Your mom suks c o ck
Full Tilt
Player A: Nice call fish! Ever hear of pot odds?
Player B: Ever here of implied odds? I knew you'd call a bet on the river!
Player A: F*ck u! Your mom live straddles implied odds.

After last night's play, I find myself slowly climbing my way out the hole I've dug for myself at the $50 NL tables. This is very similar to the situation I faced at the $25 NL tables. And I'm quite sure that I'll face these same circumstances time and time again.

I'll continue to fight it out at the tables. I'll continue winning small pots and losing big pots until I learn the trick to winning at this level.

I hope this point comes sooner rather than later, but I've got time. And by time, I mean overlays. [If you want some a good overlay to your play, pop on over to Rake The Rake and tell them that account number RTR03302 sent you!]

A winning session is great. However, it's also nice to know that I'll still end up ahead by playing some good old-fashioned break even poker!

Have a great day everyone! For those of you playing at Interpoker, good luck at the tables. For those of you playing at Full Tilt, punish the fish as only you know how.

As for me, I'll do my best to take a little off of everyone I can.

Keep reading "This seems familiar..."

The Glass Ceiling

First off, let me just say that I hope everyone had a great weekend! Up here in Canada, Easter gives most people a 4-day weekend. Four days off is great, but it's that much harder to get back into the swing of things at work. Needless to say, I'm still not swingin'...

So, what did I do last weekend? Away from the tables, the weekend breaks down into three distinct activities: church, eating, and spending some quality time with my wife and family.

My wife and I ended up missing church on Friday. Although Good Friday is a biggie in the Catholic faith, we were exhausted and hoped that attending church on Thursday (Holy Thursday) and Saturday (Easter Vigil) would be enough to allow us to remain in good stead with JC. In all honesty, the services were all pretty good and the time flew by - well, as best it can within the confines of a church.

And then, there was the food. So much chocolate...so much ham...pounds of scalloped potatoes...pounds of cheese...it's a little sickening when I think about it now. Yesterday, I must have eaten about 3 pounds of chocolate. Needless to say, I won't be eating chocolate for the next little while.

I'd like to say that I won't be eating any food that's bad for me in the next few days, but I'd be lying. Today is my niece's 4th birthday and the family is having a nice little birthday party for her. And lucky me, there will tons of finger foods and other assorted snack foods served. I love finger foods and I can see myself tacking on one more pound this evening.

And lastly, my wife and I spent some time just relaxing and watching TV together. We didn't really have much energy to do anything else. We watched the movie Fever Pitch as well as other assorted TV shows. All told, great weekend - wish it wasn't over...

--

And now, let's recap my weekend at the tables. Unlike the rest of the weekend, my time at the tables was passably enjoyable at times but mostly awful.

Last Thursday, I discovered that Party Poker was gratiously offering me a 15% reload bonus up to $75. Although clearing the bonus had a whopping 10x raked hands requirement, I figured that I could clear it uber-quickly at the $1/$2 tables. Boy, was I right!

It took me about 7.5 hours to clear the bonus. Unfortunately, I dropped $46 clearing the f*cking thing! As is usually the case, I managed to miss many flops with my good hands and continued to fold the never-ending stream of crap dealt to me otherwise. When I did hit, no one wanted to play. And when I finally made it to the river, I quickly learned that I had a great second-best hand.

I'll tell you - there's nothing like capping the flop and turn with two pair and having your opponent flop a better two pair on the river. That's a nice way to spend $15!

Anyway, after finishing up the bonus, I decided to give Full Tilt a real shot. I had contacted their customer support on Friday evening with a question and they'd gotten back to me within an hour. Not only was their support fast, but they fixed up all concerns I had and totally put me at ease with their site!

So, before I continue, let me just say that Full Tilt Poker is now my favourite NL ring game site! If you're not playing there, you should be! Click my affiliate link and come join the fun!

Anyway, back to my story...

I made my first deposit and hit the $50 NL tables. And this time, the tables hit back...

Five minutes in, I pick up KK and make a big raise from UTG and get four callers. When the flop comes all rags, I make a bet large enough to put two of my three opponents all in. Both small stacks call and one of them shows AA. For those counting, this has now happened to me 14 times since February 1st. Awful...

Still happy with the way I was playing, I soon found myself in the BB with QQ. Sweet! Raise it up and only one limper calls. Flop comes 8 5 2 and I bet out. My opponent, an aggressive little prick, pushes all-in. I'd seen him make this move on most hands he'd played and decided that enough was enough. I called and he showed pocket fours.

Very nice! I was about to double up because of my opponent's crazy ass play. Well, maybe it wasn't so crazy because he hit his two-outer on the river and stacked me. Rebuy!

A bit later, I ended up committing myself to a pot and was forced to call an opponent's all-in on the river (his last $5 into a $35 pot). Unfortunately, he showed me that he'd been correct in calling my large flop and turn bets because he'd managed to catch his runner-runner flush.

Still later, another opponent showed me that I should not have slow-played my top pair in a heads-up pot. He ended up hitting his two-pair on the river for a nice little payday.

Long story short, I dropped about $75 at Full Tilt in about an hour. But there is some good news. First, the bonus is clearing at an acceptable pace and I should clear my $100 bonus in no time. And most importantly, the quality of the players at Full Tilt seems questionable at best. I've never seen a group of players so eager to chase draws and jam the pot on pure bluffs. Now if I could only catch some cards...

After my adventures at Full Tilt and Party Poker, I found myself down about $46 total. Not horrible but not good by any stretch of the imagination. I stayed away from the tables on Sunday and most of Monday as well.

At about 7 o'clock last night, I finally sat down at Interpoker to play at the $1/$2 limit tables. After an hour and half, I found myself up just over $17. I also managed to clear about $9 of my current reload bonus so I was pretty happy.

So happy, in fact, that I decided to hit PokerStars for a $30 + $3 SNG.

I played two hands. In the first, my cowboys fell to the UTG player's Kd3d when he caught runner-runner flush. Luckily, I managed to not go broke on the hand.

And then, twenty hands later, I pushed all-in from the SB with AK. The BB, Mr. Runner-Runner K3, quickly called my 6xBB raise as I suspected he would. Unfortunately, his KQ bitch-slapped my AK when he hit a Q on the flop and another on the river.

And so, my bankroll finds itself $60 lighter after this past weeekend's activities. It's times like these that I find myself contemplating giving up the game. I know it's only $60, but I hate losing.

Sure, I'm pushing myself to play the higher limit games. I'm not content to rest on my heels and squeeze out a steady stream of mediocre wins at the micro-limits. And with this latest push, I'm sure to lose some money here and there as my game strives to improve itself.

But that doesn't change the fact that I hate to lose. Poker seems to be one of the few things in life that I've found challenging. The seductive combination of mathematics, psychology and balls-to-the-wall gambling makes poker both one of the most challenging and rewarding sports/hobbies out there.

I hope for my sake that my game starts to pull back together and that variance swings back my way for a bit. A few more bad weekends or horrific sessions and the call of that X-box 360 may be too strong to ignore and poker may quickly find itself on my "If only..." list of past failures.

Keep reading "The Glass Ceiling"

Eating my words?

I only had a little bit of time to play poker last night. My wife and I had a lot of shopping to take care of and we went out to dinner for some nachos while we were at it. After a few hours of shopping, eating, and now armed with a Tim Horton's chocolate caramel donut (like a Boston Cream donut - my favourite - but filled with caramel instead of custard and topped with toffee bits), I loaded up PokerStars for another $50 + $5 SNG.

I'd like to say that I won...but I didn't. In fact, for the first time in a while, I actually bubbled out. The good news is that I played very well. The last hand may have been a little iffy, but I think I played it the only way I could.

Just for sh*ts and giggles, here's the hand: let me know what you would have done...

4-handed, blinds at 75/150:

UTG (ME): T1150
Button: T6200
SB: T4750
BB: T1400

We've been 4 handed for about 5 hands. I have taken 2 of the last 5 uncontested with pre-flop raises to T500, including the last hand when I stole the blinds with a K9s.

I pick up 77 and raise to T500. Button and SB fold, BB pushes.

Pot is now T1725 and I have 650 left. What do you do?

Well, I just pushed. I figured that given my recent aggression, the BB could have made this move with any number of hands, but I figured him to be holding a big ace or a couple big cards. Although he could've had a pocket pair, I figured the pot was laying me pretty good odds to call here. I mean, I'd laid the trap with my previous bets and I was willing to gamble it up a little.

Well, the BB showed QQ and I was out in 4th place.

I've had a great run at the PokerStars SNGs so far, so I'm not going to complain. I've dealt my share of crippling blows on the bubble and I'm due for some of my own.

However, I'll stick with my initial impressions of the $50 SNGs. The players are pretty good, for the most part, but they're not great. Many of us have read the same books and use the same strategies, so there are fewer "easy" pots. But people still make the same mistakes and patience still reigns supreme.

I did manage to outplay an opponent on one hand but failed to make any money when we both showed AJ. Still, I prefer the way I played it to the way he played it. So there...

I also managed to make it to the bubble picking up only one premium hand: AK. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to play with me. I was forced to make due with blind steals.

In fact, I only saw the flop three times throughout the entire 45 minutes that I played: once with the AJs early, once from the SB with T5s (I flopped trips tens but the BB didn't want any part of it), and the last hand when I held 77.

Remember the big wins, remember the big losses - this is what poker's all about. The simple fact that I can force myself to think and re-think all of my actions during a silly little $50 game of cards is what makes poker worth playing.

And now, for some bad news...this will be my last post...until next Tuesday.

I won't be playing any poker tonight - it's my father-in-law's 70th birthday! I'd wish him a happy birthday here, but he doesn't own a computer and I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't use the Internet even if he did.

And in strange twist of fate, today is also my mom's birthday! She doesn't read this site so a "Happy Birthday" will have to be delivered in person later this evening.

Here are the plans for the rest of my weekend (in case you were wondering):

Thursday


Friday

  • Off to church for Good Friday

  • Spend a little time with the family? Maybe.

  • Maybe watch a movie with my wife

  • A little more poker - may give Doyle's Room cash games a try or maybe look for some more bonus whoring opportunities.


Saturday

  • Get up at 5:30 am and wake my wife up so that she can go to a dress-fitting with a friend.

  • Play some poker instead of sleeping.

  • Fall asleep on the couch while watching TV with my wife.

  • Off to church for Easter Vigil (Easter's a real biggie for Catholics!).


Sunday

  • Sleep in! We don't go to church on Easter Sunday!

  • Go over to the in-laws for Easter feast. I will probably gain 6 lbs. over the course of the meal. Goodbye belt!

  • Get home and relax with my wife - no poker on Easter Sunday for me. Both my wife and Jesus would be ok with me playing poker but quality time is good too! Need to recharge the batteries.

Monday

  • Sleep in again!

  • Relax with my wife

  • Some more NL cash games and maybe a $30 + $3 SNG at PokerStars

It's going to be busy weekend but it's going to be a lot of fun too. Lots of time with my wife and family with some good poker time in to boot!

I should have an uber-post for you all on Tuesday!

So, from my family to yours, have a Happy Easter! Enjoy your families, enjoy the time off, and enjoy the food and chocolate!

And for the religious crowd out there, make sure to drink plenty of fluids so that you remain hydrated during the marathon church sessions!

And if you get the chance, hit a table or two and rack up a few buy-ins!

See you on Tuesday...

Keep reading "Eating my words?"

Can you outrun a greased Scotsman?

Got a comment from littleacornman on one my posts last December, so he gets a free pimping!

Just remember the old adage:

If it ain't Scottish, it's crap!


Now go read Littleacornman's Poker n Life blog and let your haggis-eating, kilt-wearing inner child run free!

Keep reading "Can you outrun a greased Scotsman?"

Step on a crack...

He thrusts his fists against the post,
And still insists he sees the ghost.

- Stephen King's It



Poker players are a funny bunch. Espousing the importance of skill in poker, they all seem to fall victim to one thing: superstition.

Superstition comes in many forms:

  • The "doom" switch

  • The Poker Gods

  • The deposit bonus

  • The bankroll withdrawal curse

  • The karmic retribution inevitably tied to bragging and to posting good results

  • The "luckbox" syndrome

  • Other, more mundane forms of superstition, from not shaving and drinking a specific beer to always wearing the same clothes (or lack thereof) while playing online.

Am I superstitious? Let's see...

Do I believe in the doom switch? No. I think the doom switch is another term for variance. Make any series of low to high risk plays and you're bound to start losing. You might as well call it the donk-switch since only donkeys believe that their losses are due to some software switch.

Here's a tip for new players out there: if you've played online poker for six months and have yet to post a winning month, you are not a good poker player. Don't feel bad though: only 20% of all online poker players win or break even on a given month.

There's nothing wrong with losing money playing poker as long as

  • You enjoy playing poker.

  • You do not need the money you've lost for any "life" necessities.

  • You are trying to learn from your mistakes.

So play on, my little doom-switch monkeys...

Do I believe in the Poker Gods? No. Did you feel that chill run down your spine? Do you fear for my bankroll? Well don't...

First off, I'm Catholic. I believe in one God and He (He's a He for me) doesn't sit at the tables with me. He cares for my well-being and that of my family, but He also knows that poker has nothing to do with that.

Are there any other entities, then, that watch over poker players, dealing out monster pots and crushing defeats to players at random? I'm gonna have to say no.

Again, this is simply a matter of giving variance a face. It's hard to accept bad beat after bad beat. We like to think that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. However, it's possible that you could lose every hand you play for the rest of your life. It's quite unlikely, but if it's going to happen it will happen. Poker Gods or not, make no mistake that each time you pull up a seat to the virtual felt, you are alone.

Well, maybe not totally alone. My wife sits on the couch next to me and she's much better than any Poker Gods.

Do I believe that making a deposit at a site gives me good luck? No.

Some players believe that when you make a deposit at an online poker room, you have the "doom-switch" flicked in the opposite direction. I guess the online poker rooms are so grateful for your deposit of $50 USD that they are willing to risk prosecution and bankruptcy just for you.

Again, this is ludicrous. Online poker rooms make billions of dollars a year. And although the party line for each of these sites is that the customer comes first, it isn't true. The customer actually comes in a close (sometimes distant) second to profits. This is the nature of our society and it ain't gonna change.

Online poker rooms want to make money. How do they make money? By charging rake on every pot played. Does the site care who wins or loses any given hand? No.

And if you have any doubt, I refer you to my record at Absolute Poker. I have deposited there three times in the past 10 months. Each of the three times, I have lost a good chunk of my deposit. Small sample size but I think it's more than adequate to disprove this silly little myth.

Do I believe in the bankroll withdrawal curse? No.

Although...I have found that my bankroll has dropped quite a bit after making a withdrwawal two separate times. Strangely enough, my bankroll seemed to drop by the exact amount withdrawn on each occasion.

Look, your bankroll is only a chunk of cash that you use to win more cash. If you feel that withdrawing from your bankroll will hurt your chances to play competitively (psychologically or monetarily), then don't do it. Just remember that if you ever decide to go pro, you'll need to withdraw from your bankroll rather frequently.

My advice: make a few withdrawals here and there to prove to yourself that there is no curse.

Do I believe that bragging about your game or posting your good results invites bad luck? No.

However, I do think that bragging may invite bad play. When you shift your focus to the results of your poker play, it becomes easy to f*ck up your game.

First, you may begin to analyze hands using results-oriented thinking. If you've missed the flop ten times in a row with AK, should you continue raising and re-raising pre-flop with that hand? Of course you should. Your pot equity with a quality hand is much higher than your opponents' and you need to get the money in when you've got an edge.

A second danger occurs when you attribute good results to your skill alone. Any time you have a good session, a good month, or a good year, skill may or may not play a part. One definite, however, is that you caught good cards.

If you were to tell me that you were up a few buy-ins without getting lucky, I'd tell you that you were full of sh*t! Be honest with yourself in regards to your game and no amount of bragging can hurt you. But lie to yourself and you're going down sucka!

Do I believe in any other forms of superstitious behaviour when it comes to poker? No.

I'd like to say that I have a lucky shirt, lucky hat, or lucky chip that help my game. That's not true though. I do tend to wear some poker pyjama pants (my wife gave them to me last Christmas) but that has nothing to do with the outcome of my session. I find them comfortable and awesome!

In fact, truth be told, my wife will often stop and wonder how I can be so lucky at Monopoly yet so unlucky when it comes to matters involving money. If CJ is a luckbox, then I'm a luck pit. I can't afford the luxury of believing in luck; otherwise, I'd have already lost my entire bankroll.

Now, there is one superstitious belief that I left out: does signing up for one of Klopzi's affiliates bring good luck?

In this case, I'd have to give a big fat YES!

If you want some really good luck*, sign up here.

If you want some pretty good luck and some awesome rakeback, sign up here.

And if you'd like to play at any of my other affiliates, just know that good luck* has been worked into each link just for you!

Have a great day at the tables everyone! Good cards, bad cards, bad beats, variance...poker is one hell of a game!

*Neither Klopzi nor affiliates can guarantee any amount or form of good or bad luck.

Keep reading "Step on a crack..."

Oops...what did I do here...

First thing's first - I'm an idiot! Yesterday, I was looking over my Poker Tracker stats and decided that I wanted to separate my stats into four categories: FL full ring, NL full ring, FL 6-max, and NL 6-max. I decided the best way to do this would be to create three more databases and place the appropriate data in each.

What did I end up doing? I ended up f*cking up my entire Poker Tracker DB and losing all my data. Damn it!

I spent an hour last night re-installing Poker Tracker, creating four databases in Access, then importing what little data I could find into my new databases. Basically, I'm starting fresh.

For all you Poker Tracker experts out there, I have one big question: when I use the auto-rate feature, is there a way to use different auto-rate rules for each access database?

I decided to setup different auto-rate rules: one for the full-ring fixed limit games and one for full-ring no-limit games. I applied the FL rules to my FL database and the NL rules to my NL database. Unfortunately, the auto-rate rules seem to have interfered with each other.

For example, in the NL rules, the "telephone icon" is assigned the description "Showdown Muppet".

If I then look in my FL database, the calling stations are assigned the "telephone icon" but are assigned the name "Showdown Muppet" instead of "Calling Station".

It's really confusing and all f*cked up. If anyone out there has set up PokerTracker to use different rules for different databases (with different icon descriptions for each rule set), could you please drop me a line explaining what's going on and how I can fix it? I guess the long fix would be to generate my own rules and make sure that all the icons and icon descriptions match across all rule sets.

Help...me...please...

--

As for my play this past weekend, it was neither good nor bad.

I started off at Interpoker on Friday night for a little $1/$2 limit poker. I'd only played for about 45 minutes when I found myself inexplicably up by about $22. I decided to shut down the laptop and spend the rest of the night watching a movie with my wife.

The next day, a little more time at Interpoker saw me struggling to break even at the $1/$2 tables. After an hour and a half, I found myself up $0.75. Sweet!

I was going to hit the $50 NL tables when I realized that there was only one full-ring table running (wtf!!), so I did what anyone else would do in my place: I looked for a site offering an easy-to-clear deposit bonus.

I checked BonusWhores and found that Golden Riviera offered a $50 deposit bonus at 5x raked hands. Sweet! I figured that I could easily clear that bonus by playing $1/$2.

Boy, was I right! I cleared the $50 bonus in three hours. It cost me about $13 in losses to clear the bonus, but that still gave me a net profit of $37 for 3 hours work. Not too shabby!

Finally, I played some $50 NL at Interpoker and AceFlush Poker (I told you that an affiliate code was coming - sign up through my affiliate link and you'll get an automatic 35% rakeback deal paid out to your account whenever you request it) yesterday, clearing about $20 in a couple hours. Not a great result, but I'm happy anytime I end up with more than I started with.

And then, at around 3:45 PM yesterday, I destroyed my Poker Tracker database.

I'm going to do what I can to fix everything up and get back to the tables. I'm hoping to play tonight but it'll depend on how quickly I can fix everything up. My wife and I are also going shopping for a little bit, so I won't be able to look at anything until later in the evening.

Anyway, I've got lots to do at work today, so I've got to go.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Now get back to work...

--

** UPDATE **

Just spoke with Mr. V and he asked me why I don't just set up a new database for each limit and game type that I play at...

Interesting - why not? That way, I can back up databases that aren't used anymore in case another crash comes along.

This would also keep the database sizes down, which would allow me to forego using PostGRES again.

I may just give it a shot. It means I'll have to piss around with PT a little more tonight, but it may be worth it. We'll see...

If anyone out there has any suggestions for setting up Poker Tracker (database, autorules, and/or anything else), please give me a shout. I've purchased and read the Poker Tracker Guide by hdouble and Iggy, but I don't recall it covering the specifics that I'm asking about.

Ok, that's all for now...

** END UPDATE **

Keep reading "Oops...what did I do here..."

If you thought my last post was useless...

I'm sitting at work, counting the minutes to the weekend. It's going to be nice and relaxing: me, my wife, poker, TV, and sweet sweet sleep. But enough about me, I've got useless crap to talk about!

--

First off, a special thanks goes to Iggy who was gracious enough to link to me in his most recent post.

Iggy's in a bit of a slump right now, so please sign up for Party Poker (bonus code IGGY) to help the blogfather get through these troubling times.

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Are you interested in becoming a winning cash game player? Huma's put up a few posts on his forum - OzBluff: Australian Poker Forums - that spell out all you need to know.

So read the following, add a few books, a lot of time at the tables, careful bankroll management and you'll be playing with the big boys in no time!


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Are you stuck in a rut? Click here to fix it! It worked for Huma, it worked for Drewspop, and it can work for you too!

That one was a little shameless...

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The strangest place that I've found a link to my site?

How about Thunderstone's Web Site Catalog?

Not weird enough, eh? Well, the link to my site is posted in the following category:
Recreation -> Sports -> Combat Sports -> Pro Wrestling

Have I even mentioned the WWF before? Who knows, I tend to ramble...

--

Here's what you've probably been waiting for all day - some blog stats! Holy sh*t, this is gonna be my worst post ever!

As you know (or don't know...), I started using Google Analytics to monitor all traffic in and out of my site. Here are some not-so-interesting stats gathered from March 22, 2006 - April 7, 2006:
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Finally, some of the searches that have brought people to my doorstep:

  • pokerstars withdraw can't win
    Someone sounds bitter...But hey, if you can't win at one site, I'm sure another site will be better...that's sarcasm again...

  • drewspop
    Pimp a blogger enough and you start picking up some of his hits, I guess...

  • poker bankroll
    I'd like to think that my site contains some good bankroll management advice, so this would be a honest-to-goodness, legitimate hit! If you're looking for bankroll management advice, take a look around at some of my previous posts. Money and bankroll management find their way into most topics of conversation around here.

  • marathon runnning facts
    Fact #1: I can't even walk down the street without running out of breath.

    Fact #2: Poker is a lot like a marathon, except the athletes drink Red Bull and beer instead of water and you don't need to stretch your "hammies" before playing...

  • parser+poker+hand+history+vp$ip
    Looking for a good parser for hand histories. Try PokerTracker!

  • rakeback+blogurl:klopzi.blogspot.com
    Want to know about rakeback and bonuses as a fresh-to-the-Net poker player? Check this out.


--

Ok, I think I've actually managed to bore myself even further by writing this post. For my sake and yours, let's end this right now.

Have a great weekend at the tables and otherwise! Relax, enjoy your family, enjoy the poker, enjoy The Masters, and enjoy life!

I'll be back on Monday with engaging tales of triumph or gruesome tales of defeat!

Keep reading "If you thought my last post was useless..."

You call this a post?!

Another week come and gone. Challenges have been finished, new challenges begun, and old challenges re-visited. The weekend at the tables is full of possibilities and promise - I just hope that I can meet my own expectations.

There are a couple goals that I've set for myself this weekend.

First, I'd like to find myself up one buy-in at the $50 NL tables. I've set my sights low here because I don't want to skew my play by trying to force action. I'm currently down about $4 right now which is very little.

Steal a few blinds and I'm back to even.

Pick up one really big hand or two good hands and I should find myself up a buy-in.

Pick up two or three big hands and I'm Big Daddy Cool!

My second goal will be to hit the 0% completion mark in my Back in Black Challenge. I'm about 7.5 BB away from that point which means I'm about 4-6 hours away from breaking even (on the challenge, not at $1/$2).

I'm typically a 1.5 - 2.5 BB/100 player at limit poker, although not at $1/$2. I've only played a few thousand hands so far which is not enough to even fathom passing judgement on my play. Still, if I can pull in a positive win rate this weekend, I'll be extremely pleased.

The good news is that I earn a $2.50 overlay for each $50 NL table or $1/$2 table that I play at Interpoker (have I ever mentioned their monthly 100% up to $100 reload bonuses!). Throw in my rakeback and I'm looking at a $2.60 overlay! Rakeback is making me rich: play 100 hours of poker a month and earn $10 in rakeback! If you had your sarcasm meter turned on, it'd be going off right about now...

I wish I had more to report, but I didn't play any poker last night. I spent the night doing my mom's taxes, eating pizza, eating a caramel-chocolate-butterscotch-ice cream-brownie Sundays (it's great having a wife who insists on serving dessert when we have dinner guests), and then eating more pizza.

I don't think the diet is going all that well right now. Who knew that I'd be closer to reaching my bankroll goal than my weight goal four months into 2006? Not me, that's for sure. I thought I'd fat AND broke. Luckily, my wife loves me regardless of how "cuddly" I've become. Good thing, cuz I'm getting cuddlier by the day...

Actually, the pizza before bed gave me some freakish nightmares:


I had a dream that my wife and I were hanging out in the music room at my old high school. All of a sudden, the skies grew dark outside and my wife and I started to make our way home.

We found ourselves walking down an old dirt road, broken-down houses littered the landscape. A hot, dry wind picked up, kicking dust and debris into the air. The sky took on a sickly greenish hue.

Then a sound like distant thunder, followed by a crackling sound...BAM! The ground erupts to our right. Before we have a chance to figure out what's going on, the sound of more crackling and thundering booms.

We start to run, aiming for the closest house. Out of the corner of my eye, I finally see what's happening: green chunks of rock are falling from the sky. I push my wife to run faster as we make our way to the next house. On the way, I manage to pick up an old wagon wheel, painted sky blue but left chipped and peeling at the roadside.

With the wagon wheel over our heads, the comets bounce off us harmlessly and we safely make it to the porch of a decrepit shack. Looking back the way we came, my wife and I see drones of people running past us towards a nearby city (which just popped out of nowhere). I ask one guy why he's running and he manages to sputter out the words "Tornado!" before continuing his frantic scramble west-ward.

The sky flashes three times and then complete silence. My wife and I contemplate making a run for it and then all hell breaks loose. The falling hunks of rock are replaced by a wall of water and hail the size of grapefruit.

The crowds are helpless out there, screaming in agony as my wife and I watch in absolute horror. Bodies float lifelessly in the raging river that was once a road. Then we notice the bodies, water and ice starting to flow back to the east.

Over the sound of the running water and moans of the injured, I can hear a steady roar. Louder and louder...something wicked this way comes. Steeling myself, I take a glance down the road and realize what we're hearing: three huge twisters are ripping up the ground as they quickly approach the shack where my wife and I find ourselves trapped.

The water, hail and bodies are being sucked up by the tornados and spit back out into the air. I look at my wife, tell her I love her, and pray that we won't feel a thing...

Creepy, huh? I hate tornado dreams...have 'em all the time. Anyone out there know what they mean? Anyway, it was just a dream...but it did have some pretty cool special effects!

So - weekend recap: spend time with my wife and maybe friends, poker, and steak house dinner for my mom's b-day. Will I be up? Will I be down? Is there a chance that I'll get hit so badly that I'll be pushed into hiatus mode? Who knows? It's poker and anything can happen.

Lastly, a special thanks to all the bloggers out there who've been making regular comments. Nice to know that people are reading! Now if I could only figure out how to get more people to click on my affiliate links.

Maybe you could quickly sign-up and play at PokerStars? They run the best SNGs and tournaments in all the land! I can't guarantee that you'll win anything, but if I can do it, so can you!

Ok, give me a second to wash off the pimp-stink...

I'll probably post a "keyword fun" thing this afternoon. If you're anything like me, working on Friday afternoons is impossible at best and it's nice to have something incoherent and useless to read.

I'll be back...

Keep reading "You call this a post?!"

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?
The big, bad wolf...
The big, bad wolf...
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?
No, no, no...
Not me...


If you've been following my posts for the past month, you've noticed the upward trend that my game and my bankroll have taken. The NL ring games have become my new bread and butter, and SNGs have served as a solid side-dish to the nightly grind at the tables.

However, there has been one component to my game that has been lacking in more recent times: the fixed limit game. When I started the Back in Black challenge back in February, I thought I was ready for the highs and lows that come with grinding it out at the FL tables.

My problem, however, was not with my game itself. One thing that no-limit play has taught me is that your stack and bankroll will go up and down. As long as you're patient and give variance a chance, you're bound to catch enough cards to make it back to even.

Although variance in no-limit ring games can be a real bitch, it's a different beast in fixed-limit. At the $1/$2 tables, I can easily find myself down $30 - $50 dollars as the result of 3 or 4 bad hands or river suckouts.

And here's where my game was flawed in the past. When my bankroll was sitting at $1K, a swing of $50 represented 5% of my entire bankroll. The smallest of losses were magnified by the fact that I was not mentally prepared to lose or win any significant amount of money over the course of a single session.

Playing the $50 NL tables, whether I find myself up or down $50 in one session is meaningless. One bad beat or misread and I can easily find myself stacked. At the $1/$2 tables, a string of bad beats and poor plays can have devastating effects.

Yet both FL and NL games require players to learn two simple lessons:

  1. You will lose money at the tables.

  2. You will win money at the tables.

Pretty obvious but absolutely crucial to the development of any poker players game.

Learning to manage your game when you've lost a good chunk of money is absolutely crucial: lose your nerve, lose your concentration, lose your patience and you're bound to donk off all your chips.

Maintaining a solid game when you've won money is absolutely crucial: push too hard, push too little, lose your focus and you'll never keep enough winnings to surpass any previous losses accrued during previous sessions.

Back in February, I didn't know how to lose money. In my first 9 months of playing poker, I'd only had six sessions resulting in losses in excess of $30. My unwillingness to drop a few dollars here and there resulted in me leaving the game before giving variance a chance.

All this brings us back to last night. When I got home, I felt like playing a few hands of $1/$2 at Interpoker while I peddled away on the exercise bike. Checking out my progress in my Back in Black challenge, I found myself at -21.5%.
Kent, Drewspop, and cc seem to be the fixed limit games, so why can't I?

The waiting lists were pretty long and it took me a good ten minutes to finally get a seat. When it was all said and done, I'd only had the chance to play 17 hands before I had to put the exercise bike away and hit the showers. Yet, in that time, I managed to win one hand.

When I checked my "numbers", I noticed that a single winning hand (KJo in case you were wondering) had a profound effect on my winnings at $1/$2. One hand moved my challenge progress from -21.5% to -9.5%. One hand moved me much closer to breaking even.

I'm still a long way from finishing my $1/$2 FL challenge. Yet I find myself ready to tackle this challenge again. And, for better or worse, I'm going to finish it. Whether I end up passing or failing, I need this challenge finished for my own peace of mind.

So this Saturday, I will face my old nemesis again. I hope that the Poker Gods will look down on me and smile that day. Beating the $1/$2 tables is the first step down the path to my poker self-actualization and I've put that journey on hold for far too long.

Win or lose, I'm ready...

Keep reading "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?"

Dinner, CSI, and SNGs

After a long-ish day at work yesterday, my wife and I went out last night for some dinner and a little shopping. I still don't understand why women like shopping so much, but my wife enjoys it and I enjoy spending time with my wife - so it's a no-brainer.

We got home just after nine o'clock [is it just me or is the word "o'clock" under-used nowadays?] and decided to watch a recorded copy of last week's CSI.

I'd decided a little earlier to play my $50 SNG at PokerStars after CSI, so for the time being I sat back and watched TV with my wife while eating a Caramel Apple Fritter from a nearby Tim Horton's.

At around 10 pm, I pulled out the laptop, loaded up PokerStars, and double-clicked on a registering $50 + $5 SNG. I was immediately worried when I noticed that the SNG was not filling up as quickly as the previous SNGs I'd played. I started to worry: was I in over my head here?

I suddenly had a feeling of impending doom. I was about to play a sit-n-go with players who knew what they were doing or had enough money to not care about the results. They would find out that I was fish out of water and punish me early and often.

It took about five minutes for the SNG to get underway. With a good luck kiss from my wife (my secret weapon), I hunkered down and started executing my game plan. Fold. Fold. Fold. Fold...

This went on for most of level 1. I finally picked up 55 in the SB and called UTG's 3xBB raise, along with 3 others. Flop came 6 6 7 and it got checked around. Turn was a J and it got checked around again. River was 5, giving me the boat. Unfortunately, no one wanted to play and I won a small pot.

A few hands later, I hit trip tens with my QT. Again, I was out of position and failed to extract any money from my opponent.

And then, I really went card dead. The blinds were getting higher and I was in trouble. With only 5 remaining, my M hovered around 5. The chip leader limped UTG and I decided to make a hefty raise with my AT on the button. I was ready to make my stand with this hand.

And then, disaster. Once everyone had folded to the chip leader, he decided to pull off the old limp-reraise trick on me. Hmmm...was I up against a monster? My choices were to raise or fold...so I called. The flop came down T x x and the chip leader instantly bet the pot. I was being put to the test for my entire stack...was TPTK good enough?

I decided that it'd be silly to be afraid of an overpair in this case. All the players at the table knew me as a weak-tight player and the chip leader probably suspected that I'd fold unless the flop hit me. He was right of course - my pre-flop call clearly demonstrated my lack of faith in my hand.

I decided to push with my TPTK and the chip leader called showing AQ. I doubled up and was the new chip leader at the table.

Over the next twenty minutes, I found myself blinded down to the point where I needed to get busy living or get busy dying. I started stealing pot after pot, pushing as necessary and dictating the play with my incessant raising. And all of a sudden, I had made the money!

Once we were three-handed, I kicked my aggression up another notch and started stealing every single uncontested pot. I went from a distant third place to a solid second place.

As the blinds got high, we were at a stand still. All three of us had similar chip stacks. It was going to take a big hand to change the landscape of the SNG. As is usually the case, I was the one to start the fireworks...

I picked up AQs on the button and decided to make my standard raise. The chip leader decided that enough was enough and pushed all-in. Little did he know that his timing was off on this one and I quickly called. When the chip leader showed an A4o, I cringed a little inside.

In the past, the A4 has been my downfall on numerous occasions. In fact, it was an A4 that put me on uber-tilt last November. It was A4 that almost made me give up the game.

And last night, my old nemesis had returned to bite me in the ass yet again. The flop came down with a 4 and it was over. I was out in third place...

Am I happy with the result? Yes. More importantly, I am very happy with the way I played the SNG last night. I played my game the best way I knew how and it worked.

The big question: are the $50 SNGs that much harder than the $30 SNGs? Surprisingly - no. The main difference is in the aggression of the other players. Every pot is raised pre-flop and there is always someone waiting to exploit you should you show any signs of weakness.

However, I found that I could handle the aggressive players using the same techniques used to handle maniacs in the NL ring games. Let them take control of the hands when you know you're ahead and use varying aggression on all other hands. And never call raises assuming that your opponent is bluffing because they won't be when you most wish they were.

I'm looking forward to my next $50 SNG. I hope to make the money again, but I know that I've had a good run and wouldn't be too upset if I were to falter. As long as I continue to play my game, I'll be happy.

I'll probably play a bit tonight, most likely at Interpoker's $50 NL tables. With my $500 NL Challenge underway and with a few big bonuses to clear, I've got my work cut out for me this month.

Lastly, I just want to wish my brother a Happy Birthday! 28 years old and counting! J, if you're reading this, we miss you and can't wait to see you when you finally come home.

Have a great day everyone!

Keep reading "Dinner, CSI, and SNGs"

The $50 Flush

Although the thought of playing Interpoker's $50 NL tables had me worried, I steeled myself and booted up the laptop. In a mere two months, I'd catapulted myself from Tiger Gaming's lowly $5 NL tables into a whole new world of no-limit hold'em. Would my mediocre game hold up at these higher limits? Or would I be faced with the cold-hard truth that I had no "game"?

I placed my name on the waiting lists for all of the $50 NL tables available. Then I waited...

Ten minutes later, I got a seat at one of the looser tables available. I posted once the big blind got around to me and waited for a big hand.

After folding my first 15 hands, I picked up QQ in MP. A couple limpers to me and I raised to 6xBB. All three limpers called and I prepared to fold if the flop showed an ace or king.

Flop was all rags. I bet $6 when it got checked to me and took down the pot.

The very next hand, the Hilton sisters were back and I was ready for another big pot.

One limper to me: I made a big raise and only the limper called. Flop came down A Q T with two spades. Limper checked and I made a 3/4 pot-sized bet. Limper re-raised me: perfect! I pushed and got instantly called.

Limper showed TT for the flopped set. He was now drawing dead to the case ten. The turn brought a third spade to the board. Wait a second...one of my opponent's tens wass the ten of spades.

River was a fourth spade and I'd just lost $35 in one hand. Ouch...I re-bought immediately, all the while telling myself that I did nothing wrong. The table broke up shortly thereafter - maybe others were afraid of falling victim to my bad luck - and I quickly found a seat at another table.

Later in the evening, I picked up Q9s in the small blind. I limped into the pot with 5 others.

Flop brought a couple diamonds and it got checked around.

A third diamond hit on the turn and I made a large bet, looking to take down the pot but hoping that one of the other players had a smaller flush or trips (board was paired). The button was the only taker and we headed to the river.

As in my earlier QQ hand, the river brought a fourth flush card. Unfortunatetly, my opponent had the nut flush with his Ad6c and I paid him off when he bet $6 on the end. A well-played flop and turn, but a poorly played river cost me.

The night was not a complete bust. After two and a half hours, I climbed myself back up to being down a measly $13. At one point, I'd gotten back to even; however, it's easy to drop a few dollars here and there when you raise pre-flop and are forced to fold on the flop.

I was happy with my play last night. And I was especially happy that I managed to keep it under control after dropping 70% of a buy-in in one hand.

When I wrapped things up for the night, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd finally cleared my current bonus at Interpoker: this more than made up for the money lost over the course of the evening.

And River Belle came through in the clutch and applied my deposit bonus to my account as well. Although the bonus took a while to show up, I have to give River Belle a thumbs up for the customer support I received throughout my "waiting" period.

All in all, it was a good night. I got my feet wet at the $50 NL tables, played solid poker for the most part, and took home a pile of bonus money.

I still have $300 in uncleared bonuses at Interpoker, so I'm guaranteed an overlay for the next few months as I continue to test myself at the $50 NL tables. I can't wait for my first winning night - I hope it's a good one.

--

You may have noticed that I've re-designed my site a little.

In the Klopzi's Vitals 2006 section in my side menu, you'll notice that I've changed the stats I track on a daily basis.

I've stopped tracking my total days played and total winning days. I find that as I increase my SNG buy-ins and NL ring game buy-ins, it's too easy to find myself up or down on any given day.

Given that the bankroll swings are getting larger and that I play relatively short sessions, the concept of a winning or losing day seems meaningless and somewhat arbitrary. It's all one big session, right?

I'm also going to start tracking my winnings in two parts: SNG winnings and ring game winnings. I may start tracking MTT winnings in the future if I ever start playing MTTs with any regularity. As it stands right now, I dislike MTTs...mainly because I suck at them.

I've also started tracking my bonuses for the year. I'd like to see how much of my bankroll I can attribute to skill and how much I can attribute to patience and determination. Bonus clearing is a real grind (at the limits I play at) and it takes discipline to play a solid game over the course of clearing a bonus.

Finally, I've moved the list of all the challenges that I've completed to here. I wanted to find a cleaner way of maintaining a list of all the challenges that I've completed over the course of this year.

I also found that the list of challenges was getting a little long. It was pushing my Poker Blogs section down too far in the page.

Ok - that's it for today! Have a good one - see you at the tables...

Keep reading "The $50 Flush"

Klopzi's Challenges 2006

This post will serve as the trophy case/graveyard of all the challenges I've attempted, completed and failed over the course of 2006.

Each challenge listed links to the post where that challenge was first introduced and described.

Clicking on a challenge's PASS/FAIL text will take you to the post describing the challenge's outcome.

This post will be updated as challenges are completed; a permanent link to this post will appear in the Current Challenges section.

Challenge:  SNGs and FPPs
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  $250 NL Challenge
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  PokerStars SNG Challenge
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  $25 High-Stakes Challenge
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  100 SNG Challenge
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  $50 Eurobet NL Challenge
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  Interpoker OCT Bonus
Result:       PASS

Challenge:  $100 Tiger NL Challenge
Result:       FAIL

Challenge:  50 MTT Challenge
Result:       FAIL

Challenge:  SH Primer Challenge
Result:       CANCELLED

Challenge:  Back in Black Challenge
Result:       CANCELLED

Challenge:  $75 Triple Draw Challenge
Result:       CANCELLED

Challenge:  $300 SH Limit Challenge
Result:       CANCELLED

Challenge:  $1K NL Challenge
Result:       CANCELLED

Keep reading "Klopzi's Challenges 2006"

New Challenge: $1K NL Challenge

*** UPDATE: June 26, 2006 ***

Effective immediately, this challenge will be considered completed once I have won 20 buy-ins ($1000) at the $50 NL full-ring games.

Alternatively, this challenge will be considered failed if I drop 20 buy-ins at the tables.

--

Klopzi, can't you just sit back, relax and enjoy your poker for a while? No...no I can't.

While I enjoy playing poker and making money, there is no way that I'm going to get excited about winning $10 for every three hours of poker that I play. So with that in mind, it's time for me to put up or shut up.

It's time to play with the big boys (or the slightly bigger boys at the very least).

Fresh off my victory at the $25 NL tables, I've decided that it's time to ride my streak to the $50 NL tables.

As was the case for my previous challenge, I'm going to force myself to win 10 full buy-ins (10 x $50 = $500 for the mathematically challenged).

If I manage to win $500, I'll declare this new challenge well and truly completed.

However, if I donk-ishly drop 5 buy-ins, I'll cry myself to sleep then make my way back to the $25 NL tables with my tail between my legs.

When I started my $250 NL challenge, I dropped about two buy-ins before I got things under control. I'm hoping that with the NL ring game experience I've gathered over the past few months and some good, old fashioned nut peddling, I'll be able to keep myself afloat at the $50 tables while I learn the ins and outs necessary to play at these higher stakes.

On the plus side, AceFlush Poker (affiliate code coming soon, you lucky devils) has a bunch of 10-max $50 NL tables running at any given time. Actually, these are the same tables as those you'll find at River Belle Poker (affiliate code already here...click it!).

Interpoker's offering of $50 NL tables is pretty good too. They have about 10 times as many short-handed NL tables but that's ok. If only I could gamble it up Huma-style...

They've also got a lot (and I mean a lot!) of British currency tables. However, I'm too afraid to play because I don't know how the whole exchange rate thing works. It can't be that complicated, right? Still, this is the $500 NL challenge and not the £500 challenge...

Finally, Eurobet's $50 NL tables are plentiful. Still, I'm afraid the competition is a little more fierce over there. I'll make Eurobet one of my fallback sites if the action at Interpoker and AceFlush Poker.

With these higher stakes, I'm hoping to start clearing Interpoker bonuses at a much quicker pace. My overlay so far has been a measly $2 or $3 an hour when multi-tabling; I'd like to hit $4 or $5 an hour if possible. Then again, the overlay presented by the crazy loose tables is not too shabby!

I'm going to hold off on making my first deposit at Full Tilt for a little while longer. I'd really like to take full advantage of their mammoth first-time deposit bonus. As for Party Poker, still no reload bonuses which means no play from me - I want my overlay!

Ok, so this post has shown that I'm a little crazy from my recent bonus whoring and a tad on the greedy side. Let's hope some time at the $50 tables will set me straight.

I've got some work to do before I can go home so no more posts for the rest of the day.

Have a great day! See you at the tables!

Keep reading "New Challenge: $1K NL Challenge"

Challenge Completed: $250 NL Challenge

Although time seemed to fly while clearing my $250 NL Challenge, it actually took me close to two months to finish it.

Before I discuss anything, let's look at the stats.

According to PokerDominator, here are the stats that put this challenge to rest:


  • Days: 54

  • Sessions: 45

  • Hours: 78h 12m

  • $$/hour: $3.06/hr


I played exclusively at Interpoker's $25 NL tables, Eurobet's $25 NL tables and River Belle's $20 NL tables.

For those PokerTracker freaks out there, here's a screenshot of my $25 NL stats.

Sure, I may have played a little tight. And I'm sure I could get my PF raise % up. But I'm happy. I'm ahead of schedule in the development of my NL game play, so I can't complain. I thought I'd be finishing this challenge some time in August or September, so things are good right now.

Now that I'm finished this challenge, the big question is: what next? Will I focus on my $1/$2 limit game? Nope.

I'll post the details of my next challenge shortly - although I'm sure you'll be able to guess what it'll be. If anything, I'm predictable...

Keep reading "Challenge Completed: $250 NL Challenge"