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What's in store for March?

After having an incredible February at the tables, I figured that I should set some goals for March. I'm one of those people who need to scatter checkpoints and milestones throughout every task that I choose to undertake. I get bored or lose focus unless my immediate goals are brimming with attainable yet challenging sub-goals.

What do I have in store for March?

  • Try to maintain or improve on my 13 BB/100 win rate at the $1/$2 NLHE level.

    I was extremely happy with my performance at the $1/$2 NLHE tables in February. I got lucky. But I'll still do my best to improve my game and increase my win rate. If I could maintain a solid win-rate at the $1/$2 games, I might be able to hit the $2/$4 games as early as mid-April or May of this year.

  • Try to incorporate more medium stack play into my game.

    I've played a lot of short-stack poker in the past couple months. But I would like to work on my medium/deep stack play. The best players make a lot of money on turn and river play by expertly applying the REM process to their game-play and by making the best plays to extract the most EV out of every situation. My game currently lacks both of these sought-after poker skills.

  • Achieve Silver VIP status at Titan Poker.

    I know I said that I'd stick with Stars and Full Tilt exclusively. But it's hard to ignore the overlay that Titan Poker offers when I play at their tables. Titan Poker's reload bonuses are constant! And I get rakeback on top of the bonus. My overlay is about $5-$10 per table hour given my current set-up. And things only get better as I improve my VIP status. The only problem right now is that current traffic levels are about a third of Full Tilt's and nowhere near PokerStars' astounding player base.

  • Maintain my SilverStar VIP status at PokerStars.

    Given that I earn about 50 VPPs per table hour at Stars' $1/$2 NLHE tables, I think I'll manage to maintain my SilverStar VIP status. I might even try for GoldStar status someday if I can manage to play three or more tables at once. My ultimate goal at Stars - besides earning tons of money by playing at their frighteningly sweet tables - is to earn enough FPPs to earn myself a $250 gift certificate for FutureShop (aka BestBuy with commmissioned salespeople). As much as I'd like to order other things from the Stars FPP Store, I was nailed with shipping and customs charges on my last attempt. I actually paid more for a couple "free" books from Stars than I would have paid had I bought them from Amazon.ca.

  • Buy a new laptop.

    I've waited a very long time for a new laptop. I'm eyeing a Dell Vostro 1700 with a WUXGA LCD screen (1920 x 1200 resolution). The only catch to making a purchase is that I refuse to use any non-bankroll/non-advertising money in making my frivolous purchase.
These were the goals that I set for myself as February came to a close. Now that we're a week into March, how are things going?

Goal: Try to maintain or improve on my 13 BB/100 win rate at the $1/$2 NLHE level.
I'm not doing so well with this one. I've been running ice-cold since I started playing at Titan Poker. Some bad plays by me, some good plays by my opponents, and some devilish plays by Titan's RNG have left me reeling. I'm currently down four buy-ins ($800) at the $200 NLHE tables. The $800 lost represents half of what I'd earned at the $1/$2 tables in February. I've still got another $800 or so before I'll have to move back down to the $100 NLHE tables.

I plan to sit at the $100 NLHE tables tonight. I'll likely stay at the lower stake tables until I put in a winning session of at least 500 hands in length. This should only take me a night or two given my current dedication to poker.

I'm not moving down because I feel that I've played terribly at the $1/$2 stakes. I'm simply looking for a way to regain some of the confidence that I've lost after getting recently "owned". I'm in this for the money and not the glory so I don't mind sticking my tail between my legs and taking a step back, if only briefly.

Goal: Try to incorporate more medium stack play into my game.
I've done reasonably well with a medium stack at the $1/$2 games. I haven't mastered the fine arts of floating and pushing my opponents off their hands but I've done well overall. I've done my best to avoid committing huge chunks of my stack with weaker hands. I've also managed to get paid off with some of my bigger hands after setting up my opponents for the fall. Unfortunately, there have been a couple instances where I got stacked after getting cold-decked or failing to have a set or two hold up after getting it all-in on the flop.

Goal: Achieve Silver VIP status at Titan Poker.
I thought this goal would take me a while. In the past, I found it quite difficult to earn enough Titan Points in reasonable amount of time. Thankfully, points are much easier to earn when most pots are raked for a full $3. I'm about one table hour away from earning my Silver VIP status! I may even try for Gold VIP status if I have time after spending some time at Stars.

Goal: Maintain my SilverStar VIP status at PokerStars.
I almost played a session at Stars last night. But I chose to play at Titan Poker instead. I lost $300 over the course of my Titan session. Maybe I made the wrong choice...

Goal: Buy a new laptop.
Done. I actually cheated a little with this goal. I ordered my laptop from Dell on February 22nd and it arrived Monday morning. The new laptop is awesome! It's a lot more than I need for poker but I had little control over the matter. For those who care, here are the specs for my new Poker Machine:
  • Intel Core Duo 2 1.6 GHz processors
  • 2 MB on-die cache (somehow I doubt that PokerStars software requires extensive processor operation caching)
  • 3 GB 667 MHz RAM (motherboard has an 800 MHz front side bus if I ever feel that 667 MHz is too slow and need to upgrade my RAM...)
  • 160 GB hard drive (I'll probably use a tenth of that)
  • Some random shared memory Intel video card (poker tables aren't graphics intensive)
  • 1920 x 1200 resolution WUXGA LCD screen (now I can four table with no overlap!)
  • Full-sized keyboard with numpad
I'm extremely pleased with the laptop. The only problem I'm having is that I have yet to win a single session of poker while playing on my new super-computer. Maybe Dell support could help with that...?

In a nutshell, my ego and my bankroll have taken a quick hit this past week. I'm down but not out. I'll hit up the $100 NLHE tables at Titan Poker and Stars over the next couple of nights. Once I string together 500 solid hands, I'll be back at the $200 NLHE refreshed and ready for action.

I tend to learn a lot more from my "falls" than I do my "rises". That being said, I hope to learn very little over the coming weeks.


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

You do realize I was kidding about 13bb/100 right? That's an unrealistic goal to have and IMO a silly one. I would shoot for 8-10 range and even that will be difficult unless you are just lucky (and I say lucky not just in terms of sucking out but also lucky that you win your races, the draws don't hit for your opponents, some of your draws hit, etc).

Klopzi said...

Alan -

Are you talking BB or PTBB (1 PTBB = 2 BB)?

Is it unrealistic in terms of playing multiple tables? Or is 13 just plain unrealistic?

I guess I'd be happy with 8-10 BB/100 but I'd probably want to play 4 tables whenever possible. I've always been a greedy bugger.

One thing I have noticed is that if I don't hit any flops and fail to win my fair share of draws, my BB/100 sits at about -30 BB/100.

Poker can be pretty cruel sometimes...