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September + Open Offer
  Bejamin1, Oct 02 2014

September was a was dramatically busier for me. The first few days were a whirlwind of drinking and socializing as students flooded back to campus and we welcomed our new grads to the program. My thesis supervisor decided now was a good time to start getting serious about me finishing my research which might have had something to do with me requesting weekly deadlines that take roughly twenty hours of work to complete. I've never slept less lately, but I've also never felt more productive.

I'm back in the gym on a regular basis and although I've always lifted to reduce stress and keep a clear head it's running that's helped me calm my mind lately. I've never much enjoyed uselessly battering my knees but I decided I wanted to improve my fitness enough to lose the tired feeling when playing intramural sports with my friends so off I went. I've mostly been working the treadmill with 20 minute uphill runs and then a five minute max incline hike/speed walk to cap it off. I've broken my run down into five minute segments and every week I'm trying to increase the difficulty until all four segments reach the higher level and then the process restarts.

I'm still pulling 30 hours a week at Public Safety doing research on a fun project for the government so that keeps me doubly busy. I really love the project and my co-workers are great so it's been a good time. And oh yeah, I guess I'm also playing some poker. I only managed 33,000 hands and +700 this month but overall that's not bad. The bankroll finished at new high of 2500 and then quickly dropped to 2300 after I played fairly poorly in the first two days of October. Most of my results I owe to my mental focus. I've been forcing myself to think only of playing mistake free sessions and quitting whenever I start to make mistakes. That may actually have something to do with less volume as well.

Goals for October:
1. Break into PLO50
2. Play 60k hand continue with "Mistake Free" focus and leave sessions when I get off track
3. Keep up with the rest of my life

Side Goal: Make time to relax! My schedule is hectic, so I need to be patient with myself and have some down time.
-30h Public Safety
-10-20h Thesis
-10h Teaching Assistantship
-21h Poker is a lot for every week
-5-7h Gym
-Xh Girls + Friendships + Socializing

All of Sept

Post Sept 8th to Sept 30th

Also I have a deal to offer if anyone is interested. I'm at the point where I have no doubt I beat PLO25 consistently when I'm on my A-Game. I finally feel that measure of control. That being said I'm a BR nit and I realize the swings of PLO require a powerful bankroll to maintain sanity. I'm at BR2300 and will be taking a shot at PLO50 when I reach 2750. However, if anyone out there on LP wishes to take my BR to BR5000 today I'm willing to make a deal. I'm already confident I can beat PLO50 without too much difficulty. I've played there before and it's not much different than PLO25. The regs aren't any better and the fish are the same.

I'm largely putting this offer out there because I want to get to Supernova ASAP. I have 70k FPP's currently and I can't spend them on a $1600 without the status. Especially if Pokerstars does something bonkers like change all the VIP shit come January 1st.

So here it is:
You give me BR5000. The situation is a "stake" I guess as is the common expression.
I will give you 50% of my profits including bonuses (minus the 70k FPPs on the $1600 bonus value scale that I currently possess)
I will do this until you have made $10,000 in profit
So basically you risk $2,500 to likely recoup $12,500.

We can:
-Skype whenever you would like to discuss hands/how things are going
-Receive graphs/stats on a weekly or monthly basis
-Receive any particular search parameter from my database so you can make sure I'm playing my A-Game if you so choose

My preference is that the player be a 100 or 200PLO player if possible. This is simply because we're more likely to be successful and you'll have incentive to give me advice on my game. Doesn't really matter though, beggars can't be choosers. I don't mind if nobody takes me up on this. It's just a way for me to accelerate my progress at the cost of some profits.

Cheers Everyone! Keep on Pokering!

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Comments (11)

Emotional Control
  Bejamin1, Sep 06 2014

Lets face it guys, I'm a bit of a tilt monkey. What I mean rather... is not that I spazz around like a monkey on my tables when things don't go well, but instead that I simply let myself get way too emotionally affected by the results of this swingy game. My worst habit is the seemingly addictive sequence of checking my cashier page on a regular basis. As if registering my overall bankroll is somehow a useful or practical thing to do when I should be focusing on the hands being played at that moment. It's a habit I've had for seven years, and it's time to force myself to break it.

My greatest emotional demon seems to be that I let my results affect me. A very wise and talented player recently told me it takes years to get over this. Most people just pretend they don't get emotionally involved with their results. To truly master these emotions takes a lot of practice and a lot of learning about where the focus needs to be. I'm playing PLO25, so I'm not a superhero, and neither are my opponents. Even the regulars are bad regulars. Rake churns most of the money back to our inevitable host.

My focus needs to be on execution rather than my results. Therefore what I must do is check my cashier page only on the first of every month. I want to have no clue "where I'm at" for the month. It isn't productive. It isn't helpful. Desire clouds judgment, and fear halts our step.

I seem to play my worst after 2-3 good days in a row where I've been focused on executing my hands well and getting positive results. I start to think about all the money I could make if I was able to crush this game, or get one step higher. And then that desire leads to frustration when I run into a tough session filled with beats. My focus shifts, and so does my play. Maybe not in big donkey balls ways where I'm throwing money away into the fire, but in subtle ways where I'm not c-betting as much as I should be. Calling far too light in many small pots and then berating myself for being an idiot.

Emotional control is my demon, and I will defeat it. I will find a way to get myself focused on execution. My first attempt at this will be to not look at my results as I've already said. I feel like this might in the end be the first and best way to do it. It's not overly possible to not have some sense of where you are on a daily basis just because when you play you sort of know if you're doing well or not - but once the days blur into multiples I should have no clue what my roll actually is. Playing with a big enough bankroll allows me to not need to check. That way I can just focus on playing. I guess we'll see.

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Comments (11)

Goodbye August!
  Bejamin1, Sep 01 2014

Well folks, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. This month was a real struggle for me mentally, but having climbed the mountain I feel much better now that the calendar is passing into September and I can put August behind me. Even if the results were not what I would have wanted, I did experience a tremendous amount of growth in my game. At the beginning of the month I came in feeling like a million bucks. I'd figured out PLO25 and I was going to crush it. Unfortunately, as over-confidence so often does I started allowing leaks into my game and playing much too loosely in particularly hazardous spots. As a result, I more or less took a dive bomb with my BR in the first week. At some point I crashed from 2250 all the way down to 1100 or so. It was all I could do to stop the bleeding.

The truth of it, this game is hard, very hard. It takes a lot of mental fortitude to will yourself into playing every day and even more to actually play with the focus that is required to win. A week of lost focus can set you back for months, and that's what happened to me this month. However, at the end of it all I'm feeling better than ever about my game. Sure I ran a bit bad, a subject I love to complain about in hand history postings but people should know the anger is much less than the words actually posted. It's just a way for me to exhume the frustration from my nervous system. In terms of running bad I think I finished something like 12 buy-ins under EV in the 45k hands which is better than the 20+ that it was earlier in the month. Truthfully though, until someone takes the time to truly build a proper luck calculator for this game we'll never really know that much. Flops in 3-bet/4-bet pots are critical. As are the pots where 75%+ of your stack is in by the turn and the last little bit goes in on the river after either you or your opponent hits. Still so much work to be done there to build one that gives any real indication of how you run. So I've settled to just ignore EV as much as I can.

In terms of goals I missed my chance to build for a shot at PLO50, but I did rebuild the bankroll back to $1850 by the time the month was over, maintained Platinum Star, and now have 52k FPP's stored up. It will be nice when I get to 100k, maybe stars will let me buy the bonus without being Supernova, it's happened before for others on here. We'll see.

My goals for this month are as follows... DRUM ROLL PLEASE...
1. Stop Posting Negative Hand Histories - Instead, post interesting hand histories or hands you feel you butchered and allow everyone else to carve them up so I can think more creatively about the lines I'm taking and why.
2. Do some math homework, I simply need to understand more about the intricate complexities of the math in PLO.
3. Continue to talk to players that are better than me.
4. Play 60k hands, I managed 45k hands last month and that's not bad when working 30 hours a week and doing a Master's Thesis at the same time, but I can do more.
5. Continue to exercise regularly, it gives me more energy and I sleep better.
6. Build the mental fortitude to not care about bad luck. I've heard from some very intelligent players that this simply takes years to do and I can't expect it to happen overnight. I think they're right about that, especially for me personally, but I'll keep working at it.

Obligatory Graph & Stats:

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Comments (9)

3-Bet Pot Analysis PLO25
  Bejamin1, Aug 06 2014

Just over two months ago now I made the decision to start putting some serious time into poker. I decided I no longer wanted to use my free time spent at home on a less productive hobby. I play for fun and for the excitement of piecing together the puzzle of how to become a consistent winner in today's poker climate. One really interesting and yet disturbing trend in my game that I've noticed over the past two months is very poor results in 3-bet pots. Here are some graphs, I'd love to discuss with whoever is in the mood about how to rectify what I think is a fairly significant leak in the way I play the game. Although to be honest I've already taken some steps and done some tinkering with how I handle these situations.

Plausible Explanations:
1. Calling too wide vs. Strong PF 3-bet Ranges. Even weaker players aren't especially 3-betting trashy hands.
2. Calling without positional advantage on a regular basis.
3. Not stacking off enough on flops where I have better equity than I realize.
4. Stacking off too much on the wrong type of boards for my AAxx hands.
5. Taking poor post-flop lines in general

Here Are Some Stats & The Graph - The majority of All-In's are happening on the flop, so EV is decently accurate I suppose. One potential issue of course is we don't have any calculator for determining how lucky or unlucky we're getting in terms of just what we flop vs. what villains flop. So luck becomes impossible to estimate in some ways. When we are getting all in though, it's not going so well.



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Comments (9)

PLO25 - July
  Bejamin1, Jul 30 2014

Well, the BR now stands at a somewhat acceptable 2030. I'm working my way through learning 25PLO. At some point recently things started to click as I made major changes and thought I'd figured it out. The last 3-4 days though I've seemed to lack the same strength of focus and maybe that's why it hasn't been clicking as consistently. I find the hardest challenge in learning to beat this game is figuring out what's actually working for me.

Spots I know I need to work on:
1. Paired Boards
2. 3-Bet pots - particularly as the caller, and absolutely need to 3-bet good hands more
3. Lots of rivers and turns where I need to continue with my betting to get the fold instead of giving up sheepishly

Goals for Next Month:
1. 60-80k hands
2. Think more deeply about spots where I'm leaking and plug those leaks
3. Continue to develop my ability to focus for 2-3 hours straight on my A-Game
4. Reach PLO50
5. Cross the 50k FPP barrier, sitting at 31.5k now

Obligatory Graph:

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Comments (12)

Getting There
  Bejamin1, Jul 14 2014

Well, PLO25 continues to roar along. I've played 15k hands this month which is half decent for me. Trying to step it up so that I can play at minimum 60k hands a month whilst working for the government & continuing to push through my Master's degree. Things are starting to come along in my game. Right now I'm just focused on picking apart all the different spots and learning to use my HUD more effectively. For a long time I played without one at all just to get a feel for the game. I feel like at times I'll do this especially when moving up to new stakes so I don't completely bias myself with the information. Maybe that's not necessary but it feels right.

EV doesn't really mean much, but it seems like my game is getting on the right track. Basically breaking even until things start to line up a little more. Still need to fight harder on that redline and figure out the spots where I'm bleeding coin more and more. Day by day the game seems to be coming along as I get more comfortable. I've built up 20k FPP's and it'll be a wonderful day when I reach Supernova and get that first 100K FPP bonus.

Obligatory graph. An almost zero redline over 15k hands is approaching not terrible. Hopefully I can send it above the zero mark in the future.

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Comments (1)

PLO25 - A Short Saga
  Bejamin1, Jul 10 2014

Well, my battle with PLO25 continues. I quickly deconstructed PLO10 and decimated it, but PLO25 has proved a more worthy foe. I'm not the best PLO player out there. I'm not even much better than most average ones. I just treat each session like a math testing lab and try to figure things out. I think my game is finally coming together. It's been 1.5 months, which is longer than I thought it would take me to figure things out at PLO25 but at least I'm finally starting to feel confident and good about my game.

Today's session was well below average. The EV stat doesn't mean much, but obviously it's not overly enjoyable to look at -150, +35 adjusted for EV. I am however learning to disconnect emotionally from those results. I'm starting to remember to post winners/odd spots on that right hand column, instead of just always the amusing beats.

It seems like I'm starting to feel no stress about the process, which is how I felt at PLO10. Part of that is helped by being very well rolled for my shot at PLO25. Part of that is reminding myself none of it really matters. I just need to keep learning and keep trying until I get there. Life is all for fun anyways. BR currently floating at 1350. Just lots of room to breathe. Worst case scenario I bust down to PLO10 at 1k, and earn 250 to take another shot. No big deal.

Obligatory graph for today and the 1.5 months of PLO25 so far. Starting to put more hands in. Just more desire to learn and keep practicing and figuring things out. Really excited to see my redline starting to go where I want. Starting to figure out how to beat this thing.


PLO25 So Far:

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Comments (2)

  Bejamin1, Jun 26 2014

You know, it's really hard to beat PLO25 in this move up if I'm going to have to beat 10pt/bb rake, and 10pt/bb bad-beats. In today's session, I lost 7 buy-ins to EV in 700 hands. That's 1 buy-in for every 100 hands. You know what that works out to? Fighting against 50pt/bb per 100 hands of bad beats. Great. Fucking great. That puts me down about 60 buy-ins of EV on my move up. About 28k hands of misery waiting until it ends. BR is at 1300 (took shot at 1400) so overall it's not death like. Just frustrating. Have to keep trying. Have to find a way to stop sucking so much in 3-bet pots. I just flop and run-out like death.

Obligatory Graph For Today.

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Comments (7)

PLO Casual
  Bejamin1, May 14 2014

I've recently begun playing poker again after a relatively long hiatus. My story in poker is like many of us. I was good enough to earn money back when the games were soft and I was lucky enough to box a few tournaments to turn in a decent haul for my time invested. Then when Black Friday hit I stopped playing because I'd recently transferred most of my roll to FTP.

I'll preface this with some facts - I've always been a casual grinder, even if for flickering moments of good run I aspired to be more. I've always been mostly a mediocre poker player with mostly built his game on what videos, books and forums told me I should be doing. I played what most know as the "exploitation style" which relied heavily on a HUD.

I've returned to poker fresh with a completely different take on how I approach not just playing the game but thinking about the game. I more or less used to hate poker and I never found any joy in it. I was locked into one way of thinking and one way of doing things and spent most of my sessions mindlessly grinding within the rules of what I thought was good poker. I'm happy to say that is no longer the case, and not surprisingly I'm now thoroughly enjoy playing the game.

One of the biggest changes I've recently made is in bankroll management. I used to tell myself I should follow the 20 buy-in rule. Move up as soon as I have 20 for the next limit. This approach left me constantly stressed and playing as scared money. This is especially painful in PLO when sessions can often swing +/- 10 buy-ins. Not exactly friendly to those risk of ruin parameters. I've since decided on a 100 buy-in rule. I will dominate each stake I play before I move up. And I will do it all whilst freeing myself from the stress of constantly worrying about the status of my bankroll.

My decision to do this isn't for everyone. Neither are a lot of the sometimes odd things I do "just to see what happens" in various hands I play and post. Some are posted for comedy, and some out of boredom. I probably should post less bad-beat hands, but my comically bad run in 3-bet pots just amuses the shit out of me.

As of today the BR is at 1394, My shot at 25PLO will come when I reach 1500. Below is my graph of the last 1 1/2 months. One for SD vs. NSD and the other for winnings vs. adjusted winnings. I find the spike in redline at the end pretty fun. I work full-time and I'm busy as fuck with my Master's on the side of that so I only play when I have free time.

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Comments (4)

Montreal You're Awesome
  Bejamin1, Jun 04 2012

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Only in Montreal can you go to one park and witness a bunch of people tightrope walking between trees, LARPing, and a drum circle. What a strange and awesome city.

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Comments (12)

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