Monday, 26 April 2010

Time to re-evaluate

I have been reluctant to move up to 100NL RUSH  for fear of running into a 10 buy-in mid session, month ruining, downswing.  But over the last few days I have had one or two stabs with reasonable success. So I decided to take the plunge full time.

I needn't have worried about a 10 buy-in drop.  It was 11.

Things started well.  On the third hand I opened with 56s, flopped a straight and got it in v bottom two.  The session went down hill from there.  He caught one of his 4 outs on the river and I proceeded to do my bollox whilst running about 9 buy-ins below .
There were of course some horrific bad beats - that's a feature of RUSH.  My favourite involved aces and my 3-bet calling opponent donk shoving for 87BB into the 27BB pot with AhKx on a low 2 heart board.  The runner runner flush put pay to any recovery hopes I might have harboured (I stacked an opponent with AA v KK simultaneously). 

There was plenty of failing to get there eg: shoving it in on a Kd 7h 8d flop with 10d9d and getting called by 7d5d.  I was a 65% favourite and 50% on the K turn.

But I also made some horrendous mistakes including shipping it in pre flop with QQ v 2 all in opponents - a full stack and a half stack.

In my defence, I was focusing on another cooler hand where I lost 200BB where the money went in on the turn and I had a made straight and flush draw and my opponent had a higher made straight.  It was a 9h7h 5d 6d board - he had 10d 8d - I had 8h5h and missed my 12 outs on the river).  I saw the half stack had shoved, but didn't realise the full stack had shoved as well.

I also aggro tilted off 140 bb pre-flop with AQ v KK, when I 4 bet called v a blind 3 bet even though I had no history to show the blind was a 3 betting blind maniac (it would have been a pretty sketchy call even if he was, as even the blind 3 bettors always seem to have AA, KK or AK when 5 bet shoving particularly when 140 BBdeep).

So its time for a change of approach.  I'm going to continue with 100NL RUSH, but I'm only going to play 2 tables, with short sessions and I'm going to focus on playing a small ball information based aggressive steeling game - my red line crashes as soon as I 3 and particularly 4 table and get into the trading buy-ins mode (which has been the theme of the last month). The 2 tabling approach was basically how I played when I first tried rush. 

For the record, graph for 25 April 2010 - this is what a 4 figure loss looks like aka 'this months' profit and a bit more down the crapper in one push'.  Heave ho:

Monday, 19 April 2010

This is hard work (swongs)

I think 50NL 6-max Rush poker may have had its day.  Player numbers are down (from about 180 at Peak Euro times to about 120), whilst the number of semi competent 'regs' is increasing.

The regs are divided neatly into two camps - the small blind 3 betting super aggro maniacs and the 17/13 Hiltzs (the Cooler Kings) who are waiting for pairs and AJs+ AQo+.  There are very few obvious fish (they get felted fast and few have traditional stats - because they can fold and wait 0.1 seconds for big cards as well as the next TAG).

I think this month I have been coolered in every possible way at the worst possible times.  Every time I take a stand against a aggro maniac with 20% SB 3 bet stat they turn over aces.  I have run boats into quads, boats into bigger boats (why  do I always have to be 200BB deeep when that happens?), and sets into everything.

But I have also played badly at times.  Very badly.  Usually during the period 'imediately after I lose 3 buy-ins in 50 hands to coolers', I get this overriding feeling of I'm about to get my arse tupped and if the cards don't do it to me, I do it to myself.  Then, as if my magic, about 5 minutes later its gone and I'm back to grinding with twice as much focus as before my buy-in dump (because I have something much more powerful to think about - getting out of it).

I also suffer from a form of long term not winning enough tilt - a slow burn tilt which eats away during any period when I break even for a while and then makes me more suseptible to the mid session blow out - its characterised by a growing feeling of the world is conspiring against me. 

There have been a lot of days look like this (note how I went into secondary melt down twice after getting out of it when the mind focus shifts back to 'now lets win some money - I can't win slow burn tilt mode'):

My most recent attempt to get out of it involved switching to 100NL about 500 hands in (and then bam - 5 buy ins gone):

The last graph is this month's RUSH.  I have also lost 3 buy-ins at regular 100NL on what used to be my main site.  But rakeback is keeping me in profit!

I have got to cut out the mid session 5-10 buy in downswing/cooler/tilt/self mutilation crap.

Edit I recognise most of the tilt types in Dr Pauly's latest post. I have them all.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

March results

Statistically March was my best month so far and in a week or two that's probably all I'll remember, but at the moment, I can't help feeling that it could have been a whole lot better.

I switched from 2-tabling 50nl  rush poker to mainly 3/4 tabling about half way through, which meant I managed to fit in 34,837 hands - about 9k more than in any previous month - for a profit of $1,932.75, at an hourly rate of $34.11.  With rakeback and bonuses I made $2,282.53, which works out at $40.28 per hour.

I have got some serious leaks at the moment, mostly to do with calling 3 bets.  The SB v But or C/o 3 betting situation at RUSH poker is just absurd.  Several of the 'regs' are 3 betting 20% or more in the SB and a lot of the time its difficult to actually play pots in position.  Speculative calling is a leak and 4 betting is not working out well - I need to think about my responses a bit more.

But the main characteristic of this month has been the swings - pretty much in every session, I have at some stage dropped about 6 buy-ins in 100 hands and I always seem to end up spending the rest of the session getting out of it for a small profit.  Essentially RUSH poker is about coolering people - the way most people play is to try and flop sets and crack big pairs. And this can lead to some big swings when you get on the wrong end of a few and your aces don't hold up against kings.

But all in all, it was a good month.  The aim for next month is make $2k before rakeback (I was above $2k this month before my 11 buy-in downswing on the last day).   Oh and I need to grow some balls and move back up to 100NL!


Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Most hands in a day ever

Can you guess why?

And without the confusing stuff:

Beware the ides of March and all that.

I was happily chipping up and then bam, AA cracked twice, set over set and a set v str8 and bingo 5.5 buyins gone in about 4 minutes.    I actually dropped 11 buy ins from my high point and 9 buy ins on the day before getting it all back for a $7 profit.

Note how the red line dropped towards the end when I started playing getting a bit gun shy as I got nearer even.  Oh and I didn't tilt at any point, although you'd never know (well maybe just a little).

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Another thing about Rush poker

22 You can earn a lot of rake if you '4 entry'  - its like playing 12 tables at once
23  And did I mention the swings?  Today's NL50 rush graph - had to 4 table to get out of this one - guess where I had my aces cracked after a loon 4 bet shoved over my squeeze like 3 bet 200BBs deep with KK (any other hand other than aces going to call there? The shove might look like AK or JJ 100BB's deep, but not 200, at least not to me):

Friday, 19 March 2010

Why would you bother?

Doing some random trawling around the Cardrunners forums and came across a post asking who has played the most hands online.  It seems this guy may have played the most since tracking began.

ZOMG 4.47 million hands in 18 months at NL100 for a $17k rakeback profit, why would you bother?

And whilst I'm here, what has happened to Stoxpoker? IMO pretty much every coach worth watching has left over the last few months for Dragthebar (including Fat Frank favourites Hunter Bick and Stosh McConnell).  That was followed by the Jason Ho stuff and now Stoxtrader himself has quit following this

Clearly Stox isn't popular amongst the higher stakes players and two plus two NVG community, but I have always been a big fan of his videos.  He might not play NLHE like a Nutedawg style valuehound.  But there is a certain calmness and clarity of thought to his low variance style decision making that I think pretty much every low stakes aspiring grinder should seek to incorporate a little bit of into their game.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Belated thoughts about Rush poker

Last month worked out pretty well.  I finished the month with a roll of $11,894.25 for a +$1,488 month which was awesome, not least because the vast majority was at NL50 and specifically NL50 6 max Rush poker, which is an awesome game. 

Being generally resistant to change, I only discovered RUSH poker on 6th Feb when it had already been running for a couple of weeks I think.  Some random thoughts about 50NL Rush poker

  1. Generally the players are softer than regular games - if you were a fish where would you play?
  2. Fish have a chance - because they are more inclined to fold and wait for bigger hands than they would at a regular table.
  3. Fish had/have a chance - for the few days it wasn't possible to use hold em manager and I think a lot semi reg Card runners types really struggled.  Even now the stats are much less useful than when part of a package of information (meta game etc, observed complete hands) that you have in a normal game. 
  4. The games have already changed.  When RUSH came out Cardrunners etc put videos out which basically said: its a one off situation, people will give you credit, so all the C runners members started 3 betting every button and cut off open when in the small blind.  Things have calmed down a bit since hold em manager caught up, but still there are certain players who are 3 betting 20% of the time from the SB - so tag em and bluff em.
  5. You can make more moves - no one sticks around to see your gigantic bluffs exposed - your table image is probably better than it usually is (and it is still true that people give you more credit for credible post flop moves).
  6. Fish (and bad taggy regs go berserk post flop - I have seen so many non credible post flop B/S check raises etc - raise em.
  7. You can play more hands per hour optimally against weaker opponents.  You can play two tables perfectly whilst getting in the hands you would normally get playing six.
  8. It was refreshing playing poker (all be it only for a few days without stats).  My game has improved.
  9. People play tighter, but they aren't waiting for aces. I have played more than 150 hands with 88 players whose average VPIP/PFR is 17.2/13.4.
  10. If you don't want action - wait a couple of seconds before opening - only the big blind will still be watching by the time your chips go in.
  11. People open from the small blind if folded to them 90% of the time - which means people open to wide a range from the SB.  Crush em.
  12. You can steel a lot.
  13. People respect UTG opens (and insta fold generally) - you can steel a lot from UTG - first in wins.
  14. You can call-to-crack - people play tighter and average stack sizes are often bigger, if you open UTG and get 3 bet from the C/O by a guy playing 14/12, he's has it, you can crack it.
  15. You get monster stacks - you have to be comfortable playing 200 and 300 BB stacks - because a lot of people have them (they don't leave and they are playing the equivalent of six tables but with two entries, so their stacks aren't spread out).
  16. People are afraid to play with 200 to 300 BB stacks - pots actually get smaller (people check more post flop and flat more pre) and big pairs become more vulnerable (normally you win a small hand or lose a big one etc with aces, with deep stack Rush you win an even smaller amount, or lose an even bigger amount than normal). 
  17. 160 to 240 big blinds is optimal - you can C2C.  More than 240 BB stacks are sub optimal (you win less money).
  18. There is a lot of shenanigans generally.
  19. There needs to be at least 120 players in the player pool to maximise the advantages of the randomness of the  RUSH format (less than that and you basically see the same players all the time).
  20. Its probably bad for your game in the long run - you only have to consider 1/3 of the information/things you normally have to consider, it encourages fancy play syndrome, you can't move up easily beyond NL100 as there aren't enough players at the 200 six max games, and once you've had speed poker its hard to go back to the slow stuff.
  21. There probably less fish in the regular games at the moment.