Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cash Games

I usually play cash games at PaddyPowerPoker and I thought it would be a good idea to write a little bit about where I am starting from, and how I have done since I started recording my progress.

I usually play at the $0.05/$0.10 Limit Hold 'em tables. My preference at the moment is for full ring games, although it is not a major concern if I can only get a seat at a 6-max table.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I won some money in freeroll tournaments which is how I started my bankroll. With this I played at the $0.02/$0.04 No-Limit Hold 'em tables. I did not do too well, and my bankroll ended up at $13.12 before I stopped playing.

I decided to make the switch to Limit cash games and once again started at the $0.02/$0.04 tables. My bankroll has increased and now for the past few weeks I have been at the $0.05/$0.10 tables.

I have been playing well but did have a major slump a few weeks ago. Thankfully I have now turned the corner and for the past week have made a profit everyday that I have played.

So, I started with $13.12 and I am now at about $35. The maximum I have been at is $39. In addition I am earning some "Paddy Points" which means that I will get a $50 bonus soon. I estimate that I will get this in about three weeks at the rate I am going.

My short-term aim is to buid my bankroll enough so I can move up to the next level: $0.10/$0.20 cash games. I am going to be conservative and move up when I have about 550 to 600 times the maximum bet. S0 I would need $110 - 120 before moving up. At the moment my total bankroll (at all sites) is just above $65, so still some way to go, but when I get my $50 bonus it should help a lot.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Betfair Grand Prix Result

As my previous post says, I played in this event last night. Well at least it is only a freeroll...

458 runners and the top-50 get paid, top-30 get additional points for the leaderboard. I finished in 79th place.

I am dropping down the leaderboard, really need to up my game for the next one. There were some positive points though:
  • I read the players at my table well, this meant my decisions were made easier.
  • I got off to a good start by not playing too tight like everyone else, this meant I doubled-up early.
  • Was card dead for the first hour but still had above average chips at the first break.
  • Got maximum value out of the few decent hands I had.
As always though, I did not play perfectly - and had some bad luck (as always in the tournaments I have played recently). Here are some things that did not go as well as I hoped:
  • Tried to steal the blinds and got called when he had KA suited which he hit on the river. That is just bad luck I suppose but it took me below average for the first time.
  • I got moved tables as the blinds were getting serious, and couldn't get a read on the players quick enough - my stack was now getting towards 'push or fold' territory.
  • Players knew they could steal my blinds because I would only call when I had a decent hand since I was short-stacked.
  • Was card dead for most of the second hour - except when I got KA, QQ, KK, AA in consecutive hands. I made a very conservative raise each time - and got no callers each time.
  • Was really short stacked and was in late position. I get AQ suited and go all in. Both the blinds call. The board misses my cards completely - and the player who called my all-in with 54 off-suit wins with a pair of fives (the other player had AJ off-suit).
If I had won that race, or got some callers with my good hands. I probably would have coasted into the top-50, but thats tournament poker I suppose.

So, some things I am pleased about and some things I can improve from. I have only been playing since April so overall I am still pleased with my progress. Have been playing well in cash games recently so will write about them soon.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Betfair PokerPlayer Grand Prix

I am playing the PokerPlayer Magazine freeroll tonight at Betfair. The top 33 in the leaderboard after all the freerolls will be invited to London and the overall winner will go to Singapore for the Asian Poker Tour event there.

I missed the last freeroll because they did not sell the magazine in any of the shops I looked in so I hope I can do well in this one to get some extra points to climb the leaderboard. Currently I am in 45th place (or about that) after being in the top 33 before.

More details of what competition I am talking about is here:

Betfair Grand Prix

Ninety minutes until the start and I believe there will be 500 runners. Will come back here and report on how I did later.

The play in this freeroll is different than other freerolls. The standard of play seems a lot better, and sometimes it has been really tight. When the whole table is playing tight it is really easy to accumulate chips - so fingers crossed for more of the same. My best finish was 7th place (out of about 750 runners) for which I got $30 and 19 points which pushed me right up the leaderboard. I have also cashed another time but for no additional points.

Having said that I have not cashed in any MTTs for two weeks so I will need some luck!

Been doing quite well in cash games this week and will report on that soon also.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

About This Blog

I thought it would be a good idea to just write a few words about what this blog will be about.

Well, the blog is about poker (really? wow...) and more specifically about me playing poker. It is a way for me to write about things I learn or discover while I am learning the game and hopefully will not just be me posting about my bad beats...

I will try and write regularly and keep it interesting. If I didn't think it would be interesting for anyone else but me I wouldn't be writing this.

So what will I write about? I will record my progress as the weeks go by. I am starting out with a (very) small bankroll and hope to work my way up the levels from the $0.05/$0.10 level where I am now to wherever...I don't know where I will go. I may go bust or I could become a millionaire (I wouldn't bet on that though) but whatever happens I hope to write about my poker journey in an interesting way.

As well as that I will write about any general poker issues that interest me - this wouldn't be a blog if I didn't give my unimformed opinion about things ;) I will also put a few hands that I have played (and probably got wrong) so if anybody is reading they can give me some advice.

If you are reading this then I thank you - and ask you if you think you would like to come back here to subscribe to my RSS feed (see the orange button in the sidebar). Feel free to leave any comments you have and email me (my address can be found in my profile).

Thanks for reading!

Why I Play Poker

I enjoy playing poker - that is obvious since I have started writing a blog just about poker, but why is it that I enjoy poker more than other card games, or even other games and hobbies in general?

Well let me start with a little background:

I have played cards when I was younger - with family, with friends, at school - just like most people I think. It was just a bit of fun though for the hour or so we were playing - it didn't really hold my interest any more than that.

Then I discovered poker - more specifically Texas hold 'em. It was different from other games I had encountered in the past. It was exciting - for a start it is best played with money! Also unlike other games I had played, skill played a major factor as opposed to just the luck of the cards.

The game of Texas holdem 'em is also easy to pick up - so very quickly I was playing on the internet (unfortunately only for play money). I seemed more suited to poker than I had to other card games - I like to think I am quite good with numbers and mathematics so this was advantage to me when I was playing.

Another key aspect is observing other players, something I found I was quite good at (though certainly not expert). This meant I was able to bluff well - a key reason why poker is so exciting.

I think the reason why I am interested in playing poker is that it is a card game where cards really are not that important. Sort of like how the old saying goes - poker is a game of people, it just happens to involve cards.

So why do I play poker now? To me it is just a bit of fun - a hobby, but a hobby that I take seriously. Even though I only have a small bankroll I don't want to lose it - I want to increase it, but still the main reason I play is because I enjoy it. Any profit I make is just a bonus.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Who Am I?

Since you are here at this blog, I thought it would be a good idea to write a bit about who I am - if I am reading a blog I like to know who I am reading about, so I think you would like to know a little bit about me (if you don't - I find it a little strange that you clicked on a link saying "Who Am I?").

As you can see from my profile (at the top right) I am 24 years old and I live in Wales (A place next to England for all my American readers). I only live in a small town and the nearest casino is quite a distance away - so I am one of the 'new' type of poker players who have only ever played on the internet.

Although I played a little bit of poker at school (A type of 5 card draw if I remember correctly) I only really discovered poker a few months ago. I was watching television waiting for the baseball game to start and there was a poker show on - I was fascinated by what I saw and thought I would like to play that, after all it looked quite easy.

I spent quite a lot of time just playing for play money at PokerRoom mostly because you didn't have to download anything (A great idea and I don't know why most sites don't offer it). I did quite well - I had read a bit about Texas Hold 'em so I knew the basic theory - but I knew I was missing out on the most exciting aspect of playing poker - winning money!

Now here is where I hit a problem - I have no way of depositing money into any poker site (well, sort of) because I have no credit or debit card - so I just continued playing for play money until I bought a magazine (PokerPlayer) and realised there were tournaments I could enter for free for the chance to win real money!

I played for a few weeks in various freerolls with no success - then I read more about tournament poker on the internet and started to improve my performance. Unfortunately, freerolls don't pay any money unless you are probably in the top 5% (if that) as opposed to the top 10% of players in 'normal' tournaments.

Then I found a nice tournament that took place weekly and didn't have many players take part - perfect! I found it advertised in The Times and it was at PaddyPowerPoker. A $100 freeroll and on average about 30 people took part. In 3 consecutive weeks I finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th and so I finally had a bankroll - a small one but everybody has to start somewhere.

I wasted some of the money playing No-Limit Hold 'em until I realised I must be doing something wrong. I purchased a book, read internet poker forums, watched Poker Night Live and decided to increase my bankroll by playing poker well.

At the end of July I started playing poker seriously (even if it is at the micro-limits) and have been concentrating on playing Limit Hold 'em which I find is best at these levels. As well as this I continue to play freerolls (I love playing tournaments - even free ones where there is not much to win) and have had some success playing these at 7-card stud, 7-card stud HiLo, Hold 'em and Omaha.

So that is a little background on myself with respect to poker. Click on the links in the sidebar if you want to know more about why I play poker and why I decided to write a blog. It should be noted though that I am not a professional player - I just play poker for fun, but I find the best way to have fun at poker is to win money!

I am lucky in some respects because I have so much time for this - my hobby - because I am only a part-time student (I am studying for a MSc in Science), but I am unlucky also because I have no job (despite looking for one for a long time) and so if I lose my bankroll - I lose my bankroll and that will be it. I would be back to playing freerolls only. Hopefully though this blog will chart my success at playing poker until I have millions of pounds!!!!! Or if not that, at least a decent amount of money for a weekend break...

In any case I hope you enjoy reading what I write here,

Chris

Index

This post will serve as an index for the blog so things are easier to find. This is linked from the sidebar over there -->

At the moment, of course, everything is easy to find since there is nothing here but trust me - this will be useful when there are over 100 posts here!