February 22, 2010
So I havenâ€™t blogged in a while, Iâ€™ve been slacking off and forgot about it. So Iâ€™m creating a new blog, here on Deuces Cracked, which is my favorite poker training site. Iâ€™m subscribed to both DC and Card Runners, but Krantzâ€™z videos are probably the most epic videos Iâ€™ve seen making DC #1. I also have a free subscription to stox poker via truly free poker training, but havenâ€™t taken a gander at any of those videos yet. This is going to be a long blog post. I planned at going to bed at 1 AM tonight, but I have a feeling I wonâ€™t be sleeping tonight.
Since I last posted, poker has been going. Not going well, not going too terribly, but the past is the past. After winning 12,000 in November, things went a little south. December I won a couple thousand playing mostly 100NL heads up, I was up 5000 until the last few days then went on a super sick nasty downswing that continued on into January. January I grinded around 22,000 hands of heads up, lost another 2500 and ran about 2100 under EV. January was actually a blast besides poker â€“ I had an amazing trip to Colorado where I skied for the second time in my life, and I loooooooove skiing. I also went to Disney World, one of my favorite places, so that was cool. And I didnâ€™t let the poker gods ruin the fun I had on vacation.
Iâ€™ve been vegan for about 2 and a half months now, so it was definitely a challenge finding food to eat while on vacation, but I found food and it all worked out. I actually had my first vegan lapse last weekend. Shit happens when you party hard :o. I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, which is always a blast. This year was my fourth year in a row down there, and it was the best time Iâ€™ve had so far!!! I know a girl who lives in Houma, LA which is about an hour out from New Orleans. We always spend one night partying in Houma, going to the local parade, getting beads, and drinking a lot. Then we spend the next night in Bourbon street, but usually donâ€™t last too long, drink too much and have to drive back to Houma that night. Well this year we had a hotel in French Quarter, a block of Bourbon Street!!!! THIS WAS AMAZING. I was able to party on Bourbon street from about 6 PM â€“ 8 AM, and had a room to go to to take a break, go to the bathroom, listen to the song â€œmy dickâ€, and chill when the bourbon juice got to be too much. I found some sweet panda beads to go with my panda hat, and I wandered through Bourbon street in a drunken haze for most of the night. The night was crazy, hit on a girl who I later figured out was a dude, lots of trannies down there in new orleans, so that was awkkkkward. Anyways, about 10 hours into this adventure, I was fairly intoxicated, and my friends kept ordering pizza by the slice. I was kind of crazing some pizza, not gonna lie. Eventually drunk ben decided heâ€™d eat one slice, which turned into more than one slice, and it was very delicious. Which is an understatement, words canâ€™t really describe how good pizza is after not eating it for 2 and a half months. but it was great. Anywhos, after going on a pizza binge, Iâ€™m back to my vegan ways. During the few months Iâ€™ve been vegan Iâ€™ve read quite a few books on the subject, and I wonâ€™t go into details here, but Iâ€™m definately glad Iâ€™m sticking with it. If anyone reading this is interested read â€œDiet for a new Americaâ€. Or any other well known book on vegetarianism or veganism for that matter. What goes on in slaughter houses is unreal, unethical, and just pretty terrible in general. I wouldnâ€™t want my cat treated how they treat pigs/chickens, and thereâ€™s not really a difference between them. I love animals! The occasional drunken blunder apparently happens, but whats done is done and Iâ€™m back to no milk/eggs/ animals.
Anyways, I got sidetracked, so back to poker. Towards the end of January, the crack cocaine of poker was introduced to the world thanks to Full Tilt. Whoever came up with this genius idea, I will be forever grateful to. Its called Rush poker. Hereâ€™s how it works. They add this new button to every table that says â€œquick foldâ€. You click this button, your hand is folded, and you are magically transported to a new table where you are instantly dealt a new hand, which if its not to your liking, quick fold and move to a new table!! ITS INCREDIBLE. Heres why. Well for me, I havenâ€™t played 6 max in 4 or 5 months, and it got me to start playing 6max again, which is an extremely profitable game. Normally if I were to 4 table 6max, Iâ€™d be getting around 250-300 hands per hour. Iâ€™m not sure of the exact numbers since I havenâ€™t played regular 6max in a long time, but its around that. So if I were to beat 100NL for 2-3ptBB/100, thats about 15-20 dollars per hour. Now how many hands do I get in 4 tabling rush poker??? 800-1000 hands!!!!! Beating the game for 2-3ptBB/100 now nets me 50-75 an hour. Multitabling the old school way would require one to play 12-16 tables at one time in order to reach this amount of hands per hour. And it is very difficult to play well when playing that many tables (I know from experience). The reason being that several post flop decisions can up at the same time, while several other preflop decisisions are occuring, and youâ€™re having to deal with all these at once. With Rush Poker, Theres rarely more than 2 postflop decisions going on at once. And you can sit out at your other tables if youâ€™re involved in a big hand, so you have time to think! Its the most incredible way to log vast amounts of hands per hour, and its a god send. Iâ€™m able to get in 40,000 hands a week, see a ton of flops, and improve my 6max game a great deal. Well the first few weeks went rough. I had a lot of trouble adjusting to 6max vs heads up ranges. Heads up top pair is da nuts. And no one ever has anything. 6max is quite different, and its taken some getting used to. Theres a few other problems that comes with 6max. Last summer, and before that, I was a 6max player. A TERRIBLE 6max player. Breakeven/maybe winning a tiny, tiny bit. I was a donkey. A regphish. tagphish. whatever you want to call it. I didnâ€™t play well. Well I had a bunch of bad habits. These habits tend to reappear in my game now, and I see a dumb play I made and Iâ€™m like WTF are you doin here?!?!?!?! Combined with me being completely used to heads up play, its been a very rough transition. I make 15 bux an hour via rakeback, which is quite sick. So far this month Iâ€™ve made about 2500 from playing, and 1800 bux from rakeback, for around 4300 dollars. If I was beating the game for 2ptbb/100, which should definately be doable, I would be winning 2000 dollars a week, so Iâ€™m not running where I want to be.
Maybe Iâ€™ve been running bad. But I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve been running too bad. Every session, I can look at hands and instantly see mistakes I made that cost me a stack. These mistakes all add up, and there goes my winrate. Combined with not knowing the 6max game well, its obvious why I havenâ€™t been doing so hot. So I started watching a bunch of 6max videos. These things are amazing. Some of the best poker players out there explaining their though process behind why they make certain actions. Theres 1000+videos out there to watch, all about an hour long. Well after watching a few cardrunners videos by newtdog, and Grindcoreâ€™s series the thin red line, my mind was torn open, new concepts were coming at me so fast I didnâ€™t know what to do. Trying to implement them in my daily play was a challenge. But it started to happen.
My biggest leak is making snap decisions in massive pots, and not taking my time and thinking hands through. Well there should be an easy solution to this problem, which has probably costed me 20+ buyins, 2 grand in the past few weeks. Friday my buddy sweated me playing, which initiated some thoughts on my poker game, and I started to really think about my game. I spent a lot of time reflecting on poker. I asked myself a great many questions. What do I want from poker? Why do I make dumb plays? Why do I get emotionally tilted, causing myself to make more dumb plays??
Well what I wanted from poker now and what I wanted from poker before Friday has changed this weekend. Before, it was good money, something to do with my time so that I could pay the bills, and a game that I could make more money from than almost all college graduates. Iâ€™m going to go onto another tangent before I come back to what I want from poker. People get out of school, many not able to get jobs, and many jobs require lots and lots of work to obtain (go to college, go to grad school, build a resume, etc.) But then theres poker. A competetive game, where the best player will always win in the long run. Thereâ€™s micro stakes and small stakes. .05/.10, .10/.25, .25/.50. .50/1. I play .50/1 right now. At this level, there are no amazing players. The average player is pretty awful. The best players at this limit are not very good. If they were very good, they would be playing 1/2, 2/4, 3/6, 5/10, 10/20, 25/50, 50/100, 200/400, or 500/100. Let me count how many stakes those areâ€¦9. There are 9 levels above .50/1 where better players can move up to. In 6max, the most money is made through gaining reads on opponents, and paying attention to your image, how others may adjust to you, and staying one step ahead of them. Here was a mindblowing idea from a grindcore video I watched. At 1/2, only the VERY BEST regulars will be adjusting to how you play, and be attempting to out adjust you, really paying attention to gameflow. At 2/4, the better regulars will be adjusting to you. ITS NOT UNTIL YOU GET TO 3/6NL that the average player will actually be adjusting to you. OK so you be saying, thats fine and dandy, I get it, people at .50/1 arenâ€™t very good. This is the first real stake you can play for a living. At rush poker, grinding out a 2ptBB winrate, which is quite small (good regulars could probably beat the game for 3-5ptBB/100) equals 55 dollars an hour. 40 hours a week, thats 110,000 dollars a year!!! This is more many than almost any college graduate makes, and its for beating a bunch of people that arenâ€™t very good in one of the smallest stakes at online poker. If you could crush 100NL rush poker you could make 200,000+ dollars a year.
Ok so thats where I was. I wanted to make 100,000 dollars a year. That was my goal. Thats why I was playing poker. I hadnâ€™t really thought too much farther than that. Well then I realized, I donâ€™t want to just beat people at 100NL. I want to CRUSH 100NL. then CRUSH 200NL. then move up to 400NL, 600NL, 1000NL, 2000NL, 5000NL, 10,000NL, 20,000NL, 40,000NL, and 100,000NL. I want to take on the best players, become the best in the game, and by doing this have complete freedom. No need to get a job. No one to answer to but myself. The money is nice, and allows me to do what I want. Its sooo great. I have endless oppurtunites to improve my game. Coaching, poker training sites, its all out there. I just have to dedicate myself to the game, and make the best decisions I can make.
Everything is coming together. It started yesterday when I set out to plug my biggest leak, which is making snap decisions. And its plugged!!! It just took ONE DAY OF HARD WORK!!! How? Easy, very easy. Every time I get to a flop, I tank for at least 5 seconds. I think about every single option, what my plans are for the hand, what I will do on the turn and the river if my opponents make certain actions. I take everything into considertion. I donâ€™t just cbet, or check, or whatever the standard line is. I think about board texture, my opponent, how a lead would look, how a check raise would look, and how I can most accurately define my opponents ranges. Just the simple act of taking 5-10 seconds to think about all this information has infinitely improved my game. I came up with all sorts of non standard lines that induced action, and won me a great deal of money I would not otherwise have won. Its the first step of many to becoming the best I can be.
So now, my overall goal is to reach the nosebleeds, and play with the best. But my current goal is to crush 100NL. To do this I need to post hands in the forums, watch countless videos, log many hours at the tables, and stop being lazy. I am moving to California in a few months. It will be an incredible, peaceful environment. A fresh start. Nice weather. New people to meet. A deviation from the bad habits and crappy routine I have been in. I canâ€™t wait. But in the meantime, I will be at the tables, grinding, improving, and winning.
As I said I tried to sleep an hour ago. But all these thoughts were running through my head, and I had to get them out. Iâ€™m still wired from the excitement of it all, and am about to start watching a series of 9 videos by Krantz. A spark of motivation has appeared. Its up to me if I want to fuel the fire, or let it die out. I think Iâ€™ll fuel it. Starting with this blog. I will try to post on this blog several times a week. I will post hands on here, post my thought processes, and also link them to the forums so I can get some responses.
A few final thoughts. Negative feedback. I get it. Its part of being a poker player. Theres a big group of people out there. They live standard, ABC lives, and have certain views that never change. Religion, politics, etc. But some of these people, they have ingrained in their mind this. GAMBLING = BAD. No amount of hard evidence, or anything else will result in them changing their mind. I used to try to change peoples minds. But I donâ€™t care anymore! Iâ€™m free! It doesnâ€™t matter if people look down on gambling. I really could care less. I can have complete freedom, not answer to a boss, not answer to anyone if I donâ€™t want to. And I can make insane, insane amounts of money. Part 2 of negative feedback. As I said before, theres a big group of people who live standard, ABC lives. When something interrupts their standard life, they take offense. Well in this case its me being vegan. Before I went vegan, I would never have suspected how defensive people would get if they knew I was vegan. Obviously, since I choose not to eat meat or animal bi-products, I must be strange. People try to change my mind. Say that its unhealthy to not eat animals. Say that weâ€™re meant to eat animals. How can I possibly think differently than they do? They come up with many, extremely flawed arguments to try to dissuade me of my quest to save animals from the horrible things that are done to them every day. Its kind of funny, because I never once have tried to convince someone go vegan. Its a personal choice. What you eat. No one else can make it but you. I put anything and everything that was delicious into my mouth for 21 and a half years of my life. So I respect anyone who eats meat. Many people just donâ€™t want to know the amount of cruelty that goes on to animals here. And they tune it out. I did this too. But, I have received endless negative feedback from all sorts of different people, just because they found out I was vegan. Crazy. Iâ€™ll play poker whatever hours I want and be vegan, you go to work 9-5 and eat meat, you do what you want, Iâ€™ll do what I want, and thats that. Obviously I will still receive negative feedback from different people , but this doesnâ€™t bother me at all anymore.
Ok well this has probably been my longest blog post ever, and most rambling one since I had approximately 2 months worth of thoughts to get out. I will keep this blog updated, I promise!!! Hand histories will be posted within the next few days. ONE MORE THING. I want to coach people in poker. Once I am able to crush 100NL, I will be at a point where I probably have some useful things to teach people. A way to give back to people. I just started watching a video by Krantz where he talked about why he coaches. Its a way to give back to the people he wins from. He does it to get people away from their 10 dollar an hour job, away from the humdrum of life, and help them. He also said it has vastly improved his poker game. This is an interest of mine. I want to help people. I will be coaching random people who want to hear what I have to say for free for a while. Hopefully I will start beating 6max for a decent winrate soon. In the meantime, Iâ€™m gonna continue to work on my game and work my way to the top. If youâ€™ve actually read this entire post, congratulations it was long and rambling. Leave me a comment, if youâ€™re interested in a sweat session via skype and teamviewer, or if something I said sparked youâ€™re interest, let me know! Good luck at the tables!