August 15, 2011

Setting My Goals for Korea

What is the trick to setting realistic goals?
Knowing yourself, and accepting your limitations, which I had a hard time doing at first. You are not Cole South, you are not Brian Townsend, you are not Dusty Schmidt, or perhaps even anything in between. Their goals are their goals, your goals should be a reflection of you. Look to history, and see what you have accomplished and what you have achieved, and try to improve on that in a realistic way. Do not take other peoples numbers and results and arbitrarily apply it to yourself. 

- boywonder

This really sticks out. Working on this is really important. You are you, not anyone else.

Recently I have realised something. Often I start out sessions with high positive focus and I am up 1 or 2 buyins after a very short period of time. A voice comes into my head "thats good, but now you are losing your focus, so just quit now and do something else fun, you can always come back later", and then I have another voice in my head, "you're winning, they always say play longer when you are winning right? you should play longer, keep going!" - invariably I play longer, and I often start to do what can only be described as winners tilt, boredom, or looking for excuse to leave because of 'bad play' (which really ends up with me spewing and I KNOW its wrong) - essentially, I do not really feel like playing but keep on playing, just because I have some imaginary rule in my mind which is 'Ivey says play longer when you are winning'. 

This is not me. I am not Phil Ivey. I am Josh Igoe. I do so much better in periods of high intensity focus. If I cant regain my high positive focus state when playing, its much better to quit that to play sub optimal poker. Lop off C-game101.

In Korea I will have a drastically new schedule. I will be teaching and so my schedule will revolve around that. Something like this -Wake up at 8am and eat, shower and exercise. Review the day before. Play poker in High Focus. get ready for teaching fun English lessons and deliver fun classes. Get to bed before midnight. - that routine or very close to it M-F is ideal. Weekends off to explore Korea and have fun around the country.

It will be a real success if I can achieve it. I got inspired by the bw blog and by this article by Assassinato which states:

The first thing you do before you decide to take poker seriously is ask yourself…why? Is it because poker is fun and you want to move up and play more poker? If so, is that going to be enough to motivate you for years on end? Do you want to provide for yourself? Full-time or on the side? If so, for how long, and for what purpose? You trying to get through med school or just get out of Mcdonald’s? How much money will you need to make, and how much time can we devote to it? Is that realistic? What games or study should we throw ourselves into to achieve our goals? Write down the answers to these questions and others you may have. If you don’t feel you’re guiding yourself well enough educate yourself with some business books. Seek mentors. Write down your goals for six months, one year, and five years. Make plans. Ask yourself why, why, and why? Remember that kidding yourself could cost you years if you really follow through. Hell, it could cost you more than years if you don’t.

-Pay off debts, overdraft, loans
-Save up for a condo down payment
-Do a CELTA and get onto an MA course

I stumbled upon this book CRUSH IT! after hearing about it in the thread for sailbot's video series... basically boils down to this

User Uploaded Image


Posted By Acombfosho at 12:26 AM


Tags: Korea teaching and poker goals

August 14, 2011

swings lol

I think I have had one of the swingiest days ever, however, I did not tilt, so I am very pleased. While playing I worked on staying composed at the table and it felt great. There would be times I had momentary lapses, but I never went off the deep end. So I have made progress.

User Uploaded Image

A thread I posted has had a lot of great comments from coaches, check it out

Posted By Acombfosho at 03:31 AM


Tags: a moment of calm

August 11, 2011

eat stop eat averagehomeboy

I read this article and now have decided to do intermittent fasting, which just means you do not eat for 24 hours every other day up to twice a week. I did my research and I have fasted before, this seems like a less stressful, useful way to rest your body and increase your bodies natural metabolism

Heres a list of FAQ's by the Books Author

Also found this amusing video posted below after browsing the hilarious thread on 2plus2 about some guys mid life crisis

I also realised when I posted this thread about mental performance that I haven't been applying what I learned last year in the inner game of tennis, which is basically this when I am playing poker 'Visualize what you want to happen moments before you act then simply let your body and mind do it!''

Posted By Acombfosho at 01:49 AM


Tags: guess who

August 10, 2011


User Uploaded Image


Posted By Acombfosho at 03:32 AM


Tags: sigh

August 09, 2011

All watched over by machines of loving grace

The London Riots have got me in the mood to watch some Adam Curtis documentaries, so I googled him and I just found out he brought out a new documentary called ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE - Insta downloading it and here's the trailer

 I would seriously recommend anyone to watch all of his documentaries. They can change your whole perspective on the world..

update: watched the first episode. Its fucking sick... the shit that hit asia described in this episode, well that is gonna hit the UK and the US too... it is inevitable. they took huge loans (think QE2) then the bankers got their investments out, the people footed the bill and Asia had a HUGE crash in the 90s (I have seen it for myself in Japan; my friend Yuki came from an upper middle class family and her dad owned a load of night clubs and radio stations in downtown Kobe, JP. Anyway the asia crash cost them a helluva lot and they lost their big house and 2 apartments from this shit, so it is definitely scary and also very real). Its inevitable this is going to happen in the west too, because the investment class are going to cover their asses and put this heat on the average man on the street, just like they did in asia in the 90s, just theyre gona do it in the west.

wow i LOVE his docs... its gonna hit us hard though.. soon

I cant recommend this documentary enough (trnt)

related stuff:

watch this movie if you can -


Posted By Acombfosho at 12:47 AM


Tags: adam curtis

August 08, 2011

The Happiness Trap

I have just finished re-reading the book The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris. 

I think it is a truly excellent book. The book is based upon ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It is basically a modern day version of what many religions called 'mindfulness'. The main principles are to be in the moment, accepting of your feelings, and to allow them to exist without trying to push the unpleasant thoughts and feelings you have away, simply observing them and acknowledging them but not battling with them. 

I first found this book after Tommy Angelo had often mentioned mindfulness, and ACT itself seems like an agnostics ideal alternative to the religious 'mindfulness' we often hear about. ACT is a nice combination of western science meets eastern wisdom. Having been raised as a Roman Catholic I have pretty much always been sceptical about religious mumbo-jumbo, but having lived in Buddhist Thailand I can also appreciate the other side of religion.

A meaningful life

  1. Defusion - Recognizing images and thoughts as just pictures and words, and not giving them more attention
  2. Expansion - Making room for feelings and allowing them to come and go as they please
  3. Connection - Being fully aware of here-and-now
  4. The Observing Self - The perspective from which you observe your thoughts and feelings absent of attachment or judgement
  5. Values - Clarifying what is the most important in your heart and what you want to stand for in this life
  6. Committed Action - Taking effective action in line with your values, again and again, no matter how many times you go off track

These six principles are summarized in the ACT formula:

  • A = Accept your thoughts and feelings and be present
  • C = Connect with your values
  • T = Take effective action
Redefining Success

There is a potential danger in telling inspirational stories, and that danger is the way in which we define success. Whether we are talking of artists, doctors, athletes, businessmen, rockstars, politicians, or policemen, "successful people" are typically defined in terms of the goals they have achieved. If we buy into this woefully limited definition, then we're condemned to a goal focused life: chronic frustration punctuated by fleeting moments of gratification. So I invite  you now to consider a new definition:

success in life means living by your values.

Define your values, set goals which match your values, consciously take action towards them, embrace uncomfortable feelings and accept them, keep persevering towards your goals which are in line with what you value.

For me my values are to keep on learning and growing as a person, learning new things about the world and myself every day until I die, to have independence, to be free financially, physically and mentally. To be a source of fun, encouragement and reliability for my friends, and family.

These are my values, and the actions I want to take in order to live by them are to be a great TEFL teacher over this next year and to go on to do a MA in TEFL at the same time as travelling and meeting new people from lots of different countries. This will allow me to learn lots about new cultures, expand my knowledge, give me freedom and also add massive value to my life in terms of fun, experience and opportunity for the future.

Posted By Acombfosho at 04:46 PM


Tags: values and action

August 08, 2011

Common Themes from Blueprint

In Blueprint the most common themes were

  • Obsess about the game
  • Study Regulars
  • Know yourself
  • Conquer the tilt
  • Play with a big bankroll
  • Be competitive
  • Have poker discussions a lot
  • Keep constantly improving and working on all aspects of your game
  • Learn other games
  • Have hobbies outside of poker to balance your life
  • Time is the most important asset we have in life, so make the most of it
  • Remember importantly poker may not be forever so treat poker as a means to get where you want to be

I now realize I have to keep on working even harder at stopping my tilt, everyone brought this up and its something I myself have recognised as very important in my own development, I am working towards conquering my tilt by pre-empting it and I think that playing in short sessions is a great way to prevent fatigue-tilt which is one of my biggest weaknesses. I found the story from FoxwoodsFiend the funniest and most entertaining by far. Overall a great series and I am glad I finally got around to watching it. Next Series I am reviewing is going to be the Phil Galfond Philosophy

Posted By Acombfosho at 02:33 AM


Tags: blueprint common themes

August 08, 2011



Likes the Wall-Street 2 line "Money is not the prime asset in life - its time"

Having the ability to generate and execute ideas

'The creatives compromise' If you have alot of good ideas, but not productive, you will never realise any of these good ideas. Productivity is an essential component. Conversely you can be very productive but have few ideas and you will make some things happen. The lesson to take away from this is to realize that to be successful, you need to execute, you need a concrete plan, and to walk up all of the steps in that plan until completion


played a lot a helluvalot

played 5-6 years before had a huge amount of success

immerse yourself in the subject and you will improve

emotional control is very very very important

quit early, take breaks, move down when you are running bad, tilt is destructive, become self aware

always ask WHY

"Everyday if you do better than you did before, even if its a little bit, then that day is a good day."


Harrassed people for advice none stop, gradually things got more natural

Have Confidence-

Have the attitude of noone can beat me

Most so-called 'good players' are not that good, so play them

Be Humble -

Send hand to people, even if u think you may be better than them, have an open mind

Be able to review your sessions and be honest

-Be perfect

Make the play you know is best, nothing is stopping you from making perfect play

Anytime you make a mistake that you didnt have to make, you are only hurting your bottom line

Have the attitude of always trying to make the best play possible

Use every resource at your disposal, do everything you can do to maximize your winrate - it all adds up massively

Know the math and know it really well


Tilt, really? Are you still tilting!? have you been playing poker for years and you're still tilting? Stop acting like a child! So long as you are playing games you can afford to play, you should never be in trouble, you follow proper BR management right!?


Focus your mind and your energy on things that are positive! After losing a big pot, think did I play that right? And be HAPPY you did.

There is nothing to be gained by focusing on badbeats. Focus on improving and focus on the positives.

Stay mentally and Physically healthy - work out, have social life, eat well. Your mind needs to be healthy to play good poker


If he makes a mistake, he learns from it

Emulating another poker player has good and bad sides, learn how to play the game first and incorporate plays when and where appropriate

Expectations can be pretty brutal, so be realistic

Dont expect to win every day, just put a process in place that helps you win more often

At the same time if you expect to lose when you are playing, its a poor attitude too, think rationally and make the best play

Keep in touch with the community, keep in touch with reality

When your life is dependent on a turn or a river card, its no good!

Welcome the run good, welcome in the biggest heater of your life!

Chasing losses is -EV, you are playing far from A game, and it can leave you feeling overwealmed

Going bust can be a chance to reset, dont have unrealistic expectations

Poker can be a lot of work... remember that the process > the event

Put in time away from the tables

If you cant take a two outer, you shouldnt be playing those stakes

Have high ethics and be a nice guy!

**DJ Sensei**

Likes to be healthy, has a math brain and is competitive

Be surrounded by successful people

Helpful and supportive forums help alot

Learn how to play a good spread of games and be able to win at all of them, being able to play a wide variety of games is a really useful thing

Have hobbies and enjoy your life, it keeps you sane

Have a professional pursuit outside of poker, get skills outside of poker

Keep on working on your game

BR management is hugely important 

Game selection is one of the most important things in poker, you got to have fish there

Time management

Poker is not a career, but a springboard to other bigger and better things (i.e. poker can earn you lots of money and you can use that to do what you REALLY want to do)

The reason you play poker is to live, you dont live to play poker

Dont buy expensive stuff you dont need

**Joe Tall**

Studied Civil Engineering

Think about improving your poker game all the time

Find the optimal everything and keep on adding stuff to improve the way you play

Keep on adding tiny little things which increase how you play more +EV

Loves Tommy Angelo!

Tilt control is very important, keep on working at getting better at tilting less

Be as brutally honest as you can and look at things objectively then make your decisions


Ran good with $175 @ 50nl, ran good at 10/20 limit, then lost most of it, tried again, and won

Tilt control is very important

Work on coming back to the thought process of "How can I use this information I have just gained about the way villain plays to beat him?"

If you cant control yourself, then you should seriously consider whether or not you should be a professional poker player

Be willing to try different games

Find good games

Learn to figure out the equities in as many different situations as you can

Find poker friends and trade hand historys


Does not even play poker that much anymore

80/20 rule for every 80% of the time you play you should spend 20% amount of your study and efforts should be focused on something else

tilt control


length of sessions

work with others a lot and keep on working at it

be patient, especially with regards to going pro

we all play this game for a reason. Whats yours?


First thought $60 an hour was expensive for poker coaching

Took as many coaching sessions as he possibly could

treats poker as a success and money thing, not a freedom thing, loves the competitive aspect of it, loves trying to be the best he can be

avoid gross generalizations

"if I could just" XYZ " then i would be a winner" - these things mean very little

Poker is a great side job

The sooner you can look at poker in the deepest way possible, the better, the more layers of the onion you can peel back, the best

no matter how hard you work, theres still another layer you can go

move beyond generalities

hold yourself to a high standard

engage more with videos (take notes!)


Called JJ when he was against Aces face up just to see what happens

Was motivated to get good and beat his friend Jason

2p2 was once a good community

Put in a lot of hours working on his game and then went on a huge heater

Learn how to smash fish

To organize your thoughts break down things into language and write stuff down!

When you post in a forum, ASK A QUESTION! Question everything

take some breaks

Take advantage of the fruits of poker, it allows you to work from anywhere, so take a trip and enjoy life


Knowing yourself -> Knowing the right decision

Know how YOU learn

Make a plan to success

Tilt is the #1 obstacle to longevity, so COMBAT IT

Avoid playing long sessions and take tons of breaks

Always work on your weaknesses

Putting in volume is all about consistency


His dad was a poker player and as a kid he used to take the rake

Worked really hard at poker to be able to have poker as a job

Poker is not a mountain you have to climb, its something you have to work on step by step

Start small and get the simple things down

Play a lot, experience is much better than only theory to get good at hand reading

Keep getting better, keep working on your game


Got told not to go into the golf business, then still went into the golf business

Binks an online MTT and binks a casino mtt within 24hours

Beat himself up for losing it later in the month and committed to learn the game like crazy

Ran well at 100nl when he wasnt using good BR management but games were soft

Had an a-ha-moment when he joined CardRunners - there are coolers!

Poker was all he could think about, and put in a lot of time and energy thinking about poker

Loves his wife!

Coaching is awesome

wiltontilt coached him and he got better $300 an hour felt like a lot of money but eventually it was worth it

second a-ha-moment : Bluff catching is cool!

Time is more valuable is money, get value out of life


Was born on tilt

He is still working on it


giving away the secrets on how to degen your way to a big bankroll

after being a degen for quite some time, finally became obsessed with poker and worked on his game a lot

became a foxwoods casino degen for 3 months

Figure out the regs you play against, study the regs, having good reads on them is incredibly important

when you move up in stakes, dont give the players more credit than they deserve

100 buyins is a great BR recommendation

Play as high as you can

Learn multiple games

You should only 'grind' a certain stake if you cant afford higher stakes or you cant beat the higher stakes

Keep playing high stakes until you cant beat them, then play the highest stakes that you can beat

"Nine to five is how you survive, I ain't tryin' to survive I'm tryin' to live it to the limit an' love it a lot"

Discuss poker strategy with other good poker players

Grind grind grind and think about poker 24/7 - if you are not thinking about poker 24/7 you are doing it wrong

Ignore the sceptics about being a poker player, if you have sample size and winrate behind you, then focus on it - haters gonna hate - if you have the confidence and experience to know that you are a winning poker player then it is inevitable that you're going to do well

Posted By Acombfosho at 02:13 AM


Tags: blueprint

August 06, 2011

who am I kidding

I love this blog, its a much nicer interface than bluefire and since I aint gonna subscribe to any site for a good while im just gonna stick posting on here.

What does this flip-flopping mean?

I guess it just means I feel like am in a transition point in my life, looking for a fresh start, but moving my blog wont really do anything to achieve that. A new career is enough and im anxious about starting it. Anyway... back to blogging here, I am addicted to it I think!

So, one thing I did today was play around with HEM2, it has the potential to be a pretty nice piece of kit but honestly it is SO SLOW and LAGGY and is always close to crashing, I have a decent laptop w 4GB DDR3 ram and doesnt have problems with any other programs so I think HEM2 itself is just buggy as hell. one thing I did get out of it was to import all my 100nl hands I have played and figure out my optimal sessions. It missed out about 120k because I purged a ton of them by mistake in around march however the jist is enough considering the other 200k hands. I think the Cash Sessions Efficiency tab is useful but it doesnt do it by session, it does it by minutes played in a day, then calculates what your average bb/100 profit/loss was on this time period.

Here is mine:

User Uploaded Image

As you can see it is abit bugged because for some reason the sessions stated as 0 minutes appears somewhere in the middle of what otherwise appears to be a linear graph.

The main points I can take from this is that playing beyond 6 hours in a day for me is an open invitation to spew off a ton of money. Usually this means I am playing way longer in the day when I am losing. This is yet another re-enforcement to quit the session when losing 3 buyins because you just end up playing longer and ultimately playing worse and losing more. Cant argue with these facts!

The sweet spot seems to be at around 240 minutes where my average wr is 27bb/100 on a sample of 27 sessions, next is around 210 minutes with a wr of 21.7bb/100 over a sample of 41 sessions. Most interesting is that my w/r over 60 minutes is 6.8bb/100 over a massive 363 sessions. 

Interestingly out of all sessions over 360 minutes I have lost 15/20 and have a massive deficit average -46bb/100!

The hard data shows that it is best for me to play around 60 minutes then have a break, and then play no longer than around 4 and a half hours in a day. So what should I do? Pretty simple, do sessions of around about one hour, and do no more than 4 of these in a day. Also, if you get stuck 2-3 buyins, JUST QUIT for the session and do something else.

Anyway other than this, I think its a big disappointment so far so I have un-installed the beta of HEM2 and will stick with the original until it makes some drastic improvements

I've been thinking about learning 27TD after Schweig always seems to be putting up huge numbers in his blog every month, and I am also quite convinced after having looked on CR, BF, DC, Leggo and a bunch of forums that this game still has a big information gap from the experts to the casual players (lets be honest casual players at holdem are MUCH better and more educated than ever before) because there is less than about 25 videos on the whole of the interweb dedicated to the game. I have no idea about BR management for this game, but as it is a limit game I guess that I need about 400BB? If I start at 25c/50c will I be ok with $200? I am interested in learning 27TD just to mix things up, and I may even be good at it. Seems like its more of a logical game than NLHE (which I would argue is more about high levels of intuition) Although I could be totally wrong on that, leave me a comment with your opinion!

last and certainly not least, there is the issue of the US being downgraded from Triple A to AA+, this is fairly significant, here are two related videos

Oh and last last thing, UFC 133 tonight :)


Posted By Acombfosho at 08:51 PM


Tags: guess who

August 05, 2011

26 months later.. full circle

About 26 months ago I made this post The Ten Commandments

  • “Poker is a game in which you are rewarded for making good decisions and punished for making bad ones. The merit of your decisions is dependent on how well you process various types of incomplete information.”
  • What can be taken from this is therefore, as a poker player, you are a situation processor; There are many possible situations in poker, process them well and you profit.
  • Be well hydrated, fed, warm and comfortable. Have a desire to play and a desire to process the situations as best as you can. Play as much A-game as possible by consciously choosing to play less C-game. Play in a calm and relaxed atmosphere and with an analytical mindset.
  • Play in a positive mindset – play happy, play aggressive, put people to decisions, play within your roll, play positionally aware, power poker.
  • Set positive goals – doing goals.
  • Look for weaker tables, and leave to find better tables if your current line up is tough.
  • Play positionally – play PP’s (77+) and big suited broadways UTG, fold smaller suited connectors and gappers. Widen this from the CO and Button.
  • Put your opponent on a range of hands and narrow this range as streets progress, work out your plan of attack based upon this range.
  • Bet if you can get value from an inferior holding, or if you can get a stronger holding to fold.
  • Have a clean break from a session every 90 minutes.
  • 3 BI’ stop loss, if the fog has hit – quit!
  • Every session is a chance to improve, so review your hands and post those HH’s!

 I think that these are still true to this day. Its gone full circle, before I had these ideas, and ive learned and expanded on my thinking so much, read so many books, posted so many hands, watched so many videos, played so many hours, and it all again comes back to these rules. Ultimately I think these rules are for ME, perfect to my mind and how I play poker. Its been a journey I have enjoyed and now its time to move on. I am really pleased to say I have just got a job in Korea and am going to be teaching English there. It signifies a fresh start for me and I feel like Ive gotten the most out of DC that I can, so now im going to blog at Bluefire

Posted By Acombfosho at 05:09 PM


Tags: bye

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