December 17, 2009

Jason Campbell...Yes the Jason Campbell

Warning: this is a complete brag post.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post I’m in 3 fantasy football leagues. While I’ve hated being in 3 separate leagues I’ve done well in each of them. For those that play fantasy football you know how high variance all 3 can be, I’ve had some good luck this year and am in the semis of all three of my leagues. I typically have success in fantasy football but this year I’ve been fortunate that most of the guys I stayed away from were busts and the players I was high on did really well so I got really lucky in that regard.

One of my main rules is to never draft or spend too much on a QB in an auction. I’ve never picked a QB earlier than the 5th round and have never spent more than $3 on a QB in an auction. Sometimes this works (see Jay Cutler 2008) and sometimes it doesn’t (See Jay Cutler 09). When it doesn’t you have to inevitably end up scrambling for a QB, enter Jason Campbell. He’s going to be my starting QB in all 3 leagues this week. He’s not very good but has been playing well lately and has a good match up this week, home against the Giants. Also, while this didn’t effect my decision making he’s playing on Monday Night Football which is always fun as a fantasy owner.

Since I’m not sure if this will ever happen again, here are my starting line-ups going into the semis.

Redraft league, 12 teams TD Heavy

QB Campbell
RB Jones-Drew, C. Johnson
WR Ocho Cinco, Gates, Bowe or Harvin
K Akers
D Seattle

Auction league 12 teams, PPR (start any combo of 5RB/WR)

QB Campbell
RB Gore
WR Desean Jackson, Moss, Welker, A. Johnson
TE Winslow or F. Davis
K Kaeding
D Philly

Redraft league, DC league 12 teams PPR

QB Campbell
RB Rice, Gore
WR S. Smith (NYG), Colston
Flex S. Rice, R. Grant
K Stover

“That’s the paradox of success. The moment you stop to enjoy it, you are in trouble. You have to keep moving forward. It’s not what you have done that’s important. It’s where you are going.” Nick Saban

Posted By bosoxx34 at 05:48 PM


December 13, 2009

2009- A humbling year

In 2009 I was expecting to make a lot of money; unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. My poker goals for 2009 was to become a 5/10 regular, make 250k, and travel overseas , I fell well short of all three. Before I get started on my 09 tale, let me go back to August 2008. I had finished my coaching sessions with Jsnipes and contacted Vanessa about coaching. We got started and August was my second best month ever. I was playing 400 and 600 at the time and was probably playing my best poker. I was going to take one more month and become a 5/10 reg, unfortunately school started in September.

It was my last semester and I couldn’t wait to graduate so I could grind full time. However being that is was my last semester and I was out of electives I was swamped with school work the whole year and put in about 20k hands total over the next four months. In addition to that I was also withdrawing a large amount per month to get ready to pay for taxes and my monthly expenses. I also went on a trip to Tampa to visit my buddy and attend games 1 and 2 of the ALCS. In the meantime a lot of poker players were improving and I wasn’t, I didn’t have the time and I really don’t like poker enough to devote all my free time to it. Mainly I enjoy baseball and other sports much more than I’d rather spend my time reading about, watching, learning, etc. than reviewing or putting in hands.

Fast forward to January of 2009. I was sick of waiting for action at 400 and 600 so I decided to learn 6max PLO. I contacted Vanessa about coaching and we began our sessions. However, the only problem was it just didn’t click. After seeing how fast I progressed with Jsnipes when I first received coaching I figured it’d be pretty much the same with PLO. I started at 100, but moved up way too fast. I was still scheduling lessons, but didn’t see myself improving. However it wasn’t Vanessa’s fault I was consistently just putting in hands and not going over HHs, reviewing equities, watching videos, etc.

In addition to that, I’m convinced PLO can tilt anyone and it really messed with my head. I was making stupid plays, doing things that I knew were bad but did it anyways because I was below equity and upset with my plummeting bankroll. After struggling at 200 6max PLO I decided that the best way to recoup my losses was to move up to 400. There I played bad and ran worse, I think I finished January 15k under equity which isn’t even that much in PLO and besides at equity I was still only a BE player so I wasn’t setting the world on fire either way.

Disappointed with my results I decided to give Michaelsc a shot. Like Vanessa, I was learning a lot in our sessions but just couldn’t play well enough on my own. I was stuck so I decided the best way to get even was to mass multi-table 200. I had just learned the game about 6 weeks before and I was trying to 9 table and it just wasn’t going well. Again I was running bad but even if I was running at or above EV I wouldn’t have been profitable. It was very frustrating that after my first 2 months as a pro I was 20k in the hole.

It was around this time that I met ugotabanana who taught me HUPLO. This went much better as some of my HUNL skills translated over to HUPLO and I was actually a winner in these games. However I still had tilt problems. I learned an expensive lesson regarding PLO. You have to be incredibly stable mentally and/or overolled. Otherwise the swings are just too much for anyone to handle. Every time you get it in your opponent has some equity and it seems like they turn another backdoor draw every time. After turning a slight profit in March I decided to turn back to HUNL.

I had a great month oat 200nl on Stars, but I was just running insanely well. My game just wasn’t very good and for some reason my tilt problems carried over into HUNL as well. I was making money again so that was good, but the bad part was I discovered how tough it is to move up when cashing out a significant amount each month. This was my first year paying quarterly taxes and there was nothing worse for me than writing that check every three months. Also, I had it in my head that I still deserved to be a 5/10 reg. So once again I didn’t study and didn’t improve.

This really caught up to me over the next 3 months I was a slight winner but was just awful. My non-SD winnings were terrible and I was playing fit or fold. I faced one of insyderrr’s students while he was sweating him and he IMd me afterwards and as politely as he could basically said “dude, you’re terrible”. That actually helped, as after September I finally decided I was going to devote myself again. Someone else telling me my game needed a lot of work was huge. However due to cashing out, I was barely rolled for 100nl at this point.

In the meantime, I was succeeding in the other areas of my life. My students were progressing; in fact my most successful batch of students came along when I was playing the worst poker of my career. For some reason I couldn’t focus when I was playing but when I was teaching, sweating, or reviewing HHs with a student I was locked in. This was incredibly frustrating to me since I realized how easy it was to be successful if I just was able to focus while I played. But I couldn’t do that and that led to me playing super spewy.

As far as baseball coaching, I was received hitting lessons online from DC member Oneilsurfer who is absolutely sick as far as hitting instruction goes. Anyone who lives in California with a son or daughter that plays baseball should go to him. Anyways, partially due to him the varsity team in which I’m assistant coach on went 2-16 the year before hitting 3 home runs the whole year improved to 15-7 hitting ~ 17 home runs as a team. In addition we lost in the sectional semis to the eventual state champions 4-3 in 12 innings. Also, my legion team which was 4-18 the year before finished 15-7 one game out of the playoffs. Although I got a little lucky as one of the neighboring towns didn’t have a team so my team was much more talented this year.

So everything else was going well besides actually playing poker. I was actually pretty close to online busto I hardly had enough to be rolled for 100nl. In October I finally watched Tommy’s series and took notes on every episode. I also studied my hands a ton and took notes on a bunch of HU videos. I had my first 10k month in a year and thought I was back on track. Despite that my tilt started to re-appear . Also, when I tilt I tend to tilt-cashout. While I was still making money it wasn’t nearly what it should’ve been and I was leaving myself underolled. Basically that sums up November and December so far.

All in all, I’m probably making 2009 sound worse than it is. Overall I made about 50k (PTR for some reason misses all my heaters), unfortunately a lot of that went to the US government. Sorry no graphs my computer just died last week and am in the process of retrieving all my hands. The good news is taxes won’t be nearly as high for me this year, the bad news is because I didn’t make nearly as much. For 2010, I’m starting fresh and presenting myself with some new challenges.

I’m cashing out all but enough for a roll at 50nl. For the first time since 2008 I will be overolled for the stake I am playing. This means I won’t be checking my cashier every 5 seconds. I won’t be looking at HEM every time I get unlucky so I can complain to myself how bad I run. I now am able to fold hands I should and make good quits. This year I was in such a hurry to get back to 5/10 I would continually play as an awful station just trying to build up my roll again.

I’ve started to meditate and it seems to help but I need to get on a better schedule. I’m inconsistent with the times of the day I do it and how long I do it for. It does seem to work though and really makes you feel good by the end of it.

I’ve never played 50nl before, so it is very humbling to drop all the way down. On the other hand I’ve taken approximately 10 students from 50 to 200+, I figure I should be able to do it myself. In reality the biggest thing for me is being overolled and not thinking I deserve to be playing higher. While 2009 wasn’t fun for me poker wise it was a learning experience and hopefully one that will make me a better player in the end.
Some random tips I’ve decided to throw in at the end. Many can be found throughout this blog post however I figure it would help to reiterate them

1) Don’t tilt- As easy as this sounds it costs a lot of people a ton of money. Basically everyone has trigger points that make them go off the deep end. Identify those and as soon as you see one of those creeping up, make it a goal to quit. It takes time, saying you’re fine when you know you’re not is only going to cost you a bunch of money in the end.

2) Being comfortable with the stakes you’re playing. I’d be willing to bet 9 out of 10 poker players would beat a random level if they were overolled compared to underolled. The swings are just much more impactful to your bankroll. This seems obvious but I see it a lot with people taking shots. I can’t stress how much easier it is to make the right play with 75 BIs as compared to 13. It just makes it much easier to fold top pair when it’s obvious you’re beat.

3) Invest!!! I graduated with a degree with a concentration in personal financial management. I’m amazed at how many poker players that make a lot of money don’t invest in the market. I’m not talking about individual stocks, more so retirement vehicles and mutual funds. This is a perfect time for many poker players to start investing as they have plenty of time to watch it mature. While I understand the allure of taking a trip or spending wildly is there the best time to invest is now, even if it’s just a couple bucks every month.

Now that’s not to say there aren’t bad investments out there. I recently wasted a good amount on a policy I thought was a good investment that wasn’t (that’s a long long story). There are a ton of tools out there and the extra cash you have would be much better served in a ROTH IRA than sitting in checkings or savings. If you’re bored, do some research on the time value of money.

That’s all I can think of for now, I’m sure there’s more but those three are pretty obvious anyways as well as anything else I could come up with. As far as goals for 2010. Firstly, I’m going to start treating this like a job. I hardly put any hands in this year and played 0 hands in a day this year many more times than I played 1000. My goal is to play 20 hours a week. I might struggle with that but even if I can play 15 that’ll lead to a lot more hands and hopefully a lot more money.

Also, I won’t move up a level unless I’m properly rolled. I know I can beat 100HU for a solid rate so I’m going to move up there once I reach 50BIs. After that I’m not going to move up to 200 until I have 75 and 400+ I’m going to need 100 BIs. Furthermore by being overolled it should limit my tilt problems and lead to a higher win rate. I’m not going to set any monetary goals as I tend to play really bad when I try to do that. My ultimate goal is to become a 5/10 reg by this point next year. I’m really not sure if it’ll happen but I’ll give it a much better effort this year than last.

Bruce Dickinson: Easy, guys.. I put my pants on just like the rest of you — one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I make gold records. [ the group laughs ] Alright, here we go. “Fear… Don’t Fear the Reaper” — take one. Roll it

Posted By bosoxx34 at 11:54 AM


December 10, 2009

Taking a break from Coaching

I’m going to stop coaching for a while, basically I’m just burned out and want to relax a bit and just focus on my game. To me at least coaching is much more stressful than playing, especially live sweat sessions. I put more emotionally into my students swings than I do my own, especially when a student is on a big downswing. I’m not sure how other coaches feel but it can get mentally exhausting for me at least.

I was fortunate to get into coaching at the right time. It was right when DC needed a small stakes HU coach and I was lucky enough that my first two or three students worked incredibly hard when my program was very green. They also helped it to evolve and forced me to improve as a coach. It’s very satisfying to help someone from 50nl move up to 200nl and to see their poker mind evolve along with the change in stakes, however it just feels like it has become more of a chore than something I enjoy for the time being.

I’ve had a number of great students the past couple years, many of which I still keep in contact with today. Some still play poker, some have moved on and are achieving their goals outside of poker. I’ll probably get back into it in 3 or 4 months and I’ll probably change my program around a bit. Maybe start a coaching/staking program for a couple DC members at 50nl.

On the poker front, I was excited to play 45k hands this month unfortunately I started the month with a 20BI downswing and am just about getting back to even. Reviewing my play I was making some awful river calls (hint, top pair isn’t always the nuts). Luckily I still have 3 weeks left to work with.

Principal: Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Posted By bosoxx34 at 10:44 PM


December 06, 2009

Sunday's are Awesome

  • During Football season Sunday’s are my favorite day of the year. For one, I self-exclude myself so I don’t even have to think about playing poker. Then thanks to NFL ticket I just lounge around all day and watch the games following my fantasy football teams and bets. This basically goes on from noon-midnight and it’s probably the most relaxing day of the week for me.
  • Speaking of Fantasy football, I’m currently in 3 leagues and am 7-5 in all three. Fortunately I’ll be in the playoffs in every one and am the points leader in 2 of those three. However, I’ll never be in three different leagues again. I’m constantly rooting for and against the same players and it’s just a hassle. Now with playoffs right around the corner I’m sure there will be some huge conflicts for me. Anyway hopefully I can get lucky enough to make the Superbowl in 2 of 3 leagues (preferably the DC league since that’s my most expensive one)
  • I’m going to struggle to get 45k hands. I’m slightly under pace but it really seems like a chore to me. Hopefully it gets easier to play longer/more sessions as the month rolls on.
  • John Wall, PG on the Kentucky basketball team is the real deal. I got a heads up from a former student who is a college basketball coach saying he is the most polished coming out of high school since Lebron. I had only seen highlight tapes of him but he was amazing today against UNC. I’ll be sure to watch every UK game I can the rest of the year.
  • As mentioned in the previous paragraph, my former student (Doug Nichols) is an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin. In my coaching questionnaire that I give out to my students he said his goal was to become a head coach for a D1 program. I’ve kept in touch with him for the last 18 months and he’s on his way. SFA had a big win against Cal St. Fullterton to go to 6-2 on the year. I’ll be updating everyone on their season as the year goes on, good luck Doug.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
-Winston Churchill

Posted By bosoxx34 at 09:49 AM


December 02, 2009

New Title

Hey guys, decided to make a new title despite the overwhelming popularity of “a blog by bosoxx34”. The new title is from an episode of this past season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Since math is obviously highly relevant in poker I figured it’d fit well.

As far as my prop bet, I’ve decided to stay at 100nl for the month. I’ll have a much longer post about my 2009 in about a week or so but right now my normal stakes are 200 and was planning on making the jump to 400 this month however I can’t 4 table those while still being profitable. Add in the fact that I’ve had some tilt problems in the past especially when 4 tabling and I don’t tend to play super long sessions, this is best for my making the 45k hands and making money.

While 200nl isn’t insanely difficult, I can’t play more than 2 tables at a time profitably whereas I have no problem 4 tabling 100nl and making money and continuing to play my A game. I’m not sure why it’s like that but I have no problem staying at 100nl for one more month and playing 200 and 400 after the first of the year. What I’m losing by dropping down I’m gaining by playing more tables.

As far as meditation goes. The short term results are good, I’m much more relaxed. I didn’t realize it at the time but when I was all in, I would stop breathing. Sweating the cards I needed to hit or needed to fade. Or if I knew a card would be awful for me on the turn or river I’d stop breathing before I saw it. The last couple days I’ve focused on my breathing while playing and don’t flinch when a good or bad card comes. Now when I say stop breathing it’s nothing drastic but it does cause the body to tense up and can’t imagine the future effects are good. Hopefully the results continue as its only been a couple days but it’s encouraging so far.

The only bad part about meditation is that I’m the least flexible person of all time. I couldn’t even pass the sit and reach fitness tests in gym class growing up so despite the mediation bench my quads still feel like they’ve gone through a workout by the end of the session.

My favorite show is on tonight, Friday Night Lights. This is the fourth season and it’s in my opinion the most underrated show on television. Fortunately I have Direct TV so I can watch it before the NBC viewers but if you haven’t seen season one, do yourself a favor and buy it on Amazon. While future seasons aren’t as good; season 2 is mediocre and season 3 is solid (season 4 so far is very good) the first season is just outstanding television.

It looks as though we’re getting closer to a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao mega fight. As a huge boxing fan I’m ecstatic. This should be a very good fight as Mayweather is probably the best defensive fighter of this ear while Pacquiao offense is tremendous. Also, the 24/7 leading up to the fight would be incredibly entertaining.

College Basketball season is in full swing. I’m personally a Michigan fan, but my father has season tickets to Syracuse so I’m not really a die hard of any team. I root for both and am disappointed when they lose but I don’t get anywhere near as wrapped up when I’m watching the Redsox. I also adopt a team every couple of years. For example I became a fan of Marquette Dwayne Wade’s sophomore year, then I followed Villanova when they had Foye, Ray, etc. And the past couple years I can’t help but root for Purdue. Basically I’m a college basketball fanatic and am really excited for the year.

Dewey Finn: Give up, just quit, because in this life, you can’t win. Yeah, you can try, but in the end you’re just gonna lose, big time, because the world is run by the Man. The Man, oh, you don’t know the Man. He’s everywhere. In the White House… down the hall… Ms. Mullins, she’s the Man. And the Man ruined the ozone, he’s burning down the Amazon, and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a chlorine tank! And there used to be a way to stick it to the Man. It was called rock ‘n roll, but guess what, oh no, the Man ruined that, too, with a little thing called MTV! So don’t waste your time trying to make anything cool or pure or awesome ’cause the Man is just gonna call you a fat washed up loser and crush your soul. So do yourselves a favor and just GIVE UP!

Posted By bosoxx34 at 10:33 PM


November 30, 2009

First Post- Random Thoughts

Hey guys, hopefully this will be the first of many blog posts. I’ve started 2 blogs before that have lasted a couple months each but writing seems to be a good escape from poker for me so this should last a little longer. The blog will consist of my thoughts about sports, poker, and whatever else is on my mind. Here’s a bunch of recent events/random thoughts

  • My friend recently sent me a googlewave invite. My first thought are that it’s very overwhelming. However once I get used to the features it should be very cool to use, it’s like E-mail on steroids. I do have a few extra invites so if you want one, let me know.
  • I’m doing a prop bet with Jason Paster (Pasterbator) for the month of December. I have to play 45k hands and he has to play for 65 hours. I’ve never played 40k hands in a month before so this should be challenging. However, instead of coming up with excuses not to play I’ll be forced to. My monetary goal for this month is at least 10k. Realistically I’d like to make more but I’m not sure how well I’m going to play putting in longer sessions consisting of more hands.
  • I’m currently on a diet with the goal to lose 15 pounds in 2 months. Realistically it shouldn’t be that hard however I have the worlds biggest sweet tooth. I’m currently at 188 and have been around 175 a few times the past couple years but I tend to yo-yo. Basically my diet consists of eliminating junk food, exercising for 30 minutes a day 5 times a week, and cutting every major meal I eat by 1/4. It’s probably not the most efficient way to diet but it’s worked before so I’m going to stick with it. It is amazing how difficult it is to stay motivated to stay in shape when not playing a sport.
  • After reading Tommy Angelo’s meditation 101 on his website I’ve decided to buy a meditation bench and zabuton off of amazon. Since watching his series on DC I’ve been much better in regards to playing my A game and not tilting so I’d figure I’d give this a shot too, cant hurt.
  • I’m stoked about tonight’s Monday Night Football game. So many times later in the year we get a worthless game (See Ravens-Browns) but tonight’s game should be very exciting. I personally don’t care who wins the game as long as Devery Henderson doesn’t gain 120 yards and/or score a TD.

Something I’ll also do at the end of every blog post is add a quote (With the exception of my random youtube video posts). These will be completely random and consist of famous quotes, movie exchanges, etc.

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”
- John Wooden

Posted By bosoxx34 at 09:05 PM


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