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Poker Stars!/Negreanu’s Rise Back To The Elite Of Poker

Posted by Leatherass

I am proud to announce that I have renewed with Poker Stars to continue to be a team online pro. I am really looking forward to remaining with Poker Stars. I didn’t even give it a second thought when they asked me to continue being a team online pro when my contract was about to expire. I have considered it a privilege and an honor to promote Poker Stars in any way I can. I played on there for the vast majority of my poker throughout my career so it is great to be able to represent a company that I 100% believe in. I have had a few things come across my desk that folks have asked me to endorse and the bottom line is if I don’t think it is a great product, I am not going to represent it, bottom line. So when you get literally your favorite poker room to ask you to promote them, it’s like, “Duh.” Anyway, thank you again Poker Stars for this wonderful opportunity!

Cash games have gone really well this year so far, but I am still waiting for a tournament breakthrough. I have put myself in position late in so many big tournaments, it just feels like something great is about to happen. I just can’t envision getting so deep in so many tournaments with so many chips and not following through for a win in one of them at some point. Hopefully I will save my run good for the SCOOP series on Poker Stars that begins on May 8th. I am taking a vacation right before that trip to Bandon Dunes so I can recharge the batteries and get in a good frame of mind for the 2 week SCOOP tourney series. Fingers crossed I get me so me run good!

I have to applaud Daniel for taking on Isildur. That is one heck of a tough task that I know I sure want no part of. He is one heck of a heads up player and obviously has done well against some great players so for Daniel to take him on in back to back weekends was pretty cool. Daniel lost some money, but given how much work Isildur puts into his game and how little Daniel is able to focus on heads up online poker, I think Daniel did himself proud to win one of the 2 matches he played in, even though he was down money overall.

In fact, I have to applaud Daniel in general for his views on poker. He literally is the exact opposite reason of why I named my recent book Don’t Listen To Phil Hellmuth. One reason I named it after Phil is because I am tackling bad advice throughout the book and how to play correctly. And Phil not only dominated the list of pros giving bad advice, but he also still tries to claim he is the best player and how dare anyone question the champ? He is seemingly oblivious to the fact that may not even be a top 5,000 poker player anymore. Well, Daniel has been very vocal about how being involved in so many peripheral poker related things took his focus off his own game and a lot of people passed him up in the process.

But because Daniel is such a great and honest guy, he admitted this to himself and actually chose to seek out some of the better players, many of which were online players, and was open to listening to them. Not every mega star in every sport would be willing to admit something like this. But Daniel did and you have to give him a lot of credit for that.

Now I think it is safe to say to all of those people out there who were giving him a hard time after some of his public displays of less than great poker, Daniel IS BACK! I have observed him play a bit lately and he is really playing some top tier poker and that is apparent to many of the best players out there. He not only is playing really well, but as evidenced by his commentary at the PCA this year, he knows the “why” behind everything he is doing now which is maybe the biggest thing.

I am not going to make any bold predictions that 2011 will be a big year for Daniel because I think the primary factor involved in a big year for a tournament player is luck. Any tournament players’ year is pretty much going to boil down to how he runs over about a 500 to 5,000 hand sample size. And not only how he runs once he gets late in an event, but also how the cooler hands are distributed (are you #1 in chips and run KK into AA against the person #2 in chips which devastates you, or a short stacker with 4 blinds left?). So in no way shape or form would I ever make any sort of predictions in a game so dominated by luck, but let’s say this: If Daniel were primarily a cash game player where by year end you pretty much get out of poker what you put into it, I would say that he would almost undoubtedly have his best year of his career. He is playing the best poker I have ever seen him play and I am proud that the face of the company that I also represent is playing the kind of poker that is well deserving of the mantle he has earned. Nice work Daniel!

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Adjusting to Playing Live

Posted by hotjenny314

Last Friday, I went to play the $120 Venetian Donkament with some friends (congrats to Tony Guerrera for the final table, and Nick Bravo for taking it down). Now that I live in Vegas, I am playing live at least once a week to gear up to the WSOP and continue to learn how to most profitably gain from being a woman at the tables.  Obviously I have played a ton more hands online than live, and as I mentioned in a recent blog entry, it is my goal to play LAGier to profit from player’s misconception of me.

I have realized that I can profit on my image by getting away with attacking my opponent’s limps more successfully than my male counterparts. Like-wise I have noticed for a long time that I seem to have more fold equity in general when shoving (of course this is lessened somewhat when I have shoved a zillion times). In order to reinforce this image, I tend to show if I shove a hand on the top of my range, or show a single Ace without the kicker when I anticipate shoving much worse hands in the near future.

For example, at the Venetian Donkament with an effective stack of 12 BBs, the small blind, a nice dusty middle-aged guy in town for the concrete convention that had warmly been chatting to me about the rules of pinochle, limped into my big blind. I shoved Jack-Nine offsuit and he folded king-queen face up. I think I would very rarely get that fold online, especially considering the concrete guy was loose-passive. He even said “I have a hand, but I wanted to play nice with you.” Which I think happens quite a bit to me in live poker.

Last year at the Borgata I had been joking around with a slicked-back dark-haired guy a la Don Jr Trump to my right. It was folded to his small blind early in the tournament and he made an unprecedented and sloppy raise where he threw in a bunch of chips that amounted to about a 12x raise. I folded, and he showed aces and said “I don’t want to stack you-- you’re helping keep me awake at this table!”

So I really think there is something to getting your table to like you, whether you are a guy or girl (though I think that women have an advantage here). As a young woman at the tables, I am a minority among the players and I think men generally like talking to me (obviously not all good since there are a lot of creepy dudes out there), which I bet is true for a lot of the bubbly female players out there.

At every live poker table, I think it is natural to develop favorites and realize who the people are that we don’t really care for. Regardless of your gender, the lesson here is to never let how you feel about other players at the table influence how you play.  Furthermore, you should play with the knowledge that many recreational players will let how they feel about their opponents effect how they play, and you need to adjust accordingly.

One of the most important skills in poker is being able to make your opponents think what you want them to—usually this applies to making them believe what you want them to in terms of the cards you hold, but I think it also translates to live assumptions. If being a friendly woman at the poker table makes my opponents more likely to want to keep me at the table, then that is an advantage I feel very justified in profiting from, and my failure to take that edge would justifiably warrant me less respect as a player—male or female.

Detachment (PCA recap)

Posted by GiantBuddha

January 10, 2011 – Paradise Island, Bahamas. It’s 5:45 PM on Day Two of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. No more than 280 players remain out of the 1560 who entered the $10,000 main event. Only 232 of those players will walk away with money, the minimum payout being something like $15k or $17k.

With blinds of $1500/$3000 and antes of $300, I’m sitting on a $50k chip stack. That’s not quite small-stack life support, but my chances of a decent payday are fast dying off. In the past hour, my table has become quite aggressive, leaving me few chances to attack the blinds or even attempt to resteal. Every pot is raised and re-raised before the action gets to me. But not this hand.

I’m under the gun and look down to find a pair of black jacks. I make it $7500 to go and only the small blind comes along for a flop. He’s got close to a million chips, so he’s eyeing my stack like it’s an appetizer. The flop comes out 986 with a couple clubs and he checks to me.

My hand is strong enough that I’d like to get all of my chips in the middle, but shoving $43k into a pot of $20k seems unlikely to get my opponent’s chips in there keeping mine company. This guy has been very aggressive, so I try to bet small enough to give the illusion of fold equity – I want him to think he can push me out of the pot.

Before my $12k chips are even out of my hand he declares himself all in. The rest of my chips make it to the middle before he’s even reached for his. He flips over a queen and a ten. I flip up my jacks and ask the dealer not to give me a set. The king on the turn is safe, but the queen on the river ends my tournament.

I feel nothing. I’m not talking about that numb feeling where you’ve lost everything and your dog’s just died. I mean nothing. A double up would have almost guaranteed a cash for $15k or more, but the river Q elicits not even a blip on my emotional radar.

I shake some hands, exchange some “good game”s, and walk away from the table. I turn back to the table and quip to the dealer, “He had me covered, right?” This is worth a cheap laugh from the table and lets me feel good about how well I’m taking the loss. The tournament was fun (and a freeroll for me), and I now had six days of vacation in Atlantis, so there’s no reason I should have felt too bad. But shouldn’t I have felt something?

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New Leatherass on Poker Podcast, 3/29/11

Posted by Leatherass

Thanks to those of you who've been listening to the Leatherass on Poker podcast. It's going really well; couldn't be happier, actually, though I know it will continue to evolve and sound better and better.

To listen to this week's podcast, please click here.

Going forward, we’ll producing numerous podcasts every week, with better audio quality. We’ll also be bringing in some great guests and a cast of characters we think you’re going to enjoy. We’ll also be getting the podcast up on iTunes.

One thing you’ve been asking for is more structure so that you can skip ahead and move back depending on what you’re in the mood for: commentary, information on treating your poker like a business, strategy and/or analysis. You’ll see the outline for this podcast below, along with the hand I discuss at the end of the podcast.

Here is the outline for this week's podcast:


1. My commentary on the latest scandal at Ultimate Bet, which he considers a "predatory website";

2. The recent New York Times article on Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, and what we can learn from his competitive advantage;

3. The PokerStars/Wynn alliance, and the potential "monumental" outcome for American poker players;


4. I goes into further detail on his "100 buy-in rule," which he first espoused in my book, "Treat Your Poker Like A Business." How does it apply to part-time players?


5. We get into how mid-stakes games have changed since the buy-in changes.

6. We'll also get into the importance of win rate, and its relevance to evaluating your own game.


7. I analyze the following hand from my session Monday:

PokerStars Game #59967929958: Hold'em No Limit ($3/$6 USD) - 2011/03/28 14:28:49 PT [2011/03/28 17:28:49 ET]

Table 'Roswitha XI' 6-max Seat #5 is the button

Seat 1: PoorUser ($632.70 in chips)

Seat 2: kapie123 ($249 in chips)

Seat 4: carreir...a ($591 in chips)

Seat 5: Leatherass9 ($625.85 in chips)

Seat 6: Zyrak ($623.75 in chips)

Zyrak: posts small blind $3

PoorUser: posts big blind $6

*** HOLE CARDS ***

Dealt to Leatherass9 [3h 4h]

kapie123: folds

carreira: folds

Leatherass9: raises $6 to $12

Zyrak: raises $30 to $42

PoorUser: calls $36

Leatherass9: calls $30

*** FLOP *** [Js 2h Jc]

Zyrak: bets $60

PoorUser: calls $60

Leatherass9: calls $60

*** TURN *** [Js 2h Jc] [5s]

Zyrak: checks

proggrezive joins the table at seat #3

PoorUser: checks

Leatherass9: bets $523.85 and is all-in

Zyrak: folds

PoorUser: folds

Uncalled bet ($523.85) returned to Leatherass9

Leatherass9 collected $304 from pot

Leatherass9: doesn't show hand

*** SUMMARY ***

Total pot $306 | Rake $2

Board [Js 2h Jc 5s]

Seat 1: PoorUser (big blind) folded on the Turn

Seat 2: kapie123 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 4: carreira folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Seat 5: Leatherass9 (button) collected ($304)

Seat 6: Zyrak (small blind) folded on the Turn

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Goals Setting/Resolutions Series: Part 6

Posted by Jared Tendler

Resiliency– is all about finding a way through the things that stand in your way. Finding a way to get back up after getting knocked on your ass. Taking a step forward after taking 5 steps back.

It’s not possible to achieve something great without some challenge getting in the way. In the last blog I spoke about what these tend to be, and in this one I’m going to help make sure you’re successful in battling through them, so you can achieve your goal or resolution.

Resiliency is the work ethic you have when times are hard.

This skill is not unique to poker, so even if you develop it in poker, it can help other aspects of your life as well.One of the first obstacles that are often in the way is expecting to face no challenges. When dreaming of what you want to accomplish, it seems easy in your mind. But that fantasy isn’t real. Plus, what makes these accomplishments so rewarding is that you had things standing in your way, and you still won. When things come easily, it’s easy to take them for granted.

How you’re going to do that happens in a similar way as in step 3 only this step refers to the details of how you’re going to break through the things holding you back – whether internal or external. Often it’s nothing external that’s holding you back, it’s your own mental game. It’s your own issues that are standing in your way.

Here are some ideas how to do it:

  • Read your goals and the reason you want your goals, at the start of everyday.
  • Analyze each issue/problem that likely will get in your way and develop a plan of attack.
  • Create a daily routine that you follow at all times and especially when faced with tough times.
  • Think back to times in the past when you’ve succeed doing something very difficult and write about how you did it.
  • Get help from others. Just because it’s your battle alone, others can still help.
  • Put your head down and bear through it – remove additional distractions
  • May need to take a break. Pushing too hard, and backing off and resting. If you’ve only been pushing hard, a break is needed to build the mental muscle you need.

May need to readjust your goals. Think about how this time can be like having training wheels on your goals.

This is a tough, but necessary step. Many people think achieving goals or resolutions are easy or they hope they will be easy. Either way, they’re unprepared to fight for what they want to achieve.

Step 7 gets more fun as you look for ways to stay motivated and inspired.

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50k vs 50k hands: breakdown

Posted by peasantonpaper

i forgot about this blog for a while after realizing how little 100k hands actually is since many plyrs play that much in a month. well it took me five. i ran great early, not so great late but also didn't play too well in second half. overall i won 9bb/100, but that's 12/100 in first 50k and 6/100 in second 50k. at first i thought this was variance flattening out but.....
i did a stat analysis and noticed a glaring difference in my UTG play.

my UTG stats are like looking at 2 completely different plyrs for about 2200h samples each. i play in some soft games where open limping is fine even UTG but have greatly reduced this tendency by narrowing the gap between my vpip and pfr to within 1%. this also means i am not limping my big hands and L-3betting. in fact i went from an overactive 16% utg 3b (with mixed in bluffs obviously) to ZERO--not one 3b in 2k utg hands. not only that but my cbet% dropped 10% from 71to61in that position as did my crflop%. while my c-c flop went up and wtsd dropped 9%. my pf 4b% also got chopped in half. the difference is 20bb/100 from first 50k to 2nd (works out to over 2.2bb/100 effect on my overall winrate)

WHY? complacency mostly. i added volume so def started trending to for fitorfold poker in EP. also, focusing on my own positional advantage, i stopped doing enough to counter my opponents' pos adv. i started giving up OOP too often and just not fighting for pots enough (not L-3betting or 4b bluffing pf enough, and doing a bit too much ch-calling postflop and letting myself get blown off hands while not making as many aggressive 3barrels).

super glad i found this gaping hole that seeped into my game. obviously i will have to pay more attention to my EP and OOP strategy rather than just focus in on the soft spots and easy money in the game like i have been doing lately.

whatever strategy adjustment i will take away from the 100k hands i played, the most valuable thing to learn from is that i played only 100k hands in FIVE MONTHS.  focusing on volume in the second half did bring a change in the right direction as the first 50k took 3mo while the second took only 2mo.  hoping to get to 50 in one month soon but it will take a much more consistent effort on my part.  also worth noting....more volume is pretty useless if i am gonna be more prone to tilt and autopilot so def smth to work on.

wanted to include my graph but can't get it to load, it's in beats and a bit of both.  included AIEV line to show what a joke it is.


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It’s A Boy!

Posted by Leatherass

Yesterday I came across some truly great news. We went to the gender ultra sound and we found out we are having a boy! We have an 18 month old girl named Lennon and late this summer we will have another baby boy.

I have sweated some pretty big river cards in my day, but nothing compares to the sweat I had yesterday at the ultrasound appointment. The baby was positioned in such a way that made it very difficult to determine the sex. I sat there feeling as nervous as humanly possible while they tried to determine the sex. It took over 45 minutes of trying to before the ultrasound tech said it was a boy. I always dreamed of having one boy and one girl and my wife and I already agreed that we were only going to have two no matter what the sex. So this was an awfully big moment since I really wanted a son. When the tech finally said we were having a boy, that was definitely a moment I won't soon forget.

One thing that is going to be impossible is to find a name that lives up to our daughter's name. I don't know how many of you know about this story since I told this in my blog over 18 months ago, but we named our daughter Lennon after John Lennon. We picked out the name Lennon just a few days after we found out the sex which was about 5 months before she was born. She was due November 1st, 2009, but ended up popping out more than 3 weeks early on October 9th, 2009 at 10:24AM. I texted some friends to say that she was born and my friend and business partner, Scott, texted me and said that he couldn't believe that my daughter Lennon was born on John Lennon's birthday. I had no idea it was John Lennon's birthday and thought that was a miracle in itself that she was born on the same day as her name sake.

Later that night while my wife was sleeping, I did some research online and tried to figure out what time John Lennon was born. I discovered that John was born on October 9th at 624PM in England. 624 PM in England is 1024AM here in Oregon where Lennon was born, so they were born on the exact same day and time!! And I can prove that I picked this name out for her well in advance because I wrote an entire blog 5 months before she was born about how we picked out her name. So needless to say, that is a pretty extraordinary circumstance revolving around my daughter's birth, and I don't really know how we follow up on picking names after something like that! We have our work cut out for us!


Poker has been great this month so far. My results online and live have been excellent. Despite taking 2 weeks in March where I vacationed in Laguna Beach and played only a very small amount of poker on the trip, I am still having one of my best months in over a year poker wise. It sure is nice to rake in some big bucks on a short month with my vacation. I am going to get some graphs up of my results poker wise since I wrote Don't Listen To Phil Hellmuth. When I was writing that book, I really had to take a look at my entire poker game and examine it from every angle. In the process of writing the book, I realized that I had many flaws in my game. And since I am never going to put out a book that I don't think will truly help people in a tremendous way, I knew that I basically needed to rip apart my own game in order to write a good book. Sure, I knew I could just write down many of my existing strategies and it would still be an OK book, but I wanted to write something that I thought would be great, not simply OK.

So Paul Hoppe (Co author) and I broke down my game from every angle and rebuilt it. While we did that, we realized a ton of things that we felt simply had to be in the book. So this book is sort of a reflection on the evolution of my own game. And since I wrote Don't Listen To Phil Hellmuth, my win rate is the best it has been since 2007 when I won 10bb/100 (bb = big blinds) on the year over a million + hands. So far I am winning about 8bb/100 since my book was released in paper back. The crazy thing is, when I wrote Treat Your Poker Like A Business, I also had one of my best all time months the month following writing the book. When you have to break things down as much as I do when I write these books, it just really gets your poker mind thinking in the right direction. So who knows, maybe I will keep writing as many of these as I can simply to improve my own game!


Some notes. First off, the new podcast calledLeatherass On Poker is going really well. We are getting far more downloads than expected, so as a result we are going to take the show much more seriously. We are going to air the show more often than just once a week and mess around with the formatting of the show to give people more of what they want. It is exciting to be a part of this podcast and to see so many people liking the show. If anyone is interested in listening to the show, you can follow us here:

Our 30% off sale on all of my books is coming to a close at the end of the month. For those that missed it, we are running a 30% off sale in honor of my 30th birthday in March (it was March 6th). No codes are needed. If you go to the store, the discount is already applied. So far we have seen an enormous number of people take advantage of this promotion and I want to thank everyone who has.

I also started a "Hand of the Day" where I put up onfacebook my most interesting hand of the day (only on the days I actually play poker). Some of these posts are getting up to 100 comments on my wall, so I know people are liking this. With that in mind, I want to let everyone know who is not already my friend on Facebook, that you can simply friend request me and I will be sure to add you so you can be a part of the discussion. We get some great conversation going since I have over 4,000 friends on there right now, most of them poker players.

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Efficient Multi-tabling FTW

Posted by hotjenny314

One of the most valuable things I learned in culinary school (other than how to cook lol) was that being efficient is one of the most important skills in life.  In order to cook for hundreds of people you have to be efficient; likewise the amount that you accomplish in a day away from the kitchen ultimately comes down to how efficient you are. I would wager that there is a direct connection between how efficient people are and how successful they are in life.

Of course, efficiency is also relevant when it comes to poker. I was recently given some very enlightening multi-tabling advice that made me realize how much more efficient I could be when I grind online. A few things immediate came to mind:  I don’t play with MODs, hotkeys or tableninja. Every time a table pops up my computer freezes for a second because it can’t deal with me playing on 3 sites and having itunes and HEM running. I have to resize every table, and close the lobbies. I don’t play with mods, so that makes my eye movement from side to side for 12+ hours with really bright colors horribly inefficient for my eyes (and likely a large part of why I have recently had to get glasses). I have to scan every table to see how many players there are instead of that info being immediately obvious.

Honestly, once I realized all the inefficient habits I had multi-tabling, it tilted the heck out of me. I knew I should be playing on a 30” monitor, and that my beloved computer was spent from millions of hand histories and poker programs.

So, imagine my happiness when I woke up to a new computer with a fast i7 processor, a 30” monitor (along with one of my 24” ones), a gaming pad, special glasses to reduce eyestrain, and a pink Disney princess card all from my husband! It was the most thoughtful, sweetest surprise I think I have ever had. :)

Now I am working on finding the perfect table mods, and employing hotkeys (getting over my misclicking fear) and tableninja. There will be a bit of learning time getting used to it all, where I might not be able to play as many tables for a day or so. But the end result should be that I am able to play more than 24 tables without decreasing my ROI (and therefore increasing my hourly), and with much more time for difficult decisions.

Goal Setting/Resolution Series: Part 5

Posted by Jared Tendler

For many of you this is the most important step (by far) in making your resolutions stick. You’ve set goals, maybe even made a plan, but too often that plan doesn’t account for the predictable things that are going to get in your way.

When setting out your goals or resolutions, the likelihood that you can achieve what you’ve set out to do, seems MUCH easier in your mind than in reality. In your mind, there’s nothing stopping you. It’s easy – a straight shot between you and the end. You may even realize that it’s going to be hard, but what’s going to be hard doesn’t seem real…until you’re faced with your first roadblock. Then it get’s real – real quick.

At this point in the year, you made have already had your rude awakening from the illusion it was going to be easy, even if you have, take this advice and use to make sure you don’t hit more.

The big question you have to answer here is how much are you going to let these things deter you?

The greatest reason why resolutions and goals fail is old habits. When you’re trying to reach a goal, or create new habits in poker or your life, old habits truly die hard. You don’t live in a vacuum. Your old ways of approaching poker are gone just because its 2011 and not in 2010. They don’t disappear just because the calendar has turned a page. Plus, the inspiration you had at the start of the year, isn’t enough to carry you through to really reach your goals, because that inspiration is hiding your old habits.

If you followed my advice from previous blogs and know what your weaknesses are, that’s what you have to be on the look out for. Every time they show up, it’s a chance to reach your goal now, in a real way because only when these old habits are gone will have you have really reached your goal/resolution.

Old habits only disappear easily in your dreams. Reality is harsh until you accept it.

Besides old habits, be sure to also brainstorm anything else that you anticipate making it harder to achieve your goal. The purpose of thinking about this stuff is to make sure you’re prepared for what’s most likely to throw you off, so you can stay on track. It sounds simple enough, and really it is. It’s just that players don’t take the time to do a little extra thinking to be prepared.

They think it’s going to be easy, and when this shit completely throws them off, they make excuses. Excuses are easy. Goals are challenging…but nothing worth doing was easy, and the way poker is today, it’s no longer enough to just do what’s easy.

Don’t get discouraged by your old habits, or anything else that stands in your way, and in my next blog, I’ll give you some strategies to break through them, and make real progress towards your goals/resolutions.

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My first post hello DTB!

Posted by aggromonk

Hi I'm going to give this DTB blogging stuff a try.

Lately I was running pretty bad, no this isn't a bad beat story, *h*t happens. This is a story of tilt, and how running bad isn't bad until you let your tilt take over. Last night I'm playing 10NL, Oh I know $10.00 BI and I'm bitching about losing a BI. Nope, not even mad about losing a flip. What irks me, After losing a flip and getting in a couple of situations that tilted me. I started playing too many hands and wouldn't fold when I knew I was beat. This utter lack of self control cost me another buy-in. Culminated with me trying to bluff a guy off a flush hand at 5NL... Yeah you read that right, I should change my name to El_loCo_DonKey I took a break got my head back in the game, and made back about half my night losses. What irked me about that, I would have been good to go, if I took a break when I recognized that I was tilting. I even have myself on video saying "I'm pretty tilted right now! This *********R keep coming over the top of my open raises!" A tip you can really see some mistakes when you record your sessions and commentate what you're thinking and seeing.

My day job, I trade in the commodity markets, you can't get "tilted" about bad fills, or not getting filled at the price you bid, rumors hitting the market and spiking prices, it's all part of the business. The transition between my day job and poker *should* be pretty much the same with emotions. It hasn't! Perhaps it is because I'm aiming for perfection instead of optimal? These are questions I'm going to have to answer as I grind about in the micro's trying to learn my craft and control my tilt.

So my near-term plans are to stay at 5NL, work on my tilting controls before moving back up to 10NL and 25NL. For the time being I'm instituting a rule where if I go down half a BI in a single hand or series of hands in close proximity I take a break. On the flip side if I get up a BI I take a break and evaluate if I want to call it a wrap. Also I'm limiting the length of any given session to 45- 55 minutes. I notice I lose money when I play longer than that.

And with that, I'll see you around in the forums

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First Quarter Almost Through

Posted by Punky159

It's been a while since I've voiced in the forums, or in a blog. I've been busy with a lot of things to include a new grandbaby, shift change at work, and preparing presentations and studying for a promotion board to patrol corporal that you have to go through even if you don't want the promotion. I did a great presentation and review board and left some heads shaking when I inserted key phrases to show that my hearts desire was to work in the detectives division of our small department. It worked just like I wanted to, and I have a good shot at what I'm wanting and I didn't get corporal.

Now for poker, I still am studying and working on my game. In the first two monthes of this year I struggled real hard and dipped into the red which is frustrating because I knew I was on the right path. Well, I'm not playing as much as I was due to the aforementioned reasons, but I'm finding that I'm playing smarter with my limited time and am working the kinks out of my sometimes impatient personality. So it looks like March is going to have me finishing the first quarter of the year in the green, yeps, that's right I'm no longer in the red for this year and that's a big difference from my previous years of playing.

I'm pretty much playing primarily on Poker Stars, so if you look me up in Shark Scope you'll still see me in the Red which is fine with me and I think will actually work to my advantage. "Yes sir I am a donkey, I know it was silly for me to put in an extra 200 chips from the big blind to call your all in with antes of 400 and 800. I know I was real lucky that my J9s beat your 44 hand... yes sir, I know....." Believe it or not, there was a time where I would have folded that hand, but now with the help of players like QTip and Zero, I know that it's correct to call a bet like this with any two cards. So I think I'm learning and will continue learn, and by the end of the year, my goal of finishing in the green "WILL" be achieved.

Punky out

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The Journey from TAG to LAG

Posted by hotjenny314

When I first started out in poker, I was generally too tight. Fortunately though, I was also aggressive (TAG) which proved to be a winning style for me from the get-go.  However, lately I have been widening my opening and 3-betting ranges and been playing pretty LAG (loose-aggressive).

Playing LAG forces me to never play on auto-pilot, examine the other player’s ranges more closely, and think about the profitability of multi-street bluffs.

An example from yesterday's miniFTops Main Event, somewhat deep in the money:

Full Tilt Poker, $1500/3000 No Limit Hold'em Tournament, 9 Players

Hand Converter by the community
jeeper66 (UTG): $72,614
autumn1975 (UTG+1): $75,417
matiacio (MP1): $65,509
BigB39 (MP2): $97,465
ztar (MP4): $96,890
Emersom Biggins (CO): $94,052
hotjenny314 (Button): $104,937
GarlaEdu (SB): $114,322
oskaaar (BB): $79,749
Dealt to: hotjenny314
(1 folds), autumn1975 calls $3,000, (4 folds), hotjenny314 raises to $10,999, GarlaEdu calls $9,499, (2 folds),

Flop:($27,998) (2 Players)

GarlaEdu bets $12,500, hotjenny314 raises to $28,999, GarlaEdu calls $16,499,

Turn: ($85,996) (2 Players)

GarlaEdu checks, hotjenny314 bets $64,539 and is all-in, (1 folds), hotjenny314 returns $64,539,

hotjenny314 wins $89,596

So in this hand, I attach a limper on the button, and the SB calls.  SB was 16/16 (VPIP/PFR) on a pretty limited sample size. When Villian donks, to me it looks most like he holds 77s, 88s, or 99s (although it is possible that he has hit it really hard and is donking to look weak, as well as oddly-played draws.) That being said, we look deep enough to make a little over a min bluff-raise with the hope of taking it down right away, or at least gaining info to help us win the pot on a future street.

Timing tells also affected me in this hand.  He waited a long time to bet, which also made it less likely that he had a monster, as I bet he would have known that time-banking would look very odd. Also, if he has a strong hand it is very likely he would wait for my c-bet and check-raise instead of donking.  If he happened to have JJ, he would have most likely shoved on my check-raise. At least 9 times out of 10 donkbets indicate a weak made hand in my experience.

It also presents a hand that someone can likely be taken off of.  So, I raise, and unfortunately he calls.  However, the turn gives me an open-ended straight draw and he checks to me. At this point the pot is 85k and my stack is 65k.

Immediate Profit = 65k/(85k+65k)= 43%

This means that my opponent has to fold 43% of the time for me to immediately show a profit, which, given the range discussion above, I think he does.  It also doesn’t take into account that when he calls, I likely win about ~ 18% of the time (8 cards for straight draws are not full outs, since he could hit a higher straight or a flush, but the three aces are likely outs so I will call it about 9 outs.)

Looking back, I realize that I have been growing LAGgier for a while now.  This is partially a function of playing large field MTTs (whereas I started out in SNGs), but also because I have improved a lot in terms of post flop play, and putting my opponents on ranges.

Recently, playing LAGier has been a conscious choice as I look forward to the WSOP this year. Live, the common expectation of me is that I am perceived as a tight player.  I think it was in one of the Harrington books that mentions that you make the most money when you are playing the style that you don’t look like you are playing.

Therefore, I want to take max advantage of my tight image and exploit it at the WSOP this year. See you guys at the tables (where I will probably 3-bet you)!

Standard Play and Sculpting

Posted by zerosum79

Recently I’ve been focusing a lot on what it means to make good poker decisions. When we start out learning poker we are pretty much at the mercy of others telling us what is a “standard” play. We utilize other people’s knowledge to build a database of standard plays and start to try to incorporate them into our game. A lot of times this can be a treacherous path since if you are frequenting the free or pay forums sometimes even with the best of intentions you will receive bad advice. The best part about pay forums is that at least the people participating are a cut above the standard enthusiast and they are trying to work on their own games. Plus you have access to the pay forum’s coaches who usually have much more experience and are rarely incorrect in their advice. Beyond the forums paying for direct coaching is usually a good way to go because presumably a well vetted coach is going to be giving you mainly good advice.

However the question of what is “standard” is constantly changing. Poker is evolving and frequently people will state that the way to get ahead of the pack is to be looking for places to either exploit or go beyond “standard” play. This puts new players in a tough spot. Should they learn standard poker or should they be trying to get ahead of the pack from the beginning?

It is my honest opinion that what is standard is somewhat like a marble sculpture and we are constantly in a state of “almost done.” There are places where you can chip off more to make the sculpture more complete but doing more than slightly reworking what is already there is a mistake because it is likely to do more harm than good. Mostly beginners do not have the foundation to judge whether a non-standard play is profitable which is dangerous. To take the analogy one step further, their sculpture of a beautiful woman might end up lacking a hand or some other vital element if they decide that “doing this is different so it must be better.”

Usually in poker taking a non-standard line is actually giving up value. For example in a SNG, you might find that a certain shove is –EV but you are making it for the sake of creating an image. That image is an intangible thing of uncertain value. The –EV play can be immediately quantified. Its hard to judge whether a non-standard play would be good or bad.

Overall it is my opinion that the best thing a beginning student can do is to learn the basics. It’s not to say that they need to stay there forever but learning a proper foundation gives them the ability to be creative in a controlled way. It allows them to say, “well I know that the standard play would be to do x… but I did y because I felt that I gained some extra advantage for later in the tournament.” Without that proper foundation it is impossible to say whether taking the nonstandard line is a well calculated play or simply a mistake. In my next blog I plan to follow this concept up so stay tuned.

Good Luck at the Tables


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IFR training flight #8

Posted by sledghammer

I had my eighth instrument training flight lesson today. (If you don't know what that is, The training itself is a blast, and I'm getting the hang of it pretty well only 12 of ~40 hours in. Today we took advantage of the crappy bay area weather with a flight from Concord (KCCR) to Modesto (MOD) and back:

Route: KCCR Buchanan9 departure, PITTS transition, V108, LODDI, direct MOD (modesto).
Altitude: 4000 expect 5000 10 minutes after departure.
Buchanan field to Modesto
The departure procedure (Buchanan9 departure, PITTS transition) is just there to make communication quicker. It standardizes departures from Concord so that the controllers don't have to give detailed instructions to everyone leaving under IFR. It's designed to keep you away from the mountains to the west and east of the airport. If you're taking off to the south, left turn direct to the navigation aid (CONCORD, 117.0 CCR) then the PITTS transition has you fly east from there to meet the PITTS intersection.) From PITTS keep flying along V108 (an airway, which is just what it sounds like) to LODDI intersection, then direct to the Modesto navigation aid (MOD, which happens to be right at the airport:

Once we got to around the OAKEY intersection ATC cleared us to go direct to Modesto. We entered the clouds about halfway there and got into some heavy rain. The temp dropped to -1 C, and some light ice started building up on the airframe. I immediately informed ATC and they cleared us to drop from 5000 to 3000. The temp increased to 1 C, and the ice melted. Easy game. Here you can see some of the ice melting off the tire at 3000 after descending:
Ice coming off the tire

Before getting to Modesto we requested a Pilot Nav ILS approach for runway 28R:

The whole point of an ILS approach (or all of IFR, really) is to get you onto an approach course (below, it's the half shaded arrow looking thing) and safely bring you down to a few hundred feet so you can pop out of the clouds lined up for the runway. "Pilot Nav" means that instead of having ATC vector us into the approach course, we navigate ourselves by going direct from the northwest to the nav aid MOD (crossing at 3000ft) then outbound on the approach course (descending to 1800) then turning around and going inbound (descending to 288ft after crossing ZELAT). Below, you can see the top-down view at the top, and the profile view at the bottom.

After the approach we picked up a clearance to head back to concord using GPS: Modesto direct to REJOY at 6000ft for the LDA 19R approach into Concord. Again we picked up some ice and descended to 4000ft till we hit REJOY. You can't quite see the name REJOY in the below chart but it's the first waypoint going east to west.

The LDA approach into Concord is fairly simple, especially from REJOY. There is plenty of time to intercept the approach course and set up:

The following video starts just before REJOY over some windmills and clouds. At REJOY we are in thick clouds, with heavy rain and turbulence. Crossed REJOY at 4000ft, descended to 2500ft (you can see 2500 is the first altitude on the approach plate above). Left the clouds and kept flying west to join the approach course at JOAN intersection, and dropped to 1300. Now flying direct over the water into Concord. Once we hit the final approach fix (a marker beacon called KANAN that beeps when you fly over it) we descend to 380ft and go find the runway.


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If You Like Glenn Beck, Don’t Quit Your Day Job To Play Poker

Posted by Leatherass

I know many of you have been watching this Charlie Sheen saga play out and have probably been shaking your head from time to wondering what on earth he must be thinking. Although, who am I to judge? He is "winning" after all!

In my opinion, too much emphasis is being placed on Charlie and not enough on Glenn Beck lately. Beck is 10x as bat shit AND gives us new material virtually every single day. Beck is such a mess that train wrecks slow down to watch him. You know you are pretty fucked up when advertisers on Fox news want to distance themselves from you like 300 of them already have from Beck's show. Think about this for a moment. Companies used to associating themselves with FOX NEWS, think Beck is too far out there for them! These are the advertisers who are perfectly comfortable with Hannity, Coulter, Palin, Huckabee and other Republican State TV talking heads. Yet they are running from Beck. They should really have a Charlie Sheen vs. Glenn Beck battle where they both get up on a podium with a bat shit o meter and the winner is the one who can cause the meter to implode.

I was asked in an interview the other day what type of person I thought would have the best chance of becoming a great poker player. Was it an MIT math major, a doctor, college kid etc? I gave this some pause for consideration and the first thing that popped into my head was who was definitely NOT the type of person who would ever make it as a professional poker player. I have heard some poker players say that republicans in general have very little chance of ever becoming a poker professional because poker is basically a logic game and their hypothesis was that republicans by and large are not logical people and therefore would not make good poker players. It was argued that republicans stance on most things is ideological and often based on lies rather than fact. While this is often true, I argued that I know many good poker playing republicans and all republicans are not created equal. There are some who are simply republicans because they have a lot of money and like that republicans fight to lower their taxes (so you can call them selfish, but not stupid!). There are others who believe in what they think the republicans should, or used to, stand for but no longer do. They believe that democrats are sending us in the wrong direction, but are not happy with their own party either. So they still consider themselves republican, but they are not exactly watching Rush Limbaugh and hanging on every word.

Now that I have had some more time to think about and digest this question, I know I can for sure say this: If you watch Glenn Beck and really think he is spot on, I personally believe you do not have any chance of becoming a poker professional one day. If you believe that these are the end times, that Obama is with the terrorists, that Obama is racist, 9/11 victims are complainers, the only people affected by Katrina are "scumbags", that all Muslims are terrorists, that Obama is secretly trying to create a "master race" and many, many others bat shit insane things, then you can not win money at a logic game. You just can't. So I am not encouraging you to quit poker. I'm just encouraging Glenn Beck followers to sit at MY table!

I do think there are a ton of interesting ways to look at this question of what types of people make the best poker players. The #1 personality type that I think would do well at poker is a liberal college kid with a strong work ethic. While I do consider myself a liberal, I know some of you might be thinking I have a bias towards the liberal way of thought. It is not so much that I am biased in that direction so much as it is a matter of fact that to arrive at the liberal way of thinking, you are much more often using fact and logic. And while this may sound like an extreme stance to take, it isn't. I am just stating facts. If you look at the agendas of the two parties, one is grounded in fact, and the other is grounded in, to put it politely, not facts. When you are against climate change, think religion is a fact, pot should be illegal, online poker should be illegal, trickle down economics, tax cuts for the wealthiest people in a time of recession/depression/war, think immigrants should be shot, believe gay people can be talked out of it, think Obama is not a US citizen, think Obama is a socialist, and well, I could go on for about 9 pages here, but my main point is that to believe in these things, you have to ignore facts as often as possible.

Another type of person who I think would do great is a top attorney. I think they are very used to dealing in absolute fact as well having to present their arguments in a logical fashion. I can't imagine what would stop them from being good poker players. They are also used to working hard and late, which are other huge attributes to being a poker player. So I might just say that the ultimate poker player in the making would be a very good attorney. Liberal college kids I think are the demographic that are the most prevalent in poker today. It seems every time I play in the WSOP I sit with about 6 or 7 liberal college age kids. They are definitely the future of this game.

I think the whole debate on what types of people would do best at poker is pretty interesting. Poker is a very hard game unless you can ground yourself in a logical thought process. If you are someone easily paralyzed by fear or focuses too heavily on the highs and lows of this game, you are really going to struggle. So many people could be good at this game, but their own fears ruin them. They might come up with a great play that will bluff someone out of a pot 75% of the time on average. But when it doesn't work for them 3 times in a row, they fear that the play doesn't work and they abandon it. These are the things that ruin so many budding careers. So many people simply don't understand that this game is about pushing small edges thousands of times and watching that all add up to money in the bank. They get too consumed with the short term and get paralyzed by their own fears to the point that they self destruct at the tables. Much like in politics, in poker, you have to ground yourself in logic and fact as often as possible and you and many others will be much better off for it.

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Goal Setting/Resolution Series: Part 4

Posted by Jared Tendler

In the first two posts of the series on Making New Year's Resolutions Stick, I talked about what and why. Now we are going to talk about how: the specific actions you are going to take to achieve your goals and resolutions you've set this year.

Get Down to Details

To have any chance of succeeding this year, especially if you’ve fallen short of your goals in the past, you have to take a hard look at where you’re strong and where you suck…specifically around the goal. Only then can you make a realistic plan. Too often plans are made without really thinking about what you are and aren’t not capable of.

Let’s say your goal is to take poker more seriously and that means, playing 120 hours/month, work on your game for 40hrs/month, schedule your week, get coaching, and of course improve your mental game.

In order to reach that goal, you need to first know what you did last year. Even though you’re taking this year more seriously, looking at where you were strong and where you were weak, around each part of this goal, establishes your baseline. It’s basically what you’ve already proven you can do, and now the goal is to essentially fill the gap. So let’s say on average last year you played 80hrs/month, worked 10hrs/month, played when you felt like it and didn’t get coaching, nor work on your mental game.

Essentially the plan that you’re building is to help you to add the 40hrs of play, the 30hrs of study, getting a coach and figuring out how to best utilize that time, and figuring out how to work on your mental game.

On the one hand it may seem simple. It’s not, and that’s why many people fail to accomplish their goals or resolutions.

Be specific about what you need to be doing on a daily or weekly basis. Time wise, your adding roughly 10hrs of play and 7.5hrs of study to your week – which means that you now have 17.5hrs/week less of what you used to do. That’s a big chunk, especially if what you used to do was low stress. Plus if you used to play at random times, developing a schedule that works for you is a major leak. It takes experience working with a schedule to figure out what works best for you – when the best games are, how to prepare yourself to be in the right frame of mind, getting to sleep on time, avoiding personal distractions, and many more questions have to be answered. There’s a skill to all of it, and your plan essentially helps you to build that skill.

Many of you may not know what skills you need. That’s fine. Dive in and figure it out. Ask for help. Find out what others do, what works for them, what doesn’t, what problems they run into and how get around those problems. Ask several people, since everyone is different so you get a range of ideas, and begin figuring out what is going to work best for you.

Avoid getting caught thinking too much ahead of time. There’s little to no chance that you’ll get it right the first time around unless you already have a bunch of experience. So give it some thought and then go do it, so you can being learning for yourself what works and what doesn’t…it’s no different in that way than learning how to play poker.

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Back to the Dark Side…

Posted by zerosum79

I've been moving back into MTT SNG's lately. The competition is just much weaker at the mid-stakes than in 9 mans. The problem is that getting a decent volume of $24 18-mans is impossible at FT. They rarely load even during peak hours. This has gotten me thinking about moving to the darkside... ie PokerStars.

Although I think PokerStars has a lot going for it, the playerpool is noticibly better at the low stakes and their tournament buyin levels are weird. The real downside though is that you lose out on the steady stream of rakeback that you can get from Full Tilt. Unless you are a very high volume player, PokerStars rakeback is terrible. So I have spent a lot of time emphasizing to my students that when they are building their bankroll FT is a better choice. Now I feel like a turncoat.

However, there are some decent options for cashing out your rakeback at PS that do not involve hitting massive volume levels. As I described in my video on the "Hyperturbo 6max Satellites" on Drag the Bar, you can convert the VPP's to cash relatively easily. Even though you will not be getting the high volume percentage like you would if you were hitting Supernova or Supernova elite its still a viable option for lower stakes players. Just spend your VPPs on tournament buyins and role it into cash or tourney tickets for other events. Although the eventual payoff is less certain than rakeback on FT, its still a great way to go even for someone earning only a few thousand VPPs at a time.

So don't hate me for being a turncoat. Sometimes you just have to go where the games are.

Good luck at the tables!

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Maven Award Winners

Posted by hotjenny314

I'm happy to announce that I won the Blogger  category for Woman Poker Player Magazine's Maven Awards! Thanks to every person that voted for me. Congrats to all the winners and nominees!

The Woman Poker Player Magazine Maven Award winners from

How quickly things can turn around

Posted by ChipsFool

So last week I was moaning about getting off to a bad start in my poker career...well, the poker gods obv listened to me.

I have been playing well and running well. I have been on the good end of coolers, both with my hand holding up and getting lucky eg AK v KK blind v blind a couple of times.

Not to mention the times I get unlucky are against the shortstackers in the smaller pots.

I also played some live poker also this week and did a 3 way deal for £850 ($1350) each. I don't usually do a deal but it was becoming a crapshoot and 2nd place was £810 so with only 3 left and me being the short stack (8bbs), it was a no brainer deal for me to take £850.

Also, played a few small online tournies for when Im not having an intense cash far had a couple of 2nd's for a few extra $$$'s.

All in all, things are going well. I just hope I can continue to play good poker.

Good luck at the tables.

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$5k at The Bike Results

Posted by Leatherass

It's been a jam packed last few days for me, but I have had a blast. To wrap up my progress on the $5k at the bike, I ended day 2 in fairly bad shape with 70,000 chips. Going into day 3, there were 70 left with 56 getting paid and I needed something good to happen simply to get into the money and lots of good things to happen to get back in the mix of the event title. I got my wish by winning an AQ vs AT all in match up to go to about 125,000 chips on the first orbit of day 3. I then picked up some smaller pots to chip up to about 180,000. I got into another all in situation with my A7 against my opponents QT and moved up to 300,000 chips. Now I was really back in things and well above average stacked.

Unfortunately with 58 left, I got the money in with AQ from the big blind against the button's 99 and his 99 held. This took me back down to 125,000 and now I was in serious danger of bubbling. That basically defined the tournament for me. I battled to stay alive for an hour or two after that and eventually busted in 40th place earning $9,000. All in all a fine showing, but I am really tiring of pretty much never running super well in a tournament, so I left the casino still waiting for the day when it will be my turn to run like God in one of these things.

The next day I played in the Live at the Bike which is a 25/50 deep stacked NL cash game that is televised on the internet as well as some small TV networks. They show all of the hole cards and have great commentators so it really is a pretty exciting event to compete in. I played on the show for 3 hours and not a whole lot happened at the tables for anyone really. I got dealt a ton of unplayable hands, but made the most of what I got dealt. I made a few good plays and mostly the hands played themselves and I won $3,000 for the session. I was pretty happy to walk away a winner, even though it would have been nice to play an exciting pot.

Yesterday I celebrated my 30th birthday with a bunch of friends. We played golf all day, went to a dinner with a large group and had a great time overall. I did get a new nickname out of the deal as well. My friend Lizzy went up to the band that was playing and asked them to do a little birthday song and apparently they misheard her when she was telling them my name. So they did this little make shift birth day song and they said, "Happy birthday to Jackie, Happy birthday to Jackie, Happy Birthday dear Jackie...." So for the rest of the night and probably for some time later, I am being called Jackie by my friends. You can always count on your friends to never let an opportunity to tease you slip by!

Today I am skipping the Poker Stars Sunday tournaments. I don't skip them often, but after basically partying for an entire day AND being an old man now, I just don't have it in me to grind tournaments for 12 hours today. It's just not in the cards. I am definitely enjoying a little break from poker especially since I have a lot coming up ahead of me. I have a lot of poker leading up to the WSOP and then of course it's not like things slow down at the WSOP of course. So at least for a few more days while I am in Laguna Beach on vacation, I won't be playing any poker other than maybe if I log on for an hour because I want to for some reason. Not likely though.


I am going to keep posting this in my blogs for a little while since everyone is liking this so much. I am selling my books at at 30% off for at least the rest of March. Clearly there must have been many people who wanted my books a little cheaper than they were being offered because I have never seen orders come through for my books quite like this. We may even have to do another print run soon if they keep selling at this pace because there has been an unbelievable rush on our e store since the sale began. Thanks so much to everyone who has decided to use my books as a way to improve their poker games! I am honored to be looked upon by so many as a valuable resource to improving. It really makes all of the hard work I put in to writing these books when you see so many people writing you and sharing the successes they are having using the advice in my books. Thanks again!

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slow simmering tilt

Posted by peasantonpaper

i ran bad recently (notice i don't say 'i am running bad' as that is impossible--plus it sets up a negative attitude imo). it's actually been bad enough for me to post in beats/brags forum on consecutive days with smth other than a brag.

anyway in reviewing my marked hands i've noticed that over the last 10K hands or so i've been erring on the side of recklessness and taking higher variance lines in general.
emotionally i seem level headed and fine and yet my play has clearly been affected by beats in previous sessions.

another explanation for my higher variance (and higher fold equity) lines could be that i've been playing both 200nl and 100nl. im beating 200 just fine and playing well, adjusting to players and pulling out more of my weapons. the problem is i don't holster said weapons vs weaker opponents at 100nl and a play like 4b shoving a squeezer in big pot with JJ, while perfectly fine vs a blind with 8%+ 3b, is just gonna get killed by a guy with 2% especially if he's a 50/5 fish. in general the fish at 200nl tend to be a bit wilder and more aggro than the common passive fish at 100nl so being up against wider ranges makes for a lot more fold equity vs them.  but just bc it's right vs one type of fish doesn't make it so vs another so i am not reacting to players properly and (worst of all) repeating mistakes, this still points to a form of tilt. doing something u know not to do is tilt and i've certainly been guilty of this lately.

it's just really hard for me to pin it down bc usually tilt has big emotional flags and this slow simmering tilt just slips under the radar. i guess i just gotta focus more on pregame prep and not jump into games right away just bc i see some fish sitting. thought this was way too long for a forum post so blogged it, but if u have any experience with simmering tilt or any advice in general, any comments are appreciated.


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Officially Writing for WPT Magazine

Posted by zerosum79

I am excited to announce that I am now officially writing for the Wolrd Poker Tour magazine.

As you may know if you have been following my blog, a few months ago I wrote an article discussing chip utility for WPT magazine in a feature spot for Drag the Bar. It was a concept that I have been working on for a long time that resolves a certain paradox about the value of chips as they change in a poker tournament. The article was well received and landed me a more permanent position writing about Sit and Go strategy.

I am really excited about the opportunity to flush out some lesser known strategy points and do some in depth hand analysis. However, the first few articles will be discussing my signature concept, "Pivot Points." I want to lead off with pivot points because I think it is a crucial part of understanding basic tournament strategy and I also want to lay proper claim to the idea since even writing about it on the internet blogs is probably not enough to keep someone from swooping in and claiming my idea as their own. So I am planting my flag and staking my claim to it.

Anyways, if you have not had a chance to pick up WPT Magazine in the stores, I highly recommend it. There is a regular feature every month from different Drag the Bar coaches and you will also be able to get an update from me so I think its well worth a look, if not a purchase. ;)

Good Luck at the Tables,

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My 1st week playing full time

Posted by ChipsFool

As you may be aware I started playing full time as of last week, so I thought I would give an update on how things went.

Well, first of all, I had a nightmare transferring my bankroll to a new site (Got an new RB deal). My debit card didn't work so some reason so I tried to do a bank transfer. I made the bank transfer but nothing in my poker account...maybe it will take a few hours I thought, so I waited. In the meantime I check my online bank account to find that my account has completely naturally I started to crap myself. I get hold of the bank to hear that they closed my account due to the large transfer being suspicious. I assure them it is legit so my account gets reactivated...thank God! Now to go and play some poker....

FML....the money hasn't been transferred to the poker company yet. After an hour on the live chat, they tell me they are passing my info to the relevant team and I should await a response.

Finally after a few days they find where the bank transfer went and send the money to my account....happy days. Now I can play, surely I can't run any worse.

First day or 2, things are going well. Playing OK, running as expected...I could get used to this. As most of you probably know, poker always bites you in the ass when you least want it to. There's me hoping to play well, run well for the first month. Unfortunately, I only achieve one of those.

These last 2 days I think I have played some of my best poker for a long time and can I book a win...absolutely not.

If im not running my KK into AA (and losing) or my AA into KK (and losing) then I am running my big PP's into the mighty 5bet range of 57o (twice that bloody hand cracked KK/JJ). I am really pleased with how I played overall, especially the fact that I did not tilt one bit during these tough sessions.

In total I played 30K hands for 5 days, I am only 6 buy ins down, but 13 buy ins behind all in EV. Rakeback and bonuses means I have made a small profit this week but not enough if I were to have every week like this. Lets hope things don't carry on this way or we could be looking at a very short poker career LOL

Back to the grind and good luck at the tables.

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question for pros

Posted by jack

I have an outgoing personlity i will sit down to a game and like to get a loose aggresive image. I like to ahve fun at the table and make friends but I endup playing too loose and loose my money how do I maintain a loose aggresive image and play tight and still have fun. WhenI get used to a table I loosen up and play worse how can I be more profitable. I am a loosing player and need help

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Posted by jack

I hve an outgoing personality and when i sit down to a live game I endup playing looser and worse becasue I am having fun with the other players. I then end up ;oosing my bankroll how do I balance this? how do I use my personality to be aprofitable player. I like the loose aggreaive image how do I maintian that image and play tight good poker?

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$5k at the Bike Update

Posted by Leatherass

Today was truly unbelievable at the table. I am playing in the $5k Main Event at the Bike and I started the day at double the average chip stack with 116,200 chips. I ran a bluff that ran into the nuts that cut my stack down a bit and other than that I mostly just fought to stay alive all day. I looked back on the day and realized that I played over 200 hands and only entered 7 pots. So I played about a 3 VPIP today. I sat there stunned as there was literally no way I could even use my tight image to my advantage. Because I got 92o literally all day long and it would go raise and re raise in front of me. Or the UTG would raise and I just didn't really feel like 3 betting 92o and risk my opponent shoving all in and leaving me short stacked. I don't like to let myself get too low on chips in a tournament, so I really don't like 3 betting and folding with 20 blinds or less. Anyway, I am still alive and that is a good thing. We shall see if tomorrow brings better cards. Sitting in one place and folding for 8 hours is about as fun as watching paint dry. In fact, there was a point where I played about 4 orbits without getting a single card above a 9 and I got a jack ten offsuit and I swear to god it looked like the mortal fucking nuts. Then and early position raiser raised it to 6x the blind and I came to my sense and folded the hand. But I swear in that moment I was so jaded that if I had raised first and someone had 3 bet me I might've stuck the money in. I swear that hand looked like pocket jokers.

One thing I know for sure is that people love a sale. I have never seen more orders come in for my books as I have the last couple of days. For those that missed it, I am running a 30% off sale on my books for the month of March. The sale was inspired by my 30th birthday that just happened yesterday. So I thought I would spread the word on that because it appears there are a lot of people looking to take advantage of this.

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Nice Stack in $5k at Bike/30th B Day Today!

Posted by Leatherass

Yesterday I played in what was the NAPT at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. I caught a very lucky card to stay alive in the tournament and from that point on I really played well and got a hold of some chips by days end. I ended up with 116,200 chips which is about double average at this point. We started with 30,000 chips.

I don't really know much about the poker tournament scene to be honest. I was told that my table draw was absurdly difficult with a bunch of top internet tournament pros, but as a cash game player and having deep stacks, I am pretty sure I had a pretty significant edge on my opponents at this stage in the tournament. Once we get down towards the later stages (hopefully I make it that far!) then that is more where they know what they are doing and I probably have a thing or two to learn. In the meantime, I hope to get a hold of as many chips as possible before we get down to the point where I am less experienced.

As I write this I am playing in the Poker Stars Sunday $5M which looks like it will boast about a $12M prize pool with about 60,000 runners. This is pretty amazing and is definitely an encouraging sign for poker in general. Nice work Poker Stars!!

Today also happens to be my 30th birthday! Yeah, yeah I know. Playing poker on my 30th birthday lol. Because my B day fell on a Sunday and getting people together was difficult, I am going to celebrate it with friends next Saturday. It will be more fun to celebrate it on a Saturday so that way friends of mine who work weekdays can party it up and have fun.

Which reminds me, I decided to run a huge 30% off sale on all of the books I have authored for the entire month of March in celebration of my 30th birthday. So if you have been meaning to buy Treat Your Poker Like A Business or Don't Listen To Phil Hellmuth, then you can get them cheap right now. For the month of March, Treat Your Poker Like A Business is now only $27.99 and Don't Listen To Phil Hellmuth is $34.99.

In my obviously biased opinion, I think this is one of the better investments you can make in your game. Because we are a niche publisher and I have to take so much time away from my game to write books, I price them a little bit higher than most books so I can justify the time I take away from my game to write them. But at least for the month of March, the books are competitively priced with other books so I hope you take advantage of this offer. You can check it out here:

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The Prettiest Card (Villain’s Lament live at the Lair)

Posted by GiantBuddha

Here's a live performance of the first track off my band's upcoming CD. The song's called The Prettiest Card and the band is called Villain's Lament. It's about poker. Sort of. And sex. And relationships and all that jazz. Mostly it's drawing thin and wanting what's not good for you. It's sort of a shred filled pop-punk rock song.

The Dalai Lama on TILT

Posted by peasantonpaper

i got a Dalai Lama Insight of the Day Calandar as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. I tilted a bit in my Sunday late night session and couldn't even believe i made some plays. Anyway, after my session the 27th had become the 28th so i flip the page in the calandar and find this quote from the the Dalai Lama:

"If you become impatient and lose your temper, then you lose the best part of the human brain, judgment of the situation. Once you are angry, almost mad with anger, then you cannot make correct decisions."

haha this is about as accurate a description of tilt as i've seen. you get emotional, emotions override reason, you make bad plays u wouldn't have otherwise.  Just thought I'd share that with y'all.


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5000$ and a chair will rescue the disabled DJ from Berlin (#2)

Posted by MattElation




Win today: 66$
Bonus cleared: 250$
Rake: 92$
Rakeback: 18$

Total income today: 334$

I was up 270 dollar already, but then i missplayed TT and got a suckout with KK.

I´ve played over 2500 hands in 9 hours.

Worst Played Hand today

OnGame - $1 NL - Holdem - 10 players

LP: $100.00
CO: $151.40
BTN: $88.50
SB: $34.00
BB: $126.40
UTG: $111.00
UTG+1: $100.00
Hero (MP): $108.40
MP+1: $167.25
MP+2: $180.50

SB posts SB $0.50, BB posts BB $1.00

Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero has Ts Td

UTG calls $1.00, fold, Hero raises to $4.50, fold, MP+2 calls $4.50, fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, UTG calls $3.50

Flop: ($15.00, 3 players) 6s 4c 8s
UTG bets $9.00, Hero raises to $30.00, fold, UTG raises to $106.50 and is all-in, Hero calls $73.90 and is all-in

Flop: ($222.80, 2 players) 6s 4c 8s

Turn: ($222.80, 2 players) 3c

River: ($222.80, 2 players) Ac

UTG shows 4h 4s (Three of a Kind, Fours) (PreFlop 19%, Flop 85%, Turn 95%)
Hero shows Ts Td (One Pair, Tens) (PreFlop 81%, Flop 15%, Turn 5%)
UTG wins $219.80

Strangest Suckout today

OnGame - $1 NL - Holdem - 10 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 3:

Hero (LP): $124.35
CO: $66.85
BTN: $30.35
SB: $86.25
BB: $181.55
UTG: $260.65
UTG+1: $36.00
MP: $421.25
MP+1: $122.30
MP+2: $140.50

SB posts SB $0.50, BB posts BB $1.00, CO posts DB $1.00

Pre Flop: ($2.50) Hero has Ks Kc

fold, UTG+1 raises to $4.50, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to $12.00, CO raises to $66.85 and is all-in, fold, fold, fold, UTG+1 calls $31.50 and is all-in, Hero calls $54.85

Flop: ($171.20, 3 players) 4c 8s Qc

Turn: ($171.20, 3 players) Ad

River: ($171.20, 3 players) 9h

UTG+1 shows Qs Ah (Two Pair, Aces and Queens) (PreFlop 26%, Flop 18%, Turn 86%)
Hero shows Ks Kc (One Pair, Kings) (PreFlop 59%, Flop 63%, Turn 0%)
CO shows Js Td (Straight, Queen High) (PreFlop 16%, Flop 19%, Turn 14%)
CO wins $106.50
CO wins $61.70

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