Important Forum Announcement

Notice: Due to a website error, I had to revert to a backup of the forum, so some user accounts and posts were unfortunately deleted. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Markku's Poker Blog
My road from loosing Micro Stakes player to High Stakes winner
July 26, 2016
12:01 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

26.7.2016

Today I made a deposit of 10€ ($10.71). I play at NL2.

My first intermediate goal is to achieve NL5 within 3 months. That requires a bankroll of 150 dollars. This means that I have to have a winning rate of 30bb/100 on average playing 300 hands per day. I consider it realistic at the lowest stake especially for the reason that I play only one table. I feel multi-tabling confusing and harmful from the point of view of learning.

Without further ado, I had better to start now.

 

– – – – – – – – – –

First day update 26.7.2016

Hands played:   92    

Flop seen:          14 (15%)

Bankroll:           $12.54 (+$1.83)

(Win rate: 99.5bb/100)

– – – – – – – – – – –

July 26, 2016
4:19 pm
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Nice to see your blog on the forum. I think getting to 5nl is a realistic goal; however, I don’t think 30bb/100 is a sustainable win rate even at 2nl…so I would aim for something like 12-15bb/100 which is still crushing it but more realistic…especially with negative variance downswings.

Question: Are you playing normal tables or Zoom one-tabling? I would assume Zoom otherwise you’d be playing 7+ hours a day trying to get in 300 hands. If you are playing Zoom I would highly suggest getting of the speed tables and 2-tabling regular games instead…because they are a lot easier to beat due to lots more fish being at those tables.

Hope your bankroll and 5nl challenge goes well!

July 27, 2016
4:13 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You are right Alton. Three hours is the maximum per day for me to be able to focus on the game. And 10+bb/100 is really good rate but 30bb/100 is something I’m aiming at.

I play normal tables and only one table. That means that I play up to 180 hands per day at the most. Now I am experiencing an upswing but when the downswing comes, well I have usually lost my whole bankroll no matter how big it has been.

That’s why I opened the blog here. To force myself always play the best play I can. As BlackRain79 wrote: “It might sound cliche but goal setting is one of the most important ways to keep yourself motivated to do anything. But even more important is setting public goals.”

– – – – – – – – –

Update 27.7.2016

Hands played: 92     Flop seen: 22 (22%)       Winnings: 116bb/92 hands       Bankroll: $14.86 (+$4.15)

– – – – – – – – –

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

July 27, 2016
9:58 am
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I agree, setting public goals holds you accountable and so you’re more likely to complete them. I would challenge you to set further “stretch” goals in addition to your win rate and 5nl goal. Set some specific poker goals, such as “I will improve my thin value game, etc.”.

Also, definitely post your graph and some hand histories for us to see on some interesting / tough hands you encountered.

Cheers!

July 27, 2016
11:54 pm
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I will set some further goals later, but right now I do not dare trying to improve for example my thin value game, because I am playing against the worst players of the world. Although at FullTilt/PokerStars the players are not so terrible as perhaps at other sites and are at least somehow predictable/readable, I still wouldn’t challenge a fish without strong value or at least SDV.

I should like to post a graph, but the problem is that I don’t have PT4. Late last year I had HM2 on a 30-day free trial, but it was premature since I didn’t understand anything of the entire program. I have now thoroughly studied the HUD stats and HUD stat correlations. It helps me to understand how my opponents see me when they are using a HUD. This spring I had also a 30-day free trial of the PT4, but it didn’t work on my computer. Maybe it was a Windows 10 problem I don’t know. It just halted my whole computer.

– – – – – – – – – –

Update 28.7.2016

Hands played: 79      Flops seen: 21(26%)      Winnings: 135bb / 79 hands      Bankroll: $17.56 (+$6.85)

– – – – – – – – – –

July 28, 2016
4:39 pm
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You should always be on the lookout for areas to improve your game and put focus on those. So I think its important that you always do so.

As for thin value, fish are the perfect target because they’ll call with tons of terrible hands. So you should be going for thin value when you think you can get called by worse. Also, when I’m talking about thin value, I’m not saying betting insanely thin, but thin such as with hands like top pair with a crappy kicker, middle pair with a strong kicker, etc.

Nice to see you’re up close to 3 buy-ins. cool

BTW – check out Free Poker Database. You can use it to import your hands and view your stats and graphed results. Its kinda clunky, but gets the job done…plus its free and there is a long-running thread regarding it on 2+2. I used to use it before I purchased Poker Tracker 4.

http://fpdb.wikidot.com/

July 28, 2016
11:43 pm
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It’s been a very good session.

From the beginning I was dealt cold cards, there were only a few small pairs in between, so I carried out set mining. How disastrous the hitting of a set can be! I lost two buy-ins. And it was getting even worse. If the cards would have been tangible I would have had to use winter gloves. But around 469th deal I started to get better cards, I was dealt an AK suited – and lost another buy-in. Soon after that I got AJ suited on the button with the result that I lost my fourth buy-in. I wasn’t even on square one, I was beyond and I was desperate. I had lost four and a half buy-ins, which is big money to me taking into account my small bankroll in the first place. But 521st hand was an AT of clubs on the button and I called an early positon raise. The flop was a T and two clubs. The opponent went all-in with a pair of queens (as they usually do) and I thought, it’s now or never, and called with my 13 outs and I hit the flush on the river. I was back again.

How come that kind of session can be good? Well, the really good thing was that I did not cross the Mike Caro’s Threshold of Misery, that every cent meant a lot to me. I didn’t start to spew chips around. That’s what I am proud of.

– – – – – – – – – –

Update 29.7.2016

Total hands played: 910     Win rate from the beginning: 25bb/100       Current Bankroll: $15.18

– – – – – – – – – –

July 29, 2016
11:45 pm
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I will install the Free Poker Data Base to make it possible to post some kind of graph here in the near future. I checked from the PokerStars that the FPDB is a permitted program. I did it because I already have a warning from PT which I got when I had unintentionally the PokerStove running in the background on my computer and I didn’t notice that when I logged in the FullTilt. So I can’t afford any further mistakes.

– – – – – – – – –

Update 30.7.2016

Total hands played: 1074      Win rate from the beginning: 30bb/100      Current bankroll: $17.24

– – – – – – – – –

August 2, 2016
5:22 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The Free Poker Data Base is trickier to install than I thought. After two days of efforts it’s still not working. Right now I don’t know what to do. But I am confident that I can get it to work one day.

[We Finns are quite trustful people: according to the European Council’s latest barometer 94 % of Finns trust the Finnish Police and 91 % of Finns trust the Finland’s Defense Forces (as we call the Finnish Army).]

My game is a little bit messed up due to the installation project. I started the whole project only to get some graphs to show here in the first place.

I will update my results later when I’m calmed down and played seriously without trying to get the HUD data on screen.

August 2, 2016
10:30 am
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I agree..it can be a hassle to set-up! I ran through similar issues as you trying to set it up. Did you visit the 2+2 forum for it? If not, I’d check it out and reach out for assistance there:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo……-a-273001/

August 4, 2016
1:22 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I think I have to stop playing for a while. There are other things on my mind which bother me so that I can’t concentrate at the poker table. When I am so absent-minded I make mistakes that put my tiny bankroll in danger.

I’ll be back when I’ve got a grip of myself and have a sufficient degree of confidence in my own abilities.

In the meanwhile I’ll study thoroughly the Alton Harding’s course “Crush Micro Stakes Online Poker: The Complete Mastery Guide”, which has been waiting for too long a time to be done.

Until then…

August 4, 2016
8:58 am
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Markku – nothing wrong with taking breaks. I actually haven’t played a single hand of poker in 2+ weeks simply because I’m not motivated to play and other things are taking up my time and interest outside of poker.

If your confidence is suffering, taking a break is a great strategy to (1) put poker into perspective with your entire life, (2) study off the tables and analyze your game to help improve it, and (3) motivate yourself to start playing again. I always get the bug to start playing again after a break and I tend to be much more level-headed as well.

Hope your break goes well!

August 12, 2016
12:27 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I eventually managed to read the book “Dynamic Full Ring Poker – Beyond The Basics”, 2010, 366 p. Now I’m filled with HUD stats and Flopzilla analyses. Why bother to look one’s own cards when the HUD stats tell what to do. Just decide what your opponent’s range of hands is and Flopzilla analyses tell you how much Fold Equity you have. Then act according to your HUD stats. It is as simple as that. But hey! – there is nothing new in that. Annette Obrestad won a big live tournament without ever looking at her own cards. It is a question of Tells. I guess Annette had read the Mike Caro’s Book of Poker Tells.

I have struggled with my Pre Flop starting hands. I tried to memorize Sklansky’s groups of starting hands – without success. Andy Bloch’s starting hands guide have several pages and he says they have to be learned by heart. Not possible for me. Well, Hutchinson’s Point System is easy to memorize and feasible at the table. But it’s somewhat too loose at the cash tables, in my experience. I play at FullTilt / PokerStars. So I ended up to apply the Chen Formula as my starting hands guide with my own modifications. It’s tight enough for a novice player but not too tight. I think it’s a strategy of a TAG, but not too conservative. After all, I have to have some kind of Pre Flop Strategy and I think it’s a good basis to start.

I started a new book yesterday. I was thinking what to read next. Should I read Sklansky again? Not yet, I said to myself. I have read four Sklansky’s books, two of them twice. I have now enough Sklansky Dollars, I need real money. My Fancy Play Syndrome has impaired to that level that I’m not loosing money at so fast rate than I used to do after reading Sklansky and Malmuth. No more Sklansky for awhile. Then I remembered that Greg Walker recommended a book named “Professional No-Limit Hold’em, Volume I”. I checked it on amazon.com. The price is 87 dollars. Huh! But then I checked helmet.fi (Helsinki Metropolitan Area Library), and there it was, and the price is 0 dollars. Now I have it. An untouched copy of the book from Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta and Ed Miller. 

August 12, 2016
6:39 pm
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

See you’ve been reading lots of books, but wondering if you’ve been watching any good video series lately?

August 14, 2016
11:13 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

When I got the spark to start to play poker online I played freeroll tournaments and lowest by-in MTTs. From the beginning I learned to play bad poker. I played “monkey see”, “monkey do”. I tried to imitate the worst players in the world to beat them in their own fishy game which they mastered so well. After a few months I realized that this bus was going to nowhere. I wanted to get a better knowledge of poker by reading books and articles, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I was not willing to spend much time watching video courses because I was not ready for that kind of training. 

I tried out some free video courses but I found them boring, niggling nonsense from the beginning: the same image on the screen all the time and some guy telling almost half an hour how he plays AA. Then I found MicroGrinder. I found it on amazon.com or actually I found Alton Hardin’s book “Essential Poker Math” and thereby “Fundamentals of Exploitative Online Poker” and “Poker Fundamentals”. I also have taken the Udemy video courses: “Poker Tips for Poker Players”, “The Poker Blueprint: Learn to Play Good poker” and “Essential Poker Math for No Limit Hold’em”.

I like Alton’s video courses. Especially I like his clear and consistent manner to introduce subjects to his students. I have some teaching background myself, I was a teacher in a University of Applied Sciences for eleven years and I am definitely not willing to listen any kind of pointless nonsense very long.

Now I’m off the poker tables for awhile. I must unlearn the bad habits that grabbed me in the early stages of my “poker career”. Since I’m not playing, I have time for video courses. At the moment I’m working on the “Crush Micro Stakes Online Poker: The Complete Mastery Guide”.

August 29, 2016
11:23 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I browsed through the pages of the RAY (ray.poker.fi) one day, and I came across to the page where it was possible to pose questions to Juha Helppi. Someone had asked Juha how he feels about third party poker softwares when playing poker online. He was stricktly agaist them and told that he never uses them. But what about books the questioner continued. And Juha answered: “To read a couple of books is quite okey today since the game’s got harder compared to those days I and Patrik (Patrik Antonius) used to travell together and play in the same games. But Patrik was against any reading, he was against any books. He said the game is to be leared by playing alone.”

I have thought about that much and I have come to that conclusion that since Patrik, as far as I know, has not studied from books but he has told that other experienced players have helped him with their advice, he just is good at poker.

But what Patrik says about todays online poker? I have here an extract of an interview of PokerListings of Patrik Antonious from last year.

“PL: What happened to your online poker? We really miss the times when you and Tom Dwan were sitting there throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars around.

PA: You know, it’s a little sad, but it looks like the technology has advanced so much that it’s become a totally different game.

Nowadays players use software that gives them so much information and so much data that it has become more of a game of numbers.

I never used any of these programs. I‘ve never used technology to get an edge. I’m more of a feel player who’s living in the moment.

But the players today know what they’re doing. They are basing their play on what the software tells them to do so it feels like you’re playing against a computer these days.”

Alton, would you please e-mail me your promotional code for the Poker Tracker 4. I think I need it now.

August 31, 2016
8:24 am
Avatar
Alton - MicroGrinder Poker
Admin
Forum Posts: 269
Member Since:
April 21, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, the game has advanced greatly over the years where if you don’t use a HUD you’re at a disadvantage to your opponents that do. Another reason Patrik Antonious can’t beat online high stakes games is that players are also play a GTO-style of game and overall the player pool has evolved and improved their games drastically at the biggest stakes online, particularly on PokerStars.

You might find this an interesting. Liv Boeree gave a talk around the science of poker to the Oxford Union earlier this year:

Also, here is my affiliate link to Poker Tracker 4. Its not a promotional code; they don’t give those out and the software is never on sale:

https://pokertracker.com/?a_aid=microgrinder

The following users say thank you to Alton - MicroGrinder Poker for this useful post:

Markku
September 11, 2016
1:39 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I finally concluded the course Crush Micro Stakes Poker. That is a great course. It brings together all the relevant topics may I say in a nutshell. It gave me courage to continue. After a while I will take the course anew. I have now downloaded the whole course, except two lessons which were not downloadable but it doesn’t matter. I will take the course section by section at a time when there is the minimum of disturbances, i.e. when the children are asleep but I still am vigilant enough to be able to concentrate and understand.

I was working on another course as well. Namely the course How to beat Bovada Zone 5NL. When I reached the live play sessions I had a brilliant idea of trying the zone play myself. Well, I couldn’t have lost my money at a faster pace. The whole play is like a slot machine. I guess the house is the only winner. I wont complete that course.

I instead completed the video Alton posted to me in which Olivia Boeree makes her presentation at the Oxford Union. She showed a video which was familiar to me. I had watched the Monte Carlo game on PokerStars’ TV two years ago. And there he was, the same Igor Kurganov sitting on the front bench of the Oxford University classroom. I wonder if Liv and Igor started dating in Monte Carlo since they have dated since 2014. But that was not the point. The point was something that Liv said. She said that Igor visualizes but she has to verbalize like telling herself ace jack, ten nine,… That’s it ! It popped up into my mind one night just before I fell asleep. Visualize. Alan N. Schoonmaker sais that it has to be verbalized. You have to talk aloud your thinking and your decisions during the game. That is not possible in a live game of course and online it may also be dubious if somebody is listening. There may be a trip to mental hospital at close range.

The whole thing is thinking about ranges. Today the game is played, not reading hands, but reading ranges. I have not been able to see the forest beyond the trees. Liv said: “Use the computer programs to practice.” Yes, to practice to learn how different hands play against different ranges. I am going to practice myself to be a visualizer. 

September 29, 2016
2:37 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Meeting a maniac can be very confusing but in the same time intriguing. I encountered a maniac a couple of months ago when playing 2NL 6-max on FullTilt. The maniac was very aggressive. He played all hands and when he was first to act he opened with 3.5 BB pre-flop. If the hand was open-limped in front of him he raised to 9 BB without hesitation. After the flop he continued bullying like possessed. It is not worth mentioning that his stack piled outstandingly. He was sitting right on my left. Whatever I did he won. His hole cards were uttermost trash most of the time. I stood up for resistance and so did one Japanese guy, the others gave up and only folded. Eventually the maniac lost all his money (at this table) and disappeared but the price was high. It was a Pyrrhic victory.

Second time I met a maniac wasn’t victorious at all. I was playing 2NL 6-max on Party Poker. It was about two weeks ago. This time the maniac was acting differently despite the same nationality with the previous maniac. The whole game was peculiar. The maniac was sitting two seats off on my right. He always open-limped. The guy on my left always mini-raised if the pot was limped to him, but called if the pot was open-raised or re-raised. The maniac always called whatever raise or re-raise pre-flop. When the flop came the maniac overbet the pot or if it was raised in front of him he went all-in. That all was very confusing. But after a while I was intrigued by the maniac’s overwhelming ability to win all pots with total junk. It was so fascinating that I was willing to pay for it. This time I didn’t try to resist the maniac but played my own conservative game. I attended if I thought my hole cards gave me the right to do so. I continued after the flop if I was absolutely sure I had the best hand. So I called when the maniac went all-in when I had flopped a set, I called when I got the nut straight and I called when I got nut flush. All these three times cost me three by-ins and they must be added to the losses I suffered pre-flop without even seeing the flop. I don’t know how the maniac eventually ended up because I ran out of money and had to leave the table. It is costly to meet a maniac.

October 4, 2016
7:52 am
Avatar
Markku
Helsinki, Finland
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
July 10, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am tired of all the suckout batteries which come in to my way all days long. Weather I play low-limits tournaments or micro-stakes cash nl, the bloody suckout comes always unto my way. Don’t say: “In the long run…”. How long that long run should be? I am only asking.

The US suckout Finland in the World Cup. Nice. USA don’t have beaten Finland in the ice-hockey I don’t remember when it has, except a few suckouts. Canada won the World Cup 2016. Finland was without medal first time since 1987. This was a real suckout. A team called European which consisted of players from Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Norway, France and Germany was in the final against Canada. Canada was not sucked out.

The real Final, whether it be the Olympics or the World Championships is between Finland and Canada or between Finland and Sweden, if Canada is suckout, except two Olympics. The one of the Salt Lake City Olympics, 2002, where the real final was the semifinal between Finland and Canada and the Lake Placid Olympic Games in 1980, where the USA’s ice hockey team, consisted mostly of in university playing youngsters, beat the unbeatable Soviet Union team consisted of full time Soviet Army professionals. Was that a …? I was in the seventh heaven when watching that game live on TV. In some cases a suckout can be a cheerful thing.

 

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 34

Currently Online:
17 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Siego7: 91

crance99: 40

superunkn0wn: 39

simonL: 36

Markku: 36

thrilaras7: 21

frogmoreace: 14

Roachz: 11

leverettjl: 8

alex1020: 7

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 0

Members: 191

Moderators: 1

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 6

Forums: 31

Topics: 206

Posts: 741

Newest Members:

spiderm4n, t0tg4, ElBand1t0, StudentoftheGame, HunHef, Stephengut, catchsteve, benguela, sailorllc, diegodoss2412

Moderators: regitime: 10

Administrators: Alton - MicroGrinder Poker: 269