Friday, May 30, 2008

Poker Tuition

I first learned to play poker with friends and they taught me the basics of the game. Then there was the APL and Verde Poker where I got to play poker with people I didn't know. During that time, the buy-in was cheap but I really just wanted to experience playing poker with other people and not just my friends. I also tried the satellites for one of the first few tournaments in ACF. I also tried to crash uninvited in a game in Burgundy. I lived in the same condo so I was hoping they'd let me play. Good thing they didn't trust me enough. I learned later on that they bought in for Php 1k - 2k which was way above what I was used to at that time. Then once I played in a JG tournament. It was the same night I got quads versus Karel's flush, I think. I forgot the cards but not the scene as it's not often a pretty girl stares at me that intently. Of course there was Sky, 41o and ACF. I mostly lost in those days.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. Since starting to play, I've relied on my experience to teach me what I needed to know. This costed me money hence the coined term, tuition. Each poker player would've lost a certain amount before they started winning. The tuition varies from player to player. Unfortunately, some people never get their money's worth and never learn. They never graduate and they keep paying the tuition until they decide to stop playing.

One of the biggest mistakes I've made was that I've only started to track my wins and losses a year and a half ago. Before that, I've no record of anything. I don't even know if I'm up or down. I would imagine I payed my fair share of the tuition. Now it's just a matter of making sure they pay it to me.

Monday, May 26, 2008

0 to 1,000,000

I actually started this even before I knew what I was aiming for. I knew I didn’t want to deposit any amount to an online poker room and my options were limited to playing freerolls. I’ve earned some money in Pacific Poker but the field has multiplied since and I’m no longer able to get in the money now. I’ve been playing freerolls on PokerStars but I’ve never been in the money there.

But now I already have a feasible plan to get my first deposit free. It’s through the commission I get from the ads on my blogs. I would’ve been blogging with or without me earning from it so the amount I get from ads would really be unallocated and it’s going to be my poker bankroll.

My goal is to get from Php 0 to Php 1,000,000 ($23,386). If I reach my goal through poker or if I reach it through ads, I don’t much care. But I’d prefer it if I reached $23,386 in online poker and another $23,386 through the ads. J

My rules for this challenge are simple. When I reach a certain amount from the ads, I’ll transfer them to PokerStars. I’ll try to build it to get to my goal. I’ll still continue to save the earnings from the ads in case I lose the whole bankroll and I have to reload. I won’t withdraw my PokerStars money until it reaches the goal or it’s a matter of life or death and I really need the money.

My real goal is financial independence (poker-wise), the state of always having money to play with. I want to experience the feeling of being able to play any tournament regardless of the buy-in or ring game regardless of the stakes. I want to be able to provide for a family and still be able to play and not have to compromise any of them.

So the race is on.


Target date of first deposit to PokerStars: Sep 1, 2008

Target date to reach half-way mark: Feb 15, 2009

Target end date of whole project: May 26, 2009

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Strategy

Until now, I haven't deposited to any Online Poker Account. Not that I don't want to, but I feel that I'm going to throw it all away. Being a live player, there's still the sense of delinquency when I don't hold the chips or money in my hand.

However, I've thought of a better way for me to deposit. I won't spend what I earn in the ads you see on this site. Instead, I'll save them and use them as my online bankroll. And it makes perfect sense since I'll be earning these through readers of this poker blog. I guess it'll be a way to make the poker community useful as they would indirectly be financing my bankroll. It's the "payment" I get for providing this "service". I might as well get something back for writing this.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Team Poker 2008

The Team Poker was a blast. Though I would've wished it ended in our favor but nonetheless I thought it was great.
There were a total of 19 teams who joined and it was filled with real poker players. Most of the old regulars were there as well as some new ones. The teams were distributed in such a way that no two players from one team was in the same elimination table. I was assigned to table number six. There was Oging, Dana, Me, Atty Rado, a La Sallite, Eric M, Myra, and I forgot the last guy's name.
I have to say that being on the same table as Eric M is great as I rarely get to play against him but I know that he knows his poker and will provide the table with some good plays.
There wasn't much to write about my plays. I stole some blinds. I bluffed more than I wanted to. I wasn't getting any good cards and there wasn't any way to keep up with the blinds. What I do remember was the hand I busted out with. There were only 5 players left in the tournament and I was at the cut-off. Blinds was at 300/600 with 50 ante. I had around 11000 in chips, and the average stack was at 10000. UTG Oging folded, I raised to 1800 total with Q9s spades, Button Eric M folded, SB Myra folded. BB, approximately 35000 in chips, thought about it a long time. Then he called. Flop comes Qd, 9c, 8c. BB checks. I raised 3000. BB raises all-in. I thought. BB thought about calling a long time pre-flop which probably means he has a mediocre hand. If he had mid-pockets and made a set, he would've raised on the flop because there was a flush draw and a possible straight. If he had 2-pair, my top 2-pair has the advantage. If he was on a flush or straight draw, I would still be ahead. If he already has a made straight, he would've bet on the flop because of the flush draw or would've just called my bet. My initial thought though was that he had made his straight with JT. But as I only had to call a reasonable amount compared to the pot, I called. I turned over my Q9, and he shows Q8. 2-pair over 2-pair with me a huge favorite. Turn peels off a Ah and river shows 8s. He hit his 2-outer and busted me out of the tournament.
The other members of Team King Jack Call had the same fate as I did. We didn't have a fighting chance of getting in the top 3 teams.
For me, this tournament had so much on the line. It was my first mid-buy-in tournament being staked. It was a chance for me to play good poker with some good players. And it was a venue for me to show that I had what it takes to be considered one of the good players.
I'm looking ahead and I'm aiming for the original plan of saving Php 50,000 for me to start playing regularly again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Staker Update II

I did it! So far my stakers have given me Php 2,500 to play with and I was able to turn it into Php 7,000. Not bad for a small time operation. I can't wait to join the big games.

There was a noticeable difference in my play. It was a cash game which from previous posts show, is not my strongest point. But I was able to discipline myself not to chase cards. I never took unnecessary chances and I was able to stand up without losing all my winnings. These are what I've been writing about which I've never actually learned. Until I started playing with someone elses money. It made me more focused and it made me more disciplined.

This wekk I'll probably play some more cash games and hopefully, aside from focus and discipline, I'd also gain consistency.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Stakers Update I

The payout has been finalized for my stakers. I will take 20% of the gross profit but this is contingent on them getting their investment back first. Their portion of the remaining 80% will depend on how much they staked.

Seems simple enough. Now all that I need to do is to wait for the Team Poker Event which was moved to May 17. Tough luck.