Sunday, October 28, 2012

WSOP-2013: Week #9

It’s Sunday, so time for a recap of this week's prep/progress toward WSOP-2013:
  • Preparation:
    • Pregame. Barely played this week; played zero cash, and only got in four STSnGs. The bad news is in each SnG, I basically just jumped into registering, did zero prep, and played. The good news is I won three of the four, and bubbled in the fourth, but this definitely not a long-term recipe for success. 
    • Postgame. The only post-mortem work I did was when I spent a little time examining my HM2 stats with a confused look on my face. There seems to be some error in HM2's calculation of some of the numbers, notably ITM and ROI.  I need to chase this down, but at first blush it feels like HM2's ability to handle tournament data is still screwed up.
    • Off-Table.
      • Forums/Hand-of-the-Day. Believe it or not, I'm still taking heat from readers on the KQs HotD I blogged about two weeks ago (here). Even the Guru has weighed in. After a lot of thought and debate, I'm now convinced more than ever that my answer of folding was the right play.... but this is what makes poker such a great game; you can spend hours discussing and arguing a single hand, and there can be multiple "right" answers. I just happen to think that my answer is more right than other peoples' answers. :-)
      • Books. Downloaded Volume 3 of Winning Poker Tournaments, One Hand At A Time. It was mentioned, but not specified, on the list of must-read MTT books I'd blogged about here. I'm enjoying/learning so much from re-reading the first two volumes in this series that I went ahead and ordered the Kindle version. There's no substitute for playing, but reading hand analysis (and then taking active notes about what I've read) is definitely improving my thought process on MTT hands. Same with videos and podcasts. Hell, I think watching the highly edited/canned WSOP and WPT events on TV can actually teach about the game if you pay attention. Lol, kind of reminds me of this scene from Days of Thunder
        • Harry Hogge: What do you know about stock car racing? 
        • Cole Trickle: Well... watched it on television, of course. 
        • Harry Hogge: You've seen it on television? 
        • Cole Trickle: ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up. 
        • Harry Hogge: I'm sure I would. 
      • Videos. Watching the Body Language Blueprint series. I've sat through the first three episodes of the Fundamentals course so far. The first one was reasonably OK, with some good tips. The next two (voice and proxemics) basically suck. Very short, little content, and very unprofessional delivery, with lots of ramblings, "uhs" and "mmm's", poor video, and all-over-the-map delivery.  I'll watch the remaining vids in the series, but I'm not expecting anything great. Don't waste your time or money on this series.
      • Podcasts. Bart Hanson's DeucePlays Premium podcast is now defunct. This has been the only podcast that I've ever paid for ($9 per month). The good news is he's forging off on his own, and he got the new subscription podcast up and running late in the week (can be found at for those interested). I listened to half of the first inaugural 'cast, and the good news is that it looks like Hanson will continue in style and format as before; these are truly excellent poker strategy discussions, and well worth the money. I also listened to Thinking Poker, in which they had Vanessa Selbst discuss her life a little and some poker strategy. The interesting thing about this one was a) her statement that her lifetime ROI in tournaments (online and live) is north of 350% (to which I say, "WOW!"); and b) what she thinks truly separates her from lesser opponents in MTTs is her meta-game approach to winning. Her focus is on "tricky" play that over-emphasizes range balancing and confusion in her opponents. She said she can sometimes get too tricky, but her goal is to give 3-4 players at her table serious headaches. If she's done that, then she's done her job. Interesting.
      • Health. Made some good strides on the health front, dropping a few more pounds this week. For the first time in years, I'm actually under 200#, and I started wearing one size smaller pants. Amazing what a little diet and exercise can do. Blood pressure and resting pulse are also down significantly since I started this push two months ago. I still have a long way to go, but I'm encouraged. Like poker bankroll management and discipline, the key to weight loss is to a) chip up (pound down) in slow incremental steps; and b) don't make big mistakes or jump into games too big for your 'roll (or meals too big for your smaller pants ;-) ) Seriously, the biggest danger I have in the near future is two 1-week long biz trips, followed by Thanksgiving week, another trip after that, and then the Xmas/New Years holidays. Discipline, discipline, discipline is gonna be required....
      • Other. Continued getting more organized in laying out training and studying materials, documenting notes, and reviewing them. As mentioned before, I'm primarily using OneNote to stay organized, and I am almost satisfied with the system of note taking I've developed; it's surprisingly difficult to come up with a way to a) collect all the bits and pieces of strategy, tactics, etc. I come across reading/listening/watching/studying; and b) do so in a way that makes it easy and productive to go back and review and distill them all down.
  • Technique:
    • Preflop. Was a little more "gambly" than usual in the four STSnGs I played, opening up my game from LP early in all the sessions. I need to spend some time dissecting those games to see if this is really a good thing for me to continue doing, or whether it was a fluke.
    • REDi. Worked a fair bit off-table on this, organizing notes, watching videos focused on Reads, running some Flopzilla and PokerStove simulations, etc.  Good, productive week.
  • Emotional Control:
    • Tilt Control. Didn't play enough to tilt, lol.
    • BRM. The 'roll is still fine for the ST and MTT buy-in stakes I'm playing.
    • Discipline. I think I've done a pretty good job focusing and paying attention during play. I do, however, need to work harder on my reads of player states of mind in tourneys.
$ Results:
  • Tournaments (Online). Went 3 for 4 in low-stakes STSnGs for a net profit of $37 added to the 'roll. Good ROI and ITM, but I really need to play at higher stakes (which means I need to find more time to play (i.e., so I can play against tougher opp, focus better, do actual pre-game prep, post-game reviews, etc...) )
  • Tournaments (Live) None played.
  • Cash Games. None played.

Summary: I played very little actual poker this week, but still felt like I've made some strides in my game. Weird. Less is more?  The biggest upcoming issue is the hectic holiday and biz-travel season for me, which will conspire to wreck my health gains and limit my table and studying time. Added to the mix is the fact that my adult son's company folded and laid off everyone, so we now have a short/long-term "guest" living with us while he looks for another job. I intend to be as disciplined as possible over the next few months, but the realist in me recognizes that just surviving through Xmas will be an achievement.

All-in for now...


  1. Is Winning Poker Tournaments, One Hand At A Time, Vol. 3 geared towards online like the first two?

  2. Kinda. It's similar in that they go through a bunch of hands in detailed analysis. It's different in that they each independently look at each hand and write their own analysis. They also add a fourth person (Matthew Hilger) who adds his own analysis, too. I've only gotten a few hands into the book, but it's pretty good, and it's very interesting to see how each pro analyses each hand slightly different from each other.

  3. Sorry, Memphis, I don't think I actually answered the question you asked. The short answer is, yes, it appears to be geared primarily toward online MTTs.