Enough is enough!

 Cycling, Poker, Social  Comments Off on Enough is enough!
Mar 212011

Last blog I was complaining about missing goals for this year and nothing has changed really. I just need something to hold on to because if I just live my life it results in bad behavior. I don’t do drugs, my life ain’t a big mess and I still value my family & friends the way I should. That means that I might be making a big point out of something that some people would consider as minor problems and I’m not saying that isn’t the case but I’m still unhappy with the way things have been going lately.

It isn’t all poker related but everything relates with each other. Discipline has been one of my greatest assets the last years but that wasn’t always the case. If you live your life from day to day it’s hard to by disciplined. To be disciplined you need to look at a bigger picture and when you have long term goals, it’s easier to think in a bigger picture. The first time I used this was when I wanted to lose a lot of weight. I’ve mentioned this more then once in my blog so I won’t go into that but from that period onwards (2007) I’ve always managed to reach my goals, whether it was poker, cycling or my health. Lately I have been enjoying life way to much. It already started in the summer of last year when I stopped looking at what I was eating and gaining a bit of weight on a monthly basis. I always enjoy summer a bit more then any other period of the year and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. This year however it didn’t stop in September, I kept gaining weight every month and basically used the SNE chase as excuse to not pay any attention to it. My poker discipline was of course superb in that period as I managed to reach my poker goals so it wasn’t all that bad.

This year however I’ve already written twice in my blog I would do something with the extra weight I’ve gained but up till now I haven’t done a thing. I’ve been going to the gym, I’ve been cycling a lot more the last 1,5 week but that’s not going to cut it. In 2008 after I finished my weight loss goal I was 92kg(coming from 133kg), I made a promise to myself to never go above 100kg. Last December I already reached the 100kg threshold and was under the assumption I would fix that as soon as I got back from the PCA. I’ve been working out but didn’t cut my eating and drinking. If I continue like this I will probably gain 1/2kg each month and maybe a little more during the summer. For the coming 12 weeks I will enforce some discipline upon myself again. I’m going to eat less, eat more healthy and stop drinking alcohol except the weekends I planned to go away with friends and two other occasions. It would be better to not drink at all which I normally did so I’m already half assing it but this is a calculated risk. The 12 week period ends at the 6th of June, the day I leave for Las Vegas. Since I’m going to Las Vegas with my poker buddy (and not my party buddies) I doubt I will gain a lot of weight there and that means I should be fit when I return from Las Vegas to look good on the picture’s of my mother’s marriage at the 24th of June. Today I’m at my 3,5 year high of 103,6kg and hope to get it down below the 95kg. I will keep track of my weight in the same excel sheet as where I keep track of my VPPs for this year, which should help a little as I’ll be confronted with it on a daily base.

Now this might sound like something that has nothing to do with poker but it actually has. I drank a lot of alcohol on Saturday evening but felt okish on Sunday. I even went out for a ride on the bike but it still affected my play on Sunday evening. I couldn’t focus enough on my game and was looking for excuses to quit playing all the time. I extended my break for 45 minutes and already quit my grind at 02:40. I wasn’t really losing loads, I didn’t feel sick but my mental state just wasn’t good enough. That has everything to do with alcohol and the way I’ve been “managing” things lately. I’m not the best player around and being 80% just doesn’t work for me. My mental state should improve when I feel more fit and when I don’t drink. The fact that I’ve been writing about this for the last months just says a lot. It really ain’t that bad yet but I’m stepping in before it does. After the 6th of June I will allow myself to enjoy life a bit more again as it’s summer when I’m back from Las Vegas. It’s fine to enjoy life, I think everybody should but it’s also important to balance things out. Some people can do that within the week itself, some people balance things on a monthly base and others don’t really have to think about balancing things but for me it just doesn’t work that simple. It’s not like I won’t enjoy life at all the coming time, I’ve just been overdoing it during the last months and now I’ll have to pay the price. I’m actually not that happy with writing all this stuff down but I think it’s necessary to commit myself to it.

Next to complaining about the good life I’ve been planning what SCOOP tournaments I want to play. Since I’m not a tournament player I think the “High” tournaments are out of my league so I will only be playing the Medium and low tournaments. To bad there is only 1 Fixed Limit tournament which is 6-max as well, a Full-Ring Limit tournament might be the only “High” I would have played. Sure there is a good reason for this as the Full-Ring Limit Tournaments were never the most popular ones. For now I’ve made the following schedule:
– #2 Sunday 8th of May, NL Hold’em Low $22
– #2 Sunday 8th of May, NL Hold’em Med $215
– #9 Wednesday 11th of May, Mixed Hold’em [6-Max] Low $22
– #9 Wednesday 11th of May, Mixed Hold’em [6-Max] Med $215
– #19 Sunday 15th of May, NL Hold’em Low $22
– #19 Sunday 15th of May, NL Hold’em Med $215
– #20 Sunday 15th of May, NL Hold’em Low $22
– #20 Sunday 15th of May, NL Hold’em Med $215
– #27 Wednesday 18th of May, Razz Low $22
– #27 Wednesday 18th of May, Razz Med $215
– #29 Thursday 19th of May, 8-Game Low $33
– #29 Thursday 19th of May, 8-Game Med $320
– #31 Friday 20th of May, NL Hold’em [1 Rebuy, 1 Add-on] Low $22
– #31 Friday 20th of May, NL Hold’em [1 Rebuy, 1 Add-on] Med $215
– #32 Friday 20th of May, NL Hold’em FL Hold’em [6-Max] Low $55
– #32 Friday 20th of May, NL Hold’em FL Hold’em [6-Max] Med $530
– #36 Saturday 21st of May, HORSE Low $22
– #36 Saturday 21st of May, HORSE Med $215
– #38 Sunday 22nd of May, NL Hold’em Main Event Low $109
– #38 Sunday 22nd of May, NL Hold’em Main Event Med $1050

I’m not sure about the $1050 Main Event yet but I should be playing all the others. I really like Razz and think I’m not really bad at it. HORSE & 8-Game or more for the fun of it and of course the regular NL tournaments should be fine to play. Have a look yourself:

I’m looking forward to the coming period. It starts in two weeks with playing live tournaments in Venlo and it ends with the WSOP 2011 in Las Vegas. Next week I will go into the results of March which haven’t been that good but I still hope to finish in the green, tonight’s session should be a good place to start.

 Posted by at 2:15 pm
Mar 082011

I started out today with updating my blog. I like to have my blogroll up to date, I’ve updated my Biography and added a “Live Tournaments Schedule” page. I might add the 2006-2008 tournaments one day but it’s going to be hard to dig up the specifics so I won’t promise anything. I’ve removed my 2010/2011 goal pages and that’s mainly because I don’t have any specific big 2011 goals, more on that later.

March started pretty bad with a -$1.400 session on Thursday. I think it would have been better if I didn’t have played at all since I really wasn’t in the mood. Sure that happens more often but normally after 30minutes it feels okay again, this time however I was tired not motivated and those are really signs that you shouldn’t play any poker. It might had something to do with the fact I was really looking forward to the weekend, which was a very pleasant one! On Sunday it was time again to play some more poker and I of course had to play the 5Million Guaranteed Sunday Million! I Started at 19:00 playing the Ultimate Grinders Home Game, 15.326 entries but a really sweet first price. You could win a group poker trip with up to 8 players to Macau, Buenos Aires, EPT Snowfest or Vancouver. I also again decided to play the Sunday Warm-Up for the exact reason they created it, a warming-up 🙂 I added some $5/$10 LHE Cashgames, played my weekly Home Game, Sunday 1/4 Million and 2 Sunday Million Qualifiers.

I managed to score a Sunday Million Ticket in one Qualifier then busted my Home game Tournament quickly again with AA vs KK, which means I didn’t even manage to reach the Final Table in 7 tournaments! The $11, 1000 Seats Guaranteed qualifier for the Sunday Millions lasted exactly 4 hands when I managed to flop a set of queens on a QJ8 board vs T9 and then I busted the Warm-up 200 places before the money which was another frustrating moment. I first lost KK vs 88 which moved me from slightly below average to shortstack. Then I raised 1/3 of my stack with KJ from the Cut-Off and a crazy player shoved all-in, I wasn’t really happy to call but couldn’t really do anything else and lost vs A8o. In the Sunday 1/4 Million I had my Kings running into Aces so at least I could focus on the Sunday Million and the Ultimate Grinders Home Game which was actually the only tournament I really managed to get a decent stack. Unfortunately 66 vs KJs and 99 vs AQs made it another disappointing tournament, earning $27 🙁

The Sunday Million was crazy, 59.128 players paid $215 to create a $11.825.600 Prize Pool. The largest Sunday Million ever and the 5M GTD might have been a bit to cautious 🙂 The Sunday Million was another disappointing event as every time I raised I got challenged and had to fold vs a 3-bet or fold the flop. The times I got a Premium I only picked up the blinds. As a shorty I managed to double up with QQ vs JJ one time then again as shorty I doubled up with 99 vs 66 but eventually busted as #23.866 with KJs vs 88. I had already quit my cashgames as Tournaments just tilt the hell out of me. I don’t really think it affected my play in the tournaments as looking back I didn’t do anything stupid but it did affect my Cashgames. I paid way to much attention at my tournaments and the 8-12 cashgames I was playing just didn’t get the attention they deserve. The results showed that as well, losing $575 in only 1.200 hands. I was smart enough to already close them down at 22:00 since I noticed I wasn’t paying enough attention so after busting the Sunday Million I went to bed early.

The conclusion is basically the same as last week, tournaments are not my game. I love them and I think it’s the most fun variant of poker but wow do I hate the variance in them! I have no problems with the variance in cashgames but I have so much respect for tournament players. Busting before you are ITM almost every event is frustrating but even busting in like 11th place can be unbelievable frustrating, especially to somebody who tries to make a living out of them. You often see a lot of players with hardly any results on the Final Table of big events and seeing that would tilt the hell out of me if I would bust just before the big money every time. It’s just something so different from cashgames where the long run will always make sure the bad players lose. When I lose a flip or even Aces in a cashgame I shrug, when I lose a flip in a tournament I think “why me” and when I lose Aces I feel like puking. I want to keep playing tournaments but once a month is really more then enough, I might change it to “tournaments” only evening so I have a bigger sample size and might win something in the smaller events.

Yesterday I was happy I could get back to playing something I know I can beat! My “evening” session was pretty good but I was unlucky in the last 30 minutes going from +$500 to -$150. I had a break, watched “V”, had some food and sat back in. Most tables were pretty good and I was just focused on one thing, playing my best. I had great music to listen to, the Pacha NYC Podcast and everything connected. When I was up $1.200 I got 2 outered for a $460 pot and I wanted to be sure to quit when I was still up a nice amount, so promised myself to quit when I got below the $750 profit. I got close to quitting but I managed to grind it back and I finished my session winning $1.360. Needless to say it was a great session and I hope to keep it going when I get back to the tables tonight, I’m still a little down for the month so there is work to do!

One thing however keeps hunting me this year and that is the fact that I don’t really have any goals this year. Sure I have a poker goal, getting 600.000/700.000 VPPs, winning and player some Live events but it ain’t something I can hold on to like SNE. Also because the goal is not as big as last year I don’t really feel challenged. I exactly have the same thing with cycling. In five weeks I have to cycle 65km while last year I did the 100km which was a pretty tough challenge. It’s been perfect weather over the last week and a half but I’m just not motivated enough to get out and do what I have to do. I did sign-up for a 110km race in the first week of May but the course is flat so it ain’t that hard either. I’m really thinking about some fun challenges. There is only one way to change this and that is to just set a date, create a challenge and do it. I’m going to think about it but that is what I’ve been doing the last 3 months, maybe it ain’t that bad to relax a little more this year as last year was kind of crazy.

 Posted by at 4:32 pm

February Recap & More

 Poker  Comments Off on February Recap & More
Mar 022011

It’s the 2nd of March which means it’s time for a February recap. There is however one person who already wrote a really sick February recap and that is azntracker. He already managed to get Supernova Elite by the 28th of February, something that took me a whole year in 2010. You can read more about it on his blog, congrats Andrew!

February was a pretty good month for me. If it wasn’t for the last day of the month, it would have been a top3 month lifetime. I’ll start with the raw numbers and graphs:

I’m very happy that I’ve managed to win across all stakes. I lost about $1.700 yesterday at the $10/$20 tables, so imagine what my winrate was before yesterday at $10/$20. I really see that as variance and the current winrate is probably closer to my true winrate.

My graph is a lot prettier then I’ve seen in a long time:

Comparing this year with 2010 is just such a huge difference. In stead of leaking money on a daily basis I now have the feeling again I’m a winner in the game. Sure I’m not the best and there is still much to improve but I’m on my way up and I’m of course planning to keep that up for the rest of the year.

Some other random stats:
Hours Played: 80,47
Hands Played: 81.067
VPPs Earned: 61.644,18
Hands/Hr: 1007
VPP/Hr: 766

Last year I averaged 1327 Hands/Hr and 847VP/Hr, this year I’m not focusing on trying to play 24 tables. I nowadays play all tables between $3/$6 and $10/20, sometimes I even skip the $3/$6 tables. There are moments I’m playing 10 tables since that’s all there is and there are moments I don’t even have to play $3/$6 to get up to 24 tables. The best thing is that I just like not to be playing in “hyper-mode” all the time. My best sessions are all sessions in which I’ve played 16 tables or less, nothing more then common sense of course but it gives reason for thought. It’s pretty hard to calculate what to do best, as VPPs & Milestone bonuses are worth a lot as well of course but I think it at least was a good decision to not play the $2/$4 tables any longer to fill up to 24 tables. Playing just 10 tables is often harder then playing 20 tables since it’s a lot easier to get distracted, so for now I’ll just keep doing what I’ve done so far this year. I do however would love to become better, maybe move up a little more in stakes and always play 8-12 tables. I think that would be something as I see as the “next” step but I’m not talking about next week or next month, more like the end of the year.

I’m currently 3.000 VPPs behind on my own schedule and that schedule already left some room for slacking. Not bad considering I’m not fully optimizing the amount of VPP/Hr I could get. I am however slacking on my work-out schedule. I had a pretty okay flow going but due to some issues with my back I couldn’t do anything for more then a week. Now that things are better I’m a little careful to get back to the gym again, I’ll keep some more rest for this week but I’ll definitely have to start working out next week again to be able to cycle the Amstel Gold Race on the 16th of April. After this weekend there are only 5 weekends left for training!

Back to poker 🙂 Last weekend I had my monthly tournament weekend. On Saturday I managed to bust all tournaments. Not that shocking as I only played 8 of them but still not really happy as I wasn’t doing really good in any of them. I did however try the Fixed Limit SNG’s as well and had a good laugh. I just fired up a bunch of them while playing but along they way I found out that it’s not exactly the same as playing a cashgame. Of course I was prepared to play short(er) handed, which I normally don’t do a lot but you also have the normal tournament experience where you have shortstacks which creates some weird situations where some hands have to be played different. Also the bubble creates some bizarre moments which made it a lot different to cashgames but fun! I fired up 8 of them between $5,50 and $22 and managed to get in the money in all of them 🙂 I got 1st in the very last of them and with 3 2nd places and 4 3rd places it was not only a fun experience but also a profitable one. Now they don’t run that often and at the stakes I played them I doubt it’s really something worth the effort. I did however want to check them out because they also offer higher limits and I’m not sure if the players are any better then at the level I tried them out. The level of play was scary low, I’ve never seen so many people trying to bluff in some many bad spots. It might not be that profitable but it is maybe a good way to practice my tournament Limit game a bit more often. I would love to play the $215 Weekly Fixed Limit Tournament more often but it’s a shame it runs on Saturday, as I still like to go out on Saturdays while I’m still young 🙂

Sunday I played some more tournaments and started out with the Sunday Warm-up. After folding AJ in a 5-way pot on the river at a AQJ5Q board I got my money in with KQs in a 5-way pot vs 99 at a 9K23 board. I think the lesson here is to play less 5-way pots 😉 Then I managed to ship a Sunday Million ticket which I was playing later and was still running in the Turbo Takedown, a $11 100-seats GTD SM qualifier for next week and our $11 Home Game. I managed to bust in all 3 of them losing a 50/50 flip in the exact same minute and since I’m not used to playing tournaments I again remembered how frustrating they can be. It’s probably something that happens in my cashgames every 10 minutes but when it happens in a tournament I still freak out. At that moment I was also down about $900 at the cash tables so it was time for some rungood in the Sunday Million. Now I’ll be really honest: “I have never cashed in the Sunday Warm-up or Sunday Million in my life!” There I’ve said it…. When I think about both tournaments I just love to play them but each time I’m playing them I remember why I hate them. Sure I’m not a tournament beast, I don’t think based on my level of play I should have already won one but c’mon, finishing in the money just once? That should be possible right? Well, last Sunday was the moment! With 1450 left I had a 47.500 stack which was 15k under average at 1250/2500/250 blinds. Sure I could have folded myself in the money but I got a perfect spot to add 11.000 to my stack. Most people were raising to 5.000, each time picking up 6.000 in chips. The most active player at the table raised again, I put my AQ in MP in the middle and KK calls. 1350 places paid, finishing 1443rd, sigh! It’s not about the money, it’s really not. I just want to finish ITM just once so at least I can break that curse and maybe work my way up from there! Sure this is all standard, sure this is all variance but c’mon how can I be playing $10.000 live tournaments when I never even made the money in a $215 online tournament? Now some people might think it’s indeed a bad idea then to play a $10.000 live event and maybe I have to agree. 

I might really have to stick with playing Fixed Limit and as I already had discussed during my last blog, I think I’ll might just do that 🙂 I’ve discussed my WSOP idea with my best mate and I think we already past the idea stage. I think I’m 75% sure I’ll be playing the following tournaments coming WSOP:
– June 8, 2011  Limit Hold’em (3 day event) – $3,000
– June 11, 2011 Limit Hold’em / Six Handed (3 day event) – $2,500
– June 15, 2011 Limit Hold’em Championship (3 day event) – $10,000

I would love to play the $1.500 tournament on the 3rd of June as well but I don’t want to stay in Vegas for 2,5 weeks. The idea is to leave for Las Vegas on the 6th of June and to fly back with some extra money on the 18th of June. A perfect schedule as I will have some color on my skin when I will attend my mother’s wedding on the 24th! No more $10k NL tournaments, Limit here I come 😉

I won’t stop playing NL tournaments online however, but once a month is more then enough. Also I’m already looking forward to the SCOOP but first I’ll just have to play the Sunday Million coming Sunday!

I’ll see you there and I won’t just settle with finishing in the money. I have a parking spot reserved already because that Lamborghini is mine!

 Posted by at 10:05 pm