Ah, a blog about Poker! Or well that’s the intention 😉 I’ll just ramble away like I normally do but because the last two weeks I’ve played a lot of poker hopefully it’s poker what I’m mostly going to talk about.
I got home from my trip on Saturday and since I was pretty tired and my girlfriend was meeting up with her friends I just sat on the couch and watched some TV. I didn’t really feel like sitting behind my PC and grind but I did want to just play some poker. I grabbed my laptop and joined some random HyperTurbo MTT’s. I couldn’t really care about the buy-ins, I just wanted to have some all-ins and feel lucky. I played 2/3 tables and was doing pretty good in the $1 HyperTurbo! Some railers were asking what the hell I was doing and one guy asked if I could spare him some money because he was broke. Obviously I declined but since I was pretty chatty and was just having fun I challenged him HU4Rollz! To my surprise he accepted which also meant he wasn’t broke but I’ll forgive him for his lie 😉 I accepted him to my PokerStars Home Games and I set-up a really deep (20.000 Stack with 20minutes blind levels) $3,30 MTT just for the fun of it. At the same time I had put myself on the waiting list of a $50/$100 LHE 6-max table, why I don’t really know. While still being in the HyperTurbo and playing the beggar HU I got the pop-up to sit in at the LHE table. On my laptop I have no HUD, I had never played $50/$100 but I was still in holiday mode so I sat in and played. 36 hands later the game broke (fish left) and I was up $933 and a happy man I was still playing the HU (for over 2 hours already at that moment) and had some trouble winning the big pots. After busting the HyperTurbo I focused on grinding the guy down and won and we actually had good fun chatting while playing, a great first day back at the tables!
On Sunday there were some great sport events to look forward to. The day started with the final of the Australian Open, Djokovic vs Nadal then during that match the biggest soccer match of our competition, Feyenoord – Ajax started. I went over to my favorite bar where I met all my friends which are all Ajax fans, myself being the only Feyenoord fan. Ajax was the huge favorite and after being 0-1 behind Feyenoord won the match with 4-2. When Feyenoord was 3-1 ahead most of my friends didn’t really believe in it anymore, the whole bar was quiet since 99% are Ajax supporters. When Ajax scored the 3-2 after a big mistake of the Feyenoord goalie, all my friends were back at the edge of their seats again and you just saw the hope in their eyes. The best moment of this football season was when Guidetti scored the 4-2, for all my friends a soul crushing moment after just being sparked with hope and for myself the most beautiful goal of the season! Djokovic and Nadal were still playing in a great tennis match and I really watched some breathtaking rallies. During the evening I played the last TCOOP (Turbo Championship of Online Poker) events and watched Stefan Groothuis win the Sprint Speed-skate Championship. A day full of awesome sport events, another great day back home.
Since I had been away for a full month I had plenty of stuff to catch up with. Also I had a lot of time to think about 2012 and how I wanted to go about playing poker this year. I’ve been together with my girlfriend for 2,5 years now and we have planned to officially start living together as of March 1. The last couple of months she was already sleeping at my place 7 days a week so nothing really would change but I felt I had to change my schedule to make sure I wasn’t trying to hold on to a schedule which I already knew I wasn’t going to follow. Late 2011 I already made the transition to 6-max, played less tables and tried to remain focused on playing poker while not playing 24 tables (since when playing 24 tables there is no way to lose focus). I made up a lot of excuses to not play poker last year, one of my biggest excuse is that i.e. I only have 2 hours and I don’t like to put in small sessions. For 2012 I had decided to do some things completely different. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday will still be my “work-days” I play poker on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Where normally I would start grinding at 20:00 till late in the night, when living together a 9-5 rhythm makes a lot more sense. I wasn’t planning on doing 9-5 but that old fixed schedule just didn’t work anymore. Before 20:00 I would always tell myself I would start playing at 20:00, then around 01:00 my girlfriend would go to bed and I would join her so basically I was fooling myself. The idea for 2012 is just to play when I can, really simple. On Sunday till Tuesday I’ll just play when I see a good game or feel like playing. Maybe 1-2 hours when I wake up, do something during the day and start grinding at 16:00 again just before diner. Then after diner fire up the tables again and go to bed around 01:00. The schedule fits better with my girlfriend, fits better with my normal day-job and still doesn’t have to be a 9-5 boring grind, since I probably never wake up before 11:00 anyway. I still plan to play 20+ hours a week, grinding 1/2 hours on a Wednesday/Thursday evening is fine as well. Not having a fixed schedule can be dangerous but I think this rhythm just supports my current phase in life a lot better.
Since I was running hot on the $50/$100 that first Saturday I also decided to jump into those games more often. I’m definitely playing with the best LHE players out there at those stakes but these games never run anyway without a fish sitting. The higher LHE games really only run around fish, any table at $5/$10 and higher breaks as soon as 6 regulars are sitting. It makes sense but it’s also a problem for the poker community, something I might discuss in a future blog. For now I consider my normal grind, 8 tables of $5/$10 6-max LHE. So when I want to grind for my VPP Goals I would do it at those limits, probably on the Sunday/Monday evening. I’ll always keep lurking at the lobby to watch if I see any good $30/$60 or $50/$100 games running and if I can join any of these tables I will quit my $5/$10 tables and really try to focus on the High Stakes games. During the day less tables run so I’ll just try to table-select a lot between the $5/$10 and $50/$100. I did already play a couple of $100/$200 hands but I really want to try and avoid those stakes. I played in a game with 2 fish and since 1 regular was sitting out it was 5-handed which is really juicy but currently I just can’t afford the swings on those limits. A game like that is hard to pass, but when only 1 fish sits in I’m just not going to sit in. I’ve been following this “schedule” now for the last 2 weeks and the sample isn’t that big yet but till yesterday it was pretty successful.
On Monday I did the same as any other day and a lot of good tables were running. I try not to look at my results nowadays when playing but I really needed to take a piss for over 2 hours already. When I eventually took a small break I saw that I was down $3.7k at one moment but had grinded it back to -$600, pretty promising and I rushed back to keep the good run going. I again didn’t look at my results but after hitting a really good streak of hands ($2k in a couple of hands) I knew my graph would skyrocket so I wanted to see how I was doing. It was exactly 00:00 at the moment, a perfect time to go to bed. I just needed to win $600 more and go to bed, unfortunately I lost a $1.300 pot and obviously never even considered any more to go to bed Later on the $50/$100 and $30/$60 tables broke and I probably wasn’t playing my best game anymore on the $15/$30 proven by a hand in which I managed to put in 11,5 Big Blinds (The max you can put in yourself in a LHE pot is 12 Big Blinds) with A5s on a 789sss board. It was against a regular which I hadn’t played a lot of hands with and he was playing really aggressive. Capping the flop and turn was fine (considering how the action went) but 3-betting the river, which resulted in him capping with a Straight Flush was just a small moment of tilt. I really didn’t tilt in any other part of the session and since the big games were gone I decided this was a really good moment to go to bed. Down $4k, not happy but not uncommon on those limits.
Still these swings are pretty normal and I really shouldn’t worry about it. I should just try to focus on BB’s and not $ lost and actually I’m not worried about these kind of losses at all. However If you think about these amounts outside of poker it’s pretty hard to explain to people that these swings are pretty standard. TPirahna mentioned in his recent blog a $40k downswing, that’s something I’m definitely trying to avoid 😉 Because of Mondays session I decided not to play any poker on Tuesday and wrote two blogs (The previous one and this one). Obviously the same two fish as to whom I lost my money on Monday are currently playing as I’m writing this blog but it’s also Valentine’s day today, so after I’m done writing I’m going to give my girlfriend some quality time!
I’m trying to stay away from tournaments but PokerStars is not really helping with all the promotions they have (like last Sunday’s Double Vision). I did play the $215 weekly LHE tournament on Saturday because I was playing the $1.000.000 SuperNova+ freeroll and I final tabled the LHE tournament finishing 5th for $880. Since I was already all-in in the first hour (pretty hard to do in a LHE tournament) I felt pretty happy about it and PokerStars had just introduced a new table theme for people who manage to get to the final table so at least I saw that one as well Also from the 23rd of February till the 4th of March PokerStars is holding the WBCOOP (World Blogger Championship of Online Poker) again. After blogging about the WBCOOP and submitting your link you can earn a lot of tickets to SCOOP events in 30 separate freerolls and even $5.000 cash in case you are awarded to be the Best Blogger or $1.000 for the best Live Tweeter. For busting any of the Team Pro’s you also receive $11, so I wish you good luck in busting me. I would suggest to read the rest of the information at the PokerStars Website.
I’ve also been busy planning my WSOP 2012 schedule! The schedule came out a week ago and I really can’t wait to go to Vegas again. I really want to be back home before the 1st match of the Dutch soccer team in the European Championship at the 9th of June but the schedule in exactly that week is just so awesome. On the 8th there is the Razz event, the next day a LHE, the 10th the 2-7 Triple Lowball and the 12th another LHE event. The 4 events which I really wanted to play all in one week! I’ve been thinking about it a lot but also because I’m not alone in this decision we decided to go to Vegas from the 28th of May till the 8th of June. On the 5th of June I will be playing the $1.500 LHE WSOP event so I can at least play one LHE event this year again. We are going with a pretty big group this year (8 people) and I’m really excited because it will be the first time for one of my best buddies. We’ve been talking about bringing him to Vegas for several years now and this year it’s finally going to happen. Showing him all the places which I always talk about is just so great. It’s been 8 years ago since the last time he joined us on holiday, unfortunately one of my other good friends can’t make it this year but for sure we are going to have a lot of fun again!
PokerStars has been busy as well and the guys from PokerStarsblog.com did an interview with me when I returned from my holiday. Also they just announced that PokerStars have now launched their mobile app in the UK market for both IOS and Android after already a successful launch in Italy. I think a lot of people are waiting for being able to play on their IPad so we just have to be patient for PokerStars to launch it in the rest of the world. Probably PokerStars wants this as bad as the players, so I expect that they will do anything to launch it as soon as possible (probably also depends on licensing in each of the countries). Luckily PokerStars hasn’t sit still on that either so for Swedish and Finnish players they have now opened PokerStars.eu, hopefully more/all countries will follow soon so we finally can leave all the ridiculous tax related differences in the European Union behind us. Again you can read more at PokerStarsblog.com
One last thing to add is that on the 25th of February I will be doing a “Twitcam” session. It’s actually just past midnight on the 26th but just to get things clear, it’s Saturday-evening/Sunday-morning! From 00:00 till 01:00 I will be answering questions on webcam, people can ask questions via twitter. You can follow @RTL_Poker on twitter or use the #rtlpoker or #askrichard hashtag to ask questions so feel free to start brainstorming 😉
Well, I think that’s it for now. Three blogs in one week is a lot but I really needed to catch up. Hopefully I can show some good results on the High/Mid Stakes LHE tables next blog, only time will tell!