Douggyfr3sh's avatar


192 points

Monster Session

Yesterday, I played the biggest session I have in a very long time. I started my pre-game warmup around 9:30 AM and was grinding by about 10. I busted my last tournament at 3:30 AM- that's a ~16 hour MTT session. I fired a ton of satellites to get into the $450 main, and ended up min-cashing it. I profited around $650 net, including two wins in $5 tournaments. and a 6th in a small $10 KO tournament. I played 8 tables, and normally play 6. It felt fucking good. If I'm being honest, I punted my last tournament- the one I busted at 3:30 AM. I finished 16th and had around average stack. I literally could not keep my eyes open and was falling asleep at my desk in between hands. I prepared and played to the best of my ability, and I am very happy with that. I was dead-set on playing the $450, but also played several soft $5 and $10 events.

I made plenty of off-the-table mistakes- I over-ate and had poor posture at the end of my session. I started watching movies on Netflix on my second monitor around 12:30 -1:00 AM as my session was winding down. Traditional advice is that this is a really bad idea, but honestly, I'm not so convinced. I think it is literally impossible to be razor-sharp focused playing A-game for 16 hours straight, and some relaxation/softened focus is necessary.

Over the next few days I will be planning and setting goals for the next 13 weeks, but I'm pretty sure I've settled on this:

Log 91 hours (1 h/day, 7h/week) of deep, focused, deliberate poker study over the next 13 weeks, and quit nicotine.

1h/day likely sounds lazy to a lot of people who may read this, but when you have a full-time job as an engineer and also an e-commerce side business, and try to exercise every day, it's tough to find more time. In the past I have set goals to study 10+ hours per week, and have finally realized that I am just setting myself up for failure when I do that.

Speaking of my e-com side hustle, I think I am probably going to try to wind it down towards the end of this year. I would like to only be focused on my job + poker. I have only been doing the e-com thing since April though, and Q4 is the most profitable time of year, so I want to at least stick with it to close out this year.

For my next 13-week sprint, I will be striving to only play sessions on Sundays, but will play as long and as much volume as I possibly can every Sunday. During the week I will study as much as I can while also crushing my day job and getting plenty of sleep.

I took today off as a vacation day several weeks ago because I knew I would be putting in a monster session yesterday, and after I write this I am going to put in 1+ hour of deeep study reviewing marked hands. My next post will be about the finer details of my goals for the next 13 weeks.


Aug. 19, 2019 | 7:03 p.m.

Sprint Review

For the past ~2 years, I have been consistently planning out my life in 13-week sprints. I set 1-3 big goals I want to accomplish, break that down into smaller milestones, and further break that down into weekly and daily targets. My current sprint ends in a little under 2 weeks. Up until this sprint, I have consistently been failing to hit my goals. However, I have also consistently set very difficult goals, and just striving to reach them has always put me in a good place and I've accomplished a lot.

This is the first sprint where I have accomplished my goals fully. My goals were to pay off a high-interest personal loan and also to complete lots of work in my basement to prepare for $10k worth of structural work and insulation. The loan was sitting at about $7k when I started this sprint and if I continued to make minimum payments it was going to take about 2 more years to pay off. 11 weeks into the sprint I paid that MF off. I sold my motorcycle, worked side hustles, sold some stuff I had laying around that I didn't use, made $1400 playing poker that I cashed out to put towards it, and I paid the thing off!! The basement work is 95% complete and will be done by the end of the sprint.

For my next sprint, ALL of my goals will be poker-related and I'm really excited about that. I will be setting goals for # of hours of study, # of MTT sessions played, and I also plan to start producing content specifically for people who are playing poker as a side-hustle and who take the game seriously (like me)!! I will not be releasing any of this content for the duration of the sprint. If I can hit all of my goals, I will plan to start a website for this content and will start releasing all of the pre-made content at that time. Right now I'm thinking I will do podcasts, videos, and blogs/articles. There is lots of great content out there for poker strategy, but not much in terms of how to approach playing poker on the side with a busy life/demanding job. Things like time management, balance, etc. etc.

I'm also thinking I will probably put most of my emphasis on study for the next sprint and will only play sessions on Sunday. As long as the sites I play on don't get shut down, I believe I can make $20k+ per year playing only Sundays and taking 5 weeks off in a year. If everything goes well for this sprint, it is likely that my goal for next year will be $20k profit only playing Sundays.

Aug. 7, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.

IMURMOMMY yeah for sure :). You do bring up a good point though. In a lot of ways my life would be a lot simpler and I would probably make more money if I didn’t love poker so much. I definitely have a little pinch of degen in me. But honestly, if I could change it I don’t think I would. Money isn’t everything and I have had a lot of amazing experiences and met awesome people through poker which never would have happened if I spent my entire career in a cubicle! I’m pretty much set on continuing to pursue the game no matter what happens. My long term plan is really to reach financial independence and then semi-retire and just play poker, knowing that I don’t need the income to live on. In the meantime I’ll play as much as I can and hopefully get a little better every day.

July 25, 2019 | 8:05 p.m.

If money was the only factor this is 100% true and something I have seriously considered many times, and may end up transitioning to at some point. However, I got into poker because I really enjoy it and for the most part that is generally still true. If someone gave me $2 million tomorrow, I would probably spend the rest of my life playing quite a lot of poker. I would probably mix some coding in too, but in a hypothetical situation where I am financially independent and have to choose one hobby to pursue, poker would win and it’s not close.

July 25, 2019 | 1:07 p.m.

Feeling Withered

I’m feeling very worn out today. Last night I played an MTT session and fired some bigger buy-in stuff with the series that is underway on Bovada. I was up until 2:30 AM just so I could bubble the final table of a PLO tournament, making for a heavily losing night and one of the worst sessions I’ve had since I started playing again with my $200 deposit 6 weeks ago or so.

Over the past 9-10 days I have been slipping. My diet has been poor, I haven’t been getting quite as much exercise as I usually do, I have been playing too much and studying too little. I even played some cash game sessions and hopped on some 200NL tables. I don’t fucking belong in those games. I made the decision after my session last night to cash out over half of my roll, and I will use that money to pay off debt. I left myself with 1k to keep grinding bovada. I feel that I haven’t earned the right to play bigger events. Even though i built my roll to a level where I could start playing higher, I haven’t had a good, consistent study process. Forcing myself to cap my buy ins by cashing some out will hopefully keep me humble and hungry.

Balance has been an incredibly difficult challenge for me lately. On one hand, I feel strongly that just studying during the week and only playing one session on Sunday is optimal for my schedule and life balance, but on the other hand, I am eager to build up my bankroll so I can play higher stakes and one session per week is such low volume. Not sure what I’ll end up doing for the next few weeks, but one thing I do know for sure is that I need to be more consistent about putting in high quality, focused study time if I’m going to continue to pursue this game as a means of significant side income.

I think what I really need to do is work on defining my WHY. I have a very demanding full time job and an e-commerce side hustle and I’m playing poker. WHY?

July 24, 2019 | 2:02 p.m.

A Decent Week

This week was good. I got more study time in than I have in previous weeks and I feel like my rejam ranges have benefited quite a bit from that. I was able to identify that I have been too tight on rejams from most positions, especially for 20-30bb stack sizes.

Results-wise this week was fine too, I made some profit and learned some things. I also saw that there is an MTT series coming up in a few weeks on Bovada that culminates in a $425 400k GTD main event. I am going to be trying to prepare as much as possible for that series and hopefully I can build my roll a little in order to play some of those events. I will be trying to satellite into the main event and looking forward to grinding the series.

I have been journaling with the "Self Journal" from Best Self Co, which is a Journal built around the idea of setting goals in 13-week increments. My current goal is to pay off a personal loan I took out a while back to go to school and also to finish up a bunch of work in my basement to prep for new concrete, a new door, and full spray-foam insulation. The basement work is pretty much done, and I have made a lot of progress on paying off the loan, but the loan goal was extremely aggressive and it is going to be close. I have about 4 weeks left on this 13-week sprint, and it is looking like the only way I will get the loan fully paid off and reach my goal is to cash out some of my bankroll to do so. That is very inopportune timing, as the series is starting up and I really want to fire some bigger events. I'll probably wait until week 13 and decide if I want to cash out enough of my roll to pay off the debt, or if I want to continue to build and am OK with taking another month to pay off the debt.

This week I'm going to try to focus more on postflop study, and again will probably only play a single session on Sunday.

July 15, 2019 | 4:56 p.m.

Mo' Money

Since I had a day off for the holiday this week, I fired a couple of weeknight sessions. I was pretty tired on Sunday so I started my session later than normal and didn't play a ton of games. I more than doubled my bankroll this week thanks to a 2nd place finish in a weeknight $33 and a few other final tables, including 8th in a $135 KO tournament. That one was a bit out of line for me to register with my current bankroll, but my ABI for that day was still down around $40 or so, and I had cashes in a few $11's and stuff as well.

The most interesting thing to me about this week was that I felt almost no emotion finishing a tournament in second for $1300 after starting with a $200 bankroll only about a month ago. If anything, I was a little frustrated/annoyed that I didn't get 1st place. I think this indicates that I am still viewing the game through a lens of impatience to some extent. I also think I'm a little too emotionally tied to results of individual games. I think this will continue to get better as my financial fitness increases. I'm working hard on paying off some debts and the more financially secure I get, the more I think I will be patient with my bankroll and not stress about individual finishes in tournaments.

I don't really pay much attention to statistics like "final table %" "finish ITM %" "Winning sessions" and stuff like that, just because trackers can't really track that correctly for Bovada. However, I think I have had like 1-2 losing sessions since I started to rebuild, and I have not had a single session where I haven't had at least one ITM finish.

My results lately have been really great by any measure, but I haven't been putting in the off-table work to increase my skill set and progress to high stakes online as my roll builds. This week my goal is to log more study time and I will probably only play one session, on Sunday. When I played the $135 yesterday, I could sense a significant difference in pool tendencies and average skill compared to the $10 - $30's I have been playing, but I still felt like I had a very solid edge over the pool. I was able to identify leaks and exploit them to my benefit throughout the tournament, which felt good.

I have just enough experience and do just enough work to be able to beat small-mid stakes on soft sites for a very good winrate/ROI, but if I am ever going to reach high-ish stakes on more sites I really need to put in some serious work. I have traditionally always studied short stack push/fold and reshove spots weekly, and I think I am quite good at 0-20bb, but I need to improve a lot post flop at 20-1000 BB. I also need to brush up on ICM spots, and I have always found studying ICM to be really fun and interesting. This week I will try to focus on those areas I am lacking in, and will be ready to fire a full-on monster session this Sunday!!

Onward and Upward!

July 8, 2019 | 5:06 p.m.

IMURMOMMY I just realized I never mentioned anything about combining my software engineering job with poker. It is always difficult to balance the two, especially since I primarily play MTTs and that requires sitting for long sessions. For now I have basically settled on only playing sessions on the weekend. I try not to ever miss a Sunday grind, and then I throw in the occasional Friday and Saturday. During the week I just try to review hands and study strategy. I do occasionally play a shorter session mid-week, but usually I pay for it by being a little tired the next day and find that it's not ideal to play when I have work in the morning. Sometimes if I really feel like playing on a weeknight I'll just fire up a few Zone cash game tables and play for an hour.

July 1, 2019 | 5:49 p.m.

Sore and Happy

This weekend I ran a Tough Mudder event in Charlton, MA. I did not train for it. I don't really work out aside from regular walks in the woods and occasional yoga. I ate an entire large BBQ chicken w/ Jalapeno pizza and had a few IPA's at about 11 PM the night before. I was ill-prepared.

The thing is, though, these events are open to the general public and anyone can sign up. By way of deductive reasoning, they can't be that insane or that difficult. I was supposed to have a partner/teammate on this run, but he injured himself trying to train for the event, and couldn't make it. A bit paradoxical- how I made no effort to prepare for the event and my friend who tried reasonably hard to prepare ended up sabotaging himself as a result.

I left home at 7 AM and returned at 11 PM on Saturday, sore and happy. I met another solo runner early on in the race and ran the whole thing with him. He was familiar with the area and invited me out to a local brewery after. We had some beers and good food, enjoyed some live music, and then I made the 3-hour drive home. When I got home, I went out for a few quick drinks with some friends and then crashed on the couch.

Sunday morning I woke up and went for a short hike with my girlfriend and dog, and then hopped online for a full Sunday grind. My ABI was probably somewhere around $16. I played around 15 MTTs and cashed in like 6. Most of them were min-cashes or fairly meaningless, but I did have one win in a $7 for $100 and a 2nd in a $20 6max super KO for $180 ish + $80 in Bounties. I increased my bankroll by 25% or so, which is always great. I was sore AF for the whole grind and constantly massaging myself with a tool (especially hamstrings, those are still very OOL today).

It was an incredible weekend, and I'm feeling very fortunate and grateful for my life lately. I think the gratitude is a direct result of consistently Journaling (in my own private paper-and-pen journal, not here).

I'm going to try to get in some solid study hours this week and may post some hands ITT if I find any worth writing about.

Thanks for reading <3

July 1, 2019 | 1:23 p.m.

Hello Again

What up RIO! Been a while. I’m on a very long drive from tennessee back to Maine at the moment: just returning from Bonnaroo music festival. My girlfriend just took over for a shift of driving so I figured I would fire an update on here.

Since my last post a lot has happened. I was accepted for CFP tryouts for Poker Detox (Nick Howard’s business) and got balls deep into the tryout period, but bailed before getting to sign a contract. I’m too damn busy with other stuff and wouldn’t have been able to give the dedication needed to that program. It made me really sad, but was the right decision. When I signed up, I genuinely felt that I could swing it with the time I had in my schedule - but then there were major changes at my job which resulted in a lot more responsibilities being put on my plate.

After that, I took about 6-7 weeks completely away from poker. No playing. No studying. ALMOST no thinking about the game and longing to play. During that time I was stripping my basement and prepping our apartment building for basement insulation and a new roof. I also started a side business selling items on Amazon, which has been going well and is a nice way to make a little extra money.

About 3 weeks ago I got back to my roots and have been playing a few online MTT sessions here and there. I started with around a $200 roll and am rebuilding. I shipped a $10 MTT last Sunday for like $600 before leaving for the Bonnaroo trip, which felt really nice. I can now play up to $25 MTTs with my bankroll guidelines and will continue to build the roll, playing mostly Sunday sessions only with the occasional Friday and Saturday. Weekdays will be for my day job and weeknights will be a mix of studying MTT strategy and around 10 hours per week dedicated to Amazon sales.

I’ll probably start posting on here a little bit more frequently now, but won’t force a post and will only do so when I feel like it.

I’ve also been reading a ton about personal finance and have learned a whole lot about how to invest in well diversified assets. If anyone is interested in that sort of stuff and would like to learn or chat about it feel free to post here or DM me!! I can give you some really good resources on how to make good, relatively safe investments and how to automate the process.


June 18, 2019 | 11:41 p.m.

A quick update

Just wanted to drop in here and say hello. For the past several weeks, I have been working a ton on my mindset and on auxiliary skills that will improve my life and poker. I have been very consistent with waking up early and doing yoga/meditation every morning, and I have stopped playing MTTs and have been focusing entirely on 6-max cash. I cashed out the majority of my roll (I think I mentioned that in my last post) and I am playing micro stakes and focusing on my inputs and study habits.

In order to battle negative self-talk and be mindful about my routines, I set up a couple of google forms. One to fill out any time I have negative self-talk in a session, and one I fill out at the end of each session with results, # tables played, general notes, and what I did to warm up. So far this has been really useful and prevents me from "going in cold" or playing when I probably shouldn't.

I have had several phases in the past where I do good things like this for a few weeks, then I have a few bad sessions and sabotage myself. I'm hoping this time is different, and right now it feels like it is. My goals and schedule for the immediate future look like this:

-1 hour of focused, relevant study every single day
-1 hour online cash session with a warm up routine and super focus every single day
-approximately 6AM wake time and morning yoga/meditation every single day

That's it. These are minimums, and on the weekends I will be playing and studying more than this, but I am a firm believer in the value of "Dailyness" and I think keeping things this simple will go a long way for mindset, motivation, and consistency.

For the first time in a while, I can say that I am not in a rush to have results and really believe myself when I say it. I am trying to approach poker as a platform for reflection, meditation, and self-improvement. Playing is an opportunity to learn more about both the game and myself, and it's a beautiful time to be a poker player. I'm really excited to see how this year unfolds and looking forward to sharing my successes and setbacks with the RIO community in this blog.

Thanks for reading!

Jan. 4, 2019 | 7:43 p.m.

Hey Everyone,

In practice, how do you think we should adjust our play when playing 3000 - 4000 BB deep vs a pool of mostly fish and weak regs? Bovada has these silly structures running daily in games like the "lucky sevens" MTT where you start with 77,777 chips at 10/20 with 7 min levels.

I think we should be trying to see as many flops as possible early on. Losing small-medium pots in terms of BB's in early stages isn't really significant when you start with such a huge stack, and people will generally make massive mistakes getting too many chips in with hands that are too weak when they have 4k big blinds. Intuitively I would think that theory would tell us to increase our RFI sizings being this deep, but in practice I think it makes sense to simply minraise every position except for SB and to play very wide ranges. We can also do a lot of limping and over calling with any sort of connected hand in early stages.

In my experience, these fields tend to be very soft and I know several pros/serious players myself who avoid regging these simply because of the "dumb structure". I think in addition to the preflop adjustments I mentioned above, we can also float more often with speculative draws because of implied odds, but it's also easy to go too far with this generic advice.

Any thoughts on some other adjustments?

Dec. 17, 2018 | 10:27 p.m.

IMURMOMMY yes and yes. Hack Reactor was awesome. I am now working for a large software company full time. It's a long commute, but I work remote every Monday and Friday- and there is a great mountain bike trail next to the office so in the Summer I bring my bike to work and hit that quite often.

Dec. 14, 2018 | 5:52 p.m.

Cold Weather Problems & Mindset Training

Since my last post, I started to go on a pretty severe downswing. I recognized some indicators of a familiar pattern of self-sabotage, so I decided to cash out a large chunk of my roll and take it easy for a bit. A few months ago I had $50 to play with. I recently cashed out nearly $3k and left myself with ~$600 online to run up. Taking some time off around the holidays seems to be a repeating trend for me, and I decided it would be best to embrace it rather than to try to fight it and force volume, especially with life being very busy at the moment. This cash-out combined with selling off some peer-to-peer loan investments I made a few years back is going to allow me to pay off the $7k in credit card debt I amassed in order to go to school for software engineering and be unemployed for 16 weeks last year. Paying off and closing that card before the 0% APR runs out is going to feel really fucking good.

My current schedule is work all day, come home, eat something, work on my apartment building until I go to sleep. We mortgaged a nearly 200 year old building, and we are starting to feel it's age in the form of cold weather problems. Our water and heat pipes have been freezing quite often recently, resulting in costly visits from HVAC professionals to fix the issues. Because of this, I have invested a fair amount of time and money into insulating our building. Every night lately, I am up in our attic installing new insulation or in the basement wrapping pipes with foam to prevent further issues. It's not my favorite way to spend my time, but it's all worth it and should be done this week!!

In addition to full-time work and working on our building, I am currently enrolled in the pilot program of Elliot Roe's A-Game Masterclass- a 6-week structured program for working on mindset and mental game. We are in week 2 now, and I am committed to completing all of the training and doing all of the homework every week. This leaves little time for playing, and I suspect I will only study during the week and play as many MTTs as I can each Sunday for the next several weeks. In the past I have felt pretty shitty whenever I am in a low-volume phase, but right now I feel pretty good. I know I am doing good work that will improve my life and my poker game. Between paying off crushing debt and working hard on mindset, I feel like I am setting myself up to have a great 2019 with reduced stress and improved clarity.

PS- Lately I have also been taking a very deep dive into personal finance. I read the book "You Need a Budget" and bought the software ( I am now reading the revised 2018 edition of "Your Money or Your Life", which is another amazing book on personal finance. If anyone happens to read this and also is interested in working on personal finance, I VERY STRONGLY recommend reading these 2 books. I would start with YMOYL and then move to the YNAB book, and then get the 34 day free trial of the YNAB software. I have been budgeting with this software for a few weeks now, and it has already reduced my financial stress a ton. I feel like this system is one that would work well for poker professionals who have inconsistent incomes as well.

Thx and TTYL!

Dec. 12, 2018 | 3:26 p.m.

TY This intuitively makes a lot of sense.

Dec. 12, 2018 | 3:10 p.m.

Sorry mods, meant to post this in High Stakes MTT

Nov. 5, 2018 | 9:35 p.m.

Mid stages, not close to mincash.

We start the hand with about 27bb in UTG+1. UTG limps (unknown player), we 3x with QQ

BB call UTG Call

Flop 9TJcc - X, X, we cbet 2215 into 5150 - both players call

Turn - 5c - BB leads out 6397 into 11,795 - we fold:

I'm not really sure if we have enough equity to jam turn. I think BB has a lot of the 2 pairs, straights, and flushes given preflop pot odds and fact that UTG fish limps. Don't know if they have much stuff like J5o, but def have all 9T, TJ, J9, 78, and some of flushes (K9, K8, 67, 56, 64 etc)- though I would expect nut flushes to be checked at a very high frequency.

I also don't think BB can have many bluffs here at all and leading one pair Jx seems bad... though maybe it happens more than I think.

I'm pretty sure I made a mistake with my PF sizing and it should be 1800 or something (3.5bb+) after UTG limps. Also not sure how I feel on flop sizing and am probably better off sizing slightly bigger?

Nov. 5, 2018 | 9:27 p.m.

If you just plug in the stacks and run a sim, this is going to give you chipEV results. Generally with 16 left it is reasonable to go with chipEV ranges as often pay jumps are very small or sometimes even nonexistent from 16-10th, however if payjumps are significant you would be better off setting up an MTT ICM sim.

Also, if you just run the sim HRC is going to give the BTN opponent optimal ranges for opening and calling your jams, and this is almost never the case in practice. You should alter the RFI range HRC gives BTN based on reads/HUD stats and run the sim with a custom range.

In terms of edge passing (passing on thin spots) that is definitely a thing and if the jam makes 0.4bb in my personal opinion it's really close and slightly too thin. If it's a spot where you only risk 1/2 your stack then it becomes more reasonable to take a +0.4bb spot, but when there's uncertainty about villain's range and youre risking your whole stack, be more conservative IMO.

Nov. 5, 2018 | 8:56 p.m.

Given your reads on the opponent, I think this seems like a great spot to value bet river for a sizing around 1/2 pot, folding to a check/jam. If you have high confidence this villain is not overbluffing a lot, it is likely we get value from TP worse kicker, and very unlikely hands like KJ would check/jam river as a bluff. If you don't feel comfortable bet/folding river then just check back. You didn't say whether villain was in SB or BB, and I think that matters. If the 3b came from SB I would expect it to likely contain more Jx broadways and from BB it's more likely to be more polarized in general

Oct. 30, 2018 | 8:40 p.m.

IMO the turn decision is as simple as this:

We are very near the top of our range with nut trips combo. Our perceived range can include several Ax and UTG can easily be value betting plenty of worse hands in this spot. The only hands we really worry about that beat us are AA, A3, A4. That is 15 combos and AK alone is 12 combos, which to me is enough to say this is a jam.

Preflop I think the call is somewhat close, and rake structure would have some impact- but I don't think the call is going to be very -EV especially in a live 1/2 game where your equity realization is likely higher than average.

Oct. 30, 2018 | 8:30 p.m.

Just trying to chill

Just wrapping up a short Sunday session. Only played about 4 hours or so and netted around $650 profit. I went out and partied with friends last night for Halloween and mostly just relaxed/recovered today. I was feeling pretty good and got a nap in, so I decided to late reg the Sunday Major on Bovada and fire a few cash tables on the side. I binked 17th in the major for all the profits.

This past week, I started to focus entirely on building healthy routines- which for me means making sure I exercise, meditate, and get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. The sleep thing has been really bad in the past for me, and I have gone through stretches where I routinely get 6 or less hours of sleep every night. I feel like this change has already made me feel a lot better, and I've had a lot less back pain recently.

For the next 12 weeks, my primary focus is going to be on these healthy habits. I picked up Shawn Stevenson's book Sleep Smarter, and reading that has helped me to understand how important it is to consistently get a good night's rest. I will be grinding a short cash session every night (1-2 hours) and also playing MTTs on Sunday when I can, and I need to study regularly as well (still hoping for about 7h per week), but my priorities are on these habits. If I had to choose between getting to sleep on time and giving up playing and/or studying for that night, I'm gonna go for the sleep.

My bankroll is still moving in the right direction, and I feel like I'm seeing a lot of progress in cash games just from getting my mental game and health a bit more in order. Looking forward to closing this year strong!

Oct. 29, 2018 | 2:37 a.m.

Sunday Meh Day

Sunday grind was roughly breakeven this week. Lost some in cash, won some in MTTs. Bubbled the FT of a 1k GTD 6max, took 2nd in in a 5k GTD, and mincashed the 100k GTD Sunday Major.

I made the mistake of playing some more 200NL zone. I don't know why I keep hopping in those games even though I have good evidence I am not winning in them. Maybe I just like the challenge. Something on a subconscious level keeps pulling me back into those games. Had I just focused on MTTs yesterday, I probably would have had a nice +$400-500 day.

I also felt like I was on my B-game yesterday even in MTTs. It's strange, because I got a lot of good study done over the week, exercised, meditated, did yoga, ate healthy on Sunday. Seems that there is some variance in terms of my level of focus and execution even when I feel like I did everything right to prep for the grind.

My goal for this week is to just study MTTs all week. I will only play Sunday and/or next Monday, MTTs only on Bovada. I have to go see my girlfriend's father this weekend for his birthday, so I will get home late on Sunday and will have to start grinding late and miss some of the events I would normally play. Next Monday is Mad Monday on Bovada, so I may just play that instead of Sunday (schedule is great), or play both.

Study focus for this week will be preflop vs. RFI - flatting and 3betting range constructions. I will also be reviewing all marked hands from my Sunday grind, which contain a mixed bag of situations.

Looking ahead a bit, I would like to finish up on preflop study over the next 2 weeks so I can move on to postflop and start grinding the pio sims after that. My long-term goal is to get in about 105 hours of study in over the next ~15 weeks (moving to 7 hours per week) of study- 10 is too much with my busy schedule.

If I can get in at least 100 hours I will be rewarding myself by purchasing a 1-year RIO Elite sub and also diversifying my roll onto ACR for better Sunday game selection. It would be nice to start off Q1 2019 with that move and would help to set me up for grinding enough of a roll to make some live trips next year.

Until next time!

Oct. 1, 2018 | 2:31 p.m.

Slow the fuck down

It's been a while since I've posted in here. I have recently been reading Miika Antonnen's book series "Once a Gambler", and that has inspired me to post an update. I finished the first book and am about 90% through the second, and I am very surprised how eerily similar my path is to Miika's so far. At least in terms of bankroll fluctuations and self-sabotage. I don't ever play table games or totally spew off money, but I sure do know how to sabotage myself every time my bankroll is approaching the 20k mark, just like Miika(SP?).

Long story short, I have been extremely busy since my last post and poker has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Since 6 months ago, I got staked to play on the chinese apps, having good success at first. I played the smaller stakes deep ante cash games and won right away. Then I moved up to higher stakes, went into makeup, moved back down, and had enough winning weeks to cash out around 1.3k in profit, with my backer getting the other half. After a few weeks of cashing out, I went on a downswing. At the same time, the two softest clubs I was playing in scammed us and I had to leave them. My backer decided he did not want to stake me anymore, but graciously offered to let me play with my own money through him. That's actually a great result, as I would much rather play on my own dime anyway.

I decided to step away from the chinese apps for a bit to focus on MTTs, where I have had the most consistent success throughout my time in poker thus far. Due to a series of unfortunate events, my "bankroll" technically got down to about $50 2 weeks ago. I decided to focus on MTTs and played some very small events 2 sundays ago. I won a $5 4k, and had some other cashes. The next Sunday, I final tabled another tournament, and my roll was at about $1100. After that, I blew around $300 playing 200NL ZONE on Bovada (lost a 2-outer right off the bat getting QQ in on 764Q vs KK). I quickly sat out and haven't hopped back into those games again.

Last night I final tabled a $25k GTD, but executed a pretty bad ICM punt with a set vs a better set and got 5th. My bankroll is now at $2k. Plenty of money to play a bunch of MTTs on Bovada.

I think a major problem that has held me back lately is that I am in way too much of a hurry to have big results/success. For the last few weeks, I have been doing a really good job of taking a long-term mindset and I have been studying poker harder than I ever have in the past. I am very confident that I have the skillset to really crush MTTs. At least at small - mid stakes, and at least on the soft US sites. I'm trying to stick to a goal of 10 hours of deliberate practice every week now, and I plan to mostly only play on the weekends.

One thing is for sure. For better or worse, I won't give up on the poker dream. Despite my lack of professionalism and inability to stop sabotaging myself in the past, I am more optimistic than ever. I can see my edge in most games I play, and I am very grateful that good poker games still exist both online and live in 2018. I'm going to do everything I can to capitalize on that for as long as it continues. Let's do this!!

Sept. 28, 2018 | 11:58 p.m.

Hey Tyler, really enjoyed these videos. I saw yesterday that Ignition has added 500NL Zone games, would be awesome to see some content covering those games and maybe discussing how pool tendencies differ from 200NL :)

April 29, 2018 | 2:35 a.m.

This video was great! Really loved how much of your personality shows with talking into the camera and the eye contact. Music was a nice touch too. Looking forward to working through the rest of your videos

April 14, 2018 | 10 p.m.

OK Poker Week, GTO Life Week

Last week was solid on the life front. I meditated every day, stuck to my exercise schedule, had good balance and took a really fun day off on Saturday. I also had a reasonably good week at work and got essentially as much done as I had hoped for. The one thing I didn't do well with was eating well/nutrition.

I went to a Chili / Chowder challenge thing on Saturday and ate way more fucking chili than anyone should ever eat. There was this one chili that was made with Ghost peppers and a friend told me he couldn't get past 2 bites, so naturally I took on that challenge and ate a whole bowl. I'm a huge fish so I didn't secure a prop bet first. After the first few bites I thought I might pass out. I got through it by treating it as a stoic experiment- intentionally induced suffering and all that.

Poker was OK, I made a small profit on the week. I came in just a hair short on my volume and study goals this week. For next week I will be shifting to tracking #hands rather than #hours, and do not have Live play as a part of my weekly goal.

This Weeks Goals

This week is going to be challenging to reach my goals, since I have a birthday party on Friday and another event on Saturday to attend.

Volume: 6k hands online (no live)
Study: 6 hours
Med: every day
Exercise: 3x/wk + daily small exercises/yoga

March 26, 2018 | 2:37 p.m.

@Saulo- I think this is pretty good evidence that I am likely assigning too narrow a range to villain's 5bet in this spot. Thank you for sharing!!

Having said that, It would be interesting to see what you get if you looked at all hands and filtered for effective stacks 85-120bb and 5b size between minraise and some amount slightly larger than minraise. I would expect the sample you linked to probably has some 150 or 200bb + effective spots in it, and would also include hands where villain does something silly like raises to almost all in leaving himself with 1bb (which of course is very rare but could happen with > 0 frequency).

March 23, 2018 | 1:22 a.m.

@Saulo, I definitely have mental game leaks and my technical game needs tons of work too, but I don't tilt in this spot because I ran KK into AA. I tilt because I had a gut feeling about what I should do and went against it. If villain had 5b jammed rather than clicking it back, I would snap call here and would also happily snap call with AK and would not care at all about the results. If i run into AA that's just a hand in villain's range and it doesn't matter. I'm absolutely open to the idea that I am way off about what villain's range looks like in this spot given the action, but based just on instincts and what I think the average range looks like here i do think it is a fold (either pre or OTF). I dont have hundreds of thousands of hands to do db analysis and prove it. On top of that this is a rare enough spot that it would take a massive sample to get enough data to "prove" anything about villain's range.

Basically I had what I thought was a reasonable thought process in-game for folding this hand either pre or on the flop and I didn't fold. I didn't have a "reason" to stack off other than the surface level thinking of "I have KK sb vs bb lets get it in".

March 22, 2018 | 11:59 p.m.

I love the notepad idea. I've actually thought of doing something very similar but instead of using a notepad i was thinking of just using a whiteboard next to my desk that I keep a tally on. One nice benefit of this site is that I can get HHs 24 hours or so after a hand is played and can see villain's hole cards, so I can actually confirm whether or not my instincts are on. One downside though, is that there is no way to mark hands in session. HUDs don't work and it becomes a little tricky to find the exact HH I want to confirm. I guess the best I can do is to just use the tally idea and also write down a timestamp for when the hand was played, then 24-48 hours later I can filter and find the hand with a little minor searching. Actually I think this is the only way I'm going to correct my biases and fix this problem. Thanks!

March 22, 2018 | 11:50 p.m.

Sorry for the auto complete typos haha, on my cell and can’t edit those

March 22, 2018 | 9:21 p.m.

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