michael14561's avatar


47 points

Hand Analysis:

One more thing I forgot to mention was I played my first live tournament since being back! Only at local casino. The field was pretty bad, some good players and some really bad players. Overall I think I played ok, a bit card dead to make any generalisations but not much I can do. There's one hand I want to go through as I was really unsure about the correct play.

UTG limps w/ 40bb
Folds around to me in the CO with A6s w/ 15bb, I shove
BB calls w/ 11bb
UTG folds

Reads up to this point:
- UTG had been active overall, he had both a limping and a raising strategy and from the two showdowns of when he raised (having AJs and JJ), I think he was raising probably TT+, AJs+, AQo+ and then limping the remainder of a 40-50% VPIP.
- I had been folding a lot due to being card dead most of the time, with 15bb I had such an awkward stack, 12bb I think this is probably a shove and 18bb either overlimp or raise. I decided that the UTG had a weak enough range and the players behind had been relatively tight and felt with a suited A this would probably be a good shoving spot.

Using HRC, I think UTG limping range probably looks something along these lines:

Locking this range as a limp, I've left myself only with a shove/fold strategy as realistically my only raise size could be 2-2.5x which in this game would have got a call from at least 2 other players. Anything larger than this I think it makes more sense to just apply pressure.

BB played fairly normal so I will not alter his range.

One final component in HRC to change is UTG calling frequency to the shove + call, UTG had made a wider call in a similar spot previously with KTs. Therefore his calling range is something along these lines:

Based on these adjustments my 15bb shoving range here from HRC becomes:

So from this, my hand is a shove. To note I have included the MTT ICM as when watching a Ryan Henry video, ICM hits much earlier than just near the bubble. It's at the lower end of the shoving range but still there. In practice I'm not sure whether it is, Owen Shiels pointed out that when guys play so badly, it might not be worth scraping a +0.08 spot when the likelihood of a better spot coming up is so high. Which makes sense and will I don't think the shove was terrible, I think I could have been more patient here and if I had not been card dead, I question if I would have made this shove.

BB had AKs and I lost that hand :)

Let me know your thoughts on this and whether any of my thought process is wrong.

Oct. 26, 2021 | 1:37 p.m.

Update 26/10/2021

The downswing has hit hard:

It's been really tough this recent period. Haven't had a good run in a while. I've only cashed in 14/84 tournaments, small sample size I know and downswings are expect but it does pain slightly. Best result has been 9/564 in a deep stack tourney on Stars.

I've started playing on the iPoker network, tournaments do not run as much on my buy-in level but the field is extremely soft so I'll try and add as much volume as I can there.

Stars have also completely obliterated the MTT SNG schedule. My best tournaments were the $4.50 On Demand and the $3.50R which no longer exist and there's simply a $5 On Demand - which is a turbo :( The $4.50 field was so soft managed to get an 83% ROI over 31 tourney's there so thats a big one gone and event worse, the $3.50R is gone which was probably the softest game on the site, managed a 189% ROI over 26 tournaments getting ITM 38% of the time.

I've have started to have a go at Bounty tournaments. I clearly struggle as I always end up one of the shorter stacks quite quickly - I might drop these until the end of the year as I still am working on my freezeout/Rebuy game. That being said, less tournaments at stars makes it difficult.

Yeah, overall a bit down about things. I've upped my studying time as I've got deeper into the downswing as at least I can improve what I am doing.

I'm contemplating getting 1-1 coaching with Owen Shiels but I might wait until I've reach a higher profit value.

Hopefully I have a better update for next time

Oct. 26, 2021 | 1:15 p.m.

Hi All,

So I've created flashcards as a way to reinforce what is taught in the course. Active recall and purposeful practice in this way has been shown to be more effective in learning that just watching videos or watching and taking notes.

They are by no means perfect and I would recommend making your own. They are littered with spelling mistakes and some might not make sense but use them if you would like :)


Oct. 18, 2021 | 4:07 p.m.

Update 15/10/2021

I have a busy weekend ahead of me so I thought this would be a good time to give an update on how things are going.

Results wise, the past two weeks have been really good. I managed to take down a $3.50R on stars for $455 which is by far and away my biggest cash so far. I followed this up with a 4/472 $5.50 deep stack tourney for $123 a few days later. Add in a few other cashes and results are below:

Yesterday I ran deep in the Big $4.40 but got AA all in pre vs AJo for 20bb stack and they hit a flush :( out in 40th. I really want to get to the final table of either one of stars' Big/Hot tournament series. I keep busting somewhere between 40-90th place when I cash but cant seem to close them.

That being said, I can't complain. My results so far have exceeded well above what I would have expected at this point (cue uber downswing from now).

As for study, I have being making notes and flashcards on a number of series. Owen Shiels' videos are always great and his video on an introduction to exploitative play has helped over the recent week. I have also been studying Ryan Henry's videos on ICM - these have been eye opening to me on how early ICM can affect ranges preflop. I even did some analysis myself on HRC of how ICM affects a 9-man SNG with 3 paid at 10bb stacks:

I could not believe the difference even between ChipEV and 9/8/7 players! ICM is a much bigger factor than I thought in terms of how MTT's should be approached. Thanks for the insight Ryan I will continue watching your vids. On that point, I have to give credit to both the FTGU MTT course and RIO Essential videos - for the price they have ridiculously good value. I'm not sure if many people actually read my journal but if you do and you are an MTT player, could you recommend some vids that you found the most informative for you?

My bankroll now is large enough to finally take a shot at my local casino tournaments. They run Wed/Thurs/Sat so I will have to decide soon when to take the plunge there, hopefully people are as bad live as they say.

My aim over the coming weeks is to delve into ICM a lot more. I am getting to more final tables now and these spots become the biggest influences to my ROI %. Additionally (and I know it is out of my control) I want to reach to final table of either the Big/Hot $4.40 or Big/Hot $11. The $11 would be massive but the competition is stronger and I am still not comfortable playing $11 MTT's yet as they are my highest buy-in level.

I hope you all are running well and having a great autumn!

Oct. 15, 2021 | 9:09 a.m.

Hi Owen, on reflection do you still like your call at 08:03? Ultimately we fold on the turn on the offsuit queen which actually is not too bad for our hand. You justified making a call here as K9d has BDFD + BDSD turn improvements and reject calling just BDFD hands w/o additional components but then insta-fold when the BDFD improves. Additionally the SB leads into two players on a quite dynamic board where they do not have a range or nut advantage so I would think that they have a v strong hand. Can you go into a bit more detail on what turns you would be continuing here after making this flop call? Great vid btw first one after finishing your FTGU course :)

Oct. 5, 2021 | 8:23 p.m.

Update 2/10/2021

I'm currently going through a pretty nasty bit of flu that has kept me away from not only poker but work and gym as well. I hate being ill, it stops me from doing my favourite things. With not much else to do, I thought I'd update my progress.

So coming back from a just over a week off was more challenging than I expected and I had to put in a good chunk of time to retrain myself on theory and ranges. I went through a breakeven stretch for quite a while before I started running good and got some good scores. I managed to finish 8/1500 players in the Hot $2.20 which was a good experience as my first large MTT final table, I busted early but was short on chips. Then I had my biggest score so far for $138 after finishing 3/386 players in a $5.50 player cap MTT, I ran really well in this one but all the negative variance hit me three ways and busted as a favourite but I cannot complain. Finally, managed to finish 2/51 in a smaller field $7 MTT for $72. All of this has culminated in the below results:

I also finally have a proper desktop computer rather than a shitty laptop plus a much bigger screen. It has been heaven and has really helped over the past week. As a result, I tried splitting my volume across both Stars and GG. I do not really like the GG tournaments, I think they leave late reg open for too long as by even as far as 45 mins away from late reg ending, people can be buying in the 8-10bb which seems ridiculous to me. I will have a look at what Party offers once I feel a bit better. I did look at 888 but they do not seem to have a great daily schedule for lower stakes players.

I've completed making notes for FTGU course and am about 80% of the way through completing the flashcards I have created to absorb the content. I will run through the whole course again once I have done one run through and then will get an essential membership. Shout out to Owen Shiels for making such a great course, I have learned so much and the principles have meant I can have a decent ROI even if I play v small stakes.

Oct. 2, 2021 | 12:11 p.m.

Yes that’s the one!

Sept. 22, 2021 | 8:23 a.m.

Hi Henry, I like your ambition and you have the right idea. Your study techniques by watching videos only seem to not be ideal. I’d recommend either reading ‘Peak’ by Anders Erickson or watching the ‘How I study’ video in RIO by Owen Shiels to speed up your learning :)

Sept. 21, 2021 | 8:26 a.m.

15/09 Update

So i'm back from holiday, masters degree now all finished. Refreshed, recharged and with more time avaliable in my life. Super excited for the remainder of 2021.

So with the final phase of my original plan (100x $3.50) was slowed at the start as the $3.50 games are less liquid than the $1.50/$0.50 level. The games still run just not at the same speed. Hence, I expanded my scope to include some other MTT's ranging from $3-$7. I had really good results in the $4.50 MTSNG's and managed to get my best score so far for $93 :)


As you can see, I have struggled a bit at the $3.50 level overall with an ROI of only 13%. I think I did not run great during these and the sample size is small. I will continue to play these as they have a decent structure and can lower variance with the smaller field size.
I have also noticed that my Bounty Tournament game is extremely weak and have a lot of moments where I do not know the correct strategy. I will avoid these until I finish the FTGU course and get an Essential subscription as I have seen there are some videos I can learn strategy for these.

Overall though, an ROI of 24% is something once again to build on and for sure could be a lot worse.

Overall results for first three phases (Total $ and Buy-ins):

I am happy with these graphs :)

That's in the past now. Onto my goals for the remainder of 2021/ Phase 4:

Process Goals:
- Finish Learning FTGU Coursee
- Learn All RFI Ranges (5/10/30/50bb)
- Learn 15/30/50bb 3Bet/Cold Call Ranges
- Learn PFA/PFC Ranges for 8 Flops
- Average 20 Tourneys per day

Exciting, High Variance and out of my control goals:
- £1k Profit
- Win a tournament with 500+ people
- Play a live tournament at local casino

One final thing is I need to upgrade my computer with higher processing power and a larger screen as my laptop is causing me issues. Next month I will invest in this and will allow me to increase the number of tables I can play. I think the number of tables I play at once is my current bottleneck in terms of moving forwards with my total $ profit.

Sept. 15, 2021 | 12:48 p.m.

Hi All,

I forgot to do an update before I went on holiday! I’ll give results when I get back. Long and short of it is I managed to finish the final stage of the initial goals I outlined

Past two years have been crazy for me and I’m pretty burnt out. This week will help me recharge and consider my goals for the remainder of 2021.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Sept. 8, 2021 | 3:46 p.m.

Hey man, seems like a good start. What are your goals?

Sept. 2, 2021 | 1:45 p.m.

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the kind words.

Yes I agree and is something I used to do a few year ago but after reading ‘Peak‘ I have been taking a more focussed approach. Making notes then creating flashcards based on these notes and tracking my results. It has been going well but it is for sure more challenging than just kicking back and watching a video while chilling on the sofa :)

Aug. 28, 2021 | 12:36 p.m.

Update 3:

100x $1.50 Complete!

This has taken a lot longer than i anticipated. I was away for a weekend and then the seemingly never ending workload of my diss has been taking some of my time. That being said, 100 are now complete.


My aim for a 20% ROI failed by 0.01%. I struggled in the middle portion big time with variance as i kept busting in either 6th or 9th place when getting deep. Not much i could do though as i was just running big hands into big hands. I ran better in the second half of the sample for sure but i do feel as though i was also playing better.

I've found that my table limit is 6 tables which is probably low for many grinders but for me i see a drop off in my play especially when i load up 8+ tables. I will have to train myself and build up to more at once.

I go on holiday for a week between 7th-14th september so my aim (which is more than doable) is to complete the final 100 tournaments of the first phase of my learning. I'm now 75% FTGU. I am trying to absorb as much as i can from each episode and taking my time in learning before moving on.

I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Aug. 27, 2021 | 12:37 p.m.

Update 2:
Life has been crazy and taken over the past couple of weeks. Have my dissertation draft due tomorrow so have been putting my energy outside of work into that. Hence, my MTT time has depleted.

I’ve made sure I stick to studying though which I think is still a good use of time. A mixture of notes on FTGU and purposeful practice via testing on what I have learned already.

Next update should be a better one

Aug. 12, 2021 | 11:24 a.m.

Update 1:
100 $0.50 45 man MTT SNG - COMPLETED

I found these tournaments a good initial first step on my journey, the results of the 100 tourneys is below:

While my ITM % and ROI% are nothing to shout about, at least they are postiive and by a little margin:

There is not much to comment on the pool, it is a mixture of limping fish and nitty regulars with the occasional 30/25 style reg which is easy to avoid. I quickly realised the key to these tournaments was correctly playing stacks 10bb-30bb and hence focussed most of my study time around preflop from different positions. While I have base ranges, these are not fixed and taking what Owen on FTGU MTT explained regarding the importance of noting every situation being different. It is important to learn a base though. My overall win rate bb/100 is below:

I'm about halfway through FTGU, it is starting to get quite technical now but I will get used to it after a while.

One thing that has slowed my progress is my masters dissertation which is due in a months time. Dissertation + FT Job + Poker is EXHAUSTING so I'm looking forward to hand in date.

On to the $1.50 MTT SNG's. I imagine that the pool will be slightly tougher but there should be more than enough fish to make profit on. If I can get an ROI > 20% I will be pleased.

Aug. 6, 2021 | 4:55 p.m.


Aug. 3, 2021 | 7:13 a.m.

Hi All,

So a bit of background on me:

25 and from UK. Got back into poker during lockdown last year and fell in love with the game again. Played PLO for just over a year spending a combined time investment with videos, solvers and playing of just under 1k hours. It dawned on me about a month ago that I could not beat PLO, I was playing on GG at PLO50 and PLO100 RNC, I felt as though no matter my time investment, my winrate was not improving. Could be running bad but, to quote Mycroft Homes “What do we say about coincidences? The universe is rarely so lazy.”

It dawned on me that either I continue breaking even/slightly losing for a while or re-evaluate. I had a week break in order to make sure I didn’t make any rash decisions just because I might not be running great at the time. I concluded that the most important element for me and poker was the competitive aspect, I love competition and while I could start another sport or game such as chess which I had dabbled in quite a bit but it does not have the same allure as poker. Secondly, the potential money-making aspect is very appealing, and this offers something chess does not. A competitive and strategy-based game that you can make some profit at is very appealing to me.

As mentioned, PLO Cash ultimately did not turn out how I was expecting considering the workload I put into it. I accept my failure in this, it could be that I just am not good enough to succeed or my brain is not wired for the game. Either way, I will shut the door to PLO. I could move to Mixed Games but the games are not very liquid particularly at low stakes.

This leaves NLHE. I think the advantage of this is that typically, new players use this as a base to learn about poker resulting in a greater scope of money to be made. Taking my experience in PLO Cash, I am concerned that my poor results are due to the cash game format and do not want to simply translate the results from PLO to NLHE. Hence, my game of choice with be NLHE MTTs.

Poker is Fractal and while I understand the broader scope of what a bad strategy at NLHE is generally and what to avoid as a result, when going down a level into the detail, my understanding is extremely limited. I accept this and hold no ego towards my exceptionally narrow knowledge at NLHE. With this in mind, I will start at very small stakes, applying knowledge I will learn in the ‘From the Ground Up MTT’ series to begin with, before transitioning to trainers and solvers thereafter once I have understood the content to a good degree.

I learned many lessons during my failings at PLO Cash and will be using these during my new journey in order to not make the same mistakes again. These will appear as I progress and will call them out as I make changes.

I shall start with 45 player Turbo SNG’s on stars (these are a very similar in structure and player count to the tournaments my local casino runs which is very soft and will be good simulations). 100 SNGs at $0.50, $1.50 and $3.50 each. Once reaching this point, I will review my results and decide whether to stick at this or transition to larger tournaments and larger buy ins.

As for other areas of my life, I am actually very happy with and am already where I would expect myself to be in most areas so I will not be making goal on these during this thread.

I am happy to answer any questions and will post results hopefully weekly 😊

  • Play 100 $1.50 MTSNG
  • Play 100 $3.50 MTSNG
  • Complete the FTGU MTT Course

July 28, 2021 | 10:42 a.m.

Hi All,

Just started my journey into NLHE MTT’s. Previously played low stakes PLO cash and had a pretty successful study group that I set up.

I noticed this game type isn’t very active on discord’s and forums so I am hoping to at least find some low stakes MTT players who can band together and try and improve as one.

Discord: https://discord.gg/s9aUsXZWEV

July 23, 2021 | 6:59 a.m.

May 4, 2021 | 6:19 p.m.

Bump again! Calling out Floboyer to join :)

April 28, 2021 | 2:45 p.m.

Bump! Please come along all you PLO50 guys on GG we have a good group going atm

April 9, 2021 | 3:30 p.m.

Hi All,

Apologies for the second post, all of my steak personal high scores have vanished apart from those I have done in the past month or so.

I have been able to see them this morning, might just be an issue that will be fixed soon. I was able to see all my scores this morning


April 7, 2021 | 3:54 p.m.

Hi All,

New group set up for this site and stake only. Would be great to have people along for the discussion :)

Hit me up if you want to be added to the discord :D

Edit: Group now closed

April 1, 2021 | 7:14 a.m.

Hi All,

My ‘Facing Raise’ section is locked at the moment, is there an issue with this?

March 30, 2021 | 6:34 a.m.

This is an excellent post and hits every point.

March 21, 2021 | 5:25 a.m.


For discord

Jan. 5, 2021 | 10:26 a.m.

No I don’t think there is

Dec. 4, 2020 | 9:41 a.m.


Thanks for your post thats really helpful, grinding looks to be the way to get through it!

Dec. 2, 2020 | 7:26 p.m.

Hi All,

Discord server has been created and I've sent PM's to those who commented, let me know if you would like to be added!

Dec. 2, 2020 | 4:19 p.m.

Hi HeavyMask

Thanks for the post,

Putting it in those terms is actually really helpful, I think this is a good lesson as I imagine it would be very tempting to turn pro once you get to 1kNL. Making a decision like that based on a 180 BI run good sample (wow btw that is insane!!!!) would not be great

Bankroll-wise I am ok I am well within my limits and only risk a very minor proportion of my life roll

Update since post, I decided to spread my volume away from stars only to some of the other euopean sites. It's really weird because on the other sites I'm approx 2-3 BI above EV but on stars now I'm total 105BI below EV. I'm not tilting as much because I kind of expect it now from stars. I'm thinking of moving away from stars completely as it is coming to a point where something just doesn't seem quite right

Dec. 2, 2020 | 4:05 p.m.

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