September Round Up

September 21, 2009

So the Winter is finally coming to a close in Melbourne and it’s a big relief. The sun has started to appear and thinks are shaping up to be a great summer. Some of my friends from back home have moved here for a year now, so we have a nice group of people to hang out with.

On Saturday, we had a barbecue in a friends house. Unfortunately, they don’t sell disposables over here and at 7PM on a Saturday night things wern’t looking good for our fridge full of BBQ ready food. Queue some MacGyver type innovation using bricks stolen off a nearby building site, a shopping trolley from Woolworths, a bag of charcoal and some methylated spirits and 90 minutes later we had a smashing BBQ cooking away that bested the majority of those I’ve enjoyed in the past.

I have been playing very little poker since my last post. I try to go to the casino once a fortnight to get a game in, but other than that, I’ve played little to no serious poker. I’ve got a number of different websites on the go at the minute all of which take a serious amount of time and effort to manage and maintain.

I’ve been playing a small bit of lower stakes this week to try and get back into the swing of things.

Heading to Sydney next week for a holiday to see my brother and his family. He’s a school teacher so I’ll get to hang out with him for 8 or 9 days during the school holidays. Also, have to do some touristy stuff in Sydney with the g/f which I’m not looking forward to.

Got my lazy ass back in the gym this week after 2 months of being a slob and doing no exercise. Summer time is nearing so have to get rid of the beer belly.

Hope to update this more frequently over the coming months, though as with everything thats easier said than done.

Anyways, as promised, another John Lennon song I love though it definitely wont be to everyones taste

Rakeback Deals

June 21, 2009

Ignore this post, just need to get some pages on my site reindexed:

Full Tilt Poker Rakeback – 27% rakeback on Full Tilt Poker

Everest Poker Rakeback – Information about Everest’s VIP scheme

The Cereus network is starting to grow again after the superuser scandal that took place last year.

The two sites to check out on the network are:

Absolute Poker Rakeback and Ultimate Bet Rakeback both of which offer 30% rakeback to all new players.

Other popular deals right now are Cake Poker Rakeback and Betfair Poker Rakeback

My next post should be advertisement free :)

I will add one thing. Most people probably don’t know I’m a massive John Lennon fan. I think his solo work is hugely underrated and it makes me sad that he was killed at such an early age when he was starting to produce some of his best solo work.

Anyways this is one of his solo works that I love and most people have probably never even heard. I’ll try to post some more in subsequent blogs.

Working hard

June 18, 2009

To those of you who have been inundating my comment box with messages, apologies for the lack of posts recently. I have been working my ass off on a number of things:

1. I finally found a good content writer for my site Rakebackftw. Over the course of the past 6 weeks I’ve hired and fired 5 different writers. I’m extremely picky when it comes to writing style and some of the stuff I reviewed was horrendous. Anyways I’m very happy with the new guy and looking forward to working with him. I’ve hired him to do 7 articles a week for my site with topics ranging from poker news to poker strategy to player bios.

Here’s a sample of some of his work:

7 habits of highly successful poker players

EU argues online gambling crackdown violates international trade law

Tom Dwan

2. Search engine optimization – this is a cnut and takes endless hours. On the upside my site is now appearing on the front page of google for some search terms that have over half a million competitors. That’s pretty awesome and it’s really rewarding for me to see my hard work paying off.

3. I’m working on a new site with a poker friend from boards.ie We’re about 10-14 days away from having the site completed. It’s really starting to come together well and I cant wait to start promoting it. Will keep you updated on this as we don’t want anything away until after we’ve launched.

4. Gym – I’ve been super lazy. Yesterday was the first time I’ve gone in a week and I only went once last week. I’m going to have to get motivated to start working out at least 4 or 5 times a week again. Because Im working such long hours I need to keep mental and physical fitness at their peaks. My muscles are sore as hell today which is another reason not to let it go so long next time

5. Poker – 2 -5k days in a row = take a break for a while. Was up almost 20k after 10 days of the month and now I’m up around 6k. Only played once this week at small stakes to clear my head from the melt factor of staring at a content management system for 14 hours straight.

Melbourne is starting to get really cold. My girlfriend cant get a job because noone is hiring non residents. So I’m getting to enjoy repeats of the Simpsons and SpongeBob Square Pants for the majority of the day :)

Going to the casino this weekend to try and win the months rent due next week.

Gl to y’all.

More Donkaments, Back Online, New Content

May 31, 2009

Since my last update, I played one more tournament. It was a $550 6max tournament with a 10k starting stack and 40 minute blinds. I played quite well, but never got above 12k all day.

I busted out with 90 or so players left when I shoved the button with A9s for ten BBs. SB has ATs and that was it. The tournament had a great structure and I’m really disappointed I didn’t do better, as I probably had 100 times more experience at 6 max than the majority of the field.

One thing I noticed is I play a little bit weak tight in certain situations. For example, I got 3bet when I raised 89o on the button. The next orbit i folded Q9o when I had a smallish stack. Online I’d always raise or shove this hand when the pot was unopened. I had a few annoying hands like that where I should have shoved but convinced myself not to. Not huge mistakes in isolation, but overall the sum of the mistakes add up to sub optimal play and play that is in no way good enough to go deep in a tournament like that.

The live cash games went really well. I made something like 16k Aussie Dollars overall (minus about 3k in tournament buyins). The 5/10/20 PLO games in Crown are great. They had some sick holdem games going too. A friend of a friend was up 250k from 5 or 6 sessions of 25/25/50/100 holdem. Sick stuff.

I just added some new content to Rakebackftw. For those of you who are interested in improving your preflop play, I’ve written this series of articles about preflop strategy.

The next series of articles will be a ten part series on 3betting that I’ve commission from a really good poker strategist. I’ll update my blog with links once they’re live.

This week I started back online. Had 3 good days and one bad day thus far. Yesterday I went from +2k -5k in about 40 minutes. I lost 3 65:35s, an 80:20 and a 45:55. At the end of the session I was a little bit tilted. I won back a buyin and a half and quit down 3k.

PLO is a sick game. It’s funny that I’m winning about 9k overall this week, yet because of one day where I ran badly, it feels like it’s a losing week. I’m thinking of getting a mental game coach to get out of this mindset. Obviously, it’s natural to be deflated when you’re faced with huge swings, but right now I’m not dealing with them as well as can be.

Starting in June, I’m going to start setting weekly goals. I’ve 3 different projects running concurrently right now and managing them all is a nightmare. I need to start using more effective time management and giving myself some more free time to enjoy myself.

[/Rant]

MPC Terminator Tournament

May 22, 2009

Yesterday I played the $340 terminator tournament at the Melbourne Poker Championships. It was a $200+$40+$100 scalp chip. Every time you knock a player out you receive a scalp chip and collect $100. The starting stack was 5000 with 30 minute levels. I got a scalp quite early on when I isolated with aces and the guy shoved with 66 and I held up. I played one interesting hand at 75/150. It’s folded to me in MP and I open KhQd to 450. The button calls and everyone else folds. The flop is As9s3h. I cbet 675 and he thinks and calls. The turn is the 2s and I check. He checks back. The river is the Js putting a four flush on board. I consider checking, but I think his range is always Axs with na small chance of 9x or TT-QQ. I think he bets flushes 100% on the turn with the exception of the nut flush. So I consider 3 different bet sizes, really small milking bet of 450. A bigger milker of 675 or a big bet of 1100. The guy was wearing a shirt and tie and looked like he had come straight from the office to play the tournament. So using this life read as information, I decide the big bet is best to stop him from hero calling. Anyway he tanks for 3 or 4 minutes and reads my soul, calling with Ad8d for the top pair.

So that put me down to 4000 or so and a few orbits later, I find QQ in MP. UTG who has been nitting it up opens to 600. I flat call and the villain from the above hand 3bets otb. UTG shoves and I fold. Button calls. UTG – AA, button – KK. I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing that I manged to fold QQ with 12 big blinds left.

Next orbit I triple up when I get KK in the BB after UTG opens and SB shoves. KK vs QQ vs JJ and then our table breaks. My new table is alot softer with 4 donkeys with huge chip stacks. Blinds are soon 300/600 and I’ve 12k. Completely card dead, I keep shipping the cutoff/button in unopened pots to stay afloat. Table breaks again and I get moved to another table of donks. I’ve been card dead for 2 hours and I still have 12k. Blinds are 600/1200 and I ship AKo in MP. The massive chip leader reshoves. He flips AA and I brick out in 45th/235 with just one scalp. Sigh. Standard tournament run for me.

A few levels into the tournament I ended up chatting with one of the guys at my table. He was friends witha  guy I speak with alot online but I’d never met in person. We’d meant to meet up about 10 different times both in Australia and when I lived in Hong Kong (he lives in Macau). We ended up having abit of banter and him and his mates insisted on getting me pissed early on in the donkament. when our table broke I’d go the thirst so I continued boozing all night. After the donkament I sat into a 5/10 PLO game. A few hands in I lose a buyin on Td7d5c2c with Tc7c3d4d (top 2 pair, open ended straight draw and 2 flush draws) vs 55.  At this stage I’m mouthing off to the entire table with incessant rants and commenting about how bad everyone is. 2 old nits who I played with in the plo tournament midweek have gone from 10% VPIP to 100% VPIP for any raise preflop. Quite funny how a little bit of talking can really affect other people’s play. I ended up winning 6k in the game and stubmled home to bed at about 4am.

Today is Day 1 of a $230 100k guaranteed. I’m going to play Day 2 tomorrow instead because I’m pretty hungover right now and Im sure there will be more donks playing on Saturday. Hopefully I can get a decent run in that. Also going to the play the $2700 ANZPT event, the $1100 main event, the $550 6 max where I’ll have a massive edge and maybe the $550 HORSE if I have time.

Until next time….

Melbourne Poker Championships

May 20, 2009

This week, the Melbourne Poker Championships started in the Crown Casino. I went down on the first day to play a small buyin event ($150+$25) to try and get reacquainted with a live poker enviroment. The tournament was a disaster from start to finish. I thought it started at 12:30. When I arrived at 12:50 they had been playing 40 minutes. I decided to register and was added to a small alternate list. I finally got to take my seat at 13:30 or so. My starting stack was 4000 and we were about to change to the 75/150 level. In my very first hand, the hijack opened to 450. I looked down at 66 in the cutoff. I immediately felt depressed realising that any opening raise would be 10% of my stack so that from my first hand onwards I will not have implied odds to flat any hands preflop.

The table was the worst standard of poker I’ve ever seen. A mixture of nits and donks, all equally terrible. I opened a few hands in LP and took the blinds. I had my stack up to 6.5k when I open TT to 450 at 75/150 otb and the BB shoves for 2000 more. I call and lose vs AK. A few orbits later I open A9o to 600 in the hijack at 100/200. The cutoff instacalls. He’s played one hand in my entire time at the table. An uberdonk otb flats. The flop is A62. I check, the nit bets 1400 and the button calls. I’ve 2800 left behind and decide to fold. The hand gets showndown and the nit shows 77 and the button TT. This is a really good example of how much I suck at live poker. My stack is barely bigger than a pot sized bet on the flop and I somehow manage to fold top pair by assigning completely retarded ranges to people. I’m slowly starting to realise that completely different skillsets are requird to be successful online and live. While the fundamentals are the same, it’s extremely flawed to apply online ranges to a live player’s range.

So after making that huge mistake I got my chips in a few hands later when I shove QQ utg+1 and the SB has KK. WP Ian.

I played a 2/5 NL game after. Doubled up early on when I raised Qs2s in mid position and get it in on a QJs5s flop vs 55 and win. For the rest of the day I proceeded to donk my chips away by bluffing the unbluffable and generally playing awful poker.  I finished down $400 in that game. Later on I joined a 2/4 PLO game. Literally in my first hand I get AAxxss and 3bet pre. Full pot AcJd9c flop. Full pot 6x turn to put the guy allin. River is a 7 and he turns over J958 with clubs for 2 pair, a flush draw and a rivered gutshot. Bye bye buyin. The game is only 6 handed and Im raising 70% of pots preflop. 2 nits are up about 3 buyins each which was depressing because they kept getting paid off by just full potting every street with the nuts when they were playing 14/0/1.5 (the 1.5 agg factor coming from potting the nuts). I ended up breaking even in the game which wasn’t a disaster.

Yesterday I played a $175 PLO donkament. Played great poker all day. Was always around or slightly bigger than the average stack. I was allin twice all tournament. once on ATc7c with AAKc6c (lol) vs TTxx and the other time with AAds where I was against AAss allin preflop. Sick board of Q4h88h3h. The guy had AA8x so he had turned trips but I rivered the but flush for the scoop. With about 50 players left I completed AcTcT5 from the SB and saw a 6 way flop of T77. Eventually we get it allin for 1.5 times the average stack and the guy has 77xx for the sick cooler. Pretty depressing to play such good poker all day and go out to a cooler. But I still feel positive that i played such good poker all day. One funny thing was I was at the same table all tournament. 97% of flops were limped. Noone raised from any positione xcept 2 players who only raised AAxx. I was the only person raising preflop with any reasonable frequency.

Afterwards I played a 2/5 NL game because there were no bigger games running. Still felt rusty in a few spots, but managed to book a $900 win. I played one funny hand where I raised 3c6c in late position after 5 limpers. One uber donkc alled from utg. He’d already limped T8o and 45o in EP so his range was huge. The flop came 25T with one club. I cbet 65 into 85 and he called (effective stacks were $800). The turn was the Jc and I was pretty excited because that card was so awesome to barrel. He checked and I bet 175. He tanked and called. The river was an offsuit king and I’m thinking how much I love that card and how I’m going to do something sick like overbet shove.  Surprisingly he leads for $500. I fake tank and fold and he shows me 55. I lolled alot.

Another semi interesting hand I raise 3h4h under the gun, get 5 callers. Flop is a dream Ah5h8s. I cbet 75% pot and get 2 callers. SB donks a Jh turn for $100 with $500 left behind. I elect to flat because there’s a guy left behind me and I’m not sure what the SBs range is so I dont want to really get allin right now. The guy behind folds and the river is a brick Qs. He leads for $250 and I just call because I’m not sure he’ll call with worse if I shove and he may have a higher flush. He tables Ax2h.

The last interesting had I played I limp Q9o in the cutoff after a ton of limpers. I’ve recently won a hand where I called 9sTs in the SB multiway. I led a KQ34fd board after the flop was checked through and ended up winning with ten high at showdown versus a missed flush draw. The button in this hand folded the best hand and has been moaning ever since as if it’s the end of the world. So 7 way flop and I bet 20 into 35 JT2r with Q9 when checked to. The button minraises and I call. Turn is a Q and I check and he instantly bets 80. I think and call. The river is a 4 and I check and he instantly overbet shoves for $350. I’m thinking about how tilted he is and I ask him if he has JT. He mutters yeah I flopped it, but it’s up to you. He looks pretty uncomfortable so I call and he shows T6o – EL OH EL.

I’ve started adding some poker articles to my site. There are only a few up right now due to a limit to the directory structure in my backend. That’s being changed at the moment, so I should have a load more content up by the end of the week. I’m planning on playing 4 or 5 more live donkaments this week. I also wired AUS $20000 to the cage at Crown casino so i can play in the bigger PLO games.

Will give more live trip updates when  I have the chance.

Good luck at the tables and if anyone is in Melbourne for the poker, let me know!

Site Updates

May 11, 2009

Site Updates At the moment I’m in the process of launching the latest version of my site. The first new section will be a selection of poker strategy articles focusing on intermediate and advanced poker theory, though there will be some useful content forplayers of all levels.

I’ve written some of the content myself and have also commissioned some articles from a well known poster on 2+2 and another player from boards. I’m really excited about this content as it will really help every poker player out there to improve their thought processes and ultimately their winrates.

The second new section that will be launched will just be site based promotions. We’ll be giving out free memberships to some of the biggest poker training websites, as well as giving details on how to get a full years subscription to these sites for free. We’ll also be adding the opportunity for our players to get free tracking software such as Holdem Manager and Pokertracker 3, software modifiers IPSkinner, IBolide and the minimaxmod and datamining/table selection tools from SpadeEye.

If you’re interested in any of these, leave a comment or keep an eye on http://www.rakebackftw.com for updates.

Later in the summer, we’re going to be launching a more interactive site with forums and some sick new features that I can’t talk about here quite yet. They will be of huge value for every poker player and best of all, completely free of charge. Check my blog or the site for updates on the details.

There’s nothing exciting in Melbourne right now. I’m on a really bad schedule and keep going to bed at 6am and getting up at 1pm. My ISP is setting me up on the 13th so that will be a a massive relief to finally have my own broadband connection again.

Online, my heater continued until a few days ago, when I played badly, played worse, tilted and didn’t quit soon enough. I ended up down more than $7000 for the day. I was still up more than $10000 for the week, but I was really disappointed in myself. I had been winning over $2k in that session in spite of knowing I knowing I was only playing my C game and fuzzy headed. I kept telling myself to quit but continued to play out of boredom or for some othe runknown reason. This is very very frustrating as I have been playing B+ or better poker for the majority of the past 6 weeks. I cashed out my entire online bankroll, so I’m currently taking a week or two off to focus some more time on updating my website updated and giving more value back to the users of my site.

I’m going to Crown Casino tomorrow to play some live cash for the first time in a few months. The last time I played live cash in Australia was around Christmas in Star City, Sydney. I’m hoping the games in Crown are equally soft.

Will post a trip report in a few days.

Someone sent me this link in a gmail conversation this week. I’d recommend that everybody reads it: http://www.leggopoker.com/blogs/Isura/

It’s an article about performance anxiety and is well worth reading!

Until next time…

May so far

May 5, 2009

May has continued where April left off and my good results have continued thus far. I havn’t been getting big volume in as I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff.

Here’s this month’s graph so far:

heater

heater

I started swimming again 2 days ago for the first time in several years. I’m a very weak swimmer and hate being out of my depth in water. Almost drowning while white water rafting in India last June hasn’t helped to increase my comfort levels.

The pool in my apartment block is awesome, it’s a 25M pool just for the residents and almost nobody uses it from what I’ve seen. My first session was tough. I managed 2 lengths before I thought my lungs were going to burst. After that, I had to swim one length of front crawl at a time with 30 second breaks in between. I managed to do 20 lengths or so. My technique is a massive problem as I find the breathing difficult and find I’m always in race mode and unable to pace my stroke. I’m hoping to swim a minimum of 4 days a week in the mornings before I play poker/do anything else. Hopefully, my technique/endurance will gradually improve with a view to doing some triathlon training in the winter/spring and competing in my first triathlon in the Australian summer next year. I can comfortably run 7k at a decent pace and cycling is fairly easy, so the swimming is by far the biggest obstacle I need to overcome.

As much as I loathe live poker, I’m looking forward to playing 4 or 5 of the events in the Melbourne Poker Championships. The events I’ve shortlisted to play in are:

$175 NLHE
$175 PLO
$230 NLHE 100k guaranteed
$2700 NLHE Main event
$550 NLHE 6max – Definite

I am still selling a % if anyone is interested.

Not much else planned for this week. Going to see Wolverine midweek and have to start working on some content for my site.

If you want to buy a % or can give me some advice on swimming, leave me a comment.

Adieu for now.

First Month Back

May 1, 2009

The last month has gone great poker wise. I’ve put in a reasonable amount of hours and have had excellent results. I’ve been back playing 35 days thus far and try to play for at least 1-2 hours a day. I’ve been running well too, about 4k above EV.

Here’s my graph including rakeback:

At the moment I’m organising everything for my apartment – internet, cable tv etc. We just got our phone line connected today and we were told the internet connection might take 10-20 days so we’re still leeching off a neighbor. I bought a 3 USB wireless broadband modem. Absolutely useless piece of crap. Slower than dialup, I’m told because of our location.

Meant to be going to the MCG this weekend to see another Aussie Rules game. Last week we saw Carlton vs the Bulldogs in the Telstra Dome (next door to our apartment). Really good game to watch live though it drags on a little. There are 4 25 minute quarters and after every goal, the referee has to wait for a signal to restart the game. This is ebcause the TV companies run ads after a goal is scored, so it really slows down the game.

Have been back in the gym again the last 3 days. After just 10 days away, my cardio levels have already dropped alot. Going to be doing 4 days a week in the gym and hopefully 7 days a week in the pool. Still making strength gains, so nothing to worry about on that front.

Everything else is pretty quiet. it’s coming into the Aussie winter, so it’s starting to get really cold out (12C is freezing here). Hopefully the temperatures don’t drop too much, but on the upside it’s an excuse to get the hands in :)

New House

April 27, 2009

Yesterday, I moved into an awesome one bed apartment in the Docklands, right in the centre of Melbourne. We’ve access to a fully equipped gym and an olympic sized swimming pool that are free for tenants of the building. We’re also a 30 second walk from the Etihad Stadium/Telstra Dome, 3 minutes from the cities main train station and about 10 minutes walk from Crown Casino.

Really happy about the new place. we plan to stay here for the next 12 months and possibly longer depending on how these 12 months go.

One of the best things about the move is that we have some friends from home living out here as well. It’s made the transition really easy as we’ve had people to hang out with all the time.

I played almost no poker on the weekend. I got about 500 hundred hands in on Friday night and that’s about it. We’re still waiting for internet/phone/cable tv to be installed in our apartment, so right now I’m leeching off a neighbour’s unsecured wireless :)

The Melbourne Poker Championship is starting at the beginning of May in Crown. Depending on my mood, I might play 4 or 5 of the events. Because I am very inexperienced at live poker, I’m probably going to sell some action for some of the bigger tournaments. If you’re interested in buying a piece of the action, let me know.Obviously 1% will be sold at face value.

Here’s the schedule for the Melbourne Poker Championship.

Leave a comment here for me and I’ll get in touch.

Ian


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