Thursday, February 6, 2014

February Goals

February Poker Goals

1) Finish Applications of No Limit Holdem by Matthew Janda and create study notes
I'm almost done the book now but going over it a second time to compile notes may take some time.

2) Earn 12,500 VPP's on PokerStars
Last month I earned 7,500 VPP's mostly 2-tabling $100NL. This month I've moved up to $200NL and I won't limit myself to 2-tables unless warming up or making a video. So this target should be achievable. Plus there's a nice cash bonus at 20,000 VPP's YTD so that should be a good incentive to play a lot.

3) Produce 2 new poker videos
I had a few comments that my poker videos last month were too long. So this month I'm going to try making shorter videos that are more to-the-point. I haven't decided the content yet, but it will likely be a hand history review format.

February Badminton Goals

1) Continue to fix/strengthen my wrist
I mentioned recently that my wrist is feeling a lot better. It is, but it's still not 100%. I need it to be 100%! I'll continue everything I did last month (physio, stretching, exercises, wrist widget, ergonomic mouse).

2) Badminton or Insanity workout 5 days/week
I have to admit I've been slacking a bit with my workouts. There isn't a lot of time in my days considering poker is almost a second job to me. But that's no excuse. I feel like I'm able to keep up in doubles, but in singles, I get crushed because of my lack of cardiovascular endurance. On non-badminton days, I'll try to grab an Insanity workout. They're mostly under an hour and the interval training is perfect for badminton.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snowboarding in Killington, VT

Just got back from a 3 day snowboarding trip with DC Events in Killington, Vermont. Conditions were fair. A bit icy on day 1 with poor visibility due to the fog, but by day 2 things were a lot better. Overall I had a lot of fun and it was nice to get a break from work and poker. But I'm not sure if I would do the bus thing again as it took 11 hours each way!

Here's a video I put together from one of the runs called "Great Eastern". It wasn't the most challenging run but the way it flowed and the scenery along the way made it my favourite run from the trip.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January Goals Review

I only ended up reading about 2/3 of Janda's book. This isn't a book you can just pick up and read. Your mind has to be in study mode and I was finding it difficult to read some days after a long day of work. That being said, it's definitely changing my game for the better. I want to not only finish reading the book this month, but re-read all the summary sections and create my own set of notes to study from later.
  • Sign up for Run It Once elite membership and review all of Ben Sulsky's videos on GTO play (and also contribute more in the forums) [Pass]
This goal was met. I have a set of notes that I've taken from all of Ben's videos. The next step is to study them each day until they are internalized.
  • Review my Holdem Manager database for Q4 of 2013 (140k hands) and identify my biggest leaks (spoiler: it's playing from the blinds) [Pass]
I made a dramatic change to my blinds play this month after watching Sean Lefort's RIO videos on playing from the blinds. He advocates a tighter linear 3-betting strategy from the SB and a looser defending strategy from the BB. I didn't play enough hands this month to obtain a significant sample on this change in strategy, but it just feels better overall. My non-showdown winnings line has also seen an improvement, although I'm not sure if it's purely coming from my blinds play or just getting better at poker overall.
  • Use what I've learned from all of the above to construct a more balanced strategy against stronger players [Conditional Pass]
I started constructing some of my pre-flop ranges. I'm finished with single raised pots from most positions except for BTN and BB. This month I will have to work on finishing this. I think a future goal would be to revise these for playing against short stackers who open raise to 2.5BB and 4-bet shove for 40BB, as the math changes significantly.
  • Reduce the # of tables from 4 to 2 so that I can step away from auto-piloting and force myself to think clearly about each decision [Pass]
I stuck with playing less tables for the first half of January and, combined with the videos I made, it had quite a positive effect on my game. I have to say that I cheated on this goal towards the end of January to try and reach PlatinumStar. But I don't feel too bad about it. I was getting a little tired of studying and I had a huge itch to just play a ton of hands. Moving forward, I need to let myself do what I'm motivated to do in the moment. I think more progress will be made in the long run this way rather than sticking 100% to a rigid goal structure.
  • Bonus Goal: reach PlatinumStar VIP status [Pass]

Some statistics:
  • Played a total of 23,062 hands with a winrate of 3.47 bb/100 excluding bonuses
  • Played 1,977 minutes and earned 7,371 VPP's (promotional VPP's got me to PlatinumStar)
  • Produced 3 videos where I analyzed my own play
  • Spent 40+ hours working on my game away from the table (videos, books, studying, etc.)
  • Fix my wrist [Pass]
My wrist feels a LOT better this month. In fact, this is the best its felt since before I injured it. It's not 100% better yet, but I'd rate it at about 90%. I'm stoked that the all of the counter-measures implemented (physiotherapy, stretching, exercises, wrist widget, and ergonomic vertical mouse) had such a dramatic impact on the improvement of my condition.

Overall I would consider January to be a success. 

I'm motivated to do more of the same this February: a mix of studying and grinding for poker, and bringing my wrist back to 100%. But before that, I'm heading out to Killington, Vermont tomorrow to enjoy a weekend of snowboarding with friends. It's about time for a break!