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Daniel - Poker Journal

Doin' Work

05 Feb 2011

It's 3:00am and I just finished a heads up match against Nanonoko and I can't sleep. I've been going to bed late, and waking up around 1:00pm. I can't really snap out of it, but I guess it doesn't really matter much since I've locked myself in the house and have been on the grind.

I haven't shaved in almost three weeks, and the only time I left the house was to have a beer with Jennifer one night at Three Angry Wives Pub. I haven't been working out, although I plan on starting the Insanity program as soon as I can get on a better schedule sleep wise.

I've watched a few movies, played some Words with Friends, played some backgammon on my I-PAD, but the core of what I've been doing is constantly thinking about poker, and logging the hours at PokerStars.

A quick synopsis of what I've played:

$100-$200 NLH 6 max: Played one session and got coolered with set over set and ended up losing over two buy ins. I'd like to eventually get to 50,000 hands in that game, but it's often difficult finding customers willing to play those stakes. Since January 2010 I've played 11,680 hands and am ahead $147,538.30.

$5600 HU Sit n' Gos: Mostly battling Piston87 and SkaiWalkurr and have done well with a record of 26-14.

Micro Challenge: Still surviving. My goal was to turn $10 into $100,000 with a very aggressive bankroll plan, but I've been stuck at the $0.25-$0.50 level for quite sometime now. I've played 1782 hands at that limit and am down $87.65. My bankroll now sits at $166.03. You can follow the progress of that challenge at my personal website, www.fullcontactpoker.com. Go to the Forums, then find the Daniel's Blog section, and you'll find a stickied thread there with all my results.

$400-$800 8-Game: I've had a cup of coffee in that game, hasn't been my primary focus. If I play that game it's mainly just a good way to make money, but I'm more concerned with plugging leaks in my weaker games, and 8-Game is definitely not an issue for me.

$5-$10 NLH 4-tabling Heads Up: Hardly a secret, I'm a fan of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom and watching him play the SuperStar Showdown on PokerStars on Sundays has inspired me to see if I can get to the point where I feel like I could be a worthy challenger for him.

As many of you know, I didn't grow up playing online poker and I've always been adverse to multi-tabling. Well, since the Isildur1 showdown is a 4-table match, the only way to play him would be to hit the grind stone and see if I'm even capable of keeping up.

The goal has been to play 2500 hands straight (the length of the Showdown) and see how well I could adjust to the speed of the game. In my first attempt, I played 1038 hands vs knecht_poker before he chose to quit. I couldn't have made it much longer anyway, my brain was complete mush. Since then my stamina is improving as is my speed. I finally reached the 2500 hand mark against Nanonoko in a little over 4 hours. I didn't even care about the result, I was proud of the fact that I hung in there.

Mind you, I did time out against him a few times. He is lightning fast, I've never seen anything like it before. He is a SuperNovaElite who comfortably plays 20 tables, so while 4 tables is about all I can handle, it was a walk in the park for him. Dude was even having conversations with the rail!

He started out ahead a few buyins, maybe as much as $6000-$7000 at one point, I'm not sure, but I didn't throw in the towel, and with a couple hundred hands left in the match I pulled in front by about 4 or 5 buy ins. An ill timed bluff, where I was trying to represent the hand he had (that's never good) saw me lose the lead, and in the end, he won $854.50.
The hand went something like this. He made it $30, I made it $100 with A-10, he made it $260, and I 5-bet to $560.
The flop came K-7-2 rainbow and it went check-check. The turn was a Q and I checked again. He bet $600 and I check raised him all in for his remaining $1576. He called and had KK! Oops. I did not play this hand well at all and was disappointed in myself for making this play... live and learn.

Here are the results of my opponents who've faced me so far:

Nananoko 2501 hands +$854.50
FMyLife 1546 hands -$11,057.25
dim--trix 1050 hands -$6,913.50
knecht_poker 1035 hands -$895.00
TCFromUB 323 hands +$3213.30
sergiobraga 258 hands -$118.00
adtina22 47 hands -$1.00

My results in total are pretty good so far:

6774 hands +$13,842.40


Playing against Nananoko was the best training I could ask for. He was five times faster than any other opponent I faced which forced me to not only time out a few times, but also led to a few misclicks. It's all part of the learning process, and I'm a big believer in going all out against the fastest competition I can find, because then when I play others, the pace will seem comfortable.

It's no different than a baseball player swinging five bats before he goes up to the plate, or a golfer taking some practice swings with a heavy club.

Nanonoko was also twice as aggressive pre-flop as anyone else I'd faced, 3 betting me 29% of the time, while my other opponents generally hovered around 15%.

In watching Isildur1 play, more practice against aggressive players is what the doctor ordered. I plan on playing against various opponents in the coming week. I'm hoping that Justin Bonomo will be available tomorrow night, and then possibly play against my buddy, and fellow Team PokerStars Pro, Lex Veldhuis.

This is just the early stages of my training for a match with Isildur1, so don't expect any announcements anytime soon. I'm taking that decision very seriously, and it has absolutely nothing to do with money. None of this does. This challenge gets my juices flowing and I'm dedicated to the journey/process of building my way up there. I want to put in somewhere around 20,000 hands at the $5-$10 level, then make the jump to the $25-$50 HU specialists if all goes well. I don't expect this to be easy, and I don't expect to win every time I play. I do expect to get better... fast.

One of my 10 goals this year was to accumulate 60,000 vpps on PokerStars by the end of the year. My career max is 55,000 in any year, and that was last year. Well, I'm already at 27,949.03. That's way ahead of schedule, mind you, I don't put in any time online during the WSOP, or when I'm involved in other live tournaments.

Which reminds me, I've been meaning to write a blog about the new Bluff Player of the Year criteria, as well as my thoughts on this years WSOP schedule and how a key rule change will affect me. It's all good by the way, you'll hear me doing the opposite of complaining in that blog. This one is too long as is, so expect to see that blog next week sometime. Good night everyone.









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