Tournaments, Cash and Everything Else!

So the “break” from poker ended a couple of days ago. I feel motivated, and want to play better than I’ve ever played before, as well as grind a decent sample.

So I was playing some MTTs last night and we got a decent result.

So after this recent result I feel I’m in a position to advise you all on how to play optimally in these kind of tournaments.

There’s some pretty interesting rebuy/add on strategy especially since 888 are raking rebuys. The large min cash is another big point which I felt I had a decent hold of ICM wise. The 888 population as always been an interesting one and I feel that the harhahaha I can’t keep going guys sorry. It’s a donkament, I ran well, I played alright, let’s all keep our feet firmly on the ground where they belong.

“Why did I deal”

Now I wouldn’t deal here 99 times out of 100 but I actually got on with the guy really well, he was from Romania and living in the UK. We decided to deal and spent the rest of HU chatting about our lives. Pretty insightful and he was a really great guy. Definitely worth the $x I gave up in ev by not playing for it all.

Now what does the future hold for me you ask so eagerly.

Well even with the tourney bink I’m switching to cash for the most part. If friends want to stick me in some tourney on a Sunday I’ll play it. But for now I’m getting really into cash and want to succeed.

I’m starting at 5nl snap an-

Don’t worry, this isn’t the usual PGC bs, I won’t be posting a 1.5k hand graph or any hands (I’ll post hands in micro NL with all likelihood).

Yeah so I’m starting at 5nl and hoping to grind a decent sample each month even during my degree.

I’d be happy with anything around 30-40k hands and up. I’ll be two tabling but that’s the estimate I have for now. I don’t know my schedule or how busy I’ll be but I should be able to set aside 2 hours a day for poker and if not I might have time on the weekend.

For those of you reading this I’ll give the first 3 of you that respond a five dollar free roll if I look at my graph or cashier for the rest of September.

“Wait, but, umm, how do we know you wont l-”

You don’t, but where’s the trust, you’re free-rolling anyway regardless.

So back to why I don’t want to check my graph or balance for a long time. For me I don’t really see the point in checking it, I’d rather try and detach myself mentally from the short term and just focus on making the best decisions I can. I feel this is a pretty decent habit to get into and if I can get into it this low in stakes then all the better.

So moving away from poker my time over the past week or so has been mainly taken up by shopping for stuff for university and running other errands. I’m actually working tomorrow at a catering event which should be pretty easy. It’s pretty easy and it’s money to add onto the university fund.

It’s something I hope I don’t have to do further down the line, I’d love to have an income from poker which means I don’t have to do temp work during the holidays. Anyway, it’s far from the worst work I’ve done this summer and I’m getting paid £8/hr so easy game.

Life is actually going really well for me right now, for the first time in a long time I’d say I’m running relatively good, it feels really good.

So for those of you that didn’t know I post this blog on two forums. 2+2 and Staking101.

Recently I was approached to be a writer for Staking101 based on my “work” (if you can call it that) on this blog. It’s great to be a part of the team I’ve looked up to for a long time and I look forward to writing many articles and continuing the blog.

Whilst I’m effectively rewarded based on word count I still want to focus on quality. There aren’t suddenly going to be three times the amount of blog posts than previously. I’d rather spend double the time and write half the amount and for it to be something I’d be proud of then just spew words down on a screen.

Well that’s where I’m at for now, what you can expect in the near future are a fair amount of posts about how I’m doing at university (I start on the 17th) as well as the occasional poker update (again I don’t really plan on posting a graph under 100k hands).

I hope you’re all doing well!


So yesterday I moved into my room at university, it finally happened. After all the waiting I’m finally here, in London.

I’m living in Mile End which I’m super happy about. Maybe it’s just because I lived in NYC for such a long time but it’s just a melting pot with such a variety of people and places to see. I think this will be really good for me and I’m pumped (especially after being in Dorset for ages) to be in an environment where I can learn and experience new things.

Since I’m sitting at my desk at about 1pm, I thought it would be good to discuss my plans and goals for the year ahead. I’m really looking to crush life and not dedicate all my time on just one or two things like I have done in the past.

So how am I going to attempt to do it?

Focusing on my degree is at the top of the list. Of course I want to indulge in other things but I’m not paying 9k a year and rent to come out with a 2:2 and be left without a job for years once I graduate. I’m here to do as well as I can, I’m not that “naturally” good at physics or maths so it’s going to likely take me more time to get to grips with things then others, but it’s a challenge, I’m ready to take it on.

Broaden my interests, go to other academic societies, I’ll likely start out by going to the economics society. Yes I’ll still be playing chess and poker and other sport such as squash but in regards to education I’d rather not pigeon hole myself.

Budget well, there’s no reason for me spending rediculous amounts of money on food. Shop, eat and cook smart and I’ll even have some money left over for other things.

Have a decent sleep schedule, of course there are going to be those nights but generally I want to be getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night.

Keep in contact with friends who aren’t at my university, be proactive and makes plans with them. I will have time.

Poker wise probably see how my overall schedule is then have a plan amount how much I can play.

I still want to write a lot and keep you posted on how I’m doing. I think it would be kind of cool for those of you that read regularly to follow me on my journey and see how I’m doing.


So I’ve started grinding zoom so thought a good addition to the blog would be for me to post some hands and my general thoughts.

So it’s been around 3 days since my first post and I’ve been playing a fair bit.

Obviously I know I have a bunch to work on. For a start the zoom pool is massive and I haven’t played enough to get a vague idea about what the population is like. It’s almost like trying to find something in your room when it’s pitch black at night, you’ve kind of found the light switch but are struggling to turn it on, you try and fumble around to find the door knob etc.

When people ask me what I’ve learnt the most in regards to playing poker my response is always “that it’s incredibly hard”. Poker is so so hard on so many levels. It’s a serious challenge but part of me really wants to get good at the game.

I feel I often hear, “I want to get good” in a bunch in PGC’s and from friends. But I think people have different idea’s on what it means.

For me getting good isn’t just doing well at a stake, getting a sample, moving up etc. It’s actually understanding why I’m doing something and why it works.

“But surely you’re understanding something correctly if you are succeeding at that limit?”

This is the part where I’d disagree somewhat with the statement above. In order to explain I’m going to reference a fluid mechanics lecture I had earlier this week, shout out to Jens (the lecturer), you’re a boss.

So Jens said this…

“Listen guys, you can get through this year going to lectures, kind of understanding what’s going on, reading lecture notes, revising a bit, you’ll pass, but you’ll get 50%. If you want to really succeed it’s going to take a lot of etxra reading, a lot of commitment and you’ll actually have to understand the topics.”

The last bit (you’ll have to understand the topics) really resonated with me. Maybe I’m wrong but I think a fair amount of players don’t really understand why they’re doing a certain thing, they’ve just been told by a good player to do that so they just do it.

I guess that’s okay, you’re making the right play right? Again in some people’s eye’s I’m sure that’s fine but for me I don’t just want poker to be this game where I click the buttons I’m told to click, I want to make an active investment in the theory and actually understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. Otherwise it’s never going to be that fun for me.

In regards to hands there are so many I want to post but I realise it’ll take up way too much space and I feel people will be reluctant to answer when they see hands upon hands posted in a single post. I may end up posting more on Micro NL but for now let’s start with two very different hands.

Just as a reminder, post whatever you think. Don’t hold back in fear of not wanting to say how bad I am, just (try and) be constructive.

So first off with AK I realise that sizing is important here, since I’m 140bbs eff should I be changing my sizing here?

Onto the flop we have some options, of course a viable option is to bet flop and barrel off just using our range advantage vs MP. Part me at the time felt this was an okay hand to c/f. Looking back as I’m typing this c/f seems pretty terrible, maybe c/c is better than c/f here. I was just thinking that we do have to have some give up range on flop here, AK seems like a pretty bad candidate for that though.

PokerStars – $0.10 NL FAST (6 max) – Holdem – 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

BTN: 100.1 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 3)
SB: 107.1 BB (VPIP: 50.00, PFR: 50.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 4)
Hero (BB): 143.1 BB
UTG: 126.8 BB
MP: 213 BB (VPIP: 16.67, PFR: 16.67, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 6)
CO: 109.6 BB (VPIP: 26.67, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 15)

SB posts SB 0.5 BB, Hero posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has  K:spade: A:heart:

UTG calls 1 BB, MP raises to 3.5 BB, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 12 BB, fold, MP calls 8.5 BB

Flop: (25.5 BB, 2 players)  2:spade: 2:diamond: 3:club:
Hero checks, MP bets 15.8 BB, fold

MP wins 24.4 BB

Now (as stated earlier) to a very different kind of hand.

My SB opening size is 3x and I think T8o seems like a decent hand to open. What are your thoughts on either picking a smaller sizing in SB or even limping.

Anyway I open he calls and we see TTQrnbw. Part of me wants to c bet here since I feel people defend paired boards so wide especially bvb and it’s good to have some Tx in our c betting range. As you can probably tell the other part of me took the view that bvb BBs often try and take a stab and flops when SB checks. I think once we check calling is the only reasonable option.

On the 5h turn we check again (Could be some arguement for a lead but on such a dry board I think we want to keep his bluffs in). He makes it 11 into 12 and there is an arguement for a raise here but I think calling and keeping his bluffs in and giving him the chance to v bet his Qx on river seems good. Maybe we get paid more by raising turn and firing river though from his Qx, although we look super strong when we c/r vs that turn sizing.

River is a pretty terrible card, we check again and he sizes down and makes it just under half pot. It’s a pretty sigh spot because I feel he might make some of his Qx hands a bit bigger on river when he gets there and with the price we’re getting even if he sizes some of his Qx this way he can still have a fair amount of bluffs with the near pot turn size down river line. I guess he can have some Tx but maybe he doesn’t stab on flop with it (maybe he does though for the same reason about why it’s good to have a strong c/c range on flop if we’re SB in this spot).

PokerStars – $0.10 NL FAST (6 max) – Holdem – 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

BTN: 124.8 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 2)
Hero (SB): 113.1 BB
BB: 124.1 BB (VPIP: 20.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 7)
UTG: 88.4 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 3)
MP: 74.4 BB (VPIP: 14.29, PFR: 14.29, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 7)
CO: 121.1 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1)

Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB

Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has  T:heart: 8:club:

fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 3 BB, BB calls 2 BB

Flop: (6 BB, 2 players)  T:spade: T:diamond: Q:club:
Hero checks, BB bets 3 BB, Hero calls 3 BB

Turn: (12 BB, 2 players)  5:heart:
Hero checks, BB bets 11 BB, Hero calls 11 BB

River: (34 BB, 2 players)  Q:spade:
Hero checks, BB bets 16 BB, Hero calls 16 BB

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