Poker Blog #2 Archive

During my hey-days as an online poker I kept a blog where I wrote frequently between June and December 2006. An archive of that blog is hosted on this website, which you can read here. I stopped writing when I started working working on the poker bot because it’s not something you can write about publicly without fear of reprisal.

In July 2007, after working on the shortstacking bot for several months, I got it into my head that I’d be better off getting back into poker. Armed with a notebook full of poker formulas, I set out confidently to make a killing. And, of course, I had to start a blog to chronicle my adventures.

But it was not meant to be. After several posts, I decided I didn’t want to write about it publicly. And a little while later, I decided I’d rather work on the bot than play poker, even though playing would probably be more lucrative.

I’m doing some online house-cleaning today–getting rid of accounts I haven’t used in a while–and I stumbled across this blog. It’s not much, four posts, all from July 2007, but I’m posting it here because it’s somewhat interesting and why not.


Prelude to a Blog

I’m starting a blog again. It helps me to write my thoughts down, which should ultimately help me be a more profitable player. I have some thoughts as to what I want to accomplish in the future as far as poker goes, but I’m going to hold off details. I’m in the process of moving jobs, which will keep me busy for two to three weeks. Once I am settled in, I will begin a new challenge.


Stack Size Math

I tend to play by feel. I have a general sense of pot odds and the effects of stack sizes on my strategy, but rarely do I formally go through the numbers in my head. I’m going to start to focus on the numbers during every hand I play, because I feel it can greatly improve my game.

Honestly I don’t expect to do all of these on every hand, but a general idea is important.

I intend to call:
– What are my pot odds/BEP?
– How much will I have remaining if I call?
– How much will the pot be if I call?
– What percentage of my opponent’s stack has he committed total
– What percentage of my stack will I have committed if I call?
– If I’m drawing, how much must I make if I hit for this call to be profitable?

I intend to bet/raise:
– What pot odds/BEP am I offering to my opponent?
– What will be the new pot size if he calls?
– How much will my stack size be?
– How much will his stack size be?
– If he shoves, what will my pot odds/BEP be?

The math for calling scenarios:

Pot Odds = (Total Pot / To Call) : 1
BEP = 1/(1 + Pot Odds)
New Pot = Total Pot + To Call
Stack Hero committed = (Total Pot – To Call) / 2
Stack Villain committed = (Total Pot – Stack Hero Committed)
% Villain committed = Stack Villain committed / (Villain Stack + Stack Villain committed)

Necessary Win = (To Call / Equity) – To Call – Total Pot

If I intend to bet/raise:
Offer Pot Odds = (Bet / (Bet + Total Pot) : 1

Preflop Raise/Shove Scenarios:
Before I raise I should consider the odds I’ll get if he pushes:

Scenario1: Hero is short stacked
Ex: 25/50 blinds. Hero posts SB, leaving 975 behind. Villain posts BB, leaving 1950 behind. Hero raises to 150, Villain shoves.

My Pot Odds = (My Stack + Raise To + SB)/(My Stack – Raise To + SB) : 1

Scenario1: Villain is short stacked
Ex: 25/50 blinds. Hero posts SB, leaving 1975 behind. Villain posts BB, leaving 950 behind. Hero raises to 150, Villain shoves.

My Pot Odds = (His Stack + Raise To + BB)/(His Stack – Raise To + BB) : 1


HU Cash, Random Thoughts

I deposited $600 to FTP today using my Mastercard, which surprisingly worked. I played a good two hours of NL100, dropping maybe $300 in the process. I played terribly and was not used to the deep stacks. I will try it again sometime, but I don’t know if I am willing to devote the time to learn a new type of game, when SNGs are so profitable for me.

My current plan is to do a 2 year, $100k challenge. This is on top of my day job, which should occupy 8-4 on weekdays. The extra money will help me keep my options flexible and it will go a long way for many years to come.

Heads Up SNGs are… deceptive. You can make $500 one day, lose $300 the next day, make $200, lose $150. How much have you actually made? $62.50/day. My point is that just because you have big wins, doesn’t mean that thats actually what you’re making. Take this guy for example:

Games: 7106, Avg Stake: $491
Net: $13,658
ROI: 1%, $/Game: $2

I’ve seen this guy around for a long time. He’s played 7100 games and made a whopping $13k. $2/game. That’s equivalent to someone playing $20s with a 10% ROI. What good has the high stakes gotten him? If he would have stayed at a lower stake and made $5/game, he’d have $32k now instead of $13k. The lesson is this: Stay at a stake that you can make a good $/hr. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time…



I had a realization this evening: this blog is bad for me. Ironic, since I restarted this last night.

For a long time I thought that keeping my performance public would keep me accountable. The truth is that it is keeping me from reaching my potential as a poker player. The greatest poker player would be accountable only to himself. I like writing, but not for others. I can’t really be honest here. There is just too much ego inherent in a blog, especially one about poker. As much as I try to write without asking “What will they think if I write this?” its very difficult to do in practice. I find myself distancing myself from my mistakes when I play. Its even harder to admit to in a blog, because you want people to respect your play.

I will keep writing, but it will primarily be in a Word document on my desktop rather than a Blogspot page. I’ll update this blog as big things happen.

2 thoughts on “Poker Blog #2 Archive

  1. Matt Mazur » Poker Blog #2 Archive

  2. This is funny. I found your site via google. I also used to be one of those aol hacker kiddies and now I play online poker for a living. I’m archived on the “AOL People” section of AOL-Files, hah. Anyway, good luck and may your ROI double. :)

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