Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Been 3 weeks... but it's going decently!

I finally cracked my first $100 on my last post, a little more than 3 weeks ago. In the meantime, I read "Online Ace" by Scott Fischman (compliments of ohcaptain's poker bookshelf).

I really liked this book, and it was a quick read. Not a whole lot terribly new if you have read many hold 'em books, but still entertaining. The part that hit me the most was how adamantly Fischman advocates multitabling. I was somewhat cautious about going down this avenue, as I had been doing pretty decently focusing on a single table at a time, as advised in "Killer Poker Online". However, I find that at the stakes that I am typically playing ($2 SNG), the other players don't necessarily take your past actions into account on how to play their hand. It is based only on their cards, no stories are told, no reads are attempted to be made. In this regard, I think that just playing like a "Poker Robot" as Fischman advises may work at these tables. I started slow (with just 2 tables), but liked the multitabling aspect, especially since I typically only play 1-2 hours a day. If I did a single SNG, that may take about an hour, so my return would be significantly slower. Since I was able to build up the bankroll a bit, I felt comfortable undertaking this experiment. The results were good and nowadays you probably won't find me at less than 4 tables at once :D

It took a long time to get to that first $100, but in the last 3 weeks, I have rolled my bankroll up to about $200. See?

I also have nearly 5000 Full Tilt Academy credits (mostly from the SNG challenges, which were repeated 10 times each) and am in debate about what to do with these points. I can straight-up trade in these credits for Full Tilt Points, which would nab me the hat I was looking at 5 months ago, or I can use 5000 credits to redeem for a $26 Token. I am really leaning towards the token, but am fearful that my skills which are honed in at the low stakes may falter at this higher buyin and end up being a waste. Any thoughts?

Also, I received my Full Tilt hoodie (complements of the good boys over at ESPN's Poker Edge) this last week. Pretty sweet... Thanks Feldman and Wyman! I got a black one:

Friday, July 24, 2009


After my last post, I have been working hard at the low stakes tables and SNG's. It's about 2 weeks since the last post, but here is the up to date bankroll.

Woot woot. Hopefully this first hundred is going to be the hardest...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Results of 1 week of Killer Poker

I figured that I would give an update on the progress after employing some of the techniques described in the book, "Killer Poker Online". I had built the bankroll up to about $35 using mostly the $2 SNG tables at Full Tilt (both 9 and 18 person). At that point, I decided to try my hand at a $5 SNG (9 person). Now I realize that this is outside of the limits of my bankroll if employing the Ferguson strategy directly, but I also wanted to test out my skills and see how competitive I am at this level. Low and behold, in my first $5 SNG, I took it down and brought in $22.50! Wooty woot... A little more work and here is the bankroll as of now...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A bit of a book review, because I think this book deserves a look...

In the Frugal Endeavor spirit, I have been trying to increase my poker aptitude without investing too terribly much. Fortunately I work close to a Barnes and Noble bookstore and have discovered the "Games" section that holds about two shelves worth of poker books. My good friend ohcaptain (who you have read about now more times than need mentioning) has quite an extensive home library of poker related books. One book that he does not have is "Killer Poker Online" by John Vorhaus.

Now flipping through this book, I didn't see a whole lot of strategy on what hands to play at what times during cash games versus tournaments, so it is not that type of book at all. What it does give you is pointers on how to psychologically play better poker online with that information already in hand. I found numerous portions of this book to be extremely helpful, especially the portions on Mind and Mood management. I had been doing a LOT of multi-tabling, which I thought was the best thing to do. In fact, after simply adopting an idea of maintaining focus on one game, the same as you would do in a brick and mortar casino, my returns have increased dramatically. I always thought, "Oh, this is a hand I have no interest in. Fold this 7-2 offsuit. Now what is new on website (insert your favorite website here)?" and would go to become distracted with something else until the alarm on the next hand told me it was my turn to act. It is odd to think that something as simple as "Keep your head in the game" written down in a book can have the sort of effect. I guess reading it was what I needed.

I also found a couple of similar type reviews on this book here and here. All in all, I think that most online poker players could benefit from portions of this book.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 2009- Here we go...

So it has been a bit since my last post. This is not necessarily due to lack of playing, just lack of interesting things happening. A couple pretty awesome things have transpired in the last month or so:

1. I am now a rakebackpros.com member! Woot for 27% back on all rakes! :D Can't complain about that in the slightest. Especially since it still applies to SNG buy-ins, which is where I am spending the majority of my time playing.

2. I have about 1700 Full Tilt Academy credits for performing tasks at the tables. I am really crushing the SNG challenges. Too bad that it is limited to 10 times that you can repeat any given challenge. I've got my eyes on a sweatshirt that is 9600 credits, so I think I am well on my way. *edit - Just got word from the ESPN Poker Edge that I won a free Full Tilt sweatshirt for listening to their podcast and sending in the player of the day. Woot! * Maybe I'll be using my points for something else...

So I guess that will sum it up for now. The bankroll is dipping a bit, but I have high hopes for the near future. Playing a little more conservatively in the SNG and it seems to be helping.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

33... 33... Wait a sec, it's deja vu...

Proof that the Frugal Endeavor continues...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not much to see here, move along...

After going over to ohcaptain's house this weekend for a graduation celebration, it became apparent that many people were looking for some sort of update on the Frugal Poker Endeavor. Well, it's been a couple weeks since my last post, and the reasons for this are many:

1) Spending less time playing online, leading to less in the way of updates
2) Spending more time on work related items, leading to less in the way of updates
3) Spending more time on home related items, leading to less in the way of updates

I guess that about sums it up. As of right now, I am sitting at a bankroll of about $25, so down a little from last time, but my Full Tilt points have nearly doubled, implying that I am essentially just spinning my wheels when I do play. I've gotten into the challenges of the Full Tilt Poker Academy, and find that this concept is probably just put forth by Full Tilt to make you lose your money faster :D ... Although I have accomplished a few of the challenges so far. It makes it for an interesting test of yourself when playing in the cash games, which haven't been doing so hot.

Where I have been doing significantly better is in the SNG's... primarily the 9 person. Compliments of SharkScope (since I refuse to pay money for any other poker tracking related software), it appears that my ROI is significantly better on $2 tables, with an ROI of about 16%, but an overall average ROI of 5% when all games are included. I think that I need to bag the $1 crapshoots, and stick with solid play at the $2 whenever it is that I get a chance to play.

And hopefully there is more exciting things to post in the near future...

Friday, April 17, 2009

33... 33... 33... (thirty-three)

Now, like all good people in this world, I love beer. One of my favorite pales from the college days (ah, the good ol' times. I wonder where I would be now if I started playing online poker in college instead of after getting a regular more than full-time job, marrying, having kids and responsibilities... but I digress) was Rolling Rock. On the bottles, they have imprinted the number 33. It saddens me to say that I actually did not know what the 33 meant, so of course it is off to wikipedia, which has answers for everything.

The number 33 is printed prominently on all bottles of Rolling Rock. A widely-held belief is that it marks the repeal of prohibition in 1933. However, according to James L. Tito, former CEO of Latrobe Brewing, the "33" signifies the 33 words in the beer's slogan: "Rolling Rock - From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe, we tender this premium beer for your enjoyment as a tribute to your good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to you."

A founding executive is said to have written "33" at the end of the slogan to indicate the number of words it comprised as a guide for the bottle printers. However, they thought it was part of the text and incorporated it into the label graphics. Hence, the first batch of bottles carried the number "33" and they remained that way since they were continually collected and reused (also, during the Great Depression, there was no reason to throw away perfectly good merchandise and start over). This tradition has been sustained by the company as the wording on the labels has changed over the years, and the verbiage is carefully structured to retain a length of 33 words. There are several other lesser-known theories or urban legends about the "mysterious" number 33, but none have been verified.

So I guess that clears it up. :)

Anyways, the reason for the link is that I was just noticing that my bankroll has gotten to be above $33. Whoo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back on track...

Well, although I was lucky enough to hit that royal flush that I posted last time, my bankroll continually went in the wrong direction... (Cue the sad music).
I am back in the game and trying to play much better. In an attempt to do this, I have been reading quite a few books on the topic, including the quintessential Harrington on Hold Em series (Vol. I and II) and David Skalansky's Tournament Poker for Advanced Players. These books are great for tournament strategy and have been quite useful, especially in the sit and gos (SNG)...

As of last night, I was sitting with about $17 in the account, after taking 2nd in a 45 person SNG, netting me about $11 and 1st in a 9 person SNG (giving me $4.50). I am significantly happier with my play as of late, and have a good feeling going into the tables/SNG tournaments tonight.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sigh... the bitter end of week three...

Well, it has been awhile since my last post. The reasons for this include: 1) Went to Vegas on my first ever experience (which promptly including having aces cracked on my first hand) and 2) The Full Tilt experience is not treating me so kindly. As of today, my bankroll is cut to $15, making it a 50% reduction since the last post. Very, very sad. I am thinking it is mostly luck, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I seem to be getting bad breaks on flops and outdraws to the river, both in the ring games and the SNG tournaments that I have signed up for. I think the next $5 is going entirely to SNG tourneys, with a hope of booming the bankroll back up. If that fails and I end up down at the $10 range, it is back to grinding it out at the micro stakes tables.

On the plus side, the FTP are accruing nicely. Am still in line for that hat in 2012...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

End of week 2- nice gains (after some sad losses)

The second week of the frugal poker journey started off pretty well, doing decently still playing at the micro stakes tables. I was somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 about 5 days ago, but then I started playing some $1 45 person sit-and-go (SNG) tournaments, which technically break the Chris Ferguson approved buy in maximums for proper bankroll management. Oops... Anyways, I played a number of these, ending up at the final table in most cases, but with only the top 6 being paid out, it actually is a little difficult to end up in the money. I had two 6th place finishes and this morning, at about 2:30 AM, I ended up winning a tournament and taking home the grand prize of $17.10. Man was I excited.

So here is the bankroll heading into the start of week 3:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

End of week 1- a good week all in all

Starting today, I think I might change it up to be weekly updates, instead of daily, unless something of profound interest happens. This week ended up on a good run at the table and I stepped away after losing a pot I should have won. However, for the week and my $2 investment, playing the micro stakes tables treated me kindly for the most part, and I am sitting with over $10 in the account right now. Hopefully I can continue this run and not lose too heavily in the coming days/weeks.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day six- back into the positive... thankfully!

After playing again with ohcaptain and being called "aggressive" by pokertracker, I ended up being in the positive for the night again, and recouped all the loses from yesterday. Yippee! That's all I can really hope for on a night like tonight I guess.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day five- going in the wrong direction...

Due to disappointment, this will be a short update. About the only thing good during tonight's game was being able to play with my good friend ohcaptain . I guess I must not have been on my "A" game at the micro tables tonight.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day four- a slight gain... and a new goal!

Tonights game play was pretty mediocre, with what should have ended up well above the initial bankroll, but hit a bad string of luck and ended up only up a little for the day. At least it is going in the right direction though, right?

What I did find out though is that now I have started to accumulate "Fell Tilt Points", which can apparently be used at the store to get Full Tilt related gear, anything from shirts to hats and jackets and plasma TV's... My new goal is to get a hat...

4000 points?!?! At my current pace, it is going to take 800 sessions, probably over 2 years in the end.

I wonder if I'll make it to $100 or 4000 points first...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day three- a little better night

Again, went into tonight's tables with about $0.60 worth of bankroll. Lost a little bit to get going, ended up playing quite a while, and ended up over $2 for the night!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day two- continuing the run at micro stakes

Taking my huge bankroll into tonight's tables looked like a super swell idea. Unfortunately I hit some bad luck and ended up losing in $0.40 increments until I was eventually all in, for my entire stash.

Thankfully, I went in at the right time, doubled up, starting hitting some hands and ended up in the positive for the day, which I am quite happy about. I would have even been content just breaking even after nearly needing to head back to the freeroll circuit. Here stands the bankroll after 2 days...

Day one- micro stakes pot-limit. You have GOT to love this game.

So I decide to sit down at the real money micro tables at Full Tilt, but I don't put my whole $2 bankroll on the table. I sit with $0.40, so that I can bust out theoretically 5 times before I have to play another freeroll (because although it is free, that was a TON of time and lost sleep). I think I played reasonably well, and increased my overall bankroll by about 25%, which if I can keep this up, I'll be quite happy. Here is the bankroll when I hit the hay.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Freerollin' is the best way to roll...

So, the first step in making something out of nothing is of course the freeroll. For those of you not familiar with poker, various sites (including Full Tilt which is where I play at) allows individuals to enroll in tournaments called "freerolls" which allow you to win actual money without putting any in.

So it's a Saturday night (sorry, this post is a few days late) and I came across a freeroll for no-limit texas hold-em at Full Tilt starting at 10:40 pm, which opens for registration at 10:00 and closes because 2700 players enter and fill the tournament in about 15 seconds. The prize structure is:

After registering for this, my first freeroll, and then waiting around for 40 minutes for the tourney to start, I started playing relatively well and was feeling good about the style of play I was working. Got through the first break (1 hr), and several more breaks at 1 hr intervals. I started playing pretty conservatively and miraculously ended up still in the mix when we went to break with 22 players left, meaning that I was in the money.

I played a few more hands, felt good about a hand and got sucked out on and ended up in 20th place, meaning that I still made the money! $2 in the bank baby!

Now it's off to the cashier to confirm the money was there...

Thankfully, Full Tilt has the "micro" stakes tables, where you can play $0.01/$0.02 blinds with pot-limit hold-em. Here we go. Wish me luck! (of course it will have to wait a bit, as this tourney didn't end up wrapping up until 4:14 am. Eek!) The amount of work put into this $2 makes me appreciate the child laborers working for less overseas...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The purpose... to win money without spending any!

All of us have heard the old adage, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Well, I would be up for free lunches, but what I would really like to do is get into either the WSOP or a WPT tournament without spending any of my own hard earned cash, especially in today's economy. What this blog is going to do is track my progress going from a novice poker player into the poker elite (yeah, right!).

The rationale behind this process is quite simple actually, and has been employed by one of my favorite "Poker Stars", Chris "Jesus" Ferguson. (For some really cool card throwing tricks check out some of his youtube stuff).

Now, I am nowhere near the level of Chris, but I want to give it a shot and see how far I get. Chris does have some guidelines that he used to make $10,000 out of nothing but hard work, and can be found here.