Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goldstar Quest - OMG! I Did It!!!!

With only 20 minutes to spare:

Last night, my wife and kid went to bed at 11:30 and I wasn't tired. So I started a poker session and just got into a mental zone. My sessions usually only last for 45 - 85 minutes, but last night I was locked in and went for 3.5 hours. Even though I ended down 1.5 buy-ins, I felt I only made a couple mistakes and ended up earning over 500 VPP's. So today I was only 410 VPP's short of Goldstar and I decided to go for it. I waited until the last minute too, since I watched my Sharks lose to the Habs. I played tonight for 3.25 hours and hit Goldstar only 20 minutes before the PokerStars deadline.

Even though I lost a little bit of profit, it still feels great to hit this goal. It's especially nice after I had given up nearly all hope in a previous post. I also think I learned a bit about myself and how to get myself locked in for a long session. Before now, I never thought I could play for more than 2 hours at a time without getting restless and losing concentration. Now with this new development, I'm hoping my poker progress will shift into a higher gear.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Goldstar Quest - 3 Days Left; Oh Well

Status this morning 2/26/09:

With 3 days left, it would take a miracle to be able to get 355 VPP's each day. But no biggie. My game is improving and I'm seeing good results. I'm finally getting used to the subtle difference between 25NL and 50NL. And yes, there is a difference.

Had a coaching/sweat session with Zachvac a couple days ago and I'm pretty sure it helped. I took notes and he identified a few leaks he saw that I never thought about before. He just raised his coaching prices, but I still might hit him up again soon for reinforcement.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Goldstar Quest - 5 Days Left; Hope Fades

Status morning of 02/24/09:

Goal beginning to look out of reach. I can't seem to put together some long sessions to catch up. Since my first post in the final "quest", I've only been able to average just over 1.5 hours of play per day. But my results are still good for the time I do play. I'll need about 280 VPP's per day to do this, which works out to be about 1750 hands per day. That would be about 3.5 hours per day 9-tabling at 50NL. I'm pretty sure that's out of the question. Oh well. We'll still see how close I can get.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Goldstar Quest - 7 Days Left

Status midday 2/22/09:

Haven't been sleeping well. Can't play much while I'm tired. Took the kid to the Winchester Mystery House yesterday and had fun. Crazy place. Came home and took a nap. Played for 20 minutes last night and made 1.5 buy-ins at 50NL. Good profit, but slim points.

The quest is looking tougher and tougher as life happens. I'll try to stay in it, but I won't feel too bad if I don't keep my Goldstar status.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Goldstar Quest - 9 Days Left

Here's how things are on the morning of 2/20/09:

Crap. I was a little under the weather yesterday and didn't earn all I needed. Now I need to do 220 VPP's a day for 9 days to hit the mark. We're going out of town tomorrow as we are taking my daughter to see the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. So that means a tough day for poker points. You can pretty much bet I'm gonna have to do a couple 3-4 hour sessions 9-10 tabling 50NL to catch up at some time. Still got a shot, though.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stick's Quest for Goldstar By Feb 28th

This month, I've been kinda slacking off on my playing. Many dumb excuses, but they're mostly just distractions rather than serious events. So I think there is enough time left in the month to try to keep my Goldstar VIP ranking on PokerStars. Over the next 11 days, I'll be chronicling my quest here since it seems like it will take some work and discipline. Kind of a nice goal to shoot for, too.

Here is where I sit midday on 2/18/09:

I figure if I play 9 tables at 50NL for 2 hours a day over the last 11 days of February, I will make Goldstar by the 28th. I've been playing mostly 25NL so far this month (another reason my VPP's are short), but I just cleared a $285 bonus and my BR is just fine to move up.

I just hope I don't fall into bonus tilt like I have in years passed. Plus, my daughter's birthday is coming up in a few days. So I'll have to manage my time wisely. Wish me luck. I'll keep posting updates every couple days.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Feb 2009 Half-Month Update

Had a flat start to the month, but snapped out of it in a short time. Still not 100% disbelieving the whole "post stats = jinx" thing, but here it all is anyway.

As you can see, I've been playing mostly 25NL. I didn't feel quite right at 50NL after my big downswing last month. I lost almost $1K then so I figured I better cool it and work on my game a step lower. I've been working on closing the gap between my VPIP and PFR. I actually feel pretty good about having the 40% ratio for the month and I have some 50-55 days lately.

I also popped 25K FPP's on Stars and bought a $285 bonus. Only 124 VPP's to go. When it releases, I think I'll take another shot at 50NL. I need to step up the VPP's through the end of the month to keep my Goldstar VIP rank.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Link Collection: Stick's Poker Book Reviews

I'm posting this so folks can find these links to my poker book reviews easier. Feel free to link directly to this post by clicking on the post heading to proceed.

"52 Tips for No-Limit Texas Hold'em Poker" by Barry Shulman
"Hold'em Wisdom for All Players" by Daniel Negreanu
"How to Keep More of What You Win: A Gambler's Guide to Taxes" by Walter L. Lewis
"How to Turn Your Poker Playing Into a Business" by Ann-Margaret Johnston
"Texas Hold'Em Odds and Probabilities" by Matthew Hilger
"The Poker Mindset" by Taylor & Hilger
"Why You Lose at Poker" by Fox & Harker

Link Collection: Stick's FTP Mods

I'm posting this so folks can find these links to my Full Tilt Poker racetrack table backgrounds easier. Feel free to link directly to this post by clicking on the post heading to proceed.

### FTP Mod Install Instructions ###
### Remove FTP's Green Felt ###
Hollywood - Johnny Depp
Indy Cars - Danica Patrick
MISC - Black Skull
MISC - Flaming Red Skull
MISC - Good Luck
MISC - Purple Mandala w/Om
NASCAR Robby Gordon - Camping World
NASCAR Robby Gordon - Jim Beam
NASCAR Robby Gordon - Jim Beam Black
NASCAR Robby Gordon - Menards
NASCAR Robby Gordon - Monster Energy
NASCAR Tony Stewart - Home Depot
NFL Chicago Bears Logo (w/Singletary)
NFL San Francisco 49ers Logo (w/Montana)
NHL Columbus Bluejackets Logo
NHL Edmonton Oilers Logo
NHL San Jose Sharks Logo
Poker Forum - BTD
Poker Forum - Cardschat (1 Logo)**
Poker Forum - Cardschat (4 Logos)**

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January 2009 Results: Terrible

I was on a positive record pace for profit during the first half of the month. But the second half was the worst I've ever seen:

Including SnG losses, I ended up -$445 for the month. Just between 1/17-1/31, I was on a $980 downswing. For the most part, I think I tried to heighten my aggression in the wrong places. After examining some split stats, I found out that most of my losses were from making big folds. Not sure if it was from getting caught stealing a bit more or from limping and having to bail out after chasing something.

As you can see in the graph above, I recovered from a couple of short downswings early on. But I couldn't work my way out of the last one. Maybe a bit of tilt crept in. Maybe just some poor play, too. Maybe I was just lucky during the first half of the month. Not sure. I know I caught some pretty bad beats during the second half.

I haven't fully dropped back down to 25NL, but I think I will play half 25NL and half 50NL for a while. I've done it in the past and I seemed to like it. I'm actually not feeling too bad about the downswing. I'm feeling confident that I can figure out my leaks and recover well.

Still reading "NLHE: T & P". I like it so far and I'm about 3/4 through it. Review coming in a few weeks.