Wednesday, August 18, 2010


A virtuous circle or a vicious circle is a complex of events that reinforces itself through a feedback loop. A virtuous circle has favorable results, and a vicious circle has detrimental results.

Vicious cycle
Since Vegas, I've been on a breakeven stretch.  I had fairly healthy (delusional) expectations and as a result my confidence in my game was shaken.  Hard to describe, but I was definitely out of the zone.  Felt like I was floating in space when I played; didn't know where I was at with ranges, etc.  Desperate to win again, I prob started adopting random pieces of other people's games.  I also developed a defeatist attitude that the games had become unbeatable.  As a result, I didn't want to play at all.  Started dabbling in other games, which can be a good idea but in my case, was just starting over at the bottom of the learning curve.

Virtuous cycle
More lately, I've been expanding my poker network to surround myself with people who have similar goals, work ethics, and approaches to the game.  Hearing others' thought processes, as well as having to explain / defend your own thoughts really strengthens your game.  I went over some "golden era" vertek HHs and that definitely reminded me of what worked for me before.  I definitely have an idiosyncratic style and timing to my game, and for the most part, have good reasons behind why I do things.  I hate talking poker with people that assume things and rely on certain standards.  Obviously they are already playing perfect poker and don't need to think about things.  On the other hand, I need to continually think and adjust to the changing conditions.  You're only as good as your last game.

I've also stepped up my HH review game ten-fold.  Everyday before I start my session, I go over the previous night's HHs.  At the very least, gives my brain time to get back into poker mode.  Shout outs as well to portlypig, yx32mike, and chip210 for helping to sharpen my weapons.  There are two times when you need to go over your HHs:  when you don't think you're playing well, and when you do.

Special thanks to Daleroxxu (world's best poker blog) for hosting his NLO H/L Hyper Shoveament Freeroll, which I was lucky enough to take down for 1st place.  Video highlights and commentary here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

June Results

Profit: +$4647
Rakeback: +$636
Games: 1961
Hours: 190

Hourly: $27.81 / hr
Per Game: $2.69 / game

Ran hot for first half of month.  Hit some turbulence for the last week or two.  The importance of daily routines / schedule cannot be stressed enough.  With that being said, I'll be looking to experiment with a few changes this month.  GL me!

Also, sorry for late responses in comments section:

I don't use a HUD because I've never figured out how to, or what the stats even mean.  On the other hand, playing HUD-less has forced me to pay attention to player tendencies and whatnot, so I usually try to avoid auto-piloting.

The link to the 2+2 thread referenced in the prior post can be found by hovering over the words "thread on 2+2" in the same post.  I guess the link text color was too similar.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Got A 33% Raise!

Not in the traditional sense, but in poker terms I did. I was inspired by this thread on 2+2, so now I'm 16-tabling tiled continuously on dual Dell 30"s in portrait mode. Took a bit of time to find some Torx wrenches, but it was fairly simple to get them standing up without having to buy extra mounting equipment.

This should increase my volume and hourly rate. I'm probably too nitty to ever use a stacked setup, but I'm ok with that. I've been playing well lately and the results are strong. I've ran a mile or two in the mornings a few days / week and that has definitely helped a lot. I have tons of focus and energy. I want to strike while the iron is hot, so I'm looking to set some volume records this weekend. My first 15 hour session, and 200+ games in a day for Saturday and maybe Sunday if I'm feeling particularly randy. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Tale of Two Graphs

April 1 - May 9

May 10 - June 7

So for 5 weeks, I got in 1700 games at $10 / game for a grand total of $17 K. Then for the next 4 weeks, I got in 1200 games at -$2 / game for a grand total of -$2.4 K. If a magic genie had appeared to me back at the beginning of April and told me I'd play 3K games at $5 / game, I'd be fairly pleased with myself. Instead I spend a few weeks feeling like a poker god and then a few weeks feeling like a total loser. And even though my wins totally eclipse my losses, the emotional impact of those losses is far greater. I've played a fairly consistent game throughout both periods, but shit just happens. Deep down, I am still a good, thinking, winning player.

Swings suck, but if we peel the onion back another layer, we reveal another aspect of grossness. I've been really examining my game and have finally figured out that I've developed some pretty major leaks. These leaks began in April, but I kept on winning DESPITE these leaks. So the "upswing" further reinforced my leaks and made them worse. Lesson learned, and none too worse for wear. I'm just glad that I'm continuing to improve in ALL aspects of my game.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May Results

Profit: +$4309
Rakeback: +$630
Games: 1620
Hours: 143 .5

Hourly: $34.42 / hr
Per Game: $3.05/ game

I ran pretty well for the first week, and then blehh for the rest of the month. All in all, the results were decent, but I'm still disappointed because I had aggressive goals and high standards for myself. Ended with a long streak where I was cashing a decent % of the time, but they were all mincashes which are basically negligible. I'll go over a bunch of HHs today and then get back to work. This month's goals will be simple: work hard, play well.

Quick shout-out to msusyr24. He's currently 23rd in the WSOP Event 5 $1.5K NLHE. He was chiplead for a large stretch, but took some tough beats to get knocked down. If anyone can come back, he can, so GL today!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week 3

Profit: +$1115
Rakeback: +$78
Games: 323
Hours: 28.5

Hourly: $41.86 / hr
Per Game: $3.69 / game

Finally broke out of my downswing and got the ship righted again. Last week's poor results were definitely the result of poor play and not variance. My A-game is a subtle mix of aggression and caution, so it doesn't take much for small shifts in my style to throw me off. Had some life distractions, so blehh volume. Before I sign off to crush the Sunday crowd, will leave you with this piece my friend posted on his FB. Original here.

You can’t change your entire life.
You can only change your next action.

You can’t change a relationship with a loved one.
You can only change your next interaction.

You can’t change your entire job.
You can only change your next task.

You can’t change your body composition.
You can only change your next meal.

You can’t change your fitness level.
You can only start moving.

You can’t declutter your entire life.
You can only choose to get rid of one thing, right now.

You can’t eliminate your entire debt.
You can only make one payment, or buy one less unnecessary item.

You can’t change the past, or control the future.
You can only change what you’re doing right now.

You can’t change everything.
You can only change one, small thing.
And that’s all it takes.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 2

Profit: +$308
Rakeback: +$87
Games: 396

Hourly: $11.62 / hr
Per Game: $1.00 / game

Started off hot last Sunday with a $36 180 win, and then have mincashed my way down since then. I can definitely say that I've been making some superthin calls lately, so will go over some HHs to look for spots to improve / avoid. Have also spewed a number of times at early levels, which was totally avoidable.

Surprises come when there are differences in expectations and outcome. I've been running so well lately that this week feels like a losing one. Just have to remember to view things in totality. The most important thing is to align expectations and effort.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week 1

Profit: +$4,184
Rakeback: +$216
Games: 545

Hourly: $88.00 / hr
Per Game: $8.07 / game

I'm about on track as far as profits go, and a little bit behind on volume. Healthy ROIs (50-60%) at 12s and 36s. I was a lil concerned that the daytime crowd would be tougher, but haven't noticed too many differences. 6-8 hour sessions are definitely my sweet spot. 2-3 hour sessions are a waste (load-up / wind-down) and with 10+ hour sessions, I start to get hungry and lose focus. I also hate playing with fewer than 150k ppl online since load times are unbearable.

Thoughts have been running through my head of getting a personal assistant. Someone to clean, do laundry, handle mail, emails, shopping, and errands for like $15 / hr. Would definitely be worth it if they can free up more time for me to get games in. My MO in life has been to suck at most things and do a few things really well. Specialization / division of labor and all that jazz. Also need to start working out again regularly.

Friday, April 30, 2010

April Results

Profit: +$11,249
Rakeback: +$255
Games: 1075
Hours: 103

Hourly: $111.69 / hr
Per Game: $10.70 / game

Has been an interesting month. Set a new personal record for monthly earnings as well as a new daily record (3.6K). Cracked top 200 for the monthly TLB so got a lil bonus for that. Was able to take down 4 $12 180s in a day and took down my first $36 180.

I ran at expectation for $12s (40% ROI) and ridiculously well at $36s (280% ROI). Only played 65 $36s, but managed 3 1sts, 2 2nds, and a 3rd so GG me.

Much of this month, I've played in the "zone". Hard to describe and sortta mystical-sounding, but I'm 100% in the moment, just reacting to situations. I'm paying attention to everything but afterwards, I can't really recall the details or outcomes of any individual hands won or lost. Plus if you consider yourself a poker player, bad beats should be boring to you. It's like I sit down at my station, and stand up 4-8 hours later after I get really hungry or the games are loading too slow. In an NLP sense, I 'd like to think I've reached the level of Unconscious Competence.

1. Unconscious Incompetence (we don't know we don't know how to)
2. Conscious Incompetence (we know we don't know how to)
3. Conscious Competence (we know we know how to)
4. Unconscious Competence (we do it without knowing how we do it)

Also rewarded myself for having a good month by buying myself a used Aeron chair. $340 but long overdue and well worth the price. Super adjustable and feels like you're sitting on nothing.

For May, I have very aggressive goals. 3K games and $15K profit. No excuses.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

$36 180 Win!

Pretty nice considering $1800 was what I used to earn in an average month at poker. Special thanks to MI_Turtle for being in my corner and railing me to victory.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Epic Win

Due to a super active table and me being an ICM nit, I found myself HU at a 180-man at 1.5/3K with 12K to his 254K. I pulled out all my luckboxing tricks and 19 hands later, it was all over.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Daily Record

Profit: $2,365
Rakeback: +16
Games: 91
Hours: 9

Hourly: $264.56 / hr
Per Game: $26.16 / game

I'm BACK, bitches! I took a few hours this weekend to go over some vintage vertek HHs. My game is back to its tablecrusher style, instead of whatever the hell happened last month. Today's session started off alright, but I ended up winning 4 $12 180s in a row at the end. GG me!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Results

Profit: -$1,238
Rakeback: +107
Games: 850
Hours: 86

Hourly: -$13.15 / hr
Per Game: -$1.33 / game

This was my first negative month in online poker. Welcome to the club, I guess. I was out of town 2 weekends, so I probably made up for that with more volume, and less focus. But to put things in perspective, 850 games is small. Gotta get back to focusing on those few things I can control. People can be such mindless lemmings.
“Learn how to ignore the examples from others when they are wrong, because few skills are worth more having.”
-- Charlie Munger

Friday, March 12, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Few days ago was the one year anniversary of my 1st blog post, and when I began taking this game seriously. I played and read books before then, but this was the beginning of respectable volume and reliance on poker to supplement my income. I was inspired and had a few coaching sessions with vers. He was killing every $12 45-man back then and his blog opened my mind up to how much money could be made. Another thanks to all those who have helped me along my journey, including reasons14, wbmustang, msusyr24, mi_turtle, johnnyhilldo, and chip210.

$26K, 18K games, and hundreds of hours later, I feel like I've proved some amount of skill. Looking back, I could have definitely progressed faster if I had signed a coaching deal or used a training site, but I'm pretty damn stubborn. The experience definitely helped me develop my own style and I've learned a ton by running into every tough spot imaginable. You can tell on the graph where mi_turtle stepped into the picture, and I'm looking forward to getting better and better.

If you're wondering where I got "vertek" from, it actually was my bboy name back in the day. I used to be in shape and vibrant, haha. Trip down memory lane...

Bruce Lee side-by-side comparison

On a set for a music video

The infamous VerTek boombox courtesy of Totem2

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Results

Profit: +$4734
Rakeback: +140
Games: 747
Hours: 73

Hourly: 66.77 / hr
Per Game: 6.52 / game

This month had a great ROI & hourly rate, but lower than desired volume. I'm very confident in my game and my ability to hang with the good 180-man regs. I'm even more proud though, of the developments I've made in my mental game. I don't think I've tilted once this entire month. If you look at my graph for this year, it's almost a straight line. Some people talk of running good, or running bad, but I just need to keep running.

Last bit of news, Chip210 and I will be coaching a few students in the Rainman School of Poker. My initial plan is to feed them raw meat until they develop a taste for it. After that, they're expected to eat what they kill. We choppin' necks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inspiration II

"True nobility isn't about being better than someone else. It's about being better than you used to be."
-- Wayne Dyer

I was chatting earlier today with chip210 today, and ended up dropping some knowledge on him. Figured it would be useful to share all around and create a sequel to my first "Inspiration" post. That post helped get me into the Rainman School of Poker. This post will be a lil more involved than the 1st one, but also richer. If you are a lifetard, do not waste your time watching these.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Knuckle Up

Things are moving really fast these days. Here are my results YTD. Over a small sample size, I can now say I am confident with $12 180-mans. The ROI is respectable, and the graph relatively low-variance. I've been 12-tabling so far to learn the games, but will now ramp back up to 18-tabling so I can achieve industrial strength. $36 180-mans have been kicking my butt, but over a negligible sample size. I have noticed some fear creep into me during lategame $36s. That is totally unlike me, so I will do my best to bludgeon it out of my brain.

If I really want to achieve my near-term goals, these results will not cut it. It truly is insanity to repeat the same things over and expect different results. The key concept in economics is opportunity cost; life is made up of continual tradeoffs. I only average an hour of tv / day, but I can definitely let that go. If anything is newsworthy enough, I'll hear about it eventually. I also apologize in advance to friends / family for temporarily neglecting them. It can be really difficult communicating different mindsets. I wish more people in my family were entrepreneurial; would make things 10X easier.

I've also helped out a fellow student by reviewing some of his HHs. After just a session or two, his mindset has completely turned around, along with his results. They say you can lead a horse to water, but I will drag his ass into the damn lake. More news to come.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with some inspirational quotes. Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett's right-hand man, and the wisest person I know of. The second quote is one of my favorites. If you are going to bitch about anything, bitch about yourself. Really learn to hate your own bad habits, and then destroy them.

"The safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want."
-- Charlie Munger

"Whenever you think that some situation or some person is ruining your life, it's actually you who are ruining your life. It's such a simple idea. Feeling like a victim is a perfectly disastrous way to make go through life. If you just take the attitude that however bad it is in anyway, it’s always your fault and you just fix it as best you can – the so-called "iron prescription" – I think that really works."
-- Charlie Munger

"I will eat variance and shit $$."
-- vertek

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Random Happenstance

Saturday, I went to grab lunch at Red and Green Brazilian Steakhouse. I'm waiting around for my friends when I see this black dude walk up the stairs. He looks eerily familiar, and I stare him down for a second before walking up to him and introducing myself. Turns out, it's Chef Robert Owens from 2M2MM.

He lives in the ATL area, so we chatted a bit and I got his contact info. Oddly enough, I was researching getting a personal chef just a week ago. It'd be nice to save time getting food and avoid eating all the crap that I normally do. However I'm not baller enough to justify it...yet. Time to lunch and grind all day. GL all!

wbmustang: Oh shit really lol how much he charge that nigga better sing a song everyday

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Profit: +$1260
Rakeback: +10
Games: 55
Hours: 5

Hourly: 254.00 / hr
Per Game: 23.09 / game

I'm back, fools! Last month left me a lil worn out and sleep-deprived, so I ended up not playing poker for 4 entire days. Tonight I was super-focused and alert, resulting in 2 1sts, and 2 3rds as well as a new daily record. I can almost taste that propbet victory from chip210. This weekend should be good. Here's a lil something dedicated to all the fish that love to berate me. Don't give up on me guys, I promise someday I'll learn to play!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Results

Profit: +$3262
Rakeback: +418
Games: 1204
Hours: 106

Hourly: 34.72 / hr
Per Game: 3.06 / game

Including the results of propbets, I broke 4K this month. Had no real expectations this month, since a lot of it would be learning / adjusting to a new game. The first half of this month, I spent as much time studying / reviewing as I did playing. The second half was just trying to get as many focused games in as possible.

I feel fairly comfortable with the 180 format now, and with the resulting swings in $12 / 180s. +$1500 or -$500 are possible in any given session. For a while there, I thought I could pull off a 6K+ month, but the poker gods had other ideas. The past week has been slightly losing to breakeven. Not fun, but inevitable. Perhaps I've gotten too cocky, gotten too scared, gotten too unfocused, regs are adjusting, or just natural variance. The only solution is to act on these things in my control. Nose to the grindstone, ride out the storm.

One last life leak that I gotta correct in my development is my stubbornness, and ego. So hard to change or let go of ways that have had some level of success. Reminded me of this zen story:

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prop Bets

As of Jan. 23rd 2 PM EST, I have $20,038 in lifetime SNG profits. Not great, not bad, but enough to win me the 20K lifetime earnings prop bet with wbmustang. We made the bet back in fall '09 when we were both sitting on 15K earnings. It was a great idea by him to push the both of us forward. Almost thought the bet was over in December when he went on a 5K upswing, but then followed it with a 3K downswing. Ughh gross, but I know wbmustang's a winning player and will play through it.

Also started another small prop bet with chip210. The bet is $100 to whoever can win 3 $12 180-mans in a single 24-hour period. I've gotten close with 2 1sts and a 3rd, while has has had 2 1sts and a 2nd. Should be a good challenge since he's pretty damn good, and I'm pretty damn lucky. When I first met him, he was a scared little bitch that would only play aces. But now, he's making moves like a cagey veteran.

GL everyone!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rainman on Mediocre Poker

Interview with Nick Rainey:

Part 1 Here:

Part 2 Here:

Pretty good interview overall. My favorite part of this interview:

Interviewer: "And I know you talk about the secret. What the F@** is the secret?"
Nick: "What's the secret to life?"
Interviewer: "I dunno"
Nick: "Hard work, right?"

I definitely know that when I have children, I will teach them to love knowledge and love hard work. Will be handing them keys to the kingdom.

I'd like to end on one video clip that I've really enjoyed. I think Nick would approve.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Daily Record

Profit: +$818
Rakeback: +11
Games: 84
Hours: 7

Hourly: 118.43/ hr
Per Game: 9.87 / game

Not too shabby for a miserably cold Saturday. 180-mans are predictably swingy but fairly profitable. Special thanks to my coaches for believing in me and opening my mind up, and my sparring partner for helping me figure out why I do the things I do.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holidays and New Beginnings

Warning: long post, lots to cover. First the customary monthly summary:

Profit: +$1488
Rakeback: +175
Games: 2056
Hours: 107

Hourly: 15.54/ hr
Per Game: 0.81 / game

Was about breakeven for the first half at the $12 & $27 45-mans before reverting back to my comfort zone. The last few months, I've been plugging volume without progressing skill-wise. Definitely working on addressing that. I'm making an effort to run at least a few games through SNGWiz after every session. I'm about 90% with their actions, although we do have philosophical differences. My main thing has been always to avoid confrontations, whereas they advocate taking every conceivable edge.

Santa was also nice enough to get me this Bing Blang Blaow shirt, which includes a fitty on the titty design.

Biggest news of the month was that I became a coached and staked player with Nick Rainey. You can listen to his interview here. I've been learning/transitioning to the 180-mans. Took me about 100-200 games to get the feel for where the pivot points are, etc. The variance is insane as expected, since you only get a handful or so deep runs in a given session. But I honestly feel the bubble and FT are where my biggest edge as a player are. $2 games are full of droolers and the $12 are a decent challenge. I was able to take down my 1st $12 win tonight, so that was nice.

Watched the Leatherass interview at MediocrePoker. Definitely inspiring so I instantly bought his book and read it in two days. Highly recommended.

The man is truly inspiring. Incredible work ethic and discipline. He 20-tables 6-max $5/10 cash games for a living, which requires incredible amounts of focus and thought. Prob banked $1M+ last year, without the glory of winning $500K pots. The book is 1/4 strat, and 3/4 poker optimization. Things such as diet, managing tilt,
and adjusting relationships to deal with a poker professional lifestyle. Has motivated me to at least eat better and exercise more, to get some oxygen to this aging brain.

2010 Goals:
Made 5K in 2008. Made about 20K in 2009. Started out 2008 4-tabling, 2009 12-tabling, now I'm up to 18. Definitely have a much better grasp on stack-size shoving and calling ranges and FT dynamics. Let's see if we can at least double the profit this year.
If $12 180s become my regular game and I can achieve 25% ROI and 15 go off / hour, then I could settle on a $45 hourly. If I can average 100 hours / month like I have been, 4.5K / month X 12 = 54K for the year. I think that's a realistic goal, but we'll see.
I think I can also get SuperNova this year. Was about halfway there last year. At the very least, it's a nice way to get me to push volume. has a nice pace calculator.

20K Lifetime Profit Prop Bet Update:
vertek: 17.8K
wbmustang: 16.5K
I was able to eke out a small lead on him when he was out over winter break. If he hits another heater, it's game over.

One last semi-poker related note. Almost finished reading "The Alchemist".

Highly recommended as well. One of the biggest themes in the book is this quote:
"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."