After a good August, I came back down to earth during September. Nevertheless, I feel good about my progress and am looking to pushing forward for the rest of the year.

Here are my results summarised:

September 2008

September 2008

Here are some comments in point form:

1. Played 20,260 hands. After being down 7 buyins at one stage, I ended up being down slightly under one buyin: -$22.35.

2. I played at VP$IP 14.7 and PFR 10. I am such a nit; more on this later!

3. My high pairs had a bad September at least partly accounting for my bad month. My win rate with AA was 383 BB/100 hands (overall it is 500BB/100 hands) and KK 226 BB/100 hannds (usually 350). I was all in preflop with KK 3 times running into AA, and not once had the reverse situation.

4. My flopped set rate was only slightly under average; with my 819 pocket pairs I flopped 93 sets compared to the predicted 99.

5. After going up 2 buyins early, I had a prolonged bad run that lasted 10,000 hands. I had a lot of coolers (e.g KK v AA x 3) and bad beats during this period that tested my tilt tendencies, and I didn’t always cope well! 3 buyins are accounted for by one hand where I was rivered by a one outer.

6. However, despite these results I am feeling good. I have done a lot of reading, and I have joined a tuition site (Cardrunners) which I am finding very helpful. I clearly have many leaks but my 3 major ones are: a. I play too tight for a 6Max game;  b. I struggle completely with the concept of 3 betting and c. my postflop play needs a lot of improvement.  I am working on these and hope to take my game to the next level from here.

7. My bankroll is still healthy and I am within 19 buyins from moving up. When my bankroll hits $1500 I am playing 25c/50c. Only a few months ago i was struggling with $208 playing 5c/10c so I am feeling confident. I am thinking 2 levels per year, which means that by the end of next year I will have a bankroll of $6000 and will be ready to move up to $1/$2 NL.

Good luck in October all!


I was once on the right end of quads over quads. This hand is sicker than that. This is from the first epidose of the 2008 Main Event on ESPN:

Apparently the odds of that happening are 1 in 2.7 billion!

End of August Review

I have now been playing poker online for 2 years. I bought in for $50 vowing to never put any more money in. Well I did break this, not because I went broke, but because I thought I would take advantage of the Pokerstars offer in July where you get a 40% bonus up to $600 for further deposits. I put in $250 to get a $100 bonus which I have now qualified for. Additionally, I have now qualified to become a Silver VIP allowing me to cash in FPPs for another $100.

I started the month with just over $500 coming off a bad end to July. With a $300.45 win plus the $200 bonus my bankroll is now over $1000 for the first time! August  2008 has clearly been my most lucrative month so far. And my bankroll is $700 above what I have put in.

Some of my stats and comments are as follows:

1. 15, 194 hand. Won $300.45 (just over 12 buyins) at 3.95 BB/100 hands.

2. The month was clearly split into 2: after the first ~ 9,000 hands I was even; however I went on the hot run I have been waiting for with a 12 buyin streak over the last 6,000 hands (~10 BB/100 hands). Here is the graph from Pokertracker:

Results for August 2008

Results for August 2008

I am thinking more that your results with pocket AA’s and how many times you flop sets plays a large part in swings either way. Therefore:

3.  I won $318 (ie more than my monthly win!) with AA. The W$SD with AA was 80.95% (compared to ~70% over 80,000 + hands since April) at a win-rate of 883 BB/100 hands (compared to 500BB/100 hands since April).

4. For the first month this year (ie since using Pokertracker in April) I flopped more sets than predicted. I flopped 84 sets with my 674 pocket pairs which is 1 in 8.0 (compared to predicted 1 in 8.3). My win rate with flopped sets in August was 914.76 BB/100 hands which is very similar to my average since April (1002 BB/100 hands). Despite the good ‘flopped sets’ month, I still have a lot of catching up to do! Since using pokertracker in April, I have flopped 389 sets with my 3641 pocket pairs at 1 in 9.4. If I had flopped the predicted 1 in 8.3 I would have flopped 439 sets …… I am 50 sets behind still!!!!

5. Despite my feeling that I have not had a good year (even with my August result), the reality is that I have won 4 out of 5 months. July was the only losing month.

6. Last point is a comment rather than a stat. Using a 2 buyin stop loss has definitely been a useful introduction… it is a great tilt-buster.

Good luck in September all!

This is an unbelievable story. Brian Townsend over a short period of time has developed  a good reputation as being an excellent online cash game player and has been building up his entrepreneurial skills with his association with the Cardrunners site. He had a somewhat meteoric rise to fame last year, although from the results point of view has had a flat 2008 resulting in the need to drop down from the very high stakes he was playing. This probably peaked last year when he was playing in Bobby’s room during the 2007 WSOP playing against the top pros and had huge swings against Sammy Farha.

This is a youtube video of him playing a $363,000 pot against Patrik Antonius in one of the Fulltilt million dollar cash games.

He has now announced that this year he has been multi-accounting on Pokerstars and Fulltiltpoker in his blog.

He has been suspended from his red pro status on Fulltiltpoker for 6 months, although we haven’t heard what Pokerstars are doing.

The confession is certainly open, although I get the feeling that it was one that was made out of necessity because he got caught and this is the only honourable way out of the situation. However it only goes to show how easy it is for someone to setup more than one account. He says that at no stage did he play at the same table; the reason he did it (he states) is that he wanted to play anonymously whilst playing at lower levels.

This does make you wonder how many people do multi-account for more sinister purposes!

Most of you probably know about this now. Here is a nice compilation of the ‘highlights’ of the 2008 WSOP HORSE final table. Scotty Nguyen is drunk and out of control. Bad behaviour, but wow is it compelling viewing!

Just a quick update. August has been good to me so far. After 12,000 hands I am up almost 9 buy-ins.

My bankroll is currently $767, however I am only about 1,500 hands away from a $100 bonus, then another 1,000 hands away from becoming a Silver Star VIP. That will allow me to cash in my FPPs for another $100. Then I only need to play about another 5,000 hands to get another $50. So technically my bankroll is actually over $1,000 for the first time!

I can’t wait until I analyse my stats at the end of the month; I will give a full update here, including graphs. I have been flopping sets left, right and centre to make up for the drought I had in June and July.


I can summarise July with the following 2 facts:

1. I lost $111.25 over 14,608 hands.

2. I moved up to 25NL lol!

Most of the loss was actually in 25NL. After a good start I had one single session where I lost $115 (ie all of my months losses) due to a combination of bad play and bad luck.

I feel comfortable with the decision to move up. I have made up most of that loss and feel like I am playing solidly. The decision was triggered by the Pokerstars offer of 40% bonus for depositing towards the end of July. My bankroll stands at $609, however I have a “virtual” bankroll of $859 on the basis that in about another 13,000 hands, I will pick up my $100 bonus for the deposit, plus I will be able to cash in for another $100 using my FPP as I qualify to be a Silver VPP on Pokerstars. Then after about another 5,000 hands I can cash in for another $50 using FPP. The caveat to this of course is that I don’t go bust in the next 13,000 hands!

Then hopefully it is on to $1,500 for the next move up!! Maybe. It might not happen, but I think over the next 2-3 months I will get to play ~50,000 hands and get an idea of whether I am a winning player at this level. Of course my experience with 10NL tells me that you probably need > 100,000 hands to know that for sure.

I know I still have a lot to learn. One of the things I am grappling with at the moment is overplaying big pairs like top pair, good kicker, and overpairs. I showed the hand I lost with AA v a flopped two pair (which accounted for almost half my monthly loss!) Since then I have lost with AK a few times when I probably should have folded without a showdown. I am sure this is a leak and it can be a considerable one. I am now trying to think about each situation in a hand in terms of EV. For example, take the following hand from a session today:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $0.25 BB (5 handed)

UTG ($25)
Hero ($28.85)
Button ($14.60)
SB ($15.25)
BB ($26.10)

Preflop: Hero is MP with , .
1 fold, Hero raises to $1, 2 folds, BB raises to $3, Hero calls $2.

Flop: ($6.10) , , (2 players)
BB bets $3, Hero calls $3.

Turn: ($12.10) (2 players)
BB bets $6, Hero folds.

Final Pot: $12.10

Results in white below:
No showdown. BB wins $12.10.

Not very exciting I know, but the way I thought about this hands was not in terms of whether I made a bad lay down (which I may have), but in term of EV. Btw, I didn’t know much about this player with few hands played between us. I know that there are times when I would have raised on the flop, or even shoved here. But unlike other times when I would literally click the all-in button with my eyes closed (lol), I stopped to think about it and used all of my time (regardless of other tables waiting for me). Here was an unknown player reraising me preflop and then betting on the flop on a scary board. I thought that if I reraised on the flop, if he shoved what do you do? I am not ready to give up the hand yet and a call was still cheap reasonably cheap with 3:1 pot odds. So I called to then reassess where I was at. Then he put another half pot bet out and I decided to call it quits. My rationale was on the basis that if I played this hand with exactly these circumstances an infinite number of times, my AQ is going to lose money here.

However, the session didn’t all go bad:

PokerStars No-Limit Hold’em, $0.25 BB (6 handed)

Hero ($29.40)
UTG ($25.85)
MP ($48.40)
CO ($31)
Button ($43.15)
SB ($4.95)

Preflop: Hero is BB with , .
1 fold, MP raises to $1.25, CO calls $1.25, Button calls $1.25, SB calls $1.15, Hero calls $1.

Flop: ($6.25) , , (5 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $2.5, MP calls $2.50, CO calls $2.50, Button folds, SB folds.

Turn: ($13.75) (3 players)
Hero checks, MP checks, CO checks.

River: ($13.75) (3 players)
Hero bets $10, MP raises to $20, CO folds, Hero raises to $25.65, MP calls $5.65.

Final Pot: $65.05

Results in white below:
Hero has 2s 2h (full house, twos full of sixes).
MP doesn’t show.

The villain had pocket 3’s for a rivered straight.

Good luck in August everyone!!

GooOutcome: Hero wins $65.05.