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Nakamuras 2k Post

Background

About 3 years ago my house-mate introduced me to the idea of online poker. I started playing cash games at Party Poker and I wasn’t very good. I had little what I was doing and was playing anything up to $1/$2 on a bankroll of less than $100 (in fact, if you listen very carefully you can hear the feint sound of impending doom). Every month or so, I would drop in $50. I honestly don’t know how much I lost at Party Poker (probably something like $250-$300), because I didn’t keep records.

Then, in the quest for more poker knowledge, I found FTR! On it I found plenty of information, including AOK 19-hand chart. In theory, a simple way to keep me out of trouble and build my bankroll. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case … I had ups, but the downs were worse. I distinctly remember being distraught when holding 33 in an un-raised pot and the flop came down Q 3 2. No way I was behind, right? All the money went into the middle and my opponent flipped up QQ. Why was I distraught? Well, I had just lost ¼ of my bankroll!

Several bad beats later, I was down and out … destined for the poker graveyard. Down to my last $6, and breaking all bankroll rules, I started playing the $2 SNG tables on FTP. I’m probably the best example I know of why it’s really, really important to play within your bankroll. I should have busted out and, in fact, I had already resigned myself to stop playing poker once this money was finished.

Incredibly, though the knowledge I had gained from FTR, I started to win. I still wasn’t a great player, but I was doing very well. As my confidence grew, I started posting more hands and tournaments in the FTR forum. I will be forever grateful to fjuanl, who very patiently taught me ICM (learn, learn, learn!) and reviewed several tournaments and commented very liberally on them.

Once my bankroll had grown to $150, I took $50 and put it into PokerStars. Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand the importance of maximising the welcome Bonus. Nevertheless, I was soon hammering at the $3.40. I don’t remember exactly how I moved up to the $6.50, but there I ended up. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Books

Read Colin Moshman’s “Sit ‘n Go Strategy”. It’s my personal favourite and he presents a lot of information in a very accessible manner. “Kill Everyone: Advanced Strategies for No-Limit Hold-em Tournaments and Sit-n-go’s” by Streib and Lee, is also very good and definitely a must read. “Harrington on Hold ’em” is a useful read, although many of the situations apply only to MTT.

Partnerships

I ground almost all the way to $1000 on $6.50s (mostly 2-tabling); the later part was due in part to $5.20 turbo double or nothings (DON). Later I would start playing lots of these, both $5.20 and $10.40’s.

Through playing DONs I met Rage2100 on FTR. As I was doing fairly well at DONs at the time, Rage2100 sent me a private mail asking me for some hand histories. Thinking nothing of it, I sent him 6. Since then we have exchanged hand histories, comments, ideas, code and tilt control (especially me).

Tilt

Everyone suffers from this at some point in their career. As a serious SNG player, you will need to control and manage your tilt. Tilt starts usually starts manifesting itself after several bad beats in a row. It puts you in a very bad mental state of mind and will usually cause you to drop more money which serves to push you further into the tilt spiral.

Signs you are tilting:

#1 You start to question whether your overall strategy is good or even right.

#2 You start to play hands differently, because the last 3 times your KK was cracked, so maybe you should limp this time and see the flop.

#3 Inability to play an optimal push/fold game at the end (this is related to a fear of being beaten and it takes a lot of courage to push weaker hands into opponents when have been pwned the last 5 or 6 times).

Controlling/Preventing tilt

Rule #1 Never play when drunk.

Rule #2 Never play when tired.

Rule #3 Never play when angry (if you get angry after several bad beats, STOP!).

Rule #4 Never play when you are disinterested (distractions such as emails, IM, naked girlfriends, etc.Laughing).

Rule #5 Never play to ‘win’ money back

All of these will cause contribute to losing streaks and potentially lead to tilt. Please avoid them and do have the discipline to stop when the signs are there.

Completely aside from tilt is your luck. Lucky streaks and downswings will happen, even if you bring your A-game to the table every time. To illustrate the point, you can try downloading my simple double or nothing simulator. It simulates profits from double or nothing games, simply assuming Hero loses 1 (buy-in) or wins 0.95 (1 buy-in – rake). It produces some interesting graphs, even when Hero has a clear edge. Even 15 buy-in downswings are not uncommon. Notice this has nothing to do with tilt, but rather to do with ‘luck’ or randomness. http://www.megaupload.com/?d=70OEEMYZ

This demonstrates that just because you have moved sideways or had a downswing over 200 games, this does not necessarily mean tilt. Tilt specifically refers to changing your style of play or significantly diverging from your usual play in particular hands. Learn to identify what is tilt and what is variance! They are different.

Bankroll

It will suffice to say that there are good threads on Bankroll Management for SNG’s in the stickies digest. They don’t tend to cover double or nothings, but playing around with the simulator should make you nervous if you only have 20 buy-ins. There is a reason why most of the regs on this forum are over-rolled for the stakes they play at. For one it’s hard to recover from going bust-o, but more importantly you bring a fearless game to the table and therefore you have an extra edge over most opponents.

Alternative bankroll strategies

Although poker is a fun way to build your bankroll, the daily grind can be frustrating slow. Often we are ready to level up in terms of skill, but our bankroll prevents us from doing so. Casino Bonus whoring can be a very profitable method of greatly increasing your bankroll. [brag] I have made £3k clearing casino bonuses [/brag]. Online casinos offer bonuses to attract you to their casino. There is normally a play-through requirement to clear the Bonus, but often it is profitable to clear the Bonus using an optimal strategy in blackjack. This should get you going http://casino-bonus.flopturnriver.com/. If you are interested in learning more, please PM me and I can point you in the right direction (Taipan, I’m not sure how much I can link here).

Multitabling

A few months after meeting Rage2100 he sent me a link to what was probably my most important recent development. It was a link to a players’ 1k post, in which he described how to play 10+ tables at once in a stacked formation (all the tables’ one on top of the other). At the time I was tiling 6 tables on my 14” screen and I instantly recognised the value in being able to play more tables at once. I cautiously started out with a stack of 7, and this has grown steadily to 16 tables.

The setup

Once I worked out the exact dimensions of the table I wanted, I ‘observed’ at 20 PokerStars tables and used PlaceMint http://sourceforge.net/projects/placemint to replicate the exact table size on all 20 tables. In my case, I divided my screen into 4 quadrants, with a little bit of overlap between the top and bottom tables. Once this was sorted, I saved this as a PokerStars ‘custom layout’ so I could use this layout every time.

Next, you need to get yourself AHK http://www.autohotkey.com/. It’s free and users can download a variety of useful codes. You can find lots of helpful scripts here http://www.overcards.com/wiki/moin/AutoHotKey. I use a very clever AHK script Rage2100 wrote to control the movement of tables in and out of the stack with only the press of the Spacebar! This allows me to concentrate on a particular table without holding up the action on other tables. It uses counters to calculate if tables are occupying other slots and automatically places the target table in the next available slot.

Here is a short video to help you understand what I mean ( http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KF0UPBSZ ). You need to upzip and click on the internet browzer icon. Please notice, the video is driven by input from the mouse or k/b, so things aren’t really in real-time per se. I’m really sorry the video is so crap, but I’m on a really restrictive capped ADSL. I’ll try give it a better go when I have a better data solution.

Anyway, give it a try and I guarantee you will blinded by the sheer awesomeness of what Rage2100 wrote (Please give him credit if you alter or change his code) You can find the code at the end of the thread – you will need to paste into a blank AHK script and change the coordinates to suit your screen and table size.

Software

Keeping track of your results is very important and you should have a way of doing this. Hold ‘em Manager and Poker Tracker are two, affordable, commercial programs to track your progress through the poker ranks. Personally, I own a Beta copy of the new HEM, with tourney support added. You can check out some short videos demonstrating its features here https://www.flopturnriver.com/phpBB2/forum/tournament-support-added-in-hem-t80908.html?sid=d505779dcf33a09b56dacc35ffbeb893. You need to scroll down a bit in the thread.

I am well aware that the price of these programs can sometimes fall beyond the scope of the small stakes players’ bankroll. Step in freepokerdb http://fpdb.sourceforge.net/. I recently came across this free piece of software while surfing the web. I have never used it, and it seems to be in its infancy, so expect some teething problems.

For ICM play and practice, you’ll need a copy of Sit-and-Go Wizard. For those who cannot afford SNGWIZ, Sit-and-Go End Game Tools www.sngegt.com/ offers similar functionality for free. Remember using this tool during live play is strictly prohibited on most sites. That aside, it’s a fantastic it’s of software to practise your ICM play. Quiz mode is a must.

Lastly, I use a program called TableNinja http://tableninja.com/index.php to deal with many of the annoyances in PokerStars and help with multi-tabling. It can be configured to provide hotkeys for automatically betting set amounts etc., and can actually replace a variety of AHK scripts. It’s a very polished product, and while it’s still in the Beta phase, it’s free to download and use!

All the little people…

In this last part I would like to thank all the little people who helped my along the way … Taipan, Fjuanl, Drmcboy, bjsaust, TLR, Rage2100 and all the regulars who I may have forgotten. Honestly, I didn’t mean too. You guys probably helped me way more than I deserved. Thanks.

Just so that you don’t have to waste a Sharkscope search..

Code: Note open a blank notepad document and paste this code into that. Save document as move_table_by_Rage2100.ahk. Getting the extension right (i.e. the .ahk bit, deleting the .txt bit) is really important. Provided you have AHK installed, double-clicking on this file should automatically open the script in AHK (there will be a little green H in your system tray).

Table moving code

;==========================================================================================

;Move Table by Rage2100

;==========================================================================================

;Spacebar moves table under mouse to next empty slot or back into stack again

;F1 can be used to move tables to the home position at the start of the session

;Escape closes table and updates counter

;================================================================================================

X_home=0

Y_home=0

Slot1_X=640

Slot1_Y=0

Slot2_X=640

Slot2_Y=270

Slot3_X=0

Slot3_Y=270

;================================================================================================

S1=0 ;Counts how many tables are in Slot 1

S2=0 ;Counts how many tables are in Slot 2

S3=0 ;Counts how many tables are in Slot 3

T=50 ;Tolerance in pixels used in case a table slightly moves

;================================================================================================

space::

CoordMode, Mouse

MouseGetPos,,,tableID

IfWinExist, ahk_id %tableID%

WinGetPos, X, Y,,, %ahk_id%

If (X < (X_home + T)) AND (Y < (Y_home + T))

{

If (S1 <= S2) AND (S1 <= S3)

{

WinMove,,, Slot1_X, Slot1_Y

S1+=1

} else

If (S2 < S1) AND (S2 <= S3)

{

WinMove,,, Slot2_X, Slot2_Y

S2+=1

} else

If (S3 < S1) AND (S3 < S2)

{

WinMove,,, Slot3_X, Slot3_Y

S3+=1

}

} else

If (X > (Slot1_X – T)) AND (Y < (Slot1_Y + T))

{

If S1 > 0

{

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

S1-=1

} else

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

} else

If (X > (Slot2_X – T)) AND (Y > (Slot2_Y – T))

{

If S2 > 0

{

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

S2-=1

} else

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

} else

If (X < (Slot3_X + T)) AND (Y > (Slot3_Y – T))

{

If S3 > 0

{

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

S3-=1

} else

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

}

return

Escape::

CoordMode, Mouse

MouseGetPos,,,tableID

IfWinExist, ahk_id %tableID%

WinGetPos, X, Y,,, %ahk_id%

If (X < (X_home + T)) AND (Y < (Y_home + T))

{

} else

If (X > (Slot1_X – T)) AND (Y < (Slot1_Y + T))

{

PostMessage, 0x10, 0, 0,, %ahk_id% ;Close the window

S1-=1

} else

If (X > (Slot2_X – T)) AND (Y > (Slot2_Y – T))

{

PostMessage, 0x10, 0, 0,, %ahk_id% ;Close the window

S2-=1

} else

If (X < (Slot3_X + T)) AND (Y > (Slot3_Y – T))

{

PostMessage, 0x10, 0, 0,, %ahk_id% ;Close the window

S3-=1

}

return

F1::

MouseGetPos,,,tableID

IfWinExist, ahk_id %tableID%

WinMove,,, X_home, Y_home

return

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