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  1. #151
    Jason's Avatar
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    Heh, thanks for the words of encouragement. I wish I could share your optimism, but it's been since 20bb to 100bb tables that I was profitable on Stars and it's been August or so since I've played poker regularly. I feel like I need to first, remember how to play poker again ... and next, learn how to win on Stars without the fresh supply of fish who have all migrated to 50bb max tables.

    If Stars got rid of 50bb max tables and the fish were back in 100bb stacked NLHE games OR if I was playing on Full Tilt, I'd have no problem playing 50NL ... but as it stands, 25NL makes the most sense right now.

    I'm also retooling my style a bit to be able to multi-table more and tighten my play, which is going to take some adjusting. I used to table select like a mother and intentionally play laggy for image purposes and get the fish to open up quicker and to just get paid off better in general. With less fish and more regs, I don't think that approach is as profitable, so I need some time to try to grow into this new style.

    But, the good news is I've played every day except one in 2011 and I'm having a blast again and looking forward to playing
    - Jason

  2. #152
    HarleyGuy13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    But, the good news is I've played every day except one in 2011 and I'm having a blast again and looking forward to playing
    Boom so +EV!
    "You start the game with a full pot o’ luck and an empty pot o’ experience...
    The object is to fill the pot of experience before you empty the pot of luck."

    Quote Originally Posted by XxStacksxX View Post
    Do you have testicles? If so, learn to bet like it
  3. #153
    Jason's Avatar
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    And there was much rejoicing:

    PokerStars Ring Game Changes: Effective January 27th, 2011



    Seriously, everyone feel free to jump up a level. Our win-rate just got a LOT better on Stars.
    - Jason

  4. #154
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    ^^^
    My first reaction would be that the cap tables will be where the fish will first swim because they'll think that it offers them some sort of protection...should be good hunting

    edit: My second reaction is that it will wind up being more like a limit game in that it could be difficult to offer someone the incorrect odds to draw to their straight or flush.
    Last edited by Shotglass; 01-27-2011 at 08:19 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by givememyleg View Post
    i'll never understand how anyone can go through life being sober.
  5. #155
    Jason's Avatar
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    Nope, NLHE tables are going to be awesome again. All the NLHE pool from 50bb max and 100bb max will be merged into one huge fishy pool. Fish will NOT go to CAP tables because they look different and not-normal with their "CAP" label. Most fish won't even be sure it's NLHE. The games at FULL TILT have been AWESOME compared to Stars because 100bb max is "normal" and "shallow" and "CAP" have lables. Now, Stars won't even have "shallow". It's going to be so great.
    - Jason

  6. #156
    Must say that was a very very good read thread.Tnks for putting the time in to it.But also i was very disappointed when you start to not posting anything for such a long time.I love your ascension and was verry curious where this stop.Unfortunaley you stop under the level i was hoping you will get,at least hoping that you will grinde at 100-200nl and make some nice cash.
    Any way i want to see your new post now that Stars make this change and alow you to play your "before" game.Good Luck.
  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Now, Stars won't even have "shallow". It's going to be so great.
    Well, I'm convinced. 3 tabled 5NL on stars yesterday morning for about 4 hrs. I think it was like a total of 7 different tables when all said and done. I wound up +4.5BI running around 650 total hands. Yehaw

    Quote Originally Posted by givememyleg View Post
    i'll never understand how anyone can go through life being sober.
  8. #158
    Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_wpo
    Must say that was a very very good read thread.Tnks for putting the time in to it.But also i was very disappointed when you start to not posting anything for such a long time.I love your ascension and was verry curious where this stop.Unfortunaley you stop under the level i was hoping you will get,at least hoping that you will grinde at 100-200nl and make some nice cash.
    Any way i want to see your new post now that Stars make this change and alow you to play your "before" game.Good Luck.
    Hey, Andy, thanks for reading and thanks for making your first (and only so far) post here I was somewhere between 5 and 10 buy-ins away from being able to move from $200NL on Stars to $400NL when that awful change was made. There's no way to tell now, but I think I would have been a winner at $400NL and $600NL and hit the wall at $1000NL. This is based on the player pool at the time. There just weren't a lot of games running at $400NL and $600NL to vault up to $1000NL, but enough where if I game selected, I could have SLOWLY done so. Just a guess, though. When I got burnt out at poker last August, I was playing a combo of $100NL and $200NL on Full Tilt and I had won 30 buy-ins at $100NL and had just got started at $200NL with no significant amount won or lost.

    Now that Stars has made this WONDERFUL new announcement, I can HOPEFULLY basically rebuild and try to slowly get where I was before. I've been playing $25NL this month having won around 8 buy-ins or so ... hit 10 at one point I think and I didn't even play one week because I was out of town on vacation. On 02/10/2011, I plan to exclusively move to $50NL and re-evaulate. If the games seem REALLY good, I may start mixing in some $100NL. If it's slow going, I'll just stick with that for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shotglass
    Well, I'm convinced. 3 tabled 5NL on stars yesterday morning for about 4 hrs. I think it was like a total of 7 different tables when all said and done. I wound up +4.5BI running around 650 total hands. Yehaw
    One more thing, at $25NL and below, there is not only NO "shallow" but NO "CAP" either. And, I'm still betting the farm that from $50NL to at least $200NL that fish are going to play NLHE and not CAP.
    - Jason

  9. #159
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    My first full month of playing poker is in the books and it felt GREAT. I was definitely rusty at first and I probably haven't shaken off ALL the rust yet until I get into enough tough spots, BUT I was VERY surprised how quickly everything came back. It was very akin to riding a bike. In fact, I felt like I immediately started learning MANY NEW things about my game that were leaks before that I am plugging now. It was like I could just see things I couldn't see before a lot more clearly. I specifically think the time off and perspective is a tribute to that. However, next time I decide to take some time off, I want to try to avoid burn out and keep it around a week or two and not six months ... but, I still don't think there was anything I could have done to avoid that in hindsight. I was heading for a crash. I'm just glad I'm healed and back.

    I started at $25NL on Stars because it had been so long since I played at Stars and even poker in general and the 100bb NLHE games have gotten a LOT tougher since I last played them and it felt like a good jumping in point despite my massively overrolled bankroll of 360 buyins ... however, this time I specifically wanted to work on adding more tables and volume for a couple of reasons:

    - I felt like when I stopped playing, I was finding myself in a lot of "standard" spots - enough where adding tables where the benefit would outweigh whatever specific notes and action I missed.

    - My game before was a little too laggy. I did this intentionally to try to get more action and outplay people, but it also had a downside: I couldn't play as many tables AND as I moved up, it made playing more difficult as players are more apt to play back at you and it's harder to know how you are being perceived. I've come to the conclusion I don't want players "coming at me" where as my game before was somewhat built on that concept.

    At the same time, I don't want to be TOO automatic in my actions or turn into a robot - not by a LONG shot. The tradeoff I decided to make was to play enough tables where I could keep up with the action in hands I was involved with AND take notes with hands I was involved in. I would give up taking notes in hands and action I WASN'T involved with. All the time I had been playing before now, I did my best to keep notes and take hands that I wasn't involved with. I would even bring up the hand history window if I missed something so I could take notes. This DID suffer some when I got to around 6 and 7 tables and I started missing half of the action in hands I wasn't involved with and now I'm just going to miss all of it.

    The downside to this strategy is I am not expecting any sexy high winrates as I used to get, but if you can play twice the tables at half the win-rate, it's basically a wash.

    At the moment, I've settled at 12 tables. That's a nice number because it's the most tables I can tile and easily see the stats window on my HUD plus it's challenging to keep up with all the action and take notes. I spent most of my time playing $25NL but towards the end of the month I felt comfortable enough to add some $50NL tables when there weren't as many $25NL to choose from.

    January 2011 Total profit/loss: $354.13
    Venue ---> Profit ---> Profit%
    PokerStars ---> $213.13 ---> 60.18%
    Live Games ---> $101.00 ---> 28.52%
    PokerStars Bonus ---> $40.00 ---> 11.3%

    2011 Summary
    Total YTD profit/loss $354.13
    Total YTD VPP's 3191.63

    January 2011 ---> $354.13 with 3191.63 VPP's

    I'm VERY pleased with this result to start and hope I can just keep the ball rolling. I should also mention I only played 3 of the 4 weeks as I was out of town on vacation one week. I didn't feel like I ran good or bad, just normal, fun poker. A couple of hands to welcome me back that I remember: I had a set of Tens in a 3 way pot and trippled up against a set of 2's and a fishy player who had AK and turned an ace and was willing to stack off. Contrast that when I flopped the nut flush and villain runner runnered a straight flush using just one of his hole cards ... doh!

    The really exciting news is Stars announced they are getting rid of 50bb max tables. Introducing those tables really threw a monkey wrench in my plans last April and I ended up moving to Full Tilt to maintain a comparable hourly and enjoyment. Now that they will be gone, EVERY player who wants to play NLHE has to have at least 40bb's and can play with 100bb if they choose. This is literally the best news I could have hoped to hear OUTSIDE of legalizing poker in the US. I just love Stars' interface, customer support, VIP program, and player pool. Now that the games should be good again, it's 'so much win'. Based on the games I played at Full Tilt, I have no reason to think fish will play CAP on Stars from $2NL to $200NL - in fact, fish CAN'T play CAP from $2NL to $25NL. If you've been a winning player at 100bb NLHE on Stars at any level from $2NL to $200NL, my prediction is you can move up at least one stake and maintain the same win-rate after this change. Obviously, don't do that if you don't have the bankroll, but if you DO have the roll, get ready to test the waters and consider taking a shot soon ... on 02/10/2011

    My goals are still pretty simple: have fun and get back in the flow of things for now. Later, figure out what stakes I want to play long term. I'll continue playing a mixture of $25NL and $50NL until 02/10/2011 and then I'll probably move to $50NL exclusively IF enough good games are running. Then, if the games look as good as I'm hoping, I may start taking some shots at $100NL. Outside of that, I'd LOVE the chance to go for SuperNova by the end of the year, but that's still far out and to get that, I'll have to work my way into 12 tabling $100NL exclusively and possibly some $200NL, too. So, one step at a time and hopefully I'll have a clearer picture of which way the wind is blowing by March.
    Last edited by Jason; 02-01-2011 at 12:54 PM.
    - Jason

  10. #160
    GL mate! Great read.
  11. #161
    !Luck's Avatar
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    I hate it when you are right. EZ game now.
  12. #162
    Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by !Luck View Post
    I hate it when you are right. EZ game now.
    I'd never steer ya wrong ... but, yeah, the games got REALLY good at $25NL and $50NL for sure.
    - Jason

  13. #163
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    I have to agree. Before, there were very few tables with players/flop > 22%, esp during the week. Now there are at least 30 tables at 25NL FR with players/flop >25% and several >45%. On weekends there's 30 that are > 40%

    As usual Jason is right.
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla View Post
    ...we've all learned long ago how to share the truth without actually having the truth.
  14. #164
    Vi-Zer0Skill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquach991 View Post
    As usual Jason is right.
    qft

    100nl is as easy as 50nl was four months ago
    Quote Originally Posted by Carroters
    Ambition is fucking great, but you're trying to dig up gold with a rocket launcher and are going to blow the whole lot to shit unless you refine your tools
  15. #165
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    Big Update this month ... Cliff Notes @ the end.


    Old Style Versus New Style
    February was a whirl wind of a month. January lured me into the feeling I was going to move on to a new style and new way of playing, but by this month's end, I've come to the conclusion that I never needed to change. Improve? Yes. Change? No. You should dance with the girl you brought to the prom

    To clarify, I looked back on my game towards the end of when I stopped playing last year and believed that maybe I was too loose, too combative, and that I could do better to play more straightforward, but more tables. That worked well enough at $25NL with 12 tables, but when I decided to jump up to $50NL the week BEFORE Stars' awesome new cash game structure changes, so I'd be ready to hit the ground running, it started to backfire on me. I started running into the same problem I ran into last year: I couldn't get paid anymore. I'd fold, fold, fold, hit a big hand, and the villains folded, too. Last year, I thought I was just running bad by not getting paid in the sense that my villains just never had hands. What I now realize is that it wasn't running bad then or now.

    The real problem is that, for me, I was just missing out on too much action, missing too many notes, and missing too many opportunities to extract value. I was generalizing all of my villains instead of coming up with a customized, villain specific plan to exploit each player as I usually would. I was missing out then and most recently because of too many tables. On Full Tilt, I don't remember trying to add too many tables, but the action goes quicker than Stars so I think maybe I had added one or two new tables prematurely and didn't make the connection that my "running bad" was actually a multi-tabling leak.

    Another part of the problem is if you play too straightforward, it becomes much tougher to get paid off even against fish at times. So, early this month, I cut back from 12, sometimes 13 tables on Stars, to 10 tables max and usually 9, sometimes 8 or less. It's made a world of difference and I feel like I'm starting to get back in my old groove. And, it's not just a matter of winning or losing to be in a groove. It's about having a good handle of what hands villains show up with and how they will react, it's about being in the moment and knowing your spots. It's about taking notes and knowing the table dynamics, and even when you are losing or things aren't going your way, you know why.

    Who knows? Maybe if I keep inching my way up the table ladder, I can play with more, but I know that note taking and paying attention to table action and flow is pretty vital to my success. I'm not sure how some players can be so successful at mid to high stakes with 15 to 24 tables. It's a very impressive feat from my point of view. I guess maybe if you play a lot of the same villains across multiple tables, it becomes easier, but at micro and small stakes, you're going to run up against a LOT of different players.

    I made about 10 buy-ins at $25NL before I moved up to $50NL and then I THINK mainly through too many tables and also getting used to poker again, I ended up losing about 10 buy-ins @ $50NL before Stars made their new buy-in changes. BUT, since the first full day of new cash game changes when I also started playing less tables, I've won back those 10 buy-ins and feel like I'm headed in the right direction again.

    I'm still treading water carefully moving forward, though. Who knows what other new obstacles and discoveries lurk in the future, but I'm really focused on trying to string together several months or a hundred thousand hands of consistent, good results before I feel TOO good or bad about anything.

    Searching for Supernova
    I was very pleased this month to regain my Platinum Star status and have an early path paved towards getting my first SuperNova. Basically, if I can maintain the pace I made in February for the next 10 months I'll make it, but it's only a month sample, so a lot can change for better or worse. This is particularly important to me because IF I can get SuperNova, I'll be in position to unluck $8k of instant cash back in the form of two $4k bonuses @ 250k FPP's each. If I were to not make SuperNova and instead used those same FPP's to get ten $650 bonuses @ 50k FPP's each, that would be $6500 instead of $8000 and thus $1500 of lost value. Plus, getting SuperNova makes a lot of future money due to the 3.5 multiplier versus Platinum's 2.5 which is 40% more FPP's. A year of FPP's starting and ending at exactly Platinum each month would yield $2925 of value whereas a year of FPP's starting starting and ending at exactly SuperNova pace each month would yield $5200 of value - $2,275 difference in value. Furthermore, if you can exactly maintain a pace each month to maintain SuperNova for the year, not just get it by the end of the year, you'll have $7,466.67 of value, which is $4,541.67 more than Platinum.

    So, long story short (too late), SuperNova >> Platinum

    Results Oriented
    Financial results are below but I'm still not really focused on any specific goals related to money. Simply being a "winning" player in 2011 and reaching SuperNova to unlock maximum FPP value would be fine with me. I also can't hide my enthusiasm for the new cash game tables on Stars. I hoped and predicted the new structures would be a huge positive change for players who had previously been playing 100bb max NLHE on Stars and I feel like that has already come to fruition and I don't think the bubble has settled yet either. I think many players, like myself, will be moving up due to the games being better and this will in turn make the games even better as better players are in higher games. Basically, fish and casual players were being funneled to 50bb max. Now, they are funneled to 100bb max games, and life is good again. Now, if we can just legalize online poker in the US, look out - I think that would mean you could jump up 2 or 3 levels and maintain a commensurate win-rate.

    February 2011 Total profit/loss: $511.51
    Venue ---> Profit ---> Profit%
    PokerStars ---> $381.01 ---> 74.49%
    PokerStars Bonus ---> $110.00 ---> 21.50%
    Live Games ---> $20.50 ---> 4.01%

    2011 Summary
    Total YTD profit/loss $865.64
    Total YTD VPP's 11,658.51

    February 2011 ---> $511.51 with 8,196.88 VPP's
    January 2011 ---> $354.13 with 3,191.63 VPP's

    Taxes
    I did my taxes this year and got a big refund because I had been withholding money from my paycheck to cover a year's worth of poker profits. I didn't adjust it back half-way through the year when I stopped playing, which meant a big refund. This year, I had to fill out Form TD F 90-22.1 which is a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts and required if at any point during the year, the SUM of the MAXIMUM balance of your international accounts during the year exceeded $10k. I've been told the penalties for not filling out the forms can be severe:
    • Failure to File Penalty – up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison for any person "willfully violating" the requirements to file. (31 CFR 5322a penalty)
    • Fraud Penalty – up to $500,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison for any person "willfully violating" the requirements to file "as part of a pattern of any illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period." (31 CFR 5322b penalty)



    New PC versus Old PC
    Finally, my desktop was cutting edge back in 2004 when I bought it to run Doom 3, but here in good ole 2011, I can't listen to music without it skipping when HEM is importing hand histories. I also can't run HEM Table Scanner or Table Ninja because everything slows down too much. I also have a bad hard drive that makes Windows want to do a 15 minute chkdsk procedure on every boot-up. I had enough and decided it was time for an upgrade. Behold a bullet point list of PC goodness:
    • AMD Phenom™ II X4 945 Quad-Core CPU
    • Windows 7 Pro
    • 4 GB DDR3-1333 Memory
    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 - 1GB
    • HD - 64 GB ADATA S501 V2 SATA-III SSD Read:355MB/s Write:75MB/s
    • Data Drive - 1 TB HARD DRIVE 64M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s
    • 12X Blu-Ray Pioneer BLU-RAY Re-Writer, DVD±R/±RW Burner



    My hope is having the ability to use table scanner and table ninja will eventually help this PC pay for itself. Even if not, just being able to listen to music and run comfortably should make it well worth it. It's not here yet, but it's been ordered.


    Cliff Notes:
    • Decided to change my style at the end of last month, but at the beginning of this month, decided the change was a bad idea and went back to normal.
    • Since beginning of the year, won 10 buy-ins @ $25NL old (bad) cash game tables with "new" style
    • Lost 10 buy-ins @ $50NL old (bad) cash game tables with "new" style
    • Won 16 buy-ins @ $50NL NEW (good) cash game tables with "original" style
    • On pace to get SuperNova and very excited about accomplishing that to unlock maximum FPP potential
    • No financial goals this year - just focused on playing well and finding the right stakes for me to play at regularly -> right now, that's $50NL Full Ring 100bb max on Stars
    • Finished my taxes and got back a big refund since I stopped playing poker last year
    • Had to submit a form to the US Treasury this year declaring off shore bank accounts since I had over $10k in my poker accounts last year
    • Upgraded my PC - it's >>> old PC
    - Jason

  16. #166
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    Gratz on your year's results!
    How many tables/hours are you playing to reach SuperNova playing 50NL?
  17. #167
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    I usually have at least 9 and often 10 tables going at once. I also hope to move up to $100NL FR at some point which would make getting SuperNova a lot easier.
    - Jason

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    But then I suppose you play a huge load of hours/day, no?
    BTW, do you stack the tables?
  19. #169
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    I wouldn't say I put in a "ton" of volume. I try to put in a couple hours in Monday through Friday and then 3 or 4 hours on Sunday and Saturday. I get in about 1000 to 1500 hands on weekdays and 2000 to 3000 hands on weekends. I get about 0.19 VPP's per hand at $50NL full ring tables, so to get SuperNova, I'd need to average 1,442 hands per day for the year. 100,000 (SuperNova VPP's needed) / 365 (Days in the year) = ~274 - 274 (VPP's needed per day) / 0.19 (Average VPP's per hand I get @ $50NL) = ~ 1442 hands needed per day to get SuperNova

    I tile my tables so I can see all the action. There'd be no way I could take notes, keep up with game flow, or make observations with stacked tables. To be honest, I really don't understand how anyone can play stacked unless they have "systemized" their game to make quick decisions based on hole cards, HUDS, action to that point, position, and stack sizes. I use so much more information beyond that including notes, recent history, long term history, game dynamics, and the like.
    - Jason

  20. #170
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    I just read this thread for the first time. How are you doing, Jason? You still grinding? Hope all is well.
  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowhousepd View Post
    I just read this thread for the first time. How are you doing, Jason? You still grinding? Hope all is well.
    Lol you must not have read the whole thread.
  22. #172
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    Ooops, yeah, I did. I must have read to the end of the first page that loaded & didn't check to see if that was it before I typed a hello response. Very cool story. I'm a follower now.
  23. #173
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    March is over along with the first quarter of 2011. This month was similar to last month but better as more pieces of the puzzle are fitting. I had several swings and more adjustments to my style of play and I think it has all been worthwhile and getting me closer to where I want to be. At the heart of what I've discovered is style and image is MUCH more important than I thought it was. Not that I didn't already KNOW that style and image ARE important, but it's amazing the degrees and how far reaching what I perceive as a tweak can be.

    I had basically decided to adjust from a 18/14 type player to a 14/10 type player but add more tables and thought the results would be better. Whether it's my post flop style or image or whatever the reason, I just couldn't seem to capitalize and decided to keep the same number of tables AND go back to my looser style. Almost immediately, I noticed a good, positive change. When you add enough speculative hands to your range and combine that with your post flop advantage, good things start to happen and now I'm getting paid again. That's felt like the main aspect of my game that had been missing. I'd lose money from a cooler or from a villain who wouldn't fold or a speculative hand that didn't pan out and it seemed like I just couldn't make up the difference through mom and pop value betting. It's still challenging to play as many tables as I am, but I'm sticking with it and getting better with practice.

    I've been trying to put in more study time. I've been reading excerts from Small Stakes No Limit Hold'em, which I bought when it first came out, but didn't read all of it. DC came out with a video series designed for using HEM to find and plug in leaks. I also got Leakbuster. In the past, although I wanted to use my db to improve, I've been reluctant about being too stat based or trying to "fix" some stats. From following this series, I realized there is often a range that is ideal and if you get too far out of it, you're likely missing opportunities to make money or opening yourself up to be exploited by other players. This helped me realize my game had gotten too tight and helped me open up and get back to normal. I also found out I wasn't defending enough from the big blind and I've been actively working to plug that leak. I'm going to try to make a habit to keep looking at my database for both stats and hand histories and just constantly monitoring my game and looking for opportunities to be profitable.

    Compared to my old PC, my new PC is so sick. I can listen to music while I play now. I can run HEM and Table Scanner easily. At some point, I'll start looking at Table Ninja, but couldn't have considered it before. I can run all of my applications no problem which is +EV. I also fire up a game of QuakeLive here and there for fun.

    Financially, since the first full day of changes to the PokerStars cash game structure on 02/11/2011, I've made about 20 buy-ins @ $50NL. I'll want to make at least another 10 for an even 30 before I'll consider adding a $100NL table to the mix. If the chance comes, it'll probably be a slow process of adding a good game here and there and seeing how my game stacks up and just take it slow and steady.

    March 2011 Total profit/loss: $612.42
    Venue ---> Profit ---> Profit%
    PokerStars Bonus ---> $250.00 ---> 40.82%
    PokerStars ---> $189.42 ---> 30.93%
    Live Games ---> $173.00 ---> 28.25%

    2011 Summary
    Total YTD profit/loss $1,478.06
    Total YTD VPP's 20,046.08
    Pace for SuperNova 24,657.53
    My Delta Pace 4,611.45

    March 2011 ---> $612.42 with 8,657.57 VPP's
    February 2011 ---> $511.51 with 8,196.88 VPP's
    January 2011 ---> $354.13 with 3,191.63 VPP's

    I'm off pace of SuperNova by about 4k, but that could probably be made up if I stayed at $50NL for the year and easily be made up if I were able to move up to $100NL for any significant time.

    As I move into April, I'm mainly looking for some stability. It seems like my results at the table have been really swingy with several bad days losing 5 to 10 buy-ins and then swinging the other way winning them all back plus some. Even though I strongly feel like I have a large edge on the field, sometimes everything feels like it's largely the result of heaters or coolers. I know that's not the case, but all the same, I'd really like to see things on a more even keel. Hopefully the adjustments I've made will lend to that kind of outcome long term with enough of a sample size. Stay tuned ...
    Last edited by Jason; 04-01-2011 at 11:27 AM.
    - Jason

  24. #174
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    $50NL Begin Again

    It's been a fun trip down memory lane. Since the start of the year, having laid off the game for 6 months before then, I got my feet wet with $25NL, moved up to $50NL the week before cash games were slated to drop 50bb max games, and as of yesterday I've managed to make over $1,500 at the tables. This time around I'm playing more tables, too. Between all the hands logged, making over 30 buy-ins, and just the number of fish I'm seeing at the tables, I've decided to go ahead and start adding $100NL tables when I see good games.

    My win-rate at $50NL was 3.55bb/100 starting from the first full day of no NEW 50bb max cash game tables. My entire graph year to date:



    I'm not too far from my original 5.62bb/100 win-rate when I last came up through the ranks. This time around, the games are tougher, I'm playing more tables, and I'm coming off a 6 month absence from the game which will account for some bb/100 loss. Moving up, I've beaten $100NL twice for over 30 buy-ins in the past: once on Stars and once on Full Tilt. Obviously this time around with the always increasing difficulty of poker, there's no guarantees. I just hope there are enough fish to go around and game selection is reasonable. If I can continue to improve and get better, the rest should take care of itself. I'm going to continue to work on my game and plug my leaks. At the moment, I'm paying a LOT of attention to "fold to steal from the bb". I had an 84% fold rate from that position when facing a steal, which LeakBuster gave an F+ grade ... eek. My original philosophy was the blinds are just bad spots to put money in the pot because you're always out of position, but I've realized I may be taking it too far. I'm trying to look for opportunities to lower that percent and develop strategies to exploit different players in that situation.

    I haven't logged a ton of hands in April and I'm looking forward to the VPP point boost to help get me to SuperNova by year's end. I won't think about moving up to $200NL unless or until I am able to win 30 buy-ins at the table or $3000. And, unless I have good reasons or evidence to the contrary, I'll probably move back down to $50NL exclusively if I end up losing 10 buy-ins @ $100NL.


    Last edited by Jason; 04-13-2011 at 01:17 PM.
    - Jason

  25. #175
    Jason, don't know you well, just saw your post in slevin's trainwreck thread, and started reading your blog from the beginning in 2009. I'll be checking in and following your progress. Good luck. Your story is inspirational.
  26. #176
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    Hey, thanks for reading. Glad you made it through all that ... playing poker, eventual death, and then rise from the dead.
    - Jason

  27. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Hey, thanks for reading. Glad you made it through all that ... playing poker, eventual death, and then rise from the dead.
    You go, Lazarus! I'm rootin' for ya.
  28. #178
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    Hrm, everytime I think I'm about to turn the corner in poker, something UNRELATED to my skills at the tables happens. In 2006, it was UIGEA. Last year around this same time, it was Stars introducing 50bb max tables. Now, this latest bombshell definitely limits my options and profitability.

    For now, I'm going to take a 'wait and see' approach. I'm not really sure if US Customers can't play on Stars on Full Tilt because those sites have decided to stop servicing them for now or if the US government has actively done something to prevent it like blocking IP addresses. If the sites felt like they were legally operating all this time, I'm not sure why they'd suddenly choose to stop servicing us now because of this lawsuit. They obviously knew the government thought it was illegal. The lawsuit doesn't seem to change anything. It's not like they'll go to court and be like, 'But, hey, look, as soon as you issued a warrant, we stopped letting US players, play' and then the judge will be like, 'Ah, yes, you're free to go'. I'm sure it's more complicated that that.

    I'm going to plan to ramp up my live game play. There's a casino about a an hour and a half away that spreads $1/$3 NLHE. I've been there once and made $200. I may start going there more often. I also run a home game once every two weeks and I'll plan to start hosting it every week now. I'm also going to investigate the possibility of playing on other sites that are still US friendly like Cake, Carbon, Titan, Bodog, and others. Although, putting more money on poker sites that might get shut down like Stars/Tilt doesn't seem wise, so I'll probably be playing 'wait and see' there, too.

    My main concern, outside of getting my money from Stars/Tilt, is not losing the poker skills I've honed all these years. I know from PERSONAL experience after a 6 month layoff, it took me at least 3 to 4 months to get back into the same game shape where I was before I stopped playing. I definitely fear that playing too much live and not enough online will hurt that again.

    But, I'm also optimistic that maybe it's a blessing in disguise that could expedite the process to regulated, legal poker in America. It just really sucks to have a blackout period like this now AND no legislation passed.
    - Jason

  29. #179
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  30. #180
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    Ha. Well, not sure that would solve any of my problems as I can't make money nor can I play against good competition
    - Jason

  31. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Ha. Well, not sure that would solve any of my problems as I can't make money nor can I play against good competition
    Man, can I relate to that comment. I played some of the play money tables on stars Saturday night for the first time in a LONG time.....holy shit the stupidity at the table.

    Quote Originally Posted by givememyleg View Post
    i'll never understand how anyone can go through life being sober.
  32. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by Shotglass View Post
    I played some of the play money tables on stars Saturday night for the first time in a LONG time.....
    This is probably a bad idea. You'll only regress as a player.
    Explain...what I do for a living without saying "I make monies in da 600 enels by pwnin' tha donk bitches". Instead I say "I'm a online financial redistribution broker". - Sasquach991
  33. #183
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    That's what I was afraid of. FWIW, I haven't been back on since, but going to hit the 2/5 at the casino this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by givememyleg View Post
    i'll never understand how anyone can go through life being sober.
  34. #184
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    Withdrawal symptoms are starting to set in

    I just got back from setting up a new bank account, and oh is it a big one, to handle poker only transactions. I got the bear minimum checking account with no fees plus I used my girlfriend as a referral which gets us both $25 each. My hope is in the next two to four weeks, I'll be able to cash-in my roll from PokerStars. There's about $10k in the account with another $3k of value in FPP's, although still waiting for word on what Stars is going to do about that. I really hope they give us all 62.5 FPP's per $1. Hopefully in the next 2 to 6 months, Full Tilt will have their act together and I can get my roughly $5k from there. I still have no idea what to do with the Full Tilt point I've amassed there and I have no confidence that Full Tilt will do the right thing and let us cash them in for fair value - whatever fair value for those might be.

    I've been leaning towards depositing a small bankroll on Carbon Poker or possibly Cake. It is obviously a risk in this environment to deposit anywhere from the United States, but the way I look at it, poker has ALWAYS been a risk in this environment. And, I am putting myself at risk in the future by not playing and allowing my skills to diminish. I don't plan to put a large roll: probably $50 to $600. More if I can hear a confirmed cashout report in this climate and less if I can't.

    I've decided to have my home game once every week instead of two weeks and I'm hopefully going to try to sneak off to the casino here and there when I can.

    Adapt and survive I guess.
    - Jason

  35. #185
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    GL, Jason.

    Quote Originally Posted by givememyleg View Post
    i'll never understand how anyone can go through life being sober.
  36. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post

    Adapt and survive I guess.
    now this is the attitude of a winner.
  37. #187
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    Greetings and good tidings to all denizens of Flop Turn River. Long time no see. When I last checked in, we were in the midst of the unfortunate fall-out from Black Friday. At the time, I was obviously disappointed that I couldn't play at either Stars or Full Tilt and I was mostly focused on getting my money back. Seven months later, I got all my money back from Stars but unfortunately a smaller, yet not insignificant amount of money is still in limbo at Full Tilt.

    I didn't rush back to playing online after Black Friday because I thought the future was extremely uncertain and all the negative events, just like UIGEA last time, didn't inspire me to play much, so another break was in order. As always seems to be the case after a layoff, though, I am now itching to play again. I read over my blog here and I was filled with reminiscent highs and lows. I was very encouraged with all the progress I made not once, not twice, but three times. Once from scratch and then again on Full Tilt after Stars implemented the bad, default 50bb max NLHE tables, and then a third time after I got burnt out and took a six month break and came back to Stars to try to claim my VPP points. By coincidence, during that third run, the 50bb tables were removed and I had just moved up from $50NL back to $100NL where I wanted to make another run at SuperNova. That's when Black Friday happened.

    That was the disappointing part of the journey: every time I seemed poised to begin succeeding at a level where the money could really matter and make a difference, it seems like something outside of my control would happen to derail the train. This started way back before my first post with UIGEA, then again with Stars 50bb max tables, then again with getting burnt out, and then again with Black Friday.

    Due to the current climate, I have decided to scale back my poker goals to be modest and basically start again from scratch. Because of Black Friday, I am assuming the games have gotten much tougher. Being from the US, I am limited to what sites I can play at which makes it even tougher as I have less choices and most likely will have inferior software and a diminished player pool. I also can't ignore that I've had a 7 month layoff so my poker skills need to be dusted off and stretched out. Plus, because of all the legal mess, I think it would be almost stupid for an American player to deposit large amounts of money on a poker site since it's possible the money might not make it back, so I would much prefer depositing a small amount I may not ever seen again than a larger amount.

    Shortly after Black Friday, I created a rakeback account on Carbon poker. My short term goals are to deposit $100 there just like I did exactly 3 years ago from tomorrow, and start playing one cent two cent. I want to just get used to their software, get used to playing, get my HUD and layout set-up optimally and hopefully get back to having fun and winning. If all goes well and I like it and can earn 30 buy-ins, I'll move up to $5NL. But, there could be big challenges along the way before I ever get started. I don't even know for sure they offer $2NL or $5NL. I also don't know what hurdles I'll face depositing. I hope Western Union is an option.

    I'm also having more live, home games and will be giving those more priority when I can since I can play for higher stakes.

    My long-term hope is that I can start honing my chops again and move up the levels and at some point poker will be legalized in the US. That would be the first time my plans got derailed in a good way. Here's to hoping ...

    I'll try to make some small updates along the way until I either get moving at full force again or can't get by an obstacle of some kind.
    - Jason

  38. #188
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    We thought you died again

    I did the same thing with the small deposit but I chose Bodog. Seemed like a good choice until a week or so ago.

    http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerfo...re-189314.html

    I'm now looking for a new site and may try Carbon myself.

    GL
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

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  39. #189
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    Ha! Well, I don't think any US player could be blamed for taking a little break after Black Friday. In fact, I question my sanity a bit for coming back to play I verified with Carbon that you can deposit Western Union. I'm having them verify my rakeback account is valid. We should race to $25NL ... although the games may be so tough, I might not make it that high this go around - Again, here's to hoping
    - Jason

  40. #190
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    I spent the last few hours reading through this thread and wish to say "good luck."

    If you're looking for someplace that will allow deposits with debit cards (idk about credit cards) then I've had good luck with Merge Network since BF.
  41. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    I spent the last few hours reading through this thread and wish to say "good luck."

    If you're looking for someplace that will allow deposits with debit cards (idk about credit cards) then I've had good luck with Merge Network since BF.
    Thanks so much for reading.

    From contacting Carbon Poker customer support, I've determined I can deposit Western Union, which I am familiar with and will use, so that's good. The lowest games are not 1 cent and 2 cent, rather 2 cents, 4 cents, so I'll probably deposit $120 to have a full 30 buyins.

    I just need to figure out the preferred seating so I'm always in the middle center.
    - Jason

  42. #192
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    I'm on carbon and i just couldn't do it, but then again im a quitter you're a winner.

    GL sir.
  43. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by !Luck View Post
    I'm on carbon and i just couldn't do it, but then again im a quitter you're a winner.

    GL sir.
    Heh, thanks ... care to elaborate, though? Couldn't do what exactly? Keep playing on the site? Couldn't handle the software? Didn't want to drop stakes? Games too tough?

    Or did you mean you couldn't figure out how to deposit or the preferred seat? I'm going to try to deposit today. I've successfully used Western Union on both Stars and Tilt in the past, so I'm hoping that'll go smoothly. As for preferred seating, I did figure that out, too. In the chat box, there is a chair icon and you can select to always pick that seat.

    Hopefully I'll be playing some tables today ... ::fingers crossed::
    - Jason

  44. #194
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    I deposited 500. The games were not tough, but people played different. Maybe I ran bad, but it isn't like 25nl on carbon is all that tough. But between the sites interface and lack of notification, when mulitable I just didnt have the motivation to keep going. Long story short. 500 went in, 200 went out. I have 10 dollars or so on it and I play some penny tournies when im drunk or just mess around. I just hope to stay sharp enough to play 10nl when poker becomes legal in the states.
  45. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by !Luck View Post
    I deposited 500. The games were not tough, but people played different. Maybe I ran bad, but it isn't like 25nl on carbon is all that tough. But between the sites interface and lack of notification, when mulitable I just didnt have the motivation to keep going. Long story short. 500 went in, 200 went out. I have 10 dollars or so on it and I play some penny tournies when im drunk or just mess around. I just hope to stay sharp enough to play 10nl when poker becomes legal in the states.
    Oh, I see, I remember really not wanting to play after Black Friday, among other reasons, because the software felt so inferior, but I'm hoping that won't be as big of a deal now since I've had a long break and I haven't used the the Stars software in a while and won't remember what I'm missing. It wouldn't surprise me if $25NL is hard to beat now because with reduced traffic and US players having limited options, there are probably many more regs than fish.

    My hope is that most of the competent players would either move out of the country to keep playing on Stars OR will just think it's NOT worth their time to drop down to $25NL or even $50NL. But, I have a while before I'll be able to form a hands on opinion about that. Hopefully at least $4NL is beatable in the meantime ...
    Last edited by Jason; 12-13-2011 at 11:22 AM.
    - Jason

  46. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by !Luck View Post
    I just hope to stay sharp enough to play 10nl when poker becomes legal in the states.
    Lol ... if poker became legal in the states and it's not an awful legislation with unbeatable rake or really small loss or win limits or anything like that, then look out. I probably would start @ $200NL just to get my feet wet and would anticipate most winning players @ $100NL and $200NL within the past year or two could play profitably up to $1000NL. Again, this assumes it's decent legislation and the average Joe Fish can easily get their money on and off the site just like they could easily go to Amazon dot com and buy a book.
    - Jason

  47. #197
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    Last night I cashed out $150 from Bodog. I left the majority of the BR at Bodog as I don't know how long it takes to get the cash and wanted to play somewhere while waiting on the cash out.

    If it only takes a week or so then I'll get the rest out (about $400). If it only takes a week or so to get the cash, I'll wait to deposit at Carbon until I get the entire roll just to get more bonus.

    I'll prob start at 4NL and go from there. We'll race to 25NL but you'll get a head start.

    Glad you're back Jason.

    Let me know your thoughts at Carbon.

    I'm not sure how to take Luck's comments

    What does "between the site interface and lack of notification" mean?
    The interface is hard to use? Notification when it's your turn?
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

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  48. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquach991 View Post
    I'll prob start at 4NL and go from there. We'll race to 25NL but you'll get a head start.

    Glad you're back Jason.

    Let me know your thoughts at Carbon.

    I'm not sure how to take Luck's comments

    What does "between the site interface and lack of notification" mean?
    The interface is hard to use? Notification when it's your turn?
    Very nice. We can also give each other tips or tricks on using the interface or whatever. I was playing with play chips last night and here are some VERY early and quick impressions:

    • Use the options to get rid of the all in button - awful idea that will cost you money if you don't
    • Use the left/right arrows to easily increment your bet, don't slide it manually as you'll get odd cent/dollar amounts
    • Use the chair icon in the chat menu to do the preferred seating
    • There is a tile option in the upper right of the table
    • For notification or timing out, it turns your time bank red and makes a sound. I didn't have a big problem with just a few tables.
    • According to support, to use Western Union, once you have loaded the web cashier by hitting 'deposit' in the client, select 'cash transfer' and follow the instructions.

    I didn't see a way to filter out ONLY the stakes you want. They had high, medium, and low stake filters. If you see or figure out a way to JUST get $4NL tables, that would be useful.

    That was really the only thing that bothered me that I couldn't fix so far. But, like I said, it's still VERY early and this was just one practice session.
    - Jason

  49. #199
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    Quick update: yesterday was three years to the day I first started playing cash games on Stars at $2NL and I celebrated by playing the lowest stakes on Carbon $4NL this year. Feels both happy and sad at the same time.

    It took a while for my Western Union deposit to go through. For some reason, it didn't work and said 'denied' and I had to wait 4 or 5 hours before support resolved it, but they did resolve it and I played about 30 minutes. This software is definitely going to take some getting used to, but hopefully with some persistence, I will. The most difficult problem to overcome I find on any software is being to keep up with the action and feel like you know what's going on at all the tables. I definitely didn't feel like I knew.

    The one major thing I did not get to work was my HUD. I didn't get to troubleshoot it long, but my hands were importing and my stats would update in the main reporting client, just no HUD. After work today if I have time, I'll revisit it. At any rate, that's several hurdles overcome in one afternoon and I'm that much closer to playing competitively again.
    - Jason

  50. #200
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    just to ask the mind numbingly obvious , did you update to the latest HEM 1 and or are you using the HEM2 trial. you get a month to trial it but theres posts on the support forums saying that it you need extra time to decide to buy (discounted for HEM1 users) to contact them and they'll extend the trial.
    Once you buy , your HEM1 licence will expire 6 months later
  51. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    just to ask the mind numbingly obvious , did you update to the latest HEM 1 and or are you using the HEM2 trial. you get a month to trial it but theres posts on the support forums saying that it you need extra time to decide to buy (discounted for HEM1 users) to contact them and they'll extend the trial.
    Once you buy , your HEM1 licence will expire 6 months later
    I had tried to fire up HEM before I started playing just to take a trip down memory lane and I kept getting some errors, so I updated my HEM just to get it to work. This is HEM 1. I'm not at home and can't remember the exact version but I want to say 1.12 or something perhaps. So, I assume I have the latest version, but I'm going to verify next time I'm in front of my computer just to make sure.
    - Jason

  52. #202
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    Supa's having the exact same problem with HEM1 fwiw, hands all import fine but his HUD won't work. When I spoke with him yesterday he was in contact with support and they weren't at all helpful, but maybe he's made some progress by now. I'll link him to this thread.
  53. #203
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    Def seems to be same problem. Reports are fine but no HUD. Also check table manager. For me it'll show the tables I'm on but not any stats. Been back and forth for 2 days with support, waiting for reply so I'll update here if I get mine worked out.
    “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all”

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  54. #204
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    have you tried the dragging the table to the table manager window? or is it a "thing" on the table manager to the table?
  55. #205
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    Definitely mention that someone else is having the same problem, so they'll take the idea more seriously that it's a problem on HEM's side not on the side of your computer or whatever.
  56. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    have you tried the dragging the table to the table manager window? or is it a "thing" on the table manager to the table?
    'Thing' to table, which I don't really understand. But it doesn't change anything anyway.
    “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all”

    Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years

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  57. #207
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    I finally got mine working based on the following email from support:

    " I have a couple suggestions that might get the HUD working for you, if you want to try them:

    1) Export any custom HUD configs and Copy/Paste your \Config folder before deleting any files as a backup.
    2) Close HM and the Table Manager.
    3) Delete your existing HUD Prefs files, so HM will rebuild them to default.
    4) Delete > \Holdem Manager\Config\prefs.xml, pospref.txt, pospref2.txt, pospref4.txt, default.txt, and exenames.txt
    5) Start HM< Auto Import, Open the Table Manager, and test on a single cash table.
    Windows hides 'known file extensions' by default. :: Scott Granneman

    FWIW, my tables were never being found in the table manager window, so if they are being found but the HUD still isn't working, that may be a different problem.
    - Jason

  58. #208
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    Just finally got the same instructions from hem and am trying now. Downloading version 1.12.08 also.
    “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all”

    Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years

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    start using your brain more and vagina less

    Quote Originally Posted by kingnat View Post
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  59. #209
    supa's Avatar
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    Fixed! Am stoked!
    “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all”

    Put hero on a goddamn range part II- The 6max years

    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer View Post
    start using your brain more and vagina less

    Quote Originally Posted by kingnat View Post
    Members who's signature is a humorous quote about his/herself made by someone who is considered a notable member of the FTR community to give themselves a sense of belonging.
  60. #210
    Sasquach991's Avatar
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    Tried to use a Visa to deposit to Carbon. Keeps getting denied. May have to use the Western Union option.
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla View Post
    ...we've all learned long ago how to share the truth without actually having the truth.
  61. #211
    WeaselT's Avatar
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    WU works (for me anyways).
  62. #212
    Sasquach991's Avatar
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    I was entering Visa card number wrong. Retry was sucessful.

    Thanks for the tips on setup Jason. I'm running like dogshit but the FTR deposit bonus is keeping me in the green.

    Overall I like Carbon. Tables are much tighter than Bodog/Bovado. Bodog was like play money games as you open 4bb from UTG and get 8 callers.

    Race to 25NL?
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla View Post
    ...we've all learned long ago how to share the truth without actually having the truth.
  63. #213
    LAWL @ 8 callers
    [20:19] <Zill4> god
    [20:19] <Zill4> u guys
    [20:19] <Zill4> so fking hopeless
    [20:19] <Zill4> and dumb
  64. #214
    Jason's Avatar
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    Well, this upcoming wedding is taking more of my time than I anticipated. I've been playing a little, but not a whole lot. The software is fine and there are games going but the rake seems really high. I haven't calculated it, but it often seems like the money drains faster than you can win it ... The play @ $4NL isn't "good" per se, but definitely NOT as easy as it should be at this level. It's a bit of a double edged sword. I like playing and have fun playing, but looking ahead it's hard to be too optimistic. I suspect it would take a heckuva an effort to be a winning player @ $50NL let alone somewhere you could actually make a buck like $100NL and beyond. To be honest, $25NL may not be a sure thing ::eeek:: but we shall see.
    - Jason

  65. #215
    Sasquach991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Well, this upcoming wedding is taking more of my time than I anticipated.thing ....
    ::eeek::

    Noooooo, don't do it man!!!!

    I've been married for over 20 years...to the same woman.
    Never regretted it.

    It's amazing at Carbon how many people know how to 3bet and 4bet. I never saw much of that at PS until 10NL.
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla View Post
    ...we've all learned long ago how to share the truth without actually having the truth.
  66. #216
    Micro2Macro's Avatar
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    marriage eh..
  67. #217
    Jason's Avatar
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    Yup. Getting married in April. A lot more goes into a wedding than I expected.
    - Jason

  68. #218
    Sasquach991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Yup. Getting married in April. A lot more money goes into a wedding than I expected.
    FYP
    "Just cause I'm from the South don't mean I ain't got no book learnin'"

    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla View Post
    ...we've all learned long ago how to share the truth without actually having the truth.
  69. #219
    glad that you are back and make another challenge,very curios to see your opinion about today games.GL
  70. #220
    best of luck with the house, marriage, poker, and life
  71. #221
    Jason's Avatar
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    Thought you'd never see me again, eh? Well, can’t say I blame you. When I was last playing regularly, Stars had changed their buy-in structure in a wonderful way eliminating 50bb max NLHE tables and making them 40bb minimum with separate CAP tables. I got about a month or so of play when Black Friday hit.

    After Black Friday, I was pretty devastated as far as online poker goes and not much has changed on that front. I stopped playing for two main reasons: (1) I was irritated and not as motivated and (2) I thought it would be stupid to deposit any money on another poker site. After 6 months, I got an itch and briefly started playing again on Carbon with a small $120 deposit, however, I was very frustrated with the lack of tables and the difficulty of the games. $4NL, the lowest stakes, was much harder than I thought it should be and the discouragement was just too much for me to continue to want to play. I only put in a handful of days and stopped playing.

    Flash forward another year and I just couldn’t stand being on the sidelines any longer. One universal theme that keeps popping up for me is that I am always drawn back to the game any time I take a break for any reason, which to this point has been because of the UIGEA, burnout, and Black Friday. I love the math. I love the psychology. I love the money. I love winning. I love trying to find ways not to lose. I cherish the skillset I’ve accumulated over the years. I also love the social element in live play. I even love many social elements of online play like this web site, 2+2, training sites, and even checking my HEM/PTR graphs.

    I resumed starting over @ $4NL on Carbon, which is what I still believe is the best site for Americans to play online in today’s climate. I was still disappointed in the lack of table selection, but unless I move to a foreign country where online poker is legal, my options are very limited. I’ve narrowed it down to Carbon or if you can find a way to play on Intertops with rakeback on the Revolution network. After about a month, I won $159.46 or 40 buy-ins. I also accumulated $34.06 in rakeback or 8.5 buy-ins. Add that to my $120 deposit and I’m sitting just over $300 and rolled to play $10NL.

    Another discouraging aspect to the games since Black Friday is the difficulty of the games. My wife asked me how the tables were one night recently and I explained that $4NL is not “difficult” but it is not nearly as easy as it should be. $4NL should be similar to $5NL when I was playing on Stars moving up the ranks. It was like printing money, albeit at smaller bills at a time. You actually have to work and pay attention to win in my opinion. The rake feels high, too, so you’re up against that. The skill level resembles how I remember $25NL on Stars several years ago. If that trend holds true, $10NL will be like $50NL was, $25NL will be like $100NL was, $50NL will be like $200NL was, and $100NL will be like $400NL was.

    Even with all that, it wouldn’t be so bad if there were some darn tables running. That’s the other equally daunting challenge. Some nights there’s only one $100NL FR table running. To help combat this, I’ve decided to try to take on 6max and add those tables as part of my repertoire. This is an endeavor I have tried briefly and unsuccessfully in the past and abandoned out of luxury. I am going to try again out of necessity. My first foray with 6max near the end of my $4NL climb was awful. To that point, I had never lost more than 2 buy-ins on any one day and I lost 6 that day. I decided I was trying to transition too fast and reduced my number of 6 max tables to 2 and the remaining 5 are full ring. That has been working well early going. I’m also only going to play @ $4NL for 6 max until I’ve proven myself. I’ll keep an eye on my 6 max winrate and after I’ve won 30 buy-ins, I’ll allow myself to move up stakes there, too and maybe add more tables as well somewhere along the way.

    My expectations moving forward are very low. If I could somehow move up to $50NL or $100NL and pull a $10 to $20 hourly (with or without rakeback), in this apocalyptic poker world, I think that would be fantastic. But, I may find out soon the party is over at $10NL. Who knows? Just having fun and staying motivated to keep playing I think would be a victory. I’m having more home games, too. The first game I had after my first full week of playing online, I cashed out the biggest profit I’ve had or anyone’s had at my game $319 profit in a 50 cent dollar game. Playing online keeps me sharp for live games. I think I may drive down to Tunica during their WSOP events and play some cash games.

    To move from $10NL to $25NL, I’ll need to pad my bankroll with 45 $10NL buy-ins because $25NL (the level I want to play) times 30 (the buy-ins I need) is $750 and $750 (the buy-ins I need) minus $300 (the bankroll I have) is $450 divided by $10NL (the stake I’ll be playing) is 45.

    Despite the post Black Friday gloom and doom, I still hold out hope for the possibility of glory days yet to come when legislation will be passed at the state or federal level and online poker will be legal and available for everyone to play. If and when that day comes and I’m here to see it, great things will be in store for myself and others in the same boat.

    Here’s my $4NL HEM graph:




    Onward to $10NL …


    - Jason

  72. #222
    Luco's Avatar
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    Welcome back Jason
    Congratulations, you've won your dick's weight in sweets! Decode the message in the above post to find out how to claim your tic-tac
  73. #223
    Pascal's Avatar
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    Good luck man, really impressive run in 08. Looking forward to seeing you do it again
  74. #224
    Jason's Avatar
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    Quick update: the table selection has really given me the blues, so I've decided to get an additional account on the Revolution Network. The upside is that it should just about double my table selection. The downside is that I'll have to take some time to learn that site set-up and learn to play at two sites at once.

    Also, I'll have to grind each level twice as long to meet bankroll requirements to move up a level or said another way, I'll be playing much less hands/tables at one site if I'm playing two sites instead before I'd have the opportunity to move up.
    Last edited by Jason; 01-18-2013 at 12:29 PM.
    - Jason

  75. #225
    Jason's Avatar
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    Took a while, but I finally got some money on Revolution and not a moment too soon since Carbon is eliminating rakeback. Ugh. I'm going to Tunica this weekend to play some cash games during their WSOP events.
    - Jason

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