Archive for the ‘Back To The Future:The Micro-stakes Mission’ Category

Micro-stakes Mission: Week One

June 15, 2009
The Micro-stakes Mission

The Micro-stakes Mission


Starting balance: £10


Closing balance: £13.67

Word of the week is grind…
A good start to the challenge where I have managed a 36% increase to my micro roll.

Things we learnt this week:

Tight, solid ABC poker is what wins the money at these low levels.

Value bet your opponents to death.

When someone donk-bets into you and you have it, re-raise you WILL get paid.

Lots of micro-grinding makes you go stir crazy…

It will be a couple of months (hopefully) before I will be playing any ‘proper’ poker at these levels; and by proper poker I mean six-max cash.

As I am playing within strict bankroll management parameters and quite frankly can’t bring myself to grind it out in the $0.01/$0.02 cash games (I just don’t have it in me, I’d rather watch endless Big Brother re-runs while strapped into the Clockwork Orange social rehabilitation chair…) I have been playing a shed-load of $1.20 SNG’s. Some six-max, some full ten-handed, some of the Double or Nothings just to mix it up a little and have a little variety.

Now while the Double or Nothings don’t offer you a great return on your money (as you are paying 1/5 of your profits in rake :() they are great for growing a roll with minimum risk and play slightly differently to your standard SNG, being more like an online qualifier/satellite.
As I’m in the middle of writing a feature on this very topic I’m not going to go into too much detail here but will let you guys know when and where the feature will be published so you can see for yourselves.

I won’t be playing cash until I have $200 (around £120 at current exchange rates) in my account, then I can start playing the $0.05/$0.10 six-max games. Now while this might not be the giddy high-rolling heights that some players enjoy I am quite looking forward to it as I’m sure by the time I have earned enough to play these stakes I will be thoroughly sick of SNG’s.

After a week I have played 26 SNG’s broken down into:

6 Turbo six-max Double or Nothings for 0 profit
I tried these out and found that they get too crap-shooty on the money bubble with the fast escalating blinds and probably won’t be playing any more of these.

1 20-man $1.20 SNG for a loss of $1.20
See below.

2 30-man $1.20 SNG’s for a loss of $2.40
While I came close I bubbled both of these but was just taking a bankroll boosting shot with the profits from my six-max SNG’s. I would imagine I will take a shot with one or two of these a week depending on how I run as you have a slightly greater variance against more players. The return of $12 for first place makes them worthwhile I think.

1 ten-handed SNG for a profit of $3.80
The only reason I didn’t bother with more of these is that the six-max versions are quicker and you have to fight through less players to make the money, though I might mix it up and play a couple more this week.

16 six-max SNG’s some Double or Nothings, some standard SNG’s for a profit of $6.20
I found these the easiest to play and they gave me the best return. Now while my ROI for the whole week was only 17% (this will need to improve drastically) I am happy that I have finished up after the first week. I had to change my game up from my usual aggressive cash style and lost a couple of key hands at bubble time by not adapting to the micro-stakes styles (i.e. don’t bluff, you will get called…).
Hopefully now I have changed my game up we should see some better results next week.

Until then poker fans…

Jumping Gigawatts!

June 12, 2009

If you had a time travelling DeLorean what would you do and where would you go? Aside from the obvious ‘back in time to last week so I could pick the winning lottery numbers’ that is…

Unlike Marty McFly and friends I’d forget 1885 and the old West – it might look cool but riding a horse gives you a sore arse and makes you walk like John Wayne, plus you stood a great chance of catching TB.

As a poker player I often wonder what it would have been like to play in the old West where cheating was rife and you were as likely to be outdrawn by a headcase with a Colt as by a fish with a flush (interestingly flushes were a late edition to the game of poker and were introduced around 1850 along with the British 52-card deck which is used today). Just ask Wild Bill about getting outdrawn… There’s a reason Aces and Eights is called the ‘Dead man’s hand’.

No, fuck that for a game of Cowboys and Indians. Myself, I’d go back in time nine years to early 2000 before the ‘Moneymaker effect’ happened  – where people were still all rubbish at poker and it was easy to win online.

Runner, runner flush... Damn it Marty! That's the third time I've had my Aces cracked this week. I'm thought this whole online poker nonsense was supposed to be easy...

Runner, runner flush... Damn it Marty! That's the third time I've had my Aces cracked this week. I thought this whole online poker nonsense was supposed to be easy...

It’s fair to say that the modern game of poker, especially online moves slightly faster than the 88mph needed to send the DeLorean back to the future and some of the outdraws you see on the old intermaweb leave you muttering more than just ‘Great Scott!’ under your breath.

But is it still possible to win consistently online? I think yes, it’s just the edge is getting smaller and the margins become narrower as everyone three/four-bets and seems to want to get it in so light.

The online game must be beatable as the new generation of up-and-coming professionals like Tom Dwan, Luke ‘FullFlush1’ Schwartz, Andrew Feldman and an army of others spin $50 into six-figure bankrolls, seemingly in a matter of minutes…

Well ok that’s a slight exaggeration but it got me wondering, being as Chris Ferguson and Daniel Negreanu managed to turn nothing into $10,000 and $10 into $100,000 respectively, is it still possible to spin up something from nothing – or more accurately a lot from a little?

Well in true Doc Brown style I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment – a micro-stakes experiment to be exact; here on my blog with a view to writing a couple of features on it for a few of the poker titles I write for.

So first of all I’ll let you folks know the rules and parameters I’ll be setting myself, but the general goal is to prove that online poker is still beatable. That and it’s a pretty good challenge to set yourself to prevent you from becoming bored and your game from becoming stale. After all if I can beat $1/$2 and $2/$4 six-max cash games how hard can $1.20 SNG’s and $0.05/$0.10 cash games be to beat?

Now I haven’t actually set myself a timeframe for this little jaunt into the microcosm of small stakes poker. Rather, I was just conducting it to see how long it would take me, more to prove to myself and others that the whole poker dream of rags to riches is still possible even in today’s highly aggressive game where your average player now actually knows a bit about pot odds, will have read a variety of poker books and is probably signed up to an online training site and is a member of poker forums like 2 plus 2 or Pocket Fives.

The Rules

The goal:
Phase 1 – Turn £10 into £1000
Phase 2 – Turn £1000 into £100,000

I will be starting with a bankroll of £10 (around $16 US dollars).

I am only allowed to buy in for a maximum of 5% of my roll for SNG’s and cash games.

No more than 15% of my roll can be in play at any one time up to a maximum of 5% per table.

If my stack is more than 10% of my total bankroll during a cash game I must cash out and find a new table.

I can only buy into MTT’s for a maximum of 3% of my bankroll.

The moment I have enough in my roll to move up to the next level I HAVE to move up.

The moment I don’t have enough in my roll to play the level I’m playing at I MUST drop back down.

Rakeback counts towards the challenge (bearing in mind that I am using only one of my online poker accounts for this experiment and will be playing only games directly related to the challenge/experiment with this account). After all in today’s online game where someone is effectively offering you a money-back guarantee you’d have to be crazy not to take it, right?

Feedback Frenzy

So there you have it folks, feel free to chip in with any thoughts, ideas, other weird things that can make the experiment/challenge more interesting, or just give me your opinion on what I’m doing.

I’ll be keeping you posted with regular updates in a sub-section of my blog (see the right hand side column under the tab marked ‘Back To The Future:The Micro-stakes Mission’) this will be separate to my regular blog where I will still be posting what articles I’ve been writing, where they’ll be published and also any other random topics I feel like talking about.

Let the games begin. Let’s see if these short-stackers can do 90…