Saturday, May 29, 2010


Absolute: Last Month $1065; Current $1112 (+47)
Poker Stars: Last month $118; Current $105 (-13)
Full Tilt: Last month $0; Current $184 (+184)
Total = $1,401 (+218)
Profit in the month = +$218  Profit in the year = +$674
B&M = £113 (-)
Betfair = £138 (-£9)
Total = £251.  B&M Profit in year +£51

After having a consistent run in the Cricket Club game since Christmas, where I only failed to cash once, I've now lost two on the trot.  Both were to "bad beats" where I went in best and guys sucked out on me with unlikely river it goes.  Finished third this week though.

The main story this month has been the re-establishment of a roll on Full Tilt.  The first $75 of it came from a rakeback company freeroll on FT, which is held there every Sunday night at 8.00 PM.  I'm going to be a regular in this, as I'm sure it should prove to be lucrative.  There are usually about 240 runners and the top 45 are paid with the smallest prize $30.  This is much better than the average tournament where only the top 10% are paid and serious amounts don't appear until the final table.  1st is $600.  They have my full attention.  It's a turbo 6 man format, but hey, I'm not complaining.

I used the money to speculate on some .1/.25 Rush poker.  I'm not bankrolled for it, but I thought I'd give it a go using the strategy described in the last post.  Initially this went great and I had spun the 75 up to 200 after just three 1 hour sessions.  Since then something approaching normality has set in (ie. variance).  I've been up to 317 but then had a run of losing sessions to take me down to 187.  In retrospect I realise that I went on tilt after one hand in particular where I was all in pre with AA against heavy betting from two other players.  Only one called my final all in and he had KK.  He hit a king on the river.  The pot was $84 - massive for this level.  I thought I was handling this ok, but realised later that I was deviating from my strategy and calling and chasing things that I normally wouldn't consider, thus costing me more. 

Wierd really, because the same thing in a SnG (hell, 27 off sucking out against AA in a SnG) wouldn't phase me for more than a few minutes - it's such a regular feature of those games - in both directions.  Different game, different psychology.  In fact something similar happened last night in a couple of $5 tournaments I played on FT.  I had AA beaten by KK in one and KK beaten by AJs in the other.  I just shrugged and moved on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The official Krostdat .1/.25 Rush poker strategy.

This has been working for me so far, so I thought I'd put it out there and invite comments. 

For me the obvious advantages of Rush Poker are that you can't really use tracking software on it and self-evidently you can get through a serious volume of games without having to multi-table. 

My strategy is designed to take advantage of high volume of players who are "quick folding" anything remotely requiring thought. 

The only hands I bother with in early position are AA; KK; QQ; JJ; AKs; AQs.  Middle I open up to AJs ATs and pairs 7's up.  Late it's any pair and any suited Ace.  All of these I open for a 3xBB raise.  I fold to any raise in front of me, except with the premium hands (naturally) and where I have a pair and think I can stack off a "big stack" with a pair hitting trips (there are no "implied odds" with a small stack).

When I get callers I always bet the pot as a continuation bet if it is checked to me regardless of whether I've hit or not.  Most people are playing "fit or fold" and will move on unless they have a hand.  If I get a call, I back off unless I've actually hit something big style myself.  There are few players doing anything sophisticated here, so a bet almost always means what it says - he has some sort of hand.  In practice my continuation bets are taking down these small pots (usually around 7xBB $1.75) about 80% of the time, so they have to be good value.  They keep me "ticking over". 

What I am really looking for is hitting sets or nut flushes when I can stack people off.  This sort of approach would be pretty tedious at a slow pace, but at the Rush Poker pace you can get the right sort of situation frequently enough to make it worth waiting for.  The big pairs play themselves, but I have lost an all in with AA to AK hitting a straight, but that sort of thing is going to happen 20% of the time.

The other key principle I try to keep in mind (it's on a "post it" on my monitor!) is big bets = big hands.  I lost a hand I should have folded the other day when my AJs hit a flop of AJ6 rainbow.  I let myself get sucked in and lost two thirds of a buy in when the guy turned out to have AA.  If the betting is getting large you need at least trips to still be hanging in there.  Very few people are bluffing. 

That's it...ABC poker and so far it seems to be working.  Comments and thoughts most welcome.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I won $75 in a tournament run by the rakeback site I'm with.  It happened to be on Full Tilt, so that meant I suddenly had a bit of a wedge on that site again.

So...I thought I'd have a look at "Rush" poker - the speed version of a cash game which they've invented where you can quick fold and move on to a completely new table in seconds.  Not having a lot of experience as a cash game no limit player, I wasn't expecting much, but blow me if I didn't quickly find myself up $80 after three quarters of an hour ... and that after I'd lost a full $25 buy in when my AA was beaten by AKs which hit a straight on the river.

I could get to like this, I thought and went back for another half hour later surprising myself by winning another $45 taking my roll on FT to $200.  Not bad considering it didn't exist 6 days ago!

All I did was play ABC poker, but I have to admit I did "run good", in terms of my good hands holding.

I've just had another bash tonight and dropped $28 due to AA being rivered when up against QQ.  But it's certainly a good alternative when I don't have the time to sit down for a series of SnG's.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Lots of folk on the Raise the River forum have recommended "The Poker Mindset" by Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger.  I've managed to get myself a copy (via Amazon, but sent from the USA) and I have to say that I would rate it alongside Collin Moshman's book on "Sit and Go Strtegy" as one of the best poker books I have read.  I'm sure it is one that I will go back to time after time.

There is nothing in it that is earth shattering, it just very simply and concisely sets out the poker verities around variance, "bad beats", tilt, bankroll management and the like.  The fundamental point is that, if you are a winning player, you need to maintain all the positive aspects of your game that got you there, through the inevitable tilt inducing periods of losing sequences.  We've all been there, or if you haven't you soon will be.

Funny enough the things I've most taken to heart are the bits least related to that.  These are the need to constantly seek to improve your game ("he that's not busy being born is busy dying") and the chapter on analysing and reading other players.  I think I've been a tad lazy with my poker development and settled into a bit of a "comfort zone".  I have an roi of 20%+ at $11 SnG's and the temptation is to just plod along at that.  However I really want to develop an effective tournament game, so I'm going to put a bit of work into that.

I've also been unfocussed around analysing and predicting other players when I'm in live games.  I need to learn to do this more and my little weekly game at the Cricket Club is an ideal spot to practice this. 

I had an unusual early exit in that game this week.  I had about 12xBBs when I raised 3xBB in middle position with 88 and got called by one of the best regular players in the big blind.  The flop came Qh 8h 6h.  Big blind who has a smaller stack than me, goes all in.  I can't pass that - even if he has the flush, which I doubt, I have the chances of a boat.  So I call.  He shows Qs 9s.  Turn 5.  River a him a straight.  He hadn't even seen it himself.  Sigh.  As the "Poker Mindset" would have it, you can only keep making the best plays.