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Goals for 2019 - Rec player in the Boston area

Hi all. This is my second goals thread. My previous thread was from a few years ago and the title, "Goal: to become a 2/5 player" betrayed a bit of ignorance at my part about 1/2 vs 2/5, bankroll for someone with a full-time job, etc.

Link: crushlivepoker.com/forums/discussion/7614/goal-to-become-a-2-5-player/p1

Towards the end of the thread, I moved to Boston, where there aren't many games available (I don't own a car as I live in the city, so hard to get to NH), so I closed it down. My $$ results were as follows:

Overall: 517.5 hours, +$10,230 (excluding $4k jackpot table share), $19.77/hour
2/5: +$7,335 over 206.5 hours. $35.52/hour
1/2, 1/3 etc.: +$2,895 over 311 hours. $9.31/hour

Disclaimer: I don't read too much into the hourly figures due to sample size, but I feel like they are likely representitive of my skill level. I am confident I am a winning player, but don't think I am a crusher of any sort. Still have a lot of leaks to plug.

Fast forward to today:
I ran pretty well in cash in 2017 and 2018, but did not play a whole lot. I also didn't track results, but would guess I won 6-7k in cash games over ~150 hours, about half of which was 2/5, but lost most of it firing at 1.5k tourneys at WSOP as well as another $1k elsewhere.

This year, with the impending June opening of the Encore in Boston, I am looking to start putting in significant volume live again. The first six months of this year, I want to focus on studying and making weekend trips to play live when I am able (main hurdles are long term GF and work). The second half of the year, I want to continue to focus on study, but also have much bigger live volume goals.

2019 Goals
The purpose of this thread is to keep me motivated and to remind myself of the goals I set out at the start of the year. Putting it out there where others can read it is a good way to keep myself honest. My goals are as follows:

January - June
-Play online 5 hrs/week. I am on BetOnline and will play microstakes primarily to generate hand histories to help me with my study

-Study 10 hrs/week. This includes podcasts, reading/posting on the forums, and reviewing my own hand histories from online play. I like to walk through my hands with Equilab open and perform a detailed range analysis to help me with balancing out my play.

-Live play: make one trip per month somewhere to play poker. Current plan is St. Louis in Jan, Springfield, MA in Feb, ??? in Mar, Austin in April, ?? in May/June.

July - December
-Play online just enough to generate enough hands to study
-Study 5 hrs/week
-Live play: 15 hours/week

Overall goals + One longer term financial goal
-Start writing down more hands from my live sessions. I used to do this, but haven't been doing it over the last few years as I've only played here and there for fun and not been spending as much time studying.
-Track financial results again
-Assuming I am able to make a profit over the course of the next 1.5 years, I want to take the first $10k I make and fire at the WSOP Main Event in 2020.

Happy New Year, all!


  • FreeLunch Posts: 1,309Pro
    THere are a lot of home games in boston that you can trust. Its been too long since I lived there to recommend you to a specific game but if you befriend reg in the casinos they will tell you. You want the action players for friends as when the ask if you can play the host will always say yes to the action player. Another option is find the bar tournament poker games. Go to the same bar game a few weeks and odds are the hosts of the local cash games will recruit you as they go to them - or, like the casino, ask
  • BartBart Posts: 5,949AdministratorLeadPro
    Calling on @kiderino
  • the_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    edited January 23
    FreeLunch said:
    THere are a lot of home games in boston that you can trust. Its been too long since I lived there to recommend you to a specific game but if you befriend reg in the casinos they will tell you. You want the action players for friends as when the ask if you can play the host will always say yes to the action player. Another option is find the bar tournament poker games. Go to the same bar game a few weeks and odds are the hosts of the local cash games will recruit you as they go to them - or, like the casino, ask
    I am hoping to find a weekend for poker @ MGM Springfield next month, so I will definitely ask around! Thanks for the tip. Going to be tough because I am in Nashville the first weekend, New York the 2nd weekend, and I am travelling a bunch for work which will make it tough to justify a weekend away from the girlfriend. I am thinking if I go on a ski trip the third weekend with her, I will be able to dedicate the 4th weekend of the month to poker! Here's to hope!

  • the_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    I plan to check in here once a month Jan-June after my poker weekend. Last weekend I was in St. Louis visiting my brother, and played a decent amount at Hollywood. I've played at this room before and thought it was fine, nothing special, just terrible chairs and lots of OMCs. Everyone seemed to know each other. The problem is, 2/5 was pretty rare. When it was going, the game was pretty decent, especially Saturday night.

    13 hours of 1/2, +254
    9.5 hours of 2/5, +88

    Total +342

    1/2 was pretty swingy while 2/5 was the complete opposite - I was card dead for most of the time I was playing 2/5. I had a lot of fun overall, but drank way too much Friday night which really made me low energy on Saturday.

    Checking in on my other goals: I have not played much online, maybe 5 hours total in the first two weeks and nothing yet this week. I have studied probably only about 5 hours/week in total, listening to podcasts, reading forums and analyzing a few of my online hands. I need to pick up the pace here!! If there is one goal I am OK skimping on, it's the 5 hours/week online because I am realizing that I play way too many hands over the course of 5 hours to actually study them all in detail. Hopefully I will have better progress to report in February as well as a winning weekend @ MGM Springfield!

  • the_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    Took a trip to NH this weekend and played some 2/5 at Chasers Saturday. Planned on playing there Sunday as well, but the list was crazy long and all tables were full when I got there. I rented a car for the weekend, so I figured I’d just drive to Springfield and play there Sunday.

    I actually enjoyed Chasers overall, except for the $500 cap on 2/5. The game I ended up in was not very good, though. I don’t mind the challenge, so I stayed and played. I ran pretty bad, but also played pretty bad. No coolers, luckily. The biggest hands that I won here were both essentially hero calls on turn and or river which ended up being correct. Here’s an interesting one:

    ~$500 effective. V is a reg who is literally doing range calculations and having theory discussion at the table with the reg next to him. Have definitely seen him chase some draws he shouldnt have been chasing, so not rock solid, but likely an aware player. Hero has a losing image and is probably down about $1.5k at this point.

    Hero A A 20 from UTG+1 V calls in MP2. BTN and BB call.

    Flop (80) 9 8 5 :r:
    Check to hero, H 45, V calls, fold, fold

    V is definitely sticky on the flop. Does not like to fold to cbets in general.

    Turn (170) 9 completes the :r:
    Hero checks V 85 we call

    I don’t think V always has a 9 here, but do think he often stabs when I check this turn. Mandatory call.

    River (340) 5x
    Hero checks and V bets 200 hero calls and is good. V showed a 2 so maybe 22?

    Maybe this isn’t exactly a hero call, but V is never betting worse than our hand for value except for maybe 1010, but I did see him 3 bet that hand once before so not sure he has 1010. At the same time, we are pretty much at the top of our range so I just snap called.

    MGM is a great room in general, and I much prefer the $1k cap. The session started off much like Saturday. I felt like every cbet of mine was raised and I was just getting slapped in the face with the deck. I did get coolered for a ~2k pot (1010 vs K9 on K K 10 5 9 runout), but I also stacked a VIP twice for slightly larger amounts, so ended the day with a solid win.

    -970 in 8.25 hours at chasers 2/5
    +1670 in 5 hours at MGM 2/5
    +700 in 13.25 hours total

    So, there’s the Feb poker trip in the books. Work got crazy over the last month so I am pretty much failing all my other goals :( I’m continuing to average ~5 hours/week studying, but I want it to be 10. Have not touched online poker lately :(
  • neverlearn2 Posts: 2,856Subscriber
    Nice man.
  • the_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    edited March 10
    Got my March poker trip in this month. I convinced my boss I needed to go to a single day conference at Foxwoods, so I played Friday night and Saturday during the day. There is a big tourney series there right now and the games were about as soft as I've ever seen at the 2/5 level. I think over my two days I played with a total of 3-4 other players who likely play for profit, a few who think/act like they do but I don't believe them, and a ton of tourney players and other rec players who comprised the majority of the player pool.

    I made some pretty big mistakes. Probably the most egregious was bluffing with JJ on a A A K 4 Q board vs a preflop 3 better (and good player) who bet flop, checked turn and river from up front. I think I bet like 175 into 300, and he snapped me off with A5. Afterwords, I thought about how he would only fold hands I beat, but almost all of the hands beating me would call this bet given that he 3B pre. Pretty terrible bluff.

    I've kept up with my other goals since my last post well, which is good, but foresee the next 1.5 months being a bit too busy to keep studying much. Once we are into May, I will have a lot more free time. I am planning on playing poker in Austin in April, and don't have plans yet for May, but will probably do something in the New England area for a weekend.

    Since I quit playing regularly a few years ago, I've found myself adjusting to newer play styles in a few ways. I don't know if these changes are necessary due to evolution over time of play styles, or if it is just a Chicago vs New England player pool thing, but here are some cbetting adjustments I've made:
    -I cbet less often when I don't hit. Players are just way more sticky now. I still often go for it on good boards heads up or 3 ways.
    -When I do cbet with air, I double barrel more often as flop peels seem wider, but many people still play turn straightforward.
    -I cbet more often when I hit a piece of the flop, knowing that a lot of players are calling flops with a wider range of hands. Player dependent of course, but in general I've been doing this more often instead of checking with my SD value hand like 2nd pair.
    -I cbet larger with value vs rec players because bet size doesn't seem to impact calling frequency as much. I know that in theory we are supposed to bet very small on certain board textures, but I don't follow this with rec players.
    -Due to cbetting less in general, I have felt the need to put some decent hands into my check/call range on the flop. I previously haven't really had a check/call range as PFR unless I had draws multiway or maybe strong 2nd pair heads up.

    I know some of this goes against what the Solver evangelists say, but that's fine with me. There is obviously merit to some of these newer play styles especially vs good opponents, but I just don't see them as maximizing vs rec players. I also see kids misapplying some of these newer concepts, and when people talk about this stuff, I often get the impression they are just parroting what others have said to them and don't fully understand the "why" behind what they are doing.

    Anyways, as for results:
    +1,247 over 11.5 hours this weekend.
    +2,302 over 47.25 hours this year
    34.25 hours @ 2/5 and 13 hours @ 1/2

    Pretty sure I am running above expectation so far over these first 50 hours or so. I've only been coolered once so far for a ~2k pot, but have had a whale hand me two pots for approx 3.5k combined (these were not coolers, just an overly agro whale and I was in the right place at the right time). I am also crushing it on my hero calls, and have made 4-5 of them for over 1k pots so far, all ending up being correct. It's only a matter of time before that changes.

  • the_dude_abides Posts: 331Subscriber
    Been awhile since last update, so here goes. Looking at my Jan-June goals we have:
    Play online 5 hrs/week: I probably didn't meet this goal for Texas Holdem, but I certainly put a good amount of time in online - enough to generate hands for studying. Partially I didn't meet this goal because I played too much PLO8 - online is a great way to learn other games!

    -Study 10 hrs/week. Probably ended up being closer to 6-7 hours per week. Especially since my life was consumed by work through early May.

    -Live play: make one trip per month somewhere to play poker: I've made several trips since my last post, so I did well with this goal, however things have not gone well:

    April I got 14 hours in @ Texas Card House in Austin, ended up losing $3,477. About half of that was one hand where I had 33 on a Q8344 runout and V had 88. Just a cooler as the way the hand went down 88 was the only hand he could have that beat me and I couldn't fold. I ran bad, but also played bad and made some light call downs that I shouldn't have.

    In May, I played an hour of 2/5 in Puerto Rico and lost $127, and then got 9.5 hours in at Harrah's New Orleans, mostly 2/5 where I won $608. Lost a giant pot in New Orleans where I was about a 70/30 favorite when I got it all-in, so happy to have won still in New Orleans.

    In June, I made it back out to Foxwoods, where I played pretty bad, but also ran badly. In total, lost $1,986 over 13.5 hours, mostly 2/5. I also got 9.5 hours in at the Hippodrome in London, playing 1/2 GBP, and lost $270 after converting to dollars.

    Of course, this weekend, Encore opened up in Boston. Thus far, I have 7 hours logged there and am +301.

    In total my results for the first half of the year are: -$2,649 over 104.5 hours. I can probably attribute half of that loss to a list of specific bad plays I've made over the last several sessions, but I am pretty sure I've also been running badly - probably the worst 100 hour stretch so far over the 6-700 hours I've logged.

    What bothers me at the moment is not the running bad part, as I think this is just part of poker, but it's the playing bad part and the "lost" feeling I've had in some spots over the past few months. Even today, I made a bad turn bluff which cost me $155, and in another hand I thought I was value betting in a spot where I am never good (betting 110 into 300ish with AK on AJT?K vs a V who 3 bet my UTG PFR from UTG1...luckily he folded JJ...it worked out but this is such a bad value bet and I should be betting larger with bluffs in that spot which I actually think is a good play vs nitty regs).

    Looking forward to the second half of the year, my goals are basically going to stay the same as originally presented:
    -Play online just enough to generate enough hands to study
    -Study 5 hrs/week
    -Live play: 65 hours/month

    I changed my volume goal from a weekly one to an equivalent monthly goal because I know I will have some commitments this summer that will prevent me from playing poker some weeks. However, I can get to Encore after work in about 30-40 minutes, so it's very accessible and I plan to put in good volume. The other balancing act is to figure out how to keep my girlfriend OK with all this poker. TBD on that front...
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