The Monthly Roundup – March

Poker Zoom

 

As we make our way into the worst month in the calendar, rainy bloody April, my slow but steady progress is beginning to manifest itself. This is definitely the most confident I have felt whilst playing the game and my understanding of it is reaching new heights.

 

Obviously there is a long way to go but my results are showing me that I’m heading in the right direction.  

 

Holdem Manager results

March 2018

 

As well as playing 35,000 hands (1,000 fewer than planned…) I have focused my study time into playing from the big blind. To make things even more focused I have concentrated on playing from the big blind when facing a raise from the cutoff or button. Asking yourself questions like ‘what’s you calling range here’ or ‘what hands do I raise here for value?’ starts what my favourite poker coach, Carroters, calls The Launch Pad.

 

I won’t dive into numbers but the overall gist is to try and make plays that equates to a balanced strategy, at least until you find more exploitable plays to use against villain.

 

For example.

 

Villain raises to 2bb on the BTN

 

Hero is in the BB with Q7s

 

Hero?

 

Imagine going over that endless times with different opponents and different sized bets. What would you do with J7s? What about if the villain opens over 70% of hands, how would that change the dynamic? What if the player opens wide but doesn’t fold to 3bets?

 

The big thing is to not think of poker in a vacuum. These spots come up over and over again and so it’s your job to figure out exactly how to play in a given situation for long term success. Not just with Q7s in this particular example.

 

3bet Polar Bluff Strategy

An Example of a 3bet Polar Strategy BTN vs BB

 

Raising The Stakes

 

My plan since my return from America, and really since I’ve ever started playing, was to start from the bottom and earn my way up to the top. Once again this is no different. I could have easily whacked on a few hundred quid when coming home and dived straight back into $10nl or $25nl. But that’s not a key to success. I’m not in this game to expect to makes thousands and live a life of luxury, I’m in this game to test myself, my knowledge and to feed my competitive side. So starting from the bottom over and over again builds into that.

 

My future bankroll plan simply looks like

 

$5nl > Make $150 and takes shots at $10nl

 

$10nl > Make $1000 and takes shot at $25nl

 

$25 > Make $3000, hire a coach and see what happens.

 

My plan to hire a coach at the beginning of this month could in theory happen, but I am progressing nicely on my own at the moment so I thought it was best to hold off for a little bit, work up to at least $25 and then take stop.

 

Match That Bet

 

As well as working on my poker, my real funds are coming from match betting. The goals I set myself for this remain pretty damn simple.

Match Betting Goals

Not only did I reach my goal this month, but I pretty much smashed it with a couple of nice wins coming from casino offers towards the end of the month. This is extremely helpful in terms of having more funds, therefore your potential to earn more increases. It’s also extremely helpful as I have 3 festivals already booked and a holiday to look forward to. Not to mention trying to save for India and a poker coach.

 

The only minor issue with match betting is that the money it generates can not only be quite handsome but when put against poker it makes poker look like a lame donkey. I have to fight the urge not just to focus on match betting and that’s the reason why I switched all my poker play and studies to first thing in the morning.

 

That way I get to test my brain and actually feel like I’m working at something before I settle in with the days easier, albeit more financially rewarding, task of match betting.

 

Another reason to not focus entirely on match betting is because it cannot last forever. Sooner or later your accounts will be restricted because you are not offering any value to the bookmaker or casino. It’s like walking into a chocolate shop everyday where they offer free chocolate tastings. If you continue to walk in every. single. day. and never ever buy anything but devour their free tastings then sooner or later they will not offer you any free tastings or just straight out ban you from the shop. It’s inevitable.

 

Lucky for me, and thousands of other match bettors, is that there are absolutely loads of chocolate shops and they all love handing out free samples. It’s just a simple question of how long until they figure out that I’m not here to buy anything! 

 

At the moment I am loving the fact that match betting is giving me the opportunity to try and achieve the things I want to achieve. Before match betting I was still trying to become a poker pro, but the fact of having very little money made day to day living just that little bit more of a chore. Now I feel like I have a decent full time job that I actually enjoy and pays pretty decently.

 

Match Betting Profit

A £360 casino win to get my April started went down pretty well with me!

 

Invest Yourself

That brings me onto my new favourite hobby and the one that excites me quite a lot. With the lifestyle I have chosen to give myself, I really need any money I make to work for me. If I am ever wanting to purchase a house or do any of that grownup stuff then I need to start working at the best ways to use money.

 

Obviously investing can become a big part in that.

 

Now I am going to be the first to announce that I have little to no idea how, where and what to invest in. My obvious go to things in the current months/years will be CryptoCurrencies (or CryptoAssets).

 

The big thing for me is that idea that the payoff could become quite large whilst the relative risk isn’t that much. This is especially true for a 30 year old single male with no kids and has dreams of living in cheap countries around the world.

 

investing

Knowledege is Power

 

Let’s say I invest £5000 into Bitcoin (or about 1 bitcoin at the time of writing) and it goes on to become a world-wide used currency and its value skyrockets (again) by 2x, 3x, 4x or to the bloody moon. Suddenly I’m looking at a healthy return and everything is rosey.

 

Now let’s look if Bitcoin slumps and goes to nearly zero? Then I’ve lost £5000 and life would feel a bit shit. But £5000 on the big grand scheme of things isn’t a HUGE amount of money. It’s enough, don’t get me wrong, but to me the upside far outways the downside. Obviously my poker playing mentality works well here. The risk/reward ratio definitely comes into play and it’s widely regarded that a lot of poker pros got into the Bitcoin game pretty early on (I wish someone had told me)

 

This isn’t to say that I will solely focus on CryptoCurrencies but I will taking my time to read up on standard investing, how to read charts and basically start diving into a whole different world. All I know is that my poker, and now match betting, background will work wonders here. I am used to ‘losing money’ on any given day and I know the elements of long term value. The funny thing is the one event that really spurred me on to actually learn about CryptoCurrencies and the investing world was when Bitcoin lost over 50% of its value after the massive December run up. 

 

It was at that point where I learnt the harsh truth. That I was the effecitve bag holder at the end of a massive run up and all the smart money had pretty much exited with some handsome profits. And the more I’ve learnt about trading and the more I learn about the fact that only 95% of traders actually make money, the more I feel like I can certainly be one of those 5% because we all know what they said about poker

 

95% are losing players…

 

becoming part of that 5% is all down to hard work.

 

And that’s for me for the month folks!

 

Keep it +EV!

 

PokerVagabond

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