"The mission of the BQ Digest is to inform and entertain its readers."
Editorial staff: Bona, Papapyrite, Whydowe_fall, Obviously.bogus, Mikes007, BumbleBee99
It is good to watch the number of "hits" on our digest post rise to 2500+ and know that people are enjoying the digest. We have been well received so far. We intend to provide the information and entertainment our readers want. Don't hesitate to give us your comments, it will help us adapt when needed. Several BQ regs have helped us and others are queued up do so. That is great and we need your participation. As promised we are starting to maintain a "Friends of the Digest" list. So far we are including:
You can be on the list. We appreciate suggested links, cartoons, your original articles and suggestions.
Bumblebee99 is starting on a journey of self improvement in 2012. He has a plan to improve his poker game. Follow his progress in his column.
Bona is still on about wanting more well posted strat posts in the forum, you can read that in the Opinion column.
Ice_W0lf has advice to you for imroving your game. Ice is a moderator in the BQ forum and a friend of the digest.
Enjoy this issue, we look forward to informing you in an entertaining manner.
30 Days to a Better Player: by Ice_W0lf
First, I would like to thank the digest staff for not only allowing me to write this article but for putting together this great publication every month.
With the ringing in of the New Year, most of us start out with resolutions and grand goals. Some goals will probably be personal: lose weight, stop smoking, try new things… but some will probably be about poker: more studying, more volume, move up limits. While what I am proposing will be geared toward poker, it is certainly something that can be used to help you succeed with your other New Year resolutions.
The first step is to watch this this video (it's only 3:27)
Now, to sum up the video… don’t wait to change things that you wish to do differently, start them now. Challenge yourself for 30 days as that is about the correct length of time to start a new habit or to break an old habit. You want to keep these changes small so that they will be sustainable.
This leads to your challenge: For the next 30 days, do something every single day to improve your poker game, something other than just playing. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, just be sure you do it every single day and make sure you are only focused on that thing. Unsure what to do?
Here are some ideas:
Post advice in strategy threads:
Pick out a few threads and post thoughtful, in-depth advice. Go deeper than “omg standard fold lulz”. Explain why you believe the action you picked is correct… give your hand range, explain how you reached your decision, search deep in your poker knowledge when trying to answer these questions. If someone disagrees with you.. try and find out why your thinking differs from their thought process.
Post 1-2 hands (or more if you post in several forums):
Post trouble spots that you seem to run into.. but don’t just post the hand and go along with advice you get. Think through the advice… ask questions if you don’t understand.. challenge the person answering if you don’t agree, but challenge them with reason and logic.. so that discussion can take place.
HEM review of your last x hands/mtts/sngs: We should all be reviewing our sessions, but most of us know we don’t do it often enough. With all of this new volume we want to be putting in this year.. it’s important that we are plugging leaks and looking for leaks in other players.
Watch a video:
Don’t just throw the video on in the background while you are grinding. Sit there and study it… take notes.. read through the comments/thread about the video… pause the video and anticipate what the player in the video will do on the next street.
Sweat another player:
Watch another player that plays at your level or one higher. Ask him about plays he is making.. by forcing him to explain his play, you force yourself to react to his thought process, analyze it, and come up with more questions to ask.
Have another player sweat you or make a video of your play: Play just a few tables and explain every play you make. Watch the video later on and look for leaks. If you find that there are times where there is a lot of dead air… or what you are saying is just jibberish.. then you have probably found a leak in your game or thought process.
Read an article from the stickies in the forum of your chosen game(s):
There is a huge amount of free information out there for people looking to improve… on pretty much every subject imaginable. Just go to the forum of the game you play.. .look at the stickies.. and there will probably be a thread containing memorable strategy articles. Be sure to really read it though.. think about what they are saying.. figure out how you can incorporate that information into your game.
Run equities in pokerstove, flopzilla, sngwiz etc etc etc… In poker we see a lot of the same situations over and over again… knowing how your hand stacks up vs different ranges is huge. Also, for tournament players, knowing things like shove ranges in different positions with stack sizes can mean the difference between a slight winner/loser and someone that crushes pretty hard.
Get a poker coach:
Having a great coach can really help the learning curve. Make sure you research coaches however.. get references, find coaches that work with your learning style and your life schedule.. and will also work with your budget.
Review the poker sites you play at: Make sure you aren’t missing out on great promos or bonuses just because you don’t feel like reading the news popup… this alone could be costing you a ton of money, especially for Americans playing at Merge.
And something not to be overlooked.. take stock of your poker setup:
-Is your hud optimized for the stats that you use? Is it color coded based on stats? Do you have too many/not enough stats? Have you gone through the popups and customized those?
-Do you really need to have skype/pidgin/chrome etc while playing?
-Is where you play comfortable and promoting alertness?
-Are the settings in your poker clients optimized for what you want from the client?
-Are there hotkeys/additional programs out there that can be useful to you during game play?
-Does your computer need upgraded in order to handle your client+hem/pt3?
Spend at least a few minutes doing one or more of these things every single day... I'm sure you will discover that putting some time in away from the tables is actually quite easy and that you were putting it off... or doing less than you know you should have.. for no reason. Also, I'm sure that after just 30 days, you will at least have the base knowledge of how to become a much improve poker player.
Link to December 2011 Digest
Link to November 2011 Digest
Link to Micros Limit Library
Link to BQ forum FAQ
Read the FAQ
Ya, this is from another forum, ya, this is LHE. We chose it for your review because it is a pretty good example of a well posted (converted, includes reads and thought process, stops at the point of decision, doesn't show results) hand with a close decision that has sparked good discussion.
Hero in position with a tough turn decision in LHE, well posted hand
Link to Poker News Forum
PF raise for value in LHE?
Revisiting December goals
ZOMG AK missed the flop? What else is new? LHE
Playing the player
Small pair in the BB, NL 6 max
KK becomes overpair on the flop
Posters Progress;Using the forum can improve your game
Continuation betting at LHE
Donk betting?? When??
Auto rebuy discussion
Hand post with two hands
NLHE tourney hand hits TPGK on a paired board
AROUND THE FORUMS, TRIP REPORTS, MILESTONES, and FUN POSTS:
Solid milestone post by ArcadianSky with links to his sources. This is a must read.
BQ regs and their Secret Santa shenanigans
Year end beats, brags, and variance from BQers
December Digest short stacking challenge
Resolutions made for others are moar fun!!!
Live poker trip report by BlueLagoon32
New Nevada law
Nevada clears the way for on line poker
The laws governing interstate poker continue to be in a state of flux but may be heading the right direction?
I have seen a lot of discussion over the years about winrates and variance and what kind of a sample size of hands you need to be sure that you are beating the cash games. In most cases, players do not recognize the huge amount of luck inherent in poker, for even a skilled player, and overestimate the reliability of winrates over a small sample size.
Using ev++'s Poker Variance Simulator
and uDevil's Poker Results Calculator
we can get an idea of the type of variance one can expect and how valid a given sample size is in determining winrates. These simulators accept your winrate and standard deviation/100 hands, and then generate some graphs showing results. Standard Deviation can be found both in HEM and PT3. uDevil's calculator will generate a min and max WR within a certain confidence interval, while the ev++ simulator will generate a number of graphs of possible results for a specified number of hands. Both of these simulators make some statistical assumptions about the distribution of results for each 100 hands, but I believe that these assumptions do not affect the validity of the results.
If we put in some stats for a decent NL grinder, let's say a WR of 3bb/100 and a std dev of 70bb/100, we can play around with the number of hands to see what kind of results we can expect over a certain sample size. Let's try 10,000 hands. In uDevil's Calculator we can see that if we set the confidence interval to 80%, we get a min of -5.97 bb/100, and a max of 11.97 bb/100. That is quite a range of results; the results vary by about 9 bb/100 above and below our winrate. And that's with only 80% confidence; 20% of the results will be outside this already huge range. Upon plugging this information into the ev++ simulator, we can graph multiple trials of 10,000 hands, and we will see that indeed the results are all over the place; there are almost as many trials with a negative WR as positive. It is clear that 10,000 hands is not nearly enough to get any kind of indication as to our WR.
Let's try 50,000 hands. Now we get a range in uDevil's Calculator of -1.01 bb/100 and 7.01 bb/100 for an 80% confidence interval. Much better than using 10,000 hands, but there is still a range of 4bb/100 around our “real” winrate in the sample of 50,000 hands. And there are still the 20% of results which will fall outside this range. If we have a sample of someone crushing for more than 5bb/100 over 50,000 hands with that standard deviation, we could say that they are very likely to be a winner, as the results with a std dev of 70bb/100 are 80% to be within 4bb of the “true” WR. But they could very easily be a 1bb/100 winner or a 9bb/100 winner who is running hot or cold over 50,000 hands. Or they might be one of the 20% of players whose results just happen to fall outside our confidence interval. If we generate graphs in the ev++ simulator, using the same numbers, we will see that the majority of the trials indeed show positive winnings, however there are still a significant number of trials which show losing results.
At 100,000 hands, we get a range of about 3bb/100 around the real WR with an 80% confidence interval. As you can see, we can be more confident that our results are significant as we increase our sample size. But 3bb/100 is still a pretty big range around our WR. And there are still the 20% of results which will fall outside this range. So, how many hands do you need to be confident of your WR? Let's see how many hands are required for a player with a std dev of 70bb/100 to be within 1bb/100 of their WR with a 95% confidence interval. After playing around with uDevil's calculator, I have discovered that we need about 1,870,000 hands to be that accurate and confident in our results. This is an absurd amount of hands, and it is almost a certainty that a player's game will have changed before they can amass a sample of 1,870,000 hands. What if we are willing to accept an 80% confidence of being within 1bb/100 of our WR? In that case, a “mere” 800,000 hands are required.
What about a game with even more variance than NL Holdem? What about PLO? I have been talking to a few friends of mine who play PLO, and I have heard that a std dev of 130bb/100 is reasonable. If we plug that std dev into uDevil's calculator, we find that our results over a 100,000 hand sample will vary around 5bb/100 of our WR with 80% confidence. It seems you almost can have no clue if you are a winning PLO player by only looking at your results in a sample of 100,000 hands, unless you crush for more than 6bb/100, and even then you might just be running hot. Looking at the plotted results in ev++'s simulator for a 5bb/100 winner with 130bb/100 variance over 100,000 hands for 100 trials looks very nearly like a random assortment of squiggly lines.
OK, so PLO is a sick game with amazing swings, which only a true degen could love. But we already knew that about PLO anyway; what about a more sane game like Limit Holdem? Well, let's run some numbers for a LHE player with a standard deviation of 20BB (40bb)/100, which seems reasonable from what I have seen about LHE standard deviations. Putting that standard deviation in uDevil's calculator over 100,000 hands, we find that our results vary within .8BB (1.6bb)/100 of our winrate with 80% confidence. It seems that our results over 100,000 hands are pretty reliable for LHE, but then we have to consider that .8BB/100 is often a good players entire WR in LHE, so narrowing our WR down within that range is not as helpful as it may seem at first glance.
I think we can conclude at this point that ascertaining our real winrate with any degree of precision by looking at our results is likely a fool's errand. We can be more or less confident that our results are within an arbitrary closeness to our winrate as we accumulate a greater sample size, but in order to get truly accurate results, we would need to play an absurd number of hands, so we have to embrace uncertainty and learn to deal with the unknowable. It seems that realistically, we need to use criteria other than results for deciding if we are solid winners.
It is always good to see correctly posted hands leading to meaningful strat discussion in this forum. Sometimes we cringe when a poster posts a strat hand and someone else posts a "wrong forum" response. Speaking for myself and others in this forum, strat posts are meaningful and can help us improve our game. In previous issues we have discussed strat posting format and the value of strat posts. In February we will reward it. If you, correctly, post an interesting strat post with a tough decision you will be eligible to win entry fees for all SHANOOBIGANS games played in March.
When you post the hand, also link to it in the Letters to the Digest thread so we don't overlook your entry. Format counts, stopping the action at the right place counts, showing player screen names is a no-no, including results is a no-no. Giving solid information on the stats and reads you have for the villains and dicussing you the villains may perceive you is a plus. Stating your thought processes is a big plus.
Prize will be awarded to the OP whose post is judged the best of those entered.
Sometimes the BQ DIgest editors put our heads together to decide what the digest opinion is on a controversial topic. So far we have agreed that we support world peace, mom's apple pie, and a forum you can use. We have also agreed that we do not support pandemics, scams, or spam. In December the subject of moderaters came up. How many and who became a subject of hot debate in the forum for a few days. The BQ Digest official position is that the moderators are in the best position to know how many mods are needed and who they should be. As individuals we all have our favorite posters and "poker buddies." As your Digest editorial staff we have no opinion on how many mods there should be or on who they should be.
This month BQ Digest columnist BumbleBee99 introduces himself.
I'm 34, from the north-west of England and live in London. I have a full-time job so poker is most definitely a past-time rather than anything serious.
I really cannot recall how I got started with poker, but I think it was around late 2007 after reading an article or advertisement in a magazine with a link to Ladbrokes. So I read the rules, deposited $50 and promptly lost it all very quickly playing NL, but was hooked. I started to read as much information as I could and bought plenty of books and somehow found 2+2.
After a brief dalliance at FR FL, I played FR NL for a while at Party, and didn’t lose too much. I have never been one to stick with a single game so always chop and change between the different variants and formats. My favourite games are probably FL O8 and Badugi.
It was after a good couple of years that I actually realised that I was not all that great and got happy with the realisation I am a recreational player. I found a forum game called SHANOOBIGANS hosted by Bona in BQ and had the most fun that first time playing with other posters and really enjoyed the camaraderie that you just don’t see during the daily grind.
I involved myself more in these type of events and now regularly talk rubbish with a lot of 2+2ers on Skype. Despite never likely to be a pro, it is quite fun to live vicariously through a few that are!
So, although I have clearly described myself as a recro player it is that time of year where we all resolve to vastly improve our games, and I am no different and this leads me to January's tale from the hive.
From Bumbling Fish to Killer Bee
After an epic blow-out at Badugi, I have decided to play some NL, having never really put much effort in to it. I have certainly not taken any steps to improve my game for a number of years.
I have been reading Jared Tendlers Mental Game of Poker, and one of the many tips is to write down what areas you are good at and those you are not. The latter far outweighs the former.
Play 10NL Full Ring to improve all the things I know I should work on to improve, approaching it with a beginner mentality.
A DC membership, 2+2, The Web, a monthly coaching session from Mike and PT3
Diarise monthly progress, with particular emphasis on where the coach thinks I suck, his validation of any good areas, and any instructions on what to focus on in the immediate future.
Lose bad habits, gain good ones.
Bee improves his game And the Digest readers hopefully see a journey from flawed recreational chip-chucker to a competent player.
Next month, I’ll outline my thoughts on what I’m good and bad at, the pitfalls encountered during January that will need to be overcome to keep this going, and any other stuff I can come up with when Bona comes calling for his article
"Here's Wishing everyone a successful 2012 at the tables."
For this month’s article, I am the forum mother. I am going to pack you a lunch, knit you a sweater, and kiss you on the forehead. Also, don’t forget to take your vitamins, young man.
The act of grinding can really take a lot out of a person. Not only are you doing an intensely mental activity for, potentially, hours on end, you frequently don’t have a lot of time doing do necessary things while it’s happening (no, this isn’t a pee jug discussion).
Eating is one of those really important things to do. If you are not eating enough during a session, or on the breaks surrounding your sessions, it is likely that you will not be playing to your full potential. The brain relies on nourishment too, people.
And sure, you could go and grab a Redbull and a bag of chips, or order a pizza and be on your way, but do you really think that that’s what your body wants? Of course not; it wants food that will not only temporarily fill it up, but that will also allow it to function optimally.
So, you need food that is not only (moderately) healthy for you, but you need it fast. A very simple solution that is high in protein, necessary for keeping the body running right, is beef jerky. Try to keep the brand that you buy (or even better, make!) low in sodium, as it is very easy to go over the daily recommended limit without even realizing it. Salt, in addition to being bad for your health in large quantities, will also make you look bloated, and that won’t help you get dem ladies: trust me. Another simple, grind-friendly source of protein are nuts; a couple handfuls of nuts (here, let’s laugh for a bit) will fill you up fast, though they’re also quite calorically dense.
You’re all going to hate me for saying it, but your mother wasn’t just being mean: you need to eat your vegetables. Baby carrots are an extremely easy snack to grab and to eat, and they can be paired with any type of dip you want. Another easy option is frozen vegetables. Just throw a bag in the microwave or into a saucepan on the stove and you can have loads of simple, good for you food that will fill you up fast. Eat with cheese or salsa and you have yourself something easy and awesome.
Fruit, unless you decide to crack open a pomegranate or a watermelon, is nature’s on-the-go food. A banana or an apple can be grabbed before a session and can be eaten with one hand while you click a mouse and win a house (or, you know, do other things one handed if you really need it to involve fruit for some reason). Keep a bowl of your favorite fruit on your desk and snack away to your heart’s content!
An easy way to be stocked with food that you can grab quickly, heat up quickly, and eat quickly is to intentionally make leftovers of your favorites foods. Generally if it can be shoved into a Tupperware container, it can be reheated in the five minutes of an MTT break.
Even though it’s not technically a food, drinking enough water is essential to a healthy, happy, grinding machine. Every time you stack a donk, take a swig of water to reward yourself. Knock out that obnoxious player to your left? Chug that class of H20, you deserve it! And even if it means more pee breaks (or other unmentionable alternatives), it’s well worth it and much better than trying to keep yourself lubricated with only coffee or soda pop. And speaking of coffee, if you’re downing it to keep awake during your session, you should probably know that those apples I recommended earlier have been proven to wake someone up more than your average Cup of Joe. Food for thought, huh?
~ Two strangers, a man and a woman, find themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train. Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, they are tired and fall asleep quickly—he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.
At 1 a.m., the man leans over and gently wakes the woman and says, “Ma’am, I’m sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I’m awfully cold.”
“I have a better idea,” the woman replies. “Just for tonight, let’s pretend we’re married.”
“Wow! That’s a fantastic idea!” he exclaims, with a huge smile on his face.
“Good,” she replies. “Now, get your own damn blanket!”
NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO KEEP IF YOU'RE A NERD
16. I resolve... I resolve to... I resolve to, uh... I resolve to, uh, get my, er... I resolve to, uh, get my, er, off-line work done, too!
15. I will stop checking my e-mail at 3:00 in the morning... 4:30 is much more practical.
14. When I hear a funny joke I will not reply, "LOL... LOL!"
13. I will stop sending e-mail, ICQ, Instant Messages and be on the phone at the same time with the same person.
12. I will try to figure out why I *really* need 9 e-mail addresses.
11. I will stop sending e-mail to my roommate.
10. I will not buy magazines with AOL disks bound in just to get another 1.44MB disk.
9. I resolve to work with neglected children... my own.
8. I will answer my snail mail with the same enthusiasm I answer e-mail.
7. When I subscribe to a newsgroup or mailing list, I will read all the mail I get from it.
6. I will stop using, "So, what's your URL?" as a pickup line.
5. No more downloads from alt.binaries.*
4. I resolve to back up my new 400 GB hard drive daily... well, once a week... monthly, perhaps...
3. I will spend less than five hour a day on the Internet.
2. I will limit my top ten lists to ten items.
1. I will read the manual... just as soon as I can find it.
*SHANOOBIGANS * is played on RPM in the Tournaments > Private > League tab, $1.10 buy-in NL tourney Saturdays at 15:00 ET (8 PM UK time). A scoreboard is kept and the leader at the end of the month is awarded an entry ticket to the year-end tourney, to be held some time in January.
Link to SHANOOBIGANS scoreboard (https://spreadsheets.google.com/spre...FE&output=html
December was a bit odd this year because the last two Saturdays were Christmas Eve and New-Years Eve which made it difficult for Euro based players. So after much discussion, it was decided to have a play-off between the scoreboard leaders after three weeks. The players were Bumblebee, Hippy and Leroy, and co-incidentally they were also the top three without tickets on the year-long scoreboard.
Somehow they managed to play it at a time when I couldn't watch, so I can't report on how hard fought it was, but Hippy came out victorious, and was awarded the last ticket.
The final ticket winners list, with the number of tickets won is ...
*SHENANIGANS* is played on RPM in the Tournaments > Private > League tab. Sunday nights 21:15 EST is HORSE and the winner gets the choice of the game played on Thursday night 21:15 ET. They buy-in for each of them is $3 with currently no entry fee !!
Mike keeps a scoreboard of which the leaders will be invited to the year end tournament which will be played in January.
Link to SHENANIGANS scoreboard (http://shenanigans-results.appspot.com/
The leaders that will be invited to the year end tournament are ...
Watch for the *SHANOOBIGANS* and *SHENANIGANS* threads in BQ and come play with us !!
Thanks for reading the BQ Digest. We resolve in 2012 that we will continue to inform our readers in an entertaining way. We look forward to improving the digest with your help. Please volunteer to write an article for us, submit a joke or cartoon now and then, and play in the forum games when you can. Please give us honest feedback on how you use the digest, what you like about it, what you don't like, and what kind of changes you think the digest should make. You can communicate with us in this thread, in the "Letters to the Digest" thread, or by PM with any editor. Have a safe and healthy 2012. May you prosper in real life, and may you have great success playing poker.
This is a link to the Letters to the digest thread: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/32/beginners-questions/letters-bq-digest-january-2012-a-1146953/#post30680781