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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 12-29-2016, 12:52 AM   #1
JoeC2012
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Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

I don’t play poker professionally and probably never will. I think Limon once said that poker is an awesome hobby and a pretty crappy profession, and sure enough, I have a day job in data science for a F500 financial services firm. However, gambling is my passion, and to put some structure around this pursuit, I want to start documenting my adventures in the gambling world, particularly around trying to improve as a poker player. This blog will be >50% focused around poker but I dip my toe in a bunch of gambling opportunities wherever I think I see EV (more on this below)

My History
Got started playing poker like many of you, watching WPT and the WSOP in the 2002-2003 era. Popped $60 in PartyPoker my senior year of high school (2004), and by 2007 spun this into >$100k in profits playing up to 2/4 and 3/6 NL. One of my biggest regrets is that I never took poker seriously enough during these boom years. I guess I just assumed it would always be there, and instead of putting my all into improving my game and taking shots at 5/10 and 25/50, I did way too much coasting. I think my desire to improve my game now stems from this regret of not maxing out my potential in the good old days.

After college I got a job in derivatives trading, didn’t like it (the particular role, not the industry—still love trading), and moved after about a year into a non-trading finance role, but not before taking a shot at the 2009 WSOP where I played a bunch of small tourneys and bricked everything, including 0/2 in bracelet events (the last ones I’d play until 2016, when I busted Level 4 of a 1500NLHE, making me 0/3 lifetime).

I’ve been progressing in my career ever since, currently make way more money than I spend, and have an amazing work-life balance. Seems like a great time to pursue my passion.

The Gambling
Poker
*My bread and butter is live MTTs. I mostly focused on $200-500 buyin events last year with a couple shots in the $1500-2000 range, and a few in the $80-150 range when there was nothing else running and I wanted to play. The fields at the stakes I play are absurdly soft. Variance is huge, but I don’t really need to make a short term profit so I feel like this is the perfect game for me. In 2017 I’m going to try to do the same with a focus on playing a bit more higher stakes in good spots.

*I play some live NL cash too, when I can’t find a tournament with a high enough buy-in. I prefer tournaments because cash feels like more of a grind without a beginning or end, so to make it interesting I’m gonna jump around stakes, and play the highest stakes where I’ve booked 300 BBs worth of profit (in other words, I’ll start playing 1-2 but move up to 2-5 when I’ve booked $1500 in cumulative profit)

*I played sparingly online in 2016 (though I did bink a Bovada MTT for $2800), but I’m gonna try to play once a week in 2017, mainly to develop as a player and get some good hand histories to post to the blog for advice.

*Also mostly stuck to NLHE in 2016, but will try to expand to other games (mostly PLO) this year. I’ll do this mostly online, and again post histories here.

*Overall I broke even in poker in 2016.

*Logistics: I live in Chicago and do most of my MTT playing at the Horseshoe Hammond, with a little Majestic Star action when their tourneys are big enough. I travel for work to Northern Virginia a lot so I’ll probably grind at the MGM National Harbor a lot. Also, I’m probably moving to the Bay Area for work at some point TBD in 2017.

Algo Trading
*I built some algo models to try to beat the equities markets and enable myself to gamble even during the work day. I made about $40k doing this in 2015 but only about $5k this past year. I can make some strat posts about this later on if there’s interest, and also have posted some on this in BFI. Trading is definitely gambling, so I’m gonna include my P&L in my overall gambling winnings next year.

Blackjack
*I’ve studied card counting systems, screwed around trying to count a bit in Vegas on my last trip (I think P&L was around -$1k). Before I do any more real money counting, I want to establish myself as +EV on a blackjack training app. Seems like it’s pretty important to pick spots in BJ—if I go to Vegas for March Madness and am surrounded by dudes betting $5k/hand, I doubt I’ll attract any heat. On the other hand, I probably can’t do much of this for any real money at the Chicago casinos.

Sports Betting
*Dabbled in some systematic/algorithmic sports betting with some friends this year. Won around $5k betting March Madness this past year but dusted off around $13k on NFL betting. Probably staying away from this for any serious money in 2017.

Random Degenning
*Obviously gonna get in a few rounds of craps on Vegas trips. Also might go for Diamond in a Day at some point in the next 2-6 weeks at the Horseshoe.

My Goals
First a few measureables:

1. Buy into $40k in live MTTs, including the WSOP ME
2. Buy into $5k in online MTTs
3. Log 10 hours/wk of +EV gambling or studying Jan 1-March 31 (work will be busy), 20 hours/wk April 1-December 31 (work should slow down)
4. Log all gambling results
5. Make 1 post/wk to this blog

Other goals/motivations which are not as easy to quantify:
1. Constantly improve my poker game – tough to quantify I guess but this year I definitely feel way more comfortable in MTTs than I did at the end of 2015. Want to make sure I feel the same way next year, particularly at higher stakes.
2. Use this blog as a way to be more social in the poker world. With a few exceptions I have never really had many friends in the poker universe. Definitely want to make this the year where I start to get more involved in the community. Always down to meet up for a beer with 2+2ers at Hammond, National Harbor, Vegas, or I guess Bay 101 later this year.

No way I'm gonna set any profit goals since I'm mostly playing MTTs. If I just gamble in a +EV way the money will come sooner or later.

Will post my live MTT schedule for the next couple months after New Years. Happy 2017 everyone, gogogogogogooggo
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:33 PM   #2
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Really looking forward to sweating this next year. Good luck Joe!
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:39 PM   #3
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Week 1: January 1-7
Back on the Grind in the Bay

Played my first (short) session of the year yesterday afternoon at M8TRIX while visiting the Bay Area. Jumped in a 1/2/3 NL game ($1 blind is on the button; live straddle frequently on) which I found insanely soft, probably softer than any 1/2 I’ve played at Horseshoe in Chicago. This was at 3PM on a Wednesday—I’m dying to see what these games are like on a Saturday night. If this is what poker is like in the Bay Area I’m ridiculously excited to move here. I’m heading up to Tahoe to ski tomorrow, but hoping to get some more grinding in at M8TRIX today or at Harvey’s in South Lake Tahoe over the weekend. Profited $140 in a little under 2 hours, but lost a $400 pot where I got it in as a 70/30 favorite, so I really felt good about my play. See some hands from the session below.

Also figured out my upcoming tourney schedule and it tentatively looks like this, HMU if any of you are attending.

1/14-21 HPT Indiana (Ameristar East Chicago)
1/18-28 Winter Warmup (Horseshoe Hammond)
2/2-13 WSOP Circuit Milwaukee
3/2-12 Chicago Poker Classic (Horseshoe Hammond)
3/23-26 (Tentatively) HPT Pittsburgh

Hands

HAND 1 (Believe I screwed up this one)

Eff. stacks $195.

PREFLOP: 2 limps to me in MP, I make it $13 with 44. SB calls. 1 of the limpers calls.

I've been reading "The Course" by Ed Miller and for this session I tried raising in some spots where I'd otherwise limp behind. After trying it for 1 session, I hate it. I think this should be a limp 100% of the time in wild games.

FLOP($46): T86 rainbow. Checks around.

TURN($46): K of hearts bringing 2 hearts on the board. Checked to me. I bet $30, SB calls, limper folds.


I'm about an hour into the session and if anyone's paying attention, I have a very nitty image. SB is the most aggressive player at the table and seems pretty wild. When he c/c's I think he has a weak made hand a lot of the time, some sort of 6, 8, etc. I plan to barrel any Q, J, or heart.

RIVER($106): Offsuit J. I bet $55. SB folds.

Worked out this time but I think it might be FPS to try to barrel wild players in 3 way pots in a 1/2/3 game. Lucky that I caught the slim part of his range that can call 1 barrel but not 2.

HAND 2 (I like this play on my part. Thoughts?)

I have ~$260 to start the hand. The 2 players in MP are shorties with about $70 apiece and SB covers me.

PREFLOP: I open to $13 UTG+1 with J9cc. 2 shorties in MP call me as does SB.

Was getting tons of callers with my $10 raises so got greedy by the end of the session and started opening bigger.

FLOP ($56): KcQc4h. SB donks $20, I call, one shorty folds, other shorty goes AI for total of $58, SB calls, I ship for $270 total. SB tanks for ~1 min and folds.

SB is about as solid/thinking a player as there is in this game but still not an allstar or anything. When he donks like this, I think he never ever ever has more than 1 pair, and I peel his donk for the purpose of making this exact play when one of the shorties monkeyshoves with QJ or whatever. Raising this donkbet is AIDS because I absolutely hate a 3bet and I shut out the shorties. Instead I like flipping for a bunch of dead money.

TURN/RIVER ($230): I bink the flush on the turn, ship it.

Gambling Results
Poker: +$140
Algo Trading: +$6,680 -- maybe burying the lede here but I don't want to turn this into a trading blog. Got off to a good start in 2017 as you can see.
Sports Betting: +$324 -- just made a couple recreational sports bets and am 2-1 so far this year
Total: +$7,144
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:40 PM   #4
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Also what's the preferred hand converter these days? Want to make my HHs look halfway decent.
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Old 01-12-2017, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Solid thread beginning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeC2012 View Post
Played my first (short) session of the year yesterday afternoon at M8TRIX while visiting the Bay Area. Jumped in a 1/2/3 NL game... which I found insanely soft, probably softer than any 1/2 I’ve played at Horseshoe in Chicago. This was at 3PM on a Wednesday—I’m dying to see what these games are like on a Saturday night. If this is what poker is like in the Bay Area I’m ridiculously excited to move here.
Bay Area > Vegas > Chicago

I'm also in Chicago, but my company is headquartered in the Bay Area and I play at M8trix on every trip. I'm a small winner at $2/$5 NLHE at Hammond, but I find $2/$5 at Bellagio (e.g.) relatively easy to beat, and $2/$3/$5 at M8trix is soft as a pillow. I drill in Chicago, and war in San Jose.

I just looked, and my stats for 2016 (admittedly small sample) are +$66/h at M8trix and -$1/h at Horseshoe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeC2012 View Post
1/14-21 HPT Indiana (Ameristar East Chicago)
I'll be playing this for the first time this weekend. Random threadjack: If I insta-bust because I suck at tournaments, will Ameristar have cash games running? Or head to Majestic Star? (The lines at the 'Shoe will be ridiculous.)
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Old 01-13-2017, 12:15 AM   #6
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

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Originally Posted by lossage View Post
Solid thread beginning!







Bay Area > Vegas > Chicago



I'm also in Chicago, but my company is headquartered in the Bay Area and I play at M8trix on every trip. I'm a small winner at $2/$5 NLHE at Hammond, but I find $2/$5 at Bellagio (e.g.) relatively easy to beat, and $2/$3/$5 at M8trix is soft as a pillow. I drill in Chicago, and war in San Jose.



I just looked, and my stats for 2016 (admittedly small sample) are +$66/h at M8trix and -$1/h at Horseshoe.







I'll be playing this for the first time this weekend. Random threadjack: If I insta-bust because I suck at tournaments, will Ameristar have cash games running? Or head to Majestic Star? (The lines at the 'Shoe will be ridiculous.)

Nah nothing at Ameristar sadly (wtf this has always pissed me off). Since Majestic is about a mile away and Horseshoe is a 20 minute drive, my guess is that Majestic will have way more cash action than usual.

I'm flying back from a business trip Saturday so will be playing either flight 1C or the 375 sattys Sunday/Monday, or all of the above depending on mood. GL and hit me up if you wanna grab a beer at ameristar.

Full update coming by Saturday morning including a hand where I got 160 BBs in preflop with TT and shipped it.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:19 PM   #7
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Week 2: January 8-15 (ran late on this post so including an extra day of gambling action here)
Calling it off with TT

Played a bunch of live cash sessions last week. Another session at M8Trix where I ran pure and made $522. Then went to Tahoe last weekend and played 4 sessions of -$94, +$555, -$127, and -$106.

Finally, went to DC on a business trip and played a session at MGM National Harbor. This didn't go so well, as I lost 2 60BB stacks at 2/5NL while waiting for my 1/3 seat and finished with a final P&L of -$564. The games at National Harbor were not what I was expecting. Given that it's an entirely new casino in a rich area, I thought the games would be super soft for the time being until all the local fish go busto. Small sample size of course, but my 2/5 table was legit tough. A bunch of pro-looking guys, some of whom seemed to be part of Chad Power’s stable as they name-dropped him at the table (https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/29...hales-1646393/). My 1/3 game was pretty good, but had at least 2-3 guys with a pulse which is way more than I can say for the Bay Area games. So yeah I’ll be going back to MGMNH for sure on future business trips, but not nearly as excited as I was at first.

I’m heading to Ameristar tonight for the $375 satty into their main event next week… will probably go a few times during the week for more sats as well, assuming I don’t qualify today. I still think playing live cash is a not-terribly-fun grind and I’m really excited to get back in the donkament world. Now that I'm back in Chicago I'm also looking forward to seeing some familiar faces at the poker table. I might have to do a post on Horseshoe regs soon.

Hands

HAND 1


2/3 @ Harvey's South Lake Tahoe. I have $486 to start the hand

PREFLOP: 2 limps in EP incl. one shortstack, MP makes it $25, folded to me on the button, I have TT and call, shortstack EP all in for $68, MP all in for total $1,050, I call.


Our first really crazy hand of 2017. MP was one of the bigger maniacs I've played with. About an hour earlier he straddled to $6, 5 limps to his straddle, he shoves for $500 effective, called by a shorty and the Maniac shows 95o. Having said that, he didn't seem like a complete drooler; for instance, when I switched seats to get position on him he immediately realized what I was doing and made a comment on it.

In retrospect I think flatting instead of 3-bet/getting it in is a fairly big mistake on my behalf. Maniac will play far too aggressively postflop and I'll have to make some really tough calls with TT to realize my equity. When he makes the massive overshove and I have to call off 150+ more BBs I think it becomes a very tough spot. I leaned towards a call for 2 reasons:

1. Although I don't think villain is a complete moron, he has shown signs of being tilty (for instance, opening for 8-15BBs on 5 consecutive hands). I think it can easily be in his range to spaz here with a hand like 77 or 99.

2. I have seen villain flat AA to a single raise preflop, so it's very plausible that not all AA/KK combos are in his range here.


FLOP/TURN/RIVER($1,048): Board runs out 9 high. Villain shows AKo and I'm good.

HAND 2

Different day at Tahoe, table is pretty soft, main villain is probably best player at table other than me. I have ~$350 and both villains cover.

PREFLOP: I open to $10 UTG with 87ss. UTG+2 and UTG+3 call me.


My image is pretty nitty so I think a marginal open becomes a solid one in this spot.

FLOP ($35): 993 rainbow w / 9 of spades. I bet $20, UTG+2 folds, UTG+3 calls.

Not a hand I Cbet 100% of the time but I think w/ 3 to a SF and a nitty image I'm fine with this.

TURN($75): J of spades. I bet $45, UTG+3 raises to $100, I call.

Clear 2nd barrel given the equity I pick up. The raise is a bit dicey. Villain has been on the solid side and I give him a lot of credit for value hands here. The pot is laying me 4-1, but I could be drawing dead, and to me it's not totally clear what I should do to maximize value on the river when I get there. In the moment I decided villain has far more 9 combos than boat combos (and probably just a little bit of air?), and to call and openshove whenever I hit my outs. In retrospect, I don't like this plan, and I think the best option is a tossup between (1) Fold turn and (2) Call turn, shove a spade river but check a 10 river. I need to run the range analysis to determine which of these options I like better. Because his range is skewed toward value, in no world to I think it's a good idea to bluff river.

RIVER($275): Offsuit 6. I check, villain all in for ~$210, I fold.

Gambling Results (Since Last Update / YTD)

Poker (-$174 / -$34)
*Live Cash (+$186 / +$326)
*Online Tournament (-$260 / -$260)
*Online Cash (-$100 / -$100)

Algo Trading (+$7,540 / +$14,220) -- yep I'm still running pretty pure here

Sports Betting (-$1,247 / -$923) -- Recently I've begun playing bookmaker for a few friends, offering them bets of their choosing at the Pinny lines. Obviously like the EV but it did lead to my first 4-figure sweat of the year yesterday, on the Cowboys ML. Fading Aaron Rodgers is not fun.

Blackjack (+$350 / +$350)

Degenning other casino games (-$187 / -$187)

Total +$6,282 / +$13,426
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:55 PM   #8
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017



Let's see how many $375 bullets I can fire trying to qualify for the HPT main event this weekend
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:09 PM   #9
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeC2012 View Post
Let's see how many $375 bullets I can fire trying to qualify for the HPT main event this weekend
GLGL. Proud to say I went deep in event #1 monster stack, but I won't be in town for the main event.
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:40 PM   #10
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

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Let's see how many $375 bullets I can fire trying to qualify for the HPT main event this weekend
gogogogogogogogo
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Old 01-20-2017, 02:33 AM   #11
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Thanks guys. Spiked a seat on the 2nd bullet, looking forward to Saturday


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Old 01-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #12
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Thanks guys. Spiked a seat on the 2nd bullet, looking forward to Saturday


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Nice GL!
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:09 AM   #13
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Busto late day 1, table draw for the first 7 hours was amazing but never got the cards to make anything work. Only 1 interesting hand all day which I will post probably tomorrow. Better luck next weekend at the horseshoe winter warmup


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Old 01-24-2017, 08:54 PM   #14
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Week 3: January 16-24
All I know is yayo

As mentioned above the highlight of this week was playing the $1650 HPT East Chicago main event after playing 2 $375 satellites and binking the 2nd one. These fields are generally soft, and my start table in particular was really nice, but I busted well short of the money and really never got anything going. I built my 30k start stack up to about 45k in level 10 (500/1k/100), but the hand after my stack hit its zenith I got 26 BBs in preflop with TT vs. AA to get crippled again. Later I got it back to about 47k at 1k/2k/200, but called a 14BB button shove in the BB with A7o, got shown 33 and couldn't get there. Then, a few rounds later, my last 14 BBs in with 66 vs. AQo and lost another flip to bust.

I watched the final table of this event yesterday on Twitch, which included 2 guys I've played with before, neither of whom I think have terribly impressive games (bang bang). I feel stronger than ever I'm capable of making the same kind of deep run soon, just need to keep improving and start winning some flips.

Hands

HAND 1

Early in HPT main event, 150/300/25, I have 29k to start hand, villain covers

PREFLOP: MP makes it 675, folded to me in SB, I call with KQo, heads up to the flop


Villain has been playing pretty LAGgy, doesn't seem all that great, like a 1/2 reg at best. Folding is definitely too nitty in my spot. 3betting isn't great either because I don't think I have a ton of fold equity.

FLOP (1,875): QT2, 2 diamonds (I have no diamonds). Check, villain bets 1,050, I call.

TURN (3,975): Offsuit 3. Check, villain bets 4,425, I call.

When the 3 rolls off I figure I have an easy c/c until he bets huge. In my experience, villains in spots like this will usually follow up by going big on the river as well, which isn't great. Having said that, it's a pretty draw-heavy board, and I have a strong hand which is ahead a great percentage of the time. So I go with the plan to call the turn, and most likely hero 10-12k on safe rivers (folding to a diamond, almost definitely folding to an ace). I think this is a +EV but really high variance play. Oh well, I'm here to gamble.

RIVER (12,825): 7 of diamonds. Check, villain puts me all in for my last ~23k, I fold.

Welp. Easy fold when the diamond hits especially with the huge bet. I did think later about whether I would have heroed the full 23k if river was a brick. This one is really tough but I think I would lean toward a call. I know villain is capable of bluffs, and I'm pretty much at the top of my range, as I would be c/r'ing anything better than 1 pair on this board.

Funny post-script to the hand: Villain shows Ace of diamonds after I muck and I'm 99% sure he had the flush. However in a strange turn of events, he took the same line in a very similar hand only 4 hands later, got called, and only had the blocker to the nut flush. I'm still pretty sure he had it on my hand, but whatever, maybe I got owned.


Gambling Results (Since Last Update / YTD)

Poker (-$677 / -$711)
*Live Tournament (-$750 / -$750)
*Live Cash (+$73 / +$399)
*Online Tournament (-$0 / -$260)
*Online Cash (-$0 / -$100)

Algo Trading (+$1,433 / +$15,653)

Sports Betting (-$377 / -$1,300) -- Steelers not only broke my heart but also my wallet

Blackjack (+$40 / +$390)

Degenning other casino games (+$113 / -$74) -- I was reading Dan Druff's thread on Diamond in a Day (http://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sho...-around-the-US) and it sounds like a good idea so this number is going to swing heavily one way or the other in the near future

Total +$532 / +$13,958
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:52 PM   #15
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Fingers crossed for a algo trading post
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:39 AM   #16
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Fingers crossed for a algo trading post


I'll do this next week
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:33 PM   #17
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017



300 BBs deep in the winter warmup main event at the Horseshoe and we've seen 2 all ins in the first 3 hands. This is the kind of table draw I like!

If I don't make day 2 I think I'm gonna degen it up at VP and try to get 2500 TCs to get halfway to diamond
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:39 AM   #18
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Not a great result today -- busted the main event with about 60 players left where 18 cashed, then dusted off $700 in the pit without making much progress toward diamond.

Realized that between now and the Chicago Poker Classic ME on March 12 I'm not playing any tournaments with a buy-in >$400. I'm pretty happy about that-- I'm not running great in poker right now and playing a lot in the $200-400 range should get me some confidence back.

Tomorrow = $210 tournament at Horseshoe. Full update likely coming Monday.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:42 PM   #19
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Post 4: January 25-February 2
Trading, Part 1 of X

May as well spend this week talking about the only profitable gambling I've done in 2017 right?

I don't really know where to start with this but I figure I'll briefly describe my history, lay out a couple principles for rec players to get into this game, and then recommend a bunch of reading.

I've always been fascinated by trading, and worked at a prop firm right out of college for about a year. I ended up leaving that job because I didn't like the specific LOB/strategy we were in (our edge was based off of inter-market arbitrage and relationships with brokers who had juicy trades; wasn't a ton of quantitative strategy in it). Nevertheless I always had a passion for it and when I found myself living off a severance package in 2013-14, built some risk models and researched some profitable equity trading strategy. Contrary to the belief of many, there's still a good deal of edge to be had out there, even for part-timers like me. It's a lot like poker-- almost everyone who plays will be a loser, but with the right skill set and dedication, people can become big winners.

Couple things to consider if you are trying to do this:
1. Time frame is so, so important and needs to be tailored to the trader's individual needs.
  • Trading on a short timeframe almost always reduces variance (google Virtu for the best example of this)--you want to get to the long run as quickly as possible and you do this by making a bunch of trades. Transaction costs are really low these days and aren't a factor in any strategy a retail trader could reasonably use.
  • Having said that, since I have a day job it doesn't make sense for me to hold on intraday periods either, since my execution is still manual and I can easily be in meetings when setups occur. Therefore my average holding period is around 4-5 days.

2. Another key—I might even call it the holy grail of trading--is finding multiple, truly uncorrelated strategies. I haven’t been too good at this thus far and the strategies I trade are all mean-reverting, but it’s a huge goal of mine to change this ASAP. If you can allocate capital between mean-reverting, momentum, news-driven, long vol, short vol, etc., you can get a way better risk/reward than just using one strategy. Pitfall of having a day job is I don’t get nearly enough time to research these. Maybe I should stop donking off money at the blackjack table and do this instead.

3. Almost goes without saying that tilt control is super important, and in algo trading, I might argue that tilting affects you most by having you NOT place trades, rather than having you place too many. It’s so easy when the world looks like it’s going crazy, to assume that the algo won’t work, but these are often the most profitable setups. I was long 3,600 shares of HQY that my algo told me to hold onto on November 8 and I was scared to death of a Trump victory, thinking of forgetting the algo and getting flat. Sure enough Trump won, spoos were down 100 pts overnight and I was pissing my pants. Of course, everything recovered by the market open on Wednesday, my stock was up 10%, and I made $13.5k that I would have missed out on in a panic.

Here’s a good starting reading list for anyone looking to get into this hobby:

--Van Tharp “Trade your way to financial freedom” – Ridiculous title and a pretty elementary book, but he actually does a very good job of explaining risk/reward. There is nothing quantitative about this book but it’s an easy read to get started

--Ralph Vince “The Mathematics of Money Management” –Amazing book that’s like the Van Tharp book except with advanced math. I used this to build my risk models.

--Anything you can get your hands on by Ernie Chan. He is a genius and great at articulating the end-to-end process of setting up a trading infrastructure

--Larry Connors “How markets really work” and “Short term trading strategies that work”; I mostly trade modified versions of strategies in this book. I should note that winning strategies are easier to find than most people think. The tough part is risk management, monitoring strategies to make sure they still work, and not tilting.

I know this was pretty brief so I’m happy to answer any questions people have.

Hands

HAND 1

Early in Horseshoe Winter Warmup ME ($680 buyin), 25/50, I have 14.5k to start hand, villain barely covers

PREFLOP: UTG+1 limps, UTG+2 makes it 250, CO and BU call, I call in BB with 44, UTG+1 calls


Villain is an early 30s reggish looking white guy who says he drove up from Indianapolis for the tournament. Sidenote, as I mentioned before the starting table here was insanely soft at the beginning with 3 giant donkeys, unfortunately they all got it all in 15 minutes into the tournament on a KQTr flop with AJ vs. TT vs. K9(lol). The old guy with TT hit the boat and he is UTG+1 in this hand.

FLOP (1,275): Q94, 2 clubs. Checked to raiser, he bets 700, button calls, I make it 2400, raiser calls, button folds.

TURN (6,775): Offsuit 9. I bet 3,500, raiser calls.

RIVER (13,775): Offsuit 6, checks around.


I make a very non-standard check on the river that I still can’t decide how I feel about. I have about 8.3k behind and the choices are check, bet around 3.5k again, or shove. Betting 3.5k looks super strong, but may be more likely to get a crying call from an overpair (or AQ?). Shoving would be my default option, but villain seemed like the type that would be hesitant to stack off with AA here. So I decided a check is more likely to get (A) a 3k valuebet from AA, or (B) a shove with a draw that missed—bad reg logic = “I can’t win by checking”. In the end though, I can also rep missed draws with a shove. Final thought—I think boated hands 3bet the flop very often, so I think I’m almost always good on the river, so much so that if he bets 3k after my check I am shoving. Anyone have thoughts on this one?

HAND 2

Mid-stages of Horseshoe Winter Warmup ME, 300/600/75, I have 13.2k and villains cover

PREFLOP: MP makes it 1400, HJ calls, I shove for 13200 with ATdd, MP folds, HJ calls and shows TT.


MP was a guy in his 40s, pretty splashy, recently saw him open in MP w 63s. HJ is a 30ish Latino guy who seemed pretty competent but was making some odd/non-standard plays, including not 3betting me with KK on a hand when I had AK, then playing passively postflopn and winning the minimum off me. This is on my mind and I certainly think he’s capable of getting tricky with the flat here. My image is an interesting one. For the most part I’ve been nitty but there was one hand about 30 mins ago where I shoved 14 BBs over 2 limpers from the button with A5o, got called by the first limper on a shortstack with QJo and had to show down (I won). While I’m confident it was a GTO shove, maybe it makes people think I’m capable of getting out of line on squeezes?

Having said that, the hand is still too good to fold, and I think shoving maximizes EV over a call. I shove a lot in spots like this. I wonder if maybe it’s a leak and I need to learn to call and play postflop, but I doubt it.

F/T/R(30,700): I don’t improve


Gambling Results (Since Last Update / YTD)

Poker (-$595 / -$1,306)
*Live Tournament (-$890 / -$1,640)
*Live Cash ($0 / +$399)
*Online Tournament (-$48 / -$308)
*Online Cash (+$343 / +$243)

Algo Trading (+$11,658 / +$27,311)

Sports Betting (+$79 / -$1,221) – Piled on under 58 in the Super Bowl then the line moved 1.5 points against me. Patriots 31, Falcons 28 is a lock now

Blackjack (-$900 / -$510) – Very rough shoe that had a high count. I’m retiring from blackjack from now until I have proof that I’m +EV counting (like I said I would initially in my first post) $100 donation to ACLU every time I play BJ (or any pit game that doesn’t get me on the path to Diamond) until then.

Degenning other casino games (-$700 / -$774)

Total +$9,542 / +$23,500
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:47 AM   #20
JoeC2012
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Not only did I unsuccessfully ship in 3 $250 bullets to the Potawatomi main event, I capped off the night by firing in a big bet on the Bulls -3. I'm losing every coin flip in sight right now


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Old 02-11-2017, 10:25 AM   #21
coinflipper
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Like the books you mentioned about trading, already bought some on Amazon. One of your earlier posts you mentioned you were trying to raise after limpers instead of limp behind where you held 44 but then you checked the flop (mistake) . Try to never limp behind, ramp up your cbets a ton.
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:12 AM   #22
JoeC2012
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Post 5: February 3-12
I hate the Falcons

Horrible week results-wise, nothing terribly interesting from a poker perspective. The WSOP Potawatomi held a bunch of $250 satellites to their $1675 main and I played 3 of them, firing 1 bullet each, not cashing in any (or coming particularly close), just lost a bunch of flips preflop 1 cooler. Fields were extremely soft, structures were horrible compared to the $375 HPT satellites. Since I don't feel terribly confident in my game right now (probably way too results-oriented) I didn't want to direct buy into the main. Over the next few weeks I'm sticking to the Horseshoe and playing the satellites and seat-added tournaments before the Chicago Poker Classic.

In other gambling news, I'm doubling down on algo trading with a new strategy around the market opening starting tomorrow -- I need to find some way to fund my MTT donking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coinflipper View Post
Like the books you mentioned about trading, already bought some on Amazon. One of your earlier posts you mentioned you were trying to raise after limpers instead of limp behind where you held 44 but then you checked the flop (mistake) . Try to never limp behind, ramp up your cbets a ton.
Thanks a lot man, appreciate the support. If we bet 44 I assume we're barreling a lot of turns (including the Kh turn that came in the hand above)?

Hands

HAND 1

Horseshoe $210 Sunday weekly, 150/300/25, I have 12k and villain covers

PREFLOP: 8 handed, UTG+1 limps, I make it 700 in HJ with AKo (I thought BB was 200, oops), BB calls, UTG+1 calls.


Villain is a splashy old guy. This hand happened 8 days ago so I unfortunately forget who the BB was.

FLOP (2,450): A53 with 2 clubs (I have no clubs), check to me, I bet 1,200, BB folds UTG+1 calls

TURN (4,850): K of clubs, UTG+1 bets 1,300 I call

I had already seen this guy make a weird donk on a scare card. In retrospect maybe I can find a raise here?

RIVER (7,450): Offsuit A, villain bets 1,500, I raise to 3,800 villain calls.

What do we think about the raise sizing here? My thought is that he has a relatively weak range given his bet sizing and I want to maximize calls from a flush or an ace.

HAND 2

Same $210 Sunday tourney, 200/400/50 I have 16.5k.

PREFLOP: Same villain from hand 1 limps in MP, I complete SB with QJo, BB checks.

FLOP (1,650): J55 with 2 clubs (I have no clubs), I bet 800, BB calls, MP folds.

TURN (3,050): 8 which puts out a 2nd flush draw, I bet 1,325 BB calls.

RIVER (5,700): offsuit 3, I check, villain bets 4,000, I call. Villain shows Q5


Villain is a pro-looking guy with hoodie/sunglasses (though lets be real here, very few actual pros are playing the $210 Sunday at the horseshoe) and he bet very quickly after I checked. I really have no idea what to think here. My initial instinct is that he has a missed draw, but seems like he could be a decent enough player to fake the tell on the quick bet and do this with a 5 or a boat. Eventually I reason that he has fewer 5s in his range because some of these find a raise on the flop or turn. I think he played this well and I'm still not sure how I feel about my call.

Gambling Results (Since Last Update / YTD)

Poker (-$1,004 / -$2,310)
*Live Tournament (-$960 / -$2,600)
*Live Cash ($0 / +$399)
*Online Tournament (-$38 / -$346)
*Online Cash (-$6 / +$237)

Algo Trading (-$10,776 / +$16,535)

Sports Betting (-$1,188 / -$2,409) – Incredibly I ended up booking $400 on Falcons +3 and $300 on under 58. I will try to keep the bad beat stories to a minimum on this blog, but **** man.

Blackjack ($0 / -$510)

Degenning other casino games (+$10 / -$764) --I had $10 freeplay at Potawatomi that I broke even on, I'm not going to count freeplays for the ACLU bet.

Total -$12,958 / +$10,542
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:32 AM   #23
coinflipper
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

You don't have to double barrel the 4s but you can depends on what play style you are aiming for. The qj hand I see no reason to bet the flop, just check/call probably not giving more then 2 streets of value
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:04 AM   #24
JoeC2012
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Post 6: February 13-20
So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Post title is ripped from the book of the same name by Cal Newport which I just finished today. Highly recommended book about how to approach career planning. Thesis is that instead of chasing your passion, you should build off your already-existing strengths and experience. While I obviously carve out time for my passion, this message really resonated with me.

I see my main strengths as:
1. Quantitative & logical reasoning ability
2. Management/business strategy skills & experience
3. Extremely high risk tolerance

So what does this mean for me? I need to remember #1 and especially #2 every time I get jealous of people who gamble/trade full time. At this point in life, it’s very unlikely I’m ever going to do that. My return on labor is higher elsewhere, and this is something I have to accept.

Having said this, I think #3 is an advantage too, and as long as I have a cushy, low-variance corporate job, I’m going to get a lot of fulfillment out of investing my capital (trading) and free time (poker) in risky pursuits. In general, I regard most people in the corporate world as huge nits, and I think this is a big reason why returns on risky gambling remain pretty high.

So in conclusion, the plan is to keep up the +EV gambling wherever I can, until I spike a WSOP bracelet for $1mm+ and can reevaluate.

Hands

HAND 1

Horseshoe $210 Thursday turbo, 75/150, I have about 16k, main villain starts hand with 2350

PREFLOP: MP limps, SB limps, I check BB with K8o

Villain is a 40something guy who has been making some odd plays.

FLOP (450): AK2 all hearts. Check to MP, he bets 300, I call

TURN (1,050): Offsuit 3. Check to MP, he bets 1,100, I put him all in for 650 more. He shows 45 of spades and I’m drawing dead.


Hero gone wrong. My general philosophy is that people in these low stakes tournaments never make any value bets anywhere near thin, and are pretty unbalanced toward bluffs in these unraised pots. Obviously I fear a bunch of flushes, but think he also shows up with a bunch of pocket pairs with a heart and stuff like QhJx, especially with the big turn bet. I don’t think he ever shows up with Ax as played. Feel free to rip on me, I’m not gonna defend this too vigorously.

HAND 2

Same $210 Thursday turbo, 200/400/50 I have 12.1k.

PREFLOP: Folded to me in HJ, I make it 1025 with KJcc, SB calls.


SB is a 50ish guy who is drinking pretty liberally and talking about PLO games he’s been playing. I have him pegged as a decent player as compared to the weak field, but nothing special.

FLOP (2,950): QT4 with 2 hearts, SB bets 2,200, I shove, SB folds.

This is standard right? As I mentioned in a previous post, unless I really respect someone’s game, I don’t think they are ever doing this with more than one pair. Villain tanked for about 2 minutes and started asking me several times “You got that ace queen?” before eventually mucking. I didn’t respond, just stared at the flop (as I do in every all-in where a villain is staring me down)—IMO no sense in potentially giving any info.

P.S. as a thank you to any of my readers, if you ever donk into me with the nuts in a Horseshoe tourney I will punt my stack to you


Gambling Results (Since Last Update / YTD)

Poker (-$134 / -$2,444)
*Live Tournament (-$210 / -$2,810)
*Live Cash (+$43 / +$442)
*Online Tournament ($0 / -$346)
*Online Cash ($33 / +$270)

Algo Trading (+$2,437 / +$18,972)

Sports Betting (-$150 / -$2,559)

Blackjack ($0 / -$510)

Degenning other casino games (+$250 / -$514) --I did some research to figure out whether Diamond in a Day is doable in the pit, which I chronicled in a few posts in another thread. The answer is almost definitely no unless CET counts the odds in craps in your average bet (don’t laugh, they were definitely doing this to some extent circa 2009, I’ll report back to see if they still are on my next trip to the Horseshoe)

Total +$2,403 / +$12,945
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:56 PM   #25
JoeC2012
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Re: Funplayer/Degen making it +EV in 2017

Booked my first couple gambling trips of the year, will be joining some friends in Atlantic City on March 18-19 and Vegas March 22-26. Likely won't get too much poker in in AC but will be grinding MTTs in Vegas, including the Planet Hollywood Phamous Warmup $600 event. I'm suspending the moratorium on pit betting for these trips with respect to craps sessions with friends (don't want to look like a nit!), but won't play any BJ unless I've gotten results on my blackjack training app that indicate I'm +EV.

Upcoming gambling schedule:
2/26 $210 Sunday @ Horseshoe
3/1-2 Grinding cash @ MGM National Harbor
3/3-4 Chicago Poker Classic Event #1
3/8-10 CPC Main Event Satellites
3/11 CPC Main Event (not 100% I'm buying in cash if I don't satellite)
3/20 Grinding cash @ MGM National Harbor
3/23-3/26 Grinding MTTs in Vegas (Including PH Phamous)

I'm gonna cancel my LATB subscription now that Limon is leaving, and pick up a subscription to an actual training site. What's the best, tournamentpokeredge.com?
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