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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 01-14-2018, 03:00 AM   #1
KoolCaliban
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Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Hey folks, it is time to hit the Sydney live MTT grind time again, this time bigger and better! Also some physical running goals itt!

About me

Three years ago I moved to Sydney to start my PhD in astrophysics. At the time I did not have a bankroll, I used most of it to finance my flights etc. I had $150 left on Stars and found out there is a vibrant pub poker scene here, so I figured I'd try to go play the WSOP in Vegas, but only if I managed to finance the whole trip including buyins from poker winnings. I have a full scholarship but I need every cent for living expenses. Quite soon I realized live poker was a much more fun grind than online, and Australian players are really bad at poker, so I primarily played live games. I actually succeeded in going to Vegas twice by just crushing $25 pub poker games. That journey is documented in my previous PGC:

Small stakes MTT player building up WSOP roll Sydney

After playing pub games for three years and having seen enough of Vegas for the time being, I was struggling for goals in poker. Sure, grinding pub games makes for a nice income on the side and I'm not rich by any means, but it can be hard to motivate oneself poker wise when all your opponents are virtually brain dead. There are some $100-$200 pub games, but not on a weekly basis, and the next regular buy-in level are tournaments at the Star casino here in Sydney. However my bankroll is not big enough to play those regularly. This all changed when I asked a mate if he'd interested to buy 50% of my casino action at face value, and he agreed! I'm finally super excited to play again, so I figured this warrants a proper PGC.


Goal 1: Grind the $330s and $550s at the Star casino and break through $25k in cashes on Hendon Mob

Most of the games I play are obviously not tracked by Hendon Mob, but the casino tournaments are! I'm a sucker for leaderboards and was super psyched when I showed up on Hendon Mob after cashing in Vegas a couple times. Currently my Hendon Mob is at around US$1900 (I shipped one small tournament at Planet Hollywood). I want to play most of the weekly AU$330s and monthly AU$550s at the Star, with at least a 30% ROI, which amounts to roughly US$25k in cashes. Quite a lofty goal and it depends on my backing arrangement holding up and actually cashing regularly enough to avoid going broke. Currently my bankroll is around AU$9k, so yeah...

To manage my ABI and variance a little, I will keep grinding the $55-$120 pub games. I'll post my schedule in a future post.


Goal 2: Finish the 50 km Ultra Trail Australia in the Blue Mountains

In addition to poker and PhD, I also spend a lot of time outside, be it running/climbing/hiking/mountainbiking. I have a history of mountain climbing and adventure racing, but have been struggling with injuries the last few years. I live quite far from the Sydney CBD and the trails are great here, so my focus the last couple years has been trail running. I ran the Jabulani 12 km last year, followed by the 30 km Coastal Classic in the Royal National Park. I finished in the middle of the pack without injuries, and the following week I registered for the UTA 50 in May 2018. Again, this is a lofty goal. 50 km trails with 2500m climb and descent is grueling. My primary goal is to finish and if I can help it in less than 8 hrs. Unfortunately my achilles is bothering me at the moment, I'm gonna see my physio soon to hopefully find a way to fix it asap. I'm currently running 1-1.5 hours three times a week, which obviously will go up in the future. I have a training schedule set up by my physio and I'll update the thread with weekly kilometers.


Live stats so far past 3 years (in AU$):

Pub poker games played: 275
Pub poker ABI: $43
Pub poker cashes: $27403
Pub poker profit: $16336
Pub poker ROI: 148%



Sweet, no? Unfortunately I did not run well when it mattered in Vegas:

Vegas games played: 31
Vegas ABI: $294
Vegas cashes: $2476
Vegas profit: -$6619
Vegas ROI: -73%

If we include that in the graph, this is what it looks like:




Vegas games is only a super small sample size but affects my graph pretty dramatically, so I'm not reading much into it. I did win a tournament, and I did not feel severely outclassed at all during my time in Vegas, so meh. Hopefully we can continue the way upward at the Star. Let's go get them!
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:16 AM   #2
Turningham
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

How could I not say yes to a second PGC bullet!? GLGL
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:20 AM   #3
pure_aggression
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

GL man, cool goals! I'm looking to get more into trail running and completing a 50k this yr too.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:22 AM   #4
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Originally Posted by Turningham View Post
How could I not say yes to a second PGC bullet!? GLGL
Welcome back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pure_aggression View Post
GL man, cool goals! I'm looking to get more into trail running and completing a 50k this yr too.
Cool, how much running do you do? And do you have a specific race in mind, the UTA was fully booked in no time.

Pretty sweet, my result from the 30 km Coastal Classic (<4 hours) was registered by the ITRA, so now I don't have to start in the slowest UTA start group (#7) but based on my Coastal Classic time I'll actually start in group #3 which will be top 42% with finishing time <8hr12. Sub 8-hr seems like a reasonable goal to work towards.


About poker, I'll mainly do updates about the Star games, but I'll mention any memorable runs in smaller games too. So far this year I only have one 3rd for $180 in a small pub game, on Friday I bricked hard finishing in 6th place with 5th worth $200 and 1st $1200.

My playing schedule for next 4 weeks looks like this:

Wednesday: $330 at the Star ($10k-$15k up top)
Friday: $55-$75 pub game at Pittwater RSL ($1k-$2k up top)
Sunday: $25 NPL pub game in Willoughby, because I need 6 games for the $605 Quarterly Final (sigh)

And my bigger games will be:
$550 Australia Day game at the Star (26-01)
$150 Petersham Cup, FT-d this 3 times already, win it already (28-01)
$605 NPL Quarterly Final, won a ticket in a $20 raffle (lol) (03-02)
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:08 AM   #5
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

So far I have played two $330s at the Star. The first one I finished around 60th out of 200, the second one I busted in 40 minutes... Some hands:


Blinds 75/150, 10-handed, starting stack 10k
Splashy player with big stack opens UTG+1 to 325, two players call, I call on BTN with KQ, BB calls

Flop QT2, pot 1700. It gets checked to me and I bet 1k. It folds to preflop aggressor UTG+1, who now checkraises to 2500. I call leaving me with 8k.

Turn 3, pot 6700. UTG again bets 2500. A call will commit me on river, and I just don't see this player type take this line without a better hand. QT/TT possibly? Weird line either way. I fold and he shows AQ. OK.


Blinds 75/150, 10-handed
3 limpers ahead of me, I overlimp on BTN with 64, BB checks.

Flop AKQ, pot 825. It gets checked to me and I make a stab at it with my flush draw, I bet 400. UTG (same splashy player as last hand) calls, MP calls.

Turn 8, pot 2025. UTG now leads out 2200. MP tank calls. I make my flush and based on sizing I expect UTG to have two pair he wants to protect here a lot, but MPs call is concerning. I have ~8k behind and I suspect this should be a sigh-fold. I talk myself into a call because of my conclusion that only MP can have a flush there. Thin.

River 8, pot 8625. UTG continues for 4.8k and MP calls off his remaining 4k. I snap fold, as UTG now has a boat if I'm right, and MP clearly has a flush. UTG shows K8 for the limp UTG with ATC, check call with middle pair no kicker, and overbet turn with two pair into two players when the obvious draw comes in. What can I say, it's a classic.


I manage to find a triple up and stick around for a while longer, but finish in 60th when I jam KTo on the BTN for 12.5bb and get snapped by AQ. Still, I was encouraged by the level of play. It may be a bit more aggro/splashy than in the pub, but still lots of bad players.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:25 AM   #6
ramabranch
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Wow, amazing to know that you can make a decent income grinding pub games haha. You think you can live out of those in a city as expensive as Sydney or you'll need another type of income?

I remember my beginnings on Poker back in 2012 playing at a pub in Auckland too haha, free entry for all and the winner got a 5 drink tab prize, but the organizer was a shady f***er and he would offer us to play under the table for real cash ($5 to $10 NZD) without the owners of the pub authorization. He got paid one 5 drinks/meals tab himself for running it everyday and I'm pretty sure that's all he drank/ate on his day, he was a pretty f**** up guy, a kiwi 'bogan' (I think that's how you guys call those?).

Anyway, subbed already, gl on your journey.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:36 AM   #7
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Originally Posted by ramabranch View Post
Wow, amazing to know that you can make a decent income grinding pub games haha. You think you can live out of those in a city as expensive as Sydney or you'll need another type of income?
I actually ran the numbers because my scholarship is about to run out and I'm not finshed with my PhD. The conclusion that it's going to be hard to have enough volume, even assuming a 100% ROI, without the bigger casino games. And it would require playing pub poker 7 nights a week, which would be utterly horrible and demoralizing.

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Originally Posted by ramabranch View Post
I remember my beginnings on Poker back in 2012 playing at a pub in Auckland too haha, free entry for all and the winner got a 5 drink tab prize, but the organizer was a shady f***er and he would offer us to play under the table for real cash ($5 to $10 NZD) without the owners of the pub authorization. He got paid one 5 drinks/meals tab himself for running it everyday and I'm pretty sure that's all he drank/ate on his day, he was a pretty f**** up guy, a kiwi 'bogan' (I think that's how you guys call those?).

Anyway, subbed already, gl on your journey.
Haha, that's fantastic. I have a similar experience where I'm from, I used to play these E5 game run illegally in a pub and initially I was so overwhelmed and intimidated by all the "regulars". It got shut down after a visitor of the pub called the cops. Mind you, this only got a E100 prize pool with no money going to the pub owner. Stupid law.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:59 AM   #8
Kyle Saunders
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Really loving your story so far.

I also live in Australia and am the same age.

I read your other thread and you definetely are a favourite in the games you are playing. I am not surprised someone took half your action.

Will you be playing the $550 at Star on Australia Day?

Would like to catch up and say hello.

Enjoying your story
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:43 AM   #9
Big Blind Bandit
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Subbed!
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Old 01-20-2018, 06:55 AM   #10
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Saunders View Post
Really loving your story so far.

I also live in Australia and am the same age.

I read your other thread and you definetely are a favourite in the games you are playing. I am not surprised someone took half your action.

Will you be playing the $550 at Star on Australia Day?

Would like to catch up and say hello.

Enjoying your story


And yeah, I'll play the $550 next week, shoot me a pm.

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Subbed!
Welcome back mate and please know that you can grind on the apps while crushing live tournaments! Where are you at?!
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:31 AM   #11
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

The $330 this week at the Star did not go particularly well. It was weird, I felt completely out of the zone and basic decisions took me way too much mental energy. I'm not going to make the $330 a weekly must play, because it should be something I'm excited to play every time I go. Still, I should at least include some less than optimal hands in this thread:


Blinds 100/200-25, 9-handed

UTG+1 opens to 400, I'm UTG+2 with 10k and 89. With 7 players to act and 25bb behind this should just be a fold, but I call. MAWG (=middle aged white guy) in MP raises to 900, UTG+1 folds. There's 2200 in the pot and 500 to call, easy call with my hand I'd say.

Flop Q34 , pot 2700. I check, MP checks.

Turn 2. I now lead 1400, and MP immediately raises to 3k, leaving 5k behind. MP might have slow played a bigger flush, but I think there's a good chance given his mannerisms that he has QQ for value there. Also a bunch of random bluffs. I should just get it in here, I call/lose vs bigger flush on river anyway. If he has other value, there's too many scare cards on river that'll make me lose value. Instead I call.

River 5, pot 8700. Sigh, terrible river card, every fish fears the ace. I check, he checks, and my hand is good. He later complains to neighbor that he lost with QQ. Didn't play this hand well, but FYI I put him on QQ before that convo, so at least my instincts weren't completely shot.


Blinds 200/400-50, 9-handed.

Active player in MP limps in for 400. I'm on BTN with KT with and overlimp with 6700 behind. SB completes and BB checks.

Flop KJ6, pot 2100. Blinds check and MP leads 1k. I should just call here on this dry board, I even block straight draws. But I reason he can't have a bigger king here as he limped in, and I just want the hand over with. Fish logic. I jam and MP calls with KQ. GG


As a bonus one hand from the week before I forgot:

Blinds 75/150, 10-handed.

Two limps ahead of me, I overlimp 75 in LJ. HJ raises to 525, limpers call, I call.

Flop J86, pot 2225. Everyone checks.

Turn J. It checks to me, I bet 850. HJ calls, one limper calls.

River 5, pot 4.8k. Limper check, I bet 1800. HJ tank folds (aces he later claimed), and limper now shoves for 5600

Such a gross spot. I get over 3-1, but it's so hard for limper to have worse. Still, how many value hands does he realistically have? He would lead turn with better flush surely, and doesn't jam it all the time on river either. He doesn't limp behind preflop with JJ/88, maybe with 66. He may play J8s this way. That makes for 3 combos of 66 and 2 combos of J8s. That means he needs 2 more combos that I do beat to make a call profitable. Overplayed AJx and KJx? Random spew? Eventually I call and lose to J8.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:34 PM   #12
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

Ship it!

It's always a good sign when the cashier offers an elastic band for the pile of banknotes you just shipped. On Friday I won my regular pub poker $55 game straight up for $1150, from 50 runners. There weren't many particular interesting hands, this is pub poker after all. I managed to run 6bb at 4k/8k up to 25bb without showdown, mainly shipping over limpers preflop. I read a book at the table when playing pub poker and was dubbed "a silent assassin" because I only interrupted my reading to steal blinds+limps


There was one crazy hand with 3 left. Payouts were $1150, $750 and $450. At 15k/30k I have 450k, CL has 1M and this drunk guy 200k.

CL folds, and drunk guy completes his SB. I'm in BB with QT and we're playing <7bb effective. Playable hand of course, but at these stack sizes I just want to pick up 2bb, so I look at SB:

"All in"

SB looks straight at me and doesn't even allow to finish my sentence:

"Call"

I'm confused and look at TD/dealer: "Was that a call?"

TD to drunk guy: "Did you call?" Drunk guy nods.

I table my hand and it's the drunk guy's turn to be confused: "I didn't call! I didn't say anything!"

TD is not amused: "You said call and nodded after I verified. You can't say call and get away with it. Your call stands, I'm not going to discuss this any further, it stands."

Drunk guy: "This is bull****!, why would I want to call with this hand!?" and tables 52.

TD is pretty mad at this point and does not allow him to fold. We run it out and I ship the hand busting the drunk guy in 3rd. I didn't get involved in the discussion, and while it's clear drunk guy didn't really want to call, he did say call and then nodded when asked so I completely agree with TD.


We get HU with 30bb in play and I have a 650k vs his 1M. He got these chips by waking up with massive hands, but also made some disastrous folds (TT in BB vs 8bb shove) so I'm super comfortable I can just take his chips by grinding out his stack. He's the type of player who is way too tight HU, but you shouldn't let him get out of it by starting shipping and getting a frustration call. Much better to play small ball and pick up pots postflop. I proceed to win the first 6 hands. I make a sizing error at some point, but recover by correctly calling off a double barrel with second pair.

Finally I pick up QQ, complete my SB and villain shoves for 8bb. I snap and find myself on the good side of a cooler when he tables JJ and the board runs out clean. I am super happy with how I played HU, I tend to shove a lot where essentially I'm correct but pub players get frustrated and start calling off with weird hands. Longterm this is fine of course, but I introduce variance while I can also grind them down.

At this venue there is a bounty pool and if you win you get a number of random draws depending on pool size. It now stands at $4.6k and I got to draw for my name from the 50 runners four times. Unfortunately no luck.

Also this obviously isn't tracked by Hendon Mob, so it doesn't count towards the challenge, but it is my 5th biggest live cash! Pretty sweet week after all.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:18 PM   #13
KoolCaliban
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Re: Running Well in 2018: $25k on Hendon Mob and 50 km Ultra Trail Australia

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Originally Posted by KoolCaliban View Post
Also this obviously isn't tracked by Hendon Mob, so it doesn't count towards the challenge, but it is my 5th biggest live cash! Pretty sweet week after all.
Spoke too soon, week wasn't over after all. Yesterday I played a NPL game because I need 6 games played for the Quarterly. It's usually a $25 $1k gtd, but every quarter they have a special $45 $2k gtd game, where you get a discount if you are a regular. I'm not, but with 45 runners it's still good value. Especially if you ship it for $750.


48 hours. Two tournaments. Two wins. $1800 profit.

Easy game.
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