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Ovalman's Micro grind

Part time Poker Nut, Astro Nut and a lover of Glentoran FC.
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I've been devoting a bit of time to learning lately. Much more than I usually do. Strangely I haven't participated on the forum much - I find that by critiquing posts I glean information on how others see the game. I'm not always right but the times when I'm wrong are the most valuable. This is a great method of learning but I digress, I've been doing most of my learning by reading Andre Coimbra's blog, watching videos and analysing stats over the past week or two.

On another forum, a person posted that the game wasn't straight and that AA and KK never hold up. Of course I knew otherwise but I like to prove to fish that the game is the same for all. I like to keep players in the game as the bottom line is without the fish then there would be no food.

I posted some stats of my results from pocket pairs.

Link to full sized image

I certainly proved to him that AA & KK were two winning hands but I'm quite pleased that I'm playing all pocket pairs pretty well. I expect to win with AA and KK most of the time but I was surprised that hands like 22 were also making me money which I didn't think it was. There is 2 losing pairs however. 33 I'm not that bothered about but 88 is a bit of a concern. This got me delving deeper.

I'm a SnG player but I also play MTTs. To confuse things further I also play limit, I play stakes from freerolls to $11 regularly, I also play 6 max, 45 man SnGs and 50,000 player big field tournaments, I also play on several sites which includes Pokerstars. This is a smorgasborg of tournaments that skews these stats. Without any further filters I noticed 88 was my biggest losing hand with over 19,000 chips lost:

I can't even remember playing this hand but without this hand 88 would be a net winner. It turns out 33 is also the same and 1 big loss turned it from a winning to a losing hand.

I've now filtered these stats further and applied them to my 6 max games only. I won't share because they give too much information but I've learned a few things from the stats and will apply a tweak or two in certain spots.

As a guide, I generally raise with all pocket pairs when I enter a pot and set mine when the blinds are low especially with low pocket pairs up to 88-99. 22 turns into a monster when the blinds are very high. Position is always important as to any hand I play. Arty's blog on playing pocket pairs has been a goldem nugget for me but I'm still unsure to the complete maths of playing them pre flop. This work is never ending.

If you don't save hand histories then do it now. When you get a sample of around 10,000 hands then download a trial of Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker. I paid for HEM from a $50 bounty bonus for KO'ing a player on a Poker site. If you make a withdrawal then treat yourself to tracking software, it's the most useful thing you can do to your game even without the HUD.


I've had a poor start to the year, by poor I mean I haven't lost anything but then again I'm winning cents and not dollars. My last blog I showed a pretty graph because I didn't think it would last but my balance is now $161 on that site and the graph is just as nice. I could have kicked myself the other night, I played in a "Free Bet Freeroll" but I was also playing 6 other tables.

I shoved the shorter stacked BB with KQo with 6 players remaining but I didn't realise a bigger stacked (not by much) whale had min raised UTG and was going nowhere to my shove. He had 88 and I lost. I got a £20 free bet for my work but 5th to 2nd got a £50 free bet

That one shove cost me £30. He made a poor call but he was a whale and it was my mistake. Stupid things like that eat into our profits but I've layed off the £20 free bet on a betting exchange and will add £12.50 to my profits whatever the outcome of a football match today. These promotions aren't tracked by sites like Sharkscope (they even have to be entered manually on HEM) but it all adds to the overall ROI and they make up a lot of my profits.

I've only played a handful of games on Pokerstars, mostly private and have made a small loss. I'd like to maintain Chrome Star this month but I'm way off my target of 10,000VPPs by the end of the year. Again I'm not too worried so long as my game keeps improving. I'm not bankrolled but I think I'll take a stab at 6 max STTs. I know I can beat these and you get 2.77 per game. I think I'll try 10 of these in 2 bunched of 5 and if I make a loss then drop back to $1.50 where I'll still be comfortably rolled. I'll keep doing this and hopefully get away from $1.50 altogether. I've also the Big Bang to look forward too later, I know it's hard to cash in this but I've done well in the past and I like the game (although think we should start with 3,000 chips and not 1,500)

Until next time, good luck at the tables - except against me.


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