During WCOOP my sister deposited £7 on PartyPoker to have some fun at the poker tables. She did ask me about which games to play so I simply told her to play the lowest stakes she could find and expect to lose. This was the first time she was ever going to play for money!
She is a total beginner and is at the stage where she knows the rules but no more. Being WCOOP madness I couldn't spare the time to give her any real advice or anything but simply suggested she enjoyed going all in and just clicking buttons! She definitely understood that she was going to lose overall. It was quite refreshing to hear that someone was going to play poker with the sole purpose of having fun. Don't misunderstand me - I love poker and always immensely enjoy it. However, I don't take specific lines because they are fun.
With this in mind, I asked to her do me a favour. I realised that after 10 years of trying to win at poker and thinking in terms of winning or losing lines that I had no idea what it must be like to play just for fun. What goes through the head of someone who knows the rules but no more? I wanted to know how she perceived the actions of other players at the table.
I realised she was something of a blank slate in regards to poker and poker strategy. She has no bias whatsoever and no-one has ever told her, "how to play a hand". How many of you can say that? So It fascinated me to imagine being dealt a hand whilst having absolutely no pre conditioning as to what was "good" or "bad" or "+EV" or even what was aggressive or passive - or anything like that. A total fresh outlook.
I asked to her to be observant and if she could, to let me know about anything she considered interesting at the table. Anything at all! If she felt like she observed any sort of pattern or "tell" to note it down. It would also be incredibly interesting to see how she thought it best to accumulate chips. What might a total beginner think is the best way to win a pot?
A few days later she sent me a picture of a list of bullet points. I will directly quote some of them here:
I think these are incredible observations! I was totally mind blown when I received these bullet points. These are notes from someone who barely knows the rules and has hardly played any poker at all.
I think most of you will be able to relate to some of these points and I also believe that there are some top players which if they read this, will also be quite stunned at the level of intuition here.
From what I can see the main concepts of checking have already been understood and strategies facing checks have been developed. The concept of balance has miraculously been realised in the quote, "I sometimes kept my bets equal when I wasn't sure...". This is probably something a lot of professionals could learn from!
As soon as I received these bullet points I knew I had to write about this because I thought it was not only a really interesting idea but I genuinely felt her observations were incredible and very insightful. In addition, I think it can be useful for players to spend a bit more time putting themselves inside the head of a recreational player. This is something my mate Luke and former housemate explained to me and when he did I felt like an idiot for not really giving it the consideration it deserved!
I hope this was an interesting read and gives you a little food for thought. The next blog post will be an update of my MTT grind.
Good luck everyone and of course to luck to my sister and she continues to put pressure on capped ranges at the 25c SNGs and 1c MTTs!
The plan was to grind Saturday peak and play the $215 phase one before WCOOP officially kicked off in addition to the beautiful $215 Saturday 6Max PKOs on Pokerstars. I will probably only fire one bullet in the $215 Phase 1 and wanted to use the "winnin83" strategy of qualifying for phase 2 pre WCOOP.
My sleep schedule had been pretty consistently waking up around 6:30am to play the morning MTTs. Try as I might to sleep in, 8am was the latest I could manage. I started my Saturday session around 3:30pm and around 4:30pm I felt like I was getting a little tired but wasn't exactly sure. I thought it could have been in my imagination but strangely felt like I could not work out if I truly was tired or not. This continued and I doubted that I could even register the Phase 1 at 8:30pm. At 7:30pm, I eventually called it and decided to stop registering MTTs completely - except one tiny field event which would have finished early anyway.
At 7:30pm I had about 10 tables left which was fine but I was glad I didn't have to focus on any more!
I had a nice stack in the $215 Bounty Builder and after running well managed to make it to the last 2 tables while Final Tabling a $55 Bounty Hunter on PartyPoker. I ended up running incredibly well in the $55 and won it around the time I made the Final table of the $215.
The turning point of the $215 Final Table for me was picking up TT when someone open shoved 22bb UTG with a massive $1000 bounty on their head. Villain flipped AKs and I ran out from the room so I would miss the run-out. I won the huge flip and the gigantic bounty and found myself in 2nd place. I continued to run incredibly well in flips and managed to win the whole thing! I couldn't believe it! WCOOP hasn't even started and I'm running amazingly!
Dare I now mention the fabled "rush" ... I could "play my rush" and win WCOOP!
This not something I believe in at all, but it seems like a free-roll at this point, just in case it turns out to be true, I think I'll believe it is for now.
I was not feeling any real pressure leading up to WCOOP so I certainly don't feel any now which is really lucky but at the same time this won't interfere with the preparation I still have to do before the 2nd September.
My rustiest part of my game I decided was PKO preflop so I dedicated a few hours to that since the last blog post. I will most certainly do more because there are still seemingly infinite spots which I feel clueless about.
Next on the list of things to look at is a bunch of sims at stack depths I mentioned in the last post as I still haven't given those much time. I tend to refer to days not grinding as "days off" - like today and tomorrow but when I realise all the spots I want to look at, they don't really end up being days off at all. I still feel slightly rusty but am confident that come the 2nd of September most of that will have gone away.
I will be streaming some of my study, if not today, most definitely tomorrow on Twitch!
Then on the 2nd September, my 32nd birthday I will stream my 1st WCOOP session while running really really really hot! Hope to see you all on Twitch and good luck over the series everyone!
This morning I had my first proper look at the upcoming WCOOP schedule which starts this Sunday 30th August (with Phase 1s already running). Currently, I estimate I will play my first events on the 2nd September which also happens to be my birthday. Happy Birthday me! The first weekend didn't grab me at all and I think I will skip it for a few reasons. Firstly, I still feel quite rusty - not shockingly so, just about as rusty as you might expect after not playing a single hand of poker for 1 month during the summer. Not only have I felt a little rusty, I also have not felt "in the zone" yet and have been struggling to stay as focused as usual with 10+ tables. Secondly, the intention is to play most of the series and to do so at my best - so skipping the start doesn't seem like the worst idea if it helps me feel fresher for the bulk of the series. In addition, the Main Event looks exceedingly good just like Mr. Kipling Almond slices, so if I am fresher for the final weekend then that must be a good thing right? It also appears that my ABI is going to increase gradually as the series continues due to the events I am likely to play, so once again staying fresher for the higher buy-ins seems reasonable to me. Overall, I am probably maxing out at my B game currently, so I need to sort that out.
I was dealt a big dose of reality yesterday during a mammoth 2.5hr review session where I streamed an entire HH from a $33 PKO which I final tabled. Needless to say, I made some incredibly large pre flop mistakes especially with regards to calling off for bounties. I was shocked at how terrible I was in some of these spots. In a way, it felt good to identify an area for intensive study very quickly. During the FT there at least 5 spots where I was quite shaky with my ranges and to be fair to the chat they agreed the spots where tough too. Overall, I think a good few hours on PKO pre flop will do the world of good pre WCOOP. All that being said, yesterday was nice as I managed to chop the Big $82 for around $650 for a slight winning session.
Before the series kicks off I will aim to refresh myself with a checklist something like this:
100bb both srp and 3-Bet pots with specific focus on sizing strategies -high priority (partially because I played 10-20k cash hands pre holiday which has slightly thrown me off MTT ranges).
50bb both srp and 3-Bet pots - high priority
40bb both srp and 3-Bet pots- high priority
30bb both srp and 3-Bet pots -medium priority
20bb srp -medium priority
Final table pre flop -high priority
PKO preflop - super high priority
Today I will take off to do some chores and go to the gym. I will attempt to review the hands I marked from yesterday which I didn't get round to last night.
As the quest to sharpen up continues, I will be grinding a full session tomorrow (streaming live on twitch starting at around 10am GMT+3). After the grind I will go into a no-delay study session. Now I've got some chores to do yay...