Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I should probably have made this post almost a week ago, but here's roughly what happened:

Wednesday night, I had my first coaching session. By the time it was over, I was up way past my bedtime and simply crawled into bed and tried to fight off the urge to think about poker and instead sleep. I failed, but that's neither here nor there.

Thursday when I came home from work, I itched badly to play. I wanted to work on the things I had gone over with my coach, Alan. See below. I could have blogged, sure, but playing takes precedence.

Friday night, we were invited over to a friend's house for board games. I went there almost directly from work, so no real time for blogging.

Saturday, a coworker was hosting a small private poker tournament. It took almost all day (and no, no heroic victory for yours truly; although I think I played well the whole time) and after which Lori and I went to another friend's place to celebrate his birthday. Came home late. Came home drunk. Not a good time to blog, either.

Slept awfully that night because my back hurt really badly. Spent Sunday very tired. Had no interest in computers. Stayed away from it, mostly.

Did not sleep at all Sunday night/Monday morning, thanks to the above-mentioned back pains. Went to work, drank lots of coffee, called and got a time the same day with a chiropractor. Went there, he straightened some parts of me out but I'm going back tomorrow. Still, very tired when I got home and not really in a mood for poker or blogging.

Slept better last night, but not great. Still well enough to feel energetic enough after dinner to play a few hundred hands, and now I have exactly 12 minutes until House is on TV, so this leaves me some time to let you know how things have gone.

... and things have gone great. Although one single session is a bit too early to gauge anything from, I'm confident I made a good pick in who I got for a coach. The session went well, at least in terms of what I feel I got out of it. In fact, I figured I'd show you a copy of my post-session notes, and you should keep these two things in mind when you read it:

  1. I am not - or at least was not - very comfortable in situations regarding 3-betting. My own 3-bet percentage is lower than it should be, and I don't particularly enjoy being 3-bet myself. This was one of the topics I informed Alan before-hand that I wanted to look at.
  2. I still haven't shaken the limit hold 'em habit of c-betting every flop. I don't actually c-bet every flop, but it's not far from it. This was another area for Alan in which to talk some sense into me.
So, the four things I made explicit notes of post-session:


Basically, I want to shoot for a number that's closer to 8%, as opposed to my 5% of today. The way I will do this is not by widening my overall 3-betting range, but instead looking for profitable spots to essentially 3-bet 100% of the time when I have opponents on my right that fold too often.


After sleeping on it, I've decided I'm going to try a new approach to c-bets. Coming from LHE, the default move as the preflop raiser is to always c-bet the flop so that's the default action I've taken with me to NLHE. Instead, I'm going to default to checking and look for a reason to bet, as opposed to defaulting to betting and looking for a reason to check. We'll see if it works. I noticed that a lot of the times I was supposed to check, my instinct to bet was mostly just because I didn't really know what else to do.


My stealing percentages are fine in general, but I should look for tables where I can steal virtually any-two on the button and have at it, not widening my overall range. The same situation as with the 3-bets, in other words.


Download it, use it, love it.

Of course, there was a lot more covered in the session, but in broad strokes, these are the four things I really want to work on right now.

So how have I done? To be perfectly honest (and why not) I haven't done that well. I think a large part of that comes from simply not having a chance to play much yet, which I hope to rectify in the upcoming days and especially this weekend. But part of it is also that I don't yet prepare before a session in a way that lets me focus on the items that I want to work on before I play. And that's where I'll try to be smarter next time; set up goals for the upcoming 500 hands for things I want to work on. If I'm playing 4-6 tables, I think working on items 1-3 simultaneously should not be a problem.

Okay, 1 minute to House. I shall wrap it up here, then.

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