Sunday, November 2, 2008


I've decided to pay for private coaching, to speed up my learning curve a bit and make me prepared for 2/4 and 3/6 (and, maybe just maybe even 5/10) in 2009. The coach is Alan "Dixon" Jackson from Stoxpoker, and I'll document the experience as best I can.

Before we get started, he has requested that I send him a quick bio where I include info about what I want out of poker and spots that make me uncomfortable. This is what I sent him:


About me
I'm 31, live in Linköping, Sweden, married to Lori since a little over a year back and we have a baby on the way which is exciting but nerve-wrecking. I work for a small company (about 30 people) who develop software for set top boxes (digital TV).

Playing poker
I first started playing poker with some friends in high school. Obviously had no idea what we were doing, and playing no-limit poker without table stakes is clearly lunacy. But the bug bit me and so when playing poker online became available, I jumped at it. Paradise Poker, specifically. I bought in for $50, lost it quickly and then decided that there were more fun computer games out there for me to play, and I got stuck with EverQuest for a few years.

In the summer of 2005 I was travelling in business quite a bit and wanted something to do while sitting in hotel rooms in various cities in the world, and decided that online poker would be a good choice since it required so little in terms of network connection and computer hardware; it would have been more difficult for me to install and run World of Warcraft or some other high-graphics game on my work laptop. So I went with poker, and started looking around for tips on how to play on the web.

Found a site called, read some of their articles, registered on the forum and got involved in discussion. I very quickly appreciated the theory behind poker, and decided to read all the poker books I could get my hands on. Went through Hold 'em for Advanced Players, Theory of Poker, and essentially started to order everything 2+2 had published. I played limit hold 'em, starting at the micro limits and moved up from there.

I could never play very much poker because of my job and other commitments, but I studied it carefully and tried to make the most of my time spent playing. I climbed the limits up to $5/$10 and some $10/$20 but at that point I was outmatched and very ill prepared for a downswing, both in terms of bankroll management and mentally. So when the downswing came, I gradually lost most of my bankroll in the late summer and fall of 2007. I moved down to $1/$2 and kept grinding, but felt frustrated with limit hold 'em and eventually decided to take the plunge and move to no-limit permanently. I had played a little NL here and there but not seriously.

So on April 1st this year, I loaded up a few $25NL tables at Stars and started trying to learn how to play. I had about a $2k bankroll at the time, but didn't want to start higher than $25 because I wanted to limit the potential loss. After a successful month at 25NL, I moved up to 50NL, and then in June started playing a little bit of 100NL when I found good tables. In August, I had been fortunate enough to get a bankroll sized to play a little bit of $200NL and that's where I've been since then. It's been going up and down a bit, but mostly up and I think I've learned a lot in the past few months.

I'm naturally a bit passive, and I've had to work pretty hard to become more aggressive.

Poker goals
Poker will probably never be my primary income, but I want to maximize it as a secondary income. If I can comfortably play $3/$6 and maybe some $5/$10 and have a modest win-rate, I'd be more than happy with that. A lot of what holds me back is the volume of hands that I play which means I need to learn how to multitable better. I've installed AHK and I have a dual monitor set up (20' + 24') but I still feel like I need to get more decisions on autopilot in order to play more than 6 tables at once. Basically, I'm hoping to, in 2009, reach a level of skill that allows me to play ~30k hands a month of 3/6 profitably.

Spots that make me uncomfortable
Being 3-bet by aggressive players. And although I've gotten better I'm still not entirely comfortable with when to c-bet or not. I used to c-bet virtually every flop (and in the 30k hand sample I think this will be reflected somewhat; I only in the past few weeks started checking flops more frequently). I try to table select pretty carefully because I just don't feel like I'm a winning when I'm playing regulars. I don't think I'm necessarily losing, but if there's a profit there, it's probably eaten by the rake.


Four Dogs said...

GL with the coaching. Keep us informed.


Anonymous said...

Genial fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.