Monthly Report: Vacation Play

Tuesday 8/26/14 time 9:36 PM - PokerHelena

The summer vacation was very good for my poker progress. Not only I had more time to play I was also more relaxed when playing and had much better results.

July was the first month I was on positive side with my online bankroll. By the end of the month I had 6 times more money on my PokerStars account than I had at the beginning of the month. And it felt great!

However, the reality hit when the vacation ended and I went back to work. I have already lost most of it and now trying to figure out how to balance my play so that I can continue the success I had in July.

Another great thing that happened towards the end of my vacation was a tournament in Tallinn. It was 30€ rebuy tournament, so the entrance level was very low. The starting stacks were big and levels fairly long, so it gave some time to play without any rush.

I was doing pretty well, however didn't leave any cash in my pockets. I was 12th out of around 50 players. It's the best result so far, so I'm very happy. I'm even more happier about the game I played. After the nervousness during the first hour I calmed down and made some pretty good moves (at least I'd like to think like that :)).

Opponents at the table were very different, ranging from regulars to tourists, so it was interesting to observe the different player styles and practice my own table image. It was a lot of fun and I should definitely get back there!

So what's next? I want to continue playing live games as much as I can. There will be some interesting tournaments that I want to participate in during the fall, so I will not be bored. I'm aiming to get some cash from a tournament by the end of this year, so I still have some work to do.

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Monthly Report: Learning To Bet

Sunday 5/18/14 time 9:59 PM - PokerHelena

The biggest realization that I had during the past month was that I have to learn to bet better. I previously learned to raise with good cards before the flop, but betting after flop has been very insecure. I don't know why, but every time I realize that I should bet half a pot and think about how much it is it scares the hell out of me. So my bets have been way too small.

When it comes to the games and experiences I most of all remember a satellite to a local casino tournament. The satellite was online and I didn't get a place to the tournament, as being 12th out of around 60 players. So not completely hopeless, but far from getting among top five that got the seats. Although I didn't get the seat I was happy for making several great decisions during the game.

PokerHelena at a poker tournament

And during the past week I have had several bad beats that probably make this whole post a bit more pessimistic than it could be. I have lost with several big pocket pairs, straight and even a flush. On the brighter side, I have noticed that I overcome (bad) beats much easier than I used to and have recovered from several small stack situations. Fight until the end! ;)

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Monthly Report: More Confidence In Live Games

Friday 4/4/14 time 5:38 PM - PokerHelena

I figured that it would be a good idea to give occasional reports of my development. So here are the things that I feel I have developed the most in during the past month:

1. Live games have become much more confident.

I tend to get nervous and closed down when I get into new poker situations. For example, during my first casino tournament I forgot half of the things you're supposed to do during a game, because I was just too nervous.

Last game, however, was much more relaxed and I actually focused on the game a lot. Although there was no cash win I clearly saw improvement there.

2. I have finally started taken advantage of my position

I knew that position was important, but I didn't really know how to use it. Now I have started paying more attention to how the players behave before it gets to my turn to act. I also make a clearer decisions on which cards I play in earlier positions and which ones I should play only in later positions.

3. Cracking the numbers

I knew how to calculate pot odds before, but now I have actually started thinking about them naturally as part of every hand. I'm still slow with it and I still make sometimes wrong decisions based on it, but at least it's part of my game now. It's pretty good for a person who hated math in school.

It's good to remind myself once in a while that I have actually developed in my game, because after every game I find myself pondering about all the mistakes I made and what I should have done better. There is still some hope for me ;)

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