Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Carbon Poker Site Emoticons Animations

Carbon Poker website has a fun feature that allows you to incorporate emoticons in your chat.  They provide a small list for your use, but to the experienced user there's a whole new world of animations that's not on the basic list that's even more fun.  Here's a list of what I've seen and used to date.  Please feel free to add your own below.

stayin alive
this is poker
it's a trap
all in
card dead
ouch (punch)
u mad (umad)
bling (gangsta)

The basic list of emoticons that's available is as follows:

hi (bye)
mad (angry)
clap (applaud)

There are seasonal animations that are added for Thanks giving, valentine's day, etc, but these have been the constants.

The Stock Nut

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poker Psychology and Taking it to the Next Level

Psychology is an important part of poker just as much as it is in trading.  Learning to manage expectation as well as managing emotions is important to risk taking and is the difference between gambling and playing the odds.  This blog post from a renown trading psychologist, Dr. Steenbarger who recently withdrew from the social networking scene to coach one of the largest Hedge Funds on Wall Street, is commenting on taking poker and trading to the next level.

Reading Dr Steenbarger's blog and interpolating the concepts used for traders to poker is a must for a well rounded poker player on the road to success. The concepts presented in trading and poker psychology will not be found in the best of trading or poker books, which are typically about teaching the game at the different levels.  There's more to risk taking behavior than that, and Dr. Steenbarger's blog is a good start.

In this blog post Dr. Steenbarger talks about taking your game to the next level through a closed-circuit training program and skill development.

The Stock Nut

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's safe to Rush.

After taking a break from poker, I’m back with vengeance.   I’ve also stepped up the stakes and playing the $2 tables as well as Rush.  I’ve made a good chop in both so far with my bank roll up 5x and playing a much more stable/TAG game.  Playing rush is now a profitable event for me, which wasn’t the case in the past (I am in a "correction" phase as I edit this however lol).   I’m playing a tighter and more aware game with less bluffing and less Sheriff action, which have been my biggest "leaks" in the past.  :)

There are two key points to note about a winning Rush game for me,  
The first is the realization that it is akin to day trading where quick decision making and going for the premium setups are the only way to make money in this poker on crack.  The second note is another similarity to day trading in that the game changes depending on the time of the day.  During regular business hours you are playing what I call the “Autopilots” who are playing ABC poker and are position aware.  You can pick out these folks easily because they will typically have 3 or more games going on at the same time and are just cycling through for an easy win/setup to make the most money out of grinding tables.  In this case they will bet when in position or from strength only, and typically will fold if they encounter any resistance in search of the next quick opportunity.  Keeping their losses small and maximizing their winners ideology that is prevalent in stock trading.  So if they come along when you don't give them the right ROI, they have something in their hand and you'd better have a strong hand that you are willing to take to showdown.  Effectively you
end up making more money during business hours exploiting these folks or just playing a solid ABC/position game yourself as they are as predictable as they come.

I've also found the Joys of the $2 SitNgo tables where the ROI if you place in the top three is excellent, and playing a TAG game will most likely get you there.

One of the things I've noticed in the Ring Games is that when someone goes all in, they typically have one of the top nuts and they're not messing around, unlike rush and SitNGo.  I found that I have to play a very tight game when I'm playing in the Ring Game setup and there's more skill added in those where you can spend sometime at a table and have to read your opponent (or have stats on them) to play him best.  Kind of like the penny stocks out there, volatile, but can be very profitable if you know what you're doing and learn how to read the charts and sentiment.
The basic idea remains the same in any of the above situations, get out when you have an indication that you are beat therefore minimizing your losses and maximize your winners, not different from trading.

Peace and profits to all,
The Stock Nut

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Primal Poker

It is well known that in trading the two primal emotions of fear and greed drive the beginning trader's actions.  And until the trader has control over these two emotions he will be at the whim of the market to do with him as she wishes.

It is interesting that these two emotions are also a big part of poker playing, more prevalent at the beginning level.  You bet a good hand because you want to make more money, you fold a bet/raise because you fear you have an inferior hand, or on a deeper sense because you fear losing more money (according to whatever metric you use).  Whether these emotions are in the forefront of your game or are hidden behind strategies and calculated odds, the outcome is the same.  It's the reason why players check, bet, raise, or fold.

I have not looked into the math of poker yet as much as I should, and I keep postponing it for some reason, probably because it will make it more serious than fun if I did.  I love math, but I'm not ready to give up fun poker, yet..
What I have been doing however, is play the game partly based on "sentiment" as at the lower stakes the game is more emotionally driven than statistically driven, it seems.

Sentiment is a well known metric for trading the stock market and can help with risk management.  Poker players play sentiment all the time, that's why they observe the table dynamics and the individual players, that's table sentiment and player sentiment (is this a new term for poker? or is there a term that conveys the concept of looking at the table/player tight/loose behavior? while not associating it with an action such as passive or aggressive?).   You can tell if a person is fearful, or "scared money", or if they are greedy which is exhibited by aggression (steal, RR steal attempt, 3bet, etc).  There are many other factors that are more important when playing the game, but just as in trading, you want to have "more checks in your favor" before you take on the trade/risk and this is one more check for poker too.

The last several times I played 1Table SnG Turbo I focused on people's sentiment, fear and greed levels, to factor into my game strategy.   I think this has helped in producing more winning hands by capitalizing on people's greed and fear.

My strategy in the following heads up against this player is to slow play a strong hand and this player's greed served him a deadly first punch in a 1-2 punch knockout.
(images are from the same SnG game with different hand history displayed after my review of the game)

The first punch was hitting quad aces and slow/value playing that after the flop when I was behind on chips.  It was good that he hit the jack on the turn too, as I checked the flop and 3xBB bet the turn after he tried to slow play his full house on the turn.  He came all in after my bet.  Somewhat predatory strategy, but also opportunistic as that's what I thought would work with this aggressive player.

The second and final punch was pocket T for me and hitting the set on the flop then a full house

Successful technical trading is opportunistic.  You wait for the right setup and you take it in the right environment with the intent to maximize your winnings when possible (eg adding to a winning position or buying a stock because you know it has a heavy short interest with a good Risk Reward Entry and good news catalyst -- the opportunity of riding a likely short covering frenzy).  Poker is no different I suppose, it is winning the hand and game by playing the right setup for the right environment --position, stack, table/individual sentiment, cards, etc.

I will hit the math behind poker when the stock market takes a breather.  Sentiment there is highly bullish, however the leading stocks are not showing any signs of distribution and the trend is still intact.  A reason to practice pot control, but not necessarily fold.

Peace and profits to all

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One more SnG Turbo and thoughts.

After posting the last blog, I went to the tables and played another SnG turbo.  Having different players each time makes for a new strategy to best suit the table in general and the new players.

There was one player who was tight early on that turned into a loose players since the table was somewhat tight.  He had the chip lead after a few aggressive plays then plenty of chips to take out a couple of people with no risk of ending his play.  I tightened up my game even more when he started playing loosely after noting that from the showdown cards.  He had a comfortable 6x lead at one point to the second chip lead.  At this point, I can see that he will come along with 2BB bets, he tends to attack if you show weakness regardless of his hand, and you have to reraise him to get him off the hand if you think you have a better hand.  by the time we were down to three, he knew I was tight and only started with strong hands and stayed post flop with a good likely hood of winning (At least the ones i took to showdown).

To make a long story short I ended-up heads up with him, and he had the chip lead.  We ping-ponged back and forth a few times with some post flop plays at times where I'd tag along for cheap then fold his bet or raise it where I felt I had the lead on his wide range of hands, for the most part.

With my tight image and having an idea of what kind of player I'm up against, I decided to slow play the final hand after the flop in hopes of ending the game with this hand and not leave it to chance or allow him to double up.  I had almost 3x his stack and he is likely to push if I showed any sign of weakness from his previous play.  He did exactly that and put up his chips. Yes he could have had an Ace w a higher kicker, but that would have been OK here if I lost this hand (The full house came on the river to add salt to the wound).

Here is the game results from today.  He was SB and called the BB, I raised for 1xBB for the preflop option, he came along.  Flop AA5.  I hit Trips, he hit his 5.  I bet 2BB c-bet post flop, he called.  Turn is Q (now flush is possible).  I checked, and that's when he pushed, I called and that was the end.  I doubt this would happen in higher stakes, but it was fun to play.

Peace and profits to all.

Don't Rush! What Stakes to Play.

I wasn't sure whether to name this blog "What a Rush" or "Don't Rush" when I wrote a draft about what tables stakes to play a while ago.  My decision is based on my playing results since then.

In order to get as many hands under my belt in the least amount of time, I thought it a good idea to play Rush poker on fulltiltpoker at the minimum $5NL tables to to accomplish this goal (That's the 2/5c tables with a $5 maximum buyin = $5 Table). Master bug warned me against rush poker due to the fact that my initial deposit to the bankroll didn't support the statistical variance I should expect at these stakes.  The bank roll should have 20-40 multiple of the maximum buyin for the table, So If I wanted to play the lowest $5 Rush then I should have a bank roll anywhere from $5 * 20 to $5 * 40 ($100 to $200) which I didn't.   In addition, Rush poker is a tougher game than regular normal-paced ring games, where stealing and aggression is the name of the winning game.  So if you are not comfortable with that yet, then you are risking losing your bank quickly. 

The play money tables are a circus where the only resemblance to poker is at the higher tables.  It's not easy to practice position play, stealing, or good decision making when the other players have nothing to lose.

So down to the lowest tables I go after learning the Rush lesson the hard way.  It is not a place for beginning poker.  :)

Time passes. Happy 2011!

I've been playing there for a couple of months now and I can comfortably say I'm leaving the tables with some change to add to my bankroll.  My favorite is the Turbo 1-Table Sit-and-Go game where you can sit down for 1/2-1hour and play a closed table.  I like this the most because it allows you to get familiar with the other players and their current playing style/state of mind, as well as gives you the chance to establish the image you want to portray during the early parts of the game.  The results have been good there.  I've been placing in the money regularly.  Here are a couple from yesterday and the day before with the table results (you can see results in the bottom left corner)

Master Bug, myself and a few others gathered yesterday for what is hoped to be a regular poker strategy session.  We are all looking forward to learning and improving by watching one another play online and discussing the thought process behind the decision making and the concepts that support these decisions. Active watching is one of the best ways to learn a new skill, poker and stock trading included.

The lesson to learn here is just as you have to manage your risk and control your trade size based on risk/reward based and your trading skill level, you have to do the same for poker.  Simple but crucial for survival.

Meanwhile, off to my own stock trading and poker strategy session.

Peace and profits to all.