Wednesday, 25 April 2012

From Micro to Micro

Late night blogfest, this either ends with a masterpiece, or a master-piece of crap.

I took a completely different route from the norm today, and I went with a backer to play some daily tourney's. I decided I wanted to offer someone the chance (ahem, do me the favour...) of buying 50% of my profits in the Big $5.50 and Big $8.80. Thankfully, I found someone with a similar passion to succeed, and a great skill set who was willing to take a risk on a complete stranger. To make a long, crying story short, I didn't get to play the $5.50, tanked the $8.80, got bad beat out of the $22 and Big $11 (AJ < A2 twice, wouldn't you know?), and played the deep stack $11 like an absolute donk. The concept of playing poker with the pressure of performing well from an egotistical standpoint, along with the pressure of meeting financial goals has actually been a refreshing experience. I found myself more careful and decisive (and yes, sometimes admittedly weak) in my decision making. Either way, I tanked first 5 tournaments only to finish semi-deep in the last one. $26 for a $4 buy-in. Yay. (Still failed today, but it was a great experience. I can't thank my backer enough.)

Anywho, I'm going to write more in the morning. I've suddenly been hit by a brick wall of tired... Zzzzzz.

The difference between sleeping from 12-7 and sleeping from 5-1 is incredible. It's like our bodies are one with the Earth's rotation. My body somehow knew I slept during the right time, and I feel like I achieved maximum... sleeping... potential? (I'm... Ron... Burgundy?) Honestly, this is one routine I can get used to forcing myself into. I find it funny how sleep starts as something you fight off as a child, to something you can't get enough of as you get older. There aren't a lot of things like that in life. Sleep and money are two of those things.

Older. Brings me back to a good conversation I had with my backer yesterday. The last few months, for the sake of being blunt, I've felt extremely old. Sure, anyone over the age of 25 will scoff, call me naive, and say 20 is such a young age, I've got my whole life ahead of me, etc. Life and age is all about perspective. It's about who you surround yourself with. I've always been used to surrounding myself in an older group. I was the grade ten student, walking around flirting with the grade 12 crowd. As a matter of fact, I even had trouble adapting to meeting people in my University program because of my put-offish attitude towards 'younger' people. I totally come across as condescending sometimes, regarding myself as 'higher' than someone of a less mature stature, and it's a personality flaw I'm making as my quarter-year's resolution to fix. People grow, but it's all a process. Processes take time, and being so adhd-riddled, this is a huge barrier for me. I have difficulties coming to terms with NOT telling a friend in high school why his/her 'drama' is laughable compared to problems in real life. Nobody wants to hear that their problems are trivial, yet in my head I feel it solves all problems to say, "Get over it" because that's my most used problem-solving method. In summary, I'm a condescending prick, and it's hopefully fixable. Rant, rant, rant... back to poker...

I'm going to go into more detail in a later post, but I've decided I'm only going to play 5NL in between tournaments, as tournaments are what I know best. It's like learning to ride a motorcycle, only to ride a bicycle to work every day. This same ideology applies in poker. Tournament junkies probably have to face the most vitriol because of the rarity of their winning sessions. My backer exuded such a cavalier attitude to finishing 30th in the $5r last night, I was astonished. The composure and confidence he brings into every game is something I look forward to promoting in my game. This brings me to my next point. It really doesn't matter what you do in life, as long as you yourself can rationalize doing it. If the best possible discourse to fix something in your life involves something that defies the social norm, in the long run, who cares? Once you lose all barriers of defying a cookie-cutter life, your life will start flourishing because of it.

That's it, I'm done. I'm having an issue with my Pokertracker (it thinks I won every tournament yesterday, which I guess isn't such a bad thing...) so this post will be void of graphs, unfortunately. This will be fixed by my next post. :) Cheers, and thanks again for all your feedback. Greatly appreciated.


Hand of the Day

PokerStars - $4+$0.40|100/200 NL - Holdem - 9 players

UTG+1: 10,816.00
UTG+2: 13,296.00
Hero (MP): 4,757.00
MP+1: 6,143.00
CO: 3,546.00
BTN: 10,770.00
SB: 12,024.00
BB: 23,847.00
UTG: 11,456.00

UTG+1 posts ante 25.00, UTG+2 posts ante 25.00, Hero posts ante 25.00, MP+1 posts ante 25.00, CO posts ante 25.00, BTN posts ante 25.00, SB posts ante 25.00, BB posts ante 25.00, UTG posts ante 25.00, SB posts SB 100.00, BB posts BB 200.00

Pre Flop: (pot: 525.00) Hero has 3d 3c

UTG raises to 400.00, fold, fold, Hero calls 400.00, MP+1 calls 400.00, fold, fold, SB calls 300.00, BB calls 200.00

Flop: (2225.00, 5 players) 2d Kd 2c
SB checks, BB checks, UTG checks, Hero checks, MP+1 checks

Turn: (2225.00, 5 players) 3s
SB bets 600.00, fold, fold, Hero calls 600.00, fold

River: (3425.00, 2 players) 9h
SB bets 1,800.00, Hero raises to 3,732.00 and is all-in, SB calls 1,932.00

Hero shows 3d 3c (Full House, Threes full of Twos) (Pre 53%, Flop 13%, Turn 95%)
SB shows 9s Kh (Two Pair, Kings and Nines) (Pre 47%, Flop 87%, Turn 5%)
Hero wins 10,889.00

Friday, 20 April 2012

Wake Up Call

One of the best mornings I have ever had.

Yesterday, for lack of a better term, was a slopshow in my micro-grinding quest. My level of play was admittedly poor after taking some harsh beats at the tables. One of my goals should've ultimately been to leave the tables and go for a walk as soon as I felt my play was sub-optimal, but instead I broke a couple rules, took a few chances, and ended the day with high profits.

I came back to tournament life.

After vowing to stay the **** away until I reached 100 MTT buy-ins, I donked a fifth of my stack in a $2r (12K) this morning. The only justice here is that I played unbelievably well, only to finish 38th for $55. (AA < JTo on a xxxTJ board, all in pre.) My former self would've tilted the rest of his bankroll off in a cash game, but instead, realizing with only $70 in my new Stars bankroll, I needed to regain composure and went deep in the $3 turbo as well. So much for not playing tournaments anymore... (I blame the Assassinato, for having so many final table announcements and making +25k in the last week or so.)

Anyway, the main reason for this post is to announce I may be leaving Ottawa for the summer to go work with a friend in Lindsay. However comfortable I've become here, I'm almost positive I can't turn down the offer presented to me. While grinding the $5NL for profit has been, for lack of a better word, semi-non-profitable, I can't wait to have a steady 4-digit cheque to look forward to again every month, regardless of variance, bad play, or tilt. I am both excited and nervous for this venture, but by September, I hope my Stars bankroll and life bankroll is high enough to support myself while going to school. (If not, I've flirted with the idea of taking a year off again to work.) I realized a lot of my decisions lately have been based on pleasing others over doing what I truly want to do. (ie, NOT leaving $2k on Pokerstars, packing my bags, and grinding a sustainable income while living in the Dominican for a month or two, making internet cash, catching some waves.) 

Anyway, this post is long enough for your short attention spans, I'll just leave you with my sad cash chart for April 19th, and a hand of the day. Thanks again for taking time to read this, as I've said many, many, many, many, many times, it means the world to me to know this isn't all for naught. (For the record, I'm going to add a third chart, showing cumulative cash+tournament earnings as well. Just for all you graph junkies. :)

...enjoy this first hand of the Big $5.50 this morning as much as I did. (Literally, I laughed, shut my laptop, fell asleep.)


PokerStars - $5+$0.50|15/30 NL - Holdem - 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4:

UTG: 3,190.00
UTG+1: 2,990.00
UTG+2: 2,638.00
MP: 2,980.00
MP+1: 3,650.00
Hero (CO): 3,000.00
BTN: 2,780.00
SB: 2,910.00
BB: 2,440.00

SB posts SB 15.00, BB posts BB 30.00

Pre Flop: (pot: 45.00) Hero has Kh Kc

fold, fold, fold, fold, MP+1 raises to 120.00, Hero raises to 390.00, BTN calls 390.00, fold, fold, MP+1 calls 270.00

Flop: (1215.00, 3 players) Tc 5d 7s
MP+1 checks, Hero bets 600.00, fold, MP+1 calls 600.00

Turn: (2415.00, 2 players) Td
MP+1 checks, Hero bets 930.00, MP+1 calls 930.00

River: (4275.00, 2 players) 8s
MP+1 bets 960.00, Hero raises to 1,080.00 and is all-in, MP+1 calls 120.00

Hero shows Kh Kc (Two Pair, Kings and Tens) (Pre 85%, Flop 81%, Turn 91%)
MP+1 shows Jd 9c (Straight, Jack High) (Pre 15%, Flop 19%, Turn 9%)
MP+1 wins 6,435.00


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Oh, Gravity

p = mv ...didn't you know?

In this magical, pseudo-parabolic blog entry, I base my entire poker existence on this simple Physics formula. Put down your textbooks, and listen up. Momentum = Mass x Velocity. Let me rephrase. In baseball terms: How much force your swing has is based upon the weight of your bat and how fast you can swing it. This is common sense. However, as explained in my last post, my brain is wired a little differently than most. To me, this same concept applies to poker as well. (Of course it does...) How much damage you can do at the table, is solely based upon two variables: Your cards and your skill. That's the magic of poker. Theoretically speaking, any random player can take on the world's best, and leave a winner. What a lucrative, yet crazy concept. If I challenged LeBron James to a dunk-contest, I would be defeated before I had laced up my shoes. If I challenged Alex Rodriguez to a HR-Derby, his 'mv' spits in the face of mine. However, if I sat down with a player like Daniel Negreanu or Tom Dwan I'm only one bad-beat away from potentially defeating "The Best". One run of great cards, and I'm a legend-killer. While both poker pro's skill may be heaps above mine, if I catch the right cards at the right time, skill quickly takes a back-seat. However, in an attempt to keep this short, I digress...

Grinding the horrible, terrible depths of 5NL has been, for lack of a better word, humbling. Not in terms of skill, because believe me, if you want to grind a hard, but easy couple of dollars, 5NL is an ATM. What I've slowly realized over the last 3000 hands, is that patience is factor between a 500 hand winning session, and a 50 hand losing one. Hit a run of bad cards, and you've lost a full buy-in very quickly. This cost is really irrelevant in terms of money. $5. Five dollars. Fifty dimes. What it actually represents however, is 100bb, which could take a couple hours of grinding to make-up. As I write this, I lose an $11 hand, and mutter in disgust how horrible I've played tonight. (Murphy's Law?) As I figured I'd hit my miracle river, calling an all-in, it proved to be my downfall. (KQs < T8o, Tc8sTs 2d As) As my hero Arnold Snyder would say, "There's no way I could've known!"

I'd like to touch on a few influences in my poker game. There are four, and they all have distinct roles and labels: The Teacher, The Idol, The Peer, and The Protege. First and foremost, the powerhouse that created me, my tutor, and my best friend, TDO6H20G. ( I've learned basically everything I know in the poker world from him. Aside from really helping me out of a couple jams (on and definitely off the tables), I wouldn't be where I am today without him. (Atlantic City, buddy.) The Idol, the Assassinato (, is a recent find for me. While being one of the most dominating forces in the online poker world, his blog posts (which can be found here -> have really opened my eyes to the role poker actually plays in my life. My Peer, WTF_Anth0ny ( is my driving competition. Sure, he'll argue he's mainly a live player, but nevertheless he's a force to be reckoned with online as well. We share rail after rail, cheering each other on deep in tournaments. However, as my peer,  he's not afraid to tell me when I've made a mistake, and that's greatly appreciated. (Halifax, buddy.) Rounding out my top four, might be the most important to my current poker game. The Protege. JayWhit12 ( The idea of grinding the micro-limits was initiated by having a friend to work with along the way. He possesses clear thinking, great reading abilities (must've got it from his idol, Phil Hellmuth) and has a contagious passion for success. Where he lacks in making aggressive decisions (for now) he makes up for in making key folds at times a player like myself wouldn't. (Also, he recommended I watch "Rounders" which was a great decision) Overall, these four players have been more than helpful than anyone in my poker career. 

In closing, I'd like to set a few goals for myself over the next few days: 
- $90 profit by the end of the weekend.

- 2 hours of sweat sessions with my "Protege"
- Not play like a fucking donkey.
- Play > 4000 hands.
- Run no higher than 21/18

As promised, I won't always deliver a winning hand for "Hand of the Day". In this hand, I had a gut feeling my TPTK (top pair, top kicker) wasn't good.) Just want to say thanks again for reading. I received an ENORMOUS response from my last blog, which took me aback and really confirmed my belief in writing this blog. You all mean a lot to me. #rungood


PokerStars - $0.05 NL - Holdem - 8 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 4:

MP+1: $5.00
CO: $6.65
Hero (BTN): $6.10
SB: $4.53
BB: $2.20
UTG: $2.36
UTG+1: $5.12
MP: $1.93

SB posts SB $0.02, BB posts BB $0.05

Pre Flop: (pot: $0.07) Hero has 8c Ac

fold, fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to $0.15, SB calls $0.13, BB calls $0.10

Flop: ($0.45, 3 players) 6c 8d 7d
SB bets $0.25, BB calls $0.25, Hero raises to $0.82, SB raises to $4.38 and is all-in, BB calls $1.80 and is all-in, fold

Turn: ($5.37, 2 players) Ah

River: ($5.37, 2 players) 9h

SB shows 9s Ts (Straight, Ten High) (Pre 51%, Flop 68%, Turn 77%)
BB shows 7s 7c (Three of a Kind, Sevens) (Pre 49%, Flop 32%, Turn 23%)
SB wins $5.15


April 18th

Net Profit: $10.51
Hands: 1461 (Impressive...)
Sessions won: 8/17 (47.06%)
$/100 hands: 14.12 (Ice cold...)

Cumulative Report:

Days: 2
Net Profit: $32.56
Hands: 1947 
Sessions won: 16/24 (64%)
BB/100 hands: 33.44

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A New Resurgence

Hi. I'm Jon Wrigley. Or JayKon17. Or JohnnyFranchize. I'm even DurrrJay to some people. It all depends how I know you, I suppose. I'm currently a Sales Associate at the Source, with a side-job playing poker at Pokerstars. I can do a rubik's cube, juggle, play and sing every John Mayer song with incredible accuracy, and finish medium level Sudoku's. I can probably beat you at rock-paper-scissors one time out of three, and I can't, for the life of me, can't put in contact lenses. This actually says NOTHING about who I am, but it's how normal people introduce themselves, I think. Name, where you might know me from, job title, quirky list of things, done. 


I've been flirting with the idea of writing a poker blog for about half a year or so. (For the record, this didn't end up becoming a poker blog, despite the title. Please, I assure you, if you're an able-minded human being looking for another perspective on life, read on.) I struggled with a lot of barriers to get around to finally writing this thing. I always worried I would never have a place to start, or inspiration, or important enough events to write about. I worried about my audience (or, more accurately, a lack thereof) and whether it'd be worth my time to lay my weary, semi-delusional thoughts on (virtual) paper. I worried my English and writing skills weren't up to par to be a prolific, or even horrific blog writer. Being me, I'm extremely self-critical while maintaining an extremely confident persona. Go figure. This probably explains the reason I spend countless hours playing guitar and singing and (currently) have zero videos on YouTube to speak of. I came around tonight on the idea, realizing all of the above, that I had the wrong motive to write all along. 

This blog isn't made for you. It's not for anyone. It's made by me, for me. I'd apologize, but I'm not one for being all sappy and shit. Let me explain.

What I've accomplished this year in the poker world, I feel deserves some self-reflection. (Both my highs and lows) This isn't because of a fair amount of good cashes, good/bad beats, and stupid decisions, but because of the levels I have learned to think on thanks to poker. The separation between poker thinking and life thinking, while in some aspects needs to be a thick, black line, cross over for me all of the time. (If you know me, I explain everything in life to be one of two things: +EV and -EV *expected value*) I take every decision, analyse and over-analyse it and ask myself, "How can I relate this decision, wrong or right, to bettering my own life?" This is, in my humble opinion, what I hope to bring into this blog. Ideas and lessons I've learned on and off of the poker table. Ideas that both directly and indirectly relate to my life. On my way home tonight, my best friend and I got into a great, insightful discussion about poker/life. He made an excellent point in relating the two: Poker is a lot like life. If you make the right decisions, you will always see success in the long-term. I'll be the first to admit my narrow-minded, ADHD-riddled, see success soon mentality has put me into some situations a man of patience would not have gotten himself in. I've made tons and tons and tons and tons and tons of sub-optimal decisions in life (and poker). However, if you know anything about me, it's that I'm not one to repeat mistakes. In the past, not unlike most of you, I've done some terrible things. Some of mine are on an embarrassing, unspeakable, unimaginable level. Something that I haven't believed for some time suddenly makes sense. I am, in fact, human after all. (#slightlydepressing)

I remember sitting in my first Grade nine high school class. I was that 'know-it-all' in public school, taking the so-called right track into academic level Physics. The teacher (who, even after two years of university, is the best teacher I have ever had) made one point extremely clear: To succeed in Physics, you have to think laterally. Inside-the-box, conventional thinking will never cut it. After one extensive after-class discussion with him, I vowed to make that my life goal. In order to succeed, (true success, I'll explain in a second) making a cookie-cutter, pre-meditated life for myself was out of the question. The "Go-to-school, get a job, find a girlfriend, get married, start a family, live in a large house, get promoted, get my kids through school, retire rich" system wasn't for me. (Currently in my second year of the first phase, whatchu know about hypocricy?) This is perfectly fine for the 99% of people out in the world, looking to meander their way through life. I've come to realize I could never do this to myself.

I want it all, and yet none of it at the same time. I pity the man who is a slave to his work clothes (says the poor poker-playing student, making money playing in his pyjamas.) I recently worked at Tim Horton's, and lasted about six months before realizing I couldn't stand the monotony of doing the same, repetitive task over and over. (says the poor poker-playing student, who clicks buttons for a living) I need variety. I need more for my ADHD-possessed brain to feast upon. I pity the man who is accountable to his family for his location and wrong-doings. (says the poor poker-playing student, who has been as anti-social as an old VHS tape) None of this is saying that's not an appropriate life to live, I just need more. I need variety. I need freedom.

Despite all of that ramble, I do want a decent balance of that 'made' life (or royal flush hand) and a risky, on the edge life. (AK-suited drawing hand) One in where I'm comfortable living at the place I am at, with a dash of potential to make it better. (In poker terms, I want AKc on a Kd8c4c flop) Someday, if when I win the Sunday Million, I would love to know in advance what my life's purpose becomes. How does a man with money in his pocket optimally LIVE life? Growing up, given the shitty situation life dealt me (not boo-hoo, I accepted the challenge of no financial support from my parents with open arms), I figured the ideal life is one where I sit in a floaty-chair in my crystal-clean pool, sipping mai-tai's, reading my name in the Forbes100 list outside my mansion, playing $50000NL on 4 tables, being silver spoon-feed by a half-dozen bikini clad women. Picture it, and tell yourself, "That's great. Give me that walk in the park!" Yes, I'd like to drive a Lamboughini Gallardo or Audi R8 around the block, but where does someone at that status in life GO on a personal, physical, and spiritual level? How do you get any satisfaction beating the Toronto Maple Leafs with the Philidelphia Flyers on Rookie difficulty? In that same light, how does the man who works minimum wage, 9-5, eats, sleeps, rinses, and repeats get anything more or less out of life? In a classic deathbed scenario, they are both leaving this earth the same way they came in, only one is wearing a significantly nicer pair of pants. ...I'm sorry for that rant, I'm still learning about life. Some call me nieve. 

In light of a recent downswing, mixed with a sudden resurgence of a "long road to success" mentality, and because I like formality and starting everything anew at once, I've decided I'm going to start all over. In life thinking, in making life goals, and in my poker career. I'm tethering myself to $5NL cash game. (2NL is unplayable. I can't explain from a disciplined point-of-view why I refuse to sink that low, but I have standards) I'm learning ideas and baking new conventional thinking from scratch. I have withdrawn all my Pokerstars bankroll, less $10. When I said 'starting from scratch' I literally meant it. I grind the shit out of these limits, and do so until my new Pokerstars bankroll can handle an increase. (or, the unlikely scenario, I bust!) For the sake of bragging rights, and so you guys can grow with me, I'm going to post my charts on a nightly basis. It's going to be a WILD ride, and at first it won't seem worth it, but I promise you it will be.

In conclusion, I will make it my goal to end this blog with a successful hand. (either in terms of winning or learning). If you don't understand poker, then I suppose you could use your Googling skills to figure it out. Enjoy, and if you read this entire blog, kudos to you. Thank you so much. I both appreciate it, and any future thoughts and feedback you may have on it! Cheers!

PokerStars - $0.05 NL - Holdem - 8 players

BTN: $1.47
Hero (SB): $5.00
BB: $12.50
UTG: $2.27
UTG+1: $4.81
MP: $5.50
MP+1: $5.75
CO: $7.94 (Calling station, limp-calls preflop, floats c-bet)

Hero posts SB $0.02, BB posts BB $0.05

Pre Flop: (pot: $0.07) Hero has Kh Js
fold, fold, fold, fold, CO calls $0.05, fold, Hero raises to $0.20, fold, CO calls $0.15

Flop: ($0.45, 2 players) 4h Qd 8h
Hero bets $0.29, CO calls $0.29

Turn: ($1.03, 2 players) Ad
Hero bets $0.87, CO calls $0.87

River: ($2.77, 2 players) Qc
Hero bets $3.64 and is all-in, fold

Hero wins $2.66


April 17
- Net profit: $22.05
- Hands: 464
- Sessions Won: 8/10 (80%)
- $/100 Hands: $4.75

- I threw a lot of time and effort into this blog, so I only 2-tabled for most of my session.