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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Monthly Update: February

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February took a bad turn.  After making over $47,000 in profit pre rakeback in January, I lost almost $22,000 pre rakeback in Fenruary.  March has been no different.
Here's my February adjusted EV graph.

As you can see in my adjusted luck graph, my EV was still good.  As you will see on my sharkscope graph, the HEM average stake is a little off, but my adjusted profit in February was $19,443, so I ran over $41,000 below EV on the month.  This is the frustrating part of playing a wide range of stakes.  Your overall profit is heavily influenced by a small sample of games at your highest stakes.  This can bring much higher than normal swings.  Thankfully, I think my mental game is pretty strong.  While I think everyone's game is at least slightly affected by huge downswings, the goal is to still play at a very high level.  I think I have done that, and my EV graph reflects that opinion.  I've certainly had worse downswings, and I'm sure I will have more that are just as bad or worse.  

I always hear of pros breaking laptops and other things when the cards go bad.  I've never even come close to doing such a thing.  In reality, variance is what makes the game so profitable.  If it weren't for variance, the bad players would never win, and would probably just choose not to play.  I think it's important to remind yourself of that when going through a downswing.  Thinking you don't deserve it isn't going to get you anywhere.  You need to worry about what you can control, and that's playing your best.  People always ask me how I deal with the emotions of the game.  That pretty much sums it up.  That said, it's still frustrating as a competitor, but the goal is to not let that frustration affect your play.

My sharkscope stats for February and for the year, as of today, as well as my 2012 sharkscope graph:

In March I'm down another $23,000 so far, so it's more of the same.  However, my luck adjusted yearly profit is almost $55,000.  That would be good for a $14K lead on the 2012 Merge any game by network leaderboard right now.  Thinking in terms of adjusted EV, rather than actual money won or lost is the best way to look at things.  It should all even out in the long run.

Here's my HEM 2012 adjusted EV graph.

Again, the HEM average stake is a little off but you get the picture.  The graph also understates how far I am running below EV, because it is based on average ROI, not total ROI.

I have talked in my blog a lot about how sitting other winning regs in HU SNGs can be very beneficial if you can get good enough and learn to beat them.  I still hear regs complain all the time when I sit them, claiming that neither of us is making any money and that I just have a big ego.  Well that simply isn't true.  Proof that sitting other winning regs in HU SNGs can be a +EV move is below.

HEM adjusted EV graph of other winning regs when playing me:

In HEM I created a global alias of every HU reg I can think of that I have ever played on Lock.  The global alias then combines the stats of all of these players.  I've certainly forgotten to include some people, but if I forgot a player I probably haven't played them much, and they're also probably a very low tier reg, meaning that including them would likely only make the results of the alias worse.  As you can see, I have played 2,471 HU SNGs against these winning regs this year, which is over 46% of my total games.  The regs have combined for a -3.9% ROI against me.  Considering that these stats include rake of 1.5%, this means that my adjusted ROI against them is 2.4.  My total adjusted ROI on the year is 2.6%, meaning that my adjusted ROI against non regs is probably somewhere around 2.8%.  That's only a 0.4% drop in ROI from playing randoms.  You may be thinking, well why would you want to play regs if your ROI is lower against them than against randoms?  The answer is simple, you don't have to wait to play regs.  They're sitting 1st and you just sit them.  This brings a huge increase to your games/hr, and ultimately to your hourly rate, which is what it's all about.  So far this year I'm getting in about 26 games/hour.  Considering my average stake is $400 and a lot of the time I will only be 1 to 2 tabling $500s or $1Ks because I don't sit lower while playing them and most people don't want to play more than 1 or 2 tables of them, I think that's a pretty high games/hr.

I'd also like to talk about why I think there's such a small difference between my ROI against randoms and my ROI against winning regs.  A simple assumption would be that I play very well against regs, but don't always maximize my equity against fish.  That may very well be true, but I think there's at the very least other reasons behind it.  When you play randoms you usually don't get to play them for very many games.  Often you play them once and then never see them again.  When this is the case you usually aren't able to develop very good reads on the player, and you're forced to go off of population tendencies.  Well, the range of styles and plays that a random will make in any given hand is pretty drastic, and going off of population tendencies isn't usually going to allow you to maximally exploit that each player individually.  

Then there's regs.  You are usually able to play regs in a lot more games, increasing your sample size of hands on them, therefore increasing the confidence that each play you make is correct against that player.  As two players play each other over and over the more skilled player is likely to gain an even bigger edge because they can get better reads and adapt their play to maximally exploit their opponent.  Even if a reg always declines a rematch and you don't play them much, the range in differences of style and play from one reg to the next is much smaller than it is of a random.  Many have pretty similar styles.  Therefore, going off what you consider to be the population tendency for a reg in any given play is going to be much closer to the 100% correct play than going off the population tendency for a random will be.

Another factor to consider when playing regs is that you are often playing them at multiple tables.  Playing one player at 3 tables is a lot easier than playing 3 different players on 3 tables.  Playing against only one player will allow you to focus a lot more and get better reads, which you can then use to maximally exploit them.

That brings me to another point.  Most of my HU SNGs I have played while 4-6 tabling.  Sometime in December I decided that I would try to usually play no more than 3 tables, considering that my average stake had increased, increasing the skill level of my average competition.  I felt that 3 tables was the optimal number for increasing my hourly rate.  However, I'm sometimes willing to make an exception.  One case where I'll make an exception is if a reg will 4-6 table me at reasonable stakes.  There's a couple reasons I will make an exception in this case.  As I have already stated, it's a lot easier to focus playing 1 player on 3 tables than 3 players on 3 tables.  Second off, in this case your opponent on every table is at the same disadvantage, that being a lack of focus, as you are.  I think I multi table about as anyone on Merge in HU SNGs, but I still would cap the number of tables I would play any given reg at 5 or 6 unless the games were $500+.  This is because I would always like to  stay registered for the $500s and $1Ks, considering how valuable they are.  Also, I'd obviously have to be pretty certain that I have a good edge on the reg, as I wouldn't stay registered for games under $500 if I was already playing 4 or more tables against a reg.

Hopefully this brought up some things you hadn't thought about or you at least found it interesting.

Lock has kicked off their first ever tournament series this month with great success.  The tournament series is called Poker Maximus and the schedule can be found here: http://thepokermaximus.com/poker-tournaments.html If you don't already have a Lock account, you can sign up here https://twitter.com/#!/jhubpoker for VIP benefits (http://jaredhubbard.com/lock%20vip.htm).  Also, be sure to enter the code LOCK150 for a 150% deposit bonus up to $750.  Lock accepts U.S. players.  We also recently launched our own cashier, separate from the Merge network so that you can withdraw and receive your money quickly.  Lock is running a rake race this month as well: http://lockpoker.eu/promos/rally-for-riches-race/

I plan on playing the $100+ Sunday Poker Maximus events when I can.  Last Sunday I played the $109 $175,000 guaranteed and the $215 $80,000 guaranteed high roller.  They didn't go too well.  In the $109 I lthink we were about 3 hours in and I 3bet an aggro button raiser with JJ.  He 4bet all in for 19BBs, which is obviously a snap call for me whether he's aggro or a nit.  He woke up with QQ and held.  A short time after I raised in MP with QJs and got 2 callers.  I'm thinking I probably had 15-20BBs.  The flop came something like J83 with 2 diamonds, giving me a monster with top pair, an overcard, and a flush draw.  I bet the flop and got 1 caller.  The turn was a brick.  I pushed all in for what was about a pot sized bet and got snap called by K8.  I was about an 80% favorite when we put the money in.  Unfortunately he rivered an 8 and I was out.  This play illustrates how soft the fields were though so sign up for Lock now!  #ShamelessPlug

In the $215 high roller I 3bet a very aggro MP raiser in the CO with 97.  He flatted out of position with J4s.  On the flop I hit middle pair and he check/called a gut shot.  The turn was checked and the turn and river came running 4s.  He led into me on the river for a large bet near the size of the pot.  Knowing what I knew about this player I expected him to almost always bluff a missed draw in this spot.  He also represented very little for value.  The only hand he really repped well for value was a flopped straight or trip 4s.  Both were pretty unlikely, especially the trips considering he would have had to call a 3bet out of position with a 4 in his hand & then check/call the flop with a 4 in his hand.  He also couldn't expect me to have a big hand considering how the hand played out but I wasn't sure if he would actually think that through.  I decided that the vast majority of his range was missed draws, and I was getting a great price on the call at about 2:1 considering the makeup of his range.  I called and lost a large chunk of my stack.  Later I picked up in the CO with a stack of about 18BBs.  Considering there were antes in play, I think this would be a reasonable spot to just open shove in an MTT.  However, the 3 players behind me were all aggressive 3bettors and I was 90% sure that none of them would flat if I made a standard raise of 2.25x the BB.  Considering this info, the clear play was obviously to 2.25x raise/call instead of open jam.  If I open jam I will never get a better hand to fold, but I will often fold out hands I dominate like smaller pairs, and hands like 76s & A5s.  If I 2.25x the small pairs are reshoving almost every time and considering the players behind me, I expect some other stuff I dominate to reshove as well.  I opened to 2.25x and just as I expected the button 3bet me.  He and the blinds had larger stacks so 3bet shoving would have been an overbet for him, but making a standard 3bet does the same thing vs me, since he knows I'm never going to flat a 3bet at that stack.  I shoved and the button showed up with 99 and held.  GG

Hopefully the hand analysis made things a little more interesting.  It's something I'm willing to do with MTT hands since I play so few MTTs, but not something I'm willing to do with HU SNG hands.

I will be playing the $1,000 Minnesota State Poker Championship this Sunday at Canterbury Park.  It will be the first live poker tournament I have played since winning the Canterbury Fall Classic Main Event for $70,769 (http://www.mnpokermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/NovemberIssue2.pdf).  Back to back live tournament wins?

I wrapped up my February promotion (http://www.easiestpokersites.com/lock-poker-elite-pro-jared-hubbard-challenges-fans-to-heads-up-battle) with success.  I was 26-10 in the HU matches for the promotion.  My favorite answer to the trivia questions goes to Mikey Vee on facebook.  The question was: What injury was I rehabbing from when I started my first online poker account?  He replied with "swollen vagina."  Well played sir.  Well played.

Below is a review of all of the daily trivia questions from the promo and a list of the people who beat me in the HU games at the bottom:

What was my online profit in 2007? ($251,388.84)

What is the name of my dog and who is he a fan of? (Gunnar – Twins)

Where was my most recent Live Tournament win? How much did I take down? (Canterbury Fall Classic - $70,769)

When did I turn pro? (2007)

How much have I earned in rakeback to date? ($640,000)

What is the symbol of my sponsor Lock Poker?

What did I say in my interview with DALEROXXU about what my first deposit was when I started? ($50)

Feb 8 Trivia ?: In 4 years of playing 6 man SNGs, how many years did I lead the world in total profit pre rakeback?

Feb 9 Trivia ?: Who won most of my money in my last losing #poker session?

Feb 10 Trivia ?: What was my screen name on Absolute Poker?

Feb 11 Trivia ?: What's my favorite TV show of all time?

Feb 12 trivia?: What players were #1 & #2 on 2008 sharkscope any game 5 to 6 players any stakes lb? List screen name & site.
1.     Jhub3000, Pokerstars 2. Jhub3000, Cake

Feb 13 trivia?: What injury was I rehabbing from when I started up my 1st online #poker account?
Torn Achilles tendon

Feb 14 Trivia ?: What's my wife's name & when did we get married?
Paula: August 8th, 2009

2/15 Trivia ?: Name 1 real life example I compared the tyraak situation to in today's blog.
Dropping a wallet on the street, etc…

2/16 Trivia ?: What company designs my website & created this trivia promotion?

2/17 Trivia ?: What stakes did I say start playing #poker at online in my Poker verdict interview? 
$1 & $2 SNGs

‎2/18 trivia?: In my interview w/ PokerUpdate what did I say is the main difference between online & live?
Online is much more aggressive

‎2/19/12 Trivia?: Before becoming a professional #poker player, what was my major in college?
Business administration

2/20 Trvia ?: In my Interview w/ PokerLizard how many SNGs did I say I play at a time?

2/21 Trivia?: In my interview w/ PokerWorks how did I say I handle bankroll management? 
100-200 buy-ins online

2/22 Trivia?: Fill in the blank: In STTs I stated: After 3,000 games you are x likely to be within x of your true ROI
90%, 5%

2/23 trivia?: In my interview on Tourneyblog what did I list as my interests outside of #poker ?
Sports, fantasy football, camping, fishing, working out.

2/24 trivia?: What city did my US Poker Bowl team represent? hint: PokerVerdict
San Diego (meaning a whales vagina according to Ron Burgundy)

2/25 trivia?: In my PokerVerdict interview what book did I say revolutionized the way I play #poker?
Harrington on Hold em

2/26 trivia?: Who was on my US #Poker Bowl team?
Alex Jacob, Shaun Deeb, Thayer Rasmussen, Peter Feldman, Jordan Morgan

2/27 trivia?: What games did I mostly play on Pokerroom? Hint: PokerNewsBoy
5 handed SNGs

2/28 trivia?: In my interview w/ #Poker Verdict what 5 adjectives did I say best describe me?
Sarcastic, motivated, loyal, easy going, dedicated

‎2/29 trivia?: In my Parttime #Poker interview name 1 player that I said reviewed my games as I was learning SNGs.
Atomicdog239, MikeMcQ1, Newt_Buggs, BigJoe2003

Matt Miller
Erik Heights (2 wins)
Marc Alioto
Mark Hoke

I had a question about labels on blogspot.  If you know the answer just let me know.  I was wondering if you put spaces in a label if it still works.  For example, does the label online poker work, or do you need to put onlinepoker?  I couldn't find the answer on google.

Thanks & GL,



  1. Hey, nice post.

    In the vs regs paragraph though you have a mistake. If the regs are -3.9% vs you and the rake is 1.5% then your ROI vs them will be 3.9% - 2x(1.5), since you dont get the rake they pay and in addition you yourself pay rake. So your adjusted EV ROI would be 0.9%. Just goes to show how sick the rake is.

    For the other reasons you mentioned it is still obviously worth playing them though(also omnomnom rakeback). Glgl

  2. That's very interesting. I can't believe I didn't think about that before. It makes perfect sense when you go through examples. Thank you very much for pointing that out.

    Thanks & GL,


  3. outstanding blog post.. tons of info. I enjoy reading all the historical numbers but in particular I really like to read through your thoughts on strat and ranging your opponents.

    this is a great quote by the way for anyone running bad, "If it weren't for variance, the bad players would never win, and would probably just choose not to play."