Vookenmeister's online SNG (Sit-N-Go) tourney adventures

The home of several PokerAtlas (and AVP) Member blogs and personal challenge discussions.
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vookenmeister
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Vookenmeister's online SNG (Sit-N-Go) tourney adventures

Postby vookenmeister » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:34 pm

Since November, on scattered nights, I can be found 15-20 tabling SNGs, DoNs and turbo MTTs on the Merge network under the name "drvookenmeister'...

Jump to 2103 WSOP Main event experience.... I cashed in 538th place.. viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9638&start=900#p247770

Decided I need a bio intro. I've added it below...

I've also written some amusing very long trip reports in the past... at the end are two my favorites. They are chapters to a book.

Here is my summary of the year 2011 -> viewtopic.php?f=27&t=9638&start=570#p211825

Update: 7/27/2012: My new affiliated blog site and a link summarizing my three years on online poker play. $200 to $25K -> http://vookenmeister.blogspot.com/2012/ ... nline.html


THE CHALLENGE (SEPT 2009)-------

Ok. So I have finally convinced my wife to let me take a shot at online poker. I've never played online for cash before. I am a winning live player though. Since mid 2006, I have tracked my stats playing in casinos and at home games. I have put in somewhere between 160-300 hours of play a year and have won in succession over $1200 in 2006, $1800 in 2007, $3000 in 2008 and now about $4400 in just about 130 hours this year. I only play $1/$2 NL in casinos and similar or lower stakes at home. I also have played about 15 tourneys in my life (these were all $100 or less) including some free rolls. Mostly 30-40 people tourneys and I've actually cashed in 5 of my last 7.

So... my game is pretty good for low stakes. I've read a lot on these forums so have a good handle on poker strategy (though like everyone I still make mistakes). I have one HUGE problem though... My wife is giving me one shot with only $200. It took me 5 years to convince her to let me do it. However, if I lose it, I have agreed not to buy back in for at least 5 years. So... it is a very small bankroll and it has to last. I'm going to have to play low stakes NLHE. I need to play low enough to have a chance of building this up. My goals are not to make as much money as possible right away (though it would be nice). I much prefer live poker. However, we don't live near a casino and often my only free time is a couple hours here and there at night. My near term goal is to gain hand experience without risking my whole bankroll (there is only so much you can learn by reading forums... i need more hands).

I'm looking for advice to the following questions:

What site should I choose? Are there sites that offer cash bonuses for sign up?

What stakes should I play? My strength is no limit hold cash games. I also have done well in tourneys, but my bread and butter is cash games. My bankroll is soley $200 so I need to go way low to start. Do I need to find .01/.02? or can I go .05/.10?

What poker software should I install and use to help me?

What strategies should I employ at these low levels? I am going to assume I will have to play ABC poker at these low levels as fancy moves will not be noticed. I also assume that I should play less than 20% of my starting hands and just wait for big hands to build big pots?

Look forward to hearing all the advice everyone has to give... I'll blog every once in a while about how I'm doing. It will be sporadic because I doubt I will be able to put in more than 5-10 hours a week max (cause if I have a true free night on a Fri or Sat I can usually find a home game).

- Vook

BIO

Name is vookenmeister. I'm a rec player with a non-poker serious full time job (exec director at an IT Firm). I've loved and played all types of card and strategy games my whole life. I'm probably more of a diehard soccer player than I am poker player but it's close.

Played poker growing up.... used it to fund part of my college fun in the late '80s. Still played here and there afterwards but it really dried up until I started playing again around 2003. I did not play in a casino until 2005 about when I found this site and started posting. Been playing online since Aug 2009 which is when this blog/challenge started.

Oh yeah and I am happily married with two sets of twins!!! (Update 2/7/2013) Girls are turning 5 now and the boys are turning 2. Life is busy but I obv find the time to post and talk strat in between meetings, while driving and while feeding babies. Gotta do what ya gotta do.

I play poker more for the sheer love of the game than anything else though the extra $$ is always nice.

Update: 7/27/2012: My new affiliated blog site and a link summarizing my three years on online poker play. $200 to $25K -> http://vookenmeister.blogspot.com/2012/ ... nline.html

UPDaTE: 01/19/2012

Over two years since the challenge began. The kids are now almost 4 and 1 respectively. I've gone from Bodog (vookenmeister) to Full Tilt (good times) to carbon to Lock (thevookenmeister). Now I play mostly whatever the highest running full ring DoN are... Usually $20s, often $50s and sometimes a $100 takes off. I won the challenge by the way ;)

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TRIP REPORTS FROM THE PAST

8 days in Vegas, Part 1 Days 1 and 2 (long amusing story)
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8303

8 days in Vegas, Part 2 - Memorable Monday
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8305

8 days in Vegas Part 3 - Sober Tuesday
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8311

8 days in Vegas - Part 4, Cold Deck Wednesday
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8318

8 days in Vegas - Part 5, Terrible Thursday
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8353

8 Days in Vegas. Part 6 Freaky Friday
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8372

8 days in Vegas, the final Chapter, "What is that smell?"
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8439

---

Atlantic City Trip Summer 2007 - Days 1 and 2
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8475

Summer 2007 - Atlantic City Trip - Day 3, Saturday - Suck Out City
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8476
Last edited by vookenmeister on Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:37 pm, edited 13 times in total.

deadlikeme
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby deadlikeme » Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:07 pm

Most sites have 100% or better matching sign up bonuses, so I really don't think there is much advantage one over the other for that.

Poker stars on average has better players then most but that can be hit or miss. In my opinion Cake and Full Tilt have have lots of donks more consistently.

Game selection ( stakes, max at a table selection, ect) on poker stars is by far the best, where Cake is limited and Full tilt in the middle. To give you an idea Poker stars will have 100,000 players at any given time Cake will have about 25,000 max and usually under 10,000

If you can learn how to MT I would play 3-4 tables of .01-.02 NL. I think the buy in for this is $2 max and at 4 tables you will have 4% of your bank roll out at any given time which is good. Your going to find lots of short stack play especially if you move up to .50-$1.00NL and beyond. Also You will see lots of players down to there last $5 on micro limits and shove with anything because they are on tilt. Don't be focused on results as mush as playing good and getting it in good.

I would also take shots at $1 mmt( either some of the scheduled 45 players ones or others that get up to 200-300 pl)

I personally don't use tracking software ( don't play enough on line to justify) I just take lots of notes and that may be the way to go until you move up in limit

Good luck

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Pokerdogg
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby Pokerdogg » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:09 pm

With a small starting roll, I would recommend taking full advantage of bonus offers to try and increase your BR with minimal risk.

A couple of sites for you to check out first (hope I don't get in trouble for pimping other sites).

Check out Boogster.com, they have great signup bonuses, on top of any regular bonus a site offers. Their points can be exchanged for cash or gift certicates on Stars, Full Tilt, and others. Basically depending on the site, an easy $100 or more boost to your bankroll with minimal clearance requirement (you will clear the Boogster requirement long before the poker site's bonus requirement). You may want to do some Bonus whoring this way to build up your bankroll quickly.

Which brings us to Bonuswhores.com. They have comprehensive reviews of sites, their bonus earn rates, etc, etc. Lots of good info on the sites, a must read before you sign up.

A third consideration is how to move money into/out of sites. It is no small consideration if you live in the US. Lots of info on Bonuswhores about that, but be prepared to spend some good chunk of time digging through posts. If moving money is a problem, than the signup bonus scheme may be more difficult to execute (thus finding a good home site to start is the way to go).

Tracking software is a must if you have plans to play online seriously. I have used Pokertracker in the past, but is considering switching to Holdem Manager because of all the great things I've heard about it. You can even use the Boogster points to purchase a copy, but if you can justify to your wife that the software purchase is outside of the $200 bankroll, I would do that instead so you can maximize your online BR.

Game wise, it certainly is safer to start with 0.01/0.02 games, and it is a great way to get familiar with the software and get used to playing online. By the way, start with one table and don't multi-table until you get comfortable with the software. Add one table at a time if you want to. I would suggest moving to 0.05/0.10 games as soon as you can, since you are an experienced player, you have 20 buyins already, but with the signup strategy above, you should have 30-40 buyins very shortly. You can always move down to 0.01/0.02 games if your BR takes a big hit.

Good luck, and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

p.s. Too bad you started a bit late this month, but Full tilt has this Take 2 promo on right now, if you start tommorrow, you can still earn an easy extra $15 bonus for playing 2 tables at the same time (can be microstakes).

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meekamouse
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby meekamouse » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:21 pm

with a $200 BR you should be playing no higher than .05/.10 NL. Im not going to lie to you, micro stakes is terribly boring and you dont learn much. It sounds like your wife wears the pants, but if I were you Id lay down the law and tell her your going to deposit more. If it makes her feel better, use your live poker winnings to fund your online account. This way it has no effect on normal daily expenses.

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minton
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby minton » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:31 pm

if starting a new account make sure to sign up for a rakeback account, nothing beats getting $ back for free!!! It will vary depending on the site you play on but it's one of the things I don't have and wish I did
The Man....The Myth....The Minton

Hey Look I have a BLOG and I TWEET as well

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Pokerdogg
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby Pokerdogg » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:41 pm

minton wrote:if starting a new account make sure to sign up for a rakeback account, nothing beats getting $ back for free!!! It will vary depending on the site you play on but it's one of the things I don't have and wish I did


That is a good point. This can be done in conjunction with the signup bonus strategy, but you can't do both at the same site. Meaning, pick a site you want to be you "home" site (i.e. where you will do most of your playing). Do the bonus whoring at the other sites and build up your bankroll, then once you are done with those, sign up thru a rakeback site for your "home" site. This is where you will do the bulk of your playing from then on.

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vookenmeister
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby vookenmeister » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:57 pm

thx all. I will do a little reading at bonuswhores.com when I get a sec. will also explore holdem manager. will that work with any site? I need to a little reading on rakeback as well. Will post some thoughts after I do some reading...

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Pokerdogg
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby Pokerdogg » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:16 pm

vookenmeister wrote:thx all. I will do a little reading at bonuswhores.com when I get a sec. will also explore holdem manager. will that work with any site? I need to a little reading on rakeback as well. Will post some thoughts after I do some reading...


Holdem Manager works on most bigger sites, there is a list of compatible sites on their website.

Don't forget to look at Boogster.com

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vookenmeister
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby vookenmeister » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:25 pm

roger that. read a little on bonuswhores.com . i will check out boogster.com as well tomorrow. Got to call it a night for real work tomorrow. thx

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vookenmeister
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Re: advice on where to open new online account - small stakes NL

Postby vookenmeister » Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:55 am

ok. I did a little reading during lunch. I definitely am going to download a trial copy of the Holdem Manager software. Looks pretty slick. I also don't think I will have the time to jump around and gather up bonus points, etc. Thus, I am just going to jump onto one site.

I figure at most I will be playing about 6-8 hours a week. I will start off on a single table till I get used to the software and look to multitable as I get comfortable. I'll have $200 and will be playing the .05/.10 NL $10 max buy in. That gives me about 20 buy ins. At worst, I figure 20 buys in will last me at least 3 months if I get do poorly (get unlucky) since I won't get to play often.

I'm thinking about just signing up with BoDog because a friend of mine uses it and I'll get an extra $20 up front (up to 100% more bonus if I get enough hours). I am going to register thru boogster to get their extra prize. My friend will get 20% referall fee when I sign up.

Anybody have any serious concerns with Bodog?? Obviously it is not one of the big names... I know it doesn't have a rakeback option thru bonuswhores.com. I figure if I don't like it I can always get a check cut and transfer later if I want?

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