Body Fat

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

This week I went to the gym once. I checked my weight and I put on close to 3KG during my week of holidays. It was something planned, I needed one week without controling my food and not doing much. In any case, even after putting on 3KG I'm still -11KG for the year, which is good considering that my goal was -10KG.

As for the training, as I missed a week, I had to do the cardio without abusing it (500calories in 50 minutes) and then at the bodybuilding part, I did 2 sets of an exercise for each muscular group with weights that didn't require a big effort from me. The idea is to slowly get back to the normal pace. My personal trainer usually says that one of the big mistakes people make is to be X time without training and then getting back to what they were doing before they left. Apart from the training, I always like to ask some questions about the exercises and other related stuff, so that I learn a few things on the subject.

Anyway, the training went well, during next week I'll go 4x instead of 3x to make it up for the trainings I missed and I think that by the end of August I'll get back to the weight I had before the vacation, or at least to the body fat I had then.

Today I went to the nutritionist and what usually happens is that I forget what I want to ask. This time however, I have been taking notes on my cell phone when a question popped up, so it was a very enlightening session!
For example...I had no idea of how good or bad for the diet it is to get popcorn at the cinema... it seems that even if you get the small one it's around 1000 calories! GG. Another interesting answer, was that it's not good to mix rice with black beans (I'll miss that :( ) and that it's preferable to eat black beans instead of rice.

Then she checked my weight on a professional balance that she has there and we compared the results. I still lost 1KG since the previous meeting. (huff! :P). I lost close to 2% of body fat and gained around 2% of muscle. However, I gained a bit of visceral fat? (belly!) comparing to the previous meeting, and that was from the vacation. In any case, that has an expiration date! :P

Something that I was doing wrong..., I used to put too much olive oil on my dinner salad, I think it's around 135 calories for each table spoon, and I put the olive quite freely.

Now as I have been having longer training (1h and a half - 2h), I'll start eating an energy bar and drinking an Isostar after the cardio, to replace the "things" I lost (mineral salts?) and to be better prepared to go through the training. What was happening was that before I used to train for 1h-1h:30m and since I started doing half an hour more, I was lacking energy during the last half hour.

Ok... I think that's all. It's possible that I wrote something that's wrong so I ask you to not follow what I say here but follow the advice of someone who's a professional in this area! I try to write what I get, but it may not always be correct.

On Sunday I go back to action, 37k VPPs for SNE!

Red Spade Open

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

On the 31rst of July PokerStars is organizing a tournament with a $55 buy-in, $1M guaranteed in the prizepool and $200k guaranteed for the winner. WOW!

Red Spade Open

All Team PokerStars Pro and Team Online members are going to have a $100 bounty.

I'm going to play and I recommend to all of my readers to play, since it's a tournament with a super soft field and you have the possibility to win $200k with an investment of $55!

For more information, visit PokerStars.

Back from paradise

Thursday, July 21rst, 2011

Two weeks ago, Katerina and I were feeling like spending some holidays "away from civilization". Some friends of ours recently opened a travel agency (http://www.bonsaiviagens.com/) and I asked them if they had any packages at a promotional price for a quite place where we could spend a week next to a swimming pool or beach relaxing and reading.

They told us about a promotion that they thought was exceptional. For 698/person they had a package of one week in Jamaica, that included food, drinks, airplane tickets and stay at a 5stars resort.

Two days later we were in paradise...

I won't write much, cause I don't want to bore anyone with details and I'm still a bit tired from the return trip (9 hours by airplane). The hotel was excellent, we could eat and drink anytime we wanted..., so we ejnoyed some pina coladas at the beach/swimming pool and the mangos/papayas after our meals. The beach was very nice and the water was warm which is all one can ask for.

We ended up paying a bit extra, cause one day we decided to go on an excursion to a cavern and the the place where they filmed "The Blue Lagoon", "Cocktail" and some scenes of "Day and Night". I liked the cavern, but didn't like the rest as much.

All in all, I think it was a great week for the price we paid!

Instead of writing everything in detail, I will leave you with some fotos that we took:

Fotos at the Resort























 







Fotos from the excursion
























Now back to work...!

New times, new blood

Even though the traffic at the highest stakes of the hyper-turbos ($181 and $357) has been considerably affected by the absence of american players, a new wave of players has appeared at the $74 hyper-turbos during the past week. I'm not talking about players that play 1 or 2 games to try to qualify for a tournament, but about players that play various hts at the same time for hours.

I believe that this phenomenon is related to what happened recently at other poker rooms. Since players know that their money is safe at PokerStars and that they can continue their activity safely, they changed to PokerStars.

Many had their bankrolls tied in other rooms where they were playing previously, they don't have the bankroll to play the higher stakes and probably don't know the format, since it's exclusively at PokerStars. That explains why they started at the $74s.

This exodus will obviously not only affect the hyper-turbos, I think that it's going to be great for whoever plays at Pokerstars, since it will increase the volume that each player may play and will therefore create traffic during hours that traffic was low. I also think that, even though right now this only affects the bottom and the middle of the Poker pyramid, in time it will also affect the top and the higher stakes will have once again the life they used to have before the Black Friday. This, because there will be a creation of bankrolls that will allow players to play higher and there's always a big demand for action.

What is your opinion on the subject? Please leave a comment!

And don't forget the $100 bonus!

PokerStars Reload Bonuses

930k VPPs



Today I won 14.2k VPPs, reaching 930k VPPs for the year.
I was able to unlock the $100 bonus in 2 hours ^^

PokerStars Reload Bonuses

I started the day very well, won around 100 buy-ins at the sits of $74, but then I lost close to 25 buy-ins at the $181. I still finished the day quite positive anyway, which was a nice change after a month of losing most of the days.

I even started to wonder if it's worth to play the $181s, cause I've been losing quite a lot at those lately, but then I compared how much I was winning at each stake after-rakeback (assuming 68% for the benefits of being SNE), so as to get an idea of whether it's worth it or not. Like, if I won less at the $181s than at the $74s, I'd stop playing them whenever there would be enough $74s.

Indeed, even after the huge downswing that I had at the $181s, I still have an average of +4$ per game, while at the $74s the average is +$2 per game. I took the chance to look at other stakes too, at the $357s it's +$8 per game and at the $109s and $110s +$2 per game, but those samples are too small to make any conclusions.



Ah, and my diamond star came back ^^ 1rst at the leaderboard of the hyper-turbos and 1rst at the leaderboard of the $74s, let's see if it stays that way...

Typical taverns, handicraft and sangria!

During the week, people recommended that I go to FIL to see the handicraft fair and I put it in my schedule to go yesterday.
I heard very good comments about the typical taverns, which is why we went at lunch time. When we arrived there, we went to the line at the ticket counter and there were around 20 people in front of us. However, a young man who didn't speak portuguese very well approached us, and asked us if we would like to buy the tickets for 3 instead of 5 which was the normal price. For the 4 of difference, I'd rather buy them at the ticket counter, but for the time I would spend waiting...deal. I had my 6 in hand when a lady from the organisation appears and says that the guy couldn't sell tickets there, that he could only offer them to us, so he gave us the tickets for free and we didn't have to wait in the line!

YEP! New month, new luck :) (At least I hope so :P)

I will try to illustrate our day at the FIL with some photos and a description!

There was a pavilion just for food and it was basically traditional portuguese food. When it came to salty food, what stood out were the taverns from Alentejo, Serra da Estrela and Bairrada. As for the sweets, a lot more!


There was also an egyptian stand, one from Angola, one from Brasil, etc!
At the brasilian one what immediately caught our eye was "FRESH COCONUT"!


After trying for free the Serra cheese at 3 different places, we decided to have lunch at the typical tavern of Serra da Estrela.
I asked for a sandwich, but... when I saw on the menu that they had "caldo verde" soup I had to get it as well!
It was excellent!


Then, our TWO sandwiches arrived, made with black pork ham and cheese from Serra^^


After lunch, we went to check out the other pavilions and the first one was with african handicrafts. There were a lot of interesting things, but what caught our attention was a turtle made of wood. I asked what the price was and they told me 220...GG. Then they asked me how much I could offer and after talking with Katerina a bit in english, I decided to offer 40. He told me no, that the price I offered was too low and I don't know what else, and since I didn't really want to pay much more than that and I still had 2 pavilions left to see, I decided to leave. At that point the man insisted and said that since the fair would be over the next day, he could make a discount and asked again how much we could pay, but said that 40 was too low. I ended up going up to 50 and he suggested 60. In the end i bought the turtle for 60. Katerina thinks that it was a good purchase, because the turtle is big, the wood is of nice quality and it's hand made, but I don't really know how to evaluate these things and I always get the feeling that they are expensive. Anyway... Another object for the living room...

We went to see the next pavilion, that was with asian handicraft, but we didn't really like anything and didn't buy anything either.

In the last pavilion, there was a lot of portuguese handicraft and I was positively surprised. I saw a lot of creativity and a quality/price ratio that was a lot better than what I'm used to. There was a stand where we bought some kitchen towels and to my surprise, the 2 old ladies that were responsible for that stand also had a table cloth for those who wanted to organize some games at home! (that one we didn't buy)


There was a stand with mugs and other stuff like that, where they would put for free a small text of your choice. Just to give you an example of the price, each mug cost 5 with a text that you could choose and a pre-defined image of Portugal.

Apart from the typical taverns and the handicraft stands, there were also some folklore dance groups, which was cool, cause Katerina had never seen any before.


When we finished our shopping of handicraft items, we went to buy a coconut from the Brasilians and it was refreshing ^^


To put a nice end to the day, we went to the typical tavern of Alentejo, ate roasted sausage and drank Sangria.
My friends, that was the best roasted sausage I've had in my life and I like roasted sausages a lot!


After the sausage, we went to restock our honey supplies and we bought one from each producer, to try them out. We consume honey on a daily basis at our breakfast, which is why it's a very important food in our everyday life. However, I don't like that much that liquid honey that is sold at the supermarkets. As a friend of mine would say... "I like my honey to be from bees" :P


It was a very pleasant experience. I think that we are very underestimated in Europe when it comes to handicraft and food. I believe we don't know how to sell what's ours out there, otherwise I can't understand how the world knows what Roquefort cheese is, but they haven't heard of Serra cheese... Maybe I'm being tendentious, cause I don't like that french cheese that smells horribly and is made with fungus while I think ours is delicious, but it's my blog so I can write whatever I want, right? :)

In any case, I think we need to be a proud nation and give value to what's produced in Portugal, cause if we don't give value to it ourselves, how can we expect others to do so?

As for all of today's deviations from the diet, during the next 6 days I'll be nitty tight to make up for them! I only regret that I didn't remember to ask for just one sandwich of ham and cheese to split with Katerina instead of ordering one for each, so that we could go to another typical tavern and share a piglet sandwich, but that's an idea for next time :P

PS: I added the photos of the honey above and here are the photos of the turtle:




Trimester #2 2011

Yesterday was the end of the 2nd trimester of the year. As far as Poker is concerned, I think that the ideal for the game I am currently playing is to have an trimestral and an anual perspective, which is why I'm going to analyze the numbers of the second trimester of the year with the help of some printscreens.



My objective for the 2nd trimester was to reach 360k VPPs. I ended up playing quite higher than what was planned and I reached 543k VPPs, which is fantastic.



As for the leaderboards of sharkscope, I went up a lot of places and I'm very close to being the most profitable player of the hyper-turbos in 2011, let's see how the next 6 months go!


These were the stakes that I played during the SCOOP, but that I don't normally play, which is why the sample is small. In total, I finished +$4538 pre-rakeback. The samples of each stakes are small, which is why we can't jump to any big conclusions.


At the stakes I normally play I finished +$39590 pre-rakeback, which is fantastic!
Last semester I finished +$24296, which is an indicator of progress and it puts me slightly ahead of pace for my goal of winning $100k pre-rakeback at the sngs.


At the turbos, I lost $260, which is not really relevant comparing to the amounts we are discussing here.

At the MTTs, I lost $9826. I played some $1050 ones and some $2100 but unfortunately I didn't make it in the money in any of them, which explains this negative result.

As far as Poker goes, that's it. If I could sign an agreement for the next 2 months and have the same results as what I did this trimester, I wouldn't think twice!

Let's see how the next one goes, you already know where you can follow me :)


Training at the gym has been going well, but it needs a lot of work and dedication.
This year I've already lost 13KG, and I should still be able to lose a bit more body fat. In any case, I have an appointment with my nutritionist next week so I'll talk about more about the subject.


I haven't started the driving lessons yet. I've already taken the medical exam, now I just need to take 2 photos  in order to get the license to learn. This trimester I invested a lot on Poker timewise and fortunately I got some results, which was an option....
I never really needed a driver's license to be honest, but I think that soon I'll be needing it and I'll have the extra motivation to put this story  behind me.

I hope that this brief analysis of mine concerning the last trimester was at least interesting. If you have any doubts, leave a comment!

Back to business

In the past months this blog was pretty much dead and I apologize for that.
My girlfriend, Katerina, has been translating all the posts I did on my Portuguese blog in the past few months and just putted them online.

You can check them here in chronological order (from newest to oldest):

June Balance and downswings management
How much are 20 chips worth?
910k VPPs
900k VPPs
Analysis KK
KK on the bubble
Recovering
Downswinging
Day up
Fatigue
800k VPPs
Why I'm not going to Vegas this year
Let's go everyone!
Two new records
Analysis KK
Hand of the day
Food
End of the SCOOP
Last 4 tournaments
Downswing
Update SCOOP #2
Update SCOOP
Congratulations
Another milestone!
Almost SCOOP-08-M
Update Charity
Limp>All-in
One more record
EPT Madrid Report
Scoop, Ept and stuff
Analysis of yesterday's hand
Hand of the day
New record
500k VPPs
Weight, body fat, downswings, films and stuff
A different experience
Easter
Update 2011 Resolutions

Also, from now on, I will keep writting my posts in Portuguese at ocantinhodocoimbra.com and Katerina will translate them asap to english and publish them here, so that everyone that doesn't speak Portuguese can follow me.

June Balance and downswings management

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Graphic of June (sit-n-gos):


(68% of rakeback is equivalent to all the benefits of being SNE)


As you can see from the graphic, June was my worst month in Poker until now. I ended up losing close to $45k at the games, winning $15 from rakeback, finishing the month around -$30k.

I won't analyse stake by stake, since the individual sample of each stake is too small to make any conclusions. The conclusions I'm going to make are going to be based on the analysis of the last trimester and if necessary, the last semester.

Bankroll management

When I think in the short term (3-6 months) or even in long term (1-2 years), I don't think a lot about variance, I focus on the expected value, since it's that value that allows me to make estimations of my hourly rate, which is what really matters. That said, variance has an extremely important role in bankroll management and it exists upwards as well as downwards!
It's fundamental to have a bankroll big enough to withstand the downswings and at the same time to not be cashing out like crazy when you have an upswing.

In my case in particular, I feel comfortable playing with 200 buy-ins and since it's been a spectacular year for me, I had more than 400 buy-ins of the highest stake I was playing in my poker bankroll. What I want to say with this is, since I haven't been spending my money around like crazy during the good months, I was able to continue playing the same stakes during the bad months.

Physical and emotional part

In the beginning of the month I started doing a more intensive training at the gym and I was quite tired. As if the tiredness from the gym wasn't enough, I got more tired due to the defeats at the online arena. Losing day after day is tiring, trust me!

After losing many days in a row, my survival instinct made me ask the following questions: "Could it be that I can't beat these games?", "Could it be that my opponents understood how to play against me?".

I often read in the forums comments of winning players that say things like:

"A professional player has to play the same way when he is losing as when he is winning".
"When I'm losing, I'm more motivated for longer sessions".

I don't agree with that kind of ideas, and I think that kind of thinking makes you lose money.

One question... Do you think that a coach would put a football player in the game when one of his arms is broken? In theory, unless we're talking about the goal-keeper, a player could play with a broken arm, but he wouldn't have the performance that he has when he's playing in excellent conditions.

I see downswings like injuries of a poker player. When there's a downswing, it's important to slow down (and sometimes even stop), so as to gain forces and make a comeback. Normally I come out of a downswing stronger, because that's when I spend more time studying. Study is fundamental in order to recover lost confidence. When I make a play and I see that it goes bad, what really makes a difference on an emotional level is the line between THINKING it was the right play and KNOWING it was the right play.

I believe that one of the reasons why many of the best players are arrogant is because a strong self-esteem is necessary in order to withstand the bad moments of this profession. However, many are victims of their own ego and play when they shouldn't or make plays that they know are ev-. I'm not as gifted as many of my opponents are, but as I can be very stable on an emotional level, I am able to compete at an interesting level.

To sum up, when I'm winning, I try to play as much as possible, but when I'm losing I play as little as possible, so as to be aware of what's happening and have time to study, improve the quality of my game and reestablish my confidence.

This month was very difficult, but... looking back, I think it was a month with a very high expected value. I'm saying this because at the gym I can already go through the new training without feeling exhausted. My concentration levels have gone back to being quite high and I think I can manage playing 8h/day. As for my strategy, I made some very important discoveries and I think my game improved substantially. And, most important of all... I feel good and motivated!

The month may have gone bad, but I'm better prepared for the next months than what I was before June.

VPPs


This month I played around 80h and I won around 130k VPPs. For the hours I played it was great, but it's good to be careful, cause if I had played 160h, I wouldn't have earned twice as many VPPs, cause there aren't always high stakes games, maybe I would have earned 200k VPPs or something like that.

In any case... during the next 2-3 weeks I'll do the 82k VPPs that are missing :)