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$50 Cash Game Challenge Update 3

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It's been way too long, over a year, since I've updated my Cash Game Bankroll Challenge which I started with $50.

There were a number of reasons for this. One is that I was focusing so much time on my Double or Nothing SnG Bankroll Challenge. Another is that I was working on a similar cash game challenge that I wasn't publishing but I'll discuss later in this post.

In my last update, my bankroll was at $100. Current challenge bankroll is around $330. I've put in a lot of hands since then. almost 10x the number of hands in the first two updates combined.

My winrate for this update is just over 3 BB/100 which I'm not too thrilled about at these stakes. I think I can do a bit better.

Once my bankroll crossed the $200 mark I started adding more tables to my sessions and now play anywhere from 2-6 tables depending on my frame of mind.

Six tables is a little too much for my bankroll so I probably won't be doing that often. I'm also trying to really think about each hand more and pay attention to players even when I'm not in a hand.

Aggressive Cash Game Bankroll Challenge

One of the other challenges I mentioned earlier and in my BlueFirePoker Review had a more aggressive 5 buy-in rule before moving up. This was similar to the microstakes bankroll challenge that Daniel Negreanu is doing.

I started with $10 and got it up over $300 at 50NL before I started feeling a little out of my league.

I spent more time on this challenge than my regular cash game challenge. I really enjoyed it and liked playing at 25NL although I didn't feel that prepared for it, especially when I got to 50NL. After I've watched some more training videos I might go back to it.

Negreanu has been making slow progress with it too and I'm no Daniel Negreanu!

My Analysis and What I'm Doing To Improve My Cash Game Results

My hand reading and estimating hand ranges still needs some work but has gotten much better as has my tilt control.

I'm loosing a lot of money to bad river calls when I don't think villain should be betting as much as he is and think he's bluffing. I'm usually right but he tends to have me beat. Two pair vs my TPTK or a set vs my two pair when the board is 3 flushed and 4 to a straight and things like that.

I no longer feel like the Robin Hood of micro-stakes where I would win money from the regs and give it to the fish. I've gotten better at judging hand ranges for loose players, though I still make some mistakes.

My 3-betting frequency has increased and I feel more comfortable about my overall approach to 3-betting, especially when it comes to 3-betting light. I have to give credit to Neil Gewirtz's 3-betting video for helping me in that regard.

Neil has been a successful micro stakes coach that BlueFirePoker added to their roster this year to make microstakes training videos. I've watched them all and recommend all micro stakes players that don't play on my table to watch them too. :)

My play has been loose-aggressive and while I'm still playing about as loose as I used to, I'm not playing as aggressive. I'm finding myself picking better spots to be aggressive post-flop rather than trying to barrel people off hands recklessly. Pot control and checking to induce have become my new friends. I'm still bluffing my fair share but getting better results now.

I realized I needed to make a change when I analyzed the stats of some of the good LAGs I ran across and noticed they were playing quite a bit different than me post-flop. They got some money from me because I was curious about how they played and tried to get to showdown frequently.

What they were doing and why really started to make sense after watching more videos. I've watched a ton! My DVR is full as I haven't been able to keep up with the TV shows I have programmed because I'm spending that time watching poker training videos instead. Not a bad thing considering I got to skip this really weird Grey's Anatomy episode where they thought they were Glee.

Jason Senti has two 50NL videos which really gives a good foundation on how to play lag at micro stakes. He does a thorough job of explaining his thoughts and it was easy to follow. Hope he does more micro stakes videos.

The Samoleus Protege series helped me a lot. Niman 'Samoleus' Kenkre did a series with one of his students analyzing the student's sessions. The back and forth created long discussions on the hands which some people with more poker experience might find boring but I loved it and learned a lot.

The videos I mentioned above as well as the micro and small stakes NLHE videos by DrGiggy are helping me to get more value for my strong hands, value bet thinner, pick better spots to bluff and just generally play poker better. I still have a ways to go and many hands to practice but I'm really enjoying learning and and feel more confident. I still feel a bit overwhelmed by how much the video instructors know though but not so much anymore.

It feels really good to be playing more NLHE cash game sessions. I've always enjoyed it more than other poker games.  It's just more fun and I'm forced to think more.

Within the next two to three months I'm hoping to be playing at 25NL regularly for this challenge. Maybe sooner if I watch less videos each day and play more poker instead. My goal is to get to 100NL by the end of the year but that might be a little optimistic.

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