Monday, 6 February 2012

Pump Up The Volume

It's already well into February and my poker volume for 2012 is way below what I'm aiming for. As part of Team PokerStars Online I have a certain commitment as far as earning VPPs and hours at the tables go. As part of that my goal is to earn 400,000 VPPs this year but I'm only at 22,000 right now.

The main reasons why I am behind already;

  • The VIP reward changes and at the start of the year mean an extra hour or more of grinding every day for me to get the same number of VPPs. There has also been a recent rake reduction. That is great for improved winrate but means longer sessions to meet VPP goals.
  • Computer issues didn't help, but I have a new setup now with 64-bit Windows 7, good gfx card, lots of RAM and most importantly - an SSD hard disk. If you use Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager then buying a solid state HDD is the best thing you could possibly do performance wise.
  • Playing less tables to concentrate on TCOOP (didn't work out so well).
  • I was on a 'normal' sleep schedule for a while. A good thing for living a healthy life but terrible for playing online poker as the games are pretty bad during the day in Asia with less games running and much fewer recreational players. When it is mid-day here in Thailand, it is 5am or 6am in Europe. I figure the best times for me to play poker are around 11pm-7am Thai Time, which is 4pm-Midnight in the UK.
Despite the low volume my results have been good, particularly at 180s and PLO. Good results are an important motivational factor as far as getting volume in goes. Any poker player knows how tough it is to fire up another session when you have been experience a run of rotten luck.

I will get back on pace if I work hard and pump, pump up the volume. I feel like the 180man SNGs are probably my most profitable game right now, but they aren't going to meet my VPP goals. So going forward I will probably be playing half 180s and half PLO, or something to that effect.

The time zone factor is one of the reasons that I am considering moving back to the UK. When I first settled in Thailand it was before 'Black Friday' and the yanks could still play online. There were good games round the clock. Not so much any more. If I want to take poker seriously then I need to stay up all night and sleep all day. I haven't stepped foot in the UK since the end of 2010, and don't miss it at all, but the better time zone and the UKIPT tourneys may convince me to return.

I could list off a million reasons why living in Thailand is better than living in the UK. So I am pretty much undecided about what to do. There are also more countries in Asia that I want to visit but haven't had the chance yet. Specifically Korea, Japan and the Philippines. It will be a hell of a lot cheaper, quicker and easier for me to visit them from Thailand than from the UK. Heck, even India is only a 5 hour direct flight from here.

I'm feeling like there's a 40% chance I will move back to the UK around June. A 40% chance I will stay in Thailand much longer and a 20% chance I will move to Macau for 3-6 months before moving back the UK.

In the short term I will be leaving Thailand this week, as my visa expires. Normally this would be a good excuse to take a trip somewhere new and fun, but right now I can do without the expense (in terms of money and time spent) so I will just take another bus trip to the Cambodian border (PoiPet).

I will take an agency run trip which for $200 all inclusive involves a 6 hour trip in a VIP bus to the border, crossing into the scary no-man's land between Thailand and Cambodia and staying in a dodgy casino hotel (with no internet connection) for 2 nights. The 2 night stay is so the agent can take my passport to the Thai embassy in Phnom Phen, Cambodia's capital city, which is very far away. When I check out the hotel he's brought my passport back with a brand new 3-month Thai visa. Then get the passport stamped at Thai immigration and bus back to Bangkok.

I've done this trip before. It's not much fun and the food is a joke but it's a cheap and no hassle way to get a visa. The last time I went with an Aussie girl so had some company. This time I will be going alone. Maybe I will try to find a poker game in one of the casinos or find some way to pass the time.


  1. following your blogaments. Hope to get to the point where you are myself, but unfortunately i'm a dutch player stuck in the micro's ... yet :)

    (and i never say kanker tho ....)


  2. Dale!
    Get yourself back to the UK!
    The weather obv sucks but all the more reason to stay in and grind.
    GL. See you in the 180s

  3. Hey Dale,
    Saw from your Twitter feed that you were at the V8 diner. I was passing through BKK at the beginning of last year when it was opening. Have you met the Manager yet? He's an Ozzie who also manages the nightclub around the corner (Club Insomnia: - it's OK, gets some nice student girlies ;-)!).
    I'm guessing that you have been around the corner to the Lavanna Spa and Cabbages and Condoms restaurant too?
    GL at the tables.

  4. Yeah I've made many trips to v8 diner in the last year, food isn't anything special but open 24/7 so suits my vampire sleep pattern. They have a door in the diner that leads right into the nightclub, haven't been in - trying to stay off the demon drink for a while :)

  5. Dale, 8 tbls .25/.5 PLO? What's up dood? Rent due?

    1. yes rent is due, good thing my landlord takes FPPs.... oh, wait....

    2. Dale. You don't have to stay 2 nights in Cambodia when doing a visa run mate, at least you didn't in 2009. I stayed for 6 months, then as you mentioned got a bus to the border. BUT I did it all in half a day, I left around 7:00am (from Pattaya) and was back for around 4pm. Might be worth checking out, if you can't be arsed to stay 2 nights in Cambodia. Good read as always mate, keep up the good work. ;-)

    3. If you arrive and leave the same day you only get a 15 day visa exemption stamp. Think it used to be 30 days but they reduced it to 15 days for entering by land rather than plane. I've done that before.

      To get the full visa (good for up to 90 days) your passport needs to be taken to the thai embassy in the capital city, takes best part of a day for them to drive it there from the border. Visa application is made at embassy next day, takes them overnight to process it, is driven back to border that night and re-enter thailand in the morning.

      There's no way around this and never has been for a full visa. The way you did it is for a short term stay.

      Unfortunately I am getting to be an expert with regard to Thai immigration shit.

      Cheers mate :)

  6. Hey, I was wondering why do you play so many different formats?
    I see you playing PLO 6 max, HU PLO short tables, Hyper turbos 6 max and hyper turbos HU.

    I do this myself aswell, but I am wondering what is your reason for it?

    1. Sometimes some of the games are full of regulars, especially during the daytime in asia time zone. It's good to have other games you are good at, rather than not play at all or just play in games with no fish.