Last week I was with some friends and we had been talking about painting models.  I was giving some advice on how you can actually paint a model quickly and make it look great with a few techniques and a bit of patience. I prime my models black to begin with, the prime coat does not have to be heavy and just needs to barely cover the mode, even if some of the plastic is showing threw that will be fine.

The first step to quickly painting some models is base coats.  I highly recommend watering down your paints while painting with acrylics.  A drop of water with a few parts of paint will really help to smooth out the paint and avoid those brush strokes, and globs of paints.  You may need to go over some spots twice, however the paint spreads better and probably takes about as much time as a heavy first coat.  On my model you will see some of the base coat still coming threw, I am not too worried about this because there will be a highlighting stage yet and as I mentioned this is the technique I use to speed threw models.

Troll Base Coat

 

After getting down the base coat I go ahead to the ink wash.  Nunl Oil from Games workshop is great for models that you want to give a gritty look to (like this troll for instance, I also used this was on my orks and goblins).  You can be generous with the wash and you want to cover most of the model and let it seep into the lines that are providing definition (like the arms, fingers, teeth, etc..).  However after the ink you will want to give the model some time to dry.  If you are doing a group of five or ten models you can probably get  started on the next step on the first model after you finish the ink on the last model.  I usually take a clean paper towel and dab the model to make sure that no ink is wet if I have not given the model a lot of time to dry.

Troll Ink Wash

 

Next will bring up the colors with a drybrush (for details on dryburshing there are a ton of great videos on youtube for free).  The paint color that I use is typically brighter then the base coat, but sometimes the base coat color will give it enough of a highlight.  In this instance, I brought up the red on the skin, brown on the leather, and wood.  I also used some brighter white on the teeth, and the bones in the bag (never did any side shots, but will probably add some at a later date if people want).  You may notice that the straps are a bit brighter then leather over the body.  This was done by simply completing a second quick coat afterwards.  I also added some yellow for the base of the eyes, and drybrush grey on the hair.

Troll Dry Brush

 

Last step is just some finishing details.  For this model, I did another drybrush of pink on the warts , silver on the nails of the bat and on the hair, and a dark white  on some of the pieces that I want to bring up to a brighter color (arm straps, some of leather bits, pink warts, etc..).  I also drybrushed the nails with the same white and got out the really fine details brush for the eyes.

 

Details

 

If I had the time, I perhaps could have done a bit better detailing (and I probably would not have missed the tongue :p ).  Also I did not do the base of the model yet, but I would say that other then waiting on the ink to dry this model took < 2 hours, maybe even close to an hour, but I was watching football at the time.

Arcadia quest was probably the second biggest reason I got back into miniature painting, models and table top games.  When I came across Zombicide earlier in 2014 I noticed this game created by Cool mini or not (CMON).  The art work on the cards, tiles and details of the models is amazing.  Also this game is right up my alley of interests.  Growing up I have always liked dungeon exploring games (more so video games then table top).  I also watched some of the game demos and it always looks like people are having a ton of fun playing the game.  After getting my hands on my copy this game has been a pretty big winner.  I have actually managed to get in nearly a whole campaign with Lesley and she is never much for games.  Also painting and finishing the models has been a lot of fun.  My only complaint is that I was not able to get the game off Kickstarter so there are a bunch of models that I do not have, and will probably never get because of the prices that people try to charge.  To be honest I have never been much of a fan of the way CMON has done this with their games on Kickstarter.  I feel like people who are late to the party miss out big time.  Also it probably hurts the middle guys at the games store.  I don’t think the games stores are ever making much from board games and I am sure they don’t want to pick up a title that has already done two million in presales.  Any how I digress again…

This game is great.  I really need to get a two or three friends over for a whole campaign (which I think could be played over three to four hours).  What is great is that you do not need to play a whole campaign at once, and you are left with nice notepads to keep track of your progress in a campaign.  The game is well thought out, seems very balanced, and  10/10 on entertainment.  I won the first quest that Lesley and I played, she drafted loot well and punished me in quest two, Third quest was close, and I really put the hurt on her in the last quest.  We do have the final quest to play yet and will probably give a proper recap at a later date.

I will be adding the pictures of some models, and I actually used the troll model for a quick step by step tutorial on how you can get some great looking models without a lot of time.

 

This week was a lot more difficult then the start of the year.  I have been fighting a bit of the flu over the week and it really hurt the volume and grind.  Add to the fact that I was running pretty bad threw the week at poker and it was not helping.  I was actually starting to wonder if my stop losses where not set correctly because I swear that I was loosing a ton.  I did have two cheats this week with looking at my results.  First was when I was running so bad and loosing what seemed like every 3b/4b pot.  I sat out and took a look to see if I had surpassed the stop loss of eight buy ins.  I was at -7.5 so it was a bitter sweet victory.  Victory since I have still have not hit a stop loss since I stopped watching my results and focused on my poker.  Bitter because it was still a -7.5bis and its hard to get in a position to move up next month when you lose that much in an hour.

The second cheat view was after my first session on Sunday.  I ran like the sun and quickly won every pot over 200bbs.  I had to cheat and look at where I was since the last time I looked things looked pretty miserable.  I won about 13bis in that session, and managed to claw back a lot of the run bad from early in the week.  I never like using the EV line on HM2 to establish how good or bad I am running, but the whole week was pretty bad and it was nice to just flop good for a change and scoop some pots.

This week I did add too many tables at times, mainly because I was not getting in the hours so I was trying to make up for it by adding tables to increase my gross amount of hands.  However next week I am going to get back to my better habits, keep the tables under eight no matter how good they all look, and focus and try to increase my win rate per hand, and boost my hourly that way.  At the start of the month I did have hopes of clearing 30,00 VPPs so that I could cash in some FPPs for a bonus and use that money for 100plo, but if I can maintain a win rate of 10bb/100 pre rack back at 50plo for the month I should have plenty of wiggle room for 100plo in February.

Long story short, I am pretty happy that I ended up in the green this week, considering that I was fighting this flu and not playing great poker in general (really letting my run bad effect my play).  Next week I am really going to focus on getting back to what worked well, less tables, shave some of my preflop range down, and make better river decisions (probably would give myself a 3/10 on my river play last week).

Also to add a little salt to the wounds, Monday night I played the big $27.  I did not realize that I had a ticket in my cashier for over a year now.  I managed to come 24th for ~$125 when I lost a 40+bb pot with QQ<KQs.  If I won that race I probably would have been in the top five in chips and my table was actually pretty nice.  However was just not meant to be.  I am really trying to keep my head up today about it.  Going in  was looking at it like a free roll, but it is never nice to be twenty players away from $5,000 and have to settle taking a beat and walking away with ~$100.

 

YTD Jan 19.2015

 

On another note, I am getting pretty excited for the next few weeks.  Any day I will be finding out when I can expect my Zombicide season three shipment.  There is also a hot new Conan game on Kickstarter.

This seems like its going to be a steal.  The figures look great, the smallest harp that I could have is that it would be nice for additional poses on some of the five plus quantity models, however there is sheer value in this game from a modeling, painting stand point.   There is also wave two of Rivet Wars hitting shelves this week, and some Arcadia Quest minis next week.  I made a promise to myself that I am not buying either until I get my current models up and painted and pictures here.

Also I am going to doing a tabletop twitch channel.  I am still trying to get some games organised for this but if you would be interested in hanging out and playing a few feel free to contact me.

 

Managed to get the majority of the models painted (have a squad of stormtroopers and a E-web gunner left).  I have some little details that I would like to clean up on the rebel heroes but they are definitely ready for playing.

SWIA IMPERIALS

Star Wars Imperial Assault (SWIA) VADER AND ROYAL GUARD

Star Wars Imperial Assault (SWIA) STORMTROOPERS & OFFICERS

 

Star Wars Imperial Assault (SWIA) DROID

Star Wars Imperial Assault (SWIA) E-WEB GUNNER

Star Wars Imperial Assault SWIA NEXU AND HUNTERS

Star Wars Imperial Assault (SWIA) REBEL HEROES

Flop Qh, get it in vs AA, be a ~80% favorite

Liz-Lemon-Is-Overly-Excited-Reaction-Gif-30-Rock

why I love PLO

 

So 2015 is well underway.  I was not sure when I should have done my first update.  Thought about after the first weekend, but that seemed too soon, after seven days, but then it was close to the weekend.  So I just put in the work over the weekend, and took today to work on some posts, and other items.

The start of the year has been pretty solid.  I have set up my tilt breaker so that I could focus on how I am playing and think more about how well I am playing based on my feel and emotions as oppose to my results.  I am pretty happy with the way this has gone.  I did also remove all the $ result information from my reports so that I can keep up my HM2 and just watch my time played and hands.  For the start of the year I was doing pretty good with not looking a the cashier and I was also cruising threw sessions.  However after last Friday I had a slight relapse and looked at the earning report since I was getting ready to think about my blog update.  I was up about $2100 to start the year so I figure that I would move up and take a shot.  I then lost $750 of my profits over four hands, running into quads half the time, OUCH.  I am not really upset about it, a shot is a shot, and if I would have done well in the session I would have been able to move up to 100plo before Sunday but as is I am going to fall back to the original game plan and just grind out the month at 50plo and not worry about if I am playing over rolled and not moving up quick enough.  After the failed shot I played pretty poorly over Sunday, but broke even with my rakeback, Monday and Tuesday I played much better after looking at some of the things I did poorly Sunday and getting back to the key items I have to work on (pre flop hand selection from early position, and folding to 3b/4b OOP).

Also my hand count is a little low for the star of the year.  I did take some time to paint the miniatures for my new board games, and I also had issues with my HM2 which really limited my hands the first Sunday of the year.  I was playing only about four tables, but I added some tournaments and actually shipped another PLO MTT for some ~$400 (which was not included in the graph).

In the end here are the little graphs for the month so far.  I am going to do my best not to look at results until my next post on Tuesday.

BBs Won YTD Jan 14

 

USD Won YTD Jan 14

Fantasy Flight (FF) has been putting out a bunch of Star Wars games for some time now.  After moving to Montreal I got away from board games, and miniatures for a while.  However I am now back and at it with a passion.  The latest addition from FF is Star Wars Imperial Assault.  This was probably one of the most anticipated games of the year, and it just made it in for the year.  To be honest I was sure that it was not going  to make it to the shelves for Christmas and the last thing you want is for your wife to show up at a nerdy board game store and not be able to get exactly what you ask for so it was not on my list :(.  But no worries, I got out on boxing day and picked myself up a copy and made painting the models a priority for January.

Out of the box the game looks great.  The models are made pretty well, and the art work on the game tiles is beautiful.  After painting up my models this week it really helps to add the cinematography that goes with the story telling of a campaign.  Now I just need to get in a campaign.  I am planning on playing a few mission with my buddy Steve over Skype, and I plan on recording the game and getting it on a YouTube channel and my blog.  I have gotten in a few missions with Lesley, however there is definitely some learning pains with the rules and set ups.  It is a bit difficult getting the first game up and going if you and your friends have never played before, but after the first mission or two it all comes pretty easy and the game actually moves pretty quickly.

I am going to hold off my judgement on the game until I get in a campaign or two, however if you enjoy painting miniatures like I do then the investment of ~$80 is worth the 34 minis (including a AT-ST which seems to scale with the rest of the minis).  Since I am trying to make this year more about post, sharing and spreading my joy for the games I am going to make sure that I get my painting completed more and to a schedule.  As a result I did not spend as much time with each individual model as I would like, but I am happy with the results and spent the better half of two days completing all the minis.  I think this is the part I love most about the game.  There are enough minis, and with enough variety that you have something to get, spend a day or two painting with out feeling overwhelmed, and afterwards have something super nerdy and fun to share with your friends.  Serious, who doesn’t want to role play through a campaign as a Wookie, or the quick to draw smuggler.  Perhaps you are fond of the Jedi, or want to put some distance between you and your foes as a commander, veteran soldier, or sniper.  Maybe your like me and want to wound all the rebel scum that you can.

I will be adding pictures to the page as I can along with some campaign stories and future thoughts of the game.  It definitely seems like a game that I can get a lot of playing time out of, and would be a great game to just soak up a day playing.  I also am not 100% of the replay ability of the game yet, but I think that there are enough missions, to keep it fresh, and so long as you are not playing a lot of campaigns as a rebel player the game should feel fresh.  I also have high hopes that players will come forward with ideas for extra missions, or create their own campaigns.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Posted: January 3, 2015 in Blog, Poker (nuff said)
Tags: , , ,

So its a new year, in the end I managed to get my supernova status on Pokerstars.  It cost me a bit dearly in dollars but I really wanted the extra time to myself over the holidays, i went home for nearly a week, also had some people over so I needed to get in over a hundred hours of play over three to four weeks.  Three times I went past my stop loss which cost me somewhere around $1500, and a bunch of other times I was adding more tables over my typical eight which probably also hurt the bottom line.

Anyhow I was actually playing pretty good at small stakes and i think that January should go pretty good.  I want to get a good start to the year and I am probably going on vacation in February.  I am thinking somewhere warm like Mexico.  Also I have a ton of zombie miniatures coming in February which I will want to paint and play with..

I have not really thought about any goals, the biggest focus this year is to just improve and move up the stakes.  I would love to be at 500z for 2016, but the biggest goal is to just get in hands, review, and move up.  Do think that I should be able to move up to 100plo at any moment once I work off a few last leaks, but I think that limiting my tables and getting back to some stop losses will help the bottom line a lot.

I would say that my biggest goal this year is to focus, and be more productive in general.  Last year I sold my PS3, and I am going to focus on extra time on my gaming obsession.  I do still have a few games on my steam account to power through so it’s not like i am going cold turkey, but I would really like to spend more time spreading some board game and miniature passion.

So in the new year I am going to try and get a twitch channel up and do nightly board games, either with friends at home, through skype, or other players on twitch.  There are plenty of games that this will work for, other that it won’t.  Either way I think that it will be fun, and it’s something that I already spend a lot of time doing.  I have also spent a few nights streaming games with my friend to see how well it works, and it was pretty good

Also I have been pretty terrible at keeping the blog updated.  All to often I write up draft after draft that never gets published.  I think that often its because playing poker, your mood can change so much depending on the way that grind is going.  So while a blog has a certain tone today, it is difficult to review or pick it back up the next day.  So in the future I am really going to focus on less walls of text and more quick to the point updates and blogs.

2014 PLO graph, Yellow line is after the bonus form pokerstars (yes rake is that high why else would I call the blog life after rake)

the big dip down towards the end was when I was just pushing thru the hands to get done for the year and give myself some days to spare.

Lost a lot of my data for before June 30th so do not have the tournament results, but made a pretty penny there also.

 

 

2014 plo

Still alive, who knew…

Posted: August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

So its been nearly two months since my last post.  A lot of life got in the way of sitting in front of my monitors so its been hard to write out a few hundred words for a blog update.  Towards the end of my last post I was getting ready to move to a new place in Montreal.  We have been here for a little more than a month now and I am really liking the new place.  The neighborhood is a lot quieter than my old street (was right in front of the main bridge leaving Montreal so tons of traffic).

We had a lot of help moving and the move went great.  Also as an added bonus we got to play my new favorite game Zombicide.  This game is amazing.  It pretty well consumed all my extra time during June.  It probably got in the way of other items that I could have been doing but I just love me some games.  This is the game below.

I actually love painting miniatures and the thing that drew me most to this game was the nearly 100 miniatures (and fine miniatures at that) for the price.  Also the game is a co-op type of game and since you are taking on the game (the zombies) you can actually play it solo which is a lot of fun.  Many nights have been had mono a mono me and a six pack against Zombicide.  I will get some pictures up of the models that I have painted.  I actually have loved the game so much that I bought the expansion and I was luck enough to find the next season on kickstarter last week.  I pledged a few hundred to get a lot of the kickstarter exclusives which are a good deal.

In July we typically head to Vegas, however this year Lesley thought that the passports need to be cleaned with the laundry and as a result they were ruined and we had to cancel our trip.  This was a bit of a pain mainly because I usually make some half decent money in Vegas of the the few weeks there, and since I was now in Toronto, and without my computer, mouse HH, etc.. I was not going to be able to put in much poker (work).  So the last week of June and first two weeks of July had very little poker.  So what is typically a workation for a week, ended up being a full out vacation for three weeks.  Needless to say that once I got back to Montreal it was time to put my nose down and grind.  I decided that I was going to grind out my bankroll on Stars and see if I could get my supernova bonus over the next two months.  I have always had a love for PLO and I really want to make it my full time game over MTTs.  Its pretty nice being able to take breaks whenever you want as oppose to five minutes to the hour.  So with the small bankroll I had on Stars I decided to start at 10PLO and work on being able to play more than twelve tables.  I also wanted to identify some of my leaks and I was hopefully going to get in 100k hands over the three weeks that I had left in the month.

After my first week at 10PLO I was doing pretty good, but noticed that playing 14-16 tables I was missing too many spots and was probably not maximizing my win rate.  So I had to move down to twelve tables at 25PLO and that meant that I ended up falling short of my goal.  However I am pretty happy with the way that the month has gone.  I did a poker journal at RIO since that is my favorite training site and forum so if you want more details they are there.

http://www.runitonce.com/chatter/just-a-ton-of-plo-hands-before-summers-e/

Otherwise I will leave you with the good looking graph.

June 66k hands of PLO

Going into the new month I am about where I wanted to be and have the funds to put in a serious session this weekend at 50PLO.  I really want to put in 100k hands this month.  It they all end up at 50PLO I should be close to reaching supernova (80% of the way).  If I can continue with my current win rate I can probably get in some weekend grinds at 100PLO and get to the bonus before the end of summer, otherwise it will be early September.

I really want to get better at updating the blog, now that we are moved I really should have more time to get on this thing.  The goal this month will be to have at least a post a week.  I do need to create a new page for Zombicide and I actually might create a campaign with a narrative since the game has such theatrical sense to it.

 

My laptop was out of commision for the longest time so I was not getting up my month end post and then it was time for SCOOPs so really wanted to get in as much playing as I could.  The first day of Sunday of the month was pretty amazing, made a day two of the first SCOOP event that I played and actually cashed all three for the day.  Since the SCOOP has been the high variance storm of emotions that I expect it to be but the rest of my schedule has been going great.  For the longest time last month it felt like i was just going to continue to grind away breaking even and barely getting ahead of the bills since moving.  Well I have finally got on the good side of variance early in a month end it feels pretty great.

MTT  40day graph

 

I am also very happy with the new schedule that I have put together for grinding.  I am getting an average BI on Ipoker of ~$25 compared to half that on Pokerstars.  Why am I so happy with this number?  The games are much softer on other networks, the fields are smaller and these add up to less variance and more reliable winnings.  The next goal is to get myself to actual play 400 games in a month but I think that is going to be a while away since this month I have my dad visiting for a week, and June I am going to Vegas.  There will be a chance in August but that seems like forever away at the moment.  Also I got behind pace early in this month mainly because of a lot of deep runs in games.  If I can put in the 400 games in August at half the winrate of my first 400 I will be pretty happy with the direction I am heading.

Also I have actually not been out to watch a hockey playoff game this month yet.  I have been really focused on poker and SCOOPs.  I did try to go watch game 7 but it was too late after my session to get a spot at the bar to watch the game.  Put a few dollars on the Habs to win and then took a shot at PLO with the winnings.  For a change my shot taking went something like this.

Does he make the shot

What started off as a way to spin up a few dollars to go see a game turned into a Vegas trip and new appliances for the new apartment (and quickly,  one hour about).  It’s been a long time since I decided to sit down and try to spin up a stack at PLO with a shot like this.  As you can see took me the first few hundred hands to get a double, but once I got it there was no looking back.  Also the timing was so perfect because of the extra expenses piling up for June (moving, appliances, Vegas)  But something about making 2.5k in an hour can cheer up anyone.  Also this was something like calling 6 of 7 flips correct so that is pretty nice (and at a stake much higher than normal).

yup that happn

 

So I am off of poker for the rest of the week, I should have some time in front of my computer and think that I would like to get some of the epic flips that I won at 500PLO into some HH and GIFs for people to enjoy.  Time will tell though, constantly drawn to the tables when I get in front of the computer.