Monday, May 15, 2017

FlushhDraw Is Back

I have been dealing with some personal issues that had put me in a very dark place in my life. I will not go into too many details about it, but I seemed to enter a pretty serious depression beginning in March. I believe the cause was two significant birthdays in March one my wife and the other a former fiance both of whom have passed away and I think it completely overloaded me. 

During this time a lot of things were happening the least of which I stopped eating for the most part. I talked myself into the fact I was simply on a weight loss plan since I suffer from a weight issue and have all my life, but it had unfortunate results. After a couple of weeks of 500 calories a day or less, I ended up being taken by ambulance outside of Harrah's to a hospital where I was diagnosed with tachycardia, dehydration, dizziness, disorientation, a blood pressure that went from 80 over 62 to 160 over 120 within the space of less than 7 minutes, renal and kidney failure and according to the doctor it was because of the so called weight loss program I was attempting to make part of my everyday life. It was either the depression, part of an eating disorder that I've suffered from for over 20 years that shows its face from time to time, or maybe both. 

I was so out of it that even poker didn't hold its passion for me during this time. This thing really had a hold on me.  Three specific people did their best to help me overcome this each in their own way and to them I want to say thank you so very much about caring about me.  This goes to Joe (@ManInBlack)......... Michelle (@9ontheturn)......... and Alysia Chang (@onechiquita)  I know thank you is not sufficient enough, but it's all I have to offer.  You three are what makes this world a great place to live in.

Depression can be a very rough thing, but I'm here to tell you that I am back and I am back grinding on ACR.  I'm also back with a very small bankroll, but I'm just going to have to deal with that. Small bankroll or not I am ready to grind and have been for the last 6 of 7 days.  Because of a friend on Twitter during the past week I was able to do two player to player transfer for $50 and $20.  I'm not sure if the person wants me to  mention who they are so I will withhold that information and respect their privacy in case they do not, but suffice it to say this person sent me $50 and $20 on ACR and I sent them the equivalent on PayPal so I started the month of May on ACR with $70. It's not a lot of money but if anybody can work it up from a low amount I know I'm the guy that can do it.

Starting back up on ACR with only $70 and only playing only $1.10 & $2.20 tournaments where payouts up top are only $20 or $30 is not easy. Everything in me wants to be playing in these $3.30 and $5.50 $500, $1,000, $1500 and higher Gtd's so bad I can taste it, but discipline must be maintained.  So why ACR and not WSOP??  The bottom line is I don't trust that site anymore. I will not go into details about it because quite frankly I really don't feel like putting up with the harassment about it, but the bottom line is if I don't trust something I'm not playing on it, I'm not putting up hard cash on it, and I will leave it at that. Not to mention ACR is definitely the place for a tournament player. Do I like three hour and five hour late registrations of course not, but with the guarantees that they have over here I'm going to have to put up with these inconveniences.

There are different examples of good news/bad news when it comes to tournaments on ACR. The good news is they pay out more spots in their tournaments. The bad news is they pay out more spots in their tournaments. Yes, it's easier to make the money, but it reduces the amount that can be won so in the long run I have no idea what kind of an ROI I'm going to have.  The good news is your opponent cannot see your mucked cards on ACR  The bad news is you can not see your opponents mucked cards on ACR.  The good news is ACR has a variety of tournament structures. The bad news is ACR has a variety of tournament structures. You may have a specific structure that works best for your game, but unfortunately it is not uniform throughout all their tournaments so you need to know just what kind of structure the tournament you're playing in may have. Doing a little research I have broken it down to certain categories of tournaments. These examples we are going to look at I'm using the blind levels of 1000/2000 and 5000/10,000 as the determining points, what level they occur, and how many hours and minutes of gameplay has elapsed when you hit that particular level. Listed below are just two examples although there are more different examples.

10 Minute Blinds

Category 1
1k/2k:  Level 19:  3:00
5k/10k:  Level 27:  4:20

Category 2
1k/2k:  Level 23:  3:40
5k/10k:  Level 35:  5:40

As you can see with just the two examples that I posted there is a significant difference especially when you're talking about the higher blind level of 5k/10k.  Between the two different tournament structures you're talking a full hour and 20 minutes in difference before arriving at 5k/10k and depending on the playing  style that can make a significant difference as well, but then again it might not. The only way to know for sure is to document how I do in each category of tournament and I'm going to attempt to keep track of that over the right side of this blog. The results may surprise me, they may not, only time will tell.
The goal is the same that it always has been....... live play.  At ACR however, withdrawals are just a little bit different. I mean after all it is an offshore site so that is to be expected. The easiest way for me to get my withdrawal is via  MoneyGram, but ACR will charge me depending on the amount roughly 12% for a withdraw. I know there is also Bitcoin available but it is not something that I want to trust with what to me are moderate sums of money so I am more than willing to pay the 12%.  If I take out $705 it's going to cost me a $95 fee. Before everyone starts screaming at me at how crazy it is, because of the added advantage of the great tournament selection, I am more than willing to do this so what I'm thinking is the best approach is to run this balance up to $1,200 withdraw $805 so that I'll have about 10 buyins at the Golden Nugget for the $70 tournaments wirh the remainder of the withdrawal for expenses and this will still leave $300 online to grind up again and again and again if necessary. So my goal currently and for the future should stay at $1,200.

So as of this posting I was getting ready for another Manic Monday which on Mondays they offer some very inexpensive tournaments for some very high guaranteed prize pools. I had played Monday through Saturday although Friday I only played one tournament and I took Sunday off. I wish there was some major major advances to report but that's not the case. During the 1st week I took that $70 plus an extra $0.11 that I found I had in my rakeback account because that's another advantage to ACR as I am getting 27% rakeback, but I took that $70.11 start and going into today had $93.51 in the ome bankroll. $15.90 was won at the online tables over $19 of that in 52 MTTs played as there was also ($3.60) in losses at SNGs. That was just something that I wanted to test out, but quickly realize not something that I am going to continue on with I just cannot stand the starting stack sizes of 1500 chips.  So $15.90 in profit at the tables, another $1.50 in rakeback and $6 in bonuses starts me off today with $93.51.


I know the payoffs that I'm going to be getting right now are laughable so feel free to laugh about them but slow and steady is going to win this race I plan on doing what I have to do now that I'm back to my old self again and grind grind grind his top priority.  As far as a bankroll management system that I will be using since my goal is $1,200 at a time so that I can withdraw and play live, I'm going to be utilizing a somewhat aggressive approach. I'm going with an approach of 60 buyins of the highest price tournament I want to play during the day.  So for me to play the $3.30 tournaments I need roughly in the neighborhood of $200 in my bankroll. It basically works out to the same as having 100 average buyins, but instead of having to add up all my buyins for the day, divide that by the number that will be played and then multiply that by 100 on a daily basis, I'll just utilize the 60 buyin rule for myself as it pretty much comes out to be the exact same thing and the math of it is a lot easier and a lot faster.

Well, that's a wrap for today. As of right now total online earnings for this year are $544.25. I've lost $276 playing live so far and the main reason for that is because I'm just playing one here and there and not able to string a few playing sessions together so that is why I am going to wait until the bankroll is at $1,200 and then withdraw $705 because I think it'll give me a potential earnings advantage if I can string at least six to eight live playing opportunities together. This year there have been nearly $175 in withdraws, but it was needed for living expenses like keeping food in the house not just an excuse to go out and have fun so with that I am very satisfied if not happy about the fact that I had to do the withdraws. I'm not going to try to pay it back, it simply is what it is I may be able to pay back a little here and there but it's not something I'm going to focus on. Either way I am back and I am grinding and I've got that fire back within me. So until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $93.51
Goal:  $1200
Progress:  7.8%

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Switched To ACR

I decided to make the switch over to America's Cardroom also better known as ACR . I and many other solid regular players had been noticing and outright voicing concerns over situations at WSOP.  Because of this and other reasons I decided to make the switch over to ACR which is something I had spoken with certain friends months ago about doing even though it is an offshore site simply because of the huge selection of tournaments that ACR offers, the much larger player pool, and now that I've been on there for over a week, I am kicking myself that I didn't make the move months ago.
It really is tournament heaven on this site. $500, $1,000, and $1,500 prize pools for tournaments costing $2.20 and $3.30 or even less as on Mondays a $1000 guaranteed No Limit Hold'em tournament for a $0.55.  However, it is an offshore site and there are inherent risks with offshore sites as we all know from the Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Poker, and Absolute poker past examples, and so therefore I am going to be very careful about how much money I invest and keep online. It is better to be safe than sorry.

I ended up making $585.74 on WSOP and losses of $246 playing live so far this year for total earnings for 2017 of $339.74.  Withdraws of $219.74 and I am not going to attempt to pay that back. The withdraws were not for just going out and having fun like I did far too much in 2016 instead they were for needed expenditures like food for the house so that left a grand total available of $120 which I put on ACR.  Along with the 100% first deposit bonus, I am also entitled to four $250 freerolls, one is held each Saturday evening and hopefully I will be able to make a few bucks from that. Also at the time that I did this first deposit I also was entitled to an additional bonus where you click on a card and it randomly spins out $2 to $6 that is added to my poker account each day for I think it's 20 days.
As for the tournaments on ACR I have never in my life seen such bad poker players. I mean I haven't seen people like this since the PokerStars days. It is extremely frustrating when they suck out on you, but I have no doubt that there is money to be made here. The only problem is you are facing far more opponents in these guaranteed tournaments than I was on WSOP, but combine the lower cost for the guarantees and the fact that ACR pays out 15% to 20% of the field, I believe that this is definitely going to be a money-making proposition.  As I said I'm going to limit how much I keep on site and the fact of the matter is I am utilizing online simply to get me buyins for live tournaments at the Golden Nugget. Therefore, for right now at least until I feel more comfortable about things, I will be setting my maximum buy-ins at $3.30. My base amount that I will keep on this site will be $300 and every $200 that is earned over that amount will be withdrawn for live play. Online is simply a means to an end. 

Well that's going to wrap this one up. I'm not really utilizing any specific bankroll management plan.  Im5 playing tournaments from $0.50 to $3.30. I've made a few dollars so far but nothing spectacular on ACR because I haven't had any of those deep deep runs in any of the larger guarantee tournaments so for now I just keep chipping away towards $500 and my first $200 withdrawal. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $146.49

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Where The Money Is

For nearly three months now I have been grinding tournaments online and averaging about $225 in earnings a month. However the live tournament play seems so far off in the distance and while I am a good tournament player with the buyins that I am forced to play online and quite frankly with the amount of money being invested on a daily basis it seems that this is not where the money is and I need to be doing whatever it takes to get me into these live tournaments as fast as possible and that means I need to be playing where the money is.

As much as I hate the thought of this the fact of the matter is I can make more month by month on average grinding the online $10 and $20 No Limit cash games then I can grinding the tournaments in the buyins that I am forced to play at this point. $500 minimum a month is a realistic possibility grinding the cash games and furthermore with a lot less risk to the bankroll. If you figure worst case scenario is I may lose for a 5 buyins in a single day that's %m $40 or $50 compared to some days where my tournament buy-ins are over $100 a day. 

Quite frankly I'm getting tired of having to grind online day in and day out and day in and day out when my real life is outside of this house, my real life is in casinos playing live tournaments, that's where my true destiny lies, but it's hard to achieve destiny with lack of capital. Furthermore I want to be playing live tournaments at least a few times a month  to start out with anyway and not having to wait for $2,000 or $3,000 to be able to do it  so therefore, and I can't even believe I'm about to say this because the thought of doing this is about as appealing as a tooth extraction, but if it's going to get me to where I want to be then I'll do whatever I have to and henceforth beginning today Tuesday March 21st 2017, yours truly FlushhDraw, is on a full-time online cash game grind.

It's a whole new ballgame folks and it does not come without certain issues like the fact that cash games online in 2016 were a freakin disaster. Like the fact that I believe cash games have more variance in them then tournaments. Like the fact that I have never proven myself successful in this particular form of poker so why should anyone expect me to be successful now. However, if I can prove myself successful in this I will be able to be playing my live tournaments a half a dozen times a month to start out with because I plan on keeping $500 online and every time I am  $70 above that $500 I will be withdrawing it and headed down to the Golden Nugget for a $70 tournament which generally pay about $600 up top. The first time I bink one of those all of a sudden instead of it being a one shot deal I'm going to have eight or nine more opportunities to keep trying them and and cashing in one or two over the course of those eight or nine following attempts creates more and more opportunities.

Obviously this is a whole new plan and while I have been criticized in the past for changing my plans the way I look at it is you try something if it doesn't work or doesn't work good enough two individual satisfaction, then you try something else and the more you try different things sooner or later you're going to stumble onto one that is perfect for you as an individual. This particular approach has many advantages. The least of which is It gets me in more live tournaments while at the same time always maintaining a 40+ buyin online cash game bankroll and it gets me in the live tournaments much faster even if they are going to be sporadic at first, which gets me out of the house which will thrill my doctors no end, and it will allow me to enjoy my life just a little bit more instead of waking up every morning and saying oh God I got to play online yet again. I think I'm starting to get burnt out by the long hours because my goal seems so far away, but by going about it in this way those goals can be achieved so much faster. It may be sporadic at first and that's okay because when you see even the smallest glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel you're going to run towards it.
I made a withdrawal of over $300 and went out and had a day out yesterday played a couple of tournaments played a little $2/$4 limit however I was not successful. I left $200 online to start the cash game grind and in approximately two weeks another $200 will hopefully be able to be added to this creating that initial $400 cash grinding bankroll so that means I only have to earn $170 at these stupid cash games and my first $70 tournament under this plan.

I am definitely a man alone as as I have become used to people automatically assuming I'm going to fail especially when I step up things and take an aggressive approach. Whether it be strangers or friends the only one that seems to believe in me is me and that's okay because I'm going to be able to show my detractors that even though it took me a few different plans to stumble on the right one that eventually I did get it right and before long I'm going to be sitting across the table from guys like Jeff Boski in tournaments with $10,000 on the line up top. My day is coming I have no doubt about, but in the meantime I'm going to do what I want, how I want, and I will be successful, and I will do it my way. I think that is probably my main theme song in life.

So I suppose the immediate question would be exactly what am I expecting from this cash game grind. I said previously that I think $500 a month can easily be expected. A good player should be able to hit 10 big blinds per 100 hands and I figure grinding 12 hours a day I'll get over 2000 hands played so even if my earn rate is less than that $500 should still be within my range.  On average I'm figuring $20 a day, just 20 little dollars. I don't even want to think about what that comes out to hourly so please no one bother telling me lol, the only thing I'm thinking about is getting to $70 above the $500 bankroll level, then  every 5 days on average over the long term I have the opportunity to play a $70 tournament at the Golden Nugget. That $20 a day and those Golden Nugget tournaments is my soul focus, but only if I can prove that I can actually win playing cash games. After 2016 there is no way in the world I expect anyone to believe I will be successful at this. I certainly did not prove myself last year but I damn well plan on proving myself this year.  I will admit to a certain degree I have a certain amount of pride on the line in this one come but more than anything I see the extra dollars that can be earned and that's what I'm after.

The first day of this started out horrendous, but what the hell would I expect, this is me we're talking about. I hate cash games with a passion due to the variance. Dollar-for-dollar and buyin for buyin cash games must have 300% more variance than the tournaments will ever hope to and it was no different for me starting out today. 900 hands and down $30 three full buyins. Especially after 2016 I'm a little bit paranoid when I'm taking losses so I immediately went over my hands right in the middle of this session to make sure it wasn't my fault per se. I had a full house on three different occasions and lost every one,  I flopped trips twice and lost, and had a straight and lost. These pleasantries added up to two-and-a-half buy-ins of the loss. I was also running pretty card bad as draw after draw after draw just absolutely went nowhere so although I was down $30 at least I knew it wasn't from any errors or mistakes that I had made just the higher variance of cash games over tournaments in general.

After 1350 hands were played I found myself down $18 a nice little comeback do two specific hands that happened back to back on the same table.

1570 hands and and I'm now down only $10 one little buyin because it took over 1500 hands for me to flop a set. If I had flopped a set previously nothing happened past the Flop and I really don't recall flopping a set before this specific one it was nice to get paid off on it and best of all this guy called a flop raise, a turn pot bet, and a 3/4 riverbed with top pair age kicker. Needless to say a note was written down on this particular player. Game over 1500 hands before it gets paid off, talk about running like ice.

Just over 800 hands later I ended the 12 hour session and over the final 800 hands it was dead on break even just about. 2374 hands place an overall loss of $10.19 less a dollar I got in rakeback. A lousy way to start this adventure off, but it's a damn sight better than being down $30 that I was. Today is another day and hopefully if I don't necessarily run hot I just run to expectation. Full houses not getting beat would be a great start.  

Well that's going to wrap this entry up. Let it be clearly understood that I am not doing this because I like it. I am doing this solely for the earnings potential. Overall tournaments for the first three months of the year I ran above 60% ROI, but the amount of the buy-ins just do not and will not produce the money potential available in these $10 No Limit cash games. I'm not doing this because I want to, but as my favorite departed Uncle used to say "Money talks and bullshit walks." Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.