Sunday, May 6, 2018

It's A Whole New World And It's More Expensive

Tuesday May 1st was the first full day of the WSOP merge for Nevada and the eastern states of Delaware and New Jersey and for tournament players the results are awesome with many many more tournament options now available. Some are tournaments that I would have no interest in playing, but there are several that I definitely want to be taking part in. They have also put back less expensive tournaments for those trying to build a bankroll which I think is really great. Not everybody wants to keep hundreds of dollars online and for those players that maybe only have a hundred bucks they can get in the game with tournaments of $0.10, $0.25, $0.50, and $1 available to them.

It's a whole new world, and it's more expensive. On WSOP prior to the merge my basic poker day consisted of playing four $3 deepstack rebuy tournaments a total cost for me of $24 as I do the immediate rebuy, but not the add-on, and a $5 deepstack rebuy tournament if it actually went off with a cost for me of $10. The total cost for me not including if I tossed a $20 one in here and there was $34 per day. After looking over the tournaments, and experimenting with some and then deciding whether or not to continue with them in the final analysis I have 9 tournaments a day I want to be part of my daily play schedule, but unlike the cost of $34 per day previously, the cost now for me per day will be $81.  The tournaments I want to be playing are listed below.

9 a.m. $5 NLH Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 55 / A

12 p.m. $3 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 55 / A

1 p.m. $20 NLH Daily Freezeout $700 Gtd
5000 / 10 / A

115 p.m $1 NLH Daily Rebuy $100 Gtd
2500 / 8 / 60 / B

3 p.m. $5 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $500 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

5:15 p.m $1 NLH Rebuy $500 Gtd
2500 / 8 / 60 / B

5:30 p.m. $7 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $750 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

7:30 p.m $15 Daily NLH KO Freeze $500 Gtd
4000 / 10 / A

8:15 p.m $1 NLH Daily Rebuy $500 Gtd
2500 / 8 / 60 / B

The numbers that I have separated by a slash beneath each tournament listed is the starting chip stack, how many minutes per blind as under the old system it was 10 minutes, but now some of the tournaments have only 8 minute blinds, how long the rebuy period is in minutes or if it's not a rebuy tournament how long the late registration is, and finally what is the blind structure A or B. Another thing that changed with the merge is their tournaments have one of two blind structures. Here's a screenshot of each. I will call the one on top Structure A and the one on the bottom Structure B.

There are other tournaments such as 6-max and re-entries, which allow you to reenter the tournament if you have one chip or less, but these tournaments only start with 2500 chips and anyone that reads this blog knows that in tournament play my strength lies undoubtedly in deepstack, slow structured, full ring tournanent play. If you look at the difference between structure A and B in the screenshot above you will find that by the time level 10 is reached the blinds are double what they are in structure A and antes have kicked in five levels earlier than structure A. If you will notice on the list of the tournaments I want to play the ones that have structure B are the $1 tournaments, the cheaper ones and to make matters worse there also have only 8 minute blinds.

So why would I even play them you might ask? Well, actually there are a few reasons. The first is two of those are $500 guarantees and a simple $2 investment can pay out over $130 if you take it down. The second reason is they are also just a smidgen closer to the tournament structures I will find playing live. No, I am not saying they are close to it, but they are at the very least closer. That might be a stretch to use that as a reason, but none the less it is a factual one. The third  reason is it helps to keep down my average buyin also known as the ABI. Along with this more expensive cost it's going to require an updated bankroll management approach. I went into today with a bankroll of $729 and $81 a day could be a bit expensive. If you look online looking for bankroll management suggestions some will say 100 ABIs as the suggestion, but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being ultra-conservative and 1 being Ultra crazy on the risk assessment scale, the train of thought seems to be that a 100 ABI bankroll is around 4 to 6 on that scale right smack-dab in the middle.

I make no secret of my financial situation which is that although I have $300 left available to me each month after bills are paid and expenses are set aside such as food and whatnot, a portion of that remaining $300 has to be delegated for Uber or Lyft rides if needed, or perhaps I may want a simple food delivery order once or twice during the months, or I may want to keep $100 aside for an emergency fund just in case something comes up like the other day when I lost my vape pen and had to go to the vape store and spend $40 for a new one. We never know what little thing might come up from day to day so it's always best to keep an emergency fund set aside even if it is only $100. So while if I did nothing else I could replace $300 of my bankroll if absolutely needed I don't want to put myself in that position so a safe bankroll management plan needs to be established, but one that still allows me to play the higher-priced better-paying tournaments and I think I'm came up with one that I'm pleased and satisfied with.

I needed to decide on a base bankroll amount that allows me to play what I call my Mainframe 6. For me this would be the two $5 deepstack rebuys, the $3 deepstack rebuy, and the three $1 tournaments. That's a total of $32 divided by 6 tournaments which equals a ABI or average buyin of $5.33. The base bankroll I want for these is $700 which gives me 131 average buyins in the bankroll and overall 70 buyins for the highest priced tournament that I would be playing each day. I find this to be a nice middle ground. Even if the bankroll drops below $700 I still will play the Mainframe 6 until I'm back over $700 again or I'm broke.

At the beginning of each poker day anything over $700 is set to one side so to speak and whatever that amount is I then decide what will be played with what is available. The choices being the $20 freezeout, the $7 deepstack rebuy $1,500 Gtd, and the $15 Daily KO. If I have $49 available as in I started the day with $749 then awesome no problem I can play all three and if I start the poker day with less such as going into today I started with $729 then choices have to be made and I have to pick and choose what I feel is best. So starting today with $729 I had $29 available and I chose the $7 deepstack rebuy with a total cost of $14 and the $15 KO.

That's going to wrap this entry up. My next entry will let you know how the first 10 days went, but if the first six is any indication it is not going to be a pretty sight. You can follow along how I'm doing over on the right side of this blog, but it is loaded with a lot of red numbers unfortunately, but we keep fighting on because cold runs don't last forever they just seem like they do. So until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $729
May: ($130)
2018 YTD:  $103

Thursday, May 3, 2018

April Results And Looking Towards May

April turned out to be a winning month like March, but April was over twice as better.  April earnings were a total of $306 with $250 earned in tournaments, $53 earned in cash games, satellites cost me ($4) and the rakeback that I was able to gain was $7. My bread-and-butter tournament definitely were the $3 deepstack rebuys and whether they were 55-minute rebuy periods or 85 minutes it didn't seem to matter which was actually surprising to me as I usually do considerably better in the 55-minute variety. Earnings were $293 with a 124% ROI on the first and earnings of $202 and a 259% ROI on the latter. I struggled in the $20 tournaments that I played. Whether they were freezeouts or $10 deepstack rebuys that I do an immediate rebuy in to make it a $20 tournament cost no matter how you look at it in those I showed losses of ($170) ouch!!  I lost ($25) in the one Superstack Freezeout I played and didn't cash and in the one tournament I sold action on my portion of the loss was ($19) so none of that was exactly exciting it. In the $5 deepstack rebuys I lost another ($110), but I bounced back with $79 in earnings in the 6-max $5 two rebuy one add-on tournaments I played in.

All in all April got me back to being in the black for 2018 for a grand total of earnings of $234. Believe me that is not a brag as I find those numbers to be very disappointing, but February was a month that I took a significant hit with losses that month of ($541) so I had to climb my way out of a hole even though January was a winner for ($336), but I am somewhat proud of myself that I was able to buckle down and do what I had to and was able to climb out of that hole even if I've only made $234 over the first four months. I'm hoping to do much better over the next four.

The first 4 months of earnings and losses will all be combined into one grouping because as most of you I'm sure already know that WSOP has merged. May 1st the merge took place and now all three states are in the same player pool and the way I understand it some additional skins were added but I'm not completely sure about that last part so don't quote me on it. Many of the tournaments that I have been playing are either no longer on the menu, or their buyins have increased, or the guaranteed prize pools are considerably higher. There are also several more tournaments for me to choose from now.

My next blog entry will be more in-depth about this merge after the first week  has been completed. I will update you on how I'm doing so far and what tournaments are available for my personal preference. There is another aspect also. With the merge WSOP has increased the number of players that they are paid in their tournaments. The whereas before it was approximately 10% or 11% of the field they now payout on average from 17% to 19% of the field. I'm not sure how I feel about this.  Overall when I combine all my tournaments played online over the first four months of 2018 I've gone 27 for 154 for an in the money percentage of 17.5%. My tournament costs we're $1,267 resulting in earnings of $274 for an ROI of 21.6%. Obviously with an increase of the player pool being paid in tournaments my in the money percentage should increase, but with less money to be had in the top spots how will that affect my ROI?  That is something I do not know and something I'm not going to be able to answer until I have a sufficient sample size played under the new system to compare to so time will tell. Stay tuned my friends and we will find out how it pans out one way or the other.

I'm going to wrap up this entry by letting you know that I will definitely be playing in my first World Series of Poker event this year. I am going to be entering The Giant a $365 bracelet event. This is the same tournament that last year got about 27,000 entrants, but I don't care it's going to be my first experience at the World Series and I cannot wait for it to happen. Because they have five different flights for day one and then day 2 being a specific day and the final day 3 being a different day my physical limitations that I have experienced over the last several months should not come into play. Looking at the structure it looks like it's only 6 actual hours of playing time on day 1 so all should be good on that end. To say that I am absolutely excited would be the understatement of the century.

That's going wrap up this one up.  May will be nothing but tournaments played on WSOP as there are so many choices I don't have time for anything else and all my readers know how I feel about playing cash games anyway. I also decided to cut my maximum tables playing tournaments each day down to two. It's forcing me into a position where I have to pick and choose what I feel are the best tournaments for me instead of just clicking on anything and everything that's available and I think overall that can only be a good thing. The reasoning behind the maximum of two tables is because I feel the flow for me goes much better and I am able to pay close attention to everything that's going on on both tables. I find that when I increase that number to three  there is definitely a lapse of concentration  and for a poker player that's not something you want. So until next time, take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Difficult Implementations Questioning Approaches

I tried to continue to play the cash games, but as I did so no matter what I tried, 2 tabling, 1 tabling, even 3 tabling at one point, I just could not help being utterly uninterested in it even detesting it to a certain degree. Take the 18th for instance. I jumped in a $20NL game, was only playing one cash game at the time and soon into it I get it all in preflop with AA vs Villain' s KK. The aces hold, I double up to $40, and that should have given me some sort of positive emotion from it, but all it generated was a blase feeling. All in all I'm up $53 this month in cash games, won another $40 from them last month, but whether I'm winning or whether I'm losing I just really cannot stand it and I can't explain why. It's poker  I'm doing fairly well at it, I should love it, but I hate it.

On Saturday the 21st I finally decided that if I dislike something that much then it's definitely not something that I'm going to be doing in my poker. I mean let's face it poker is enjoyable first and foremost. Every player out there that plays, I mean we do it because we love it and if I'm on the complete opposite end of the spectrum regarding a certain aspect of my poker then it's just something that I need to not be doing. I personally believe this inherent dislike has been affecting me in other areas such as these long sleep sessions that I've been having. I think this is directly related to the fact that whether it's in my conscience or subconscious mind, something is telling me I don't want to get up because I'm going to be doing something I really don't want to be doing. Even the fact that I would be playing tournaments also during that day isn't enough to overcome that. I end up just turning off my alarm and sleeping for 12, 14, and even 16 hours. This is exactly what happened on Friday the 20th, and I did not get a single hand of Poker played so going into Saturday I finally said enough. I need to do what I want to do, I need to do what I love and I think I find it more than a coincidence that at no time during the course of Saturday did I even consider wanting to go to sleep and on Sunday morning I got up with my alarm for the first time in forever. Well actually I woke up with the second alarm but I was up and at it for the 9 a.m. tournament. On Saturday or Sunday I did not play a single hand of cash and instead, as the day progressed, I just kept looking forward to the next tournament coming up.

A situation I find I am facing is that what I wrote in a blog entry recently, when I tried to put it into practice, I found the implementation of it not being what I thought it would be and found myself backing away from what I thought would be an extraordinarily simple situation. On my last entry I wrote about how as my bankroll increased by $100 increments how many different $20 tournaments I could add to the mix. In part I wrote the following.

"If my account balance is at $600 then I may add one $20 tournament that particular day. If it is $700 then I may allow myself two $20 tournaments that day, if it's at $800 then I may allow myself to play three of them a day."

Well on two separate occasions during the last week I've had my account balance starting the day at just over $800, but when it came to the implementation I realized I had no intentions of playing three $20 tournaments on either of those days and in each case I kept myself to just one $20 tournament the first time I faced the opportunity and a single $25 tournament the second time I had the opportunity.  I mean it seemed completely reasonable to when I wrote about it, but when the time came to actually put it into play I backed way off. The question is why?  Why am I all of a sudden developing, what to me is, an ultra-conservative bankroll management approach and more importantly by doing so am I letting potential value escape me.

Maybe it's because with only a few hundred dollars left over each month $800 is not immediately and easily replaceable, but actually that doesn't make sense because the worst that I could be even if I lost three of the $20 tournaments would be from $800 to $740 and obviously that's not counting any losses I might taking in my normal tournaments that cost $6 and $10 that I play, but no matter how you look at it three $20 tournaments on any particular day is not going to make or break me so why am I being so hesitant?  Am I'm being smart about it or overly cautious. I don't know what the answer is all I know is that as my bankroll increases I'm becoming more restrictive with what I'm willing to spend it on pokerwise. Is this a fault or a strength? Is this being smart or is this being fearful? I'm really not sure all I am sure of is the higher the bankroll climbs the more protective I am being with it.

Another area that I'm questioning myself is something that I tweeted about on Twitter and if you don't follow me on Twitter this is what was tweeted in part.

"If your bankroll allows u to play a $20 tournament once a day & other than that your bankroll stipulates you play in lower priced ones during the course of the day. When you're running a bit cool would you still want to play that $20 tournament each day because your bankroll says you can or would you prefer to wait until you see signs you're heating back up before throwing that $20 tournament in there. Something can be said for both sides as that $20 tournament could be the one that snaps you out of your cool run in a big way then again it could be considered throwing good money after bad when you know you're not running well."

Again here I have been taking the more conservative approach. If I see myself taking bad beats to get knocked out of tournaments or running into coolers or not seeming to be able to win a coin flip and I find myself running 0 for my last 7 or 0 for my last 9 I generally, no matter what the bankroll may be at that time, will pass on playing the $20 tournament until I see some signs that I'm coming out of it. The question again is this the intelligent approach or is this just another aspect of fear slipping in the equation. I really don't know the answer to that question either. As always I welcome all thoughts and opinions to any of the topics touched on in this entry.

I will continue to throw in a single $20 tournament providing my bankroll is at $800 and above or even $700 and above. When will I be comfortable tossing in multiple $20 tournaments per day....... I don't currently know the answer to that. Will I feel comfortable doing it when I have $900 available to me or will it not be until I have $1,000. Ordinarily I would just simply tell you what the answer is, but I am finding from my recent experience of the $800 account balance that I'm not going to know until the situation actually presents itself.

So to conclude let me bring you up-to-date with what the monthly situation is through Sunday the 22nd.  After play ended on Sunday the 15th at that point for the month I was up $218 in total earnings. As I entered Sunday the 22nd total earnings for April were $191 down $27 for the last 6 days with planned tournament costs for the day coming in at $54, but some additional rebuys when I got in a little bit of trouble in a couple of tournaments ended up making it $65. Unfortunately over the previous six days I hit a bit of a tournament slump going to 2 for 16 with a 5th place and 4th place finish in two different $3 deepstack rebuys. I was also 0 for my last 9 played.

The 9 a.m. $350 guaranteed, 12 p.m. $400 guarantee, and 3:15 p.m. $350 guaranteed 6Max went nowhere bringing me to 0 for my last 12. The next two tournaments were the 4 p.m. $350 guaranteed and the 4:30 p.m. $500 guaranteed and it was in these two tournaments that I noticed things starting to turn back my way. It wasn't turning back my way because I was winning some large all-ins, but when you re in a tournament cool stretch and you're not winning coin flips to save your life sometimes the sign you're coming out of it is just a hand playing to showdown where you have for example KQ vs Villain's 99 and you end up winning the hand. It doesn't have to be for a lot of chips just an instance where you were a coinflip pre and you end up winning the hand even if the pot is small, that doesn't really matter, but these are the signs that you look for that things are starting to turn back around.

I noticed it first in the 4:30 p.m. $5 deepstack rebuy $500 guaranteed and I actually ended up finishing out of the money in that one, but that's where I noticed the first signs and in the 4 p.m. $350 guaranteed I ended up finishing 3rd for a $72 return. It was a very disappointing 3rd as at one point with five or six players left I had a substantial chip lead. With that $72 cash that guaranteed me having a winning day of a grand total of $7, but I still had two tournaments left going. The 7:30 p.m. $800 guaranteed and the 9:30 p.m. $500 guaranteed and I was able to pull down a 6th place finish in the $800 guaranteed for an additional $57 on the day. I played tournaments for about 15 hours and ended up making $64 or a little over $4 an hour, but that's the amazing thing about poker. If just one or two hands goes just a little bit differently then that same day I'm making over $30 an hour. You just gotta love it.

There has been an additional issue in April. I am not running well at all in the more expensive tournaments. Completing action yesterday in $5 and $10 deepstack rebuys and $20 and $25 deepstack and superstack freezeouts I've gone 0 for 21 in these tournaments with losses of ($324). The $3 deepstack rebuys have been my saving grace as when action was completed yesterday this month I had gone 11 for 41 in those with earnings of $521. I don't know why there's such a discrepancy and it may simply be that my sample size is too to make any significant determinations, but it is definitely and obviously a noticeable difference.

Going into today for the 3rd time in the last 7 days I start with a bankroll just over $800. Obviously I have started running a little warm again so there will be a single $20 tournament played today unless of course I run very deep in something early then possibly and probably a 2nd will be tossed into the mix. I only got about an hour's worth of a semi-sleep situation because of something very interesting that happened during the overnight and I'll let you know about that in my next entry probably within a few days followed by an end of the month report for April's final results and May's goals. That's going to wrap this one up. Until next time, as always, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.