Saturday, November 10, 2018

Catching Everyone Up On The Last Two Months

It has been too long since my last update, but but for several weeks I really had absolutely nothing to write about. It started the beginning of September when I took whatever money I had leftover that month plus the money I had online and when I put everything together I had a bankroll of a full $1,000 and as everyone knows live poker is where I want to pretty much spend the rest of my life and with $1,000 I set out to do just that and for once I was doing a live run with more than $400 or $500. For the next 3 weeks I played Limit Omaha 8 as much as possible tossing in some tournaments and when it was all said and done after about 20 days roughly I was roughly about break even, nothing exciting happened to that point, but after nearly three weeks of this my back just couldn't take it anymore. When I played a session of live poker for 5 or 6 hours I could not straighten up for the next two full days and it would take about two and a half days to recuperate from a session playing live, but I continued. to push it and push it until about 3 weeks in I just knew I couldn't do it any longer.

I know I've got lower back issues to go along with all the other crap, but I didn't realize just how bad things were and after I realized that I wasn't going to be able to play live for awhile I finally opened the envelope that contained the CD from my MRI. Little did I know the paperwork was in there telling what exactly the results showed so I didn't have to watch the CD and it took me three weeks  even open it because I thought only the CD was in there and I knew even if I put the CD into my laptop I'm not going to understand anything it had to say. When I looked at the results they use so many freaky words I didn't know what they meant either so I started Googling what these specific words meant and low and behold this is what my back looks like from the inside of course. All the problems are in the lumbar section of the spine and vertebrae L2 through L5 and then right below L5 there is an S-1. Here is a picture down below showing you what and where that section of the vertebrae looks like and is located and although S1 is not in the picture I've provided it is the next vertebrae below L5, but without further delay these are basically the results of my MRI.

L2-3 is a bulging disc with a symptom of degenerative spine disease.

L3-4.......L4-5.........L5-S1 is a bulging disc with arthritis included in that area

L5 has a stress fracture.

L5 to S1 the spinal nerve is compressed on both sides.

L5 to S1 the fibers that make up the tough, outer covering of the intervertebral disc are either broken or separated.

L4 through S1 have benign tumors located on those vertebrae.

I went over the results with @9ontheturn and I'm not sure which one of the things that I had read to her but she told me immediately when I read her one of the specific things listed above that no doubt I needed surgery and she also explained the reason why I was having so much trouble playing live poker and why it took two full days just to straighten up which by the way is not an exaggeration, is because those fractures and breaks and cracks and whatever else is going on as apparently at least two vertebrae if not three are fractured in some way, they are so low in the back when you're sitting down you're basically putting all the pressure on that part of the lumbar spine. So with a bankroll still of $1,000 roughly I ended up taking $600 and spent it on miscellaneous items and things and I deposited $400 back online on WSOP and for all intents and purposes it just sat there for the next 40 days gathering dust so to speak because over the next 40 days as much as I tried I just could not bring myself to play online and out of the 7 days out of 40 that I tried it didn't last long. I might play a cash game for 10 minutes and then close the computer up for the day or perhaps I would play a tournament, but most of the days of the 40 I would look at the laptop, think about online poker and say out loud yuck and just go back to binge watching Hawaii Five-O or something. I just couldn't do it even though I knew it was my only way to get back to live play again once these back problems are taken care of of course which has been nothing but a hassle which I will touch on in a moment, but the bottom line is I just could not bring myself to play online.

As you may recall last Christmas Eve a sister that I never knew about ended up finding me and since that time for over 10 months now hardly a day goes by where we're not either texting one another or talking on the phone and although we haven't met in person yet we have such a great connection and we absolutely love each other as brothers and sisters do that have been part of each other's life since the day they were born. It doesn't feel like we just found each other after so many years, it feels like she's been my sister all my life and she told me that she feels the same way. She doesn't consider me a half brother I'm her little baby brother and that's all there is to it and while she's done the following unintentionally she has somehow, someway, become my inspirational poker coach if you will. She knows nothing about poker or about any kind of gambling, but she believes no matter what I'm trying to accomplish I can do it and she believes I can do it. It made me decide that if I wasn't going to do what was necessary to get back to live play for myself then I was going to do it for her. My sister believes in me so much, has absolutely no doubt about that belief in me, I wasn't going to let her down or I was going to do my absolute best not to.

I knew what I had to do. I had to be grinding cash games and playing a few tournaments a day, but we all know how many times I've tried to start grinding cash games online again and how it lasts a day or maybe two and that's it. To that effect I got back on the online grind on November 1st, but I did not want to blog about it until I was sure it was going to be a steady thing. I get sick and tired of writing about how I'm going to be doing something and then for whatever reason, whether it be a medical reason, or the fact that I just can't stand doing something that in a day or two I have to come back and tell my readers no that it didn't last, but this time it seems to have done just that. I played 8 straight days, yesterday I took the day off, and this morning I'm back at it again. I'm not getting in as many hours as I would like, sometimes only 5 hours a day, because I have a tear in my right shoulder to go along with arthritis in the shoulders and although I am laying on my bed with the laptop when I'm moving the mouse around with my right hand, you would be amazed how that little movement actually utilizes muscles not only in your forearm butt in your upper arm and shoulder as well and many times over the last 8 days after 5 hours my shoulder is hurting me so bad I just had to call it a day. I did manage one 12 hour session, but I was in such agony, the shoulder was almost numb. Probably not a great idea to let it go that far.

After the first eight days I'm not exactly lighting the world on fire, but then again I'm not in the poor house either. 7109 hands played in the last 8 days of $10NL and total earnings of $85.58. I am down $27 from my High Point of $112 as I took a $28 loss on day 7 and won only $0.36 on day 8. It averages out to just under 900 hands being played per day and I really want that to be in the range of 1200 to 1500 hands daily. Tournaments starting out the month of November we're not going well, but I have cashed my last four, but I'm still showing losses in tournaments for the month of down ($28.12) so over all the first eight days I'm looking at total earnings of $57.46. Yeah I know I don't want to talk about the hourly and I don't want to talk about it's 8 days of my life I'll never get back, I just want to keep on pushing. This is the Drive For 25 and you can see the specifics on the right side of this blog. The Drive For 25 is to get to $2,500 so I can get back to the Omaha 8 limit game and some tournaments tossed in with a full cash game bankroll needed for $4/$8 Omaha high/low although even with $2,500 I'll probably still trying to grind the $3/$6 game at Sam's Town. I'm hoping and thinking that by the time I get to $2,500 that the back should be repaired, but that now leads us to concluding this entry with the story of getting in to see the back surgeon.

When I called them I was told that I had had an appointment for September 7th that I was a no-show for, but nobody bothered telling me about this appointment for September 7th. I had the MRI on September 5th so there's no way in the world I would have made an appointment for September 7th. For approximately the last 30 days I have been trying to make an appointment because my doctor has sent the referral and they, according to their own office staff have all the information they need. When I call the office of the back surgeon I am transferred to the woman that does scheduling. Every time I'm transferred it goes to voicemail. I left a voicemail and two weeks later heard nothing and the woman's voicemail greeting says do not leave multiple messages so go figure. I called back they transferred me again I waited over a week and still heard nothing no call back no nothing. I called again  explained the situation, and again they transferred me and again I did another voicemail and it's been over 10 days now and I have heard nothing. I do not know why they are doing this. Is it because they think I was a no-show on September 7th even if I didn't know about the appointment and they're mad at me about that? This has gotten plainly ridiculous. Monday morning I'm calling that office again and if I do not get satisfaction then I'm going to call my insurance company and give the ball to them and let them raise holy hell about this and then I'm going to call my own doctor's office and tell them what's going on and get them in on this because this is getting me nowhere. I already called to try to get a different referral but unfortunately under my insurance plan this is the only referral that they can give me. The fact of the matter is I am scared to death of back surgery, I'm scared of coming out of it and being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life, but at the same time I want my life back and I know this is the only way I'm going to get it.

Well that's going to be a wrap up for this blog entry. I'm sorry for the lack of content and I will try to improve on that, but over those 40 days when I just had no inclination to play online I really felt there was nothing to write about and I was going to write about the life play but it just depressed me so bad knowing that once again some part of my body refuse to allow me to do what I love to do. However I go on and do what we have to do and right now what I have to do is get on to these tables for another day on the grind. Until next time take care of everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $457.46
Goal: $2500
Progress: 18%

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Crazy Test Run And Back To Poker My Way

I'm putting aside The Final Five and I will just make it The Final Four at the beginning of next month and the reason for this is because I decided that I am going 2 try a test this month and it may be the single most asinine thing I've ever attempted in my poker playing. I fully admit this going in, but when you keep having the words what if, what if, what if, going through your mind constantly, you have to find out what will be. The worst words in the world are what if or what could have been, so beginning tomorrow the August test begins.

And just what is this test you may ask. As you know in my last entry I stated I went 17 for 79 for an in the money percentage of 22% with losses of ($379.27). Those numbers are actually in error as I forgot to include the 9 a.m. $5 deepstack rebuy $350 Gtd. For this entry I separated the 4 No Limit Hold'em deepstack rebuy tournaments that I would play and this time I double checked the figures to make sure they came up correctly. From May 1st, the first day of the WSOP merge, until July 31st these are the results of the four specific tournaments.

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd 
2 for 14 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $600 Gtd
8 for 39 

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $1000 Gtd 
7 for 30 

$7 Deepstack Rebuy $1500 Gtd 
2 for 10 

As I stated in the last entry these numbers do not make sense. 23% in the money should not equate to losses and quite frankly neither should 20% for that matter, but I admit on the $350 Gtd and the $1500 Gtd the sample size is extremely small. I believe the cost of the tournaments when you do the immediate rebuy and the add-on, in combination with the sometimes nearly 20% being paid in these tournaments, is a big part of what is overall causing these negative numbers, but it got me thinking. What if I bought into these tournaments utilizing one buyin, no additional rebuys, and no add-ons, what would happen. If I had been doing this all along the cost for the tournaments played would have been approximately $777.37 less than what they actually were. That is quite a large amount of money when you're talking cost vs reward, but the question is would I have had any deep runs by simply buying in and that was it, would I be showing a profit in each and every one of these or any of these for that matter if I had done that all along. I don't know, and those reading this don't know, and the only way that we're going to find out is to test it. It's quite possible that a 27-day test won't really prove one way or the other, but if I do this test the entire rest of the month it will be over 100 tournaments if I play everyday which I won't be able to do because two different medical appointments are going to interfere in the grind, but I want to at least see if there is any Improvement. I have posted the results that I listed above on the right side of my blog and right above that is going to be the August test results so that you guys can follow along.

Today, August 4th, was the pre-test to the test. Doing this is going to increase my tournament cost by $20 a day from $53 to $73 and considering this may be the stupidest experiment I have ever tried, I wanted to see if there was some way that I could offset these additional tournament costs. The beginning of the month once again I tried playing cash games and my heart just wasn't in it and to be honest neither was my full attention, and at times I didn't even care what was going on in them and I took a significant loss but under the circumstances I've just stated let's face it that's to be expected. I hate cash games, I hate saying the term cash games, I hate their ever-lovin guts, so why do I continue to try to play them? Because I'm an idiot that's why and one of these days I am going to learn don't go near what you hate. The reason I tried it once again was I was looking to offset costs, but today when I did the pre-test I went a different route and this was $5 heads-up SNGs.

I can only realistically do three tables because quite frankly 4 just goes too damn fast for me. I guess I'm slowing down as I get older, but when I try to do 4 tables I get sat out, but when I do 3 life is awesome, so if I only have two multi-table tournaments going, I was firing up a single heads-up SNG. I can only play those one at a time because if I try to fire up two of those, well talk about tables popping up left and right, it's a no-go, but during the course of the day I ended up playing 12 of them and I won 8 and lost 4 and earned $16.80 in the process. Now granted I may not average 8 wins out of 12 typically, but then again maybe I will, I've never played these things seriously just one here and there except that one time that I played a day of $1 ones and  one 50% of but except for that experience I have no idea what I am capable of, but no matter what I make from them, it will offset part of the additional $20 I'm going to be spending. I'm thinking tomorrow if I play the $10 heads-up SNGs even if I'm not winning 8 out of 12 it should completely offset the additional cost that is if the $10 ones go off as regularly as the $5 ones and if by some crazy chance I do go 8 out of 12 again it will totally cover that cost and more.

Going into today I decided to go back to playing poker my way. For quite some time now I've been trying to adapt to what the poker establishment says is correct, but it is not my way of playing poker. To hell with these preflop raises of 2.2 times the big blind and continuation bets of 1/3 the pot so you were just giving your opponent in a heads-up post-flop situation 4 to 1 odds. It is totally ridiculous to me and today I decided to go back to doing it the way. With no antes in play preflop raises of 3.5x, with antes preflop raises of 3x plus a little extra, sometimes five hundred. I watch Doug Polk's stream from time to time and specifically when it comes to preflop raise sizing I notice that anybody that bucks the system, that goes against what the poker establishment says is correct and plays old school he will get very excitable at times and it seems to him they're automatically a fish.

Like the other day when I was watching his stream and one of his opponents raised 4X, I mean I thought the man was going to stroke out he was screaming so loud on camera about it. The current poker establishment seems to think there's only one way to play this game, but I disagree.  2.2 times the big blind preflop raises screams for the blinds to be calling. I got news for you if I have AK I don't want 6 opponents going against me I want that mofo heads up and as far as I'm concerned why would you want to raise smaller preflop when a larger raise is going to steal far more blinds and antes without a challenge especially when you're doing it in late position and in late position you're raising a lot lighter than you are in early position. Why would anybody want to bet 1/3 the pot as a continuation bet when in a heads-up situation when you're giving your opponent four to one for a call, to me that is absolute insanity. Look I know Doug Polk is the professional and I'm a nobody,  but even if that's so I'm still going to do things my way and today I did just that and the 2nd tournament I entered on the day, and granted it was a small one, just a $5 KO so a $2.50 tournament with $2.50 knockouts and I ended up with 9 knockouts, 10 if you count my own since I ended up winning the tournament in a field of 104 and my $5 investment got me a $91 return. Coincidence? Very possibly, but is it a coincidence that it was my first outright win in the last 151 tournaments played, but for all the reasons I've just listed it this old school poker player is back doing things his way. After all, Sinatra said it best.

After the cash game difficulties I decided to pop $175 in a deposit on to my WSOP account starting the day with $1200 even and I also utilized the reload bonus code so I have $170 in pending bonus. The tournaments played today, plus the $5 heads-up SNGs got me 20 points, so if that's going to be standard,  every 5 days I will be clearing a $10 bonus. For today after everything was all said and done and the smoke cleared I walked away with a $47 profit for the day so I'm starting the August Test tomorrow with a bankroll of $1,247 and am going to be hitting up the $10 heads-up SNGs tomorrow provided they go off with some regularity.

That's going to wrap this one up. I'll report back in about a week to let you know how it's going and if I end up popping a good one you can believe I will be tweeting about it on Twitter. Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $1247
Goal: $2500
Progress: 50%

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Final Five

The final week of July could have gone better. If you recall from my last entry I started  the final week of July with $1,254 and unfortunately I ended the final day of July with $1170. However I am starting the final five months with $1,100 as I decided to pull $70 of that off and send it to my PayPal which I will then send to my checking account. Why did I do this you ask? Actually there were two reasons. The first was I wanted to start the final five months of the year with a nice round even number in the and the second reason was I've got a few medical co-pays not to mention bills I need to take care of next month and that extra $70 is going to most likely go for that.

It has been 3 full months since the merge on WSOP and this is a paragraph that could be titled why do I wait so long, but of course that can be said for a lot of things that I figure out along the way during this journey. I recently discovered, once I actually took the effort and looked into it, that ever since the merge and this asinine increase in the amount of players paid in these tournaments to over 15% and sometimes just under 20% that it absolutely kills the ROI and more specifically it kills it in rebuy tournaments more than anywhere else because those, as you know, cost more than face value. Prior to the merge even a min cash in the rebuy tournaments would be about double the total tournament cost even if you did the initial rebuy and add-on. Now with this new payout structure there are numerous times, I kid you not, where a min cash is getting you 1.2 times you're buyin. The situation is better in freezeouts and knockouts. Yes, depending on the exact circumstances there are times where that will happen even in a freezeout, but those times are less prevalent. As a prime example the $20 deep stack freeze out I have found usually a min cash pays 1.5x to 1.8x the buy-in and believe me and trust me when I tell you those few tenths of a point make a huge difference in the long run. My results since the merge are a prime example.

NLH Rebuys
ITM: 17 for 79: 22%
Earnings: ($379.27)

I think it goes without saying that if you are 22% in the money you should be showing positive numbers in the earnings department and even if you don't agree to that line of reasoning you would have to agree that those earnings would have to be at least close to break even. 22% in the money in rebuys and down almost ($400) in the process. That doesn't even come close to adding up and I guarantee you if the payouts weren't so low because of the increased player payouts, those numbers would be in the positive. The final day of July was a prime example. $7 deepstack rebuy, total cost $20.37 for one initial rebuy and the add-on, 220 players, I finish in the top 10% and get $29 for my aggravation. No thank you rebuys are off the menu for the final five months.

ITM: 7 for 28: 25%
Earnings: $166.05

Not the best, but then again not to worst at least I'm showing a profit and heaven to Betsy it's in freezeouts. Whoever would have thought that.

ITM: 13 for 54: 24%
Earnings: ($169.14)

This one takes a little explaining. On the surface it does not look exactly what you might call prosperous, but even though I am showing overall losses in KOs there is an interesting but to this. What I am about to say next is probably going to sound insane, but then again that probably is no surprise to my long-term readers anyway lol, but after running horribly for the first 21 tournaments I decided that I was not going to play a knockout tournament like it was a knockout tournament. I think you know what I mean. Going after the knockout with less-than-stellar holdings, calling somebody who's all in with a thousand chips and you have A7s. I think it can be agreed that in a normal tournament or a normal freezeout you're not going to call off a quarter or a third of your stack in that situation, but when you're in a knockout tournament it's played a little differently so I decided that even though I was in a knockout tournament I was going to play it like I was just in a standard freezeout tournament. The results from this decision was eight cashes in the next 12 played in the $15 KO including a fifth-place finish with $100 in earnings and a 55.5% ROI. Prior to this change of approach I was 5 for 21, all of them min and losses of ($254). Over the final three tournaments in the $15 KO that I played in July I seemed to slip back into that go after the knockout routine and I went 0 for my final 3 however I was able to get three Knockouts in two of those tournaments so even going zero for the last three in the $15 KO my losses for those three were still only $15. Obviously I need to get back on track in my thinking and approach, this much is obvious, and perhaps for others it doesn't matter, but for me in a knockout tournament I got to play it like it's a regular freezeout because I think 8 for 12 says everything and more than I could possibly say here.

So the title says "The Final Five" and obviously since I've already mentioned it a couple of times that indicates the last 5 months of the year. Since I am eliminating rebuys from my tournament schedule that only leaves me with five tournaments to play each day, three of them Knockouts and two regular freezeouts. Total cost of the daily tournaments are $53 with an average buyin of $10.60, but two of them make up $35 of that $53 cost. I'm starting "The Final Five, as I stated previously, with $1,100 exactly. I'm also starting the final five months with over 100 average buy-ins, 103 to be precise, so I do believe it is in my best interest to to supplement my earnings with PLO8 cash games. I'm choosing these over NLH cash games because first of all in a live setting I've done considerably better this year in the few hours that I have played in Limit Omaha 8 than I did in limit Hold'em and with the aspect of the low and the high makes the variance lower and makes it far more interesting to me than your basic and NLH cash game which as you know bores me to freaking tears and makes root canal without anesthesia or Novocaine look appealing. Another reason is I heard one of the streamers that I watch say that even in the micros $250 a week is possible and I would like to see just how close I can come to that. I do not on God's green earth expect to hit that number, but hell, if I could get half of it, I'd be happy.

The first seven months have been a constant struggle, but the first four months were definitely profit and ever since the merge it hit me hard with the changes, but I think I've got everything figured out. Total earnings over the first 7 months were a paltry $244 with $117 coming in online earnings. I'm ready and raring to go for "The Final Five" and I really feel that since I've got everything ironed out in just what I want to do and how I want to do it, that these final 5 months is going to be a volcano explosion that would make Mount Saint Helens look like a smoldering smokestack. I'm ready and raring to go, I've got the drive for it back, I feel like I'm totally in the zone, and the only thing that's going to stop me from making a hell of a run in "The Final Five" is myself.

That's going to wrap this one up. Less than 90 minutes until the first tournament of the day and I'm not sure exactly what time the PLO8 games will get going,  possibly by 11, but if not there should be at least one table going by 12. It will be a three table max so if I've got three tournaments going which I very well could in the afternoon, I will not be able to play cash games during that time. I'm only going to play these cash games while I'm in a tournament and if I'm not in one then I'm going to utilize that as my break time. With all that said that the other things remain the same such as the $2,500 goal to withdraw a thousand and keep 1500 behind online. Time to hit the tables soon, time to go to work, time to do what I do best so let's rock and roll this baby!! Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $1100
Goal: $2500
Progress: 44%