Saturday, October 17, 2015

Lost The Stake

Well I was absolutely sick about it but I lost the stake.  I ran into a horrendous cold streak where I ended up going zero from my last 8 as it turned out in tournaments and I felt that since it was going so bad that the best way to get the profit margin turned around was to grind 2-4 limit, but unfortunately the ice.  age just continued there as well as I got beat with a full house at least 5 times lost with a flush to a higher flush twice has twice and it was just completely ugly.   In the $45 daily at the Golden Nugget the very first hand I got dealt pocket fours, flopped a set, turn the boat, and the nine on the river gave my opponent runner runner higher full house. that is just one example of the many I ran into.

I was completely sick about it when I had to email Chris and tell him what happened and figured he would be massively upset at me, and the only thing i could say is that I had tried my best.  Every decision at the poker tables that I made was the correct one but still went against me and Chris was very very understanding about it.  I felt bad because I had let somebody down.  If it was my own money I would not care half as much but since somebody else trusted me and I lost that made it 100 times worse to me.  Maybe that sounds silly to some of my readers, but that's just the way I am I can't help that.  Chris said to me in the email that if I want to try again in November to let him know.  I don't know if he will still feel the same way come November since I lost this one and that would be  totally understandable as I was even shocked of his offer for November in the first place.  If he so chooses to want to take a second chance on me, I will be adding $250 of my own money to the stake money and if he doesn't wish or choose to  try a  second time then I will be returning to the tables with about $250, but with the realization of the mistakes that I made which will never be repeated again.

The primary error that I made was not playing through the tournament struggles that I entered and trying to jump ship to another version or form of Poker. While it is true that I have had much success in limit hold'em in a live setting over the years the fact of the matter is my specialty is tournaments and I should have just stuck with the tournament because I know it would have turned around that was the error that I made. As far as arrows at the tables there were none that I could think of with just one exception and I talked to a couple of fellow players about it and they told me that it was the absolute correct move which I thought so and I'm trying not to be results oriented but I will lay out the scenario are you guys here and you tell me what you think all opinions are welcome. The situation was we would a

The situation was we weredown to the final eight or nine people with the top three getting paid various I'm sitting on about $32k in chips from a 7000 start which put me roughly in about 6th place at the time. blinds are 800 and 1600 with a 150 chip ante  I'm in the big blind with AQo and by the time it actually got to me there were 5 limpers.  I took my AQ and I shoved right there.  The dead money in the pot was just way too much and if I had just raised with all those limpers I would have had to have raised to over 10 grand anyway at the bare minimum which would have been 1/3 my stack so I shoved, I got one caller and he had me covered by about 350 chips total and he called me with 77.  I did not improve and was knocked out of the tournament.  In my mind his call was absolutely horrendous because I could be doing this with 1010, JJ, or QQ.  Even if I only had 2 overs which I did if the board two pairs he's going to end up  counterfeited very likely.  The limp/all-in call was a horrendous move on his part that worked, but the question is is the move that I made also an error. approximately 9000 dead money sitting there it was a move that needed to be made considering the stack sizes, my position in the hand and overall tournament standing, and  considering the action before me. What do you guys think?

Well that's all for now.  If Chris is still wanting to take another run at this come November I am going to accept.  I figure if he stakes me to the same amount a second time Plus adding the $250 of my own money that will be a $750 start for tournaments that have an average buyin of approximately $19. that's two $10 rebuys, a $20 tournament, & a $25 deep stack in which the $25 deep stack has a $10 add on for $7k in chips after the first break.  That would be over 35 buyins and I feel that if I in fact have a $750 start for it that I most definitely can turn that into a profit. It may not be a quick profit' it may take some time, but it will be a profit.  If Chris does not want to take the chance then I will definitely enter November with the $250 which I understand is only 12 buyins and I will simply hope for the best.

That's all for now. For the next two weeks or so I'm stuck in the apartment grinding freerolls online.  It is what it is but at least it's only a couple of weeks before I get back to it.  So take care of everybody and give it a couple of weeks and I'll see you at the tables.


  1. tourneys are high varuance. you can make correct decisions for a month and run bad especially in low stakes line mtts where ppl are makig bad calls all the time, i would recommend 10-20$ bi's om with that roll. no transportatoin expense

  2. You'll just have to gut it out as best you can. When you come with a small bankroll you have to hope that the poker gods don't piss on you every day ... but sometimes they do!

  3. I am sorry to hear that you lost your $500 stake, but don't feel too bad, the bankroll strategy you took has a inherently high risk of ruin. I have seen suggestions of anywhere between 100 to 300 average tournament buyins for a MTT bankroll. You were working with less than 20. I saw your post a few days ago, when you missed a couple of tourney, you decided to play a higher buyin tourney. That is not the same thing. You greatly increase the variance (hence risk of ruin) when you play 1 tourney instead of 2 tourneys for 1/2 price. The other thing is the low buyin live tourneys are inherently high variance because of their quick structure.

    All these factors combined, it is no surprise that you would go bust. You would need a really great run to run up the bankroll before variance gets you.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you are working with a $500 or even $750 bankroll, and you want to play MTT, the best option is online. The rake is small, there is no travel expenses, tips, etc. I don't know what WSOP.COM is like, but Bovada has a good selection of low buyin tourneys in the $3 to $10 range. The rake is typically 10% (instead of 15 to 33% in the low buyin live MTT). Let's say you play average of $5 per tourney, that is 100 buyins with a $500 stake. That gives you a chance to ride out the variance and let your skills come through.

    Good luck with whatever your decision, but be warned, playing live MTT with a 10 to 20 buyins BR is going to have a very high risk of ruin. My gut estimate is over 50% of the time you will go bust before end of the month, and most of the rest of the times you will have less money than you started the month with.

  4. By the way, if you are going to grind freerolls online, do you have any poker points on Bovada still? 200 points give you a ticket to the daily satty into the $5k freeroll. It is super easy to get a ticket, usually 25 or less players for 15 guaranteed tickets. The non turbo $5k freeroll is pretty good value, I think around $20-25 the couple of times I played, and soft field.

  5. hmm ive never played the freeroll on Bovada or checked it out, ive never thought any were worth playing, but the next time i have almost nothing there and needing something to do in the room--- i always turn the points into the $2 and $3 tickets

  6. I know this is a tough spot for you and I wish you the best. I certainly may not have the complete story, or how fast you need to "grind up" (heavily gamble up) this money. I just want to get some thoughts in your head, so I hope you do not mind my honesty and straightforwardness in the matter.

    I have extensive experience in playing stakes. Hey people lose stakes, I have lost all the stake money, it feels shitty if you care about the people who are willing to trust you with it, but it happens and you have to move on. That said, I think you seriously need to rethink what you are doing here if you take more stake money (or maybe even your own money - but DEFINITELY taking a stake where the terms are MORE THAN very beneficial to you). $500 is barely enough (not enough) for a proper long term online grinding MTT staking arrangement. I want to say I tried to take in around 1-2K for the old 10K Stars rebuys with a max buyin generally of $31 per tournament, but I have played a ton of stakes for many different levels. I am an expert in attempting to grind small BRs into something large so I fully understand where you are coming from. I am fully guilty of taking shots outside proper BR management (within reason), so I can't stress to you more how shocked I have been to see how you have approached this "wonderful opportunity" you had. Unless it was understood you would possibly blow it in LESS than a week, the loss of this stake so quickly is totally unacceptable. When you are on a stake you MUST have the MOST discipline, even more so than your very own money. Forgetting the stake even, you must be hyper focused and ON PLAN when you are dealing with such small amounts of money/BR. You can not afford to seriously and continuously break through your own plan to grind up the BR by wasting money on higher buyins, I mean, you could not even go a week (or even a day or two) without putting your nose to the GRIND STONE and just doing it. Of all things, you can not go LOOSE in any manner when your balls are nailed to the low BR wall. You must maintain severe discipline man, it is hard, even harder live when you have many more distractions than online sessions.

    I saw in your twitter where you said you do not have it anymore. Did you mean in less than a week with one stake. Did you mean you have lost the discipline to play under proper BR management (even more important since you don't have enough anyway). How long has this live downturn been on track? Again, not trying to bum you out in anyway, I am hoping I can get you to think it out,.. (continued)

    1. I think he meant he lost his poker mojo.

      Flushdraw, I just read your tweets, I hope you recover soon from your health issues.

      I don't know much about your poker ability, but I don't think you can base any assessment on the results of this stake. You were simply playing way over the bankroll, and you should expect to go bust a large percentage of the time.

      I found some bankroll analysis for online MTT, 180 SNG and single table SNG. One might argue live MTT and online MTT are different, and you are targeting small field events, but look at his analysis for single table SNG and 180 SNGs. I think live low stakes MTT would fit somewhere between 180 SNG and STT, probably closer to 180 SNG. Hopefully it will give you some objective perspective on what you are trying to achieve. GL

  7. "The primary error that I made was not playing through the tournament struggles that I entered and trying to jump ship to another version or form of Poker." You are 100% correct, but what made you become so desperate after only a few days? Plus, 2-4 limit is the most horrible option since all the friggin money goes to the house. If you are playing limit you can not play less than 4-8 if you are seriously trying to make money. 3-6 is ok in an extremely wild environment like Los Angeles where larger pots can overcome the massive rake. With a $500 tournament stake trying to play 2-4 limit with a full buyin is really destroying the BR management. Even with my tight buyin requirement (my full buyin in limit is a little less than 17x the BB) of $70 in this game that is only 7 BIs. Especially with the understanding that you were to play tournaments with the stake. Maybe there was an allowance for cash games also because it was an understanding stakee. But generally you MUST contact the person and tell them you wish to dabble in cash games with the money prior to doing so. I have seen a million times a guy blowing the entire tournament stake money in one night of cash game play.

    "I was completely sick about it when I had to email Chris and tell him what happened and figured he would be massively upset at me, and the only thing i could say is that I had tried my best." I hope you understand now that you did not try your best, you seriously violated even loose high risk BR rules. Hopefully you will work harder in this aspect if Chris gives you another chance which I hope he does.

    "Every decision at the poker tables that I made was the correct one but still went against me" The rough thing is when you are playing for a living or trying to make something from very little, making the correct decisions on specific hands in tournaments or cash games is hardly the entire picture. So many friggin variables outside of the game itself come into play and need to be handled. It is why even fundamentally very good players can fail miserably when they try to play live (and online) full-time for their income. You can't beat yourself about past actions unendingly, but you must figure out the proper course of action and STICK to it as best as possible. When a proper amount of time has passed with a plan in action, you may then evaluate it and make an informed, intelligent decision to change the plan to make it work better. But not after a few days unless there was a serious deficiency in the primary plan in the first place.

    " If Chris is still wanting to take another run at this come November I am going to accept." You should. And given that you are down to playing online freerolls after busting the stake, I hope you double down on your discipline and treat this stake with the extensive determination that a extremely high risk stake deserves.

    Also, please take care of your health as much as possible. Tough to live life and play poker when outside issues are making you feel like crap. Wish you the best.


  8. Will address these comments in the next blog entry and also other decisions made recently