Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Well I've decided to take the rest of 2016 off from WSOP. This month I was faced with certain financial things that came up and I had to borrow a good amount from the bankroll anyway so I decided to clear out my online account and utilize that money for certain other things. Until I get back on WSOP I am going to play the On Demand freerolls over at ACR just to give me something to do when I feel the urge to do so. On January 3rd I will be depositing $200 on WSOP. 

Total earnings for 2016 have not been exactly calculated, but I will do so in the next few days and update the earnings tab at the top of the blog.  I think this is a good opportunity to make some poker goals or for lack of a better term, poker resolutions for 2017. There are only two of them actually and also list my bankroll management plan. 2016 was a year of profit, but there are things that I did throughout 2016 that I do not plan on repeating, but without further ado, let's begin with the points I want to get out there and my explanation to them.

1. Do not play anything except tournaments online no matter how strong the urge ma be to do so.

If 2016 showed me anything over and over again it showed me that tournaments have far less variance in them than cash games, that tournaments have a much much better risk vs reward ratio than cash games, that expected ROI in SNGs pretty much makes them a useless endeavor not even coming close to being worth my time, and finally that my complete major strength and overall enjoyment comes from tournaments, tournaments, only and nothing else in poker.

2. No withdrawals and no borrowing from the bankroll unless and until I achieve my goal of $7,000.

The goal has been seriously increased due to the fact that I will be playing the $70 Golden Nugget tournaments and at times the $75 Treasure Island tournaments when I go full time live. No matter what I made this year it could have probably been three times as much had I kept my mouse off the withdrawal button. When I borrow money from my bankroll with the full intention of paying it back something always seems to come up where I'm unable to do that so for 2017 the major goal is to leave the account balance alone and the only with withdraws that are to be made is to take money off the site and put it aside so that I do not have all my eggs in one basket.

Now for the bankroll management plan. It is going to be a somewhat aggressive approach whereas I usually have a conservative approach, but it will still be an approach where it will keep the bankroll safe.

$200 - $400
$1 Freezeouts
$2 Freezeouts
$5 Freezeouts

$400 - $600
$3 Deepstack Rebuys
$2 Freezeouts

$600 - $1000
$5 Deepstack Rebuys

$1000 - $2000
$10 Deepstack Rebuys
$20 Deepstack Freezeout
Saturday $25 Super Deepstack
$5 Evening Freezeouts

$2000 - $4000
Sunday $50 Deepstack Freezeout

$4000 - $7000
Sunday $200 $20k Gtd

Well that's going to be a wrap up. There will be no future posts until probably roughly I would say, January 10th or so.  So until then I want to wish all of my readers a very merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year and come January 4th I'll see you at the tables.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Comment Responses

Seattleirish said in part:

Your first quoted paragraph states that you believe tournament play requires more skill while Cash NLHE is more dependent on luck. However, you don't support that argument; why do you feel cash NLHE is more dependent on luck?

The next paragraph compared tournament play to handicapping horses (both require a great deal of knowledge and application of same) and compared Cash NLHE to scratch tickets. 
I'm certain you don't mean to imply cash NLHE is simply random chance. I know from earlier posts of yours that you recognize cash play does require a great deal of applied knowledge and skill. Both tournament and cash NLHE allow players to go all-in, both follow similar betting patterns and card progression. What is it about cash play that you feel is more dependent on the whims of lady luck? I'm not seeing that expressed in your post.

Obviously I did not word it very well. I'm not saying that no limit cash games are equivalent to scratch tickets what I am saying is that the degree that handicapping horse racing would have more skill to it than scratch tickets is equitable to the degree that No Limit Hold'em tournaments have more skill to them than cash games. 

Yes you are correct that they each have required skill sets but I still hold to my opinion the tournament's require far more. The main reason I believe this to be true is as follows.  Any tournament you are given a certain amount of chips and it is your job to do the absolute best you can with them and if you lose them all you are eliminated, you cannot play in it any further, you are gone until the next one. But in a cash game this is not the case provided you've got money in your pocket you get to try over and over and over again until you get it right or until your hand holds up. 

In many situations in a cash game there is no real thought process to it. A classic example is a typical cash game and somebody is under the gun with a pair of fours. Most players are going to toss their $2 into the pot and hope they can hit a set and they're going to do that pretty much every single time they receive that pair, in that position, under those circumstances. It's almost a mindless robotic action.
Now take that hand and position in a tournament and there is so much more to consider and tournament players are not going to do the same thing with those pocket fours every single time. Sometimes we're going to fold them, sometimes we're going to raise them, sometimes we're going to open shove all-in with them, and sometimes we are going to limp with them and what we do with those fours in the example all depends on what the circumstances of the tournament is at. What's in our stack, what are the blind levels, where are we in relation to the money bubble, what are the stacks at our table, dix the money bubble just burst, and I could go on. Obviously, at least to me anyway, when you have more things going on and more decisions that can be made based on what circumstances are this takes a hell of a lot more skill then throwing two $1 chips in the middle time after time and saying to myself I hope I hit a set. 

Pokerdogg said:  

I don't know who Andrew Neeme is, so I googled his name and found his website site. The first post I saw was a WSOP trip report. It says...
I fired at 5 lotteries tournaments during the WSOP:
WSOP $565 Colossus – 731st place for $4027
WSOP $1500 Monster Stack – dnc
WSOP $235 Daily Deepstack – dnc
Venetian DSE $600 – 13th place for $3275
WPT500 $565 – 164th place for $1667
In the cash games between May 27th and July 10th, I put in 203 hours of work and showed a profit at a rate of about $72/hr. The majority of my sessions were 5/10 at the Bellagio, with some 2/5 mixed in around town, as well as a couple 1/2 games at the Golden Nugget for a change of scenery. Total profits during my 2015 WSOP comes to $20.1k.

The man played 203 hours in cash games and made $72 an hour. It comes to $14,616. Subtract that from the $20,100 he reported in winnings overall that means he won $5,484 in tournaments. He only played five tournaments. How many hours do you figure he put in playing those tournaments, what 30 maybe 40. If you do the math his hourly rate was higher playing tournaments then it was playing cash games hell even if he put in 60 hours playing the tournaments his earn rate was over $91 an hour and he made $72 an hour playing cash games. Seems to me tournaments produced better earnings.

In conclusion let me just say that this debate has been going on for a long time. Which has more skill cash games or tournaments, who can make more money, cash game players or tournament players and those that believe one way are never going to ever believe the other way. In the end I guess the only thing that's important is what is best for each individual player. I will go on believing that we tournament players are involved in a much higher skill game then cash game players and the cash game players will believe the reverse but when it's all said and done as long as we can make money doing something we love and be good at it the debate will continue for many years to come. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Conclusion Of The Half Action Stake And Comment Responses

First some comment responses.

Kat Martin said:

So your conclusion is that you win in low-buy-in NLHE tournaments which require a lot of skill, and are a consistent loser in NLHE cash games that require far less skill?

Very cute the way you worded that Mr Martin almost like you were setting up a river check-raise, but I will still try my best to answer this. In my opinion no-limit tournaments take far more skill than no-limit cash games with that said I do better in tournaments where more skill is required then and cash games where there is a larger degree of random chance or outright luck.

I think I can best represent my opinion in the following scenario.  I would associate it between somebody who handicapps horse races and who also buys scratch tickets. Obviously more skill is required to handicap horse races and there is much more random chance or luck required to win at scratch tickets so it would only be logical to assume that the horse race handicapper is going to do better and get more earnings  playing the horse races than he will in buying scratch tickets. As far as I am concerned the same thing goes with no limit Hold'em cash games compared to No Limit Hold'em tournaments. I will not state the same thing when comparing No Limit Hold'em tournaments to the Limit cash games as these are completely different scenarios.

You utilize the term low buyin and I don't know exactly what your dividing line is between low buyin, medium buy-in and high stakes is for tournaments. the highest that I have played live consistently is $65, but it is pretty much immaterial because no matter what the buy-in is when it comes to tournaments whether they are live or online I will be successful  over the long run and of this there is absolutely no question. 

Pokerdogg said:

Kat Martin's questions are fair and on point. Flushdraw can play whichever game he is best at, but if he is going to make his analysis of poker games public in his blog, then he should be prepared (and in fact welcome) challenges to his assertions. They can always agree to disagree.

FWIW, I agree with Kat's question, and on the issue of variance. However, things are relative. I believe a good cash game player is going to experience much lower variance than a good tournament player. But all tournaments are not created equally. For tournament players, variance is going to be affected by the blind structure+starting stack, the payout structure, field size, field toughness and overall opponents style, and player style/competence. I think when you combine small field size, easy competition, and relatively small sample size of 700 tournaments, one can be led to an questionable conclusion.

I think that you know by now that I do invite commentary and debate.  I agree with most of what you said, but I do not feel over 700, and in fact as of this posting over 750 tournaments is a relatively small sample size. I completely agree with you that tournament variance is going to be based on a combination of field size, competition, blind structure, and so forth and I especially think that blind structure is everything in tournaments at least it is for me because of my playing style the longer the blind levels and in some ways even more importantly the more blind levels in the structure the better. This is why I gravitate more towards the Golden Nugget tournaments when I am playing live because they have the best blind structure in all of Las Vegas for the $65 price range.

You say you agree with Kat Martin in that variance is going to be bigger for a successful tournament player rather than it will be for a successful cash game player.  Allow me to illustrate my point of view in simple dollars and cents. In one of Andrew Neeme vlogs he said a $1/$2 player can expect a $4,000 downswing at some point.  For that same $65 tournament player who I believe will make similar earnings if not better than that $1/$2 cash game player to experience the equivelant the $65 tournament player would be taking a downswing of over 61 buyins!!!  I am here to tell you right now that a successful live tournament player playing $65 tournaments in this town where they face at most four tables, less than 40 players is in no way ever going to lose 61 buyins. For a successful tournament player even with the lowest of our allies  it is practically a mathematical impossibility  yet according to Andrew  la $4,000 downswing for a cash player should be expected and I do have a lot of respect for that young man so I will take what he says on face value as truth and fact .  When you look at it side by side there is no question that cash game players experience more variance then a tournament player under the hypothetical circumstances that I have set forth.

Now let me be very plain and clear that if that tournament player is playing in consistent fields that are a hundred players or more than  that could be an entirely different situation, but even under that circumstance if we were to agree that tournaments have more variance in them than the cash games under those circumstances the tournament player playing in those tournaments which we are now probably talking $120 and $240 buyins is going to make a hell of a lot more money over the long run than that cash game player could ever hope to.

Now on to the half action stake. ManInBlack and I decided to end it a little earlier than originally planned with the holidays coming up it seemed like a good time to cash out the earnings that I was able to accumulate. I am happy to say that during these last 6 weeks or so I was able to accumulate a grand total of just over $746 in earnings which broken down was $373.11 for each of us. Had I not attempted SNGs or online cash games or made the attempt at the two live tournaments those earnings would have been $1,000, but live and learn. $746 is still a respectable outcome.

So at this point I owe my bankroll $50 which will be paid at the beginning of January and my current available bankroll is $323 and I am now on my own with no stake involved. I will be playing 4 tournaments a day with this bankroll that being the $3 deepstack rebuy tournaments which cost me $6 each for a total daily investment of $24. When I get that bankroll up over $600 I will then return to the $10 Deepstack Rebuys in which during the course of the half action stake I ended up finishing in the money in three of them and am showing a decent profit in them.

What will happen in January is still up in the air. ManInBlack and I may in fact do another half action stake if we each have a similar amount of money to put into this. I'm thinking that if I can work my $323 up to $500 and if ManInBlack could provide the same we could start a half action stake with $1,000 upfront where the $10 rebuys would be a daily staple also too would be the Saturday $25 Super Deepstack Freezeout and possibly the Sunday $50 $3,500 Guaranteed Freezeout but we will see just what each of our financial situations are in January.

I took the day off from poker today and was planning to do the same tomorrow but quite frankly I may end up playing tomorrow late afternoon or early evening. I have to see two doctors tomorrow. One is a 10:45 appointment and one is a 1:40 appointment both in the same office so I'm going to be stuck over there for a while.  Second appointment will be to discuss that sleep study that I had where I stopped breathing 68 times in the first hour and I'm sure that doctor is going to want to get me set up with a machine at home.  I believe they call them Cpaps.  Hopefully I'll be able to get in at least one tournament and possibly two depending what time I get back.

I wasn't sure if I was going to relay this but I have now gone three full days without any cigarettes however it should be noted that I have not gone without nicotine. I made the switch over to the Vape system 3m5 days ago the first day along with the Vape I had approximately 6 or 7 cigarettes, the second day I only had three cigarettes and for the last 3 days I have had absolutely none. Some people may look at this as not really giving up a lot since I am still inhaling nicotine in the Vape system, but the Vape system, and this is according to WebMD, is probably 80% to 85% safer than smoking cigarettes. I am utilizing the juice that you add to these Vape things that is 12 milligrams of nicotine and that is actually even less nicotine than the Step 2 of the nicotine patches and I've been getting through this very well. I do not at all plan to be on the Vape system for the rest of my life and to me this is simply a tool to the ultimate goal of at some point being nicotine free. From the 12 milligram juice that you buy for The Vape system I will then cut down to 6 milligrams and then hopefully be able to be off of it permanently at some point. The only question I have is how long should I utilize the 12 milligrams before I cut down to 6 and that I am not quite sure of yet.

That's going to wrap this entry up. Hopefully I will be back on the tournaments for at least a couple of tournaments tomorrow and if not it will be a full day of all 4 on Saturday and beyond. So until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $373.11
Goal:  $4000
Progress:  9%

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Charming AgSweep

On this past Friday I had the opportunity to meet someone that I have been associated with on Twitter for quite some time who is part of the poker community, the lovely and charming AgSweep. Ag had sent me a message on Twitter that she was planning to be in town and if I was going to be available maybe we could finally meet in person and have a drink and this is definitely something I looked forward to because I enjoy being able to meet people from the poker community that I have communicated on Twitter with.  Ag to me has always come across on Twitter as a particularly classy individual and meeting her in person did nothing to change that opinion and only enhanced it.  We ended up meeting at a sports bar in the Linq and talked for well over two hours. We talked about anything and everything from poker, to poker players, to some more personal aspects of my life, to pretty much anything you could think of and it was an absolute pleasure talking with her and meeting her in person. I look forward to her next visit where I hope we will have the opportunity to kick back with a couple of drinks and continue the conversation once again. 

Saturday it looked like we would take our first rather significant loss as I was in for tournament buy-ins in the neighborhood of $100 but a 4th place finish in the $10 Deepstack Rebuy for $151 turned a potential $100 loss into a $50 profit for the day. We ended the day with total earnings of $752.36 with $50 of that being held offline for reasons that I will make clear shortly.
With just over $700 available and it was done the previous day as over $600 was available I have started delving into the $10 Deepstack Rebuys and which like the $3 Deepstack Rebuys I do the immediate rebuy only so it's a total cost of $20. The schedule for Sunday looked like this. 

0900am:  $3 DS RB $350 Gtd
1200pm:  $3 DS RB $400 Gtd
0400pm:  $3 DS RB $350 Gtd
0430pm:  $5 DS RB $500 Gtd
0530pm:  $10 DS RB $1000 Gtd
0730pm:  $3 DS RB $800 Gtd
0830pm:  $10 DS RB $1250 Gtd

I seem to have been in if not a cold stretch then a chilly one since I won the 12 noon $400 guaranteed $3 DS RB on Thursday for a $176 return.  As I progressed through today I found myself in a 1 for 12 stretch with that one cash being the fourth place $152 return in the $1,000 guaranteed, but no other cashes.  Sunday started out with me making an error which got me kicked out of the 9 a.m. when I shoved over the top on the flop with AQ top pair top kicker against an opponent who had significantly raised me on the flop, but because of my previous experiences with this particular opponent and the knowledge that they can be overly aggressive to the point of recklessness at times I let that dictate my decision when I really should have simply folded the hand. The 12 noon tournament I got knocked out when I flopped a set of fours against my opponents set of queens and I was out of the 4:30 p.m. $5 DS RB within the first hour when for the second time on Sunday I was eliminated from a tournament with a hand of three of a kind.  It was a bad day dropping a solid ($75).  After the completion of tournament play on Sunday the profits in the half action stake stood at a total of  $677.36 with $50 offline. This coming Friday that $50 will be utilized in a live tournament at the Golden Nugget. $627 available going into Monday.  Only 5 tournaments scheduled the four $3 Deepstack Rebuys and the $10 Deepstack Rebuy $1250 Gtd.

You'll notice that my current schedule of tournaments no longer contains any of the what WSOP would consider normal stack freeze-out tournaments as looking over my results for my entire playing time on WSOP utilizing PokerProLabs it is blatantly obvious that I do best in tournaments that have the most starting chips aka the rebuys in which I do the immediate rebuy for a double stack. Don't get me wrong I have done significantly well in the $1 and $2 MTTs, but those are no longer in my playlist as the available amount of money has increased.

The half action stake is tentatively scheduled to end when earnings reach $1,000. If the earnings jumped up to $1,200 as an example we would then utilize $200 as a stop loss to try to increase the earnings even further and if it fell to $1,000 we will cash out. If we turn that $1200 to say $1,500 then we would up the cash out plan to $1200 and utilize $300 in tournament buy-ins as a stop loss in an effort to increase the profits even more and so on and so on. With my half of those $1000 in earnings I would utilize that $500 to play 4 tournaments a day, the $3 Deepstack Rebuys and like I am doing now as soon as I got it up and over the $600 Mark delve right back into the $10 rebuys, but would be doing so on my own and no longer in a half action stake obviously.

Kat Martin left a few comments on my last entry and it is readily apparent to me that he completely disagrees with my statements about tournaments having less variance for me than cash games. The fact of the matter is those statements that I make are not towards anybody else but simply about me. I know that it goes against the common beliefs of the poker community in general, but I'll give you another one that many will disagree with and the fact of the matter is in my opinion no limit tournaments take far more skill to do well in than no limit cash games. I'll go a step further  and tell you that it is my belief that there is more skill to do well in a limit cash game than there is in a No Limit cash game. This also goes against the general poker communities view, but the way I look at it when you are in a tournament it takes more skill to do well in something where if you lose all your chips you are done, you are gone, it is over, but in a no limit cash game if you lose all your chips you can simply take more money out of your pocket and reload your chips and try again.  Again this is my personal opinion and I do not expect anyone to agree with it although some might and I know most won't.  As far as the comparison between limit games and no limit games to me there is no comparison. To me it takes a hell of a lot more skill to grind out a profit in a limit game where your bets are obviously limited than it does for some fool to overbet a pot and throw out a $100 bet or more in order to take down a pot.  Disagree with me all you want but this has been my opinion since I started playing poker back in 2004 and it's not about to change anytime soon. 

His last comment that he left he gave me a link to a site that basically gave the pros and cons to being a tournament player to being a cash game player and this site like many others out there and many people out there feel that the variance is less in cash games and they gave side-by-side hypothetical graphs to prove that point 

Now here is my 2016 tournament graph and to me mine looks more similar to the hypothetical cash game graph yet mine is for tournaments.

I won't pretend to understand why it works this way for me, I simply know it does and that tournament graph is not some small sample size as it cover over 700 tournaments played.

Well that's going to be a wrap. I will be taking Thursday and Friday off from online poker. Thursday I have two doctors appointments in the same office that have to do with my pulmonologist and the other one is actually his brother who works at the same office who deals with sleep apnea. It turns out when I had a sleep study done a month or two ago I was told by the nurse at my doctor's office that in the first hour I stopped breathing 68 times!!  Damn!!  That's pretty severe so undoubtedly they are going to want to get me one of those crazy machines that you have to sleep with at night, but we will see what they say on Thursday and then of course Friday I will be playing in the 11 a.m. tournament at the Golden Nugget. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $338.68
Goal: $4000
Progress:  8%

Monday, November 28, 2016

30 Full Days

First and foremost I hope all of my readers and their friends and their families had a very very very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all had an absolutely great day.

So where do we stand on the half action stake. It began on October 28th so one full month was completed at the conclusion of yesterday's play and at its conclusion the account balance stood at $499.46. All initial investment money has been withdrawn so we are in fact playing on just the profits so there are $499.46 in total earnings going into today. These are some of the highlights that I have been able to accomplish in the first full 30 days.

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $800 Gtd  /  4th of 143 /  $94.14 

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 19 /  $43.22

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  4th of 80 /  $49.53

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  6th of 117 /  $43.69

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  3rd of 64 /  $62.81

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  5th of 86 /  $50.88

$20 KO $500 Gtd  /  4th of 63 /  $127.33 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  5th of 86 /  $50.88

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 23 /  $52.32

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  1st of 78 /  $172.80

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  3rd of 76 /  $65.84

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 34 /  $61.88

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $800 Gtd  /  3rd of 133 /  $101.57 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  1st of 79 /  $178.54

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  2nd of 78 /  $120.66

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $500 Gtd  /  5th of 72 /  $79.67

Total earnings from multi-table tournaments online were approximately $740. All of these earnings were from tournaments that cost from $5 to $6. I must now see how the next month goes because if the next month playing $5 and $6 buy-ins produces similar results then I'm going to have to really think things over about my current goals. I mean if I can make $700 a month playing $5 and $6 buyins, how much will I be able to make when I'm playing the $10 rebuys on a regular basis and would playing online produce more money on a monthly basis then playing A month's worth of $65 tournaments at the Golden Nugget.  

That's something I need to bring you up-to-date on as I've been rethinking the Sam's Town plan because the best blind structure tournament for me in this town that are less than a $120 buyin are without a doubt at the Golden Nugget. However in order to play those I would have to be spending $65 per tournament which would require an additional $1000 in  online earnings to try a month of those, but their slower climbing blind structure are an almost perfect fit for someone with my playing style. Slow, patient, with tempered aggression. An example in the differing blind approach between the two casinos or any other casino for that matter at level 7 a tournament will be at 500/1000 blinds, but at the Golden Nugget you won't hit those 500/1000 blinds until Level 10 not to mention the Golden Nugget has 10,000 starting chips in their $65 tournaments as opposed to the max that I can get over at Sam's Town which is $7500. All of these things have to be taken into consideration when deciding just what live approach I'm going to take. Do I need to grind online until I am rolled for $120 and $240 tournaments as opposed to $65 tournaments. Can I make more in a month online playing $5, $6, $20 tournaments than I can playing $65 tournaments live.  The other question is does it really matter. I mean let's face it I play poker full-time and I live in Las Vegas even if online can produce more earnings there is no way I see myself staying inside on a daily basis grinding online if I could be grinding live. Yes, the money could be important, but it would have to be a substantial significant increase being made online than being made alive in order to keep me inside.

So for all intents and purposes we're at $500 in earnings going into today and $500 is the magic dividing line in my mind. When I began play today and I began my day at 12 noon with the $3 $350 guaranteed deep stack rebuy, if by 6 p.m. I'm showing a profit then I will be playing and start to play the $10 rebuys which will be a $20 total investment. I probably mentioned this before but I approach rebuys in a very unorthodox manner in that I am sure many of my readers will look at this and say are you out of your mind, but I do the initial buy-in and then I do the immediately rebuy to start with a double stack and that is all. I will not do the add-on, and if I get knocked out in the tournament within the rebuy period I do not rebuy any further I just decide that tournament was not for me and I move on to the next one. I know many people are going to criticize this method of doing things, but to me this is what has led to the profits that I have earned thus far. Allowing my opponents to be the ones to build up the prize pool and not myself. 

I am very insistent about this approach and will not change it as I personally feel it is the best approach and I know there's going to be readers that say that I should take the addon but when I was in a half action stake previously with ManInBlack it turned out that the additional cost of the add-on because I was doing the initial entry, rebuy and add-on over I believe it was 20 tournaments  affected our profits by at least $60 and I have come to learn that the initial entry and the immediate rebuy is the absolute best way to go although as I said many will disagree with that I'm sure.

So pretty much I have decided that the Sam's Town tournaments are out even when I hit my monetary goal which will now have to be increased by an additional $1000. I will instead, be grinding live, when the time comes, the $65 tournaments at the Golden Nugget which works out better for me because I love being down on the Fremont Street Experience. Just so many things to do, so many things to see, so many lunatics in and out of that area I love it, but the question is going to be will the $65 at the Golden Nugget provide more or less profits then grinding online especially when I start grinding the $10 tebuys for a total cost of $20 per tournament not to mention as the bankroll rises adding in the $20 deepstack at 4:45 p.m. and the $20 knockout at 9:30 p.m. and potentially the $20 Midnight Madness  in which all of these tournaments could produce hundreds and thousands of dollars in earnings.

I'm on a first things first situation right now. $720 dollars in online MTT earnings in the first 30 days and now we see how much the earnings are going to be over the next 30 days and we also see if I can start grinding the $10 rebuys on a steady basis that will also give us a better view as to what the earnings will be for the second 30 day timeframe if there are any earnings at all. Perhaps I'm ready for a deep cold run who the hell knows. Any poker player reading this, specifically any tournament player reading this entry right now knows the swings that we can go through in tournament play although I'm absolutely convinced they are much less so than cash games but that's a discussion for another time, and quite frankly I'm ready for anything. 

That's going to wrap this one up. Got knocked out early in the $3 deepstack rebuy and am currently playing a small $5 freezeout in which I play usually at least three of these a day.  Assuming the Golden Nugget goal is in fact the way that I'm going to be going  the new monetary goal is up a grand to $4000.  Three grand for the live play plus $1,000 in reserve. Whichever way poker destiny will take me on this I'm going to find out as the days pass, as each session is completed, as each week is done, so in the meantime it's just time to continue the grind. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.  

Bankroll:  $249.73
Goal:  $4000
Progress:  6%

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

25 Days In 40 Days Remain

Things go well, but that is not to say things couldn't be going better. I've made some foolish decisions that have cost us money, but on a good note me and my half action staker ManInBlack at the time both agreed it was worth the try, but deep in my heart I knew better, I should not have done it, but the problem was all I saw was dollar signs in my eyes and it cost us. I accept the majority of the blame since I'm the one that's playing and I'm the one that did have the final decision.

What happened was that when I put my share of our $150 investment from each of us online it so happened that it fell under the fall reload bonus and I certainly knew that I would not be able to clear much bonus simply playing $3 and $5 tournaments. We've tried cash games and ended up taking a small loss over three days but what really cost us was the SNGs. I tried heads up which I quickly learned is nothing more than a luck fest, also 6max PLO8, and I also attempted the $5 Turbo SNGs in an effort to create points to clear the bonus. It was not a pretty sight to behold. 

Non MTT Results

$5 Nine Player Turbo SNGs:  ($21)
PLO8 6 Max SNGs:  ($58)
Heads-Up SNGs:  ($49)
Cash Games:  ($12)

Ouch ($140) in non MTT losses online, another $100 spent in live tournaments but those I do not regret in any way, and we are still at $400 in total profits which means online MTT total earnings from October 28th - November 21st is $640.  

I keep asking myself why? Why is it that everybody in poker says the worst thing that you can play is tournaments, they have the most variance, they aren't the steady money, but yet for me it's completely opposite. Why? Is it my reserved calculating tempered aggressive playing style? Is it the patience that I show in tournament play? Is it the fact that MTTs have  more blind levels in them than SNGs along with my patient playing style is that the answer?  Is that also the reason I do better at the Golden Nugget tournaments live than anyplace else in Las Vegas because coincidentally their blind levels and the slowest rising  meaning they have more blind levels in their tournaments  whereas all the other $65 tournaments may hit blinds of 500/1000 at level 7 at the Golden Nugget that doesn't happen till level 10. Is everybody else wrong and tournaments are really the steady money? Why is it I can take on 79 or 80 opponents and make $640 in less than a month, but I can't take on 8 other opponents in a SNG and actually make money at it. 

Granted MTTs have a more blind levels than SNGs and turbos have never been my most favorite thing in the world giving me only 5 minutes per blind level where the MTTs give me 10, but that doesn't explain online no limit cash games which as any of my readers know I have been nothing less than a disaster in. Even in live no-limit cash games I have not fared very well, my limit games I have done much better but they are variance filled and while I'm fairly certain I've shown a profit in them this year I guarantee you it's not Earth shattering, yet over the long run in live tournaments and online tournaments I make money consistently and according to everybody in the poker industry it's not supposed to be this way, but it is for me. For the life of me I have asked this question over and over and over again until I'm ready to tear my hair out and still I do not have the answer. I can't figure out why circumstances are the way they are. 

Then I tell myself maybe it's not important to find the answer although with my personality that is not usually acceptable to someone like me, however maybe the more important thing is to simply find out what you do well and then do it. I had mentioned to somebody who plays on WSOP and streams on Twitch in the chat area that cash games were not my thing and tournaments were and he indicated he thought I simply needed more practise. Well I tried that to a small extent and over 6,000 hands lost $12.  Some things never change. I'm at the point now where I don't know the answers to these questions I keep posing to myself and quite frankly I'm ready to give up asking. The simple fact is I'm a tournament player and I make money playing tournaments. I've been saying this on and off for all of 2016 and yet for some reason, and I think the main reason being is I don't like to accept failure in anything, but for whatever reason I keep trying to go back and make other things work instead of simply sticking with what does work, what I am very strong in, what can make me hundreds of dollars in a month if I stick to only that and that alone and quite obviously that it is multi-table tournaments.

The original investments have been pulled out and the online account balance sits at $400 so the half action stake is now being played on strictly profits only. Even if I went into a tailspin and hit the worst cold streak I've ever seen we are guaranteed not to lose any of our own money. Pretty much my schedule is playing the $3 deepstack rebuys at 9 a.m. 12 p.m. 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. . They also have $5 freezeouts and usually I will get two or three and even sometimes four of those played a day. When profits hit $500 I will start throwing in a couple of the $20 deepstacks. At $600 stop throwing in some of the $10 rebuys which will cost me $20 per tournament.  

Playing the morning Tournaments has become difficult especially when I'm making a Deep Run in the 7:30 p.m. but there are simply going to be days where I'm just going to have to take the extra sleep and not get my day started till 12. This will be decided on a day-by-day basis.  Tomorrow will be one of those days as I have something I am most likely taking care of in the morning unless it gets delayed until Thursday. Wednesday I have a doctor's appointment so I won't even get started until the afternoon and Thursday is my NPL League night which for this season they have increased it from a 6 week to a 12-week season and when the free tournament comes around in February the top 11 will be getting paid cash as is the usual case, but  the top two spots are getting $2,400 packages which include an entry into Colossus so Thursday night is my league night and I take that whole day off from online poker.

That's going to wrap this one up for now. $400 in earnings thus far, it could be a lot better but I know it could be worse so I will be satisfied with what is, learn from mistakes that have been made, and God help me hoping not to repeat them anytime in the near future or the permanent future for that matter. My goal has been adjusted somewhat going from $2,000 to $3,000 for the simple reason that if I have $2,000 to play A month's worth of tournaments live, I would like an extra $1000 in reserve in case it doesn't work out and that way I would have $1,000 start if I have to grind online again. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $200.44
Goal:  $3000
Progress: 7%

Monday, November 14, 2016

Half Action Stake And Personal Update

The half action stake started on October 28th. When I put my half of the initial deposit online on the 3rd it turned out that there was a reload bonus involved. Obviously wanting to find a way to clear some points to at least get some of the reload cleared ManInBlack and I agreed that obviously since cash games are more or less not an option, that delving into some moderate volume SNGs would be the best way to be able to get the APP points needed to clear the bonus in $10 increments because let's face it, unless you're playing sky-high MTTs on a daily basis it's not going to happen under those circumstances. Throughout my poker playing over the years I have never been what is considered a spectacular SNG player. Back when I used to play on PokerStars my ROI on those things was maybe 7% if I was lucky which is well below what the average SNG player accomplishes. Thus far playing them on WSOP has not been a pretty sight. I tried 6Max PL08, heads up, and 9 man Turbos. I ended up dropping $50 playing SNGs and ended up making about $56 playing the 9 and 2 turbos so that tells you how bad the other ones went, but the SNG play did create $20 in bonus money and will be responsible for half of the next $10 of bonus that is cleared and I might make a few dollars off the SNG leaderboard so when you consider what it generated the losses weren't that bad, but again it was another instance where it seems that by attempting something other than multi-table tournament play the poker Gods seem to be trying to tell me over and over and over again stick to what you're best at. Yesterday I decided to drop all SNG play, I'm not going to worry about clearing the bonus and just do what it is I do best.

So let me tell you just exactly what's the current plans are and how we are approaching this half action stake. I am grinding 6 days a week with my first tournament starting at 8 or 9 in the morning and the last one starting at 7:30 p.m.  I take Thursday's off to play in my NPL league night and ManInBlack and I decided that if I have earned at least $100 each week then we should take $50 of that off of the site and invest it in me playing the 1 p.m. over at Sam's Town on Thursday afternoons. Its a $30 buyin which gets you 3000 starting chips an extra $5 dealer appreciation get you an extra 2000 starting chips, registering my 12:30 gets you an extra 500, and then for an extra $10 you can add 2000 chips to your stack whenever you want as long as it's done within the first hour. You can wait until you're out of chips and then do it or you can do it immediately which is what I always do so I start with a 7500 chip stack. I was able to generate some MTT earnings online and I played it last week. The tournament had 40-something players and I ended up finishing 12th with the top five getting paid. When I got back to the tables on Friday we started with an account balance of $400 so that means we needed an account balance of $500 for me to do it again this upcoming Thursday and after the 4 p.m. win is the $3 deep stack rebuy tournament for $172 we have those earnings. We are also withdrawing part of our initial investment with the idea to be to play on only earnings at some point. We each invested $150 and I will be withdrawing $50 off the site for each of us so that our initial investment is now only $100 per person. Once the initial investment is fully returned to each of us and I'm  playing with only the earnings it means at that point we are simply freerolling for the rest of the year. 

Here is some of the highlights since beginning this on October 28th. I have played 95 multi-table tournament up to this point and earnings and those are just over a $301. Total earnings since October 28th ending action tonight were $251.50. Yes it could be a hell of a lot better, but then again it could be a lot worse too.

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $800 Gtd  /  4th of 143 /  $94.14 

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 19 /  $43.22

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  4th of 80 /  $49.53

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  6th of 117 /  $43.69

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  3rd of 64 /  $62.81

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  5th of 86 /  $50.88

 $20 KO $500 Gtd  /  4th of 63 /  $127.33 

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 23 /  $52.32

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  1st of 78 /  $172.80

Now the personal update. I had an eye exam done and the doctor put some drops in my eyes to dilate them so that he could check the health of the eyes. He saw some bleeding in the back of the eyes which if untreated could lead to blindness. This is one of the two things that could happen in my life that would cause me to end my life permanently. The first one is being a quadriplegic where I couldn't even use my arms for breathe on my own and the second one is going blind. I refuse to go through this world not being able to see the beauty of it and if I were to go totally blind I would, without a doubt, end things permanently, but the doctor says it looks like we have caught this early, he has referred me to a retina specialist, and this could all be caused from diabetes which I have been borderline for many many months now, but whatever it takes I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that my eyesight, poor as though it may be, is going to stay with me for a very long time. Keep your fingers crossed for me and anybody who might be religious if you wish to throw a prayer to the big man upstairs for me on this it would be very much appreciated.

That's going to wrap this entry up. I've got my alarm set for 7:30 a.m. so that I can start tomorrow off with the $5 freeze out tournament which gets between 20 to 30 players generally speaking. Hoping to have some more very deep runs and keep this bankroll and these earnings numbers climbing and climbing and climbing. So, until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $225.75
Goal: $2000
Progress:  11%

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Half Action Stake To Finish Off The Year

It was my birthday Wednesday and I turned 49. Had a very very enjoyable birthday. My landlady took me out to lunch, then I played a couple of single table tournaments at the Wednesday night League game, after that I hung out with my friend Michelle who made the absolute best crock pot of homemade chili I've ever had in my life, and the following day spent some time with my buddy Joseph as we were on a blackjack adventure on the Strip. From Harrah's to New York New York over to Tropicana and down to Circus Circus and all in all a very enjoyable couple of days. 

I started out October playing at the live tournaments and then I decided since October was my birthday month that I was going to spend that month having some fun and I took all the money that I had online and offline and decided to have some fun doing whatever hit me at the time. I played blackjack, slots, some live games during the month both cash and tournaments, food and drink at my league games, roulette, and can definitely say I have a very enjoyable month for my special occasion.
So with my account cleared, I was going to put on a small deposit online and get back to grinding tournaments when my buddy Man in Black suggested perhaps we do another 50% half stake. We each put $150 into it for a $300 total investment and after discussion we decided we would finish up the year on a 50% tournament split. He provides half the money, I do the playing, and we split the profits. You will be able to keep track of the progress for the next two months on the right side of the blog. 

Earnings in 2016 could have been better than it has been and I'm the first to admit that if I could keep my mouse off the withdrawal button who knows what stakes I would be playing for online and live and what profits at this point, but I've had a blast this year, and I do not regret any of it however here is a rundown of how January through October has gone.

Total earnings:  $1541.71

The break down is as follows. For this purpose Misc Earnings will refer to bonuses, promotion money, and rakeback.

Misc Earnings:  $697
Home Games:  $120
Casino Earnings:  $585.50
Online SNGs:  $53.73
Online MTTs:  $978.45
1/2 Stake Paid Out:  ($272)
Stake Owed Out:  ($15.43)
Online Cash Games($605.54)

I could spend the rest of this year, on into the next, and the next decade trying to decipher why cash games are not successful for me and tournaments are. Unfortunately I've wasted 10 months trying to do that when in the end the answer is unimportant. Obviously, tournaments are my specialty. They were in 2009 and 2010 when I was ranked in the top 3% of over 1.7 million and 1.9 million online players respectively.  Looking at the numbers for this year it is blatantly obvious where my earnings come from and I should have simply accepted that fact 6 months ago or more, but as is usually the case my stubbornness got the better of me, but that is no more. I no longer care why I do so much better in tournaments than I do in cash games although I do have my theories. 

I believe I excel where the highest degree of skill is required and I firmly believe the highest degree of skill is required for tournaments far more than cash games. If a person has enough money in their pocket they can just rebuy and rebuy and rebuy and rebuy again giving them the ability to try over and over and over again especially in the lower limits online, but in a tournament, you screw up with your stack and you're gone, there are no second chances. Yes, there are rebuys and reentries, but even considering that they are limited to a certain time frame. 

You take your typical live $1/$2 cash game. A typical scenario is someone is dealt a small pocket pair even under the gun such as 44. Typically they're going to toss that $2 in the middle to try to see a flop and usually they will call a raise if someone raises behind them unless the raise is too large, and pretty much this is the way it's going to go probably 95% or more  of the time, but you take that same situation in a tournament and there are multiple scenarios. At times you're going to open shove, times you're going to fold it, times you're going to limp, and there are times you're going to raise and each of these circumstances is going to depend on a variety of factors such as what are the blinds, what is your stack size, where are you in relation to the money bubble, how many big blinds do you have left, and based on that your actions are going to be different in different situations and believe me if you do not know how to react under different circumstances in different situations in a tournament, you might as well just mail your entry fee in as a donation. There's so much more to think about than tossing a couple of dollars into the pot.  I can't tell you how many times that I have heard that tournaments are 50% luck. Bullshit!! That is the biggest crock I've ever heard. You do not maintain a respectable ROI over the long term playing tournaments that last three four and five hours or more if you are relying on 50% luck and anyone that would have the nerve to say that is about 10 beers short of a 12-pack. 

So this half action stake or half action sell off or whatever the hell you want to call it that me and Man In Black are involved in actually got started on October 28th and we'll go from October 28th till December 31st. Hopefully over the two months and 4 days this covers I will be able to make us a respectable amount of money. That is not to say that things have exactly started out like a house on fire. 27 tournaments and only three in the money finishes. The earnings are only $30 and the ROI is 31% which is below expectation for me as in 2016 after 542 tournaments played my current ROI is 45.17% . I know 31% is not horrendous and I also know that the ROI is the bottom line in tournament play, but only finishing in the money 3 times in 27 tells me I am currently running below expectation. The 55 minute $3 Deepstack Rebuys I am running cold as ice in and have gone 0 for 10 and am really struggling in. Been knocked out by opponents hitting 2 outers in at least three of them and runner-runner flush in another three, but that's poker and I know I am overdue for at least a couple deep runs in these soon. The 85 minute $3 Deepstack Rebuys I am 1 for 3 with a fourth-place finish in the $800 guaranteed that was worth a $94 payout, but another area I am running a bit chilled in is the freezeout tournaments in which I have only gone 2 for 13 and am currently losing ($0.44) in these and that is very unusual to say the least. My struggles specifically are coming in the $5 buyins. 

Beginning in November which technically speaking it is now my first tournament of the day starts at 8 a.m. and my last tournament starts at 7:30pm, but if I run deep in that one I will toss in the 11 p.m. $5 NLH freezeout.  I am no longer trying to do this each and every day, 7 days a week and am taking Wednesdays and Thursdays off. Those are the days I play in my NPL League games and also a couple of days a week it gives me the opportunity to sleep late.

The area on the right side of the blog where I keep track of my current bankroll I am only listing 50% of what my actual account balance is because since I am in a 50% stake the remainder belongs to Man in Black so to save time I am only listing the as the current bankroll what actually belongs to me however twice that amount is available for tournament play. When the available balance is $350 I may start tossing in the 930pm $5 Deepstack Rebuy, but that has a habit of not getting the minimum players needed and when the available balance is $400 I am going to start tossing in a $20 Deepstack Freezeout here and there. 

As far as my current goals go the very first one of which is to keep the damn mouse off the withdraw button. I have earned $1,541 this year playing both Casino poker, online poker, and home games and every dime of it got spent. I don't really regret it because I've had a lot of fun this year, but I'm certainly not going to reach my monetary goals by going out, having fun, and spending money. My current monetary goal is $2,000 which will give me a full month's worth of tournaments at Sam's Town and then I will reevaluate after that month is over, see what the earnings are or consequently what the losses are and judge from that point if I need to grind online for a larger starting bankroll or if I can continue on under the current circumstances, but for awhile I will be grinding online again to build up that $2,000.

Well that's a wrap. Only going to get about 4 hours sleep tonight if I'm lucky so it will definitely be a caffeine pill kind of day tomorrow, but will be able to sleep in the following two days. Let's hope I can start running at least to expectation extraordinarily soon. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $165.43
Goal:  $2000
Progress:  8%

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sidelined Online

My daily live poker playing has been sidelined due to an injury, more specifically a blood clot in the calf of my left leg. For reasons I won't get into I was without the blood thinner a few days and combined with all the sitting hours on end has ended me up with the blood clot. Suffice it to say it included a permanent ban from one Pharmacy for a verbal altercation that I got in with one of their employees in which she started it. Knowing I was going to not be able to play live daily and would have to return to online temporary I decided to take all except $200 and simply spend it on what I wanted to and I've been having a lot of fun and enjoying myself. Live tournaments, live cash games, blackjack tables, roulette, slot machines, poker machines, adult beverage consumption, some clothes shopping, whatever and I've been having a lot of fun, but with a blood clot I need to rest the leg as much as possible so it's forced me back online. I am hoping time and rest will dissolve it naturally. I don't want to end up in the hospital as I have not the time nor the inclination for that. There's things going on I want to continue to take part in so I don't have any time for any hospital stay bullshit. I have league games twice a week with the Nevada Poker heretofore known as the NPL, a home game tournament two or three times a month so rest is at a premium but I will do the best I can with it.  After playing live tournaments in which the top prize is hundreds of dollars playing $1, $2, and $5  tournaments where I get $15, $30, or $50 for first place is not going to be easy.  I have to try not to get fed up with the small money return and head right back to the casino not fully healed. 

Now let me make something extraordinarily clear here. I want back to the live tournaments as fast as possible, but at the same time  I realized that a realistic bankroll is needed. I really enjoyed playing the tournaments at Sam's Town, enjoyed their costs which was low, along with their relatively low rate they charge for those tournaments, however giving oneself a realistic bankroll for permanent live play is necessary.  The only question is how much and that is going to be on a trial-and-error basis. Right now my goal is to turn this $200 into $2000. That would give me 40 buyins or a full months worth of $50 tournaments and the ones that I played at Sam's Town cost less than that, but that's a nice round number to shoot for and it basically gives me a full month's attempt at it not worried about running out of money and then at the end of the month seeing how much was earned or lost and reevaluate at that point. So that's the goal $2,000 and it's probably one of the most realistic monetary goals I've ever had for myself, but when achieved, I will return to live tournaments immediately and instantaneously. 

I know I need to rest the leg as much as possible and the pain is gone, but I know the clot is not so I need to rest it as much as needed, but I refuse to not play in my league games or the home games. The Nevada Poker League aka the NPL is a free bar poker league that I am taking part in which has a $5,000 freeroll every 6 weeks and how you do in the individual single table tournaments that you play during the 6 week season depends what you're starting chip stack is. They also give out tokens for the Bar Poker Open, tournaments that are played online and utilizing those tokens playing those tournaments online can get you into the $200,000 Gtd at the Golden Nugget. Furthermore the top 15 or so in these $5,000 freerolls every 6 weeks get an entry into a winner-take-all tournament in which that winner will get a $10,000 buy-in into the WSOP Main Event. All of this is totally free for the player and the only money that you spent is whatever you eat or drink at the bar and maybe a couple of bucks for the dealers and that is it. I'm meeting new people and socializing more in this fashion and I'm enjoying it very much, but let's be real about it, I'm in it for the potential money to be won.  Actual poker for October has shown some small losses but extraordinarily small. I ended up losing $12 in live play and the first home game of the month I did not cash in it so that cost me $30, I have $200 online and the rest has been spent and being spent, frivolously, unnecessarily, and quite honestly enjoyably.

I'm going to start a full day of online tournaments tomorrow and I will only be playing the $1, $2, and $5 tournaments. I am not playing any of the rebuys because I just don't care for them and why spend nearly $9 for each one if it's not something I really enjoy doing. Monday and Thursdays are league game nights so I will take those two days a week off from online tournaments. The days I do grind online the day will begin at 11:15 a.m. and ending with a 1am tournament depending on how tired I am. If I feel too tired or fatigued I'll end things early.  

Well that's my update. I really hate the fact that I've been sidelined for now, but the way I look at it this will give me some time to do some grinding and some healing at the same time. I know some may think playing the home games and the league games is unnecessarily risky, but the fact of the matter is that I don't like being cooped up inside of the house and I'd rather get out and be doing something especially if it's poker related in some way. So until next time take care everyone and whether it's live or online, I'll see you at the tables. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

No Turning Back

Beginning in October I will be playing live exclusively and permanently here in Las Vegas as I was meant to be doing, the reason I moved to Las Vegas in the first place. I will be playing tournaments and tournaments only as that is the poker player that I am. I can sum up my feelings on long term cash games utilizing the title of a Vlog that Trooper recently did. It was one of his short two-minute Vlogs where he titled it "Hours Of Boredom Moments Of Terror"  I wouldn't necessarily utilize the word terror, perhaps in no limit that's the way it is, but the first part of the title I find to be extraordinary true. It is hours and hours of sheer boredom with very little happening and a few hands here and there may provide borderline excitement.  A fellow blogger in one of his recent post said the same thing. I refer to Ace On The River who in a tournament recap I believe it was in part 1 acknowledged cash games can be hours and hours of boredom, and I completely aagree but tournaments with the changing structure and conditions of the game from hour to hour and moment to moment, there is never a dull moment in a tournament and I think that's why I love them so much. 

There are other reasons or what I call fringe benefits of tournaments over cash games such as restricted losses, limited to whatever the cost of the buyin is instead of buyin after buyin in a cash game, moderately large amounts of money to be earned in a relatively short amount of time  depending on what your definition of large amonts is which would be different to everyone, and there are other benefits to tournaments over cash games that I could list, but that would simply be my own personal opinion and the opinion of others will be different, but in the poker world, in this poker life of mine, I am a tournament poker player. Now the logical question that may be on the minds of anybody reading this is why?? Why make the move now when it's fairly certain I don't have anywhere near what would be considered the appropriate bankroll for it. A fair question deserving of a fair answer.

I decided that I needed a break from online play so on September 9th I withdrew the $496.37 I had online and took the risk to play live tournaments for a few days. Part of me was saying forever, but a big part of me knew that it might just be something temporarily needed, but also a big part of me knew I was taking a huge gamble playing $40 and $45 tournaments on what essentially was a $500 bankroll, but it was a risk I was willing to take because I felt, still feel, and will always feel that my edge over my opponents can counteract whatever difficulties or risk I may face, however even I know it doesn't take much to go into a 10 buyin or higher skid playing live tournaments, but good, bad, or indifferent I decided I was playing live, but for how long even I didn't really truly know.

I played a total of 7 of them over 4 days, nothing more than a $45 buy-in, most of them $40 and I ended up going 3 for 7, a total of $117 in earnings, and a 40% ROI even with the somewhat higher juice the lower buy-in tournaments have.  Now let me be totally clear about this. The following statement has nothing to do with any earnings I made because quite frankly although the ROI was quite respectable $117 is not a lot of money, but the fact of the matter is I loved every second of it.

Laughing and joking with other people, the feel of the cards and the chips, the sights and the sounds of the casinos whether on the Las Vegas Strip, Boulder Highway, or Downtown, being out in the fresh air going from place to place and just feeling alive not cooped up in my bedroom 14 hours a day on a computer. The fact of the matter is I gave myself a taste of it for a few days, played 7 tournaments, decided to go back online, but within a day realized there's no way I can go back now.

I don't care how little  money I have to invest in this, I don't care how many tournament buyins I have it's all meaningless to me at this point. When it comes to live and online there's no turning back. Call it what you want. Call it Autumn and the new season needs a new fresh start, call it an early birthday present for myself, call it anything you want, one thing I know for sure is there's no going back for me. It was different before, I could easily go back because when I was I was playing at the Plaza it was an electronic table and in many ways was like being online anyway. Other tournaments played it was a couple here and there or a days outing, but not several days together at least not that I recall. I don't know what the real answer is all I know is this time when I played live I realized I can never go back to online again. This is what I was meant to do when I moved here over a year ago. I didn't come to Las Vegas to play on a computer, I came here to play poker in casinos the original plan always was tournaments full time and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Come hell or high water, bankroll is immaterial, I'm going for my dream, what the dream was from the very beginning.

To be totally honest with my ongoing healing health status with the health issues live play puts a big toll on the body. I mean it's great playing live and joking and laughing with people on a daily basis and getting exercise is a good thing but it's still put a huge toll on me, but as usual I ignore what my body tells me most of the time because I enjoy this too much, but there may be times where I'm going to have to take a few days off here and there just to rest and recoup and if that happens I will deal with those issues as they arise.

I have been told specifically by SeattleIrish that I shouldn't in my blog and in my life that I shouldn't  utilize definitites and in many ways he's correct, but the only way that I could see me play playing online is in cash games 4-6 tables. There is no other way it can ever hold my interest, but there's a small problem with that. My previous experiment shows it's not me, it's not my game, I'm a tournament player, my entire mindset is geared towards it and even if I try cash games online, I'll be quite honest, I'll feel like I'm forced into it. No matter how well I was doing, it wouldn't matter if I was crushing the online cash tables for 20 big blinds for every 100 hands played I would not be truly happy doing what I was doing. I would rather take my chance on the minimum that I will have available beginning in October and doing what I truly love and go broke in the process and have to try again each month after month doing something that I find mundane and the limited live play has already had some benefits which I will now explain in the next few paragraphs along with what the available bankroll will be.

I am going to be getting involved with the Nevada Poker League. From what I can tell they have a $5,000 freeroll every 6 weeks and the amount of chips that you get in the freeroll is based on your performance at these bar League games during the six-week season.  Every time you finish first you get $1,000 in chips towards that freeroll, every second-place finish is $500 chips towards it, and every third place finish is $250 towards it. The maximum chips that you can earn for the freeroll is $15,000. The new season begins September 26th. The current season ends September 25th and the next $5,000 freeroll is October 2nd. I am thinking of playing in a few even though I'm at the very end of the current season and even if chances of accumulating even a few chips for the $5000 freeroll is slim, it would be a way to check things out at a few places and see how they are. I am planning on playing in the NPL three nights a week for the upcoming season. Just think what a deep run in the $5,000 freeroll would do for the bankroll and it has the added benefit of meeting new people, making new contacts with poker players, having a couple of drinks, relaxing and having fun in a free league that has real potential. No matter how you look at it it's a win win situation

Because of the live tournament play that I did I ended up running into someone that I had become acquainted with when I was playing on the electronic tables at the Plaza. He worked in the poker room at that time and he invited me recently to a home game he's involved with which was held last Friday. A $20 rebuy, 10,000 starting chips and blinds starting out at 100/200 and after the 4th level a $10 addon for an additional 8000 chips. This was the first time that I had ever played in a home game and I must say I had such a great time. I've been invited to another one at a different person's home through my friend who I am going to call him "Pete". In the first home game we only had 13 players and they ended up paying the top four spots but even with that amount of players first place ended up paying well over $200. I end up finishing 4th for a $60 return for my $30 investment. More importantly than the money was the social aspect of it all and I had such a fantastic time I can't wait for the next one in a few days.

So that brings us what the bankroll will be for the start of all of this on October 3rd. When the expenses are figured I am going to be able to put together a starting bankroll of $600 and we will see how it goes. I will be playing the majority of my games at Sam's Town as they have a 1 p.m. rebuy for only $35 and the 7 p.m. tournament is only $40. I may possibly, depending how early I am up, mix in the $40 tournament at Monte Carlo. If it doesn't work I don't particularly care because I will have $300 available to me each month to try again and sooner or later I'm going to run into a steady increase or a heater whichever it is I does not really matter and I will still have the npl and the games which I will make sure I save money for.

That's going to wrap this one up. Sorry it's been so long since my last posting and I will try to post more frequently. As always take care everyone and one way or the other I'll see you at the tables.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

August 2016 Recap And September Begins

August 2016 which was looking pretty dismal somewhere in the middle of the month when my account balance dropped to $294 from the starting balance of $481 turned around once I abandoned the cash games completely turned out to be the best month that I've had since I started playing on WSOP. The final numbers show just under $500 earned in online tournaments. ManInBlack was covering 50% of that action so my earnings in that total was $249.77. Live tournament earnings of $434 were generated from two $65 tournaments played at the Golden Nugget. Cash games for the month after starting out $157 in earnings ended up being ($16.40) in losses, however I don't have to deal with that anymore because I won't go near them again at least not online. 

There were also $591.98 in withdraws and although I did well avoiding withdraws since April, August was a special month and quite frankly after the nice cashes at the Golden Nugget I decided to treat myself. I filled my refrigerator and freezer with food, I went clothes shopping where I bought 3 new pairs of jeans amongst other things, I utilized some money to treat myself to some delivery orders, I utilized some money for using Lyft to get from here to there and I enjoyed the earnings. Some people may say I was wrong in doing so and if that's their opinion they have the right to it, but I just wanted to do something a little special for myself and the profits definitely helped me do that. I started out the month with a balance of $481 and I ended it with a balance of $617 with a low point of $294 so the actual bankroll increased over $300 from that low point, so I have no regrets over anything that was spent this month.  

So my total earnings for August counting everything was $728.37.  If we count the money that ManInBlack got as a 50% staker the actual money earned from tournament play alone without considering anything else was over $900.  And that wasn't even a full month since I started out in cash games. Suffice it to say if I were you ever make an attempt at anything else again I should seriously have my head examined.  I can't say why I do well at tournaments and hideously atrocious in cash games. Maybe Michelle is right and my tight strategy it's good for tournaments but horrendous for cash games, but in the end I guess it really doesn't matter. When you find what you're good at do everything you can to utilize that talent and make yourself better. I do know I like the relative safety net that tournaments provide over cash games. I watch the Vlogs of Trooper and Poker Krout not to mention Rayz Rayl and these guys when a bad session can go through 3 or 4 buyins at $300 a pop. You take your typical $125 tournament once you lose, that's it, you're not going to lose any more than that and the return, especially up top, is definitely going to be equal or close to what a cash game player can realistically expect. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter the why, all that matters is doing what you're good at and even more importantly what brings you the most happiness.

So that brings us the first two days in September which has not seen a lot of online poker in fact on the 1st of September I played a couple of live tournaments. I met up with Man in Black to pay him his last $40 that he had coming from August profits and I told him that I was planning on playing the $45 Tournament down at the Luxor at 10:30 a.m.  We talked a bit and decided that we would go in on a 50% deal again for that particular day. He gave me the $40 back plus an extra $5 and with my $45 we decided that I would play two $45 tournaments that day. The 10:30 a.m. at the Luxor and the 3 p.m. at the Golden Nugget.

The tournament at the Luxor only got 10 players and I arrived seven minutes late.  That tournament  would be a one-time thing  because of the fast climbing blind structure, it's not something that I would return for again. There was one guy  to my left who amassed a huge chip lead but did so from calling all-ins with things like Q3s and getting very lucky. The top two were getting paid with first place taking $201 and 2nd Place taking $191 and when it was down to three of us Mr. Chip Leader decides that he would offer a deal we would give $10 to the dealer me and the other guy would get $50 a piece and he would take first place money. Without being completely rude about it we basically told him to take his deal and stick it up his ass. I couldn't tell much about the other guy but I knew I was ten times the player Mr. Chip Leader was. The story gets a little better. The other guy ends up going out with Mr. Chip leader busting him and has about 43,000 in chips to my 7000 and remember second place was getting $109 and first place was getting $201 and he says "well if you just want to call it now I'll give you $110." Yeah, you read that correctly, he offered me an extra dollar. I looked at him with the total of wanting to backhand him across the mouth  of which I am proud to say I resisted that urge and remind him that I was getting $109 for just sitting there. I then said to him "boy I'm going to chop you down like an oak tree." He then says well give me a number so naturally I gave him a number of $150 which I knew he would turn down and that was good with me. We played it out and Mr. Chip Leader and his 43,000 and high-end attitude ended up in 2nd place and I ended up winning it. I tossed the dealer ten bucks and walked out with $191.  I did not cash in the Golden Nugget tourney and finished in 10th out of 35 players so me and Man in Black both ended up with a $50 profit on the day.

Both the tournaments I played in had 5000 chip starting stacks and I had said originally that I did not want to play that type of tournament, but since I plan on playing at Colossus definitely in 2017, and since Colossus starts with 5,000 chips I decided that I should probably best utilize my time between now and then and adding tournaments that have that particular starting chip stack. I know a 35 person tournament has very little to do with the 20,000 + players Colossus will get, but the fact of the matter is that if I am going to play Colossus, which I am, I need to play in as many tournaments as possible that have the same starting chip stack. I'm not thrilled that $45 tournaments almost all come with a 33% juice to it, but as long as you you have an edge over everybody else that's playing the juice become somewhat irrelevant. Yes it takes a few dollars off the top line, but other than that it has little effect certainly nothing that's going to stop me from showing a profit over the long run.

The $5 tournaments on my daily poker schedule are frustrating because although there are 8  potential ones that I can play each day sometimes only 2 end up being played and sometimes none. It is really very irritating because I think I could do very well in these things since they only get 20 to 30 players and if you end up winning it's worth a quick $50 but it sure doesn't help matters if they don't go off as scheduled. The main problem is that these $5 tournaments and even the $10 tournaments are just regular MTTs and rarely seem go off.  They do not have a guaranteed prize pool which is what most players are looking for on WSOP.  although they are on the schedule I am not including them in what my ABI is since so if you go off. By not doing that it's a win-win situation because if one does go off it'll automatically degrees the ABI slightly, but by not including them and the figures showing on higher ABI then what might actually be if I am able to plan wanted to at least $5 tournaments it will help me with my ABI/bankroll management ratio.  Under the current schedule my maximum ABI is $7.06 and beginning play today where I started with a bankroll of $693.88 that gave me a bankroll with 98 ABIs. I'm trying to work that up towards and past 200 I'm trying to work that out towards and past 200 ABIs and then once that is accomplished I can add in or swap out some tournaments and replace them with the $10 Deepstack Rebuys down the road a bit.
I put in a full day today with 15 tournaments planned, but as expected several of the $5 ones did not end up going off and were cancelled. I have five planned days off this month, but am going to be having some shortened days because of doctors appointments. I have appointments on the 7th, 8th, 12th, and 14th interfering in the poker schedule and it's really irritating. However starting next month there should only be 3 main doctors that I will be seeing that being my primary care physician, a pulmonologist, and my pain management doctor so I guess I can put up with 3 a month even if it does interfere with the poker schedule. 

Online tournaments to start September has not gone well so far and I find myself beginning the month in a 1 for 14 slump going 0 for 10 today. Runner Runner flush, bigger pair losing to smaller pair, flush being beat by a larger flush, and the list goes on. Nothing out of the ordinary of any other slump or downswing a person might be in and whether it's tournaments or cash games the same old process remains tried-and-true, you just have to play through it. Fortunately the live profits and the $26 that I earned on the 2nd plus an extra $1 in misc shows me up just under $10 for the month even with the 1 for 14 slump.  There is no one in on the tournament action for September.  ManInBlack was willing, but I declined because if I am going more months just on 50% earnings it will take twice as long to achieve my objectives. 

No poker tomorrow as tomorrow is one of my planned days off, but I will be back at it on Monday. I won't be doing too much extra curricular activities for September and October with the exception of playing some live tournaments if I am showing relatively good earnings as the month progresses, but every extra dollar that I have I am setting aside because I have a friend who I will refer to as "Sherry" coming for a visit in late October and obviously I want to be able to show her a good time and have a lot of fun since it's going to be her first visit to Las Vegas. Depending on how things go in September and the first half of October I may tap the bankroll for a withdrawal just to add some extra cash available during her visit, but we will see how the tournament grind for the next month-and-a-half goes. That's going to wrap this one up for now. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $627.41
Goal:  $5,000
Progress:   12.5%

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Comment Responses

Pokerdogg said in part:  

I am shocked at your results. I thought that you are a winning cash game player even though you have not been winning as much as last year, how could this be true? All along I thought you are capable of winning at ~10bb/100 at 10NL,  A 10bb/100 win rate at 2000 hands/day, 20 days/month, would have made $3200 since January. What do you think is the reason you didn't achieve that?

You're shocked??  I've gone beyond shocked to astonished, appalled, and dismayed.  Never in my wildest imagination did I think I was losing this year, but I chalk that up to not paying closer attention to the different stretches of downswings and because of not much of a bankroll amount change  due to the bonuses and rakeback. 

You asked me why I didn't achieve success in my cash game attempt and the short answer is because I'm not good at it, but the slightly longer answer is that I've had two people indicate that my thinking is more along the lines of tournament thinking and it's what comes to me naturally. Once was a discussion with my friend Michelle and the other time was when I made a comment on Rob's blog. In each case they both felt that my thought process on the particular subject we were discussing, or in Rob's case I was commenting on his blog, but in both cases they felt that my thoughts and opinions indicated and inherent tournament strategy mindset.

He also said in part: 

Speaking of data, to get a complete picture, how many hands of cash games did you play this year at each stake, win/loss for each, total buyins for tourny so that we can calculate ROI, what buyins. Same things for last year. What did you earn from bonuses, and how much would you have earned just playing tourneys.  Without a complete picture, it just appears to be selective reporting to support your latest decision. Not saying you are doing this intentionally, we all have selection biases by nature, you need to look at everything if you want to make the best decision. 

I did not keep a total accurate count of the cash game play in 2016, but I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt it is in excess of 100,000 hands played and probably closer to 150,000 well beyond the point of the sample size being considered too small and also at a point where one can realize if they are winning player or not.

Tournaments on the other hand there is no question about it. The website PokerProLabs tracks every single tournament played and for 2016, as of the completion of play on August 30th, this year I have 448 multi-table tournaments played with buyins ranging from $1 to $25.  Earnings over the course of this time are just over $993 with a 53.86% ROI. Out of 448 tournaments I have made 120 final tables and out of those 120 final tables I have 39 top 3 finishes. Now you have to take that 120 number with a grain of salt because a final table is counted as a final table so even if a tournament only has 24 players and I made it to the final 9 they consider that a final table finish so take that for what it's worth, but ($360) in losses at Cash games compared to over $993 in tournament earnings, you have to be a blind man not to see what is blatantly obvious and finally at least, my eyes are wide open and maybe for the first time in 8 months I'm actually seeing things clearly. There's been a lot of confusion over the last 8 months and that explains much of the flipping back and forth between the two venues of Poker I am convinced of this. Something kept drawing me back to tournaments but then I would recall how many people were saying cash games is the way for consistent money so I would go back and I would end up going back to tournaments and this repeated over and over and over again. I can guarantee you that action and behavior will not be repeated.

Seattleirish said in part:

You've run into issues when making "I will never..." statements in the past. 
"I am a full-time tournament poker player and I will say this here and now, if I ever play another no limit cash game hand online I will quit poker..."
I'm not sure why you continue to state things so definitively as to leave yourself no room to change your mind in the future without having past declarations thrown in your face. Of course, you can choose to shrug it off when people do so, but you do seem to paint yourself, unnecessarily, into corners.

You know SI ordinarily I would say you are absolutely correct and completely On Target but in this case I think the definite declarations are extraordinarily important. I know me and I tend to be somewhat of a stubborn individual and I don't like accepting defeat, but on the same token it makes no sense to try and keep beating this dead horse namely cash games. I purposely put that particular sentence about staying with tournaments or quitting poker so that it would be out there for all to see because instead of coming to a point where I start saying you know I'll bet if I improved this part and this part of my game I am sure I could make a profit doing that I don't want to go back and forth anymore and want to stick to what I love doing, what makes me money, and quite frankly what I came to Las Vegas to do in the first place just over a year ago. I am a tournament player, I always have been and for whatever reason I tried to step away from that and become something else, something I'm not. Tournaments are ingrained within me and it's what I've been doing for 12 years. I hate to even suggest the saying you can't teach an old dog new tricks especially being middle-aged myself, but why try to learn something new when what has always worked for me continues to. I also specifically in that statement put online cash games because there may be times where I get together with friends and we end up playing a cash game in a live setting just for fun and for that I would make an exception, but I am a tournament player, I love being a tournament player, and I'm going to be one till the day I die.