Monday, February 29, 2016

Full Time Live Play Begins in April

I am switching off the online tables to full time live play beginning in April.  As you are aware each month,  I end up paying the rent and my roommates pay me back in small increments.  Counting what they owe me at this very moment plus what they will owe me on the 3rd comes to a total of $400.  I have informed them of my plans and they have told me that paying back the $400 over the course of March should not be a problem and in addition me not being able to front the rent money in April should not be a problem so with the $400 they owe me plus the $100 I have online which hopefully over the course of March will increase a little bit plus another $300 that I can add to this pot in the beginning of April I should have a total bankroll of approximately $800. 

The Plaza downtown, the one with the electronic tables, has somewhat recently changed their tournament offerings to three $10 rebuys per day, a $25 tournament 6 nights a week, and a $35 bounty tournanent on Thursday night.  If we disregard the $35 tournament that would be $55 for 4 tournaments a day which is an ABI of $14 and with a $800 bankroll and an ABI of $14 that is over 50 buyins for full time live tournament play.

Now this does come with certain apprehensions the very least of which I do not particularly like electronic tables however, as a friend pointed out to me, electronic tables are not exactly like playing online because even on an electronic table you still do have the ability to get reads on your opponents as there are actually live people playing there at the same table with you.  The $10 rebuy tournament in of itself is also questionable at best.  Let me explain how they work this.  If say 16 people enter the tournament and each pay $10 the thing is $0 of it goes to the prize pool yet the prize pool is automatically guaranteed at $150.   The bottom line is generally speaking in that $10 tournament they usually pay out three spots at approximately $75 for first, $45 for 2nd, and $30 for the third  and looking online at a $10 sit and go as an example the prize amounts are comperable.  Anything over 15 rebuys and add-ons would be added to the prize pool as well so on the surface it seems a little iffy but when you dig into it a little bit it's not so bad besides it's the cheapest offering in town let's face it and Ave playing live means I have to restart things at the bottom rung of the latter so be it. I'm willing to put my time in so that I can work my way up.

As for online I withdrew all except $100 and will use that to play only $1 and $2 MTTs for the month of March.  This is as much to give me something to do in March as it is to earn profit, but any profit that I do make will be added to that $800 figure.  Rebuys are not going to be played as for whatever reason I seem to have the worst beats in rebuys and I'm talking after the rebuy period is over and also  just from the couple of days that I did play it was quite obvious to me that the $1 and $2 tournaments is going to be the best way to add to that $800 figure.  You can see the schedule over on the right, but it should be noted that not all those $1 tournaments go off as planned and I don't like to play with field size less than 20 so not every single one of the $1 ones will be played every single day, but a majority of them will be.

There are many positive aspects the least of which is it will get me out of this apartment.  More walking and general exercise even if it's only walking over to Mermaids and back for a deep fried Twinkie lol, but I think you know what I mean.  As a matter of fact I may even decide just to play the $10 Rebuys until I build the money up and if that's the case then I'm looking at 80 buyins with that $800 and I would be playing two to three tournaments a day as sometimes the 10:30 a.m. one does not always get enough people to send it off.   Then there's the part of not spending every waking moment with those you live with.  Friends ate great, but a little separation especially from people so vastly unlike minded regarding poker as I am is only a good thing.

I also will not deny the allure of the casino, just about any casino itself. The live music, the partying, hell pick a night on Fremont Street and you can party till the wee hours of the morning.  It's all part of the aspect of Las Vegas although I do realize that I need to be extraordinarily careful and don't let the aspect of the adult playground consume me too much. 

So when will this online grinding begin.  At this point it looks like Saturday.  Tomorrow I have a doctors appointment at 7 a.m. and if I get out of there fast enough then I will head to the strip to pick up my withdrawal and then head to the Plaza to to play three $10 rebuys  before heading home.  I will not be playing the $25 tournament at 8 p.m. as I'm going to have to get up slightly early on Thursday which is a good thing because I would like to be at the Plaza by 10:30 a.m. on that day as well.  Thursday I will play two of the $10 rebuys if they're available and I'm going to be meeting up with Joe aka Man In Black by 2 p.m. at the Plaza.  On tap that night will be the $65 tournament at the Mirage. On Friday, if I wish, "Alan" has already told me that he would be interested in staking me to another cash game session at the Strat and I will probably be taking him up on that, returning sometime Friday evening back to my place and then start the next day at 11:15 a.m. grinding the MTTs online.

To say that I am excited and adrenaline-filled to begin this would be a complete understatement.  Yes it may be little $10 tournaments, but it will be away from here, it will be offline with actual people around me, perhaps new friends to be made and even with their electronic tables I am looking forward to it more than I can tell you because I will have an appropriate bankroll for it.  That wraps up this entry and you are caught up to date on what's in the near future.  Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Return To Tournaments Full Time

I've been thinking about it for a while and today I thought about it some more and a lot of considerations went into making the decision, but the decision has been made.  Effective immediately I am returning to full-time tournament play.

There are three basic reasons why I have come to this decision. The first one and these are not in any specific order, but the first one is when I am able to get out on the Strip what is this thing that I look forward to the most?  It's being able to play in a live tournament whether it's playing in a tournament at the Linq, Golden Nugget, The Mirage, or even a goofy $10 electronic table tournament at the Plaza.  Tournaments have always been my first love, they are what I did for years, they are how I earned a living for a short time in Atlantic City, there was a girl involved and I'm not getting into it,  but for whatever reason tournaments seems to be what I return to, what I can't stay away from.  Even online when I stated that I was only playing cash games, I was just going to grind those and somehow, someway, I always seem to find an excuse to get tournaments back in my daily play and there's one main reason, these are the things of poker that I enjoy the most.

Let's talk about medical considerations.  The fact of the matter is when I am playing full time live, I would be spending 10 maybe 12 hours a day at the cash tables.  If I am able to quit smoking I probably wouldn't budge from it and if I'm not able to quit smoking stepping away for 2 minutes to have a few hits of a cigarette is not enough.  From a medical standpoint for someone with blood clot issues long long sessions sitting at a table is extraordinarily dangerous.  As a full time tournament player I might have an hour or two hours or even three hours in between tournaments who knows, but it would be enough for me to take a walk, go outside and enjoy the fresh air, see the sites that are around me that I would otherwise miss because I'm in a cash game for a minimum 10 hours a day.  From a medical standpoint tournaments are the best way in the world to avoid blood clots, keep me out of the hospital, and as healthy as possible.  

Let's talk financial considerations.  First of all if I were to grind $65 tournaments, three or four of them a day, my losses would be limited to $260 if I didn't cash in any.  As a cash game player, players go through two three and four buyins that can add up to over $1,000 a day in losses in a single day.  Another financial consideration is $10,000 would not be necessary.  I could easily do this on $5,000.  I know the standard is 100 buyins, but when you consider that you're only playing in tournaments that might have 30 or 40 people I'm quite sure 50 buyins would be more than enough, which would only be $3,250, but always liking a little extra padding I'll say $5,000 flat for a tournament bankroll.

In playing cash games online I have made in excess of $450 and I am more than happy and more than satisfied with my performance in them.  I set out to prove I wasn't just a one type poker player, that I could do more than what I had done previously, and I think I did prove that, but when it comes right down to it, for me personally, it's not what burns the fires within.  When I start my day out on the online tables and am about to start a session of cash games it's simply something that I am going to do that day, but when a tournament is about to start, even a small buyin one online the adrenaline is a racing and the fires are burning and I can't wait to get started, but I can't say that about a cash game session.  For me a cash game session is what it is but there is no heart racing adrenaline rush involved with it for me like there is in tournaments.

So what does the bankroll look like.  First off I'm taking the rest of tonight off and will be starting this tomorrow February 26th.  I have $220 available online and I decided I am going to start my return to full-time tournament play with a bankroll of $300 exactly which means I only owe my bankroll $80. The rest of the money I'm keeping and enjoying as fruits of my hard earned labor lol.  The fact is it will be spent on live tournaments.  The tournaments that I will play online on a daily basis are as follows.

0900am:  $3 Deepstack Rebuy
1100am:  $2 Rebuy
1200pm:  $3 Deepstack Rebuy
0130pm:  $2 MTT
0400pm:  $3 Deepstack Rebuy
0600pm:  $2 MTT
0730pm:  $3 Deepstack Rebuy

Anytime the bankroll is above $320 then one or more of the following will or can be played and 1 or more of the above will be eliminated in lieu of one or more of the ones below.

0445pm:  $20 Deepstack
0930pm:  $5 Deepstack Rebuy
0930pm:  $20 Knockout
1200am:  $20 Midnight Mayhem
0000pm:  $10 Deepstack Rebuy

The $2 and $3 tournaments will get me started and the $20 tournaments is what's going to really bring in the profits.  As far as the rebuys go I will do the immediate rebuy to start with a double stack but I have decided I will not take the add-on in those.  Yes, it adds chips to the stack, but its all a cost vs reward thing.  Take the four deepstack rebuys as an example.  Each add-on costs $2.73 times 4 a day is a total of nearly $11.  That is equivalent to almost 2 additional buyins.  Yes, it adds chips, but in many cases the percentage of add-on is barely a 20%-25% increase in stack size yet the cost is 91% of the full entry fee and you are also at a higher blind level than than the immediate rebuy making it a further -EV cost scenario in my opinion.  Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows I am all about the math when it comes to poker and in this case, as far as add-ons go, the math just does not add up to a long term positive expected value.

I have also made a decision that may keep me out of the WSOP.  I have decided that I am not going to set aside money for the entry fee.  Over the next few months if I am going to end up playing in the WSOP I will earn the money to enter that $565 tournament at both the online tables and live tournaments that I play. This will give me the opportunity to play at least 4 live tournaments a month over the coming months and quite frankly I like the prospect of earning my way in.  It was actually a conversation I had with a friend of mine that got me thinking more and more along these lines and the more I thought about it the more sense it made to me.  You can't expect to play on Broadway if you haven't proven yourself in the smallet venues first. 

Well that's a wrap up for tonight.  Going to get some sleep and set the alarm for 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. $3 Deepstack Rebuy.  I actually broke my tournament drought today with a win in a small $2 tournament, one of the ones on my daily schedule.  It only had 40 something players and first place was worth $28 and change, but still it feels good to break out of that tournament funk I was in.  Take care of everybody and although they will be slightly different, I'll see you at the tables.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Let's Look At The Numbers

Readers and friends alike often wonder why I insist on pushing so many hours a day even when my body is sending me clear messages it doesn't like it.  Why I insist on playing 9 to 12 hours a day when my body only wants me to play five or six and I need the caffeine pills to get me through.  I have been given suggestions of taking a nap during the middle of the session to playing only 5 or 6 hours a day and these suggestions are valid no doubt about it, but for me it won't work and the inability to take these suggestions and implement them which I easily could all has to do with time frame involved. 

I want this goal achieved as fast as humanly possible without dying in the process.  Do I believe for one second that grinding poker caused my recent issues of course not.  I've had blood clot problems since I was 28 years old I just hadn't had any go to the lung in a good 18 years and I was a poker player for 7 or 8 of those years so that's not what caused the problems.  The caffeine pills raise the blood pressure which there is an inherent risk in that but one that I'm willing to accept in order to get the volume in.  When it comes right down to it let's look at the numbers.

The total bankroll is over $500 so we will use $500 as a base meaning I still have $9,500 to go to reach my $10,000 goal.  My earn rate at the $10 tables is 9bb/100 and if, and this is a big if, but if we can assume that at the $50 tables I can expect an earn rate of 4bb/100 based on 1500 hands a day which takes me a good 7 or 8 hours to complete at the bare minimum that would be an average daily profit of $30 per day at those tables and thus with $9,500 left to go would take approx 318 days to complete my task.  If I cut back on the volume has been suggested and only played half that much you are looking at 636 days to complete the task and that does not even come close to acceptable to me.  I got news for you 318 days is not acceptable to me that's why I push as many hands in a day as I can.  

I probably average 1500 but there are days that I get 1800 in.  I want 2000 unfortunately that would take at least in my mind a 12 hour session and even with the caffeine pills I don't think I can do that much but supposing I could, supposing I find a way to make 2000 hands a day my daily routine it would still take, based on a 4bb/100 earn rate, 237 more days to complete this.   That is 237 playing days and remember I am going to have days that I take off, I'm going to have days and I'm hanging out with my friends, days where doctors appointments will interfere in the grind so you're not talking 237 days you're talking even longer because its 237 days that I actually play poker.  Even 237 days is not completely acceptable to me and therefore that is why I am trying to increase this bankroll by adding in a couple of live tournaments each month to the mix, saving up and playing in Colossus ll, and adding tournament play to the daily schedule so that I can eventually be playing the $20 deep stack each and everyday I play.  In all honesty I want this to happen within the next 6 months.  Within the next 6 months I want that $10,000 available to me so that I can start grinding the $1/$2 tables or the $1/$1 tables over at the Linq.  That means I want to be playing full time live by September 1st.  The only question is can I actually make it happen.  

Yesterday the cash games were actually a profit at the $10 tables as I ended up with earnings of just over a Full buying in 1864 hands. You know I only played less than 9 hours and still got 1864 hands in so I'm thinking that a 10 hour session, uninterrupted of course, can produced the 2000 hands a day I'm looking for.  Perhaps my sessions should simply not be based on time, but based on hands played. Play as long as it takes to get those 2000 hands.  I'm going to try that today and see what happens.

The tournament are going absolutely horrendous.  I played the $20 Deepstack yesterday but that has now been suspended until I see signs that I am coming out of this.  I got knocked out of the $20 Deepstack when I had any one of 15 outs that I could have hit on the turn and river and missed every single one of them on both streets.  Other than that I played two $2 tournament and a $1 tournament and check out the final hands that got me knocked out of each of those.  

Ughhhh can you say run bad??   I will get on the tables today at noon and fire up the cash games.  The 130pm $2 MTT will be up first for tournament play, the 6pm $2 MTT will also be played unless the 130pm shows signs of me coming out of this tournament funk then I will play the $20 Deepstack, but not until I see a sign of change.  If I am knocked out of the 130pm early there is a 315pm $1 MTT I can jump in and if I am knocked out of the 6pm tournament early there is a 715pm $1 MTT.  I am keeping the tournament costs ultra low until I see some cashes in the lower buy-ins and a few less hideous eliminations.

That's all for now.  The numbers are the main reasons why I refuse to back down from the grind.  I always want 3 cash games going at a minimum so that I can hopefully get those 2000 hands in a day starting today so with that said,let's hit it.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bypassing $20NL

After a $37 profit yesterday I followed that with a $43 profit at $20NL and then came to the decision to completely bypass this level.   Here's a screenshot I took at approximately 3 p.m. this afternoon.

As you can see you the $10 tables had 6 full tables going and the $50 tables had 4 full, but the $20 tables absolutely deserted.  These tables have been sporadic at best and I have seen it go from three or four full tables and ten minutes later only one table going and only seven people playing on that.  I think it was just the previous I said that the $20 tables were going to be the highest I will go but with the lack of participation in the player pool I'm going to have to adjust that to make the $50 tables as the high point, but what I'm going to do is simply grind the $10 tables until I have the bankroll for the $50s.  Certainly I have seen my share of struggles at this level anyway, but it definitely feels good to be leaving it showing a profit although not as much as I would have liked it to have been nonetheless I end my time at the $20 tables with a profit of just over three buyins. 

I'm not sure why the lack of participation at the $20 tables unless the tabletalk that I indicated previously is affecting the player pool.  It would not make sense if this is in fact the case, for the so-called set ups to be happening at one level but not the other two, but human beings being what they are, sometimes logical thinking is not prevalent in the decision making process.  I also want to make it clear, as there seems to have been some confusion from a recent post, but I in no way shape or form think believe or otherwise embellish the thought that WSOP is rigged in anyway. I just wanted to clear that up. Do I go through hideous variance yes, but those two outers also work for me as they work against me its just right now they're working against me. 

Making the jump from $10 tables to the $50 tables is going to provide a certain amount of problems the very least of which is that the stakes are going to be 5 times higher.  This is going to make when I try the new level a stop loss extremely important and at the same time very low.  As an example if I went in to $50NL with a 10 buyin stop loss and ran into a downswing like I did at $20NL you are talking $500 in losses that would have to be recouped at stakes five times lower. On the very forefront of it you can see that it would take a decent amount of time to get that kind of money back at stakes five times lower than what you lost it at so therefore when I am rolled for $50NL the stop loss is going to have to be no more than two buyins which would be $100 and even at that I would have to recoup ten full buyins  at the lower level. This is going to be an dicey situation with nothing in the middle to fall back on, but as I see it there are no real other possibilities.  Just what that bankroll will be is up in the air.  Since its only a 2 buyin stop loss I am going to be able to play $50NL with a bankroll far less than ordinarily required.  I'm thinking in the range of $600.  Even if I dropped the two buyins at $50NL, I would still be dropping back to the $10 tables with 50 full buyins in my bankroll.  However, this goes without saying that it needs to be $600 available to me and since I am still in the process of paying the bankroll back money borrowed from there and since I base my bankroll on my cash game earnings less the tournament losses that I started playing yesterday, I still have a ways to go before I have that money put back.  Bankroll $538 and available acct ballance $285 so I still owe $253 to my bankroll.  My roommates owe me $135 still and I have another $10 in bonuses coming plus an estimated $25 in rakeback and $80 from my money I get in March and I will be caught up. 

I have come to the realization that it's not my recent sickness that is causing me to crash early, well I guess that could be part of it but the fact of the matter is that I am crashing after 6 to 7 hours of playing and that is unacceptable.  I have no choice but to take the blood pressure risk and get back on the caffeine on a daily basis.  Yes, I know it's jacks my blood pressure up to 155 / 115, yes I know that in the grand scheme of things not healthy, but I cannot achieve my goals in a realistic amount of time without the added help.  When I was in the hospital they did a heart ultrasound on me and the cardiologist himself said that my heart was in fine shape so I'm thinking that my heart is able to accept the higher blood pressure.

There has been certain concerns of late by my readers and friends in general that I am forsaking my health in lieu of the grind and to a great extent that may be true.  The recent hospitalization has made me realize that I do have to keep doctors appointments whether or not they interfere in the daily grind, but the fact of the matter is that while many of you may see that I am simply grinding the micro stakes what I think you fail to understand is its micro stakes now, but the ultimate goal is not micro stakes but $300 buyins in a live setting.  I guess in a live setting that might be considered micro stakes I don't know, but with the ability to make $15 or $20 an hour or more I'll be extraordinarily happy with that.  Some feel I am focusing too much on my goals to the exclusion of all else.  Now I don't recall if I mentioned it before, but what I'm doing is no different than the young man or young woman going through medical school and as an intern they have to work 24 hour straight shifts.  Trust me they are not doing it on pure will power, but they are doing it for a greater greater good to achieve their goal which would be becoming a doctor.  Granted my goal is not so grandiose, I'm a simple poker player that wants to play live professionally but they both have an ultimate goal they both have something that they want to achieve and they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it.  Whether the poker player or a doctor or an office worker trying to work his way up to be the CEO one day it really doesn't matter the what it only matters that drive within.   Do I push myself too hard? Absolutely.  Will I stop pushing myself so hard anytime soon? Absolutely not.  I will achieve my dreams, I will achieve my goals or I will die trying, but either way it's going to be one hell of a ride.

Yesterday was pretty much a break even day as I won at the $20 tables and lost at the $10 tables also finished out of the money in the two tournaments that I played.  I found I was able to play the 2 tournaments the non rebuys as they don't seem to go as long. Today I'm also going to mix in the $20 deep stack.  This is not something I'm going to be able to play on a daily basis it will completely be bankroll dependent but as I have an excess of $500 in my bankroll I can risk it for today.  What tomorrow brings we'll find out tomorrow.  That's all for now.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Online Tournaments Suspended

Due to medical reasons I need to suspend my online tournament play until further notice.  I played a couple today and didn't cash in either one of them but the main problem was tournaments are not like a cash game, you can't just leave when you want to.  630pm rolls around and I was so fatigued and so tired all I wanted to do was sleep.  My mind just wasn't in it and I obviously need to rebuild my stamina which is not quite back just yet.  At least with cash games I can quit anytime I want to.  It's not even 7:30 and I'm so ready to go to sleep.

The $20 tables were like a virtual graveyard today.  Must be something about Sundays but people were not playing and I ended up getting in less than 500 hands played, but on a good note it was a $37 profit.  If I am to resume online tournaments I think I will start with the $2 non rebuys.  They don't go as long because of no rebuy period and  they generally get less than 60 people.  During my recovery I am learning that I need to take things slowly and I can't just jump back into the schedule I had going before.  It's very frustrating to me, but I'm realizing I don't have a lot of choice about it.   So for now I will simply say good night and I will see you at the tables.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Looking For The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

There has been a lot of table talk on the $20 tables, and not by me, but by my varied opponents, and the overall general consensus is that there are a lot of setups going on at the $20NL tables.  I have been seeing constant example after constant example of the most outrageous happenings over the last 10,000+ hands or so where I'm almost starting to believe them, but I cannot even begin to fathom a company like Caesars doing anything that stupid.  Obviously I'm going through a bad section of variance, but what concerns me is if this is the type of talk that is going on at the online tables it could cause maybe several players to give it up and thus reduce the already limited player pool. I am so hoping that does not happen.

I made a couple of decisions based on availability and one of them is that $20NL will be the highest I go online.  It was 5 p.m. yesterday, what would be considered prime time, and there was just a single $50NL table being played or at least a full table.  From what I can see the best availability is the tables below $50NL and if I can start turning some profits at $20NL I can get back on track towards my $10k goal.  Yesterday was just complete sickness as somebody with a T7s calls my 3 bet preflop when I have AA and not only do they flopped two sevens, they hit the 4th one on the turn for good measure.  I flopped a set of tens and get beat.  I flopped a set of fives, opponent flops 2 pair kings and jacks, & a jack on the turn gives us both of the full house.  These three examples alone added up to four buyins down.  By some miracle I ended the session only $17 down at the $20 tables and another just under $7 down at the $10 tables.  

Today is Sunday February 21st and I will be starting my session at noon playing till 10 p.m. if I make it that long. Yesterday I only made it about 7 hours before I just completely felt like crashing and I had to stop the session which at the time I was picking up buyins from what I was down and really hated ending play, but I figured if I tried to play tired that $17 loss that I took the $20 tables was very likely to turn back into a two or three buyin loss so I figured it was best just to call it a night.  If $20 tables are my highest and if we assume from this point on I will have earnings of 8bb/100, yeah I know don't even say it lol, but if we could assume such a thing, it is still going to take 256 days grinding the online cash tables to get to that $10k.  I am obviously going to be hopefully utilizing some live tournament profits to add to my bankroll to get further towards that $10k number, also if Alan still wants to do the staking there will be assumedly my portion of winning sessions therein to add to the bankroll so there's a lot of things on tap, but nothing before the 3rd as I am taking this time to grind online and recover from my recent hospitalization. 

I am hoping that 10 hours will be enough to get 200p hands played if I can grind uninterrupted.  That 2000 hands is a good basis to shoot for and I'm actually thinking of playing until I have 2000 hands played and also I am going to do my best beginning today not to mix levels, playing $20 tables only.  I just do not like mixing levels, I cannot stand it.  I'm also going to add two tournaments and only two tournaments a day to my daily play schedule.  The 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. $3 deepstack rebuy which will cost me $8.46 each assuming I make it through the rebuy period.  I need something to try to counter when I'm running bad at cash games and also it would be nice if I could build something up whereas the tournament bankroll could pay for my WSOP entry but I'm not putting much stock into that.  If I can put together a tournament bankroll through profits and earnings then I will replace the 4 p.m. $3 rebuy with the 4:45 p.m. $20 Deepstack, but that's way down the road.  I have really been flipping back and forth on whether to play tournaments online whether to not play them, but quite frankly this downswing that I'm in has simply made me realize that I need something to try to counteract the difficult times and I feel just playing a couple of day will not hurt too much financially and in the long run could really help things when I am struggling.

Well that wraps up this for now.  I have just started my session today starting out with the $3 rebuy and right now there's only a single $20NL table active but as the afternoon progresses that will improve.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Stubbornness, Recovery, And Friendship Realizations

I pulled a stunt on Thursday that I probably shouldn't have, but I'm glad I attempted it just so that I could see where my body was. On Thursday night, 3 days out of the hospital, I ended up downtown at the Plaza for a $10 rebuy tournament. I was fine while traveling and I was fine sitting at the poker table, but any walking that I did was extremely labored.  Only 3 days out of the hospital it's a stunt I probably shouldn't have tried but I was feeling better than I had been in a week and I wanted to see just what I was capable of.  Ended up calling it an early night and was back at the house by 8:30 so I was just out for a few hours when it was all said and done.  From that point I decided that I will be staying in the house, on bed rest, until the 3rd of March, that being payday for me, will be a night that I will be playing the 7 p.m. Mirage tournament.  

Since I've been back home I've noticed things that suffice it to say that the concern and assistance I've shown towards people's medical situations here at the house is not even close to being returned in my current condition.  It's somewhat hurtful from people who claim to be my "best friend" and that I'm part of the family, but their actions are almost cold hearted.  Those that I choose to attach the word friend to are very special to me indeed and when you observe an almost completely self serving, what can you do for me attitude, it's disheartening.  As roommates all is well, but my going above and beyond in certain situations has ended.  We will remain friendly, amicable, and respectful towards one another, and the roommate situation helps all in a financial aspect, but above and beyond that there is nothing further.  

Today is the first day that I foresee me being back on a full schedule for the online grind. I had played a little before I left on Thursday and in just a few hands turned a small profit so I'm hoping that it's a sign of good things headed my way for the remainder of this month. Any grandiose plans for profits I had have pretty much been annihilated and I will be certainly happy if I can just scrape together a break even month from this point.  I am off the caffeine pills and thus I have adjusted my schedule and will try simply grinding online from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day.  Getting to sleep at a reasonable time, thus keeping the blood pressure in check which the caffeine pills were skyrocketing, and doing what I can during those hours.  Perhaps I can get a prescription of uppers from my doctor at some point and other than that I'll just see what else can keep me from getting overtired.  For now the only caffeine intake I'm getting is from the Mountain Dew and it will have to do for now.  Take care everyone, have an absolute great weekend, and I'll see you at the tables.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Poker And Medical Update

Poker at the cash games continues to goes horribly bad.  Dropped yet another buyin yesterday at the $20 tables which now puts me in the red after playing over 20,000 hands.  Granted the current downswing is a little over 7 buyins and in the grand scheme of things 7 buyins is nothing and I understand that, but it is frustrating none the less.  The only saving grace if the if this can even be counted as a saving grace is I am also struggling at the $10 tables which I normally crush so I know it's not because the stakes are higher that's affecting me its an overall downswing at the tables and there's not a damn thing I can do about it until it breaks.  Day before yesterday classic example as I ended up losing a couple of buyins at the $20 tables after having to split two large pots because my opponent had the exact same cards as I did.  In three other times had good solid hands yet I get outkicked.   Yestetday I call a raise from an aggrodonk with AK, the flop is ace high, he bets and I raise the flop about 4x which he calls, I fire a 1/2 or three quarter bet on the turn which he calls with his A9o and three outs me on the river and my AK went down in flames.  This and other various forms of bad beats have been a constant happening for the last 10,000 - 15,000 hands.  These are the things that happen during downswings and it's just something that you have to deal with and play through until it snaps, but this one is a long one at least longer than I've seen previously, but since I've only been playing cash games since December 12th I do not have a lot of longevity to compare it with.  The bottom line is losses for the month of February are inching towards $200 down.  Got to turn this around, got to snap out of it.

Now the medical update.  Recovery goes slow a lot slower than I would like.  At times it feels like I'm not gaining any ground and other times it feels like I'm getting stronger every day.  Doctors have me wearing oxygen at night when I'm sleeping but I don't have to do it during the day.  I've been home a couple of days and I am so itching to get back on the Strip its not even funny.  I can be a a notoriously the single most patient person when I'm at a poker table but in other aspects of my life patience is not one of my best suits.  There's still pain in the lung, but the breathing is doing well.  I'm getting in deep breaths, the breathing is not labored, but the pain in the lung tells me that the clots are still there and I'm continuing to take the blood thinners religiously as this is what truly will heal me.  As it turns out according to my doctor the massive blood clot in my right lung actually killed part of the right lung, part of it is dead, but fortunately does not seem a large portion of it.

The hardest part for me to deal with is the psychological aspect of it.  I'm always so damn cocky, so damn invincible and dealing with the prospect of I damn near came so close to dead at 48 is not sitting well with me.  Its like I want to run away from it like it never happened but the pain in the lung and now lifetime pill taking there's always going to be a reminder.

I gave the caffeine pills to my roommate and told her to get rid of them and she then flushed them down the toilet.  The caffeine pills did not cause my recent problems but the fact of the matter is my blood pressure was running 150/115 when they took me out in the ambulance and 4 days off of the pills and I was back down to 106/47. I decided to reorganize my schedule and simply play 12 to 10 each day instead of into the wee hours of the morning.  I figure a rising blood pressure is a bad thing on multiple levels and I have certain friends that have been trying to drive that through my skull so I guess I finally listenef to someone other than myself, yeah I know a miracle lol.

Well that's going to wrap this one up.  I'm going to start my session in about a half an hour and hopefully turning this cash game hideousness around.  I don't have to get lucky I just have to avoid getting temporarily unlucky and its not even luck involved it simply the math and that always comes out as it should eventually.  I'm thinking of introducing a tournament or two back into my daily play, but if I do, it will be just two of the $2 regular tournaments to start off with.  So with that said I guess it's time to get to work soon.  Have a great day everyone, take care, and I'll see you at the tables.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Drive Within

I would think there's an instinctive understanding of what goes through the minds of poker players by other poker players, the way were built, how we strive and push, and together for heading out the window as we speak!!! whatever it takes to reach where we want to be, what we want to achieve.  Granted some of us are more goal driven, some of us willing to sacrifice more to reach those points and achievements, but I would think that we all have a basic understanding of the thoughts, emotions, and drives.  It actually surprises me that some of my readers don't seem to understand where I'm coming from, what I'm willing to risk and sacrifice to accomplish my goals, and so I decided that maybe if I explained my thought process it may give my readers a better understanding of me. Some may still think I belong locked up in an asylum for the insane, but hey that's nothing new is it lol.
First off, it cannot be understated how much I appreciate the good wishes, get well soons, the get betters, that my readers and friends have relayed to me both publicly and privately.  Just to know that I have that many people rooting for me to get well and get through this warms my heart in such a way that I am not used to expressing and it touches me deeply.  

Poker & Gambling 24/7 said:

Apparently you have a death wish. All these health issues and you can not make the commitment to even stop smoking to save your life? Much less the other changes that need to be made to live a decent life. Hope something can get through to you before it is too late.

Whoa Bro your assuming a lot.  Quitting cigarette smoking is something I'm trying to make a top priority.  It's not going to be done all at once but I'm definitely going to try to begin that process as soon as I get out of here.   I don't have a death wish but it might be said that I do push my body to extremes to go after my goals and quite frankly, as I told a friend earlier today, if it killed me then I be with my late wife so no matter what happens or how you look at it its a win-win.

Pete P Peters said in part:

I've learned a bit of your history from the web; and I've read your recent tweets, and this post. My impression is that your priorities are off. My unsolicited advice: it's time to prioritize your health over grinding micro stakes. I suspect this is an obvious statement. But I'll say it nonetheless, because when someone goes through what you've just gone through, and their reaction is to focus on playing poker, something is amiss. Your immediate efforts should be on doing everything in your power to get healthy. (1) Follow up with necessary medical treatment. (2) I don't know what your diet is, but be honest with yourself. Can you / should you be eating healthier? (3) Stop smoking. Stop smoking. Stop smoking. (4) Figure out whether you can begin some sort of exercise.

Thank you for your input Counselor your opinions concerns and time you took for this comment is appreciated
One thing that needs to be remembered is it's not just that I'm grinding micro stakes I am currently grinding micro stakes in pursuit of much much much larger rewards down the road in  which I want to be able to be actively obtaining of larger REWARDS on a daily basis and to get to that level I must grind the micro stakes for now for many hours a day. as to the four specific points you made
1) I am definitely going to be doing this religiously. With the fact that I'm going to be on a blood send of the rest of my life I have no choice So even though it will interfere in the daily grind I will have to keep all doctors appointments made.
2) should I be eating healthier? Of course. Too much processed foods but as a matter of fact at the beginning of this month I started adding more salad and tuna fish into my diet so I kind of begin the process then.
3) as stated above that is going to be a process that have plan of beginning as soon as I get out of the hospital. It will not be done all at once it will be a process but I'm going to give it a good try.
4)  that's an issue with the knees the bad leg, the asthma, and COPD.   It is not much I can do in this department

Pokerdogg said:

+1 to what P3 said. Have you asked your doctor about online grinding and its effect on blood clots? I know sitting in a plane for long flights can cause blood clots, can't help but wonder if playing online poker for long hours can contribute to blood clots as well. 
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Thanks for the well wishes Dogg when I grind online I do it from a laying position to keep the legs straight and because it's more comfortable but in an attempt to avoid what happened.  Turns out my doctor said in 20% of the patients the clots in the ling originated in the lung itself and I'm one of the 20% however with the addition of this blood thinner for life things like this will not happen again so long as we keep that blood thinned out.  

Zin said:

Quit smoking and drinking energy drinks, nothing but trouble. Wish you the best FD.

I'm going to be working on the process of quitting smoking as I have already previously mentioned but I don't drink energy drinks I take caffeine pills.  It turns out that the caffeine pills that I do take raise my blood pressure from a normal of 110 over 70 up to a maximum of 155 over 115 however this is a side effect that I am more than willing to accept to get my daily sessions accomplished.
So what does particular comments addressed what is there left to say except that yes I have seen the poker grind as my top priority thrown my house to the wind because nothing is more important than the grind aside from friends of course. To me accomplishing my goals is worth those risks, but let's be realistic about it I never thought in a million years I would almost end up dead. However, it must be remembered but the grind and the caffeine pills did not cause these problems. Thickness of blood in my body due to a genetic condition is what caused this rush to the hospital, this near death experience and nothing else did.

There are many professions in this world and I won't hit on all of them, that do the exact same thing, but why is it so acceptable for those other people but not for poker players like myself. Take a doctor that's has become an intern in a hospital. These guys are known to work 18, 20 hour shift sometimes 36 and 48 hours straight and you know damn well they're not doing it on willpower alone, but they are doing it they are, they're pushing themselves, their striving for their ultimate goal to become a doctor. I am doing it for the ultimate goal of becoming a full time professional alive cash game poker player and tournament player. Why is it so acceptable for one profession like the doctor but not the other like the poker player. To me it's not the profession but it's the passion, the drive, the determination, that the individual possesses for the love of their craft that is the underlying importance. I'm no doctor I'm just a poker player but no one could ever deny the drive in the passion I have for it.

After everything that has happened there are changes that are going to be made but not to my work schedule and not to my caffeine intake As I am willing to increase I am willing to accept the increase blood pressure as simply a tool of the trade. I will no longer be able to cancel doctors appointments due to it getting in the way of playing poker I will have to go to all of them. I will have to take my pills and medications on a daily basis, and until I am completely healed I will have to be on oxygen while I sleep but not during the day doctors orders and I will do these things but it will not affect the poker grinding anyway all it will do is dictate which days off during the month I do in fact take.
As I assume 99% of my readers are fellow poker players who much like myself have the drive and the passion for the craft I would totally expect them to understand me, to understand where I'm coming from, to understand the importance of setting goals and doing everything it takes to achieve them I understand that 99% of you are probably already there whereas I am still on the bottom or on the side of the latter that I have referred to before or is my one of my friends said still taking the first baby steps of this journey, but maybe you guys need to think back and remember what the journey was like when you were first starting out maybe you weren't, but maybe, just maybe you man to stand with a drive within me is coming from.

It is 8:31 p.m. Monday night and I am out of the hospital and back home. I am very weak, can do an activity for more than 15 seconds before I'm winded and tired but I will be gaining strength over the coming weeks. tonight I am just relaxing watching a hockey game on cable not grinding but I will be back at it tomorrow hopefully by 2 p.m. I need to fill my prescriptions in the late morning / early afternoon but I will be on the tables for a minimum 10 hour session. I have the volume to make up for. I am NOT ignoring the medical things that are happening nor am i ignoring the fact that I damn near died but if, but at the same time I refuse to allow that to dictate my life. My life goes on and I will not let anything slow me down. So to that end, have a great night everyone, take care, and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Near Death

That's what the doctor said when they got me here in the hospital after being taken out of my apartment by ambulance.  Massive blood clot in the right lung which has in fact killed a part of the right lung, part of it is dead, but he didn't tell me what percentage so I get the feeling it's a small percentage.  So many other smaller clots in the right lung they couldn't count them all on the CT scan.  DVT blood clot in the right leg. The healing process is going to take a long time.  I think I'm getting discharged today so most of the healing process will be at home.  A lot of rest which fortunately for me can include a lot of grinding, but my times running around the Strip are definitely put on hold for now, however as soon as I get out of here the grind will continue, I shall not be stopped. 

The game has changed for me somewhat.  I'm going to be on a blood thinner for the rest of my life, no more canceling doctors appointments so that the grind is not interrupted, it will affect my volume at times, but this is a very real life and death situation we're talking about, I have no choice.   Until my next post, take care everyone, and I will see you at the tables.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Comment Responses

Coach said in a comment:

Thanks for writing up the cash session, and congrats on the online comeback. I have a question - on the flopped flush, when you figured had at least A or K of spades, so you'd wait it out, why did you decide to call the river bet after the 4th spade did indeed hit?

The board was all low everything below a queen and knowing that him flopping a set was indeed a possibility and the fact that I had not shown any strength regarding that all spade board made me believe that he might not have put me on a spade at all, and for all I knew he could have been betting out a set. When he checked the turn I really started thinking along this line even more so that he just might not have a spade afterall and that with the bet amount compared to the pot size, I felt I had no choice but to call.  The $45 bet almost seemed like he was being cautious at that point and while I knew the ace or the King of Spades was a possibility, I felt a call in that spot was correct

Pokerdogg said the following:

Q3 suited hand, fold preflop. It is a terrible hand to have out of position in a multiway pot. You will almost never have a nut hand, and if you flop a flush draw, it is likely going to be expensive because the pot is bloated and multiway.

Are you quite sure about that  because the raise was small I believe $7 and I was in the big blind which means I had $2 already in so its only costing me $5 to call.  The preflop raiser goes to $7, three callers the small blind folds plus my $2 in there we are looking at $31 in the pot costing me just $5 to make the call giving me 6 to 1 odds. Is it still a fold under those circumstances??

The AA hand, just bet out. I don't like the heck raise or check call lines. When you are heads up against a shortish stack, just play straight forward, you are losing value by trying to get fancy.

Yes, I totally realized I screwed that one up, but tell me something.  Supposing I bet out $20 or $25 and the little old lady flat calls me.  Then the third club shows up on the turn as it did, what's you're line at that point?

The AQ hand (at least I assumed you had AQ) brings up some questions about your bet sizing.  I think the bet sizing issue originated preflop. If you are in a typical loose passive game, you can pretty much predict the pot size on the flop based on your raise size on the button. In this case, you had around $115 in your stack, a $15 raise OTB would probably result in a $45 to $75 pot (depending on what the blinds do, and sometimes you get one fold out of the three limpers). You know you will end up with a stack to pot ratio of around 1.5 to 2 (assuming you were the short stack). Personally I would have preferred a smaller raise say to $10. The pot would be around $30-$40, and allows you to make a smaller flop bet say $30, and get the rest in on the turn. 

Hmmm although I generally yield to your experience I have significant issues on this one.  The hand was KQo and I was on the button.  The preflop raise size on that table was anywhere from $7 to $12.   I am most comfortable at 5x and as a matter of fact that's my standard preflop raise in my online games.  If there are four limpers even if my standard in a live game is a $7 raise preflop I have to add an extra big blind for each of those limpers which would in fact equal $15 if there is $8 in the pot and I pump it to $10 which with the $3 from the blinds that's $21 even if the blinds fold it's instantly going to give the first limper nearly 3 to 1 odds to make the call and if he makes the call the odds only get better for the remaining limpers.  Are you sure that's something I really want to do.   A head like a cue is definitely going to play better heads up and if my standard is 5x or a $10 raise then in fact my preflop raise probably should have been at least $18 instead of $15 dollars.  I actually thought when I first started reading this section of your comment that you were going to tell me that I should have popped it up to $22.

I have been wondering about your daily swing online. It seems to be fairly large relative to the type of style I thought you have. I wonder if that is due to the larger than usual preflop raises. Do you typically raise to 5 to 7x BB preflop?

My style has definitely opened up from what it once was and the fact of the matter is I am positionally raising hands in my online cash games that I never would have dreamed of 6 months ago.  I will give you an example.  Supposing I'm playing in a $20NL game which has $0.10 and $0.20 blinds and there are three limpers before me and I'm in the cutoff or on the button with Q9s or A8s or 77, or KTo I'm instantly going to pop that to $1.80.  That is my standard raise of 5x the blind which would be a dollar adding a big blind for each of the limpers which would be a $1.60 and then I add an extra big blind to the preflop raise for good measure.  For the month of February at $20NL I am down over four buyins, but I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that it just simply seems that I am constantly running up against a wall at this level.  There's no explanation, no rhyme or reason for it, but I am continually running into set over set, or AA or KK being cracked, or just other unfortunate situations.  In fact at this level I run into it so often it absolutely amazes me that I even am even showing a profit overall at the $20NL level albeit that overall profit at this point is only $50.

Taking the day off from the online grind for Thursday.  I'm meeting "Alan" on the Strip and he's going stake me to another $1/$2 No Limit cash game session.  I am then meeting my friend Joe aka Man in Black down by down by Harrah's at at around 6:30pm.  Grab a bite to eat and then we're going to play in the Linq tourney at 8 p.m.    hoping you to have another performance like I did last week and would be really nice if I could make this a weekly thing lol.  That's all for now.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Breaking The Downswing And Live vs Online

As I played tonight's session I was considering what title I was going to make this blog entry and the way things were going I had pretty much settled on How Long Can It Go, How Bad Can It Get.  As I entered action today my downswing at $20NL was -$140 in 7700 hands.  At first the session seemed like it was going to be a positive one as I was turning a small profit early, but back to back 3 outers against me on two different tables put me into the red and after 880 hands at $20NL I was down -$74 so it increased the downswing to -$214 in 8600 hands down nearly 11 buyins since December 31st, then all of a sudden everything exploded.  It started with this hand.

On the same table 4 hands later this happened. 

After those two hands I went from -$74 to -$17 and all of a sudden everything started going my way.  Flops started hitting, I flop two pair fours and fives on a 457 board, Villain flops a straight and I hit the full house and from $74 down I blew the roof off of the tables in the last 500 hands a $158 turnaround, almost 8 full buyins in a final 500 hand rush.  A little under 1400 hands and $84 in earnings.  Definitely the wildest single session ride since I made the transition to cash games.  I also made $15 at $10NL in a little over 600 hands and after it was all said and done, with "rakeback" it was a $100+ session. 

Online vs Live Cash Games

Coach suggested I incorporate in a post about my comparisons of online cash games to that of live cash games after my four hour session at the Strat this past Thursday where I was staked by "Alan" and I thought this a very good idea.  First and foremost for an online grinder like myself the very first thing that someone like me has to get used to is the lack of constant action.  Online I usually always have a decision to make because I run 4 tables, 1800 hands a day, sometimes playing 200 hands an hour, but in live play this drops to 25-30 hands an hour.  To replace this constant action is constant observation.  Watching every move that every opponent at the table makes, trying key in on their betting patterns, seeing if you can pick up any reads, and doing this each and every hand whether or not I'm involved in it.  I love live play, I can't wait till I'm doing it on a daily basis, looking at and touching the cards, the feel and sounds of the chips, the sites, sounds, and even smells of the casino lure me in like a moth to a flame.  Everything about the live poker room, everything about the Strip, screams to me "Flushh your home."

The first and foremost difference between live play and online besides the amount of hands being dealt is that live tables are much much looser.  It has often been said that the competition is more difficult online which makes it a prime training setting for a cash game grinder and after my experience at the Strat I would have to say that's definitely true.  The competition online plays a much more disciplined tight game where these guys live are willing to throw $10 or $12 in preflop on almost anything at times.  Online I raise 5x preflop and 80% of the time the entire table is going to fold, but when you do that in a live setting 50% of the time half the table is going to call.  For obvious reasons you can not blindly fire a continuation bet and your decision to do so or not must be tempered by the situation at the time.  Another major difference is if you raise preflop in an online setting and decide to check the flop because you are out of position or you have a few callers, somebody is going to fire a bet, half pot or three quarters especially and most likely on the button or the last player to act, but that case cannot be said for the live game.  That's one thing I noticed they don't do a great deal of the time is bet in position much unless they actually have something.  I'll be quite honest in an online setting I bet in position constantly sometimes with a monster, sometimes with top pair, sometimes with a piece of the board, and sometimes with absolute air and 75% of the time it's enough to take down whatever is in that pot and I noticed that's not something generally done in a live game.
During the 4 hour session at the Strat the best that I did was up about $50 and the worst I did during the course of the session was down about $80 or so.  It was at that point when I was down about $80 that I did a positional preflop raise with cake you. There were three limpers I believe it was and I fired a pre flop raise on the button of $15 or $16.  Lo and behold everybody that had limped called.  I flopped top pair with Queen kicker and so everybody checked to me and with about a $105 in my stack and approximately $60 in that pot I felt I only had one move and that was to shove.  There was only one person on the table that I found somewhat annoying and he was the one that in fact called me and I had a sick feeling in my stomach that he was going to show me AK, but as it turned out he had the same hand that I did and we ended up chopping that pot, but because of the other callers we were able to in fact make a few dollars.

One hand I really feel I screwed up on was I had AA in the big blind.  UTG had just sat down and was in fact a little old lady who had to be in her seventies.  I talked to her a little bit at the table and she seemed like a very nice little old lady. She limps under the gun and the button also limps and I raise to $15.  The little old lady calls and the button folds so there's $33 in the pot.  The flop was A3X with two clubs.  I have flopped top set, but as I wanted to see what the little old lady was going to do even with the two clubs out there I checked the flop and she bet $15 into that $33 pot.  Here is where the mistake was made.  I should have jammed it up to $50 right then and there, but I didn't I simply flatted.   The turn put three clubs out on the board and those three clubs made me extraodinarily nervous.  I checked the Turn and into a $63 pot the little old lady bets $15 again.  To me there's only one of two things going on here.  The third club either scared her or she is doing a beautiful value bet.  Again this was her first hand at the table and I had an absolutely no information on her.  I simply called.  The river was a harmless card and I checked again and the little old lady check behind me.  She did not have the flush and in fact had flopped a set of threes so it was a set over set situation and I should have won so much more than I did.  I believe the little old lady sat in with $100 and if I had played it absolutely correctly I have no doubt in my mind I would have had the entire hundred from her instead of just $30.  Bottom line I screwed up bad.  Go ahead you experienced cash game players let me have it in spades, I already know I deserve it.

One hand that I was very careful about was where I called a small raise with Q3 of spades in big blind.  I flopped a flush.  Now in this hand they were four other players also in it, me, the preflop raiser, and 3 others.  I checked my flopped flush and the preflop raiser bets $15 into that board.  The other 3 folded if I remember correctly and I called the preflop raisers continuation bet.  I could have raised, but my reasoning behind not doing it was that I felt that if he's betting into that board then he's got at the very least the Ace or King of Spades or a set and most likely no matter what I do he's not going to be laying anything down and it would be best o wait this out and see how the board played out.   The turn was a non spade and I checked again and he checked behind me.  The river brought the fourth spade and the preflop raiser bets $45 into roughly a $105 pot.  Damn. Do I make the call or do I let it go.  Would he really bet into that river if he didn't have the Ace or King of Spades??  I'm sitting with the third nut flush which I had on the flop and maybe if I had raised it would have been a different story, but I made the $45 call.  It was a damn good thing I didn't raise that flop because it would have been different alright because the preflop razor had AJ of spades.  There is no doubt in my mind if I had not played that particular hand as conservative as I did I would have lost my entire stack at the preflop raiser had me covered.

Other than that I was pretty card dead or simply did not hit flops.  I hit a straight with a Q9s, but villain folded to my raise and I also hit the low end of a straight and a different Villain folded to my River value bet and other than that I did a lot of folding.   Alan and I had a talk about the session after it was over and he asked me what mistakes I thought I made and I pointed out to the AA hand as being the major mistake that I made during the session.  The Q3 of spades hand could also be considered an error although if it is it saved me from losing my stack so I'm not sure what to make of that one way or the other, but overall Alan was satisfied with my play and as I told you in a previous entry all he said I had to do was email him if I wanted to make another run at it and that ladies and gentlemen brings us to this coming Thursday, two days from now. 

First off the bankroll situation.  I ended the night with a bankroll of $631.06 with $463.91 available to me online.  My profit from the Linq tournament after tip was $100.  I pulled that out tonight and am awaiting processing.  That leaves $363.91 and I owe my online bankroll $267.15.  My roommates still owe me $215 and according to my estimations the actual amount I will need to pay my online bankroll back is $159.15 based on clearing $40 in bonuses and approximately $68 in "rakeback"so that is covered by months end.  On Thursday I will be meeting up with "Man In Black" for another 8pm tournament at the Linq the only difference is Joe is staking me to the 8pm tournament.  He felt my performance last week warranted him risking his hard earned cash on me, but tournaments are tough to cash back to back, but I will be trying my best for him.  Standard deal.  He gets his buyin back and we split the profits 50/50 after dealer tip.  I may also buyin to the 11pm Linq tourney, but not sure on that one.  Will depend how tired I am, how I do in the 8pm and how many entrants they get.  Since I will be on the Strip I sent off an email to Alan asking if he wants,me to play another session and am awaiting his reply. 

Well, that's a wrap up.  Gonna grab some sleep for a 2-12 online grind tomorrow or later today if you want to get technical.  Already looking forward to Thursday.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

On The Strip

Had an awesome day and night on the strip.  Always love it when I'm able to go and hang down there and Thursday was absolutely no different.  First off took Wednesday and Thursday off from the online grind.  Wednesday I was up all night and Misty picked me up at around 7:30am so we could go get the money order for the rent, but instead of going back to the apartment and to sleep, I ended up accompanying her on some errands that she needed to run and by the time I got back home it was 2 in the afternoon and I went right to sleep pretty much for the most part slept all the way in till 7 o'clock the next morning. 

Thursday was the day I had planned on taking off anyway and I met up with "Alan", who wanted to meet me in person and give me some insights on life and poker in general and I found or talk to be personally enriching and fulfilling.  His personal story he relayed to me was definitely intriging and fascinating.  We met down at the Stratosphere and he was kind enough to buy me lunch at the buffet and after talking during lunch Alan decided to stake me for a $200 buyin into a $1/$2 live cash game at the Stratosphere.   He also played at the same table and we ended up playing for about 4 hours and at the end of the four hours I ended up down $30 of which I gave him the $170 left from the stake back with my personal apology for losing $30, but he was completely adamant the apology was completely unnecessary and told me he liked what he saw of my poker playing and also told me that whenever I'm ready to play another session he is willing to stake me once again.  All I have to do is email him and tell him what day I want to make another run at it.  I find it almost overwhelming that a complete stranger is trying to help me this way and I am so completely appreciative and want to do nothing more than to be able to be successful for him in these endeavours. 

From the Stratosphere I headed over to grab a quick bite to eat in a food court located between Harrah's and Casino Royale.  Had some Panda Express and it was absolutely delicious, but during the course of the night I found out for my digestive system personally having Chinese food and a shake from Ghirardelli's is probably not the best idea in the world lol.  After a quick dinner I met up with "Man In Black" and we had planned on playing the 8pm tournament at the Linq.  It was a small turnout, only 10 entrants with reentries for the first hour and I know one of the players reentered and I think possibly two players may have.  Since they had ten players they were paying out two spots, 1st place paying $214 and 2nd place $144.  I played a great tournament, only had one misstep when I called the an all-in from a short stack who had about 4500 and at this point I had in excess of 12000 and I called him with 77 and it turned out he had 99.  Few hands after that I reraised with AK in position and the original raiser went all in which I snap called him having him easily covered andhe turned over AJ.  No Jack showed up and I was good.  The very next hand I get dealt AA, end up all in preflop with an opponent who had AK.  The AA held up and I knocked out another opponent.  We got down to three players and we decided to take $25 from each of the two payout spots to give to whoever was going to be on the bubble so that they would get their buyin back plus $5.  My opponent knocked out the 3rd place player and there was only two of us left.  This still left $310 in the prize pool and me and my remaining opponent had virtually identical chip stacks so we decided to simply chop it for $155 each.

I grinded Friday but have not yet updated the actual amounts, but it was a loss in excess of $70.  The downswing continues, but shows signs of coming out of it.  Down 5 buyins at $20NL so in excess of $100 I rebounded somewhat finishing down 2 buyins or so at those tables. 11 o'clock at night and there was only one table of $20NL available and I realized that if I wanted to get some volume in I had no choice, but to fire up some $10 tables and the downswing continued on those tables as well dropping over three buyins, but at least it was cheaper.  I'm hoping and feeling that I'm coming out of this really soon.  Like all downswings it has its bad beats and it has it's unfortunate situations like turning 2 pair only to find out that your opponent had flopped top and bottom pair aces and fives.  Three of you all in when you have top set, somebody putting their entire stack in on a draw and hitting the not just the straight, not just the flush, but the straight flush.  You just shake your head and say really???  That however is the essence of a downswing, these things happen and I'm hoping I saw signs of me coming out of it when I hit a monster Draw finally the first one that I've hit in I can't remember how long in one hand, a few other hands hold up and you hit a four outer when we were all in on the turn and I had queens and nines, my opponent flopped a set of eights, but I hit a 9 on the river which gave him a full house but gave me a higher one. Things of this nature are sometimes are a sign that you're coming out of it.  Even during the afternoon there is usually only  $20NL tables and I realize when I get back to grinding on Monday I'm going to have no choice but to include $10 tables into the mix. Definitely not my first choice, but it's something that I have to do to get in the wanted volume and points each day. 

I'll know exact figures as soon as I update the numbers but I believe that puts my total cash game profits in the $530 neighborhood and if that is in fact correct I'm looking at only another 6 and a half buyins in my stop loss before I'm forced back down to $10NL.  Hopefully Monday things will get back to a long profit climb.   I am taking this weekend off and hanging out with my friend Melanie watching the Superbowl on Sunday.  I am probably the worst sports better in the world which is why I don't bet on sports much, but I have a feeling that this is going to be the biggest slaughter in Super Bowl history and I think the Panthers are going to absolutely pound the Broncos into submission, but we shall see what happens.

That's all for now. Back to the grind on Monday and hopefully profits start returning really fast.  Last thing in the world I want to have to do is drop back down to the $10 tables full time, but if that's what bankroll forces me to do then I am more than willing to do it.  It will be a minor setback, but nothing that cannot be overcome.  If it turns out I need to recoup and regroup then so be it, but let's hope it doesn't come to that. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Rewards And Getting Back On The Original Focus

Back on December 12th when I decided to make the transition to cash games it was decided that my primary focus would be cash games and there would be live tournaments occasionally.  Somewhere along the way I got away from that.  Somewhere along the way I started seeing dollar signs, increasing stakes faster, and before you know it tournaments became a daily thing three snd 4 times a day.  That's not what this was supposed to be.  This was supposed to be about my learning experience in cash games.  That's what I need to focus on, and I need to get the primary focus back where it belongs and that's on cash games. 

Any tournaments that I do play will be live like the one that I'm playing this Thursday.  I think online needs to be dedicated to cash games.  The final tournament that I played online was the $20 Midnight Madness in which I finished 4th for a $138 return.  If that was indeed my last online tournament it was kind of nice to go out with a bang. 

I also feel I need to start experiencing some of the benefits and rewards for putting in the long hours that I do and I know many many of my readers are going to totally disagree with me on this but I have decided that I am going to start making monthly withdraws to put a little extra cash in my pocket. This will come from any bonuses earned, rakeback made, and promotional money earned.  The only thing that is going to remain online will be my cash game earnings. 

Now before anyone tells me how wrong I am to be doing this you have to remember the fact is I'm on disability and only getting $826 a month and it always seems like I'm running short on money.  Oh sure I budget out my food costs and my rent and my phone and cigarettes and all that but it always seems like there's something coming up. You need an extra $50 for this or you need an extra $50 for that so being able to enjoy the perks that I'm getting from poker such as the rakeback and the bonuses and being able to add that to the amount of money that I get each month is not only going to help financially, but it's going to give me a psychological boost.  Because of what I'm doing, because of the long hours I'm grinding and actually being rewarded for it, actually seeing a small income coming in because of poker is going to give me a feeling of definite accomplishment.  Ending tonight after taking a $70 loss at the $20NL tables and winning $1.08 at $50NL which I will discuss in the next chapter, total cash game earnings are $606.22 and that is what my bankroll is.  Online available I have $520.07 which means I don't have to pay back bankroll $350 but instead $86.15 and actually another $50 in bonus money will be cleared within the next two weeks which means in essence I only owe my bankroll $36.15.  This is going to give me extra money this month that I can utilize for some live tournament play and I may even play some at the Plaza on the electronic tables. That's not definite but its a possibility.  They have a $10 rebuy tournament, $25 nightly tournament, and once a week at $35 tournament. yes I did say I don't like rebuys, but believe me there is a world of difference between an online rebuy and a live rebuy. The word rebuy may be in both of them but they are worlds apart and live rebuys I do not mind in the slightest. 

Down over $106 at one point tonight I was able to battle back but still took a $70 loss. These higher numbers are really hurtful but when it comes down to it I lost 3.5 buyins  tonight.  Looks like I'm in an official downswing dating back to January 31st where I lost $22 in I believe it was approximately 1800 hands so the downswing at this time would be approx 5 buyins over the last 6000 hands played at $20NL, but considering these borderline miracle comebacks that I've been experiencing I realize this could be a lot worse than it is and as usual during a downswing you just have to play through it making sure you're bringing your A game to the table each and every hand you play.  It's the typical bullshit one exoeriences in downswings and I'm no different.   Flop a set and end up losing, flop trips and end of up losing, flop another set and up losing.  If I'm not losing with the occasional big hand I am running extraordinarily card dead or seem to be missing every single flop to say nothing of draws not coming through and I mean big draws.  I'm talking draws that have 12, 15, 18, and even 21 outs  and missing every single one of them.  Since I decided to jump in that $20 tournament at midnight I played on, but I only had one $20NL table available and so when I lookex in the lobby low and behold I see 5  tables of $50NL.  Not wanting to run only one cash game I decided to risk a single buyin at a $50NL table.  I played 26 hands and realized it was something I really shouldn't be doing and left a $1.08 to the good.  I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy getting a taste of it, but when it comes right down to it I need to let it come to me when I'm fully ready and bankroll is as well.

I got a private contact email from my blog from a gentleman who I will refer to as Alan.  I'm going to be meeting Alan for lunch on Thursday at one of the strip casinos and from what he said in his email he is a successful poker player who much like me got his start a little later than most when it comes to poker. He said in the email he wanted to talk to me because he has some insights that he thought I might find valuable. I am definitely looking forward to this as the way I look at it any insights or advice that I can get from those that are more experienced and at the same time successful, can never be a bad thing.  

Well that's a wrap up for now.  6:19am and I haven't been to sleep yet.  Since I'm not playing tournaments online I'm thinking that running my session from 2 to 12:00 should get me the 1800 hands a day I need.  Not about to go to sleep now as my roommate is due here in about an hour and we have to go pick up the money order for the rent.  As soon as I get back home I'm going to be crashing asleep till at least 1 p.m. get up, grab a shower, and then hit the tables for a 10 hour run.  So until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Another Miracle Comeback

I started February with a loss at the cash tables and went 0 for 3 in the $3 rebuys.  The loss on that cash tables with my second straight one at $20NL, but it was my also 2nd straight miracle comeback.   Obviously I am using the word miracle someone liberally, but while on the 31st of January I was down close to $90 and end up losing only just under $23, today went even worse.  After about 1850 hands played I was down about $109, just under 5.5 buyins.  The thing I need to get used to is the higher amounts involved and not let those higher amounts effect me emotionally, but sometimes that's easier said than done.  Whereas before a 4 or 5 buyin deficit would only be about $40 or $50 now it can exceed $100 like it did tonight.  I need to look at things as buyins rather than dollars, but again that's easier said than done.

The session endef up going from a little after noon to just after 12:30 a.m.  I realize that I needed to play past 10 p.m. because in order to get my 40,000 hands over 23 playing days I need to average 1800 hands a day.  As I was approaching 10 p.m. I was unsure if I would get 1800 in.  I decided I would play til midnight and I knew that would guarantee me getting in the needed amount. There's just something about after 9pm because the tables turn into something loose and crazy and absolutely insane at times.  Most of the time I stopped at 10pm, but these tables get so crazy I really need to push it and stay on them til after 12am on a daily basis.

Well that's all I have for tonight, nothing exciting happening except for the comeback.  It's obviously a struggle streak and hopefully it breaks beginning tomorrow so I can get back on track to increasing profits and getting my earn rate up to something respectable, but of course just over 12,000 hands have been played and that's going to fluctuate the earn rate for a while longer.  The reason  I focus so much on that is because it's the only real  solid indication I have  of my performance at each level and not only do I need the bank roll for higher limits I need to be highly proficient and successful in the level that I am currently playing at. The current circumstances let's say all of a sudden I have $1,000 to add to my cash game bankroll right here and right now, I would not make the step up to $50NL because quite frankly, at this point, I have not yet proved myself at $20NL.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.