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.


  1. I am enjoying your journey. I like reading about why you decide to play where you play and at what level. Applying personal insight to game selection to play to your strengths is a tool I could certainly stand to use more of. I also like the fluidity of the plan, after all needs, wants and conditions change and so should our decisions. Should you decide to sell part of yourself (1/4 -1/2 maybe?) for your WSOP run I would be happy to buy a piece, and I am sure others would too for the chance to live vicariously.

  2. FD, I was going make a long post, but decided against it. At the end of the day you got to do what makes you happy, and tournaments seem to be it. I just want to say one thing though, nothing glue you to your seat more than multi tabling online tournaments. I disagree with what you said about online cash games. You can take as many and as long breaks as you want in cash games. When you play online tournaments that overlap with each other, you are stuck to 5 minutes break every hour assuming they have synchronized breaks. IIRC you made the same argument a few days ago against tournaments.

    1. if he were willing to pl@y double up sngs on bov@d@, he would run up the roll quicker -- if he were good

    2. Tony, I think it is generally accepted that the best MTT tourney player can achieve much higher ROI than the best DON player. However, there is much higher variance in MTT.

    3. Upon further reflection, I think I misinterpreted what Tony said. Since the variance is much lower, you can player higher buyin DONs than MTTs, and you can play more of them in a given period of time since they don't last that long. Let's say for the sake of an example you 4 table $10 DONs in turbo format. You should be able to crank through about 40 of these a day. If you are very good at it and can achieve say 15% ROI, that would translate to $60/day EV. Vookenmeister is an expert on DONs, may be he can chime in.

  3. You are certainly taking a route I would never take. Online tournaments ultimately take control away from your life.

    Personally, and I have voiced this before, I would advocate for trying to build a bankroll doing something other than grinding micro poker (which is -- seriously -- likely to put you six feet under). You now live in an area that has juicy cash games featuring drunken tourists and people who have no idea of how to play, yet, you try to win online against people who likely are much better players then you will see live in town.

    Playing so many hours online can't help your health. Time to rethink things, bro.

    1. Very good point. Just save some money and give the live tables a go.

    2. Very good point. Just save some money and give the live tables a go.

  4. Thank you AG I am very happy you enjoy reading about my journey as I enjoy blogging about it. Lord knows I don't always seem to know which road to stay on, but it's a lot of trial and error for me until I figure everything out.

    As for selling shares in larger tournaments that is something I would definitely consider doing at some point, but before doing so I feel I need to prove myself in some live Vegas tournaments first. It doesn't even have to be large field tournaments, but just so that I can prove to myself and any prospective investors I am worth the risk.

  5. who is the girl in NJ? is she single? introduce me. which pokerroom were the tourneys in?

  6. Yo bro what was the final bb/100 for cash and forget those $1s and $2s bro first is way too small for you save the run good for the bigger ones. Why can't you take a break when playing cash surely sitting at a tournament table you can't just decide to get up and leave if you feel unwell do you have a live schedule to go with all the online mtts. From a medical standpoint you should not rally be going out to smoke and hey, you could always order a fee cocktails and sit at the bar.

    Oh also why didn't you calculate the ROIs for the tournaments that you lost in on the right side of the blog?

  7. We attended an event here this past Sunday & had an awesome experience from beginning to end. They served great food and the salad I had for dinner was delicious. The service at Chicago venues also was impeccable.