Sunday, April 24, 2016

Introspection And Hospitalization

For those of you that don't follow me on Twitter I ended up back in the hospital again with a blood clot in my right lung again.  According to the doctor it's not so much a new one as the old one which grew in size most likely due to my forgetfulness to take my medication specifically my blood thinner.  The hospitalization lasted about two and a half days.  I was at UMC, University Medical Center, over on Charleston and Shadow Lane.  It is definitely a much nicer place than the one I was in last time which was North Vista Hospital.  As a matter of fact I originally went to North Vista hospital but we had, shall we say, a personality conflict where due to their so-called rules I told them to fuck off, they were acting like assholes, and got escorted out by security.  I will never step foot in that place again, my choice not theirs, but UMC I like very much.  The staff was great with the exception of a couple of nurses on a power trip and overall it was a very positive experience except for the fact that I had to be hospitalized in the first place.

It turns out the blood clot that nearly killed me back in February takes about 6 months to completely eradicate from one's body and because of my forgetfulness with my medication that caused the increase in size of the original pulmonary embolism and explains my lack of stamina lately and also why my inhaler has not been doing squat and why the pain in my right lung has grown recently.  I downloaded an app a few days ago which gives me a reminder and will continue to give me a reminder until I take a course of action by telling it I have taken my medication or to skip if I had already taken it and I believe with this app assisting me my forgetfulness for medication will and has come to an end.  The doctor says this is a long road to recovery and because of that said forgetfulness we have pretty much started this six-month time frame again.  I need to take it as easy as much as possible and just let my body heal.  This does not mean that I will not be going out and getting out from time to time, but it does mean that I will definitely cut back on it and not just because of the hospitalization, but also some introspection that I've done within myself, but I will admit the hospitalization also aided in that introspection.

I cannot deny that in the last 6 months living in Las Vegas, I've had a lot of fun, the most fun that I've had in many years.  Granted my alcohol intake is definitely up since I moved here, but you know this place is a playground for adults and while I haven't gone overboard on it I've enjoyed myself.  I've taken the last 6 months and just really had some fun.  Ive hung out with friends, I've played tournaments at The Orleans, Golden Nugget, Linq, Plaza, and Mirage.  I've seen cash game action at The Orleans, Golden Nugget, Flamingo, and Stratosphere and every single time I spent the night out whether playing in a tournament or playing in cash game session lasting several hours, or hanging out I've had a very very enjoyable time win lose, or draw, but during this downtime is serving me well. 
It's reminding me that while Las Vegas is meant for fun it is also meant to make a living, to pay bills, and to go on with normal everyday life.  Yes, my monthly disability payment does pay my basic living expenses, but I want more than that, I want to be in a better financial situation then depending on that alone every month and with that said, I'm not going to get there by doing what I've done for the last 6 months.  It's time to settle in and buckle down and do what I need to do and I think this borderline break that I was on and this introspect that I am going through at this time has really made me realize this more so than ever before.  It's probably the best thing I could have done not just for poker, but for me and where my life is going specifically on a financial level.

During the last 6 months in my feeble attempts to build up a bankroll and I say feeble because although I've won money, up to this point, I have been spending it almost as fast as I make it in some cases, but during this time my readers have seen me flip back and forth between the approach taken
to achieve these goals and I think the flipping back and forth is to be attributed to a great deal to my own impatience which is obviously a lack of that discipline that I value so much and pride myself on.  Obviously I've slipped in that department.  Poker is about the long-term and is not about fast results and I think that's what I've been looking for too much is fast results.  Again this borderline break is providing a lot of introspect in my own attitudes and approaches.  

Over the course of these past 6 months I have found or maybe I should say confirmed certain things that I probably already knew, but it's always good to be shown it or have some sort of self confirmation.  One of those things I think is pretty obvious is that I do not like nor do I want anything to do with no limit cash games.  Whether it is playing them online or whether it is playing them live on my own or on a stake I don't like them.  I hate them.  Yes I could make money in them in the long term, but I do not like the insane swings, I do not like the fact of losing a full buyin on the turn of one card, and I would rather grind out $8 an hour in a $2/$4 limit game than make $15 an hour grinding no limit cash.  I know that many of you are probably convinced because of that statement I have lost my ever lovin mind.  I enjoy the grind of limit games, I love the fact that the tourists are so loose the are chips flyin, I love the fact that a $200 buyin, even in a losing night, can last for hours and hours as opposed to 12 seconds on a 2 out river no limit session.  As far as I'm concerned no limit to me, and this is just to me personally, should be reserved for tournaments only and cash games, for me is definitely a limit based proposition.  

My goals ate the same.  I am out to create a $2,000 bankroll so that I can start playing $2/$4 limit cash games on a daily basis.  There are so many convinced that it's not beatable because of the rake and I've talked about this here before, and there is just no changing people's minds.  Pretty much everybody I would imagine that almost all the players playing $10/$20 and $40/$80 over at Bellagio at one time or another started out at $2/$4.  Obviously the rake can be beat and I will simply prove that when the time comes, but the more important aspect is how will I get to that $2,000 and whatever I choose to do, don't step back from it.   I think my position on the beatable aspect can best be expressed by simple math and if after this, any of my readers are still convinced it is unbeatable because of the rake, it will simply be my job to prove my point at the tables. 

Everything in poker is the long run and averages so that's exactly what we will focus on in this example based on 20 hands.  If we assume that I win 40% of my flops seen, the numbers come down to this.  20 flops seen and i will win 8 of them.  If the average hand i play costs me personally $10 each and I have say 3 opponents also contributing with me which is typical at $2/$4 then here is the breakdown. 

20 flops seen costing an average of $10 that is $200 invested.  Eight of these i will win with an avg pot of $35.  $200 invested, $280 won, $40 in rake and tokes, is a grand profit of $40.  These loose games have so many chips and pot odds for the skilled player that most likely I will see those 20 flops in 4 hours or less which equates to $10 per hour or 2-3 big bets per hour won which is what I have been saying is probable and sustainable all along.  Like many aspects in poker the math rules and numbers don't lie.  

Pulmonary embolisms in the lung it's a fact that they can kill you at any time and really when you think about it anyone of us can go at anytime so this has made me realize that whatever goals we set for ourselves in life we need to achieve them as quickly as possible.  To that to that end I have decided to create 3 personal rules for myself that must not ever be broken.

1.  All bankroll money must not be spent on anything else.  If that means going without food so be it, if that means an emergency has to be put off so be it.  It simply means I need to budget my monthly disability payment better to cover anything and everything that could come up. 

2.  Under no circumstances change whatever approach is decided on.   There are no exceptions and no excuses. 

3.  Days off from the grind must be limited to important issues.  A friend in need, if I'm sick with a cold or flu, tiredness and fatigue, or being hospitalized is about the only reasons that I can think of not to be grinding.   "I just don't feel like playing today" is heretofore unacceptable.  

4.  Even with the potential of selling shares I am completely cancelling Colossus and this year's WSOP.  The $2k takes top priority and any money I would have put into that is better served putting towards earning profits that will get me to the $2k bankroll. 

I was planning on depositing $200 into my online account on May 3rd when I get paid, but the situation has arisen where I may still end up doing that, but on the other hand I might not have to.  My account was completely cleared and on April 18th I had absolutely zero dollars in that account not even a single penny so I started playing a few freerolls.  My account was credited with promotional money.  I used that promotional money to pay for some tournaments and also hopefully utilized it to create more promotional money specifically the fixed-limit leaderboard.  Now not counting the days I was in the hospital since April 18th I have played 14 tournaments, ten $1 MTTs and four $2 MTTs.  I am 5 for 14 with two wins.  Total MTT profits are $32.44 and grouping any and everything else together in Misc profits those are at $12.65 for a total bankroll of $45.09.  It's obvious to me that MTTs are going to be the way I am going to get to my $2,000 and if I can do it from pure profits starting with $0 available I am all for that.  If I don't have to make that $200 deposit I can utilize that for a session of $2/$4 at the Golden Nugget which by the way all future live play will be done without any alcoholic refreshment.  If there is even a chance that one or two drinks affects my decision-making process it's not worth it.  $200 will be the base bankroll as that is 100 buyins of the $2 tournaments and 200 buyins of the $1 tournaments.  When the bankroll is $220 I will add in the $20 DeepStack, if it is $240 the $20 DeepStack and $20 Midnight Madness will be played and if it's $260 or more I will add in the $20 Knockout. As you can see there will be strict bankroll management for the base $200 and then shots with the $20 tournaments above $200 which is where the real progression towards $2k will come from obviously.  

There are 15 tournaments a day with start times from 11am to 1am in the $1 and $2 range.  Not all will be played as not all go off as planned.  Also if I already have 4 tournaments being played I will not add a 5th, and the fact is I am up usually til 3am watching baseball, basketball and hockey playoffs, and WPT broadcasts so the schedule is not as crazy as it first appears.  If I'm awake anyway I might as well have a tournament or two going.

That's a wrapup on this one.  I got so much sleep during the hospital stay that I didn't fall asleeptil8am this morning and up at 11am for the 1115am tournament.   The caffeine pills will definitely be needed today.  Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.


  1. You and Tony both seem to have a death wish. Unfortunately, you seem to be a little better at bringing about an early passing. Wake up, man.

  2. Wow. I guess I'm not seeing it the way you do Lightning. I'm taking all the steps I need to medication wise to prevent further hospitalizations. Granted my hours playing may seem a touch long, but if I am awake anyway why not be playing and hopefully building. Perhaps I do push myself somewhat, but I'm also trying to rest and relax and recuperate at the same time. I mean when grinding online I'm stretched out on my bed taking it as easy as possible. I have no wish to die, but at the same time I also refuse to sit back in a proverbial rocking chair and watch life pass me by. I will live it on my own terms and push any edges that bend. I've always been this way and I don't see that changing anytime soon. At least when I do go it will be on my own terms. I think the Frank Sinatra song My Way best describes my attitude.

    1. It seems to me that you are the only one seeing things your way. People have given you constructive advice; you seem hostile to it since it is not consistent with what you want to do. I believe that's called "Tonyism".

    2. Hello Counselor. No I am never hostile towards any of the advice that I am given. If I come across that way it is completely unintentional, but I do admit to having a certain insistence on certain things when it comes to my life and perhaps this insistence or what might be considered digging ones heels in might come across this way and if so I would apologize to anyone that I left with that feeling.

      You know when we think about one's life and the roads that one goes down and travels I simply feel that each and every one of us has to do it in accordance to whatever they feel is right for them. You can have 20 people tell you to do this and not do that but when it comes down to it you're going to have the final decision. The song My Way by Frank Sinatra is basically just that doing things in your own manner, but it doesn't mean you don't listen to advice and it doesn't mean that I don't. I listen and read all advice that is given to me and then decide is it advice that I wish to take or is it advice that I wish to dismiss at least for the present time because advice given now although I may not personally find it applicable to me at this time does not mean it's not going to be so under different circumstances future down the road.

      I admit I live life on my own terms and try to blaze my own Trails as the old expression goes but it does not mean just because I don't employ advice given to me that I am not hearing and I am always appreciative but when it comes right down to it nobody but myself can make the final decision.

    3. If suicide (continuing to smoke with your health issues, fighting doctors, nurses and friends who are concerned with your poor choices) is living life 'your way', that is entirely your business. If 'your way' is being proud of telling health staff to fuck off cause you are too stupid to stop smoking, well cheerio for you.

      I'm not trying to piss you off, but I will honestly tell you from reading your blog I seriously question your mental balance. You should take to heart the many references that people make when comparing you to Tony Bigcharles. Just these type of comments should make you seriously reflect on your thought process and life choices. If no where else, at least where serious health issues are concerned.

      One of your best friends appears to be a nurse, what does she think of all this? Or does she avoid talking about the health issues when you are together?

      Forget the poker, just hope you can make it to the next day alive!

  3. You need to stop taking them caffeine pills, good luck and i hope you actually stick to your game plan for once.

  4. The rake in $2/4 limit poker at the Golden Nugget when tourists are playing with stacks in the $100 to $200 range. I have seen north of $1500 on the table and beating the rake in that level of a 2/4 game is doable. The games where the average stack is $40 and less than $500 is on the table are games to avoid. Good luck!

  5. flush:

    You've probably done this research on your own, but there is a really good thread on 2+2 regarding "is 2/4 limit poker beatable".

    I think one interesting twist to that question is that the range of hands that are profitable in 2/4 limit are VERY different from the range of hands that would be considered valued in no-limit. It is a very different game, and a lot of players struggle to adjust to it, IMO.

    Best of luck, flush! I'm not sure the game is beatable, but I'll be rooting for you.


  6. You're famous! See here:

  7. Hey man! Get better quickly! Start taking care of yourself - Getting better at the game is one aspect of playing poker; you need to control all aspects and fight all the demons in order to truly rule the game.