Monday, May 30, 2016

Bringing Tournaments Back In

The last couple of days I've done pretty good insofar as the drive to play. Yesterday was a solid day at the tables and so was today and in fact today was 11 and a half hours. I was on the phone with my friend Joseph AKA "ManInBlack" and we were discussing about the potential of me playing tournaments again. I have been debating bringing tournaments back in for awhile now. As I checked my statistics on PokerProLabs I found out sure enough that my in the money percentage in rebuys for whatever reason is abysmal, I mean we're talking like 10-11% in the money and that is absolutely horrendous, but my profits in these are good and I'm pretty sure that's because when I do cash in them, on those rare occasions albeit, I usually run pretty damn deep. I decided to bring them back.  I decided to bring tournaments back into my daily play schedule.

Tournaments are designed to bring in relatively large sums of money with "large" being a very relative term depending on one's circumstances. I also realized in these rebuys it is important to give yourself all the ammunition possible and that means the immediate rebuy and the add-on in which the $3 rebuy tournaments cost me $8.46 each. I don't want this to interfere in my goal of 2000 hands played each day so unless the circumstances are unusual I will never have more than one tournament going at a time and will be 3 tabling the cash games.  I will play the 12 pm and 4pm $3 Deepstack rebuy. If I'm out of the 12 p.m. early I'll play the 1:30 p.m. $2 MTT just in an effort to offset the Deepstack losses in the short-term. If I get knocked out of the 4 p.m. The $20 deepstack is a dicey proposition.  On one hand it's a bit much for a bankroll of less than $300,but on the other hand is less than $12 more than the $8.46 investment in the 4pm rebuy.  Since the rebuy is going to be a standard I feelI can switch out the rebuy and replace it with the $20 Deepstack as long as the bankroll is above the $250 mark. The occasional $1 and $2 tournament will be played from time to time and hopefully cashes in these  more frequently will offset the  rebuy tournament costs. As far as the 7:30 p.m. rebuy that is not my favorite because it has a 90-minute rebuy period but it pays double what the 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. does if you can run deep in it. 

I'm sure my readers can see the one little problem that this might entail and it might not be so little. I've got a bankroll of less than $300 so how am I going to play these tournaments and grind my cash games at the same time utilizing the same bankroll for both. Am I on a path for financial suicide or more rapid rising profits. Like everything in poker the answer is it depends and it's going to depend on utilizing certain levels of bankroll in playing these tournaments and also realizing that if the cash games even out the tournament costs in the short term until a deep run is achieved that is half the battle right there. Let's look at the true math of the subject. 

Based on an earn rate of 9bb/100 and based on a volume rate of 2000 hands which I was able to put in the last 2 sessions and hopefully will be able to put in on each day I play, but utilizing these two figures then my average profits comes to $18 per day. Obviously some days I will have a loss, some days I will make more than $18, but we are talking about the overall average daily earnings and that comes to $18 per day. That means that I should be able to invest $18 a day on tournaments with no unfortunate repercussions.  This is provided I do not get into a bad downswing on the cash tables. 
I am all about the math and the math definitely shows that this is most definitely a long-term profitable venture. There are two reasons to bring tournaments back into the mix. The first one is to give me another thing to focus on besides just cash games. Sometimes just doing the same thing over and over and over again gets a little mundane when I'm playing online but if I have 3 cash tables going and always have a tournament running that should keep me focused and solve the problem I've had recently about not having the drive to play online.  It definitely worked the last 2 sessions. The second reason is, quite honestly, to try to accelerate this bankroll building. Let's face it average earnings of $18 a day is not exactly something to get excited about and since my goal is $2,000 and I'm not looking at these tournaments as a long-term ROI situation, but instead something to bump up the bankroll a little quicker that's getting me to higher cash game levels a little bit faster.

I took the weekend off, but I played in all three rebuys and the $20 Deepstack on Thursday. On Friday I played the 12 pm and the 4pm, but decided against the 7:30pm and also played a $1 and a $2 MTT  in which I cashed in both to make Friday only $1.17 loss in tournaments, unfortunately  Thursday was a loss in tournaments of about $45, but  as planned, expected, and hoped for the cash game earnings countered that as I pulled down about $45 over the last two sessions on the cash tables. 

So I begin Monday with a bankroll of $281.91. Recently the tables have had much less players playing on them probably because of Memorial Day weekend, but all of a sudden Monday it totally exploded. When I got on the tables at 12pm instead of just one or two tables being available like there has been, there were 6 full tables of $10NL going with waiting lists 2 to 5 deep. It should be like this for awhile because we have a lot of people coming in to Las Vegas for the World Series and it gives them their opportunity to play on WSOP. I'm sure once the World Series is over it will go down to normal levels for the site. 

That wraps this entry up. I'm already on one cash table, in the 12pm Rebuy, and on the waiting list for two other cash tables. Looking for a deep run in the tournament, but if that is not "in the hopefully cashes in these  more frequently will offset the  larger tournament costs. " then looking for some continued run good at the cash tables. Until next time, take care everyone, cashes I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Profits Don't Always Equal Enjoyment

It's definitely official. When it comes to online poker I just get bored with the monotony of doing the same thing for hours on end. I have grinded for 3 days now and tonight after about seven hours in a planned 10 hour session I was so utterly bored I just couldn't play anymore. I just wasn't in it so I called it a night.  In 3 days between No Limit Hold'em cash games, PLO8 cash games, and rakeback I have earned $109. I should be excited to play. I've made $109 in 3 days If could make that every 3 days I'll be at $2k inside of 2 months, and tonight it was insane for me to quit. I was down $40 and the cards turned, things started dropping my way and I eliminated that $40 loss and was up $4.50 and was still bored out of my skull. 

I have talked about the need for variety in my online poker in a a previous blog post and I think that's what starting to happen to me now. Playing live it's so different. I can sit there day after day after day for hours and hours on end and love and absorb every second of it, but online I can barely get past 3 days of doing the same thing. I don't know what to do, but I know I have no choice but to keep on doing what I'm doing, but I've got to find a way to get excited about this because if my heart is not into this it will affect my decisions at the table and that I cannot allow.

I've considered the possibility of mixing up my games, but the problem is I'm not sure if that would be the best financial decision to be made. if we assume that I can earn 9bb/100 over the long term playing no-limit Hold'em cash games at $10NL and a slightly lower rate at $20NL, I have no clue what my earn rate could be at PLO8. I've added a PLO8 table on a couple of occasions when they were only three No Limit Hold'em tables currently active, but in doing so I only made about $4 at the tables.   However tonight after I had closed everything out it was around 11:30 p.m. I fired up WSOP again jumped in PLO8 game for maybe 20 or 30 minutes and made another $16. Omaha has very high variance and I understand that the high low variation the game reduces that variance, but still I have no clue what kind of earn rate I can expect. Over the long run it could be very low if I decided to switch out a NLH table with a PLO8 table permanently that could be a poor financial decision. I don't particularly like Omaha all that much but it does give me something different to do from time to time and so far so good as I'm up over $20 on it, but it absolutely drives me insane when I end up with only half the pot and still end up losing money in a hand.

I even considered playing some tournaments in the early afternoon and then don't get started on the cash games until about 6 and then play for only 6 hours. Unfortunately the problem with that is as we all know I will make an expected earn rate whatever that may be, and the more hands I play the more I will make per day so cutting it down to 6 hours, it's going to take me that much longer to get to my goal and as far as the potential tournament idea I passed on that because I have absolutely no desire to any longer play a $1 tournament for three hours to make a whopping $12 and that's only if you win it.

I'm hoping the boredom was simply a one day thing that I went through and that ending the session early will get me past it. I fully plan on attempting to grind at least 9 hours tomorrow from 3-12.  I got over 1700 hands in over 7 hours played today and I'm thinking 9 hours should still get me damn close to 2000 as long as I don't take too long of a dinner break.  Maybe cutting it back an hour a day may help. 

After the $90 session on the 21st I've lost $9 in the last 2 days. The corrections that I made to my game did not reduce the swings as I had hoped for as yesterday I was down $50 before making a comeback and only losing $13 in the session and today was down $40 and ended up making a little over $4. In each of these cases you're talking about 4 and 5 buyin swings, but then again the argument could be made that had I not made the corrections it would have been even worse. There were so many hands and situations I was folding that I had not been doing so previously and I'm quite convinced that had I not made those corrections that $13 loss from yesterday could have easily been a $20 to $40 loss and the $4 win from today probably would have been a loss on the day just how much is anybody's guess. 

So tomorrow I will get started on the tables at 3 p.m. and if I get antsy to play before that I'm going to hold off and wait until 3 p.m.  I will play PLO8 if there are not 4 NLH tables active.  People might ask why not just fire up a $20NL table if there are only three $10NL tables going and my answer to that would be I am definitely waiting until I have 20 buyins at the $20 level before adding in one table of $20NL at a time. That's going to wrap things up for tonight. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

No Way It Can Matter That Much

My first full day on the online tables since I declared a "Fresh Start" turned out to be insanity to a degree that I have not experienced since I started playing on WSOP, but for me the best kind of insanity as when things were all said and done it was a $90 profit and I turned my measly bankroll of 14 buyins to a bankroll of over 23 buyins. I'm still not at that magic 30 or 40 buyins yet, but what a way to start things off. 

I don't know if the fact that I moved out of my old place I was living with my now ex roommates has made a difference.  I don't know if that has given me clarity about poker. Certainly stressful situations can lead to errors in other areas, but whether or not they are in fact connected before I got on the tables today I had gone over in my head hand and sessions that I had played previously and I decided to make some changes. Some of these changes included not limping in with suited connectors in early position and folding them instead, not calling 4.5x raise preflop with said suited connectors, not calling raises with what might be considered moderate Holdings Q9s, KTs, QJo, T9, 98,  and AJ unless against certain opponents under certain conditions.  I also opened up my starting hands slightly as was recommended by Zin and while I don't want to give away a lot of it let's just say that I moved certain Broadway hands into early position from middle position and one or two late position hands into middle position. 

I got underway at 12 and played for a couple of hours and basically broke even in fact I think I lost $0.85. I got started early because it turned out I did not have to grab a bus before I started playing poker to go pick up a few groceries as my new landlady offered to take me there and bring me back. She really is a nice person. After lounging around the pool side for a while it was after 5 p.m. and I decided it was time to get to work and over the next 4 hours earned 9 buyins. That is the absolute biggest profit in buyins that I have had since I have played cash games in my entire life in a single session.  There's no way that those changes I made or leaks that I plugged if you prefer could  make that much of a difference.......or could it??

It cannot be denied I hit a lot of flops and if I didn't hit the flop my continuation bets took it down because my opponents didn't hit the flop either. I've had decent sessions before at $10NL, $50 wins $60 wins, but always with a lot of fluctuation up and down $40 in the hole and end up earning $50 so a 9 buyin swing within the single session or down $60 and end up plus $20 for an 8 buyun swing, but today it was a steady climb with only one backtrack. I was up about $10 when my KK ran into a flopped set of queens but that was it. 

Yes I was getting good cards, yes I was hitting flops, yes my opponents were missing flops so my continuation bets were good, but it still makes me wonder how much money was saved. How many $0.35 and $0.45 raises  preflop not called how many draws not chased to get nothing. When you think about it this could add up 2 at least a few buyins each session. If you chase a draw to the river with a suited connector after calling a preflop raise generally speaking this is going to cost you in the neighborhood of $3.50. You do that 10 times during one session and since my sessions usually go over 2,000 hands that is not hard to do, and you're talking three and a half buyins and that's just an example of the suited connector. What about the other moderate holdings that I was calling raises with how many times did I hit top pair only to be out kicked, how many times did I flop a flush draw just to miss how many times did I flop top pair but then an overcard hits. All of these things put together could easily add up to 7 or 8 buyins within a single session. 

Will I still go through variance even with these changes....... hell yes.  Have the major swings ended....... I don't know.  The only way I'm going to know is to continue to play the way I did today and see how things go, see what the swings are like and if these changes will reduce the swings dramatically.  If they only reduce them I will be a happy camper about the whole situation because it will mean more steady profits instead of jumping up and down like a yo-yo, but the only way to find out is to getting a lot of volume, continue to play error free, and see how it stands out after say 30.000 and played. If these changes dramatically reduce the swings that I will be facing I may be wrong about needing 30 or 40 buyins. The swings that I have been going through may have simply not been poker but my own fault.  Time will tell and volume will answer these questions. 

Everything else pretty much remains the same.  I am still striving for $2,000 so that I can play $2/$4 limit games live, I still want to put in a minimum of 2000 hands of volume onlineveach day, I still want to grind 10 hours minimum each day  and I think I will be settling into a 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. schedule. You'll notice I only got 1303 hands play today because today I did something I rarely ever do. I ended the session early and banked the win. I don't know if I was correct or incorrect to do that, but I do know that I needed the financial and psychological boost as well so if I was wrong to do so I can accept that. I know it's all immaterial anyway because it's just one long session and what varience I did not allow to get a hold of me today we'll get a hold of me on another day.  I mean $90 in 1300 hands is impossible to sustain so I know I will be taking losses, but today, just for today, I wanted that boost to my own self esteem if nothing else. 

I will pretty much be grinding non-stop until the 3rd I think as I am pretty much completely tapped out money wise. Between now and the 3rd I might go hang out at my friend Michelle's house one of those nights, but other than that I will be grinding on a daily basis and not running around this town spending money. As for personal finances I talked to my landlady and I am paying her $400 a month but since I moved in a couple of weeks early I owe her $200 for that plus a $100 deposit so she had told me that I could split that over a couple of months so for June I will be paying her $550, and July I will pay her $550 and starting in August I will only be paying $400 a month. Another $250 in expenses covering food, cigarettes, cell phone, and bus fares and miscellaneous incidentals will leave me approximately $175 a month left over. It's rough being on a fixed income and you can see why I am so adamant that I want to be able to create something better with poker.  

That's gonna wrap things up for today.  I hope everybody is doing well in their lives and their personal and professional endeavors. As always take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Fresh Start

May 17th, 2016 was the first day of "The Fresh Start"  It started a new beginning for me and in only a few days I am already relishing it with every fiber of my being.  I moved into a new place, rented an upstairs bedroom in a house off of Sunset. To say that I am out in the middle of nowhere would be an understatement.  Actually to be totally fair I'm not exactly in the middle of nowhere but like the line from Thelma and Louise goes "I can see it from here" lol.

Things had come to a boiling point with 2 of 3 of my now ex roommates and over the last few months I came to the realization that two out of three of them are nothing but classless, ungrateful, users who will try to get what they can and as much as they can from someone and when the gravy train dries up what they really are comes flying to the forefront.  When they realize your usefulness to them does no longer exist, as in when you stop lending them money, or gifting it to them outright, or stop buying them things, then what they truly are is easily seen. I had had enough of these creatures and was planning on moving out on June 3rd. 

I was keeping an eye on Craigslist on a daily basis looking for people that were renting out a room in their house, apartment, or condo looking for a roommate and on the 15th of the month I believe it was, since I did not have the money to put a small deposit on a place if found what I wanted because I had to buy a new cell phone as my old one finally shit the bed pretty much on me, I decided to put my own ad on Craigslist. I I explained my financial situation, my monthly income from disability, and basically what rent range I was looking for and what absolutely needed to be included in that, specifically Wi-Fi.  I got your usual run of spam texts then I also got a text from a lady who said that she was willing to work with me.  We decided to meet at a McDonald's on Sunset so that we could meet each other in person and the meeting went just fine and she showed me the bedroom she was renting. When we decided that yes this is definitely something we both wanted to commit to, I realized that the fact that the two renters that she did have had moved out within 3 weeks of each other obviously had created a financial burden for her and I said to her straight up that yeah I would love to rent from her but as my Craigslist ad stated I wouldn't be able to do anything on a financial basis until the 3rd and I was sure that she would get other offers for renting out that bedroom before that since it was still two weeks remaining.  She asked me if I wanted to move in right away. I told her that if I moved in 2 weeks early I would not be able to pay her the extra $200 for the extra two weeks and she told me that was no problem we can just add it on to the next couple of months.  She was willing to trust me on this.  I jumped at the chance to get away from the "users" and gladly accepted.  

Yes, it's true I was paid up for the month at the old place, but getting away from them, not having to see them on a daily basis which in of itself was bringing me close to physically vomiting, especially my one time love interest, and ex bestie, at least that's what she always called me, but there was always something when she used to say that that just seemed phony every time she said it, but I jumped at the chance to get away from them once and for all.  I hope I never have the misfortune of seeing them ever again. As far as I'm concerned Karma will get them in the end and when that day happens it will definitely be well deserved. 

My landlady and new roommate seems like a very very nice person. I told her straight from the beginning that I was somebody that would generally keep to myself and she had no problem with that.  It's much better than the Craigslist ads of people that were looking for somebody to rent from them but also hang out with them. I have neither the time nor the desire to get buddy-buddy with somebody that I'm living with ever again unless they were friend already and we decided to become roommates which is a possibility down the line.  I'm renting an upstairs bedroom which is giving me some exercise going up and down the stairs as smoking is not allowed in this home so any time I want a cigarette I simply go down to the pool area. She is the homeowner and has an inground pool here so it's kind of nice to go out there smoke a cigarette when I want one especially in the evening hours. I wasn't even here for the first two days ad I was over at my friend Michelle's house on her couch for a couple of nights as I was trying to help her with some filing that she had gotten behind on and Thursday night was the first night that I slept here.  It sure was nice having my own room after all this time as in the old place I was sleeping on a bed all right, but it was right in the living room. If I don't want to see anybody I simply keep my door closed and I am able to grind to my heart's content without having people walking by me all the time so this is going to be much much nicer.

I thought a potential issue might be how far out I am.  I'm off of Sunset which means I need to take the 212 bus to get to Boulder Highway and then the Boulder Highway Express bus which is an hour ride to get to downtown, but the BHX route is 24 hours so even if I decide to stay out to the wee hours of the morning on the Strip or downtown it would simply be a case of grabbing the BHX to Sunset and then grabbing a cab to get to the house and I am not all that far from Boulder Highway so the cab wouldn't be hideously ridiculous.  All in all I think things are going to work out just fine.

Now let's talk poker. Therein lies the problem.  As you might expect I needed a few dollars to pick up a few things for moving into a new place, food being one of them, so a withdraw was needed so I am going to be basically starting my "Fresh Start" with poker as well.  Unfortunately the online bankroll is at $142 exactly going into Saturday May 21st and the soonest I could make any sort of deposit might be August, but towards the end of June I'm going to need to do another withdrawal as I have a "friend" that's going to be passing through town and I'm supposed to be meeting up with her. The friend tag that I have put on this person is subjective as some who know about this particular individual might think there was slightly more to it than that, but for right now I'm going to utilize the word "friend".  When me and her meet we will either give each other a hug or lock in a passionate embrace that would make Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara look like amateurs. The situation is, shall we say, "complicated" and I'll leave it at that.  To be quite honest I don't know what's going to happen.  

The question remains what the hell do I do with a $142 bankroll. It is only 14 buyins for $10NL and while I could start out on a heater we saw what happened the last time I started grinding $10NL and started with an 11 buyin downswing. I do not under any circumstances want to play $2NL, but I am convinced that you need at least 30 buyins to put up with the swings in No Limit cash games online. Just because 11 buyins has been my worst downswing so far it does not mean it cannot go worse than that.  For $10NL I need $300 minimum. I am currently $158 short.  Since the soonest I could do a deposit is going to be July, and that's just a maybe, I do not want to find myself with a zero balance and in the online account.  I did not purchase a TV since I've been in Las Vegas and if I do run out of money in this online account that would mean a lot of Netflix and playing freerolls. That is something I don't even want to think about so as I see it my only real choice is to try to grind $10NL and if the bankroll balance drops to a certain point say $70 then at that point I will have no choice but to make the switch over to playing $1 and $2 tournaments until the account balance is such that I can make another try at $10NL so basically I have about 7 buyins to play around with and no more than that. 

I did realize that I perhaps I was making what might be considered less than optimal choices previously and so starting on Saturday I am going to eliminate those. Some of them include, but are not limited to, limping in with suited connectors in early position, calling raises with certain holdings that might be considered mediocre at best, and ending the love affair that I seem to have gotten into with one-gap suited connectors which cause me nothing but trouble. I'm thinking by eliminating what could be considered leaks perhaps, just perhaps that will reduce the variance that I have been experiencing when I have played No Limit cash games previously and hopefully we can take this $142 and build it up to that $300 comfort level as fast as possible.  

It's nearly 5 a.m. and time to grab some sleep. Saturday's poker session probably will not start till 3 in the afternoon and I'm going to try to play as late as possible because there is no doubt about it the night shift players are insane at these tables. Got to go find a grocery store nearby to pick up a few food items to get me through to the end of the month, but other than that I'm just going to be grinding my heart out. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

This Needs A Whole New Approach

Well, the no-limit cash games have gone something like 15,000 hands and I ended up between $10NL and $20NL being down about 3 buyins total maybe a little more. Time to wipe the slate clean and figure out what the hell is going on. Actually at $20NL I ended up showing about a $33 profit but at $10NL down about six and a half buyins. Obviously trying to do a hand review of 15,000 hands is ridiculous especially when I pretty much know what has been happening for these 15,000 hands. I have never seen so many under pairs flop sets against me as I have during this time frame. It not just borders on the ridiculous it surpasses it by a fkn mile.  So many times a hand I have dominated has been coming up with a miracle 2 pair whether that be on the turn or the river. Examples such as I have AK and they have AJ, or I have KQ and they have KT, things of that nature. 

There have been other things that I have noticed of late and because I needed some time at the tables, the learning process was one that it was going to take me a little while to pick up on. Granted I've played these tables before, but somethings changed over the last couple or few months, something has changed big time and it involves the players themselves. With a few exceptions a lot of these players are relatively solid. Some are a little bit over aggressive and you have your donks but even the over aggressive players seem to know when to back off. The thing that I have learned playing against the same players over the last 15,000 hands is that they do not recklessly put money into the pot and when they are betting what would be considered substantial amounts or firing out on the turn after a flop check call or calling both the flop and the turn and then firing out on the river they have something pretty substantial and for the first 15,000 hands during this new learning process I was probably calling far too many bets which led to me being down about $30. 

Another thing these players do not do is take when an opponent 3 bets lightly. In order to make the most profit I have realized that I must create more trap type situations. These trap situations come with their own inherent risks obviously. If you have AA and you are just cold-calling the raise in order to check raise the original raiser on the flop or the turn, attempting to limp with big pocket pairs in early position so that you can pull a limp/3 bet in order to get some value which is something that I have done a lot of and quite successfully, but there are times you could find yourself in a position where there are too many people going to the flop or you're allowing your opponent to hit a decent hand such as a set or two pair, but I kid you not, I would say that 17 out of 20 times that I 3 Bet preflop everybody is folding.  I think this is showing me that I can through that a little later, but these players are not stupid and if I start doing that a little bit too much they are going to pick up on it. There are a lot of regs at the tables and they are good solid smart poker players and are too damn disciplined and it's not that I need to find a site that has less disciplined players, what I need to do is figure out how to take advantage of the player pool I am exposed to at the current time and I think with the things that I have already mentioned I am ready to get back on those tables and start earning some serious profits, but it's going to take a whole new approach. A lot of the things that I have been doing need to be readjusted to try to make the most profit possible.  It's going to be a lot more believing of bets, there's going to be a lot more cold calling, and there's going to be a lot more trapping by me. Conniving, deceiving and hidden values of a lot of big hands are going to be what's needed to get these players to put their money in when they in fact don't have the best of it.

The only problem is, my available online balance is exactly $190. This is 19 buyins and I am convinced that with the variance and the downswing amounts that I have seen that a minimum bankroll of 30 buyins and perhaps even 40 is required for 4 tabling online on WSOP. 
I am sure the situation is far far different for those that play No Limit cash games live, but I am convinced that these changes and this new approach is going to lead to vastly different results and I am starting to record those results from a fresh perspective beginning Sunday. From April 18th to May 14th exactly $190 was earned during that span of time. That $190 is the starting bankroll for the new approach. Another thing that will be done or should I say will not be done is that I will not put any tournaments at all into this mix this will be for cash games only and I will no longer be mixing in limit games. A bankroll of 19 buyins is sketchy at best and I do have a back-up plan if things go bad. If this bankroll drops to $100 I will have no choice but to switch back to grinding the $1 and $2 MTTs until I can get it back to $200 and then try the cash games again, but hopefully starting tomorrow with 19 buyins will be sufficient.  

Well since it's after 3 a.m. I better get some sleep. I would like to be on the tables by noon if I can and run a 12 hour session . Monday is going to be a short session and I might be taking Monday and Tuesday off completely as I have to go for a breathing test over at Valley Hospital at around 2 p.m.  Not my idea of a great time and I would rather be playing poker, but never let it be said that I'm not doing everything I can to keep my ass out of the hospital again for an extended stay. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Meeting Lightning And The NL Cash Report

I hadn't posted for a minute and quite honestly one of the reasons was the feeling of  negativity being directed towards me insofar as I put my life out there out in the open and it seems that whatever I say, plans I have, realizations, or experimentation that I do I'm automatically wrong. I've been told I'm a train wreck, need mental help, have a death wish, and a variety of other less than flattering comments. I appreciate those that have shown a concern for my welfare and health, but it it seems that on a variety of subjects some readers simply are unable or unwilling to debate or consider alternative possibilities when a rebuttal to their views as presented.  I have simply come to the conclusion that some people are never going to understand what I personally feel is a necessity. They're not going to comprehend my thought process that certain risks need to be taken when it comes to accomplishing dreams and goals and since that's the case and there's no way to change their minds on this, so be it, life goes on, and like Frank Sinatra said, I'll do it "My Way".

I had the pleasure of meeting in person and having a nice lunch with the one and only Lightning36.  I tried to treat the man to said lunch, but that went over about as well as trying to buy into a $1/$2 game with two red birds.  Neither one would happen or was going to.  We ate at Johnny Rockets which was a first for me and the food was utterly delicious and the conversation was pleasant as we talked about poker and bloggers alike.  The conversation was also about what some might consider incorrect health choices I make from time to time.  Now, I thought I was the worlds biggest wiseass, but let me tell you Lightning is just as bad as I am.  Like when he gets on his phone and pretends to place a $400 wager on the date of my demise or moments later when he does it yet again only this time increases the bet lmao!!!!  At this point I was ready to start a food fight and start flinging french fries at him lol, It was great meeting him and talking and I hope we will be able to meet up again the next time he's in town. Maybe on that occasion I will sit in a nl cash session with him just for kicks and giggles.

I've come to the fast realization that for whatever reason, whether my body is addicted to it now or whatever, but I simply cannot make it through the day without 400 milligrams of caffeine in me at the bare minimum. I can't get the volume in that I want without it, I get so tired so early or worse yet exhausted in the middle of the day, so from here on in I am not going to try to avoid the caffeine I'm simply going to realize it's part of something that I need just to keep me going. I've actually tried to stay off of it recently and my recent sessions directly reflect that. Looking at the $10NL: May 2016 tab you can see the last 3 sessions have not hit 1100 hands in any of them. I personally find this totally unacceptable as my bare minimum a day I want is 2000 hands and 2500 would be even better.
The return to the no-limit cash games has been abysmal. I started out with an immediate downswing  losing over 7.4 buyins in the space of just over 4900 hands. I followed that up with a single session profit of about five buyins which helped even things out somewhat and in the last 5 sessions I have played just over 6,050 hands for a total profit of approximately $2. However the pattern of late is showing more profitable sessions with two out of the last three sessions played being in the green so I'm hoping that I'm coming out of this and can start putting in some serious profit sessions to get the bankroll built up and the earn rate up to that 9bb/100 that I have proven myself capable of.  Going into today's action 12,522 hands played and a loss of just over two buyins which as far as down swings go is very reasonable and easily overcome and that is the only saving grace.

The struggles that I have endured have gone over 12,000 hands and to me that's absolutely incredible because if you equate this to daily live play where perhaps, putting in some long hours, a player might expect to get 300 hands played at most you are looking at a downswing that equates to 40 days of live play. 40 days playing and being down 2 buying overall would have to be extremely frustrating.  I can't even imagine the emotions that Trooper has gone through with his recent struggles at the tables which have gone well more than two buyins. That's insanity. It also has made me realize how correct my decision is to steer away from No Limit when I am eventually playing full-time live and stick to the Limit games which I enjoy so much first off and second off a simple mistake can cost a full buyin in a no-limit game whereas that same mistake in a a $2/$4 limit game the most it's going to cost is $48. Considering the two games have the same buyin for me personally of $200, I make a mistake in a $1/$2 No Limit game and I'm down $200 I make that same mistake and a $2/$4 game I'm down $48 and it is so much easier to recoup. 

Whether or not something is a mistake is a matter of opinion and judgement. Take the session on the 12th where I ended up dropping 2.6 buying and $12 of that $25.99 loss came when a solid player raised under the gun and the next person to act that I have a blue tag on meaning a bad player or a donk or whatever terminology you want to use goes all-in for $12. Now I remind you that the under-the-gun player only raised it to $0.35 and this poor player decides to shove his entire stack preflop for $12. This is an extraordinary bad player which I have won many many pots from and I'm sitting there with AKo. So what do you do?  Do you snap call as he had me covered by about $1 maybe a $1.50 and hope to hell that the solid player under the gun does not have a hand he wants to risk a stack on or would you let that AK go. I think about it for just a little bit and then I finally made the call knowing that this poor player could potentially do this with AQ or AJ and even with small and mid pocket pairs  which not only means my AK is a coin flip, b t the potential of him getting counterfeited is present. Flipping for an entire stack with AK is not something I normally want to do, but against this player the situation to me was different. Unfortunately even bad players come up with good hands from time to time and he had AA which cost me a quick $12. Was it a mistake? I'm not really sure, but a majority of me thinks no it wasn't. This was a situational thing against a specific opponent and I felt the call was correct. Any thoughts or opinions on the situation are most welcome.

That's going to wrap this one up. It's just approaching 1230 and time for me to get on the tables for at least an 11 hour session. I'm hoping the recent pattern is going to show me a good profit session today, but we will see what happens. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Have You Ever

My recent post generated a few comments especially the paragraph about the caffeine pills.  Comments on this subject usually generate differing opinion comments.  I have been called a "train wreck", I have been told I need mental help, in the past I have been told I have a death wish, I have been equated to Tony's lack of seeking medical attention,  and in each one of these cases I look back at what I wrote and look at the comments and for the life of me cannot ascertain how certain readers come to the conclusions that they have. 

Before I relay today's results I'm going to take this opportunity to try to explain what's going on inside me and maybe, just maybe, it will give my readers an idea of what drives me.  I need to start this off with asking my readers to think back through their lives and pose the question has there ever been anything in your life that you wanted to obtain so badly that you were willing to do whatever it took.  Maybe when you were in college and we're cramming for those final exams perhaps you took substances  to keep you going for hours and hours on end so that you can study or perhaps you had classes, homework,and a job, getting only a few hours of sleep a night to be able to accomplish everything you needed to.  If any of my readers are doctors and although I am not a medical professional, but from what I understand when doctors are first starting out I think they call it their residency, they have to work 24 and 48 hours straight and I doubt very highly that they are doing it on pure willpower.  Maybe some of my readers own their own business, and those that do, think back to when you first opened that business and were struggling to be a success.  In your mindset of that time would you have done whatever it took to make your business successful even if it meant a personal risk to your own health at the time?  There are other examples I could probably come up with, but the point being that usually in people's lives, and often more than once or twice, things come up that are so important to that individual person that they will throw caution to the wind, take risks to their own personal self in order to achieve what they are setting out to achieve, do what it takes to be successful in their schooling, careers, or personal dreams. Just because mine involves poker does not make it any less important.  I'm not a doctor, I'm not in college, and I have not opened my own business, but that doesn't make it any less important than anybody else's goals and dreams.  If you have seen anything or recognize any of what I have written in this paragraph that could apply to you at some point in your life, that has hit close to home in your own lives in the past then maybe, just maybe, you understand where I'm coming from. 

A comment in my last blog entry suggested that I was hooked on caffeine and to be quite honest it is a possibility, but can you be hooked on something if you're not taking it on a daily basis and you go days between doses.  I will admit however that when I do go days and days without hitting those pills I usually feel very sluggish and run down.  I also found out tonight that I may need to be taking the maximum safe dose.  I was grinding $10NL today.  Took a dinner break and ordered a delivery from Pizza Hut and after I was done eating even though I was on 200 mgs of caffeine, fell asleep at 7 p.m. and did not wake up till after 11 p.m. and wasted an entire night.  I should have been grinding, working towards the goals, but instead my body made me fall asleep and I don't know why.  I did not think it was possible with 200 mgs in me that was taken just an hour previously would allow me to sleep, but it's quite obvious to me I'm going to have to step it up to 400 mgs per dose per day just to keep me going.  However, I did a little research and found out all is good with my intake.  The Following comes from the Mayo Clinic as in the world-renowned Mayo Clinic and if anyone tells me that they are not going to accept findings by the Mayo Clinic then we don't have anything to talk about.

"Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks."

The poker that I did get in was a pretty much nothing happening type of day. I played 1055 hands, ended up losing just over half a buyin and had absolutely nothing exciting happen during the course of that time.   It's nearly 4am and I'm going to grab some sleep for a 12 p.m. start.   Not sure what day I will be playing the tournament with Lightning who has finally arrived in Vegas and to him I say welcome back Mr Lightning welcome back.  Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Final Return

I want to start this entry off with a shout-out to any and all readers that live in Las Vegas.  If you know of anybody renting a room out in their home or apartment or condo or whatever ranging in price from $300 to $500 a month with a smallish deposit and Wi-Fi included please let me know as I am leaving my current roommate situation on June 3rd and would be looking to move into the new place on that date. 

The return to no limit cash games online has gone three sessions so far and it started put completely horrendous and I'm talking to the tune of an immediate downswing in excess of 11 buyins at one point.  If you look at the $10NL:   May 2016 tab it doesn't look like it was that bad but after losing 4.7 buyins the first day, at one point on the second day I was down $64 down and it wasn't until the last four or five hundred hands of that session that I came barreling back.  I was hoping that that was a sign that this immediate 11 buyin down swing that I got slammed with in the first 4500 hands or so was turning around and tonight's session tells me that might be a distinct possibility because tonight's session I bounced back with a 5 buyin earning session in 1553 hands so it felt good to book a profit.  Although I am still down just under 2.3 buyins in these $10NL games it's a hell of a lot better than it was at that point on the second day when I was down over $110.  I'm fortunate that I have the ability to keep my A game going at all times even when down 11buyins as I was I did not start playing hands I shouldn't and I did not tilt in any way knowing that things would change, that the downward variance would turn.  However, this is the main thing that I despise about playing no-limit cash games is these insane swings.  $110 may not be a lot of money to 99% of my readers, but being a struggling poker grinder as I am it was a significant chunk, but fortunately I have been able to rebound.  

The $50 withdraw that I made and $20 that I spent on a tournament in which I was staked has been returned to the online account.  Since I have returned to the no-limit cash games which have absolute insane variance and more swings than a playground, in addition to returning that $70 to the WSOP account I decided to add an additional $100 to it.  The more buyins that I have in the bankroll the easier it will be to deal with the variance and the swings and also the faster I will get to $20NL which will not be happening until I have 20 full buyins available for it which will be a bank roll of $400 and then I will be adding one table of $20NL at a time.  It will definitely be a slow transition to the higher level. 

The title of this blog post is "The Final Return."  The meaning behind it is the return to the cash games and this will be the final return that I make.  I do not for one second expect any of my readers to believe that because of my past history of switching on and off different games and my last post was about utilizing variety so that I don't get bored, but the fact of the matter is this form of poker that I am grinding now is the only chance I have of getting to my $2,000 goal.  I have exhausted all other avenues.  I have tried everything else.  I tried the SNGs, but they're not prevalent enough to make it worth the time or make the earnings needed.  I tried grinding $1 and $2 and MTTs.  With the variance inherent in those and certain sustainable ROIs that can be expected while I will make a profit from them it's not enough.  It took me 10 days to make $14, can you imagine how long it would take to get to $2,000?  The limit games I would grind happily 24/7 but they are not available.  Every avenue has been explored and the only thing left, the only possibility for me, is grinding no limit cash games 10 to 14 hours a day and to work my way up to the $2,000 goal.  I do not expect any of my readers to believe that I am going to stick with this, but just sit back, enjoy the ride, and you will see I will be doing so this time not because I want to mind you, but because I have no other options available to me.

Immediately I can foresee possible comments both public and private about grinding 10 to 14 hours a day.  I know my readers already know without me even telling them that in order to maintain a schedule like that I am going to have to be on the caffeine stimulants.  I am going to have to risk the fact that they increase my blood pressure up to 155 over 105, and I'm also going to have to deal with the fact that I have recently found out, not all the time, but sometimes, they are giving me a heart arrhythmia. They are putting my heart into trigeminy PVCs.  If you don't know what that means it's a pre ventricular contraction of the heart.  The heart beats three times and then skips a beat, beats 3 times then skips a beat.  Not a very comfortable feeling in the slightest, and the best way I can describe it is it feels like there's a large butterfly right in the center of your chest flapping its wings a thousand miles an hour, but at the same time it's a needed risk.  Save the comments about me having a death wish or committing a Tonyism.  I do not have a death wish, but I am simply willing to risk certain things to get to where I want to be in my life.  I am not happy under the current poker circumstances grinding online and I will never be happy until I am playing live on a daily basis and to achieve that I am willing to risk certain things.  My reader base calls it foolish, I call it dedication.  That is not a death wish, it is not an attempt to commit suicide, but it is a case where a person is willing to take certain risks to be where they want to be in their life.  To me this is just too damn important and I am willing to risk it all if I have to.
I am not into astrology at all but a friend of mine looked up my horoscope yesterday and this is what it said.

"Talking about what your hopes are for the future is good -- after all, it's the first step toward making them a reality. But have you been spending too much time talking and not enough time doing? Right now you have to focus all of your energy on making at least one of your dreams come true! No one else can take you to where you want to go in life except yourself, so set aside some time today to come up with a game plan. One little baby step is all you need to take."

When I saw that to me it was screaming about my poker.  Certain things grabbed me.  "Not enough time doing" ............ "Right now you have to focus all of your energy on making at least one of your dreams come true" .............. "No one else can take you to where you want to go in life except yourself" It's funny, as I said I am not into astrology, but it's amazing sometimes how close one of these things can come to your everyday life or something very specific.  So even though I've never really followed the advice of a horoscope in my life I am following the advice on this one especially the part where it says focus all your energy.  

Finally, on June 3rd I will be leaving this sometimes psychotic roommate situation I've been living in for the last 8 months.  Things finally blew up to the point of false accusations of petty theft and to the point of complete ungratefulness in my opinion, to the point of just absolute disrespect, and I will no longer be a part of it.  I have done nothing, but care for these girls since I got here in late August of 2015 and as far as I am concerned I have had two proverbial knives plunged in my back, first by Misty then by her older daughter Cathy.  I'm done permanently with this situation.  To that end I have been checking Craigslist on a daily basis looking for people renting rooms or people looking for a roommate, but I am not moving till June 3rd at the earliest so right now that's exactly what I'm looking for, people advertising for a June move-in date. Fortunately, I had a talk with a friend who told me I did not have to worry if I didn't exactly have something on the 3rd because if need be I can crash with him for a couple of weeks while I continue to look for a place to rent.  I'm very fortunate that I have good people in my life.  At one time I thought the people I lived with fell under that category, but they have shown their true form.   I am hurt by all this and will be for some time, but at least I know their true colors.   

Well that wraps up this entry. Setting my alarm for 11 a.m. so that I can be on the tables by noon.  I will play for as long as I feel sharp, alert, have my "A" game at the table, and am not tired or fatigued.  It may only be till 10 p.m. it may be till midnight and may be till 2 in the morning it all depends on how I feel.  The minimum that I will do on a full day is 10 hours and with that I am getting in close to 2500 hands a day.  Yesterday I only played 1500 hands because I did not get started till 5:30pm, but most days that I do grind online is a full day.  With that said take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

I think I figured out why I've had so much trouble jumping from here to there playing online.  It's a very simple reason really.  I get bored.  I don't get bored playing the same kind of game live though.  I wasn't bored when I was playing tournaments at the Plaza on the electronic tables and I've never been bored playing $2/$4 limit at The Orleans or the Golden Nugget, but online, if I'm doing the same thing a few days in a row I find myself becoming completely disinterested and needing a change.   They say variety is the spice of life so why can't it be the spice of a poker life??  The more I think about it the more I'm saying to myself if I want to play this for a few days and then I want to play something else for a few days and then I want to play something completely different than that for a few days there is no harm and in fact it may be beneficial because I am keeping my skills  sharp in multiple forms of poker.  Whether its MTTs, SNGs, or different cash games I am not going to worry if I'm playing something different every few days because in order not to get bored it seems to be what I need to do, but unfortunately  although I have done pretty well going from $0 to $181 and there's a very good possibility that will increase by another $50 tomorrow from this week's fixed-limit leaderboard, but the fact of the matter is if you look over on the right side of the blog at the rundown of earnings there is a problem.  

$73 of that $181 came from promotions and rakeback.  Okay no problem, I still earned about $110 playing poker, but look where the majority of the money came from, limit cash games.  If this was Poker Stars there is no doubt in my mind I would be grinding limit cash games full time because that's where my first love lies, but this is not Poker Stars.  Limit cash games are scarce, and I believe the only reason that anybody is playing them is because of the promotion.  If it weren't for those limit games where would I be??  $14 from MTTs and another $24 from his SNGs and this is since the 18th of April.  $38 in two weeks playing time.  Now I know I said that I didn't want to rush things, but let's be reasonable about this.  At that rate I'll still be grinding online 5 years from now.  $1 and $2 MTTs won't cut it nor will SNGs.  Every where I turn I seem to run into a brick wall.  Either it's not profitable enough, not available enough, or not fast enough. 

The only thing that could suffice at this point are the $20 MTTs but with $181 I'm looking at 9 and only 9 buyins.  After my last adventure at the no-limit cash games where I made a few dollars profit, but could not stand the swings and could not stand the variance I said no more.  I really truly want nothing to do with them although I find the play of No Limit cash more interesting online than I do live because of the multi-tabling aspect I really don't want anything to do with no limit cash games, but as I look at the earnings and the amounts therein I keep rolling it over in my mind and the same answer keeps coming back. Flushh, you no longer have a choice.   You've tried everything else, you've explored every avenue available to you.  However, what happens in a few days when I get bored of it or overly frustrated, where do I go next, what do I do then?  Go back to mtts and sngs and make $38 in two weeks time.  Not exactly a positive prospect. 

So in conclusion I am no longer concerned about switching off of one thing and going to something else for a little while and then switching back because it's giving me a variety, it's making my online poker play more enjoyable for me and this is what I'm going to continue to do in the future.  I've done the tournaments for a couple of weeks, I've done SNGs for about 4 or 5 days, I've done the limit cash games for 5 or 6 days now and now I'm going to switch it over back to no limit cash for maybe a few days, maybe a week, who knows.  I know the best thing would be to just stay with it because so far the $10 no-limit cash games since I been playing on WSOP has provided the most earnings, but I don't see that happening.  The longest I've gone on any one thing since I started playing on WSOP in about a month maybe a little more.  Variety is the spice of life and I guess variety is the spice of my online poker game as well.  With that said I bid you a fond good night, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Recap / The Start Of May And Monthly Plans

So on April 17th I cleaned out my account in the following day started playing free rolls then some $1 tournaments, then got $20 from the limit leaderboard promotion, play some more tournaments, took some Chances with some limit cash games, got another $50 from the following week's limit leaderboard promotion and, yada, yada, yada, end April with the bankroll going from $0 on the 18th to $196 to end the month and that includes two and a half days in the hospital so all in all very satisfied.  

One of the things that I did well at was the limit Omaha H/L cash game and relatively well playing a PLO8 cash game.  I was poking around WSOP and came actoss some PLO8 SNGs.  Trying to find something that maybe I could add to go along with the MTTs.  I made $196 starting from the 18th to the 30th of the month and from MTTs only ended up making $24 so as you can tell from those numbers a major part of the money came from other avenues.  I was poking around the SNGs and spotted some 6 Max Omaha H/L SNGs. These pay the top 2 spots and in the space of 14 SNG's over 2 days I made just under $32 just from those alone.  It took me over 10 days to make $24 from MTTs.  I saw a definite possibility here.  I ran like fire with the $5 ones in the money in 5 out of 6 with 2 wins and 3 seconds with earnings of $34.13.  The problem is they can be slow to load especially the $5 and $10 ones.  The $1 ones are more prevalent, but lets face it, not much money to be made.  In the $1 ones I went 6 for 7 with 2 wins and 4 seconds for earnings of $7.72 and I did not cash in the lone $10 SNG for total earnings from these of $31.85. 

So what's in store for May.  Well to be honest I'm not really sure.  It might make more financial sense to grind the PLO8 SNGs and perhaps some PLO8 cash games.  From what I can tell they usually have a $10 PLO8 going sometimes a $20 PLO8 and occasionally, but I'm not sure on this, maybe two tables of $10 PLO8.  I could try mixing the cash games with the SNGs and then as the bankroll increases past $220 start playing the $20 MTTs which was always my base plan anyway, but completely abandoning the $1 and $2 MTTs is an option as they are not really producing all that much money.  This definitely has definite possibility and potential and keeps with the original plan of playing $20 MTTs when the bankroll hit certain $20 increments above $200.  

I'm finding PLO8 to be almost easy.  It seems to me, although my experience is not great in this game, that it's a game that you pretty much play for the nuts and I might be completely nitty in these things, but at least at the beginning so far has paid off.  Some of the hands and situations that I see my opponents chasing and going after borders on insanity in my opinion.  Calling huge bets with just the low draw, albeit the nut low draw, but they're calling these huge bets in hopes they can win half a pot which they don't yet have and virtually no chance at a scoop is absolutely ludicrous to me.  It's also amazing how often people will put in large sums of money and/or chips depending on the game you're playing when they don't even have the nut low or the nut high when the amounts that their opponents are betting makes it obvious they have the nuts one way or the other and in numerous cases both ends.  Maybe my nitty play for the nuts approach, at least until it gets heads up or three way, is why I've done well.  I'm still testing the waters on these games, but so far so good.
I had a very late start to begin the month of May.  I really wasn't motivated to do anything this morning and into this afternoon, but this afternoon I finally got out to do a little bit of grocery shopping and then did not even fire up my laptop until about 730pm well into the 645pm $10p nightly freeroll.  When I play freerolls these days I jump into them towards the end of late registration.  Worked out good enough I suppose as I finished in the top 9 for a $1.60 return which is laughable I know, but free money you can never laugh at I suppose.

I abandoned playing any $1 or $2 MTTs, but from about 730pm all the way up to 11 p.m. when the SNGs pretty much died out there was not a single $5 or $10 SNG to be had for PLO8.  I instead had to settle on playing 6 of the $1 variety.  Ran into some situations where I kept getting counterfeited, but I also think I was loosening up my starting hands just slightly and that did not work out too well as I went 0-4.  Buckled down and ended up finishing second in the final two that I played on the evening.  With a loss of a couple of bucks there, but with the freeroll cash and a dollar in rakeback I was actually ahead a few cents on the day.

It was relatively late, past 1 a.m. and I noticed that the $10 PLO8 table was still going.  I decided to jump in and played till almost 4:30 a.m. when the table finally fell apart and ended up winning just over a full buyin so I ended the day with a bankroll of a little over $207.  Another $13 and I can take a crack at a $20 tournament which has the potential return of hundreds of dollars all in one shot.  It's nearly 4:30 a.m. and it's definitely time for me to grab some sleep.  Gonna specifically try the PLO8 SNGs and also grind the $10 PLO8 tables to try to get that bankroll to $220 by 4:45 p.m. so I can jump in the $20 Deepstack, but I will not do it with one dime less than $220 in the bankroll. Discipline has returned to this poker player. 

That's all for now.  I have a lot of things going on Tuesday the 3rd so I will not be putting in a full day on that day.  Going to get a haircut since it's touching the collar before people especially little old ladies and little old men walk up behind me and say excuse me ma'am like they always seem to do every time I let my hair grow long LOL.  Need to put that $50 that I had to withdraw back onto the WSOP account and perhaps, just perhaps, a quick trip to Walmart.  Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.