The whole way this happened was a complete accident. A year ago I came to Las Vegas the sole intention of playing tournaments and for 2016 and over the last 8 months I have constantly flipped back and forth between cash games and tournaments. I got off the track of what I came here for. I was told on many occasions that cash games were the only way to make consistent money and as those giving me the advice were quite knowledgeable and experienced I have tried doing that on and off over the last 8 months, but I would seem to flip back and forth almost like some force was drawing me back and I usually always had a ready-made excuse that it was because I was going through a downswing or I was going through whatever that I wanted to switch off for a while, but the advice and input always stuck in the back of my mind and since these people were experienced cash game players and I was not they had to know what they were talking about so I would keep returning. Then something happened this month that was a complete accident as it turned out, but an accident I wished had happened a long time ago, but it couldn't have because I needed these months and the passage of this time to let the numbers show what was true and real without basing it on mere short-term variance. As you recall July was a rough month for me in cash games and August started out much better before I went into a nearly 18 buyin downswing. $157 in cash game earnings turned into $16 in losses and my account balance on WSOP was down under $300 and there was no end in sight to it and I needed a break from it. I had every intention taking a break from the cash games, playing some $1 in $2 tournaments for a week or so just to give me something to do while on my cash game break and then returning to the cash game grind once again. Man In Black and I had already agreed to him purchasing a 50% stake in August tournaments so just playing them exclusively for a week didn't seem like a bad idea, but like turning a light switch on and off as soon as I got into the tournaments exclusively on a serious level. In the $20 deepstack as an example, 3rd for $179, 1st for $407, 4th for $138. The $20 knockout fourth place for $103. $20 Midnight Madness Final Table finish and this wasn't counting the cashes that I was getting in other tournaments to go along with it. However I could just be having a good run. This could all be meaningless. Cash games still might be the way I need to go, so I decided to actually look the numbers and let those numbers speak for themselves and man oh man what those numbers told me.
The month of August I have earned about $400 in tournament earnings going into today so let's completely forget the month of August. Let's forget it because there will be those that say I am just on some sort of tournament heater and I can accept that opinion so let's just look at January through July. During the course of those months there were a lot of cash games played and there were some tournaments played. Going into today I had made approximately $500 in earnings in tournaments on WSOP from January through July. Clicking on the tab at the top of my blog for 2016 earnings I decided to calculate all the table earnings. Obviously I can't count rakeback and bonus money as earnings because I did not earn them at the tables so I calculated what my actual table earnings were for those seven months and it came to a hideous and paltry sum of $139. I'm telling you I saw that and I damn near became physically ill. How could it be that small?? It gets worse because now consider the fact that I made roughly $500 in tournaments over that same time period and what we come up with is over the span of seven months total losses of ($360) in cash game play online. Why the hell did I put myself through this bullshit over the last 7 months?? Have I completely lost my ever-loving fucking mind!!! It's been staring me in the face the whole time I just never bothered really looking at it until now. I came here to be a full time tournament poker player, I excel at being a tournament player, everything in my poker past and present says that I am a tournament player that's where my skills lie that's what I am best at. 7 months of my life I'll never get back, 7 months completely wasted. Can you imagine what my bankroll would be right now if I had stuck to my original plan of grinding tournaments for the last 7 months?? The $890 in tournament earnings going into today for 2016 would have easily been in excess of $5,000 and probably more. I don't want even think about it. I have no one to blame but myself. I was in control I had the numbers right in front of me but I never bothered looking at them well I've looked at them now and from and I am now doing what I have always been destined to do. I am a full-time tournament poker player and I will say this here and now, if I ever play another no limit cash game hand online I will quit poker because it will simply show that even though I know everything that's been shown to me that stubbornness rather than discipline is dictating my moves.
There's a part of this that I'm actually happy about because I so much love tournaments more than cash games, but at the same time this is very very difficult for me because I've actually had to admit that there is a form of poker, No Limit cash games, that I am not successful in. I didn't think there was any form of poker that I would find myself in this position, but on the other hand it might not be too difficult to explain because there have been various instances that have happened in the past that might have predicted this. My friend Michelle and I were talking poker one day on one of my visits to her home and during the course of the conversation, which I believe had to do with raising certain hands in early position if I recall correctly, she looked at me dead square and said that's tournament thinking. One time on Rob's blog, Robs Vegas And Poker Blog I had posted a comment about a hand he had played and his response to the particular question I had was roughly that is something that you would more so in tournament play rather than cash game play and I believe on that particular occasion I had asked him about the potential of him isolating with his AK. The point is it seems that my entire mindset when I'm even talking poker even if I'm talking about cash games, but my mindset is geared towards tournaments one way or the other. So I guess it's not so surprising that I do well in tournaments and quite frankly I am not a cash game player. Pre Black Friday in 2009 and 2010 on one of the ranking sites back then when I was playing on PokerStars I was ranked in the top 3% of over 1.9 million online tournament players. The fact that my results for 2016 show a much much higher earnings rate for tournaments compared to cash games is no great surprise, but let's face it my cash games are a negative number so higher earnings in tournaments would not be too hard to accomplish but it is still difficult for me to have to admit defeat to anything regarding poker.
The meeting of Tony Bigcharles
When I was playing over at the Golden Nugget in those two tournaments that day that I ended up finishing in third place in each of them I had the opportunity to finally meet the one and only Tony Bigcharles. Many many many of you know Tony through his blog TBCs Blog About Grinding Low Stakes Poker. Over the last couple of years since I began reading Tony's blog I knew that since I had moved to Vegas that sooner or later, one of these days I would end up meeting him in person. When that time would came I was ready for what I expected would happen or what the conversation would be and I have to tell you I was very very pleasantly surprised. I had stepped away from the tournament table not during a break, to grab a few hits of cigarette by the bar which is right next to the Golden Nugget Poker Room, and Tony Bigcharles walked up to me and said hello. I instantly recognized him of course and the very first thing that was a pleasant surprise was that as soon as he walked up to me Tony extended his hand to shake my hand. I don't know why but I didn't expect that. He immediately invited to take me to lunch up in the buffet once I was done with my tournament, but quite frankly I was on a bit of short money that day and after I paid for the tournament I only had a few bucks on me so I politely declined. Once I finished third in the tournament and cashed for the $191 I decided to take him up on it, but the first thing I asked him was how much would it cost me because I heard about the incident of Tony taking somebody to launch on comps and trying to get them to pay for a portion of the meal and he explained to me it would cost me absolutely nothing, it was his treat, and that particular incident only happened once and it had a specific set of circumstances so off we went up to the buffet at the Golden Nugget which I had eaten at once before and so I knew that the food was going to be pretty damn good.
Tony can be a little on the loud side to say the least. While I was playing poker I could hear his voice coming from the other side of the poker room at times and as we were walking up to the buffet he was walking in front of me as we made our way up there at one point I had to tell him to keep it down I was right there I could hear him quite clearly. As we sat and ate our lunch we discussed things about poker and Tony's health concerns and I gave him the expected borderline lecture about staying away from Blackjack and staying away from machines, and overall I have to say it was a very very pleasant experience, I am very glad I had the opportunity to finally meet him face-to-face, and I hope that in the future we have the opportunity to meet up again in some poker related fashion.
So that's a wrap. My new goal to play live poker is $5000 which I feel will be plenty with my edge in tournaments overall. Any of my readers that looks at this entry and says that I am just flipping back again would have to be out of their mind. ($360) in losses over 8 months is more than enough wasted time to convince me what I need to be doing. I am not a cash game player and never will be. It hurts to have to admit this, but I tried and I was not successful. I need to accept it. Maybe cash games are the way for many many players to make their money, but not for me. For me it's tournaments. It was that was pre Black Friday and it has not changed and to be honest I am actually happy it turned out this way. I am working on a daily play plan for September which will include MTTs from the $2-$5 range, including a return to $3 Deepstack Rebuys and a single $20 Deepstack daily. September there will also not be any investors in the tournament play for that month. Take care for now and I'll see you at the tables.