Saturday, September 10, 2016

No Turning Back

Beginning in October I will be playing live exclusively and permanently here in Las Vegas as I was meant to be doing, the reason I moved to Las Vegas in the first place. I will be playing tournaments and tournaments only as that is the poker player that I am. I can sum up my feelings on long term cash games utilizing the title of a Vlog that Trooper recently did. It was one of his short two-minute Vlogs where he titled it "Hours Of Boredom Moments Of Terror"  I wouldn't necessarily utilize the word terror, perhaps in no limit that's the way it is, but the first part of the title I find to be extraordinary true. It is hours and hours of sheer boredom with very little happening and a few hands here and there may provide borderline excitement.  A fellow blogger in one of his recent post said the same thing. I refer to Ace On The River who in a tournament recap I believe it was in part 1 acknowledged cash games can be hours and hours of boredom, and I completely aagree but tournaments with the changing structure and conditions of the game from hour to hour and moment to moment, there is never a dull moment in a tournament and I think that's why I love them so much. 

There are other reasons or what I call fringe benefits of tournaments over cash games such as restricted losses, limited to whatever the cost of the buyin is instead of buyin after buyin in a cash game, moderately large amounts of money to be earned in a relatively short amount of time  depending on what your definition of large amonts is which would be different to everyone, and there are other benefits to tournaments over cash games that I could list, but that would simply be my own personal opinion and the opinion of others will be different, but in the poker world, in this poker life of mine, I am a tournament poker player. Now the logical question that may be on the minds of anybody reading this is why?? Why make the move now when it's fairly certain I don't have anywhere near what would be considered the appropriate bankroll for it. A fair question deserving of a fair answer.

I decided that I needed a break from online play so on September 9th I withdrew the $496.37 I had online and took the risk to play live tournaments for a few days. Part of me was saying forever, but a big part of me knew that it might just be something temporarily needed, but also a big part of me knew I was taking a huge gamble playing $40 and $45 tournaments on what essentially was a $500 bankroll, but it was a risk I was willing to take because I felt, still feel, and will always feel that my edge over my opponents can counteract whatever difficulties or risk I may face, however even I know it doesn't take much to go into a 10 buyin or higher skid playing live tournaments, but good, bad, or indifferent I decided I was playing live, but for how long even I didn't really truly know.

I played a total of 7 of them over 4 days, nothing more than a $45 buy-in, most of them $40 and I ended up going 3 for 7, a total of $117 in earnings, and a 40% ROI even with the somewhat higher juice the lower buy-in tournaments have.  Now let me be totally clear about this. The following statement has nothing to do with any earnings I made because quite frankly although the ROI was quite respectable $117 is not a lot of money, but the fact of the matter is I loved every second of it.

Laughing and joking with other people, the feel of the cards and the chips, the sights and the sounds of the casinos whether on the Las Vegas Strip, Boulder Highway, or Downtown, being out in the fresh air going from place to place and just feeling alive not cooped up in my bedroom 14 hours a day on a computer. The fact of the matter is I gave myself a taste of it for a few days, played 7 tournaments, decided to go back online, but within a day realized there's no way I can go back now.

I don't care how little  money I have to invest in this, I don't care how many tournament buyins I have it's all meaningless to me at this point. When it comes to live and online there's no turning back. Call it what you want. Call it Autumn and the new season needs a new fresh start, call it an early birthday present for myself, call it anything you want, one thing I know for sure is there's no going back for me. It was different before, I could easily go back because when I was I was playing at the Plaza it was an electronic table and in many ways was like being online anyway. Other tournaments played it was a couple here and there or a days outing, but not several days together at least not that I recall. I don't know what the real answer is all I know is this time when I played live I realized I can never go back to online again. This is what I was meant to do when I moved here over a year ago. I didn't come to Las Vegas to play on a computer, I came here to play poker in casinos the original plan always was tournaments full time and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Come hell or high water, bankroll is immaterial, I'm going for my dream, what the dream was from the very beginning.

To be totally honest with my ongoing healing health status with the health issues live play puts a big toll on the body. I mean it's great playing live and joking and laughing with people on a daily basis and getting exercise is a good thing but it's still put a huge toll on me, but as usual I ignore what my body tells me most of the time because I enjoy this too much, but there may be times where I'm going to have to take a few days off here and there just to rest and recoup and if that happens I will deal with those issues as they arise.

I have been told specifically by SeattleIrish that I shouldn't in my blog and in my life that I shouldn't  utilize definitites and in many ways he's correct, but the only way that I could see me play playing online is in cash games 4-6 tables. There is no other way it can ever hold my interest, but there's a small problem with that. My previous experiment shows it's not me, it's not my game, I'm a tournament player, my entire mindset is geared towards it and even if I try cash games online, I'll be quite honest, I'll feel like I'm forced into it. No matter how well I was doing, it wouldn't matter if I was crushing the online cash tables for 20 big blinds for every 100 hands played I would not be truly happy doing what I was doing. I would rather take my chance on the minimum that I will have available beginning in October and doing what I truly love and go broke in the process and have to try again each month after month doing something that I find mundane and the limited live play has already had some benefits which I will now explain in the next few paragraphs along with what the available bankroll will be.

I am going to be getting involved with the Nevada Poker League. From what I can tell they have a $5,000 freeroll every 6 weeks and the amount of chips that you get in the freeroll is based on your performance at these bar League games during the six-week season.  Every time you finish first you get $1,000 in chips towards that freeroll, every second-place finish is $500 chips towards it, and every third place finish is $250 towards it. The maximum chips that you can earn for the freeroll is $15,000. The new season begins September 26th. The current season ends September 25th and the next $5,000 freeroll is October 2nd. I am thinking of playing in a few even though I'm at the very end of the current season and even if chances of accumulating even a few chips for the $5000 freeroll is slim, it would be a way to check things out at a few places and see how they are. I am planning on playing in the NPL three nights a week for the upcoming season. Just think what a deep run in the $5,000 freeroll would do for the bankroll and it has the added benefit of meeting new people, making new contacts with poker players, having a couple of drinks, relaxing and having fun in a free league that has real potential. No matter how you look at it it's a win win situation

Because of the live tournament play that I did I ended up running into someone that I had become acquainted with when I was playing on the electronic tables at the Plaza. He worked in the poker room at that time and he invited me recently to a home game he's involved with which was held last Friday. A $20 rebuy, 10,000 starting chips and blinds starting out at 100/200 and after the 4th level a $10 addon for an additional 8000 chips. This was the first time that I had ever played in a home game and I must say I had such a great time. I've been invited to another one at a different person's home through my friend who I am going to call him "Pete". In the first home game we only had 13 players and they ended up paying the top four spots but even with that amount of players first place ended up paying well over $200. I end up finishing 4th for a $60 return for my $30 investment. More importantly than the money was the social aspect of it all and I had such a fantastic time I can't wait for the next one in a few days.

So that brings us what the bankroll will be for the start of all of this on October 3rd. When the expenses are figured I am going to be able to put together a starting bankroll of $600 and we will see how it goes. I will be playing the majority of my games at Sam's Town as they have a 1 p.m. rebuy for only $35 and the 7 p.m. tournament is only $40. I may possibly, depending how early I am up, mix in the $40 tournament at Monte Carlo. If it doesn't work I don't particularly care because I will have $300 available to me each month to try again and sooner or later I'm going to run into a steady increase or a heater whichever it is I does not really matter and I will still have the npl and the games which I will make sure I save money for.

That's going to wrap this one up. Sorry it's been so long since my last posting and I will try to post more frequently. As always take care everyone and one way or the other I'll see you at the tables.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

August 2016 Recap And September Begins

August 2016 which was looking pretty dismal somewhere in the middle of the month when my account balance dropped to $294 from the starting balance of $481 turned around once I abandoned the cash games completely turned out to be the best month that I've had since I started playing on WSOP. The final numbers show just under $500 earned in online tournaments. ManInBlack was covering 50% of that action so my earnings in that total was $249.77. Live tournament earnings of $434 were generated from two $65 tournaments played at the Golden Nugget. Cash games for the month after starting out $157 in earnings ended up being ($16.40) in losses, however I don't have to deal with that anymore because I won't go near them again at least not online. 

There were also $591.98 in withdraws and although I did well avoiding withdraws since April, August was a special month and quite frankly after the nice cashes at the Golden Nugget I decided to treat myself. I filled my refrigerator and freezer with food, I went clothes shopping where I bought 3 new pairs of jeans amongst other things, I utilized some money to treat myself to some delivery orders, I utilized some money for using Lyft to get from here to there and I enjoyed the earnings. Some people may say I was wrong in doing so and if that's their opinion they have the right to it, but I just wanted to do something a little special for myself and the profits definitely helped me do that. I started out the month with a balance of $481 and I ended it with a balance of $617 with a low point of $294 so the actual bankroll increased over $300 from that low point, so I have no regrets over anything that was spent this month.  

So my total earnings for August counting everything was $728.37.  If we count the money that ManInBlack got as a 50% staker the actual money earned from tournament play alone without considering anything else was over $900.  And that wasn't even a full month since I started out in cash games. Suffice it to say if I were you ever make an attempt at anything else again I should seriously have my head examined.  I can't say why I do well at tournaments and hideously atrocious in cash games. Maybe Michelle is right and my tight strategy it's good for tournaments but horrendous for cash games, but in the end I guess it really doesn't matter. When you find what you're good at do everything you can to utilize that talent and make yourself better. I do know I like the relative safety net that tournaments provide over cash games. I watch the Vlogs of Trooper and Poker Krout not to mention Rayz Rayl and these guys when a bad session can go through 3 or 4 buyins at $300 a pop. You take your typical $125 tournament once you lose, that's it, you're not going to lose any more than that and the return, especially up top, is definitely going to be equal or close to what a cash game player can realistically expect. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter the why, all that matters is doing what you're good at and even more importantly what brings you the most happiness.

So that brings us the first two days in September which has not seen a lot of online poker in fact on the 1st of September I played a couple of live tournaments. I met up with Man in Black to pay him his last $40 that he had coming from August profits and I told him that I was planning on playing the $45 Tournament down at the Luxor at 10:30 a.m.  We talked a bit and decided that we would go in on a 50% deal again for that particular day. He gave me the $40 back plus an extra $5 and with my $45 we decided that I would play two $45 tournaments that day. The 10:30 a.m. at the Luxor and the 3 p.m. at the Golden Nugget.

The tournament at the Luxor only got 10 players and I arrived seven minutes late.  That tournament  would be a one-time thing  because of the fast climbing blind structure, it's not something that I would return for again. There was one guy  to my left who amassed a huge chip lead but did so from calling all-ins with things like Q3s and getting very lucky. The top two were getting paid with first place taking $201 and 2nd Place taking $191 and when it was down to three of us Mr. Chip Leader decides that he would offer a deal we would give $10 to the dealer me and the other guy would get $50 a piece and he would take first place money. Without being completely rude about it we basically told him to take his deal and stick it up his ass. I couldn't tell much about the other guy but I knew I was ten times the player Mr. Chip Leader was. The story gets a little better. The other guy ends up going out with Mr. Chip leader busting him and has about 43,000 in chips to my 7000 and remember second place was getting $109 and first place was getting $201 and he says "well if you just want to call it now I'll give you $110." Yeah, you read that correctly, he offered me an extra dollar. I looked at him with the total of wanting to backhand him across the mouth  of which I am proud to say I resisted that urge and remind him that I was getting $109 for just sitting there. I then said to him "boy I'm going to chop you down like an oak tree." He then says well give me a number so naturally I gave him a number of $150 which I knew he would turn down and that was good with me. We played it out and Mr. Chip Leader and his 43,000 and high-end attitude ended up in 2nd place and I ended up winning it. I tossed the dealer ten bucks and walked out with $191.  I did not cash in the Golden Nugget tourney and finished in 10th out of 35 players so me and Man in Black both ended up with a $50 profit on the day.

Both the tournaments I played in had 5000 chip starting stacks and I had said originally that I did not want to play that type of tournament, but since I plan on playing at Colossus definitely in 2017, and since Colossus starts with 5,000 chips I decided that I should probably best utilize my time between now and then and adding tournaments that have that particular starting chip stack. I know a 35 person tournament has very little to do with the 20,000 + players Colossus will get, but the fact of the matter is that if I am going to play Colossus, which I am, I need to play in as many tournaments as possible that have the same starting chip stack. I'm not thrilled that $45 tournaments almost all come with a 33% juice to it, but as long as you you have an edge over everybody else that's playing the juice become somewhat irrelevant. Yes it takes a few dollars off the top line, but other than that it has little effect certainly nothing that's going to stop me from showing a profit over the long run.

The $5 tournaments on my daily poker schedule are frustrating because although there are 8  potential ones that I can play each day sometimes only 2 end up being played and sometimes none. It is really very irritating because I think I could do very well in these things since they only get 20 to 30 players and if you end up winning it's worth a quick $50 but it sure doesn't help matters if they don't go off as scheduled. The main problem is that these $5 tournaments and even the $10 tournaments are just regular MTTs and rarely seem go off.  They do not have a guaranteed prize pool which is what most players are looking for on WSOP.  although they are on the schedule I am not including them in what my ABI is since so if you go off. By not doing that it's a win-win situation because if one does go off it'll automatically degrees the ABI slightly, but by not including them and the figures showing on higher ABI then what might actually be if I am able to plan wanted to at least $5 tournaments it will help me with my ABI/bankroll management ratio.  Under the current schedule my maximum ABI is $7.06 and beginning play today where I started with a bankroll of $693.88 that gave me a bankroll with 98 ABIs. I'm trying to work that up towards and past 200 I'm trying to work that out towards and past 200 ABIs and then once that is accomplished I can add in or swap out some tournaments and replace them with the $10 Deepstack Rebuys down the road a bit.
I put in a full day today with 15 tournaments planned, but as expected several of the $5 ones did not end up going off and were cancelled. I have five planned days off this month, but am going to be having some shortened days because of doctors appointments. I have appointments on the 7th, 8th, 12th, and 14th interfering in the poker schedule and it's really irritating. However starting next month there should only be 3 main doctors that I will be seeing that being my primary care physician, a pulmonologist, and my pain management doctor so I guess I can put up with 3 a month even if it does interfere with the poker schedule. 

Online tournaments to start September has not gone well so far and I find myself beginning the month in a 1 for 14 slump going 0 for 10 today. Runner Runner flush, bigger pair losing to smaller pair, flush being beat by a larger flush, and the list goes on. Nothing out of the ordinary of any other slump or downswing a person might be in and whether it's tournaments or cash games the same old process remains tried-and-true, you just have to play through it. Fortunately the live profits and the $26 that I earned on the 2nd plus an extra $1 in misc shows me up just under $10 for the month even with the 1 for 14 slump.  There is no one in on the tournament action for September.  ManInBlack was willing, but I declined because if I am going more months just on 50% earnings it will take twice as long to achieve my objectives. 

No poker tomorrow as tomorrow is one of my planned days off, but I will be back at it on Monday. I won't be doing too much extra curricular activities for September and October with the exception of playing some live tournaments if I am showing relatively good earnings as the month progresses, but every extra dollar that I have I am setting aside because I have a friend who I will refer to as "Sherry" coming for a visit in late October and obviously I want to be able to show her a good time and have a lot of fun since it's going to be her first visit to Las Vegas. Depending on how things go in September and the first half of October I may tap the bankroll for a withdrawal just to add some extra cash available during her visit, but we will see how the tournament grind for the next month-and-a-half goes. That's going to wrap this one up for now. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $627.41
Goal:  $5,000
Progress:   12.5%