Monday, November 28, 2016

30 Full Days

First and foremost I hope all of my readers and their friends and their families had a very very very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all had an absolutely great day.

So where do we stand on the half action stake. It began on October 28th so one full month was completed at the conclusion of yesterday's play and at its conclusion the account balance stood at $499.46. All initial investment money has been withdrawn so we are in fact playing on just the profits so there are $499.46 in total earnings going into today. These are some of the highlights that I have been able to accomplish in the first full 30 days.

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $800 Gtd  /  4th of 143 /  $94.14 

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 19 /  $43.22

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  4th of 80 /  $49.53

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  6th of 117 /  $43.69

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  3rd of 64 /  $62.81

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  5th of 86 /  $50.88

$20 KO $500 Gtd  /  4th of 63 /  $127.33 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  5th of 86 /  $50.88

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 23 /  $52.32

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  1st of 78 /  $172.80

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  3rd of 76 /  $65.84

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 34 /  $61.88

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $800 Gtd  /  3rd of 133 /  $101.57 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  1st of 79 /  $178.54

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  2nd of 78 /  $120.66

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $500 Gtd  /  5th of 72 /  $79.67

Total earnings from multi-table tournaments online were approximately $740. All of these earnings were from tournaments that cost from $5 to $6. I must now see how the next month goes because if the next month playing $5 and $6 buy-ins produces similar results then I'm going to have to really think things over about my current goals. I mean if I can make $700 a month playing $5 and $6 buyins, how much will I be able to make when I'm playing the $10 rebuys on a regular basis and would playing online produce more money on a monthly basis then playing A month's worth of $65 tournaments at the Golden Nugget.  

That's something I need to bring you up-to-date on as I've been rethinking the Sam's Town plan because the best blind structure tournament for me in this town that are less than a $120 buyin are without a doubt at the Golden Nugget. However in order to play those I would have to be spending $65 per tournament which would require an additional $1000 in  online earnings to try a month of those, but their slower climbing blind structure are an almost perfect fit for someone with my playing style. Slow, patient, with tempered aggression. An example in the differing blind approach between the two casinos or any other casino for that matter at level 7 a tournament will be at 500/1000 blinds, but at the Golden Nugget you won't hit those 500/1000 blinds until Level 10 not to mention the Golden Nugget has 10,000 starting chips in their $65 tournaments as opposed to the max that I can get over at Sam's Town which is $7500. All of these things have to be taken into consideration when deciding just what live approach I'm going to take. Do I need to grind online until I am rolled for $120 and $240 tournaments as opposed to $65 tournaments. Can I make more in a month online playing $5, $6, $20 tournaments than I can playing $65 tournaments live.  The other question is does it really matter. I mean let's face it I play poker full-time and I live in Las Vegas even if online can produce more earnings there is no way I see myself staying inside on a daily basis grinding online if I could be grinding live. Yes, the money could be important, but it would have to be a substantial significant increase being made online than being made alive in order to keep me inside.

So for all intents and purposes we're at $500 in earnings going into today and $500 is the magic dividing line in my mind. When I began play today and I began my day at 12 noon with the $3 $350 guaranteed deep stack rebuy, if by 6 p.m. I'm showing a profit then I will be playing and start to play the $10 rebuys which will be a $20 total investment. I probably mentioned this before but I approach rebuys in a very unorthodox manner in that I am sure many of my readers will look at this and say are you out of your mind, but I do the initial buy-in and then I do the immediately rebuy to start with a double stack and that is all. I will not do the add-on, and if I get knocked out in the tournament within the rebuy period I do not rebuy any further I just decide that tournament was not for me and I move on to the next one. I know many people are going to criticize this method of doing things, but to me this is what has led to the profits that I have earned thus far. Allowing my opponents to be the ones to build up the prize pool and not myself. 

I am very insistent about this approach and will not change it as I personally feel it is the best approach and I know there's going to be readers that say that I should take the addon but when I was in a half action stake previously with ManInBlack it turned out that the additional cost of the add-on because I was doing the initial entry, rebuy and add-on over I believe it was 20 tournaments  affected our profits by at least $60 and I have come to learn that the initial entry and the immediate rebuy is the absolute best way to go although as I said many will disagree with that I'm sure.

So pretty much I have decided that the Sam's Town tournaments are out even when I hit my monetary goal which will now have to be increased by an additional $1000. I will instead, be grinding live, when the time comes, the $65 tournaments at the Golden Nugget which works out better for me because I love being down on the Fremont Street Experience. Just so many things to do, so many things to see, so many lunatics in and out of that area I love it, but the question is going to be will the $65 at the Golden Nugget provide more or less profits then grinding online especially when I start grinding the $10 tebuys for a total cost of $20 per tournament not to mention as the bankroll rises adding in the $20 deepstack at 4:45 p.m. and the $20 knockout at 9:30 p.m. and potentially the $20 Midnight Madness  in which all of these tournaments could produce hundreds and thousands of dollars in earnings.

I'm on a first things first situation right now. $720 dollars in online MTT earnings in the first 30 days and now we see how much the earnings are going to be over the next 30 days and we also see if I can start grinding the $10 rebuys on a steady basis that will also give us a better view as to what the earnings will be for the second 30 day timeframe if there are any earnings at all. Perhaps I'm ready for a deep cold run who the hell knows. Any poker player reading this, specifically any tournament player reading this entry right now knows the swings that we can go through in tournament play although I'm absolutely convinced they are much less so than cash games but that's a discussion for another time, and quite frankly I'm ready for anything. 

That's going to wrap this one up. Got knocked out early in the $3 deepstack rebuy and am currently playing a small $5 freezeout in which I play usually at least three of these a day.  Assuming the Golden Nugget goal is in fact the way that I'm going to be going  the new monetary goal is up a grand to $4000.  Three grand for the live play plus $1,000 in reserve. Whichever way poker destiny will take me on this I'm going to find out as the days pass, as each session is completed, as each week is done, so in the meantime it's just time to continue the grind. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.  

Bankroll:  $249.73
Goal:  $4000
Progress:  6%

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

25 Days In 40 Days Remain

Things go well, but that is not to say things couldn't be going better. I've made some foolish decisions that have cost us money, but on a good note me and my half action staker ManInBlack at the time both agreed it was worth the try, but deep in my heart I knew better, I should not have done it, but the problem was all I saw was dollar signs in my eyes and it cost us. I accept the majority of the blame since I'm the one that's playing and I'm the one that did have the final decision.

What happened was that when I put my share of our $150 investment from each of us online it so happened that it fell under the fall reload bonus and I certainly knew that I would not be able to clear much bonus simply playing $3 and $5 tournaments. We've tried cash games and ended up taking a small loss over three days but what really cost us was the SNGs. I tried heads up which I quickly learned is nothing more than a luck fest, also 6max PLO8, and I also attempted the $5 Turbo SNGs in an effort to create points to clear the bonus. It was not a pretty sight to behold. 

Non MTT Results

$5 Nine Player Turbo SNGs:  ($21)
PLO8 6 Max SNGs:  ($58)
Heads-Up SNGs:  ($49)
Cash Games:  ($12)

Ouch ($140) in non MTT losses online, another $100 spent in live tournaments but those I do not regret in any way, and we are still at $400 in total profits which means online MTT total earnings from October 28th - November 21st is $640.  

I keep asking myself why? Why is it that everybody in poker says the worst thing that you can play is tournaments, they have the most variance, they aren't the steady money, but yet for me it's completely opposite. Why? Is it my reserved calculating tempered aggressive playing style? Is it the patience that I show in tournament play? Is it the fact that MTTs have  more blind levels in them than SNGs along with my patient playing style is that the answer?  Is that also the reason I do better at the Golden Nugget tournaments live than anyplace else in Las Vegas because coincidentally their blind levels and the slowest rising  meaning they have more blind levels in their tournaments  whereas all the other $65 tournaments may hit blinds of 500/1000 at level 7 at the Golden Nugget that doesn't happen till level 10. Is everybody else wrong and tournaments are really the steady money? Why is it I can take on 79 or 80 opponents and make $640 in less than a month, but I can't take on 8 other opponents in a SNG and actually make money at it. 

Granted MTTs have a more blind levels than SNGs and turbos have never been my most favorite thing in the world giving me only 5 minutes per blind level where the MTTs give me 10, but that doesn't explain online no limit cash games which as any of my readers know I have been nothing less than a disaster in. Even in live no-limit cash games I have not fared very well, my limit games I have done much better but they are variance filled and while I'm fairly certain I've shown a profit in them this year I guarantee you it's not Earth shattering, yet over the long run in live tournaments and online tournaments I make money consistently and according to everybody in the poker industry it's not supposed to be this way, but it is for me. For the life of me I have asked this question over and over and over again until I'm ready to tear my hair out and still I do not have the answer. I can't figure out why circumstances are the way they are. 

Then I tell myself maybe it's not important to find the answer although with my personality that is not usually acceptable to someone like me, however maybe the more important thing is to simply find out what you do well and then do it. I had mentioned to somebody who plays on WSOP and streams on Twitch in the chat area that cash games were not my thing and tournaments were and he indicated he thought I simply needed more practise. Well I tried that to a small extent and over 6,000 hands lost $12.  Some things never change. I'm at the point now where I don't know the answers to these questions I keep posing to myself and quite frankly I'm ready to give up asking. The simple fact is I'm a tournament player and I make money playing tournaments. I've been saying this on and off for all of 2016 and yet for some reason, and I think the main reason being is I don't like to accept failure in anything, but for whatever reason I keep trying to go back and make other things work instead of simply sticking with what does work, what I am very strong in, what can make me hundreds of dollars in a month if I stick to only that and that alone and quite obviously that it is multi-table tournaments.

The original investments have been pulled out and the online account balance sits at $400 so the half action stake is now being played on strictly profits only. Even if I went into a tailspin and hit the worst cold streak I've ever seen we are guaranteed not to lose any of our own money. Pretty much my schedule is playing the $3 deepstack rebuys at 9 a.m. 12 p.m. 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. . They also have $5 freezeouts and usually I will get two or three and even sometimes four of those played a day. When profits hit $500 I will start throwing in a couple of the $20 deepstacks. At $600 stop throwing in some of the $10 rebuys which will cost me $20 per tournament.  

Playing the morning Tournaments has become difficult especially when I'm making a Deep Run in the 7:30 p.m. but there are simply going to be days where I'm just going to have to take the extra sleep and not get my day started till 12. This will be decided on a day-by-day basis.  Tomorrow will be one of those days as I have something I am most likely taking care of in the morning unless it gets delayed until Thursday. Wednesday I have a doctor's appointment so I won't even get started until the afternoon and Thursday is my NPL League night which for this season they have increased it from a 6 week to a 12-week season and when the free tournament comes around in February the top 11 will be getting paid cash as is the usual case, but  the top two spots are getting $2,400 packages which include an entry into Colossus so Thursday night is my league night and I take that whole day off from online poker.

That's going to wrap this one up for now. $400 in earnings thus far, it could be a lot better but I know it could be worse so I will be satisfied with what is, learn from mistakes that have been made, and God help me hoping not to repeat them anytime in the near future or the permanent future for that matter. My goal has been adjusted somewhat going from $2,000 to $3,000 for the simple reason that if I have $2,000 to play A month's worth of tournaments live, I would like an extra $1000 in reserve in case it doesn't work out and that way I would have $1,000 start if I have to grind online again. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $200.44
Goal:  $3000
Progress: 7%

Monday, November 14, 2016

Half Action Stake And Personal Update

The half action stake started on October 28th. When I put my half of the initial deposit online on the 3rd it turned out that there was a reload bonus involved. Obviously wanting to find a way to clear some points to at least get some of the reload cleared ManInBlack and I agreed that obviously since cash games are more or less not an option, that delving into some moderate volume SNGs would be the best way to be able to get the APP points needed to clear the bonus in $10 increments because let's face it, unless you're playing sky-high MTTs on a daily basis it's not going to happen under those circumstances. Throughout my poker playing over the years I have never been what is considered a spectacular SNG player. Back when I used to play on PokerStars my ROI on those things was maybe 7% if I was lucky which is well below what the average SNG player accomplishes. Thus far playing them on WSOP has not been a pretty sight. I tried 6Max PL08, heads up, and 9 man Turbos. I ended up dropping $50 playing SNGs and ended up making about $56 playing the 9 and 2 turbos so that tells you how bad the other ones went, but the SNG play did create $20 in bonus money and will be responsible for half of the next $10 of bonus that is cleared and I might make a few dollars off the SNG leaderboard so when you consider what it generated the losses weren't that bad, but again it was another instance where it seems that by attempting something other than multi-table tournament play the poker Gods seem to be trying to tell me over and over and over again stick to what you're best at. Yesterday I decided to drop all SNG play, I'm not going to worry about clearing the bonus and just do what it is I do best.

So let me tell you just exactly what's the current plans are and how we are approaching this half action stake. I am grinding 6 days a week with my first tournament starting at 8 or 9 in the morning and the last one starting at 7:30 p.m.  I take Thursday's off to play in my NPL league night and ManInBlack and I decided that if I have earned at least $100 each week then we should take $50 of that off of the site and invest it in me playing the 1 p.m. over at Sam's Town on Thursday afternoons. Its a $30 buyin which gets you 3000 starting chips an extra $5 dealer appreciation get you an extra 2000 starting chips, registering my 12:30 gets you an extra 500, and then for an extra $10 you can add 2000 chips to your stack whenever you want as long as it's done within the first hour. You can wait until you're out of chips and then do it or you can do it immediately which is what I always do so I start with a 7500 chip stack. I was able to generate some MTT earnings online and I played it last week. The tournament had 40-something players and I ended up finishing 12th with the top five getting paid. When I got back to the tables on Friday we started with an account balance of $400 so that means we needed an account balance of $500 for me to do it again this upcoming Thursday and after the 4 p.m. win is the $3 deep stack rebuy tournament for $172 we have those earnings. We are also withdrawing part of our initial investment with the idea to be to play on only earnings at some point. We each invested $150 and I will be withdrawing $50 off the site for each of us so that our initial investment is now only $100 per person. Once the initial investment is fully returned to each of us and I'm  playing with only the earnings it means at that point we are simply freerolling for the rest of the year. 

Here is some of the highlights since beginning this on October 28th. I have played 95 multi-table tournament up to this point and earnings and those are just over a $301. Total earnings since October 28th ending action tonight were $251.50. Yes it could be a hell of a lot better, but then again it could be a lot worse too.

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $800 Gtd  /  4th of 143 /  $94.14 

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 19 /  $43.22

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  4th of 80 /  $49.53

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  6th of 117 /  $43.69

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  3rd of 64 /  $62.81

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $400 Gtd  /  5th of 86 /  $50.88

 $20 KO $500 Gtd  /  4th of 63 /  $127.33 

$5 Freezeout  /  1st of 23 /  $52.32

 $3 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd  /  1st of 78 /  $172.80

Now the personal update. I had an eye exam done and the doctor put some drops in my eyes to dilate them so that he could check the health of the eyes. He saw some bleeding in the back of the eyes which if untreated could lead to blindness. This is one of the two things that could happen in my life that would cause me to end my life permanently. The first one is being a quadriplegic where I couldn't even use my arms for breathe on my own and the second one is going blind. I refuse to go through this world not being able to see the beauty of it and if I were to go totally blind I would, without a doubt, end things permanently, but the doctor says it looks like we have caught this early, he has referred me to a retina specialist, and this could all be caused from diabetes which I have been borderline for many many months now, but whatever it takes I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that my eyesight, poor as though it may be, is going to stay with me for a very long time. Keep your fingers crossed for me and anybody who might be religious if you wish to throw a prayer to the big man upstairs for me on this it would be very much appreciated.

That's going to wrap this entry up. I've got my alarm set for 7:30 a.m. so that I can start tomorrow off with the $5 freeze out tournament which gets between 20 to 30 players generally speaking. Hoping to have some more very deep runs and keep this bankroll and these earnings numbers climbing and climbing and climbing. So, until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $225.75
Goal: $2000
Progress:  11%

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Half Action Stake To Finish Off The Year

It was my birthday Wednesday and I turned 49. Had a very very enjoyable birthday. My landlady took me out to lunch, then I played a couple of single table tournaments at the Wednesday night League game, after that I hung out with my friend Michelle who made the absolute best crock pot of homemade chili I've ever had in my life, and the following day spent some time with my buddy Joseph as we were on a blackjack adventure on the Strip. From Harrah's to New York New York over to Tropicana and down to Circus Circus and all in all a very enjoyable couple of days. 

I started out October playing at the live tournaments and then I decided since October was my birthday month that I was going to spend that month having some fun and I took all the money that I had online and offline and decided to have some fun doing whatever hit me at the time. I played blackjack, slots, some live games during the month both cash and tournaments, food and drink at my league games, roulette, and can definitely say I have a very enjoyable month for my special occasion.
So with my account cleared, I was going to put on a small deposit online and get back to grinding tournaments when my buddy Man in Black suggested perhaps we do another 50% half stake. We each put $150 into it for a $300 total investment and after discussion we decided we would finish up the year on a 50% tournament split. He provides half the money, I do the playing, and we split the profits. You will be able to keep track of the progress for the next two months on the right side of the blog. 

Earnings in 2016 could have been better than it has been and I'm the first to admit that if I could keep my mouse off the withdrawal button who knows what stakes I would be playing for online and live and what profits at this point, but I've had a blast this year, and I do not regret any of it however here is a rundown of how January through October has gone.

Total earnings:  $1541.71

The break down is as follows. For this purpose Misc Earnings will refer to bonuses, promotion money, and rakeback.

Misc Earnings:  $697
Home Games:  $120
Casino Earnings:  $585.50
Online SNGs:  $53.73
Online MTTs:  $978.45
1/2 Stake Paid Out:  ($272)
Stake Owed Out:  ($15.43)
Online Cash Games($605.54)

I could spend the rest of this year, on into the next, and the next decade trying to decipher why cash games are not successful for me and tournaments are. Unfortunately I've wasted 10 months trying to do that when in the end the answer is unimportant. Obviously, tournaments are my specialty. They were in 2009 and 2010 when I was ranked in the top 3% of over 1.7 million and 1.9 million online players respectively.  Looking at the numbers for this year it is blatantly obvious where my earnings come from and I should have simply accepted that fact 6 months ago or more, but as is usually the case my stubbornness got the better of me, but that is no more. I no longer care why I do so much better in tournaments than I do in cash games although I do have my theories. 

I believe I excel where the highest degree of skill is required and I firmly believe the highest degree of skill is required for tournaments far more than cash games. If a person has enough money in their pocket they can just rebuy and rebuy and rebuy and rebuy again giving them the ability to try over and over and over again especially in the lower limits online, but in a tournament, you screw up with your stack and you're gone, there are no second chances. Yes, there are rebuys and reentries, but even considering that they are limited to a certain time frame. 

You take your typical live $1/$2 cash game. A typical scenario is someone is dealt a small pocket pair even under the gun such as 44. Typically they're going to toss that $2 in the middle to try to see a flop and usually they will call a raise if someone raises behind them unless the raise is too large, and pretty much this is the way it's going to go probably 95% or more  of the time, but you take that same situation in a tournament and there are multiple scenarios. At times you're going to open shove, times you're going to fold it, times you're going to limp, and there are times you're going to raise and each of these circumstances is going to depend on a variety of factors such as what are the blinds, what is your stack size, where are you in relation to the money bubble, how many big blinds do you have left, and based on that your actions are going to be different in different situations and believe me if you do not know how to react under different circumstances in different situations in a tournament, you might as well just mail your entry fee in as a donation. There's so much more to think about than tossing a couple of dollars into the pot.  I can't tell you how many times that I have heard that tournaments are 50% luck. Bullshit!! That is the biggest crock I've ever heard. You do not maintain a respectable ROI over the long term playing tournaments that last three four and five hours or more if you are relying on 50% luck and anyone that would have the nerve to say that is about 10 beers short of a 12-pack. 

So this half action stake or half action sell off or whatever the hell you want to call it that me and Man In Black are involved in actually got started on October 28th and we'll go from October 28th till December 31st. Hopefully over the two months and 4 days this covers I will be able to make us a respectable amount of money. That is not to say that things have exactly started out like a house on fire. 27 tournaments and only three in the money finishes. The earnings are only $30 and the ROI is 31% which is below expectation for me as in 2016 after 542 tournaments played my current ROI is 45.17% . I know 31% is not horrendous and I also know that the ROI is the bottom line in tournament play, but only finishing in the money 3 times in 27 tells me I am currently running below expectation. The 55 minute $3 Deepstack Rebuys I am running cold as ice in and have gone 0 for 10 and am really struggling in. Been knocked out by opponents hitting 2 outers in at least three of them and runner-runner flush in another three, but that's poker and I know I am overdue for at least a couple deep runs in these soon. The 85 minute $3 Deepstack Rebuys I am 1 for 3 with a fourth-place finish in the $800 guaranteed that was worth a $94 payout, but another area I am running a bit chilled in is the freezeout tournaments in which I have only gone 2 for 13 and am currently losing ($0.44) in these and that is very unusual to say the least. My struggles specifically are coming in the $5 buyins. 

Beginning in November which technically speaking it is now my first tournament of the day starts at 8 a.m. and my last tournament starts at 7:30pm, but if I run deep in that one I will toss in the 11 p.m. $5 NLH freezeout.  I am no longer trying to do this each and every day, 7 days a week and am taking Wednesdays and Thursdays off. Those are the days I play in my NPL League games and also a couple of days a week it gives me the opportunity to sleep late.

The area on the right side of the blog where I keep track of my current bankroll I am only listing 50% of what my actual account balance is because since I am in a 50% stake the remainder belongs to Man in Black so to save time I am only listing the as the current bankroll what actually belongs to me however twice that amount is available for tournament play. When the available balance is $350 I may start tossing in the 930pm $5 Deepstack Rebuy, but that has a habit of not getting the minimum players needed and when the available balance is $400 I am going to start tossing in a $20 Deepstack Freezeout here and there. 

As far as my current goals go the very first one of which is to keep the damn mouse off the withdraw button. I have earned $1,541 this year playing both Casino poker, online poker, and home games and every dime of it got spent. I don't really regret it because I've had a lot of fun this year, but I'm certainly not going to reach my monetary goals by going out, having fun, and spending money. My current monetary goal is $2,000 which will give me a full month's worth of tournaments at Sam's Town and then I will reevaluate after that month is over, see what the earnings are or consequently what the losses are and judge from that point if I need to grind online for a larger starting bankroll or if I can continue on under the current circumstances, but for awhile I will be grinding online again to build up that $2,000.

Well that's a wrap. Only going to get about 4 hours sleep tonight if I'm lucky so it will definitely be a caffeine pill kind of day tomorrow, but will be able to sleep in the following two days. Let's hope I can start running at least to expectation extraordinarily soon. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $165.43
Goal:  $2000
Progress:  8%