First some comment responses.
Kat Martin said:
So your conclusion is that you win in low-buy-in NLHE tournaments which require a lot of skill, and are a consistent loser in NLHE cash games that require far less skill?
Very cute the way you worded that Mr Martin almost like you were setting up a river check-raise, but I will still try my best to answer this. In my opinion no-limit tournaments take far more skill than no-limit cash games with that said I do better in tournaments where more skill is required then and cash games where there is a larger degree of random chance or outright luck.
I think I can best represent my opinion in the following scenario. I would associate it between somebody who handicapps horse races and who also buys scratch tickets. Obviously more skill is required to handicap horse races and there is much more random chance or luck required to win at scratch tickets so it would only be logical to assume that the horse race handicapper is going to do better and get more earnings playing the horse races than he will in buying scratch tickets. As far as I am concerned the same thing goes with no limit Hold'em cash games compared to No Limit Hold'em tournaments. I will not state the same thing when comparing No Limit Hold'em tournaments to the Limit cash games as these are completely different scenarios.
You utilize the term low buyin and I don't know exactly what your dividing line is between low buyin, medium buy-in and high stakes is for tournaments. the highest that I have played live consistently is $65, but it is pretty much immaterial because no matter what the buy-in is when it comes to tournaments whether they are live or online I will be successful over the long run and of this there is absolutely no question.
Kat Martin's questions are fair and on point. Flushdraw can play whichever game he is best at, but if he is going to make his analysis of poker games public in his blog, then he should be prepared (and in fact welcome) challenges to his assertions. They can always agree to disagree.
FWIW, I agree with Kat's question, and on the issue of variance. However, things are relative. I believe a good cash game player is going to experience much lower variance than a good tournament player. But all tournaments are not created equally. For tournament players, variance is going to be affected by the blind structure+starting stack, the payout structure, field size, field toughness and overall opponents style, and player style/competence. I think when you combine small field size, easy competition, and relatively small sample size of 700 tournaments, one can be led to an questionable conclusion.
I think that you know by now that I do invite commentary and debate. I agree with most of what you said, but I do not feel over 700, and in fact as of this posting over 750 tournaments is a relatively small sample size. I completely agree with you that tournament variance is going to be based on a combination of field size, competition, blind structure, and so forth and I especially think that blind structure is everything in tournaments at least it is for me because of my playing style the longer the blind levels and in some ways even more importantly the more blind levels in the structure the better. This is why I gravitate more towards the Golden Nugget tournaments when I am playing live because they have the best blind structure in all of Las Vegas for the $65 price range.
You say you agree with Kat Martin in that variance is going to be bigger for a successful tournament player rather than it will be for a successful cash game player. Allow me to illustrate my point of view in simple dollars and cents. In one of Andrew Neeme vlogs he said a $1/$2 player can expect a $4,000 downswing at some point. For that same $65 tournament player who I believe will make similar earnings if not better than that $1/$2 cash game player to experience the equivelant the $65 tournament player would be taking a downswing of over 61 buyins!!! I am here to tell you right now that a successful live tournament player playing $65 tournaments in this town where they face at most four tables, less than 40 players is in no way ever going to lose 61 buyins. For a successful tournament player even with the lowest of our allies it is practically a mathematical impossibility yet according to Andrew la $4,000 downswing for a cash player should be expected and I do have a lot of respect for that young man so I will take what he says on face value as truth and fact . When you look at it side by side there is no question that cash game players experience more variance then a tournament player under the hypothetical circumstances that I have set forth.
Now let me be very plain and clear that if that tournament player is playing in consistent fields that are a hundred players or more than that could be an entirely different situation, but even under that circumstance if we were to agree that tournaments have more variance in them than the cash games under those circumstances the tournament player playing in those tournaments which we are now probably talking $120 and $240 buyins is going to make a hell of a lot more money over the long run than that cash game player could ever hope to.
Now on to the half action stake. ManInBlack and I decided to end it a little earlier than originally planned with the holidays coming up it seemed like a good time to cash out the earnings that I was able to accumulate. I am happy to say that during these last 6 weeks or so I was able to accumulate a grand total of just over $746 in earnings which broken down was $373.11 for each of us. Had I not attempted SNGs or online cash games or made the attempt at the two live tournaments those earnings would have been $1,000, but live and learn. $746 is still a respectable outcome.
So at this point I owe my bankroll $50 which will be paid at the beginning of January and my current available bankroll is $323 and I am now on my own with no stake involved. I will be playing 4 tournaments a day with this bankroll that being the $3 deepstack rebuy tournaments which cost me $6 each for a total daily investment of $24. When I get that bankroll up over $600 I will then return to the $10 Deepstack Rebuys in which during the course of the half action stake I ended up finishing in the money in three of them and am showing a decent profit in them.
What will happen in January is still up in the air. ManInBlack and I may in fact do another half action stake if we each have a similar amount of money to put into this. I'm thinking that if I can work my $323 up to $500 and if ManInBlack could provide the same we could start a half action stake with $1,000 upfront where the $10 rebuys would be a daily staple also too would be the Saturday $25 Super Deepstack Freezeout and possibly the Sunday $50 $3,500 Guaranteed Freezeout but we will see just what each of our financial situations are in January.
I took the day off from poker today and was planning to do the same tomorrow but quite frankly I may end up playing tomorrow late afternoon or early evening. I have to see two doctors tomorrow. One is a 10:45 appointment and one is a 1:40 appointment both in the same office so I'm going to be stuck over there for a while. Second appointment will be to discuss that sleep study that I had where I stopped breathing 68 times in the first hour and I'm sure that doctor is going to want to get me set up with a machine at home. I believe they call them Cpaps. Hopefully I'll be able to get in at least one tournament and possibly two depending what time I get back.
I wasn't sure if I was going to relay this but I have now gone three full days without any cigarettes however it should be noted that I have not gone without nicotine. I made the switch over to the Vape system 3m5 days ago the first day along with the Vape I had approximately 6 or 7 cigarettes, the second day I only had three cigarettes and for the last 3 days I have had absolutely none. Some people may look at this as not really giving up a lot since I am still inhaling nicotine in the Vape system, but the Vape system, and this is according to WebMD, is probably 80% to 85% safer than smoking cigarettes. I am utilizing the juice that you add to these Vape things that is 12 milligrams of nicotine and that is actually even less nicotine than the Step 2 of the nicotine patches and I've been getting through this very well. I do not at all plan to be on the Vape system for the rest of my life and to me this is simply a tool to the ultimate goal of at some point being nicotine free. From the 12 milligram juice that you buy for The Vape system I will then cut down to 6 milligrams and then hopefully be able to be off of it permanently at some point. The only question I have is how long should I utilize the 12 milligrams before I cut down to 6 and that I am not quite sure of yet.
That's going to wrap this entry up. Hopefully I will be back on the tournaments for at least a couple of tournaments tomorrow and if not it will be a full day of all 4 on Saturday and beyond. So until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.