Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Live Play Suspnded In The Middle of November Will Resume In December

On Thursday November 16th, I made the realization that I needed to suspend my live play and return to online temporarily. The fact that I was running cold had nothing to do with it because with the performance that I had in the end of October I was still a few hundred dollars up on my live play at Sam's Town, but the evening of the 16th things got so bad, physically speaking, I could barely take 6 steps, before I could walk no more. Then maybe take another six or eight steps and have to sit down. It actually felt like my body was quitting on me.

I had a pocket full of cash, but I got in touch with my friend Michelle better known as @9ontheturn on Twitter and asked her to lend me a quick $20 via PayPal so that I could get Lyft home. If she was unavailable or wasn't able to do so I would have paid the nearly $30 for a cab because at that point it would have been a physical impossibility for me to make it home without collapsing and consequently ending up in an ambulance and inside an emergency room. Fortunately she was available and was able to help me out and I made it home. 

Overall for October and November I ended up going 5 for 16, for 31% in the money. November was a $27 loss for me personally, but October, although I didn't write it down and I should have, was about $500 for my share in earnings.  Most of this money got spent on having fun, eating at the casino, a couple of dates with a lady friend of mine, delivery orders, tips, food runs on the way home, in other words everything that a low limit, under bankrolled poker player should not be doing. 

Since I was in a poker business partnership for poker with ManInBlack for the month of November, we decided to continue this online. We each threw in $132 and set me to task at the $3 deepstack rebuys with more money to be added later to finish off the month if it was needed.  I ended up making each of us about $125 in profits and as December approached absolutely disliking online play, running somewhat cold as it was, I decided that I wanted to get back to the live game, but could I do it without my body wanting to quit on me once again. I think I can and I think I've come up with a plan that just may work.

First let's talk money. It looks like I will be getting one more month of the higher disability amount before my medical expenses will be increased, so the minimum that I will have to start up December will be $600 for poker. I am working on a couple of angles where that could be increased by an additional $200. So let's assume that it's going to be the $600. I've got two choices. $600 is 15 buyins at Sam's Town or it is 8 buyins with $40 legt over at the Golden Nugget. The Golden Nugget has the better structure, but the tournaments are $30 more each.  I think there's no real question about this as I need to give myself the most chances at making money and I also have learned some lessons and when I start playing live again in December there are several things that are going to be changing not because I want them to, but because they have to if I want to have any hope at pulling this miracle off and maintaining a live bankroll.

Slot machines are out of the question. So are video poker machines, sports betting, horse racing, $3 blackjack tables or anything else that you can think of that can tempt somebody at a casino.  Food costs need to be kept way down and since I generally bring a backpack with me there is no reason in the world that when I go shopping for my monthly food trip on Friday, that I cannot purchase things that I can snack on while playing a tournament or on the way home or during a break. Fruit bars, granola bars, packages of peanut butter or cheese crackers, things of that nature jump to mind. They do not need to be kept refrigerated and they are easily carried in a backpack and are very lightweight.  The $600 or $800 or whatever hundred dollars that may fall somewhere in the middle needs to be dedicated exclusively to poker and poker only. Not stopping off at Subway on the way home, not eating at buffets or delis inside Sam's Town even though the prices are extraordinarily reasonable, this is not what the struggling poker player needs to be doing with the money. I needs to be dedicating it to poker and poker only.

Now let's discuss the changes that are going to be made so that I do not run into a body collapse moment where everything feels like it's just shutting down. First of all what caused this?? Well obviously the physical issues that I have going on that I've discussed previously like the back problems, not to mention the knee problems. The shoulder problem is not too bad since I'm on cortisone. I think what caused it in November was the fact that I was trying to pull several tournament doubleheaders during the week, definitely not getting enough sleep, and even though I was taking a significant break in between the tournaments it was just too much for the body and my overall system to handle.

What's going to change is that at least until I am able to get to the pain management clinic, what I'm going to do is I'm going to stick with playing a single tournament at Sam's town when I do play and it's going to be the 7 p.m., the tournament was the additional blind level in the structure. I figure I need to give myself a day off after 2 days of playing. A schedule I'm leaning towards is play on Sunday and Monday, take Tuesday off, play Wednesday and Thursday, and take Friday and Saturday off. I don't particularly care for the Friday night tournament and the Saturday tournament is highet priced anyway so it's no great loss.

I think this kind of plan will allow me to get all the sleep I want since I won't have to leave until about 5 in the afternoon and the most amount of time that I will be there will be 6 hours maximum. Not to mention since I will be starting with the 15 buy-ins for the 7 p.m. tournament, that means that with a schedule like this I will be able to play most of December even if I go through a horrendous cold run. I'm hoping the Poker Gods treat me well. I'm not looking for anything special I'm just looking to run to expectation.  My expectation is 3 or 4 cashes in the first 15 tournaments played. The month of December I will also be running solo on this as I will not be selling any half action into these tournaments.

Well that's going to wrap this entry up. Hopefully with the schedule I've come up with and with the lessons that I hopefully have learned I'm hoping to have a prosperous and profitable December. December will be a testing ground. If this schedule proves doable during then perhaps I can toss in a double-header here and there in January, or perhaps I can add in an afternoon Saturday tournament, but this time I'm going to take it slow and easy and for December I will stick to the schedule that I have come up with to the best of my ability. I will be keeping track of everything on my poker bankroll income app that I have on my phone. I have the full version I spent 10 bucks for the damn thing about 2 years ago or something like that so I will be able to keep track of everything. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The November Live Grind Week 1 Complete The First 6

November started off on a real positive note when I chopped the first tournament that I played in heads up for a total return of $370 in which $185 of that went to me. Unfortunately the next five tournaments did not go exactly according to plan. I would say in two of them I made some errors and then the other two I believe I played as close to perfect as a human being can and it just was not to be.

The main problem with poker players in general is that we are all human beings and unfortunately human beings will make errors from time to time. They will let emotion take hold of them, they will make calls that they probably shouldn't and in two of those tournaments I did just that. The first one happened Sunday night after the Sunday afternoon cash. Right before the first break in fact the last hand before the first break.  Blinds were 100-200. I saw a flop with a QTs and this young kid who had been pretty aggressive had limped in as well.  I guess somebody could say that I should have raised with my QTs  but that is not a particular hand that I find a lot of comfort in raising especially in middle position with limpers already in. Maybe I'm wrong on that and I welcome any comments to that effect, but for better or for worse it's just not a hand I'd like to raise with unless I am in late position and it has folded to me then of course it is a hand that I'm going to try to steal the blinds with. However, I digress. The Flop was KTT and Mr. Young and Aggro jams for his last three thousand chips. I obviously snap call and little Mister aggro hits a king on the river as he had limped in with K3o. Yes, you read that correctly K3o. When we came back from break I put a target on his head. Obviously  that's letting emotion get in the way of Poker and I ended up all in with him with an ace queen vs. Jack Jack in a situation that was not called for.

In one of the other six tournaments that I played I found myself getting in the habit of calling flop bets when I was flopping second or third pair and not immediately believing my opponent when he bet, but in each of the cases that I did so it was against a older gentleman, late sixties or early seventies, and from what I can tell thus far these guys in that age range, if they bet they've got at least top pair. There are exceptions of course, but in each of the occasions, because the opponent that did lead out ended up showing down against another opponent they in fact did have top pair or better. I wasn't calling the turn bets but when you are spending chips foolishly even a smaller flop bet, that is simply chips that you do not have in your arsenal.

As for the other three tournaments I have just been on a cold snap of late. Flush draws are not hitting, I think I've had KK once in the last five tournaments to be honest and maybe QQ another time. I flopped only two sets and one of them couldn't even get  any money  from other players  as nobody had anything. It's just been that kind of a somewhat chilled run.

This was only the first week and I've only played 6 tournaments so no one give me a hard time about what the hourly says right now. That is of no concern to me because to be quite honest I'm just having a lot of fun and I am totally enjoying myself playing live tournaments getting out a few days a week and just doing what I want to be doing.

So what did the first week tell me. First of all, if I play a doubleheader and in this case playing both the 1 p.m. in the 7 p.m. tournament, I definitely need the next day off to recoup because after all those hours I definitely need the next day to rest and heal up my tortured lower back not to mention the knees. During the first week except for Tuesday where I had a meet up with some people, including Chris Abramski, Luke Johnston, and a couple other guys, I have been playing the 1 p.m. tournament which is the single rebuy with the one less blind level, and if I cash I would play the night one. I decided that might not be the best approach.

Since there is a variation to the two tournaments  specifically speaking the extra blind level and the fact that the 7 p.m. is a reentry and not a single rebuy, if I limit myself to just the 1 p.m. it could be a possibility that the 7 p.m. might have gone better if I had played both of them. So going into week to what I'm going to be doing is when I play at Sam's Town it is going to be both of the tournaments each day I play. I am planning on playing on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, taking Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday off.

ManInBlack and I have reinvested the small profit that that we have made thus far and we have 14 tournaments left for our investment. Up $57 each so far and we have tossed that back in. Originally the $675 that we came up with between the two of us was for 15 tournaments. I have played 6 so that left 9 remaining, however we have reinvested the earnings that came from the very first tournament I played and we now have 14 tournaments left in which six will be played each week and possibly 7 as I might toss in the 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Saturday night is there Higher by in tournament so they're definitely at this point I would not be playing that. The 1 p.m. on Saturday will only be played if we're showing  decent earnings in week 2 as Saturday is the last day of the week since I started playing tournaments on Sunday the 5th so the week runs like a normal week does according to a calendar, Sunday through Saturday.

So that's a wrap up for this entry. Only $57 made this week, but that's the way tournaments are. I could make hundreds of dollars this week or I could lose everyone we just have to see how long this little coat snap less and the only way to get through it is play through it. I will report back in at the end of the week to let you know how it went and as always I and posting some updates on Twitter from time to time. So until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll $394.50

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Half Action Sale For November And It Begins Tomorrow

After a couple of days of figuring the ins and outs of the potential and possibilities ManInBlack and I decided to go in on a half action sale for my tournaments played at Sam's Town beginning tomorrow.  Selling half action has both advantages and disadvantages and it needed to be thought out before I had made any decisions.  The first and foremost obvious realization is that any earnings that I make I would only be getting half of it. If I chop for $300 instead of that $300 being added to my bankroll it would only be $150. However, this has to be balanced with the fact that it is only costing me half price to get into these tournaments. It's a balance scale and as long as the scale balances evenly I believe it's definitely worth it. Not only that it gives me the opportunity to possibly make some money for my best friend and what could be better than that.  I also did not have to come up with $450 to start my bankroll and instead was able to do so with just $337.50.

I warned him from the very get-go that since I had been running rather warm lately I could enter the tournament ice age at any second  and I did not want any hard feelings were that to happen. He kind of looked at me, shook his head slightly, and gave me the look that Joe gives me when I have said something that he finds completely ridiculous and pretty much the message to me was "You know better than that"

Since he wanted to get in on half action I decided that I was going to attempt to play Sunday through Thursday and I decided I would not, under those circumstances, be playing in the Nevada Poker League after all. If I'm able to play five straight days in a row, which I fully admit is in question, I will be taking Fridays and Saturdays off to rest up what will undoubtedly be my aching body and what will feel like an absolutely broken lower back. I will be playing the 1 p.m. tournament and if I cash in it then I will stick around for the 7 pm. I can absolutely guarantee you if I play two tournaments at Sam's Town in a single day I will require the next day off and of this I have almost no question. 

I am the first to admit that five days a week and playing five days in a row even I only play a single tournament a day is not something I'm even sure I'm going to be able to do and I warned ManInBlack about this from the very get-go so he is fully informed that this may or may not be possible. Right now our main plan is for me to play 15-20 tournaments in the month of November as there will be a couple of days that I have to take out due to medical type appointments including getting my glucose tolerance test which I am not looking forward to hanging around that lab for 4 hours, but I got to do what I got to do. The aspect of playing live poker to what to many would be on a full-time basis thrills me beyond words, but I have got to make sure I don't push myself to the extreme or overdo it just because I don't want to miss a day. I will have to listen to my body and do what it wants me to do not necessarily what I want to do.

I don't know what the final answers will be the only thing I do know is I am definitely playing the 1 p.m. tomorrow and I am playing two tournaments on Tuesday as Chris Abramski tagged me in a tweet that he and his friend who is visiting will be playing at Sam's Town at 7 p.m. on Tuesday so I will definitely make sure I pull a double header that day.

Speaking of Chris a shout out of congratulations to him and his Houston Astros winning the World Series. Being a lifelong Red Sox fan and a die-hard fanatic even back during the years where it was disappointment after disappointment, but we fans never gave up, I know what it's like to root for a team and I know that feeling when they win it for the first time. Enjoy it Chris, because even though we just may be fans of the sports team, you will always remember that feeling of the first World Series ring seen for your team in your lifetime.

Had a date or a meet up with a friend of mine yesterday. I called it a meetup she called it a date, but no matter how you look at it we had a lot of fun. I took her to the Friday night seafood buffet which we both absolutely loved. It's been years since I ate that much Dungeness crab and every bite was like being in heaven. We played some slot machines, I taught her how to play Blackjack at the tables and overall we both had an absolutely great time. There is definitely nothing romantic that will come from this as I would not want to do anything that could spoil a friendship. Not to mention I'm really not looking for a relationship. Since my wife passed away I've had about 9 of them and for whatever reason none of them ever worked out for the long-term with the exception of my former and now late fiance and I ended up leaving that relationship. The way I look at it I had 12 of the best years of my life with the best woman in the world and if that's all I get that will be more than enough for me. Oh I know people will say well you just haven't met the right person yet, but with the medical stuff that I got going on I am not actively searching and I just hope that she looks at it the same way because it's a little awkward if one person wants something further and the other one doesn't so let's keep our fingers crossed that that is not the case here.

That's going to wrap this one up. Heading out for Sam's Town tomorrow morning to get there around noon so that I make sure I register by 12:30 in which you get an extra 500 chips. I know 500 chips doesn't seem like a lot, but in tournament poker every chip is another piece of ammunition and I refuse to give up one chip if I don't have to. As I am playing these tournaments at Sam's Town I will be tweeting updates for anyone that is interested. So, until next time friends and readers, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $337.50

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The New Road To Tomorrow

November has arrived and I am preparing myself for what will be my somewhat full-time live grind. I am excited about the prospects and definitely looking forward to what will be me getting out in the fresh air more and more and more. I understand my physical limitations and realize that I'm not going to be able to do this 7 days a week, week after week, as much as I would like to be able to, but even at that it's going to be so much more healthy for me, at least I believe, to be out there interacting with people, socializing with other human beings, and generally speaking moving around getting some exercise albeit I can't do much and even though I have to take a lot of rests after walking just a little bit, I still get from point A to point B I'm just slower than everybody else. I think the most important aspect about all of this is I am going to be a much much happier individual and feel like I'm actually living life instead of just going from day to day.

I did have a sad realization however.  I mean I knew it was coming, but you kind of try to avoid these things, but it is here and I couldn't stop it because if I had stopped it I would be dead and what fun would that be. I mean that would seriously interfere with the grind right, but now that I have turned 50 I qualify to play in, God help me....... seniors events. Please excuse me while I stick my head in the oven and turn it on lol.

It cannot be overstated that this live tournament play may not last long this month for I will be starting out with a bankroll of $400-$450, but that exact amount is not yet known.  Even if it is the higher amount of $450 I am looking at exactly 10 buyins and not a buyin more. I should actually have $630 left over after all bills and miscellaneous are taken care of, but I have the meet up with that friend that I mentioned who I will call "Stacey" I call it a meet up she calls it a date so whatever. I am unable to drive because of my vision and she does not drive either and like myself utilizes public transportation to get around, but I told her that was not happening I would be sending a car by for her. That sounds a little more polished than it really is as I'm going to send Lyft to pick her up and take her to where we are meeting and then I will send her home the same way. I'm old school when it comes to these things and as far as I'm concerned a gentleman would do no less. I'm setting aside $140 which I'm hoping will be enough for dinner which I already know will cost around $50 and a movie with all the fun fixings like popcorn drinks candy that sort of thing.  I already know the Lyft will be about $25 in total and dinner is going to be about $50.  I have not been out to see a movie in several years so I may be a little out of touch with the prices of things, but I got to figure $65 is enough for 2 people to see a movie together, but if I run a little short no worries I will have extra money in reserve it will just be deducted off my starting bankroll amount. I'm also planning on meeting up with another friend for lunch this month so I'm going to need some money set aside for that and I figure $40 ought to cover it. So if my figures are correct the starting bankroll will be $450 as I am taking every last dime remaining and putting it towards the November live tournament grind.

I was planning on getting my new eyeglasses this month, and my insurance will cover the eye exam which I have an appointment for that on the 7th. The place I'm going to is offering two pairs of glasses for $79. So roughly speaking the glasses would cost me $40 as my insurance will cover $37 of it, but that's going to be the standard and not any anti-scratch or any enhancements so I'm putting the actual eyeglasses purchase off until December.

I will be making Sam's Town my home casino to start out with for they have least expensive tournaments with a relatively decent blind structure to them for the price. Don't get me wrong it's a far cry from the structure the Golden Nugget offers, but I have cashed in three out of my last four played there and although I do not by any stretch of the imagination believe that I can continue results like that, it does show that the structure is not so contra profitable for me that I can't make money doing it.

They have two tournaments a day I can play from Sunday through Thursday. The first is the 1 p.m. $35 plus $10 single add-on or rebuy whichever term you prefer which you can take immediately as soon as you sit down before the first hand is dealt for a total cost of $45 which I always do when I play this one. This one runs 7 days a week. The 7 p.m. tournament can be played Sunday through Thursday as on Friday they have their rebuy tournament which you only start with 30 big blinds and I really have no interest in that one and Saturday they have a higher buyin tournament for their 7 p.m. offering. The 7 p.m. tournament adds an extra blind level of 400-800 which I feel is better for me, but two out of the three cashes that I have had have been in the 1 p.m. tournament so go figure. What I decided to do was to play the 1 p.m. offering and if I make money in it and cash then allow myself to also play the 7 p.m. depending on how I am feeling. Those poker chairs do a number on my back to say the very least not to mention the hips and the knees and anything else you might be able to think of. However, if I go about it in this manner that guarantees me 10 playing days in the month of November and it will be more unless I go 0 for my first 10.

Obviously I want to stretch this live play out to get me throughout the month as much as possible so to that end as I had stated in a previous post I am going to get back involved with the Nevada Poker League which is the free bar League that holds a $5,000 freeroll every 8 or 12 weeks. You go to the bar and you play three single-table tournaments and every time you finish first place this gives you a thousand starting chips for that end of the season freeroll every time you finish second place it's worth 500 chips and every third place finishes worth 250 chips the most chips that you can earn as a starting stack for the big tournament is 25,000. The next big tournament is the beginning of January so I will have the rest of November and most of December to see how many starting chips I can accumulate.

Now let's talk a schedule and unfortunately I do have to be reasonable about it which kind of sucks because who wants to be reasonable. The fact of the matter is I can be out and about at most 3 days in a row and after that I am going to need a minimum of a full day of rest and recuperation and then I can get back at it again. The league game is on Thursday and Friday so doing both of those I can then take Saturday off. I figure I can play Sam's Town on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesdays, take Wednesday off, play my league nights Thursday and Friday, take Saturday off, wash, rinse, and repeat. I wish I had the physical wherewithal to play Sam's Town 7 days a week, but I know I don't and quite frankly with only 10 buyins this guarantees me three full weeks of tournaments. Granted I'm only playing 3 days a week, but the idea here is to be getting out enjoying life and hopefully making money in the process and the more I can stretch that out the better for me.

Sunday:  Sam's Town
Monday:  Sam's Town
Tuesday:  Sam's Town
Wednesday:  Day off
Thursday:  League Game
Friday:  League Game
Saturday:  Day off

Money is going to be tight starting out. Hopefully I start having some earnings which will make money less tight and I can actually pay for expenses out of the poker bankroll, but that is not the way it is to start. To start out with I'm going to have to have some seriously strict discipline. No playing horses in the Sportsbook, no Sports bets, no slot machines, no video poker, because when it comes down to it I'll have to ask myself is this $40 that I could end up spending worth giving up a buyin to a tournament that could return me hundreds of dollars and the answer would obviously be absolutely not.

Now, let's talk about December. Depending on how things go I could have $600 available to me in December. That is the month of Christmas but there's only a couple of people I buy for so I'm good there. It is all going to depend whether or not the state of Nevada stops paying for all the medical things that they cover at the end of November or the end of December. Right now that is truly up in the air which one it will be. You would think that they would end things as fast as possible, but after talking to a representative I found out that is in fact not the case, but we will see what happens. If it is the end of November that I will have $300 a month left over to be able to add the bankroll, but of course I am hoping that I'm not going to have to add any more money and that I can start out on a good positive note with some good positive results.

That's going to wrap this one up . My first tournament will be Sunday the 5th. I am so looking forward to this I cannot wait to get at it. Till next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Big 5-0

On October 26th I celebrated my 50th birthday. I had been dreading the approach of it as I just do not like birthdays that have zeros in them and to be quite honest I usually let my birthday come and go with no fanfare and just kind of keep it to myself with a quiet night at home. I had planned the very same thing on this particular birthday as well, but ManInBlack decided that was not going to be the case.

Although Joe had already given me a birthday present earlier in the month he decided that I was playing poker on my birthday. Now he didn't care if I went and played my league game at the sports bar or if I went to Sam's Town, but one way or another I was going to be doing something I really enjoyed on my birthday and that was playing poker. Since it was my birthday he was not going to allow me to take a bus anywhere and decided that he would be sending me via Uber to and from. I did not have any money, I think like $7 in my wallet since it's the end of the month which that's typical for me, so Joe said well if you want to play at Sam's Town this is what we'll do. We'll each go in for 50% $20 each I will give you my $20 and then I will lend you your $20 and then we can split anything you make 50/50. Obviously this is an offer I am not going to easily refuse anytime soon so off to Sam's Town I would go.

I was chit-chatting with Alysia Chang on Twitter and I happened to mention that I was going to be playing at Sam's Town that night and would probably have a birthday drink or two and when she realized it was my birthday she said oh I am totally there and although she is used to significantly higher quality tournaments shall we say, because it was my birthday she came all the way down to Sam's Town so that we could play in the tournament together which I thought was totally awesome. She also brought me a fantastic birthday gift which I absolutely love. She brought me a book called The LIve Poker Players Journal Black Edition and inside on each page you can jot down the  individual hand history in whatever game you're playing. She had warned me she was bringing me a birthday gift and I told her it was completely unnecessary, but this is Alysia Chang we're dealing with and if she wants to do something she does it there's no stopping that little hurricane and I was so thankful and thought that her gift was just so totally cool and awesome considering I start my exclusive live play, as much as I can that is with available funds, in November.

At Sam's Town you are not assigned a seat you actually pick a seat. They have cards spread out for each table position on each table they're going to have so I selected table 3 seat 10 and although I had not told Alysia  which table I was on she also ended up picking table 3 herself. Although we had once played and the Friday night Orleans tournament at the same time we had never played at the same table before so this was the first time I was able to see what the incomparable Miss Chang was like at a poker table.

Let me tell you something about Alysia Chang at a poker table. The woman is so lively if there was a sudden electrical power loss she could light up the table with her glow. She is funny, outgoing, lively, and a total smart ass, all things that are great to have in this world. I was having so much fun as we bantered back and forth at times like in one incident where when the dealer had jokingly said something about that it was going to cost her more chips than was really required and Alysia looked at the dealer and said "Well I'm color-blind so I'm putting out 2 green chips." and without missing a beat I looked over at her and I said "If you're color-blind how do you know they're green" lmao. It was this kind of jocularity and a lot of laughter which started this tournament out just on a great great note and quite frankly I was having a blast. When I had my first birthday drink of the evening, my beloved Colorado Bulldog, she tried to get the entire table to order Colorado Bulldogs just because I was getting one and although a couple of people did that was not enough so she decided that she had to not only get our table, not only get the table next to us, but the entire poker room singing Happy Birthday to me. I heard them singing it 4 tables away lol. I am sure I turned 50 shades of red and wanted to crawl under the poker table. I told her I would totally get her for that, but confidentially I actually loved every second of it because it was just a funny thing for her to do. I mean most people might get two or three people to get singing, but not Alysia, she gets the whole room going!!

The tournament was the 7 p.m. one so there is an additional blind level as compared to the 1 p.m. that they hold on a daily basis. Very early on I get dealt pocket aces and I raised to 1200 with blinds of 200/400 and get about four or five callers in the process. The Flop was King King 10 I think was the third card with two diamonds. With this many people and that flop I know it's going to be trouble. Bottom line is somebody had a king 3 I believe it was and ended up winning but it only cost me an additional 500 chips post-flop because there was no way I was going to get over rambunctious with the pocket aces on that board.

For 7 solid levels I was virtually card dead with a few exceptions here and there. In one hand I had limped in late position with a 46s and it got checked around the flop. I turned a flush draw and completely missed when a king hit on the river and when the other two opponents checked I fired out 1500 with 6 high and took it down. I never ever show Bluffs or show my cards generally speaking unless I have quads, but on this occasion I showed the bluff. It's probably like one time in a thousand that will happen, but I figured well first of all Alysia was at my table so I kind of did it for that reason because I had a friend there, but I also knew that the next time I bet on the river I would have the goods and might get an easier call of course that would call for actually having cards and having a hand to bet on the river. Three levels and a break and then four levels and a break and it's just a slow bleed.

The table broke and Alysia got sent to one table and I got sent to another. I was in the big blind and look at 67 suited. I had already posted the big blind of 1000 with only 5 bigs left in my stack. A guy who had been somewhat aggressive raises to 3000 and another calls and with 5 bigs in the big blind and a suited connector this is a no-brainer to me and I shove for my last 5400. Both of the players ended up calling and I flop a flush draw. The original raiser bets the flop and gets the cold caller out of the hand and the original raiser turns over JJ. There was I believe an ace on the turn and then a spade hit the river which tripled me up to over 18,000.
After that things generally moved in a positive direction.

There were 53 players in this and the top five were getting paid. We reach the final table and we were down to eight handed when somebody spoke up and asked about saving the bubble or possibly bubbles. There was a middle eastern guy in seat 10 and before anything could be discussed he immediately says no.  I leaned over to the woman directly to my right and said to her "if tradition holds he'll be the next one knocked out."  He was an aggressive type of poker player but he limited his aggression to post-flop play rather than pre-flop and then had this habit of either jamming or betting large amounts on the flop in comparison to the pot. We were still 8 handed when I got dealt pocket kings and decided to set a trap targeting specifically him. I was in late position with about 24,000 chips in my stack with blinds of 1000/2000 and I limped with pocket kings. This is something that I have done many many many many times online and it works to perfection a solid 80% of the time. There are a few people out there that do vlogs that seem to think that this is something that was only done in the 90s and not done or should not be done in today's day and age but I beg to differ with them. When something works 8 out of 10 times you do it, I don't care what year it is. If you want to call me old-school I'm fine with that as to me that's a badge of honor, but the fact of the matter is I will continue to set those traps, but obviously not every time.

Nobody raised after me in the blinds which I expected  and obviously no matter what that flop is, provided there's not an ace on it, I am going to be jamming, and perhaps even if there is an ace on the Flop depending on what the immediate post-op action would be, but be that as it may the flop came out 69X and as was not totally unexpected seat 10 who was in early position in this hand immediately goes all in and he definitely had me covered. I said to the table "well I hope I didn't just get caught in my own trap and I call and show the Kings and seat 10 shows 78 an open ended straight draw. I dodged and doubled up to a shade above 50000 and was in about 3rd or 4th chips at that point. This hand instantly put seat 10 on tilt.

For the next 6 or 7 hands he switched his mode and all of a sudden he was jamming preflop at one point three times in a row and one of the hands that he had to show was QJs so apparently as long as he had a couple of Broadway's he was good with it. He doubled up once then lost a good portion of his stack and as I whispered it to the lady to my right he was indeed the next one to get knocked out. Once that happened the remaining seven of us immediately agreed to set aside $50 each for the 6th and 7th place finisher taking this from first and second place money. Good riddance Mr. Cheapskate Aggro see you wouldn't want to be you and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Now here's where it comes into play that I could have been the next one knocked out because they immediately start talking about chopping it seven ways, but let's be reasonable about this. At this point I've got a stack of $5,000 chips a foot high.  I looked to my left and one guy has only two 5,000 dollar chips another guy has three dollar 5,000 chips I immediately shook my head no to the dealer and said to the table not at this time which indicated that I would be open to a chop later on so and that I wasn't being a total ass but there was no way I was chopping seven ways evenly when somebody has 1200 in their stack and blinds are 2000-4000. I know poker traditional holds the guy who refuses to chop gets knocked out but I just felt a chop was completely unreasonable under those circumstances.

The saved bubbles got knocked out then fifth-place got knocked out and when we were down to four handed I had an opportunity to take the absolute massive chip lead but my QQ got beat by A3. It wasn't for a huge portion of my stack and the person that did beat me did end up getting knocked out in 4th anyway. We were down to three people and we had pretty much identical chip stacks. One guy had more than me and I had more than the other one and when one of them recommended a chop we all agreed very quickly and it was, after the tip for the dealer, a payout of $360 which meant $180 each for me and ManInBlack. What a great way to wrap up a great birthday.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Multiple Updates

Farewell Online Poker

Let's backtrack up to this decision.  Last week I was able to get out of the house. I spent money, played some slots, played some video poker, played a few tournaments at Sam's Town and cashed in a couple of them, and had fun getting out for the first time in several months. It was so enjoyable that when I tried to return back to online, whatever small appeal that it may have had previously, was gone. Because of that, because of getting out to Sam's Town definitely stoked the fire for live play, and because of the fact that my disability is increasing because of the widower's benefit that came through, I have decided that I will be getting out of the house more  and I will be restricting my poker to live play only.

Longtime readers of this blog will recall that I have tried to do this a few times in the past, but then again that was before the increase in the disability and let's face it, although I did try previously with just a few buyins here and there I always had to return to online. This is not to say that I am going to have an overabundance of money each month, only a few hundred dollars which I will explain the financial situation in the next paragraph, but I will be getting back into the free Nevada Poker Bar League again and playing that a couple of times a week in which they have a fairly significant freeroll every 6 to 8 weeks or so, and playing tournaments at Sam's Town maybe a half a dozen times a month and if I happen to cash in them I will be playing more of them.

No matter how you look at it even though I don't get around very well I will be getting out more and I think that is more healthy for me. Yes, I may have to stop and rest every block that I walk, and just to get from the bus stop to get across the street I may have to stop and catch my breath a couple of times, but at least I will be out there socializing with other human beings and to me this can only be good for me not only psychologically speaking but who knows maybe physically as well, that remains to be seen.

Financial Update

As stated earlier beginning November 3rd my disability will be going from $829 to $1,425 an increase of $596. I will not be able to enjoy that entire amount because I found out that with the increase in income my medical expenses will be increasing by approximately $234 per month. That $1,425 will actually be $1,291 because the first $134 will be taken out to pay for my Medicare Part B premium. My prescriptions will be going from $8 to $47 each so it is what it is. I will be increasing my food budget slightly,  increasing my credit card payments by a small amount, and I will be buying a monthly bus pass from now on because I also found out I can never drive an automobile again. In order to get a license in the state of Nevada you have to have vision of 20/40 in at least one eye and I have 20/60 in one eye and 20/200 in the other.  Anyway here's the rundown of the finances as they will be.

($455) Rent & Dish/Wifi
($171) Bills
($260) Meds/Walmart
($45) Monthly Transportation
($60) Misc
$300 left over/monthly

I'm  thinking of discontinuing one of the inhalers that my pulmonologist has me on because it only increase my breathing capacity by 5% over the span of three months and quite frankly $50 a pop per month is not worth it for 5%. If I do so that $300 will increase to $350 left over except once every few months I have to get my rescue inhaler. With my new Part C insurance that is taking effect in November I have to find a new pulmonologist because my current one is not part of the network. This does not exactly  break my heart because I was considering  finding a new anyway. However, I digress. As you can see with $300 a month left over and transportation already taken care of except for those instances where I decide you utilize Lyft to get me home from Sam's Town or some midway point that would leave me definitely 6 tournaments a month that I could play at Sam's Town. You have to figure that I am going to spend a few dollars at my league games if for nothing else than to have a drink while I'm there.

On a good note the increased medical expenses will not take place in November and they might not even take place in December but nothing is sure that latter point, but at least for November I am going to have a decent amount of extra money for myself and I am going to utilize that specifically.  for November I should have about $600 left over and I am getting a new prescription of eyeglasses and also buying myself a new Galaxy J3 cell phone. I'm going to meet up with a friend of mine who I have chatted with for a couple of years that lives here in Vegas but we have never met in person yet and we are planning on grabbing some dinner and a movie together so that should be enjoyable as well.

Disability Update

I received an update form from Social Security asking if my medical situation has remained the same, improved, or gotten worse since October of 2015. My health situation has gotten worse, but these update forms are always a little nerve-wracking because disability companies and Social Security has a habit at times of not taking all available information and making snap decisions without all the facts. I've got a friend of mine sometime back had a good portion of their disability taken away, but it was because the disability company they are involved with had only talked to one or two of their doctors and not all of them. They were able to get it straightened out, but it took nearly two months in the process. If that happens to me I'm going to be homeless and sleeping outside because I don't have any money in reserve to get me through a few months of the process like that. I did a little Google search and according to Social Security only 2.5% of those update forms get referred for a full I think they called it a CDR review and considering that I am going to be 50 years old very soon and they can see the doctors that I'm seeing and because quite frankly they been paying for it I don't think I have too much to be worried about but let's all keep our fingers crossed that they don't do something stupid.

I'm always a person that likes to prepare himself for the worst-case eventualities and I talked to my buddy and roommate ManInBlack about the whole thing. I had asked him, if God forbid the worst case scenario were to happen and I ended up getting my disability discontinued for awhile and ended up having to lose my spot in the house and sleep outsidefor a while if he could stash some of my stuff in his room. Things that I wouldn't carry around in a backpack like files, extra clothing, pillows and blankets, that sort of thing.

I told my bestie and roommate ManInBlack about what was happening and what the situation could result in and I did so because I wanted to ask him a favor that if that did in fact become my reality if I could stash some things of mine in his room that I would not be able to carry around with me on a daily basis in a backpack. My thought was my files and extra clothes that I would not be able to take with me, blankets, pillows, that sort of thing and fully expected for him to tell me that he would be willing to do this. However, instead he looked at me and he said to me,

"You know if anything like that were to happen there's no way I'm going to let you sleep outside. I would lend you the $400 a month rent that you need for however long it took until things got straightened out."

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Never before in my life has somebody offered to potentially help me in such a way. I was almost speechless, could barely utter the words thank you, and damn near had a tear come to my eye that's how I moved I was. I still can't believe that if that situation were to happene that somebody would be willing to do that for me. I don't even feel I'm worth such generosity, but let me tell you something ladies and gentlemen, that is one hell of a friend.

Medical Update

As for the medical part unfortunately the fact of the matter is I have gotten worse since October of 2015. Since that time my breathing capacity has gotten worse and last appointment with the pulmonologist I was only at 67% of capacity.  I also need to see a heart doctor because I am experiencing a lot of heart palpitations at various times with intermittent PVCs, preventricular contractions. I could just be laying down ready to go to sleep and the inside of my chest feels like it's shuddering and in addition any exertion is racing my heart in what's called tachycardia so a cardiologist is going to be in my somewhat near future. Of course if you put me on a medication that will be an additional $50 a month and which case I'm definitely just continue in that one and they are just to even things out.

I saw a back surgeon and he told me that yes I am going to need back surgery in the future, but we're not going to do it now. He also told me I have to lose a lot of weight before I could have any type of surgery, but I have what is called grade 1 anterolisthesis of the vertebrae L5 on S1.  What it means is my L5 vertebrae is slowly slipping. When the surgeon took one look at the MRI, even though it's 14 months old, he told me straight out you cannot walk very far and you cannot stand for very long at all. I didn't even have to tell him he told me what I was going through.

I also have a bulging disc on vertebra L4 through L5.  which means A spinal disorder in which a bone (vertebra) slips forward onto the bone below it and I have a grade 1 spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1 resulting in moderate to severe bilateral neuralforaminal stenosis which means severe foraminal narrowing, or stenosis, occurs when the foraminal canal — the space next to the vertebrae that allows the nerve roots to exit the spinal canal — narrows due to age or another spine condition that has protruded into the empty space of the canal. Gee...... thrilling.  Along with arthritis in my knees and shoulders and a torn right shoulder, the surgeon told me that I have arthritis in that lower back and one of the vertebrae is pressing against the nerve. Man I'm telling you this guy was nothing but a barrel of laughs with his medical report, but as I have said many times in the past and it may be an overused expression, but it is what it is and all I can do is try to deal with anything that comes my way. I refuse to surrender, I refuse to give up, and I refuse to let anything keep me down permanently. 

After talking with some cousins on Facebook it turns out that early-onset arthritis apparently is something that runs in the family. The body may be giving me fits but my mind is still ultra sharp and I think poker has a ton to do with it as a matter of fact I think I read one place that poker players have a lower incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's but I can't swear to that. However if true it does make all the sense in the world and the fact that my mind is as sharp as it is is something I am extraordinarily thankful for.

Well that's a wrap up for now. I'm going to be starting my league games this upcoming Thursday and I will start playing Sam's Town on Wednesday the 4th unless I need to rest up from activities on the 3rd. The fact of the matter is when I go out for a day or two sometimes I need to rest and relax for the next couple of days this is why only playing half a dozen tournaments a month is not any great hardship to me because it's not surprising if my body won't allow me to play more than that. Maybe it will maybe it won't, but we will see what there is to see. I'm actually looking forward to getting out and about again and dealing with real people again in-person socializing.  I mean we as human beings we are social creatures and being locked up in my room for the last couple of years was not healthy, but it was the only real choice I had considering the money available. That's all for now.  I will definitely update you sometime in the beginning to middle of November I would imagine so until then take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Ready For October

Overall my cash game experiment was a success. I played them online for over a month and in excess of 25,000 hands and ended up making in the neighborhood of $70 or $80 in earnings, but with massive massive swings sometimes 5 buyins in a single session. As usual, and this was no surprise, I find the cash games very boring at times and have to have a tournament also being played in order to even remotely stay focused on these cash games. I know it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense, but if I have a tournament going it makes playing the cash games at least bearable because without the tournament going, quite frankly, they practically would put me right to sleep.

I did prove to myself that returning to my style of play would lead to earnings. The earn rate that I made in those 25,000 hands of so was not huge, but with the fluctuations of variance it would go high then it would come down, go high, come down, go high, come down, and you need 100,000 hands to find out what your true earn rate is if for no other reason so the earn rate numbers aren't going up and down by factors of god-knows-what with every session.  I don't care for No Limit cash games, as I stated in the previous paragraph they bore me to tears, but the fact of the matter is that if I am able to earn money from doing it then it's something that I need to do because by not doing it, it's going to take me longer to get to my next goal.

I guess we should touch on that. My current goal is an account balance of $1,200. If I can obtain that then I will withdraw $600 and go see what some live play offers thus keeping $600 online which is 100 buyins for the $3 deepstack rebuys, and/or 60 buyins for the $10NL cash games, and/or 30 buyins for the $20NL cash games.  Pick one or all of the above because they all apply. Withdrawing $600 and heading out for live play will give me the opportunity, now that Autumn is here and the cooler weather is starting to come back and I actually can get out of this house again, the opportunity for some tournaments at the Golden Nugget, maybe at tournament at Aria, some $3/$6 limit Hold'em games at various places around town or just hanging out downtown or on the Strip or whatever I want to do on any particular day.

Now for some big personal news that is going to change my life for the better in a financial way. According to the lady that I talked to at Social Security, my disability payment will be increasing beginning in November by $596 going from $829 a month to $1,425 per month. This is a huge increase for me and while I know that $600 to most people per month is absolutely nothing, to me it's immense. I am getting this because I'm qualifying for the widowers disability benefit because my wife was permanently disabled as I am and we were married for over 10 years when she passed away. The lady at Social Security told me that if I had turned 50 three months later than I do at the end of October, I would not qualify for this.

Now, this does not automatically mean I actually have $600 extra per month. Because I'm on disability as you might imagine I get certain help from the state of Nevada considering I'm only getting $829 a month and I do believe that that assistance will go bye bye. The major issue as you might suspect is medical. Right now the state of Nevada pays the Social Security Premium of about$145 a month for me. Also the co-pays for my prescriptions will go from $8.25 to about $45 a month each, but the lady at Social Security told me there may be another program to check into where I perhaps could still get assistance on the medical stuff, but even if I can't, I estimate that this will be an increase of approximately $300 a month net clear and for that I am extraordinary grateful. It turns out that my late wife left me an inheritance that she never even know about it, but I'd give up every penny in the world if I could have her back in my life again. One day we will meet again.

So I have been basically taking some time off to end September and will be picking it up again starting October 1st. I ended up making a little over $100 since my return to WSOP on what admittedly was sporadic play so I'm pretty happy about it. I am doing one more final deposit on to WSOP on the 3rd of September and after that money that I want to put towards poker will be kept offline.  I am planning on putting $80 on so that I'm essentially starting October with $350 which should be more than enough for the $10NL tables and a few of the $3 deepstack rebuys each day, but I'm making a personal rule that I have to have a bankroll above $300 to play the tournaments. The key to tournament play will obviously be earnings from the cash games. Hopefully when tournaments are going bad cash games will be going good and when cash games are going bad tournaments will be going good so that for the most part I am showing steady increases.

I will not be going out anywhere socially in October because of a lack of extra available money which as I related to you should change starting in November, but this will give me the opportunity for some serious grinding. Getting started with the 9 a.m. tournament and a couple of tables of the cash games I plan on playing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at least as far as cash games go. I think 12 hours is plenty. If I go beyond 9 p.m. it's either because I'm either on very juicy cash tables or I'm still holding my own in the 7:30 p.m. $800 guaranteed tournament.

That's basically all of it in a nutshell gentle readers. Still two more days off from poker and then back to the serious grind beginning on Sunday. That's going to wrap this one up for now. Sorry I went so long in between entries, but I wanted to find out just what was going to happen with the cash games before reporting in on it. I will try to bring more entries and updates during the month of October as to how things are going. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $350
Goal:  $1200
Progress:  29%

Friday, August 18, 2017

Home Again To Stay

I am back home again online poker speaking. I withdrew $160 to bitcoin which I am waiting to hit my checking account on Tuesday and I am back on WSOP again. I have come home and never to leave it for a different site again. Somebody from Twitter  who's  privacy I shall protect, offered me a PayPal loan so that I could get some money on WSOP and I have to wait till Tuesday and to this person I just want to say thank you so very much.

I just could not stand ACR anymore, but one thing I did do was make me appreciate WSOP all the more on a variety of levels the least of which would be deposits and withdrawals to say nothing about the game play nor availability and circumstances. All day and night long on Tuesday they never got one table of $10NL full ring going and they only had two tables of $5NL full ring going and never could get a third one started. Oh they had plenty of 6-max, but their full ring games were non-existent unless you wanted to play $25 or $50 tables. Their tournaments with the amount of people they pay out are freaking ridiculous.  When you compare the two sites and a $350 guaranteed prize pool on WSOP is paying more up top than a $500 guaranteed on ACR there's absolutely no question where I want to be back at. I am back on WSOP to stay. The fact that I mentioned anything or even had any knowledge about the cash tables being available and not available that obviously deserves an explanation.

This goes back to the fact that I recently purchased a new HP Stream laptop through my Fingerhut credit. As I was cleaning out the photos I had on my old laptop which I now use as a backup just in case anything were to go wrong, I came across a screenshot I had taken and although I didn't look at the precise date it must have been back in December 2015 or January or February 2016. The screenshot showed earnings of about $165 at $10NL on WSOP in 10,000 to 12,000 hands. I went back and looked at the posts that I wrote during that period of time and came across these these little gems.

"15,692 hands played and total profits at the $10NL tables of $274.62"  

"that brought me to over $308 in earnings at $10NL and thus I have now earned over 3000 big blinds at this level"

"the last 8 sessions I show earnings of $213 covering 13331 hands in a mix of $10NL and $20NL"

"table earnings at the cash games in total was $355.17"

Why after those two months did my cash game results go down the sewer. What was I doing back then that I stopped doing or that I changed??  What was different between then and almost every attempt since then. It doesn't make sense so I went into a deep deep think-tank about it and I realized what had happened was I had received multiple points of advice about playing cash games and although I was doing quite well, since cash games was not my primary forte, I went with what I felt were the thoughts and opinions of my more learned peers and I started doing things that went completely against what I felt I should be doing a not be doing and the results over the next nearly 18 months more disastrous. I won't get into details because I know people at WSOP read my blog and I will be back at those $10 tables again, but suffice it to say it involves completely opening up my range, building up parts with draw instead of playing it cool taking free card and calling certain hands raises with certain hands that completely goes against my instinct such as AXs lower than ATs.  For whatever reason, and I may just chalk it up to pure temporary insanity  with a bit of longevity to it, I continued on with this from February 2016 and for whatever reason never realizing that the changes in my game because of the advice I got and took was what put my cash game completely into the sewer.  

Don't even ask me why I never made this connection before, don't ask me why that sporadically for the next nearly 18 months every attempt at cash games was a freaking disaster and I never put two and two together before now, don't even ask me these questions because I don't know the answer. The only guess I have is that I guess maybe I'm just somebody that needs to see something in front of me before it clicks. I guess I just never thought about it and part of that reason was probably because of a lack of hand reviews on my part which should be something you're always doing when losing to find out why you lost and I have not done that much. The bottom line is the advice that I was given was dead wrong and my style of play is what works for me. It would probably be considered quite unorthodox by many of my readers who are regular cash game players and so be it. Their style of play works for them and mine works for me. The question was what would happen if I try some cash games going back to my old ways.

Before I left ACR I tried some of the cash games and I was an overall winner and about 3,000 hands believe it or not. Yeah yeah I know it's a small sample size, but it's the first time I've been in overall winner in 3000 hands and 18 months. Even though I and took a small loss at $10NL, but the primary reason for that was a few big pairs that got cracked but more importantly having Queens full of jacks against an opponent in who had flopped quads and that cost me over a full buyin, but overall going back to my style of play did turn a profit. 

I left ACR with $160 because of probably some foolishness on my part. I was hoping to build that amount up a little bit so I played a session of $0.40/$0.80 Stud8 and never saw so many draws in my life not come to fruition and I ended up dropping about 50 bucks. That was slightly painful but I decided I was taking that $160, and getting the hell out of Dodge, and going back home where I belong on WSOP. Once the money hits my account on Tuesday I will pay back my $75 loan put the rest of that transfer on WSOP and essentially even though it's not on there now I essentially started the evening of Wednesday August 16th with $150 online. It is a far cry from the thousand dollars that I had planned on waiting for, but I am glad that I did it. Being back on WSOP I am more convinced than ever I can turn this year around to a half decent profit considering the first seven and a half months have provided ($6.20) in total losses combining online and live play and $21.26 in those stupid Bitcoin fees which I will never have to worry about dealing with again. Some people may say that I never should have left WSOP in the first place, but the fact of the matter is sometimes you never know just how good you have things until you venture somewhere else.

So , I'm back home on WSOP, yada, yada, yada, but what to do now.  The minimum cost for the tournaments for me would be $6 a pop not exactly a great idea to do with only $150 which cannot be replaced until the very earliest October and I have no desire to go the next month-and-a-half watching TV and maybe playing some games on my phone on a daily basis with nothing else to do. This has to be protected. It's like John jawanda said about a big stack in a tournament it should be nurtured and treasured and protected or something along those lines that's not an exact quote, but the same thing can be said about my miniscule $150 bankroll. A plan is most definitely needed.

The smallest non-turbo non satellite tournaments now available at WSOP are the $3 deepstack rebuys which cost me $6 each so I can't play those just yet. Going back to my old style of play in cash games to be quite frankly I don't have the nerve to take $157 and risk playing $10NL without proving myself step by step so that's out. Sng's I'm not interested in because the only NLH  SNGs that seemed to go off with regularity are turbo so forget that and the other option is PLO8 SNGs which only have 8 minute blinds and do not go off enough to make it worth my while so that's out. So, what does that leave me. I hate the thought of even uttering these words, but that leaves me starting out grinding $2NL cash games. Yeah, you read that right, $2NL cash games.......... 

To be continued..........

Friday, August 11, 2017

2017...... Failures On Multiple Levels.....But It's Not Over Yet

2017 has been a colossal fail on a variety of levels both personal and poker. The poker partnership was a colossal fail. Once we made the switch over to ACR "Daniel" and I could see very early on that with the tournaments that I was able to be playing with the money that we had available it wasn't going to turn out to be anything grandiose so we decided to take the money play a couple of decent prize pool tournaments, but nothing came of them and I ended up sending him $95 back so a total loss for each of us of ($85)

Another overall failure for 2017 has been profits for the year. From January through July online earnings of $317.86 live losses of ($276) and $16 in fees from Bitcoin transactions which leaves total earnings for the year of $50.69. 7 months and $50 in earnings is unacceptable, and a colossal fail.
Then there's the health issues. The arthritis in the knees and shoulders seems to be getting more painful with each passing day, but that isn't the main issue. The colossal fail is that the breathing capacity has been diminishing this year from 76% to 73% to the last check was 62%. Because of the breathing problems the mixture of the intense heat is an almost fatal mixture for me and I am not using that term loosely. 

After an incident that happened about a month-and-a-half ago, I am basically on self-imposed exile which means I do not leave my house unless I've got a ride someplace and I do not mean a bus ride and those rides are very few and far between. For the last month-and-a-half I have been out of the house three times. Twice I was dropped off at Walmart by my landlady to do my monthly grocery shopping and on the third occasion I was able to take a bus down to the vape store one evening when the temperatures dropped to 80° but even then I had to take Lyft back so take that accomplishment for what it's worth and it's probably not worth much. 

I have been religiously taking my Breo inhaler for the last month and my lung doctor thinks that this will improve things. So far I have not noticed any difference, but the only way we'll find out if he's right is on October 5th when my next appointment with him is and he does a breathing test to see if there is any Improvement. I am very close to firing him and finding a new pulmonologist however, because especially of late he just seems rather dismissive about my physical abilities and my concerns such as having to rest twice during a two-block walk or walking just a few steps and being completely winded.  His reply is to everything is because you need to lose weight. The guy has got a one-track mind when it comes to these things. Yes I know I have weight to lose, but let me tell you something, when you stand up and take three steps and your heart rate jumps to 132 beats a minute something is not right, however I will give it until my next appointment with him on October 5th, we will see what the breathing test shows, and then I will make my decision from that point. October should be when the weather starts cooling down again, maybe even late September and hopefully I'll be able to get out and about again without nearly ending up in an ambulance in the process.

I think I'm going to have to save up the money for one of those scooters that you see people riding around on, the ones that Trooper finds some perverse pleasure in mocking people who use them in his Vlogs from time to time. I don't relish the thought of it, but if it will get me where I want to go and not have to struggle and stop every couple hundred feet to take a breather then it will be well worth it, but of course these things are in excess of $1,000 or $1,500 and I don't see me being able to get one anytime soon, but who knows, if that disability widowers benefit comes through in November that could get me on my way to getting one of them and if that does happen it's going to get me some freedom of movement again.

After 17 days without the Internet I got back online on Tuesday. Added some money to the small bankroll I had on there, decided to try a little challenge for myself and I will report what has been going on in the next entry. This year is far from over and there is still time to turn this baby around. Never count me out. That's all for now. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Poker Partnership Part ll

We got started on the second part of the poker partnership on ACR on Monday. Starting Monday with a balance of $258.35 and an average daily expenditure of roughly $25 a day for all intents and purposes with the amount being spent per day and the account balance available we had roughly 10 days of Poker life left. 

The first two days of being back on ACR were an experience of horrendous. In 24 tournaments played I finished in the money in only three of them and one of those was $0.33 in a freeroll. In the tournaments played over those first two days I suffered a minimum of 18 different bad beats, and lost every coin flip situation when my tournament life was on the line.  To say this was a day of slamming things would be an understatement, but fortunately  nothing important got broken.  

Cost:  $26.03
ITM:  2 for 12
Earnings:  ($22.39) 

Cost:  $27.15
ITM:  1 for 12
Earnings:  ($23.37) 

So being down $120 coming into ACR on this partnership and starting off another over ($45) in the hole was not exactly what one would call fun. If there was any positive to be taken from the first two days, and those positives were very few and far between, was that towards the end of Tuesday, although I wasn't cashing, I could see things starting to turn slightly in a positive sense and possibly those signs were that I was coming out of this little funky slump and Wednesday was definitely an improvement. I went 3 for 11 including a 6th place finish in the $400 guaranteed rebuy and a third-place finish in a $1 tournament.

Cost:  $24.95
ITM:  3 for 11
Earnings:  $16.74

Thursday was definitely the best day of the week going 3 for 10 with a 4th place finish in the $500 guaranteed and a 2nd place finish in the $2.20 PLO8 even though that PLO8 finish was only worth $18 it all helped towards a day of $47.96 worth of earnings. 
Friday had nothing worth getting excited about, just a couple of small cashes and a loss of a little over ($11) on the day. 

Cost:  $21.85
ITM:  3 for 10
Earnings:  $47.96

Cost:  $15.55
ITM:  2 for 9
Earnings:  ($11.42)

So the bad news was that I started out over ($45) in the hole, the good news was that I was able to battle back however not for any earnings for the week, but close enough to break even that I could deal with it. The account balance started the week at $258.35 and ended the week at $257.69. Not great, but a lot better than it could have been considering how the week started out.

ACR Week 1

Cash:          ($8.11)
SNGs:        ($3.45)
MTTs:        $7.52
Raleback:  $3.38
Total:  ($0.66)

WSOP: ($120)
ACR:     $17.69
Total:    ($102.31)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Comment Responses

Memphis MOJO said:

Dude, this health thing is scary -- sorry to hear about it.

"He has me on the inhaler Breo, but too often I forget to take it."

You are kidding right?

No, I'm not kidding. I've always all my life had difficulties remembering to take medication, however recently I have taken steps two eliminate this forgetfulness.

Tony Bigcharles said:

i didn't realize his health issues were this bad

Yes Tony, at times it can be. Some days are better than others and some days are worse than others, but hey I'm Invincible anyway so let life throw at me whatever it can.  I will fight it off and bounce back always. 

Ace said:

Flush, sorry to hear about the health issues and I hope you get well soon.

Thanks Ace. The intense heat really aggravates the conditions I do have, but the fact of the matter is I still am getting from point A to point B I'm just slower than everybody else. However as soon as the cooler weather arrives that should be a considerable Improvement for me. Also, I may have not been getting the full effects of the Breo inhaler which I will explain down below.

Zin said:

Hope your breathing gets better, do you have copd? You need to give up all forms of caffeine, not good for lungs. Best of luck going forward.

Yes, I do have COPD, chronic Bronchitis at the very least. I was not aware of the caffeine being an issue, but fortunately I am not a coffee or tea drinker and the only caffeine I use are caffeine pills when I have not gotten enough sleep the previous night. The grind must go on and so under those circumstances there is no real choice for me as far as I'm concerned when it comes to that form of caffeine. 

Alysia Chang said:

This sucks. Thank God for MIB being physically there in the house with you. You have a great friend!

Yeah my main bro Joe keeps me on my toes and if I get frustrated and don't feel like taking my medicine he will simply threaten to make me cease to exist so it's a pretty good system we have lol. It's absolutely great having my bestie as my roommate. Awesome just to be able to hang out on a daily basis, talk poker, talk sports, it's just totally cool having him here. 

Poker & Gambling 24/7 said:

This blog would get even better if you could add Tony Bigcharles as the Three's Company roommate

Sir, have you lost your ever-loving mind?? I swear I'm going to reserve a bed for you at the local mental institution lmao!!

Thomas OToole lll said:

That would be quite the grind house and be watched more than Bill Perkins "Stream Boat." I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear the strategy and conversations discussed. Just think of the donations people would make to hear the inside scoop.

Lmao!!  You Sir, can share a room at the mental institution with Mr Poker & Gambling lol!!

Now for the explanation about not getting the effects of the Breo I mentioned above. I spent the weekend over at my friend Michelle's house and we were hanging out watching TV, listening to music, and it was really relaxing and great to spend time with my friend and take a couple of days off from this 12 to 16-hour tournament grind I've been pulling. Many of you may or may not know that she is a medical professional. She saw with her own two eyes how bad off I was Saturday where I took five steps and my breathing was so labored it was scary even to her. As we discussed the situation at first she thought perhaps I was having a bad reaction to the Breo and even recommended that I might want to stop it and I said to her, "Well, that might be a good idea besides I can't stand the taste of that powdery stuff on my tongue anyway, it's gross." As soon as she heard this she looked at me and said, "Wait a minute if you are getting the powdery stuff from the Breo inhaler on your tongue that means it's not making it into your lungs or very very little is."  She came up with a method where instead of putting the Breo inhaler to my mouth and then inhaling it, to start inhaling then put the Breo unit to the mouth, the idea being  with inhaling first it is providing a better way or a stronger method of getting the medication directly into the lungs. I did this Sunday morning and the difference between Saturday and Sunday was absolutely miraculous like the difference between day and night. I was able to get up, move around, do things such as go to the kitchen and get something to eat and I was not having hardly any breathing difficulties at all so she may very well have been correct. Time will tell as to whether or not that is the solution or was the problem, but at least to start off with it appears it just may have been. I will naturally keep you updated.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Shut Inside For 3 Months

My latest appointment with the pulmonologist shows my breathing capacity is down to 62%. Coming home from said doctor's appointment I nearly collapsed. Going from one bus stop to another bus stop I had to stop 4 times in a third  of a mile and rest. The slightest bit of exertion, even simply walking is shooting my heart rate up to about 140 beats per minute, causing severe nausea which half the time results in vomiting right there where I stand, unable to even catch a breath in many cases, and combine all of this with the intense heat and it is a bad bad situation all around. 

My roommate and bestie Joe aka  ManInBlack was on the phone with me at the time and heard me throwing my guts up, he was ready to call an ambulance right there on the spot, but I convinced him that I was okay. At that moment in time I probably wasn't but I knew that if I continue to stay seated on the curbing that I was on I would be alright. I was able to make it home, but it took an Uber to do it because quite frankly I don't think I would have made the final two block walk from the final bus stop to the house.  

It's obvious to me after the latest incident that I need to stay inside the house for the next 3 months with the single exception of my food shopping trip that I do on the 3rd of each month and with that I take Lyft and other than that I'm not budging unless I'm going for a swim in the pool we have in the backyard until the weather cools down and it will also give us time to employ an idea my pulmonologist has. He has me on the inhaler Breo, but too often I forget to take it. He told me make sure I take it everyday religiously for the next 3 months and then on my next appointment, which is October 5th, he will do the breathing test again to see if the breathing capacity has improved. I have cancelled or am going to cancel all doctor's appointments between now and October. I just can't deal with this intense heat because of my physical ailments. I do much much better in the cooler weather and this is just something I need to do.

Its not exactly fun having to do this for there will be no going out and having fun but after what happened the other day with the heart rate feeling like it was going to pound out of my chest, the exertion vomiting, the breathing that was practically non-existent I have got to wait until the weather cools off and three months of this Breo to find out what hopefully positive result it may produce. I was feeling pretty down after that doctor's visit and actually seriously contemplated stepping in front of the bus as it came down the road ending things right then and there  instead of letting it be drawn out. I mean with my breathing capacity seemingly declining steadily, what's the point of dragging it out, you can't live if you can't breathe. However, my doctor seems to think that this Breo will do a lot so we'll just have to see how it goes so for right now I won't be ending anything at this time at least.
The one positive aspect about all of this is the grind will go on and will not be interrupted unless I simply just want to take a full day and sleep my day away and that may happen from time to time considering the hours that I put in at this it truly does get exhausting and after awhile and my body shuts down and puts me to sleep for 14 or 16 hours and basically says I will have the last word on this.

Now let's talk about the poker. This little poker partnership that I have going with "Daniel" started out on a very very sour note. He sent the money via PayPal on Sunday and with $160 in bonus money available on WSOP we both agreed that trying to clear some of it was in our best interest. I agreed to this, but I should probably have my head examined because of it. I reminded him of my struggles in cash games and also in SNGs which he already knew about from reading my blog, but he felt it was worth taking the risk and quite frankly at the time I did too. I ended up trying both cash games and $5 nine player turbo SNGs separately. It turned out pretty ugly to the tune of $46 in losses in the SNGs and another $21 and losses in cash games so $67 down to clear a single $10 bonus. Also an 0 for 8 run in the $3 deepstack rebuys we needed to immediately reassess the situation and discussing it we came up with an alternative Plan B.

$120 down and $240 remaining we decided that the best way to proceed would be to transfer this money to ACR and grind the tournaments there because it's pretty obvious to both of us that with all tournaments being eliminated at WSOP except for rebuys and higher higher-priced re-entries a much larger bankroll is needed to be able to play a WSOP. I put it in withdraw for PayPal and set up a swap with a friend of mine that has done these ACR swaps with me previously and would do so again as soon as the money arrived. Well WSOP claims that the withdrawal was done at 12:15 a.m. on the 5th and quite frankly that is bullshit because I know for a fact I did it before midnight but because they claimed it was 12:15 a.m. on the 5th and they force you to wait 3 business days for PayPal withdrawal which is also bullshit considering the fact that they can do a casino withdraw in 12 hours it is not necessary to make a player wait 3 business days for a PayPal transaction, but because they falsely claimed it was done at 12:15 a.m. that means the money will not be hitting PayPal until Monday or Tuesday.  So nothing to do but wait.  

0700am:  $2.10 NLH Rebuy $400 Gtd 

0900am:  $4.20 PLO8 Rebuy $200 Gtd 

1115am:  $3.30 NLH $200 Gtd 

1215pm:  $2.20 PLO8 

0425pm:  $3.30 NLH $150 Gtd 

0445pm:  $1.10 PLO 6-Max  $100 Gtd 

0530pm:  $1.10 NLH $50 Gtd

0545pm:  $2.20 NLH KO 

0645pm:  $3.30 NLH $500 Gtd 

0720pm:  $1.05 PLO8 Rebuy 

0745pm:  $1.10 NLH KO 

Acct Bal:  $240
Tour / Day:  11
Cost / Day:  $24.95
ABI:  $2.27
ABIs Avail:  105

Once I get this balance back up above $360 then the following tournaments can be added.

1245pm:  $4.40 NLH 6-Max $200 Gtd
0900am:  $3.30 NLH  $1000 Gtd 

0345pm:  $5.50 NLH  $500 Gtd 

0800pm:  $5.50 NLH  $500 Gtd 

Also other various $5.50 tournaments offered on special days during the week. 

Under no circumstances will there be any 5-hour late registration tournaments played and any and all three hour late registration tournaments played will have 15 minute blind levels minimum.

So  in the meantime while waiting for the money to show up Daniel decides to send me $30 just to give me something to do while we wait. The idea was for me to play some of the small buyins while we're waiting. If I didn't make any profit from the $30 during the few days we had to wait just send back whatever I had left over and if I did make a profit then send him the $30 back and then we'll use any earnings towards the current arrangement that we're in. I thought this was an awesome idea because it would give me something to do and maybe we could pop up the $240 balance that we had. It didn't go great but it didn't go horrendous either. On Sunday after only playing a couple of tournaments and I was tired as hell that afternoon, I was able to send him the $30 back and we had $18 in earnings over and above that. Not great, but not ugly either.

So we start today with the account balance at $258 from a $360 start. As of this posting WSOP still has not sent the money to PayPal, but according to somebody in chat from WSOP it is due to arrive today so I can at least start off the day with the $18 available. That's going to wrap this up for now. A bad start but the start really doesn't matter as long as the finish ends up positive and that's what I'm shooting for right now so until next time take, care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Half Year Review

A few comment responses to start things off.

Pokerdogg said:

FD says "I can be out drawn but I cannot be outplayed."

Do you really believe this? I guess this explains why you don't spend time studying and work on your game, you are already the best.

This attitude, IMHO, is not the recipe for success. Even Phil Helmuth, one of the very few successful tournament pro who may say stuff like this in public, I bet he still work on his game and will tell you a different story in private. 

GL as always

It is not often that I do not agree with something that you have commented on but in this particular case Mr. Dogg I disagree with you quite vehemently.  In answer to your question you're damn right I believe that. The fact of the matter is if I don't believe that, if I don't believe that I am the best player in any and all situations that I am in, then I don't belong at those tables. If I walk into the Golden Nugget to play a $70 tournament and I do not have the confidence and attitude that I am the best player in that tournament then I might as well get back on the bus and go home because I do not belong there. The same same goes for online. If I don't go in with the confidence knowing they can't outplay me they can only outdraw me then I never should have entered that tournament in the first place and I might as well shut the laptop off and watch Mash reruns on cable TV because I certainly don't belong in that tournament.

You also assume a lot when you say I am not spending time studying and working on my game. Quite frankly you don't know what I'm doing in regards to this unless you were sitting right here next to me. I am constantly watching videos, checking out forums, trying to find any insight I possibly can. My latest form of study is watching/listening to Daniel Negreanu's Vlog as he has many many many tips for players, goes over hand histories in various forms of Poker and I think it is a valuable valuable tool.

Toodope4u said

So 10nl showed no results at all? I lost chunks on plo bad to play in a budget but 10nl should have resulted in a ltitle gains no?

No I did not. I ended up playing 4 hours and lost like $2.74. I was actually amazed I played as long as I did for as you know I find cash games to be completely boring. Many times rather than play a no limit cash game I'd rather watch paint dry and in this particular case after 4 hours I was sitting at the laptop staring at the screen making my moves like a robotic zombie because there was nothing there to hold my interest. Blinds that don't change, situations that remain constant it almost put me to sleep on more than one occasion.

J Dubs said:

I only know your blog through TBC but lm impressed you can grind such low stakes. If you show some results I'd be willing to stake $100 to play in a few $20 or up tournaments for an agreed upon split. Good luck

Well thank you very much I appreciate the thought of that. Over the last two years on WSOP as far as $20 tournaments go my performance is as follows albeit somewhat limited. Even though the rebuys are $10 they are a total cost of $20 since I always do the immediate rebuy and the $10 KO is also a $20 buy-in total.

$10 NLH KO
6 for 21 / $173.82

$20 NLH Freezeout
8 for 53 / $170.89

$10 NLH Rebuy $1K Gtd
2 for 7 / $171.31

$10 NLH Rebuy $2K Gtd
3 for 18 / ($112.91)

$10 NLH Rebuy $1250 Gtd
4 for 21 / ($13.20)

Obviously I believe that my sample size is far too few for anybody to be willing to stake me to $20 tournaments per se, but as the bankroll grows I will be able to play more and more of these and hopefully be able to improve on the ones that I'm showing losses on and continue making the earnings in the ones that I am showing earnings on.

So on to the half-year review.

February 27th 2017
Bankroll:  $830.68

That was a very pretty sight to see back at the end of February, so where did I go wrong that I am at this very moment in time temporarily busto until Monday. Well first and foremost I can tell you that I was playing $20 tournaments more often than I should have and I was not even adhering to my own personal bankroll rules in playing these. That is one thing that will change in the second half of 2017.

Another issue was too many sporadic shots at live tournaments. Also shots at live tournaments that did not have the structure best suited to me.  Taking sporadic shots at live tournaments is not the way to go. Poker is always about the long-term and even though I can't realistically do a long-term shot live because it just would take too much money and I need a rush of tournaments to build a live bankroll, at the same time I need to give myself a certain number to be played and not in a sporadic sense.  A prime example is for the second half of 2017 and beyond I will not take $45 and end up at Sam's Town in a structure that is not tuned to my game or even take $70 and play a single tournament at the Golden Nugget and instead will wait until I actually have enough money where I can play 10 live tournaments.  They will be at the Golden Nugget where it has the best structure for a $70 tournament in this town. A run of 10 of them may not be very many, but at least it would give me an opportunity to work in a couple of deep runs in there potentially worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars giving me at the very least 10 more shots or maybe even more of those live tournaments to add on to however many buy-ins I might have left out of that initial 10. I think you get the idea. I can't rush it I just have to let it happen naturally and I think I was rushing things in the first half of the year.

There is no doubt that the period of depression that I went through equated to a lot of poor decisions and unwarranted thought processes. Me having suspicions about WSOP is a prime example. I think about that now and the more I think about it the more silly I feel even in my last entry I said I was still a little bit uneasy about going back to WSOP the more and more I think about it the more and more I realize that's a foolish statement. Going over to ACR in that state of depression and playing tournaments that have three and five hour late registrations was asinine. What the hell was I thinking. All three of these things contributed to a steady decline not to mention the post that I did at the end of March which said that I needed to try cash games one more time. During the course of the year I was also playing heads-up SNGs as high as $25,  it did not go well. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Enough said.

So realizing errors made, decisions that shouldn't have been made, the real question is how will I rectify that going forward. Well first and foremost I believe that it would be prudent to make sure that I have the standard 100 buyins for the lowest cost tournament I'm playing which in this case will be the $3 tebuys which cost $6 total which means I need at $600 to have 100 buyins for those before I can even consider playing any $20 tournaments.  Taking sporadic single shots at $20 tournaments online is no better then taking sporadic shots at single Golden Nugget tournaments. You need to give yourself at least a few to play to give yourself a chance to get some deep runs and I think 20 is a nice round number for online. So 20 shots at $20 tournaments would cost $400, not forgetting that I want to have $600 so I have 100 buy-ins of the $3 Deepstack Rebuys in addition to that $400 therefore $20 tournaments cannot be played until I have $1,000 available and then I can make a 20 tournament run at them. Now that may be a little different since I will be in a partnership with "Daniel" for the upcoming month of July and if he really felt that it might be positive EV for us to take a shot in a $20 deepstack okay then I would because it's not just me making these decisions for July, but when I am playing everything on my own dime once again, these rules will be followed religiously.

Now for the part of the entry I have been sincerely dteading. What does that make my goal amount going forward??  Ughhh I don't even want to have to answer this. One thing I noticed was initially back in January my goal was set at $5,000. That was kind of sort of particularly ridiculous. I then reduced it in February down to $4,000 and came to the conclusion that that too was ridiculous period in March I had brought it down to $2,000 and that's where it should have stayed but let's face it March and April we're not exactly stellar months in my personal life not to mention psychological well-being, but that's where it should have stayed, but then I ended up lowering it and lowering it and lowering it and then taking shots at a live tournament here and there because $2,000 seemed like it was so far away, but in the end that's what it needs to be, the most reasonable amount when absolutely everything is taken into consideration, but it feels like it's a million miles away and that's why I keep changing and adjusting it, but nonetheless when it comes right down to it my goal has to be $2,000. That will allow me to keep $1,000 online in case my run of 10 live is unsuccessful. It would allow me to return to online and still have a 20 tournament run of $20 tournaments along with the $3 deepstack rebuys and it will give me $1,000 for that run of 10 tournaments at the Golden Nugget.  That will cost $700 and the other $300 will be used for traveling and food expenses and perhaps a limit cash game in between tournaments here and there. There is no doubt it has to be this way and considering I am going to be starting on Monday in a partnership which means any earnings for the month of July I only get half of them it's going to make this $2,000 figure seem like it's billions of miles away, I mean we're talking light-years here, but realizing from the errors of the first half of this year, I don't have any choice.  I don't have to like it, but I don't have any choice in jt. Look where rushing things got me......... nowhere fast.

That's a wrap. Provided no last minute snafus occur "Daniel" is supposed to be sending $180 via PayPal on Monday and then I will deposit the whole $360 onto WSOP the same day. It's a 60 buyin start for the $3 Deepstack Rebuys and I can't wait to get back to work. This not playing poker except for freeeolls is pure hell on earth. So until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $180
Goal $2000
Progress:  9%