Saturday, January 14, 2017

Is It Variance Or Is It Me

First things first. My friend Michelle is in the hospital. Anyone that knows her knows she has certain medical issues and the last five to six weeks she has not been able to keep food down in any way, shape, or form. They've been running tests and scans on her but so far unable to figure out why. During this time she's lost at least 25 pounds. I would appreciate any prayers that anybody might want to say for her recovery. I'm over at her house where I will be staying until she gets out of the hospital so I can take care of things for her at her place until she gets back.

The start of 2017 has been completely hideous. Going into Wednesday's action, I had played roughly 43 tournaments that were not staked in any way and completely on my own dime, and I had finished in the money only once and that was winning a $1 tournament that only had 5 players in it. 2017 has started off horrendously. I didn't even come close to a cold run like this during 2016, but as we all know, it has always been said, you can run like this in tournaments........or can you??

Was this simply a bad streak of variance or was I at fault for this horrendously bad start?? I decided I better find out one way or the other before this went any further and to that end I went back over the first 43 tournaments that I played on my own dime. I looked at instances that I went out on and also hands where I lost a significant amount of chips and what I found shocked me. In 2017 I made errors that cost me a significant portion of my stack or knocked me out of the tournament completely in a total of 22 of 43 tournaments played!! After seeing this I was so disgusted with myself as a poker player I was ready to physically vomit.

How could this have happened?? What the hell form of temporary insanity came over me to start the new year?? What were these errors that I was making?? Most of them boiled down to being too aggressive, overly so, instead of utilizing the tempered aggression that proved successful in 2016. Shoving hands that were not needed to be shoved at the time, doing so with hands that virtually guaranteed me to not be ahead and a coin flip at best when it was unnecessary. A prime example of this was calling an all-in when I'm sitting on 40 or 50 big blinds in a tournament with 55 . A hand that unless your opponent has 44, 33, or 22 where I'm definitely behind or at the very best in a coin flip for my tournament life completely unnecessarily.  A large degree of complete impatience on my part. There were a few instances of overvaluing hands such as AA and flopping top and bottom pair, situations where I should have known I was beat even with these large hands, but called all-ins anyway or shoved over the top of large raises, but the vast majority was going all-in preflop during times it was completely unnecessary or calling an all-in preflop very unnecessarily and/or unwisely.  Essentially it was playing poker completely and utterly recklessly.

Patience has always been my key to success in tournament play. It is the thing that I absolutely pride myself on, but for some reason in 2017 I completely got off of it for the first part of 2017.  I can't even begin to explain why I felt the need to take this overly aggressive approach and to be totally honest I didn't even realize I was doing it. The most likely reason this happenef is because I probably tried it in a couple of situations and it was successful and subconsciously, without even thinking about it, I continued down that path. I think the thing that angers me the most is waiting over 40 tournaments and consequently over ($100+) in losses in online tournament play before I decided to go over these tournaments and see why things were going this way. I should have done it after the first 20 tournaments played hell I should have done it after the first 10. If it weren't for my earnings from being staked which adds up to just over $80 so far this year the situation, bankroll wise, would be far more worse. However, whether I waited too long or not and I already know I did, I was able to see what I was doing wrong so at least going into yesterday I would make every effort not to repeat these mistakes. This did not mean I would make any money, but if I didn't it would not be because I was continuing to repeat the mistakes that I have made to start 2017.

So I entered the action Wednesday realizing the error that I have made and determined not to repeat them and tired as hell. I did not know if I wouldn't make any money or not, but even if I didn't, it wouldn't be because of continuing to repeat errors. I only got 5 tournaments played Wednesday and I ended up finishing in the money in two of them. A fourth-place finish in the $2 rebuy for a $25.66 return and a fourth-place finish in a $5 freezeout for a $21.15 return. Earnings for the day we're a little over $20, nothing to write home about of course, but after the way things have gone I was ecstatic.

After getting a good solid 10 hours sleep Wednesday night Thursday  would be a full day of tournaments on WSOP. As it turned out I ended up playing 15 tournaments on the day. It's funny because as I played during the day the situations that I realized where I had made errors popped up from time to time and I found myself almost instinctively wanting to repeat those errors. On more than one occasion when I was going to call an all-in shove by somebody with just a small pocket pair I had to stop and actually aloud to myself said what the hell are you doing?? It was actually an effort that had to be made to maintain from acting recklessly. I simply have no explanation for it. In the 15 tournaments, doing my very best not to repeat my errors, I finished in the money 3 more times which was absolutely topped off with a second-place finish in the 12 p.m. $3 deepstack rebuy $400 guaranteed which returned just over $135. In two days almost all losses were eradicated. I started 2017 with $260, made $80 in tournaments I was staked in, so I'm still down roughly $9 in others played.

I took Friday off and slept late not waking up till noon. Guess my body is needing to sleep. I then spent the afternoon and part of the evening over at the hospital with Michelle. Saturday morning I will return back to the tournament grind, and starting with a bankroll that is now up to $331. The bankroll management plan has been taking some fluctuations and I've really come down to the point where it's almost like in order to realize what my true bankroll management plan is I have to ask myself what I would do in certain situations. Let me try to explain.

Let's supposing that I made a deposit online of $150. With $150 would I play a $3 rebuy that cost $6, sure I would. Say I had made a deposit of $125 I probably wouldn't play that $3 rebuy but I would toss in a $5 tournament or 2 to see if I could get something going.  Supposing I made a deposit of $500 would I see myself playing a few $10 rebuys for a total cost of $20? The answer to that would be absolutely yes. In each of these hypothetical situations that I put out I would be playing a few of  these tournaments with only 25 buy-ins for it. It doesn't mean that I would go broke playing these tournaments but I would try them a few times to see if I could get something going and since this is the case it made me realize that the 25 buyin approach is pretty much the way I go. So with the bankroll of a $331 I am not yet at the comfort point to play $20 tournaments but I will be able to throw in the $5 rebuys for a total cost of $10 in these along with the $3 rebuys and $5 tournaments and mixing in the $1 and $2 MTTs as well. Hopefully I will be able to wake up in time for the 9 a.m. $3 rebuy which is going to be problematical as it is almost 2 in the morning and I can't seem to fall asleep, but we will see what happens.

That's going to be a wrap up for now. I'm still banging my head against the wall trying to come up with some logical reason why I begin 2017 down this Reckless Road but for the life of me I am at a loss to answer it. I'm also at a loss to answer is why am I instinctively wanting to do this and I'm actually having to force myself not to when the results from the two separate approaches is obvious, but whatever the reason I simply will continue on just simply trying to play the best poker I can hopefully continue on with more and more earnings. So with all that said, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $331
Goal:  $5000
Progress:  7%


  1. What the heck, three blog posts, three different bankroll management plan. Seems like the more things change the more they stay the same.

  2. Not really sure what you mean. I said in the previous entry nothing was set in stone and the only change I made was dropping it from 30 buyins to 25 which is not a massive change in the grand scheme of things. Going into 2017 I wanted to adopt a much more aggressive approach to bankroll management and fully expected to take the month of January to iron out the precise details of how I wanted to approach it. I think I have the formula I want.

    1. Two blog entries ago you said $3 rebuys with BR of $400-$600, so that makes 66 buyins, last blog you said 30, and now it is 25. Of course you are free to change you mind on your plans, but when you plans seem to change every month, something isn't right.

    2. Oh yeah yeah I see what you mean. The entry on the 21st of December. That was still in 2016 and it was shortly after I wrote that I decided that I wanted a much much more aggressive bankroll approach for 2017 that's why my next entry said that was not written in stone as I was still trying to figure it out. What happened was I basically looked at that after I wrote it and realized there is no way in the world that I'm going to have $200 or $300 online and not play the rebuy tournaments. That would be insane and be leaving way too much potential money floating out there without me having my try at it.

  3. Last night was a flashback to eight years ago. My family heard me yelling in my bedroom. I was playing in a private online tournament and lost a huge hand all-in via runner runner four-flush. I almost forgot how online poker tears your heart out.

  4. Her cat's still alive so I would say you did all right by her.

  5. Even when you revise your bankroll management plan you don't actually stick to it, do you? Suggestion. Instead of all these intricate "plans" that you dump on a whim, set aside some time for getting better at poker. Your approach isn't remotely aggressive. You limp into pots like it's 2005 and hope to make a hand.

  6. Get better at poker??? You know for a while now I've wondered if you're just simply a hater for whatever reason and I think I now have my answer. Let's see now in 2016 on WSOP if you look at poker Pro Labs it shows me as having played 815 multi-table tournaments with an Roi of 76.8% and you sit there and tell me I should get better at poker. How shall I put this delicately...... Take a long walk off a short pier troll!!

  7. Okay. I have the internets. Poker Pro Labs...


    Jim if you're satisfied with a total profit in 2016 of $2,514.04 and you're convinced there is nothing more about NLHE you can learn, then carry on mate.

    However. I haven't had a day job since 2007, and IMO you have room for improvement.

    Good luck.

  8. I specifically wrote that the reason that that amount was as low as it was was because I was not allowing the money to build up in 2016 where I could have been playing the $20 tournaments throughout the year to say nothing of the $25 and $50 tournaments on the weekend . In 2016 every time I put together a few hundred in earnings I was withdrawing and going out having fun spend spend spend and I can't expect to amass higher earnings when I'm pretty much stuck at the $3 level all year long. I take full responsibility for that. 2017 will be a different story I am one more deep cash away from being able to hit the twenties in January and since these pay in excess of $500 a pop up top I definitely foresee earnings this year probably a minimum of five times what they were last year if not more. You said I have room for improvement just how much of an Roi do you really think one person can expect realistically over the long term. I didn't think going above 40% would be possible and I damn near doubled that obviously there has to be a ceiling of some sort.

  9. treee hit 165% on WSOP in 2016 but I doubt that is sustainable. However, it's not really the point. When you play for a living, the important number is your hourly. Your ROI in online tournaments with buy-ins up to $3 is excellent. You have indicated in previous posts (both in the context of tournaments and LHE cash) that you believe your success at these limits will translate directly to higher limits once you have the bankroll. I disagree. Believe it or not, I'll be delighted if you prove me wrong.

    Again, good luck.

  10. Very harsh to call someone a troll for making an observation. Hopefully you handle table talk better in a live situation. Anyway. Well done on fixing a leak and let's see you get at those 20's sooner rather than later

  11. I was out of line and wish to publicly apologize to Kat Martin for flying off the handle like that. Sometimes it just seems like no matter what I do or accomplish that I am getting mostly negativity thrown my way and sometimes my temper gets the better of me, but that is no excuse and I offer Kat Martin my sincere apology for doing just that towards him. I was wrong and will do my best not to repeat those actions.

  12. No worries, man, I apologize if I came across as overly negative.