Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Where The Money Is

For nearly three months now I have been grinding tournaments online and averaging about $225 in earnings a month. However the live tournament play seems so far off in the distance and while I am a good tournament player with the buyins that I am forced to play online and quite frankly with the amount of money being invested on a daily basis it seems that this is not where the money is and I need to be doing whatever it takes to get me into these live tournaments as fast as possible and that means I need to be playing where the money is.

As much as I hate the thought of this the fact of the matter is I can make more month by month on average grinding the online $10 and $20 No Limit cash games then I can grinding the tournaments in the buyins that I am forced to play at this point. $500 minimum a month is a realistic possibility grinding the cash games and furthermore with a lot less risk to the bankroll. If you figure worst case scenario is I may lose for a 5 buyins in a single day that's %m $40 or $50 compared to some days where my tournament buy-ins are over $100 a day. 

Quite frankly I'm getting tired of having to grind online day in and day out and day in and day out when my real life is outside of this house, my real life is in casinos playing live tournaments, that's where my true destiny lies, but it's hard to achieve destiny with lack of capital. Furthermore I want to be playing live tournaments at least a few times a month  to start out with anyway and not having to wait for $2,000 or $3,000 to be able to do it  so therefore, and I can't even believe I'm about to say this because the thought of doing this is about as appealing as a tooth extraction, but if it's going to get me to where I want to be then I'll do whatever I have to and henceforth beginning today Tuesday March 21st 2017, yours truly FlushhDraw, is on a full-time online cash game grind.

It's a whole new ballgame folks and it does not come without certain issues like the fact that cash games online in 2016 were a freakin disaster. Like the fact that I believe cash games have more variance in them then tournaments. Like the fact that I have never proven myself successful in this particular form of poker so why should anyone expect me to be successful now. However, if I can prove myself successful in this I will be able to be playing my live tournaments a half a dozen times a month to start out with because I plan on keeping $500 online and every time I am  $70 above that $500 I will be withdrawing it and headed down to the Golden Nugget for a $70 tournament which generally pay about $600 up top. The first time I bink one of those all of a sudden instead of it being a one shot deal I'm going to have eight or nine more opportunities to keep trying them and and cashing in one or two over the course of those eight or nine following attempts creates more and more opportunities.

Obviously this is a whole new plan and while I have been criticized in the past for changing my plans the way I look at it is you try something if it doesn't work or doesn't work good enough two individual satisfaction, then you try something else and the more you try different things sooner or later you're going to stumble onto one that is perfect for you as an individual. This particular approach has many advantages. The least of which is It gets me in more live tournaments while at the same time always maintaining a 40+ buyin online cash game bankroll and it gets me in the live tournaments much faster even if they are going to be sporadic at first, which gets me out of the house which will thrill my doctors no end, and it will allow me to enjoy my life just a little bit more instead of waking up every morning and saying oh God I got to play online yet again. I think I'm starting to get burnt out by the long hours because my goal seems so far away, but by going about it in this way those goals can be achieved so much faster. It may be sporadic at first and that's okay because when you see even the smallest glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel you're going to run towards it.
I made a withdrawal of over $300 and went out and had a day out yesterday played a couple of tournaments played a little $2/$4 limit however I was not successful. I left $200 online to start the cash game grind and in approximately two weeks another $200 will hopefully be able to be added to this creating that initial $400 cash grinding bankroll so that means I only have to earn $170 at these stupid cash games and my first $70 tournament under this plan.

I am definitely a man alone as as I have become used to people automatically assuming I'm going to fail especially when I step up things and take an aggressive approach. Whether it be strangers or friends the only one that seems to believe in me is me and that's okay because I'm going to be able to show my detractors that even though it took me a few different plans to stumble on the right one that eventually I did get it right and before long I'm going to be sitting across the table from guys like Jeff Boski in tournaments with $10,000 on the line up top. My day is coming I have no doubt about, but in the meantime I'm going to do what I want, how I want, and I will be successful, and I will do it my way. I think that is probably my main theme song in life.

So I suppose the immediate question would be exactly what am I expecting from this cash game grind. I said previously that I think $500 a month can easily be expected. A good player should be able to hit 10 big blinds per 100 hands and I figure grinding 12 hours a day I'll get over 2000 hands played so even if my earn rate is less than that $500 should still be within my range.  On average I'm figuring $20 a day, just 20 little dollars. I don't even want to think about what that comes out to hourly so please no one bother telling me lol, the only thing I'm thinking about is getting to $70 above the $500 bankroll level, then  every 5 days on average over the long term I have the opportunity to play a $70 tournament at the Golden Nugget. That $20 a day and those Golden Nugget tournaments is my soul focus, but only if I can prove that I can actually win playing cash games. After 2016 there is no way in the world I expect anyone to believe I will be successful at this. I certainly did not prove myself last year but I damn well plan on proving myself this year.  I will admit to a certain degree I have a certain amount of pride on the line in this one come but more than anything I see the extra dollars that can be earned and that's what I'm after.

The first day of this started out horrendous, but what the hell would I expect, this is me we're talking about. I hate cash games with a passion due to the variance. Dollar-for-dollar and buyin for buyin cash games must have 300% more variance than the tournaments will ever hope to and it was no different for me starting out today. 900 hands and down $30 three full buyins. Especially after 2016 I'm a little bit paranoid when I'm taking losses so I immediately went over my hands right in the middle of this session to make sure it wasn't my fault per se. I had a full house on three different occasions and lost every one,  I flopped trips twice and lost, and had a straight and lost. These pleasantries added up to two-and-a-half buy-ins of the loss. I was also running pretty card bad as draw after draw after draw just absolutely went nowhere so although I was down $30 at least I knew it wasn't from any errors or mistakes that I had made just the higher variance of cash games over tournaments in general.

After 1350 hands were played I found myself down $18 a nice little comeback do two specific hands that happened back to back on the same table.

1570 hands and and I'm now down only $10 one little buyin because it took over 1500 hands for me to flop a set. If I had flopped a set previously nothing happened past the Flop and I really don't recall flopping a set before this specific one it was nice to get paid off on it and best of all this guy called a flop raise, a turn pot bet, and a 3/4 riverbed with top pair age kicker. Needless to say a note was written down on this particular player. Game over 1500 hands before it gets paid off, talk about running like ice.

Just over 800 hands later I ended the 12 hour session and over the final 800 hands it was dead on break even just about. 2374 hands place an overall loss of $10.19 less a dollar I got in rakeback. A lousy way to start this adventure off, but it's a damn sight better than being down $30 that I was. Today is another day and hopefully if I don't necessarily run hot I just run to expectation. Full houses not getting beat would be a great start.  

Well that's going to wrap this entry up. Let it be clearly understood that I am not doing this because I like it. I am doing this solely for the earnings potential. Overall tournaments for the first three months of the year I ran above 60% ROI, but the amount of the buy-ins just do not and will not produce the money potential available in these $10 No Limit cash games. I'm not doing this because I want to, but as my favorite departed Uncle used to say "Money talks and bullshit walks." Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Breaking Point

March has been rough. In the first 84 Holdem tournaments that I have played on my own dime and on a half stake during the month of March as of the end of play on Sunday March 12th I had no less than 22 different instances of major coolers. These are a QQ running into KK and AA, AQ and AJ running into AK, 99 or TT running into JJ or QQ, I am sure you know exactly what I'm talking about. In those 84 tournaments I also had instances where I was beat by a 2 or 3 outer on 12 separate occasions, and I lost with three of a kind or a flopped set 7 times. I have been knocked out of a tournament or crippled so bad that it really didn't matter with the hands of AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, and AQ 25 times in 84 tournaments played. 

As bad as it's been, Monday the 13th topped it all.  AA cracked by A4o and out, I get knocked out of another with my AK vs AJ.  in yet another tournament I finish on the bubble when my QQ gets beat and then in the 7:30 p.m. $800 Gtd I get knocked out of another with QQ leaving me with less than 10 big blinds. Somehow I'm able to build it back up and later on get involved in a three-way all-in pre-flop when I have AA vs 99 vs TT and I lose to both of the hands. The 99 flopped a set the TT ends up going runner runner straight and I was out of the 7:30 as well.  I hit the fkn roof. 

I was livid. Losing tournaments is one thing, but losing with what I have lost with this month is outright fkn ridiculous. I withdrew the entire remaining balance of $526 that I had online at that point.  To hell with it, let's give the live tournaments a run for the money. 10 buyins at Sam's Town, $100 on the side for expenses, let's go for the gold or go for broke.  I texted my buddy MIB to let him know what was happening expecting him to simply wish me luck in my endeavor.  As a friend I would expect him to hope that I would be successful, but instead what do I get from this friend...... I get a lot of bullshit facts and figures.  I get him having me calculate not just the 2 for 40 run I waa having this month at that point in the $3 deepstack rebuys, but instead calculate the whole thing for the year, and when I did, it showed me that even as bad as I have run in that particular tournament in March  I still am holding a 69% ROI overall in that specific tournament after 154 played. I really didn't need this kind of crap from him, being logical, being the voice of reason, forcing actual numbers in my face, how dare he lol. I simply needed my friend too wish the best for me and naturally agree with me of course, but no I didn't get that. Instead I get reasonableness, logic, and, calm assessment. That's not what I wanted from him, I reiterate, how dare he lol. 

It took him nearly 2 hours over the phone to calm me down. He told me he completely understood and that it was obvious the bubble finish and 7:30pm tournament was just simply a breaking point for me and I was steaming and if I insisted on doing my plan he definitely was hoping for the best for me but for some reason he wanted to keep inserting logic and reasonability into this conversation which was the last thing in the world I wanted to hear, but whether it's fortunately or unfortunately, he was successful in his task and I reversed the withdrawal.  

I only played three tournaments the following day with one 7th place finish. I withdrew $150 and then spent the next couple of days over my friends Michelle house. Definitely needed to get at least one live tournament in and I played to the shovefest donkfest $50 tournament over at the Golden Nugget. MIB decided he wanted in on half the action and away I went. 25 entrants only the top three were getting paid and unfortunately I finished in 6th, but damn I enjoyed playing in that live tournament so damn much. It may have been a good thing or it may have been a bad thing because it's just got me more and more determined to get off of the full time online grind and mix in some live tournaments with it.  It's like a never-ending craving. Give me live tournaments are like crack and just like the drug also takes is one time to get you hooked and believe me ladies and gentlemen I was hooked on live tournament play years ago. 

I may have reversed that largeish withdraw but playing at The Golden Nugget just enhanced that never-ending craving and to that end I am taking immediate steps to get off of this full time online grind as fast as possible. To hell with waiting, but even I understand that I do need to have some backup money so effective immediately not only has my online bankroll approach just changed, but the monetary goal has been significantly decreased.

Online Bankroll:  $1,000
Aria:  $500
Golden Nugget:  $280
Expenses:  $220

All I need to do is get to $2,000 in earnings so I can get the hell away from this computer and out in the real world for at least a 4-day try. Unfortunately till I get there I will keep grinding, but a significantly different approach. I'm setting my low point bankroll of $500 which means below $500 it's only $3 deepstack rebuys and nothing else, but a bankroll of $500 and above and I'm dabbling in $20 tournaments maybe I can only do it for a day here and there maybe the bankroll will fluctuate from above $500 to below $500 to back up, but I am not sitting back waiting for thousand dollars before I start playing these $20 tournaments because just a couple deep runs in his these will Skyrocket tbe situation. For the rest of March MIB and I being I are involved in another half action stake agreement with me playing the $20 deepstack freezeouts each day. $160 is the cost for each of us so let's see how we roll in these the rest of the month. 

So I went in for the laser eye surgery and lo and behold contrary to the information I was given when the appointment was made they refused to do both eyes at the same time. So we started with the right eye, did that one, and I'll have to have the left eye done in 2 weeks.  He warned me I would have blurry vision for 20 minutes, he told me that's because of the dilation that would be an issue, but what he didn't tell me and to wit why I had visions and fantasies of committing a freaking homicide, was that my eye would water almost non- stop for two straight hours. Grrrrrrr!!

After 4 hours my eyes return back to normal or at least what was normal for me. The doctor that I'm dealing with was actually very nice all during the procedure which was a far cry from what he was during the initial consultation.  Granted he's an eye doctor, but the man had all the patience, understanding, and consideration of a spitting cobra during that initial visit so the change in his overall attitude was definitely a pleasant surprise. I do try to be understanding about these things and maybe he was just having a bad day that first time it happens to us all.  So in two weeks I will get the left eye done and then I can put this behind me and just go on and continue to enjoy life and seeing this beautiful world and every bit of beauty, enchantment, and mystery it has to offer.

That's a wrap up for now. Yesterday I played just a couple of tournaments not counting the $20  deepstack that's part of the half  action stake and I finished 6th in one of them for a $41 return so nothing significant. Today will be my first full day schedule in several days and I have dropped the 6-max tournaments that I've been playing. I don't feel they are in my wheelhouse although I did retire them with a small profit. I've added the $2 rebuy back in after looking over PokerProLabs and finding that when I used to play it I went 3 out of 10 so not quite sure why I stopped comma but knowing me probably because of the smallish payouts for first place in the $50 to $70 range, but at 11 o'clock in the morning I'm not doing much else anyway so I might as well throw it in. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $657.47
Goal:  $2000
Progress:  33%


Monday, March 6, 2017

An Rough Start To March

March has been an absolutely horrendous start, but fortunately I still found myself at that particular moment with a bankroll of over $600, all earnings, and still well in the game. The first 5 days and into the 6th day of March seems to be cooler, after cooler, after cooler. Set over set, AK into AQ and they flop the three ooter,  AA or KK versus QQ and they flop or river the queen, or I'm all- in preflop because of stack size compared to blinds and come up with a decent AJ or AQ hand for shoving and run into AA, KK, or AK. It's been these kinds of coolers  that has been constant and prevalent for the month of March.

So going into today my own dime tournaments I was down ($11). Half action Stakes I was down ($119).  My bankroll stipulations only allow me to play up to $10 buyin tournaments with just a few exceptions, so MIB buys half action in the $20 tournaments  which keeps my cost at $10 and his cost the same, but I have not done well. Going into today we decided to do another half action stake on the 11 a.m. Golden Nugget tournament, but the cooler continued and I ran JJ into QQ all-in preflop. So much for that and my stake earnings were now a loss of $154.47 for the month.

I've been through cold runs before and I will go to them again and no matter what the law says that I was showing  I am  very very confident and 99% assured that I will be showing a profit by the end of the month, but it is still very frustrating to have to try to work through these things. I got back in time for the $5 deepstack rebuy 6 Max and would be playing that plus two of the $3 deepstack rebuys, and the $10 PLO reentry 6-max if the latter went off.

So as I hit the online tables I could only hope that this would be the day where the coolers came to an end. I wasn't necessarily looking for heaters, although those would have been nice, I was just looking to avoid disasters within tournaments and a steady increase in my chips back throughout the entire tournament would be more than pleasant enough. After all the bands was considered I was in the red for ($194) for the month of March.

Out early in the 730pm $3 Deepstack Rebuy when I ran into a set over set situation. The 4pm $3 Deepstack Rebuy and $10 PLO Deepstack Reentry went nowhere, but the 315pm $5 Deepstack Rebuy 6 Max I ran quite deep in and in fact something happened when we were down to the final 4 that could have been helpful or disastrous.

We have 4 left and lo and behold I spilled an entire large glass of chocolate milk on my bed. What a mess. By the time I got the mattress cover and body pillow on the floor so I could take it down to the washing machine I came back and I was heads up with 4,000 chips left. Needless to say I finished in second for a $139 return. Would I have won if the chocolate milk incident hadn't happened or would I have been knocked out in 4th if the chocolate milk incident didn't happen??  Your guess is as good as mine, but I just look at it as fate. I cashed for $139 in that tournament and finished up yesterdaywith losses for the month of ($54.22) which is a far cry better than ($194).

In the space of six days this month that is the second time that I have been down a considerable amount when you consider what my bankroll is just to be bailed out. The last time I believe it was Friday I was down about ($139) for the month and finished third in the 930pm $5 Deepstack Rebuy for $107 bringing the losses to down ($32) for the month. The weekend was pretty rough and as I stated I was in the red for $194 after the buy-ins and I pulled one out of the fire yet again so that the losses going into today we're only down ($54). Obviously I was definitely hoping that going into Tuesday I could get the month of March back into the black overall.  It wasn't to be as the cooler returned. In all fairness I only played two tournaments on Tuesday and then ended up falling asleep before 7pm, but my KK vs TT all-in pre-flop and they flop a 10 so down $76 in the first 7 Days of March. It's got to turn back sooner or later and the volcano will once again erupt. I'm just waiting for it.

Many personal things are coming that will interfere in The Daily Grind. It is now Wednesday 2:20 a.m. and later this morning I have an appointment with the orthopedist about the shoulder or actually both shoulders. I'm almost certain that the right shoulder is going to require surgery and hence is where we have a problem and hence where my readers are going to either think I'm crazy or being stubborn. Even if the shoulder does require surgery there is no way I am going to allow them to put me in a sling for the next 3 weeks. I refuse to be put on the sidelines and even if surgery is required the sling will be removed for The Daily Grind. I am right handed and it is my right shoulder. Yes I could try to do left-handed but I've tried doing things left-handed before it just does not work out so I am going to need access to my right hand and arm to grind online.  I refuse to be stopped. I will wear the sling when I go to sleep at night and if I'm not playing in a tournament, but other than that my life will go on as usual no matter what the doctor may want. As I've told my friends before my doctors are on a need-to-know basis and I decide what they need to know.

As far as the retina specialist goes those of you that don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook it turns out that I was born with torn retinas. These torn retinas can and does lead to detached retinas which can can and will cause blindness. On the 15th I am going in for laser surgery on both eyes. The doctor tells me this is not a fix but a preventative insofar that it will prevent the retinas from detaching and prevent me from going blind so that's the best thing in the world as far as I'm concerned and for now delays suicide because as I have stated before no way I go through life in the darkness.

So orthopedist tomorrow, pulmonologist the following day, laser surgery on the 15th, and sleep apnea doctor on the 16th which I may reschedule since I never got the sleep apnea machine that they want me on at night. I am not happy about this interruption in my Poker schedule, but unfortunately it is a necessary evil.

That's going to wrap this one up for now. Not going anywhere fast so far this month, and in fact going in the wrong direction, but waiting for things to turn in a big way which I know they will it's just a matter of when.  Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $726
Goal:  $2500
Progress:  29%


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Review, March Goals, And A Slight Variation To An Awesome Suggestion

An absolute awesome suggestion by Pokerdogg made me start to think about how I could best implement his suggestion. It started with the comment that he left on the last entry which was as follows.

FD, if you want to take shots at the Aria $125 tournaments, why not just take a shot every time you got $125 above $1500?

My reply was that it would mean having to make a withdrawal and a separate stop at a different casino other than Aria every time I wanted to play the live tournament which obviously as one might imagine might be a bit of an inconvenience. The suggestion kept rolling over in my mind. It is a great suggestion and would get me to those live tables so much faster and I started thinking to myself was there a way I could implement this and then I came up with a slight variation to it. Somewhat of middle ground you might say. Instead of his suggestion about playing a tournament each time I'm $125 above whatever I want to keep online, and instead of my plan of building up a month's worth of tournament buy-ins, why not find the middle ground and take it one week at a time.

If I set an amount that I want to keep in my online bankroll and then when I have a week's worth of tournament buy-in entries choose that as the time to withdraw and then play them. This makes all the sense in the world to me. Since I want to make the $20 tournaments online a daily part of any online play and since true bankroll management recommendations state 100 buyins should be the standard it seems to me that $2,000 online is definitely not only satisfactory but the best most intelligent approach. A week's worth of entries at the Aria is $500, that being $125 a day for 4 days Monday through Thursday, so therefore every time I have $500 above $2,000 I have just earned myself a week's worth of Aria  tournament entries.  This is absolutely beautiful and a perfect solution. It gets me to the live tournament that much faster so a big thanks to Pokerdogg because if not for his comment and suggestion I would never have been able to find this middle ground, thanks much bro.  This means that my goal is $2,500. Not $5,000, not $7,000, and not $4,000 which probably would have taken me months and months and months to accomplish. $2,500 is not necessarily around the corner, but it is a lot closer than the other options.

So on to the February recap and then on to the March goals. Let us be reminded of what the February goals were.

February 2017 Goals

Tournament Played:  150
Tournament ROI:  40%
Tournament Earnings: $440

Goal: 150 tournaments played

Not counting satellites and of course I can't count the tournaments that I had a full or partial stake in since that was not what my goals were based on, I ended up and playing in 103 tournaments so I was 47 short of the goal for February. I played a lot less tournaments then I actually anticipated, almost a full one third less, so for March I will be cutting down that goal amount, but it will be more than the 103 that I did get played this month. 

Goal: $440 in earnings

I'm happy to report I exceeded this by $142.91. The $440 goal was also based on playing a 150 tournaments and I played only 100 non satellite tournaments, but was still able to beat my earnings goal and the only reason that happened is based on ROI. 

Goal: ROI of 40%

I was able to surpass my Roi goal as well with an ROI of 77.8% in tournaments that I played that were not part of a stake. This was the only reason I was able to surpass my earnings goal. I must say it surprised me as I really didn't think I would hit that high and was definitely pleasantly surprised by the overall results. 

The final numbers for February looked like this.

Tournaments:  $586.64
Stake Earnings:  ($18.41)
Online Cash:  ($7.57)
$2/$4 Limit:  ($8)
Promo/RB:   $29
Total Earnings:  $582.91

Now for the upcoming month and even though I am starting march with a bankroll of $796.58 I am still not rushing into the $10 rebuys or $20 deepstack tournaments until I hit that magic $1000 bankroll. Therefore my goals are smaller than one might expect. 

March Goals

Tournaments Played: 120
ROI: 40%
Earnings:  $400

You will notice that the goal for the amount of tournaments played is less than last month's goal and you will also notice that the earnings goal is less than last month. This is based on 20 days or more of tournament play and $1,000 in tournament buy-ins and of course a 40% ROI. Now this earnings goal could, remember that word could, be smashed because none of this goal is based on $10 deepstack rebuys, $20 deepstack freezeout tournaments, or the Saturday $25 superstack. Yes I've only got a couple hundred dollars to go before I can start playing those $20 tournaments on a hopefully daily basis, but nothing in poker can ever be assumed when it comes to goals so I am basing this on not including those $20 and $25 tournaments. If things continue to go well and I am playing those more and more on a daily basis then this $400 goal could be exceeded in a huge way, but only time will tell. 

Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment with a retina specialist because when I got my new prescription of eyeglasses a couple of months ago the eye doctor spotted some bleeding in the back of the eye. The good news is that he said it looks like we caught it very early, but it could be caused by the blood thinners that stop me from getting blood clots that could kill me or it could be because of a diabetic condition. The retina specialist will know more, but I'm nervous as hell. There are only two reasons that I can think of off the top of my head that I would want to end my life. One would be being paralyzed from the neck or the chest down where I couldn't even use my arms and the other is going blind. Any thoughts or prayers my way would be greatly appreciated.

That's going to wrap this entry up for now.  Not sure if I will play a tournament tomorrow or not, but I probably will play in at least 2 or 3 of the early evening ones . I don't expect to get back in time for the 4 p.m. but will be back in time for the 6:30 p.m. PLO and the 7:30 p.m. $800 guarantee $3 deepstack rebuy. Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $796.58
Goal:  $2500
Progress:  32%