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.