Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Whole New World For The Rest Of June

First things first. Unfortunately I will not be playing in the $365 NLH tournament called The Giant in the 2018 World Series of Poker. I've been having severe pain in my upper right thigh for quite some time and after first suspecting it was a groin strain or other such muscular strain and after over 2 months later it was not getting any better and instead, progressively getting worse, I let the nurse practitioner who I see at the doctor's office for regular appointments know what was going on.  When I pointed to the exact area I was having the pain and asked her what's there in that area of the upper thigh that could be hurting so much, she immediately suspected that I may have a blockage in the main femoral artery which would not be all that unusual considering my 22-year history of numerous blood clots in the legs and lungs. She immediately wanted me to get an ultrasound.

This was approximately the middle of May and there must be a lot of people getting ultrasounds in this area because the first appointment I could reasonably get was June 27th. Since I made the appointment the pain has gotten even worse and I called the doctor's office today to find out if there was another avenue we could pursue, perhaps in a different location to expedite this Ultrasound. The medical assistant I spoke to told me that she would call me back later today and as it is now 1150p.m. I'm fairly certain later today has now expired lol. Oh well, maybe I'll hear from them tomorrow. 

Be that as it may the reason that the World Series has to be canceled and in fact any live play has to be canceled is I can't be moving around too much and going from here to there in a live tournaments situation and especially the WSOP could cause that blockage, if they're actually is one, to break free and could in fact head for the heart and those results could be rather............ unfortunate. I'm fairly certain a heart attack would interfere in the daily grind to say the least. So, until we find out what's going on, I'm basically a prisoner on a self-imposed house arrest, but I'm going to tell you I am going to be one extremely irritated, aggravated, and infuriated individual if this turns out to be a false alarm which would be a good thing health-wise, but would suck that I cancelled the World Series for nothing.

After completing play tonight June 5th, and having played 100 tournaments exactly since the merge on WSOP my total earnings for 2018 online are negative ($16)  The main thing that concerned me was in at least 60 of these 100 tournaments I was knocked out as at least a 65% favorite. This concerned me somewhat as I know that live player's do not experience such things over the course of 100 live tournaments and I pretty much figured that it is the way of online. We all know online and live are not the same. To confirm this fact I was on Twitter chatting with my friend Alysia Chang, whom I respect not only as a person, but as a poker player and specifically a tournament poker player. I asked her the specific question about live tournaments and a 100 tournament sample size and getting bounced out of 60 of them as a 65% favorite and I already knew what the answer was going to be and lo and behold the answer she gave me was completely opposite to what I thought it would be.

She assured me that things of that nature do in fact happen in a live setting, but more than that our conversation dealt deep into the aspect of online play, specifically my online play and even more specifically my various activities during my online play. She posed questions which I answered truthfully to the best of my ability and she decided that I needed to do a little experiment for about a month and we settled on the rest of this month although we are five days into it. My life is about to change and I am fairly certain I am going to die!!

For the rest of June beginning tomorrow, I am only allowed to play one tournament at a time. I am not allowed to have any cash games running, I am not allowed to have the TV going, I am not allowed to watch or listen to Vlogs, I am not allowed to answer my phone whether that be from someone calling or texting me, I am not allowed to listen to tournaments in the background on my computer on Pokergo, and I am not allowed to enter tournaments under late registration. The only thing I am allowed to do is when I am playing that tournament is to focus 100% of my attention on every single hand that is dealt, the actions of every single player and under no circumstances am I to have anything interfere with this.

No blogs or Vlogs, no 2+2 forum, no TV, no Twitter, Facebook, or other various social media? I do not know if I can live through this, it may kill me, but I am going to do it. I tried to negotiate certain compromises a little here and there but that little Firecracker would have nothing of it. It was her way or the highway and quite honestly that's the way it needs to be because I know me and I'll come up with any excuse to be on social media while I'm playing poker, but not for the next 25 days I won't. I decided not to ask her about my cat Diamond because I kind of figure I can just reach my hand out and give her a quick pet when she wants one, provided my eyes do not move off of that laptop screen. 

The whole idea behind this plan is to get me to focus on the tournament, every aspect of the tournament, every player at the same table that I'm at. See who are the weak players, the calling stations, who are the ones that 3 bet light, who are the ones that I can 3 bet light against, you know stuff that I do when I'm playing live poker, but things that I don't necessarily do when I'm playing online because of all the easily available distractions. I told her if I end up winning the first one I'm going to swear it's just a coincidence, but I've gone 5 months and 5 days with earnings of minus ($16) online. I've never struggled like this online in 14 years that I've been playing, but I must admit back in the PokerStars days we didn't have a lot of these things or if they had them I did not take part in them. Hell even when I arrived in Vegas 3 years ago I barely went on Facebook, the only Vlog I ever watched was Trooper and I'm not even sure I was watching Vlogs for the first year-and-a-half I was here so when I first arrived even playing online  there was not much to distract me. Back in the PokerStars days I might have had a TV on and that was it so back in those days I was focusing at what was on my screen, the same as I was doing when I first arrived in Vegas when I made thousands playing online in my first full year here, and I will be doing so again.

When I'm not playing in the tournament my time is my own. I can run my 3 cash games and do as much social media as I want although that's probably not the best idea either when you really think about it. It also is bringing up the dilemma that since for the next 25 days I'm not allowed to play more than one tournament at a time and if the current tournament I'm in and am still in it runs into the time the next one starts, then I wait for the following one so it's going to make me pick and choose just which tournaments I want to be playing in. Do I want to be playing in the 9 a.m. $5 deepstack rebuy which has a total cost of $14.55 and only gets 80 or 90 players, but only has a $350 guarantee, or do I want to wait and play the 12 noon which is a $3 deepstack rebuy with a guarantee of $600 but gets considerably more players, but only has a cost of $8.73. Do I want to forgo that one and play the $20 Freezeout at 1 p.m.  Should my main focus be on the 3 p.m. $5 deepstack rebuy $1k Gtd which if I go with the 12 p.m. could interfere in playing the 3 p.m. tournament, but then there's always the 5:30 p.m. tournament that is a $7 deep stack rebuy $1,500 Gtd with a total cost of $20.37. Decisions will have to be made and they will have to be made in the most logical manner that I can muster. What tournament do I feel I have the best edge in, what are the pros and cons about picking this tournament over that tournament, previously the tournaments I played during the day was like having an all-you-can-eat buffet, but now it's like I'm in a French restaurant with portion sizes you can fit under a microscope so I need to pick and choose wisely.

There is only one dilemma with the Firecracker challenge and that is that bankroll management just got tossed out the window. I was utilizing an average buy-in method in which two of the tournaments that I played each day only cost a total of $2.90 which helped keep the average buy-ins down, but now those aren't even going to be in my list of possibilities. The possibilities are listed below and with a bankroll to start this challenge of $958 that's not exactly a hundred buyins, but I've heard in the past you should never spend more than 10% of your bankroll in a single day and I won't even be coming close to that under normal circumstances. I usually go deep in the tournament I play insofar as I'm in them for a few hours before I get knocked out, usually 2 or 3, so I could just discount the 9 a.m. entirely because of the lower guarantee and begin my day with the 12 p.m. which is definitely going to be a staple because of the lower cost and decent guarantee. If I'm still in that tournament 3 hours in which happens frequently then the 3 p.m. is tossed aside and the 5:30 p.m. would be played and if I'm still in that 2 hours later than the daily KO is bypassed. So there may be days that I only play two tournaments. Ughhh how revolting, but these are the rules of the Firecracker challenge. If I'm having a particularly hideous day then I could end up playing in 4 tournaments for a total cost of $58.65. If it's Ultra hideous and I get knocked out of the noon tournament within the first hour then I will jump in the 1 p.m. $20 freeze-out in which case the day could cost as much as $76.28, but under my current bankroll to start the Firecracker Challenge that is still less than 10% of the bankroll that I'm starting out with.  Actually when you think about it only playing two tournaments a day would be the best of all worlds because that means I'm running pretty damn deep in the two that I played. It should be noted that I do not know how much that special Sunday-only tournament cost and total. It could be $20.73 but I will have to confirm that.  You will be able to follow along with this challenge on the right side of this blog.

12pm $3 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $600 Gtd / Cost: $8.73

Sunday Only
1215 p.m. $7 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $2k Gtd 

1 p.m. $20 NLH Daily NLH Freezeout $700 Gtd / Cost: $20

Mon - Sat
3pm $5 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $500 Gtd / Cost: $14.55

5:30 p.m. $7 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $1500 Gtd / Cost: $20.37

7:30 p.m $15 Daily NLH KO Freeze $500 Gtd / Cost: $15

Well that's going to be a wrap up. The one great thing about all of this is no more getting up at 8:30 in the morning as I really did not enjoy that anyway. We shall see how things go and just how improved they might potentially be and if they are significantly improved then I owe a world of gratitude to Alysia for putting me through this hell I'm about to endure. Just kidding. When it comes down to it we all could use more focus and discipline in our poker. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Setting The Record Straight For The Ignorant

No poker in this, but I'd like just to set the record straight. I copy and paste my blog entries that I write on Blogger over on two plus two and on CardsChat as well. Some people over at two plus two seem to think that if I can go play poker even a few times a week then I should be able to get a job at an office where I'm sitting down. Most of the people that read my blog on Blogger and especially those that follow me on Twitter know what is going on with me, but for those that may be ignorant about my conditions I'm going to lay it all out in this post.

Venous stasis in the legs is what put me on permanent disability in the first place and what Venous stasis is, is that the blood flows through the arteries down the leg just fine but does not come back up through the veins very well and what happens with this condition is the blood will pool at the bottom of the leg and disintegrate the skin from the inside creating ulcers which are open wounds, rather large, that take 12 to 18 months to heal and during that time you are hit with multiple infections not to mention the pain is extraordinary. When I have suffered with leg ulcers I have been in absolute agony for 14 straight hours and there's not a pain pill in the world that will help. 

I was judged to be permanently physically disabled in November of 2015 and started collecting disability in June of 2016. In the two years since that time I have been diagnosed with arthritis in the knees which is getting progressively worse, arthritis in both shoulders with a muscle tear in the right shoulder which requires cortisone shots every 3 months, as the orthopedist does not want to do surgery on it because the chair is small, but still painful, and arthritis in the lower back with one of the discs being bulging and a different disc is slipping, slow but sure, and the back surgeon told me one of the vertebrae is pressing against a nerve and that's the major reason and the need for the Percocets, muscle relaxants, and now the newest prescription a nerve pain killer.

In the last 6 months I have also developed a heart issue in which if I walk 30 or 40 steps my heart rate will jump to 130 to 140 beats a minute. As a matter of fact a nurse at a cardiologist office saw this with her own eyes when I walked from the waiting room into one of the exam rooms at the doctor's office and the heart rate was at 131 beats a minute for that very short walk.

I also have a breathing condition COPD and Asthma and in the summertime the intense heat aggravates that to the extreme. Because of whatever the cardiac condition is going on if I walked the two blocks to the bus stop from the house that I live in I will have to stop and rest and let the heart slow down at least twice. If I decide to go out and play poker and specifically if I play a couple tournaments that day I can barely move or straighten up for the next 24 hours and it takes 48 hours to completely recover from that outing. If I had a job in an office where I would be sitting for 8 hours the same thing would happen I would be unable to function for the next 2 days. How many employers do you think would put up with that.

Everything in my life is done in slow motion for all intents and purposes. Just getting out of my bed is it least a 30 second process. On those rare times where I go out with a friend on the Strip to hang out just walking through a casino I will have to stop three or four times usually and rest. This is one reason I don't like to go out with others because I know I'm just going to slow everyone down, but my friends are good people and they let me know all the time they don't care and it doesn't matter how long it takes to get where we're going to because we will get there eventually. Good friends are a priceless treasure in this world.

I have had blood clot issues since I was 28 years old and blood clots once put me in a coma for 10 days and to this day the doctors in Massachusetts do not know how I survived it as I had seven blood clots in my body. Currently right now the nurse practitioner that I see at my doctor's office thinks there is a high degree of probability that I have a blockage in the main femoral artery in the upper right thigh. I am scheduled for an ultrasound June 27th so between now and then I have to keep my movements to a bare minimum only going out when absolutely necessary such as picking up medicine and getting groceries. Too much movement could dislodge that blockage if there is one there and send it straight for the heart and that could have some very unfortunate results. A sitting job is a sure-fire way to get blood clots no doubt about it and say I was a file clerk in an office having to get up from the desk would be an experience. If you talk to some of my friends that have seen me getting up out of a chair they will tell you it's an adventure and the tendons or ligaments or whatever the hell it is cracked so loud it sounds like a rifle shot and they have asked me what that was and I simply told him those were my knees. Getting up is a slow painful process.

People will say, but with everything that you said and how much you are out of commission after a day of playing poker it would make sense for you to not to do that and just stay home and rest and take it easy and you know what, they would be absolutely right, but that is not living. My body may be broken in multiple ways, but if I did not play poker and I did not take those opportunities to go out and play live even though I know what it's going to do to me for the following two days that would not be living that would be existing and I refuse to do that. My mind, heart, and soul are still so strong and I have such a zest for that will never die even if my body refuses to cooperate.

I would rather be dead than just exist day to day in this world. Does playing live poker end up hurting me for the following two days, yes it most certainly does, but I will still do it as many times as I can, I will put up with the pain because I love poker that much. Not to mention the fact that all the work I ever did was in retail and no office job is ever going to hire somebody like me even if I didn't have these health issues going on because I have absolutely zero experience in that field.

It seems to me people should think before they open their mouths and tell people well if you can do this then you can be doing that. Because if you are able to go out and play poker you should be able to get an office job. I don't know if you realize it but that is probably the most retarded thing anybody could think because you don't know what the after effects of these things are and what the after effects would be if I was sitting at an office job for 8 hours a day and you don't know or have seen the day-to-day struggles that I go through. Instead some people should remain quiet and let the world think they are ignorant instead of opening their mouths and removing all doubt.

For the first year-and-a-half I lived on approximately $800 a month and $400 of that went to rent. If you think that's an easy life you've got another thing coming. If I could work I would be making considerably more than that even in the retail field. Yes I was fortunate that as a widower I was entitled to an extra benefit and that has made my life financially easier, but there is no way on God's green earth I could go out and get a job and if I try to tell an employer yes I can work for you one full day but I'll need the next two days to recuperate let's see how fast that gets anyone hired.

The bottom line is that if I'm in a job where I am standing which with the arthritis in the knees I could never do, but even if I did that is what creates Venous stasis ulcers, long periods of standing on your feet.  If I'm sitting at a job like office work as has been suggested I would definitely within a month or 2 be getting blood clots and in the hospital. Oh yes, I can totally see an employer putting up with that having me taking time off two, three, or four times a year to go in the hospital so they can cure the blood clots.

Before anybody says that yes I can get the blood clots from playing poker because I'm in a seated position as well, since I don't play live poker everyday and even if I had a million dollars to play poker my body would never allow me to play more than 3 times a week if that so the chance of blood clots are reduced under those circumstances because I'm not doing it for 8 hours a day 5 days a week.

I would like to conclude this entry by saying anybody that has the opinion that if I can do one thing I should be able to go to work I'd like you to live in my situation for a month. Go and live within my body for 30 days and see what I go through, the aches, the chronic pain, having to take 18 pills a day and after it's all said and done then you tell me what you think I should be able to do on a daily basis. In other words shut the fuck up. You don't know what the hell you're talking about, you don't know the exact circumstances of what I go through and you never will.  Nobody wants to be disabled, it is not something that they look forward to when they hit their late 40s, but it's something that I have to live with and that's the key word live. No matter how bad off I am, no matter how much I may hurt hour after hour, I refuse to roll over and stop living and if this, for some reason you find offensive well I got a real great suggestion for you.......... go to hell!!

Thank you for your attention in this matter I hope this has cleared up any further questions you may have, but if you do have further questions please submit them in triplicate and then shove them so far up your ass you can't feel it anymore. As always, take care everyone, and whether you like it or not, I'll see you at the tables.

Friday, May 25, 2018

So Much Happening, Not Happening, And Has Happened

First off, this Blog has now reached over 100,000 page views. When I started writing this blog something like that never even dawned on me and it is thanks to you, my readers, that keep coming back over and over again to find out what's going on in my life, in my poker, and I just want to say thank you to each and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart. You guys are the reason why I continue to write this blog.

So much to report on. First off when the merge of WSOP between Nevada and New Jersey was initiated on May 1st I looked at it as a dawn of great things, but for me it was a dawn of disaster. I ran so bad that it seemed to me like there must be something that went wrong with something when they did the merge. Of course I was just accused of a being a conspiracy theorist but in my heart of hearts I actually believed something was not working correctly. I went through things that I have never, repeat never, seen in 14 years of playing online poker and this includes the years I was on PokerStars and any of us that used to play on PokerStars knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I started off the month with $759 in my online account and on the 3rd I deposited another $100  then another $80 on the morning of the  8th which if I had maintained just breaking even would have given me $939 on site, but by the end of the day on March 8th I was completely fed Up and ended up cashing out for $684 so that was a ($255) disaster which destroyed the entire year's online earnings not that they were very much being we were already 4 months into the year. I went and played a couple of $70 tournaments at the Golden Nugget In which I chopped one heads up for $320 a piece and lost in the second one. I got to tell you nothing emphasizes your suspicions about online play better than going to a casino and chopping heads up the very first live tournament you get into. I spent some of the money I won and decided my little temper tantrum was over and deposited $760 on site on March 14th and I kid you not, got so disgusted that I withdrew $721 two fays later. For the year that brought me to ($52) in losses in online play.

I was absolutely convinced I was not returning to online, but life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls and this is what happened. During that seven-day span that I had to pick up that withdraw from the cashier's cage that I had it sent to, Walmart did not get their shipment of Percocet in. It's a narcotic painkiller that I desperately need to function in life and because of this I was unable to get out to the cashier cage to pick up that withdraw. I had from March 16th at approximately 6:42 a.m. to March 23rd 6:42 a.m. to pick it up and I just could not make it out. I was just in no condition to do so and after 7 Days the withdrawal expired. During the course of all of this I saw the nurse practitioner for a regular visit and what happened next I never expected.

For a couple of months I had been having a very severe pain in the upper inside thigh of my right leg that seems to spread into the groin area. Doing a little Googling the most likely problem was a groin strain or some sort of muscular strain. Knowing that it takes these things time to heal I gave it the time needed, but after over 2 months and the pain not subsiding, but getting worse, I decided to tell the nurse practitioner about it. Part of me wishes I did not do that and the other part of me knows that it was good that I did as she immediately suspected after hearing what I had and have been going through, and showing her the precise spot on the leg where the pain was extremely intense, she feels that there is a great possibility that I have a blockage in the main femoral artery in the leg.

Since I've suffered from blood clots for over 22 years this would not be at all surprising to me, but unlike the normal blood clot if there is a blockage in this femoral artery it's  either going to be a new medication or they're going to have to do an angioplasty procedure on that leg. As the nurse practitioner kept saying "Let's cross that bridge when we get to it." and she immediately ordered me to get an ultrasound. There must be an awful lot of people in this area getting ultrasounds because the first available appointment I can get is June 27th. Actually to be totally truthful it was June 25th, but they wanted me to be there at 7:45 a.m. which would have required me to be up at 5 a.m. so we settled for two days later and I have to be there at 9:45 a.m. something considerably more reasonable in my opinion.

The withdraw for $726 expired, but it wasn't put back into my account and after a phone call to WSOP they inform me it takes an additional 48 to 72 hours to put it back which is something that they never tell you in their email. I took to calling them, then emailing them, then trying to get their attention on social media that I found the situation to be unsatisfactory. Not that I ever got any response from them and it took them only 30 hours to put the money back into my account which was done at 12:01 p.m. yesterday afternoon the 25th of May, but I'm still not thrilled that they are not totally forthcoming in their withdrawals emails.

As I said I'm still not happy about the situation, but at least the money was put back and there it is going to have to stay and I am going to have no choice but to play online and endure whatever I'm going to face, because if there is a blockage in that femoral artery and if that blockage breaks free from what I am told it could go straight to the heart, and if it does that the results could be somewhat unfortunate as you might imagine. I'm essentially a prisoner in my bedroom now grinding online watching the poker Vlogs that I like and Star Trek Discovery which I finally broke down and paid the monthly fee for CBS All-Access and I'm loving every second of Star Trek Discovery. Yes ladies and gentlemen Flushhdraw is a Star Trek nut.

The reason I'm trapped in the house is I need to keep my movements to a minimum so that if there is a blockage there it will not break free and I'm only going out or when absolutely necessary as in picking up medicine or buying groceries. In accordance with all of this I have had to cancel playing in The Giant in this year's WSOP. This is a complete heart breaker more than I could ever possibly explain. Yes, I've had people on Twitter already telling me it's a shitfest anyway, but it was very important to me to be able to play my first World Series this year, but because of medical issues it would be very dangerous and overly reckless and possibly deadly to play in it. This is no joke  and nothing to take chances over . It also eliminates me playing any live tournaments or cash games for that matter until this is settled and while the ultrasound is June 27th it will take a few days for them to send the results to the doctor's office and then on my next appointment then we will discuss what is on the ultrasound, so I may be in the self-imposed prison cell in the house well into July.

It's officially 2 in the morning so the poker that I played would officially be considered yesterday. I decided that I had no choice but to add cash games into my mix. When things are running colder than an iceberg in the tournament game hopefully some cash game play will counteract those disasters. As it turns out there are only 6 tournaments that I would ever be interested in playing from the new offerings since the merge. I am not playing in the ones that have a structure that's twice as fast as normal and I am not playing in anything that has 8 minute blinds so that means that I will only be playing in tournaments that have 10 minute blinds or longer and have structure A. Just to remind you here are the two structures that they offer. Structure A is on top.

So with what I have just stated in the above paragraph these are the tournaments that are available for me.

9 a.m. $5 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $350 Gtd 
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

12 p.m. $3 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $600 Gtd 
4000 / 10 / 55 / A

1 p.m. $20 NLH Daily Freezeout $700 Gtd 
5000 / 10 / A

3 p.m. $5 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $500 Gtd 
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

5:30 p.m. $7 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $750 Gtd 
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

7:30 p.m $15 Daily NLH KO Freeze $500 Gtd
4000 / 10 / A

I had to pick up my meds today and some end of the month groceries so I didn't get on the tables today until 3 pm. $721 is not a big enough bankroll to play $50, but it is enough to take a shot at it and I did that today but with a strict stop loss in mind, but it went relatively well as that $50 I played 161 hands and one just under $35. I lost $0.20 in 90 hands at $10, and a $20 and 272 hands won a little over $20. I only play two tournaments the 3 p.m. $5 Jeep Zachary buy and the $15 nightly KO $500 GTD. I actually finished fifth in the 1K GTD which is worth $129 so on the day a hundred $4 one and tournaments $52 1 in cash games total earnings for the day $156 shooting the bank roll from the $721 they put back on today up to just under $878.

As I posted on Twitter.

"So I did that withdrawal but couldn't get it and after 9 days they put it back into my account. My very first day back I make $156. $104 in tournaments and $52 in the cash games. Almost seems like they let me earn some money so I wouldn't withdraw again.
That is the only logical answer because the only other possible answer could be that I was more relaxed and not stressed,, but that could not possibly influence my play. No............. never happen........ impossible........ let's not even discuss it.

Obviously it was a joke tweet, but the fact of the matter is I was very relaxed yesterday. I was also very fortunate as finally two outers actually fell for me. They were situations where I ended up running into coolers and got bailed out and more than once in that tournament that I finished in 5th, but be that as it is I was more relaxed and I think it's because I knew I was going to have to be playing online. I wasn't continually looking forward to making some money and being able to go play live. I don't mean for that to sound like an excuse, but maybe when my mindset is that way, which it usually is, wanting to do so well so that I can get offline back into some live play maybe perhaps it is affecting my decision making processes. I don't know if that is true or not, but I have to at least consider it's a possibility and therefore anytime I am online grinding poker I'm going to have to get that playing live poker out of my thought process and focus on the here and now.

Well that's going to wrap this one up. I was thinking of making this a two-parter but my readers are used to my long blog entries by now. I've been told I'm even outdoing Rob of Rob's Vegas And Poker Blog in blog length.  Today's earnings got me back into the black for online play for 2018 at $104 in earnings. The Golden Nugget tournaments that I ended up chopping heads up got me into the black for live play to the tune of $172 which equals $276 in earnings this year. Absolutely hideous, but if we can just continue some sort of positive momentum that will be a good thing. June officially starts the poker season here in Las Vegas and I'm going to utilize June to start keeping detailed statistics for the rest of the year instead of just clumping them into a multi-monthly span like I've done so far at least I'm going to do my best. So until next time friends and opponents, be well, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

2018 Earnings

Online:  $104
Live:  $172

Bankroll:  $878

Sunday, May 6, 2018

It's A Whole New World And It's More Expensive

Tuesday May 1st was the first full day of the WSOP merge for Nevada and the eastern states of Delaware and New Jersey and for tournament players the results are awesome with many many more tournament options now available. Some are tournaments that I would have no interest in playing, but there are several that I definitely want to be taking part in. They have also put back less expensive tournaments for those trying to build a bankroll which I think is really great. Not everybody wants to keep hundreds of dollars online and for those players that maybe only have a hundred bucks they can get in the game with tournaments of $0.10, $0.25, $0.50, and $1 available to them.

It's a whole new world, and it's more expensive. On WSOP prior to the merge my basic poker day consisted of playing four $3 deepstack rebuy tournaments a total cost for me of $24 as I do the immediate rebuy, but not the add-on, and a $5 deepstack rebuy tournament if it actually went off with a cost for me of $10. The total cost for me not including if I tossed a $20 one in here and there was $34 per day. After looking over the tournaments, and experimenting with some and then deciding whether or not to continue with them in the final analysis I have 9 tournaments a day I want to be part of my daily play schedule, but unlike the cost of $34 per day previously, the cost now for me per day will be $81.  The tournaments I want to be playing are listed below.

9 a.m. $5 NLH Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 55 / A

12 p.m. $3 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 55 / A

1 p.m. $20 NLH Daily Freezeout $700 Gtd
5000 / 10 / A

115 p.m $1 NLH Daily Rebuy $100 Gtd
2500 / 8 / 60 / B

3 p.m. $5 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $500 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

5:15 p.m $1 NLH Rebuy $500 Gtd
2500 / 8 / 60 / B

5:30 p.m. $7 NLH Daily DS Rebuy $750 Gtd
4000 / 10 / 75 / A

7:30 p.m $15 Daily NLH KO Freeze $500 Gtd
4000 / 10 / A

8:15 p.m $1 NLH Daily Rebuy $500 Gtd
2500 / 8 / 60 / B

The numbers that I have separated by a slash beneath each tournament listed is the starting chip stack, how many minutes per blind as under the old system it was 10 minutes, but now some of the tournaments have only 8 minute blinds, how long the rebuy period is in minutes or if it's not a rebuy tournament how long the late registration is, and finally what is the blind structure A or B. Another thing that changed with the merge is their tournaments have one of two blind structures. Here's a screenshot of each. I will call the one on top Structure A and the one on the bottom Structure B.

There are other tournaments such as 6-max and re-entries, which allow you to reenter the tournament if you have one chip or less, but these tournaments only start with 2500 chips and anyone that reads this blog knows that in tournament play my strength lies undoubtedly in deepstack, slow structured, full ring tournanent play. If you look at the difference between structure A and B in the screenshot above you will find that by the time level 10 is reached the blinds are double what they are in structure A and antes have kicked in five levels earlier than structure A. If you will notice on the list of the tournaments I want to play the ones that have structure B are the $1 tournaments, the cheaper ones and to make matters worse there also have only 8 minute blinds.

So why would I even play them you might ask? Well, actually there are a few reasons. The first is two of those are $500 guarantees and a simple $2 investment can pay out over $130 if you take it down. The second reason is they are also just a smidgen closer to the tournament structures I will find playing live. No, I am not saying they are close to it, but they are at the very least closer. That might be a stretch to use that as a reason, but none the less it is a factual one. The third  reason is it helps to keep down my average buyin also known as the ABI. Along with this more expensive cost it's going to require an updated bankroll management approach. I went into today with a bankroll of $729 and $81 a day could be a bit expensive. If you look online looking for bankroll management suggestions some will say 100 ABIs as the suggestion, but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being ultra-conservative and 1 being Ultra crazy on the risk assessment scale, the train of thought seems to be that a 100 ABI bankroll is around 4 to 6 on that scale right smack-dab in the middle.

I make no secret of my financial situation which is that although I have $300 left available to me each month after bills are paid and expenses are set aside such as food and whatnot, a portion of that remaining $300 has to be delegated for Uber or Lyft rides if needed, or perhaps I may want a simple food delivery order once or twice during the months, or I may want to keep $100 aside for an emergency fund just in case something comes up like the other day when I lost my vape pen and had to go to the vape store and spend $40 for a new one. We never know what little thing might come up from day to day so it's always best to keep an emergency fund set aside even if it is only $100. So while if I did nothing else I could replace $300 of my bankroll if absolutely needed I don't want to put myself in that position so a safe bankroll management plan needs to be established, but one that still allows me to play the higher-priced better-paying tournaments and I think I'm came up with one that I'm pleased and satisfied with.

I needed to decide on a base bankroll amount that allows me to play what I call my Mainframe 6. For me this would be the two $5 deepstack rebuys, the $3 deepstack rebuy, and the three $1 tournaments. That's a total of $32 divided by 6 tournaments which equals a ABI or average buyin of $5.33. The base bankroll I want for these is $700 which gives me 131 average buyins in the bankroll and overall 70 buyins for the highest priced tournament that I would be playing each day. I find this to be a nice middle ground. Even if the bankroll drops below $700 I still will play the Mainframe 6 until I'm back over $700 again or I'm broke.

At the beginning of each poker day anything over $700 is set to one side so to speak and whatever that amount is I then decide what will be played with what is available. The choices being the $20 freezeout, the $7 deepstack rebuy $1,500 Gtd, and the $15 Daily KO. If I have $49 available as in I started the day with $749 then awesome no problem I can play all three and if I start the poker day with less such as going into today I started with $729 then choices have to be made and I have to pick and choose what I feel is best. So starting today with $729 I had $29 available and I chose the $7 deepstack rebuy with a total cost of $14 and the $15 KO.

That's going to wrap this entry up. My next entry will let you know how the first 10 days went, but if the first six is any indication it is not going to be a pretty sight. You can follow along how I'm doing over on the right side of this blog, but it is loaded with a lot of red numbers unfortunately, but we keep fighting on because cold runs don't last forever they just seem like they do. So until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll:  $729
May: ($130)
2018 YTD:  $103

Thursday, May 3, 2018

April Results And Looking Towards May

April turned out to be a winning month like March, but April was over twice as better.  April earnings were a total of $306 with $250 earned in tournaments, $53 earned in cash games, satellites cost me ($4) and the rakeback that I was able to gain was $7. My bread-and-butter tournament definitely were the $3 deepstack rebuys and whether they were 55-minute rebuy periods or 85 minutes it didn't seem to matter which was actually surprising to me as I usually do considerably better in the 55-minute variety. Earnings were $293 with a 124% ROI on the first and earnings of $202 and a 259% ROI on the latter. I struggled in the $20 tournaments that I played. Whether they were freezeouts or $10 deepstack rebuys that I do an immediate rebuy in to make it a $20 tournament cost no matter how you look at it in those I showed losses of ($170) ouch!!  I lost ($25) in the one Superstack Freezeout I played and didn't cash and in the one tournament I sold action on my portion of the loss was ($19) so none of that was exactly exciting it. In the $5 deepstack rebuys I lost another ($110), but I bounced back with $79 in earnings in the 6-max $5 two rebuy one add-on tournaments I played in.

All in all April got me back to being in the black for 2018 for a grand total of earnings of $234. Believe me that is not a brag as I find those numbers to be very disappointing, but February was a month that I took a significant hit with losses that month of ($541) so I had to climb my way out of a hole even though January was a winner for ($336), but I am somewhat proud of myself that I was able to buckle down and do what I had to and was able to climb out of that hole even if I've only made $234 over the first four months. I'm hoping to do much better over the next four.

The first 4 months of earnings and losses will all be combined into one grouping because as most of you I'm sure already know that WSOP has merged. May 1st the merge took place and now all three states are in the same player pool and the way I understand it some additional skins were added but I'm not completely sure about that last part so don't quote me on it. Many of the tournaments that I have been playing are either no longer on the menu, or their buyins have increased, or the guaranteed prize pools are considerably higher. There are also several more tournaments for me to choose from now.

My next blog entry will be more in-depth about this merge after the first week  has been completed. I will update you on how I'm doing so far and what tournaments are available for my personal preference. There is another aspect also. With the merge WSOP has increased the number of players that they are paid in their tournaments. The whereas before it was approximately 10% or 11% of the field they now payout on average from 17% to 19% of the field. I'm not sure how I feel about this.  Overall when I combine all my tournaments played online over the first four months of 2018 I've gone 27 for 154 for an in the money percentage of 17.5%. My tournament costs we're $1,267 resulting in earnings of $274 for an ROI of 21.6%. Obviously with an increase of the player pool being paid in tournaments my in the money percentage should increase, but with less money to be had in the top spots how will that affect my ROI?  That is something I do not know and something I'm not going to be able to answer until I have a sufficient sample size played under the new system to compare to so time will tell. Stay tuned my friends and we will find out how it pans out one way or the other.

I'm going to wrap up this entry by letting you know that I will definitely be playing in my first World Series of Poker event this year. I am going to be entering The Giant a $365 bracelet event. This is the same tournament that last year got about 27,000 entrants, but I don't care it's going to be my first experience at the World Series and I cannot wait for it to happen. Because they have five different flights for day one and then day 2 being a specific day and the final day 3 being a different day my physical limitations that I have experienced over the last several months should not come into play. Looking at the structure it looks like it's only 6 actual hours of playing time on day 1 so all should be good on that end. To say that I am absolutely excited would be the understatement of the century.

That's going wrap up this one up.  May will be nothing but tournaments played on WSOP as there are so many choices I don't have time for anything else and all my readers know how I feel about playing cash games anyway. I also decided to cut my maximum tables playing tournaments each day down to two. It's forcing me into a position where I have to pick and choose what I feel are the best tournaments for me instead of just clicking on anything and everything that's available and I think overall that can only be a good thing. The reasoning behind the maximum of two tables is because I feel the flow for me goes much better and I am able to pay close attention to everything that's going on on both tables. I find that when I increase that number to three  there is definitely a lapse of concentration  and for a poker player that's not something you want. So until next time, take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Difficult Implementations Questioning Approaches

I tried to continue to play the cash games, but as I did so no matter what I tried, 2 tabling, 1 tabling, even 3 tabling at one point, I just could not help being utterly uninterested in it even detesting it to a certain degree. Take the 18th for instance. I jumped in a $20NL game, was only playing one cash game at the time and soon into it I get it all in preflop with AA vs Villain' s KK. The aces hold, I double up to $40, and that should have given me some sort of positive emotion from it, but all it generated was a blase feeling. All in all I'm up $53 this month in cash games, won another $40 from them last month, but whether I'm winning or whether I'm losing I just really cannot stand it and I can't explain why. It's poker  I'm doing fairly well at it, I should love it, but I hate it.

On Saturday the 21st I finally decided that if I dislike something that much then it's definitely not something that I'm going to be doing in my poker. I mean let's face it poker is enjoyable first and foremost. Every player out there that plays, I mean we do it because we love it and if I'm on the complete opposite end of the spectrum regarding a certain aspect of my poker then it's just something that I need to not be doing. I personally believe this inherent dislike has been affecting me in other areas such as these long sleep sessions that I've been having. I think this is directly related to the fact that whether it's in my conscience or subconscious mind, something is telling me I don't want to get up because I'm going to be doing something I really don't want to be doing. Even the fact that I would be playing tournaments also during that day isn't enough to overcome that. I end up just turning off my alarm and sleeping for 12, 14, and even 16 hours. This is exactly what happened on Friday the 20th, and I did not get a single hand of Poker played so going into Saturday I finally said enough. I need to do what I want to do, I need to do what I love and I think I find it more than a coincidence that at no time during the course of Saturday did I even consider wanting to go to sleep and on Sunday morning I got up with my alarm for the first time in forever. Well actually I woke up with the second alarm but I was up and at it for the 9 a.m. tournament. On Saturday or Sunday I did not play a single hand of cash and instead, as the day progressed, I just kept looking forward to the next tournament coming up.

A situation I find I am facing is that what I wrote in a blog entry recently, when I tried to put it into practice, I found the implementation of it not being what I thought it would be and found myself backing away from what I thought would be an extraordinarily simple situation. On my last entry I wrote about how as my bankroll increased by $100 increments how many different $20 tournaments I could add to the mix. In part I wrote the following.

"If my account balance is at $600 then I may add one $20 tournament that particular day. If it is $700 then I may allow myself two $20 tournaments that day, if it's at $800 then I may allow myself to play three of them a day."

Well on two separate occasions during the last week I've had my account balance starting the day at just over $800, but when it came to the implementation I realized I had no intentions of playing three $20 tournaments on either of those days and in each case I kept myself to just one $20 tournament the first time I faced the opportunity and a single $25 tournament the second time I had the opportunity.  I mean it seemed completely reasonable to when I wrote about it, but when the time came to actually put it into play I backed way off. The question is why?  Why am I all of a sudden developing, what to me is, an ultra-conservative bankroll management approach and more importantly by doing so am I letting potential value escape me.

Maybe it's because with only a few hundred dollars left over each month $800 is not immediately and easily replaceable, but actually that doesn't make sense because the worst that I could be even if I lost three of the $20 tournaments would be from $800 to $740 and obviously that's not counting any losses I might taking in my normal tournaments that cost $6 and $10 that I play, but no matter how you look at it three $20 tournaments on any particular day is not going to make or break me so why am I being so hesitant?  Am I'm being smart about it or overly cautious. I don't know what the answer is all I know is that as my bankroll increases I'm becoming more restrictive with what I'm willing to spend it on pokerwise. Is this a fault or a strength? Is this being smart or is this being fearful? I'm really not sure all I am sure of is the higher the bankroll climbs the more protective I am being with it.

Another area that I'm questioning myself is something that I tweeted about on Twitter and if you don't follow me on Twitter this is what was tweeted in part.

"If your bankroll allows u to play a $20 tournament once a day & other than that your bankroll stipulates you play in lower priced ones during the course of the day. When you're running a bit cool would you still want to play that $20 tournament each day because your bankroll says you can or would you prefer to wait until you see signs you're heating back up before throwing that $20 tournament in there. Something can be said for both sides as that $20 tournament could be the one that snaps you out of your cool run in a big way then again it could be considered throwing good money after bad when you know you're not running well."

Again here I have been taking the more conservative approach. If I see myself taking bad beats to get knocked out of tournaments or running into coolers or not seeming to be able to win a coin flip and I find myself running 0 for my last 7 or 0 for my last 9 I generally, no matter what the bankroll may be at that time, will pass on playing the $20 tournament until I see some signs that I'm coming out of it. The question again is this the intelligent approach or is this just another aspect of fear slipping in the equation. I really don't know the answer to that question either. As always I welcome all thoughts and opinions to any of the topics touched on in this entry.

I will continue to throw in a single $20 tournament providing my bankroll is at $800 and above or even $700 and above. When will I be comfortable tossing in multiple $20 tournaments per day....... I don't currently know the answer to that. Will I feel comfortable doing it when I have $900 available to me or will it not be until I have $1,000. Ordinarily I would just simply tell you what the answer is, but I am finding from my recent experience of the $800 account balance that I'm not going to know until the situation actually presents itself.

So to conclude let me bring you up-to-date with what the monthly situation is through Sunday the 22nd.  After play ended on Sunday the 15th at that point for the month I was up $218 in total earnings. As I entered Sunday the 22nd total earnings for April were $191 down $27 for the last 6 days with planned tournament costs for the day coming in at $54, but some additional rebuys when I got in a little bit of trouble in a couple of tournaments ended up making it $65. Unfortunately over the previous six days I hit a bit of a tournament slump going to 2 for 16 with a 5th place and 4th place finish in two different $3 deepstack rebuys. I was also 0 for my last 9 played.

The 9 a.m. $350 guaranteed, 12 p.m. $400 guarantee, and 3:15 p.m. $350 guaranteed 6Max went nowhere bringing me to 0 for my last 12. The next two tournaments were the 4 p.m. $350 guaranteed and the 4:30 p.m. $500 guaranteed and it was in these two tournaments that I noticed things starting to turn back my way. It wasn't turning back my way because I was winning some large all-ins, but when you re in a tournament cool stretch and you're not winning coin flips to save your life sometimes the sign you're coming out of it is just a hand playing to showdown where you have for example KQ vs Villain's 99 and you end up winning the hand. It doesn't have to be for a lot of chips just an instance where you were a coinflip pre and you end up winning the hand even if the pot is small, that doesn't really matter, but these are the signs that you look for that things are starting to turn back around.

I noticed it first in the 4:30 p.m. $5 deepstack rebuy $500 guaranteed and I actually ended up finishing out of the money in that one, but that's where I noticed the first signs and in the 4 p.m. $350 guaranteed I ended up finishing 3rd for a $72 return. It was a very disappointing 3rd as at one point with five or six players left I had a substantial chip lead. With that $72 cash that guaranteed me having a winning day of a grand total of $7, but I still had two tournaments left going. The 7:30 p.m. $800 guaranteed and the 9:30 p.m. $500 guaranteed and I was able to pull down a 6th place finish in the $800 guaranteed for an additional $57 on the day. I played tournaments for about 15 hours and ended up making $64 or a little over $4 an hour, but that's the amazing thing about poker. If just one or two hands goes just a little bit differently then that same day I'm making over $30 an hour. You just gotta love it.

There has been an additional issue in April. I am not running well at all in the more expensive tournaments. Completing action yesterday in $5 and $10 deepstack rebuys and $20 and $25 deepstack and superstack freezeouts I've gone 0 for 21 in these tournaments with losses of ($324). The $3 deepstack rebuys have been my saving grace as when action was completed yesterday this month I had gone 11 for 41 in those with earnings of $521. I don't know why there's such a discrepancy and it may simply be that my sample size is too to make any significant determinations, but it is definitely and obviously a noticeable difference.

Going into today for the 3rd time in the last 7 days I start with a bankroll just over $800. Obviously I have started running a little warm again so there will be a single $20 tournament played today unless of course I run very deep in something early then possibly and probably a 2nd will be tossed into the mix. I only got about an hour's worth of a semi-sleep situation because of something very interesting that happened during the overnight and I'll let you know about that in my next entry probably within a few days followed by an end of the month report for April's final results and May's goals. That's going to wrap this one up. Until next time, as always, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The First Half Of April 2018

April definitely started pretty well as once again the first tournament I played in the month I ended up with a final table appearance finishing 4th for a return of $62. No poker played on the 2nd and 3rd and on the 4th I only played one tournament that day however it was good for a win coming in 1st out of 73 players for a $159 return for my $6 investment.

Following the win for $159 I hit a 2 for 24 run and because of that going into Saturday the 14th, for the month of April, which at one point I had been up over $200 for the month, I started the 14th up a grand total of $57 for the month of April.  I realized going into the 14th that the last couple of days of tournaments I had gotten stubborn, and impatient and going into the 14th that was something that I wanted to immediately rectify.

On Saturday the 14th I only played two tournaments because of a continuing screwed up sleep schedule I ended up falling asleep at 4 in the afternoon and didn't wake up until 10:30 at night. I was able to get a min cash out of the two that I played which was very disappointing, but after going 13 straight tournaments without a single cash getting something was better than nothing I suppose.

So that brings us to Sunday the 15th the last day of the first half of April and since I did not get up until 10:30 the previous evening Sunday was going to be a full slate of tournaments. Sunday was also going to be a day of getting 2 outted on 4 separate occasions. I think the only thing more frustrating than getting 2 outed is finishing on the bubble. In all I played 8 tournaments on Sunday. I was in for a total tournament cost of $84. All in all it turned out to be a pretty profitable day as I went 2 for 8 with two final tables with a fourth-place finish for $63 in the 4 p.m. $350 Gtd and a second-place finish in the $800 Gtd which was worth $187. I ended up finishing the first half of April with total April earnings of $218. Those two final tables and three cashes in my last 10 tournaments played helped to get back into form.

Over the course of the first two weeks I had also been adding a cash game or two into the mix here and there. After the finish of Sunday's play in less than 1500 hands I ended up making $43 which is a nice earn rate, but as usual being online cash games are not something that I really enjoy, but if it's something that I am going to earn money at I should find some way that adds these into my daily play schedule rather than making excuses why I don't want to play them. I definitely don't want an all day cash grind because that would be almost worse than tooth extraction. For a majority of the first couple of weeks I've been kind of stubborn about it saying it's not something I really care for so I'm not going to do it, but they say treat poker like a business and if this is something that shows profits, from a business standpoint, I need to be doing it plain and simple. 

One thing that I find is that these days when I play online poker I like to keep it to a 3 table maximum.  This never used to be the case, but these days I find three to be the most comfortable for me. What I'm going to try to do for the second half of April is while I play tournaments each day fire up one or two cash games, keeping it to that three table maximum. If I am playing one tournament then I will have 2 cash games going, if I am playing two tournaments I will have one cash game going, and obviously if I am playing three tournaments I won't have any cash games going.

Many of my readers have previously stated that they think I should take more breaks during the course of my day especially when I get started at 9 in the morning and sometimes things don't end till after 1am which was in fact the case on Sunday. I've always known they were right about this, but again it's always been a act of stubbornness by me, but if I am not playing in a tournament at some point during the day then this will be the perfect opportunity for me to take a break. This should also solve the problem of not getting bored playing cash games because if I am playing them that automatically means I will have a at least one tournament going at the same time and as long as I am playing a tournament then getting bored and just saying to hell with this should not be an issue. I think this is a nice little compromise where I am not ignoring the potential for earnings, but at the same time I am not sitting there playing and preferring someone end my suffering by throwing me into a cactus plant. I think this is going to be a nice middle-ground. We'll see if it works over the next two weeks.

Another thing that absolutely has got to stop is my refusal to get up when the alarm goes off and get on these tables.  For the last two weeks I can't tell you how many times I've slept till 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and even after 4 p.m. in the afternoon because when the alarm goes off I'm just shutting it off and staying in bed and going back to sleep. I am not going to be making any money to get to my goals which is to be able to take money from my online account and play live from time to time or better yet more than just time to time if I am sleeping the day away. I think for the first two weeks of this month I simply fell into a period of complete laziness and that stops here and now.

Finally I'm trying to figure out exactly what kind of a bankroll management plan I want to be utilizing and exactly and specifically what my goals are for not only online play, but getting out for a live play as well. Specifically, how much money do I need in my online account where I can allow myself to toss in some $20 tournaments which I have done in the first couple of weeks, but I think I've been doing it with slightly too little available dollars in my account balance. 

My first thought was as long as I had over $500 in my account that would be satisfactory enough with my thought process being that $500 is 83 buyins for the $3 deepstack rebuys which cost me $6 for each one of them usually and 83 buyins is more than adequate for that, but at the same time I have to remember that that money is also going to be utilized in cash games and when you are also adding $20 tournaments into it you can find your account balance being depleted with just a single bad day of tournaments. Sunday was a prime example as when I started the day I did not expect to be investing $84 of the $612 that I started the day with in my account balance.

So with that said I think my approach needs to be adjusted. So I'm thinking that instead of allowing myself to toss in a couple of $20 tournaments on a particular day instead of needing $500 that I should force myself to have a minimum account balance where I allow myself to add one at a time. If my account balance is at $600 then I may add one $20 tournament that particular day. If it is $700 then I may allow myself two $20 tournaments that day, if it's at $800 then I may allow myself to play three of them a day and finally if it's at $900 I can play 4 of  the $20 tournaments that are available to me and at $1,000 I can also in addition add the $25 one that is held on Saturdays only. Since I started today with an account balance online of $772 I can allow myself to play two $20 tournament today if I so desire.

As for getting out and playing live poker obviously I have to decide what is the base amount that I want to keep online to be able to play the tournaments online that I wish to and how much over that do I need to have before I withdraw it to play a few tournaments in a live setting and I think just from what I wrote in the previous paragraph that base amount should be $1,000 and when $500 is earned above that thousand dollar number giving me what would be $1,500 in my account I can then withdraw $500. Whether I choose to play the $50 tournament at Sam's Town, the $70 tournament at the Golden Nugget or the $100+ tournaments at The Orleans or the Aria or quite frankly whatever other one that I wish to play provided that I have the money in my pocket to do so so simply be whatever I want or feel like doing at the time.

So far April's going pretty well although it has fluctuated, but nothing new there. For the final two weeks of April I want to continue to improve my tournament game. As you know I made the adjustment to my tournament game on March 14th by opening up the range, and opening up the open raising instead of open limping. It has shown definite results.  This adjustment was definitely and directly responsible for my win on the 4th for $159 and I will go as far as to say that it was probably directly responsible for my second place finish in the $800 Gtd last night because going back and looking over the hands with substantial increases in my chip stack because of the adjustment I made it accounted for me having 57,000 more chips when I hit the final table then I would have previously.  Did that 57,000 chips make the difference in where I finished in the tournament??  We can't say one way or another  whether it did or did not, but I feel it's at least possible.

The numbers for tournaments for 2018 tell the real story. Previously to making the adjustment on March 14th I went 5 for 42 tournaments played which is an in the money percentage of 12%.  After making the adjustment to my tournament game through as of last night I had gone 15 for 72 for a 21% in the money percentage with nine of those 15 in the money finishes being a final table appearance. A definite and decisive Improvement. Now the question going through my mind is can we even improve on that. Are there areas where I can open up my tournament game even further without bordering on reckless. It's a very fine line that I am trying to walk and there will be a certain amount of trial and error as the days and weeks continue on.

That's going to wrap this one up. So far so good for the month of April and I am hoping that we can continue things in the right direction. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Poker And Personal The First Three Months of 2018

It's been a good long while since I posted and as a matter of fact I think this is the longest I have gone without posting since I started this blog. A lot of things been going on in my life, poker and personal, so I'll bring you up-to-date. First the poker then the personal.

I only played online for a couple of days in January but long enough for me to drop a quick($70) I did get a $10 bonus and $3 in rakeback for a grand total loss of $57 for the month of January online. I then switched over to exclusively live play, but because  of the chronic pains that I experience I was only able to play four times live on the 8th, 15th, 24th, and 25th for the month of January.  The rest of the days of January I could just tell by how I was feeling I was in no condition  to be traipsing around town at different casinos. Mostly because of the heart affliction I will touch on my transportation to and from casinos had to be by Lyft or Uber and with not a lot of money that I could put aside for that four times in January was all I could play. Those four days were somewhat profitable. Although I lost $140 playing tournaments, at the limit and spread limit cash games I earned $427 and I also earned a $106 straight flush bonus at Sam's Town to add on to that so all in all those four days were pretty profitable for me.

I began the month of February continuing to play live, but only got 5 days on the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th and by that time I was really really feeling it bad and realized the morning of the 7th that it was going to be my final day in February for live play. February overall was a definite struggle. For live play ($135) in tournament losses and another ($266) in cash game losses. For the remainder of February I kept to online, but it was a rough month with a total of ($150) in losses at the tables and only one $10 bonus cleared. Year-to-date at the end of February was a total of losses of $205 counting everything and ($197) of that from online play. Not exactly the way I wanted to start off 2018.

So in comes the month of March which began on a much more positive note when I pull down a second-place finish in the very first tournament I played on WSOP in March for a return of $136 so that was a pretty good way to start things off.  As is usual after a very deep run I go through a stretch of not cashing. This has always been the way since I got on WSOP for my first full year on this site in 2016. During the course of that year and tournaments on WSOP alone I earned in the neighborhood of $2,000 so going through long stretches of non cashes after going deep is just typical as on that site I basically run an in the money percentage of about on average 14%.  This time was no different as after the second-place finish I had 1 min cash over the next 18 or 19 tournaments so completely typical.

However something has always nagged at me that why is it that I have such long stretches of non caches. I believe the most I have gone through is 23 straight tournaments, but I just figured that's the nature of things, yet other players that I play against on WSOP and specifically the regs they definitely have a better in the money percentage than me, but could that be because they do multiple buyins in these rebuys and I refuse to do so.

At the same time I watch and subscribe to a few poker vlogs. The two ones that I will make specific are Andrew Neeme who is a cash-game full-time professional player who play as much $5/$10 No Limit and Jeff Boski who is a full-time professional tournament player and something that I noticed in these videos as I watched them as they reported on their games they played and went over hands is that they both whether the cash game or tournament they open raise a much wider variety than I do.

I've always considered myself a very tight and conservative player and for example small and medium pocket pairs. The way I learned it with these hands you want to get in as cheap as humanly possible for the purpose of set mining, but these players open raise these whether it's a cash game or tournament. Ace suited cards as in A8s or A5s they also open these in middle position where for me these have always been an instantaneous fold or limp only depending on the circumstances, but never raised with such things, but when March 14th hit I decided that I would spend the day in the tournaments that I would end up playing to try to open up the range and open up the raising.

I initiated this change on March 14th and for the tournaments that I played from March 1st to March 13th I went 2 for 20 which is 10% in the money and the tournament that I played on WSOP from the 14th to the 31st I went 8 for 35 which is 22% in the money so there is a distinct difference. One could say it's too small of a sample size but overall from when I first started plan on WSOP I hold as I stated before I hold an overall average in the money percentage of only 14%. In order to see if the higher in the money rate is legitimate I will have to see how this does in April, but when all was said and done for the month of March earnings were $143 online. Not great but better than 2018 started off by far. $86 earned in tournaments, $40 in cash games, $22 in rakeback and bonuses, and ($15) lost in SNGs.

So what's ahead for April?? Well you'll notice that I earned $40 in cash games which means I have also been adding a cash game or two to my repertoire. I still don't like playing cash games online and I don't think I ever will like playing cash games online, but if they can add a little buffer to tournament cold runs then I guess I really can't avoid them. So what I'm going to do in April is pretty much what I was doing in the last half of March and that is add a cash game or two at the most to go along with a tournament I'm playing in and when the tournament is over the cash game is over and I'll be able to take a break and then when the next tournament starts up again I'll fire up a couple of more cash game tables. Sometimes it may only be one sometimes it may be two depends on what I feel like. I'll try to get started at 12 noon at the latest and my day will end whenever the last tournament that I am playing that day ends. I can't even give an estimate of goals for hands played because since I'm only playing the cash games while I am also playing a tournament I have no idea how many hands a day I will be playing so for the April goals let's just have one...... make some money.

Personal Update

Now for the person stuff. First of all unfortunately a friendship has come to an end after more than two and a half years. Michelle and I are no longer friends. We have unfriended each other on Facebook we have unfollowed each other on Twitter. Although the situation is not what it once was I will still be respectful and I will simply let my readers know that it was caused by a intense argument that was carried out on Facebook over politics which is no big surprise and certain things were said that can never be taken back. It's sad to see a friendship end, but these things happen. I definitely can be civil to her and I wish her nothing but success and for her future, but the friendship which we had has unfortunately been destroyed. If you ask me it was her actions and I'm sure if you ask her she would say it was mine, but in the end it really is unimportant simply the fact that it happened is.

I believe I touchec on this before, but there has been something definitely wrong with my heart. Walking 30 of 40 steps in your heart racing so fast you have to stop sit down until your heart slows down just so you can do another 30 or 40 steps and repeat the whole process something is definitely wrong.

I visited a cardiologist at the beginning of March and I told the physician's assistant I simply wanted them to prescribe a pill that would slow my heart rate down, but she said that couldn't happened and they ordered me to undergo a couple of tests. The physician's assistant that I dealt with on my initial visit she's a real piece of work. The woman came off as a cross between Heinrich Himmler and Attila the Hun and had all the charm and grace of a spitting cobra. On my very first visit she walks into the examination room, doesn't even say hello, and instead simply looks at me and says "So why are you here?"  Woman's got the personality of a spiny cactus plant.

On March 8th I had a nuclear stress test where they actually inject radioactive material into your body and I'm here to tell you ladies and gentlemen when radioactive material is injected into your body your body has some unfortunate reactions to say the least. They followed that up with an ultrasound of the heart also known as an echocardiogram on the 16th and then on the 28th I went back to the heart doctor, actually the sane physician's assistant and find out what those tests showed. She tells me that my heart is in great shape. I could tell by her reaction she was actually surprised that she was saying this to a 50 year old guy, but she told me there is absolutely no blockages at all. My heart is a bit enlarged because of my weight condition, but that is to be expected and she felt that a lot of this rapid heart rate is because of my weight. She was extraordinary happy that I had lost 28 pounds in the last 3 months and in fact when I told her I wish it could come off faster she even said my weight loss is actually going a little faster than they would like, but all in all keep doing what I'm doing and increase my blood pressure pill twice a day.

The more I think about this cardiologist experience the madder I get. I mean think about it.  I went in and told them I needed a pill that would slow the heart rate down, but they insist that they have to do tests. So they put my body through hell injecting me with radioactive material and then an ultrasound that had a technician pressing down so hard on my rib cage I thought my ribs we're going to snap in two, just to go back for her to tell me to increase to 2 times a day a pill I'm already taking.  I mean hello this is what I wanted and asked you people for in the first place you half-wits!! It's so frustratingly irritating to say the least that I just want to punch a hole in a wall, preferably a hole in their wall at their office, but of course law enforcement would take a dim view of this so let us not go down that road shall we.

The most major personal update is that on Christmas Eve I was found by an older half sister of mine. We have the same father but different mothers and she's someone that I never knew about. Actually it was her best friend that made the initial inquiries and then me and her talked on the phone and we have been talking and texting almost constantly since Christmas Eve learning about each other, me providing information about her father side of the family that she has always craved but had no way of knowing. I have to tell you it's kind of cool when I can refer to someone as my sister and also getting to know some of my nieces. I grew up an only child so I never thought I would have nephews or nieces. I also have another half-sister who I have maybe spoken to three times in 30 years. Yeah dad was a tomcat when he was younger God Rest his soul and over the years I've been just like my dad just no kids. I was always very careful about that.

That's going to wrap this one up. My bankroll online is a little over $550, more than enough for the $3 deepstack rebuys that I am playing and even a few $5 ones tossed in. When I get paid in April I'm thinking I might get myself out at least one or two days during the month for some live tournament action, but we will see about that. Sorry this entry has been so long in coming and I will try to be more consistent, but the heart situation that I was going through was taking up a lot of me and I just wasn't into writing the blog. Till next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.