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Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Crazy Test Run And Back To Poker My Way

I'm putting aside The Final Five and I will just make it The Final Four at the beginning of next month and the reason for this is because I decided that I am going 2 try a test this month and it may be the single most asinine thing I've ever attempted in my poker playing. I fully admit this going in, but when you keep having the words what if, what if, what if, going through your mind constantly, you have to find out what will be. The worst words in the world are what if or what could have been, so beginning tomorrow the August test begins.

And just what is this test you may ask. As you know in my last entry I stated I went 17 for 79 for an in the money percentage of 22% with losses of ($379.27). Those numbers are actually in error as I forgot to include the 9 a.m. $5 deepstack rebuy $350 Gtd. For this entry I separated the 4 No Limit Hold'em deepstack rebuy tournaments that I would play and this time I double checked the figures to make sure they came up correctly. From May 1st, the first day of the WSOP merge, until July 31st these are the results of the four specific tournaments.

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $350 Gtd 
2 for 14 
14% 
($109.01) 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $600 Gtd
8 for 39 
20.5% 
($206.21) 

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $1000 Gtd 
7 for 30 
23% 
($60.16) 

$7 Deepstack Rebuy $1500 Gtd 
2 for 10 
20% 
($141.74) 

As I stated in the last entry these numbers do not make sense. 23% in the money should not equate to losses and quite frankly neither should 20% for that matter, but I admit on the $350 Gtd and the $1500 Gtd the sample size is extremely small. I believe the cost of the tournaments when you do the immediate rebuy and the add-on, in combination with the sometimes nearly 20% being paid in these tournaments, is a big part of what is overall causing these negative numbers, but it got me thinking. What if I bought into these tournaments utilizing one buyin, no additional rebuys, and no add-ons, what would happen. If I had been doing this all along the cost for the tournaments played would have been approximately $777.37 less than what they actually were. That is quite a large amount of money when you're talking cost vs reward, but the question is would I have had any deep runs by simply buying in and that was it, would I be showing a profit in each and every one of these or any of these for that matter if I had done that all along. I don't know, and those reading this don't know, and the only way that we're going to find out is to test it. It's quite possible that a 27-day test won't really prove one way or the other, but if I do this test the entire rest of the month it will be over 100 tournaments if I play everyday which I won't be able to do because two different medical appointments are going to interfere in the grind, but I want to at least see if there is any Improvement. I have posted the results that I listed above on the right side of my blog and right above that is going to be the August test results so that you guys can follow along.

Today, August 4th, was the pre-test to the test. Doing this is going to increase my tournament cost by $20 a day from $53 to $73 and considering this may be the stupidest experiment I have ever tried, I wanted to see if there was some way that I could offset these additional tournament costs. The beginning of the month once again I tried playing cash games and my heart just wasn't in it and to be honest neither was my full attention, and at times I didn't even care what was going on in them and I took a significant loss but under the circumstances I've just stated let's face it that's to be expected. I hate cash games, I hate saying the term cash games, I hate their ever-lovin guts, so why do I continue to try to play them? Because I'm an idiot that's why and one of these days I am going to learn don't go near what you hate. The reason I tried it once again was I was looking to offset costs, but today when I did the pre-test I went a different route and this was $5 heads-up SNGs.

I can only realistically do three tables because quite frankly 4 just goes too damn fast for me. I guess I'm slowing down as I get older, but when I try to do 4 tables I get sat out, but when I do 3 life is awesome, so if I only have two multi-table tournaments going, I was firing up a single heads-up SNG. I can only play those one at a time because if I try to fire up two of those, well talk about tables popping up left and right, it's a no-go, but during the course of the day I ended up playing 12 of them and I won 8 and lost 4 and earned $16.80 in the process. Now granted I may not average 8 wins out of 12 typically, but then again maybe I will, I've never played these things seriously just one here and there except that one time that I played a day of $1 ones and  one 50% of but except for that experience I have no idea what I am capable of, but no matter what I make from them, it will offset part of the additional $20 I'm going to be spending. I'm thinking tomorrow if I play the $10 heads-up SNGs even if I'm not winning 8 out of 12 it should completely offset the additional cost that is if the $10 ones go off as regularly as the $5 ones and if by some crazy chance I do go 8 out of 12 again it will totally cover that cost and more.

Going into today I decided to go back to playing poker my way. For quite some time now I've been trying to adapt to what the poker establishment says is correct, but it is not my way of playing poker. To hell with these preflop raises of 2.2 times the big blind and continuation bets of 1/3 the pot so you were just giving your opponent in a heads-up post-flop situation 4 to 1 odds. It is totally ridiculous to me and today I decided to go back to doing it the way. With no antes in play preflop raises of 3.5x, with antes preflop raises of 3x plus a little extra, sometimes five hundred. I watch Doug Polk's stream from time to time and specifically when it comes to preflop raise sizing I notice that anybody that bucks the system, that goes against what the poker establishment says is correct and plays old school he will get very excitable at times and it seems to him they're automatically a fish.

Like the other day when I was watching his stream and one of his opponents raised 4X, I mean I thought the man was going to stroke out he was screaming so loud on camera about it. The current poker establishment seems to think there's only one way to play this game, but I disagree.  2.2 times the big blind preflop raises screams for the blinds to be calling. I got news for you if I have AK I don't want 6 opponents going against me I want that mofo heads up and as far as I'm concerned why would you want to raise smaller preflop when a larger raise is going to steal far more blinds and antes without a challenge especially when you're doing it in late position and in late position you're raising a lot lighter than you are in early position. Why would anybody want to bet 1/3 the pot as a continuation bet when in a heads-up situation when you're giving your opponent four to one for a call, to me that is absolute insanity. Look I know Doug Polk is the professional and I'm a nobody,  but even if that's so I'm still going to do things my way and today I did just that and the 2nd tournament I entered on the day, and granted it was a small one, just a $5 KO so a $2.50 tournament with $2.50 knockouts and I ended up with 9 knockouts, 10 if you count my own since I ended up winning the tournament in a field of 104 and my $5 investment got me a $91 return. Coincidence? Very possibly, but is it a coincidence that it was my first outright win in the last 151 tournaments played, but for all the reasons I've just listed it this old school poker player is back doing things his way. After all, Sinatra said it best.





After the cash game difficulties I decided to pop $175 in a deposit on to my WSOP account starting the day with $1200 even and I also utilized the reload bonus code so I have $170 in pending bonus. The tournaments played today, plus the $5 heads-up SNGs got me 20 points, so if that's going to be standard,  every 5 days I will be clearing a $10 bonus. For today after everything was all said and done and the smoke cleared I walked away with a $47 profit for the day so I'm starting the August Test tomorrow with a bankroll of $1,247 and am going to be hitting up the $10 heads-up SNGs tomorrow provided they go off with some regularity.

That's going to wrap this one up. I'll report back in about a week to let you know how it's going and if I end up popping a good one you can believe I will be tweeting about it on Twitter. Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $1247
Goal: $2500
Progress: 50%


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Final Five

The final week of July could have gone better. If you recall from my last entry I started  the final week of July with $1,254 and unfortunately I ended the final day of July with $1170. However I am starting the final five months with $1,100 as I decided to pull $70 of that off and send it to my PayPal which I will then send to my checking account. Why did I do this you ask? Actually there were two reasons. The first was I wanted to start the final five months of the year with a nice round even number in the and the second reason was I've got a few medical co-pays not to mention bills I need to take care of next month and that extra $70 is going to most likely go for that.

It has been 3 full months since the merge on WSOP and this is a paragraph that could be titled why do I wait so long, but of course that can be said for a lot of things that I figure out along the way during this journey. I recently discovered, once I actually took the effort and looked into it, that ever since the merge and this asinine increase in the amount of players paid in these tournaments to over 15% and sometimes just under 20% that it absolutely kills the ROI and more specifically it kills it in rebuy tournaments more than anywhere else because those, as you know, cost more than face value. Prior to the merge even a min cash in the rebuy tournaments would be about double the total tournament cost even if you did the initial rebuy and add-on. Now with this new payout structure there are numerous times, I kid you not, where a min cash is getting you 1.2 times you're buyin. The situation is better in freezeouts and knockouts. Yes, depending on the exact circumstances there are times where that will happen even in a freezeout, but those times are less prevalent. As a prime example the $20 deep stack freeze out I have found usually a min cash pays 1.5x to 1.8x the buy-in and believe me and trust me when I tell you those few tenths of a point make a huge difference in the long run. My results since the merge are a prime example.


NLH Rebuys
ITM: 17 for 79: 22%
Earnings: ($379.27)

I think it goes without saying that if you are 22% in the money you should be showing positive numbers in the earnings department and even if you don't agree to that line of reasoning you would have to agree that those earnings would have to be at least close to break even. 22% in the money in rebuys and down almost ($400) in the process. That doesn't even come close to adding up and I guarantee you if the payouts weren't so low because of the increased player payouts, those numbers would be in the positive. The final day of July was a prime example. $7 deepstack rebuy, total cost $20.37 for one initial rebuy and the add-on, 220 players, I finish in the top 10% and get $29 for my aggravation. No thank you rebuys are off the menu for the final five months.


Freezeouts 
ITM: 7 for 28: 25%
Earnings: $166.05

Not the best, but then again not to worst at least I'm showing a profit and heaven to Betsy it's in freezeouts. Whoever would have thought that.


KOs 
ITM: 13 for 54: 24%
Earnings: ($169.14)

This one takes a little explaining. On the surface it does not look exactly what you might call prosperous, but even though I am showing overall losses in KOs there is an interesting but to this. What I am about to say next is probably going to sound insane, but then again that probably is no surprise to my long-term readers anyway lol, but after running horribly for the first 21 tournaments I decided that I was not going to play a knockout tournament like it was a knockout tournament. I think you know what I mean. Going after the knockout with less-than-stellar holdings, calling somebody who's all in with a thousand chips and you have A7s. I think it can be agreed that in a normal tournament or a normal freezeout you're not going to call off a quarter or a third of your stack in that situation, but when you're in a knockout tournament it's played a little differently so I decided that even though I was in a knockout tournament I was going to play it like I was just in a standard freezeout tournament. The results from this decision was eight cashes in the next 12 played in the $15 KO including a fifth-place finish with $100 in earnings and a 55.5% ROI. Prior to this change of approach I was 5 for 21, all of them min and losses of ($254). Over the final three tournaments in the $15 KO that I played in July I seemed to slip back into that go after the knockout routine and I went 0 for my final 3 however I was able to get three Knockouts in two of those tournaments so even going zero for the last three in the $15 KO my losses for those three were still only $15. Obviously I need to get back on track in my thinking and approach, this much is obvious, and perhaps for others it doesn't matter, but for me in a knockout tournament I got to play it like it's a regular freezeout because I think 8 for 12 says everything and more than I could possibly say here.

So the title says "The Final Five" and obviously since I've already mentioned it a couple of times that indicates the last 5 months of the year. Since I am eliminating rebuys from my tournament schedule that only leaves me with five tournaments to play each day, three of them Knockouts and two regular freezeouts. Total cost of the daily tournaments are $53 with an average buyin of $10.60, but two of them make up $35 of that $53 cost. I'm starting "The Final Five, as I stated previously, with $1,100 exactly. I'm also starting the final five months with over 100 average buy-ins, 103 to be precise, so I do believe it is in my best interest to to supplement my earnings with PLO8 cash games. I'm choosing these over NLH cash games because first of all in a live setting I've done considerably better this year in the few hours that I have played in Limit Omaha 8 than I did in limit Hold'em and with the aspect of the low and the high makes the variance lower and makes it far more interesting to me than your basic and NLH cash game which as you know bores me to freaking tears and makes root canal without anesthesia or Novocaine look appealing. Another reason is I heard one of the streamers that I watch say that even in the micros $250 a week is possible and I would like to see just how close I can come to that. I do not on God's green earth expect to hit that number, but hell, if I could get half of it, I'd be happy.

The first seven months have been a constant struggle, but the first four months were definitely profit and ever since the merge it hit me hard with the changes, but I think I've got everything figured out. Total earnings over the first 7 months were a paltry $244 with $117 coming in online earnings. I'm ready and raring to go for "The Final Five" and I really feel that since I've got everything ironed out in just what I want to do and how I want to do it, that these final 5 months is going to be a volcano explosion that would make Mount Saint Helens look like a smoldering smokestack. I'm ready and raring to go, I've got the drive for it back, I feel like I'm totally in the zone, and the only thing that's going to stop me from making a hell of a run in "The Final Five" is myself.

That's going to wrap this one up. Less than 90 minutes until the first tournament of the day and I'm not sure exactly what time the PLO8 games will get going,  possibly by 11, but if not there should be at least one table going by 12. It will be a three table max so if I've got three tournaments going which I very well could in the afternoon, I will not be able to play cash games during that time. I'm only going to play these cash games while I'm in a tournament and if I'm not in one then I'm going to utilize that as my break time. With all that said that the other things remain the same such as the $2,500 goal to withdraw a thousand and keep 1500 behind online. Time to hit the tables soon, time to go to work, time to do what I do best so let's rock and roll this baby!! Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.


Bankroll: $1100
Goal: $2500
Progress: 44%


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Tournament Trail Is Back

Well thanks to WSOP and also what turned out to be an error on my part, my difficulties with trying to decide what tournaments to be playing, do I have enough money in my bankroll for them, are they costing 150% more then they previously did but only increasing the top payout by 40%, and what else am I going to have to be playing since I'm so restricted in available tournaments for me personally as in am I going to have to grind cash games, or heads up SNGs, or PLO8 or anything else you can think of, all of that is a thing of the past and The Tournament Trail Is back!!

First my error. While it is true that some of the tournaments are costing me 150% more I was under the impression that they were only increasing in prize value by maybe 40% because of the extra spots paid, but looking it over today, and since today was Monday, one of the slower days of the week, it was a good day to look at it. Previously before the WSOP merge most of the tournaments I played 6 were costing me $6 and top prize being roughly $180 so 30 times my buy-in which I found completely acceptable. Today I took a look at them utilizing the top spot as the basis of it and since that's what every tournament poker player shoots for and it turns out that the top spot in the 12 noon and 3 p.m. deepstack rebuys are paying either close enough or more than 30 times the buy-in. The 5:30 p.m. in which the buy in will cost me $20.37 can't be compared to the $6 tournaments that I was playing previously, but instead would have to be compared to the $20 tournament I used to play from time to time that had the $2k guaranteed prize pool and paid $900 to $1,000 up top and that's what it still is doing. The main error I made was comparing certain tournaments now and utilizing the wrong comparison to previous tournaments. A prime example is the 5:30 p.m. $1500 guaranteed. I was comparing that to the previous 7:30 p.m. $3 deepstack rebuy $800 guaranteed. Don't ask I can't even begin to explain it I'll just blame it on the pain that I've been constantly going through. I don't know if pain can affect the thought process, but if it doesn't make me look as stupid it's all good.

In addition WSOP has assisted in  the tournament Trail being back as they have added some tournaments to their daily schedule that fit absolutely perfectly into what I want and what I need. Tournaments for the little guy because me and my $1,200 don't count as a big-time bankroll to say the least. Two of the ones that I will be participating in on a daily basis will be the 10:30 a.m. $5 KO $200 Gtd and the 3:30 p.m. $3 freezeout $250 Gtd. The main 8 tournaments played each day are the following. The cost of the tournaments that I list on the deepstack rebuys are the entry, the initial rebuy to start with a double stack, and the add-on. This is the maximum that the tournament will cost me and of course if I don't make it to the add-on then obviously the cost will be a little less.


1030am $5 Daily KO $200 Gtd

12pm $8.73 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd

1pm $20 DS Rebuy $700 Gtd

215pm $10 6-Max KO $250 Gtd

3pm $14.55 DS Rebuy $1000 Gtd

330pm $3 Freezeout $250 Gtd

530pm $20.37 DS Rebuy $1500 Gtd

730pm $15 KO $500 Gtd


Cost/Day: $96.65
Avg Buyin: $12.09
Required BR: $1209
Starting BR: $1254


I am dictating this blog entry while I'm playing in the $5 KO $200 Gtd and I'm still unsure if I want to add the 4:30 p.m. $2 re-entry $222 Gtd, the 5:15 p.m. $1 rebuy $400 Gtd, and the 8:15 p.m. $1 rebuy $500 Gtd. If I do end up adding these into my daily playlist they will not be considered as part of contributing to the daily average buy-in. First off each of these tournaments has only 8 minute blinds. They also start with much less big blinds in the starting stack with the 5:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. starting with only 125 big blinds even The Knockout tournaments that I play start with 200 and the 4:30 p.m. start only starts with a whopping 62.5 big blinds. To me these tournaments are so drastically different from the 8th that make up my average buy-in I feel that adding these three into that equation would completely skew the numbers in a negative way. Finally, the tournament structures they utilize what I call tournament structure B where are the other 8 tournaments or what I'll call the main 8 utilize structure A with 10-minute blinds. To refresh your memory I have posted two screenshots below this paragraph the first being what I call tournament structure A and the one below it what I call tournament structure B. Because of all these reasons and in addition not only that, by not including them, if I do in fact play them, it keeps my average buyin a little higher requiring me to have a slightly higher bankroll in order to play them which I feel is safer and a more conservative bankroll approach.









Because of some recent cashes completing action on July 23rd for this year it put me into the black in online poker which I got to tell you it's so nice to not have to see red numbers. A 2nd place finish out of 75 players in a $20 freezeout $700 Gtd for a $232.05 return and going 4 for my last 9 really helped. Yes, I know the overall amounts are hideously bad for nearly 8 months of playing, but you know with all the crap that I've been putting up with in my personal medical life this year, at this point, I'll take any black numbers signifying positive earnings that I can get. Going into today July 24th day 1 of the "Tournament Trail Is Back" my total earnings for the year were online $201 and live $127 for total earnings of $328. Yayyyy me lol. Hey I know it's pathetic, you don't have to tell me that, but the great thing about it is I still got 5 full months left in this year to pull out earnings that could at least be considered somewhat respectable. I never surrender and the grind will go on.

Finally the personal medical update. My main doctor, the nurse practitioner who I absolutely love to deal with as my primary care physician even though she won't let me get away with slacking off on anything medical is completely and utterly insistent on what she wants to see done and not done and for some reason I listen to her at least I try to. She saw firsthand exactly how bad the leg was as when I came out of the exam room I could barely put any pressure on it and it was so bad she ordered one of her assistants to go grab a wheelchair as fast as they could and insisted that they push me in that wheelchair outside so I could get my Uber. For some reason I prefer a woman as my primary care physician and actually it's not for some reason it's actually for specific reasons as I find women in the medical field to be much more compassionate and have much more empathy than their male counterparts. So many people want to discriminate against a woman medical professional, but when it comes to me they're the ones that I gravitate to for the reasons just stated.

The ultrasound showed that there is some blockage in the femoral artery, but she feels that the major major pain that I'm going through might be two fold. Part of it because of the blockage, but she feels that the lower back problems for which I had an MRI done nearly two years ago for is also contributing to this. She explained to me that nerves in the back actually wrap around you much like a belt would and when I asked her why I'm only having pain on one side she told me it's very rarely bilateral and usually attacks the dominant side and I am right handed so that makes all the sense in the world.  She is so concerned about the lower back she referred me to Nevada Neurosurgical because she wants them to potentially do back surgery on me even though I am too heavy for what would be usually be considered to go through that procedure. I told her that there's one thing that I fear about potential back surgery and the word is. She looked at me dead square and told me point-blank that if I don't have the back surgery eventually I will be paralyzed. I'm fairly certain she is utilizing paralyzed in an over-exaggerated way, and probably means that the ability to walk will be taken from me. She also told me that if these back problems do not cease and desist I could end up losing a leg. She also referred me to a place to get a colonoscopy done but that is not something that I am wanting to rush into so I'm putting that one aside for now and will ignore it later lol.

She also instructed me that I am on 1200 calories a day starting today. I haven't had anything to eat yet just been drinking water and if I can go lower than that 1,200 that would be even better, but we will see how it goes. Because of the ultrasound results and the fact that the MRI on the lower back is two years old she has ordered me to undergo a CT scan on the aorta and descending femoral artery and she wants an updated MRI. Each of these tests will cost me a $50 copay for a total of $100 but Desert Radiology told me that if I did them both the same day it would be a single $50 copay and there's nothing wrong with saving 50 bucks so both of those tests will be done on August 15th. I also have to go over to Quest Diagnostics to get a blood draw done at least 4 days prior and I have made that appointment and will be doing that on August 8th. She also ordered a walker for me and I'm going to be having one delivered on August 6th with just a $30 copay for that. It's one of those ones that actually has a seat for you to sit on and I have to tell you I'm going to feel very self conscious about using such a thing considering I'm only 50 years old, but when the cool season hits us here in Vegas if it means that it will be a lot easier for me to get out and about I'll do what I have to. She also put in a prescription for one of those motorized disability mobility scooters, but 10-1 odds are going to say that that's going to be one hell of a task getting that by the insurance company and if a walker has a $30 copay I can imagine what a co-pay on a scooter that cost $3,000 or more would be and I wouldn't be able to afford that anyway, but we will just wait and see what happens.

Well, that's going to wrap this one up. Today being the first day of the "Tournament Trail Is Back" we will see how things go. I can only do a maximum of four tables or four tournaments at any one time so if it comes to a case where I have to choose between a less expensive tournament or a more expensive tournament that start with an a half hour or hour of each other and it looks like I won't have room for them both I will be going with the less expensive one. It's just continuing my conservative bankroll approach which I feel is the safest for someone in my situation. I will be reporting back at the end of the month to let you know how the final week of July went grinding tournaments and I am just so happy I don't have to force myself into playing other things like cash games are SNGs. Tournaments is where my first poker love, my last poker love, and everything else in between. I have increased my goal from $2,000 to $2,500 before I will take $1,000 out for live play. This will  allow me to keep $1,500 online which will allow me  to continue with my  preferred daily tournament play on days that I'm not playing live or if my next live run goes a little unfortunate . So until my end of the month review, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.


Bankroll: $1254
Goal: $2500
Progress: 50%


Sunday, July 8, 2018

My Online Poker World Just Changed

My entire poker world just changed in front of my eyes. Much of this entry will be very similar if not identical to what I posted on Twitter so if you follow me there there's a chance you may have seen this, but let's continue on. I've been racking my brain for I'd say two full weeks to try to figure out some sort of bankroll management plan that I could use to play the tournaments which I wanted to play and start with 100 full buy-ins, the standard recommendation. I've also seen recommendations that say 200 buyins, but let us but let us crawl before we try to walk shall we. First things first and I was just looking for 100. I finally came up with a plan where I was going to top off my online WSOP account balance with money in my checking account to give me an online balance of $1,100. This $1,100 would be spent on playing five different tournaments each day that I had decided on. I had the five selected that I wanted and with $1,100 it would have been 75 buy-ins. $1,500 would have been required to make it 100 buyins, but I don't have have that kind of capital available to throw an additional $400 on the site at this time.

With WSOP paying out 18% of the players on average since the merge I thought this fact might be a consideration in being comfortable only going with the 75 buy-ins. I certainly don't want to end up losing half my bankroll or more since it's not easily replaced, but I thought the extra amount of people being paid might counteract not having the full 100 buyins. I wanted to check things out before I proceeded so I went to PokerProLabs and I copied all 170 tournaments I had played since May 1st which was when the site merged and I pasted them into wordpad. Continuing to use copy and paste I put all the tournament groupings together. The $5 deepstack rebuy $1,000 Gtd, the $15 nightly KO, the $1 rebuys $500 Gtd, and so forth and so on.

Once I got all the groupings together, I then went and counted how many times I played in the the specific tournaments I was planning on playing on a daily basis, how many times I cashed in them and what my earnings were for the individual tournament groupings and all five groups combined. In those five specific tournaments it turned out that I had gone 20 for 7 which is an ITM percentage of 18.7%. Granted not burning the tables up, but not completely hideous either as my ITM percentage previously ran around 14%. I then added up all the pluses and minuses to see what my earnings were in those five tournaments and with that 18% ITM percentage and it turned out the total earnings were................. drum roll please................... losses of ($840.03). I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I damn near had a coronary right there on the spot. I went over it a second time and the results were identical. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and I was gasping for air, I felt like I had slammed into a brick wall at full speed and let me tell you something literal or figuratively it's still what you might call moderately painful.

The question was why. I mean the last couple of years I pretty much had crushed the tournaments that I played in on WSOP and yes I understand crushed is definitely a questionable term. What is crushing something to one person maybe just running fair to another but as far as I was concerned I was crushing them. I started poking in-depth and it's another case of why didn't you do this a long time ago type situation. As I look things over the solution became obvious. Since the merge beginning May 1st on most of the tournaments that I play I'm paying nearly 2.5X as much to get into tournaments & for the same finishing position as previous before the merge they are paying half as much. Previously a 9th or 10th place finish after spending $6 for the tournament, would pay roughly $22. Now for all intents and purposes that same tournament is costing me $14.55 and the same finish position is now paying approximately $12.

According to my research there are only 3 tournaments in my price range that are worth playing. The first is the 1 p.m. $20 deepstack freezeout. I compared a random previous one prior to the March with today's results and looked at a 7th place finish as a comparison. Previously 7th paid $71 and in that tournament today a 7th place finish paid $67. The difference is hardly discernible and the price to play in it is identical to what it was previously. I have only played that 1 p.m. $20 deepstack freezeout 10 times since the merge on May 1st and I am actually showing a small loss of ($6.44) however I have gone 3 for 10 in the money so that just shows me that if just one of those three was just a slightly deeper run those results would obviously be in the black.

The others believe it or not are the two $1 rebuys $500 Gtd. 8 Minute blinds and a blind structure twice as fast as normal. I'm 6 for 29 for an ITM percentage of 20.7% with fields of about 140-180 and earnings of $79 with an ROI of 94%. Don't even ask because I can't explain that one. With my style of play, Mr. Patience himself, how the hell could I be showing earnings in a structure like that to say nothing of a sky high ROI. To me it is absolutely inconceivable, but it is only 29 tournaments, a small sample size. The only way to find out for sure is to keep going with them and see if I continue along this line in those two tournaments of earnings and a healthy ROI and since each one only ends up costing me $2.90 a piece even if the results start to go somewhat sour it's not going to be too painful.

I find it hard to believe that playing a $20 tournament each day and two $1 rebuys is going to give me significant earnings in an acceptable time frame. I mean hell if you just look at it for the last 2 months total earnings between those three tournaments is only roughly $73 and that's not going to get me playing live anytime soon so as I see it I've got 2 choices. I either pull the money off and go play live as my body will allow or I grind cash games online, which you all know how I feel about that, and utilize them to go along with those three tournaments played each day. Quite frankly neither choice is extremely "favorable" as the great Andrew Neeme might say. Right now I have very few choices because until this upper right thigh has gone through an ultrasound and the doctor and I discuss it and then treat it I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. My only choice is to play the online cash games along with the three tournaments previously mentioned beginning tomorrow. I cashed in the final $15 KO that I played so I ended the evening with $955 I added a $45 deposit to top it off and set the starting bankroll for tomorrow at an even $1,000 in my account. It was considerably less than that earlier in the day, but taking the chance and playing an online session of $3/$6 Limit Stud Hi-Lo also known as 7CS8 provided about $75 in earnings. It's amazing how bad the players are and at that level I would have expected better. I really am tempted to continue on in that game, but I know just how fast $300 can vanish like dust In the wind in a game like that so it was pretty much a one-time try which fortunately for me me proved successful.

So I have $1,000 to start with so what will I do with it? What do I want to accomplish, besides some actual earnings. How much do I want to build it up before I pull a certain amount out to go play live at my earliest opportunity and how much do I want to leave online. What kind of a bankroll management plan do I want to utilize since I am mixing in $25.80 in tournaments Monday through Saturday and $5.80 on Sunday since the 1 p.m. $20 deepstack freezeout is not played on Sunday and I don't see anything I would want to substitute it with.

Since I am utilizing this bankroll for both cash games and tournaments I think it's prudent to go with the 40 buyin system and eliminating a level if dropped to 30 buy-ins of it, but this is going to get a little tricky with the $50NL level. $400-$800 it's $10NL only. $800 to $1,200 it's $10NL and $20NL tables, but if the account balance drops to $600 the $20NL tables are eliminated temporarily until it's built back up to $800. At $1,200 it's grinding $50NL tables with a 4 buyin stop-loss only. If I drop from $1,200 to $1,000 then I drop the $50NL tables temporarily until we get back to the $1,200 mark once again. Final destination of this plan is to get to $2,000 so basically just doubling what I have right now and that shouldn't be too difficult. Once I get $2,000 I withdraw $800, leave $1,200 online, and that way if I have to return to online or just on the days that my body is just too weak to go play live, I can at least be grinding $50NL tables to start things off again.

Let me answer what I will estimate will be the two main questions that my readers may have specifically about that last paragraph.


1. Why do you need so much money such as $800 before you go play live?

2. What makes you think that as many times as you have tried to grind cash games and at least since January or February of 2016 have never been able to stand it for more than a few days at the most that you're going to be able to do it for any length of time this time around?


Those are two very fair questions deserving of honest answers. The reason I'm going with the $800 is because under my current physical situation, even in cool weather, my days of buses and transferring and walking from one bus to another and then walking across bus terminals to pick up another bus are over. Any transportation that I will utilize to go to casinos to play a tournament will be done by Uber or Lyft whoever gives me the best price of the time. Also there are meals to consider when out and about especially if I end up playing two tournaments in a single day, I'm not going to starve myself nor am I not going to have a few drinks while I'm playing whether that be a Colorado Bulldog or two or whether that be a few tomato juices with just a little ice in them. $800 will give me the extra money I need to have a few buy-ins to play at the Golden Nugget to start out with and transportation and food expenses.

I know that the transportation expenses will take away from any potential earnings that I will be trying to get, but unfortunately it's just something that can't be helped. It is no longer a luxury, unfortunately for me it's a necessity. I am hoping that I can at some point have a nice decent live run and get the mobility scooter that I'm going to need to get sooner or later to get around town and once I get that I can go back to doing buses again because I won't have to be walking from one bus stop to a different bus stop or from the house to the bus stop two blocks from here where I have to stop and rest at least twice and I can just ride the mobility scooter right to it to wherever I'm going and not only will it be so much nicer for me physically it will give me back a big boost of Independence which unfortunately right now I don't have without Uber or Lyft and even at that once I get to the casino it's still a difficult evening.

As for the second question the main reason I believe that I will continue on with this is I don't have any choice. Grabbing the whole $1,100 just to go play a few tournaments does not make a lot of sense and even though I've done it with far less I'm hoping I've learned my lessons from those incidents. If I am not grinding the cash games online I will be playing only three tournaments each day one at 1 p.m., one at 5 p.m., and one at 8 pm. Getting knocked out of any one of these early is going to delegate me to watching TV or YouTube videos or something of that nature. Not exactly something that I relish. Believe me I will be tempted at times to say to hell with it if I'm going to go out I'm going to go out in a blaze of glory, but then I'm going to look at my Wordpad file the one that shows the $840 in losses and that alone should keep me on the straight and narrow.

In conclusion I will only be three tabling as I actually prefer just two table, but that is not a realistic possibility and I can deal with three tables pretty damn good. Right at this moment I'm shooting for 1500 hands in a day, but since I won't be playing the 1 p.m. tournament tomorrow it will not be until Monday that I can truly find out whether 1500 hands a day is a realistic target or not. If it is, then that is what I shall grind each day I play except for those days where I have a doctor's appointment or a possible medical procedure being done. I'll let you know how the first  few days goes and exactly what kind of volume I can realistically expect.

Well gentle readers, dear friends, and ladies and gentleman, that is going to wrap this one up. I've been up since 3 yesterday afternoon, yesterday being Friday afternoon, so I'm quite tired. I want to get started at 10 a.m. so I have my alarm set for 9 a.m. to give me an hour to get my meds taken and to wake up and hopefully fire up the laptop by quarter til or 10 minutes to 10 and get on those tables. Until next time take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Bankroll: $1000
Goal: $2000
Progress: 50%


Thursday, July 5, 2018

The 2nd Half Of 2018

Welcome to the second half of 2018. The first 6 months are gone, good riddance to them, hope to never see it again, and let's proceed on a very much more optimistic note, at least poker wise anyway.  Life Wise and personal wise it's another thing entirely but I'll get to that later. You can see this information I'm about to relay on the right side of this blog but I'll go over it anyway. The first half of the Year from January through June, and yes I know that if you count the days July 1st was not technically the 2nd half, but it was the first 6 months complete and July began the 2nd six month time period so I'm counting that as the first half being over and the second half has begun so we're going with it.

The first half of 2018 was nothing but one struggle after another. The merge on WSOP certainly didn't help things as the increased tournament cost made things somewhat difficult from a bankroll management standpoint. However, during the last week or so of June roughly I started turning it on somewhat and the final eight days that I played in June had a 7 for 27 run with two three digit cashes. So I ended the first half of 2018 with a whopping profit of $14 online and $127 in live play. Not exactly tearing things up, but that rush that I had at the end of June did allow me to actually be in the black for the year in online play and it allowed me to start July, the second half of 2018, with a bankroll of $1000.75. This is a high point for me since I have been in Las Vegas which is approaching 3 years. I do not recall having a bankroll this high since I have been here. Granted my physical ailments and specifically the upper right thigh which the Ultrasound was rescheduled to the 12th kept me from doing anything foolish like pulling it all off and going playing some live tournaments under rolled, but for whatever reason, good or bad, this has been the highest bankroll amount that I have had since moving here.  However, things are all not all gravy and even with $1,000 there are still complications.

As my readers know I have always been very open and honest with my personal finances  my personal life, and that's not about to change. My financial situation is roughly the same as it has been since the Boost in the disability coming from the widowers disability benefit  giving me approximately $300 left over after all expenses and bills are paid. However, that is the entire amount left over so if I were to put that all towards poker there would be no money for anything else for the rest of the month so I find that as my bankroll increases, and I've probably mentioned this before when I was at $500 and $600 previously  I am getting much much more protective of it because for me $1,000 is not easily replaceable and in fact it would take 4 solid months to replace that and that would be with doing nothing, going nowhere, and basically not living so to speak, so with $1,000 bankroll I am more protective and am utilizing a bankroll management approach that is so conservative it makes Donald Trump look like a liberal. The higher tournament costs since the merge on WSOP are not helping things. As far as tournaments go I finally came up with a bankroll management plan I could live with and to say it is somewhat conservative would be an understatement. For all intents and purposes I'm never spending more than 6.5% of my bankroll in a single day, but since there are set tournaments that I want to play as the bankroll grows and since their minimum cost is $14.55 for me as you can imagine in order to add those I would need that $14.55 times 16. Here is what my bankroll management plan is for playing tournaments.


$300-$500 
12pm: $3 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
215pm: $10 KO 6-Max $250 Gtd
Total Cost/Day: $18.73

$500-$800 
12pm: $3 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
215pm: $10 KO 6-Max $250 Gtd
3pm: $5 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
Total Cost/Day: $33.28 

$800-$1100 
12pm: $3 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
215pm: $10 KO 6-Max $250 Gtd
3pm: $5 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
730pm: $15 KO $500 Gtd
Total Cost/Day: $48.28 

$1100-$1400 
12pm: $3 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
1pm: $20 Deepstack $700 Gtd
215pm: $10 KO 6-Max $250 Gtd
3pm: $5 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
730pm: $15 KO $500 Gtd
Total Cost/Day: $68.28

$1400-$1700 
12pm: $3 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
1pm: $20 Deepstack $700 Gtd
215pm: $10 KO 6-Max $250 Gtd
3pm: $5 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
530pm $7 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
730pm: $15 KO $500 Gtd
Total Cost/Day: $88.65

$1700-$2000 
9am: $5 DS Rebuy $350 Gtd
12pm: $3 DS Rebuy $600 Gtd
1pm: $20 Deepstack $700 Gtd
215pm: $10 KO 6-Max $250 Gtd
3pm: $5 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
530pm: $7 DS Rebuy $1k Gtd
730pm: $15 KO $500 Gtd
Total Cost/Day: $103.20 

$2500
Withdraw $500 each time $2500 is achieved for live tournament play, food, and transportation expenses.


With a bankroll of $800 to $1,100 I am only allowing myself to spend $48.28 per day in tournament buy-ins. When I look at this I realize it seems completely ridiculous. I mean who ever heard of restricting yourself just $48.28 in buy-ins when you're sitting there with $1,000 and I know it sounds completely ludicrous. There are two points to this though that I'm going to make you aware of. The first is this thing took me 10 days of calculations and recalculations and deciding what tournaments to add and removing the small buy-in, accelerated structure ones, that I just cannot stand playing to come up with this plan. The last thing I want to do is play a tournament for 4 hours and make $25 or play a tournament that it feels like the damn thing just started and all you're already looking at a 500 big blind. No thanks I'll pass on that. The second thing is my original bankroll management plan was even tighter than this if that can even be believed where I wasn't allowed to spend the $48.28 per day unless I had a minimum of $1,000. At least I knocked a couple of hundred dollars off of that, but I dare say that my readers comments on this blog entry may tell me I am being far too nitty with my money, but this is what I mean when I say I find myself becoming more and more protective. A mother bear and her cubs has nothing on me and my bankroll as we will both defend it to the death lol.

Another question is can I keep going online until I in fact have $2500 before withdrawing $500 for some live play.  I'll be perfectly honest, if I am feeling better I would be hard pressed to do so.  I want to get out and about so bad I can taste it, so it's going to be a major test of discipline, but honestly if there was a bet on whether or not it will actually happen, although I will try my hardest, even I wouldn't bet on me pulling that one off.  I can turn the $1000 into $2500, but can I actually wait until I have $2500 before withdrawing....................all I can do is wait and see.

If you're wondering why I'm going with a percentage amount per day rather than an average buy-in is because if you look at where I am right now in bankroll range of $800 to $1,100 which allows $48.28 to be spent per day if you divide that by 4 you come up with a $12.07 for an average buy-in or ABI which means it would take a bankroll of $1,200 before I would even be allowed to spend $48.28. Granted that does create a situation where it would be 100 average buy-ins and it would be only spending 4% of the bankroll each day, but at the same time with the payouts being roughly 18% of the field on average I don't feel it's completely necessary and God I hope I'm right. Considering I'm not doing the average buy-in form of bankroll management maybe my plan isn't as conservative as I thought maybe it's even too aggressive, but I've been fighting with this for the last 10 days so what I've come up with is what I'm going with.

The first 4 days of July were really unimpressive. Eight tournaments played, 3 cashes, nothing overly deep, no final tables reached, nothing too exciting at all. Tournament losses thus far this month are ($2.61) and it was yesterday on the 4th that I decided that it might be a good idea to grind some cash game tables so that although the cash games aren't going to be able to give me a day's buy-ins 99% of the time, any earnings that I can get from them will help and I decided to go with the PLO8 cash tables instead of the No-limit Hold'em ones. Yes it's a split pot game, but the fact of the matter is that reduces the variance and on my limited live play this year I did much better in limit Omaha 8 than I did in the limit Hold'em cash games so let's see if I can continue that trend on the online tables although granted the online tables are pot limit. When I am playing a tournament I am not playing any cash games at all and I am simply giving all my focus to my tournament or two that I may have going at any one time or possibly three later on. When no tournaments are being played that's what I'm firing up or will start to fire up whatever $10 PLO8 cash games available since that seems to be all that's generally available. I didn't fire up the cash games yesterday until 9 p.m. and I didn't play all that long maybe an hour or slightly over, but it was good enough for a $13.52 profit in 173 hands played and thus after the first 4 days I find myself up $10.91. Oh joy I am averaging less than $2.75 in earnings per day. Exciting huh? I know I know keep the applause to a minimum as my humility can't take the adoration lol. The overall earnings can be seen on the right side of this blog and the individual tournaments can be accessed by clicking the Second Half Tournament Results tab which is located right above the latest blog entry and right next to the Home tab.

A quick personal update.  I've come to the realization that the chronic pains has completely sapped my independence and I've come to the conclusion that one way or another, as the times I have mentioned this to a couple of doctors they seemed reluctant to prescribe it, but I definitely need one of those mobility scooters, but I am a heavy man so I would need one of the heavy-duty ones and brand new ones are extraordinarily expensive I mean some of the smallest prices I saw are over $1500 and as high as $3,500. I could potentially get a used one off of Craigslist, but when it comes to something like that it's let the buyer beware. I mean I really don't want to spend $300 or $400 on a used one from a private party and have it break down on me 2 days later giving me no recourse and my money down the sewer, but if I want to have any chance at an enjoyable filled life, a life of playing live poker tournaments, a life of just being out and about going down the sidewalk on the strip or floating around the Fremont Street Experience downtown then a Mobility Scooter is not just a want but an absolute need.

That's going to wrap this one up. I've stayed up all night so that I can get a full day's worth of Poker in because I'm trying to get my sleep schedule back on track. I keep setting the alarm for 11 a.m. and I keep turning off the damn alarm so I'm missing the 12 p.m. tournament, but not today as today is going to be a full day. Until next time, take care everyone, and I'll see you at the tables.



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