Monday, April 23, 2018

Difficult Implementations Questioning Approaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

The First Half Of April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Poker And Personal The First Three Months of 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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