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.