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.