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 

$3 Deepstack Rebuy $600 Gtd
8 for 39 

$5 Deepstack Rebuy $1000 Gtd 
7 for 30 

$7 Deepstack Rebuy $1500 Gtd 
2 for 10 

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.

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.

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%