Sunday, May 1, 2011

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ariston and on and on and on and on and on............

I just can't win. Whatever worked for me all last year doesn't work anymore. I decided to put $2k in ongame and broke even for a while and then smashed up a keyboard after another stack went a-begging and I found myself another 5bi below EV (to add to the other 45) and busted the rest of the 2k playing 5/10. I don't get it. I didn't think it was possible to be breaking even over 100k hands with wwsf close to 50% and WTSD/W$SD at 27/55. Almost all the stats are where they should be and it makes no difference. I would estimate that I've been on the wrong side of a good 18 of the last 20 all-in preflop with QQ+, AK situations aswell.
I withdrew almost everything I had and left about $4k in to play 100nl and try to rebuild my confidence and any leaks that have crept in while while running like shite. I lost 7 stacks in first 2k 100nl hands with the usual suspects (QQ no good vs TT etc etc, you know the drill) and was 5bi below EV aswell. How can this be possible without riggage? Bizarro-world.
It's a pretty cruel game where you can put your heart and soul into learning it for a long time, and it just kicks sand in your face day after day. I've organised some coaching just to make sure that I'm not playing like a retard as a result of constantly being down 3 buyins before the seat is warm. I honestly think I'm a decent enough player and well capable of beating at least 200nl and have read on forums that decent players consider me a tough opponent so wtf?
The bad run has definitely affected me outside poker aswell. My job as a scientific researcher comes pretty easy to me in comparison to some people who live in the lab, and I don't have much trouble banging out a good amount of interesting papers each year with minimal effort, so poker is in a way the 'challenge' in my life and when it goes badly I'm naturally annoyed. The thing is that such a large fraction of the result is down to variance that I'm unduely pissed off a lot of the time. If I play ok and lose a few buyins I'm annoyed and there's no changing that and vice versa..
The stupidest thing of all is that ultimately I'm not driven by money, if I was I wouldn't be working in a University! I would much rather a decent salary and the freedom to come and go as I please in work than to be some highly paid hot shot who has to be in work at 9am sharp and is constantly on the laptop after hours.
I would like to remember when I'm playing, that buyin it hurts to lose doesn't really mean that much to me in the first place. Oh so I can buy a TV thats 2" bigger, wow my life is complete now that I can enjoy Eastenders in a whole new way.
Nonsense. Its a pastime that happens to net me some extra money to flitter away when its going well and I at least break even when its going poorly. Most people's pastimes cost them money.
Moral of the story. Enjoy the challenge, and enjoy the profit if it comes. If not, just give up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

La Cucaracha

Still on my self imposed exile from cash, but I wasn't going to skip the Everest VIP freerolls yesterday. There are 2 with one ($10k) being open to almost anyone who grinds a bit and one ($25k) for only the top tiers of the VIP structure. I had to grind 40k hands of 1/2 and 2/4 to get into it. I assumed there would be no more than 50 people in this, but I forgot about the SNG and full ring guys, and it ended up with 120 runners. Still decent value getting effectively a $200 buyin for nothing. As you can imagine it was an incredibly tough field with 100% regulars and not an easy chip on offer.
In the 2nd orbit (1500 stack 10/20 blinds), EP made it 65 and I 3bet from the BB to 210 with AA. He calls and flop is Jxx. I bet ~300, he calls, I shove turn he calls with JJ...I'm left with 110 or 5bb. GG, FU very much. For some reason I didn't tilt shove the rest of my chips in and picked proper spots and hung around for a good while. but never got anything going and lost a reasonably big pot and was down to 2bb at the 150/300 level when I shipped A5o in MP and BB called with KK. I spiked an A and with the antes I was up to about 6bb. Shortly afterwards I shoved it into the BB from SB with AK and he called with AJ and I held and I was now 'comfortable'.
From the time there were about 40 left (10 paid) I was really struggling all the way. I never had more than 15bb and as the bubble approached I was very uneasy as I don't have a ton of experience in playing those situations. I was pretty sick with 12 left when SB shoved and I called with KQ. He showed J4 and flopped a 4, but the board ran straight for a chop and I hung on just about.
I relaxed a lot at the FT and went in about 6th in chips 10 handed. Again I think I picked my spots very well and my patience was an asset, though there may have been something to be said for being a little more aggressive and trying to set myself up for a win. I got to 4 handed with 25k and another guy had the same, with the 2 other guys having about 65k. This lasted for an absolute as neither me or the other shortie were willing to give it up. Eventually he capitulated and there was a break with me on 28k and the other guys on about 80k and 70k. with the blinds at 1.5l/3k. Maybe 4 hands after the break I picked up 77 in the BB and the SB pushed with AK and hit his A to send me out in 3rd for a payday of $3125. I wasn't even a little bit annoyed which was good, though $5k for 2nd would've been nice!

It's such a ridiculous game. I'm totally at my wit's end with it having a terrible month and only up about $400 and then this score comes along, just as I was perfectly happy hating poker and making other plans! The break from cash is definitely a good idea. Hopefully I can approach it in a more positive mindset come March when I start back. I'm going to play on ongame to see what its like. I think the VIP deals available equate to about 40-50% rakeback which is probably good for a variance-phobe like me, coz even when things are going shit at least you've got something coming in!

Actually scrap that, I'm gonna become a tourney pro!

GL.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GAME OVER: Please Insert Coins to Continue

Congatulations Everest Poker. You beat me. I'm tapping out. The submission hold you've had me in for the last 3 months has finally become too painful to endure any longer.
After last night's session I withdrew everything I had online. I won't rehash the numbers again, but since I moved back from Belgium I'm ~1 million buyins below EV and in cooler terms I'm somewhere around liquid helium. I have trips, they have boat. I have boat they have quads, I have quads they fold to cbet, I bet flop and turn with top set, they runner straight.
Blah blah blah.
I remember watching a Brian Townsend video a long time ago (maybe even his first one) where he says that you have to be accountable for your own results and if you're not winning, then you've no one to blame but yourself. This is wrong.
If you examine the stretch of hands where I'm 40 buyins below EV (leaving out the stuff I can't qunatify like coolers, as I'm sure my mindset is magnifying this element a bit); say a semi-recreational player plays 100k hand in 6 months at 200nl and runs 40bi above his EV of a modest 3ptbb/100. His EV is about ~$12k so with running hot he's up about $20k. Now say he runs 40bi below EV for that stretch. Now he's only got $4k to show for his 6 months work.
I'm sure this has happened to plenty of people and for medium volume SSNL players a disparity of $16k over 6 months would be pretty big! Even for a higher volume player it's still maybe 3 months of torture, which is quite a long time when its day-in day-out.
It's funny to think if I had been on the other side of the coin, I'd be thinking about shots at 5/10 now!
Instead I'm gonna take a few weeks off, move to a different site and take most of my money out of poker. Maybe start again with $5k at 100nl where I can re-tool my play a bit before making another run at 200nl/400nl. I'm pretty sick of it really and if I didn't think I had a positive expectation of a few $k a month I would happily give up and just play the odd tourney for fun. I have to remember that even in my worst absolute worst months I still made ~$20 an hour after rakeback. I enjoy studying the game, discussing hands etc. but in practice, grinding is frustrating the hell out of me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Swimming Against the Tide

My fortunes didn't improve in January. I went on to finish the month having played over 40k hands. It ended with a 20 buyin downswing, most of which was all-in EV related and I finished the month about ~$5k below EV, and down a little bit in real money. Also had a delightful hand where I lost a 650bb pot with a fullhouse vs quads. Happened against yesterday but only 200bb pot this time. Luckily rakeback meant I made a few hundred profit for January!
This month has been slightly better. I think I'm up about $1500 from play though still abt $1k bi down in EV
Since Christmas that makes a total of 33 buyins ($7.6k) below EV. I know everyone says 'Oh all-in EV is meaningless, it's just one small indication of how you're running'. Well, unfortunately if the only indication I can put on the graph in front of me so screw you! (and if I were to guess, I'd say I've been on the wrong side of the coolers too :p)
It's pretty annoying trying to grind through it, because you end up learning nothing new. I just spend all my 'study' time reviewing hands and stats to make sure that what I'm doing is OK and my game isn't totally going off the rails, whereas if I was running good and full of confidence I'd be trying new things out at the tables and potentially improving as a player, instead ot the current mode of 'not getting worse'.
One positive is the amount of hands I'm putting in. Most days I manage 1k hands, though there might be something to be said for playing less tables when on a bad run.
I hope to hit 25-30k hands this month and maybe, just maybe I'll run good for the rest of them!
Away from the tables, I'm currently looking to book flights to Canada. I saw last year that there was going to be a conference in Montreal, so I actually did some work to ensure that I'd get a free holiday, as Canada is my 'home away from home'. I'm going to fly in to Montreal at the end of April and attend the conference for 3 days then take a train down to Toronto where I'll stay for a few days and get all nostalgic. I ran good in that the Bluye Jays are at home for the few days I'm there, so I'll def get to 2 if not 3 (gf dependent!) of the games.
There's a lot of flight options so I'm trying to maximise my EV: US Airways are cheap (have to pay for gf's ticket) but they fly a 757 which won't be much fun for 7.5 hrs; American and BA both require doubling back for the connecting flight, meanning the journey is much longer but obv more comfortable; and the final option is to take Aer Lingus to New York. My mate is a pilot on that route so we could prob get free Business class, but then we'd have to make seperate arrangements for getting up and down to Canada, and in these days of 'screw you' air travel, if we miss the connections it could get pricey...decisions, decisions...

Anyway, defo looking forward to a holiday as all my travelling for the last several years has involved moving countries or travelling 8 hours to spend 3 days there for work and back again. Hope for some run-good in the pokers so I can afford front row seats at Skydome (can't call it Rogers' Centre).

Swimming Against the Tide

My fortunes didn't improve in January. I went on to finish the month having played over 40k hands. It ended with a 20 buyin downswing, most of which was all-in EV related and I finished the month about ~$5k below EV, and down a little bit in real money. Also had a delightful hand where I lost a 650bb pot with a fullhouse vs quads. Happened again yesterday but only 200bb pot this time. Luckily rakeback meant I made a few hundred profit for January!
This month has been slightly better. I think I'm up about $1500 from play though still abt $1kdown in EV
Since Christmas that makes a total of 33 buyins ($7.6k) below EV. I know everyone says 'Oh all-in EV is meaningless, it's just one small indication of how you're running'. Well, unfortunately if the only indication I can put on the graph in front of me so screw you! (and if I were to guess, I'd say I've been on the wrong side of the coolers too :p)
It's pretty annoying trying to grind through it, because you end up learning nothing new. I just spend all my 'study' time reviewing hands and stats to make sure that what I'm doing is OK and my game isn't totally going off the rails, whereas if I was running good and full of confidence I'd be trying new things out at the tables and potentially improving as a player, instead ot the current mode of 'not getting worse'.
One positive is the amount of hands I'm putting in. Most days I manage 1k hands, though there might be something to be said for playing less tables when on a bad run.
I hope to hit 25-30k hands this month and maybe, just maybe I'll run good for the rest of them!
Away from the tables, I'm currently looking to book flights to Canada. I saw last year that there was going to be a conference in Montreal, so I actually did some work to ensure that I'd get a free holiday, as Canada is my 'home away from home'. I'm going to fly in to Montreal at the end of April and attend the conference for 3 days then take a train down to Toronto where I'll stay for a few days and get all nostalgic. I ran good in that the Bluye Jays are at home for the few days I'm there, so I'll def get to 2 if not 3 (gf dependent!) of the games.
There's a lot of flight options so I'm trying to maximise my EV: US Airways are cheap (have to pay for gf's ticket) but they fly a 757 which won't be much fun for 7.5 hrs; American and BA both require doubling back for the connecting flight, meanning the journey is much longer but obv more comfortable; and the final option is to take Aer Lingus to New York. My mate is a pilot on that route so we could prob get free Business class, but then we'd have to make seperate arrangements for getting up and down to Canada, and in these days of 'screw you' air travel, if we miss the connections it could get pricey...decisions, decisions...

Anyway, defo looking forward to a holiday as all my travelling for the last several years has involved moving countries or travelling 8 hours to spend 3 days there for work and back again. Hope for some run-good in the pokers so I can afford front row seats at Skydome (can't call it Rogers' Centre).