Friday, April 25, 2008

Reversal of Fortune

In the past four days I gotten my ass kicked to a spectacular degree. On Tuesday I woke up and lost $5,500 in one hour. Think about that the next time you feel like you're having a bad morning! Having that happen to you makes you wish that you slept in a little longer, had an extra long breakfast, or even had some horrible virus that kept you in bed all day. I got about $900 of that back later in the day, but by a small margin it was still my worst day ever.

The next day I vowed to not play any $30/$60 which was where I lost the vast majority of that money. I stuck with the $10/$20 and $15/$30 games which I've dominated for the past two months and still got my ass kicked. I lost just over $3,000 in about 5 hours of play.

Thursday I decided to take the day off. I watched a few movies. I played with my son. I went out and shot some hoops. All in all it was a very nice day.'

Today I sat down hoping to book any kind of win. I was down $500 in about the first 3 minutes and I stayed stuck all day. I ended up losing about $1,200.

I'm in the midst of one of those stretches where my opponents are just getting whatever it is that they need to beat me. I'm not getting out played and I'm not playing badly, I'm just getting nailed time after time by bad turns and bad rivers. It's part of the game and I can accept it, but losing enough money in four days to pay our rent for four months is no fun.

Amazingly there is good news. I was doing so well before, that I'm still winning $8,000 this month. That's a great month and I'm trying to think long term, but it's not easy when so much money has just evaporated.

I'm planning on playing a little tomorrow (maybe 1,000 hands or so) and I'm hoping I can pick up something like a $500 win just to break my streak of bad days.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves!

Lately I have been beating down my competition. The day after my last post I had a very nice result in the supernova freeroll. I had plans to go see some friends for lunch as soon as I was done with the tournament which started at 11:00. The previous week I'd been bounced in the first 15 minutes and without a few good hands I knew I wouldn't make much past 12:30. Try as I might I just couldn't go broke. I wasn't throwing my chips in there with nothing, but if I had any choice at all I was taking the more aggressive riskier option.

Once we got down to about 50 players and I was in 3rd chip position I started to take it seriously. I felt sure that I was going to go broke around 20th place, make something like $150 and be pissed that I'd kept everyone waiting all day for a small win. Instead I made the final table and we ended up splitting the top prizes 4 ways. My share was $4,240!!! I ended up having dinner with my friends instead or lunch and the food tasted quite a bit better than normal with an extra four grand on my balance sheet.

Despite my tournament success, I've pretty much stopped doing anything poker related that's not 6 handed cash games. One reason why is I've been totally dominating. I've had 6 days in April where I've won more than $2,000!

Of course my recent success hasn't been without some major swings. At the point of my last writing I was dipping my toe in the $30/$60 pool. Well I'm now in the pool up to my knees. I've been playing a little every day and getting used to the higher stakes. I've won $1,145 in about 1,600 hands which sounds great, but when you consider that in the six sessions I've played at that limit this month I've had two -$2,000 sessions, a +3,000 session and a +$2,000 session none of which lasted longer than an hour $1,145 doesn't seem like much.

I've also played about 500 hands of $50/$100. To give you an idea of how big that game is if you just call before the flop, call on the flop, call on the turn and call on the river you've put $300 into the pot. If you have just one raise on each betting round (which is probably more common than no raising at all) you've put $600 in the pot on one hand! It's not insane to think that every now and then I will personally end up putting $1,000 into a single pot. Another way to think about it is just stealing the blinds and winning the smallest possible pot is still a $75 profit.

The first time I played $50/$100 (recently - I've actually played as big as $100/$200, but it's been a while and that was in person) I got my ass kicked. I was looking through the higher limit games to see who was playing (I do this all the time to keep a mental list of all the regular big game players are so just in case they decide to drop down a level or two I can avoid them) and I noticed a VERY weak player who I'd been playing with at $15/$30 for much of the day. There was an open seat so I decided to jump in and take my chances.

I bought in for $5,000 which I thought would be more than I'd need, but would make it look like I belonged in a game that size. My initial thinking was if I won or lost $2,000 or decided the game was too tough that I'd get out. It turned out that other than the guy I'd targeted there was another guy who would be a losing player at any limit. Given that I only had 5 opponents and two totally sucked, It was a great game.

I hovered around even for a while and then quickly dropped to my -$2,000 limit. But like many players who move up and find themselves stuck a few grand I convinced myself to keep playing. After all it was a great game. When I only had $1,000 left in front of me I did the smart thing and got up...or not. I actually bought in for another $1,000 vowing (for real this time) that if I dropped my entire initial $5,000 buy in I'd call it quits.

I came pretty close to doing just that. At one point I was in a hand where if I'd lost I would have been down a little over $5,000 in that game. But, I had top set against two smaller sets and I ended up winning a $1,700 pot! That's a big ass pot. With great effort I crawled back to the point where I was only down $2,000 and jumped ship when two of the regular, solid $50/$100 players sat down.

At the same time as all that was happening I was having some difficulty in my other games and I ended up losing about $3,400 that day. Yuck! But guess what...I won $3,800 the very next day! HA!

Today I had some more big swings. I was ahead $1,500 before I had breakfast. Then I gave it all back between breakfast and lunch. Right after lunch my friend Matt came over and I lost about $2,000 while he was here (he had 30% of the action so I actually only lost $1,400 and he lost $600). I was feeling a little pissed that I'd been ahead $1,500 a few hours earlier and now I was down about that much and Matt was out $600.

But I made a very nice comeback. When Matt left I took a short break and when I came back I won $1,700 in the first 50 hands which took a grand total of about 6 minutes! I ended up putting a few more bucks on that win and finished the day with a healthy $1,300 profit.

Points wise I've also been doing well. I've earned 48,000 points so far exactly halfway through April and I'm at 276,000 for the year. I need to be at 333,000 by the end of the month to be on pace for the year. I might come up a little short of that target, but since my point production has gone up as a result of playing bigger games I should be on or ahead of pace sometime in May or June.

Finally, let me say thank you to Tom and Kristen for giving me heat (always through messengers of course) about not posting. It makes me feel like there are people out there enjoying my blog and I like the notion that I have a nice running record of all of the major events in my career.

My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions

After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...