Thursday, June 17, 2004

Week Nineteen Wrapup

No numbers this week.

Not that I don't have them: I have perfect records of how I did all week. But the results are so depressing that I didn't put in any totals, and I won't until I have a winning week.

What happened was wholly predictable. But it left me depressed and fearful for the first time since quitting that loathsome job at Lowe's. Basically, I blew so much of my bankroll in one bad day at $15/$30 that "risk of ruin" actually happened. I refuse to do the math (yet), but I figure it's around a $1000 hit that day. In terms of $15/$30, that's not that much; it's 33 big bets, or normal variance. But in terms of my bankroll, it dropped me down to the point where I couldn't even play $3/$6 comfortably.

This only proved what I already knew: I didn't have the bankroll to play $15/$30. On the other hand, I had to know: Could I beat the $15/$30 games? The answer seems to be yes, probably, with sufficient bankroll. I need to get to the point where I actually have sufficient bankroll. (Alternately, someone could stake me. I'd give thought to that kind of proposal if one was forthcoming.)

This left me in a quandary. My bankroll would have let me play $3/$6 uncomfortably close to the edge, or it would let me play $2/$4 pretty comfortably. And the players are worse at $2/$4; so much so that I commented last week that it was like the players were playing their cards face up. (I've been considering "comfortable" to be two buyins at each of four tables.) But then $2/$4 kicked my ass (with suckouts, I assume, or I had become unused to playing four tables), and I dropped another bunch of big bets. Strangely, the drubbing I took at the $15/$30 scared me a bit, but I took it in stride: It was a normal loss. The loss at $2/$4 is what drove me into a funk that I came out of only to play a couple of orbits of the bad-beat tables to try to determine what kind of rake they took for the bad-beat jackpot. Other than those couple of orbits (that cost me another bunch of money), I didn't play at all for two days.

When I forced myself to play again, my attitude was that I had been beating the $3/$6 tables before, so my low bankroll for those games shouldn't be that much of a problem. And, indeed, in the half-hour I played before I went somewhere or other, I made a few bucks. Okay, it was three big bets, but it was the first time I'd posted a winning session all week. Maybe the funk was over. But when I got back from wherever it was that I went, I sat down for my "real" session of the day. An hour and a half later, I was down $300 and thoroughly pissed off. I don't know if I was playing badly or if I was just a victim of variance, but I was thoroughly pissed. I went and bought a lot of beer and went into my video library to look for the stupidest movies I owned. (I inherited a couple hundred DVD's and a couple thousand VHS's, so I have a lot of stupid movies.)

I think it helped.

At this point, though, I was kind of disgusted at limit holdem, and wanted to try something else, without jumping back into poker too far. I wanted to ease myself back into things. Gil plays almost exclusively the $10, $30, and occasionally $50 single-table tournaments, and is on a good run. (Or, at least, he does pretty well in the ones he tells me about.) So I thought I'd try that. Not having played a lot of tournaments lately, I started with the $10+1 tourneys. It took three attempts to money, and that was only a third place, and in that third place I had to massively suck out twice to get to the money. Maybe the single-tables isn't the way to go, or at least it would take me a while to become consistently profitable there. On to plan B ... Hmmm, what's plan B?

The next day I tried another single-table tourney, and had my worst finish yet—which caused me to put poker back on the shelf for a couple of hours. After talking to Iggy for a while (the first time I'd done that; he and Hdouble chat like they're the same guy), I end up figuring out what plan B was. I sat a $25 max-buyin no-limit ring game, and ended up killing it for better than $120 in profit in about two hours. Suddenly, I like poker again. At Iggy's suggestion, I signed up for a cash multi-table tourney, but I busted out in the middle of the pack, at the beginning of the second hour, when my all-in bluff got called. So I went back to the ring games. I didn't have success like I did earlier, but I posted a couple of modest wins. This ended up being the only winning day I posted all week, and fortunately it was a significant win, but it still was a horrid week.

I expect to put last week's numbers together at the end of this week, when I (hopefully) have a better tale to tell at the end of it. I'm in good shape on these $25 NL ring games, so far; before the session I'm in at this moment, PokerTracker has me at 17.66 big bets per 100 hands, over 737 hands of $25 NL ring games. Again, I assume that's not sustainable, but I don't know exactly what is sustainable at these no-limit rings. Probably in terms of BB/h the $50 and $100 no-limit games are less profitable, but the amount of those big bets goes up, too. How are the $50, $100, $200 no-limit rings, if you've sat them? I sat a $50 NL ring once, and got my ass handed to me. I remember feeling like I was being played like a violin. I didn't bust out, but I left with my ego shattered. I don't know how I'd fare there now. At what level do people stop playing fishily and start to get a clue? And how sharky will those clueful players actually be?

If I can have consistent success at the $100 and $200 buyin games on Party, I'll feel a lot better about playing the $2/$2/$5 no-limit game in Detroit. I've mentioned before, although maybe not in my blog, that I've seen as much as $20,000 on that table. Doyle Brunson said once that a player having a great night might be able to take half the money off of a particular table.

And that would be a great night.


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