Thursday, April 16, 2015

Table captain

Last night, I got the chip lead at the table fairly early on, and kept it for a long time. At one point, I had over $40,000 more in chips than my nearest competitor. It's good practice to be the table captain. I wasn't being a bully, but was able to exert pressure when needed. It feels like such a luxury never to have the blinds escalating on me! I may never go back to tournaments again :-)

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 145 hands and saw flop:
 - 15 out of 20 times while in big blind (75%)
 - 11 out of 20 times while in small blind (55%)
 - 49 out of 105 times in other positions (46%)
 - a total of 75 out of 145 (51%)
 Pots won at showdown - 12 of 24 (50%)
 Pots won without showdown - 12

delta: $44,039
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $6,657,210
balance: $9,404,369

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My comfort zone

Last night, I returned to my comfort zone - cash game no limit hold'em. Every time I return, it feels so good and right I wonder whatever could have possessed me to try playing anything else. My new goal is to get back my cash game no limit hold'em balance back into the blue. That's a squeak under $400,000 away. A mere bagatelle :-)

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 53 hands and saw flop:
 - 6 out of 8 times while in big blind (75%)
 - 4 out of 9 times while in small blind (44%)
 - 18 out of 36 times in other positions (50%)
 - a total of 28 out of 53 (52%)
 Pots won at showdown - 9 of 13 (69%)
 Pots won without showdown - 3

delta: $14,840
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $6,613,171
balance: $9,360,330

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A clear-cut quit signal

When I made my brief sojourn into the world of online chess earlier this year, I became aware of the fractal nature of chess eventualities. Good or bad outcomes can appear at many different magnification levels, and tend to match their counterparts at those other levels. The same is true, of course, of online poker. Indeed, life itself can be seen to have a fractal nature.

Poker often gives me a clear-cut signal to quit a session. I don't always heed the signal, but I almost always hear it :-) Last night, poker gave me a clear-cut signal to stop playing tournaments of any description, for a good long while. Here's how poker told me:

- the first tournament I entered was an MTT 8-game. I got ousted on hand 31 when my two pair of tens and sevens ran into a full house of aces full of sevens. My hole cards were pocket tens and the winner's hole cards were pocket aces.

- the next tournament I entered was a sit and go no limit hold'em. I got ousted on hand 15 when my full house of kings full of aces lost to four of a kind, kings. My hole cards were an ace seven offsuit and the winner's hole cards were king eight offsuit. I didn't manage to win a single hand.

- the next tournament I entered was another sit and go no limit hold'em. I got ousted on hand 24 when my two pair of tens and sixes ran into a two pair of aces and tens. My hole cards were ace six offsuit and the winner's hole cards were pocket aces.

Did I listen? No. I entered one more tournament, an MTT HORSE, and almost made it to the money. However, looking back at those first three tournaments, it's clear that poker was telling me to go back to cash games for a while :-)

buy_in entry_fee num_players num_hands place winnings

  4500       500           6        31    61        0
  4500       500           6        15     5        0
  4500       500           6        24     5        0
  4500       500           6        64    20        0


delta: $-20,000
MTT HORSE balance: $-5,600
balance: $9,345,490

Monday, April 13, 2015

The MTT value proposition

I've known for a long time how hard it is to make a profit playing sit and gos. With the big increases PokerStars has made over time to the entry fees, it's nearly impossible. I haven't had a ton of experience with MTTs, but I'm getting the distinct impression that the MTT value proposition is as thin as the sit and go one. The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that you have to be a little bit crazy to play either sit and gos or MTTs. What can I say? I'm a little bit crazy :-)

The ugly truth of MTTs is that while it's not very hard to min cash in them, min cashes just won't cut it, profit-wise. I've played 3 MTT HORSEs, min cashed in two of them, and am slightly in the red for my troubles. The only way to make MTTs pay is to do better than min cash a significant percentage of the time you make the money.

Last night, I might have done better than min cashing the last tournament I played had I not made a really stupid mistake. On my final hand of the night, I played a Stud Hi/Lo low hand as it were a Razz low; in other words, I forgot all about the 8 or better requirement. I threw away my last $1,330 on a hand where I was drawing dead to an 8 low. Ouch!

buy_in entry_fee num_players num_hands place winnings

  4500       500           6        24    60        0
  4500       500           6        46     3        0
  4500       500           6        82    14     7380

delta: $-7,620
MTT HORSE balance: $-600
balance: $9,365,490

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The big middle

MTTs have big middles. It's easy to get lost in them. That's what happened to me, twice, on Friday night. You have to expect that to happen a fair amount of the time, though. It's really hard to make a profit playing tournaments, but the challenge of doing that is what inspires me. If it were easy, everyone would do it :-)

buy_in entry_fee num_players num_hands place winnings

  4500       500           6        35    40        0
  4500       500           6        55    54        0


delta: $-10,000
MTT 8-game balance: $106,900
balance: $9,373,110

Friday, April 10, 2015

HORSE of a different color

Last night, after playing a sit and go no limit hold'em and an MTT 8-game, I played my first MTT HORSE, making the money. I can actually say I've never played a HORSE tournament and not made the money :-) Granted, I've only played two, but still. Given my early success, I'm definitely going to play more. I figure now is a good time to review my record in the different poker flavors:

     avg       sum   count    style           flavor

  8237.6167  6598331  801   Cash game     No Limit Hold'em
  3787.7083   181810   48   Sit & Go      8-Game
  3100.9180  1172147  378   Cash game     Pot Limit Hold'em
  2602.3256   111900   43   MTT           8-Game
  2600.0000     2600    1   Sit & Go      HORSE
  2166.9764  1282850  592   Sit & Go      No Limit Hold'em
  2020.0000     2020    1   MTT           HORSE
  1036.7018    59092   57   Cash game     Limit 7 Card Stud
   577.5000     1155    2   Cash game     Pot Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball
   417.4167    15027   36   Cash game     No Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball
  -500.0000     -500    1   Cash game     Limit 5 Card Draw
  -630.0000    -1260    2   Sit & Go      Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball
  -897.0000     -897    1   Cash game     Limit Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball
 -1724.5610   -70707   41   Cash game     Pot Limit Omaha
 -2800.0000    -8400    3   MTT           No Limit Hold'em
-50800.0000   -50800    1   Sit & Go      Limit Hold'em


As you can see, I've sorted this list by average. It's heartening to see that five of the top seven spots are taken by tournaments of some description.

buy_in entry_fee num_players num_hands place winnings

  4500       500           6        66     1    17550
  4500       500           6        44    53        0
  4500       500           6        70    14     7020


delta: $9,570
MTT HORSE balance: $2,020
balance: $9,383,110

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New personal worst

The longer you've played poker, the harder it gets to set either a new personal best or a new personal worst. I've mentioned before that I get almost as much of a thrill from setting a personal worst as I do from setting a personal best. That may seem strange, but it's the truth. I love setting records of any kind :-) Last night, I set a new personal worst. I had the losingest 11 session stretch of my career, based on the number of profitable sessions within that stretch. I only managed a profit in one of those sessions. Here are the top 10 (the numbers in parentheses are the profitable sessions):

   -259850 2015-03-22 2015-04-08 (1)
   -472556 2014-08-28 2014-09-10 (2)
   -229200 2015-03-20 2015-04-07 (2)
    -75300 2015-01-03 2015-01-16 (2)
   -548250 2014-03-07 2014-03-19 (3)
   -448250 2014-03-08 2014-03-20 (3)
   -388217 2013-05-19 2013-05-29 (3)
   -370006 2014-08-27 2014-09-09 (3)
   -317848 2013-12-17 2013-12-31 (3)
   -227056 2014-08-29 2014-09-11 (3)


I'm having a ton of fun playing both sit and gos and MTTs, even though I'm not doing particularly well at them. I find them both more fun and more challenging than cash games, so I'm going to keep playing them until either the fun or the challenge wears off.

buy_in entry_fee num_players num_hands place winnings

  4500       500           6        82     2     9450
  4500       500           6       101    13        0
  4500       500           6        86     3        0


delta: $-5,550
Sit and go no limit hold'em balance: $1,270,300
balance: $9,373,540