Thursday, June 16, 2011

My poker history, January-June 2008

Although this is my first blog entry here, this is also posted on another poker blog of mine on Deuces Cracked under the name Figaro3000. Enjoy 

Not much is happening in the way of poker the past 2 weeks. I’ve been posting quite a bit in the LLSNL forums and to no surprise there are the same type of characters including the know-it-all, abusive, sarcastic, jackwagon. Oh well. My online challenge is moving along as I am up to $10.45 playing .02-.04 FRLHE mostly. Some of that is rakeback on Cake, but since Black Friday, I am up +$8.12 over 2,000ish hands running at 9.93 BBs/100. Now 2,000 hands is obviously a helluva small sample size and I could easily be running super hot even at these low stakes. It would normally take atleast another 8,000 hands to find out how reliable my winrate is, but I will be moving up as soon as possible. I have just about 100 BBs for .05-.10 so it looks like my uber-nano stakes will be behindme unless there’s some real bad run bad in my future.

Just as reminder, the other aspect of my poker game which has had a major shift since Black Friday was transitioning from live LHE to NLHE at my local casino. I’ve found, which is not that hard to conclude, that live $1-$2 tourists come to play hands. They don’t come to play hands well. They fully expect to lose and want to have some fun playing no limit and live the excitement of big all-in pots. Now, that’s not all $1-$2 tourists, but it’s a good amount to send their money my way if given the chance. I haven’t had a chance to make it to the Casino in the past 2 weeks as things have been busy with the family. So far 2011 has been the most profitable as far as dollars go. Obviously finishing 4th in a $200 buy-in tournament and running good at $1-$2 NLHE has been the reason, but it’s nice to see that I have been able to transfer what I’ve learned so far online, in to the live arena. Here’s to more success if I haven’t tempted poker fate enough already.

I took a little bit if a break from talking about my poker past, which mostly consists of online LHE play. I wanted to pick up where I had left off a few entries ago. My initial online experience could be described as tumultuous and ignorant. Tumultuous in that my results were erratic and any success I had, however, exciting, was brief. It was ignorant because I was very inexperienced and I wasn’t keeping any detailed records of my results. At the end of 2007, I was quite disappointed in my poker playing up to that point. I was arrogant for no reason, I tilted a lot, could not see the forest from the trees, and I wasted the valuable tool of the online forums that were free and interactive. This last statement I plan on delving in to further down the line, but not right now I would like to start at the beginning of 2008 which I would consider to be the 2nd part of my poker experience.

From what I remember, the beginning of 2008 was raher frustrating for me. I started to get back into posting on 2+2 forums, but as I have stated before, I hadn’t much of a clue beyond the basics in strategy. I began by depositing $400 back in the late fall of 2007 right when my wife and I decided that I was going to be a stay at home Dad. I started using PT2 in Feb 2008 even though I had purchased it a year before. You see, when it comes to using computer programs, I’m not that good. January started off a bit rough, but then took a nice turn in February in cash games, but also a surprise in a fixed limit holdem tourney. I somehow managed to win a $1 LHE tournament with over 750 entries which took a little over 6 hours to play. I pocketed $240 and was actually trying to get knocked out first when I made it to the final table. It didn’t work out so well which made this my first tourney win. Most of the tournaments I played were NLHE in the $2 buyin neighborhood. I usually played rather tight while most of the players LAGged it up. There were usually 2,500+ entries and I would finish close to the bubble quite often. The cash games were still a bit rough as my results were erratic and even though I was focusing on .25-.50, I would jump a level or two (.50-1, 1-2). Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn’t. When I focused on .25-.50 and .50-1 playing 2-3 tables max, then I would be able to focus on stay on my game. Through the first half of the year I played 27,000 hands and was winning at a 1.7 BB/100 pace which is decent considering that I was just getting back into poker in a serious manner, using poker software and working on my game. The problem was in my head. I felt that anything less than 2 BB/100 was unacceptable and I wasn’t going to give myself any slack for learning. Another mental roadblock that I put on myself was the fact that I didn’t understand sample sizes. I wanted to look at 5,000-10,000 hands and take that as a barometer of how I was doing. 10,000 hands online is nothing and there are so many factors that can go into the results. These were some of the many reasons why I would tilt so bad and focus in too much on each hand or session. When playing poker, one needs to have a good perspective of how to read the stats. On a sidenote, there’s a post on PT stats that was incredibly helpful to me and although it is from 2008, I still think much of it will be relevant even if some of the examples are possibly dated.

In June of 2008, I was facing some rollercoaster sessions over the period of 5,000 hands. Now any one who has played a lot online or plays live on a regular basis knows that 5,000 hands is quite a small sample size. I was going through a breakeven stretch and because I had never really looked at my results this closely before, I was rather upset that my WR was looking stagnant. In hindsight this was not that big of a deal and could have been a learning opportunity. Instead I went monkey tilt and decided that I was going to quit poker. The reason for my decision was out of frustration and poker immaturity at the time, but it was the best decision given how I was reacting. Now, obviously I didn’t quit poker for long, but it was good for me to take a break and come back a little rested.

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