Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Long time, no post...

Every once in a while you kind of need to take a step back and evaluate what's going on in your life. Right about now would be a good time for me, and where better to do it than this rarely-updated archive of boring shit some people call a blog.

I guess we can start with poker.

Last year was fantastic. On pokerstars I moved from 50nl FR up to 100nl, then switched to 6max and played as high as 400nl with solid success. I studied frequently and learned tons about poker theory; enough that my biggest problem was (and still is) no longer what to do and which spots, but applying it all with the proper frequencies. Anyways, I did well, ran well, and thought I was the shit. So much so that I viewed 2009 with a big goal of making 100k. Laugh out loud.

(That's nearly exactly the same actual dollars and EV at $25,000)

This year...well this year was another story. I started off with a nice 25k hand boomswitch, but since then it's been downhill. The differences between this year and last year are simple:

- Last year, I ran well in EV. Dollar-wise, I ran almost exactly the same, but relative to the stakes I ran very well.
- This year, I've been running like shit. Much worse though, than I ran good last year. ie, this year 2BB/100 EV, 0.2BB/100 actual rate. Last year, 3.8BB/100 EV, 4.2BB/100 actual rate.
- Last year I felt I ran relatively even with coolers
- This year I'd literally guestimate that, Feb-May especially, I lost probably $10k in coolers. I could easily be off since guestimation is never really accurate though. Who knows - maybe last year I ran like a god, and this year I'm running even, so my actual 2bb winrate is showing it's depressing face.

(That's $3,500 actual dollars, $9,300 EV)

- Last year I played a 'snug' 24/21 style.
- This year I've played 26/23, and 27/24 at 100nl, my main game of late.

Playing looser is my way of 'rushing' to pick up lots of money ASAP. That of course doesn't work. Well, not really...

- Last year I played exclusively at pokerstars.
- This year I've played at stars, gnuf (microgaming/prima), and most recently expekt (ipoker).

Both gnuf and expekt have completely different player pools than PS, and my adjustments have maybe not been the best. At gnuf, I could literally play 30/28 (very) profitably since the majority of the player pool was either 12/10 nits, or 50/2 fish who folded very well postflop. I could isolate to my heart's content, and rarely got punished for it. I guess I could call expekt the middleground between PS and gnuf. Lots of fish, but a much bigger, tougher player pool too.

For various reasons, I've come to the conclusion that playing tighter - maybe even tighter than my previous 24/21 style - is ideal for my current situation. There are a ton of good tags on expekt, and I just don't think raising more than %20 of hands is doable without some very high variance, even if I played postflop perfectly. I'm not going to list out all the benefits of playing tighter; FPau listed them quite nicely here and definitely influenced my decision.

I've got an awesome rakeback deal, but it only pays out once a month, and my rakeback guy has actually been on vacation for the last few weeks so I feel almost as though I'm not making anything.

What I really need at this point in my poker career is low-variance. Playing a tag style, more tables and soaking up the rakeback will definitely help with that.

Finally, the last difference between this year and last year is that this year I'm spending money like there's no tomorrow, whereas last year I saved it a little better. I'll have to come up with a plan for that too.

So, given this depressing-ass post so far you're probably wondering why I haven't killed myself yet.

In a word, the answer is probably "summer". I've been getting out as often as I can. I didn't really take advantage of summer last year, only going out to have drinks, really. This year I've been to the zoo (with a nice bottle of gin, wee), bike everywhere, have been doing some running, have been seeing lots of friends, went to my cousin's wedding, and am about to go to vegas! I'm ripping through my roll right now, but at least it's for a good cause: I'm actually having fun.

My personal life has been pretty fucked up the last while, and it feels good to smile again. My aunt had a stroke - she's recovering well by the way, we have a drug problem in the family, my mom and Joe, her partner and main supporter in the house, are probably about to break up, collection agencies call us about 9 times daily, our house is 100+ years old and is falling apart and isn't worth anything on the market, we can't even afford it, and now my motherfucking fridge broke down.

Right now though, I'm super excited about Vegas and am not even thinking about all that shit. Fuck it, just fuck it. I have a list of shit to pick up and do, and have to get on it asap, so I'm out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Steady as she goes

Gotta say I'm feeling pretty good right now. Poker's going well, it's finally (well, almost) summer, and I'm just feeling more healthy.

I bought a beautiful Kona Jake bike a week or two ago and am finally getting a chance to ride it. The first five days after I bought it, it literally either rained or I had to stay at home to take care of my Oma. Was just itching to get on this thing.

Finally the weather's cleared up and I've taken a couple trips down to my old school to get a few sprint-jog-sprint-jog laps in. They also have monkey bars for a few chinups as well. It's funny how quick my body reacts to exercise; I'm already bulking up a little bit (lol, compared to my normal skeleton frame at least) and am constantly craving healthy foods.

I bought the bike through Pokerstars' concierge service which at first felt awesome. Slap it on my credit card, take it home, scan the receipt, shipt it to PS, they take points away and ship the cost of the bike to my account.

Then the assholes had to announce instant cash/fpp exchanges exclusive to June. 150,000 points for $2,400, and before I bought my bike I had 132,000 saved. I tried to reverse the concierge service but they won't let me :(

Would have been a nice boost to the bankroll instead of fpps just sitting there waiting to get spent on something I don't need.

Gnuf (microgaming) is going well. It's pretty killer with the shorstackers - at least two at every table - but I've still managed to grind out a nice 5ptbb winrate over almost 15k hands, clearing $780 so far of my $1k bonus. That will be a nice, welcome addition to my ailing bankroll. Looks like I have like less than 5k hands to play.

I also hooked up with Stosh recently for another Stoxpoker video. If you have a subscription you can view it here. Turned out pretty well and we plan on doing more; who knows, maybe I'll turn into the next Owen Gaines and have my own series at some point :p

So that's about it! Poker's going well, life is going well, and I feel good. I do have to say that one of the main reasons poker is going well is because I'm learning more. It's something I haven't focused on enough in the past, and can definitely attribute my last swing in some part to. I was paying too much attention to my winnings, and not learning enough. I was probably not so far behind the player pool that I got run over or anything like that, but the more you learn, the better you get, and the more money you make. Worrying about each and every buyin is one of the biggest leaks you can have, and its' something I'm in the process of fixing.

I'm not even bothering posting monthly summaries anymore. I guess I'll throw a graph in here and there for fun, but I think my main focus will be to grind hands, study even more, stay healthy in 'real' life, and see where it takes me.