Sunday, January 20, 2008

I have got nothing.

Things have gotten very bad, very quickly. My bankroll is in freefall. It is almost as if it is trying to commit suicide. I take it to rehab, I try to get it to calm down, I give it naps, breaks, love, and affection and it continues to behave like the Britney Spears of bankrolls: intent on self-destruction. I moved down. I haven't been doing anything crazy. I play $3 and $6 sngs, when I dropped below $300, I put myself on $3 or less exclusively. Yet, I still can't stop it. I don't even feel like I am playing badly or doing anything wrong. But, don't they say that if you can't spot the donkey at the table it must be you? Everyone at these tables seems like morons to me, but I have to wonder:

Do I suck??

In the spirit of full disclosure, let's document this descent into donkness via my SharkScope stats:

What's that noise you ask? Oh that is just me: throwing up in my mouth a little. From the graph, you can tell that I do have a tendency to dip. I run bad. About once a month, I have a spell where I run really really bad for a couple of days. Except this time, I have run really really bad for two weeks. There was a day this week where I was 90/10 with one card to come and lost 13 times. I don't win races, I don't win 80/20s...come to think of it, I just don't win.

I have been so frustrated I couldn't bring myself to blog because my bankroll (which is sitting around $220) is lower than it has been in a couple of months. In a matter of 10 days, I have seen all my work over 2 months completely erased. While there were some instances where I may not have made an optimal play, I really do believe I am not playing badly. But, a recent thread on 2plus2 has me wondering if I even think of good/optimal play in the same way as others. Essentially, the thread deals with how tough online poker is going to get. The title of the thread prompted a resounding, "Zuh?!" from me. I don't find online poker to be "tough" in the sense that, "oh gosh, that guy who just reraised me with QJ off suit out of the small blind is so smart and so good, I can't fathom how I am ever going to beat him". Rather, it is tough the same way being locked in a room with a child infected with rabies is tough. In other words, I don't play well against abosloute nutjobs. It is not that rabiesbaby is smarter than me: it is that I can't really think of a way to use logic and intelligence to reason with him not to bite and maul me until I am dead.

During the thread, one guy gets ragged on for being frustrated by a guy calling a raise and a reraise out of position wiht 35 suited in a tournament. Here are my issues:

1) This tourney is assumed to be deep stack, when I don't think it is explicitly said.
2) 35 is made out to be a genius for getting it all in on a 3j5 flop as if it is not entirely in the realm of possibility that someone has a set of jacks here.
3) Two pair, especially a small 2 pair like that facing what is more than likely at least one overpair is not a hand I am going to be labeling as the second coming of Christmas.
4) Finally, someone brands the play as a "well-disguised smart play" and compares it to the game of Negreanu and Ivey. I sincerely doubt that either of those players are going to, in the early stages of a tournament, put in 30% of their stack out of position in the hopes of flopping a marginally good hand. Just this week on Pokerroad, Gavin Smith, whose game is often compared to those guys, balked at someone calling a raise out of position with gap suited connectors, so I just can't buy this reasoning.

This is why I want to focus my graduate research and dissertation on online poker and new media. Because live players and online players can look at the exact same hand or player and come to very different conclusions. I think that is the case with any poker players, as there are obviously a variety of ways to play any given hand, but the divide between online and live opinions just strikes me as so divergent.

I played a little 4/8 limit hold em at the boat this weekend, and I was just so happy to be sitting at a table with actual people. I could look them in the eye when they did something dumb and make them feel bad about it. The play was much more solid than the limit games I have played online and, more importantly it was a lot of FUN. I would be lying if I said that I was going to stop playing online, but it definitely will never compare to live play for me.

I think I need to start anew on Stars. I may put a little more money on there so I can comfortably play SNGs at the $6 and $10 levels. Take a couple of days off. And then start again, hoping and praying that things will get better.

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