Monday, February 4, 2008

I'm Back....

Starting Balance: 374.08

Keep in mind this is AFTER I put another hundred dollars on Stars. Also, that upswing on Sharkscope? It got up a little higher and now has been completely eradicated. I am playing games back in my head, trying to determine what times of day I am more successful, changing up the types of games I am playing, but still, nothing.

Mitch was in town and tried to play online. He had kings run into aces a couple of times, took a few bad beats, ran bad in general, dropped 5 or 6 sngs and promptly determined he was never playing online poker in my room here in Bloomington again. The last weekend he was up here, he dropped just as much, if not more money. This is not a guy who is running bad in any sense of the word either. In the last two weeks he has racked up over $1000 dollars in SNG wins---he comes to Bloomington, all is kaput.

I also realized that my upswing coincided excatly with my visits between Georgetown and Bloomington. Back from Georgetown, things began to take a turn for the worst. But this is stupid, right? It doesn't matter where I am playing. If I am losing, I am doing something wrong. Or it is variance. I am tired of blaming it on variance though. Mitch scolded me for being so pessemistic, but I have honestly just decided I am not very good at this. I have played for 18 months and turned a profit of eleven dollars. My sng ROI is something like 6%, which isn't awful I guess, but no amount of grinding has gotten me above the $6 range.

There is a really interesting thread on where they are discussing a similar situation as mine. The posters are making some valid points, but I still firmly believe my game (which is rooted in fold equity and table image) does not work nearly as well against new/wreckless players (read: donks) as it does with people who are more familiar with how to play the game. In his latest Pokerroad interview, Mike Matusow asserted the same thing. If a major tendency of online players is to never fold, it is a big problem for me. Moreover, Matusow also conteds that he runs bad. I try to avoid all-in show downs and coin flip situations because I am not a good racer. I have been getting better about getting it in in a 60/40 (with me on the 40 end) situation in late stages of tournaments because the blinds are so big, but I still don't love those situations.

Here is an example from real life as to why I have to disagree with the posters about playing against bad players or people who don't know the game well. In the year between living LA and starting grad school when I was in Lexington, I played in several weekly tournaments and home games. My two consistent games were an after hours cash game at a free poker league, which consisted of some crazy calling stations who were still very new to the game. The other came a little later on, after I had befriended a few more serious players who played cash at casinos, had major tournament cashes, and had taken me under their wing as a mentee.

In the after hours game, I was a consistent loser and my winning sessions were leaving with maybe $10 more than I started with in a $15 buy-in. I would raise with a premium pair and by the time it got back around to me, four people would be all in and I would be like, "well, I have kings, I call." They wouldn't hold. The end. I work very hard in my bigger games to isolate my opponents so there are fewer opportunities to suck out. Here, there were rarely hands where I wasn't in a multi-action pot, calculating the price to keep people out, and failing miserably.

In the other game. I only left down once or twice. I would usually at least double my $25 buy in, because they knew I was a snug, aggressive player and they would fold when I would price them out of the draws I put them on. There were a couple of fishies in each game, but they didn't overwhelm the table. I could isolate them and play heads-up. Not only did I make money, but this is where my game really developed and where I think I played some of my best poker because I felt challenged by the caliber of player around me. While they normally played higher stakes when they were at the casino, they still enjoyed the mental challenge of playing each other and chose to keep the stakes low so they could work on their game together without losing a big chunk of change.

Ultimately, I realize I am still working on the game....always will be. I am just wondering if $3 and $6 sngs are ever going to be a productive place for me to develop.

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