Sunday, February 20, 2011

Had my break and ready to rock the micros all over again.

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I was reading over previous entries in my blog and surprised as to how many times I’ve tried to “start over”.

I’ll start off by re-capping where I’ve been for the past four months.

I was seriously losing motivation to blog, results wise, nothing exciting was happening. I’d play a tonne, pull some cash out, buy some stuff, and try to grind it back up. I hovered around $100 - $1000 for quite some time, but there was no long term plan or solid goals in mind.

Around September last year I took some part time work writing site news articles for Poker News Daily. I thoroughly enjoyed doing these pieces and had 4 uploaded per week. Aside from the extra pocket money, sometimes it really took up more time than I anticipated. As you may have noticed in the past, being a personal blog, I’m not too fussed with things like correct punctuation and lean towards using a lot of acronyms, tendencies that I had to completely abandon when writing professional articles. This in turn took away a lot of time for me at the tables because when I wasn’t writing, I was researching trying to come up with the most relevant and comprehensive work I could do whilst trying to learn correct writing techniques.

If you are interest in seeing my work they can be found via the link below.

My Poker News Daily Articles

That aside, playing poker I was all over the place. I did everything from 24 tabling 2NL to playing 1KNL heads up (Yes, I played $5/$10 with a bankroll of less than $500)! My breaking point of insane gambling came on Christmas day last year where, once again, I flushed 95% of my net bankroll away on blackjack at Party Poker. It was around December 11th I transferred $225 to Party Poker and started playing $5/hand on blackjack. I managed to run that $225 to over $2,500, then I donked it all off betting up to $500/hand. The almost out of body experience broke me for the final time and I haven’t done anything like it since.

For fun, I spent January doing the most accurate reconciliation of all of my gambling money to see what my net worth currently is at this stage. The numbers are rough but since I started playing online I am up a little over $7,000 from poker but down near $8,000 from blackjack. If only I never fell for the trap who knows what my bankroll would be today, easy 5 figures I have no doubt!

I remember where it all went sour, it was mid 2009, and I’d spent the last 18 months running $1 into $2200. Within a matter of weeks I ran that $2200 into $6000 playing Blackjack at Titan Poker. Thinking I was the luckiest man on the planet I thought I was invincible, until I flushed away almost every cent of it at $500/hand and even one hand betting $1000. I obviously can’t help to think where I would be poker wise if that never happened. I’d graduated from the PokerStars $3.40 SnGs, to the $6.50s and the $16s, beating them for around 12% over thousands of games, I was about to make the jump to their $27s but I decided to flip coins for my net worth.

As dumb as my past actions have been it reminds me of the most important factor, not only can it be done, but I have done it. I know far more that what I did in the past, and with the same amount of discipline and structure, I can do it again.

Bad money management aside, another massive mistake I made was abandoning all of my spreadsheet work once I purchased Poker Tracker & Holdem Manager. I relied on these programs to continue to track my bankroll and in turn lost so much discipline I used to have. I reviewed myself as a player from when I was at my peak and I came up with the following tendencies I need to re-implement in order to become successful again, I need to:
--Play with a solid amount of Buy-ins to determine a level of play
--Manually document every result
--Decrease the amount of tables I play.

The first two will be easy, it’s the last one that concerns me. As of late I’d become somewhat of an action junkie playing the maximum amount of tables I could handle. At my peak as far as multi-tabling is concerned I played 60 tables at the same time of PokerStars Double or Nothing Tournaments, 45 minutes of ~90% folding everything and the rest jamming it in!

Poker as a Parent.
Something I don’t talk about that often but will touch on for a while as it obviously plays a massive factor. For those of you that know me, I work a 40 hour per week job and have 4 amazing children. Time for me is basically a thing of the past. I’ve spent too much time trying to play as something I’m not. Getting inspired by internet kids that grind 10 hours per day. 7 days per week and always come up trumps at the end of the month. I simply haven’t got time to play like that. So I need to approach the game that will suit me and my limited schedule.
There are a few blogs I read of other parents, will fathers only, that grind professionally and I have the upmost respect for them as they all appear to fulfil their parental responsibilities as well as kill the games they are playing. Playing online poker as a parent is a lot harder than it sounds. I can’t sit at my computer for hours on end and grind, frankly I’d rather play Super Mario Galaxy with the kids while they are awake then spend no time with them. So my only time to play is a few hours per night, without driving the misses insane aswell. Really is a juggling act.

Where to now?
Before I get into that I want to touch on one last point. I believe it was late November –early December last year. I had a little over $100, I think around $120, and I was in the process of watching a Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt training video where he was 2 tabling 6max 50NL. I remember about 15 minutes in I thought to myself this is so easy and I understood everything he said and did right away, so I decided to give it a shot. I opened 2 tables of 50NL buying in for 100bb’s with auto top-up turned on and started playing. I spent around 3 weeks doing this, only 2 tables at a time, played over 5,000 hands and won around $500, but as far as enjoying playing poker was concerned, it was one of my highlights. I also played another 5,000 hands of Heads Up 50NL and beat that for a few hundred as well. But the 6max game was where I really enjoyed myself. I look forward to getting back there, but I’ll need a lot more than 2 buy-ins until I try that again. Oh, and if you’re wondering why that successful run came to an end, it was after a few weeks I decided to go from 50NL HU, straight to 1KNL HU, as any intelligent person does.

So, at the moment I have completely busted my Stars account, have $30 bonus dollars at Titan Poker, and $50 at Full Tilt. I’ll take my bankroll as $50 only as I don’t know why I’ve got $30 in my Titan cashier, it might be mine but contingent on some BS rules they decide to throw at me.

I’ve dug up all my old spreadsheet and am in the process of testing all my old formulas to see if they will still work. If you want to see an example of how detailed they were I posted a screen shot when I did my 2008 year in review post which can be found below.

Example of my spread sheet.

I’m planning on playing 1 table of .02/.05 RUSH poker for the main reason it will help me drop my tables and focus on hands, yet still give me the feeling of playing faster than usual. I know 10Buy-ins is risky, but think I’ll be able to grind that back up without too much risk of ruin. I’ll also dabble once again in their micro STT SnGs and micro MTTs.

If you’re still here, well done, and thanks for reading. This is what happens when I leave a blog unattended for 4 months, I ramble on in 1 big brain fart, yet feel I’ve only said 10% of what I’ve wanted to!

Promise to get back into blogging and keep myself accountable playing wise and growing wise, but for now I’m going to bed, I suggest you get yourself a bourbon, because you’ve done good to stick with me for this long, and for that, I thank you.

Night all and be back soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Comment if you’re still reading this!

I’ll be doing a big return post to revamp the blog this weekend but for the time being am interested if anyone is actually still reading this. So if you’ve enjoyed it in the past I’m keen to know if you’re still reading. Regular updates and news will be coming shortly.