Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

An update on the here and now

I haven't played much poker in the last month or so mostly because I simply haven't felt like it and partly because I've been working alot and haven't had a ton of time. I sat down and figured up my June MTT results the other night: I played 18 MTT's and cashed only 3 times, however 2 were final tables, so I ended up ahead for the month. I spent $501 on buyins and won $737 so my net MTT profit for the month was $236, a 47% ROI, for whatever that number is worth in such a small sample. One thing I've noticed about my overall tournament game is that when I do cash in a tournament I tend to go pretty deep, either final table or final couple of tables. I think that's a very good thing for long term success, though it may cause more variance and I also need to start making it to the final 3 a little more often if I'm gonna win serious money at MTT's.

I actually played a few Tourneys on Tuesday night (my night off) and cashed in only one (a Stars 180-man SnG for just a small profit). So my overall night was a loser in MTTs. I had one Party Tourney where I made a very questionable play on the bubble that probably cost me at least 70 bucks also. After busting out of the 40k I was playing a $33 MTT on Party and we were 3 away from the money. I was shortstacked, but not so shortstacked that I was in any danger of not cashing if I just played super-tight. All I really had to do was fold a few more hands, wait for a couple people to go broke then try to find a hand to gamble with afterward. Instead, it folded to me on the button and I jammed with A3o. The small blind woke up with 66 and it was GG me. I really don't feel like there's any excuse for the play. I think that my position in the tourney dictates that I play for the cash there and try to gamble after the bubble passes. It's not like the blinds were shorter stacks than me and I could push them around or anything. Anyhow, that's one of those mistakes that are costly, but you can't dwell on them, just learn for next time.

In cash games, I've decided to take an extended break from online limit hold'em. I'm gonna follow Jordan's advice and take a shot at NL. There's so much money to be made in NL that I really have very little to lose by trying to get better at that game and build my bankroll up that way. Low limit hold'em got me to where I am today, but it's becoming a tougher and tougher way to build a bankroll. As you get to 3/6 and beyond the games online become more difficult to beat and the effect of the rake is pretty big. I may or may not be able to beat those games right now. I certainly believe that long-term I'm capable of getting there. I'm smart enough that I'm capable of showing good results at any endeavor that requires use of the brain. However, I'd like to build my bankroll up and take a real shot at 5/10 and 10/20 where the effect of the rake isn't so pronounced. Besides, right now, ther'es probably more bad players and hence more money to be made in NL. So I've decided to take a real run at NL cash game and see what I can do.

I'm playing .25/.50 right now with fairly marginal results. I'm trying to perfect a strategy that sits somewhere between playing really LAG and playing really tight. I'm trying to work on things like position and implied odds. I think my biggest weakness right now is getting away from hands when I know I'm beat. Last night for instance I had a hand where I raised with AA and got called by a player in MP. The flop came J63 and I bet $3 into a pot of about $4.50, the villain raised it to $9 and I re-raised the pot which was to something like $31. To begin with, my re-raise may be somewhat questionable, but I do think raising here may be ok to find out where I really am. At any rate, the villain moved all-in for another $30 and I said to myself, "he just told me he has a set," yet somehow I still talked myself into calling and he showed 66. I really believe I should have gotten away from that hand, yet somehow it's sometimes hard to convince myself that I'm not getting pushed around, especially when the opponents are faceless.

Anyhow, I'm going to continue to work on my NL game and see how that goes. Right now I'm starting to wonder if I'm one of those people who will always be able to beat low stakes online and acquit myself decently in tournaments, but not go much further. Maybe my poker future will go no higher than 2/4 online and juicy live games (which can range easily as high as 10/20 and even higher sometimes) and mid-stakes MTT's and SnGs. I'm fairly certain I'm an above average MTT player. I'm fairly certain that I'm a good enough limit hold'em player to beat bad players, but I think the next 6 months to a year will tell me alot about whether I'm capable of hacking it against decent to good players in LHE and diversifying myself to where I'm capable of beating NL cash games, and other forms of poker that I've yet to really delve into.


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