Monday, December 26, 2005

Yay, more charts!

Bunch of poker odds and ends I want to talk about. I haven't updated lately because of holiday business (not to be a grinch, but I'm pretty sick of Christmas) and I decided to spend my free time watching the fifth season of the Sopranos and actually playing poker instead of writing about it.

First, why don't I start with the Artichoke Joe's tourney a week ago. Not really much to report -- I played quite tight, got very few premium hands, but won my critical short-stacked all-ins to make it to about 18th place out of 96ish. The blinds move up very fast in that tourney including some shocking jumps between levels where the ante tripled and the blinds doubled. Surprisingly, Wade, Thuan and I all made it to the final two tables but we busted out one after another in the high teens. With all the money was at the final table, we were pretty forlorn as we looked back at the tourney on our way out. Probably not a tourney I'll play a lot because there isn't a lot of play for the money you put in.

On the topic of tourneys, yesterday at noon FCP had a $30+3 tourney where the top 3 got seats into the 36 player qualifier to the protege contest final table. Wasn't really considering playing it until I saw that there were only 25 people signed up for it. After all, value of the package is $50Kish, value of the final table seat is $5Kish, value in the 36 player tourney is about $140, so it was like $500 was added to the tourney. So, I played, was pleasantly surprised at the relatively low quality of play, and managed to get 4th for a bankroll boost but no seat. Damn, I really wanted a seat. Maybe I'll try it again next week before it starts getting more popular. Making it to the final table of the Protege contest is a bit of a long shot anyway, but sometimes it is fun to try.

Its funny, but I was going through my PokerDominator stats today and I realized that I only played 5 tournaments over the past month! Seriously, that's only the AJs tourney, FCP yesterday, two Wednesday games, and one Stars $10+1. No wonder I'm starting to feel burned out on ring games. But online, the tourneys just don't burn off the bonuses, so I'm better off playing the ring games money wise. Although... my results have been pretty good in tournaments in the past few months, so maybe they would be a profitable thing to do. Since my kids (and wife) get up late over the break, maybe I'll enter one or two large tourneys this week and see if I can hit a decent sum of money. Along those lines, here is a chart of my tourney results over the past six months:

and my ring game results over the same period:

I've earned about the same amount in both tournament and ring play (with 204 hours in ring play vs 149 hours in tourney play) but there is a lot more variance in the tournament play. In fact, 75% of my profit came from that one good run (including the 180 player SnG). No wonder tourneys frustrate people. What's not shown is the bonuses I've earned -- I haven't tallied it up, but I'm sure I've cleared at least $500 in bonuses over the same period (edit: I've got $~520 recorded), meaning my poker playing has yielded about $2,000 over the last six months -- not too shabby...

As I mentioned, lately I've been a bit burned out on full-table ring games. Waiting around for good hands or draws makes you feel pretty powerless. Did I mention the waiting? So, I decided to try something new and I've been playing heads-up hold'em on FCP. The bonus (effectively 50% rakeback) makes it quite profitable and I've yet to have a losing session after four-five hours. Granted, I'm not making a lot and it is a small sample size, but I still feel like I'm pretty good at the game. I may take my 100 big bets at 0.5/1 and see how far I can go with it, moving up whenever I have 100 BB or more. Dangerous, yes, but worth the experience I expect. I've definitely learned a lot about focusing on beating a single opponent and exploiting weaknesses.

Problem is, I still have about $45 to clear at Stars and $190 to clear on Eurobet, and I just can't seem to motivate myself to two-table 1/2 or 2/4. Stars I may try to do the shorthanded limit since the double points thing is in effect until the end of the month and that should take care of it quickly. But Eurobet will be a grind, and the swings really hurt at 2/4. Honestly, most of it is mental -- I just have to convince myself to play.

I tend to have periods where I'm a bit, ahem, fragile. Basically, I'm more worried about protecting my earnings than increasing my hourly rate. Now, logically I know this is stupid and I should do what it takes to maximize my winnings while playing within my bankroll (generally, that would be two-tabling 2/4). But my recent plateau has felt a lot like a losing streak, and it has been nice to book some consecutive wins even if they aren't huge. Although... Sometimes I wonder if my earn rate is higher at short-handed tables even if I drop down a few levels.

And, on top of it all, I'm just getting a bit burned out. I probably ought to take a few days off and just play when and what I want to play. After all, if I'm not comfortable playing a game, that will definitely hurt my EV anyway. Once January hits I'll start grinding again to earn the family some bonus money.

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