Monday, March 20, 2006

Many moons ago...

Ok, ok, more like one moon. I can't believe I let a month go by. Well, actually, I can. I've cut down on a lot of the LHE grinding because I just haven't been enjoying it and it has been hurting my body too much (which also directly correllates with me doing more actual work at... work).

Instead, I've been playing only when I feel like playing (with the exception of forcing myself a bit to clear the bonus). And, I've been pretty solidly on an upswing, earning about $500 in that month in poker alone (and $400 in the last two weeks). Some highlights of the last 50 hours of poker:

  • Cashed in the last 6 Wednesday games, including three 1st place and two 2nd place in the last five games. Just good luck building on pretty good play on my part. Up something like $300 (counting cash game wins).
  • Came out $190 winner last night in the Garden City spread-limit game ($100 buy-in). Relatively soft opposition and good luck over the two hours I played. It also avenged my $140 loss in 3/6 a few weeks ago.
  • Played about 9-10 online tourneys with $11-22 buyins, only cashing in three of them right after the bubble burst (one of them was Omaha H/L). Down about $100.
  • Played 12 short sessions of cash games online (only 7 hours total). Booked small wins in pretty much every session for $180 in profit. Everything from LHE (full table, 6-max, and HU) to NLHE to PLO to Badugi. I won't lie, I've generally been lucky (or at least not unlucky) but I also feel like I've been playing pretty focused short sessions. I have a win rate over $25/hr -- not sustainable that's for sure :)
In other words, I've been playing less and doing better -- except online tourneys. I don't know what I'm doing wrong in them -- maybe it's variance, maybe I'm too tight. Not really sure.

Mostly I've just been jonesing for live cash-game play and obviously I've been enjoying my live tourney streak (I'll see if I can keep it alive this week). My bankroll hit a new high last night ($1800) but I yanked out $120 to buy a few toys that I didn't want to use family money for. Speaking of the family, I didn't give any money to the family last month because we got a lot of tax money back and I was near the gulp point for the bankroll (< $1200).

Not sure what I'll do this month (we're doing a bit better financially and I'm realizing how much it is hurting my bankroll to suck out $200 or so every month). The 200 euro MartinsPoker bonus should help things quite a bit though so I'll probably end up putting in another payment unless I hit a really bad run. In my mind, as long as I have about $1500-$1600 I'm in good shape for the chasing bonuses at the online limits I like and the occasional casino trip for 3/6 or $100 spread-limit.

Actually, here's something important to note: for cash games, I've been doing more single-tabling of shorthanded tables. I've really found that I don't learn or play nearly as effectively if I'm on any more than one table. On one table, I see the hand develop, and I can think through my options plus get much better reads on the players. Not to mention, after the hand is over, I have a chance to go back over the hand in my head instead of dealing with other tables popping up. For my goals (playing better poker) I think less is more: less hands, shorter sessions, less tables. I've really been pleased with my LHE play lately because I'm making plays and reads that never really occurred to me before. As I feel more comfortable, I've started to two-table in some situations again (mostly to clear the Martins bonus).

Finally, I'm considering putting a little money towards a WSOP seat, but to be realistic, its a long shot and I'm not going to waste too much money. Trying to win a seat into a tourney worth 6x my bankroll is a little crazy. The experience, if I pulled it off, would be well worth it. So I'll probably budget $50 to $100 to take some shots in satellites. If I get lucky, great. If not, chalk it up as experience. What's the point of a bankroll if you can't use it to play the kind of poker you like to play?

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