Monday, May 22, 2006

That familiar feeling...

Remember a few months ago when I was on a win streak and I felt something bad coming out of the corner of my eye? Well, I've got that feeling again.

Let me backtrack a bit -- I finally listened to the advice "Play what you are good at." In other words, to burn the most recent bonus at Party, I put in one losing session at 1/2, then realized that I could four-table the $25NL tables with a $12+ clear rate. So I put in another four sessions, earned ~$90, and averaged about 20PTBB/100 (good is considered 10PTBB/100). Yes, it could just be a lucky winning streak (1000 hands is nowhere near enough to draw conclusions). But, unlike many of my limit sessions where I wonder if I know what I am doing, the NL grinding was pretty automatic and I was very comfortable. This is probably the first time I've come out ahead from the poker in the last couple of bonuses I've completed.

So, yeah, I've strung together 6 winning days. And I'm getting that feeling.

Thinking about it, I think the source of the feeling is getting a little too 'comfortable' at the table. In other words, less thinking, less drive, and more autopilot. Especially on the last hour session of four-tabling Party.

Lets be honest, I'm still playing micro tables, my bankroll is a very comfortable $2700, and I don't really have much to worry about. But I would like to ride this winstreak and avoid the 15-20% drop in my bankroll that has happened the other times I got this feeling. So I've got a plan:

  1. Slow down. Play less, don't burn out.
  2. Focus, don't grind. Play when I want to play, and have a goal. Currently, my goal is to better my HU LHE game (burning the Doyle's bonus is great for this) and break into the $100 NL.
As far as the $100 NL, I positively feel that I have the ability right now to thrash that game and I have well over the 20 buyins recommended. From what I have heard, it is one of the last levels where casual players mix it up on a regular basis.

To get there though, I need to become comfortable with the amount of money being pushed around and the possible losses. So I plan to play both $50 NL and $100 NL in the near future with a goal of playing pretty much only the $100 NL in a few weeks. I don't think it will end badly, but I'm not going to run the psychological risk of just jumping in and getting slammed in a few bad sessions, then tilting off more money.

And yes, I know I am being overly cautious, but that is my style (for bankroll at least).

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