Monday, December 05, 2005


Lord Voldemort: Harry! I'd almost forgotten you were here, standing on the bones of my father. I'd introduce you, but rumor has it you're almost as famous as me these days.
”Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

HP4 is pretty decent – well, that is under-selling it slightly. It is the best so far out of the series, but it could have been better. What I mean is it was probably 8.5/10 when it could have been 10.

Enough of wizards and magic, lets talk about my new poker dilemma. This is going to sound a little silly for an idea, but this is what I am presented with at the moment and I would love some advice on it if anybody is willing.

For those new to Poker On Film, here is my 2 minute summary. I started playing online about 18 months ago, and have never deposited a cent of my own. It took me three months to get more than a dollar, and I have built that to over US$1K , and due to frequent cash outs it hasn’t really got above that mark. I have cashed out more than I currently have in my poker accounts, which is about US$780.

Oh, and I kept saying US$ because I’m Australian. There, that about keeps you up.

About six months ago, when doing what ever at a shopping mall with my then-fiancĂ© and room mate we grabbed a bite to eat. This was a fancy shopping mall, and the tables had little LCD screens in them to display ads and trailers and so on. One such ad was for a video game called “The Movies”, which was actually released about a month ago. Instantly both the room mate and I thought it looked awesome, so in fact that I went straight to Electronics Boutique to find out when it was being released. Obviously it wasn’t for some time, so I mostly forgot about it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when it was advertised on TV that it was being released. My interest was instantly resurrected and I was down to the local store to grab myself a copy. I quickly checked the specs on the box and was glad my Pentium 4 2.2G was enough for this baby.

After the longest installation in my life, I tried to fire up the game. No good. I tried several variations – lowering the quality of graphics, screen settings, shutting down everything except the little mouse running on his wheel – all no good. Then I re-read the box and discovered my system was lacking two of the crucial requirements that it needed to run this game – ram and a video card.

I know nearly as much about computers as I do about poker – which is bugger all. I research a little to find the price of various upgrades, but then I wasn’t sure which would work with my motherboard or any of that. Then I was concerned that my computer, which has been known to have some nasties on it, would not be worth the effort and I should just fork out the money for a new box.

This might sound a little extreme – upgrading the entire computer just to play this one game that I will likely be done with in a month or so, but I have ulterior motives. The computer, like I said, has been known to have a few nasties on there so there is always that concern and we have been thinking about upgrading soon anyway. Secondly, there is an alternate feature of the game that I like – the ability to create your own movies.

While I don’t know how in depth the feature is, it would be a good way to start putting some of our completed scripts into a usable format. I could see myself spending 4 hours a night to get 20 seconds of a scene done, and loving it. This is more of an incentive to me than the game itself.

Now I said at the beginning it sounded a little weird – desperate perhaps even.

So I have the perfect machine lined up at about AU$900 total. Here are the system specs:

1. CASE: XBLADE Gamers Case - Massive 400 watt Power Supply
2. MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-K8VM800M Motherboard with AUDIO, GRAPHICS & LAN (Network Card)
3. PROCESSOR: AMD Sempron 64 3000+ Socket 754
4. VIDEO GRAPHICS CARD: ATI RADEON 9550 Graphics Accelerator 256Mb by ASUS
6. HARD DRIVE: Seagate 160 GB Hard Disk Drive
7. MEMORY: 512MB DDR RAM - 400Mhz
8. FLOPPY DRIVE: Black 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive
9. SOFTWARE: Nero - Norton Internet Security
All Driver Disks & Manuals Included.
Fully assembled & tested!

Comments or suggestions? All welcome.

Anyways, the real dilemma is this: We don’t have $900 spare at the minute. We are still paying for the honeymoon, as well as other assorted goodies that were a part of the wedding. We are running to budget, but only just.

The only way I am getting that machine is to drain my poker budget. At current exchange rates, I have about AU$1038 in the poker account. That doesn’t leave much for poker after it’s done, does it?

And how is poker going? Well, I have been up lately in the cash games until some disaster last night when I dropped a buy in that I shouldn’t have. In fact, if a few river’s went my way, I probably wouldn’t be thinking about this dilemma. I won’t go into details, but basically all my good hands took small pots, all my nuts-1 ran into the nuts. I was even bluffed off a massive pot when I had top pair decent kicker, and the opponent went all-in for 5x the pot size with nothing.

But it was how I lost that hurt too. Usually I get a pretty tight image at the table, and maybe that is deserved. I keep things simple – if I have a good hand, I raise pre-flop. Sometimes I raise pre-flop on position, a steal, a whim, whatever, just to mix it up. But last night, more than one player was reading me like a book. If I raised 4x the BB with nothing, they would raise it up 10x over the top. On more than one occasion I was bluffed off big pots and the opponent showed. I waited for the right cards to capitalise, but they never came.

Enough whining, I’ll save that for another post.

The short of it is I have been bankroll stagnant for about 6 months. I have been fluctuating between US$700 and US$900 in that time, and currently I am on the lower end of that fluctuation.

For the most part though, if I never played poker online again, would I miss it? Probably not, I’d find something else to keep me occupied – namely, the new computer and everything mentioned above.

I’d still play live in the home games, because they are fun even when you’re losing. Online poker is not fun when you’re losing.

The only downside is that I may be killing the goose that lays the golden egg. What if my big pay day is just around the corner? I hate the term “what if”. What if I start all over again, and try to rebuild the bank roll from scratch? Could I do it? There is a chance…

What if I don’t cash out, and the down swing continues?

The way I’m playing at the moment, this is every chance to happen. I keep hoping to flop straight flushes and get paid off. Of course, it doesn’t happen (the paid off part. I did flop a straight flush over the weekend. $4 pot on the river, minimum bet gets folded too).

If I do cash out and never play poker again, I have obtained heaps of stuff over the last year and a half for my time. Books, DVD’s, decks, cash and now perhaps a computer paid for by poker. That’s not too bad a return really, is it?

So there in lies the dilemma. If you have read this far, well done, but you really should reward yourself with a comment below. Even just a one line comment – "do it", "don’t", "you are a freaking idiot for even considering it" whatever you think is apt. I need help on this choice and I would greatly appreciate it from anyone who has found their way here by whatever means.


Mr Subliminal said...

Cash out and buy the computer. The break from online play will make you even more hungry and when you are ready, deposit a small amount and build it up again. This makes even more sense when you take into account the fact that you've been fluctuating between $700 and $900 for the last 6 months.

TripJax said...

go with what mr. said.

the key is, when you start back bonus whore to build the roll back. i cashed out my roll this past summer to pay for our family vacation and have built a $100 deposit to $400 via profit and bonus whoring. just use the expertise of scurvydog and other bonus whore geniuses to lead you in the right direction...

good luck