Friday, February 10, 2006

It Was Fun While It Lasted

Carolyn Burnham: Your father and I were just discussing his day at work. Why don't you tell our daughter about it, honey?
Lester Burnham: Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go fuck himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.
”American Beauty”

To say I have been playing poorly of late would be a gross understatement. What is unusual is that I am not that disappointed or worried about it. I’m having loosing session after session in games I used to dominate, but I don’t seem all that insecure about my game. I know there are holes, I know what they are, and I know how to fix them. I guess I just need a bit of a turn in luck to take advantage of it and I’ll be all the better.

The fact that my bank roll went from $1,000 to $50 thanks to a bit of a cash out really made a difference. I used to sit down with $50-80 at the table, and now it is more like $5-$10. About 18 months ago, SNG’s were a staple of my poker diet. For an extended period of time I had a ROI above 50% in these at the $5 and $10 levels, with the odd dabble into the $20 field. The profit from these was more than enough to erode my beginning forays into cash games – limit and no limit.

Then when I was convinced that the only way to make decent money in poker wasn’t in SNG’s, I abandoned them. I think also the fact that I was bonus whoring everywhere and not every site gives you credit for SNG’s, so the necessity to play them was drawing thin. Never mind the fact I was making good money in them, I needed to clear bonuses. Not that I’m complaining at that fact, I received over $500 worth of gear from PSO – stuff that I would never have bought otherwise and that I still use today, so I’m more than happy with that outcome.

It is just sad that I can’t seem to get consistent results anymore from low level and micro level SNG’s.

The whole limit thing never took off for me. I was never able to turn a consistent profit at it – perhaps too much NL games has ruined me for the limit version. I mean, to me people play limit to earn a living. I’m looking to poker for entertainment first and profit second. 4-tabling limit games just isn’t as fun as 2 tabling no limit games – be they ring games, SNG or MTT. Like I always say, I’m not trying to carve out a new career here in poker, I just want a little fun and some spare change while I’m doing it.

Limit poker is like pulling the band aid off your hairy skin slowly. NL can be like yanking that thing off straight away and then rubbing salt in. But then sometimes in NL you get laid afterwards. I have no idea how anybody else will understand that analogy, but it works for me.

No limit is always more fun – the tension that on any hand you could double up or be busted dry. It’s the fact that it is extremely more popular for the general punter, and thus the game is more readily available.

In live games, where Multi-tabling is impossible for most save the very ambitious, I can’t even compare the two forms. For me I just don’t get the sense of satisfaction from limit poker that I do from NL.

So online I was making some good moves in the NL ring games. I won more than I lost, but then had a real down swing that destroyed my confidence, and led to the big cash out.

Since then I have been severely under funded, and have been plagued by in-consistent results. But I’m not concerned because I know where I am at and I know what I can do once I get on a roll. Once the bank roll recovers to a respectable level (for me that would be above $300 at the moment), I can get back into the game and hopefully cash out another grand or so sometime this year. That is the new goal for 2006 – have a bank roll big enough to cash out $1K without destroying it. At the moment, the bank roll is 25 cents. That just made me chuckle.

Now many online pros or serious players might be tsk tsk-ing themselves half to death by the statements above. They may even scoff further at how I refer to Texas Holdem as “poker” solely, without giving consideration to the infinite other forms of the game. They may yet again cringe at the fact that many like minded individuals similar to myself are the reason why tournament poker is neglecting the other disciplines and the big events for Omaha, stud and draw poker are drying up.

The reason is I like NL holdem more than any other game. I think many people are the same. Supply and demand. Is it a shame that the World Series is starting to neglect the other games? Of course, but it is just another form of natural selection.

Five or six years ago, how many of those same tsk tsk-ing online pros would have even cared?

But I digress…

My MTT’s have always been a favourite. Mainly because I know I can buy 2 hours entertainment for $5 or $10, and then the returns can be very big if the cards fall my way. Winning $100 in a MTT feels better than winning $101 in a cash game. It’s the sense of beating all others – the last man standing when everyone else has fallen.

I’ve had a couple of good showings in MTT over the past 2 years. Without looking at my archives, I can remember 3 first place finishes, a 3rd very recently and two 4ths that I should have turned into more. They will always standout to me because of the timing of most of them, and also the elation felt when all was said and done.

However, of late I have been doing not so well in them. I did record my play for two of these which I will get to posting one day when I can be bothered, but for now let me share my woe.

This might make people think less of me, but hey I am going to write what I think.
With my last $5.75 at Full Tilt, I bought into a $5 + 50c tournament after having read about the trouble BG is in. More so, I read about how many other people were contributing to the cause. Now I don’t read BG’s work very often, and obviously I’ve never met him. Contributing to somebody else’s medical bills is not high on my priority, but the sense of community around him is very inspiring and contagious.

I can understand the money problems that come with a vital operation like that, but I am not in a position to contribute some of my own hard earned when there is scarce of that going around at the moment. I did consider sending the final $5.75 over. The gesture of draining ones bank roll for another seems on the outside a big thing, but the reality that it was only $5.75 didn’t escape me. Sure, the old “if 100 people did it, it would be worth it” thought crossed my mind, but that again is concerning others and I was only concerned with my own situation at the moment. And I knew that I was doing it more to join in with everyone else than to actually help a person. I considered this, and in the end decided that if I was willing to throw a small amount of money in to make myself seem more a part of this online community – in other words I would be putting the money in more for myself than the actual benefit of BG, then so be it. I entered the tournament with the firm commitment to give half of my winnings away to join in the cause, and buy some karma from the poker gods. I think deep down I knew this was a bit of a cop out.

So after a few orbits I am getting nothing. I decided to try playing a hand with my rags, and I get 53o. I raise and get two callers to see an all paint board. One caller bets out, the other goes all-in – I guess I can’t bluff either one now. I am down to T970 from the starting stack of T1500. I’m under the gun and get the rockets. I raise it pot level (after I got pushed off the previous hand when someone else went all-in again), and I immediately thought that was wrong and I should have just pushed and hoped to get called by a big stack. A raise here makes it look like I want a call, maybe a push could persuade some mediocre hands to call and hope to knock me out, maybe even thinking I was on tilt and call with Ax. Never the less, it gets folded around to the small blind who is the sole caller.

The flop comes Td7s6s. I have the ace of spades and ace of diamonds, so that helps knowing that if anybody is looking for a flush or back door flush then it won’t be for the nuts and that might scare them off (barring straight flushes of course). SB bets 1/3 the pot, and I decided if he has a flush draw to make sure he pays to get it. I go all in and he calls with 8d9d for the flopped straight. The turn did give me a spade out, but the river did not bring it.

Again I know I didn’t have to get all my chips into the middle there. Sure, I was always going to loose some of my stack on that hand, but it didn’t have to be all of it.

Technically this isn’t a bad beat story, as all the money went in when I was behind, so ti was just a beat. I think I have gone about 5-6 with aces in recent times, and by that I mean 5 wins out of six not five bad beats, so I guess I was due to loose with them eventually. Most of the wins are blinds only, but you get that.

So I am left with 25 cents until next week when my advertisement money goes in. I’m committing myself right here to sending the $20 across like suggested in order to buy karma from the poker gods and the poker community. I do hope it helps too.

1 comment:

TripJax said...

Karma, she's a beetch. Probably a good call. I plan to do the same. Good luck once you get the deposit. I hope you hit a hot streak...