Monday, May 14, 2007

Getting Back To My Playing Days

One of the things that's really got me slumped right now is the fact that I can't play cards. It was always the one thing to settle my mind, and back when I was playin heavily I was doin alright.

Goin on week-long $4K rushes at a $200 cap buy-in game was fun, but through frivolous spending, loaning, bad play, blackjack, and...sushi...the rushes came and went just as fast. That meant that whenever I was having a losing day or week, or going through a $1500 downswing, my bankroll was never around to support me. I know that I've written about BR problems before, but I'm gonna go into a little bit more detail this time around.

The reason that I always spent so much when I had it is that I never played with a bankroll. From back when I was in college, working part-time and having small amounts of cash on me, to the times when I moved close to Chumash to play the $200 capped $2-5NL, I've never run with a bankroll.

For the most part it was because I never had extra cash to turn into a bankroll. The money I was playing with was living money. It was rent, bills, and food money, all while working crap jobs (or for crap pay anyways). I was good enough of a player to keep my head above water when payment time came around, and in my mind I knew I was better than that. I should have been rolling, I should have been building and expanding.

After I tried to screw my head on straight and buckle down, of course I started a massive losing streak. All the money I had went down the drain to turns and rivers bred from the depths of Hell, and my play started to get sloppy. Then it turned into me not even wanting to play because of all the money I had lost when I was only making $10/hr working.

I decided to take a little time off for multiple reasons. I really went into deep thought about my game, and discussing it on multiple levels with a few different people. It was obvious that I was better than I had playing, and if it weren't for my horrible bankroll management I might've been able to use the mental regeneration at that point to turn myself into something.

As it were, I was broke and in definite need of rebuilding. When I started reading about how massive people were making it playing online, I decided to start up a little quest playing SnG's and $5-10 on Ultimate Bet. With a goal and a promise in mind, Sitting The Apple was born.

I was keeping pretty strong notes, tallies, and records. Most of what happened in that short amount of time was chronicled in this blog. I started out pretty strong, and then came the beating. I started getting hit with the most ridiculous shit and couldn't even keep my eyes open to watch anymore.

I can honestly say that it was during this downswing that I've ever been nearly as close to destroying my personal possessions then I've ever become. I was a mental mess. I was trying to prove to myself and everyone else that doubted me that I could do it and that I could make it in the poker world. All the while the misfortune of bad luck was working in every way possible against me.

The one thing that came out of that time period that I'm actually grateful for is that I really learned to conquer my poker-related emotions (...for the most part). I knew then that no matter how pissed or upset I got over all the bad beats or bad play, it wasn't gonna bring my money back. The only way to do that was to move on and play through the variance.

As odd as it sounds, I actually got better during the time that I wasn't playing.

Luckily for me, Darsky was willing to back me for a little bit, and help me through what turned out to be the most mentally rough time I've had in my personal life. During that time we were able to put together some good runs, usually with good results for the both of us. I was playing a little more and playing well, and I was winning money for both of us.

As it turned out, however, whenever I tried to play my own cash or play from the winnings I was keeping from Darren's stake, I was losing. I was still making no money at all working, and went back to losing with my own cash. There was a lot of times I thought about quitting poker altogether, but I couldn't get the thought out of my mind that I could be such a good player.

Now let's fast forward to recent months, as I continue my streak of busto. In December, after another break, I decided to pick up some cash and hit Vegas. LOST.

Again in January. LOST.

Goddammit, it just seems like I'll never get on my feet. But...

After taking a few months off again, and thinking over and over again about my game and about the game in general, I'm right where I need to be. Most of what I thought about during this most recent break is that I'm not going back to where I was. I was never set in my thinking and was always thinking ups and downs. But now that my life is more stabilized I know I can beat the game.

Most of all I thought about all the times I've had to take off and think about stuff. I think I'm finally in my game and now I just need one more chance to prove it. I have no cash...again. Even though I'm more set financially I haven't had a chance to save for a BR because personal stuff keeps coming up (car, household needs, etc.). I'll be taking off to New York to visit my parents in the upcoming months, so I'll be saving most of my money for that.

If I could somehow get a bank going, I know I'd be off to the races. My last trip to Vegas ended with a harsh five-outer at the $2-5NL game at the MGM. I had built up playing $1-2NL at Caesar's, and put my built stack from the one session at the $2-5NL at the MGM. I got my stack in with QQ against a soft table and A-7 on a 4-5-7 board. An Ace on the turn ended my playing for that trip, and now it's only a matter of time until I'm back in the game.

Coming up I'm gonna be running through a couple hands and some analysis, and can hopefully pick up some insight from some of you readers out there *cough*BRANDO*cough*.

Until next time.


The Hero said...

I'm not even sure how I came across your blog...I think through a link on another blog. But it's funny to read this last post because I have gone through the same thing with my BR. I have profitable results on my spreadsheets yet I am broke most of the time due to spending too much money/paying back loans/trips, etc. and now I have almost no BR to play with. Good luck to you, I will keep reading. I have a couple blogs at and (poker results). Wish you the best man.

Brando said...

Some of the best poker i've ever played has been after an extended leave of absence from the table. Looking forward to the next post..