Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Starting to See

Well, after a rough couple of sessions I've really seen a few things.  Things have happened to me that I've never had happen to me in such short succession.

I've been out flopped, out flushed, out sucked, and out fucked.
I've been turned over, bent over, turned inside out, and torn a new one.
I've been out setted, out straighted, out played and no longer feel straight.

My view on poker right now is far different than it was a week ago, and that alone shows significant improvement of my understanding of the game.  I've been focusing on single table sit-n-gos, but I'm still not sure I have them figured out.

Session 6 was pretty rough, with a 5 buy-in downswing.  I thought I was playing well, but just didn't have the timing or the moves to make consistent cash.

I spent a few days over the weekend trying to find a set sit-n-go strategy, and was almost positive that I'd have a great week.  The first two SNGs I played after my brain sesh I took first-first, and felt pretty good.

After that, again, things went sour.  Granted, not as sour as they had gone during Session 6, but still not very well.  In these instances, however, I felt that I was playing well.  I felt I had control over the games, and things simply hadn't gone my way.  I started understanding a few things about the game of sit-n-go, as opposed to my only real experience, which was cash game poker.

Over Session 7 and 8 I'd lose 60 cents and 70 cents respectively.

Coming into Session 9 I once again felt focused, ready, and willing to let good things happen.  Four tournies in that all changed.  Again.  I started feeling antsy, felt like people were making just the worst moves the world had ever seen, and I was starting to feel like I was owed something.  When I started this "challenge" last week I knew I wasn't going to be able to be a constant winner if I let my emotions get in the way.  And already, in my eighth session, I was getting that way.

After taking a break, I decided I either: didn't know enough about SNG strategy, or I simply am still not disciplined enough to make it work.  So, as any reasonable gambler would do when losing, I switched games...

I popped up four $.01/.02NL cash games on Stars, and bought in for a small stack of $1.  Normally I only like playing cash games with 100BB, but in this scenario, where I'm trying to limit my buyins comparative to overall bankroll, I didn't have a problem playing with only 50BB.

After a few rounds of nothing really happening, I had my first chance to double up, getting it in on an Ace-high board with AK:
Poker Stars $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official Hand History Converter

Hero (SB): $0.78
BB: $0.76
UTG: $1.69
UTG+1: $3.94
UTG+2: $1.82
MP1: $1.13
MP2: $2.84
CO: $2.00
BTN: $2.39

Pre Flop: ($0.03) Hero is SB with A of diamonds K of hearts
1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.02, 5 folds, Hero raises to $0.12, 1 fold, UTG+1 calls $0.10

Flop: ($0.26) 4 of clubs A of hearts 8 of hearts (2 players)
Hero bets $0.20, UTG+1 raises to $3.82 all in, Hero calls $0.46 all in

Hero shows A of diamonds K of hearts (a pair of Aces)
UTG+1 shows T of diamonds A of clubs (two pair, Aces and Tens)

Turn: ($1.58) J of spades (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($1.58) T of clubs (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $1.58

UTG+1 wins $1.53

A similar hand happened on another table, and just like that my mentality was in the toilet.  All over again, I felt dejected.  Run down.  Beat up.

I felt like I had to keep my head down, and just pushed through the beats.  Instead of shying away I charged full steam ahead into the crap that kept blinding me.  Instead of playing four tables, I did something I've never done before.  I went to six tables, which I've done a couple times.  And then, out of nowhere, I got a wild hair to jam up my monitor to 12 tables.

When I've played online in the past, it's been for decent money and money that meant something.  I've never thought of playing this many tables, even though I know a lot of online poker gurus do this all the time at all levels.  Not only do they play twelve tables, but even triple that amount.  For me, though, this was a new experience.

I finally understand the reason for multicolor decks...

I ended up just buckling down, finally playing straight, and ended up almost even on the night, after a half day struggle to gain ground.

I think I might stick to short stacking cash games for now, just until I can truly get a grasp of what's going on.  I see now that there's so much less poker going on in an SNG than there is in a cash game, and in order to consistently beat those I'll have to really internalize a specific strategy and stick to it.  I still have some learning to do for STTs, and while I brush up on that I'm almost positive that I'll be mega multi tabling cash games for a bit.  I know that short stacking isn't the right thing to do, but if I want to gain ground in my bankroll self-challenge I'm going to need to stick to strict BR percentage buyins.

Right now it feels like I know nothing about this game.  This game, that I've won and lost thousands of dollars from in the past, that I've spent years of my life talking about, thinking about, and playing, and sharing.  This game that I've loved and hated and loved and hated again.  It feels like I know not a tick of knowledge.  It feels like I should be winning, but I'm not, and there must be something to that.

But I'll keep myself in the game, I'll learn, and I'll play more.  And more.  I'll eventually gain enough to up my buy-ins, and eventually be playing the $25s with a full bankroll by December...hopefully.


Gain/Loss: -$0.13
Tournament Gain/Loss: -$0.30
Total Bankroll Increase/Decrease: -$0.43
Total Bankroll: $36.87

No comments: