Monday, January 4, 2021

Stepping Forward Into 2021

Sorry I'm late with this, but first and foremost I want to wish all of my readers a very very happy New Year .  The way 2020 has gone happy New Year because it's got to be better than the old one.  So let's get right down to it.

Nearly $6,000. That's the amount of money I have made from poker, both live and online, since I moved to Las Vegas and started keeping track in 2016. 5 years and $6,000 and not a single dime to show for it. The obvious question would be "Earnings of $6,000 where is the money??" There is one word which completely explains it. Spend, spend, spend. Over the last 5 years years that is what I have continually done. It was spending it very frivolously and recklessly. It would be one thing if I had to use it for medication as an example, but that was not the case. In years past mostly being on the Fremont Street Experience or on the Strip. This year the majority of it was more food delivery orders is than I can possibly account for or for groceries, but the only reason I needed to spend the bankroll for groceries was because I was using a portion of my food budget for food delivery orders like pizzas and Burgers & Subs and anything else you can think of. It's all connected together. It has been pretty much just spending the money on whatever I wanted and that is why 5 years later I don't have anything to show for it.

This next question might be "Only $6,000 in 5 years that's not exactly a huge profit for a poker player. This is also true, and that is due in part to the spend, spend, spend, that I have done over the last five years because when you do that you cannot build up a bankroll which allows you to play higher tournament buy-ins more consistently and regularly which returns higher rewards when you're consistently keeping a bankroll of less than $1,000 and often times considerably less. These are not excuses these are simply reasons, but as we head into 2021 I am going to do my damn best to make these reasons nonexistent going forward.

Poker Resolutions

1. No Spending Poker Money Excapt For Meds

I already said it all. Nearly $6,000 and nothing to show for it. My blood thinner costs me $110 for a 3-month prescription and then the final 3 month prescription cost $220 so I will spend poker earnings on this, but come hell or high water I will not be spending my poker bankroll or profits on anything else. This is definitely my number one poker resolution.

2. Play Tournaments Only Online

This blog is called Tournament Trails and is supposed to be dedicated to my adventures in playing tournaments, but for some reason I get into this habit where I try to play cash games. I don't even like cash games so why do I play them. Usually it's because I'm running cold and I'm trying to find an outlet to even things out, but my skills, such as they are, are definitely tournament based. Playing cash Games Live is another matter. When people from the Twitter poker community come to town and want to get together for a cash-game nothing wrong with that and when this mask thing is over and done with I may even hopefully be playing some Omaha Hi-Lo limit cash games live, but as far as online I'm going to try to stay with tournaments only. 

3. Keep Absolute Constant Accurate Poker Record Keeping

This one does not need much of an explanation. A bad habit I have is deleting the records and statistics and reinitiating them usually because I have not been doing all that well, but let's face it that is not what I'm supposed to do. Let the record show what the record shows, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

4. Play At Least 260 Days Of At Least 6 Hours A Day In 2021

Personal Resolutions

1. No Food Delivery Orders More Than Once A Month

I was going to try this for no delivery orders for a year but a good friend of mine suggested that I go into this a little more slowly and he's absolutely correct so I'm shooting for no more than once a month which will still save me tons of money throughout the year.

2. Be under 300 lbs By The End Of The Year

3. Build Up Available Balances On All Credit Cards

So stepping forward into 2021 the first and foremost thing is that I have decided is to start the year off, hopefully end of the year, and play all the time in between, grinding tournaments on ACR. I played some on ACR during 2020 and quite frankly between here and WSOP this is the only place I actually showed a profit on, but that's not even the main reason I have decided to make hopefully the permanent switch. The cost of the tournament buy-ins make it so much easier to play within my personal established bankroll management rules not to mention the tournament selection within my buy-in range makes it also a great option. The only thing that can be somewhat irritating is the Bitcoin fees but these can be reduced to the minimum needed simply by depositing what I need to get me started for 2021 and withdrawing with only deep run hits. Playing here on ACR with their tournament selection will make it a lot easier to keep my poker resolution about not playing cash games online.

The first few days of January I was forced to take 2 days off. Not exactly how I wanted to start things off, but it has been a day shy of 3 months since my last cortisone shots and I am due for them again and torturous pain in the right shoulder forced me to take the second and third of January off. I played 7 tournaments on the 1st and walked away with total tournament earnings of $0.44. Please please keep down the applause. It was pretty pathetic that the rakeback for that day of $0.63 was higher than the tournament earnings, but hey any when is better than any loss. The following is my schedule to start the year out. Obviously this will change as the year progresses hopefully for the better with consistently higher buy-ins. 

$2.20 NLH $800 Gtd

$3.30 NLH $3k Gtd 8-Max

$3.30 NLH $1200 Gtd 8-Max

$2.75 NLH $2.5K Gtd

$4.40 NLH $2k Gtd

$3.30 NLH $2k Gtd

$6.60 NLH $6k Gtd

$16.50 PLO8 (Thursday Morning Only)

$1.65 NLH $1500 Gtd

The first 5 are definite staples of my online grind on days that I play. The 6th and 7th tournaments listed, the $3.30 and $6.60 NLH tournaments will be decided on a day-by-day basis. My first tournament starts at 9:30 a.m. and those two don't start until 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively which makes for some very long days. The $16.50 PLO8 will still keep me within my own personal bankroll management or close enough to it anyway, at least to start off with, which states to maintain 200 average buy-ins in my bankroll, however even if my bankroll were to fall below that those first 5 would still be played. The last one listed is a 6:15 a.m. tournament and quite frankly that will only be played on nights that I pull an all-nighter for whatever reason.

So that wraps this one up. Although I didn't list it as a resolution I am going to try to post a blog entry at least twice a month. Here's hoping to a much better 2021 than 2020 was, but I am the optimistic type and I foresee a much better future for all of us. Until next time take care and be well and as always stay safe my friends and opponents. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The October Earnings Report And Padding The Bankroll Somewhat Unconventionally

Let's give you the backstory. Before I switched over to ACR at the beginning of September utilizing a bankroll of just poker profits it was not very good. After the September earnings that I had that gave me a bankroll of $302 going into October which was the total pearnings for the year. How I got that low is the backstory that I will now share with you and you can see for yourself how foolish I was. I had a bankroll of about $1,000 and playing on WSOP I was not doing well and ran into a situation where I lost a few hundred of that. Okay not a big deal. However, since my online play was intermittent at best I was using that bankroll for of all things, which is one of my demons, food delivery orders. Now if I had to use part of my bankroll for groceries that would be one thing, but this was not groceries. This was Chinese food delivery, hot wings, various fast foods, pizzas, and when you do one or two it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it quickly adds up and I probably ended up spending nearly $400 doing so like a complete idiot. So going into October even with the earnings from September I'm sitting on a total bankroll of $302 which to say the least is not a very comfortable level to be at.

Now for the second idiotic thing that I have done and I did this before and when I did it before I did it with three of them and I paid them off completely when I got the $1,200 stimulus money, but in order to pad my bankroll a little more I decided to apply and I was approved for two separate credit cards which I will turn the majority of it into cash by using it to pay different things that normally would be paid from my checking account and using that money that was not used from my checking account and taking that and adding it to my bankroll. I know, I can read the comments before they're even written. That is insanity, that is crazy, you are being ridiculous, but to me my poker bankroll and my ability to play poker and do it at a comfortable level is paramount in my life. Agree with that or not, but it is that way for me so I grabbed two credit cards, and with my credit rating I do not get high credit lines, but suffice to say I will be adding over the next 2 months a total of anywhere from $400 to $600 to the bankroll. I'm not exactly sure of the exact amount at this point because I may want to keep some in reserve for emergencies, or maybe a vet visit for the cat would be necessary, and it might be good to keep a small emergency fund, but I will decide that over the next couple of months.

So let's get to October's earning report. The month of October was broken down into two parts. The first part of it I was playing during the day as usual, but I could not get anywhere and as a matter of fact it was just completely negative. The first 78 tournaments that I played this month I cashed in 15 of them but not a single Final Table to be found and overall my tournament losses were over ($64). That amount in of itself does not sound overly huge and really it's not, but when you consider that is from an average buy-in of less than $3 it is over 20 buy-ins down. The problem, as I saw it, was that the tournaments I was playing during the day had high field numbers as far as the amount of entrants as in 600, 800, and over a thousand and I noticed that during the overnight there were a few tournaments that had a significantly lower amount of entrants which would be expected considering the time of day. 

I can't tell you exactly when it happened, but it was sometime around the middle of the month, but I decided to switch over to the night shift. Deciding exactly when to begin each night fluctuated at first and then I basically settled on getting up at midnight and making the two 1 a.m. tournaments the first ones of the day and what a difference going to the night shift has made. I wasn't looking to completely eliminate the tournaments that have a high number of entrants, but I was looking to supplement them with tournaments that didn't have so many entrants in them. Almost immediately things started to turn around and during the course of the second half of the month I ended up making five final tables two of them back to back for returns of $104 and $48 going 15 cashes for 59 played increasing my ITM percentage by a full 6%. Total tournament earnings were $116 and when you add the other stuff such as rakeback and money won from twitch drawings and whatnot total earnings were $124 during the night shift. Overall for the month the profit was $66. 

The $66 in total earnings for October was not exactly burning up the tables and it is only half as much as I made in September, but the fact of the matter is I've now had back-to-back winning months playing online poker and it has been a very long time since I have been able to say that. When it comes to the small earnings amount for the month of October I alluded to this on Twitter about how I had earnings, but they wouldn't basically nothing to write home about one of the people on Twitter Named Dave who I mutually follow gave me a quote from a friend of his. You can find Dave on Twitter if you click this link Dave's Twitter well he tweeted to me the following. 

A friend of mine always says “you’ll never go broke taking a small profit”

When you think about this this is so absolutely correct so I'm not going to down myself that my earnings were small for October and instead I am just going to be thankful that I had earnings instead of losses. Thanks Dave.

There's also a little story to go along with the second half of October where I had those 2 cashes for $104 and $48. One of the poker streamers that I like to watch is a guy from the UK named Tony. You can find his twitch stream if you click the following link.  Tony's Twitch Channel Tony's Twitch channel he is also on Twitter and you can find him with this link Tony's Twitter . Apparently Tony's youngest son has a liver condition. I am not revealing a confidence here as he has it clearly posted  on the main page of his twitch Channel, but anyway I had an additional $10 on my account that was above what I had earned for the year so I asked him if I sent him that $10 on ACR if he would make a donation to the liver foundation in his son's name for me. He was very appreciative of this and said he most definitely would do that. Well immediately after I did that I had back-to-back second place finishes in tournaments. The first in the 1 a.m. $800 Gtd for $104 and the second in the 3 a.m. $400 Gtd. Coincidence you say, maybe, but I say Karma is very real.

Well that's going to wrap this entry up. I am taking weekends off and this weekend I decide to take Friday Saturday and Sunday off. Most poker players would want to play the weekends but the fact of the matter is on the weekends they eliminate the 6:15 a.m. tournament that I like to play each morning and also the 1 a.m. tournament has troubles getting started and since I do need a couple of days a week to rest and recharge both physically and mentally it seems the perfect opportunity to do so especially during football season. I will be back at it tonight at 1 a.m. which is officially Monday morning. So with that said ladies and gentlemen, friends and opponents, take care and be well.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Mid October Report

To start off with I thought I would let you in on exactly what my potential daily tournament schedule is now that I have a cortisone filled shoulder that actually allows me to grind poker tournaments. For the most part the tournaments I play have a 200 big blind starting stack, 12 minute blinds, and a 3 hour late registration. The tournaments listed below are the ones that will be played or could be played on my schedule however not every tournament is available every day. It might only be available 5 days a week, and sometimes I will not want to wake up at 5 in the morning to play 6:15 a.m. tournament, but sometimes I will be pulling an all-nighter so I will be tossing in the 3 a.m. tournament every now and then, but with that sad the following are the potential tournaments that can and be played on my daily schedule.

3AM $1.10 NLH $400 Gtd

615AM $1.65 NLH $1500 Gtd  (Mon - Fri)

730AM $2.20 NLH $2K Gtd
   "10 Min / 5 HR Late Reg"

930AM $2.20 NLH $800 Gtd

1030AM $3.30 NLH 8-MAX $3K Gtd

12PM $3.30 NLH 8-MAX $1.2K Gtd

130PM $1.65 NLH $600 Gtd

230PM $2.75 NLH $2500 Gtd

5PM $4.40 NLH $2K Gtd

7PM $3.30 NLH $2K Gtd

9PM $3.30 NLH $1200 Gtd
   "10 Min / 4 HR Late Reg"

The tournaments that have 12-minute blind levels that I play also offer differing starting stacks. They are all 200 big blinds but some of them start with a starting stack of 10K, some with 20K, and some with 40K. The first blind level of the tournament differs depending on what that starting stack is, but they all equate to 200 big blinds as a start so I'm really not sure why they offer these different starting stacks when they basically equal out to the same 200 big blind start. Maybe it's because some people just like to see a higher number of chips in their stack to start things off, but either way I play in all of them whether they start with 10K, 20K or 40K, it makes absolutely no difference to me.

So onto the mid-October report. The first half of the month, technically speaking the first 16 days, have proven to be a struggle. I've played a total of 65 tournaments and cashed in 13 of them which is not a bad ITM percentage of 20%, but the problem is you need final tables in order for the prize rewarded to be anything that would be considered even close to significant and for the first 16 days and 65 tournaments played in October a final table is not something I have been able to achieve so I'm down a total of ($46.21). Now all in all a loss of this size is not the worst thing in the and if I was experiencing this on WSOP that amount would easily be three times what it is, but since I am working on such a small bankroll it can be considered somewhat significant. The Bitcoin fees that I have been paying is obviously part of Poker expenses and had to come off the bankroll so in essence I started the month of October with a bankroll of approximately $293 a very very small amount. This could have been hundreds of dollars more had I not been so foolish in recent months blowing a large chunk of my bankroll on grocery orders food delivery. I'm kicking myself for it now believe that, but we cannot harp on our errors in judgment and instead can only continue onward. During the month of October I've added $80 to that bankroll but even with that with the losses suffered this month that gives me a bankroll of only $320 headed into the second half of the month.

Since I am facing field sizes which are infinitely larger than previously faced, in a perfect world I would like to maintain a bankroll of 200 average buyins. Under current circumstances that isn't realistic, but I can come at least somewhat close to it. If I cut back on the $3.30 tournaments and focus only on those that are less expensive than that it will create a maximum average buy-in of only $1.98 giving a bankroll starting the 2nd half of October of 161 average buy-ins. Once I get that up to the 200 average buy-ins what I need to do is to maintain that or higher on a daily basis therefore deciding each day which tournaments I can play in order to maintain that 200 average buy-in number not only for the remainder of the month, but going forward permanently. So going forward, at least for the time being, these will be the tournaments played on my daily schedule.

3AM $1.10 NLH $400 Gtd

615AM $1.65 NLH $1500 Gtd (Mon - Fri)

730AM $2.20 NLH $2K Gtd
   "10 Min / 5 HR Late Reg"

930AM $2.20 NLH $800 Gtd

130PM $1.65 NLH $600 Gtd

230PM $2.75 NLH $2500 Gtd

Part of the reason for the losses in the first half of October is I have definitely made some errors along the way. Doing some self-analysis I think I can safely say these are the major ones.

Not giving enough credit to my opponents 3 bet preflop.

Overplaying AK and consequently running  into a lot of large pairs where I'm dominated.

Calling too many raises in the blinds with non connected suited cards.

I firmly believe that if I can get a handle on some of these errors that I have been making and doing my best not to repeat them that the second half of October may very well yield some positive results. That's all for now. Until next time ladies and gentlemen, friends and opponents, take care and be well.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

The September Report Back On The Attack

I wanted to wait until the entire month was over before I reported anything. I didn't want to do an entry talking about a change that I made only for it to fall apart a few days later and change my mind. I wanted to give it the full month to make sure the direction I was going would hold before I reported it in my blog and I have done so and now it's time to let my readers, if I have any left, know what's been going on.

All year long I just have not been able to do anything playing on WSOP and after 8 months and constantly going through every bad beat available under the sun over this timeframe, I just couldn't take it anymore. I mean how many times can my Ace King lose to Ace Queen because they flop or turn their 3 outer. How many times can my overpair get beat by an under pair.........15 out of 20 times is just ridiculous. When it comes to coin flips you know I'm actually supposed to win them roughly 50% of the time not lose them 80% of the time so I decided to switch over to ACR. 

I've gone over the ACR previously, but just as  a change of pace for a few days and nothing more than that. When I made the switch this time which was going to be for an extended time what I found was something I had not experienced previously this year online. At ACR the cards actually run true to life, I actually win coin flips approximately 50% of the time, and when I have my opponent dominated preflop instead of losing 15 out of 20 times I'm winning 17 or 18 out of 20. Bad beats happen they are part of Poker,  but at ACR they are not the norm. As I stated previously when I switched over to ACR it has been as a change-of-pace, but not this time, with their tournament selection and not practically being forced into playing rebuy tournaments which cost you three times usually what the tournament stated price is because of immediate rebuys and add-ons at ACR I can play Re-entry tournaments and believe me when I tell you there is a significant cost difference between a re-entry and a rebuy. The low cost of the buyins compared to the relatively generous guaranteed prize pools is enough to keep me here so I can definitely tell you for my online tournament play I am here on ACR permanently. 

The switch over to ACR also brought me my first winning month online of 2020 at least more than a couple of dollars anyway and I actually do believe it is the actual first winning month. Because of covid-19 I was unable to get the cortisone shots I so desperately need for my shoulders and for the last nine months I have been in absolute agony on a daily basis. It has been so bad that I have actually I said to myself how can somebody be in so much pain and not actually pass out and I'm not saying that lightly. Because of the constant pain I wasn't able to play as much in September on ACR as I wanted to, but I was able to play enough that I turned a $121 profit for the month the highlight being a third-place finish for $114 in a $1.65 NLH $1,500 Gtd tournament. I also took second place in a $1.10 PLO8 tournament but after I finished 2nd in that and made only $24 for my efforts over the span of 8 hours I decided that $1.10 tournaments would no longer be in my repertoire to say the very least.

I was able to get my cortisone shots on October 5th and the following day started what will be my regular sessions of at least 12 hours grinding tournaments online. The shoulder still has pain as cortisone doesn't take it all away but it is at least bearable and I can actually grind poker tournaments again on a consistent basis. October has not exactly started out with a bang but at the same time the losses for the month are not astronomical as I'm only down about ($20) for the month, but I am patient and I know those deep run final tables are only a matter of time. 

So that's going to wrap this one up. Hopefully I will be making more consistent blog entries and hopefully those entries will include some very deep runs and a few wins along the way, but the fact of the matter is I am now facing tournament sizes in the hundreds of entrants so although it may make it more difficult to get a top-three finish when I do the rewards will be ever so sweet. Until next time my friends and opponents, take care and be well.