Friday, March 14, 2014

Argentina In The Books

It's been a really frustrating start to the year:

This is about as bad of a stretch of stake variance as I've had since playing high limits.  Basically all my winrates are reversed from the last few years.  It seemed like every time I sat down to play this month, regardless of what stakes I was playing, I was always getting crushed at whatever table was my highest limit. The last few weeks in particular were tough to stomach.  It'd been a while, probably a year or so, since I've run that bad.  I think I got a little too comfortable after running well for the last half of last year and forgot just how bad you can run at this game.

My win rate isn't too far off of what it normally is so there isn't much cause for concern.  That said I don't feel like I've played well at any point this year.  I'm really struggling with motivation and as a result have put in about half the volume I normally do.  I'm setting myself up for a near impossible grind at the end of this year so it's entirely possible I don't make SNE.

I'm headed back to the US tomorrow.  I'm planning on doing some studying while home that I neglected this past fall.  After getting home, it's off to Vegas for some much needed fun with friends and then it'll most likely be off to Costa Rica.  It's looking like I'll be in Costa Rica from April to October.  I'll have an update when I get there.

Good luck at the tables everyone.

Friday, February 28, 2014

End to a Frustrating February

At first glance it looks like a pretty good month:

But the reality is:

I went through a similar stretch to this about two years ago, even worse if I remember right so it's just a matter of playing through it.  On the bright side, I'm beating 10/20 for a change!

Besides being frustrated, it's been a pretty perplexing start to the year for me.  I've been really unmotivated and haven't been playing a lot of hands.  The perplexing part is that I don't feel like I've played well overall but I also don't feel like I've run well and somehow I'm at 1.34 BB/100 after my first 50K hands.  That scares me to some degree because if my sense that I've played poorly is correct, I could be in a for an extended downswing if I don't get my game in gear quickly.

I'm still in Bariloche (Patagonia) and will be here for another couple weeks.  Then it's back the US to do taxes and my annual Vegas trip with friends and then it'll be off again in early April to play.  I still haven't decided whether I'm going for SNE, I'm pretty far behind pace at this point and not sure I could finish before September without playing some insane hours which I really don't want to do.  But it's also possible I make an extra trip this year and finish in December.

And before I forget since I've promised my friend I'd give him a shout out here.  To anyone that sports bet I highly recommend signing up for the service below.  Anthony is possibly the best unknown NBA handicapper in the world.  I don't say that lightly, I've followed dozens of handicappers, tracked hundreds of others and have been sports betting seriously for five years now.

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Good luck at the tables everyone.

Friday, January 31, 2014

January in the Books and Bariloche Bound

I barely staved off my first losing month at poker in nine years.  Going into today, it was about 98% to happen and I just ran insanely hot at high limits.  I didn't play a whole lot this month and am pretty happy with the results overall considering how rusty I was to start and the fact I was sick the first week in Argentina.

I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable at the tables and feel like I'm back to about 90% of where I was when I left last fall.  It's always a scary feeling to start back up after an extended layoff, I feel pretty lost for the first couple thousand hands and am left wondering if I'm ever going to remember how to play.  But slowly it's come back and I think my thought process is pretty much where it needs to be at this point.  I need to start ramping up the volume or I'm setting myself up for another 12 hours a day/7 days a week grind at the end of the summer that I don't want to have happen.

We're off to Bariloche tomorrow, our 3rd and final destination in Argentina.  I'm really looking forward to this place, it'll be the nicest of the places we've stayed here and away from the hustle and far bustle of the city. Here's a pic of the apartment:

I'll very likely be sitting on that couch with the table pulled up and monitor and laptop on top of it.  I'll try to post some more pics when we get there.

Good luck to everyone at the tables this month.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BA Trip Report with Pics

Here are some random thoughts on BA:

Buenos Aires has been OK for me so far.  I have been really sick the last 3 days so I haven't had a chance to get out too much.  We're in Recoleta at the moment and then moving to a different part of the city next week.  And then it's off to a place much further south away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

My first impressions of Argentines were people with class but also with gamble.  Don't ask me how those impressions came about but that's what popped in my head.  I may be getting the "gamble" from a very well known online Argentine player.   Buenos Aires itself is very nice, heavily European influenced so a lot of nice architecture.

Things here are very cheap since they've been in a financial crisis of sorts.  In fact our hotel is exchanging Argentine Pesos for US Dollars at a rate of 8.5-1 when the going rate in the financial markets is 6.5-1.  I'm still in disbelief over that.  There are people on the street offering up to 10-1 but the higher the rate being offered, the more likely there is to be counterfeit money involved so it's probably best to stick with exchanging at reputable places.

On the subject of counterfeit money, one of the big tourist scams is taxi drivers switching your $100 bills (Equivalent to about 12 bucks USD)  with counterfeit money when you pay, then acting like you gave it to them and refusing to accept it.  Apparently there's a lot of pick-pocketing that goes on here too though I don't think so much where we're staying.

We've been out to three restaurants so far and the food was good to excellent at all of them, so high marks there.

Here are some pics. my wife took.  I'll do my best to post these wherever we end up travelling.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back to Grinding in Argentina

Quick Update:

I'm in Buenos Aires and back playing poker.  I played today for a few hours and as expected was very rusty.  I've come back from extended layoffs two or three times now so I sort of know what to expect.  It should only be a week or so before I'm back to playing at full capacity (hopefully).

I will try to post some pictures of the places I'm staying at this year.  The place we're at now is in downtown Buenos Aires and is nothing too special so no pics on this one.  But we're moving to a different part of the city in about 11 days and then moving much further south to a place overlooking a lake at the base of the Andes.  I'll definitely put some pics up of the last place.

Also worth mentioning, I may not go for SNE this year.  There's a greater chance this year than any other, I'd put it at about 25% right now that I don't go for it.  I have some other income opportunities I've been working hard at and depending upon how they pan out will determine whether I go for SNE.  I'd say it's inevitable though that my SNE chase days are coming to an end - this very well could be my last year.  My ultimate goal as to cut way down on the poker I play, maybe a few months out of the year.

Good luck to everyone at the tables.