Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vancouver Review

After running insanely well for the entire trip, I finally got a dose of negative variance today. At one point I was down almost 25K which would have been my worst day ever but I managed to win back more than half of it. Overall, I had one losing day, today, and never experienced more than a 170 big bet down swing over 14K+ hands. A pretty amazing run playing almost exclusively 5-6 handed at high limits.

Overall the trip was a huge success, I ran way above expectation. I played exceptionally well the first week but my game and focus seemed to fade the longer I was here. Part of it may have been running bad but I didn't have the same motivation and focus the last three or four days I was here. I took a much more targeted approach the whole trip though. Instead of 4-5 tabling for 8-10 hours a day, I game-selected mostly at 30-60 and higher. Often I was 2-3 tabling and as a result was able to really hone in on what my opponents were doing and adjust. It's made me wonder whether this would be a better approach for next year instead of going for SNE and subjecting myself to endless hours of grinding at lower limits. We'll see how the games are when I get back on in January, that will likely determine the path I choose.

It's back to California tomorrow. I have a couple of one pocket matches scheduled with Jose Parica this week. I played him earlier this year for two days, about eight hours each day, and ended up down 7 games total. It's was a very competitive match at times and I played really well. I'm out of stroke at the moment but plan on doing a lot of practicing in the next couple days to get ready. It'll probably be my last opportunity to play pool for quite a while.

I don't mention pool too much in this blog but it's the only activity I enjoy more than poker. If only there was some money in the sport.

After California, it's off to Boston for Christmas and then Cancun for New Years and Jamena's birthday. After Cancun, it's off to the Bahamas for the PCA and then Costa Rica to play poker for at least three months. It's going to be a really busy first half of the year for me, hopefully I can continue improving and have another solid year at the tables.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Start in Vancouver

I came here with fairly low expectations, in fact I would have been thrilled if you told me ahead of time I'd make 20K in the two weeks I was here. Fortunately, I'm already far ahead of that. I'm running so well that I played some 5-10 and 10-20 NL trying to make the Stars Leaderboard and promptly stacked someone at 10-20 catching a gutshot on the river to crack a slow-played set. I don't know if I ended up making the leaderboard, I'll find out at 5 PM tomorrow. Going into the last hour I had 3900 VPPs and 4000 VPPs was the bottom spot which pays $500. I ended up with ~4450 so it's going to be close. $500 may not seem like it's worth chasing but that's 5 big bets at 50-100 which is approximately what I average over the course of 2.5 hours playing a single table of 50-100 so it is significant. These are exactly the types of things I look to take advantage of to reduce variance and improve my bottom line.

As expected, I was pretty rusty after my three month layoff. It was by far the longest stretch I've gone without online poker in the last eight years. In fact, I don't think I ever missed three days in a row over the course of those eight years. I started playing two tables and I felt dizzy trying to keep up with action which was amazing to me at the time. But after a half hour or so I felt fine. This is one of those times I felt like I needed to run well and thankfully I have. I did a lot of studying the week before I came here and made some significant changes to my preflop game, I'd like to think it's paying off. Overall I think I've played pretty well. My gauge as to how well I'm playing is how many medium to big sized pots I think I'm winning with the worst hand and there have been several in the last two days. Maybe I'm getting lucky running into the bottom of people's ranges, regardless I'm happy with my play.

Hopefully I haven't put the hex on myself with this post. Ten days to go, the goal as always is to make the best possible decision, each and every decision.

I should mention I only had half of my action playing 200-400 so the results aren't quite as spectacular, nonetheless it's one of, if not the, best four day stretches I've had.

Good luck to everyone playing this month and Happy Holidays.