Thursday, May 1, 2014

Stake Variance Continues in Costa Rica

My frustrating year continues:

In terms of money won, it's my worst start to a year in nine years as a pro.  It's easy to blame it all on variance but I've also been less motivated this year than any other and feel like I've played some of the worst poker I've played in recent memory.  I'm sure the truth is somewhere between and it's some combination of running bad and playing bad.  One thing's for sure, I've run terribly at high limits.

I've given serious consideration to quitting online poker or at least doing it in a reduced fashion and pursuing some other interests,  As nice as it is to visit all these exotic locations, all the travel is getting tiresome and I'd much prefer to be home. Also the grind of playing ten to twelve hours a day for nine months is really wearing on me as well.  The idea is to be happy and even though I have the last three months of the year off, I'm not too happy the other nine.  This has been in the back of my mind for a while and I think it's only a matter of time before I pursue something else.

I decided yesterday to make a pretty drastic strategy change in how I'm approaching things.  Up until today, I've been trying to play the majority of hands at 30/60+.  The result of this is a lot of downtime when no games are running, a lot of lobby/table watching which takes away from focus on the games and a lot of frustration with the table hopping (and the unavoidable consequences that come with this) that's en vogue with the high limit recreational players these days.

So my new plan (for now at least), is to 6-8 table 5/10 to 50/100 and try to earn 7-8K VPPs a day.  I'm pretty far behind SNE pace as is and if I continue what I'm doing currently, I'm either going to have to play fourteen hours a day to make it or make a third trip at the end of year for at least a month.  More than that though, it's a much less stressful and faster way to make SNE.  I don't anticipate I'll be able to make as much money as I have the last three to four years but I think the tradeoff of not being stressed out and having a lot of extra time off is worth it. To be frank, I'm pretty fed up with the whole high limit situation as is.  The two biggest recreational players sit in the same seat every time and most of the regulars starting tables are always seated in the seat that guarantees them position on these players or start tables with the button.  So without having all the tables open and constantly monitoring them, it's near impossible to start a game with the button or get position on these players.  Combine that with the fact, they're often playing short sessions and changing tables, it's one big headache and a costly headache at that.

If I end up sticking with this plan, I should be able to earn about 200k-240k VPPs in a month and be done by September.  This would give me an extra month to relax and really focus on the high limit games if I decide I want to.  At that point, I can have all the tables open, be able to get good seats, and not be distracted with other games since I'll just be focusing on those.  I also can 2-3 table those games and really hone in and play my best game as opposed to multitabling, lobby watching, and constantly trying to shuffle tables in and out.

That's the plan anyway.  I will have an update in a month or so with how it's going.

Good luck at the tables everyone.


  1. I'm not sure where you place bets but you should really consider betting 100% and maybe come back to poker when all this seating bs has been removed.

    Betting is unlike poker these days actually enjoyable. No angry opponents, no cheating. Group up with some friends and start beating the books! Best of luck.

  2. I think it is a rly good idea to scrap the highstakes games. While looking at your results in the past, I was wondering anyway why you would even take 200/400 action at all, since it only accounted for some 2-3% of your overall # of hands but caused all the major swongs.

  3. I think part of the reason I've been playing high limits is a desire to be the best. 200/400 was the next step on the ladder for me a few years ago. But I've lost that desire at this point. I understand the insane variance involved in this game and with the lack of games at high limits I could be the biggest loser or biggest winner in those games over then next five years, and it wouldn't mean a thing other than I've run really good or really bad.

    Let's face it, nobody's coming knocking on my door to endorse a LHE pro. And nobody's inviting me to a televised highstakes LHE cash game. There's nothing left for me at this point but the money and the love of the game. I do love playing poker but not 70 hours a week for 8 months love.