Thursday, April 26, 2012

Continued Insanity

Immediately followed by one of my worst downswings in 5.5 million hands is one of my biggest upswings in terms of big bets.  In the last two days alone I've won over 500 Big Bets.  I wish I could say it's due to my incredible play but it's really due to making the nuts every third hand.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Insane Game We Play

After losing 682 big bets over the course of 31,000 hands, I've won 526 big bets in roughly 8000 hands.

It's hard to put into words what losing ~700 BB's over 31,000 hands feels like. I don't think I had a single winning day in two weeks of playing which is easily a record for me. Even though I knew I was running exceptionally bad, I started questioning everything I was doing including my eating, sleep, and exercise habits. Most of all, I questioned every aspect of my game. It's really hard not to when you don't record a winning day for thirty thousand hands. To put that in perspective, if a live player were to play 45 hands an hour, forty hours a week, for 17 weeks, they could be down 700 big bets. I'd guess the vast majority of people would quit poker long before they'd get to the seventeenth week. People might argue their win rates are higher live but I also have a pretty high win rate that's been substantiated by millions of hands.

And now suddenly I've won over 100 big bets 4 days in a row. Nothing changed, it's still me playing against pretty much all the same opponents at the same stakes. I did make some changes to my game but nothing that should affect my bottom line more than a fraction of a big bet.

The lesson to take away and I've probably said this at least ten times since I started this blog is do not ever underestimate variance. However bad you think things can get, they can get worse, much worse. I nearly busted my account playing and I'm one of, if not the, most conservative mid/high stakes player in terms of bankroll management.

I'm still not out of the woods, although I've had a great 4 days the majority of it has come at low limits. Up until today I've continued to run poorly at high limits. I certainly feel a whole let better, it's comforting to know I haven't lost my mind.

Good luck at the tables.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yes, Even I Run Bad

I've received quite a few comments at the tables over the past couple years about how I never seem to run bad. The truth of course is that I've likely been through more severe downswings than 99.5% of the regulars and 99.999% of poker players. But for those doubters, look no further:

This one takes the cake though. It's the worst I've ever had in terms of money lost and it's very close to the worst I've ever experienced in terms of big bets. I may of had a 700 BB swing once, I can't remember now and glad I can't.

It's been a pretty stressful couple of weeks watching my account balance drop from over 100K to 18K in matter of days. Although I think I played terribly through a good deal of this stretch, I ran unimaginably bad. When I say unimaginably bad, I mean it. It's not even describable in words and I don't even want to try. I suppose I was due, if there is such a thing. I ran at close to 2.5 BB/100 for the 200K preceding hands.

Those that have read my blog for a while know that when I run bad I play a whole lot. So I've been playing about ten hours a day during this stretch trying to play through it. I've tried everything, I'm running on the beach in the mornings, exercising at the gym, and eating healthy.' I'm playing brain games every morning trying to improve my short-term memory, speed, and problem solving abilities. I'm studying things in HEM. I'm reading poker books. I've even go so far as to download meditative music to listen to while I'm playing.

Things have turned around somewhat in the last week or so, particularly the last three days and I'm starting to regain my confidence. I made a few significant changes to my post-flop play as well as a few subtle changes. I think I'm a better poker player than I was two weeks ago, so something good definitely came of this.

I'm not out of the woods by any stretch but I feel a whole lot better mentally. I always try to keep things in perspective when I go through these stretches and as ugly as those graphs look, it's barely more than a blip on my lifetime graph at Poker Stars.

Hopefully my next update will contain some pretty graphs like the one above. Good luck at the tables everyone.