Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yet again, a week....

This time I have an actual excuse though. I have come down with a pretty nasty cold and am taking a bonus day off as I write this. As usual, I got sick slowly over the course of the past 5 days, reaching a new misery peak this morning, while Danielle rushed through all the symptoms of the cold in about 24 hours and basically has made a full recovery. She then has the gall to blame me for getting her sick (which is probably true, but still). The only hope for some sort of evolutionary advantage for my gene pool here is that this pattern would hold for more serious (fatal) diseases. A bit morbid, but we all like to feel that our genes are worth something....Perhaps I have the ability to struggle along with a fatal cancer for years when the average person would succumb in a matter of months. /Tangent.

The last week of poker saw a couple of milestones pass, which were very much related. Here goes.

The Massive Downswing

Here are some results. If you have children, now would be a good time to ask them to leave the room:

22-Oct 20/40 Limit Garden City -689
22-Oct 1-3 Spread Limit Garden City -140
24-Oct 20/40 Limit Bay 101 -2471
25-Oct 6/12 Limit Bay 101 47
25-Oct 20/40 Limit Bay 101 -1390
27-Oct 6/12 Limit Bay 101 17
27-Oct 20/40 Limit Bay 101 290

In my mind I had this plugged in as a 5000 dollar down swing at live 20/40, but looking at it now it would appear I rounded up all 3 times and, boom, just like that, I made 400 bucks! It's kind of like when you rack up your chips at the end of the session and you realize there are 21 chips in each stack instead of 20. Boom, free money!

The astute blog follower will note that Friday marked the end of my second "6 week" trial period. Curiously, it was also day of maximum destruction to my bankroll, as I posted a 5 rack loss in a session filled with brutal two-outters, cold decks, and missed draws. I also think I made some mistakes and paid off a little light in some situations, but I'm not really sure it had anything to do with being stuck; I think the mistakes were systematic in my game, just something to work on, not a tilt-issue. Anyway, on Friday I didn't feel I was ready to make a decision on my future, as I was understandably a little bit upset. Saturday went no better, so I picked up shop early (only played about 3 hours) and decided to lose myself in sports (world series, PSU v OSU, and the Steelers Giants games were all on in the next 24 hours).

The Recovery

Yesterday I played an 11.5 hour marathon session, losing first 1700 dollars, then recovering to get myself up to a 300 dollar win for the day. In that session I avoided going on tilt, maintained my awareness of seat selection and table selection, and eventually found myself in one of the best live 20/40 games I've seen in a long time. I stuck out an extra 4 hours of play past when I wanted to go home, and for once actually logged a 1500 dollar upswing for my efforts (it helped that my big pairs not only held up, but did so by flopping sets).

This recovery was not so much financial as mental. I went through a pretty bad patch and am still excited to be doing this. I still want to play, and I still believe I'm good enough to win a ton of money doing it. I've always disagreed with the statement of "that which does not kill you makes you stronger", but so far in poker it's turning out to be pretty darn accurate.

The Decision

I am 12 weeks into this shot, and I am now officially reporting that I am a professional poker player. I have no intention of searching for work any time soon, and am simply going to keep on playing. I've learned a ton in the past 12 weeks, but I still have a long way to go. I don't think I'm yet ready to move up to 40/80, as I still have substantial leaks in my game that need to be addressed. Specifically, I need to slow things down while I'm playing and make sure I make good decisions based on all the information I have. Most of what I need to learn isn't even technical poker stuff; it's how to deal with personalities, how to separate myself from the losses but still relish the wins, etc etc. But the direction is now set; I'm going to try to make this work, long term.

Financially Speaking

Before the big hit I took at the end of last week, I could proudly say I was making more money playing poker than I had been writing code for Oracle. This is no longer true, but it's still pretty close. Since I started my shot I have shown a net profit of about $19,000 at the tables (including some odd side bets and the like). This is more than enough for my incredibly un-ballah life style, even when you factor in the fact that I've probably lost about half that much in the stock market since my shot started (I actually have a mutual fund that has lost 63% of it's value since I purchased it 18 months ago. That's just incredible). Plus the market went up 8% today, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

And Finally, some hands

Here are some hands from Garden City last week. Enjoy.

I bet/call-down from the turn with Ace-High because I am awesome.
I play bad with top pair no kicker in a tiny pot.
I put in nine million bets with an under pair.

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