This prompted me to have a look at my results for the year and seriously consider taking a week or two off to focus my efforts on Full Tilt. Since November 1st, I've played 85K hands of 2/4 and 3/6 on Full tilt and won at a rate of (gasp) 2.5 bets per 100. My results since the first of the year have been even better in those games, and it's worth considering trying once again to make them a bigger part of my plans. If it weren't for running at -7 bets per 100 over 3500 5/T hands (go ahead, read that again) my online results would be downright stellar. Even if I'm running quite hot and win only something like 1.5 bets per 100 over the next 85K hands, if I can play them at a high rate (something like 300 hands per hour would suffice...my average is something like 320), well, you can do the math. It's viable, and maybe even better than playing live, especially if you add in all the freaking driving. When you add in the Iron Man, Black Card, and Rakeback money, well....it's pretty clearly better than I've been doing live.
And that's the thing about grinding live limit hold 'em for a living. It's extremely boring, and extremely hard to keep your focus sharp for hours on end. And when you're not at your best you're likely to make mistakes, and even small mistakes can wipe out the vast majority of your edge. Today I felt like I made maybe 3-4 mistakes in 4 hours of play, but that's just way way too many. I didn't 3-bet a guy with A9o. That was at best a very small mistake, and I was willing to let it slide. I called a guy down that I really shouldn't have (Button vs Big Blind, I had 33 he check/raised J42ss, I called down the turn 9 and river ace....honestly I guess calling down is OK and I need to with some hands that can't beat a jack, but 33 is a very poor one use), I fired a turn barrel I shouldn't have (and more importantly missed a river bluff that it set up) and, I failed to fold second pair when a guy just randomly donked a 742-K turn because I thought he picked up a flush draw. These mistakes are all pretty small, but I think they are all in fact mistakes that I can't be making, so I picked up my chips and drove home. And I think the reason I made them all was that I simply wasn't locked in and focused like I should have been.
Ah but yesterday at the bike I found the solution; 30/60 Baduci. But Jesse, you're not even willing to play the Commerce 40/80 hold 'em game. How on Earth did you have the audacity to sit 30 Baduci, a game you've never played outside of a drinking social home game environment? Well my friends, it's not easy to end up in the 30 Baduci, but here's how I did it in a few easy steps. First of all, you have to be dumb and not employ your dog walker on Fridays for some idiotic reason (the woman charges us $10 a day to walk them for 30 minutes....honestly we should let her come even if we're home), so that despite waking up at 8am you don't leave for the casino until 10:45am. When you get there you should be good and locked out of the 15/30 game, and you should waste half an hour of your life playing 8/16 (a game at which you are most definitely a life time loser despite the fact that you really do play your best every time you sit in it) and have the living BaJesus tilted out of you just in time for them to call down the 25/50. Then you should move to the 25, but the 15 players should protest the starting of the game because the "big one" has decided he's not going to move up to 25 like he usually does. You'll later find out that he did this because of one particular asshole in the 25 lineup who just needles him relentlessly (and you should make a note to make that guy as uncomfortable as possible whenever you can....if you're making my fish play smaller games you're on my shit list), bur for now you're just stuck there scratching your head wondering what the fuck is going on. T hen like a dummy you should pass on your own 15/30 seat, and wait another 10 minutes to start the 25. Eventually after almost 30 minutes of dicking around you'll be playing 25/50 in a game that is just horrendous compared the 15/30, because 3 of the other fish decided that if the big one isn't going well fuck it neither are they. You should then lose $700 in 45 minutes in extremely boring fashion, mostly by raising with AK and flopping no pairs. Then your 15 seat should come open and you should take it, giving yourself a chance to reset your bearings and consider your options. At this point you should take note that 3 gentleman have started the mix game over at their own special table, and you should ask what they're playing; 30/60 baduci will be the answer. Huh, you think. That's not that big (they usually play 40 or even 60) and a game at which surely they are all retarded. You've listened to DeathDonkey pontificate on proper strategy; you understand math. Maybe you should play baduci. Meanwhile you should lose 10 more bets in the 15 in a little more impressive fashion, before realizing that holy shit the big one is....playing Baduci. Well that my friends settles it, and you log 2 hours of 30/60 baduci and win 11 bets, feeling like a God when you nit quit a few orbits after the big one leaves. And to be honest, you were probably a favorite even after he called it a day.
What's really interesting about all this is that you had a blast. You were actually gambling. You were figuring shit out on your feet. You weren't using table look ups in your head, you weren't pattern matching. Shit you didn't have any patterns to match anything to, and if you did see something you recognized you sure as hell didn't know what to do about it instantly. And sure you made some mistakes, but you were definitely not taking the worst of it and well...it was actually fun to play poker again.