Running Bad – Get yourself out of da funk in 3 easy steps

July 20, 2008

This post will be kinda quick, but really useful I think (hope).

If you are currently amidst a downswing, or have been losing for a few consecutive months and feel really frustrated by the game try the following 3 step recovery plan:

Step 1: Take a break. It’s important to come back to the game with a refreshed spirit. How long? The length of a break depends on where your head is at, but generally speaking, around a week is going to get the job done. In this week, it is important to not think about poker. This may be tough, as your used to scouring the forums, reading the blogs, watching the videos…cut yourself off for a few days at the very least. After a few days, if you want to start watching a video or two, or lurking in the forums fine. But no playing!

Step 2: Drop down a level, or two: When you come back to the game, play at a level that you really could care less about losing a buyin or three. You are just pushing the reset button here….this is important, especially for your confidence. So you normally play .25/.5? Who cares if you play a few sessions at .05/.1…check your ego. This is about getting off running bad.

Step 3: Play much tighter out of position and from the blinds, and much more aggressive in position especially button and cutoff. Position is not much of a secret these days, but I’ve found that when a lot of people are running bad some terrible habits creep in. There game starts to average out. You are looking to win bigger pots, one way they try and do that is loosen up your preflop calling ranges out of position a bit…and combined with that, you start playing a little too conservative in position, not c-betting like you normally would, or not 3betting aggressively enough.

If you are playing deeper stacks (200bb+) then you can start trying to lower variance in some spots, where you might be inclined to protect your hand (vs flush/str8 draws) by reshoving on the flop. It’s ok to give free, or cheaper, turn/river cards sometimes – to prevent the monkeys from shoving…always remember a skilled player will make better decisions on all streets vs. a weaker player. If you only have one street to make a decision you lose much of your edge – leaving it up to the poker gods you curse so much.

GL – I hope you get out of your funk soon.


Poker vs. Stocks

May 27, 2008

While I spent most of the day getting the typical tournament teases – going deep to make minimal cashes and nothing going right during the late levels – I also caught up on some tv via Hulu.

For those who have not tried this site out yet I would highly recommend it.  The site is designed well, the actual media player is easy to use, the content is high quality and loads/streams fast.  So I was checking out some of the newer shows on the Mojo network, home to Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak’s “I bet you” among other things.  Shows I was watching:

Bobby G: The Adventure Capitalist – cool show about an ultra-rich, highly animated, venture capitalist.  He owns some moturary type business, the beverage company Clearly Canadian, along with some other investments.  I like his style, he’s calm, cool and collected and reminds me of a boss I once had.

Start-up Junkies – About a new seattle based startup called Earth Class Mail.  This company takes your regular snail mail and digitizes it for you.  Big potential globally.  Interesting to watch the fund raising stress as well as the growing pains of a small organization.

Wall Street Warriors – follows a bunch of different people around Wall St.  Watch some boy genius operate a hedge fund out of his apartment, follow some rookies as they learn what day trading is all about, tag along on the high brow exploits of some 28 y/o private equity fund manager as he helicopters between Manhattan and the Hamptons.  It’s interesting stuff.  But it brings me to the point of this whole blog.

Why is Wall St. more legitimate than Poker? It seems strange to me that if I had a job where I analyzed numbers/charts/financial data/industry news and made ‘educated guesses’ as to the next move that would be held in higher regard than a virtually identical situation using cards and chips.  In the stock market, when one guy wins, another guy is losing.  Going against the common grain of knowledge/behavior is highly risky but potentially incredibly lucrative.  There is greed.  People go on ’tilt’ and start gambling as they chase losses.  The symmetry between the two industries is remarkable.  Morgan Stanley and all the other big firms are essentially the online poker rooms, collecting the rake.

I guess sometimes things in life can seem a little hypocritical.

Who says it’s hard to get a pair?

April 25, 2008

Broke Again? Busto?

March 24, 2008


Here’s a good take on bankroll management from some poker guy referred to as kid poker:

Playing poker for a living can be a very unstable profession. Unexpected things happen all the time that can cut into your playing bankroll, leaving you shorter than you’d like – anything from an untimely losing streak to car repairs. You shouldn’t be ashamed of an untimely losing streak. Again, you aren’t the first person it’s happened to, and you surely won’t be the last. So, what can you do to protect yourself from going broke? It’s simple, yet not so simple.When I see a pro who regularly plays, say, $30-$60 playing $15-$30, I don’t look at him negatively. In fact, I’m proud of him! Swallowing your pride in order to make the right decisions can be very difficult if your ego is your decision-maker. Rather than the pro risking going broke in a $30-$60 game, he gives up a little bit of profit until he has a comfortable enough bankroll to return to that limit.
Of course, while he’s sitting in that $15-$30 game, he’s bound to hear, “Why are you playing $15-$30” about 100 times. He has more than a few ways to answer that question. “I’m kinda tired today” … “I’m leaving soon” … “Been runnin’ bad, trying to build my confidence” … “This game is really good” … yada, yada, yada. Then, of course, there’s the truth: “I just can’t afford it right now.”

Whichever way you choose to answer this question is irrelevant – it’s really nobody’s business but yours. If you feel more comfortable with an excuse, go ahead and be creative! The bottom line is that you’ll be smarter than the others who are playing $30-$60 with their last remaining rack. They’re hoping they’ll have a lucky day and won’t go broke.

Now, I was lucky that the players in my game were very understanding, but that won’t always be the case for you. There are many people out there who are just waiting for you to fail so that they can laugh at you. Try not to pay too much attention to them; they obviously have some serious “issues” if they are obsessed with your results. Just keep your head up and work hard, and before you know it, you’ll be back in the game you belong in. Oh, and don’t be that guy who makes fun of other people’s misfortunes. You may think that it could never happen to you, but that is just naive.

One reason not to play @ Absolute Poker?

October 17, 2007

Absolute Poker is currently in the midst of a PR nightmare, and perhaps a bigger concern for the online poker community in general.

Apparently, there has been evidence of ‘super accounts’ on the site – capable of seeing everyone’s hole cards, ip addresses, names, etc.  These accounts won a lot of money and then proceeded to ‘dump’ it in 200/400 NL games, to a newly created account, that cashed out right away.

You can read more about it on Pocketfives or Two Plus Two poker forums.

It’s a scary thought, and certainly something to be concerned with while playing online.  Thankfully, we’re all addicted and can’t stop playing, so we don’t have to worry too much!  GG me.