Monday, February 19, 2007

Poker and Me

Back in October I won the Mookie. It was a highlight for me as I realized I could play with all you poker bloggers out there. It also put my bankroll at an all time high. I was ready to take down the online poker world and now had some money to do it with. But then some thing funny happened. I went on a cooler.

The rest of October saw me in 26 tourneys with 2 cashes. November saw me play 29 tourneys with 2 cashes. December up until the 27th saw me play 24 tourneys and 3 cashes. That’s 8.9 % for those of you who don’t know how to figure that out. I had been historically at 17% with a random final table thrown in so this run almost crippled me. The worst part was that I started to chase the loses and would buy into bigger events knowing I had the game to do well but continued to be smacked in the face.

December 28th arrived and a refocusing of my game ensued. I went back to playing smaller events and walked right into a Razz final table. I ended December 1 of 7 but with the final table came the new realization that this could happen again and that I wasn’t just lucky.

January saw 40 tourneys and 9 cashes along with 3 final tables. But was this just variance just evening out? A ten week cooler has to come back around in your favor at some point but I wasn’t sure. February to this point has seen me play 20 tourneys with 8 cashes and 6 final tables in three disciplines, NL Hold’em, HORSE, and RAZZ.

In my analysis of the phenomenon I see a few possibilities. The first is that variance has come back to even out over the long haul and that this string of good finishes will normalize back to the level of six months ago. This theory may have some truth to it but it does have flaws. I will get back to it. The second hypothesis is that I’ve truly improved my game such that I can sustain this level of play over the long run. It might be true but I will get back to it. And finally, getting back to tournaments with fields that are consistently under 500 players has gotten me back to the size field that best fits my game. Though I’ve had some success with bigger fields, these smaller sized tourneys require less long term focus then some of the bigger ones.

I think all three of these things play into each other to give an overall picture of how I am doing. Variance kicked my but for a two month period and had to swing back if my game had not changed. That will account for some of what is going on. I also see signs that my game has improved. I’m reading my opponents better and I will make decisions now that I couldn’t make in the past. And field size does improve a player’s chance of going deep. The land mines are still there but just not as many of them to avoid.

So playing better at a level that fits my style and getting a little help from the god of variance has helped me so far this year. I’m in the positive for tourneys for the year and work at continuing the trend. I have cut down my play a little to let me focus on the ones I am playing and staying away from shot taking for the most part.

I had around $1200 in my bankroll back in October and hit a low of $70 just after Christmas. The trend is moving up as I’m now back to $300 right now and ready to keep on climbing. I doubt if I will reload if I bust so I have to make a go of it.

I posted a while ago that I didn’t know if I wanted to keep playing.

I love poker.

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