Friday, July 20, 2007

Solving The Dilemma

A couple of days ago, I put up a post about one of my biggest dilemmas as it relates to poker. I won't rehash it all again, you can go here to read it if you like. As I was finishing up the post, I had already begun thinking of ways to solve the problem. Taking consideration the comments that were made, as well as a conversation with my girlfriend, I've figured out a way to resolve this.

I'm quitting online poker.

No, just kidding. Quite the opposite, in fact.

(note to readers: this will be another long post.)

In regards to my financial situation, the truth is that it's going to take quite some time to get myself where I need to be. Essentially, I'm in a quite a bit of debt. I'm still maintaining good relationships with my creditors, but my number one goal right now is to work on reducing the number of obligations I have with creditors, as well as reducing the amount obligated to them. Quite frankly, I would have to win several donkfests if I were to rely on poker earnings to resolve the situation. There are many things that I can do to help the situation, and truth be told, whatever money I have online right now wouldn't even come close to making a dent.

So that solves the first problem; yes, I am keeping my online bankroll instead of cashing it out. I think we all saw that coming.

The second question is in regards to how I will maintain my bankroll. Waffles made a great suggestion about staggering my withdrawals so that I leave a decent bankroll online, yet still be able to put my poker earnings to good use. I really like this suggestion, and as you'll see soon, I will be implementing a variation of this.

I also chatted with Alan about the situation last night (well, it was mostly me watching him type away, but that's OK) and he made a suggestion about withdrawing a certain percentage of his weekly earnings (which was made easier when Neteller was still in operations) as well as a percentage at the end of the month. I think this is a great idea also, but it's not quite in line with what I want my bankroll to be.

Also within the discussion, Alan emphasized that he strongly believes in setting goals. I've set goals before, but I've never met them because they've been too process oriented. You'd think that, when it comes to poker, that would be a good thing, but in fact it wasn't. What I mean by this is that my goals were of the "I'll play X hours or X games during Y time period". It wasn't about achieving a milestone, and therefore, it didn't feel like an achievement.

One thing I mentioned to Alan was about my so-called "glory days" on Party Poker. To summarize, when I started playing SNGs, I was playing the $33 games on Party, and doing very well. Although the online poker landscape has changed, I still believe that I can do well consistently at those stakes, provided I have a bankroll that can maintain the swings at that level. A bankroll of $1650 would give me 50 buyins, which should be adequate to maintain those stakes if I'm successful.

So, all things considered, my new online poker goal is this: to consistently maintain a bankroll of $2k. This bankroll would allow me to play at the stakes that I would like to, but also allow me some flexibility to focus on other games, like MTTs or maybe a shot at the cash games on occasion. I will only withdraw from my bankroll when I reach a certain amount. I will also only increase the stakes when I am at an amount equivalent to 50 buyins at those stakes. For those interested, here is my detailed plan based on my bankroll amount:

$0 to $300 - $5.50 SNGs only (single & multi table)
$300 to $500 - $5.50 SNGs and token SNGs
$500 to $1000 - $11 SNGs and token SNGs
$1200 - cash out $200
$1000 to $1650 - $22 SNGs and token SNGs
$1650 to $2400 - $33 SNGs and token SNGs
$2400 and up - cash out any balance above $2k

As far as the cash outs are concerned, I'm not going to cash out each time I hit $1200 or $2400. I won't cash out unless I get below 80% of the post-cash out balance. In other words, if I hit $1200 and cash out $200, I won't cash out at $1200 again unless I get below $800 (80% of $1k).

Also, I will drop down in stakes if my bankroll gets below $80 of the requirement for those stakes. Once I hit $500, I'll stay at $11 stakes until I get to either $1k or drop below $400.

Finally, you won't see me at any bloggers games unless my bankroll is on par with the buyin. So you won't see me at the Mookie unless I'm up to $500. Likewise, you won't see me at the MATH anymore unless I'm sitting on $1k (although I may use a token from time to time). And the Big Game...well, that's another story. I'll probably have to token into that, but I'd have to be above $1k as well to buyin for those token games.

So that is my goal. It's everything a goal should be: measurable, reasonably attainable yet challenging, and satisfying. I don't need more than $2k to play where I want to right now, and anything over $2k is better suited elsewhere. I can cash out enough that I can benefit from my success, but at the same time, I'm not rewarding myself so often that it's meaningless.

I'm excited about this. I've never really set a goal like this before. Additionally, I've got the full support of my girlfriend too. We had a great conversation about this yesterday, and she's fully on board with this. Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm going to be increasing the amount that I play by much, as I still have other facets of my life to pay attention to, but we've both communicated our thoughts about this really well, and I think we see eye to eye on my online poker habit.

Again, if you've made it this far, I appreciate it. Stay tuned for next week - I'm gonna try to get up a 5-part series of posts that should be pretty interesting.


At July 21, 2007 at 10:26 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I really like your goals. It's got a short term and a long term aspect to it so that's good. If it's too long term, it could be discouraging when it takes for ever to get there. However, by setting incremental goals, you can also see that you are achieving smaller goals. Good luck on your quest.

And it's nice that your gf is on board too. Now go tear it up!


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