Thursday, August 23, 2007

Five Points Revisted

When I started this bankroll challenge, I wrote a series of posts about the 5 things I felt I would need to be successful. Patience, Aggressiveness, Focus, Dedication, and Attitude. I'm a month into my bankroll challenge and I'm just now hitting some resistance, so I guess it would be appropriate to revisit these points and talk about the first month of the challenge.

I started this thing with $70. I'm probably averaging about 10-12 SNGs a week. I haven't been keeping track so far because the number of SNGs or time invested or any other stat isn't important to me. I'm just concerned about the bottom line - increasing that bankroll, and I'll play as much as it takes to get there. I do check SharkScope since it's free, and it gives me a good estimate of how I'm running. After one month, my bankroll is at $308, with a high mark of $358. So I've profited about $238 in one month, averaging just above $4 per SNG. My SNG avg should be higher because that doesn't account for a $26 token, and it accounts for losses at PLO games (more on that in a moment). Just based on SNGs, my profit should be closer to $5-$6 a game. Anyways, I didn't have any expectations about where I'd be in one month, but being above $300 doesn't surprise me. I probably should be higher, but like I mentioned, I've kinda plateaued lately.

All that aside, let's talk about the 5 posts:


Patience hasn't been a problem. SNGs can be a grind, to the point they can cause a man to change his identity. The past week or so I've been bored with them, but I haven't lost my patience. My SNG strategy at these stakes requires a bit of patience; I'll fold through 3-4 levels and still win. At these stakes, fancy moves aren't required. Just get your chips in when you've got the hand to do it. Early on, the only hands I'll go in preflop are AA-QQ and AK. Hands like JJ-99 and AQ-AJ I rarely reraise with, even if I think I have the best hand preflop. Most people at these levels will call preflop without premium cards, and very rarely steal, so I find it's better to see a flop and hope to get paid off then to get it in preflop. I know it's not the most revolutionary idea, but the players at these level have horrible post-flop skills, so it's easier to take advantage of them that way.

I've also been patient with the challenge - the only time I've played out of my stakes was the one Mookie a couple of weeks back. Furthermore, although I said I'd open up and start trying to acquire tokens once I've hit $300, I'm not as interested in doing that right now. Winning token games doesn't enhance my bankroll so it's not a priority. I'll still try my hand at them from time to time, but I'm not playing them as much as I thought I would when I set the milestone.


Being aggressive hasn't been a problem for me as well. Having a bigger bankroll then I'm used to, I'm no longer playing with scared money. Losing a $5 SNG no longer represents losing 10% of my bankroll. I'm more concerned with the big cashes, so I'm willing to take chances to acquire big stacks, even if it means going busto. I'm also getting better at steals & resteals, which although is rare at the $5 stakes, it can be done against the right player.


Of the 5 things, this one has probably been the hardest to maintain. The grind of the SNGs has gotten to me, so I've veered from SNGs and played some micro limit PLO for a change of pace. The games are frustrating because, at the micro stakes, it's more gambling than anything else. Most players have that "hey, I've got 4 cards, let's see what happens" mentality, coupled with the "who cares that I'm out of position with unsooted 3 gappers. It's only $.35 more. Why not, let's see what happens". Admittedly, I donk it up myself too, and I haven't still completely grasped the concept that, even at these stakes, a pot bet on the river means the nuts more often than anything else. Every once in a while, I'll find a bigger donk to stack me. But for the most part, it's -EV for me to play because I'm either donking away $10 or I spend an hour playing and walk away up $.50. If I want to play other variations, I should just stick to the SNGs instead. It just sucks that I'm like 1 of 10 people on FTP who likes playing 7-Stud.

Anyways, I've been able to maintain my focus about 90% of the time while playing, and I definitely notice a dropoff in success when I'm either bored or frustrated or whatever. Focus has probably been my biggest problem (which is part of the reason I prefer NOT to multi-table), and although it's gotten better, it still needs improvement.


No problems here. I know I'm in for the long haul, I'm prepared for that, and the only thing that matters right now is working up that bankroll. I haven't increased the stakes at all and don't plan to until I hit $500. I will admit that I can do a better job of analyzing my game, and I'll need to do that as I move up in stakes, but for right now, I honestly don't think it makes a difference. I'm confident in my strategy at these games, and losing is usually the result of a bad beat or suckout rather than a mistake that I've made.


My attitude has certainly improved. I really didn't even flinch when I lost the AK vs AQ hand on Monday. Again, it's easier for me to have a better attitude when I know that losing a game doesn't mean a significant portion of my bankroll was wasted. I'm not trying to play just to barely cash, I'm not trying to play to impress or earn the respect of other bloggers, I'm not playing for any reason other to increase my bankroll, and as long as I continue to see progress, I'll be OK. Even being on a downswing right now doesn't bother me. I knew this would happen at some point, and I just need to look at what I'm possibly doing wrong, try to remember that I will experience swings like this, and I'll pull through it.

If there was anything I could say I should change about my attitude, it's to try and get more enjoyment out of the SNG grind. It's hard to find the fun in something that's becoming so monotonous, so maybe I need to find ways to make it fun. Maybe talk trash some more, or try to sign up for games that other players I know are playing. That might work.

The other thing that might help, which if I don't start today I will tomorrow, is a short break from poker. I had a short break from it over the birthday weekend, but it may be helpful to take another break and just not think about poker at all. I'm in this challenge for the long haul so a couple days away shouldn't hurt.

This will probably be my last post for the week, so GL to everyone this weekend.


At August 24, 2007 at 12:15 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

"Short break from poker" ??!! I'm confused, what is this? That's just crazy talk.

Enjoyed the post. Revisiting your keys to success is a good way to assure you remain dedicated to your goal. I imagine you'll reach $500 soon enough. I find the $5 single table SnGs to be VERY +EV! I use these tournaments to keep my bankroll intact whenever I fall below a comfortable level. These tourneys effectively fund my MTT play.

I understand the point about getting bored playing the same game, with the same structure. I do recommend mixin' it up now and then and playing something different whenever you feel yourself getting tired of the same $5+.50 SnGs. But I do NOT recommend the low limit PLO High cash games. There's just too much variance at those levels to expect any dependably consistent return. (My favorite change of pace games are Razz cash games, and satellite tournaments myself.)

Got your comment at my blog with your IM information... I'll sign up for Yahoo soon enough, and hit ya up. (My only IM right now is 'Windows Live' I think, and I rarely use it.) Anyway... continued good luck!

At August 25, 2007 at 5:46 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

You're a better man than I am... I get so bored of sng's so quick. Keep up the good work!


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