Monday, September 26, 2005

Crossroads

Bless me bloggers for it has been 12 days since I last blogged. As I'm sure that it is with many players, when you are on a prolonged downswing (especially if it is your first prolonged downswing). Yes, I know all about variance.... blah... blah... blah... After it kicks you in the junk for over 30 days now, it makes you start to think. I had written about how this year wasn't going very good anyway... at least compared to my first year... I was up arond $4200 for the year on August 6th. This was a high water mark all time for me and I seemed to be turning it around from a slight slump that I was having.... then the fit hit the shan. I have proceeded to give back $3300 since. OK.. that is the big picture... Again, my bankroll is in no danger as this downswing has accounted for about 25% of it so while it is material in my estimation, it is not a deal breaker.

Before last night, again I thought I had turned it around with 5 good sessions. I won't go into details as I don't want to ramble as I want to fast forward to last night. I had more or less not played any online poker for almost a week... and just a couple of times in the last 2 weeks. The only exception was while I was in Texas to see the Cowboys game (don't get me started there.. that is whole other story... needless to say it was a long drive back to St Louis from Dallas after they blew their shutout in the last 4 minutes). Anyway, I played a few SNGs in the hotel and did well.. 4 SNGs, 1 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, and 1 5th. Also, I had just played in a home tournament with a 2nd place out of 20 and a 1st out of 10. So things were seeming to turn around.

Now to last nights action which has brought me to an important crossroads. Again, I was fairly refreshed and ready to play ball. I sat down and open 2 5/10 tables at PokerRoom. I needed just about 200 pts to get my $200 bonus which I know will only take a couple of hours. The first 45 minutes was up and down and was probably up just a little bit and then.... BAM!!!!! I am going to briefly describe what happened:

KJ with a K7J flop loses to Q7..... 7BBs
QQ loses to AK on river.... 4BB
Q9 in BB with Q79 flop loses to 77.... 5.5BB
AQ loses to AJ on JJ4 flop.... 2.5BB
QQ loses to 77 on flop.... 3.5BB
88 on button raises blinds and loses to K3 BB with KK7 flop... 2.5BB
88 on 869 flop loses to 75... 3 BB and
J9s in BB on 499 flop loses to TT on river... 5.5BB

Ok.. seems normal type beats.. the problem was those 8 hands all happened within about 10 mintues (again I was 2 tabling). Not once did I really go on tilt... ha.. didn't really have time to do that. Needless to say, I wasn't happy about it... A little while later I lost the little I had left from my original 300 buyin... no big deal. I still needed a few more points to get the $200. I have about 280 left in PokerRoom... so what do I do? Do I quit? Do I re-up on the 5/10s... No... I go straight to the 10/20 tables... What???!?!?! He is obviously not thinking straight... and I might not have been. I can say, however, that I was not steaming... As I've told some friends, that I have been sitting down with the attitude of how much am I going to give back tonight. Last night was not like this as I was indeed refreshed... but it didn't take long to revert back to the bad attitude...

As I suspected, the play on 10/20 is no better than that of 5/10.. and things actually were going good as I made up for $300 and got the $200 bonus... I was 2 hands from the big blind so as I typically do, I turn off the auto post and will call it quits unless I get AA, KK or AKs... 1st hand nothing... next hand UTG.. AKs.. Doh... Raise... here we go... 2 callers... QT8... continuation bit and only 1 caller... K on turn... cool.. Bet.. Raise.. huh? oh wait.. this guy is a maniac.. playes 54% of hands and preflop raises 10% etc, etc... Poker Trackers rates him a fish... I just call.. and I check call the River.. yep he had AJ for the str8 (down $90).... very next hand... Q3 in BB with Q87 flop... and 3 comes on River... and I lose to Q8 from SB.. Down $120... Dang!!! Now I can't quit... btw, it is about 10:30 Central time... I decide to keep playing and make up ground and then:

AK in MP... UTG raises and I just call (mistake #1) 2 more callers... flop comes 3AA.. UTG leads out and again I just call (mistake #2).. lose other 2... Q on Turn... UTG leads out and I raise.. re-raise.. uhoh.. I cap (don't think this is mistake)... River is Q.. UTG leads out and I call (thinking we are splitting)... nope he had QQ to make his quads over my aces full... I just typed in ... "that hurt... nh"... I didn't lose my temper or should I say I didn't yell or throw anything... but something must have happened... because next thing I know it is 3AM and I had given back all $800 that I was at when I was at the peek. I remember sitting and playing but that is about it... My wife woke up to go to the bathroom (I had forgotten how much pregnant women have to pee in the middle of the night).. and that kind of broke the transe or whatever that I was in and I called it a night. I looked back at Poker Tracker and saw that later that night:

My A8 on 786 lost to A9 when T came on Turn (the was the very next hand after the above).
My K5 from BB that hit trips lost to flush on river
My 87 in BB with 78T flop lost to T9 on Turn
My A5s in BB with A34 flop lost KQs on River when he got runner, runner for str8.
My T8s steal attempt backfired
My AQ on 85A flop lost to runner, runner clubs to lose to flush on river...

I was looking back at those and didn't remember them... other than I remember that I had some bad beats. Meanwhile, it was so bad, that I was even playing craps online (which I hardly ever play even at the casinos). When I do play, I always play the consevative no pass... but I was playing the pass line... I ended up winning about $150.. but not before I had lost about $150 and had increased bets to make it back.

Anway, back to my crossroads. As I have stated numerous times.. I play for the enjoyment of playing.. and again, that has not changed.. I have never withdrawn other than to Neteller. I was working on withdrawing to at least put in some interest bearing account or invest in stocks; but didn't due to the recent downturn. So, I need to figure where I go from here because I don't know. A good buddy and even a blogger buddy has suggested going down in limits and try to get back to the "enjoyment" level... and of course that is the right answer guaranteed... It's the evil side of me or should I say the very competetive side of me that can not handle being beat at this level. Of course everybody who loses thinks that they are better and are just "unlucky" or whatever. I'm trying to be a little more level headed about it and know that it is me and my inconsistent play (plus a little bad luck) that is costing me. To that end, I am doing some reading and striving to get better.

To tell you the truth... last night kind of scared me. Part of me wants to fold up ship right here before this gets worse. If I was on the outside looking in and after reading this, I would probably say that this guy has a gambling problem. Of course my wife calls it an addiction. I truly don't believe I have a gambling addiction. I am still calling it a hobby and I am doing something that I really enjoy doing... I just don't know. I'm probably being a little too honest here and hopefully making a mountain out of a mole hill; but again, last night kind of scared me. When you lose track of about 3 hours... yikes... For now, I'm going to chalk it up to being tired.

So, which direction am I going at this important crossroads at this poker intersection? To be continued.......

4 comments:

GaryC said...

Will,
That is certainly a decision only you can make. I will only add what I know from personal experience.

Remember, it is all one big session. You ran pretty good for a long time, now, not so good for a while. Overall? Only you know the totals overall, but I assume by reading that you are still up a good deal in the "long" session.

Hang in there, brother, and if you want to join me down in the slums of .50/1.00 or 1/2, I'll be waiting for your call.

G

Jason said...

Sorry to hear about the beats and the crossroads you are at with poker. I had a very similar experience last Sunday which made me realize a few things.

As much as we hate to admit it, for many of us online poker is an additction. If it causes you to take time away from other things then it is an addiction. I found myself skipping the gym, spending less time with my wife, staying up later, etc. In the past I've been addicted to playing video games (Madden) too which have caused the same behavior. But with video games you are only gambling with your time, not your money.

In saying that I think there is a lot of gray area in regards to poker and gambling. I mean, isn't investing in the stock market just another form of gambling? And the lottery is just legalized gambling.

I guess what I'm trying to say is you can still have fun with poker if you don't let it control you. I took some time off and started playing again but I'm going to set up some rules which apply to the money and time aspects of poker. I don't really know what the solution is for you but hopefully you can find the right answer.

HighOnPoker said...

"It's not an addiction if you're a winning!" -Jordan from HighOnPoker

But right now you aren't winning, so let's deal with the issues at hand.

You, sir, are an SNG specialist. When I first started reading your blog, I really liked your SNG spreadsheet and explanations of your sessions. I was also impressed by your W/L record. It seems like since you've stopped that, things have made a turn for the worse. Maybe you should go back to SNGs and stop bonus chasing. Besides, why bonus chase if you are losing more than the bonus.

Another thing. I play at much lower stakes. My goal for the year was $1200 in profit. I was over $700 in April, but then I lost it all. Since then, I've been treading water, technically. I'm up, but not enough that it makes a differnce. So, I let the goal fall by the wayside (temporarily), and I've gotten back to playing just to play. I still keep track of wins and losses, but with the thought that they are merely tokens in the videogame of poker.

I like to think of myself as a profitable player. Right now though, I'm working on Not being a problematic player.

Good luck.

phil rigano said...

Hey Will. I played in the blogger tourney on Titan and asked if anyone from st. louis blogged and I got your name. From what I read so far, it don't sound like you play at ameristar or harrahs ever. You oughta try the 5-10 game at ameristar. They don't have it all the time anymore because of the f'in no limit that all the cattle like to play but usually in the evening or weekend you can find it.
Anyway my email is phil.rigano@polyone.com. Give me a buzz if you do play. I'll slam a few w/ya and drag some pots. Also if you ever need another player for that home tourney PLEASSSSE invite me. I gave up on trying to get one going a long time ago. Peace.
P.S.
My wife absolutely, positively despises my poker playing as well, even though she f'ing knew I loved playing before we got married. I'll stop. Peace.

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