Saturday, January 28, 2006

Goal #1, and Doctor's Orders

Thanks for everybody who has voted in my poll below and made comments. It really does help to know who is reading your blog. If you haven't voted so far, please go down to the post below and put your vote in for what type and what levels of poker you play. Thanks.

Last weekend, I put down some hard and fast immediate (next few months) goals that I would like to attain. The good news is that I have reached my goal #1 which was to increase the bankroll by $659. Luckily, it took less than a week. My next goal is to make $665 more. I think it is important to have measurable goals so that you can continually measure your progress. Well, at least I know that it helps me. Anyway, one down, seven to go.

I am continuing to experience the good side of variance. It definitely feels a lot better than the bad side... lol. My true earn rate for the week was a nice 4.97 BB/hr which I will definitely take. The makes it 5.71 BB/hr for the month which will be coming to a premature close. Because of that, I have gone ahead and posted the month to date numbers a little early. These will be the final numbers after one small adjustment on Sunday. The short handed games just seem to be chugging along. I may or may not move up a level to 5/10 short handed next month. We'll have to see. Right now, I am just in a comfort zone and may just hang out here for a while. I am obviously enjoying how things are going right now; but at the same time, I miss the higher stakes of 10/20 and 15/30. The blood definitely pumps a little more up there. Anybody have any thoughts on grinding at the low limits vs moving up to a more bankroll appropriate level?

Anyway, as I mentioned, I am going to take a brief poker hiatus. Since Christmas, I have been having pains in my wrist... right wrist to be more specific. I let it go for a few weeks and finally decided to visit the doctor. I wasn't sure if it was carpal tunnel or a sprain or what. As it turns out it is tendonitus which is a pretty common ailment of people that do repetitive type tasks. So coupled with the day job and the night time hobby, my wrist gets a work out. I told the doctor that I spent a good deal of time on the computer at night. A little while later, he asked what it was that I was doing at night. I just happened to have a poker magazine in my hand (Cardplayer) and said I play a little online poker. He says, well, that needs to stop as you need to rest the wrist as only time can cure this. I am taking some anti-inflammatory drugs and hopefully that will do the trick or I will have to get some sort of shot... Cortisone, I believe.

You can guess, my initial reaction... Yeah, right... Maybe, I will lessen the amount that I play which was the plan for January anyway. Of course, things never work out the way you plan and there were a few days this week where I was stuck early and played a good bit to get things back. I can definitely tell that after a little while, my wrist starts to really hurt... and I really pay for it the next morning as that seems to be the major time that I get pain.

So fast forward to now and I am actually going to follow the doctors orders. The plan is to take a week long poker vacation. I am certainly happy with the January numbers so there is no need to try and improve upon them. It was my 3rd best month. I'll take it.

I have some thoughts of what next month will bring and want to look deeper into the numbers of rakeback vs bonus chasing.... so I may throw a blog entry in there; but I wouldn't be surprised if I stayed away from posting blogs for a week as well.

That should do it for now.... Have a good week!!



Div said...

Or alternatively, you could hold the mouse in your other hand?

Sean said...

I'm a computer science grad student and used to be big into first person shooters so I've been suffering from RSIs for years. Like div said, switching to the other hand is good (you'll be surprised how quick you get used to it).

Another thing that works is the cheapo wrist-braces you can get at Walmart. Depends on the person (i.e. I kink my wrist or something) so it may not help you at all. Sometimes they introduce other problems (you take the load off one tendon or muscle and put it on something else that isn't meant to take it).

Ultimately, though, 5000 little movements an hour is not something our hands and arms are designed to endure. Multitabling is one of the nastiest things I've dealt with, and mostly I just cut back when I start feeling it, or play tournaments or a single NL table.

Hotkeys, if they are supported (like the pokerroom network) can be a good break for the hands also.

Finally, there are certain wrist, arm and hand exercises that help. If you continue to put in the hours the problems will definitely come back (probably worse) but doing stretches and warm-ups can be very useful for increasing your time before the pain sets in.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but this is definitely something I've had lots of experience with.

BSN said...

you can always tell the guys that check out online porn... they're the first to suggest using your left hand to click the mouse...


d said...

I have essentially the same problem with RSI. One thing that I have found helpful is to use keyboard shortcuts to absolutely minimize the number of mouse-based actions I need to perform. I find that when using the keyboard I am able to shift my hands around (having my hands at different angles, using different fingers, etc) compared to when using the mouse.
I modified the autohotkey scripts that I downloaded from

The biggest limitation is that you can't really use this technique when multitabling at sites that steal focus, and Party seems to be one of the few sites that does ~not~ steal focus. I'm not sure about FTP, but Stars, Cryptos, UB, Martin's poker all do.

surgicalpoker said...

You have some good tips here. The Walmart wrist brace one and some rest are excellent. I recommend you mix in some party time with your rest. You can check out my poker-vegas blog for some ideas.

good luck. AM

pokerpeaker said...

And to think I only climb mountains!!! Who knew online poker could be so dangerous???
Have fun on your vacation and see you in a week. Nothing wrong with retiring for a bit while you are feeling good about the game, eh?

Slimeface said...

Good point pokerpeaker... You always hear advice to take some time off when you are in the hole. Why not take a vacation or break when you are on top of your game... I had a friend who was a trucking dispatcher who developed tendonitis as you have described. He learned to write and mouse with his left hand in a couple of months but it was very difficult to decipher his writtings in the interim. Wasn't it William Rockwell who played in the WSOP with his feet?

Michael said...


Sorry to hear about the wrist problems. Take some time to rest and get it well. Poker will be here when you are ready. At least you are "going out on top". :-)

On your grinding at the low limits versus playing at a bankroll appropriate level, I'd say just one thing. Play at a limit (level) where it stings a bit when you don't play your A-game. Play too high and playing scared (weak-tight) could be a problem. Play too low and the money doesn't mean as much and you could get bored, could pay off too much and could get tilty when the donks attack.

Get well!

TripJax said...

I had some similar problems last month and took a few days away and felt better. Not as extreme as yours sounds, so get your break and then we'll see you soon...

cc said...


Take care of it as I know some folks can have chronic issues with this. I use a lapop/touchpad, so that may also be something to consider as it is a different movement used. Regardless, the fish will be there when you return. Plus, maybe you'll skip out on the negative variance. You can burn $100 each day and pretend you're having a bad run if you need to stay sharp!

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