Monday, 2 May 2011

My own Black Friday

So... Turns out, the "Black Friday" effect is not just something that can only happen to the whole poker community, it's actually something you can achieve on a personal level in the comfort of your house! If you are interested to know how to create a disastrous situation or if you are curious about how I made it happen, keep reading on.

It all started a nice Friday afternoon two days ago. I just needed to play around 8 more hours to achieve Platinum status on PokerStars. That means that I couldn't really stop playing until I actually made it to Platinum cause the month was nearly over, but that's no biggie, right? WRONG! I could go on and on trying to bring this to you slowly, explaining that when we decide to play and not stop until a certain point, ugly things can happen blah blah blah... But even then, you wouldn't really be mentally prepared for what comes next, I'll just cut to it:

Are you shocked? So am I. I mean, I sort of saw it coming, but that didn't take away from my (nasty) surprise when my session was over. And to those of you still doubting, yes, this IS a graph from one single day. One very, very black Friday.

As I said in my last post, I moved up to the $16s. It was obvious to me from the start that I was a losing player in those, but I didn't worry too much cause I thought I would get better soon, as I did at the previous levels. However, that did not happen and I kept on losing. I wasn't losing big, but I was losing steadily. Until all hell broke loose. If you think that after starting to lose that day, I started tilting and that's why things went from bad to worse, let me tell you that I wasn't. I was frustrated, yes, but I was playing more or less my normal game so the results are very much deserved.

Why did this happen? I have asked myself that question several times, and I have three reasons why.

A) I did not study enough. In the whole month, I have studied 10 hours or so, which is very little for a new player.
B) I did not play as many hours as I was planning on the beginning of the month. Basically, all my calculations were based on the $6.5s that give 2.75 VPPs. When I unexpectedly moved up, I was getting 5.5 VPPs per tournament, so I could reach Platinum faster. In my head, that translated as extra free time which should NOT have been the case.
C) The players actually play poker. Seriously, this is the first level where I feel the whole thing has actually gotten sophisticated. There are of course, the goofy players who will just do whatever to spread their money on the tables, but the regulars... Oh. My. God. They are crushing me. Destroying me. Squeezing every cent out of my bankroll. I can almost see them rubbing their hands together and smiling  gleefully when they see me at the tables, thinking "The mega-fish is back!" Ok, that's enough, I think you got my point already. If you think I'm overreacting, let me tell you this: André was playing those stakes around 3 years ago, and he recognized some of the regulars that I was playing against. Apart from that, I randomly sharkscoped some familiar nicknames the other day, and they were both on the leaderboards of 2010's total profit at those stakes. They are just out of my league and outplay me badly. Now one could argue that if they haven't moved up to the $27s then that means they're not that great. I don't care what reasons they had not to move up, or if they are losing at the next level. What I care about is that they are crushing this one, me included.

To sum up, when I started playing on my own Black Friday, I had a $1158 starting bankroll, and I managed to lose more than half of it. Overall at the $16s, I have lost $870 or 55 buy-ins and have an ROI of -7%. Great. But let's review the goals I set for the month that passed.

1) Move up and play the $6.5s. 
CHECKNo further explanation to this one, I did actually surpass my goal, even though it did not end nicely.

2) Post 20 hands that you have troubles with on the forums each week. FAILURETo be honest, I never really believed I would get this one. To my defense, I had some problems with my subcription on PXF so half of the month I couldn't access the forum at all. When I got it fixed I did post some hands, but it wasn't even close to what was needed for this goal. It just takes too much time to post that many hands on a weekly basis.

3) Reach Platinum status. CHECKYes, I have four little stars next to my avatar now, congrats to me. But hey, I payed $870 for it so doesn't feel like there's a reason for me to celebrate, really.

4) Be able to 12table by the end of April. CHECKI was 12tabling practically all through the month of april, even though at the end I stayed away from the tables for a couple of days (cause I had this "extra" free time, right?), so I grew out of it and André told me to reduce to 9. I consider this goal achieved though, cause I am able to play 12 tables now, I just need a couple of days to get the hang of it again.

Even though I did achieve 3 out of 4 goals I set for this month, I feel quite defeated. I lost a huge chunk of my bankroll and I will have to move down. To be honest, after that last session I was debating with myself whether I should quit poker or not. I don't want to sound arrogant, but so far in my life all the goals I have set for myself, no matter how modest or big, I have achieved them. I feel like if I put my mind to it, I'll make it happen. And that's the way it has been until now. But after last Friday, I just felt really demotivated and was thinking that hey, maybe this game is not for everyone afterall. At least not for me. Then I spent a day with friends, taking my mind completely away from poker stuff and today I reviewed the whole situation more calmly. I'm not giving up at the first bump of the road.

I would go on with my goals for May, but this text is getting too big again, so I'll leave that for tomorrow's update. And since this post has been a bit sad so far, I'll leave you with something a bit more cheerful...

Last week, André was invited by Pedro Guedes to the launch party of a new collection of sunglasses by the Guedes brothers and Multiopticas. The party was nice, and we got to try the new sunglasses as you can see in the picture above. They had some pretty cool designs!

That's all for now folks! I'll talk to you soon!


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