Thursday, 15 March 2012

It's a long long long way down

Hi everyone!

After my last post, I went up in stakes and started grinding the satellites of $8 and $4 for the MicroMillions events. Sometimes I would also play the $3. I also increased the number of tables I'm playing, and now I'm at 4. I am pretty comfortable with 4tabling, but whenever I accidentally open 5 tables I start losing focus, so I'm definitely not there yet. Also, I'm playing with my chat off. At this point I need to focus completely on the game and I don't need any distractions.

One thing I noticed immediately when I stopped playing the $0.35s is that people were not playing flops. I mean, it can happen from time to time, sure, but it's nothing like what was going on in the lowest stakes. That means that multitabling got a bit more difficult since the games run faster. 

But what I really want to comment in this post, is that variance finally caught up with me (as always!). After my initial good run, during the past week I have been running from bad to awful. I've only had one single winning day, and it was not anything great since I only had a $7 profit. The rest of the week I've been losing, losing and losing some more. It's really frustrating, because sometimes it really feels like the universe is conspiring against me. When I go all in with my aces or kings and lose, even though it sucks, I can understand that I'm just being unlucky and I can rationalize my feelings. But when I'm going all in with more controversial hands, even though at the beginning of the day I know that a certain play is correct, at the end of the day where I have been called by 34o and lost because the opponent got a 3 on the river, I am suddenly not so sure about myself. I don't want to turn this blog into my own whining place but I think it's really interesting how a downswing or bad luck can affect your mind.

I personally think that I have a very low resistance to downswings. And since losing is part of the game, any player that has trouble accepting it, like me, has a problem. And what makes the situation even more difficult to deal with, is that there is no obvious cure even after you admit you have a problem. If you admit that you are a bad player, or have X leaks, you study and try to fix them. What do you do when your problem is purely psychological? I honestly don't have an answer to that. The fist thing you can do I guess, is bankroll management. If your bankroll is at least 100 buy-ins of the stakes you are playing, then it will probably be able to go through all the ups and downs of luck. If it drops really low, that can only mean one of the following: 
a) You are being extremely unlucky, or
b) You are not good enough to beat the stakes you are playing and it would be wise for you to move down.

That being said, it still bothers me when I constantly lose. It's not about the money, at least not at the stakes I'm playing. I'm not playing with the rent of the month, nor is the amount I lose relevant for my everyday life. Since I'm still in the learning-how-to-play process, everything was calculated so that bad luck does not mess with my emotions. And yet it does. After spending a whole day in front of the computer, it brings me down to go home with a loss, even if the amount I lost would not be enough for me to buy a chewing gum. I know that I've been unlucky, but then I start the "what if" questions. "What if I'm a losing player?", "What if I lose all of my bankroll?", "What if all hell breaks loose?", and so on. In my attempt to think rational, I start being completely irrational. Funny, huh? I think it takes a lot of time and patience until one can train themselves to think and react in a different way. 

I've been talking with André about it and he said that recently he had a 10k tournaments downswing. That number made my head spin. Ten thousand tournaments where you keep losing money? That is crazy! Think about it, most of us do not play that many tournaments in a whole year! I asked him how long that downswing lasted. He said it was about a month. Then, he recovered the money in one single day. What's really impressive is that he kept being cool (or as cool as possible) during the downswing, so that when good luck came his way, he was at the tables playing his A game. If I were in his shoes, I would have quit playing poker way before I got to be lucky. And that alone says a lot.

Anyway, my bankroll has suffered a hit, but I'm still far from having to drop to lower stakes. What's going to be interesting is that from today the MicroMillions main events started running, so I will not be able to play those satellites anymore. What was good about playing those, is that I set my TableNinja filter once in the beginning of the day and then I did not need to worry about it. Now, I will need to be constantly checking when this or that tournament is starting in order to find games to play and unregister from the main event in time before it starts. Since I don't have a program of the games that are running every day, and sometimes they are different from one day to the other, it's going to be hard to make a consistent playing schedule... But there's no alternative!

Before I go, I will leave you with the highlight of my bad beats... So there we are, playing 4-handed when the button goes all-in. I happily shove over the top with my kings... How did I lose the hand and shortly after the tournament? You can see it here:

Thank you all for reading. See you at the tables!


  1. Do you think its worth it playing satelites to bigger tournaments, in this case main event of micro millions, instead of SNG 9max or 6max?

    1. If by "is it worth it" you are asking whether I believe it is possible to make money playing the satellites, then definitely yes. Also, I don't think you can compare the hyper-turbo satellites with the regular speed sngs and say that one or the other is better, cause it's all a matter of preference. If I ask you if it's worth it to play texas hold'em instead of omaha, wouldn't you reply the same thing? It all comes down to what you personally prefer.

  2. My question is if the field or something is more accessible in satellites to MTT or in the same SNG hyper-turbo.

    example: you play 1 table 9 man hyper turbo to one MTT, why not play the same buy in SNG 1table 9 man hyper turbo.

    Why do you play satellites instead of this equal SNG for example?

    1. I have never played the SNG hyper-turbos, so I can't compare and tell you if the field is softer or harder. There is, however, one significant difference between the two: in satellites you begin with 10BB while in the regular SNG hyper-turbos you start with 25BB. That practically means that in non-satellites you cannot start playing push-or-fold poker right away, and that obligates you to take more complicated decisions. Even though they are both called hyper-turbos, the non-satellites are so different in structure that they would have to be studied individually since the math of the satellites does not apply. I hope that answers your question.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Unordered List