Monday, November 12, 2007

I tried something new and SURVIVED!

I've been reading a lot of other players blogs regularly lately. Many of you guys have a winning track record or at least have won some real cake at some of the bigger buy-ins. According to SharkScope, I've played ~900 tournaments on Full Tilt Poker. But reading your blogs has inspired me to try and join the regular blogger tournaments. Unfortunately, they are out of my usual buy-in range.

A little back story...when I started playing online poker oh so many years ago. I played the play money tournaments. I started winning those very regularly. My wife actually encouraged me to try the real money tournaments. I'd played live poker for money, but mostly just small buy-in home games ($5 and $10). I was also successful at those. Regularly scoring some real money wins. Since I had the OK from the Mrs. to give it a try, I transfered some money up to NetTeller (this is back in the day). One thing about me is that, while I'm not afraid of risk, I don't generally go seek it without preparation. The money sat at NetTeller for a while. $200 just sitting there. I wanted to make sure I moved the money and didn't just blow it into the Ether.

After about 6 weeks of sitting on the money, I pulled the trigger and deposited the $200 into my account. I was now officially vested into playing online poker for money. Now that the money was there, I needed to play with right? Well, no. I played like 2 $1 SNGs and lost them and started wondering if I was doing the right thing. I mixed it up for a while between the play money and the micro limit sngs.

One day, I realized that I was taking down the $1 + .25 45 person SNG on such a regular basis, I was actually profitable. This got both comfortable and extremely BORING!

Well, I moved my game up to the $5 level and found it was harder to make money on the MTT SNGs, but I could cash 40% of the time at the STT. Well we did this for a while and even got to the point where I had double my initial deposit! All the while, I was getting more confident in my game and trying my hand at the cash games. I got to the point where I could win about as much as I could lose between the SNG and the ring game. Nice. I suck at ring games...but that's another post.

I played at the $5 level for about 9 months and notice a real see-saw balance in my account. A lot of the money was being lost in the ring games, and then made back up in the SNGs. But then something happened to my tournaments...I started to suck at those too. I sucked so bad that not only did I lose my run up, but then I lost my seed money as well...not all of it...I was down to $125 in my account. Ugg! I'm not playing other people's money! This ain't good.

I had purchased Poker Tracker real early on and started pouring through the numbers. That's when I noticed that at one time, I was really good at the $1 + .25 45 person sng. Could I drop back down to the dollar tables? What the hell, at least I'll lose money slower. You see, I have a fear of losing my bankroll. I don't know what I'll do if that balance ever hits zero. My live play bankroll has plenty and I could always deposit more, but the point is, I failed. I lost the deposit. Weird? The amount of money isn't a problem, it's the idea that I would be a failure that keeps driving me.

Well, from my low point a couple of months ago, I've grinded my way back to a profit again. My game is also much improved after a period of long introspection. I had started making stupid calls and stupid bets when I KNEW I was behind. But would get mad at the donkey for calling my opening raise. The key to being better than a donkey is not to donk away all your chips being mad at someone.

This weekend, I took my first steps in joining you big boys in something bigger than a $5 or $10 game. I played a $4 Satellite Token SNG. I've never played in one of these before. I figured that if I won it, I was out $4, but I'd really like to play in the AIPS II Main Event. $26 would exceed my bankroll management rules at the moment. I have never played in a tournament that represented more that 10% of my bankroll. So I figured I could give the satellite tokens a try.

My philosophy for this tournament was that while 2nd place paid $10, I am really just after the token. Most of the people in this tournament genuinely seemed, well, weak. They were extremely tight and no one was taking risks. I switched gears and reminded myself that it was only $4 and the chance to play in the Main Event was worth it. I also really focused on this game and paid close attention to what everyone was up to. As it turns out, I battled my way, making some sick calls along the way...cause those all-ins didn't match their play, until I was heads up for the token! Sad part coming...I had this guy all-in several times ahead, and he just kept hitting what he needed. I busted to him and finished 2nd.

According to my calculations, this make me ahead in my attempts to get into the main event. I've made ~$5 trying to get my token. So this should mean I get two more chances at the prize.

How do you figure out this buyin stuff? I'm sure many of you just buy-in. But you micro-limit do you account for Tokens and buy-in to events bigger than you usually play? Someday I really hope to play Mondays at the Hoy and the Mookie. I'll get my token someday...


Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Haven't plotted my strategy for the AIPS II Main Event as yet. The buy-in is definitely higher than I usually go. Which means I'm apt to try to win my way there. We'll see . . .

By the way, there's a new episode of Beyond the Table out today.

mookie99 said...

Hope you can join us at The Mookie sometime. said...

You might want to consider sticking with the single table sit 'n go's until you build your bankroll large enough that you are no longer worried about your initial deposit. The variance is much lower on STT's than on the multi's or cash games. STT's are the best way to build your bankroll.