Thursday, December 29, 2005

Every One's a Winner

YTD: +35951.01 (final)

A disappointing year in the end. Sure, I made a profit again, which on the basis of this thing just being a hobby, albeit a dangerously obsessive one, is more than most folk can say about their hobbies. But this was, I felt, the chance of a serious breakthrough year, and as the insane poker boom continues, years like this feel burdened with tremendous opportunity cost.

There were two serious areas of weakness, both of which annoy the fuck out of me in retrospect.

Firstly, I failed in that most important micro-game skill - playing lots of hands. Without a doubt, one of the greatest benefits available to an online player is the capacity to play a ball-breakingly large number of hands. If you have an edge, the more often you apply that edge, the more $ you make. Christ, I sound like Roy Cooke. But it is that easy. There was no reason why I couldn't play a good 180-200k hands this year, but I didn't even get close - ergo, money down the drain.

The second, and to my mind, the more damning factor was how poorly I played the meta-game. I have been playing poker for nearly a decade now and this should be my main advantage, not a Verbal-from-Usual-Suspects-stylee gimpy lame foot.

I played the 5-10 Omaha game too long when I should have just stepped down for a while. I took a calamitous shot at the 10-20 during the worst run of my life and when it was certainly not clear that I even had an edge in the game. I then tottered from poor game selection to poor game selection, wanking money off like a pervert in a sex-movie theatre. 30-60 limit holdem on a short roll for the first time anyone? 30-60 short-handed limit O8b - the game I am officially listed as the World's Worst At, against the best on the net? It was hardly fucking cricket. I start to feel my teeth shake and my eyeballs loosen just thinking about it.

As an "interesting" example of these two factors combined, if I had played my most consistent games, the $400 PLO and PLO8b, exclusively, for the number of hands I should have played in a year, I would have made $100k very easily. Lovely.

So what does the future hold for BDD and this blog?

Well, I am afraid you are going to have to put up with this more relaxed pace of posting. I promised I would never turn this into some kind of wet diary or “I played XXX and won XXX” mindlessness you get on so many blogs, with only cursory views or analysis. So less is more.

Also, finally, I am going to kill the YTD. I accept that the title of the blog is misleading enough – we have explained that already, haven’t we – but the YTD just creates the wrong impression. I am not a pro. Please God, I never will have to be a pro. I originally put the YTD up because at the time, NO ONE was talking about figures. This was 18 months ago, remember. And I felt that the YTD was (a) a sign of seriousness (b) would encourage people to come back.

But the world has turned since then.

Lots of very successful fulltime players talk about how much they are winning, well kinda, ok at least when they *are* winning.

This *doesn’t* mean I am going to get all shy on how I am doing. It just means that it isn’t going to be at the top of every post.

Anyway…Good Luck…Merry Christmas…and a Prosperous New Year for us all.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Interim Management

YTD: +$34610.95

Well it's been a while again. I'm in the throes of a very long Christmas vacation so I am doing little playing, or writing. I will do a summary, rather gloomy post to sum up the year before we come to the end of it. And next year I have a nice post based on BluffThis's excellent PLO post on playing tight, and why I didn't feel it was the complete story.

Some things that have tickled me of late:

1. Prahald losing $500k at one point in one session against poker Wunderkid Patrik Antonius. Imagaine, sat in your smalls, scratching your bollocks, click-click, there goes another $100k. No high class, movie-star-look-alike, whores. No Presidential Villa at The Wynn. Just you and your living room and click-click-woosh. Insane.

2. Mad Marty Wilson as a tournament director on UK TV. Oh boy. Alledgedly a lovely fella, he was involved in a very dubious incident on a televised event as a player where he made a counterfitted two pair against a foes higher two, which from his expression he clearly knew, and no one stopped the player leaving the event, even though it had live commentary. It turned out that the Tournament Director had a piece of Marty too. Purely a coincidence, no doubt. And now he too can have that esteemed honour based on a wide experience of directing, well, hmmm, yes, (long silence.) UK TV poker once again in super shape.

3. Back before the Internet made donk plays the norm in tourneys, many "analysts", ok the guy with too much hairspray and the guy with, unfortunately, too much death, used to talk about "The Worst Play in Poker." This was commonly accepted as John Bonnetti crashing his stack into the 3rd place in a 90s Big One when the other stack only had a few blinds worth left. Of course worse plays happen all the time now, and if they win, then all the better. Here's one that seemed to slip under everyone's net:

(before the hand Hachem had about $300k, Pham a bit less.)

Hand #43 - Kido Pham has the button in seat 2, Tran raises to $18,000, Pham reraises to $50,000, Hachem reraises to $150,000, Tran folds, and Pham thinks for a minute before moving all in. Hachem asks for a count of Pham's remaining chips before saying, "It doesn't matter, I call." Hachem shows pocket kings (Kc-Kd), and Pham shows Js-10c.

While the chips are counted down before the flop, Scotty Nguyen says, "I threw away the other two kings, baby." The crowd explodes into laughter, releasing the tension of this big all-in situation.

Hachem has Pham outchipped, and Pham will need to improve to stay alive here.

The flop comes Jc-Jh-2s, and Pham flops trip jacks to take the lead

I guess this answers the question as to what kind of pro Pham is.

Merry Christmas.