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.


chaos said...

Nice confessional Dave, though I suspect I need to recite more Hail Mary's than you!

Anonymous said...

keep up the YTD thing...keeps it real.


TripJax said...

good luck in 2006...

AJ "The Triple Threat" Martino said...

Can I borrow 20 cents?

When you ask to be paid back I'll respond with "but your YTD shows you make 35K, you're rich, you don't NEED me to pay you back!"

wintermute said...


If an off-year nets you 36k, that's got to feel pretty good. Happy New Year,


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I think it bodes very well for you in the next year that you are able to make such an honest assessment of yourself and your game. Even many of those who do play for a living aren't able to do that, at least not before their bankroll is decimated with no means of replenishing it. And often a lower level is more profitable and is where one's focus should be. I think with your evaluation you could occasionally take a shot at 5/10 and 10/20 because you have indeed learned the hard way what adjustments need to be made.

One of the biggest adjustments for myself is declining seats on great tables because it would be a bad seat relative to other loose or good aggressive players and mean that I would likely have a hard time profiting. This along with game selection is one of my strengths and more critical at those limits than lower ones. Also along with this, is the importance of adjusting to changing table dynamics and realizing when even LAGs are geared down and likely not giving you action except that which you don't want. Many of those LAGs though long term losers are adept themselves at adjusting, especially to the presence of a couple or more very short stacks who are waiting to limp rereaise with AA/KK, and don't recognize that the LAGs are just calling with hands or even folding that they would raise with facing only bigger stacks and implied odds. And even on aggressive tables, I can't count the number of times I have seen those short stacks limp reraise with AA no realizing that there is no way in hell to get it headsup, and the likely result is that everyone calls and just pretends he's not there. And of course we all realize this is even more true with our usual bigger stacks. AA should be a money maker long term and it is turned into sh*t by a lot of players who don't adapt how they play it to the table dynamics and their seat relative to certain other players. I didn't mean to go off on an AA tangent and could have put these comments in some of the recent 2+2 AA threads, but I think the players who read your blog are the ones most likely to benefit from those observations.

I'll mention one other thing re plo, and that is that I find the games at the bigger levels to still be very good. However, this is probably because I do exercise good game selection and never play more than 3 tables, intermixing nl with plo when I could not find 3 plo tables that are good. Someone looking to 8 table plo is just going to be sitting in some aweful games.

I think that your decision not to post the YTD total will not hurt this blog at all, because you are able to relate and evaluate your play without it, and because normal variance even with extremely good play will often make that number meaningless.

Anyway, I wish you and (most) of the rest of the readers here a happy and profitable New Year as well.


Big Dave D said...

Thanks all for the nice comments. I guess the lapsed Catholic in me makes for a sweet confessional.

On a general note, one of the things I am enjoying about playing NL, yes Im doing the 6 handed thing again, is having game selection. Game is too tight - leave. Sat to the right of a guy playing huge number of his hands and raising tonnes too - leave and get back on the list.



Drizztdj said...

Rock in the New Year Dave!

Nothing wrong with taking shots, I wish I had the balls to do it.

Big Dave D said...

Hi again Drizzt

Taking shots when winnning and at top of game = good.

Taking shots when losing in worst run of life and well into 5 figure losing = bad.



Anonymous said...

I was just wondering how likely it is that your problems in the biggest games are due to collaborative play by opponents? Reason being, PLO is pretty much tailor made for this, since you see so many cards.

an online hold em pro