Archive for March, 2009


great start for March

It’s only 4 days (today’s not over yet! :) ) into March and already it’s been a good month. Poker has been going really well. I’m already up more in cash games than I made in February. A lot of my days have a strange consistency though. I start out, lose about $200-300, and then make a valiant climb back to the positive side. Check out these graphs from the 1st and 4th of March.


On the 1st, I drop to -$300 and then climb $500 straight up. On the 4th, I drop to -$210 and then climb all the way back out again. I definitely feel like after about an hour of playing I’m “in the zone”, so I’ve been trying to start out much slower and be a little more conservative. In addition to my regular monthly business presentation, I’ve developed a different tracking spreadsheet to make it easier to see trends. It’ll take a few months but hopefully I’ll have some interesting things to post as far as what I’ve been working to improve and whether or not it worked.


February – the month in review

Wow, my first full month here is over already. What’s even crazier is that 2 years ago today, I was pulling into town to start my sabbatical. Crazier still, 2 days before that it snowed in Redmond, and it did again this year (ok, it was off by one day, but I’m going to blame that on leap year).

The downside of the month was that I was sick for more than a week and am still coughing occasionally. This crap needs to let go. In fact, in reviewing my poker history for the month, there was an entire week of the month that I didn’t play any poker. Yikes!!! “Sick leave” suddenly has more meaning to it now. No poker, no pay.

As planned, the first month or two weren’t designed to be “full time” poker months, and February definitely lived up to that expectation. I only played live once and made a whopping $75 in 4 hours at the Excalibur. I wasn’t exactly there to play seriously as it’s a .5/1 game on the PokerPro tables. Rob and Le (two others who recently left Microsoft to pursue poker) went with me. It was Rob’s birthday and we had a fun time. I did suck out on Rob and then got him to call on the river with his straight vs. my runner runner flush. lol Sorry Rob.

I was much more focused on cash games this month playing. I played just over 46 hours which is almost 21500 hands of .5/1 NL full ring cash games. I started the month playing 6 tables at once and have comfortably moved to 8 while still making money. I made $880 which is a respectable 4.12 BB/100. I’m definitely pleased with this win rate although would love to see it improve. I’ve been doing my poker reading and trying to apply new concepts to my game. If you haven’t read it, Professional NLHE is a good book. Ed Miller (ironically a former Microsoft guy as well) is one of the authors.

On the tournament front, I played 197 total tournaments making the money 102 times for a total profit of $803 in just over 24 hours of play. These are mostly the DON (double-or-nothing) tournaments. I could probably play about 30-40% more tournaments per hour, but I currently play 9 at a time and when they end, I don’t add another one until they’ve all ended. By doing this, my earn rate would go up as my MT (multi-table) ratio is only 4.31 for tournaments right now.

So overall including some bonus money I earned, I pulled down just over $2000 for the month in 70 hours of work earning 7933 VPPs. The VPPs are still lower than I’d like – I hope to be earning at least 10k VPPs per month or higher. This shouldn’t be an issue once I’m playing 30 or more hours per week.


um, someone please fix the random number generator

Yesterday was a rough day. Most poker players hate hearing other people’s bad beat stories. I usually agree and will only tell them if they are humorous. However, I’m breaking that rule to complain a little. I’ve seen my share of bad weeks and bad months in poker over the years, but yesterday was truly ridiculous. Literally every time I had a pocket pair, someone had a higher pocket pair. If I was lucky enough to have the higher pocket pair, the other person would flop a set. If I happened to flop a set with the lower pocket pair, the other person would turn a higher set. Ok, you think I’m complaining. I played two sessions – the list below is from the first session of 1800 hands (my hand is listed first):

  1. QQ vs. KK – I flop a set, and lose when the King hits the turn.
  2. AA vs. KK – King hits the flop.
  3. 99 vs. JT – I flop a set and he turns a straight.
  4. JJ vs. AA on a 9 high flop– normal, but in the course of everything else, it was just another kick in the groin.
  5. QQ vs. TT all-in preflop as he was short stacked. He flops a set and turns quads.
  6. QQ vs. KK
  7. JJ vs. 77 – he flops a set
  8. TT vs. KK
  9. KT vs x6 – flop KJ6. I’m ahead!!! Turn 6. Ugh.
  10. A6 vs. A9 – I turn two pair and he runner runners the flush.
  11. JJ vs. QQ
  12. 77 vs. KK on 83858 board.
  13. 99 vs. QQ on 52773 board.
  14. QQ vs. AA

I’ll stop there, but you get the point. It was sick. I managed to lose only $300, which wasn’t bad for the above. To give you an idea, the above 14 pots total an $1168 swing. If I won them all, I’d have that much more. So just a few of these going my way would have made for a good day.

Later in the evening, I was determined to “get my money back” so sat down and played another 900 hands. And right off the bat, I get TT vs. KK on a flop of 463. Sheesh. Fifteen minutes in I have KK and lose to 33 when a 3 hits the flop. At this point, I’m pretty unhappy about things. I then flop a straight, and lose to a river flush. He called me without odds until the river, but he showed down 83s clubs. He called a preflop raise with this so I marked him as a donkey and will play against him as much as possible in the future as he’s good money. But the $125 pot went his way. (I did get quite a bit back from him later in the night though.) After having my Jacks run into Aces, and my AQ beat by A6, things started to turn around. I managed to make a profit in this session of just over $150. Happily I also earned a $250 bonus as well as won a $215 satellite tournament which I then turned those “tournament dollars” (it’s not real cash yet) into $200 through more tournaments. So for a really horrible day, I managed to come out ahead even without the bonus money. Whew.