Archive for September, 2009


study hall would be useful about now

I remember how useless study halls were in high school…mostly because I already had my homework done during class. Study halls were more for flirting with girls. Perhaps we need them later in life though. I sure could put study halls to good use lately. So if you’ve been reading, poker has been hard. I’m ahead for the year, but have been on a 3 month-ish downswing, and am getting smashed by the luck factor to the tune of several thousand bucks. As any smart player would do, I’ve dropped limits to make sure I keep my confidence high and my bankroll solid.

In the theme of studying, I’ve been looking at a lot of my graphs. There are 3 lines that are interesting – the overall profit line, the showdown winnings line, and the non-showdown winnings line. As you might imagine, when I showdown a hand after all the cards are out, I’m a pretty big winner. However, my non-showdown hand line (either when I fold before a showdown or my opponents do) has always been a big loser. The lines are basically opposites making me slightly above breakeven. I’ve been reading articles and it seems like the non-showdown line (NSD) should be more like a breakeven line. Hmmm…ok, how do I get it there?

I decided to join and watch some of their videos on how to improve. I also posted a thread asking for help. I got a lot of comments, watched some videos, and went back to the tables. Along the way I also found a potential poker coach – although still waiting on his reply.

For my first session back to the tables, I decided I’d record it to send to my coach. I spent about 45 minutes playing, talking out loud about all of my decisions, and felt like I had made some good improvements (which I was surprised at how quickly that was possible). At the end of the session I knew I was up, but when I looked at the graph, I was quite amazed. (It’s a small sample size, but it’s definitely a first.) The NSD line was going up and the showdown line was going down. The ONLY reason I won money was the change in my play to pick up more pots that didn’t go to showdown. I was pretty excited. So now my plan is to just try to keep focused on that same style, get much more profitable, and then move back up in stakes. The poker coach will only speed this process up.

So that’s poker. GH5 and RockBand Beatles both came out early this month, so that took away from my poker time until a few days ago. GH5 is great, with one exception – the song list sucks. The game was updated and made even better, but man – who picked most of those songs? Beatles was a great surprise – the music is great, the game is fun, and the achievements are challenging enough that I’ll play it for a while. GH5 took a week to get all of the achievements (granted I have two left, but those are just a matter of time). GH Van Halen is coming out…I got it for free for buying GH5 (perhaps they knew their song list sucked too). Band Hero is coming out (same maker as GH, but seems more mainstream music with Taylor Swift headlining it.) The one I’m eagerly awaiting is DJ Hero. Turntable and all – this will be new again and should be seriously awesome from the videos I’ve seen. October 27th. I’ll be busy that week. :)

I went to see Vegas U2 last night out at Lake Mead. It was an easy drive, hardly anyone was there, and it was free. Pretty awesome. I found an Irish Pub, had dinner and some Guinness, and then hit the outside concert. I watched the first set and then headed back to the pub to see a guitarist play. He was pretty good and I played the drum with him (yes drum, not drums). All in all, pretty fun. Then into the casino for a little blackjack action. There was a cardiologist convention in town, and two of them were at the table. They had no idea how to play and were splitting tens, etc…so I helped them out. I was there maybe 2.5 hours and left 50% up. Not bad. However, I didn’t really get to bed until like 3:30, so we’re a little tired today.