Thursday, November 30, 2006


Jumping The Shark

Have poker blogs jumped the shark ? It kind of seems like they have. Several of the blogs on my list have puffballs blowing through them, and I suppose this one does too. Others have moved on to other topics, there being a whole wide world out there, apparently. While I feel I should at least make some kind of monthly report, I don't have much to add here either.

There are a few interesting things I have changed in how I approach Sit and Goes, but these are just too valuable to post, sorry. Both in terms of others using them against me and realising what I'm doing to them. I'm currently splitting my time between Pokerstars and Full Tilt, playing $100 turboes, and the player pool is small enough that I come across a lot of names quite often. It will be interesting to see if they catch on to me anyway, but so far I haven't noticed many people calling me down with hands I'm not expecting to see.

You might be interested in some numbers I worked out today though. Say you're playing $105+9 (or $110+9 on Full Tilt) with an ROI of about 12.5% (and so a profit of around $15 before rakeback and bonuses). I don't know if this is a reasonable top rate, it's very hard to tell (as we will see). Furthermore, you're playing 500 a month. At the end of the year, what's your 95% (2 standard deviations) confidence band ? What would be your biggest downswing in a typical year ? Playing 25 a day, what would be your best and worst days ? Guess before you look at my answers (in the first comment).

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Head Down

One bad habit I developed while playing part-time was flitting from game to game. Playing a particular game for a while, hitting a bad streak and switching to something else. As bad as these runs seem at the time, you can basically expect them at least every other month or so and you have to just factor them in and tough it out.

I have now settled on a particular site and game to concentrate on until at least the end of the year (which isn't even very long in itself). The site is Full Tilt. Party has basically gone kaput, Betfair have done themselves no favours with the platform switch and now Stars have changed their tournament schedule, cutting some of the best tournaments (especially the $50 rebuy Sunday lunchtime) and rather boringly switching to the same schedule every day, plus just the bigger tournaments at weekends.

Full Tilt is definitely the best option now IMO. Good bonuses, a solid 27% rakeback and the frequent play programs look pretty good too (Sit and Go leaderboards, Iron Man freerolls and Aussie freeroll). The Sit and Go structure is excellent, thanks mainly to the shorter levels and slower blind increases. They take about the same time to play, but there are no blind doubling jumps to negotiate, compared to Party for example who have three in a row. There are a lot of poor players around right now and from what I can see on Sharkscope there are enough people making a much better ROI than in the corresponding games on Stars.

So I'm just writing this to remind myself to STICK WITH IT. I have had a rough few days, although I'm still breaking even over that time [1], but this is all part of the challenge. This is how the biggest winners make their money. Perseverance and volume. Another benefit of Sharkscope is that it basically keeps my results for me, which is well worth $15/month just to save writing them down, but more to the point helps to avoid focussing on short-term swings. Certainly now that Stars have made their tournament schedule so bland, practically the only tournament worth playing (compared to S+Gs) is Betfair's $15K guaranteed, and the overlay in that is decreasing day by day. There's no better time to put the hours in on Sit and Goes. Make hay while the sun shines, and such.

[1] So in fact it's probably not that rough. No doubt worse will follow from time to time.

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