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.

Pete B Emailed me this as there was a problem with blogger at the time :

At the beginning of this year I thought to myself "look, your dabbling around in shit. Stick to what you are good at if you want to maximise your earn". So I focused on Limit.

Net result, it looks like 4K less this year than last.

Not that this really proves anything. I might have been lucky last year (I was). The games might have got tougher (they have). Perhaps I suck less at PLO and tournaments than I thought. Part of this is because I do everything wrong in tournaments according to the works of Ward and Downing, so I assumed that I must have been lucky. In retrospect, I wonder whether my own line (which has something in common with Raymer's) isn't the best one FOR ME. It's no use me trying to play like De Wolfe, I just can't do it right. So I have to play my own game to the best of my ability.

Anyway, back to you. I think that shifting games when times are tough might have hidden advantages, one of which is mental freshness. I know that we see "Losers" flitting from cash to tournament to cash, but that doesn't necessarily imply correlation. If times are tough, give a game that you think is less positive EV a go for a couple of days. As I have found to my cost, hammering away at a game because you "know" that it is positive EV is a bad idea when things are running bad, because my own play deteriorates in the face of the shit.

OK, the professionals say that they can carry on playing through it, but most of the professionals shift from game to game as well. I bet they don't shift from a game when they are doing really well. Quad ipso factum, or whatever the Latin is.

Yeah, I'm not happy with the new Stars schedule and in particular their decision to get rid of all the PLHE comps. It's NL across the board now, which obviously makes economic sense to them with the increased number of players, but is a real pain if you want to see a flop once in a while.

I see what you're saying Pete but what I was actually doing was quitting a game and not going back to it for weeks.

Switching / taking time off for a couple of days is fine but I have to use that time to think "What am I doing wrong ? What could I do better ?" instead of just saying fuck it, I'll play something else.

That's what I've just done [think about it] and I believe I have found a big hole in my strategy. I shudder to think how much it has cost me in the past.


I emailed Stars about it and they responded as expected : politely, but in a sort of "the decision's already made" way.

I really don't see why they couldn't have kept some of the bigger rebuy tournaments during the day, or PL tournaments in your case. It's not as if it ties up dealers they need for the cash games :-)

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