Monday, December 02, 2013

 

After The Goldrush

I picked up a moderately interesting (Kindle) book on Amazon the other day : Poker Is Dead.  The author makes a brief and fairly one-sided case for online poker being effectively unbeatable in 2013. Nonetheless, he might have a point, at least to an extent.

It was because I had been thinking about the viability of online poker tournaments for a while that I checked it out in the first place.  When in doubt...check your stats.  Holdem Manager has a neat feature allowing you to filter tournaments by day of the week (I'm sure you can tell where this is going).  Looking back over the last 19 months [1] my record excluding Sundays is an unimpressive ROI of around -15%.  The sample size is only around 1300 tournaments but it's all I have.  More to the point, stats like EV bb/100 hands are equally uninspiring.

I'm not saying that weekday tournaments are unbeatable.  I'm not even saying that I couldn't beat them (for a small amount) if I was more careful with game selection and played with a bit more commitment.  I suppose what I am saying is that I can't be arsed.  Back in the day you could beat tournaments for a very healthy clip every day of the week just by playing a basic TAG game, being sensible in big (in terms of BB) pots, cranking it up around bubbles, knowing your short stack basics and being aware of ICM at final tables.  There was absolutely no need to ever "get in anyone's head" or even read hands.  Once I played a certain amount of hands I obtained a reasonable idea of how many bets particular hands are worth in different situations.  If a hand's worth two bets then bet the flop, check the turn and call or bet the river.  The fact of the matter is that I've made the money I've made while hardly ever thinking about my opponent's hand.

Sundays are still good, and probably will be for the foreseeable future.  As and when you go deep in a tournament that has 1000+ runners, you will find a lot of value.  But for me at least, trying to grind midweek seems completely pointless.  Maybe this will change if the US comes back or the last available market (China) is tapped, maybe not.  And I should stress that this is not meant to be a negative post.  If anything it's positive.  I'm happy enough to let it go, play once a week on a Sunday night in the $100-200 range and find something better to do the rest of the time.  Including play live, where there might still be a fair bit of value around £500-£1k buyin.  Nothing lasts forever and I'm very thankful I was able to latch on early enough.  I'd hate to be starting out now in any form of the game.

[1] I'd have to dig up records from an old PC to go further back than that, and prior to that may be irrelevant anyway.

Comments:
Glad to see you blogging again - I've been checking this page for 19 months!
 
Do you think playing a) alternative variants or b) lower buy ins could help? Also, good to see you blogging again.
 
(Online)poker is actually in a downswing regarding player base and popularity. Should it be fully legalized in the US again, I'm sure the player population will spike and so will the easiness of the games, making them fully beatable again ;)
 
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I think that nowadays poker has the second youth. It all depends on our attitude to any situation and it is important for poker too. Here you can see that it is still alive
 
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