Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fighting Variance

This month has been terrible, October was my best internet month ever; and now November is in line to be my worse internet month ever. Damm variance, After winning more than 100k in September and October, I'm losing about 15k in November; what a job, with your negative monthly paychecks.

So, what do you do when you're running bad and you're stuck in your worse streak ever?

Reanalyze your game?

Study more hours a day?

Look at all the possible stats from PokerTracker to see what the hell is happening?

Read Daniel Negreanu's blog to feel that you're not running that bad?

Read HOH for the nth time?

Hell, go all the way and reread McEvoy and Clouthier?

Accept at last that this game is just dumb luck?

Stare and stare at your stats from better times to try to convince yourself that you don't suck?

No, no, no, no, no ,no ,no my friends

You take all the money hidden in all those poker books at home and GO TO VEGAS BABY !!!!

So, I'm writing from El Paso Airport, waiting for my Vegas flight to spend the following 3 weeks in Sin City.

Next time I'll post, it will be from some place in the Strip.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Terrible dia en 30-60

Uff, que dia en 30-60 acaba de terminar, mi peor en cash games que recuerde desde que empeze a jugar en internet. Empeze perdiendo algo asi como $2,500; segui jugando, me meti a jugar 50-100 y las cosas empezaron a mejorar, en 50-100 gane alrededor de $2000 y en 30-60 gane como $600, estaba ya a punto de salirme, para salir even del dia, pero me llegaron unos aces que no deberian, jeje, pues perdi un pot grande, de hecho 4 pots grandes casi simultaneos y otra vez cuesta arriba, segui jugando ya nada mas 30-60 hasta que ya no pude mas de bad beats; al final quede alrededor de $4500 abajo, de alguna manera me las arregle para perder $6500 en 30-60; sencillamente increible; gajes del oficio, dificil trabajo este el que escogimos, se perdio esta batalla, pero la lucha continua ......

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Shocking findings while analyzing my stats

I was analyzing all my tournament stats from 2004 to the present and I decided to make a comparision between my 2004 stats and my July-November 2005 stats (this is after the WSOP).

One of the main changes in my game between both periods was that I think in 2004 I was less aggresive than today, I was very money conscious, always keeping an eye in the changes in the money, making considerations to make the money and then to make it to the next money change; and in the final table, very, very conscious of how to play my hand depending of the stacks and the money changes; in general I had a step by step approach to the money. Today, I barely care to make the money, my approach is to make the final table and of course I have had several bubbles in this span.

I remember when somebody mentioned that you should just care about first place and not about placing, I always thought of this as a macho-attitude in poker, since I had so good results without that attitude. But gradually I have been changing to that side of the spectrum, I still don't have that 1st place or die attitude, but I feel in the practice my game is moving in that direction.

The majority of winners in the poker tournament world think the 1st place or die is the best approach to win; they even critizice, often harshly to those who have a conscious making the money step by step approach.

So, this change in my game looked like it was all good, I'm joining the majority with my approach to the game and I have had a lot of 1st places finishes in the last months; so it should be right.

But then I decided to compare my ROI and I had a shocking surprise.

ROI(2004) > ROI(Jul-Nov 2005)

ROI(2004) >>> ROI(2005)

1st places finishes Jul-Nov 2005 >> 1st places finishes 2004

And of course ITM(2004) > ITM (Jul-Nov 2005)

I understand that maybe the number of tournaments is not enough and that the numbers could be some king of statistic aberration.

#tourneys 2004: Around 600
#tourneys 2005: Around 900
#tourneys Jul-Nov 2005: Around 350

Still, I think it is very interisting to analyze the possible causes for these numbers.

For now on, every time somebody write something about how he could care less about making the money and how he just play to win (whatever that means) my answer will be:

"Don't talk too loud man, just show me your ROI"

ROI rules.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Foxwoods trip report (1)

I flew from El Paso to Providence last Saturday November 12; with the intention of becoming the next poker millionare. I knew this would be a big WPT event and I really wanted to play. I arrived at the Providence airport at 5PM and there was Jason (MrMoo from 2+2) and his girlfriend waiting for me. I didn't know MrMoo in person, but luckyly for me, he knew my face, just in case I wore my Bodog shirt from the WSOP with my nickname (sirio11) on it. They were so kind to take me to Foxwoods, I have the feeling they both like to know people from the internet.
We got to Foxwoods around 6:30PM, I called Jordan (iMsoLucky0) because I have booked my hotel room from Sunday to Wednesday and would stay that Saturday night with Jordan and Darrell (Gigabet). Foxwoods is a really big casino, and immediately you have the sensation you're lost. We decided to wait in the lobby of the Pequot Tower and 15 minutes later, there were Jordan and Giga. Gigabet didn't waste any time to start critizicing me for wearing the Bodog shirt, "Are they paying you to do that?" He asked, "No", I told him, and then he told me he wouldn't advertized any site, not even for $10,000; I asked him, how much will do it?, and he said "Maybe $100,000". We proceed to go to their room, but the room was in fact a whole suite. Knowing Jordan, I thought it was probably his idea to get a suite, since he's such an internet poker superstar; but they told me later that they were supposed to get a regular room and they got the suite by mistake for the same prize; that makes sense also, since Jordan is just so lucky. I was hungry and Mr and Mrs. Moo and I went to look for something to eat, while Darrell and Jordan went to play some Pai Gow or any other game just to get rid of all those extra $100 bills in their wallets. It was Saturday night and the site was really packed, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe, but you have to wait like 1 hour; so, we ended at an Italian restaurant where the wait was just like 20 minutes; the food was meh, but the company was great. Later Mr and Mrs. Moo decided to check the casino and since I was really tired, I went to the room to rest. Later I went with Jordan and Dave (Darrell's brother) to check the registration for the tournament at the poker room, but it was packed also, a big line to register, so I decided to wait until the morning; we said hi to Carl (Colson) who was in the line, getting ready to donate $10,000 to TheTakeover fundation.
Back in the room, since I was not tired enough, I decided to play a heads up match with Jordan, a $5 s & g in PokerStars; just to know once for all who's the best internet poker player, we were face to face with our computers, so we can read into our souls; it was a tough match, it lasted a whole 16 hands and Jordan just destroyed me; he won 13 out of the 16 hands. But of course we know that internet poker is rigged, and one match does not mean anything, lol.
By then it was 3 or 4AM, and I really didn't sleep well; despite being really tired since I hadn't sleept the day before also. I woke up around 9 or 10AM and went to the poker room to register for the tournament. My starting day would be Monday, which was great since I could really use Sunday to rest.

TBC .......

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lessons from Foxwoods

Another dissapointing big tournament. I busted out from the WPT tournament in Foxwoods, yesterday about 1/2 hour before the day finished; played about 12 hours. As usual I was very depressed; and of course it didn't help to be in the same room with JohnnyBax, Sheets and ImsoLucky0; they all made it into day 2.
As usual I was mad and ranting about how I hate poker, how a f* bad luck I have in these big tournaments, I have always thought of myself about being in the left far side of the poker standard deviation luck, even with my recent nice internet streak.
Bad luck has many different ways to show up in poker, this time was in the form of an endless streak of garbage cards.
Bad luck was in the form of a pretty tough table, with Greg Raymer, Amir Vahedi and Billy Gazes.
Also bad luck was in the form of sickness, between the 4th and the 9th hour of the tournament, I was feeling real sick, so it was kind of hard to concentrate in the tournament.

But despite all the ranting the important point is, you can not control the cards you're dealt, you can't control the cards your opponents are dealt, you can't control the flop cards, the turn card, the river card. You can't control who your opponents will be at your table, and who will have position on you.
But you can control the decisions you make with the cards you're dealt. You can control how you react to your opponents actions. You control your decisions preflop, in the flop, turn, river. You control the size of your bets, raises.

So, it just does not make any sense to be mad about things you have absolutely no control of. You were dealt 72 off like 90 times in a row, so what, don't beat yourself up with these kind of things, it's worthless to spend any time and energy on this. Just worry about the decisions you made. That is the only important thing to do, just worry about the decisions you have some control of.

So, I'm posting all the mistakes I think I made, despite my "bad luck" I think I should have done better if I would not made some mistakes.

Friday, November 11, 2005

2+2 la telenovela

Ja, estos dias 2+2 se ha convertido en una especie de Oprah, unos dramas dignos de Sofocles. la verdad yo me divierto mucho siguiendo todos esos telenovelescos threads. Para los que no conocen 2+2, es simplemente el mejor forum de poker que hay en internet y les recomiendo ampliamente que lo lean si no lo han hecho. Ultimamente ha crecido mucho, debido a la explosion en el poker, pero aun asi sigue siendo simplemente el mejor forum para leer poker y ultimamente incluso para seguir los dramas de algunas figuras del poker.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Playing some cash games

One of the different things I made this weekend was to play some non-tournament poker; after about 2 and 1/2 months without playing any cash games, I decided it was enough and force myself to play some 30-60 limit holdem in PartyPoker this Friday, I played like 8 tables at the same time, played about 500 hands and quit, this is like 1 hour of taking decisions like every 3 seconds, lol. I won about $535 and it was ok. The funny thing when you play too many tables it's that it's pretty hard to be on tilt, since you barely know what's happening at the end of the hand, if you were paid in the river or not, if you bluff was succesful or not, since you have popping windows everywhere; but I like it, it's kind of fun. Saturday I played again for another marathon session of about 50 minutes; this time I decided to try 10 tables at the same time; boy, it's really something, especially when you're playing loose and have a hand in the 10 tables, lol. This time I won about $1500 and quit. I used to play much more, and my results historically in the 15-30 and 30-60 games in Party are pretty good, around 1.5 BB/hr. But these days I don't play much since I love to play tournaments and cash games are kind of boring (even 8-tabling). I should have the discipline to play a little more, since talking about money won per hour, easily I could win more money playing cash games than tourneys; but hey, tournaments are just too much fun ..... and the money is not bad also :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Despues de espectaculares Septiembre y Octubre la varianza volvio y entre en una racha de 25 torneos sin quedar en el dinero. Me parece que mi racha mas larga es 28 torneos, asi que esta estuvo cerca. Digo estuvo porque se rompio ayer sabado que llegue a la mesa final del torneo de $33 Rebuys en Party; quede en 6o lugar y gane $1,472.
La varianza es un elemento muy importante para un jugador profesional, las rachas buenas y malas ocurren una y otra vez, por eso debes estar preparado y tener un buen bankroll para soportar las malas rachas. Muchos jugadores cometen el error de en cuanto tienen un score grande, gastan a diestra y siniestra, piensan que pueden seguir jugando los mismos niveles siempre con un minibankroll; y esto es un error gravisimo, lo mas probable que pase con estos jugadores es que mas temprano que tarde van a estar quebrados. Yo rara vez hago gastos espectaculares cuando gano un torneo grande, si llego a hacerlos, es porque las necesidades de mi familia asi lo indican y nada tiene que ver con la proximidad de una buena racha.

Saturday, November 05, 2005