Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

By the Numbers (A Post Mortem)

I finally steeled myself to go look carefully at the numbers from Month 6, to figure out exactly how much of a hit I took in Las Vegas, and where and what were the biggest losses.

To my surprise, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought. Bad enough, but not apocalyptic.

Yes, Month 6 was my second losing month, and it was more than three times worse than my previous losing month (Month 3). As in Month 3, all of my net losses were in cash games. I've only had one month (Month 2) where I lost money playing tournaments, and that was last time I played MTT tourneys at the Venetian, when I didn't cash at all.

This time, playing three deepstack tournaments and a satellite, I broke even. My one little 11th place finish covered all my tourney costs. Making money on MTTs is hard, and I'm actually heartened by this analysis. My play in these games was good, and if just a couple of hands had gone the way of the odds, my results would probably have been a whole lot better.

So that means that I really bled out at the cash tables, right?

In a nutshell: yes. What happened was that I had about a ten buy-in downswing in a very short period of time. After the first day, which booked a profit, I had only one winning session, which is a pretty appalling record. One of the joys of no-limit is that a losing session can mean that you played for stacks, sometimes multiple times, and lost. And that's what happened with me. I got felted not by a slow drip-drip of attrition, but when I had all my money in the middle for large pots.

Again, at the risk of being accused of special pleading, I don't think I played terribly. I generally got my money in as good as you can hope to in a game that is ~ let's face it ~ called "gambling" for a reason: probability is not always your friend. And, as I've admitted previously, my play definitely suffered as time wore on. I take full responsibility for at least two or three buy-ins' worth of bad decisions. But had I landed on the upside of a few of the gambles I took when I was a big favorite, I could easily have come home six or seven buy-ins to the good.

So even though my profit graph has another unsightly kink in it, I do not want to stop playing for stacks as a big favorite because of these results. I am back on the horse and sitting tall in the saddle. Giddy-up!

Halfway through my year, it looks like this:

Tournament ROI: 58%
Cash ROI: 20%
Overall ROI: 21%

Bankroll growth: 33%

Not pro material yet, for sure. But I'm still learning.



Blogger joxum said...

Those are not bad numbers, if you ask me.

Of course it also depends on, what you started out with, but if you still are within your budget after six months of poker, slap yourself on the back - you're allowed to!


2/24/09 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always had trouble understanding the "Results" that you give in this blog.

I understand tournament ROI, but what the heck is cash ROI ? ROI is not a metric that I've ever seen used in cash poker and seems completely usless. I mean, if you buy in for $1000 and win $100 your ROI is 10%, but if you buy in for $500 and win $100, your ROI is 20%, but you won the same amount!

I assume you made that up as a way of giving results without actually discussing how much you won? Or am I missing something?

2/25/09 9:39 AM  
Blogger bastinptc said...

Six months already? I'm wondering if one year is going to be a significant period of time to determine feasibility.

2/25/09 4:49 PM  

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