I'm a little bummed out that Zoom has started on Stars.
Firstly, I thought FT had some kind of patent on it. This would make the value of FT higher than without an exclusive rush-style poker. Obviously, the FT patent attorneys are just as incompetent as their accountants and managers. I'm hoping Zoom doesn't in any way affect the sale of FT. IMO, having exclusive rights to Rush was one of the three or so main reasons to buy FT. They are clearly not buying the software for the brand name. :-P Maybe the should change their tag line from "play poker like the pros" to "go busto like the pros." Apparently a bunch of the FT pros are busto, and hopefully after the DOJ gets through with them, so will the principals. But I digress... even if Zoom doesn't affect the sale of FT, all the people who I thought would be "rush"ing back to FT to play Rush now have another, safer alternative. Doh!
Secondly, it annoys me that I can't play. If FT doesn't open up, I may be tempted to try and bypass Stars' security. Maybe just play micros for a while to see if they are going to catch on. I mean it's just padding their bottom line to have a rakeback pro such as myself on there, so it would be a win-win situation. Or maybe not... I have plenty of other alternatives. You can sleep soundly Pokerstars Steve. Or can you?!?
Short post today... too much negativity in my poker world lately... another subpar month (small sample, but 3.6K under EV!!!), the games on Party are just absurd with everyone sitting out all the time (there is going to be some kind of sit-out April 3rd to protest), and I think NoteCaddy is going to make the games worse. Ugh. Maybe I'll talk about some of the above when I have more time. A few more months like this and I'll have to start a "online poker is rigged" post in the internet poker forum.
I'm writing this post from my new iPad. Because I've been so busy lately, I'm hoping this will help me make better use of my time. Obviously having yet another device where I can access horse pron from may be counterproductive to being more "efficient," but time will tell.
The weather here in Texas has been awesome. It's still March and we're about to take a dip in the pool and have a cookout for dinner. I can't believe it's in the mid 80s today (Sunday). The plan of moving to a warm-weather state and then traveling for 1-2 months during the absurdly hot summers may work out pretty well. I thought this year would have been my first year at the wsop, but that may have to wait another year or two.
Mostly it's because we really want to spend time with people we left back on the east coast this summer. This is our first year away from our family after all. Secondly, I really haven't had time to practice playing in MTTs. Because I've actually won an online MTT, I feel like I know enough to do well. But it is my belief that if you are going to plop down a bunch of $10k buy-ins, you really need to play a bunch of MTTs online and run them thru SNG Wizard. Maybe I'll discuss that in a later strategy post. I would also need to play in a bunch of live MTTs just so I get comfortable with the setting and that I'm not giving off any tells. Needless to say, all of that is not happening by the summer.
I was planning to play in Merge's poker Maximus Main Event. But we ended up taking D to a roller skating birthday party, and as previously mentioned, the weather was so nice, we used the pool and had a BBQ. Hmm... Quality family time, or a few hours of frustration followed by a potential flathead screwdriver in the eye? Now you can see why I never got in any MTT practice. Eh hem.
As a consistently winning cash game player, it's pretty hard to get used to plopping down money, spending a lot of time on something, and 80+% of the time, walking away empty-handed. Unless you actually win, the exit is ALWAYS going to suck. There's just something unappealing about about getting reamed up the ass. Umm... Perhaps I also need some kind of attitude adjustment first.
So as you can see, it may take me at least another year or two to be ready. But final tabling is on my bucket list, and it'll take me a bunch of tries, so it'll happen (eventually). For now I'm going to carpe some diem.
So far, it looks like "strategy" is the hands-down favorite as what you would like to see more of in the blog. I'll try to incorporate some of the 2nd (and maybe 3rd) place votes as well. Make sure you get your vote in! Your vote counts even more, with so few people voting. I must appeal to the apathetic crowd. I wonder why... eh hem. Birds of a feather...
The way I envision a strategy post working is that I would make a post the first week of the month on an interesting poker topic, usually something that I've been thinking about the previous month. For example, stuff I've been thinking about this year include: widening 3bet value hands, various ways to derive optimal preflop bet sizing from various positions, intentionally creating awkward stack sizes, etc. I never wrote about them because most of the blog feedback I get is from Mrs. Fly. Hmm... getting feedback on a poker blog from Mrs. Fly... Doh! Now that I know you want to see more strategy, I'd be happy to do that. I think about poker all the time (theory, applications, stats, etc). And it might help me flesh out some topics for a future book.
Lately, I've been looking at things like stats that aren't readily available. For example, everyone looks at how often people 3bet. But no one ever talks about how often YOU GET 3bet - mostly because there is no stat for it. You might have an "idea" based on your image, but you probably won't know off the top of your head what percent of time you get 3bet from each position. It's actually produced some interesting results, and is a good way to plug some leaks. I think that might be my first strategy post. So from that post, I'm hoping to get some reasonable discussion going. I may even put a link to each month's discussion on the right hand side so that people can find it easier. As the discussion progresses, I'll probably write some follow-up post(s) during the month.
You should feel free to write suggestions for future topics in the comments section of the post. I can't guarantee I'll write about it (especially if I have nothing interesting to say), but I'll try to accommodate most reasonable topics. I'm doing this mostly because you requested it, so don't be shy about giving feedback. Think of it as your little baby.
Well, I've been having less and less free time. I guess that's good? So I'm going to have to switch from posting 3 times a week (like I had been) to posting 2 times a week. I've barely done anything with the poker book. But my ipad3 is supposed to be coming in the next few days, so I'll look forward to hopefully being a little more productive with that. Apparently it overheats like a mother, but I already have an oven mitt picked out.
Some of you are going to be disappointed (maybe even pissed off) at the new schedule. So I thought I would try to assuage those feelings (yes G, I said "ass" - he gets a kick out of words containing the word "ass" - apparently the bus incident did not curb his enthusiasm), I would try and improve the "quality" of my posts - mostly by putting in more of the stuff you want to see and less of the random crap I come up with (that I'm a little too busy to come up with now anyway). So if you guys can participate in the poll on the right, I'll look at it at the end of the month and try to better incorporate some of those items. Check off as many of the types of things you want to see.
Here is a brief explanation of the categories:
* Strategy - something along the lines of the Concept of the Week in the the micro forum of 2+2, but maybe I write about some reasonably "advanced" topic and we can discuss further.
* Hands - interesting or funny hands I've played (you can see the archive on the right)
* Op-Ed - my thoughts on things going on in the poker world
* Results - more discussion of monthly poker results, or poker sessions
* Food - basically the "what's for dinner" segment I used to do, or random rantings about food
* Family - funny/interesting things that happen with the family
Or you can write in at the bottom of this post if you have any other suggestions, and if there are enough requests, I can add it to the poll.
So it turn out that my eyeball estimate of the graph was a little off. As of Wednesday, I'm down 59 (FIFTY NINE!!!) buy-ins in EV (higher than the previously-reported 55) this year. That's FIVE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED BIG BLINDS. It turns out that for the first third of the year, I was flat ev. And in my last 140K hands (less than 2 months), I'm 57 bis under ev. Being the numbers guy that I am, I was curious as to what that translates to. So I made the following estimate:
I got the number of hands I was all-in by the turn (greater than 150bbs, and removed the ties, mostly AK vs AK), getting us to 280 all-in hands. These hands account for 77+% of my aiev difference (44bis). Obviously this is just a ballpark estimate, since I'm getting it in vs shorties a ton, and my equity will vary widely from hand to hand. My average equity was surprisingly almost exactly 49.9%. This was surprising since I would have thought it would have been higher (since I would expect to get it in good vs the fish). But maybe that's a sign that I'm running poorly overall. When the fish keep getting AA, that's a cooler. In 280 hands, the standard deviation of the flips is 8.37bis. 44bis below is a 2.63 standard deviation outlier. So the odds of this happening is something on the order of 0.4%. So roughly 250 to 1. Seems a little too low... but maybe it's because I also lost aiev on pots smaller than 150bbs.
On the one hand, when you are going through a run like this, it feels like no one in the history of poker has run this poorly. But every year, you see some schlubs posting their graphs of run-bad, that are about as bad (or worse). So I guess it's believable. Whenever people claimed to have run poorly over a stretch of time, part of me kind of thought, "that graph can't be real". But obviously it's true what they say... one day you will run worse than you ever imagined. If you play long enough, it will eventually happen to you (even if you are Newman).
Uncharacteristically, I spewed off a few buy-ins during this stretch. It's that illogical thinking - "surely he can't have it again?!?" In the long run fishy thinking always loses money. The big takeaway from this post is that bad stretches happen. As a poker player, you have to get used to it. But it's super-important to always keep your cool. The bad luck should end eventually, but don't make it worse by spewing. Take some time off if you have to.
So far this month, I'm down another 10 buy-ins in ev, bringing us to FIFTY FIVE BUY-INS UNDER IN 2012. I believe the Mayans may have been onto something. And that doesn't even include all the times I was flush over flushed or set over setted this month. There is no greater joy in poker than getting your money all-in with virtually no equity.
But I'm working on some math of this to put it in perspective, so I'll have that for Friday. Today, I'm just going to chill to collect my thoughts. Zen.
Sigh. Another month closer to the grave and I haven't done much last month. I owe you some updates:
1. WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK? G was caught lying. It started with him saying "ass" on the bus (not calling another kid that - was talking about the body part). Apparently that gets you reported down here. More apparent was that next year we need to get the bus driver more than just a box of Mrs. Fly's cookies and a gift card for Xmas... or maybe we just get him NOTHING since the gift apparently did NOTHING! (just kidding - sort of...) Anyway, rather than do the right thing when questioned about it, he chose to lie about it and it eventually escalated to the vice principal's office. This was just one of a few incidents which for some reason all got reported to us last week. But I don't want my blog to be some kind of detailed crime blotter. My message to him was, it's okay to make a small mistake - but don't make it a BIG mistake by lying about it. Kids are going to test some boundaries when they are younger - it doesn't bother me that he said "ass." But people aren't going to forgive as easily when you LIE to them. So we had to deal with the problem Fly style - make the resolution of the problem so arduous that he won't want to do it again. Mission accomplished. I think. I hope? But maybe I can't be too hard on the little guy, since apparently there are a bunch of grown men on 2+2 who haven't quite learned that lesson either.
2. POKER: Another month, another 18bis under ev. Still had a decent month, but holy crap does poker get frustrating when you run bad. I even yelled in the house (which I rarely do), and D started crying. He's so cute when he cries - makes all of Daddy's bad beats go away. Well, not really, but I'm laughing about it now. What a bad start to the year - ALMOST FORTY FIVE BUY-INS UNDER EV!!! It's so weird because in the prior 3+ years of playing poker, I think I was always within like 25bis or so of neutral EV. I guess I should be grateful that I'm only 1+bi under ev this month. Not. The really sick thing about running 18bis under in February is that I didn't put in much volume - less than 30% of January's volume. So I was getting shat on even more severely than when I thought I was getting shat on. In before G says "shat" on the bus.
3. WEIGHT: Same. Doh! I really need to get back on track with this. If this goes on another month, I'm going to have to do something more draconian in April. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. Seriously tho, I'm going to exercise starting tomorrow. Hmm... I can just hear Mrs. Fly saying, "I'll believe it when I see it." In before G says "fat ass" on the bus.
4. BOOK: I started an outline, but I'm having a little trouble deciding if I should have the book be geared more towards noobs or pros. I think the better thing is to have Volume 1 be geared toward (live) noobs (like how to turn on the computer, etc) to get them all interested in playing online poker. And have Volume 2 be more the advanced stuff that some of the regs may like. I don't want to scare people off of playing online poker by talking about the advanced use of stats. But I may never be able to write that second book if I keep the first book too basic. Anyway, I'll have a better idea once I start fleshing out the content a little better. The iPad3 is supposed to come out this month, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'm going to write the book on the iCloud server (so that I can take notes any time on any device and not have to worry about which version is the most current). I think this should help me be a little more productive, but we'll see. In before G says "lazy mofo" on the bus.