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mad mad world: riding the sinus waves of poker

chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
forgive me for using this as a form of therapy for myself. don't feel like you need to read. it's a big whine sesh and cry me a river. don't say i didn't warn you.

i think i'll be taking a break from serious poker for a while. it's been such a big part of my life for a long time, it feels like i'm breaking up a long term relationship. since the "brag" post i made a couple months ago about winning $4k in a $500max game in 4 hours, things have gone astoundingly bad for me (in poker). i've basically busted my poker roll and am loathe to dip into my life roll. i was always able to bounce back from down streaks in the past, but this time has been a crazy free fall.

over my poker career, i was pretty profitable as a long term winner in games in the range of 2/3nl - 5/10plo. the highest game i ever played a few years ago was 10/25/50/100 plo and i remember feeling pretty good about losing only $3k in that game considering how bad i ran. :)

i know, i know. a couple of months in live poker is not a very significant sample. but it is when my roll is basically gone. the math for me to get here is so far off the bell curve, it barely registers. how many buy ins can i lose when i'm 90+% when the money goes in? isn't it supposed to be at least mildly tough to beat AA/KK? how many times in a row can i brick a wrap+flush draw? or in o8, NFD/wrap/nut low draw? and on the other side of the coin, when do they start missing their bare OESDs? and dry flush draws?

i think that i'm a fairly analytical person (engineering degree) and examine my decisions and measure my words (before i speak). i don't play super LAGGY or maniacal (except vs. a table full of nits!). so it baffles me that i'm broke and the metaphorical lady who calls bets with : dominated FD, gutter to the worst straight, and bottom pair (no low draw) gets there every time.

it's been frustrating and baffling to say the least. the streak of being outflopped and never flopping anything myself seems impossible. seeing my friends and opponents being paid off over and over again is astounding, while every chip i put in the middle ends up being pushed the other direction.

i'm not sure if i'll continue to post in these forums in the short term. it seems like it's tough to give advice on poker when i don't win.


  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    An eight buy-in bankroll is nothing. But with that said:

    I had a friend go broke and I told him this. In life, after some time when you do decide to play some poker again, keep a log of it. If you go to the casino once a month for fun still log it. Without the stress of playing for a living, you may find you have better results. You will be playing with life money at this time and not really have a bankroll. Just log your results.

    Overtime, you might realize you do have a decent winrate again and have profited some cash over time as well. The results that justify playing more even if it just is weekends.

    Good luck.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,090Subscriber

    I feel for you man. I have felt the same way you do for over three years. Thats how long I think I have run -EV.. the bigger the pot the more likely my nut hand will lose to some draw.. Now I havent played by best in that time as I have improved my game but I have busted my roll numerous times. I have a really good job that pays me .. well lets say that I could be about two of "Dons" .. I am pretty sick of seeing all these bad player get lucky over and over again while I pick my nose and cant even make 30 bucks when I flop a set.

    BUT.. if they have some fucking stupid draw .. like a flush draw etc.. oh THAT they always hit and of course I almost never outdraw anyone.. and even if I did I hardly ever get paid.. Had another session like that. its pretty gross how bad you can run for how long. Hard to make money in this game when the hands you win are small and the ones you lose are bigger..

    virtual HUG..Wink I am calling the voodo priestess tomorrow..
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    It's counterproductive to think about how bad you run, you'd better think about how many mistakes you made and how to avoid them in the future.
    I love when fish hits unprofitable draws. Cause it means he will come back again to chase those draws. Sklansky (Galfond) bucks are all that matter, not real money won or lost.
    You should be happy that you're loosing cause it stimulates you to learn the game, to eliminate your leaks. When you win it's much harder to work on your game.
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    Haha. It was much more than an 8 buy in downswing. That was just what I won that night at commerce. But thank you. I appreciate the advice from a guy who has been there in the trenches.

    Thanks for the thoughts.
  • AKtion Posts: 15Member
    Well everyone has big break even/losing streches.Sep 2010-2011 was crushing 2-5 for 45 euro per hour made a roll out of nothing and eventually almost busted it at 2012 when i started playing 5/10/20 PLO and demolished 40k down to ~7k in a really sick way.Then it come a 806 hours breakeven period in NLH and i made less than 4k total(~5euro/hour) which wasnt enough even for the poker expenses.
    This year im trying to rebuild my roll and the following are my goals:
    -Never playing PLO again or tournaments.
    -Not even 2/2 PLO, no PLO period .
    -I made my byins smaller, the game is 2-5 1000 euro cap but i byuin for 400(80bb) it makes suckout's/coolers hurt less and when i double up i can easily add 200 more and cap it if the game is worth it.If not i just get up and leave and have 1 more buyin the next time i play.
    Keep track of everything it helps, when i start playing i had only 200 spare every 1-2 week's(ressecion didnt hit Greece so hard back then) from my day job to play poker.Sometimes idiot's called my 3bet with K-5s and couldnt release the King OTF eventually hitting 2p and making me stay home for 2 more weeks till i have the money to go play again,took me 3 years to realize it was actually what i craved them to do, being bad and getting into -EV spots.This way i made ~40k profit in 16 months(aug 2010-dec 2011) and a proper roll for myself.But i have noted down on my iphone my first session back then.
    -One thing i never heard Bart speak about is quality of life issues.And by that i mean, exercise-nutrition-smoking-drugs and all around proper state of mind for playing poker.An athlete cant preform well if he is troubled by his personal's or other factors.I think tommy angelo spoke about this things on the old deuce plays episodes.So i try to exercise,eat healty,not thinking personal issues in the poker table,stoped smoking and i try to stay away from pot and beer as much as i can.A small break also helps to clear your head from time to time.
    -Last but not least im dedicated to putting 1000+ plus this year,atm im +8k@250 hours.When you work 8+ hours per day and you need at least 2-4 hours for eating,transportation and another 6-8 for sleeping you only get 4-5 hours for playing poker in the week days and this is really where Bart's podcast really helps.It prevents me from being lazy and stay home watching TV, if you listen 2-3 hours poker podcasts your motivated to go play a poker session.So i keep up a scedule of 2 sessions 4-5 hours on weekdays and 3ses.~ 8 hours on weekends.If you make 30-35 hours per week you can beat variance even on live poker.

    It all comes down to if you want to call yourself a semiprofesional player or just a recreational guy.You dont do your job for fun, you do it for profit and you definetly dont quit it the first time something goes wrong.I belive that seeing you here isnt a sign of being a quiter or a loser, aquiring the skills isnt easy and you obviously have put enough effort already.I live in another continent and i dont know how good-bad or beatable the games are there , but quiting something you love and put that much effort-time will leave a big gap in yourlife.Whatever you decide be healthy and GL .
    Sorry for my spelling-typing mistakes but english is not my native language, i just felt i had to reply to this as i had some months in depresion about the exact things back in 2012.
  • shmed Posts: 321Subscriber
    Chili sorry to hear it and hang in there. I think most serious poker players (and you are obviously a serious thinking player based on your posts) can identify with what you are going through.

    I definitely think it would be healthy to take a nice long break from poker, including study, etc. How long that takes is up to you, but the goal is to get the point where you aren't thinking about what happened the last few months and are truly able start over psychologically (without thinking about your losses or that you are in a hole you need to grind your way out of). When you play again, you'll probably enjoy it more which should make a huge difference.
  • TJ Posts: 239Subscriber
    I feel you, chili. I'm currently on a hiatus, only playing (maybe) once a month, because I had such a bad month in March. If you're not playing for a living, remember that its just a hobby. Assuming you can pay your mortgage, its not the end of the world if you don't win all the time. Go back, study, improve. In the mean time, the rest of us will keep hooking the fish for you. :-)

    Good luck.
  • chilidog Posts: 2,427Subscriber
    Took some time off from poker and made my triumphant return last night.

    Buyin #1: 80 BBs effective at 3/5nl. In my first orbit at the table I raise utg with QQ and get 2 callers. I bet (1 caller), bet, ship on a 3354T board. Obv he snaps with TT.

    about 1.5 hrs later I'm about even on my 2nd buyin (still down the first buyin), and I pick up AA utg and raise, and win the blinds - and this is at an action table. Then i dwindle/lose a bit. 3 orbits later I open raise with AA in early position and get 1 caller. He calls 3/4 pot bets on 8T4r flop and 3 turn, and I ship the 9 river and he snaps with QJo.

    Welcome back say the poker gods. Out. GG.
  • BlochNessMonster Posts: 11Member
    You can't win when you can't afford to lose.
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