January 2008 Poker

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In my last two poker updates (here and here) I discussed my frustration with the one site I play on. I used to like pretty much everything about the site and the service, and now only the playing is fun, everything else stinks.

As a new example, I mentioned in the recent posts that they now were regularly giving out free entries into the Sunday big tourney to everyone who made the final table in 16 different tournaments on Saturday. I made the idiotic mistake of rhetorically asking whether that change was permanent or not. Of course, this week, it changed to only the top three in each of those tournaments. Do you think they announced that change is some prominent manner? Not that I saw…

Anyway, before I summarize the results, let me state two facts about my poker playing:

  1. I am a horrible player. Seriously, I’m really awful, and I know many (hopefully most) of my flaws, and yet, I can’t seem to consistently avoid them.
  2. I consistently make money!

How do I reconcile the above two facts? Easy! The vast majority of players on most sites (certainly the one I am currently playing on) are much worse than me. The good players (and there are many of them), can make a living on this site (and most others) with their eyes closed, and without risking much money in the process.

OK, that last statement is an exaggeration, only because to not risk much money, you have to play relatively low stakes (which is what I do), and while you can make a reasonable amount of money, ultra-consistently, you can’t really make a living.

I have known how bad I really am for quite a while now. What makes me say it so definitively now? Nothing other than a typically frustrating weekend. On Saturday, I played in a number of tournaments (and one out-right qualifier) all with the notion of winning a seat for Sunday’s big one. In one of them, the top 15 players would win the seat. Where did I finish? 16th, of course. I’ll spare you the stupid (rather than bad) beat stories about how that happened.

In another tournament, I was in third place with 80 people left, top 20 paid, and I melted down and finished 46th. Last night, top twenty paid, I finished 24th. On and on, so close, yet, so far, yet, profitable, ugh…

So, since we’re in VA this week, I am unlikely to play again in January, so I’ll summarize my results for the month now. If something changes materially, I’ll report again, but I doubt it will happen.

This month started out with the frustrating ordeal with my site, causing me to spend the $215 entry fee into the big weekly tourney, putting me in a hole to begin with. I climbed out nicely. I ended up with a profit of $365.08 for the month, nicely eclipsing last month’s loss as well. In fact, I was up over $100 more going into Saturday, when I lost money (spread out over many tourneys) trying to win a seat into the Sunday big one. I mentioned some of those heartbreaks immediately above.

So, a nice start to 2008. My account is near an all-time high (and probably hit or just missed it before Saturday’s losses). I’m still annoyed at my site, but I’m learning to manage my frustration and plan accordingly.