Sunday, 21 December 2008


Whenever I get excited about poker, I get bitten by a downswing. It's uncanny. If I have a good couple of days, I don't just have a moderate couple to follow. I get absolutely crushed. So I was enjoying multitabling the 10s, and then I lose 20 BIs. Today, in a set of 17, I lost 80 bucks, seven BIs.

I was going to post the bad beats but what's the point? I shove over limpaholics with AJ and run into big pairs; I shove BvB and get caught by monsters; I have KK cracked when I call a shove on a T63 flop and he has A6 -- obv. he scores his ace; I have QQ cracked when I raise pre, get called by T9 and the flop comes TTx; every time I shove a pair, and I'm not kidding, every single time, I run into a bigger one.

It just sucks. I don't think I'm playing badly. I know STTs have downswings and I know that more volume is the answer. But when you don't play much, it's really hard to bear the variance, and it really makes you question whether you have any clue at all.

Well, can't give up. Best do another set and hope to have better things to say in 90 minutes.


Well, it didn't get much better. I won $40 back without ever winning a race, and somehow, every time I got it in with a pair, running into a bigger pair.

I don't think I'm playing badly, and I certainly don't think the games were tough. I don't think it hurts much to multitable. I probably am going to lose a few points of ROI, but I think the decisionmaking is straightforward enough in most games that it won't hurt all that much. I played 24 tables without too much stress, bar one time where I sat out on six tables or so and my program kept stealing focus to sit me in.

But what's hurting the ROI is having my big hands cracked. The style I play depends on making value with AA-QQ, but if every time you get it in with AA, some guy hits his set, and every time you get in with KK, you run into AA or an A hits on the flop, that's going to hurt. It doesn't help to keep having AK < AJ/QJ/QT/T9 and losing races or being really badly outflopped (it's a real killer to have AK vs 66 on a K63 flop because you're never getting away from it, and I think it's worse when you're threehanded vs a total fish and have AQ on a A64 flop when he has A4).

The problem for me now is, I can't see a way forward. I think I should keep on multitabling the 10 regulars, until I've played at least 1K of them, and then have a look at it. I'm actually running well at them this month (lower than my overall ROI in them but better than the lowest I'd hope for), which is more than can be said for other games (0 for 12 in Tilt 12s, and losing a bit at 20s (can't get a pair to hold up in them either)). But it's not progressive for me. I'm a bit scared to move up to the 20s, although I think I should beat them, because almost every time I move up, I get crushed at the new level. You can keep telling yourself it's just variance, but it does seem I'm not good enough to play higher than I do now.

Mind you, looking at my record this month, it does stand out that when I'm in the money, I'm running 8.5%/17.5%/17.5%. I'm not sure why that is but I haven't had any more luck in the money than I have out of it. This really does eat into your ROI, because 43% ITM is okay, but only winning 8.5% of the time is terrible. It's not even par!

So I suppose I can put some down to running bad, and look at my play threehanded to try to see whether I'm pissing away money there. Also, pushing pairs into bigger pairs is something I need to look at. It might be that I'm pushing too wide, or it might just be one of those things. I also need more work on ICM because I don't think I am doing much right at push/fold at all.

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