Thursday, August 19, 2004


A few days of reflection and perspective have a way of sharpening the senses. Talking with others who have an outside view help to point out things that should be obvious but aren't. Talking with an old friend brought about a very interesting point that should have been as obvious as the nose on my face.

I've been results oriented.

As soon as he said it it was like a cold shot of water. I looked at my blog. Right there on the right. Total winnings. Total bankroll. Win rate per hour.

I was keeping score and let me tell you, I don't like to lose. Looking back on it, the last couple of losing sessions weren't very damaging from a bankroll point of view. I mean, I've dropped $100 before on losing streaks, and I had just gotten there in a few days of losing, but let's not forget I won $90 in one sitting the day before the slide too.

I think part of the "focus on the negative" aspect has much to do with what's been going on in my life lately. I'll not bore you with the details, but suffice to say I haven't had spendable green in my pocket in months. I mean ZERO disposable income other then my poker money, which I really didn't want to tap into because I'm trying to build into a bankroll I can contend on the higher levels with. Alas, after the stress of the impression of not getting anywhere and faced with a computer that has started to do some funky things (my hard drive is starting to show signs of hanging it up), I decided it was time to upgrade. So, my bankroll is back in the .50/1 realm. Given the success I've had at that level I'm not too worried about the extra time I'm going to be spending there.

Seeing as how I've been getting very worked up about the status of my stack at the tables (results oriented), Hank suggested I start covering up my stack size with sticky notes as I was doing a few months ago.

I forgot how much that helps. It makes me concentrate on playing the hand correctly. Lately I've found myself looking at the raises on the table and checking them against my stack to see if I should pop it again or not. This isn't good. Play the hand correctly, and it's irrelevent what's in your stack. So here's the deal. I'm not going to look at ANYTHING related to how my money is doing for the immediate future. I have the appropriate bankroll to handle standard varience on the 50/1 tables, so I'm not worried about busting. I haven't quite decided yet at what intervals I'll take my bankroll's temperature. For now, I'm inclined to never look at it, but that's unrealistic. Maybe once a week, maybe once a month. I've just got to get my head out of the results and into the play of the hands or the higher levels will eat me alive. In the mean time, I've got other distractions.

So, what will this do to this blog? Well the last couple of months worth of posts has been a "state of the bankroll" sort of dialogue. Since I won't even know how my bankroll is doing, that's obviously going to go away. I suck at theory dialogue, though I might make occasional stabs at it, but for good solid discussion of theory I suggest you head over the the masters of the game. What the Hell, no one reads my mindless drivel anymore anyway. It certainly hasn't made for very mentally stimulating reading, I admit, but the silence from the peanut gallery is deafening as of late. I've resolved to begin studying the game more, and I'll probably start with a review of Lee Jones, but I need to get a hold of Miller's new book too and I've heard that Ciaffone's tome on the middle limit games is decent, but a few weeks off yet for me.

I want to thank my 6 1/2 readers for sticking with my humble little blog. I'm not as verbose as The Man Guiness Fuels or as theory savvy as Hank. Hell, I'm just some idiot from Illinois who is living within morter shot range of the enemy stronghold who happens to be able to count decently well. Never the less, I'll head to the front line and fire a few theory salvos from my pea shooter and maybe someone will recognize my effort for a second or so.

Or at least long enough to tell me I'm wrong!


At 11:17 AM, Blogger Roberto Roundtree Rogelio said...

I put a piece of masking tape over my money when I play ring games. It's much easier to concentrate on the cards that way, although I do look at my bankroll every day. The main reason being that I'm always concerned about being ripped off or something, so it's more out of a conspiracy theory mind set than concern over my bankroll. I keep a daily spreadsheet on my bank, and a couple times I've noticed logging in the next day that I have .50 less than my spreadsheet says I should.... this has happened 3x now, each time exactly .50 .... I'm not sure the reason yet, but it's definitly curious..

Either way, taping the money is a good idea, you just have to avoid peeking under the tape!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger hdouble said...

Thanks for the kind words. It's taken me a while, but I've come to accept the fact that you will have losing sessions, losing weeks, losing months (cringe). Just think of yourself as the house. You think the casino gets mad when a high roller beats them for a mill at blackjack? All you can do is put your time in, and your cumulative edge over the weak players will continue to add up, and eventually your bankroll will grow. Just make sure your bank can handle the swings!

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Maudie said...

With that revelation under your belt, I think you will begin to see a definate improvement with your performance at the table. I did. With a proper bankroll for the limit, I ceased to fear busting out at the $25 no-limit, for instance, - I'd reload without batting an eyelash, adjust my strategy accordingly, and play on. I'm also not so concerned about win rates and BB per hour statistics .. I keep a loose eye on some statistics, but I don't let it rule my decisions.

Good luck - and continue writing! Write for yourself, first and foremost. We'll still be reading...

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Welcome back to the tables! I'm glad to see that you have a better outlook on your situation. Just a comment about covering up your stack or not ever looking at your bankroll: I think that, in your case, it will be good in the short run to help you get back to your game. But don't forget about the bankroll. It's not bad to look at, if you're lookin at it in the right way and for the right reasons. Your bankroll is still just a method for keeping score, and not actual money. It's just there to keep you honest about your play. Once you get back on track with your playing, I hope that you'll look at your bankroll as just a scorecard :)

At 7:35 AM, Blogger JW said...

I have that same hangup when playing ring games. I haven't been able to bring myself to covering up my stack yet...might just have to give it a try. Keep it up ICP, you've got more than 6 1/2 readers, at least by the looks of the comments! :)

At 12:57 AM, Blogger NemoD said...

*throws a peanut from the peanut gallery*

i always enjoy your posts, just don't comment on them much. keep up the good work.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Am I #6 or 6.5??? Keep on keeping on!


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