Friday, January 28, 2005

Oops, I did it again!

Well I hate to say this but you all deserve the truth from me: I blew my bankroll again! You know the old story. I started on a small downturn to around 2200 and decided to really screw-up. The old tendencies came back and before I knew it I was out. Well, not totally. I think I have 50 bucks to rebuild with. I did take out some money before the crash too. Not nearly enough though.

If you want to hear the play by play as I am sure you do here is the basics. I was down to about 2200 around 12AM. I decided to stay up and play through it and kept going down more and more. I then make the great decision to try higher levels to get back to a decent number faster. Things were not happening fast enough I suppose. So the end of the story after a 30 hour binge that included skipping a day of work I ended up with $50+ left and very disappointed in myself. Oh well.

Work: F
Home: F
Family: F
Poker: F
Life: F

There were plenty of times I could have stopped myself probably. I was down to 1K, brought it back to 2200 and could have left. I probably should have stopped at 500 left. At least I would have enough to start rebuilding. I let my inpatients get the best of me though and blew that too.

At least I was good at something for a period of time. I have not decided if I am going to try and rebuild the bankroll or not. I am not sure if I want to. I think maybe I was playing too much and ignoring other things. I tended to play every night. The shine was wearing off too. Even before I did this I think I was getting a little disenchanted with Poker. Probably why I gravitated to the short tables. More action. Less waiting. Less real Poker. I am not so great with keeping with hobbies and this might go into the pile of things that are exciting for a while. The game is called the GRIND because that’s just what you do. You grind out a small win, lose a little, grind some more, and eventually over the long-time you can be very successful. It gets a little old sometimes. It is exciting sometimes. I think I might be back again. I almost got up at 4AM this morning and hit the tables again. After I crashed at 6PM last night I only slept until then.

Either way I have a lot of decisions to make. If I do decide to grind it back up to 3K and beyond I need to figure out how. I am not too keen on putting more money in. So the choices are pretty slim. Try and grind out some more buffer room at .50/1, with a high chance of busting out. Try some ½ 6 sided. Do some 5/1 SNGs or 10/1 to get some breathing room. Give it up. Not sure what choice I will make.

So for the weekend I think I will wallow in self-pity, smack myself a few times, and spend very little time playing Poker, or none actually. We will see about the comeback trail later on.

I do want to thank everyone for all the support they have given. I have always enjoyed the community we have here. It is definitely the best part of the grind. If this ends up being the end of my Poker career, well, there are worse things in life. I am sure I can find other ways to financial freedom. The money was still in chips so that part does not bother me that much. It is the stupidity part that hurts the most. So if this is my tombstone than let the epitaph read “Be Patient”, or else perhaps “I’ll be back”.


Blogger Diboss said...

Wow...that sucks. I do hope you keep playing. I still can't believe it. Best of luck you SirF. I hope you keep blogging too, you're definitely a good read, just look at all the people that read your blog. Anyway, good luck.

P.S. Haven't blogged in a while, too lazy.

3:06 PM

Blogger April said...

You did WHAT??............You're joking right??.............Awwww, baby....{big hugs for Sir}

You know you can't leave us. You'll rebuild...we have the technology!!

Hang in there...

3:40 PM

Blogger BadBlood said...

Let me just say that I have tilted away bankrolls 3 times. So far, three has been the charm.

Take a break. Don't let it get to you. Shit, play the play money tables if you need to.

Get your stuff straight and come back better than before.

4:03 PM

Blogger skitch said...

Dude... been there, done that, as you well know. ;)

Undisciplined gamblers like us should get our own TV show, but "The Biggest Loser" has already been taken! It's alright though... it was all sugar, right? And you had fun while you were at it, right?

Hey, I've never seen anything about you playing live... maybe you should give it a shot one time, just for the hell of it. With your crazy antics online, I'd bet you'd be one heckuva table entertainer.

If your travels ever bring you through Seattle, let me know and we'll toast Guinnesses to our loserdom! :)

4:54 PM

Blogger ScurvyDog said...

Busting out is the worst feeling in the world, sitting there, staring at zeros in your balance.

And, at the same time, it's almost a relief, when it comes at the end of a horrible session, when you know you're spending too much time playing, ignoring other more important things.

Take a break, see how you feel after the weekend. If you do decide to give it another go, embrace the grind and play .50/1. Don't play SnGs, don't take a stab at any higher limit, don't get impatient. Plenty of people have turned $50 into a roll of thousands. You just have to be willing to accept the grind.

4:58 PM

Blogger Poker Chiq said...

Hey Sir,

I said hello in the chat box ('sooper dooper') whilst you were playing the much higher levels that night... I wanted to say something then when I saw you playing with a short stack at a level much higher than your used to playing, but I didn't want the others at your table to read my comments...

It looks like you suffered a plain case of Tilt. It happens to EVERY poker player, regardless of the level that they play, or the length of time that they have been playing the game. Don't use this short lapse in discipline to walk away from the game, instead learn from this experience, re-evaluate your motivations for poker, and discover what it is about the game that made you tilt.

Right now, online poker is too lucrative for any average poker player who knows even the basics of the game, to pass it by. And you obviously have more than above average poker skills; don't let them go to waste...

"Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday." --- Wilma Rudolph

6:21 PM

Blogger Uwannabet? said...

what?! quit? Here's my 2 cents... I too started playing too much poker. spending too much time glued to the mouse. But it's like anything in life you can't do it all the time, you must take breaks. Recharge, and refocus. Just think, how great it will be posting that you built the bankroll back to & over the high water mark. Some of the richest, most successful people in the world have been stonecold busted at one time in their life.

If we never failed how would we know how sweet success is?

Plus I don't want to edit my blogroll ;)

5:50 AM

Blogger mscmike said...

Been there, done that, as someone else already said.

Had streaks where I quadrupled my roll in a session. Had streaks where I lost it in one session. I've made the same basic mistakes you made - 1. Playing after you realize you're on tilt, and 2. Even worse, jumping up to higher stakes tables when you know you're on tilt.

Learn from it.

Learn from it.

Learn from it.

My advice, for what little it's worth - take some time off - maybe a week or two. Then come back. Play cheap tables ($.50/$1 limit or $.25/.50 No Limit) or some $5/1 SnG's. Any low-blind No-limit table will double you up if you're patient. Don't play over your roll. $10 SnG's are over your roll, you're not likely to get a return on your investment before you bust out.

Good luck, and may the force be with you. Turn away from the dark side ;)

7:53 AM

Blogger Shelly said...

Don't leave us, SirF! I know, I know, I've been working too much this week - no time to log in and root you on. :( Take a break and come back fresh. When you can balance poker with everything else in life, it's much more enjoyable than when poker overshadows everything else.

9:24 AM

Blogger Ignatious said...

damn. thx for the honest post. shows some serious character.

there are some poker lessons that can only be learned by going bust. been there, done that.

good luck, sir, with whatever you decide to do.

11:02 AM

Blogger Denis said...

I saw you the other night and knew there was something wrong when you were playing 10/20 6max, losing plenty and not caring. I even tried to stop you :( Tilt happens to even the best players sometimes and a big part of poker is money managment. Pro's have said that they have gone bust usually more than once. You know you're a winning player and you can come back, it'll just take time, patience, and discipline. If you have that you should come back. If you're not the type of person who can handle a grind or be able to concentrate no matter how many boring hours you've had to sit through crap cards, then maybe poker isn't for you. At least now you have time for reflection to see what went wrong and if you do intend to come back, which I hope you do, you will learn from your mistakes and be more successful in the future.

Good Luck Sir!

12:09 PM

Blogger Mourn said...


Let me say that it takes a tremendous amount of guts, heart and character to write a post like that and fill it with so much honesty. You might just help someone else see the signs of something similar happening to them (cranking up the action short handed, feeling disenchanted with the game overall).

Poker, and less specifically, gambling, is a funny thing. Sometimes we lose for other reasons, sometimes we 'need' to lose to provide clarity on another subject.

I wont give too much advice, but I will say, the decision to come back or not should be yours and yours alone, and only do it if you really want to, not because you think you should. I would also say, this is a great time to look around at the rest of your life and make sure you haven't missed anything while playing poker. It can consume us and sometimes we need a break, you may have forced yourself into one somewhat on purpose.

At any rate, don't stop blogging completely, your experience could be a big help to someone else, you never know.

Best of luck no matter what you decide, you can see that everyone is behind you if you come back.

1:06 PM

Blogger Chris Halverson said...

Thanks for the honesty. It's not easy to come out in public and admit something like this.

I hate to make it sound like I'm just saying "me too", but take some time, enjoy life again, make sure your family is OK and then, if you can stand the grind, come on back. We'll welcome you back with open arms.

Good luck in whatever you end up doing.

2:00 PM

Blogger -EV said...

SirF, sorry to hear about this atrocious turn of events. And of course sorry to waltz into the .50/1 table taunting you -- I had no clue what had happened, but of course it was too late and I know I looked like an ass.

As many have said, you still have options, the least of which is to make a conscious decision to learn from this experience. My advice: take several days off, look over the PT data, and find out what "triggered" this in the first place. You'll play better and feel better if you do.

$50 has taken many great players to the promosed land, and with some patience, you can get back there too. Hell, you were playing higher than I ever have before, and I don't doubt you will again. Good luck man.

2:02 PM

Blogger BSN said...


Sorry to hear that.


I'd think the hardest thing about trying a comeback will be motivation to play for mere dollars after playing for the dozens of dollars/hand you're used to.

Play a game with the comeback. Play that 25NL table you spoke about at Party, but play it perfectly. Try the limit hold-em challenge like F-Train has written about.

Get creative and find the fun again. And whatever you do, don't feel sorry for yourself. It happens.

Whether you play again or not, brush yourself off and move on, knowing more about yourself than you did before.


3:29 PM

Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

We've all done it before and the genuine show of support and excellent advice you've been given till now will help you make the right decisions.

1:42 AM

Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

Dude, you must suck at poker or something. Take up War or Uno.

Just kidding.

I think I've busted out twice before, but I've never had my bankroll up to your levels. You've got good intuition for the game, which could be bolstered by theory. Go back and reread your books and do the PokerTracker thing to find leaks in your game. See how the theory could have saved you bets or made you more bets in those old games. You'll come back a much better player. Protect your hand! Bet for value!

But... the number 1 thing you need to fix in your game is your emotional investment in your results. Despite everything we do to reduce risk, poker is still gambling. Even when you have the best of it when you put your chips in, you never have 100% pot equity. So at the end of the day, if you're down a buy-in but know you played your A game, go to bed feeling satisfied. I'm working on trying to get less-results oriented in my own game, and I think I'm getting there, little by little.

Number 2 is related to number 1, but just as some people work with a stop-loss figure to cut off their play, you need to set hours during which you will *not* play poker. 3AM-4PM would probably be good to start.

As for the minimal bankroll you've got left, that's more than I had when I worked my way back from nothing the most recent time. I literally had NOTHING. So out of some sense of obstinate pride, I refused to reload. I played the PokerStars freerolls until I got a seat in the weekly freeroll, then battled it out in the weekly to win first place. Good for ... $50! Good Christ. That's less than minimum wage. But more than my hourly from last night. ;) Then I got $10 free from EmpirePoker and used some nice pot limit sessions to run that up to $100. I've still got a micro-roll because I suck, but my point is that it's possible to come back from the abyss.

As for live play... er, yeah, my new thing is that playing low limit hold'em live kinda sucks. I'll change my mind next week.

Anyway, good luck, and ditto all the people who said that you're brave for sharing the bad news. Hopefully you can get back on the horse soon. Remember the Zen.

6:14 AM

Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

Did I say never? Oh my. You have 100% pot equity with a royal flush and a number of other hands, depending on the texture of the board. But those hands are rarely worth talking about.

6:18 AM

Blogger Drizztdj said...

I think my egg sandwich just came back up from reading this.

Wow. I'm at a lost for words. I hope that you use this setback to "see the light". You seem like a decent enough player to easily make it back to the 5/10 tables in no time. Good luck on the return journey :)

5:16 AM

Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

I take a few days off and everything goes out of whack!

Since everyone is being all nice and supportive, I'll tell you what I really think...

Suck it up and get back into the fight!That was Maudie's favorite bit of advice from me when she had a bad run. This incident will make you a better player in the long term. Use this time to share with everyone your thoughts on what was good about your game the last few months and what was was bad.

And, I also admire your honesty with this post. I can think of a dozen bloggers who would never be honest about their losses. Kudos to you.

7:44 AM

Blogger JasonSpaceman said...

Wow...sit out a weekend from the poker blogs and all kinds of crazy stuff can happen.

I've busted out several times myself, though never with such a large roll. I can only imagine the feeling is a hundred times worse than me busting out my small stakes roll. But the scale of the feeling, I think, isn't really relevant to the steps necessary to make a comeback - if that comeback is what you truly desire.

That last part's the kicker, if you ask me - nailing down your true desire. Once you've done that, the rest is details. I hope that playing poker is your true desire - it's a wonderful game (not to mention a wonderful community), and one for which you seem to have a flair - but if it isn't, then at least you've made that discovery. You can only be better off for that sort of discovery.

At any rate, others have said it and I'll say it too: such a post as this one takes some serious pride-swallowing, and the fact that you've managed that says a lot about you. Good luck should you choose to embark on a comeback trail - stop on in at a table with me at some point and we'll shoot the shit.

11:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's crappy news. Glad to see you are still playing. Your blog is one of my favorites because you tell it like it is. Can't say anything anyone else hasn't already said. Keep on fighting and hope to see you at the tables.


12:49 PM


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