Friday, March 10, 2006

State of the Union

I am happy with my progress as a poker person this year. I have a lot of little victories I can hang on my mantle:

First in Saturdays with Dr. Pauly
First in WWDN, other ITM showings
First in 180/SNG

However this is not really where I think I have made my best strides. I truly believe I have taken some baby steps towards getting the tilt monkey off my back. I know you readers will not like that. It is much more amusing to see me donk of bankroll after bankroll but too bad. Now I do not think for a moment I am cured of the Insanity that caused me to change the blog name. I do think inherently I am inclined towards tilting. So keep reading. I think the past few weeks have shown a lot of growth though.

Here is the scenario. I score a nice hit in the 180/SNG. I then give a little of my win to the railbirds but go on a terrible bad three week downswing. I lose over 30% of my bankroll. In that period though I only took one shot at a limit I should not have. Even when my bankroll shot down under the 1K mark, which is psychologically damaging, I stood my ground. Instead of going to higher levels or trying to make it back quickly I went and played 1/2LHE which is WAY in my bankroll. I know this probably does not sound like much but it signals what I hope is a fundamental change in my thought process.

I also have started liking the limit games again. I used to do very well in them and I have tried to clear out the past year of insanity and figure out where I went wrong. Ok. Donking off 3K in a night is a wrong turn but really what changed in my game that made me hate LHE. I think there are many things including not wanting to play nickel and dime poker after attaining the giant step of 5/10. When I look past the surface though I think my game became aggressive for the sake of aggression and not for any good reason. I really believe this works against you in low limit HE games. I again say I could be wrong here. I had a nice year long run that most bloggers found unbelievable. I think this is because a less aggressive strategy leads to less variance. Especially in a schooling environment like 1/2LHE. I have no statistical data to back this up. I do believe there are multiple ways to win at poker and different approaches work for different people. I am going to stick with my approach and see how it works. With my new found wealth I am bankrolled for the 2/4 game and will be attempting to play it. So far the 1/2LHE game has seen me leave all three nights with between ½ and 1 full buyin up. Like I said this easily could be a statistical anomaly and I need a lot more hands.

The other big step I am making is changing my thinking process about HE. If you think LUCK does not play a HUGE factor then your wrong. I believe I said it before but skill earns you money over long periods of time. I am coming to terms with this. I used to reply to my wife when she said it was all luck "NO, IT IS ALL SKILL AND APPLYING ODDS". Well I was sort of right but that gives the impression that since I have some skill I will win. Thinking this way is dangerous. It makes you mad when you can not take home a win every night. It causes you to doubt that you have mad skillz when variance kicks you in the taint™ (Trauma). So the sooner you accept the fact that luck is a big part of this game the sooner you can accept your aces getting cracked by 47o and shrug it off.

I also want to give a shout out to all the bloggers who believe in a winning poker player like myself. Yes, I am back in the black by $600 or so right now over two years. So shoot me for being happy about that. I had a great time meeting up with Dr. Pauly. We had a good chat and I appreciate him believing in me. He told me some funny stories about his brothers antics at the poker tables and I TOTALLY want to meet this guy!! Foxwoods Derek! Foxwoods!!! Everyone BigChiefTokem, Veneno, Iggy, Garth, Trauma, and even April, and all of you other railbirds make it possible for me to keep my chin up when variance bites my ass and I appreciate each and every one of you. I have left out a lot of names because I want to leave the Uber-posting to Iggy but know that I appreciate you all and grow from your experience. Hoyoza get Yahoo! man. Nothing like the railbird cafe on Yahoo! when one of us goes deep!

I recently read DoubleAs post on what MTT and SNG wins really mean and basically he said anyone who has a sufficient bankroll should be able to win one of these. He stated the size of the field and the fact your mostly playing the same people every week. So what does that say about some of my scores? I actually agree somewhat with him. At this point in my game I would place myself in the category of solid middle of the pack guy for the level I play. I have my "A" game where everything goes right and I end up taking down a nice score. I also have a few games when I luck into a win. Last night is the only example I can think of but I am sure there are others. My specialty if you want to call it that is winning games with under 200 people. I am good with a small field. I feel any game of this size should lead to the better players winning eventually. The donkeys are going to have there nights in these too. So while I disagree it is ALL luck I do not think anything I have done so far makes me an elite player or anything other than slightly better than average in the 20$ and under MTT range.

So in summary I feel good. I think I have made a lot of progress towards being a long term successful player. I have a HUGE way to go but that is fine with me.


Blogger BadBlood said...

Quite possibly the most coherent, intelligent post you've ever made. Seems like you have definitely turned a corner, nice work.

Here's to continued bankroll growth and tilt avoidance.

7:44 AM

Blogger Garthmeister J. said...

And to continued kicking taint.

8:02 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Thanks BB! Means alot coming from you.

8:19 AM

Blogger imjusthere4thebeer said...

Sounds like the state of the union is strong and progressing. Congrats! Thanks for dropping in on my blog, and commenting, which of course brings me to yours.

You charging royalties for use of your trademarked word, "taint?"


8:32 AM

Blogger BrainMc said...

Loved your comments about luck. I know I had more than my share last month, but since I am not so good at "poker" math yet, I have to play by other methods. I'm sure I am just the kind of fish that your readers are looking for but as long as I catch a break once a week, I will continue to see you on Tuesdays at Wil"s. Even when I am not playing, I enjoy reading your blog and you cracked me up with the stories about your kids when they were younger.

8:50 AM

Blogger L'artiste said...

It seems to me that you could be a quite successful live tournament player also. Are there any pubs or bars in your area where you could play a few?

9:36 AM

Blogger fairnbalncd said...

Group hug!

Nice one Sir.

9:53 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I am a few hours from Foxwoods and I am going to try one of there tourneys eventually.

1:57 PM

Blogger ChiefBigtoke said...

Great post Fwalg. Glad to see you are staying within your limits and working on maintaining a tilt-free poker environment.

I'm gonna miss the bankroll blow up posts though. I'm going to email Stars and request BlackJack a.s.a.p.

5:52 PM

Blogger Jules said...

First off, great post. You're so aware that variance is part of this game - and when you're playing so much of your game on line, you're bound to see that even more. I've had the pleasure of watching (and listening to!) just a tiny amount of your play, but you're solid, you're a "thinking" player and you're bound on to continue to grow and succeed with it. Cheers! Jules

2:22 AM


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