Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Grind: A Warriors Story

A long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far far away I was a grinder. I would even say I might have been the king of the grinders. I bought into my favorite poker site for $50 and I started playing the .25/.50 game. I devoured blogs and poker books like a succubus on prom night and my game got good or at least lucky. I quickly spiraled up the LHE grinder bandwagon to the 1/2 and 2/4.. the bankroll grew. It did not grow in huge leaps like an MTT win allows but slowly over time like a well tended garden. Of course even back then there were signs of weeds. Eventually I drove my bankroll up over the 3K mark. I was on fire. It had taken a year of very hard word. I spent many hours on the felt and finally made it to the point where I could make money that could actually effect my life in a positive way. I brought myself up to the 5/10 game and finally faltered. It did not happen overnight. I ended up not being able to take the large swings at the 5/10 game and eventually in one colossal night I blew 3G's playing until 5AM in the morning. It was the last time I could grind.

It felt really bad losing control like that in one night. Sleeping that night was difficult mostly because of that voice that kept calling me an idiot. It was not entirely surprising as there had been other nights where I had escalated upwards in levels to chase my loses. Eventual it was probably destined to happen. After a short time I jumped back on the bandwagon but it was never the same. I think in a way for the past few years I have been continuing to chase my loses. Trying to get back to the pinnacle of my early success not in the way I originally did it but by the quick fix. I have been trying to hit the lottery and get lucky instead of using fundamental strong poker skills and bankroll management to earn my way there. I have had some amount of success in doing this but nothing stable. The best I can say is I am actually slightly ahead of the game which is better than the alternative.

So in that vein I have decided to return to my roots and build a bankroll the right way. I started with $75 for a bankroll and since the lowest level of poker I can play is .25/.50 that is what I am doing. I am eeaking out a few BBs a night and trying to watch my bankroll steadily grow. I have decided to not play any MTT unless I have earned 4x the buyin from grinding first. I am keeping track of the cap levels on a spreadsheet so I know when I can actually play an MTT. Right now I am saving up for the Mookie on Full Tilt this Wednesday.

All in all I think what this accomplishes is twofold. First it makes me play poker for the sake of playing poker. The money does not matter. It is all nickle and dimes right now. The things that matter are playing a good game, improving, and staying in my limit. I may "hit" the lottery with some of my hard earned winnings and give myself a boost to the next level but if I do not I am sure I will get there slowly and surely. By forcing discipline into the way I play I think my whole attitude about the game will come back into line.

The plan for making money right now is to stick to the slightly higher skilled games. I will be playing Limit Omaha-8, Limit Stud-8 and Razz on Full Tilt. I think I am too close to Limit Holdem to attempt that right now. I also do not want to play higher variance games like 25/NLHE until the bankroll gets alot larger. I have no idea if I actually have the ability to grind anymore. I may have lost it all those years back but if I want to be successful at this game I need to find out and I intend to.


Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

That sounds like a difficult path Waffles. The thing is - you aren't tabula rasa anymore. You understand the game, and that may make invisible limit poker unbearable. That ain't to say I don't wish you GL as always, just that it wouldn't surprise me if this path isn't fulfilling after too long.

BTW - how the FUCK did I miss being on either list?!

What, I lose the nanny so I don't have the time to BS during the day so I fall off the list?

Weak, brotha, weak. [dignified tear wiped away quietly]

12:17 PM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I was going to put you on the list, but after I saw how badly you played Kings there I had to remove you. Sorry. Learn how to play the game and I promise I put you back on.

12:53 PM

Blogger smokkee said...

grinding out a bankroll takes patience, discipline and commitment most players don't have.

GL Sir

btw, i came here expecting to find a vintage waffles rant post. off to check SLB for my fix before i hit the tables.

8:34 AM

Anonymous Neil said...

Truly inspiring. I now know what I need to do. I will make sure I follow your lead into the the great riches that follow griding poker. Seriously though, it is a tough path, and I too hope am on the right one this go around. Good luck to you.

3:00 PM

Blogger Drizztdj said...

More whine, less grind.

Good luck Waffles.

8:18 AM

Blogger HighOnPoker said...

GL Woffles. I, too, have returned to the grind, mostly at 2/4 LHE and 2/4 LO8, with some Razz thrown in for good measure. I'm actually finding it a lot more enjoyable and profitable. Plus, on those bad nights like last night, I don't see myself losing a $200 buy-in in 3 hands. It's just a lot more controlled. GL, and I guarantee that playing limit will improve your game.

8:45 AM

Blogger C.L. Russo said...

Man, how are you going to handle the penny-ante donks drawing out on you all the time?

Your head's going to blow up.

6:05 PM


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