Saturday, October 23, 2004

Playing Poker for a living 10/23/04

The days have blended together lately, it seems to be all one big session.

I have been averaging 8 hours per day playing 2-4 tables at once. Some notable tournamnet victories include winning the late night Langosta $50 tournament on Paradise for $1100 and chopping a Stars $100 tourney for $2400. This was a few weeks ago, so no key hands are fresh in my mind. I did play one Stars tourney where I finished just inside the bubble, doubling my money. The player who finished 135th out of 135? Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer. Does this make me the new WSOP champ?

I have moved away from big tournaments after a few disastrous direct buy-ins to the Stars weekend tourney and the Paradise weekend tourney. I lost two weeks in a row on Stars with a set (AA and 55) to a backdoor flush. Not pleased. I have been playing the occasional SnG and holding my own there, but I have moved more toward ring games.

First I tried 3/6 on Party/Empire. I did well initially, posting gains in 8 out of 9 sessions. Things soured from there. My limit game is not what it should be, as I think my NL aggression carries over. To date I am down $361 in 3/6. I would get very frustrated at the constant barrage of miracle cards people would pull out of nowhere on later streets. Perhaps I will give it another try after rereading ITH and finishing up SSH. For the time being, I just do not feel that my limit game is up to par (granted, this is after only 9000 hands). I did work off a bonus at Stars playing 2/4 and made an additional $280 in less than 700 hands, so I am pleased with that result. I also played one session of 5/10 6 max and cleaned up, making $351 in one session. However, I did not feel very comfortable with this level so I dropped back down. I found that I could get pots heads up and I could actually bluff, something I cannot do at 3/6 full. It was a pleasant change, however the roll does not currently support it.

My new love is NL ring games. I have been playing a lot of $100 max NL on Party and have had good results so far. Pokertracker has proven invaluable in this endeavor. I have folded AKs preflop to an UTG raiser after seeing that he was 9% VP$IP and 1% PFR. He flopped a set of kings and I would have lost a pile. If you have not yet used the notes export function, I suggest you do so. I have been leaving 4 Empire tables and 4 Party tables open at all times to collect observed hand histories, and I now have a mountain of data on everyone. After 4000 hands in 10 days, I am up $600 at this game. I have set a stop loss at $200 per day and a stop win at $400 per day. I have yet to evaluate the wisdom of this, and I do not think I will keep to it very well. It is just too restrictive. I know I am due for a big swing soon, but there are enough fish at this level to allow me to continue to post significant gains.

All in all, I am happy with how things are going. I am putting in the hours and making enough money to pay rent and bills, which is all I want at the moment. After two months, I feel comfortable enough with my rate of return to continue for a while.

Finally, a rather amusing thing happened yesterday. The manager of our apartment building came by to do some maintenance. He saw that I had a few PP windows open and laughed. He said he played for a living up until six months ago and invited me to a home game in town. I think I will take him up on that to get a little insight and have a poker buddy locally. It also got me wondering... do you think poker is affecting the "unemployment" rate? I have no doubt that there are plenty of players paying themselves under the table, but is it prevalent enough to affect national trends? Interesting thought.


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