Sunday, May 16, 2010

1st half of May recap

I'm pretty happy with how May is shaping up thus far. I've put in some pretty decent volume(300 games) and have gotten some good results. I took yesterday completely off of poker after a frustrating prior 2 days where I put in 35 games in each day, only to lose money each day. Now I feel refreshed and ready to do a bit of grinding again. Prior to those 2 losing days however I had 10 straight winning days. Streaks like that are always nice but seem to so seldom happen to me anymore. Bitchy variance. Even having 5 winning days in a row is kind of tough. It's not like the $115's where it seemed I always had streaks like that. I guess it's just a testament to the slightly higher competition at my current levels. It increases variance a bit.

My May HU stats so far:

Games Played: 298
Avg Stake: $269
Avg Profit: $28.29
Total Profit: $8,430

With everything else added in my total profit comes out to about $9,700 so far.

I'm gonna try to put in about the same amount of volume, hopefully with the same sort of results. Bring on the 20k month!

OK, change of subject.

I really hate the term "professional gambler" and I find I'm somewhat annoyed when someone refers to me as one. I usually find myself correcting them and saying that I'm not a professional gambler, I'm a professional poker player, followed by me trying to explain why I don't consider what I do gambling, usually followed by puzzled looks or a response of "well it takes skill but you still need to be pretty lucky don't you?". It's impossible to try to explain to people that nobody is lucky or unlucky, at least not in the long term. Luck is something that can only be talked about in the past tense. If you get you're chips in the middle and are 40% to win, you are going to win an average of 40% of the time no matter who you are. But I don't think a lot of people really understand this. So many people think that there are actually "lucky" and "unlucky" people. It blows my mind. Sure if somebody wins the lottery you can say, "Wow, they got lucky!", and you would be right. However like I said, it can only be used in the past tense. If they buy another lottery ticket the odds of them winning again are the same as any other person. To actually say that the laws of probability do not apply to a particular person is beyond ridiculous. It would be like saying the law of gravity does not apply to a particular person.

"Holy shit! Look at that! That dude is just floating through the air!"

"Yeah, the law of gravity doesn't apply to him."

Saying that a person wins more than their share of coin flips, or hits more flush draws or straight draws than somebody else in the long term is really just as ridiculous as the above mini conversation.

This brings me back to the reason I dislike the "professional gambler" term. I'm not sure how anything can be considered gambling when you have a long term positive expectation in the game. The definition of gamble is "to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes". For the professional poker player, poker is not a game of chance. I mean do the short term swings the pro goes through make what he does gambling? Even if they have shown positive results month after month, year after year? I don't think so because the pro knows how to use proper bankroll management and keeps his ego in check enough to stop him from playing higher then he should based on his bankroll. This is how he combats the short term swings that come with our game.

I realize though that it is probably a good thing that many people group poker in with games of chance like slots, roulette, craps, etc. It makes people think of it as a gambling game and many people treat it just like that when they play. I will say for many people it is gambling. For most people they treat it like any other form of gambling and are just as better off playing slots as they are poker. They have a negative expectation in both games.

Besides, to say a particular person is "lucky" and that's the reason they win at poker would be to insinuate that they could play games like roulette or slot machines and win long term. They are basically saying that me, or any other pro player could just sit at a slot machine 40 hours a week and win money long term. Sorry, doesn't quite work like that. Let me know when you find a professional slot machine player, or a professional roulette player. Although, you probably would get about the same reaction from a lot of people if you said you were a professional slot machine player, as you would a professional poker player.

I also realize that a lot of people don't really believe the stuff they spout off. It's just that many people have played poker themselves and tried to take it seriously but just didn't have what it took to beat the game. It's so much easier for people to say they were unlucky as opposed to not good enough.

I guess the main reason I dislike the "professional gambler" term, other than it being a complete oxymoron, is that it almost feels like a way to put down full time players. A way to say that someone is just lucky, and how nice it must be, and not giving them credit for the incredible amount of discipline, dedication, study, and intelligence it takes to play a game like this for a living. I never hear anyone refer to what the stock market players, day traders, or swing traders do as "gambling". Nope, that's not gambling is it? What they do is called "investing", when really the day to day swings, although I can't say for sure, are probably just as, if not more brutal than that of what a full time poker player goes through. Using the term "investing" makes it sound more legit and smart, while using the term "gambling" carries a negative connotation that makes it sound dirty and unintelligent.


I understand that people who know nothing about poker are always going to group it in with other forms of gambling. They are all played for money and involve an element of chance. I just felt like spouting off a bit.

Kinda went off on a tangent a bit there. I'm out!!!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

April recap+first week of May

Once again, it's taken me awhile to throw up an update. I guess I just kinda go in streaks where I feel like posting and streaks where I don't feel like posting. I know a lot of poker bloggers tend to not post as much when they are on a bad run, but I'm just as unlikely to post on a good run as a bad run I think. And for whatever reason I have not felt like posting the last 3 weeks. I think it's time though, so here goes!!

After being up 10k at the halfway point of April, I had a decent finish to the month. Nothing spectacular, but definitely nothing worth complaining about. Towards the end of the month I went on a week long breakeven stretch, which started to test my patience a bit.

189-160 in the $230

131-104 in the $345

17-9 in the $570

After everything I ended up finishing up right around 14k. The 26 games I played in the $570 was the most I've ever played in a month, and the 17-9 record was pretty solid. It helped pad my profit a little bit for sure. I seem to be getting more comfortable playing at that level, but I'm still not really anticipating trying to play many more games than that a month at the $500's. I'm a week into May now and haven't played a single one, so it's just kinda one of those things I gotta be in the right mindset for. I'm just so comfortable playing at the $200 and $300 level, and making money so consistently there, that it's pretty hard to push myself to deal with even worse variance than I deal with now.

I had been semi planning on playing some the HU SCOOP events but ended up saying fuck it. Those things just stretch out too damn long for me. I hate potentially having to sit at my computer for 12 straight hrs. It would obviously be worth it to win one of the events, but to play for like 10 hours to get a deep but disappointing finish where I only double or triple my buyin is far too tilting for me. Maybe one of these times I'll suck it up and do it.

As for May thus's going pretty good. I'm actually off to pretty hot start this first week, and am quickly up over $5,500. We'll see how it goes the last 3 weeks. I'll take another 14k month. I won't complain a bit.

That's all I have right now. Further updates to come folks.