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Poker Results

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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

Isgrimnur wrote: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:33 pm I honestly don't have a memory trained to remember hands, or hell, even pay attention to position half the time.
I worry that my lack of strong hand memory affects my ability for improvement (you hear of professionals with hand-recall for events against specific opponents years earlier). However, with additional experience comes somewhat stronger recall abilities. I do better in "staging" each hand in my mind before it is in play (especially important in no-limit events to know likely opponents and chips situations). Taking a conscious moment to consider your position relative to players at extreme ends of skill levels (folks you want to play with and folks you want to avoid) can help you avoid pitfalls and avoid missing out on opportunities for good things to happen.
The highlight that sticks with me is a hand I wasn't in. A married couple were at the table. Husband had wandered off, and she went to a showdown with a new arrival wearing a FC Barcelona shirt. She hit her diamond flush draw, Ace on the board, Queen in her hand.

He had the King. She was not a happy camper and took a walk for a bit before returning.
Getting up from the table when things unexpectedly don't go your way is a sign of a player who knows how to mitigate tilt. Getting tilted with a second-best flush is not the sign of a super-experienced player. Still, fun to see stuff like this happen at your table, as it can open up opportunities for you down the road. Thanks for sharing.
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

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So our live games have come to a rapid halt (I've got a -$5 night from earlier this month and that's it). However, MHS and I have been (as she calls it) Online Poker in the Time of Cholera. We're coordinating things on Discord, so if anyone is interested in a server invite, hit me up.

The opposition would be fairly poker savvy, but very challenged by online technology. Tournaments seem to be starting around 6pm Mountain Time (during the week) with an anticipated tournament start time of 4pm this Saturday. There's also other shenanigans going on during the day, but nothing nearly as coordinated as our tournaments.

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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

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This is really accurate.
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Re: Poker Results

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The Meal wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:16 pmSo our live games have come to a rapid halt (I've got a -$5 night from earlier this month and that's it). However, MHS and I have been (as she calls it) Online Poker in the Time of Cholera. We're coordinating things on Discord, so if anyone is interested in a server invite, hit me up.

The opposition would be fairly poker savvy, but very challenged by online technology. Tournaments seem to be starting around 6pm Mountain Time (during the week) with an anticipated tournament start time of 4pm this Saturday. There's also other shenanigans going on during the day, but nothing nearly as coordinated as our tournaments.
We're now into our sixth month of only playing online tournaments with friends. The majority of tournaments we've set up are free games, but a couple of nights a week there's a smaller group of us who've been playing for-money games and squaring up with each other. Between the games we've coordinated and a slightly different friend group who's run something similar (in which we've only participated), I've played in 45 for-money tournaments (and have attended 85-90% of all events). Since we're playing so much more frequently, stakes have been reduced ($20 tournaments for the games we coordinate, $10 tournaments for the other group), and for the most part folks are finding things palatable.

Since online games are run by computers and the computer can handle the mechanical structure so much more quickly and error-free compared to playing these things live, we've branched out significantly into the types of games we've played. The meaningful break down of types of poker tournaments we've played in fall into four categories: Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, HORSE, and Everything Else:

Code: Select all

45 Tournament Game Type Breakdown:
16 Hold'em
11 Omaha H/L
08 H.O.R.S.E. mixed game
04 Omaha/Hold'em mixed game
02 H.O.S.E. mixed game
02 8-Game mix
01 Big O 5-card Omaha
01 Omaha mixed betting
A few of those tournament types are identified as "mixed games" which means after a certain interval (which is generally 10 or 15 minutes for our online games) the game type changes. For instance in a H.O.R.S.E. mixed game, the games rotate between Hold'em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, 7-card Stud, and 7-card Stud Hi/Lo. (H.O.S.E. is the same thing, but without the Razz, as some players really don't enjoy that game.) The computer is much more efficient of keeping track of games, keeping track of ensuring the proper winners in game types we don't play as frequently, doing rote things such as breaking up pots for winners in the split-pot games and we're playing many nights of the week, so it's really good to break up the monotony that we have alternatives to Hold'em available to us. "Our group" of players has about two-dozen active participants, and the side group we're involved in has about a dozen.

After starting out slowly (punting on each of my first 4 $20 tournaments, and then my first $10 entry), I've made a bit of a come-back, results-wise:
Image

The vast majority of results see me losing the buy-in of the tournament, but overall I've averaged +$6.72 over these 45 events. I've averaged better results in some game types (+$13.44 per Hold'em; +$8.86 per Omaha H/L, +$4.38 per HORSE) while I average losing results in other types (-$20.00 per mixed Hold'em/Omaha event, -$10.00 per HOSE, -$2.50 per 8-game mix) which admittedly are of a smaller sample size. I'm far from the big winner in our games, but between MHS and myself we've absolutely cleaned up in the games which are being organized by our friend.

It's pretty wild to see how playing online affects the results for individual players in our group. Some players who are consistent donators in the live environment play a lot more boldly (and, IMO, correctly) when playing online. Others are absolutely "just clicking buttons" online (which has a negative connotation, implying that they're not taking appropriate strategic considerations before taking an action) while they do very well in the live environment. It's also absolutely wild how the "common bet customs" change between the two environments. Playing in a live tournament we probably see about 1/3rd as many hands in a given amount of time (or even less!) compared to running things online, and that has the effect of making online betting (at least for the more savvy players) smaller as you can be both a bit more risk averse (which is a major tournament consideration) and push edges better when you're seeing so many more hands.

As far as the mechanics of playing together for money, but from our separate homes, there is a lot of trust involved. MHS and I both video stream our games from separate rooms in the house (we coordinate on Discord for our games, in a mandatory Zoom conference call in the other games), but that wouldn't necessarily prevent us from texting each other our hole cards or doing other shenanigans that'd violate the spirit of the game. That's another reason why we've settled on a smaller buy-in/pay-out scale for the whole endeavor, and also has a lot to do with how we've controlled the participant list for our for-money games (we all know each other and are a friendly bunch).

It's also fun to see how and which players are reacting to having their wins and losses more "in your face" in the online environment. I don't want to get into the details of how the winnings and buy-ins are being handled, but its fair to say that there's a different sort of reckoning than just showing up at someone's house once a month and pulling a few $20s out of your purse. Some players who've been pretty blase about live performance are clearly using safer-at-home free time to work on the strategic elements of their poker games, which makes for a terrific dynamic. If we ever do proceed past the end-of-times and get back to playing in a live environment, it'll be fascinating to see how things change from what they were before COVID-19.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by stimpy »

I've been playing online Hold-Em with a group of 20ish friends for the last couple of months.
Other than the initial buy-in of $25, I've been playing with house money the whole time.
We usually do $20-30 buy-ins, with a $100 every other week.
My winnings have been as high as $1200. Of course that has dwindled down due to using it to buy-in for games.
Right now my balance sits at $300. I've gone cold. It's amazing to me how many times I've folded a shit hand pre-flop only to see it turn into gold. Is it due to online shenanigans? Unlikely. Due to some sort of collusion? Again, unlikely. But it is interesting to see the difference in play between live and online.
I started out playing my normal, relatively conservative way. My nickname is Snake, because I'm known to hide in the bushes and strike when least expected. but I've had to adapt as that was not working online. I don't, and =never will buy into the train of thought that you can read other players. You can truly never know what a player has or is going to do. So I've worried about just playing my style. But online, I agree you must be more aggressive.
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

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stimpy wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:36 pmI've been playing online Hold-Em with a group of 20ish friends for the last couple of months.
Legit, our poker group is probably the best thing keeping MHS and I sane right now.
stimpy wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:36 pmOther than the initial buy-in of $25, I've been playing with house money the whole time.
We usually do $20-30 buy-ins, with a $100 every other week.
My winnings have been as high as $1200. Of course that has dwindled down due to using it to buy-in for games.
Quite the run! Lots of fun while it's happening.
stimpy wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:36 pmRight now my balance sits at $300. I've gone cold. It's amazing to me how many times I've folded a shit hand pre-flop only to see it turn into gold. Is it due to online shenanigans? Unlikely. Due to some sort of collusion? Again, unlikely. But it is interesting to see the difference in play between live and online.
We've lost a couple of players ostensibly because they can't handle the outcome of the online random number generator. You do see a lot more weird stuff online, but that's because you see a lot more stuff online. You also see a lot more mundane stuff, but it's really easy to forget about that. Seeing at least three times as many hands per hour played (and playing that many more hours, as is the case in our group), you're going to run into low probability stuff that much more often.

As far as online collusion, as you say, it is possible, but at the stakes we're playing and with the group we're playing with, it's exceedingly unlikely. It doesn't prevent at least one of our players from accusing (from the side of his mouth) one of the successful online players who doesn't have many good results in the live game, but that says more about the accuser than the accusee, IMO.
stimpy wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:36 pmI started out playing my normal, relatively conservative way. My nickname is Snake, because I'm known to hide in the bushes and strike when least expected. but I've had to adapt as that was not working online.
You can catch some people out like this online, but I'd agree that it's not something to build a general strategy around. However, in my recent hot run, I've been up against hyper aggressive "button-pushers" that ran well against me for a few orbits at a time, right up until I played a hand like a weak bird only to catch them out with the nuts on the river. We're playing on PokerStars and there's a feature that graphs one's chips from hand to hand, and these events tend to look rather fantastic.

At ~2hr mark I trapped a player (his graph isn't shown) who'd been making my life miserable, only to have him outdraw me (my red line plunged). However, I turned the tables down the stretch and ended up with an even chop of the guy with the green chart once we got down to heads up:
Image

Last night I put the whamboozle on another too-aggressive player, which catapulted my ascent to an outright win:
Image
stimpy wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:36 pmI don't, and =never will buy into the train of thought that you can read other players. You can truly never know what a player has or is going to do. So I've worried about just playing my style.
There's a lot to reading other players, but as you say it's never a 100% certain event. However, my live reads have a lot to do with why my results are much better on that medium. Sometimes they lead you astray, but meaningfully more often than that, they let me make adjustments to my game that provide much better results. Posture tells, verbal tells, comfort level tells, chip handling tells, bet size tells, eye tells — these things happen nearly every time I sit at a table with people, and my observational skills lead me to better results than if I just ignored that stuff. Online there're only timing tells, and they tend to be fairly unreliable (you don't know if someone just got up to go get another beer) with the exception of folks taking an action so quickly that they didn't need to think about what they were going to do.
stimpy wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:36 pmBut online, I agree you must be more aggressive.
I think my post-flop (or the later street equivalent in the stud games) online game is less aggressive than my live game. Live I feel the need (backed by my ability to pick up discomfort tells) to make big bluffs every now and then to try to get ahead. Online it's super rare that I make absolutely naked bluffs, mostly because no good reason for doing so has presented itself to me. However preflop (and on the early streets in stud), I think I have been a bit more stabby at the pot. Mostly that is because I'm using smaller preflop raise sizes, which seem to afford me a few more chances to try and make things happen (as there's less for me to lose when they don't work out).
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Re: Poker Results

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We play our games on PokerStars.net which has the beneficial features of being easy to create private games and having a good mix of various poker types that our group (mostly) enjoys. I've stated before that a lot of our crew is a bit technologically challenged, but getting up and running on PokerStars is not much of an obstacle (getting everyone up and running with video chat on Discord took a few more of my and MHS's hours—but definitely well worth it!). One of the downsides for the free-to-play games on PokerStars is that you just have to trust that the software awards pots to the winning hand, as "opening" hands (i.e., showing the hands in play) at showdown only occurs for a very brief instant (about a second for tournaments, surprisingly somehow even less when playing in ring games) and there is no hand history feature allowing one to look back in time to see what had been played. This isn't as big of a deal for a game like hold'em (which doesn't have an overwhelming amount of new information shown when hands are opened), but creates significant challenges in high-low games with many personal cards (such as 7-card stud hi/lo). The lack of a longer showdown feature actively prevents us from inviting certain players who we know would struggle with that aspect of the game.

I played from March into August and just "dealt with it." I tried to make the most of what I was seeing, but if I couldn't figure out exactly what happened, well the next hand was already in progress and let's just play some f'in cards, right? But I wasn't happy about that. From our Felt Club website:
I wrote:The Appeal
Hold 'Em poker appeals to different people for different reasons. I like it because it's a brain-teaser (like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, video games, golf, etc.) with constantly-shifting parameters to be figured out. Other people will like it because it gives them a chance to show up their friends and take a little bit of their money to boot, or because it's a low-impact social activity and easy way to kill a few hours with friends a few times a month. Very specifically to Hold 'Em, it's a great mix of simple rules allowing for complex strategies. Tournament Hold 'Em (of the variety we play, at least) has the right mix of rewarding skill and allowing folks to get lucky to keep excitement levels high.
What good is a brain-teaser when you aren't given enough of a chance to ever really try to figure things out?

So, in early August, I started recording my screen for about every third tournament or so (especially those tournaments with more complicated showdowns). I did this for a couple of reasons. Primarily it was because I was toying with the idea of periodically posting video recaps of our tournaments on YouTube (documenting some of our games, especially some of the non-typical variants we play), but going through the hand histories (seeking out good hands to use in my clips) I realized that this was a super effective way to start to drill down on mistakes I was making. And while I was focusing on my hands, I did pick up a thing or two that I saw some of my competitors doing, but realistically 90% of my focus was actually on my own game, especially in conjunction with an equity solver (hat tip: http://www.propokertools.com/simulations ) to evaluate whether or not I was really doing things correctly.

Turns out I found a lot of leaks.

And I made some adjustments.

August ended up being a good month for me. Not live-games-in-January-or-February good, but still, the best of my online performance so far this year.
Image

Here's the run-chart for my net in each of our online games (we're up to 57 tournaments), broken out by game type. You can see the big jump in the running total corresponding to a particularly juicy week in mid-August.
Image

The run chart is getting to be a bit too compressed to comfortably include all the dates, so I thought maybe it'd be fun every month to focus on one of the game types:
HORSE (If you're not familiar, I talked a little bit about what this game is in my 08/08/2020 post)
11 Events, averaging 13.2 participants, with my average finish position of 6.4th place. Buy ins total $170, and my cash out totals $265, for an net average of +$8.64 per tournament.

It was a HORSE event in early August that was the recording I combed through for the potential video (which I haven't made or uploaded) that kicked off my self-reflection that's improved my results. Hilariously I finished in 9th place of 9 participants in that tournament (still managing to log 95 hands over the span of 75 minutes, sufficient to find significant opportunities in my strategy). I also recorded the hold'em tournament which we played later that night, that I ended up winning outright, but I haven't even opened that particular video.

One not-so-apparent particularity in HORSE, is the implementation in PokerStars (matching what's generally occurring in the casino poker) is that all the mixed games are played with a fixed limit betting structure. That means there's no all-ins, and "bullying" your opponents is severely lessened. FL poker (of any game) is more of a mathematical exercise. And since the majority of our players have very little experience with the three stud games in the HORSE rotation, there's a lot of chips to be won by someone who's spent some time understanding just how good they are on any particular street (the stud games also "feature" more open information about your opponents' hands compared to the two flop games). In essence, a little bit of study goes a long way towards improving one's HORSE fortunes in our group (as the yellow up-ticks at the right-end of the Running Total chart can attest).

All tournament types to date: 57 events, averaging 13.6 participants, my average finish in 6.9th place, returning a net average of +$8.03 per tournament (+50% return on investment).

I'm not certain that I will end up actually making those YouTube videos (I have lots of complicated thoughts on that topic), but if I do end up producing something, I'll be sure to link them in this thread.
Last edited by The Meal on Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: clarity in a few places
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

September's results were a bit lackluster, but I did manage to finish the month $32 ahead of where I started (mostly because of one good night, in which MHS and I came in first-and-second in two tournaments, while the same guy came in third both times). For clarity, I did decide to break my runcharts into 4-month spans, so here's April-July, and August+September:
Enlarge Image Enlarge Image
(Note that I changed the scale of the green "net" number that is in the background, so now its read on the right-hand axis.)

Last month I highlighted my results in the mixed game format of HORSE, which is the third-most-frequent game type in our rotation so far. This month I'll focus on Omaha Hi/Lo, which is my second most frequent tournament type, having played 18 times (out of the 68 total events shown here).

Omaha Hi/Lo is also known as Omaha 8-or better (or just "O8") and it's fundamentally different from Texas Hold'em in two major ways. First up is the "Omaha" part of the game, which means that each player is dealt four hole cards (instead of two) and that at showdown you have to use exactly two of your personal cards and exactly three of the community cards to make your best 5-card poker hand. Because you have a lot more personal cards, the average winning hand is much higher on the poker food chart compared to Hold'em showdown hands (4-of-a-kind and straight flushes aren't complete rarities), so if you're playing with folks who've got a lot more Hold'em experience, it's difficult for them to have an inherent feeling for how good of a hand will win.

A less obvious difference is related to players receiving a bigger percent of all the cards in the deck, which means that preflop equities tend to run a lot closer to each other compared to hands in Hold'em. In Hold'em, it is possible for a player to be an 80% favorite over one opponent (heck, it's possible to be a 93% favorite in extreme cases), but that isn't how Omaha games work at all. And since one hand can't be way out in front, dominating another hand, that has a lot of implications for the strategy of betting. In Hold'Em, there's a lot of raises and re-raises preflop because someone can (actually be | pretend that they are) way out in front of their opponents, meaning folks with good-but-not-great hands can fold without seeing the flop. Omaha hands run much closer together, so it's almost always wrong to put chips in preflop and then fold without seeing the three flop cards. After the flop comes out, there are a lot more "lead changes" in Omaha compared to Hold'em, as players can continue with monster draws (with a drawing hand being a statistical favorite, at times), leading to lots of interesting post-flop situations.

The other feature of O8 which is different from Hold'em, is that it is a high-low game, meaning that it's possible for there to be two winners in each hand. At showdown, the best poker hand is always good for the high-side of the pot, but if there is a qualifying low hand (playing 5 unique ranks 8 or lower), then the lowest low hand also gets half the pot. And since you don't have to use the same two cards from your hand for high and for low, one person can theoretically win both sides, known as "scooping" the pot. Not every hand has a qualifying low (the board needs three distinct ranks 8 or lower for this to happen, which occurs about 60% of the time), so there is a lot of dancing around trying to figure out which side of the pot your opponent is after, whether they already "have it" or are drawing to it, and whether or not they're pretending to have the winner or just bluffing. Since Hold'em has 1326 different possible starting hands (52 × 51 / 2), it is possible to formulate a distinct strategy for each two-card combination. In O8, there are 270,725 combos { (52 × 51 × 50 × 49) / (4×3×2×1) } and nobody's memorized what to do with each of those hands. So there's a lot more dancing around and room for creativity.

But because there's such a big aspect of having a made hand versus drawing to a big draw, O8 can be frustrating if you run into folks always hitting their card on the end and ruining your hand-that-was-ahead or if you brick out all your flopped low draws. It can be frustrating because while there's more strategy at work to give yourself the best possible outcome, there's a lot more randomness involved in determining which hand actually wins in the end. A few bad nights of O8 in a row can really make a player bitter.

I've played in 18 O8 tournaments, and am a net positive player, having cashed in 6 of those tournaments with an average return of +0.59 buy-ins per event ($270 worth of buy ins returning $364.50 in winnings, or +$5.25/tournament, with a return-on-investment of 35%). In the Aug/Sep chart, one can count the red bars and see we've recently played 8 events and I've cashed in 3 of those (well... 8 events: 2 positive results, 5 negative results and one break-even result). I do think I'm adding strategic elements every time we play (more so than just figuring out how my opponents are playing). If you come in with a Hold'em mindset, it's really easy to play too many starting hands, which is disasterous in any form of poker.

Anyway, tonight is event #50 for the game we're hosting, which should be fun. Wish me luck!
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Re: Poker Results

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Alright, fourth post in a row in this thread. I need to consider this isn't really of interest to the (other) board readers (bored readers?) and consider using some other method of maintaining history of my poker playing (probably an offline diary, heh). Most likely I'll keep reporting back here, but will dial back on the monthly frequency.

~*~*~
The Meal wrote: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:30 pmI'm far from the big winner in our games, but between MHS and myself we've absolutely cleaned up in the games which are being organized by our friend.
The coolest thing I did in October was going ahead and quantifying this statement. I spent about 15 hours creating an uber spreadsheet that takes the compiled results from each game and generates output of average event performance (per event type — so separate results for hold'em vs. omaha vs. mixed-game tournaments, etc.), percentage of in-the-money finishes (per event type) and most fun, ranks the players against each other for the various metrics. Since we're playing in two separate online groups, I keep track of the results for each group separately.

We have one group that MHS organizes (she creates games for 7 nights of the week, but five of those weekly games on the schedule are free-money among our friends; she also has taken over The Ledger to keep $$$ between folks square). There is a second group of folks into whom we've been invited. We know that organizer from other poker games we play in (if you go back to this post, we met C at the Longmont game, and have since brought him into our own game and also the Erie game). I know of three other poker groups going organized by participants in these two groups that we're already in, but haven't managed to successfully score an invite into any of those (though I've only pushed to get into one of these other groups, and neither of the folks we've pushed has had success getting MHS and I an invite).

So the overall results from the two online groups that MHS and I are in boil down as follows:
38 different players with a combined total of 1299 entries into 110 different tournaments. My rank against these 38 players in terms of Net winnings (fifth), net average winnings per event entered (eighth, meaning some of my net winnings results are because I play more often than other winning players), and my percent of in-the-money finished (third, meaning I am one of the more consistent finishers in the game, with a 39% ITM finish, compared to the average of 27% getting paid across all tournaments).

If we just look at the per-group results, MHS's group has 31 participants, spanning 962 entries across 59 tournaments. I rank eleventh in both Net and average Net (my average net is +$1.59 per tournament I play in) and twelfth in ITM% (28% compared to an average of 25%).

In C's group (16 unique players, meaning that there are nine of us that play in both groups), there have been 337 entries across 41 tournaments. I rank in first in all three ranked categories (netting, on average $10.38 per tournament I enter, with an ITM% of 56% compared to an average of 33% finishing in the money each time we play). It's a smaller group of participants, with less overall experience, and maybe based on my results here, there's no wonder why I haven't been invited to go play in any of the other groups...

But some of the fun of tabulating *all* the results for *all* the different tournaments, is to see which of us does well in what sort of tournaments. If I break things down by Hold'em tournaments vs. Omaha H/L vs. Mixed-game tournaments (HORSE, HOSE, 8-game mix, etc.) vs. Omaha Hi only, I can see that my In-the-Money percentages break down like this:
38% Hold'em (ninth of 35)
48% Omaha H/L (fifth of 34)
0% Omaha Hi only (elventh of 21 — there are a lot of us tied with 0% here)
50% Mixed-game (fourth of 34)

Clearly I should avoid the Omaha Hi game nights! (Though I've only participated in three of these, so maybe I just need a bigger sample size...)

So maybe that's enough about how things have gone for me between 3/28 and 10/31. (Though that means this concludes the good news portion of this post.)

~*~*~

How about my October results? Overall I finished the month with $43 less than I started with. This is my second worst month of the year (behind only July). Here's the final graph for the 3 months of August, September, and October:
Image

From that graph, just focusing on October, you can see I had three positive results and one break-even result, with an nice finish in a HORSE event on October 17th (MHS and I chopped that tournament, which means we finished in first and second and just split the prize money). Other than a couple of smaller cashes in an Omaha H/L and a Hold'em tournament, I didn't do squat, results-wise, for the month.

It'd be fair to say that's an accurate representation of how I played for the month. I didn't spend any time these past few weeks "working on" my game, and I'd just sit down to play with friends without doing any sort of off-the-table studying or reading about poker. I know that times when I have good results are correlated to how much time I think about trying to improve my performance, so this is a pretty realistic reminder that the results I have are not some function of what I'm owed by poker or because I have some inherent advantage over my opposition. If I want to do well at playing cards, I actually have to work towards it. This isn't bad news by any means (I *like* working towards improving my game), but it shows how my focus has shifted to other things this month.

Ah well, November is a new month, and I'll probably have around a dozen more attempts at improving my results.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Isgrimnur »

Some of us are still reading.

And bouncing off the idea of acquiring crypto so I can play online and offshore with real money... :ninja:
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

Be _very_ careful about playing on the crypto sites (such as ACR). 100% of the crypto places do not have US-based overseers (and I'm not clear as to whether there's *any* governing agencies for the crypto-only sites). And nearly 100% of places such as those have, in the past, run into eventual issues with making payouts to customers. If you still do jump in, the general advice is to not put a lot of your money in (stick to your safe zone for using entertainment dollars), and if you make a big score, don't leave a big account balance on the site.

That said, I'd love to hear about any adventures you had on the mean online streets!
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Isgrimnur »

ACR is the current candidate. And yeah, dollars that go in will never be expected or relied upon to come back out unless some friends join them.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

Well here's a post I've been looking forward to writing nearly all month long.

First up, I "reorganized" the bar charts I've been sharing, so let me repost the first couple 3-months-at-a-time plots so that I can talk about how I've got the games organized:
Enlarge ImageEnlarge Image

If you open up either of these images, you would see that I've got the game types organized a bit differently in the legend on the right side. Instead of random games going with random colors, now I'm keeping the Hold'em games together (in blue, with Short Deck in light blue), the Omaha style games together (in warm red and orange colors), listing the mixed games next (HORSE type games in purple, 8-game mix in brown), and finishing up with our least-played variants in green (7-card stud H/L, and 5-card draw). From top to bottom you've got: Flop Games, Mixed Games, Stud Games, and Draw games.

I was really happy with (finally) putting some organization around the game types. It's pretty easy to see that the hot week I had in August was mostly fueled by Hold'em games (a lot of tall blue bars at the beginning of the second chart, above) and just how often we play Omaha type games (especially the red variety: Omaha Hi/Lo, which scatter across both charts with regular frequency). This appeals to my make-data-easier-to-comprehend nature.

The second reason I'm happy to share my November results can also be seen in a chart:
Image

Much like Month 1 (of our online play) and Month 4, Month 7 has gone pretty well for me. In November I played in 13 events, broke even once, lost three times, and cashed out with more money in my accounts nine times, including my four largest wins to date. As the month went on, I had to rescale the "Running Total" overall result in the background three different times. And I've got an update to something I said last month:
The Meal wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:56 pm So the overall results from the two online groups that MHS and I are in boil down as follows:
38 different players with a combined total of 1299 entries into 110 different tournaments. My rank against these 38 players in terms of Net winnings (fifth), net average winnings per event entered (eighth, meaning some of my net winnings results are because I play more often than other winning players), and my percent of in-the-money finished (third, meaning I am one of the more consistent finishers in the game, with a 39% ITM finish, compared to the average of 27% getting paid across all tournaments).
We're up to 39 total players in our two groups. Of those, my Net Winnings rank is now first, Net Average Winnings per event is fifth, and my In-The-Money percent is still third (behind one legitimate "killer" in our group, and one guy who hasn't really played all that much, but has cashed in 5 of the 9 events he's participated in). I didn't have it as a conscious goal to lead the pack in net winnings, but as you could imagine, it doesn't exactly break my heart.

To complete the thoughts of my rankings versus each individual group, I'm still 1-1-1 in C's Tuesday Night Gang, and in MHS's larger group I'm 2nd overall in Net, 6th overall in Avg, and 4th overall in ITM% (these were 11-11-12 at the end of last month).

About the events themselves... If you combine the end of October with the beginning of November, the Tuesday night crew had been on a kick of playing some alternative style tournaments. What C does is to give the "bubble boy" from any given week (the person who played the longest but fails to make the money) the chance to call the following week's tournament type. The same guy bubbled twice in a row (calling 5-Card draw both times—trying to "throw off" the Millennials in our group by calling a game type we all grew up playing at our kitchen tables, which totally didn't work as one of the "kids" finished 2nd the first week and the other kid actually won the 5-card draw tournament following week!) and then the organizer himself bubbled and called short-deck hold'em. I didn't cash in any of those three events (despite thinking I had a sizable advantage in short-deck and a moderate advantage in 5-card draw). The next week I won the Hold'em tournament, but then our sequence of "weird" games continued and I failed to cash in the 6-Card Omaha game on 11/17 (a game which was deemed too "luck of the cards" by our group at the end, as the game was basically decided by who had a totally awesome unbeatable hand at the same time as someone had a really really great second best hand).

The one more-typical tournament I didn't cash in for November was MHS's 11/12 Omaha H/L game in which I finished 7th out of 19 participants (top 5 got paid). In the three tournaments leading up to that game I had broken even at Hold'em (finishing 5th of 19, and not very happy about it), made a small amount in an 8-Game mixed tournament (finishing 3rd of 14), and won the Hold'em tournament with the Tuesday night crew (1st of 7, which is always nice even if it's in the reduced-stakes game among less-experienced players). However, after that PLO punt, my heater truly began. I chopped top spot in a Saturday-night 23-person Hold'em tournament (and only agreed to chop rather than try to win 1st place outright because it was against the host of the Tuesday group, and because group dynamics and harmony are so important) which was my biggest net win of our online games to date. The following Tuesday I punted our one-and-only 6-Card Omaha tournament (finishing in 5th of 8), then won a small amount (finishing 4th of 18) in a Thursday night Hold'em Tournament, and that weekend I finished alone in first place (out of 18) in an Omaha H/L tournament. I believe this was my only outright first-place finish in MHS's group (I had chopped the top spot a few times earlier this summer), and it's pretty hard to beat that feeling. That next week I took 2nd in a Tuesday night HORSE event, then went on and took first again in that Thursday night's 5-Card Omaha event! What a week to go back-to-back like that. We played a late-night "loser's lounge" second tournament after the 5-Card Omaha win, and I ended up taking 3rd place out of 12 in an impromptu Omaha H/L tournament. Finally, last night we played in a double-stakes buy-in Hold'em game that offered 1 rebuy (if you busted in the first hour) and one add-on (if you made it to the end of the first out without having busted out both your chances). Of the 21 people involved in that tournament I managed to be the first one knocked out (my worst hand I made top pair top kicker in the SB but managed to get beat by flopped quad 3s from the button player). Fortunately I had my rebuy available, as I got back into the tournament and managed to take 2nd place overall. Since it was a 2x buy-in tournament, my second place finish was actually higher than any of my earlier wins (or the chop) which had previously been my best results.

I'm on an every-third-month-is-great kick, but the months in-between have been pretty meager. My challenge now is to try to maintain my positive momentum into the holiday season.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

So here's my one-year-of-diligent-notes wrap up. I looked back to try to figure out if there was a significant concept I was talking about coming into this year, but there's nothing really in the text that stands out. I had mentioned a few times in the years leading up to 2020 that my cash game acumen wasn't up to the same level as my tournament chops, but heading into 2020 I'd had some good cash results and I was feeling pretty confident about my game. You could see from the charts in my February post that I was intending to keep tournament and cash game results separate this year, which would've been cool to track, but came the necessity to move everything online, which meant that (due to the mechanism behind the software along with our willingness to accept risk and to teach new skills to our playerbase) cash games were off the menu.

I should go back and break results into live cash, live tournament, and online tournament, but there's an easy enough dividing line based on date (last live game: 5 March, first online game: 28 March) that this isn't too important. Hopefully at some point in 2021 this becomes a relevant distinction (my 12/31/20 prediction for our return-to-live-hosting: Oct 2021).

I was a net winner on the year in both cash and tournament play. Because of how we played (live versus online) it's completely unfair to compare hourly win rate between the two, but it turns out that I averaged winning $21.25/hr playing cash (through March), and averaged winning $4.76/hr playing tournaments. On average I won $7.23 per hour playing cards (with a net of $2626, implying 363 hours of playing for money this year—7 hours per week).

While I *felt* like my cash game was well in order, I haven't played in a cash game since early March, so who actually knows what shape my game is in? And who knows what my game will look like in the brave new world (a lot of my game is predicated on reading opponents, and I think the world of playing-live-poker-in-masks is in our future, which likely will affect my ability to read people). Still, I no longer truly think my cash game is behind my tournament play (despite what I'll tell people when sitting together live).

Where I do have a lot of data is how my various tournament game results shape up. I've played in 113 tournaments this year, 108 of which are online. In my five live tournaments I had a 104% Return-on-investment ($240 invested returned $250 in profit). In my 108 online tournaments I had a 69% ROI ($1780 invested netted me an additional $1222). I played in 6 different types of tournaments at least four times each, and my ROI in those six tournament types ranged from -100% to +200%:

ROI (# Events) Game Type
-100% ( 4) PLO/PLHE mixed game
- 28% ( 5) 8-Game mixed game
+ 48% (32) Omaha H/L
+ 89% (35) Hold'em
+136% (15) HORSE mixed game
+200% ( 6) 5-card Omaha

My other 11 tournament entries had a ROI of exactly 0% (I broke dead even right down to the last dollar). All said and done, in those 108 online tournaments, I had money returned to me as part of the prize pool 42% of the time.

One can also compared my results to those of the rest of the field. We play in a couple of online clubs and different clubs play for different stakes, so it's a bit unfair to just lump all players into the same bucket (but I'm going to do it anyway). I also know of a couple of other online groups that some of these players are participating in but for which I don't have access to the results, in which case I can't really compile their true poker performance. But in the clubs in which I'm a member, with everything lumped together, my ROI ranks 3rd out of 39 participants (the two folks ahead of me each nearly have my +69% doubled at +117% and +136%). My net winnings are tops in the group (2nd place is $241 behind me). In terms of participation, there are three players who have more than my 108 entries: at 116, 123, and 129 events.

Until I started compiling the numbers, I felt that a fair assessment was that I was in the top 25% of players in our group. After looking at the numbers, a fairer assessment is that I'm in the top 5 of our gang (which would put me in the top 13% or so).

I may lump the December-specific results into January's post (as that closes out that particular 3-month window).

Anyway, I'd love to answer any questions that are out there. I know it's tough to really have much to say about these high-level overviews (if I had hand histories to talk about, there may be more here to talk about). Despite being one of the better players in the group, it's rare that I sit down brimming with confidence that I'm going to have a good result. That "finishes in-the-money at 42%" statistic is the hardest number for me to grasp (even after over a hundred events). I rarely (if ever) anticipate a good result is in my future, but mostly I'm sitting there trying to do everything in my power to eke out the best possible decision at all stages of the decision tree. When I make a big flub, I try to incorporate that into my strategy to the extent that folks counting on me to continue making that same mistake in the future will end up mentally out-leveling themselves in future decisions. I'd guess that of the top players in our groups, opponents have the hardest time trying to figure out my particular strategy for any given hand, as I think my strongest skill is my ability to switch gears and play any given point in a tournament from the point of view of different philosophies. It's hard to get someone off-balanced if you really aren't quite sure what their stance is in the first place. I much prefer folks try to adjust to me rather than me getting led by my nose in dealing with them.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

I was sick and missed games between 12/24 and 1/1, but in the two games before my break and the game after I had good results.

The New Years game was pot-limit Omaha H/L and we had 19 participants. I floated along with an average stack until shortly after our late reg period also saw a player get knocked out. Down to 18-handed meant we consolidated from 3 tables down to 2, and I was moved from a pretty fortunate position (with our most aggressive player¹ directly on my right) to a new table that had a collection of most of our wild-card opponents.

____
¹Just to complete the side note, this player is aggressive to the point where at a NLHE game, you'd actually prefer him on your left, as you well know his tendencies include small stabs on any flop which gets checked to him, and pot-sized bets on any turn which gets checked to him without anyone raising (or taking an otherwise aggressive action) on the flop. He's absolutely clockwork, but despite that he manages to be a break-even player (somehow). Anyway, in a PLO8 game, keeping him contained on your right is more palatable, as you frequently flop draws with significant equity. It's much easier to play against this player if you can shut him down with your aggressive-actions-with-equity, rather than having to already "have it" before you play back against him. To speak plainly, I'd much prefer the ability to raise (his small flop bets) when I'm holding a draw, freezing him (either getting him to fold on the flop, or preventing him from bombing the turn—allowing me to see both the turn and river cards in an attempt at hitting my draw). This is one of the significant differences in how Hold'em plays differently then Omaha.
____

Anyway, I'm at the new table with our collection of wild-card players. I don't love it, but still I'd rather be here than at a table with our killers. I managed a crazy double-up against one of these players after she "came at me" only holding top two pair when the board itself showed a paired card (e.g., she held KJxx on a KJ77 board), and I held the low trip card. Knowing her propensity to go crazy I successfully called her down and doubled through her. It was an absolute gift, and I looked pretty prescient making the play, though I could've very easily have been knocked how had I made the same call-down against the majority of people we play with.

That double up puts me in a nice chip position and not much longer I managed to get myself into first place. We slowly start to lose players from the tournament and by the time we're down to 9-handed (i.e. the Final Table) I was still in first place (but had bled-off some of my chips). Turns out this was roughly the half-way point of the tournament.

By the time we were 7-handed I had lost my top chip position (to one of the killers I was talking about—one of the guys with almost 2x my ROI if you paid attention to the previous post), and not long after that I made my first incorrect call-down of the tournament (doubling up one of my rivals). We played seven-handed for a while (top 5 were getting paid), and during that stretch I bounced between 6th and 7th place in chips. At a couple of points my chip stack was approaching the same 10,000 chips I had when I started the tournament (I think I got as low as to be in the 11,000's). Fortunately we lost another player out of the tournament and with six players left, on the stone bubble, I moved back and forth between 5th and 6th place in chips.

But then the "hand of the night" happened for me (and the whole reason I thought I had something interesting enough to make this post). With me in 5th place in chips, just barely ahead of the 6th place player, I entered the pot holding :5s: :5d: :3c: :2s:. Since we were playing Omaha Hi/Lo, this is a pretty good looking hand in terms of making an 8-or-better low qualifier. Three unique ranks of "wheel cards" (5, 4, 3, 2, and Ace) is a comfortable starter for opening, and under different game conditions² it's something I'd think about raising with. As is fairly typical for our O8 game (and O8 tournaments in general) we saw the flop with 4 players limping along preflop.

____
²Those game conditions were that the player from note ¹ was still in the game, and I've found that bloating the pot before I have a lock-down great hand against him only plays into his style.
____

The flop came :Ah: :Kh: :5c: and one player checked to me. This is a good-but-not-awesome flop for me. The combination of the A and 5 on the board means that me holding the 2-3 is the best low-draw. The 5 on the board means that I've got bottom set (three 5's). However, the A and the K on the board are both likely ranks that other players would keep pairs of in their hands (and the way our game plays, it's not necessary that someone would have raised holding AAxx or KKxx preflop). Two hearts on the flop means there'll likely be more interest from my three opponents to stick around and see the turn card. Since I started the hand with about 13 big blinds, there's no great reason for me to try to get my chips in "on the draw" at this point, as I'd have no trouble getting all-in by the river if I happen to hit something later in the hand. Again, most of this is predicated on the game conditions I've been talking about in my notes... As it happens, the very aggressive player did put in a 1-big blind bet from last position, and the player in the blind folded, and both me, and the player after me (the one in last place, chip-wise) called. Now there's 7 BB in the pot, I've got 11 BB in my stack, and there are three of us to see the turn.

The turn is an :8h:, which over all is a good-but-not-awesome card for me. The fact that the board now has an 85A on it means the 23 I'm holding is the current nut low (good for half the pot), but this is another rank higher than my 5's and it also brings in the heart flush. Still, I'm in good position to take the low side of the pot (as long as the river doesn't counterfeit me by bringing a 2 or 3), and there's (at least) one player left in the pot who'd definitely be willing to call my bet with a worse low-card combination. I made a 2/3rds size pot bet (4.67 BB), the player with slightly fewer chips than me shoves for his whole stack, and the wild-card player on the button calls. Holding the nut-low and a can't-be-good three-of-a-kind, I dump the rest of my chips into the pot (and the wild-card player also calls my feeble raise over the all-in player).

The river comes the perfect :Kc:, making the board read: :Ah: :Kh: :5c: :8h: :Kc: . I've now got 8532A for an unbeatable low and 555KK for a full house. The player I had covered had made the flush on the turn (which I now beat with my lowest-possible boat) and the wild-card player on the button doesn't end up showing his hand (I beat him on both sides). I scoop the whole pot, and knock the 6th place player out on the bubble, knock the remaining wild-card player down to a low chip count, and catapult myself into the chip lead, all in one fell swoop.

I end up holding the chip lead from this point until I get heads-up (with the killer I talked about earlier) and after a significant heads-up battle (with the chip lead going back and forth a few times) I end up hanging on for my third consecutive first place finish!

I did keep my chip graph from this tournament, just so I could recall the history:
Enlarge Image

Fun times.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by AWS260 »

Nice!
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

My most recent post was regarding a tournament win I had on New Years day. Turns out that was the high point for my January.

I participated in 19 tournaments throughout the month. Between the two groups I play in there were a total of 24 events, with between 1 and 3 events on any given night we get together, sometimes there's a 2nd chance or even a 3rd chance tournament for folks who are either a) comfortable multi-tabling (i.e., not me) or b) got knocked out of an earlier event. Knowing I don't like to multi table, the high participation rate on my end means I got knocked out of a lot of tournaments on the early side.

In fact disregarding the variable buy-ins, here's how my month went, sequentially: win (1st place out of 19 players); 4x don't cash; win net of $5, 5x don't cash (with two "bubble" finishes just outside the money); win $5, 3x don't cash; win $5; "win" (chop top three places with two other players), win (1st place out of 13), win $0 (bought in for $20, won back $20). The sequence of getting back $15 over the course of 15 tournaments (a.k.a. losing a total of $165 over 15 events) was definitely my most frustrating sequence of time the whole time we've been doing these online games together. Should I have got frustrated? Probably not. However, I knew that what I had been experiencing wasn't just some really horrific luck, but also was coupled with some downright feeble play on my part. Varying between the two from tournament to tournament was not the mental whiplash I was prepared to put up with. Fortunately the month ended with a bit of a bang and ultimately my January '21 net exactly matched my December '20.

There were a handful of new things occurring this January. We played two new types of tournaments (I think folks are getting more interested in branching out to new games—MHS sets up the games in "our" league each week and she tends to focus a lot on Hold'em and Omaha Hi/Lo games (of our 19 tournaments this month, 17 were of those two varieties). There are about 15 rock-solid regulars who show up for every night we play over the month and handful of those players are vocal about preferring Omaha H/L while a significant number of players who don't tend to have good results are known to prefer Hold'em games. Because of our steady player pool, it is difficult to justify putting new games in the mix. In fact the two times it happened, once was because I begged to play a game of 5-card Omaha and the other time was because one of our players happened to bubble both tournaments one night, so MHS gave her the power to pick the next tournament.

Why did I want to play 5-card Omaha? My secret desire was really to play regular old 4-card Omaha but the Hi-only version, but because I know our player pool so well, I knew certain folks would grouse about not playing the more familiar Hi/Lo game we play with such frequency. The software we use does not have a Hi/Lo option for 5-card Omaha and the game isn't strategically terribly different than the 4-card version I wanted to play, so I presented that as my preference (and folks really didn't grouse about it being Hi-only, because hey that's just a limitation of the software). More importantly is why I wanted to play Hi-only Omaha. There are two reasons: first, playing a game where hands only have one winner mean the tournaments don't go as long (somewhere around 50% of Hi/Lo hands end up with a split pot, which delays folks getting busted out); second, the strategy about what makes for good starting hands is completely different between the two games and that leads to a very different game entirely (which seems like fun to try to figure out). How'd I do in the 5-Card Omaha game? I came in 11th place out of 18 participants.

The other "different" game we played on our club (by the way, in terms of what "our" club entails—it's 95%+ on MHS as she sets up the games, keeps track of the finances, performs announcements of upcoming games, and deals with a significant number of questions which come up. I perform quality control on the financial report and field a fair number of game/league related questions, in addition to providing guidance for how things should be handled) was the game the double bubble girl called that we ended up playing last night. This is a variant that the poker software had made up itself back in 2018, called Fusion. It's a hybrid of Hold'em and Omaha (Hi) that felt pretty familiar to most of our players right from the start. You get dealt two hole cards (then there's a round of pot-limit betting). Remaining players see the 3-card flop, but are also dealt another personal hole card (so now you see a total of 3 in your hand and 3 community cards). There's a round of pot-limit betting. Then on the turn you get one more board card and your last additional hole card (so now you have 4 in your hand and 4 community cards). There's a round of pot-limit betting and finally the last community card and one more round of betting. If you make it to showdown, the rules state you have to use exactly two of your hole cards and exactly three board cards (i.e., the same rules as are used for Omaha Hi at showdown). There are a lot of significant strategic adjustments for this game, but I won't go into them here (unless folks show interest). I ended up taking 5th place (out of 19 participants), which meant I got my buy-in back and netted $0. But it was fun playing something new. Since this game is a cross between Hold'em and Omaha, I mixed the two colors together on my chart below to signify Fusion (it's the darker brownish-purple color that barely shows up at the end of January because my result was a $0 net).

In the other league we play in, the host uses the rule that whomever bubbles out of that night's tournament picks the game that everyone will be playing the following week. That league ends up playing a much bigger variety of poker games because of that rule. In January, we ended up playing a HORSE tournament, an 8-game Mix tournament, a 5-card Omaha tournament (yay! though I ended up bubbling), a regular Omaha Hi/Lo tournament, and finally our other first-time-for-money tournament for this month, a Badugi tournament. Technically Badugi is not a poker game because it doesn't use the same rules for the order of hands at showdown (i.e., a no-pair hand followed by a pair, followed by two-pair, followed by... all the way up to a straight flush, and completed with a royal flush at the other end of the spectrum). However since it is played with playing cards, uses a similar draw-poker scheme for passing out the cards, and uses pot-limit betting as defined by other poker games, it's played adjacent to other poker games (especially in mixed dealer's choice cash games). It's a triple-draw game where folks are given 4 cards to start. There's three betting/drawing rounds where a player can replace 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 of their cards with each new draw. At the end, hands are ordered using Badugi rules. You want a 4-card hand that has no repeating ranks or suits. If there is a repeat of either a rank or a suit, then you ignore the redundant card and are playing with a 3-card hand (or possible even a 2-card hand if there are multiple repeats). 4-card hands always beat 3-card hands. To break ties between hands of the same number of cards, you use low-poker ranking rules (with Aces always playing low). The best possible Badugi hand is A-2-3-4 with cards from all four suits. Strategically it plays like a lot of other triple-draw lowball games (where you have to pay attention to how many cards your opponent is drawing to figure out where you stand, and you also have some fun bluffing opportunities come up based on what you see) so it ended up being a lot of fun for our crowd. I ended up finishing 3rd (of 12) and it was one of the nights I netted $5. I'll plot Badugi in cyan in my chart below.

I started this post off mentioning a handful of new things in January, and playing Fusion and Badugi games for money for the first time were a big part of that. But there was one even bigger change for me in January that's renewed my interest in our poker games a bit. I had been watching a strategy gamer who does lets plays that I appreciate (others around here may know him from his Civ, Factorio, Rimworld, many indie-titles, etc. Let's Play), Quill18, who was playing in an online poker tournament (sponsored by PokerStars, who paid his $1100 entry fee so that he'd drum up interest for them by posting twitch/youtube videos). Since he lives in Canada, he's able to play for money through their software (unlike those of us in the States). Because he uses the for-money version of the software, he's got one additional feature that doesn't exist on the play-money-only version of the software: he can see hand-histories to determine what happened once the hand completes and folks move onto the next hand. This opens things up to allow folks to try to figure out what strategy their opponents are using (and more importantly what mistakes they are making). For a Hold'em game it's not a big deal to see your opponents' two hole cards and try to quickly see how they played throughout the hand, but for a more complicated game (such as Omaha, with its four cards) this can be too much to really figure "in real time" (which is all you've got for the play-money software). Every now and then I've recorded video of me playing poker tournaments, which allows me to review what "really" happened in previous hands, but that's an off-line thing that can only happen after the tournament is all done (maybe days later). It does allow for figuring out folks' strategy (which, for me, is the most fun part of playing poker!), but you can't really adjust for it on-the-fly. But watching Quill18 play his tournament motivated me and after a about a half-hour of google searching I found a reddit thread with only a handful of responses (it's not all that atypical for folks to want to see these hand histories, and there are a ton of hits for folks who only have the play-money software to want this same function) including one cryptic response that included a link.

Turns out that link was to a for-money version of the software. And it turns out that this for-money version of the software works just fine with the play-money only software. And it has the hand-history function built into it. I'm absolutely not going to try to use it to actually do any for-money transactions (even if there was a bank in the US who'd allow such a thing), but sticking purely to the play-money side of the software, I've finally got the ability to play back previous hands to review just what exactly folks were doing. It could end up biting me in the ass (I have no idea if I'm violating the software TOS by using a version that's not intended to be used in the USA), but for a few weeks now I've been enjoying looking back on how my competitors have been playing their poker hands. As soon as I ensured the software could be used this way, I made a post in our league's channel letting everyone else know what I've got and how they could do the same thing on their side. There was really only conversation from a couple of the folks I play with, but I did proper diligence to ensure everyone is on a level playing field. One concern with this version of the software is that it also saves previous hand results onto the client system (the free-only version does not), which means that folks could use 3rd party software to hyper analyze their own or their opponents' tendencies to really drill down into what folks are doing wrong and take advantage in the future (and also in real time as those softwares would create a HUD on the screen showing these tendencies). Back before Black Friday, it was common for online players to use Hold'em Manager or Poker Tracker to do exactly that. Now I'm using a version of software which would allow that same advantage, but when we all started playing together last March we explicitly stated that using 3rd party software like that was not allowed. Since we're a big group of friends playing together at relatively low stakes, I don't think anyone would violate that explicit agreement, but my sharing the link to this version of the poker playing software does allow for that to happen.

So January ends the 9th month of us playing these online tournaments together. I break my Running Total charts up into 3-month segments, so I'll share three of those taking us back to our first 3/28/20 tournament. In the most recent chart (11/1/2020 - 1/31/2021) you'll see my barren middle of January. You'll see the holiday week I didn't play at all (because I got extremely sick). You'll see how the middle of December looks a lot like the middle of January. And you'll see how I finished the end of November on a really sick heater (more than doubling my running total of winnings in a two-week span). For January I netted $125 at a pace of $2.72/hour. Compare that hourly rate to 2020's MAR-DEC rate of $4.21/hr and you'll get a bit of a sense as to the source of my frustration for the month. I'm still keeping track of where I rank versus the now 39 other folks we've been playing cards with in this span. My net winnings are still #1 in that group ($1347) over the two leagues we're playing in. My percent of times winning some money in return is #4 overall in that group (41%), and my return-on-investment (net return to amount invested) ranking is #3 overall at 65% (#1 & #2 are 128% and 124%, so I'm fortunate those two don't show up to play more often). How I do in specific game types, I'm ITM 43% of the time in Hold'em, 41% of the time in Omaha H/L, and 54% in the mixed games (HORSE, HOSE, 8-game mix). It's a bunch of the game types we only play(ed) infrequently (5-card Omaha, PLO/PLHE mix, Draw or Stud poker, etc.) that balance out my mixed-game ITM percent to bring it back down to that 41%.

And with that, here are my net winnings for each event and my running total charts going back 9 months:
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paulbaxter
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Re: Poker Results

Post by paulbaxter »

It's been a little while since I've done any pokering. A while back I'd made a deposit in my online poker site, won a little bit early on, then played sloppy until it dwindled down to nothing again.

I got a bit of a poker itch last week. I remembered that I'd set up a bitcoin account, and when I looked I noticed that it had appreciated quite a bit, so I made another deposit in the poker account. Played 4 MTT games this week and placed in the money in three of them. Up about a hundred bucks overall.

My reflection for myself is that at least some of my earlier losses were due to using poker just as a time filler and watching Netflix or something at the same time. Of course lots of poker decisions aren't too hard. I'm going to fold that 3 9 hand pretty much every time. But played distracted means I'm not learning about the other player's habits, and not making the right calls when it counts.
No sig, must scream, etc.
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

I've never played online as a money making venture (and it's been over ten years since I played live with a serious goal of making bank). I've spent some time in the last week or so thinking about what makes a player good at live play but not so hot at online (or vice versa) as I'm playing with a few dozen players who I've now witnessed play in each venue.

I know for myself, I find times when I'm zoning out, "just clicking buttons", when playing online. I think this is the biggest danger for tanking a good live player when they're in front of a screen. The cadence of a live game is much slower and a player has a reasonable chance of "taking it all in", deep diving on what psychology opponents are working through, reading the temperature of the room (and individuals) and absorbing each strategic element of folks' games. Online has tools to assist with some of that, but if you're sitting there trying to take it *all* in, you're going to get overwhelmed. The pace is so different that it's going to happen that you'll miss some strategic elements and oh lookit that, it's time for you to make your next play in the next hand. There's no shuffle-and-deal to slow things down and ponder on what you just witnessed so it's tough to absorb how others are playing. And in that environment, I find it easier to tune out and just play my cards.

Of course what I enjoy most about poker is trying to figure out what my opponents are doing and then try to formulate a plan of attack which takes advantage of what I think they're doing wrong. I think that because this is more difficult to pull off online, it's one of the reasons I enjoy online games less. Even filled with a room of distractions (as is generally the case when playing live and hosting ~25 people in your basement), the live game is more geared towards the parts of the game I enjoy. (And when I'm playing in a game and I don't have to worry about being out of ice or what just got spilled on a different table, or whether there are enough small chips in play, or if Stefan and Dan should really be sitting next to each other, or was that someone knocking on our door they should just let themselves in, or is the music too loud or too esoteric tonight, or... or... or... well then I have even more brain cycles to apply to the game at hand and man isn't that a lot of fun!)

There are other differences. We've got an older player who plays too tight live, but man he's not afraid to go for making a bluff online (I assume because he doesn't have to worry about someone reading his face), which really helps his game. We've got another gentleman who seems to get himself distracted in the live environment, but plays a really solid ABC game online. But it's more typical to see the good live players end up taking some hands (or levels, or at times entire tournaments) off, strategically, and end up just clicking buttons when playing in front of their computer. Recognizing that, I'm going to try to be a bit more diligent about picking my spots for taking a mental break, and hopefully do a better job of consciously focusing on those times when I should be drilling down on someone's strategy.

Of course, timing is suspect, because, well, I'm on a bit of a heater myself.
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paulbaxter
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Re: Poker Results

Post by paulbaxter »

For me, I can probably count on both hands the total number of live poker games I've played in. I'd be embarrassed to say how much total time I've spent on online poker. So I'm definitely more comfortable online, to say the least. "Reading" is, I imagine, a whole different game online, since all you can see is betting behavior and time, but there are certainly patterns in those.

I took a long time off, so I'm not up on the major tools and I'm not using anything right now, but I can make player notes on who plays tight, who will call with crap, who likes to chase, etc. The simple rule of don't bluff into a habitual caller gets you a long way online. That one and don't insult bad players. I LOVE having bad players at my table. Why do people want to chase them away?
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

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"I accept this result." Those were the last words I uttered in last night's Omaha Hi/Lo tournament. I'm really not looking forward to writing the end of this post.

However, February as a whole was a really good month for me. I had SIX first place finishes (out of 13 total events), including four in a row at one point. I've only had one month of online play which had better results on the bottom line (last November was about 1.5x better, and that was 3 first places out of 13 tournaments; though I also had two 2nds and two 3rds, and the tournaments were a bit more lucrative that month). I was flying high while winning four tournaments in a row, but the reality is that nobody wins tournaments without getting somewhat lucky. An apt analogy I've seen elsewhere is that tournament poker is like a lottery in which the skilled players get a few extra tickets. I'd like to think that as a skilled player I get deeper in tournaments than most, but then the blind levels get high and the ratio of importance for luck/skill leans more towards the luck side, and anyone could win in the end. This idea would result in me "going deep" more often, but then it being a crap shoot as to who finishes on the top. But the reality is out of 140 online tournaments, 43% of my opponents have a better finish position than I do. There really is meaningful amounts of skill that determines who wins a tournament, it just happens that Finishing is a different skill than Staying Alive. Of those 140 tournaments, I've won outright 32 times. We average 14.1 participants per event in that span, which'd imply, if we all had the same skill level, the average participant would've won about 10 times.

I played in five different tournament types, dominated, of course by Hold'em (4 times) and Omaha H/L (4 times). I also played in 2 HORSE tournaments, 2 Omaha Hi only tournaments, and 1 Fusion tournament (described last month). My wins were two each in Hold'em and Omaha Hi/Lo and one HORSE and the one Fusion event. At one point early in the month, I lost my position of #1 in most money won between our two groups (to a guy who has played in 80 fewer tournaments than me, so a true crusher in our games!) but my winning streak near the end of the month brought me back into first position. I make it up in volume!

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What I least wanted to talk about in this post, however, is the asbolute PUNT I performed in last night's O8 tournament. I entered the tournament nearly 75 minutes after it had started (I very rarely enter a tournament late, but I wasn't "feeling it" at the start time and only decided I was up for some poker close to the end of the late entry period). I didled around for a bit but then had a fortunate double up scoop holding :Ad: :9d: :3d: :2d: on a :Qd: :Qc: :2d: :4d: :7d: board against a :Kh: :6c: :5c: :4h: (my flush vs. his QQ44K for Hi; my 7432A vs. his 76542 for Lo). At that point I had 1.5x my starting stack and was in 3rd place overall (out of 21 participants). From there I was able to play pretty solid for a few hours and at one point ran my stack up to a high-water mark of 78k chips (we started with 10k chips, so I had 1/3rd the chips in play) while whittling the field down the the final 6 players (top 5 get paid). To prewarn sensitive members of the audience, I end up going out in 6th place (the bubble) due to some pretty heinous decision making by yours truly.

The last hand before the midnight break, I'm sitting on 59k chips in first place (my opponents have 46k, 46k, 13k, 15k, and 30k) with the blinds at 1k/2k (no antes). First to act, I'm dealt :8c: :6c: :4d: :3c: . Generally I evaluate O8 hands first by the quality of the low draw it provides, and four unique ranks 8 or less inlcuding any two 5-or-less is an easy opener for me. Having a club draw (even with one tainted club, as I've got an "extra" in my hand that I can't use) is a sweetner, and an 8_6_43 opens me up for some straight opportunities. Just before the board comes out, I'm saying to myself "7,5,2,A are key cards". At this stage of an O8 tournament, with no obvious tiny-stack "mines" in the landscape, opening means just limping (which, as the big stack who thinks he can outplay opponents after the flop, I have been doing with 100% of my hands against opponents with reasonable chipstacks—were the 13k stack down around 8k, then other considerations would've been in play). Action behind me goes Fold (15k), Call (30k), Fold (46k on the button), and Call (46k), and check (13k in the big blind). The flop comes :As: :Jc: :2d: and the pot has 8k in it.

This feels like an above-average flop for me, as the A2 on the board, with me holding the 34 means I've got a good low draw (any turn card that's a 5, 6, 7, or 8 gives me the nut low, and a 5 gives me the nut high on this rainbow board), and a bad backdoor club draw. In a full-table game of O8, flops should be evaluated for how close your opportunities are to making the nuts. In my case I've got 4 nut outs (the 5's, which are basically two-way nut outs unless the river pairs the board or brings a K, Q or T) and an additional 12 half-nut outs (I'd have the nuts to the low side, though a river 3 or 4 would be a killer). I'm pretty comfortable with my hand if I can be the one playing it aggressively, but with three opponents seeing the flop, there's reason for caution. With both players in the blinds checking to me (and only one player behind me), I lead-out with a bet of 5.33k (2/3rds pot). The button folds behind me, the SB calls and the short-stacked BB folds. After the flop action the pot contains 18.67k chips.

The SB is one of the tightest players left in the game, and plays a very reasoned, logical game. He's a bit less aggressive than is generally warranted, so when he steps out, it is imperative to take a moment to think about what he's trying to do. I of course mention this because after the turn comes (and in my head I'm chanting "five, five, five") a :Kc: I'm definitely unhappy, but made even more unhappy when my opponent leads out for 9.33k (half the pot). Of course this hand does improve my chance of making a club flush, but it also may indicate that my opponent is holding a QT and doesn't want me drawing at the low side. He could also have a club flush draw (any of which has to be better than my three cheesy low club cards), though this would be uncharacteristically aggressive for this player. Still I have hopes of any of an 8, 7, 6, or 5 coming to guarantee me the low side of the pot, and there are still hopes that I scoop the whole pot with something like the 7 or 5 of clubs (beating his "obvious" broadway straight). Against this player, I also consider that if the board pairs, I can represent a hand better than his straight, and steal a pot. That leaves me 2 scoop outs, 10 halfsies low outs, 6 flush-for-high outs, and 10 remaining (non-flush) steal outs. I've seen 8 cards out of 52, so 44 left in the deck, and I need an expectation of winning 2/5ths of the pot to call his half-pot bet (edit: actually this would be 1/3rd of the time, at least in a cash game—in a tournament right on the money bubble, the actual calling frequency should be bumped higher than the 1/3rd number, so my original math error may actually be a bit closer to the truth than my correction indicates). I'm not doing this explicit math in the heat of the moment, but have an inherent feeling for where I stand and what I need to proceed, so I figuratively hold my nose and call. Come on low card or club! After the turn action, the pot has 37.33k and I have 42k and he has 29k.

The river comes a :2s:, pairing the board, which now reads :As: :Jc: :2d: :Kc: :2s: . My opponent checks to me. And do I follow through with my plan of putting in a bet with the board pairing? No. No I do not. I know I have absolutely nothing in either direction, but I think back to the table talk about how aggressive I've been playing and I know this thinking, logical player is somewhat fed up with me. "Would he *really* fold to the board pairing deuces?" I'm thinking. What full-house would he be putting me on? I suppose specifically the A2 would be possible. Oh wait, holy shit, maybe *he* has the A2!?! He'd certainly check-call the flop if that's what he had, and if he happened to have the :Ac: and some other club in his hand (including the :2c:), then he may actually decide he's got enough cookin' to lead out on the Turn. Me betting out here is just pure spew, isn't it? I check behind with no hope of winning either side of the pot.

Of course my opponent has *none* of that. He rolls over a :Jh: :Th: :4s: :3h:, for one-pair Jacks to scoop this whole pot. He had the same nut low draw I did, but made an uncharacteristic lead-out on the turn which ended up paralyzing me and preventing me from stealing a pot that'd typically have gone my way most of the time. All I can do is complement him on the nice play while he's giddy by the fact that he somehow won that pot.

We then go on break for five minutes and then I come back and lose one final hand for the night. At the time, I'm thinking "That one was a missed opportunity, but I'm a good player and I can come back from a mis-step or two, right?"

Blinds have now gone up to 1.25k/2.5k and I'm in the big blind with 42k (39k in my stack after putting out the blind). Action to me goes Fold, Fold, Fold, and my opponent from the last hand, sitting on 67k and the button, puts for the standard Call. A Call from this player is a lot like a Call from me. He could have any playable hand, and has not capped his range (i.e., he could still have AA23 double-suited). The SB calls, and I look down and see :Ah: :Qc: :9d: :3c:. An A3 is a nice low combination, the Q-high club flush draw isn't worthless, but the AQ9 high cards do not lend themselves to a very good straight possibility. All in all, an okay-but-not-great hand. I check and we're three handed for a pot of 7.5k, and I'm between my two opponents.

The flop comes :Ac: :6d: :5c: . I've got a pair of aces and the second nut club flush draw. My low draw is pretty counterfeited (unless two additional low cards come, like a 4 and 2). All in all, I'm good with leading out, but should be cautious because an opponent could already have a great low and be completely unwilling to abandon their hand. The SB checks to me and I lead for 3.75k (half-pot). The button, the tight, rarely-over-aggressive, logical, thinking player that he is, raises to 7.5k (a min-raise). The SB folds, and with my aces (Queen kicker) and 2nd nut flush draw, on a board he may only be playing the low with a min-raise, I call along. Pot: 22.5k

Realistically, I should've folded here. I have a one-outer to the nut-high (for half the pot), I'm playing for a one-way hand on a board where there's obviously going to be a two-way-pot, and a tight opponent has raised me. As I was saying during break, better opportunities will come, so as tough as it is to do so, I should just fold and take my 30k to the next hand. But nooooooo...

The turn comes a :Jc: . I wasn't sure what exactly I was hoping for with my call the previous street (I guess the king of clubs or exactly the 2/4 turn and river, or maybe running A/A each street), so the Jc feels like a blank that didn't change anything. He's still got the low, I still have Aces and a club flush draw and that's that. I should check/call and see a river. But instead I think "He's a tight player, and he just watched me call his raise. Unless he has 23 exactly he's not going to love his made low if I keep pressuring him. LEEEROY JENKINS!" I bet 7.5k (1/3rd pot). He raises to 22.5k (leaving me 6BB behind if I call). If I missed the off-ramp on the flop, then this is the OBVIOUS place to make my exit for the hand. But as you already know, I don't. Do I raise him and really commit to the bluff I've got cooking? No, I just call along and hope to hit exactly the king of clubs?

So bad.

The river comes the :4d: making the final board :Ac: :6d: :5c: :Jh: :4d:. I'm holding the A3, so that means I've got a 6543A low and would be playing AAQJ6 for my high. I've got six big blinds and the pot is 67.5k. Ah, I'm probably good for half the pot, right? I bet my last little bit of remaining chips.

He makes the trivial call with :4s: :4h: :3d: :2d: for a 65432 straight for high and a 5432A wheel low for Lo. He flopped the nut low with the 32, then on the river hit one of the three 2's, three 3's (from his point of view) or two 4's in the deck which would've made him the 6-high straight. So I was actually right with my Turn decision that I would win half the pot with my pair of Aces, but he had an 8/44 (from his perspective; 7/40 as the hands were dealt) chance of winning both ways. And he was signaling all along that he was holding a great hand and I somehow willfully ignored it. Game over, "Nice hand. Well played. I accept this result." Sixth place finish for a net of -$20 and a sour taste in my mouth to end the month of February.

The two low stacked players went out in 5th and 4th, and the three big-stacked players all decided to chop the prize money for the top three spots. I decided to lay in bed and toss-and-turn for the next two hours.

I'll get 'em back next month.

[edit: I had a very simple poker 101 math error regarding calling frequency for a 1/2 pot bet which I corrected inline]
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

paulbaxter wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:05 pm For me, I can probably count on both hands the total number of live poker games I've played in. I'd be embarrassed to say how much total time I've spent on online poker. So I'm definitely more comfortable online, to say the least. "Reading" is, I imagine, a whole different game online, since all you can see is betting behavior and time, but there are certainly patterns in those.
Well reading *used* to be different online. But it'll be closer to that live once everyone is wearing masks at the table!
I took a long time off, so I'm not up on the major tools and I'm not using anything right now, but I can make player notes on who plays tight, who will call with crap, who likes to chase, etc. The simple rule of don't bluff into a habitual caller gets you a long way online. That one and don't insult bad players. I LOVE having bad players at my table. Why do people want to chase them away?
Yeah, those are the same using-of-tools rules we've got for our friendly group. And you're absolutely right about not chasing off the players who make questionable decisions. It's all tied into ego, and if someone beats you, an obviously superior player, you've got to beat your chest and let folks know that you really and truly *are* the better player, despite the result of that one hand. It's obviously better to make sure the donators keep playing and give you a chance at winning back your chips, but some players' lizard brains have a bit more of a straight-pipe to their emotions than others.
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

Alright, I bounced back from the lack of enthusiasm at the end of February, but I've got a general disinterest brewing for the online game that's likely coinciding with my getting vaccinated (I got my trackers installed on 3/6 and had the wifi settings tweaked on 3/27) and having thoughts drifting towards playing live games again (recent CDC guidance is that fully vaccinated folks can gather indoors in small groups without masks, which puts live poker squarely back into the realm of possibility). Also, in addition to getting my vaccine situation squared away in March, I also managed to get my career back on track (I worked my last day in a job that felt like my career path in March of 2017, which is some time ago) and my start date at the new position is tomorrow. That's also why I'm making this post today rather than after the game I'm invited to on 3/30, as I don't anticipate participating that evening. In fact my participation levels should wane overall in the weeks ahead.

While that is a great invitation for me to create some sort of general wrap for my heavily-involved online poker tournament experience, I got my last vaccination yesterday and I'm pretty head-swimmy today. So as a kindness for any posters who don't realize they're not obligated to read every word I post, this should be a bit shorter than my regular in this thread.

Overall March started off with the same frustrations that February ended, in that I had a couple more tournaments in which I held monstrous (>2× the next highest stack) chip leads and managed to finish just outside the money. If I had a dog, it may have got kicked. I wouldn't have dreamed of kicking MHS (she's filled with The Chicago Way), but I did vow (for the millionth time) to stop telling bad beat stories (mostly because I hate hearing them myself). You get a couple of doozies handed to you all in the same week, and you start to get the hint that the universe really doesn't give two shits about what sort of bad luck presents itself to you while you're playing a silly game. Also, simultaneously with my lack of luck, poker-wise, I put my pokerish skills to good use negotiating salaries with my new employer, and one of those is multiple of orders of magnitude more affecting of our life. So really who gives a flyin' flip over a couple of lack of results in a couple of poker tournaments?

The numbers and plots:
Third-most lucrative online month (of the thirteen in the books), overall, only slightly behind my February results with two outright wins and a third chopped-for-first finish out of 12 events (seven total cashes in that span, with three out of five cashes in the Hold'em games I participated in).
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Still first overall in total money earned between our two leagues with an overall return-on-investment of 87% (the two killers ahead of me in terms of ROI are at 138% and 114%—they're about the same as they've been, I've bumped myself up a decent amount in the past couple of months).

I've also taken a good chunk of my online winnings (about 20% of it) and put those to use in the poker room in our basement. I've spent about 30 hours in the last week-and-a-half laying down acoustic amelioration to (hopefully) help lessen the "din" generated when nearly 30 people are all trying to talk over each other (not that we anticipate holding events of nearly that same size any time soon, but now was the time to make those sorts of preparations for if/when those sorts of times return). I'm really happy with how things look (and my measurements show a decrease in reverb of about 1/5th to 1/3rd from where things used to be). I'll probably create a dedicated post to this project in EBG once things are all wrapped up.
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Baroquen »

FYI - I enjoy reading the poker thread too, though I don't always respond.

I did the whole bitcoin / online play for about 4 months. Small comfortable bankroll, micro-small stakes. Usually 1 table SnGs, and MTT when didn't mind a longer session. Basically broke even over the time period. Played BetOnline's poker rooms, and used DriveHUD as a tracker. The poker room is so-so, but I liked the tracker software a lot. Kept a separate spreadsheet too of assorted data, but -nothing- like what The Meal's got.

Got tired of playing, wandered to other things. Played once back in Feburary lost a couple bucks, and haven't played since. Then, my desktop died and I haven't gotten around to re-installing. Browsing this thread will probably be the 'kick-in-the-pants' that gets me back to playing a bit.

Debating switching online poker sites. Anyone playing for-money online sites they like? Isg - did you ever try ACR?

And on a totally different side note - I've only played live one time. My last trip to Vegas, played in a normal daily tourney and I was scared to death of playing like an idiot. Not so much strategy wise, but basic live etiquette/procedural stuff. Turns out, I was fine; missed the money, but not by much. If I recall, held my own early, and then got blinded down, and lost my late double-up opportunity/opportunities. Was fun though. Could go play at the local casinos, but the buy-ins are too high for my casual dabble. Maybe if I get back into the swing of things.

Congrats on the new job and the poker room improvements!
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The Meal
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Re: Poker Results

Post by The Meal »

Baroquen wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:28 pm FYI - I enjoy reading the poker thread too, though I don't always respond.
Understandable. I don't know how much feedback/discussion I'd have if someone else were posting something like this. (Oh who am I kidding, I'd find something to say...)
I did the whole bitcoin / online play for about 4 months. Small comfortable bankroll, micro-small stakes. Usually 1 table SnGs, and MTT when didn't mind a longer session. Basically broke even over the time period. Played BetOnline's poker rooms, and used DriveHUD as a tracker. The poker room is so-so, but I liked the tracker software a lot. Kept a separate spreadsheet too of assorted data, but -nothing- like what The Meal's got.

Got tired of playing, wandered to other things. Played once back in Feburary lost a couple bucks, and haven't played since. Then, my desktop died and I haven't gotten around to re-installing. Browsing this thread will probably be the 'kick-in-the-pants' that gets me back to playing a bit.
I heard of a lot of people who were making more money from their bitcoin payouts happening a few days later than from the actual poker itself! I've never done anything with BTC, so that's all foreign to me. But I did play online poker back before Black Friday on Party Poker and Full Tilt Poker, but never for anything more than hamburger stakes.

Sweet that you'll jump in with us on Monday nights!
Debating switching online poker sites. Anyone playing for-money online sites they like? Isg - did you ever try ACR?
I think I said it before: there are two types of online unregulated poker sites: those that have eventually had troubles providing cash-outs, and those that will eventually have troubles providing cash-outs. Some of those sites (ACR is one I've heard that falls into this category) are infested with bots playing relatively well-tuned frequencies for just printing money for the Russian/Eastern European enterprises which have them set up. My understanding (and now we're firmly away from me having first-hand understanding) is that these bots exist even at the "hamburger stakes" where I'd have been playing.

Buyer beware!
And on a totally different side note - I've only played live one time. My last trip to Vegas, played in a normal daily tourney and I was scared to death of playing like an idiot. Not so much strategy wise, but basic live etiquette/procedural stuff. Turns out, I was fine; missed the money, but not by much. If I recall, held my own early, and then got blinded down, and lost my late double-up opportunity/opportunities. Was fun though. Could go play at the local casinos, but the buy-ins are too high for my casual dabble. Maybe if I get back into the swing of things.
Amazing! We try to run our basement games so that folks would be comfortable with all that live procedural stuff that you may never think about when brought up in the online game. We've been there and know what it feels like to be apprehensive about doing something stupid that irks everyone else at the table. (For the most part, folks at the table love to have "first-timers" there playing, as it does take a little bit of time to get into the rhythm of the live game, even if you're an absolute online poker savant, so make a mistake or two and just try not to make the same mistake twice.)
Congrats on the new job and the poker room improvements!
Thank you!
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Baroquen
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Re: Poker Results

Post by Baroquen »

I played online before Black Friday too. Then, didn't play much at all for years. Played some poker video games that were very game-y & gimmicky. Read up on, and explored the possibility of playing "for real" through the crypto channels. Pretty much took the leap just to play some real poker again and see if I could keep the bankroll moving in the right direction. Since the bitcoin stuff was all new to me, I read up on it a decent amount, and only have invested a small amount of money anyway. Definitely "recreation" amounts. So your warning is noted/understood.

Likewise, I read up a ton before that time I played live. Was still nervous but relatively prepared for what I was getting myself into that day. Fun, but when playing against the locals, and not knowing the crowd, I expect I'd be the fish. So it's not a scene that I'm looking to get into these days.
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MHS
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Re: Poker Results

Post by MHS »

Baroquen wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:35 pm I played online before Black Friday too. Then, didn't play much at all for years. Played some poker video games that were very game-y & gimmicky. Read up on, and explored the possibility of playing "for real" through the crypto channels. Pretty much took the leap just to play some real poker again and see if I could keep the bankroll moving in the right direction. Since the bitcoin stuff was all new to me, I read up on it a decent amount, and only have invested a small amount of money anyway. Definitely "recreation" amounts. So your warning is noted/understood.

Likewise, I read up a ton before that time I played live. Was still nervous but relatively prepared for what I was getting myself into that day. Fun, but when playing against the locals, and not knowing the crowd, I expect I'd be the fish. So it's not a scene that I'm looking to get into these days.
You'd be surprised how being the only non-local can actually benefit you. You're the unknown quantity so they don't know how to play against you and they've gotten comfortable playing against the known styles of the other locals. It's something I took advantage of when I used to travel for work. I actually have a much higher win rate in away-from-home games than in our home games despite my home win rate being not too shabby.
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