Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thoughts on Burnley Mik's post+sng's

Rather than fill Burnley Mik's
comment box with my late night rambling reply to his latest post, I thought I'd stick it here.You can tell me where else to stick it in the comments box. Call it a bonus post or call it Jeremy.I don't mind. Obviously I'm writing mainly from a low( $33 and below) sit n go players angle rather than cash.And yeah I noticed that BM's article was based on cash just before posting this..

Focussing on short-term results is just human nature and hard to fight.The same as positive confirmation bias.Surely we've all called out the villains one outer in our heads just before it hits on the river? On a bad run,or if you're me or you it seems possible on almost every hand.Of course that's our psychic secret.Those happy go lucky bigstack donks at every table aren't blessed with our abilities, that's for sure...

Of course it is possible to be one-outered on every hand which is what helps make poker such a tough game.We also look for patterns and logic/reason when there's only the next card.

I keep wanting to blank out the lobby on Party to avoid looking at my balance between games, but I still like to know where I stand.In the back of my mind I also worry that I'm more likely to tilt if I'm not constantly aware of my "real money" balance.( if that makes sense)

I suppose it forces me to look harder at my game and be honest with myself over my frame of mind too.If I do that and I know it's just one of those constant nasty streaks that are totally standard for turbo sngs, I can keep to my A game,ride it out, and make a decent profit overall.

I'm so used to runs of 9-10 sngs without cashing ( over thousands of games ) that it doesn't bother me to see my balance drop by a couple of hundred.Over 10 buy-ins down and I'm usually pissed at all the beats and lost flips.Again that's just human nature and I can't help that feeling.It's how you deal with it that matters and hopefully if I don't get sharked playing higher,I can certainly up my "gulp limit" over time.

I think you also have to have the confidence to know that it only takes a couple of wins to turn a bad session into a "lose small" one,which in itself can be seen a success.A seemingly rare hot streak may see a whole sessions result change over the space of a few games.Break even for over 50 games one night, and win a quick 2 from 3the next night during a grabbed half hour.It's the nature of the game.

On reflection even most of this post so far has been about negative variance.Did I mention positive confirmation bais...Anyway,with a positive roi over a decent sample ( at least 1000+ games)there should still be plenty of sessions where you come out a ton of buy-ins ahead.Great when it happens, and disheartening when you feel you're playing well and you hit a wall of beats/lost flips again and again.It's always worth remembering that a 10% roi at $15 games is only $1.50 per game profit,the beats are standard and only playing your "A" game + volume will bring long term profit.

For me,if I hit a 15-20 buy-in downswing,which thankfully doesn't happen as often as I think,I can still go to bed and not dwell on it, although I will go over the session in Pokertracker before my next game.I actually find it reassuring when I see repeated bad beats and coolers.I can still look for spots where I possibly stacked off too lightly or missed a shove, but I prefer seeing bad luck rather than a ton of mistakes.

I can also genuinely laugh at my own bad luck when reviewing an ugly session the next day.It is a cruel game sometimes.I have no interest in Mr "I Called with K2 and busted your Aces", other than being safe in the knowledge that as long as donks are willing to stack off with rags, every game won't see 9 evenly stacked players at level 7 blinds.You may not have taken a bad beat yet in the lev 7 blind game, but your edge is diminishing rapidly with each hand.You're forced to push and call lighter just to stay ahead of the blinds and retain fold equity.

Don't get shortstacked and blinded off you say? Not so easy when card dead with 8 other players around to shove all in before or after you.I may get upset sometimes with my own bad luck at being outdrawn in a big pot,however I'm never angry at the lucky,jammy,donk tard,fishy fucker.The reality is of course that our Aces hold v his raggy King more often than not.He won't be a winning player overall.His hobby costs him money that you're directly or indirectly taking, so he's welcome to his day in the sun if he's getting lucky against me in a game or two.

On the rare occasion I monkey tilt spew off a few buy-ins, I'm aware enough to simply stop playing for the night.I also cut short my next session when I do play if I still don't feel mentally strong enough to play my usual winning game*.I'll go and do something else and come back to the game again another day.It's an easy option when it's only a hobby.

* As of writing at least.I know it would be far more interesting then this pish, but hopefully there's no "The Party donks ate my roll" post after I go mad at $1k sngs.It's scary that I've even just thought about how to blow it.Damn blog.

Perhaps my thinking is too short-term and that's a failing of mine that also prevents me from moving up a bit in stakes and testing my own gulp limit.To take it to the extreme, ( why not,it's late!)I just can't even imagine how hard Tom Dwan gulped,regardless of his overall wealth, after losing $6.7 million to Isildur1 back in Nov '09.Did he awake the next morning and bound down the street thinking to himself, "Hey the sun's out,I'm still going for my Happy Meal"? Maybe he was looking at strangers thinking, "they don't know I..JUST LOST $6.7 MILLION FUCKIN' DOLLARS".I reckon it was the former and he's probably still playing with the toy as he rebuilds his roll.

I could also go into full witter mode about how the top players have more controlled gamble about them.I certainly admire the sng pro's who wouldn't blink too hard at a 40-50 buy-in downswing over a short period of time.That's the kind of gulp limit I want to have!

Ok, that's enough herbally induced, late night spraffing of bollocks for now...

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At Saturday, 13 February, 2010, Blogger BurnleyMik said...

Very good post mate. Was very interested to read how constantly seeing your balance has a positive effect on you, but lets say you drop $200, do you not feel one of two things:

1. It's not going my way I am just gonna stop right now.

2. I don't want this to be a losing session, I'll just playa few more see if I can bring it back a bit (I know typical gambler syndrome).

This is basically what seeing my balance does to me when it's on the negative side and on the flip side of that when I am running hot and doing well, I see the balance and sort of want to quit whilst I am ahead. No way I wanna give it back sort of mentality, which I know is crazy, but happens to me quite often.

Now, if I can;t see that balance, none of these things can affect me, right?

I don;t know, I haven't tried it, so thats where I am at! lol.

Sorry for rambling on here, but I thought your post was excellent. Really good to see it from your POV.

I am also wondering if bankroll management has a big part to play in your comfort of not worrying about dropping a few buy-ins? Surely thats the main reason you don;t worry about the balance dropping a little????

Either way, you got me thinking at 6.30am on a Saturday morning!!



At Saturday, 13 February, 2010, Blogger L4Y SP said...

nice , another reality check for me. gg

At Saturday, 13 February, 2010, Blogger Littleacornman said...

Cheers Mik.

At $200 down it's no to option 1 though.There may be a bit of the "I can still breakeven on this session" thinking, but that's because I know my game is good and that even if it takes 10 or 1000 games I will make it up at some point.

I've also experienced enough sessions where I start badly and finish well to keep plugging away if I do go $200 down.As long as any downswing is due to beats/lost flips/coolers I'm confident I can turn it round.In other words it's only when I'm not being constantly outdrawn by fish making daft calls that I start to worry if I'm down on a session as that must mean it's my game at fault.

It's hard enough to win pushing small edges on my "A" game, so if I feel tilted at all I'll quit playing.

I hate losing but accept it's part of the game.No player wins every session.As I said in my post I can have a small losing session and feel happy that although I've run like total crap,I've kept my losses to a minimum by keeping my head and still playing my best game.

I get the "quit while ahead" feeling too when running hot, but I don't think that's a bad thing either.Whilst I'd love to just grind,grind grind regardless of results, banking a short confidence boosting session is good for my poker pysche.

Anyway,you may feel you're hitting everything, but the next hand is still a new hand and not related to the previous one.There's nothing to say you'll keep running hot in this session.( same logic applies to running badly)

BR management probably does play a part in feeling comfortable when running badly, but without meaning to sound arrogant,the players are mostly so terrible at low stakes that unless I continually run way below expectation I know with 100% certainty that any losses are only short-term.

I'm not a great multi-tabler ( 4-6 tables max) and I suppose I also worry that not being aware of exactly how much my balance is could lead to runaway train monkey tilt! Seeing a real money $$ balance helps me focus and also reminds me of all the hard work and beats I've had to go through to get to that balance.

I would be interested to test that though and will probably try and play with my account balance hidden for a while and see how it goes.

Thanks again mate and gl at the tables!

Ly4SP: I saw your blog post re quitting and hope it wasn't in anyway due to comments left re hands you posted.Hope you can work on your game and find a winning formula.

At Saturday, 13 February, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope he doesnt eat Happy Meals. Just saying.

At Saturday, 13 February, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope he doesnt eat Happy Meals. Just saying.

At Saturday, 13 February, 2010, Blogger Littleacornman said...

Well to be fair Rosie they don't give away free toys at the kfc ;-)


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