mommie, it burns!

Thursday I took the day off from work and played poker. I made over a $100. Yesterday I left work early and since then dropped about $195. Here are my official stats…

1995 hands, 26.5 hours, -$194.97 won, -19.92 BB/100, total bankroll $161.88 (after $200 withdrawal today)

I’m sure my losses would not have been so severe if I had established and followed some reasonable bankroll management guidelines.

I really like the idea of not risking more than 10% of your bankroll on any given day. It’s a great ideal to strive for. But I also know that I’m the type of person who likes to take risks. So I’ll have to grow in that area.

I pretty much went on tilt yesterday (and I’m probably still emotional now). I had built up some pretty unrealistic expectations about my poker prowess and ability to make money. I had an entire dance company of dreams and fantasies prancing around in my head. Thoughts of things I would buy and trips I would take with my new and increasingly bigger winnings. And I got mad when I started losing and couldn’t stop.

Then yorkshirepuddings found me. And we played a few hands together. That’s when my ego really reared its ugly head. The brief history between us is that we’ve been reading each other’s blogs and I thought I was giving him helpful advice to improve his game and overall online poker experience. So, of course, when he sat down at my table I wanted to show him firsthand what a poker phenom I am. I did okay but, when he bluffed me on a hand using the knowledge of my game he got from reading this blog, I was incensed. The thing that bothered me so much was that he showed his bluff. The question in my head was, Why not be a decent bloke (that’s how you English guys talk, right?) and let me think I made a good laydown? Like I told him, I thought we were being friendly. I think anyone advertises a bluff for one of two reasons: 1) To show off and possibly piss the other opponent(s) off, or 2) To set the other players up to call a future bet when you really have the goods. I mean, Jesus, I’m trying to help you and you want to screw with me like that? Well, you don’t have to worry about me giving anymore unsolicited advice.

Am I blowing this out of proportion? Probably, right?

Anyway, after that incident I played a little longer, lost some more money and finally got too tired to hold my head up any longer and stumbled off to bed, where I fell into it like a black abyss.

This morning I woke up, somewhat refreshed, and got back into the fray. I continued to lose until I finally decided to move to the beginner’s pot limit tables on Prima. I played the .05/.10 level and actually showed a small profit. While I was playing I came across a badass article that just blew me away. It’s ostensibly about bankroll management at low limits for the beginning player, but it’s really about how to approach the game when you are new. It just really helped me to see that my expectations are incredibly out of whack.

When I look at my total stats (15k hands, 9.9 BB/100) since I started tracking them in late November, my winrate is pretty high. Ed Miller says, “It takes months and years of study, play, and self-examination to get to the point where you’ll consistently win at a rate near 3BB/100.” I guess the key word there is “consistently.” Right now I’m just running good. Frankly it’s stupid to get upset over one or two losing days. There are pros who have bad weeks, months, or even years. My focus should be on learning the game and having fun. It’s just that the idea of making money is so seductive and I’ve come across various posts and websites that brag about how this person or that person went pro in six months or a year.

The truth is, when I’m not worried about money, I do enjoy the game so much more. Yesterday when I sat down before the computer, I had it in my mind that I was going to make money to replace the money I would have made at work. That idea set an unpleasant tone. Playing poker was no longer a game. It was work. From there, things just went downhill.

So, I don’t know. I still have a long way to go in this thing. I guess I don’t have all the answers. But I know one thing… any of you reading this, don’t you ever bluff me and show!


5 comments so far

  1. yorkshirepuddings on

    Firstly Mr Scribe, you gave advice etc to a fellow player because you, like me, have a love of the game and understand that by giving a player a different view on a hand can help not only that player in question but the person giving the advice too. When I showed the bluff in real-time you mentioned something about being friendly. Unfortunately there is no such thing at the poker table, I’m there to enjoy myself and to win money, whoever it is from. Ask Cadmunkey, we’ve been involved in games and pots before and have never gone soft on each other and the fact we know each other’s game makes it more interesting as you can start to think on a higher level rather than “I have 2 cards and I know what beats what”. When I said I was using info on you from you blog etc it means I’ve seen hands you were involved in and I know you’re pretty solid and are able to laydown weak holdings, nothing more nothing less.

    I didn’t show you the bluff to piss you off or to show how good I was but let’s look at your play up to that hand. I had you running at around 30/20/6 (or something like that, the figures elude me for now) and you were basically bullying the table. Yeah you weren’t having the best of luck but I had to show you, and here’s the important part, the other 4 players at the table that I stand up to and take on bullies and aggressive players and am not afraid to stick my chips in the middle. People think twice about stealing from people and taking on people who show aggression. People start to fold c-bets because they know if they contest them they’re going to be in for most, if not all, of their stacks.

    At the end of the day if someone showing you a bluff pisses you off then I’m sorry to say you’re probably playing the wrong game! You do realise that anyone reading this blog who comes up against you is going to bluff then show you as it obviously effects you and your game! I played the player and the situation and it paid off, sometimes it’s a costly mistake, other times against a decent player it works out. One thing’s for certain, if we cross paths again you’ll have to think twice about raising me because am I bluffing or have I got a monster this time because I know that you’ll be thinking what I might be holding and maybe even thinking about what you think I think you think I am holding!! The poor players take no notice, decent players, like yourself, take note. I make money from poor players and want to give solid players a reason avoid me. I think I’ve given you food for thought for when we next meet.

    Good luck at the tables Mr Scribe 🙂

  2. blackscribe on

    Okay, okay! Point made!


    York, I can’t find any fault with your reasoning. I was still a little sour when I wrote the earlier post. And the last bit about bluffing and showing was definitely tongue-in-cheek. By the very nature of a POKER blog, one is apt to give info that others might exploit, but I guess it’s not really that serious. So, yeah, we’re cool, bro. But I still want some “get back” (Note: that’s African American slang for revenge).

    Good luck to you, Mr. Yorkshirepuddings!

  3. Shelly on

    it’s funny, i just snapped up this blog on the poker website where you are oplaying right now (Tuesday morning, 5.40am).
    you guys thought the poker manager didnt see you guys, but i saw you! i just didnt give a damn. as long as you guys are not advertising or puting up links, its fine.
    good luck in your games mate!

  4. yorkshirepuddings on

    No problemo Mr Scribe, all’s fair in love and war!! I’m sure we’ll lock horns again in the future, maybe at the NL400 tables one day 🙂

  5. Will teh turn on

    Hey! Its me who doubled you up on that flop fd + turn gut-shot 😛

    Pretty interesting read you have it all! hot action, hot drama now you only need some hawt ladies in! Ive been playing over a year now. Moved down from 25NL to 10NL as I am going to army soona nd I though I just slow it down before I go there, So I wont be totally out of air. I was in two tables with you and It looked quite standard what you were doing for the limit. You just have to realize that you cant think even 2 levels or you get brutally whacked by people who you cant put up on cards nevermind thoughts. I dont even play much anymore but friend hooked me with 30$ on purplerpoker so I might just as well play the 1000raked to cash it out.

    P.S And to the thing between york and you Its really awesome to have someone who know you on micro-table It makes you so much more sharp and interesting!

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