Hey, so here I am. This post is going to be kinda long because I'm in the mood to write so if you're interested you're definitely going to enjoy.
Last year was quite tilting when it comes to poker... (life in general was pretty good I guess, apart from gaining ~35lbs/15kg and destroying my liver =P) I made monies, but not as much as I planned to nor as smoothly as I wanted to.
First of, I started the year playing HU NLHE, that part is well documented in some of my posts in this blog. However, I stopped playing NLHE HU shortly after the end of May (not much happened between that time and my last March post here).
This is my graph of my HU NLHE career up to May/June (I don't have a good style for variance free HU, my stats are usually 76/72):
Then, my HU PLO adventure began. It started off pretty well! I was running good and, on retrospect after watching some videos and reading some books, playing pretty well (for someone who took off in the most swingy poker variant totally uneducated). I never seemed to be able to have a losing day, and when I did, I only lost a couple of buyins. I had 2 consecutive best days ever ($4.5k and $5k at 2/4 and 3/6) I was unbeatable, nobody could touch me and I surely would be ruling the highstakes FTP games by the end of the year. I was going to make a name for myself.
And then, June came along. Everything looked great, going to a couple of different places (Vilamoura and Figueira da Foz) to play a couple of live tourneys and just have a blast and making some money online. The first week in Vilamoura is pretty hazy, not much poker went on over there since I devoted most of my time to be partying with friends, but what happened next in Figueira would forever change the way I deal with variance and, above all, poker.
First couple of days I didn't play. Then I had another $4k day, pretty good. And then, I started losing. A LOT. Didn't matter what I did, I just lost session after session. Whether I got my money in ahead (didn't happen too often, I was quick to blame variance but time would prove me wrong) or in behind, I was due to lose. Every single day, for week and a half. I swear, every time I woke up, all I thought about was getting even for when the streak began (I still remember the day my downswing began, June 13th). Coming from a FR/HU bumhunting-ish background I didn't have to deal much with downswings, and when I did, few hours/days would go by before I got back to even with a lot of grind.
However, in PLO all of this changes. I still remember the first thought I heard about PLO when I saw my first PLO video: "PLO is a game of exploiting equity edges". What I interpreted this to mean at the time (and still do, although to a lesser extent), is basically: "this aint holdem, bitch... variance here will eat you up, long run has a much bigger role". I lost count to the amount of times I got it in flipping or in slim edge situations. They rarely went my way. Finally, by the end of July, I realized I needed to take a break from the game I learned so much to love and hate at the same time. The downswing (starting on the highpoint) now totalled a whopping $16k at this time, more than 35 buyins. I had to stop and regroup, but above all, I needed to recover the money I had lost.
This is my HU PLO graph, starting May and ending June:
To get back even, my plan consisted in grinding massive amounts of hands at 1/2 FR. It sorta worked, being FR the game I'm best at I made like $11k (including rakeback, one cannot be a FR grinder to the core if he doesn't include rakeback in his totals :D) in the space of a month just printing stress free money.
Having partially recovered the money and some confidence, I felt ready to again tackle PLO, so I started watching some videos and read SlowHabit's book. Ready to go, gonna start making some cash. It didn't turn out to be that simple. Now something felt different in my game (I was playing better, trying to avoid spots where variance would just chew me up) but still, I kept losing. By this time, mid-September had arrived (didn't play much in August or September) and, after travelling to Barcelona and Prague with poker buddies, I decided I wouldn't play PLO again until I had seen every video and read every book I could get my hands back on the subject.
However, I chose to play poker to make money because I'm lazy by nature. "It's a tough way to make easy money" sounds like a good maxim to me. I felt more comfortable grinding the games I had learned so well to beat (up to the tune of 4ptbb 24 tabling, which means I'm pretty damn good in the games I play at) and making stress free money, even though I had more than the skillsets required to beat larger games, with more variance.
This is my graph for the remainder of the year, starting October and ending now:
So, all told, I made approximately $65k total profit. A total of $50k came from cash tables, around $4k came from donkaments and $11k came from rakeback. I broke even in live poker.
This is my 2009 graph (it's very crudely done, I didn't get the timeframes right but I only made the distinctions so you can get a general idea of where each period was located)
Now, onto 2010 goals:
- $250k total profit
- Move up to midstakes/highstakes FR and start beating them like I have done to smallstakes.
- Improve my PLO game, putting in some volume and making some money.
- Become the first portuguese SNE who plays mainly cash games.
- Make a decent sized score at some tournament.
- Play more live donkaments, I can't win money if I don't have sample size.
- Drink less and enjoy life more.
- Never give up on the blog.
Ok, so this is it! 52 weeks of poker ahead of me, let's tear this sh*t up. I don't want to make promises I can't keep so I'll try to blog at least twice a week with updates.
I leave you guys with this awesome clip: