Tuesday, July 11, 2006

PokerStars Doom Switch (And Bankroll Thoughts)

I had a pretty rough weekend on the tables and I am really starting to re-think my bankroll strategy.

I added a picture of a graph of my bankroll to my last post. Here it is again

I broke the 10k mark back in the beginning of June. I lost, then won a little and almost got to 11k. But now it is a month later, I am still sitting at that point. The last month of playing poker has been kind of frustrating.
This weekend was what pushed me over the edge I think. I lost about $700 this weekend. I know that it is only really 3.5 buy-ins at 200NL, but it's still $700 bucks! Most of that was over at PokerStars (Some of it over at Tribeca) on both 100NL and 200NL tables. I finally did clear the PokerStars bonus, but I just got crushed in the ring games clearing it. It took me 1900 hands over two weeks time to clear those 720 FPPs, and in those 1900 hands, I lost a total of $650. Thankfully I cashed in that $20 180 person MTT for just over $600 a couple weeks back, so I actually came out a little ahead factoring in the bonus money. But jeez. -$650 to clear 720 FPPs. That's terrible.

I really think PokerStars had the Doom switch turned on for me.
I've never seen so much bad luck. In those 1900 hands, I flopped only 5 sets. Five. FIVE!!! I only got slightly paid off on one of those. I got set over setted on two of them. I got Pocket Aces three times. Kings twice. In 1900 hands! And when I would get a decent hand, I was always up against a monster.

I know you all hate bad beats, but here are a few from this weekend (some are from Tribeca):

- AKs in BB. 5 limpers to me and I make it $9. 4 call. Flop K, J, 2 all clubs. I have no clubs. Checked around. Donk goes all in for 2.5 x pot. He likes to push all-in to steal. I call figuring there is no way he has a made flush. And he flips over A3 with the 3 of clubs. Of course, there is a club on the river.

- 6 max. AK with King on flop. Villain has AA

- 99 UTG. I limp call a regular size raise. Flop set on a Q98 flop, which is my first set at PokerStars in over 800 hands. Villain has QQ for set over set.

- 6 max I have J7s on the button and it is folded to me and I raise hoping to steal. Flop comes jack high. I bet 3/4 pot. He calls. Turn a blank. I bet 3/4 pot again. River 7 giving me two pair. But it gave villain a straight. Chase donkey, chase.

- Full ring folded to me on button and I raise with A7. SB calls. Flop is AAJ. Bet call, blah blah blah. Villain has AJ.

- 6 max, I get QQ, my first high pocket pair at Stars in 3 days. Up against AA with all unders on the board.

- Full ring and call a PF raise with QQ along with a couple other people. Flop is K62. PF raiser bets small so I re-raise. Another dude calls behind me and PF raiser min-raises. Uh oh, I'm out of there. PF raiser has KK, other guy has 66.

- TT on the button and I bet. Flop is all unders with 2 clubs. I bet half pot and villain calls. Blank on turn and I bet 3/4 pot. Villain calls. River is a club. Check check. Villain has KT of clubs. Chase again

- 6 max all-in PF with AA. Villain has KK. King on flop.

- Get KK and get rivered by another flush after dude called my flop and turn bets with 97s.

So here is the situation. My bankroll is at $10,000. From what I have read, that is actually a bankroll where I should for sure be playing full time at 200NL. And even playing 400NL (25 buy-ins) some (I'm not good enough to play 400NL yet, so I wouldn't do that). But one of my poker goals way back was to use poker profit to buy a nice HD television. Well, the basement is finished, and now it's time to cash out some profit. I was thinking of withdrawing $2500-$3000 for a really nice one.

But then this weekend happened, and I thought maybe I should do this: Withdraw everything but $3000. That will give me enough to buy whatever TV I want, an entertainment center, and some furniture off of poker profits (We were going to get that other stuff anyway with regular job money).

Then I would take that $3000 and only play at 100NL. And at the end of each month, withdraw whatever is above $3000 and use that for fun money (Trips, stuff for wife, etc...). Repeat every month.

That means no moving up to 400NL and beyond. Just playing 100NL, which is a level that I think I can really beat. Assuming I play 10000 hands a month, and can play at 5PTBB/100, that would be $1000 in poker profit, plus whatever I get from bonuses. That's still not to shabby.

What do you think? Am I being an idiot? Am I just experiencing variance (Ya, probably). Should I just withdraw $2500 like my original plan and still try and move up in limits? Am I really just a shitty player who was on a really good heater in April-May? Take the profit and run? Avoid playing ring games at PokerStars like the plague?


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