Sunday, December 16, 2012

Team Clickin it Back

Last Saturday night, Matty and I decided to play some live poker @ edgewater casino, so we phoned in our names, and got on the skytrain to head to the casino.

We started talking about the whole year, and how brutal the variance had been for all of us. When I refer to all of us, I am mainly talking about Jordan (bigbluffzinc), Brandon (Mazurite), and then him and myself. Us four are a core group that have been around each other for some time now. Jordan and Matty were both involved with me in the SNGReasons project that lasted about a year, and then black Friday happened which ended that, and Brandon is a former student of mine, who moved to Vancouver and lived with Jordan last August and has since got a new place, which is just right down the road in walking distance.

A couple of months ago, we started bouncing around the idea of giving ourselves a team name.

We came up with Team Clickin it Back. The name itself is a popular online poker term, which im sure almost everyone has heard of thats familiar with online poker. Obviously our team name had to have something to do with poker, and mocking this phrase makes for a near perfect team name. Asides from us four, we also added Jay (YugiohPro), and Mike (Niet2maar3).

Anyways, before derailing this any longer, back to the skytrain conversation with Matty.

So were just going back and forth about how bad the year has been. We took so many shots, and came up just short so many times. Our group doesn't know what its like to bink a huge score. He even said to me at one point, sometimes I feel like were just chasing a pipe dream, and that binking huge scores isn't realistic. Our mindsets were clouded because we never ran good deep in the right tournaments. We would just say its variance, we just need to keep firing bullets, etc, but when you don't know what it is like to be successful you sometimes question what it is your doing.

We all had huge sweats for big scores this year, and every sweat came up short. Our biggest cash this year is Brandon's run in the 5K WCOOP main event where he got a little over 30k, which when you think about it, is a little over 6 buyins for that said tournament and isn't really a huge score given the buyin. We put ourselves in too many good situations to bink huge, and math says on average at least 1 of those would have worked out, but sadly variance is a bitch and none of the deep runs turned into anything.

We started going over plans for next year, how things will be better, how we plan on making a lot of noise in the MTT world, etc. We improved so much over the past year, we wanted to start getting rewarded for how good we are.

Matty was leaving on Monday, and given all the deep runs he had made in the past couple of weeks, including 2 milly runs, a FT bubble in a massive micro millions field, etc, I could tell the variance was starting to really effect him. We played live, we both lost money, and then we went home to get some sleep... this would be Matty's last Sunday before going back home for the holidays.

The next day, I remember it being about 2pm, and our living room, which is our grind room basically, the atmosphere was painful. Mike "Niet2maar3", who is here grinding for a little before going back to the netherlands, was just grinding SNGS, but for Jordan, Matty, and I, we were all blanking just about every MTT possible.

Next thing you know, Matty is getting super deep in one of the FTOPS, Im getting deep in the milly, Jordan has a huge stack + getting deep in the Sunday 500, and brandon is CL of the 109 rebuy super deep. Jordan and my runs ended like all the other runs in the past have ended, which wasn't good. My student/horse Hopez also had frustrating finishes in the Sunday kickoff (5TH) and the Sunday milly (11th... grrrr) but we proceeded to watch Brandon take down the 109$ rebuy for 51K, and we watched Matty take down a FTOPS for a little over 100K, plus a jersey!

Our biggest cash to date was 30k, we had two surpass that in the same day. It truly is crazy at how poker and variance work out like that. Mattys FTOPS was one of the harder ones to win as well, I think it was a 100$ buyin, and the field was huge. We celebrated with cigars and drinks on the balcony, and it was awesome seeing Matty especially after taking down a 100K score and having that surreal feeling. I couldn't be happier for both of them as a win for them is a win for all of us. We grind it out everyday together and its refreshing to finally see some good results.

More then anything, them winning two big tournaments on a Sunday motivated the whole group. We now know that positive variance in these huge field big payout tourneys is possible (not that we never did know that, but boy we questioned it a lot lol), and I think moving forward its going to motivate us to get as good as we can, to prepare ourselves for these big payday tournaments.

I am predicting a massive year for Team Clickin it back in 2013, the sky is the limit.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 Recap

It seems like it is the first time in my life, to this extent at least, that I can't wait for the future to come so I am able to strive and accomplish goals that I have set for myself. I haven't structured these goals out yet, and I have some time to do so, but I can not wait for 2013 to just come so I can move forward from a mediocre year in regards to mainly poker, but also life. I will touch more on this later, but for now I will just give a quick recap of the second half of the year.

So with my last blog post which was over five months ago (#smh), I left off at being in Vancouver for three more weeks and then I was off to go back home for a bit and to go to the WSOP for the first time ever. I went home, spent some time with friends and family, and then was off to Vegas.

WSOP was hands down, the highlight of my year. Vegas has so much opportunity during the WSOP. The cash games are extremely soft, the sattys are soft, and the rio daily tournaments are soft, basically just about everything is soft. Any game you sit down at you can expect to be a massive winner. For the WSOP Tournaments, The fields are large, the buyins are large, and the fields are pretty soft. You can get tough table draws, and late in the tournaments things tend to be a bit tougher as well, but for the most part fields are very soft. I ended up playing a 1.5k, a 1k, and the 10k main event.

Results wise, I broke even in tournaments. I finished 37th in the 1500$ for 12.5k, and blanked the 10k and the 1k. As for the rest, I made a little. The overall experience of Vegas was the real highlight for me. To finally see how much money you can make there during the series was a huge wake up call for me. As long as I am a poker professional, there is no way I won't be in Vegas for a month and half, every summer, for the WSOP.

After Vegas I came back to Pittsburgh again. Originally I had planned to go from Vegas to Vancouver, But I felt the need to come back and see my family and friends a little more before I came back to Canada for the rest of the year. I saw them some, but for the most part I did what I usually do while being in Pittsburgh, which is spend time at the casino grinding away at 1/3.

I feel like I am wasting time being back in Pittsburgh and grinding out 1/3 at the Casino, and putting off coming back to Vancouver, just to be able to see my friends and family for another 2-3 weeks. I did it twice this year, and its really not justifiable. We are all older now and everyone is busy and handling there business, I need to handle mine. It's something I do not intend to do in 2013.

I got back to Vancouver in mid August and I have been here since grinding away. Aside from Pete's Wedding (Jordan aka Bigbluffzinc's little brother), which was a blast, and the occasional once every 3-4 weeks night out, my life has been more or less consumed by poker.

In September there was WCOOP, in Late oct / early november there was Edgewater's WCPC, and River Rock's WSOPC events. In WCOOP my best finish was 15th place for like 3500$ in a 320$ PLO. I pretty much didn't cash in the rest of the events, including the 5k main. At the live series, I cashed in 1 tournament out of like 10, which was the WCPC 2k main event where I got 12th for 5.5k ish, which had 100k up top. I also played a 5k at the WCPC which brings my yearly + lifetime totals of 5k+ tournaments for 3. Blanking them all kind of sucks, but the only way to reach your expectation is to play, and I am happy that I am starting to shot take at some serious buyins.

For a lot of the time I have been back, my mind is all over the place yet again when it comes to game selection, and volume, and a lot of it can be solved by quitting smoking. I can no longer smoke out on the balcony of our apartment, meaning I have to take a elevator downstairs to smoke. The building we live in has probably the worse elevators in the world as there are 36 floors and two elevators. We are on the 31st floor so walking down and up to avoid elevators is not a option (especially walking up). This means during regular hours waits can be long. So for me to grind MTTS, its very hard as I won't be able to get down the elevator, smoke, and back up in time without missing hands. Due to this I avoided MTTS a lot, unless its after 8 PM where the elevator wont be likely to have a wait... This causes me to grind games without breaks, which is SNGS. When playing SNGS, you absolutely kill your hourly by playing shorter sessions. Given my addiction to smoking, that is exactly what I do, I grind for 2 hours tops, and then smoke, and then I start up again. Due to this my hourly is watered down a shit ton, I have realized this for some time now, and have "attempted" to quit a couple times now, the longest lasting about 2 days. Its a very very hard addiction to quit.

I have no more room for smoking in my life, It is just costing me too much money. Its making me approach poker in a non optimal way, which is costing me money, Its costing me money by buying them, and when you factor in long term EV, Its costing me money I will spend on my health later down the road. I have been smoking for almost 5 years now. I am starting to see a decrease in my health from my lungs, to my teeth, to my skin from it already. It is dragging me down, and it is dragging down my potential and I have no room for it anymore. I am setting the date of when I quit @ December 26th.

So here I am with two weeks left to grind. I need about 4k vpps a day to get my 300k milestone by the 17th, and this is a goal I will accomplish. I have a pretty good game selection strategy to get the VPPS, and I did my first day of 4k VPPS yesterday which went pretty shitty results wise, but I felt I played well and was happy with the work I put in. It just takes a lot of hours to do 4k VPPS for me, especially when you factor in how much the smoke breaks drag my volume down.

Overall this year has been pretty frustrating. Every big shot I took I blanked or cashed for a irrelevant amount. The games online are a lot lot lot lot harder, meaning variance is going to kick in a lot more often. Like when I first started grinding, I was just 30-40 tabling 6$ and 12$ 45 mans. I was beating these games for 17% ROI, and my variance was non existent. If you check out my sharkscope graph, you will see the first part of my graph has 0 variance. Now I am playing much bigger buyins, much tougher games with thinner edges, and when you play games where your ROI isn't that high, the difference it makes in your variance is just retarded.

At first I wasn't able to deal with the huge difference in variance. I would play bigger buyins, go on a COMPLETELY standard downswing, and panic. I think the worse downswing I would go on for the bulk of my career was like 2k-3k or so, and when it happened I was fine with it. I could keep grinding optimally knowing results would turn around.

This year, I would treat my downswings based on a $$$ amount instead of a Buyin #... I would go on like a 6-7k downswing with a avg buyin of 70-80$ or something, and then I would start grinding the hell out of lower variance games, such as 15-30$ SNGS and very soft, smaller buyin smaller field MTTS. This is very counter productive as I spend a huge portion of my time grinding away @ makeup total's by playing low buyin games, which in the long run just sabotages my hourly.

After being shown a blog post by nsdpoker that talks about variance, my mindset towards variance is much much better (for example, I am on a 7k downswing in the past week, and my Game selection today will be the same and I won't worry about it at all). If anyone hasn't read his blog post towards variance, I recommend you read it, its amazing at how informative it can be when it comes to variance. here is the link

My mindset towards poker and life in general is just changing, which is why I cant wait for 2013. 2012 was a much needed growing year for me as a poker player, and as a person. I won't post my full list of goals now because I am not sure what they will be, and what strategy I will implement to achieve them, but I will for sure make a blog post with my 2013 goals before the year is over. For sure though I will be getting SNE next year, I will take the time while I am still here to develop how I want to attack 2013, and will follow this post up sometime before christmas.

This ends the TLDR boring post... that is what happens when you try to cram 5 months into one blog post,

Thanks for reading,