Thursday, January 10, 2013

Keeping sending the begging letters out

OK, let's get the live unpleasantness out of the way first. My WPT main event campaign never really got going. Shortly after sitting down my phone beeped with a text from a friend at a nearby table informing me that the gentleman to my immediate left was a top notch cash player. He put me in my box pretty quickly, 3 betting me at will and forcing me to either be prepared to play a higher variance style than I'm comfortable with in the early stages (getting involved in 4 betting wars with junk) or to tighten up. I went with the latter option but the deck did not reward my patience or discipline. I made a big fold on the river (with a set) having invested a good chunk of my stack already (I actually had the third best hand), and then lost most of what was left with AJ on a JJ5 board. Then when I finally found a good reshoving spot (KQs over a serial raiser), I ran into Phil Baker's aces in the big blind. I was miles ahead of the opener's range (he had shown up with 53 already in a similar spot) so it was a spot I had to take. Some days there's just nothing you can do and this felt like one of them.

If anything my exit from the CPT side event felt worse. A combination of a rather curious structure (no antes until after the 400/800 level) and the table (a couple of livewires like George McMahon who don't consider folding a sensible option most of the time  just behind) meant I decided quickly that tight was right early on. Accordingly I spent a few hours folding mainly punctuated by winning the odd pot to edge up from starting stack only to get the lot in pre with aces versus tens just as it started to get interesting. The rather sombre nature of this paragraph is a clue to the fact that this didn't end well for me.

There's no point getting upset or downbeat though as in the big picture no one tournament really matters all that much. All I or any player can do is keep trying and getting into position to get lucky. Next up for me is UKIPT Edinburgh, and then EPT Deauville. I've taken the more sensible route of selling some of my Deauville action even though I'm feeling particularly confident about my first EPT in almost 2 years. I personally believe the slow structure and field composition of EPTs suit me and there is some evidence to support this. I have cashed at most EPTs I have attended and had my deepest ever run in the last one I played (in Berlin in 2011, where I also final tabled a side event). Anyone interested in a sweat, I still have a few per cent left (it's €69 for one per cent).

Most of my friends were no luckier in Citywest. Smidge, Nick Newport and Lappin all made day 2 but were early casualties.

It was nice to run into a few people I hadn't seen in a while. Particularly nice to run into Tom Kitt as it gave us a chance to clear up an unpleasant misunderstanding in person and I was very relieved we were able to do so. There are quite a few people in poker that it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if I never had to speak to them again, but Tom isn't one of them. Tom is one of the most likeable people on the Irish scene and I'm delighted to see he's been going well online recently (this is being written just a couple of hours after he took down the main Nightly on Stars France).

Speaking of online, I've been going along nicely recently. No particularly big binks, but just a nice steady upward graph. Poker is an odd game in that in the short term variance obscures ability, and luck trumps skill. It's too easy to focus on the outlier results, the big binks, the ones that make the headlines. It might seem that the key to success is to bink big, but the bottom line is that in the long run, your profit will converge with the number of tables you play multiplied by your edge on each table (measured in ROI). So essentially you are just being paid a flat rate per table (if you play your best). That's true whether you take the high variance road of large tournaments with thousands of runners (and if you do, it's a bumpy road and you better be able to handle the downswings as well as those moments of glory when you bink big) or the less glamourous low variance road of smaller games with less runners.

On the bink front, it was a great weekend for the Firm, with Jason Tompkins coming third in the Million and Daragh Davey notching up his biggest ever score after coming second in the Stars France major. Maybe the most impressive thing about young Master Davey is that about 12 hours after his big bink, he was grinding the unfashionable (but immensely profitable) $4 Super Tuesday 3x turbos.

The title of this entry is from one of my favourite jokes as a kid. The full version went that after winning the lottery, a miser was asked what he would do about the begging letters. "Keep sending them out" was his response. This is a good analogy for poker: no matter how big you bink in this game, if you want to keep making money and survive as a profitable professional player, you have to keep sending out the begging letters. Young Master Davey has that one sussed.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More