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Month in Review: March 2008

There's no point in beating around the bush. This past month was not been my greatest on record. I ended up playing a whole lot of losing poker and I have only myself to blame. Bad luck's one thing; tilt's a completely different story. Although I don't have every last detail of my play in March, let's take a quick look at the goals I accomplished, those I failed, and a final look at my win/loss tally.

In the end, how bad was March? I played 3000 hands of $1/$2 NLHE and dropped a total of six buy-ins. I think I went as low as eight buy-ins down but managed to win a couple back before moving down to the $100 NLHE games. As for $0.50/$1 NLHE, I was also down two and a half buy-ins over the course of a few thousand hands.

Looking over my sessions, a number of things stand out that really cost me money:

  • I got very little action with many of my big pocket pairs. You've got to give action to get action. My timing for tightening up and loosening up was terrible. I found myself paying off my opponents with my poor hands and getting nothing with my good hands. Not very good play on my part.
  • I only posted a winning record on three of the twenty days that I played poker last month. Even worse, my winning sessions were all short and my losing sessions all lasted much longer. Chasing losses is not a good reason to keep playing.
  • Most of my losses came at the hands of players with VP$IPs > 50%. What does this mean? It means I spent too much time bluffing and not enough time value betting.
  • I saw the flop with just over 220 pocket pairs and flopped sets 7 times. I flopped a set of Aces three times and I flopped a set of Kings twice. It can be really hard to make money that way. Keep in mind that I'm not saying my losses were a direct result of my inability to flop sets. But I believe that this string of perceived bad luck put me in a terrible frame of mind to play poker. When the world's out to get you, it can pretty easy to justify monkey-pushing second pair on a wet flop against a donkey. [NB: In all fairness, I did flop a set with Presto last week and stacked my opponent which was pretty good.]
  • My c-betting success was terrible. I found myself c-betting in spots where a c-bet was not likely to take down the pot. Of course, these failed c-bets made me a little gun-shy and I failed to c-bet a number of flops that were ripe for the stealing.
I managed to hit 80% of my goals for the month of March. I played a lot more medium stack poker. I'm not sure if my losses are a direct result of me playing a bigger stack but it's certainly possible. A bigger stacks means more hands played mean more chances to make costly mistakes. My poor play last month also resulted in my failed attempt to improve on my 13 BB/100 win rate at $1/$2 NLHE in February. I wasn't even close...

On a positive note, I hit my Silver VIP status at Titan Poker and I also obtained SilverStar VIP status at PokerStars. I also hit my goal of getting a new laptop earned solely through poker-derived winnings. So it's not all doom and gloom!

Looking ahead to April, I'll probably play a little less poker given my general levels of exhaustion. I'm also a little shell-shocked from some of the awful plays and terrible results from March. It's probably best if I slowly ease myself back into poker. Of course, I'll need to play enough this month to tide me over once Grand Theft Auto IV hits store shelves on April 29! That game will definitely eat up quite a number of my free-time cycles!

My primary goal for the month of April will be to play 5000 hands of poker at the $0.50/$1 NLHE tables. I'm going to stay away from the $1/$2 tables until I've managed to win 10 - 15 buy-ins. And to change things up, I'll be sticking with the games at Full Tilt and Titan Poker. I'm going to need rakeback and bonuses to help me reduce the variance in my suddenly-small bankroll.

Stick with me and I'll see if I can turn things around. There's nothing worse than keeping up a poker blog while also playing terrible, losing poker. It can be hard to admit to the world that I know far less about poker than I thought I did a short month ago.

And with that out of the way, it's time to make some money...


WillWonka said...

I can say from personal experience that blogging while losing is the worst and hardest thing to do.

Keep at it and things should turn around.

Klopzi said...

Hey Will -

It is hard. I find that it can be embarrassing and a little damaging to my image as well when I give advice on hands that I've misplayed due to tilt or lack of proper knowledge.

Then again, I never said I was an expert.

I'm going to keep at it. Sometimes I just feel like gambling and poker fills that void quite nicely.

joxum (Denmark) said...

You need to get back to where you feel comfortable again. But don't worry, you'll get there eventually.

And if you still feel bad, there's always someone who's worse off.

Keep it up,


Klopzi said...

joxum -

Yep, I'll get there again. I always do.

I'm still a marginally winning player at both the $0.50/$1 and $1/$2 NLHE games so it's not quite as bad as I suspected.

As I've said before, I feel the effects of variance quite strongly due to the few number of hands that I play. It can be a curse or a blessing depending on which way my bankroll is headed.