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Month in Review: July 2008

July was a good month for me at the tables. Coming back from a self-imposed three month hiatus from poker, I put in some hours and was rewarded. I've been trying to think a little harder about the decisions that I make at the tables. I've found that playing a medium stack (100 BBs) has had a larger-than-expected impact on my game; my win rate has gone up, bankroll variance is down, and my game has improved. I'm still not where I want to be poker-wise but I'm pleased to see that I'm headed in the right direction.

This post is chock-full of stats, graphs, and numbers. Everything you need to know about my month of July at the $100 NLHE tables can be found after the jump.

According to PokerDominator, my bankroll increased by $1100.67 from July 1 to July 31. My biggest money maker was $100 NLHE (6-max), accounting for $1109 of my total winnings; sit-n-gos dragged me down. What most impressed me was my hourly rate of $31.36/hr. It's not quite as good as a certain blogger's $100+/hr rate but not too bad for a poker hobbyist.

Poker Tracker Stats:
Poker Tracker stats speak for themselves. Here are my July numbers for $100 NLHE:

  • You'll note that I play a pretty tight game; however, I'm not quite as tight as these numbers would indicate. When I first sit at a table, I play squeaky-tight until I've got a read on everyone. Once I've got reads and a solid table image, I open up my range and start pushing my opponents as hard as I can. By the time anyone realizes that I've changed gears, I've hopefully moved on to a new table or built up a scary or solid table image.
  • My sample size is still quite small - 6,000 hands are not enough to make any life or death decisions regarding my game. I think I'm headed in the right direction though.
  • My win rates are higher than what I'd expect. Personally, I'd be happy to make 8 BB/100 playing 300-400 hands an hour. But I got lucky a few times this past month and my numbers have been positively affected.
  • My aggression numbers appear to be alright. I was a little more aggressive at Party Poker than at PokerStars. Party's players were worse and I was hitting some hands.

    You'll notice that my aggression decreases greatly from the flop to the river. This reflects my unwillingness to risk a lot of chips without really knowing where I am in the hand. Pot control is my friend and until my opponents start punishing me ($200 NLHE perhaps?) for keeping pots small, I'll keep doing what I'm doing.
To keep things in perspective, compare my July $100 NLHE stats to my lifetime $100 NLHE stats:

Just how lucky was I in July? Here's what PokerEV tells me:

  • The reason that my actual all-in winnings are higher than my expected winnings is due to a couple AK hands. Win a couple races, especially a pre-flop all-in against JJ and 99, and watch your short-term luck skyrocket.
How often did I hit sets? Was I running hot in July or cold?

  • The graph above shows that I hit 4 fewer sets than expected given the number of pocket pairs that I played. Honestly, that's not too bad.
  • I hit a lot of sets with AA. Unfortunately, I rarely got paid off.
Best and worst hands:
Want to know which hands made me the most money in July?

How about the hands that cost me?

The Big Picture:
Here are a couple graphs. The first graph (left) shows how well I performed in July and the second graph (right) shows how well I've done since first playing $100 NLHE late last year.

Overall, I'm happy with my results, short-term as they are. There is so much room for improvement in my game that it's pretty ridiculous. I'll be watching a whole bunch of training videos in August. I'll also try to put in another 5K - 10K hands as I continue to work towards clearing my PokerStars $240 bonus.

On the non-poker front, I'm also going to start re-integrating video games back into my weekly routine. Too much poker and not enough games is a sure-fire way to lead me back down a dark path where poker starts to feel like work. One should never feel obligated to engage in a hobby.

Tonight I'm planning on playing a little $100 NLHE and some sit-n-gos at Stars. It's the Friday of a long weekend which means beer, junk food, and gambling. I'm really hoping to break my 47 winless sit-n-go streak. It's gotta break sometime, right? I may also hit up Full Tilt's $100 NLHE 30BB cap games to satisfy any gambling urges should they pop up after a few drinks.

Have a great weekend! I'll be back on Tuesday!

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