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Month in Review: October 2009

October was not my greatest month. My results were pretty poor and I barely played any hands. Family, video games, and illness took centre stage, pushing poker well into the background. I focused primarily on limit Omaha/8 at Stars but managed to squeeze in a bit of 6-max limit hold'em over the past week. And while my results weren't great, small sample sizes make it pretty difficult to ascertain what caused these losses: my poor judgment or my poor luck.

Before I post my numbers, I do want to say that the full-ring limit Omaha/8 games at PokerStars are pretty slow-paced. I typically play 3-4 tables at a time and still managed only about 150 hands per hour. It's pretty hard to gather a significant number of hands at that rate. For a hobbyist such as myself, it's a little frustrating to spend so much time working on my game and not having the opportunity to really put my knowledge to the test. For this reason (and for the obvious reasons that you'll see below), I think I'll put Omaha/8 on the back-burner in November and focus mainly on 6-max limit hold'em. It may be higher variance but I should be able to play many more hands and get more experience in a shorter period of time.

Here are October's numbers:

Omaha/8 (a.k.a. Omaha Hi-Lo)

  • 8 sessions played, 0 sessions won
  • $0.50/$1.00: 1,047 hands, -$26.55
  • $1/$2: 270 hands, $-55.50
  • Overall: 1,317 hands, 8.72 hours played, -$82.50

Limit Hold'em (6-max)
  • 9 sessions played, 3 sessions won
  • $0.50/$1.00: 433 hands, , 4.83 hours played, -$16.80


The one thing that confuses me about Omaha/8 is the PokerEV graph comparing my Showdown Winnings, Total Winnings, and Sklansky Bucks. Does this graph (see below) mean that I'm playing well and getting unlucky (assuming that most of my folds before showdown were actually valid folds)? Or does this graph mean that I'm a donkey? It seems pretty unlikely that I'm this unlucky; I'm sure my small sample size is to blame. Any thoughts?



My plans for November are to focus on 6-max limit hold'em. I don't plan on sticking with the $0.50/$1.00 games very long. I'd like to play 5,000 hands of roughly break-even or better poker. If I pull that off, I'll start playing the $1/$2 games. What happens after that I'll leave up in the air. There's no point in thinking further ahead until I've established whether or not I want to continue playing this form of poker.

I also plan on playing the 6-max LHE games at PokerStars more often than not. I'm still working on clearing a bonus at Stars and I've still got about 1600 VPP to earn before the bonus is mine. It'll likely cost me a fortune in rake to clear the bonus. I'm hoping that weaker competition will be my reward for sticking with Stars in November.

I hope everyone has a great day and good luck at the tables!

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