Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The New Plan for September

I didn't play hand of poker during the stretch from August 5th to the August 19th. This is the longest I've gone without playing poker in the 7 years that I've been playing poker seriously. For those of you who may not have heard the reason why was my wife Jen and I had our first child (Peyton Wesley Huff) on August 9th (you can get all the details and look at pictures on our other blog www.thehuffs.wordpress.com).

I got back to work playing 3/4 days last week and started back with full time this week. So far I've had mixed results. The past few days I've ditched the cash games gone back to playing single table Sit-n-go tournaments (SNG's) which were my bread and butter for years. While I haven't exactly been smoking the competition I've done OK and at least I've felt in control and like I've been making good decisions.

And now, I have a plan! It's critical to have a plan when things haven't been going as well as you'd like. If nothing else having a plan will keep you from thinking "ACK! WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO!" If the plan doesn't work you come up with a new plan and keep trying until something else works.

My latest plan is to play sixty-five $60 SNG's a day (which should take about 8 hours playing 6 at a time), 20 days next month, which amounts to 1,300 tournaments. I know for a fact that pokerstars will give me 115,050 FPP's for my efforts which will be worth $1,835. If I can make another $2.50 per tournament that will be another $3,250 which along with the FPP money is enough to pay the bills. If I can make $4-$5 per tournament like I think I should realistically be able to do then there will be a few thousand bucks left over for a rainy day.

It sounds so easy when I think about it that way. Of course I am my own biggest enemy sometimes and the only reason why some of my past plans have failed. If I start to do really well early on I have a tendency to lose motivation to play enough volume and if I do really poorly I get frustrated and playing becomes torturous. I'm hoping to have a steady, solid winning month and if I don't I'm going to do my best to hurdle my classic pitfalls.

Another thing that could change the plan is the WCOOP which starts on September 14th and runs through the 30th. I'm still working out how many events I'm going to play (probably 5-8) and if I happen to do really well I'll probably scrap the latest SNG plan since I'll be swimming in dough.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Trip to the Oaks

Yesterday my good friend Jake and I made a trip to the Oaks to play a little low limit ($6/$12 limit) hold'em. We've made similar trips about once a month since the beginning of this year with the main purpose being to bull shit and have a few drinks. I am, however, undefeated on these trips so far and even though it's small stakes the wins are starting to add up.

What's amazing to me is how soft the games at the Oaks have gotten. I used to play $6/$12 at the Oaks when I was 21 and still dealing cards for a living. Back then there were a few nut jobs who would come in from time to time, but in general most of the players were OK if not good. In fact there were a few people who would qualify as semi pros (people who count on poker winnings for a significant piece of their income, but have another main source of income). Of course I still dominated, but it took a great deal of advanced strategy and concentration.

Now that we're in the post poker boom days there are two or three times as many players in general and it seems like almost none of them have a clue what they're doing. Players who would have been squashed and busted in no time 6 years ago find themselves winning without much difficulty.

So yesterday when Jake and I took our seats as they started a new $6/$12 game on table 10, we liked our chances of winning. As the day progressed it was as if the table was slightly tilted in our direction and all of the chips we're slowly flowing down into our stacks. After 6 hours we both found ourselves ahead over $500 (a sizable win for that limit) with huge towers of chips in front of us while all of the other players in the game were looking forlornly at the their tiny stacks. Even if they're only $2 chips it's nice to be at the cashier hoping the people in front of you will speed it up because the weight of all the chips you're holding is starting to bother you.

Also I have to say congrats to Jake on the biggest poker win of his life (I think his previous best was somewhere in the $300 range). Jake and I actually started playing poker at the exact same time back in August of 2000 in the Cloyne home game. That game and the long drives out to Cache Creek (an Indian casino about 100 miles from here where you only have to be 18 to play) are how we became such good friends.

Sadly Jake's poker career got sidetracked by a classic pitfall: going to class in college. Jake fell deeper into that hole when he spent the following years going to law school after he finished his undergrad degree. While he was going down that non traditional road, I of course did what every guidance counselor I'd ever had told me to do: stay out until all hours of the night associating with lowlifes while pursuing a job at which almost everyone fails that comes with no benefits and no guaranteed income! Stupid, stupid Jake.

In other news it took less than 36 hours for my $3,700 from Neteller to hit my bank account. Like I said before the timing on that couldn't have been better. I was planning on getting back to work today, but after picking up $500 on what I was planning as a day off, I think I'm going to spend another day unwinding and get back on the horse tomorrow.