Wednesday, January 28, 2009

QFV Day #6

A small loss today, about $140. But it could have been much, much worse and I play a ton of hands which is good.

Again I started off great and found myself ahead about $600 in less than an hour. I totally obliterated this one guy. I mean I turned his brain to mush and put him on nuclear meltdown tilt. I can't remember all of the hands, but I won 7 pots that all went at least to the river in ten hands and this guy was my lone opponent by the end every time.

I wasn't getting all great hands, but I got a bunch like A8, or QJ with a few pocket pairs mixed in and I was either hitting or managing to bluff perfectly (which is super tough against a maniac). At the start of this stretch my opponent was playing not great, but not terrible either. Towards the end he capped 67 off and bet it all the way through with nothing even though I'd just (correctly) called him down with ace high. After pumping $500+ into my stack he had enough and left. It felt great.

Sadly I took a major downturn after that. I lost a little over $2,000 during the badness, but after some late day goodness I turned a potential major loss into an inconsequential one.

Now on to a comment question! London Dave posted "Do you have ground rules for your daily play, For example do you play for a set amount hours irrespective of your earnings be it a profit or a loss or do you have a trigger point of daily profit where you just switch the PC off, and chill out for the day."

I get asked this question all the time and the answer has changed a few times throughout my career. When I first started playing poker and was certainly an ammature I'd try to win $100 and then quit. If I lost $200 then I'd quit too. Then I learned that you play much better when you're winning and it was better to play longer when I was winning and maybe cut and run if things were going poorly. I didn't always stick to that, but at least I was considering it.

In the early days of my pro career if I hit a certain dollar amount, say $1,000 or so (Which was a much bigger win for me in those days - probably the same as winning $2,500-$3,000 for me now) I'd quit and if I was stuck $1,000 or so I'd quit too (usually). Of course these were the outer limits of reasonable for the stakes I was playing and it was only once or twice a month that I'd go four figures in one direction or the other. For the most part I'd just play until I felt like I'd had a productive day which often meant 2 or 3 hours and a few hundred bucks to the good. This was not an optimal approach either.

These days I tend to think about things by the week or the month. I know how many points I need to earn in the year and I break that into smaller and smaller point production goals. When I wake up every day I have a pretty good idea of how many hands I want to play and rarely do I play longer or stop significantly short of that goal. If things take a really sour turn I might stop a few hours early, but since I know I'm going to have to make those hours up sometime later in the week or the month I try not to. Typically I wake up around 10 and play from 10:30 to 1:00, from 1:30 to 3:30 and then from 4:30 to 7:00. If I'm ahead $2,000 or so at 3:30 I might not log back on (of course it's hard to remember the last time that happened - Dammit!), but I'd never call it quits early in the day no matter how good things are going.

Anybody who knows anything will tell you that you should focus on how many hours or hands you want to play, make the best decisions you can, and not worry about your results. If you're playing good poker, you'll win in the long run, and if you're not you won't. Of course I guarantee you that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those players have left a good game early because the were ahead a certain amount or stayed in a bad game because they were losing a dozen times if not a hundred. But that's still the best way to think about it.

No comments: