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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Oh the Humanity

Variance is smacking me around like a French Circus Midget lately. I made my deposit over on Absolute Poker on Saturday and started working on clearing my $150 cash bonus as well as 400 hands for my free copy of Poker Tracker and Mike Caro's Book of Tells. I started off by playing my usual .50/1.00 game and quickly went up about $15 or so. I played for awhile and managed to keep my lead. After an hour or so, I checked my raked hands count only to find I was at about 20 (much like Party Poker, Absolute Poker only counts hands where the Pot is larger than $5. So later on when I decided to sit down and play again, I figured I'd give the $1/2 a try, after all if I took in my $20 and lost, I'd only be down $5 from my morning haul. I played for another hour and went up another $15, only this time instead of clearing 20 hands, I was up 100 or 125. All in all Saturday I was up around $50, I ended up clearing $10 in bonus money, and had even won $10 in their cracked aces program when my aces lost to runner runner trip Q's. Saturday was very good to my bankroll.

Sunday and Monday were not. I lost pretty much everything I had won save for my two bonus deposits (Absolute transfers $10 into your money account from your bonus account for every 100 raked hands). I could go on and on about bad beats, stupid players, and frozen cards however everyone's already "been there, gone through that" and in the end it's the price of variance. This morning I knew I wasn't in the right mindset so I only played a bit of .02/.04 and I still ended up losing .25 (I was up .50 at one point but decided that logging out at that stage was a bit pointless.)

As I don't yet have a registered version of Poker Tracker (and I've already reached my 1000 hand limit), I don't have the desire to pour over raw data streams of hand histories to help me plug the holes in my game, however I think I have the solution which I remember when I'm losing and promptly forget when I'm winning. Play to fold, not to win. When I play to fold, either because I'm new to a site, new to a particular new level, or just trying to clear bonuses, I try to play to fold unless I hold a monster hand, or I'm in the blinds and can see the flop cheaply. When I do this money stays in front of me. I don't spend money chasing straights and flushes that never materialize, I don't spend money raising in early position, and I don't spend money on trying to scare people out of pots when I have a garbage hand. I need to play to fold, let the others use their stacks to clear my bonus, if I happen upon pocket Aces or Kings great, if not, fold. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (Unless of course that's the bonus your shooting for. Basically I need to do what every Poker Player advises when in a similar slump, straighten up, play tighter, and focus. I only need to clear 115 more hands to clear my Poker Tracker and Caro's Book of Tells. Then I can go look into starting a new bonus program and go for Super System, Super system 2, and The Theory of Poker. I'm not sure if those books will help my game at all, but at least they'll look good on my bookshelf.