Wednesday, August 10, 2011

some pics from the summer

Beer on the beach in Mexico:

Icing out a friend the night before his wedding:

Down by the harbor in Boston:

Sublime/311 concert:

All taken and edited on the iphone. It's not a bad camera. So far summer has been good. If we can find a way to win the Boston Park League championship it would be a fantastic finish. Just wanted to put out a fun positive post after my woe-is-me BS from the previous post.

realized after I made the last post...

that maybe people were confused when I was talking about my thirty buy-in for 1/2 roll. I was not referring to my entire poker bankroll. That is simply my roll on Merge right now. My actual bankroll is still pretty healthy and large enough that I could play 1/2 with good 2/4 games and have very little risk of ruin.

that being said I don't like busting account balances, so when I refer to my roll on Merge I'm talking about the money I have on there to work with from my initial 1k deposit.

team clinched #2 spot in the playoffs with a nice win is some crappy weather tonight. Playoffs start on Thursday. Going to try and grind a bunch tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

getting crushed lalalala

So I've been getting my grind on seriously for the first time in awhile, putting in 22k hands already this month most at 1/2. And things started off well. I was up about 13 BIs and playing well and thought I had fixed a lot of leaks and was really feeling good about things.

In comes my last two sessions where I drop 7 and 11 buy-ins respectively and my month is back to being shit. It's tough to keep a level head when almost all of your roll is seemingly lost on FTP, you're waiting for time to get up setup so you can actually cashout your low stakes grindings in the near future. I only put $1k on merge after BF, and I'm just really disappointed with my results on the site. I've made money mostly through RB, bonus clearance, and PLO. But through 120k hands at the site I'm basically breaking even and actually down close to 2k because all of my run bad has come at small stakes (run good seems to come at .25/.50).

I'm trying to maintain confidence, and focus on the next hand and just grind. But when you continually get beat down both by good players, tough spots, and getting crushed by the deck it's very hard to have a feel for whether or not you are playing your A game. All of this would be a moot point if I had my tilt money in my bank account because I'd have no pressure to earn. But as that money seems gone for the near future I'd like to gain some traction in bankroll building on other networks.

Plus I've basically got one more tough session in me at 1/2 before I'm going to have to drop back down to .25/.50 (unless the BBJ gets above 220k or so in which case I can play .5/1 profitably). In general I stay away from .5/1 on merge unless the BBJ is really high because the rake is pretty tough to overcome.

Right now I'm basically playing 1/2 on a 30 BI roll (down from the high of a 47 BI roll for 1/2). I don't really feel comfortable playing much shorter than 25BI on the roll so I'll probably have to move down at that point.

not really sure if there is much reason to post hands or anything. this was mostly just a blow off some steam post. I haven't posted on 2p2 in weeks because I was saving my 5k post for something worth doing. But tbh I don't really see much of a point in doing that now. I haven't had meaningful results since Black Friday and unless I get my roll back from tilt is going to be awhile before I'm a full time midstakes grinder.

just gotta keep my head up.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

don't make people into idols

UPDATE: good cliffs thread here: More info has come out, and it just gets worse and worse. The supposed prodigy is clearly nothing more than a scamming con artist, and the more information that comes out the worse that the people involved with him look. Just a really sordid affair.

read this thread if you are bored and want to see the kind of scummy stuff that supposed high stakes brilliant players will do for money:

Just a quick rant. I've never made a huge effort to engage in the rest of the poker community like most of my peers do. Part of the reason is that I think it creates huge imbalances in life styles, encourages an unhealthy disconnect with money and it's intrinsic value to your current happiness, and because I know that many people that play as "pros" probably are degens at heart and degens can't be trusted when they need their fix (in this case money or action).

I've gone on rants before about groups that have formed on twoplustwo to start private forums and specifically discuss strategy and how I thought it was ethically wrong (if not actually breaking TOS of the site) and I've avoided taking part in those discussions or joining those groups in the past. I know others do, and I know that certain players gain and edge by sharing information that I am losing out on. But I feel that I've earned my money honestly and have a clean reputation and that in my mind still means something when I go to sleep at night.

Everything about the story I linked above disgusts me. First that high stakes players would form these little private covens to discuss strategy of how they were going to fleece the fish and then try to set up games for each other. Not surprisingly the kind of people that don't see anything ethically wrong with this borderline collusion would then be willing to take it a step further and try to set each other up by sweating hole cards while feeding the information to a friend. It's abhorrent behavior on nearly all levels. Certain things have not been confirmed, but I think the evidence seems to point that several high stakes "crushers" were ghosting under the account of some 18 year old wunderkind that they essentially created with their own vouches and claims on various forums.

None of this is confirmed but it is my guess they used this player to gain access to sites and opponents that they wouldn't have been able to play otherwise. That they even discussed buying heavily losing accounts in order to play under them and get action is absolutely disgusting. And it is laughable that this 18 year old Portuguese player is a sponsored pro on a site despite having little to no long term history of success in poker.

I'm not trying to be self righteous here, because I don't think how I approach the game is vastly different than many other pros and most amateurs. But I'm sick of reading about players crossing ethical boundaries and then giving some sob story apology after they get caught. As far as I'm concerned this kid and his fellow conspirators should be banned from the sites they played, ostracized from the community, and all potentially ill gotten funds confiscated.

I may not ever make it to high stakes (less likely now that 80% of my roll is seemingly lost on FTP) but I can promise you I'll never cross those boundaries in the effort. I may be as much of an outsider as someone can be who has made half a million dollars in the poker world in the last three years. But as a result of keeping at least one foot firmly planted in the non-poker world I feel like I've avoided the trap that has snared many young poker pros. Money becomes god and the latest high stakes crusher is their idol. In the end they chase god, and want to become the next idol to get the fame and attention of their peers and followers. Ethics and codes of conduct eventually take a back seat, and chasing the money and attention becomes the consuming goal.

I'll stick to playing baseball in the summer and paying bills, and leave the legend creating to the forums.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

my wife's answer to the hypothetical:

Three million with the stipulation that I would not have a criminal record.

I actually thought this was a pretty low number considering her future economic prospects as a medical doctor. But she said she didn't think prison could be that much worse than 3rd year of med school or the intern year she is currently spending in the hospital. I don't know how much sarcasm was involved in that comment. I'm sure some, but probably less than you think.

What's your number?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

hypothetical #1 and some updates

Hypothetical question #1: (please answer with your response in the comments section I will probably blog my own thoughts along with your comments in the future)

You have the option to spend the next year of your life in jail (starting in 4 weeks) in exchange for a lump sum cash payment upon your release. Would you take this deal, and if so what is your price?

quick updates:

- played some awful golf for the park league tournament yesterday, had a blast.
- team went 10-3 in July and currently in second place with a playoff spot locked up. if we sweep the last two games of our schedule this week we'll likely finish in second place and start the playoffs on Monday.
- finally getting things going to start playing poker again seriously. Hoping to have everything done by the end of august so that I can put in 100k hands a month for the last few months of the year. Have plans to make a bank-roll building challenge that i update frequently with graphs and maybe even HHs and some strat. Basically I'm going to try and resurrect the blog as a personal motivational tool.
- also considering starting a blog segment called Second Tier where I review stuff that is good but not great. Movies, food, books, etc. Better writers and smarter people than me tackle the truly great things in the world, somebody has to talk about the rest.
- would like to get the podcast going again with my friend but he's going to be doing a lot of traveling in the near future so it doesn't look likely.