Thursday, July 01, 2004

State of the State of my Poker Career Address

Poker career? Can one call it a career if only played part-time. I’m certainly a rank amateur at best although I have used poker as a means for added income at times. An experiment that started out brilliantly and then suffered due to consecutive weekly losses. So perhaps the word career is a bit premature. In the future it may not be but for now lets retitle this entry “State of the State of my Poker Hobby Which Brings Forth Funds Address”.

That’s much better. Why an address you ask? Well I officially completed my first year of playing online poker on June 19. I figured since I’ve been in a rut at the tables lately that I should look back, check my progress, and prepare a road map for the future. It seems like just yesterday I was playing the .01/.02 tables at UltimateBet. Since then I’ve used the “build a bankroll” technique to move from one level to the next. I tried my hand at multi-table tourneys, and sit-n-go’s as well. What better way to chart the progress than give a recap of all my numbers.

Online play is really my only experience. This whole thing started out as just something fun to do. I didn’t have much money to invest so I was just looking to see what I could do. My play was very sporadic during 2003 and I rarely played more than 2 or 3 times a week. Approaching the end of the year I decided to take the game seriously and see what I could do. The breakdown of the levels are:

.01/.02 – 15.15 hours played, 862 hands, 10.38BB/100 hands (If only I could do that at 15/30 without having a clue what I was doing)
.25/.50 – 113.77 hours, 6871 hands, -3.58BB /100 (The fact that I had no clue what I was doing became very evident. I was holding my own at first but I quickly lost money after that. I think I read Sklansky’s Advanced Hold’em during this period which only made things worse for me. I took everything as literal and didn’t know how to apply it to my game.)
.50/1 – 9.5 hours, 761 hands, -7.88BB /100 (A horrible attempt to spend a week at a level I wasn’t ready for.)
SNG - $5.50 buy in – 14 plays, 1 first, 2 second’s, 5 fourth’s - -$22 (Just call me bubble boy)
Multi-Table Tourney – 6 tourneys, -$37, best finish 62/400 no money places

I plunged headlong into 2004 really determined to improve my game. I started reading everything I could find on the internet and started devoting much more time to the game. I came across Poker Tracker and this has proven to be an invaluable tool. Breakdowns:

.25/.50 – 19.71 hours, 1405 hands, -2.65BB /100 (This level has proven to be my nemesis. I just can’t overcome the players. I haven’t tried to go back since improving my game so it may be different now but getting killed doesn’t begin to describe this train wreck.)
.50/1 – 107.47 hours, 7943 hands, 4.71BB/100 (I finally hit my stride and the game became much clearer to me when I moved up. I’ve played more hands at this level than any other and I’m confident that I can always make money here if I have to.)
1/2 – 65.7 hours, 4233 hands, 1.92BB/100 (This is my current level and as you can see I’m not enjoying the same success I had at .50/1. I’m still close to the 2BB/100 mark though and this includes a bad run that I had for over two weeks. I’m only now starting to recover from that so the BB figure is a bit skewed. I’m quite confident that over the long term I will have success here.)
SNG – 23 played over varying levels of $2, $5, and 2 $10, 3 first’s – 2 second’s- 4 third’s, -$29.50 – (I took two months off of playing these and when I played three last week I finished in the money in all three of them. I know my no limit game has gotten better but I’m not ready to devote much money to these yet.)
Multi-Table tourney’s – 7 tourney’s, -$92.13, best finish 10/129 – (My tenth place finish was my only money win but it only gave me a profit of $1.37 since it was a two dollar tournament.)

For the short term I want to keep myself out of the dark place my game went recently. My wife is going back to work next week so my bankroll is my own again. No more bleeding off the profits so I can build up and move on. The wife doesn’t want to keep working though so I’ve decided to set a goal. I have no set time frame in mind but I want to be able to supplement her income by playing poker. She wants to be home with the kids and I want her to be as well.
To accomplish this I’m going to try to go into overdrive and soak up as much knowledge into my shriveled brain as I can. I will need to take home $400 dollars a week to do this. Now in order to be a good citizen I need to take taxes into account. This will be 27% federal and 7.84% state. A good win of about $600 a week should pay the taxes and allow the $400 in profit to go into the bank. Allowing for family time I will more than likely only get an average of 13 hours a week to play. At a single table I would need to beat a 15/30 game for a decent win rate to earn this money. I could multi table a lower level and get the same money so I’ll have to see how it goes. At 15/30 I will need a bankroll of $9,000 so I’m a long ways away at this point. I want to be able to make the money and still have some leftover to continue to grow the bankroll so I’m probably a year or so out for this goal.
I also want to spend some more time on the SNG tables. If I can get these under reasonable control then I’ll move more seriously into multi-table tourneys. I’m going to hold off for a while on this one as well since I need to build a cushion for myself at the 1/2 level first.

Well there it is. Past, Present, and Future. I know I have a lofty goal to have the wife at home but it’s not an unattainable one and I’m under no pressure to do it right away. Any way that’s it. Comment if you have any suggestions.