Recently, I was fortunate enough to buy into Full Tilt Poker, run up my stack to just over 7 times my buy in and then cashed out for just over 3x buy in. I then proceeded to donk off all my remaining dollars, for a net gain of just over 2x buy in. I think I made every mistake in the book on my downhill slide, tilted, played too many hands and tried to outplay everyone, and then started way too much negative thinking - all the times I was raised I assumed I was beat, bluffed at the wrong times etc. I, of course can blame a bit on bad luck, lost my stack with Kings against Aces 6 handed, then picked up aces in a tourney, got all in against Kings, and a King hits on the river. But it was mainly donk play.
Time for an adjustment. Cut way back on poker, stopped playing on line and joined cardrunners.com. For those of you unfamiliar with cardrunners, it is a site started by a guy named Taylor, who bought in on line for $35.00 and ran up his stack so he can comfortably play on line in NL Holdem ring games for $10,000 buy ins. Brian Townsend, who is supposed to be the best High Limit NL Holdem player in the world, regularly contributes to the site. Brian plays $400/$800 NL Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha, mainly on line. He claims to have a 58% Win RATE, and he is likely telling the truth. Unless his blog is filled with BS, which I doubt, he appears to be making a handsome living, likely in the low to mid 7 figures annually (just a guess).
Brian too started playing in $10 tourneys on line.
What is the site like? There are a bunch of good articles written by pros similar to the strategies and analysis articles in Cardplayer magazine. Some are just brushing up on the basics - things like position matters, playing in a casino vs. playing on line, and sit and go strategies. Others concepts are more advanced like betting based on board textures against tight weak opponents, and a concept called ghosting, essentially using position and reads to get opponents to fold. The other cool thing is watching videos of pros playing on line games while they provide commentary on why they made certain moves.
The basic philosophy of the site is to play LAG poker (Loose aggressive) and then make your decisions based upon your equity in the hand. Your equity is determined by your hand vs. a range of hands that you put your opponent on. To get this figure you need pokerstove (applause to Martin for pointing out this site). In a real game, you obviously don't have time to put the range of hands into pokerstove, but, with experience, you can have a pretty good idea where you stand.
Some decisions are still made on feel, like Marsh did recently on a hand against me. The flop was 3,4,5 rainbow, it was checked around, the turn was a 3, I made a weak bet from the small blind and said "I think I have the best hand." Marsh raised me with what he said was 10,7 os, ( I believe him). I call with Ace High. The final card is a Q, I check Marsh throws in about a 3/4 size of the pot bet, and I fold. Great play by Marsh who essentially ghosted me, using position and feel to get the opponent to fold the best hand.
I encourage you all to take a look at the site. It would be really cool if someone from the WNP crowd could mount a big stack, either on line or with casino play, to make us all proud. Many of us have the aptitude, but since we all have still have day jobs (except of course Martin), I don't think any of us can yet confidently say we have a substantial EV with our stack when we play against other good players. The cardrunner guys, especially Brian, are playing against the best, as I doubt there are many casual players at the $400/$800 NL Holdem games. With continued improvement, one or more of us, can hopefully achieve long run EV against tough tables.