Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moving on up

So I did some back of the envelope math and figured that my play is EV+ in general but I can expect a lower return % at 500/1000. The only thing I had to worry about was how many beats I could take before having to return to the kiddie pool. I figure I am going to show down about 10% of my hands and I will win over half of them. As long as I can maintain that run rate the wins will offset all of the antes and bring-ins that I pay. If I see a showdown and lose, it will cost me somewhere between 5K and 10K. If I have rotten luck and lose three showdowns in a row again, I calculate that I might be down around 20K-25K.

With my roll up to 150K and 100K being kinda my "safety zone" that I don't want to drop below, I believe that I can go to the 500/1000 tables and play my normal game and if I run into a bad stretch I will pull off. 10K is the default buy-in at those tables and I think that is the first trigger point if I am down that much. If I get 20K loser then I will need to review the hands to see if I would do anything differently. 30K down and is my stop loss point at which time I *must* leave the tables immediately. That much in losses should be statistically unlikely but I need to draw the line somewhere.

There are enough players at this hour that there are two 500/1000 tables running. I stick to my philosophy and sit down at both of them. Yes I have more money on the table than I have ever had before at one time but again it is fixed limit and I think I ironically run a bigger risk to my roll by only sitting at one table where I may be tempted to make boredom calls or tilt off chips if I take a bad beat.

I happily fold some hands and then pick up and A3/8 hand with lots of high cards showing on the table. I take a whack at making a low. Not much action and I actually get to walk most of the way there. Nothing doing on the river and I fold.

On the other table I make a modest but qualifying low against a presumed high and took down a "smallish" (for these tables) low half pot of 3300. Sugarrific.

Three hands later I get a speculative Kc2c/8c flush semi-low draw and decide to take a card to see 4th street if I can see it for just the bring in and no complete which happened. 3d, I would of course have preferred 3c but that keeps me in the hand. One small bet to go to 5th which brings an Ah. Still interested. 5c on 6th street and I think about betting it but play it very conservative. Checks around. Freakin' gin card on 7th, the 4c to give me nut low and the flush. I get action from two other players and we cap. Catching the flush on the river was a coup because my flush was well disguised. I look like I'm betting a low so I got action from Jacks up and the other guy has a 7 high straight which he figures is good for one side at least or a likely scoop. Instead I rake a 24,000 pot. I believe that must be a record for me.

NEXT HAND on that table I start with 5c7h/3s and call the bring in. 6s on 4th, one small bet all around. Brick on 5th and I'm thinking of bailing with some other low-ish looking hands out there but it checks around so I get a free card. 6th street treats me right (did I mention that I like this game?) and my gutter is filled by 4c. Guy to my left starts with a 1K bet and I bump it to 2K which gets called by the four others who put in the 1K. Blank on 7th for me and it is checkd to me. I bet and am called by three others. I scoop both halves for a total of 18,350. Right after that hand I run away like a little wuss so I can count up all my newly acquired chips.

Running good. 17 hands. Went to showdown three times and won them all with two major scoops. Bought in for 2x20K, cashed out for exactly 65 large.

Now 173,075. More margin for a bad run of cards and edges me closer to the double century mark.


Sushi Cowboy said...

Another word of warning about moving up and down levels.

I played back at the 100/200 tables today. My bankroll is super healthy but there was no one at the 500/1000 tables so I moved down a notch. It is different when you go back down and you don't need to as opposed to when I biffed off 10's of 1000's from my roll. I played some of the worst Stud hi/lo of my life. Here are some numbers:

137 hands and I saw 4th street 1/3 of my hands. I want that to be more like 1/4 or even 1/5 if I am playing rock solid. Went to 7th street 20% of the time when it should be half of that. Then I bailed four times because I missed so badly. I went to showdown 18% or about twice as much as I should. And here's the kicker, I won 11/24 showdowns with only 2 scoops. That's less than a 50% showdown ratio. Horrible numbers all around.

In a previous post I said that moving back down was like using a spoon when you are used to a shovel. The stakes just seemed so irrelevant to my bankroll that I was chasing way to much can calling showdowns way way too light. That all adds up to a drain on the bankroll. Admittedly, not a huge drain like is I had been on the 500/1000 tables but a steady stream of chips running off my stack. I d0nked off 5K which I just shrug off because I know I can make that back up in one hand but that is trap thinking going on. You can't just turn on the switch to take down a big pot, all you can do is make good decisions and the big pots will follow. But playing badly because the stakes are "too low" is a bad place to be.

Just more words of warning to try to help others from falling into the same trap.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Cards were not with me back at the 500/1000 table. Satisfied with my play overall. Got just a little too speculative here or there but overall I would not have changed much. Great starters that fizzled. I had rolled up TTT that didn't boat and lost to a straight.

62 hands before the table broke up. 31% 4th street. 10 7th streets with two bail outs. Won 5 of 8 showdowns with 3 scoops. Down about 10K for my efforts.

165,852 now.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Well here's something that is working out. Last session I opened up 4 100/200 tables and one 500/1000 table. This accomplishes multiple things:

* Runs multi-tables so I don't start doing boredom calls at higher stakes. It also still keeps me from getting too invested in the high stakes table. That is of course the most important table and I do give it extra attention when I'm in a hand - I don't just treat them all the same.

* Smooths out variance. The steady grind of the low stakes tables means a more or less steady stream of chips in to the bank in order to cover the ante/bring-ins on the 500/1000 table and gives me a cushion for when I lose hands at higher stakes.

* Is a hybrid solution so that 100/200 tables are just part of the daily routine and playing on them is not a demotion or punishment.

I like how this idea turned out. It is the perfect solution for transitioning between stakes in my opinion.

Got back some of my losses from earlier. Now 181,149.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Saw 119 hands on four tables. Was fortunate enough to find two 500/1000 tables and then I filled the rest of my screen with 100/200. Landed rolled up Aces on one of the little tables and bet/raised at every opportunity eventually filling up to take down the high half with AAAKK.

29% 4th streets. Won 13/19 showdowns with 6 scoops. Biggest pot of the day was a 21.5K scoop with a seven high straight on one of the big tables. That was enough to vault me over the 200K mark.


Sushi Cowboy said...

Everything in context. Just finished a short session. Had five 100/200 tables going to keep my busy. Netted about 8K or $55/hand. Used to be that I would really think I had a good session if I were yielding that much per hand or bringing in 8K but since that "only" brings me up to $218,334 it seems paltry by comparison.

I had mentioned the scaling phenomenon before and even dragging in a few K per session at the lower tables doesn't really push my roll up much percentage-wise. I even had good numbers 18 showdowns with one orphaned 7th streeter. Won 15 of those 18 with a very strong 9 scoops. But the session is still a yawner. Need to figure out how to build the roll faster when there are no 500/1000 tables available.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Just had "one of those sessions" ...to balance out my 40K pot from yesterday I guess. Sat down at one 500/1000 and three 100/200 tables. Knew I came in light once to showdown and chased two or three times when I knew better, still the biggest reason for my results was just the cards weren't cooperating.

I bought in for 35K across all tables and left 10K shorter. Just variance, nothing more. I would do nothing substantially different. Numbers tell it all. 197 hands with a very very tight 22% 4th street percentage so I was definitely NOT speculating too much. Went to 7th street only 10% of the time, again, nice, low, and tight. Had to bail out of a showdown 5 of the 19 times I went to 7th because I didn't hit (should have bailed once more but it was only a 100/200 pot so that didn't ding me too much). Here's the kicker though. I won 10 of 14 showdowns with ZERO scoops. That just underlines how important scooping is in hi/lo games. I am throwing away tons of strong high starting hands because I have no chance to scoop. I did have one big hand where I nailed my flush and my low but got notched on the low to only take the high half. But other than that, I just wasn't getting the cards.

Fell below the quarter million mark and am sitting at 247,484 now.

Sushi Cowboy said...

The drought continues. I'm just concentrating on keeping my head down and to be patient. 84 hands. A lowish 25% 4th street ratio (inflated figure due to some free walks after bringing in). But a paltry 5%(!) showdown percentage. Won 3 of the 4 showdowns with only one scoop but that scoop was on the big table and the 15K from that pot offset all other expenses from the session. Got two others in a raising war when I had board lock so I was pumping the pot as much as I could since I was on a freeroll plus I had a 7 high straight which might win for high though I was pretty sure I was up against a flush, which I was. Still, I was getting free money from the other two players each paying the "low tax" to me.

Now 247,524. Yes, $40 more than last time. Beats losing money at least.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Just played in and won a two table tourney. Just not enough players at the S8 tables so since I had been EV+ on the 250 buy ins I took a swing at a 2K buy tourney. MUCH much less d0nkage there. No first hand all-in shenanigans. Took a few hands for someone to go bust at least and that was when I saw a flop with 77 and flopped a top heavy house on a 744 6 A board. Took down a guy being a little too spunky with KJ. That doubled me up and I was chip leader early. Then I just did my nitting in the corner. Chose my spots. Pushed with premium hands: my QQ ran into QQ and held up! My pair over pairs all held. Both dominations held. Folded very good hands to too much action (AcQc vs JJ and 77 who were pushing the action pre-flop).

In the end took down 14K for my efforts. I can see how the saying is true that pros play tourneys for recognition but the cash games pay the bills. That was a long time to play just to net out 12K and I easily could have left with nothing or less than 1st place. I'm EV+ in tourneys but I don't think my earn rate per hour is not going to be able to compete with cash games. I think I would either need to play 10K tourneys or do multiple 2K S&Gs to get the earn rate up.

Back over the quarter mill mark again at least: 259,924.

Sushi Cowboy said...

I'm kinda playing more microsessions now for some reason. I'll just sit down at four tables, take a few hands on each then skedaddle. Maybe around 30-40 hands. Don't know why and it doesn't change EV substantially. I think quick sessions might keep the brain fresher but it also doesn't let you get into a rhythm either. Still, I am typically sticking to the program so I don't think it matters much.

The latest session was a standard-ish 100 hand session. 106 to be exact, saw 33% 4th streets but that's because I was on a moderate heater. Lots of good starting hands with cooperation from later streets. Won 13 of 15 showdowns but only one scoop.

I bumped my roll up 10K but it was a really unfulfilling 10K. Sure I was taking down almost $100/hand which is very strong but again the scaling issue is rearing its ugly head. 10K is only a few percent of my roll but there was no 500/1000 tables to play at so I was stuck nickel and diming my way to building my roll.

268,644 now.

Sushi Cowboy said...

Another five digit yawner. I remember back when breaking the five digit barrier was a big deal in the challenge. Now it is just another little increment.

I did play a couple high hands on the big table thought. Started with 9s rolled up and took down a pot after I added a couple of Aces to boat up. I also saw fourth street with AKA then picked up another K and finally made Aces full to take the top half of the pot. Unfortunately the guy with the lock low bet a third person out of the pot on the end. Boooo!

Anyway, I did about 100/hand again (easier when you are on the big table). 152 hands, 33% 4th streets (yikes!) but they netted out 20/25 wins with 4 scoops. Decent session's work.

Now 285,179.