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Liar Dice - SnGs & PLO

    • LgWz
      LgWz
      Black
      Joined: 26.05.2007 Posts: 7,641
      Hey TT,

      You're obviously correct saying the EV line doesn't show what we "deserve" to win, but it's a much better estimative to a "real" winrate (which always changes because opponents change and so does our game - but you get what I mean) than the green line. It accounts for the luck factor better than in cash games because we get it in preflop or on the flop most of the time in sngs, so the situation you described happens much less often than in a cash game. Most of the time we're all in, we simply shoved preflop.

      Nevertheless, I agree that one should check the red line mostly for curiosity or not at all. You can't buy stuff with it, and it doens't mean you'll run better or worse in the future, so all there is to be done is keep working on playing well and improving.
      I know some cash gamers who disable the line in HEM by changing config files (you can't do that for sngs), perhaps due to sanity reasons :P

      ---

      By the way Tim, I'm running 30 BI below "EV" in my last 56k NL100 hands. I'll let you know if I catch up to your 95 BI :D
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      well the red-line is a better indication of your real roi than the green. yes there are a lot more factors (card removal, set-ups etc..) but at least this takes out a significant portion of the luck-factor to help give a better indication of real rois.

      i think a 6k sample is definitely more than 250k hands. i think it might be 350k in average (for 9mans)? (not sure though didnt check this).

      at least this way tim can post his lolbad graphs, and we can reassure him that everything will be ok. without the red-line Tim would quit poker because it doesnt look very promising.

      some people will benefit by looking at it, some people wont. i went through a month of not looking at it. i was a much happier grinder.
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Thanks everyone for the encouraging posts - and, TT, for benefit of your wisdom. I think as has been mentioned, setups are a much smaller factor in SnGs where average stacks are perhaps 20-40bb deep.

      some people will benefit by looking at it, some people wont. i went through a month of not looking at it. i was a much happier grinder.


      I think the reality is that, after only 6 months or so as a pro SnG grinder (and having been b/e at Cash for 6 months before that) my confidence is not that high. So for me, the evidence that my decisions will - on average - net me a reasonable winrate (as indicated by the redline) is what I need to continue playing while running so poorly. I hope one day I will have the strength of mind to just grind it out without looking...
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      edit: just hit 90 BI below EV. FML. If it gets to 100, I'm donating $20 a friend's charity.


      Hit 103.31 BI below EV this morning. $20 donation made to The George Oliver Foundation, a friend's charity, which was set up to help children in various different ways.

      I'm going to try to draw a line under this topic now. Next post will not mention running bad. I promise.
    • akrammon
      akrammon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.05.2009 Posts: 3,142
      This is an amazing blog and you are a demigod if you survive this with your sanity intact. (many demigods in the small group of STT pros I guess)

      I personally will forgive you for talking more about this down if you want to :P

      As for the EV-line, it has many flaws but it can be a comforting thought when that's in big plus in a down.

      So, subscribed to your blog. And don't worry, there will be just one good session and you'll be out of this hole in no time. And after this, a 40BI down will be so easy to take mentally, you will profit much from this when it's over.

      Gogo Tim!
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Originally posted by akrammon
      This is an amazing blog and you are a demigod if you survive this with your sanity intact. (many demigods in the small group of STT pros I guess)

      I personally will forgive you for talking more about this down if you want to :P

      As for the EV-line, it has many flaws but it can be a comforting thought when that's in big plus in a down.

      So, subscribed to your blog. And don't worry, there will be just one good session and you'll be out of this hole in no time. And after this, a 40BI down will be so easy to take mentally, you will profit much from this when it's over.

      Gogo Tim!
      Thank you sir - very inspiring words. Helps me to deal with hands like these:

      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $60(BB) Replayer
      SB ($3,180)
      BB ($1,700)
      UTG ($1,730)
      CO ($3,080)
      Hero ($2,310)

      Dealt to Hero Q:diamond: Q:spade:

      UTG raises to $120, fold, Hero raises to $360, fold, fold, UTG raises to $1,730 (AI), Hero calls $1,370

      FLOP ($3,550) T:diamond: Q:heart: 4:diamond:

      TURN ($3,550) T:diamond: Q:heart: 4:diamond: 2:diamond:

      RIVER ($3,550) T:diamond: Q:heart: 4:diamond: 2:diamond: 8:diamond:

      UTG shows T:heart: A:diamond:
      (Pre 29%, Flop 5.6%, Turn 18.2%)

      Hero shows Q:diamond: Q:spade:
      (Pre 71%, Flop 94.4%, Turn 81.8%)

      UTG wins $3,550

      I am pretty proud of my ability to find novel ways to give up 94.4% of flopped equity :D
    • Dublimax
      Dublimax
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.11.2008 Posts: 2,233
      Originally posted by Tim64
      Next post will not mention running bad. I promise.
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Originally posted by Dublimax
      Originally posted by Tim64
      Next post will not mention running bad. I promise.
      My willpower sucks...



      Grabbed by Holdem Manager
      NL Holdem $40(BB) Replayer
      SB ($2,140)
      BB ($2,540)
      UTG ($2,020)
      Hero ($2,000)
      CO ($1,600)
      BTN ($1,700)

      Dealt to Hero K:heart: A:diamond:

      fold, Hero raises to $160, fold, BTN calls $160, fold, fold

      FLOP ($380) 4:club: K:club: 9:heart:

      Hero bets $320, BTN calls $320

      TURN ($1,020) 4:club: K:club: 9:heart: 4:heart:

      Hero bets $1,520 (AI), BTN calls $1,220 (AI)

      RIVER ($3,460) 4:club: K:club: 9:heart: 4:heart: Q:club:

      67/33, 12hands. Wondering if there is a more +EV play. Preflop raise deliberatly sized as villain has no fold button.

      Edit: Down $500 yesterday; up $500 today. Swoooooooongs..... :s_confused:
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Wednesday 31 August 2011

      Originally posted by Tim64
      So I am giving myself six months to turn things around (or, depending on how you look at things, to continue my progress) and after that I will call the clock on myself. I really need to make a consistently decent hourly wage of $15+ over that period otherwise there is just no point continuing. More importantly, I'm going to set myself reasonable goals, keep healthy and fitter and be a better husband.


      That is what I said back in February of this year. It's time to see whether this is my last entry in this blog or whether the adventure will continue. The first thing to do is to run down how much I made in each of the months in my first year as a poker player:

      August ($495.99)
      September ($251.93)
      October $1544.36
      November $2706.73
      December ($505.87)
      January $1912.55
      February ($688.49)
      March $926.75
      April $2775.45
      May $4352.84
      June $1826.46*
      July $1200.95**

      So, total earnings for the first half of the year were: $4909.85, while total earnings for the second half of the year were: $10,393.96. Total time spent for the second six months were: 675.12 hours, giving an hourly rate of: $15.395.

      It's worth observing that, since switching to tournaments in March, I have not had a single losing month, compared with 4 out of 7 losing months as a cash game player. I think the switch to tournaments can't be overemphasised in terms of my profitability as a poker player. Graphically, we see this clearly:



      (550,000 hands playing 6 Max cash games between NL10-NL100)



      (6000 SnGs, mostly FR/6mx, from $5.5 or so up to $60).

      (As an aside, I think it's worth noting how close the EV lines in both graphs are to the actual winnings/losses -- after a big enough sample, luck really does even out!)

      The SNG graph gives me a lot of confidence that, beyond any shadow of a doubt, I'm a comfortably winning player. Therefore, there is no reason why I can't make a living in the medium term playing poker. So the key issues going forward are i) whether I can move my earnings into the next bracket (realistically, I guess, $30k p.a.); and ii) whether this type of life is really what I want.

      The Full Tilt debacle has been something of an eye-opener. A career in poker is not without risk (even disregarding the psychological trauma of long periods of running badly, which it's clear are an inevitable part of the job description). I don't think I will ever fully trust a poker site again. That doesn't necessarily matter so long as I can mitigate my risk, but it does give me pause about the nature of the industry in which I find myself engaged.

      Notwithstanding these reservations I can't stress how important it is to me to have found a way to support my family which does not require me to go out to work in the normal fashion, nor put me at the mercy of an employer. To all intents and purposes I am self-employed, plying my trade on the electronic highway. Yesterday we drove home in the morning from a friend's house where we had stayed overnight, having spent the previous day eating and drinking and making merry. I was meant to be working on Monday, but in the morning I decided to take the day off so we could enjoy the day properly and just work on Wednesday instead. I was struck by the wonderful freedom implicit in being able to make that decision without needing anyone's permission. Furthermore, the sight of people hurrying to work the following morning to their various office jobs represented something that, for good or evil, I am in no hurry to return to.

      In my own way I am now shackled to poker as a means of making a living. But somehow the fact that I've chosen to wrap myself in these particular chains makes me feel like an occupant in an open prison, where an inmate may come and go as he pleases.

      ________
      *The figure for June is the EV profit for that month, including rakeback. I believe that's reasonable since, over an 6K game sample, my actual and EV $won are almost identical. **The figure for July includes earned (but not received) rakeback but is the actual rather than EV figure.
    • ulairiiii
      ulairiiii
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.07.2011 Posts: 519
      i have two questions


      1)Where is shown in the graph the big swing that you are facing now?
      2)Is it worth keep playing rather working in your opinion?I mean do you want to take a risk that the online poker will be legal and tax free in europe?
    • Demonic226
      Demonic226
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.10.2010 Posts: 1,461
      Very nice post Tim. It's good that you made a review for yourself of the past half a year where you decided to go pro.

      I totally agree with your reasoning of being and staying a pro (as I think most do), this is exactly the reason why I decided to go (semi)pro as well last August. I'm still studying so I can't put all my effort into poker, but I still play 1-1.5k games a month. My situation is of course very different from yours as I'll probably have less expenses, but still I have to pay rent etc as well.

      Anyway, I think it's a good thing to keep reminding yourself during this harder times why you decided to go pro as well. I, myself feel exactly the same way when I see friends leave to work in the morning and I can just take the day off or start a bit later after a party.

      My big decision will come when I finish my Master degree, which is next year, if I want to go full time pro or not. A kind of hard thing for me will be to convince my family that I want to do it, because they are okay with the current situation but my mom keeps talking about a job after I finished my degree..

      I know it's a lot of rambling and maybe you don't even care about it, but I thought it would be nice to share.

      Btw does that SNG graph include your recent games at party as well?
    • MathhNes
      MathhNes
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.08.2009 Posts: 953
      Very nice post and a very useful read. I like how you point out why you do this for a living, even though some not so good things comes with doing it for a living.
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Originally posted by Demonic226
      I know it's a lot of rambling and maybe you don't even care about it, but I thought it would be nice to share.
      ...
      Btw does that SNG graph include your recent games at party as well?
      No, graph is just for games on Full Tilt. I will post Party graph of hell after month end. Always nice to read of others' exploits and feelings.

      Originally posted by ulairiiii
      2)Is it worth keep playing rather working in your opinion?I mean do you want to take a risk that the online poker will be legal and tax free in europe?


      It's close. I earn more now than while working in a call centre (the job I did a year ago - around $12/hr) but nothing like what I earned as a lawer. So financially its hard to justify. As to the risks, if poker becomes illegal then I will have to find another job. It may not be easy but it can be done. If online poker becomes taxable in UK, then it would depend how much my $/hr is reduced as a result. Don't see any point in worrying about the unknown... :s_confused:
    • lessthanthreee
      lessthanthreee
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.06.2009 Posts: 16,300
      congratulations tim. you know what they say with any new business. making it through the first year is the hardest part.
    • amplifyd
      amplifyd
      Silver
      Joined: 03.08.2009 Posts: 1,769
      Nice one on making it through a year. I am sure you will make a lot more this year :f_biggrin:

      I am contemplating playing poker for living after uni so it's quite interesting to see how you do (cos you're not like just shippping 5 fig months and therefore not having to worry about $)
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Despite how bad August was in terms of running badly, I have to consider it a clear success. Graph follows:



      As you can see, I ran the best part of $2000 below EV. However I mustn't allow myself the luxury of a selective memory. Three months ago I ran 70 BI above EV and made over $4K as a result so it's not reasonable to expect to avoid the flip side.

      STT Tournaments: 901
      Average buyin: $26.13
      ROI 2.9%
      EV Roi 10.3%
      Cash: $19.8
      SnGs: $683.25
      EV Profit @ STTs: $2423.86
      Estimated points-based rake back: $625.24
      Additional rake back from promotions: $0.0

      Total Profit: $1308.49
      Total EV profit (estimated): $3049.10
      Hours played: 144.65
      $/Hr: 9.046
      EV $/Hr: $21.08

      Nothing about this month suggests that I can't continue to make money on Party Poker, so the plan is to stay there at the very least until I have earned and cleared a $3K bonus.

      The main changes I made this month were:

      1. omit super turbos from my game selection. Here's the graph of the 500 super turbos I played the previous month (July), with average buyin of $20.



      I know it's only a small sample and yadda yadda ya, but realistically I'm not going to be able to turn -3.9% ROI into anything very profitable even if I was willing to stick with it long enough to find out what my real ROI was. Everything I've seen or read suggests super turbos are (a) highly variance rich and (b) have lower average returns. They are great for rakeback but I think for my mindset, they are not the right game. I had a long discussion with <3 yesterday about the pros and cons of these games as opposed to double or nothings. He made some very convincing arguments for steering clear of double or nothings, but I don't think I can be persuaded to reincorporate super turbos. It's a balance thing. I might conceivably be able to have a higher $/hr playing super turbos (either exclusively or as part of my sets), but I enjoy the post flop game and it's one of the things that makes grinding out a living playing poker relatively rewarding for me. Because of that, it makes sense that in terms of enjoyment, the tournaments I prefer are: 6 max > Full ring > Turbos > Super Turbos. I.e. my level of enjoyment is directly proportional to the number of flops I see and the number of post-flop decisions I get to make.

      2. acquisition of new monitor allowing an additional 2-3 games per set. Over time I think this will demonstrate a clear increase in $/hr. It's too early to estimate what this will be or how much effect it will have on average returns.

      3. using Table Ninja for Party. The program is a long way from perfect, in particular tournament (pot) betting doesn't work at all. Supposedly TN people are working on it, but either way it's more comfortable playing with a poorly performing Table Ninja than without it, so I went ahead and shelled out $60 this morning for a full licence.

      4. incorporating $55s into my sets. I want to do everything I can to increase my dollars per hour and clearly increasing average buyin is one of the key elements of that strategy. In truth I'm not technically bankrolled for these games (with only around 50BI) in terms of my online 'roll. However since FT my attitude to bankroll has changed somewhat since there is clearly some risk to having a lot of money online. Now that I consider myself as being committed to poker long-term as a business venture, the strict distinction between poker money and real-life money is less important. (By which I mean that either the family has money to live comfortably and stay in business -- i.e. poker -- or we don't. The location of the money is largely irrelevant).

      September will be a little 'poker-lite' since we have a week in Spain booked. Really looking forward to the break and spending a lot of time with the family with no difficult check raises to agonise over. I will aim for 750 games and hope to run a bit better...

      As always, thanks for reading.
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Apologies for the recent flurry of posts; I'm trying to set out my stall for the year ahead so that I can crack on with the grind with a clear head.

      I've spent the day updating the document I created a year ago, which set out the assumptions I had made for the purposes of deciding whether or not to go pro. I've been very honest with myself about my experience of my first year as a professional and the ways in which it has been less satisfactory than hoped.

      To summarise, total earnings of around $15,000 for the year ($5000 of which are gone forever if Full Tilt does not return) are objectively very low for someone of my education/intelligence in the UK. There is no way of getting round that or dressing it up nicely. Furthermore, these earnings were not sufficient to support my family, so we have had to subsidise our income with savings. Moreover, the number of hours spent earning that modest amount was far in excess of what I had anticipated (i.e. my $/hour turned out to be much lower than I had assumed, meaning I had to work much harder than I had expected). Finally, and as a result of these factors, my health has not recovered as well as I had hoped (from when I was in a lot of pain around March of last year), and I have had much less time for other interests than I had expected. I've probably read three books in the last year, and that's pretty shameful for someone for whom reading is a real pleasure.

      I wanted to take some time to find out how things can be improved so that this next year is a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. 36 is still young enough to be active, fit and getting the most out of life rather than shut up staring at a computer screen for 70 hours a week.

      Earnings

      Over the next year I want to make $24,000 in EV earnings (including rakeback). I know that monetary targets are dangerous in poker but at the end of the day I can't simply say "I'm going to work on my game and hope the money comes". I'm confident enough that the red line for SNGs represents a realistic indication of earning potential (given a decent sample size) for that to be a useful measure of profitability. I don't think the figure quoted is too unreasonable, since it represents 1000 tournaments per month at an average profit of $2 per game, which my results - since I returned to tournaments - seem to support as a viable win rate. And I think that if I can't get very close to that sort of figure then it's time to hang up my shuffling gloves and find something else to do. I'm also hoping that one of the benefits of having an annual rather than a monthly target is that I will be less bothered about my short-term results (which hopefully should improve my overall mindset and level of contentment).

      Work Life Balance

      The above requires me to find 40 games a day, 25 days per month. I think this is doable so long as I'm very much better about limiting the time I spend at the computer when I'm not actually playing. Somehow I manage to spend upwards of 12 hours a day at the computer, sometimes more, yet only playing for perhaps half that time. I want to get the number of non-playing PC hours down to 3hr per day. The only way that will be possible is if I am a lot more disciplined than I have been in the past. Rough calculation suggests that it takes about 6.5 hours on average to play 40 games. If I can get my total daily PC hours down to something like 9h, I'm going to feel less like poker has taken over my life. If it works well then I will try to experiment with playing slightly more games (45, say) but giving myself a few extra days off each month. Admittedly I have been wanting to do this for some time and it hasn't yet worked out, so we will see...

      Fitness

      If I can reduce the amount of time I spend in front of the computer, there is no reason why I can't get properly fit and begin to engage in some form of group physical exercise. I used to play hockey and occasionally squash. And somewhere in the storeroom there is a bicycle which looks at me plaintively from time to time. There are acres of beautiful countryside right outside the door that I rarely interact with. And I have a young daughter who likes to go swimming but whose father doesn't take her because he's always making excuses.

      So, if I had to sum up my intentions with regard to the next year as a professional poker player, it's this:

      I want the game to work for me, not the other way round.
    • THESHade
      THESHade
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.03.2010 Posts: 5,418
      OH MY GOOd, U played hockey as well? Do u mean ice-hockey or some kind of wierd abomination hockey?
    • BOBOsvk
      BOBOsvk
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 2,505
      ice hockey
      field hockey
      hockey
      inline hockey :D

      anyway, Tim I am sure you can make more than 24k/year with the skills you have and the stakes u play now / will move up later.
      Also I think you will add more tables and become at least 12 tabling crusher who will be selected by all players who have just a lil bit of brain :) .

      I just regret I didn't have enough balls/ be like you and got stuck at the micros. But that's gonna change.

      Btw. I still owe you 1 hr.
      GL
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 8,029
      Originally posted by THESHade
      OH MY GOOd, U played hockey as well? Do u mean ice-hockey or some kind of wierd abomination hockey?
      This.

      p.s. thanks, Bobo and others for the encouragement.