January 2005 poker results

As the new year begins, I’m continuing my project of tracking my poker results that I started in 2004. I’m taking my poker hobby seriously, and am taking many measures to improve my play. More about the hands I’ve seen this month, and my various changes in record-keeping below.

Last year I tracked all poker money, tournament entries as well as cash games. I mixed them together, but they are so different that I’m going to keep them seperate. I have poker colleagues that also track every expense of their poker life (travel, room and board, meals, etc) but I can’t do that. I’d have no chance to see positive results if I did that.

Also, I’m doing sessions with a poker coach on a regular basis. I’ve tried two different coaches so far and had four lessons. It’s been productive, and my play has improved quite a bit from it. The cost of those lessons are also not included in my totals.

Tournaments: -US$203.00 YTD

Tournaments are up and down for me, but overall a money loser in 2004. There was a time last year when I actually made a decent amount of money with them, but it was, in perspective, a statistical abberation. I’m going to track them, but seperately from the cash games.

In 2004 I had my most success with 1 table Sit N Gos. For you non poker people, a Sit N Go tournament is one where people come online and register for a tournament and wait for it to fill up before it goes. This is different from other tournaments which start at a predetermined time and contain hundreds or thousands of people. Sit N Gos have maybe 10, 20, or at the most 30 people.

In 2004 the Limit Hold ’em SnGs were a money maker, and I think I will concentrate on them for the next months. Foolishly I spent January playing No Limit Hold ’em tournaments and lost money overall. Of course I played one Limit tournament and….made money.

Sometimes the obvious is crucial.

The funniest tournament I played this month was a $5 No Limit Hold ’em SnG I played at Party Poker. It was late at night, and as I sat in bed next to Sarah with the laptop, I realized the table was tight weak. “Tight Weak” in poker lingo means that everyone is waiting for a really good hand, and if they have a marginal hand and play it, you can make them fold it by making a really big bet.

I was short stacked and the blinds were getting big and it was only 4 of us. The top 3 win money, so nobody wanted to get put out yet. In a situation like that, you can steal pots with utter crap, and I proceeded to do it like a fiend. Over and over I’d raise them out of pots until I had a comparable stack of chips. My tiny stack had become a comparable stack.

“You’re so gay”, was the response of my opponents.

Then I stole some more, and I had a big stack.

“You’re such a tool” said another. “Just try that when I have a hand,” threatened another player.

Of course next time he pushed all his chips in I folded my junk, depriving him of making any money with his patiently-waiter-for good hand.

The entire time I was playing this tournament I was still a little ill from the cold I was getting over. I was laying in bed, playing and falling asleep. Sarah kept poking me, “Wake up, sweetie. The beeping means it’s your turn.”

“Wha-?” I said groggily. “Oh, All in…”

Of course I won that tournament and got cussed out by the remaining players who stayed to egg on my final victim.

Cash games: +US$170.93 YTD

My cash game improved quite a bit this month due to help from my poker coaches. I am doing well playing $1/$2 No Limit Hold ’em on Party and $1/$2 Limit Hold ’em on Victory Poker. I’m going to spend the next month focusing on Limit instead of No Limit until my coach and I have time to focus on my No Limit skills.

One thing I am proud of is I am good reading my opponents with some key starting hands, AA, KK, QQ. My profitability ends at AQo though. With AA I went to showdown 50% of the time, and when I did, I won 100% of the time. What this means is that while I may have folded the Aces to a bluff sometimes, I never took them to the showdown without having the best hand. That’s an important skill to have, to be able to smell when the Aces are beat and have the ability to lay them down.