My 2008 poker year thus far

So its not quite mid year but it’s close enough that I’m going to do a little bit of analysis out loud.  (I’ve also been traveling like a fiend and my company is in the middle of living a genuine Business School Case Study, which let me tell you, it’s not fun to live.  They read a lot easier after the fact.)

I’m just about break even for the year in dollar results when you include all the live tournament play I’ve been doing.  But the cash games are the real important area.  My no limit cash game is running a deficit of $500 or so.  That nets out to losses at one location in DC where I play when I’m there on business of almost $1,000, and wins in other places that offset about half of those losses.

The competition at the private game in DC is strong enough that I’ve concluded I’m outmatched.  During my last session I looked around the table and concluded that I knew who the fish was, and when he busted out, I knew I was the new fish.  I left while I still had chips and vowed to play in easier games.

Now looking at it, with only a few exceptions, I’m a money loser at no limit cash games pretty much everywhere, so I’m dropping that from my practice routine.  Depending on where I’m playing, I’m averaging a loss of about $10-$70 per hour of play.  Clearly I’m outmatched across the board.

The limit cash game numbers are much better.  I make about $10 / hr playing $3/$6, and about a $1/hour playing $6/$12.  Once again, I think the results suggest the obvious: I should be playing $3/$6 limit and honing my game there.  I find there are plenty of opportunities for intellectual exercise at that level, and I certainly don’t have any concern about money if, on the whole, I’m beating the table.  It’s also where I’m focusing all of my time with my coach, so that’s appropriate.

The one weird exception to this is my tournament results.  If you take all my data as a whole, I make about $23 / hour playing hold’em tournaments.  However that’s really just due to one big win, and my whole sample size this year is less than a dozen tournaments.  I would say the data does not yet prove that my tournament skills are impressive enough to continue to play them except for fun, which is exactly how I’ve been treating them since Vegas.