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Bashing and Swinging

This upcoming weekend, I will be in beautiful Florida to celebrate my grandparents' anniversary. One week later, though, I will be shirking my Judaic responsibilities in favor of the consumption of mass amounts of alcohol with a dash of charity. Yes, the Bash at the Boathouse is coming along quickly, and while I will sadly miss out on the Friday night festivities, I will be live and in person on Saturday. Saturday will likely be light on the poker. The Charity Tournament will be taking place, and I look forward to getting a good view, but the bar cannot allow other games to occur because of the usual whiny "gambling is illegal" nonsense. I don't blame them, of course, but I do suggest that players brush up on their Chinese Poker, since its a game that does not require chips (its easy to keep track of scores on paper and settle up after) and can be played on the fly. Yep, I'll be drinking in a corner with TripJax and a deck of cards, trying to get the unexpecting to play some poker from the Orient! Cause that's how I roll...

Onto other things. It was barely 18 months ago when I was looking to increase my bankroll by playing .25/.50 Limit exclusively. In that short period of time, I've made my way (slowly) up the ladder to the point where I'm comfortable with 2/4 limit and $100 max no-limit. However, with that increase comes something that is a bit harder to get used to: the greater swings.

Now, don't laugh. I know some of you are used to winning or losing $1000 in a night. I know that I am a NYC attorney, so there are obvious assumptions readers make. But whatever the case, I've always maintained that my anal retentiveness has kept my addictive personality in check. By that, I mean that I was never playing with anything I couldn't afford to lose, and I never could afford to lose much. Now, I have about $1500 or more online. A couple of days ago, I lost $260 in one night. $260! And yet, the idea of spending $260 on anything else is mindboggling to me.

Adjusting to higher stakes can be a difficult process. At this point, my mind is numb to a $60 loss (see yesterday). I was at Roose's and we were sitting on his balcony when I came to that realization. Roose was steaming about two suckout losses in a $20 and $10 MTT. I thought for a moment and replied, "I'm down $60 for the day, and I don't even feel it." It was less an admonishment of his steaming then it was amazement at my complacency. "For me to feel it," I continued, "I have to lose about $150."

To an extent, I think the recent downturn (currently over, thankfully) was exacerbated by the fact that the losses were affecting me. The new $150 or higher rule is just that, new. A few weeks ago, a loss of $80 would upset me, but that was only 20 BB at 2/4, or less than a buy-in at $100. I suffered losses like this almost constantly for a couple of weeks, watching my bankroll deflate along with my mental fortitude. It was only after I posted several $100+ day wins that I came to realize that I actually gained something great from my losses: perspective. At 2/4 Limit and $100 max NL, losses aren't going to be $11 or even $40. They may be like that sometimes, but they won't always be like that. $100+ losses are going to happen, and the only thing I can do is take them with a grain of salt.

Perspective is key. Going forward, I now know what to expect. A couple of days ago, I posted a $260 or so loss because I busted in two $100 max tables. In one, I had AKo and raised. My opponent went all-in and I thought for a moment before putting him on AQ. Sure enough, I was right, but the Q on the flop (with no K) left me shocked. My perfect read did not pay off. I was down $100! But, um, I didn't care. Why should I? The decision was right, the outcome was wrong, but I did everything I could do to ensure success. The rest was out of my hands. When I busted on the other table, I thought to myself, "I can't believe I'm down $200." And then I thought, oh yes, I can believe it. That's all there is to it.

I'm excited for when the swings get even bigger. $250 is a pretty penny, but when the roll grows, it'll feel like $25 eventually. At least I'm growing my thick skin. Without it, any gambler is bound to be ruined from exposure to the gambling environment.

No significant wins this weekend. No significant losses. Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:38 AM,

6 Comments:

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

I react to different losses in different ways.

I've lost $1200 on one Blackjack hand (I bet $600 and then doubled down against a dealer 6 when i had 10) and it didn't phase me much.

I've lost $500 on a roulette spin and it didn't phase me much.

I've lost $150 to a rivered 6 outer and broken a keyboard.

I think it's because I have much more control over my funds in poker, and I fully realize that playing roulette and blackjack is largely based on luck, so those losses aren't totally balls.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger chipper said...

The more you play, somehow money becomes less of an issue - afterall - you should treat your online roll as complete disposable funds. As a low stakes player I still feel down about losing $25 in a night. I've lost over $100 in a night playing 2/4 as you have and it's left me shaking my head. I'm not sure I'd handle a loss like that over and over again. Mainly because the money I started out with isn't going to get any bigger by depositing more. I promised myself that.

Once losting $250 is not a big deal I have to start asking myself "why isn't it a big deal?" cuz $250 can still go a ways.

Play at the level you're comfortable at. If losing triple digits is a big thing (and it should) then you have to figure out what life's priorities are. Good to have disposable income, but also good to have limits as well. Afterall, we're not ex-WSOP champions (yet).

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

I will be easy money considering the amount of alcamahol I will have in my system...

I may be in a corner passed out...

 
At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Neil said...

Even at the micro-limits that I have bene playing at, I have been having a hard time dealing with the variance. It is so hard to deal with the losing part, but a ton easier to deal with winning. I had to back down the limits I was playing at and stay at LHE in order to build my confidence up as well as work on my skills so I can move up agian.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

I think I need to gather up my ballsack and start playing higher again.

And count me in for some Chinese if Al hasn't shoveled too many shots down my throat.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Drizz, I got nothing but respect for you so, (a) I'm sure you'll kick ass at the higher limits, and (b) I will gladly pray Chinese Poker with you.

My goal is to play One Dorrar a point, but .25 is fine too. I'll take it as it comes.

 

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