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Rio or Bust

Can't...stop...playing...Rios! This weekend, Titan Poker was offering extra points toward their bonuses. The idea was to promote their new VIP levels. I don't really get the VIP thing, so maybe someone can inform me. From what I can see, VIP programs in various sites really only offer you some freerolls and bonuses (or faster bonuses). Well, call me crazy, but I usually can't commite to the time needed for the freerolls, and I'm like a bonus bloodhound, so I can always find one worth chasing.

Regardless, as a result of the offer, I played a bucket load of Rios, which are also available through Noble Poker (same great game, same terrible players). I actually had a streak of 3 first place finishes in a row. Another 3 would've earned me $25,000, but I then placed 2nd. Two more 1st or 2nd place finishes in a row would've netted me $300, but I then placed 5th.

So close, yet so far.

But that's the thing with these Rios. Six 1st place finishes in a row will be damn tough, and six 1st or 2nd place finsihes will be still fairly difficult. I usually get to 4 and then slip up. But while I'm trying to get there, I am earning money the entire way.

I've earned at least $200 on Rios, by my rough estimation, and I plan on sticking to them in the near future. My goal is to finally hit one of those jackpots, but I know that in the meanwhile, I'll continue to build the bankroll. So, basically, I'm on a (mostly) all Rio diet for the near future.

I've started to keep a separate cash bankroll for my poker play. It really is a novel concept for me. I also used to not count online wins in my win/loss ledger for the year. My logic was that any money I deposit online from my wallet is a loss immediately, and any withdrawal from online is a win. This way, I didn't "fool" myself into thinking that credits in some online poker room which I could eventually donk off was "real money".

Turns out, I was fooling myself about fooling myself. At the time when I instituted the rule, I was a net loser online. Then it made sense that any money deposited should be considered a loss. I also thought that the money that I won online had no real-world implications. After all, it did nothing but sit online. It didn't make my life any easier. It didn't pay for my groceries. How could I say, "I won $100," in honesty if I couldn't touch the money or spend it. I wanted to test how poker could make my life easier.

Things are different now, though. Maybe this is part of my evolution as a poker player. I can't stop thinking about my eventual goal, to make significant money in this game. In order to do that, I need to amass a bankroll, and the only way to do that is to win money, and then KEEP that money for future games. Hence, I've taken my $140 in cash game wins from my last visit to the Townehouse and last two visits from Robbie Hole's homegame and put it aside. I've also started a spreadsheet (since Valentine's Day, when I realized I lost my calendar, which was my old win/loss ledger) to keep track of ALL wins or losses, be them online or live. Now, I believe that until Valentine's Day, I was up barely $50 for the year after a slow start. Add that to what I have in my spreadsheet, and I'm at about $450 profit for the year, not including bonuses. My goal was to win $1800 by year end, which is about $150/month. So, basically, I'm doing fairly well in my goal, but need to keep the momentum going.

The Evolution of a Poker Player! Just the thought of it excites me.

I've got more to write, but no time to do it, so have a great Monday (all things considered) and I'll be seeing you at the tables.

posted by Jordan @ 9:27 AM,


At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on taking the leap into tracking your online play and setting realistic goals to improve your bankroll. I found an immediate jump in both my quality of play and bankroll once I started doing just that because (1) it made me accountable to actual results rather than percieved quality of play (when you know you're going to have to enter the results on a balance sheet and be confronted with the sometime harsh reality, it makes you focus on your game much mor acutely), (2) it will cause you to focus on what games are, for you, the most profitable (such as the Rios for you and mid-stakes SNGs for me), and (3) it is fun and gratifying to set and meet goals. I look forward to following your progress and hopefully you'll hit that huge bonus at some point!

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Craig. I agree with all that you said, but I'll add one more advantage of tracking wins and losses. When you lose for a day, you can still look at total wins/losses to see that your one day of losing is just part of variance. What I mean is, there are days when I've had a -$50+ day. They are few and far between (mostly because of my stakes), but when they occur, I used to be bummed. I'd lie in bed before going to sleep thinking, "that's $50 down the drain, that I need to make up." or "that is x% of my bankroll I lost because of my stupidity." Now, I can look to see that I am overall winning, and it takes off a lot of the sting of losing.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the plan. I never keep track of my wins/losses. I just look at my bankroll to see how I'm fairing. Maybe I should take a look at keeping better records.

Congrats on the Rio's, though. That is teh cool. If you can play that well in those things, you should be able to KILL at the Dirty Dozen tables. 12 handed play, $2 buy-in, and if you win only FOUR in a row, you get $2000. That would fatten the bankroll a bit, no?

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason why I avoid the Dirty Dozens ($2, 12-person tournaments), is because I like the speed of the Rios. You are in and out in a half hour. I have to imagine the Dirty Dozens are longer. Also, I'm starting to get a taste for the higher buy-ins and I like it. I have trouble even considering playing anything under a $5 buy-in (and lately, anything under $10). The plan is to work the bankroll northward with Rios, and then, if/when I'm ready, move over to the Fort Knox Jackpot SNGs, which are 6-person $50+fee tournaments with the same structure as Rios (top 3 pay out, bonuses for 6 consecutive wins). The things that are stopping me now are (a) bankroll and (b) concern as to whether Fort Knox players are any better than Rio players. In that vein, I've started keeping notes on Rio players, because I'm starting to see some repeats. Just talking about Rios gets me all excited.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're doing the right thing by tracking your play especially as you try to build a bankroll. This will allow for a much more realistic look at your actual play.

I keep meticulous records of both my live and online play so I can have the most information possible to see where my strengths and weakness are and which games are the most profitable. I'm big on hourly rate more than ROI and the records show what games I should be playing for greatest profit. I was misinformed before I started keeping records but since I have my bankroll is increasing rapidly.

Continued success!

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had just a simple Excel spreadsheet that I update daily with columns for different online sites as well as live. Then a quick sum of Monthly total, as well as online vs. live bankroll. I can email it to you (it's nothing very rocket science-ish for sure), although I'm sure you're set. It's been helpful and a good discipline for me, I think. I'm sure I could do more with it and there are some spreadsheets already out there, I think, that should be better.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CC. I'm taking you up on that offer. Send me that spreadsheet by email, please. (no E).

I currently use an Excel Spreadsheet with the following colums: DATE, SITE (or Location Live), GAME (Live I lump together, as opposed to breaking it up, since most are home games), WIN/LOSS, and a VARIABLE column with info such as length of time played if its a cash game or place/total players if its a tournament.

I have another column for daily totals, and a third box simply for the overall total.

What I want to add is some box that basically calculates the win/loss for Rios only (or .25/.50 NL only, or 2/4 L only, etc.). I don't know how to do that yet in Excel (I used to). So any help would be appreciated.

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey CC,

Wanna help a brutah out?

I'll take a li'l of that action if you're handing it out.

reicho3400 at hotmail dot com


"Just talking about Rios gets me all excited."

That made me laugh out loud at my cube.

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use an Excel spreadsheet that I created myself. I have separate pages that track the following: Live play, online ring games [separate page for each site so I can see how the cash games compare from one to another] SNG page for each site, MTT page for each site, and a composite page that keeps running totals for the year and career for each type of play, and combined. I also have a page where i track how i do in SNG's with ITM%, ROI%, etc.

Having the numbers in front of you keeps you honest about how things are going, and as you said, can keep you from getting too upset when losing when you see the bigger picture. If anyone wants a copy, give me a shout.


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