Suck it up Joe

An optimistic attitude to risk, some poor decisions and an awful run of luck reduced my poker bankroll beyond the point where I could continue to draw an income from it.

On the Sunday I continued to thrash 15 to 20 tables of $.50/1 Omaha on Pokerstars, losing dollars but racking up the player points. My immediate aim was to collect enough points to claim an $800 bonus, which would have kept my hopes alive for that week at least. If I could keep any sort of winrate up at this high volume, my supernova status would allow me to claim another several thousand before the end of the year. Unfortunately I was a losing player over tens of thousands of hands. I had decided to start playing Omaha seriously because it was the fastest way to earn player points, shortstacking as many 6-max tables as possible. With a shortstack at 6-max, its difficult to keep up with the rake. Over 15-20 tables, my skills were also struggling to keep up with game.

It being Sunday I played the familiar glut of Multi Table Tournaments. Familiar bad form continued and another 20 or so tournaments went by without a meaningful cash. I had no problems with my tournament play, and actually I was playing better than ever. However I was at the bottom of a very long and low curve, having played several hundred tournaments without any big score. I had heard about these runs before, but never experienced one. When I most needed the big boost to my bankroll, it cruelly evaded me.

On the Monday I decided, far too late, to switch back to Sit-n-Gos. My bankroll was at a critical level, and it required a boost in the form of several winning sessions and some bonuses, if it was to survive. I had a good enough record at Sit-n-Go tournaments, and I could generate enough player points with some high volume, to make a recovery feasible. It was perhaps already too late. If I had decided to switch to Sit-n-Gos earlier things might have been different, who knows?

About the time I went to Las Vegas back in June, my bankroll was healthy enough for me to reduce my hours at work and begin to draw an income from it. The decision to go part time unfortunately co-incided with a big increase in my living costs. Never mind, I thought, if things continue as they are I will soon be able to draw all of my income from my poker money. Never mind, I thought, if I make any kind of a decent score in Vegas my bankroll will be large enough to generate a full and generous wage. Never mind, I thought, if things do not go so well I would only get into hot water if I had a bad downswing…

Like building your house next to a volcano, its quite a bad idea to plan your life around  something bad not happening.

By Monday night another couple of losing sessions had been and gone and it was time to face up to reality. My funds had dipped below the point where a few winning sessions could bounce me back into a comfort zone. I considered one last ditch attempt at a bunch of tournaments, but decided instead to cash out and re-evaluate.

I traded in my player points for an Amazon voucher and a Pokerstars Supernova shirt with my name on it.

On Wednesday I went into work and requested more  hours. Management were happy for me to return to full-time work as they had just increased opening hours and lost a number of staff. So that was good timing at least, I could work as many hours as I pleased whilst I enjoyed a much-needed break from playing Poker.

Now I’m playing 3 or 4 tables of microstakes Omaha. I am not, of course, drawing any money from my roll, and have given up on tournaments altogether. I am winning at a rate of knots and will soon be moving up the levels. It might seem on paper that I am back to square one, grinding a small bankroll at the low stakes, as I was when I started playing seriously 20 months ago. However I am a much more skillful and experienced player than I was back then. Never again will I put my bankroll under so much pressure as to risk destroying it.

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