Thursday, September 04, 2008

Study, Study, Study

there has been mucho content lately where pros walk you through hands via video or books. I loved Gus Hansen's book and now I am reading the Pearljammer/Rizen book in the same format. The video schooling is a great idea, but sites continue to charge premium rates for the sites. I will make the supposition that the first site to go bargain pricing is going to win out. (maybe that is more wishful thinking, as a marketing guy would tell me that I was way wrong.)

nevertheless, I am picking apart my game like never before. Hopefully I can break this 2008 bubble curse I am on.

My situation is usually to try and play solid poker. The bigger the field, the bigger the chance I get to the bubble with just about average (or slightly below). Now, I am going to have to win a race somewhere along the way. And I am going to lose 50% of the time. But being unlucky as I am, its more like 66% loss rate. Plus, even if I win one, I may lose the next one. Avoiding races at all is -EV, so what is a solid player to do? I have seen lots of players successful at courting volatility early, and either getting a big stack or going out early. But I just am not good at that. Do I have to stick to 10 table or less MTTs?


pokerpeaker said...

"Now, I am going to have to win a race somewhere along the way. And I am going to lose 50% of the time. But being unlucky as I am, its more like 66% loss rate."

I hear this from every poker player I know, including myself. It can't be true. It would be interesting to know the stats on coin flips from all our poker players. My guess is we only remember the tough ones, when we lose and it would have given us the chip lead, and that overwhelms the good vibes from the ones we did win.
Well, that and poker players love to whine.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Ditto, Peaker.

What I'm about to say specifically is not meant to apply to Columbo. I'm not saying it does, and I'm not saying it doesn't. I am simply not talking about Columbo at all in the following statement.

That said, I hear a ton of bloggers and other poker players complaining all the time about being generally unlucky, generally running bad, etc. And I'm not talking about someone saying wow this has been a bad month or a bad 2 weeks or whatever, as normal math-based variance is sure to lead to periods just like that. I'm talking about the people who honestly claim all the time that they run worse all the time than everyone else.

In those cases (again, not saying this applies to Columbo specifically at all), my opinion is that at least 95% of those players actually just suck at poker. And that is my opinion from watching their play. At least 95% of people who claim to be unluckier than everyone else, actually just suck at poker.

Anyone can (and factually will, if you play enough) go through streaks where you lose 66% of your 50% hands. Play enough hands over enough time, and you could run at that rate for a week straight, a month straight or probably even longer. But nobody can actually lose 66% of 50% hands over The Long Term. That is as sure of a fact as there is in the world.

columbo (at eifco dot org) said...

I think in my case, hoping I dont not totally suck, that I am just tired of not having enough chips where losing a race does not completely wipe me out. A situation I have been unable to avoid in 2008. and that is frustrating. So I am studying the recent posts and books about accumulating chip stacks.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah man. I personally am a big fan of studying all the time, especially when I'm running bad.

To be clear, I am on record several times saying you are in fact a strong player. I just don't believe you are actually unluckier than the math. It's probably some selective memory combined with a long streak of bad variance. Both happen to the best of us.

Best of luck turning shit around man. It's gonna feel so sweet when you do. I'm happy to go over andy hands you want if you like, you know where to find me on the girly.