Given that it's the year 2009, I'm sure anyone reading this blog has read a dozen others - many of which will almost certainly be much more interesting and informative than mine. I think the purpose of blogging is as much personal as it is a way to share information and creative ideas with others. I hope to look back on this first post and each consequent post with sense that I'm going somewhere and as my blog progresses that I do too.
My name is Josh, I am 21 years old and about to finish my second to last semester at college. I attend NYU and live in Manhattan (the Gramercy Area). I study Math primarily, with a minor in Business Studies. Up until the last 5 months, I thought (and still may) I would graduate and work for a large-well known company as an actuary (see end for definition of actuary). While interning for one such company this past summer, I began playing poker online in earnest.
(Actuary: The actuarial profession is basically a field of study that uses different kind of applied mathematics in order to quantify and price financial risk. For instance, as an actuarial student one studies probability, financial mathematics, life contingencies, etc... The purpose of this discipline would be for instance to set rates on a health insurance policy. In fact, if you are insured in any way (auto insurance, anyone?) the price you pay on your plan is in part paid to an actuary for their services.)
During August, I borrowed 10$ from a friend (aka Scotty too Hotttttie) on Pokerstars. I did some brief research, found the 2+2 forums, where I was introduced to Pokertracker/Hold'em Manager. I started playing 2 tables of 2NL... until my bankroll could support more tables. By the end of July I was 24-tabling 2NL and by the end of August I 24-tabled 10NL. (Basic Bankroll Management meaning I needed 30 buy-ins of 100 big blinds to move up a limit.) Here is my lifetime graph from July and August. As you can see there are some bumps and ebbs, but pretty much no troubles.
Would I prefer to sit in an office from 9-5 with a guaranteed wage, or play a game I love in order to support myself? So I returned to school in the Fall with the goal of improving my poker game to the point were I could make an economic choice to play for a living rather than to work, at least for the time being.
To date, September (my first month back at school) was my best month of poker and the sky was the limit. I started September "shot-taking" 25NL, which means I still considered myself a 10NL player. By the end of September, I was shot-taking 50NL and considered myself a graduate of 25NL. I'm not sure what has changed since then... some people might call it "drift" but my game has changed significantly perhaps, for the worse since then.
Here is my graph from September 2009.
As you can see my NSD is slightly negative, but I'm playing pretty solid TAG poker. For those more familiar with "poker numbers" I was playing about 13/10, 12/9 through this period with about 3-4% 3-bet. My winnings were very very good. I was a soild 4ptbb winner over my life-time at 25NL (while 24-tabling).
Since then, my game has gotten significantly looser and not in a good way. I've been playing between 17/14, 15/12 but I haven't turned up the aggression enough (I think!). As a result I'm losing a lot of money NSD... (the bad redline). Here is graph since the end of September. Essentially over this period I'm about a 1.5-2ptbb/100 winner at 50NL playing anywhere between 16 and 24 tables at time.
The looser that one plays the more variance there is. I think overall an optimal winrate would be achieved playing about 17/14, but one cannot shirk their nature - I need to get back to where I was before - tighter is better for me. Why change something that's working well?
Typically I'd like to set up a system where I set goals at the beginning of every month and see how I do at the end. Here are the goals for now until the end of December.
1) Focus on school, not poker!
My grades this semester have not been bad (split A's and B's). However, my formal education will be over soon and even though I do not care about grades per say, they do stick and it would be nice to have some solid scholastic credentials to my name. I also have the second actuarial exam coming up, I have not been putting close to enough time into studying so I'd like to at least put up a good fight as November comes to a close. My test is December 4th.
2) Poker goals
Tighten my game back up to 14/11 at the loosest, 12/10 at the tightest. I need to stop opening marginal hands UTG/EP especially some small pairs and implied odds hands. I think play at 50NL isn't to the point where I need to worry about my image too much. I think playing with an imbalanced range isn't too big of a leak here. Numerically, I'd like to see myself beating 50NL for 3-4ptbb/100 over 100k hands in the next 40 days.
I hope this first post was some-what entertaining. Thanks for reading!