Well it may be quite early to do a proper review of my year but as I doubt that I’ll play a great deal more this year other than a few games online and maybe one visit to the Vic.
I didn’t play a great deal until June when I started keeping records. I didn’t have a computer before then and was busy traveling around the country doing a job I really didn’t like. I actually gave up that job thinking either I would get an amazing new job or I would try and play poker for a living. Well it took just two days for me to land a job I couldn’t refuse so turning professional has at least been put on the backburner until March next year.
I have played in 9 tournaments in 2004 with entrance fees of £200 or higher.
European Poker Championships 2004 - London
£250 Pot Limit Omaha
£200 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
Gutshot Club - London
£500 No Limit Holdem Freezeout
European Poker Classics - London
£250 Pot Limit Holdem
£750 No Limit Holdem Freezeout
£500 Pot Limit Omaha
£300 No Limit Holdem Freezeout
£3000 European Poker Tour No Limit Freezeout
Xmas Cracker - Brighton
£500 No Limit Holdem Freezeout
In 6 of these 9 tournaments I have made the final three tables finishing 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 11th and 20th. Tournaments that have entrance fees really seem to focus my poker and I seem to keep bad decisions down to a minimum. I have definitely improved upon my tournament No Limit Holdem as prior to 2004 I had predominantly played Pot Limit Holdem. My 20th place in the European Poker Tour event in London is perhaps the most frustrating. I know that despite playing well throughout day 1 I left myself to short chipped to be able to make an impact on the 2nd day and it isn’t a mistake I will be making again. My 5th place in the £300 No Limit Holdem Freezeout was highlight as there were 198 runners. Its one I could have done even better in but my opponent hit his second pair on the river to send me out.
Overall I paid £7400 in entrance fees to tournaments in 2004. My prize money was £4400. So my tournament loss was £3000. However, half my EPT event entrance fee was paid by backers. My investment in Adam Matusiak for the main event in Brighton in the summer yielded me £6000. So if I include that in my figures I actually made a profit of £4500 in 2004.
Cash Game Review
It seems bizarre that when I look at my figures that despite cash games being my most financially successful area of my poker I have played it the least by far. Obviously with still having a job I can’t manage the late nights and the convenience of playing online can be too tempting. Since June I have played live cash games 18 times. 14 of which were winning sessions. I also have tendency not to play for a while if I have a good win. I think it’s because when I do win it’s normally a £1000+ win due to the level of cash game I play. If I lose I also don’t normally play for a while as my losses are always £1000+ when I lose and I don’t want to start chasing. I know if I do turn professional I will have to play cash 3 or 4 times a week as these are my bread and butter. I don’t think you can be a successful professional player unless you are good at cash games. Tournaments are just a bonus in my opinion and I enjoy playing them.
When I posted a few months back my Live Cash – Overall Win rate (per hour) was + £131.55. I have had two wins and two losses since then and it will finish the year at Live Cash – Overall Win rate (per hour) + £125.27. Overall for 2004 I made a profit in cash games of just over £9000.
Focusing specifically on the games I play live. I am very happy with my Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo game. I need to improve upon my Stud game significantly if I am to truly feel comfortable playing for large amounts of money in Dealers Choice games. I rarely play Holdem cash games as the big games always seem to be Omaha or dealers choice.
I really do have a love hate relationship with online poker. I know that it is probably the easiest area in poker to make consistent money but I often lack focus or choose games that I shouldn’t be playing. I have massive winning runs and then equally as bad losing runs. I gave up keeping proper records of how I was doing because I’d often just play for an hour and not keep results. So I contacted all the sites that I’ve played on in 2004 to gain records of my profit/loss.
I managed to turn what was a £8000 loss just a few months ago into a break even on one site. I have played this year on Betfair, Victor Chandler, Paradise, Party and Pokerstars and after correlating my results together I made a very marginal profit. I could easily say that online poker this year has been a waste of time or has it? I certainly have learnt some harsh lessons about my own personality and a huge tendency to go on tilt when I’ve had a few drinks and have a few bad beats. I have gambled for some serious money as well. On Betfair which I play on the most I have deposited £20000 from my current account. Yikes.
Playing online has definitely improved my NL Holdem game and my Omaha Hi/Lo. I have literally played in every game that online can offer. Big multi table tournaments, Sit N Go’s, Omaha, Hi/Lo, Stud, Pineapple (I won at that somehow), Limit Holdem, NL Limit Holdem and a few satellites to big events.
It shows how ridiculous playing online has made me in the past. I was playing $20/$40 Limit on Party Poker a month back. While I managed to win what the hell was I doing playing Limit Holdem? I have probably only ever played the game for about 20 hours in my life. Yet in my wisdom (on tilt) I decided it was a good choice of game. Probably a good decision as I can’t bet too much playing Limit.
Aims for 2005
I will increase the number of tournaments I play in and will definitely travel abroad to play in a few tournaments. I am tempted by the EPT events in both Vienna and Copenhagen but will probably only travel to one of them.
My ranking for Europe for 2004 currently stands at 244th. My aim is too significantly improve upon that. For 2005 I aim to finish in the top 20 in Europe. I know that is a high target but I like to have something to aim for. It keeps me focused.
Hopefully I won’t have as many bubble finishes as this year which is just so frustrating. I’d rather be knocked out after 10 minutes than play for 8 hours and finish on the bubble.
I am going to play more cash live. I will start playing at least once a week. I am going to buy some books to learn to improve my stud game. I don’t know my pot odds well enough to be confident in making big bets in that game yet.
I will continue to play online a fair bit. I have decided I am only going to play the following games Pot Limit Omaha, NL Holdem and Satellites to big poker events.
No more multi table tournaments, Sit n Go’s, Limit poker, Stud or any other crazy game I think I can beat.
Overall I have really enjoyed playing poker this year. I have had an opportunity to play in some very big cash games and tournaments and have had a real buzz from doing so. I have also met many of the well known players. At one point I found myself mixing it on the same table with Peter Costa, Dave Colclough and Marcel Luske. I definitely couldn’t have imagined that at the start of the year. Hopefully I can continue to focus on my game, improve, and have a successful 2005.