It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve last blogged and there is enough to tell! Let’s just kick start this with saying that I’m happy with how things are going at the moment. There is plenty of room for improvement but I’m still human, unlike some of those grinders out there 🙂
A quick catch-up first with a graph of my play from the 1st of March onwards:
Before yesterdays session (-$681,50) I was extremely happy with my graph so far. Now I need to at least win back yesterdays losses before the end of the month before I’m happy. Being up $2/3K for a month plus bonuses means steady income and a good profit. Especially if you compare it with what happened in Jan/Feb. My low for this year was -$22.000, I’m now down $19.000 so at least I’m already $3.000 up again but I’ve also gained a lot of VPP’s so I’m finally in the plus again for this year!
I’m only playing $3/$6 and $5/$10 and moving down made things really “official”. You still hope it’s sort of a downswing or money you will win back as long as you are playing the same limits. Now since I’ve dropped down I’m not thinking anymore about regaining my losses at $10/$20 and $15/$30. If I do well the rest of the year I can win back those $19.000 at $3/$6 and $5/$10 and be happy with a break-even year and SNE. Assuming I would break-even till the end of the year, then I’m still happy with what I’ve earned for this year, I did hope things would work out different of course but that’s poker. Now I could also run as god and come back to $10/$20 and $15/$30 but at the moment I’m not looking up, I first need to get a stable winrate at $3/$6 and $5/$10.
Strange enough I’m doing really good at $5/$10 and at $3/$6 I’m still slightly losing . It’s a lot better then it was in Jan/Feb and if you would ask me, I haven’t changed my game! I now have a winrate for March at $5/$10 of 0.73 while in Jan/Feb my winrate was -0.81. I really can’t explain that huge difference, I don’t even have the slightest idea! That’s a bit worrying but I’ve seen other regulars at the tables having the exact same thing in Jan/Feb.
If you just look at the graph above, It’s scary! JaneTheHot, one of the best players at my stakes, got the exact same graph as I have. The first week of 2010 everything was fine (just like me) and then a huge downswing hit. These are only the stats from my own PokerTracker (so not all Jane’s hands), but PTR shows about the same. JaneTheHot sustained a much better winrate then I did in 2009 but it’s really scary that our graphs look so similar! Jane stopped winning at the exact same moment as I did and picked things up again at the exact same moment. The only difference is that I played a lot more, so I’m a bit further down still 🙁
I can’t really explain these things. I don’t believe that pokersites are rigged. If I would do that, why bother even playing? Most of it will probably be up & downswings but I believe some of it is the flow that’s going on at the tables which changes month by month. Some months people try to call down a lot, the other month people start raising all kind of things on the turn and the next they only play fit & fold. Now one of these matches my play style the best and others suck for my play style and while most regulars will continue to play the same game, the fish out there make up the most of our winrate. Me and my buddy have the complete opposite play style but often in months he is doing really well, I’m not and vice versa. Pretty hard to try and explain these things on paper without any solid proof, so considering it as just some rambling.
Besides the fact that moving down made my losses sort of “official”, grinding VPP’s has become a lot tougher. I was almost up till 1.100 VPP/hour and currently it’s about 900 VPP/Hour. This didn’t really boost my motivation while I should work harder! I’m at 282.000 VPP and my end-goal for the month is to have at least 310.000 VPP. That means a little over 100.000 VPP a month, but in January I made 140.000 VPP and in March I expect only to get 80.000. Now I’m actually not that worried if I’m going to make SNE or not. I must say, I was first when I moved down but when I do a simple calculation. 80.000 a month for the next 9 months means 720.000 VPP. I only need 690.000 if I get to 310.000 at the end of this month and getting 80.000 VPP a month isn’t really hard work. I wanted to get a lot more VPP during the first 5 months this year so I could get time off during summer but even if I don’t do that, SNE is still doable.
Knowing this (the fact that I’ll make it) is the worst thing for my motivation! Since I have the idea that I make it anyway I put in even less hours. Distractions are on the lure almost everyday so that’s really the thing I should watch out for! Getting a Starcraft II Beta Key was probably the worst that could have happened to me. I have a very simple gaming career: Command & Conquer (1995), Warcraft II (1996), Red Alert (1996), Duke Nukem 3D (1996), Diablo (1996), Starcraft (1998), Diablo 2 (2000), Planetarion (2001), Counter Strike (2002), World of Wacraft (2005).
Sure I’ve played different games, but these are all games I’ve played so much that you could call it sort of an addiction. I had a struggle of almost a year to leave World of Warcraft and start playing more poker. I can only imagine what could have happened if I would have started playing online poker in 2005 or 2006, but I must say being guidleader of a WoW guild for 2yrs was a blast as well. I played WoW for about 3years and this month my WoW guild has it’s 5year anniversary, something I’m very proud of as well!
Now Starcraft II Beta is there and the game is just the same. Now you could say that’s pretty bad, but the game always rocked so I don’t really care. I got an “invite a friend” key and I’ve been playing this game over and over both 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2. I play my poker sessions on Sun/Mon evening/night but else I try to play as much Starcraft II as possible. I’ve never been really l33t in this game like Elky or RaSZi, but I was proud to be #1 in the copper ladder last week!
What I didn’t tell is that the ladder system works like this: Platinum > Gold > Silver > Bronze > Copper and each ladder has only 100 people on it, which means I was #1 of the worst ladder out there and only out of 100 people but still it made me happy 🙂 I’m now playing in the Bronze ladder and I’m somewhere top15. Since my buddy now also got a Beta Key we’ve been playing 2 vs 2 and we are actually in the gold league and not doing that bad. I’m happy as long as my win/loss ratio is positive and it’s for both!
Besides Starcraft II I almost got back into Planetarion last week. It’s a text based strategy game which used to have ten thousands of players. It’s a tick based game (you only have to do things once every hour) but because of that the best thing is to really be there at least once every hour. I played the game to the extend that my sleep pattern looked like the following:
01:05 – Bed, so I was around after the 01:00 “tick”
02:55 – Alarm so I could do things in the 02:00 “Tick”
03:05 – Bed again so I could do things in the 03:00 “Tick”
05:55 – Alarm so I could do things in the 05:00 “Tick”
I then did this for the full 3 months of a round (and I did play multiple rounds), being top10 almost all ’round’ but I actually never ended really high myself. That means a max of 5 hours sleep and I would be awake for about 10 minutes during those 5 hours. When you had incoming, you would stay up all night to cover yourself and your friends. Well, I’m a geek but that game was both killing and extremely fun! I had a full-time job and didn’t look to healthy but a WoW addiction is nothing compared to this 🙂
I said sort of yes to an old friend who still plays the game. I would really love to play the game but when I spend last Wednesday evening on IRC (that’s what you use for the community chit-chat) I knew I couldn’t just play the game a bit for fun. Luckily I bailed out in time! I’m always looking for distractions but I just shouldn’t!
Besides having a good time playing games there is so much more out there. I try not to drink as you might have read but two weeks ago I had one of my “pre-selected” off days. A pubquiz in my local pub and every team had to dress up, see result below:
It was a really fun evening and I ended the night completely wasted but didn’t even had a real bad hangover the next morning! I really can’t wait until it’s summer again and I can have my weekly beer!
The sun has been out every now and then the last weeks and that also means I can finally cycle outside. Last week I had a nice run but yesterday I really outperformed myself. I solo cycled 80km in less then 3hours and when I was home I was really exhausted! I have to do 100km on the 17th of April (Amstel Gold Race) but that includes loads of hills so I’m not there yet. Since I’ll be cycling with a group I can probably hide from the wind a bit more so I feel confident that it’s not going to be a problem.
On the 22nd of May I scheduled another trip of 100km together with 4 colleagues. We will visit some of the famous dutch hills in the south 🙂 Probably the same as I will be cycling in the Amstel Gold Race, but that’s fine. Then on the 5th of June it will be probably my big day! Cycling the Alpe D’Huez! I can’t wait, I really can’t! The cycling season started again a couple of weeks ago and seeing the pro’s going up a mountain complete wasted just gets me even more excited!
Next to all the gaming and cycling I’m still watching Spartacus, Caprica and Lost. I’ve also finished the last 7 episodes of Heroes S4 which I still had to watch. I think I’ll start to watch Entourage S6 but there is still so much more out there I’m sure I don’t have to feel bored for the coming years!
I also live next to Bloemendaal which is the party beach in the Netherlands. The grand opening was yesterday, I did miss that party but I’m sure I’ll spent some time partying on the beach again. On the 2nd of April I go to Awakenings Indoor which always is a really good techno party. I already bough tickets for Awakenings Outdoor (26th of June) and Loveland (14th of August) and will definitely go to Mysteryland as well. Defqon1 and Welcome to the Future are also both festivals I want to attend so I’m really up for another year of outdoor (dance) festivals!
When all the festivals are over the biggest party still has to come. On the 3th of September I will be leaving for San Francisco, spending 2 days downtown before driving to Los Angeles. I’ve already visit Los Angeles for a long weekend so we will not be doing a lot over there, but we are visiting LA only for Six Flags Magic Mountain 🙂 About 10 extreme roller coasters should get our blood pumping before we go to Las Vegas for 8 days of party. My birthday is the 14th of September which will probably be a party which we will never forget!
Poker, Gaming, Parties, Cycling, TV-Series, Festivals and Holiday. I think a nice break-down of my life in just one blog! Unfortunately since all these things take their time it’s hard to put in the weekly hours to blog! Hopefully I do better in the coming three weeks. Thank you for your patience!
— Current Status —
2010 VPPs: 282.019
Ahead of Pace: 62.841
Total # hands: 348.757
Total # Hours: 274,10
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