Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vegas Trip: Update 1

There's so much going on in Vegas. There's the usual roster of Vegas daily tourneys (courtesy of, but there are also 3 tourney series running during that time as well (not counting WSOP).

Daily Tourneys
AllVegasPoker Spreadsheet (xls)
AllVegasPoker Tourney Schedule

Tourney Series
Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza
Caesar's Palace Mega Stack Series
Binion's Poker Classic

I want to get the most volume in, so that might favor the 30-50 person tourneys over the 100-300 person tourneys. Getting in 3 2-3 hour tourneys versus one single 8-9 hour tourney would help reduce variance. Will publish the final roster as soon as I learn more about our schedule for Vegas.

BackerSharesProfit Share %

MTD, I'm running pretty below expectation. Such is life. At least I'm not losing, I suppose. I think I've sacrificed some EV in order to reduce variance, but I'll fix that soon enough.

Profit: +865
Bonus: +250
Games: 964
Avg ROI: 19%
Hours: 73

Hourly: 15.27 / hr
Per Game: 1.16 / game

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vegas Trip

I'm going to Vegas in two weeks for one of my friend's bachelor parties. Since I'll only be there for an extended weekend, I won't really have time to play any MTTs. There are a few places that offer $70, $110, and $200 SNGs. There are cheaper ones, too, but the rake is killer. The places I'm looking at are Mirage and MGM, but lemme know if there are any others.

I was interested in scraping together a few backers and already raised over $1000 from my personal network. In total, I'm probably looking to raise $1500-2000 in order to have 10-20 buyins at least. Shares are $100 each, with 70/30 backers favor. Lemme know if you are interested in that as well. I'm primarily a $6 and $12 45-man turbo player on Stars, but I can adapt to STTs. I've made a lil over 13K after a year or so of playing poker with an average ROI in the neighborhood of 25%. The structures of these events is fairly poor, but that should just turn into an advantage for me with my PF game and knowledge of ICM.

BackerSharesProfit Share %

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mental Coaching & NLP

As I slowly delve deeper into the poker world, I'm understanding more and more how dangerous tilt can be. If an amateur tilts, no big deal. Poker's just a game. They are playing with chump change. And they end up losing just a little bit faster than they would've expected. If a pro tilts, its easily 10X worse. Their livelihood is at stake. And given the volume they do, the effects can be multiplied over many more games. Plus, it's such a tough situation to mentally reconcile positive expectations with negative actual results. As someone in a forum said, "Poker's a great second job, and a horrible first job."

There's been some discussion about mental coaching, with Tommy Angelo being the most famous of them. I definitely appreciate the value of that, given that a majority of poker plays are standard and mathematically optimized already. Seems like emotional and bankroll control probably do a lot to separate entire classes of players.

I can't really afford the services of a mental coach ($100+ / hr), so I figured I could do a good bit of legwork on my own. From my experiences with the pickup artist community, they've greatly stressed the benefits of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) for self-help and behavior modification. I picked up an audio book and have been listening to it today. Here are the 5 basic principles.
  1. The map is not the territory.
  2. Experience has a structure.
  3. If one person can do something, anyone can learn to do it.
  4. The mind and the body are part of the same system
  5. People have all the resources they need.
All in all, it sounds very self-reliant and empowering. When they say the map is not the territory, they refer to our emotions and perceptions, which are not reality. If we can learn to change our experience of a situation, then we change our reality of it. Success therefore becomes emulating certain habits of others. It does seem a little more New Age-ish than I'm used to, but I'm definitely open to self-improvement.
"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
-- Lawrence of Arabia