The Down

On November 26th, my bankroll was at an all-time high of nearly $2,400. I had just moved up to $2/4 limit hold’em and was doing well. A few days before, on the 20th, I had even set some goals. Oh how quickly it all changes.

Over the next several days I proceeded to dump about $600 back to the poker community and I’ve been stuck every since. Since the 26th, I’m down about $720 for play (both live and online), but have received $400 in bonuses, so my stack is just under $2,100. Yes, I include bonuses in my poker bankroll. Some may not agree, but do you subtract the rake from your bankroll and have a seperate fund that you hold for tipping the card room/casino? I didn’t think so. Why should bonuses not be part of your bankroll when the hits you take from the rake influence your stack?

Over the course of this streak I’ve been playing primarly ring games online, but have jumped into a couple of tournaments for some fun. Didn’t cash in any of them, but got a little bit of experience along the way. The thing that gets me is that variance isn’t the cause of my downswing. It’s been bad play on my part. After reaching my high, I thought I was invincible. I’m caught a case of FPS and it’s costing me money. At least it’s not like I need the money. My poker bankroll has always been just that, my poker bankroll. It consists of nothing but my winnings and bonuses.

When I set my goals almost two months ago, I had hoped to build up the bankroll in order to be able to put a nice down payment on an auto loan when my current lease runs out. That’s still the plan, but the goal is going to have to change a bit. Every once in awhile I need a reminder. A swift kick in the ass. I’ve been a fish at times lately. Calling down with the 2nd or 3rd best hands is a -EV move.

So what now? Well, to start, I’m going to take a few days off from playing at all. During this time I’ll attempt to read a book or two and catch up on the stack of Card Player magazines I haven’t even opened. It’s definitely time to do some studying and reflecting on poker.

I also need to set a new goal. The original is a little out of reach. Well, maybe not out of reach, but not very realistic givin the current situation. I have 9 weeks left. I should be able to double the bankroll in 9 weeks. After all, that’s only $225 a week. $33 a day.

So there you have it, by the 19th of March I plan to have over $4,000 in the bankroll. I always read about being too results oriented. They say it’s a bad thing. How else can we as poker players measure ourselves if not by our winnings and losses? Don’t worry, I realize this isn’t going to happen overnight. I need to get back to ABC poker. I need to play like I was back in November. If I do this, the bankroll will take care of itself. I’m not worried about the bankroll. I’m shifting my focus to changing my game back. The goal is just a way to measure that progress and set the bar. Maybe I’ll hit 6K or maybe I’ll still be sitting at 2.

Oh…one more goal. I need to stop whining about all of the bad beats. They are going to happen!

I’m a little late with my New Year’s resolution, but it’s better to show up late than never at all right?

5 Replies to “The Down”

  1. I went through the exact same thing when I moved up to $2/$4. Got a bit cocky and started calling down with second or third pair and my bankroll took a wicked hit (somewhere around $500 before I took some time off to re-evaluate). The one thing that really helped me was slowing down. Remember, $2/$4 is still a grind. The pots can look really juicy but dont let that suck you into overplaying your hands. You will get paid off in the long run, so dont try to force it to happen all at once and you will build that bankroll back up faster than you can imagine.


  2. Thanks Jeff! I just finished reading Theory of Poker, with Internet Texas Hold’em to be started tomorrow. It should take me 2-3 days to read through it and then I’ll jump back on the tables. What you say is exactly what I think when looking back at my play. You see those big juicy pots and think you can’t lose (or shouldn’t). I never had a problem laying some of these same hands down at $1/2, so why did I change? Back to basics…


  3. Hang in there. I took a jump to 5/10 recently and killed off 1K of Bankroll! Bad cards, doubts, etc.. lead to that. I am finally back up to where I was when I took the jump. I have gained new confidence and the cards are running well. I have also gained a new perspective on the ups and downs. Sometimes a big losing streak can teach you things that winning never will.


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