Poker is a funny game. In the long run, the money goes from the bad players to the good players. It is as inevitable as water flowing downhill and casinos making money. The key aspect of that sentence is the “long run” bit. Many of us fail to appreciate just how long the long run can be. I’ve played about 10,000 hands of poker since I got back into it. This would amount to about 250 hours of live poker play or 31 days of full time, 8 hour a day playing. Most of us who understand the math of variance would tell you that this is nowhere near enough play to have any real idea of your true mathematical expectation at the game. To have a good idea of your “true” win rate, you probably need to accumulate more like 100,000 hands of poker. Although I have many more hands than that in total, they span a period of years and my game has evolved a lot over that time, so you probably never really know your true win rate for your current style of play because by the time you get enough data, you probably don’t play the same way any more.
Anyhow, lest you think from my results so far this year that poker is license to print money since I seem to book a win every day, let me dissuade you of that notion. I dropped $1,800 today in a series of brutal tables. The vast majority of that was at 30/60 where everything went wrong tonight. Whenever I raised with a big hand, I won the blinds. Whenever I raised with a moderate hand, I got re-raised. Every flop seemed to miss me completely, every pocket pair flopped overcards. I got KK three times today, won the blinds once and lost the other two to an Ace. AA won the binds once, lost a huge pot with a set of aces to a turned gutshot from a semi-maniac. QQ lost twice. JJ was my best hand tonight, because I chopped with JJ both times I got it. Once was blind vs. blind, so we both actually lost $1.50 due to rake. It was one of those nights.
One of my strengths as a player is that I don’t really tilt. Many otherwise good players go into spirals of very poor play when they are losing that can cause them to give back all their hard-earned winnings in a very short time. The worst thing that I do is mentally expect the Ace to flop whenever I’m holding KK. I do have 13,200 VPPs, so I guess I’m in good shape on my Supernova quest since 8,333 points per month will get me there. It would be nice to finish off the month with a flourish over the next few days, but I don’t know how much I will get to play.
Postscript:Â I couldn’t sleep, so I played some NL ring and won $600 back.Â I might have won more, but my stupid network stopped responding when I had KK in a big pot and it timed me out and folded me when I know I was good.Â It turns out I do tilt.