Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bonus Challenge Completed

The good news is above. I cleared the $300 bonus with over a day to spare. The bad news is below, as my profits were greatly diminished over the second half of the challenge. The stats are a bit ugly because of this (profitwise), but other than that they look ok. This is the style that works for me long term, so even though I ran very hot early in the challenge, overall I got the short end of variance IMO over the two week period.

Below is the profit graph (not including bonus) that looks like a nice mountain, and that is not good! You can see how I ran up to almost +$1200, then just about went all the way back to zero. I thought about killing the challenge and getting my confidence back, but instead I was very stubborn here, and just powered through to clear it.

Challenge Stats:
Hands played: 5517
FTPs earned: 5000
Bonus cleared: $300
Personal Rake: $411
Bonus Rakeback: 73%
Win/Loss: $205
Total Profit: $505
Profit Goal: $1000
Challenge Failed.
Besides getting the short end of variance, I have lots of ideas why my game got worse in the second half of the challenge (or was not as good as I thought during the first half). Before I comment on this, there are a couple of screenshots from Poker Tracker below. The first shows how pocket pairs played for me during the $1,000 run up, and the second one during the $800 run down.

From these charts you can see that I played PPs for a $1,000 profit during the run-up, and break even during the rundown. During the run-up I played unpaired pockets to break even, and for a loss of about $800 during the rundown. This is a huge difference, and is all about variance in NL holdem cash games. Below are some other contributing factors that probably killed my profit rate.
1) FT went to resizable tables half way through the challenge. This screwed up the Poker Ace HUD which overlays the other players stats on the table. I use those stats to extract additional value, but could not use them as well during the second half.
2) I lowered my starting table requirements to be able to get the hands in for the challenge. The tables are tougher now (though soft ones can still be found). Because I ran so well early while lowering my standards, I thought that this was OK to do. It came back to bite me in the second half.
3) I started 4 tableing when I could find 4 good tables to get hands in to clear the bonus. I already know that I am best with 3 tables max at this level, but was so successful early so I continued 4 tabeling throughout the challenge. It takes more creative play, and more attention to the other players to beat 1/2 NL, and I can't do a good job of either with 4 tables running.
4) During the downturn, I did what happens to a lot of us which is a huge mistake. The mistake is overplaying AA post flop. I got stacked once by a flopped set, and lost another huge chunk to a flopped set. In both cases, I had the info required to make the fold on the flop, but pushed instead. When you are on a losing streak, you tend to overplay AA to make up for your losses. Doing this only makes things worse.
5) Other than the mistakes above, I think I continued to play well in the second half, but got into some horrible situations. I made some huge laydowns including folding QQ twice preflop (both times correct), folding AQ with AA on board on the turn (correct). I got stacked twice to set over set situations, but there is not much you can do about that.
So overall, I am a little disappointed about the results, but it is pretty clear what I was doing wrong, so I can plug those leaks. I need another 700 FTPs to get into the WSOP freeroll, but I will probably take a break from the tables, rather than power through. It looks like about a 100-1 shot in the WSOP freeroll anyway. That's all for now, but I am going to look at the whole low variance style in relation to the bonus challenge in a follow up post.

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At 12:02 PM, Blogger Chipper said...

Challenges are cursed. Last one I did, I also built up a nice profit only to blow it all near the end. Never thought I'd lose that much in a row after such a nice start. That's poker!


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