Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2007 Year In Review

This is going to be a tough one I guess. When I look back at my poker goals for 2007, I have to admit that I did not hit a single one of them. Not even close. As I set these goals up in early 2007, I was still in the middle of what was a highly successful ladder challenge, and was feeling great about my cash game. The ladder challenge had finally moved me off of the .50/1 NL tables, and got me to crush the 1/2 NL tables, and even hold my own at the 2/4 NL and 3/6 NL tables. To me the sky was the limit for 2007, and I wanted goals that would push me hard. But things changed quick in early 2007, and that would leave me no chance at all of even coming close. First off, I got the funding together for my Fantasy Sports website, and went into full development mode in January. Since I already have a full time job, this ate up nearly all of the free time that I had for poker. Shortly after that, Neteller pulled out of the U.S. market freezing a 3k+ withdrawal that I had pending, and the balance of my funds there as well. The Neteller pullout was even bigger than the passage of the UIGEA in rapidly drying up the cash games at the remaining poker sites allowing U.S. customers. It became too difficult to get on good tables using my table selection criteria that I was using during the ladder challenge. The games were much tighter, and in general had better players. My attitude towards poker made a huge shift very early in 2007, and as a result, my goals for the year became meaningless to me.

Prior to 2007, I was a cash game specialist. I improved my game by closely tracking my win rate, and tweaking my game in ways that would maximize this. I played poker mainly to get better at it. I made approximately 8k in each of 2005 and 2006 at this partime hobby on the virtual felt which was pretty nice. Extracting $100/hr off the tables was in site. Just a level or two up for me. If I could make that, I had the potential to go pro. If I was not making the kind of money that I make in my regular job, I probably would have already gone pro, as I was making more per hour at the tables than a lot of people make working for the man. So I was improving my game with the goal of making enough someday to have the ability to quit my high paying job, and move to Maui or something, and have the ultimate flexible job in paradise. Those dreams came crashing down (temporarily I hope) with the toughening of the cash games in early 2007. I figured out right away, that I would need to drop back down to the .25/50 or .50/1 NL games to find the same level of competition I was seeing at 1/2 and 2/4 NL. Even those levels would likely toughen up as well over time. I had no shot of working my way up to the $100/hr level I was seeking anymore. At least until online poker became legal again.

So I decided to completely change my approach to poker. I would go into a holding pattern, and just try to maintain my skill level in case online poker became legal. I completely stopped playing cash games early in 2007. Since I would have little time to play if any, I did not want to grind cash games, that was for sure. So I decided to just play for fun. To put some work into my MTT game. To not care at all about profits anymore. That is what 2007 was about for me, and this continues to be the case in 2008. My blog just about died as a result. Gone was the endless supply of material for me. But things would change a bit to keep my blog alive. Much of this was thanks to the BBT

2007 was not a bad year at all though for me and poker, and even for the blog. I would put up the best year of my life in online MTTs without playing very many. I took 3rd in the 4k HORSE on FT in January. I would final the table the 50/50 for a $1300+ score. This was my first ever 4 digit online cash. I only played the 50/50 I think 4 times in 2007. I am up close to $1500 in Public MTTs for 2007 0n FullTilt, enough to push me positive for my life in online MTTs. I would have a pretty good run through the first BBT, playing just over 1/2 of the events, and finishing in the top 10 in nearly every metric based on number of events entered (I could not really compete with those who played them all). I won a Riverchasers event with around 100 entries. I won a Bodonkey. I won a couple of CCs private tourneys on PokerStars. I finished with over $700 in cash in the MATH despite only playing it about 10 of them all year. I played 6+ hours in both times I entered a Venetian deepstacks tourney, cashing both times. I finally figured out that the way I play MTTs is absolutely correct for me, and made some huge improvements in my MTT end game. I cashed in the BBT1 freeroll, and was one of the few profitable players through the BBT series. I played just a hand full of BBT2 events, not giving me much of a chance at the TOC, but was very profitable throughout the BBT2 as well. To me this is not very bad considering my extreme lack of time at the tables in 2007 and my play for fun attitude. Lastly, because I was playing for fun I stopped multi tabling, playing one or two tables max vs. my typical 4-6. Playing a single table, got me to become much better at reading the table, and reading players (I would just use the numbers from PokerTracker/HUD before to base my decisions). This had a ton to do with my success in the blogger MTTs. It is almost like cheating. Before 2007, if I played a blogger event it was one of 5 tables open. This year, I got to intimately understand the game of a lot of you guys, and that would have never happened in past years.

Best of all in 2007, the blog did not die. I found a way to continue to write even though I was not playing much. I learned how to properly apply Game Theory when analyzing hands and situations, and did my best math related posts ever. I even got to pick on Hoy a bit. He provides such a wealth of material with his daily, lengthy posts and rants. A few of these inspired me to go into some pretty deep hand analysis which was pretty cool.

So I guess that even though I did not hit a single goal in 2007 (not even close on any of them), I am still pretty happy with the year that I had. I had a great MTT year for me, and brought my MTT game miles forward. I had some decent success in live MTTs at the Venetian, and on the OCPT. I am sure my cash game has gone south, but I am ready to come back with the donkeys when they legalize online poker. I was also able to launch Fantasy Sports Live in my spare time, and I am very proud of what my baby has become. I am not going to bother with any goals for 2008, because I really don't have any other than to have fun at the poker tables, and possibly show some more MTT improvement. For the blog, I want to keep doing the types of posts that I do best, by finding angles in poker that others do not always see, and beating them to death with words and numbers. Should be a great year.

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At 2:40 AM, Blogger smokkee said...

i went from an MTT guy to a cash player and you did the flipside. no way anyone could've ever predicted it.

situations change and you learn to adapt.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

Bring back FSL NHL!

At 1:39 PM, Blogger PokahDave said...

Blinders...PokahDave here....I have a question for you....what's your email?

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Blinders said...


Still working on it. We are hopefull that it will be back by the NHL All-Star break at the latest. You will be the first to know.


Drop me an email at support@, and I will reply from my home email account.


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