Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A New Direction

I have been thinking about this space for a while, and have decided to take it in a new direction. I started this blog originally for myself, so I could track my progress at improving my poker game. Before that I would scribble notes down, and then lose them over time. I thought it would be great to take notes while playing poker, and then later on fully explore the new concepts I was trying to learn by writing about them in detail. I did this for myself never really thinking I would actually attract any readers. My game continued to improve, and I developed a niche in the poker blogging community. I became one of the few advocates of squeaky tight preflop, and hyper aggressive post flop play. Call it TAG squared if you want. It’s not a very fun way to play poker, but highly profitable. It is much more fun to write about moves like re-stealing on the turn, vs. when you should fold KK preflop.

When I started the blog, I had aspirations of becoming a pro poker player. My goal was “folding my way to the top”. I liked the idea of a lifestyle that was not 9-5. A lifestyle where you could set your own hours, and travel the world. Now if I was in a low paying job, say $20/hr or less, I would have gone pro long ago. When I was a cash game specialist, I was earning about $35/hr long-term online. The problem was that in my regular job, I am earning 6 figures with benefits. I would need to make $70/hr at poker to improve my earnings by going pro. So I kept working on my game, and attempted to move up the cash game stakes to where $70/hr was possible. I never really could get my win rate above $35/hr though. Then came late 2006 and the UIGEA. I realized immediately that bumping up my win rate would be just about impossible, with tougher online games as a result of the UIGEA. I gave up my dream of becoming a pro poker player shortly there after. Around that same time, I dreamed up the concept of daily fantasy sports for money (now legal under the UIGEA), and went out to raise funds to launch FantasySportsLive.com. Since that time I have kept my day job, and put all of my spare time into running and growing FSL. The time that I put into FSL came directly out of the time that I put into poker. I was probably playing 20+ hours a week when I launched the blog, and now I routinely go over a month without playing a single hand. I had also already explored most of the important TAG concepts of cash games in depth by that time. The only way to keep getting fresh material for this blog was by playing poker, and I simply was not playing enough.

So I made a decision to make a fundamental change in my approach to poker. Before it was all about maximizing win rate per hour which I still feel is the ultimate poker yardstick. Now I simply play for fun. Since cash games are a boring grind, I stopped playing cash games altogether, and switched to MTTs and S&Gs. I pulled out most of my funds online because I no longer needed a large bankroll. I transitioned into a MTT expert from a cash game expert. Now I know you guys are all out there saying “WTF, Blinders of all people claims to be a MTT expert now”. He is a weak TAG and only LAGs can win an MTT. Well my record speaks for itself. Go to OfficialPokerRankings.com, and you will see that I am lifetime profitable in MTTs at FullTilt (the only site where I play MTTs), with a pretty solid ROI. I don’t play a bunch, but I am making money when I do. Then look at the same stats for your favorite MTT expert poker blogger. Most are not profitable at MTTs at all despite 4 and 5 figure cashes. Transitioning to MTTs allowed me to explore some new material and keep the blog going to some extent. This year I have limited my poker to once or twice a week for a BBT4 MTT event or two, and that does not generate enough material to keep blogging about poker on a regular basis. I do have a lot to write about outside of poker though. So the question is do I kill this blog and start a new non-poker blog, or just expand the scope of this blog? I decided to expand the scope of this blog to include whatever I want to write about. Poker content will continue when I am inspired to write something, but most posts will not have anything to do with poker. We will see how it goes.

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At 6:57 PM, Blogger The Bracelet said...

I'm a big fan of writing about life and not poker.

Good luck. I'll be reading.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Moonbox said...

Nice post.I look forward to your wider remit for blogging.Many people think that they want to be the online poker pro,the reality of grinding 8+ tables for 8 hours a day is very different.

At 3:14 AM, Blogger smokkee said...

it's your blog. write about whatever the hell you please, even if it includes folding KK pf.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Good luck bro.


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