Monday, July 14, 2008

Throwing this out to the community for input

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:18 pm Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

In a couple weeks a group of Poker Academy players will descend on Las Vegas for the third annual Poker Academy Rendezvous. Some of us will make money, some of us lose, yet all of us should have fun.

While I am certain of the fun, and hope that I come home a winner, I am contemplating how best to maximize the money I will be taking with me. In preparation for the trip, I have been experimenting with a new nick and using that bankroll to approximate what playing in casinos for six days might garner. I have run this experiment twice with contrasting results. On the first run I lost 50% of my roll; on the second I increased it by 50%.

The first found me initially winning big only to suffer some serious bad beats, and then, after a continued bad run/slow leak, I got stupid and played way out of my bankroll comfort zone in an attempt to recoup my losses. It ended poorly. Yet, toward the end of this first run I was speaking to another player who suggested that I play in larger buy-ins initially, and then if things went poorly, I could move down. Essentially, it was the inverse of my first run. In my second test I ran well and started to make up for my losses from the prior 6 days. I found it curious that I was able to make money playing up while I struggled to break even playing at a table suited for my bankroll. Yet, now that I think about it, there might have been some factors that did effect my results at the lower tables: there are some very solid players that may not have a large bankroll yet; some players with big bankrolls visit these tables and play considerably looser than they might in higher rooms, and in fact, at times, bully the table; I was playing much tighter than most of the table and players may have picked up on this, thereby getting very little action on my good hands; and finally, I just seemed to be card dead a great deal of the time.

I know that I can expect similar factors and results to come into play from past casino experiences, and that one should expect anything to happen with a hand or session. One must know how to play against any type of player: the shark, the maniac calling station, the luckbox newbie or the gambler with money to burn. My question for the forum is more about money management.

Say I have $2K at my disposal (bad word choice) for use at the tables. This is also my total bankroll, yet if I am to stay away from the local casino for the forseeable future, there are few other opportunties to play poker for cash in our area, aside from the bi-weekly $20 home game. So, how to best utilize that which I will have wjile in Las Vegas? I can probably play $2/5 and hold my own, yet I have not done this more than once in all of my short career (first local casino experience posting). The competition is tougher though, and I don't know if I want to play exclusively at this level. Probably not. Yet, it has some appeal and seems to make some sense that I start out bigger, and if it does not go well, move down to $1/2. Even if it does go well, I can't imagine playing at this level for the duration of the trip. However, the downside would be that if I do lose a buy-in at this level, it will be more difficult to make it up in $1/2.

See what I'm getting at? I'm conflicted. While I'm allotting a sum for the trip, I'd like to think that I'm not going to lose it, and hope that I actually can find a way to bring home more. Pretty standard hopes and dreams while reminding myself that I am going there to have fun as well. What I am asking for is some advice/ideas from those of you who have approached such a trip in the same manner: going with a set budget/bankroll.

One idea that CaptnBen gave to attendees last year was to divide the poker money into equal parts, giving oneself a set amount to use each day. Losses were threby kept in check and any profits went into an envelope to take home. That is a great idea, and perhaps the best way to go about the 6 days. So, maybe I'm just thinking aloud, as it were. Still, any ideas, experiences or admonitions will be appreciated.

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