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Old 07-14-2017, 12:03 AM   #1
NWPatriot
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Unhappy The Schizophrenic Poker Player

So here is my situation. I have played in about 157 live tournaments (I know this is a fairly small sample size), with buy-ins ranging from $35 to $750. I have cashed in 29 of those for a cash rate of 18.5%. I consider this fairly good for a relative beginner. The thing is, for the first 100 tournaments I played in, I had a cash rate of 21%. I am currently in a fairly long slump. I have studied the game, by reading Harrington, Sklansky, Miller and others. It feels like I had better results when my strategy was tight, smart poker with an overall “survival” strategy based on value. Since I have studied the merits of betting more and being more aggressive, I find that the end result is that I attach more “value” to my bad hands and get in more bad situations and then I try and buy my way out of them, unsuccessfully I might add. So, I can’t expect anyone to fix my specific leaks based on this miniscule amount of information, but has anyone gone through anything similar to this and how did you learn to “un-know” what you now “know”.

OK, so why is it that I won more when I knew less at this game? The schizophrenic poker player.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:54 AM   #2
Bob148
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

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The Schizophrenic Poker Player
Schizophrenic no longer means multiple personalities. Now we just call it "Multiple Personality Disorder" or MPD.

Sometimes the two go together and someone will suffer through symptoms of both diseases, but your use of the term is incorrect.

----

More on topic:

You probably just ran hot in the beginning. This is a good thing because in poker there's a definite bias that tends to weed out those that run poorly in the beginning. Those that run poorly will tend to quit, while those that run well fall in love with the game.

There is no easy way to becoming a winner with a positive true winrate. I recommend getting an equity calculator, many of which are free on the internet such as equilab. Then study your ass off.
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Old 07-14-2017, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Playing tight, value oriented poker is a recipe for min cashing in fast, high variance low buy-in tournaments. A player who can play a decent, disciplined TAG style will do pretty well in those tournaments.

As you open your game up, amp up your aggression, widen your range to include more bluffs, and start betting more thin value, you will actually do worse in some styles of tournaments. But you absolutely cannot consistently compete at the larger buy in tournaments that attract regional pros and solid regs if you are playing ABC poker.

Don't just analyze your cash rate, also look at your average ROI. You make more money winning one tournament than min cashing 3 or 4 of them.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

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Originally Posted by NWPatriot View Post
I have cashed in 29 of those for a cash rate of 18.5%.
This is a pretty useless statistic.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:29 PM   #5
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Major flaw I see....before you probably played something like fit/fold...eventually all players play like this at one point or another in their poker career, which isn't a bad way to play, but it isnt the most optimum way to play. To learn the best way, you will have to play outside your comfort zone....for instance, if I wanted to play like Dwan I would expect a massive learning curve since I don't play the way he does, I lean more towards a tighter game where he plays more reckless....so it seems like you were probably playing abc poker (while running hot), which can only get you so far and are now trying to play outside the norm and possible suffering from neutral or minus EV and a bit of inexperience in some weird/tough spots....just keep going and working on your game

When I look back each year, literally every year, I SMH and wonder how I ever played that way (no joke)....every year I learn more and more!
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:04 PM   #6
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Thanks for the feedback guys.
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:20 PM   #7
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Bob, it sounds like i struck a nerve or something, I apologize if i offended, i probably could have been more sensitive with my choice of words.

I guess because i am still trying to find my way, i play straightforward one day, and then i try and be more aggressive the next and I am just confusing myself I guess. Either way thanks for your post
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

It's all good dude. Just trying to educate.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:51 AM   #9
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

try formulating a strategy before you play.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:33 AM   #10
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

FWIW, Daniel Negreanu put together some statistics on World Poker Tour regulars. Jonathan Little analyzed it and determined determined the following:

The players that made the most profit were those who cashed between 8% and 16% of the time. If you're cashing less than 8% of the time you're not going to make a profit. If you're cashing more than 16% of the time you're not taking enough risks to get the relatively few big cashes that will make most of a tournament player's income.

One more thought along those lines. I talked to a player who decided to switch from playing cash games to tournaments. He said that in his first year as a tournament player he made three times what he did playing cash. He added that more than half of his profit that year came from just two big cashes.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:36 AM   #11
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Thought we called it dissociative identity disorder these days?
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #12
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

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This is a pretty useless statistic without ROI stats to go along with it..
FYP
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:06 PM   #13
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

All tournament statistics are pretty useless.

Jamie Gold has the highest Main Event ROI of all time and likely always will. QED.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:20 PM   #14
Kurn, son of Mogh
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

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All tournament statistics are pretty useless.

Jamie Gold has the highest Main Event ROI of all time and likely always will. QED.
Sure, but you have to start somewhere. You create stats and analyze them. Obv. a large bink in a much higher level tourney than you normally play puts a big question mark on your stats, so you work around it.

Comparing one's ROI and ITM is a valid first step towards starting to understand where one's strengths and weaknesses might be, tail of the Bell Curve results not withstanding.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:31 PM   #15
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Thanks for a little validation. Yes, finishing 1st is the ultimate goal, but you must have stepping stone goals along the way. Double up, then 10X original stack, then ITM, then final table, then win it outright. ROI is obviously the ultimate goal, but you can't get to the final table without first getting ITM right?

Is shifting from strictly tournament play to cash ring games a difficult transition? I am hearing a lot of negativity towards profiting from tourney play. I guess the reason i was attracted to tourney play was that I knew exactly how much I could lose in any particular outing. This may sound like a negative perspective, but I really wanted to be sure i didn't get in over my head too quickly.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:06 AM   #16
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

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Originally Posted by NWPatriot View Post
Thanks for a little validation. Yes, finishing 1st is the ultimate goal, but you must have stepping stone goals along the way. Double up, then 10X original stack, then ITM, then final table, then win it outright. ROI is obviously the ultimate goal, but you can't get to the final table without first getting ITM right?

Is shifting from strictly tournament play to cash ring games a difficult transition? I am hearing a lot of negativity towards profiting from tourney play. I guess the reason i was attracted to tourney play was that I knew exactly how much I could lose in any particular outing. This may sound like a negative perspective, but I really wanted to be sure i didn't get in over my head too quickly.
Actually, when I had to decided what I what form of poker I wanted to play, that was an important part of my decision.

I don't want anything to do with something addictive. I decided that very early, just from seeing the addictions of others. My problem wasn't getting addicted to poker. My concern was the other players. Specifically, I didn't want to sit at the table with the stereotypical gambler who gets in a cash game, doesn't know when to quit and loses his entire paycheck or the kid's college fund. I wanted nothing to do with that possibility. When I played my first live tournament I knew that the most I could take from someone was their $40 buy-in.

That was reinforced when I worked at a rescue mission for 9 years and saw what alcohol and other drugs did to people.

I have never consumed an alcoholic beverage or a even a cup of coffee, because I knew people that got addicted to both. I don't take any non-prescribed medicine, not even aspirin. I made the decision that I would never go down that road when I was 10 years old.

Regarding profits of cash games vs. tournaments, it is very different. I made the choice to play only tournaments for reasons already stated. Also, I understand tournaments and have played many different kinds, including chess. I like the idea of winning and losing, of being the best or at least finishing high in a tournament. It just makes sense to me.

The one thing you need to know is that tournament income is much more irregular than with cash games. I talked online to someone who played cash games, then the following year played only tournaments. He made three times as much in his tournament year than the previous (cash) year, but more than half of his income was from just two cashes.

Tournament incomes are made from a few big cashes. Most of the tournament prize money is made at the final table, and most of the final table money is in the top three spots. Look at a tournament and see how much you would profit from winning it twice, then compare that to how many minimum cashes you would need to make the same amount.

In your situation, the fact that you're thinking carefully about what games to play and how to manage your money puts you way ahead of most beginners. I think you'll do just fine.

Last edited by Poker Clif; 07-19-2017 at 05:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:36 PM   #17
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

Clif, i find it interesting that though I never mentioned the word "addiction", yet you were able to latch on to that concept from my writing. I also know a lot about addictions, 1st hand. i have watched drugs, alcohol and gambling effect my immediate family, so I am very cautious (maybe not cautious enough, depending on your perspective). I am certain that tournament poker can be just as addictive as any other form of poker, but it does seem more controlled to me. Thanks for your post.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:45 PM   #18
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Re: The Schizophrenic Poker Player

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Originally Posted by NWPatriot View Post
Clif, i find it interesting that though I never mentioned the word "addiction", yet you were able to latch on to that concept from my writing. I also know a lot about addictions, 1st hand. i have watched drugs, alcohol and gambling effect my immediate family, so I am very cautious (maybe not cautious enough, depending on your perspective). I am certain that tournament poker can be just as addictive as any other form of poker, but it does seem more controlled to me. Thanks for your post.
You're most welcome.

Since addiction was present in your family, let me tell you about my most awkward family moment. It happened a couple years ago.

I was in a car with my brother- and sister-in law. I told them that my job was playing poker, mostly online. SIL responded that they no longer had a computer because she had become addicted to online gambling.
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