Open Side Menu Go to the Top
Register
Three Years in Las Vegas Three Years in Las Vegas

06-01-2006 , 09:01 AM
Five Years in Las Vegas


For some time, I have dreaded writing this post. One year ago, I wrote my four year update and ended it by saying I expected my fifth year to be my most productive yet. Instead, factors both poker related and non-poker related put my career in a crisis mode which I canít say Iíve completely gotten out of yet.

Entering the summer of 2005, I was in a comfortable bankroll situation. I had been playing exclusively online and having steady success as an 8-table full ring game limit player (3-6 and 5-10 with the occasional 15-30). Today, Iím on a shorter bankroll, once again playing live, and have switched to no-limit. Iím obviously not happy about having a shorter bankroll. But, I am happy with my move back to live play and find that playing no-limit has invigorated me.

I donít like to give out too much personal information which is not directly related to poker. But, during the summer, I was hit with multiple unexpected and large expenses which took a surprisingly large chunk out of my bankroll. I have always been remarkably conservative concerning my bankroll. I always have much more than I actually need to play the limits Iím at. So, the outside expenses were something I could absorb. But, I suddenly found myself with a much smaller cushion than I had previously.

Then, at exactly the wrong time, I had my very first-ever losing month (when playing significant hours) in July. It wasnít a big lossĖ just over $500. But, the loss combined with the big expenses I had been hit with and my normal monthly expenses suddenly had me shaking my head at how my financial situation had so suddenly changed. I found myself thinking about rebuilding my bankroll rather than using it to move up as I had been planning.

August was actually my best month of the year and I felt everything was back to normal. But, it wasnít. In September, I barely turned a profit for the month and didnít cover my expenses. October was a complete disaster. I had a four digit loss for the month at the tables. (Iím too embarrassed to post the exact amount)

I was in complete shock. In less than half a year, I had gone from being perfectly content with my situation to realizing I was in a crisis.

In that dreadful October, I lost 70% of my sessions and usually lost quite a bit. As it was happening, I was reviewing my play. I was looking back at my hands and seeing where I lost my money. Though I donít want to sound like Iím making excuses, Iím convinced I hit the outer edge of variance for a while. It seemed I was constantly in bad situations or receiving bad beats.

I was satisfied with my play. But, it didnít matter anymore. The losses at the poker tables and from my outside life had simply crippled my bankroll. I found myself in a position where the only responsible thing to do was to consider getting the dreadedÖ.JÖOÖB. After paying my rent in November, I began a job search including contacting Clarkmeister who just happened to be hiring an assistant (he, of course, knew better than to hire a poker degenerate). I wrote up a resume, sent it out to some people, and began seriously considering what my future plans were going to be. Was I going to re-enter the workforce and make poker a hobby? Was I going to use a job to provide a quick, safe boost to my bankroll and go back to the poker career afterwards? Or, was I going to find a way to make the poker career work? For now, I intended to keep playing at stakes which allowed me to hold the line while I weighed my options.

The month of November proved to be a key turning point when a couple of unrelated events led me down a different poker road. On 11/5, I went to the MGM Grand to participate in a 2+2 ďMagooFestĒ. About 60 2+2ers showed up to play games like Crazy Fox, Triple Flop Hold Ďem, and other more bizarre games. As had been the case lately, I managed to drop a couple hundred dollars in a 2-4 game. That was par for the course. But, I enjoyed myself a lot. I went back to the MGM Grand six days later to play some no-limit (just 1-2) and had my best day in more than a month. It was the first time I played live since a vacation at Foxwoods in March.

The very next day, 11/12, I went to Ed Millerís wedding reception. There were some people there most 2+2ers are familiar with including Alan Schoonmaker. At some point, we started discussing our play and I must have mentioned playing at the MGM Grand the day before. Alan made what in retrospect I probably knew but hadnít given proper consideration. He said ďAll the new, bad players are playing no-limitĒ.

Alanís statement was, of course, plainly obvious to anybody who thought about it. No-limit was taking over the Las Vegas card rooms because a significant majority of new players wanted to play what they were watching on TV. In November of 2002, you couldnít find a single no-limit game on the Strip except at very high stakes. In November of 2003, the situation was just starting to change but limit poker still dominated every card room. By November of 2004, no-limit games were everywhere and by the time of my conversation with Alan, they had probably surpassed limit games.

I donít expect this to be news to anybody. But, I realized as this part of the poker world was changing, I wasnít. This applied to the online games as well. Those of you who play online know that the full ring games simply arenít the same as they were two years ago. Not only have players been lost to no-limit but theyíve been lost to the six-max limit games as well. The games I was playing both live and online were getting worse and could only expect to continue getting worse.

It was time for me to change. Unfortunately, my bankroll situation didnít give me lots of options. Playing multi-table short-handed was something I had done occasionally but I didnít like it much. It was also a fairly high variance game and I didnít need that. No-limit, however, was a lower variance game and had always interested me. So, like switching from 7-card stud to hold Ďem a few years ago, I decided to switch from limit to no-limit even if I was doing it a bit belatedly.

While my pseudo-job search was on, I simply put in hours at the 1-2 live no-limit games (eventually at Caesars Palace where they have a $500 buy-in) to make sure the monthly bills got paid and to get myself comfortable with no-limit. I was actually surprised how well things worked for me so quickly. It was a bit humbling playing 1-2 no-limit but pride was something I was going to have to sacrifice for a while.

I havenít played online at all in 2006 with the exception of the 2+2 WSOP freeroll tournament (which I finished 3rd out of 72 players). All Iíve played is live no-limit. Iíve been playing 2-5 when the games are very good, especially on the weekends. When theyíre not, Iím simply putting in 1-2 hours.

As of today, Iíve recovered a good portion of my bankroll losses and plan to put in some serious hours over the summer with the intention of a permanent move to 2-5 and, eventually, 5-10.

The past year canít be described as good for me. But, it did have one very positive impact. Iíve been putting in more hours at the tables than ever before and Iím enjoying it. Poker is as much fun as itís ever been.

So, Iím hopeful the big year I had anticipated in the past twelve months will unfold in the next year.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 09:47 AM
Excellent post Dynasty. Good Luck in year 6.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 11:34 AM
Excellent post.... again.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 12:01 PM
nice post. you might want to consider raising pf though, just as an experiment.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 01:50 PM
Great Post.

When you say the limit games were "bad", you mean that they just full of sharks/experts and basically are examples of Pirahna's eating themselves?

BTW most of the NL games in Vegas that I have watched are a complete joke. I would imagine you are killing them.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 02:31 PM
friends don't let friends play limit
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 02:52 PM
Nice read, read through the complete thread a few months ago when I stumbled over it, and read this years input now today. Keep it up!
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 03:53 PM
Dynasty,

I hope I have he same luck switchin as you...Ive just begun to experience the NL movement (thanks to Dominic and Surfinillini) and am starting to see a profit again...

...after moving here about a year ago and killing limit games for 8mnths I hit the wall and am now switching gears same as you too feed on the fish of NL...

...unfortunatley I have the pesky J-O-B, keeping me bankrolled, but someday I can/will let it all go and rest my hopes and dreams on the tourists who hate money ...

GL Dynasty
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 06:10 PM
Quote:
The games I was playing both live and online were getting worse and could only expect to continue getting worse.
Bryan,

I do agree that the good old days of just opening up eight random tables on Party and having people hand their money to you are long gone.

The online full games aren't as good as they used to be, but a good player who is willing to play on four or five different sites, take advantage of reloads and r*******, and practice good game selection can still have a good winrate.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 06:47 PM
Thanks for the update, they are always interesting reading. I'm thinking of making the same switch to NL, because mid-limit games in Vegas are starting to resemble the rock gardens of old. I can relate to the issue of pride getting in the way of playing low-limit games again, that has slowed me down from making the transition.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-01-2006 , 11:34 PM
Cool story. I wonder what people on 2+2 would have said if you'd made the "should I go pro- I just played 18 hours of 1-3 stud?" thread?!
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-02-2006 , 12:35 AM
Great post,
Good luck,
Regards,
Carl
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-02-2006 , 03:44 AM
Great post, and good luck.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-03-2006 , 10:01 PM
great post, but it sounds as if everything went perfect for you and it was all sunshine and tulips. I'm interested in maybe hearing about some of the hard times and how you overcame them. Regardless, congrats dude.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-04-2006 , 04:11 AM
thanks for the post, and the updates Dynasty.

I remember back 5 years ago. i had found 2+2 that summer, and i remember reading posts from you and Clarkmeister and DaveinCali and learning a LOT. I never really pushed my game, as i've had other paths to take, but i did live off my poker winnings for a while between jobs.

i've just been getting back into playing again, and it's a strange new world. i just meandered back to this site again, and it's pretty crazy coming back in here and seeing the old and new faces.

I'm glad to know you're still tearing it up at the tables, and doing it with style and smarts. your posts have always been invaluable to me, and i intend to continue learning from your wisdom.

Quote:
The past year canít be described as good for me. But, it did have one very positive impact. Iíve been putting in more hours at the tables than ever before and Iím enjoying it. Poker is as much fun as itís ever been.
hey. at least you're rounding again. you're gonna thank me for that.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-04-2006 , 08:31 AM
Good read. All the best.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 12:47 AM
Dynasty,

Sorry to hear about the downswing. Keep your head up. I'm pulling for you.

Matt
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 10:31 AM
dynasty i hear it's possible to make thousands a day playing 10/20 NL and i believe it. even at 1/2 making just $10 an hour in some ways that's not a bad wage. don't worry with solid play you will at the very least keep your head above water and soon will start pulling in serious money.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 12:56 PM
Quote:
dynasty i hear it's possible to make thousands a day playing 10/20 NL and i believe it. even at 1/2 making just $10 an hour in some ways that's not a bad wage. don't worry with solid play you will at the very least keep your head above water and soon will start pulling in serious money.
i'm sure you can make a lot more than $10/hr at live 1/2
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 01:38 PM
First law of nature: adapt or die.

Thanks for the update. Makes my current downswing not feel so bad (plus, its just a hobby for me anyway).
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 01:57 PM
Quote:
Great Post.

When you say the limit games were "bad", you mean that they just full of sharks/experts and basically are examples of Pirahna's eating themselves?

BTW most of the NL games in Vegas that I have watched are a complete joke. I would imagine you are killing them.
Heh, nobody answered your question. It's possible to be in a good limit game and know for a fact that you're easily +EV. While you still may lose, you won't lose without taking horrendous, obvious bad beats. It's easy to sleep at night when this happens.

My understanding is that that's the way the games were a couple of years ago. Now, there are still players who aren't so good, but the mistakes they make are less obvious than "playing any two", and thus the games are a little swingier and if it's a game that you can beat but not kill, downswings may result from less provable things, you miss too many flops or your opponents may miss too few, for example. So downswings are a little more deep and painful.

In short, there are still "fish" at the table but they're not as bad. I think if you are good enough you can still kill lots of the games he talks about.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 02:09 PM
Well, you and I have had our differences, and I must say I'm surprised at the 5th year news, as I was under the impression you are a top-notch limit player, but hopefully you can gain something positive from the experience, learn from your mistakes, and possibly have some introspection into your overall state of mind. We all have changes we need to make, and I am constantly striving towards making them. Hopefully you will too.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 05:12 PM
Quote:
as I was under the impression you are a top-notch limit player,
Your impression has changed?

I see a big part of his bad run was losing a good portion of his roll due to non-poker related events. Even great players will be psychologically affected by that sudden turn of events. Not sure what that has to do with being a top notch limit player.

b
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 06:02 PM
Quote:
Quote:
as I was under the impression you are a top-notch limit player,
Your impression has changed?

I see a big part of his bad run was losing a good portion of his roll due to non-poker related events. Even great players will be psychologically affected by that sudden turn of events. Not sure what that has to do with being a top notch limit player.

b
Well, his roll appears pretty low for a top-notch player, and at stakes where he can't make all that much $$$ live, which brings me to why is he playing live for a living when online is so much more profitable? I thought he was playing 40-80+ for some reason.
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote
06-06-2006 , 06:09 PM
no hating here...I just want to confirm this timeline...b/c this is some very depressing $hit...

at the end of your first year you were consitently beating 10/20 stud and 20/40 LHE...and as you said occasionally taking shots at 40/80

now at the end of 5 years you are playing 1/2NL at Caesars???

and as far as LHE goes, the bellagio is packed every night of the week with 20-40 to 40-80 games

did you just not want to play LHE anymore or did you run bad for a while ?
Three Years in Las Vegas Quote

      
m