On December 13th I wrote about how bad our poker luck had gotten. From nearly even on December 1st we were down $150 only two weeks later.
It didn’t end there. Over the next week we continued sliding until we were $210+ down since our original buy-in.
At this point, let me put this into perspective. We deposited $250 at pokerstars.com in the middle of August. Between the two of us, we’ve been playing multiple times every day. Even if we would have tapped out, it still would have been fair value in entertainment for our money.
Poker is a fun, strategic game with both skill and luck on every hand, and it’s a challenge to play right.
About a week ago, all of a sudden, out of the blue, our luck changed again.
I think I started winning consistently before Helaine, but it doesn’t make much difference, because we both started winning. In the little $5.50 and $11 tournaments we play in, it’s difficult to move in either direction at any more than a snail’s pace – but we did.
As I type this, having just held on for dear life and placed third in an $11 tournament ($18 – $11 = $7 net profit), we are now down $59.98 over our 4½ months of online play¹.
Somehow, we managed to erase $150 in losses.
So, what are we doing differently? Probably nothing. Maybe some nuances… tough to say. Both of our games are mature, in that we’ve played hundreds of times and have established our strategies.
If there is one thing I can put my finger on, I now play tighter when I’m down late in the game, which has paid off. Tonight was a perfect example. With 4 players remaining, I had $280 of the $13,500 (these are tournament chips – not real face value) on the table. I held tight and didn’t bet mediocre cards just because I was running out of cash. When someone else did, he busted, letting me finish in 3rd place.
I think both Helaine and I would benefit from a better understanding of what to play when the table gets down to 3-5 players. With fewer competitors less becomes more, I suppose.
Meanwhile, we’re going to head to Foxwoods this weekend where I will try my luck face-to-face. Helaine prefers online play and will find other ways to fill her time.
¹ – The pennies are from the few times I played in low stakes “live” games.