My PartyPoker account currently has $250 in it after a $80 buy in. This was after accumulating up to $300 then dropping down to $100, both very quickly. The $150 since then has increased very steadily, something like $30-$50 a day. That makes me feel much better about my playing.
My home game has corrupted me somewhat. We all know each other so well that we don’t need cards to play each other anymore. My brain falsely generalized my home game strategies to online, and it turned out to work very differently. That loss forced me to tighten up and fall back into the security of playing my cards.
I’m once again learning the differences between the various types of hands. I’m re-learning why you call with 89 suited against a big stack big raiser, and fold the same thing against a small stack big raiser. And I’m learning it quantitatively this time. I always knew why: implied odds. If I hit it big, I can get this guy’s whole stack. But now I’m seeing that I do in fact hit it big and pick up a whole stack here and there. I’m stealing less, because I can sit back and wait for an opportunity to bust someone, which is a lot more profitable and a lot less risky than stealing every other hand.
Unfortunately, my tournament play has suffered. In learning how to beat the ring games, I’ve forgotten how to get my stack up quickly and start controlling the tournament in order to take it to the end before the blinds kill me. There’s another thing I have to re-learn. My brain seems to have trouble switching styles like that. It can easily switch styles in the middle of the game for deception purposes, but to switch based on the game I’m playing is somehow harder.
Anyway, I think the answer is to play more. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t just “call along”: I aspire to beat the game and beat the players. It’s not about the money. In that respect, the more I play the better I’ll become, and that’s ultimately a good thing since I love the game. If I want to start playing higher stakes, and everyone does since the game gets too easy at the lower ones1, I’d better get to know my game pretty well. So expect more poker updates in the near future.
1If I go back to the site where I used to play2 and play the $0.01/$0.02 no limits nowadays, I get so bored. I am quite profitable on a relative scale, too. I make about $1 every ten minutes, which is equivalent to $25 every ten minutes at my current stakes, which would be pretty damn good. It’s just so amazingly easy; I can read everyone like a book. Which is a good sign because two years ago I was struggling to break even on those stakes.
2The name of this site has been removed because they blog-spammed me.