Financial limits

John ValentineJohn Valentine Red Chipper Posts: 44 ✭✭
Hello to everyone.
I'm retired from the Army with a small pension and social security. I also work as a server for a coffee shop here in New Orleans. While not a tipped employee I do receive some tips, $35-$50 a week. This amount is my only poker replenishment. I don't touch the house money for my poker. Since I only play Live poker at Harris casino, and the minimum is 1/4/88 & 1/3, I have trouble with any high variance play. I lose my buy in, Ussually 300+ it is very difficult to rebuild my poker fund. As a result I play much like a nit. I understand ranges and have been studying here at Redchip and though Doug Polks site. Is there a way that I can play Live poker that will give me the best chance to increase my poker fund? Any help would be appreciated. Currently I have $4000 mostly though winning over the last 2 year's.

Comments

  • DeerePokerDeerePoker Red Chipper Posts: 16 ✭✭
    My suggestion is to learn a good short stack game and buy in for the minimum until you are able to grow you roll.
  • DeerePokerDeerePoker Red Chipper Posts: 16 ✭✭
    edited April 29
    And Thank you for your service btw
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭✭
    Most important is to have a bankroll fit for the stakes you're playing at.

    300-400$ playing 1/3 is totally fine. But 4k isn't that much (10-13 buy-in) ; I'd advise around 20 buy-in - if and only if you're playing well enough aka are a winning player or at least break-even.
    If you can't upgrade your bankroll, maybe look for cheaper home game, or play online.

    Alternative could be to play tournaments. Different as cash games, but you also take less risks for your bankroll.
    DeerePoker wrote: »
    My suggestion is to learn a good short stack game and buy in for the minimum until you are able to grow you roll.
    This is a bad advise IMHO. First you're gonna be in a lot of push/fold situation, making you having to shove in many coin flipping situation. (And what do you do with AJo? With 66 ?)

    Second, let's say you double up, what do you do? Do you go home with a hit-and-run and get a bad reputation (considering you might come back there regularly, they will recognize you) ? Or do you start to play with a full stack and take the risk of playing meh because you'd pumped up your short stack skills but have then a lack of studies and practice playing with 100-200 bb ?

    First have a sound 100-200bb strategy (as many people will play cash games at this stack depth), then add some fancy tools like short stack strategy.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,771 -
    If your entire bankroll is about $500 (presumed) and it replenishes at about $40 a week, then in no way should you be playing for $300 buy-in. You will go broke at some point with near certainty.

    Find a tiny home game, play micros on-line, or take up a different hobby.

    You sound like you are being responsible with your income by not dipping into other funds. Stick with that discipline and consider a different hobby. Even a massively winning player would have a near certain risk of ruin with that small of a bankroll in that big of a game.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • BigFarmBigFarm MontrealRed Chipper Posts: 45 ✭✭
    He did mention he has a $4000 bankroll. It's not crazy to give it a shot but you have to understand you could lose it all if you hit any kind of downswing.

    And I would second the suggestion to learn a good short stack strategy and play short for a while. Yes there's variance like Red pointed out but it will be lower variance than playing 100 bb.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,771 -
    Oops, I totally missed the $4000.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • YoshYosh Red Chipper Posts: 580 ✭✭✭
    Make your time horizon longer. Play your $4000 hard, and if you go bust, keep working until you care to try again. There's no way to eliminate risk from a game of chance.
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't play Live much anymore, but I throughout 2-3 years of live play, sporadically, I would build up a bankroll, go on a downswing, swear I quit, the game is stupid, I can't stand the bad beats ect, deposit all my money yadda yadda.


    Then a little later, once the emotional toll of losing would come back I would ultimately find myself "well, I'll just go play with $300, $200 buy-in and $100 to top off as needed. If I drop to like $125 where I can no longer play fun or effectively, I'll just leave". Many a times, I built up a bankroll of 2k-13.5k (max bankroll ever) for just this single buy-in. Honestly, I think bringing $400 to the casino, 2 buy-ins or enough money to top off to $200 allows you to play a pretty straight forward ABC game, and still build up a pretty big stack. I used to be a big short stacker, but I feel like the min buy-in of $100 is a waste of time and money, cause you mathematically should be playing so few hands, and even then, your not really reducing your variance, your just reducing your perceived mental toll of losing your buy-in. So your just sitting around sitting around, and hoping to maybe pick up an open when you finally get a good hand, cause people shouldn't really be giving you action.


    So while 100 BB's allows you to make more money when you do have a big hand, as well as gives you more room to leverage your money and run successful bluffs, it sounds like your pretty scared to be losing $ right now, so if bluffing is less enticing, why not go for a smaller buy-in that gives you some mental armor, but still allows you to get paid on your big hands? Just realize what 66 BB's affords in terms of play-ability. PP and SC's really lose their value unless your trying to steal limps from LP, so really just focus on strong starting card values, and make a hand and bet. Then, once you work you way up to 100 BB's+, start to add in more prospective hands.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    Online seems like a pretty awesome fit. And it should allow you to replenish your live bankroll to some extent.
  • John ValentineJohn Valentine Red Chipper Posts: 44 ✭✭
    To everyone who answered..thanks.
    My $4000 is mostly money won. I started playing with a fund of $1200 a little over two years ago. Obviously I ran good. Honestly I was lucky the majority of the time. I live in Louisiana, and my state is very restrictive on online gambling including poker sites. However, Harris casino is 20 minutes away with 20 poker tables. There are several games playing at all times. I usually play only twice a week, since I play those evenings where I have the next day off from work, in case I play a late session. I'm not complaining about my lack of a decent poker fund. It is what it is. However with no online gambling available, Louisiana, I have only live play. Which is good because I love live play. I'm trying to improve my game, It's just difficult to make some of the plays I read about in Redchip, since if I'm wrong or unlucky it is difficult to replenish my fund. Still I'll keep plating. I really love poker
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 837 ✭✭✭
    edited April 30
    What about me? Is $2k enough to start 1/2 live at if losing it all isn't the end of the world? I'm playing 10nl and 20nl profitably, and shot taking @ 25nl and 50nl now and then but I do *not* consider certain elements of my game to be up to a 25nl reg standard yet.

    Where would be a better place to do this? Locally in the NY area casinos or out in Vegas?
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @John Valentine Ah, I see, I didn't realize that online isn't feasible where you live.

    My first thought is that you could just continue playing a profitable but low variance ABC strategy, build up your bankroll even more over the next year or so, and once your bankroll grows to the point where you're more comfortable, start implementing the higher variance plays. Eventually it'll grow to the point where it could withstand the variance.

    But then I had a second thought. My adding +EV plays, the extra EV might actually offset the fact that the play is a high variance play, such that it actually lowers your variance. I haven't ran the numbers on this, but it seems right. So perhaps what you could do is pull the trigger on solidly profitable plays, even if they are high variance, and hold off on pulling the trigger when it is only a slightly +EV play.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Joseph F I have a good amount of experience at live 1/2, NL10 and NL20 (just got started at NL50 recently). My impression is that live 1/2 is notably softer than NL10 and NL20, especially when the online variation is 6max. So I feel pretty confident that you'll be profitable at live 1/2.

    Of course, then the question is bankroll and variance. Ten buy ins can definitely disappear due to variance, but if you could replenish that bankroll, I don't see why you'd need to withhold from playing. It's just a matter of risk-vs-reward. You are risking losing your bankroll by playing, but your reward is a) making money, b) improving your game, and c) having fun. If losing that bankroll isn't too big a strain on you, then I would think that the reward would outweigh the risk.

    Two caveats though:
    1. I think that playing live is a skill in itself. Eg. because of nerves, keeping track of the pot size, and stupid shit like string bets (I've lost hundreds due to mistakes like that). So even if your poker game is stronger, your edge will probably take a hit as you adjust to playing live.
    2. Everyone feels nervous about losing money, so if you have a "normal" amount of nervousness I wouldn't worry about it. But if you think your nervousness about the money takes things to the next level, then I think the game loses its fun-ness to a degree, and your play will undoubtedly suffer, so I'd be careful about where your mind is at. One thing you could do if it makes you feel better is some form of shot taking, where you play online for a while and build up $200, then use that to play live, and you're "playing with your winnings". If you lose that bankroll of winnings, repeat the process.
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 837 ✭✭✭
    edited April 30
    @adamzerner Thank you for the detailed answer to my question. You cover just about everything. Online, my weak point is still my mental game, especially since I'm playing more volume at higher stakes than ever before. That said - it's improved tremendously and my pain threshold is definitely ready to take $200-$600 in losses @ a live table in one night. I think I lost a good $250 in two days online just a couple of weeks ago during a brutal downswing. I must have taken at least ten 70%+ all in beats during just those 48 hours. A few 90%+ thrown in, too, with one coming 150bb's deep at 50NL. When I started studying here initially, I was constantly tilting at 2nl and 4nl, so things are certainly different now.

    What you talk about as far as having to keep track of things like the pot size, how much villain has left, etc - Yeah, that's going to be an adjustment at first. Nervous, though? Not really. I get more nervous when I'm home alone than I do in front of a group of people lol. I'll probably just be more excited than anything else. Of course, no plan survives enemy contact and who knows how I'll feel after I get KK in vs TT and lose $220.

    That's how it will be. A night of shot taking, setting aside a stop loss, and then taking stock of where I'm at after that.
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    @Joseph F That's awesome that you've made so much progress! The huge majority of players don't really study and kinda stay as stagnant small losers throughout their poker career, and you on the other side of the spectrum making forward progress.

    My guess is that live is going to present some unique challenges as far as mental game goes, but I don't think it's anything too huge to worry about. A lot of people say things along the lines of you shouldn't be playing poker when your mental game isn't right, but I think that is too extreme. No one's mental game is "right". As long as it's relatively under control I think you're fine, and it sounds like yours is, so I'd start playing live 1/2 if I were you!

    Interesting that you get more nervous alone than in front of people. I don't think I've heard that one before.
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 837 ✭✭✭
    edited May 1
    adamzerner wrote: »
    Interesting that you get more nervous alone than in front of people. I don't think I've heard that one before.

    Too much "dead air" alone. Like one of my acting teachers kept telling us, years back: "Stay out of your head. It's a scary place in there".

    As for progress - I eventually broke through where I was stuck mostly because I started to like the game more. If I didn't turn out to like this much more than Chess, for example, I never would have continually returned to the tables after terrible sessions, clueless play, and outrageous tilt.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,394 ✭✭✭✭
    Nice job building the roll.

    Keep working on your poker game as WR is a HUGE variable in BR management that everyone seems to gloss over.

    Maybe you can find a few smaller home games while shot taking from time to time at the casino?
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,683 ✭✭✭✭✭
    adamzerner wrote: »
    [By] adding +EV plays, the extra EV might actually offset the fact that the play is a high variance play, such that it actually lowers your variance.

    If there were plays that actually increased your EV while decreasing your variance, it would be pretty easy to sit around waiting for these and it would be easy to profit. Alas, once you get past the basics, the remaining +EV plays are not +EV enough to decrease the variance. Exceptions would be extremely player dependent exploits.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,683 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 1
    Playing a shorter stack is fine, with a couple caveats. Learn how different stack sizes play and avoid bad ones. This works in conjunction with how the table is playing and takes into account SPRs, preflop agression and postflop aggression. For example if you are playing a 50BB stack, with crazy bingo preflop action and everything mellows out after the flop when people figure out if they flopped the nuts or not, this is not the time to be playing 33 to hit a set. The good thing is that it works kind of like "taking a shot". If you buy in for $120 in a $1/3 game and double up or better, you're now playing a full stack with full strategy without putting your bankroll at full risk. i.e. more upside than downside. I personally would feel very comfortable with $4,000 against a table where I have an advantage, gloom and doom statisticians be damned. Good luck!
  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    Too much "dead air" alone. Like one of my acting teachers kept telling us, years back: "Stay out of your head. It's a scary place in there".
    Interesting. Makes sense.

    @jeffnc
    Well, of course there are very few plays where your equity is something like 95+%, so even AA vs KK has some amount of variance because you're going to lose 1/5 times. I was more coming from the angle of "how likely is it that you go on a significant downswing". My understanding is that +EV is a factor that pushes that likelihood down, and variance pushes it up, but if the +EV factor is strong enough, it be the dominating factor and ultimately push it down. What do you think? Sorry for not being more clear initially.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,683 ✭✭✭✭✭
    adamzerner wrote: »
    My understanding is that +EV is a factor that pushes that likelihood down, and variance pushes it up, but if the +EV factor is strong enough, it be the dominating factor and ultimately push it down. What do you think? Sorry for not being more clear initially.

    It's true that EV has an effect, but there aren't the kinds of increases that can overcome the larger bet sizes.

    For example, whenever someone asks "How much bankroll do I need?" you'll hear all kinds of answers, when in fact the only valid response to that question is "Not enough information". Because we don't know what your EV is and we don't know how long you'll be playing. But if you're -EV, then no bankroll in the world is big enough if you don't stop playing.

    Having said that, even if you're +EV, you have to do a lot of math and make a lot of assumptions to come up with any answer at all. All the advice you hear about "50 buy ins" or what have you is based on stuff the advisor probably doesn't even understand. It has to do with confidence intervals and standard deviations and boring stuff like that. Even if I came up with a solid, well calculated answer, you could just say "I don't agree with that confidence interval" (which is subjective and somewhat arbitrary) and we'd be off to the races again.

    So to answer your question specifically, the "+EV factor" as you call it doesn't really decrease variance at all, however it's true that all else being equal, the higher your EV the less likely you are to go broke. (If that sounds contradictory to saying it doesn't decrease variance, that's just because this stuff is complicated and not very well understood by many people - and I'm not claiming to be an expert at it either.)

  • adamzerneradamzerner Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    edited May 1
    So to answer your question specifically, the "+EV factor" as you call it doesn't really decrease variance at all, however it's true that all else being equal, the higher your EV the less likely you are to go broke. (If that sounds contradictory to saying it doesn't decrease variance, that's just because this stuff is complicated and not very well understood by many people - and I'm not claiming to be an expert at it either.)
    Thanks for the awesome info! Yeah, that does sound contradictory to me, but you sound like you know what you're talking about so I believe you.

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