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2018 Year End Results

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Sorry for the lack of posts the past few months, there are various reasons. The first is, as many of you know ,I’m a pastor “in real life”. I was asked to be a part of a 25 person co-hort made up of pastors from all over the USA, to meet together for a 10-month period where we are discussing the future of what Christianity and The Church will look like in the U.S. This is requiring a lot of reading, webinars and travel. Add all that on top of my normal pastoral duties , which of course recently included all the extra Christmas season stuff and my time for poker has been very limited.


The second reason is poker related. After our early 2018 adventures in moving, the summer saw me back to the normal grind and I was again crushing. I cashed out about $17,000 in profit over about a 10 week period which still left about $5500 in my Merge account. I then proceeded to go on my worst downswing (from an EV side) of my entire poker career. If there was a way to get bad-beated I found it. Day after day, week after week. At one point I went through a couple week stretch where I was running 41bb/100 BELOW expectation. That is insanely high…I didn’t even know it was possible.


Now the way I operate my bankroll management is based on the amount I have in my online poker account at any one time, not my overall poker/life roll. So I dropped some of the bigger buy-in tourneys but the bad beats kept coming. This certainly didn’t help with motivation. I was already tired from all my increased pastoral stuff so the last thing I wanted in the evening was to sit down and get bad-beated over and over again. So my volume greatly decreased…and my Merge account balance kept decreasing. Determined to stick with my bankroll management rules, I again dropped down in stakes…but the losing continued. By this point I was back down to micro-stakes…but the bad beats just would not end. Long story short, for the first time since my original $100 deposit on Merge back in 2012, I had to reload.


Money wise I’ve had worse downswings through the years but this was the worst EV wise and thankfully things began to turn around after I deposited. December in my limited time playing was a profitable month but didn’t nearly make up for the losses in October and November.


For the year though I was still greatly profitable (23.14% ROI) and I’m very thankful. 2018 marked my 12th consecutive year of being in profit. It’s stats like that which keep me somewhat sane when I’m going through those crazy downswing periods…I know that long-term I will be ok. This streak of 12 consecutive years also tells you how important it is to stick to good bankroll management. Had I not sucked it up and dropped down in stakes not just once but twice during this most recent downswing and had the –EV continued at the same rate it could have spelled disaster. However, I personally stick to my 50x buy-in requirement for MTT’s and that has served me well.


I’m excited for 2019 even though my early year will still be quite busy with my co-hort activities. I haven’t set my poker goals yet because I’m still trying to wrap my head around how much time I’ll actually have. What about you guys…comment here on the post or on Twitter…what kind of goals have you set for 2019?


To put a nice tidy bow on all this, here is a re-cap of October, November and December’s limited grind with disastrous results…

217..…Tournaments Played

82…..Cashes (37.8%)

24..…. Final Tables

9.......Top 3 Finishes


$5294.76 in total cashes (-33.32% ROI)


Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.


Merge Lifetime Total: $532,745.96

Career Lifetime Total: $599,190.90

Career number of Cashes: 4665


Note: In this up-date the 3 above numbers have been adjusted slightly down because I realized that when I’ve been filtering in the past to only include MTT results I was saying a field size 10 or greater. However, I remembered that some 10 man double or nothing sit-n-go’s would thus be included. So in the new report I filtered for field sizes 11 and greater. This should now be entirely accurate and I’ll continue with this new filter going forward.


Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor


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