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Join Date: May 13
Blog Entries: 8
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  1. Ah February the month where love is in the air. I don’t know about you but I have a love hate relationship with poker. I love the game…the competition…the strategy…the friends I’ve made. But man oh man when the cards aren’t falling your way even when you made the right decision it can be tough to want to “date her” night after night.
    February actually was a profitable month but not by a lot. In looking through my reports, my run-bad in key spots continues to happen. Literally the difference between a slightly profitable month and yet another 10k+ profit month can be traced back to suck-outs when it really counted.

    February also saw me play more tourney’s on WPN than I ever have in a month. I was able to do well on there so I’ll continue to play it and see if I can run up a roll. While technically I could just deposit enough on there to be able to play all the buy-ins, I’d rather try to run it up. That’s what I’ve always done in the past on other sites so going to see how this goes.

    Read an interesting book this past month called, “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. He won a Nobel Prize in Economics and while this is not a poker book per se he does mention poker a few times. It’s essentially a book on how our minds work and what part if any intuition plays. Basically, he destroys the notion of so called “feel players” in poker and explains exactly what is really going on. Here is a review and an excerpt from chapter 1 if you’re interested.

    Now onto February’s results…

    187…Tournaments Played
    83…. Cashes (44%)
    17…. Final Tables
    7....…Top 3 Finishes
    3……Wins

    $9680.66 in total cashes (13.16% 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: $ 410582.83

    Career Lifetime Total: $469936.98

    Career number of Cashes: 3772

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

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

    Gilbert

  2. I realized something as I played on the last Sunday of January about how important Sunday’s are in the grand scheme of having a profitable month. On that particular day I was dealt AA and KK 14 times only to lose 11 of those hands. Poker is hard enough as it is…but when variance is kicking your butt on premium hands it can make for not only a frustrating but also very expensive day.

    It was also in the midst of this last Sunday session of the month I realized that my worst variance for the month seemed to be happening on Sunday’s. Sure enough when I ran my final reports of the month, my losses for the month can all be attributed to the 5 Sunday’s. Had I just never fired up the computer those 5 days I’d have had a very profitable month…but since I did I showed a loss instead.

    Now that’s not to complain but it does show the importance of playing and running well especially on Sunday’s when the buy-ins are larger and the prize pools are massive. When I look back at my monster months, they are always anchored by one or 2 huge Sunday scores that make up for any negative variance I might face at other times in the month. Not sure if there is anything practical that can done other than maybe limit the amount of bullets fired on Sunday’s. Would love to hear any thoughts you may have about this topic.

    Another thing that was different about this month was that 40% of my volume was on WPN. Usually it only gets about 5% of my volume with Merge getting the other 95%. If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I haven’t been happy with Merge’s decision to no longer allow results to be tracked by Pocket Fives (my normal up-date is below), so I decided to give a bit more volume to WPN at least for a bit.

    Also, the high stakes Merge tourney’s are basically 100 regs with the occasional rec player. While I do feel I have an edge over many of the regs, when you start amassing over 10k+ hands on individual players, the edge is probably not as great as it once was. With that said, my personal opinion is that the low stakes are much easier on WPN since the fish are much more prevalent. I have friends who will swear that WPN is the tougher field but I’m sticking with my opinion.

    However with all that said, I don’t have a large roll on WPN so for now my average buy-in will be between $10-$20 as compared to the $70+ I play on Merge so it will keep my total amount of cashes somewhat smaller unless I bink something soon that allows me to move up.

    Now onto January’s results…

    170…Tournaments Played
    76…. Cashes (45%)
    12…. Final Tables
    3....…Top 3 Finishes
    2……Wins

    $9174.86 in total cashes (-14.82% ROI)

    Looking at these numbers it’s obvious I didn’t close well once at Final Tables. I’m usually about 60% to be top 3 once I make one. In this particular month it was only 25%. Obviously those top 3 spots are where the money is really at so this is another area where variance really hit me hard and was the difference between a winning and losing month.

    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: $ 404863.51

    Career Lifetime Total: $460256.32

    Career number of Cashes: 3689

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

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

    Gilbert

  3. 2016 turned out to be another incredible year for me in poker. The year started out really strong before having a 2 ½ month rough period in the summer. It then closed out with an even stronger finish even with December being a down month. When the year started I had 6 goals I had set for myself which I’ll recap here with some commentary.

    1. $120,000 in cashes- This is down from the $175k in 2015 because I anticipate the church will take more time this year. SUCCESS

    The church that I pastor at bought a new building at the end of 2015 that was in need of desperate renovation. So I set the above goal with that in mind. Happy to report that I did way better than I thought! Here’s a breakdown:
    2004…Tournaments Played
    744…. Cashes (37%)
    340…. Final Tables
    139... …Top 3 Finishes
    63……Wins

    $152795.35 in total cashes (38.7% ROI)

    2. 1000 WPN Tourneys- With the slow Merge cash out times I need to put more volume in on WPN. This is an increase over the 499 on WPN I played in 2015. FAIL

    At the end of 2015, Merge was just beginning to pay-out again in a reasonable time period although I didn’t know it at the time that they would be able to keep it up. To be honest I had 15x the amount of bankroll stuck on Merge that I like to have at any one time. So I thought I’d give more volume to WPN.

    However, Merge gave me early in the year an option to get 5k bank wires. Miraculously they started processing for me about every 8-10 days. It took a few months but eventually I was able to get my roll down to a reasonable size.

    Once I realized I’d be able to get my money off Merge, I just kept playing on there and gave up on this goal. In fact I only ended up playing 362 tourney’s WPN which was even less than the previous year.

    3. Obtain a top 10 USA Ranking on Pocket Fives at least once- I ended 2015 at 13th and have previously been ranked as high as 11th. FAIL (Sort of)

    For the 1st half of the year I hung around in the top 20 and again at one point got as high as #11. Then in the summer I went through a bad downswing which dropped my ranking to in the top 25. Through late summer things started turning back around and I again climbed into the top 20.

    Then on September 5th, Merge decided to stop allowing Pocket Fives to track their tourneys. This was super bad timing because I proceeded to go on an epic heater that would see me get over $52,000 in cashes in just over a 7 week period. The points I’d have accumulated on P5’s would have been massive and I’d have easily gotten into the top 10. Instead, without the results counting, I continue to plummet week after week in the rankings.

    However, it was because of the Merge decision that I started this blog so if you’re enjoying what you’re reading, you can put Merge on your Christmas card list. ;)

    4. Have at least 1 live score that qualifies for Hendon Mob- I have only played 5 that have qualified in the past but have yet to cash in any. SUCCESS

    Being a pastor means I don’t get a lot of opportunity to travel to play live tourneys. I have cashed and won a number of tourneys through the years live but none that actually counted in the Hendon Mob results.

    This summer for the 2nd time I was able to play at the WSOP and ended up cashing in 2 of the 5 events I played. Then went 0 for 2 this December at the WSOPc tour stop at Cherokee. So 2 for 7 live this year…not bad, not great but at least I met my goal.

    5. Write a poker article that gets published- FAIL

    Don’t know that I have a lot to offer on the strategy side of things but as a pastor and player, I think I have a lot to say about life and balance in general that could be helpful to players. To be honest I just didn’t put any time into this particular goal. However, I did write quite a few emails to players helping them with a variety of issues that could be adapted into an article(s) for the future.

    About as close as I got to this goal was answering numerous questions from players on how to respond to people who ask if it’s ok for Christians to be playing poker/gambling. I believe sometime in 2017, the Bet On Drew web-site is planning on adapting my answer for an article so that will have to do for now.

    6. Spend at least 3 hours a week in study/review- SUCCESS

    I got into a nice rhythm for the year where on the days I could wrap-up my church work by 5-5:30, I would then spend the next hour reading, studying, reviewing, watching training videos, etc. Also Friday’s are my day off from church so I usually get some time on Friday mornings for more study. I probably got closer to 5-6 hours a week towards this goal so happy I blew it away.

    So there you have it. Only 3 of 6 goals met but I still feel pretty good about the year. At this point I’m behind on getting my 2017 goals set but will be getting to it soon. Still amazed that something that is essentially a hobby in my “free time” makes me so much money and gives me relaxation and enjoyment all at the same time. Hope and pray you have a great year…as always please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything I can do for you.

    Gilbert

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


    P.P.S Here is a repeat of the end of the December blog in case you missed the most up-to-date numbers as of the end of 2016:

    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: $ 397023.41

    Career Lifetime Total: $451081.46

    Career number of Cashes: 3613

 
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