July Results- "I Get the 500k Badge...Sort Of"

By: pgt4jc
Published: Aug 3rd, 2017
If you’re a regular reader of my blog posts you know the whole reason I started blogging on PocketFives is because on September 5th, 2016, Merge stopped allowing PocketFives to track results. So I started the blog to keep track of where I’d have been had they never stopped. At the time I was sitting on $309,255 in tracked tourneys on just Merge alone plus the little bit I had on other networks.

As dumb as this may sound, I was really bummed out about the decision. I had used the PocketFives rankings and badges as motivation and goals. I remember when I first signed up for PocketFives I was ranked in the 20’s in the state of Pennsylvania. But slowly and surely I began to rise through the ranks. Finally, in February of 2015 I was ranked #1 in PA and held that for all but 2 weeks until tracking stopped. At one point I climbed up to #11 in the USA and #971 in the world. In August of 2015 I became the state of PA’s all-time leader in number tourney’s cashed (this has since been eclipsed). So again all these things were a part of what helped keep me motivated on what we affectionately call “The Grind”.

So with all that said, on July 2nd I hit the 500k mark in career tourneys cashed. This is where I’d have earned my next badge on P5’s but alas it’s not to be…unless I start playing a lot more on other networks and earn it there. That’s doubtful though since about 90-95% of my volume is on Merge. So yea me I guess…but it’s still not quite the same.

As for July, it was a profitable month but not in the typical sense. If you read last month’s post, you know that I had been going through a bit of a downswing and one of my coaches, Alex Fitzgerald suggested I needed to find a way to make poker fun again. So for July, with the exception of 4 tourneys, I basically played what to me is now micro stakes tourneys. My usual average buy-in per month is in the $60’s, whereas this month I was down closer to $10. This also meant my amount of cashes was way, way down. Instead of the typical 10-30k, I was all the way down to only about 4.6k.

This reminded me a lot though of when I first started grinding Merge 5 years ago. I had started with an initial deposit of $100 and ran that up to 5k, did a 2.5k withdraw and would go on to keep repeating that pattern for about 2 years…run it up to 5k, withdraw 2.5k then run it back up. Because of this and my desire to exercise good bankroll management, this meant that my top buy-ins were the $33 tourneys.

Now in my mind, I had a feeling I could hang with the guys playing the $60, $109, $162, $265 and $540’s that Merge offered, I never played them though because they would have been outside my bankroll management rules. That all changed however when Merge went through their back-log of withdraws a few years back. I had run-up my roll to 5k as usual but the check for 2.5k took 5 months to get to me. In the meantime, I was running my roll up…and since I now had more to play with, it meant I was able to play the larger stakes. And sure enough, I started crushing them. At one point I had over 80k stuck on the site with the only option of 2.5k checks coming once in a blue moon.

Now thankfully Merge ultimately got that straightened out and I got all my money plus a whole lot more since then, but in the midst of it I developed a bad habit. It was nothing to fire multiple bullets at the $109 and $265’s because it all seemed like play money anyway. Once I got paid though, I kept firing like this forgetting the good bankroll management principles that had got me there.

When you then have an extended period of run-bad, the stress of it all really starts to eat at you. So July was a great opportunity to re-calibrate and just have fun playing for stakes that really aren’t life-changing in any way. So now the question becomes, what now? I can continue at these smaller stakes and grind out perhaps an extra 1k profit per month and be stress free…or I can go back to the bigger buy-in events where I’ve made over $100k profit in just the last 2 years alone but know the pressure will be back on.

Obviously for me as a pastor there are spiritual implications to all the above as well. It’s nice that poker has taken financial pressure off my wife to have to earn money but at the same time, I need to stay mentally, emotionally and spiritually balanced. So I think for August I’ll work on finding a mix of lower and higher buy-ins to play as well get back into good bankroll management practices.

Here is what July looked like…
169…Tournaments Played
76…. Cashes (45%)
21…. Final Tables
8....…Top 3 Finishes
3……Wins

$4567.64 in total cashes (22.35% ROI)


Note: The following paragraph is a part of every month’s blog so please excuse the redundancy from above:

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: $ 439649.00
Career Lifetime Total: $503580.33
Career number of Cashes: 3960

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.

    Comments

    1. Congrats!
       
    2. wtg.... I enjoy watching and playing with ya at the tables. I myself am on a bad run. I ran my initial $100 deposit up to $1k playing mainly sngs and mixing in a few mtts every now and then. I cashed out $500, so that put me down to $500 and currently only have $130ish in my account. any advise for me. I do well in the sngs, but they tend to get boring after a while and I really enjoy the mtts, but at my current bankroll amount, I have to play the lower mtts and you basically have to win the tourney to make any money, but again, I do enjoy those more. What would u suggest?
    3.  
      Originally Posted by TilDaRivAA

      wtg.... I enjoy watching and playing with ya at the tables. I myself am on a bad run. I ran my initial $100 deposit up to $1k playing mainly sngs and mixing in a few mtts every now and then. I cashed out $500, so that put me down to $500 and currently only have $130ish in my account. any advise for me. I do well in the sngs, but they tend to get boring after a while and I really enjoy the mtts, but at my current bankroll amount, I have to play the lower mtts and you basically have to win the tourney to make any money, but again, I do enjoy those more. What would u suggest?

      Thanks! As for your question, two things come to mind. First, if I remember right, I see you mainly at the $11 tables. So a drop from $500 to $130 sounds like just a normal part of the ups and downs of variance. My second thought is related to my blog post...good bankroll management is the key to surviving through down times. Personally for MTT's I believe that you need 50-100 BI's to keep things stable and never bust your roll. So right now I'd suggest playing the $1.10 and $2.20 tourneys if busting your roll is really a concern. If it's not and you don't mind re-loading then a 25-50 BI may be more what you're looking for.

      Also, keep in mind that cash, SnG's and MTT's are 3 different beasts. So if you found you were crushing SnG's, then perhaps stick with those, with the occasional shot taking at MTT's. Or use your SnG profits to play MTT satty's so you can then have shots at bigger paydays. Regardless, keep reminding yourself that it's a game and have fun!
       
    4. Inspiring story, especially as, like you I´m also low volume!

      Congratulations on the badge.
      10
    5.  
      Originally Posted by pgt4jc

      Thanks! As for your question, two things come to mind. First, if I remember right, I see you mainly at the $11 tables. So a drop from $500 to $130 sounds like just a normal part of the ups and downs of variance. My second thought is related to my blog post...good bankroll management is the key to surviving through down times. Personally for MTT's I believe that you need 50-100 BI's to keep things stable and never bust your roll. So right now I'd suggest playing the $1.10 and $2.20 tourneys if busting your roll is really a concern. If it's not and you don't mind re-loading then a 25-50 BI may be more what you're looking for.

      Also, keep in mind that cash, SnG's and MTT's are 3 different beasts. So if you found you were crushing SnG's, then perhaps stick with those, with the occasional shot taking at MTT's. Or use your SnG profits to play MTT satty's so you can then have shots at bigger paydays. Regardless, keep reminding yourself that it's a game and have fun!

      Thanks for the advise. I don't mind reloading, just trying not to have too. I think I'm going to play mainly the sngs for the most part and when I feel like an mtt, I'll just focus on that instead of running them at the same time. You're right about the 2 being differenct beasts, so maybe focusing on 1 at a time will help me. Thanks again. BTW, my name is Mike.....GL to ya on your venture to $1M
    6.  
      Originally Posted by pgt4jc

      Thanks! As for your question, two things come to mind. First, if I remember right, I see you mainly at the $11 tables. So a drop from $500 to $130 sounds like just a normal part of the ups and downs of variance. My second thought is related to my blog post...good bankroll management is the key to surviving through down times. Personally for MTT's I believe that you need 50-100 BI's to keep things stable and never bust your roll. So right now I'd suggest playing the $1.10 and $2.20 tourneys if busting your roll is really a concern. If it's not and you don't mind re-loading then a 25-50 BI may be more what you're looking for.

      Also, keep in mind that cash, SnG's and MTT's are 3 different beasts. So if you found you were crushing SnG's, then perhaps stick with those, with the occasional shot taking at MTT's. Or use your SnG profits to play MTT satty's so you can then have shots at bigger paydays. Regardless, keep reminding yourself that it's a game and have fun!

      Thanks again for the advise. I'm just playing the $7 sngs for now until I build my roll back up. Currently took my $130 to $290 the past 3 days playing about 30 sngs total (I'm not a high volume player, prolly on average around 10 sngs a nite). I think I may stick with these until I reach around $350 and then throw in some $15 sngs, then $750 throw in some $30 sngs, then $1500, throw in some $60 sngs. After that, I think anything over $1,500, I'll use for mtts. Hopefully I'll stick to this and start trying to win some money again. I'll keep railing you and gl to ya....
    7.  
      Originally Posted by TilDaRivAA

      Thanks again for the advise. I'm just playing the $7 sngs for now until I build my roll back up. Currently took my $130 to $290 the past 3 days playing about 30 sngs total (I'm not a high volume player, prolly on average around 10 sngs a nite). I think I may stick with these until I reach around $350 and then throw in some $15 sngs, then $750 throw in some $30 sngs, then $1500, throw in some $60 sngs. After that, I think anything over $1,500, I'll use for mtts. Hopefully I'll stick to this and start trying to win some money again. I'll keep railing you and gl to ya....

      Sounds like things are turning around for you! Not a SnG guy so not sure if your BRM is a good plan or not. Here is something that may help you see if your plan is on track. http://www.bankrolltools.com/
       
    8.  
      Originally Posted by pgt4jc

      Sounds like things are turning around for you! Not a SnG guy so not sure if your BRM is a good plan or not. Here is something that may help you see if your plan is on track. http://www.bankrolltools.com/

      Awesome tool, my plan is actually being safer than the pro plan, so may change a lil, but again, thanks for the link.
     
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