Tuesday, February 08, 2005

.... just don't get along!

I've been trying to figure out why that is. I'm only half kidding when I say that my face-to-face games are played primarily to fund my online poker habit. I seem to do nothing but lose money playing poker online. Sometimes I lose it quickly, sometimes slowly... but inevitably, I just give it away.

On one hand, I think that the fact that I can rarely start with more than $50 is limiting to begin with. That's two unlucky sessions at a $25NL table - half the bankroll risked in one sitting! But, I like to keep my face-to-face winnings separate and out of the online account, so they can get rolled back into more live games. (Or, so they can pay for my Vegas trip in March, wahooo!) With a higher starting fund, there'd be more room for variance.

I think another factor, though, is confidence level. I really can't believe I'm about to say this, but I play much more strongly in person than online. Thinking back to my first few live games and tournaments only a year ago, I was scared out of my skull and shaking like a leaf! I can't even describe exactly how or when I began to feel confident playing live games, but somewhere along the line, I did. I've even learned to control the shaky hands (which were a big problem for me).

But, put me online in a big hand, and I'm breathing heavy, hands shaking - a nervous wreck! Online! Nobody can see me - how in the world can I be nervous???

I know exactly how: it's because ** I ** can't see ** them **. It is comforting to me to be able to observe people. I love people-watching. And online, I can't watch people. I can't observe their mannerisms or any sort of physical tells whatsoever. I feel like I'm at a huge disadvantage, and that makes me less confident about my ability to read a situation.

PokerTracker has helped a bit in that regard, since it can provide a heads-up analysis of players statistically. I still somehow feel like I'm "missing" important pieces of information without the physical component.

And that affects my confidence. And scared money never wins.

So why don't I just quit playing online? Well, I honestly do wish I could find some more live games. I don't live far from a couple cardrooms, but I'm not yet comfortable with my bankroll to be able to play at them yet. 2005, however, is treating my quite well so far, and if I can carry that win streak into Vegas, maybe I'll come home able to start playing in some local cardrooms.

But the thing is, I don't WANT to stop playing online! I'm a computer geek anyway, so anything I can do online is excellent, be it for time-killing, or entertainment purposes, or educational pursuits - doesn't matter what it is. I enjoy playing poker online - mostly when I can sit down and chat with other players and have a good time. Winning would be nice, but I don't think I could give it up just because it's something I like to do.

I also like to THINK about poker, and playing online gives me 24/7 access to the game. I like to watch hands unfold, consider all of the variables, note how things turn out in different situations. Sure, I could just read books or watch TV, but online poker is wonderfully unpredictable when you're in the mood to analyze the game.

I look at some of the other sites and read of others' tales of losses and such, and have to laugh at myself. I posted a $35 loss today, and it's a big deal to me. LOL!!! People are losing hundreds and thousands of dollars, and here I am whining about thirty five bucks. That's half my online bankroll, though!! Ahh well. I guess it's all relative!

I've got enough in the Empire account for about one more session. Hopefully I can turn a profit from it, because if not, I don't think I'm ready to reload...... I need to find a way to rid myself of the online poker phobias.


  1. High Plains Drifter said...
    Clear your mind. Remember that you're a good poker player, and you can step into a game and take money out of it. If there's something to be learned from your previous session, learn it. Otherwise, discard it, and focus on the card playing at hand.

    I cashed into UltimateBet for $300 a month ago, and I haven't busted out yet. I've read very few poker books, and I haven't busted out of UB yet.

    Point is... stick around, hand tough, and play the best poker you can. If you've got $25 to buy in to a $25 game, don't think about how you did before. Think about kicking the ass of the current game.

    I read your blog regularly, and I like it. I'm convinced that you can be a +EV player online every day if you stick to smart play.

    Good luck.
    SirFWALGMan said...
    Dont be cutsy online. Your right. You cannot get reads from someone's face, so you need to look at there betting patterns, etc.. but at 25/NL really all you need to do is have a good hand! Play tight. Drop the tricky hands, and bet the hands where you think your good. Pay attention to what people do. Are they cold calling you? Do they like to trap? Are they re-raising back into you. What does it all mean! There are enough bad players that you will get paid off by playing tight, solid, Poker.
    Unknown said...
    I also like live play better than online, and am generally more confident and willing to risk a larger bankroll in live play.

    Online, you might want to try limits more suited to your bankroll. I always find the .50/$1 games on Paradise and Absolute perfect for nursing a small bankroll into something better suited for bigger games. Those sites also have lower-than-$25 buy-in NL games. Playing for more money is of course more exciting, but if $35 is a big loss for you, consider the real low-limits. Also, the microlimits are great for when you’re in the mood to just play online just for time-killing or entertainment purposes – save the bigger games for when you’re really serious. (I didn’t name my blog “Cheap” Thrills for nothing.)
    Unknown said...
    Losses are relative, don't focus on the money, focus on the percentage you are risking while buying in.

    It doesn't matter if your bankroll is $50 or $50,000. Bankroll management is still a key factor in becoming successful.

    That and bonus whoring :D

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