I came to this sad realization after exactly 19000 hands of 5NL. Now that I know that I suck at poker, I’m going to try to understand why I suck. And then I’m going to try and fix it. But before we get to that, here’s my poker history up until now, in a nutshell:

Once upon a time, I freerolled myself a small bankroll. I then ran it up to about $1300 playing mostly cash games before cashing out for life reasons. I guess poker was a lot easier back then.

Recently, I deposited $15, got lucky and came in 4th in a $2.75 buy-in tournament for $298.29 in prize money. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I cashed out about half of my new roll, and hit the 5NL (6max) tables with the other half. The results were disappointing to say the least.

As I look at my graph, the most glaring problem I see is that my winnings without showdown (red line) is a near mirror image of my showdown winnings (blue line). This is obviously a big leak that needs to be addressed if I am to become a winning player once more.

I think that the main reason for my steeply descending red line is that I play too many pots, especially from early position. My first attempt at curbing these non-showdown losses is to take a more rigorous approach to my starting hand selection from early position. This should lower the amount of pots I play out of position, and thus improve my red line. From the first two seats I will only play the following starting hands:

UTG raising range: 22+, ATs+, AJ+, KJs+, KQo
UTG+1 raising range: 22+, AT+, JTs+, KJ+

The state of things:

Before we can make progress, we have to know where we stand. Because I have already cashed out $150 from a $15 investment, I feel that I am already in the blue and not playing scared money. As it stands, this is what my bankroll looks like:

I have earmarked this $128.29 as my budget to re-learn poker, or bust trying. My game of choice will be 5NL 6-max, but I will be throwing in some tournaments here and there. I will move up in stakes if and when my bankroll allows it. In this blog I will be keeping track of my progress, discussing key hands and adjustments, and learning from your feedback.

On a side note, since I easily make more than 150 FPPs in a month, I am also going for promotion to the PokerSchool Premier Skill League. My aim is to be in the top 500 when the month is through to guarantee promotion. I started this month intensively playing the Open Skill League to establish a beachhead. I am currently ranked 270th. So, at least one thing is going according to plan.

I guess that’s it for my first blog post. By the way, once I hit 700 FPPs I’m going to use them to buy a Sunday Storm ticket to try to give my bankroll another boost. Do you guys think this is a good idea?