In my blog a month or so back I did a piece on win rates in NLHE cash games. I shared my win rate for 2007 (+6.63 BB’s/100), as well as the upward trend of that win rate in the second half of the year after I started to focus in earnest on NL cash game play for my hold’em endeavors. I also shared with you that my personal goal for 2008 was to attain a win rate in excess of 10 BB’s/100 in my NL cash game play for the year. Because of the upward growth of my win rate in the latter half of 2007, and a revisited effort to plug a leak that cost me dearly at year end, I’m confident I can and will attain a bigger win rate than 10 BB’s/100 this year. The leak is one that I still struggle with on occasion, but I’m resolved to changing that. I suppose it’s my own version of tilt, although it’s not “tilt” as we think of it in the traditional sense. My leak occurs when 2 specific factors come together. 1) I’m not feeling good (either emotionally or physically), and 2) I’m making poor decisions at the tables. I know full well I should not play when this is happening, and usually I do not. But on rare occasions I press on and try to play through it, and it inevitably costs me dearly. For me personally, #1 does not usually create #2. And if #2 starts happening, I’m pretty good at getting my head screwed back on straight and righting the ship as long as #1 isn’t in place. When they both collide though, it is not going to be my day. On 12/21, I had exactly such a day, and the result was an extended session that ended in -54.05 BB’s/100 (that’ll really hurt your final win rate for the year… prior to that day my 2007 win rate was 7.73). It was suggested to me about a year ago in a PM that I should start a blog and share some of the ups and downs of playing poker for real money, and that they and others would enjoy following the trials and tribulations of real money play. Since I shared my NL cash game goal with you for 2008, and I do have a blog now, I thought you might like to ride the journey with me on the quest for 10 BB’s/100. January started off in the right direction. I only played 18 NL sessions ranging in time from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours per. I posted 16 wins and 2 losses during this time. Several of the wins were small ones in shorter sessions, so going 16-2 looks more impressive than it really is. Both of the losses were big unfortunately, a 90 minute session that ended at -46.37 BB’s/100, and a 40 minute session that was a disaster at -103.98 BB’s/100. But I had some good wins too, including one monster 77 minute session that netted me +142.84 BB’s/100. This is pretty normal for cash game play, you will always have ups and downs during the month/year/years. The goal is to have more and bigger ups than you do downs. At the end of the day on 1/31, my win rate for January finished at +14.35 BB’s/100. Onward to February and I will look to build on that. So far as of this writing I’m off to a 5-0 start and very healthy win rate, but I don’t want to jinx myself because I know all too well that it comes with both ups and downs, yin and yang. I hope you enjoy following me on this journey, and I promise if I experience my big leak as described above (or tilt in any form) I will spill the beans and share it here… so I also hope you don’t mind me leveraging you as extra incentive not to play like a donkey. ;-) Dave