Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Playing environment

Another common theme that was drilled into my head during the weekend in my conversations with online pros was the subject of concentration while playing online.

My playing environment is rife with distractions. In the background, I'm listening to music and/or the TV and/or chatting with my wife, reading/writing email, IMing, reading blogs, 2+2, news, scanning the web for deals and promotions, tweaking my data mining, running back and forth doing household chores, the list goes on and on.

Again this is something I know better than to do, but these bad habits have just slipped back in gradually and subtly over the last few months. The difference between good results and great results in LHE is 1 lousy BB/100h. How retarded am I to play with so many distractions!!?!!

Some thoughts on combating this issue:
- One thing that I suspect may actually help is to play less. Like a true addict, recently I have been filling up ALL available free time (and more) with table time. This practically forces me to multitask.
- I'm also considering buying a pair of noise cancelling headphones. The $ cost/benefit tradeoff in terms of improved concentration may not be justified, but I've wanted to get a pair for a while now anyways. Kind of silly, since I just bought a new pair of Sony MDR-V600's a few weeks ago, but I can find another use for those...
- When we last switched apartments a couple of months ago, we debated on moving up from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom, but in the end decided to save a few hundred $ a month and stay in a 1 bedroom. The extra space would almost certainly have provided a better environment for focused playing. While I'm not willing to make any changes during this lease, I do regret not more strongly considering taking the 2 bedroom. Every decision is easier in retrospect.

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After getting a few decent nights of sleep, I'm starting to feel human again. Still degenerate, yes, but human none-the-less.

In my typical "non-professional" mannerism, after my big wins this weekend, I've been taking it very easy these last few days, and put in very little table time - electing only to play in 1 online MTT and no ring games.

Status from the previous week of online MTTs
Net $ results: -$436
Events entered: 4
Total entry fees: $436
In the money (ITM) finishes: 0
ITM %: 0%
Return on investment: -100%
Avg buy-in per event: $109
Total time consumed: 4.2 hours
Hourly rate: $-103.81

I barely cracked the first hour in any of these last 4 MTTs. I've had no strategy changes, but the way the events played out I basically got substantially involved in exactly one hand in each of the MTTs after allowing myself to shrink to a short stack (8x bb or less). These hands were just push situations that resulted in coin flip scenarios.

Despite the poor showing in these last 4 MTTs, I'm still liking the $100+9 9pm Party event. The field is very soft. I'd rate the typical field to be 30% bad, 30% very bad, 30% avg, 10% good or very good. I constantly see players call (and overcall, and over-overcall) substantial all in over bets or raises in scenarios where they have a moderate chance of being in a coin flip situation, but a large chance of being dominated or drawing dead.

I would also like to play more $150->$200 buy in events where there will be more satellite qualifiers. Unfortunately my day-job schedule prevents me from playing in events like the Super Weekdays or Friday special.

I'm on the fence on whether or not to be mixing in cheap $3-$10 satellites to the weekend ~$200 events in my multitabling. In the past I have found I make questionable decisions when I have more than 2 different types of games running at a time. (This assumes that I'm playing a few LHE ring games and a $100 MTT. If I was just playing a couple of LHE ring games, then simultaneously playing a couple of $3 supers should be fine). The ROI for playing in these types of sats is very high, but I am sufficiently bankrolled for $100-$300 MTTs, so my hourly rate considerations may favor direct buyins.

I think I am going to make a slight increase on the number of hands I limp in on during the first two rounds. The reasoning is simply to increase my oppontunities to double up from scenarios where I flop a made hand.

I've also been doing more data mining from $100+ Party MTTs, so hopefully this data will occasionally help me to make better decisions.

I know that a lot of very successful players swear by sticking to the ring games. Perhaps after a few more weeks of playing MTTs I may raise the white flag, but for now, I'm going to keep at them.

1 comment:

PokerSweetHome said...

Please do keep the MTT experiment alive. I'm finding your results and insights very interesting. Since you are an accomplished / proven ring game player, I think you owe it to yourself to explore the other varieties. You can always fall back on the ring game; the donkeys will still be there.

As for mixing types when multitabling, I personally can't do it. I find myself making limit-like decisions at a tournament table and vice-versa. I can play two tourneys at a time and I can play multiple limit tables at a time, but my pea sized brain won't let me do both at once.

Cheers,

Colin