Monday, May 15, 2006

Grouping Leaves In The Yard After They Fall From The Tree

I had an interesting little weekend pokerwise.  During the Fri/Sat/Sun triumvirate, I probably lost less than one full buy-in, but logged a significant number of hands.  I believe I lost 5 to 6 huge pots where I was a huge favorite.  While those beats would have given me a strong weekend end result, I did take some solace in my ability to play consistently well over a long period of time.

I began efforts to track a couple of things to shed more light on how my online poker balance ebbs and flows.

Item #1 is a summary of all the bad decisions I make over the course of a session.  Each bad decision has next to it the amount of money it cost me.  Here’s just one example.  I made a crying call on the river holding AK on an AQxxx board, relatively confident that my opponent had AQ or another two-pair that beat me.  That one single bad decision cut my session win by one third.  It’s those things that add up over time and focusing on eliminating them will prove to be valuable in the long run.  Over the entirety of the weekend, there were 4 listings on my notes equating to one full buy-in of mistakes.

Item #2 is one that’s near and dear to our hearts.  I took the leap and signed up at the World Poker Exchange site, the one that offers 100% rake-free play.  Obviously, the rake is what makes the online sites thrive and prosper, so many people are wondering how a site can truly be rake free.  For the World Poker Exchange, the answer is two-fold.

First, they do rake the tables.  But then they give it back to you every Monday.  Holding onto the rake for a week does earn some interest, so it’s not “completely” free.  To the individual players, however, the loss of that interest is probably not a factor.  Also, World Poker Exchange is part of a larger sports wagering online site called World Sports Exchange.  Their move to rake-free poker is more of a loss leader type of business move, most likely trying to attract the poker playing market to their sports gambling site.

The rake that I’ll get back over the course of the weekend will amount to about half of a buy-in, so I would not call it insignificant, especially extrapolated over a month’s or year’s time.

But there are some downsides to the site that may make it infeasible to play there with 100% consistency.  The player base is small, the software is not without issues, and there have been game tables frozen for significant periods of time.  The frozen tables keep the players funds at the table locked up as well as reducing the number of tables said players can multi-table by one.  Also, the range of stakes available may not suit everyone.  Low to mid limit players should be able to find decent action however.  For me, if things continue to go sour for me on PokerStars, I may have no choice.  ;)

Off topic:  Word to the wise:  Don’t get so caught up in online poker that you forget to call your mother on Mother’s Day.  Because that’s bad.

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