November 28, 2011

Money management, friendships and poker improvement

I'm an avid money manager. I'm not tght with money, I would say I'm right with money :) I just don't make that much of it. I play with ppl with much higher bankrolls. Most of us are amateurs like me (sometimes pros join in), but we all play competitively, we read the books .... We play to improve and we are all positive or break even players (we have fishes in our games, otherwise mathematically this would not be correct :))

However, I feel like I am coming at a cross roads. I broke even last year and looks like I will break even this year (I'm not the best in the crew). But my high and lows are becoming more intense. This is because, as we keep playing each other, as we keep improving and challenging ourselves, our buyins increase. I've had an "emotional year" in poker ups and downs. Nothing that I cannot afford, but I pretty much reached my limits.

As I saw happening over the previous years, I have a feeling that buyins will continue to increase. I will not be able to keep up. I will have to give up on the games that I usually play and might need to find another crew might lose some experience and exposure to ppl that have helped me improve. Feels like I am a college drop. Looks like I might have to turn my back on ppl who became my friends through this competition. That's a real sad part to the reality I feel I will be facing in the coming 3-6 months. Not looking forward to this. I guess I'll have to pick up my golf game to catch up with these guys (although they have years of experience in that too and I'm starting behind :) ).

On another note: having had the experience of seeing my buyins and my volatilty increase I have to pay respect to the people who within the same good money management limits do this on a daily basis. This is definitely not a game for the weak. Balls of steel! :)

Posted By gaojie at 04:04 AM


Tags: improvement Money management friendships


sincerny posted on November 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM


I've just read all of your blog's news. I think that you should not obligate yourself to play a certain amount of time per week. Your learning will increase with the amount of effort you put in of course, but even if you play only 2 hours a week, but that those 2 hours are played seriously you will improve. Even if you improve slowly with what I've read I assume you just enjoy the game and want to improve. I myself started to play seriously this summer and I was playing only 8 hours per month average. Then confidence kicked in and this month without even knowing it I played 35 hours.

If you are ready to spend some money you should buy hold'em manager or poker Tracker (It is a preference, but I prefer HM). If you like books as media, keep using them, but be sure that you buy RECENT books that released this year or last year, some old books are classics and must to read for newbies, but a certain point they are useless (I assume that you have read some, because of what I read on your blog). Talk in forums is a great way to improve a lot imo.

If your friends are reaching higher stakes, you are not obligated to follow them, you can still talk theory and even then I would say it is an opportunity to improve faster to have friends that you are confident in their game.

You should definitely stop worrying about how much and how fast you improve, stop worrying about your bankroll not exploding of cash, you are in 10NL and you should just play you best hand per hand don't look at your bankroll to stress about your bankroll going down by a buyin and be winning oriented. If you just play seriously, review your hands, talk about them with your friends or on the forum. You will open your banroll one day and you won't believe it all started with only 500$ :). Of course you could be like I3bettillyoudie and skyrocket from microlimits to nosebleed limits in one year or you could be like me and grinding 10NL and haven't yet reach 25NL, but if you are not happy playing at your rythme at this point you should know that you won't have more fun once you reach higher limits. I got to go school... sad I wasn't done, hehe.

gaojie posted on November 29, 2011 at 15:09 PM


Hey man! Thanks for your comment. You make me realize that indeed I am being greedy. I am happy with my results because I feel I have improved, but I should not rush or push myself through higher levels unless I built up the bankroll and consistently beat the current level. I am worried that I might be losing some quality time with my friends, but I'll find some other way.
Really refreshing comment, puts things back into perspective. DON'T MISS SCHOOL !!!! :)

sincerny posted on November 29, 2011 at 21:45 PM


Lol I couldn't it was an exam haha, but I don't understand why you would lose time with your friends? I mean if you guys are playing online it is not on the same tables anyway or if you guys play on the same table I don't understand why you would do that. If it is in live games at the casino you shouldn't sit at the same table anyway. How are you guys playing together?

gaojie posted on November 30, 2011 at 06:14 AM


it's live home games. Where I am there's no casinos but there still are games every day of the week here and there. The game selection and groups of players are rather limited tho

sincerny posted on November 30, 2011 at 12:22 PM


Ok, I understand what you were meaning. In my own opinion if you feel that the stakes with your friends are too high and it make you not enjoying it anymore... well stop, but if you feel happy playing it with friend even if it is a -EV you can still play with them and learn. Myself I play live and online, I have a bankroll only really strict, but I don't have any when I play live, because I go there when I either have sufficient money that loosing it in one night caused by bad variance is not affecting my life and because 2 buyins of 200NL (that is the lowest amount in live cash game) is kinda my bankroll online.

By playing online, reviewing your hands in your HEM PT3 or FPDB - Free Poker Database. recording 15 20 minutes sessions and posting them in the forum and post hands that buzz you. Online is so faster than live that you can reach a phenomal learning in 1 year that would have taken 5 years only in live games, you see so much hands/situations/different types of players in only 1 session of an hour or two you learn so much faster. I mean the number of hands per hour live vs online is what? 7:1? and the ones who play 24 tables see something like 25:1 ratio? :)

Anyway if you enjoy playing with your friends in stakes that you can afford only time by time go there sometimes, even if it is -EV


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