Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010 Recap

Before I get to my 2010 recap let me do a quick recap of December. I started the month off playing a $10k WPT event and cashing in it for $13,725. Unfortunately that capped off a weak month in mtts where I played a bunch of online mtts for once and only cash a couple of times. In cash games it was just as bad, if not worse...

I played 41hrs and ran pretty bad as evidenced by the graph. My all in ev lies at $6141 while my actual $ won was -$314. Overall after rakeback I made $1905...not exactly the way I wanted to finish 2010.

Now on to recap my 2010. I guess the best way to describe my year is underwhelming. It wasn't a disappointment because I did set a lofty monetary goal of $1million and got about 1/4th the way there. I thought I made more and recently said I made 1/3rd of my goal on my recent CashPlays podcast but I was estimating and I was off . For the year I made $264,500 in poker. The breakdown is on the right of the blog. Sure it wasn't close but hey let's not kid ourselves, that's a lot of money.

2010 Graph 1st...

2010 snapshot of my online NL cash game results for 2010...

A detailed breakdown on # of players...

I am ok w/ my overall winrate (in PTBB) at around 2.65 BB/100 for a few reasons. One being that the games are supposedly the toughest they've ever been. Also the fact that I play 15-16 tables at once and can maintain a 2.65BB/100 doing so is pretty good. Finally I was not very selective when it came to game selection and pretty much played on whatever tables were going. Sure I might have chosen a softer table when I had 2 options but for the most part really didn't seek out softer games. Also I played everybody when it came to hu and am proud of holding my own considering this was the 1st year I really started playing hu.

A couple of observations regarding my HEM...I went through all my hands at $5/$10 and felt like I ran bad and actually had my worst run of the year (in April) while playing $5/$10 only. Yes the games are tougher but I feel like I can win at 2+ BB/100 at $5/$10 w/ normal variance. I do think I will need to cut down on tables if I want to maximize my earning power at $5/$10+ since the games are tougher. I did not show my PLO HEM because I had minimal hands at the game. I played 2772 hands at PLO stakes ranging from $1/$2 to $3/$6 and won $2204 for a winrate of 24.5BB/100 which is obviously unsustainable. I will be looking forward to studying the game and getting better at it in 2011. I will talk about my 2011 goals and outlook next time.

Also I played 760 hrs and won at a rate of $253/hr, or $295/hr if I include rakeback. For sake of simplicity I will say my hrly for 2010 was $300 which I'm happy w/. Now let's talk about what I am disappointed w/ and most of that is the volume I put in. Sure I played 720k hands online and that is a lot but I really can and should be playing more than 15hrs/wk in cash games. Now I did play a bunch of tournaments and I'm not exactly sure how much time I invested in them but I really should be able to double my hrs/wk in cash games (maybe even triple them if I scale down on mtts and push myself). Again next time I'll go into how I'm going to approach 2011 and find a way to at least double my volume from last year.

W/ my results out of the way, I'm gonna mention some things that happened to me in 2010, mostly all positive. I did start my own blog and thank everybody that spent time reading it and followed my life/career in 2010. I also expanded my network in poker after having spent most of the past few years sitting behind my monitor grinding away w/o really trying to get to know others. I never felt alone though because I did have friends outside of online poker and I have my family that is always here w/ me. I do think it's important to have a good network of friends that understand poker and play it to the degree you play it.

I met a few guys over the summer that I play vs. online and it was cool to put faces on players I play vs. on a daily basis. Granted almost all of them were 10-15 years younger than me but that is the sign of the times I guess. Also I met Jeremiah Smith during the summer, at church of all places, and I duped him into thinking I can make a good cohost on his CashPlays podcast...actually he asked me but still a great dupe job on my part (probably had a lot to do w/ the extravagant lobster/crab/steak dinner we hosted for him, his wife, and a few of his friends).

A little bit later I pulled an even bigger dupe job by convincing Cardrunners management I knew how to teach poker and make nl videos. Seriously it was a big decision I made and I feel good about it. I had been holding back on joining an instructional site for a couple of years and finally decided to take the plunge. Why not w/ the biggest site and w/ guys that know what they're doing and do a great job putting out a great product (man I hope they're read this and I get brownie points for all the kiss ass here).

As a professional poker player I'm going to experience the ups and downs that come w/ this job and there are a lot more ups and downs in poker than in just about any other job. One of the early high points was being the biggest winner at $2/$4nl across all sites in January. I made about 100 buyins in January and PTR had an article of who the biggest winners were across all sites and they had me topping the $2/$4 games. Next I started grinding $3/$6 and $5/$10 and continued to do well, capped by a +$17k day (more like a sick 3 hour session) in March. Sidenote (and brag) I won $100k at $5/$10 back in March 2008 so that was another month I won 100 buyins in a month, but the games were a little softer back then. I guess March is annually a good month for me!

Well along w/ good runs comes bad runs and boy did I run bad in April. I went from $12k winner to $27k loser in 2 weeks but managed to lose only $12k for the month, which turned out to be my worst month of the year. I had a decent May and was ready for the WSOP.

I ended up going in w/ high aspirations, mostly because I felt like I was one of the favorites in every event I entered. Like every poker player I dreamed of winning a bracelet. Well I played 17 events and cashed in 5 including the main event, which isn't shabby but none of my cashes were very significant. My largest cash was in the main event for about $24k. I did show a profit at the WSOP which most poker players won't do. Actually this was the 4th of the past 6 years that I showed a profit just off WSOP events so I have a fairly good track record in the WSOP although the bracelet still eludes.

During this time I didn't play much online, but played some live, which is a great time for it. Anyway I resumed online poker in August and had a good month clearing $62k, helped by my best mtt score of the year when I won $25k (3rd place finish) in a $540 tournament at the Hard Rock of all places.

Well, as it happened the last 2 to 3 years, complacency took over the final 4 months of the year and I jogged, well more like walked, to the finish line. Part of that had to due w/ football season and the holidays but mostly it was my fault. I'm hoping to not get into that state of mind again...the scientific term for this condition is laziness. I did win about $25k the final 4 months but the volume was just not there.

In terms of life outside of poker it was mixed. The family was great and I really do have a great wife and kid and love the fact that they support me to the fullest (I guess it helps that I do well at poker so they can spend the money). I have a great core of friends that I hang out w/ and some of them did well in poker. For somebody that lives in Vegas, and "gambles" for a living, I'm blessed to have a good group of friends that are genuine.

The downer part outside of poker is that I was pretty bad when it came to my health, notably improving it. I started off the year w/ a bang, going to the gym 2-3x/week for 3-4 months then the WSOP came around and I fell off the wagon. I'm sure lots of you guys can relate w/ me, but it's hard keeping a routine every week when it comes to exercising. I'm hoping to get back into a regular exercise routine and also looking to eat healthier (more organic, drink lots of water, no sodas..well maybe diet only, more fish, vegetables, less shellfish...damn the Vegas buffets!).

Also I had a profitable year when it came to ventures outside of poker. I won in sportsbetting overall and did well in fantasy football. I lost in pit games, mostly craps, but it was minimal compared to what I made overall. I think I lost a little bit backing people in tournaments though, which is unusual because I tend to run really good when I buy pieces of people (I've won $50k, $25k, and $20k in the past taking pieces of people in single tournaments so all my poker playing friends think I'm good luck and ask me to buy pieces).

Finally I just want to say I write about poker in general and offer some advice from time to time, just so people know it's not all about how I am doing in poker. However poker does not encompass my entire life and it probably shouldn't encompass anybody's entire life. Also I like to think I lead a well balanced life where poker is a means of providing for my family and living a comfortable life and I really do believe that's the best way. Anyway I thank everybody that reads my blog and continue to do so and hope you guys learn from my mistakes, conquests, and experiences to possibly enhance your poker ventures or even your lives.


  1. Great article. Good luck in 2011.

  2. John great post! I enjoyed your recent Cash Plays Broadcast as well. I would like you guys to discuss playing overpairs on wet boards both in SH and FR.Sometimes its tough to tell if your ahead or behind.I have been playing micros for a long time(sadly)and have only recently began beating them.(The lowest level)I have on occasion dabbled at the upper micros(25NL + 50 NL) and have done better than I do with the bottom feeders. Recently I played some 50NL capped which I'm not really rolled for and did very well. Could you guys discuss capped strategy? Anyway good luck on the goals this year. I hope to be playing at least 200NL by the end of the year. Tough but doable. ~Good Luck at the Tables~

  3. who cares that you didn't hit 1MM in 2010, your results are amazing. I envy you, gl in 2011.

  4. Thanks guys. Noted Ron, I'll talk to Jeremiah about your request. Gl to you and everybody on your goals this year!

  5. This is a really good Blog. Keep it up and Good luck in 2011!

  6. gj john gl in ur sne request