The Identity

I’m a preRB crusher.  When I say that, I hope you realize it isn’t meant to sound boastful. as if I’m puffing my chest out and declaring some sort of greatness to the world. Ever since I started playing single table tournaments, I had a positive ROI and that meant in addition to rakeback, I made money from the actual tables.

Part of the reason I have been able to maintain a positive win-rate for so long was because in the low stakes I could avoid confrontations with the more intelligent, creative players. Sure, there were a few decent guys in those games, but I’d play most of my pots against recreational “fish” and that translated into prettier green and red lines.

This year, things have obviously been different.  I made a conscious decision to step into tougher games because with the addition of rakeback, I’d make a higher hourly than in previous years.  That meant playing more pots with solid, thinking players instead of the random guys who were always so eager to give their chips away.

I’m somewhat protective of my current win-rate (Don’t need to give fellow regulars free information!), but I’ll let everyone in on a secret — at the end of July, my preRB hourly was as high as the previous year.  In other words, I had been beating the regulars at nearly the same percentage in 2014 as I was beating the fishier ones in 2011-2013.

But I hit a huge downswing in the months that followed, hurting my confidence a bit and dragging the EV line down with it.  Despite running five figures under in August, September, and October the EV line remained in the positive column so in theory, I was still profitable before rakeback.  November’s results don’t follow suit.

Initially, I freaked out a bit.  Remember, I’m a preRB crusher.  That’s all I’ve ever known.

Why am I losing now?

What am I doing wrong?

What changed?  

While I certainly don’t play perfectly, I can’t think of any adjustments in my game that I’ve made in the past three months.  Certainly nothing drastic enough to turn me from a winning player to a losing one.  And then, it hit me.  I looked at one of the games loading in the lobby and saw it pop off with NINE regulars.  That’s a full table of players who are at least capable of playing well.  Normally I’ll have a few of the recreational players in the game, but no, not these games.  Not this time of year.  It’s November and nearly all of the grinders are rushing to accrue VPPs and meet their end-of-year milestones.  Yours truly, included.  In such reggy games I can’t expect to post a high win-rate.  It makes for more swings and more frustration and next year I can/will plan better so I don’t have to play in November, but that doesn’t really matter right now.

Here’s what matters: I’m 65,000 VPPs from SNE.  Homestretch.  Going to  work hard, put in 8 hours a day, and hopefully get it by Nov 22, the day I leave for Thanksgiving.  I’m almost there.  Just need to play a few more thousand reggy games and those Supernova Elite Stars are mine.