Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dimwits R Us

Well, I'm contemplating taking YIPES out of storage and starting in on another dedicated bankroll-building experiment. While I know what the overall goal is (build a bankroll on Poker Stars), I'm still trying to figure out what "rules" are I'm going to use in the experiment. Here are some random thoughts on what I have so far:

1. The last YIPES experiment went pretty well for the first few months (long-time readers will remember I built $5 up to something like $350 before crashing and burning). The problem with that experiment is I had a rule that said I had to double the stakes/stack every month. This meant that things were fine for the first three months or so, but then quickly got out of hand because of the rapidly increasing amount of money had I had to win. When I didn't make the target one month, I had to increase the play stakes beyond my skill zone to "make up" the missing money. This led to me taking ridiculous risk... which ultimately led to a Hindenburg-like meltdown.

2. Okay, with the warning of (1), above, stated, I have to say that I'm still drawn to the idea of doubling up within a target period of time. Ergo, I'm thinking the goal is to double up every month, but if I don't make the target, it is OK. Maybe I just "reset" my target every month based on where I finished the previous month. Hmmm. Now that I typed this, it looks kinda wimpy and half-assed....

3. Another thing I did wrong the first time was not limit the number of hands I played in the YIPES experiment. Toward the end, I was trying to squeeze in every possible minute of play to make the target double-up number. I played too many hands, at limits too high for my skills or bankroll, and felt the pressure working on my mind day and night. (The psychological aspects of YIPES was worth the price of admission all by itself!) This time around, I'm thinking I should limit the number of hands per day to a set amount. Something like 200 hands, max. If I want to play more poker than that, I should just go back to 'Tilt and play non-experimental hold'em.

4. Another thing that's different this time around is the fact that I am now (relatively competently) playing NL cash. Back in the original YIPES I was still mostly playing limit hold'em, which, as we all know, has gotten a lot tougher since UIGEA came into effect. The same "toughening" effect has happened at the NL tables, but I don't believe to quite the same extent as in the fixed limit games. This is due primarily to just the sheer number of NL games on a poker site when compared to the number of limit games. In other words, I believe that there is a slightly higher fish:shark ratio in NL than in limit. Said another way, I think that table selection has a better chance of succeeding in NL than limit, given the current state of post-UIGEA poker.

5. My starting bankroll in YIPES was just $5. I'm going to start significantly higher this time on Poker Stars just to have enough dough to cover variance a little better. I moved $100 over from 'Tilt into my 'Stars account the other day, and I'm going to commit the whole amount to the experiment. That said, I'm also going to use some actual bankroll management rules this time around. Dunno exactly what those rules should be, but I'm leaning toward something like 20x Buy-Ins for a given limit. With $100 in the 'roll, this means I should be playing at $5NL. Because of normal variance, I think that if I drop below 10-15 Buy-Ins, I will drop down in stakes, but I won't move up until I've achieved 15-20x BI at the next upper level. The problem with this approach (and the reason I give a range of limits for dropping down) is that the NL limits on 'Stars don't follow a nice neat pattern of doubling up or halving down. Close, but not quite. For example, the next limit down below 2/5-cent is 1/2 cent, which means I probably shouldn't consider dropping down from the $5NL games to the $2NL games until I hit $40 or so, but I should be able to move back up if I get up to $75 or so. Dunno how best to approach this yet....

6. Finally, I need a name for the new experiment. YIPES-2 has a certain appeal, but it implies I'm committed to the experiment for the next year (YIPES: Yearlong Intense Poker Experimental Study), and I'm not sure if I'm ready to actually state that or not. This is also a fresh start, so perhaps a fresh name is in order. One idea is Operation DIM-wimp, which would stand for Double It Monthly (but in a wimpy, half-assed manner). Or maybe DIMWIT(S), for Double It Monthly While Intensely Trying (Sort of). Or maybe just BOZO, which doesn't stand for anything at all, but seems to fit the situation. Or how 'bout just Operation Hindenburg, because we all know how that little experiment turned out...

I welcome suggestions to any/all of the above.

All-in for now...

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