Why I'm Thinking Of Quitting: An Essay
I've been playing online pretty much every day for 3 months, with the hope of making consistent money out of a hobby I've enjoyed for three or four years now. I've read the books, got the hands under my belt, and - through mainly $10 SNG, but also $5-$10 tourneys showing a profit of $600 over the first month (average of four games a day) - I felt like it could be a real possibility.
After that however, I moved up to the $20 SNG but didn't fare as well, and ended the month only about $50-$100 up.
This month I've been playing the $10 SNG again, made $150 in four of them, then, with a mixture of bad beats, two bad plays, and a general absense of cards (or calls) at the right time I didn't cash for 11 games in a row. I'd never been on this kind of run before, and was relieved when I finally won one and got a 2nd in a $6 bounty the same day.
Turned a corner I thought. No such luck, after a barren five or six SNG's again, and having noted the SNG structure did not fit the techniques espoused in several leading theory books, I decided they'd become too much of a lottery. I'd particualrly seen complete meglomaniacs and people getting consistently lucky prospering. I'm never going to do that, instead relying on playing solid poker, making the odd move, and sticking by my guns when I had to in the latter stages. It seemed to have completely stopped working though, although I'm pretty sure I wasn't doing anything much different than when I was showing such a profit before. Certainly nothing drastically different, and I actually thought I was playing much better, but perhaps this is a problem in SNGs?
So a couple of days ago I moved onto the $0.10-$0.25 cash games whilst also playing the odd $6-$18 bounty. In the cash games I'm about $30 up from 3 sessions but I haven't particulalry enjoyed playing them, which is why I pretty much played SNG's exclusively before.
However, what's really got me doubting this whole shabang as a while is the four tournaments I've played over the same period.
The first tourney I had KK first hand, raised pre-flop, on a 9 high flop, and again with a Q on the turn (no s8 or flush on board). I called an all-in reraise having already put half my chips in. If they were beating me with a set or something on that board then fine, I'd pay them off. They had Q9.
Next tournament I get to the first break just below 1,500, not long afterwards I go all-in preflop with KK again. I get called by JJ and 99. I'm looking forward to tripling up until a 9 hits on the turn. The winner, who's call cost him half his stack told me he 'had' to make the call. Why, I don't know.
Next tournament I get to the first break with 2,000 and limp with 66. I get reraised 300 by someone I've seen enough of to pretty confidently put on high cards. I decide to call then get it all in if the flop is something I like the look of. It's not a usual move by me, but one I was willing to try in the circumstances for 1/4 of my stack. The flop comes down 778, perfect for me - I know they haven't hit it - I check, get the big raise I want and go over the top to get called by AK. They have nine outs, but I'm pleased with the play - until I see runner runner Jacks come out.
Next tournament I am hurting, but I'm figuring things can't go like this if I stick to my game - which is basically tight and solid with a few moves thrown in based on keen observation. I play tighter than usual, until I find myself flat calling in the small blind with QJd. There are 6 to a flop which is AK5 of diamonds. I have the nut flush. I check then call a pot raise by the BB, everyone else folds. The turn is a 10 of clubs, I check then call an all-in. The BB flips over the 4,5 of diamonds..... guess what the river is? Well, it is a red two, but luckily the suit is hearts. Now, if it'd been a diamond I can guarantee I would have never played poker ever agan!
However, a couple of hands later I get nervous when I look down at KK. I put in a hefty raise, then call an all-in reraise, which turns out to be AK. My cowboys, for once, hold up. Now I've gone from near the bottom of the field to top five and I'm feel like I'm finally getting a little justice.
That is until my KK all-in reraise gets called by the one stack at the table bigger than me. They have AA and I'm on the rail again.... KK having busted me out of 3 out of 4 tournaments in a row and I haven't come remotely close to the money.
Next tournament, about ten minutes ago, my AK suited is busted by AA.....
Now, I know any poker player goes through troughs, and you have to keep the faith and yadda yadda yadda, but at the moment I'm really thinking that something is wrong.
I'm still happy with my game, and that I'm a good player, but if I'm consistently getting busted out like this, then it doesn't fill me with confidence about the latter stages when, as we all know, you need a bit of luck at the best of times.
It just seems that there's far too many mines to dodge to make consistent money at this, although supposedly good play will prosper over time. Is the only way to make consistent money to play the cash games pretty much like a robot, be supremely naturally talented, or to be consistently lucky?
Should I just forget about making money from this long-term and go back to being recreational? Should I finally agree my mum's right? Any advise very appreciated, and well done if you managed to get all the way down here at all!