re: Poker & Keeping records: Satellites, freerolls, FTP sitngos...
Originally Posted by RyanB88
Thanks guys, both of you helped a lot. I was looking mostly to the best way to do it for my own records in keeping track if I'm playing profitable poker or not, but the tax advice is good to know too.
Blunder, I guess I never really thought about keeping hourly separate for tourneys and cash games, or not keeping hourly at all for MTTs. Mostly tho, when I keep hourly records it is on single table sitngos, do you think I should throw out hourly for that too? Also, if you don't mind my asking, you said you look for 4 figure profit each month for your MTTs...what's your general buy in range and what tourneys do you usually play?
I live in the UK so I don't pay any tax on poker profit because the authorities (wrongly) believe poker is gambling. Gambling profits are exempt from tax if you're not a pro.
I'm not a big fan of the hourly rates when it comes to poker simply because it doesn't seem to make much sense given the variance you have in the game. The exception is when you play cash games because you tend to stick to the same limits and given the fact that the blinds do not increase, you play what I could call "pure poker". If you specialise in cash games, you should have an idea of your hourly rate. Otherwise I tend to think the information is simply not one I can use. In addition, for most of us, playing poker is a pleasure, even a passion. So how do you put a price on the work you do if you love your job? It's as if an artist was trying to work out his hourly rate. It doesn't make much sense to me. So I disregard it.
I disregard it because most of the poker I play is tournaments (that includes satellites, SNGs, and MTTs). They tend to be subject to the rare event (ie the tourney win or the final table of a 50K MTT with 3000 players for instance). So the hourly rate or even the daily rate tends to be misleading information. I have a mate who spent the majority of the year losing money playing tournaments and then half way into the year, he finished heads up in a large field MTT and a couple of weeks later he qualified for the WSOP
!! So what good is the hourly rate information for him during the first 6 months of the year? It was telling him he was spending tens of hours every month losing hundreds whereas after 6 months he found himself way up!!
So this is the way I see:
- If you're mostly a cash game player, playing 90% of your poker playing ring games at similar limits (ie you're not a donkey playing 0.25/0.50 then 25/50 then 2/4 on the same day), you should get an idea of your hourly rate. Basically you wanna make sure you use your time efficiently. And you may also want to consider your playing poker as if it was a job to you.
- If you're playing large or medium field MTTs (say from 400 to 3000 entrants), hourly rates mean nothing. You don't even know how much you're gonna be around to play anyway, it'll depend on whether you make it deep or if you bust out early. Really the timeframe you want to look at here is the quarter or the year. You're playing for the chance to make big bucks from a handful of final tables and unless you're really good, those will be rather rare occurences. You should not be concerned about the short run here.
- If you're playing satellites or SNGs, you wanna be looking at the average daily or weekly rates. You're gonna be playing the same sats and the same SNGs day in day out and wins are not rare, they are regular. Although you may spend a whole day not cashing at all playing a lot (rare though), you will win quite a few every week.
To answer your second question, I play almost exclusively at Poker Stars
(the majority of my play) and Betfair Poker
(mainly cash game here).
I play mainly satellites and large field MTTs (some SNGs but that's not my expertise).
For satellites, my favourites are the $5.50 rebuy satellites to the Daily Eighty Grand and Nighty Seventy Grand on Poker Stars which are both worth $55 (there are 10 of these a day). That's where my ROI is the highest. I also play quite a few $3/$8.80/$11 rebuy sats to the Sunday Million/Sunday Warm up worth $215 (again Stars has plenty of them especially at weekends). Another regular is the $3/11 rebuy sat to the Nightly Hundred Grand worth $162 (they have 3 of those a day).
I unregister from every satellite I win regarless of whether I am gonna play the tourney or not and get Tournament Dollars as a refund (T$). I build a bank of T$ which appear as a separate balance to my cash balance. I use that to fund my satellite play and my MTTs (and some SNGs)
For MTTs I tend to play the ones that have a very large field. I play the $3.30 rebuy 40K GTD (19h15 and 01h00 GMT), the $5.50 rebuy 50K Gtd (23h00), $8.80 rebuy 32K Gtd (15h00), the $11 rebuy 70K Gtd (21h00) for the rebuys and the $22 32K Gtd (17h00), the Daily Thirty Grand (19h00), the $11 40K Gtd (00h.00) and the $27.50 40K Gtd (01h00) for freezeouts. I also play a couple of turbos with 20K in the price pool as well as a weekly 20K freeroll Poker Stars offers to its Silver Star members.
I play about 5 to 10 SNGs a week but I'm up only slightly on those although if I include the "steps" SNGs that Poker Stars have (ladder system to qualify for events such as EPT, WSOP etc...) the figure goes up to $1500 for 2008 (due to exceptional exit points which reward you in cash or W$)
My average buy in is $16 and my usual limits are 0.50/1 and 1/2. In 2008 my tournament ROI was 11% with an ITM rate of 32% (too high I ought to take more risks).
I try to make on average $1.000 a month which supplements my salary which is small because I work part time. I met my target last year with $11.500 in profits (the top 4 big cashes accounted for over 50% of that), 9K in tourneys, 1K cash games and 1.5K SNG (the bulk coming from a $1.200 win in a WCOOP Step 6). My target for this year is $120K in tournament prizes and 20K profit from poker in general. Good job it's January cos I'm nowhere near it.
Keeping records is a very good thing because you always know where you stand. But even more inportant is the ability to analyse your results.
Every month, I'm able to see where I make money, where I don't, where the results are improving, where they are deteriorating so I have the possibility to change things and shape my poker to improve as a player.
This year I'm looking to try play elsewhere than on Poker Stars because it seems that's where players there are the toughest around. So I may be able to make more money where there is a greater supply of fish!!