To the next quarter-million hands of PLO (and more)...

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To the next quarter-million hands of PLO (and more)...

My latest journal thread has gotten to the point that it's both unwieldy and inaccurate. It's pretty long at this point, and it's called "Road to Vegas 2020". I titled it that after a modest but encouraging visit to Las Vegas during the 2019 WSOP. I returned to Atlanta from that trip with renewed confidence but a modest bankroll, and I figured my primary aim for the next year would be to rebuild my bankroll to a state where I could afford another WSOP trip.

Well, not only does COVID19 threaten the WSOP in general, but my poker goals have changed since then. Tournaments are just less important to me, and my outlook on Vegas has changed a ton since moving to Philadelphia in July 2019.

I love Vegas and—at least for as long as the WSOP is held in the Rio—the WSOP will always have nostalgic charm to me. I also just love the whole "poker everywhere all the time" of it all. It's a feast.

But living near Parx as well as Atlantic City (especially compared to living in Atlanta) means that I don't need to go all the way to Vegas for good, varied live poker. And even at that, my appetite for live poker has dropped quite a bit now that StarsPA is up and running. Like, I was able to play an 8-game tournament from home recently. That's great!

I've also just become increasingly sensitive to what any poker endeavor may mean for my hourly. I'm still in a weird liminal phase in my poker career where I'm demonstrably a winning player (more on that later) but I still do things away from the felt for a lot of my income.

In short, even if were better bankrolled for $5/$5 live PLO, there are a lot of good reasons to just stay home and multitable lower-stakes PLO.

So, at this point, my poker journey is really about how I get from where I'm at to, like, using poker winnings on a down payment for a home. And being a cash PLO specialist, sometimes that means my poker life is pretty dull: no regular tournament sweats... and I'm already playing stakes at which one can make a professional hourly.

Anyway, I'll finish the first post of this new journal with some classic BBV content:

Brag: healthy EV bb/100 over my past 200k tracked hands of PLO.

Beat: bb/100 is less than 10% of my EV bb/100.

Variance: my results per stake are just all over the place (thankfully in a profitable way). High single digit EV bb/100 at PLO100 and PLO200, and the bb/100 is only 0.23 away. Meanwhile, at PLO50 and lower I've basically broken even in EV bb/100 and I'm on a bottom 15th percentile run of all-in luck.

Either way, with those 200k hands plus (an educated guess of) like 50k untracked (but definitely winning) hands on Global... since January 2019 I've put together a winning sample of a quarter-million PLO hands and I don't mind being openly proud of it. Poker is kind of hard, and (as you can tell just from descriptions of my EV difference above) my personal poker journey over the past couple of years has been marked by a lot of frustration. I've wanted to quit altogether a number of times.

But now having a quarter-million hands telling me that I know what I'm doing, it's easier to fight through bad runs.

Even just this month, I'm 21 BI below EV and my EV bb/100 and bb/100 are on opposite sides of zero. Plus, I've mostly run miserably in the PASCOOP. It's tough sometimes, and it's not easy knowing that, just statistically, the poker journey I've been on for the past couple of years should have been easier, on average.

Here's to the next quarter-million hands.

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