Saturday, July 8, 2006

I'm done with online poker

Well, that's it for me. I've officially drained my Ultimate Bet account of it's last bit of photonic money. I'm not writing this in haste or anger either (although I had some stupidly bad beats and situations online in the last few weeks). No, this is purely a matter of looking at my stats.

According to my stats sheet, which I have been keeping religiously since September 2005), I have made $1770.50 in live poker play. That includes our little home game, trips to Vegas and AC and other home games I've attended. In the same span of time, I have lost exactly $1737.04 in online poker play at Ultimate Bet, Poker Stars and Party Poker. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that I'm much better at one of these things than I am at the other.

The exact breakdowns are as such:

Sum of P/L  
Live GameTournament$1,389.00
 1-2 NL$319.50
 .25-.50 NL$241.00
 2 Straight$27.00
 .50-1 NL($50.00)
 .05-.10 NL($10.00)
 .10-.25 NL($25.00)
UltimateBet.Com.25-.50 NL$89.77
 .01-.02 NL$0.44
 .10-.25 NL($5.65)
 .50-1 NL($11.75)
 1-2 NL($169.54)

So what can account for the massive differences in P/L over a 1 year span and 478 hours of play? I think it has to do with two factors:
1. When playing online, I am MUCH more inclined to pay attention to things other than poker. I frequently find myself opening other windows, paying bills, watching TV, etc... In live games, when I am out of a hand, I usually find myself concentrating on other players. This is especially true in casinos where there is little else to do. Online, this is not an option.
2. Playing against live players gives me an opportunity to play amateur psychologist. I try to size up opponents based on there mannerisms, their dress, vocal patterns, inflection, movements, and other things that I can observe. There is NONE of this online and I think it's difficult for me to play with such little information. Yes, betting patterns are information, but they are the only information you get online (except for the occasional written comment). I believe this is why professionals spend so much time acting robotic. By removing extraneous information, other players can only judge you based on what you bet.

So that's it, I'm done. I refuse to reload my account with real money. However, this is going to force me to think very hard about attaining my stated goal of attending the World Series of Poker Main Event next year. I don't think I'm going to make $10,000 playing in our league! My guess is I'm going to have to start making regular trips to AC. Hmmm... Back to the drawing board.

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