MT February Online Review

Well February has certainly been an interesting month for me online wise. Regular readers of the blog will know that I was undecided about what I wanted to play during February online. I initially thought I would play 2x cash sessions, 2x SnG sessions and 1x MTT session per week. Allowing myself two non poker days. However after speaking with my brother and a few others I was advised not to mix my cash and tournament games to this extent. The consequences of such would most likely be that I wouldn’t play either optimally.

So this got my thinking about what would be for the best for February. Although I still want to pursue the cash route I didn’t really want to play cash exclusively again for the entire month & because of my ongoing problems with Holdem Manager I decided to take a complete break from the cash. At least until HEM is fully installed and operational. I’ve been a bit lazy really in getting Holdem Manager sorted out if I’m honest, I need to arrange another night when HEM support can go through things again with me but my nights are precious and I don’t really want to waste another one dealing with HEM support although I know I need to eventually. Another problem I’m having with HEM is they aren’t particularly responsive and if they don’t come back to me during my time window then it gets postponed for another night. Once HEM is installed & I’ve uploaded all my hand histories I will get back to grinding the cash.

I also questioned if I was rolled enough to handle the variance of an entire month of big field MTT’s. Well I didn’t really know the answer to that question as the variance can be ridic in the big fields but after much consideration I made a decision to give it a go. MTT’s are be far my favorite type of poker and I was really looking forward to giving this a real go. The obvious downside to this decision is that if I didn’t achieve any significant cashes throughout the month I could expect to take a big downswing with my roll. Another negative to this route is the inevitable late nights when I have a deep run. Which isn’t a problem if it’s a weekend but because I work fulltime having late nights through the week seriously affect my sleep. The up side of course is I’d be giving myself lots and lots of shots at big scores and I’d be playing in the type of tournaments I crave to be part of.

So let’s spin it up. My typical online evening schedule would include pretty much every MTT available on PokerStars from 7.30pm-9.00pm up to the value of $50. I tried to maintain my usual volume of nine tables at a time & my average night would usually consist of the following tournaments :-

$10 (Daily 30K GTD)
$20-$20-$20 (60K GTD)
$50 (Daily 80K GTD)
$10 (Daily 15K GTD)
$8 (5K GTD)
$10r (60K GTD)
$10 180 player SnG
$20 180 player SnG
$8 36 player Sunday Millions shootout satellite

So with over $200 down at the tables almost every session it was sure to be a volatile month. Needless to say my two favorite MTT’s are the $50 daily 80K and the $20/$20/$20. Mainly because the pots are so juicy but also because the fields aren’t ridic huge. The $20/$20/$20 for example rarely has over 1,000 runners. I pretty much stuck to this schedule for the entire month and to be honest it’s been the most enjoyable month I’ve ever had online. This is despite not getting any big scores and taking a pretty big hit to my roll. As most people know you really need to go mega deep in these tournament to see the fruits of your labor as the payouts are often final table heavy. Well I have had a few deep runs throughout the month but no mega deep runs. My biggest cash all month was in the $40 Micro Millions for just under $400. I’ve had the odd $100+ cash and several small min cashes but nowhere near enough to cover my loses.

So all told I’ve played 60 MTT’s this month totaling an MTT outlay of $1,866.70 for February. I’ve crunched the numbers and it’s working out that my average MTT buy-in over the month works out at $31.11 and the average field size works out at a staggering 5,250. This does not include the 4x Sunday Millions I’ve played which I’ve kept separate from these figures as they were satellite entries. So from 60 MTT’s I’ve made the money only 7 times (12% ITM) and returned cashes up to the value of $709. So this month I’ve lost $1,157.70 in MTT’s. Pretty derisory really but I guess it’s kind of expected and something I was prepared for when attempting to spin it up this month.

As I’ve previously mentioned I also played a few $20 & $10 180 player SnG’s alongside my MTT’s to try and reduce my variance. So all in I played an additional 63 SnG’s this month with a total SnG outlay of $594. Only 9 cashes though totaling $220.20 (15% ITM). So this month I’ve lost a further $373.80 on the SnG’s. This was kind of unexpected as I’m usually pretty profitable in the SnG’s but with only 63 games played it’s not really enough volume to even out the variance.

I have however had some success with the $8 36 player Sunday Millions shootout satellites. I’ve won four seats this month and had a bunch of cashes. If you win the first shootout round your pretty much guaranteed to cash which helps a bunch with the variance ($13 for 5th place & $20 for 4th to 2nd). In total I’ve played 77 $8 satellites this month with an outlay of $677.60. Thankfully I’ve retuned $1,019 in cashes, making the money 14 times (18% ITM) including the 4 seats I won and showing a profit of T$341.40. However, I have played the Sunday Millions four times this month which has used up all of the T$ won and some. However it has meant that I’ve played the games at a discounted price this month. $215 x 4 less the T$341.40 I’ve won has meant I’ve been playing the Millions for $129.65 per game this month. With no Millions cashes it effectively means I’ve lost a further $518.60 chasing the pipe dream.

So to summarize I’ve spent a total of $3,138.30 in buy-in’s this month across all games.

MTT’s : -$1,157.70
SnG’s : -$373.80
SAT’s : T$341.40 (re-invested back into 4x Sunday Millions) -$518.60
TOTAL : -$2,050.10

I have also continued to put some hours in online for Coral. Due to my decision not to play cash for this month I elected to play some SnG’s and try to recover some of my loses from January. I’ve played the $5 30 player SnG’s exclusively and I’ve not done to bad. I’m showing a small loss of $55 which considering the volume I’ve put in isn’t too bad really. The 30 player SnG’s is a format I’m not particularly familiar with and takes a slightly different approach to a 180 player SnG’s for obvious reasons. I’m pretty confident I can profit at this level and hope to show a +ROI for my March review. I’m totally used with the software now and I’m finding it really easy to use. There are some mega fish on the site and the good players tend to be a lot tighter than the average PokerStars grinder. I think there’s massive potential to make good money on Coral. I just need to be disciplined and patient whilst I move up the stakes.

So all told a pretty terrible month. In fact my worst month ever online. I had a stop loss of $2,000 for the month and as you can see I got there. I don’t mind to much though. I took a few big shots and loved it. As I’ve said before I don’t rely on the income I generate from online poker so I’m happy to take little shots from time to time at a big score. So I guess it’s back to reality for March. With January and February both being negative months for me I have decided to get back to what I know for March and start grinding the 180 player SnG’s again. I may take the odd shot at some MTT’s but my primary objective for March is to get some high volume in with the 180 player SnG’s. I’m a proven winner in these games and need to restore some monies back into my roll. I’ve noticed that the NPF are running the $500-$1,500 challenge again this month. For those that don’t know I was part of the first group that done this challenge last October and it was a lot of fun. I returned a profit but did not reach the $1,500 target. Inspired by the new group for March I will also attempt to make $1,000 in March in SnG’s. Obviously I won’t be under the same guidelines in terms of BRM etc but I want to give this a shot and try to recover some of my loses for 2010. I’ll be happy if I grind $1,500 profit over the next two months which I think I’m well capable of. Assuming I do I’ll most probably try this MTT spin up again in May.

As always thanks for reading and feel free to comment.


  1. Hey Mark

    Sorry i was so late in getting back to your request to link our blogs on eachothers site, have done that today now. That sorta month you experienced there is sort of why you need to be heavily rolled when playing multis. I have had trouble with this myself and got virtually broke.

    Playing small time sngs now and am hopefully on the road to recovery but i am only ever tackling mtts when i can play with a redic amount of buy ins available in the bank.

    Also hard to mix different forms of poker because say you could make £150 from three hours work on playing cash at 0.5/1 and that wud be pretty good. But then you cud spunk that by playing 20 multis the same day and only min cashing in a couple, leaving you down altogether. This would frustrate you and you would probably play worse in all forms of poker u play, well that is what happens with me anyway!

    Hope it picks up for you, because i honestly know what you are going through. That big win should only be around the corner!


  2. mark, this kq4eva here from the forum.

    nice honest and interesting write up, sorry u had a tough month. I like a few others agree about mixed play, especially mixing cash and mtt, because they play so differently. Its not best formula, however I dont think theres too much wrong with mixing sng and mtt, particularly as mostly the sngs are a condensed version of the mtt anyway, and as u know i favour taking some shots too.

    Mark I see ur doing a consolidation month or two on your bread and butter, and think thats right for rebuilding, plus helps with confidence etc. I think I may rail from time to time too, hope u wld welcome that also.

    My plans for March are similar to your own - I am aiming to play 1000 + sngs at low buyins, 9 man turbos mainly at low stakes $5-$15 ISH. I am hoping for 15%+ roi - which is challenging but achievable I feel. I hope to also make goldstar this month, and to finish top 10 in 1 of the weekly sng leaderboards too. if I achieve above, including clearing some first deposit bonus I hope to be in the $1500 plus region for the month. I will do some small mtt shot taking too, but this will never be above my profit level and only when I feel at my best mentally also. Hope u achieve ur goals, and we can maybe spur each other on.

    kidsng on stars Mark. sngkid on tilt and 888, but will be concentrating on stars for most of the time at moment.


  3. Hey guys, thanks for the comments.

    Ant : Yeah i mean I kinda knew what to expect when I took this approach. So back to the grind and the MTT bink will have to wait until the summer
    Andy : Yo matey, yeah of course, no probs railing each other. I've not been online much in March, been trying to shake my bad run out of my system before I start grinding the mirco's again. Will be back on tonight though so check me out and I'll do the same. P0K3RBRAT if you didn't already know. GLGL


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