For the period ending September 30, 2016
This is the first of my quarterly reports that will update readers on the last three months’ results and more. Since my goals were set during the 3rd calendar quarter of 2016, I will start with a YTD summary.
I started 2016 optimistically, setting poker goals and thinking about wintering in Florida where the game is flourishing. I spent a week in January checking out Seminole Hard Rock Tampa after a trip to Daytona (Kennel Club & Poker Room) a month earlier. The games were great in both places, but I didn’t make a season of it for several reasons (bankroll and housing would top that list).
Back in Louisville, KY, I spent the next two months playing online cash games. Focusing on Bovada’s “fast fold” game, Zone Poker, and experimenting with hand ranges and homegrown performance analytics, I turned a small deposit into $2,000 playing 25NL. I took $500 for my time and looked to move up in stakes, but it never happened - blog post forthcoming.
In April, I started playing more live poker and applying for jobs (again). My poker results were: $17.72/hr * 81 hours or $1,435 in 12 sessions of 1/2 NL at Horseshoe Cincinnati. A mid-May, 3-session, $477 loss ended my live play until July. No job interviews.
The day after my last Cinci trip, I decided to change things up and give online multi-table tournaments (MTTs) another try. In The Course (2015), Ed Miller says, “While all online play is today more cutthroat than live play, online tournaments tend to be a more forgiving, and potentially more profitable, venue than cash games as more recreational players dip into online tournament pools.” During the next couple months, I played 129 tournaments with a 48.3% ROI ($630 profit / $1,305 invested). It was a good result, consistent with Ed’s assertion, but I spent most evenings looking for my next breakthrough following an early $900 score.
During that time, I spent days watching the market more seriously and taking another unsuccessful (i.e. a $1,490.91 loss in 30 days) shot at trading.
“Wait,” you say. “You’re traveling, not traveling, playing online poker, then live, sending job apps, tournaments, trading…”
Clearly, I’ve done a lot of searching in 2016. Last year looked similar too.
By early July, I was nearing a $200 bonus for giving my 50th Lyft ride - with that milestone, I found bottom - yes, blog post forthcoming. Grinding out what felt like a meager, frustrating, going-nowhere living at poker was relatively profitable, palatable and bright. No comparison. But, I didn’t get back to the felt for a few weeks.
On July 12th, I traveled to Vancouver BC for a wedding. Maybe it was the dewy sweet Pacific Northwestern air, meeting new and successful people or helping my close friend move his life forward in a positively beautiful fashion - maybe the trip coincided with a critical point in my personal evolution, but something clicked around this time.
I started thinking more critically about things like time maximization, timing and variance, resilience, competitive drive, achievement, my personal timeline and the Herculean challenge of "getting off zero." What might it mean to others if I find material success, starting with rags, in the egalitarian pursuits of trading and poker? What would it mean to me?
I returned to Louisville on the 18th and brought my $9.09 trading account up to $500 with another deposit. Nursing ideas about a trading framework and goals, I made my first trade on July 25th. On the 27th, with a rush of inspiration, I outlined the book I hope to write and started planning a personal website and blog (launched 23 days later).
Now, with my professional efforts aligned with purpose (check out my first few blog posts), I work every day to maximize my productive energy: during the quarter, I played only the highest expected value (EV) poker, designed and launched https://xdaystogo.com, thought about and wrote content for the site and traded very well.
I traded for about two months, made five trades and earned a 665.2% return.
During the quarter, on average, I initiated a new position once every 11.8 days with options expiring in 21 days and stayed in each trade 5.4 days.
Starting with such a small balance, I had to take on a tremendous amount of position sizing risk. The first two trades were for nearly all available cash, and the combined returns doubled my account. Similar sizing in trade #004 caused me to miss a big move when market volatility spiked. The TWTR trade was my smallest sizing, but it certainly made the quarter.
Over the last three months, nearly all volume was at Jack Cincinnati Casino (formerly Horseshoe Cincinnati) playing 1/2 NL hold’em. Commuting from Louisville, I put in 139.5 hours over 25 sessions and earned a $3,233 profit, $23.18/hr.
Other stats: $129.32 average profit per session, $277.09 standard deviation, $342.71 average win, ($142.27) average loss, 14 sessions up (56%), 11 sessions down (44%)
Other games: ($83.60) in online MTTs, ($176.65) in online cash games and one limit hold’em session