jay_beckner

I play poker and trade options, seeking edges from study, reflection and analytics.

Quarterly Report

Quarterly Report

For the period ending December 31, 2016

On December 8th, we lost the greatest lady I've ever known, my grandmother (Meem), Clara Estelle Ramsey DeWilde. My mom would say the same - she was in the room with me, my brother Kyle and my aunt Judi when Meem left to see Big Pete, The Duchess and others who went before.

Recently, Meem said to me, "I know what you're doing... and what you're not doing." She was proud of her #1 grandson, and he loved her very much, but I know she wanted more for/from me. To make her happier, I could have attended church more and settled back into a "normal working life" after tough work/life breaks and entrepreneurial stubbornness sent me down this path. Perhaps I'll fulfill her wishes yet, but sometimes life isn't about our choices but its own inertia, fate's whim or destiny.

When times are tough, we must stay positive, make our habits healthy and keep learning (partially to foster awareness of our relative skill). Especially when ambition exceeds available capital.

Highlighting the last statement is the status line featured on my redesigned home page (clear your browser's cache, refresh the page and re-bookmark).

'17 Poker $688 Roll <1k ··· Trading ($343) Capital <1k

This info helps you stay engaged, at a glance, with my poker and trading activity. It reads, in 2017 my earnings from poker are currently six-hundred and eighty-eight dollars, and I'm working with a bankroll of less than one thousand dollars. My trading profits equal a loss of three hundred and forty-three dollars with less than one thousand dollars of available capital. More on my personal finance and bankroll goals in the Poker 2017 post.

While my poker results would benefit from having a legitimate bankroll (this year's primary goal), last quarter's trading log says it's good that my capital level is low. But, I'll be a better trader in the future for the experience.

Trading Results

During the quarter, I made 13 trades and gave back 90.3% of my capital; I found out I'm not superhuman. I simply didn't have enough energy to play poker, write, exercise, travel, live life and trade well.

As I ramp up my self-education about options trading, I see a long runway of learning ahead. A rookie mistake trading debit spreads early in the quarter took 25% of my account, and it was downhill from there. My trade triggers were failing (i.e. my strategy didn't match the current market environment), and my activity accelerated  a sure-fire path downward.

On average, I initiated a new position once every 4 days (vs 11.8 in the prior quarter) with options expiring in 12.4 days (vs 21) and stayed in each trade 2.4 days (vs 5.4). My average holding time compressed, and I got crushed over-trading the erratic, election-sensitive markets.

Trade history on optionshouse.

Trade history on optionshouse.

I did not take advantage of the great performance I enjoyed in the July through September quarter, and I lost sight of the lofty performance goals set mid last year.

My account’s daily closing value with the change amount below.

My account’s daily closing value with the change amount below.

I need to focus on creating a stable financial foundation for living life, so I'm shifting my focus from the 3-to-7 challenge to more practical near-term objectives. I hope to dream big again soon...

Poker Results

Poker was a different story.  --inverse psychological correlation?--  My volume was all live cash games, mostly at Horseshoe Southern Indiana (HSI) with some Jack Cincinnati and Las Vegas mixed in. All but two of my 41 sessions were at one dollar/two dollar stakes playing no-limit hold'em. I played one session of 2/5 NL at Jack and 1/3 NL at Encore.

I hadn't played at HSI since early February 2016. The return sparked some run-good in the cards and promos. However, both have slowed since mid-December.

Shown in the quarterly performance card below, I put in 155 hours on the felt and earned $5,622 profit, $36.39/hr. With my focus shifting from hours played and profit/hr to sessions played and profit/session, I was heartened by the $137/session profit. Red Chip Poker pro, Doug Hull, won $88/session to earn $12k at 1/2 NL in Las Vegas. Relative to that benchmark, the quarter's poker results were great!

Poker performance in 2016's last 3 months.

Poker performance in 2016's last 3 months.

Winning 73% of sessions played (vs 53% in the prior quarter) helped make this a lower-stress run.

Live poker session results with trendline.

Live poker session results with trendline.

Other stats: $286 standard deviation (vs $277), $270 average win (vs $343), $225 average loss (vs $142)

Other games: ($50) in two online PLO sessions


I took a lot of notes in the last few months - things to write about in this report. Including everything would have made this into a novella.

What I didn't include above:

  • Too hard on myself in last report with respect to "searching" and low-value activity? The mental game wasn't there, but a lot of the time/effort expanded my knowledge and improved my skills
  • Blowing up the MACD indicator with Excel
  • Using market/sector/peer context and "three chart interval approach" for better trade triggers
  • Trade thoughts - jumping in and out of timeframes/strategies/tickers -- trade consistent timeframes (especially for directional plays) -- maintain pace -- maintain patience -- enter exit orders on opening trade day and stick to them unless after-hours price dislocation occurs -- 500 to 1M is really tough in the beginning as there isn't much to do, and your trades are super high risk for little nominal reward
  • Charting - back to Tradingview as optionshouse charting not good enough for detail trend/pattern/levels work, but it will work for timing/trading
  • Reading - How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market, The Poker Face of Wall Street
  • Podcasts - Thinking Poker, Full Contact Poker, Two Plus Two Pokercast, Red Chip Poker, CNBC's Fast Money, Mad Money w/Jim Cramer, The Must Follow Podcast, The Option Alpha Podcast, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Science of Success, The Tim Ferriss Show
  • Life scheduling - health, markets, poker
  • Restructuring trade tagging to simpler, more professional Bullish or Bearish, Moderately (bias) and Neutral
  • Plans to grow the blog/readership

I might get to some of this next quarter, but I would rather post more frequently instead of trying to cram too much into these periodic updates.

The "Not So and Sos"

The "Not So and Sos"

Bernie's Day is Coming

Bernie's Day is Coming