Ask RizenAug 18, 2009 – 04:08AM
I'm a bit late on the 'Ask Rizen' this week obviously (or a bit early I guess, depending on how you look at it). I've been fairly busy with things over at Lock Poker and FTOPS. We also got a new puppy at the house for my kids, and it's been fun, but is taking some time out of my day. I've been managing to hit the gym pretty regularly as well, which has felt nice. I only got a chance to play in 8 of the 25 FTOPS events. I cashed in 2, neither a super significant cash. I collected one pro bounty as well, which made me right around break even for the series. I bubbled both the NLHE and PLO heads up events, which always feels brutal. I really hate losing the first round in a heads up tournament, but at least then it doesn't use up quite as much time! In the 4 other events I never really got anything going. Here are a couple of questions for an abbreviated ask rizen. I'll do a full slate this Friday.
Q: I've been reading and re-reading all the relevant poker books, played 200,000 hands at least and analyzed my play afterwards. Still, I don't seem to advance at all and running break even for a year. I play online at the 25NL-cash and $5 SnG's so it's hard to blame it on bad luck, because the level of play is so low at these stakes.
I tried to figure it out and come to the conclusion I'm fine when I can analyze a hand for a few minutes, but at the tables I feel like I don't have enough time to find out the best play. My brain is just too slow I guess. Do you think there's a way to work on this, or is it only possible to become a good poker player if you're able to make fast and correct decisions?
A: Most people if they tell me they're running break even over that sort of sample size I would tell them to drop down, but I'm not sure how much softer the games are going to get if you drop to 10NL-cash and $2 SnGs. Without knowing more about your play it's hard to say if you're playing poorly or not, but based on your self assessment this could be right. Without knowing how many tables you currently play, I would honestly drop down to a single table and try and stay really focused and make good decisions. I'd slowly add more tables once I was able to play enough hands to get a feel on if my results were improving. I know as I was learning to play going from 1 table to 2 was a tremendous hurdle and going from 2 to 4 seemed nearly impossible at the time.
If you're already playing 1 table and struggling with timing and decisions, I'm not really sure what to say. Live poker obviously would allow you more time to think out your decisions, but if you're needing the full time and time bank to make these decisions one tabling you probably need to do some more work away from the table mastering the concepts so they come a little more automatically at the table.
Q: Generic question about the release of Volume II of the book here.
A: I've gotten probably a dozen of these questions. Quite honestly at this point I don't know. I should have a firm release date in the next few weeks and when I do I'll share. There were some unexpected delays in finishing the second book that I can't really go into here. I think it's going to be a great book and I do share in the disappointment that we haven't been able to get it out sooner. Once I have a firmer release date I promise to let everyone know, but at this point anything I post would be speculation or guesswork. I would be extremely disappointed and surprised if it slipped all the way out of 2009 though and anticipate it to be out well before then.