As you can see from the chart, things haven't been going very well in this challenge. February was a brutal month.
The only impressive thing about the chart is that I figured out a way to color it so that I can indicate where different blog updates were. The first set of sessions is covered in the first update, second set in red in the second update, 3rd set in blue 3rd update etc.
When I posted my last update my bankroll was up to $514.60. My low point for February was when my bankroll sunk to $371, a loss of $143.60 or around 26 buy-ins!
I also failed to meet my first goal of reaching $1,000 by the end of February. At the end of the month, instead of adding $500 to my challenge bankroll I was down around $100.
On the plus side, the new changes to PokerStars VIP Program helped bring in a couple hundred bucks in bonuses for the year.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems for me was tilt. When I was running bad I started playing bad. I also tried some different styles that weren't very effective for me.
After getting confirmation about the last set of poker cheats at the double or nothing sngs I was hoping maybe there was a run of these types which explained my misfortune and I'd be getting an email from PokerStars telling me my account was reimbursed because of it. That wasn't the case. Even in the 3-4 times I was in games with colluders I didn't get anything back because I won those games. Not a bad situation to be in but it means I really needed to look at my mistakes.
I took some time away from the tables and really analyzed my game to see what I was doing poorly and what I was doing right. One of the first things I did was purchase Holdem Manager so I can have a nice tool to review my previous games and analyze my stats.
I'm very impressed with Holdem Manager. Using its reports and filters I was able to go through different situations and see how I performed. It helped change how I play some hands as well as reinforce my strategy in some areas. A lot of times I was doing the right thing but getting unlucky many times. The number of times I got it all-in with a huge lead and lost was just sick. I busted out of 4 games in a row losing 80/20 situations. But those things happen and I need to not let them throw me off my game.
Having a heads up display (HUD) has also helped me out. At first it threw me off a little. Based on a players VP$IP and PFR I might have put them on a wider range and pulled some moves I probably shouldn't have. Or maybe I just chose the wrong spots. After more use and customizing a HUD that works for me in the DoNs things got better. Having a HUD is not a substitute for paying attention to the players at your table but it can really help enhance your reads when used properly.
Even though Holdem Manager is very powerful, it was lacking the functionality run the type of analysis I really needed. I sent my suggestions to their support staff and it seems they were already discussing those very items and hopefully they'll be in a new release.
I didn't let that stop me though. Holdem Manager uses PostgreSQL as it's back-end database. I am very familiar with databases and this one in particular so I went to work running queries, creating spreadsheets and making charts outside of Holdem Manager. That's what I think really helped me the most.
Around session 484 was when I came back to the games and you can see from the chart that it seemed to pay off.