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The Downside of Variance

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About a year and a half ago I was forced to start playing more 6max and ring and 3 handed etc.. due to heads up games drying up and my stubbornness of not learning PLO.

When I started off there was a lot of things I had to learn again. I hadn't played 6 max since 2009 and when I started playing again it was clear the game had changed a bit and a lot of players had gotten better. A lot of the good action dried up because a lot of fish were switching to No Limit.

So I would play and learn from my mistakes but there were still some major errors I was making so I did some studying and got some coaching.

2011 I started off on fire in heads up and in 6 max. I was playing mostly 10-20 thru 30-60 but I was crushing the games. Looking back on it now I would guess I was running at LEAST +3 BB 100 maybe 4 over a 30k sample.

It seemed really easy at the time. The players in the game were tough and there were usually 1 or 2 fish but I always knew where I was at and I was just coasting racking up some very good profits.

Then after chilling for a few months I got back to it in the fall. I was slightly losing in those games and these were the best games I had ever played in. But after a decent layoff I was making some major mistakes and most of them were preflop from the blinds. I corrected those mistakes and after a few months of breaking even I got some run good and racked up about 25k straight in wins to end stake 1 and crushed about 30k on other sites at the same time.

I was feeling really good about everything and then I just couldn't win like EVER. At times I would review sessions and see a few mistakes I made. I would get advice from others and retool things if I saw some slight errors. But since that uptick I haven't won a lick in 6 max or ring on Merge. Fortunately for rakeback I am not getting destroyed.

It all started after my stake ended. I lost $2600 in a 10-20 game in 3 hours. I just sat here laughing at all of the hands as they went down. I grinded out for a good 2.5 months after that just waiting for this stretch to break but it hasn't. I have given back 20k in profits. That's just the variance of 6 max. Overall lifetime I am a winner in these games but right now I can't get a streak where I win a good sum consistently.

Part of it is running bad and part of it is playing a lot of 3 and 4 way pots. They usually all go to the river and some of the players are so bad you don't know what to put them on. When you hit the nuts you get paid big but hands like TPTK or similar in 4 way pots get cracked rather easily and I am def not winning my share of those right now. I

Of course you want to be in the softest games possible but sometimes too many fish calling and calling can fuck you up bad both roll wise and mentally. I am not going to say I prefer playing against tougher lineups but I have more consistency in tougher lineups as the swings just aren't as crazy it seems.

I have actually backed off the 6 max games A LOT lately and stuck to just playing heads up after getting drilled for 7k out of the gate on a stake I am running. But only 3k of that 7 was from 6 max but out of that 3k I lost I had some terrible luck.

When I am playing heads up I usually destroy 80 % of the players that sit with me. 10 % that leave I probably would have hacked them up like a butcher if they stayed. The other 10 % I usually will quit cause I don't like the match.

Now I would be crushing if I just played Heads up EVEN with the games dying out there is enough action for me to make a steady living. But I keep going back to the 6 and 10 max thinking and knowing this is going end sooner or later and I will have that breakthrough up tick. But it hasn't happened.

Yesterday I thought I was going to have that explosion and it looked like it for a while and I actually won for the day but not near what I should have. 3 hands out of 5 I had 15+ outs with flush cards and over cards and some straight draws and lost all 3 and lost to some shit hand. Me in SB vs GUY in BB who has got the better of me in these battles over the past 6 months and he folds preflop to one raise and folds flop on next one. Then I pick up QQ vs him and we get it capped pre flop xxx rainbow with some action, turn with some action and he has AA this time. KK tonight I raise UTG 3 bet by AJ I cap flop 10 8 x I bet he calls. turn and river was 7 or 9 don't remember the order and I check call river. Then get 77 vs 99 and I flop 752 and he nails river 9 and gets off a cr. it seems just about every time I raise with like 10 10 or JJ from MP or cutoff in 6 max some monkey either 3 bets or flat calls from the sb with with a5 off and binks an ace on the flop or turn or river.

So every hand it seems I am getting hit with a nuke missile. And these swings can take their toll on you mentally. Especially a guy like me who is used to just watching his graph shoot off like a rocket playing heads up. I was talking to a buddy and he said it's just variance. And of course it is, I know that and it is frustrating. Sooner or later it will end but for now I am just getting beat like a rag doll. Another thing he said was look back at your history including this stretch. Are you a winner overall in these games and my answer was yes. I'm just hitting a really bad cycle of bad luck right now and it will end at some point.

So I have decided no more 6 max or ring for a while. Even if I look at games and it looks like a good spot I am going to back off completely till I get my roll where it needs to be. I am getting enough heads up action as it is and I have won a good amount over the past week but have given a little back in the other games that have higher variance.

I am still going to open games and may play a little 3 handed if it is a really good spot but my #1 goal right now is to get my 10k stake roll back to 10k and heads up will be the easiest with the least variance.
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