Massey - Variance and Run Bad - 30 Days in the Hole

Aaron Massey1st blog of the new year…. Unfortunately I have nothing good to report. I wrapped up 2011 with a blog that featured my highlights from the year and my passion for the game. I talked about the things I wanted to accomplish this year, listed specific goals, and even made promises to work hard and win. Fueled with optimism, I was eager to get back to the table and start the year right. I was ready to play a tourney everyday and crush it just like I did in 2011. I knew I was gonna get off to a fast start.

(Clears Throat)

Not so much. I went to LA and played the WSOPC at the Bike. I think I played 11 events; I came within 10 places of the money 6 of those times and did not cash once. I got 20th place in the $1080 event that paid 18, after losing AK to A8 on what was basically the stone bubble, and having the guy fist pump in my face after binking a lucky 8. I also bricked the Main Event twice. It was really hard to deal with bc I knew I was playing well and doing everything in my power (which isn’t much in poker in the short term) to win. I put myself in a position to go deep several times but the deck never cooperated with me. It was arguably the worst I have ever run in a 2 week span. Me and my friend Eli rented a car (Mustang convertible- Omar if you are reading this…) and stayed at White Brian’s condo in Venice Beach for a few days. Then we flew to Atlantic City for the Borgota Winter Open, so I could get back to winning. I knew my days of running bad were over.

Not so much. Another 11 tournaments, another 5 finishes within 10 places of the money, which included a stone bubble in the $1090 event (sound familiar?). I went out in 28th place when my KK lost to AA on the bubble while play was hand for hand, in a hand that took 7 minutes bc the third guy in the hand eventually folded QQ, with the entire tournament surrounding our table to see if they will make the money or not, add another 30-40 spectators and the fact we all had stacks, it equals one of the most tilting bustouts I have ever gone thru. I shook his hand and said good game then walked away to let the other 27 players enjoy their money in peace. The one positive thing was that none of the players celebrated when I busted and none of the spectators on the rail made any noise either, out of respect for me as a player. Usually all these mops cheer, hoot and holler when the money bubble bursts. Not this time though, so I appreciated that, but it still really stung. I kept fighting and playing well the subsequent days but was rudely met by a couple of 3 outers, a rivered straight, and half a dozen lost coin flips in a row. Oh wait, I did miss a nut flush draw in the 2k bounty tourney so that one is on me. I played day 1A of the Main Event today. A $3500 which is over 4x my average buyin, I really needed to do well…but, I got it in KK vs AA, 15 minutes into the tournament to bust. I have been beating myself up all day bc I know I should have folded. I am really hard on myself though, it is kings to aces after all so whatever. Still, it’s just demoralizing.

So that is my wrap up of my abysmal start to 2012. Dating back to December, I have played in almost 30 straight tournaments without cashing. 30. This number is far more outrageous than the $26k downswing I am currently on. It has been a tough stretch for me. I’m putting so much in and getting nothing out. Every time I play I am better than I was the previous day, I’m doing everything IN MY POWER to win, to improve and work hard and do what it takes. That’s all I can do. Unfortunately, the aspects in poker that are out of my control are, for the most part, the direct result in me going 0 for my last 30 tournaments. And that’s poker.


I have been acting like a baby, complaining about all my beats and everything, feeling sorry for myself, etc. I can’t let this game break me like it has broken so many. I have to be more resilient, bc for the first time in my career I’m cracking a little bit. I mean, in my defense, it has been absolutely disgusting the ways I have been getting popped for the last 2 months. .. But it is what it is. Live tournaments are exhausting, if it was online I wouldn’t blink twice after busting 30 tournaments bc I would play 30 more within 24 hrs. These 9,10,12,14 hrs days with no reward can break you. I can’t let it break me. It’s just variance. Volume and skill will trump variance. I will keep playing. I am gonna keep my foot on the gas and head to the next city (Tunica) and do it all over again. But honestly 30 tournaments! Is that even real? Ugh.

I currently have a dilemma… I can re-enter into the main event again one last time. It will cost me another $3500 but I’ll have one last shot at the huge payday. From a bankroll perspective, if I was to buyin again, I will be in this tourney for $7000 when my avg buyin is like $800. It’s a lot of risk so it’s something I’ve got to consider. I could also definitely use a few days off before Tunica so I can rest if I don’t play. But if I do play, and I continue to play well like I have been, I could win $400,000+. I am literally going to go to sleep and see how I feel in the morning. Hopefully this blog goes up in the morning so it applies in real time. Hopefully I make the right decision. We will see.