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Variance

Posted by Prabhat Mukherjea on 2012-05-11 at 12:00 AM

Many people call their run-bad “variance” and spend all their time looking to reduce variance, spare their tournament life and generally spend their life seeking the promised land of the better spot. Variance isn’t all bad though. I am afraid I might have bored people with all my talk of run-bad in the last month; that was variance, but so is the fact that I am suddenly running super hot at the moment and that kind of variance is the reason MTT grinders do this for a living!

My bankroll on Stars was down a huge amount and as another HSMTT reg kindly pointed out to me, I was on a 10k downswing before I sat down to my last online session before the live month for May. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen and was happy to be switching to live after so long. A few hours later and a few crucial flips later I found myself deep in the Big 109 and the $22 15k Gtd (a tournament I really dislike in General). For the first time in months, I won several critical flips back to back, and my stacks became pretty big. I felt like barring one howler early on, I played really well in the Big 109 and the $22 FO as well, but I am very aware that all it would have taken was to lose one crucial flip and I would have been out. As it turned out, I didn’t and my stacks grew massive and I gradually ground out both the freezeouts playing extremely safe and patient (by my standards-most people on the forums would think I was taking maniacal risks for my tournament life). Suddenly my downswing is now the biggest upswing of my life. Yesterday at Event 1 of PGT.

I ran really hot for the first time in live tourneys. I got lots of chips in with AKss against 56 on a 356ss board and hit. I then lost A9o to AKo before winning AQ v Aj, QQ v AA vJJ, 88 v KJ v 33, and 66 v AK to take a chiplead. I then lost a flip and took one ridiculous beat to chop a pot where i was 90% favorite before resuming my run good by getting it in on a J86 board with K6 and outdrawing the J10 of the young guy who’s Aces I had sucked out on earlier…the chap seemed devastated and I do hope he runs good in the later events. The point I would take away from this is that many people would have looked for and found ways to get away from these hands and flips. That’s doing it wrong…you don’t win tournaments without winning flips, and avoiding them when you are getting the right price and right situations just hurts you in the long run. I always get funny looks from lots of people for how often I get it in bad or call seemingly light but if you never get it in behind, you are almost certainly playing too tight. The tendency to tighten up too much when running bad (which i did to my detriment last month) is very tempting, but i think its really dangerous and my advice to anyone would always be to err on the side of being too aggressive rather than too cautious in MTTs.

I am really excited about the PokerGuru Mentorship program. Learning from adi and getting to interact with a large group of dedicated players is very enjoyable and discussing things with others is the best way to become good at poker. I have already benefited a lot from listening to advice that I have gotten from adi and I don’t think its a coincidence that I have shipped my biggest scores just after getting advice from him and realizing some areas where I was spewing! I am really enjoying the experience and am loving how active the HH forums are at the moment. See you all in a while, and may you all experience positive variance.

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Prabhat Mukherjea

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