You must do the things you think you cannot do.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Icarus, But With Redemption

(Note: I got a copy of Tim Sykes' Pennystocking DVD and am in the process of taking notes for a review/criticism while finishing the DVD. More market and trading articles will also get posted as I hope to have my futures account setup after Thanksgiving. I'm going to keep the poker posts to a minimum--maybe once or twice a week--,although I will continue to update the chart to the right. I have a small position in USDJPY, but am reconsidering as its continues to gradually fall amongst a dollar struggling to find support.)

My bankroll has made it to $9.91, which looks great on a daily line graph. However, I want to mention something that would only show up on a candlestick or an interday chart.

Yesterday, I jumped onto my account and saw four good tables. I thought I could make some serious cash in no time by playing all four at once, without warm-up. Unfortunately, I realized too late (and my ego held on after I intellectually discovered my flaw) that I could not handle the same mental player profiling (aside: while your cards to affect the game, you must also play with your opponents' psychology).

After twenty minutes I had already made too many mistakes, including playing a queen high thinking I had a straight. Garbage on my part, which I only exacerbated by refusing to acknowledge the problem. Instead, I allowed my frustration to take over and turn to anger and further disrupt my game. By the end of the first hour or so I was down to 7.00; which eventually dipped somewhat lower before I managed to close two of the tables and work my way back up.

Lesson is twofold: if you want to make money, don't overwhelm yourself; and, if you want to build a bankroll, you're going to have to "grind" it out. Boring rules, but rules that must be followed to reduce risk.

(PS: I love this painting of Icarus falling into the ocean. He is not giving much attention--he's near the boat to the bottom right. I know it's pretty common in language art texts, but I still enjoy the perspective change.)


  1. “if you want to build a bankroll, you're going to have to "grind" it out.”

    Nice commentary. There’s no free lunch! (but if you’re really good, you might get a complimentary muffin :P).

  2. And the award for 'Most Intriguing Title on a Trading Blog' goes to ... ANON :-)

    I assume you are playing cash games, not tournaments? Either way you have highlighted one of the key differences between trading and poker, "scalability" i.e. try doubling your bankroll at $50/$100.

  3. mvw, thanks for extracting the crucial information! Sometimes it gets caught up in all these things called words. (Hope you're enjoying your muffin!)

    L&W, yeah, I'm playing _limit_ cash games for the moment. Eventually I'll spread out, but it is too risky right now. Scalability is definitely an issue, although I have a friend who made 50 grand (starting with ~500) last year playing online tournaments outside of a fulltime job.

    But the games definitely get tougher as you move up because dollars aren't thrown around as easily as cents. You also have to deal with the fulltimers.