Monday, October 19, 2009

Measuring Up

One way of measuring timeSpent a good part of Saturday morning recording and mixing a new episode of The Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show. Then yesterday I put in another hour or two on it and uploaded the sucker. That’s when I found I’d skipped a step which resulted in an extra layer of fuzz, making the show not so listenable. So I’m gonna remix today and hopefully get Episode 19 out there tonight.

Part of the reason for the hiccup stemmed from the fact that I recorded the show using a new desktop computer, and so the usual routine for creating shows had been disrupted slightly. (That’s also my excuse for the long gap since the last show.)

A few weeks ago Vera and I decided to convert the mostly-unused guest bedroom into a second office. We took a trip to the Ikea to pick up a desk, chair, and bookshelves, then got myself a new computer as well. In the end, it didn’t really take much cabbage at all to furnish the new writing space. Well worth it, I’d say, making it much easier to be more productive.

Have also loaded PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Bodog on this here new computer, though as I was saying last week I’m almost exclusively playing on Stars these days. Likewise reinstalled PokerTracker Omaha on this one and have started the process of moving all of my hand histories over. At the moment, I have only put in the last few months’ worth to go along with the new hands I’ve played.

In the past, I mainly have used PokerTracker just to help keep track of my own play -- e.g., to review my overall stats, or occasionally to look back over a session. Every once in a while I’ll look up a particular, frequently-encountered opponent to try to get a better picture of his or her playing style and/or results. But really I haven’t utilized the program as much as I could.

One stat I have become a little intrigued by here lately is the “True Hourly Win Rate” which takes into account multitabling and produces an actual amount per hour of sitting there with mouse in hand. The program tells me that (over the last few months, at least) I generally average right at 1.5 tables at a time, which sounds right as sometimes I just play one table and sometimes two (and only now and then three). As you might imagine, my true hourly win rate while playing one or two tables of PLO25 is quite modest, although I’m happy enough with the figure being reported there.

Looking at a statistic like that, though -- an unambiguous dollar amount representing to the penny how one has spent one’s time -- has an interesting effect. One starts to think about one’s “true hourly win rate” in other areas of one’s life. What was my true hourly win rate when writing that article last week? What about my “real” job -- how much am I making per hour there? And what about the hours I put in creating that episode of the podcast? What was my true hourly win rate there?

I imagine this is how a lawyer tends to think, or anyone with a “billable hours”-type job whereby at any given moment one either is charging for one’s time or is not. Not unlike a professional poker player. You know, someone for whom time really is, well, money.

So much win!Like I say, I’m happy with my true hourly win rate while playing online poker. And I suppose I’m okay with it in other areas of my life, too, although I’ve become increasingly convinced I could probably earn as much or more doing something other than the “real” job.

Of course, there are many other ways to measure one’s “true hourly win rate” than by dollars and cents. Which is why we do what seem to be unproductive things like record podcasts. Or write blog posts. Or read them.

By the way, thanks again for spending another few minutes of your time here. I hope having done so helps increase your overall true hourly win rate, however you measure it.

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