Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

On Losing Money, Running Bad, Steaming, Etc

I think this topic deserves it's own post, though I guess it really doesn't much matter since I really doubt that I have much (if anything) in the way of readership. I think my blog could be one big long run-on post (or ever run-on sentence) and no one would really care. And, let's face it...poker blogs are boring, so it's not like I would blame anyone for not reading. Anyway, on to my post.

I believe that my two biggest problems in poker are focus and tilt. Focus is simple, I don't focus on the game or table I'm on enough and hence make mistakes. I find it nearly impossible to one-table online and even when I'm multi-tabling I still usually have internet windows open to FCP and other stuff. I also have trouble focusing on any one form of poker and that hurts my overall mastery of the game. Anyhow, I know that's a problem, but I'm not really planning on addressing it in this post, so we'll just gloss over it and say it's something I need to work on.

The real thing that I want to talk about in this post is TILT. That 4-letter word that seems to effect everyone who plays poker, whether they want to admit to it or not. Here's the thing...I'm very competitive, intensely competitive. It's part of what drew me to poker and made me want to get good at it. It's also the single biggest weakness I have. See, losing money doesn't really effect me that much. I've learned to divorce myself from the concept of the money in my bankroll being actual dollars. If I drop a couple hundred, I don't think of it in terms of what I could have bought with that money, I think of it in terms of the hit I just took to my bankroll. In fact, my bankroll could probably be all play money and I'd still hate losing and I'd still be in there playing to win.

My big problem in all of this though is that I take losing way to personally and it really HURTS me to lose. When I take a bad beat, I'm in pain, when a player sucks out on me I take it personally. When I start running bad, I start getting pissed off. Then, I make "fuck you" raises in places that I shouldn't, I try to wrestle pots away from people in spots where I shouldn't. I try too hard to MAKE something happen. I try too hard to win in spots where I can't. One of the big things that I feel like I've been doing wrong the last few months is trying to win every pot that I play, especially when I come in with a strong starting hand. I'll raise pre-flop with AK or AQ and get several callers, the flop will completely miss me, and I'll still continuation bet, then I'll miss the turn and still bet into 2 people who called the flop. This is flat out spewage, but I feel that it's MY pot and I deserve to win it because I started with the best hand.

The big downswing that I took at 3/6 and 2/4 SHLHE which caused me to doubt whether I'm a winning player at SHLHE killed my poker confidence, not because I lost like $2k in two months (which is a ton of money for me), but because I wasn't winning. Because I lost. The money wasn't the important part, the important part is that I have a pokertracker database of about 20k hands that shows me as a loser in SHLHE. Now, it's still possible that I was just running bad for a significant portion of the hands and that I'm capable of beating the game over the very long term playing the same game I was playing. 20k hands in shorthanded isn't exactly a tremendously large sample size, however my bankroll and my confidence were devastated and I don't think I've fully recovered yet. Again, I can't stress enough that the dollar aspect of it meant virtually.

So, how do I defeat this? How do I stop tilting when I start losing, stop trying to win every pot I play, stop taking poker so personally? I'm not really sure. For one thing, I probably need a confidence boost. If I can get around to it I'll probably PM my SHLHE stats to some of the known winners on FCP and see if they notice anything too out of the ordinary. The main thing though I think is recognition. I need to realize that I have this problem and stop myself when I start steaming and playing bad. I need to realize that beats happen and without them there wouldn't be any money in poker anyway. I need to get in a ton of hands and start winning again. Knowing is half the battle and now that I've identified this problem I need to start trying to identify it while I'm playing and take steps to stop it. If I find myself doing it and not caring I need to just quit. Otherwise I'll never get over the hump and become a big time winner, I'll always just be a micro-limit superstart who couldn't get into the big time.

4 Comments:

  • At 4:50 AM, Blogger Don said…

    Just for the record, I read your blog religiously and actually do enjoy it. Thought you should know....



    ---doublemeup---

     
  • At 6:13 AM, Blogger TheCinciKid said…

    Glad to know I have at least one reader. I'll put a link to your blog on here if you explain to me how to do so.

    -Cinci

     
  • At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey donkhead. I read your blog too. It's good to know that someones sucks more than me!

    Tre.

     
  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Keep up the posting! We love it here in Canada.

     

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