Friday, October 31, 2008

Jared's mass coaching may be the key

I really wanted to get one on one coaching with Jared Tendler, sports psychologist of stoxpoker, but it looks like that won't happen for at least a month or more.

His videos on stoxpoker however may just do the trick. His most recent videos, mostly pertaining to the actual practice of his theories, are just gold. Preparation for a session (setting goals, mental preparation etc), finishing a session, and dealing with tilt in real time. All gold.

Right now I'm scrambling to get a costume for tonight so I have yet to watch all of them with %100 of my attention span, but I'll rewatch them tomorrow, make notes, and start putting all that stuff into practice. Pretty excited to be honest. If you have a stox membership and have yet to watch them, you're missing out. If you have yet to get a stox membership, you're also missing out. I always feel like a dirty whore spamming my referral, but if you do sign up, tell them Clean (my username at stox) sent you, and I get free months. Then thank me for putting you on :)

September, here I come!

...right after I get smashed and shitfaced tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

You know what helps keep me going?

The smell of lots and lots of dirty money.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

894 hands

I take it back. Winning $300 or $400 does still feel good. $650 feels better.

I played one quick HU session a couple days ago which went well (I think I got a BI and a half off of a fish), and today after watching Stosh's new video and gaining some confidence, I played a good 850 hands and finally ran well. At first I was getting the shit kicked out of me by one fish who had position on me and just wouldn't fold. So I instamoved to the seat to his left when the player who was sitting there left, and lo and behold, it helped tremendously. Got to showdown easier, calling down his retarded 2x pot bluffs, getting full value from my good hands, etc. Position is the nuts. I'm also thinking of changing my name to UPAYMERAKE or something similar in regards to the nitty regulars. I think that's the best analogy for how easy it is to steal against them: it's like they pay you rake. Even the good 20-tablers (maybe especially) fold their big blinds like >%80 of the time, and of course that means steal with like a %90+ range. Eventually the better half of regs catch on and start to adjust, but even then it's easy to readjust and continue to run them over.

Such is poker when you run good. Or rather when you're not running bad - I swear if I could just run neutrally, not winning any massive pots but not losing any either, I'd still burn through 200nl at like 2 or 3ptbb. I mean I made $650 today with no full stacks won, and actually ran below expectation.

Some of the more interesting hands since last post:

Against a 70/25 long-term drooler. Yes he's been buddy listed.

Against an unknown. Was a little lost on the turn.

vs the same player, who turned out to be a massive fish as you probably could have guessed.

Odd line vs a nitty reg. Being deep really threw me off, really wasn't sure how to play the hand at all. After his turn bet I like just calling as he can't have anything less than 2 pair really, but otherwise it was just a weird hand.

vs the 70/25, lol

also vs the 70/25 who donked %80+ of flops.

That's it for now.

Had it not started pouring rain just a few minutes ago I was going to go play some pool with a buddy, but I just might stay in tonight and play some HU. I bought the new Brothers in Arms game the other day, so maybe I'll play some more of that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

2,875 hands

I really don't know what to say about where I'm at right now. Last month's upswing bloated my ego to the point where I thought I would be crushing 400nl and the mid stakes in no time. Now, heh, well now I'm not so sure. I'm running like shit, and while that's obviously a big part of me not winning lately, I can't help but think I'm not up to par with my game at the moment. I dunno.

Last month everything went well. When I made a marginally +EV play, I would either be shown the very bottom of my opponent's range, or I would be shown the top, but suck out anyways. Either way, I wasn't tilted by the results, and I would see the situation as slightly thin, but didn't really care because I won anyways. This month, those marginal plays (as well as the clear-cut +EV plays) are just killing me, and I can't help but think I'm doing something wrong.

I might be playing just fine, and am just hitting a rough patch, but it's killing my confidence. I think last month's success lead me to kind of expect every other day to bring me in $800, break-even days being the worst I'd see. I'm still nearly a 6ptbb/100 winner at 200nl overall, and I don't see how I can possibly be disappointed with that. It's probably just a case of lifting myself above the clouds of variance and seeing that in the long run, I'm going to beat 200nl for a solid winrate.

Tilt has obviously been a part of my break-even month so far, but it's definitely getting better. Today for example I ran into a good handful of ridiculous beats and even though I didn't keep a completely level head, I managed to stick it out with a 5 hour session and played at least my A- game. Jared's videos are helping a ton with that. Understanding what triggers your tilt, why this trigger affects you in that way, and how you can prevent or subdue the effects of the trigger. All very good solid stuff that I'll probably have to watch several times to get it completely sunk in my brain.

I've noticed that a couple more things may actually be a factor in my downswings. The first being that unless I see the fruits of my labour every so often, I kind of forget about exactly what type of money I'm dealing with. It's easy to tilt and say 'fuck this, he can't possibly have me beat yet again' and toss out another $200 to call, but really that $200 is like a new monitor. Or a divono keyboard. Or like 1/6th of a new laptop (thanks for all the help by the way!). I've been planning on getting this loveseat for a while, and although a laptop isn't necessary either, I'm getting a pretty good price by way of the $1000 gift card from the fpp store.

The other factor is something that I haven't though about for months. My bankroll. Before I took out about 3k for the sofa and other stuff, my roll was sitting at nearly 15k (now 10k). With me playing 200nl, that gives me 75 buyins. Probably the biggest, both in terms of buyins and in dollar value, that it's ever been. There's absolutely no pressure of me dropping back down. Winning $300 or $400 in a day doesn't even feel that good to me anymore. I mean winning $500 back when my roll was at 4 or 5k was huge. Now that it's more than 10k, it's more like a drop in the ocean. I considered taking shots at 400nl, but as I mentioned earlier I'm not feeling tops with my game at the moment, and definitely don't want to tilt at double my stakes, so I held that idea off for a bit. Who knows, maybe I'll take some shots in the next couple of days and see how it feels.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

4,115 hands

I think I've had one session where I legitimately tilted since my last post and it cost me. Taking a quick glance through my DB filtered since that time, the biggest pots I lost were all within a few hundred hands of each other in the same session. AK stacking 200bbs deep in a marginal spot, KK paying off a beluga raise and river shove, some other smaller pots.

Overall though I've been running well and keeping my tilt under control for the most part which is good. Doing simple things like taking more time to make decisions and breathing slower and deeper helps tremendously. Sometimes I feel like if I take too long to run a bluff that my opponent will pick up on it and look me up lighter, so sometimes I'm putting out bets fast enough that my real thought process doesn't even have time to decide if it's a good bet or not. I've been trying to wait until the "ChuckTs has 15 seconds left to act..." message comes on every single time I make a decision. Helps a lot.

I really do feel like tilt is my weakest link though, and it's always a challenge trying to subdue it, or even harder yet, work through it. I'm confident I'm a solid winner (5ptbb/100 or better) at 200nl and that I'll be able to win consistently at higher stakes, but in order for that to happen I'll really have to work on my tilt problem.

Next up on my to-do list is to rewatch Jared's videos. It turns out that he only accepts payment by Paypal (ie credit card), and since I don't have one yet it doesn't look like that's a go. I do think his videos will help, but to be honest I've fallen asleep watching them before. They're just taught in a slightly different way than your typical training videos, and obviously deal with different topics, so it's a little tough. I think I'd benefit a million times more if I were to get one-on-one training and have him both identify the root of my problems and to fix them, but for now I'll have to deal with his stox videos.

$3k cheque arrived and was deposited a few days ago, and as soon as I get a chance to hit up Ikea I'm getting that reclining couch. Probably some new clothes too (winter is coming *sadface*).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


And a much-needed one at that.

My tilt is to the point where I really think I need mental game coaching, and if possible I'll get it from Jared Tendler of stoxpoker. I think he charges about 250/hour, but from what I've heard about him I wouldn't mind paying even more. Or rather I wouldn't be surprised if he was worth more. Plain and simple, I need coaching in that area. I won't be able to sustain myself as a professional or amateur poker player if I don't fix this problem, and I need to do it soon. For the last few months I wasn't tilting at all, but that was mostly because I was running so good, and didn't really see any bad runs, so obviously I had nothing to tilt about.

I mean I'm running semi-badly through the 14k hands I've played this month, and I can't even begin to imagine running badly through a sample like 50k hands. I just couldn't handle it. Coaching from someone who's dealt with Leatherass who plays five hundred million hands a month can't hurt.

So, my goals for the rest of the month are to keep plugging away with the hands, get coaching from Jared if possible, and generally try to control my tilt.

One thing that should help is that I found a boxing gym really close to my house. I haven't fully looked into their programs but that should relieve tons of stress and get me healthier in general.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

8,580 hands

October has been swingy. Some sick beats, sicker coolers, but really it comes down to me tilting. I can pinpoint the exact point where it all started too.

Earlier this month I was doing the video series where I try to show how to beat all the stakes from 2nl through 200nl. Basically it was complete bulldozerage up to 50nl. 100nl saw me play even more lag for whatever reason, and it backfired as I ran into some big hands and some even bigger stations. Tilt ensued, and after basically (temporarily) abandoning the video series for my regular 200nl game, I've started the month pretty shittily. Down about a grand, but I wouldn't be nearly as tilted had I not lost most of that through tilt. I can't deny some of the hands were just infuriating though. Especially against 75/25 types:

A few more spots where I believe I made great hand reads and stacked hands like TT and 99 pf with light 4betting history and the reg will show me a 5bet shoved QJ and spike. It's awesome how light you can get them shoving.

As usual it's been a real challenge keeping my tilt in control, and earlier in the month I definitely failed. Yesterday and the day before I played much more calm and collected which boosted my confidence some (just book a fucking win and end the day!).

I think I've decided to tone my whole lag style down just a notch. I've nearly reached the point where I'm 31/28 on each table and while I think it can definitely be among the most profitable of styles (laggier even), I don't think I have the postflop skills to keep it up. What I'll do is I'll tone it down to a 24/21 style, and try not to run so many double and triple barrel bluffs. When I run them successfully when I'm tilt-free, it gives me reason to try and throw my stack around when I'm on monkey tilt, and of course that's the root of this month's downswing.

Bah, even my sleep schedule is all fucked up because of this. Staying up til 5 in the morning playing poker, then going for a run at 6 before I pass out just can't be healthy. Gotta either stay up all night tonight with lots of tea and sugar and not fall asleep until tomorrow night, or I'll just put myself out with some booze tonight at like 10pm so I can get a full night's rest.