Monday, April 6, 2009

One step forward, two steps back


A couple days ago I was in such a bad mood I really truly was thinking about quitting poker and moving on. The variance is bad, but the stress it was putting on me just added to the problem.

I haven't played since then and although I'm already getting the itch to play again, I think I should keep breaking for a few more days. I'm running like shit, but my tilt is at such a level that the variance is but a fraction of the million bbs I've lost lately. I don't care to look, but I think I'm down 3800 this month alone in about 3 (long) sessions. Not fun.

So just like I always suggest to downswingers in the forums, first and foremost you should take a break because most likely the variance isn't the only thing contributing to your bad run. I know for a fact my tilt is the HUGE overwhelming factor.

A good way to explain my state is with another concept of Jared's which I've mentioned before. I'm too lazy to draw it, but think of a graph with a bell curve. Left to right is your emotional state, top to bottom is your performance level. Imagine dead centre, a '50' on the x axis, is your tilt threshold. You cross that, and it's very hard to come back from it (which coincidentally is why Jared preaches paying close attention to your state relative to this point so that you can't cross it). Usually you have to quit your session. Anywhere in the ~40-50 range is your ideal place to be in. "The Zone".

Now my problem is that instead of starting off somewhere around a '0', gaining more focus as I wake up and warm up my poker brain, I'm still tilted enough from the dark cloud above my head that says I'm down $X in the past day or week or month or whatever, and I start at say a '40'. That would be ideal if I could stay there, but I get upped on the emotional scale so quickly if I lose a make a mistake, get bad beat, or coolered, or whatever, that I much more easily cruise past that '50' mark, the tilt threshold, and there's no turning back. Most of my recent sessions have been marked by constant desk slamming, forhead on keyboard action, "you can't be serious"s, "why does this always happen to me"s, and "why can't I ever run good"s.

So, what's the plan? I think the break will help me forget about all this shit and bring my starting point on the emotional scale back down closer to a zero. Then after that, I most likely have to look over my sessions and see (aside from the tilt) what I've been doing wrong.

Thanks to Fredrik, I'll be talking smart poker once again with him soon, and can hopefully straighten myself out.

I've also got another very lucrative learning experience available to me, but unfortunately it costs $2400. Balugawhale, the coach of all coaches in my mind (you're great too Alan!) does group coaching, and is available for I think the 15th of April. If you haven't watched his DC videos, do so, and you'll understand why I'm willing to drop so much on him.

The course runs over 8 weeks, once session (which is ~1.5hrs) per week, and the group is no more than 8 people deep. It works out to $300/week which sounds a hell of a lot better than $2400 in one plop, but it's still most probably out of my range. I have zero doubt in my mind that this is what I need right now (alongside some more mental game coaching), but considering how much my bankroll has dropped recently I just don't think I can afford it. Really unfortunate :( I suppose I can wait for his next session, but as we all know, coaches increase their rates over time and I just don't know if he'll be worth it for me in a couple months or whatever.

So anyways, I'm making progress in some areas (scheduling my time better, playing WAY more), I'm failing miserably in others (warmup/warmdown, tilt control, quitting). I'll break for a little while longer, but when I come back I have to address those things I'm failing at. Right now, my dog has developed some kind of skin thing just this morning where his face swells up like crazy. It's sad because I can tell he's in some pain, but I can't help but giggle because it's like looking at a fat version of him. teehee. Time to take him to the vet.

1 comment:

Icemonkey9 said...

Interesting post bud. I think I've said "Really? REALLY!? I should take the money and quit" about 10 times in the last 5 weeks.

A break is the best thing for you. Maybe even a "clean break" meaning no CC/Stox/DC/Blog/Poker at all for a few days.

Come back when you can see that time is subjective when looking at your results and you can take your sessions in stride and make the personal dedication to do the routine you want to do.