Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yet another reevaluation

I'm still running like shit, it's still tilting me, I'm playing bad because of it and I need to fix this, or I'll go broke. Plain and simple. I realize there are a select few people who actually read this blog on occasion, and to those select few: I'm sorry it's been the same old bullshit the last few months, and that this has turned more into a self-help/self-analysis thing than anything else even mildly entertaining. I wish I had awesomely successful months to tell you about, and advice for you on how to make 10k+ per month, but I can't do that if I can't even break even anymore.

It seems like the way it used to be was that even on my worst runs, my poker abilities were enough to push through it. I didn't need to have a constant eye on my mental state, I didn't have any confidence problems, I didn't have nearly as many -$1k days as I am today, and I didn't need to hire a mental game coach to help me manage it all.

Ultimately it comes down to me running like shit, dropping from my A game to my B game, and having such bad results that the tilt pounds me down to my F game where I lose massive amounts if it goes unchecked.

The beats are one thing. Looking at the theory, if I keep getting my money in good, in the long run I will profit. Fine, but when I run bad for long periods of time, I eventually fall of the "F game cliff", and have a LOT of trouble getting back on top of it. I've been on and off this cliff since the beginning of March (and counting). So how do I make sure I don't fall off again? One thing I can do is define my A/B/C/F games so that I know how close I am to doing so. Have certain characteristics and traits for each stage written down so I recognize where my head's at. Let's do that here:

A game:

-Always checking stats
-Can play 6-8 tables, but usually I'm playing 4-6
-Aware of opponents' state of mind
-Owning the preflop game
-Thinking before each decision
-Quitting when I need to
-Relaxed, clear mind
-Folding well with marginal hands vs lots of action from fish
-Managing pot size well

B game:

-Forgetting some minor stats
-Playing more tables than I can manage
-Not aware of opponents' state of mind, dropping down a level in thinking?
-Making a few mistakes PF (not checking stack size, 4bet bluffing a bad spot, making weak calls vs 3bets etc)
-Not thinking before each decision fully
-Mind a little distracted, not focused
-Paying off fish a little
-Not paying attention to bet sizes

C game:

-Often forgetting stats completely
-Playing 8 tables, refusing to drop tables because they're juicy
-Not thinking at all about opponents' states of mind
-Sloppy preflop play
-Rushing decisions
-Distracted, on autopilot
-Making sloppy calls, just 'hoping' I'm good
-Using betpot instead of thinking about bet sizing myself

F game:

-"On tilt". Furious, enraged, apeshit crazy tilty state of mind
-Not paying attention to breathing at all
-Backraising silly hands all in
-4bet bluffing way too much
-3betting too much
-3 barreling too much
-Check-raise bluffing in horrible spots
-Spewing in general

Just as both Tommy Angelo and Jared Tendler preach, if I can chop off the times when I'm playing at my worst (read: F game), I'll play poker with a higher percentage of A-C game, and as such make a higher hourly. Knock off the time I play my C game, and my hourly rises even further. By that logic I don't really need to even improve my A game in order to run a bigger winrate. I guess improving my A game will help me beat 2/4 for a bigger winrate and push me through the midstakes, but right now I need to stabilize myself to get back to actually winning at 1/2.

When I ordered Mr. Angelo's book I asked him to sign my book along with some advice for me, an aspiring professional. His advice: "Remember - order to win at poker, you have to be very good at losing". So that's #1 on my list: recognize when I'm approaching that F game dropoff, and quit. Wish me luck.

No really, I need some luck.


WVHillbilly said...

Sorry to hear Chuck. Maybe you just need to drop down a level or 2 a crush for a little while to get your confidence back.

You and I both know you're more than capable.

Jurn8 said...

Gl chuck I hope you make it through this tough period dude.


Icemonkey9 said...

Good post, that graph is pretty ugly man. I hate the EV graph, I don't even look at it anymore.

Anyways, it seems like you've definitely pinpointed what you need to do to play your best, so its now up to your personal accountability to make it happen.

Also you can always go to Chuck E Cheese for some pizza and games, it's a great tiltbuster.

Anonymous said...

And even a short bit of running decent won't be enough to restore your confidence because you'll be aware that you're still down $X since you starting the downswing, so you won't allow yourself to feel good about the short upswing. At least that's how it works for me.

Sorry, Chuck. The blog post is good reading but maybe you need a paradigm or perspective shift. Dabble in some FR or SnGs for a week. Or go up a level and play just one table. Something that just changes your view.


Guin said...

I mentioned on my blog that you can check out the Wicked Weasel site for some anti tilt pics! Buy something nice for the girlfriend... costs less and you get even more upside!

You will get through this for sure.