Happy Sunday everyone, hope you weeks have all been good to you and you are all having a good weekend so far. Here’s this weeks update.
People that know me, can vouch for this, I am a massive creature of habit. I eat the same food all the time, order the same drinks all the time, watch the same TV shows/films over and over again and listen to the same music repeatedly. And up until the last month I went out and got drunk repeatedly, chain smoked and ordered takeaway 5 times a week and was being a naughty boy on too many occasions for it to be a healthy lifestyle.
The first things I listed are all well and good, me listening to the same podcast 25 times in one day isn’t going to affect my health or ability to have a normal life. The same thing goes with the food thing, unless you count all the pizzas, or all he brie, or the bacon…well yea OK maybe the food can be a bad thing! Obviously the drinking and smoking is terribly bad and needed to go!
So..on to poker, it is incredibly easy to have bad habits creep into your game, especially when playing a large amount of volume, and playing a few tables simultaneously. I have found this extremely prevalent in the last couple of weeks, since i started knocking out a medium-high’ish volume of games again. For example I played a 5 hour session one day this week, from 9am until 2pm with no break. While I was playing I felt like I was making good decisions and playing well, and doing everything I could to play the best poker I could. Upon reviewing some games from this sessions I was appalled with some of the decisions I was making.
Looking back over the weeks results it seems this happened on more than one occasion where I just got stressed and locked into making bad decisions repeatedly and losing $ in the process, which is never fun! The frustrating thing is that a week is a tiny sample of games, but I can’t help but feel blaming variance for ALL of the mishaps might be kidding myself and not taking responsibility for my actions.
I used to play a lot of golf when i was younger, at least a couple of times a week for a few years at one point. When i first started playing the 18 hole course instead of the usual 9 hole course I was used to it was a real strain in terms of fatigue and keeping focused. There was one hole on the course that was a par 3, the tee was elevated from the green with a water hazard shaped like a horseshoe around the front of the green, now I had played this hole numerous times and never really had a problem with it. On this occasion however it all went a bit sideways. I ended up hitting my tee shot into the water, then taking a drop, now leaving maybe a distance of 20ft over the water to the green. I got so angry with myself for ruining my tee shot and just got transfixed by the water, you can probably guess what happened, long story short, I shot a 21 on a par 3! This is essentially what still happens in my head to this day, with poker or other things in life, I have a habit of just getting so wound up that I forget that I can easily do this and there really is nothing to worry about, and I just need to take a deep breath and move on.
With poker unlike my round of golf, locking into these cycles of behaviour is extremely damaging, mentally and financially. I can feel it happening, I start to get a bit warm, then I start making decisions too fast, I then start just staring at the part of the tables where I’m sat and at my cards, no taking in to account any of the other players actions, or reads on them or HUD stats. This results in awful, fast, badly thought through decisions. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t last forever, and I’m ALOT better at dealing with it than I used to be, but it is still a big and costly issue that I need to address and train myself out of.
This ties back into the whole creature of habit thing, I get stuck into routines, whether its eating the same pizza every time, listening to the same mix 20 times a week, shanking it into the water hazard, or my failure to adjust the way i play hands, or deal with tilt.
Last week I was extremely happy with how I dealt with a crappy week, and all this week I was feeling good about not checking my results. I have realised though that for all the positive steps in the last couple of weeks, it is only a few weeks, and far too small a sample size to draw any meaningful conclusions from in terms of how I’m dealing with things mentally, and there is obviously still a large amount of work to be done.
Still not drinking or raving is making everything a lot easier to deal with, and I still don’t feel like I’m losing my mind, or want to quit poker, so it’s all good 🙂
Games Played: 501 Coaching: 0 Review Sessions: 3
Next weeks goals are pretty much the same again, 500+ games, some coaching and review work. My target for the month is to get my Platinum VIP level back on Pokerstars, which means I have to play 1275 games by Nov 30th, it’s going to be close but I think I can do it.
Thanks for stopping by everyone, and I will see you next week 🙂
Yuck, just yuck.