Keep your mind on the Grind

Hello everyone, happy Sunday (now Tuesday due to long weekend!) to you all, I hope you have all had a great week on and off the tables, and hopefully have been getting some of the sunny weather.

This week I really got back into hard work mode with study and review, but still didn’t play as much as I should have done as once again I got landed with some extra commitments that I hadn’t planned for this week. Oh well, at least I’m keeping busy I supposed, on the keeping busy vibe, I have also started Krav Maga in the last couple of weeks. I’m seriously loving it and it feels great to be being more physically active again, and that in turn is making me eat better and drink and smoke less, so happy days!

I found myself doing hand history reviews at 8am one morning as I was feeling so fresh after getting good sleep and eating good food for a change, so long may that continue. It sounds a bit strange but in a way now that I’m technically busier and have less time for poker, I’m feeling more focused and am enjoying my sessions more again. I guess as Phil Galfond once titled a blog post, “It always comes back to balance, doesn’t it?” a thing regular readers will know I struggle with! http://www.philgalfond.com/it-always-comes-back-to-balance-doesnt-it/

So this week has been pretty good to be honest, I’m feeling refreshed and more focused, and it pretty damn great! I spent some time this week working on my HU (heads up) game a lot with my coach, doing some live sweat sessions playing HU SnGs and some review as well. I also broke my no MTT rule by playing the $11 Saturday Duel HU MTT, as I thought it would give me some much needed practice. This was probably the dullest MTT experience of my entire life, I got a by in the first round, so played no hands for over an hour until the next round started. ZzZzZZzzZzZz 

Round 2 Fight! Wohoo, some hands, finally I can get into some epic HU battle lets go! Right well…6 hands is all it took to dispatch the guy that took all of 5 minutes! He was pretty loose passive and a total fish bowl, I ended up donk betting into him with some draws and other random hands which seemed to put him on tilt pretty bad. That’s all it took to make him lose his mind with  a T high river bluff after I turned top pair. gg me! Sleep mode now for another hour til the next round… This next guy took marginally longer to beat, 26 hands! YYAAYY!! Next round is the bubble round, I drew a total uber mega fish (although I didn’t know this until after when i scoped him) The crappy thing was that I was quite tired and bored by the time this round arrived as it was getting late and the time between rounds was ridiculous. I failed to adjust to the guy and instead of realising he never folded pre, or post flop, I just kept raising a wide range of hands and insisting on barreling multiple times with air. Not a good strategy against a really bad player who never thinks about ranges or anything other than drooling over their own cards!

Losing to a bad player always sucks, but losing to a bad player because of my own inability to adjust, sucks even more, at least if he had just been sucking out with hands and getting lucky I could live with that. So that was that, I played probably 50 hands in over 3 hours…but at least I got to watch a lot of episodes of Parks and Recreation (proper funny show!) 

Oh the irony, I titled a post about keeping my mind on the grind and most of this has been talking about non grinding MTTs! I guess this is because it made a more interesting write up than writing about my SnG week would have done! It was a rather apt end to a pretty rubbish month, another break even week..

I was playing well and felt good in my sessions, there were a few lil mistakes here and there, where I re-shoved too wide into certain types of players a couple of times (this became apparent after reviewing hands post game) But overall very happy with my play throughout the week.

Games: 318

Coaching/Review: 1/3

Profit/Loss: -$7.48

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So yea…overall an incredibly frustrating months poker, but it happens, and it could have been worse. It could have been a massive down swing to rebuild from, rather than just treading water. Even with the few wobbly moments I had this month, I still dealt with it better than I would have done previously, but it has also shown me that there is a lot more work to be done on my mental game. Being a professional player takes a professional attitude and dropping game volume or getting all pissy because you haven’t won any $ for a few weeks is not terribly professional! But I’ll get there, just gotta keep on grinding and working hard, oh yea and going to Krav Maga and getting rid of some of the stress is also great!

Thanks for stopping by guys, see you soon.

p.s I might be away this coming weekend so there may not be a blog!

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This is my Brain on Tilt

Hi guys, sorry I’m a day late! I partook in some jollies on Saturday, and as a result wasn’t feeling terribly bloggy on Sunday!

As you have all seen from last weeks post this month so far has been pretty uninspiring stuff, low volume of games and non existent profit, although atleast I was breaking even and not losing a ton (I know of guys going through $2k swings this month, so I must try not to complain about breaking even!)

After this ropey BE start to the month I wasn’t going into last week feeling terribly confident about my own ability and generally was feeling a bit rubbish, but I soldiered on, I played pretty much every day although I did cut some sessions short   (monkey tilt) and had some other commitments which meant I couldn’t play quite as much.

If I’m being honest, the entire week felt like an absolute train wreck fro start to finish,  although Tuesday or Wednesday had some soft $15s that I felt I did OK in. I was convinced I had been running badly, playing worse and losing a ton of money. As you can probably imagine going through 4-5 days of thinking this way and being that negative and stressed did a number on my ability to be objective and really see how I was playing and judge how the week was going. So much so, that by the time Friday arrived I was steaming before I even loaded the first games up. But this passed and I kept playing, then BOOM! Uber insane monkey tilt set in at about 3pm on Friday……

I stopped playing, I quit the strategy chartrooms I belong to on Skype (I do this now and again when I can feel the tilt and rage building to the point where I will start ranting and imposing my shitty feelings on any poor soul that happens to be in the chat room) and that was it until today (Monday) I didn’t check my weeks results, and I didn’t speak to anyone about poker, and as far as I was concerned I had probably lost about $300+ and (poker) life was pretty craptacular.

So, I’m sure you are all wondering what happened…..did I lose it all…..how much did I lose, is there any hope, is there a dealer button at the end of the tunnel…. will I rise from the ashes like a lanky ginger phoenix once more…

This weeks breakdown:

Games: 292 (low volume but could be worse given the tilt issues)

Profit/Loss: +$145.98

Coaching/Review: 1/2 (boo not enough review)

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The really sik thing about this week was Friday, I was so consumed by tilt that I quit the session in the middle of a $140 up swing. In my mind I was getting pwned and losing every hand, which to be fair had been happening from game 122 – 267, but was not an accurate picture of how I was doing at that moment in time.

So…what conclusions can we draw here?

1) I am still not as in control of my mental game as I had thought recently. I think I’m going to reread The Mental Game of Poker, and speak with my coach more about this.

2) My ability to judge my game and results is pretty piss poor even when not tilted, but even more so when I am. So I really need to try not to think about my perceived results while playing.

3) The George Formby Grill would be an infinitely more entertaining kitchen device.

That’s all folks, see you next week, I hope you all have a great week at the tables/the office desk/wherever you work 🙂