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Old 11-18-2007, 04:54 PM
Lefort Lefort is offline
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Default Dealing with a downswing...

Wrote another entry in my blog that I thought could be potentially interesting or helpful to some...

"Well November has continued to be dark and gloomy. I'm back to the exact same working online bankroll as I had when I started playing again in September. It's funny what results-based confidence can do to a person in this sick and twisted game. I had no problem playing NL$2000 in September, but lately I've been playing NL$600. That's the beauty (and ugliness) of poker. You play for the long-term results with blind faith that they will converge to good positive numbers. But a day of "playing" is only a sliver of your lifetime results, a trend that tends to be extremely volatile due to the strong effects of variance. So as poker players, we focus on making sound decisions on a hand-by-hand basis without the ability to comprehend the long-term results, until we reach the long-term. But technically, we never reach those results, until the last hand of poker you play. As stated earlier, it is a leap of faith that each poker player takes to assume they are a long-term winning player, and focus solely on the short-term decisions they must make. During a bad stretch of results, it is very easy for a player to begin questioning their blind faith and their potential to be profitable. This can lead to all kinds of conclusions, most bad, but some potentially good. I think this recent downswing has led me down the path to some positive consequences. I realized that I'd virtually spent the past year playing "lazy" poker. I was focusing and playing the game, but not with nearly as much concentration as I should have been giving. I had assumed that most situations were extremely clear-cut, and I was essentially playing sub-consciously with my mind-bank of poker knowledge.

So the other day I pledged to change two things about my game:

1) No more complaining. Every time I fired up a session the past few weeks, any incidence of bad luck early in the session put me into a "here we go again" mindframe. This leads to steam in the brain, creating a fog that inhibits the ability to reason and make good decisions. I would often show my "unlucky" hands to other players for any source of sympathy and with intentions of "blowing off steam". But all this really did was keep me in a continuous stage of unluckiness and consequently, hurt my game.

2) Take twice as much time to make any non-super-easy decision. Literally, atleast twice as many seconds. Multi-tabling 8 tables of poker for a year can lead to habits of what I've coined, "click-click-click" poker. I don't want to play sub-consciously any more. I want to think through every decision, even the ones that seem clear-cut. I don't just want to make the right plays, I want to also establish *why* they are the right plays.

I've had two sessions since making these vows, both at NL$600, 4-6 tabling. Each session has been eons better than any session I've had for a year. I was into the game and thinking through each individual situation. I knew exactly why I had an edge on my opponents as I played each table. There was no blind faith, I knew why I was better and why I will make the dollars in the long run.

Consistent with the theme of my Tiger-like re-working of my poker swing, I thought I'd post a couple hands where I potentially made bad decisions, and explain them so. - Folded to me on the button with A6o and I make a standard raise. MiamiVice79, seemingly a good regular, calls in the BB. I flop top pair and this is usually a place to continuation bet, but MV likes to bluff-raise flops frequently and I thought this might be a good place to check back a top pair, and get "safer" value on later streets. The turn brings a K as well as a flush draw and potential straight draws, MV leads out, and I call. The river pairs the A giving me trips, with the K and J kickers playing. MV leads out and in a spot where the standard would be to call, I decide to raise it up. I think my hand looks fairly weak from his perspective after I check the flop and I thought he was capable of looking me up here with a weaker hand. I'm glad that I atleast had a thinking process and looked at multiple options instead of making the "snap call", but there just wasn't enough potential value in raising the river to counter the times I'm just bloating a pot I'm going to lose. - This one I'm still unsure about and welcome comments. Me and RebuyK have been fairly active, enough for each of us to know the other person is a player. Note that we are 200 big blinds deep. I raise A8hh from MP and he calls behind me. I flop mid-pair on a J85 rainbow board and he calls my continuation bet. The turn is a big blank 2 of clubs keeping the board rainbow. I think the standard play here would be to check and call a bet, or possibly lead out again. But I opted to check-raise. Its an unorthodox play but my reasoning at the time was that he has better than one pair here almost never, and he's not going to want to continue with the hand with such deep stacks with only one pair as he must assume he will be facing a large river bet as well. The argument against my play is that I'm not necessarily representing a standard line with any hand and it might look suspicious. Again, I'm not really sure whether I like it or whether its bad. Feel free to comment."
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:11 PM
d2themfi d2themfi is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

nice post
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:13 PM
MATT111 MATT111 is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

Hand1 is a bluff imo.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:15 PM
KRANTZ KRANTZ is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

nice read, brotha.

you might want to try coaching a cpl people to help with 2). when you're analyzing hand after hand and talking a lot of poker in an effort to help other people, it oddly translates to improving your own game. you find yourself more removed and detached and thinking about poker from both an intuitive and theoretical view during your own sessions, too.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:37 PM
Nielsio Nielsio is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

Very nice post.

I've said similar things lately:
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:49 PM
Lucky Lucky is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

I think a lot of people adhere to the peter principle in terms of adding tables; they add to the number at which they're inefficient.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:07 PM
ogdundar ogdundar is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

Very nice blogg! I've bookmarked it.

Comment on hand#2: I think your line is somewhat interesting because I agree with your thoughts. But I'd rather just lead the turn again or c/c because it looks so wierd. And when things don't make sense I often call down. Probably a leak but I think a lot of other players do too.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:17 PM
stackingboxes stackingboxes is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

vnice post. Had similar exprience. but haven't started the rethinking poker process
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:23 PM
Laetus Laetus is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

Nice post! I'm actually in the same spot and try to re-think about my game.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:24 PM
fearless2k fearless2k is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with a downswing...

Love the post, im in the rethinking mode atm. activily seeking a coach, playing less tables.. etc etc [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] hope i find the magic formula soon [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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