Whoops, forgot to put in goals for this month!
[ ] Play at least 80K hands in the month.
[ ] Meditate at least once a week.
[ ] Continue to study at least 1 hour a day.
[ ] Take at least 1 shot at NL50.
June 1, 2017 | 7:10 p.m.
End of the month time! Gonna post two different graphs, one for my month on Stars and one for my month on Party, managed to get decent volume on there in the week or so I've been playing.
Not the sexiest graph in the world with a nice little drop off at the end where I tilted pretty much every session.
These are the overall winrates for the stakes I played this month, again doesn't make for great reading but on the plus side I managed to hit one of my goals!
Doesn't look amazing but glad to have a positive end to the month, finally starting to feel like I'm coming out of whatever downswing/breakeven stretch I was on. Also been putting a shit ton of work into my game, I always like to say "lady luck likes to hang out with guys who work the hardest!"
So time to look and see if I acheived the goals I set for last month!
[x] Play at least 50K hands in the month.
[ ] Meditate at least 5 times a week.
[x] Put at least 1-2 hours study work in a day.
Manages to smash the hand target getting close to 70K hands in. Time to up that target for this month I think! Didn't even attempt the meditation one to be honest, really not sure why though. I think I was just too focused on what I was trying to do that I didn't want to stop to meditate, completely neglecting the fact that the purpose of meditation is to remove myself from everything and take the time to slow down. I did manage to get in at least an hour of study a day though which is pretty sweet, got a new way to study which focuses me and lets me know if I'm improving on each topic I pick.
Feeling confident going into this month that coupled with the rakeback I'm going to be getting at Party that I can take a shot at NL50 soon. Time to stop being breakeven and time to start crushing!
June 1, 2017 | 7:07 p.m.
Won't be doing an end of the week post, will just do an end of the month one in a couple of days. Not looking forward to it, been running soooo shitty and it a lot of ways we don't see with the EV line, getting rivered and coolered all over the place. Doesn't help that I'm a pretty shitty player - I need all the help I can get and this has been the opposite!
Also moved my action over to Party, their improved rakeback and Stars reducing theirs means it's probably the smart thing to do. Though the start there hasn't gone well either! Just had a 6 buyin losing session, not good!
I feel more confident that this is a lot of run bad though, had a session with a coach from 2+2 who was very good and showed me a few leaks that I have and some adjustments I can make but whenever we were looking at spots where I was losing a lot it was a bunch of coolers and those coolers have continued to this new site. However the title of this blog is 'Holding Myself Accountable' and don't get me wrong that's still what I'm doing, there are at least two big river folds that I should have made as well as some other mistakes. It's times like these we need to make sure we're making as few mistakes as possible!
May 29, 2017 | 2:13 a.m.
Had a veeeery shitty week so far, losing buyins left and right. Some of it has been tilt, some has been spew, some just playing bad and some running bad. Getting quite disheartened that I won't be able to make it as I thought I could.
It's hard to take when you realise you probably won't be able to achieve your dreams and go back to working a 9-5 like everyone else. It's times like this that I wonder why I bother if I can't do what I love. I am quite drunk so may be talking a bit more emotionally than usual but every time I'm so pumped to get back in the streets and play as good as I can but no matter what I do I can't seem to win.
I really don't want to turn this into one of those whiny blogs where shitty microstakes players complain that they can't make it but this blog is meant to be somewhere where I can get my thoughts out and this is what I'm thinking at the moment. I'm seriously considering getting a coach, I think part of the problem (apart from the fact that I'm just not very good) is that there are tons of spots where I think I know what to do but I'm not sure so every time I lose a pot I'm questioning myself. Then there are the spots where I know I have no idea and must be losing tons.
Don't get me wrong I still love playing though. That kind of makes it harder knowing that I'm going into most sessions losing and wanting to just play and play but I stop myself before I lose a fuck ton of buyins. Even now I really really want to play but I'm stopping myself until I sober up a bit though I can't be that drunk as I'm not making any more grammatical mistakes than usual.
So yeah, vent over.
May 26, 2017 | 9:52 p.m.
I know right, it's so weird and I bet very damaging to a lot of people! To be honest there are times especially in poker where I've felt it was a good thing but I can't see it being healthy in the long run.
Ah fair enough! I mean when you say in your post you're 22 then people are gonna think you're 22 ;) haha.
May 22, 2017 | 9:57 p.m.
Maybe it's a mental thing but I've found NL16 and NL10 a lot easier compared to NL25. I can't quite put my finger on why exactly but in terms of sessions I win the majority of them at NL16 and below (like 80%) but it's a lore more hit and miss at NL25.
May 22, 2017 | 12:17 p.m.
It's weekly update time! Been an interesting one this week. After going through a bit of a downswing at the end of last week/beginning of this week I dropped down in stakes a couple of times to build up some confidence. I played a couple of sessions each at NL10 and NL16, I think it was on Wednesday I said I'll play 1K hands at NL10 and if I'm winning and playing well then I'll do the same at NL16. I managed to win in both of those sessions and felt good getting back into NL25.
I definitely recommend doing this if you feel you're on a bit of a downswing at your current stake. Playing a stake where you know you can win and feel more confident playing made it so much easier for me to focus on playing my game rather than worrying about if I'm winning or not.
Since I've jumped back up to NL25 I feel it's gone quite well, definitely a couple of losing sessions here and there but I'm learning to accept those and not feel bad about them.
It doesn't look fantastic but battling back from a 10 buyin downswing to being breakeven/winning in EV is ok with me! Surprised at how long that breakeven stretch is to be honest. I guess the losing sessions have been cancelling out the winning ones! Also a bit disappointed how steep the redline is. There are always things we can be working on!
May 22, 2017 | 11:05 a.m.
I think it depends on what your sample size is for the 50/4 stat read. If it's over a fair few hands then I think it has to be a fold on the river. Players with this stat type are often going to be passive (calling a lot preflop and hardly raising) so when they show aggression over multiple streets it needs to be given respect.
May 21, 2017 | 11:45 p.m.
Hey man, great post! Was a really interesting read and I identified with a lot of it for sure. Being the same age and it sounds like we come from the same kind of background (though my school was decidedly nicer by the sounds of it!) I went through that same feeling of 'emotions are bad'.
This meant that feeling guilty, and also running away from feelings, became a way of life. I think this is likely the case in many middle class, UK households. Not showing emotion is seen as a virtue.
This was basically how I felt growing up as I was quite emotional when I was younger but every time I cried or whatever I was made to feel really bad about it - especially by my Dad. Basically from there I avoided confrontation at all costs as I knew they would make me emotional and 'emotions are bad' and I try and repress any real emotion if I can.
I don't really have any point to this post or any great links like Samu has but what you said resonated with my so much I felt like I had to post - if only to say that you're not alone in feeling this way!
May 21, 2017 | 8:46 p.m.
Yes I think that's the case. This is because we can assume that villain isn't balancing this spot correctly with value bets and bluffs (just given how hard it is to do so imo) and therefore we can overfold as a response.
May 21, 2017 | 2:31 p.m.
A friend ran this through CREV last night for me and it turns out that it doesn't like barrelling the turn, let alone the river!
I think it's part of what SemiFreddo and Johnny were saying that because we have showdown value we have better hands to barrel with that can't win at showdown. Plus if we get check/raised we have to fold our equity which sucks.
So yeah check back turn and don't put myself in the river decision spot sums it up!
May 21, 2017 | 11:19 a.m.
I 3bet because I'm experimenting with opening my 3bet ranges at the moment, this is definitely the worst hand I would 3bet for value.
Flop I bet smaller because this is going to be a better board for our range than for the villain given that we can have AA/KK/AK far more often then he does. In these situations I bet small with my whole range so yes I would bet AK the same size on this texture.
I agree with river analysis, just comes down to how many of the weaker bluff catchers he gets here with and if he folds them but the fact that we win sometimes is for sure a good reason to check back.
May 21, 2017 | 11:17 a.m.
BB: $26.77 (Hero)
May 20, 2017 | 10:48 p.m.
Given the average 4betting range at these stakes is going to be pretty tight I think it's pretty standard the way you played it.
AK gets there, JJ gets there, you block AQcc, AA+KK are beating you already. Just depends whether or not you think he's 4bet bluffing then barrelling off often enough but I think you can safely assume that isn't the case at this stake until you get data proving otherwise.
May 19, 2017 | 11:05 p.m.
Strange line from villain. Seems to be repping 6x and diamonds which he can definitely have. Hard to see any natural bluffs so unless he's turning hands like A5 into a bluff I think you can fold and not feel too bad about it.
May 19, 2017 | 10:59 p.m.
In general I believe you should play until you feel you are losing focus when making decisions or if the money you have in front of you is causing you to make poor decisions (playing too defensively). If you're playing regular tables then how good the table is would influence my decision.
May 19, 2017 | 8:45 p.m.
I see no reason to fold at any point here to be honest. I don't think jamming pre is terrible either but flatting is also fine.
I agree with what you say about betting the flop but you could go even smaller to be honest. Seems a really weird board for him to check. As played I'm not sure I understand the turn shove. I mean I agree we're not folding but in the rare occasion that he's spazzing I would rather let him keep spazzing on rivers.
May 19, 2017 | 8:34 p.m.
I agree with Brokenstars.
Choice of hands is pretty whatever tbh, no strong feelings either way. With that sizing and that river though you're narrowing your range too much in my opinion. You're unlikely to bet Qx like this on the turn and I don't think straights are going for a on overbet on this river so you're repping boats or air.
Obviously you have a fair amount of boats but it's easy to assume you're also going to have a lot of bluffs in this spot so I think villain can find a call quite often.
May 18, 2017 | 12:08 p.m.
Also we need to stop beating ourselves up over mistakes. Mistakes happen. It does you no good to tell yourself how shit you are for making a decision once the decision's already happened. All you should be thinking about is why you disagree with that decision and why you won't make it again. If we could remove the negativity attached to mistakes it would make our lives so much easier.
May 17, 2017 | 1:16 p.m.
Being a mental game fish is something that's really hard to deal with. Knowing that off the table you're able to dissect hands and develop a strategy that makes sense but as soon as you sit down to play there's something that's stopping you from performing to your best really pisses me off.
The worst part is when I know I should do one thing but do the other instead, mostly it's calling. Just played a huge cash game pot online and it was so obvious that I should have made a fold a major point in the hand but I was blinded by terrible logic and that single mindedness that's kept me at this level for so long. Having lost the last 5 sessions in a row I'm going to move down in stakes to build up some confidence. Basically breaking even for the month in terms of where my EV line is and still not being able to shake off these bad habits means I've got a fuckton more to learn than I thought.
It's a shame as I thought I was beginning to make real progress having built my roll back up to near enough where it used to be to let a few bad sessions bring it back down again.
Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way.
People go through downswings all the time. I've definitely been on an upswing lately and the do say everything that goes up must come down. I have been expecting this for a little while and maybe that's part of the problem. Since I've 'felt' the downswing come on I've played a bit more aggressively to try and counter the perceived negative variance that's coming my way. Going to take a look at what I was doing before that, stop forcing the aggression in crazy spots and learn to fold a fucking hand every once in a while!
May 17, 2017 | 1:06 p.m.
End of the week update! Not as much volume this week due to having a 2 and a half day sesh in Dublin which was awesome - would recommend anyone to visit!
Just under 7.5K hands this week and around 3.5-4 buyin profit. Glad the green line is up but again not impressed on how swingy it seems to be. I remember the last session or two in particular went pretty badly making some sub-optimal decisions so still need to get that shit out of my game. Maybe the graph will look better at the end of the month but for now as long as green is up then I'm happy!
Decided to adjust my bankroll management and take a 5 buyin shot a bit earlier than I had planned - will talk more about it when I get there.
May 15, 2017 | 9:20 p.m.
Hi Teunuss, great vid as always!
At around 40 mins on the bottom right table you say that with 100BB 65s would be a check raise some of the time on 643ss, could you elaborate a bit more on that? Are we trying to get his weaker overpairs to fold with a turn jam but have decent equity even if called or are we trying to get it in against his flush draws?
May 12, 2017 | 7:56 a.m.
I agree with that to a point but I think a lot of people can change the way they think about certain things to do with poker. Having played quite a bit of live poker and speaking to some of the live regs a lot of them seem to try and find ways to make themselves feel worse. An example is one of these people bust from a tournament AK v QQ on a AK56Q board. Now all of us in this spot will be unhappy that a Q came on the river but when someone asks how we bust what do we say?
Let's say Player A when asked says 'I lost a flip AK v QQ'. Then we have Player B who says 'I got two outered! I hit two pair vs QQ and he hit a set on the river! He had 5% going to the river and he fucking got there, they always get there! I'm so unlucky!'. Which of these two is going to go into their next tournament in a better frame of mind to play?
Obviously this is a bit of an exaggeration but I've seen people react/talk like this in these situations and I always feel it's so unnecessary and a good example of a spot where they have control over how they feel but they choose to take the role of the victim.
Now it could be that these people are more emotionally affected by the results which is why they see themselves as so unlucky but I believe that the best way to be lucky is to think yourself lucky!
May 11, 2017 | 2:11 a.m.
Wow great post! You touch upon a lot of the thoughts and feelings we have as poker players. I'm equally surprised that a 4bb/100 winner will only win over 500 hands 55% of the time, you're right - if we consider ourselves winners we feel like we should win most it not every session we play.
In think just seeing this in 'writing' is going to have a big impact on how I view losing sessions. A lot of players have no reference point for stuff like this and we end up taking the term 'winning' from winning player to mean 'wins all the time' which we know isn't the case and can lead to very negative emotions when we do have a losing session.
we are not in control. Not in the short-term atleast. In a way we're not really in control of the long-term either.
I agree with this for sure, although like you say we all like to think we are. I think all we can be in control of is how we react to each event (good or bad). If we're able to control our emotions after big winning (not getting too big-headed) or big losing sessions then we'll put ourselves in a better position to have a positive next session. I believe that our emotional state going into a session can have a big impact on what our expected winrate will be. If we're tilted before we play what chance do we have of playing well?
May 10, 2017 | 2:35 a.m.
Note to self - stop spewing. You're forcing aggression in spots where you know that you shouldn't and it's costing you money. People don't fold hands like overpairs at these stakes very easily and if you're triple barrel bluffing someone you've tagged as a calling station in a 3bet pot then you're lighting money on fire.
Do yourself a favour and stop it.