Hello everybody! I thought I'd start a journal of some sort, because I enjoy writing and I'm also about to start playing poker more seriously after a bit of a break.
I had to work 9-to-5 for the last 10,5 months, it's an alternative for military duty here in Finland. I chose not to join military service for a few reasons, one of them being that I could come home after work (and weekends) to play poker. Turned out that working 8 hours a day AND giving 110% to poker sessions wasn't as easy as I thought, so my grinding and studying habits became quite recreational. I'm free now, and I have some catching up to do. One positive aspect of it was that it forced me to have a routine, which has never come naturally to me. Now I just need to make sure that I can form new habits and stick with them.
My main focus as of now is to focus mainly on mental aspects of the game. There are a lot of things I need to fix and I'm sure that applies to most of you. What I love (and hate) about poker is that it forces you to deal with your most fundamental problems, and if you refuse to see it that way, you're doomed to self-sabotage. Your mentality is a lense through which you see the world. All your insecurities, fears and biases will show up in your reality, which causes a flawed vision. So it's extremely important to make sure that your mindset is proper and that you're mentally healthy. It's the foundation of it all.
I will be writing about things that I think are important. It'll be a way for me to take these things off of my head and bring some of the things that are raveling in my mind into being.
Talk to you soon!
June 18, 2018 | 5:01 p.m.
All the things you listed that you've tried to change in order to improve your winrate are things that have a very secondary role in determining your winrate.
Most common leaks that pop in to my head as of now:
Not being aggressive enough in spots where people aren't defending enough (missed cbets for example, and many/most spots where villain "gives up")
Trying too hard on the river and focusing on wrong things. I'm sure there are many spots where you bluff the river because you "feel like you should" or call the river because "you feel like if you fold, people are going to exploit me too much". These are essentially mental game leaks that need to be fixed asap. Probably the most common winrate killer leak for regs.
Playing too many tables with bad focus. You have played a lot of hands so I'm guessing you're playing a lot of tables? 4 tables of zoom? While browsing skype and listening to a podcast? Not a good idea. It is ALWAYS better to play less tables with a better winrate (better for learning, less variance, more confidence... future EV is huge).
Sorry about this post but i have to talk about this. I love this game a lot and i still believe that i can make this happen.
No reason to be sorry. Thank you for an honest post. :)
June 13, 2018 | 12:48 p.m.
Yeah sure, it's probably a bet most of the time or even always in theory. I'm just concerned about bluffing because A) MDF probably doesn't require villain to call many hands worse than Ax, so making our bluff breakeven or losing should not be hard, especially when B) people at lower stakes tend to 3bet too tight and not valuebet thin enough postflop, so what could end up happening is that villain has just too much Ax and I think an average opponent would have a bit more AK/AQ than PIO would (PIO would bet those hands most of the time if not everytime on the river).
June 13, 2018 | 12:38 p.m.
Really annoying spot. I don't mind folding because villains line is ridiculously strong, although maybe villain shows up with something irrational often enough.
June 11, 2018 | 10:40 a.m.
Flop is probably a check, our hand is significantly weaker 4way compared to HU.
River bluff seems like a suicide againts a 4way minraise on the flop. Villain is fishy and he probably has a decent hand so I don't think bluffing makes money. Don't be thinking that bluffing is "mandatory" If you have a bad spot to bluff (fishy player with a strong range is a classic example).
June 11, 2018 | 10:34 a.m.
A is not an optimal river card because it hits villain fairly often, so I'm not sure. I'd mostly bet the turn.
June 9, 2018 | 12:43 p.m.
Sure we can. If we knew that villain has AA only and we have JJ, we would fold, right?
Not sure what would be the worst hand that I would call the flop with. Villains play is really strong because people at NL5 squeeze very tight and when he bets so big on the flop with a range that is too tight to begin with, you can only imagine how badly our bluffcatcher type of hands are doing at this point.
June 8, 2018 | 11:46 a.m.
In general betting or the sizing-wise?
Neither, really. I mean if we wanted to bet TT, we would prefer a smaller size, but I think overall we want to use a bigger size and polarize, so TT doesn't really fit into the overall betting range we'd like to have.
June 8, 2018 | 11:43 a.m.
Yeah I'm folding turn. Your hand happens to be really bad againts a strong, value-heavy range.
June 8, 2018 | 9:34 a.m.
Definitely checking the river as you have decent amount of showdown value and just a bunch of better hands to bluff with from a theory perspective.
Turn bet is unusual, I wouldn't do it but I'm not gonna say it's bad. Generally speaking I'd size up tho and polarize my range more.
Yeah turn bet probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense but as of now I don't know how to prove that.
June 7, 2018 | 7:05 p.m.
Flop raise is a mistake. Your hand is not strong enough to raise because villain has all AA/AK and other Kx hands, his cbetting range is just too strong to begin with. My strategy would be to just call all my range (because again, villains cbet is already strong), and that range includes basically Ax, Kx and flushdraws.
June 7, 2018 | 3:32 p.m.
All these thoughts arise from insecurity and fear.
Here are some thoughts that I try to live by:
1) Don't seek validation for your existence through poker. By doing that you're doomed to self-sabotage and create a circle of tilt, stress and fear, which leads to stagnation and self-doubt.
2) A natural response of a fearful person is to use his conscious mind to rationalize and take control of the situation. The big problem there is that the type of control your insecure mind desires is not attainable and it leads to narrow vision and unwise action. What you need to do there is to realize that the need for control arises from a fearful state and that you cannot control the circumstance. Not in the way you think.
3) Any struggle you might have outside of poker will 100% reflect on your poker career one way or another and I think it would be wise to live according to that fact, assuming we want to be the best poker players we can be.
June 5, 2018 | 10:11 a.m.
Hi, I moved this hand to MTT-section.
Preflop size could indeed be bigger. Flop is alright I suppose, but you need to bet bigger on the turn. What's the reasoning for the small bet? You didn't want him to fold?
June 4, 2018 | 9:54 a.m.
Shoving doesn't seem good to me. I think we would need a really draw-heavy range to shove againts, which I don't think we get to assume. By calling we either get value from river bluffs or save a lot of money againts nuts which is really valuable.