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Tales From the Microstakes Tables

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Tales From the Microstakes Tables

Background

After just finishing university and securing my first real job I am exciting to finally have some time (and money!) to try and grind my way through the microstakes. First, a little background on my poker career. I started started playing in college, mostly 2 & 5NL as that was all I could safely afford to lose at the time. After not too long I was hooked and was spending much of my free time trying to gain as much poker knowledge as possible to try and beat those stakes. I want to say it happened quick, but it did not. Like many things in life, poker takes work, it takes practice, and it takes patience. I donked around at 2 & 5NL for almost a year before I started becoming a slightly winning player. Fast forward one year I was comfortably winning at 10NL and even able to make some cashouts to pay for beer and other fun college things. The problem was I was constantly in need of the extra cash so any little winnings I would make would end up in my bank account instead of staying in my poker BR. This meant that I was stuck at 10NL. While I did take some shots at 25NL I had to play so tight because I just couldn't really stomach losing 25 dollars. However, now here we are. We have money, we have time and I'm excited to see where we can go. I just purchased poker tracker so I'm excited to get into some stats and finally be able to review some of my hands after the fact.

Poker Goals

I've read through some of the other micro journals and it seems like a lot of them set pretty lofty win rate goals and to be honest I think I'm going to stay away from that. I played golf competitively in college, and like poker, golf is a game of process. What I mean is it is completely possible to do everything right and still end up in a precarious situation. The same is true with poker. It is possible to make all the right plays and still lose. With that in mind my poker goals are going to be process oriented. More, making the best decision as much as possible, less, let's get 8bb/100. I'm also going to stay away from time goals as I know variance can be a cruel, cruel mistress. I'm just going to set some goals and see where they take us!

1. Study poker 5 hours a week.

I know that there are still leaks in my game. I know that I still struggle with some of the fundamentals, but I am confident that if I put the time in that I can fix those leaks. Every week I am going to try and focus on something new and as a part of my updates post hands that convey what I have been working on (whether it be positive or negative). I feel like us micro guys all get in similar spots and it will be interesting to hear others feedback on certain spots. My hope is that we can all learn something from these.

2. Play a minimum 8k hands a week

This one is pretty self explanatory. I've decided that I will be playing regular 10NL to start. I have played a lot of zoom in the past, but from my experience I don't do well with the wild swings. I also like being able to try and find certain players' tendancies and exploit them. This is something that is really not possible in zoom especially when the micro player pools can exceed 500 players.

3. Create a strategy to deal with tilt

In the past I've been prone to playing emotional poker. Losing buyins due to coolers but then backing it up with more poor play which only compounds the problem. With that in mind, every time I take a bad beat I want to, sit out my tables, get up, do 10 push-ups and walk around for a minimum of one minute before resuming. My hope is that by cooling myself down I will be able to get back in the game with a clear head and make as many good decisions as possible.

Life Goals

1. Continue to eat healthy

This was something that I was fortunate to figure out while in college and it massively helped my productivity. Eating well and being hydrated allow me a certain mental clarity that helps with my focus and with decision-making. As such it has become something that I am very invested in and want to continue throughout my adult life.

2. Meditate 20 minutes a day

Again, I was lucky to find out about meditation in college and it helped me immensely with focus. In particular dealing with stress and being able to sit for longer periods of time without becoming distracted. I use and app called HeadSpace and want to continue with doing it daily. I have never gotten to the 15 day streak (this unlocks a month free to give to someone else) as such It is my goal in March to finally hit the mark!

3. Workout 3 days a week

This was something I never struggled with in college. Mostly because I played athletics and we were somewhat forced. However, it something I am finding becomes increasingly more difficult in adult life. Because of that I want to find at least a 30 minute slot in my day, 3 times a week, in which I can workout. It doesn't have to be going to the gym. It can just be doing bodyweight workouts or going for a run.

Wrap-up

I'm really hoping that posting here will create some sort of accountability. Its something that I believe is genuinely important and was something that helped my golf game grow immensely throughout college. Having other people to push you and make you better is essential for achieving greatness. With that in mind, let's get to work.

Thanks for reading and happy grinding!

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