Cold Turkey Live Trip
I haven't posted for quite some time. There are a few reasons for this. For one, I have been chatting in a private slack group and getting my fill of documenting my journey through that. Another reason, however, is that I have been trying really hard to quit nicotine cold turkey again, and didn't want to post until I had accomplished it. I have done it!
As of today, it has been about 30 days since I last had nicotine, and I am officially considering myself quit at this point. As a reward to myself, I am booking a trip to Run it UP Reno in April! I have been wanting to make this trip for 3 years and really looking forward to it. I might be blowing most/all of my bankroll if the trip doesn't go well, but that's fine. Easy come easy go and all that.
I've been taking a bit of a break from online and playing a lot more live, and have been enjoying the live game quite a lot lately. My hourly is quite good over a meaningless sample, and my main goals for now are to grind enough hours to have a meaningful sample of live (this is pretty hard to do, I'll just play as many hours as I can) and to consistently study and get more into the post flop solver grind.
There aren't many live games to choose from here in ME- I play high rake $1/3 at the only casino in the state, and some $1/2 home games, and the occasional $2/5 home game, but that doesn't run very often. I would love to grind up $12k or so and then start taking weekend trips to Encore Boston to grind $2/5- that's kind of what I'm targeting for now.
For the next month I will be trying to study on weeknights and just grinding live most weekends as I prepare for the RIU trip. It feels a little ironic that a few months ago I was grinding MTTs way too much, grinding my face off, and now when I have a live MTT trip coming up, I'm only playing cash and not really studying or playing MTTs. I feel pretty confident that I'm taking the incentivized path here though, and playing live is good for getting some reps in with "live reads" and leaks that are unique to live play - such as people over VPIP'ing because they get bored only playing 20 hands/hr (this is a leak for me also).
GL out there- if anyone is going to RIU Reno holla at me!
Feb. 24, 2020 | 3:31 p.m.
Hey, my RFI range is based on suggested ranges from various MTT training courses, but yes IIRC I did set the 3b defend range based on HRC. I don't have monker so that's the best I can do. Also, because this is simply an experiment to get a feel for how ICM effets our 3bet and flop ranges, I don't think we need perfect GTO preflop ranges to accomplish that goal. HRC is letting us realize our equity post in both spots, so it will still give us a reasonable idea of how ICM effects our overall strategy.
EDIT: having said that, I agree with you that a true full-tree solve taking into account our postflop realization, etc. would be much better. Eventually I'll get around to learning Monker ;). I wish HRC would at least allow us to define realization factors to each combo in our range sort of like how Power-Equilab does - seems like that would be very doable and would make these types of sims much more accurate. Would be a cool way to do quick experimentation and achieve higher accuracy and could be done much faster than a "true solve"
Jan. 15, 2020 | 6:43 p.m.
Very easy flop fold as played. Agree you should be folding pre. FWIW I personally think that the same iso with 54s is fine this deep assuming villains will make plenty of postflop mistakes.
If we give both villains the below range (the suited combos are Hearts only -e.g. all nut flush draws + KQhh + 67,78hh), we have 27% equity. This is not the worst-case or the best-case scenario (I gave them both 88,99 just to make the spot not the worst case) and we have to fold. I think giving them both 88-99 is generous here and they probably have an even stronger range than that:
Dec. 30, 2019 | 8:33 p.m.
Home Games are where it's at
Friday of last week, I decided to take a shot and play a $2/5 home game that a friend of mine who is a full-time live cash pro invited me to. I am not rolled for that game and don't really have any idea what I am doing with 200-400bb. When I got there, everyone at the table had $2k or more The buy-in was $1k max, but I bought $500 so I wouldn't have to go home if I got AI and lost.
First hand, I was dealt in UTG and didn't have to post, so I straddled to $10 instead. One raise in EP to $50, BTN flats, and folds to me. I look down at KK, 3bet to $250, both players call. I shove flop for 1/3 pot and both players call. I hold and triple up first hand. It was a pretty good way to start the session :)
I didn't feel like I played very well in that session, but I ran good and made a significant amount of money, and had a lot of fun. I wanted to be a fun player and get invited back, so I straddled at every opportunity and drank plenty of whiskey. I showed my cards when people folded. I engaged in conversation and didn't take myself too seriously. There was plenty of needling going on and a general lack of etiquette - just an all around fun environment.
The home game ran again last night and I went back. This time, I felt like I played much better. I made a few successful bluffs that I felt were pretty unorthodox that worked out- my favorite one was a 1/4 pot river donk lead with A hi where my opponent tanked for a while and eventually folded. While tanking/thinking OTR he said something like "that bet size is very suspicious" and claimed he folded QQ - the board was J hi and paired and the flop flush draw missed. In last night's game, the guy hosting the game was on my right, and several times when he straddled to $10, I double straddled to $20 - creating a 2/5/10/20 game once every few orbits. Those pots didn't go my way, but I got the sense that the table overall enjoyed my doing that. I wasn't just doing it for "image" or for game-strategy reasons, but also because it was just fun and I want people to enjoy playing with me.
In this game they also run a $20 "bomb pot" every 30 mins - which means everyone puts in $20 and we go straight to the flop. Playing 10 handed where everyone has a 100% range in a bloated pot is really fucking fun!
I'll be taking the rest of the week off from poker stuff to enjoy the holidays, and when I return to the grind I think my plan will be to study and play live cash when I can during the week, and just grind MTTs on Sundays. These last few sessions playing live have given me a confidence boost - but I am also very aware that live variance can be brutal and I'm probably running well above expectation at the moment.
Happy holidays and GL to all!
Dec. 24, 2019 | 3:33 p.m.
I think in general the OOP caller shouldn’t have much of a leading range on most flops and when they do it’s going to be a pretty condensed range of medium strength hands.
You can probably exploitatively fold most of the weak portion of your range, raise good draws, flat ok draws, flat very strong hands that aren’t very vulnerable, and raise strong hands that are vulnerable/benefit from protection. This is all texture and SPR dependent of course. In spots where you started the hand with like 15-25bb you can get away with just shoving over their dink when you very likely have the best hand OTF but are vulnerable on a lot of turns/rivers
Dec. 16, 2019 | 3:24 p.m.
Hey! I came in here to check out the question and was going to try to post my thoughts but you did a pretty thorough job of summing up the hand. I’m quite confused about a few of the sizings you discussed using and was wondering if I could ask some questions.
Flop- I don’t really understand why we would use 25% sizing here. With AT it seems like a small sizing is bad when we do bet because we benefit from protection multi-way here and our hand is quite vulnerable vs several wide ranges. Maybe this is a combo that falls into the 50% range and we would use the smaller size with hands that do a better job of retaining equity on later streets?
River - a bit surprised that we use this size with range here, but that’s probably because I have no clue how to play 200bb NLHE optimally :). Would you be only having that one size here with range and just checking back everything in the middle? It makes sense to polarize here, would we just be jamming all our very strong hands and then shoving our bluffs that have the best unblocking qualities (not blocking the front or back Door flushdraws I guess)?
Dec. 16, 2019 | 3:20 p.m.
Maine's only poker destination
I decided to mix things up a little this past week. I drove to the casino here in Maine to play a little live cash. There are 2 casinos in the state, but only one has poker. It's about a 75 minute drive one-way for me, and usually I don't feel like driving that far and then waiting for a seat, but Saturdays are ideal since I can get there early, and I had been craving some live play, so I went for it.
The game was reallly good, and reallly fun. I had a great time and made a small profit. There was a very fun individual who sat down on my right a few hours in, and he was straddling $10 very often and getting lots of money in pre whenever possible. There was one hand where I very happily called his 4bet shove pre with A9o, certain that it was a quite profitable play.
I wanted to stay and play all night, but I only got about a 6 hour session in since I had to go to an ugly sweater party back home with some friends. I feel like I timed my session perfectly and left at just the right time to get to the party and also get some volume in. I brought a pair of headphones to the casino, bit didn't end up using them, and chatted with other players/the dealers pretty much the whole time instead.
Unfortunately, I took Sunday off from grinding because I had a lot to drink Saturday night and didn't get good sleep. I was feeling very tired and a bit hungover Sunday, so I basically took the day off entirely. I went for a 5-6 mile hike and did get in 1 hour of solid study, but aside from that I just relaxed. It felt good, but next weekend I need to play a full Sunday session!
It became very apparent to me early on this week that my 100k hands volume goal is NOT going to work out. It's a terrible goal for many reasons. First off, I have no way of really measuring my volume in zone. HUD's don't work consistently, and even the HH download feature on Bovada breaks pretty often. Second, forcing volume in a game I kind of suck at seems silly. I need to focus more on study. I'm changing that goal to 10 hours/week of study instead. Because I tried to force so much volume last week, I only studied about 3 hours. This week I'm going to smash the 10 hour goal and not going to play until Friday. My plan is to play live cash Friday night and grind online MTTs Sunday. Saturday I have another party to attend, so I won't be able to get volume in then.
Happy Holidays, Merry Festivus, Run Good!
Dec. 16, 2019 | 2:42 p.m.
I’m by no means a game theory wizard but my understanding is that a true Nash equilibrium doesn’t really exist for 3+ players. I think it has something to do with the possibility of collusion in multi way pots (not the unethical type of collusion you may think) - when we are up against 2 enemies they can “work together” - intentionally or not - to reduce our share of the pot. I have no idea how monker solves and how it approximates a solution for multi-way spots, but I believe it is fundamentally different from how pio solves HU situations. It is the best option right now though.
Dec. 11, 2019 | 2:13 p.m.
Hey thanks a bunch for posting the sim. The JJ thing is interesting to me and I feel like it's something I was intuitively picking up on a little but not able to explain/quantify. I'm curious if TT is a better call for villain than JJ (seems like it would be vs PIO since it doesn't block our bluffs). The blocking quality of JJ seems pretty relevant since it cuts down our bluffs by ~6 combos.
Also, in practice, I feel fairly confident saying that the pool is not folding TT more often than they fold JJ on average and I'm wondering what exploitative implications that should have on our strategy, if any.
As far as Pio's strategy with KQ OTT I have no idea! Tried to think about reasons why this would make sense and can't really come up with any. Is it possible to be an anomaly? What accuracy did you solve to?
Dec. 9, 2019 | 9:38 p.m.
Q1 2020 Sprint
I’ve settled on my goals for the next 13 weeks. I’m going to be shifting away from profit seeking and focusing more on getting back into morning meditation/yoga every day and hope to play more cash. I have 3 main categories I’m focusing on:
-Wake up at 6am every day and do 1 hour of medding (this will include yoga, meditation, and misc exercises
-Only eat between 12-8PM, excluding morning juice, supplements, and bulletproof coffee. Over the last several months while I was playing a decent amount of MTTs I was snacking too much late at night and that impacted my sleep and made me feel sluggish in the morning. For this sprint I will strive to limit my eating to 12-8PM.
-100k hands of Zone poker - starting at 25NL and probably sticking there for the whole time. Will move down to 5NL if it’s going bad and will move up to 50NL towards the end if I’m crushing. This is a very ambitious goal and will require 8k hands per week, which is a lot of volume for me. I also want to play a few live cash sessions.
Feeling good about these goals and looking forward to having a more consistent sleep schedule for a while. Let’s go!
Dec. 9, 2019 | 2:33 p.m.
Yeah Discipline and/or impatience issue. I know you’re right about this but the difference between knowing the path and walking it is huge and I’ve had a hard time walking it. I’ve been quite stressed to get myself in a better financial position as quickly as possible for a little while, but I’ve kind of done that now, so there’s no real need to feel rushed. I actually have been playing some 5NL - 50NL the last few days and may try to stick to those games for a bit.
Dec. 8, 2019 | 1:59 a.m.
Hey Man! Found this after you posted in my journal. Best wishes! It seems like you are dedicated to taking the right actions and having good routines. Will be following :)
Dec. 6, 2019 | 4:08 p.m.
Thanks! I actually recently listened to the Audiobook version of Atomic Habits and I really liked it a lot. Gave me some very useful tips for trying to establish good habits. I agree about meditation and habits not being tied to my career. I want to do that stuff daily no matter what my day job is! I do a pretty good job with it, it's just that I don't do it daily. I also recently finished reading Tommy Angelo's book "dailyness" which is a good short read about having a daily meditation practice. I would recommend it if you are interested in that.
Dec. 6, 2019 | 2:18 p.m.
Yeah tough spot. Makes sense for SB to get to turn and river here with plenty of filled up Jx hands. I would somewhat discount QQ and TT but would still give them those at some frequency.
Just doing some quick combinatorics:
TT - 50% = 1.5 combos
QQ - 50% = 1.5 combos
JT- all combos = 6 suited only = 1 combo
QJ - all combos = 6 suited only = 1 combo
Analyzing the river shove - if we give SB all these combos they have 15 value combos that beat us.
We need to call 10536 and total pot will be 43657 so we need 24% equity. So, villain will need 25% roughly of their bets here to be bluffs for us to call.
Therefore, villain needs at least 5 bluff combos to make this a call (5/20 = 0.25). VIllain can also have thin valuebets that we beat to make up these combos, but I doubt that they have any value bets that we beat. I also have a hard time thinking of what bluffs villain can have. With us blocking Ks it's hard for villain to really have any flush+str8 draw hands that they go off with. Therefore, I think the river is a fold.
On the turn, we need 27% Equity to call this raise - this can be determined by analyzing hand vs. range in a simple equity calculator and playing around with villain's range. Turn is closer than river IMO as it is more plausible that villain can have combo draws/ some Jx + OESD, etc. However, villain still has all those 15 combos of nutted hands on turn as well. It's a close spot that is highly dependent on villain's range construction (how often will they semi-bluff Jx + draw mainly). Vs an unknown I guess you can default to a pseudo-GTO strategy, and without running a sim I would guess that GTO strat would not be folding this combo here very often.
EDIT: I also agree that checking turn has some merit but have no idea which is better in theory. Also, if you think SB never 3bets TT, this is a worse spot for you since they would need more bluffs to make calls OTT and OTR profitable.
Dec. 5, 2019 | 8:12 p.m.
Hello! working my day job at the moment but waiting for a database deployment which will take a few mins, so wanted to fire a quick update.
In my last post, I stated that I was going to be taking a week off from poker. That didn't happen. That rarely happens. I wanted to play too much, so I did. I lost, and then lost more. I haven't made any effort to determine how much of my recent losses are due to variance, because I don't care. In my opinion it is entirely irrelevant and doesn't really change what my goals are or what my process should be.
For the last 10+ days, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to focus on and what goals to set for my next 13 week sprint. I feel like I am a bit stuck in analysis paralysis, but can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've thought about cutting way back on poker and focusing more on studying software development and working on building my own SaaS app, which is an idea I've come back to several times over the last few years, but never executed on. I've thought about focusing more on meditation and routines, sleep, exercise, etc. I've thought about switching to cash and moving way down to the micros and focusing on learning as much GTO as I can and not worrying about making any money. I've considered getting back into live cash again. Lastly, I've considered carrying on with basically the same goals I had for my last sprint, focusing on MTT study and play. At the moment, that is what I am leaning towards.
I think part of the reason I've been thinking so much about doing other stuff is the massive downswing I am on and feeling a little burnt out, and also with it being deep winter here in Maine, it's dark all the time and I have much less energy at night to grind MTT sessions. I don't get much sun despite getting out in the woods early in the day fairly often to go for short hikes.
I'm going to sit with these thoughts a bit more over this weekend, and by Sunday I will determine what my focus will be and I'll start my next 13-week sprint on Monday.
Dec. 5, 2019 | 6:35 p.m.
ryanspicer Yeah, playing a ton of MTT's while working a full time job is challenging. I consider myself to have a pretty big edge in the MTTs I play and I consistently profit year over year, but playing cash would be much easier on my sleep schedule, diet, etc. I've tried to drop down before but I have a number of problems with playing 50NL and lower (there's no 100NLz on my site). I feel like I'm in a rake trap and I don't find it nearly as fun or interesting as playing 200NL. Sometimes I wish I could just drop down to 5NL and play my heart out and have a blast, but that has not been the case. I feel like I am good enough to beat 200NL for a decent winrate when I'm playing my best, but the problem is the frequency at which I play my best. I also have a hard time playing 100% cash and not mixing both cash and MTT, because I know pretty much every time I play an MTT session I have a good positive expectation, and never feel like I'm getting crushed by the field.
Thanks for your comments!
Dec. 5, 2019 | 3:01 p.m.
Thanks, I think this makes a lot of sense. Not sure if I agree about the calling/folding frequency of the pool with TT-JJ in this spot, but I do think there's a ton of merit to sticking to bluffs that have better blocking/unblocking qualities.
Dec. 5, 2019 | 2:55 p.m.
Thx man. To be honest I primarily play MTT, and often times my forays into cash last a little while and then I F$ck it up and move back to tournaments :). I'm interested in switching to cash mainly for life balance reasons but haven't been able to make it stick successfully.
Dec. 3, 2019 | 5:54 p.m.
Reflection and time off
Last week, for most of the week, I was pretty on point with diet and exercise, but didn’t study poker much. I had a shitty Sunday session and over ate at night which I have a tendency to do when grinding. I feel lethargic today because of it.
I started feeling pretty down on myself during my session yesterday, and made a good decision to stop regging a bit early. I got to bed a little earlier than I normally do for Sunday’s and feel like I’m thinking a little more clearly today.
My roll is on “life support” relative to where it was just a few months ago, but if I zoom out and look at a longer timeline to put things in perspective- I started grinding MTTs again with a $200 deposit and since then have paid off $7k ish in debt from my winnings, bought myself a Sonos sound bar as a reward for my efforts, and now have around $1350 to play with. I also got significantly better at my rejam game and have a path to keep improving.
My last 13-week sprint ended yesterday. I’m planning to take this week entirely off from poker- no study or play at all. Then next week I’m going to try just studying as much as I can during the week and just grinding Sunday.
I’m going to think this week on what I want my next 13 week sprint goals to be and the following week I’ll start on those. I’m leaning towards focusing on routines like meditation, exercise, and bed and wake times. I will still be playing and studying for my next sprint, but might soften my focus on those activities and instead only track my efforts in the other areas. I certainly have much to learn to become a better player, but I feel like implementing these other things will actually make me a more effective player than more study will.
Have a good thanksgiving y’all!
Nov. 25, 2019 | 4:13 p.m.
Hello hello!! It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update. That’s partially because I’ve been going through some pretty rough times lately and couldn’t muster up the motivation to write an honest post about it.
My girlfriend of nearly 9 years has been having some pretty serious and somewhat scary health issues this year, and recently she was diagnosed with both Lupus and Auto-Immune Hepatitis. These are both incurable auto immune diseases and there’s a good chance she will have to go on some very invasive medication that has potentially some negative side effects. She has had a few random attacks of severe liver pain and sometimes is bad enough to make her pass out, and has had several complications due to these issues that are causing her pain and discomfort.
It's been a pretty tough thing to go through for both of us. Seeing her suffer has really been weighing on me and effecting every area of my life. It's going to be a difficult road just to get to stability and this will change her life and she will have to learn to live with these issues. Seeing her sad/depressed/in pain destroys me and I've been feeling pretty depressed myself because of it. I've been trying to step up and help out and do whatever I can, while still performing at my job, and studying and playing poker.
Speaking of poker, I'm on a massive downswing. To be honest, it probably would have been best for me to just take the last few weeks off entirely to rest and process what's going on. I've spewed a little in cash lately and also downswinging pretty hard in MTTs. I blasted away last Sunday for the end of the Bovada series, firing 2 bullets in the $450 main event and playing all of the bigger buy-ins on the Sunday schedule.
I mindfully threw bankroll management out the window and decided I'd rather take shots at soft, big events that only come around twice per year and risk having to move down than skip the events. I basically got the worst case scenario, bricking everything, and now I've got to move down and build back up. I'm totally fine with that though, and if I could rewind time I would blast away again and fire the big events every time. I am confident I can rebuild quickly, and would prefer to be very aggressive with my bankroll while it is small-ish in good events where I am confident in my edge. My roll today stands at about $1,550, with around 800 on Bovada and 700 on ACR. I'll be playing mainly $20's and under with some $30 and $40's for now.
My current 13-week sprint wraps up this week and next week I'm planning to take the whole week off from doing any study/play. It's thanksgiving and I will be traveling to visit family Thurs-Sun anyway, and I need some time off to relax. I'm looking fwd to spending some quality time with my girlfriend and her family. After that I'll do planning for my next 13 weeks and will post about what I come up with. I am leaning towards structuring my goals around healthy habits and processes and being less poker-focused for the next sprint.
Nov. 22, 2019 | 2:24 p.m.
Hey! Thanks for the feedback and I am glad you have enjoyed reading the blog. Definitely does not come across rude. Actually, was nice to read and gives me some inspiration to post an update, which I will be doing soon :)
Nov. 20, 2019 | 11:45 p.m.
Thanks! You are right about the 20% weight of AA-KK, that is not accurate and I need to adjust that. I'm not sure how much of an effect that would have on my river value range but it is definitely not accurate.
Since this is anonymous zoom, it's hard to say whether the villain is a good player or not. The best I can do is think about overall pool, and I think that on average we are up against a range we want to value bet against on this river. I think a lot of stronger hands will sometimes XR turn, sometimes XC-XC and then lead river, etc.
The main thing I want to say here is I'm not really concerned about getting bluff raised OTR. I am very comfortable with bet-folding and I don't think we are going to get exploited doing so. However, we could be value owning ourselves here vs. certain players I guess. Probably a big reason why I consistently check back these spots is the pain of owning myself firing that third barrel thinly is a potent thing and I really remember the times it happens and I think it can be a bit of a bias.
Nov. 13, 2019 | 12:12 p.m.
I have been noticing a trend in reviewing 200NL hands lately that I seem to be missing thin-ish river value bets in triple barrel lines, mostly IP in single raised pots.
Here's an example from today:
I open 3bb MP, BB defends. Flop JsAh2h Turn Ks River 5s
I B-B flop and turn 1/3 and 2/3, and then I check back OTR with AQo with As (a very relevant flush blocker IMO).
Doing analysis by hand making assumptions about villain's range, I feel like the river is a very clear value bet and a very easy bet/fold when raised vs pool tendencies.
However, when I put in my exact pf range and a fairly wide mixed range for the BB defense, PIO wants us to bet AQo flop and turn almost every time, but then wants us to check back AQo OTR almost always. I don't think this is correct in practice, and this is a challenge/problem I have every time I sit down and try to use PIO. Looking at the makeup of villains river range given the PF range I assigned, here's what I can tell:
-PIO's river range is much more well protected by stronger hands than pool will be (very low frequency of AA,KK,JJ - I give BB defender all these hands at 20% frequency, maybe I should not give them these hands at all).
-PIO's river range is much wider and far less well defined than pool's in this spot
-PIO's river range contains several air hands that XR as a bluff at some frequency and force us to Bet-Fold some strong hands OTR.
I guess my questions are:
-Do you agree this is a very clear value bet in practice?
-How can I work effectively with PIO to actually learn something in a spot like this?
-How can I do work on my game to stop missing exploitative value bets OTR in B-B-B lines?
Nov. 13, 2019 | 12:47 a.m.
Thx Jeff. FWIW I don't have A3 here I don't 3bet it pre even suited. In theory I agree that overbluffing is a big concern here but in practice if we can be confident the pool over folds then it doesn't really matter. However, I'm not super confident that pool overfolds by a lot here although i think it's a bit more likely they overfold than they call optimally or too frequently. I think in theory villain should be calling with a lot of hands they get to river with here but that in practice they fold way too many combos. I will try to do some more scientific analysis with solvers/tools when I get a chance and post here.
Nov. 12, 2019 | 2:52 p.m.
200NLz Bovada. We 3bet MP vs UTG and then triple as a bluff. My main/only question is OTR I would like to discuss the merits of bluffing vs. giving up on the hand, and when we bluff what size should be selected (I think jamming is good, but perhaps another sizing is more efficient).
Pre I play 3bet or fold here and this is the bottom of my 3b range MP vs UTG.
OTF am cbetting a high frequency.
OTT when we turn a flushdraw I barrel 100% with this hand.
On river I am pretty uncertain if the bluff is good. My thought process in-game was basically "I am relatively uncapped, villain should be capped somewhat, it will be hard for villain to hero with the lowest PP in their range", I shove.
To be more specific, I think that villain's range is fairly face up and is made up of mostly pocket pairs and AKcc. I also think villain will have a hard time meeting their MDF on this river vs the jam but also vs other sizings. I haven't run this spot in PIO yet but I'm guessing this hand is probably a bet at some frequency on every street. I also felt like I picked up some information based on timing in the hand that led me to believe it was very unlikely villain had 99 or 88 OTR.
Nov. 12, 2019 | 2:19 p.m.
Slow and Steady
My current 13-week sprint is getting close to wrapping up (about 3.5 weeks left). I have been trying to put in 7 hours of focused study every week, and most weeks I have come up short. This doesn't count listening to poker podcasts, reading articles, or the "study" I do while playing. I also didn't do a great job of tracking my pre-session routine, which also includes reviewing a few hands, and only track time where I am not multi tasking and am putting in serious deep work on my game.
The cool thing about journaling and holding yourself accountable to a measurable goal is that failing is OK. In fact, failing is much, MUCH better than not trying at all. Even though I am "failing" my goal right now, I am putting in consistent work to get better. "If you shoot for the moon and miss, you still land among the stars".
I still haven't quit nicotine, and am chewing a piece of nicotine gum right now. I did listen to the "easy way" audiobook as gnac suggested, and it was a good listen. After finishing it, I tried to go cold turkey and made it through 2 very difficult days before giving in to my cravings again. I will keep trying, and eventually I'll succeed.
One thing I have found incredibly difficult over this sprint is playing less sessions. I had several weeks where I started the week telling myself "OK, this week I will only play on Sunday". Mostly it was for life-balance reasons. Invariably, by mid-week I have at least one day where I finish a very stressful day of work and feel very motivated to grind a session. I feel like I have been doing a solid job of balancing given how much I play, and I am still performing very, very well at my day job and impressing my bosses. I'm also not that stressed in general- that is probably massively helped by the fact that I recently got rid of almost $500 a month in expenses and I can see tangible results and progress.
At this time, I have no idea what my next 13-week goal will be. It might be poker-related, it might not. I have been thinking a lot about trying to develop a consistent morning routine which includes meditation and yoga, but that is literally impossible to do 7 days per week while grinding MTTs and working full-time. The best I could do is 6 days per week and take Monday mornings off after grinding Sunday. Yes, I could do it if I quit poker entirely or switched to cash, but I have no interest in doing either of those things. For now I'm just doing the best I can to balance my life and manage stress while earning a decent side income to build toward financial independence.
The best thing I have "earned" over this sprint is a feeling of ease and comfort. I'm not feeling rushed in any way and I have been doing a better job of thinking long-term and practicing daily gratitude. Slow and steady wins the race.
Oct. 23, 2019 | 12:01 a.m.
FWIW - I just called their support line and was told I need to rake 10% of my deposit before I can cashout. e.g. if I deposited $1k I need to rake $100 or more before I can cash out any winnings. That is a bit annoying but guess I'll just play enough to generate this rake amount and then cash out.