All the best buddy. I will break until I feel ready to face it again. Perhaps I have pushed myself way too hard. Maybe I should've just sticked to 4 tables 2 hours per session. I'm also trying to get to 8 hours a day for 5 days straight, how did you scale up hours?
June 7, 2021 | 8:28 a.m.
Well this is going to sound very stupid after my previous few posts but I am losing it. In May I went up to 50NL but saw my BR get mowed down by losing flips and getting sucked out. No problem, drop down to grind back up but a bad run saw me breaking even only for May.
5 days in to June and I lost 1/3 my bankroll to a combination of bad beats, losing flips, holding second nuts, spewing and of course bluffing into the nuts. Every hand now that I play, I fear every turn and river. When I see premium holdings I am numb and jaded by the anticipation of running into another weird turn/river where V hold 24 and spike a straight. I am frustrated, angry and confused on how after 30k hands I am still running like dog shit while every other of V's hand will spike a 2pair, set, flush. It's fucking amazing to me, and I don't know what to do anymore.
June 5, 2021 | 2:56 a.m.
The main theme of April 2021 is running bad - this time when moving up and taking a 15 downswing. And the lesson at the end of the month? Focus on the right decisions, even if you 3bet and had to fold your AK on low boards 10 times in a row, do it. You are not owed a good hand, a good flop, good runout; poker is a series of +EV decision played out over a large sample of hands. But we heard this a million times, why then is it still not clicking?
The way our brains are wired meant that we perceive negative information TWICE - in the reptilian brain (fight/flight) and prefrontal cortex (logic centre), but good information only perceived ONCE in the cortex. This difference explains why bad events are more painful than good things and why we remember the bad more. There's no way to overcome neuro wiring, BUT we can still reduce the impact of bad runs.
Poker is a game of good decisions, the results don't matter, only good decisions matter. All that we see, the fancy graphs, the red line, the bb/100 they are all representation of past good decision and have no bearing on the present/future decisions. In my study group, my partner got so obsessed with bb/100 that when a bad run happens and he sees his figure drop he loses it and loses a week or two of play time. What a huge leak!
Don't be attached to BS. Bankrolls are just indication of whether we can move up or down, if you're at a level of grinding for profits, it is only to withstand swings, that is it. It is not a measure of how good you are, how well you dominate or any random ego measure you can put on yourself to feel good.
In game, everything is just BB used for battle. And don't take breaks unless you are going to punch through your screen; when you get it in good and lose, ask yourself if it is the right decision - if it is, then well done move on, if it's not, mark it down and learn, that's the only way to profit from bad decisions. I had to force myself to practise this as I play until a beat isn't a big emotional downer, running KK into AA 3 times in a row, against a fish? Did the right thing move on. Losing AA to K2 on the river 2P? Can't possibly see that coming. Don't bitch about it in your head, or worse to your friends. Don't take it so personally, all that matters is if we made the right decision.
Once you get into a groove, bad runs will be less of an issue and that's would mean that we can win maximum with our good runs and lose only minimum on bad runs. Everybody can play good when things are in their favour, but not everyone can play good when losing, and that's an edge worth sharpening.
And you can only sharpen this blade when you are running bad.
May 10, 2021 | 2:54 a.m.
It has been a year since the lockdown started in my country and the feeling of claustrophobia is getting to me. March had been a difficult month off the table and I've missed my target of playing at least 20k hands. Nonetheless the results are above my expectations.
I feel quite proud of this result tbh; when I started this journey last year in 2NL/5NL my bb/100 is hovering around 3-5 and I could not fathom how people like blackrain is crushing the games at 10bb and above. Then I spent serious time studying in December and I found the secret: defend your checkline OOP lol.
Seriously though, when I started studying I didn't see strong results, it took a while to click, for everything to come together. I think I'm still far from a high stakes crusher, but slowly I guess we will get there.
April 1, 2021 | 8:06 a.m.
Yeah I'm doing the cashout bit now for 10NL and it feels like it's going to be forever, I'll guess I'll just ignore that part moving forward. Though I got to say having a very fat BR does make the downswing a lot more comfortable.
March 18, 2021 | 12:11 p.m.
Advice to myself
Poker exposes the state of our mental health. It forces us to deal with negative emotions that we may be unprepared to face. Our sense of self worth gets called into question when we face beats after beats and when mistakes start to accrue. We fold second nut because we keep running into the nuts 3 times in a row, or we shove QJo after another 3bet from the fish because we feel we "deserve" to win by now, only to see the fish tables AA and take another stack from us. Fuck it's not fair, it's bullshit we say; and at the back of our mind, doubts of our skill, our game plan and whether we can actually make it starts to arise.
The doubts open up doors from the past that was long forgotten, and behind those doors were the voices that reminds us of how we failed in the past - "You are just not good enough", "you never did manage to see things through", "you THINK you are smart enough to do this?", "quit your nonsensical day dream and get a REAL job". And they came from the people that we know - our parents, teachers, mentors, exes, best friends, etc; an amalgamation of negative stink from people we love and care for and who we thought had our best interest in mind.
Worst, our past failure had them withdraw their love for us, and now, there’s an irrational fear that if we lose at poker, we will lose something far greater. The voices eat and gnaw at us until we break and stop playing all together. "I'll take a break", and we go weeks without playing for fear of facing the feeling again.
Even with good BR management, the root of this problem needs to be overcome; otherwise we will never have the consistency needed to get to where we want to be in this game.
March 17, 2021 | 1:44 a.m.
One of the interesting things I've noticed moments before I tilt like a monkey is that I would plan on hands before V even took action. In this hand I called an open in BB v BU, and flop was Q87s, I checked and before V did anything I immediately plan on CR any bet coming from BU, since BU would not hit this board hard - which was ridiculous since it's not a board that would favour me disproportionately vs BU range.
Good thing I managed to slow down because V bet and V overbets on blank turn.
When losing, I realise I often succumb to the need to win. To sooth my ego that I am a winning player. Had I not catch myself and raise flop and shove turn, I might have just committed myself in a situation where either I'm way behind or I get fold from BU's trash hand. Maybe you'd argue that it's not a bad play at a low frequency and you might be right, but at the risk of going even more tilted, perhaps it was not that profitable a gamble.
March 3, 2021 | 3:33 a.m.
This is going to be a reflection of my journey in microstakes. I started in 5NL in Jan 2020, where I decided to play some poker for fun where it gradually became more of an obsession. Fast forward a year plus later, my bankroll grew exponentially after I spent more time studying more diligently. You can actually see where the inflection points was in my graph since I moved up to 10NL and my winrate shot up.
However, in the past 20k hands, I saw a sharp downswing from Fast games where I was running into nuts, bad beats and of course, spewing on a tilt. This forced me to learn how to play well while losing and boy, did I have a lot to learn. At the end of the month, somehow I managed to recover to break even and it felt like the greatest achievement, but the major problem was still unresolved. As poker players, we should be do our best to detached ourselves from outcomes, since decisions does not directly impact outcome in the short run, being disappointed/happy when you run good or bad isn't ideal. Plus the stress of losing or winning isn't exactly healthy either.
Strangely as well, as I went through a month of downswing, it felt shitty but at the same time I felt like I was learning how to navigate through tough times. At the end, I felt thankful that I went through this; it felt like it made me a better, more rounded player. Plus learning how to handle downswing at 10NL is better than learning it at 100NL.
March 3, 2021 | 3:11 a.m.
6max swings are pretty hardcore I find, transitioning from 9max. But your latest hands suggest to me that you might be too aggressive with premium hand.
Preflop your opening could be bigger, but flop sizing I would size it around 30-50% given there are 2 players. On turn T9 got there and with 2 players in the pot I'd generally bet smaller on the turn, river I think so many draws got there I would just hope for showdown.
That said, 5NL have so many loose fish that it won't be wrong if you size up preflop and size up flop as well, but generally turn and river are very dicey in MWpots. I was in this exact same position as you a year ago in the micros, so all the best to you!