radiosick's avatar

radiosick

222 points

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Hi,

I'm not really up on the coaching scene at all. All I can recommend is my brother Nick's website: www.pokerdetox.com, which has a CFP program.

Oct. 30, 2019 | 7:50 a.m.

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your videos. The ATo hand was the most interesting hand to me. Given that the hand is a pretty clear call in theory, I thought it would have been a little more useful to try to nodelock IP's river strategy a bit and see if there are some bluffs in the range that we don't think he would be always be finding (missed offsuit gutters with a heart, for example), and see what it takes for ATo to become a punt in practice.

Based on my database research I do not think the pool is bluffing enough in this spot. Wide 3bet range in BB vs SB definitely helps, as well as our removal, but SPR hurts a lot. I would be kinda shocked if we had more than 33% equity to call here, even vs. a strong reg like karl.

Seems to me like a good spot to make an exploitative fold, especially since it would be basically impossible for our opponent to counter exploit us. But then you would probably get trolled by commenters, so IDK :D

Oct. 18, 2019 | 7:44 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Random Poker Thought

Some musings about the Mike Postle case...

  1. The poker world is obsessed with this story because it gives us something to rally around. Sure, it's interesting that he cheated, but I think the bigger draw is the sense of community that has been created around the investigation.

  2. My biggest confusion point about the case is if someone is godmoding at a table, it is literally impossible for anyone else at that table to win. That means every regular on that stream had to be not just losing, but losing badly. How did they not communicate? I'm assuming it was harder to detect than I would expect for a few reasons:
    -Live poker players don't have tracking software to easily spot patterns in their losing sessions. They might also not be as diligent about tracking their results as more serious online pros, though I am sure at least some of these players take the game very seriously.
    -The turnover rate among pros was too high for anyone to stick around long enough to catch on. I haven't watched the stream so I have no idea how many long-time regs were in the game.
    -They probably only played like 10% of their hands on stream, meaning they could still make the money back off stream. Still, it would be really hard to recover those losses.
    -You just don't expect something like this is going to happen to you.
    I can get on board with all that, but still. A year and a half? You would think someone would be like, "Hey, I can't ever win here." And someone else would be like, "You know, now that you mention it, I never win here either." And if you asked around a little more, you would find that actually no one was winning--except Mike Postle.
    Maybe I'm just more paranoid than the average person, especially after seeing some of my friends get cheated on the Chinese poker apps. Over the last couple months when I was breaking even on Bovada, I was asking everyone I knew how their results were on the site. If even one other person is winning, the probability of a security breach basically vanishes. But if everyone is losing, you should be suspicious that you are in a fraudulent system.

  3. It's a good thing that, presumably, most people who are shady enough to cheat are also greedy/stupid enough to cheat blatantly. But I do wonder how many guys have had access to an unfair advantage like this and been able to keep it under the radar, occasionally dumping some money back and winning at a more "human" rate of 10-30 bb/100. This, to me, is the scariest thing to imagine.

Oct. 13, 2019 | 1:56 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Do you download the cards up hhs after 24hrs to review? Do you think there is benefit in knowing you made the correct fold or bluffed the hand you were targeting to bluff after the fact?

Yes. This is extremely important IMO, because sometimes people show up with stuff that you never thought range them for.

I import the downloaded hand histories with hole cards exposed into a separate database in HEM2.

Oct. 6, 2019 | 6:44 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

I rarely use Pio. When I do, it's just to look at basic concepts on the flop, because simple stuff like that is all I think I can actually remember and apply. I go explo / hand vs. range on the turn and river.

Oct. 6, 2019 | 12:50 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

I don't have much of a routine. I usually play at night because I am in the US. I typically grind shortly after dinner for about 4 hours. I do that 5 days per week. That ends up being between 20-25k hands per month. Study happens in the morning or on days off.

Oct. 5, 2019 | 7:50 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Hi,

I always waited until I had 30 bis at the next limit before taking a shot. That means I had at least 60 bis at my current limit before moving up. Usually I was even a bit more conservative than that, waiting until I had about 75 bis at the current limit. My bankroll and my life roll were the same, so I think you have to be more conservative in this case.

I think I usually gave myself a stop loss of ~10 bis at the new limit. I always wanted to have at least 50 bis to play with at lower stakes in the event that I had to drop back down.

My shots at 500nl, 1000nl, and 2000nl all went pretty smoothly and I started winning right off the bat. I guess I just ran well. 500nl was pretty much a perfectly smooth ride. At both 1000nl and 2000nl I had 20 bi downswings around 10k hands in where I lost about a third of my roll each time. Keep in mind this is with a very high win rate and with the fairly conservative BRM I outlined above. IDK if I just had a really swingy sample or what, but I've been even more conservative since my last downswing because I just don't want to feel that way again for a while if I can help it. (These swings happened only ~2 months apart). At 1000nl I just played through it and went on big a heater straight after. But after the most recent swing at 2000nl I just opted to move back down to 1000nl temporarily until I regain some momentum.

I just played 4 tables of the new limit from the start. Personally I have never had too much trouble with this. I find higher stakes make me 100% focused and I think I probably play better with the added pressure, assuming I'm winning or at least breaking even. I always tried to play my first few sessions at the new limit on a weekend when games were the softest. I think game selection is really important where you're first trying to stick the landing at a new limit.

I don't have much other advice other than err on the side of being overly conservative. Of course you can't be a total nit about moving up, because if you never move up, you'll never make any money. But as long as you have a plan in place, you'll get there. I guess you just have to know yourself and your limitations. I tend to be a pretty careful person and don't have much of a stomach for huge swings, so I'll probably be even more conservative from here on out because at this point I am interested in optimizing for happiness, low stress levels, and financial security.

Oct. 4, 2019 | 11:26 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Yes. I just didn't know H2N was an option for Ignition. I use a very basic HUD when I play, so it doesn't really matter for me.

Oct. 3, 2019 | 8:31 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

BTW if you're unable to identify the "trigger" for this habit, in other words what is the subconscious belief that is causing you to engage in it, hypnotherapy is very good for that.

Oct. 2, 2019 | 7:37 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

I think you'll probably find better games at regular tables. I also think 1-2 tabling zoom is perfectly fine if you're beating those games with a high win rate (~5 bb/100 or more), but most people aren't doing that and would be better off finding better games, even if it means playing way less hands.

I know people say you should try to play better players to improve, but I'm giving advice for the average person to make the most money. A lot of guys who recommend reverse table selection say that after they became one of the best in the world, so there's a survivorship bias there.

Oct. 2, 2019 | 7:14 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

What stands out to me is you say you want to stop this behavior more than anything, and yet you keep doing it.

That means you think (maybe subconsciously) the behavior is benefiting you in some way, otherwise you really would stop doing it, or you would pay the guy to write the script to block PT4 or whatever.

Instead you're telling yourself you can't stop, and you're writing to me for advice. Well, here's my advice: just stop doing it. Write down the amount of time you are going to avoid checking results and post it on your screen. Hold yourself accountable.

If it makes you feel any better, I have this problem too. I've had periods where I checked results much less frequently, but it's just so easy to pull up PT4 and have it tell you exactly how much you're up/down during a session. At minimum I check my cashier balance after a session to see what I won or lost, but I usually check PT4 multiple times throughout a session. I guess I just don't see it as affecting my performance as much as you do, so I haven't made a real effort to break the habit. Though I agree, it can't be a good habit to get into.

Oct. 2, 2019 | 7:09 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Random Poker Thought

I don't know what is more offensive to my poker sensibilities: that people are shady enough to cheat, or that they are dumb enough to get caught.

Oct. 2, 2019 | 6:58 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

For instance, in my experience, some "jumps" were tougher than others. I found the jump from 2/5 to 5/10 to be my first major obstacle. Then from 50NL to 100NL was fairly challenging as well.

I'm not really sure how much this is a thing until you get to really high stakes, like nosebleeds.

Take what I say with a grain of salt, because I haven't put in enough hands at any limit to form any opinion about the difficulty of the games that isn't completely influenced by variance. I also never really played much lower than 200nl, except in my early days back when I first started playing poker. In 2018 when I came back to the game after a long break, I played 50k hands or so at micros. But after I put up a winning sample I think I just jumped back into 200nl, which was my main game back in the old days.

If I had to guess, I would say the games don't actually get that much tougher as you move up. I think once you get that idea in your head it's very easy to blow it out of proportion. Obviously the opponents you are playing will be a little better/smarter, but you should be getting better as you move up too, so it kind of evens out. Plus the rake is friendlier at higher stakes. And there are always fish.

If you find the issue is increased risk aversion due to the money meaning too much to you, then just use more conservative bankroll management. But that doesn't sound like it's your issue. If you are a clear winner at 500nl and then you lose for your first 20k hands at 1000nl, you probably just ran bad. The games shouldn't get that much tougher.

Oct. 2, 2019 | 3:27 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

August-September Update

Hi all,

I just wanted to quickly say thanks to everyone who has commented on this blog, liked, or subscribed so far. I started this blog for fun, so all the positive responses has been a really nice surprise.

RIO also gave me a free month of Elite from all the "points" I have received lately, so that's cool.

It has been a difficult two months for me, as you might have guessed based on all the downswing-related content. Although I am not going to make a habit of posting monthly results, I think it's only fair that I post a couple months of bad results after posting my personal best month in July. So here it is:

Stakes

Graph

For those wondering, the 1/2 hands were from a random stream I did privately for Poker Detox CFP (that was expensive). The 2/5 hands were from times where action at 5/10 was poor or I just honestly didn't feel up to playing my normal games due to the downswing.

These past two months have given me a deeper appreciation for variance, and how impossible poker can feel when you are running bad. I feel lucky to be in a position now where I can break even for a couple of months and it doesn't affect my financial security. The last time I had a 2-month stretch like this, it was at the beginning of this year when I was just starting out and I had very little money to my name. That actually felt unsafe. This just feels like an annoyance by comparison.

My plan for October is to play another 20-25k hands at high stakes, as usual, and play my best. I think the last two months have made me a much stronger player and I hope to heat up again soon. To my opponents: when that time comes, be afraid... be very afraid >:D

If there are any topics/questions you would like me to write about in future posts, feel free to make a suggestion in the comments below or DM me.

In the mean time, good luck at the tables (unless you're at my tables!) and thanks for reading.

Oct. 1, 2019 | 11:28 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

August-September Update

Hi all,

I just wanted to quickly say thanks to everyone who has commented on this blog, liked, or subscribed so far. I started this blog for fun, so all the positive responses has been a really nice surprise.

RIO also gave me a free month of Elite from all the "points" I have received lately, so that's cool.

It has been a difficult month for me, as you might have guess based on all the downswing-related content. Although I am not going to make a habit of posting monthly results, I think it's only fair that I post a couple months of bad results after posting my personal best month in July. So here it is:

Stakes

Graph

For those wondering, the 1/2 hands were from a random stream I did privately for Poker Detox CFP (that was expensive). The 2/5 hands were from times where action at 5/10 was poor or I just honestly didn't feel up to playing my normal games due to the downswing.

These past two months have given me a deeper appreciation for variance, and how impossible poker can feel when you are running bad. I feel lucky to be in a position now where I can break even for a couple of months and it doesn't affect my financial security. The last time I had a 2-month stretch like this, it was at the beginning of this year when I was just starting out and I had very little money to my name. That actually felt unsafe. This just feels like an annoyance by comparison.

My plan for October is to play another 20-25k hands at high stakes, as usual, and play my best. I think the last two months have made me a much stronger player and I hope to heat up again soon. To my opponents: when that time comes, be afraid... be very afraid >:D

If there are any topics/questions you would like me to write about in future posts, feel free to make a suggestion in the comments below or DM me.

In the mean time, good luck at the tables (unless you're at my tables!) and thanks for reading.

Oct. 1, 2019 | 11:03 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

I think Zoom is appealing because it allows players to get in tons of reps. Being able to play tons of volume gives players an added sense of security because it is easier to play through the variance.

My intention with the post was not to tell everyone they should absolutely stop playing Zoom. (I titled it somewhat ambiguously for a reason.) I just wanted people to take a step back and think about what they are doing, because I really don't think it's the highest EV option for a lot of players, particularly the bottom 90% who are not crushing the competition. A lot of people these days seem to just play Zoom because it's what they see everyone else doing.

I also fully recognize the irony of writing a post targeting the "average" poker player. Almost no one who is average actually has the humility or self awareness to accept they are average, especially not in this game, so everyone assumes the advice I give is for someone else. But I just hoped a few people would actually get it and it might help them think about their strategy differently.

Oct. 1, 2019 | 9:09 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

I don't think it's realistic for the human psyche to have zero expectations

I agree, it's not very realistic. That being said, I still think it's valuable to understand the underlying mechanisms of tilt. And, in my own experience, it definitely seems to be the expectation of winning that leads to disappointment/tilt when I lose.

BTW, when I say "expectation of winning," I just mean in the short to medium term. This is when expectations get dangerous. Of course you should expect to win in the long term if you're a pro.

Based on the language you have used (key word: zero expectations) it seems like you're looking at this in more of a binary way. I don't think we can ever completely remove expectations, but we should probably always be working to reduce them. Even if we can never get to a point where we are perfectly zen all the time, there is certainly room for improvement in everyone. To conclude that completely removing expectations is impossible and then not even try indicates that you may have some perfectionist tendencies.

I do believe everyone has a breaking point where we lose our shit. Some players are just more resilient than others based on the strength of their technical understanding, their natural disposition, their financial security, and overall experience.

Sometimes, when I consider whether there are people out there who are "enlightened" and truly don't have a breaking point, I think of this guy (warning: graphic photo).

That guy is definitely on another level, but the interesting thing about that photo is he is experiencing 10/10 pain, but he only needs to stay composed for a few seconds before he dies. I wonder if even he would break if he experienced 7/10 pain, but for a much longer duration.

Sept. 28, 2019 | 2:33 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Random Poker Thought

The reason poker players tilt is simple: we have an extremely small edge and we consistently overestimate it.

When these unrealistic expectations get exposed, such as on a downswing, we have an emotional response in proportion to how much our expectations differ from reality.

So the key to not tilting is to remove your expectations. If that's uncomfortable to accept, then you're still holding onto the idea that you have more control than you actually do.

Sept. 27, 2019 | 6:08 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

No idea about this, but I don't plan on having a significantly losing quarter any time soon. If you have any resources on this feel free to share.

Sept. 18, 2019 | 5:38 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

m6 - What To Do Once You're A Successful Poker Pro

Almost all poker content is focused on how to become a winner--and rightly so, a lot of people need help with that. But I have noticed there is pretty much no content available for poker players who have already made it and are wondering what comes next. By "made it," I mean they have moved up to high enough stakes where they can consistently make a salary that allows them to live really comfortably. In the US, that usually means six figures per year before taxes, but it could be less if you're frugal or live in a less expensive country.

When I first started playing poker, my only goal was to make $100k per year on my own terms. I have always been a pretty frugal person, so I figured once I had achieved six figures, I would be secure and content financially and could just focus on enjoying the rest of my life. I was pretty shocked when I exceeded this goal and, in a lot of ways, I was actually more stressed about money than I had ever been. From what I can tell, there were two reasons why:

  1. I didn't have a plan for paying taxes, saving, investing, or spending. Almost all of my money was just accumulating in a checking account or sitting on poker sites.
  2. All of my money was tied up in liquidity because I was always reinvesting my winnings back into my bankroll so I could move up in stakes. There's not really any way around this other than to move up slower, which will cost you money in the long run. So it sort of makes you feel like the money you're making isn't quite "real."

Things finally reached a breaking point in the past couple months. Two months ago, I moved up to 10/20, went on a huge heater, and developed major issues with insomnia. Then, last month, I went on nearly a $50k downswing. This marked the second time in only three months that I had lost over a third of my net worth. This month, after I finally recovered from that downswing, I was completely burned out. I took this past week off from poker and decided it was time to get my financial shit together and start living a more normal life, even if that meant having to move back down to 5/10 for a while.

The reason I have to move down is because my bankroll is going to take a big hit when I pay my taxes. Usually when you are self employed in the US, you are supposed to pay estimated taxes quarterly. If you don't, you pay a penalty at the end of the year. The biggest problem with this is you will move up a lot slower if you're paying taxes along the way, rather than paying them all at the end. So I made the decision to take the relatively small penalty in order to accelerate my move up to high stakes. At this point, having the tax payment hanging over my head feels like more stress than it's worth, so I'm just going to pay it and get on a regular quarterly schedule. I could still play 10/20, but I'd prefer to build a slightly bigger roll first.

So with that said, I want to share the financial systems I have created for myself, and that I would recommend for any player who is consistently winning at high stakes. I learned all of this stuff from Ramit Sethi's book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. You can buy it here. I am not a personal finance expert, I'm just sharing what I have learned from research and experience.

Beginner financial system

For easy math, assume you make $7,500 per month on average.

One third of that should go straight to a savings account for taxes, which you pay on a quarterly basis.

The remaining $5,000 goes to:
-Rent
-Groceries
-Bills (insurance, loan payments, cell phone and cable)
-Savings and investments (bankroll, savings accounts, retirement funds)
-Guilt-free spending (restaurants, clothes, Uber, etc.)

So the actual breakdown might look like this:
-$1,600 for rent (32%)
-$500 for groceries (10%)
-$900 for bills (18%)
-$1,200 for savings and investments (24%)
-$800 for guilt-free spending (16%)

Notes:
-Try to keep rent below one third of your post-tax income.
-Try to allocate at least 10% of your pre-tax income to savings and investments. This value should probably be higher (15-30%) for poker players, because in addition to normal savings and retirement accounts, we also want to be saving money toward our bankroll so that we can take shots at even bigger games or tournaments.

But what about months where we make less than expected? Typical financial advice says you should have a "rainy day" fund that would cover your basic expenses (food, rent, and bills) for 3-6 months should you have some emergency in your life that causes you to lose your job.

As poker players, we tend to have a lot more liquid money than the average person because we need to keep a bankroll. If you lose your job as a poker player, well, you won't really need a bankroll anymore, so you can sort of use that as your rainy day fund. That being said, you don't want to be dipping into your bankroll every time you have a bad month, because this will cause you to stress out about losing and maybe even have to move down in stakes. Unfortunately, this is pretty much unavoidable while you are building a bankroll. But here's the long-term solution that I am now working toward:

Advanced financial system

-One savings account with at least 100 buy-ins for my typical stakes
-One savings account with 3 months of living expenses

Since it should be extremely rare for me to have three losing months in a row as a cash game player, I will almost always just be living off the funds in the second savings account and not having to dip into my bankroll. By using this system I effectively set my living expenses in advance, rather than spending based on whatever I made in the previous month. This is a great way to not fall down the rabbit hole of always increasing your expenses as your salary increases.

So, for example, let's say I play 5/10 and I want to spend $5k per month on everything, including rent, food, bills, and spending. That means I need at least $100k in the bankroll savings account, plus $15k in the second savings account that I pay myself from. At the start of each month, I simply withdraw $5k from my savings, pay my bills, and then I am free to spend whatever is left over on whatever I want. At the end of the month, I pay taxes on whatever money I made that month, replenish my savings account back to $15k, and then contribute any additional money to investments or other savings accounts.

If that sounds boring, well, it sort of is. But you should want your finances to be a little boring. Poker is exciting enough as it is, isn't it? Not to mention that when you are financially secure, you will have a huge edge over your opponents who are still playing scared with their rent money. You can start to make BTO plays (bankroll theory optimal), where you just load huge amounts of money into the pot and watch your opponents collapse under the pressure. In other words, you can be the end boss at your limit who pushes everyone else around. That doesn't sound very boring to me.

And remember that saving money doesn't always mean you are saving for boring things. While the majority of your savings should go toward investments and grown up stuff like buying a home, once you hit those savings goals, you can also save for a new car or a fancy vacation, whatever you want. The point is that you are consciously saving the money for these larger purchases, rather than just spending your money randomly as it comes in.

Finally, Ramit suggests that if you make more than six figures, you should have an accountant handle your taxes. Try to get someone who works with online freelancer types who understands the world you're in and can handle stuff like crypto gains/losses.

Ultimately, the goal is to stop stressing about money and start living your life. In the poker world, we tend to think about money management in a very binary way. If you're not pushing your bankroll to the limit, then you're a nit. (I have definitely been guilty of this type of thinking in the past.) But having a smart financial system doesn't make you Joey Knish. Actually, it just makes you a much stronger poker player, and most importantly, it makes you way better at life away from the tables.

P.S. If you have your entire bankroll in Bitcoin, you're a dumbass.

Sept. 17, 2019 | 10:13 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Random Poker Thought

Three phases of a downswing:

  1. You run bad and lose a bunch of money.
  2. You stop running bad, but you still feel unlucky, which leads to mistakes and more losing.
  3. You run good and win a bunch of money.

Phases 1 and 3 cancel each other out. Your win rate is dependent on how well you handle phase 2.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 8:56 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Even when I play stakes where I have 200 BI I notice loss aversion affecting some of my decisions at the table, mostly in deep stack situations. But I agree, having a huge bankroll helps a ton and gives you a big edge against your opponents.

Sept. 13, 2019 | 8:18 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Random Poker Thought

Poker is a hard game because, in order to play well, you need to constantly make decisions that are guaranteed to lose money some or even most of the time.

Loss aversion is the fundamental cognitive bias which shapes the way we play. Without it, it would be very difficult to exploit your opponents.

I'd take a fearful opponent with vast technical understanding over a fearless opponent with average technique, any day.

Sept. 12, 2019 | 8:52 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

I watched the H2N tutorial in Night Vision, the Poker Detox course. I picked up a few tips from other people in the Poker Detox community along the way, but mostly it was just trial and error.

In high school I was really into 3D modelling for video games. There is a lot of software you have to learn for that stuff, so H2N wasn't so intimidating by comparison.

Aug. 27, 2019 | 3:41 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Okay. This is why I asked you how you learned to use H2N :)

Anyway I have decided not to give technical advice here on the blog. I'm using it as a place to write about the logistical side of poker, which is where I think most players, including me, are leaking the most

Aug. 26, 2019 | 2 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Lol fuck if I know, dude. I am actually confused how you used some of the exact same texture filters I created in Ether if you never bought the course. Sort of seems like you pirated it. I hope that's not true. I hope you didn't really just steal the course and then ask me for free advice on top of that.

Aug. 26, 2019 | 2:51 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Okay. Well I suggest you buy Night Vision or Ether at some point. What have you used to learn H2N so far?

Aug. 25, 2019 | 3:08 p.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Have you bought any Poker Detox courses yet?

Aug. 25, 2019 | 4 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

m5 - How To Cope With Downswings

Ouch

You can do all the mindset work you want. Nothing is going to prepare you for the biggest downswing of your life. It's sort of like being a surfer who has only surfed 10-foot waves. Then, one day, a 20-footer comes out of nowhere. Before you even have time to react, this massive thing is on top of you, and it's about to crash.

There's no going over or under the wave. You can't go around it. You just have to ride the fucking wave, and it's really scary. But once you come out the other end and realize you survived, you're not as scared of 20-foot waves anymore. Maybe 30-footers are the new 20-footers, and now you look at 20s like you used to look at 10s. That's called growth.

But growth is never pretty. When you're down an amount of money you're not comfortable with, you're not going to play your A game. It's impossible. I used to not want to admit this to myself. I prided myself on having a rock-solid mindset. But I have made some mistakes during my last two huge downswings that I really don't think I would have made unless I was under extreme performance stress.

This actually isn't such a huge problem as long as you know how to manage it. First of all, if you're a winning player, then you should only experience these massive downswings a small percentage of the time. But when they do happen, the tilt can be pretty costly, and we obviously want to minimize that. So here are some practical tips for not losing your mind:

  1. Don't expect yourself to play your A game. Instead, shoot for a B+. Maybe you won't make the really sick plays that you make when you're totally dialed in, but you'll still be very profitable in the games.

  2. Don't change your volume schedule significantly. Increasing volume will reduce your ability to focus. Decreasing volume will make the downswing feel like it's never going to end. Just put in the hands you planned, give or take a few thousand, and try to play as well as you can.

  3. Put the variance in perspective. A lot of players don't realize how hard it is to punt even 10 big blinds in a single hand. If you're on a 20 buy-in downswing, that means you would have needed to make 200 of those mistakes if there was no variance in the sample. Spoiler alert: you didn't play that badly, you just got unlucky. If you're a winning player, try reflecting on your results over the past year instead of focusing on the past month.

Beyond that, I can't give you much advice except to put your head down and play through it. Remember that downswings are only temporary. If you're a winning player, that means by definition every downswing you have ever had has been offset by an even greater upswing. At some point you just have to realize that it's stupid to get mad every time. As long as you have good bankroll management, you're not going to go broke. Downswings don't kill you, they make you stronger.

Aug. 15, 2019 | 4:18 a.m.

Comment | radiosick commented on Mobius Poker Blog

Random Poker Thought/Rant

Poker bots are not your problem.

There is so much paranoia about poker bots these days. I simply don't understand it. IMO it's just an easy way out for people to not take any ownership over why they are losing poker players.

I play on Ignition. It's an anonymous site which I am sure is flooded with bots, and I welcome the bots for a couple reasons:

  1. Bots suck at poker, period. Unassisted bots play a simple, low win-rate strategy to capitalize on fish. They only make money by pumping huge amounts of volume. Playing against one of these bots is sort of like playing the ChessMaster bots with ratings in the 800-1400 range. If you are a pro poker player and you don't think you can beat a simple poker bot in 2019, you need to reevaluate your life. Maybe the day will come where some superbot like Pluribus is easily accessible and gets unleashed en masse on poker sites, but trust me, we are not there yet.

  2. Bots give the illusion of more traffic, and traffic generates traffic. As a fish, would you rather play in a poker room where there are three tables running and almost all the players are pros, or would you rather have your choice of half a dozen tables with a mix of pros and barely +EV bots? Obviously you would choose the latter (especially if you don't even know you're playing against bots), because you will have a higher chance of winning.

A lot of people think spreading fear about bots is necessary, because we need to raise awareness about them before they "ruin the game forever." I believe this sensationalist attitude will actually have the opposite effect on the poker economy. If you write alarmist posts on forums or make YouTube videos freaking out about bots all the time, you're more likely to scare off the recreational players than the pros. The recreationals are just here for fun and can go play other games if they want to. The pros are stuck here, bots or no bots.

Of course I think we should be concerned about unassisted bots becoming more powerful. And I do think there will be a day where a bot like Pluribus (assuming those researchers were being genuine and accurate about their bot's performance) is more easily accessible. But for now, we should just accept that bots aren't really that big of a problem, and if there are accounts that are using unethical means to gain truly massive edges, then it's up to the poker sites and their security teams to ban them.

There's a big difference between identifying a specific poker bot and reporting it privately to a security team (productive), and spreading paranoia publicly on forums about bots in general (unproductive and harmful to the ecosystem). If you're the kind of person who does the latter, maybe you should start thinking about why it's so appealing to you to assume the game is rigged and it's impossible for you to win. Frankly, it's a sign of low intelligence. You're not helping anyone, and the person you're hurting the most is yourself.

Aug. 7, 2019 | 10:31 p.m.

Load more
Runitonce.com uses cookies to give you the best experience. Learn more about our Cookie Policy