Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb update

Hey all, hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl tonight! It was a pretty good game, albeit pretty long, but the Packers held off those slimy Steelers... just kidding!

For this post, I want to write about a topic that all grinders should probably try to take to heart just because it is such an important facet of poker to conquer. Anyone who puts in any reasonable volume at all is invariably going to experience the downswing, no matter what stakes are being played. You can define downswing as losing over 1 session, a few sessions, a couple weeks, even a month or so - the time frame isn't too crucial.

In this particular post, I'll talk about the short-term variance over one session or so. As a note, my sessions usually contain roughly 200-300 SNGs, so this may be over a few sessions for some. This month, I've played 6 sessions so far and 2 of them have been what I call "tragic" days - I lost $8325 on Feb 1, and $9414 today. I reserve this term for the worst of the worst, the days that you seriously feel like you are playing with a hex on your account. Every race is a 25/75, dominations are flipped - i.e., AK vs AQ is a 30/70, and when you yourself are dominated, you really feel like you have no chance at all. A lot of this observation is biased when you are losing all-in after all-in, but I think when one is genuinely going through a "tragic" day, these sad numbers are probably pretty close to real.

In my belief, there are good ways to handle these really bad days. What I've grown accustomed to doing is just simply ignoring the emotional components of the losing by realizing that poker/luck/whatever you want to call it is NOT rigged in any way against your account on that particular day. There is simply no logical explanation for a poker site to single out ONE particular account and cause it doom for that day; you've gotta be pretty self-absorbed to think your account deserves to be singled out like that. These things are out of our control as players, and so we must focus on the factors that ARE in our control, namely, playing as well as you normally do. If you are unable to get over that emotional drainage of losing and start to noticeably vary your play, then I definitely would recommend stopping until you are able to regain composure (pretty cliche solution but it has to be said). In addition, we should all realize no matter how many bad beats or coolers we find ourselves marred in, poker has (hopefully) been a positive element in our lives and that we shouldn't be cursing it every time it throws us a curveball.

Today I Sharkscoped myself and of the 13 9man SNGs $555 to $2190, I monied in exactly 0 of them. I busted 5 $555s, 6 $1ks, and 2 $2ks. Despite my -77% ROI (including 6max) and $-13,776 at high stakes today, I just had to shake my head when I lost games and continue to play my best at all the other tables. Since there's nothing you can do when all-in, your main focus must be playing the rest of your session out as well as you can. I have yet to cash in a 2k SNG since 2008, but what can I do? Feel sorry for myself? Nah, just continue to play smart and table select and hopefully things work out better in the future.

I hope this helps. Remember poker is a brutal game, so you just gotta make the best of it in the darker times. No one said this was an "ez game." Best of luck to everyone and keep grinding diligently!

@ 491,136 VPPs, going to be halfway done to SNE tomorrow!


ITM Grinder said...

Nice words..

Anonymous said...

Recently i've started playin $54s, after a few thousand $22 played...I lost complete first session, -15BI, which is, in money terms, same as -37BI at $22 - looking BRUTAL for somene who just switched to lvl above. Anyway, when i'm downswingin, my therapy is reading posts like this :)- it just makes my life easier to see that players who are much better than me are actually going through more or less same stuff. thnx! :)