Sunday, October 31, 2010

October in the Books

I made a nice comeback over the last week. I'm not going to say the downswing's over though, I learned my lesson when I mistakenly said that earlier this month. I feel like I'm playing really well right now and that's what I want to continue to focus on. One benefit of running poorly is that I play tons and tons of hands so I was able to close the SNE gap to less than a day. I'd like to be 3 or 4 days ahead by the end of November and since I don't have anything planned, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I wanted to link an article Royston left in the comments a few days ago. A lot of it rings true and it's well written, definitely worth a read if you're a poker player:

Here's what October looked like and here's to a profitable November for anyone reading this:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fighting Through My Worst Downswing Ever

This probably won't be my most well worded post, I'm mentally exhausted right now but felt like writing which is rare.

This month has probably been my toughest month as a poker player to date. In my last blog update, I wrote about being down 35K and close to 550 big bets. I had recovered to being down 200 big bets and actually was close to even money wise on the month when things really turned again. I dropped about 15K and another 150 big bets in the following couple days. And then it seemed like every day after that, I’d be down about 50-100 big bets, fight back to even, and call it a day.

After about a week of this and couple days where I wasn't able to fight back to even, I was down almost 500 big bets through 45,000 hands on the month. It really started to take its toll on me mentally. I’ve been having trouble sleeping, all I can think about is the fact that I can’t win seemingly no matter what I do. Yesterday I went out to play pool after booking another 100 big bet, 5K losing session and I couldn’t focus or make a ball. I just kept thinking about the money I was down and that I had to win it back. I quit my game, cancelled all future games, and decided to take an extended break from pool. I played several hours of poker when I got home from pool, won back what I had lost earlier in the day and quit about even. This has been the trend nearly every day this week.

I woke up this morning thinking about poker. I had sent a message to a friend the night before about a hand he had a question about. When I sent the response I was exhausted so when I awoke in the morning, my first thoughts were I probably gave the wrong answer. I jumped out of bed, raced down to my computer, reread my response and sure enough, I hadn’t even read the starting hands correctly. What an idiot I am I thought to myself. Is my brain gone, have I lost my mind? Is that what happens after you turn 35? I ran back upstairs and hopped on the elliptical machine, thinking I have to work out. I have to clear my mind somehow, someway.

After working out, I jumped into the games and played for about 3 hours. I was up about 3500 at one point, then lost it all back and decided to take a break. I took my dogs for a long walk that was more about me getting fresh air than it was about the dogs. I came back, played another 3 hours. Down 5K and another 100 big bets. I’m now down over 500 big bets on the month and am wondering if this will ever end. I feel like I’m playing well, I think my mind is working correctly but the results keep telling me otherwise. I decide to relax and watch a football game I have money on. I’ve got Florida State -3 and Over 58. I’m behind 28-24 with 30 seconds left and my team has the ball at the 4 yard line, 2nd and goal. Great, all I need is a touchdown and I win both bets. They call a timeout, draw up a play. The quarter back drops back, has a receiver wide open in the end zone. As he’s about to throw the ball, his own running back hits him and knocks the ball loose. The other team recovers. Game over. That’s fitting I think, time to play some more poker.

I play another 3 hours, drop another 5K and another 100 big bets. I’m now down over 600 big bets, including 200 on the day (one of worst days ever) and am absolutely beside myself. I sit out at all my tables, walk outside, look up at the sky and just think this can’t possibly be happening. I have this delusional thought that there’s some remote possibility somebody has tapped into my wireless internet so I switch to my Verizon card. I close all my 50-100 tables and decide I’m done with that limit until I can start start winning at lower limits. I resolve to play my absolute best no matter what. I play another 600 hands, maybe 2 hours and win back the 10K I’m down on the day and about 160 big bets. Again I’m about even on the day and call it quits.

So that’s where I’m at. In one respect I’ve been very fortunate this month in that I’ve run well at 50-100 all month long. So even though I’m still down a bazillion big bets, it could be much, much worse in terms of money. At this point I just need to focus on playing my best. I know I’m running bad. I think I’m playing well. It should only be a matter of time before things turn around.

As much as I love poker and gambling, man it can be a hard profession to be in when everything goes wrong. I’ve got no choice but to fight through it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End of a Vicious Downswing

I powered through what was my worst downswing in recent memory and possibly my worst ever. I was down about 550 big bets and 35K at one point. I've actually been lucky to run well at 50-100 all month or it could have been worse money wise.

I'm still down a couple hundred big bets and a few thousand on the month but I feel a whole lot better. I get pretty stressed out when I run that bad and my natural reaction is to play, play, and play some more. I'm now within 4 days of SNE pace and have no intention of slowing down for the rest of the month.

Poker is a crazy, crazy game. I've read that 99/100 fail at becoming professional poker players and I wouldn't doubt that it's an even higher failure rate. It's incredibly difficult to maintain composure during these types of streaks - to not tilt, not play higher limits, drop down limits if necessary, and maintain your best game. All it would have taken was for me to decide to play 100-200 or 200-400 after I was down 350 big bets to try to recoup my losses and I'd have busted my account.

I've got my fingers crossed I continue to run well. As I always say, the cards have no memory so anything's possible.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Slow Start to October

I'm down about 12K after 16K+ hands this month. I jumped in a couple 100-200 games early in the month on my own and ran terribly. Every time I've ever moved up in limits in my poker career, I've run bad for an extended period and 100-200 has been no different. Aside from that, I think I've actually run ok this month and have just played poorly. I had a -14K day on Saturday where I folded to a 3-bet preflop twice, posted out of turn 4 times, and totally lacked focus. That reawakened me to the fact the game actually requires attention and thought. You'd think a couple thousand would have engendered that startling realization. Nope.

Hands wise I've done pretty well this month. I cut my 8.5 day SNE deficit to just under 7 days, I'm hoping to continue that pace for the rest of the month and be within 4 days by months end.