I have said many times that results aren’t always the most important thing to considering when dealing with poker, but sometimes they can give you that tiny confidence boost that will help you along your journey. It seems like forever but this month I had an actual positive month. A grand total of $2.09 in profit! It may be small, and totally insignificant on the grand scheme of things, but it’s something. And sometimes you just need to hold onto something, anything, just so you know you’re heading in the right direction. Obviously I’m not ready to book my round the world flight tickets, stay in the lavish hotels and get myself surrounded by cheap strippers and cocaine. But this month I have certainly seen a step up in my improvements of my overall vision of the game, and if I just keep focusing, keep working hard and overcome the oncoming obstacles, then I am sure I can achieve what I set out to achieve in the first place. A minimum wage, over a large sample size.
Now I have to be honest here and tell you that I am writing this on the 31st August at 20.30. I was meant to be having a 1 or 2 hour long session before heading off to the gym but I was extremely frustrated by the way my session, and more so my bankroll, were heading. Before today I was sitting nicely with a positive month of about $25+ plus an extra $30 if I decided to cash in my star coins. This was a pretty big deal for me in terms of just my overall vision of the month, I had even written a draft post near the beginning of the month where I predicted that this was the month where I would find myself in profit and heading, finally, in the correct direction. So as my decision making became worse and my bankroll began to take a nosedive, and with me being so disparagingly close to having a positive month I decided to take an executive decision. I quit. It goes against all logic in poker and in the long run makes absolutely no difference whatsoever, but quitting gave me this tiny little reward. A non negative month. A month where I can really say that this is where it all began to change. A month I can be proud of. But regardless of my results this month, I would have still been proud of the progress I am making, but having it as data that I can truly read for myself just makes it that extra special.
So what am I doing differently that makes me believe that I am on the path to maybe not greatness, but a path laced with opportunities and adventures?
I’m playing the data
There is a great new book that I have recently discovered called The Grinders Manual. Even before this discovery I believed I was heading down the right path, but now with this poker bible in hand, I have a dedicated poker manual to help guide me up the stakes and into the place where I want to find myself. That illustrious $10 an hour, over a large sample. A minimum poker wage. Now thinking about every hand you play in poker seems like common sense, but it’s crazy the amount of times people, myself included, will go into autopilot mode while playing poker. I want to give you a little taste of the way a poker player should be thinking, at all times, every time they play (easier said than done!).
Hero is on the Button with T3o (offsuit). We have a nit (tight) player in the SB and a regular in the Big Blind.
Do we raise? If so, why?
The answer is, it totally depends on a number of factors. I used to play poker in a relatively linear way, T3o on the button? Instant fold! Well not anymore. Before, I understood roughly the reasons to raise or fold, ‘I raise the nit because he’s folding to too many raises’, ‘I fold because the reg is a competent player and will know we’re opening too wide’. These are different truths and have served me well over the years, but it’s not the type of thinking that will get me anywhere near a professional level, especially online. What I need to be asking myself is a couple of fundamental questions. How often do the blinds fold to button steals? How often do they 3bet button steals? And how often to they fold to a cbet on the flop? Using that specific information, I no longer really have to worry about the cards I am holding but how my villains respond to certain criteria.
Now imagine that type of thinking but with every scenario imaginable in poker. From the way you deal with people 3betting you too often, to the way you deal with passive fish who limps too much. Poker is a game that has so much incomplete information that it is no wonder that people get lost in its vast seas of information and it’s no wonder that the majority of poker players are losers in the long run.
And so I begin my retraining on nearly everything I have learnt from the game. From the ground up. Everything I have learnt in the years before will serve me well, but from here on in I really have to up my game on all levels. The good thing is that if I was going to quit then I would have given up a long time ago. And the fact of the matter is that is precisely what people do when they realise how much work they really need to put into the game. You could read every single poker textbook and you would definitely come a better player. But you also need to apply that knowledge, and apply it properly for it to work. And like most things, that application takes time, and hands. A lot of fucking hands.
Things to Note
- Boomtown was this month so that was a big reason for the lack of hands
- I did not cash in my star coins because I no longer feel the need to make myself feel better by adding some cash to my bankroll at the end of the month
- I started going to the gym regularly, joined a hockey club and became a key hub leader in a new Norwich Food Cycle venture