This month could have been so much worse. A terrible start, a week long break, and a mental blip which left me weighing up my options. But somehow I managed to claw my way back and end it all on a relatively large positive. It’s certainly not ideal, but I had to really dig deep to come out feeling even remotely positive and for that I have to feel at least a small sense of pride.
But It still hasn’t all come together and this month, more than ever, I have realised the sheer amount of work that is needed to improve my results and to help me work my way up the stakes. However what’s exciting for me personally is not only do I have the tools available to help me achieve this, but I continue to have the drive, ambition and pure stubbornness to, despite the results, achieve what I have set out to achieve.
It’s just going to take time.
What I have struggled with in the past is because poker has such a huge amount of information to digest and learn, it can make the idea of studying extremely daunting. Where do you begin? Continuation bets, calling bets, playing out of position, check raising the flop, opening on the button vs a fish (a bad player), opening on the button vs a reg (a regular player), when to semi bluff the turn, is opening 22 under the gun really profitable? The list is literally endless. Also add to the mix that being results orientated is something you simply shouldn’t be because variance can skew results (for example getting pocket Aces in preflop against pocket Kings should see you win 80% of the time, but you could end up losing 10+ times in a row. You haven’t made a mistake but variance is kicking you in the balls)
All of the above makes off table study an utter nightmare, especially when you can’t figure out all of the multitude of mistakes you’re making and even if you could, what’s the best way of studying to stop yourself making those mistakes? It is a vicious cycle. You want to improve so you know to have to study, but you get lost within the vast amount of study you can actually do. So you decide the best way to study is to learn from experience, so you decide to play on the tables. You begin to lose or notice the mistakes you’re making so you know you have to study. But we find ourselves back at are initial problem, where to begin?
The Grinder Manual will go down as The Bible in turns of my learning approach. This 500 page megabook is jammed packed full of everything an aspiring poker professional needs to become successful. What’s a little bit mind boggling is that my study approach will be bringing things back down to the basics.
What should I raise with?
After the playing this game for years you would think that I know exactly what my range (a collection of hands) is from every position on the table. The sad truth is that it hasn’t been ingrained deep into my subconscious like I need it to be. What also needs to be taken into consideration is that poker is a game in which you have to react to other players, bad player in the blinds? You should play more hands. Tight player in the blinds? Raise it up! Loose aggressive player in the blinds? Time to be tighter!
For the first time in my poker career I have hold of something that gives me clear direction and guidance in what I am trying to achieve. Over the next few months I am not going to just read each chapter and apply it loosely to my game, I will try and ingrain each chapter deep into my subconscious through constant practice, focus and repetition. This process is going to take a long time and I am not expecting everything to be easy from here on in, but I have no excuses left to use if I fail to work my way up the stakes and into the realms of a liveable wage.
So for the first time ever in The Monthly Roundup, I predict that I will actually make money in October. It won’t be much (if anything) and it will seem highly insignificant on the grand scheme of things. But things are changing and I believe the fruits of my labour will start to surface as long as I continue to apply myself, work hard, work smart and keep plugging away.
Let’s go October!