Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Grind

I really appreciate you all checking out my blog. It's so nice getting comments - although I do find it interesting that my most embarrassing posts get the most comments. Ha! What can I say, I strive every day NOT to be a donkey but it seems it is just my nature. Ugh.

I haven't posted in awhile because I'm seriously on a bad run. Bankroll is fine but I'm just not winning. Today I had Ks cracked by 7s and As cracked by Js, among several other hands that I got in good and then had everything deteriorate into the ultimate poker player nightmare. My past four sessions have just been losing ones and that's not fun and it's not much worth writing about.

It's got me a little worried because I'm gearing up for my trip to Reno and I want to be playing my A-game. As a result, I plan to be working on my mindset hard in the upcoming days. One way I do that is by eating right, excercising, getting good sleep, and just taking a break from poker.

I'll lay off the games tomorrow and maybe Friday and get some studying in instead. I've got a big live game Saturday and then before you know it, it'll be time to head to Reno.

What kind of things do you all find helpful when you're experiencing a bad run?

I'll let you know how the studying goes and I'll share any tips on getting over bad runs here - if I figure any out. Hopefully the studying and downtime it will result in some improvement.

In the meantime, good luck at the tables amigos.


  1. I can't really give specific poker advice right now due to an NDA, but taking time off never hurts. For a year or so now, I've been just switching from donkaments to cash and back when I've had a long down swing in either which tends to work OK for a while. Other context switching helps -- something you seem to already know -- so I'll go play a live game where I can read souls and Hollywood like a champ. My leaks usually involve playing when I'm not focused, so I recently gave a % of myself to an old friend, who is now a poker coach who has been helping me with my game more or less pro bono, and that has given me more of a sense of work ethic, so I haven't been firing up the tables when I know I'm not prepared to play my A game. And, on top of all that, I got a new HUD, as you know, which is helping me rethink all my assumptions from the ground up.

    Eh, I may have answered the question "what to you do when you've been running and playing terribly for years on end" as opposed to the one you actually asked, LOL.

  2. From old, old gambler...Work at, and learn to "brush off" runnin' bad, just like bad beats. They're simply small experiences in what should be the long journey of the game. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
    Focus on study and playing experience, more hands, more hands, more hands....taking time off can be restful but not much actual help to your poker game in the LONG run.
    Do the work.........

  3. Conan - thanks a bunch for the link to your poker coach's site. Looks really good, as does your new HUD set up. Good luck with it (and as always - thanks for commenting, amigo).

    Old gambler - thanks very much for the tips. I feel like I really need to finagle the poker "work" and studying that I'm doing. It's one thing to review hands and talk about spots with my poker playing friends but I wish I had someone who could tell me specifically what work I need to be doing that will elevate my game - the deliberate practice that is required to become an expert. For now, I'm really working on the math of my game and getting a better feel for odds/outs, etc. But I do agree with you - playing and getting in the hands is what I'm aiming for. I read Gladwell's book about the 10,000 hours benchmark and I've got a looooong way to go! =) I'm not even halfway there, yet. Thanks very much for the comment and the encouragement.

  4. Fm u use Poker Tracker 3 ?

  5. I had a big downswing recently. I usually have them when I move up in stakes but this one was pretty bad.

    Like OG said you have to brush it off because these things happen.

    Time spent away from the tables is as important as time spent at the tables. Reviewing sessions to see if you might have made any mistakes is a good idea since we can learn so much from our mistakes.

    Taking the time to go over hands, calculating your equity and comparing it to the equity you thought you had is beneficial. Also, since a lot of players play the same way paying closer attention at your own pace can help you identify certain patterns that might help you in the future against other players.

    If you're not making mistakes and it's just horrible run bad at least you know you're playing well and just have to push through. With enough volume you'll hit a stretch of run good that will help make up for it.

    Sometimes switching games helps too. If I'm playing a lot of SnGs and hit a rough spot I'll switch to playing more cash games or MTTs.

    Heads up cash games aren't something I play often so I'll switch to those sometimes too. Playing them has really helped my hand reading skills I think.

    Plus, I don't think the doomswitch knows where to find you if you're not playing what you normally play :)

    Developing your mind is probably like developing your muscles. If you do the same exercises all the time your body will just get used to them and you'll reach a plateau. Mixing things up can overcome that.

    Good luck!

  6. Such great advice MicroRoller. Always appreciate your comments here. I've got my live game tomorrow...didn't play yesterday and just didn't have time today. It's a very good game with lots of good players so we shall see. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again!


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