...cash games, that is.
I've written before about how I began my online cash career in a horrible way: I took 3d in a pretty big $11 MTT, thought that meant I knew how to play poker, sat down at a $1/2 6-handed cash game and proceeded to give away a big chunk of that score.
Since then (late 2009), I've had a real mental issue with playing any cash ring games.
Last year, after not even looking at the cash tables, I took another shot, but played down at the safer $.02/.05 level. Got comfortable there and moved up to the $.10/.25 stake. I feel like I can beat this level. But.
But. Until recently, even though I'm following BR mgmt, I was not following any kind of stop loss planning. Also, when I lose a buyin, I chase that loss to try to at least get back to even. And, I'm also apparently delusional because it's like I have some weird wiring in my brain that makes me refuse to believe it when an opponent's actions indicate that I'm beat. Instead, I am basically saying to that opponent, "here, please take my money because I think I'm a better player than you and have a better hand, even in the face of evidence otherwise."
Am I the only moron who's ever played that way? It is the absolute stupidest, most insane way to play ring poker. But. That's the way I've been playing it.
I'm really tired of it.
I'm also quite embarassed to admit it. And even though my cash game has improved since 2009, it's my tournament play that saves and increases my bankroll and shouldn't it be the other way around?
I blog to be disciplined about my poker. When I write about it, I have to be truthful because as I write about it, I see the things I need to be doing instead to play better, to play my A game. But being honest also kind of sucks because it forces me to see that I'm not one of those players I always hear about and read about (you know, the ones who deposited $50 and turned it into millions). It's taken me 2+ years and I still feel like I know nothing about this game. It can be pretty discouraging at times. Ok, a lot of the time.
So, here are a few things I'm doing to improve my cash game:
1. Quitting when I lose one buyin. Maybe given the variance in poker this too low (my buyin is $20), but until I can better control my tilt, I've got to just quit while I'm ahe...*ahem* $20 in the hole. It's better than being $40 or $60, etc etc.
2. Before putting my entire stack into the middle, I have to be able to affirmatively answer yes to the following question: "Am I 100% positive I have the nuts here?"
Until I can get much better at those two things, I've got to slow down my cash game play.
And that's pretty much it.
What helped you with your cash game? Any advice you can share?
We're off to New Mexico tomorrow for Spring Break. I hope you guys get some time off, too. In the meantime, good luck at the tables!