Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toughest month of my poker career....but I like it!

September...where do I begin? Sorry I haven't posted in a while but I really wanted this post to be the one where I said I made it into profit for this month, read on to find out. This month I went on a 25 buy in downswing which saw me go from being $1k up to $4k down very quickly. I hit stop loss three days in a row. Things were awful and I felt really down for a few days. At one point I remember saying 'I have had enough of this, I might quit poker and go get a job'. I believe it was a combination of things that contributed to this. I wasn't going to the gym for one and wasn't eating great, also I wasn't doing any work on my poker game. Despite these factors, it's a fact that I did run VERY bad. I had set over set twice and managed to see both these hands get one outed by quads twice in the space of a few days, it was so gross! Check this out: http://www.pokerhand.org/?5690947. That was just the tip of the iceberg, I really couldn't win anything. I did tilt off a few stacks, which is really stupid but I was so frustrated. I had been running so good all year and I wasn't used to this, I had taken run good for granted.

I spoke to Mentor BH and he suggested I take a week off playing, which I did and I tried to relax. I came back and posted a few wins but it still seemed to be one step forward two steps back for me. I made some key lifestyle changes. I started going to the gym with the Muscle Shark (Jez) every day, he is an absolute legend and number one trainer. Going to the gym made me feel great and made me much more positive at the tables. It's also a great chance to get out and socialise mid week because playing poker online can be quiet anti social. It's not like a job where you meet people every day and have office banter and anyone that knows me will tell you that I am naturally a very social person. I covered my poker account balance during sessions so I could focus more on playing well and making the correct decisions instead of focusing on whether I was winning or stuck in the hole. I spent time with friends and tried relaxing in between sessions. I also watched some vids on deucescracked.com thanks to legend White Knight and they really helped me start thinking like a winning poker player again. I began constantly thinking about opponents hand ranges and my plan for each hand.

The result of all this was a slow and steady grind back. I still ran bad and couldn't seem to hold when I needed to but I did start to get a few breaks. Monday night of this week I played 6 a-side football for team Fatside and we won 5-1, it was an awesome team performance. I felt great, came home, had a protein shake and a banana and loaded up some tables. I played the best poker I have ever played in my life. Mondays session was one of the biggest turning points in my poker career. Mentor BH talked about me needing the hunger to play and succeed and it was there more than ever. I played so aggressively and felt so confident. Even when I suffered beats I carried on relentlessly three betting people and raising and dominating. I felt so in control of every hand. That session made me want to become as good a poker player as I can now. The hunger is there. Finally, I played a winning eight hour session last night and I made it into profit for September, it felt amazing and was worth all the hard work I have put in this month.

Final result for September is 71 hours played (37521 hands) and $146 profit. I ran $5000 under EV (expected value) this month at $1/$2 and I mixed in some $0.50/$1. This come back meant a lot to me as I have never had a losing month since starting to play full time in Dec 2009 and despite this being pretty much break even, it's still a win and I should get a sweet bonus this month too!

Here is my graph for September showing you my results with EV (green is my actual profit for month and red is EV.



I want to thank all my friends that have put up with me whinging on msn this month and for helping me with advice and support. You know who you are and I really appreciate it :-)

I want to list some of the things I have learned this month that I think everyone, both new to poker and those who have played for years can find useful. Bankroll management, I normally have at least 50 buy ins for the level that I play. I went on a 25 buy in downswing which meant that if I had less online I could have gone broke or would have had to move down. I saw a reg considered one of the best on Pacific playing $0.50/$1 and he said he cashed out his roll and went on a downswing so had to drop down. Therefore bankroll management is key, I wish him the best on his grind back...if it is really him and not someone else using his account ;-) A good healthy lifestyle with exercise, good food and socialising is also important. It will make you feel good and therefore give you a more positive outlook at the tables. Next, never think because you are a winning player that you can just keep on cruising without improving. Without trying to learn you will lose the sharpness and you can fall into bad habits. During my downswing I watched poker legend Martin Badger Boy play a session online. He played great poker and I was like, wow I'm calling with a small pair in that spot and I shouldn't be. I started realise my own mistakes while he was playing solid winning poker. I realised I have got complacent and my game had got stale. The point is to keep learning and ahead of the game, which is adapting everyday. Stop loss, tilt control and taking breaks are vital. I hit stop loss and 'felt' fine the next day but in fact I wasn't, I just didn't realise it. When you hit stop loss, take a few days off and relax, don't tilt. Think that is enough learnt from this month, I should be charging for this, it cost me thousands of dollars online and 71 hours of my life this month to learn this, lol.

Finally, if you have made it this far...congrats to Seb 'Genius' Powell on winning the links tourney at the grosvenor for £3k. Also legends Martin and Morgan both final tabled for nice scores. Morgan is a sick heads up (HU) sit n go player on Full Tilt and also a double boozy hero, already been banned from DTD, pokerLAD. Also, I'm going on the record now to say that Seb is not only a great guy but is a genius and an amazing poker player and it's only a matter of time before he dominates the world online or live in the poker world. You read it here first ;-)

So, now I'm taking the last few days off of playing to relax. Went to see the new film The Town tonight with Nathan 'PurchaseBOi' Masters, it was awesome. Seeing family tomorrow and then I will get back on the grind at the start next month. I have fingers crossed for a better month in October, $10k month one time please?

Last of all, I just got a call from the Bagder to inform me that Toby 'I run so bad I never win anything' Lewis just won the EPT £1k side event in London for another large sum of cash, around £60k I believe, congrats mate wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Toby is a top lad and he's winning the world, couldn't happen to a nicer guy and hope he keeps on going. That's back to back EPT wins for him, what a sicko. And I thought wining $146 this month was good, FML lol! I almost forgot, a big well done to Chris Brammer, the man they call NigDawg on coming 3rd in Sunday Brawl on Tilt for over $50k and then winning an EPT side turbo last night for £9k. I railed his FT on Tilt and it was a lesson in aggression, wp sir!

Good luck at the tables all and btw you need this song in your life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9_n8jakvWU.

JP

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