It's five days into the new month and I feel it has started well. I have been playing everyday and my approach has been so much more professional. Last month I made massive progress and I played a huge amount of volume. I learnt a lot about myself in terms of how I deal with poker and my approach to the game. Some of my play last month was high quality solid poker and some sessions were destructive and I tilted off a fair amount not playing my best and being frustrated. I am doing as much as I can to control or reduce my tilt now. I am playing much better in general now and taking breaks every hour. After watching a poker video, I learnt how taking regular breaks can help me detach myself from the games. This can keep you sharp so your play doesn't start to slide from your a game to your b or even c game. Keeping sessions short helps my concentration so I feel like I'm fresh. It also helps me to quit which is an important part of poker. Many times I have had days where I was stuck a load of money and I would try and play until I won it back. This is terrible, you play more hands than you should and feel like you are in a rush to win your money back. By forcing myself to take breaks whether I am winning or losing I then stop that from happening. Also in every hand I make decisions and I am prepared for what my opponents will do. I don't just bet the river and then get jammed on and get annoyed. Before I take an action in a hand now I stop and think. For example, I may think, right the correct play here is to bet and fold if my opponent raises me. So when I bet and get raised I know I can fold. Obviously there is way more to it than that, for example they may go all in and its a snap fold or they may half pot the river and this may affect my decision because of bet sizing tells. But the main point is that I feel more prepared about situations and instead of getting annoyed I just make what I believe to be the right decisions and that's it. I don't get tilted about whether they are correct or not. Obviously I still make mistakes and still feel tilted during sessions but I have been dealing with it better which is great progress especially at 400NL where the swings are bigger.
I'm now playing 400NL and 200NL when there's not enough traffic. I'm trying not to set goals as such and instead focus on each session and each hand at a time and play my best. However I do have a long term goal that I have had since I started playing poker full time. I want to become a regular in the 1000NL games. The only way I'm going to achieve this is to work hard, be disciplined and keep taking shots to move up. I'm going to keep grinding away at 400NL this month and hope the hard work and volume pays off. There's a long way to go but I really do think if I work hard enough there is no reason why I can't be regging the 1000NL games by the end of the year. I will need to play across a few sites possibly in the near future because their isn't enough traffic on the site I play to just play 400NL which I would like to do now.
I was bored the other day and decided to go back and read the start of my blog and it's crazy to think a few years ago I had dreams of turning pro and now it's just normal for me. It may be stressful sometimes and that's why they say it's the hardest way to make an easy living. However I would take playing poker over having a boss any day. Because I have to do it it can be easy to not want to but I need to remember how much I loved poker and that I would have done anything to be playing poker and not working in a job. It's just another reason why I need to keep working hard at it. If you like reading this blog and haven't seen the early posts it may be worth a look. My first post talks about all the years of playing and making no money before I was finally able to start winning. Was hilarious to see I wrote "Hopefully by the time anyone ever reads this I will have made it and be a successful professional player" on Friday, August 7, 2009. Then on Thursday, December 17, 2009 my post title was "First weeks as a "pro"". Go's to show that if you want something enough you can do it.
I have played 18 hours now in March and feeling good about how the month has been going so far. I'm still eating well and have been getting up, playing a few one hour sessions then going to the gym, taking a shower and having some food and then playing another couple of sessions. It seems to be a good healthy routine so I'm going to keep it going. We did go out on Saturday night and I was hungover all day Sunday so didn't get to play when the games are normally the best as Sunday day here is saturday night in europe. I hate playing hungover because I'm useless and can't think straight. I soent the whole day sleeping, eating sushi and muffins and drinking green tea. The three of us had a bottle of vodka between us an then went out to a new area called Chapel Street and hit the bars there. The weather has been rubbish this last week and it's been raining loads. It was really hot the last few weeks with temperatures regularly over 30 degrees. Hopefully the Melbs weather will sort itself out again soon so we can hit the beach again.
Don't forget to follow me on twitter @TheBIgJPizzle and GL at the tables!