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The Monkey's Business

Tales from my efforts to improve my poker game.
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/Mar/2013

Turn This Thing Around

By: CanuckMonkey @ 15:36 (EDT) / 550 / Comment ( 8 )

We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees.
- Jason Kidd

I'm struggling to write this post today, because it has been a very rough week of poker.  I had some good successes, but every one of them has been balanced out (and then some) by defeat.

Some examples:

    - I only managed to cash in one of the ten WBCOOP events I played.  In that event, I didn't even use my skills to do it--I registered at the very end of the 120-minute late registration window, then played for an hour (roughly doubling my starting stack in that time), then left the computer and sat out the rest of the tourney.  Even then, I finished in 104th place, with 108 getting paid.  I have complete confidence that had I continued to play after that first hour, I would have done the same thing I did with the other nine tourneys: played well for the most part, but made some terrible decision (usually as the bubble was approaching) and busted out as a result.

    - I starting playing more Fifty50 SnGs after watching a couple of the videos on the subject.  I had some great initial success, but over the weekend I couldn't seem to do anything right, and lost almost all of the profits I had made from earlier successes.

    - I moved up from the $0.25 45-man SnGs to the $1.00 45-man version, and had the same experience as with the Fifty50s--initial success, followed by terrible results that cancelled out the successes.

    - I busted out of the Big Bang fairly quickly, and managed to wipe the details from my memory almost immediately.

    - I managed to last all of eleven minutes in the WBCOOP Main Event, calling all-in with my top pair top kicker on the river against a push from a guy who raised pre-flop in early position.  I had As Kx, and the final board was Ks Js 3x 8s 8x (paired, with three spades).  I tanked for a while, and with all my thinking I concluded that it was very reasonable that my opponent would have played the hand exactly as he did with a pair of jacks pre-flop, giving him a flopped set that filled up on the river.  Almost a perfect read, and I called anyway.  (It turned out that he had pocket threes, which flopped a set that filled up on the river.  Wrong read, same terrible result.)

    - I played a few PSO Home Games for the March Mayhem series, and managed to bust out of them in embarrassing ways.

So that's why I'm struggling to write a post today.  At the beginning of the weekend, I thought I could probably write a pretty good post about some of the mistakes I had made in recent tourneys; it would be therapeutic and would help me improve my game, while maybe helping some others avoid similar mistakes.  By the end of the weekend, the mountain of mistakes I had available to choose from was so huge that the mere idea of reviewing them all to pick the best hands to write about was too embarrassing to contemplate.

This brings me to the title of the post.  Right now, I am digging deep, trying to find the inner drive that makes me want to succeed at everything I do.  I've heard that world-class poker players and Top Gun fighter pilots share one major trait that keeps them going when everything looks dark: they all believe, truly and deeply, that they are the best at what they do, and that in the long run, they will always come out ahead of their opponents.

I am not so egotistical as to have any delusion that I am a great poker player.  What I do have is a belief that I can become one of the best; that I can study, learn, practice, and improve; that I have the raw skills and intellect that can take me in that direction, so long as I keep trying.

One of the things that I am doing for myself as part of this drive to improve is writing a blog entry every week, and as hard as it is this week, I am not going to stop now.  When I want to hide away and pretend that the last week never happened, I'm taking some time to list out some of the mistakes I made, and write about how bad it all felt.  And it still feels awful, but I think it has been at least a little therapeutic after all.

So for this week's entry, I'm not going to fill in my cute little suit-symbol section dividers.  I'm not going to add hyperlinks to all the relevant bits that could use them.  I'm not going to bling it up with pretty pictures.  I'm not going to add my little closing text asking you to go look at my Time Vault thread in the forums.  But I am going to go ahead and submit this post, and tell myself that next week will be better.  (Or the week after.  Or the one after that.)

That, and while I turn my game around, I'm going to try to stop turning at the 180° mark.

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