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xflixx' Poker Blog

This blog is about my evolution as a poker player & trainer.
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/Mar/2013

If you're going through hell keep going

By: PSO-xflixx @ 09:52 (EDT) / 106 / Comment ( 4 )

The white flakes are falling down relentlessly from a grey sky. Sun hasn't shown up since the beginning of March and I am cursing the bad weather as I visit my mother. She calmly replies: "You won't be able to change it, so why bother complaining?"

I was stunned since I would have expected those kind of words from a professional poker player. But of course she was right and the poker player in me started feeling guilty of doing something you should never do when cards aren't running your way: complain about it.

This is one of the instances in real life that resemble themselves often in the poker microcosm. Right now I realize that anger and frustration about things I can't change have found their way into my thoughts again - both about the bad weather in Germany and my current run of cards.

I haven't been frustrated with poker at all so far this year. My start on 200NL and 100NL in January was really good, I had a successful Vegas trip in February and I got back into my online grinding groove at the beginning of March. However, I now feel that there was one big pitfall in all of this success I experienced: I started to get used to it. I wasn't prepared for what happened over the course of the last week:

It's by no means much that I lost in terms of stacks (13 total, 2 on 200NL and 11 on 100NL) but it did strike me superfast and unexpected. I started to feel a certain frustration over the course of the last week that was comprised of two components:

1. The feeling of working hard while still not being able to finish a day with success (= in the green).

2. The monetary comparisons in my head (e.g. 1,5k = one Vegas trip )

So as you see I basically let mind slip back into old habits and have frustration get the best of me - not exactly good traits you would expect from a professional poker player. Is it a bad thing? Not if I start learning from it right now and turn it into something positive that way.

First and foremost, I shouldn't get used to winning and being successful at the tables since that can turn around in an instance. This habit can make you lazy, less ambitious and sometimes even lose sight of your goals. Then again, I might also want to rethink goals that I had set myself and consider if they make sense at all or rather if they are still what I actually want.

When I returned from Vegas in February I wrote the following lines on our kitchen whiteboard:

- beat 200NL 6-max online

- beat 1kNL live

No I come to realize that it might have been a little dangerous to set those goals instead of focusing on playing good poker, making good decisions in life and see where that leads me in the end. Whether I make money on 100NL or 200NL online, on 2/5 or 5/10 live - that won't mean anything to me as long as I am happy with what I'm doing and playing good poker.

To quote Limon on the seatopenpoker podcast: As a poker player I'm making investment decisions on a daily basis and I have to consider which of those are best for me both EV-wise and for my happiness in life.

I could probably go on for ever writing about what is going on in my head right now, so regarding my inspiration this little downer has actually done me even more good in a sense.

As we always do in live training classes I want to end this post on a good note, so here's a good mood country tune that always cheers me up:

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