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xflixx' Poker Blog

This blog is about my evolution as a poker player & trainer.
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New year, new rules

By: PSO-xflixx @ 17:10 (EST) / 1524 / Comment ( 15 )

I was actually just about to go and watch one of my favorite friday night crime series when I realized that a new episode won't air until next week. What to do now? Might as well blog about some of the stuff that is going through my poker mind in these first days of the new year.

New year...

My VPP counter is already sitting comfortably at 2,2k and I have been pursuing my set goals with great effort.

After a short warming up at the regular 100NL 6-max tables I also took my first shot after a long time at the 200NL and it went really well:

To be fair my cat could have played that hand but a little rungood is definitely a motivating thing when you are about to get your feet wet grinding deeper waters and taking bigger waves again like I plan to do.

New rules...

The biggest goal I am looking to accomplish this year is improving the quality of my game not only by studying but also by improving the surrounding session conditions. Therefore, I have set up a few guidelines to help me reach that goal:

1. Table Setup:

While warming up I have tried spreading out 6 tables over my 3 monitors. I wanted to have the action at all tables at sight in a high resolution. It may sound funny but I always feel like my mind gets disconnected from tables when I tile or cascade them. Since they either get smaller or I lose sight of them I have difficulties getting a good feel for the villains and table dynamics.

This setup helps me to keep up my thoughts with all the different spots. Since 6 regular tables usually leave you with enough time to decide & click it was only a matter of time until I decided to add extra tables on top. However, that turned out to be a good idea only as long as I was performing my A-game. As soon as my game deteriorated I would either wind down the session or reduce the number of tables down to 6 again.

2. Tableselection & Daily Rhythm

Some German pokerplayers would not want to play during the day times like I do. I just can't help it but I need my daily rhythm to keep up my concentration and to increase my happiness EV. There are so many good things that can only be done by sticking to that rhythm: Waking up and going to sleep together with the wife, having regular meals, being able to go outside for daylight, meeting friends, doing business, coaching, live trainings, running errands etc.

This keeps my mindset stable and helps me to deliver my A-game at the tables. Thus, I have to make the tradeoff between juicy nightshift tables and the dryer dayshift tables for a better mindset and longer A-game phases.

Since it may get tough at times to find good 200NL tables I will now add some Zoom play to the mix, starting my sessions with 1-2 Aenna tables (200NL 6-max Zoom Poker) and slowly rotating them out until I have found enough good regular tables to play.

3. Session Length

2 hours max! This is a rule that I had set up a while back already but I never stuck to it. There were always reasons and excuses for playing longer hours - juicy tables, good run, bad run, chasing losses etc. you name it. This has to stop. My mind cannot focus on making good decisons and delivering A-game for longer than a 2-hour period. I will take breaks after a 2-hour session and only start further sessions if there will be time, brainpower and motivation left.

4. Grinding Weekends

So far I have always stuck to pausing the grind on weekends. Spending quality time with my wife and resting are still my main principles but I will try to fit in a short session too. I have found that by taking weekend breaks my mind gets detached from poker just a bit too much. Of course, a day off is always a good thing but I feel that at times weekend breaks of more than 1 day ended up deteriorating my motivation and my game by a fair bit when hitting the tables on mondays again.

To wrap up this blog entry I have a hand for you guys to comment on - looking forward to your opinion:

The opener is a very tight 12/10 player on a short 100 hand sample who has folded to 4/4 3bets so far. The caller on the button is an unknown on the tighter side (20 hands or so). How would you have played the hand?

Thanks for reading and good luck at the tables!

- Felix

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