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Keep me honest, plz!

Enough of tilting and wishful thinking
By: vano02
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Day one after the start of my challenge - still holding my head up high. I stuck to my rules, did not tilt spew my bankroll and I played, well not great, but okay.

I would have liked to be able to present you with some spectacular results. Like six first finishes in a row (not really). Well, at least some small profit to be proud of.

In reality, I lost 2 buy-ins over 17 of my 6-max turbo SNGs ($3.5 each). Not horrible, not great.

I did notice the tiniest of tilt sensations, though. After placing 2nd in the first SNG, I lost the four following ones. And while this was not worrying in itself, it did something to me. It put a little dent in my confidence and scratched at my determination. Which in turn was worrying because it really was the tiniest of variance, but it made me play worse.

At least, I did realize this soon enough and tried to hold my nerve. I won the next SNG, thankfully, but did not fully recover over the other 11 games. It was an annoying up and down of a 1st, followed by 4 losses in a row, another 1st, followed by 2 subsequent losses. You get the gist.

Bearing in mind that this was the first day of my challenge-put-into-practice, I thought I'd better pull myself together and do something that I manage not too often: Take a session break.

I browsed through the PSO blogs and videos and stumbled over Poker-Pro Fridvalszki 'Fricirics' Richárd's 6-max SNG Series for Beginners (Part 1). Given my not so spectacular performance earlier on, I decided some brushing up of my basics wouldn't hurt, and started watching it.

Have you seen it?

He goes through those early game hands ever so s-l-o-w-l-y, patiently explaining every single move, even the most obvious fold. Then, sometimes, the forward function of his player doesn't work or he forgets to click it. And waits. And waits. And nothing happens. N-o-t-h-i-n-g.

It was killing me.

I felt an ever growing, unbearable urge to fast forward the video to the next hand. To zoom it, basically.

'Fricirics' did, of course, have very valid points. Like religiously preserving chips in the first two blind levels. And not filling up in the small blind with junk hoping to hit the hidden miracle monster on the flop that never arrives anyway. I always thought I was tight in the early game. But his sort of tight was from another rock galaxy. But my main thought kept being: this is so painstakingly S-L-O-W.

And then it hit me. I think it was when he explained for the third time that filling up in the small blind or being in the big blind and calling a tiny min raise from the small blind with no hand to speak of, really, was not a long-term profitable play.

It was the moment I realized: he was not being slow.

I was being impatient.

I was itching to see the next hand, have him make his next move, even if it was a fold. I did not stop to analyse the situation more than superficially - while he was taking all the time of the world to assess every single hand, player position, bet size, board texture, etc.

Painstakingly slow. But painstakingly EV+.

I blushed internally, watched the video until the very end and began to appreciate the value of going slow.

I also decided it really was time to buy The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler, recently reviewed by Roland GTX in his PSO blog. A good and very timely post.

Decided, bought and downloaded.


I'm now going to take another break, start reading it, and be back at the tables in time for my dirty favorite, the daily $2.20 Zoom (what else?) tournament - where I will try to be fast with the fold button when my hand in the small blind does not merit filling up, but slow before I jump into a hand.

Thanks, Fricirics. And Roland.

See you soon at the tables or here.

And you, do KEEP ME HONEST, PLZ.


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