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Keep me honest, plz!

Enough of tilting and wishful thinking
By: vano02
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I'm a flat-lining inchworm. Yep. For three years I have been trying to move forward by stretching my front foot way ahead, while failing to unlock my back foot. I just left it where it was.

What happens to an inchworm that does this?

It gets STUCK. SERIOUSLY stuck.

With NO chance of moving forward - ever.

Unless... it finally lifts its back foot up, bends at the middle to bring the two ends closer together, anchors the back foot at its new position, and then again stretches its body straight ahead so it can take another step forward, lift the back foot up again, and so on.

Easy, right?

YES, if the inchworm realises that its back foot is stuck AND makes the effort to lift it off the ground and move it forward.

NO, if the inchworm is unware of, or decides to ignore, the fact that its back foot is firmly glued to the ground.

Makes sense, right? Yes. But 'WTF has this got to do with poker?', you might be thinking.


It's the one most important secret to making progress as a player.

In my last post I told you that I've started reading Jared Tendler's book The Mental Game of Poker. Did I say book? It's a revelation! With the "inchworm" concept being the most important eye-opener for me so far.

The concept, according to Tendler, basically states that:

"when you reach a new peak in your ability, the front end of your range takes a step forward. Your best just became better, which also means that your range has widened because the worst part of your game hasn't moved yet.

By eleminating what is currently the worst part of your game, your bell curve takes a step forward from the back end, and now it's easier to take another step forward from the front."

As players we might not share the same weaknesses and strenghts. But we sure all rely on the same source of progress: improving our best AND working on our weakness.

My main strength, I feel, is learning new concepts, so far mostly technical: studying outs and odds, starting hands, positional play, hand analysis, bet sizing, the art of bluffing, MTT/SNG stages, NASH, ICM, etc.

My worst weakness, clearly, is my mental game. The inability to control tilt, which in turn leads me to multi-tabling exactly when I shouldn't, or to playing higher limits than I should, leading to bad bankroll management, resulting in busts, resulting in reloads, building up frustration, more tilt, more multi-tabling... All on a very moderate level, thankfully, but still: every wasted dollar is a wasted dollar.


The moment I decided to start this blog, I realise from hindsight, was the moment I acknowledged that my back foot was stuck.

I am now putting a whole lot of effort into lifting it up and moving it forward. I do this by religiously sticking to my rules and by working hard on my mental game, for once not reading articles or watching videos on the technical or mathematical side of poker, but on tilt only.

And since you have proven mentally strong enough to bear with me this far, I will reward you with this real beauty of a video. The music is a bit slow for my liking, but then again, this is my problem (see post #2), not the inchworm's.

The inchworm, I'm sure, couldn't care less. It simply does what it does best:

Wow, that was philosophical.

Now back to the hard facts. As a returning reader of my blog (I hope there are some) you will have noticed that I have not mentioned my newest stats yet.

Well, they are not really worth mentioning. I have played three $2.20 Zoom tournaments, busted in two, min-cashed in one. I played a few more of my $3.50 turbo 6-max SNGs, lost another two buy-ins and am now down to $92.12 from my original bankroll of $105.09.

But you know what? I'm fine with that, because now I know that, by starting this blog and my challenge, as an inchworm I have made a huge step forward, if "only" with my back end. But it is my back end that needs it most.

So, fellow grinders and aspiring pros, see you soon at the tables or here.


PSO Team, thanks a lot for awarding me a Big Bang ticket for my post #2 AND making it the featured blog. I almost dropped my phone when I saw it. Made my day.


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