Well it’s been nearly a month and I thought I’d talk about some of the things I’ve been thinking about in regards to poker.
So as most of you are aware I’ve been a pretty big downswing for a while now. I’ve had time to study, reflect, play do a lot of things poker wise and recently I read a really good article in regards to MTT variance which got me thinking. I could easily blame this entire downswing purely on variance I say stuff like I’ve just run bad in the high equity spots, eventually I’ll win those crucial flips you need to win in order to get to the big final tables/get a big score etc. The problem with whole heartedly adopting this mindset is over time you start neglecting all the other factors which caused the negative result before variance (i.e just being a spew fish, making a string of bad calls, playing scared and not jamming a super plus ev spot because you want a min cash so you don’t brick the whole session etc). If I ignore the past sessions and don’t review or try to improve instead of downswinging I’ll likely just plateau and never be profitable.
With all that in mind let’s check out some graphs of mine for MTTs.
BB’s won and BB ev – What does this show?
Primarily that I’m winning BB’s over a decent sample. Not too fussed about how far or above ev I am. Things that I could be drawing is that I should be winning even more BB’s over this amount of games/hands and that I have a few leaks which mean I’m loosing value in certain spots and likely loosing a lot of BB’s from spewing etc, hero calling where I just shouldn’t be etc.
Chips won and Chip EV
What does this show?
In retrospect to my BB graph it effectively shows that I’ve ran pretty awful in the late stages of mtts (high equity spots).
The point of the posting the graphs wasn’t a “poor me I’m running so bad” sympathy grab it’s merely there to try and gain an assessment of how I’ve played.
So we’ve looked at the graphs so now I guess I should be asking what should I do to improve. Should I review my hand histories and post booms to friends and see what they think? I’ve been doing that for a while and gone through histories with other mtt players and whilst I am making some mistakes they have said there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be profiting in the long run. Should I be more critical of myself and not think every play I make is the right one? To an extent yes however I do feel that I realise I make a fair amount of mistakes and I try my best to go over them and see what I should be doing differently. I’m likely going to set up a 101 skype group in the future to exclusively discuss hands and plays so we all improve as a community.
Going back to the initial point in regards to blaming it all on variance it works they other way on upswings too. It almost seems natural that whenever we have a big winning session we think we played amazing but this doesn’t have to be the case. One thing I never really get is whenever someone get’s a big score on 101 pretty much all of us reply with “vgg wpwp sicko” when in fact that individual could of got incredibly lucky (making a terrible turn shove with next to no merits and binking a 2 outer on the river for the chip lead at a final table, just a hypothetical example). The problem is in MTTs is that in general the community is extremely short sighted, this over praise which occurs when someone runs deep is likely just making them over confident and it is unlikely that they will remember or learn from any of the mistakes they made in that tournament.
All in all it’s a fine balance in both an upswing and a downswing. Should we be over or under confident in regards to our abilities and how critical should we be with one another in order to try and improve. It’s a tough question which requires a lot of honesty in regards to ones self assessment of their own game. For me it’s pretty tough, do I think I’m plus ev at micro mtts and good value low stakes? Yes, I feel I am of a good enough ability to beat the games, other people I respect (ability wise) have told me that to. Do my results show that I am capable of beating the games, again hard to say, do I really have a big enough sample? Nope. Do I need to keep grinding away until I really find out, yes. The problem for me mentally right now is I feel I need something to show for my efforts which I think is a bit of a leak.
Here’s an example I just made up, let’s say tonight I play the hot 7.50 and bink it for 3k, have I improved at all ability wise from the day before? Maybe a tiny bit and I plugged a leak etc but for the most part not nearly enough to gain any drastic improvement which lead to this result. Although I’m sure a lot of your opinions about me would change and you’d think I’m a better player than you once thought a few days before.
I want poker to work out for me as I enjoy it and find it intellectually stimulating, the effective scoreboard in poker is how much money you have made and I feel I need a big score to somewhat prove myself. This is pretty irrational though, as we all know anyone can bink an MTT. It seems like every other Sunday some Brazillian donk binks the storm for 30k practically clicking buttons blindfolded for the whole final table. Results, especially in the short term, aren’t a good indicator so I shouldn’t really care about what happens in the next few weeks/month but at the stage I am at right now, I do.
Should I be using variance as a crutch for my recent results, partly for sure but how much do I need to be blaming myself. I had decent results towards the end of 2015 and it is without question that I am a far better player this year than the end of last year. Is this just an auto piloted assumption though? Am I just bad? Again it’s tough because I don’t think so, others don’t think so but I feel after a while everyone loses confidence in someone when they consistently run bad for a month or two.
I just feel that MTT variance is pretty sick and if anything this is happening at a good time for me, I’m not playing full time so the stress of having to provide for myself during a downswing isn’t there. It’s making me realise what it’s like in the deep end so if I ever go further down the line I know what I’m getting myself in for.
The problem is I’m 19, my bankroll is getting lower and lower, I don’t have a solid enough income to redeposit. It’s gotten to the stage where I’ve started to post BAPs where I take none of my action and offer a 90/10 cut (something I’ve never really wanted to do). I do have a burning desire to improve and be the best player I can be. Rather strangely the motivation for me is that I see people currently who have made it (especially at live poker) and (maybe this is just pure arrogance from me) I feel if I keep working hard I definitely have the aptitude to get to that stage and maybe go even further. Again though, I’m only 19, I don’t have much money, I can’t afford coaching and I can’t really afford to keep going on a downswing for much longer so I guess you could say there is some underlying stress right now. It’s a tough spot for me but I know I need to be resilient and stay focused on the long run. What I would want more than ever right now is an opportunity for backing alongside coaching, it would alleviate the situation right now and make be improve even faster. However, I’m aware I can’t click my fingers and hope it happens, those kind of things are a product of hard work for the most part.
Anyway if you’ve read all of this so far I’d like to hear your opinion on all of this. As of now what I need more than ever from this community is some constructive feedback from the you all. Maybe I should be listening to other people more etc. Maybe I should take a break etc.
As you’re probably all aware I update this blog where I see fit but I feel the next few weeks will be an interesting time for me so there will likely be more updates.