Summer challenge

So for those of you that don’t know from the 30th June I’ve decided to do an MTTSNG challenge in which I plan to play 3k MTTSNGS from that point up to September 30th.

So far I’m getting in a fair amount of games, starting to know the regs, I’ve been working hard on going deeper into the format and trying to get a real idea of what to do in certain spots, when to adjust etc.

Anyway let’s fast forward to tonight.

It was towards the end of my session I had around 5-6 tables up and was 3 handed in a 3.50 45 man turbo with 2 other regs, probably the two people in the pool I wouldn’t want to be 3 handed with, maybe that’s an exaggeration, one of them definitely is.

Anyway we’re 3 handed the break pops up, I was reflecting on the spots I was in, what to think about on break, did my push ups, grabbed some water (pretty much what I do every break) and I also started reflecting on what I had been learning and what I’ve seen over the past week or two mttsng wise.

Whilst getting my water I actually got pretty depressed and started saying openly out loud (some of you may laugh at me for this) “I’m so bad at poker, I’m so bad at poker, I’m so bad at poker”

I just started thinking how in a bunch of spots I didn’t really have much of a clue, now granted this is relative, same with me thinking I’m bad. I have more of a clue than some people playing in the games it’s just I know I have so much further to go if I want to be really good and get the best roi’s.

It’s just funny because I used to primarily associate mental game with someone getting pissed at a runout or getting tilted by misfortune but when I look at myself now and the challenge which people have bet against me on, I’m having the dream start, it couldn’t of gone better, no losing days, feeling fresh, think I’m playing well.

I just know that others are playing better than me and I just want that knowledge and want to understand why. It’s like I’m depressed over something which is the polar opposite of what I thought I’d be depressed by.

A week or two ago I went like 40mmtsngs without a cash, I didn’t even flinch or care or think about it the next day. Maybe it’s because I can’t control that but still I feel that kind of stuff was what for a long time I thought would effect me.

Is this depression going to cause me to stop playing at all?

Not at all, if anything I just want to keep improving, playing and having balance on the side.

I just feel mentally I’m in an interesting spot right now and yes this is all somewhat personal but we’re a community here, I’m not here to just post my staking rail and post lol in the chat box and post the occasional bap I’m here because I do like the people in 101.

I guess a few months ago I used to think that I was good because I was better than other people but now I just feel I’m awful because some are so much better than me. I don’t know which is better or what I’m going to do about it but as of now all I can do is try my best to improve.

I’ve realised more so than ever over the past couple of weeks that poker is just so fucking hard, so so so fucking hard.

ofc I always used to think getting to the top and moving up is hard but just analyzing my play and looking at the pool I’m in currently, there’s just so much I can be doing to get better.

I’m sure this is all a bit tangled and messy but for whatever reason I felt like writing this tonight.


Comments Stace:

I agree poker is hard haha. Even though im gettin better at dealin with the old downswings (100% better than I was) I still struggle with it, especially when I’ve got other ***** going on aswell.
As much as I try and not let it effect my decisions it does sometimes and I have to be able to fix that.

I sometimes feel like you, where I can be in a specific situation or hand and feel like I have absolutely no clue how to play it or what I should be doin.. other times I can be in a similar situation and know exactly what I should be doing. I think alot of it is to do with confidence, 1. in your own ability and 2. probably comes down alot to how you are currently running/playing/feeling etc. Finding a way to make that consistant is really hard.

Just keep ploddin on and try to get better, all any of us can do

Reply Labax:

Yeah, downswings are definitely a super important aspect of poker. I know winning players who go on 350BI downswings at the games I’m playing and I’ll likely hit that at some point so it will be interesting to see how I deal with that.

What I’ve been trying to work a lot on is separating poker and other aspects of life. I know that when I was playing too much in around Jan/Feb/March time the swings in poker were transferring to my life and how I was doing in poker heavily affected how I felt off the tables. For me personally I don’t think that is too healthy.

I think what’s good for me about what I’m doing currently is I come pretty immune to the results, I play stacked and often don’t even see the all in run outs or what spot I busted that 2.50 etc. It’s just decisions.

Of course I’m not perfect even last night I was checking the cashier with like 3-4 tables to see how I was doing for the session which I know is just a stupid leak to have.

I’m getting better though. In regards to the no clue point. There are for sure spots where I feel pretty comfortable, like 70bbs deep on certain textures vs regs, pretty much know what to do in a lot of the spots, when to c bet when to c/c.

I guess all this uncertainty and the “I’m so bad” mindset is coming from constantly being on ft’s/places with lots of ICM where I’m just in the dark saying stuff like “I think this is good” when all I want to find out is if it’s good.


I’ve posted some hands on the 2+2 MTTSNG forum which you can find here

In my opinion twoplustwo is a great place to share hands and post thoughts of your own, yes they’ll be trolls and morons but there is often some very good advice given by certain posters. I definitely recommend sharing your own hands whether it be on 2+2 or the strat forum here.

In my opinion the easiest way to stagnate is just by doing your own thing and not seeking the advice or help from others and hoping whatever you do eventually just works out, the curve is always moving and in order to keep start beating (or keep beating) the games you have to keep learning.

Overall the challenge so far is going well, I think the 3.50 45 Turbo’s are pretty tough, I may eventually drop them but for now I think I can just about cling on. Sample wise things are going well, I’m working all of tonight so am skipping this evenings session but will try and compensate by doing a bigger sunday session, which is generally where the sngs are a bit better, a fair few of the regs grind standard mtt sched’s instead, especially in regards to 45 mans.

Mentally it’s been somewhat tough, I’ve just got to keep on focusing about the long term and what I can do currently to keep on improving instead of caring about how the session I’m in is going half way through because we all know that doesn’t matter.

I’ve introduced factors such as not having bust out pop ups, removing the stars coin level thing (when it moves up I know I’ve busted etc). Whilst busting is not a big deal I feel for me staying in a composed state of mind the best thing for me to do is to not care about the run outs or how I bust but to just focus on my decisions and removing the external factors which can worsen my mental game.

Still trying to optimize how many tables I play, again I don’t do this much and it’s a work in progress but I’m learning a lot about myself and my game in this challenge.

I’m actually really glad I’m doing this, for a long period of time I was always trying to sneak in higher stakes games like 11s and 7.50s (they would be sick to bink right?!) and at the end of the day I just bit the pill and said, maybe I’m not good enough, maybe I should just leave my ego at the door and stop caring about what stakes I’m playing regardless whether it’s a sunday or not and just move down, grind a sample, post hands, listen and help others and try and be the best player I can be. The 3.50 45 mans are already pretty hard and a lot of decent regs are playing them, the mttsng cap seems to be far far lower, a lot of the 45mans above 3.50 barely run so the games are pretty competitive. At the end of the day in poker you don’t need to be playing higher stakes in order to challenge yourself, there are still going to be decent regs low down and playing optimally against fish is way easier said than done. It’s easy to beat fish ofc but to beat them for a lot/the maximum is a different story entirely.

Likely will rail the Murray match tomorrow and then start a session in the evening.


If any of you guys are interesting in live sweating me tonight I plan to teamviewer my session so you can effectively see what I see whilst playing.

Let me know if you’d be interested in this. I plan to start around 8-9pm GMT and the session will likely last around 2 hours, of course you can pop in and out as you wish.


So the session just finished, was going to attach this to the rail thread but I think here is a better place.

Ran pretty awful itm of 180s, had really good stacks but couldn’t win the all ins.

This is what it’s all about i guess, being mentally strong and staying focused. I plan to play thousands of these and I really can’t let a few sessions worth of games effect me.

Tonight was the first time I got legitimately tilted whilst playing, losing 4 or 5 70/30s in a row for 25k plus pots itm of 180s. I’m sure this has happened to me on previous nights but what was the difference this time. Well I was lower on tables and I was dragging out the all ins for the 180s, something I really shouldn’t be doing. I let the run outs effect me, the entitlement setting in..

“I’m running so bad, why” etc

If I want to go as far as I can with poker in a part time sense I need to think about what I can do to stop this.

Sure I can just vent and whine to deal with that but that doesn’t seem like the most optimal thing to do and I think it’s a pretty depressing and I suppose pathetic way of dealing with variance.

I feel a better way is to try and improve my overall emotional balance by caring less about short term results.

What am I going to do differently next session you ask?

Don’t pull out any all in run outs, no net positives to be gained.
Don’t check the cashier mid session, it doesn’t matter how I’m doing.
Just post the daily stake rail vaguely looking at it, again it doesn’t matter.

Yes we’re human we’re emotional but if I dedicate my mental energy towards things like posting hands and reviewing hands on twoplustwo instead of feeling sorry for myself and bitching I’m going to be a better player with a better mental attitude in the long run.

One day I’d love to reach a point where I detach from the immediate short term and just feel comfortable where I am. Maybe that will happen when I see decent results I don’t feel this overwhelming compulsion to want to succeed, that being said nothing happens overnight, especially with mttsng results so I just have to keep working hard.

Let’s see how I cope tomorrow.

—- 21/07/16—- (Feel it’s a good thing to add)

So one thing I’ve been trying to improve in as of late (which I may of mentioned before) is life balance (as well as perspective).

I try and do a variety of things and I’m trying to make the most of the free time I have at the moment, well I’m not really, maybe I’m just telling myself that I’m trying to make the most of it anyway..

I try and watch a lot of documentaries, I’m trying to read more (this is something I neglected for ages (bar newspapers)).

I’m trying to exercise more this year, I went from running many miles a week to not doing any running at all. I’m looking towards taking up squash again at university too.

I’m trying to be more social, try and laugh a bit more too. I used to be (and still am a bit) very cynical and tried to find faults in pretty much anything from a tv advert to some random streamer who’s playing a tournament he doesn’t have an edge in, it doesn’t affect me and I should just stop caring (again I’ve gotten a lot better).

I still manage to find darker humor entertaining. You know I watch Fail Army every week, I used to watch a lot of Come Dine With Me, if I want a really good laugh there are some great jokes on the Selling Live Shares Marketplace which always keep me entertained. Maybe that’s just a part of me anyway, I guess we all have different senses of humour.

Going back to reading I actually stumbled upon a book about science and religion. Whenever I’m up in London I play chess at this place called the Casual Chess Club (it takes place in a bar underneath a Waterstones at Tottenham Court Road, as you’d guess it’s pretty laid back and I’d recommend it to any of you that enjoy chess, skill level doesn’t matter and the people there are really nice.

Anyway I stumbled upon a book called “A Universe From Nothing” and read the blurb, it brought up an argument in regards to God which I had not yet addressed yet so I decided to buy it, I’ve only started reading it a couple of days ago.

I don’t want this thread to become about religion but I thought it would be appropriate to leave my cliffs on my journey through religion so far.

-Goes to christian school as a child (never interested in faith)
-Nothing really chances, I don’t get confirmed etc
-I’m around 15 and at boarding school, here a lot of “religion is for the weak minded” comments from people who haven’t even looked into it and have no reasoning beyond that statement.
-As a result I invest some of my free time into wanting to learn more.
-I attend some christian study thing, talk to some of the people there, talk to some of my teachers who are both religious and non religious.
-Eventually after a while I make the conclusion that I feel there is a god but the religion people choose is largely determined by upbringing or what they feel most comfortable with and/or connected to at the time.
-Long story short I couldn’t make a definitive decision as to why I should become a member of religion beyond giving me some form of self comfort, I didn’t feel a calling to join a specific one etc.
-I believed in a god because I felt there had to be an initial catalyst which ignited the start of whatever we’re in now, a first creator of sorts, a god-like figure.
-I stumbled across the book whilst waiting for other members of the club to join.
-It poses an argument about how something can come from nothing.
-I buy the book.

My balance has been a bit disrupted over the past couple of days though, I’ve always had this compulsive attitude to a lot of things and as a result I’ve managed to watch the entire first series of Fargo on Netflix over the past 2-3 days, I enjoyed it but I could of spent time doing other things to. Saying that though I’m not even sure what I should be doing and this is a point I want to get to…

Where I live right now nothing really goes on, it’s mainly old people and all the local people my age who I’ve spoken to only enjoy drinking and drugs (something I’m not really a fan of). I’m working to, I’m doing some catering events and working this Saturday for 10 hours so that’s so money but I feel like I’m not satisfied where I am currently, I’m living with my parents, I need to save money etc. I mean I plan to go up to London once more before uni but apart from that I guess I’m stuck here.

Yes life could be worse but I’m in this weird limbo at the moment and I’m not sure I like it that much


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