Ruminating on a bad session - Mental game stuff

sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
Forgive me as there isn't really a question involved in this. I had a poor session and I'm largely venting and using this forum as my therapy.

I went to play cards for the first time since starting Core. I'm just about through Level I and haven't had a chance to practice live and really start applying what I've learned.

I was playing the $3-5 NL game at Commerce. It has a max $200 buy in. The games tend to play pretty loose and aggressive. I went in with a game plan. Focus on hands that play well in low SPR pots (which is most pots in this game). Focus on my position. Focus on identifying board textures.

For a while, I was really feeling great. I wasn't getting out of line. I picked up some small-ish pots. I made a good hero call with 55 on a board that screamed the villain likely had a big ace and was trying to bet me out. I'm winning and all is good.

Then, I had Aces cracked by Jacks in a large pot. The money went in preflop and I'm actually not sweating it. It sucks but beats like that don't bother me. About 30 minutes later, a drunk guy sucks out on an older guy and the fireworks start to fly. Lots of anger, bad vibes. So much so that the game breaks as a result of others bickering. Three players get tossed, two others left the table just because it wasn't fun. A typical Saturday night at Commerce.

I get moved to a new table and I must have just hit my mental limit. I'm down a little bit. Maybe $50. And I start deviating from my game plan. I start set mining. Trying to squeeze passive players. I walked right into a trap set by a solid TAG. Next thing I know, I'm broke and heading home. Down the $400 I brought to play with.

Like I said, I don't really have a question. Just thinking about where and when I starting to lose my game, how to force myself to get it back or just walk away. I play rarely. Maybe once a month and it's usually for a 4-5 hour session. So I definitely hit a point where I feel like I have to make something happen RIGHT NOW. If I don't it won't ever happen. If I'm up, I assume I can just kill this game. And if I'm down or start to be less up, I try to make up for it immediately. It's a pretty big leak and it's super frustrating to know that mental weakness has such a devastating effect.

Anyway... thanks for listening. Carry on!

beigs
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Comments

  • March422March422 Red Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Easier said than done but try not to put so much pressure on the results of one session. Poker is basically one long session that doesn't end. Whenever I am getting frustrated I just think to myself all I can do is make the best decisions i can, everything else is out of my control.

    I can see how this approach can be difficult if you have long stretches between sessions. That being said it sounds like you had identified that you were indeed on tilt, when that happens you need to do something to change your mindset. Get up, take a walk, go sit in your car and take close your eyes for a few minutes.


    When you are off table, think about what is tilting you and why you are letting it effect you. Realizing the signs of being on tilt is a huge first step so that is a good sign. The next big step to take is to have a plan for the next time.

    RCP has some great pro videos on mindset by Dr. Cardner that have helped me strengthen my mental game.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,221 ✭✭✭✭
    I like what @March422 said. Good post.
    sfx_beigs wrote: »
    I play rarely. Maybe once a month and it's usually for a 4-5 hour session.
    This is really really few hours playing poker. Even if you do study regularly and seriously, I doubt it's useful because of how little you can train your (new) skills on table. And this will also give very little material to study off-table.
    If you want to improve at poker, you need to play poker (!). Play online (if allowed), join or organize home games, travel more (like weekend poker in Vegas?), maybe ask to join the online poker group of @persuadeo .

    Your mental leak is a point and can be corrected, there are a lot of free articles/videos as well as pro RCP video as pointed out.
    Yet you still need to play more to improve and tame your inner deamons.
  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
    I agree that playing time is an issue. Mostly because I have a wife and kid and don’t go out on my own often. I’ve been kicking around the idea of signing up for Bovada or Global and playing online but I have trust issues with online. I should just suck it up and do it. It’s cheaper than Commerce and more realistic than Advanced Poker Training.
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 63 ✭✭
    I understand your trust issues with online. I had similar ones at first but once I got started I just put a small amount in and I'm able to play several times a week plus have lots of material to study. It's worth it imo.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,942 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12
    I think it's extremely difficult to go to drive to session with less than a single full buy in* and expect to play your best poker. Even if you do, if you bust out it's an extremely inefficient way to play. Meaning, that even if you view it in the "long term", busting out early makes those losing sessions cost more than you think because of the overhead of driving and committing your night, without enough poker time to show for it. Not many people could play their A game under those conditions.

    *I know you technically had 2 buy ins, but you have to compare apples to apples. With such a short stack you can expect to burn through it more often than you would a full stack of $500.
  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
    That’s a good point and a really big problem with LA games. My “bankroll“ can’t support $2-5 but the rake on $1-3 is obscene and the buy-in for that is $100 max. The drop busts 1-2 players an hour on its own.

    Really I should play the $1-3 $300 game at the Bike but the skill level of those players is higher than the short buy games at Commerce or Hustler.

    Thanks for the feedback. I hadn’t considered that my two buy ins were really 4/5 of a buy in.
  • PatPat SwedenRed Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Trust Issue with online.
    What trust issue you mean?
    That the company will rip you of the money?
    Bots?
    That the game is rigged???
    Other???
  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
    Pat wrote: »
    Trust Issue with online.
    What trust issue you mean?
    That the company will rip you of the money?
    Bots?
    That the game is rigged???
    Other???

    All but the game is rigged. I never bought into the conspiracy. The bots might be the primary concern. But also cash in/out being an American player.
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 63 ✭✭
    sfx_beigs wrote: »
    Pat wrote: »
    Trust Issue with online.
    What trust issue you mean?
    That the company will rip you of the money?
    Bots?
    That the game is rigged???
    Other???

    All but the game is rigged. I never bought into the conspiracy. The bots might be the primary concern. But also cash in/out being an American player.

    Just my experience but bots at lower levels like 10nl just aren't a big deal. They can't make enough money at those stakes. And if they are there I just think of them as tough players that help improve my game.

    As far as cashing out etc. Bitcoin works and there are plenty of you tube videos that can help keep you protected with that. But tbh I put in 50 bucks and played for a while. I mainly use it to practice and gather stats on my play.
  • PatPat SwedenRed Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Cash out is not something you need to worry about for a long time.
    As you going to need to start from the ground and grind yourself up.
    2NL or 5NL.
    Even if you crush the game +30bb/100 it going to take mayor time until you get anything worth cash out. (That even if you multi tabling)
    You play to learn and get better. Money is for move up and possibly also invest (like Rcp pro, books, software)
    In best case (short time perspective) you can take what you learn online, go to your monthly live game and win some money you can cash out.

    Even if it would be rigged, like make new player and fishes get some extra edge.
    It actually not matter as it the same for everyone.
    It is what it is. :)
  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
    edited February 14
    I get the dilemma with the short bankroll for a decently structured game. Being very familiar with the LA games (and that exact Commerce game in particular) most of us who take the game seriously have been there at some point. Since you really can’t build the hours to where the results mean anything, I’d suggest forgetting about the results because they really mean nothing anyway. I know this sounds impossible but once you get your mindset there it really does help.

    Example. Let’s say you have 5 hours a week to devote to poker, three weeks of the month you study with that time. 1 week you go play with that time, look at it as an academic experiment. Sort of an extension of your studying. I’ve always read hands using logic and feel, however, Splitsuits hand reading lab has gotten my curiosity going. Never did take many hand notes and now I take 4-5 per session, more out of curiosity than anything. I add that to my studying and it helps immensely when you have a bad session. You go back and analyze those situations and figure out if and where you went wrong. I’ve been taking this academic approach for a few months now, and it has helped my overall game but in no area more than my mental approach to the game
  • sfx_beigssfx_beigs Red Chipper Posts: 25 ✭✭
    BigFudge wrote: »
    I’ve been taking this academic approach for a few months now, and it has helped my overall game but in no area more than my mental approach to the game

    This is actually why I signed up with RCP. I had been playing Limit since I graduated college around 2000. I started in the 3-6 game once a month at Borgata. Taking the bus down from NYC. Lee Jones' book had me winning enough to consistently pay for my trip. Then I moved to LA and I worked my way up to the $8-16 game.

    But the last 18 months+ I've been getting crushed. Now I get that's a small sample size, especially with how infrequently I get to the card room. But something made me think the game had passed me by. I went back to my poker book library and started re-reading. Trying to find the leaks in my game. But the truth is, those books don't really teach you how to study. And they don't really teach you overarching strategy. They're rote mechanics of the game. I wanted a more academic structure. My wife is a science teacher and teaching via inquiry rather than memorization. Derive the formulas and the math from the experiment not 'here's the formula, see how it works with this formula'.

    Core really feels like the first poker resource that is taught via concept learning and inquiry. Understand this concept... focus on it... master it. Now, here's the next concept... Notice how the first concept informs the second concept. Build your knowledge base organically. I love it.

    Now if only I can book a win...
  • PatPat SwedenRed Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    edited February 14
    "But the truth is, those books don't really teach you how to study."

    How to study poker volume 1 and 2
    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=how+to+study+poker&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
  • PatPat SwedenRed Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    But no matter how much you study if you not put in the hours too.
    That means to play as much hands as possible and if you play only live it will not be many, even if you will play full time compare to multi tabling online play.

    I not think you are fair to Poker literature.
    I Study computer science (Coding) for many years. Both University and MS certifications.
    Same same, very, very similar to Study poker as study coding.
    If used to one you can easy study the other.

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