Apologies for the lack of updates recently, life has been hectic and I do like to spend a bit of time on these blogs to make sure my thoughts are expressed clearly. Having said that, it's been nice these past few weeks to have people asking me when the next update of my blog is going to be (big shout out to my #1fan Carl the drunk!) Here's the latest state of play :
Still grinding the day job - there are 4 weeks left of the term to go and I am determined to not be one of these people turning up and just doing enough to get by. This means I'm working harder than ever and I'm going to leave on a high. I will admit to finding it difficult from an emotional persepective as most of my pupils know I'm leaving now and some are finding this upsetting. Its very difficult to deal with but I will obviously approach things as professionally as I can. I'm dreading the last week of term - I'm not sure I'll enjoy the attention and fuss that comes with leaving a school like mine!
2. Live cash games
Not put in quite the volume I hoped for because of the pressures of work however things are still going well. Finished May with good numbers profit wise and I'm on course for a solid June, although if I'm honest I feel a bit less sharp than I did earlier in the year. I do wonder if I'm spreading myself a bit thin by playing NL, PLO and dealers choice and it may be in my best interests, certainly in the short term, to concentrate on NL. Its still my best game and I am 100% sure I have a decent edge over most players locally playing deeper stacked games, particularly post flop.
3. Live Tournaments
Complete, abject failure on this front. I've played several tournaments recently, including the £150 deepstack in Nottingham, the Sky Poker tour event in Blackpool and a couple of local £50ers and I've both played and ran poorly. Its a dangerous positive feedback loop - the worse I run, the worse I play. The worse I play, the higher variance I expose myself to and therefore, in my mind, the worse I run. Being stuck in this emotional loop is clouding the decision making process and has resulted in me overplaying hands and making poorly timed moves. I've spent a bit of time talking to a couple of people about this and couple of things seem clear to me.
1. I'm playing too many hands over aggressively - I think this is a symptom of playing so many hours in live cash games, where predominantly tight is right. As a consequence of this, when I sit down in the tournaments I feel I need to play more aggressively and as a consequence of this I'm trying to force the pace all the time. The cure to this, in my mind, is simple - clearer focus and trusting my own instincts rather than thinking 'I've got 18BB so it's 3bet squeeze time'. Poker is not a formulaic game and every table of every tournament is different and I need to think more clearly about individual situations rather than what the internet says is the correct play.
2. I must spend more time working on my mental game in tournaments. Little things seem to aggravate me causing me to make poor decisions. Losing flips seem like the end of the world and bad players making bad plays surprises me. It's odd because in the cash games, these don't seem to bother me at all! I think it stems from entitlement tilt - I believe subconsciously I deserve to win and deserve to 'not get unlucky' which is of course pure nonsense. I'm going to try and put a few things in place before the next tournament I play in terms of mental strategy rather than poker strategy.
(a) Re-read the relevant chapters in 'The Mental Game of Poker' .
(b) A couple of 'injecting logic' statements on my phone ( a strategy I used a lot last year when going through the worst downswing of my career to date) I picked this up from Jared Tendler's book and its such a simple, yet effective thing to do. Basically, its using simple statements like 'Losing a flip does not mean you're cursed' to use logic to cut through the red mist as the tilt descends.
(c) Use my breaks better - getting some fresh air, reading a book, basically just getting away from the poker area and players discussing bad beats etc. There seems to be a lot of negativity in Blackpool around these break times and I'm sure its not helping my entitlement tilt to hear the bad beat stories and 'That fucking idiot just called me preflop with 25' etc etc
Hopefully these things will help me work through these mental issues and play my A game a higher % of the time than I currently am.
So there it is - again apologies for the lack of recent updates and I'm currently working on a longer post related to my goals and aspirations for next year.
I'm nearly there, 4 weeks to go until I need a new hashtag on twitter (@awesome_hutch).
Thanks for taking the time to read and feel free to hit me up on twitter, facebook or on raisetheriver or AWOP.