..... or familiarity breeds contempt

'Familiarity breeds contempt' is a British saying and to be honest I never really know what it meant, but then when considering my poker playing I found a wonderful example.

I started playing poker last April and although I read and watched videos it wasn't until September until I took it seriously.

That was when I stopped playing cash games and concentrated on MTTs and MTSNGs.

Over the the next 6 months my bankroll went from $200 to $6000 and I consider myself a winning player.

After 6 winning months I have hit a wall in March and I am break-even for the month and like all good players I have analysed where I am going wrong.

Over the six months there is a definite pattern to my results.

September - playing MTTs - winning player then tailing off in October
October - started playing $4 Rush MTSNGs - winning player
November - started playing $11 Rush MTSNGs - winning player
November - started playing $4 Rush On Demand MTSNGs - winning player then tailing off in December/January
January - started playing multi-entry MTTs - winning player then tailing off in February

In addition - I played 1 FTOPS for fun and went out near the bubble when I made a silly mistake and cost myself a definite 'cash'; played 4 mini FTOPS and even though completely card dead still managed to cash in one.

My Theory
My thoughts are that when I start a new variation or a new level, I put full concentration into - in other words I bring my A game to the table. And it appears that, at the level I play, my A game is good enough to make me a consistent winning player.

When I don't bring my A game I can still win and actually I have the same ITM percentage (which has hidden my leak), but I don't win as big.

My A game is tight and very aggressive - If I am a little off my game, I lose a little tightness and a little aggression - these are hardly noticeable, but
if I really analyse my game, there are spots when I call when I should bet/raise and spots where I call when I should fold - small errors brought about by lack of concentration.

Or small errors because I am used to (and used to winning) at the format and the level - in other words 'familiarity breeds contempt'. My B game is still good enough to win, but not nearly as much, and profit is the motivation.

Small Example

Yesterday having spotted my leak - I played a short session of 7 $4 SNGs - and I played my absolute A game. Now I know it is only 7 games so variance is a huge factor, but I was almost error free (I am sure a coach could spot a few :D ).

I min cashed in the first.
In another, when lying 5th I clashed with 3rd - lost AK flop AA to AQ with a Q on the river, which would have made me a huge chip leader.
Lost 3 to coin-flips.
Finished 3rd.
Getting close to the bubble, lost A flush to a Full House on the river when 333 came flop, turn, river, and with it another chip lead.

Later I tried to squeeze in an even shorter 3 set session, but I also had a few things to do so didn't fully concentrate and lost all 3 easily........

I worked hard to make a profit (and still did) then pissed some of it away....


My A game is a winning game but I go off the boil after a while, unless I really concentrate.

Has anyone else seen a similar pattern?


Jass :D