- 30.09.2011, 23:52
- This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by TerrorBlade: 30.09.2011 23:53.
If you don't know me already, I'm a FLHE player who has been coaching microstakes for PokerStrategy for a few years and have been playing full time for 2.5 years now. I started out with 3/6 and since then I have played up to 15/30 with pretty awful results above 5/T.
This year I have been learning PLO in addition to grinding a small amount of LHE to survive while I transition.
Why am I writing this now? I logged in to PS about a week ago and saw that I was on 495k SPs. At first I felt nothing, but then guilt and then embarassment set in. I'm a tiny step away from "achieving" black member status, something that I would have been super excited about back in my first blog or two.
The Black Member club is for the elite, the people who have formulated ways of keeping themselves highly motivated and continuously work on themselves and their game. TLN and TT come to mind. I have fallen into a cycle of laziness, aimless grinding and ignorance to my own shortcomings that has led me to this point. Regarding my poker career, I now have only ONE overarching goal:
-Become worthy of Black Member status
How do I define worthy?
An individual who is capable of high levels of poker (and life) self-improvement and enjoys a high degree of success over the long term due to this.
I'm writing this blog to try and help anyone avoid the mistakes that I've been making for 90% of my poker career thus far and show the steps I am taking to improve myself to a level where I can be proud to say that I am a poker player.
How am I going to achieve this goal?
1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that will bring about the best levels of concentration and physical wellbeing.
Regarding how I'm doing in this aspect of my life, I have to give some backstory. I'm a big fan of musical theatre and the best year of my life was my final year of high school performing in Les Miserables. I might go in to my other short-mid term life goals regarding music in later posts but for now...
So I managed to audition well and get into a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" back in May this yearand we're currently precisely 1 month out from opening night. A few weeks after rehearsals started we were told that the guys might have to go shirtless D=, and I've been quite flabby for 95% of my post-pubescent life.
I made the goal that day to get the best abs I could by opening night. I did a bucketload of research on nutrition etc. and since then have been keeping a nutrition diary detailing my daily caloric intake, weight and excercise done. I have been eating crazy healthy compared to my old self and am very happy with my progress thus far, maybe if you guys are lucky you'll get some before/after pics! Oh, and I also made a 60$ prop-bet with a friend that I would get "decent abs" by opening night to spur my motivation further! (it's much more about the "I TOLD YOU I WOULD" than the money obv!)
The only part of this aspect that I am not doing well atm is getting sufficient sleep. I feel like I've spent the past few months in a state of perma-sleep depravation. I attribute this to poor sleep-time discipline and also stress. Since FT went down (I had 1/3rd of my BR on there at the time), stress has been silently working me down.
Worrying about my poker future and KNOWING I wasn't trying my best took its toll on me and I always went to bed thinking I hadn't played/studied enough poker in the day and wondering if I'd be able to turn it around.
The last few days I have slept okay, knowing that I did the best I could do during the day to better myself has done wonders for my restlessness.
2. Spend a non-zero (20%+) percentage of my time on learning.
Probably one of my worse habits (especially regarding PLO) has been "Okay, I'm down a bazillion stacks this month, gotta 6-table grind for several hours a day, no time for posting hands". I would go a whole week without so much as running an equity simulation, a whole week that was completely wasted.
This week so far I think the split has been more 50/50 between evaluating my hands and playing. I've only played 1k hands per day on average. It's crazy how much time that can take up but it's time actually usefully spent considering how infantile my PLO mindset is. Basically at the moment I play enough hands to generate spots that I'm unsure about as opposed to trying to grind enough to see if I can churn out a good winrate yet. I can adjust the ratio once difficult spots come up less often.
All the Jeff Hwang PLO books & Jared Tendler's book are on their way from amazon, and I've begun reading the series of PLO articles "PLO from scratch" to get this done the proper way.
My system currently is that I have a document for the week and each page is a day. I mark hands during the session and put them in there with links to the forum post, once I get enough replies to come to a conclusion I make a study card out of the hand with the right answer and go through the cards before I start my PLO sessions.
It's somewhat time consuming but I think this is the best way to for me to learn.
That is great for the "known unknowns" part of your game but there are spots that I might have internalised as standard that I'm way off base on and that's where a 3rd party/coach comes in. A fortnightly session with my PLO coach to catch those spots is how I'm going to deal with that.
3. Set achievable targets to help motivation and track it through regular blogging (public or private)
I used to blog actively on here before I went pro and for some time afterwards, but I eventually lost interest and then I've mainly been lurking and reading the news updates/blogs. I wholeheartedly believe that maintaining a blog (or goal tracking of some sort at all, public or private) is a big indicator for success and improvement in poker. Blogging isn't the only thing that has fallen by the wayside over the past 2.5 years though.
I fully intend to keep this blog going with all my progress regarding the first two aspects of poker success and even other stuff from my life including music and gaming.
If I fail to keep this maintained and keep myself driving forward, there is really no point to me continuing my poker career. Every day where I should be working hard is spent delaying the learning process is a day of life wasted, but I want to spend it striving to greater heights.
If in 6 months time I'm back to my old habits and this is a dead blog, it's over and I have to find a new path.
So.. what now?
It's been a good week (I wrote a bit of this each day) learning wise, I have no idea how much I made/lost. What is my first goal going to be? (they are somewhat retroactive now but hey)
[X] Analyse all unsure hands this week
[X] Don't play above 4 tables
[X] Finish the week strong and study card all my tricky spots tomorrow (wrote this thursday)
^Probably seems pretty unimpressive, but I can't remember the consecutive 5 days where I got shit done and didn't default to grind away the time.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot!
black member icon is way more baller
I'd say wish me luck, but luck has nothing to do with it.