Mental game blog

    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      Hi,

      recently I bought and started reading "The mental game of poker". It motivated me to start this and this will be my blog focusing mostly on improving in that part of my game. I strongly believe that this book will help me with other non-poker related things in life and through this blog hopefully I'll see my constant improvement.

      Thinking and analyzing about my game, got the conclusion that my mental game is the biggest leak I currently have, costed me more money than everything else, even though surely I have lot of improvement to make in technical game.

      Before I was playing up to nl100/200, but currently I'm playing nl25 tables at stars. Had to move down due downswing and cashout. Plan is to 3-4 table, no autopilot, follow every pot, take notes, ask "Why?", improve at mental game with advices from book. Really want to be sure that I'm one of the best regulars at the tables. In short, I will try to not care about money at all and focus on only improving.

      "The greatest predictor of long-term success is learning and improving every day." Jared Tendler

      I won't post cliffs from book, as I think that wouldn't be fair to author, but will post some motivating stuff like sentence above.

      Until today I read about 50 pages and appendix about warming up and cooling down. So, will post my plan about that and write some short and long term plans.

      Pre-session routine:
      WARM UP
      1. Review what you are working on (mental or poker game)
      2. Review your long term goals
      3. Remove distractions
      4. Take deep breaths
      5. Open tables or observe them while being on waiting list

      Post-session routine:
      COOL DOWN:
      1. Estimate variance
      2. Evaluate your technical play
      3. Evaluate your mental game
      4. Review marked hands

      There are more advices how to do that, but this is what I think will work good for me. It's possible that I will make some changes in future, but the most important part is to be consistent with this and I hope to achieve that with posting daily updates here on blog, mostly about "Cool down" in which is technical game part.

      September + October goals:
      [ ] pre and post-session routine
      [ ] 100 hours of play
      [ ] 25 hours of studying at October - preflop game (3bet and calling 3b ranges - videos and flopzilla)
      [ ] look at cashier/hem results 1 per week
      [ ] finish reading "The mental game of poker" with ton of notes taken
      [ ] post some nice link at the end of every post


      Long term goals:
      [ ] moveup when have 100 BI for next level
      [ ] look at cashier/hem 1 or 2 per month
      [ ] improve mental game (tilt much less)
      [ ] improve technical game (perfect preflop play, improving at postflop)
      [ ] healthy life


      125 hours isn't a lot, but it will be fine for the start. I think short term results affecting my play a lot, so without watching balance hopefully I should stay on A-game more. Studying poker will be mostly theory videos and thinking about how I played my hands or post it here. Links are for motivation.

      Wish me luck, I really want succed in this. :heart:

  • 13 replies
    • IngridN
      IngridN
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.03.2011 Posts: 12,162
      haha wow! very nice blog post DimnjacarGogi! wish you best of luck and keep us updated!
    • ExternalUseOnly
      ExternalUseOnly
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 3,373
      Hey there sir good evening.


      Nice opening post :)

      I see you are a pretty new member, have you seen already the Q&A thread we have with the man himself Jared Tendler? If not then here it is:

      +++Q&A with Jared Tendler!!+++

      Good luck with your goals, i'll be following

      Carl
    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      Played 1 hour session, 333 hands.
      Removed $ and bb/100 collumn at HM so won't know my results. Hopefully it won't happen that I won't have anything to rebuy with. :D

      Small session, not sure if I'll be able to play later, so will write it now. Usually I plan do this once per day.

      1. Estimate variance
      Small sample, won flip for 40bb pot, that's all.

      2. Evaluate your technical play 6/10
      Have 3 spots where I think I should've folded before, marked that and will review. Think that should fold more as it's nl25 and people are usually aggressive with strong hands. Happy with preflop game, I think I made no mistake.

      3. Evaluate your mental game 7/10
      Somewhere in mid session felt like auto piloting, not thinking why I'm betting. But feels like I'm better focused than usual. Hour of play never went so fast what 's great.

      4. Review marked hands
      Hand 1
      Hand 2
      Hand 3


      Thanks for help IngridN and External, actually I read this forum a lot as I'm lazy and always finding excuse to not play, just didn't play through site.

      Please comment hands, thanks.
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 4,973
      As the co-author of that book I love how you have took on some of the concepts. By all means you can post a bit more of the content as long as you don't copy and paste whole paragraphs.

      I'll get Jared to check out the thread too.
    • BarryCarter
      BarryCarter
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 4,973
      FYI your review and goals stylistically look like mine did when I started working with Jared, so you are heading in the right direction IMO
    • muumionu
      muumionu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.07.2012 Posts: 816
      Hey, I play NL25 too at the moment, planning on moving to NL50 soon.. we could sweat some time if you're interested
    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      Hey,

      didn't play yesterday. Played 2 sessions today, both about 1h, ~650 hands.
      I strongly believe that thinking for 5-10 seconds instead of snap doing most plays (while multitabling) improve winrate by at least 30%. Yeah, there is more fight in head but when you don't miss lot of small details decisions are easier to make.

      1. Estimate variance
      Not feeling affected. Lost 250bb flopping middle set vs top set, but I believe I could folded that so won't count that. If hand judge say it's cooler then I could blame bad variance :D

      2. Evaluate your technical play 8/10
      I think I played decent. Very happy how I exploited one "fit or fold" fish, actually happy that I realized as fast his leak. Had position on him and probable played like 90% vpip at that table. Had 2 small bluffs which after reviewing don't really have sense.

      3. Evaluate your mental game 6/10
      Solid. Wrote about that set vs set spot. Felt angry after that on myself and finished my session, partly because I played little more than hour and already planned closing tables and partly because of anger. There is part in book about this self-anger but didn't reach that page yet.
      My thought process while playing, putting people on ranges, looking other details and questioning "why" is something I expect would help me about this. Reason to fold or to call/raise/shove should outweigh on one side in my head and then I shouldn't be unhappy because of my play. But that's something I should train. Also, will see Jared advice.

      4. Review marked hands
      Hand 1
      Hand 2
      Hand 3 - set on set
      Hand 4
      Hand 5


      @Barry Very happy and even more motivated after your posts. Thanks.
      @muumionu Sorry, I don't sweat anymore, don't see point in that. But we can always discuss HH or theory.

    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      Hi,

      played 3 sessions. All were longer than 1 hour. Last one for about 2, had big fish on the table. Games were great today, so played 6 tables most of the time. Total about 1.5k hands.

      1. Estimate variance
      Omg, I ran like shit. Lost most of flips, about 3 pots where I had more than 75-80% and get coolered by fishes 3x what won't be seen at EV, but still I'm surely big amount under (tempting to see graph to check this :) )

      2. Evaluate your technical play 7/10
      I'm improving but making some betsizing mistakes which costed surely 1-2BIs. Also, could make some folds with strong hands against fishes some street earlier. But still I believe it's better than before.

      3. Evaluate your mental game 8/10
      I'm feeling very good about this, was close to give myself a 9. Handled this bad beats awesome, but still felt some anger after making mistake. Not looking at results helps me a ton, have feeling that I was in solid profit before bad run so wasn't bothered as I know I was favourite.
      That also solves one problem I had before and that's playing less when winning, more when losing. Simply I could rely only on feeling how I stand for the day, but as I know from past where I tried few times to do that, it's really hard to predict how you are standing. Yes, you can make some overall judgement, but few times I predicted results with 2-3BIs difference for sessions of 1-2 hours.
      Maybe felt some frustration and will to return it back fast, but as I wasn't sure that I'm actually in minus, used logic and prevent myself from doing that.

      Actually, felling stupid and weak for not doing this before, but overall happy with improvement I see. :)

      Will check cashier for 2 days and post graph, really interested in results.

      4. Review marked hands
      Hand 1
      Hand 2
      Hand 3
      Hand 4
      Hand 5
      Hand 6
      Hand 7

      Gl :f_biggrin:
    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      Hi, I fucked up today.
      Just spewed liked idiot, bluffed and calling very light. Made 1 wrong light call at the end of 1st session and after that I just wanted to outplay everyone.

      1. Estimate variance
      Not great, but not feeling affected.

      2. Evaluate your technical play 2/10
      Calling too much, opening too wide, not adjusting.

      3. Evaluate your mental game 0/10
      Spewed about 250$ at least! Didn't do good warm up, didn't pay attention at all, wanted to return lost money, felt revenge against one bad reg and felt like I need to outplay everyone.
      Really dissapointed with myself, really wish I quitted earlier as signs of me playing too fast and not thinking at all were quite obvious.

      4. Spewed hands
      http://weaktight.com/5076373 vs big fish, raising flop for bluff (lol) then calling it off for no reason
      http://weaktight.com/5076374 vs bad reg who don't know to fold, pretty sure his turn range is straight, trying to rep fh
      http://weaktight.com/5076375 vs agrro 3bet reg, don't know what I'm beating, didn't expect to see KK
      http://weaktight.com/5076377 that 1st spew call, he was 3betting like 20% SB, 4betting for value (should make it bigger), thought only hand he has is JJ. Thought he has bluffing range but probable he hasn't, esp when he such obviously bet turn for value.
      http://weaktight.com/5076376 2nd hand against that guy above, super easy fold flop
      http://weaktight.com/5076380 bad reg, super nitty postflop, easy giveup on the turn

      Since thread:


      Today:


      Really not sure what to do, this is what happens always in my poker carrer. Everything is good for some time and then bam, I destroy every good work I made in 1 or 2 tilty sessions. All plans, thoughts, time spent on working simply fall in water because of this 1 session where I can't control myself. Actually I wasn't angry or cursing or throwing mouse in wall, like before, just wasn't thinking, just wanted to outplay everyone without any reasoning. I guess I'm too proud or think I'm much better than others.
      Usually when something like this happened in last few months, I would just continue to play brain-dead poker and dig myself into bigger hole until took some time off. So, I'll try to not play few days.
    • HansTheGreat
      HansTheGreat
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 3,807
      Hey Gogi,

      I think everyone has such days. I mean did you really expect that it would never ever happen again. Keep your head up! The point in the begging is to reduce things not cut and with time you can eliminate things. It is not a process that you can make from today till tomorrow. Keep up the trackings and at the end of the month,quarter year we gonna see.GL!

      Btw. Your nick seems somewhere from the Balkan states. Where do you come from?
    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      Hey,

      played 2-3 more bad sessions, lost about 350$, so overall -500$ for a month. I think I run really super awful + tilted (accumulated emotion), but really can't believe sometimes what hands people show and how they randomly click buttons.

      Was thinking some time about that and after reviewing my hands conclusion is:
      - bluffing really really don't have sense, people see only their own hands, not looking perceived range at all (even regs who seemed good)
      - so no really need to play loose for reason above
      - so we can valuebet and we should do that really thinly
      - tight is right
      - be fucking nit, it's optimal for this stakes

      Imo, today everyone are trying to be LAG heroes with awesome redline. Coaching sites made this trend in the poker world. Poker players should watch things real and adjust accordingly. Adjusting to calling stations is to bluff less, valuebet more thinly. Simple, no?

      So, I'll be nit from now on and I'm quite sure I'll have at least 4bb wr + variance will be smaller. I don't care and what I've seen from some hs regulars are that most of them are nits.

      Because my main goal from now on will be volume and grinding money plan is to switch to zoom. After 40BIs or 1k profit I'm going to nl50. RB won't count. Have really positive thinking that I'll do this by the end of month.
      I think my main problem while playing standard games is patience and will work on that.

      Other goals are still same, work on mental game is still main, be positive and happy.



      GL
    • DimnjacarGogi
      DimnjacarGogi
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.09.2012 Posts: 32
      @Sikac
      Sorry, I forgot to answer. Yes, I'm from Croatia and tyvm for support.

      I'm sticking to the plan and it's working. Actually there exist people that spew more than me! :D
      32 more buyins and we are going to nl50. Plan is to grind super hard Friday-Sunday (20k hands target) and like 10-15k Monday-Thursday.

      Graph update:


      1. Estimate variance
      Running good, had some coolers which not seen in EV, but it's ok.

      2. Evaluate your technical play 7/10
      Made some wrong calls where I could save some money, but didn't have big cost mistakes.

      3. Evaluate your mental game 6/10
      Concentration and focus isn't the best, but it's expected with higher volume. I tightened up a bit, clicking auto-fold maybe too fast sometimes and also because I click it fast sometimes I feel that I need to make fast postflop decision. Had some moments where people's huge part of range is bluffs or backdoor draw and they hit. That made me saying things like: "OMG, is it possible?" especially when happens few times in a row.

      Didn't mark lot of hands and after reviewing most of them I know what's right play.
    • HansTheGreat
      HansTheGreat
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.02.2010 Posts: 3,807
      Well, nice to see that a fellow countrymen playing the pretty much same limits as myself just not the same format(FR player here :D ). If you are near Rijeka any interest in working together?

      Btw. Kinda get the feeling you are extremely result oriented(at least what I can see from your posts)