Mind Games

    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      I did not think that I had a problem with tilt.

      I am able to take bad beats in stride -- within reason.
      Well at least better than Phil Hellmuth.

      I can win without going all gloaty and high-fivey.
      Welll, at least better than Tony G.

      I was wrong.
      It is fairly easy to keep on an even keel when you win a few lose a few.

      However since November 10, when I signed up for the Party 27% bonus, I have lost 18 All-ins, and won only 3. This is over a total of about 7K hands of NL 10.

      This marks the worst downswing I have yet experienced, in terms of both length and depth. I am so glad I decided to use a conservative BRM -- I started w/ 100 NL 10 buy-ins

      What woke me up to the fact that my mental state had deteriorated was the elation I felt when I finally won a hand. I had not even noticed that I was not playing with a full deck. Actually, come to think of it -- If it really wasn't a full deck that would explain a lot.

      So I have now purchased, "The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler.

      This blog is intended to document the journey through the book, and to document my journey from being a totally mental poker player, to a mentally adept poker player.

      From "The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler
      Think of the mental game as an actual game. As with any other game, winning requires skill and a good strategy.

      It also requires an opponent. That would be me.

      In my next post, I'll define the starting point, and the field on which mental game is played.

      For now, we're playing those mind games together...


      and a quote:
      We shall not cease from exploration
      And the end of all our exploring
      Will be to arrive where we started
      And know the place for the first time.
      T S Eliot in "Little Gidding"

      If I'm not mistaken, the above is quoted in Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf -- a book that documents a journey similar to the one we now begin...
  • 1442 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      I have now finished my first pass through the book.

      I have already adopted a few things suggested by Jared.

      I had intended at this point to define the starting point of the project, and the goals.

      However before I get to that, there are two things I want to mention about the material in the book itself.

      First, there is something that I think is missing from the book.

      The role of Faith in Poker
      "Faith" in this context means "The core assumptions that must be accepted without evidence -- or in spite of evidence to the contrary -- in order to believe all of the other premises of the subject".

      In the world of poker, the items that must be taken "on faith" are these:
        It is a mathematical certainty, that in the long run, luck is the same for all players. Stated another way, "variance will eventually average to 0 for all players"

        The card shuffler, whether it be a machine in a casino, or a random-number generation algorithm, truly represents randomness.

        It is within the capability of any person of otherwise average intelligence to learn the skills necessary to win in the long run. "Win" in this context means a positive return greater than rake.


      Simply put:
      The game is not rigged.

      If you cannot accept this, then you a fool to play the game.
      (unless of course, it is rigged in your favour, in which case, Good Luck when you get caught)


      Furthermore, if you do not believe that you yourself are capable of learning the necessary skills, then you must absolutely stop playing. *Ed note: If you are really, really bad, you are welcome to play in my home games. Add me in the community tool for directions to my place


      The next item that gave me pause was "Talent"

      I don't necessary believe in talent. I have the skills and abilities I have because when they first started to manifest themselves, I got positive feedback from parents, teachers, coaches and other people I respected, and since I enjoyed the feedback, I proceeded to develop the skill and abilities further.

      My wife is an accomplished artist. She has been drawing since age 5. She got praise and honour for her drawings at that age, liked it, and drew more and more and still draws vast amounts.

      Could I be an artist? I think I could.
      In fact, when I first met my wife, I could only draw unemployment insurance.
      Now, with her encouragement, I can draw a salary!

      If we are to believe that some people start with more of the "right stuff" than others, then those of use lacking in "pokerability" need to study, train and practice that much more in order just to break even.

      The fact that I am here in the world's largest professional poker school should be taken to mean that I believe that I am capable of developing the skills and abilities necessary to achieve a long-term positive winrate -- after rake of course.



      Post is already too long...
      Starting point and goals tomorrow...
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,903
      Starting Point
        I'm in my late 50's, have a stable, well-paying job, and play poker recreationally.
        I like to win. In the past I have played other games, notably backgammon, hearts and scrabble that all have a skill / luck mix. None of those ever gave me the feeling of tilt that poker has. Mind you, I was better at ALL of those than I am at poker -- and with seemingly much less effort.
        To a large extent, I am able to control my anger and emotions when dealing with people and events that randomly occur. I have a saying that I use -- out loud when necessary -- to help me maintain balance.
          "When <event> happens I have a problem. If I lose my temper I have TWO problems. One of those I can control".
        I have sufficient life experience to have withstood several crises.
        After just over 2 years, I am still an overall losing poker player.
        As defined in the "The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler (MGP) I am in the throes of several different varieties of tilt simultaneously,

      Mental Game Goals
        Achieve a state of "Stable Confidence" as defined in MGP
          Sub-Goals  
            Be aware of, and recognize changes in my mental state as I play
            Be able to respond appropriately to perceived changes in my mental state.

      Poker Goals
      Achieve a positive winrate at NL 25 -- including rake

      Process
        Each session will consist of:
            Preparation -- what I do to get ready to play
            Performance -- playing a pre-defined poker session
            Evaluation -- examine both the mental performance, and the poker performance in view of my current known weaknesses in each area
            Analysis -- determine changes that need to be made either in the mental game or in the actual poker play.

      Next Post
      I will pick one of the various mental game leaks I have identified, on which to concentrate.
      I will also select on poker leak to improve.

      At the moment, I believe that almost all of my major leaks are mental in origin, so identifying a purely strategic error might require some outside assistance. Hmm...The notion that my poker leaks are all purely mental is almost certainly wrong, but at this stage, I'm not actually capable of making the distinction

      I will also provide a description of the preparation, evaluation and analysis steps for a session.

      Subsequent posts will each describe a session, along with the evaluation and analysis steps.

      Until next time...
    • Kyyberi
      Kyyberi
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      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 10,507
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      So I have now purchased, "The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler.
      Definitely +EV decision, well played. :s_love:
    • DeMarcohsp
      DeMarcohsp
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      Joined: 15.06.2010 Posts: 1,975
      subscribed, gl sir!
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Session Preparation
      In MGP are some things to do before playing. I had pretty much met the standard already. To formalize, though I will detail my current practice.
          Play 2 - 5 Freecell or minesweeper games
          Review any Hand Evaluations from previous sessions
          Review a relevant video or review a relevant article
          Start HM2 and log on to poker client.
          optional Review hands from previous session in HM2
          Review Mental game leak definition and avoidance measures
          Review Poker leaks and avoidance measures
          Open first table, with others to follow.

      I found that playing freecell, hearts or minesweeper gives me a good indication of my mental ability at the time. If I can see the moves quickly and intuitively then I judge that my mind is functioning well. Sudoku and cryptic crosswords also work, but they're not always available. BTW, this trick of testing mental performance is not in MGP, but something I discovered for myself several years ago. If I am struggling to see the moves -- or making wrong ones -- then I don't even play poker.

      I once tried to use play money as a mental warm-up, but the play is so poor, that it can poison your play on the cash tables, even when playing at the highest play money stakes available.

      I only review hands in HM2 when I have posted no hands for evaluation from the previous session.


      Mental Game Leak
          I find it difficult to give up on hands, especially decent made hands.


      Poker Target
      I have a high WTSD (~35%). I have identified several things that inflate this value:
              Playing draws too long
              Overplaying made hands -- especially good ones -- while ignoring flush draws and straight draws that may have hit.
              Being too passive. In this case, I will call down with a medium made hand -- say 2nd pair on an A-high board only to find that villain was just as scared by the A as I was. A stab would likely have taken the pot.

      To combat this I have come up with two mnemonics to help me focus on the poker principles rather than my emotions while playing:

      Pre-Flop
      PHASER
      Position
      Hand
      Action before me
      Stats / Stack sizes / Steal
      Ego
      Risk

      Post-Flop
      SHOT
      Strength / Stack-to-Pot / Size of Bet
      Hand
      Odds (includes implied odds)
      Texture

      So hopefully I will play a session tonight using the new mental game tools.
      I did not play yesterday. By the time I got home I was bagged, so gave poker a miss.

      This brings up another handicap I have.
      At the only time in my day that is available to me, most of Europe is asleep, and the only ones still playing are the good solid regs.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Session Report
      Once again too tired after work to play NL 4
      I screwed up playing freecell, and just didn't seem to have the energy for it.

      I played a hundred hands of 5-Card Draw though, just to see how I did mentally.

      My 5CD leaks are similar to my Holdem leaks, so it was a decent test.

      Right out of the gate, I improved a pair of 3s to trips, but lost to a trip 8s.
      I give myself full mental game points on that one, in that villain had drawn two, and while it may be that he was keeping a kicker he could also have had trips from the outset. So I didn't lose much. Villain #2 had drawn one, and led out, and I did call though, which I think was reasonable.

      Only a few hands later, I improved a pair of 8s in the BB to trips vs SB who limped and drew 1.

      Feral Cow Poker Hand Converter
      PokerStars Limit 5 Card Draw $0.10/$0.20 - 6 players

      Button: $3.17
      SB: $1.14
      BB: $3.70 (Hero)
      UTG: $1.65
      UTG+1: $1.56
      CO: $2.03

      Dealing Hands: ($0.15) 8:heart: 8:club: 7:heart: 5:club: 3:spade: (6 players)
      4 folds, SB calls $0.05, Hero checks

      First Draw: ($0.20) (2 players)
      SB discards 1, Hero discards 3,
      8:heart: 8:club: || 8:spade: 9:heart: 7:spade:
      SB bets $0.20, Hero raises to $0.40, SB raises to $0.60, Hero calls $0.20

      SB showed 3:club: 3:diamond: 6:club: 3:heart: 6:diamond: , a full house, Threes full of Sixes
      Hero mucked
      SB won $1.34
      (Rake: $0.06)


      Since the limp seemed more to me like a flush draw than 2 pair, and since an unimproved 2 pair, and a busted flush draw could also be CBet, I thought this worth a raise for value.

      Wrong again.

      Nice hand. I think villain played that well, tbh. I would still open raise this if I was in his position though

      I get mental game points for this since I managed to stay focused, concentrate on the play of each hand and not "try to hard" in subsequent hands.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Session Report
      After a warmup playing the Party $100 PokerStrategy.com freeroll, I decided to play 200 hands of NL 4 HE

      This was my first actual NLHE session after completing MGP

      Overall, I took no bad beats, and though I lost several hands, none qualify as "bad beat". A generally positive session, mentally & economically.


      Mental Game
      My current Mental Game Leak that I am focussing on is my tendency to hang on to hands too long.

      I overcorrected on at least one hand, and failed to notice the problem appearing on another. I posted both hands in the HE forums, but I'll put them here also.
      You can follow the links if you want to see the coaches eval of the hands.

      So I get a 70% for mental game today, I kept emotionally stable, and employed my PHASER & OSHIT to good effect.

      Just for the record, I hereby revise my mnemonics by change the R in PHASER from "Review" to "Range".
      OSHIT becomes just "SHOT" since Odds & Implieds are more-or-less part of the same consideration post flop.

      The new mnemonics then, are:

      Pre-Flop
      PHASER
      Position
      Hand
      Action before me
      Stats / Stack sizes / Steal
      Ego
      Range

      Post-Flop
      SHIT
      Strength / Stack-to-Pot / Size of Bet
      Hand
      Odds (includes Implied Odds)
      Texture


      Poker Game
      Other than the two hands mentioned, I more-or-less played sensibly.
      My WTSD for the session was well below my average, and therefore, my W$SD was well above my usual average. Yay me.
      However, one of the hands I played badly (as I write this hand judge has not yet spoken) really hurt my blue line. Over the session, my non-showdown winnings saved my ass.

      Here is the hand I folded too fast:

      Party, $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 5 Players

      Insufficient hands for any relevant post-flop stats
      v/p/8.3/1.5

      SB: $1.58 (39.5 bb) 39/7/0/1.4 28H
      BB: $4 (100 bb)
      Hero (BTN): $5.40 (135 bb)
      CO: $2.93 (73.3 bb) 65/22/8.3/1.5 37H
      MP: $7.86 (196.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BTN with 9 9
      MP folds, CO calls $0.04, Hero raises to $0.16, SB calls $0.14, BB folds, CO calls $0.12

      Flop: ($0.52) 6 3 8 (3 players)
      SB bets $0.12, CO calls $0.12, Hero calls $0.12

      Turn: ($0.88) 2 (3 players)
      SB bets $0.08, CO raises to $0.28, Hero folds


      CO showed 8 K
      SB showed 8 9


      And the hand I hung on to that I should have folded on the river

      Party, $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      SB: $4.43 (110.7 bb)
      Hero (CO): $4.27 (106.7 bb)
      MP: $2.16 (54 bb)
      BTN: $4.07 (101.8 bb)
      BB: $5.14 (128.5 bb)
      UTG: $3.24 (81 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with 7 A
      UTG folds, MP calls $0.04, Hero raises to $0.16, 2 folds, BB calls $0.12, MP folds

      Flop: ($0.38) J A K (2 players)
      BB bets $0.12, Hero raises to $0.54, BB calls $0.42

      Turn: ($1.46) A (2 players)
      BB bets $0.60, Hero calls $0.60
      I think that I should have raised this to pot size or even more.
      I can't tell though, whether I'm beaten by a better A, or being bluffed at.
      If the former, then I should just fold, if the latter, then I should raise.


      River: ($2.66) 3 (2 players)
      BB bets $1.12, Hero calls $1.12
      This was just stupid, and quite representative of one of my worst leaks.

      Results: $4.90 pot ($0.24 rake)
      Final Board: J A K A 3
      Hero mucked 7 A and lost (-$2.42 net)
      BB showed 8 7 and won $4.66 ($2.24 net)
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Session Report
      I warmed up by busting out of the Party Freeroll in about 6 hands.
      So it goes.
      The freecell test showed that I was more-or-less alert.

      I did NOT review my leaks prior to play.
      I looked at my notes is all.
      I'm SUPPOSED to go over the hand evals from the previous session to help avoid the poker leaks. I'm also supposed to review the techniques necessary to avoid my mental leaks.

      There's WAAAYY too many mental leaks to avoid all at once, and if you remember correctly, The mental leak I'm supposed to be avoiding is "Holding on to hands too long".

      So I'm totally ashamed of myself for this hand:

      Party, $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      BB: $4.82 (120.5 bb)
      Hero (MP): $4.06 (101.5 bb)
      BTN: $3.13 (78.3 bb) (unknown)
      SB: $5.77 (144.3 bb)
      UTG: $4.04 (101 bb)
      CO: $4.43 (110.7 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is MP with T A
      UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.12, CO folds, BTN calls $0.12, SB folds, BB calls $0.08

      Flop: ($0.38) J 8 K (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.22, BTN calls $0.22, BB folds

      Turn: ($0.82) A (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.58, BTN raises to $1.16, Hero calls $0.58

      River: ($3.14) K (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $1.63 and is all-in, Hero calls $1.63

      Results:$6.40 pot ($0.32 rake)
      Final Board: J 8 K A K
      Hero showed T A and lost (-$3.13 net)
      BTN showed K A and won $6.08 ($2.95 net)

      I convinced myself that AK would raise pre.
      By the turn, there is no sensible hands villain could hold that I beat, and I could have shut it down then, but oh, no, I have to go and spew.

      Saved by the fact that villain only started w/ 75 BB.



      Not only did I play the hand badly, I also totally forgot to use my PHASER SHOT.

      However, following that travesty, I settled down and played some solid poker, helped by getting v lucky on this hand:
      .
      Party, $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players

      MP: $4.16 (104 bb)
      Hero (SB): $5.11 (127.8 bb)
      CO: $3.61 (90.3 bb)
      BB: $5.44 (136 bb)
      UTG: $6.54 (163.5 bb)
      BTN: $4.04 (101 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with A 5
      4 folds, Hero raises to $0.12, BB calls $0.08

      Flop: ($0.24) 5 5 3 (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.11, BB calls $0.11

      Turn: ($0.46) 3 (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.22, BB raises to $0.44, Hero raises to $4.88 and is all-in, BB calls $4.44

      River: ($10.22) A (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results:$10.22 pot ($0.51 rake)
      Final Board: 5 5 3 3 A
      Hero showed A 5 and won $9.71 ($4.60 net)
      BB showed J J and lost (-$5.11 net)

      I say "getting lucky" because the only reason I got paid off here is that villain had something he thought that he could go broke with.

      So many times I get nice flops like this, and just get the usual chorus of folds.
      No matter how skillful we may be -- or become -- having great hands is useless unless someone has a not-so-great hand.

      I posted the 2nd hand in the HE forum. I'm interested in what the coaches think of the shove.

      Overall score for the session:
      Poker: C+
      Mental game: D
      Session was 4 tables of NL 4 195 hands in 46 minutes.
      WTSD 27.8% W$SD 75%

      FWIW, I posted one other hand just out of curiosity -- it does not apply directly to my leaks:
      NL QQ hits Q on turn -- how to get more value?
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Session Report
      No NLHE today -- I was going to be having way too many interruptions.

      No matter, I played 2 500 hand sessions of 5-Card Draw $0.10/$0.20

      The first session I bounced up and down, for 548 hands, finishing down $0.06
      OMG Can I survive such a blow to my bankroll?

      It was an easy session mental game wise.

      I added another meaning to the "P" in PHASER though.
      It now also stands for "Patience".

      5-Card Draw can be maddening at times.
      You hit trips, but villain hits his flush, straight or higher trips.

      It takes several orbits to learn your opponents, too.
      Some draw 1 w/ 3 of a kind, some draw 2.
      Some keep a kicker w/ their pair.
      Drawing 1 can mean a flush draw, oesd or 2pr.
      If they pat, are they snowing?

      The second session was rather brutal to begin with.
      I lost the first 5 "good" hands -- two pair or better after draw -- but managed to stay on track mentally.

      PHASER works here two, but after the draw it is harder to put opponent on a hand, but I managed to do it several times.

      I finally gained back all I had lost, and a bit more.
      I did this by being patient and focussing on the game -- and by switching to better tables whenever one table got bad

      After the session I examined the session stats, to see if any of my actions stood out as being in need of improvement.

      Post draw, I checked 36 times, and lost 21 of those.
      However I BET post draw 28 times, and won 24 of those.

      I'm wondering if I can profitably turn some of those checks into bets, and take down some pots.

      Calling was pretty much a split -- 3 wins, 3 losses.

      The Check/Call column was another one that might need some improvement.
      8 losses vs only 1 win.

      Perhaps some more folding is in order?
      On the other hand, XF and XC net results were about the same.

      Now that I'm aware though, I'll pay more attention.

      Scores:
      Mental Game rating: B
      Poker Rating: C+
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
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      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,921
      How did I miss this?

      [x] Subscribed!
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Session Report
      Felt bagged when i got home from work.

      Busted out of the FT Canadian Freeroll as usual.
      Got KK on the BTN just after the break, and nobody at the table felt inclined to even limp, so I ended up stealing the blinds. Woo hoo!

      I folded 9c8c a few hands before because there was a 10BB raise and an re-raise ahead of me. PHASER says fold.

      Flop comes 7TJ of who knows what suits. <sigh>

      Flunked the freecell test, so played a hundred hands of 5-Card Draw.
      Made two mistakes. I learned something from each.
      One is that if you draw one, and one of the villains draws 3 and STILL leads before you -- call, don't raise. He KNOWS you have 2Pr, trips or even a possibly made flush draw. If he bets out, and you raise, then he can get you with his quads.

      The second is check carefully before you discard.
      Busted up two pair, and didn't notice until I'm ready to bet post-draw.
      Oops. From this I also learned that it's a damn good thing I wasn't playing NL 4

      I ran good, and generally played well.
      So nice session.

      Score
      Mental game: C
      Poker game: C
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,903
      Session Report
      Prep: Reviewed my current mental & poker leaks.
      The current mental leak is that I tend to hold on to hands tenaciously.

      I realized at work today that this is a very positive trait in my job.
      I troubleshoot computer problems often in the course of my work, and once I've found a problem I have a very, very hard time thinking about other things until it is solved. I'm told I'm stubborn in other areas too. :f_biggrin:

      Even at work, though this tenacity can get to be a problem, if other areas of my work get neglected because I am riveted to a single problem.

      After reviewing the current leaks, I decided to warm up by playing 200 hands of 5-Card Draw, focusing on possible ranges of opponents hands.

      I made a few folds I otherwise would not have made pre-draw. In the past I would almost never fold 2pr hands pre, but after consideration and PHASER I let a couple go. In both cases villains were unusually tight, and i had never seen them raise less the 2pr before, and I had only small pairs in both cases -- 7733x was one I remember.

      Go Me!

      I was rewarded by a bit of run-good, and had a win rate for the session of over 4 BB/100

      After supper, I sat down to play an hour of NLHE.
      Had one major interruption, and when I returned I opened 4 tables and got started.

      Ran really good. Not only did I get several raisable hands per orbit, I raised them. And like good little fishies I got called by worse a bunch, and in a whack more my raises got the chorus-of-folds treatment.

      Problem is -- there is always a problem, isn't there? -- all the tables were breaking up, and no sooner did I sit down than there would be only two of us left.

      Are they THAT afraid of me?

      Score:
      Mental game: B
      I felt solid, but not overconfident. Played disciplined, and aggressively.
      Poker: Folded AK on a 653 two-suited board OOP vs an unknown. That, along with the 5-Card Draw folds gives me a B as well.

      I might dig up the AK hand an post it.
      Might be too nitty, but no hand & no draw == no play.

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Wow, this is so interesting, way different than the other blogs I've read. I also do believe that you are your own worst enemy, and at times your only enemy. It's great that you grade yourself in these aspects, and perhaps this kind of self-evaluation will really translate into other wins outside of poker. +1 follower for sure =) .

      In terms of bad beats though, I definitely think that as poker players we tend to remember so much more vividly when we are on the receiving end of it. I don't ever remember reading about someone who keeps track of how many times during one day/session they delivered some guy a really bad beat/got their money in when in bad shape and got there on the turn or river. I recall one day when I lost AA vs AK and I just dropped my mouse and got a real deck dealing over and over again the same situation because I was so incredulous. Also, we have such a limited perspective because rarely will we be able to compile specific situations to an extent that it becomes relevant on a large sample size scale.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,903
      You mention two things that are brought up in MGP

      First, the book recommends that you take notes on your mental state, just as you take notes on other player.

      So the purpose of this blog is to be the journal of those notes.

      The second thing you bring up is the notion of recognizing your own good luck when it does happen. He also suggests that we recognize good play in our opponents.

      The problem is that we feel that we DESERVE it when we hit our 1 out.
      When villain hit HIS one out, we feel "robbed".
      Both points of view are mental distortions of the facts -- either we got lucky or he did. Both cognitive distortions can lead to tilt.
      Overconfidence on the one hand, or "Injustice tilt" on the other.
      To be a player with "Stable confidence" we need to eliminate both.

      I've also identified another aspect of luck in poker I don't hear much about.

      As in stand-up comedy, timing is everything in poker.

      AA is no better than 72o if you raise either and get a chorus of folds.

      A hand is no good unless somebody out there has a slightly worse one -- or thinks he does.

      So often instead of "nice hand" in chat, I'll use "nice timing".

      The incident I remember most was when I first switched to SH as my primary game. I was being rather nitty, and 3Bet. The guy on my right chatted: "You have to play a lot more hands if you want us to call".

      Next hand or two I got QQ in the BTN.
      I 3Bet again.
      He shoved.
      He had AA

      Timing is everything.

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,903
      Update
      Busted out of Canadian Freeroll to open my night.
      But worth it, as it revealed the next form of tilt I need to work out of my game.

      It bugs me more than it should when I hold AA and I get a walk, or I raise and get a chorus of folds. It happened to me twice in the zimmers tournament today.

      And following the freeroll bustout, I decided to play a hundred hands of 5-card draw as a warmup. Sure enough, dealt a pat flush in the BB. Walk.

      I made several mistakes playing 5CD, misclicks, calling 3Bets from cash donors and so on.

      I decided my mental skills weren't up to par so I'll skip playing NLHE today.

      So:
      Mental leaks I'm working on:
        Hate to let go of hands (bulldog leak)
        Get annoyed when premium hands get no action. (wasted hand leak). This is a form of "Entitlement Tilt" where somehow I have the crazy idea that I somehow deserve to make $$ from my good hands.

      Poker leaks:
        Go to showdown too much (goes hand-in-hand) with first mental leak)
        Call too many river bets. Also a consequence of the bulldog leak


      Until next time, I'll review ways of combating Entitlement Tilt.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,903
      Fear
      I think I mentioned before that my downswing had lasted so long and gone so deep that I was expecting to lose.

      The following hand is a good example.
      It is a v simple hand, but I had to FORCE myself to make the correct play.
      (assuming that it is the correct play)

      Party, $0.02/$0.04 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 5 Players

      MP: $14.87 (371.8 bb)
      Hero (BTN): $4.25 (106.3 bb)
      SB: $4.63 (115.8 bb)
      BB: $4 (100 bb)
      CO: $4.37 (109.3 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BTN with 7 7
      MP calls $0.04, CO folds, Hero calls $0.04, SB folds, BB checks
      PHASER says this is a definite bet. No reason to raise with two others in. If I do hit a 7 it would be nice to get two stacks.

      Flop: ($0.14) 5 2 J (3 players)
      BB checks, MP bets $0.07, Hero calls $0.07, BB folds
      I think pretty much any hand worth raising is worth CBetting here, so I have no real reason to suspect that he has a J. He could, but I'm OK w/ that.
      I have no relevant stats, my hand is 2nd pair, which is probably good at this point. I really have only 2 outs to get to a hand worth going broke over.
      Board texture is rather ugly, with both straight, flush and combo draws.


      Turn: ($0.28) A (2 players)
      MP checks, Hero bets $0.20, MP folds
      His CBet was 1/2 pot -- a token amount, and he checks the turn.
      He does not appear to want this pot much.
      If does not have a in his hand, he might just fold here, especially if he is holding 66-TT


      Now here is where the mental game awareness kicks in.
      As I contemplated making a bet here, and was thinking about an appropriate bet size, I became aware of the fact that my heart was beating fast. Not exactly pounding, but with a definite sense of danger.

      So I'm going to re-read the section of MGP that deals with fear.

      It is amazing to me that i did not notice this before.

      My experience has taught me that I'm going to lose, that this is some slow-playing AA or flush draw that is going to come over the top and pwn me.

      So I develop a fear response that kicked in over a bet of $.20

      But "Fatigue makes cowards of us all" [1] and it may be that I am just too tired.



      [1] I found this attributed to George Patton and Vince Lombardi. Maybe both said it at one time or another.
    • thephoenixrising
      thephoenixrising
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.11.2012 Posts: 28
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F


      Preflop: Hero is BTN with 7 7
      MP calls $0.04, CO folds, Hero calls $0.04, SB folds, BB checks
      PHASER says this is a definite bet. No reason to raise with two others in. If I do hit a 7 it would be nice to get two stacks.

      I think if it's in a tournament/SnG you should raise for sure since your hand is vulnerable and it is preferrable to thin the field, especially as there are lots of QT/QJ/JT/T9 type hands limping to see a cheap flop. But since it's a cash game, I think it's a valid point for set mining, if you keep 2 customers it's more likely one can flop something to pay you off.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,903
      In cash games, I generally raise TT+, sometimes 99 over limpers.
      I'll raise first in w/ any pair on the BTN though.
    • Raknyo
      Raknyo
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.12.2011 Posts: 422
      I'm also reading MGP but only read the first couple chapters so far.

      I used to suffer from what you call entitlement tilt, now when I squeeze with AA and get two folds, I think wow I've just made 6BB very easily in one hand!

      I think another way you could combat this is to try working out the math, if you raise from say MP then what are the chances someone has a playable hand. If it's say 20% then at least next time you raise you can say to yourself well there is a 80% chance I'll win the blinds un-contested.

      From the little I've read of MGP, I think the key to having a successful mental strategy is to be as logical as possible. I find this quite easy because I see myself as typically a logical person but I'm sure with enough work, anyone can be logical if they let themselves.

      Really like how your structuring your blog and your use of mnemonics, I have a couple myself.

      When I'm considering when to bluff:
      In (Inflating the pot, don't do it!)
      The (Texture, is the board wet, would many hands be willing to call?)
      Netherlands (Number of opponents, more than 2 then say no!)
      People (Player types, don't bluff fish but be more willing to bluff tight players)
      Drink (Draws, be more willing to bluff when your hand can improve)
      Rum (Represent, can you actually represent a strong hand with a bet?)

      Look forward to seeing how you progress :)