Life and Times of a wanna be 6m turbo SnG grinder

    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      Hi all, there are going to be a few posts straight away here as I am just copy/pasting posts from my blog on wordpress.
      After these initial posts I will be updating this thread every Sunday when I update my main blog. If some of it seems a bit straight forward it is because I want this to be accesible to non-players on my regular blog as well.

      Thanks for taking some time out to read, and I hope you enjoy my blog :)


      Week 1: A more In depth Intro/Catchup

      The last few months have been all over the place for me pokerwise, life in general has been pretty good but I have been living in some what of a fantasy world when it comes to my poker attitude.

      First things first, for those that don’t know prior to September I was playing solely $15 6max turbo SnG’s on Pokerstars, and was also taking shots at the $30′s when they looked suitably soft.

      Great you might think, playing those stakes with a decent enough volume of games should be happy days. It was, and it wasn’t, I was playing OK volume but really not taking it seriously. I wasn’t doing any review sessions or homework and this resulted in a massive breakeven stretch. I would have days where I would be up $600 then lose it back the next few days, and still basically refused to acknowledge that my game wasn’t at the level it needed to be. By the end of this BE stretch I was thoroughly annoyed with poker and with myself, I was also drinking and partying way too much which resulted in not being in a good place mentally or physically a lot of the time, and spending days in bed with hangovers feeling sorry for myself. Then beating myself up (mentally not physically) for things not going how I wanted, while somehow managing to take no responsibility for it myself and thinking ‘O it will all be fine’ the truth is, it wasnt going to be. I’ve always been a strong beleiver that things work out in the end aslong as you put the effort in. I wasn’t putting effort in and still expecting things to miraculously turn around without any hardwork on my end.

      Then comes September! For those of you that know me, you know I am heavily involved with planning and running a music festival at the end of September, I am on the board of trustees and also one half of the production management team. So as you can imagine the whole month was taken up with site build and breakdown, which meant….NO POKER! It also meant (as it is all volunteer based) that I had no $ coming in and had to withdraw most of my roll from Pokerstars, leaving myself with a paltry $300 to rebuild from! The festival itself was absolutely mindblowingly amazeballs, we sold out 20k capacity and it really couldn’t of gone much better (apart from the torrential rain on Sunday) For anyone that wants to see some pics, have a look at these beauties http://adamgasson.com/brisfest/

      So after a few days of sleeping and eating constantly and getting over the post event blues it was time to try and sort my life out a bit. This was easier said than done and I reverted back to drinking and sleeping a lot and not feeling great about myself and my life. After a couple of weeks of this, I decided enough is enough, I’m 29 years old, not 17 and I need to start acting as such if I want things to go the way I’ve got planned. The result of this positive change in outlook has been: 2 weeks so far without getting drunk and smoking loads and spending days in bed hungover, 2 weeks without ordering crappy takeaway food, and I have also started Krav Maga with some mates of mine to get my fitness levels sorted out. I have been hammering the poker, doing lots of review sessions and talking over hands with fellow players and really putting the work in. The $300 roll has meant I’ve had to drop down stakes from $15 to $7, for those of you with a keen eye for numbers and that know about BRM (bank roll management for those non poker players) you will notice that I am massively underrolled to even play the $7s with this amount, and I would definitely not recommend it. That being said I was/am supremely confident that I can beat those games relatively easily and aslong as I don’t get pwned by variance I think I will be fine! I had a 20 buyin swing last week, which is totally normal for these games but stings quite a lot when your entire roll, and pretty much entire net worth is a total of 40BI!

      Thankfully the following week I hit a bit of a heater, this combined with playing some of the best poker I have played in the last 6 months has given my roll a nice boost and with my money from Full Tilt when it reopens, I will be back at the $15s in no time at all. All this said, I am still not happy with how I am playing, and can do much much better. Onwards and upwards and tally ho!

  • 14 replies
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
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      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,926
      First! Subscribed :)
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      Hello everyone, I hope you have all had a good week at work, or on grinding poker for those players that are reading this.

      I had a lot of ideas for this Blog update and various topics I was going to talk about, looking at it now it would have taken up far too much of your time reading and would’ve resulted in a lot of tl:dr comments (too long, didn’t read) So I have decided to split it up a bit and focus on one topic outside of my results and personal updates every week.

      This week (rather aptly as I gaze upon my results for the week) I am going to do my best to describe variance for those non players out there. Here is a brief definition I came up with from talking to friends and also quoting a wikipedia entrance.

      Variance: In probability theory and statistics, the variance is a measure of how far a set of numbers is spread out. It is one of several descriptors of a probability distribution, describing how far the numbers lie from the mean (expected value). – Taken from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variance)

      In slightly simpler/poker terms it is deviations from the norm, for example I could get all my $ in with the best hand (say a 60/40 favorite) and lose. If you run this hand 100 times overall I will win as I have the best hand, but this doesn’t mean that the wins and losses will be distributed evenly. I could lose the first 40 in a row then win the last 60 or I could win 5, lose 30, win 55, then lose the last 10. Hopefully you get the idea, this is why poker is always about the long run, not individual hands/games/days etc.

      I‘m sure there are better definitions out there from far smarter people than myself so if anyone has any comments or suggestion on how I can improve this, please feel free to comment below.

      It is this reason that I made a deal with my coach not to check my results, as in the short term (days/weeks etc) the results really do not matter, poker in it’s purest form is about making correct decisions and playing the amount of games that you have set. These are the only two things you can control, as we have no influence over the cards and what might happen, it’s about making the best informed decisions we can with the info we have.

      I have always struggled with this concept, as obviously we all play poker to make money at the end of the day, and it is quite a strange feeling when you know that you have so little control over your results in the short term, and telling yourself it’s not about the $. This used to be a huge problem for me, and still is somewhat, in that if I’m doing well I think I’m the king of the world (even if I might actually be playing badly) and would stop sessions early to preserve winnings, and conversely if I knew I was losing loads I would totally lose my mind and start playing like and absolute moron. This is pretty much what happened to me on Tuesday (the last time I checked my results until now) I was running insanely bad, and to make things worse I was playing extremely bad.

      Not checking results and not getting hung up on the $ figures allowed me to look at my game objectively and really get down to what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it and minimise the damage, rather than whining to fellow players about how bad I was running (no one wants to hear it!) I was doing everything I could to try and sort it out, I was doing more review sessions than I was hoping to, I was talking hands over with people, and also had 2 coaching sessions just to make sure I wasn’t playing awful poker.

      So not a great week in terms of $ figures, but overall I am extremely happy with how I got through a shitty week, and actually did more of everything than I had planned. I played more games (554 total), did more review work, and had an extra coaching session. I also really feel that I have broken through a barrier that has been holding back my progress in poker, and that is not being results oriented, if I had lost this amount of a few months ago I would’ve lost my mind, felt slightly depressed and been whining like a fucker to everyone within earshot. As it is, I’m not.. I feel great, actually better than last week after having a winning week. I am also keeping up with the not drinking and partying thing, which is brilliant! 3 weeks now without a massive pissup or going raving, I feel lighter somehow, not in a weight/mass sense but mentally I feel freer and happier in myself, so thats good

      Anyway, this is already longer than I had planned so I will stop here. Thanks for stopping by and giving up some of your time to follow little old me as I journey through poker and life. See you all next week, have a great week everyone.
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      People that know me, can vouch for this, I am a massive creature of habit. I eat the same food all the time, order the same drinks all the time, watch the same TV shows/films over and over again and listen to the same music repeatedly. And up until the last month I went out and got drunk repeatedly, chain smoked and ordered takeaway 5 times a week and was being a naughty boy on too many occasions for it to be a healthy lifestyle.

      The first things I listed are all well and good, me listening to the same podcast 25 times in one day isn’t going to affect my health or ability to have a normal life. The same thing goes with the food thing, unless you count all the pizzas, or all he brie, or the bacon…well yea OK maybe the food can be a bad thing! Obviously the drinking and smoking is terribly bad and needed to go!

      So..on to poker, it is incredibly easy to have bad habits creep into your game, especially when playing a large amount of volume, and playing a few tables simultaneously. I have found this extremely prevalent in the last couple of weeks, since i started knocking out a medium-high’ish volume of games again. For example I played a 5 hour session one day this week, from 9am until 2pm with no break. While I was playing I felt like I was making good decisions and playing well, and doing everything I could to play the best poker I could. Upon reviewing some games from this sessions I was appalled with some of the decisions I was making.

      Looking back over the weeks results it seems this happened on more than one occasion where I just got stressed and locked into making bad decisions repeatedly and losing $ in the process, which is never fun! The frustrating thing is that a week is a tiny sample of games, but I can’t help but feel blaming variance for ALL of the mishaps might be kidding myself and not taking responsibility for my actions.

      I used to play a lot of golf when i was younger, at least a couple of times a week for a few years at one point. When i first started playing the 18 hole course instead of the usual 9 hole course I was used to it was a real strain in terms of fatigue and keeping focused. There was one hole on the course that was a par 3, the tee was elevated from the green with a water hazard shaped like a horseshoe around the front of the green, now I had played this hole numerous times and never really had a problem with it. On this occasion however it all went a bit sideways. I ended up hitting my tee shot into the water, then taking a drop, now leaving maybe a distance of 20ft over the water to the green. I got so angry with myself for ruining my tee shot and just got transfixed by the water, you can probably guess what happened, long story short, I shot a 21 on a par 3! This is essentially what still happens in my head to this day, with poker or other things in life, I have a habit of just getting so wound up that I forget that I can easily do this and there really is nothing to worry about, and I just need to take a deep breath and move on.

      With poker unlike my round of golf, locking into these cycles of behaviour is extremely damaging, mentally and financially. I can feel it happening, I start to get a bit warm, then I start making decisions too fast, I then start just staring at the part of the tables where I’m sat and at my cards, no taking in to account any of the other players actions, or reads on them or HUD stats. This results in awful, fast, badly thought through decisions. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t last forever, and I’m ALOT better at dealing with it than I used to be, but it is still a big and costly issue that I need to address and train myself out of.

      This ties back into the whole creature of habit thing, I get stuck into routines, whether its eating the same pizza every time, listening to the same mix 20 times a week, shanking it into the water hazard, or my failure to adjust the way i play hands, or deal with tilt.

      Last week I was extremely happy with how I dealt with a crappy week, and all this week I was feeling good about not checking my results. I have realised though that for all the positive steps in the last couple of weeks, it is only a few weeks, and far too small a sample size to draw any meaningful conclusions from in terms of how I’m dealing with things mentally, and there is obviously still a large amount of work to be done.

      Still not drinking or raving is making everything a lot easier to deal with, and I still don’t feel like I’m losing my mind, or want to quit poker, so it’s all good

      Games Played: 501 Coaching: 0 Review Sessions: 3

      Next weeks goals are pretty much the same again, 500+ games, some coaching and review work. My target for the month is to get my Platinum VIP level back on Pokerstars, which means I have to play 1275 games by Nov 30th, it’s going to be close but I think I can do it.

      Thanks for stopping by everyone, and I will see you next week
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      I am away this weekend for a family get together, so can’t do my usual Sunday update, I also haven’t had a chance this week to get my thoughts together and write a proper post.

      Cliffs for the week:

      Volume: Way under 500, by a couple of hundred games

      Results Checking: Failed miserably

      Coaching: 1 sessions, and a few review sessions. yay!

      Results: +$322, plus unlocking a $50 bonus on my account. I also placed in the top 10 for the SnG leaderboards for the week, so I should get around another $60-$80 depending where I finish after everyone is done playing today. I also have enough VPP’s (points for non players, think Tesco clubcard style loyalty program where you can exchange points for $ or prizes) for another $150-175 in rewards.

      Sooo, in a nutshell, I really messed this week up, and I am very very annoyed with myself after having a few good weeks where I was playing the right volume and not checking my results. This might all seem totally backwards to some of you out there, ‘how can you be angry after winning $ all week, and how were you happy in previous weeks when you lost X amount of $’

      The reason is because I cannot control what I win or lose in a week as I explained in previous posts, I can only control the amount I play and things like not checking results mid week. So I failed rather miserably with my goals for the week

      Goals for next week:

      Volume: 500+

      Results Checking: NOOOOOO

      Coaching/review: 1 Coaching session, 2-3 review sessions

    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      Slippery Slopes

      Hi everyone, hope you've all had a good week and aren't freezing in this weather too badly!
      The last week or so for me have been really bad in terms of poker, I was behind on games last week, then was away for the weekend which meant no poker,although the weekend itself was great. It was my dad's 75th and got to see all the family and friends of family that I don't really see as often as I probably should. But I'm sure we are all guilty of that, it's far too easy to get caught up in your own stuff and not make time for family, and the weeks/months/years just fly by. Now I just need to see my mum and her side of the family and all will be good with the world.
      That is my one bit of advice to you all, make the goddamn time to see the people you care about as they won't be around forever!

      So I got back to normal life on Monday afternoon, with a bitching hangover and cold/flu thing setting in after a rather heavy weekend, which wrote off the first few days of this week as grinding was the last thing on my mind. It was then one of my good mates birthdays on Thursday, who also happens to be the landlord of my local…I won't bore you with the details I'm sure you can work it out yourselves!

      So yea, after a month of not drinking or partying loads and getting into a good routine and structure with the poker, all it took was a few trips to the pub and peoples birthdays to totally undo most of the ground I had made over the last month. It has really been an effort to play this week, even when I wasn't hungover or ill, I felt like I had to force myself to play. Sessions felt like the were dragging on for days not hours and my focus and ability to think clearly and quickly was impacted hugely. It is remarkable how long it takes to build something up compared to how swiftly it can be broken down again. (I've played maybe 30 games this morning, and I feel tired, frustrated and am really not 'in the zone' like I was in previous weeks)

      Last week I talked about routines and cycles of behaviour in negative light, but there is also a lot to be said on the positive side of routines and behavioural patterns. Such as working/grinding set hours/days and keeping focused on goals and targets (and not getting drunk!). A few days out of my routine for poker really messed things up, and unfortunately I'm not in the position where I can afford to get complacent after just 1 month of good behaviour, and miss hundreds of games from my schedule (financially or otherwise). So it's back to self control Benny again for the foreseeable future, most likely until NYE/Bday, so another month of keeping my head down and playing as much poker and studying as much as I can. As I sit here typing this rough draft for this entry I am infact missing another good friends birthday, as it would have involved leaving Bristol, more partying and more feeling crap afterwards, and I would have slid even further back into old ways! I have for too long put partying and socialising too high on my priorities list and as a result am racing towards 30 with my life not terribly together. If I don't try and make changes now I fear I never will, as there never is a perfect time and always excuses for putting things off, especially living in a city like Bristol.

      Due to my lacklustre last couple of weeks I have also failed in getting my Platinum VIP level back, which is a real shame, as it is a huge boost in terms of earning bonus $ and accruing points faster for rewards. I had debated pulling a mad session this weekend with the help of some pro plus, but after going over the numbers and working out the amount of games I still needed, it was never going to happen.

      So, not a great deal to talk about pokerwise again this week, which I apologise for. But things will get back on track next week!
      Lifestyle wise, it has been a huge eye opener as to how little I have actually accomplished over the last month when it comes to making permanent and long lasting changes. It has also really started to dawn on me the undertaking that professional grinding is, it's not like any other job I have ever tried to do, usually jobs that involve insanely long days and lots of physical work, but not really requiring much mental application. Where you can show up a bit out of sorts and still get through the day and get paid, also without having to deal with the barrage of upswings and downswings and the inherent emotions attached to them. If I'm not 100% on the ball all the time I'm playing I may aswell just set fire to $. So still a lot of work to be done on mindset and lifestyle choices, but I guess every journey starts with small steps or something…

      Time to get back on the wagon and make some monies :)

      Results: +$27 (you can see where the hungover unfocused play kicks in…)
      Volume: 197 games
      Coaching/Review: 1 coaching session, 1 review

      Overall: Another epic fail of a week, illness, drunkenness and laziness, not good = unhappy Benny :(

      Next Week Goal (You all know by now I'm sure!):

      Games: 500+
      Coaching/Review: 1 and 2-3 review
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,926
      Good luck with the upcoming week!

      Sometimes it's good to get away and spend some time with family :)
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      cheers mate, yea theres alot to be said for breaks, but not when it starts running into days when I should be grinding.
      thanks for following, cya next week :)
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,926
      Yeah true, like everything it has its upsides and downsides!


      Looking forward to the next installment!
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      Hello everyone, I hope your weeks have been good.

      I haven’t really had a chance to put together a proper post this week, so it is going to be extremely brief.

      It has been a pretty good week, I missed my target for games by 18, but that’s not a big deal, at least it was a lot better than the previous 2 weeks!

      So here’s the weeks breakdown:

      Games: 482

      Coaching: 1 session

      Review: 2 sessions

      $: + $521.13

      Sorry for the short post, but I’ve just finished a 107 game session with no breaks and I’m absolutely bloody knackered and am going to go have a pint

      See you all next week, thanks for stopping by

    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      -----<<<STOP PRESS>>------
      THIS WEEK HAS BEEN A TOTAL WRITE OFF FOR POKER DUE TO PERSONAL COMMITMENTS SO THERE IS NO GRAPH/RESULTS FOR THIS WEEK
      -----<<<STOP PRESS>>------

      It's that most wonderful time of the year! fa la la laaaa la laaa la laaaaaa
      No not bloody christmas, that will be over and done with soon enough! The time of year I'm talking about is that wonderful time when grinders all over the planet are making plans for next years schedules and volume targets.
      As I've never been as serious as I am now about poker, I have never made plans and goals based on any actual evidence or forced myself to stick to them. Rather I have just set somewhat arbitrary volume targets based on what I feel I can/should play, not on numbers and data.
      This year however is different, I have a solid sample of games from the last 12 months+ on which I can derive a meaningful and fairly accurate R.O.I on which to base calculations on for next year. This is only part of it though as this doesn't account for the Pokerstars VIP program and rewards.

      I spent a few days this week constructing a spreadsheet in order to make this planning easier, it allows me to input my volume of games per day, for whatever buyin level, or mixtures of buyins I aim to play in a day. It then does all the calculations to tell me how many VPPs/FPPs I will collect, then converts those to $ rewards based on my VIP level and tells me how many months it will take to hit Supernova using that volume. It also takes my ROI and calculates a profit from that and the games played, then adds it all together with the bonus' and gives me a projection of profit for a month.
      Making this spreadsheet has been extremely helpful, not only in setting goals but in seeing how damaging it is to miss a few games here and there from sessions and how much small margins have a massive impact over the long haul plan for the year.

      Hitting the ground running in January is imperative, I can't accomplish everything in January, but I need to start as I mean to go on for the year, and messing up the first month will be disastrous and make gaining momentum in February even harder, and then obviously this runs into the rest of the year.

      The first step to SN, is Platinum, which I will hit by the end of January, then the next large target is SN itself, which I should hit around middle-end of August with the goals I have set myself for volume. This is dependant on me sticking religiously to the targets I have set, to give you guys a rough idea of the volume I need to sustain it is around 150 games/day, roughly split between 120x$7 and 30x$15 totalling 3k games/month. This is based on a 5 day work week, and not playing evenings, as much as I love poker, I am not going to turn into someone that grinds 18 hours a day and has no social life, the point of me playing poker is to give myself a decent lifestyle and income and working around "normal" working hours, not locking myself inside 24/7.

      The volume figure will drop as I transition to playing solely the $15 and fewer and fewer $7s as the higher the buyin, the more rake you pay and therefore the more FPPs you get/game. As well as my volume targets I have a list of short, medium and long term targets for the year, some poker related and some more general life stuff, such as getting fitter and healthier as I don't want to turn into a fat bastard as I grind this year, and also because I feel it will help my mentally as well as physically. Healthy body healthy mind and all that jazz!

      The biggest problem I am having right now with my plan, is a rather massive conflict of interests. Mainly Brisfest in September… I plan to hit SN mid-late August I really cannot take a month off of poker like I have done in previous years as it is extremely important that I get as much time in grinding with the SN status as humanly possible to maximise my potential returns and to make the most of the 8 months hard work in getting there. So I have to figure out what I'm going to do, it's a really shitty decision to have to make, but one that needs to be made none the less.


      2012 in review.

      The Good
      - Got better with results checking/results oriented mindset - allows me to focus on my game rather than $ amounts which really don't matter.
      - Increased my session duration and ability to keep focused - I can now play 100 or so games without a break in about 5 hours.
      - Dealing with tilt/badbeats better - I used to get extremely tilty after a few badbeats, and either stop sessions or play like a monkey for the rest of the day just burning money. Not so much now, although still work to be done
      - Managed to convey my poker goals and ambitions to people (non players) without getting defensive and actually explaining things to people to help them understand - I still struggle with this as a lot of people still see poker as luck and random gambling (online bingo), and no amount of statistics or logical explanation can change someones mind who has no interest in actually understanding the game. Deep breath, smile, nod, move on!
      - Improved my self evaluation and self analysis skills - partially through help of this very blog!
      - Stopped talking rubbish in the chat at tables (self imposed chat ban)- more focused, fewer misclicks
      - Consistently playing 10 tables for entire sessions


      The bad
      - Still wasting too much $ on playing random MTT's/cash games - this HAS to stop next year as it has cost me a lot of $ this year
      - Struggle to keep motivated and focused if I miss a couple of days, it has the potential to run into the rest of the week - this also has to stop this year, there is no room for excuses or laziness.
      - Tendency to compare myself to other people too much - results in feeling like crap and demotivating myself. I need to be more happy with my own progress and own goals, not comparing to other peoples. This has been an ongoing theme my entire life and I remember many a conversation had with my mum when I was younger about this very thing. This cannot happen next year, as I have a day by day, week by week and month by month plan to adhere to and this is all that matters.


      I think that's about it for this week and for this year!
      Thanks to everyone that's helped me get through this year, friends, family and poker people. Big shout out to my friend/coach Casy151, if anyone is after coaching I cannot recommend this guy enough. His blog link is in the blogroll on my mainpage.
      A big big thankyou, to everyone that takes the time out to read this blog o mine. I have been really blown away by the amount of views and readers I get and also by the positive feedback and comments I have received either via the blog or from talking to people in person. I am quite humbled by it all as I really was not expecting to pickup as many followers, and started this blog mainly as a diary and way of being honest and evaluating myself more.
      I really hope you all have a wonderful christmas or whatever you celebrate if you aren't christmas inclined, and a great New Year.
      Don't do anything too crazy and have fun :)
      See you all next year xx
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      Is anyone even reading this? Not sure if it's worth my time updating this one, or just sticking to my main wordpress blog...
      hhhheeeellllooooooooooooooo ??
    • pbijvoet
      pbijvoet
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.10.2009 Posts: 2,237
      Hello :D .
      Yes always reading, but not posting very much :] . I'm a silent follower!
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      hehe ok cool, nice to know, only 1 person has actually commented since i started posting, so I was wandering if it was worth doing still.

      ty for replying and giving me soem hope :)
    • bristolboy
      bristolboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.06.2011 Posts: 50
      Hello everyone, I hope you are all well and haven’t frozen or fallen on the ice recently!

      After my end of year post I was full of confidence and motivation and was ready to “hit the ground running” as I put it. The reality so far is more of me face planting into the ground while trying to run on ice.

      Without going into it too much my volume has been awful so far, I am way off pace already and have a lot of ground to make up. Reasons for this vary from illness, hangovers (from xmas/nye/nyd and my birthday bash last week) and bits of work and the such.

      This week was the first week I tried to get back into a proper grinding routine, I smashed out some days with 100-150 game sessions although I scaled back to 10 tables again until I get rid of all the rust after not playing for basically a month. After this rather extended break my head was really not in the zone, I wasn’t thinking hands through, I was checking my results mid session, I was getting angry and tilted by standard stuff and then spazzing off chips in other games or just stopping sessions. I felt like I was back to starting from scratch again in some ways. I did get my act together though and put in quite alot of review work and hand discussion with other players, which was good and helped get rid of alot of the rust just by double checking my lines as I do tend to start second guessing myself after a couple of bad days, it’s good to know I was actually playing pretty well.

      I also had it in my head that for some reason as it was a new year and I ended last year feeling so good, that I was some how entitled to having some awesome winning sessions to start the year with. This is of course total nonsense, the maths and variance doesn’t care what day it is, who you are, or owe you anything. Long story short I got smashed to bits every day this week, some of which I totally take responsibility for as I wasn’t playing my best and lost my mind a few times and just dumped off chips in spots where I know better than that! The upside of this is atleast I’m coming back into the game and having to deal with the not fun side of it straight away, rather than having a great start to the year and getting a false sense of security and thinking I’m invincible and that the year will carry on that way.

      One of my goals for this year is to work on my mindset and mental approach to the game, as I have always struggled with it, this had lead me to reading Jared Tendlers book, The Mental Game of poker, as in training yourself and your brain to deal with the ups and downs of full time poker playing, not “omg poker is such a mental game”. The book is incredibly good and insightful and not only applies to poker but to alot of “normal” day to day life and attitudes towards things. I’m going to stop there before this ends up sounding like a plug, but I would highly recommend it to anyone that plays poker semi seriously.

      Another part of working on my mental game is to keep a brief daily poker diary to keep track of how I’m feeling after sessions and so I can keep notes on what I’m doing well or what I need to work on. This might sound a bit silly, but even just after a week of doing it has been a help, and over the course of the year I think it will be interesting to look back over.

      In my last post I also mentioned about the clash between hitting SN and the festival I’m involved with, thankfully SN rolls over til March the following year, regardless of how much you play after hitting it, so no need to take time off the festival to grind. I can can both, wohoooo

      So after a really slow start to the year I’m almost back to normal and looking forward to tackling next week head on and hitting all my volume targets.

      This weeks breakdown:

      Games: 430

      Coaching/Review: 1/3

      Profit/Loss: -$239.76

      Thanks for reading everyone, I hope I haven’t lost too many followers after my absence for the last week or so. Happy new year everyone, take care and see you next Sunday.