Help "discipline"

    • DirtyDunton
      DirtyDunton
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.07.2012 Posts: 13
      I have been playing poker for awhile now and have been pretty much a break even player for awhile now. I honestly feel I have the knowledge and skill to play a winning game consistently. I have one MAJOR flaw with my game and it drives me crazy.

      My major flaw is lack of discipline. I play very fundamentally solid and honestly believe I could compete at a much higher level. My lapses in judgement are reactive and instead of that of thoughtfulness. This is the only major leak in my game but it is killing me. I will play so solid then for no good reason my ego will take over and make me make an uncharacteristically bad play.

      I am just wondering if any winning players here have had to deal with this. I am working hard on my game and am trying to be honest about it. This is the thing holding me back and I am wondering if anyone else here has beat this? If anyone has advice with how to remained disciplined it would be hugely HUGELY appreciated.

      Thank you very much.
  • 11 replies
    • legand73
      legand73
      Gold
      Joined: 01.06.2010 Posts: 4,136
      Hey DirtyDunton

      It is really self-aware of you to realise your own flaws and while I am not an expert by any means in the psychology field I can re-direct you to this thread where you will be able to get comprehensive advice from leading poker psychologist Jared Tendlar.

      While you are waiting for your reply in that thread you may find his book useful. It's called 'The Mental Game of Poker'. I'm currently reading it at the moment and so far it is very good.

      Our free material here is also very good.


      While I can't comment on this from experience hopefully some of our members can shed some light on the matter.

      All the best,
      Luke
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,895
      Hey DirtyDunton,

      Reading your post was like an echo of my own thoughts. I suffer from discipline, poor concentration and making ego-based plays. Not much more than 2 months ago I was on the verge of quitting online poker.

      I felt that I could no longer deal with the huge mental swings provided by playing online poker. The 1st bad beat or suckout of a session would invariably put me on the road to tilt.

      I have had Jared Tendlar's "Mental Game Of Poker" for some time but had never bothered with even a cursory glance. As I had got to the stage where I was struggling to login because of dread (fear), It was time to have a look.

      In the 1st 20 pages, I was enlightened. This Jared Tendlar, who doesn't know me, had listed a series of mental faults that I fitted. It was truly a Eureka moment. For the 1st time in my life I was able to look inside my mind and see my deficiencies and that Jared was dead right.

      Since then I have produced my best ever tourney performance (21st in an miniFTOPs event) where my new found discipline was on show as I played only 4 hands in the 1st 3 hours. I would never have been able to do this previously.

      I really do need to get back and read the rest of the book, but atm I am just loving the fact that I have some passion back for poker.

      All the best mate and I hope you find some answers

      Laz
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      here are a couple of suggestions that might help you.

      always take at least a couple of seconds before you act on every decision. it will help you stay focused.

      if you want to play for a long time split your session up into smaller chunks with brief breaks in between. again, it helps maintain focus.

      good luck
    • Disconow
      Disconow
      Basic
      Joined: 29.10.2012 Posts: 2
      it's all about the correct mindset indeed...

      athletes that compete at a high level can talk about the same ego interference.

      Maybe you should read 'The Mental Game of Poker'?
    • RedStarUltras
      RedStarUltras
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.04.2011 Posts: 393
      Originally posted by Disconow
      it's all about the correct mindset indeed...

      athletes that compete at a high level can talk about the same ego interference.

      Maybe you should read 'The Mental Game of Poker'?
      +1
    • scett
      scett
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.01.2010 Posts: 65
      I tend to deal with same problem from time to time. It`s a form of tilt. There are many things you can do about it.

      Start with fundamentals, make sure you are relaxed and focused to your ability, in order to achieve it, spend some time away from pc, tv, music let your mind rest and do some physical activities like sports or whatever makes your heart pumping in order to achieve increased level of focus. Obv in busy day to day schedule its difficult to do this every day, but for a poker player its a must once a week.

      While playing make your brain work, think about what you have learned about poker and what you should be paying to in certain spots. This will keep you self aware and wont allow you to start autopiloting and will keep your ego at bay. If you dont have enough stuff to pay attention to, it means your poker is not good enough and you should be studying harder.

      And finally a thing I do (this probably works only for cash games). Play some and take a short break. Like 30 mins of play or 500 hands or whatever, it all depends... and then 10-15 mins break, go away from pc, make yourself a cup of tee and relax for a bit. Then go back and repeat the cycle. After a while you will be able to put in more and more time playing without breaks.

      If you had a big suckout that distracts you, stop the session, review the hand and make analyse if you did everything right, ask for second opinion in forums if necessary. If you did everything right - congratulation, you just fed the fish. Remember in order to keep fish in the poker, you need to feed them from time to time :)
    • DirtyDunton
      DirtyDunton
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.07.2012 Posts: 13
      I want to thank everyone for their help and great advice. My game already has begun to improved since I purchased the book "the mental game of poker".

      I have my winnings graphed out via holdem manager which clearly shows where my mental block is.



      I come in forth place much too often. Most of the time this happens because of an ego based snap reaction which cripples me or puts me out of the game completely.

      I am often the chip leader at this point or usually in a very healthy position. When I attempt to steal blinds sometimes and I get 3 betted my ego will sometimes cause me to shoves with hands I would never normally shove with.

      My goal now is lower that bar and raise the 1st place bar.

      Thank you everyone, you have been a great help. :)
    • RasTweet
      RasTweet
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.12.2009 Posts: 4,553
      Great to see you improving Dunton!

      You know you can know as much as you want. If you don't have the correct mindset all that knowledge is going to waste.

      Keep up the good work!

      RasTweet
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      i dont think its that big of an issue that you finish 4th a lot, obv it needs addressing but as long as you finish 1st more than 2nd and 3rd then you are definitely doing something right.

      remember, if you never bubble from a chip lead position then you're not doing it right.
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,895
      Originally posted by badgerer
      i dont think its that big of an issue that you finish 4th a lot, obv it needs addressing but as long as you finish 1st more than 2nd and 3rd then you are definitely doing something right.

      remember, if you never bubble from a chip lead position then you're not doing it right.
      +1

      50% ITM, 75% to the bubble (small sample obv).

      Just keep working on ICM/Nash push/fold ranges for bubble play.
    • ArkhamAsylum
      ArkhamAsylum
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.09.2011 Posts: 527
      You know what actually is a good tip to help discipline and I by no means say it will work for you. But when I found myself drifting in poker and not concentrating STARTING OUT as in proper noob town........ I stopped thinking I was a hero and dialled back the tables and literally looked at my life. After thinking of what was I doing to hurt my concentration by stepping back. I quickly realised the browsers I had open. multi tasking. even away from poker . playing xbox while having the internet up and then could have my phone. I had literally trained myself to be scattered. So I dialled all of that down and went back to focusing on less things and improving quality on those things.

      Also this stuff toned down my tilt and hero calls and just calling for the sake of calling. It strenghtened my resolve because my life was changing in that direction

      I think modern life has trained us to have poor concentration and works against poker. Just my assessment anyhow. Others will think differently