Forgetting Bad Habits

    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,758
      I've played poker on/off for 3-4 years and had some good times of working my way up to NL25 and bad times of struggling to beat NL5 after that.
      It seems that I'm putting many things into my game that simply shouldn't be there and do not work at Micro level but I can't simply jump to NL25 because I don't feel comfortable when I know that I'm not smashing the Micros.

      I also play live ever week in a home game with some half decent players but play very different here, sometimes strange. But the amount of won over the year can justify it.

      So the trouble I'm having on the virtual felt is that I've got too much information flowing around my head, some of it right, some of wrong and a little of it not being suitable yet. I find that I argue with myself in a spot whether I should be calling, folding or raising often and never really know if it's the right move.

      I'd love to just clean out most of what's in my head as it's all so muddled up but I can't >.<

      Suggestions?
  • 9 replies
    • Dublindeuce
      Dublindeuce
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.05.2013 Posts: 25
      Live v online.

      In the main the approach you take will be very different.

      From how I read your post you've adjusted well to the specific game and the players. You know their tendencies and have a strategy to combat it making you a winner.

      Micro stakes online can be the difference between poker and football.
      maybe return to basics and slow your game down thinking a bit more both in game and after where you are being unsuccessful. Watch videos about the the spots your struggling with. Take notes and try implementing things into your game til you find what works.

      probably not much help but my 2cents

      im doing similar at the minute returning to the basics. Always had better success live myself
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      Originally posted by ThatGuyMatt

      I'd love to just clean out most of what's in my head as it's all so muddled up but I can't >.<

      Suggestions?
      The problem is that you can't just "forget your bad habits".

      The first step is to identify them.
      It sounds like you're undecided whether some of your habits are bad or not.

      So pick one or two that you want to work on.

      Now you need to learn to recognize them when you're about to make that particular mistake.

      Third, you need to have something better to replace it with..

      The last step is to create a script that goes like:

      "In <situation> instead of <previous mistake> I will now do the following <replacement action>"

      The above is an adaptation of something from "The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler

      Best of luck,
      --VS
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Schnitzelfisch
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952
      Originally posted by ThatGuyMatt
      I've played poker on/off for 3-4 years and had some good times of working my way up to NL25 and bad times of struggling to beat NL5 after that.
      It seems that I'm putting many things into my game that simply shouldn't be there and do not work at Micro level but I can't simply jump to NL25 because I don't feel comfortable when I know that I'm not smashing the Micros.

      I also play live ever week in a home game with some half decent players but play very different here, sometimes strange. But the amount of won over the year can justify it.

      So the trouble I'm having on the virtual felt is that I've got too much information flowing around my head, some of it right, some of wrong and a little of it not being suitable yet. I find that I argue with myself in a spot whether I should be calling, folding or raising often and never really know if it's the right move.

      I'd love to just clean out most of what's in my head as it's all so muddled up but I can't >.<

      Suggestions?
      Hi Matt,

      For getting rid of bad habits, I would strongly recommend reading the book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg.

      In the book, he talks about how it's very hard to just get rid of bad habits - it's far easier if you simply replace them with new ones instead.

      So, in my opinion, your issue of having a ton of random information won't go away until you actually set up a system for identifying and learning what it will take for you to beat the limits that you want to beat.

      The steps would be:

      1) Identify which limit you want to beat now
      2) Find someone who did this in the past (like a poker coach on pokerstrategy) and ask them how they did it and what are the key things you should focus on when beating that limit
      3) Set up a system for learning these concepts and implementing them into your game (if you're not sure how to do that, watch my Learning to Learn video series on pokerstrategy.com).

      Once you start focusing on the things that matter and implementing them in your game one by one, they will slowly overwrite all of the random information in your head and give you more clarity.

      -Primoz
    • LemOn36
      LemOn36
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,356
      learn new ones/correct ones. Through repetition. Needs to be simple enough so you can use your rational mind to program your unconscious mind.

      In your case try to find out what it the right thought process when you are making a decision is in the first place, then try to actively imprint it in your sub- conscious.

      What works for me at micros is forcing self to think about what their range is, pause, think about my plan:
      what I want to do with made hands, what's the worst hand In my range I should be calling here etc. only then look at the two cards I have.

      Do this every single hand when you play your A game always and the confusion disappears. When I play my B and worse game I still play my 2 cards instead of a range/plan, and that's the time where these random concepts you learned come up and influence the decision erratically as you described.

      Do this often enough and it becomes part of your subconscious thought process and you will play relatively well even when playing C game.

      However note that the subconscious system takes very long time to program/re-program. I have been doing this since October and still the simple habit of thinking about plan/my range before using 2 cards is far from being in my subconscious system. But I haven't been trying hard enough, we are talking hundreds of ours of focused thought here and it will never be perfect. It's like learning a tennis swing - it just takes time before it is correctly imprinted in your subconscious system*


      *Subconscious "system 1"- what Kahneman described in his Nobel Prize paper. Variants of this are called unconscious competence, muscle memory, habits, intuition, autopilot etc.
    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,758
      Thanks guys! :)

      It was difficult puttng what was in my head into words, it didn't come out perfect but you seem to have got a good enough grasp for some awesome replies.

      So I need to just re-write my habits rather than removing them which is essentially starting at the bottom. Pretend I know knowing and start the studying from the bottom, it'll be difficult but best in the long run.

      I'll also stop playing Zoom and slow my tables down so I can think a lot more to try and get the Range Habit in there.

      I may even attempts the recommended books but I have low concentration when it comes to reading >.<
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Schnitzelfisch
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952
      Get an audiobook or take notes while reading :-)
    • LemOn36
      LemOn36
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,356
      decent find imo:
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-neurochemical-self/201312/break-any-habit-in-3-simple-steps
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      Well spotted, LemOn36

      LOL at the examples:

      Alice in Wonderland has a habit of getting high. Much of her past life revolved around getting high, so she wants a new habit that's big enough to take its place.
      So she plays sax gigs in nightclubs because of course, no musicians ever get high.

      All in all a good article though.

      One thing I was sure that it was going to mention -- perhaps I missed it.
      When trying to make a life change, it helps to have someone to be accountable to. Ideally that person should not be emotionally involved in the habit, nor its consequences.

      I know a girl now 36 years old who in her early 20s was addicted to cocaine, then crack. She stopped entirely on her own twice and has now been clean for 8 years.

      How did she do it?

      In her words, "I just decided to"

      The same girl has never successfully quit smoking for longer than a few months.

      What does that tell you?

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,758
      A nice article there, thanks Lemon.

      Shnitzel has a video on it too Maximize Your Productivity: Creating Habits That Stick

      I'm yet to watch it but I will do so in the next few days.