For The Love of the Game

    • SmellTheCoffee
      SmellTheCoffee
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2008 Posts: 30
      Greetings fellow strategists,

      I am starting this challenge thread to chronicle my new challenge and also to enable me to become more involved with the community here. I have realised lately that the thing that attracts me to this game more than anything else is the demand it places on me to conquer myself. I am not a natural when it comes to the mental game of poker, far from it. Which is surprising because in my day to day dealings with people, and back when I worked in an office, I had great inter-personal skills, and pretty decent emotional management.

      Yet on the online poker table something changes in me. I have to be totally on my guard to ensure that I do not tilt when I am playing. My tilt manifests in moving up in stakes or just monkey spewing in chips after having played for hours following a winning strategy.

      Take my most recent session just a week or so ago, I was playing 20nl and on a nice heater for the day, had been 4 tabling for about 5 hours and was up 6 stacks. I knew this was a heater but still nice. During all this time I was totally focussed on what I was doing. I knew I had to be. Then I quit my session, watched a poker documentary and came back, yes I love this game! I didnt feel quite as grounded as I did at the start of the day, but I knew volume was key to doing well in poker so I wanted to get another session in. I started playing did OK, ebbed and flowed, then I got complacent, I started multi-tasking in chat etc. This resulted in me stacking off for 160BBs vs an obvious full house when i just had TPTK. In hindsight a really terrible move.

      :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad: :f_mad:

      Then i became tilted (at myself for being so retarded!), spewed a few stacks and gambled the rest of my profits away on sports.

      Wider than this though in my personal life I am a very all or nothing person. I party hard or I work hard, never any in between. When I party there is a high chance I will spend all of my money in the space of a few days no matter how much I have. The experiences are OK at the time, but after I always regret having done this, these evenings are always alcohol fuelled.

      Poker really is a microcosm for the world at large it strips us bare I believe. If a man or woman are successful in life, given the right study and application they are likely to be successful in the world of online poker I would say. A person who has deficiencies managing themselves or their money in the real world, are likely to encounter the same ill effects on the virtual felt as they do in the physical world.

      For what it's worth, I don't mind the crazy party side of my personality in itself, it's the detrimental effect it has on other parts of my life that is the real problem. For instance the reckless spending of money, the regret at certain of my actions while under the influence of alcohol etc.

      So I decided to really work on myself for the rest of the year. It really isn't sensible to go out for a long weekend and blow every penny I have, then spend the rest of the month or longer, without enough money for the basic things in life. It also isn't on that I am not as successful with poker as I would like to be, as poker is something I really enjoy trying to conquer.

      OK long intro over... here's on to the challenge!

      I've decided to practice real simplicity and peace and focus as much as possible on this for the rest of the year.

      The party animal in me, I am going to tame, and put away until next year. By which point I should be on my way to having a bit of financial security and more independance which will make for an all around healthier experience when I do let loose out on the town.

      I have no money now for a month or so , but my rent is paid and I have some food. My plan for the next 4-6 weeks is to just work hard while I'm working, relax when I'm relaxing, and also to play about 4 hour of poker each day.

      I can't afford to play any meaninful poker (limit wise) at the moment so I thought I would start this challenge.

      I had £9.98 disposable income left for the rest of the month, I just deposited that, and my challenge is going to be to build this up over the coming months. When i start back at higher limits i'll keep this challenge going still.

      So the main point of this challenge is to give me a positive vehicle to experience poker with on a budget, and to interact with some of the community.

      I will be playing on Ipoker.

      A key part of this challenge is going to be practicing mindfulness and mental discipline. After all I enjoy playing poker, but as I'm playing for pennies I need to find something to give the game an extra edge, that extra edge will be implementing a spiritual text while I play!

      A famous buddhist text is the Dhammapada it is a collection of writings by the Buddha in short verses, they are really clever and seem to have a lot to say about how we manage ourselves and our mind. I am going to focus on 10 a day, and reflect in my blog when I update here, about how I found they related to my poker journey for the day (and also if relevent my life in the day).


      The challenge:

      Starting with £10.26 build this up playing a winning poker strategy. I'm going to take shots at the limit above when I have 10 stacks for that limit, and drop down when I have 15 stacks for the limit below.

      Each day I will post 10 verses from the Dhamapadda (that I'm learning myself never read the book before!) and then in my session review for the day I'll post how I think any of them related to my game. There are 350 verses, so it will take me a little over a month to complete the first run through of the text in my challenge!

      Thanks for reading!! :f_drink:
  • 9 replies
    • SmellTheCoffee
      SmellTheCoffee
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2008 Posts: 30
      Starting Bankroll and points

    • SmellTheCoffee
      SmellTheCoffee
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2008 Posts: 30
      The Dhammapada

      As a first post I thought I'd just write briefly about what this is. It's nice for me also as it forces me to research it a bit and improve my own understanding. Dhamma is the Buddha's doctrine (basically things the Buddha is reported to have said, that form part of his teaching for Buddhists) and Pada means foot (and in this context, verse).

      So basically I read the title of this book to mean something like, "clever things the buddha said, in short verses".

      According to the history of this on Wikipedia, the Buddha said this stuff, and then other people crystalized it into short verse forms to make it easier to learn and use. Wikipedia says the Dhamapadda makes the Budhist way of life available to anyone, which sounds pretty good to me. Especially as all the buddhist people i've seen on Youtube looked so chilled :f_thumbsup:

      The Dhamapadda contains 423 verses (so I got that wrong in my first post!), and is split into 26 chapters.

      Hopefully you found that a bit useful?! Thought it might give a bit of context to the thing I'm going to be referring to alot over the coming months in my challenge! :f_cool:
    • SmellTheCoffee
      SmellTheCoffee
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2008 Posts: 30
      Day 1 - Morning

      Today is the start of the challenge so not much to update. Other than it's actually the evening here as I write this (midnight). I get up at about 1PM and go to bed at about 8am, so I will be starting my first session soon, and am looking forward to it.

      Today's Verses


      I've had a slight change of plan having looked at the verses now in a bit more detail. I don't think it makes sense to simply write out all 10 verses a day at the start of my session like i was going to, after all you guys are following my poker journey and are likely interested more in how i relate them to my poker. So my plan going forward will be at the start of the morning to simply write down the chapter I am reading this day, and then in my evening update, I will reflect how anything i read in that chapter related to my game.

      So... today's chapter is Chapter 1 "The Twin Verses" - this chapter is called this because it has 20 verses, and each verse has an opposite verse, here's an example: -


      7. He who lives looking for pleasures only, his senses uncontrolled,
      immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, Mara (the tempter) will
      certainly overthrow him, as the wind throws down a weak tree.

      8. He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well
      controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, Mara will
      certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a rocky
      mountain.
      Interesting these two verses I think and I can straight-away see some powerful insights about poker.

      If we are looking for pleasure while we are playing (looking for emotional highs of winning pots), or simply playing because we want to win pots because we like the feeling of winning pots... Mara the tempter (basically the wild side of our mind i see this as) will certainly otherthrow us... well sure I beleive this to be true, because then you play from an EGO point of view and you want to win pots, and you play sub optimally just to win pots, then when you lose because you are rooted in wanting that pleasurable feeling you rebel against the reality of having lost a pot by getting emotionally distracted, by fighting back by playing sub optimally....

      But if we play without looking for pleasure. So we are playing for playing's sake. In the moment. If we play with our sense controlled, this is really powerful i think , and deep, but in essence i think it means we do not react to our senses emotionally, we interpret wisely... then we can stay faithful to our +ev strategy and do well.

      :f_thumbsup:

      So this is my plan today in the first session... I will update later how it went, and also let you know if anything else I read from chapter 1 seemed relevent to my game! Thanks for reading!!
    • SmellTheCoffee
      SmellTheCoffee
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2008 Posts: 30
      Day 1 - Evening

      Hey all, so finished my first session. I listened to a bit of this buddhist teaching stuff during my session. It seemed useful. At the end of my session I lost my cool a bit though which is a shame. I got really ego involved and just wanted to stack a couple of players. Crazy how this happens. Anyway session went ok.

      Reflection from the reading verse earlier, was that I did an OK job for most of the session of keeping my senses 'well controlled' but towards the end I let my senses run riot (mostly ideas as a result of what was happening on the table... this fish shouldn't be beating me... etc).

      Anyway. I want this blog to be a fair reflection of my challenge, even though I probabally sound like a lunatic right now lol.

      I only played 3-4 tables and had to stop and start a bit as i had to do some work, but went OK, considering limited time i had available to play



    • metalmonkey80
      metalmonkey80
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 15.08.2013 Posts: 1,418
      Hello SmellTheCoffee,

      Great start to your blog and building your bank roll :f_drink:
      Have you seen The Quick Guide to Skyrocketing Your Poker and Life Productivity.
      I found this really helped to focus my approach to poker.
      Also 5-point plan: From break-even grinder to winning player is worth reading.
      Finally have you thought about taking part in Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Opt-in now!

      I look forward to reading future posts and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
      Good luck at the tables.

      Regards

      Matt
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      Howdy, also welcome from my side - the almighty Metalmonkey was faster than me in saying hi!
    • SmellTheCoffee
      SmellTheCoffee
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.07.2008 Posts: 30
      Thanks both, I'll check out those guides metalmonkey, and i opted in to the challenge this morning, thanks.

      Sven, hey there! thanks for dropping by!
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      He SmellTheCoffee again, i was looking for your first update for our BR challenge week...
      I've directly got the link for you: Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread

      CU around & GL at the tables! Have a coffee for me,too!
    • 4s4s4s
      4s4s4s
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.09.2014 Posts: 225
      I'll sub this. Gl