Lack of discipline is the key to failure!

    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Hi all,

      Decided I would create a blog, mostly to keep myself disciplined as I know I will have to answer to all on here if I screw up!

      My name is Liam, I live just outside of Manchester in the UK. I'm 25 and work in IT (boooooring). I started playing poker online in February this year, I had never played before that but decided to give it a go as it is similar to trading the foreign exchange markets which is something I have a little experience in.

      My foray in to the world of online poker started with me coming across another strategy site where the cash game strat is similar to the BSS here.. I played with a little success but always 3 steps forward and 5 steps back.

      My problem? Lack of discipline and patience. I never followed BRM, I was too impatient to wait for proper starting hands, I got hot headed and tilted often. Oh dear. It's worth mentioning that these are the very reasons I fell flat on my face trading currencies :( I blew the starting capital from this fantastic site within a couple of weeks due to the same inability to stick to the rules.

      So here I am, a week or two ago I had $0.40 in my pokerstars account and I don't remember how but somehow got that to $6 or so which allowed me to release a $10 bonus I had waiting. I added another $10 of my own money and that gave me another $1 bonus once I had made 1fpp.

      I had $27 or so and decided this was it, I was going to stay disciplined and play properly... Ooops, screwed up again. Up until 100 games ago i had broken BRM a few times, some success, some losses but ultimately ended where i started so could have been worse I guess!

      Now I am playing the $1.10 DONS and after 100 games my account is sat nicely at $54.45.

      My plan is to build that to $150 and then move up to the $5.20's and so on. I will play with 30 buy ins but if I lose 10 i'll drop down a level until my BR is back up to the required level. My aim is to achieve a long term win rate of 58% at the higher stakes. I will be playing 4 tables at a time for 25hrs a week so 100 games a week.

      Below is my chart that shows just how bad I was and how much of an improvement i've made. I plan to keep this up.



      Thanks for reading and sorry for the mamouth post! I will post updates regularly and look forward to any comments :)
  • 22 replies
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      It's official. I'm an idiot.

      So, I was doing quite well, my account hit $70 and then? The inevitable downswing... This took maybe $20 off my account so my ROI would have still been pretty hot. What did I do? Went on tilt that's what. Discipline??? Out the window. Common sense? That went with the discipline.

      I played some tourneys big and small, got in to the money a couple of times but lost the rest. Then... Cash games. I'm not good at cash games for some reason, I either dominate the table or lose buy in after buy in - Usually the latter unfortunately.

      My account? well, about 3hrs ago was at $2.20ish.

      F*ck poker I thought, one more tourney and that's it, i'll never play again. I entered a $2.20 180 man turbo sng on stars and got so lucky I feel sick but not as sick as the poor b*stards I sucked out on. I won the tourney.

      At the start I was playing fairly solid poker albeit with a relatively loose range of starting hands. I quickly doubled my stack and then pretty soon a bluff to take the pot preflop turned in to an all-in suckout. I had A3s, villain had KK - I hit my straight on the river, he was out and I was chip leader. He went on to tell me all about how bad I am and that I won't win the tourney - I said sorry then proved him wrong.

      After that I was Mr. Big Stack Bully - If I was in then I was all in... Why? I decided I wanted the blinds and if I was to make the final table it would be with the mother of all chip counts... This worked very well. Whenever my pushes got called I had a good hand and went on to knock at least 10 or 15 people out of the tournament. By the time I reached the final table I had 1/3 of the chips. I eventually won with yet another suckout.

      I feel dirty.

      But at the same time pleased because now my bankroll is $108 and I have yet another chance to grind the sng's in the hope of someday making some decent money out of it.

      Now? Well, no more promises from me, I will just get on with it and see what happens. It's back to the $1.10 DONS and hopefully I won't fall off the rails when I hit the next downswing.

      A note about the chart... This is for sng's so doesn't show the extent of my bankroll destruction as the large majority of the damage was caused by cash games.

    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      I've not played many games since my last post but decided an update was in order as i'm bored at work!

      I decided to take a shot at the $5.20 DONS.. Why? Well because I have 20 buy ins, if I lose 10 I will move back down a limit and this bankroll, although I don't want to lose it, is not the be all and end all of my life. Also, I think that provided I don't play like a complete moron it's unlikely that i'll lose 20 buy ins.

      Over 53 games at this limit I am 2 buy ins down which is slightly annoying but it seems i've loosened up somewhat... Where I used to play only AA, KK, QQ and AKs until push/fold phase begins I have been playing AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AQo, AKo, AJo and KQo. I don't really know why I have suddenly started playing in this way - I know I shouldn't but I see others calling/raising/winning with more marginal hands and it makes me want to play them even though I know it's not correct for this format.

      This is not good.

      Tonight I will be able to play 20-30 games so I will go back to my roots with regard to my DON strategy and see how I go. Will update here with the results.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Last nights session started really badly - In the money only 3 times out of 9. Luckily the next 10 or 15 games were more fruitful and I ended the session 2 buy ins up.

      I played another 2 sets of 4 this morning before work as well, I cashed in 3 of the first 4 but only 1 of the second set so ended a little bit down overall. I would have cashed in 3 of the second set but got sucked out on big time twice - First i was all in with 3.5 BB's with KQs, got called by QJo and he hit two pair, on the next one i was all in with 4 BB's with AJs and got called by J9o who again hit his 2 pair.

      There is a definite improvement in my results after going back to basics with the strategy, although i'm only 2 buy-ins up from my last post after 20-30 games all the ones I lost were through genuine suck outs so i'm not too worried.

      I'm off work tomorrow so am going to have a shot at playing 6 tables all day and see how I get on.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Ok, to anyone that actually reads my blog - Thank you and sorry. Lol I seriously lack discipline and that's never going to change so i'll just get on with it.

      I'm sick to death of DON's! The problem is, playing the DON's is getting me knowhere, I used to be able to beat these fairly easily but now everyone seems to have caught on and the whole table plays mega tight until push/fold begins. The problem then is their push/fold game is rubbish, they call with trash and suck out often so i'm basically breaking even all the time. My ICM game isn't bad but if I tighten my pushing range to allow for their looser calling range then I just get taken out by the blinds and if I play proper ICM then I often get donked out by Ax or Kx etc when they shouldn't be calling with anything worse than QQ.

      Yesterday morning I had $123 in my pokerstars account from DON's and decided a change was in order so had a crack at some $6.50 sng's. The first session went swimmingly with a 1st and a 2nd out of 4. I followed this up with some solid results and when I went to bed last night had $175 in my account.

      I woke up this morning and after 2 break even sessions went on an 8 game downer. Not helped by my girlfriend wanting to 'have a go' - She lost $15 on the $3.40 sng's. :(

      My BR is back at $106.

      So, where to go from here? If I play sng's it will definitely be against brm because I refuse to play the $1.20's - Too much rake and no turbo format mean difficult to make solid profit and each session takes waaaaaaaaaay too long. I've had it with DON's - They are too difficult to beat consistently, If you have one losing session you'll be spending some time digging yourself out of the hole you left in your BR. MTT's take too long and carry with them too much variance and i'm generally not that great at cash games.

      I would consider cash games but I would need to put some serious time into learning the strategies. I also wouldn't know what to go for - SSS or BSS? No-Limit or Fixed Limit?

      Answers on a post card please... Do I play

      A) $3.40 sng's against brm cuz I enjoy them
      B) SSS because i'm roled for it
      C) BSS because it's profitable long term
      D) Fixed limit
      E) None of the above?

      To be honest I don't expect any replies, there are much better blogs out there to be reading lol The 5 options above are what i'm left with so i'll put some thought in to it and post when i've made a decision.
    • NickParkes
      NickParkes
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.07.2008 Posts: 1,526
      I have a question... what are you trying to achieve from poker?
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by NickParkes
      I have a question... what are you trying to achieve from poker?
      Hi Nick, yours is one of the better blogs I mentioned earlier :)

      I like playing poker first and foremost, I like winning and I like making money. These 3 things make poker almost the perfect game for me.

      Playing poker full time is a dream I guess and I believe that if I was properly roled for it I would get by but the money in my poker account is my only shot so that dream is unlikely to be fulfilled.

      People will scream BRM until they're blue in the face but i'm sorry, playing $1 sng's/DON's etc is no fun and I can't take it seriously when i'm playing against people who think Q8o is a starting hand worthy of a raise.

      To answer your question... I want to have fun and yes I would like to make some money long term. The difficult part is finding the happy medium in there.

      :)
    • NickParkes
      NickParkes
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.07.2008 Posts: 1,526
      Well, it's good that you know what you want... the biggest thing though is that it takes time, and I have some bad news... there will always be some donk who thinks Q8o is a great call... I got stacked earlier today by a donk who called me preflop with 32s and my AA turned out to be no good... you'll find that stuff at the WSOP as well... I started out with my $50 and playing $0.50 SNGs about a year ago, I used to get super pumped about winning $2.50 and a 5BI downswing had me raging... but if you really want to do this thing properly... learn to beat the idiots, and each limit... spend more time learning than playing and see poker as a LOOOOOOOONG term investment...

      I look forward to seeing how your game develops...

      good luck
    • Atoks
      Atoks
      Gold
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,366
      Hey Wurble,

      I just went over ur blog and I have to say it's a nice read. I always enjoy reading the blogs of the newer members around here and u really have a nice style in both writing and shaping text. I hope u continue to write, but I also hope u go back to following the original goal u set when u started this blog - Discipline!

      I think when each of us started we all had dreams of grandour ... how we will be the next big thing, wining all over the place, having more money than we could count and other dreams. It's all good and I think it's good that people dream dreams like this! One always has to have big dreams and goals to follow. Else one gets stuck in place very easily.
      But to realise these dreams ... well ... let's just say it's about as difficult as it seems during those first downswing/tilt periods. I've been trying to go pro for the past 9months now. And I've had a solid monthly winrate all this time yet I still didn't meet the goals I set for myself to reach in order to go pro (these goals will remain hidden :) ). And let's not even get into what happened during the previus two year period!

      I'm trying to say that discipline is the foundation. Yes perseverance is needed, yes work rate is an excellent attribute to add and yes there are many others that will add their part, but discipline is the core of success at poker. It took me almost two full years to realize that ... and it took me several months to repair the damage done by not accepting that ... so I wish u to come to terms with this and brave the micro's, no matter how boring or disgusting they appear.

      Poker is a swingy game no matter what style u play. So when u are deciding what style u would like to play u have to take that into account. My advice: Play what u enjoy playing but only if u can fund it!

      I wish u to find the discipline that u are still missing. As they said in varius movies and comedy bits: If u build it, it will come ;) GL!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Thanks Nick and Atoks for your replies. You are both absolutely right.

      You see, I know my problem and it's obvious to anyone who's read my blog lol I lack the patience and discipline required. I get annoyed when I play for 4 hours and just end up by a couple of buy ins, this is what always tempts me to move up a limit or two and it always seems to go really well at first which gives me the confidence to keep it up and then BAM! - Downswing lol As you all know, when playing with poor BRM downswings hurt!

      I'm one of those people that can dish out the best advice in the world but rarely listens to that advice - Some would call me an idiot.

      I have a massive amount of respect for anyone who has properly put the effort in to grind their way up from the micro stakes. I understand what's involved and I know it's not easy.

      With the $106 I have in my account i'm going to play the $3.40 turbo sng's. I've decided on this because it's the format I enjoy most, I do belive I can beat the limit and hope I won't be unfortunate enough to hit a 30 buy-in downswing straight away. If I drop to $50 then I guess i'll have no choice but to hit the $1.10 Turbo DON's again.

      I know that you all believe this will be a mistake, and in brm terms you would be correct but I don't see the point in playing a format I don't enjoy. I will either pull it off and build my bankroll before I hit a downswing or i'll hit a downswing pretty quickly and you can all say you told me so!!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      To anyone reading this blog it will seem like I change my mind more often than I change my clothes! This isn't really the case though, you see, I had never played a single hand of poker before February this year and didn't even know the rules before that time so i'm still finding my feet.

      I like sng's, I love the format and i've mentioned before that I go from one extreme to the other with cash games. This got me thinking though, if I always played cash games would I come out on top in the long run?

      Playing cash games would certainly help with my BRM plus I have an account tracked by pokerstrategy with Full Tilt which i've not used because I like the sng's at stars. If I play cash though I could move my BR to FT, get a 100% deposit bonus, 27% rakeback and finally earn some strategy points here!

      With the above in mind i've decided I will grind the SSS at FT until I have cleared the deposit bonus and then have a re-think - Will probably move on to BSS once I have the BR for NL10.

      What do others think? Is this the best way forward?

      Cheers :f_cool:
    • Kruppe
      Kruppe
      Black
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 2,145
      i thinkj if you like SNGs you should stick to SNGs. not many people like them.
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Hi Wurble, nice blog.

      I agree with Kruppe, you have to enjoy your poker and lay a variant that you enjoy. Whilst grinding cash tables may help in the short term, boredom can be a big leak as you subconsciously start to limp or play lesser hands looking for action.

      I won't keep sprouting BRM to you :P just as long as you are aware of the higher risk of losing everything by playing outside of it.

      My recommendation would be to play the $1 sng's and build from there, but of course if you choose to do the $3's we won't think any less of you and wish you every success.

      I think you've shown great awareness, honesty and realism in your blog, keep working on the discipline, it will come with time.

      Good luck buddy,


      Bart
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Thanks Kruppe and Bart for your replies :)

      I do enjoy the sng format but am taking some time out to have a think about exactly how i'm going to approach the game from now on.

      I will be moving my BR to FT on Friday so won't play a particular format until then.

      In the meantime I have been having a little fun - I start with $2 at NL5, double up and then take my $4 to NL10, get that to $10 and take that to NL25 until I double up again. Of course, when I double up I usually end up with a little over which covers the original $2 so by the time i'm at NL25 i'm playing with 'free' money. The furthest I have got so far is NL50 but didn't quite double up as the table went too tight for my liking, I ended up leaving with $4 profit. Not bad though, in total I made a little over $26 from the original $2.

      Have found that with decent table selection and concentrating on one table only this is good fun and fairly easy to be honest. It's just a case of being patient!

      Account is at $138 as I cashed in a couple of sng's as well.

      Obviously this wouldn't be a great long term strategy but it's certainly good fun!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      How annoying! I was going to play the community tourney on stars but as it got cancelled decided to enter the $20K gtd $5.50 tourney. I registered late as it was but for some stupid reason decided it was a good idea to completely over play AQo - I ran in to someone who had hit a set and got knocked out - All within 15mins :( In my defense though the guy shouldn't have called my preflop raise with 77 :evil:
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Ok, so after a little thought i've decided on my final poker game plan..

      I will not be moving my BR to FT this week as i've heard their new software update has caused some trouble. If they get it sorted on Friday then i'll move there but otherwise i'll be staying at stars! What I might do is deposit $100 of my wages in the FT account and spend 1hr a day grinding the SSS just to earn strategy points here - i'm still undecided over whether or not that's a good idea though.

      My BR at stars is sat at $124.06 because I had a crack at the daily 30K last night (was eager to have a crack at the 80K+ prize pool) but got knocked out early when I put all my chips on the line with an A high flush and got called by a straight flush - Nice.

      So the plan now, and this I promise is final, is to grind the $3.40 sng's, if I drop below $50 then i'll drop to the $1.20's. I will move up a limit when I have 50 buy-ins for the next limit and back down when i'm down to 50 buy-ins for the limit below.

      Goals:

      1) Get BR to $300 to play the $6.50's.
      2) Achieve silver star at pokerstars - 762VPP's to go this month.
      3) If i'm in the mood for a change of scenery then i'm only to play NL5 cash or $1.10 MTT's.
      4) Spend any time browsing the net at work learning about the game. (I already do this anyway)
      5) Keep up with all of the sng blogs on here (LuborC, Nick Parkes, Atoks etc) for inspiration and to keep me from tilting when on a downswing/Keep feet on the ground in an upswing.
      6) Gradually increase the number of tables I play whilst keeping constistent ROI (I'm at 6 tables at the moment, 25% ROI over small sample size so we'll see about that).
      7) My birthday in August so will spend my birthday money on Pokertracker or something similar (recommendations anyone?)

      That's about it for now :) Will update every day.

      BR: $124.06
      VPP's July: 438
    • Atoks
      Atoks
      Gold
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,366
      Hey Wurble,

      nice to see ur still around and keeping a healthy bankroll :) I think it's good that ur trying to play the MTTs as well (great way to realize the actual value of the hands!) but try to stick to the micro buyins. Don't look at the prizes as much, just focus on thinking about the situations u will find urself in and on playing a good game :) The money will come on it's own once u develop ur skills.

      I also think u have a solid enough bankroll for the 3.40 sngs. But make sure u keep on doing reviews of ur game in Sit and go Wizard (it's free, just keep saying no when it asks u about the license) and not tilt. Basically just focus on improving ur game in every SnG u play. Don't worry about what kind of hands call u down or what the out come will be, that really doesn't matter if u made the right move.

      I'm really interested in how u will do in the next few months. Come late september I will be looking for someone to help improve their SnG game and if I like what I see in regards to ur sng progress I just might pick u :) About the program, don't worry about it yet, spend ur money on something that will help u relax and no go on tilt. It's more important right now :)

      Play well, learn hard, watch the videos and attent the public coachings. That's all u need to do to improve ur game :) GL at the tables!
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by Atoks
      Hey Wurble,

      nice to see ur still around and keeping a healthy bankroll :) I think it's good that ur trying to play the MTTs as well (great way to realize the actual value of the hands!) but try to stick to the micro buyins. Don't look at the prizes as much, just focus on thinking about the situations u will find urself in and on playing a good game :) The money will come on it's own once u develop ur skills.

      I also think u have a solid enough bankroll for the 3.40 sngs. But make sure u keep on doing reviews of ur game in Sit and go Wizard (it's free, just keep saying no when it asks u about the license) and not tilt. Basically just focus on improving ur game in every SnG u play. Don't worry about what kind of hands call u down or what the out come will be, that really doesn't matter if u made the right move.

      I'm really interested in how u will do in the next few months. Come late september I will be looking for someone to help improve their SnG game and if I like what I see in regards to ur sng progress I just might pick u :) About the program, don't worry about it yet, spend ur money on something that will help u relax and no go on tilt. It's more important right now :)

      Play well, learn hard, watch the videos and attent the public coachings. That's all u need to do to improve ur game :) GL at the tables!
      Thanks Atoks, your help in improving my game would really be appreciated if you do decide i'm a worthy choice :)

      I am always looking to learn and improve, my bankroll has been up and down through me being indecisive, tilting and playing drunk rather than through outright bad play. Obviously I do have many leaks and i'm looking to sort those out all the time but the proof is in the pudding they say so over the coming months we'll see if I really am capable of succeeding!!

      I'll download sng wizard as you suggested, the only problem I have is I play on 2 different laptops. One isn't mine and unfortunately it's the better of the two and it's the one I use most but I can't install sng wizard on it :( I will install it on mine and the few sets I play on there (most it can take is 4 tables and it's unreliable) I will review.

      I do spend a lot of time reading through the hand review forum, I will try to attend the public coachings when I can.

      Cheers
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      OK, so since finalising my plan I played 6 sets of 6 $3.40's, 2 of which really hurt my BR. It started with me getting busted early in 2, out on the bubble in 3 by bad beats (I really did have the better starting hand in all of them) and a 2nd.

      Next session, and i'll admit to tilt here with some awful play :( I busted out of all 6 very early... Although 3 were bad beats, I had QQ, KK & AA busted but no matter I should've played better in the other 3 but unfortunately just tilted myself straight out of them :(

      So, after a cup of tea and a smoke I came back intent on playing by the charts poker for a couple of sets which I did and clawed some of the losses back.

      BR: $109.66
      VPP's July: 510

      Not good though, overall $15 down after 36 games is not what I would consider a good start so i'll put some serious effort in to playing the perfect game from now on.
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Wow! Quality set! First set of the day I got 2 wins, a 2nd and a 3rd!




      BR: $134.26
      VPP's July: 522

      Edit: Chart added.
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