Monday, June 13, 2016

Realizing The Whys Of Past Decisions

As I entered day 4 of the strict focused cash game grind, I realized the reasons that I have made past decisions that I have. Actually I realized it yesterday and the reason I realized it is because the same thing has happened this time. I'm not talking about the decisions of the withdrawals and going out and having fun, but instead I'm talking about the decisions regarding changing approaches, changing the games that I've played, things of this nature. It boils down to one word and that word is frustration and I believe that best describes it. I restarted this cash game grind on the 9th and that first day I had a very nice session of a little over 2,000 hands and $56 in profits. $56 in 2000 and is obviously running above expectation and  it's quite obvious that variance will equal things out  and over the course of the next two days variance kicked in and I went into somewhat of a tailspin losing $28 and change on the 10th and losing another $4 on the 11th and I realize that previously the first reaction that sets in for me when I have a really good profit day or streak, put in a lot of hours play, a lot of hands just to see it disintegrate in the next session or two. It's this frustration that says to me this is ridiculous why put yourself through this, there are other avenues that would be better. Better in the sense of it may not cost me as much, better in the sense of it may not have such intense swings and by intense I mean I can play MTTs of the $1 to $3 variety and it will only cost me say $20 or $30 maximum a day whereas grinding $10 cash games I can easily have a $50, $60, or $70 loss so comparing the money amounts it told me to get away from this high variance aspect of the cash games and go with something that would appear financially moderately safer and previous to this that's exactly what I did out of simple and pure frustration I believe and nothing more.

That's what happened the last couple of days where I won $56 the first day and then lost $32 over the corresponding next two days which brings me to earnings below expectations, but unlike other times I did not abandon my focus although the thought did go through my mind I will admit this. The thoughts of get away from this, go play something that's going to definitely not have the risk of costing as much floated through my thoughts, but I pushed it away. How many times in this blog have I said you have to play through the downswings, negative variance, or results below expectation. If I've said it once I've said it a hundred times but yet I've abandoned cash games when things seems to turn away from what I feel is expected. This time I was determined not to repeat this action and as the 4th day of the cash game grind restart arrived I continued on with it determined not to deviate from what I need to focus on, not to deviate because of, what I hope to be, a minor suboptimal period of results.  Pretty much previously I have been basing my decisions based on results and as we all know doing anything in poker being result-oriented is the absolute wrong thing to do and if I have any doubts in my mind, any questions as to whether or not I am on the correct road, all I have to do is look to the right side of this blog, look at the earnings for December and January where I had grinded 50,000 hands in cash games during those two months and I instantly know I am on the right track.

So $32 in losses over the previous two days with over 2,400 hands played on the 10th but only a little over 1,100 played on the 11th as I needed to get some groceries at the store so I called poker an early day. With the temperatures being what they are any errands that I need to run I will either do them early in the morning or in the evening. Here is some of the reasons for the two-day losing streak going into the 12th.

Approximately $44 in losses in those six hands. This was during that session where I ended up losing $28 and after these hands I was down about $60 at the time but a decent run towards the end of the session and I was able to battle back for a $28 loss. In these hands I was rivered once and my opponents went runner runner on me and two other occasions. The final KK hand perhaps I could I have gotten away from it with that flush potential out there, but if I recall correctly the final bet was a moderate one which I felt was a definite call. I have been accused of overplaying my larger pocket pairs and perhaps at times I do, but in these examples I do not think that I did over play them. The following is one that I may have done exactly that and I ran this by one person already who gave me their opinion and I would like other opinions to see what people think in general.

It was very early in the session I would say less than ten hands into the 2400+ that were eventually played and naturally I raised with pocket Jacks and as you can see my opponent would immediately shove after my flop continuation bet and here is the dilemma. I had no information on this player, no previous notes on him at all and looking at the board and knowing how several of these players play that all-in could have indicated a variety of things including a flopped set, top pair top kicker, the nut flush draw, flopping two pair perhaps with a 78s, and of course the possibility also existed they had flopped the open ender and the flush draw at the same time.  I made the call in this situation and before I tell you what happened whether, or not I won or lost the hand, feel free to toss out some opinions as to what you would have done under the circumstances.

Day 4 of the restart continued to be a struggle much as the last 2 days have been.  During the course of the session I stacked a player here and there and I got stacked here and there but nothing ever seemed to be extreme as the most I was ever up was about $12 and the most I was ever down was $11 and in the end I ended up winning $7.78 over the course of 1769 hands plus another $2 in rakeback and I ended the night with a bankroll of $238 and change. This winning session, if you can actually call it that, combined with the last two losing sessions is absolutely giving me a hideous earn rate, however win is a win and it does beat the last two sessions which were both losses and it might mean that I am coming out of this downward variance that I seem to have gotten into immediately following the $56 winning session. I actually only played 10 and a half hours today cutting the session a little short as my eyes were starting to get a little bit tired and I just wasn't feeling it.  Hopefully tomorrow I can start perhaps a heater run which would be kind of nice.  I won't lie. I go through 3 straight days of sub-par performances, investing approximately 30 hours and over 5000 hands just to be down nearly $25 in the process and the thoughts of why am I banging my head against the wall. The thoughts go through me that there has to be a better approach in accomplishing what I'm trying to accomplish goes through my thoughts, but then I look over on the right side of the blog and I see the January and February profits and I keep grinding.  It really is a struggle to stay on the same thing, to stay focused when I'm getting a little bit frustrated, but this is something that I need to learn how to deal with and although it's only been 4 days so far I am doing better at that than I have in a long time.

To wrap things up here are the screenshots for the January earnings. I've previously posted the December screenshots and will be posting one with each blog entry to show that I am not lying about the previous monthly earnings as I have been accused of. That's all for now. Take care everyone and I'll see you at the tables.

Start: $503.41

End: $456.86

Withdraws: $350

End amount $456.86 minus start amount $503.41 plus withdraws $350 equals earnings  $303.45


  1. real reason for the frustration is WSOP so much more difficult to win on than Bovada. on Bovada $1-3-5 sngs would be filling up every 3 minutes which u could play all day long and theyre quite easy to win it.

    1. Tony, FD is winning at a rate of 9 or 10 BB/100. Game difficulty is not the problem.

    2. Also, I thought Bovada doesn’t allow players from Nevada.

    3. They don't and neither does Carbon, but I can't see why on earth I would want to play on a non US regulated site, why I would want to play on a site elsewhere when I can use any one of 5 casinos here in Vegas as my personal bank teller as needed, and if the competition is indeed tougher then this is where I want to be to prove myself as a serious winning poker player.

  2. FD, I am really glad to see you figuring out why you keep changing your game plans. Dealing with the ups and downs of poker, sticking to your plan even when things are not going your way, and dealing with tilt (frustration is one form of tilt), that is what I meant by discipline.


  3. With JJ, I would call there. I think a straigh and a flush draw maybe...QQ+ possible but I think he would raise pre. 2 pair and trips last option but possible. Good luck

  4. What was the outcome of JJ hand?