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Confessions of a Poker Degenerate

I am not a great poker player.

I repeat, I am not a great poker player.

And you know what? That's okay. I've got to realize that.

When you blog about poker, when you play poker daily online, and when you jump at any opportunity to play live, you can sometimes fool yourself. Being immersed in poker is not being a great poker player. I think I even interpretted my good results in the wrong way.

Win $650 placing 4th out of 1008 people? That means I'm great, right? I can play higher stakes and win consistently, right? I will win another big tournament in no time, right? WRONG, mother fucker! That means that you played a good tournament. Nothing more, nothing less.

This is what I am dealing with right now. I've been gambling, not playing poker. I've been playing 5-card draw, stud, and omaha, all games that I am not skilled enough at, so I have to rely on luck. Hell, 5-card draw is probably 80% luck for me right now. Stud and Omaha are probably 70%. Even my Hold'Em game has weakened, and I am relying way to heavily on luck.

So, why is this happening? I don't know. I've been feeling restless. Maybe its the holiday season. Maybe it is my way of unwinding from stress at the office. Maybe I am feeding a vice without using any self control.

That's what is is about, really. Self-control. Not calling the all-in with AQo (see last post). Not playing games when I'm tilting or when I am in the mood to win money but not in the mood to play good poker. Choosing good starting hands, like my tourney win, where I played only 11% of my hands.

But, as I said. It is okay. I see now what I was doing and I can take steps to fix it. The first thing is not to over-impress myself. A little bit of humility could go a long way. The second thing is not to get down on myself. My $30 loss last night and my $170 or so loss on Hollywood Poker over the last weeks are OKAY! It's surprising but true. Hell, my online bankroll was at $700+, and may be at $500 now (realistically, probably more like $600 with my recent gift certificate via Poker Source Online), but that is OKAY! Because I started this all with $50 in the beginning of the year. I'm UP! And I'm going to stay UP and keep going UP if I can just get a handle on my play. Damnit, I'm a winning player, so I need to stop worrying about recent losses and prepare for upcoming wins by playing strong.

And that is it. I've been avoiding posting all day because of my recent losses. But forget that crap. It's okay to lose. I cannot change yesterday, but I can change tomorrow. I will cut out the "gambling" style. I may still play mixed games but I will be tighter with my starting hands. I will be focused. I will be calm.

Breath in....Breath out. Ah...

"At this point, you might be asking yourself, 'why am I holding this AQo in my hands? You might also ask yourself, 'why does this AQo have a long piece of string tied to it? And finally, why is the other end of this string tied securely to your bankroll?"

posted by Jordan @ 9:32 AM,


At 10:49 AM, Anonymous GaryC said...

The thing is you don't have to be a great player to be a winning player. You just have to be solid and you, my friend, are a solid poker player.

Variance sucks and downswings happen. Tighten up and play your solid game and the winning will come back. You know this already.


At 12:27 PM, Anonymous chipper said...

I hate variance with a vengenace. Things are going along just dandy then WHAM! A major downward trend. Bad thing is, why don't we ever get those really big UPWARD trends!

Sure a poker tourney win does that kind of thing, but they are few and far between. The big down skids happen all the time.

I'm trying a new tactic, whenever I'm having a bad day, I fire up my World of Warcraft game and take it out by bashing a few virtual monster heads! Nothing more satisfying. hehehe.

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous TripJax said...

You're better than you give yourself credit for. You just succumb to the gambool on occasion...

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous littleacornman said...

Have you tried much 6 max nl J? You can see 35% of flops and still be the table rock!
Plenty of chances to make moves too.Much easier to home in on the fish.

You naturally get a lot more action which helps fight the boredom of camping for monsters at the full ring.

Also at 6 max with careful table/site selection you don't need to play at $2-$4 to see big pots.

And remember whenever poker or life gets you down there's always Redpills blog to read ;-)

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

I think Chipper has a great idea. I need a non-poker video game to distract me from poker when I'm running poor. I'm a game junkie, really. That's part of the reason why I love poker. So I just need to find a game that doesn't cost bundles of cash when I lose. Its kinda pathetic, but I can't play PlayStation anymore because of carparl and/or arthritis, but maybe I'll look for some bootleg computer games online.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous TripJax said...

I like Acorns idea...I'm playing the 6max limit $1/$2 games to clear the 6000 titan points for the instant bankroll. It is a grind, but safe and I'm running o.k. I love shorthanded games...

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous DP said...

How come it's so easy to tumble down a molehill? I could only imagine how hard it is to stay on top of a mountain.

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

DP, the philosopher, everybody! Round of applause! Nice line DP. Is it an original? I might have to rip it off in the future.

As for Acorn and Trip's suggestion, the 6-p ring games used to be my domain. I've switched to 10-p in order to force myself to play looser. In the end, I don't think it makes a difference where I play. What I need to change is HOW I play and HOW I react to the game.

I busted out of Hollywood and reloaded another 100 to earn my VPP bonus. I didn't want to do this, but with the amount I had left, I wasn't earning any points anyway. I have to remember that the $$ I have on one site particularly shouldn't control the stakes I play. Rather, it is my overall bankroll that must be considered. The new 100 feels like a fresh start. I plan on playing 1/2 until I'm at 120$ and then bumping it to 2/4. As soon as I've got my VPP bonus and Hollywood $50 bonus, I'm OUT! On to greener pastures.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Veneno said...

Stay ambitious! I think the reflection of your game is good. Hopefully it will lead to improvement. You know what to do and how to do it. Now just implement what you have learned.

Best of luck to ya!

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous DP said...

Yes, Jordan, that is an original. Feel free to quote me =)

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Veneno said...

Hey Jordan..You realize after today's HU are in the lead..wrong..that is just

At 7:50 AM, Anonymous DP said...

Jordan, no post in 3 days? Pffft... slacker. I mean, what are you actually being productive away from the computer.


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