Yesterday I went for a walk in the Parque Del Este here. It’s this beautiful park, just acres and acres of clear trails, trees, and wide open spaces to run around in. My girlfriend and I didn’t see another person the whole time. I let my dog off the leash and smiled as he ran about. He’s about the size of a toaster but he runs faster than a rabbit when he gets going. You could tell he was grateful for the excursion.
It was nice to get a little escape. I’ve been on a downswing in MTTs. Everything else in my life has been going great, so I’m not really worried. It’s just annoying to not be producing in something I’m competitive in. I’m not losing much but I’m sure as hell not really connecting. I’m still making up for some losses in a turbo fest I went on after PCA, which is annoying.
I just can’t seem to get the big win. PCA, online majors, whatever – I’m coming close and not getting the big cash.
If this happened at any other time in my career I’d probably be suicidal. Thank God though, coaching and consulting work has really been going well. Tough times before this taught me to live below my means. I’ve saved up and taken care of business, so I feel secure and focused.
Since I got back from the WSOP Main I’ve implemented a few changes that have been resulting in pretty decent profit.
First, I’ve been sticking to bread and butter bets. Tough fields and not much in first? I’m not there. A bunch of dumbasses and few regulars? Fire it up. Remember, what everybody’s playing isn’t necessarily the best game in town.
In addition, I’ve been playing less tables. If there’s a tournament I haven’t done well in for months I just drop it. If there’s a network whose software is bugging me more than usual I drop it. I load up on what I’m crushing, and keep moving.
I’ve also been making it a point to save every single hand I had a question with for review later. Any time I felt “meh” on a player or sick about how a hand worked out I’ve marked it for review. This is really easy to do with Hold’em Manager. You simply click on the Hand History feature and select a box in the corner, then later all the hands are nicely sectioned off for you. I marked all those hands I have problem with, review the next morning, and like magic the next session I seem to be more on. I seem to see where I’m heading into trouble faster than before because I took an hour to yell at myself.
Furthermore, I’ve been trying to change my mentality a little in regards to buy-ins. I was inspired by a passage in Andre Agassi’s book, about when he met his new coach for the first time. The man was known as an overachiever with very normal skill in tennis. He had an ability to throw back a lot more than what was thrown at him. Agassi on the other hand was starting to get a reputation for being the punk underachiever.
Agassi asked him what he would have him do differently. The man went into a rant. He said it was obvious Agassi was trying to be perfect all the time, that he was beating himself up every time he made a mistake. He said he needed to start counting his gains and accept he was human. He said every time he won a point, set, whatever – he had to savor that. He had to say to himself, “that’s one in my pocket.” He didn’t have to be perfect. He just had to collect what was his and not give his errors the power to deride his focus.
I’ve been feeling swamped with some of MTT losses. Something I’ve started doing now is writing out my schedules ahead of time in a notebook. I then add up all those buy-ins and come to my overall buy-in for the day. I write that buy-in at the top of my sheet.
After that, every cash is a $100, $500, $1000 in my pocket. My goal isn’t to be perfect. Many things happen beyond my control in my profession. My goal is to make back my buy-in every day, and if I can I want to make a little more. No longer is one min-cash nothing in the vacuum I call my makeup and my unknown cost of my daily buy-ins. It’s one more piece I took from my opponent on the chess board. It’s a hard won first down. It’s a step in the right direction.
These changes have helping the money come in. It’s mellowing me out.
I’ve also not been playing as much. It’s not because I don’t love to play. It’s just the coaching and consulting has been going well. When I played 2/4 for a living I played about 6 hours on average each day, 12 to 16 tables, across a bunch of weird Euro networks and Cake poker. I made about $350 to $400 a day when I averaged it out over a year. It was damn good money, but now if I do two lessons in the morning I almost hit my daily earn for when I was grinding 400 NL for a living. It’s not I get lazy, but I find that venture actually paying me the moment I get the work done. I end up investing more time in that.
However, not playing has helped. When I do show up at the tables I’m fired up. The last four sessions have been profitable.
It’s also good when you’re on a downswing to just move down for a day. Play some tournaments you know you’ll do well in. Play with less players. Play with worse players. There’s nothing like a day of domination and a booked win to get the confidence back.
I’ve implemented some other changes, but I won’t publish what they are here. I don’t want every grinder knowing what I’ve found for free. If you put on your thinking cap you should get everything, or if you sign up for a lesson I can spell it out for you. I’ve watched my students implement these core changes and they’ve all been making more money.
Anyways, there’s my obligatory advertisement for my coaching service. I think I’ll be off now.
My Plugs: Check out my vids at Pocketfives Training, contact me for lessons at firstname.lastname@example.org, see other stuff I write with my friends at www.pokerheadrush.com, and follow my Twitter at TheAssassinato