February 17, 2014
On 12 July, 2012 I wrote a blog post how I was quiting poker. That means, a bit more then 1.5 year has gone by. I finished school (a long, long time goal of mine), I started to work, started to live together with my GF and some other life changing events.
Last week, I got some time off from work. Because I was bored out of my mind I decided to play some poker again. So far, I am having fun with a game that mentally challenges me. It's interesting to see how much I still remember. It also feels like I am playing better then ever. All the complicated stuff I always tried to implement in my game, I no longer do. Reason for this is a less pad on the back, I simply don't remember it.
I have to think about every decision I make. Pre flop, flop, turn, river. You always do. Now even more,which makes me wonder how often I was on autopilot before my 1.5 year break.
I also lost some leaks, like having trouble folding when people are showing me aggression. For some reason, I believe them more often. My thought process here is kind of simple: How often am I doing some crazy bluf on the f;op, bet the turn, shove the river type of line? Rarely. Since I am average, I can asume there arent that many crazy players out there (on low stakes). Since that's the case, I make more money trusting what they are saying, rather then trying to "catch" the one guy that actually is. I also notice that the crazy ones are easy to spot.
Keep the losses small, and win big. The analogy with life is kind of amazing. Everybody fucks up, everybody has their "black swans". It's what you do to recover from the loss, or to lose as little as possible. It;s about winning as much as you can when you do hit the right cards.
I have not been playing loose, I have not been playing tight. This was always a problem with me. Every coach would tell you to focus on making the right play, however, for some reason, having a 27/24 is more beautiful then a 21/19. Now I believe it doesn't really matter, aslong as the numbers in my HEM turns green.
It's very interesting to consider every possibility, and end up keeping it as simple as possible. "I could open 36s on the CO, however, am I very certain I can play this hand postflop. The BTN seems a bit loosy goosy" or "I could bet this flop, but how will i respond when X happens". For some reason, I believe I am thinking more clear about poker. That feels weird, considering I worked so hard on my game 1.5 years ago. Now I am playing it "just for fun" and feel like playing better then ever (realising I have lots to learn).
What makes me feel I am playing better is simply a combination of tilt control and thinking things trough.
I have been meditating for over a year now, which helps me a lot at the tables. I can observe my thought processes better and because of that spot some mental leaks too. This helps me to recover from a bad beat, to focus on making the right play (or making a mistake an take the lesson quickly). To quit when the session turns bad, and to keep playing longer when things go well. I wasn't ready to really integrate Tommy Angelo's lessons 1.5 years ago.
Looking back, I must have been very addicted to this game. I paid so much for coaching. I spend so much time playing this game. Now, I am happy playing 1 hour a day. I don't want to become a grinder again. I have lots of other hobbies and I am very glad to have poker on this list. It's a great way to spend time since it challenges my brain so much. I have a deep passion for strategy and poker fits right in. I have no idea how I once played 4 hours a day (average) + studying the game. My life must have been poker, poker, poker. I therefore understand I was unhappy and needed to quit. If you work so hard and you see no results, it becomes difficult to "keep the faith". I felt like a losing player that was throwing away his life doing something he was never supposed to be super good at. I really had the dream to play poker for a living. However, I realised that poker isn't an career. It is for some, perhaps. But it wouldn't be for me. Old. Sitting at a table in a casino, cranky and hiting on young ladies. Talking about the good old days before black friday happened.
I've had my chances. I have had coaching from the best of DC. That was awesome. I made some poker friends, that was also really cool. I felt like winning was the only goal in poker, and that's why I felt like a loser that needed to quit. Now I realise, it's about the process. Enjoying thinking about the right play, developing your own playing style, understand the strategy behind your own plays and getting a deeper and deeper understand of poker as a whole. Poker is my Chess.
I don't see myself blogging like I did. I was actually checking out the others blogs. I see blogs about tilt, about winning, about getting back in the game and blogs about making plans. Poker might still be on a recovery from black friday. I am not sure. I am very much out of the community. I do see the core of poker, still alive, in those blogs. It made me want to make a blog post, just for old time sake. Call it a nostalgic feeling.
GLGL, ONE TIME DEALER!