Lately there has been a lot going on and I like the way everything is developing around me.
At the moment I am playing 20nl, both because of goals I have been setting about my learning process but also bankroll management. Things have been going rough since I am playing Ipoker. Downswinging and playing bad + tilt. Had a pretty big roll for 50nl, but now I am at the point where I don't feel comfortable anymore playing that level, so I decided to play 20nl. Not to gain back confidence, just because of brm and goal settings.
One of my biggest changes is that I am playing without a HUD. I made my decisions based on stats, and not on gameflow and dynamics. The hud is doing more harm then good in my game, so I decided to ditch it. I might bring it back in the future, but so far I like what it's doing to my game. If I bring it back, it will probably only have VPIP/PFR in there. It's the only 2 stats I really miss so far. I have trouble recognizning if the regular is a nit, a tag or a lag. I do think this might be an observing skill that gets better over time.
Getting forced to think deeper about situations is great for my game which has slipped into a weird form of auto-piloting. Check raising from the blinds because somebody has a high c-bet %, or calling a 3-bet because of stats... it has all come to the consious incompetence level (for the Jared Tendler freaks among us).
I think I played with a system while thinking I was not. Not sure how I got into that, but at this point its not really important. More important is to see how everything has developed in my game so far, and why I have been a break even/slightly winner at low stakes for a relative long time (compared too other players on DC who sky rocket the stakes while I joined earlier then them). I have to do this for myself, and I want to be open about it.
I was eager to learn and I was eager to get better. I wanted to be the best regular at my stakes and I worked really hard on my game. The way I was learning was by adding new knowledge. I learned more and more about the game, and never really worked on 1 particulair part of my game. If i decided to focus on 1 part, it would be for a week and I would go to the next thing to focus on (adhd). After reading 'the mental game of poker', I can tell you I am a typical example of somebody that plays really well when I am on my a-game (where things are on consious competence level), but plays really bad when I am on my B-game or C-game (unconsious competence). I am not solid, I have not build a solid foundation.
I have some parts in my poker house where it's solid, but there a lot of parts in my poker house where it is shaky.
I kept adding stuff to my poker knowledge, which all ends up in consious competence. Which means that I needed to be completely focussed and full of energy to play well to be able to think about all those things I was adding to the CC level. Once I was not on my a-game anymore (this could be for 20 minutes, days, or weeks), I would fall back into my b-game or c-game, and since my game was not solid on the Onconsious Competence level and since it's really hard to be on your a-game all the time it makes sense that I never have been a big winning player. Add that to my ADHD which made it really hard to concentrate well, and other side-effects + my tilt issues... Its a wonder I am still alive as a poker player. I have been running really well, so in a way, this 'downswing' is the best thing that happened to my game. I had to face facts.
Tilt always has been an issue, and the way I tilt is because of mistakes I make. If I make a mistake, I tilt. Especially if it's an mistake I think I should not be making because I know its stupid. I would tilt, and make 10 more. What I never really understood till now, was that the fact I make the mistake means that its not in my unconsious competence level. Its still on consious level, so its not integrated in my game yet. A mistake is a sign of a part of my game that is not solid yet. I never gave myself the change of learning from my mistakes because I would keep tilting about it. Never looked at mistakes with a clear view, but always fully loaded with emotion.
If I made a "terrible mistake" and started tilting after that, I always ended up being down on myself, asking myself things like "how can I be so fucking stupid" or "If I keep making mistakes like this I will never become a winning player". After the fire of aggression I would end up feeling terrible, then It would turn into inspiration by talking myself out of the 'feeling terrible'. Then I would come to DC to start a poker video to learn more poker, because the inspiration made me eager to get better. So more was added to the consious competence and incompetence level, and I never gave myself a shot to really correct the flaws in my game. Atleast way way slower then possible.
Because of all the learning, and because I worked so hard on my game, every time I had a (big) winning session it would feel normal (i am learning hard so I should be winning), and every time I was losing because of those obv. mistakes, it felt completely gross. I could not believe I was making that mistake again, I could not believe I was still not a better player etc.
I also felt like variance was not fair to me, guys like illbetyoudie who moved up in stakes like it was nothing while I was working so hard felt like such an unfair thing. I was entilteld to win. I earned it. I worked so hard on poker, and I was still this break even player while others where playing way higher that were not even that much better then me.
Most regulars at my stakes sucked, I could never admit i got out played and I was the best at my tables. Guys that move up in stakes deal with good variance, but besides that, they do things very well that I am not doing. They also deal with bad variance, just like me. There is also no way in telling how hard somebody is working, and I just wanted to believe I worked harder or atleast as hard. They might also already have known how to use DC and how to learn poker the right way. I just didnt want to face the reality of me not being the player I think I was.
I was over condifent. I needed a reality check which would show me that I am not as good as I think I am when I am winning, and not as terrible as I think I am when losing. I got that reality check this summer.
I am still eager to learn, but I want to do it the right way. I want to pay my dues. I have some great people on skype and have some great discussions with them. My dreams in poker have made place for goals. Goals that can be achieved, and goals I can work on right away.
My mental game was my weak link in poker and it prevented me from achieving my potential.
I highly suggest to buy Jared Tendler - The mental game of poker. It might be that one thing you really need.