March 25, 2010
Iâ€™ve been having a bit of a rough spot in my poker developement, lately. I really need to figure out what it is and start to work on it, but so far Iâ€™m clueless. I donâ€™t feel like I know where to look. Itâ€™s starting to get stressful.
When I made the switch to 6Max, I started out at 2NL to get a feel for the game and work my way up feeling confident. Of course, I ran pretty well and beat 2NL for 93bb/100 over 3K hands. At 5NL my results were a bit more sane, and I spent 8K hands making 13bb/100. At 10NL I put in 14K hands at 15bb/100. It was running better than that until late February I started having trouble at the table. Tilt started creeping in and I started to feel less and less sure of myself. I dropped about 8BI in my downswing, and then started moving in the right direction again for the last thousand or so hands of the month.
I had hit the goal I set for myself, and so decided to make my planned move up to 25NL on time at the beginning of March. It was very swingy. Iâ€™m currently still a winner at that stake, but only by a very small amount over 8500 hands. This weekend I hit a spot where I lost 5BI in 700 hands. I set 5 BIs as a stop-loss where I will move back down until Iâ€™ve rebuilt my confidence and earned back what I lost. Itâ€™s a pretty cautious stop-loss, I know, but Iâ€™m really prone to tilt and if itâ€™s such a small loss, itâ€™s a small amount to earn back at the lower limit and Iâ€™ll be back soon anyway. Unfortunately, what happened when I moved back down is that I promptly lost 5 more buyins in the first 1000 hands back at 10NL.
When I look at it all together in a graph, it becomes clear that my bad streak from February hasnâ€™t ever really ended. Iâ€™ve been oscillating around a fairly decent range, but Iâ€™m ultimately down a little over 10BI from my peak. Iâ€™m sure everybody knows exactly how frustrating this is. I just donâ€™t know if itâ€™s only that Iâ€™m running badly. Or did I make some change to my play that is killing me? Am I being cheated? Did I get some spyware thatâ€™s sharing my holecards to every random clown who sits down at my table? Are the sites rigged? Am I just terrible, but was running incredibly hot before? Youâ€™ve all felt something of those doubts, Iâ€™m sure. Or maybe youâ€™ve been lucky enough or confident enough in yourselves not to. I hope so.
If I had to guess, Iâ€™d say the most likely case is that Iâ€™ve let too much passivity into my game lately and itâ€™s showing. But even if thatâ€™s the case, running so badly at these micro limits seems like a pretty extreme result. It leaves me wondering if my previously â€œwell-timed aggressionâ€ was just papering over a ton of other huge leaks in my game that are taking their toll now that itâ€™s slipped a bit. But I feel like starting to tinker with my game while Iâ€™m losing and tilted is a pretty terrible idea. Iâ€™ve considered stripping everything down to a bare ABC TAG game and just rebuilding my game on top of that when Iâ€™m feeling better about things.
I think Iâ€™m just going to wait it out a bit. Not try anything drastic, yet. Iâ€™ll spend the next couple days watching a number of videos, and maybe read one of my favorite poker books. Iâ€™ll try to hit the weekend games refocused and refreshed. If that doesnâ€™t work Iâ€™ll start to think about more drastic actions.
Thanks for taking the time to read. Advice and sympathy are greatly appreciated.
Good luck at the tables!