December 29, 2010

The Power of Self-Confidence

We're still running the DC Community Concepts idea over in the Micro NL forum (found here).  I definitely recommend you mosey on over there for some great stuff written by you, the community.  The latest article was written by yours truly and I thought I'd post it here as well just in case you don't visit that particular forum on the regular.

Link to the article

Some of you may have read this before as I originally wrote it over a year ago, but I've since made some tweaks and think it's a bit better now. Hope you enjoy Smile

The Power of Self-Confidence

by TecmoSuperBowl

Middle school was an interesting time. They say that these are the years when you develop your identity and learn who you really are (as much as a 12 year old can). I’m not here to refute that, but I can say that I personally did not find out who I was, rather I found out who everyone else was.

It’s August, right before school starts. I go with my dad to pick out some school clothes for the year. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to look cool. I wanted No Fear shirts, Nike shoes, and Nike socks. Yea, that’s right, name brand socks. I don’t play. I desperately wanted to mold myself into the ever-present junior high myth that a 7th grader can actually “look cool.” I got the clothes I wanted, thought I looked cool, and ultimately, all that mattered was no one made fun of me.

Middle school kids can quite possibly be the meanest group of individuals since….well, since elementary school kids. Maybe not the best analogy, but you get my point. Kids are mean. So anyway, you pretty much spend “the formative years” of 6th-8th grade trying to avoid any sort of adolescent mob-mentality stoning. If you survive, you make it to high school, and for me at least, it gets a little easier. You’ve made friends; you know which group you think you belong in, and the frantic identity search starts to mellow out. By the time you are a senior, you’re pretty much the man (not the "holding me down" type man, the BMOC type man). I know I was. Knowing you’re the oldest grade in school, possibly with a car, makes you the precedent setter. It’s a caterpillar-like transformation from scared peon, adapting to whatever trend is popular, to badass butterfly who bucks the trend if he so chooses. Because screw underclassmen.

If you’re lucky enough to go to college, as I was fortunate enough to do, a weird thing happens. That overconfidence gets shaken a bit as you enter a big bad university. You’re back trying to fit in again. Something is different this time though. What’s this? People don’t give a crap about how you look? Oh sweet, sweet apathy. Long gone are the days of fitting in based on your sweet Adidas socks. A new day has risen. A day where a person is judged on the content of his character, not the color of his Jordans. At least, this was my experience in college. I was amazed at how I could be myself and no one cared. You start wearing random old t-shirts, shaving half of your face, and oversleeping for your Discrete Math class which started at 2pm. The point being that no one cares anymore about how you look. You are freed from grade school fashion shackles. And that’s only the beginning.

Once I stopped caring about how I looked, I began only caring about being me. It was a slow process, but I eventually realized that I was, in fact, the man. That sounds arrogant, and I am joking, but until you feel like you deserve better things in my life, you’ll always struggle with self-esteem issues. Restricting yourself out of the fear of another’s opinion gives other people power over you and your actions. The minute you release these shackles, you’ll feel empowered. The first few times are the toughest, but trust me, it gets easier. Just like in poker, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. With self-confidence however, you can put yourself out there and not risk anything. Does it get any better than zero risk and self-fulfillment as the reward? You may do something stupid, but you know what? Who cares? This attitude towards life has allowed me to stand up for what’s right, live my life by principle – not by popular opinion, and has instilled in me a vast amount of self-confidence.

When I first started learning poker, I went through the natural progression of figuring out the rules, playing tight, learning how to bluff, bluffing way too much, reeling it back in, and so on. Without my self-confidence, I doubt my progression would have happened as quickly as it did. It allowed me to try new strategies without the fear of embarrassment. I would argue that self-confidence is one of the most important qualities to have when learning poker because poker is unlike anything else. Variance will smack you down and downswings will crush you. It is inevitable. If, however, you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will weather the storm and be able to handle the natural swings of poker.

Take, for example, a new player who has just discovered the wonderful world of poker after watching the World Series of Poker on ESPN. He knows that Aces are good, and he's pretty sure that a flush beats a straight. He's your typical newbie who sees how much fun can be had and how much money can be won by playing poker. Now let's say that John and George both recently discovered poker. Let's break down the difference between John and George. John came from a family who didn't support him much, he never had much success with the ladies, and he never really found his place among his peers growing up. Because of this, John's self-confidence left a lot to be desired. On the other hand, George had a great family who showed up at every one of his football and baseball games to support him, and he was lucky enough to find a beautiful girl who liked him. His self-confidence is fairly high due to his success in life thus far.

As you can you see, I've divulged no information whatsoever about John or George's history with card games, mathematical abilities, or their work ethic. Based on the information given, if John and George's desire to learn poker were equal, which do you think would be more likely to succeed?

I would put my money on George every time. Why you ask? Simply by assessing their confidence level, I can likely predict that George will learn the game of poker quicker and more thoroughly, at least in the short run. Even if John was more mathematically-inclined, I would argue that George would find more success in the short term. John's last name could be Pascal and George's last name could be Bush - ok, maybe not Bush, let's go with Jetson - and I would still argue that George has an edge in learning the poker fundamentals quicker.

George will have the confidence to ask more questions, play more hands, and be more aggressive. They both discover Deuces Cracked, and George immediately jumps in - posting hands, responding to threads, and getting hands-on experience in the forums. John, however, lurks in the threads and tries his best to learn what he can without having to put his thoughts on a particular hand out there for all to see, fearing a backlash from more experienced players. It will be more likely for George to bluff, check-raise, 3-bet light, and perform all of the advanced aggressive maneuvers that a winning player has in his arsenal way before John because John will be stuck playing a nitty style, afraid of doing anything crazy. I'm not saying that George will understand the Yeti Theorem before John, but his confidence will allow him to learn the fundamentals quicker, gain more experience, and be more aggressive at the table. And we all know that aggressive poker is winning poker.

So get out there. Live life. Let others cower in the darkness while you shine brighter, failing gleefully along the way. Do you want to 3bet 72o? Do it. Learn from it. Do you want to fold KK? Do it. Learn from it. Do you want to check/raise an opponent who clearly has the nut flush on a paired board in hopes that he folds? Do it. Learn from it. Try everything. Create your own style. Learn from others, but also learn from yourself. THINK. Justify your decisions. Hold yourself accountable. Don't brush everything off as a cooler or "standard." Examine all of the spots. Find edges no one else finds. Do things no one else does.

"The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed." ~Lloyd Jones

Possessing self-confidence will help all facets of your game and set yourself up for success. You won’t care about asking dumb questions while learning a new game, so you learn quicker than those hindered by the opinion’s of others. You’re willing to try new strategies, new bluffs, new crazy lines, and you don’t mind having to show your hand. You’ll make a “sick call” with 9 high, only to lose to Q high (an actual hand against a friend of mine). Sure, you may look stupid calling with 9 high, but deep down you actually look stronger because you are willing to make such a play. Who do you fear more at the table – a guy who folds everything but the strongest of hands, or someone willing to look stupid in order to win your chips? This attitude towards poker, and life, is definitely +EV in the long run.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." ~Michael Jordan

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Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 03:01 PM


Tags: Confidence

December 21, 2010

The Micros Holiday Special!


Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 05:15 PM


Tags: the micros

December 17, 2010

DC Community Concepts

If you're a microstakes NLHE player, I definitely recommend you check out the DC Community Concepts thread.  You can click that link, or see it stickied at the top of the 6max NLHE microstakes forum.  There are currently 3 articles written by YOU, the DC community, detailing topics like C-betting, Tilt, and The Art of Moving Down.  I might end up writing the next article.  Not sure.  But for anyone who wants to write one, all you have to do is email the article to me at :)  You don't have to be a great player and I'll edit your article if you struggle with grammar/spelling in English.  All that is required is that you feel like you have some personal experience or expertise for the topic covered. So far the bar has been set pretty high and I hope that we can keep it going!

In other news, I'm a bit of a math geek and found this video recently.

I immediately tried some of my own calculations and thought it was pretty amazing.  It always astounds me how perfectly math works and the crazy relationships derived.  (note - if you pick numbers for the division part, you may end up with a remainder, don't panic, it happens)

I'll end with a song I can't get out of my head, even though I'm not Jewish :)



Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 07:40 PM


Tags: nlhe 6max microstakes micro stakes

December 14, 2010

Is Anyone Here NOT a Marine Biologist?

Sorry, couldn't resist the blog title :)

Just wanted to formally thank everyone who commented on my previous blog, shared it with others, and/or made a donation themselves to the Jimmy V Foundation.

"Dear Tom,

Thank you for your gift of $110.00 to The V Foundation. We are extremely grateful for your generosity toward the Foundation and our goal—to find a cure for cancer.  Because no goods or services were provided in exchange for your contribution, this gift is 100% tax-deductible.

More importantly, your generous donation supports our cancer research programs, and that research provides help and hope to countless families of men, women, and children battling cancer.  Together, with you and teams of doctors and scientists across the country, we are working to discover the cures for this disease. 

You will also be pleased to know The V Foundation awards 100% of all cash direct donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs.  The Foundation’s administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by our endowment. 

However, there is still much more to be done. With your support, we will continue to raise the funds needed for cancer research, and we will never give up until cancer is soundly defeated.

For more information on how you can help in the fight against cancer, please call us toll-free at 1-800-4-JimmyV, or visit our website. Again, thank you for your support, and remember:



The V Foundation for Cancer Research"

Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 04:14 PM


December 08, 2010

For every comment, I'll donate...

$5 to the Jimmy V foundation for cancer research.  In order to comment, you must share this blog with at least 1 person you love.  Spread the word.  Inspire others to donate.  Help us defeat this disease.  In your comment, tell me how many people with whom you shared this blog.  The person who shares this blog with the most people will win a free coaching session from either myself (microstakes 6max NLHE) or Bosoxx34 (HUNL)!  Your choice!

I have been lucky enough to not have to deal with cancer first hand in my life, but millions of people aren't so lucky.  Some of these people include children who are out there right now fighting this disease when they should be playing with their friends.  We sit here and whine every so often about bad beats or downswings.  In the grand scheme of things, they mean nothing.  The next time you have a bad day at the tables, just think about how lucky we all are to even be playing this wonderful game.

Below is Jimmy V's speech from the ESPY Awards in 1993.  Please watch it.  Please share it with others.

If you would like to donate directly, you can do so here.

V Quick Facts

·         100% of all direct donations fund cancer research (administrative expenses paid by our endowment)

·         More than $100 million raised for cancer research nationwide 

·         Funds research for ALL cancer types

"Don't give up, don't ever give up."  -Jimmy V

Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 07:06 PM


Tags: Jimmy V

December 02, 2010 - MUST WATCH

This was so good I had to put it in my blog.  NH Jay + Jimmy.  NH.


Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 02:49 AM


Tags: micros

November 15, 2010

Livin' lovin', lovin' livin', it's all good

Poker Stuff

As stated in my previous post, I'm really excited for this season.  DJ and I worked hard on bringing an exciting, well-rounded schedule to the DC populous.  My biggest problem with the lineup is there are too many series I want to watch!  Putting in hands online is already tough enough without all of this great content getting in my way.

I've really been trying to get back into playing more online lately, but I just can't seem to convince myself to do so.  I guess when live poker is going well, you kinda want to stick with it :)  Because I know that I have to play A LOT to expect anything close to my EV (thanks Tolerance....), it makes me reluctant to play at all.  I played a short 25 min session on Saturday night where I said "if I make $50, I'll go get Call of Duty."  I stacked a fish and also stacked a reg and finished up $158 and immediately quit.  Since I don't play much online any more, I get really anxious about losing for some reason.  And then I didn't even get COD lol.  Maybe I will later, but I don't know.  Every time I think about playing video games I feel guilty and say "I should be using that time for poker."  My buddy just let me borrow Uncharted 1 & 2 so maybe I'll check those out before getting COD.

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On the hand vs the reg, everyone limped and I was in the SB w/ 95o.  Normally I'd just go ahead and muck, regardless of pot odds, but I completed (which is probably the right play anyway).  BB checked.  Flop 954tt.  I lead out for pot.  Reg in BB who has been playing pretty tight raises.  Everyone folds.  I thought "well, this guy is pretty tight, but it's really only 44 or a big draw since I have a 9 and a 5.  I can't really get away since I've only been playing with him for a short time."  So I 3b, he shoved, and I called.  He had 78s for the fd and gutter and I held.

It's weird how even though my bankroll would barely be affected in either direction, the outcome of that hand was so dramatic in my mind since I don't play much.  That's when you know you shouldn't be playing and how tilt ensues.  Definitely have to work on that if I decide to play more online, but like I said, I can't seem to find the motivation lately.

On the live front, I recently made a deep run in a live tourney at Delaware Park.  I was the chip leader for a while at the end and was still CL once we reached the final table.  With the wonderful late game structure, there were 9 min left in the level and I had 14BBs as the CL lol.  On one of the first few hands, I got it all in w/ QQ vs the 2nd place stack's AK and the board ran out QTxJx and I was out soon after.  I was really pleased with how I played and it was unfortunate that I couldn't keep the rungood going, but it was a lot of fun being the CL and making it to the final table.  I got my start playing MTTs and it's been a while since I played one so it felt good to do well :)

Life Stuff

Is it just me or does the iPad just look so damn cool and enticing?  I honestly can't tell you how much I'd use it, but those commercials make me want one so badly!  Not enough to drop half a k on it, especially since I'd def want the 3G and would thus be stuck paying $15/month, but it's still so damn enticing.  FU Apple.  Actually, I just remember that Verizon has some sort of deal w/ the iPad now so I'd likely use their MiFi thing if I got one, but whatever.  I don't need one.  Must....resist....temptation.

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Oh, another toy that I think I want and don't need are the new Bose QC15 headphones.  I've never had a nice pair of headphones and I tested them out recently.  They were pretty amazing, especially with the noise-cancelling feature.  I'd imagine plane rides would be far better with a pair of those.  I'd also imagine I could cancel out the bad beat stories I have to endure at the live tables.  Those might have to be on the xmas list.

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In less materialistic news, I recently joined a rock climbing gym.  PygmyHero and Lysistrata introduced climbing to my girlfriend and me a few months ago and we've slowly become addicted to it.  It really is a lot of fun and you accidentally get a great workout while doing it!  I recently onsighted my first 5.8, if you know what that means.  My biggest frustration right now is my lack of long-term stamina so after a few tough climbs, my body is done even though I want to keep going!  It's good stuff though.  It's definitely on the expensive side, but I've never been a fan of working out and I've finally found something that helps in that area while still being fun.  It also entices me to do other workouts just so I can get better at climbing!  Also trying to eat just a tiny bit healthier, but just a tiny bit.

 Tangent - I wonder if I could set up a website designed strictly to listen to people's bad beat stories and fantasy football woes.  Let's face it - no one cares about how you lost a flip and no one cares about how you need Johnny U to throw 2 TDs in the Monday night game.  (I do need Vick, Desean, and the Eagles D to get me 30, a manageable feat by far, to beat my gf though since Mike Wallace put up 30 last night.)  See!  You didn't care at all about that last statement did you?  Methinks people would pay a monthly fee just to bitch about poker, FF, and whatever else is really important to them, but not at all important to anyone else.

Since it's almost that time of year, I'll leave you all with my new (as of last year) favorite holiday song.


Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 02:36 PM


October 25, 2010

Next Season @ DC = Epic

Note:  This post is from the viewpoint of a 6MNL player who dabbles elsewhere.

I can't say anything right now, but assuming things go as planned, next season is going to be absolutely incredible.  I'm not taking anything away from this season (the introduction of DC Shorts has been amazing and Tolerance quickly became one of my favorite series of all time), but from a member perspective, this is the most excited I've been about an upcoming season in a long time.  Sorry for the tease, but stay tuned!  (next season begins on November 15th)

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Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 08:19 PM


October 22, 2010

Please to be voting for my puppy!

If you have a Facebook account, check out this link and "Like" the photo please!

Kali after a 6 mile run :)

Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 02:44 PM


October 11, 2010

Sweet Review of Moneytrain

Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 12:01 AM


Tags: moneytrain to midstakesville

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