Thursday, April 29, 2010

Days 5 & 6: Turning $74 into $7000 -- DISCIPLINE AND HAVING A PROCESS IN PLACE pt. 2

The reason I'm posting both days at the same time is because I haven't blogged for two days. I had started my post on day 5 and never finished it. So you'll get a two for one treat today.

Day 5:

Today, I had problems with table ninja. It turns out that when I played more than 15 tables, my computer started running slowly, to the point where I was timing out of hands. I was also playing at a wi-fi location where you only get so much bandwidth per day, and that program also eats bandwidth. So I ended up rushing to another restaurant to complete the tournaments. It took five minutes and I blinded down in some tournaments pretty good. At that point I had spent $36 on tournaments and it appeared that I was going to lose the entire amount. This was a pretty stressful point in my day, and I had a few choices for myself. Either get angry and pout about how my luck is so bad, or recognize the situation for what it is and do what I have control over. So I made it to the restaurant and I start going all in at the tables that I was the short stack. I busted out of the majority of my sit n gos --all but 3 in fact. In those three, I was able to double up and win two and place 2nd in the third one to almost bring me 10 dollars short of even money. Then I registered for 15 more tables with Table Ninja and BAM, my computer starts running slow again. So I closed out of Table Ninja and my computer started running fast again. If I continue to have problems with Table Ninja, I'm going to have to reassess my game plan to turn $74 into $7000.

As for the 15 tables, I placed in the money in six of them, with one 1st place and a bunch of 3rd, 4th and 5th places to bring me a 2 dollar profit. Now $2 sounds like a very small accomplishment, but after how my day went today, I haven't been so happy over a $2 profit in my life. More important than the money, I didn't allow myself to get angry despite all the odds being stacked against me and despite that being the easy and natural thing to do. Instead, I recognized that I was having a terrible moment of shitty luck and a shitty program running on my computer, thought about my two alternatives:

A. Get angry about it, vent and wallow in self-pity over how I'm about to lose $36 without getting a chance to play real tournament poker.

B. Recognize the shitty situation for what it is and focus on what I can do that's within my control.

Obviously, I chose option B, and while this may seem trivial to some of you reading; this is a huge accomplishment for me because I have allowed my temper to get the best of me and ruin my judgment and decision-making at various moments. I knew that I had a slim chance to recover any money that I risked by going with option B, and NO CHANCE of recovering my money by venting and saying "fuck this shit" through going with option A. I learned in day 5 that venting is overrated and there's no such thing as holding it in until you reach a boiling point and explode. Just because I chose not to vent doesn't mean that there isn't another way to release my anger, and this is the concept that the game of poker is reteaching me.

There's no sense in allowing my anger at a situation such as a bad beat, shitty luck, fucked up software, or fucked up people to control me and put on tilt to the point where I'm just making bad decisions that cost me at the table and in life in my interpersonal relationships. My anger is something that I will always struggle with, just as an alcoholic struggles with relapsing and drinking liquor again. My way of releasing my anger is to do everything I can to resolve the situation. This is why online bad beats at these donkfest, microlimit tables don't affect my poker play whereas in the past, I would have tilted and start making desperation plays to get my chips back in one hand.

I read something very simple, yet profound in a poker article on sit n gos where he describes a situation where he was a big stack and he lost half his chips to a medium stack in the tournament on a bad beat. He said that his natural instinct is to get angry and try to get all the chips back in one hand, but there's a problem in that. You didn't get all your chips in one hand and its going to take you more than one hand to recover those chips. At this point, the real solution to your problem is to be a professional by playing good poker and managing the low stack that you have. I won a few tournaments that I would have normally lost in not taking heed to that advice. I am now applying that same logic to life situations. Person didn't respond to my text message in a timely fashion --take it as an annoyance and then when I come across that person later on I ask if everything's okay instead of laying into that person because you never know that person's circumstances. Instead of walking away whenever a person doesn't respond to my requests, demands and needs the way I expected I can be more productive and find out why she's saying these things or why she feels this way. I had vowed not to play poker again, but its allowing me to mature as an individual since there's so many highs and lows with poker. In me knowing that I'm doing everything I can to come to a resolution with someone, or in playing to win over the long term; that right there is a release for my anger without venting and talking about showing up to someone's house so they can smell my cologne.

My bankroll is currently $89.15

Day 6:

Day 6 really sucked ass! I lost $45.00 playing stupid, undisciplined poker. I was so frustrated with having played 4 hours and only breaking even that I decided to try some single table sngs since they're shorter and I only have to beat 7 players --BAD IDEA! I ended up registering for 60 tables over the course of 3 hours and only cashed in $15 worth of prize money which brought my loss down to $45 instead of $60. I'll probably write an article on why I hate single-table sngs at a later date. Because of this terrible loss I could not bring myself to blog. I just wanted to throw my computer somewhere because my bankroll was down to $44. So I came home, slept for a few hours, then got up in the middle of the night and decided to take some shots at the $3.40 game, the $4.40 180-man sng, and a few of my usual $1.20 sngs both 27 and 45-man. I only had 10 tables running because of this setup, but I ended up realizing that I played better in not trying to multitable 20 and 30 sngs at that same time because I was able to concentrate and play beyond tight-aggressive poker. As a result, I made $57.00.

In fact, I was able to play my interpretation of Daniel Negraneau's small-ball tournament poker. The reason I say my interpretation is because I haven't read his book yet, but I used to follow his video blog and back in 2006 he mentioned playing for small pots and position throughout the WSOP ME tournament in describing his frustration with his chip stack dwindling because he keeps running into people who had the hands he represented. In describing the theory that he and Phil Ivey share, I picked up some valuable knowledge in my tournament game and started applying it to free Card Player poker tournaments and later on Zynga tournaments. After making my share of mistakes, I finally tweaked it and used Daniel's advice to create my own style of tournament play.

With this being said, I'm going to go with focusing on my quality of play over quantity of tables I play. By not having to make such quick decisions in betting, calling or folding in mass multitabling, I have the room to play small ball which requires more concentration since it exposes me to plenty of marginal situations. However, I feel like I'm more in control of my destiny instead of barely making it to final tables and shoving with 10BBs all the time. That's not to say that I'll never bust out or that I'll never be a short stack in the late stages of the tourney, but I'll never get blinded down to a short stack --too much luck involved there.

My bankroll is currently $101.52