“At some point you are going to run worse than you ever thought possible” – Said someone who I’m too lazy to google right now.
2020 has been rough. It feels like I have been running a devilish obstacle-course with pitfalls and false hope sprinkled everywhere. Each time the situation seems to get better I get rear sided and wake up with Lord Variance’s foot in my ass – and like everyone here probably knows – it is a pain to run an obstacle-course with a foot in one’s ass.
If I’m honest though, it’s not just variance. Majority of the year has been decent. The problems have ensued because of a bit too eager shots to bigger games. Taking a big shot is a bit like grabbing your girlfriends’ ear while she climaxes in hope of anchoring a secret “pleasure point” to her body. It might seem like a brilliant idea at the time, but if you do not pull it off just right, it might have some catastrophic consequences.
Since you’re probably wondering about the last metaphor, let me explain it for you. At a young and tender age, I did an experiment with NLP anchoring. Unfortunately, it turned out that neuro linguistic programming is much harder than Google would have you believe. What I shot for was an immediate wave of pleasure and ecstasy everywhere I seemed it fit. What I ended up with however, was a lovely little chat whether I have an ear-fetish or not. I assure you – like I did to her – I do not.
Now, after words that only a man with a serious ear-fetish would say, hear me out (had to): Taking a shot to big games is often an enticing but if not done right comes with a hefty drawback. This is because even the most professionals of us (poker players) tend to hate quitting while losing and the stop-loss you gave yourself often hops from five buy ins to ten. In the worst cases the healthy and reasonable “shot” ends up costing you the bankroll to play at your regular games. This obviously, for a professional poker player is a catastrophe, and something I haven’t been living up to this year. The most obvious fix is just to sell a lot of the action – if the game is truly as good as you think it is – some will buy it. On the side note: if you ever find yourself in this situation but have no one to sell, feel free to PM me.
For me, the hardest thing in poker, has never been any technical concept. I’m not the best, but still a fairly decent little problem solver. My biggest problem in poker is discipline. The discipline to quit a game even if you’re slightly +EV because lost buy-ins will affect your future EV even more, is a hard one to learn, and something that I still struggle with. Sometimes it’s just not your day. There will be another one – as long as you can control yourself.
Remember to keep your fundamentals tight – betting big on the top of your range never goes out of fashion, and it’s easy to lose yourself in the downswing. During the worst of times spewing and manic behavior will occur more easily and as such you will have to try and fight it more than regularly. Last week I surprised myself, a man who generally vouches for rationality and science, trying desperately to find a certain “lucky” shirt to wear for the evening’s session because “you won in the last three sessions when you wore it”. If you find yourself doing something abnormal, proceed with extreme caution – it’s more than possible that you’re not ready to really hit the tables.
I guess that’s all for today. Here are some tips from the text that you, and I, should keep in mind for the future:
- Be careful with your shots
- Stick to your stop-loss.
- Sell action if the game is too high – even if it’s a chance of a lifetime (it never is)
- Try to act normal when Lord Variance drills you
- I do not have an ear-fetish
P.S. When I first started to write this “diary”, I had a problem: where to start? After all, I had played poker already for over a decade. Eventually I decided to write nonlinearly and just ramble from whatever I felt like writing about. I’ve been happy with my decision but as the “diary” matures the style must change as well. I’m not saying that I drop the story narrative, not at all, but what I will do is start to add more relative topics or what’s on my mind. This won’t be possible all of the time as I have to think about longevity of some games as well as guard the identities of certain people – but every now and then I will drop another brilliant piece about ear-fetishes. Lucky you.
P.S. 2. Beasts of Poker also asked me to do some video material because reading is apparently old-fashioned. I replied with a demand of cool one million dollars to produce a video where I bathe in money. They haven’t snap called it yet – I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Did promise to do some twitching in the meantime though.