Focus, Dedication, Discipline and Talent - 2009 Review

These are 4 key attributes that I believe are required to become a winning player. Unfortunately for me, I'm lacking in all of these areas at the moment. This year I've probably broken even across both live and online. This is only due to a couple of decent tournament cashes in the 2nd half of this year (having a $5.5k week helps) but I cannot figure out how much of this is down to luck.

In tournies, I constantly find my self not playing my A-Game. I don't even think I have an 'A' game anymore. Tournaments are becoming boring for me. I'll play well for 5/ 6 hours then just have a mind fuck or get bored and do something so ridiculously stupid that I go broke just before the money then just want to punch myself. The focus thats required to concentrate on a laptop screen for a long period of time escapes me. Live isn't so bad as there is the interaction with other people and your surroundings....but even then I get bored. Busting just before day 2 is a right pain in the arse. Also, when you travel half-way across the country and bust so early, that you don't bother with the hotel and just drive home is really depressing.

Cash is different and I really enjoy it. I think I'm only lacking the holy trinity of Dedication, Discipline and Talent. 'Only'. Okay, maybe not so much dedication as I've put in some massive sessions (for me) this year, but I have been extremely undisciplined, especially with regards to BRM. My game cash game has improved, however thanks to the number of articles I've read, forum posting, videos watched and a little bit of coaching, but I could do more and I still do things just becasue I like to gamble. I'm a gambler at heart and something of an addict maybe. As soon as I gamble and lose I go on tilt. Sometimes I get my roll out in time, sometimes I don't, but this lack of mental fortitude means I'll never be a long term online cash winner unless I start making changes. The amount of decent playable rolls I've gone through this year due to gamble tilt is fucking silly.

However, having said all this, I still ENJOY the game.....God only knows why. There have been some positives for the year. My satellite strategy has improved no-end and I've played some relatively big live comps (for a fish like me) this year:

GUKPT Manchester M/E - Bust early Day 1
CBMPT Teeside M/E - Deep run - FT Bubble - Cashed £1050
CBMPT Notts M/E - Bust End Day 1
DTD £300 D/S - Bust Mid Day 1
Staked in GUKPT B/Pool £500 Side Event - Bust Mid day 1

As you can see by the results though, getting there is the easy part...cashing is the problem. A ran bad in a few of these, but played bad in the others - there's no denying it, but at least I can see where I've gone wrong.

I've realised that I don't currently have a winning mentality and my disregard for money is going to be my undoing.....good or bad though, not matter what, I can never play cash below 25NL. Not that I'm too good for the lower levels or anything (although I can beat it), it's just that I earn enough from my day job not to have to play any lower. I would love to get involved in staking for cash games as I know when it's not my money, the reckless gamble goes out of my game and I become a winning player. Knowing that someone is going to scrutinise my database makes it harder to justify that huge river bluff after you've been 2 barreled. I've looked at Bad Beat and you have to put in 1000's of hands at 50NL first and I just don't have the money barring a spin up.

At the beginning of this year I was a massive fish. Now I'm a massive fish who gets the occasional win so that's progress I suppose. I now know that the dream is over and I'll clearly never be good enough to make a living from this game so I can stop bothering myself with that bullshit and just get on with trying to make a bit of extra beer money every month, playing sats into big comps and trying to spike that all elusive 'big win'.

2010 Goals:
  • Don't play any online cash games I'm not rolled for (min 20BIs at micros).
  • Keep playing sats. I'm good at them and if I have to play a tourny then at least make it a big one.
  • Stop wasting money on crapshoot local comps unless there is a load of us going to get pissed. Even the £100 monthly is a waste of time.
  • Play fewer tournies online (unless I've satted into something big).
  • Maybe take a look at the 45/90/180s SNGs that all the RTR boys get moist over....MTTs without the hours.
  • Maybe take a look again at the Boss 5-max SNGs I was succesful at in 2008 (won $4.5k in 500 stts - proceeded to spunk it one night when drunk - never forgiven myself).
  • Play more live cash as I'm a fairly big lifetime winner (sober and drunk).
  • Play more APAT stuff - yeah tournies I know, but I have enjoyed the ones I played this year.
  • Win a bracelet :-) (see below)
Despite all this talk of gambling, I'm off to Vegas with Martin 'BigBills' Devlin in June! It's my first time there and the WSOP will be in full swing so I want to (hopefully) satellite into a least one bracelet event - just to say I have done it. Also the World Cup will be on so it's drinks ahoy.

I'm really looking forward to it and will post more details once I have everything squared away.

Apologies for the long depressing's good to get this much off my chest though.

[ ] Good Weekend of Poker

No. It was a shit weekend of poker.

DTD £300 Deepstack - KK cracked by JQ. Back home for 9pm.

APAT WCOAP 6-Max Event - Out in first hour. Go it all in with AcKc on a flop of 2c3c5s. Called by 73o (wtf). Miss the 18 outs. He said he was 'bored'.

Bloggerment - got the dunce monkey. AIPF AK vs JQ. JQ hit 2p.

ECOOP V #3 replay thing tonight. Going back with 20BBs. Full of confidence obviously.

Fuck off poker you minge.

DTD £300 Deepstack

I've been wanting to play this comp for a while, but I'd only ever played on satellite to it and failed miserably. With one thing or another going on when the sats are running I'd never really got round to it....until last night. DTD Online had a last chance sat with 20 seat gtd and I managed to qualify. It was tense close to the bubble and I was down to 17k at one point with blinds at 4000 / 8000, but a few well timed (desperate) steals kept me afloat. It's difficult to steal when you have a wild gambler on the BB with a HUGE stack.

The deciding hand for me came when I was on around 40k in the SB. It folded round to the button who shoved for 50k. I ponder this for a while and decide I can't pass with my stack and call. The BB (45k) then tanks stating he has QQ!! Shit shit shit. Fortunately he makes the laydown and I'm HU with the button who shows K5o. The board bricks out and I'm up to about 90k and fold my way to a seat.

Well done also to Ky 'TheHutch' Hutchinson who also managed a seat. That's two members of Team AWOP playing. Good practice for the APAT team event.

I'll update on Monday with how I got on (if I can be arsed).