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 post.....it's good to get this much off my chest though.

10 comments:

TEAMDOBB said...

good luck in 2010 mate.
Group of us from NPF (about20) will be out in Vegas June 14 till 24th

hope to cross paths but NOT drink with ya cos Ive heard the rumours!!!

NoCash said...

Ha ha nice one.

I set a new personal low this weekend by drinking until my left kidney hurt so much I literally couldn't walk :-)

Kevin Stevens said...

Think your being a bit hard on yourself, you clearly have talent as you keep opening the door to a big score. And if your getting bored after 6 hours(and i don't blame you) then MTT's probable are'nt for you or stick to quick structure games.

I'm an action junkie myslef which is why I really like HUP, but fuck the tilt issue are magnified.

Good luck anyway's.

Dave "Bruce" Lea said...

Ay up,

I am just about to blog my 2009 review and your post is bang on the money mate, great piece of writing. I may just copy and paste it and fill in the gaps....LOL

Glad to here your coming to Vegas, for me I dont give a monkeys about a braclet I just want the cash. Dev has no doubt told u I am a tight c*nt!!

I agree with Kevs comment think you have been a bit hard on yourself, a whole year of poker and you are not in the red, thats good going in my book. But its good to see you take the game seriously so beat yourself up about not doing better. That big score is coming your way pal.

Best of luck to you, see you in vegas ;-)

NoCash said...

Cheers Dave, appreciate it.

Yeah a break even year is better than a losing year and I have learnt a shit load so it's not all bad. I just know a lot of my mistakes are down to be not thinking straight and just thinkin 'fuck it' when I really shouldn't.

Look forward to reading your review of the year and BRING ON VEGAS!!

rubbish said...

Jeez, you in Vegas brings a tear to the eye. That could be bedlam. Taking DoV with you?

Martin 'BigBills' Devlin said...

Great post Dave but I have to disagree with you on your evaluation of yourself.
1.Focus, of course you're focussed, you know where you are and where you should be. You know where you need (is need the right word?) to improve and what you want out of the game.
2.Dedication, you want to win, you write this blog, you make the effort to play the bigger events, you travel to the games, you share advice and information with fellow players, I'd say that's dedicated.
3.Talent, you have talent!, look at your results! Maybe you need to play more and express these talents.
4.Discipline, I can't really comment on this but from your earlier posts in the year I can only suggest not playing drunk or 'for the sake of it' but this is obvious.

If anything mate, I'd say that you don't play enough live events to hone your skills. It's hard for the other half to understand as they see us as gambling addicts FFS.

Just think back to this time last year! I remember you leaving the cash table with a few racks of chips from the cash tables! What was that? Luck? Unfocussed? Undedicated? Talentless? My Arse!

Teamdobbs, I think our trips will overlap so it'll be good to meet up for a few throat wetters!

See you soon Dave.

Daniel Trett said...

Yo NoCash, any chance of a link to http://full-trett-poker.blogspot.com/? I've linked you up.

_Kronsdat said...

From your post it is clear that you understand yourself very well. You obviously have a good game and have identified the key things you need to do to make it a winning one. Discipline and keeping off the sauce when you are playing a serious game are the main things you need to do. Go for it. Good luck in 2010.

Dream of Vegas said...

Ha nice round up, get me a razor blade!

Happy New Year fish.

I rek you have the talent and have nailed it with "to much gamble" so just keep going and try to curb that and it'll all be gravy.

Giz a shout if you fancy any of the local donkaments you are avoiding or just a night getting on it in town or Poulton for a change of potential sluts, via local lappies obv. (I'm sure we can out do Would-Be an Bossa's night of tame!)

plus it will CHEER YOU THE FUCK UP.

p.s. (so geh putting p.s.) want serious blowage by lowage reports of Vegas you Lucksack!