Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Shopping Spree

Hi everyone!

I don't really have time for one of my normal posts today, but I wanted to share something with you... A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I participated in one of André's videos... If you haven't seen it already, here it is!

P.S.: Thumbs up for my shortest post ever in this blog!!! :P

Monday, 5 November 2012

Things are looking up!

Hi everyone!

I told you that November would be a better month didn't I? And even though we're only at the beginning and therefore far from making any sort of overview, I'm very very happy with the way it's going so far!

On October 1rst and 3rd, André and I went to play some Magic: The Gathering tournaments. For those of you who are not familiar with the game and don't know what's going on in the magic world, Lisbon is hosting a Grand Prix in December. That's a major tournament gathering hundreds of players from all over the world. Since it's taking place near our house and we will have friends coming over from a lot of different countries, André and I are looking forward to it. We have been practicing quite a bit lately, and played some Grand Prix Trials. The trials give a first prize of 3 wins for the GP, which means that at the Grand Prix instead of starting playing at round 1 like everyone else, you start playing at round 4 having 3 wins behind you already!

The trial we played last Saturday went well both for André and me so we both made it into the top8. We were lucky enough to not get paired up against each other and we both kept winning so inevitably we met at the finals. André decided to concede so that I would get to win the trial and get the advantage of 3 wins at the GP. We had been playing the whole day and both of us making the finals was an awesome outcome, but I'm also very excited for starting the Grand Prix with 3 wins. Thanx André! :)

But let's move on to poker stuff, shall we? In between the magic tournaments, on October 2nd, I sat down in front of my computer to play. And guess what? I finally managed to break that losing streak! Here's the graph from that day:

Not anything far too exciting, I was only playing $3s and $7s that day and the profit was $86,38 so around 17 buy-ins, but I felt so relieved to have a winning day again!

And then there was Sunday... As we all know Sundays get extra traffic because of all the Sunday tournaments, so it's the best day for poker grinders to play. André told me to play higher stakes, up to the $37s which was  quite on the borderline for my bankroll, but there were a lot of people playing those so the games were too good to miss. Not only things went well, but I also have a new record of my best day ever! Here's the graph:

That's an amazing upswing of $1571 or to put it in perspective 53,5 buy-ins! My previous record was 52 buy-ins so I did not exceed it by far, but still it was my best day ever! Plus, the previous record was back when I was playing the $7s and the $18s so this Sunday was far better than any other day in terms of money!

And of course we should always think in terms of buy-ins and not money, but after the tremendous hits that my bankroll has taken recently, it just feels nice to see it going significantly up again... When I went back home André congratulated me for the day and rushed to remind me that it's not the result that's important but the learning process. That's his standard thing to say whether I'm having an upswing or a downswing and it's very true. A poker player should always brush off the results, good or bad, and focus on what they can control: playing well and improving. But can you blame me that I slept a lot better last night and finally woke up at the sound of my alarm buzzing, not before? ;)

That's all for now. I hope that November started just as well for you too!

Good luck and see you at the tables!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Going crazy + October overview


Okay, I'll admit, it finally got to me. I've had a losing streak of 14 days in a row, which to me is a bit too much. I don't even remember if I've ever had a similar incident before in my poker career in terms of time, cause I'm sure that in terms of money it's a first. It's not just about the money lost (surprisingly that's not my biggest concern). It's mostly about the awful feeling of constantly losing. You have probably felt it too so until a certain degree I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about. It's exhausting! Who would say that losing is far more tiring than winning, right? I think I snapped around the last couple of days of October, which is pretty good considering I took over two weeks of losing until I came to this point.

What is this point like? Not very pretty I must say. My morale is way below zero and the only way to get it back up is to start winning some. Which unfortunately to me sounds as hard right now as the sky turning green. I've literally forgotten what if feels like to win. It seems like something I'm no longer capable of. And yes, of course I know and understand that what I'm saying doesn't make any sense and that I'm not going to keep losing for the rest of my life, but... I guess I've hit an emotional low. This is what losing does to people, in all its glory! It's like your brain is thinking in a logical way but your emotions are countering every logical thought that comes to you. It's the ultimate internal battle between me and myself, if that makes any sense, and it's totally tiring.

To make matters worse, the vertigo is back. Not as bad as the first time it appeared, but still there to remind me of its presence whenever I turn my head around a bit too much. According to my doctor the change of weather from autumn to winter has a lot to do with it, but I think stress also plays an important part. This time however it feels totally undeserved because I've been doing my exercise, sitting properly at my chair, eating healthy and sleeping well. Oh, talking of sleep, I think now we can kiss that goodbye too. Just to add to my overall frustration lately I've been waking up before the alarm goes off, which is unheard of. No matter how late I go to sleep, it seems like I have to wake up 1-2 hours earlier than what I planned on the night before when I went to bed. I suppose my mind these days is not fully at ease even when I'm sleeping and that's why this is happening. 

In terms of stakes and bankroll, I think it goes unsaid that I'm moving further and further down at stakes. Right now I'm at the point where the $37s are no longer allowed, so I'm playing a mix of $18s, $7s and $3.75s depending on the time of the day and the traffic. Okay, let's get this over with, here's my graph for the month of October (my ugliest graph ever so far!):

Total damage: -$4.880 and that's a wrap!

And after reading this, I suppose you think that the title of this post was referring to me going crazy. No, that was actually for André who decided earlier this week that I've had enough of 6-tabling and I should move to...9!!! Yeah, you read it right, that's a nice nine over there! I've never 9-tabled the hyper-turbos. Even back when I was playing the normal speed sngs, the highest number of tables I've ever reached was 12. So when I hear 9, I freaked out a little. That said, it's rare for me to go against André's opinion in poker, so I did what he asked anyway. The first session only lasted an hour, I was playing the $3s and it went bad, naturally. The second session was longer, close to two hours and even though it was a losing one, I was feeling like I could pay enough attention to all the tables so I actually managed. At this point I can't say I'm comfortable with 9-tabling, cause I'm obviously not, but at least I'm doing ok at it and only occasionally sit out.

Increasing the number of tables had two immediate benefits:

1) We suddenly got a lot more material to review during coaching time. Coaching throughout the month of October has not been very exiting, but now it got interesting all over again. André says he sees improvements in the way I play from one day to the next, so that's a good thing.

2) Okay, I've not been playing well during October but I've been getting a generous dose of negative variance. Increasing the volume of tournaments brings "the long run" a bit closer, so I have some hope to get out of the bad luck a bit sooner.

Coaching is now towards the end of the day after I play and we review the session from that day. That's really good because I have everything fresh in my mind so every correction sticks better in my memory. Also, it's comforting to hear an expert confirm that you are running bad. During our last coaching session two days ago, André went through 40 minutes of the video of me playing and was mostly quiet while he was watching it. Yeah, there were misplays and I did get a couple of notes of things I do wrong and need to try to improve in my next session, but it's always nice to have someone telling you that you did okay and it's not because of your awful way of playing that you lost 29 buy-ins. I think it's very important to find something positive to hold on to while being in a downswing. So yeah, I can 9-table and play ok while at it, so there was some kind of  improvement during last month after all.

Of course we wouldn't stop to 9 tables now, would we? André's initial idea was to let me 9-table all through this week and then have me increase to 12 during the next one. It seems like that is not going to happen because number 9 seems to be the borderline for me at this point, so 12-tabling has been postponed for the second week of November. Which is still not that far anyway so I am kind of dreading the moment it comes, but then again I was thinking the same way about 9-tabling and it turned out to be fine anyway. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how things go, like always!

Anyway, that's all for now. October is in the books and I have high hopes that November is going to be a much better month

Good luck to you all and see you at the tables! :)


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