Tuesday, 10 June 2014

May Overview


This overview is coming a bit late, but I have to admit I was feeling seriously burnt out when May was over. I'll explain why shortly. But first let me say that I achieved my goal for May! I got 50k VPPs in a single month, which is the biggest volume I've ever put in!

Now let's get to the bad news. On the 27th of May and with the month being almost over, I got a major downswing. It was around 60 buy-ins, not the kind of downswing you get very often. It was a significant hit not only to my bankroll but also to my psychology.

I have had a couple of downswings like that before so I knew that these things happen and that it's normal. The fact that it happened in just over 300 games should make me feel better, because anything can happen in such a small sample. But I felt pretty bad. In those moments it's like it doesn't matter what hand you have, you're gonna lose either way. And even though your mind and your logic tells you that that's not true, that you're just being unlucky, looking at the screen while your chips are flying away in every direction makes you wonder. What if it's not just luck and I'm playing bad?

I only played 3 hours and a half that day. I started tilting. When I realized that I couldn't think clearly anymore I stopped opening tables and took the rest day off. I thought that doing things I enjoy that are not related to poker would help relax my nerves. And it did.

The next day, when I sat in front of my computer again I was 100% ready for the grind. Feeling refreshed, I put the previous day behind me and started playing. I was prepared for the possibility of having another losing day, I knew that just because I had a major downswing it didn't mean that I'd go straight back to winning. What I wasn't prepared for, was a losing day that would be worse than my previous one.

So on the 28th of May, I lost around 70 buy-ins. It felt bad to be losing and I wanted to stop, but I was almost reaching 50k VPPs and I didn't want to quit so close to my goal without making it. I kept going and going and I kept losing. I remember that at some point, I was feeling so bad that when I flopped a full house I thought "Okay, let's see how I'm gonna lose this one". We were all-in pre-flop so all I had to do was sit back and watch the cards as they were revealed. Sure enough, my opponent hit runner runner 4 of a kind. I laughed at that one, I just didn't know what else to do.

I've never broken anything while playing poker, but if there was a day that I came close it was that one. I kept picturing myself throwing the mouse at the computer screen. Instead of doing that, I started recording my session. I wanted someone else's opinion on this. When reviewing the videos with André later, he did make some corrections here and there but I certainly didn't play as badly as my results indicated.

I was only a thousand VPPs short of reaching my goal, so I had to play another hour or so the next day. As soon as I hit the 50k mark I stopped. On one hand achieving what I set out to do felt gratifying but on the other hand the -130 buy in downswing stung. I wondered if I should have stopped earlier, give up the goal and save a bit of my bankroll. But then I thought, I stopped playing when I felt I was tilting and played okay on the second day. What more could I have done? You can't postpone variance by putting off the grind. It will happen whenever you sit at the tables whether you like it or not.

I've already made detailed reviews about each week of May, but just for the record here's the overall graph for the month:

I felt mentally and physically exhausted after that so I decided to take the entire next week off. André and I had tickets to a music festival for two different nights which was nice. The rest of the time, I felt like doing nothing at all. I spent most of the day watching TV, reading books or sleeping. It's nice to be vacationing in your own house. It costs nothing and most importantly it lets you do what you need the most: REST.

Last Saturday we attended the VIP Club: Live party in Lisbon which was great fun and I'll make a separate post about it. This week, I'm planning to work on my blog, take care of the household chores that I have neglected, study a bit and go back to my dance school where I haven't set foot in over a month. Usually starting to exercise again after a long pause takes a lot of my energy so I'd rather not be playing poker while I do it.

I will definitely be back at the tables by Sunday though. This week I'm hosting the Sunday Million!


  1. Is it possible to see how you play? May be you post hands somewere?

    1. I post some hands on BOOM! Replayer but they're mostly from MTTs, not the hypers.

  2. Sometimes happens. go, go, go, go Katerina !!!!!!!!!!.....................


  3. Hey Katerina I follow your blog since... ever i think :-)

    About your month and your big downswing, well, you did end it 2k up by the graph you've shown us ;-)

    Dont worry, it happens to all. Just keep up your great work and always review your sessions and study

    Oh, and keep us posted :D

    1. Hi Artur! Yes, it was a good month overall since I did finish with a profit. I guess I got a bit emotional when I was writing the post and focused more on the downswinging part instead of the overall picture.

      Thank you for following my blog and commenting! I appreciate it! :)

  4. I've been tilting, these past couple days, over the micro stakes though. Then I came to see how you've been doing and suddenly all my problems seem tiny. I can't imagine how you can cope with those losses, but it surely shows how strong you are psychologically. I hope you feel better by now and that graph will soon be up, I bet.

    That goal is the proof of your hard work. Keep it up Katerina! :)

    1. Hi Sara!

      We all tilt at some point, but it's a matter of practice how long it will be before you lose your patience. You need to work on the emotional part of the game, not just the poker skills! I hope it's been a bit better for you at the tables lately. Thank you for stopping by my blog! :)


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