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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 05-13-2017, 11:32 AM   #26
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Originally Posted by Twistedd View Post
Gl man!
Are you still interested as much in Ethereum?
Here is my advice for any would be crypto investor:

Take anywhere from 5 to 20% of our overall investment strategy and put it in crypto. It's way too volatile to have more than 20% of your overall long term investment funds in there. Put 40% in BTC, 40% in ETH, and the remaining 20% split up among some other coins (I'd go 10% Dash 10% Litecoin). Buy and hold, the plan is to hold on to this stuff for a long term, and don't try to trade the swings.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:44 AM   #27
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Played a live session yesterday. It went well on the whole. I ran fairly well, and also made some good plays. Early in session I got dealt AA and I wasn't really settled in yet and I noticed my heart was racing, ha. You'd think I'd never been dealt a big hand before. Midway through session I was up a fair amount and there was a spot where I should have cold 4bet AK IP but instead chose to cold flat the 3bet, and although given stacks and players involved and positions there was certainly merit to my play as soon as I did it I realized that it was me trying to limit variance or avoid a huge pot, etc. I was able to successfully get back on track right away. I quit at scheduled stop time and booked a nice win.

One thing I find very helpful when getting off my game is to laugh about the situation and laugh at myself. If I can have a little chuckle at the notion of me getting all out of sorts over a card game it helps get me recentered mentally and drains out some tilt accumulation.

Overall yesterday was a successful day. I played well in both of my sessions, and did a good job of sticking to my processes and structure. Overall on the day I finished up 8.5k between my two sessions. This is a spot where I need to be extra careful about falling into the trap of thinking I've righted the ship. It's going to be very easy for me if I have another few successful days in a row to think "OK my mental game is fixed again" and fall right back off the wagon with my processes and effort level towards doing my best. I need to stay vigilant to keep giving a high level of effort towards doing my best and keeping up with my PGC and structure and process moving forward and not trick myself into getting lazy or off track.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:52 AM   #28
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Fitness
First leg day in a month yesterday. I've been just cheating out on leg day and going for a run or something instead for a while. I've never really lifted much legs in the first place long term, and only recently have I started actually trying to train legs in earnest. Overall with lifting I'd say I'm no longer a novice, but still at the beginner level trying to move towards an intermediate. Right away during my squat warmups I felt my right hamstring tweak a bit, and although it wasn't bad I definitely could feel that if I trained hard I would risk injuring it and I decided to just go with light weights for squats and skip deadlifts entirely as it was getting more tweaky as I squatted.

Squats: 155x8x3
Seat Calf Raises: 160x12x3
Hyperextensions: 35x12x3
Leg/Quad Extension: 175x8x3
Hamstring Curl: 150x8x3

Also a little ab work like always. I did a good job with my eating yesterday and didn't pig out on bedtime snacks which is far and away going to be the key to my leaning down. Hopefully next time my hamstring feels good and I can train a bit heavier.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #29
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Played another session this morning. Did not run too well. On the whole I gave a good effort towards sticking to my processes and trying to take active steps to continue to get back on track mentally each time I veered off course. I was definitely feeling the effects of negative variance every time I lost a pot, and it was a battle to keep regrouping into a positive mindset, but on the whole I feel like I did a pretty good job of battling through it and improving my ability to handle the tough times. Perhaps most importantly I quit at the scheduled time and didn't chase the loss. In the end, I won some back towards the end and the loss was fairly minor at like 1.5k and it was the type of session that recently I've let spiral out of control. Ideally I would be unaffected by the variance and remain in the zone throughout, and I definitely got a little loose in a couple spots trying to make something happen, so I still have a long ways to go towards my ideal. Although this session wasn't great, it was a fair effort and a step in the right direction.

One thing I need to improve is my game selection at high stakes games. I think subconsciously because I want to run it up I'm gravitating much more towards marginal quality high stakes games and passing up juicy low stakes games. I know better and constantly stress game selection to students, but here again is another instance of me thinking I'm better than the process and I can do whatever and still win. Lately I'd take a high stakes online game where the softest spot was one weak reg and no real fish, and want to battle that out instead of simply passing and looking for a juicier spot since that was the only high stakes action available to me. Sometimes battling and testing your skills vs tough lineups is an important part of the growth process, and that has it's place, but if I'm being honest with myself I'm only in that game in the hopes of doubling up in a big pot mainly just by coolering another reg. The good news is I'm identifying another leak and working more and more towards building a stronger overall game.

Technical Game: B
Tilt Control: B+
Game Selection: C
Focus: B
Structure: B+
Effort: B+
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:59 AM   #30
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Hello, just letting you know that I have subscribed to your thread and that I will be following along.
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:38 PM   #31
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Hello, just letting you know that I have subscribed to your thread and that I will be following along.
Welcome aboard!
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:04 PM   #32
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Played live yesterday. Decent session. On the whole maintained an upbeat positive attitude and stayed on point with my mental state and my play. There was one hand where I overcalled a raise preflop with Kxs multiway with a recreational player in the pot that was a bit too loose probably despite the fish, and it was mostly out of being kind of card dead and starting to get a bit frustrated I wasn't getting any spots to mix it up with the recreational player. Overall I did a good job with my self awareness and structure and process. I was tempted to keep playing longer than I planned and was toying with rationalization but eventually did leave about at the planned time. Overall pretty good effort. Still not an A+ zoned in session. I finished down 150 bucks on the session.

Fitness
Pull day yesterday. A little light cardio to warmup and some ab work at the end. 189.8lb and 16.9% body fat. Good to get back under the 190/17 mark.

Lat Pulldowns: 150x8x3
Seated Rows: 135x8x3
Dumbell Shrugs: 75x12x3
Bicep Cable Curls: 50x8x3 (left arm only, as it's lagging a bit in development)
Forearm Inverse Barbell Curls: 30x15x2

Did a good job with my eating yesterday and once again avoided overeating at bedtime snacking. I haven't been tracking my macros closely but I have a good intuitive sense of my intake since I eat mostly the same stuff every day. I'm targeting basically 2100 calories and 150g+ of protein daily.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:49 AM   #33
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Short live session yesterday. Played about 2 hours. Session was relatively uneventful. The game was shorthanded and a bit more reggy, and sometimes I find it a bit easier to settle into my zone in that scenario. Even though the game quality isn't as good, the fact that I know everyone and also the pace of play is much faster somehow makes it easier to play my best. I ran well and stayed on point with my processes and booked a +1.3k win. I didn't really encounter much adversity so it wasn't really a growth opportunity. I did well, but it's easy to do well when things don't go wrong.

I got back out my TMGoP book and started to reread it yesterday, and got to the section on inchworm. One thing that clicked and became very clear to me is that although I do work on my technical game and strategies to improve the top end of my A-game, it is all this mental game work that is necessary to improve the bottom end of my C-game, and through neglect inevitably the level of my C-game worsened. It's an obvious concept and something I already "knew" but had forgotten, and it's very clear to me now I need to be always working to improve both the top end of my A-game through technical studies and the bottom end of my C-game through mental game work.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:25 PM   #34
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Marginal online session this morning. I happened to run well and book a +2k winner. However, I wasn't at my best mentally nor technically. I got up early in session, and from that early point onward I was constantly battling weak tight mental thoughts of wanting to quit and book a winner. I originally wanted to play 2.5 hours, and although I wanted to quit after like 45 minutes I made it through to almost the 2 hour mark before quitting. I did leave a seat in a pretty good game, which is obviously a leak. Also, twice during session I misplayed a hand by playing it in an overprotective fashion. I see this leak from students all the time - they have a good but not great hand OOP in a spot where there are some unfavorable turn/river cards that can come so they basically try to blast their opponent out of the pot which in effect ends up losing value from everything they beat and isolating themselves against the top of their opponents range. Twice I did this in a hand today. Each time I quickly recognized what I did and worked to get back on track mentally. On the whole I did give a fair effort and was battling the mental leak, and played reasonably well on the whole, but it's definitely an area where I'm going to need to be mindful of this in the future and continue to practice at it by sticking it out in sessions where I'm up and want to book a winner and effort towards staying on point and reaching my session length goal.

Technical Game: B
Tilt Control: B
Game Selection: A
Focus: B
Structure: B+
Effort: B+
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:25 AM   #35
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Good live session last night. There weren't enough players to get a 5/10 started at Wynn last night so I played 2/5 for a couple hours. It's not a bad game, since the max buyin is 1500. Sometimes in live 2/5 games I leak a bit by playing too many hands, even when not on tilt, thinking I can just outplay everyone. I did a good job of staying solid and on point and sticking to my structure and was able to maintain a relaxed upbeat focused mental state throughout the short session. I wasn't faced with much adversity which of course always makes things easier. Booked a small winner of +$500 and felt satisfied with my effort.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #36
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Poor online session this morning. Lost a big pot at high stakes and didn't really recover from it. I'm going to make it a point to not play the highest stakes available to me online for a while. Losing 4k to a bad beat in one hand is currently frustrating me a bit too much, and I need to build up my mental armor a bit more before I put myself in a situation where I need to deal with that. I didn't go off the deep end battled a bit mentally, but overall it wasn't a great response to the negative variance. I need to practice handling negative variance properly at smaller stakes where I can accept it more easily to build up that skillset back up before putting myself in a situation where I need to properly handle larger amounts. Not my best effort, but I feel a better typing this out already. Rather than simply saying "screw high stakes I'm not playing them anymore", viewing it as a process of building up my tolerances in a methodical fashion and understanding what I need to be able to calmly accept in order to play a given limit instead gives me more of a clear path to move forward.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:48 AM   #37
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Up and down the last few days. Yesterday I had a losing session at live that was both good and bad. I played a couple hands a bit spewy vs regs, nothing egregious but a bit too loose/aggro in a couple spots. I ended up losing a big pot all in with a combo draw and ran it twice and lost both. The good news is that although I was a bit frustrated by this, I didn't spew after the hand, played on for a little while, and then quit at my planned time shortly after and felt OK about booking the loss, so that's a positive to build on. Still not getting my best effort every session, but I do feel like I'm slowly improving the quality of my C game and making strides towards avoiding spew and playing closer to my best more often. I really do need to stay vigilant with my journaling and this thread to track my thoughts and progress and problems along the way.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:23 PM   #38
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Good live session yesterday. I happened to run poorly and took a few rough coolers, but I did a good job of getting back on track mentally and staying in a good head space and was able to continue to play well and quit appropriately and ultimately win back some of losses. Making a bit of a comeback is nice but more importantly I was pleased with myself in my ability to give a good effort and play well in the face of adversity during that session.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:35 PM   #39
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Been pretty busy with sports and general life stuff recently so haven't put in a ton of poker table hours. The limited time I've played has been pretty good all around from an effort and mental game perspective. I'm releasing a new video series for our stable guys we coach called "GTO Fundamentals" privately on Youtube, and I've been working on that a bit recently as well and I'm excited to get that out to the guys. I'm going on a trip soon to Punta Cana for a friend's wedding, so I'll be away and not playing much basically until the end of next week, by which time the WSOP will be in full swing which is pretty exciting. I'm going to try to avoid too many tournaments on the whole, but I suspect I'll probably end up playing a few events for fun - maybe even fire a bullet to the Colossus just to scratch the itch right away and get it over with so I can focus on cash.
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