Everyone has their A game, everyone has an F game. It sucks for me because I almost always start at my F game and every session I have to come back from losing a buyin or two. I always do this with everything in life, I'll start a hockey game really slow then get comfortable and start to play way better.
I just seem to get it in bad, make terrible reads and do all around stupid things when I start a session, then I'll get determined and slowly come back. Any advice on how to not do this? It's driving me crazy, I only seem to play well when I get a little mad and my brain tells myself to not be tilted and play better. It's almost like a train that needs momentum to get going, my decision making process gets .5% better every hand and 4 hours into a session I'm raking it in
Funny as I have to complete opposite. The first session (2 hours) I play well but my second session I play a lot worse. Maybe you should start off playing smaller stakes, get in the groove (like a warmup session) and then start playing your normal stakes. Not too small you don' t take it seriously but not too high so it hurts and is tough to recover from and you tilt easier when you drop more buyins.
Everytime you sit down at a table you need time to get to know the players. From your post, I would recommend playing ABC TAG poker for a time frame until you are comfortable enough to start playing your own game. Before you start a session make sure you go over your 'game plan'. Once you play a hand, analysis how you played it, and whether or not your playing the way you want or not. Leave the table for a few minutes if you need to.
Hope this helps, good luck!
Thanks, really appreciate it. I am going to start at lower stakes and review a few hands before I start. It's like my brain just isn't in poker mode at the beginning,my actions have literally no sense to them when I start and I'll do the dumbest things. I have yet to figure out why but the advice here was great, thanks again.
many of us have expirienced the same. it's a very common problem i think.
the advice given in this thread is very helpful imo. i feel more comfortable when i start out tighter the first few orbits, then restealing the very first hands just to loose a middle sized pot some of the time. you're risking a mental condition which is pretty disadvantageous for playing poker because it just doesn't feel good to start out loosing! also reviewing sessions before playing would be great to get into it. you thought about mistakes you made immedietly before getting in similar spots now. (in practise it's hard to do, when you really want to play now).
I've also had positive experience with playing some sort of stratgy games before grinding. minesweeper for example seems perfect to me. i have no knowledge about neurological stuff but it seems like it's demanding the same logical reasonos you need, playing poker.(blitz chess or starcraft could work very well too)
Keeping a journal or even a public blog and forcing yourself to write about each session and force you to play good disciplined poker. You probably know what you need to. You just need discipline to be absolutely determined to make the right plays.
This is definitely a mental block that you can overcome. I would suggest reviewing your previous sessions before you play. Make sure that you're in the right mindset to play, as well. If not, consider issues like mood, time constraints, general sharpness, and see if you can resolve them. If you decide to play, then I would develop a routine at the table, such as the type Tommy Angelo suggests. This could involve making sure you know every stack-size, tells from the player on your left, eventually allowing you to develop an initial read on every player within the first 10 minutes (e.g. regular TAG, loose-passive, nit, weekender); make sure you confirm these reads when you see showdowns. In end, you just need a way of focusing on the game itself for the first few orbits, so you get a real sense of the table dynamic---in this way you'll focus less on yourself and the negative mindset that you always start every session bad. Without realizing it, you'll have left this problem behind, in no time at all.