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Old 09-06-2013, 12:22 PM   #926
ATsai
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Cushlash,

Why do you think your results have been bad lately? Have games been mediocre lately? Then practice some game selection. (consider a casino change if necessary) Has your NLHE game stagnated? Then start doing some serious "homework" away from the tables.

While it may be tempting to take some time off poker because you are frustrated and tilting, taking a break is only a short-term band-aid to your problems. You probably need to do something significant if you want to continue being successful as a poker pro.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:42 PM   #927
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Why do you think your results have been bad lately?
I think this is a combination of run bad and not playing A game. At first it starts out as just run bad. However, when that continues for an extended period it starts to wear on me. It becomes more of a chore to play, I don't pay as close attention, and I start to play B game or worse. If it continues for a really long time, like it has now, something like what happened yesterday occurs and I have to take a break.

Quote:
Have games been mediocre lately? Then practice some game selection. (consider a casino change if necessary)
I game select relentlessly and have played in some great games at the V over this period so while games aren't as good as they were during WSOP, they're still good. I've been considering going other places lately as talked about in my previous post.

Quote:
Has your NLHE game stagnated? Then start doing some serious "homework" away from the tables.
I am always working on improving so I don't think this is part of it. Periods like this are when I look hardest at my game. I've been doing tons of hand reviews away from the table both on my own and talking with other players I respect. I fight as hard as I can to not let a run bad stretch turn into a play bad stretch. Like I said in response to your first question, the run bad will cause some non-optimal play, but based on the hand reviews I've done and talking to those in my poker circle, I have been playing just fine. I've absolutely made mistakes, but their magnitude and quantity are nowhere close to bumping my actual EV down to what my results have been.

Quote:
While it may be tempting to take some time off poker because you are frustrated and tilting, taking a break is only a short-term band-aid to your problems. You probably need to do something significant if you want to continue being successful as a poker pro.
Based on my responses above, I'll disagree with this. No 2 month period in live poker is long enough to produce any meaningful results. Again, not saying I've played perfectly, but based on my analysis of my play, this has been caused predominantly by variance. The last thing I want to do is make significant changes due to something that is out of my control. Poker causes people (myself included) to fix things that aren't broken because variance makes it look like they're broken. In the past I've changed things I was doing correctly because I felt like in order to win again I had to do something different. In reality I was just running bad but that mentality caused me to play bad since I was fixing things that seemed broken but really weren't.

The long run is a very long time in live poker and this stretch isn't long enough to indicate anything is seriously wrong with my play. I don't feel like there is any evidence to indicate I need to change something significant about my game because even though I've had a bad 200 hr stretch, I have another 1200 hrs that shows me as a top winner.

More than anything, this stretch is just messing with my head and affecting my decision making process. Its a performance problem rather than a lack of knowledge or skills. I didn't suddenly forget how to play good poker, my brain is just so wrapped up in recent run-bad that while I'm playing it clouds my judgment and doesn't allow me to reach accurate conclusions as frequently. There are things I do to combat this without having to take time off but at this point I feel like I've exhausted those tactics and just need to clear my head for a while. IMO its not so much a short-term band aid, its more akin to allowing a muscle to recover before working it out again. In my case this muscle just happens to be my brain.

As always I welcome any and all feedback so I hope this doesn't seem like an attack on what you said, I just wanted to respond fully to your questions and in the process got a little carried away with length.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:06 PM   #928
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

OK. Your results have worsened because you are running bad and/or you aren't playing your A game because Lady Luck has been against you. You're still an awesome crusher. Take a long break, rest, and regroup. Then crush souls when you come back from the long break.

Good plan.

Wait. I have heard countless poker players tell me the same plan over the years. Why didn't it work for all of them? I guess you must be different than them...

The truth is that you are a good player. But you need to take more personal responsibility for your results. By insinuating that variance and run-bad is against you and that your fundamental poker game is still that of a crusher, you are taking the easy way out. You say that you aren't playing your A game because of mental game/tilt issues associated with running badly.

So why are you taking an extended vacation? Why don't you tackle your mental game leaks head on? Contrary to what you may think, taking breaks from poker when the going gets tough isn't part of a true mental game/anti-tilt strategy. It is simply a delaying tactic to push today's problems into the future and to sweep nagging problems under the proverbial rug. You are just hoping that you will run good when you come back, so you won't have to face the challenge of playing your A game under tough circumstances.

If you end having another 6-12 months of run-bad ahead of you (and any serious live pro veteran will tell you such soul-crushing downswings are not only possible but actually inevitable), I really doubt that taking a break every month will work out for you. At some point, you will have to face your self-confessed mental game leaks.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:05 PM   #929
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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OK. Your results have worsened because you are running bad and/or you aren't playing your A game because Lady Luck has been against you. You're still an awesome crusher. Take a long break, rest, and regroup. Then crush souls when you come back from the long break.

Good plan.

Wait. I have heard countless poker players tell me the same plan over the years. Why didn't it work for all of them? I guess you must be different than them...

The truth is that you are a good player. But you need to take more personal responsibility for your results. By insinuating that variance and run-bad is against you and that your fundamental poker game is still that of a crusher, you are taking the easy way out. You say that you aren't playing your A game because of mental game/tilt issues associated with running badly.

So why are you taking an extended vacation? Why don't you tackle your mental game leaks head on? Contrary to what you may think, taking breaks from poker when the going gets tough isn't part of a true mental game/anti-tilt strategy. It is simply a delaying tactic to push today's problems into the future and to sweep nagging problems under the proverbial rug. You are just hoping that you will run good when you come back, so you won't have to face the challenge of playing your A game under tough circumstances.

If you end having another 6-12 months of run-bad ahead of you (and any serious live pro veteran will tell you such soul-crushing downswings are not only possible but actually inevitable), I really doubt that taking a break every month will work out for you. At some point, you will have to face your self-confessed mental game leaks.
Well firstly, this vacation has been planned for a while and I'm only playing at most 3 fewer days than I would have otherwise since the rest of the time I was planning to take off regardless.

I don't know how many times I have emphasized itt that I've made mistakes and variance isn't the only thing that causes me to lose so I don't know where you're getting the personal responsibility bit. I'm extremely hard on myself and am never the guy that claims his losing streak is just because he's running bad. I know tons of those guys and they're all delusional so if I came off that way in any recent posts then I apologize for poor wording but that was never my intention and has never been how I approach downswings. Even when I run horribly I still look for ways I could have played better and lost less and take responsibility for the portion of my losing that was caused by bad play rather than a cold deck.

You're spot on that taking time off isn't the way the handle tough stretches. Usually I say I'm gonna take time off but I end up playing because I feel like the only way for me to feel like I'm getting anywhere is to start putting in good sessions (not to be confused with winning sessions). Then I go and play and try to do too much and am more easily frustrated which leads to more bad sessions. Taking a break can help to clear that "accumulated tilt" out of my system. Yea its kind a mental game leak because it would be optimal if that tilt just never happened. In that moment though I can't go back and just not ever get tilted. At that time my choices are to keep playing with a poor mindset or take a break. Taking a break is better. Then I can use the experience to improve my mental game and make it so next time I don't need to take a break when a downswing inevitably happens again.

So long term you are completely right that just taking a break every time a downswing hits is a temporary solution. The permanent solution, as you say, is to work on tilt issues so such breaks aren't necessary. What I'm saying is that a permanent fix takes time and the temporary solution is a tool I need to use while finding that permanent fix.

In MGOP, Jared Tendler refers to this as the difference between "injecting logic" (which includes quitting when the problem becomes too severe) and "resolution". Injecting logic is a temporary solution that helps us play through the problem while resolution is finding the permanent solution to the problem. The last step to injecting logic is quitting. In my last post I said that I felt like I had exhausted all tactics that would allow me to play on without taking time off. That was me basically saying that I had gone through the steps of injecting logic but it became too severe and I had to quit.

I agree that this isn't the way to fix it long term, but it is a temporary step I have to take now in an effort to reach a long term resolution. Just because I'm making a temporary fix, doesn't mean I'm not working on a permanent solution in the meantime. Simply taking a break and waiting for tilt to pass whenever it happens isn't good, but neither is barging ahead with the mindset that I need to tackle every issue head on without acknowledging when its time to take a step back.

I hope that all makes sense. I think our thoughts are more similar than it originally seemed.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:14 AM   #930
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Absolutely nothing wrong with taking time off during these stretches. Enjoy the vacation and come back ready to turn things around!
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:19 AM   #931
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Imo OP has acted sensibly through the downswing and is making good decisions.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #932
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Absolutely nothing wrong with taking time off during these stretches. Enjoy the vacation and come back ready to turn things around!
This. Great thread. Post Moar.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #933
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Fellow UW grad here - still living and working in Madison. Long time lurker but I wanted to drop in and wish you good luck. This is a great thread and offers a great perspective. I hope September is an improvement over August.

Keep hitting the gym. It's a good way of channeling your emotions and if anything, it will take your mind away from the felt for a while.

Go Badgers.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:44 PM   #934
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Fellow UW grad here - still living and working in Madison. Long time lurker but I wanted to drop in and wish you good luck. This is a great thread and offers a great perspective. I hope September is an improvement over August.

Keep hitting the gym. It's a good way of channeling your emotions and if anything, it will take your mind away from the felt for a while.

Go Badgers.
Thanks man, always happy to see fellow Wisconsinites following this thread.

Totally agree about the gym stuff, which reminds me that I wanted to share a link to a site I've been using that I think is great for us lazy poker players. I personally prefer working out at home and over the last couple years have rotated between insanity and some other home workout routines (along with periods of just not exercising ldo). Since WSOP I've been doing this. I like it because its not too much of a time commitment and you can tailor it to your fitness level. I'm currently at level 3 but pretty close to moving up to level 4. I definitely feel a ton stronger since I've started and found it easy to stick to since its pretty simple and goes really fast.

Thanks again for your positive words. Looking forward to visiting Madison next month, such a great city.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:46 AM   #935
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If I was a Wisconsin fan I would travel to Tempe this weekend. You can probably scalp some tickets or score some on stubhub. Its a 4 hour trip or so. I am headed to AZ this weekend to see the Lions play.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:10 AM   #936
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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If I was a Wisconsin fan I would travel to Tempe this weekend. You can probably scalp some tickets or score some on stubhub. Its a 4 hour trip or so. I am headed to AZ this weekend to see the Lions play.
Yea thats what I'm in AZ for, gonna try and scalp some.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:41 AM   #937
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Back from AZ, had a great time despite a pretty heartbreaking loss for my Badgers. The ending was one of the most bizarre of all time so I'm sure at least the American readers have seen it.

Anyways I've played 3 sessions since I've been back, 2 at V 2/5 and today at Bellagio 5/10. Monday was a pretty uneventful session at 2/5 and I ended up just below break even. Tuesday I booked a pretty solid win and was very happy with how I was playing and thinking. Even though it was only my 6th session of the month, being my first winner of the month it felt pretty good.

Today I ventured over to the Bellagio for the first time in a while to play 5/10. I played in probably the best 5/10 game I've ever sat in, for sure the best I've been in at Bellagio. Unfortunately I got clobbered. It really started to feel like everyone was after me because every time I raised 2 players in particular were always in the pot. One guy called literally every one of my raises over about 4 hours. It was at least 20 hands and he didn't fold to me once preflop. In one of the first hands he called a 6x open with 73o, called my cbet into a 4 way pot with bottom pair and won at showdown after the turn and river got checked through. I'd estimate the average number of people seeing the flop when I had raised was about 3.5. It was crazy. I just couldn't win a pot though. I missed nearly every flop and a couple times got called down by some pretty ridiculous hands. After that my image was shot and none of my bluffs had any chance of getting through. The best hand I flopped was top pair with KQ which I had to fold to a flop raise. The hand got to showdown and the other guy had flopped top two with KT.

Admittedly I didn't play perfect. Early I made a pretty questionable double barrel, and then another near the end. A bit later I bluffed a river after delay cbetting the turn in a 5 way pot against a capped range. I don't think it was a horrible spot to bluff in a vacuum but because of how terrible my image was and the fact that I showed weakness by checking the flop, I just need to give up. With a neutral image its closer but still probably a check/give up to be honest.

After that hand I was just done. The game was still good but I had just been pulling bills out of my pocket hand after hand and the only way I was gonna get anything back was if I started making hands. That coupled with a some recent questionable plays made me decide to just cut the session before I did any more damage.

This is really getting quite frustrating. Every post here seems like a broken record but there hasn't been much good happening poker-wise in the last few months. My mindset is definitely better after taking some time off and resetting but then I come back and get smacked again. I'm not playing as good as I could be but overall I'm still playing a solid, winning game. Not to mention I've been in some amazing games where people have played absurdly bad. I don't know how many times over this stretch that I've played in a great game and lost big. Its pretty disheartening to lose for this long and honestly I don't have a solution. I review my play meticulously and despite trying desperately, almost to a fault, to find some fundamental flaw in my game causing these results I have found nothing that should justify them. Therefore I have to believe that its just a variance-induced downswing and all I can really think to do now is keep playing as best I can, improve on what leaks I can find and wait for results to catch up. At this point I need to stick to the fundamentals that got me here and trust in my game.

Hopefully I can offer something a bit more positive in my next post because I sure as hell am sick of writing posts like this, as I'm sure many of you are sick of reading them.

Last edited by cushlash; 09-19-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #938
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You know what's awesome about your months of bad results?

You still have a huge wang, and nobody can change that.


Just kidding! I love how there hasn't been any talk of quitting. You're a good player who has done well, so you're in a position to handle this BS.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:08 AM   #939
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Have you checked out DGAF's 2k well over in MHFR? Theres been some recent activity and a lot of discussion about handling variance and downswings.

Definitely a good read (the whole well is interesting IMO) but the most recent 5-6 pages seem applicable.

Good luck out there man.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #940
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Long time lurker and fellow Wisconsinite. UW Eau Claire grad here. So many moons ago, lol. That was the most bizarre ending I have ever seen on Saturday night. What a disappointment! And then to hear that the Pac 12 refs have had their hands slapped. I wonder what was really done. To run off the field like that though without another thought that maybe there should be a booth review??? After all the booth reviews that happen now and not to have that happen at the end of the game. What an injustice! I have been following your thread from start to finish and all I can say is hang in there and kick variance in the behind. Sooner or later things will start to turn around again. Just hope sooner!! Good luck! Go Badgers!
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:21 PM   #941
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach McGuirk View Post
You know what's awesome about your months of bad results?

You still have a huge wang, and nobody can change that.


Just kidding! I love how there hasn't been any talk of quitting. You're a good player who has done well, so you're in a position to handle this BS.
lol thanks

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Originally Posted by blasted7 View Post
Have you checked out DGAF's 2k well over in MHFR? Theres been some recent activity and a lot of discussion about handling variance and downswings.

Definitely a good read (the whole well is interesting IMO) but the most recent 5-6 pages seem applicable.

Good luck out there man.
Thanks for that recommendation, just spent a few hours reading the whole thread (mostly just OP's posts). I read the OP and some of the responses at some point last year so a bunch of it I had read before but it was good to revisit. The recent stuff about downswings was definitely helpful.

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Originally Posted by steelmanwi View Post
Long time lurker and fellow Wisconsinite. UW Eau Claire grad here. So many moons ago, lol. That was the most bizarre ending I have ever seen on Saturday night. What a disappointment! And then to hear that the Pac 12 refs have had their hands slapped. I wonder what was really done. To run off the field like that though without another thought that maybe there should be a booth review??? After all the booth reviews that happen now and not to have that happen at the end of the game. What an injustice! I have been following your thread from start to finish and all I can say is hang in there and kick variance in the behind. Sooner or later things will start to turn around again. Just hope sooner!! Good luck! Go Badgers!
Thanks man. Yea that ending was pretty ridiculous. Wisconsin football is one of the only things I have a hard time being unbiased about so at first I thought maybe I was just being a fan when I thought the refs ****ed up. But now that they have been "punished" and everyone I've talked to or read articles from that have no interest one way or the other have said that the refs ****ed up I know I'm not being biased.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:23 PM   #942
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I can tell you from experience that there truly is such a thing as variance. That's the bad news. The good news is that you are a solid, thinking player and you will work your way through it and be an even better player for it.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #943
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Great site for fitness stuff is NerdFitness.com

Forget the machines, it's all about free weights and barbells
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:03 AM   #944
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Hey guys, been playing 2/5 at V since that bad session at the B and have been playing/thinking much better.

The session after taking that hit I had a solid day, actually won about what I lost at B in terms of bb's but since it was half the stakes it was half the actual amount.

The next 3 days were pretty grindy just because the games I was in were on the tighter side. I feel so much more comfortable in these games though because I can just open/cbet/barrel all day long and not get into too much trouble. I'd honestly rather play a passive game like that all day long over playing against spazzy aggro fish. I'll probably get flamed for saying that but I think its just as profitable. You don't get massive winners, but you don't get massive losers either. Ranges are just so much more defined and in a game of incomplete information, you have much less missing in the equation.

Yesterday I played in a perfect example of one of those crazy games with spazzy aggro fish. There were 4 players that were just playing ridiculous. In my first 3 orbits I was involved in at least 2 7-way pots (I was pfr both times ldo). Despite losing a 2.3k pot with AA all in against Q9 on a JT3 flop which ran out JK I ended up booking a pretty big win. It felt really good to finally book a win in a wild game for a change.

Today was pretty much horrendous. I got in later than usual because I went to see a movie (Prisoners, which was awesome btw). I was pretty tired after being in a dark theatre for 2.5 hrs. I told myself I should just go home but with the deepstack going and the G2E convention at the V I convinced myself I was ok to go in.

I'm not sure if I was wrong or not, and I don't want to be results oriented, but 2 hours and 600 bucks later I decided to pick up. I felt pretty ****ty right away but on my ride home I went over all the hands I played and a majority of it was in pretty standard cbet/bet-fold spots that I just happened to lose. I can point to 2 specific mistakes which accounted for less than 1/3 of the loss, the rest I think was fine from a technical standpoint. However, my mindset was still bad because as soon as I started losing pots the dialogue in my head was "I knew I shouldn't have played" and sure enough every losing hand became a "mistake" in my now warped mind. So I left.

I've certainly felt this way before, went in, played fine and booked a winner and thought nothing of it after, so I don't want to say "oh damn, I knew I shouldn't have played" just because I lost. If I could look at the results of all these sessions combined though its probably close to even so I should just not play when I feel that way. Getting punished with a loss even though I was probably playing roughly a break-even game may just be what I needed to learn to listen to myself when I know I'd be better off not playing.

Anyways overall I'm feeling a lot better about my game and am getting some traction again. I've been way more focused lately and playing much better as a result. My mental game has been better too. After losing that hand with AA yesterday I didn't even flinch and went right back to work, which allowed me to take advantage of a great game for another 3-4 hours until the action guys left. Today was just a bad judgement call that was magnified by a somewhat cold deck and 2 technical mistakes on my part. Back at it tomorrow.

Last edited by cushlash; 09-27-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:21 AM   #945
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

The Mental Game

Lately most of my issues have come in the mental game. My mistakes are not because I don't know something technical or haven't learned a fundamental concept, but because I do things I know I shouldn't do but do anyways. Talking with Rob one day recently he said something like "yea but you already knew what you did wrong when you brought those hands to me" regarding a few hands we had discussed. The way to fix those mistakes is to improve my mental game, which I've been working hard at lately and have started to make some improvement.

There's always room to improve so I'm not saying that I can't improve technically anymore, just that at this point there is more to be gained from working on my mental game.

It reminds me of one of my high school football coaches. He played at Wisconsin and was on the Patriots practice squad until getting let go on the last round of cuts before they had to set their final roster. Before games he would always tell us to "get our minds right". He would say that as you go higher and higher, the physical edge between any two teams gets so much more narrow, which makes the game more and more mental. He would say that high school is mostly physical, but in college it was 80% mental, whereas in the NFL its 95+% mental because everyone is just so good and theres not a lot of physical disparity.

In my opinion poker is the same way. Barry Greenstein used to say that a majority of the money won and lost at high stakes is due to steaming. Everyone is so good that the only way to have an edge is in the mental game.

Clearly this doesn't mean that we can just throw all technical analysis out the window; just as NFL players still need to maintain their fitness levels so that they can compete at the level where 95% of the edge is mental, poker players need to maintain their technical play so they can put themselves in a position to take advantage of their mental edge. The game, whether it be football or poker only remains largely mental as long as all those involved play great technically. As soon as one player's technical game deteriorates or fails to keep up, that player's mental game edge is rendered moot because they can't compete technically anymore.

Now I'm not playing high stakes, and not usually against great players, but I think the fact that most of what I've been working on the last several months has been in the mental game says something about my progression as a player. My technical game is at a point at which there is more to be gained from improving mentally. It would stand to reason then that given limited time, that is where I should be expending most of my energy until the time comes that this is no longer the case (such as learning a new game or playing different stakes where technical improvement would override mental improvement at least at first).

My recent struggles about mental game got me thinking about the parallels between poker and football, thus spurring this tl;dr essay. I hope you guys got as much out of reading it as I did writing it. I feel so much better now than I did 2 hours ago. Having concretely written some things I've been thinking about lately I think I have a better idea of what I need to do; keep up technically while improving mentally so that the frequency of making technical errors that I know are wrong decreases and eventually approaches zero.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #946
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Nice piece on the mental game.

You hit on so many things that I completely agree with or can relate to. Being able to draw from past experiences and implement the lessons you learned into different facets of your life is something that will serve you well both on and off the felt. I don't think anyone would disagree with me if I said it is important to learn from your mistakes. However, our successes present us with a learning opportunity as well - 'how can I translate the means through which I succeeded in one thing to something else?'

Your anecdote about athletics is great because there are so many things you can draw from. I was probably in the 90% percentile, or so, as a tennis player in high school. I had played my whole life, was very athletic and just sort of a natural. I used those traits to win matches I should have easily won, etc etc. But what really put me over the top was the mental toughness that I continued to develop - being consistently consistent, playing high percentage shots, never giving off ANYTHING negative that my opponent could feed off of. At the poker table, people can put in volume or plug perceived leaks to no end but that only gets you so far. Whether it is poker or sports, ability can take you to the top, but mental toughness will ensure you stay there.

A mentor always told me 'losers make excuses, winners find solutions'. You have addressed the fact that you could be more mentally tough and now you are finding solutions. You are on the right track, man, just stay the course and things will start to turn around for ya.

Big game for the Badgers this weekend. Not super optimistic about the outcome but I think it will be a closer game than most people think. Would have loved our chances if it were at Camp Randall.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:46 PM   #947
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep View Post
Nice piece on the mental game.

You hit on so many things that I completely agree with or can relate to. Being able to draw from past experiences and implement the lessons you learned into different facets of your life is something that will serve you well both on and off the felt. I don't think anyone would disagree with me if I said it is important to learn from your mistakes. However, our successes present us with a learning opportunity as well - 'how can I translate the means through which I succeeded in one thing to something else?'

Your anecdote about athletics is great because there are so many things you can draw from. I was probably in the 90% percentile, or so, as a tennis player in high school. I had played my whole life, was very athletic and just sort of a natural. I used those traits to win matches I should have easily won, etc etc. But what really put me over the top was the mental toughness that I continued to develop - being consistently consistent, playing high percentage shots, never giving off ANYTHING negative that my opponent could feed off of. At the poker table, people can put in volume or plug perceived leaks to no end but that only gets you so far. Whether it is poker or sports, ability can take you to the top, but mental toughness will ensure you stay there.

A mentor always told me 'losers make excuses, winners find solutions'. You have addressed the fact that you could be more mentally tough and now you are finding solutions. You are on the right track, man, just stay the course and things will start to turn around for ya.

Big game for the Badgers this weekend. Not super optimistic about the outcome but I think it will be a closer game than most people think. Would have loved our chances if it were at Camp Randall.
Thanks man.

I'm so excited for that game. I was actually surprised to see the line is only 7, I thought if it were in Madison that would be the line and at the horseshoe it would be closer to 10 or more. They definitely need to pass and defend the pass much better to win. If they can do that I think the Badgers get it done.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:03 PM   #948
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Very informative read about the mental game. Thank you for helping us to improve in poker as well as in life.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:32 PM   #949
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:48 PM   #950
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Played some more 2/5 at V after my last bad session and was able to rebound nicely, playing much better and booking a couple small wins.

With my confidence back up I headed back to the Bellagio to again try and establish myself at 5/10 there. I've played there pretty much all this week. I started off with a couple tiny wins, although I swung pretty good in the middle of both sessions.

Friday I had a decent winner mainly from getting a double up at the must move game flopping top set against an aggressive rec player. I would give a bunch back at the main game, primarily in the form of failed cbets. Yesterday I had a big win courtesy of some run-good in a couple big pots with rivered full houses. One of them I know I needed to board to pair to win and the other I'm not sure I needed to improve but its possible.

Today I played a short and uneventful session at V 2/5 since my Bellagio source aka RobFarha informed me that the 5/10 game was no good and I had to put my cash back in my box before leaving for Wisconsin anyways.

I feel like I've been playing much better lately and am excited to have strung together a few good sessions at 5/10. Even though its only a week, its the most I've played there in a while. Its starting to feel much more like my regular game instead of feeling like I'm taking a shot. When I first moved up last year I was only ready from a bankroll perspective. That is to say, I had enough money to play, but my skills weren't up to par to handle the tougher game, nor was my mind ready to handle the bigger swings. I feel much more prepared in both of these respects now, having had a transition period during which I jumped back and forth. I'll still continue to play 2/5 also, but I'd like to reverse my distribution from mostly 2/5 and some 5/10 to mostly 5/10 and some 2/5.

I also feel fortunate to still be bankrolled for the game despite my recent 3-month break-even stretch. When looking at where I was at the end of last month I was actually surprised at the level my bankroll was at considering I put away some money for expenses at the start of the series and then invested a considerable chunk at the end. That is a credit to my good money management skills. Such skills are extremely underrated and uncommon among professional poker players, and I maintain that my skills in this department give me a huge edge over other pros that might even be better players than myself because it allows me to weather bigger and longer downturns without being felted or having to move down. Though moving down can be necessary, being able to maintain earning power is a hugely important and often overlooked aspect of bankroll management. That I still am rolled to play 5/10 now that I feel my game is ready even after a tough stretch is a direct result of diligent money management. Part of this is also that I'm 22 with no debt or dependents, but I know for a fact that I manage money better and keep my monthly nut lower than any other poker player I've met in a similar situation. Its important to enjoy the money we earn (I don't think I've ever turned down doing something fun for monetary reasons) but its also important to maximize utility with our "fun money" so we don't spend carelessly. That way we can do the things we really want to and cut out spending that wasn't really adding live EV.

Today was my last session for a while since I'm heading to Wisconsin on Wednesday. I'm super excited to go to a football game at Camp Randall (Wisconsin's home stadium) and see some friends and family. I plan to grind hard upon my return since lately some of my sessions have been on the shorter side. I also have another blogish aside that I've been wanting to write about that I'll post if I have downtime at home or when I get back.

Last edited by cushlash; 10-07-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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