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Old 01-24-2015, 02:43 PM   #1401
watbri2014
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Should be an awesome trip cush
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:43 PM   #1402
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Shorter week this week than last at the tables, though still not too shabby. I've been quite surprised with my motivation level given both my recent feelings towards poker in general and the fact that I'm having an awful month. There's no doubt I've made a couple larger than usual mistakes simply due to boredom/not paying attention, but overall have played reasonably well. I'd probably give my play a B- for the month so far.

My emotional control has been A+ however. Lost 66<55 all in on 652 the other day for a 2.2k pot and didn't even blink. The rest of the table flipped their lid and I just quietly paid off and topped up. No exaggeration, I was the 2nd least upset person at the table, behind only the guy that won the pot. Whats more is that I'd been running bad leading up to this hand. Some people can take the occasional brutal beat when running average/good, but give them one during a downswing and they lose it.

Hopefully this doesn't come off arrogant, but this is something I'm massively proud of. Taking beats like this doesn't phase me. I generally only get frustrated when I play hands questionably and lose since its hard to determine if what I did was wrong or not in the vast majority of situations. I don't care if I was right or wrong, I just want an answer.

This was the story of my session yesterday. I lost a couple hands in which I wasn't thrilled with my play and there really isn't an answer. While its hard to say, IMO both were +EV lines but were probably not the highest EV lines to take. This type of session is infinitely more frustrating to me. I rack my brain trying to come up with a definitive answer to a virtually unanswerable question. I lost almost the same amount yesterday as I did on Friday when I lost that one-outer, but left the sessions feeling completely different.

Despite some poor results, I'm trying my hardest to stay motivated. Europe is definitely serving as the carrot at the end of the stick right now, and its doing a damn good job motivating me in pretty much all the areas I'm looking to improve, poker just being one small piece.

My family comes into town today and will be here through the Super Bowl. It'll be fun to hang out with them for a while, and I should be able to get the same if not more time in at the table since they are here to play as well.
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:52 PM   #1403
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Originally Posted by cushlash View Post
My emotional control has been A+ however. Lost 66<55 all in on 652 the other day for a 2.2k pot and didn't even blink.
Good stuff, this mentality is hard-earned and hard-maintained; well worthy of taking pride in.
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:09 PM   #1404
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I like the way that you are always asking yourself if there was another approach to the play of a poker hand or to life in general. I think that we call get satisfaction from becoming better, on improving oneself. Poker is just one small sub-set of that task.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:54 AM   #1405
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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Love the report, one tiny nit.

I notice you never metion how your sessions went (won$250, dropped $400). I assume this is because your peeps back home are reading. Do you plan to divulge this ever? It makes for a far better trip report, as opposed to every post "played for 3 hours, bought a lamp at target, etc."

Anyways, hope you crush! Look forward to reading the rest.
I LOLed hard on this, bought a lamp. Just started reading this thread.
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Old 02-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #1406
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Hey guys, been quite a while since my last update, just haven't had much to say. After the last one I went on a pretty nice upswing, won 12 sessions in a row until I booked a loser yesterday. None were huge, but when you win small/medium and don't lose it adds up pretty fast. Thats pretty much why there hasn't been an update, its just kinda been business as usual the last couple weeks so I haven't had anything interesting to say.

My energy levels have been great, better than I can ever remember them actually. Its pretty encouraging to have stayed motivated through a hellish January. Continuing to show up and work through getting pounded for a while makes the upswing that much sweeter. I'm almost more motivated to play when losing because I feel like I'm playing for something and am more focused. When I go in and just win it seems like it doesn't matter and I can slack. This is obviously not true so need to work to fight that mindset.

The only recent blip was yesterday's session, if you could even call it a session. Played for an hour and really shouldn't have even sat down. For no apparent reason I was really tired and was thinking before I got called for a seat that I should probably go. Decided to sit and see how I felt after a while. A bit in I knew I needed to leave. In my last orbit lost a 1k pot to a 3-outer and became uncharacteristically tilted, which was just more evidence I needed to leave. Lost another small pot and basically snap racked up before I did any major damage.

Don't want to be results oriented, since my play in that hour was fine, but how I was reacting to losing run-of-the-mill pots in +EV spots was not conducive to playing a full session. I'm actually happy I stuck with my plan to go home instead of sticking around to try to get even.

I've been keeping pretty busy outside of poker as well. Been working out and working on various areas of self-improvement. A lot of the changes I've made over the last year or so are starting to show results, which makes me want to improve even more. I'm also starting to get into a nice groove with my routine which feels great. Europe continues to motivate me on multiple fronts both on and off the felt.

Reminding myself why I'm doing what I'm doing has been key for me in a time when the actual act of playing poker is no longer interesting. There have been moments in which I have been close to slipping back into the "hating poker" mindset. Reminding myself that poker is my vehicle, and a pretty awesome one at that, has helped me stay on track so far this year.

Last edited by cushlash; 02-13-2015 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:36 PM   #1407
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

How's it going with the ladies cush?
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:15 AM   #1408
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

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How's it going with the ladies cush?
haha lately I've been focused on improving myself and just doing things I want to do and letting that stuff come naturally. My radar is always on though.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:29 PM   #1409
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Shortly after my last update, I reached a pretty important non-poker milestone in my life. Last monday I weighed in under 200lbs for the first time in over 10 years. I've been slowly making small changes in diet and exercise habits over the last few years, and lately things have ramped up on this front. I wanted to make sure that the changes I made were sustainable, so I was never in a rush to get to a certain weight, but its cool to see those small changes accumulate into something big. Its a bit of an arbitrary benchmark, but something about seeing a 1 instead of a 2 in the hundreds place makes me happy.

I'm a firm believer that health/fitness is a journey and not a destination, so I'm certainly not saying "phew, I'm done, now bring on the burgers and cupcakes". I definitely allowed myself a few indulgences this week, but I'm looking to keep the momentum going with my diet and exercise habits because besides being good for me, being healthy just makes me feel so much better on a daily basis.

I've been doing more fun non-poker stuff than ever lately and its been awesome. Went to a couple concerts this month, joined a kickball league, been going to exercise classes and just staying active in a variety of ways.

This balance is very important and its something I've always preached as a poker player. Lately I've been back to playing a full poker schedule, and I've noticed my general cheerfulness level is lower. I'm not less happy, but being in a casino environment 5 days a week is draining. I try to be as cheerful as possible to counteract the place I'm in, but we tend to match the energy levels around us, and the fact is casinos are just negative places.

Therefore its very important that I maintain a balance outside of poker so that I don't get sucked in to all the negativity surrounding me. For now poker is my vehicle and it fits into my life, but the atmosphere of the live poker environment and how it affects my day-to-day cheerfulness is certainly on the "con" side when I am evaluating poker.

That being said, lately my attitude towards poker has been pretty positive. I've been keeping up with the volume I committed to at the beginning of the year. Basically I made an hours goal based on my Europe plans and where I want to be financially when I get back from that trip. I figured out how much I need to play to get there and made that my goal. Whether I actually make that money is irrelevant, as long as I play the hours and collect the EV its a success.

The Europe trip and the mindset that has resulted from planning/budgeting for it has kept me motivated to play. However, I've definitely been getting bored at the table, and more or less going through the motions some days. I really have been just treating poker like a job, which certainly isn't the worst way to approach it.

However, I think a better way would be to approach it like a business. These sound similar, but I think treating it like a business is quite different. Treating it like a job means just clocking in, clocking out, and collecting a paycheck. Treating it like a business is much more serious and means putting thought and effort into every decision to make it the best business it can be.

When I was in high school I had a counselor say I must love school because of how good I was at it (2nd in a class of ~350 /brag). I told her that I actually didn't really like school at all. She then asked how it was that I did so good at it. I said that basically my mindset was that I had to be at this place for 7 hours a day whether I wanted to or not, so I might as well accomplish something.

Over the last few days I've been applying this mindset to poker. Technically I don't have to play poker, but because of the life goals I have, I need to make a certain amount of money and poker is the vehicle I've chosen to get there. So instead of going through the motions and clocking in and out, I've decided that as long as I'm gonna be in the poker room 25-30 hours a week, I might as well accomplish something while I'm there.

I've only been doing this for a couple sessions, but it has already helped. I'm paying closer attention, picking up more at the table, and thinking more critically. I'm less results oriented because I'm thinking about game strategy and not how much I'm up or down. It also makes my session go by faster because I'm occupying my brain with something other than "alright 3 more hours and I can leave". My mind is just more conducive to making good decisions.

Poker is still my means to an end and I have no dreams of playing big games or even playing full time for that much longer, but while it remains my income vehicle, I think maintaining this "poker as a business" mindset is the healthiest way to go about it for me. Essentially, as long as I'm gonna be at the table anyways, I might as well accomplish something.

Last edited by cushlash; 02-23-2015 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:40 PM   #1410
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Fair Warning: This got very emo/self reflective and may come off much more negatively than I actually feel. It was cathartic for me to write but I almost didn't post it for that reason. Decided there wasn't really any harm in posting, but for those that don't like this type of stuff, you've been warned.

Well its been almost 3 weeks since I last wrote in here, which is probably one of the longest stretches since I started the thread almost 3 years ago. I've been playing my 25ish hours per week still and have been running extremely hot. Unfortunately I haven't been playing all that well and have left a couple recent sessions with a pretty bad taste in my mouth despite one being break even and one being a winner.

I'm not playing long hours but I have noticed that simply being in the casino 4-5 days/week is really starting to wear on me again. It took me some time to recognize because its subtle and gradual, but eventually I could feel my general outlook going back to how it was when all I did was poker.

I've still maintained balance outside of poker but even with that, the amount I've been playing recently has slowly shifted my mindset in a negative way. I've noticed lately that I've been more anxious and neurotic. Both are issues I've struggled with before and they had gotten much better in the last year. When I noticed myself slipping back into those habits I couldn't help but connecting it to being back in the casino regularly. I'm having a really hard time explaining this right now and I don't feel like its coming off the right way but essentially what I'm saying is that I'm just more in my own head and generally less happy when I'm in the casino all the time.

Then again, when I hear friends talking about their jobs and the BS they deal with I think of how thankful I am to be doing what I'm doing. My life is awesome and I really am incredibly lucky to get to do what I do. Unfortunately one of the negatives of live poker is having to be in a draining environment to make money. For some people this isn't a problem and to those people I say more power to ya because its something I struggle with so I admire those that have found ways to deal with it. I think I just may have reached my limit on how much I can personally deal with it. Despite doing a lot of self improvement off the table, putting a lot of emphasis on life balance, and being a generally happy person, whenever I play anything resembling a full schedule, it doesn't take long for my mindset to recoil.

I really don't like what this does to me because it makes me want to be less social and I find myself being way less chill than when I was hardly playing. It almost feels like playing poker directly conflicts with the other goals I have. This is unfortunate because if I can only play so much poker then I can only make so much money and right now the amount I can play doesn't translate to much income. I wouldn't care much about this, but in the end that income is what allows me to make progress with those other goals.

An interesting part of this is that I've been talking strategy a bit more than usual with a few friends and I've really enjoyed those discussions. These back and forths make me excited about poker, but then when I go play I don't really enjoy it because the reality of live poker is that its very slow and you don't get into anything all that interesting very often. I just don't enjoy the grind anymore. This is likely why I haven't been playing all that well despite probably being as technically sound as I've ever been. The skills are there, mentally I'm just not interested enough to pay close enough attention to properly apply them.

Since I still enjoy these strategy discussions, I know I still like poker, but the conclusion I have come to is that I just don't like playing live poker for a living. I'd certainly still play 1-2 days/week (or online) if I did something else for income, but having to play 4-5 days has become very draining.

For a while I dismissed that it was poker or being in the casino that was causing this because for the first part of this year my outlook/mindset was as good as it ever was despite being back to playing a lot. Interestingly enough I was actually down-swinging at this time too and it didn't seem to affect me. However I think playing 4-5 days a week just gradually crept up to me and is starting to negatively affect me.

I don't think it has anything to do with results either because I was fine during the downswing, and these thoughts and feelings have all come about during a fairly extended upswing. It would be easy to attribute an attitude like this to a downswing but I've been pretty much stomping the last 6 or 7 weeks. As nice as that is, I'd rather have half that money and not feel however it is that compelled me to write this post. It seems that win or lose, full time poker just chips away at me.

None of these thoughts are particularly new to me, they have simply begun to happen again with me being back to playing. This doesn't really change my plan much going forward. My outlook for being a full time poker player was already pretty short term. The plan was to just use poker until I leave for Europe and then evaluate my options when I get back. As I've mentioned many times before, poker is just my income vehicle. Fortunately for me, despite only being just over half way through the volume I wanted to play before my trip, as a result of running well I'm pretty much at the life-roll figure that that hours goal was based on.

This is largely irrelevant, because in poker it really is all about hours. However, given how I've been feeling in regards to playing lately, this is going to make it hard not to relax my playing schedule. Part of me wants to buckle down and stick to my volume goals, but another part of me realizes that this was just a short term deal anyways so pulling up a bit is no big deal now that the finances are in order. I'll probably land somewhere in the middle. I won't just stop playing but I will likely be fairly liberal with my schedule and never force myself to play because I'd really like to get back to feeling the way I did when I played only when I wanted and never grinded.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:26 PM   #1411
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Like Limon said you gotta do something else, anything, to survive...

Solely playing poker will make anyone insane or turn into miserable jaded lifeless old poker guy

You are young and smart and have positive disposition and social skills, you'll be fine!

Traveling is one of the best things you can do... Good choice
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:59 PM   #1412
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I feel similarly about the casino and losing (for me) makes it worse.

If you want, I'm looking to start playing golf again to get my mind clearer. PM me if you're at all interested man.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:55 PM   #1413
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

if you ever wanna do something random hit me up sir, i'm all about life balance
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:34 AM   #1414
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I personally think that poker does a lot of terrible things re: my brain chemistry. I definitely feel the same things (social anxiety, depression, anxiousness) after I've been grinding a lot. I also feel a lot less joy in my life overall. I've talked to other long-time grinders and I think this is pretty common.

Helps to have perspective though. You're in such a fortunate situation in that you can pursue your passions without having to worry too much about money. Playing part-time for extra income is ideal imo. Hope you can find something you're passionate about and get to that point!
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:57 AM   #1415
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Nice post Taylor; not emo at all. Maybe you should consider becoming a professional "9s" bowler... Wait, on second thought, maybe not such a good idea.

I would take some time off immediately and relax leading up to march madness 2 week grind. Then rest up afterwards. I'm thinking about doing the same as I've been playing and running like an ass for the last 7 sessions or so.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:58 AM   #1416
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I swear to you guys I'm absolutely not a hater. That said, I just can't get my head around the idea that someone can have one job that they work 4 or 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, can wear what they want, eat and take breaks whenever they want, have no boss of any kind, and yet somehow 25 hours/week at this job is at the very edge of toleration.

I mean sure, if playing poker is the absolute nut worst possible thing you can imagine doing even for a moment (if this is the case, maybe try to channel your inner coal miner) then ya I guess it would wear on you. But aside from that, honestly Cushlash I feel like all that's missing is perspective. If a person can work cleaning sewers full time so that his or her family can eat and have heat in their house, then surely there is a way for you to find the perspective needed to play poker in sufficient volume to get you to your 'I don't have to play poker any more' goal.

I realize that old people (me) saying things like 'well I worked 7 jobs 29 hours/day 12 days/week for $.04/hr and I was happy to do it' isn't helpful in any way. But, I think there is an element of that sentiment that is germane to your problem re: feeling burnt out at this volume. My feeling is that if it's important enough to make poker money to facilitate moving on to something else and be financially prepared to do so, then suck it up and get after it. If it isn't important enough, that person should consider quitting now and find something to do that won't devour souls or whatever, and move on.

caveat: I don't really remember with any clarity what it feels like to be single with nobody depending on me, so it is possible that I'm just not able to identify with the idea that playing cards 5 hours a day and as a result earning a living could be intolerable over the short term. I do mean that sincerely...not trying to be a smart-ass. I might not remember it, but I know that it's different
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:41 AM   #1417
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Dear diet,

Maybe some people have bigger goals in life than making money, wearing whatever they want, and profiting from suffering. Maybe there is something inherently unsatisfactory with playing poker for a living. This guy has been doing it for several years now. How can you question his emotions and thoughts?

This is not to say I'm strong enough never to chase after quick money. Ive done it several times in the past and have been successful. It's just humans are meant to grow spiritually on this earth. We'll never die and say, o I wish I had one more hour at the poker table.

I think it's nature's way to give unconditionally. Poker doesn't really go along with this and so even winners feel depressed. Using our intelligence to play a game instead of solve problems for people can be sad.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:58 AM   #1418
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

lol


GL cushlash.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:10 PM   #1419
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I agree with ddt

This comes off like some whiny self entitled emo kid.

"OMG if I have to sit on my ass 25hrs again this week with free food and beverage and come and go as I please to make the kind of money most 9-5ers only dream about....I will go crazy!"

Do the entire poker industry a favor and hang it up...and give your seat to someone who appreciates how good they have it.....then go out there and earn a living through a biz venture or a job and I think you will see that you didn't have it so bad after all.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:41 PM   #1420
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I'm all for having a career in something other than poker. In the mean time Have you tried mixing in tournaments and plo to keep things interesting while still being very profitable. I've been grinding nl cash for years now and feel the same drain but I play a weekly plo with some hi low as well and thy occasional tournament to keep that excitement and interest as high as possible.
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:13 PM   #1421
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Very few last as live pros for the reasons you outlined my man. The casino is a massive energy suck. People who have not logged the hours will never understand. Solid post. Squids advice - get out while you can...get the wheels in motion pronto

Poker is a great hobby/side income - as a career it sux. Oh ya and by the way I am currently on/have been on an insane heater.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:17 PM   #1422
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

^Im probably the most obsessed/love playing poker person I know and even I can relate to what he is saying. Sometimes when you HAVE to grind but your not enjoying it it can really suck...it can be a lot less 'freedom' than everyone assumes AT TIMES and that with the added stress of uncertainty (abnormal statistical outcomes) that most people don't really have to deal with occupationally, at least not to this extreme. To play full time I feel like you HAVE to force yourself to make time for other things, interests, pursuits, ect to remain at least a marginally well-rounded and happy person, most people can't do that.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:28 PM   #1423
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Cush, I think folks here are well-intentioned on both sides. But no one hear can know you well enough from your posts to really understand and advise.

My advice after reading about how you think your mood is changing is to think about some counseling. I am sure some here will laugh at this idea but talking with a good counselor can really help you think your way through these things and really figure out where the issues are coming from.

I think there was a guy here (Elliot?) that might be knowledgable in this area and able to point you at good resources.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:51 PM   #1424
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by squid face View Post
Very few last as live pros for the reasons you outlined my man. The casino is a massive energy suck. People who have not logged the hours will never understand. Solid post. Squids advice - get out while you can...get the wheels in motion pronto

Poker is a great hobby/side income - as a career it sux. Oh ya and by the way I am currently on/have been on an insane heater.
lol....logged the hours?

He is "logging" 25hrs or less per week by his own admittance!

Most of the civilized world "logs" 40-50hrs per week....at specific times....and told when they get their two 15 min breaks and half hour lunch....and you people are seriously going t be sympathetic to this bull****? WOW

Or he could start a business and work 15hr days for months on end in the beginning (3 times the hours of his current job)

If the big bad energy life sucking casino (siting on your ass with free food and drinks meeting new people) is so hard on your psyche....here is a thought.....QUIT PLAYING POKER AND MAKE A LIVING ANOTHER WAY!

If he had to earn his income being told when to show up ...when to take breaks....when to leave....etc...etc...I am willing to bet he would be even less happy.

Yes, I get that it's the only job in the world you can go to and lose money in the short term....but seriously....I think cush needs to try another income source and he will see it used to be all good back in the day
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:55 PM   #1425
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

lol we get it...the real world sucks.
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