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Old 02-20-2016, 05:38 PM   #1576
cushlash
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I've been wanting to write more lately but haven't had that much to say. Things have been fairly routine with poker/health/social life so I haven't been all that inspired to write.

One thing worth noting is that I've taken a break from a lot of the self-improvement content I was consuming. I got to the point where I was taking in a lot of information but not doing anything with most of it. I had a hard time sticking to anything when every new book I read steered my thoughts and feelings in a new direction. So for now I'm just trying to execute. I'll definitely go back to reading books and such in the future but for now it feels more important to be focused and execute. I'm still listening to a few podcasts while driving but I'm keeping it to that.

My friend who recently took a full time job after several years of poker just started writing in his blog on a 3-4 times a week basis and I've enjoyed reading his updates. A combination of that and some other factors have inspired me to be more consistent with this thread. I've decided that I would need some structure in order to stick to it. Drawing ideas from the 5 minute journal (some may have heard of this) and the warm up/cool down discussion in the Mental Game of Poker, I've developed a pre and post session prompt for myself. As an experiment, I'm going to do this for each poker session for the next week and see how it goes. After that week I may change things around, make additions, or scrap the idea completely.

The structure will be as follows:
Pre session:

Why I'm playing poker today: I often lack motivation to play and I believe a big part of that is losing sight of the big picture and why I play poker. Reminding myself why I'm playing should help keep me motivated and upbeat regarding playing.

3 things I'm focusing on: These can be related to technical skills, mental game skills, or anything else I'm trying to improve.

Post session:

Something I did well: Again, might be technical, mental, or anything else.

Something I could have done better: Same deal, maybe a hand I butchered or getting tilted or distracted.

Something I learned: I'd like to learn something every day and I think writing it down will help. Doesn't even have to be poker related, might just be something from a conversation at the table.

(Optional) Something I noticed/thought about: Putting this as optional since I won't have something for it every session. Sometimes I think about stuff that would be good for this blog but I don't really have a spot for it. Sometimes it's about poker but often it's about life in general or something else.

So that's the plan. I think it will be useful on a lot of levels. It should help my motivation and make me more focused. If I stick to it I'm sure it will not only make me a better poker player, but also make me more mindful/present as a result of having to think about these things consiously. I think the cool down aspect will help me to put poker down when I'm away from the table, something I often struggle with. It also will get me writing more which might dovetail into even more writing.

First installment of my new experiment likely coming later today!
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:46 PM   #1577
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Starting a session, time for my first post in this experiment.

Why I'm playing poker today: Freedom. This section will almost always come down to freedom in some form. Today I have nothing specific but I do what I want every day and poker helps me achieve that level of freedom.

3 things I'm working on:
1. Staying focused at the table. My attention has been drifting, need to be focused as much as possible.
2. Not mulling over hands in game. Write down hands that need to be reviewed and move on so you don't become distracted.
3. Don't blindly barrel just because you pick up equity. This is a leak of mine.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:24 AM   #1578
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Just finished up:

Something I did well: This is surprisingly hard to think of something. No hands stick out that I did anything special in. I'd say that just starting this blog counts as something I did well.

Something I could have done better: Focus level was still lower than I'd like it to be. I know I can't be at 100% the whole time but I can do better. Made a couple errors because of autopilot.

Something I learned: I'm more suceptable to making small preflop errors when I'm running well than I would have thought.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:13 PM   #1579
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Why I'm playing poker today: I set an alarm clock probably fewer than 10 times a year.

3 things I'm working on:
1. Staying focused for just a bit longer than I have been. Taking baby steps to get there and eventually I'll be able to stay focused more and more.
2. Think about every decision to avoid autopilot mistakes.
3. Let go of mistakes. I tend to beat myself up and it distracts me from things I should be paying attention to.
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Old 02-21-2016, 07:36 PM   #1580
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Short session today, had some non-poker activities planned but wanted to play a few hours. My sleep has been off lately so I was pretty tired/annoyed. Session didn't go well but it could have been way worse.

Something I did well: Made a couple folds in spots where it would have been very easy to throw in the "**** it" call.

Something I could have done better: Left earlier. Results would have been the same but the extra ~hour I played after I knew I should leave was not productive.

Something I learned: I give too much credit to old guys for being tight preflop. Not every old guy is an omc.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:45 PM   #1581
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I like your post-session review plan. I think this can be applied to any number of activities.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #1582
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I like this thread's new direction. Should be a good follow.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:10 AM   #1583
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

And yes we ARE all tight pre. And we never bluff. And we're stations. Come on, man.
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:32 PM   #1584
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaminDeBuci View Post
I like your post-session review plan. I think this can be applied to any number of activities.
Thanks, yea I agree. I pulled most of that from a non-poker source so I think it's a pretty flexible form.





Quote:
Originally Posted by OMC View Post
I like this thread's new direction. Should be a good follow.
Thanks, glad people are liking it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OMC View Post
And yes we ARE all tight pre. And we never bluff. And we're stations. Come on, man.
Haha well played sir, well played.
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Old 02-22-2016, 01:34 PM   #1585
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Also forgot to mention originally that if anyone has suggestions for the structure feel free to share. I want to keep it simple but I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 02-22-2016, 02:03 PM   #1586
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

let's make an hours prop bet since we're both on the grind.

if either guy hits 25 hours I think that's close to a lock to win
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Old 02-22-2016, 04:01 PM   #1587
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Something I learned: I give too much credit to old guys for being tight preflop. Not every old guy is an omc.

I like this starement. I usually go with, everyone is a donk, unless proved otherwise.

More than cash I see the polar opposite behavior in Tournaments from OMC, Non OMC's.

The format is fine, since we are used to you can get away with abbreviations.

Desc:
Did Well:
Can Improve: etc.,

Go get that RobGuy cush! Go get him! Good luck to you both, I think a challenge thrown into the mix will definitely help with the current setup.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:19 PM   #1588
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Why I'm playing today: I booked a trip to Puerto Rico a few days ago. Made plans and bought my ticket without having to ask anyone if I could go or request time off.

3 things I'm working on:
1. Staying focused as much as possible. This is gonna be a staple in this section for a long time.
2. Thinking before acting. Too many times I put in money without thinking and know right away I've made a mistake.
3. Paying attention to showdowns so I can make more specific reads in future hands.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:05 PM   #1589
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Did well: Was focused a much higher % of my session than I have been lately.

Could do better: Took me a while to settle in mentally, need to work on getting right into the game.

Something I learned: This is more something I noticed, but it's crazy to me how few people understand variance. A dealer I view as reasonably aware made a pretty ridiculous comment that made it very obvious he has no concept of variance.
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:42 PM   #1590
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobFarha View Post
let's make an hours prop bet since we're both on the grind.

if either guy hits 25 hours I think that's close to a lock to win
Doesn't seem likely, never been a fan of hours props.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #1591
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I think you should be more specific on your improved focus goal. What exactly are you going to do and how are you going to measure it?

I have the same issue.

A specific goal for me might be: I will only look at my phone once every two hours. Or, I will recount the action of the previous hand to myself while the dealer is getting ready to deal the next hand with the goal to only miss 2 hands/hour.
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:17 PM   #1592
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Why I'm playing today: Taking Thurs-sun off this weekend and getting to make my own schedule makes that possible.

3 things I'm working on:
1. Settling in faster than yesterday.
2. Improving focus. I like p566's suggestion, I need to be more specific here. I'm going to think about the best way to do this but for today I'm going to focus in 20 minute on, 5 minute off intervals.
3. Don't get hung up on visual reads, pay attention to people's actions.
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Old 02-23-2016, 11:42 PM   #1593
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Did well: Made a fold in a big pot that turned out to be wrong but I wasn't results oriented and moved on pretty quickly.

Could do better: Focus goal was a total fail. Not sure what the solution is here, part of me feels like live nl is just too slow for me to pay attention the whole time but that could be a cop out.

Learned: Apparently not all Canadians are liberal. Had a conversation with a pretty outspoken conservative Canadian guy.
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:06 AM   #1594
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

I think your feeling about focus is a little bit of a cop out but I do think that if you are a well-trained, experienced player who is "in practice" that it doesn't take 100% focus to accomplish what you are looking to get out of "focus."

I think instead of "focus" as a goal you should ask yourself what "being focused" is supposed to accomplish for you. And what things you need to focus on/be aware to accomplish that. Here are some examples:

1. I want to always know the full betting action (who bet, bet size, pot size) for any hand. (A starting goal could be for any hand you are actually in but long term doing this for all hands is how you get free info.). I only get to play live in a casino a couple times a year so I actually practice this by playing online, covering the pot size, and tracking the pot size.

2. Develop images/reads for each opponent based on the the observations above.

3. Put 1 and 2 together to create ranges for my opponents in any given hand.

A lot of the above may be second nature to you now. So maybe your results are more advanced like figuring out what your opponents think of each other based on observing or predicting their play in hands you are not in (like knowing when the better players are in obvious must bet ATC spots).

But I think "what's the end product of this focus?" Is a question to answer and your goal can be to get those end products in some form.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:28 PM   #1595
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by cushlash View Post
Learned: Apparently not all Canadians are liberal. Had a conversation with a pretty outspoken conservative Canadian guy.
I was surprised that you learned that. It's like if I was saying that I thought all U.S. people were conservative.

FWIW, I'm Canadian and neither liberal nor conservative, at least from a political point of view.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:44 PM   #1596
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by uberkuber View Post
I was surprised that you learned that. It's like if I was saying that I thought all U.S. people were conservative.

FWIW, I'm Canadian and neither liberal nor conservative, at least from a political point of view.
Haha yea I understand there is a spectrum but I was just surprised to hear a Canadian who was that conservative.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:48 PM   #1597
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Tried quoting p566's post but app wasn't letting me. Lots of good thoughts, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I think the reason I want to "focus" is because sometimes when I don't pay attention I end up in a spot where I need reads. It's like a spot where I know it's a fold if A and it's a call if B but I haven't been paying attention enough to know which is which so I have to guess. That's essentially what I'm trying to avoid.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:03 PM   #1598
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Why I'm playing today: I feel like this section is pretty repetitive because the reason is always in the same vain. That's not bad I suppose, seeing as how the point of this is to remind myself of why I'm playing. So like most days, today I'm playing for the freedom and flexibility poker affords me.

3 things I'm working on:
1. Again, focusing. That means paying attention consistently enough to not be lost when I get in a pot. Don't have to be on 100%. Basically looking for a state of relaxed concentration.
2. Not checking out when it's close to the end of my session. I do this occasionally and since this is my 7th consecutive day playing I want to make sure I play through so to speak.
3. Game select. Games haven't been that great, particularly since I've been playing mid week. Need to play 1/3 for a few hours or go somewhere else instead of sitting in awful 2/5 games.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:29 AM   #1599
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Long session today, actually stopped about an hour ago so about 7 hours. In before I get flamed for thinking 7 hours is a long session.

Did well: Lost a 3k pot running a bluff and didn't let it affect my play. Happened about halfway through. Guy made a pretty questionable call down that happened to be right but against my range is lol bad.

Could have done better: Let myself get into a strat conversation. I only said one thing but it's still inexcusable imo.

Something I learned: For my whole session I played with Bobby Cooper, basically Charlie Sheens best friend. Heard some cool stories about Sheen and also old school Las Vegas in general.

I'm off for the weekend for some non-poker activities, so this is the end of my week long experiment. I'll likely continue it in some form which I'll decide on over the next few days. I've played 7 consecutive days and even though a couple were short sessions, I can't remember the last time I did that.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:03 AM   #1600
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Re: cushlash in Vegas; TLDR

Been a long time since my last post. I sort of have a reasonable excuse since my computer was being fixed and I just got it back yesterday. A couple times I started an update but just didn't feel like doing it on my phone. Doing the 5 minute deal on there was fine but for longer posts it seems like a hassle.

Speaking of which, as is obvious I did not continue my warm up/cool down routine beyond that week. I feel like it was more of an annoyance than anything else and was helping very little. Perhaps my prompts are just bad because every time I just felt like I was fishing for things to write.

Took a short poker trip to Talking Stick in AZ last weekend. I generally dislike travelling to play poker but I had been wanting to check out the games there for a while. It was a fun trip and despite my results not being great I played a decent chunk of hours while out there and was pretty happy with how it went.

Back to Vegas poker for the past week and my heater has definitely cooled off. I've been very happy with my volume but I can tell I'm starting to get sick of it. Kind of surprising for that to happen while in a flat patch results-wise. Usually that feeling happens for me when I'm running hot, though it never showed up during my recent upswing. I suspect this is the opposite of how most people's attitudes work. Most dislike it when losing and like it when winning. For me I think I just get bored when I'm winning but when losing I'm more motivated/hungry to get better. Not exactly sure what to think of the fact that right now I'm sort of flipped.

I've had a couple discussions recently with my friend who quit poker and took a job in the beginning of the year. He seems dissatisfied with his job on some level, but is super excited to be learning something different and for what lies ahead for him. He told me that even though he won't be at the company for a lot longer that poker isn't even on the table for him. When he moves on from the company he's at it will be for a non-poker pursuit.

As regular readers know I've been hemming and hawing about getting out of poker as a sole source of income for a while. At some point I'm gonna be the boy who cried wolf because besides some mental masturbation I haven't done anything of substance lately as far as steps to do something else. However, my recent discussions with my friend and a few others, mostly those in poker but some outside, has me feeling as strong of a pull to try something else as I've ever felt.

I keep eliminating things from my list by just thinking about them and rejecting them based on what I think it'd be like. This just must be flawed based on how hard it is to know what something is like without doing it. So even though the pro/con lists I make in my head always seem to point to poker being the better option, the fact that I'm comparing the actual poker situation to an abstract view of the other option isn't really fair. And since sticking with poker is easier than changing things my mental comparisons probably don't give those other options a fair chance.

Thus its probably time to just try something out and quit with the crooked pro and con lists. What that is I still don't know, but I suspect it doesn't really matter. I need to just try something else. There really is no reason not to because if I hate it I can come right back to poker and lose basically nothing.

I think its important that I'm deciding to try something out during a time that I don't really hate poker. In the past I've been ultra sick of poker but moving on seemed like a defeat. Right now, despite being a little sick of it I'm pretty content with it and have been putting a fair amount of work in. Trying something new right now doesn't feel like a defeat as much as it feels like simply moving on in the progression of my life.

Again, still don't know what I'll do but the pull I feel is stronger than ever and not looking at it as an irreversible change should make it easier to pull the trigger.
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