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Old 04-17-2018, 08:44 AM   #1
Scooo13zzz
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Whats Your Routine???

Wanted to get some experience from some long term grinders. I have loved the game of poker since I was 15. I am 27 now and I am completely financially independent and live on my own. This past year after saving up money I started taking poker seriously as a side income to help pay my bills. I have a fulltime job and never plan on playing poker professionally. As much as I love poker I would never play professionally. Personally it would take the enjoyment out of the game for me. From playing consistently this past year I have observed how cruel of a game poker can be with variance and of course it is difficult to always be on your "A game".

From your experience what are some your routines or how do you approach a session that gives you the best chance of playing your "A game".

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:08 AM   #2
Playbig2000
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

I always get a large cup of coffee and I come in confident that I will make correct decisions.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:46 AM   #3
answer20
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

This is a fickle sentiment since there are so many variables from session to session that you don't control for the most part, especially other player's moods. I like to have poker goals, but I've also found that you don't want to go into a session saying 'I'm going to work on 3-betting light tonight' since you shouldn't 'force' situations at the table. A player who was on your right last time may now be on your left today.

When I leave a session I mentally review some hands in an effort to remember how they progressed and where I may have missed value or made an ill-advised bet that allowed a player to c/r me out of a hand.

On the way to a session I try to recall those types of spots as well. I also make sure I know what my BR is for the night and how long I 'might' want to play. Did I get enough sleep? Am I in a sour mood from work or other? Do I need to work some food into the evening somehow, either before or take some comps along the way? The best way to play well is to know, and be honest with, yourself before the session begins so you can concentrate on game play once you get to the table ... and then make adjustments during the session.

I used to carry a list of 5 general session 'ideas' to remind me of a good starting point ... Don't over-limp (or limp period), play position poker, know the pot size (and stack sizes of remaining players with respect to the pot), Don't over value hands with respect to the Board (like AA on Tx9y8x multi-way), Pay attention to unknown opponents even when not in the hand.

The mental battle of poker is what's fun for me ... Each hand is supposed to stand on it's own. And from a math perspective it does, but the emotional dynamic is what is constantly changing. My current 'catch phrase' for poker is ... "Win the war, not every battle." This may seem to be more of a tournament view but I truly believe that within a session, and even session to session if you play against regs, that you need to protect your soldiers so that they are 'available' to assist you when the time is right. But I'm also not afraid to sacrifice a few of them in order to be better prepared for a bigger battle later.

This might be a little too deep, but I like reading my own stuff!! GL
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:48 AM   #4
thin_slicing
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

I have a few videos I listen to on the way to the casino. Not even poker related but it primes me to play aggressive.

I also use Evernote to log all my sessions after I play. I will write any hands I want to think about more and note how I played. I try to be as honest as possible with myself.

Sometimes I will never revisit what I write but just getting it out on "paper" allows me to let it go and move on.

I also have a "poker warm up cool down" that I created in a word document that I use sometimes. I only use it about 20% of the time though. I need to start using it every time.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:53 AM   #5
DK Barrel
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Be well rested, well fed, not distracted, stressed out by life etc. And don't have a deadline/curfew.

Although my results over the past couple of years when hung over have been phenomenal. I can't explain why
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:02 AM   #6
johnnyBuz
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Have a short term memory and confidence in your ability. When I was playing full time I had no problem grinding it out the day after having a horrendous session.

I think more important is trying not to force it. Sometimes I go into a session with things I want to work on, but if the situation doesn't present itself I don't try to force a round peg into a square hole.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:16 AM   #7
snowman
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

great responses above here also!
to your comment, yes grinding can feel like a job if your dependent on day to day.
having a bankroll and living expenses set aside gives you the freedom to say;
I don't feel like working today!.
I approach every day as a social interaction and yes some DB's sit at the tables , so what.
they can't ruin my day anymore than the guy who cut you off in traffic and then flipped you the bird.
my checklist:
left ego at home
packed my positive attitude
sure I was an 80% favorite this still means I lose 20% ; variance is a fickle dance partner
willing to always learn, adapt, and change my plan if conditions dictate it.
have 5 buy-ins with me or access to it.
remember to get up every hour to keep blood flowing
game selection is priority.
doesn't matter that I drove 3 hrs and after 1 hr game sucks with no other choices. I will get up and leave
if I'm not on my A game I will get up and leave
discipline is my friend-ego my enemy
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:47 AM   #8
shorn7
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Quote:
Originally Posted by answer20 View Post
This is a fickle sentiment since there are so many variables from session to session that you don't control for the most part, especially other player's moods. I like to have poker goals, but I've also found that you don't want to go into a session saying 'I'm going to work on 3-betting light tonight' since you shouldn't 'force' situations at the table. A player who was on your right last time may now be on your left today.

When I leave a session I mentally review some hands in an effort to remember how they progressed and where I may have missed value or made an ill-advised bet that allowed a player to c/r me out of a hand.

On the way to a session I try to recall those types of spots as well. I also make sure I know what my BR is for the night and how long I 'might' want to play. Did I get enough sleep? Am I in a sour mood from work or other? Do I need to work some food into the evening somehow, either before or take some comps along the way? The best way to play well is to know, and be honest with, yourself before the session begins so you can concentrate on game play once you get to the table ... and then make adjustments during the session.

I used to carry a list of 5 general session 'ideas' to remind me of a good starting point ... Don't over-limp (or limp period), play position poker, know the pot size (and stack sizes of remaining players with respect to the pot), Don't over value hands with respect to the Board (like AA on Tx9y8x multi-way), Pay attention to unknown opponents even when not in the hand.

The mental battle of poker is what's fun for me ... Each hand is supposed to stand on it's own. And from a math perspective it does, but the emotional dynamic is what is constantly changing. My current 'catch phrase' for poker is ... "Win the war, not every battle." This may seem to be more of a tournament view but I truly believe that within a session, and even session to session if you play against regs, that you need to protect your soldiers so that they are 'available' to assist you when the time is right. But I'm also not afraid to sacrifice a few of them in order to be better prepared for a bigger battle later.

This might be a little too deep, but I like reading my own stuff!! GL
The above is all great (except the no limping part ). I will add two statements that I read to myself before every session:

1. Don't make Hero calls
2. Don't tilt

GL!
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:22 AM   #9
twitcherroo
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Two biggest areas for me:
1) when there is a decision, slow down. Calling when you should be raising is a huge leak in many peoples games. And I don’t mean preflop. Bottom line, you’re playing for real money. A $75 pot doean’t get much attention but at $1/2 it represents 2-3 hrs profit.

2) tight(er) is right(er). I’m a spew filled ******. I’ll call your A’s w/ J6, chase down 2 pair and stack you. I’m not saying you or anyone should play tight in an absolute sense. I’m saying you should play slightly tighter than you would like to.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
gobbledygeek
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Sounds like you've really got your head screwed on right, especially with regards to having a full time job, being financially independent, and never considering poker as a full time job; perfect approach, imo.

The only thinking I would perhaps tweak just slightly differently is don't necessarily think of poker as a way to earn side income; just treat it as entertainment / fun hobby (one that hopefully fits into a balanced life of other hobbies). If you happen to make a few extra $ with it, great; but I wouldn't necessarily have it as a bills-helping goal.

Last time out, I played my 501st 1/3 NL session. I still get a little nervous / knot in the stomach as I phone in to place my name on the list / arrive at the game. Usually subsides by the time I actually sit at the table. I take notes on all players in my pool on my iPhone within my Poker Journal app, and I refresh thru these notes as I sit at the table to remind me who I'm playing with; this helps me get prepared. Also really helps taking a longterm approach to the game; just play your game, the one that you know wins, and don't sweat the small stuff (i.e. this session, where the cards will most likely decide whether you win or lose).

Ggoodluck!G
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:50 PM   #11
VipassanaMan
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

1) Have confidence in your ability to win and make the right decisions. It's not enough to just tell yourself, you have to really know it. You have to know deep down that you have put in the work that separates you from your opponents.

2) Emotional control is paramount but also extremely difficult in practice. I still go through short periods where I'm a bit emotionally off balance. Meditation helps with this tremendously, but it still hasn't eliminated it completely for me.

3) Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, exercise, don't drink or smoke.

4) Avoid other vices that are so common among poker players like excessive gambling on everything. Remember even the greatest players lose money on games where you simply can't win in the long run.

5) Have your life and financial situation together.

6) Take breaks while playing.

7) Stop, take some deep breaths, and take your time when facing a difficult decision. Forget about the others who think you may be taking too long, it's your money and your decision. You don't owe them the courtesy of making snap decisions every time.

8) Have a friendly table image so that the weaker players feel more welcome.

9) Study every day even if it's for only a few minutes or mentally reviewing hands from a previous session.

10) Finally accept the truth that nothing you do is going to matter much millions of years from now (in fact just 100 years from now), so chill out, relax, and remember it's just a game.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
gobbledygeek
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Quote:
Originally Posted by VipassanaMan View Post
10) Finally accept the truth that nothing you do is going to matter much millions of years from now (in fact just 100 years from now), so chill out, relax, and remember it's just a game.
Love this.

GinahundredyearsyouandIwillbothbedeadG
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:27 PM   #13
Fahrrr
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

I think affirmations and meditation is great before a session.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:36 PM   #14
PokerPrince
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Re: Whats Your Routine???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fahrrr View Post
I think affirmations and meditation is great before a session.
+1

Clear my mind of any clutter and refill it with positive affirmations/self-talk. Also, eating a healthy meal and having a good workout, especially cardio, seems to be enormously helpful for mental clarity and confidence.

Last edited by PokerPrince; 04-17-2018 at 01:46 PM.
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