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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 05-13-2017, 11:32 AM   #26
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Gl man!
Are you still interested as much in Ethereum?
Here is my advice for any would be crypto investor:

Take anywhere from 5 to 20% of our overall investment strategy and put it in crypto. It's way too volatile to have more than 20% of your overall long term investment funds in there. Put 40% in BTC, 40% in ETH, and the remaining 20% split up among some other coins (I'd go 10% Dash 10% Litecoin). Buy and hold, the plan is to hold on to this stuff for a long term, and don't try to trade the swings.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:44 AM   #27
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Played a live session yesterday. It went well on the whole. I ran fairly well, and also made some good plays. Early in session I got dealt AA and I wasn't really settled in yet and I noticed my heart was racing, ha. You'd think I'd never been dealt a big hand before. Midway through session I was up a fair amount and there was a spot where I should have cold 4bet AK IP but instead chose to cold flat the 3bet, and although given stacks and players involved and positions there was certainly merit to my play as soon as I did it I realized that it was me trying to limit variance or avoid a huge pot, etc. I was able to successfully get back on track right away. I quit at scheduled stop time and booked a nice win.

One thing I find very helpful when getting off my game is to laugh about the situation and laugh at myself. If I can have a little chuckle at the notion of me getting all out of sorts over a card game it helps get me recentered mentally and drains out some tilt accumulation.

Overall yesterday was a successful day. I played well in both of my sessions, and did a good job of sticking to my processes and structure. Overall on the day I finished up 8.5k between my two sessions. This is a spot where I need to be extra careful about falling into the trap of thinking I've righted the ship. It's going to be very easy for me if I have another few successful days in a row to think "OK my mental game is fixed again" and fall right back off the wagon with my processes and effort level towards doing my best. I need to stay vigilant to keep giving a high level of effort towards doing my best and keeping up with my PGC and structure and process moving forward and not trick myself into getting lazy or off track.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:52 AM   #28
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Fitness
First leg day in a month yesterday. I've been just cheating out on leg day and going for a run or something instead for a while. I've never really lifted much legs in the first place long term, and only recently have I started actually trying to train legs in earnest. Overall with lifting I'd say I'm no longer a novice, but still at the beginner level trying to move towards an intermediate. Right away during my squat warmups I felt my right hamstring tweak a bit, and although it wasn't bad I definitely could feel that if I trained hard I would risk injuring it and I decided to just go with light weights for squats and skip deadlifts entirely as it was getting more tweaky as I squatted.

Squats: 155x8x3
Seat Calf Raises: 160x12x3
Hyperextensions: 35x12x3
Leg/Quad Extension: 175x8x3
Hamstring Curl: 150x8x3

Also a little ab work like always. I did a good job with my eating yesterday and didn't pig out on bedtime snacks which is far and away going to be the key to my leaning down. Hopefully next time my hamstring feels good and I can train a bit heavier.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #29
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Played another session this morning. Did not run too well. On the whole I gave a good effort towards sticking to my processes and trying to take active steps to continue to get back on track mentally each time I veered off course. I was definitely feeling the effects of negative variance every time I lost a pot, and it was a battle to keep regrouping into a positive mindset, but on the whole I feel like I did a pretty good job of battling through it and improving my ability to handle the tough times. Perhaps most importantly I quit at the scheduled time and didn't chase the loss. In the end, I won some back towards the end and the loss was fairly minor at like 1.5k and it was the type of session that recently I've let spiral out of control. Ideally I would be unaffected by the variance and remain in the zone throughout, and I definitely got a little loose in a couple spots trying to make something happen, so I still have a long ways to go towards my ideal. Although this session wasn't great, it was a fair effort and a step in the right direction.

One thing I need to improve is my game selection at high stakes games. I think subconsciously because I want to run it up I'm gravitating much more towards marginal quality high stakes games and passing up juicy low stakes games. I know better and constantly stress game selection to students, but here again is another instance of me thinking I'm better than the process and I can do whatever and still win. Lately I'd take a high stakes online game where the softest spot was one weak reg and no real fish, and want to battle that out instead of simply passing and looking for a juicier spot since that was the only high stakes action available to me. Sometimes battling and testing your skills vs tough lineups is an important part of the growth process, and that has it's place, but if I'm being honest with myself I'm only in that game in the hopes of doubling up in a big pot mainly just by coolering another reg. The good news is I'm identifying another leak and working more and more towards building a stronger overall game.

Technical Game: B
Tilt Control: B+
Game Selection: C
Focus: B
Structure: B+
Effort: B+
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:59 AM   #30
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Hello, just letting you know that I have subscribed to your thread and that I will be following along.
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:38 PM   #31
benjamin barker
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Hello, just letting you know that I have subscribed to your thread and that I will be following along.
Welcome aboard!
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:04 PM   #32
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Played live yesterday. Decent session. On the whole maintained an upbeat positive attitude and stayed on point with my mental state and my play. There was one hand where I overcalled a raise preflop with Kxs multiway with a recreational player in the pot that was a bit too loose probably despite the fish, and it was mostly out of being kind of card dead and starting to get a bit frustrated I wasn't getting any spots to mix it up with the recreational player. Overall I did a good job with my self awareness and structure and process. I was tempted to keep playing longer than I planned and was toying with rationalization but eventually did leave about at the planned time. Overall pretty good effort. Still not an A+ zoned in session. I finished down 150 bucks on the session.

Fitness
Pull day yesterday. A little light cardio to warmup and some ab work at the end. 189.8lb and 16.9% body fat. Good to get back under the 190/17 mark.

Lat Pulldowns: 150x8x3
Seated Rows: 135x8x3
Dumbell Shrugs: 75x12x3
Bicep Cable Curls: 50x8x3 (left arm only, as it's lagging a bit in development)
Forearm Inverse Barbell Curls: 30x15x2

Did a good job with my eating yesterday and once again avoided overeating at bedtime snacking. I haven't been tracking my macros closely but I have a good intuitive sense of my intake since I eat mostly the same stuff every day. I'm targeting basically 2100 calories and 150g+ of protein daily.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:49 AM   #33
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Short live session yesterday. Played about 2 hours. Session was relatively uneventful. The game was shorthanded and a bit more reggy, and sometimes I find it a bit easier to settle into my zone in that scenario. Even though the game quality isn't as good, the fact that I know everyone and also the pace of play is much faster somehow makes it easier to play my best. I ran well and stayed on point with my processes and booked a +1.3k win. I didn't really encounter much adversity so it wasn't really a growth opportunity. I did well, but it's easy to do well when things don't go wrong.

I got back out my TMGoP book and started to reread it yesterday, and got to the section on inchworm. One thing that clicked and became very clear to me is that although I do work on my technical game and strategies to improve the top end of my A-game, it is all this mental game work that is necessary to improve the bottom end of my C-game, and through neglect inevitably the level of my C-game worsened. It's an obvious concept and something I already "knew" but had forgotten, and it's very clear to me now I need to be always working to improve both the top end of my A-game through technical studies and the bottom end of my C-game through mental game work.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:25 PM   #34
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Marginal online session this morning. I happened to run well and book a +2k winner. However, I wasn't at my best mentally nor technically. I got up early in session, and from that early point onward I was constantly battling weak tight mental thoughts of wanting to quit and book a winner. I originally wanted to play 2.5 hours, and although I wanted to quit after like 45 minutes I made it through to almost the 2 hour mark before quitting. I did leave a seat in a pretty good game, which is obviously a leak. Also, twice during session I misplayed a hand by playing it in an overprotective fashion. I see this leak from students all the time - they have a good but not great hand OOP in a spot where there are some unfavorable turn/river cards that can come so they basically try to blast their opponent out of the pot which in effect ends up losing value from everything they beat and isolating themselves against the top of their opponents range. Twice I did this in a hand today. Each time I quickly recognized what I did and worked to get back on track mentally. On the whole I did give a fair effort and was battling the mental leak, and played reasonably well on the whole, but it's definitely an area where I'm going to need to be mindful of this in the future and continue to practice at it by sticking it out in sessions where I'm up and want to book a winner and effort towards staying on point and reaching my session length goal.

Technical Game: B
Tilt Control: B
Game Selection: A
Focus: B
Structure: B+
Effort: B+
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:25 AM   #35
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Good live session last night. There weren't enough players to get a 5/10 started at Wynn last night so I played 2/5 for a couple hours. It's not a bad game, since the max buyin is 1500. Sometimes in live 2/5 games I leak a bit by playing too many hands, even when not on tilt, thinking I can just outplay everyone. I did a good job of staying solid and on point and sticking to my structure and was able to maintain a relaxed upbeat focused mental state throughout the short session. I wasn't faced with much adversity which of course always makes things easier. Booked a small winner of +$500 and felt satisfied with my effort.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #36
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Poor online session this morning. Lost a big pot at high stakes and didn't really recover from it. I'm going to make it a point to not play the highest stakes available to me online for a while. Losing 4k to a bad beat in one hand is currently frustrating me a bit too much, and I need to build up my mental armor a bit more before I put myself in a situation where I need to deal with that. I didn't go off the deep end battled a bit mentally, but overall it wasn't a great response to the negative variance. I need to practice handling negative variance properly at smaller stakes where I can accept it more easily to build up that skillset back up before putting myself in a situation where I need to properly handle larger amounts. Not my best effort, but I feel a better typing this out already. Rather than simply saying "screw high stakes I'm not playing them anymore", viewing it as a process of building up my tolerances in a methodical fashion and understanding what I need to be able to calmly accept in order to play a given limit instead gives me more of a clear path to move forward.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:48 AM   #37
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Up and down the last few days. Yesterday I had a losing session at live that was both good and bad. I played a couple hands a bit spewy vs regs, nothing egregious but a bit too loose/aggro in a couple spots. I ended up losing a big pot all in with a combo draw and ran it twice and lost both. The good news is that although I was a bit frustrated by this, I didn't spew after the hand, played on for a little while, and then quit at my planned time shortly after and felt OK about booking the loss, so that's a positive to build on. Still not getting my best effort every session, but I do feel like I'm slowly improving the quality of my C game and making strides towards avoiding spew and playing closer to my best more often. I really do need to stay vigilant with my journaling and this thread to track my thoughts and progress and problems along the way.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:23 PM   #38
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Good live session yesterday. I happened to run poorly and took a few rough coolers, but I did a good job of getting back on track mentally and staying in a good head space and was able to continue to play well and quit appropriately and ultimately win back some of losses. Making a bit of a comeback is nice but more importantly I was pleased with myself in my ability to give a good effort and play well in the face of adversity during that session.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:35 PM   #39
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Been pretty busy with sports and general life stuff recently so haven't put in a ton of poker table hours. The limited time I've played has been pretty good all around from an effort and mental game perspective. I'm releasing a new video series for our stable guys we coach called "GTO Fundamentals" privately on Youtube, and I've been working on that a bit recently as well and I'm excited to get that out to the guys. I'm going on a trip soon to Punta Cana for a friend's wedding, so I'll be away and not playing much basically until the end of next week, by which time the WSOP will be in full swing which is pretty exciting. I'm going to try to avoid too many tournaments on the whole, but I suspect I'll probably end up playing a few events for fun - maybe even fire a bullet to the Colossus just to scratch the itch right away and get it over with so I can focus on cash.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:20 PM   #40
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Back home from vacation. One of my friends got married this past weekend, and it was a destination wedding at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. My girlfriend and I were there for 4 nights, and it was a great weekend catching up with old friends.

It was, however, disastrous from a fitness standpoint. For those familiar with all inclusives, or cruises, you often end up doing nothing but drinking alcohol and eating food all day and all night. I gained quite a bit of weight and am really looking forward to getting back to a healthy lifestyle.

I weighed in at 199.8 this morning, and even though I knew I gained weight during the trip I was pretty surprised by how much. I imagine a few pounds will come off quickly as my body readjusts to healthy eating, but that still leaves me quite a ways from my goal. I'm going to start using the MyFitnessPal app to track my daily calories, as I think that will help me be a bit more diligent about it.

My goal is to weigh 175 pounds by the end of August. That gives me 3 months to lose 25 pounds. I'm feeling pretty fired up and excited for the challenge, so I'm optimistic in my ability to achieve the goal. When I hit that number, that will be a new lifetime low for my body fat percentage. I felt pretty good about my physique over the trip and lounging around poolside, but I really want to step things up to that next level and feel really great about my physique and really get fully lean. Off we go!
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:28 PM   #41
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

2 pounds/week is pretty intense, be careful and don't cut too many essential nutrients it might be harmful to your body. I'd suggest you run 45min/day 5 days a week you can still eat normal and hit that goal.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:46 PM   #42
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

In this Dan!
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:16 PM   #43
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Hey Dan, good luck sir! What sites are you playing online? Are you hitting any WSOP events this year?

T-minus probably about a month left for the house being built and then hopefully I can get back on the grind as well! Hope all is well.

Matt
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:30 AM   #44
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2 pounds/week is pretty intense, be careful and don't cut too many essential nutrients it might be harmful to your body. I'd suggest you run 45min/day 5 days a week you can still eat normal and hit that goal.
I won't be doing a ton of cardio. I lift 5 to 6 days per week, doing a push/pull/legs routine. The times I do cardio it's either light walking or HIIT, in an effort to preserve as much muscle mass as possible during this intense cut. My main nutrition goal is to hit 170g+ of protein each day. According to MyFitnessPal, yesterday I did 1920 calories with my macros split 170/205/51 (protein/carb/fat). That's about ideal for my goals.

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In this Dan!
Thanks!

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Hey Dan, good luck sir! What sites are you playing online? Are you hitting any WSOP events this year?

T-minus probably about a month left for the house being built and then hopefully I can get back on the grind as well! Hope all is well.

Matt
That's awesome on the house, I'm sure it will be a great feeling once it's complete and you are settled in there.

I think I might play the Colossus this weekend. I have a feeling playing that will get me kind of offput by the whole Rio scene, thus scratching that tourney itch and getting it out of my system so that I will be ready to focus on cash for the rest of the summer.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:25 PM   #45
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Nice, seems you've already gotten the nutrition part figured out.

Your WSOP plan sounds just like mine. Also gonna be playing just the Collossus before jumping into cash games. Can't stand live tournies either lol .
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:38 AM   #46
benjamin barker
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Bit of a marginal live session yesterday. The WSOP is here and the action around town has really picked up. There was one pot where I'm pretty certain my opponent intentionally acted out of turn in an effort to angle me, and although it didn't really change my decision making it did bother be a bit. I was shortly thereafter transferred from the must-move, and ended up playing a hand a bit too fast in a situation that called for clear pot control, and in hindsight this was probably due to lingering frustration. Anyways, one good thing I did was just pick up and end session after the hand since I was close to quitting time anyways. The games are good and there should be plenty of great opportunity for me this summer, I just need to stay relaxed and patient and focus on executing my strategy in a detached manner. Staying vigilant about sessions lengths and in session journaling will really help this.

As for fitness, I've been eating well and exercising the last couple days, and I'm down to 194 pounds. I knew that 4-5 pounds of the weight gain was "fake weight" based on water retention and food passing and such and would come off pretty quickly, so although it's cool to see the scale number go down I understand of course that only a small portion of that is actual fat loss. Probably cash tonight and firing off that Colossus bullet tomorrow night.
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:27 PM   #47
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Trucking along doing my thing. My mental game has been improving. I still need to stay vigilant on it and keep making progress and improvement, but on the whole I've felt pretty indifferent about results while at the table lately and generally am staying calm and confident and relaxed most of the time during session. I've been doing pretty well at my fitness at well. I'm down to 191 pounds, which is quite a steep drop, but the first 4-5 pounds I knew were "fake weight" based on water/food retention that would pass once I got back to healthy living. I think having fitness goals actually helps my poker mindset, because on some level I can feel like even if poker goes poorly on a given day, at least that day doesn't feel like "waste" because I made progress on my physique.

One thing that is abundantly clear to me lately is how important sleep is. One late night or short night of sleep can really mess me up. Not only the next day, but the following day I still feel the effects and it really is a 2 day thing to totally shake the feelings of tiredness. Being tired it the worst. It makes mental game at poker much more difficult, as when I'm tired I generally feel much more emotional about everything. I can't train very hard when I'm tired, and I also feel more hungry and have a weaker mental resolve and end up overeating when tired as well. I do a good job on the whole of maintaining a routine and healthy sleep schedule, but man, the times I have a late night I REALLY pay the price. Maybe it's just a function of getting old, or maybe it's that I am trying to demand more of myself on a daily basis, or both - but bottom line missing sleep has a lot of negative impact on my day to day life.
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:58 PM   #48
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

Good losing session yesterday. Was running poorly (but not terrible) throughout session playing 10/25 live, and after a couple hours found myself down somewhere between 4-5k simply by losing a bunch of small pots. I was able to remain indifferent about results and avoid spewy behavior, and ultimately battled back and finished the session only losing 1k which felt good. I was getting a little frustrated during the dry spell watching some players I view as inferior drag some big pots and get paid off in spots where I felt like their opponent had obvious folds, but I was able to curtail that ego issue and reasonably well and focus on doing my best and playing my own game and staying on point. I haven't been running well this month, but I also can't say I've been running awful either, and overall I'm doing a good job of treading water and pushing ahead and staying the course.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:43 AM   #49
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Good losing session yesterday. Was running poorly (but not terrible) throughout session playing 10/25 live, and after a couple hours found myself down somewhere between 4-5k simply by losing a bunch of small pots. I was able to remain indifferent about results and avoid spewy behavior, and ultimately battled back and finished the session only losing 1k which felt good. I was getting a little frustrated during the dry spell watching some players I view as inferior drag some big pots and get paid off in spots where I felt like their opponent had obvious folds, but I was able to curtail that ego issue and reasonably well and focus on doing my best and playing my own game and staying on point. I haven't been running well this month, but I also can't say I've been running awful either, and overall I'm doing a good job of treading water and pushing ahead and staying the course.
Really nice PGC! I was wondering what are the highest stakes available online in Las Vegas?

GL for the WSOP!
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:22 PM   #50
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Re: 2017: Maximizing my Potential

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Good losing session yesterday. Was running poorly (but not terrible) throughout session playing 10/25 live, and after a couple hours found myself down somewhere between 4-5k simply by losing a bunch of small pots. I was able to remain indifferent about results and avoid spewy behavior, and ultimately battled back and finished the session only losing 1k which felt good. I was getting a little frustrated during the dry spell watching some players I view as inferior drag some big pots and get paid off in spots where I felt like their opponent had obvious folds, but I was able to curtail that ego issue and reasonably well and focus on doing my best and playing my own game and staying on point. I haven't been running well this month, but I also can't say I've been running awful either, and overall I'm doing a good job of treading water and pushing ahead and staying the course.
I think I struggle a lot more with entitlement and 'deserve' situations more in live games than online. When you see how bad some of the players are in live games and the mistakes they make (and still get rewarded) right in front of your face, stacking chips that 'should' be yours (at least a good percentage of it, equity wise, after they have sucked out on you), that's really tilting stuff.

Good work getting past that.
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