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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 05-09-2018, 05:39 AM   #126
spirit123
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Played a relatively long session at Hawaiian gardens today. Finally got a win under my belt after a week of straight losing.

Happy to be out here. There’s definitely more choice here in terms of stakes and locations. The room had a relaxed gambling vibe and the 5/5 game wasn’t infested with grinders. HG is very nice. No smoking inside and they have a separate room for high limit (300NL+, 20/40 limit+). Saw Johnny Chan walk in casually. This Russian omc says johnny is a fish in the big limit games. I dunno if I believe him. The Russian was sitting to my left for a couple hours and sometimes folded in early/mid position without looking at his cards. He was a nit.

I made many mistakes today. Misplayed a bunch of hands. But I’m tightening up for the most part. I folded a lot. Sometimes it feels like one long foldathon. But that’s the nature of the grind.

Last edited by spirit123; 05-09-2018 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 05-10-2018, 03:10 AM   #127
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Had a very good session today. Started off with an hour of 5/T. The game was quite soft and I know with a solid bankroll I can hold my own. I probably won’t always be the best player at the table, but I wouldn’t be far off.

I’m tightening up a lot from the blinds and ep. I want easy decisions since I’m going to be putting in a bunch of hours and I only have a certain amount of processing power before I get too tired. I find I can mostly just sit tight and aggressive at most tables with a few one and two barrel bluffs thrown in.

One of the main things for me is keeping pots small when my hand is weak. No need to bloat pots in marginal spots. Of course I still do it sometimes but it’s a leak I’ve been plugging.

I think plugging leaks is the most important thing a poker player can do. Just cutting the fat. Not playing so many hands. Folding a lot from the blinds. Not cold calling so much preflop.

I’ve been experimenting with small bets both for value and as bluffs. It’s been working quite well in most spots. People don’t fight back enough when they miss so there’s no need to bet 2/3 pot as a bluff in most spots. I’ve been trying lots of 30-40% pot bets.

I feel like I’m treating poker like a business again. Feels good to be upswinging. I have no real distractions and since I’m out of my moms house I feel a certain pressure because I have rent and food and transportation to pay for. Having the pressure forces me to play good poker. Even though it’s not a big amount by any means, having outfow of cash makes me want to not spew.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:46 AM   #128
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Played all day again today. Played some hands terribly at 5/5. Lost 195 BBs in a 3! pot when I really should have taken it down with a 4! pre. Tried to squeeze in SB with AQs and got 120 BBs in vs. QQ. Bricked on another bad semi-bluff for 140 BBs. I was in for 2k but managed to lose only a couple hundred dollars by getting paid when I had AA and KK and playing solid in most situations. Gosh if I can just learn to not do spewy things and lay down when I should, I could be a much better player.

Also played a two hour 5/T session. Put in a good 3-barrel bluff with middle pair and V tanked folded flopped top pair on the river when I overbet jammed. That felt good. Then I got AA vs. QQ in a 4! pot and stacked the best player in the game. It’s weird, I didn’t feel that good after that hand. It’s tough to make friends at the table when there’s a lot of money on the line. I still like to be liked and stacking someone is not the best way to get smiles from people.

It’s emotionally tough to grind the 5/5 sometimes. The game can get so boring with everybody just folding a bunch and lots of 2- and 3-way pots. Without deep stacks it’s not profitable to take flops many times with suited connectors and small pairs and suited aces, especially in 3! pots, so the structure favors TAG play mostly, which can be quite draining mentally as the session wears on. There’s no really thinking behind tag play. It’s super standard stuff in general and I don’t feel like I’m growing as a player when I only play TAG at 5/5.

I think I’m going to continue taking some shots at 5/T when the game looks good. But I know the swings can be wild so I’m going to play quite nitty for the most part I think. Sometimes I feel like scared money at 5/T. But I think it’s just adjusting to the increased aggression in general and realizing some plays that work at 5/5 are so obviously seen through at 5/T, especially against good players who are good hand readers. Playing 5/T also helps me hone my game for lower limits. It makes me cut the fat from my play almost instantly because I see how small mistakes can compound quickly against good players.

I find myself folding A LOT in the blinds. Hands I used to call with are now pretty much insta mucks. Lots of offsuit broadways and ok aces are not the best hands to play vs. 5-6x raises most of the time. Plus I think the 7 dollars the casino takes from most pots makes many “breakeven” hands or even small winners into slight losers in the long run.

I don’t know if I’m playing too weak tight from the blinds. Maybe I should be 3 betting more?

Last edited by spirit123; 05-11-2018 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:08 AM   #129
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

O also saw Kenny tran, Johnny Chan, Barry greenstein. The latter two were playing 80-160 or 60-120 mix games. And I think Kenny was playing 100-200 mix before it broke. I wonder what it must feel for these guys when they are playing for much less money than they have in the past.

I’m also reminded when I look at these guys that playing poker professional is a sick way to live. These guys are not happy. They are not smiling. They don’t look so healthy. You can feel the unhappiness exude from them. Life isn’t meant to be a grind. But these guys don’t know what else to do. Their lives are poker. And I feel sad for them. They might be famous. But they seem to be stuck in the poker world with no other options.

Again I’m reminded how we need purpose in our lives. We need to have some other goal than to make money just to stack paper. It’s such a small way to live, to only think of one’s own money. Like yes money is important and vital to live a comfortable life, but focusing on accumulating money in order to be happy is not what actually leads to happiness. I think happiness comes from sharing ones gifts with the world and actually helping people instead of using one’s mind and skills to take from and harm others.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:10 AM   #130
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

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I find myself folding A LOT in the blinds. Hands I used to call with are now pretty much insta mucks. Lots of offsuit broadways and ok aces are not the best hands to play vs. 5-6x raises most of the time. Plus I think the 7 dollars the casino takes from most pots makes many ďbreakevenĒ hands or even small winners into slight losers in the long run.

I donít know if Iím playing too weak tight from the blinds. Maybe I should be 3 betting more?
I think this is just correct. for ex defending offsuit broadways in an online 6max vs MP 3x is just gonna be a losing defend. the $7 rake is double the rake online and I know the players are worse, but these hands play terribly multiway and have big reverse implied odds. I'm sure a lot of players will disagree with me but I think you just need to be a nit defense wise. people open bigger then 3x and double the rake. I will 3bet more of the Axs and middling pocket pair part of my range because they play so well postflop and have good implied odds. You hit your nut flush or set and you win a big pot a lot when they don't expect you to have those hands.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:02 AM   #131
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I'd be shocked if Barry was unhappy. I'd be even more shocked if he cared about playing lower stakes than he previously did. I mean, I don't know him, then again, neither do you. But he is a giving man who realizes that there is more to life than poker. He's said so himself. Unhealthy, maybe, sure, but he's what? Mid 60s? There's only so much control you have over health by that age.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:39 AM   #132
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I think it’s a bit presumptuous to venture that anyone without a smiling face in a poker room isn’t happy. From Greenstein’s last few Joe Ingram podcasts, you can see that he values his family more than anything and also realizes how poker fits into his life; it’s not necessarily as all-consuming and representative of other aspects of well-adjusted people’s lives as you seem to be suggesting. Would you say that anyone with this sort of cognitive dissonance (doing something that must affect some others negatively to profit + doing it as a means to an end) can’t truly be happy? I agree, but I don’t think this dissonance is specific to poker, as that same dynamic exists in more reputable professions where the deception and negatively affected lives are abstracted away to the point of obfuscation. The fact that the ‘rules of the game’ are out in the open in poker vs ultimately hidden in business is admirable in a brutal kind of way.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:28 PM   #133
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Agree with the previous comments made about Barry Greenstein, his last 2 podcasts with Joey Ingram (especially the first one), were GOAT, and reflective and a fairly content and wise man
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #134
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Ok I’m wrong about barry. I guess he just blended in with the other sour faces at the table so I made an bad assumption about him.

But I don’t think I’m far off with the other examples.

I think anybody who derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others in any fashion is creating unwholesome karma for himself. But who knows? I’m as far from wise as a creature can be.

I was flipping through a j krishnamurti book once and he laid some guidelines for right livelihood. The first one was “don’t destroy others”. I think I fail in this aspect when I’m playing poker.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:39 PM   #135
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I think most people in the corporate machine are extremely dissatisfied with their lives. I’ve met countless examples during my travels. How can a person be happy when he is simply a tiny replaceable cog with no value other than making money for the people above him? Especially the middle management types seem to lead lives of quiet desperation. And so do most poker pros I find. I know I do when I’m on the grind.

You can only serve one master, the Bible says. Deep down I’ve experienced this to be true. Chasing money for money’s sake for any extended amount of time leads to deep unhappiness in ones life. It’s sad to let money, a manmade thing, rule our minds any more than it has to. But alas, it’s difficult to live comfortably and relatively freely in our society without a good chunk of cash.

Not saying there is a solution. I’ve struggled with this for many years now because I was money motivated all throughout my teens and early 20s. I wanted to be a billionaire in high school and I idolized gates and buffet. Now I see how misguided I was and how the media feeds us information about how to think and what to chase.

Last edited by spirit123; 05-11-2018 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:54 PM   #136
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I agree that folding more pre is actually far more influential to your win rate than most people realise.

Most people think of themselves as good players that can open Q9s UTG or iso with A6o in the CO and make profit postflop, but they usually end up in 0 EV spots at best, and they just unnecessarily increase their own variance.

I think that even winning regs could increase their hourly if they folded more pre.
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:40 PM   #137
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Jiddu probably has my favorite "spiritual" quote.

"I don't mind what happens."

I've found that the biggest key to living that out is meditation.

I'm a corporate cog in a huge B2B business. To me, it seems like the best balance. I don't have to grind so hard for money like entrepreneurs or poker players. And I don't have to exploit anyone. I'm good at my job, which is high skill, but I don't have career aspirations. My only real aspirations relate to relationships and living right.
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:04 PM   #138
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

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I think anybody who derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others in any fashion is creating unwholesome karma for himself. But who knows? Iím as far from wise as a creature can be.

I was flipping through a j krishnamurti book once and he laid some guidelines for right livelihood. The first one was ďdonít destroy othersĒ. I think I fail in this aspect when Iím playing poker.
As a vipassana meditator, we have 5 precepts to follow (the same as in Theravada Buddhism), one of them being "to not kill". But of course, if one would cease to kill completely, he would cease to live, as life feeds on life... And if we push this thought to the extreme, even the act of breathing inflicts a critical transformation into the air (from O2 to CO2). I always thought of this precept to be kind of naive, yet I do abide by it to some degree by being (almost a vegetarian), being a restrained consumer, a minimalist...

I do believe that the amount of volume that we put into the grind, is directly correlated to negative emotional effects like depression, stress, mental fatigue etc. and also believe that there might be an equally negative karmic result to taking money from others, but it is not much different to many other jobs - me thinks -, that are closer to a zero sum game that we like to admit (or even a negative sum game by directly or indirectly interfering negatively with the economy, other peeps/countries...).

Anyhow, I always enjoy your thread and the questions that might rise from the discussion
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:10 AM   #139
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

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O also saw Kenny tran, Johnny Chan, Barry greenstein. The latter two were playing 80-160 or 60-120 mix games. And I think Kenny was playing 100-200 mix before it broke. I wonder what it must feel for these guys when they are playing for much less money than they have in the past.

Iím also reminded when I look at these guys that playing poker professional is a sick way to live. These guys are not happy. They are not smiling. They donít look so healthy. You can feel the unhappiness exude from them. Life isnít meant to be a grind. But these guys donít know what else to do. Their lives are poker. And I feel sad for them. They might be famous. But they seem to be stuck in the poker world with no other options.

Again Iím reminded how we need purpose in our lives. We need to have some other goal than to make money just to stack paper. Itís such a small way to live, to only think of oneís own money. Like yes money is important and vital to live a comfortable life, but focusing on accumulating money in order to be happy is not what actually leads to happiness. I think happiness comes from sharing ones gifts with the world and actually helping people instead of using oneís mind and skills to take from and harm others.
What are you going to do with the 100k after the 4 months are up?
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:09 AM   #140
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

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What are you going to do with the 100k after the 4 months are up?
I dunno how much longer Iíll play. Iím not really going to be too hard on myself if I donít hit my goal. If I can end up with 50-60k cash Iíll probably be satisfied and call it a day.

Iíll travel.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:39 AM   #141
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I played like a donkey today but ended up only losing a little bit. I was up more than 2k at one point but the game tightened up the last few hours and I was getting super frustrated and tilted. The discipline to learn how to leave a boring game where I’m prone to make significant errors due to boredom is still undeveloped.

I played 5/T and it was 5/T/20 most of the time. Nits are terrible for the game. Twice this one tight guy said he was going to change seats and I said ok I’ll take your seat then, and both times he decided to stay where he was. Was really annoying. I was trying to get to the right of tight players the entire time, but it never happened, and I got frustrated.

I think sitting to the right of the tightest player in the game is key to winning for me. It lets me open up my opening range and let’s me fight for and win more pots giving me a more active image.

I’m calling too much on turns and rivers. I’m losing patience too often. I’m probably not 3! bluffing enough. People don’t pay off as much as the stakes get higher so it’s important to bluff more I think in spots where Vs can’t have too many strong hands.

Anyway it’s been good to play a bit higher stakes. It makes me realize how much I still have to learn about the game. My fundamentals are strong I think but I make lots of mental errors and emotional decisions instead of thinking situations through.

I’m missing value on a bunch of hands as well. Sometimes I’m targeting the top of Vs ranges when i should really be targeting the middle more.

There was one cooler hand that sort of started the downward spiral. I have 55 on button and 2 or 3 limpers, I limp. Blinds complete.

Flop (120) QT5 all clubs.

Sb bets 80, loose whale calls, I call.

Turn (360) Td

X, x, I bet 150, sb call, whale all in for 495. I call, sb calls.

River (1845) Ad

Sb bets 500, I call. He shows QT and takes it down. Whale flopped a flush with A3cc.

After that I felt like I was losing. I started counting and keeping track of my chips more often, which is always a sign I’m starting to feel anxious and restless. I should have just booked the 1k+ win and called it a day but my pride was hurt and I had position on the whale so I thought I would tough it out. Anyway, another good reminder of how after a cooler like that I should leave the game, take a break, and jump in another one.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:53 PM   #142
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Feeling pretty burnt out of poker right now. Getting super bored and spewy at the tables. Making stupid bluffs at 5/5 where itís obvious people are not folding. I find it very difficult to play 5/5 after playing 5/T and 5/T/20. I remind myself to stay disciplined and play good poker regardless of stakes, but itís difficult.

Just ordered marijuana delivery. Going to relax and do other stuff for a few days. Eat some good sushi, walk around some place, maybe watch a movie or two.

I know I can play good poker and print when Iím on my TAG a-game. Itís tough to start with a small stack everyday though and grind it up. I wish I could buy in deeper. Met somebody who I played with a lucky chances last year and he said they are running a 3/5 with a straddle a lot of times with a 1000 buy in. I might head up there in a few weeks. I ran super good at LC last year and made boatloads so hopefully I can repeat.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:19 PM   #143
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Wow, just got my first marijuana delivery ever. This Lyft driver comes and drops it off about 30 minutes after I placed the order. I signed a piece of paper and gave him money, he gave me change and some flowers and a cartridge. Also a small bowl and lighter. He said the company was out of the brownies so he would bring it next time.

It’s amazing how weed is still illegal in most places. The government doesn’t like people smoking weed unless they get a cut and now they are getting a cut. There’s lots of money to be made in marijuana. It’s a major cultural shift.

I will start viewing poker differently. I need to take emotion out of the game in terms of making decisions. Sometimes, I’ll lose a big pot and I’ll go on tilt. Most of the time I am pretty aware I’m on tilt but just sit there anyway. I start making small errors preflop that compound into bigger ones postflop. Either 3! too light or too little. Calling too much sometimes. Playing a little too loosely and aggressively. Not being able to lay down medium/strong hands on the river. Sometimes I’m hard on myself when I make bad errors in thinking at the table and my confidence goes down.

I think a lot of poker is mental game. The ability to manage expectations and playing as a form of practice rather than a form of making money. As a practice, it’s all about making the right decisions. I think playing too tightly is less of a mistake than playing too loosely. I notice how when I loosen up even slightly, I end up losing money. I think I am going to return to a more pot control based game instead of a trying to create pots preflop game. Not playing/raising too many suited connectors in mp when less than <200 B.B. deep. Focusing the first 2-3 hours of the session in super lock down, tight, build a stack steadily mode. If I play nitty the first few hours and my image is good and I’ve doubled my stack of more, then maybe the right thing to do is, depending on table dynamics) start widening the pf raising/3! range and taking down more hands and building slightly bigger pots.

Patience is the key to this game. We sit and fold over and over and see the game from a more rational state of mind where we don’t go in wanting to win money everyday but instead wanting to make the best decisions. Sometimes we win sometimes we lose. If we allow our results to affect our happiness, poker’s a brutal game because the ups and downs are wild. We can’t expect to win money every time we make a right decision. And sometimes I look at the turn or river and I think, damn, that pot would have been mine and I would have taken down a big one. And it leads to this little thought that makes me question my decision. When I mill on decisions for too long, I end up not focusing on the present moment, and I lose my edge.

Physical exercice is so important to our mental well being. I just walked around briskly for a few minutes, and my mind was bright and light and positive. It’s amazing what exercise can do for us. It also helps us balance the environment of the casino. It’s all energetic. The more time we spend in clear open air, the less the casino affects us. We are more centered and not distracted.

Also I’m going to focus on more table selection. Tight nitty games are the nut low and I can’t do well in them. My style of building pots in late position doesn’t work if people are folding all the way to late position a lot of times. And it frustrates me and makes me restless and not liking poker.

I feel when I enjoy playing poker, I’m having fun in a game with a couple gamblers. Like yesterday I brought a dead game alive by getting everyone to straddle a few orbits and I nearly doubled my stack early, then spewed it away. I was having fun, but I let my gambling and “I have to win this pot at any cost” mood affect me in a couple key decisions.

I think I’m playing at the wrong times actually. I’m not going to play in the day. It’s too nitty. Lots of older guys just sitting around folding. He late night games where everyone is tired and just limping or calling raises are the easiest to make money in for my style. I get to see a lot of cheap flops in position and escalate the pot only when I have the goods. So that’s one major change I’m going to make: I’m going to play during the evenings most of the time, or early mornings when it’s an overnight game.

Last edited by spirit123; 05-13-2018 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:01 PM   #144
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I can relate a lot to what youíre saying. I make very similar mistakes.

I get involved too much in the atmosphere I create and end up just opening wide and using a ridiculous range in spots where I should stick to a good TAGgy strat.

I think itís good to take some time off poker periodically guys like us who donít really enjoy the casino.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:17 PM   #145
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

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I can relate a lot to what you’re saying. I make very similar mistakes.

I get involved too much in the atmosphere I create and end up just opening wide and using a ridiculous range in spots where I should stick to a good TAGgy strat.

I think it’s good to take some time off poker periodically guys like us who don’t really enjoy the casino.
Yes, I agree with taking time off and coming back energetic and confident. Whenever I feel like I’m forcing myself to play, I do really poorly. Like why are we pushing ourselves so hard to do something we don’t want to do. Sometimes our emotions need a break from the crazy restlessness and anxiety that the casino creates.

I wonder if I should start listening to some music sometimes when I sit so at least I don’t have to hear all the sound or look at phone phone out of sheer boredom. Sometimes If I’m at a nitty table and nobody’s playing hands, I become frustrated and start being the fish at the table. Maybe headphones would reduce my tiltability.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:38 PM   #146
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I think taking a few days to treat myself to some relaxing time is super important. The casino has this way of sucking my energy and I want to take more frequent breaks and play lesser hours. I want to again reprioritize my one mental and physical health over a game and money.

I’m realizing more and more why I like to be in places with few cars. La is a huge city and unless you live in a place like Santa Monica where you can walk many places, it’s nearly impossible to live life without relying on motor transport. Being able to walk around has been a key to improving mental health.

Sometimes I go several weeks without buying anything other than food and shelter. Like the other week, I bought a hand grip exerciser for 14 bucks or something and I considered that a big purchase. I’m really cheap in a certain way when it comes to buying little treats for myself but somehow I enjoy spending on others.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:59 PM   #147
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

I think I just realized something I haven’t thought about much. I think depositing money in my bank account helps me psychologically. When I see a bigger number on the screen I feel more secure and confident than when I keep it in cash. Ive only deposited a couple times during this grind so I’m going to be depositing a chunk at least once a week. It makes the money feel more real, paradoxically.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:37 PM   #148
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

Where ya't Spirit?
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:52 AM   #149
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Re: 4-Month Grind: 100k Challenge

A little worried about the prolonged MIA. Is everything ok?
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