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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 07-05-2015, 09:24 PM   #1
SleeveOfWizard
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Back on the saddle (Mixed MTT/Cash)

I've tried to log my poker progress here, and a couple of brief attempts in Health & Fitness, in the past, to varying degrees of success. I do think that my understanding of poker is at an all-time high, in a large part due to review sessions, and an honest assessment of my strengths and weaknesses while playing. However, my results and volume do not reflect this at all, and for me to be able to reach the level I know I am capable of maintaining, I'm going to have to be honest about the things that have been getting in the way for me.



In the last 18 months, I have played somewhere around 40% of days (lol), with ~4 months lost due to medical problems/illness. Although it's easy for me to just say I've been unlucky in this regard, the reality is that many of my past lifestyle choices in the last decade likely played a decisive role in my physical decline. Although I've personally met many poker players who lead a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle with no noticeable effects on their volume/level of play, I've seen others peter out due to questionable lifestyle choices over time. I'm at the point where I'm tired of spending a majority of my hard-earned money on doctors.

Smoking tobacco, eating crap, going out excessively, and not respecting my sleep, are the main reasons I've been on a steep decline health-wise (and I'm only 29). I do think that smoking has been, by far, the main culprit in this, having been bedridden for weeks at a time by respiratory ailments, and mind-bending tooth pain that made it all but impossible to play focused for months, requiring over ten visits to the dentist in the span of 2 months. If any of you are professional poker players, in a rut in life, and not feeling well, it's very likely smoking is the overwhelmingly main reason. Smoking keeps me up way too late, gets in the way of physical activity (as recently as 2013 I could still run 20km), and shoots my anxiety levels through the roof.

Someone very close to me passed away yesterday from severe respiratory ailments, and this person attributed their physical problems due to having smoked for less than a decade in the earlier stages of life. As a heavy smoker, I promised this person I would stop definitively a couple of months ago. In the past, I've always said I'll quit "soon", or half-heartedly try and last 1-3 days. With the recent pain of this loss in mind, I have decided to prepare to definitively quit on Friday, July 10th. I will be talking about how I feel as this develops, but I do think that committing to a date is a brave first step on my end. I know that in my case, changing this habit is a decisive difference-maker for the quality of my life, so wish me luck.



In this period of 18 months, I've also missed out on playing an additional ~4 months due to having a bad Internet connection. Living in Mexico, some amount of connection-related turmoil is expected - what I've been through is most definitely NOT. My girlfriend and I ended up moving in haste due to adopting a dog I found on a highly transited expressway about a year ago, and having the landlord kick us out ~6 hours after the dog was in the apartment (in reality he wasn't even going to be adopted by us, just rescued and found a home for). We were treated with such immediate disrespect and contempt, that we ended up having to immediately move, and quickly found a nice, ample space for us in a nice neighborhood in downtown Mexico City, deciding to bring the dog along with us.

Knowing people with good connections living literally 2 blocks away, I didn't think to be very diligent on the quality of the internet connections available in the apartment. As it turns out, the exact block we live on only has service by a company called Telmex (largest telecom firm in Mexico, quite possibly the evilest company in the world), since one of their offices is on this exact block and they just love making life miserable for anyone and everyone. It took over a month of waiting for technicians to show up and initially set up the connection, with me sitting like an idiot and being stood up over 10 times in the span of a month.

If that was the only inconvenience, then fine, but the connection would cut out constantly, leaving me to time out in MTTs/cash games. When it would stop working, it would often be weeks until a technician actually arrived. When they would, they would just say that the problem wasn't with their setup, but with the actual plant. I would go complain to the offices around the corner and just be told that "tomorrow we'll send someone over". It took me 6 months to get them to stop double billing me for the service on my card. I've rented offices, tried to play in coffee shops or houses of friends, bought wireless cards, you name it, to try to work around this. Currently, I've been stood up a further eight times by them since June 5th, with the excuse of a woman tending to me at their offices 'promising' they'd send their 'good guys' over this time. I realize I've run ****ing incredibly bad when it comes to Internet-related matters over the past year, and instead of just holding on to this frustration too much, I'm just going to do what I can to rectify this.

I'm moving my entire office elsewhere tomorrow and just cancelling my contract, the excruciating frustration Telmex has put me through will never happen again. When I can, I will find a new, nice place elsewhere, somewhere I can get a good connection and backup that is not related in any way, shape or form, to Telmex. I am partially at fault for not being as initially diligent as I could have been regarding this issue, but the series of events in how I've been led on by this piece of **** money grabbing excuse of a company, literally waiting around 20+ days for mongo technicians who say they'll be there "in a few" or just show up and do nothing, is no longer something I want to deal with.



A third and decisively important matter in my recent hardships regarding poker and life is choosing to stay in a relationship where the dynamic ended up being one where I was constantly being taken for granted, mistreated, belittled and undervalued. I have always had a tougher time establishing congruent relationships online/through social media, but anyone who knows me truly well here will recognize the fact that I try to be a positive person as much as possible. Especially with recent events in which I've had to deal with deaths in my immediate family, this series of issues appears to be getting better for the moment, but I have lived several instances where I would have definitely left if not for the fact that 100% of my income had already gone to medical care/other immediate expenses at the time.

Poker players in relationships where their emotional needs, values, and lifestyles are respected, tend to do much better than those where unwarranted drama/whining/chaos ends up crushing their ability to play. It's hard to wake up and put in a solid session when you've been dealing with a completely superfluous fight until 5-6 AM the prior night. I've probably lost at least a month of solid playing time due to this alone. If this doesn't end up working, I know that I can be happy by myself, or that another woman can make me happy (and I her), when the time comes.



Anyone who knows me well will also agree with the fact that I am not, in emotional terms, a natural for a profession as stressful as online poker. I used to tilt really, really, hard, and a combination of work, growing up a little, and dealing with the above things have made me realize that we're truly not entitled to anything. I have put in a lot of work improving, and truly believe that with a few weeks, or DAYS, of forward momentum, that good things will start presenting themselves again. I don't believe that happiness lies in material gains. It's mostly a matter of finding enjoyment in the process of improving oneself constantly (detailing this will be the primary purpose of this blog, although I'll definitely discuss situations that come up when grinding mixed cash games/MTTs). In the three areas I detailed above, I realize that I've been punished way harder than most who have been in similar situations. Realistically though, for there not to be issues in these areas in the last year and a half, I would have required a fair bit of luck going my way. I'm looking to control what I can control, and embrace what I can't through positive actions.


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:26 PM   #2
SleeveOfWizard
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Re: Back on the saddle

First day back. Went for a ~25 minute run with my dog in the morning to get focused or the day. Managed to wake up early, which I'm proud of, especially given the things I lived the past weekend.

Ran like ****, started off about -150 bets playing mixed games, took a break, got it together, and fixed the day somewhat. About 4k hands total. This is gonna be tough but as long as things don't get worse than they are, I'm looking forward to the challenge. I've seen lots of mistakes in the higher stakes mixed games and hope there will come a time when I can capitalize.

Objectively I don't think I played to the best of my ability, but I was somewhat rusty, and confident I can put in some winning sessions in the coming days. One big PLO pot where I made a sizeable mistake is still getting to me. Otherwise, I think I played OK enough and think my game is at a decent level moving forward.

Good luck to anyone reading, I'm going to be trying hard here.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:51 PM   #3
SleeveOfWizard
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Re: Back on the saddle

Second day, I continued running very badly, going to drop down stakes until I can get some momentum going.

Worked out for the 2nd consecutive day (kind of a big win) and looking forward to the 3rd. I don't want to continue detailing all the **** that's just gone wrong lately for me, but I'm of the idea that I just can't afford to feel sorry for myself right now (or at any point). No matter how minute it may appear, I want to share the positive changes that I make these coming days/weeks.
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