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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 07-07-2018, 01:03 PM   #1226
MrCrown
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Horrible way to go out. I got tilted just reading the hand review. It's so annoying seeing bad play getting rewarded.

I don't mind her 3-bet preflop, but calling the 4bet is terrible with those stack sizes.
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Old 07-07-2018, 09:24 PM   #1227
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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Originally Posted by Redsoxnets5 View Post
You might be right. Do you think she checks river if it's a brick? I have to imagine she knows she has no showdown value at this point and I think she might rip river. Obviously just an assumption and I could be wrong but seeing she had 77 in range by turn made me feel like river call might actually be fine.
she very often checks the river and hopes to win. tough players might call and try to bluff you, but tough players aren't flatting 77 there. Also, she overbet as a bluff BVB, and now she doesnt even bet enough to put you all in, which still wouldn't be an overbet. Just assume everyone is bad until you get some pretty good evidence otherwise.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:11 AM   #1228
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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What do you rate as a bigger mistake, her preflop flat of your 4bet or her flop call? I'm assuming her preflop 3bet is fine?
Not sure, my 4b sizing is bad and she probably shouldn't ever be peeling against it, I should've gone smaller. If she's decided that I'm just completely full of **** pre then she probably just wants to put 77 in and take her equity. I guess if you're gonna peel pre then you're hoping for a non ace or king flop but then it came AA5 and now I bet 1/4 and she's decided it's not all that likely I have an ace. Idk what exactly was going on in her mind. As far as the 3b, I don't do much 3 betting with hands like these at this stack depth but I imagine a strategy can be constructed where you can 3b some pairs pre.

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Horrible way to go out. I got tilted just reading the hand review. It's so annoying seeing bad play getting rewarded.

I don't mind her 3-bet preflop, but calling the 4bet is terrible with those stack sizes.
Yeah it's tough for it to be winning, whatcha gonna do, normally pretty easy to shrug off but obviously stings in the main.

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she very often checks the river and hopes to win. tough players might call and try to bluff you, but tough players aren't flatting 77 there. Also, she overbet as a bluff BVB, and now she doesnt even bet enough to put you all in, which still wouldn't be an overbet. Just assume everyone is bad until you get some pretty good evidence otherwise.
Yeah you're probably right. Probably made 2 mistakes this hand, small mistake being preflop sizing, big mistake being feeling committed to getting it in after she calls flop.
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:04 PM   #1229
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

The pf sizing is not bad. Think once she's decided to peel she's just gonna peel. (A smaller size doesn't guarantee she will jam, many players have 0 5bs light but call all sorts of junk). Could be as simple as I put you on AK, then decides to just not fold flop. Agree with everything Jason's already said. Would just add your hand looks a lot like AK too... No need to worry about defending weaker parts of your range .
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:38 PM   #1230
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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The pf sizing is not bad. Think once she's decided to peel she's just gonna peel. (A smaller size doesn't guarantee she will jam, many players have 0 5bs light but call all sorts of junk). Could be as simple as I put you on AK, then decides to just not fold flop. Agree with everything Jason's already said. Would just add your hand looks a lot like AK too... No need to worry about defending weaker parts of your range .
Well once I know she's gonna peel 77 in this spot then yeah I like my sizing but I didn't know this in game and don't need to go this big at this stack depth in general.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:04 AM   #1231
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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Well once I know she's gonna peel 77 in this spot then yeah I like my sizing but I didn't know this in game and don't need to go this big at this stack depth in general.
My game is a bit rusty, but if our plan is to not fold any runouts, why aren't we just shipping flop with our what 75% PSB? Is this person going to fold their 66-KK hands? What hands can she realistically spaz off that wouldn't call? As you said, we block AQ's, AK's are likely to just rip it in pre so not sure how many Ax she has.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:27 AM   #1232
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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My game is a bit rusty, but if our plan is to not fold any runouts, why aren't we just shipping flop with our what 75% PSB? Is this person going to fold their 66-KK hands? What hands can she realistically spaz off that wouldn't call? As you said, we block AQ's, AK's are likely to just rip it in pre so not sure how many Ax she has.
I went small on flop to get value from 66-JJ, worried that it might find a fold if I jam. My plan in game was to then jam just about every turn but I decided the K turn would mean I'm now not getting value from those 66-JJ hands as I can't imagine any world where she now calls off with them. I thought in game that it was more likely that she'd spaz out with 66-JJ on turn or river and jam them to try to make higher pocket pairs fold than it was that she would simply call off. I've been told by players better than me since then that she would not actually ever try jamming those hands as bluffs on turn or river so we should just x/f those streets. I think I'm on board with this logic but I'm not completely convinced and no one can know with 100% certainty what she'd be doing with 77 on a deuce river (though I tend to side with those saying she'd just check back and give up the hand or hope she found the <1% of the times I have a worse hand than 77 in this spot).
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:11 AM   #1233
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

I think with a clear button clicker as long as you dont fold theres no wrong way to play that hand. She peeled your 4b and flop cb w/ 77 and has clearly shown shes capable of blasting it off when checked to like in the K6o hand.

Incredibly brutal hand, I feel for you man.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:47 AM   #1234
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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I went small on flop to get value from 66-JJ, worried that it might find a fold if I jam. My plan in game was to then jam just about every turn but I decided the K turn would mean I'm now not getting value from those 66-JJ hands as I can't imagine any world where she now calls off with them. I thought in game that it was more likely that she'd spaz out with 66-JJ on turn or river and jam them to try to make higher pocket pairs fold than it was that she would simply call off. I've been told by players better than me since then that she would not actually ever try jamming those hands as bluffs on turn or river so we should just x/f those streets. I think I'm on board with this logic but I'm not completely convinced and no one can know with 100% certainty what she'd be doing with 77 on a deuce river (though I tend to side with those saying she'd just check back and give up the hand or hope she found the <1% of the times I have a worse hand than 77 in this spot).
Makes sense, thanks. I do agree with that once you bet flop, its going to be hard to get her to spaz with 66-JJ as those hands probably want to get to a showdown quickly. (We also cannot completely discount KK)

If I know how to use PIO, it would be interesting to see what it would spit out.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:28 AM   #1235
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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WSOP Main Event Day 1B

...Had a pretty smooth day with a pretty soft table. I was in the 2 seat...reg named Aram I've played with a bit was in the 7 seat...


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Old 07-17-2018, 02:04 AM   #1236
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Back in New Jersey


After the Main Event I hung out in Vegas a few days and did a bunch of fun stuff. I did 5 Escape Rooms including 2 in 1 day, doing those with poker players is always fun since we tend to be better at solving puzzles than the average person. Also went to Top Golf twice, all of it was a lot of fun but I was glad to be getting out of Vegas. We had the house until July 18 but I had a wedding to get to on Friday the 13th so on the night of the 9th I realized I better find a flight home! Hopped on a morning flight Wednesday July 11 and was back in my house in New Jersey by 8PM ET. Took it easy that night, considered playing poker Thursday night but then realized my roommates were taking off on Friday for the wedding, meaning they were ready to get crunk Thursday night. I hadn't seen them in a while so we all hung out and had a fun time.

By the time the 3:00 wedding rolled around Friday afternoon I think I might have still been drunk from the night before but we got to the wedding to see two of our friends get married which was very cool. The church was less than a half mile from my ex's house and I know the area pretty well so I felt a little sad going back there. From the church we went to a hotel to drink a bit before the reception. At one point we get a knock on the door, I open it to see a guy I don't recognize but he walks in and I assume he knows one of the other 7 people in the room. Turns out he does not and he is black out drunk at 5PM. He's a pretty big guy and does not want to leave. There were two girls and six guys in the room and I just remembered thinking if this guy goes anywhere near these girls I'm gonna freak out; he seemed like he was ready to get confrontational. After about 5 minutes of talking to him trying to see what the deal was one of my friends, who also happens to be a cop, manages to get him out of the room without anything crazy happening. Pretty absurd way to start the day lol.

The reception ends up being amazing as they always seem to be when you're with friends. I've become pretty accustomed to the single life and where I used to feel anxiety around other couples I now just feel pretty relaxed and relieved. It helped that my close friends Tee Dubs and Greg were also there and are also single. I think for the most part we're all single by choice and I know that if I want to get back out there I'm gonna have to put more effort into it than I am right now.

Saturday the 14th

We take an Uber back to our house and continue drinking, eventually I pass out on our couch probably around 4AM. I wake up the next day and fight off all the temptations to not play online. I could hang out with my roommates again but pass on that. I knew this time was coming but I had to look at the bank account and start picking up the pieces again. I still have money in savings but it is now the minimum allowed for the type of savings account that accrues interest at my specific bank and I really really really don't want to use it for poker. However, there was not much left in the debit account after the exorbitant amount of spending required in Vegas for both necessities and fun. I put pretty much all of it on the 3 NJ sites and started up my session. With the roll as low as it is (and I mean it's way lower than it's ever been) I really tried hard to focus on every decision and not punt any bullets regardless of buy in. I ran great, won the Party $109 and took 2nd in the Stars $100 (I think they each had 7K guarantees on Saturday) to profit $3K.

Sunday the 15th

I didn't fire any $200s this day, instead trying to satty in and keeping my average buy in lower than usual. I need to be humble and just grind the roll back up online. I once again took the chip lead to the Stars $100 FT but this time finished a disappointing 5th. Also had a lot in the WSOP 30r with $3600 up top but took 11th there, ended up +$375 on the day. Pretty frustrating but tomorrow's always another chance.

Monday the 16th, The Start of Big Things

I had a good set of emotions about what was going on in my life by the end of Sunday's session. I thought about how my roll had gotten so low. Normally I'd feel some sort of guilt or negative feeling but I didn't let that get into my head this time. Instead I decided to give myself credit for taking a shot in Las Vegas. I didn't make excuses this year, didn't pretend that NJ online was too good to leave when in reality I was just anxious about making travel plans and finding the buy ins for these bigger live tourneys. I just got out there and went for it. And really, looking back, it wasn't the poker that got me to a low point financially. It was the airfare, the lodging, the transportation within Vegas, the food, having to pay rent back home for a month where I didn't live there, and paying my car insurance for the full year in one lump sum. A ton of money came out of my pocket from things that aren't related to the winning and losing in poker.

In fact, I cashed for $13K in Vegas, cashed 3 times at the WSOP including missing a bag in day 1 of the Colossus by 10 minutes and going deep into day 2 of the milly maker. I also lost a flip for 17% of the chips in play with 12 left in a soft tourney with 27K up top, and lost one of the most absurd hands I've ever played to bust the Main Event after making day 2. The person who busted me in that tourney has finished top 50 in 2 of the last 4 years, further demonstrating how soft the tourney is and that getting some experience in it might allow me to play a very exploitative strategy (as she clearly tries to) to make a deep run myself.

So rather than feeling bad about being (relatively) broke, I decided to try to take some steps to get a routine going at home to get out of the hole. I normally do a good job at getting out of the hole when I'm broke but then I do a poor job at continuing the grind. So I finally decided to put a rough draft up of a schedule I am going to attempt to keep every day I'm home. In Vegas there was no way to have any consistency with things; at home it's so much easier and it's time to give myself some structure and go at this job in a more professional way. So today I stuck to my schedule for the first time of what I hope to be many times, which is as follows:

i) Awake at or before 11:00
ii) Eat banana/granola bar, drink some water, do activity to wake up
iii) Run at or before 12:00
iv) Showered and relaxed by 3:00. Any errands or extra things that need to be taken care of should be done before 3:00. Eat lunch in this time also.
v) Meditation at 3:00
vi) RIO video at 3:30
vii) Cash at 4:30. Number of hands depends on goals for cash.
viii) Eat dinner then relax until 6:45, at which point you start MTT session

I did all of this today except point vii. I felt exhausted from the run and decided to relax rather than trying to play more poker before starting MTTs. I need to sit down and set a concrete goal for what I want from cash games, but getting comfortable in that arena can only help when playing deep stacked in MTTs. It'd also be nice to feel comfortable playing cash for a different way to make money.

The short meditation was nice, focusing on emotions and what we can learn from them. It was about embracing them rather than stifling them and then learning from them and eventually understanding what the bad ones can teach us and getting rid of them. I thought about why I get mad sometimes about losing at a Playstation game called Rocket League. I have raged over this game and thrown controllers and all that stuff I often do in poker, but this time with no money component attached. So why do I get angry when I lose and what can that anger teach me? I decided that I get angry because I want to win so badly in the moment, which can be good to an extent. But I feel like a loser if I don't win right here, right now. I want everything to happen more quickly than is possible. I want my rank in Rocket League to be as high as possible and so my immediate reaction to losing is anger and frustration that the ranking isn't going to go up now. What I realized is that if I can focus on the big picture then I'll have an easier time accepting short term defeat. If I focus on getting better at the game, and don't look at the micro result of whether I win or lose this game, then I will improve and my rank will go up in the longterm. The short term success or failure is meaningless as long as I'm focusing on what I can do to improve.

I swear to God I thought about all of this without relating it to poker first. I'd been playing Rocket League right before doing the meditation and had some minor frustrations with it, so when I meditated I thought back to the major frustrations I've had in the past. When the meditation was over I thought more about it and then started to relate it to poker, and obviously it's quite easy to relate. The focus on poker must be about getting better, about doing your best to make the best play but not worrying about whether you play well or run well or any of it in the short term. You must simply try to improve every day and look for ways to be better. Sticking to this schedule will force me to stay active and in shape, to eat better, to focus my mind, to study and think about poker away from the table, to relax and have a proper amount of leisure instead of an indefinite amount each day, and finally to play poker and do the active part of what my job entails.

I woke up at 10:30 today but then fell back asleep until 11:45, got up and brushed my teeth, put running clothes on, grabbed a banana and some water, and was out the door by 12:15. Will try to be better with that tomorrow but my body was clearly exhausted from the activities of the past week. I got back from the 3 mile run in 90 degree heat (22:02 for 7:21/mile) and relaxed a bit, got some lunch, showered, and started the meditation at 2:50. I was tempted to play Rocket League at that time but each game takes over 5 minutes and I knew I'd convince myself to play through that 3:00 start time so I just started 10 minutes early. I then watched a Daniel Dvoress video about pivot points on specific streets that was interesting. What I learned while and after watching that video was that whether or not I'm getting direct strategy that I can implement in my game later, there's something about hearing how great players think and elaborate on things that helps my game indirectly. It's like my brain gets zapped and all of a sudden I'm thinking through hands more clearly and much closer to my full potential. Oftentimes I don't even use anything from the video I just watched but I still feel I got a ton out of watching the video.

As I said I didn't play cash at 4:30, instead making some dinner and laying around to rest a bit before my session. At 6:45 I was in my chair firing up some MTTs. The session started off really well but then I lost a few big pots in the tourneys that had potential. No panic or frustration in me though, just keep firing stuff up. With 5 tables up and the session still being too early to stop regging (though I might have in the past) I sort of randomly regged a $35 turbo on Party with only a $1500 guarantee. I took 2nd in it for $370 or so and just like that, most of my session was paid for. I was only in for $500 on the day and not quitting and regging that tourney allowed me to pay for most of my buy ins.

I also won the Stars $100, marking my 3rd top 5 in as many bullets in as many days in that tourney, after a 2nd and 5th on Saturday and Sunday respectively. The run good is much needed right now, but regardless of results I'm just gonna keep plugging and sticking to my schedule and trying not to get distracted. There's a non-zero shot I head to Borgata for the Summer Poker Open Six Max and/or Main but right now I think it's most likely I'm just going to stay focused on keeping structure in my life. I want to be able to maintain these good habits and the first two weeks are very important for something like this. Time for bed so I can get up on time tomorrow and maybe get my run in before it gets too hot.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:41 PM   #1237
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

The fans need an update!
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:57 PM   #1238
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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The fans need an update!
+1
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:17 PM   #1239
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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+1
+2
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:10 AM   #1240
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

+3
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:16 AM   #1241
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Long Update

It's funny how much of a head case I can be when I look back at all the emotions I go through in the course of a month. My last post was really optimistic and I clearly had my head in the right place. I stuck to my schedule until around July 27th...I was recording how every day went, how many hours I played and studied, my effort and result satisfactions respectively on a 1-10 scale. I ran 3 miles every day and things were looking very good.

July 28 - August 4

Saturday the 28th I went to a friend's birthday party in Point Pleasant that I go to every year, had a great time, and was up around 10AM. I drove with my roommate and his girlfriend and we'd dropped off our dog at his brother's place so he wasn't alone overnight. We got some breakfast, went to pick him up in Long Branch, and then it was suggested we go over to the Monmouth Race Track to check out the new sports book. I thought that sounded like fun but reminded my roommate that I needed to be back by 4, 5 at the latest, so I wouldn't be able to stay long.

We got there and the Haskell was going on (televised horse race on NBC with $1M purse) and we were having a great time. Since I haven't been playing the $200s much online anyway, I convinced myself that missing the Sunday session wasn't much worse than missing a standard weekday session, and since no one else cared whether or not I went to work, it was very easy to shrug it off and stay there all day and have a fun time.

Monday I had scheduled an appointment at the car dealership near my parents' house to fix the airbags that had been recalled by the manufacturer; apparently spare bits of metal might fly out if the airbags ever deployed? I got that done and had promised my mom I'd help her clean out my room, throw out my childhood stuff or save it, some staying in their house some coming to mine. I obviously had not stuck to my schedule that day since I was a bit out of whack and once again found a way to be lazy and try to skip my schedule. Luckily my mom made a comment around 8:00 that she thought it was time for me to start playing, so I headed to their computer and put in a very small session without much volume. Not much of a session at all.

Tuesday I did better than the day before, six tabling a bit and trying to keep it relaxed and light so I enjoyed it. Finished 2nd in the Party 10K and made 4 figures on the day.

Wednesday (August 1 now) I one tabled the Stars 8K while watching TV with my parents and bubbled it. Great work ethic.

Thursday I went home, my roommate said they were going out to the bar, I decided not to add any more tables because I'm probably gonna bust these ones anyway right? Eventually I did bust those (funny how that works) and out to the bar I went.

Friday I went to New York City.

Saturday I forced myself to play. The thought of sitting down and grinding seemed so daunting and intimidating. All I wanted to do was some mindless activity with no stress or pressure like Rocket League or watching Netflix or drinking at the bar. I'd been keeping a log of everything up to that point and writing notes for each day and this is how Saturday the 4th read:

"4 tabled to try to have fun with the game again, watched Westworld while playing, tried to keep things relaxed since I didn't wanna play to begin with. It has to be better to sit down and play with less focus than to not play at all. Lost CL pot in $50 WSOP tourney with 4K up top with 11 left, K7<J8 on KJ2ss, guy decided to x/r/call off from BB lol. Spiked a 3 outter of my own with 6 left in Party $109 and managed to get 3rd in that one. Made 4 figures on day which was nice and much better than not playing at all lol. I need to focus more on having fun so that playing a session doesn't feel so daunting. I also have decided to embrace my emotions rather than get mad and then get frustrated with myself for getting mad. I'm just gonna let myself get mad and own up to having emotions about results and see if it calms me down at all. Tomorrow I'll do whatever and then Monday I'm going to try hard to get back into being on a strict schedule."

Anxiety

This internal struggle of whether or not I want to sit down and put my money where my mouth is day in and day out is something that's probably never going to leave me. I had EXTREME anxiety as a kid that manifested itself similarly. I didn't want to go to school, or go play baseball, or even do my favorite thing in the world, play basketball. All I wanted to do was get under the covers and watch TV. Mindless activity with no pressure. As a kid though there were plenty of forces around to force me to do these things I didn't want to. Parents force me to go to school, coaches and peer pressure force me to get to practice. As a professional poker playing adult it's 100% on me. And unfortunately it seems that a lot of the time the only thing that drives me is the idea of going broke.

However, all of the years since I was a kid did help me with this anxiety in a couple ways. It has never completely overwhelmed me the way it used to from around 5th-10th grades. We sometimes look at the struggles that kids go through as less significant or meaningful than those of adults. When I was dealing with this anxiety it was easily the worst times of my 27 years of life. I literally felt afraid to talk to people. I would think deeply about what was about to come out of my mouth and then I always assumed what I said sounded stupid and I looked stupid and I just wanted nothing to do with being outside the confines of my house and bed. Luckily since then I've found ways to alleviate those extreme stresses, but I do find that feeling of wanting to curl up in bed coming back once in a while. The last two weeks or so has been a lot of that, except there's no one to stop me from doing it. Now, it's not only lying in bed; going out to the city or a friend's house or the bar or anything that's fun and low stress is stuff I'm able and like to do. But they're all just ways of me ignoring my responsibilities.

August 7 - Now

Tuesday the 7th was the last log I posted, writing "Not really even a session, just 2 tabling the $100s, ACR is dead and motivation is still low but running is going well. Gonna focus on feeling happier, than hop back into the grind when I'm ready." I have still been running a bit: 15 miles in 4 days last week, then nothing Friday-Sunday. On Saturday I went to a friend's party at a beautiful house with a great backyard, hot tub, and pool. I haven't really done any swimming or going to the beach in the past year since my contacts started making my eyes burn every time I put them in. I don't know why that's happening and it's pretty crushing since swimming is one of my favorite things to do in the summer and I have no idea how to handle it with glasses. So I got in the pool with them on, took them off when we played pool bball and made sure they were somewhere safe. At around 3AM all but 4 of us had gone to bed (obviously the 4 degen roommates from college lol) so I put my glasses on the side of the pool and told them not to step over there. Well naturally someone comes back outside (I'd assumed everyone else was asleep) and steps right on the glasses, crushing the frames but keeping the lenses intact. I was able to pop the one lens back in and sort of tape it up but the lenses are at different angles now and I'm getting headaches wearing the glasses.

Sunday I once again skipped out on playing, using the glasses as an excuse this time, but when I woke up on Monday I started thinking about everything and why I was feeling so ****ty and I came to all the conclusions I wrote above. I decided that the measure of a person is about how many times they get up after they fall. I'm never gonna stop falling and screwing up in my life as much as I want to just have the smooth sailing all the time. But the key is to make sure I stay on the ground for the shortest amount of time before I hop back up and get into the swing of things again. I popped my contacts in on Monday and went on a 5 mile run, the longest I've gone in quite some time, throwing in a sub 7 minute 4th mile, 36:40 total run. When I got home the contacts were starting to hurt so I popped them out and called the eye doctor to set up an appointment for a check up and a new pair of glasses. The earliest they had was Wednesday at 1:30 so that will have to do. I then played a session with the twisted glasses. It's funny, at the end of the session I felt way more tired than usual due to my eyes straining that hard to see what I'm looking at. I battled hard and ran pretty bad deep in the Party $109 but managed to take 8th for a breakeven day.

Then finally today, Tuesday the 14th, I popped the contacts back in, they burnt so I took them out, went grocery shopping so I'd stop eating crappy fast food, something I'd started doing during this stretch where I was feeling ****ty. I didn't want to try to run with poor vision and hurt myself or something but I made sure to eat a lot so I wouldn't feel tired for the session. I started on time at 7, flipped on the Red Sox game on one monitor and 6 tabled on the other. I final tabled every NJ sites' 10Ks despite losing AA<QQ for heaps with 14 left on Party. Finished 9th in that one and a very disappointing 4th in both the others. Stars had one guy way out in front in 1st with me in 2nd with some room between 3rd and 4th. 99<A2 of one of the shorties followed by KTs<88 of the CL to bust 4th. QQ<KK of 1 of the 2 guys who could cripple me in the WSOP 30r ended that one in 4th as well. Frustrating of course but a +$1350 day is big for me right now. Not playing much for 2 weeks has the bank account getting nearer and nearer zero but the roll has been going up so I'm not totally dead in that department.

Conclusion

So things haven't been great, but I'm just always going to keep trying to make things work. My brain works well for the game of poker but unfortunately it works very poorly for staying motivated and confident with the same thing for a long period of time. Any time I think about what having another job would be like I come to the conclusion that I would hit spots like this for those jobs as well. I'd get unmotivated and want to do something different. I've never been good at focusing on the same thing; I get bored easily and want to sorta-but-not-quite master something else. It appears that becoming the best or becoming rich or just enjoying the grind are not big enough motivators to get me to stay committed to the game for long stretches of time. I'm gonna have to find something else at some point I suppose.

TL;DR

Was highly motivated for 10 days mid July, lost motivation, sorta went off the rails as far as poker goes, my glasses got destroyed, didn't use as excuse the first 2 days of this week, hoping to get new ones tomorrow and use the momentum of being able to see again to start grinding the right way.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:11 AM   #1242
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

I feel like getting backed would be a good way to alleviate anxiety and get you motivated to play. I realize its not easy to get rid of 50% of profits but for mental health seems like the best way to get you back in to the groove. Just food for thought.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:22 PM   #1243
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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I feel like getting backed would be a good way to alleviate anxiety and get you motivated to play. I realize its not easy to get rid of 50% of profits but for mental health seems like the best way to get you back in to the groove. Just food for thought.
He should be able to get a far better deal than 50/50 with his roi in these tourneys over a solid sample. Unless the deal included lots of coaching from a really good player. He's said in the past though that he likes the idea of having made it on his own. I agree though, as long as the deal is a fair split it would allow him to have all of his poker roll available as life roll and the focus would be able to just be put on volume and playing well with no worry of swings. You can also mitigate some of that ev you're giving up from poker by throwing some of that poker roll money into more standard investments. Dan has to do what he feels is right for him though.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:28 PM   #1244
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Nice update Dan. You always seem to be very honest with yourself when you assess what you've been doing which is good and imo is huge for long term success playing professionally. Have you spent much time thinking about long term how you see life going and how poker fits into it? Personally it's the main thing I struggle with most with poker. I've probably mentioned it before and it's purely my opinion but I strongly believe poker is only worth it if you are able to save a decent chunk of money for the future. I can't imagine being 35-40 with little money saved and having done nothing but played poker is a good spot to be in, and that's if online poker even makes it that long as a viable income source. Setting yourself some short/medium/long term goals for putting money into investments for the future might help keep you motivated to grind and make money outside of when your back is against the wall net worth wise. gl man.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:46 AM   #1245
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Hey thanks for the input, I always like hearing outside perspectives. I'm really close to reaching out for coaching/backing but something always pulls me back. When I have sessions where I'm thinking clearly and playing/running well I think about how I can make it on my own and I want to get to the top by myself. Then I have stretches where I can't find motivation and I worry about money and play bad and I think I desperately need help. It's definitely something I'm considering again now though.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:24 AM   #1246
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

I am unsure of how giving a significant percentage of your wins to someone else will help you get out of the financial hole and solve the worries you have. If you have a decent ROI(I assume you do), then figure out how much you need to play to win what you want to and map out a strategy to play that number of buyins. You need to stay solvent, work harder, drop down, get a loan, basically anything but give up 30-50% of your earn to have someone else provide the bankroll.

If the problem is motivation and that you will feel better on someone else's money, that is a VERY expensive problem you have and you should try to fix that problem so that it solves the above problem.

I made it sound easy, but battling the motivation issue is hard and needs to be tackled head on if you want to work for yourself.

Best of luck,
Jason
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:25 AM   #1247
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Past Two Weeks and Current Thoughts

Wednesday the 15th Through Wednesday the 22nd

Played every day through this stretch and lost almost 3K, including a -$1600 Sunday. Think I played alright but definitely was forcing myself to play several of those days. Had a bunch of runs that could have easily turned into good scores but didn't pan out. The big losing Sunday was pretty insane given how little money I have right now. I've been thinking of things differently lately though that has me feeling slightly less worried about the financial situation; it isn't as dire as I've made it out to be but it certainly is stressful nonetheless.

Thursday the 23rd Through Saturday the 25th

Order of events leading up to the weekend:
--Parents text me inviting me to go out to dinner with them and my brother Thursday night since his birthday is Saturday the 25th. After that we'd go to a bar by Jon's apartment and partake in the trivia night they had there. It sounded like a lot of fun so I said I'd be there.
--Jon's roommate invites me to a surprise party for him on Friday night where we'll meet at his place and wait for him and his girlfriend to get back from dinner then surprise him and go out on the town afterwards. Sounds great so I accept.
--Jon himself texts me inviting me to the same thing my parents have already invited me to and suggests I stay overnight since he's taken Friday off.

So I'm like uh oh I have to convince him I'm leaving at some point before Friday night but he wants to hang Friday! Luckily things work themselves out.

We go out to dinner around 6:00 in his town, Lambertville NJ, with our parents and our aunt and cousin who were a late addition. Dinner was at the Lambertville Station Restaurant and it was amazing. Jon leaves a little early to make sure he enters us as a team for trivia before it starts at 8:00. The trivia night is over the Delaware River bridge in New Hope, PA. We get there at around 8:15 and he's entered us in with the team name "In 4th Place." We only get 6 out of 10 questions in round 1 correct in part since Jon had to do it all on his own. From there though we realize the 6 of us are a pretty dynamic team. My cousin is 20 and in college so knows a lot of pop culture, science and math. Me and Jon are good at that as well. I've memorized where all the countries in the world are so I've got geography, my dad lived in Morocco for 3 years and is a trivia whiz in general, and my mom and aunt threw in a few answers with some random pop culture as well. By the time the scheduled 5 rounds are over, we've tied for 1st and now have to go to a 5 question overtime period with the other team.

We each get the same 3 questions correct and 1 question wrong and it comes down to the 5th and final question: How many official languages does Switzerland have? As we're all agreeing that 3 sounds about right, maybe English French and German, my dad walks over with the most serious look on his face I've ever seen: "IT'S FOUR!" he says lmao. "How sure are you dad?" "Oh I'm pretty sure it's German, French, Italian, and a local dialect called Romansh." Well how the hell are you gonna argue with a guy who pulls Romansh out of his ass? We submit 4, other team submits 3, we're correct and win trivia night . The winner is In 4th Place and we get $75 which we give to Jon as a birthday present. After everyone else leaves I head back to my brother's place with him and we just shoot the **** for a few hours before going to sleep. I tell him about my recent struggles with motivation for poker, he talks about his job and some other stuff going on in his life, and it's overall a really nice time.

The next day we get up and go on a 5.3ish mile run, splits 7:24/7:36/7:24/7:36/7:12. I'm dying by the end and he's completely fine of course. After that we go to a restaurant we used to go to after camping when we were little kids. I probably haven't been there in 15 years and it was some really cool nostalgia. I drove him back to his place after that and said goodbye, letting him know I had to "beat rush hour traffic to get home for work." We said goodbye and I shot over to Princeton to get him a gift card to the Princeton Running Company. From there I got a card for him and went home to my parents' house to get some dinner. After that I went to Carvel and got him a birthday cake. I had them write "Happy Birthday Jon" on the cake after pussying out on having them write "Surprise Mother ****er." Then I drove back to his place and hung out with his friends until around 9:30 when we all jumped out at him. He seemed genuinely really shocked to see me again. We all headed back to New Hope where we hit up a few bars and danced like idiots. I made sure to sober up for a couple hours so I could drive home rather than sleep in their smallish apartment with a bunch of other guys. Got home around 3:30 and fell asleep around 4.

Woke up at probably 1PM Saturday, eventually drove home, felt exhausted and took another day off from poker. Watched the Dark Knight with my roommate Tee Dubs then got some sleep.

Today

Slept in til after noon then got up and continued watching Boardwalk Empire. Finished the 1st 3 seasons in the past few weeks after having started it probably 7 years ago, great show. Played a bunch of Rocket League, ordered and picked up some food, got home and struggled on whether or not to play poker. I decided I had to find some motivation. I always remember being so pumped up about it all when I first moved into the house, so I went back to January 1, 2016 in this thread and just started reading. I wrote a lot about the support system I had, and I think Kelsey was huge in that. I always felt motivated to play poker and had someone directly to talk to when things were going bad who would always say the right things to make me feel better and stay motivated. I also realized what a privilege it was to be able to do this for a living and I didn't want to let myself and those around me down. I also had strong ambition to become the best I possibly could. It was great to read where my mind was before that month started, because I made 20K that month. Everything went right. In December things were shaky, but as the new year turned my head was right where it needed to be for good things to happen, and then they did.

Another thing I talked about was how important it was to keep running. This past week I ran 23.3 miles and I took Saturday and Sunday off, so that was all in 5 days. I'm gonna get back to that tomorrow; I actually look forward to running and it can only help my mental game.

I discussed a bunch of smaller tourneys I played in and I was excited about them. Lately I've been so jaded and cynical where I feel like a $10r is beneath me or something; in those updates, where I had more money than I do now, I was excited to do well and win a tournament for $500. I had humility. I thought about that all today.

After reading a few updates I decided to sit down and just do my best. I'd grind some of the smaller stuff that I often do not. I hopped in the 10Ks and a $50 6 max, a $20 tourney on Stars, and some other smallish stuff. I chopped the $20 heads up with my student Jake which was sweet. Got 3rd in the $50 6 max (which Jake then chopped heads up!). I mincashed the Stars 10K and then chopped the Party 10K heads up with my friend Mike. Was in for about $500 today and profited over 3K. The Party 10K was probably one of the toughest NJ $109 FTs I've been at and I was happy with how I played. I had a ton of chips until losing set under flush in an unavoidable spot to lose a bunch but I stayed composed and didn't punt when I was down to 20BBs. Eventually spun it back up then got AJ in vs QQ of an aggro player on my left, button vs SB, again unavoidable, but spiked an ace on the flop for a big one. Then got A8 in vs KJ for a knockout with the fun KxxxA runout. My buddy knocked out the shorty in 3rd and we agreed to chop but had to play the last hand where I defended 64 and won a nice one after a 764 flop. ICM chop for $2700 and the win.

Final Thoughts

The results were bad last week but I think I did what I was supposed to do. I played even when I didn't want to, I ran each day, I tried to do my meditation when I felt the need. Something I was thinking about today was the idea of impulse control. I feel like I don't have any of it. When I get mad while playing Rocket League I just have this desire to break something which often leads to me either screaming or slamming the controller or something like a child. That's often translated to poker with slamming the mouse or punching my desk. Most people have no choice but to do things they don't want to do. Got to get out of bed at 7AM, got to drive to work, got to go to dinner with the in laws, etc. I don't have any of that. I can almost literally do anything I want all the time. It's a dangerous thing. Whenever I feel like doing something, I do it. Whenever I don't want to do something, I don't. I need to really focus on self control and discipline going forward. Today I played a bunch of 1v1 in Rocket League, which is the most frustrating mode in my opinion since you have no one to blame but yourself. Every time I started to get furious I'd just repeat "impulse control, impulse control" in my head. I'd also repeatedly think about the idea that it was gonna feel bad right now, but was gonna feel great long term. The more I can control those urges to just freak out, even if it makes me feel ****ty in the short term, the happier I'm gonna be long term. And I think it might translate to other parts of my life. Don't wanna make a doctor's appointment? Too bad, impulse control, you can't just not do it cuz you don't feel like it.

I focused on that when trying to start my session today and during the session. When I lost in big spots I let myself sort of stew in it rather than letting myself express it outwardly and physically. It feels bad while I do it, but I think that's the best way to train myself. If I act a certain way then maybe in the future I'll be able to mimic those actions mentally. Physically staying calm might lead to me mentally staying calm.

Anyway, results today were huge, I'll be able to pay rent without stress about moving money around since each poker account now has some reasonable funds in it. Think I'm gonna drive to Ramapo tomorrow and do one of the runs I used to do a bunch while I was on the team. I ran 6 miles on Wednesday for my longest run since November 20 of last year (just checked that stat and I had no idea it's been so long)! And that run was also 6 miles; August 2, 2017 was the last time I've done more than 6. Over a full year! That will be changing soon.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:35 AM   #1248
TheTyman9
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

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Originally Posted by Redsoxnets5 View Post
Hey thanks for the input, I always like hearing outside perspectives. I'm really close to reaching out for coaching/backing but something always pulls me back. When I have sessions where I'm thinking clearly and playing/running well I think about how I can make it on my own and I want to get to the top by myself. Then I have stretches where I can't find motivation and I worry about money and play bad and I think I desperately need help. It's definitely something I'm considering again now though.
np, in the end you gotta do what feels right for you. I def would only take the backing if you feel the coaching will increase your hourly going forward. Also if you are skipping any tourneys because of your current bankroll you should at least sell action to them so you can keep your avg buyin within your bankroll but not skip tourneys you have a good edge in. Doubt you would have trouble selling at a fair markup in the marketplace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonP530 View Post
I am unsure of how giving a significant percentage of your wins to someone else will help you get out of the financial hole and solve the worries you have. If you have a decent ROI(I assume you do), then figure out how much you need to play to win what you want to and map out a strategy to play that number of buyins. You need to stay solvent, work harder, drop down, get a loan, basically anything but give up 30-50% of your earn to have someone else provide the bankroll.

If the problem is motivation and that you will feel better on someone else's money, that is a VERY expensive problem you have and you should try to fix that problem so that it solves the above problem.

I made it sound easy, but battling the motivation issue is hard and needs to be tackled head on if you want to work for yourself.

Best of luck,
Jason
Mostly agree but there's still situations where backing will net you more money. As mentioned above if the coaching will increase his roi that will both make him more money now AND will be skills he will carry with him after ending the backing arrangement. And then the other one as mentioned above which is if he's in a situation where he has to skip any tourneys. BBissick is prob a great recent example of this, where he gave up a big chunk of his action for awhile but got great coaching and definitely leads to him making more money by far over the long run.

Also just feel like it'd be good to say that getting a loan to play is playing with fire and in general is not a good choice.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:13 PM   #1249
Rutledge Smitty
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Making it in tournaments as a US only player seems insanely tough. No offense and I only have a glimpse of your life, but you do not seem as committed to getting in volume nor studying as you probably need to be. Didnít you get a degree? If so, might be time to get at least a part time job in your field. Might help get some structure in your life/ motivate the poker playing more to escape the work grind.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:46 PM   #1250
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Re: An NJ Grinder's Journey as a Pro

Good Week

As with all things, the week could have been better, but overall I think it was a step in the right direction. I did the meditations through Primed Mind most days and they did well to calm me down and get me in the right state of mind before starting my sessions.

Running

I only ran the first 3 days of the week but I don't feel too horrible about that. Monday I went 4.7 with a huge hill in the middle of the run during a really hot stretch. Tuesday and Wednesday I went 3 miles each. Both days were 95 degrees and felt like 105 and with the humidity it was just a death march. Thursday I woke up and decided I'd just take off from running to let my body rest for a bit. I was getting aches and pains in places that were starting to worry me so that combined with the heat made me want to take a day off. Thursday night I went deep in an ACR tourney that didn't end until 3AM, couldn't sleep afterwards, woke up late and it was raining so I just ended up skipping the Friday run. Then like an idiot I stayed up til 9AM or something playing Rocket League on PC Friday night and woke up 5PM Saturday, then Sunday I started my session not too far after I woke up. Running probably isn't gonna get much better this week with the first 4 days lining up to be in the 90s, but Friday I should get back on the horse with the temperature coming back down into the 70s.

Poker

I'm very pleased with my efforts this week. I played 6 of the 7 days, taking off Saturday after waking up as late as I did. I could have started a session around 9:00 but that'd mean getting into the main NJ tourneys with <20bbs and that didn't seem like a good idea. I final tabled the $33 12.5K on ACR twice and finished 3rd and 8th respectively. Had near the chip lead in the 2nd one starting FT, then QQ<AK and AQ<A2 and that was that. Happy with how I played throughout though, I find myself being more confident to pull the trigger on big bluffs, in part due to the meditation. I'm trusting myself more and relying on my ability instead of convincing myself that my read might be wrong and I should wait for a better spot.

I final tabled the WSOP 30r back to back nights, losing a flip for the chip lead to bust 6th the first night. The 2nd night the pot was much smaller that I busted in but I lost a flip to bust to the same damn guy from the night before lol. Took 7th that time. Looking back at my results from the week it looks like 8 FTs without any wins:



The 3 WSOP FTs are especially tough given their absolutely insanely top heavy payout structures. Here's Thursday's payouts for perspective:



First is literally over 3x more than third. You can kinda throw ICM out the window in these tourneys and just play to win.

Despite some decent volume the first 5 days of the week I was down $92 in the NJ tourneys (probably up a bit on ACR). Fortunately Sunday went quite well. I started my session earlier than usual, getting it going at 3:00 and playing all the satellites I could into the Sunday majors since I don't want to buy into them directly right now. I won a seat to all 3 majors and 2 to the Party major. The 2nd Party major bullet gave me a sweat but ultimately I busted 14th for $600ish. There's a $50r at 1PM on WSOP that I haven't ever played before and fortunately for me the first time was the charm as I finished 2nd for $2400. Obviously frustrating to lose a flip heads up for 2/3 the chips with the outlandish 2K difference between 1st and 2nd, but I ran good and can't complain about the result. It also meant that as early at 6:00 I'd be freerolling the rest of my session which really took a lot of pressure off.

I ended up cashing all 3 nightlies and once again ran into my kryptonite of the WSOP 30r FT, finishing 4th after having the CL the whole final table. Lost J3<AQcc on J84cc for half the chips in play. I open button guy flats then open jams 6x pot on flop lol. I tanked forever then decided it was just too unlikely he'd have better and I needed to call off despite the fact that I'd often be up against a draw with an over. Because of the crazy top heavy payouts I went for it; in a normal structured payout I'd probably just fold. Blinds were also about to go up to 20K and we were all around 400K deep so it's not like I was gonna really be able to push an edge later anyway.

All in all, +$3400 day and I'm feeling confident in my game. I ran like God yesterday and am aware of it, but I did go for it in a few spots, bluff jamming river in the $50r with 6 left and getting it through, stuff like that. I was 12 tabling for a big chunk of the day and I notice the more tables I play the more focused I feel. It's like if I play <6 I just get bored and lose focus unless I'm deep in a tourney, so mass tabling might be the trend I try to continue in the future. I'm slowly building the bankroll back up and I've decided that the most important time to play poker is right after winning sessions. Too often I've gotten laxed after making some money, justify not playing with the fact that I don't need to to survive, and get into bad routines. The goal this week will be to avoid that.
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