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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 01-22-2019, 07:18 AM   #1
DrTJO
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Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Hi All,

Itís been three years since I completed my previous challenge:



Anyway cliffs for the 2015 thread are that I began playing full-time that year, at a range of stakes, from 1/2 to 25/50; played here in Melbourne, as well as the USA, mostly in Vegas and New Orleans, but also Florida and LA; logged very poor results at PLO and good results at NLH, making around 30k for the year.

Since 2016, Iíve experienced much repetition in my poker life, which, in terms of monetary results, has been a little under break-even:

Spoiler:


Playing mostly 2-5 and 5-5 NLH over the last three years, Iíve twice taken breaks of four-months or more; during this time-off, Iíve played music overseas (France, Italy, Chicago), worked on a great unfinished novel, and looked seriously into the reality of a non-poker existence.

So now Iím playing 1/3 NLH, on a full-time schedule, rebuilding my bankroll. I fully acknowledge that what Iím doing isn't to be recommended, and, simply put, just doesnít make sense to most outside observers. Iím 47 years old, with a Ph.D, a decent CV, play pretty good drums, etc., and am in a solid relationship, so, really, the thought, let alone the sight, of me grinding away at a low-stake/$300 buy-in/$15 raked game, most early mornings, should sound alarm bells (and p.s. thanks to all those dealers and players whoíve said as much to me in the past month or so).

Whatís more, and, this is how I envision the value of this thread, the guy sitting at this game is not always the zen-like character he wishes himself to be; heís angry and ashamed that heís regressed to this level, after proudly being a 5/T regular, someone who had moved up from these stakes, five or so years ago.

One thing I can be relatively certain about is that anger doesn't get one very far in life, especially in poker. We all know, as poker players, the scenario where anger, not to mention shame (its hidden partner in crime), runs riot at the table. One personís run-good is anotherís run-bad, for we are playing a zero-sum game after all (disregarding the rake, of course, for those who choose to be technical); and few of us are the emotionless poker heroes we are meant to be---and thus does the anger arise, sometimes directed at the situation (what we may soberly regard as Ďvarianceí), but most of the time at our opponents, occasionally at ourselves.

And donít get me wrong, Iím a relatively civil person, and play in the heart of one the worldís 'most liveable and wealthiest cities'. Having logged 5k hours as a live pro, all the while being a small winner, rarely do I openly show this anger and berate my opponents, nor do I often display any hint of aggrieved body language, which one could, if one felt the need, interpret as a form of hostility (I find that one does do this a bit more than one should, really).

But I know Iím angry most of the time when I lose. And seldom do I get a chance to express this anger, even in the private domain. My partner doesnít even know the difference between a big and small blind. I donít have any poker buddies. It's mainly this guy who keeps me company during the day, but he doesn't say much, particularly in the way of poker psych:

Spoiler:


With him at my side, I'll continue to log results, keep a journal, occasionally analyse a hand, read 2+2, maintain the daily meditation practice. I'll still measure, on a spreadsheet, my ability to tolerate variance, maintain nutrition and mood levels, implement desired strategy, properly quit a game, remain sensitive to non-poker life.

However, these metrics arenít sufficient: I need to openly document, for an understanding audience, the anger I experience at the poker table. So, this is what this thread will primarily be: a series of observations about my negative internal states, when grinding away at one of the smallest games in town. There will be occasional updates about my progress, too, with hand-histories included largely for the sake of context, and some periodical results for the sake of narrative momentum. I'm hoping there will be some optimistic thoughts scattered in the mix, as well, particularly those which arenít entirely driven by the quantity of big-blinds made.

So, wish me luck, please, and thanks in advance, for the interest!
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:38 AM   #2
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Good luck sir, hope you get to where you want to be.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:47 AM   #3
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Good luck friend. May I ask why you chose your current lifestyle over more gainful employment, either as career or to rebuild? Especially at your age. I know why I'M a degen at 22
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:44 AM   #4
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Good luck, OP. What's the PhD in? Why the determination towards poker?
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Old 01-22-2019, 01:33 PM   #5
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

I have been reading your previous PG&C thread over the course of the past week or so, and just finished it this morning. I found your previous thread a dutiful distraction from the mundane aspects life, and in many regards insightful. Your approach to the game of poker actually instills a desire to play myself, which is no small feat given my past attitude towards poker. '

In any case, I look forward to seeing what direction you traverse in this thread. Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-22-2019, 05:12 PM   #6
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Subbed.

Fellow 1/3 NL live player, but I only play for recreational purposes.

I know a handful of players in my game who attempt to do this full time, and many part-timers (semi-pros, whatever the hell that means, heck, do I qualify!?!?). Seems insane to me. But good luck to all!

Gogogo!

GtheguyatthetablewithasmileonhisfaceG
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

subbed, gl
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:27 AM   #8
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

I feel this man. But our ability to grow as people and poker players is directly linked to our ability to acknowledge our own faults. Excited to see where the journey takes you.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:43 AM   #9
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

GL, following
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:35 AM   #10
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Following, best of luck.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:55 AM   #11
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

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Originally Posted by DonkeyRock View Post
Good luck sir, hope you get to where you want to be.
Thanks---not sure where that 'want to be' is right now, but a few extra bbs in the bankroll would be handy!

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Originally Posted by Nefirmative View Post
Good luck friend. May I ask why you chose your current lifestyle over more gainful employment, either as career or to rebuild? Especially at your age. I know why I'M a degen at 22
The short answer to this question is freedom. I've never done the 9-5 full-time job grind. I've always jumped between things (writing, music, teaching, etc.), and, to be honest, have been pretty fortunate in terms of life experience. I didn't start playing poker seriously until my late 30s/early 40s. When I was 22 we didn't have live casino poker in Melbourne (and obviously poker in general was very different 25 years ago, but I do recall playing a lot of manila with my big brother and his mates, at home games, when I was a teenager). I was a study nerd then and spent most of my time in the library or playing music. Anyway, would always value freedom over 'gainful employment', but that's far easier to say at my age, than for someone in their early 20s. What can I say? Don't be a 'degen'---see poker for what it is, an intellectually challenging and highly social game, with a relatively high-risk factor, in respect of lifestyle (which means, I guess, that you need to be diligent about looking after yourself).

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Good luck, OP. What's the PhD in? Why the determination towards poker?
The PhD was a sustained analysis of the representation of music in an early novel by Don DeLillo. I had just spent five years playing music full-time before enrolling and began my candidature researching the pop-novel subgenre. That project was too large and I chiseled it down to a study of one text with a focus on the relationship between literary language and musical experience. Loved spending day after day in the British Library doing research and writing endless drafts (many of which ended up in the trash, unfortunately).

With respect to the 'determination towards poker' (great phrase, btw), I guess I answered that above, to an extent. I would add that the solitary aspect of poker certainly is part of the attraction, given that it is staged within a social environment. I love how one can choose either to be social or a solitary in the game, on any given day. The fact that poker is a relatively open-ended and dynamic game, that one can think about endlessly, adds to the attraction, as well. I recently listened to a thinking poker podcast, where one of the podcasters did a solo gig, analysing the busto hand that Ivey played at the main event last year. The analysis lasted an hour and was brilliant. Who would have thought that one could talk about a single poker hand in such depth for so long and keep all engaged!

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Originally Posted by ZombieApoc21 View Post
I have been reading your previous PG&C thread over the course of the past week or so, and just finished it this morning. I found your previous thread a dutiful distraction from the mundane aspects life, and in many regards insightful. Your approach to the game of poker actually instills a desire to play myself, which is no small feat given my past attitude towards poker. '

In any case, I look forward to seeing what direction you traverse in this thread. Best of luck to you!
Pleased to hear that you've identified some 'mundane aspects of life'. I've fond memories of that thread, particularly my time on the Gulf Coast, less so the hell-on-earth that Vegas can be, at times. There certainly is the potential for the poker lifestyle to open-up general life experience (in a kind of Walt Whitman way). Part of that potential resides in the inevitable fact that we encounter much negativity in poker, but, almost as a matter of necessity, find ways of turning what is toxic into something more positive. We have to do this to survive, as poker players, I believe, although some can be miserable for all their lives and still find some kind of satisfaction in the decadence of such a mindset, I guess. I would never begrudge a decadent of this kind.

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Originally Posted by gobbledygeek View Post
Subbed.

Fellow 1/3 NL live player, but I only play for recreational purposes.

I know a handful of players in my game who attempt to do this full time, and many part-timers (semi-pros, whatever the hell that means, heck, do I qualify!?!?). Seems insane to me. But good luck to all!

Gogogo!

GtheguyatthetablewithasmileonhisfaceG
Semi-demi-half-part-whatever-he-he! Yes, seems insane, but doesn't necessarily have to be, $15 rake notwithstanding. I reckon you'd fare quite well, if you gave up the day job! I've gotta admit that the idea of a 1/3 pro is pretty much the default joke at the tables where I play, but for some reason I find this cute more than offensive. Not sure if I'm deluded, overly-determined or just looking at things from a different perspective. Got to say, there's no harm in being frugal (and to contemplate taking a few shots at the next level, every now and again), so perhaps some optimism grows from this sense of acceptance of one's lot, as well. Thanks for the good wishes!

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subbed, gl
Great to have you on board again! Always good to have some means of cross-reference with the epic DGAF thread, too.

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I feel this man. But our ability to grow as people and poker players is directly linked to our ability to acknowledge our own faults. Excited to see where the journey takes you.
Yes, I totally agree, although sometimes we can exaggerate our own faults, when variance is perhaps the real villain. Of course, sometimes we project these faults onto others, too, which is why I believe 'anger' is such a relevant emotion to the whole poker experience---something we have to both accept and move beyond (and therefore genuinely invest in the idea of poker enlightenment, without becoming too fixated on, that is, attached to, this goal). I reckon many are experiencing simmering anger often at the table without fully acknowledging this fact, partly because 'feeling' these days in poker is often considered a problem rather than a potential resource.
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GL, following
Hopefully I'll return to Vegas again one of these days ... always got time for the sober-mind of the pure-aggression! Much respect for the path you've travelled over the years and made your own. It's true that you can make money at 1/3, right?

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Following, best of luck.
Thanks for coming on board. Hopefully I can make all the 'following' worth your while!
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:24 PM   #12
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

in for the dog pics!

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The short answer to this question is freedom. I've never done the 9-5 full-time job grind. I've always jumped between things (writing, music, teaching, etc.)

the solitary aspect of poker certainly is part of the attraction, given that it is staged within a social environment. I love how one can choose either to be social or a solitary in the game, on any given day.
I can relate to both of these thoughts.

I was surprised to learn that Rick Bennet (author of the GOAT poker novel King of a Small World) is "living the Buddhist poker life" in Vegas, grinding small-stakes. Your OP reminded me of something he said (it's a comment that I find both uplifting and unbelievable--even as I do believe him )

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Poker, and its people, can actually be fun, if you let it, if the money doesn't make you happy or sad. Sometimes old friends ask me what it's like playing $1/$3 and I say, "Peaceful."
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:08 PM   #13
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Loved the perspective and look forward to some interesting conversations ahead!

I'm in! GLA!
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:00 AM   #14
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

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Loved the perspective and look forward to some interesting conversations ahead!

I'm in! GLA!
Yes, the conversations are often the best part, irrespective of the results.

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I was surprised to learn that Rick Bennet (author of the GOAT poker novel King of a Small World) is "living the Buddhist poker life" in Vegas, grinding small-stakes. Your OP reminded me of something he said (it's a comment that I find both uplifting and unbelievable--even as I do believe him )
From memory there was a close connection between the author and narrator of King of a Small World, but I can't recall the narrator being particularly zen; however, it's probably twenty years since the period when that novel was set and let's not allow ourselves to be sucked into the Intentional Fallacy (otherwise all that time studying lit at university was kind of wasted).

The fundamental point about low stakes poker is spot on, though, as there is certainly some peace to be found, if the monetary results are downgraded to by-the-by status. I do mean it when saying that 'poker enlightenment' can be a reality, not directly in the aspirational sense, but more as a mode of daily practice, that is, how we should be directing our attention at the table. I'm pretty much rehashing Tommy Angelo, here, of course. DubnJoy's thread is a good example of this kind of applied thinking, although he's playing for bigger dollars, at the moment.

I also find it "uplifting" to hear that the Buddhist 1/3 Vegas-Life is actually being lived by a retired poker novelist. For me, Vegas will always be that kind of place, in both imagination and memory, where such characters exist---so often when speaking with others at the table there, I thought to myself: 'I know you from some other place and can nearly see through your disguise, and, yes, I also understand that you know that I know this.' So much of the social environment at the tables felt like this kind of levelling game, particularly with regulars who were 30+ years in age. I mean, if you're a regular in Vegas, and not in the young-gun poker pro category, then there's bound to be a few layers of a hidden past beneath your table image.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:49 AM   #15
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Speaking of enlightenment 'as a mode of daily practice', I guess that I should update my doings at the 1/3 tables. Saying one shouldn't be attached to monetary results is mantra, really, these days, in poker; however, doings are different from sayings, especially when the results are at the extreme end of variance. More to the point, pictures do have more impact than sayings, so here's a recent snapshot of my spreadsheet:



Pretty unpleasant for one without much of a bankroll, but most of us have been through this many times before. Watching that other player rolling over a set, when I also have one of those (hey 'we're set twins, cool!'), or hearing him go 'yeah' when hitting his two-outer, after he shoves AI preflop and you call and he asks whether you've got it and you say yes and he says oh ****, particularly as he shoved in 150bb. I won't continue in this vein, since, well, I can hear an echo of '... EV, ev ... where is it? It's going, going ... gone (but, in the abstract, it's still really there, meaning that your stack is really bigger than it looks and that it is, therefore, possible to smile, even be smug, since you got-it-in so good, so good in fact that we don't have to talk about equity edges in percentiles, but will anyway).'

More to the point, did I get angry? Well, the first time, I just polite-grimaced and said, 'well, nice hand, not much else either of us could do there.' Second time, I said 'can you please stop talking about the hand' to a guy next to me who was trying to be sympathetic and telling me about how AA v KK does indeed play itself in those spots. Third time, I couldn't get angry because my opponent was doing UTG blind raises of 20bb and honestly figured that when I raised one of these to 75bb that snap-shoving for 250bb with TT was an appropriate response to my AA (these figures are for real, btw, we were deep in many ways). Fourth time, in the process of reloading, I managed to throw my white chips aggressively toward the muck and stormed-off, saying, literally, 'don't worry about it, I quit'. Fifth time, after my QQ lost to AQ AIPF for 100bb (plus a juicy 50bb of dead money), I just said 'this is ****' and actually went home.

In respect of body language and general demeanour, I would say that there was some anger thereabouts, not to mention despair. Keep in mind, the above was over a period of 5 days, so there was plenty of time spent sleeping, eating well, doing an hour of meditation each day, exercising, petting the dog, reading Demons by Dostoevsky, talking about the dangers of Twitter with my eighty year old mum, listening to the Staple Singers, watering the plants, etc. Also, there were conversations at the table about Christopher Hitchens, Istanbul, pink gin, etc., so I couldn't really say it's been a glut of misery that I've experienced during this mini-swing-thing that I refuse to phrase metaphorically in terms that might gesture to whether one feels up or down.

Clearly I'm not enlightened yet, but, funnily enough, I do feel that I've progressed, since there has been minimal overspill of my negative emotion into my non-poker life (except for one early morning incident, when my partner genuinely asked me what was wrong, which was as much about fatigue and frustration: remember we can't talk about bbs due to a her lexical blindspot). In past days, I would be in a funk for longer periods, after such an experience of SNV (sustained negative variance). So, the way I'm looking at my situation now is that it is a net-positive, in respect of life-trajectory. And this means that my expected value doesn't really need to be thought about too much. As for strategy, I can't really articulate my thoughts, at the moment, beyond saying that I'm a bit undecided.

Last edited by DrTJO; 01-25-2019 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:36 AM   #16
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Good luck mate !
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:15 PM   #17
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Yikes!

I guess if we all play long enough we'll encounter stretches like this, but so gross. From the looks of things and the hand descriptions above most situations noted look fine? Do you think there were any hands mixed in before/between/afterwards that aren't as fine (which may be the case for a breakeven player over 1500 hours)?

That run would shake anyone. But just try your best to shake it off. I'd just sit down with my normal BI of 66bb game the next day and play my game and try my best.

GgoodluckG
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:16 AM   #18
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

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Good luck mate !
Cheers!

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Yikes!

I guess if we all play long enough we'll encounter stretches like this, but so gross. From the looks of things and the hand descriptions above most situations noted look fine? Do you think there were any hands mixed in before/between/afterwards that aren't as fine (which may be the case for a breakeven player over 1500 hours)?

That run would shake anyone. But just try your best to shake it off. I'd just sit down with my normal BI of 66bb game the next day and play my game and try my best.

GgoodluckG
Yes, I've encountered these stretches in the past. The hand descriptions I mention were all-in preflop, so easy to assess; there were two other hands from that overnight straddle game (the one where I lost AA to TT in the 500bb pot) in which I bet flop/shoved turn with around 80% equity and lost as well (effectives 120-150bb from memory), so there's little doubt, in my mind, this is mostly a rough patch of variance.

There was one spot from an earlier session where I contemplated folding bottom set on a Ts6c4c board, since the pot was small, before I shoved over an opponent's 3bet, meaning that I needed around 45% (it was limped preflop, so not many overpairs in my opponent's range and his few combo draws are still in good shape against my set; I should add that players do limp big pairs in these games, with the hope of limp-raising, so if he's 3betting flop with any of these, shoving a set on this kind of board is clearly fine).

Analysing these all-in hands won't achieve a great deal, I believe, but the accumulative effect of the losses did result in a lack of sharpness, loss of confidence, not to mention increasing levels of frustration. For instance, this hand was overplayed, in my view:

6 limp to me in big blind and I check with Qs5s ($300 effective).

Flop (18) QcTs8s.

I bet $10, EP (short stack) calls.

MP raises to $25, HJ calls and BN calls.

I raise to $140, EP shoves for $100ish, MP shoves, I call.

Since this was a multi-way, limped pot (and there are many of these at 1/3), I interpreted that MP's flop-raising range contained good top-pair (KQ-QJ), as well as obvious two-pairs, along with some nut flush and combos draws (e.g. KsJs, Ks9s). He's raising AQ, QQ, TT and 88 preflop, the vast majority of the time. Against this player, who is a little nitty, I believed my 3bet should fold-out his good queens, while getting value from his flush/combo draws (which he's not likely folding). While I have around 45% against such a range (KxQx,KxQy,QxJx-Qx9x,QxTy,Jx9x,Jx9y,Tx8x,AsJs-As2s,KsJs,Ks9s,Js7s,9s7s), which is sufficient, it is a relatively high-variance play, that, well, when you're stuck and have been running bad, seems good at the time (because we get can unstuck, of course), but is likely to further propel the downward-spiral, since we're losing more often than winning, even with a slightly optimistic view of my opponent's cards.

In game time, my actual thought process, of course, doesn't involve counting out the 58 potential combinations of cards that my opponent might hold. It's more like: 'can get him to fold a better queen/I'm good against any flush, with my top pair and blockers/hope he doesn't have two-pair or straight/but, whatever, if he does I've still got around 30%'.

The alternative of just calling the $25 raise and either check-calling or check-folding turn seems a little more sober-minded, given my circumstances; however, as a default, I believe that aggression is better than passivity in these games, over the long-run. I've just started the race at 1/3, so am avoiding jumping to conclusions about my strategy, although, I do love to tinker and adjust, so feedback always valued, of course.

Thanks for the words of support, too!
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:57 AM   #19
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

imo i dont think your hand is a good candidate for stacking off in a seven way limped pot
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:34 AM   #20
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

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imo i dont think your hand is a good candidate for stacking off in a seven way limped pot
Yes, agree that I overplayed the hand. I'm less concerned about the hand being seven-way and limped (but of course this is a relevant factor) than the range of the player who raised to $25 from MP. I just didn't think through the fact that he's nutted in this spot a bit, and not semi-bluffing or attempting to narrow the field very often. My lack of awareness, in this respect, I see as an example of what happens when one is running bad and stuck for the night. It's just an everyday insight into how emotion and cognitive fuzziness can have an impact upon strategy (and how we can often delude ourselves/justify that we're playing just fine, when we're not). Against an opponent who does tend to play draws aggressively my play is fine; generally at 1/3 the default assumption, I believe, is that such players are less likely to be around.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:04 AM   #21
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Talking about cognitive fuzziness, I experienced a great deal during my last session, a few days ago. For some reason, the combination of a slow, old dealer, a very slow player (who did the super-pro-I'm-on-tv routine of checking his cards/putting them down/before thinking FOR EVERY HAND), not to mention a bunch of competent and yet nitty types, one in particular who was sipping endlessly on an energy drink, but having the zombie pallor and demeanour of one stuck in the hellish time-warp of the low-stakes grind. After eventually quitting this table, I made a few errors on another, calling too wide on the river, and left a small loser for the night.

Looking forward to a jog today (haven't been able this last week to due to a heat wave here) and then taking the dog to the park, where he'll inevitably attempt to shout down his bigger peers. Had a relaxed night listening to a close friend of mine play on his grand piano, which sits in a kitchen behind a little coffee bar that he runs. We talked about Oscar Petterson (the masterful jazz/blues pianist) and a new band which I'll be the drummer for; it's going to be a bit less rock-n-roll than usual, with double-bass and tuned percussion, possibly strings. It'll start off as the two of us jamming in his kitchen and drinking beer and whiskey, with others joining gradually. Generally, we'll listen to something (say the Night Train album by Oscar Petterson) and then try to reach those heights---simple enough strategy.

I'm going to consciously try to be zen and social when playing poker this evening. I'll be thinking less about strategy and simply play hands as I see fit---as mundane as this may sound. I'm going to call it my 'playing-music strategy', since this is what usually works best in that domain, where it's a matter of making things fit, then stretching them, making them fit, again, and so on. Won't be drinking beer and whiskey, though.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:40 AM   #22
jrr63
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

zen and social sounds like a good target - be interested to hear how the session went.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:46 AM   #23
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Great posts and responses. In for this. Good luck and much respect. Learning to be content with where I am without limiting my potential is a big challenge for me. Zen poker grind is good place to be. Freedom and beauty > conventional "success"
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:02 AM   #24
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

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Originally Posted by DrTJO View Post
For some reason, [I was driven to the point of anger by] the combination of a slow, old dealer, a very slow player (who did the super-pro-I'm-on-tv routine of checking his cards/putting them down/before thinking FOR EVERY HAND), not to mention a bunch of competent and yet nitty types, one in particular who was sipping endlessly on an energy drink, but having the zombie pallor and demeanour of one stuck in the hellish time-warp of the low-stakes grind.
Interesting how I to forgot to include the bolded in this rambling sentence the other day. Major grammatical oversights such as these are perhaps most indicative of the cognitive fuzziness and frustration that leads to what this thread is meant to be about: I mean, really, did I honestly to forget to say I was beginning to feel angry, when playing a game of 1/3 NLH? Well, no shame in admitting my error, I guess.

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Originally Posted by Nefirmative View Post
Great posts and responses. In for this. Good luck and much respect. Learning to be content with where I am without limiting my potential is a big challenge for me. Zen poker grind is good place to be. Freedom and beauty > conventional "success"
Yes, glad to hear you say as much. There's much to be said for humbly accepting where we are in our lives (it's typically better than where most are at, irrespective of 'first-world-problem' kind of cynicism). Too often, I'd say many don't fully analyse the nature of their expectations or 'conventional success', as you put it. There's a limit to how much philosophy a 1/3 grinder should provide, I guess, but thanks, nonetheless, for the good wishes!

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Originally Posted by jrr63 View Post
zen and social sounds like a good target - be interested to hear how the session went.
Glad you asked! Well, the good news is that I gave myself a score of 17/25 for the session, which is at the high-end of my scoresheet. Bad news is that I logged my seventh loss in a row. Just to reinforce the misery, over the last 11 days, I've played 7 sessions, averaging around 8 hours in length, for an average loss of 225 bbs. Quite an achievement.

There were no coolers or bad beats last night. Was just card dead and whiffed flops, etc. In fact, it was 3hrs into the session before I managed to successfully c-bet (not that there were many previous attempts, it's more that I wasn't raising much, or the flops weren't suitable for my range, or that players were donking).

For example, I raise CO to 18 with Qs9s, BN (who was super quiet) calls, HJ (50s lady) calls. Flop comes QhJhTc and I have to withhold my excitement because this is the best thing I've seen all night. HJ lady bets $30, I call, BN raises to $85, lady shoves, I fold, BN calls. Lady shows K9 and BN shows AK (turn was an eight, btw, so I missed out on running the third nuts into the second and first nuts).

Other notable hand, toward the end of the night. I raise AdAs from UTG1 to $16 (300 effective), older asian gentleman calls from UTG2, younger Indian guy calls from HJ. Flop is Js7h5h and I bet $25, UTG1 raises to $75 and CO shoves in $300ish. I decide to fold, because, well, I'm running bad, and do people just shove draws like this at 1/3 or overvalue TPTK (which I block, of course)? I'm in a bit of shock when both players rollover AJ, and, then, am hit by a feeling of genuine spookiness when the turn card is the case J.

Can't honestly work out if this means I run bad or good in this particular hand. Keep wondering, too, that, if I called, which I'm doing in other circumstances, when I don't feel cursed, etc., how would I be feeling after being one-outered, in a three-way all-in? One of those situations where an almost best-case scenario is flipped in an instant. Real hypothetical challenge for a zen mindset, right there.

Anyway, managed to happily book a less than average loss, especially after hearing this response to a troll, from a guy who proudly wore a little jade Buddha around his neck: "You should be less hostile, my friend---you'll live longer." Guy who said it was on the large size, and rather intimidating, sporting numerous tattoos. Was such a beautiful full-stop to an ugly conversation and did help me leave with a bit of a smile.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:58 PM   #25
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Re: Exorcising the demons at 1/3: Anger, shame, optimism

Q5sooted hand is a weird one on the flop. I usually treat flop raises as ~nuttish especially after a bet and a shortstack call and would lean to just calling to that action only (fairly happy to draw in the shortstack to pad my odds). But having 2 people take two to the face cold behind (WTF!?!?), I would actually consider folding as I'm not so sure I have any outs whatsoever.

Ggoodluckintheband!G
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