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Old 10-26-2013, 04:18 AM   #1
Nirwanda
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October, a story about poker and my life.

As the title says, this thread is going to be about my life in october, but we'll start with some recent history

Prior to october, an e-buddy pm'd me on Skype and asked how my poker was going. I replied that it was going well, took a print of my last 50k hands and was shocked myself to see how good the results actually were.



I was beating these stakes for almost 16bb/100 over the space of a couple of months. It shows as USD but the winnings are actually in euro. It's not mindblowing money, but to me it's very good.
I don't play that much poker. Normally I go online three to four times a week, scout out the fish and try to make some money. Twice in the weekend, twice during the week. Usually, that is.

My life in general at this time was great aswell. I was going as strong as ever with my (currently ex) girlfriend, I was playing football three times a week, eating well and working out at the gym. Almost 30 years old and never felt more fit in my life. I remember saying something like this to her:

"Life is so ridiculously easy right now, I feel I can take one or two big punches and I'd still be okay".

Then came october, and me out firing on all cylinders. Not even a week in and I had already played 20k hands and made over $4k. I was grinding hard, and I was playing well.
We won the last football game of the season aswell and had a teamparty, which was hella fun.
All was well.

Then the next night as I'm in my kitchen cooking food, my girlfriend phones me and breaks up. It went really quick. We had been seeing each other for about four months, and I was really happy with her.
Came like a shock to me. As with the football season ending simultaneously, all of a sudden I went from a guy with a busy RL to a guy with barely nothing to do at all. No routines at all anymore.

But hey, at least I have my poker, right?

Well, as it turned out that part f*cked me in the ass too, of course. I've read somewhere that you shouldn't play poker when you're sad, but also not when you're too happy. To perform best, it's said you should be in some neutral (or slightly above) state of mind.
I knew this, of course. I knew I'd have trouble playing my a-game, feeling as I did. I wasn't devestated per say, but my life suddenly felt a lot more empty and lonely.
But I hit the tables, thought somewhere back in my mind perhaps that 3bb/100 is still easily achievable, and at least now I have all the time in the world to play. I still have my poker!
But I played worse than I expected, and more importantly I ran a LOT worse than I expected.

From being $4k up in 20k hands, 30k hands later I found myself $5k down.
Simply put, a 9k downswing.

Now, I know that downswings are a part of the game, and I've experienced a couple before in the 3k or 4k range. But not like this. 9k? Wtf bro.
A guess is it's probably in the neighbourhood of fifty buy-ins considering the stakes/ratio I play.

If you're a small winner (like 2bb/100), you'll probably experience big downswings fairly often, but if you're normally beating the games comfortably, it should be more rare.

I ran ridiciliously bad, I couldn't win a f-ing pot. I got aces in preflop and just sighed to myself before the cards fell as I found myself beat.
I couldn't for the world of me hit a flop either. Whiff. Whiff. Whiff. Every. Single. Time.
One in eight for a set? Felt like one in eight thousand to me at the time.
I started feeling completely out of touch with the game as well.
Nada confidence, none at all.

There was one pot at NL100 I remember where I just felt completely sacked, got my money in dead too ,so now my bad luck doesn't even show up on the damn EV graph, I thought. It's nothing special really, happens all the time, but it came at a very bad time for me;

Grabbed by Holdem Manager
NL Holdem $1(BB) Replayer
SB ($71.62)
BB ($156)
CO ($50)
Hero ($115)

Dealt to Hero 5 6

fold, Hero raises to $2.50, SB calls $2, fold

FLOP ($6) 9 6 6

SB checks, Hero bets $3.50, SB calls $3.50

TURN ($13) 9 6 6 5

SB checks, Hero bets $7, SB raises to $16, Hero calls $9

RIVER ($45) 9 6 6 5 A

SB bets $19.99, Hero raises to $93.13 (AI), SB calls $29.63 (AI)

Hero shows 5 6
(Pre 24%, Flop 91.1%, Turn 95.5%)

SB shows A A
(Pre 76%, Flop 8.9%, Turn 4.5%)

SB wins $141


During this period I just grinded and grinded. I lost a thousand bucks one day, got up the next and lost another thousand bucks. Every day I thought the break has got to come, but it didn't. I just kept on losing and losing.

Since my usual routines were out the window, my daily rhythm got completely whacked too. I just went to sleep when I was tired and got up when I wasn't. Didn't have the energy at all to care about what the time was. I just drank coffee and beer (non-alc though, hah). Autumt had arrived, it was dark and cold outside.
Only thing that kept me somewhat sane during this time was probably eating somewhat ok-ish and doing some half-assed workout.

I felt like ****. Honestly. I remember one morning (or afternoon, actually). I woke up at like 17:00. Thought something like:

"Why should I even get up? Nobody will actually notice if I don't. That's pretty sad".

Then I fell asleep again, woke up another four hours later only to be met my the same angry glare from my damn desktop covered with empty beerbottles and coffeecups.

It's looking like this btw:



So I went for a walk to get some fresh air. I plug my earphones in and take my usual route around the block.
On my way back to the appartment, a beautiful girl is walking towards me, we're about to pass one another as I notice she's looking into my eyes and start moving her lips. I take my earphones out and say (in Swedish):

"Excuse me?"
Her: "Hi"
Me: "Hmm, I don't think I recognize you..."
Her: "I don't recognize you either, I just wanted to say hello"
Me: "Aha... okay..."

(And then I walk away, like a dumbass).

Now, it's 100% possible that nothing would have happend at all if I had continued that conversation. It's also possible that she would have ended up in my bed that very same weeked. Bottom line was, I completely failed. As most guys probably knows, freebies like this don't come along very often, so you'd better f-ing act when you get the chance.
But me, at this time? No confidence. I felt sooo **** for messing this up. Felt even worse than the usual 1k loss later that evening, heh.

During this time, like I said, I didn't have a daily rhytm at all. I just played when I was awake. Late at night on say, a tuesday, games tend to be rather dead where I play. There are perhaps only six tables or so running at all, so you kind of have to play them all, not having the usual luxury to table select as you normally do if you play in the evening or at the weekends.
You also end up with more or less the same regs at the tables, so in one way it's funny because it created dynamics all the time. The best you can do at this hour when everyone and their dog is spewing, is to be patiend and simply play a strong range.

When you're running bad and feeling out of touch though, you start to do stuff you normally don't. ****ty stuff, really. I started spewing.
Flatting 75o in the BB against two regs, hoping to hit that miracle flop. That never, ever comes when you're running bad.

Quick note about this competitive aspect of poker btw:
I'm turning 30 in december, so I'm basically a dinousaur in the poker world. Many good things come with age and maturing. For example, I have no trouble admitting that I am not the best player at the table anymore. On a typical 2/4 game I rarely am. But that's okay, you can counter that by playing a tighter range, giving up some marginal spots and focus on valuebetting the fish. The problems come when you forget your place and these aggro regs take you out of your comfort zone. All of a sudden you start doublefloating air in 3bet pots and doing all kinds of idiotic stuff. I can happen really fast if you don't pay attention.
I think with age, my desire to become the best have fainted a bit. A few years ago it was all about reaching the big games. Now I'm fairly happy if I can make a decent living at the stakes I play. Other issues start haunting you instead, like getting kids, family, all that stuff.

Anyway, there was at some point then I ran one of the worst bluffs of my poker career. It actually worked, but it was crap, because despite having all sorts of nut blockers my flop and turnplay don't correlate with the story I was telling (and I still can't believe he folded what he did).

Grabbed by Holdem Manager
NL Holdem $4(BB) Replayer
SB ($216)
BB ($687)
UTG ($462)
CO ($400)
Hero ($400)

Dealt to Hero Q 8

fold, fold, Hero raises to $8, fold, BB calls $4

FLOP ($18) 7 5 4

BB checks, Hero checks

TURN ($18) 7 5 4 Q

BB bets $12, Hero calls $12

RIVER ($42) 7 5 4 Q J

BB bets $20, Hero raises to $56, BB raises to $132, Hero raises to $380 (AI), BB folds

BB shows 5 5

Hero wins $303

villain says: "nh if u bluffed"

I remember another 2/4 pot that day where I more or less readless attempted to bluffcatch a fish for no reason. Obviously I could have told by his stack that it was pointless to try to find him with a bluff that night.

Grabbed by Holdem Manager
NL Holdem $4(BB) Replayer
SB ($993)
BB ($665)
UTG ($2,209)
Hero ($400)
CO ($497)
BTN ($425)

Dealt to Hero A K

UTG raises to $12, Hero raises to $36, fold, fold, fold, fold, UTG calls $24

FLOP ($78) 9 4 9

UTG checks, Hero bets $40, UTG raises to $80, Hero calls $40

TURN ($238) 9 4 9 3

UTG bets $116, Hero calls $116

RIVER ($470) 9 4 9 3 3

UTG bets $232, Hero calls $168 (AI)

UTG shows 4 4
(Pre 51%, Flop 98.1%, Turn 100.0%)

Hero shows A K
(Pre 49%, Flop 1.9%, Turn 0.0%)

UTG wins $803


The next day two cool things happened. Before session, I was phoning a buddy and missclicked my phone, so I accidently called the sister to a girl I used to date briefly in the past and had forgotten about. One thing led to another, and that brief girl is actually sleeping in my bed in the moment I'm writing this. Not sure where it's going or anything, and it probably sounds like if I don't have a girl nearby my life is sh*t, but it's not like that, it's just that sex and warmth is actually f-ing nice to have in a situation like that.

I made another missclick in a 2/4 pot later that night, I accidently min3bet and a reg spewed some money to me. It wasn't a huge pot or anything, but it was a sign that the TIDE MIGHT BE TURNING.

Grabbed by Holdem Manager
NL Holdem $4(BB) Replayer
Hero ($643)
BB ($671)
CO ($481)
BTN ($400)

Dealt to Hero K Q

CO raises to $12, fold, Hero raises to $20, fold, CO calls $8

FLOP ($44) Q 7 7

Hero checks, CO bets $28, Hero calls $28

TURN ($100) Q 7 7 5

Hero checks, CO bets $76, Hero calls $76

RIVER ($252) Q 7 7 5 T

Hero checks, CO bets $180, Hero calls $180

Hero shows K Q
(Pre 69%, Flop 99.4%, Turn 100.0%)

CO shows K 8
(Pre 31%, Flop 0.6%, Turn 0.0%)

Hero wins $609


That same session I found that fish again who had robbed me the other night. Now with my backpack full of reads and my scrotum emptied (this time around without the aid of my right hand), it was payback time. It turns out that whenever he hit something that was top pair or better, he would raise and never fold. Easy enough, right?

Grabbed by Holdem Manager
NL Holdem $4(BB) Replayer
SB ($839)
BB ($540)
UTG ($400)
Hero ($825)
CO ($829)
BTN ($454)

Dealt to Hero 9 9

fold, Hero raises to $12, CO calls $12, fold, SB calls $10, fold

FLOP ($40) 4 9 J

SB checks, Hero bets $28, CO raises to $56, SB folds, Hero raises to $199, CO calls $143

TURN ($438) 4 9 J T

Hero bets $614 (AI), CO calls $614

RIVER ($1,666) 4 9 J T 3

Hero shows 9 9
(Pre 71%, Flop 95.5%, Turn 81.8%)

CO shows 8 J
(Pre 29%, Flop 4.5%, Turn 18.2%)

Hero wins $1,663


So I started winning and poker began to look beatable again all of a sudden. I made a goal of ending october at a positive net result, and at writing moment (26th of october) I've eventually gotten there after a record month (volume wise) of almost 100k hands already.




Now afterwards, I've come to the conclusion that I hit in a pretty big depression (one of the worst in my life) because of a few major bad events occuring at the same time. I experienced a panic disorder and was shaking one night, my heart was beating like hell for no apparent reason.
I realize now it could have been worse, my parents could have died in a car accident, I could have caught the flue on top etc etc, but these things were still enough to throw me completely off in my life. Even if this may seem like a short period of time and perhaps not even that bad to some, it played a big part to me, and I think/hope to have come out stronger on the other side.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:44 AM   #2
tobe4funas
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

I honestly feel relieved to hear that Im not the only one who gets apathetic during downers.
Good job on fixing stuff tho.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:06 AM   #3
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

I enjoyed reading this.

Also, I've had a few panic attacks in the past on the day after some heavy nights of drinking. The best thing to do is breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth and say to yourself "I am fine, I am just having a panic attack and it will pass". Takes around 5 minutes, sometimes longer. If you freak out and start to think that you're going to die you will just make it worse. Good to see that it seems like things are turning around for you now, though.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
Luxifur
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

just a little bit too much info on some parts, otherwise, nice read
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
CombatCarl
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

I have ADD so I couldn't read the whole thing but I think it's interesting.

So the moral of story is "Those who hesitates masturbates"?
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:23 PM   #6
Gorvacofin
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Enjoyed reading, thanks.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

i'm glad that things are going better for you, but it seems to me that you still haven't really addressed the root of the problem. essentially you just started getting laid and running better and started to feel better, but you can't count on either of those things to be there consistently. they come and go, like everything else in this world.

what's to stop that spiral from happening again?
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:47 PM   #8
dalonelybaptist
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Commenting so I can read when I get home. I had it made for the last 3 years too now everything is total ****
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

idk man. good read and all. but are you a professional? then why the **** are you only playing 50k hands over a "couple of months" time span?
and what mtf said. i never get laid, because im ugly as ****, so "working my way out of a downswing" strat cannot involve getting laid.
also: im not in sweden or thailand where everybody ****s with everyone.

Last edited by SchDonk; 10-26-2013 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:56 PM   #10
veeRtje
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Thanks for sharing.
I'm so happy it didn't end like I thought it would.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:58 PM   #11
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Good luck man. Ten years from now, you're not going to be pissed off at the times you ran bad in poker/life, you're only going to be pissed off at the times you let it get the better of you.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #12
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchDonk View Post
but are you a professional? then why the **** are you only playing 50k hands over a "couple of months" time span?
Yeah sometimes I chill, don't see a problem as long as you can pay the bills. Rough months I tend to play more, like this one.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:40 PM   #13
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Excellent read. Stay positive, keep playing well and running better, don't let this happen again. Get your routine(s) back, wake up and think of all the stuff you have to be happy/thankful for, know without question that you can crush the stakes you play.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:42 PM   #14
SchDonk
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirwanda View Post
Yeah sometimes I chill, don't see a problem as long as you can pay the bills. Rough months I tend to play more, like this one.
well, do you think this is professional?
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:50 PM   #15
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

seperate your self esteem from how you are running
in poker
and in life general
how you run doesnt change who you are or what you are capable of
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #16
cashy
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im sorry but you clearly do not have what it takes to be a poker pro

should look for sth else asap
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:53 AM   #17
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Nice read
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:21 AM   #18
SchDonk
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cashy View Post
im sorry but you clearly do not have what it takes to be a poker pro

should look for sth else asap
nice try.
that's why you are not at msnl any more.
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:46 AM   #19
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Good luck sir! Rooting for you.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:42 AM   #20
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Intressant läsning mannen! Lycka till vid borden!
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:44 AM   #21
YouAreHappy
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Nice read. Gl going forward!
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:47 AM   #22
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchDonk View Post
nice try.
that's why you are not at msnl any more.
I think cashy is just being sincere. I'm not saying he is right but Nirwanda should hear both sides of the coin.

Good luck to Nirwanda whatever he chooses to do.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:00 AM   #23
benjamin barker
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

nirwanda

good on you bro

i have played for a living for several years and know many others doing the same, and i think a lot of long term players can relate very closely to this

you will come away from all this a stronger player and a stronger person imo
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #24
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatCarl View Post
I think cashy is just being sincere.
jep
if you are losing it like that in a pretty common situation you just don't have the mentality for poker and doing something else long-term seems like a necessity to keep you sane
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #25
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Re: October, a story about poker and my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cashy View Post
jep
if you are losing it like that in a pretty common situation you just don't have the mentality for poker and doing something else long-term seems like a necessity to keep you sane
Not trying to be entirely negative about your situation nirwanda but from cashy's standpoint, he's fairly correct in his assessment. The runbad for your sample sizes are entirely normal and not being able to regain focus is extremely detrimental for someone who wants to play for a living. If this is the worst you've ran in a 100k sample, you have to be aware that the possibility to run even worse still exists. Same goes for running good. That's just how poker works.
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