Still Running Bad

Jan. 10, 2011

Hi all, I'm still waiting on the “I've got out of it” post.... Instead you get a “oh my god I run so bad I can;t believe this is happening to me again” post! This is an edit from an email I sent, followed by some comments of my own:

Overall I am roughly -$6.6k for Pokerfarm; I have barely had a string of winning sessions - Which even if I were a slight losing player is unlikely.

I have a ton of experience, I have made money every year i have played poker and am sure this will continue. I had certainly stagnated in terms of my online play but have addressed this massively over the past 6 months (even more so previous to joining pokerfarm). Part of the learning process has been playing for pokerfarm; analysing hands and situations that come up both with my mentor Glenn and my flatmates who are both professional online PLO players

All that being said - I have lost a ton of buy ins over the past few months. Poker, frustratingly at times, isn't just about making money. With the downswing’s its about controlling emotions much more so than any other aspect of the game. This means two things; a) I haven't been playing my a-game and b) I haven't put in nearly enough volume.

Running badly is bound to affect our mindset and ability to play well.... and there is a squaring affect when things are going consistently badly. Keep in mind this is the main reason why I haven't put in a lot of volume - I quit quite quickly when things are going bad; and do take time off to ensure that I come back strong.

Let me make clear, this is easily the most debilitating down swing I have ever been through, and I have been through many.

Psychologically this is increasingly difficult; I’m getting up every morning in a positive mode and often within 10 minutes of playing i have done one or two buy ins and am filled with self doubt/worry etc. etc. once again.

I also want to take this opportunity to say I’m actually really really proud of the way I have handled this down swing. I'm sure many other players would be doing more money and be playing terribly whilst doing so. Its really only the past few sessions for pokerfarm that I honestly feel i have played bad (hence an extended break of not playing).

This is coupled with having an impact on my own personal long term plans - Which involved playing and winning for pokerfarm; onto running a team or some other role within the company that would provide a monthly income for me. This is seemingly becoming an impossible goal.

This brings about a slight paradox when being staked.... my goal is to get out of it as quickly as possible whereas the staker's goal is for me to put in lots of volume and get out of it – but not necessarily in a quick time frame. It is better I keep raking large amounts. That being said Pokerfarm and my mentor have been very understanding with my lack of volume. This speaks volumes for the company and their understanding of a poker mentality.

As a closing comment, despite all of the above I am still +ev in these games. My mentor believes I’m +ev. I’m a strong player with a ton of experience, lots of play knowledge, a very very good support network (both in and out of poker), a healthy work ethic and immense reserves of mental strength. I'm positive I can get through this; I’m positive I can be an asset to Pokerfarms vision and am a very good bet.

One of the perils of playing poker is that sometimes nothing will go right.... during these periods I am of the opinion that there are simply two things we should do to get through it.... play short sessions to make sure we remained focused and spend more time on hand analysis and working on our game from the outside. This I have been doing. It is inevitable that we can't be playing our best game during these periods - even the best players out there will have bad sessions where they spew and make mistakes etc.

I mention my support network – this is very very important. I am lucky enough to live with two guys who also play PLO for a living and who help me honestly assess my play, help me to get through the bad times and keep my head right. I'm also lucky enough to have another close friend who is both a personal and poker buddy; who happens to be excellent at poker and incredibly good at keeping my outlook positive. I advise everyone to find someone like this!

Also keep in mind its boring to be 'that guy' who simply runs bad. Its bad psychologically and its annoying as hell for people around you. This of course makes it even more of a drag as from a personal point of view I have to force myself to get up every day, keep a positive outlook and try not to worry about when the down turn will stop.


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