Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Yipeeeee!!! Yahooooo!!! Whopeeeee!!! Weeeeeee!!!

Sorry, had to get that out of my system. Yesterday, after 4 consecutive days of severe financial loss, I finally stopped the rot. I’m precisely $944.47 better off and can safely say…

The Beagle has been unleashed!

It wasn’t the losing that was damaging me, it was the amount I was losing. At one point I began to panic and thoughts of ‘Crap. I’m gonna be back at the 9-5 if this carries on’ and ‘Maybe I’ve overestimated my skill at this game’ started popping into my head. I definitely felt a sense of desperation, and that’s always dangerous in this game. When poker is your only income, and you see your bank balance dribbling south, you can’t help but be slightly concerned.

The key was self-awareness of how I was playing and where I was going wrong. This is something that is crucial and a part of my game that I would have just brushed over a few months back. I shook myself and said ‘Cmon snoops! (well, okay, I used my real name) Get a grip. Work out what you’re doing wrong and do something about it’.

The biggest problem with luck and form is that it’s difficult to decipher between the two and sometimes it’s hard to work out whether you’re playing badly or just being unlucky. What you need to do is look back to when you are winning, and see if you’re doing anything starkly different.

For inspiration, I looked back at notes I’d once made from John Vorhaus’s ‘Killer Poker Online’. A great motivational book and I firmly recommend you look it up.

Here are a few quotes:

-- Don’t substitute action for passing a losing hand.

-- Don’t be greedy, be patient.

-- Don’t let your reality be coloured by your need to win.

-- Losing control? A hand you folded an hour ago looks like a hand worth raising with now.

-- You call a raise and a reraise before the flop with 5-6, knowing that you’re up against big tickets, but banking on stealth because who’d figure you calling with such rags.

-- You call the flop and turn with bottom pair, expecting to hit trips because you’re ‘due’.

-- You run hopeless bluffs, trying to get well quick.

-- You know – just know – that the next rack of chips will be the one that turns things around.

Too many of these comments rang true, and it was then that I realised that I was playing poor poker. I was playing desperate poker and trying too hard to win, when patience, patience and more patience should have been the key.

So, I decided to pull myself together and adopt a back to basics style. Although I enjoy and have found success in playing a loose aggressive game, I decided that I would only raise obvious hands such as AK, KQ, AQ, etc. To add at least some sort of unpredictability, I would also raise preflop with suited connectors above 45 and hands such as 6-8 and 9-7 suited. I wouldn’t chase draws, call big bets with suited connectors, raise with 6-3 suited preflop, etc. I would play ABC poker post flop, enforcing just the odd bluff and making few plays. All I had to do now was play…

After an enjoyable, but unsuccessful night at Walsall, I arrived home at around 6am. I was just about to pop my jimjams on when I had an idea. How about some early morning online poker? Well, I felt pretty fresh and I quite fancied the idea of catching the Americans at their weakest, so I thought I’d give it a shot. By 7.15am, I was around $650 up, which, considering the run I’d been on, was astronomical. True, my opposition was playing slightly looser at this time, but, instead of doubling up, and then dribbling back down, I kept my head above water and even built on my profit. I guess this was mainly due to my cutting out of all the bad habits that I’d picked up without realising.

Then, after a quick kip, I gave it another go. After losing $400 of my previous profit, I kept my head and eventually clawed my way back up to about a session profit of $300. So, overall, I was just under a grand up for about 3 hours play. Not bad for an hourly wage! Anyhow, although I earned less in the second effort, I think that’s the best online session I’ve played for ages. That, without doubt, is the most important thing.

I guess the key here is spotting your weaknesses early. Over time, I think you begin to improve the timing of those alarm bells that sit at the front of your mind. If I could employ someone to slap me round the face with me a wet kipper every time I was playing poorly, I’d probably stump up the dough. Sometimes though, you’re just oblivious to your bad habits and it takes a severe run of losses for you to get wise to the situation.

I know how boring journals and blogs can become when all people write about are their results. Saying ‘I was up $400 today’ and ‘I lost 5 STTs yesterday’ and so on is just not gripping to anyone but the author and his mother. Actually, I doubt even the folks would be that interested. So, I apologise for a couple of my last entries, some of them have done just this. However, I think yesterday’s success was worth reporting, because I learnt so much about how to deal with a losing run. I guess I realised that I still have lots to learn. Complacency can be a right bugger sometimes…


At 5:55 AM, Blogger Rob Sherwood said...

Good to see you have a winning session.

One question/suggestion. Have you experimented with how many tables you play at once? It sounds like sometimes you have previously got yourself into tricky spots with suited connectors (eg raising 34s in ep), when if perhaps you added an extra table or two you wouldn't be so tempted to get involved.

But then again what do I know about cash games!

Good luck


At 6:51 AM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

I already play four. I'm quite a loose player, so, even with that many tables, I have a tendency to raise suited connectors.

I tried playing 5 once, but I wasn't able to follow hands logically.

My problem was that I was raising hands like 96 suited, and 42 suited in order to create action. Was too keen to win I guess. I don't mind raising these hands now and then, but only when the time is right.

Ah well, you learn from your mistakes.

Keep up your blog Mr Sherwood. I've enjoyed reading it.

ps. What are the Bangkok ladies like? ;-)


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