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Feel like I had a breakthrough today
  AgentIce, Nov 04 2009

Today I realized that I have been insanely bashing my head into the wall over and over with the hopes of getting a different result. I did the same thing at poker for a while, until I realized the only solution was to not let my emotions get to the point where I tilted in the first place. I had to identify my triggers that resulted in me getting in a negative emotional state. As soon as I really identified the types of negative thoughts which brought about the negative emotional state of tilt I learned to combat them right away and I was able to control my mood much better.

Well as far as keeping a good schedule or playing poker on a routine or not smoking too much weed, I realize now that I was doing what I did with poker to fix these areas. I was just blindly trying to use brute force to change these habits. Maybe I would play a decent amount for 2 weeks, but inevitably I would be back to smoking weed all day and not working. Of course that would happen because thats what I thought I wanted to do. I didn' realize this though, I figured it was a question of discipline and all I had to do be stronger. But how long can you really fight with yourself?

No it was a question of attitude and mindset and motivation. Today I wrote down all the triggers and negative thoughts associated with them that have lead to this destructive life style. I feel much better about these areas after doing this. I feel the 3 big areas that are triggers for me are mornings, just before I start poker, and at night when I smoke weed. Waking up late leads to starting work later wihch leads to less hours played and staying up later and so on until my schedule is screwed sort of thing. I feel like overall I just haven't really fully appreciated the consequences of my actions. That raised awareness I have now makes me understand WHY I should do things like keep a good schedule. They are in my best interest. I feel like now with constant vigilance I will be able to catch the negative thoughts when they start to happen and replace them with more sensible ideas.

Heres an example of some of the ideas I was writing down. I wrote down the bad ideas/mindsets, and then counterarguments to them. This is what I wrote down for Morning:

I don't need to get up - I've already decided that getting up on a routine schedule is the best way to maximize my productivity and enjoyment of the day.
I can sleep in - You can, but sleeping in leads to not being tired at the end of the day which leads to staying up later than usual. Once you stay up later than usual you will get up later and eventually your schedule is messed up. It's far easier and healthier to just stick with a consistent schedule.
I don't want to get up - The way to have energy is to use energy. If you are tired go for a walk and listen to some music on the treadmill. Get the bloodflowing. Focus on your goal of feeling more awake and having more energy, not on the feeling of tiredness. If you sleep in you will actually feel more tired when you wake up again. You sleep too much.
I'm tired - You are tired because you don't keep a consistent schedule and drink too much caffeine at late hours.
I deserve to sleep in - You deserve to be the happiest you can possibly be, and sleeping in leads to lack of productivity which leads to you not being able to enjoy yourself which leads to depression.

I feel like with poker now if I can just get my work ethic really solid I can make a ton of money. I have been working on my game a shit load and I feel like I've improved significantly as a player. Last month at 50 NL I made 4.5k (not including rakeback) over 40 horus played with a win rate of 19bb/100. I did run good, but with my previous style I never got anywhere close to this win rate. My previous style was heavily dependant on luck of the draw. I also had huge leaks utg and in mp, and I was taking advantage of the button very poorly. My 3 bet game was incredibly weak too. I also never bluffed, and so far my bluffs are working extremely well. I must have watched 30-40 videos last month, as well as reviewed a lot of my hands and different areas of my game.

I plan on posting any interesting hands I play on this blog from now on. It's funny before I never really had any interesting hands, because I was playing like a robot and never bluffing or light value calling. lolz

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Rough few days
  AgentIce, Aug 15 2009

Had some rough days past few days, stuff I can't really go into in a public blog, needless to say hopefully that's all handled. It should be. I did play a little bit the past few days, with good results, my new work ethic and way of approaching the game seems to be doing well. I actually am enjoying playing poker for the first time in ages It wasn't accidental either, I had a very toxic attitude about poker before. I've worked hard to change it, and I seem to be more patient, more relaxed, and more thorough with my new mindset. It's pretty exciting, it feels so much better to play now

I actually was down 8 buy-ins but it didn't bother me one bit. I didn't feel I had to stop, that I was playing bad, start berating myself, start worrying about shit that I can't control, or any of the other crap I used to do. I just patiently kept playing, and kind of went into "the zone" where I was in a trance like state actually. Next time I knew, I checked my balance and I was up 120$. A session that would have stressed me out before was actually quite pleasant! =)

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Won, but smoked again
  AgentIce, Aug 12 2009

Had some arguments with the gf a couple days ago, got me pretty upset and I really didn't want to work. Also didn't want to spend the rest of the day upset, so I got some weed. It did make me feel a lot better, but it's definitely a slightly -ev move on my hours. I only got about 4 hours done the past few days. Granted the first day I took off wasn't really related to weed. Today though I could have played, I just got sidetracked and didn't plan my day very well. I did win 400 though, and the time off was nice. Going to give weed a break again though. My immediate finances are ok but I want to do better than just break even or be slightly in the green. I think someone said in the comments why make promises you can't keep, and weed is hard to quit, it's something you cope with. I think that might be true for me, I just need to learn to not abuse it. I think I'm getting there, I'm not doing what I used to do which was smoke weed for 2 weeks straight and not play at all. I don't plan to smoke again for a little while though.

On a brighter note I've spent a lot of my time off studying hands and making 2+2 posts. I feel like my interest in the game is sparked again. I have been studying 3 bet pots, in general I just avoided them, because I tended to get really confused as to what to do on later streets. After looking at some hand ranges, and realizing 10% 3 bet is a lot of crap, I've started playing back with stuff like AQ, TT, JJ, stuff that plays well against a looser 3 bet range. So far the results have been really good, I won some pots I never would have before which is why I went up 8 buy-ins.

Ranges is something I never studied, but the hand range tool in HEM is great. Its nice to enter in 50% and see exactly how much garbage these types are playing. Then you realize something like AT is a great hand against them, and definitely worth a reraise. I'm starting to value town these types a lot more, and I had some nice pots because of it.

I've been tilting less too, forcing myself to wait before each decision. No quick decisions. It's been helping. Hopefully I see a benefit to my long term results.

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Rough day
  AgentIce, Aug 09 2009

Played about 2.5 hours today, ran bad in the first session making a few annoying mistakes and was a bit annoyed but still playing good, then in the second session I made a really stupid mistake for a stack.

I called a 3 bet IP with TT v someone with 20/18 stats, 4.75 aggression, and 8.5% 3 bet who 3 bets me from the BB. My plan was to call flop once and try to keep the pot small, folding to further aggression. Flop came 789 with two clubs and a spade, and he bets and I call. Turn is a 2s, making two draws out there, and he bets again. I think I was tilted I didn't raise the flop, didn't want to fold becasue my hand was fairly strong, and I talked myself into thinking he could be doing this with a flush draw type hand or AK or something. I just pushed, something I never do, and he had QQ, and I lost. At the same time at another table I lost with KK ai pre v KTo. I got so pissed and frustrated (mostly at myself) I just went on a negative self talk tirade and I had to stop to calm down. I think the correct play is probably to just raise it up and get AI on the flop. Villain has air often enough here that we'll often get a fold, and if called we still have a decent amount of equity. I was 40% v his QQ on the flop. Getting it AI the turn was just donkey style.

Later on some other stuff came up that's private, but needless to say I never got another chance to play. I spotted the thoughts that were tilting me and handled them though, so I feel pretty confident about playing tomorrow.

On a side note, it doesn't bode well for poker when 50 NL is as tough as it is. It literally is tougher than the 200 NL games were a couple years ago. A lot of the players show very solid understanding of various complex topics. Tables often have 4 regs or so that I'm really not very profitable against. A bunch of 19/16/3 types with 7-8% 3 bet. They all seem to make mistakes and have weaknesses though, but definitely not the glaring errors that you would find at 50 NL a while back. There's lots of really bad players too of course, and just playing solid is profitable, but I feel like I should be dominating. I can say that there aren't any regs down there that are making money off me, which wasn't the case at 1/2, but it's sad to tell myself I'm not much better than 50 NL players. It's forcing me to come back down to earth in a way, I was way too cocky about my skill level before. Granted, I do feel I have been running bad these past 100k hands, and also playing bad.

Hopefully I can do what it takes to improve my game, it's obvious I was stagnant for a while and now a lot of players have caught up. I've got my work cut out for me >_< Not really sure what to do either, hopefully just randomly poking in the dark for things I can do to improve will work! Getting mentally tough again and getting rid of the tilt is a start though.

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  AgentIce, Aug 07 2009

Pretty decent past few days, been slacking on updating the blog though. Had to deal with some distractions that cost me hours too.

Did 4 hours on wednesday, made about 320 so it was a nice win that day. Some friends showed up and I spent a few hours with them, had to put my foot down and say I had to work though. That's not something I would have done before, I only would have done about 2 hours that day if I didn't do that.

Thursday though I only ended up doing an hour, did some things with the girlfriend and then we got invited to a party. So I never really got another chance to play. I could have handled it better, but the distractions got the better of me. Live and learn.

Today I have the place to myself, girlfriend is visiting her grandma. I got about 5 hours done. Really crap day though, ran bad basically. I was getting annoyed with the slow leak of money to 70 vpip types who kept sucking out with 62o type hands when poker shortcuts messed up and it put me all-in pre with AJs. Of course someone had AA and insta called and ganked me. That tilted me pretty hard so I stopped. That's definitely a one in a million occurence since I have millions of hands and it's never happened before, fun! Afterwards I was really thinking about getting some weed and not playing anymore. Stayed strong though and did another couple hours

I'm going to make sure I update the blog daily, even if its a small blurb. Also want to start posting some hands.

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Decent day
  AgentIce, Aug 05 2009

Played 5.5 hours today, not a ton but not bad either. Made like 260 or so too so tomorrow should be less stressful. Had a bit of a scary start though insta losing two stacks v some idiot who can't fold Q9h and JT all-in pre v my AK. Always nice to get the loose action, just a lot nicer to win

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weed > me
  AgentIce, Aug 04 2009

Well, ok, honesty and stuff. Well I'm writing this a day late because I was embarassed. I ended up smoking weed both days and not doing crap.

I was really nervous about playing yesterday because right now a loss would really suck psychologically and financially. I also just played bad two days ago, although I felt I could play a solid game yesterday, but there is always the worry that because I'm under pressure I can make bad decisions. I also had thoughts running through my mind like I need to make money in about 2 weeks because by then the food will be running out, and thats just basic shit, I need to play A LOT to get myself out of this financial hole. Not to mention my bb/100 at 50 NL is not very solid and I could easily go on a break-even run for 2 weeks. I just put myself into a very bad frame of mind with my thoughts. That shit started to freak me out and I started procrastinating.

After procrastination wasn't helping me calm down, I decided to smoke weed. I told myself I needed it, and one more day off would be ok, BUT NO MORE! I seriously made myself promise to be sure and play today. I was so positive too. I was sure I was going to do it. But low and behold next morning rolls around, and I'm just frozen by fear about playing while at the same time feeling itensely guilty for breaking the promise to myself. Also somehow just extremely unmotivated (probably from the weed). Again, I couldn't confront playing, so I decided to smoke again.

Well, it's probably good I have a public blog now, because I really didn't want to type that shit out. I am ashamed of myself. Today though I'm making a public promise that I won't smoke weed again until I am back at the 100$ games and more stable financially. Hopefully by then I will have no desire to smoke anymore too, because I'll be happier. I also promise I will be honest about it if I fuck up and write about it here. That's mostly a promise to myself though just to further motivate me. I don't want to look like a total jack ass, or at least more of one than I already have.

Hopefully tomorrow I have something better to write

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I worked, but not a good day
  AgentIce, Aug 02 2009

So I got up at about 1 pm, I actually woke up at 10:40 orginally but decided to sleep some more. I payed the rent, payed the bills, made breakfast then started playing.

Did a couple hours, made some moves I regretted though. One hand a guy had 20% 3 bet, was playing very aggro. I raised button with AT, he rred me from bb, I decided to call figuring my A or T would be good a lot if I hit and if I miss I will raise a lot of flops. Flop ended up coming 243 with 2 spades. He bet, I reraised figuring to have some good outs if he had an overpair, he pushed and I called. He had 49s and I got owned.

Another one I had A9 in the CO and got a caller on the button and in the bb. Flop is 986 2 diamond board, I bet the flop, button calls, and bad 43 vpip aggro guy makes it 16$. I just push, no idea why, just trying to be more aggro and felt the 43 vpip guy could do it with lots of stuff, and the button prob wasn't that strong. Of course 43 vpip guy had the nuts.

Also did some amazingly retarded calldown with QQ. Guy was 29/23 and very aggro with like 14% 3 bet. He also was only folding to 3 bet about 40%. I had 3 bet him about 4 times in a row and beat him twice in all-in pots, and he hadn't folded to a 3 bet once. So I 3 bet him again with qq, flop comes k42 rainbow, he checks and i check behind because I felt it likely he tried something funny. Turn is another K, and I'm honestly figuring he is going to bluff at it a high % because of the dynamic. He bets 11 and I call, river is an A and he insta pushed 50 into 30. For some reason I really thought he read me for QQ or JJ and was trying to bluff me off, so I call and he has AA. I was so pissed at myself, I haven't played that bad in a long time, so I stopped for the day.

Enough of that crap, I'm just playing standard from here on out, and focusing on playing lots of hours. It's not the time to be working on my game.

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First day of getting serious
  AgentIce, Aug 01 2009

So I have been slowly getting my discipline back and playing more poker, but I have been wasting too much time. So my plan with this blog is to make public my efforts, both good and bad, in order to hopefully motivate me more so I can write something good.

Today I had planned to play, but I got sidetracked when going out with my girlfriend to do some shopping and to go to her bank to get her half of the rent. Afterwards we were planning on going swimming. Because I knew I wouldn't play for a while I smoked some weed, a bad idea and it really didn't do much for me. I had the idea of looking at goodwill for cheap furniture, something I could have said no to and started working, and just an excuse to not play. Looking back its sad how easily I talk myself out of working. It started getting so late I did what I usually do and thought "well its so late, why not take the day off, it won't matter much.". I also said I wanted to buy more weed because the old weed was so crappy and unfulfilling. I guess its true, but more bullshit, I should have just decided to work in the first place. I shouldn't have smoked the crappy weed at all actually. I told jessica I worked the past 5 days, which is true, but I wasn't doing as many hours as I should have. Some of the days I only did like 1.5 hours. Eventually we came back to the apartments and swam, then went to walmart to get some stuff for dinner, then watched some tv. So I think basically I really need to focus on not making excuses and sticking to my plan. Having to write out and be honest with myself about how much I avoid working in a public blog like this will hopefully motivate me.

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