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The Downside to Shot Taking

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Joeingram1   United States. Oct 03 2013 03:01. Posts 943
Hello again... I think this makes the 2nd time I've blogged this year but I've probably written out about 20 blog posts over the year but always find a reason not to publish each of them. I did finish the rest of my story about my year spent raging and also wrote up a pretty epic trip report from my time living in Canada but talked myself out of putting those up for a few different reasons, mostly because on the surface it doesn't make me come off in the best way to the level 1 minds of the world who might not understand alternative viewpoints on why people choose to do things. Some might argue that why would you care what those types of people think or say about you but I've learnt over the last year in a few different times that what people think they know about you from what a sentence they may have read or a status update you might have posted can be communicated to someone that you would expect to be unaware about you at the most random times and cause some interesting drama in an otherwise boring life. When I write it out like that maybe I should just post all the stuff I have on deck because life is boring. I know many others feel that way, maybe making life .01 percent less boring for .01 percent of people I know may be my calling.

I've been living in the USA for the past few months so I am unable to post about my poker playing over that time I'm pretty sure I've put in a few hundred thousand hands over that time with pretty positive results but one thing has been really holding me back lately that I have gone back and forth on and that is the idea of shot taking. For the noobs that will read this from the fb/twitter world that don't play poker, shot taking is when you play a higher limit/stake than normal to you, higher in amount of money that you risk but also higher in relative skill level. IE. I play $2/4 with a 400 dollar buyin regularly and when I shot take I would be playing $10/20 with a 2000 dollar buy in or 10/10 (gives away a site I may sometimes play) or 25/50. Actually some nits probably think 3/6 would be shot taking if they play 2/4 but nits gonna nit.

Typically it seems like people shot take for a few different reasons. The obvious is that people love money, they want to make as much money as possible, playing higher stakes=making more money. Some people feel like they are bored with their current limit and want to challenge themselves more and shot take. A large majority of people these days will only shot take when a very -EV player is playing and they end up getting a good seat at that game. Sometimes people are just degens who want to be playing the high stakes and become famous and win all the money and be known as a boss. Other times its just the logical process that comes after you have had much success at your current stake and have built your bankroll up to the point where you can comfortably play higher stakes and if take a loss will not effect you to a large degree. In a perfect world everyone would take that last route but luckily for high stakes regs this is not a perfect world we live in and thus where the idea for me to write this blog post came from.

IF anyone has read my blog in the past or read my 2p2 posts/tweets I really never post anything strategic for the most part. That is another blog post in itself, but I suppose it might be time to actually say something someone might find a bit useful. I think the idea of shot taking for me has always been about the prestige of being successful at the higher stakes more than anything else. I think because of this during my first few years of playing poker it led me to put myself in a ridiculous amount of -EV situations playing for the sake of trying to "make it" or be the man or about that life or etc etc. In the early parts of my career I would grind hours and hours of 50cent/1dollar and 1/2 and shot take at 5/10 or 10/20. Sometimes I had short lived success, other times I failed right away, time and time again I would end up back at 50cent/1dollar grinding and grinding with the hope of taking another shot at higher stakes and having it be a success. I could have approached the whole idea of this in alot of different ways (not playing as high above normal stake, less tables, more table selection, etc...) but always found myself throwing any logical plan out the window. I think the biggest mental block that I have been unaware of until recently that I always fell back on was that I could always drop back down and make it all back with a little hard work. I probably have done this 150 times in my poker career, that seems crazy to make the same types of mistakes that many times in retrospect but this is what I've done in the past and still to this day do. In a way this actually justifies me shot taking all those times but it certainly does not justify the terrible approach I took along the way.

Without shot taking I would have never had my 500k upswing though. During this initial 6 month run I changed a few different way I approached things. I was coming off a ridiculous confidence boost by putting in a 500k hand plo month in December and managed to do way better than I thought during that time period. I padded my bankroll by winning prop bet/achieving Supernova Elite during that time and decided I was only going to play 4 tables max, actually pay attention to the hands (I had never done this before in about 5 million hands) and game select like a the nittest of nits. I've always said that I think the most important thing to moving up stakes or shot taking is that initial first few weeks. If you can run good and build up momentum and confidence you're set. Luckily for me I ran hotter than the sun and was working harder/more hours than I really had before and putting myself in ridiculously +EV situations all the time, mostly running hotter than the sun. During poker sessions for me in the past, I feel like I play 1 or 2 really big pots during that time that in a way save that session from being a disaster and help build back up momentum to end the session on a positive note. During this time period It felt like I had this happen soooo often. This sounds like I'm writing about the positives of shot taking, well in that magical perfect world this might have been the perfect scenario. Once PTR (pokertableratings) went down I really stopped caring about trying to put myself in those magical +++EV situations, which is another blog post entirely as well (one which I have actually wrote).

I think that story is pretty relevant to the reason why shot taking for myself now and for many others takes place. Most people always remember those epic runs they have had in the past where they made xxxxxx amount of money or that time someone they know or follow went on a ridiculous heater shot and that influences their decision to do it. I actually know 3 people who pretty much busto'd themselves shot taking during the time period I was and they told me the biggest reason they did it was because of my run at the time. Obviously this is a pretty extreme example and not really the angle that I am writing about here but I think that mindset still applies to a lesser degree. This is more geared towards the 100-200-400 regs out there. I think 100nl/plo is the first limit where you can really start to earn a good amount of money for yourself when you take into account bonuses and the first limit where I remember feeling that shot taking bug in me. I know there is a pretty large amount of people out there that grind these limits with less than 100 buyins in their bankroll and always worried about going on a bit of a downswing and putting themselves into this idea the "danger zone". I've personally always played with a variety of buyins for that limit but a majority of the time I shot took most would consider underrolled. I remember I used to play 10 tables of 5/10nl with like 25-30k online

I wish I realized this 3 years earlier instead of a few weeks ago but it was never really that obvious to me. Most of the time when I played higher stakes it was when I was on a bit of an upswing and my confidence was at a pretty good peak, I would then end up losing 5-10+ buyins at a higher limit which is pretty standard for PLO, whether it be by me running bad or playing bad or running bad/playing bad and be a bit crushed everytime about it and curse the poker gods for my bad luck and with my confidence shaken return back to the lower limits. Sometimes I've made the mistake of losing a bit more buyins than I should have allowed and have to drop back down to lower than my regular limits and grind it back up again. Obviously to the logical grinder's out their this seems really dumb but not many of us fall into that category which is good for you. The biggest downside that I've experienced without realizing it in the past but after looking over my data is that during that time I drop back down with shaken confidence, my play suffers a pretty sizable amount and sometimes it might take only a few days with a bunch of hours played or sometimes even longer to get back on track and back in the groove. During that time spent shot taking and returning to form I could have been in a pretty steady path at my regular stakes crushing away and gradually moving up being very over rolled and able to incur those losses without being to hurt emotionally or bankroll wise and do it a logical way but 150 times I have chosen not to do this. Although I did have that huuuuge upswing so perhaps with that occurring and the "potential" for something similar to happen again it is justified but I would argue having that happen to me was actually one of the worst possible things to happen. But I'm not sure I ever would have come to the realization I came to now without it.

One of the other big downsides to shot taking that I have heard more people talk about is that when you win a few buyin's shot taking the feeling is not as great as when you lose a few buyins during that same time. Everyone has a different approach to this happening but it seems that many of my friends I've had over time take the negative losses very bad and sometimes they end up just not playing for a period of time and essentially wasting a few weeks recovering from that while feeling terrible on their day to day activities in the process. I probably could expand a bit more on this and a few other ideas related to downsides I think occur but that writing sensation that comes over me about once or twice a month is fading away as I get more tired. I do have another blog post pertaining to goal setting and ways to plan to achieve them almost finished that I have been working on for the past month or two with some success that I think will be able to really help some people out there.

I should go back and read this before I post it but I'm semi sleeping at this point so I will say a small prayer that I logically wrote all this out and I didn't make too many grammatical errors along the way


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napoleono   Romania. Oct 03 2013 03:31. Posts 769

Good read. Please do post more, even moreso if you take the time and type it out!

player999   Brasil. Oct 03 2013 05:03. Posts 7977

just post everything

Browsing through your hand histories makes me wonder that you might not be aware these games are possibly play money. Have you ever tried to cash out? - Kapol 

Ket    United Kingdom. Oct 03 2013 05:23. Posts 8635

wasnt much into ur various old blogposts which were mainly graphs, bragging and trying to be funny but this was an honest, lucid, reflective and very enjoyable piece of reading. cheers

Joeingram1   United States. Oct 03 2013 11:57. Posts 943

I really didn't have much else to say in most of my old blog posts Ket besides those type of things Ket

handbanana21   United States. Oct 03 2013 13:25. Posts 3018

Great post joe. Thanks for sharing.

dnagardi   Hungary. Oct 03 2013 15:55. Posts 1576

good read

but tbh im much more interested in the drug experience part 2

Joeingram1   United States. Oct 03 2013 17:15. Posts 943

  On October 03 2013 04:03 player999 wrote:
just post everything

  On October 03 2013 12:25 handbanana21 wrote:
Great post joe. Thanks for sharing.

maybe one day and thanks

Joeingram1   United States. Oct 03 2013 17:17. Posts 943

  On October 03 2013 14:55 dnagardi wrote:
good read

but tbh im much more interested in the drug experience part 2

i've wrote it but i just can't think of many reasons to share it on here because people that I know will read it and assume thats how I've been all my life or how I am currently and they are not the smartest people in the world so even if you capital bold letters this happened from xxx time period until xxx time period they will miss that part

NewbSaibot   United States. Oct 03 2013 18:38. Posts 4826

Dont worry about what people think. Entertain us Joe

listening to edzwoo has made u a nit... *sigh* - Zalfor 

Baalim   Mexico. Oct 04 2013 01:04. Posts 32425

So you are StarsRegsProblems on twitter?

cuz its gotta be you or WCG Rider

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

Otto Marwin   Iceland. Oct 04 2013 04:42. Posts 65

I love your blog Joe, been missing your updates alot. PLZ start posting on youtube again, aswell as here
ur #8 fan

Luck just can´t explain it 

Joeingram1   United States. Oct 07 2013 08:45. Posts 943

  On October 04 2013 00:04 Baalim wrote:
So you are StarsRegsProblems on twitter?

cuz its gotta be you or WCG Rider

already said this on twitter but lol im insulted, i would do a much better starsregproblems

  On October 04 2013 03:42 Otto Marwin wrote:
I love your blog Joe, been missing your updates alot. PLZ start posting on youtube again, aswell as here
ur #8 fan

thank you my #8 fan haha, will post more updates here, youtube debating on that

SolarM   Germany. Oct 08 2013 16:56. Posts 533

Where can I find your youtube stuff?


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