One of my biggest problems in poker (and life in general), is my lack of discipline. I think this is true for the vast majority of poker players and in the current state of the game, the amount of discipline one has is what separates the break-even players from the highly profitable ones. Let’s take a look at my failings thus far this year (we are only 27 days in, remember):
1) I’ve already stopped keeping tabs of my stats on CardPlayer.com. I hate acknowledging losing sessions and I had a number of them. When the wins came back around, my info was incomplete and I didn’t want to skew everything by just putting in the good stuff. So that is pretty much screwed up now. I need to figure out a way to fix it or just go back to it starting today.
2) In my previous post (which was 22 days ago and probably deserves a number itself. Okay, .5) Stopped blogging already), I made these statements:
I will specialize for the time being in $2.20 180 player turbo SnGs. …I am going to pound away at that game until I have mastered it. When I have won enough to move up, I’m simply going to the higher stakes in the same style tournament. If I can’t conquer this one game, I probably can’t conquer any of them.
Well, that came and went pretty fast. I cashed in one or 2 of them, but for the most part kept getting sucked out on or letting myself get into questionable situations and pretty much just lost, lost, lost. That and $2 just isn’t enough to worry about. I have a certain fixation for the Ferguson rules about never buying in for more than 5% of your bankroll. The trouble is, I get massively bored playing for piddling amounts of money. Mike Caro, on the other hand, says protecting a bankroll that you can easily replace is not worth it. He suggests trying to play high enough stakes that winning puts you in a position that you need to protect your bankroll, in which case the Ferguson rules become sensible. My $200 bankroll (at the time) could be replaced fairly easily, so playing super micro-stakes to protect it is silly. A $700 to $1000 bankroll would take a bit of time for me to replace, so at that point I should play within the 5% rules. Right now my Full Tilt BR is about $325 so I will be playing stakes that mean something to me (~$10-$15 for SnGs, $25 buy-ins cash).
3) Playing just one thing is BORING. I need to mix it up when I’m online. Boredom is a huge enemy of mine, and I am still finding ways to combat it while playing at the computer. Surprisingly, even at the much slower pace, I don’t feel that way live. Maybe because there are people to watch, I’m not sure. The boredom makes my discipline drop and I play questionable hands just to have something to do. Not good. Not profitable. I need to tighten that up.
4) I have yet to review any of the hands I marked for review. I need to make time for working on the fundamentals and I’m just not doing that. I would rather play than study stats. So I play, when studying the stats (and sharing them with y’all) is probably the more profitable thing to do. I am going to start setting aside a certain time of day to review and write up at least one hand on my off days. An hour won’t kill me and as I do it and get better at it, it will probably go faster and faster.
Those are some of my failings (I’m sure there are more, they just aren’t leaping out right now). Some things I have been strengthening involve the balance in my life of household duties and poker. As a husband and a father, there are certain demands on my time and I believe I have been doing a much better job of balancing the two lately. I’m sure as I continue to improve on that, I will improve on everything. My main goal right now is to focus on what I’m doing when I’m doing it.
Crossposted on CardPlayer.com