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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Crippity Crap
Stagnation. Treading water. Slowly sinking.

That's how I feel about the way I'm playing poker lately. I'm posting the following numbers in the hope that they will help give me a kick in the pants:

# HandsWon/LostBB/HR
January 1-12870(186.50)(5.36)

(This is all from from $2/$4 at Party & affiliates and doesn't take into account some profit from 7-Stud at other sites, and some losses from foolishly dabbling in low-limit no-limit--NL just still is not my game.)

The holidays definitely distracted me. This same thing happened last winter. Back then I was thinking maybe the games had changed, like maybe I had done well in the summer because more bad players were playing then--people have more free time, college kids have the summer off, etc.--and maybe in the winter only the more committed players are at the tables. At least this winter I'm not making that excuse.

Mostly I just haven't been focusing enough. One thing that happens when I'm two-tabling and not focusing is that I fail to notice when the game conditions change from loose to tight and vice versa. So no more two-tabling for a while. For much of the summer I was specifically seeking out tables that were mostly tight-weak, then playing a rather bullying style (which I'm terming "Ciaffone-style," in reference to Middle Limit Holdem Poker). I like to think I play a good tight-aggressive style in that type of game, but of course everyone likes to think that. Then I read SSH in September and started trying to get more comfortable with looser games. Hmmm . . . that's about when my slide started. It could be that I just still am not understanding optimal loose game strategy, but I think what might be happening is I've been playing SSH-style in games that are too tight, and Ciaffone-style in games that are too loose. Like I said, failing to pay attention to changing game conditions.

I've also been too passive post-flop. This is a general problem, in that I'm always feeling like I could be more aggressive, but it's been particularly bad lately because I've been playing when I'm just not in the right mood.

I am jealous when I read about bloggers playing every night and clearing a dozen bonuses in a month. For me, I have to be in the right mood to play poker: kinda fired up, ready to engage in raw mental combat. And I just don't feel like that around the holidays. My competitive urges seem to go down in the wintertime and up in the summertime, presumably because of the weather: It's cold and wet here in Providence, the kind of weather that makes you feel like just taking a nap. Tonight I just watched Lost, and I once I post this Mrs. Cheap Thrills and I are going to continue to slug on the couch--gonna watch Shaun of the Dead if we don't decide to turn in early. Part of me wants to hop online and start reversing my poker slide, but I know I just don't have the killer instinct tonight. (I havem't read Killer Poker but I identify with the idea.)

On the other hand, when I wasn't "into" poker around the holidays last year, I ended up going about 2 months without playing, and when I came back I felt like I had to re-learn too much. So this winter I've been making a conscience effort to play more--sometimes when I know I'm not in the right frame of mind.

So the solution is to get in the right mood and the right frame of mind. That's where my own and other folks' blogs help.

I just cashed out of Empire. Next I'm gonna hit one of the signup bonuses at PokerNow, PokerRoom, or Bodog (haven't decided which yet), to help get the bankroll back into healthier shape. Mrs. Cheap Thrills has something of a girls night planned for Friday, so my plan is to psyche myself up and play some killer poker while she's out.

OK, that's all for now then. Ending note to self: Get psyched! Dominate! Every play will be +EV! Kill! Kill!


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