Not too long ago I was dreading writing this blog and thought it'd be a depressing tale for all my followers to not enjoy. But I'm delighted and somewhat surprised to be in high spirits as I sit here typing. But really we should start at the beginning I think, don't you?

The month began continuing my 5NL shot and already I was eating into my shot money stack by stack. I had set about 6-7 stacks aside for my shot which I know isn't a huge margin for error but I'm pretty strict with my bankroll and didn't want to drop below the $450 mark. So session by session I was getting beat up, having really swingy and irratic games that I just didn't understand. I was going a stack up then three or four down then back to even and when I went back to review the session all I seemed to find was coolers or hands I could only describe as sickening bad beats. Every once in a while I'd get a hand or two where I lost a big pot due to sheer stupidity or reads that were slightly off. For the most part though I was thoroughly confused. At one point I was sure my bad streak was over and I was getting so close to reaching the dizzying heights of $500! And for a breif time I made it.. sadly I was celebrating too soon beacuse just before I was going to make a post about it I had a crushing session. I was losing stacks in just a few dozen hands, every few dozen hands. My patience and resolve were being truely tested and I feared I might need to move back down to 2NL.

It's odd how much your perspective and thought process changes when you go through tough times. Looking back I feel like I had turned into one of those guys who just talks about their bad beats and how the universe is set against them. Even at the time I was pretty aware that was all I was talking about but I didn't have much else to discuss because that's all that was going on. I know you're not supposed to be results orientated and I don't think I really was until this point. Just goes to show no matter how hard you try to work on your mental game in the end we're all human.

By mid month enough was enough and I had to move back down. My mind was in completely the wrong place and I couldn't get into the grind. I just had to except I needed to take a break from poker so that's what I did. Other than the PSO series I didn't play for about a week, even some of the series I didn't play. This may explain almost disaterous results for the series, just one win and a few other cashes between 2nd and 4th place but most were big fat goose eggs. One of the 2nds though was the main event so my bankroll took a bit of a boost. I think this is were things turned around for me.

Back at $450 I wasn't really where I wanted to be to move back to 5NL but I had two days left to try and make Silver Star and 100 VPPs short. I decided I'm a super nit when it comes to bankroll and if I wanted to get anywhere I need to take a risk every now and again and using $50 more as a shot was worth it. I'd received loads of support from friends and fellow PSOers and thought with my head back in the right place it might just work out this time. I tried to adjust to a somewhat lower variance style; slightly tighter and avoiding some of the more unusal spots. There were times I felt I was playing weak and letting bad players away with murder but the results were good. I suppose at the micros there's not as much need to be too aggro and exploit every spot, playing tight ABC is profitable. So grind the last two days I did and made a few bucks back and more importantly for the first time ever I made Silver Star VIP status! It may not be a huge achievement and is the norm for some even occasional players but it's still a step in the right direction. And I even got tweets of congrats from @PokerStars and @CoreySteel_ (one of the newest members of Team Online! Certainly put a smile on my face.

So that was that, on to the numbers I guess.

 

Starting Bankroll (Feb 1st): $482.86

Current Bankroll (Feb 28th): $469.95

VPPs Earned: 500.96

Fadyen's Monthly Masterclass

This hand is from one of my 5NL sessions and may at first glance seem like a non-event but there's always a lesson to learn.

So what's the lesson you ask. that Ace high is sometimes good? Well that's true but not the lesson. The villain in this case is someone I had a bit of experience playing with and I had identified him as a decent reg capable of thinking rather than just playing his cards. So AQ is easily good enough to defend but this is a decent TAG player so there's no point 3-betting and bloating the pot out of position, so I flat and the flop is super dry. I realise a large portion of the villains range is Ax and broadways plus all his good value hands. So the plan is to check/call and evaluate further after his action but he checks back. This makes me think I'm definately ahead. Turn is essentially a blank so I take a stab knowing that's exactly what it looks like. Villain calls. River is a brick so I check anticipating the villain having to bluff to win the pot which he does and I make an easy call. A 25 big blind pot with just a high card, not bad. If you pay attention to your opponents and are able to make a good assesment of their level of thinking it's a whole lot easier to know where you stand in each hand.

 

Quote of the day: Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you doing it.