Sometimes I hate poker

I'm right in the middle of my worst run of the year so far & nothing seems to be going right.

I made a start on the 18man Turbo S&G challenge I mentioned in my previous blog entry but quickly struggled, went on a run of 18 consecutive games without a cash during a shocking run of cards & eventually decided to give it up $29 down. That sort of challenge just doesn't suit me. I'm almost forcing myself to play the same game over & over again & I quickly get bored... I need to mix things up to enjoy poker & I need to be enjoying it to play my best...

Then I turned to Zoom... I've had plenty of success in Zoom over the past year but that dried up in July & is now going backwards in August. Again, I've had a truly awful run of cards & when things are going so badly I find myself feeling sick & agitated, not really wanting to play but still continuing anyway. All that emotional stress effects the way that I play & that's obviously Tilt.

So, what can I do to stop tilting? Getting lucky would help but right now that's just not happening... Here's what I came up with:

1) Stick to lower stake games that I'm comfortable with. For me that's 5NL Zoom (+2NL Omaha Zoom), $1.50 & $3.50 S&Gs & MTTs under $11. I'll be sticking to that now for the rest of the year & wont try moving up again whatever happens. There have been a few times this month where I've lost $20 pots playing 10NL Zoom in situations I couldn't get away from (AA lost to KK all-in pre-flop, opponent rivers lucky 2-outer etc...) & I'm not comfortable doing that.

2) Don't play when tired!! At weekends I'm going to start playing earlier in the day when possible, enter a few MTTs & then when I'm out & feeling tired just stop playing. Taking breaks where possible will help this too.

3) Don't play when I'm not in the mood to play!! Very important! As I said before, if I'm not enjoying myself I'm not playing my best. So, I need to put those VPPs to the back of my mind... if I don't make Silverstar one month it doesn't matter!! Play when I want to & only when I want to.

4) TRAINING!!! I've really slacked on this over the last 2 months & my results have really suffered. Playing less should help me find more time to train & at the moment I really need to refresh my mind on what I should be doing at the poker tables. Zoom/Cash & MTT training will be the focus.

5) Get out more! I've already made a good start with this as I'm training for another big hiking challenge called the 'Lakeland 50' next July. As well as keeping me fresh & helping keep my life balanced, this also helps me stay fit

6) If I feel like I'm tilting, STOP PLAYING. At this point it's time to take a break & regain my composure - go for a walk, watch tv, listen to music, take some poker training. Anything other than actually playing as tilt = bad decisions.

For the rest of the year all of the bankroll guides/targets I set at the start of the year are going out of the window. My only chance of getting near to my overall target of $2500 by the end of the year is by winning big in MTTs & that's what I'm going to be aiming for now. I'll (hopefully) supplement the MTTs by playing 5NL Zoom & $1.50/$3.50 S&Gs (which I'll play only for shots at the low-orbit leaderboards). My only rule is that I need 100 buy-ins in my bankroll to play an MTT which at the moment limits me to $11 tourneys.

At the moment August is looking like being my first negative month of the year although I still have a chance to turn things around at the last minute as I've qualified for the 100K Monthly VIP freeroll tomorrow night which I'll play alongside the 30K Weekly Silverstar freeroll. Two great chances to get my bankroll moving back in the right direction.

Hopefully there are some points here that could help you all overcome tilt too. It's time to turn things around

Thanks for reading!