Hi All

I've been reading quite a few blogs recently on "goals", "bankroll management", "giving up" etc...

So I thought it was time to share some personal "blindspots"  that masked my outlook on poker and how simple it was to throw that "blindfold" away.

Sit back and read how I didn't see what was in front of me from day one.  It might save you a few hours or even a minute or two.......

....it took me 3 years, Black Friday and the "Bail-out" of Full Tilt by PokerStars before I saw what was in front of me 24/7.

I just wanted to add some inspiration to those who aren't in a position to make a big deposit or to those of you who just feel it isn't fair when you bubble 10 STTs in a row, or to those of you who think it is just impossible to become a winning poker player because of all the donks, mad people or whatever else is taking your attention away from the hand you are meant to be thinking about and not the one you just lost.

When I started in 2010 I put in the volume without understanding the importance of it until I moved over to Stars and just started reading more about mindset and everything starting to become clear and not that scary anymore.

"In order to be a winning player you need to put in the volume...it is that simple." - anonymous


Understanding volume and how it diminishes the "luck" factor is so simple, yet I didn't bother thinking about it for 3 years, I thought it was all just too "complicated" and "statistical" and didn't have time for that "theory" stuff, yet it is easier than folding 7-2 in the BB to a pre-flop shove. 

So, without a "re-load" safety net, the constant thought of "busting" was effecting my game and decision making.

However, you can put in volume, not bust and not worry about your bankroll or reloading, while at the same time slowly building up your BR, but more importantly, building your confidence in your game to the point that your bankroll will be rewarded by the game itself, and even a major reward at some point in the future, but more importantly help to keep your bankroll moving in the right direction and not to forget about those little rewards along the way. (ie. all the small cashes - they add-up and count, they really do).

So I managed to do this in June 2013 and am so glad I did it. (you will have to read on for that sentence to make sense), sorry.

I'm a micro-stakes player, I play $1.50 STTs and MTTs that have even lower buy-ins.

I got to play a $1M online tournament without worrying about the buy-in (I bubbled a satellite seat, but after winning a few MTSnG's (about $40),  by putting in the volume and trying to put into practice what I had so recently discovered I decided to play the MTOPS Main Event - the satellite that I bubbled (I won a few hundred fpp's for the "bubble" fwiiw - read on and you will see how much value a mere 15fpp's can have-at that time I had no clue of that T$ option or much else for that matter),  .......my SnGs were building my BR and even though I didn't cash in that event or get the opportunity to trade a ticket for T$,  I participated in it and I felt that inspiration again. Somehow, it just felt like the right thing to do at the time.

I didn't have to be "lucky", or rich,  or try find someone to help with the Registration Fee, I was playing a $1M main event and it felt great.  I didn't care that most of the field had 4 entries running or that the buy-in was ten times what I could normally afford (for just the single entry.....don't laugh.....it was worth every penny).

I put up the $15 buy-in - in the MTOPS Main Event last year June 2013, a  4x multi-entry tournament -  as a reward to myself for taking a time out and learning how to improve my game in the long run and not expecting anything prior to this except to see the "big picture".

I managed to build my small BR by just playing poker and putting in the volume, but on PokerStars this time, and I was starting to understand what I needed to do mentally to stick with it.

Finally the one thing that makes me happy is something I can hold onto, even though I used to think it would only come with a big price, but I decided that doing something that inspires and gives me the satisfaction that competitive MTTs and SnGs give me is actually worth paying, no matter what the price.

Since then all the extras that come with being active on PSO, eg Big Bang entries and min cashes, 3  x  $11 Sunday Storm satellite tickets out of 5 attempts,  that cost me an average of 15FPP's each, the Premier League all the live training that I had "overlooked",  all add to the volume of hands I get to play while slowly building my Bankroll.

It doesn't have to be that "unknown" path I had created and I know the more hands and tourneys I play the stronger my game and mind will become.
I'm not a young 20 something anymore, but I honestly feel like I am when doing something inspirational.

So in 2014 I'm close to double that age (don't tell anyone-I don't want them to get a read on me),  I know what inspires me. I know the price involved (time, patience and knowledge outweighs the "dollar" price tag in "leaps and bounds"), it just took me a little longer to understand how to maintain a positive outlook no matter how many times my solid play goes unrewarded or punished.

Seeing this happen and being able to accept it, being able to put in the volume and not set a "due date" for a reward and generally simplifying the approach (stats don't lie, but you need a decent sample/volume) is a great stepping stone and solid foundation to becoming a winning player, and with this approach the BRM kinda runs on auto-pilot.

I feel like I'm a winning player,  regardless of my bankroll size..............and it's a nice feeling.
So I'm sharing the "wealth" of knowledge I've built up over the last 7 months even though I haven't had any major cashes yet.
I need to play more tournaments in order to create that opportunity, and that's what I'm going to do.

Basically, I just wanted to add that there is no reason for a player who can't reload/deposit to think that they are at a big disadvantage compared to those who can.

You can build up a bankroll if you have the right "outlook" and accept the poker on it's terms and not your's.


Prior to June 2013 PokerStars scared me.    yup, I admit it,  and now that statement  is "cast in stone",  here,  in cyberspace for ever.  (And I'm proud to have it here).

I was intimidated by the field sizes, the buy-ins for STT SnG's and the aggressiveness of the players on Stars (eg. $1.50 is a lot more than the $0.50 I was happy with for STTs on FT), but that option just wasn't and isn't there anymore.

I was content with making a few dollars on Full Tilt and became complacent in the sense that I was able to cash out, and build a roll, cash out a little bit again, then build it back etc.

It was restricting me without me knowing or being aware of this until the day PokerStars "bailed-out" Full Tilt.
This gave me the option of transfering the few dollars I had in FT to PS.
I had no choice, there were no players on FT anymore, I wasn't going to wait 20 minutes for 5 more players to join a single table $0.50c turbo, so I decided to start from scratch on Stars and PSO specifically.
I was still nervous because I wasn't in my comfort zone anymore, those days are over.

If I wanted to be proud of being a tournament poker player, then I had to get all the facts and PSO guided me into the "shark invested" waters of PokerStars.
I was lucky at the start by reading about "poker mindset", and it just made so much sense to me, I was looking at it from a beginners perspective even though I thought of myself as a 3 year "experienced" player.

I'm so glad I understood the meaning of a sound poker mindset and how vital it is for a player's development.

I would choose the "re-building" approach I had to take 7 months ago over worrying about BRM and other "clutter",  and wish I adopted it 4 years ago. It was almost like I was wearing "blinkers" in those days, my whole outlook was myopic. (Myopic? -  it's a nice word, and an explanation would spoil the story - Google it if you aren't sure of its meaning).

So to finish off this blog entry, I must add the following two facts.

I've only finished ITM 3 or 4 times in the latest 15 or so STTs I've played, but I accept that and will continue to play them without a cluttered mind.

It hurts, I'm not going to pretend that I don't think, "what is going on?" or "am I going to lose my bankroll?" or any other unecessary doubts that would've have slowed me down or made me "2nd guess" myself, but this time I know that these thoughts are distracting me, so I forget about the past while I'm in the present.  Umm...... this quote sums up what I am trying to say.

And the quote is older than me............awesome.

From TV Series Kung Fu (1972)

Caine: Is it good to seek the past, Master Po? Does it not rob the present?

Master Po: If a man dwells on the past, then he robs the present. But if a man ignores the past, he may rob the future. The seeds of our destiny are nurtured by the roots of our past.

Moving on...

...On the flipside, my ITM % for MTTs for January 2014 is around 39%. (90 or more player MTTs - played 27 cashed 10 of them, went deep in a few and played them all to win, not to just cash.
So even though the payouts are small, the buy-ins are smaller.
My passion is MTTs.

  Date   Tournament  Game  1st Prize Winner Buy in  Entries  Rank  Prize 
  25 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  djmichalb   $0.10  4123  782  $0.13 
  25 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  niel44   $1  90  12  $1.84 
  24 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  Oldlom   $0.10  3940  292  $0.31 
  18 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  chibbytwo  $0.10  4323  753  $0.14 
  17 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  BL3K MAMBA  $0.55  500  16  $1.75 
  17 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  pakenyo   $0.55  448  57  $0.71 
  16 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  PegaMeuBet  $0.10  3919  454  $0.22 
  14 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  DARKCLAUDIU  $0.10  5954  616  $0.12 
  10 Jan 14  No Limit Hold'em  HENL  A9Y87   $0.10  4197  173  $0.46 

I have put in the volume through STTs at the micro level with a 25% ROI over the last 5 months. (really not that much in physical money in STTs alone),  but knowing I have played over 600 $1.50 Stts with a bankroll between $65 - $80 holding steady and climbing a little more over time..  and starting 7 months ago with less than $10.

I will continue to play them and work through those STT "dry spells" or busting out of the $3.30 Hot Turbo last night,  getting it in with Aces pre-flop against chip leader and getting "felted" by his JK straight. (Just threw that one in so you can see how useless thinking about "bad beats" can be, unless you really enjoy bad beats then I guess start a scrapbook on them or something)....

...in other words, I have another $3.30 ticket thanks to PSO freebuys in week one and two, missed last nights one however(damn I thought I wasn't going to think about ........), 

but that's poker.

So the moral or "bottom line" of this blog isn't about me and what I "haven't achieved yet", I'm hoping that if even one person who reads this can use one piece of info that I've shared and avoid any "stinking thinking" that comes when we don't win all the time.

Volume will set the record straight, you just gotta have faith in your game and ...... volume will give you that faith.

Thinking of how to change decisions that were 100% correct, is a frivolous exercise that is so destructive if one doesn't have the "bigger picture" in mind. But you need to be aware when these thoughts hit, you have to "dissolve" them in under 5 seconds if possible, a thought lurking around longer than that would be almost impossible to forget -

- and you have As5s in front of you right now with only 14 BB left, what should you be thinking about?

Looking back at my results it is obvious that the biggest boosts to my BR have come from 90 man SnGs and the T$ from Sunday Storm seats.

But all those STTs still show a positive ROI no matter how small the actual figures are.

So I'm just going to carry on putting in as much time as my mind can handle,  and for February 2014 I'm going to be MTT'ing as my primary desire, that's why I posted my January results above. 

However,  I need to keep the pace going in the STTs,  but I am aware of a few bad decisions that I made by playing too "robotic" and need to go back and review those hands otherwise I will just do the same thing again next time which is bad mmmmmmmmmkay.

I will let you know how things go.

Oh....I mustn't forget to finish in top 400 in the OSL in my next game before month end.........phew I nearly overlooked that completely. 

Wow, there you have it, an example in "real-time" of me talking about the past and nearly forgetting to complete my "triple-crown" entry to the Big Bang. 

See what can happen if your mindset is off..........."sigh of relief" - I did say I will finish 295th in a previous post, so I better be true to my word.  Let's see how close to that spot I can get.

Anyway, that's it for this one and thanks to those of you who managed reading this loooong but "emotional" mini-background and hope you get something out of this blog entry, even if it just a giggle.


Peace.

SL