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Mental Aspects

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  • Mental Aspects

    Hi everyone,

    I am hoping to share a few things I have been experiencing in the last week and hopefully get some advice or maybe some of you can share their own personal experiences.

    I just came back from an 8 month long break from poker at the beginning of September. I am generally a winning player although I don't play for a living. I am 23 and have about 2 years experience of live poker and a couple of months of online poker. I started with a bankroll of $80 and won a fair amount. I now have a bankroll of $250 having cashed out some of my winnings. I played a lot of $3.50 sit n go's for bankroll building purposes (9max & 6max) and finished top 5 on the mars division low orbit leaderboard last week, final tabled an MTT for 6th, and top 14 in another along with a lot of minor cashes. My figures are at about 25% ITM for September. 15-20% of my ITM finishes are quite deep top 150 in the thousands of runners.

    However, this last week things haven't been going as well as the first part of the month. I just don't seem to do as well in sit n go's and I feel I have really nitted up restricting my game to a very tight range AQs+. For some reason, I just don't seem to be able to get out of it. I am having trouble opening up my range and actually playing/reading hands. Things like platinum stars have suddenly begun to look scarier than usual, standard play like 3 barreling with the best hand as well, value betting each street and folding a hand I feel is beat. More advanced stuff which require a certain level of reading skills like 4-bet steals which were part of my game not so long ago now just feel unreachable because I am having problems reading the game. I just can't seem to recognise patterns and make notes (assign ranges) as before. I think this is really beginning to affect my play and sometimes I just play really bad. Since my range has tightened up so much, my 6-max, 4-max and HU play are really crappy as well. I constantly have alarm bells going on in my head and have trouble extracting max value when outright favourite.

    Simple example: Playing the $3.30+R MTT last night from the button with As8s. Blinds are 200, 400. My stack 18k. UTG limps, MP calls with a stack of 14k and I limp the button. SB folds, BB checks. Flop J73, 2 spades. UTG bets small 1600, MP calls, I call, BB folds. Turn 8c. UTG bets big (80% pot) 5.7k, MP calls and I fold. I fold??????? River is a spade, UTG checks, MP goes all-in and gets called. He had a flush and UTG had KK. My read was that UTG had a big hand like KK and AA and MP was on a flush draw as well or had flopped a set. After the hand I just don't understand how I could fold the turn. I had a pair and fd, pot odds were great and I was drawing to the nuts which did come at the end as well! :s

    Well guys I have tried exposing how I am feeling at the moment. If you guys have been through something similar or recognise this situation, can you please drop a line? I'd be glad to hear what you have to say about this. Thanks!

    Good luck at the tables!


  • #2
    Hello Seems you are a few levels above me in skill...but I can tell you (since you just came back in Sept.) that the Platinum stars don't mean nearly as much this month. There was a promotion last month where it was basically 10% VPPS to earn stars. For example Silver was only 75 to earn instead of 750. So I think you can probably ignore that much for the month of Sept. GL to youumbup:


    • #3
      Hi Freckldgator,

      Thanks for your reply! Not sure about my skill level but I keep trying to learn and apply new things to my game. Believe me I'm far from being a spectacular player. I hope that someday I'll get there though! haha Next step is to sort out this confusion/confidence problem I'm having at the moment! I actually kinda feel better about the platinum star thing now. lol I hadn't thought of the promotion as a factor! You don't need to be rich/pro to be a platinum star at the moment. I guess that's a start!



      • #4
        Hey Pilot

        Welcome aboard!!

        Doing Dan's job now..... Hey Dano lmao

        We ALL go through this exact thing. See the latest thread I posted. Also look back at a recent post from Gatehouse. Unfortunatly, far to common.

        I think "Getting out of your own head" is probably the biggest thing I've picked up over the last couple of weeks.

        Believe you are a sound player, and play like you are a sound player....and you will return back to being the sound player you once were. Confidence.


        3 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5

          I think your intellectual approach is right, I am curious about your emotional approach. In my case, how I am feeling affects the way I play. I recently finished first in one of the Premier League tournaments. After replaying the event in my mind, I realized that everything was perfect for me both intellectually but also emotionally. If I am distracted, even a little bit, my game changes. I might be a little less patient, or more likely to call instead of raise. If I am stressed about work or even a little tired, I play a little different. I noticed it more last night when I went out very early in a PL tourney because I wasn't happy about something that had nothing to do with poker. I played like crap and the result showed it.

          Perhaps there is something else going on that is not poker related and it is affecting you ever so subtly.



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