Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The real fight

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't. -Erica Jong

Sometimes in poker the hardest thing to do is actually to stop playing. I recall several sessions that stick out in my mind as occasions where I definitely should have left the tables on account of playing so badly. I'm sure I've said this before, but it's good for me to be reminded. Sometimes a few bad beats or coolers in quick succession can cause me to start playing far too aggressively, or worse become infected with disbelief and turn into a calling station. These are the sessions where a $400 or $800 downswing turn into a $2.6k downswing. In other words, these are the sessions that do the most damage to my bottom line.

It's only after such a bad day that I look over the many hands where I lost money, asking myself did I get really unlucky, or was I just spewing? Unfortunately, the answer is usually already known to me, and unfortunately it's usually the latter. I know when I'm playing badly, but all too often I don't walk away. I really think that one of the best things I can do is learn to get up when I recognise that I'm playing my D game. And in this case, D definitely stands for Dumb-ass.

I don't really know how to achieve this goal, because it's solely down to my willpower. I must learn to accept that there will be days I'm destined to lose, and be able to act when I recognise I'm having one. That may seem to have nothing to with sound poker strategy, but in the bigger picture I think it's essential. Good luck at the tables....

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