Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wrong Mentality

It almost seems I am pushing the ceiling to another level of poker. It use to really bother me when I would finish the day or week down money and I thought I had put this behind me. I am a decent poker player but "That's Poker" or "That's just the variation in the game" wasn't REALLY having any meaning to me even though I would spout that off any time I could.

I haven't been winning consistently lately and it has been bothering me again. It seems like -EV and I run in the same pattern. Mine have been little losses coupled with a little win that always manages to leave me negative at the end of the week. I have searched through poker tracker, reread sections in books, read blogs and searched forums. Guess what, I'm not getting any cards. It's that simple. Nothing I can do about it. My high pocket pairs are winning (Most pre-flop after folding 20 straight hands of 52os) my draws are coming in, it's just no cards. My VPiP% is extremely low during the past few thousand hands. Don't get me wrong, I haven't played perfect poker by no means. I found, as always, places were I should be more aggressive or called because of the right odds. Mostly though it has been a run of unplayable cards.

I started racing remote control cars again with my dad. (Yes I pimped my dad!) We raced over the July 4th weekend and he used me playing cards as an example about something else but what he said started to ring louder to me as this week as progressed. He said "money should have nothing to do with gambling".

Though I chuckled at first, I couldn't get this out of my head. After another losing session last night it hit me. Who cares! No big deal! It's just temporary! Don't get me wrong now, the other parts of the game like reading, reviewing your play and being a student of the game is still important but for me, I have to stop keeping score so much. 15 years as a salesman getting paid off profit, knowing where every dime was spent is a way of life for me and has made me good money. Now though, I think it has become a detriment to my game psychologically.

I realize now that when I take a lost at the end of the day I am starting the next day, in my head, from behind and have this "I have to make up for yesterday" mentality. The major problem is it is all sub-conscience and until recently I didn't realize I was doing it. All those years of selling taught me that if you spend x amount of money you better put a little more x on the price side. (Yes, for all those still naive, you NEVER get something for nothing) This attitude does not go well with poker.

As a sales manager, we had to do monthly projections on the numbers we think we would do. You worked hard daily to keep up because at the end of the month you didn't want to be the one that said I missed my projection and lost money. You literally had to make up for a lost the next day before you could work on that day. Until recently, I didn't even know I was bringing that mindset to the game.

Know I have to change my way of thinking. Each day a separate day not related to the last. Keep learning and progressing and try to really grasp the reality of "the long run" in poker. For a middle aged married man, this might be an undertaking! I envy you all who can rejoice in the wins and lament the losses and go on the next day with little or no effect. I use to think I was one of you guys, but I haven't made a permanent change and slowly I slip back into the old way of thinking. (Kind of like the way my aggression will slip)

So I am going to tape "money has nothing to do with gambling" on my monitor and then sleep with it under my pillow till I truly realize that it is the long run in poker that is the most important.

Till Next Time!