Sometimes, I wonder why I hardly even bother to try playing in online cash games. Play them right, and they’re such a reliable profit, and it hardly even matters what level of stakes you’re in! The same long run that I deride constantly as a tournament player really is some kind of Promised Land in cash games. If you get your money in situations with positive “expected value,” and you reach that promised land that is the long run, you will make money. The skill of the other players at the table hardly even matters if you can do that! The thought of winning money like that should have me doing somersaults in my brain!
Then I remember there is one major opponent even in a situation like that: myself. And I make one hell of your worst enemy to have.
The Big Problem
I realize that I could be dozens of orders of magnitude of wrong about cash games in the preceding paragraph, at the higher stakes. I could well be Billy flipping Madison in that scene where he’s told in above and beyond certain terms how wrong he is…wrong. Welp, this is an opinion blog, and it’s not like I’m going to find out otherwise any time soon.
The trouble is, it’s not like I can get away from the inherent internal problems that prevent me from winning even micro stakes cash “EV-peezy.” They affect my performance in tournaments as well, the effect is just diluted. If I’m off in my play in a tourney or sit and go, the only amount I lose is the buy in. If I’m off and I’m trying to do cash games, I can lose, and lose, and lose and by the time I’ve come to my senses and called the whole thing off, I’ll have lost three max table buy-ins or more.
You’d think my biggest problem would be boredom. And in a way it is, but it’s far from simple to deal with. There are days when I would benefit greatly from keeping my mind wandering and focusing on the game I’m playing, but there are also days where if I’m not keeping my attention divided between the game and Facebook and Youtube at the same time, I get frustrated and reckless way too easily.
It’s like one of those horned dilemma things. If I close out everything on my computer and focus totally on poker, I get the left horn of boredom. If I surf the web and do what I can to keep from getting bored by the game, I get the right horn of unfocused play. A decent number of times, I do manage to avoid both and nail the sucker right between the eyes by playing well, and when I do it’s magical. But it’s not good enough. The most important aspect of a successful player’s game is consistency, and it’s the one I lack. If you’re interested in tackling this problem with me, I’ll copy the gist of this into a forum thread soon. If you’re not, well…sorry.