There has been much said on the ego and the extreme amounts of self-control it takes to keep yourself in check at the most annoying and frustrating of times.
Recently, I deposited 60 dollars onto my first ever online poker account. I'd only ever played live before this, since I started sneaking into Vegas casinos
at 17 in my best looking suit and tie (and hair-clippings that I'd pasted onto my jaw with theatrical glue). Online poker seemed a whole new world, not necessarily in the way the game is played but in the massively greater amounts of willpower you have to have to stop yourself from just being plain stupid.
It was 3 weeks since then when I finally hit my $1000 dollar goal. I played on average 2 hours a day, altogether 32 hours after the 3 weeks. I felt real good and was playing like a normal person (is there such a thing?)
This is when it happened. I said to myself, I can take this game down. I can keep building at insane speeds and never have to worry about smaller losses because this thing is just too easy.
Wrong. All of a sudden the full weight of my ego came flooding back and in the space of about 1 hour I'd lost half of my profit and found myself back down to playing .50/1 NL and trying to make it back. Since that day, and that was one week ago, I have been up to 1200 and down to 300 and up to 900 and now back down to 600. To a higher-limit player, these swings are not that big and happen all the time.
To me, a guy who's only just learned to play 6 months ago and who still has lifetimes in learning left, what do I do? It seems that now I'm at a plateau and the winning sessions become losing sessions, the losing sessions become sessions to try and get it back, and some sessions are just absolutely insane, as if I've let all my skill go out the window and am treating poker as if it were some mad gladiatorial battle that can be won through sheer brute force (all-in, 60% of the time, sitting down at a table and playing the first hand on tilt from last night).
I'm just writing this mainly to vent and in some ways to seek counsel on how I can put an end to this childish streak of bigheadedness. How do you take control of yourself? How did you learn to do that?