The Mental Game (tilt control), loose passive games, etc.
This thread is basically an attempt to write down my problems, get input/help/advice, and improve my mental game.
A little info about me, for those of you that don't know...
I have been playing live poker on/off for about 10 years. I was a fish (and still am, TBH) for most of those years. I have now transitioned back to full time play again (starting at the beginning of April). I changed the way I play starting in April. I am currently getting some coaching from two live pros, whom I respect very much. It is working.... however...
My weakest aspect is my mental game. That being said, let's make a little list of things that get me off my A-game.
- Losing in standard spots, against loose opponents who limp call OOP. Example, we raise the BTN to 8.5 BB with whatever hand (to exploit limpers, play a pot IP against said limper(s), and outplay them postflop. Flop come Kd-3d-Jh. We Cb bluff, V calls, turn is 7d. We check back, cause we know V has a flush, it checks down to river. V does indeed show Ad-3d, and we quietly muck. Then, afterwards, I'm thinking "this guy limped for $2, called a $17 raise, with A-3s, like he is dominated so often, and goes HU OOP, flops a FD, calls, turns it, and never bets. He just checks it down, and makes no attempt to get paid off for the draw/money he invested thus far. OMG. How can I lose in a game like this?" Those are the cliffs....
- Getting sucked out on repeatedly
- Playing in really loose games, where we must flop monster hands to win, because every pot is MW (if I'm losing, obv)
- Going on down swings really affects me after a few days. I just can't seem to get it through my skull not to be results-oriented in the short term. I have trouble managing/dealing with accumulated emotions.
- Getting dealt rags for hours on end, then finally getting a great hand (AA), and getting it in pre vs A-Qo, and losing 100 BB (recent example)
- For some strange reason, when I'm card dead, just watching the action, how people play, the strange/horrific things villains do amongst themselves tilts me a little.
So, currently, I have been break even for the entire month of June. I just haven't been able to get anything good going. I just got whacked for 2 BI yesterday, and that is really killing my motivation, mindset, etc.
So, CCers, could anyone help me deal with the ups and downs a little better? I need to put in quality hours. This month's events are pretty tough on me. I start feeling like it's impossible to win after a while. I get really depressed if I make mistakes, etc. For example, everyone has a breaking point, and it seems when I am on extended shitty runs of cards, my breaking point is coming much sooner than it would normally.
Last month was similar to this month. On the 15th of May, I was only up $200 for the month. Then, I went on a legit heater, and pounded out about $3500 in the last 2 weeks. I actually thought to myself "I will have to pay for this heater, with a downswing now" at the months end.
And, like clockwork, downswing/100 hours breakeven play ensues. I am mostly writing this in an attempt to change/improve my thinking, so I can play my best through these tough times.
If I can just master the mental game, and play well even when I'm running bad, I'll really have something. I have made major improvement in my mental game as of late, but to be honest, my mental game is still total crap. It's clearly way ahead of your average rec player, but still bad nonetheless.
I am going to play today in a few hours, and I would certainly like to be able to play perfect poker.
Any/all suggestions would be appreciated. Live poker is slow, heaters/downswings seem to last a while, and it's tough for me.