This is a discussion on Considering giving up the game because of the emotional impact it has on me within the online poker forums, in the General Poker section; I'm not sure whether to post this here or on General Poker, but since this has more to do with me than with the game,
Considering giving up the game because of the emotional impact it has on me
I'm not sure whether to post this here or on General Poker, but since this has more to do with me than with the game, I decided to post it here. If mods disagree, well, I tried my best, feel free to correct my mistake . Anyway...
Little bio. I'm 23, currently studying accounting with plans to continue on and majoring on tax law (whether to work for the government or for medium to big corporations is still an unknown variable - would love both, still making my mind up - cue political debates).
I'm a decent student only because I have so many hobbies on the sidelines. Poker, 3D design, app development, programming in general but tending more to apps/VR/AR, absolutely love reading, mostly technical business books and bios. So many times I'm not only studying for Uni, I'm studying, say, programming for 40 minutes, then break, then study for uni, then break, then study 3D, etc. My parents are still paying for my education (which is pretty inexpensive) but I'm helping them a bit, but not much. I work on weekends and have some money coming in from freelance work and from a few books I have published on amazon. But they are not enough to help them pay for my expenses, this money is usually only enough that I can drink and go out without having to pester them constantly for money. I could get a part time job, but this would mean giving up my interests and I'm not that willing, at least not yet...
And then you have poker. And right now I don't see poker as a game. I see poker as a means to win money. And I don't think this is the right mindset to have in my situation. Poker is like this "Holy Grail" of making money in the short term. I take some money out of my account, sit down, play, and a few hours later I have 20€ in my account. Now I can transfer those to Facebook and pay for PPC ads for one of my books. Or maybe I put them away and use them on my audible collection. Or maybe I save them because I will have to pay to publish and then advertise a few apps I'm developing.
So my mind is like a huge roadmap of what I will do with my money after I win them in the table... and this sucks. Short term and long term. Because poker stops being a game and becomes this serious task of getting money, and I become very results-oriented. So I'm extra passive in the tables and then my self-esteem and general way of being takes a beating OFF the tables as well.
I have a very obsessive personality. I'm not making this up, I've been in therapy, she said it not me. If I'm after a given result and I don't get it, or worse, if I don't understand how to get it, I become very aggressive, mainly internally, and close down to everything and everyone and push everyone away until I get it. If I'm solving an exercise and I can't understand how to solve it, I'm almost physically incapable of sleeping until I do. She gave me a few internal and external strategies to deal with this and take responsibility for it and take advantage of it on situations it's helpful (ie. Studying/learning) and do as minimize the effects when it isn't helpful. But at the end of the day it's still there and it still pops up and I still need to make an effort to deal with it.
What does this have to do with poker? Since I'm playing very results-oriented, not getting that result really screws me up for days. 3 weeks ago (3 weeks!!!!) I was in the bubble of a 55€ tournament with a medium stack. I didn't pay to join this tournament, so I didn't lose anything. 1 player to go and then we're ITM, I catch A7, flop A66, I end up shoving and lose. I still think it wasn't a bad shove, I have a 51% equity against any pocket pair above 6, and I do think that player would have called with 77+. But back on topic, just thinking on how I would have used the 80€ if I waited for 5 more minutes, or even worse, how far I could have done into the tournament, destroy me. There hasn't been one day for the past 3 weeks I haven't thought of that hand. Now even if I do get to play it again, I'm scared af. Not because I will be losing money, because I didn't really lost anything, but I'm scared to bust after making a stupid decision and having to deal with myself for God knows how long.
Maybe I should give up poker completely for a while. What I've been doing is play a daily freeroll and watch a 1-2 hour video daily on poker theory. Eventually I have a few videos more specific on how to play at NL2 - NL5 (ie. People actually playing at those stacks instead of just giving random hand examples along with some theory slides like the videos on Star's PokerSchool), and when I reach those videos I think I will have enough information to hit the tables again. But given my current economic situation and mindset when playing I'm not entirely sure this is a good idea.
Thoughts? Thanks for answering, have a great year!!!
I had a similar situation and I think it would be better for some break. It will definitely help you.
Also I think in your case it would be better if you have some other job where you can get constant income and you won't worry that you not be able to pay for some ads and other things. if you have constant income then you can spend some amount by playing poker. And you should definitely stop seeing poker as place where to win money
ilostmysoul, theANMATOR, MrAlabama liked this post
I feel you. At one point I would go as far as to hit myself if I lost as a result of something that I did. About 2 months ago I broke my phone after making a stupid play and bubbling on a satellite, which cost me much more than the ticket.
What's important to realize is that mistakes will happen because we're human, to be more forgiving toward ourselves. Even the best players make mistakes, the goal is to keep them at a minimum.
One way to do that while playing is to think through all the available info and different scenarios and make the standard decision you need to make. When there is a tough decision, it's always a good idea leaning on the tighter side. But you can use a randomizer at some spots where you think you should be betting calling/betting at some frequency but aren't entirely sure, thus taking some pressure off of yourself and balancing your play at the same time.
It's important to leave your ego out of the poker table and make logical decisions based on all the information that you have. Sometimes that information might include your gut feeling, which you'll have to trust. But some other times you'll realize you're losing a lot by following your gut feeling at a certain spot, which means you'll need to learn not to trust it so much and adjust accordingly.
Once you make your best decision, f*ck the outcome.
As for making money playing poker online, it is possible but the edges are getting thinner and thinner. The $/hour can be ridiculously low at micro stakes.
Let say you invest $100 in MTT buy-ins a day, playing 10hours/day (MTTs take long). A skilled player should be able to make ~10-20% ROI, which means $10-20 a day on average (Yes you will hit big sometimes, but it will be cancelled out by all the times you don't hit). Your return would be $1-2/hour, which is ridiculously low compared to how much a regular job can pay, with much less effort.
Truth of the matter is that you'll need to buy-in at least ~$1k on MTTs per day on average to be able to generate something worthwhile, and you'll need to have ~$20k bankroll for that.
More importantly your skill level must be on point, and many of us tend to overestimate our skill level based on certain big score that we hit once.
I see you're a young man of many talents. My advice would be for you to focus on other areas for your income other than online poker. As this is a negative sum game, it won't be long when sharks start eating sharks.
It's a very good idea to invest your time and energy into your degree, your business ideas, a part time job etc. Look forward to day you're getting back from your high paying job to sit down to play some poker in the evening not giving a f*ck if you lose, and without having to worry about the high variance or go through countless hours staring at a few tables trying to make perfect decisions as even a small mistake could cost you a lot of $$.
re: Poker & Considering giving up the game because of the emotional impact it has on me
You said your thoughts to a psychologist. You picked the wrong accounts. are meticulous calculations you like, examine all possibilities. In my opinion, in your case, I think you should play live poker at the casino, because online poker is not pure mathematics and can be disappointed.
You have to break the mindset of looking at everything in the short term. Poker is about the long run and math eventually working in your favor. You have to focus on making good decisions and forget about the result. Learn to count those Sklansky bucks (+ev times you get your money in) and like Ivey said putting your opponents in tough spots. You won't win every time but it helps with the times things go wrong.
At the end of the day poker isn't for everyone and you shouldn't do stuff that makes you unhappy. Take a break and maybe give it another shot but if continues to make ya unahppy find another hobby . GL GL GL
No matter what everyone claims the reality is about only about 5 or 6% of players make money, online or live. If you really want to succeed it takes years of practice, study and talent. To make money you have to treat it like a job, I did it almost everyday for many years sometimes playing 30 or more days in a row. The hardest part is surviving the swings. I one time went for 3 months without a decent cash so you need a bankroll to survive. My point is play poker for fun don't expect the big cash, learn the game and in time you may find it profitable. But if it is effecting your well being you need to either change your expectations or stop playing. Poker is not a quick fix to money problems to about 95% it is a money loser. I wish you luck at the tables but I believe luck has very little to do with profitable poker.
I win 100% of the hands that I win.
I have been playing live for over a decade and have played online as well.
Your emotional issues are not due to lack of results.
They are due to a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the game.
I have seen this type of long fml type of posts many times.
At the core of it, people don't understand the mathematics of randomness and variance.
Old men spend decades playing the same way and the common line is, son I have been playing long before you were even born...
I love playing against old men.... playing the same incorrect way for decades.
Just because you do something for a long time means jack shit.
They have become experts at doing something the incorrect way over and over again.
Their ego blinds of them and they don't even understand why 98ss is a worse hand to call a 3bet oop vs 56ss.
For every hour of play, you should have 3 hours of study.
At 23, let's assume you have 2000 hours of play.
Have you spent even half of that in study?
Do you truly understand the fundamentals of the game?
Why have you not hired a coach?
Have you tried to play micro stakes online with a HUD and just try and break even at 5cent/10 cent?
If you can't break even across 20,000 hands at micro stakes, then you don't understand the fundamentals.
Do you know that even the top pros only cash at best 20% of their Tournaments
re: Poker & Considering giving up the game because of the emotional impact it has on me
I will make it very short, after reading your bio.
Surely you should take a pause or play only freerolls.
You should leave your ego out of the table and only play what you can afford to lose.
If you feel too excited during a game, and by excited I mean in the wrong way, it is not the game you should be playing.
Go down the levels, start again from scratch.
And remember then most of the times the best investment you can make with your time is self-improvement.
It will not make you money in the short term, but could make a lot in the mid-long term.