Psychology of Bankrolls: How my bankroll beat me
I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this at first but the more I think about it, the more important I think it is. I decided to try playing poker seriously about a week and a half ago and deposited $65 at FT and quickly earned the bonus (100% match up $600). When I first started playing I would wander over to the cashier window and see where I was anytime something big happened like winning or losing an all in situation. I glowed when I was up, and freaked out when I was low. The worse part, however, was that I played accordingly. If I was up I got looser and faster, and if I was down, I tightened up to the point of only playing in situations where I was sure to win.
I know that poker success is determined over the long run but I just couldn't resist seeing how I was doing. I kept dreaming about how I might be like one of the many poker pros I've read about and grind my way from $65 all the way to thousands. However, reality eventually set in. I watched my bank roll hit highs of $154 a couple of days ago (for me that's high and now I am just over $30. I think some of this loss is due to me making poor plays, as well as losing some crucial all-in moments (some where I was ahead), but I think what beat me most was my B/R.
Because I was taking poker so seriously, I took every blow to my bankroll as a sign that I just couldn't beat the game and when you're glancing at it every few minutes, like I was, that can be quite the emotional rollercoaster. I have therefore banned myself from looking at my B/R and the point at which I do look at it is the point at which I need to stop for the day. The only time I will see where I am is at the end of a session to record it in order to stop myself from playing only as a reaction to what's in my account. I know that I need to make the right plays and I just can't do that when the only thing on my mind every couple of seconds is whether or not I'm up and how much.
I've only been playing for real money
for about 15 days and I have learned a lot about myself in that short time. In retrospect, I think that my B/R being where it is right now is the best thing that could have happened. It has given me a chance to examine parts of poker outside of the math and hand analysis. It's made me look at myself and how I react to failure, success, and probability. I will continue my regular hand and session analysis to make sure I've got my fundamentals straight but I now understand that being successful at poker is more than that.
For those of you that have read this far, if your letting your B/R beat you, STOP IMMEDIATELY! Take the Anexa oath, and vow not to look at it until your session is done, and not to play anymore after you've looked at it. It should be the last thing you do. This won't be useful to the pros out there, but for newbies like me, it might just save your bankroll and your sanity.