PT3/HUD newbie needs help adjusting game
Today I found myself questioning my poker ability like never before. I've been playing online poker as a hobby for about 4 years. Slowly but surely I turned my $200 initial deposit into a few thousand. I doubt I was making much more than minimum wage hourly but I didn't care. Its friggin' fun I tell ya!
Fast forward to the last few months. Since June I haven't had steady job, so I thought I could ramp up my online poker to get these bills paid.
Things started out fine but I soon realized that I need to make some adjustments in my strategy/game management in order to make money at a decent hourly rate. Specifically I took these steps:
1) I ramped up my number of hours. Stress factor +5.
I can play for several hours at a time, but sometimes I just don't feel like it. I'd rather be outside playing golf most likely.
2) I started playing more tables at one time: Fun factor -10.
I ENJOY playing 2 tables at a time. Any more than 2 tables and I start feeling like a robot. A bigger monitor would help I suppose.
3) I increased the stakes: Profitability factor 0, Stress Factor +5
I decided to build my bankroll up higher than usual so I could justify an increase in the stakes. However, this didn't translate into bigger profits, just bigger swings, and overall less fun, especially without steady income. Its not easy to play good poker when you're worried about how you're going to make your car payment if you screw up.
4) Drum roll........
I Started using poker tracking software! Finally!!!
I just came across Holdem Manager about 3 weeks ago and Wow! Talk about overwhelmed. I really love how I can track my time and profits etc. But when it comes to all the poker statistics, WTF does all this stuff even mean? Ok I did my homework so now I know what it means, but what the hell do I do with it? So my VPIP is too high and my 3bet% is too low and so on and so on. My game is actually suffering since I began using this software, most likely from information overload.
Now I have way too many questions bouncing around my skull. In the good old days I just paid attention what people were doing and adjusted my game to exploit weaknesses and avoid shark teeth. Observation and feel for the game were my weapons. Now I have a HUD. Tables look like a frickin stock market. I get it. I see the benefits of objective statistics, but I fear they've been leading me astray.
How can I combine my old school feel for the game with the new math? In my mind, they are in direct conflict with each other. Am I supposed to play a certain way, with specific ranges of statistics to be a profitable poker player? I think not. Poker is far more fluid than some numbers plastered on the screen. One minute you're causing mayhem and the next minute laying low plotting. Average it all out and you have mashed potatoes.
Does anyone else have these same concerns or ideas on how to make it jive in an old school mind? Also, any advice on the growing pains of turning a poker hobby into a job?
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! I barely even made it.