Am I the only one with this problem?

Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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First, a short story.

First time in Vegas, Tropicana (it was cheap), 4:30 AM of my first morning (my body still on Eastern Time). Went to the casino and it was pretty dead. Got on a $5 blackjack (not my game) table with a guy in a suit and cowboy hat and boots and a girl who looked like she was partying that night. Put $50 on the table and we had a very social game. I'd play hands, win, lose, increase bets, decrease bets and enjoyed the company. A half hour after starting, I took a close look at what was in front of me. My $50 turned into $375 or so. That spooked me. I don't mind playing with those little red discs but I very much minded playing with that much money. I was no longer able to play. I left.

I feel I can win at any STT table no matter what the stakes. In fact, my game would probably play better at the higher levels. The problem is that the higher buyin would negatively affect my thinking.

I've even gone so far as to consider letting my wife sign me up for STTs in the $11 to $33 range, put me on the table, and not let me know what I was playing.

It's not a bankroll issue. I'm probably at a point where my bankroll would support $11 and $22 games and even an occasional $33 game.

Yes, I know it's in my head.

Am I the only one with this problem? Has anyone had this problem and beaten it?
 
Dwilius

Dwilius

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Yes i'm having trouble convincing myself to move up stakes. The more I win the less I risk. I'd have no trouble playing for 10x as much live or BJ for 5-25 a hand so why i'm playing microstakes on the internet I don't know. I'm in the same boat, can't help you out of it.
 
S

sliver101

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sounds like a confidence issue how did u move up the stakes to where u t now and whats different this time ??
 
Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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It's definitely a confidence issue. I think part of it comes from the time I ran my bankroll down from an all time high to about $90 chasing the PS $4.40x180 SNGs.

The funny thing is that, at least for tournaments, I've always played at the $5.50 level. I've probably played 5 or 6 $11 tournaments and I'm a net winner.

Another part is that I've committed to myself that I'm never making another deposit at PS. The last one I made was probably four or five years ago. Since then I've taken all my original money out and then some. At this point, my bankroll (adjusted for withdrawals) is the highest it's ever been.

I'd have no trouble playing for 10x as much live

I'm the same way here. I have no problem sitting down at a 1/2 NL live table with $100+ in front of me.

Posting this thread has caused me to take a closer look at my situation. I think I have a solution that will work for me. It's a little weird but for someone as anal as me, weird is the norm.

I am no longer concerned about my bankroll. I no longer need to look at it.

In November, I set up a spreadsheet to help me track how I'm doing with the NL ring games. I had an opening balance of $10 and started playing .01/.02 NL. If I lost the $10, I would stop and evaluate whether or not I wanted to continue playing NL. I took it a step further and decided that when I hit a certain balance, I'll step up to a higher level in the NL ring games (now .10/.25 NL).

For some reason, it never occurred to me to do the same thing with my SNGs - until last night.

I now have a spreadsheet with an opening balance of $50 (a small piece of my bankroll) just for single table SNGs. This is what I'm prepared to lose, for now.

I now have to determine the level at which I will switch to $11 SNGs. I'm thinking 20X the buyin or $220. When my balance reaches that level, I automatically switch. There is no decision for me to make. If I take the $220 back to 5x the buyin ($55) I switch back to $5.50. Again, no decision for me to make.

By taking this approach, I just need to look at my spreadsheet and not the PS account balance.

By the way, did I mention that I'm extremely anal? :rolleyes:
 
MrMuckets

MrMuckets

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Don't play with scared money. This is not just for the small time player who may be risking his rent money. It also refers to having confidence in your play and ability. If you don't have confidence don't play.
 
Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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Don't play with scared money.

You're right. Now that I look at what I wrote, it sounds like that. My unwillingness to put money into PS sure makes it look that way. I'm a semi-retired computer consultant so money is not a problem by any stretch of the imagination.

I remarried six years ago to a great woman. In her prior life she and her ex lost everything they had due to HIS gambling problem. I started playing online shortly after I met her. I quickly established my bankroll at a level I could sustain. I promised myself that I would never give her the opportunity to think that gambling is going to destroy her life for a second time. :(

Now I'm getting more serious about poker because it's going to pay for a lot of the traveling I plan to do when I'm retired. :D
 
B

bill_nj

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Feb 18, 2008
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I also have this problem. From a strictly financial view point I could easily play higher stakes. I just hate losing especially to suck outs.
 
X

xCashin_inx

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I used to play $2/$5 live games all the time, id buy in for $500 and play my style, fairly loose and fairly agressive. I recently bought a new car with a pretty big monthly payment and my insurance skyrocketed and I cannot go to the 2/5 game and still play my loose agressive style. I went once and only played extremely strong cards, played way too tight and everyone knew I was being a nit. I just cannot bring myself to go there anymore since I know $500 is more than im prepared to lose.

I moved down to $1/$2 live games and although you dont win nearly as much its still fun and if I lose $200 then oh well, Its alot less than 500. However ive been playing $1/$2 for about a month now and havent had one losing session the entire time. Im up about 2K but until my car is paid off I wont go back to the $2/5 game.
 
Tom McEvoy

Tom McEvoy

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MTT and the Mental Game

Hate to make this short and sweet, but it's true. The ONLY people you ever have to worry about in a MTT or STT are the 8 others at your table. Once you look at it like this, you should have no problems playing in MTTs.
 
Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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Thanks Tom. That's a great way to look at it.
 
PokerVic

PokerVic

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I definitely noticed the same thing. I had no problem with $3-5 range SNGs and MTTs, but once I went $10+, my win rate plummeted. I knew it wasn't due to better competition, but even being aware that the higher stake was affecting my game wasn't enough to overcome it.

The only solution, as I see it, is experience. Keep dipping your toe in the higher stake games, and eventually the stigma will disappear and it'll be "just another game." If you're following good BR technique, then you can handle the poor ROI until your game gets back to where it belongs.
 
N.D.

N.D.

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Have you tried meditation of some sort? I mean if you have 15 to 30 minutes b4 the start of the STT, you could take it to psyche yourself into the game. Pro athletes get pep talks and team prayers before a big game. Why shouldn't you need to get pumped up?

Another thought on the matter is to move up levels slowly. I know that's automatic, but maybe if you move up a level as a special treat at first. Tell yourself it's a special treat and a reward to play up a level. Gradually ease your way in. You probably wouldn't dive head first into a frigid body of water right? So why plunge into deeper water than you're used to? Why not just dip your toe in at first, then wade a bit, then finally swim?

I probably mixed a whole bunch of metaphors there, but hopefully I make some sense.
 
Joe Slick

Joe Slick

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Thanks PokerVic and N.D.

The "slowly" part is definitely in place. My "moving up" needs a lot of work.

N.D. - I never specifically considered meditation but it's a great idea. On the days I'm confident that I'm going to play well, I usually do well. On the days I play poker just for something to do, I don't. Go figure! :rolleyes: I think a pregame ritual is in order.

Thanks for the great ideas.
 
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