Keeping track of wins/losses affecting my game?

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ph_il

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After just restarting my self challenge of building a BR from $10 and keeping track of all of my games, I found myself on a losing streak.

Now, I've had losing streaks before and its really has bothered me. I know losing is part of the game and everything. I've even gone as far as losing more than 3/4s of my bankroll on a single game (very bad BRM). I know, its stupid to risk that much but I've never had a problem if I lost. I'll just have to rebuild my BR again and I have no problem getting back into the games. So, losing has never really been a big deal to me. I play to improve my game and to have fun. This isnt a career for me and I dont treat it like such. I just make sure that I play the best of my ability.

However, since I've been keeping track of my games and my current losing streak, I find my game has changed a bit. Im playing a lot tighter then I usually do; especially in position when I should be stealing blinds. I find myself second guessing myself way too often and this is something that I never used to do.

Its not like Im afraid of losing a hand or a game, it happens. And its not like my BR cant afford it. The SnGs I play in are less than 5% of my total BR. Its a lot bigger percentage for my current challenge, but thats because Im starting with a $10 BR, but I have my full BR as a backing. So, its has nothing to do with losing money.

Is keeping track and a graph actually affecting my game? I can clearly see the downward slope starting and I think Im afraid of seeing it continue. It almost makes me a bit worried about playing because Im afraid of losing and adding to the downward slope. The funny thing is if I havent been keeping track and my losing streak continued, I would feel completely different about it. So, is it just in my head? Ive never had a problem with losing, so why is it bothering me so much now?
 
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Insomniac_1006

Insomniac_1006

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Could be all in your head. Never know, you could be changing.
 
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ph_il

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Well, i know its all in my head.
Im just wondering why its affecting me so.
 
Insomniac_1006

Insomniac_1006

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No idea, I am just starting to figure out poker on a larger scale myself.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

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It's entirely possible - and it's entirely psychological.

I used to have exactly the same problem - I understood that poker was a 'long run' game, etcetera etcetera, but after every session I'd fire up PT/sharkscope and take a look at my stats and graphs.

Anyway, it's the same sort of problem that causes players to either tighten up in ring games after having built up a big stack, or loosen up trying to chase losses.

If you're playing a decent amount every day, play for a week without checking your PT data. Obviously keep importing the data, but just don't check it. Alternatively, transfer a bit of money over to a site that doesn't support PT (Boss Media sites, WPEX, etc) and play for a while there. I played for a bit at Poker.com and King Solomon's ages ago before Poker.com became PT/SS compatible (KS is a Boss Media siie and still isn't IIRC), and I found it to be surprisingly liberating.
 
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ph_il

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I think I need to take a break for a bit.
Or I could do what DM suggested.
 
NineLions

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It's interesting what things can affect one's game in what ways. It really does sound like you've pinpointed the connection, but not the why of the connection.

I think one, but definitely not the only, aspect of playing underrolled is the effect it can have on your game, especially causing tightness. But that particular effect assumes that the person reacts to being underrolled in some negative manner, which may not be the case for each and every player.


In your case you're not underrolled, but it sounds like the challenge you've set yourself is important to you and is having a similar effect on your play as being underrolled might have. Different cause, but similar effect because of perhaps a similar nature of importance? Just a theory.
 
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ph_il

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Good points, NL. I never thought if it that way, but that could in fact be what is what holding me back.

I did a little experiment and I played in an SNG, but without the intention of keeping track of my win or lose. I just wanted to see how I would play and I played just as well as I used to. I was just as aggressive-if not more than usual, I stuck with my reads and didnt second guess my actions. My aggressive plays allowed me to win the game. I even had the person I was going heads up with call me a bad name because of the way I was playing...LOL. But the main point is, I got none of those 'I hope I dont lose' jitters.

Basically, I had the confidence I was lacking.

So, I think Im done with the challenge and Ill just focus on building my BR.
 
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NineLions

NineLions

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Good stuff.

I like setting myself specific targets/challenges too 'cause I think there's often some benefit/learning to be gained. Maybe one of the things here is to learn that this specific challenge, for whatever reason, caused you to play suboptimally, and then to try to figure out why, and how to get beyond that in the future just in case a similar situation comes up, perhaps even without you artificially creating it.
 
Cheetah

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philthy, why don't you stop plotting the results? In fact, why not stop computing a running total? You could still record your games. Once you have made enough money, you can then calculate and plot your results. Say once a month or even less frequent than that.
 
ChuckTs

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This is something that's long been affecting me. tbh I have a very big ego and check my results way too much. I'm often more concerned with my OPR ranking than I am with how well I play (ie I'd rather play bad and win than play well and lose). I'll often play a day's worth, then check my PT to see how many points my ROI went up or down, or my BB/100 or whatever. Silly stuff.

I was actually going to add that to this blog post, but it completely slipped my mind as most things do.

Not quite sure how to cure it or I'd be done with the problem :)
 
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