Poker Struggles

I lost my ass, or, to be more precise, about 1/6 my working bankroll this week. It was a pretty brutish and tough streak; I was getting clobbered in heads-up, making moves that didn’t work, rarely finding hands, not thinking clearly or creatively about what my opponent had and how to make money from it.

I’ve been getting by since June– when Lock left Merge for Revolution gaming– but the cash games have been particularly brutal to me, especially in the last week or so. I’ve had some health problems that have coincided with the losing skid– and sure, it’s probably more than just coincidental, but I’ve also felt the need to keep working through it; even more so, in some ways (since when I am ill I am more often bed- or couch-ridden and eventually tire of not doing anything productive– and similarly, I don’t drink at all when I’m sick, which leaves me more time and energy to work, time and energy that needs to be used.)

I think a new project would help me be better at poker as well. Something away from the game would, I feel, help my mind stay creative and flexible. I have one project I’m getting underway; I spent most of an afternoon on it earlier this week to promising results. Unfortunately, it’s nothing tangible yet.

Sometimes I get the mentality that I need to be focusing solely on poker and making money to reach my goals in life (especially since my next big steps are relatively short-term and achievable at this point). But I need to remember that that doesn’t make me happy– I have a wide variety of interests and they all need to be fulfilled. Focusing solely on poker makes me play worse in the long term, and it causes the losing streaks to be unbearable– they become a personal rejection when you don’t have anything else going on in your life.

The pressure to win takes away the freedom to play well, and a great gambler becomes merely ordinary.

I find I play my best when I’m having a good time. Lately I have not been enjoying poker, although I know I still can (tournaments still do give me a thrill, and even the feeling in a cash game of running hot and making all the right decisions is a kick). For whatever reason, I’m focused on the negative. It’s really my biggest impediment to being a winner.

I wish I knew how to build something.


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