Tuesday, August 14, 2012

a review of the day:

First my rules for the session:
1. 12 tabling maximum. 
2. Take notes on opponents throughout the session. Analyze and refer to notes so that I can develop a plan for the hand.
3. Think about bet-sizing with every decision and have a purpose behind my sizing. Take notes on opponents reactions to under or over betting.
4. Leave tables filled with other pro grinders if there is no empty seats.
5. Do not look at results until end of session.
6. Spend 1 hour doing post-session analysis accompanied with note taking.
7. When playing tournaments limit cash games to 6 tables.

How I did:
1.  Successful.  I only found myself 13 tabling once for a short bit, but was mostly playing 10-12 tables.
2.  Moderately successful.  I was excellent at taking notes on opponents at the beginning of the session until about the first hour of play.  I noticed a dramatic drop in note taking during the second hour, and several times had to remind myself to keep taking notes.  I think not taking notes is a result of finding myself in a sort of grinding zone.  While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, when I focus hard on taking notes I make better plays and am more thoughtful about my decisions.  This is something I really want to continue as I think it has a huge positive impact on my play.
3.  Successful.  I think I did a great job of using betsizing to win a lot of pots I normally don't.  For the first time in a long time I found myself frequently overbetting the pot and underbetting with a purpose.  I also bet in several spots on the river where I previously might not have gotten thin value, and where I might have gone for a SD instead of turning my weak made hand into a bluff.  I think playing 12 tables or less helps dramatically with this aspect of my game, and I think it in turn has a huge impact on winrate.
4.  Successful.  I only grinded a few pro-filled tables and they were mostly FR tables where I feel I have a significant edge on many of  the other pros.
5.  Unsuccessful.  I did well during both of my sessions for the first 30-45 minutes.  But within an hour of starting to play I was checking to see if I was up money.  Once I checked for he first time it was difficult for me to stop checking to see how much I was up or down.  I think this is a really bad habit as constantly checking the cashier removes me from thinking about decisions in the moment.  It's symptomatic of a type of tilt that I think we all fight when trying to grind.  I also find myself checking to see my all-in EV after a suckout.  In that case I think I find that it prevents me from tilting as I remain calm and focused if I see that my EV line is solid indicating +EV play.  However the ultimate goal would be to not focus on either of these things as ideally I would be able to make my decisions based purely on greatest value and not let emotions or recent history cloud my judgement.
6.  Unsuccessful so far.  I haven't had the time to review my session.  I'm hoping to do it in the morning during breakfast.
7.  not relevant today.

Now for the goals related to volume:

- Play an average of 4000 hands/day from now until the end of september.
I played 4300 hands today.
- Keep a daily update of progress on this blog to keep myself focused on this goal.

I'm not going to post a graph but I wanted to add that this was simply some of the best poker I've played all month.  Forcing myself to take notes, focus on each decision, and not go into a mass-table robotic grind resulted in a really successful day.  I feel like I won a lot of pots I would have lost on other days and saved money in quite a few spots.  I'm sure part of my success was running good (although I ran a few BI under EV in all-in situations) but I also feel like I fixed a lot of the problems that I was experiencing yesterday during my long and very unsuccessful session.  It was a very motivating day overall.  Hopefully keeping a progress report on this blog will help maintain this level of focus and result in continued A game play for many hands to come.

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