I didn’t get the chance to post last week because I was quite busy, so today I will report on two weeks of poker. You will soon see that things didn’t change much, though, and that I kept losing money! Here are the unfortunate numbers:
August 15th to 21th:
# MTTs: 168
Net result: -$2,125.99
August 22nd to 28th:
# MTTs: 100
Net result: -$2,335.87
That brings my total MTT losses since August 6th to $9,098. Yikes.
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to a downswing like this. Where should I start?
In my last entry, I talked a bit about bankroll requirements for playing full time online MTTs. Several readers disagreed with my suggestion that 1,000+ downswings are more than possible. Some people suggested that they could only be possible if you’re playing badly.
I can’t really disagree with the latter statement. We are obviously much less likely to endure downswings that big when we are playing well. The problem is that playing well all the time is extremely difficult. We are human and bad days are going to happen once in a while.
And then when you suffer a downswing and start losing daily, it becomes even more difficult to continue playing as well as before. Once you lose your first 300 buy-ins, the next 300 are gonna be that much easier to lose because you’re probably mentally tilted to some degree. And then the next 300 buy-ins after that are even easier to lose. Unless you are a robot, bankroll requirements need to account for this type of tilt.
In somewhat of an example, this past Friday I was running really badly when calling people down. People’s lines just kept making no sense so I just kept calling, and they somehow had it every single time. This caused me to unfortunately adjust my calling ranges so that in future hands with similar situations, I didn't call when I should have.
So now the challenge becomes trying to get back to playing well. I noticed this past week that I was becoming easily frustrated while playing a high number of tables. So the first step is to play fewer tables.
The second decision I made was to add some sit-and-go tournaments to my weekly schedule. Many months ago I added 180s to help reduce MTT variance, but right now I’m in a ridiculous 180 downswing. Clearly they have not helped much!
I’ve decided to spend half my days playing sit-and-go’s in September in an effort to lower my variance significantly. I played around 100 of them last week and they seem okay so far. I don’t think I could ever play them full time (which is unfortunate), but a 50/50 split for now is fine.
In my opinion, being a winning player is not the toughest part of playing poker for a living. The toughest part is overcoming the mental battle. Obviously you need to be a winning player to make money, but that’s the (relatively) easy part. For me, the mental part is a thousand times more difficult.
Next week I’ll do an August wrap-up and talk about my September goals. Hopefully I both run better and play better this week!
Oh and by the way, thank you to everyone that takes the time to leave comments in this blog. I really appreciate the feedback and encouragement :)