I browsed down to the Question of the Day section (which I write) and gave a half-assed read-through of my own question. Then I answered.
I answered it wrong. Granted, in the answer I say the choice I made isn't terrible. But it's also not the correct one - or the most +EV one.
This got me to thinking. I go on autopilot way too much. For one, I didn't even remember writing the question, let alone the answer (autopilot life much?). So the question was completely fresh to me.
While looking at the question, I was also four-tabling MTTs. Not something entirely difficult on its own, but something I should be at least paying attention to.
So technically I'm playing five tables (four + the QotD) and while I can easily function on all tables, I can't exactly give each one the amount of concentration a game like poker deserves.
When I get into this mode, everything becomes instinctual. Now don't get me wrong, my instinctual game is usually still some degree of winning poker. But it is definitely not my A game. It is probably not even my B game.
When on autopilot I definitely don't take enough time to fully appreciate the situation I'm in before acting. I make very hasty decisions - maybe only taking a second or two to ponder my move.
A lot of the times this leads to a decision that is not the most +EV. These decisions usually are not -EV necessarily, but they are absolutely not the best possible decisions I'm capable of making.
And that's because the best possible decision is always going to be one that requires a good amount of thought. It's not going to be the most obvious a lot of the time. It's going to be one where you use all of the information you gather at the tables.
When I'm on autopilot I just don't. I use the most readily available info - how the hand has played out to this point and my view on the player, which is usually mostly based on stats.
I seldom take the time to pay attention to prior hands played at this table, the flow of the game and/or how the player is playing in this current session. This is the type of information you need to utilize if you want to become a great player and not just an average to good one.
Luckily for me I recognize this as my biggest leak. It's something I'm going to have to work at. But at least I know.
In poker sometimes you reach a plateau where you stop learning and you become comfortable with your game. You want to avoid this. If you ever stop learning you become stagnant and you will be passed by the new era of players - players more than willing to work on plugging their leaks.
Do not let yourself stagnate. You can always improve. I know what I have to work on now. What do you have to work on?
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