Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Focus Part III

My name is Portuguese slang for “one who has focus like a gnat.”

Most of me is a terrible poker player. How can that be? Almost two years into this thing and I have no idea where I stand. Money wise, I know exactly where I am. Is that a good judge of my skill though? In an interview I read early in my “career,” Howard Lederer alleged he played losing $1/2 LHE for two years before starting to win consistently. Of course, he was probably playing against better competition than I run into on Party Poker.

The part of me that is a good player plays in home games. There, that segment is a winner. The home games have kept me flush in lunch money for a good while now. And I really like lunch.

Another part of me does alright in the Casinos but that sample is much too small to be undeniably accurate. This will require further field study.

Online, the results are a bit more mixed. I paid a lot for my basic poker education. The first year was a steady diet of $50-$100 deposits with very few withdrawals. Near the end of 2004, I figured out how to pull out money when I was winning. The bleeding slowed, but continued. Finally, this year, I am in the black a bit but I don’t feel as though I am playing well at all. This week, I shall turn the focus inward and try to figure what it will take to make me a happy poker player.

Please read Joe to get some idea of where I am right now. I am constantly amazed at how my thoughts mimic so many of those I read. I responded to his post that he should ensure that the time he spent with poker was “quality” time. Great advice I think. The problem is that I have not exhibited the ability to make my time playing poker quality. Unlike Pete Townsend, who stated about pop music, “If you steer clear of quality, you’ll do alright,” I feel as though if I do not step up my game, I will end up burned out with nothing to show but a non-existent bankroll, pissed away in a fit of pique. By not concentrating correctly while playing and preparing to play, I have created a situation of uncertainty surrounding my game. Any assessment I make now is flawed as I have not kept any control over so many aspects of my game. Like Tiger, I have to rebuild my swing.

I have started the process. The first step was this post. My main impediment to posting has been the fact that it gets in the way of playing poker. Well, no more occasional reader. I will document my travails for posterity (or posterior) and will seek the muse that will answer my questions about our game. If anyone is interested, I would love to hear your ideas about how to increase one’s focus. I will share mine, for what it is worth.


Easycure said...

I drink water while I play....and keep the tums close by.

I don't know if more blogging will increase your poker success, but I guess if it makes you know more about yourself, then that's the real benefit.

Also, I'm reading Barry Greenstein's book, Ace in the Hole, right now. I buzzed through half of it last night and it is a read along the lines of what your post is about. You might want to pick it up.

The only thing Barry wrote that I didn't understand was a bit about Chinese poker, but only because I have never played it before.

BigPirate said...

I am trying to figure out what poker "success" entails. Is it making $xx? How about winning or placing in MTTs? Even though I am currently winning a little bit (little bit), I do not feel successful. Playing five hours of .50/1 and winning $16 does not make me satisfied. I enjoy the mental stimulation, but I feel as though I might as well be playing Free Cell. I have a 10k hand database of winning poker at the 2/4 level. Why in the hell am I dicking around at .50/1? Probably because I blew my bankroll on hookers and booze! I mean diapers and formula.

I have formed a simple plan that will give me a better framework for appraisal, I hope. I will detail it in another post, but it involves things that every player should do.
--establish a proper, dedicated bankroll
--play the proper levels and games
--recognition of leaks (bad plays, bad game selection, bad time to play)
--structured education
--planned non-playing time
--constructive assessment
--listen to smart bloggers

I recently picked up the Greenstein book and it has contributed to this desire to reassess.

Thanks for the feedback