Focusing on the Details

By: dtools22
Published: Feb 28th, 2013
First order of business, I’m changing the nature of this blog. I’m going to focus more on me and my mental state during my travels along this career path. I find far more value in publically analyzing my persona and tendencies than I do in writing results oriented posts. This is going to be a place where you’ll get a scouting report on my mindset. I’m going to use this platform to vent and bitch from time to time but also to analyze a better way to behave while playing the game as well as how to philosophically approach the grind of poker. If that’s not what you’re here for, I’m sorry but I’m making the selfish choice to get the most out of this platform I can. This blog from here on out is going to be about the mindset of a low stakes grinder working his way up. If that’s something you’re interested in then feel free to come along the journey with me.

It’s been 14 months since I through caution to the wind and began my life grinding once more. When I first started out I tried very hard not to focus on the statistics I was putting up. I kept very meticulous records, but I wasn’t concerned with figuring out my hourly rate or worrying about how many buy-ins I should be winning on a given week. I tried to focus solely on the task of playing poker to the best of my abilities. I learned while playing online I would focus far too much on the numbers. I made plays that focused on making my VPIP and PFR look right as opposed to what was the best EV decision going forward. Knowing that flaw in my game I tried to do very little statistical analysis of my game playing live. Just record the results and move on to the next day. After a year of playing for a living, I would focus more on the numbers. The time came this week to take a look at what I did last year.

The answer was a mixed bag that has a lot of great information in it. I’ll lead off with some of the good things that I saw:

1) There was only one month all year where I actually ran at a negative, and I was only down $21.

2) My longest winning streak was 11 straight sessions while my longest losing streak was 6. Overall I had 117 winning sessions, 86 losing sessions, and 7 break even sessions, not great but it’s on the good side of average.

3) My average session length was just over 8 hours.


Not all the information was good news though. People learn far more from mistakes that we do from successes so this list is far more interesting to me.

1) My win rate was $7.39 an hour, below minimum wage.

2) I only logged 210 total sessions last year. The average working person will put in 240 work days a year (not including sick days) so I’m a ways behind that. I also logged 220 hours less than the average working person.

3) I had 2 months all of last year where I met my minimum threshold for monthly earnings. I would consider a $15/hour win rate the minimum of acceptable and I only crossed that threshold twice all last year.


I took a lot away from these numbers. The main point is that I’m not playing at as high of a level as I need to be successful. In response to this I started looking at the sticky posts on the 2+2 forums. There were a couple dealing specifically with live low stakes NL that caught my attention. I thumbed through and saw more than a few players earning $20,000+ through their first 1000 hours of play. I started combing through the posts, learning what each of these players did and how their approach differed from mine. I noticed two major weaknesses of mine during this process. First off, I know how to play, I just don’t play as well as I know how when things get tough at the tables. A lot of the information I was taking in wasn’t new to me and that got me thinking. There have been a few spots lately that I’ve gotten myself into where in the moment I thought one thing and then looking back on the decisions made I’ve found a lot of second guessing to be done. That’s just a matter of focus and discipline. It’s humbling to admit that, but it’s a relatively easy fix. Second is my table demeanor could use some work. I’m not loud or obnoxious at the table by any means and I try my best to treat everyone with courtesy and respect. Some people do get under my skin though. For whatever reason, some because they are pricks at the table to other players, others because they are know it all types who can’t help but “teach” everyone how to play better, there are people that just bug me. I have to learn to let it go better.

The numbers I put together for my yearly report suggest to me that I’m not that far off. I need to make minor adjustments rather than whole sale changes in the fundamentals of my game. Being even a break even player is hard to do in poker and not many players get to that threshold. I’ve certainly put that feather in my cap and now the focus is on bringing my game to a better and more economically sustainable level. This year and every year after it could be as big as I choose it to be. I just need to keep my resolve and keep moving forward.

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    Comments

    1. +1
       
    2. When you go back in the stats can you pin point what days and hours were more or less productive??? For instance did you win more Fridays compared to Mondays??, Mornings vs afternoons vs evenings??? I notice that the crowd you get at foxwoods can change dramatically depending on day of the week and hour of the day.... Good Luck Bro!!!!
       
    3.  
      Originally Posted by NINYIM

      When you go back in the stats can you pin point what days and hours were more or less productive??? For instance did you win more Fridays compared to Mondays??, Mornings vs afternoons vs evenings??? I notice that the crowd you get at foxwoods can change dramatically depending on day of the week and hour of the day.... Good Luck Bro!!!!

      I haven't done this yet, but I have the data and I could comb through to see. At a cursory glance, I know some of the bigger sessions I had were mid week (Tuesday through Thursday).
     
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