I admit it. I've been playing like a donk, and it's time to stop. I play recreationally, and I used to be a slight winning player, but somewhere along the line I lost my ability to remain disciplined and let the impulsive gambler in me win the battle. I can't count the number of times I'd double or triple my starting bankroll only to lose it all, redeposit, and repeat the cycle. I know many of us have made that same mistake.
Well, I'm tired of it, and I refuse to do so any longer. I recently made a similar decision with my health and weight, and am currently down 45 lbs and going, along the way learning a bit about discipline.
I traditionally have shied away from cash games online, because I haven't been disciplined enough to fold enough to be profitable. Live, I do fine, but online I end up just donking it all off with marginal hands and chasing draws. Therefore, I'm mostly a mtt player, and lately I've done well in terms of deep runs, but more often than not end up stacking off right before the bubble. Not good, and I can't let it continue.
So last night, I'm staring down at my lat $17.00 in my online account and decided for the first time in my poker career, I am going to take it seriously. I am going to play smart, to not take so many chances, to not chase so many draws, to not chase that gamblers high. Now, I know this doesn't give me much breathing room for a downswing right off the bat, but I have to start somewhere.
Here's my plan:
- Focus on micro limit cash games, NLHE and PLO only
- I am using a 30x max buy-in BRM requirement before taking a shot at the next level
- If I downswing to $11, then I'll play single table sngs
- I will leave the table if/when I double my buy-in
- I won't reload on the table unless I lose the whole buy-in
- Starting off with $0.02/$0.05 and I'll buy in with $2.50 to start with (yes this is aggressive, but lowest spread on my site)
- Start with my $17 and attempt to run it up to $1,000 or more before cashing anything out
- I purchased the Poker Journal app ($12.99) to finally start tracking my sessions as well
- When moving up, I will give myself 3 buy-ins to get started, if I lose all three I move back down for a bit.
So, last night was Day 1.
Starting bankroll: $17.00
Num sessions: 2
Games Played: $0.02/$0.05 NLHE (zone poker) and PLO 6-seat ring
Buy in: $2.50 per table, played 1 table of each per session
Ending bankroll: $27.55
In the first session, I won about $5, all of the profit coming from the Zone poker, and took a small loss at the PLO table.
In the second session, I won about another $5, all the profit coming from PLO this time, taking a larger loss at the NLHE table.
$0.02/$0.05 NLHE Zone poker, I wake up with AA. Villain leads out with a $0.15 cent raise, I raise to $0.50, get a caller behind me, villian makes it just over a buck, I raise all in (had about $2.20 so), again the guy behind me calls, villain calls as well. Villain has the other AA, the caller behind shows 77. Board puts out 4 hearts and villain scoops the pot with a flush.
$0.02/$0.05 PLO I am on the button with KKJQ, two suited not the greatest but worth playing. Cutoff raises to $0.15 and gets 4 callers, including myself. Flop is a rainbow, King high with a straight draw, so I'm pretty stoked. We somehow all get it all-in on the post flop betting 4 ways, I'm in the lead but there's a couple aces out there hoping to outdraw me. King comes for quad kings and I scoop a $16.00 pot, which is pretty large for these levels.
Today is day 2, and I hope to continue some disciplined sessions tonight, and continue doing so for the forseeable future.
I will stay at these levels until I reach $300.00 in my bankroll at which point I'll move up to $0.05 / $0.10 for a 3 buy in shot.
This will require the most disciplined play I've ever had, but it is necessary if I want to be the winning player I'm confident I can be.