September Results- "Sharpen the Saw"

By: pgt4jc
Published: Oct 2nd, 2017
One of the interesting reports I get from Poker Dominator is how many days I’ve played poker out of the total number of days possible. From April 17, 2012 when I started grinding the Merge Network through August 31, 2017, I played poker in some form 1709 out of a possible 1961 days. That’s 87% of all days in a 5+ year period. That’s about 1 day off from playing every 8 days or on average about 4 days off per month.

To be honest, I take more time off than that from my job being a pastor. Every Friday is my day off for a day of rest and then I’m also given 4 weeks of vacation per year. So that means in the same time period I had about 400 days off from the church but I only took 252 days off from poker. Looking back on it, that’s a very unhealthy pace in so many ways. However, I never really minded it because poker is such a fun game for me and the fact I’ve crushed for the most part also helped it to feel more like a game and less like working.

However, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that 2017 has not been my best year. I’m in profit for the year but nothing like I’ve been the last few years where my profit has been near or greater than my church salary each year. The first part of this year I attributed a lot of it to running bad…which I was. However, as the year progressed the run bad wasn’t quite as bad but the big scores weren’t there either. That and the times I was running bad made for not a great attitude. In many ways I began to not look forward to the nightly grind. In my mind I was wondering each night in what ridiculous way was somebody going to suck out on me when it really counted. Mentally and emotionally I was in a bad place. Little did I realize how much the constant grinding was wearing on me.

Finally, in September I decided to take a break. I was reminded of one of the habits from, one of my all-time favorite books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which is You Need to Sharpen the Saw. Basically it’s a reminder that if you’re sawing down a tree, ultimately you’ll get done faster if you periodically stop to sharpen the saw. Life or in this case poker, is the same way…unless you stop to occasionally rest and sharpen the saw you’ll burn out and not be effective.

So in September I scaled way way back. I didn’t play nearly as many tourneys and overall I only played 17 of the 30 days in the month. Now that may still sound like a lot but remember my average was 4 days off in a month, whereas in this particular month I got 13 days off. I hadn’t had that many off in a month since June of 2015 when I basically had the entire month off, first from 2 weeks in Costa Rica and then the 2 weeks after that fighting the stomach bug I picked up while down there.

The funny thing about that particular time was, after all that time off, I came back fresh and had one of my best months ever with over $31,000 in cashes. That then led to a few more months of an epic heater. So I should have known better and took time off sooner. I bring all this up because sure enough during the last week of September when I began grinding again (although smaller stakes), I began having deep run after deep run. I won’t spoil next months blog but I’m writing this in the early morning hours of October 2nd after having just wrapped-up my Sunday grind. For the day, I cashed 6 of 7 tourneys for about 3.5k. So you might say the time off has again cleared my head and I’m hoping for another heater to close out the year.

So the lesson going forward is I need to be more intentional about scheduling some poker breaks so I don’t go through a couple month stretch like I recently did. I appreciate your holding me accountable to this in the months and years to come.

Alright so how did September’s limited grind go? Well because of the playing smaller stakes and the limited volume it was one of my smallest months ever. But again that’s ok because I feel it will be made up for in the near future.

75…Tournaments Played
39…. Cashes (52%)
5…. Final Tables
2....…Top 3 Finishes
$2672.40 in total cashes (7.88% ROI)

Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

Merge Lifetime Total: $ 447138.41
Career Lifetime Total:$511433.05
Career number of Cashes:4063

Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor

Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.
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