Sunday, August 29, 2010

Focusing On August

Well, another month of poker has rolled by. Unlike the last one, however, August has not treated me well on the felt. I have run extremely poorly, plus I've simply played bad poker. The former is to be expected due to the variance of the game (I had eight monster set over set losses alone in the past four weeks). That's okay. It's the latter is the bigger problem. So why did I let it happen? In a word: focus. Or lack, thereof.

When you play poker and want to win, you have to be 100% focused on the game. Hold'em is game of small edges, exploiting the occasional situation where you can squeeze a tad more money out of your opponent here and there, and also recognizing those situations where you're probably behind and need to bail. Over the last 4 weeks I have done neither.

Blame it on work. Blame it on issues with one of my kids. Blame it on travel. The truth is that I probably should not have played nearly as much poker as I did during August. Maybe not at all. I just wasn't fully concentrating on my game whenever I sat down....

...and the results show it. My basic stats were sound (i.e., vpip, pfr, afq), but my wtsd and w$sd numbers sucked. Spending time looking through PT3 stats, it's clear that I didn't maximize situations where I was ahead. More importantly, over and over I fell into the old "he's bluffing" mindset, where I paid a lot of money to see that, yes, indeed, I was in fact beat by the opp giving me all that action. I also simply missed simple reads and even misread some hands. Yikes. Basic, rookie mistakes one and all.

So what to do? The answer is: step away from the poker table. Regroup and refocus. Maybe stop playing Rush for a while and instead wait until I have some time to play a full SnG... and then just focus on a single game. Or maybe take a complete temporary vacation from the game. Dunno. All I know at this point is that I've had a big losing month and need to somehow reboot my game. It's time to relearn how to focus.

All-in for now...

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