Tuesday, March 07, 2023

May 2022

It's been a while. I am sitting in Mexico: I'm back, and tbh it feels better than the first time. Apologies for not updating the blog with my journey's progress (mainly addressing my mum and maybe Enno that I know will read reading), but my life has been busy, and for some reason I have not felt like I wanted to update. I've just come back from England 2 weeks ago - I went back spontaneously mainly because my mum was moving house and I wanted to help and see her. It was lovely to see her, my brother and all my friends back home, but still, it's great to be back.

So, where to start? At the moment I am sitting in a café in Mexico city - a more fancy one because I'm rewarding a long hard 2 weeks grind. Just smashed down some enchiladas, a sprite, and a coffee. Life is good. These treat days are fine, but are so much better when the reward feels earnt. I have grinded almost none stop since I have been back in Mexico City. Final tables have been coming in HOT too. Last week I played 6 days and Final tabled at least once every day except Sunday (bubbled 2 Fts with coolers), and I really feel that I as playing as good as ever now.

Luckily, I sit here, despite being a bit tired on my day off, feeling very confident, knowing I'm in a healthy position with my career and very fortunate to be sitting where I am. It wasn't like that for the last few months though. Overall in 2022 I have struggled a bit, breaking even pretty much for the first 5 months. A downswing hit as I stepped up the stakes. I played high variance tournament poker at a stake higher, and tbh I wasn't ready. I needed to change my investment strategy (game selection), and my relationship with poker. Basically, I needed to choose games that worked, update my pc , and make sure I know where I am taking my poker career with study.

So that's what I did. For the first time in almost a year I was struggling with my mental poker game - I was getting annoyed at bad beats, feeling tilts of desperation, entitlement and hate losing creeping in. This was weird, because my mental state has always been so solid. In England and at the start of Mexico I was really strong there -the worst bad beat in the world didn't bother me - but now, I felt that my poker sessions were getting tougher because of the state of mind that I was in. I wasn't just fighting against regs and recs, I was fighting myself (oooohhh, deep).

And there was some entitlement there in terms of my mental game performances. I felt like I had done the mental game work, and was confused about how this was happening to me. Where are these feeling coming from? I'd dealt with those emotions right? I started to get annoyed at the fact I was annoyed, and the worst part was that I knew it. Entitlement in it's fullest.

So, I found out that knowing a lot about the mental game and emotions doesn't stop you having problems. It makes solving them quicker though at least, but you're never absent from emotion, positive or negative. So, I kind of reset. I looked at my bankroll, ran some variance calculators, and figured out how high variance 2k + average fields give, even with a strong ROI. I didn't realise the fluctuation in results went up so exponentially as tourney fields increase. I felt it though when playing. Long break even stretches were very common and I didn't know it, and wasn't prepared for it yet mentally. I stepped down stakes slightly where I am crushing, towards low/mid, and focused on playing every day. I wanted to want to play, so I made my sessions more enjoyable slightly, and found that the more you play AND study, the more you want to improve and want to apply the stuff you've learnt. You can't really have one without the other in my experience, which is tiring, but that's life as a pro poker player. Pro footballers can't just pick between training or match days. It's hard to be a professional in anything. It's easy to call yourself one though.

Anyway, the step down has been great. After watching a PADS playthrough with Ceis, Ceis explained his strategy that got him to the high stakes. Lots of late registration in small field tourneys at lower stakes, and play the regular high variance Day 2+ events on Saturdays and Sundays when the regs are already qualified. Basically, make those FTs more often in the week and learn how to win deep runs. Then, when the big one comes, one Random Monday, you will be ready to take chances and you will BINK.

So that's what I do now. After talking to Jacobo, my roommate and close friend, I decided that my work off the tables (outside of studying poker spots and exploits), should only be mental. "Just get yourself playing the tables and making chances. Don't worry yet about going crazy with study - it will come best when you're ready." (Paraphrasing J).

So, for now, that's it. That's my update. I have more to say, but I will come back to let you know the deeper review of my sessions later this month. I still need to focus on my mental game study more consistently after my session, so I will let you know how I manage the workload. Meditations and recovering energy after a session will be an important process (2 meditations try ??) . I think I've got a few new interesting processes that I will mention that have helped hugely, and are really cool to look back at. Also, there's a lot to tell about exploiting, plenty of personal life stuff that's changed (maybe I'll leave that, not sure), and of course SCOOP - interesting. I'll update though I promise, as I've enjoyed this and got insights. Anyone who's got to the end, I don't know how you've done it, but lots of love to you <333333.

Stay happy everyone, love Dan xoxoxo

Btw, I'm going to add in more pics as I update.