Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | World Poker News

Boot Camp - Four Step Plan to Recovery

Share this
I went to Las Vegas this weekend. I had fun. That's the good news.

And I played a lot of poker, some of it with new friends, including Carmen and Miami Don , two bloggers I respect a great deal (Carmen, in fact, writes for PokerWorks as well). Also good news.

And I tried $1-2 NL, my first time playing No Limit poker live. Again, good news. And I lost $400 for the weekend. Yeah! Ouch!

That's not nearly as much as the young bearded guy who mentioned that he needed "cab fare" to catch his plane before blowing another $400 in my table at the Saturday night game at the Luxor, but still, that's a lot of money to me. I'm bankrolled for a loss like that one - in fact my bankroll won't really notice the dent - but that's why I don't play $1-$2 online.

It's only two buy-ins. Still, the loss is getting to me. That's more than I was hoping to lose. It's more than I thought I would lose. I'm putting myself through a four-step plan for recovery after a big weekend of losses. Everyone goes through them, after all. Let's work through the steps together.

1) Give myself a break - I'm not counting the losses on my poker spreadsheet for the year. I know I should, if I want to be truly honest with myself, but I don't want a quarter of my Internet winnings, money I've earned by grinding through hours of cash game play at $25 NL, to be wiped away by a weekend of live play.

I was on vacation. If I played every weekend, then I would have to mark down my losses, but I won't ever get to play NL live unless I move away from Colorado, where the only poker we have is $2/5 limit, or visit Las Vegas more.

I'm treating these sessions as entertainment. And it was entertaining.

I'm giving myself, and my bankroll, a break. I don't recommend you do this to justify playing levels at Poker Stars , Ultimate Bet or Bodog that are far too high for you. But I do recommend you do it when you want to try something and see if you can eventually beat the game.

2) Speaking of breaks... - I'm not playing online poker this week, save for The Mookie on Wednesday night, a blogger tournament on Full Tilt that I just can't resist. It's a tournament, too, not a cash game grind fest, so that will help.

I overplayed a pair of 10s early into my third session, and that told me that I was sick and tired of getting crap hands dealt to me all weekend. It wasn't smart poker. I later redeemed myself by making a good lay down, but if I continue to get crap dealt to me online, I'll just get frustrated instead of understanding that's part of the game, and I'll start to make bad calls. So I need to refresh my mind. I figure a few days should do it.

3) Plugging a couple holes - I discovered two leaks in my game. One, I tend to make bad calls against super-aggressive players. There's nothing wrong with widening your range of hands against that type of player, but thinking your pair of 10s is good on a tough board and big bets facing you is just playing into his hands. I've done it far too many times. I need to remind myself to look at the hand first, and the board second, before I play the player. And raising those players back never hurts either.

Second, I might play too tight. When I say three sessions in a row that I got "no cards," I have to question what range I'm expecting to be dealt to me in a session that lasts three hours or longer. I still think that I played a wide range. I played sooted connectors, pairs, A-7 or higher (actually I did fold a few of those if I was in early position), even other connector cards. But maybe I should pay attention to position more and call some hands in the hopes of stealing pots. Then again, I really did get a lot of crap dealt to me in those three days. The jury's still out on this one, but the important thing I'm doing is questioning my play in an effort to improve, and you should always do that.

4) I'm giving myself perspective on the weekend. One, yes, I lost $400, but that was over hours and hours of play. I saved myself a lot of money this weekend. I made some good lay downs. I folded my only set the whole weekend, for example, on an obvious straight board when a player pushed and another player pushed behind him. And I saw many, many players burn through bucks when they would overplay hands like A-10. I'm not going to do that.

Two, I understand things didn't go my way. It happens. The one time I don't call 10-9 I would have flopped a straight and watched in agony as a guy pushed his stack in with 6-4 and a pair of 4s. Yet when I did overplay my 10s against the super-aggressive guy of course he had Q-Q. Plus I had no hands at all to take advantage of all the donkery Saturday night. Frustrating but it happens. It happens to everyone. That's why even the best lose money.

Three, poker is one long session. The way I play is profitable. And when I am questioning how tight I played, hardly any of those flops would have hit even if I had called all those raises. I know I can beat that game and beat it soundly when things do go my way.

Finally, I got to see my kids for the first time in three days when we returned. That was enough to make me feel better.

Poker will be around forever. My kids won't. I'll enjoy these next few days with them. And then I'll be ready to tackle the $1-2 NL game again when I return to Vegas in December.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed