I was in Lake Charles over the first few days this week, visiting family and taking the opportunity to hit the live games some more. I put in two sessions over the last three days totaling 16 hours and came out up $560 at 2/5 NL.
I've put in three decent sessions at the Isle of Capri recently, and I noticed toward the end that I was clearing up some of the spazzy mistakes I was making earlier, that I was getting back into my groove, thinking about the game properly.
Booking winners each time has been a pretty big boost of confidence. It's simple: I was worried that I didn't have what it takes to make it anymore, but these sessions have reinforced the idea that, yes, I can
play poker well enough to make a good living at it. I haven't lost it at all; I'm just rusty and haven't given myself a chance to shake that off. Online, I tend to flip out when I'm not winning right away (especially at heads-up, because I want to beat every single person
I come across), and that leads to panic which leads to bad play which leads to bad results which shakes my confidence and pressures me to win more immediately, which leads to panic, which leads to bad play...
But live, I have to stay patient because, well, you simply can't act like a spoiled child when you're out among other people. It's certainly true that I find it much easier to be patient playing live than online, but even so, I feel like my patience on the whole has greatly improved recently, and I'll be able to carry that over into the rest of my game.
I certainly made some mistakes in these sessions-- I'd even say I made really dumb, obvious ones-- but I also noticed that as my sessions went on, I became more comfortable and started to make better plays, plays based on my assessment of the current situation, and not my desire to win or fear of going broke or whatever is anything but making the best decision you can with the information you have now.
I was pretty clearly able to spot my opponents' mistakes, and just as importantly, I was patient enough to wait for the right situation to take advantage of them, rather than press into spots out of haste or spite.
I'm classically results oriented, sure-- three winning sessions in a row live? I'm the best! A losing streak online? I'll never make it again!-- but the fact is, I needed something to get me out of my panicked online mentality, and playing live forces me to stay patient and reintroduces a level of human interaction that the online game doesn't have. The live sessions bolstered my confidence a great deal, not simply because I made money (which certainly helps), but because I played well enough to feel like I can continue
to make money. As soon as I can get the chunk of change I need for a proper bankroll back online, I'm going to start grinding cash. I'm aiming for 30,000 hands the next full month I play-- which doesn't sound like much to most grinders, but to me would be a massive step forward. I'm not lazy
, per se, I just really enjoy doing nothing at all.
Headed back tomorrow for a couple more days.