General: nath

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Reviving my coaching business

A few of you took me up on my offer last time it was open. Here's a brief detail:

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting a much more detailed sponsored thread in the 2+2 coaching forum. Basically, I'm going to offer my services as a coach to low- and mid-stakes tournament players. (I suppose high-stakes players could buy them as well, but I assume that anyone who is trying to compete against the best is already among the best and doesn't need my help.) I believe the services I offer will be in the range where players can show the biggest improvement-- primarily, how to optimize strategy for tournament-specific situations, in ways their opponents will not adjust, and how to best exploit weaker players for value. Tournaments are a unique form of poker and require constant adjusting and readjusting to changing situations. My coaching will not teach you how to soulread elite players, but it will teach you how to best take advantage of the leaks most players have, and if you're already a poker player with a decent record in cash games and a good sense of the game in general, how to tweak your strategy for tournaments so as to maximize your long-term profit.

I'll be charging $50 an hour, which is probably the best deal you will find for the quality of coaching you will receive. I'll be offering my services as both a live sweater and to review hand histories. I'm planning a more complete service where I can keep up with you regularly and check in to see how you're doing and if you need any help or want to discuss anything.

If you have any questions, or are interested, send me an e-mail or PM me on 2+2.

Just some bitching

Just when I had some money goals and hand goals I wanted to reach at the end of the month, I immediately hit a 20-buyin downswing. Every time I sat down to play I just got throttled. No matter what I did, no matter how I got my money in, I lost.

I'm writing this because this session is the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm just sick of this shit. Here are the hands from the last session that finally got me. This session lasted 24 hands before he hit and ran me.

(Yes, some of these hands look ridiculous, but obviously I wouldn't have done what I did without a good reason.)

Full Tilt Poker Game #22691791176: Table Ray (heads up) - $0.50/$1 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:37:45 ET - 2010/07/29
Seat 1: Tony Pisser ($177.20)
Seat 2: design413 ($52.80)
design413 posts the small blind of $0.50
Tony Pisser posts the big blind of $1
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Tony Pisser [Js 4s]
design413 raises to $2
Tony Pisser raises to $8
design413 raises to $14
Tony Pisser calls $6
*** FLOP *** [Jc Qs 8c]
Tony Pisser checks
design413 bets $19.50
Tony Pisser raises to $39
design413 calls $19.30, and is all in
Tony Pisser shows [Js 4s]
design413 shows [7h Ks]
Uncalled bet of $0.20 returned to Tony Pisser
*** TURN *** [Jc Qs 8c] [As]
*** RIVER *** [Jc Qs 8c As] [Kc]
Tony Pisser shows a pair of Jacks
design413 shows a pair of Kings
design413 wins the pot ($105.10) with a pair of Kings
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $105.60 | Rake $0.50
Board: [Jc Qs 8c As Kc]
Seat 1: Tony Pisser (big blind) showed [Js 4s] and lost with a pair of Jacks
Seat 2: design413 (small blind) showed [7h Ks] and won ($105.10) with a pair of Kings


Full Tilt Poker Game #22691811191: Table Ray (heads up) - $0.50/$1 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:38:48 ET - 2010/07/29
Seat 1: Tony Pisser ($118.40)
Seat 2: design413 ($110.60)
design413 posts the small blind of $0.50
Tony Pisser posts the big blind of $1
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Tony Pisser [6c Ad]
design413 raises to $2
Tony Pisser raises to $118.40, and is all in
design413 calls $108.60, and is all in
Tony Pisser shows [6c Ad]
design413 shows [Kc Js]
Uncalled bet of $7.80 returned to Tony Pisser
*** FLOP *** [7d Ts Ks]
*** TURN *** [7d Ts Ks] [Kd]
*** RIVER *** [7d Ts Ks Kd] [Th]
Tony Pisser shows two pair, Kings and Tens
design413 shows a full house, Kings full of Tens
design413 wins the pot ($220.70) with a full house, Kings full of Tens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $221.20 | Rake $0.50
Board: [7d Ts Ks Kd Th]
Seat 1: Tony Pisser (big blind) showed [6c Ad] and lost with two pair, Kings and Tens
Seat 2: design413 (small blind) showed [Kc Js] and won ($220.70) with a full house, Kings full of Tens

Full Tilt Poker Game #22691839956: Table Ray (heads up) - $0.50/$1 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:40:18 ET - 2010/07/29
Seat 1: Tony Pisser ($102.60)
Seat 2: design413 ($217.50)
Tony Pisser posts the small blind of $0.50
design413 posts the big blind of $1
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Tony Pisser [Ac As]
Tony Pisser raises to $3
design413 calls $2
*** FLOP *** [3h Td 4s]
design413 bets $1
Tony Pisser raises to $9
design413 calls $8
*** TURN *** [3h Td 4s] [5s]
design413 bets $18.50
Tony Pisser raises to $90.60, and is all in
design413 calls $72.10
Tony Pisser shows [Ac As]
design413 shows [Js Ts]
*** RIVER *** [3h Td 4s 5s] [9s]
Tony Pisser shows a pair of Aces
design413 shows a flush, Jack high
design413 wins the pot ($204.70) with a flush, Jack high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $205.20 | Rake $0.50
Board: [3h Td 4s 5s 9s]
Seat 1: Tony Pisser (small blind) showed [Ac As] and lost with a pair of Aces
Seat 2: design413 (big blind) showed [Js Ts] and won ($204.70) with a flush, Jack high

I don't know what to do. I'm miserable when I play and I expect to lose. I don't know how to get out of my rut. I'm trying to grind up and move up to 200, and every time I get close, I have a crushing downswing. Does anyone have any advice?

brief thought about psychology

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showpost.php?p=19691904&postcount=178

admission of failure

I blew it today. No bones about it.

I ran well and played well (and developed a pretty solid strategy for the format in the meantime) in today's early mini FTOPS event, a rush poker rebuy. I had some basic strategy for rush tournaments down-- specifically, I planned to just fold marginal spots, to 3-bet liberally, and to avoid the hell out of anyone who had me covered until/unless i had the goods.

Then I blew it.

With 22 left and $2M in chips (good for 6th place at 12k/24k blinds), I opened 76s in the CO (when I should have "quick folded"), the button (who had a history of using his stack to 3-bet light) reraised, and I (instead of 4-betting to take it down or folding) called. I then check-called his bet on an A72 flop. I thought for a while after a 6 turn, and led 400k. He raised somewhat quickly to 880k, and I (instead of stopping to think about this piece of information) insta-jammed. He called and turned over A7. The river was an ace and i busted in 22nd.

I screwed up the hand from beginning to end. I played a hand in a situation that could have busted me when I didn't have to, solely for reasons of ego. When I was sure I was right about his weak hand, I decided not to take the aggressive route and move to take down the pot, but to play the hand in the most potentially dangerous way possible-- a 3-bet pot out of position with a weak hand against someone who could bust me.

Now, why the hell would I do that?

I don't even know anymore. And that's what scares me the most. Late in a tournament, for just one hand, I'll do something incredibly self-destructive, incredibly counterintuitive, and incredibly against every core principle of winning tournament play I have adopted. And I will bust out.

It has happened multiple times and cost me lots of money. It happened on the final table bubble of a tournament last fall where first was almost $20k. It happened on the final hand of my 2006 WSOP final table. And I'm writing this because, well, I have to admit to myself that I have a problem with this.

I can't become a winning tournament player again if I completely self-destruct when the stakes are highest. I wasn't always like this. I used to be a stone killer. I don't know what happened to me; I'm just hoping that spelling it out and owning up to it will help me overcome it.

Tenacity

I've put a lot of hours in this week, which has me thinking about poker, which has me thinking about writing something about poker. It's late this hour, but all I really have to say is that it's a constant effort to get better. Being a professional poker player means doing lots of things well.

And if you're not getting ahead, you're falling behind; it's a constant struggle against the forces of entropy, of mediocrity, of negativity, that are always dragging on you. You must stay the right course.

I've got a long way to go but I'm working harder and harder.

P.S. I apologized if any of you have sent me messages or e-mail and I haven't responded. I've been very disorganized in that regard.
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