1. I have excellent game selection.
I think this is such a critical part of good poker that I really attribute a lot of my success so far to practicing religious game and seat selection. Why is this important? Well, poker is essentially a game of decisions. The better decisions that you make (based on information processing) the better you will do. More accurately, if you make better decisions than your opponents you will make money and the larger the gap in accurate decisions between you and your opponents the more money you make. That’s why game selection is so important – the worse my opponents play the more I make.
I’m typically looking for tables with at least two players that I think play bad. A table with one bad opponent and 3 or 4 mediocre opponents is fine as well, especially if I have position on the bad opponent. My opponent’s playing styles also matter, especially in terms of relative position. I’ll leave a table pretty fast if it goes from good to bad.
Another benefit of table selection is that I believe it reduces variance. This is due to my edge being larger, which is what I mentioned above, but discussing the variance is important because minimizing variance helps to minimize the bad runs inherent in poker which in turn helps mitigate the emotional stress. Emotional stress can lead to bad play (tilt) which can create a snowball effect of bad play, bad results, more stress, more bad play, more bad results, etc.
2. I am pretty good at controlling my emotions.
I’m not perfect, that’s for sure, but I’m pretty good. I don’t tilt very often and when I do it’s very mild and I’ll often quit right away and wait until I am feeling better. This is an important skill in poker. Self discipline is critical in terms of success in poker and I’m good at it.
3. I don’t play when tired.
I mentioned above that poker is a game of decision making ability. You don’t make good decisions when you are tired, so why play when you are tired? I think this is pretty simple and I’m good at it.
All of the above reasons contribute to me not logging as many hands as I think I should be logging. That’s bad, because as I discussed in my last post I have a tendency to mind fuck myself and I do that with the number of hands I have as well. I have created a goal of 1500 hands per playing day (which is the same as your work week) and I am behind in January so far. That’s ok though. I’m content with that.
Also, I had my best day since going pro on Friday at +$3058. Most of this was at 10/20 (~$2500) with the rest coming from 15/30. This put me back into the black. I’m going to post a graph of January so far, but take this graph with a grain of salt. There is one site I can’t track with my database software and I’m down ~$1200 at that site. Also, one of the sties I play at has been giving me a little grief and not accurately tracking some of my sessions. One of these was $850 to the bad. The graph shows me as +$4100 for the month but I’m really only +$2500 (not including rakeback).Note: Some of you may not know, but the x-axis is number of hands.
And since going pro (the above graph is the last section of this graph and you should see the similarity):