Hello all, welcome to my online poker blog.

I've been playing on and off for a decade after being introduced by a friend.

I played regularly for a few years during the poker boom and had a decent record at the micros, particularly Rush and Zoom No Limit Hold'em games (here's one of my graphs).

Around 2012 I began a new career which involved immersing myself completely in study in my spare time, so I had little to no time for poker. However recently this burden has eased and so I have been gradually dipping back in.

I'm an amateur player who still hopes to some day beat the rake.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Downswing Blues

I'm in the beginning throes of a downswing. I've been breaking even for the first few thousand hands at 25NL but now the common indicators of run bad are emerging.

It's funny how you subconsciously know you're running poorly. All of the terrible passive players start min raising frequently; the value bets start running into the top of villain's range every time - well you know how it is. You're poker players after all, just like me.

So far (touch wood) I've only made one large mistake when I stacked off versus an unknown player in a 3-bet pot with top pair top kicker. I believe that I was a little deep to just auto stack off (effective 140bb stacks), even against an unknown Zoom player. I think that in the vast majority of situations like that with those stack sizes and with his obvious bet sizing tells my hand was doing very poorly. I still fall into the trap sometimes of using anecdotes while I'm playing which leads to poor decisions. Things like "Oh, it's a 3-bet pot versus a random unknown. ALL-IN!" or "I can't fold, it's too da one!". But there were two clues that he might have had some knowledge of poker which were his stack size and also the bet sizing pattern which was very typical of a monster hand at these stakes.

By the way, on the subject of that "2/1, never fold" rule that I've seen in a lot of literature there are theoretical reasons against thinking opponents why it makes sense. But when a 60/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/ (that's pretty passive don't you think?) raises you on the river, even getting 4/1 it's probably a fold unless you've got a damn good hand yourself.

Anyway, apart from that big pot mistake, I made a couple of pretty nitty folds just now in my last session but I'm sure that it has saved me a buy-in or so. That's the difference between my play now and that of 600k hands ago. The extra experience has made me read situations better and I know for a fact that I lose less money in my downswings and make more when things go well.

I still have tons of leaks however. If I can get regular work again soon then I plan to make use of twoplustwo legend mpethybridge's database review service so that I can begin to fix my biggest leaks. But I want to be able to give him a decent hand sample first so I'll be putting in some volume in order to do so. I think 50k hands should be enough.

Right, I doubt I'll update for a while as my mood usually sours as downswings stretch on and I made a promise that I wouldn't go back to that sort of blog post. I'll try and hold to my word! GL

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