Everything was going well in July, until I had a really awful session on one of the last days of the month. It was late, I was tilting, and i didn't stop. I lost about 8500 on the session which is a lot considering how tight I play. But it wasn't the end of the world. I tried to forget about and eventually passed out.
I woke up the next morning and immediately started playing. This has always been one of my biggest problems as a poker player, but in 2010 I was particularly good about starting off my day and doing things before I sat down and played. On this morning, that all went to shit. I loaded up my laptop in the dark depths of my room and proceeded to lose another 4k before I could stop. Extremely angry at myself, I tried to move forward and forget about the two bad sessions I just had.
After coming back from the beach, I put in another session, and lost around 5k. At this point I was devastated beyond titled. I had lost more than 17,000 in less than 24 hours. I decided to give myself a 24 hour exclusion period, to make sure that I wouldn't play anymore.
To be honest, it took me a while to recover from that 24 stretch. It really fcked my mindstate up about poker, and I just couldn't get over it. It was always in the back of my head I would book small wins here and there, and get a little momentum going, but I would always offset them with one big, tilt induced losing session. If you look at my PTR graph, it makes a big V towards the end of the summer, and then just kinda goes blehhh for the rest of the year.
In September, I moved into new apartment on Spring and Mott Street with my roomate who had helped me quit smoking weed. The apartment was huge, and I was really excited to move in. In a lot of ways I just needed a physical change of scenery, although aside from poker I did have a very good summer. But I needed to get focused again, and get back to winning.
At the end of September, I played in the Wcoop Main event. I had a seat through SNE, and initially my goal was to play aggressive and get as many chips as possible. However, once we got close to the money, I really just played for the mincash. It was really embarrassing, but at the same time I really just wanted lock up 10k. I ended up barely making it. It was certainly not the situation I wanted to be in, but I was happy to win 10k, especially since my entry had already been paid for.
I broke even for most of October before hitting a nice little downswing towards the end of the month. My roll on stars was really low because i had just cashed out a decent amount. I had to drop down to 200NL which SUCKED because I was barely getting any VPP's there, and I still losing at the tables. Luckily, I ended up taking 7th in a 50 rebuy tournament on the last sunday of the month for like 4500, which was a huge boost to my bankroll at the time.
Although it sounds kinda sad, that score gave me a big boost of confidence at the time. I ended up hitting a couple smaller scores in the next week, and then in the second week of November I finished 5th in the super Tuesday for just under 20k. This was another big boost of confidence, and even though I realllly wanted to win, 20k was 20k, and suddenly I was rolling again. Lol donkaments!
I kept grinding cash for the rest of the month, and continued to break even, but I didn't care that much because of the trny scores. At the end of the month I played in the USA coop 500 main event and ended up finishing 21st for 4k after playing 2days of poker. I was pretty crushed after putting in all that work, but November had been very good to me overall and I really couldn't complain.
After breaking even for the first two weeks of December, I caught another big break on the second Sunday of the month. I ended up winning the 162 6max on stars for 22.5k. This was enormous for me. Winning 22k was awesome, but it was finishing 1st that felt really soo good. I've played a ton of tournaments in online poker career, and only won a couple of them, and this was by far my biggest win. The money certainly didn't hurt either. I went from having around 6k in my account at my low point in October to having almost 50k 2 weeks into December. I was ecstatic.
Although I was able to finish the year with a great run in a tournaments a nice little upswing in cash, I still have very mixed feelings about 2010 as a whole, as far as poker is concerned. This year has been very profitable for me, and that's something that I should never take for granted. I've also become a lot more disciplined, in terms of the hours that I play, and in my ability to control my tilt and quit sessions when I need to. I am extremely thankful for this as well. At the same time, I really don't feel like I've improved that much as a poker player. I still find myself auto-piloting almost every time I play, and just going threw the motions as opposed to really thinking about all of my decisions. This works as far as SNE is concerned, but in terms of becoming the player that i want to be, it's not going to cut it.
The game's have gotten sooo much tougher than they used to be. In 2006, I was making 10k easy in a good session playing a few tables of 2k NL. Now I struggle to make that much in a month, 24tabling significantly smaller limits. Was a better player then than I am now? Of course not, but the other people who play this game for a living online have gotten a lot better as well. And frankly, most of them have surpassed me.
I am very humble when it comes to poker these days. When I sit down at the table, I don't think that I'm the best player. Hell, most the time I don't think I'm the third or fourth best. While I may be realistic, this is not mind state conducive to winning poker. Over the last few years, I've settled for this mind state, and I've been happy to make as much as I have in rakeback as well as the profits I've made on the tables. But I am no longer content with it. I spend so much time playing poker, that I might as well try and become the best player that i can be while I'm doing it. After all, what do I have to lose?
Don't get me wrong, 2010 was a great year for me. Perhaps the best one of my life. After letting go of weed, I really feel like I slowly started to learn again, and grow as a person. I want to continue to do this, and I really believe that I will in 2011. But I also want to learn and grow as a poker player. I think that one of the biggest reasons why its been difficult for me to do this is because that poker consumes my life so much sometimes that it really feels like a chore, or a curse, and not something that I am blessed to be able to do.
In 2011, I really want to find more of a balance between poker, and the rest of my life. When I sit down to play, I want to be excited, not burned out. Poker is an amazing game. It is so simple yet so complex and challenging at the same time. I love the challenge, but it has taken a lot of out me since I started playing in 2004. I am only 24, but sometimes I feel like I have lived 10 lives as a poker player. I really feel that the most important thing I've learned this year is that as much as I love poker, if I can't learn how to balance it with the rest of my life, then I will ultimately have to let it
I apologize for the length of these last 3 posts, as well as the poor grammar. It felt good to write them. I am going to spend the next few days relaxing with my girlfriend before I go to PCA, which I am very excited for. I hope that this will be a great year for everyone. Much love.