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My biggest struggle ever.

JamesSuh Posts: 318Subscriber
Hey all,

Ever since my Vegas trip back in March, it's been a real struggle for me. I've lost 8 out of my last 10 sessions. I have zero confidence in my game when driving in to a session. I feel like I'm already defeated before I sit down at the table. The games here have gotten tougher, there aren't as many giveaways of full stacks anymore.

I'm operating on such a short roll ($5k for 1/2 $300 max) games and am carrying debt that's crippling me (over 10k).

I'm also having issues at work (work with my brother) and that drastically effects my mood, which I think carries over into my game. I made a couple stupid decisions over a couple nights and took bad hits playing table games. I never used to be this undisciplined. I used to pride myself on being very disciplined not only on the tables, but off it as well.

I keep thinking "All I need is one win, any win that will bring me confidence." Sadly, it hasn't come as of late. I've resigned myself to playing small SNG/MTTs on Stars (only have a $300 roll online).

Just see no end in sight......... fml

Any feedback (positive AND negative) would be appreciated.


  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 1,989SubscriberProfessional
    Reading your story, I have some advice you're probably not going to like.

    You're too broke to play poker. If that $10K in debt is really crippling you, then you don't have the disposable income to play poker for money. You're not going to be able to make wise decisions when every bet/raise/call is so financially significant. Take a break, pay off your debts, then come back stronger.

    I think one of the things that helps me out as a rec poker player is having my financial house in order. I have no debt, and a separate bankroll for poker. Knowing that I can play cards without having to worry about anything is very liberating. Not to get too salesy, but check out Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" book and "Financial Peace University" class. You sound like I did several years ago...

    Poker-wise, I'm not sure how much time you're spending studying away from the table, but triple it. I find that the more I study, the more excited I am to play, and the more focused I am at the table.

    Keep your head up - you'll get through it!
  • workinghard Posts: 1,561Subscriber
    I would suggest take a couple months off to just study poker, save up some money for your games, and get a plan to get your financials in order.
  • Arenzano Posts: 1,390Subscriber
    I'm terrible at posting hands, but if you post some HH, then folks can offer advice. It is always nice to book wins, but when we are saying to ourselves,,,, please just let me win, then we are thinking about the wrong things. Look for ways to change your train of thought.

    However, before doing any of that, I would concentrate on getting your general life together. Work, debt, and anything else. It is tough to play poker for real money when your head is elsewhere.

    Assuming you have a job, I think paying down or paying off your debt would be pretty liberating. You could cut your debt in half right now if you wanted. Imagine what that might feel like.

    Also, stay out of the pits. Losing proposition unless you count cards etc.
  • mythomaniac Posts: 284Subscriber
    I agree with everyone who is saying take a break. When it comes to the table games you need to ask yourself why you play poker? Is it for profit or do you like the action. Some people are attracted to the action of the game and trick themselves into thinking they want to play for profit. If you are feeling defeated you should read everything Jared Tendler wrote about the mental game to get your head right.

  • nickdevo1 Posts: 163Subscriber
    quitting poker cold-turkey is hard, even with a busted bank-roll, so I suggest you could play a short-stack strategy booking hit and runs until you get your mojo back. just don't do it at my table, i hate short stackers LOL
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,085Subscriber
    I think a break is in order. Then do the short stack ninja.

    Also getting your life in order is key. I "ran bad" when i wasnt happy at my job. Its not that your unlucky. But you dont take plus ev spots that you should and these leaks add up

    Take a couple of weeks off. Go thru the curriculum from beginning to end Right up some hand histories

    All of this will help your strategic game but nothing will fix your mental game until you fix the life pressures and that quite frankly is a much bigger issue to winning than most people think
  • ACK Posts: 428Subscriber
    Stop playing live. Work more hours. Pay off debt. Save up 10k with no debt. Dabble in poker again.

    Poker is 5x harder when you gotta worry about money. Take this break as an opportunity to play small stakes cash online and improve.
  • beauregard Posts: 1,592Subscriber
    JamesSuh said:
    "All I need is one win, any win that will bring me confidence."
    This, here, is the core of your problem.
    Poker isn't about winning or losing.
    It's about making the best decisions in the moment.
    It's a GAME!

    When you play the game better than everyone at your table, EVENTUALLY the money will come. Sometimes it trickles in. Sometimes it pours in. And sometimes, it disappears.

    If you're too focused on the money - you shouldn't be playing.
    Spend more time studying.
    And try playing small 5¢/10¢ on Bovada.

  • TastesLikeBurning Posts: 429SubscriberProfessional
    1) Start paying down your debt with your BR (sucks, but it's the right thing to do) - don't pay it off in one fell swoop, as I'm guessing you don't have other liquid assets for a rainy day.
    2) Start a budget each month that includes an amount that you can set aside for saving for your life roll, your new bank roll, and additional money that will go to your debts.

    When you're handling your $10k debt, get back into the game by:
    3) Reading Tendler's books and address your tilt issues.
  • FreeLunch Posts: 1,308Pro
    The ability to make correct observations and decisions depends on your psychological state. The fact that you recognize you are not in a strong psychological state should be all you need to know to answer the question.

    This would be just as true if you were a millionaire (except then I would be asking where you play and letting you know that you should keep playing :wink:
  • EricMartin Posts: 12Subscriber
    The same thing happened to me late 2013 where I went over month without winning anything. So I took a break for a couple of months from live poker, and after that break I got back my desire to play again and I gradually started winning again.
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