Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dedication

Thanks to Full Tilt, I was able to cash in a couple of SNGs last night. The whole server debacle began just as one player left from each of the SNGs I was playing. Hence, we divyed up his buyin to the tune of $.50 for each of us. That's one more dollar than I started the night with.

In the words of George Costanza, "I'M BACK, BABY!"

So today is Day 4 of my 5 part series. Today, I'll talk about dedication, and why I feel it's one of the most important things I need to be successful at this challenge of mine.

In the first three days of this challenge, my dedication is already being tested. My bankroll has already dropped by 30%. I'm back down to double digits, and what I knew was going to be a difficult challenge is looking to be more impossible than it is difficult. Whether it's the pressure I'm putting on myself to do well or just horrible timing to be on a losing streak, it's easy for me to start questioning the whole thing.

The truth is that, in about 3 years of playing online poker, I haven't really accomplished much. A couple of big scores don't override the fact that my statistics would show that I'm a mediocre poker player at best. Recently, I've been doing well at the stakes that I'm playing, but to say that makes me a successful poker player is like calling a player who is hitting over .300 on a single A minor league baseball team a "successful baseball player". It's successful at that level, but it's nowhere equal to doing the same thing at a higher level.

Also, during these 3 years of playing, I've never seriously taken the time to look at my game from an analytical standpoint. I really haven't made any effort to improve any leaks in my game. My game has definitely improved over the years, but it's been an improvement of the trial & error kind. Anyone can play for 3 years and expect some improvement in their game. I feel like I understand basic & intermediate poker strategy, but my play is not always consistent with those strategies. At any given time, I can sit down at a game and compete with players much better than I and be competitive, but if I want to expect any kind of consistent success, I need to put forth the effort to improve my game.

I say that the success of this challenge requires dedication because it's a success based on long-term, consistent success, which is something that I've never really had before. Not only do I need to be dedicated to the challenge overall, but I need to show more dedication to improving my game. Despite the adversity I've encountered this week, I'm nowhere near the point of giving up. I have no timetable or benchmark that says I'll quit if I haven't reached a certain goal. The only times I'll say this challenge is over is if I go completely busto or reach the $2k mark.

I do believe that I lack certain skills that others naturally have that makes me less successful at poker. All that means is that I have to work harder than some to get past my shortcomings and become a successful poker player. Without that dedication, I'll end up stuck at the micro levels, slugging it out for the chance at winning a measly $17. That's just not worth it to me anymore.

I'll wrap things up tomorrow with the last chapter in this series: attitude.

3 Comments:

At July 26, 2007 at 7:26 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Hey man, just out of curiosity, how serious do you take this game? I mean I know it's easy for anyone to say "serious" or "I really want to get better" but like you mentioned, that requires dedication. It's like football for example. Everyone watches these guys do their thing on Sundays and think how awesome it is to be able to do what they do once a week. But in reality, there's a lot of grinding that happens in season, and the offseason workouts. In other words, there are tons of nonfootball stuff that they do also in order to be able to compete the way they do on Sundays. What does that mean for you? It's not just playing that makes you better. Are you reading books? Have you read the Harrington series? Unless you analyze your play, you won't see your flaws. You'll see the ones that you think are flaws but you'll be surprised to see what you find when you actually look through the hand history itself, a day or two later. If you're truly going to be "dedicated" that's what it's gonna take bro.

 
At July 26, 2007 at 8:17 PM, Anonymous DoubleUpChump said...

2K or Bust!

 
At July 26, 2007 at 8:53 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Alan,

Good question. Honestly, on a scale of 1 to 10, I think the most serious I've ever been about my game is probably a 4. With this challenge, right now, I'm probably at a 6, working on moving up to a 7 and more.

You're absolutely right, there's a lot more that needs to happen to become better than just playing, and those are things that I tend to incorporate as I progress in this challenge. Things like picking up additional books (I've read HOH Vol.1 and a Sklansky book, picking up HOH Vol.2 next chance I get), investing in something like PokerTracker, etc. I completely realize that I won't succeed at this challenge unless I start doing things that I haven't done before. This isn't just a whim of a challenge - this is something that I'm definitely taking seriously.

 

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