Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Recovery Plan

I’ve hit a small snag in the road.

A year ago, the road ahead was filled with uncertainty.  I had finished the 2004 poker year ahead and figured I could at least keep up the pace in 2005.  When all the beans were counted, 2005 was twice the year 2004 was, even after you stir in the Great Vegas Equalizer.

With the arrival of 2006, plans were made, and a recipe for success was created.  Well, one thing’s for sure, I can’t cook.

I have an agreement with myself that prevents me from blogging about bad beats and losses, because seriously, who wants to read that?  Not even me.  Rather than bemoan my latest streak in the red, I’ll write about what I think has been the recurring theme for my descent through bankroll decimation hell.


If you’re going to go skydiving and your main chute fails, there is always the backup chute to save you.  It’s not the fall, as they say, it’s the sudden stop that kills.  If you’re in the IT field and your hard drive crashes, you hopefully can revert to some recently created backups and restore your business to a working state.  It’s pretty much common sense.  Backup and recovery.


In any one given poker session, I have no backup and recovery plan.  And it’s obvious I need one.

If a session goes right for me, from beginning to end, there’s no problem.  But those types of sessions are few and far between.  Of late, sessions have been derailed because of some obscene beat.  I thought I could handle them, but alas, it appears that I still have trouble.

It’s the beats combined with their rapid succession combined with the people perpetrating them.  Add it all up and my play level takes a steep dive.  With each additional losing day, the threshold at which my play deteriorates gets lower and lower.  Before you know it, I’ve regressed into playing hands I know I shouldn’t and mis-playing hands where I snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


Sometimes, it’s not even the cards that get to me.  Last night, I played in a cash game after a tournament and wondered what the dealer was doing when he was taking dollars out of the pot each hand.

A rake?  Are you kidding me?  A home game with a rake?  Nevermind that the game was $1/$2 NL with a $50-max buy-in.  Craps with cards.  Nice.  Not.

G-Rob had the sense to get up and leave nearly immediately.  I, on the other hand, waited to lose my stack to a 5-outer before I left the table.

I still wanted to play, but that environment was just absurd.  Let me clarify:  I still wanted to play well.  So even though I got home at midnight, I resolved to play 100 hands online.

Well, it wasn’t too long before I lost my stack again, thanks to the runner-runner variety of beats.  I was done.  And down.  Again.


I am looking for a winning session, which hasn’t happened in over a week.  That elusive needle in a haystack.  I know they’ll come back eventually, but in the meantime I need a backup strategy.  I need something, anything, that will allow me to withstand the inevitable X-outer and continue to keep my play level consistently high.  I’m not sure what it is yet.

Perhaps it’s a small walk, perhaps it’s a 5-minute break with a brewsky.  Whatever it is, I’ll find it and eliminate YAH (yet another hole) in my game.

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