Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nausea and fatigue - and tilt.

I felt tired and hängig (meaning "hangy" which is an excellent Swedish adjective for how I feel - shoulders slumped, uninterested and apathetic) and wrestled a little bit of a headache all of last week. I also slept very, very poorly. If the sleep deprivation was the cause or effect isn't really clear, but I figured it should be mentioned. On Sunday, the feeling of sickness escalated, and yesterday and today I simply stayed home from work, trying to get some rest. I slept for 11 hours last night, which is probably a good sign.

In other news, I've managed to hit another 17 buy-in downswing, which is pretty awesome. I take complete responsibility for the tilt-spew that is my own doing, but as with the last one, I'm also completely aware of how badly I was running. In a matter of 20 minutes, I lost with AA vs 88 preflop, kings ran into aces, AKs ran into aces, and AKo ran into kings. When I made obvious bluff-catching calls, they weren't bluffs or they got there on the river. Out of chaos comes harmony, however, and here's what I learned, or... Well, here's what I already knew, but have gotten reinforced by the universe's sick sense of humor:

If I look at the past month-and-a-half (which includes no-less than two of these bankroll devouring downswings) I'm break-even. My bankroll is where it was at the beginning of July. And if I now take a moment to ponder how many buy-ins I've lost not because of cards but because I was tilting, and then I reclaim that money, I'd actually be up. Not a huge amount, but I'd probably be up a few hundred bucks.

It's useful for me to remember that I still tilt. For awhile, I felt like I wasn't. I felt like I could just shrug off bad beats and misfortunes easily. And I can - as long as there aren't too many of them lining up in a row. So now I will go back and work on tilt again, and try to identify the causes of it. One thing I'm absolutely positive that I do is that when I'm losing money left and right, I make much looser calls, probably with the mentality that given how much money I've already lost, I'm not going to lose yet another pot because of being bluffed off of it. No, sir.

Anyway, I end this post with a reading recommendation:

The Poker Grump

This is an excellent poker blog. A good writer can make anything seem interesting, so it's hard for me to tell if Rakewell's stories are actually interesting or not. But they provide reading pleasure, so it's all good. It gives me some kind of sick masochistic joy to read about casino poker which I can't really identify. It's like... Well, you know the saying that America as compared to Europe is culturally inferior but morally superior? I won't go into a debate whether that's true or not, but I think I have this idea that Casino poker is fancier and online poker is tougher. The fancy people play in casinos. The smart people play online.

No, don't start. I already know this isn't true. I know this, because I've been to casinos, and there are a lot of words suitable for describing the people that frequent them, but "fancy" rarely comes to mind. But I think I have a tad of the "grass is greener"-emotion when it comes to playing live poker. So it's fun to read about a guy who plays in casinos and his experiences and feelings about it - especially when (or maybe exclusively because) he writes so well about it. I've read other live-poker-blogs and they usually fall pretty short. The Poker Grump doesn't.

So, go read. Now.

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