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After losing the Prop Bet to L.A.Ruseman, I spent the last week of August in Philadelphia.
Note: Thanks to Andrew ‘FlyingLuske’ Smith for making this video in which I am CLEARLY the star of. 😉
Upon returning to Vancouver, my work-plan was pretty simple: Let’s grind. Was eager to put in some 8+ hour days, get a ton of VPPs, and hopefully a fair amount of profit as well. Or at least I thought I was. Now I’m five days into September and I’ve ‘only’ played 26 hours. For some guys, 26 hours (in five days) might be a lot. I am not one of those guys. Last month, I managed 190+ hours despite being in the U.S. for an entire week. July? Played 195 hours and I missed a week during that month too.
Bottom line is that I’m no stranger to putting in sick volume but for whatever reason, I currently can’t seem to get myself to do so. Off the top of my head, I can think of several possible explanations. My VPPs/hour are higher than they’ve been all year, somewhere around 900, so I’ve been able to put in fewer hours each day but still earn the points I need to reach Supernova Elite. I shoot for 4,000 per day and that used to take me 6-7 hours a day whereas this month I’m getting it done in less than 5. So maybe I’m allowing myself to quit earlier than I used to? It’s certainly possible.
My lack of motivation is more likely tied to how well (or in this case, terribly) I’m running at the time. The last few months have been outstanding:
The largest downswing I had was 60 buy-ins (While that’s a decent amount, it came right after I won $9,000 in a MTT so I didn’t even feel it)
Made $50,000+ preRB
Was barely over EV
I was just humming along, watching the account balance go up with basically zero swings, so of course I was able to play ~400 hours. Each time I sat down to click buttons I was basically printing money, so why wouldn’t I find it easy to play? Compare that with this month’s start:
793 games, -$2200 ($3800 below EV)
To be honest, it’s not even that bad of a run as I’ve definitely had worse stretches before. But even though I know this is totally 100% standard, it’s undeniable that this rough patch has sapped a bit of my motivation. So now what? How do we go get out of this sloth-like malaise and recapture that drive, that hunger?
For starters, caffeine helps. Each hand of poker is an intricate puzzle involving board texture, my opponent’s actions, tendencies, and relative position. I thoroughly enjoying putting all of those pieces together and am considerably better at it when highly caffeinated. So each day starts out with a large coffee and I’m quick to guzzle more down if I feel like I’m losing a bit of that sharpness.
I’m also trying to make poker fun again. Winning will certainly help the fun quotient, but I don’t want to rely on that. Even during losing days I can usually find enjoyment in something, whether it’s a particular/interesting hand that I’ve played, a silly poker-related gif, or interacting with the community. And on that last note it’s probably a great segue to announce that on Monday at 7 PM PST I will be streaming my first session on Twitch. Current plan is to play a mixture of different SNG formats and answer questions people (hopefully) ask in the chat. If by chance that doesn’t happen, I’ll talk to myself for an hour. Feel free to check it out, the website can be found here.