Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Do You Have the Will to Win?

All of my good streaks and all of my bad streaks of every length and depth have had one thing in common. They did not exist in your mind. They only existed in my mind. And this is true for everyone's winning and losing streaks. None of them actually exist. They are all mental fabrications, like past and future. – Tommy Angelo

Despite actually blogging about the extraordinarily good June I have been enjoying, I did not jinx myself (so far) and managed to continue my winning ways over the weekend. I kept thinking about the quote above from Elements of Poker but I also knew I could exploit my current image to my advantage. You see, I am not the only one that has observed and made note of how well I have been doing this month. Most of the regulars at the homegame are also well aware of how good I have been running.
However, what they don’t know is that it hasn’t been about catching good cards. Sure, I have caught some big hands but no more than everyone else. However, by using SPR and other such notions, I have been able to win some huge pots with my big hands. I have also been mercilessly “adopting” as many orphaned pots as possible and making a few more than usual turn and/or river bluffs. But despite all of this, the primary thing I have tried to do differently is bring my A game every time we play. I come with the will to win. What I mean by that is making sure I am well rested and mentally focused. Making sure I have eaten before playing and taking a break to eat during the game if necessary. Not allowing distractions, interruptions, or other player’s actions to cause me to tilt for even a brief period. I know this probably sounds trivial but it works.
Tommy Angelo is the Stephen R. Covey of poker. Reading his book to improve my poker habits reminded me of reading Covey to improve my work habits. His advice is so solid and reasonable that one thinks, “yeah, that’s obvious” but although the concept may seem obvious and clearly make sense, most players aren’t doing what he is recommending. One must have the will to win. A few of the players in our group always seem to allow distractions external to the game to tilt them into losing their chips. A few others always seem to over consume and have such a good time that they also lose their chips. Others are just playing for sheer enjoyment and to spend an evening with the guys while losing their chips. Meanwhile, I am visiting with the other players, watching them closely, enjoying a cold one or six, and quietly amassing a large stack chips.

Friday, June 26, 2009

This Just In...Lucypher Still Lucky...Go Figure

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. – Bertrand Russell.

I have been reluctant to talk/write about it because doing so always seems to bring it to an abrupt end.

However, this is a poker blog and I am supposed to blog about my poker activities.

Therefore, I will admit it. June has been a very good month for me and I am on a nice hot streak.

Although my online play has really dropped due to the fact that I am just too tired to play after we’ve finished all the family summer activities going on right now, I still play twice a week in a juicy home (cash) game.

In that game, I have been doing well.

I have been very pleased with my play lately and not just because of the results (although that is always a factor).

I am calling people down light if I think I have perceived a tell or a pattern revealing weakness.

I am overbetting (for value – thank you very much Fuel55) and getting paid on my big hands.

I have noticed a tendency for players to want to call preflop value bets with any two cards because as they say, ‘You gotta see the flop”.

I have been exploiting the hell out of this anytime I have a pocket pair or big cards. Then, a pot sized bet on the flop is usually enough to take down the already bloated pot.

Even though I still like to buy in short, I seem to quickly become one of the big stacks at the table.

I think much of this “heater” is a result of my continuing to read, think, and work on my game while most of my opponents are not improving and some have become downright predictable.

Of course, it also might just be a good month. Either way, I am thoroughly enjoying every minute.