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First of all.. I just want to say thank you for all the uplifting comments you guys left me...I can't tell you how much your support and well wishes does for me....didn't know if anyone was even still reading this blog after my 6 week hiatus...it is comforting to say the least.
Since my last blog was so well received... perhaps I can dig a bit deeper into my own recesses and unearth why exactly I got caught up in such a spiral. I had written blogs before on how to control and avoid tilt...how to always play within the boundary your bankroll allowed...yet I still fell into a vicious cycle that my mind had been aware not to fall victim to.
Why? Why could I not control it while it was happening? Why could I not stop it before the damage was shattering?
When I started to play higher stakes cash games, I began to feel a rush....there was an instant reward for winning a hand. The pot was immediately shipped to you after a matter of 1-2 minutes... I could win in a few hands, what it would normally take me hours and days of playing mtts...hoping to catch a final table score...In cash games, the success was immediate...And of course when I first started playing these cash games.. I started off running good...hooking me to the feeling of instant gratification. Instead of focusing on poker, I began to focus on the money. That is the truth of it. How much more can I win....scores I would have normally been blown away with to win on a daily basis, became numb to me...because I knew I could win more.. I knew I was good enough to play the higher games and win...
So I started to climb levels....which obviously introduced stronger players and greater variance.
But I was not properly rolled to sustain the blows of variance these games unleashed. I started to lose....and instead of dropping down... I pushed it... I remember thinking.. no... I can get my money out... I know I can... I am better than them... The cards have to turn... Its just a few pots and I'm out of the hole....
And during these times, I broke all the cardinal rules of poker...I kept playing underrolled..I kept tiering... I was chasing money... I was not realizing that poker is one long session, and while towers may fall in one day, they certainly aren't rebuilt that same day. It's almost as if.. reason and rational were out the window and all that was left was this blood hungry desire to get my money out....negotiating with myself that if I got to even I would never play them again...a promise I broke many times.
The day after a horrible session, I would wake up feeling completely defeated and devastated... but I would somehow justify getting back into the games.... telling myself that I could win it back... it was a vicious cycle...it was an addiction...one that took me a long time to realize I had no control over. And that my actions were not only unhealthy to me...but plain stupid. I thought to myself.. how can someone so intelligent lack such control? How did I lose site of my bread and butter.. after tallying up over $600,000 in prizes solely from Multi-table tournament scores.....why did I veer off the path that had delivered me to the doorstep of success?
There were times during those losing sessions, where I became so blind to reality and the value of the money I was playing with that I tilted off thousands. I played great and lost... and at times I played like an asshole and lost...Either way.. I didn't stop until I hit rock bottom. I didn't stop until it was the only option left, because I was out of resources.
Why am I writing all this? Because I know there are readers out there who can relate to this feeling..who have perhaps blown through their roll, "taking a shot" in games they should not have been in...I think it is important to note that anyone...a low stakes grinder... a talented mtt winner.. and even the pros you see on tv... have fallen victim to poor bankroll management and not realized it until it was too late. I myself know a few successful mtt players and big named pros who you would never imagine went broke... but did...and are playing on stake or borrowed money, and some who had no choice but to walk away from poker all together.
But most importantly...I am writing this because I need to admit it to myself... and be true to myself...and if I write my story... and share it... then I can't hide from what I did anymore... I have to face it... I have to own up to it....
The point of all this is...we can only blame ourselves for the actions we take. I take full blame.
Also...it is solely up to us... to "incorporate self-mind-control..."
Our minds are weaker than we realize..this is true for the majority. How often do we get annoyed...or lose patience...or get angry..over menial. trivial things....whether it is on the felt.. while driving..at a family member.. girlfriend, boyfriend, or at a stranger...How often do we harm ourselves with poor decision making? If you are sitting in a cash game and are feeling anxiety about every pot.... then you are playing too high. If you are sitting in a cash game, because you just lost at a lower level and are now just trying to "win one pot" then just get up before you make matters worse. Stop and ask yourself why are you doing this. And is winning one pot at this level worth the risk that you might lose it all? Have I learned from my mistakes? Am I ready to right the wrongs? I feel that I am... I feel that over the past few months I have showed marked improvement and have not played a single high stakes cash game, either online or live. I have incorporated a system, where I only have access to a limited amount of money at a time...which directly negates my ability to buy in to these higher games. This method might sound pathetic...and weak...but...when you are trying to overcome poisonous, self-destructive behavior/actions... extreme measures need to be taken until there is full confidence that those poor decisions wont be repeated. I don't 100% trust myself yet. But I can say this.. I am rebuilding brick by brick...the right way...I feel good about myself and my approach to poker again, and I know that my skillset at the level of mtts, is still a profitable one. I am back to a healthy bankroll, and my motivation to blog and be an outspoken member of the poker community has returned.