Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I never do resolutions. Ever. I think it's a silly, stupid concept, and in my experience less than 1% of people ever follow through with their resolutions, or even Intend to follow through with them when they're made at the beginning of every year. However, this year will be different for me. I have been playing poker at casinos and in home games for almost 20 years, and have focused mainly on nlh for the past three or four years, and I finally started playing poker online during the Autumn of 2005. As 2006 begins, I am making my first set of new year's resolutions in a long, long time, all related to my poker playing, including my style, my attitude and my results. So here goes:

1. Win an MTT this year. Although lately (see previous post) pokerstars has been strictly preventing me from succeeding in their MTTs, in general I like to play their MTTs more than any others, because ps regularly has the $1, $2 and $3 buyin tourneys, each every hour in the evening it seems like, and that is my best opportunity to get practice in large tournaments without even having to put up a significant buyin. I have probably played in around 100 of those small buyin tournaments, and I have maybe cashed in about 15% of them, a number which itself I should definitely improve. But it is clear that ps is fixed to help the donkeys suck out on the Players, so I don't feel too bad about that overall number. Despite the fixedness, however, my highest finish has been I think 31st place out of around 1100 entrants, to go along with a few other finishes in the 40s and 50s in similar-sized tournaments. In 2006, I want to WIN one of these large MTTs. I have won tournaments on one table, two tables, three tables, 5 tables and even 8 tables, but have never been able to pull it together to win a big one, and I think 2006 is the time.

2. Stop steaming so much. As much as I am ashamed to admit it, I steam at LEAST as bad as Phil Hellmuth does when I get stoopidly beat. I mean, I know the reason for this (in addition to my short-tempered nature in general) -- when all the chips move in, I probably have the best hand 90-95% of the time. This is obviously a good thing, in that it confirms just how solid of a player and a reader of other players I am, but it also creates a situation where I am *constantly* in a situation where I can get bad beat on, and I am almost *never* in the reverse situation where I have the opportunity to lay a beat on someone else. As a result of that, and of playing a lot on pokerstars which is obviously designed to increase the donkeys' chances of drawing out, I probably see maybe 15 to 20 times more bad beats laid on me than I ever get to lay on someone else. Again, it's not that I think the odds are being manipulated against me; rather, it is that I am almost ALWAYS in a situation where I have the best hand, probably 20 or more times as much as when I have the worst hand, so by definition I am going to have way WAY more beats laid on me than the reverse. Anyways, this situation where I get bad beat 15 or 20 times as often as I lay a beat on someone combines with my short-tempered nature to make me act like the Poker Brat, if not much, much worse. And it happens far too often. I'm ashamed to admit it, but in these low-limit buyin tournaments, watching myself go from the Literal Chip Leader out of 700 players down to 560th place in one bad, stoopid, emBARRassing beat is enough to just make me throw in the towel. I have been known at that point to just literally move all in with 35o when the flop comes AKQ suited and there are 3 betters and 2 raisers ahead of me. I just want out. I type nasty things in the chat, and I throw my game away. I've never done this in a live tournament and frankly have never even been close to it, but there is just something about the anonymity of online poker, and about the ability to just do another low-limit sng in two minutes, that leads me to act like a buffoon like this, much more often than I care to admit. That definitely needs to change in 2006.

3. Continue to get better at trusting my instincts. While this is something which I am already fairly strong at, it still happens more often than it should that I *know* I am beat, but I still call just to see it. This has cost me more than a few buyins in these large tournaments. Yes pot odds can justify a lot of calls even if you're not 100% sure you have the best hand at the moment, but sometimes, when you play as much as I do, you just KNOW. In 2006, when I *know*, I resolve not to make myself confirm what I already knew.


Post a Comment

<< Home