So I think my experiment with session length is over. Playing last night live and microstakes online for the last few weeks has yielded a number of epiphanies.
- The reason that I’m trying to run short sessions is to cover for leaks in my game. The longer I sit, the more the leaks cut into my winnings. I need to fix the leaks in my game.
- My problems with online poker are similar. Because I play so many more hands, my leaks decimate my stack faster.
- There’s no good reason that over time I can’t sit at a table where I’m as good or better than most of my opponents and make money.
- I believe my attention wanders after a few hours.
- My skills at reading opponent styles and reacting accordingly are not where they should be. My math is strong, but those skills need help. I don’t mean, "Can I tell when he’s bluffing?" but more like, "That person is a calling station, I need to not try and bluff them out of a pot"
Last night I dropped a pair of boots playing $6/$12 limit hold’em and realized how obvious my mistakes were. I have all sorts of leaks, including:
- Calling the small blind for fun
- Calling with any two suited cards
- Proceeding after the flop to try and turn a drawable hand
- Calling with barely-valid pot odds for the draw I’m on
- Overplaying small pairs hoping to hit a set
These are all mistakes that I didn’t use to make, and are all made by players at my local casino. I appear to have developed their bad habits.
As I explained to Sarah when I got home, I’m going to have to do this thing that poker players do when their game is a mess. I have to re-examine my poker game, step by step, and plug my leaks. Good players develop bad habits and have to do this periodically. It makes you a better player, but it’s time consuming and requires dedication. I love poker enough that I will happily do both.
Unlike previous analysis exercises, I’m using Poker Academy Prospector for the online analysis. I’ve typically been a Poker Tracker fan, but the interface is a little daunting, and the Prospector is really a lot cleaner. I think there’s a new version of poker tracker though, so I may check that out too.