Last post was a nice reminder of why it is important to balance your life, especially so if you spend a significant portion of it playing poker. The highs and lows of poker are so extreme that if it is all you ever do, you will end up with manio depressive tendencies.
I played 71 hours of poker last week. During a run of eight hours Tuesday, I won $23k, almost exactly corresponding with my entire weekly profit. During five hours yesterday, I lost $17k, nearly cutting the entire weekly result in half. It is a wonder I am not a raving lunatic. Like they say, poker is a hard way to make an easy living.
Now I have had a chance to sleep on it, I am still a little bit pissed off actually, but I am capable of other feelings as well. For example, I am glad it's over, and I can do stuff again. Furthermore, I can give you three thoughts on the project as a whole.
One: When you have a load of playing time laid out before you, it takes a lot of focus from your immediate results. This was especially usefull to me in the beginning of the week, since I ran very bad the first day and a half. I think this experience can motivate me to try and fit my play into a larger plan in the future. For example, I could have a specific plan to play 40k hands in a month, and cash out whatever profit is there at the end of it. That way the first couple of sessions will automatically be put into the perspective of the whole month, and hopefully at the end of the month there will be a large surplus, so that the swings of a few hours won't seem so significant. And then I'll try not to lose half the monthly profit in the last damn session.
Two: Holy crap, I can play a lot of hands when I want to! Both in number of tables and number of hours I surprised myself with how well I managed with relatively little effort. I did not think it would be possible to play 1000 hands an hour, but it was. It gives me some satisfaction that I can sit down and grind it out like that, and expect a profit. The problem for any poker player capable of self critisism is that you never know for sure if and by how much you are a winning player. You just never get in enough hands to prove anything, and even if you did, it would take you so long that the games will have changed along with your own playing style. Although 70k hands is still not enough to prove anything concerning poker results, I think that along with my other results this year, there is now very strong statistical evidence that I am able to solidly beat 1000NL while playing a large number of tables. Those 70k hands last week now sit as a sort of documentation, or at least they would have if I hadn't lost half the profit in the last damn session.
Three: As I understand it, if you've been brain washed you are not going to be aware of it. I think it is not too far fetched to compare a 71 hour 10-table work week as a sort of extended brain wash of your poker senses. I should spend some time figuring out how my play has been affected. I can see in my stats that I have actually played slightly less hands and raised slightly less hands this week than I normally do. I believe that I am able to make good subconscious adjustments to my game, and do so continually, but I should try to make myself aware of the changes at some point to make sure they are constructive. For example, if I run bad over an extended period of time, I may make defensive changes that are in fact going to cost me money in the long run. It is about time I took a look at my game, if nothing else by running through a few hands.
I hope you are all now convinced that I haven't grown totally bitter, just slightly annoyed at the unfairness of it all, as ever. I will return with a run down of my stats from last week tomorrow. As you may know, pokertracker 3 is now shipping, so I am in the process of importing my entire hand history two years back into that program right now. Teaser: In my next post I will reveal how large a percentage of my hands that i 3-bet preflop!