Saturday, November 19, 2005

I Survived (Finally a Poker Post!)

The worst downswing (yet) of my pro career is officially over. In the end it lasted just short of three weeks and was both the longest and most expensive downswing I have experienced. The good news is I am extremely proud of the way I handled the situation: I never questioned my game or my ability to do this. Yes it sucked, it sucked bad. One of those streaks where you can magically call out bad beats milliseconds before they happen.

In a post for the ages on 2+2, Irieguy said (paraphrased) at some point everybody will run worse than they ever thought possible...the difference between a winner and a loser is the loser thinks he does not deserve it. Well had I not already known this, and experienced a similar horrid stretch roughly a year ago at a lower buy-in...I would have thought this was a stretch worse than was possible.

I knew I had this coming, especially since I moved up to the 109's and have had an utterly unsustainable first thousand tourneys. As my true ROI is inevitably going to be lower at the 109's, BY DEFINITION my variance is going to be higher...but I had experienced none of this...until the three weeks from hell!.

This was the one mental hurdle, the moral victory that I was waiting to have to prove to myself that I can do this, that I have what it takes to be a professional. Well I am glad to announce that I do (at least in my own mind) have the right stuff. As was told to me early on, I will get more and more comfortable with my profession as I grow more confident that it is that, a profession, and not just an experiment. This has got to be some of the truest best advice I have ever been given.

During this stretch I played significantly less than I normally do, I moved down a level for over a week and I reduced my number of tables (I am still cautiously at 4). This is the text-book way to approach a downsing...this is how I coach students to approach them and how they should be handled IMO. Well I actually did it this way, I even switched to cash games for a bit, on another get a change of scenary and not get stuck in a mental rut. I never once questioned my skill or whether this would turn around.

In less than twenty hours of play (a few in cash games, the rest SNG's) over the last few days...I have recovered all losses and am now showing a profit for the last three weeks. I owe a great deal to being properly bankrolled...for you cannot recover from zero, and I went down far enough to decimate an inadequate bankroll, as many players use.

Signing off for now, with a grin.

Wild Bill