So last time I posted, I talked about "Grinding Balls" which, if you didn't read it, means playing lots of poker! In that blog and In my most recent episode of Strategy with Kristy, I talked about how the past two-and-a-half months has been going. Basically, I'm running and playing pretty dang well.
After I went to EPT Barcelona, I finally had the urge to play poker again. So, when I got back home, I played some in September, but spent a couple weeks in Europe during the rest of the month for WPT Paris and WPT Malta. Since then I've really tried to put in hours both on and off the table.
My main game is $2-$5 NLH with a $1,000 max at Aria. As promised in the previous blog and on the podcast, I'm posting my graph. [side note: I have a ton of reservations about posting this. At this point it is such a small sample size it doesn't really mean much anyway. However, I know that I'm going to continue posting when I go through downswings too. Besides, I overshare everything on the internet and social media, so why not this too?
This is over 118 hours. Again, like I said, it's a very, very small sample size and I'm running REALLY good
Even though I've been winning it hasn't always been easy. It's hard difficult to find and plug leaks, balance poker with the rest of your life when you have full time job, and I know this is going to sound silly, but running well can mess with your head just as running bad can. You start to feel invincible, so when a crack in the armor is exposed, you can feel unprepared for it. At this point, my hourly for the past 2.5 months is super high, so I'm "waiting" for variance to come in and bring it down. I'll be playing in a big pot and my irrational mind will say to me "Ok, here's where you're probably going to lose a huge one because it has to happen sooner or later." Or, "Well it's time for me to be on the opposite side of a cooler." It's stupid, I know, but at least I recognize it's happening. I have to inject logic, as Jared Tendler would say, and just try to make the best decisions in each moment.
I'm going to continue to put in hours and make it a priority. I'm having a ton of fun playing and part of that is because I can feel and see myself improving.
I am so glad you've enjoyed the Live Grinder Series on the Strategy with Kristy Podcast. I can't believe how much positive feedback I've gotten from it. Makes me feel so good
If you haven't had a chance to hear it, here they are:
And one more thing! I've entered myself into a competition to be the next BodyBuilding.com Spokesperson! If you have a second, please go vote for me! Click THIS LINK, click the "View Women Tab" and scroll down or hit CTR F to search for me under KRISTYARNETT I'm going to write more about this in my next blog. Thank you so much!
So you might be wondering why the hell I would put a smiley face after "downswing" in the title... welp, I guess I just decided not to be upset about it. I'm currently going through the largest downswing I've ever had. If I'm being honest, it's not all that bad. I am, by nature, a bankroll nit and a bit weak when it comes to handling large swings. When I start to go on a downswing, I'll usually drop in stakes, put in a few confidence grinds, and get it together. Also, the live games that I play have been so soft that it's almost impossible to stay down for long. This time though, I decided to be a little harder on myself, continue playing the same stakes and try to weather the storm. That plan isn't working out so well.
My January and start to 2012 is abismal. Just before leaving to go to the PCA, I had one of my biggest winning sessions ever, and I felt like I was playing at the top of my game. I went to the Bahamas, didn't play a hand of poker for two weeks, and came back to Vegas ready to grind. After a couple of losing sessions, I already started to feel less confident. This is a huge l leak that I know I have, and I recently discussed it with Jared Tendler (author of The Mental Game of Poker) in one of the Strategy with Kristy podcasts. When I start to feel less confident, I begin to doubt myself, have less trust in my instincts, and make mistakes which obviously exacerbates the problem. I recognize that directly correlating my confidence with my results is completely irrational, but it's hard to immediately break a habit I've had for years.
I've always been that way. If a bunch of people are like, "You're awesome. You're pretty. You're good at your job," I feel on top of the world. I feel like I can do anything and no one can stop me. If I read some comments or forums and people say, "She's so ugly. She sucks. She's annoying," I have a habit of wanting to fold in on myself. In the past couple of years, I've become much stronger and my self confidence doesn't hinge so much on what other people say about me anymore. Now, it motivates me to improve.
But for some reason, I'm still working on gaining that strength in poker. I think it's maybe because I've had a chip on my shoulder. I've always felt like the girl who always has to prove how good I am. I want the pros I talk to at my job to approve of me as a player. I want my friends to respect my opinion when we all discuss poker. I guess I just wanted recognition for the hours and hard work that I've put in. It's taken me this downswing to realize that it doesn't matter.
Whether it's poker, your career, or whatever, you have to do things for you. Of course recognition will come when you are "owning" in whatever you're doing, but it shouldn't be a motivator.
The most helpful thing that Jared taught me was how to "Inject logic." Whenever you are feeling sorry for yourself at the tables, tilted, or even over confident, talk to yourself with rational reminders. I know that I am a huge winner in the games I play. Variance is an essential and inevitable part of the game. I know I still have a lot to learn. I know I still have leaks. I know that hard work is ahead of me, but I'm ready.
I woke up this morning ready to conquer the day. I ate some oatmeal and headed to the gym. (side story: There was gorgeous blonde with tiggo bitties on the middle treadmill of three, so I had to get on the one next to her. She was walking at a good pace. I started jogging and so did she. I stopped to stretch while she kept running. She stopped a minute later and smirked at me. I smiled back, not really sure what was going on. After stretching I got back on and started running again. So did she. I pushed the button to go a little faster. So did she. WTF? I continued with the plan I had in my head of how long/fast I was going to run. After two miles, I went faster. So did she. I laughed. Ok broad, is this really happening? Let's go. I clicked the up button a bunch of times and kept running. Finally, she let out an exasperated sigh and slammed the Stop button. I ran a few extra yards for good measure and stopped. What the hell just happened? All I know is, if there was some sort of competition going on... I won. So yeah, I'm competitive) Anyway, I'm going come out of this downswing in no time. I'm not sure if I'm going to play today because I'd been making a ton of mistakes as an affect of my time of during the Bahamas, waning confidence, and frustrating of my downswing. I may take today off, depending on how I feel, but I plan on getting back on the saddle soon.
Also, I'm going to start posting on my personal blog every Wednesday!
<3 you hoodlums,
P.S. It helps to know that even the most amazing and talented players go on downswings. Phil Galfond recently posted this:
P.P.S. When I'm feeling down, memes always make me laugh. Yeah, I know, I'm a nerd. Whatever. I dare you not to laugh!
EDIT: Perfect timing. Jared just came out with a new podcast of his where he addresses confidence. Great listen.
In the latest edition of Strategy with Kristy, I talked to 22-year-old Kane Kalas, an instructor on PokerPhenoms.com We talk about how to play small pocket pairs in a six-handed no-limit hold'em cash game, demonstrated by hand histories. Kane played as "Kangis." Here are the hand details to help you follow along with podcast.
Game: $25-$50 NLH 6-max
Kangis - $5,218
Flufferd - $5,377
Kangis opens UTG to $128. Flufferd reraises to $400. Kangis calls. Heads-up. Pot is $850
The flop is . Flufferd checks, Kangis bets $513. Flufferd folds.
Kangis - $5,691
Flufferd - $5,000
Flufferd min raises on the button to $50. Kangis calls with 2s2c in the big blind. Pot is $225.
Flop is . Kangis checks. Flufferd bets $150. Kangis calls. The pot is $523.
The turn is the . Check, check.
The river is the . Kangis bets $689. Flufferd calls and mucks.
Kangis - $6,801
CanCollector - $6,757
Kangis opens UTG to $124. CanCollector calls behind. Numbr1mom reraises from the BB to $575. Kangis folds.
In my latest Strategy with Kristy podcast, I talk to Andrew Robl about televised cash-game hands he's played. Here they are:
Patrik Antonius has and raises to $1,500. Robl has and three-bet pots to $11,500 from the blinds. Antonius calls, making the pot $24,000. The flop comes Robl bet $16,000. Antonius raises pot. Robl raises all in. They run it four times. Odds: Antonius 73% vs Robl 23%. Robl wins four times.
Daniel Negreanu raises to $3,000 with . Lex Veldhuis reraises to $11,000 with . Robl has in the small blind. Robl calls, and Negreanu calls, making the pot $34,400. The flop comes . Robl and Negreanu check to Lex who bets $23,800. Robl calls. Negreanu folds. The pot is $82,000. The turn is the . Both players check. The river is . Robl checks, and Lex bets $54,000 with $85k behind. Robl calls and wins a pot of $190,000.
Lex Veldhuis straddles to $1,600. Ivey raises to $7,000 in the cutoff. Robl has on the button and calls. Antonius has in the small blind and reraises to $30,400. Ivey folds, Robl tank ships for $113,900. Pot $299,600. Antonius calls.
Tom Dwan opens UTG to $800 with pocket threes ($20K stacks). Robl calls on the button with . Pot $2,050. The flop is . Dwan checks. Robl bets $1,200. Dwan raises to $3,850. Robl calls. Pot $9,750. Turn . Dwan bets $4,600. Robl calls. River .Dwan goes all in for $10,075.
(go to 4:30 in this video)
I also talked to Andrew awhile ago about a hand he played on the Big Game which you can find here. I hope you guys like the podcast!