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.
It's been a little over a week since the WSOP ended, and I haven't played a hand of poker. So, this blog is just going to be a bit of an update since I have no hands to talk about! My family has been here this week, so I've been hanging out with them. It's only now that I'm feeling the total withdraw from all the action and commotion of the summer. The poker rooms are once again full of regs, all my poker playing friends are gone, and it's back on the road for me and my fellow PokerNews people. Lynn is back in Australia and then off to Uruguay with Donnie Peters. Sarah is leaving for Tallinn, Estonia today. And then in a couple weeks, I'm heading to Barcelona, Spain which I am sooooo excited for! Have any of you been there? Have any advice? I hope Lynn writes one of her amazing "Around the World Articles" about it Hint hint...
She and Nicky Pickering have been covering the APPT in Melbourne, and just shot another edition of the Weekly Turbo (the video version of Elaine Chaivarlis' awesome written Turbo). If you guys have missed anything in PokerNews this week (or you like hot girls! whooo, yeahhhh), you should definitely check it out. Also, Matt Parvis makes his Weekly Turbo debut for the ladies!!
Now, if you watched that, you might have noticed one of the news stories about this guy who wrote an article about the top 25 girls he knows he can beat in poker. It seems like such a weird/gimmicky article to write, but all of the articles on the website it's featured on are like that. And I'm sure it works. Heck, I'll click on a Top 25 Hot Girl list any day. As far as this one goes, I do NOT belong in the same class of scorching hottness as all the other women on this list, but if this guy wants to think he could own us in poker, that's fine Click here to read the story. How many of these ladies do you think you could beat???
I hope you all are doing well and are over your post-WSOP hangover I'm sooo jealous of everyone who got to go home and soothe themselves with online poker. I'm ready to get back in the saddle and will be back with more hands next week.
Oyyyy... last weekend was a doozy. I do plan on writing about my bachelorette party, but as promised, I'm going to keep personal stuff on my blog (www.snaptress.com) and keep it mostly about poker here. Although, my girl Lynn did a stupendous job summing up the alcohal-filled bender in her blog.
What she didn't talk about was how amazing she was! Obviously she wouldn't because she's super modest, but Lynn absolutely made my weekend. Not only did she organize everything, but she made shit happen! And on top of that, during the day she was there for me when I started to freak out about wedding stuff, and then at night, she was tackling me in the middle of a crowd in a fit of drunken fun. She's the best friend I could ask for Thanks you crazy slappa.
Anyway, I apologize for this blog being a couple of days late, I planned to post it late Wednesday night, but I had a bit of a set back... After 12 hours of driving (we're heading to Indiana for our wedding with our doggy), Andrew and I were driving through Colorado at 2 a.m., just about 40 minutes away from stopping for the night, and our car shuts off. Ef, right? We are broke down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Good thing we have cell phones! We got towed to a Super 8 right next door to a Toyota dealership. The next day, the Prius was fixed at no charge because of a water pump recall! Sweet! Back on the road.
We are currently in Chicago right now for a couple days, and then heading to Indiana. I have so much to do. Not nervous, but just anxious!
So! Back to the hand (again, you have to go back to the last blog if you haven't already)... I totally agree that the standard play which is three-bet for value. However, I'm not super excited about a few of the reasons people gave. Some said, "Your hand is hard to play out of position." or "You don't want to lose a big pot, you'd rather win a small one." We shouldn't necissarily always go for the "easy" line. Sure, it will be harder to play without three-betting, but if you are confident in your hand reading skills, I think it's ok to flat. One of the things Balugawhale (my poker coach) would say to me is, "Is it better to get value now, or get value later?" In this case, I decided later...
My table image at the time was not in any way out of line. I had three-bet a couple of times, but not enough to strike doubt into my opponents. The girl who raised was c-betting every flop, even ones that were terrible for her hand. She wasn't getting stubborn when three bet either. The other player in the hand who only had $80 wasn't a huge concern of mine. I definitely didn't think he would stick it in pre (since he didn't ship himself), but he might if he caught a piece of the flop, or a draw. My plan was to flat preflop, and check raise pretty much any flop. Doing so also protects my range when I want to flat small pairs or face cards and check raise a flop.
The flop came 10-7-2 rainbow. She bet $22, shortstack folded, and I raised to $65. She tank folded. I am ok with my play, but I definitely see the merits in three-betting. I just thought it was an interesting non standard play live.
So here's this week's hand. Game $2-$5 NLH. I had just joined the table, so no real reads. A younger, well dressed guy with about $2,000 in front of him raised to $25 under the gun. I flat in the cutoff with JJ. He looks at me, and then checks in the dark. The flop comes K-7-2 rainbow. I check behind. I checked because the board was so dry, and I think he only expects me to bet for value with AK, KQ, maybe KJ, so I think he bluff check raises a decent amount. That's obv not bad if I'm ready to call off stacks in the hand, but I decided to pot control a street, and also, I think worse hands like 99, 88, 66, AQ are more likely to call a bet on the turn. The turn came a 5 that put a flush draw on board. He bet $45. I called. The river was an Ace. He pulled a $100 bill from his stack and announced a bet of $100. What do I do and why?
I hope you all are well! Thanks for reading!
So I'm sure that you guys have been waiting ALL week to find out what that online player called me, right????
Well first, I need to tell you how the hand ended, so if you haven't read last week's blog, you will have to go back so the that following makes sense...
So, I decided to go for the small value/bluff induce river bet. I didn't think he'd hero call for an over-pot ship, but I know he would come after weakness if he thought he had fold equity. I bet $110, leaving three tall hundo dollar stacks. He tanked then raised to $320, I shipped, and then he tanked again! He showed a king of clubs and called. I showed my hand, he looked back at the board, and went off!
"Are f**king kidding me? (laughing incredulously) Are you serious? You call with that? F***ing donkey girl. Wow, fuck, you call with nothing and get a flush!?" <--actually kind of similar to what he looked like
Obviously, I was the aggressor in the hand, so I wasn't really sure what he was talking about when he said I was calling... But I guess he didn't have a hand history to refer to. I didn't say anything and he walked away. When he came back to the table, he put his hand on my shoulders and said, "I apologize for the way I acted, it's just that the hand was so far fetched." What???? And you called me a donkey girl? WTF?
Man, people say the craziest things to me at the table. Just the other day, I went out for a night of fun drinking and playing poker with my PN girls Sarah Grant and Lynn Gilmartin. We were pretty tipsy and decided to play a $30 tournament at Bill's Gambling Hall. Awesome, I know! So it's a two table tourney, and Lynn and Sarah get sat at the other table. I sit down and this guy who looks like a legit cowboy (ten-gallon hat, scruffy face, denim button up, hole-in-knee frayed Levis and boots) says to me, "Yur perty." I say thank you. Then, with a super creepy look in his eye and crooked smile he says, "I got a fetish for oriental women." Oh, wow. Woooow. Umm cool? Hahaha eh he (awkward laugh)
Anyway, a few shots later, Lynn ended up shipping into me when I had aces, and I took our chips to victory!!! This is my super braggy winner photo... hahaha yeah those are twenties.
I know, I'm super classy! Eek!
I have been having so much fun with Lynn here this past week, and we are about to have even more fun this weekend for my bachelorette party! (watch out if you're in Vegas, it ain't gonna be pretty... Er um PERTY)
It's funny that lots of poker guys really want to find an awesome girl who is into poker, right? Well I felt that way too! Haha and I have finally found her!!! Last night, Lynn was so awesomely degen! At 11 pm, she decides she wants to grind, so we went to Aria. I would always rather sit at her table and hang out whenever we go together, so we sat in a new $1-$3 table.
There were so many bizarre events that happened... first, two gorgeous ladies sat to our left, one started to lose and they got into a fight, a drunkard sat down, shipped for full stacks w/ 4-5 off into Aces and Queens and obv won, and then Scott Seiver came over and caused a ruckus! (We love Scott, he's the best. Hilarious and super sweet even when he tries to be an ass ) Anyway, we both ended up small winners on the session.
That brings me to my hand of the week which comes from last night's session in the $1-$3...
One of the girls opened in early position to $12. She'd been raising a decent amount and hadn't been three-bet yet. After observing the way she played the few hands I saw, she seemed decent. A recreational player calls in late position with about $80 behind. I have AA in the small blind. After only a couple orbits, I hadn't played many at hands at all, so I assume, as a woman as well, my image was pretty tight. The girl and I are both $300 deep... Do I three-bet? If so, to what? Can I flat? Should I flat?
Let me know what you think! Leave it in the comments...
And one more thing, Lynn and I interviewed Todd Brunson and PokerNews Hostess Laura Cornelius for the latest edition of the PokerNews podcast! Cheeeeck it!
Hey PokerNews people!
First of all, I wanted to say that I'm sooo happy to be working for this company. I've had such a wonderful time so far and love everyone I get to work with! That being said, I guess I'll start my first blog!
I've been given the opportunity of a lifetime which is that I'm being coached by a lead instructor on Deuces Cracked. I recently wrote a blog on their site that I wanted to share with you all! So here ya go:
Poker players are obviously good at reading people, but often, it doesn’t transfer from the poker table to real life. For Jay Rosenkrantz, I believe it does.
First, he saw a real desire in me to change and improve my game. He knew I wasn’t bullshizering, and that I was willing to put in the work. I have always had a passion for poker but have honestly been too scared to really take advantage of opportunities that have presented themselves along the way as a poker hostess. But, when the chance to get coaching from DeucesCracked came along, I knew I had to push that fear aside because offers like this are almost too good to be true.
Now the second reason I think Jay is amazing at reading people is because he undoubtedly paired me up with the best coach for me… Andrew “Balugawhale” Seidman. I know that there are so many incredible coaches here at Deuces, but I’m positive that Andrew’s personality and coaching style are perfectly compatible with me and my learning style. Obviously, Andrew could coach a monkey to be successful because he’s so good at it, but I definitely wanted to thank Jay for pairing me up with him. NICE READ.
Before I met my coach though, I was pretty effing nervous. I had no idea what to expect. I was soo excited that he turned out to be super friendly, outgoing, honest, and a great listener. That last trait I mentioned might seem like an odd one to point out, but in my opinion, it’s one of the most consistent characteristics of genuine people. People who have something to prove, are too into themselves, or only have ulterior motives for everything nice they do are generally terrible listeners. Anyway, sorry for the quick rant, but long story short, Andrew is GOOD PEOPLE.
The original plan was that Andrew would stay in Vegas for a few days and do a pretty intense eight sessions of coaching me for a series on DC. We worked really hard, but we also had an awesome time off the virtual felt too. He played on my coed soccer team and scored a goal (Brag: I scored 3 though, OHH one-upper!!!), we went to a country bar with Poker News people and rode mechanical bulls (I have video of it… thinking about submitting it to be spliced into one of these Coaching Kristy videos— what’ya think?), and we popped bottles in the club one night too.
Needless to say, the few days he was here were both super informative and FUN! When he left, I felt really confident about my game and was excited to start putting into place everything that I’d learned. Then, I got even better news!
We couldn’t use the videos and I was going to get eight more sessions of coaching with Andrew! YIPPEEEE!
So, the first video was posted today, and I’ve been really nervous for this. Basically, I’m making myself super vulnerable, but hey, whatever. It’s worth it, and I hope other people can learn with me. It’s tough sometimes to admit that you need help to improve your game, but not many people can be their best without it. I know a lot of people will be able to relate, so that’s why I’m ok with viewers watching me struggle and completely misplay hands and embarrass myself! It’s all a learning process!
And speaking of processes, I want to repost what Andrew wrote in the comments, which are the processes we referred to in the first video that I learned in our previous unseen coaching sessions…
process when facing a bet or raise
1) passive or aggressive?
2) value betting or bluffing?
3) value hands worse vs value hands better, count up total bluff hands
process when deciding whether or not to bet or raise:
1) am I value betting or bluffing?
2) if value betting, which worse hands call or raise?
3) if bluffing, do I have PE + FE?
I’m going to be posting at least every week about the latest video, and also about my progress. Right now I’m at NAPT Mohegan Sun doing video coverage for Poker News, so I won’t be able to put in a lot of hands, but I definitely will once the tournament is over.
I hope you all are well and enjoyed the first video. If you have any constructive criticism, questions, or suggestions feel free to message me!
<3 Kristy aka Guess16 aka Ninja Dolphin (if that doesn’t make sense, wait until next week
P.S. If any of you get bored of just reading about poker, I also keep my personal blog at Snaptress.com Thanks!