Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Back Story

Originally Posted by MartL 2nd Sept 2010 View Post
Getting seriously tired of all the BS.
Had someone call my 4bet with 67s then call a bt on a dry flop with a gutshot then call my shove on the turn when he hit his 7. The guy is 13/10 and its just total BS i play the hand the same with AA KK QQ JJ yet of course this time i have AK. Had a Nit suckout on me when i had AK and the flop came A34. Im OOP and know i wont get any value from him so i check and let him bet, of course he catches 2 pair on the turn with his AQ. Now if i pull moves like this my opponents always have premiums. I think im best just playing like a robot and just bet when hit, cbet most flops but fold to any raise. Its pathetic poker but it wins at this level.
Needless to say i have loss it. Lost 2 BI`s and now i have a hole in my bedroom wall. Not impressed. Im starting to think that the temper inside me just can not be controlled. Im the most laid back person you can meet away from the tables but just see red mist occasionally when im at the tables. I need to sort it but i have no idea how.

Originally Posted by MartL 30th March 2011 View Post
If this dosnt turn around soon i think i will be calling it quits again, its not really good for my health when im hitting things because i lost a pot or somebody didnt fold when they should have done. I either get used to been out flopped or everyone hitting hands against me or thats it,im done. Also no more Rush, theres more fish at the normal tables and Rush just sends me mad.

Self banned for 3 days to start with until i decide what i want to do. Ive been reading through the pschology forum and it does seem the problems ive been having are quite a common occurence. I genuinly believe when i look at hands away from the table a lot of the time i can pick out how i should be playing the hands in the best way possible so although i could watch a ton of videos on how to get better im not sure they can have much effect on me because i will always have these tilt/spew/boredom problems in the back of my mind holding me back. I really need to do something on the mental side of things and try and work on that to get better. Its really annoying as i can sit at a table and play really well and then i take a stupid beat or someone 4bets me and i do something stupid. Its crazy.

Ive been playing poker for a few years now and have been a winning player up to and including NL100. I have a problem though, quite a large one, that has plagued my entire Poker playing life.

I tilt, I tilt really bad. I have broke monitors, mice, speakers and earphones. I have broke chairs and desks. I have kicked holes in my wall and I have punched holes in my wall and Im pretty sure that later on in life Im going to have problems with my hands because I wouldn’t be surprised if at one time or another I have broke bones in my hands by doing that.

Pretty soon after I have had a major tilt I realize that what Im doing is stupid and is costing me a lot of money and also not helping in other aspects of my life. I make a pact with myself that I am not going to do it again and have this new found focus which can last between a couple of hours or a few days until my next major tilt. In fact the only good thing that has come out of it all is that I am now a dab hand at re-plastering.


I have not tilted since 12th November 2012(32 Days). Thats right, over a month without even getting close to the levels of tilt that I used to get to. I used to check Hem what seemed like every single minute of every session. I have not done this since the same date. I seem to be playing with a ton of focus at the moment and what is even more encouraging is that I have done all of that while moving up levels which can tend to be more of a stressful time than usual and In all honesty I have not run that well either which can be a good test for where you are at mentally.

The significance of that date is that was when I had my first contact with Elliot. I have now had 5 sessions with him and I have had a month of playing pretty good, tilt free poker.

To even go a week without tilting would be a miracle for me so to go a full month is just out of this world. If someone had of told me that a month a go I would have cried laughing as the thought of that happening was just absurd.

Before working with Elliot I felt that I had tried everything. I had read books, I had watched videos, tried meditation, amongst other things but the tilt would still return. I even worked with Jared Tendler, now I enjoyed working with Jared and we did see some improvement but in my opinion for whatever reason it only scratched the surface of getting to the actual route of the problem. Thats not to say what Jared does dosnt work because he has proven results its just that it wasnt right for myself at that time.

I forgot to add that I am that person who dosnt think he can be hypnotized but lets just say my girlfriend coudnt believe it when during my first session with Elliot he had me running round the house pretending I were a chicken.

Im joking obviously but thats how I saw hypnotherapy mainly thanks to television. I am skeptical at the best of times when it comes to things like this and after trying many things I probably had it in my mind that this would fail as well. Elliot provided me with a ton of information about what he does and was also kind enough to put my gf`s mind at ease as well as she was also a bit worried about what could happen.

Over the last couple of years I have learnt to be a pretty good judge of character and it is easy to see that Elliot enjoys what he does and more importantly is very good at what he does. All of my dealings with him so far have been excellent and although I dont want to nag him all the time or give him constant updates, Its does feel like there is someone there for me who can get to the point of exactly what is wrong and knows exactly how to help. That in itself is a pretty good feeling.

I have held off writing this review because I didnt want to do the usual have one session and then go on about how good a coach some one is without a sample size. The sample size may still be small but I can tell you that I have no intention of and also no desire to ever tilt like I used to again. This is going to save me a lot of mental energy which I can hopefully put to good use and improve as a Poker player instead of worrying about flying off the handle every two minutes.

I really cant thank Elliot enough for what he has done for me and hopefully over time I will get the chance to repay him for helping me(I will get the beers in Vegas after my Poker winnings pay for the trip ). I will keep updating my results on here as Its an ongoing process but lets just say Im delighted so far.

The long and short of it is that if like me you didnt think anyone can help you then give Elliot a shot. Im confident you wont regret it. Even if you havnt tried anything Im pretty sure that Elliot would be a really good first point of call for improving your mental game and also your life away from the tables. Failing that buy his Mp3`s and give them a go, again these are an absolute bargain and a must have for anybody taking the game even half seriously.

There is a reason you are reading this thread so if you havnt already then get in contact with Elliot, you will be a better person for it.

Thank You Elliot.


This has to be the biggest generalization in Poker.

I love a good debate, that’s my problem. If I have an opinion on something I’m going to air it especially when its something that I care about.

So I managed to find myself in the midst of a couple of interesting debates on 2+2 mainly based around peoples generalizations about what is standard.

Adjective: Used or accepted as normal or average: “the standard rate of income tax”.

Who decides what is standard in Poker? The saying goes that if you say something often enough no matter how true, then people will start to believe it. I think this holds some truth especially when it comes to Poker forums. This can work both ways, we see people giving good advice and people follow it and it helps them, we also see bad advice and the same again except this time it will harm their development but in most cases people do not understand why they are doing that something and just take it as read.

Fold Pre.

One of the best pieces of advice or worst pieces of advice you will see on a forum and without a doubt the biggest waste of time there is. Of the two hands that brought these debates we have A4s and 44 in EP with people giving the advice of Fold Pre without offering any explanation what so ever about why that should be. Why is that? Im going to hazard a guess that most of the time its because they have read on a Poker forum that you dont open x Hand from X position. Have they thought about it for a second though as to why this may not be true? Probably not.

Thinking Outside The Box

We all do this don’t we? No we don’t. You say you do, but you don’t. most people don’t even consider their actions at the tables and just do things they have got in to the habit of, this is great if you already are a good player but if you are doing it wrong then those habits are going to be the hardest to break. Before we make a decision at the table the simplest questions to ask ourselves are Why? and What? Why am I folding this hand pre? What if I raised instead of folding? Every decision should be made in that moment and not on some tatty looking hand chart that you have stuck to your monitor.

Try thinking for a change, your game will thank you for it.

I included quite a few generalizations in this post but you probably spotted them? 🙂

Losing sucks.


But seriously it seems that every time I withdraw I hit a weird downswing where I see all kinds of weird shit happening where I cant hit a flop and villains can sole read me like a boss.












Thats what my graph looks like since I made the fateful decision to withdraw which is basically all of this months play. So its just over 6 buyins and probably my biggest downswing at this level so far so no really need to hit the panic stations just yet.

Anyone taking a look at my stats can see why Im getting hammered on, 30% 3bet success rate, 25% flop cbet success, 33% fold against a flop raise, 31% WTSD and finally a W$SD of 43%. Talk about fishy or what.
I guess I couldnt run like god forever though so time to get back to basics(which is hard when I cant play less than 20% Vpip no matter how hard I try) and start doing the little things right and the rest will hopefully fall in to place.

So i am sat looking at my computer screen, the date is 18th December 2010. The reason I cant take my eyes off the screen is because I have just had my biggest winning day playing poker. I’m up nearly 10 buyins at NL100 earning nearly as much in a day as I do in a month working my `real life` job as a Carpet Fitter. I’m delighted and feeling truly baller and although I am not one to brag about things I cant wait to tell people how much Ive won. I think I have made it.

Fast forward 4 months and I am once again staring at my computer screen. Again I cant take my eyes off my graph, this time though I am looking at the graph in disbelief because I am in the middle of a 35 buy in downswing. December 18th seems such a distant memory now as I prepare to move down to NL25. I’m in shock at how fast things have turned around and never believed I could have a downswing so bad as the most I have had in the past is about 10 buy ins.

The funny thing is, the more I look at the graph the more I seem unable to stop the rot. With every bad beat comes a bit more tilt and with every bit of tilt comes a bit more bad play. This all contributes to me never playing my A game for sustained periods because I am petrified of what monsters lurk around the corner.

Anyone who has read any of my posts knows that I am ultimately results oriented, almost to the extreme, almost to the point of looking at my graph and if it goes up I am happy and if it goes down I am sad. It isn’t just a case of how I am doing over the month or week that effects me. It can be how I am doing in the day or at the extreme how I am doing at the very minute that I am playing. It matters not how I have played in a session all that matters is the graph goes up or the graph goes down. There are times that I look at HEM while I am playing and find myself delighted to be up but from then on every hand that I lose and every time I check and see the money I won fritter away just sends me deeper in to unhappiness and usually deeper in to tilt.

How To Stop Being Results Oriented

Bloody hell if i hear one more person say poker is a game for the long term i think i may scream. Thats the point though, i know poker is a game for the long term but even though i know it for some reason it dosnt register in my head while i am making my decisions at the table or taking a few bad beats. All i can think about at the moment in time is money that should have been mine that is no longer mine. This is the thinking that i have got to find a way of getting out of. When someone sucks out on me i shouldnt be dissapointed, i should actually be pleased as this usually means that i have outplayed my opponent and got him to put his money in while behind. We all know that once the money is in the pot theres nothing more you can do so if you get your money in good more often than your opponents then you will profit in the long run. Every decision that you make at the table should boil down to a simple question of what action will make me the most money in the long run? Yes its ok to get it wrong occasionally as unless you make mistakes it is impossible to learn.

Below is a list of things that i hope can help with this aspect of the game:-

1. Stop Checking HEM Repeatedly

This should be quite an easy one but i have struggled with this in the past as theres no real way to stop HEM been available while im playing. The steps i have taken to help me in this aspect are to take out all the winning indicators in HEM so i no longer have $won or bb/100 won displayed on any of my reports tabs. Theres no way to take it out of the sessions tab but i will have to show some discipline here by trying not to look at this section. Even with those things not displayed it is still quite easy to review hands as we can use the filters and really we should be checking over most of the hands in a session where we have put money in the pot anyway and not just the big hands. Im hoping this will cut out some of the instant tilt i feel when i check HEM and see that i am down money.

2. Realise You Can Play Well And Lose And Vice Versa

This speaks for itself really but it is something that i obviously have trouble understanding because i am results oriented. On any given day i can play the best poker i am capable of playing and still lose money to the worse player that has played the game. In the short term varience is at its highest but as long as i realise that by making more good decisions than my opponent i make money in the long run. Realising that the graph can go up when i play bad and can go down when i play well is the begining of getting out of results oriented thinking.

3. Work With Ranges Not Specific Hands

Im really bad for doing this mainly because i know the hand that beat me. Although we should be doing session reviews on a regular basis i have found it quite interesting to go back through my database and pull out random hands in medium to big pots and run through the hand and try and put my opponent on a range. When i am tilting though i never do this instead just going over big pots and not really considering my opponents actions or range and just saying to myself that i got unlucky here or my opponent got lucky there.

4. Make Good Decisions More Often

I mean this in the context of just because i know i am up for the session i may decide just to call with Ak instead of 3betting and facing getting shoved on by a loose player and getting my money in on a flip or as slight favorite. Ive done this many a time and it all boils down to been results oriented. Every decision i make at the poker table has to be what i think is the most +EV play regardless of whether i am up or down for the day or session. If i get my money in as 60/40 favorite then in the short term i am going to lose some of these and thinking of results i am going to be dissapointed when i lose and elated when i win yet its just simple maths that says we look in to the future and i make this play then i win in the long run. So basically every hand i play has got to be seperate and not just looked at as part of a session which i do at the moment.

5. Stop Using Negative Words

Words like `Always` and `Never` are words that dont leave any room for any middle ground. When posting in my thread i find myself using words like this more and more often when i am running bad or playing bad. One of the regular posters in the thread actually pulled me up on it at one point. How many times have we asked ourselevs ” Why do i never get any luck?” The more and more we type things like this or say things like this the more and more our subconcious starts to believe it. When related to poker eventually we convince ourselves that we dont get any luck and this makes it very hard to be objectional when we are doing things like reviewing hands.

Derek Redmond was prepared for the 400m semifinal race at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. He felt he was in the best shape of his life. Despite 8 operations on his Achilles tendons over the past 4 years, he felt very confident. His father Jim, sitting in the stands, also had high hopes. Jim and his son were very close and he made it to all of the championship races. Redmond was amongst the favourites to win a medal at the games. He would finish the race last to a standing ovation but the fact that he even crossed the line at all should be an inspiration to everyone.

Please take a moment to watch the following video:-

Two years after the olympics in Barcelona, he was told by a surgeon that he would never run again or represent his country in sport. However after coming to terms with the loss of athletics as a career, he began to turn his attention, with the encouragement of his father, to other sports that he enjoyed. After trials at several basketball clubs, he secured a place on the GB basketball team. He sent a signed photo of the team to the surgeon that had assured him he would never represent his country in sport again. Today Redmond works as a motivational speaker.

Some Inspirational Quotes

People find inspiration in different places and if anyone is to look on the interweb then theres a lot of famous quotes that pop up time and time again. Here i have picked out some of my favourite ones and finish with one from a ficticious character and a quote from a famous movie but i think it is a really good quote and should be included.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary” – Vince Lombardi

“I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights” Mohammad Ali

“Pain is temporary. it may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take it’s place. if i quit however, it will last forever” -Lance Armstrong

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong.” – Peter T. McIntyre

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky

When i decided to write this post i wasnt really sure where i was going to go with it. I guess its mainly aimed at people that are just starting out in poker but hopefully everyone can take a little something out of it and if just one person gets a twinge of inspiration from it then that is great.

This brings me on to Inspiration in poker and i wanted to try and find a good example of a player that could be used to fire inspiration in players new and old. I wanted to find someone who has put a ton of work in to their game to get them to where they are. I wanted someone who had faced setbacks along he way but had passed through the adversity and was suceeding at levels that most of us could only dream of. I thought it was going to be a struggle to find that person, afterall not every poker players life story is available on the web and there cant be that many players out there that have worked from nothing and worked through the levels one by one to achieve what they have achieved. It struck me that a lot of poker players actually have a lot of their history on 2+2 so it was a case of finding the right player and using him as an example. Once i had looked at it like that there was only ever going to be one choice………………………..imfromsweden

Check out a couple of these hands:-…p-aces-400078/…s-reg-1041198/

Now check out the dates between the hands, shocking eh? Less than 2 1/2 years from 2NL to 2KNL.

The following quotes are pulled out of imfromsweden`s thread in the Poker Goals and Challenges Froum which can be found here:-…d-year-794635/

These will hopefully highlight the mentality and work ethic that has helped him to get to where he is now.

“I learned the basics from HoC, but I really improved by just questioning everything here on 2p2 and discussing a lot of strategy here. But really just think about poker a lot, solve different poker problems in your head and think about what other lines you could have taken, and you’ll improve faster than you think. “

“I’ve always played a few tables. Focus has always been to improve for me.”

“I definitly played more abc in the micros, but around 50nl I came up with this great idea that regs fold everything to a turn check/raise because they always give you credit for a set, so I guess that’s when I started thinking a bit more. ”

“Absolutely! Especially if you’re playing the micros, your only goal should be to move up as soon as possible. I’ve never understood these nits who say you need like 100BI’s for 25nl or w/e. Even worse are the grinders who play hundreds of thousands of hands… at 50nl.”

“Well, I try to quit as soon as I start to feel the tilt (not always succesfull tho ), but I also try to work on my game as much as possible. I also move up and down in stakes a lot, to gain confidence and flow.”

“I think I’m more fearless than other player, not afraid to call his overshove with bottom pair, not afraid to shove with a missed draw over his 3 barrels. That combined with good hand reading skills, being able to understand how they think, and being creative, makes for a good combination. So I think those are my strengths.”

“I never go broke and I will not fail.”

“I was bored, so I decided to play HU aginst a very good player from the MSNL forum. I knew it was gonna be hard, but god damn. Either he has a sick heater and hits every board, or I’m getting owned badly. I’ll definitly play him as much as I can.”

“You COULD just play 10 hands with me instead, until the table fills up. Who knows, you might actually learn something/get better?”

“I played FR, then I started to play HU aginst the FR regs that started tables, and after that I moved over to 6max.”

“Thanks. I disagree with a few things, but critisism is always welcome.”

“Haven’t gotten any coaching, and I don’t really watch any videoes. I have, however, posted a ton of hands, and discussed a ******** of theory.”

“First of all, you should get ur basics straight, and then proceed to really start thinking about the game.”

We’re not drawing conclusions, we’re just making educated guesses, assumptions, about every player. I’m always trying to figure out how they think about the game.

Instead of figuring out different tendencies they have (like, they tend to bet extra big with bluffs, or something), try to figure out HOW they think. Because trying to figure out tendencies is very hard, and easily countered, but figuring out roughly how someone thinks about the game, is more reliable and harder to counter.”

“I’m not in it to just get an as high hourly as possible at this moment. I just want to get better, and move up higher. ”

“Hehe, at least what I did is just think/talk/discuss a ton of poker. Just have it constantly on your mind. I often find myself when I’m like on the bus or subway to just come up with different spots and places where I think of different lines I can use exploit different strategies and stuff Yeah yeah, I’m nerdy like that.”

Those are just a sample of quotes from the thread but it gives you a basic insight in to how IFS approaches the game and his determination to do well at it and become the best that he can become.

A lot of the advice that you see on these forums is that if you are playing against a tough opponent or one that you think is better than yourself then it is best to just move tables. IFS goes against that and approaches the problem head on. One of the best ways to get better at something is to take on tougher challenges which may mean staying at the table and playing a tougher opponent, see why they are giving you trouble and adapt your game to counter their strategy and slowly and surely the better you will become. For me the quote that is the most golden is the one where he says he decided to play a very good reg from MSNL, you read the quote and expect it to finish with something like “I will try to avoid him in the future” but instead it finishes with “I`ll defnatley play him as much as i can.” Absolute gold.

Another question that is often asked a lot is what winrate can i expect when i move up to NLx. Estimates always range from the same to cutting it in half. Again IFS is a clear example that your WR dosnt have to drop when you are moving up and if you are constantly working on your game and thinking of situations then your WR can actually improve as you move up the levels. When i started winning at NL25 i became content to grind 16 tables and make some extra money to spend at the end of the month not realising that if i just spent a bit more time working on my game i could have trebled what i was making by moving up instead of relentless grinding. I played far too many hands at NL25 because i didnt have the bottle to move up incase i started losing, eventually i grew a pair and made the move up and then quickly up again. Once i got to NL100 i did exactly the same as NL25 and got comfortable just winning at a steady rate but couldnt work out why i couldnt get any better and because of that it made my tilt problems more prominet.

After many advices from IFS and a few others ive taken a step back again and realise my aim is to become the best that i can become which even if it means dropping down a level or two then im willing to do it because sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward. I dont posess the obvious natural talent that IFS has and im sure a lot of other people dont either but his work ethic is clear to see and if i can follow that then i know i can become a much better player.

Hopefully this post will help some people realise that there are no boundries on what you can achieve if you truly put your mind to something. In closing i think that people starting out can do a lot worse than go through a lot of IFS`s early posts in the micro forums and get a feel for what sort of questions that they should be asking and what they should be thinking about certain aspects of the game. To watch someone improve right in front of your eyes is a great inspiration. I will also add a link to a COW post that IFS made that is worth checking out:-…h-baah-637589/

I hope you enjoyed reading and i hope you feel a bit more inspired than you did 10 minutes ago.