Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Eager to move up

I made a pledge a few weeks ago to drop down in limits in my live game play to 6/12 and 8/16 until I can play 10 consecutive session hours without making any mistakes. Once I accomplish this, I will move back to 20/40.

It has been quite a bit harder than I expected. My longest streak was a little over 5 session hours, and my current run is 2 hours.

I am being very tough on myself because I believe I must be. The most important mistakes that I want to avoid making in playing limit poker are missing value bets and folding too much in big pots (and maybe even in medium size pots if there is insufficient information).

However, anything that I deem incorrect is a mistake. Some examples of picky things I am categorizing as a mistake are: i) tipping the dealer if I steal the blinds without a fight, ii) forgetting the exact betting sequence on earlier rounds of a hand that I am not currently involved in.
The first example is part of a group that I would categorize as "Minor error in discipline". They are almost completely irrelevant actions, but I will penalize myself for not following the set of rules that I defined for myself. (Showing my cards when not necessary would also fit in the category of "discipline" errors, but this is a significantly more severe error)
The second example is in the category of "Memory lapses". My short term memory is something I have I been working on quite a bit lately. It has gotten noticibly better, but there is more room for improvement. However, these types of mistakes can also be influenced by fatigue or lack of discipline to pay attention with enough interest to the action.

I feel a little down sometimes when I see a good 20/40 or 40/80 game, but I have only myself to answer to for why I can't sit down there.

I may chose to loosen my requirement to move up in limits to something like 1 mistake in 10 consecutive session hours, but probably only if I can get up to 7-8 consecutive hours without mistakes a few times. Probably a better system would be for me to give point weightings to the types of mistakes, and make the goal to beat a certain score over a certain number of session hours.

Am I too hung up on all this?

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