Monday, May 22, 2006

Further post session analysis

After further reflection on my last long live session, I want to record some thoughts on the psychological factors.

Internal factors

I was able to maintain a very healthly/positive state of mind for the entire LHE session. This contributed to me "only" making 2 BB worth of ~known~ mistakes while playing LHE: 1 missed turn value bet and 1 bad river call (realistically, I made substantially more mistakes that I didn't identify, but that is out of the context of this discussion).
However, I realize now the strong mental state was merely due to luck and timing. Assuming exactly same hands had been dealt with exactly the same opponents, if the ordering of the hands had been switched around only a modest amount, then I would likely have been in a weaker frame of mind and made far more mistakes.

I won my very first hand of the session and did not take any bad beats in the first hour. The high water mark for the session was about +50BB, and, after this high, the lowest point was probably about +30BB. Had I opened my session with the same -20BB run, it would have been much harder to be as selectively aggressive postflop with weak and vulnerable hands.

Many online players use a variety of techniques to hide their current sessions results from themselves specifically for these types of reasons. (e.g. buying in for a moderately large, but random amount, or covering your table cash balance using a physical or virtual post-it note)

I suppose that when playing live I could use a similar concept - namely stacking my chips in a manner such that I cannot accurately determine my chip stack. However, realistically this can't mask the stack size by more than +/- 15-20%. I've never tried this, but perhaps that degree of ambiguity would be enough. I'll give it a shot in my next session.

Ironically, keeping a running count on all chip stacks, particularly one's own, is essentially in any tournament (or NL cash game). Since prepping for live MTTs is my number 1 priority, perhaps I should only be focusing my effort in becoming more, in the words of threebet33, emotionally detached but mentally engaged. How the heck can I do that?

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