Don't Be an Idiot

Current Bankroll: $0.25 - 2.6M Play Chips

It's an easy thing to say, but it's got to be one of the hardest things for an aspiring poker player to do. You go and study all these strategies and set out rules for yourself, and yet in the most critical of situations you let your focus down and make the dumbest decisions, often from acting on impulse and not thinking the situation through fully before acting. Other times you just start playing like a donk and despite recognizing it can't seem to pull your head out of places it shouldn't be.

Tonight I was playing in Full Tilt's nightly $40 500K Play Chip Freeroll after playing for an hour in one of the donkfest freerolls that have no entry fee. Because you have to play to take so many chances in the regular freeroll, I was in the total wrong mindset for the tight play of the 500K Play Chip freeroll. I started playing too aggressively and while it bought me a lot of small pots I of course gave it all right back in others.

Now cashing in this 500K Play Chip freeroll is not very hard thing to do, and it's been a while since I've missed the bubble, but tonight I just had the completely wrong mentality going in and I couldn't fix myself. The worst part is that I ended up busting right on the bubble when I wasn't even in blinds trouble. I shouldn't have even been playing anything except the absolute best hands at that point, but I decided to shove with QJs on the BB for no good reason and got busted by a straight on the flop. It's pretty obvious how stupid of a play that was, and how dumb my play was for the whole tourney.

But what can I do to avoid these kinds of things? There wasn't anything that was keeping me from focusing or distracting me from my goals. Perhaps it's just a result of getting too overconfident and not taking each hand, each table and each tournament as seriously as if they were the WSOP. There is no point in playing if you aren't going to practice the strategies you set out for yourself and attempt to improve on your gameplay. If you let your play degenerate to the level of the worst players around you are only enforcing bad habits and actually slowing your progress towards becoming a better player.

I guess the hardest thing about the Chris Ferguson Challenge is that you are constantly playing with really poor players at other levels and you have to rise above that and avoid letting the poor play around you affect your strategy. If you stick to your gameplan and adjust your strategies to take advantage of your opponents weaknesses you can do quite well at these low limits, but if you let yourself stoop to their level, to quote an old saying, they will only drag you down and beat you up with experience.

On the bright side, I have been doing really well at the 1K/2K Play Chip tables and reached a new personal record of 3M chips. It helped that I haven't been able to play the 500K Play Chip freeroll for a couple nights in a row now, but I have really been making a killing there after adjusting my play for the level.

I also reached a new PR in the $100 Hold 'Em Freeroll tonight, placing 75th, but that was a bit depressing at the same time because I busted out after shoving at the wrong time when I wasn't even in a situation where I really had to. Ugh... I've really got to work on my discipline to make sure I can avoid these kinds of things. There is no point in trying to play well if you aren't going to do it 100% of the time. One big mistake can ruin hours of hard work in a tournament or even a cash game, and so the key to profitability in the long run starts with avoiding those big mistakes and allowing your good game slowly bring home the goods.


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