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Author Topic: There and Back Again: A Punter's Tale by Matthew Harris  (Read 96195 times)
Redbull
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« Reply #615 on: December 21, 2014, 08:21:16 PM »

Very pleased for you Matt, think you played really well. Possibly the most frustrating final table I've ever played with nothing but 93o and 62o almost the entire final Sad Good jamming skills  thumbs up
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« Reply #616 on: December 21, 2014, 08:23:10 PM »

Nice result Matt!
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« Reply #617 on: December 22, 2014, 01:19:44 AM »

Forgot to add, I found your beard very intimidating. Much scarier than Fred's beard to be feared. Think you really should soften the look this Christmas with those beard baubles.  thumbs up
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« Reply #618 on: December 22, 2014, 07:00:32 AM »

Well done Matt
Nice result ...happy Christmas
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« Reply #619 on: December 24, 2014, 12:53:38 PM »

lovely stuff
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« Reply #620 on: March 05, 2015, 06:24:29 PM »

How are things going Marris?
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« Reply #621 on: August 02, 2015, 01:04:59 PM »

wag1 blonde!

As I'm currently being told by the scary red text at the top of the page, I've not posted in this topic for more than 120 days. A few developments have occurred in poker and irl which have made me think it's probably about time to have another crack at this, so here goes!

IRL

I've got a job! This is itself in very exciting, it's been years since I last actually had a pay cheque, and after all the ups and downs of trying to get by with poker it feels wonderful to not have any stress about whether I'll be able to pay rent, bills etc. I'm now (and yes, the irony isn't lost on me) working for a small family business that does financial advice on mortgages, insurances etc. It's a glorified call centre really, not exactly cold calling but easily interpreted as such, but the hours are wonderful, the people are great and it's very flexible around things like uni. For a job that's only 30 hours a week the pay isn't bad either. I'll probably include some of the stories from here too, some of the phone calls we've had have been stunning.

I've also been accepted back into uni next year on the same course, which is very exciting too. I have decided I want to go through with getting a degree and work towards some sort of career, possibly journalism. I've also moved into my first flat that isn't student accommodation or a house share, and I've bought my first George Forman Grill. For those who don't have one, get one. I can't cook for shit, probably have a worse record than Goulder when it comes to food, and that grill has saved my ass at least twice a week since getting it.

Poker

A lot has happened to my poker life since I last posted on here. I secured a staking deal for cash which lasted maybe 2 months, and did a good job of putting me off staking. Didn't get any proper coaching despite stipulating at the start that that's primarily what I wanted, and got told on a few occasions when I was asking for a one-one session to just do it myself. Obviously I already did/do, but every now and then it's nice to have someone else's input, especially in areas you're struggling in. I was struggling with confidence and sessions were insanely swingy, and one rule in particular where I had to keep an eye on my HEM to look for when I was losing over 4 buy ins and then quit was getting quite problematic. I mean, in 1k hands of zoom it's not that rare to be losing like 3 buy ins, and having to constantly be aware of how much I was in for and then having to quit, tell my backers and not play for a bit until they got back to me didn't help me to drag myself out of the mental rut I was in.

I've now secured another staking deal which is way, way better. I'm back playing and winning at 50nl, feel really comfortable at the tables and I've got myself into a nice study routine. Thoroughly enjoying playing for the first time in a long time, and I've been doing a bit of coaching within the new stable. I feel like I'm learning more from this than anyone, forcing myself to go deep into spots that are apparently "standard" (hate that word, almost everyone loses at poker, if we all played "standard" we'd all lose :p) and explaining every decision I make is showing up some slightly confused logic on my part, or at the very least some sub-optimal thought processes.

The coaching has now got to a point where the guys who stake me are giving me my own micro stakes cash stable to manage and coach. The great thing about this is that we're not just getting players in who are already winning, we're just looking for people who are willing to learn and we'll take it from there. I don't know if that many stables will take people who are losing and commit the time to training them, and I'm really pumped for giving it a shot. Adrian has got involved too, and we're feeling really optimistic about the players we've got and our chances at making this work.

Gl us Smiley
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 01:07:45 PM by Rexas » Logged

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« Reply #622 on: August 02, 2015, 04:14:00 PM »

Obviously have very little experience when it comes to running/managing/coaching a stable, if anyone has any useful beginner tips they'd be very welcome Smiley
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« Reply #623 on: September 21, 2015, 02:54:54 PM »

Well this thread has gone well recently Tongue
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« Reply #624 on: August 18, 2016, 03:48:50 AM »

Not entirely sure what I'm going to put here, but feel like writing so I'm just going to see what happens. Will probably sound like a dick and this will be a long post with some negativity thrown about, so apologies for that. I'm not going to edit/reread it like I usually do either, I'm just going to write what comes into my head.

For perspective, I'm just coming off losing the biggest pot I've ever played by a country mile, so obviously I feel super shit. It was on the stream, just KK into AA, actually think someone better than me could have found the fold and I was super, super close to it, but whatever. Probably just being stupidly results orientated, it's probably fine, hopefully one day I'll see the same guy in a similar spot with QQ or something and then I'll know whether it was actually ok or not. As I said, I feel like writing about it and I figure that here is as good a place as any. Not looking for sympathy or anything, just think I'm not gonna be sleeping for a while.

Feel pretty weird right now. Immediately after losing the pot I felt shit obviously, was planning on driving straight home but got to the car and decided that was probably a bad idea. Wasn't angry, or feeling suicidal or anything extreme reactions that made me think it was dangerous to drive home, just wanted to stay around people for a bit, have a drink, talk it over a little rather than snap going into the drive and sitting at home on my own for a few hours before trying to get some sleep. If anything, I felt sick. It's a saying that gets thrown about a lot in poker, but you don't really get to know what it means until you lose a pot that really means something to you. It's an amazing feeling in itself. Takes so much willpower to walk out of the casino, and as you do it you feel physically sick. Knowing you're leaving, knowing you have no chance of getting it back, and hating yourself for doing it. Obviously there are confidence issues too, feel like what's the point in putting the work in just to get it taken away like that. I feel pretty strongly right now that a better player could have found the fold there, and that's obviously playing on your mind too. Is there any point in coming back, that rounders scene when what's his face says he'll stake Matt Damon and he just says "no, I'd throw it away" comes to mind. But overarching feeling is sick. I've actually felt like this once before, in a hand I'm not sure I documented on here where I bluffed off about half my net wealth and as a result went broke for the first time.

Sitting at home now, I feel... idk, kinda ok about it I guess. The hand itself I think I'm basically over, I'm going to wish I'd found that fold for a very long time and I imagine it will be an even longer time before I get to play another pot of anywhere near that size, but it's one of those things. Think a couple of years ago I'd feel very differently, but by now I've played enough and trained myself enough to just get over it. Was seriously considering self excluding and giving up etc but will probably just get my head down and get on with what I've been doing, lots of studying and grind out of it the hard way. More on the hand itself in a minute. Something Belton once said to me came to mind, as it has done several times before. After what was then my biggest losing day, he said something along the lines of take comfort in the fact that you will lose more, and I guess today was just that day. So anyone reading this knows, I broke a lot of records tonight. I played the biggest pot I've ever played, and won the biggest pot I've ever won, and then broke the biggest pot record again by a ton in the KK to AA hand, and broke the most I've ever lost in a session, so hence the writing.

As for the hand itself, quick HH - 2 win the button game, villain has already won two buttons in a row so this if he wins this he gets 25 off everyone. Fold to me in the hijack, I open to 100 with KK (pretty standard/good imo to do this in the win the button game, the guy on his streak has loads of incentive to play any two cards so opening a tight range but opening big seems intuitive. Forces everyone to be a bit more honest, makes it possible that the button can fold some hands and if he doesn't then it charges him a ton to see a flop with a shit hand). Button then makes it 275, I make it 850 (think this is preferable to flatting - don't expect this particular guy to be messing about all that much in this spot, so I'm happy to get more money in with the second nuts vs what I expect to be a pretty strong range). He then jams for around 4k effective, we eventually call. Few things that made me want to fold when he jammed, most of it being live stuff - There was some play acting, bit of hollywood shit, asking me how much I was playing etc. He'd hadn't been overly active with piling money in pre, which didn't help. Also expected him to flat AK rather than jam most of the time, although I don't know what villain thinks of me. Now I'm fairly sure he doesn't know much about me and certainly wasn't aware of how much bigger that pot was than anything else I'd played previously, which makes me more ok with the call. My instant reaction after the short tank and the jam was to fold, and I certainly wasn't messing about when I started tanking, I was genuinely super close to folding. After thinking about it for a bit, decided he was basically never bluffing, but could potentially jam QQ, maybe some combos of AK, the remaining combo of KK, thought it was a bit optimistic for me to think he'd jam JJ but also thought he would flat some combos of AA so decided it was probably a call and deal with it if he's got it. Post event I'm not sure he actually would jam worse, and I haven't decided whether that's just me being results orientated yet. As I said, hopefully one day he'll get in a similar spot with QQ or AK or something and I'll find out, but obvs that's not information I'll have had to hand at the time so I can't factor it in to assessing my decision, but for my peace of mind it would be nice to see him jam worse :p

Just some more ramblings that are going through my head at the moment. I kinda wish I'd never started playing this game in the first place. It's taught me a lot, and it's totally changed who I am and how I think, and I've met some remarkable people through it. But, this feeling just isn't worth it. The high points seem so few and far between unless you're a total fucking boss, and even then the lows are still going to come and still going to be brutal. Think it's the same with poker as with a lot of things - on tv, you see the people that have made it. You see their lifestyles and even when they're telling you about their low points, they're usually doing it from some massive fuck off house with a trophy cabinet and a car that cost more than my flat. The only proper one I can think of is Andrew Feldman, but it's hard to feel sympathy for a guy who basically stole a ton of money off one of his friends. You don't really ever see the people who tried and fucked it up or more importantly the huge second tier of players grinding their balls off in the hopes of getting promoted to being one of the big boys. The grind to get there is disgusting, and usually the people who talk to are the ones who got through it and found success on the other side. But you don't hear the ones who put in the time and got it wrong, who essentially wasted a chunk of their lives on that grind and have to deal with knowing that they gave something their best shot and failed. I'm not saying I fall into either category, and oddly I feel pretty motivated right now to get back on it, keep working and get through it. In all honesty, I feel like this is the wall (had by biggest ever losing week online a few weeks ago too). I feel like if I can study play my way through this then I'll look back on it as a defining point in my poker "career". I guess if I don't I will anyway, but in a different way. I did say they were ramblings.

Slightly happier note to end on as a quick irl catch up - still going with uni, will hopefully get through my third year and get that degree sorted. I've also moved into a flat over a year ago with my girlfriend, who is completely fantastic. I'm still backed by BRS and that's going well, been with them over a year now I think and won 10 months out of 12. PJ, Sylvia and everyone are brilliant, it's a great community and it's easy to feel motivated to do well for them. I've also discovered performance poetry, and have been introduced to a bloke called Luke Wright. I'll stick one of his poems up at the bottom, but even if you aren't a fan of poetry it's worth checking him and some of the other performance poets out. To be honest I'm probably mentally in the best place I've ever been, life stuff is going very well. Just got to get the bloody poker on the same track!



« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 03:53:13 AM by Rexas » Logged

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« Reply #625 on: August 18, 2016, 08:52:35 PM »

Matt,

I'm going to post a pretty brutal reply here. I feel OK with this as I know it's delivered with wholly positive intentions and well meaning.

You are a fool (said with no disrespect) to ever play in a game of sufficient scale to evoke this kind of emotion. Whilst statistical anomalies are just that, they still exist. If that outcome provokes a sufficiently harmful loss, or profound emotion, to harm your future profitability then it isn't the cooler that cost you, but the decision to be in the game in the first place.

If you are to play for a living you need to redress the balance of the exposure you take upon entering a game; not only for your mental wellbeing, but also financial.

I have stacked off many times over in infinitely more ludicrous spots, so I am no saint. I know, however, that I have genuinely never played for sufficient exposure as to ever question my choices to such an extent. You are undeniably a more than competent player, but I often think of Channing's Twitter strap line which is something like "I am a professional gambler. I may not be the best gambler but I try hard to be the most professional".

Good luck.

Ed
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« Reply #626 on: August 18, 2016, 10:32:29 PM »

Matt,

I'm going to post a pretty brutal reply here. I feel OK with this as I know it's delivered with wholly positive intentions and well meaning.

You are a fool (said with no disrespect) to ever play in a game of sufficient scale to evoke this kind of emotion. Whilst statistical anomalies are just that, they still exist. If that outcome provokes a sufficiently harmful loss, or profound emotion, to harm your future profitability then it isn't the cooler that cost you, but the decision to be in the game in the first place.

If you are to play for a living you need to redress the balance of the exposure you take upon entering a game; not only for your mental wellbeing, but also financial.

I have stacked off many times over in infinitely more ludicrous spots, so I am no saint. I know, however, that I have genuinely never played for sufficient exposure as to ever question my choices to such an extent. You are undeniably a more than competent player, but I often think of Channing's Twitter strap line which is something like "I am a professional gambler. I may not be the best gambler but I try hard to be the most professional".

Good luck.

Ed

Basically, I agree. I was staked into the game, so the loss hasn't had a immediate financial impact that I can't handle (obvs in some make up with it but that's ok, can grind out of that and didn't actually lose so much), so there's no fall out there. Think what bothered me about this one was just the sheer amount of money that it was, which I think is a clear sign (as you've said) that I was playing in a game that was just too big for me. What's weird about it is I think if I'd had less in front of me, but been in for the same amount, it wouldn't have bothered me as much as it did. Didn't expect the game to be big to a point where I was going to end up in pots anywhere near as big as 8k, and I've played my share of 3-4k pots to be able to deal with losing them. Kinda embarrassed by that post now, might just get it removed, woke up this morning and obviously wasn't exactly happy but felt fine.
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« Reply #627 on: August 18, 2016, 11:05:35 PM »

Matt you shouldn't delete it ,it's well written about how we all feel in these cold deck situations ,it's the  worst thing about poker !
You play good n get cold decked by the dealer it really sucks mate
I'm only a lol fish but I've been to Vegas many times n still go ,I just don't play as much as I used to because of situations like this ,some take it in their stride ,others hate it ,I've become a bad beat hater and now I'd rather not play ,then put up with situations like this one ! Gl mate
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« Reply #628 on: August 19, 2016, 12:34:51 AM »

I kinda wish I'd never started playing this game in the first place. It's taught me a lot, and it's totally changed who I am and how I think, and I've met some remarkable people through it. But, this feeling just isn't worth it. The high points seem so few and far between unless you're a total fucking boss, and even then the lows are still going to come and still going to be brutal...


I feel like if I can study play my way through this then I'll look back on it as a defining point in my poker "career". I guess if I don't I will anyway, but in a different way. I did say they were ramblings.

Super rarely when I'm having say the worst session of the year off the back of lots of other bad session I may mumble the first sentence whilst sighing, but with no meaning behind it and 10 minutes later I can't imagine that being a genuine thought going through my head ever again. If you feel like this after a couple of days or whatever then I would suggest leaving the game, at least for a long enough amount of time for you to start feeling really hungry for it rather than just returning to a desk because you feel like you have to. Maybe go on a trip somewhere, visit a new city, just to break away from the environment, personally find it helps me realise what drives and inspires me to become great at something I love.

Added the bottom quote because this should be what makes you persist. To realise these moments shape you, make you tougher in the long term and you need these shitty lows to eventually sculpt you into an elite poker player. As weak as it sounds you need these moments as a poker player, there will always be worse (and better) moments ahead, if you are unable to deal with these then you shouldn't be in the game.
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« Reply #629 on: August 19, 2016, 02:11:01 AM »

@tonytats ty bud, guess I'll keep it if it doesn't come across too cringey Smiley

@JGill, I didn't mean that I hate the game, I don't. Just wish I'd chosen a different game to put the hours into, and never properly discovered poker, because the low points are so brutal. You are right though, waking up this morning I felt pretty normal, obviously some residual "sigh" stuff but no more fuck this game stuff, and when poker is going well it is so much fun. Even when it's going badly sometimes it can be fun. Like when you make a decision that you know you wouldn't have made a month ago, and you see the improvement even if you're losing because you know you're on the right track to getting out of it.
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