The way that I play poker would shock an awful lot of people because it sort of steers away from what a professional poker player is supposed to be. However, I think that there has been a somewhat evolutionary process at work here with poker players and today’s modern online pro has little resemblance to the old time card room bandit of years ago. Over the weekend I have been playing my usual mainstay of NL100 and NL50 full ring games and as usual I ended up ahead by a few hundred dollars.
This is normal for me because of how many tables I play. I simply sacrifice the extra quality for volume and this works for me. I have to compensate by playing lower levels of play and so it means that my almost “automated” style works. I play around 95% ABC with the other 5% being non-standard plays. Some years ago I deduced that this was the best style for me personally and that it basically fitted my personality and style. I have always been risk adverse and came into playing serious poker at a relatively late age compared to some.
So, these days, I believe in playing good tight solid poker, getting the basics down right and doing them very well. I have been learning to grind over the past few months and trust me when I say that grinding is difficult. It is something that you have to work your way up to and playing eight hour sessions would almost waste me now. I often think that mental muscle is almost like physical muscle in that you simply cannot just sit down and grind for hour after hour without it affecting you. The actual process of being an online poker grinder and pro is difficult but this was something that was lost on me years ago.
I just thought that it was the easiest thing in the world to simply sit there and play nothing but poker hands all day long. The simple act of just sitting for long periods is not something that I find easy to do. I crave to get up and do something else and so three hours is about my maximum these days. However this is not real grinding and so I guess that I have a lot of work to do in this area.
I find that I am still making mistakes that I should not be making and this applies when I have been playing for longer periods. If I make a big mistake in a situation where I know I should have done something different, then I immediately shut down because I know that I am no longer in the right mental state. For example, I allowed myself to get all-in at the weekend with Ac-Kc from the small blind against what I thought was a button stealer. Turned out they had A-A, but I simply should have folded to their pre-flop 4-bet shove which I mistakenly took for a bluff.