The Downside to Shot Taking
Joeingram1, Oct 03 2013
Hello again... I think this makes the 2nd time I've blogged this year but I've probably written out about 20 blog posts over the year but always find a reason not to publish each of them. I did finish the rest of my story about my year spent raging and also wrote up a pretty epic trip report from my time living in Canada but talked myself out of putting those up for a few different reasons, mostly because on the surface it doesn't make me come off in the best way to the level 1 minds of the world who might not understand alternative viewpoints on why people choose to do things. Some might argue that why would you care what those types of people think or say about you but I've learnt over the last year in a few different times that what people think they know about you from what a sentence they may have read or a status update you might have posted can be communicated to someone that you would expect to be unaware about you at the most random times and cause some interesting drama in an otherwise boring life. When I write it out like that maybe I should just post all the stuff I have on deck because life is boring. I know many others feel that way, maybe making life .01 percent less boring for .01 percent of people I know may be my calling.
I've been living in the USA for the past few months so I am unable to post about my poker playing over that time I'm pretty sure I've put in a few hundred thousand hands over that time with pretty positive results but one thing has been really holding me back lately that I have gone back and forth on and that is the idea of shot taking. For the noobs that will read this from the fb/twitter world that don't play poker, shot taking is when you play a higher limit/stake than normal to you, higher in amount of money that you risk but also higher in relative skill level. IE. I play $2/4 with a 400 dollar buyin regularly and when I shot take I would be playing $10/20 with a 2000 dollar buy in or 10/10 (gives away a site I may sometimes play) or 25/50. Actually some nits probably think 3/6 would be shot taking if they play 2/4 but nits gonna nit.
Typically it seems like people shot take for a few different reasons. The obvious is that people love money, they want to make as much money as possible, playing higher stakes=making more money. Some people feel like they are bored with their current limit and want to challenge themselves more and shot take. A large majority of people these days will only shot take when a very -EV player is playing and they end up getting a good seat at that game. Sometimes people are just degens who want to be playing the high stakes and become famous and win all the money and be known as a boss. Other times its just the logical process that comes after you have had much success at your current stake and have built your bankroll up to the point where you can comfortably play higher stakes and if take a loss will not effect you to a large degree. In a perfect world everyone would take that last route but luckily for high stakes regs this is not a perfect world we live in and thus where the idea for me to write this blog post came from.
IF anyone has read my blog in the past or read my 2p2 posts/tweets I really never post anything strategic for the most part. That is another blog post in itself, but I suppose it might be time to actually say something someone might find a bit useful. I think the idea of shot taking for me has always been about the prestige of being successful at the higher stakes more than anything else. I think because of this during my first few years of playing poker it led me to put myself in a ridiculous amount of -EV situations playing for the sake of trying to "make it" or be the man or about that life or etc etc. In the early parts of my career I would grind hours and hours of 50cent/1dollar and 1/2 and shot take at 5/10 or 10/20. Sometimes I had short lived success, other times I failed right away, time and time again I would end up back at 50cent/1dollar grinding and grinding with the hope of taking another shot at higher stakes and having it be a success. I could have approached the whole idea of this in alot of different ways (not playing as high above normal stake, less tables, more table selection, etc...) but always found myself throwing any logical plan out the window. I think the biggest mental block that I have been unaware of until recently that I always fell back on was that I could always drop back down and make it all back with a little hard work. I probably have done this 150 times in my poker career, that seems crazy to make the same types of mistakes that many times in retrospect but this is what I've done in the past and still to this day do. In a way this actually justifies me shot taking all those times but it certainly does not justify the terrible approach I took along the way.
Without shot taking I would have never had my 500k upswing though. During this initial 6 month run I changed a few different way I approached things. I was coming off a ridiculous confidence boost by putting in a 500k hand plo month in December and managed to do way better than I thought during that time period. I padded my bankroll by winning prop bet/achieving Supernova Elite during that time and decided I was only going to play 4 tables max, actually pay attention to the hands (I had never done this before in about 5 million hands) and game select like a the nittest of nits. I've always said that I think the most important thing to moving up stakes or shot taking is that initial first few weeks. If you can run good and build up momentum and confidence you're set. Luckily for me I ran hotter than the sun and was working harder/more hours than I really had before and putting myself in ridiculously +EV situations all the time, mostly running hotter than the sun. During poker sessions for me in the past, I feel like I play 1 or 2 really big pots during that time that in a way save that session from being a disaster and help build back up momentum to end the session on a positive note. During this time period It felt like I had this happen soooo often. This sounds like I'm writing about the positives of shot taking, well in that magical perfect world this might have been the perfect scenario. Once PTR (pokertableratings) went down I really stopped caring about trying to put myself in those magical +++EV situations, which is another blog post entirely as well (one which I have actually wrote).
I think that story is pretty relevant to the reason why shot taking for myself now and for many others takes place. Most people always remember those epic runs they have had in the past where they made xxxxxx amount of money or that time someone they know or follow went on a ridiculous heater shot and that influences their decision to do it. I actually know 3 people who pretty much busto'd themselves shot taking during the time period I was and they told me the biggest reason they did it was because of my run at the time. Obviously this is a pretty extreme example and not really the angle that I am writing about here but I think that mindset still applies to a lesser degree. This is more geared towards the 100-200-400 regs out there. I think 100nl/plo is the first limit where you can really start to earn a good amount of money for yourself when you take into account bonuses and the first limit where I remember feeling that shot taking bug in me. I know there is a pretty large amount of people out there that grind these limits with less than 100 buyins in their bankroll and always worried about going on a bit of a downswing and putting themselves into this idea the "danger zone". I've personally always played with a variety of buyins for that limit but a majority of the time I shot took most would consider underrolled. I remember I used to play 10 tables of 5/10nl with like 25-30k online
I wish I realized this 3 years earlier instead of a few weeks ago but it was never really that obvious to me. Most of the time when I played higher stakes it was when I was on a bit of an upswing and my confidence was at a pretty good peak, I would then end up losing 5-10+ buyins at a higher limit which is pretty standard for PLO, whether it be by me running bad or playing bad or running bad/playing bad and be a bit crushed everytime about it and curse the poker gods for my bad luck and with my confidence shaken return back to the lower limits. Sometimes I've made the mistake of losing a bit more buyins than I should have allowed and have to drop back down to lower than my regular limits and grind it back up again. Obviously to the logical grinder's out their this seems really dumb but not many of us fall into that category which is good for you. The biggest downside that I've experienced without realizing it in the past but after looking over my data is that during that time I drop back down with shaken confidence, my play suffers a pretty sizable amount and sometimes it might take only a few days with a bunch of hours played or sometimes even longer to get back on track and back in the groove. During that time spent shot taking and returning to form I could have been in a pretty steady path at my regular stakes crushing away and gradually moving up being very over rolled and able to incur those losses without being to hurt emotionally or bankroll wise and do it a logical way but 150 times I have chosen not to do this. Although I did have that huuuuge upswing so perhaps with that occurring and the "potential" for something similar to happen again it is justified but I would argue having that happen to me was actually one of the worst possible things to happen. But I'm not sure I ever would have come to the realization I came to now without it.
One of the other big downsides to shot taking that I have heard more people talk about is that when you win a few buyin's shot taking the feeling is not as great as when you lose a few buyins during that same time. Everyone has a different approach to this happening but it seems that many of my friends I've had over time take the negative losses very bad and sometimes they end up just not playing for a period of time and essentially wasting a few weeks recovering from that while feeling terrible on their day to day activities in the process. I probably could expand a bit more on this and a few other ideas related to downsides I think occur but that writing sensation that comes over me about once or twice a month is fading away as I get more tired. I do have another blog post pertaining to goal setting and ways to plan to achieve them almost finished that I have been working on for the past month or two with some success that I think will be able to really help some people out there.
I should go back and read this before I post it but I'm semi sleeping at this point so I will say a small prayer that I logically wrote all this out and I didn't make too many grammatical errors along the way
my drug experience part 1
Joeingram1, Jul 20 2013
This is my first blog of the year, I used to love to write. About my wins, losses, what I was doing in the moment but sometime during my big upswing last year I decided to really cut back on it. I enjoyed blogging about the struggle and grind to the top much more than the success once your up there and the fight to maintain that. I really have wanted to start writing more about different creative ideas that have been going through my mind. I've wanted to start creating something for someone out there in the world to enjoy.
My first 26 years alive I never tried drugs. I really never drank or went out too much or anything of that nature. I couldn't really understand why someone would do drugs or be addicted to drugs. I dated a girl in San Diego who was a recovering drug addict and I remember talking to her and some friends really surprised how anyone could get to that point. I've been offered weed a few times up to that point of my life but always passed on it. My first experience was when I was living in Vancouver and towards the beginning of my big upswing. I was pretty happy (maybe 60/100 level), probably the happiest I had ever been in life. I wanted to let loose and try to have more fun in my life so I started going out a bit more and making friends with other poker players in Vancouver. One night i was with a few friends that I really enjoyed being around and hanging with and they were going to do ecstasy and asked if I wanted any. They knew I had never tried anything before but I decided that I was at a point in my life where I really needed to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I did a half pill that night and I was fuckkkkkkkkkkked up. We went to the Roxy (a bar/club that played live music that was a shitshow) and the feeling I felt was this ridiculous level of happiness and carefree. I felt like I was the man, acting with confidence in everything I did and with everyone I spoke to. I made a few new friends that night that I still talk to now. After we left Roxy we walked down to a place called the Basement for after hours. It was pitch black with strobing lights and 98 percent asians fucked up, I had never seen anything like this before in my life. I danced and walked around the place a few times looking at everyone else and wondering if they were feeling the way I was at the time. We left and went back to my friends place and sat around talking about love and friendship for a few more hours and then at 8am I went home to my place.
I plan to get into detail about the whole experience I have had. The people you meet, places you go, feelings you have, the way your mind changes. The IMO positives/negatives of each of them. I'm at a pretty chatoic place in my mind/life right now and have no idea where to go next I think sharing this for myself to read will be a really good thing and also give people a real look into what it is all about
Joeingram1, Dec 18 2012
I've been getting a few messages recently to blog more but everytime I get in the zone I end up doing something else and falling out of it. I write the blog in my head and than I just forget all about it until the next time comes up where I want to write. As the people who have read my blogs know I'm very very honest and open in what I write. Some say it might be to a negative point but really I don't see a reason not to be, this is me, this is my life, this is what I think, this is whats on my mind. I think so many people experience things in their life and never talk about it or express it in writing for themselves. Since moving over here to Australia I really haven't had anyone to talk to, I have my friends I skype with sometimes but it just doesn't feel the same to me, almost not real.
I should give an obligatory poker update since my last blog had to do my current poker mindset/strategy. I pretty much decided to do a 180 from what I wrote about before. I was chatting with a fellow mass multi tabler who has played some PLO but not a ton of volume and he was saying he wanted to start mass multi tabling for VPP. I tried explaining him how this wouldn't work out but if he was going to try it some things he could do that would be effective. Then I started looking at my recent results and saying to myself why don't I try all this shit I am talking myself. I realized that I needed to play less hands when I was only playing a few tables but just couldn't figure out how to do that effectively and in turn my variance was insane and I was making many mistakes. I decided to try mass tabling again with a different approach to the game pre and post flop and see what the effect would be. In turn my sessions become much less stressful, much lower variance, hands became easy to play and in turn started winning in bunches. All the terrible spots I found myself in before went away and was able to essentially revamp my pre/post play and still add in parts of my game that I felt like worked effective when I was playing like a maniac. I guess the problem now becomes that playing midstakes is pretty boring when you have like 500 buyins for the limit you play and no motivation to go with it. I really have no desire to play 5/10 ever again so using that as a goal or building block to work towards isn't really in the picture. Everything I would want to spend money on I already have, excluding some extravagent car purchase, which really doesn't interest me anymore. I think this is just a phase that can be explained by the next paragraph though.
I feel some long writing coming on here but might be good for me. I basically decided to write this after my last tweet which had to do with my mom telling me I should never do drugs because they are bad for your mind and body whereas I countered with what about doing them to the point where you are not abusing them. The overall idea behind it was finding a balance with it. I have heard many people say that it can ruin your mind, but to me my mind has been locked in some sort of black hole all my life and never thought past some sort of basic level. I think right now I'm also just having an adverse reaction to recent events that have transpired here while being in Sydney and my mind just has no idea how to react or what to do so constant thoughts like this come into my mind. Not sure I wrote much about this but I moved here to Sydney for someone I met in Ibiza this summer and did some traveling with throughout Europe after. At the time it was like magic being with her and really felt like I HAD to come here to see the possibilities of finding something special that I never have experienced before. Throughout my dating life I really have never liked anyone in this way, a majority of the time feelings would never stick around for a long time and subsequently I never really ended up dating anyone in a serious way. Then comes earlier this year, I'm doing amazing poker wise, finally going out for the first time in my life and at some point with a few poker friends of mine I decide that I should try something I never have before. Since this time I have looked at the idea of love in a totally different way. I don't think I have ever loved anyone previous to this year but now in my life I have found love that I never knew I could feel with some constants in my life in addition to falling in love with 3 people this year. 2 of these the first time we met both of us were on another level together which in turn feelings that I never imagined I could ever feel for anyone else were experienced. One of the problems with this is that you are tricked into thinking this type of feeling will always be there which is what happened in the case of my Sydney adventure I embarked on.
When I arrived here everything started off well, which is to be expected. As things progressed I became pretty unhappy with my poor poker results and having no good friends out here to talk to about anything eventually detoriating the relationship we had. I don't really want to get much into the relationship but while I was telling myself that I'm going to really give it my best try mentally and try to make things work here because really I didn't have any other options for anything else out here, she had already moved on and was staying with me to make me happy and lying to me about what she was doing, her feelings, other stuff. Only after being confronted with actual evidence of did she finally admit to some of the lying that had been going on for weeks now. In a way I was quite impressed with the ability to come off us such a genuine nice caring person while also being a pathological liar with the ability to lie about something for hours/days/weeks. I have lied to women in my dating life to a certain extent, most of the time being I would not say something like "yes im dating you and 2 other girls as well" but those relationships were never serious and I rarely would find myself saying things like I actually care about you alot or your the only one for me type of things but once I actually made the move here to Sydney I decide that I would try this way of living out. Being honest, one woman, really caring for the person and in turn when something like this happens I just feel crushed to a point I have never quite felt before. I'm sure alot of the reason is that i'm in fucking Australia and barely know anyone else but at the same time I realllllly cared for this pos so its like on one hand i wish death and on the other hand it makes sense to me. Those first times we had together in our zone tricked us into thinking that more was possible when in reality it wasn't there. lol no idea where I was going with any of this but I think it was just explaing how I got to the point where I decided to make my last tweet I made. Writing this stuff out I think is good for me and will help me overcome these crazy thoughts running through my mind.
So now here I am still in Sydney, I have a sick place for 2 more months, a 5k bed that I never want to leave, whole bunch of other stuff I bought because I thought I would be here for a long time and really haven't achieved much of anything. So I decided that I would get out there in the world and see what Sydney has. Have been doing a bit more raging lately and you guys can probably guess that in turn I start feeling a little out of this world more often and my mind starts thinking ideas that have never come up for myself before. I am hoping once I move past this recent breakup that I will be able to learn from it and look at things differently but until then I really have no fucking idea what to do or think or feel. Poker not sure where to go, life not sure where to go, so many options, so many ideas, never want to make the wrong decision and live with regret.