Hey guys, quick update. I've played/ran really quite badly over the past few days, and decided to change the way I'm approaching this a bit and prioritise some goals over others. I put the actual poker on the back-burner for a bit and decided to spend a while doing an extensive database review of myself and reading a lot. I learned a few things very quickly;
The Mental Game of Poker is a must - I started reading it this morning after it finally arrived. I got about halfway through it without averting my gaze; it was the most productive poker morning I've most likely ever had. I learned so much about my game, it made me realise a lot of my preconceptions about mental game and emotion were complete bullshit, and that I very seriously needed to re-think how I learn the game. It also made it clear to me I'm overconfident - learning a game as complex as PLO through raw trial and error and reading the scarce available literature is going to lose me a lot of money very quickly. This leads me to my second point;
I'm going to hire a coach - My main issue at the moment is that I struggle to identify my own leaks (I am consciously incompetent in leak finding some might say, cheers Jared) and I think hiring a coach to teach me how to find them would be hugely beneficial in the long run. I'm not decided on who yet, but I do have a name in mind. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know @SeacombePLO or in a comment, I'm looking for someone I can have weekly sessions with over the next year or so and consistently review my game and keep me on the right track.
I found a massive leak - I was exploring the properties of PT4 and found that you could organise your hand database by position. What I saw shocked me.
It's definitely notable to say this is only VPIP hands - this is not including the blinds I've just folded. I think its probably fair to say I'm playing incorrectly out of the blinds, specifically the small blind. Firstly, I'm playing more hands from the small blind than I am the button. With position being everything in PLO, this is just so stupid, as I'm effectively widening my range the worse my situation is. Delving further, I found a lot of these losses were huge pots that I'd either run into the nuts with a second or third nuts type of hand, or I'd blown off huge amounts with elaborate bluffs. I'm actually winning 55% of my VPIP hands from the small blind which is why I'm probably so aggressive, generally I'm winning so it feels profitable, however the times I do lose it ends up being such huge pots that it really isn't correct at all. Observation from this; tighten up from the blinds, don't go crazy OOP. Apart from that I don't think my stats are too crazy, I could maybe do with playing a bit more aggressively from the cutoff but I don't think the other profit numbers can be taken as gospel given the small sample size.
PokerJuice is phenomenal - I spent a few hours the other day really trying to get to grips with everything it can do and I have to say, I spent £215 on the yearly subscription, and it is worth every penny and more. I spent hours just plugging in random hands against random ranges on random flops and I got such a massive insight into PLO equities, which can be very deceptive. I spent about an hour just focused on all AAxx scenarios and I think my game is going to be a lot more solid with this information about how to play with and against them.
I felt a lot better about being able to approach the game positively tonight than I have done so far this month so decided to sit down on 2 PLO2Z tables. I made a very modest profit of $0.65 over 244 hands. It would've been a lot higher but I got sucked out on in a large pot, which is fine, it happens. I feel like if that'd happened yesterday I would've been bouncing off the walls but I genuinely think TMGOP is already helping me. To be honest, I stopped the session early because I was very keen on turning any form of profit for the session - got a bit sick of seeing red on my PT. I realise writing this that stopping to risk any profit for no reason other than fear of losing it is a very negative approach to the game, but I managed to turn a profit, find a huge leak, made massive mental game progress, not blow up when losing to a 4 outer and finally feel comfortable with two tables. I'm recording today as a massive win for me.
Hopefully see you next time! I'm off to review my last session.