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Views: 1047
Date Posted: Aug. 30, 2:30am, 3 Comments

I have enjoyed a nice few days away from the tables. The last session I played was on Tuesday, and since then have not touched a poker site. Stepping away from the game and balancing it out with other areas of life is so important to my mental well being. I didn't use to make enough time for myself away from the felt and I would continue to play burnt out poker...not good.

 

So what did I do this week?

*I went to see the Quentin Tarantino movie, "Inglorious Basterds," which I thought was excellent. The cinematography was amazing and I espcially loved the actor who played the German SS officer....his acting was brilliant! 

 

*I also went out and got my younger sister a few gifts for her new studio. She will be starting graduate school at UPenn next week and will only be 20 min away now, which will be great, because we have been living 60miles away or more ever since I left for college at the age of 18. So I'm very much looking forward to driving into the city to meet up for dinner regularly and hear about classes, grad life, and her campus crushes. My sister is prettier than words, and I have always been protective of her, but she is 22 now and I have to remind myself she is growing into a mature young woman. Even though if it were up to me, I'd have her tie her hair in pigtails and wear turtle necks everyday =x.

This morning, I drove into philly and met up with her, my brother, sister-in-law and the parents to check out her new studio and have lunch. We ate at an Indian restaurant on campus, which was suprisingly good.

 

*I rearranged my room this evening...hung up some new pictures, and paintings. Moved my desktop around, because I decided it was in a distracting part of the apartment, and I wanted to test it out in a quieter area. So if I end up shipping a sunday major tomorrow, I guess we will know why it took so long ;)

 

*I still have piles and piles of clothes to sort through, which I am not looking forward to, but it has to be done. There is just so much stuff I don't wear anymore and I want to get it organized and donate it.  The Salvation Army donation drop spot is literally 1 minute from where I live, so there is no excuse for me to not get it done. I am sure many people can make use of the clothes, shoes, and handbags that I don't even touch anymore.

 

*I spent some time watching poker videos. Ok correction, I indulged in watching poker videos at BlueFire Poker, because I am absolutely enamoured with Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, and his poker mind. His poker videos are on PLO and NL cash games, neither of which I play, LOL, but it doesn't stop me from sitting there and listening to his genius stream of poker consciousness, in the hopes of soaking some in. In fact, he recently posted an insightful blog, "Midnight Ramblings," which is a Must Read!!

 

*Speaking of great poker minds, if you haven't checked out Alex "Assassinato" Fitzgerald's interview, then don't waste another minute. I have known Alex for a little over 3 years now and he was one of the first online mtt friends I made. I knew he was a special, unique person then, and it has been great watching him progress, mature, and emerge ahead of a very competitive pack. I think the best things for Alex are yet to come, and with the conviction, passion and determination he has, who knows what he can/will achieve. He is a great player, a great writer, a great friend, and a great person. Thanks for the candid and inspiring interview Alex <3

 

*Well it is 3am and I suppose I should try to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a big day of poker and I will be approaching the tables refreshed and ready for battle. WCOOP and MiniFtops both start this week as well, and I am planning on making a couple of deep runs in those. So while my time away has been rejuvenating, it is back to the grind ladies and gents.

 

Step #1: Silence/block out all distractions

Step #2: Focus

Step #3: Isolate each hand, not allowing unwanted results to interfere with future decisions.

Step #4: Be Confident

Step #5: Crush.

 

Best of luck to all. xoxox

 

Views: 1165
Date Posted: Aug. 23, 12:38am, 5 Comments

The first Rex55 Blog Contest has met its deadline. Thank you to everyone who submitted entries. It was not an easy task choosing just ONE blogger who I felt best answered the question :

"What holds you back from being a better poker player than you are today? What are your shortcomings and weaknesses?"

  There were many insightful, honest and creative posts, but unfortunately, I can only choose one.

 

The winner is: Persius!!!

Congratulations Goncalo...you will receive 1 hr of free one on one coaching valued at $150, followed by a stake in a tournament.

I am looking forward to addressing the issues you expressed in your blog and helping you elevate your game to the next level!!

 

I have decided that I will be doing another blog contest soon with a new topic, and I encourage everyone to continue submitting entries. Please do not be discouraged if you did not win. After reading through all the responses, it was obvious that there was a transparent commonality between the sentiments expressed. I am sure many of the readers were able to relate and connect with the struggles and battles you all discussed in your blogs. That alone, should make your efforts worth it. This is why I love blogging so much. Whenever I write, I hope that someone, somewhere is able to connect with my thoughts... as they are a personal reflection surfacing from the depths within me. Thank you all for sharing yours....

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the submitted entries:

 

*Has poor bankroll management put you behind the 8 ball, increasing the presssure you put on yourself, trying to win it all back with one tournament or ring game session? or do you lose your cool, moving up in limits in when you should be moving down after a bad run of losing hands?
 So, in answer to this question, I would have to say my "expectations" are taking away my ability to focus on one hand at a time and making the best possible decision at that given moment.
-Swa22

 

*The weakness that holds me back from being a better poker player, is my level of confidence. Often times I am too hard on myself over my failures, give myself no credit for my successes, and consciously place blame for my results on the wrong factors. My lack of confidence often causes me to second guess myself, and my decisions, in all aspects of life, not just at the poker table. It is particuarly detrimental to my poker game in the sense that I can't focus on just making correct decions, I am always worried about things I cannot control. -MinCashFTW

 

*My strongest weakness is experience.  I started out playing poker a couple months ago and thought I was good, even won some tournaments.  But I was still under the belief it had more to do with luck then with skill. I was able to get access to a poker training site that turned me around.  There is so much skill involved with poker. You can win the pot from having the nuts, from using the board texture, from bluffing, from reading your opponent.  A lot of the times you end up playing your opponent rather then your hand.  Winning the hand by having the nuts is only one way.  There are more ways to win it that rely on skill then by having the best hand, so I fell in love with poker. -Jamesjw007

 

*I know I may not be ready for the noise bleed tables, but I play a solid game of poker.  Playing at the lower limits because of my bankroll, causes me to run into newer players and players that just don't mind losing $10 on a long shot.  This online scene is a big struggle.  I don't have a big head about my poker skills.  I know I need improvement.  I am willing to put in the work to become a better or the best poker player.  Nothing wrong with dreaming, right? X -XPokerChic

 

*So the main problem with me is that I cannot choose one thing and do an do and dooo it till death. I mean I prefer tournaments but I still can't cope with variance and bad beats.

I will NOT give it up, I'm watching a lot of videos at pxf, and I'm reading a lot of articles, the only things I need are willingness, stamina, and patience. Oh, and patience.

I have to learn that nothing's easy. I just have to keep playing, learning, and avoid cash games, because it doesn't make me happy. When I'm winning, I'm taking it natural, but when I'm loosing, I'm feeling that I' never gonna win again...never again. That's why tournament's are better for me... -dodibacsi


*I do feel blessed though ....when I first started out in poker I would go through patches and say to myself, "I am not learning anything" but that is not a problem now.  Now the problem is I feel like I have too much to work on. I just need more hours in the day.

Not since my old wrestling days have I been this "hungry" I still want to eat the old bolgna sandwich with a footprint on it that is sitting in the urinal -metaphorically speaking. -TeUnit

 

*As we humans have developed through time, our brains have developed better problem solving abilities, but our old brain is still present and active and information still gets there first.  So knowing it is in our nature to react first and think second, we should always remember that although we may view ourselves as thinking creatures that have feelings, we are in fact biologically emotional creatures that think.

 

My biggest ongoing problem with poker I believe has been tilt.  I have searched high and low and worked long and hard on this problem.  In my search I have found there to be many reasons we go on tilt. -OlDusty

I would recommend everyone to read the following article posted on oldusty's blog regarding the neurological reasons for 'tilt'  http://pokercurious.com/blogs/oldusty/this-is-your-brain-on-tilt-rex55/

 

Congrats again to Persius.

 

Gl @ the tables xox

Views: 1246
Date Posted: Aug. 20, 8:11am, 16 Comments

18k_win-bi.jpg

 

I started my evening session at 10pm. After playing 6 tournaments and making zero cashes (bubbled two), I tried one last ditch effort and registered for the $75 18kg on ftp that starts at 1:59am E...the vampire mtt!! I Love this tournament though and have blogged about it before as being one of the softest midstakes mtts online. There were so many interesting hands, none of which I am awake enough to blog about now.  But it felt good to stay patient and play my

A-game after what was a pretty brutal night at the tables, and ship first place in this tournament.

 

The daily mtt grind is tedious and frustrating....trying to play perfect everyday, the best you know how, getting unlucky at spots, other times making mistakes. But it is moments like tonight, when the focus, patience and smart decisions are rewarded, that motivates me to love this brutal grind.

 

Thank you to all the peeps who stayed up til 8am (gosh we are sick degens) rooting me on....glad I was able to cap your insomnia with a cherry =)

 

It's 8:30 am .. good morning to allllll... but gn to me x0x

Views: 653
Date Posted: Aug. 15, 11:29pm, 11 Comments

So I thought I would do something fun for all Rexaments (people who read rex55's blog :)

 

Now that Ftops is winding down, it will free up some time for me and I can spend some more time in the forums, chatroom, studying, coaching and relaxing. I made 2 deep runs in this year's ftops events, but unfortunately no final tables yet- (still 2 more events tomrrow).  I was happy with how I played overall and felt really good about my game during  the $100r PLO event today...Got really lucky to hit quad Kings into top set of Aces early on in the tourney, so I felt like I was on borrowed time... but just couldn't get the races to fall my way deep when it counted.. busted 32nd,  one better than my 33rd place finish in the $200 ftops turbo. 

Overall it has been a profitable ftops, but the gold jersey still eludes me...in my opinion, its just a matter of time though.

 

So now what fun did I have in store exactly? Well I'm a blog junkie. As much as I like to blog myself, I love reading blogs. However, lately I have been thirsting for some good blog reading material and not finding much. Sure I have my favorite bloggers, but they don't post very often...so there are extended gaps where my blog addiction is deprived. So I thought I would come up with a cool contest that would quench my thirst to read blogs, as well as push my readers to write/reflect/inspire.

SO here are the contest rules:

 

*I want you to post a blog on the following topic:

"What holds you back from being a better poker player than you are today? What are your shortcomings and weaknesses?"

 

*The blog has to be posted on PokerCurious. So all readers who have not yet created their free account.. what are you waiting for?

 

*You have one week, after which time I will reply to the question myself in a blog and then post the winner of the contest, who I will choose based on honesty, introspection, creativity and content. You don't have to be a great writer to win this contest. I won't be turned off by poor grammer/spelling (tho i do encourage proofreading:)

 

*The PRIZE: One hour of free poker coaching with me, worth $150. After the coaching session I will assess your level of play and buy you into an online tournament.

 

Ultimately I think it is important to be honest to ourselves about our present skillset and the shortcomings/weaknesses that hold us back from becoming better. I visit these depths often.. I now invite you to share yours with me....and I look forward to reading your story.

Views: 504
Date Posted: Aug. 12, 6:38pm, 4 Comments
The versatility of the world and its people reminds me of the singularity of our core.
At the end of the day, we all want the same thing...happiness, security, and peace.

 

I have been to some of the poorest villages in India and seen the happiest children, and living in America, I have seen some of the richest people, miserable beyond hope.
Everyday I talk to low stakes grinders who have a thirst to improve and get better.. always seeing their glass as half full...
And everyday I talk to big names who can retire today from poker and go do whatever they want, but are depressed beyond all reason.
Happiness is a universal truth....we all want it...
and yet the luxuries we seek often times cloud us from truly discovering it.
It is easy to get washed away by the intrusive tides of poker. It has a way of infiltrating into our minds.. some of us sit at work, obsessing about getting home so we can jump into a sng.. some of us obsess sitting at home.. waiting for cash games to start, sngs to fill, tourneys to start registering...it is easy to get caught up in the theme of "money" and "scores"...
Poker can suck the life out of you, if you let it...Poker can rear its ugly head and swallow your money, your security, your mind...
Being so immersed in poker between playing, being a pro on pokercurious and pokerxfactor, coaching etc..I have to take a few steps back often.. to keep my life in perspective....
At the end of the day, I have to remind myself that my bankroll doesn't define me... neither does winning a sunday major, or being ranked on pocket fives... I am much much much more than a deck of cards...my wings soar higher than the felt...my purpose in life reaches farther than this 2-dimensional computer screen.

I define myself.

Views: 496
Date Posted: Aug. 9, 1:22pm, 2 Comments

Hi guys, I only have a few minutes before I start a hectic Sunday tournament schedule (and of course our 2 pokercurious freerolls), but just wanted to remind everyone of my first Pro Chat I am doing for PC. It will be tomorrow, Monday evening at 7:00pmE in the chatroom here.

 

There have already been some great questions posted in this thread, and I am hoping by tomorrow evening there will be more. You can ask anything (within reason ;), about poker, my life, my past, my goals...questions you may have to help improve your game,...funny questions, serious questions.. etc. Posting the questions in the thread beforehand will limit chaos in the chatroom, and I will be able to get to all the questions effectively. The chat will be approximately one hour, and if there is time near the end, then I will be happy to answer spontaneous questions.

You must be a member to enter the chatroom and post in the forums, so for all newcomers, make sure you create an account beforehand. The chat should be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to getting to know the members here and offering advice/perspective.

 

On the pokerfront, things have been going well. I made 3 final tables this past week, the most recent being a $215 Pot Limit Omaha Mtt on Stars yesterday, where I finished 4th for about $4600. I have not had any luck in FTOPS yet, but I'm hoping today that will change?

 

Gotta run for now...Best of luck to all those grinding today. PLay smart, solid and let the bad beats roll off your armor. Cheers xox

Views: 616
Date Posted: Aug. 6, 2:05pm, 8 Comments

If there is one thing I ask of poker players near and far, it is this....Please Don't Be Results Oriented! This common fallacy among poker players can be subtle enough that they don't even realize it, but I can assure you, is very detrimental to their game.

 So often in poker, our success, is measured by "money won"....and that can cause us to lose sight of the real objective.....which is to play each hand as optimally as possible. To make the best decision we can make based on the information we have, and not focus on the immediate result of that decision.

 

The concept seems simple on the surface, but it is not as easy to accept or apply, and it is especially difficult not to be Results Oriented when you are losing. I know, because I struggled with accepting it too. In fact, for the longest time I did not even realize I was being results oriented, until a good friend pointed it out to me, and how it was hindering my growth and influencing me to make bad decisions regarding poker hands and bankroll management. But when I really started to think about it, I realized the strenth of the concept, and I felt I needed to share it with you.

 

Since my mental energy has been directly focused on decisions and my thought process behind each hand, it has been much easier to accept unwanted results...and this concept alone has without a doubt elevated my game. The less I focus on results and the more I focus on playing each hand as optimally as I can... the better poker I will play...the more balanced my emotional state will be... It is all correlated...if you are focusing on results...then you are more prone to go on tilt...because you are fixated on numbers...and how much you are up or down...then not meeting those preset expectations usually flares up inside us..causing players to push harder...or to jump limits...

 

It seems silly to focus so much energy towards something you cannot even control. You cannot control the result of a hand...only what you decide to do during it. If you flop a set into an opponent's overpair after he min-raises your big blind, when you are both 50bb deep on the final table bubble, and if his 2 outer still hits on the river, it doesn't mean you did anything wrong. You made the right decision...you cannot control how the remaining cards would be dealt. But yet, you will always see threads in forums, or messages in your aim box, where players butcher hands and justify poor decisions or berate good decisions based on the immediate result of the hand.

 

 Please do not do this or feed into it.

 

Just as we grow and learn in life...its the same in poker...we start as toddlers, learning the values of hands... learning simple concepts...onward into our teen years...invincible feelings abound... ego and pride overriding and blinding... with time... maturity settles in.. and we are forced to ground ourselves...and if we don't realize it on our own.. a downswing, cold streak, bad run, etc will do the trick.... we are forced to dig deep and overcome times that almost break us... and yet we come out stronger.. adults now...equipped with steadfastness and humility...softer words and gestures...some poker players may never progress from the "invincible" stage...they will fall victim to downswings whenever poker throws its curveball... they will strike out... same as people do in life...when life seems next to impossible to deal with...they shrivel up and waste away... This game is not for the weak hearted or shallow minded... Anyone can win money at poker in the short term...but the longevity of their success... the consistency of results...the progressive upward climb only accompanies those who view poker as one long session....and who are constantly obsessed on playing optimally vs being obsessed on winning an X amount.

 

 Poker is one long session... the session starts when you play your first hand ever... and ends years later when you play your last hand... It is like Life...from our first breath to our last...the decisions we make in between is what defines us... not one day.... or one moment... it is an all encompassing journey... Best of luck on your journey (and in Ftops) xox

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