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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

AIM and Poker

About 4-5 months ago I started chatting with a few select people in a private AIM room. We never played together at the same table (NEVER colluded), but we would help each other out during difficult hands, give our opinions on what should be done, what move to make, etc. We considered it to be a helpful teaching tool to get us to the next level in our game, by having other poker players watch our moves, critique, and advise.

Last night I looked at my records and I can see that I have not won a MTT since August. My last cash in a tourney was back in October. Now, while others might find this as being a normal downswing, I simply can't buy that. For the last 2 years I have been able to win a MTT about once every 4-6 weeks, and cashed (however small) every week.

I find this "downswing" to be in direct correlation to my AIM group discussions. So, I thought about it and tried to find the reason on why this could be related. Sure enough, I have found it!

As you may have figured out by now, I do care what people think about me, sometimes too much for my own good. I'm working on that...however, I have found that when I am in my AIM group and when they are discussing and disecting my hands and my play, I feel intimidated and nervous by this. (More so when done by certain people vs. names!!) Thus, my game has changed. I am playing "scared". Scared that I will make a move that will make them roll their eyes at me, scared that if I were to call/raise/fold a certain hand they would instantly jump on my case, etc. etc.

Lately my live game has been excellent. I have won several live tourneys in Vegas at Binions, qualified for the TOC twice in the past 3 months, won the first TOC and I play the 2nd TOC next weekend. My live game has just been off the hook recently, don't get me wrong, it could be BETTER, but I'm winning and more so then online.

So a certain player asks me, what makes your live game different from your online game? The answer would be that in live games, I'M playing MY game. I can't go to anyone for advice, I can't use anyone as a CRUTCH, I am playing on my own, and that's what I need to start doing again online if my online game is going to get back into it's groove. I have got to get my "groove" back and that means no more AIM discussion groups while playing an event.

I may be completely off base in this assumption, and who the hell knows, I may just be having a dry spell that is totally not normal for me, but if I don't experiment to see if this really is the reason why, then I'll never know.

So to my AIM posse, I will still be around online and on AIM, you just won't know where I am playing or what hands I'm holding or what the hell I'm doing. I still trust my friends to railbird me though, as I love to railbird others as well, just take no offense that I'm not telling my hands anymore. LOL.


Blogger TripJax said...

Very interesting thoughts. Our group does the exact same thing, but I haven't looked at my numbers on vs. off. I think both can be a good thing. When playing a serious MTT I say stay off the chat. When looking to have a good time on a SNG or something then it doesn't hurt to occasionally chat it up and have fun.

Great post for getting me thinking though...

1:27 PM  
Blogger HighOnPoker said...

I often am on IM with Trip and some other bloggers when playing. I actually have experienced the opposite of your post. When I have people railbirding me, I've done better. I think for me it has to do with the pressure of knowing that if I donk off they tournament, people will know I donked it off, so I play tighter. Plus, sometimes it helps to have other players reassure your decisions (of course, when the opposite is true, it can be tricky when to follow your game and when to listen to advice).

I guess it takes all kinds.

1:34 PM  
Blogger "MissT74" said...

I may just be blowing smoke out my ass and feel I have to come up with SOME reason as why I've been running dry, but I'll soon see! LOL

1:59 PM  

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