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Controlling your mental state

Posted by Prabhat Mukherjea on 2012-09-16 at 12:00 AM

Is the really tough part about playing poker for a living. Of late, I have found it very difficult to make myself play regularly. Being a professional MTT player has unfortunate similarities to a regular job. True, there is no boss to force me to play; but the difficulty is that once you start a session, you are locked behind your computer screen for a good number of hours. This won’t change whether I play one tournament or 50, so when I play a session, I put in big volume. I don’t play sessions unless I am positive I am mentally ready to put myself through that grind. Of late, this has resulted in my basically playing 2 or 3 days a week at maximum, and this is basically just throwing away EV and money, not to mention hampering my development as a player. Sadly, there is no easy solution as playing when I don’t want to or am distracted can be quite very destructive to my bankroll.

A few weeks ago I had a run of good scores and I was feeling like I was back to my best. The last four or five sessions haven’t been too good to me though; after 6 or 7 bust-outs with 2 or 3 tables left I have been feeling quite irritated. At the same time, I am at least glad that I am getting deep runs almost everyday. Today, I played a short session (around 25 or so tournaments) and made a couple of deep runs. Busted 14th in a 27 KO after losing 99 to 44 for massive chiplead (I still had chiplead after losing it!!) and then losing a succession of flips and 60/40s. I also busted the $54 turbo KO after having a huge stack when I lost huge flips with KQ v 99, AJ v KT and KJ v KT to finish 20th…. a pretty good run in the Hot 75 was cut short in similar fashion. On a side-note I thought I played absolutely terribly in general and in some spots in particular, I made some pretty atrocious calls when I knew I was beat- and old leak reappearing. Hopefully I will put in a lot more volume and iron out these leaks.

Good luck to everyone for the Sunday Grind!!

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Prabhat Mukherjea

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