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‘Lesser Downswing’ and the role of Confidence in Poker.

Posted by Prateek Bhartia on 2013-06-04 at 12:00 AM

Its been long since I blogged, and that was primarily because I was hardly playing. Was busy IRL as well, and just had a few things going that kept me distracted and away from Poker. Been playing little-ish for the past couple of weeks or so. I had a phase where I was literally tilting from every single beat, and truly glad I am over that now. I have realized the best way to play poker and stay in the zone, is to have a decent number of tables up so that I can not be distracted too easily, and not too many that I have to rush my decisions. I have found my sweetspot to be 8-10 tables. If it is all reg speed tables, I dont like to play more than 6-8 specially when ITM, cause they have a ton of spots that can be picked up and I dont like missing them just because I have another table timing down.

So the past month has kinda been OK-ish for me. Now instead of getting beats as soon as I start the session, its happens in sick spots towards the late stages. So I dont really know if I should be happy (cause at least now I am getting deep) or sad (fk this, whats the point of getting deep if shit like this is going down). I secretly hope this trend is a progression and am on my path for some rungood. The sickest of them all was a deep SCOOP finish. With 20000+ entrants, we were left with 120 odd players, and just 2 more levels to go into day 2. Super LAG CL (literally opening/3betting every single hand) opens, I 3b with QQ, BU flats, LAG flats. Flop comes 994. LAG checks to me, I bet, BU calls, LAG folds. Turn is a brick, I bet small, he jams, I call. He has TT, and rivers the T. and this would have been for a top5 stack, and a smooth sail into day 2. Had a few other sick ones like this on F2t in the Big3 on 2 seperate occasions, and a few other tournaments. Also had a few Fts but was not able to convert them into Top3’s.

So as my blog title suggests, I dont even know if this is to be considered a upswing/ lesser downswing. I lean towards the latter. One positive thing though, I feel much more confident about my game. I had lost this confidence when I hired a coach who destroyed my confidence and only keep pointing out the flaws of my game. Now, I have had coaching from the best in the world and from the nut worst arrogant type coaches, and everything in between (random 2p2 americans who coach cause they cant play online anymore and knowledge they have is outdated, but these guys are still better than the nut worst type coaches), and I feel like I have some good insights into what makes a good coach and why you should be careful before you hire a coach.
Knowing ur flaws is one thing, and thinking that everything you do is flawed is another. Even if you are the worst player in the world, you need to feel confident at the tables. Otherwise you will not even enjoy the game like fishes do. So its very important (if you are looking to get coached) that you select a coach who has a vested interest in seeing your overall growth as a player. Having the knowledge is one thing and knowing how to impart the knowledge is a completely different ballgame. Arrogance, impatience etc are the lesser qualities a teacher should not have. Its is impossible to learn from someone you dont respect, and it is impossible to respect a arrogant douchebag. Hence proved, Arrogant douchebags cannot be good coaches, so please stop trying.

I failed to see these warning signs when I was approached by the coach himself and I took up the deal. So other than not learning anything, my confidence gone, and running horrible was just a perfect concoction for me to take a break and not force myself to play something I didnt enjoy anymore. Being a good teacher is not easy, and hats off to someone like adi who could manage 20 clueless people in one big messy chat, facing questions like ” Adi what is this BB?” or ” Adi what does 3b mean” and still be patient and give us quality answers and make us understand why certain things need to be done, he basically taught us how to think. Adi is the perfect example of a good coach. Anyway, I, like a true warrior, have slain the dragon of no confidence and have found my love for the game. So expect some more blogs from me in the near future.

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Prateek Bhartia

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