Fruitypro's Poker Blog

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Confidence, or lack of it

To be honest, I'm not really sure where my game is at at the moment. I'm writing this kinda feeling confused and unsure of where I am in the poker world.

Basically last week I played like 6k hands of 1/2 and picked up about $2,500 which I'm pretty satisfied with. But this is the whole problem. I can carry on repeatedly at 1/2 and make ok monies but I'm not sure I want just that. I don't want to be Mr. Average and be just a solid low stakes player. I want to be a big winner - I mean not in the league of SBRugby obv but it would be nice for me to make a game like 5/10 or 10/20 my regular game so I can start to make big money.

But every time I move up to 2/4 I just get crushed. I think there are various reasons for this.

Firstly the games are somewhat toughter, with far less donks and far more regulars. I mean, a 27% average vpip table seems juicy at 2/4, whereas in all honesty I'd probably pass it up at 1/2 and look for better. When I'm playing 1/2 I do tend to make most of my money from bad players, and obviously at the higher games they are getting spread thinner so its not as easy.

Secondly, I just dont seem to have the confidence to play here either. I'm not really the most confident of people to start with and this I think is part of the problem for me - i.e. its easy for me to get downhearted for various reasons. I'm not sure how to overcome this, that will be tough.

To be honest, I feel quite embarrassed posting this, as well as a similar post on the CR Forum today, but I'm not really sure what to do. At the moment I just keep 40 buyins for 2/4 online and withdraw anything on top of that like twice a month so I'm putting away a decent amount of cash but I'd really like to move up with confidence. I dont see why I have this issue really, I'm running at like 7.5ptbb/100 at 1/2 for the last few months so obviously I have ability. Whenever I play I feel I am amongst the best players at the level, and whilst I have respect for some of the regulars, I never have any fear of them.

This probably sounds like a whining post but I dont intend it to be that. Obviously I have to be grateful that I am earning what is, in all honesty, decent money playing 1/2 compared to most people who work for a living. But I have definitely put more work into being good at poker than I did in 3 years doing my degree, so I think I deserve this relative success. But I want to be able to build on this, and at this point I think I am under achieving and in danger of missing the boat.

On one positive note, I just watched Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties. A real shame to see Lampard and Ashley Cole on the losing side :-)


  • hey fruity, just want to drop you a line. Thanks for all the kind words you said about me lately. They are very encouraging.

    Anyways, even though I am playing not nearly as far as where you are in stakes, I feel somewhat worried when the time comes when I need to sustain a winrate marginally. I feel every stake I move up, there are less and less ways to sustain a consistent winrate. Eventually I know I'll hit a wall where I just can't beat that stake.

    So your feelings is very understandable. But I feel that as long as you are not satisfied with the way things are and you want better, you really have to take some risk. For instance, last stab I took at 100nl, it left a scar for me. In my mind, I feel my edge is limited and I might not be able to beat it. But still I want to embrace it, I want to beat this monster. I want to remember how it is like to be pushed and challenged, it makes me want to try harder and fight! I might lose again, but you know what? I'm not going to give up because I feel I deserve better. It might take me a year, maybe even more, but eventually I'll make it.

    Hehe, maybe in your eyes, you are thinking "what is he talking about? 100nl is a joke!". Psychologically, I feel the issue at hand is similar. Of course beating 2/4 is a lot harder in comparison, and you are tackling a bigger monster than me. But to me, it's all the same because we are both facing a difficult challenge that we need to defeat. Like these days, I feel like I want to just stay in 50nl because I can almost come out ahead every single day. And in the new higher limit, I need to deal with downswings possibly and things I prefer I don't have to deal with. But if I was to stay, I know I won't be satisfied and I won't know my true potential. So, I really encourage you to keep pushing on if financially you can support it and obtain the goal you really want deep inside. Good luck!

    By Blogger Neb, at Wed May 02, 12:15:00 am  

  • Yo fruity I think that there are times when your play starts to think about the money involved in each hand - the confidence related to losing sums that are way out of what you are normally used to.

    I've been stuck in 2/4 for 3 months now, when my bankroll has been easily sufficient to move up to 5/10 purely for the pyschological money reason that the swings are greater, and obviously I 'fear' that my play isn't as good.

    Poker is definitely a game about confidence ,and your confidence has to be greater than any of your opponent's at all times, even when you hit a bad swing.

    By Blogger MrBigHit, at Wed May 02, 08:48:00 am  

  • Neb - Thanks for your thoughts, I definitely know how you feel as I am obviously in the same boat.

    I think that because of my personality I am a risk averse person so that doesnt help either.

    I can afford it financially but because of my personality it doesnt help me with moving up and taking on a new level with confidence. I really want to do this but I am not confident at the moment. I think I have the ability because I crush 1/2 but at 2/4 it just seems a totally bigger game. It's wierd because when I play live I play £2/£2 and dont have any qualms about the money even though in effect its $4/$4. I think this is because the games are full of donators though. So I think its more of a confidence issue than a money one.

    Gl with your tutorship with Hookem. He's a great guy and I'm sure you will be beating 1/2 and 2/4 quickly with his help.

    Mrbighit - I think the money maybe has some issue but not as much as my confidence against the other players seems to. As I said above, I have no problem playing £2/£2 live in the UK when the players are terrible. I think the main problem is that I 'fear' that my game isnt good enough for the stakes, similar to what you described as for you at 5/10.

    I def agree with confidence being one of the biggest aspects of a successful player and that's something I need to obtain from somewhere. The stupid thing is I am about to play 1/2 and I honestly have the belief when I sit down that I am not a worse player than anyone at the stake, and so I have plenty of confidence at that stake.

    I am considering getting a midstakes coach, hopefully this will help me too.

    Thanks for your thoughts guys, and good luck at the tables.


    By Blogger Fruitypro, at Wed May 02, 12:07:00 pm  

  • Definitely get a coach. I'll get one for moving up to 2/4. is ment to be great.

    By Blogger SinkRox, at Wed May 02, 01:11:00 pm  

  • Dan - hang in there man and remember persistence pays off. You're a good player and you will beat 2/4. It could be that the few times you have taken at shot at 2/4, you've ran into tough hands and coolers or possibly not played your A game due to the higher stakes. I would not let the small sample size determine whether you're a winner at 2/4.

    You're probably a much better player then you were 1 year ago.

    1 year from now, you will probably be saying the same thing while you're playing 10/20 :)


    By Blogger PJ, at Wed May 02, 03:49:00 pm  

  • Dan,

    When I first took a shot at $2/$4 in February I got destroyed. My BR dropped to $2K and I went to $1/$2 and re-built it back to $10K. I took another shot at $2/$4 after many, many hours of watching Hookem play that level. After a while, I just realized that the play is really not THAT much different from $1/$2. Fewer donks, yes, but the plays were still pretty standard.

    So ... I think a coach is a MUST for someone who wants to move up. Their experience is invaluable. There is an interesing thread on 2+2 about this:

    In the end you will see that there is so much bad play at $2/$4 and so much money to be made if you table-select that you will want to play there :)

    By Blogger verneer, at Wed May 02, 04:07:00 pm  

  • Hey Dan,

    A few points:

    7.5ptbb/100 is huge at $1/$2. This is equiv to 1.5ptbb/100 at $5/$10 and from what I have heard 2-3 is considered pretty good at these stakes. Plus you wont go through a fraction of the swings a 2ptbb/100 player $5/$10 would. In fact I would rather be a 7.5 @ 1-2 than a 2 @ 5-10 simply to avoid the variance.

    Maybe you are not looking in the right places at the right times to take shots at the higher level. I mean is full tilt the fishiest site particularly as you play alot in the UK daytime?

    Finally if the $2-4 games are that much tougher then you will have to get your head around putting the time in to improve yourself. Maybe coaching is the answer (certainly helped me :-)). I certainly think that having watched the CR vids, that alot of the moves (that probably are the difference at this level IMO) are very player/situation dependant and would be very difficult to pick up whilst 6/8 tabling.

    Is it possible that what you are asipiring to just isn't there to be had anymore?

    Hope I haven't come across too negative because my money is very firmly on you to do well whatever you decide to do.

    By Blogger Toys 4 The Boy, at Wed May 02, 04:54:00 pm  

  • I think I was mentally in the same sort of situation you seem to be now. You told me to follow the 30 buy-in rule. I hate that. It'll take me forever to get that to move up. I also trust your judgement more than mine so I'll follow it. So.....

    My BR was hovering around $1500 so I was playing NL50. MicroStakes for me. I'm used 6 tabling $50 SnGs. My solution...

    I bought a $285 bonus on PokerStars and mentally kept that part of my BR seperate. Now, when I'm feeling good or really want to play bigger stakes I use that money. My odds of going busto with that part are great so I really have to concentrate. I also have a much different attitude when I play. It's not "OK, I need to get some hours in today" it is more like "I feel good, time to take my shot."

    You know what's funny. My BB/100 in NL50 is .5, by BB/100 in NL100 is 7.5!

    I'm now at NL100 and ain't looking back. I also now have a proper BR for

    I can also feel my attitude starting to slip into the "I gotta put in some hours today" mode.

    I'm already planning on my $650 bonus to take a shot at NL200.


    PS. Your coaching is still helping me improve my game a lot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu May 03, 12:19:00 am  

  • Hey Dan,

    Very honest post. Being this honest with yourself can only help your confidence when you do move up and start to do well. I think a lot of responses you get are concentrating on the wrong thing, i.e. saying your game is great now at 1/2 so why worry. But I have the same mentality as you, I want to move up to the higher levels. So do keep working at your game. You will need a better game in the higher levels, that is for sure. But that doesn't mean you wont get there. Some things I have been working on are: getting a greater understanding of what plays I make and why. Do I know my equity in all the situations I get into, e.g. the equity of each action? Do I know what fold equity I have at any point, hence my overall ev in hands?

    Like you I am risk averse, but I think poker really teaches you how to manage risk well, and this has helped me in life too. I expect you, through poker, are already taking risks that others wouldn't.
    So work on your game, move up take a shot, and move down if it doesn't go well. Then try again, until it does go well.


    By Blogger Alan, at Thu May 03, 09:17:00 am  

  • Mate, it sounds like me and you have a simliar problem. I have been playing 1/2 200 now for over 2 years and have killed the game making nearly $100k profit. Howeverm, that just isn't enough for me anymore although i kinda feel out of my comfort zone whenever i have played $400 and $1000 even though i have won at them lims to. Not sure what to suggest. This is why i am going to focus on tourns for the next couple of months and ill see what happens. Good luck

    By Blogger Amatay, at Thu May 03, 03:30:00 pm  

  • Hey guys, thanks for all your comments!

    Sinkrox - yeah I have contacted them before, they seem v disorganised but i have heard they are very good.

    PJ - I agree. I definitely think I have ran bad at 2/4 so far. I'm gonna take another shot soon definitely.

    Verneer - I havent lost that much money as you at 2/4 but I def know where you are coming from...I read the thread on 2+2 and the sub threads (the whole snowbank thing) and it does seem that coach selection is very important!

    Andy - I never really considered this maths before but you are def right! I also agree about taking shots at the right times. I take shots usually in UK daytime or early evening. Probably would be best to play at night when more US fish are playing. I have to play at FTP atm as I have stats on like everyone. I couldnt handle not having this. Working on my game is something I do always, and I have really been doing this even more over the last few days. I am determined to haul myself up to midstakes and beyond.

    Jeff - And I have a 40 buyin rule! lol! It does take a while to move up for sure, but if you run ok and put a fair amount of hands in, you should be able to do this in 4-8 weeks IMO. Really glad things are going well for you and you are doing well at the NL100 games.

    Al - I think on the forum many people posted saying things like find another site etc which I dont think is necessarily the point - what I wanted was more strategic adjustments that I can implement into my game so that I can improve myself. A fair few people posted some thoughts but I maybe felt that some people were perhaps 'holding back' a bit - i hardly got many replies from bigger players. This is somewhat disappointing IMO because since I joined CR I have been very altruistic, helping many members through the forums and pm's, from things like Sixth Sense customisation, to PAHUD layouts, to strategic discussion. But I guess everyone is entitled to hold back their strategies.

    As far as equity is concerned, I am pretty aware of this in a hand I think...My main problems probably lie at being too straightforward and easy to read for regulars, and I am looking at working at that at the moment.

    Your point re: risk is very true. How many people on the street would risk 8 tables of NL$200? Not many. You are def right.

    Amatay - It seems from posting this and also on the CR forum, many people are in this zone. If you (or any others) want to discuss strategy/hands then drop me an email at Thats probably better than MSN cos I am hardly on there. Gl with the tourneys. I can't handle them :-)

    Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and comments, it's really helped.

    By Blogger Fruitypro, at Fri May 04, 11:19:00 am  

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