Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Reason #527 I'll never be a pro

Hello again. Thanks for stopping by for a read. If you are a regular reader, you know that I'm a micro-stakes player. I'm also an amateur (thus the blog name). I have no aspirations to ever become a pro, there are too many things that I just don't do as well as a pro. However, there are aspects of a pros game that would make me much more successful. Today we will deal with one of these topics.

I had a leak that hit me square in the face recently. No, it isn't really #527. I guess some day I can make a list, but this one for some reason got me thinking, and therefore the post.

So what can a pro do that I can't? I think the biggest difference between a casual player and a professional is the pro's ability to play the same game no matter the distractions. Tired? They can play though, making no mistakes. Sick? Same.

They have achieved a level of concentration and experience that allows them to not make the blunders that most of us make when we start to wear down. I can't tell you how many times I have played (nearly) mistake-free poker for 4 hours of a MTT just to go out on the FT bubble (or, worse, money bubble) because I decided that my (AK, JJ, 45 suited) was good enough to shove on that flop of 9 8 2. After I had been reraised preflop. By the guy who was showing down premium hands. What is it that makes our brains short-circuit like this as we get into several hours of play? I think it is the lack of focus so many Internet players have. We are used to playing (usually multiple tables) while IMing, surfing, watching TV. We are multi-taskers.

Don't get me wrong. There are quite a few pros that make their bread and butter multi-tabling. But I'd bet that a slim majority multi-task and multi-table, especially not when they get deep into tourneys. And even if they do, they tend to not be as distracted as Joe Public.

I personally don't have a TV in the room where I have my computer. I think if I did I wouldn't be doing as well lately as I have. I have been trying to focus on the games more, and it shows. When I play live, I don't have the distractions and I have been crushing games. But online, I haven't had the same successes. And now I'm pretty sure I know why.

So for the first 3 months of the year, I did decent online. I have a ROI of about 4% across all of my games (SnGs, MTTs, various ring games). The next month I'm going to make a conscious effort to not multi-task. I'll multi-table (but for me this is 2-3 games. Maybe 4 if I have good notes on one), but I won't IM. I won't surf and read the forums. I'll concentrate on my games.

I'll let you know in a month if I can bump my win rate. In the meantime, I'll cya at the tables.


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