Monday, April 30, 2007

In Poker, Emotions Are #1

IMO (as always), a poker player can learn all the best techniques and have great poker skill, but will fail miserably if he can't keep his emotions in check. I believe this is the absolute key to excelling at poker. I bring up this subject because I have experienced an emotional roller coaster during the month of April. From an excellent start to the month to a miserable middle to a topsy-turvy but mediocre end, I've learned quite a bit about my emotions and what puts me on tilt.

I learned that I'm more aggressive during a card rush. I learned that I get overly cautious after some heavy losses, but I get too aggressive after a bad beat. I learned I feel a kind of sadness after I make a stupid play and lose. Much like the same sadness I felt when I would strike out in Little League because I wanted to impress my dad who was my team's manager. I even found out just exactly how caffeine-sensitive I really am. Less than half a can of Pepsi makes me want to jump into the screen deal the cards myself. Caffeine is great for me to accomplish chores around the house, but terrible for me to play poker on. It's worse for my game than alcohol. Very odd. So many different kinds of tilt.

Anyway, these types of feelings need to be recognized and controlled so they don't upset one's game. I believe that proper preparedness could be the answer. If "XYZ" happens, how will the player react? What situations are easy to handle and which ones are harder to bear? What kinds of thoughts can be used to conquer the tougher times? Everyone is different so I'll have to find my own keys that work for me. I think I'll try reviewing some hand histories and recreating some losses in order to prepare myself to better handle their likely recurrence.

Again, I believe having control of one's emotions is THE #1 KEY to success in poker. Wish me luck with controlling mine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Experience Counts Or Your Promotion Will Fail

(Please excuse the fact that I haven't posted in 2 weeks. I've been deeply immersed in my poker playing. This post is about something I discovered during that immersion.)

Promotion? Are we talking about a job position? Well, some consider poker as their job. So yes, we are in a way. Here's some background on what the title means:

With the help of a friend, I started the month of April with a bang. I had moved up one level in NL stakes and was breaking personal records for gains. Not just breaking them. Shattering them. (My superstition prevents me from mentioning numbers, so I'll leave it at that.) So I thought "Hey! This is easy! Why don't I move up again!" Bad idea. I had less than 2 weeks of experience at that stakes level and I wanted to move up again?? Well, I paid the price. Literally. I broke personal records again, but this time it was for losses. In 3 days, I lost almost all of my April gains. I learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

What I learned was that if you "promote" yourself to the next level before you have enough experience at your current level, your promotion will most likely fail. I believe this to be true in any field. If a long-term journeyman employee gets promoted to an assistant manager and then to a senior manager right away without enough experience at the assistant level, that employee has a greater chance of failure. Even though one person can play the game of poker basically the same way at any level, there are subtle differences at every stakes level that can change the type of moves and decisions the player will have to make at each of those levels.

So I moved back down to my successful level and I'm seemingly back on track. Though I lost some money on my earlier excursion, I am glad I did it and was able to learn now what may have cost me more if I did it at more expensive levels. Cheers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tips on Doyle's-Room-to-Full-Tilt Funds Transfer

A little background first: When I first heard that Doyle's Room was going to succumb to the effect of the UIGEA and disallow US players, I initially thought I would need to withdraw via mailed check. They charge $10 for that, so I played a little more and heard about the available option to transfer my funds balance and points to Full Tilt Poker. I thought that was great and initiated the transfer before the February 28th cut off of money games for US customers. I figured this would avoid the rush and I'd get my transfer done in a more timely manner. I had heard it would take 24-48 hours. In my case, that was incorrect.

I'll try to make this part short: No funds after 2 days, so I contacted DBPN (Doyle's Room) and they said to wait some more. After 7 days, I contacted DBPN and they re-sent the transfer. They said to contact FTP if it didn't show up after 4 hours. I waited a day and contacted FTP. My points showed up but I got a canned response saying something about "a high volume of transfers". I went back into my FTP info and saw that my phone number field was blank, so I filled it in with my number. I went though more emails with FTP for a couple of weeks with no success. Then around the 1-month mark, I went back to DBPN's live chat and begged them for help. At first, the guy told me to contact FTP. Then I begged some more and he sent the transfer again. This time, my funds showed up at FTP in 5 minutes!! Holy mole'!!

So I'm posting these 2 tips as a help to my readers with the same problem:

  1. Make sure your phone number at FTP is the same as at DBPN. I'm not really sure if that is what got my transfer though finally, but it might help.
  2. Don't give up with DBPN. Be nice, but be persistent. They'll tell you to contact FTP, but just beg them to try the transfer again. It worked for me. In fact, my guy's name was "JasonE" who helped me and after my funds showed up at FTP, I got him back on live chat to thank him.

Good luck, folks.