There's a Reason They Call It a Grind

Or: Why I hate February.

For the first 8 years of my life, winter was my favorite season. I loved bundling up in monstrous layers of clothes and tumbling around in the rare snow storms in Manhattan. My building had a private plaza downstairs where the snow would collect and stay relatively pristine, compared to the yellow and grey mess on the streets and sidewalks.

Then on February 24th, 1987, my father died of cancer after being in and out of the hospital for six months. This was a major bummer. It was a bright and sunny day, featuring that cold winter light. 14 years later (to the day), I broke my foot on a sunny Saturday. Is it any wonder I prefer the dark?

This February began with promise, coming off of my best poker month and joining Drag the Bar. But I spent the second day of the month at the hospital, and most of the last two weeks distracted and scattered. I've only played about 13k hands this month, which would have been a decent pace for me last year. During these hands I've felt like I was running uphill, while falling downhill at the same time. I had no idea what my results were until yesterday. My guess was that I was down around $5k, but that was my cautiously pessimistic assumption. These have a tendency to be way off.

Anyway, I accidentally saw my account balance, so I figured I may as well check out my results. I opened up Holdem Manager to see that I was up over $4k! This was a pleasant surprise. I thought I was getting crushed... but wait... I had a weird filter on. Let me take that off... and it turns out I'm down over $5k on the month. Oh joy.

A closer look at my stats revealed that my WTSD was down a tick, and my W$SD had dropped 4 points. That means I'm making it to fewer showdowns and I'm winning less of from those showdowns. That's a recipe for losing. But to be honest with myself, I must admit that I haven't been on my A game very often this month. Things I'm doing wrong:

  • Not putting in the hours on a consistent basis
  • Not always properly warming up
  • Not devoting my entire focus to the tables (e.g. chatting or web browsing while playing)
  • Not properly reviewing my sessions

It looks more like I'm failing to do the things that contributed to a successful January than that I am actively doing something wrong. It would be easy to focus on the showdowns that I'm not winning, but I need to treat my game with more respect and get back to what was working before. It's time for a little R & R today, then back to the grind tomorrow. February sucks, but I still must make the most of it. After all, we only get 12 months.

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