Ever think about hands in the shower? I’m not talking about bad beats. I’m referring to thoughts concerning your line work on certain board textures out of position against multiple opponents. Maybe what your double barrel range should look like on a board with your range advantage? It’s possible I’m beginning to lose it, or I have lost my mind already, but these are the things I catch myself thinking about in the shower.

It’s 5:50AM, and I have yet to sleep. I played an Online Tournament which finished at 1:00AM after finishing 9th. What have I been doing for the last 5 hours? As soon as I busted, I didn’t think about how close I was to winning. I fired up a tournament training video series by Jason Koon. As I’m watching, I’m reflecting on my thought process that I had during the tournament. I want to make sure they aren’t any glaring differences in our thought process, and if there is, I want to know why.

As I’m watching, I’m reflecting on my thought process…

This isn’t an isolated incident. I watch hours on hours of training videos. I rewatch my own videos to make sure I still agree with my stated thoughts. Friends have mentioned to me that I binge watch Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky videos. I agree, I do. So what gives? Why do I watch so many hours of footage? Well Ben Sulsky is better than me. Yeah, you read that correctly, Ben Sulsky is better than me. Fortunately for me, he is better than most, if not all, of the poker world. I want to listen and listen again to his thought process. I want to know why he does things, and where he diverts from my thought process. The difference between an average and good player is the good player makes better slightly better decisions more often.

I’ve been told to be good at this game you have to have an obsession with it. I think this is true. The game is progressing at too fast of a pace and the players are getting better faster than ever before. Therefore, to compete you have to stay in tip tip-top shape and follow the trends. What works now won’t necessarily work in 6 months.

In 2004, you made dollars from poker from getting someone to call off with a worse hand. Today, we make money from poker from making opponents fold. This drastic shift in the game dynamic Is forcing everyone to understand deeper level strategy, and this shift in strategy should be your focal point in your game.

Old vs New Poker Games

In a last article, I figuratively said that we should burn all poker books. I still stand by that but I will make some adjustments. If you want to do this for a living, or make it to the highest levels of the game, then poker books are not for you. However, if you play this game for entertainment, a hobby, or just simply recreationally as a “weekend warrior”, I think books are great.

So where is my confession? Here It is… I lack something and it’s called “learning how to lose”. One of my best friends who is a much better player than me told me this. He says I’ve never lost and I need to step up to the big leagues and get hit and fight and fulfill my potential. I think he is right. Recently, I’ve steered away from the biggest of big games because of fear of losing heaps. I think that’s something I need to work on. Maybe It is a mental thing. However, if we want want to reach the top of this mountain, we will need to learn to get hit and hang with the wolves.

We can work off table, you and I can watch all the videos and read all the books. But those of us that want to reach the pinnacle we need to step up the plate and get hit. I’ll be doing this, so if I’m busto soon you’ll know why. I think I can compete at the highest levels. And I guess we will soon find out.

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Showing 7 comments
  • DeShawn

    Good Luck Soto!

    • Christian Soto

      Thanks Deshawn! Very much appreciated.

  • Simon

    I know what you mean, but I disagree (again sorry lol). You are either rolled or you are not. If you are rolled than losing will not bother you. If you are not rolled, you are pretty much guaranteeing that you are going to go busto.

    It is just not possible to do well long term in games where other players have the advantage of taking the best line while you are worried about going busto if you have a bad 2 months. You are just going to go busto via the red line.

    • Christian

      LOL not surprised on your disagreement I must say. But I believe there is such a thing as playing up to your skill rather than playing up to your bankroll. I won’t be taking different lines because of dollar amount. I’ll just take the line I know best. Obviously there is risk of ruin but I can just return to my normal stake and win.

      • Simon

        Its all good as long as you will still be rolled for your normal games. Just don’t make the mistake of relying on a stake when you go busto playing big – when push comes to shove all the people you are expecting to have your back will suddenly be having bad runs themselves.

        Just talking player to player – don’t ever forget that you are only as free as your money.

  • Mikkel

    you can do it, GL SOTO 🙂

  • persuadeo

    Update your quest…