I've learned something important this month.
Working too hard doesn't work.
For months now, I've been trying to play as much poker as I could.
I'd come home from work and start playing online as soon as possible, until I felt too tired to focus.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday I'd often get up and start playing, so I could get some games in before I went to the local poker club to play some more there!
I was always tired, when getting up, while at work, when playing poker in the evening after work and when playing poker in the weekend.
I never felt like going to sleep though! Which is not a great combination ...
Somewhere around the middle of this month things finally fell apart. I had been sick for more than 3 weeks straight, headaches and nausea mostly. Not enough to stop me from doing anything, but plenty to stop me from achieving anything while doing those things.
I decided I needed to get healthy again, which would mean I'd take a break from poker until I felt better.
A huge burden fell off my back. A few days later I started feeling better. I had time again to focus on other important aspects of my life.
I (almost) haven't played poker for about 3 weeks now. I feel much better, much more balanced. Though I'm already starting to miss the game.
Where do I go from here?
I really want to keep playing poker.
I'd prefer to focus on live MTT's, but those don't run that often, the buy-ins are high and so is the variance.
I'll probably keep playing the €20 tournaments at PokahNights and I'm planning to take some shots at €100 to €300 live tournaments in 2020.
As for playing online, I'm really struggling on that subject.
I really don't enjoy playing online much. It's lonely, it's grindy, variance is high, villains play much better on average compared to live games, ...
One of my biggest issues when playing online is that it's very hard for me to stay focused.
Playing good poker is boring. In a live game there are people to watch, talk to, ...
Online there's not much of that. Yeah you can still watch the other players, you probably should, since there's a lot of information there, but it's sooo boring ...
I always either end up playing too many tables at once or watching something on my second screen, or both.
Which is horrible for my focus and makes me play even worse.
Even so, over the past year I've learned a lot from playing online.
It's a great tool to study poker theory and to get better at playing the cards part of the game.
So I do feel like I should keep playing online, since I do want to become a much better poker player than I am right now.
Live games are very different from online games though.
People play for different reasons, people play completely different styles.
I often wonder how useful it is to try to play a somewhat balanced online style against the average live player.
Then there's the part of the game I love the most. Tells.
Live players are so very bad at this.
I remember, not too long ago, asking a player something, just to get some info out of him.
He smiled right in my face and happily told me I wasn't getting anything from him. I made an easy and correct fold with a hand I should've theoretically called.
This is what I want 2020 to be about for me.
I've always been a hard worker, but only when I felt like it.
2019 has shown me that working too hard can be terrible.
I have an appointment with a mental coach this afternoon.
I hope he can help me figure out how to balance my life a bit better and more importantly, help me figure out how to work smarter at poker.
What I've been doing up until now in my life is working hard for short periods of time, a few weeks or even a few months.
Focusing only on that one thing I wanted, giving up everything else.
This resulted in me losing every single bit of joy in what I was doing, every single time, causing me to quit, every single time.
I'm now going to find a way to keep working hard for longer periods of time.
I'm going to find a way to work smarter so that I can work even harder!
Maybe most importantly, I'm going to find a way to keep having fun!
As for the actual results of December.
I ended up playing only two live €20 tournaments at PokahNights, didn't win anything in either.
I've played 201 tournaments online, all in the first 2 weeks of the month.
For a total buy-in of $186.95 and a total cash out of $184.26.
Which makes a loss of $2.69 or a ROI of -1.44%
Probably just some variance combined with playing too much while not feeling good.
Definitely hoping for some better numbers next month!