Two Weeks to Crush

  • Two Weeks to Crush

     Stevemacpherson updated 3 months, 1 week ago 1 Member · 3 Posts
  • Stevemacpherson

    August 14, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Hello Mastermind community! So I’ve got an interesting situation where I’ve got two full weeks off work, and my wife will be on a two-week vacation across the country visiting her family. I’ve taken a week off from my regular 9-5 here and there in order to play more poker than normal – and try to see what the lifestyle fully entails, but it’s never really worked out. The past two times I’ve tried this, several things happened:

    • I ran (and played) poorly the first couple days and didn’t really play much the last few days
    • I still had regular working hour commitments; I had to drive my wife to get her to work for 9:00am and pick her up at 5:00pm, which meant breakfast, dinner, and bedtime was vital and couldn’t be adjusted
    • My overall skill level was MUCH lower
    • My overall mental game and mindset was MUCH poorer
    • I put a ton of pressure on myself to “make it”, and kept day-dreaming about how much money I would win before I even started

    The last time I attempted this was September 2020; and it went absolutely horrible. I won’t go into too many details, but it ended with me taking about a month off poker completely, and when I came back I hired Jan to work 1:1 with me, which continued into 2021. The previous times I have done this, I have put a ton of pressure on myself to perform/succeed, play/study an obscene amount of hours, and basically do nothing but grind. I believe I have come a long way since then and learned a lot along the way – my overall game is better and continues to get better, along with my mindset/routines and study routines as well.

    So – what is my plan for the next two weeks? Well, my wife leaves Monday, August 16th and doesn’t return until the 30th – giving me 14 full days where I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s schedule, routine, and just have to focus on keeping myself alive (and the dog). I don’t have the commitments of my regular 9-5 job to worry about (tasks, emails, meetings) and I don’t have any requirements in my personal life that should take me away for long stretches of time. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but here are some of my goals and things I plan to do while I’ve got two weeks to myself!

    • Meditate daily – this was something I try to do now, but doesn’t always work out. Typically I am able to find time 3-4 days a week, but aiming to take some time for myself every day when I wake up
    • 2-3 hours of study daily – depending on my schedule for each day. The plan is to work with PLO Trainer and the training modules for about an hour each day, and then spending 2 hours working with Monker and diving deeper into some hands that I have marked from the current day or previous day.
    • Relax – this is supposed to be fun and a vacation from work, so making sure I take at least a full hour each day to do something truly fun that I love to do. I also plan to take 1 full day off from poker in each of the two weeks to hangout with some friends, have a few drinks, relax and chat – taking my mind away from poker allowing me to fully recover and reset. This was something I don’t do enough of right now.
    • Try out new routines – trying studying/playing first thing in the morning, mid-day, late night sessions, experimenting with what works best for me
    • Cooking for myself – Me and my wife share cooking responsibilities right now, and there are many dishes we both enjoy but there are some things that she doesn’t like when I make them, and I think this will be fun to try out some new recipes just for me
    • Breaks while playing – I don’t typically take many breaks while I play, because I have such rigid structured blocks of time where I can play and don’t want to use the time to take breaks. Now that I have all the time, I can take 5-10 minute breaks while playing
    • Replacing phone time with reading time – I have rarely used social media in the past couple months; I am trying to not use it at all because it gives me FOMO related to poker and there’s too much with politics/covid that pisses me off. Instead of reaching for my phone/YouTube to pass the time – I want to fill this with reading. There’s a pile of books I bought over the past year that I still need to finish!

    You’ll notice I have absolutely nothing in there about win-rates, volume goals, or hand goals – and this is completely intentional. I push myself very hard regularly each week with a fairly specific goal in terms of hours played – and this keeps me honest and focused. The past two times I’ve taken time off to grind, I’ve been too ambitious and set myself up for failure. I do plan to play for roughly 6 hours each day – more if I’m feeling it, and less if I’m not. The days where I’m a little more tired and burned out, I will use more time to read, relax, and study than play – and when I’m feeling great about my game I will play more. So although I have an idea in my mind of what I want to achieve – I’m not putting it down as a hard goal that I must hit, because I don’t want to feel bad if I don’t end up hitting or surpassing it.

    My plan for this blog is to update it each day at the end of the day – take you guys on the journey with me, and I’ll recap each day with some of the things I did, what things I tried, and how my results went at the tables as well. I don’t plan to stream any of this; but I will post daily graphs for those who are curious. I am currently playing PLO25 on GG and my bankroll is roughly 116 BI – Once I have 120 BI my plan is to set aside those 20 buy-ins above 100 and shot take at PLO50. If I lose the 10 buy-ins at PLO50, I will move back down to 25 and work my way back up – but hopefully the shot take goes good and I have some rungood as well!

    If you’ve made it this far, thank you and looking forward to updating this starting Monday, August 16th and every day afterwards!


  • Stevemacpherson

    August 17, 2021 at 5:38 am

    Day 1/14

    The start of the two week adventure! I went to bed at my normal time, but just had a really hard time falling asleep last night. Not 100% sure why, but was tossing and turning most of the night. I normally get up around 8:00am, but at 5:00am I was just wide awake and feeling really itchy so I decided to get up for the day, brush my teeth and take a shower.

    Started the day off with 15 minutes of meditation – trying out a new series called “Winning Mindset”. Had some breakfast, then headed off to a doctors appointment I had at 8:30am. Got home just after 9:15am and watched the Live Seminar from the PLO Mastermind hosted by Jnandez. Went over some interesting spots/hands that he played – I am trying to participate more in the chat without fear of being wrong or looking dumb. After this live seminar was done around 11:00am my time, I was super drained for energy from my horrible night of sleep. I had planned to get in a short 1 hour playing session before lunch, but decided to eat a little early and relax to try and recharge.

    After lunch I had a 2 hour coaching session where we looked at some footage and reviewed some hands. After that, I was completely exhausted after 4 hours of training and decided to have a 1 hour nap. After my nap, it was time to pickup my wife from work, make dinner, help her pack and make sure she had everything for her trip. We then watched a movie together and I drove her to the airport.

    I just got home, and it’s now 11:30pm and it’s already been a long day with about 5 hours of studying and training. I think for my 1st day out of 14 I’m going to get a really good night’s sleep, rest up and have a great start to my challenge!

    Total Study Hours: 4

    Total Play Hours: 0


  • Stevemacpherson

    August 26, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Day 2/14

    So after I posted my update for day 1, I was talking to some buddies on discord and ended up getting a second wind – was super wide awake and so decided to late reg a $5 turbo and play some cash while i was wide awake. I ended up playing for about an hour and a half or so – took 4th in the tourney for $20 (small profit, was in for 2 bullets) and about break-even at cash. Went to bed around 2:00am, and did a little bit of reading before sleep. Had a hard time getting to sleep again, was so physically tired but brain was still going and hard to turn off.

    Woke up today at 9:15am because the dog was barking and needed to be taken for a walk around the block to go to the bathroom. Not feeling that tired right now actually, but will see how it goes later. Decided to get my groceries and errands for the next week or so done this morning; picked up dog food and soap/shampoo as well. Grabbed McDonald’s for a quick breakfast on the way home, and then completed my morning routine (shower, brush teeth, meditation) just before lunch time.

    I started my first session of the day at 12:15am and ended up in a few fortunate spots against a 95 VPIP (40% 3-Bet) whale at my table. Played for just under 2 hours; ended up hitting $3125, which is 125 BI for PLO25, and I did say that if I ended up hitting this goal that I would start to shot take at PLO50 – so that is what I’m going to do. I will set aside 12 buy-ins ($600) from my roll and use that to shot take at PLO50. If I get back down to $2525 or so, I will stop the shot take and go back to PLO50. My afternoon session went well, playing 4 tables of PLO50 on GG. Ran a few BI under EV, but made 3 big hand jackpots with quads so that made up for it.

    Quit around 6:30pm to make supper and take the dog for a walk, then decided to do a short training session with PLO Trainer. Sometimes the pools on GG around 6:00pm-9:00pm my time aren’t great, so if the action is slow sometimes I’ll do some training instead.

    I finished eating supper and taking the dog around 8:00pm and ended up playing until 2:00am when the leaderboards for the day was complete. Ended up breaking even in EV after 3000 hands, but down 6 buy-ins in $$ so I decided that I might do a mix of PLO25 and PLO50 tomorrow since I have already lost a big chunk of my shot take buy-ins.

    Total Study Hours: 4

    Total Play Hours: 10


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