Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Ever been stuck for a period of time while playing cash poker games? It can start to get to you after a while if you let it. Go up a little, come back down. Go down a little, come back up. Rinse and Repeat. Rinse and Repeat.

The worst part; all of the sudden that monthly bonus check stops coming, because you never want a cash out cause you to drop a level.

My bankroll has essentially been stuck in the mud for about a month and half, so it's time to start thinking about a plan for getting unstuck.

I'm aware that I'm stuck right now because I recently moved up a level and am facing a little tougher competition. Each time you move up, there's a normal adjustment period as you get used to the regular players, and they get used to you. That's why I'm a big advocate of not moving up until I have 42 buy-ins for the level. If I lose the first two, I'll drop down and work to build them back. I'll do that as many times as it takes to get my roots in.

Now I've already established roots at this level, so there's no need to drop down. But, it can be a consideration if you find yourself starting to get frustrated and just wanting to post a nice solid win. It's obviously a far better option than tilting off a bunch of money to stronger players while whining like a starving kitten.

There are many ways to get unstuck; switching games, playing a couple tournaments (ugh), even taking a break for a week or so, but my favorite unsticking technique is to switch to the Heads Up cash tables and play some one on one. I find this keeps me focused, sharpens my game, and allows me to understand the thinking of some of the better players at that level. Usually, only the strongest players have the sac for prolonged HU play and you can learn quickly from them.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you grind through the months and years. Getting stuck doesn't mean you're a bad player. Bad player's bankrolls get crushed when things aren't going well. Getting stuck means you're a good solid player. Keep track of your emotional pulse and make logical adjustments accordingly.