As part of the Mental Game contest, I asked a handful of readers who submitted partial stories in this survey, to go into more detail about their experience with the mental game. Yesterday I posted this story from Steve, and I’ll post one more each day for the next three days.
Next up is Peter:
I started playing poker in 2006 when I had my second crucial ligament rupture. Before than I played a lot of soccer, made judo and a lot of sports at all. But unfortunately after the second rupture and the following surgery, I couldn’t do those sports any more, so my whole ambition went into poker. I started reading a lot of books, reading forums, started a home game with some friends, started playing in the internet. I really started to love poker, because you learn so much about the people who are playing with you, at least in the levels I played with my friends. I found a new passion in body language and started to educate myself in this field above poker. But there was something, that was not so nice on my pokerstory. Although I always loved poker, I hated myself playing poker, because I was angry when I lost with the better hand on the river, when I lost against someone who, in my eyes, was a worse player than me, I always complained about my bad luck, told my bad beat storys and made all the typical mental game mistakes you can imagine. But the worst thing was, that my “bad luck” in poker influenced my normal life. Often I couldn’t sleep after bad sessions, thought hours and hours about my bad luck and how unfair this game is and even worse, I was excited and angry with my family unfair with my wife and children. I knew it came from my sessions, and so I often thought about quitting poker completely. I tried to prove myself how good a player I was, and so fear started to grow, blocked me from playing my A-game. I always justified my game and found explanations for my mistakes.
When I read “The mental game of poker” it was as if somebody took a haze away of my eyes. I started to understand the game a bit more, understanding the thing with variance, realized my fears and lost a lot of pressure. Jared has a wonderful way to explain problems. It was often compareable with Mike Caro. He also tells you thing, that are absolute logically when he tells you, but you never had seen them by yourself. Also Jared has a way to show you your mistakes without making you feal mingy and inferior.
The best thing I learned about the game was when I made the questionnaire at the end of the book. I learned saw which real position poker has in my life. I saw, that poker come after god,family and job. So I felt a lot more relaxed in educating myself in poker, because I saw, that when I have limited time for poker, I mustn’t wonder, if my education grows slowly. But with realizing it, it wasn’t longer a problem for me, I now work relaxed but more continuously and better on my game, but with more patience.
Also during the game I can now really enjoy the game, because I understood the principle of variance, and I urgently needed it, because exactly after I finished reading the book, the worst bad streak I ever experienced. I lost in one evening in my homegame about eight hands on the river, never hit my outs and so on, and you know what, I really loved the chance to train my mental muscle. I stayed relaxed could enjoy the game as I always wanted to.
So the last thing I want to say is thank you to Jared for helping me so much in understanding me in playing the game.