I currently own Poker Essays, Poker Essays, Volume II, and Poker Essays, Volume III written by Mason Malmuth. I acquired the first volume by purchasing it and I received the other two as gifts from my wife, Diane.
So far, I have read the first volume completely, and 95% of Volume II. These books could not have come at a better time. Currently my results at poker playing are in the red. This can mean one of two things. I am either having a run of “bad luck” (in poker, there really is no such thing as luck so lets say I am have a losing spell) or I am a poor player.
It is entirely possible that both statements are true. I may be having a downturn and I may also be a poor player. The good news is that I have some tools that might help me discover which problem I really have and could help me to turn it around. One of the problems is that poor results can cause a good player to play poorly and a poor player to become a worse one. That is quite a dilemma for the aspiring poker professional.
As I stated, I have help in the form of these essays. Mason Malmuth discusses various aspects of a player’s game. He presents poker ideas in a simple and easy to understand format. He gives examples. He gives quizzes. He instructs and above all he challenges the players who read his books to think. To think about how to act; to think about why you should act. Above all, he also tells you he does not have all the answers. But many of the answers he does have are worth the cost of acquiring these books of essays.
I also have a spreadsheet showing my results. And I have a plan using these essays. My goal is to be come a more consistent winning player. To do this, I must think about my game and plan to act accordingly. In fact, based on Poker Essays, Volume II, I play to stay at the levels I am currently in, which are the micro levels of .10/.20, .25/.50 and .50/1.00. More than likely, the .25/.50 will be fine unless I continue to loose, then I will step down to the next level.
These problems and solutions come at a good time for me because they give me the opportunity to effect change before I damage my bankroll and before I give up on the idea of poker as a profession. I have these tools and more to help me develop as a player.
Do you ever have losing sessions? Do you wonder about your skill as a player? Do you blame bad luck for your loses? Do you have any tools or aids to help you improve? What do you do to try to turn things around?