I track my wins and losses using PokerCharts, a free service that gives you a powerful insight into the financial results of your play– numbers like ROI, hourly rate, etc. are automatically calculated for you. It’s a great tool, and it’s free. One of the unexpected benefits of using a tool like this, though, is perspective.
I suffered a brutal session the other night, and booked my biggest loss in a long time. (A little more on why it was such a devastating loss in a minute.) I was really bummed when I got back at 5 in the morning with a big stack of hundred dollar bills missing from my roll, and I logged into PokerCharts to log the pathetic session. When I did, it put the loss in perspective. Despite being the biggest loss I’ve had in several months, it didn’t even make a DENT in my hourly rate or ROI numbers for the week.
Having this kind of perspective really helps you get back to the felt and play your A-game instead of playing scared.
So why was this loss so hard to take? Well, I was playing at a table where 5 out of 9 players weren’t even looking at their cards– they were capping every pot blind, and not looking at their cards until the river. I should have been able to destroy this game, but even playing only AA, KK, QQ, AK and JJ I still kept losing pot after pot to unlikely straits and raggedy two-pairs. It was really annoying. Even worse, you couldn’t tell when you’d been outdrawn because the players themselves didn’t even know what they had– they were betting blind. I wish I could play in that game every day of my life, but alas it didn’t last long enough for the proverbial “long run” to kick in, and I lost my shirt.