'' My Own Worst Enemy
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Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.


For me the toughest part about being a poker player is handling the variance which can turn into mood swings. When you are winning you feel like a hero. When you break even you feel ok. When you lose you sometimes start questioning yourself, your abilities, your future, your choice of career and worst of all your decisions at the tables weakens so the downswing ultimately gets extended.

I once saw a psychologist because I frequently was getting migraines and thought it was stress related. I later found out it was because I suffer from being hyper sensitive to bright light. I was living in Malta at the time so I was exposed to the sun 7-8 months a year.

I did however learn from my two sessions that I am a worrier. My mind can race with concerns and emotions without proper reasons. I worry too much for my own good.

When I started taking poker serious last year I realized that I had to approach poker as an education. I would have to take baby steps or ‘mouse-steps’ as my brother call it. I found it necessary to start as a humble student with the potential of ending up as a master.

I could not just play poker for the money. It would make my life empty and nothing more than a spreadsheet to fill in with numbers & results.



I have asked myself how can I perform better and decrease the amount of days I feel unease? Knowledge is power but I realize that my mood too often is depending on my results the past days and not my performance. If I don’t know how much I have won or lost what will be deciding factor?

How well I played! Discipline. Focus. Stamina. Reads & so on.

Going forward I will only check my Hold’em Manager graph and my results at the end of the month.



In session

  1. Only open the ‘Hands’ section in HEM so I can mark notable hands.
  2. Maximum play 9 tables.
  3. Take note of players who has leaks (so I can research their actions in HEM the day after.)

After session

  1. Find one misplayed hand to send to my coach for comments.
  2. Review my bad hands and make a Word document describing in my own words what I did wrong.
  3. Make notes from the marked hands (see 1)

A day of work thereby constitutes 7 hours of play on average and a half hour of making notes. If I notice leaks in my opponents’ game I will start the day by researching it so I can exploit those leaks in the next session.

I have started the project Friday and look forward to see how it will affect my mood in June.


Wish me luck! :)