Using Rush Poker to develop discipline?

by PokerAnon ~ April 5th, 2011. Filed under: Philosophy and approach, Poker aggression, Poker theory, Rush/Zoom Poker.

I’ve been running badly recently. This always starts to show at one site/one buyin level and then tends to spread with me to other sites and other buyin levels.

It’s represented by hands like JJ, betting the low flop and turn after being checked to, but getting check/shoved on the turn by an 80bb stack. The call followed by the check/shove makes no sense; a set or two pair even would just make a standard raise so I call, his A9o that paired the flop so I’m nicely ahead, but he rivers an Ace. Or isoraising a limper with my AQ and then betting a queen high flop and turn but he rivers an eight, giving his Q8 two pair. Or today in a private freeroll. It’s private so it has a bigger payout and fewer entrants. The play quality is higher than an ordinary freeroll but the player quality is still wide and even good players will make weird plays, basically just because it is a freeroll. First hand I get JJ in the cutoff and make a 3x bb raise. The big blind, who I don’t recognise, shoves his 50 stack and I call, crushed by his KK and I’m gone. Those things happen all the time, but when you’re running bad they seem to happen more often and without winning hands in between.

So my net is running negative but my EV is also running negative because I’m getting to showdown or all in when I’m behind. I start to get frustrated and to lose confidence in my game and press too often, or conversely, to detach myself too much and play mechanically without giving ample consideration to player characteristics, hand ranges, check/bet options (allowing hands to draw out on me by checking or by betting when I’m behind and don’t have enough fold equity), or to bet sizing. It’s a manifestation of poker tilt for me.

In general, Rush Poker is awful when it comes to spew. Any tilt or element of one’s game that is off gets magnified by the lack of player reads, other than stats, and by the quickness of the play. Because of that magnification I’m thinking that Rush Poker should also be useful for redeveloping discipline. Stay within the game. Consider each play. Maybe even record a video that no one, not even you yourself might ever watch, because recording a video tends to make one stop to think in order to explain why fold here, why raise here, why call. And don’t play more than one or two instances at the same time so that you have time to focus on each hand.

Keep repeating “discipline” as a mantra but try not to lose appropriate aggression. Keep checking stats and stack sizes to determine hand ranges and fold equity and to avoid making mechanical plays. Every player is slightly different, every board/position/stack size/pocket cards combination a new situation. Make sure not to generalize too much. Think, and play disciplined.

Can it help? Sure, in theory, though I generally play at lower buyin levels at Rush than elsewhere and the player pool and styles are slightly different than the general cash game player pool. Still, the principles and approach apply across levels and sites and more than anything that’s what I need to work on.

So, will it help? It should.

Will I do it correctly? That’s the big question.

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