In my last blog, I told you I was moving to Thailand on July 1st for 9 months. For the couple months before that, I was working on my game, improving my strategy a little and my mental approach a lot. I had nice scores after that, liked my focus and decided to challenge myself into keeping those scores coming while in Thailand. You can read more about my challenge here on the PokerStars Blog and you can follow my progress on the 2+2 forums by clicking here.
So, nothing to brag about. The challenge started terribly. I was playing from hotel, then between our searches for our home. It was not the best idea. I was lacking focus, the sessions were shorter than usual, and my setup was not as comfortable as normal. Looking at it now, I should have waited until we are all set to go in the house and then started the regular grind. Because it looks like I started bad and now cannot get out of it. But overall, I do not think that was the deciding factor.
Funny thing is that I still have overall a positive winrate of 0.7bb/100. But while I won at ~3,5bb/100 at nl50 and nl25 (where I sometimes play to punish myself for bad results) , all my losses have come at nl100. Therefore positive winrate and negative winnings.
So, the first thought after seeing those graphs might be: 'hey, my friend, nl100 is just too high for your skill!'. Based on the graph, I must admit it looks a little bit like that. But professional players should not panic. At least - in my case - not yet.
Have I ever been on this kind of a downswing? Yes, I've had a lot worse. Did I recover from it? Yes, I did. Is my winrate at nl100 still positive? Yes, by a big margin. Do I feel like I am completely being outplayed on nl100? I do not think so, I may make some adjustments though.
But I cannot completely change my game every month or every 100,000 hands when I am running bad. This is a first step to disaster. I trust in my strategy, it has proven to be effective over many million hands. I understand that the trends in poker are dynamic, but I constantly check on my game to make sure I am keeping up with that. This week, I have moved down in stakes and applied some corrections. The results were solid and in a few days I will be back to see if they will work at nl100 as well.
Lastly, and this is very important: don't worry. I will not tilt my money away. I am a professional, and I have already seen enough to understand my current situation. To prove it, just take a look at my longtime graph below:
The arrow points out my biggest downswing within the last two years. I still remember it, dropped around 50BI within 15-20 days or so. Boy, did I hate my life at that point, did I ever question my ability to win again. But look at the overall graph again. It is just a little chunk and is barely noticeable. What did I do to put it behind me? Exactly what I am doing now. Taking time to make adjustments at lower stakes.
Additionally, about 2 weeks ago, I decided that I will not shave until I get into the green pre-rakeback. So, if you see me at the PCA looking like a caveman and hiding in the bushes, you will know that my challenge has completely failed. Now I will do my best to make the current downswing just a chunk in the overall graph as well. Good luck to me! Please follow my progress.
Good luck at the tables.
Grzegorz "DaWarsaw" Mikielewicz is a member of Team PokerStars Online.