Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A lesson from Paavo Nurmi

Last night, I hit the felt after only 16 hands, then reupped for the max and played essentially even the rest of the night (another 38 hands). Thinking back over how I played, which wasn't actually all that badly, I realize my cardinal sin was that I saw too many flops. I wasn't disciplined enough to fold enough hands before the flop. That can really do you in. What does Paavo Nurmi have to do with this? In case you haven't heard of him, Nurmi was a great middle and long distance runner, the winner of 9 gold and 3 silver Olympic medals in the 1920's. I saw a documentary on him roughly four decades ago, and one detail has stuck with me all these years later. Nurmi trained with a watch, and kept himself to a specific pace for every lap. He realized that he didn't have to race against other runners; he merely had to race against the clock. If he could keep up the pace he set for himself, he essentially knew he would win. Here's how I relate this to poker: if I can keep my seeing the flop percentage under 50%, I essentially know that I'll win the session. It's really as simple as that. I just need to have the discipline to follow this flop pace that I'm setting for myself :-)

During current Hold'em session you were dealt 54 hands and saw flop:
 - 7 out of 7 times while in big blind (100%)
 - 2 out of 6 times while in small blind (33%)
 - 26 out of 41 times in other positions (63%)
 - a total of 35 out of 54 (64%)
 Pots won at showdown - 6 of 12 (50%)
 Pots won without showdown - 5

delta: $-39,550
cash game no limit hold'em balance: $4,752,687
balance: $7,202,095

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