don’t try this at home

I had an interesting, overall profitable night yesterday. Here are a few notable hands…

http://www.pokerhand.org/?668443

This is the hand that sent me on tilt. I had been catching some great cards most of the evening. I checked my stats and I hit around 12 sets in a 90 min period. I couldn’t get paid off on the majority of them, though.

In all of my previous hands against this guy, he had always folded to my continuation bets. In this hand, the villain is in the big blind and I’m in the cut-off with QQ. It’s folded to me and I make a standard raise of four times the BB (.40). Everyone folds except the villain.

The flops looks harmless enough to me, although there are two clubs. The villain bets, I reraise the minimum, not wanting to scare him away. I’m surprised when he reraises me. I’m thinking that maybe he has a set so I just call. He bets again on the turn, I call. Then a King of clubs comes on the river and I have a bad feeling. He bets again, about two-thirds the pot and I call. He shows T6 of clubs and I am steamed that I gave him so much respect and let him draw out on me.

After that I am just determined that I am going to “get him.”

A few hands later I try a stone cold bluff. I even uncheck the box “Muck winning hands” so I can show him my cards when he folds.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?668428

And I lose my entire stack.

I’m really sick now because before the QQ hand I had been doing great (up $14 or 70 BB). Now I was down $10 at that table. I finally realized it was time to leave. I played a few more lackluster hands and finished the $0.05-$0.10 NL session after 664 hands with $7.57 won and 5.7 BB/100.

By this time it was getting late and the prudent thing to do would have been to call it a night but I was $15 shy of $300 total bankroll and, at one point in the evening, I had been over $300. I got it into my mind that I wanted to make up that money before I went to bed. Don’t worry, the story ends well.

Again, I did something I don’t recommend. I moved up to the $50 tables (and although I normally play two tables simultaneously, this time I played only one out of a sense of caution). After 45 minutes I had made $61 and 115 BB/100. I made most of that when I flopped a straight, improved to a flush and doubled up on a guy with AA.

http://www.pokerhand.org/?668831

My short-term results aren’t really that important. I want to focus on the behavior. Sometimes you can do the wrong thing and get favorable results. Like call a bet for your whole stack on a gut shot draw and win. But over time making bad decisions will most likely cost you. Recently, I’ve been pretty much playing within my bankroll, and I noticed that I was much more relaxed and I enjoyed the games more. I wasn’t stressed about every little hand that I won or lost. I was better able to look at the big picture.

The only time I really got upset was when I let ego slip in. When I let the game get personal. Usually one of two things happened to set me off. Either another player made some comment about me being a bad player or I became intent on beating a specific player or table.

In the past the biggest downswings I suffered were usually accompanied by me playing outside my bankroll, whether in cash games or tourneys. So, even though things turned out okay this time, I want to break the bad habit of trying to make up losses by moving up in stakes. This practice speaks to my lack of patience. It’s something I need to work on.

Just a little bit of honest self-appraisal, I hope.

P.S. Currently my bankroll is at $350. When I reach $400 I can prudently move up to $20NL.

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2 comments so far

  1. cadmunkey on

    Wow, that QQ hand was horrific. I’m seeing this more and more at micro-stakes games where people are playing literally any 2 suited. Have to feel for you there.
    Its got to the stage where I run away from a hand screaming like a little girl if I see 3 of the same suit by the turn these days.
    It seems like everyone wants to be ultra-agressive and even tho they seem to stack me with garbage continuously I’m pretty certain none of these guys are long term profitable.
    Take heart in the fact they will be broke a long time before you!!

  2. blackscribe on

    Thanks for your support, cadmunkey. Actually, I wondered if I misplayed the hand so I posted it on the 2+2 Forums. The guys who commented on the hand seemed to think that I did indeed misplay it a little. Nobody liked my minimum reraise on the flop. I should have repopped him 3 or 4 times (at least the size of pot). My mistake was giving him the correct odds to call.

    I don’t really mind “bad beats” if that’s what they really are (I give plenty, and I’m willing to take them too). Because if I suffer a bad beat then it means I got my money in with the best chance to win. That’s all you can do, baby! That’s it! (Also, when the other player wins by making a bad choice, it reinforces his poor play; that is something a good player can exploit.) And over time you will come out ahead.

    But if I misplayed the hand, then that’s not really a bad beat. That’s me making incorrect decisions (sometimes just plain dumb moves) and that’s what can set me off. So I don’t really focus on “bad beats.” I just try to review my play and see where I can improve.

    And, by the way, I love people who play garbage. They fatten my bankroll. Believe that!!!


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