Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Running SO Good Hurts So Bad Sometimes (Or, How I Was Able To Find That "Tilt" Feeling Again)

I know that Iakaris has the trademark on longwinded titles, and by no means am I trying to steal his thunder. These just seem to work for me lately.

After a great day on Sunday (I'll post the recap later tonight), I played hooky from work yesterday and cranked it out at the poker table, Full Tilt-style. Ended up the day losing about $35, which isn't most to some, but it hurt me pretty badly, as that was about 25% of my bankroll. Ouch. Here's how it all went down:

The Good

Picked up a $20 pot on .05\.10 PLO8. Holding AQ34 in an unraised pot, the flop comes down A87. Top pair, second nut low, I call the measly bets. Turn comes a Q. I hit top two pair and the chips start flying. Two people go all in for a couple of bucks. I'm a dog unless I'm up against a flopped set (which I ran into early, in a set over set hand). But top two with nut low possibilites, and a table full of donks bigger than I, I'm not folding. River is a beautiful two. The only other person not all in bets the minimum. I go for the ol' overbet and push it all in. He calls with A8xx and I scoop the pot.

Also, cashed in a couple of 1-table SNGs - one was for a $26 token and the other was 3rd in a $5 game. Nothing spectacular.

The Bad

Can't remember all of the games or the order these took place, but I enough bad beats yesterday to put me on tilt. I hardly ever go on tilt anymore. I understand it happens and I deal with it. But yesterday just really got to me:

KK vs TT - lose to a flopped set.
66 vs AK - Pushed as a medium shortstack and lose the race
AJ vs AK - Yes, I was an underdog on this hand, but the dude only raised it the min. I called in SB and flopped top two. Chips go in on the turn and he rivers a K.
KKxx vs 4567 - On heads up PLO, I bet when the flop comes K56. The other guy pushes over the top with two pair and an OESD with two of his cards already in his hand. He turns the str8 of course.
AT vs T6 - this hand was a SnG I already cashed in. 3-handed, in the BB, the button comes for a raise and the SB pushes. He's got me covered, but AT 3-handed is pretty solid, and his bet just doesn't seem that strong. Last time he did this, he had KQ (and sucked out a str8 against KK). So I call, and he's dominated. Until the 6 hits the turn. FUCK ME!

I even tried pushing someone off a hand with the hammer, and he calls with pocket 9s for nearly his entire stack. I make two pair, but the board pairs 4s and he's got a better two pair.

The Ugly

I admit my fault on this hand. Down to the bubble on a 1-table SNG, I have A9o. I'd been raising and stealing a lot, so I try to get sneaky on this one. BB checks and the flop comes 794, two clubs. I have the Ace of clubs. He bets the pot and I push all in. He calls with his 94, flopped two pair. Don't blame him for the call, and I should have just raised preflop instead of getting sneaky. I also shouldn't have pushed post-flop, but I didn't think he'd have two pair - was hoping for something like J9 or maybe clubs.

So what's the moral of this story?

1. I need to stay off of tilt. I've been so good at this, but yesterday, I hit that moment where I said "fuck this!" and kept hopping back into games after I suffered a bad beat. I should have taken a break and got my head back where it needs to be.

2. Play within my bankroll. Soon, I should look to drop back down to the smaller games. I've been extremely comfortable playing the $1.25 5-table games. A win isn't much, but I've come 3rd or higher in 2 of the 4 I've played, and I could use a couple of these to build my bankroll.

3. Stop playing the PLO Heads-Up games. I've had a lot of fun playing these games, but I need to stay away from them. One, the risk-reward isn't worth it to me; I'd rather keep my $2 and use it at the lower limits or the .5\.10 PLO8 game then risk it to win $4. Two, most players at these games are tight, even for just $2, and I get tired of playing these people as they just sit around waiting for the nuts.

4. Stick to what's working. The A9 hand is a perfect example. How many times to do I need to do this (meaning be sneaky and have it backfire) before I learn. Why am I trying to trap with A9o, then pushing with just TPTK into a stack bigger than me? No reason why I can't just steal the blinds there and keep playing my game.

Here's hoping I can get back to my winning ways tonight at The Mookie.


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