Monday, July 09, 2007

A Thinly Veiled Plea To The Poker Gods (Or, How I'm Becoming the 2nd Best Poker Player In My Household)

I get a call at work Friday afternoon from the girlfriend. She's home early, and I'm stuck at work until 6pm. She wants to pass the time by playing a game of poker.

My girlfriend is getting into online poker. I love this.

I come home to find my girlfriend at the computer, legs up on the desk, clicking away at the mouse. Nothing could be sexier.

"How are you doing, babe?"

I look at the screen and she's down to three players (it was a $2.25 SNG). She's at 10k. The other stacks are at 2k & 1k.

She even played the hammer and turned a boat. My girlfriend is turning into a poker juggernaut.

She asked to play again on Saturday, together. A $2.25 Turbo. We get down to five players with the chip lead.

Then we run JJ into a stealer's KK.

Then we fold KQs after two all-ins, only to see we would've flopped top pair w\ a flush draw, turned two pair, and rivered a boat (the all in's were KTo and AJo).

We steal some more, but the blinds are rising fast.

We chip down to a shortstack when I convice my girlfriend that we need to call an all-in with 22 despite the fact that calling puts us all in. My reasoning is that we fold and we're less than 2 BBs. I'd rather call with a pair then push with J6.

The raiser has 77 and we go home on the bubble.

The girlfriend says next time, she's rather take her chances with J6. Who am I to argue?

Not much else poker wise this weekend. Took down a $11 SNG to help pad the bankroll. Lost a $6.50 Turbo when I couldn't win a race for the life of me. AJ loses to QT when he rivers a straight. Q9 loses to 73o. I get shortstacked and have to push with 43 into an equal stack's BB and he calls for almost all his chips with T7 sooted. He wins with Ten fucking high. Bastard.

Thanks again to the comments on my last post. Just for the record, once again, I am not one to advocate folding QQ preflop very often, especially on a $5 MT SNG. The intent for my post was to gauge how often people make laydowns like that based on instinct or gut feeling. I agree with all comments that I should've pushed, despite the fact that I would have ended up busting out. Considering I finished well short of the money, the results would've been the same either way.

One of the holes in my game is a lack of concentration or focus at all times. The QQ hand was an example of that. Contrary to Waffles' suggestion, I didn't fold out of fear that I would lose, I folded because I let this idea that I was going to lose override common poker sense. It's the same problem that lead me to misplaying a hand in the Mookie so badly that it tilted me. It's the same problem that leads me to unsuccessfully trying to be tricky in a blogger game in the wrong circumstances.

I feel like there's only one solution to this problem: a significant MTT victory. Whether it be a blogger game, something like the $26k, or even a live MTT victory, I need something to give me that extra boost of confidence. This clarity problem, IMO, is directly tied to confidence. I'm able to do well in the micro SNGs because I know the style of play very well, and I'm confident that each time I "sit down" at the table, I am the best player there, and I play as such.

When I play the MTTs and the blogger games, I don't have the same confidence. I get too caught up in wanting to play well that I end up not playing well anyways. I make big laydowns when I should be pushing, and I make too many crying calls when I just need to fold. I limp when I should raise and I bet when I should be checking a free card. It's really quite amazing how my poker playing changes between a $5 SNG and a blogger game.

I do feel like my game has improved over the last year or so, even despite the fact that I'm playing at least 50% less than I used to. But I really haven't had any tangible achievements, and without that, all this improvement means nothing. I really do believe that, on my best day, I can compete against players better than me. But without proof of that, I'm just the little donk that could.

I have to skip the MATH this week. I'll try to token or satellite into a couple of tournaments on Tues & Thurs. Might try to play the Mookie too, if my plans this Wednesday fall through. 3 nights of MTT might be a little too much for the girlfriend. Then again, as much as she's enjoying poker lately, it might not be enough!


At July 9, 2007 at 1:48 PM, Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Personally... I agree with your gf. I'd rather gamble with J6 than 22... only because with 22, best case scenario is that you're 50/50. J6, you could potentially have 2 live cards or if it's against a pair, still have 3 outs vs the 2 outs if you had 22. I know that... now I just have to do it...

At July 10, 2007 at 10:51 AM, Blogger TripJax said...

love the title of the post...


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