Card dead? Not a problem!Pay attention to the guy who's folding or whatever on your left. It's a valuable opportunity to improve your reads and perhaps pick up a tell or two. As a minimum, you may be able to determine whether he grabs his chips when he's readying to make a raise. That tell will save you money from limping or raising your weaker-ranged hands.
Watch for other players and how they play their hands. Do they check the turn when they give up? Do they shuffle their chips nervously when they make a bluff? You should treat this time as a learning opportunity to improve your intangibles game.
Finally made a hand? You can fold it!I got into this situation where I couldn't believe my made hands are constant losers. For the past month or two, I've become used to missing my draws. I understandably got excited when I finally made a 5-card hand. It was clearly not the nuts, and I should have folded it in retrospect given the action. However, I got into the mindset that it was incomprehensible to me that I make my hand [finally after 2 months of waiting] yet am still behind.
For the hand in the link, I was not ready to accept that fate that the hand I held was a loser. More to the point, if I believe the hand is the winner, I shouldn't be just calling a river bet - I should be raising. I think part of me subconsciously knows I'm beat there by my lack of raise, but I willfully accepted my beatdown like a lamb to the slaughterhouse.
Get over it! If you're a winning player, you're still winning.
There is no "due" or "owe" in poker. The simple fact is you can be the best player in the world, and fold fold fold your way out of paying off the winners of the hands you play, yet the cards owe you nothing. You are not due for a nut hand. You are not in line for Sklansky (which, as I'm writing this, blogger tries to auto-correct Sklansky to Klansman - go figure) dollars. There is no EV bank in the sky keeping track of your lifetime variance. Each hand is independent from one another. Each new player is independent from one another. One player and one hand has no memory of how your past session / week / month went. They don't know and don't care. They're just playing their cards. (Good thing, too - because they probably wouldn't want to play with you if they knew your lifetime winnings or history / experience with the game.)
You have a choice: you can either accept your fate as the natural course of cards, or you can fight it. Acceptance will lead to an eventual turnaround (hopefully), and fighting the "fate" will lead to further losses (i.e. improper bluffs, bad calls, bad play). Your choice.
One last footnote.I want to point out something that happened to me while playing last night. It didn't really affect my play, but I was seething mad at an annoying guy who kept laughing inappropriately. He wasn't doing it get reactions, but he was more the type to laugh for tension release or reasons unknown. I couldn't wait to stick it to him; I never got the opportunity, but I really took it too far. When he lost a major pot, I started laughing loudly, and in a forced manner, trying to mimic him. I tried to tilt him as he was subconsciously doing to me. He was too aloof / dumb to really understand or know what I was doing, but it didn't feel good to be the verbal bully at the table. That's not me - that's not my game.
I don't understand why it annoys me so much when player play laughably badly. This guy (first, from the SB) called a raise to $25 (my late position raise to iso with QcJc on a straddled limp pot) with $51 behind with 6c4c. Flop came 4d Tc Kc and he auto shipped the flop. Natch, I called & missed my 19 outs. This is the same guy who, an hour later, insisted on checking out an opponent's stack to "see how much you have behind - for pot odds!" and proceeded to get it in with 2 pair against a flopped nut straight for totally incorrect pot odds.
I need to stop allowing this kinda crap to bother me. I need to zone it out. I need to stop focusing in on the hatred and anger for this guy (I'm sure he's a very friendly guy outside of the casino), and work on more productive things like creative ways to extract chips from every player instead of zeroing in on the annoying guy. Even though I'll likely never see him again, and he'll never read this article, I want to take the bottom of this post to apologize for my over-the-top inappropriate behavior. To the dude that looks like an Asian Harry Potter, I am sorry for my behavior at the table last night.
Point is: we need to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on the important things when we're playing.