I generally never forget bad memories or confrontations. I can forgive, but never forget. I tend to dwell on these things - keep constant reminders, which keeps the fire going inside of me for self-contained rage.
Typically, when I sit down to the poker table, I bring out my iPhone, open up my built-in Notes app, and register the date and time along with how many chips I purchased. This way, I can have a tally of what I started with and then when the night ends, the time and count of what I ended with. I also keep any notes from the session in there. I've been holding a particular note since January of this year and wanted to get it out on the virtual ink for all to see and feel sorry for. Well, maybe you don't need to read it, and definitely don't feel sorry - it is indeed a multitude of bat beat stories by the same guy, but perhaps writing them out will help me get over what is now going on a year's past memory.
So I'm sitting at 1/2 Live! all the way back in January. I'm continually abused by the deck there, and I'm finally starting to get cards during my session. A guy sitting across from me - mid 50's - has been somewhat aggro, opening a bunch of pots, looking pretty smarmy. As he's been doing, he opens to $7. One caller and it folds to me. I'm sitting with $225 and look down at AA. I act / move to fold my hand and then "pretend realize" that dude opened for $7. I pull back my cards and "think" for awhile. I carve out some chips and put out $40 - yes, from $7 to $40 3bet. The act that I was trying to perform was looking at him, seeing who is doing the raising, then trying to bluff 3bet him off his supposed better hand... He takes the bait and calls the $40 out of position. Flop comes a perfect JJ8cc and he leads for $30. Happily, I raise to $100 and he shoves. I snap call and am shown JTo. H even has the nerve to say to me "What did you think I had!??!?!??!" Seriously? I. hate. this. guy.
Probably 15 hands later, he raises to $9, and Iopt to just call with 9h7h from the BTN - 4 others do as well. Flop comes A 9 7r and a mid position player open shoves for $52. He snap calls the $52 and action is to me. I reshove for $121 more and he again snaps that off. I'm shown AK vs. A8 vs my 2 pair. Do I need to tell you that K on the turn seals the deal for me? Of course! Like clockwork! I. now. hate. this. place. and. hate. him.
I keep these two hand histories in my notes as a reminder of three things:
1. I am not owed anything from poker. Just because I get my money in (or in the first case, my implied money) as a strong favorite (I also think of Josie's session last week with Tony where she 3bet to $80 with AA and Tony called with 45s whose play angers me by proxy) doesn't mean that I'm the winner. In fact, if that statement were the case, the fish would not play the game anymore.
2. Remember the good times and the times when my hands held. Statistically, those hands occur far more often, but they're far more difficult to remember. Let those bad beat hands simmer within me and drive me to continue to never be on the opposite end; i.e. be the shark and not the fish.
3. Don't feel bad when I am on the opposite end; when I'm the one doing performing the suck out. Sometimes, I'm going to get my money in bad. When I do, I typically feel dirty about it - as if it's acceptable for everyone else, but not for me. Get over that feeling - one simply cannot play perfect poker and always get the money in ahead. So long as it's the exception and not the rule, keep playing.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Monday, October 19, 2015
In no order of importance, only items that I'm remembering:
- Had my biggest session ever last night - a session on the shorter side, but very profitable!
- Went through a streak of 9 winning sessions in a row (longest streak ever) from around my trip to Vegas through mid-August.
- Lost 1 or 2 sessions after that streak, and then had a streak of 7 winning sessions.
- It's pretty cool that seemingly no matter what happens with poker, there's always regression to the mean:
- 62% of my sessions are winning sessions - 2 plus 2 reports ~60% of sessions should be winners.
- My hourly rate at 1/2 is ~$19/hr, my hourly rate at 1/3 is ~$33/hr - 2 plus 2 reports ~10x BB / hr is handily beating the game.
- The hourly rates for 1/2 include a terrible run at Maryland Live! where I average a measly $1.49 / hr.
- I've put in more hours this year than any other year, with less sessions than the prior years' maximums. In other words, I'm averaging more hours per session. If I keep to the pace I'm on right now, I should end the year with the most sessions eve
- It's pretty cool (or pathetic depending on which side of the coin you're on) that we play and win at a game that requires no formal degree nor education, no resume nor any job interview, yet we can make more per hour than a skilled laborer or degree'd career job.
- It's a nice fallback plan that if the economy goes to the dumper, there's always gambling and poker!
- I've been thinking about moving back into the 2/5 games, yet the 1/3 games are so juicy it's tough to justify an additional $200 on the table.
- I met a few regs that I've seen around the room since I've been playing at the 'Shoe, yet never sat down at the same table with them. Nice folks!
- I think I got labeled a 1/3 donk because I called 3 streets + checked a river against an aggro 2/5 player who: PF raised $25 (called with 99), bet $35 on a Ts 7s 2 board (I called), bet $75 on a 5 turn (call) and checked the J river - I was shown AQo. I was checking for value the whole way and debated betting the river, figuring she could potentially call A high as a bluff catcher against my missed spade draw, but in the end, couldn't find the fortitude to bet it (it would have been for naught since she claimed she would have folded any bet there).
- This one is from last night and deals with a mega aggro (maniac) at 1/3:
He's at my table for around 14 hands and has straddled at every chance. He's on my left, so that's nice so far as straddles are concerned, but he's totally unpredictable, and within the 8 hands, he's shown QQ and KK as well as a ton of bluffs and non-value hands. Outside of me, he's running the table over with his $300 buy in because he's forcing folds out of discomfort from the rest of them - his stack is up to around $360. I don't remember the details, but I took a pot off him by raising one of his straddles and cbetting which nets him back down to $320 to start the hand (I have him easily covered as this is my all time winningest session).
He's straddling the BTN for $8 and I'm in the hijack with KQo. Not normally a hand I'd limp a straddle (that's a raise IMO, particularly from late position like that), but I suspect he'll raise on queue with 3 other limpers and perceived dead money. Well, this Yogi may be smarter than the average bear since he checks through the option - perhaps thinking one of the limpers is laying in wait to limp / raise him.
Well, all that said, we see a flop of K 8 2 - rainbow. All check to the aggro who leads for $20 into the $40 pot. He gets 2 calls and action is to me - $100 in the middle now. I'm debating thinning the herd:
1. I don't know what kinds of hands the callers have, so I'm not going to be happy with any turn card - particularly a non-King board pairing.
2. I think Mr. Aggro will take my move as an indicator that I'm trying to "make a move on him." He's somewhat scared of me - if nothing else he respects me, and wouldn't expect me to check / raise such a dry board. After all, "what am I scared of?"
3. I don't want to raise too much here; I want action because I'm likely way ahead here - Mr. Aggro and the rest of the field are drawing to 25% hands most likely, since there aren't any draws and very few backdoors (mainly T9s). I want value out of at least one person so Mr. Aggro is my target.
$100 is too much to check / raise, from a limped pot - as I think it's too dissuasive for seeing another card if I'm looking for my 2 pair / 3 of a kind outs... Min raise ($40) is a snap call from all parties, so that's too little. Therefore, I decide on between $60-70 - I check / raise to $65. Mr. Aggro snaps it off and lets me know that he "hopes I have better than just 1 pair, because I'm gonna need it!" Turn is an off suit 4 completing the rainbow.
I debate going for a check / raise once again, but just go with the most direct route: I lead for $100 and he folds, showing 2 5 and lecturing me that the 4 missed him by a 'pip and how lucky I was... Critical thought to the hand: Should I be trying for a c/r again, or should I have bet less? More? Thought at the time was he can call a c/r to $65 and the pot now has close to $200 - half pot on the turn should be a snap call, no? Guess not...
- A few nights ago, again 1/3:
I'm dealt 88h as my first hand, facing a $15 raise from an early position raiser. No data on the guy except he's in his late 30's / early 40's. I call along with one full time player who's always at the 'Shoe.
Flop comes As 4h 5h - EP cbets $20. It seems like such a weak cbet - to the tune of nuts or air. $20 into $45? Weak sauce. I call to take one off and take it away on the turn, and the reg to my left folds.
Turn is an 8s. EP now checks to me. It's annoying to hit a nut card on the turn and now "value bet" instead of bluff take it away as planned. $85 in the pot and I know he's not calling any bet unless he turned a flush draw / flopped a flush draw. Unless he's extremely tricky (unlikely for 1/3), he's signaled the classic "give up" on the turn by checking the A high board. How do you get value out of a board that you planned to bluff but now want value? I felt compelled to bet here, but I don't know if I did the right thing; perhaps checking nets a small value bet on the river - but I bet $40 and he snap folded.
- Last night, 1/3 - pressing up against my session maximums (winningest session ever):
Not entirely happy with this hand, though I don't know if I'm going to take a lesson learned. I'm effectively running the table over by combinations of value and bluffs. $11 cbets on limped pots (non- Ace high, in position) seem to continually take it down. These dogs won't hunt without top pair minimum. Good for me. Limp more often, bet more often.
I'm dealt 66 from mid position with a 50's woman (weak / tight) who limped to my right. I raise to $16 and get a 2-3 callers. Moves around to a short stack who shoves for $43. Lady to my right thinks for a while and just calls.
Action to me:
Lady has flat called twice now and betting is re-opened. I want to capture dead money and get heads up with the all in. I think the lady is always raising QQ+, most of the time JJ+. I can mostly exclude that from her range. The part I'm not thinking about is that she's super frustrated with taking a beating the whole night. I want her to fold, so I put $100 on top for $143 to go which folds out everyone except for the woman (and the all-in). She thinks for a very long time before sighing and finally shoves her remaining $170 total. I snap call and am shown 88 (lady) vs. J9. 88 holds to scoop a nice sized pot. I gave her too much credit that she could fold her hand - she had showed a prior fold for $20 on the turn with a flopped trip Aces, deuce kicker against another player (with $50 in front of her), she had continually folded out of fear of kicker problems, etc.
Again, don't know if there's a lesson learned here. Flatting $3, then $43? Perhaps I need to expand her range even though her range was exactly what I suspected it would be...?
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