April 20, 2009


Since my last post I have gone through my worst ever period of playing poker ever, with all the usual bad beats and coolers and some again. I have had to take a step back to get some relief. I have been playing / learning full ring since August 2008 when I started at 5nl. Never have I lost 10buy ins before. The most before has been 4 or 5. The bet fold experiment lost me a bit, I made one or two bad plays, but I lost a bit of confidence too, as literally every hand I played I would be raised out of the pot. I would raise AA and would have 1 caller, and be check raised, or baluga’d or……. Every time. I finally started to get paranoid. Then, when I did look them up, they always had it. Sets, straights, etc etc

The most demoralising I have ever felt playing poker.

I have gone down to 6 tables and I am going to try grind it back at least to where I was by the end of April from my last post.

This hand sums it up nicely. This spew box aggrodonk had been 3betting, check raising, and spewing generally over the 100 hands or so that I had been sat at the table, and playing 38/30. I had already doubled up through him as he shoved my river bet, repping what I actually had (flush), with him on a busted draw.

I know his check raise is at best a draw, (he's a slow playing donk with his monsters too, predictably) so on the turn I am looking for a brick to get it all in, as I was sure he would still call. Turns out he had complete air on flop, and caught runner runner to double through me. although I have played bigger pots, and had bigger coolers, I cannot remember feeling more demoralised when this asshole sucked out through me.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 9 Players

BB: $77.65 (77.7 bb)
UTG: $100 (100 bb)
UTG+1: $114.05 (114.1 bb)
MP1: $108.90 (108.9 bb)
MP2: $101 (101 bb)
MP3: $117.25 (117.3 bb)
CO: $34.65 (34.7 bb)
Hero (BTN): $192 (192 bb)
SB: $180.85 (180.9 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is BTN with J of spades Q of spades
6 folds, Hero raises to $3.50, SB calls $3, BB calls $2.50

Flop: ($10.50) Q of clubs T of hearts 2 of diamonds (3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $7.50, SB folds, BB raises to $17, Hero calls $9.50

Turn: ($44.50) 5 of diamonds (2 players)
BB bets $57.15 and is all-in, Hero calls $57.15

River: ($158.80) A of hearts (2 players, 1 is all-in)

Results: $158.80 pot ($3 rake)

BB showed 4 of diamonds 3 of diamonds (a straight, Ace to Five) and won $155.80 ($78.15 net)
Hero mucked J of spades Q of spades (a pair of Queens) and lost (-$77.65 net)


  1. Hi - that' a pretty bold strategy. No harm in giving it a whirl. Shouldn't be too hard to go back to your old winning style and re-evaluate. GL

  2. Thanks for stopping by my little neck of the blogosphere. Sick beat btw.

    I have a suggestion if you haven't ever tried it - PokerEV. IT's free, so I'm not trying to sell you something.

    It has a luck probability that lets you quantify based on Sklansky Bucks if you are running bad or good. If you lost 10BI running good, you have problems. The hand above would be a big "running bad" as you know.

    Download it, run it up, (oh you need to have been using PokerTracker) and click the Luck tab, probability option. Any questions, just post the bell curve and I'll try to interpret.

    Must go but look forward to reading your historic posts.

    Keep your chin up, its just variance!

  3. Keep your head up. The quality of your thinking in this game is rare, and even though I have never seen you play, I can tell that you have what it takes to make it. Attitude and perseverance is what is important, not so-called "talent", and you have that. I respect the courage that you have in trying new things and sometimes these things don't always work out. Take the good with the bad and press on, always.

  4. Tio, i dont have pt anymore but i have heard of setometer and such. i never like to know if i am running below ev/sklansky bucks etc. dont know why...

    lorin, thanks for that, interesting what you say about talent, i will think about that.

  5. One more piece of advice- don't waste your time piddling around with set-o-meters and EV calculators. I will be addressing this in some length in a future post, but to sum it up, they only breed negativity and they are not totally accurate. They are just like rabbit hunting when playing live. Notice how said hunter never jumps out of his seat in joy when he sees that his card would not have fallen, but will whine about his luck and bad judgment and perhaps go on a long bout of tilt if he sees that he would have drawn out.

  6. Micro....
    Every player that has played more than a week has gone through this. Stick with it. Just don't make the mistake (that I often have) in second guessing every move that you made during a downswing. It will totally screw up your game. Downswings are sometimes good to make you get analytical and tweek some things, but try not to let it get into your head and make you start changing everything. You know what works, stick with it. I agree with Lorin....you seem like a really sharp guy with the right skill set for the game. I say take a day or two off to clear the head and the get back in there and rip em up.
    Best of luck to you....

  7. Travis, I read your sing in the rain post with motivation. thanks.