Monday, January 30, 2006


There have been many "oh, so this is what it's like to be a parent" moments since we've had Jayden seven months ago.
Five stained shirts in one day? Oh, so this is what it's like. Blowing out a diaper on a road trip? Oh, OK. Smiles in the morning and cawing with delight in the evening when you come home from work? Oh, OK. Cool.
Unfortunately, I had another moment last night, when Kate called me, in tears, telling me that the nurse from his doctor's office said Jayden had to go to the E.R. Now.
Oh. So this is what it's like.
Oh, man.
I was at work, Sunday night, for my editor's shift, so I told her to be strong for him and call me as soon as she heard something. I called her five times in the next 15 minutes.
Jayden was battling what we thought was a cold. He was at her parents' house, enjoying the weekend with the grandparents, so we could clean up the house and get it ready for putting it on the market.
I suppose we should have insisted on an urgent care appointment after they were up all night with him because he was so congested, but we thought it was a cold, he would be fine, as he was earlier the year with the sniffles. Deep down, I think we knew it wasn't the best decision but we were hoping anyway that things would work out, kind of like when you call an all-in with A,10 and your short stack.
Kate said by the time she picked him up, Jayden's cry, normally an event that rivals a Metallica concert in sheer volume, was a soft meow, like a choking kitten. And his lungs and nose seemed to be stuffed with snow.
I felt OK once they made Kate wait a couple hours for the E.R., figuring that if they needed to crack his chest (like I saw on "E.R." once), they probably would have done it sooner. And by time Kate called an hour or two later, she sounded calmer. Doctors weren't panicking, at least.
I got there at 9:30 p.m. Jayden had a mask on, part of a breathing treatment, and he sounded like oxygen could barely squeak into his poor little lungs.
My little guy, I thought to myself.
When the doctor, a huge guy with long blonde hair, a beard and a sort of etheral presense about him (I almost expected him to wear sandals) came in and told us the congestion was not in his chest, I almost hugged him.
Thank you, Jesus.
After a few steroid treatments, we brought Jayden home, and he finally crashed in his crib, able to breathe for the first time in three days. When I came in today, at 7 a.m., he was sitting up in his crib, all seven months of him ready to play, despite his stuffy head.
He had croup. I'm not sure what that is, or even if I"m spelling it right, but it really sucks. A nurse came in as we were about to leave and said, yeah, his kid had that too, and it scared the crap out of him.
No kidding.
So this is what it's like to be a parent. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it's exhausting. Sometimes it's really fun. Many times, it's rewarding.
And, occasionally, it's really, really terrifying.
In my last four SnGs, I've lost on three of them, which is unusual for me. I’ve lost mostly because in my last six races, I've been the favorite in every one, sometimes a heavy favorite, and I've lost all of them. So I’m the guy you see on TV with the 80 percent behind his name, and I’ve lost every time.
Normally I'd whine about my bad luck.
After Sunday, I realize that sometimes, luck just evens out.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Floating on Cloud Nine with Flyers

One of my favorite things to do at the poker table is play flyers.
I love playing small pocket pairs, suited connectors, or other hands like K,10 os or J,10 os or Ax suited or hands like Q,J, K,9 even, or Q,10 or, my favorite for a while, J,5, the last because I had a soldier friend who folded J,5 every time, even when he was in the big blind without a raise, because he lost to it all the time. So I started playing it and sucking out with it a lot.
For some of you aggresive types, all those hands above might not only be worth playing, but worth raising. And in a tournament, occasionally, they're worth raising in many circumstances.
But I especially like playing these hands, occasionally, in ring games, when you don't have the blinds threatening to swallow you like a porn star named Johnny Cum Lately (hi TripJax!).
Last night, I played J,10, and 10,10,K came down. I threw out a bet of $1, about half the pot,and a guy called. The fish (I knew he was at that point), then bet the rest of his $5 when a bust card came down. I put him on a K and called. He had a K and I scooped a pretty nice pot for the level I was playing.
Of course, playing flyers correctly is the difference between being a fish and being a, er, non-fish (I can't call myself a shark yet, not even a nurse shark), I don't call raises with them, even if it's a .25 raise, unless I have a terrific read on the player, and even then, I proceed cautiously. Almost always, I pitch the hand if I don't flop to it, and if I have a draw, I pitch it if I'm priced out of it. If I flop top pair, I play it aggressively until my opponent tells me he has a better kicker (but then, I think, why didn't she raise?). And I rarely play them slow, even if I flop a great hand.
I know these are no duh tips, and yet, I've noticed, it's the no duh tips that we don't follow that help us lose money. Poker is full of common sense rules, and we should constantly be viligant in following them, unless it's fun to break them by taking a flyer on a hand.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Did Phil Ivey start on .25 NL?

OK, Hollywood Poker has these $2.25 10-table, SnG tournaments, and I play them at work as I write my stories for the Greeley Tribune for three reasons:
1) I want to continue to practice 10-person play, as I cut my teeth and continue to play six-person tables for .25 cash games or shorthanded SnGs.
2) They are profitable. I've cashed like 15/20 of them.
3) They require about 10 percent of my attention most of the time.
The ease at which I've been cashing them made me think about where I was a year ago.
I am, like Low Limit Grinder, a .25 NL player and a $5 SnG level player. I have relatively small bankrolls on Hollywood and Pokerroom, about three hundred bones each, and I play well within those bankrolls. If I lose $25 in a day, that's a big loss to me, and, of course, any win over $10 for the day makes me happy. In fact, I'm good with $5 a day.
And yet, that's far above where I was a year ago, when I was a play money player, not even ready for the $10,000 table on play money, when I thought reading a book about poker was a waste of time and I wondered why people would watch poker on TV.
The addiction dug its little kitten claws in, of course, and after losing my initial $25 faster than you can say "rigged Internet poker" (he he), I decided that if I was going to play for real money, I was gonna DO IT.
I'm that kind of person anyway. Why climb only one 14er in Colorado when you can climb all 54, the quest I completed this year, becoming the 1,300 in the state to do that. Why start running when you can try to knock off 4:30 off your 5K time in a year? Why not be obsessive about something rather than just enjoy it? I'm not bragging when I tell you this. There are advantages, of course, to being this way, but I wonder sometimes (especially during a losing streak) if being obsessive about a hobby, rather than just enjoying it, is really the way I want to live my life. I don't want to have my first heart attack at age 45, for instance.
Ah, the price we pay for being Type A!
Anyway, I read and read and read, and now plays that seem absurd to me, like calling an all-in with A,9, were pretty routine for me back then. And that's why I continue to do well in those Hollywood $2 tournaments. I'm playing a bunch of mes, like I had cloned myself a bunch of times and dove into The Matrix of Poker, only the mes are from July of last year, not now.
There are still many flaws in my game. Though I understand the concept of bluffing and representing and forcing opponents off pots, I still, for the most part, need cards to win. I can read players, but I'm still wrong too often about what they have. I know how to bet and what to bet, and yet, many times, I still overbet great hands, getting a fold instead of some extra money for them.
But, rather than focusing on Will Wonka and his hundred-dollar dailies, I've tried to focus on how far I've come. I am a few hundred ahead since I started playing for real money full-time in October with birthday money. I have two healthy bankrolls and should be able to play real money for a long, long time if I stick to my current limits. I recently made my first purchase solely with poker money, a running GPS that I could not afford otherwise.
Poker is still scary for me. Journalists don't make a lot of money, and my wife is a teacher, and we've got a 7-month old and my wife is murmuring about how having another one now would be better, given that we're both over 30 (she's 29, actually) and we'd like to be able to walk at our kids' graduations rather than use a walker.
But I am encouraged by all your posts and piddly little tournaments.
If you're ever doubting yourself, a daily occurence for me, play a $2 sit and go. It's all the therapy you'll need to see that, hey, you've come a long way, baby.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Learning how to get my grr on

I can get my grr on.
The only problem is it needs fuel.
My grr purrs like a kitten on catnip when I get even a decent run of good starting hands to raise with, some chips and a pegged donkey or two.
When I don't have that, though, or even part of that, my grr turns into a purr, and I try to fold my way to the money.
And that, as we know, almost never works.
When I first started playing SnGs, I was way too tight. I would only bet on top pair, and if someone pushed, I folded. Predictably, I won when I got monsters and check-raised with them, but many times, when the monsters didn't come, I wouldn't cash.
Now I've learned enough to raise, push and bet people off pots, even when I don't have the monster, and, as a result, I'm winning and cashing enough so SnGs are a profitable part of my overall poker package, if not the most profitable part.
But now that I'm starting to play larger tournaments, with more tables, and more seats, I've turned weak again.
I always assume someone has a hand worth raising. Many times I'm right. But not always.
Saturday, in that live tournament, I got no hands all night, as I've previously mentioned, and finished just out of the money, in 7th place. Sunday, I played another 30-person table, thinking it worked last time. And my third hand brought me K,K, with a K on the flop. Beautiful. I scooped a huge pot.
And did not win another hand the whole night.
That's what happens when you rarely enter them.
I figured, of course, that with my huge early stack, I didn't need to be involved in pots. It was the passive, old Dan way to play, instead of putting pressure on the table. When I was moved to another table with three other big stacks, my opportunity was gone, and I folded my way down to almost nothing, when I got A,A and wasn't paid off. The blinds consumed me soon after, and I finished in 10th place.
Now, I had no hands worth raising. When I get hands, I play them aggressively. But what happens when you don't get any hands?
One of the reasons I win a lot is because I do play solid, sound, tight-aggressive poker, and that's enough when you're playing against mostly weak players.
But I think, now, I've got to learn to fuel my grr with something more than high pocket pairs or A,K.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good news, bad news, ski traffic and a wet cell phone

So my final stats from SnG week were good, 10/13 cashed, and Friday night was the kicker. I played a 30-person MTT on Hollywood Poker for the first time. $5.50, sure, and I wanted a longer tournament to try. I have played a couple MTTs, but I've never come close to cashing, either because someone sucked out on me or I failed to suck out on them.
I was the short stack with the usual aggressive blind structure you find on these Internet tournaments with five people left, and five get paid, so I was in "survival" mode, hoping to outlast the other short stack. Sure enough, he went all in with Q,8 and got knocked to the canvas.
A newfound freedom from worrying about getting paid or not, coupled with my first run of the cards for the night (J,J and A,8 both won races) left me as the chip leader. The other three quickly fell, and after a long heads-up battle that ended when the dude got the higher flush than me (three clubs on the board, can you believe that, heads up?) and I collected $45.
Not a ton of money, but for me, it's a very nice night and the cherry to me clearing more than $80 just from playing SnGs for the week.
I went to bed at 9:30 p.m., which is like most people going to bed at 5:30 p.m., but I had a ski excursion planned for Saturday, and I wanted to be somewhat fresh for Saturday night's big live tournament, which, of course, was the main reason for playing all those SnGs.
The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m., which, of course, was quickly snapped off by me, in the hopes of not waking the J-man, our seven-month old ball of feist. I made it to the Park N Ride near Denver to meet my brother and was met by chaos. It was 7 a.m., and already, cranky drivers wrapped in fleece and goofy hats were jostling for the last few spots in four Park N Rides. Last month, my brother and I met at 7 a.m. and were greeted by empty lots and little traffic, but I should have considered that there was a record snowfall going on this year, the Broncos were playing Sunday and it was supposed to be a beautiful day. I checked the third Park N Ride in the group of four and finally told a group of four Denver yuppies, parked in the middle of the road, to get out of the way (only I wasn't that nice about it) and I scooted up the road just in the hopes of turning around. I pulled into the final Park N Ride and was preparing to turn around when I saw Red. Brake. Lights. I dashed over there and turned on my blinker, no doubt frustrating the seven cards ahead of me and already past paradise. The car pulled out. Thank you Jesus.
By the time we got to the ski resort, it was 11:30 a.m.
All that for four hours of skiing.
So, finally, a bit wrung out but happy after a good day, I showered at my brothers, grabbed a quick snack of chili cheese nachos and went to the guy's house, where, thankfully, a lot of my old poker buddies were waiting for me (our weekly game has broken up after he moved to Denver a month ago).
I was struck at how wild our table was. One girl won a huge hand with 10,10 with J,K,A on the board. The other guy had 8,8.
That, of course, handicapped me a bit, since they were calling every damn bet I made because, hey, they had lower pair, right. So bluffing was out. And normally, I'm a tight, fairly conservative player until the blinds force me to shift gears, so this plays right into my hands. All I would need is a few good hands and I was golden.
I'm still waiting.
I did get A,A early but no callers to my 3X raise, and I had A,K one other time, and that, dear reader, in six hours of play, was the extent of my hands. I did manage to double up late with Q,8 and a Q on the board and a drunk guy called me with a straight draw, and an inside one at that, and that prompted a trip to the bathroom.
Where I promptly dropped my new cell phone in the toliet.
I immeaditely took it out (clean water, at least) and shook it and took the battery out, and after much cell phone love, it works fine. It didn't look good for a while there but was able to pull through.
Thank you, again, Jesus.
I got knocked out in 7th place out of 30, two slots from the money, because my short stack wasn't going to hold up and I went all in with A,8 and some guy called me with A,K. Ah well. I didn't want to stay up to 3 a.m. anyway.
This did expose what I consider to be a hole in my game, and that is I need cards to win. I'm much improved in the sense that I don't need monsters to win, anymore, but I do need a normal run of good hands, and I can usually cash, especially against a weak field, as the SnGs demonstrates. But I am rather helpless if I don't get that normal run, if I get, say, 9,4, as I did all fucking night long. I can bluff with the best of them, and I did, but that only takes me so far.
Is that true for everyone? I'm not sure. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. For me, weak hands are like fighting in Braveheart with a plastic sword.
Or one of those cool Jedi toy light sabers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

So far, so good

It's been a good run so far. Good decisions, good results and, yes, even a suckout or two.
My favorite was last night.
I had this guy heads up in a 5-person SnG, and by that time, he might as well have been playing with his cards face up. Whenever he had a monster, he raised. When he had a decent hand, he called. When he had nothing, he checked. Sounds obvious, I know, but he really was that predictable. Every time he checked, I bet, and he would fold.
But every time he finally would put his money in, I, of course, had the best hand.
And every time he sucked out on me.
If he had 9,6 and I had A,K, a 9 would fall on the river. If he had A,8 and I had A,J, an 8 would fall. If he had A,8 again, and I had Q,Q, the A would fall on the river.
It really was unbelieveable. And yet, every time, I could claw my way back because of the aggressive blind structure and his frequent folding.
The guy tried bluffing once, into a board of four diamonds, when I had the A. Oops.
So if I had lost to him, it would have been criminal, and yet, suckout, suckout, suckout.
Finally, he was down to $2,000 in chips, and I had $5,500, and I got A,J and finally decided to just start putting him all in every time I got a great hand (heads up, A,J is a great one). I bet, and he flips over...
Of course.
Only the luckbox saw three clubs flop, and guess who had the one A of clubs? It looked so good against my J. Fourth card was a bust, but the fifth?

I think I'm ready for the big tournament on Saturday, but I'm gonna play a few five and 10-tables tonight, Thursday and then a MTT on Friday. I've also been reviewing Harrington, who wrote the best tournament stragety books of all time.

6/9 cashed.
Four firsts, one second, one third.

Take that, Low Limit Grinder!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

SnG Week

To prepare for my first big-time live tournament ($20 buy in, which, please don't make fun, that's big time for me) Saturday, I'm going to only play SnGs this week. It seems like I'm best at tournaments, but I guess we'll find out.
This was sort of inspired by Low Limit Grinder, so did this one week,had great success at it and then got away from it.
Here we go.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Kicking a losing streak in the nuts

(Note to Poker Gods: In no way am I bragging here. I know now that, in fact, Poker Gods NEVER put a losing streak on someone unless you boast about your good fortune. In fact, Satan runs losing streaks. So, PGs, consider this a slam on Mr. Sympathy himself and not your Highnesses. Thank you and GL at the tables).

Well, I'm in a downswing. After I posted my last blog, talking about my horrible winning streak, it quickly turned into a horrible losing streak when I called a 2x raise at a 5-person table with K,10 and the flop came K,K,3. Sweet, right? I bet the pot, the guy pushes me all in, I call, bam, he has K,Q.
And that made me think.
A losing streak is a whirlpool of bad beats, which make us inpaitent, which make us lose even more, which makes us play hands we normally wouldn't to win the money back we lost, which makes us lose more, which....
Yeah, we've all been there. I don't need to go on, do I?
When I hit my losing streak for two horrible weeks a month ago, I looked back at my notes and realized that many of the beats I took weren't really bad beats. They were tough beats, sure, but they also reflected the whirlpool of poker more than sharp plays that just got donkeyed out. I had top pair, top kicker, for instance, and pushed all-in when a guy raised me $5. He had two pair. I lost another $25 when I had two pair and a guy just simply sighed and called when I overplayed them and he showed me his pockets, making him a set of nines. It went on and on that week, until I finally started getting lucky again and, consequently, playing better poker, and, consquently, started winning again.
This time, after cursing my hand selection (especially what I call a raise with) and realizing I was a bit rash there, I decided to approach the losing streak with a challenge: Let's see how little I could lose until my luck turned around.
So when I had a set of Ks, but there was a straight draw out there, I bet the pot twice, and sure enough, the guy went for his gutshot card on the river, and I knew he hit it when he bet 2xs the pot without hesitation. I folded and he showed me his cards. I declined to show him mine.
Total loss: $10.
And when I had the nut flush with one card the go, and the board paired, I simply bet the pot instead of pushing all in at first, and when the dude, who I knew had two pair, hit this third card on the river, he checked, hoping to trap me, and I checked back.
A flush losing to a full house.
Total loss: $9.
Now I know this just seems like logical betting to you, but in the past, I would have lost much more because I would have just assumed I had the nuts and then started complaining when I didn't. During a losing streak, I've learned, people hit their flushes and straights and full houses. I'm just trying to lose as little as I can to it.
So when I play a SnG, as I did last night, and I win four races near the end, including a heads up when he has K,K and I have A,8 and my beautiful A flops, or when I have two pair, Q,10, and the third heart falls, but I bet the guy all in anyway, and he calls, and I get my Q on the river, well, then I can kick the streak in the nuts and thank the Poker Gods.
And tell the losing streak to go to hell.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The spoiled brat of poker (and it ain't Phil Hellmuth)

At the risk of sounding like Veruca Salt, who wanted another pony the moment her father handed her a golden ticket, I'm going through the worst winning streak of my poker life.
It's a pristine mountain filled with a glacier of AA and four callers, fields of KKs and a K on the flop (with the other guy having a lower set), and forests of two pairs that actually hold up. I've had J,J that actually won, K,K that didn't get sucked out by an A and Q,Q that didn't lose me a lot of money.
Except my base camp is littered with piles of bad beat shit, the kind that make you double over and puke.
Two days in a row, I've started slow in my .25 ring game, worked my way up to a $50 profit and left with a $25 profit one day and $10 the next.
Why? Well, no, I'm not one of THOSE players, who just gets lucky and then variance takes over and depletes my winnings. I have a healthy bankroll (for me, anyway) stuffed with winnings on both sites (Hollywood Poker and Pokerroom). I have finished every month with a good profit.
But I've had J,J,5 with my J,A lose to 6,2 when they got their runner, runner, runner flush. I've had A,A,3 with my A,K lose to another flush, yes, another runner, runner, runner, only with another runner in there. A Q,Q,J with my Q,10 lose to, you guessed it, runner, runner, runner flush. I've seen more runners than my Wednesday night track group.
I've had more people draw against me than the cast of Deadwood. Have I ever, this week, hit one of my draws? No.
And let's not even talk about the SnGs, OK? But just as a small example, I had A,A lose to A,J when he got his straight on the river. That cost me a cash.
Because I'm a poker player, the losses have stung far more than the fact that I'm seeing great hands and cashing them. It feels like a horrible losing streak, even though I'm ahead this week.
Because I'm only ahead by a small amount, and it could be so, so very much more.
It's almost worse than a losing streak, because you count those chips as yours after you've won them, even though Kenny Rogers tells you not to. You begin to question whether you are just greedy, even though Mike Caro has a great response when someone asks why you didn't just quit when you were ahead - the game was good, the players were loose, and I was getting good hands. So you question if you called loose because you were winning. No, I had great hands and cautiously bet when I saw that third (or fourth) spade or heart or club because I knew I was in trouble.
I am bonus clearing, and that has something to do with it, because I don't want to hit and run, I'd rather stay with my big lead and earn my points. But, then again, many times last week that helped me, because I was down and would have stopped, only I hit with a few hands and finished up, long after I would have stopped.
I tell myself that, if someone asked me if I would like to finish a session $10 or $25 ahead, I would, of course, scream yes yes yes like a porn star.
I remind myself of that as I turn off the computer, grumbling all the way to bed.
Sometimes, it actually works.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm a genius...I'm an idiot

After watching USC 4th and 1 the national title away from Texas, I had to get in my usual hour of poker, lest I start scratching the red rash that would surely break out if I didn't play.
And I was struck by how, many times, the decisions we make in poker, and the consequences we suffer as a result, aren't much different than what football coaches go through.
We're either idiots or we're geniuses.
Pete Carroll was an idiot last night for going for it twice on 4th down and failing miserably both times, the second giving Texas and Vince Young a short field for the final score. Mack Brown was a genius for winning the game, even though he, too, made several questionable calls.
Two nights ago, I, too, made a couple questionable calls, as most of us do every night.
#1 - I have pocket 2s and hope to see a flop cheaply, so I call. A beauty comes down, 2,5,J, rainbow, and so I check, hoping to trap, as you can many times on the Internet. He checks. Rats.
The second cards comes a Q, so I bet the pot ($1 at this point, yes I play .25), thinking he might be on a draw and hoping to make him pay for it. He calls.
The third card is a K, and guy bets $5, far over the pot and a fourth of my stack. Shit.
Usually, players at my level can't control themselves, and so whenever they have a monster hand, they typically far overbet the pot. Even when they are bluffing, they don't bet as much as when they have a great hand. That's what this said to me, so it also said he made his straight. But $5, I think, is enough to pay for a set of 2s. I have to call even if my instincts tell me I'm beat.
The guy has K,5, two pair, and I win.
"Well played," another guy types in the box.
Right. I'm a genius.
#2 - I have A,K os and raise 4X to $1. I get two callers. I have $33, $8 more than my $25 buy-in. The flop comes A,3,8, all clubs.
OK, I've got top pair, and my K is a club, so I also have a nut flush draw. That's worth betting (if the guy flopped a flush, congratulations, I think), so I bet $2, letting anyone know they are going to have to pay for their draws and also thinking the pot was $5 with the called raises and I wouldn't mind snatching it right there.
Both call, but one guy raises me to $4. The other guy folds.
The guy was new, so I didn't have a read on him yet, so that raise could mean two things to me.
#1 - I have it and I'm trying to get more money from you, which is why I only raised you $2. I want you to call that.
#2 - I have a good pair and I'm trying to make you pay for your draw. I might even have two pair (or even trips, although it's my belief that he would have bet more with that).
I have top pair with the nut flush draw.
I push all in.
The guy folds.
I leave with $38, a nice $13 profit for the night.
It wasn't a great move. A guy will only call if he has the flush or two pair, and then I'm drawing. But I also have 15 outs (I think). Why not raise $2 more and see what he does? If he pushes in, you could probably call. If he calls, then you know he has a hand, too, and you'll just have to see how it plays out.
If he called with a flush, and I don't hit, I'm an idiot.
But he folded.
So I'm a genius.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Tempted on New Year's Eve

The gods were tempting me last night, on New Year's Eve, one of the most dangerous nights of the year for temptation.
But I wasn't tempted by alcohol, or drugs, or women. When you have a six-month-old, the vice you crave the most is sleep.
I was tempted by cards.
I played my usual $5 SnG first, and I was hot, hot, hot.
Hot, that is, on the turn and the river.
I had 10,8,3, with the 8,7 in my hand. Someone bet half the pot, or about an eighth of my stack. I had middle pair with no draws and a weak kicker. That's when you leave, right?
So I left.
And the 7 came down.
OK, so what, that's a dangerous draw, I thought. Still a good fold.
Then the 8 came down.
It was that kind of night. Every time I folded bad starting hands or flops that didn't hit, the next card would come.
If I were a fish, I'd fish in the morning, and in the evening, all over this poker land, only last night, I would have been rewarded. Straights, full houses, two pairs and flushes all would have come my way. I would have cashed and probably took first. As it were, my one set of 10s wasn't enough to carry me when a fish called my all-in A,J and M of 7 with his Q,7 and caught his fucking 7 on the river.
Sessions like these tempt you. They cry out to you, "see, it's OK to fish. It's OK to chase. Fish always win."
Nights like these tempt you.
But when I moved to my ring game, I played solid, consistent poker, had no opportunities to bluff, caught no cards and left with a $5 loss.
That's right. Only $5 off my bankroll.
Had I chased, it would have been a lot worse.
Resisting temptation can not only make you a better husband, or prevent you from a lifetime of AA meetings.
It can also keep your bankroll fat and happy for the next big session.