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.

1 comment:

starbender said...

Losing streak~~