Tuesday, March 14, 2006


When the going was good in poker, the game seemed as easy as a hike through mountain meadows.
Now it seems as trecherous as a minefield.
My bankroll has taken many hits lately. I have KK and an A flops. BOOM! I get AA, as I do last night against KK, and a K falls on the turn. BOOM! I get AA today and a donkey calls my raise with Q,2 soooooted and then calls my all in with a flush draw. The heart falls on the river. BOOM!
I probably shouldn’t have written that post about my fitty-cent move up. It made it seem like things were going well. Honestly, this has been the most frustrating month of poker in my life. If I would have won, instead of lost, when I was at least an 80 percent favorite heading to the river, my bankroll would be plumped by another half.
Instead, BOOM!
I know this is variance after a wonderful February, but the thing that is most frustrating to me, right now, is I rarely sucked out in that month. It’s just that my opponents didn’t hit their miracles. The odds held up, and I was rewarded for my good moves.
Now I’m getting my limbs blown off for them.
All kinds of thoughts go through my head during a streak like this. Here are a few:
• I hate poker. Imagine any other game when you lost every time you made the right move. Would you continue to play it?
• Maybe I’m not playing enough hands. Maybe I’m playing too many. Maybe this is why most players don’t make money, and maybe I’ll lose all my bankroll.
I don’t want to lose my bankroll. I’ve worked very hard for it.
• I’ve moved back down to .25 NL. Sorry, but I can’t take these hits at the .50 NL. When things start to look normal again, I’ll play higher. Not right now.
• Poker sucks.
I woke up at 4 a.m. last night frustrated. I don’t want poker to dominate my life.
I’m almost haunted by poker right now.
The problem with being a good player — and I do think I can call myself that — is you never really get to experience the joy of sucking out on others. You don’t get to steal money because you’re usually in with the best of it. In other words, you just need the odds to hold up. That means when they do, you simply nod your head and sigh instead of experience any sort of elation. When they don’t, it’s crushing.
The highs, in other words, aren’t very high, but the lows are terribly, painfully low.
Aren’t drugs the same way in the throes of an addiction?
In fact, the only way I’ve kept my sanity is the realization that I’m a much better player than I was even three months ago. Almost all of my big losses this month have come with me being in with the best of it, usually by a 4-1 or even a 5-1 favorite. When I suffered through my last major losing streak, in December, I couldn’t say that. I lost to better hands most of the time, to trips when I had two pair, to flushes when I had straights, etc.
If I continue to get my money in with the best of it, I’ll avoid the landmines, and my bankroll will start to heal, right?
I have too soon. I’ve only got so many limbs left.

No comments: