Sunday, April 23, 2006

Can you smell what the rock is folding?

I folded it last night after the turn, when all I had was the pair, and the flop was 3,Q,J, and two guys called my first $3 bet.
The guy bet $5, or about a fifth of the buy-in and a quarter of his stack, after a K hit.
Not only do I not like that bet, I don't like the fact that I don't know what the other guy is gonna do.
This was not a tournament. It was a cash game.
So I folded.
I am much more aggressive in a tournament. That's not saying much, as I am still picky about my starting hands in a tournament.
But I sure am a rock in cash games.
I'm a successful cash game player, but lately, in these last couple of months, I'm probably break even. I seem to be treading water quite a bit. I've had far more losing sessions than I care to admit these last couple of months, but usually they amount to losing a couple bucks and no more.
It bothers me, but I don't know if I'll be able to ever really push, bluff and raise the way I do in a tournament. The losses hurt too much in a cash game. I'm never confident I'll be able to win it back, as I can in a cash game. And I rarely take chances because I don't have to: I haven't sucked out in a cash game in a long, long time, and that tells me I refuse to get my money in unless I know I have the best of it.
It's still not a bad way to play, at .25 NL, when there are so many bad players that patience will win you pots.
But it's also a tough way to play, as the levels are so erratic, I have a hard time knowing what the guy has. TPTK, especially, is a tough hand for me to play lately. I've pushed with it and lost, and I've also folded it many times, only to find out the guy thought his TPNK was golden or even his second pair was good.
And I usually get my best hands in the first 15 minutes, when I haven't really pegged the donkeys. By the time I do, others have already dragged them off to feed.
I know everyone, including me, loves to talk about how bad the players on the Internet are, but quite frankly, many aren't as bad as you think. Yes, there are many bad players, but there are also many decent ones who, yes, do have a hand when they push you.
Poker is about calculated risks. Maybe I need to take more risks and look for less sure things. It's called gambling for a reason.
Or I can just wait for AA again.

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