Sunday, August 13, 2006

Why why why?

Why do we continue to make plays that we know are bad, when we know we are beat, even when that inner voice is screaming at us to just put down the mouse and walk away until you're timed out?
Three reasons.

• We're tired and we don't know it.

Saturday I signed on just expecting to play an hour of poker. I really needed some alone time, and I was looking forward to it after leaving Greeley at 2:30 a.m. and leading my 14ers group up the last mountain of the year. Yes, I seemed tired, but I was really looking forward to the poker.
It was a great day, and I was feeling good. The group responded well despite me having to be much more of a hardass than before because of the inclement weather and the need to get down. We did make the summit up Elbert, Colorado's tallest mountain, and we made it to the van three minutes before a huge storm ripped through Leadville.
Soon after, I got K,A. A guy raised 4x the big blind, and I called, along with one other player. The flop came K,3,Q, with K,3 hearts.
I bet half the pot, $3, and the guy to my left raises, and the other pushes for his last $12.

Understand that all last week, I played patient, solid poker and did not sniff A,K. I barely got any solid starting hands and yet managed to squeak out a $25 profit for the week on the cash games. It was the kind of week I'm proud of, a week that requires great discipline (I folded several hands when I was in the lead until I got a bad feeling on the river, like the guy flopped the kicker I thought he had, giving him two pair and giving it up when he would excitedly overbet the pot) and a week that also means I avoided losing my whole buy-in every time that week.

So what do I do? Do I take the warning sign that my TPTK is not good here? A raise and a re-raise?
No. I call the $12.
It's a great play because what I essentially did was price myself in when the other guy pushed, meaning I had to pay $33 to win $100. Those odds are pretty damn good. I figured I would gamble and pay attention to that. I also now have a lame excuse for losing this hand. And, finally, I gave up all fold equity to the other guy, making him the aggressor.

The raiser had QQ. The re-raiser had K,Q.
I had a losing hand.

I was too tired to play. I was exhausted, in fact, and I let my want (need?) to play poker get the best of me. Had I been sharp, I would have of course recognized that I was beat after I was re-raised and simply folded, saving me a lot of money. It requires discipline to fold TPTK (more than it should, really), and my mind wasn't sharp enough for that. It's why you fuck the ugly girl in the bar when you're drunk. It's hard to turn down a blow job, any blow job, but if you're sharp, you do it when the girl who looks like Spock hits on you.

• You refuse to believe your luck is that bad, even when you know it is.

So Sunday I'm at it again, telling myself that I was going to play smart, disciplined poker, the kind of poker that has helped me fatten my bankroll.

And not long after, I get QQ.
QQ has not been kind to me lately. In fact, if QQ was my wife, I would have divorced her and left her with nothing but the weeds in the backyard. While JJ has been so good, I feel like going "Brokeback Mountain" over it, QQ has been a nasty bitch.
I feel kind bad for her, though, because it's really not her fault. Her ex-husband, KK, has been stalking her.

So I raise 3x the big blind.

And someone re-raises me.

Now, this will sound like incredible whining, the kind of bitching that donkeys do, i.e. "My Aces Always Get Cracked." So you don't have to believe me. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

But four out of the last five times, my QQ has run into KK.

I've kept track.
It's cost me a lot of money. Not my buy-ins every time. But too much money.

When the guy re-raised $1, alarm bells went off. No one seems to re-raise in my level, $50 NL games, unless they have KK or AA.

I called the $1.

And here's what happened:

Texas Hold'em $0.50-$0.50 NL (Real Money),  #848,139,803
Table Valparaiso, 13 Aug 2006 10:50 PM ET
Seat 1: Chippsmith ($95.40 in chips)
Seat 2: scottyrob1 ($45.75 in chips)
Seat 3: bloodndef ($71.40 in chips)
Seat 4: prolox29 ($15.85 in chips)
Seat 5: Pokerpeaker5 ($48.75 in chips)
Seat 7: Crow Magnon ($80.75 in chips)
Seat 8: masinnerx ($24.45 in chips)
Seat 9: itchybelly ($7.50 in chips)
Seat 10: steppa30 ($49.65 in chips)
scottyrob1 posts blind ($0.25), bloodndef posts blind ($0.50).

prolox29 folds, Pokerpeaker5 bets $1.50, Crow Magnon folds, masinnerx folds, itchybelly folds, steppa30 bets $2.50, Chippsmith folds, scottyrob1 calls $2.25, bloodndef folds, Pokerpeaker5 calls $1.

FLOP [board cards 2S,10D,4D ]
scottyrob1 bets $3, Pokerpeaker5 calls $3, steppa30 bets $10, scottyrob1 folds, Pokerpeaker5 bets $43.25 and is all-in, steppa30 calls $36.25.

TURN [board cards 2S,10D,4D,6S ]

RIVER [board cards 2S,10D,4D,6S,KD ]

Pokerpeaker5 shows [ QS,QC ]
steppa30 shows [ KC,KH ]
steppa30 wins $102.50.
Dealer: Chippsmith
Pot: $103.50, (including rake: $1)
Chippsmith, loses $0
scottyrob1, loses $5.50
bloodndef, loses $0.50
prolox29, loses $0
Pokerpeaker5, loses $48.75
Crow Magnon, loses $0
masinnerx, loses $0
itchybelly, loses $0
steppa30, bets $48.75, collects $102.50, net $53.75

Yes, for the fifth time in six QQs, it ran into KK.

I refused to believe that my luck was that bad. "There's NO WAY my QQ could run into KK again, right? I mean, he MUST have JJ. He MUST. There's just no way, right?"

Sure there is.

• Bad luck

I'm not going whine about my QQ anymore. In fact, I just demonstrated that it happens.
But I've noticed that when variance comes knocking, and she is this week, in full force, that not only do your great hands go down, your monsters don't get paid off.

Suckouts like this one happen all the time in a losing streak:

View Previous hand for this table.

Texas Hold'em $0.50-$0.50 NL (Real Money), #848,243,884
Table Giessen, 13 Aug 2006 11:20 PM ET

Seat 1: cleensweep ($17.75 in chips)
Seat 2: steve_albini ($51.85 in chips)
Seat 3: Chippsmith ($57.30 in chips)
Seat 4: Skip_Dr ($49.30 in chips)
Seat 5: turbox3 ($32.50 in chips)
Seat 6: Pokerpeaker5 ($47.50 in chips)
Seat 7: Cr3d ($30 in chips)
Seat 8: pm_abs ($68 in chips)
Seat 9: FloppinNutzz ($47 in chips)
Seat 10: newf01 ($24.85 in chips)

Pokerpeaker5 posts blind ($0.25), Cr3d posts blind ($0.50).

pm_abs folds, FloppinNutzz folds, newf01 folds, cleensweep calls $0.50, steve_albini calls $0.50, Chippsmith folds, Skip_Dr folds, turbox3 calls $0.50, Pokerpeaker5 bets $2, Cr3d folds, cleensweep folds, steve_albini folds, turbox3 calls $1.75.

FLOP [board cards 5S,9S,4S ]
Pokerpeaker5 bets $2, turbox3 calls $2.

TURN [board cards 5S,9S,4S,10D ]
Pokerpeaker5 bets $10, turbox3 calls $10.

RIVER [board cards 5S,9S,4S,10D,3H ]
Pokerpeaker5 checks, turbox3 checks.

Pokerpeaker5 shows [ AH,AC ]
turbox3 shows [ 9H,9C ]
turbox3 wins $29.

Dealer: turbox3
Pot: $30, (including rake: $1)
cleensweep, loses $0.50
steve_albini, loses $0.50
Chippsmith, loses $0
Skip_Dr, loses $0
turbox3, bets $14.25, collects $29, net $14.75
Pokerpeaker5, loses $14.25
Cr3d, loses $0.50
pm_abs, loses $0
FloppinNutzz, loses $0
newf01, loses $0

But that's poker. I played it well, checked on the river and saved some money. So OK.

But I would like some hands to be paid off. When I get AA a second time that night, I would like at least one caller to my raise of 4xs, please.

When I get quad 9s, as I did TWO hands after my QQ disaster, and there are five people in the hand, I would like action from at least one player, please.

When I flop a set of 6s, as I did TWO hands after my AA suckout, and there are four people in the hand, I would like action from at least one player, please.

And no, I'm not shoving when I get these hands. I'm betting half the pot each time.

Am I making excuses? Am I playing poorly? Or are there a number of factors at play here that are combining to possibly start me on a long-term losing streak?

I'm not sure. But the storm clouds are starting to swirl overhead. I just hope I can get to treeline safely before the real storm hits.


slb159 said...

"Or are there a number of factors at play here that are combining to possibly start me on a long-term losing streak?"
Doubt it...I have nights where evrything goes wrong, river a str8 that makes someone a flush...things like that. I lost my biggest pot the other night, but made it all back and more for the weekend as a whole.
I'm just waiting for that night when EVERYTHING goes right.

Raveen said...

yea playing tierd is one of the worst things to do because ur numb to the money and ur concentration isnt on point where it should be.