In the spirit of this holiday film season, I wil admit one thing to you.
I am not the Rocky of poker players.
I cannot take a punch in the jaw over and over and continue to grab the ropes and get back up.
Losses make me sick. Sometimes losing a lot of money keeps me up at night.
In fact, my constitution for losses probably makes me more of a Glass Joe than a Rocky.
So what I'm about to write is painful.
I got my ass kicked this week.
I'm down $250 after four days after my little experiment to play at .50/$1 NL. This follows a week when I won $125 at the same level without hardly any monsters to speak of. I thought I played well.
I think I played well this week too.
My work on the $5.50 SnGs is working. I"m more aggressive than ever, not assuming an opponent's strength, betting at lots of orphan pots, raising with position, for information and to push people off hands. Occasionally it got out of hand, as it did with a pair of 10s, which is why I have to keep this post from being too whiny, as I have to accept responsibility for my play and for this losing streak, the worst week of my poker career.
But I didn't play scared, even at the higher level.
Even so, I"m moving down.
I'm frustrated, pissed off and more than a little discouraged at this. But I'll tell you something. We journalists don't make much. Teachers make more in their third or four year than I'm making in my 12th year of being a reporter. And if you believe dozens of writing awards, I'm one of the better ones for mid-sized newspapers.
That means I have to keep what I have, or else I don't play.
My bankroll, somewhere around $2,500, needs to stay afloat.
I'm not willing to lose it all because I think I should be playing higher.
So it's back down to .25/.50 NL for me.
I'm still going to stick to my resolution and play one table. It's too much fun and I think that's how I"ll improve as a player.
These sound like excuses - in fact, they sound like the same speech every poker player gives (every LOSING player, that is) when they move down or go busto - but the beats were brutal during the stretch. Variance picked a good time to pick on me.
Among the highlights:
• Two pair gets beat by higher two pair when he runner, runners it. Pot-sized bets called to the river.
• Flopped A-high flush after a 4x raise pre-flop by me loses to a straight flush when he called with 9,7 soooted.
• Straight loses to quads when he got his fourth on the river. I read his set perfectly and got the money in after the flop but before the river.
• K,A loses to K,6 when he called my preflop raise and got runner, runner flush.
• 9,9 loses to J,A on 4,4,5 board when he gets his J on the river and calls me down with it.
• K,A TPTK loses to 10,2 sooted when he calls my pot-sized bets to the river and gets his heart on the river. He checked the river and so did I. Ha.
If three of those come through, I'm probably $100 down and I'm not writing this post.
But that's life. I've sucked out before too. I think. I can't remember. It's been a while.
OK, that's enough. Again, those 10s cost me at least $50, and so this isn't all bad beats.
Several thoughts have gone through my head as I make my way down:
• I must be a mediocre poker player. Maybe when I won that 3K last year it was because I was playing small limits and the players weren't good.
• Do others have to do this?
• I'm so frustrated. I wasn't impressed by many of the players at that level. In fact, many were just bad. Will I ever move up?
Maybe not on that last one.
And that's frustrating, but I asked myself why I play poker. Every time, I get the same answer.
The money is nice. My competitive nature likes winning as well.
But I play because I like to play games. And poker, it seems to me, is the best game in the world.
So down I go. I'll play $50 NL for a few months, maybe longer, and try to repair my bankroll on Full Tilt.
We'll see how well I take ths punch.