Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Well, I'm ashamed to admit some very, very bad play the last three days. I don't know what has gotten into me. Up until this afternoon I was blaming bad beats, and an unusually high number of ridiculous J2o hands showing down as my opponents' winners. But after this morning's brief hour on FTP, I realized it was... me. A few bad beats, sure, but many that could be blamed on the fact that I shouldn't have been in the hand in the first place.

The downside of playing at FTP is that there are no hand histories to review, so no Poker Tracker assessments. I had to rely on my memory and a bit of brutal truth.

I came to some conclusions. I was being a little loosy goosy pre-flop, but not too bad. I only played the drawing hands in late position with 2+ callers, and only 67 suited or higher, or KT suited or higher. My basic pre-flop play was still OK for the fishy tables.

I found 2 big leaks.

#1. Play from the blinds. Normally I am super-tight with my blinds, folding any hand that I wouldn't normally call a raise with. Some reading has led me to believe my blind play has been a bit too tight, so I've been trying to defend a little. But "defend" does not mean call a raise from the little blind with 8-6 offsuit. How was I justifying it? "Well, it's almost connected..." Not even suited! OK, maybe with a ton of callers, that might be a playable hand to see a flop, but it certainly shouldn't be an automatic call.

Then, the other night, some shmoe made a comment in the chat that he was bummed to fold a hand in the blinds when it was raised, because he was so happy to get an Ace in the blinds. For some reason, my brain took this as Sklansky-like gospel, and I started playing all of my Ace-little's from the blinds, even offsuit! WHAT?!?! Those hands lost me some money for sure, when an Ace fell and my kicker was crucified, or when I'd flop a gutshot and call the extra turn bet "just in case I hit." Where did my sense of pot odds go? Safely tucked away in the closet with all of my other poker playing skills, apparently.

Big leak #2: catching the no-fold'em hold'em bug. After watching the fish play crappy hands time after time, calling bets down to the river with a junk bottom pair or nothing at all, and then catching to win big juicy pots just got to me somehow, and I started doing it.

Hi, my name is Shelly, and I am displaying fish-like tendencies. Is it because I changed my avatar to a fish? *gasp* But the fish is so cute!! No. It's not the avatar. It's ME, trying too hard to win. Pushing the cards instead of letting the hands hit me.

You push when you HAVE a hand, dufus - not just when you WANT a hand! (That's me talking to myself).

I'm sick to even admit what I've done to my FTP bankroll with this 3 day binge of idiocy. I'm down to $165. That's $105 less than I had the other night, before I lost my mind. I'm still up $65 from my initial deposit, but that's not the point.

The point is, I was playing good poker, winning money at a very nice pace, and I got so greedy and wanted so badly to win win win and make the $300 mark that I started playing stupid. The point is, I really screwed up.

So tonight, I sat down to remedy the situation. I put my old poker hat back on and set out to play MY game, not this fishy rendition of me disgracing my game. I was doing well - up $20 in a half hour or so. Then, I saw a $20 MTT coming up.

What should I have done? Continued 3-tabling to work off my bonus and make back my losses playing good cards.

What did I do? Signed up for the MTT with visions of cashing the $1000k 1st prize dancing in my head. 200 players. I busted out 96th. I played well for the cards I was seeing, but... that's not the point. The point is, I shouldn't have been playing it in the first place! There went my winnings for the evening. Back to square one.

I'm unbelievably disappointed in myself, and so ashamed to have gloated about my earlier wins, only to give most of it back in a truly horrific fashion. And I'm admitting it here because, well, it's only fair. It keeps me honest.

I'm well aware that I have a ton to learn about the game.... I'm now also painfully aware of how much I have left to learn about discipline and focus.

Coming up: back to my game, and baby steps. No more giant leaps for Shel-kind.


  1. skitch said...
    It sucks to be such a loving, caring, GIVING person, doesn't it? My generosity has been my curse too: such as winning $70 in a $5 MTT on PokerChamps, and then, just like the Robin Hood of old, giving it all back and spreading the wealth to the fishies at the ring games.

    Will we ever learn? :)
    Anonymous said...
    Honestly, I think most advice allows for defense of the big blind with any ace. In fact, Wilson Software's Advisor condsiders it a mistake to fold in that situation...

    If you will be heads up or three to the flop, I think it is at least worth a look.

    You will flop an ace almost a third of the time. Post flop play is very important here.

    Still, I try to evaluate who made the raise in the first place and if it is a really tight player I give them credit for a good hand.


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