Friday, January 20, 2006

Now, back on the horse.
-- Otis calling me out, in his comment on my KK hand.

I have a confession to make. This is going to seem obvious to most of you, but honestly, I didn't realize it was the truth until after reading Otis' comment the other day.

That KK hand stung me. Not only did it hurt my bankroll at a time when there wasn't much left to hurt, but it was my first true gutcheck at no limit cash games. At its conclusion, I'd decided that I played the hand correctly and would do it again.

But it has taken me the last three weeks to grow the balls to put myself in the face of that danger again. Why? Because if I'd have been in the same situation again, two weeks ago - I'd have likely chickened out and laid it down.

I don't want my poker game to be governed by fear.

So I was subconsciously waiting for the fear to pass. Sure, I have "reasons" why I haven't played at Trump the last 3 weeks. First of all, I've been off work, and work is 20 minutes from the boats (whereas home is an hour away). So, the convenience factor was way off. Then, there was Christmas and New Year's and all that jazz. (I actually did go to Trump once between Christmas and New Year's).

But the real reason I didn't go is that I didn't want to be a hypocrite to myself. And I know myself well enough to know that fear is one emotion that can override even my most rational convictions.

So I went back to Trump tonight. I'm on shaky ground financially; my brick-and-mortar bankroll has $237 in it right now. One false move or stroke of bad luck, and I'm pounding pavement.

But at least I'm not afraid.

My starter table (the feeder table to all of the other NL 200-max games) was a strange one. I don't think I've ever seen so many people go broke at the starter table, rebuy multiple times, and leave with empty pockets - before making it to a main game. I unfortunately had no playable cards, and could not capitalize on the massive chip movement that was going on before my eyes.

When I got moved to a main game, I could tell the waters were completely different. Nobody had a big stack; the largest may have been $400 or so, and the owner of those checks had taken them from my starter table. It was a somewhat loose but very passive game. In retrospect, I think the lesson I learned tonight is that I really need to abuse such table conditions and pick up those orphan pots, regardless of what cards I hold. I really had no playable hands tonight, and accordingly folded them all. Limping into a few pots in late position and betting on flops where the table showed weakness could have probably won me another hundred bucks. Quite a few hands were checked down to the river with 5 people in the hand; that's how passive it was.

The "big stack" at the table (and I use that term loosely) was a good player. I had him pegged for a nut peddling tight-aggro. He played very few hands (both at the starter table and at the main game), and I'd only seen him show down high pocket pairs. He was also never in a pot after the flop that he didn't show down; he just showed down monsters. End of story. So I'm watching this hand play out between him and the guy next to him (your average fish: any ace or face, any two suited, and easy to raise off of hands and out of pots).

The nut peddler limps into the pot in early position. Next to act raises to $25. It folds around, and the nut peddler calls the raise. The flop comes 4-8-10 rainbow. Nut peddler bets out $25. His opponent raises to $50. Nut peddler re-raises another $100 on top. The other guy thinks and thinks and thinks, and finally lays it down, saying, "Nice bet, nice bet." The dealer proceeds to say something to the nut peddler - I couldn't hear what he said, but apparently he'd made an accurate guess at the nut peddler's cards, because NP then flashed an AJ offsuit to the dealer (which I could see from the 10 seat). NP laughed about how the dealer had guessed his cards, and when his opponent caught wind of what the nut peddler had, he was shocked - and reiterated what a great bet NP had made.

The guy folded JJ.

Nice fold, nice fold. It was the wrong fold, but... what can ya do. Poor guy was dumbfounded for the rest of the night.

I don't really have any stories of my own. I played 4 hands outside of the blinds: TT and 77 - limped into raised multi-way pots in hopes of flopping a set, and bailed when I didn't hit. AA flopped a set against AQ and earned me a double-up. (Unfortunately, by then, I was down to $100, so it brought me even). QQ got no action when I raised preflop.

Exciting stuff, eh? :)

I left up $38, minus a buck for the cashier's cage. For 2 1/2 hours (it was a quickie trip), I'm OK with that.

And thusly so, I am back in the saddle.

On a side note, I've decided that it would be better for me to consider my winnings in BB/100 rather than BB/hour, considering that there's really no way to realistically compare B&M and online play by the hour. One thing I want to STOP doing is living in the mindset that my online game and my live game are different. I don't want them to be (despite the fact that indeed, they are). The first step in aligning them (meaning, making my online game more like my live game, because that IS my game) is to stop thinking of them as completely separate. I want to expect the same results from both. So I'll count in BB/100.

That's it for me. Time for bed. I have to go restock one of my vendors in Ultima Online real quick first :)
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  1. Mr Subliminal said...
    With the KK quandary, I disagreed with your decision but accepted it as an alternative. In this case, if getting back on the horse means sitting down at a NL cash game with 1.185 buy-ins, then you'd be better off walking. Sorry.
    Shelly said...
    Well, I either sit down with 1.185 buy in's, or I quit playing poker until I win the lottery. Or I quit playing poker until I can sipher enough money off of my personal finances to build a bankroll.

    Or I try and make something out of this 1.185 buy in's.

    I'm not one to back from a challenge :)
    Otis said...
    No fear.
    SirFWALGMan said...
    Hey nice to see you back at the tables!! I have enjoyed reading your tales.. nice post too..

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