Sunday, March 26, 2006
So much for the rush.
-400 for the night, meaning - I'm actually down $26 for the week. Unless I can win $1,026 tomorrow, the rush for 1k is more like "how to waste one week, 35 hours, over 1,00 hands, and a bunch of money pretending you know how to play poker."
What a fucking night.
After I finished berating myself for the first 40 minutes of my drive home, I started thinking about the night and the hands I played and how they went down. What went wrong?
The biggest problem was that I had a LOT of playable hands, but not a single draw came in. By "playable," I mean - big suited cards (AQ was popular for me tonight), suited connectors over 7-8 (from late position only - button, cutoff, or cutoff plus one), mid-pocket pairs... I was also at a decently loose table (6 people average to every flop - sometimes more, sometimes less) with a handful of calling stations that sweetened the pots by calling down with bottom pair. With most of my drawing hands, I had odds to see the flop and turn, and sometimes even the river. Not a single straight or flush came in. None of my pocket pairs flopped sets (I counted 9 pocket pairs 5's or higher).
In addition to my playable drawing hands, my big pairs got crushed (early and often). No sense rehashing, since it was mostly like I said in my last post.
OK.. so I bled a lot of chips chasing draws, in addition to the suckouts. But - was I playing any differently than normal? Was there anything I could have done, short of changing my starting hand requirements (which are straight out of Sklansky/Malmuth's Small Stakes Hold'em)? Maybe I was playing differently because I wanted too badly to have a winning session for my Spring Break Rush.
I did play a few extra hands. Let's play Rank-a-Leak. I'll tell you what I did differently than I normally do, and you tell me how big of a leak you think it was. (Big leak, small leak, or not a leak).
- Hand #1: A2 of clubs, big blind. 2 limpers, and the button raises. I called the raise to see the flop. Flop gave me a gutshot wheel draw and a backdoor flush draw (plus the overcard ace). It checked around to the button, who bet out. I called the small bet. The turn failed to complete my straight or give me the draw to the flush, so I check-folded.
- Hand #2 (well, 2 hands) - Twice: I saw flops in multiway pots from late position with small suited connectors - 4-5 suited and 5-6 suited. (My typical standard lowest connectors I'll play are 7-8 suited). I folded after the flops missed me.
- Hand #3: I played AQ offsuit from UTG+1, limping instead of raising. I hit a Q on the flop and bet it all the way. I was called down by a calling station who played every hand he was dealt, until he popped me on the river with a raise when the third spade hit the board. I called his raise. He had AQ of spades for the flush.
- Hand #4: I raised UTG with pocket 10's (somewhat out of frustration... I normally limp from early position with 10's and lower in loose games, knowing that any overcard is going to beat me when 6 people come to the flop, unless I hit a set). I got no action and won the blinds. Maybe the set of 10's was coming?
- Hand #5: I played T-9 offsuit on the button when 6 people limped ahead of me and the blinds had yet to act. 9 people saw the flop. I flopped an open ended straight draw on a board of 7-8-K. I called a flop bet and a turn bet. (Everybody saw the turn, and 6 of the 9 players, including myself, came to the river). I didn't hit my draw and folded to the river bet.
I've calculated how much I think I could have saved, had I folded the hands that I feel were the biggest leaks preflop. I'm curious what you guys think though. I'm not sure if I'm encouraged or disheartened by the fact that the bets I would have saved hardly affect the end result.
I'm trying not to fall into a self-pity pit here, or slip into the "I suck at poker so why do I even bother" mindset, because all of that crap is counter-productive. I know that I can't judge how well I play based on the results of ONE session. I know that part of poker is losing, and that bad luck is different than bad play. I know that the cards have no memory, and just because today's session was awful doesn't mean that the cards will be awful to me forever, or even tomorrow. I know that I cannot blame the math of drawing to outs for my losses tonight, and that I must believe in the math in the LONG RUN, not just over one session. I know that I do want some fish at my table, even though the suckouts are painful.
I know all of this, but it sure is hard to reconcile what I "know" with the fact that in one 4 hour session, my 2006 results at 5/10 limit have gone from an average profit of 1.7 BB/hour and 5.69 BB/100 hands to a dismal profit of 0.4 BB/hour and 1.48 BB/100 hands. In. One. Session. Granted, I only have 8 sessions and a total of 38 hours logged (just over 1,100 hands), but for someone who puts such faith in the math behind this game, the math of my results makes me want to throw up.
I know, I know... I could win that all back tomorrow and then some.
I'm going to end this rambling pep talk to myself and make tonight's mantra: you're still playing at a profit. Tonight was one bad night. Tomorrow will be better.
In the meantime, feel free to be honest in ranking my leaky hands. As much as I could use a pep talk to counter the negative voices in my head, I think it's even more important that I don't make the same mistakes in the future, and I could really use someone else's perspective but my own right now.
Thanks in advance, everybody. Your input is invaluable. Have a good day....