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School of Hard Knocks

Anything that comes easy isn't worth learning...or so they say...or so I say.

After my meltdown at Absolute, I did the smart thing and started multi-tabling $1/$2 at Interpoker. While things started off well, my game and my bankroll quickly went south. After two hours of play at Interpoker, I was down another $49. This puts me at -55 BBs for the month at $1/$2. If I lose another 20 BBs, it's back to 0.50/1.00 exclusively for a little while.

So what went wrong? Did I stink up the joint? Was I chasing too much? Was I playing bad cards? Although the easy answer is no, I probably did something wrong - maybe the Poker Gods had had enough of my winning streak and decided that my time was up.

In the 315 hands I played last night, I got 21 pocket pairs total. Surprisingly, I was only down $4.25 playing these hands. What does surprise me is that my QQ was busted twice and on my third try with the Hilton sisters, my opponent was holding the same cards. QQ vs. QQ - just that kind of night.

The biggest disaster of the evening came when I was holding TT on the button. EP limps in, CO raises, I re-raise, BB caps it at 4 bets, CO calls, I call. Flop comes down 4 T A. Since everyone was raising, there's no way I'm slowplaying this, so when my 2 opponents check to me, I bet and get two callers. Turn comes down a 5 - no flush draws, a possible gut shot broadway straight draw, or an unlikely wheel straight. Checks to me again, I bet, BB raises. Oh, so a check-raise. Possible holdings - AA, AK, AT, KK, QQ (this guy was pretty aggressive so he could have an underpair and think I'm trying to buy the pot). So we cap it on the turn. On the river, a 9 falls - only hand that will beat me is AA. BB bets, I raise...he re-raises, and I make a crying call knowing that I'm dead in the water. BB turns over AA and I'm down $19.00 on one hand - my new worst hand ever!

It was definitely a night of second best hands for me. My AKo held up all 3 times I got it. As for that, very few other premium hands. Most raising I did PF were position raises that got me nowhere. There was a rock playing two seats to my left at one of the tables. He forced me to fold a few times when he suddenly came alive on the turn. I think I became a little too predictable seeing as how I missed most of my flops. Here's a good strategy to use against me: whenever I bet, just raise me right back since I never hit anything.

Best hand last night? KK - was up $19.75 from that one. I flopped the full-house (kings full of nines) and played it hard right up to the river. Only the fish to my right stayed in and decided to play the river super-aggressive. Normally a good move against me since I usually have nothing. Not this time - I'm guessing he had trips or a full boat of nines full of tens.

I also lost quite a bit on a flush. I have 98s in the big blind. Flop comes down giving me an open-ended straight draw and a flush draw. When EP bets on the flop and he gets a couple callers, I raise for value. EP re-raises and I cap it. I've got so many outs it's crazy! Turn comes downs with a 2 of hearts, giving me my flush. I bet, EP calls probably suspecting that he's beat. River comes down...J of hearts. I'm royally f**ked! I check it, EP bets (so you did river me, you prick!), and I make a crying call. EP is holding KT offsuit with the king of hearts. Oh well, c'est la vie.

Another costly hand was an exact duplicate of a heads-up hand a couple nights ago where the flop came down XXY - last night X=4, Y = K. I'm in the SB holding the king and thought I was ahead. I bet the flop, BB calls. Turn comes down with a T - I bet again, BB calls. River comes down with another T - I bet again knowing that the ten didn't help the guy and he raises. I make a crying call, realizing that the Poker Gods have conspired against me yet again and dealt my opponent a killer hand. So my two pair Kings over Fours loses to the BB's Fours full of tens.

One thing I have noticed that people do a lot is defend their blinds with nothing. Here's a rule that I strongly believe in: Do not call a raise simply because you think a guy is bluffing! You can bluff with nothing but you should never call with nothing. If you've got nothing, you're just pissing your money away.

One last thing about last night - I think I only got two or three playable hands in the blinds last night. I think at one point, I hadn't played a single hand in the last 50 dealt. At 0.50/1.00, this isn't such an issue because a lot of pots go unraised pre-flop. At $1/$2 though, you need something in order to call the inevitable raises - and I sure as shit wasn't getting anything. I had so many X2o - X6o (X = anything) hands in the blinds, you'd think I was some sort of spokesman for the League of Shit Poker Hands.

Rant finished...it's okay - just need to win 55 BBs by the end of the month now. No problem...

I don't know how much I'll get to play tonight. Going out clothes shopping and birthday gift shopping and video game shopping. I'll write about that a bit later today when I get a chance (that's right, I'm gonna talk about video games - I'm a nerd and proud of it!).

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