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Now that one hurt...

"Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling."
"Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes..."
"The dead rising from the grave."
"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria."

That one quote from Ghostbusters describing the coming Apocalypse describes the way I felt last night while "playing" the game we love to hate...

It seems that there are two things wrong with the way I played poker last night. First, I refused to lay down my hands in the face of a huge re-raise or all-in bet. And secondly, I am getting far too unlucky.

The evening started off quite well. I sat down at Interpoker and played some 0.50/1 limit poker. After running over my first table and staying somewhat afloat at a couple other tables, I managed to eek out a $6 profit in just under an hour.

I would have won more had I not missed a bunch of flops with my AK hands. Also, having my pocket aces and pocket kings cracked stung a little too.

I won't complain though - a win is a win and I'm closer to clearing my Interpoker bonus.

The real fireworks started at the TigerGaming $5 NL tables later in the evening. I was up $4 after the first hour - not too bad considering the quality of the hands I was picking up pre-flop.

Then, it all fell apart...

I pick up rockets on the button. 5 limpers to me, I raise to 4xBB pre-flop and everyone folds. Crap...I guess my table image was too tight.

Five hands later, I pick up rockets again! Sweet! I raise to 5xBB and get one caller. Flop comes down 7 7 5. My opponent bets the pot. At this point, I wasn't even thinking clearly about what he was holding. I couldn't imagine him calling a 5xBB pre-flop raise with any hand containing a 7 or a 5 - although I never considered pocket 7s or pocket 5s. I was thinking that he had a high Ax hand or possibly a pocket pair in the range of 88 - JJ.

So I re-raise my opponent the pot and he calls. The turn comes down with a blank. He checks, I check. At this point, I'm thinking he definitely has a medium pocket pair or an AK/AQ/AJ.

When the river comes down with a K, my opponent pushes all-in.

At this point, my wife, who was now back from the candle party (it's actually a party where they buy candles and not code for something else...go figure), looks at me and reminds me that I can't push the rest of my stack in with only an overpair. She reminds me of the cardinal rule of NL poker: don't go broke with top pair (in my case, overpair).

However, my gut is telling me that he has an AK so I call. My opponent shows a K7o and takes the pot with his full house. Ouch...I misplayed this hand terribly. I am a donkey! I don't mind my re-raise on the flop - there are only 14 hands that beat me and all but three of them are even remotely likely. In the end, I guess four of the possible bad holdings were likely and I paid the price for putting so much bloody stock in my mighty aces!

At this point, I'm only down $2 for the session. I should've shut her down considering my bad play. Ahh...but the tiltin' feelin' was a-callin' me down the path to ruin. That all-too-familiar path littered with the scattered remains of the fish and donkeys who'd come before me.

Ten minutes later, I pick up rockets again! For those counting, the fourth such occurrence of the evening if we include the one at Interpoker. Although I seemed quite happy on the outside, I was feeling that ball of tilty-fear in my stomach: I was only wondering how my aces would get cracked this time.

I raised it up to 50 cents pre-flop yet again and, as is usually the case when I raise with a premium hand, I got one caller. When the flop came K K T and my opponent pushed all-in for his last $1.25, I was being laid 2 to 1 odds on my call.

If my opponent held KK, TT, or AK pre-flop, I thought he would've pushed when I raised the pot to 1/3 of his remaining stack. Since the odds of hitting trips is only 7.5:1 (and since my other opponent flopped trips the last time I had aces), I figured my opponent most likely held a hand like AT, QT, or JT.

I called and my opponent showed KT for the flopped full-house. Oh Poker Gods - what have I done to offend thee? Is it the bad advice I give other players? Is it the constant bitching about my play and my luck? Is it that I wasn't wearing my somewhat-lucky Interpoker baseball cap?

Anyway, by that point in time I was down about $7. I was picking up a lot of good pre-flop raising hands and missing a lot of flops. It's hard to call a pot-sized bet when all you hold is two overcards...

I lost another chunk when my KQs ran into an AK. The table's chip-leader had failed to raise with his AK pre-flop; instead, he allowed me to do it with my KQs when 6 limpers entered the pot. I bet 2/3 of the pot on the flop with a backdoor straight and backdoor flush draw and the chip leader called. When a K hit on the turn, I bet the pot when the chip-leader checked to me and he called. We both checked the river and I took the hit.

Some more money was lost when my QQ when I ran into another player's KQ. He raised $2 pre-flop and I called. When the flop came A high, I thought I was probably screwed and both me and my opponent checked to the showdown. He won the hand after a K fell on the river - I had position on him and I guess he was hoping I'd put out a bet at the end. Should I have pushed on the flop? I was pretty sure he had the ace...

The only good hand that I played during my tilt phase were some pocket tens. It was min-raised pre-flop and I just called from the big blind. There were four of us seeing the flop: when it came down 8 6 2, I was pretty damned happy! I imagined myself raking a large pot.

I bet out 2/3 of the pot trying to find out how I was sitting compared to everyone else. Well, the first opponent re-raised to $1. The second opponent re-raised to $1.50 and my third opponent called.

At this point, I thought back to previous hands. What was I supposed to do if a big raise came back to me and I only held one pair? Oh yeah...fold...crap!!

I thought long and hard. I had an overpair! But with a raise and re-raise coming back to me, I couldn't believe that I was ahead in the hand. I reluctantly folded.

When the showdown finally came, the original raiser had an A8 for top pair (on the flop), the re-raiser held KK and the other caller had QQ. My goodness, I'm glad I got out of there.

Anyway, that was my night. I now find myself down further for the month. All is not lost though: last night's lessons were costly, but I'm hoping against hope that they will stick with me this time.

I made some bad calls, for sure. However, I can't play scared thinking that my heads-up opponents have hit trips on a paired board. I also can't always be afraid that my opponent has me dominated in the hand, either through a shared card or an overpair.

I will stick with it and I will prevail. My $90 bonus will be cleared this weekend and that will put me up for the month and hopefully give me the confidence to keep playing my game.

Anyway, that's it for now. Feel free to slam my craptastic play - I can take it. I'll just have to take it out on my opponents at the tables...


I've been reading SirFWALGMan's blog recently...that guy is a crazy bastard! We couldn't have more different playing styles, attitudes about poker, gambling and especially bankroll management.

That being said, Sir's blog is a good read. I think it's the "train wreck" thing coming into play. However, his brutal honesty with regards to his poker play and his life in general keeps the pace of his blog going. You can't help but check back to see whether he's hit it big or lost his entire bankroll.

To give you an idea of the type of player SirFWALGMan is/was (don't know how much has changed in since June 2005 - that's where I am in his archives), here's an excerpt:
Well I hate to say this but you all deserve the truth from me: I blew my bankroll again! You know the old story. I started on a small downturn to around 2200 and decided to really screw-up. The old tendencies came back and before I knew it I was out. Well, not totally. I think I have 50 bucks to rebuild with. I did take out some money before the crash too. Not nearly enough though.

So, if you're looking for sound bankroll management talk and a slow and steady climb to the top of the poker world, stick around here.

But if you're looking for the exciting ups and downs of a degenerate gambler (Sir's own words, not mine), go check out Sir's blog.

Crazy f*cker...


iamhoff said...

Geez. A bunch of us seem to have taken hits last night. Wil, Wes, Matt, the list goes on and on. I got worked on the Stars SNGs. 1 cash out of 5 (2nd place). Otherwise, I had AA cracked, KK cracked, and AK three times in a row, and all three missed the flop! Sumpthin's not right out there. Oh well. Tighten up the game and get back out there. I know I will!

Klopzi said...

You said it! Maybe we all just suck and our luck is running out...?

Honestly, I think the big difference is that we need to look at the long term picture. The Law School Dropout had a streak last year where he was dropped $10K over the course of a week. At the end of the year, though, that drop was hardly even visible when he charted his winnings.

We just need to hang it there, keep reading, keep playing, keep talking about it, and it'll all be fine.

And if not - rebuy!

iamhoff said...

Rebuy. Did that once early. So far, I'm positive over even the rebuy. And I just rebuilt a good portion of yesterday's losses at a 45 player Turbo SNG (11+1). Made it to 3rd and cashed $82. We'll see what Saturday holds...

huma said...

Quoth Klopzi, "Oh Poker Gods - what have I done to offend thee?"

Saith Humanaut, "Could it be the 5+ affiliate links in every post?" :)

Seriously though, if I decide to throw $50 into a new site (which I'm sure I'll do one lonely summers evening) I'll be sure to sign up using your affiliate code. Then I'll find you and proceed to extract whatever remains of your bankroll with my KT flopped full houses.

Klopzi said...

Hey iamhoff,

Well, I've managed to hold off on the rebuys so far. I started with the $5 free for TigerGaming and I'm gonna do my best to hang on to it.

Hopefully that'll be the case when I hit the higher limits. Although I guess my indifference to grinding it out at the micro-limits definitely helps me keep the bankroll I've got.

Klopzi said...

Two comments this weekend, Huma? Cool...

Well, the Poker Gods seem to have given me a temporary reprieve (knock on wood). I'll have my full post later today, but things went ok this weekend.

As for the 5+ affiliate links for each post, you'd think that would please the Poker Gods - you know, like advertising...

I know there are a lot of affiliate links all over the place. Honestly, it is done more in jest than anything else. I stated in my first week of posting that I wanted to make money with my blog. I was joking, of course, but there's no harm in trying.

However, I stand behind each of the sites - they are all good.

Admittedly, I haven't played much at Paradise Poker out of fear of the better players that are said to hang out there.

And I don't have an account at Titan Poker yet, but I've played at Noble Poker on the same network and Noble was very good to me.

Anyway, you sign up through any of my affiliates and feel free to hit me with as many full houses as you can. Just make sure that I know it's you I'm up against - that way, I'll ask the site to turn on the doom switch for me. ;)