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Not my finest hour...

Although I was slightly up for the month before last night's session, that's no longer the case. I played about 600 hands last night and followed a path with which I'm all too familiar.

Play solid poker. Get sucked out on. Start missing every flop. Begin to feel that my opponents are playing back at me (a.k.a. pulling a Tuff_Fish). Take a stand and donk off a couple stacks. Shut down laptop and lay awake wondering why I didn't stop playing earlier.

I find it very difficult to continue playing my A-game when I keep missing flops. And I really hate it when this happens while seated with a bunch of loose-passive or loose-aggressive players. There's nothing worse than knowing that a good hand will easily double you up...and then missing an endless parade of flops.

I even had problems with AA and KK last night. I was either winning the pot pre-flop with those hands or running into terribly coordinated boards and sick river bets by my opponents. The problem with playing for pot control sometimes means that other players will interpret your play for weakness. However, I'm not sure how to call of my stack on the river when a Villain will push for 3x the pot on board of low cards. Sure - I might be up against a middle pocket pair that my opponent thinks is best. But without a good read and a good SPR, I don't know how to make the big call on river.

Of course, it's this type of constant pressure from my opponents that causes me to donk off a stack with second pair. Which I did. Twice. I played so badly towards the end of last night's session that I'm actually embarrassed. I guess that's my ego talking and that's never a good thing when it comes to poker.

I'm going to take a night off from the tables; I'll probably play a short session tomorrow night. I'm only about 150 hands away from clearing SilverStar VIP status. As soon as that's done, I'm jumping over to Full Tilt for a bit. Maybe a change of scenery will help me overcome some of the demons that have clawed their way into my game as of late.

I'll also be downloading some more poker training videos for my Zune. In particular, I'd like to find some videos that cover:

  • How to combat Villains who like to pick on me by 3-betting every raise I make. I never know what sort of hands to play in situations such as these, whether in position or out of position.
  • The best ways to apply pot control given flop textures, turn cards, and opponent types. As I mentioned above, I feel that many Villains overvalue their hands against me due to my tendency to keep pots small with many hands. In turn, I have problems reading their true hand strength when they make a play on the river.
  • How to best play different hands on the river given opponent tendencies, board textures, and my current hand strength.
  • What to consider when I find myself raised or check-raised on the flop and turn. I'm throwing away way too many hands. I know it. My opponents probably know it too! I need to know how to fight back and if that's not possible, what sort of tables I should be looking to play given my playing style.
  • A comparison of 6-max and full-ring NLHE in terms of pre-flop considerations, street by street aggression, and final hand values.

  • And most importantly, how to not suck at poker. When will I learn to stop tilting off my stack...?
I'd also like to download some more High Stakes episodes and some WSOP 2008 episodes for my Zune. And finally, I'd really, really like to find a PokerEV-type program that is compatible with Poker Tracker 3's Postgres database. I have a constant need to see if I'm running hot or cold. And I like knowing whether I'm getting my money in good or bad throughout my hands.

You know, I may end up playing tonight. I'm undecided. On the one hand, I like poker. On the other hand, I've lost five buy-ins over my last thousand hands and I hate losing. I guess if I can control the desire to "get back to even" by month's end, I should be alright. I know what I did wrong last night and over the weekend. I just need to be more attentive to my feelings while playing and have the willpower to shut 'er down if I find myself falling victim to a bruised ego or poker paranoia.


Anonymous said...

Good morning klopzi!!

First of all ... love ur blog!! Great content, great style ... keep it up.

Secondly, if you havent checked it out already, check out realpokertraining.com and watch anything by Todd Arnold. I find he has got such a great style of play, he covers alot in his videos and hes very easy to understand ... he use alot of 'situational' poker analysis ... which has really helped my game.
Lastly ... one of the biggest things that has really helped my game is learning when 'not' to play, just take a few days off, poker will still be here when u get back and you can return with a fresh mind set and new ideas. You might also look at starting an exercise program, if you dont already ... another positive influence on your mind, body, thought processes, mind-set etc.

Good luck buddy, keep up the good work!



Klopzi said...


Sound advice. Thanks very much.