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So Cold...

As good as my month of August finished off, I'm now running cold. Bad cards are leading to bad decisions; in turn, my bad decisions cultivate a poor table image. A bad table image is terrible when you're just not hitting the flop in a meaningful way. Sure, you'll get paid off when you do hit that set or top two-pair, the catch being that you need to hit.

First off, just how cold am I running? Here's a quick breakdown of my hands this month:

  • I've played 43 pocket pairs; I've hit 3 sets.
  • I've played 39 hands in the {AK-AJ} range; I've hit top pair 6 times and nothing else.
  • I've had 35 3-bets called this month, usually when I'm 3-betting AK in position. I have missed the flop on every such occasion and been forced to fold when my opponents either donk-bet all-in or check-raised me all-in.
  • If I look at my final hands, I'm a losing player with all my high card, one-pair, two-pair, and three-of-a-kind hands. I'm only slightly ahead for my straights, flushes, and full houses, each of which are few and far between.
It's so depressing to realize that I can't even remember what it's like to win a hand of poker...and it's only been a couple days. I don't know how professional poker players do it.

Bad cards and cold streaks mean that I've run into a number of tough spots at the tables. Although I've seen some bad hands over the past two months, the tough decisions or gross spots seem to be cropping up more regularly as of late. It's really taken a toll on my confidence and my willingness to play poker. Have I ever mentioned that I tilt easily?

Here's a hand that sums up my play this month in a nutshell.

No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
6 players

Stack sizes:
UTG: $97
Donkey (UTG+1): $65.15
CO: $100
Hero (Button): $100
SB: $119.75
TAG (BB): $129.30

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is Button with 6♥ 5♥
UTG folds, Donkey raises to $3, CO folds, Hero calls, SB calls, TAG calls.

(Donkey is the player that everyone's gunning for at this table. Frankly, he's terrible at poker. I've never seen him ahead in a session. I'll play my 65s against the Donkey since I have position and I have good odds to stack the Donkey should I pick up a hand. I'm happy to have the TAG come along for the ride.)

Flop: K♥ 5♣ 7♥ ($12, 4 players)
SB checks, TAG checks, Donkey bets $8, Hero raises to $29.5, SB folds, TAG calls, Donkey calls.

(Finally I hit a monster flop - it's been a while. When Donkey raises, I re-raise and hope to get it all in on the flop. I considered jamming but Donkey's stack is a little too big. However, I'll jam on the turn when the time comes.

But what's this? TAG has called my big re-raise. Damn. And now Donkey flat calls? Damn. I'm most certainly drawing to 8 outs on the turn since I can't see the TAG playing anything other than a set in this fashion. Let's hope I hit...)

Turn: J♦ ($100.5, 3 players)
TAG is all-in $96.8, Donkey folds, Hero folds.


I know I made a good fold in the hand. And I know it's an easy fold. But I've been making a ton of good folds lately. And some bad folds too! And everything in between. The only thing I haven't done is stacked off with a sub-optimal hand. Playing scared has helped me reduce variance though I'm still losing at a steady clip.

For the next couple nights, I'll be playing some Half-Life 2. I know I'm running cold but I also know that I'm mentally unfit to play at the moment. I'll return to Full Tilt over the weekend to help me cleanse my palate. If things go well, I'll be back at Stars next week.

Have a good one!


steeser said...

Cold streaks happen, it's important to just view it as part of a cycle and be sure to lose the minimum in all of these situations. I'm sure you've also gone through times when you drill what seems like every flop.

Out of curiousity, where are you getting your stats on hitting sets? Is it an option I haven't found yet in PT3?

Klopzi said...

steeser -

Yeah, I know - cold streaks are a part of the game. But it doesn't mean I have to like them. I'm sure there are tons of players out there who manage to go years without one. I seem to hit one every 3 months or so. These cold streaks seem to coincide with less frequent blog posts. In any case, I'll deal with the problem by playing a little less until my confidence is back.

As for the flopped sets report, check out the Poker Tracker 3 repository (search the forums for link). The repository has a bunch of user created reports, stats, etc. Lots of good stuff there.