Tuesday, February 27, 2007

it doesn't always pay to be right

I'm sitting here at work, waiting for a final update on the current catastrophe before I can leave for the day...what better time to mull over last night's game.

It was a smaller game than usual - only 11 players. And I went out an astonishing 10th. This is pretty much par for the course for me lately, but I don't feel bad about last night's game at all, because I know I played well.

In the critical hand of the night, I had pocket 10s on the button, and Jr. raised it from UTG (around 2.5xBB). Jr. isn't a good player. I knew his range of raising hands was pretty wide - any ace, any two face cards are high on his list of premium hands. It was folded to me, and I contemplated a reraise. I decided that I could outplay him on the flop if I got a nice board, and decided to just flat call and see what the flop brought. The blinds folded.

I watched Jr as the board was dealt and he was anxiously watching the cards come out, so I knew his hand wasn't strong, and he needed to hit the board. The flop is 5c, 8s, 2c. He looked at the board for awhile, and then moved all-in for more than 3x the pot!

I said "that's a big bet" and he replied, "yes it is". he watched me intently as I counted out the size of the bet. I had him covered, but would only have about 1,400 chips left afterwards (blinds were around 100/200 I think). I just SMELLED weakness off of him, and pushed the call in. He groaned and turned over Ace 8 unsuited (so top pair, ace kicker, the hand his daddy, Sr. loves to go all-in with). Turn is a 7c, river a Jc. His Ace? The Ace of clubs.

So my perfect read, and perfect call gets kiboshed by a runner-runner flush. Yoinks!

I triple up a few hands later with AK when I go all-in against two players preflop and hit two pair (yippie!), and then a few hands after that, go all-out with pocket sevens to pocket aces. The worst part of that is I hit my 7 on the flop, turn a full-house, only to see an Ace on the river.

In those three pivotal hands, my play was solid. I thought about my options, and made the right move. Unfortunately, the right moves don't always pay off.

I feel better about my game though, and that's the important thing. It's incredible how emotional poker can be. It always baffles me when people say that they don't get affected by the emotional aspect of the game. Actually, it doesn't baffle me as much as I think they are full of it. It's an emotional roller-coaster, and it's so eacy to have your confidence dashed against the rocks, and when your confidence is low, you don't play optimally, which leads to more confidence-crushers. I can see how easy it would be to spiral into a really bad losing streak.

I'm not out of the woods yet. I'm still up for the year, but February has made a big dent in my strong start to 2007.

Bankwell placed 3rd last night, for double his buy-in back. There are definitely positives to sharing a bankroll with your husband!

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