From the Cheap Seats

Monday, September 20

If it looks like a fish and smells like a fish...

it must be me. In the last few weeks I have become every poker players dream opponent. I am that guy that every new player who sits at the table can feast on. I don't know how it happened or what triggered it but in the last two weeks ago I have become one more fish to be ripped apart online. Now, I would love to attribute my slide to bad beats, suck outs, bad cards, variance, etc. but I would be lying. I have been losing for one very clear reason; I am playing as though everyone is out to get me. Instead of playing patiently and waiting for good cards, I am playing garbage hands like A6o in EP. Instead of raising flops that hit me, I am simply calling my way to the river hoping to catch that two outer when I am beat or thinking he has nothing when he flopped the straight. Ultimately, I am funding all of your games in the last few weeks and I determined to patiently bring myself back to the play I have become accustomed to.

With that in mind, let's figure out where I am going wrong. At first glance, I am playing a lot of weaker starting hands that I normally would have tossed away. That's an easy hole to plug for me. I don't think it has to do with thinking that they are worth playing but rather boredom and frustration at the real holes in my game. I know I have the patience to wait for the right cards and, in the last couple of sessions, I have been doing just that. The biggest holes in my game are in how I am playing the flop. 2 major points stand out. The first is when I hit the flop with top pair without any redraws. In this case, I have been doing a lot of check-call and simply not taking control of the hand. A check-call basically leaves me open to my opponents having free range on the turn and leaves me without much room to win the hand without catching perfect cards on the turn and river. If I do have a redraw to a powerful hand, nut flush or straight, I am not raising a multiway pot to build up the size I need to make the play profitable in the long run. In both cases, I am not in control of the hands and end up calling down to the river. A devastating mistake. The second mistake is not nearly as costly as the first but still an issue. Basically, I am like a lost child at the flop when playing with two overcards. I seem to be playing it as though I have hit the flop rather than as a drawing hand. Since this does not happen as often (probably because I am playing some crappy starting hands), it isn't as big a deal but in the end I have to focus on the odds I am getting and play it like I would any other draw. I know I can play these situations and a bunch of others I am currently struggling with since I have proven I can in the past. I just have to stop myself from sliding not only in my bankroll but also in my game. At least, I am looking at the big picture and not attributing bad play to external factors even though it is so easy to do.

In other news, my home game went pretty well last night. We had 5 players so not as full as we normally would be but we did up the stakes which was a nice change of pace. We played 1/2. It was a fun night mostly, though no terribly interesting hands. Matt had an interesting night, I think at one point he had KK, AKo, KK, and QQ in a row though not sure about the QQ. My best hand was a small pot where I flopped trip tens wh0ich turned into quads on the turn. It was a fun night. I really enjoy our weekly games because it's a good outlet to keep some fun and social poker in the rotation which, in my opinion, is important to keep up my interest in the game. It also helps doubling up last night.

I have also been reading Miller's book and was quite surprised at the section on outs surrounding counterfeited hands. I think I am in a large group of players out there who have been significantly underestimating their odds without taking these situations into account. This is definitely a newbie kind of mistake. Anyway, I will definitely be taking a closer look at that section along with a bunch of others to help bolster the bad play I spoke about earlier. Though ultimately I need to play my game and find those holes. Reading isn't going to get me where I need to be. Though it may nudge on the way there.

As always thanks for stopping by.