Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More of the Same...

Well, I took 6 days off from playing. Partly because I could take the variance anymore, partly to stave off the tilt, and partly because, quite frankly, I was scared. Every time I got into a showdown situation I envisioned the worst, and it just plain wasn't fun.

So I got the itch to play again tonight, and I started out real strong, making just some really great plays on both tables and building stacks that I could be aggressive with. A lot of it I did without a hand and with coordinated betting strategy, but I also showed down big when I needed to. Anyway, we get down to the bubble in both SNGs. In the first one sitting on the 2nd place stack I flopped open-ended with a gapper hand in the BB and made my straight on the river. Alas, my opponent on the button had turned a full house holding A7o and showed no strength at any point in the hand until he shoved over the top of me on the river. My first instinct was to fold due to the way I'd been running but I thought to myself "is a straight *really* no good here?", and decided I had to make the call 3-handed and couldn't let my variance dictate my play. Just sick. Can anyone get away from that hand there on a paired board w/an A on it? I feel like I should've been able to, but I just couldn't find a fold with a very well disguised straight 3-handed. On the 2nd table I was the short stack and flopped top pair 7s in the BB, and the SB min-bet the flop and the turn, and I shoved over the top on the turn. He called with 9s...unraised PF. My read was total weakness with the big stack trying to push the shorty off his BB hand w/overs or something. With top pair still on the turn, I felt like I had to get my money in and make him pay to draw to a hand that beats me. I don't know how I get away from that under any circumstances.

So...this f'n blows. I'm pretty much completely hopeless. I feel like I'm doing a whole lot right not only play wise, but also in order to subdue the tilt, but I'm just getting NO help from the cards.

I probably won't blog until sometime next week unless I happen to stumble upon some free time, in what has been and will continue to be the busiest week in recent memory. I'm playing live tomorrow night at a home game that is supposed to be pretty soft, and I'm playing live again on Sunday at the local casino's tourney. I'm *really* looking forward to both opportunities to play live, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I don't know how I feel about putting "real" money up to play poker right now the way I'm running. Its one thing to get brow-beaten in $2 and $5 SNGs, but it'll be a little harder to take in a $20 rebuy game and a $60 tourney. I'm just gonna play my best and hope the cards don't continue to spit in my face. I'm grasping at the concept that Saturday is my birthday and *maybe* I'll be within the window of some "birthday luck" starting tomorrow. So we'll see how that works out.

BTW, I owe TripJax a plug because he actually tagged me for that 7 things meme, which I didn't see until after I had actually posted it. That makes 5 whole bloggers who know I exist. I'm getting pretty big time, but I promise I'll try and remain humble.

Check ya later.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wearing Me Down

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Not only have I been trying to catch up on my reading (and have pretty much done so), but I have been running so pee poor its gut wrenching. We all know how it goes when someone's running badly. I don't wanna talk about it, and you don't wanna hear it. But lemme tell you...the hand histories...oh, the hand histories that I could post...! Incidentally, for an insight into some of the beats I've been taking, you could go read some of smokkee's most recent posts. Our fates seem to be nearly identical lately, although the beats he's taking are certainly at a much more significant level than my micro limit piddling.

Its been almost a month at this point. Ever since I got back from my long weekend in TX on May 6th I have just been getting my ass kicked at the tables. Plenty of one-outers and two-outers, a lot of 5 & 6-outers, and enough 70/30 and 80/20 losses to make a mathemetician rethink the philosopies of probability. Forget 60/40s and coin flips. My typical 60/40 ends in my opponent flopping two pair, whether they're 60 or 40, and then filling up on the river. And in the 50/50s they either flop a set against my overs and drawing dead on the flop, or flop an ace against my pocket pair. I can also just go ahead and forget about flopping sets or filling up flushes. The cold-decks have been relentless. I've had one KK vs. AA encounter, not to mention several short-handed occurances where someone behind me has no business waking up with a better hand. But man, they sure have been. And of course there's the donkeys. Calling my big raises with rags and outflopping me. Outflopping me is the easy part, though. I am *maybe* hitting 10% of the flops I'm seeing (and by "hitting", I mean "usually 2nd pair or worse")...nowhere near the 35% Dan Harrington tells me I should be hitting. In the end, it all is coming together to really test my resiliance, and its getting very tiring.

I really feel like I'm playing well. There have been a couple times where I have caught myself reaching and trying to create something that wasn't there, but I've been quick to whip myself right back into shape when I see it occuring. I'm making strong plays when I should be and just not getting there. And I'm making great folds when I need to. If there's one thing that gets better about your game when you're running badly, its getting a real sense of when you're beat. It often comes when you know you shouldn't be beat, but you are. And you learn to get away from it and hope to find another spot. So maybe I can bring that back with me if and when things turn around. Anyway, in the end, no matter how well I'm playing, I just can't seem to show down a winner when it really counts.

If there's one positive thing out of all of it, its that I haven't gone broke. I guarantee you two years ago at this time I'd have been broke and reloaded 3-5 times by now. I'd have moved up in stakes to chase my losses and "get it back quicker". I'd have moved away from my winning style and been chasing any glimmer of a potential big hand, and I'd have been tilting out of my mind. At this point I'm actually prematurely moving *down* in limits to weather the storm. I feel like I'm sticking to my game and making plays I need to make to be successful. And aside from one Saturday afternoon where I wanted to chuck my laptop across the basement, I have managed to keep my tilt level at a minimum, and am trying to take solice in the fact that I'm making the right plays and/or getting my money in good and just getting wrecked as a 50-80% favorite.

All that said, the cards can go ahead and turn anytime, because its really wearing me down.

Anyway, just wanted to check in and let my 6 faithful readers know that I'm not dead, but my game certainly seems to be. Sorry for all the whining. Hopefully the next post will allow me the opportunity for a little different tone.

Until then, I'll check ya later.