and getting back on it...
Sometimes things happen in poker, where if you allow it to, can completely demoralize you and make you question your capabilities in the game, and can ultimately lead you to the question, "Why am I doing this again?" I have definately had my fair share of those moments, and have dealt with those feelings from all sides of the spectrum, and I have come to the conclusion and am fairly convinced that choosing to play poker as a profession is for people with masochistic tendencies!!!
Okay, I am exaggerating, and I don't really believe that but lately I have been battling with some serious "rip my hair out" moments. I have been running bad my last couple of sessions, and it is just so frustrating because when nothing seems to be going right in this game, it is easy to feel completely helpless. It also makes me question my game, which can be good, because I don't ever want to be complacent enough with my ability in this game that it stifiles my ability or desire to keep learning, but it becomes a problem when I start playing "scared", which basically means I am not playing my game, and so I am losing the only edge I have left if the cards don't break my way. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this with all of you guys because I feel like other people can benefit from the knowledge I have gained from being in situations like this and hopefully apply that to when times get rough, and maybe thinking out loud will get me to heed my own advice! The bottom line is that in this game, you can't expect to win every session, you can't expect every play you make for a pot to work out, and you sure as hell can't bet on the cards to work with you instead of against you all the time. But allowing the situation to worsen by becoming insecure about your game or ignoring all the positive strides you have made monetarily and strategically in your game thus far is just plain silly. I think with every experience I have had with running bad or doubting myself I have become stronger and that is why in the end I will come out of it all the better for it, and no amount of repeated one-outers in the world will change that, damn it!! =)
I also wanted to share a hand with y'all which I witnessed in a limit game, and was very impressed by and I really feel like it shows the power of raising the river in a three player situation where putting the pressure on the last person acting on the hand can win you the pot. For those of you guys who play a lot of limit hold 'em, you may know that overcalling is sometimes very hard to do when you have a marginal hand because board dynamics dictate that if there is a bet and a call on the river, it is usually extremely likely that you are beat by at least one person if not possibly both. What this player did won him the pot, and I was inspired and impressed by the play. ( I hope I get the hand right, it was a little while ago!)
Basically, there is a solid, agressive pro player, who raised before the flop and got a call from an extreme donkey/loose/bluffer/all around bad player on the button, then an agressive and extremely sharp pro also calls the raise form the small blind. The flop comes and a blank club i believe, and the player in the small blind bets out, the original raiser raises and the button calls two bets, and the small blind calls the extra bet. The turn is the and the original raiser bets again, and once again gets called in both spots, the river beings the , pairing the turn, the small blind checks, the raiser checks almost in anger, and the donkey bets the river, the small blind then raises, and the original raiser now picks up his two cards and show the people next to him and folds unhappily it seems after a 30 second or so deliberation. The donkey on the button calls and mutters I just want to see what you have, and the small blind turns over Queen/5 off, for two pair queens and jacks with a king kicker from the board, and the donkey shrugs and folds. The original raiser then smacks the table with his fist, and it seemed to me as though he would have at least chopped if not won the pot outright if he had called the river. But the thing is that it wasn't so much of a bad fold on his part, as whatever he had, it was incredibly hard for him to have any hand beat if he has two callers all the way going to the river. But I think it was a great and super savvy raise on the small blinds part, knowing full well that the pro is good enough to lay down the winner in that spot, and basically the small blind player was counting on the fact that the donkey would bluff the river, thus giving him the opportunity to check raise the river and shut out the other player from overcalling. The small blind knew that no matter what, the donkey would bet that river, and that he would have a greater chance of beating his hand if he prevented an overcall from the original raiser. The original raiser might have called for one bet on the river and it might have been a crying call at that, but the small blind made it pretty much impossible for the original raiser to call two bets, let alone a check raiser into a paired board on the river. The small blind could have flopped a straight draw and easily made running jacks, and in a way that was what he was trying to represent. Like I said, I feel like it wasn't so much a bad fold by the original raiser as it was an amazing play by the small blind. That was a "wow" play for me and can't wait to add that to my own arsenal but the situation has to be just right, and the circumstances allowing. (Big freakin kudos to that player, by the way, you know who you are!)
Back to my own update though, I actually won in my last session to date, so I have a feeling the bad run is slowly subsiding and I just need to accentuate the positives and just continue to do what I know I can do. On the non-poker related side of things though, I am just enjoying spending my time with all the important people in my life, and am planning to take a trip out to Boston/New York to visit some friends soon. I might be in Europe during the WPT Championship at Bellagio in April, but if I don't end up going that is definately where I will be. Also, lately I have become completely addicted to this video game called Derby Owners Club by Sega, which for those of you guys who aren't familiar with this, you basically breed and train your horse and run it in races, and build your horse through different trraining to increase different strengths and to correct weaknesses. It basically mirrors to a general degree what "real" horse owners and jockeys do. All I have to say is that I love that game, but man its costly! I have been playing it at Dave & Busters which is like an adult Chuck E Cheese, with lots of alcohol flowing, and all I want to do lately is go play that game with friends over a huge glass of Newcastle! I am getting pretty damn good at it though, so its not a complete waste of time and money. I think I am generally just a super competitive person, so any game that brings that side of me out is something I can be interested in. On that note, this has been my longest blog by far, and I am pretty proud of myself! Haha. I hope you guys enjoyed my blabbing and good luck at the tables.
Feel free to email me with any questions or comments at email@example.com!
P.S. Hi to David and all the other programmers at Pokerpages! Keep up the good work and thanks for the support!
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