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The Road to Fame and Fortune

/Mar/2013

A Poker State of Mind

By: Ov3rsight @ 15:55 (EDT) / 342 / Comment ( 2 )

I find that often when I'm playing poker my results reflect on my state of mind. If I'm winning, I'm having a good time, if I'm losing, not so much. Especially when I'm losing because I run into a few suckouts, it's really bad for my state of mind. And when I enter that zone, my play starts to suffer. I guess it's another form of tilt. Plenty of times I attribute it to running bad. It happens. And lots of times, it is. I've had runs of 10+ sit-n-gos where I didn't cash once, and most of the times I lost the bulk of my stack I ran into a huge cooler, or some guy sucked out big time. When that happens from time to time, it doesn't matter, but when it happens several times in a row, it gets to me.

So how do you solve that? For me, there are several things I've learned to do. First and foremost, consider how I played. If I lose most of my stack when my pocket Jacks gets rivered by a queen, I didn't play it too bad. When I make a big move with Queens and the villain happens to wake up with kings, I played my hand the way I should. It doesn't always work, but it does make me feel slightly better after busting out yet again. It's what they always say - don't be results-oriented. When you shove with 63 offsuit and bik a set on the river to defeat pocket Kings, you played it terribly most of the time. I'd take the Kings every day.

Secondly, I walk away. When I get a particularly brutal suckout, I finish up and do something else. I'll finish a sit-n-go, I won't abandon it, and when in a cash game I'll get up and leave. I've learned that such things affect my play more than I'd like, and until I can get a better hold of it, it's best to walk away.

Thirdly, I need to remember the good times as well as the bad times. And not just my run-good times, but also someone else's run-bad times. I can run good just as well as others, and I'm not the only one running into a few bad beats ina  row.

The other day, I played a pretty tight game ina  9man sit-n-go, and by the time we reached the 50/100 level my stack had dwindled down to about 11 Blinds. I'd won a few minor pots, lost a few smallish ones, and basically just waiting for a good hand. It was still 7 handed, and with 4 of us with these 10-15 BB stacks, I felt I good get in in good gainst one of them. And as I hoped, I was dealt AK. I shoved, another shorty with 13 BBs called with AQ off. He binked the queen on the turn. Moments like that never cease to annoy the heck out of me. I don't mind losing races so much, but losing to a 2-outer of 3-outer isn't my idea of fun. And so, my plan to play several of thse games went away, and I left it at just this one. Maybe it's superstitious, but experience leads me to believe it would just be the first of several I would lose. Superstition might be the wrong word, and maybe it was not an omen for future games. Well, I still feel happy about waliking away.

The next thing I need to do is remember games like one I played today. Again, just the one game due to time limitations, but it was as I like it: everytime I entered a biggish pot, I won it. I lost one, but that was because I folded the turn. Every all-in situation I got myself into I won. I had the best hand every time, and they held up every time. Talk about running good. Heads up, I felt I was by far the better player. He limped a lot, folded several buttons, and I had noted he tended to see flops and play fit-and-fold on the flop. The last hand heads up, I got a walk in the Big Blind again with J6 off, and the flop came KJJ. The villain made a half-pot bet, and for a moment I pondered flatting and slowplaying my set. The I thought back on what I've seen in the live trainings at PSO, and decided against it. There were 2 diamonds there for a flush draw, KJ makes a broadway draw, so it was a pretty wet board. Best to raise it up I would think. And so I raised to almost 3 times his bet. He shoves, and I had an easy call. He flipped over the KT suited for a naked top pair. Welcome, first place money....

In the same tourney, I also saw the other side of the coin: as a big stack I called a preflop bet with AT suited, and flopped a flush draw. The villain bet the flop, I called, and he bet the turn again. On the one hand, I pondered folding since I'd expected him to check the turn, but considering I'd still have the big stack if I called, I decided to call and see the river. I hit the river and made the nut flush. He bet it, and I raised him up. The board was paired, but I didn't expect some kind of weird boat in his range. He folded. Not two hands later, he shoved, and got rivered by a flush again. So - I'm not the only one who gets rivered a few times in a row.

And after pondering all of the above, I really need to remember this tourney rather than the previous one. I have my fair share of run good, just like the others...

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