I learned an important lesson today. I was playing in a .05/.10 no limit ring game today when I suffered two bad beats in the first four hands I played. In both cases I was outdrawn on the river when I held otherwise superior cards. I bought in for a mere $4.00 but was now down to my last $1.09. What to do. In the past my tendency was to shove with any two cards that added up to 18 and, as you might expect, I wound up losing significant big blinds per hand. This was a hole in my game that needed filling if I intended to move into higher levels of risk.
I decided to tighten up. Heck, I still had 10 BB left and I could still dip into my reserves if I busted out. I decided I would only play premium hands. For sure I was playing AA, AKs and AQs. I would also play AKo as well. Bigh Pairs were also in my sights KK, QQ, JJ and TT. I would also wait for the following suited hands, AJ, AT, A9, KQ, KJ, KT and K9. That was it. I also would only play if I was on the button, in the cuttoff or in the hijack position and I would defend in the BB and SB as well. I would become a rock.
Several hands went by with no action from me. I won a couple of hands along the way because everyone folded to me while the BB. I was getting antsy but I reminded myself that my play was designed to not have to dip further into my reserves. I played several rounds without betting but then I looked down at AdJd. I was in the cuttoff. Yes, I could play a hand here. There were two limpers in front of me. I decided that a bet of 3 times the BB plus 2 more BB's, one for each limper would do. That would put me nearly all in so I shoved my last 0.89 into the pot. The button called as did the BB and one of the two limpers as well. I thought, here it goes. I'll surely get the worst of this. The flop comes 2d7dkd. My goodness I floped the joint. There were no obvious straight combinations, no pairs so a full house was not yet in play. I had the nuts if the hand held up. The BB put in a pot sized raise and everyone else folded. He turned over an Ac9h. He needed runner runner AA but I had one of those aces. He was drawing dead. I earned a pot of right around $3.50.
That hand and the sequence of patient folds before that hand provided me with the ammunition needed to grind some more at that table. I stopped playing after about 250 hands up nearly $5.00. Having been on the ventalator for a while, I realized that poker is a game of patience. If I can wait and I make good decisions I will win over the long run. Patience is the key to grinding out victories from the jaws of defeat.