Friday, May 23, 2008

Being Stupid

I did something stupid yesterday. I did something that novice and amateur players are constantly doing, but what I and most other pros almost never do. I moved up limits to try to get even.

On Monday I had the $2,300 win I mentioned in my last post. On Tuesday I was ahead $3,000 at one point and ended up booking a $1,500 win which I followed up the next day with an uneventful $600 loss.

When I sat down yesterday I was feeling pretty good and jumped into four $10/$20 games. In no time I was ahead $1,500 and expecting to have a major kick ass day. But then my profits slowly drained away. When I took my lunch break about 2/3 of the way through my working day I was ahead a must less exciting $300.

When I came back from lunch I quickly fell below even and in a matter of a few hundred hands I was down over $1,000. At this point I was not thinking about the fact that $1,000 is not that big a loss for me these days. I was not thinking that if I quit right then I'd still be ahead $3,200 for the past four days. I was thinking about the fact that I'd been ahead $1,500 earlier that day and not only was I not going to book the big win that I wanted, but I was actually going to have a significant loss.

I knew I wasn't in the best state of mind to play and the best thing for me would be to quit. But instead I did the exact opposite. I decided to play some $30/$60. I left all but one of the $10/$20 games I was in and substituted one $15/$30 and one $30/$60.

A short while into the play at the $30/$60 I picked up KK in the big blind. AH HA! Now is my chance to get back some dough! A player who I knew could be raising a wide range of hands (I had a note on him that identified him as a very loose $5/$10 player) raised from the button and I made it $90 to go. He capped the betting at $120 and the flop came down Q T 5. I check raised and he three bet me.

At this point even though I knew my opponent was loose he was still showing massive strength and I thought there was about a 80% chance he had either had AA, QQ or AQ. My hand was way to strong to fold, but I decided my best course of action would be to just call him down. The turn was a blank and the river was another Q. Ack! The only worse river in my mind would have been an A and now I couldn't beat any of the hands I thought my opponent likely to have. But given the fact that there was almost $600 in the pot and it only cost me another $60 to call I had to call his bet on the river. He turned over AQ and took the pot.

So far so bad. I told myself that if I got down $2,000 for the day I'd call it quits. Luckily I managed to make a few hands. In fact I destroyed a guy who I happen to know is a regular $200/$400 player! While I was losing to other players I was beating the pants of that guy in hand after hand.

After an hour or so I was back to about even for the day and jumped ship. The problem is it was still stupid for me to play so big when I knew I wasn't in the best state of mind. Poker is all about focusing on making good decisions not about what the results turn out to be. In the long run good decisions will lead to profits and bad decisions will lead to losses. In this case I made a bad decision and I just got lucky that it didn't cost me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PHEW! I was on the edge of my seat thinking you had just lost buckets of money!

My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions

After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...