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Poker :: I suck
  submitted on July 12, 2007, 12:04 PM

The good news (Well, if it can be called good news) is that lately when I get knocked out of tournaments (AQ vs. A2 in the MATH, 10s vs. 8s in the Mookie), I'm way ahead when the money goes in and I'm just getting sucked out on, so it's good to know I'm not just busting out on crap hands.

The bad news is overall I have just been playing awful the past couple weeks. My bankroll had been on a very nice upswing as of late, and I've been doing a fantastic job of completely crushing it back down to previous levels. It doesn't help that I haven't been running all that great (See post below) and taking some tough beats, but really that's only part of the problem. The other problem is I'm getting back into that habit of letting my lack of cards affect the rest of my play.

This is probably most apparent in my cash game play. I remember when I first started playing cash games, I was awful, and constantly lost money. The reason for this, is because I didn't understand the difference between a cash game and a tournament. I was constantly trying to bluff people off of hands, or re-raise them and push them out of hands. I just didn't play good cash game poker that wins me money, waiting for good hands, good situations, etc. Eventually I tightened up, and over time my game improved, and so did my results. I've moved up from 25NL to 50NL, and been consistently profitable, although I still have work to do before I play 100NL with any consistency. I still find myself getting involved in big pots with substandard hands, and they end up costing me big.

And what I mentioned right there has been my problem as of late. I need to focus more on what kind of situations I'm getting myself involved in. I'm not paying enough attention to my starting hand requirements, what position I'm in and what the status of the pot is in relation to what cards I have, and what my opponents actions mean preflop in relation to how they're going to act postflop. I've just been playing way too many pots with mediocre hands out of position, which leads me to trying to figure out what the hell to do with my bet gets called on the flop with middle pair and a backdoor flush draw. I've just been putting myself in unfavorable situations, which leads to some serious -EV play.

I think part of the reason for that is that I haven't been seeing a lot of good situations to play in over the past week or so. If I'm folding a lot, I can get impatient and start playing hands I shouldn't be playing. I try to hard to make moves and outplay everyone when it's not the right time. I just need to stay focused on the idea that it's just a cash game, and the blinds aren't going to change, I have all the time in the world to sit and play, there is no finishing point, it's not a tournament, etc. I have to be patient and wait and play good poker, and the big pots will come. That's probably the most important thing for me to take away from all this. I just need to remember that the big pots will come, and I need to stop trying to force big pots without having a big hand. When I do that, I get stacked. When I don't, and when I wait, I get pushmonkeys who are always willing to give me their money.

I think another cause of some of my cash game woes has been an error in my thinking of wanting to rapidly expand my bankroll. I had some $75 tokens sitting in my account from the $75 token frenzy (Easiest poker tournament online), so I sat down and played a couple S&Gs, just because I wasn't in an MTT mood, and considering I dropped $30 on the two of them, cashing in either one would be a min. of $120, which is nice. I ended up finishing in 5th in the first one, but won the second one, although I did dish out a nasty 10s vs. JJ suckout along the way. So that was a nice $300+ cash for an hour's work, and a welcome addition to my bankroll. Cashes like that are nice, but sometimes my mind has trouble getting it through my head that you can't just sit there and play 50NL and win $300 like that. It takes time, and patience.

I don't really think I had a point I was getting to in this post, just some thoughts that I've had going through my head that I wanted to get out on (virtual) paper.

On the tournament front, I played in my first 50-50 last night. I agree with everyone who says the structure is nice. 2,000 chips, 12 minute levels, plus the 10/20 1st level is always a nice addition. Looks like the payout structure is 15%, which is good. I hate the 10% structure, 15% is much more appealing to me. I'm not really at a point where I can buy into this with any regularity, but I plan on playing the $14 satellite that starts up before it, and if I qualify through that, then I'll play.

I've been running absolutely awful in the Token 1 2-table tourneys lately. Part of it's me, but man, it has just been ridiculous lately. I'd say that all during the BBT, I picked up a token 50% of the time I played. So I almost always dropped $19 to win a $26 token. However, I think I've played 8 or 9 now without winning a damn thing. Okay, that's not true, I bubbled twice, picking up $14 (Both times were just sick, I had the chip lead each time at the FT at some point in time, yet I somehow ended up bubbling), and I did win a token on Sunday to play in the MATH. I'd really like that crap to stop soon, so I can start playing in the 26k while the blonkaments and 50-50 are going on. I enjoy MTTs, and it's really not an inconvenience since I'd be playing in the MATH/Mookie/Riverchasers anyways.

I've only played in one $75 token frenzy since the BBT ended (Keep forgetting to register in time for some reason), and I missed out on a token there by a bit because some asshat thought his A7 was good against my raise in the SB with AQ. It's funny, I almost pushed so I could get him out of the hand, but I thought it was too aggro and just raised it up. Stupid me. But I'll also keep playing these, because there are some good DS MTTs available, and of course there are the S&Gs which are nice because they're quick and offer some nice cash.

Other than that, I'll keep working on grinding at 50NL, play some $10 S&Gs (Maybe the occasional Turbo, although I still have no idea why I never cash in those), and go from there. I've been on a bit of a downswing, but at least I know what I'm doing wrong, now I just need to do what's necessary to make it right.

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