Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

The Perils of Playing on Instict

I’ve been feeling good, 4 straight cashes, including two 1st places, has helped boost my confidence, then a bad read sends me out in 6th, it could have gone either way, but deep down I know I wasn’t focussed as much in this game as I should have been.

Note to self, don’t read, comment on blogs whilst playing online poker!

Here’s the hand, his bet on the turn, screamed weakness, and lots of times it is weakness, but here it wasn’t, I took a shot and it backfired, but if I had my head-in the game, it wouldn’t have cost me my seat, its a situation I should have gotten away from, but didn’t, it will remind me to stay focussed in future.

Here, I obviously wasn’t trying to represent I’ve made a set of Kings, I took too long to think about it, and he wouldn’t buy it anyway, he just felt weak, but looking back at things like how fast he called my 4xBB raise pre-flop, and how he checked the flop, which seemed odd, as he’s the guy whow will almost always lead out here, but I filtered all that out, and didn’t listen to what was important, why is he playing so obviously weak! Also noting A2 was way ahead of me, I made a stupid play and was doomed to go broke.


January 27, 2008 Posted by | Tournaments and Freerolls | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bad Play

Just ran unlucky in a second scheduled $0.50 tournament on Poker Stars, the final hand I’m forced to push all-in just before another blind increase with only around 9 big blinds. I’m praying everyone will fold, but the one guy I know who will call with anything, I get my wish and even before his cards are flipped I’m confident my cards are good.

I’m cooled on the flop though, I hit top pair with my ace but my opponent flops two pair, I don’t improve and I’m on the rail.

The turning point for me was having to abandon AQs after putting in too much money for the early stage of the tournament, I should have checked the flop rather then made a continuation bet, I played it dumb and paid the price.

Crap, it gets worse, after loading the hand I’ve just realized I wasn’t even suited, I shouldn’t have even limped in with this so early. I think the table dynamic put me off my usual game, it seemed tighter then usual, I was soon proved wrong, this was a very bad play.

In slightly brighter news I sat in a standard Sit-N-Go earlier and cashed in 3rd, a little disappointed as I played well, but just couldn’t get past the big stack when 3 handed. I did take down too large pots with a couple of traps though, one when I was lucky enough to flop a nut flush and sold myself as weak to induce a bluff and another when I made trips with AJ.

December 7, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Negative Re-inforcement

To summarize after my really big group of loossing sessions where I tilted off a large portion of my built up profits I had a good session, including two 1st place finishes, since though the story as been bleaker, where besides the occassional 3rd place cash I’ve been finishing out of the money pretty consistently.

I have come to realized why this is. After reading up on poker psychology during my day off from the tables, I have become aware of something known as negative re-inforcement where bad decisions are repeated because the mind remembers being rewarded for making them before. To relate this to poker, if you start making bad plays, but get lucky know and then, your mind remembers this reward for the bad play and you develop a tendency to repeat the bad play when that same situation comes up again.

So, theorizing over my recent sessions I think during my huge negative swing where I stayed up all night for two days constantly trying to win back my earlier losses, (what I put down to being card dead) I made some bad decisions and probably loosened up my starting requirements considerbly and now and then I got lucky and won some money back, which as re-informced this bad play, which I have likely been bringing into my game in my last few sessions, including the recent winning session, where I was probably on the right side of the flop that time.

I’ve sat down in two games today so far and payed close attention to how I was playing and I noticed that during both games after waiting for some cards to come, A9 or A7s looks like pocket kings and I had to fight real hard to toss such trash.

So in both games my focus as not been winning as such, although that obviously is what I am striving for, but what I have realized is even more important making good descions and playing my game the way I know I should, it all comes down to patience and discipline, but after realizing I’ve been rewarding myself when I’ve played badly its even more important I pay strict attention to my game whilst at the poker table and so I can get back on track.

In both of my games so far, I was bubbled in 4th, but feel I played as best as I could in each and just didn’t make the money this time. In each the blinds where 600/300 with a 25 ante before I was railed so knocking me out was no walk over for my opponents.

November 20, 2007 Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , , , , | Leave a comment