I realize it’s Tuesday.
I’m thinking more along the lines of, “Thank God It’s February” – because day one has been awesome, and if the whole month continues this way…well – let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Oh, it didn’t start out that way really. I sat down to play this afternoon after my morning class with the intent to have fun (and hopefully make some money along the way). I know that often it’s a good idea to drop down to the cheap seats when things are going rough, and truth is, I was only a $10 loss from having to move myself there permanently, so I found a .05/.10 table and set up shop. Nothing spectacular there…some fish, some very solid players, and this one player who seemed familar, but yet was acting a little fishy himself (my “mentor” has changed his game a little…gone from mouse to time bomb). But as happens at these lower levels, you get to change your own game a little…and I myself am happy with the “T” aspect of the mouse ranking…it’s the “P” part that I haven’t been pleased with. How I get that “A” after the flop, I’m really not sure…quite honestly, it’s misplaced, I think. By that, I mean, any agression was by luck, not conscious decision.
Even at this .05/.10 table, I didn’t really work on agression so much, except for a mistake on one hand when I tried to bluff one of the two other strong players at the table (aside from myself & John). [Note to self – GameTime+ is worthless if you don’t pay attention to the pretty little numbers!] But obviously the point sunk in. I mean, at one point I went all in with the hammer (a little over $6) and just picked up the blinds, but was told by another player that it was a “gutsy” move. (Yes it was, and my pulse was racing the entire time because I was terrified one of you would actually call, and this would be one of the few times I didn’t see a 7×2 flop at UB!)
I was also playing a .10/.25 table at the time, and getting good cards, and despite having my aces cracked by a flopped flush, made by Ad8d (didn’t that just happen to me the other day???), I finished that table up $1.90.
But I finished the .05/.10 down $6.80, and I told John, that despite all the wonderful encouraging things everyone had been saying to me (esp. yours Seth, thank you)…I just didn’t know if I would be back. I meant for that day, but really, a part of me was wondering what the hell was wrong…knowing that things swing, come and go, etc….but not sure if I was capable of hanging on for the ride. HDouble had just told me this morning to not worry about the losses, that it was a neccessary part of growing – I wasn’t sure I could grow much more! As in…I was about to grow myself right out of a bankroll if I wasn’t careful.
I did my mom/student/family stuff, then decided to hit the tables again. Considered .05/.10 again, but Daddy was at a .10/.25, and technically I was still $5 over the 300BB limit…so I went.
Now, I don’t think Daddy even knows me. But again, bloggers at UB are rare. And judging from his stack, Daddy was doing well, so hey, if nothing else, I could watch and learn.
Things didn’t start off good, exactly. I waited for my BB, and got 7c Qs. Not too bad for a BB hand, but see, it was raised to $1.60…and I accidently called. I was going for the check/fold button, but it changed to “call” right as I was clicking it (don’t ya hate when that happens? And then oooppps….3 people call behind me. Flop comes Ac Ad 7d. Well shit. That many callers to a raise pre-flop? One of you has to have an Ace, right? I check. Everyone checks. Okay…maybe you don’t… Turn is 2h, I bet $2 (I mean, I do have 2 pair), everyone folds but one. River is 5h – my lone caller has a mere 65 cents left, and I bet that, and he calls. He has Kd Td, and so I start my night off with a net pot of $8.50 – not bad for a hand I would never have played in the first place.
But I get…agressive. For those of you who have never played at UB (losers ;)) they have this lovely little “bet pot” button, that comes in very handy when you have TPTK or two pair off the flop; but there is danger, like a flush draw or straight draw…something, anything, that makes you want to just take it down right there. I began using that button the way a lot of people use the “raise minimum” button. In fact, later in the night someone made the comment that I was giving it quite the workout…as he folded. (But point noted…vary things up a bit).
I was playing my tight game as usual, but the difference for me was, if I hit the flop, I was the one in there calling the shots. In the past, I was a little calling station…my agression would come on the turn, possibly on the river, and that was only if I knew I had the nuts. That my friends, is not a long-term winning strategy, and I knew that. But I’ve always had a problem with doing what I knew what was best for me vs. my habits and patterns.
Agression is scary…it’s easier to do when you’re the big stack at the table, but even then, no one likes to lose a large chunk of change on one hand. Betting $2 into a $2 pot when you have just one pair (even if it is most likely the best hand out there at the time) is scary…because you know, that some day…someone is going to call you…that some punk is going to get tired of your perceived “chip bullying” and call you down with his A3 suited, and then runner runner you and make his flush, which is exactly what you were hoping to avoid with your agression in the first place. And a loss like that can hurt…and can make you want to give up the whole agression thing, thinking it doesn’t work at all. But over the long run, it will…of course, we all know this, we have it ingrained in our skulls – the goal of every poker player is TAA – but that’s so much easier said than done. It’s not easy to bet your draws, hard, all the way to the river, even if they didn’t hit. When I think about some of the hands I won tonight…childs play to some of you old hands I’m sure, but to me…a whole new world. And yes, you’ll lose sometimes. You’ll bet that draw, and get called, and it won’t hit, but that’s OK, because not only does it get you action on your future hands, but over the long run, your wins will still outweigh your losses.
I realize this is not news to the vast majority of you. It wasn’t really “news” to me. But it wasn’t something I was putting into practice. And writing it down helps. (Yes Hank…she learned. ;))
How did my night end? Well…look for yourself! 😉 Let’s just say that as my stack reached nearly $75, I let out a very audible sigh from my chair, and my husband Jason asked, “bad beat?”. I told him no…that was a sigh of happiness/relief; that came from knowing that I did apparently know what I was doing after all.
I am very much looking forward to tomorrow night. Last time, I was a reader, and this blog was in it’s infancy. It was 98% personal, 2% poker. Now, it’s vice versa, and I guess I qualify as a blogger now, though I spend more time reading than I do blogging. Oh, and my tournament performance? It was lame. [Awww…my first comment from Sir! 😥 I need a tissue…] And jeez, so was my writing… Lame lame lame lame lame. My nightmare table? Iggy, Otis, Doubleas, Pauly, BadBlood, Hank, Chris, & G-Rob (we seem to be bad mojo for each other :)).
My dream table? You really have to ask??? 😉
I will warn you…I’ve been hitting the UB tournaments almost nightly to warm up, and I’ve been card dead and sucking, so watch out! I’m due for a win. 😀
You haven’t signed up to play?? WELL. A certain phrase comes to mind…Iggy usually uses it for those of us who don’t normally play at Party…so…get thee to Poker Stars now!!