Four Steps to Tilt

Here is a sequence from about 2 weeks ago, near the beginning of a $1,500 downswing for me where I was just running really bad.  My bluffs got called, my value bets induced folds, I misread my opponents, when I got it in with an edge they seemed to hit their draws, and so on.  It was ugly.

Hand #1

I’ve just joined this table ($1/2 NL) in the cutoff seat and posted the blind to start playing immediately.  My very first hand is Ac2c.  The player to my right raises to $7 over two limpers and I decide to call.  The first limper (Seat 1) has a very short stack of $10.85 and ships it all in from UTG+1.  The original raiser cannot re-raise since the all-in raise was only $3.85 which is less than his original raise of $5.  He calls, I call and the BB also calls.

Flop ($46) – 5h 6d 8s.  The original raiser (Seat 4) to my right bets $24, so I fold and the BB also folds.  Now the cards are exposed:

Seat 1:  Kc Jh – that’s right, he limp/shoved a short stack with Kojack offsuit.  Better make a note of this for future reference.

Seat 4:  Jc 9c – that’s right, with no side pot established, he blasted away on the flop and now finds himself dominated.  Better make a note of this for future reference.

Turn – 3h

River – 4c

Seat 1 wins the pot and quadruples his tiny stack.  Had Seat 4 just checked this down, realizing there is no reason to bet with his garbage in the absence of a side pot, I would have back-doored my way into a low straight and taken down this pot.  Dangit.

Hand #2

Two hands later, Seat 1 gets into another pot and shoves on the river, inducing a fold.  I was not involved, but make another note that he seems to be here to gamble, not necessarily to make money.  That’s good for me; I’m here to make money, not to gamble.  His stack is now up to $85.

Hand #3

Three more hands later, I get AA under-the-gun (i.e., immediate left of the Big Blind).  I’m not a big fan of limping in this position as a way of slow-playing my Aces, so I make a pot-sized raise to $7.   Seat 1 calls and the BB also calls.

Flop ($22) – Ts 9c 4h.  BB checks, I bet $11 and both players call.  What do I need to worry about here?  Sets of tens, nines, or fours, or perhaps T9 making 2-pair.  I don’t have a read on the Big Blind.

Turn ($55) – 4c.  Now I’m less worried about a set of fours; if someone had quads, I’m gonna lose!  Also no longer worried about T9 as the turn card gives me a stronger 2 pair.  BB checks again.  I bet half of the pot for  $27.50 and Seat one ships in his last $65.  That makes the pot $147.50 and it will cost me $37.50 to call.  I’m getting pot odds of 3.9 : 1.  That’s an easy call to make, especially given my observations about his play prior to this hand.

Seat 1:  Qc 2c – that’s right, he called a pre-flop raise from the UTG player with Queen-deuce suited, then called $11 more on the flop with … absolutely nothing, and now shoves on the turn with effectively no fold equity on a paired board with just a naked flush draw.  Wow-zer.  Gotta love this game.

Hero:  AA

River ($185) – 8c.  Seat 1 takes down the pot with his rivered flush.

I hate this game!

Hand #4

Two more hands later and I’m not directly involved in this one.  Seat 3 goes all-in pre-flop with a short stack of $18.40 following a limp by Seat 1, and the BB and Seat 1 both call.

Flop (54.50) – 4h Jd 5c.  BB bets $25, Seat 1 ships all in his stack which really should have been my stack dammit!!!) and BB snap calls.

BB:  Qc Qs

Seat 1:  Ah 9h – that’s right, another all-in raise with nothing.

Big Blind wins a $394.50 pot, and I’m just plain irritated to see my money moving around the table like this.

Hand #5

Three more hands later and Seat 1 has left the table… Although still irritated, I feel rational and stable.  I get Kc Th in a middle position.  UTG raises to $6 and I decide to call.  To be sure, this is a very loose call and I acknowledge that to myself at the time.  Broadway cards, but be careful.  The Big Blind also calls.

Flop ($18) – Kd 5d Jc.  I make top pair.  UTG leads out for $15.  Hmmm…  I need to be careful here because I could be easily dominated by AK or KQ, or even covered by AA or KK.  I decide to make the minimum raise to $30, to see where I stand and leaving $65 behind.  If re-raised, I must fold.  BB folds, and UTG fairly quickly shoves all-in and has me covered.


My face felt flush and a wave of emotion rushed through me.  My emotional intelligence book describes various feelings of anger, and they all hit at once:  FURIOUS, ENRAGED, OUTRAGED, BOILING, IRATE, SEETHING, LOATHSOME, BETRAYED and so on.

I’ve only been at this table less than 2 orbits, watched some horrible play, lost a bad beat, my chips are being casually passed around the table and the biggest fish just left.  Now I have top pair and I want to win this pot!

I call.  (Wait!  Why did I do that?  I had a plan, remember?  Raise/fold.  There is no way I’m going to be ahead here.  Grrr…)


Hero:  KT

The turn and river cards miss for me, and there goes the remainder of my $200 buyin.

Year-to-date online results:  + $8,755

Month-to-date online results:  – $164

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