Last night I was playing $0.50 / 1.00 NL online and lost a full buy-in of $100 fairly quickly (ironically while watching a YouTube video of a poker class that was taught earlier this year at MIT – for credit!). I did not win a single pot, got restless and loose, and a succession of interesting-but-not-great cards (JTs, KJo, 87o, JJ w A-high flop) sank my balance down to $37.
Then I got another such hand, Ts 9s in the Hijack seat with 5-way action to the flop. The flop was Ks Js 9h, giving me bottom pair, flush draw, gutshot draw and gutshot straight flush draw. A player in front of me bet 1/2 pot, I called and the big blind check-raised all-in. Sure looks like a flopped straight. At this point, the pot is $56 and I have $26 left behind, so I’m getting 2.15-to-1 odds to call. According to PokerStove, my equity against a flopped straight (assuming he does not have the Qs) is 42.3%. That means I need 2.36-to-1 or better to call.
I call anyway, he does indeed have QT, my outs don’t arrive and there goes the rest of my buy-in.
The story begins here, now down $100. It’s 10:45 pm.
Things get better and and 30 minutes later I’m up to $198 and nearly fully recovered. I also have another table going – that only started after the first buy-in was all gone – and now sitting at $106 there after buying in for $100. So combined, I’m up four bucks.
Time for bed! On the other hand, things are going better now. I’d really like to sit tight and win just one more decent pot and book a real gain rather than essentially break even. Not to be results oriented, but still… Why not.
Five minutes later (on table 2), I get 9h 8h in the UTG position and raise to $3. Three players call, and the flop comes Js 8c 9d.
Ba-da-bing! Going to bed right after this hand. One player folds and I bet $8.50 into $13. Another player folds. I can almost smell the toothpaste.
Then the cutoff raises to $17, a minimum raise. What!?!? Does his min-raise represent weakness or wariness with a hand like AJ? Or super strength with JJ or QT, wanting to build the pot but not push me off of it? Or a piece of the flop plus a draw, like JT?
My next instinct is to go all-in. Then I remember a dinnertime conversation about self-management and how that affects some poker plays. Too many times I’ve liked my cards, assessed the situation and my read is that I’m behind, then make the call anyway because I’m not sure / I’ve gotta know for sure. This starts to feel like one of them.
I have bottom 2 pair. That beats top pair, and beats any over pair (albeit highly unlikely as the other player would have 3-bet pre-flop), but that’s all. I cannot beat any other 2-pair hand, any set or straight. Even JT, which I am ahead of, has a 48.5% chance of beating me, so shoving would really only be a coin flip if called. I’m getting 5-to-1 pot odds to call his raise, so I do call.
The turn is 6s, changing nothing. I check and he bets $19 into $47, about 40% of the pot. Wow! He sure does not seem to mind getting called here. If I call again and the river is a blank, will I call a river shove (he would then be betting $60 into $85 to put me all-in)? Yikes!
Then there is that self management thing. I’m tired and want to go to bed. I’m just barely ahead for the session after going down a full buy-in. I hate (repeat: HATE) ending a session at a loss. Arrrrrgh!
I fold. For a change, self management prevails.
Then I continue playing until 1:35 am, eventually going down over $100, teetering on the edge of full-blown tilt, recovering to a session loss of $65 before relenting to get some sleep. God I need some sleep.
Tommy Angelo produced an hour-long video on quitting and how important being able to quit – ahead, behind, any time your “A” game is no longer with you – is to achieving tiltlessness and reducing suffering in poker. Need to watch that again.
Year-to-date online results: (- $609)
Month-to-date online results + $596