by jnells | Published Aug 04, 2012
It is nearly impossible to play any variation of poker regularly without having some pretty substantial swings. For strictly recreational players, these swings (particularly the downswings) are hardly noticeable because they are playing to have a good time and unless they suffer from some gambling addiction probably don't let it mess up their "off the felt" lives. For professionals swings can be crippling, they can (I said can not should), be the soul reason for a professionals sense of worth, self confidence, and overall happiness. If this is the case (even if you are crushing high stakes) I would suggest reevaluating your life because I firmly believe that emotional detachment is essential to playing on a serious level successfully. Thankfully for me I am neither a recreational player nor a professional. I take poker very seriously and have invested a lot of time and money learning how to think about poker and feel fairly confident that every game I play in I have an edge, and more importantly I am supremely confident that every game I play in I can lear to get an edge if I don't have one already (I just started learning PLO).
Since I last wrote a blog, I went to Vegas and despite losing $2500 (without one lousy winning session) playing poker I had an awesome time. I met some new people and went out on the town a couple nights and it was a very fun trip. SInce returning from Vegas I won some money at Seabrook and have taken a couple of vacations to the beach (both Cape Cod and Salisbury). This lead me to a trip to Foxwoods that I took yesterday, I was a little hesitant in going since I had lost about $700 back at Seabrook recently and after playing Augusts rent I was a little short on money. Eventually I decided that I would go and play cash games for a few hours and then play the $300 mega satty which enters you into 4 events to the upcoming Foxwoods mega Stack with a combined buy in of $2500. I imagined this would get a couple tables and pay a couple of seats and I was confident I could play tighter than I usually do to adjust to the ICM considerations.
I played in the $1-$2 cash game for roughly 6 hours and had success cashing out a $570 winner. The way that I got to book this win was a bit of a interesting road. About 1-2 hours into the game I had a firm grasp on the player types and was pretty happy with the table. It was a standard bunch of players who play too loose pre flop and way too straight forward on the flop but eventually get sick of the "fucking young asshole" who raises almost every other hand and then they get really stubborn with bad hands. It is probably my most profitable table dynamic and definitely one that I have the most fun playing at.
I got into a interesting spot where there was 2 limpers and in early position I made it $12, with KQhh (premium holdings by my standards) I got 2 callers behind me and a guy who looked to be about 30 with a sleeveless shirt, tattoos all over, and a blue mohawk makes it $80 with $165 behind from the Cut. Of everyone at the table, besides me, I thought he was playing the best, he was raising fairly aggro and not as stationy pre flop with marginal holding like the rest of the table. Given that I thought he was competent I was perplexed by his sizing, he was not the type to make an over raise with AA or KK at all, it appeared to me he had a good but not great hand with a range like 88-JJ and AK, AQ, AJ, A10. But I had a sneaking suspicion that if I shove he would fold A10-maybe AQ and some of his lower pairs. I shove and he snap called and I was pretty sure I had just spewed off $250 bucks and was pleasantly surprised to see he had 77 and I was a coin flip to win. It was pretty funny to see the faces of the rest of the table who all were predicting AA vs KK when it was 77 vs KQ. I was lucky to win the race which lead to him getting pissed and asking if I was the worst player in the room for shoving $250 in with KQ, I responded with "I guess I am". He left and came right back with 2 $100 bills which likely came right out of the atm.
A little later a hand developed where I made it 10 he made it 45 from the button and a bad player I had been beating up on in small pots all day called from the SB, we were only $200 effective deep and especially out of position I can't call there so I folded. The flop came K high with 2 diamonds the punk rocker dude shoves for like 1.5X pot and gets called by KJ of diamonds, which makes a flush on the river. The guy then says "wow you are awefull calling 45 from the SB with KJ" (i tend to agree but would never teach an opponent how to play better while simultaneously coming off as a huge jackass) The fishy guy takes this worse than I did, and starts to quip back about how that guy made it 45 with AA but 80 with 77 and that was a bad play. The rocker defends him self with a statement that actually got me to chime in, he said "I only did that because I knew I had him crushed that hand", I asked "so now 77 crushed KQ suited" he goes "yes it does I am a 62% favorite there". At that point I couldn't help myself from correcting him, which is something I never do but it was just too ridiculous. I asked "would you like to bet on that?". He responds with "Let's bet one thousand dollars" At this point I regain control over my emotional reaction to him being an asshole and say "You are 100% wrong I am sure of it, if I was a dick I would try to get that thousand out of you, but lucky for you I am not. But please let me know if you are adamant about really wanting to literally donate $1000 because I am not that nice of a guy." He shut up at that point, and a few minutes later a player showed a odds calculator that said it was 49-51.
After that I played the $300 satty which only got 12 players so it was essentially a top heavy SnG and I played well, battled with some hero calls, hero bluffs, and thin value bets. Eventually I won it so now I will get to play in a 2 day $300, $400, $600 and $1200. I have never played for more than $600 in a tournament and I am looking forward to the challenge of another upswing.