Recognizing a Loss, Stopping Tilt

It’s been a while since I’ve written about poker.  I have pondered the idea of starting a separate poker blog, but I think not.  After all, the name of this one is “Trips, Chips, and Flips,” and you need chips to play poker!

I dealt Saturday and decided to violate a rule of mine, playing after I deal.  Actually, I don’t think it was a clear-cut violation.  I went home after my shift, took a nice warm shower, and relaxed for a bit.  Then, I went back to the game.  Why?  Because the lineup was an absolute dream.  A four figure win would be easily attainable.

The game was full with one person waiting when I arrived.  I wish I had known, for I would’ve stayed home a bit longer.  After waiting for nearly an hour, I got into the game.  Glancing around (and salivating) at the chip stacks, I bought in for $1,000.  The superfish had this much and I wanted to take it in one swoop.

After two hands, I regretted my decision for buying in this deep.  The table informed me that the game had changed from ROE (round of holdem and a round of omaha) to all omaha.  I pride myself on being a much better holdem player than omaha, but too late now.  Plus, PLO is more volatile, more swingy.  And I didn’t exactly have 5 buyins of $1,000 on me.

A few minutes later, I regretted my buy-in decision even more.  The fish potted it from the big blind after I limped with AKQJr.  Four players called in front of me.  I pondered a raise.  The fish is never folding preflop, and while I may have the best of it here, I may not.  And just because I am ahead doesn’t mean I have to win.  Ugh, why do I have $1,050 in front of me.  Why can’t I have $300 and just ship it.  I call.  The flop is A93r.  I have one-pair but love my hand.  The fish pots it, $285.  WTF?!  One player goes all-in for less.  My action.  No way the fish has AAxx.  Does he really have the last two aces?  Noooo.  My hand is golden.  I should ship it.  If he has AA though, I am practically dead.  And my $1,000 gone.  Ugh.  Muck.  I fold.  The fish wins the hand with JJ44.   A pair of Jacks.  Are you kidding me?  That pot should’ve been mine.  All I had to do was raise.  He folds and I scoop up the $285 x 2 plus $150.  $720 gone.  I should be up $700.  I should quit now.  But I don’t.

I flopped quad tens earlier.  I checked the flop and let a flush complete on the turn.  The second superfish at the table bet out, I raised him $20.  He just folds.  If I had a shorter stack he would’ve likely bombed in.  But he, too, did not want to risk so much money on a mediocre hand.  He showed a King High Flush and mucked.

After bleeding a few chips, taking flops and whiffing continuously, I get involved with AKQ9.  After I put in a raise preflop, the flop falls JT4.  WOW!!  Any A, K, Q, 9, or 8 makes me the absolute nuts.  I’ll play this one for however much they want.  A nit donks into me, $50.  Huh??  I raised it dude.  Do you not see me?  In holdem, when a player donks into me after I raised it preflop, I usually just raise it.  Omaha is different.  Or maybe it isn’t, but I play it differently.  I should’ve raised here.  But is he ever folding?  If I have zero fold equity, I shouldn’t raise.  I mean, I have Ace high!  I call the $50.  Another, fairly tight player, calls the $50 as well.  The turn is the 7h.  This puts two hearts on the board and completes a straight if someone holds 98.  I put the flop-bettor on JJ, TT, 33, or JT.  So, when they check to me, I bet $100.  Repping the 89.  and if they call, I still have 13 outs to the nuts.  To my surprise, BOTH called.  I thought for sure the tight player would fold and the “donk” would call with a set.  The river paired the Ten and completed the flush.  A complete whiff.  Ugh!  They both check to me again.  I am so confused.  I can’t win with a check.  Should I bet $300, $500, $200?  One of them has to have a full house, right?  I painfully check.  What wins?  A pair of fucking Sevens.  Whyyyy.  I could’ve won it with a $50 bet.  Instead, I watch a $500 pot slide to someone else.  (The winning hand was KQ97.  The donk also had KQ9.  Put a K or Q for the full triple up one time!)

I immediately cash out.  I am playing poorly, maybe the worst I’ve played in four years, I am tired, and I am frustrated.  A dream lineup and I quit.  By quitting after a $200 loss, I saved $800.  I know it.  I am just mad at myself for not playing better.  Not buying in shorter and running up $200 into $800.  100% I double the $200 with the quad tens and double again with AKQJ.  Instead, I bought in too deep.  It scared the fish, and scared myself in an easy spot.  However, recognizing these spots have been vital to me winning at poker over time.  Stopping when you see yourself playing bad, when you see it all going downhill.  There’s always another game.  And that dream lineup will be back, very soon!