Life Shouldn't Be A Fuckin' Grind

I will never be a poker pro, but my lifetime poker ledger is positive and I think that's something to be proud of.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Minbet Donkaments and Some Poker Theory

One pretty major leak/spew that's been hurting me lately is HORSE tournaments. FullTilt runs $5.50 HORSE tournaments a couple of times a day and I've probably played at least 5 or 6 of these in the last couple of weeks. I've yet to cash in one. Lately, I've been getting fairly deep (it usually ends up around 200 players with 24 cashing and I'll bust out somewhere in the 30's or high 20's), but I can't seem to break into the money. Tonight, I was pretty card dead most of the way. I got microstacked in the second Razz level and managed to double up, but I was still shortstacked. Then I hit a nice rush, winning two pretty good pots in Stud Hi and at least one in Stud8. I was right around 10th out of 70 remaining players when we went into LHE. Then, things took a turn. I played a questionable pot out of the SB, when UTG limped, the button limped and I completed with A7o (I almost folded it and I'm thinking in hindsight that in a tournament this might have been the best play). The flop came 972 rainbow and I lead out. The BB and UTG called and the button folded. The turn came another 9 and I was pretty sure my hand was good, but I wanted to get to showdown cheaply so I checked, the BB checked, UTG bet and we both called. The river came a J and I checked again, this time the BB bet, UTG folded and I called because that's what I would normally do in that spot in a cash game. In hindsight, there's not much of anything that I'm beating in this spot, so maybe I should have folded, but anyway he showed T8o for the rivered straight. I had lost about 2K of my 7K stack going into the hand. Then I lost another pot in my BB with K9o when the flop came Kxx with 2 hearts and I lead out and got raised, called the flop, the check/folded a third heart on the turn.

I continued to be card dead from there, losing some chips in O8 when I tried a little too hard in a couple of spots, then anteing off a bunch in Razz until I finally found and 864 with about two big bets left, I got all-in, but of course my board came 88QK and I was done. It's pretty frustrating because I've done reasonably well in low limit HORSE cash games and I think that I know enough about all of the games that I'm a definite favorite to win money in the small stakes cash games online (at least up through .5/1). But, I can't seem to break through in a tourney. Actually, even when I had a big bankroll and was playing a ton back in the day, I don't I've ever done much more than cash like once in a limit tourney that I entered by mistake on Party Poker. I've made most of my money in poker at LHE cash games, but never been able to do anything in limit tourneys and I'm not really sure why. Maybe there's some adjustment that I need to be making. Maybe I need to be more patient, or maybe I just haven't gotten the necessary run of cards. I dunno, but I feel like I ought to be able to do okay at limit tourneys, but I've never figured out how to win at them.

On a completely different note. I've been watching Poker After Dark lately and Howard Lederer said something this week that I thought was pretty profound. He said something all the lines of "A poker player has to want to win with every fiber of his being, but also be able to accept losing." While I think this is pretty much completely true (you won't be very successful at poker if you don't have a highly competitive, desire to win no matter what...and you will also have major problems if losing causes you to tilt and play badly), I find it to be almost a complete contradiction and very nearly impossible to pull off. Personally, I have the competitive desire to win part down completely, I've always struggled with losing. I tend to get angry when I lose, I've struggled with tilt at times and overall I have a really hard time with losing. Of course, I attribute this mostly to my competitive nature, which makes Lederer's comment pretty much a contradiction. Yet, the bottom line is that he's completely right. I'll never be as successful at poker as I want to be until I can accept losing part of the time as just a part of the game and learn to live with the fact that I won't always have winning sessions or winning days. In fact, sometimes I will have losing weeks, or maybe even losing months. I have to just accept that as part of the game and always keep in mind that if I play my A game every time out, over the long term I will win and that's really what matters.

In bankroll news, I'm still down over the last two weeks. Two weeks ago I had ~$600, now I have just under $370, but I did have a positive day today for the second day in a row, so that's something. I'll probably play a couple of cheap tournaments tomorrow, but I don't intend to spend all the much. I've spent like $120 in tournament buy-ins the last two Sundays and I don't think I cashed once in those. Obviously that's been a pretty big leak. I do still think that MTTs are +EV for me, but they're high variance and I'm not comfortable going off for as much as I have been in buy-ins with the small bankroll that I currently have.

Current Bankroll -


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