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December 13, 2005

Hand Selection part 2

Posted at December 13, 2005 08:15 AM in Beginner Topics , by The Padawan.

I mentioned in my last post that I have made some monster mistakes in my quest to become a serious poker player. One of the monster mistakes was ignoring the probabilities in pushing hands post flop. The lesson learned from this is simple. If you are going to be a serious poker player, then math is your friend. For example, if you are dealt a pocket pair, and can get in cheap, you still have 8 to 1 odds against seeing another of your pair on the flop. It is still like more than 4 to1 odds against seeing that card if you stay to the river. So tell me why I stayed in with pocket 10’s with a king on the flop, and my opponent betting?

Monster mistake, that’s why. It ended up costing me a buy in for the level I was playing. I found that I was letting the fact that I wanted my hand to be best (who doesn’t) cloud my judgment of what was happening. I was thinking, ‘Ah, he is just a donk, trying to bluff me off of my pot.’ Who was the donk in this hand? Hee- haw.
The fact is that while I have been trying to play good tight aggressive poker, I also folded to any crap shoot situation, and only risked my stack when I had the nuts or near nuts. This may have cost me some pots, but it never cost me my stack. Then the cards got cold and I started pushing. So those 10’s cost me a buy in. So did the pocket JJ’s 3 hands later. So did the AKo on the next orbit. At this point I was bleeding all over the table, and finally quit for the day. I let my need to ‘get even’ with the bad call on the 10’s put me off my game. All the books I read call this going on tilt. I just wish tilt meant someone would have come by and have tilted me right out of my chair.

The other point to this is that while pre flop hand selection is important, post flop decisions to stay with the hand are also important. There is a reason even AA only wins 86% of the time, you know. In the books by the experts, they have a name for people who cannot let go of a hand. They are known as calling stations. This is not a compliment. These are the folks you want to see at your table playing against you, so try not to copy me and become one, even temporarily.

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