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February 14, 2006

First week not so great

Posted at February 14, 2006 11:48 PM in , by .

Well I've finished my first 'proper' week and I feel lucky to be only $6 down at the end of it. On Wednesday morning, coming to the end of my last hour I got involved in a hand I had no business being involved in and lost $9. Instead of stopping I foolishly tried to 'get it back' and managed to throw away another $26 before I got a grip.

After a few hours on the Stars penny NL tables I was confident I was now off tilt and ventured back onto Pacifics' $10 NL tables. The poker gods sure do have a sense of humour, the first table I sat at I'd have cleaned up if I'd still been been tilting. First hand I checked from cut off with A6o to see a flop of A95r. EP made a large overbet and I mucked. Button called all in and won it with a pair of fives. EP had a gutshot. The next 2 orbits were like that, I mucked 4 winners that would have taken big pots and was in a quandry, do I keep mucking weak hands on the flop against these bad bluffs or do I gamble some? The table soon broke up and saved me from making the decision.

I've read often about trusting your judgement completely and I got a lesson in that. Or rather, I learned to at least make some kind of a judgement. During my tilting I called a 50c raise from the button with QQ and with a flop of 77x was feeling confident. Turn was a third 7 and as I felt sure he didn't have the case 7 I raised his half pot bet. River was a blank and he went all in. I'm still kicking myself over this hand, no thought, no analysis, just betting on pretty cards. Yup, he had KK. At first I put it down to one of those things but going over my hands later I should have had alarm bells sounding with the 50c raise pre-flop. Previously he'd been raising 80c to $1+ with broadway cards, classic weak = strong and I didn't notice. Not once did I try to put him on a hand.

After that debacle I started taking notes on the pre-flop raisers. This paid off early this morning when an aggressor joined my table and my previous notes said he'd often raise pre-flop with not much. Hoping to trap I limped utg with QQ and sure enough, he raised $2. I went all in, he called and his K5o didn't hold up. One common fault I noticed is players being reluctant to let go of a hand once they've led the betting. I'd limped from the button with Qspades, Jclubs and the BB minimum raised. Flop was AK7 all spades. To my surprise his $1 bet had 3 other callers before it got to me so an easy call. Turn was Jhearts and I took his $3 bet as protection rather than pot building, the rest folded. My judgement was that I'd get paid off if I hit and as he immediately went all in after a river of 2spades my judgement did OK that time. He had A8hearts and his stubborn refusal to admit the board destroyed his hand cost him dearly.

I've modified my hours so that I can now start as early as 1am. The length of time I can hold concentration varies so I'll trust my instincts there, this morning I managed 5 hours with a 20 min break between each hour and I am liking it that way. Knowing I've got a break coming soon and will be recording my results makes me more inclined to fold a marginal hand. All to easy for me to have a bad hour buried inside a long session but now 1 badly played hand sticks out like a sore thumb. I'll carry on at Pacific for a few more weeks to get the routine established and if my play is steady enough I'll be depositing at Party. I'm feeling as tired as if I've been doing a job and as that was the idea it looks like I'm on the right path.

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