a reading from the book of revelations

So this past Friday I decided that I wanted to completely self-implode and have the worst day of my poker career by dropping 6.5 buyins in what can only be described as complete life tilt. Just looking at these stats make me want to hurl.



Yeah, I know... real bad. Anyway, if I thought that I was disgusted at myself during the session (which, I assure you, I was), the post-session analysis of my big hands made me feel even worse. While there were a few hands where I don't question my play (which, undoubtedly set off the tilt fest), there were plenty where I literally walked up to some obvious donks and said "Hey, you look like a nice guy, how would you like a free buyin?" From 11pm to 12am on Friday, it was charity hour on moniquer's tables. Hope you got in on the melee while you could.

I was so pissed at myself for playing like an idiot that I decided not to play for the rest of the weekend and devote the time that I would normally be at the tables to figuring out what the hell was wrong with my play (and to playing Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas for the xbox360, which, if you don't have it, is a must purchase). After diving head first into CardRunners and twoplustwo micro stakes forums, and watching numerous videos, I have decided that I am trying to incorporate too many 'advanced' tactics in my play. At the 25NL level, most advanced LAG techniques just simply will not work. The VPIP at this level is so ridiculous that even narrowing down a villain's holdings to a certain range becomes laughable. The play is simply atrocious, and I find that I am losing too much money continuation betting with marginal hands (only to be called down by top pair, 3 kicker) and playing big pots when I don't have a stranglehold on the hand. I've decided that I really need to sure up my play and get back to ABC poker, only playing big pots with big hands and getting away from marginal hands when I sense that I'm beat.

After gathering my confidence back from the weekend long analysis (and terrorist hunt -- thank you, Tom Clancy), I hit the tables on Monday evening before the 2hour television fun-fest that is known as 24 (Jack Bauer, you are my hero). I managed to have a winning session, winning back 2 buyins over 1000 hands. While this isn't anything spectacular, it has helped to bolster my confidence and I look forward to playing another session tonight. It's amazing what a little win can do when you're in the midst of a Trent Reznor-esque downward spiral.



Anyway, my VPIP and PFR percentages are obviously down, since I have committed myself to getting involved only when I can make a big hand. My attempts to steal the blind, however, are way down -- down to 14% even. This concerns me a bit, since I feel as though I might be missing out on some good value here. I'm wondering, though, if this particular stat might be an important barometer at this level, indicating how the table is perceiving my image. It seems as though the more I attack the blinds and limpers when I have position (and even with marginal hands, which is typical of LAG play), the more resistance I get from everyone else at the table. Normally I wouldn't mind resistance from 1 person per hand, as it is obviously easier to manage head's up pots, but I am regularly getting into situations where 2, 3, even 4 people are calling my 6BB raise in position with 2 limpers. If I don't absolutely nail the flop, I can't be continuation betting into this pot even if it is checked around to me (which I *have* been doing on occasion, and I *have* identified as a significant leak). I'd like to hear some opinions on this topic, especially from those who are still playing at the 25NL level. I think it is a completely different animal than even 50NL, where at least some players have some concept of the game. For now, though, I think I'm going to stick to a more borderline TAG style, while opening up my range in the cutoff and button enough to still portray a loose image. And now, for your viewing pleasure (and hopefully some commenting), some hands from the two sessions:

Hand 1:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
5 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is UTG with J♥ K♥
Hero raises to $1, CO calls, 3 folds.
Flop: K♦ K♣ 4♣ ($2.35, 2 players)
Hero bets $1.5, CO raises to $5.5, Hero raises all-in $31.15, CO calls all-in $9.95.
Uncalled bets: $15.7 returned to Hero.
Turn: 6♦ ($33.25, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $33.25)
River: 2♣ ($33.25, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $33.25)
Results:
Final pot: $33.25
CO showed 7c 6c
Hero showed Jh Kh

Don't exactly hate my line on this hand. I pretty much knew what I was up against and it just sucks that it hit. Only really showing this to highlight what sparked my mega tilt. Be that as it may, does anyone else take a different line on this hand?


Hand 2:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
6 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with Q♣ Q♥
UTG raises to $0.5, UTG+1 calls, 3 folds, Hero raises to $3.25, UTG calls, UTG+1 calls.
Flop: 5♠ 4♠ 4♣ ($9.85, 3 players)
Hero bets $7, UTG raises all-in $11.2, UTG+1 folds, Hero calls.
Turn: 8♦ ($32.25, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $32.25)
River: 5♣ ($32.25, 1 player + 1 all-in - Main pot: $32.25)
Results:
Final pot: $32.25
Hero showed Qc Qh
UTG showed 8s 8h

Nothing like a 2-outter to fuel the rage...


Hand 3:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
6 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with 8♣ Q♦
UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, 2 folds, SB calls, Hero checks.
Flop: 6♦ 8♠ J♠ ($0.75, 3 players)
SB checks, Hero checks, UTG+1 checks.
Turn: 8♥ ($0.75, 3 players)
SB bets $0.75, Hero raises to $3, UTG+1 folds, SB raises to $10.5, Hero raises all-in $38.6, SB calls all-in $15.
Uncalled bets: $13.1 returned to Hero.
River: 3♦ ($51.75, 0 player + 2 all-in - Main pot: $51.75)
Results:
Final pot: $51.75
SB showed Ac 8d
Hero showed 8c Qd

... which causes some spectacular overplaying of an unraised pot. I have no idea what I was thinking. Probably "I'm pissed and I want my money back" (read: "I'm pissed and want to donate more money to the nice folks who play Ax).


Hand 4:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
6 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with K♥ K♠
UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.85, 2 folds, SB calls, BB calls.
Flop: 7♠ K♦ 9♠ ($2.55, 3 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $1.75, SB folds, BB calls.
Turn: J♦ ($6.05, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $4.5, BB calls.
River: 4♦ ($15.05, 2 players)
BB checks, Hero is all-in $17.8, BB calls all-in $15.6.
Uncalled bets: $2.2 returned to Hero.
Results:
Final pot: $46.25
BB showed 6d 7d
Hero showed Kh Ks

I don't really know how I can think, at any point in this hand, that I am behind. If you disagree, however, please let me know. I'd like to know if there's any way I could have saved my stack on this one. I don't think that a bigger bet on the turn would have been a good idea, since there's no way I put the villain on a flush draw after calling the flop bet with the Kd out there. Anyway, that hand spun me into a tilt like no other, since these hands literally all happened within 10 minutes of each other.


Hand 5-10:
** Insert various "I'm going to 4bet all in with AK like an idiot" and "I'm going to play TT all in with a A high or K high board" hands here while I tilt away a ton of chips (and suck out a few times too) **


Hand 11:
Full Tilt Poker
No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.10/$0.25
2 players
Converter
Pre-flop: (2 players) Hero is BB with 7♥ K♥
SB calls, Hero checks.
Flop: J♥ 7♦ 6♥ ($0.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $0.5, SB raises to $1, Hero calls.
Turn: 5♥ ($2.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $2, SB calls.
River: T♣ ($6.5, 2 players)
Hero bets $4.5, SB calls.
Results:
Final pot: $15.5
Hero showed 7h Kh
SB showed 5c Js

With a hand like this in the BB, I'm wondering if there is a different line that I could have taken to increase the size of the pot. I think I did a decent job of maximizing what I could get from the villain on such a draw heavy board, but would like some input.

i amM0NIKER at 3:03 PM  

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