Friday, November 20, 2009

thursday night break even.

No traction in the Thursday night cash game - I don't think I flopped top pair one time. I ended the night down $8, thanks to a few non-standard plays.

Punish the limpers - bringing my online research on isolating limpers over to my cash game - with two tighter, straightforward players on my right, I was able to isolate raise their limps a couple times with hands I would have limped behind in the past. AT, KJ became raises. Twice I took the pot preflop, once I got a caller who donked into me. I had whiffed the flop and considered coming over the top of him with air, but I let that one go.

Stone bluff - I defended my blind with a weak ace, and missed the flop for the 125th straight time by seeing eight, nine, three. My opponent bet, and I checkraised with air. This was one of the straightforward opponents, and I just couldn't see this board hitting him often. He thought a long, long time, then folded, showing a nine! (but complaining that he didn't like his kicker).

Fear of God - limped along, with ace-ten from the small blind (iso-raise from the blinds not as good, out of position if you're called). Good news - two pair, bad news - all spades on a AKT board. Straightforward guy bets $6, I raise to $15, and he thinks again, long and hard, then folds, showing red this time QJ for a flopped straight! This guy seemingly fears every draw - need to keep that in mind for the future...

Not a fun night - cards not cooperating, felt more like digging a hole than enjoying myself playing poker.

What is becoming more clear to me is that I am too timid a player. I made a few plays tonight as I described above, but there were certainly more to be made, and at the time I just couldn't pull the trigger. I am definitely more aggressive online than live. On a night like this one, with no cards and nothing going on - do I want to be satisfied with a break-even performance?

This is the next great barrier to cross. I know most of the plays and the math. I am improving on categorizing players and how they're trying to win. I know how to counteract what they're doing. Now I just need to do it, and stop fearing going busto.


Memphis MOJO said...

From what I read, you played great, and losing only $8 was a bargain. You said maybe you should ramp up the aggression a little more, but I think you've found about the right mix.

Sean G said...

Nice work on getting that guy off of his straight. I agree, that is certainly something to remember!

Learning the right level of aggression is probably the most important (and difficult!) improvement I have made to my game once I got solid with the fundamentals. Unlike the math, the proper level of aggression can be very fluid and dependent on a lot of situations. I wish you luck on fine-tuning it, you've already taken the first step by realizing it's an area to improve.

bastinptc said...

I'm with Mojo on this one. Try not to judge being card dead as a time to ramp it up, except in the case of the weak tight player. yet, even with that guy, he's going to look you up eventually, so keep it mixed.