Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recipe for Tilt

I headed down to the Cleveland Horseshoe on my vacation day today, and got there around 10am. I had 7 hours to play poker.

I was in an awful mindset to play at the start. The clientele of a casino at 10am on a Wednesday is, how might I put this, a little rough around the edges. 2 people at my table had been there all night. The guy on my right kept asking people to borrow fifty dollars. I felt out of place and a bit turned off, to be honest.

I also felt like I didn't have my aggression turned up to where it needed to be. Solid, aggressive poker kind of goes against my normal personality, which tends to be quiet, friendly, unassuming. The competitive switch usually gets turned on when the cards hit the table, but that didn't happen right away today.

I folded junk for the first three orbits, pretty sure something bad was going to happen to me.

It did. My first playable hand was king-jack, suited, in early position. One player had already limped. This hand was normally a fold for me from here, but the lack of cards for the first hour and my inability to get my LAG on caused me to limp. We saw a flop 5 or 6 handed.

It was a decent flop for me - a king, no real draws. I bet and got a call from the blinds. The turn was a safe card. I checked behind to keep all the junky kings along for the ride.

The river looked clean, also, but then the opponent said something odd like "what did he check the turn for?" in obvious theatrical disgust, and tossed a $45 river bet out there, an overbet into a $30 pot.

I stared at him for a second. Of course, I had checked the turn, which might lead him to believe I don't have a king, but his strange action and the size of his bet told me he was strong. It was a limped pot so he could have anything, and my observation of this player told me he wasn't really the aggro type to fire a giant river bluff. I folded. He admitted he didn't know how to get me to call, so he made a little speech and hoped.

I thought to myself "ok, that's not going to happen again". No more limping from early position. Raise it or fold it. Back to fundamentals.

A few hands later, I raised up the same king-jack suited over a single limper When it got back to him, he doubled my raise.

The old limp/reraise. I had a trouble hand and this player didn't have enough of a stack to treat it like ace-crackers. I folded

King-Queen suited raises. Flatted in position. I cbet a ten high flop, he calls. Turn is another ten. We both check. I get the feeling he doesn't have a ten. River is a queen, which I feel is a good card for me. I caught his eight and nines and similar non-believer pairs. I bet an amount he will call.

Call he does. With pocket kings. He wins.

So let's review. In a bad early mindset, I limp with King-jack and let the big blind see a flop for free, and he outflops me with 64 or K6 or some awful garbage. So I adjust back into a standard aggressive game, and people start expertly trapping me like they can see my cards.

The irritation of it all keeps back from sliding into a passive mode, for the most part. I do end up winning a decent pot with a pair of limped fours that filled up on a 499 flop, but I would have won nothing by raising preflop, as the guy with ten-nine offsuit in the blinds would have never called my raise. So sometimes letting them hit for free works in your favor. Not often, but sometimes.

I ended up my session an hour early, up 117 big blinds. Good enough, especially after getting my head messed with so badly.

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

He admitted he didn't know how to get me to call, so he made a little speech and hoped.

I wonder why they don't keep their mouths shut.