Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm about to Lose my Mind

Has it really been a month since I last posted? Wow, how time flies. Unfortunately, I have not been having fun. We'll get to that in a minute; but first I would like to thank the folks (cc, pokerpeaker , LilAcornMan ) for inquiring about my blogging. I really appreciate it.

As I mentioned last time out (I think), I got a new job and it has been keeping me busy. Just recently, have I had chance to start reading some blogs again at lunch time; but unfortunately, I do not get to read very many and mostly I just scan them.

There has been some really good stuff out there and I hope to start reading and commenting more.

To say that I am running bad would be a gross understatement. Let's review the brief history of willwonka. I started, like many, after watching Moneymaker win the series in 03. I played fun money for a while; but finally got the nerve to put $60 into PokerStars. I did not know about bonues, rakeback, affiliattes... any of that stuff. I was as green as you could be. Anyway, as I haven mentioned in my blog in the early days, I had some success and by the end of the year, that number was up to $9,334. By August, it was up to $14,000. I then went to 15/30 and watched the bankroll go down to $5,800 by mid December. Yes, I ran bad. Maybe played over my head. Who knows. Anyway, I went back and studied things and gave 6max a whirl starting at 2/4 and 3/6. Things went great and by March 06, I had built it back up to $12,600. I was feeling somewhat invincible and again moved up limits and history repeated itself and I found myself at 10K by Mid April. I dropped back down to 3/6 and 5/10 and things have continued to deteriorate as my bankroll has shrunk to $6,100 after tonights $300 loss.

Here are some clues that things are going bad:

I am playing in a SNG. It is still in the 1st blind level. I look down to KK. A few limps and a raise in front of me. I, of course, re-reraise. Limper fold and raiser bumps it again. I suspect AA (afterall, I know that things aren't going my way these days) but push all in anyway. Sure enough he turns over AA. I see a beautiful K on the flop; but by the time the river had come, there were 4 hearts on board and he had the Ace. About 5 hands later, I get the same KK in the BB. Small raise in front of me and of course I push. He calls and turns over AA and IGHN.

Blogger Special in Reverse. Later on during Ring play, I get AA and a 80%er plays along and cracks my Aces on the river with 72. But it was sooooooted. I'm sure there are many bloggers out there that appreciate the hammer being dropped on Aces; but at the time, I wasn't so happy. A little later, same guys cracks my aces again with J5o when his second pair came on river.

So my plan is not to fill this post with bad beats as that as obvious when somebody drops 6K in two months. The plan is to figure out a plan as I don't have one.

I've never been one to over evaluate my play as usually, the long run takes care of itself.

So the first thing I'm going to do is just to a quick glance at my Poker Tracker Stats during my winning streak and during my current losing streak.

OK.. From 12-8-05 thru 3-18-06

31,800 hands

My best level was 10/20 and 3/6
My worst was 5/10

From 3/19 to Current:

16,500 Hands


I didn't have a best unless you call winning $20 at 3/6 Euro over 433 hands.
My worst this time around was 10/20.

OK, maybe a little bit more aggressive during the winning streak; but not much. I can tell you 100% that your confidence and thusly, your aggression goes down after repeated beats.

Another thing I can tell you that similarly to golf and other sports, you try to do some things differently and you probably lose a grasp of the fundamentals.

In an attempt to review hands, I am going to do something that I did before. I am going to post some hands and open myself up to comments. I played 4 tables tonight and here is the breakdown:



At first peek, it looks like tight play is rewarded; but that is not typically the case in short handed play. I am going to detail Table 1 first. Here we go.

At first, let's look at the players. I now can see that I am not sitting at a good spot on the table.
To my immediate left is a 22% who never raised. To his left (2 to my left) was maniac (78% who also didn't raise). Of course, I want him to my left. To my immediate right was a 64%/15 guy. To his right was 56%. So pretty high VPIPs but pretty passive. Dreamy, eh?

Here is the partial list...">

1BBJTo-3CHFold to Flop bet on 763 board
2SB96s-1.5F PFR
4CutAKo-15Open RSB (56%) 3bets and I cap. 4 see flop of J73. checks around to button who bets and 2 callers. Turn 6.. Checked around to button who bets and is check raised by SB. I fold. SB wins with QQ. I didn't hit flop and with 4 people statying around on a capped preflop, I was out.
6BB32s-12CHAll 5 see flop of 432. I lead out and button (maniac) raises. I 3 bet.. 2 PL now. Turn.. 5.. I check fold. The only card I did not want to see. I suspect Ace and fold. Could have drawn for boat; but when you are going bad, you don't expect much and wasn't really getting odds.
7SBJ7o-1.5F PFRJ high flop… who knows
10BBJ2o-9CHCheck 3PL see Q49 of diam. I have J. Checked around. Turn 5d.. I check call.. Initial plan was to check raise.. Again when running bad… you just assume worst. River Tc.. Checked around. Maniac on button checked the nuts (Ad). This could be foreshadowing
12ButKQo-15RManiac limps, I raise.. 3 PL see 962 flop. Maniac Bets and I raise and he 3 bets and I call.. 2 PL.. Turn 7s.. I fold to bet.. Yes, wimpy. Thoughts?
13CutA3oFAgain wimpy…
15BB33-3CHCheck 4PL.. 79K.. Checked aroudn Turn A.. I fold to bet
16SBA5o-3CallJust Call.. JJ9 flop.. Checked around.. Turn T. Check Fold… Table seems passive.. Should amp up aggression.
21BB96o-3F PFR
22SB72s-1.5F PFRdon't play hammer to raise… sorry
23ButKTsCall2 limpers… I call..5PL see A57.. I fold to bet
24CutQTsCallJust call. One limper in front.. 4 PL see flop of 2J2 (2 spades.. My suit). SB bets, I raise, he 3bets, I cap. I call turn bet and am all in. No spade on river and lose to J6s… REBUY.
25UTG+187s-9Callloose call… 4 PL.. 3KK flop.. Checked around.. Turn 9.. Checked around.. River.. 7.. I check call and get outkicked by J7o from button (65%er)
27BBAQo23RRaise Limper.. 65Q..Q… 4.. I win my first pot..
28SBKTs-6CallCall… again.. Running bad you just lose some aggression. 4 players see QQK flop I check call.. Turn 6.. I check fold to bet and raise… River 3.. Maniac (73%) beats other player when his Q3 beat others QJ.
30CutA9o-3CallFold to flop bet on TJ3 board.. Other players had AK and A8.. I'm not sure on odds of 3 people on 6 person table having aces.
31UTG+1AKo-15Open R2 callers.. Board J4Q (2 H).. I bet.. Get raised.. BB cold calls.. I 3bet and get 2 calls.. T 5h..checked around… RiverQc.. Maniac wins with 73h and also bets AJo
32UTGQ5sFBoard of 235Q.. Doh
33BB95o-3F PFR
35ButA9o-3Call2 limpers, I call and fold to 7K3 board
37BBA3o9CH2 PL.. 867.. Checked around.. Turn A.. Checked around.. Was going to ch/raise… River 6.. I call and maniac calls with Q2o

No real bad beats there.. mostly just bad flops... but possibly some ideas on aggression preflop.

To be continued... Getting Late.


Wes said...

Just a few thoughts from a break even six-max limit player.

Do you really play ace-rag offsuit? I don't unless it's for a pure blind steal.

Perhaps you should tone down on the free card play with the reraises on the flop.

Other than that, I have no idea. It is good to see you back though.

Mark said...

Hands 24 and 31 stood out to me:
In hand 24, you got all in with a flush draw that didn't hit. It would have been better to rebuy before the hand so that you can make more money in the times when your draw does come in.
In hand 31, I'm not sure what was going on with the flop. You bet and three bet your AK on the flop of JQx. Maybe I'm missing something.
Most other hands look fine. Running bad sucks.

cmitch said...

Good to see you back posting again.

I definitely agree with the whole confidence idea. I, too, start to try to adjust things after a terribly bad run (I think I had one recently!).

This might sound kind of silly, but the thing that I found that helps the most is pretending like I am talking to someone and explaining why I am making each move or actually having someone sit next to you and explain to them why you are making each move. This usually keeps me from getting to crazy with my play and forces me to think about why I am doing certain things. It came about in a strange way - My sister was in town and wanted me to explain online poker to her. She sat down next to me while I played a tourney and I came in 2nd in that tourney out of 400+ players. The next night I came in 5th in the Sunday night 109R on Stars. Something about being accountable for your plays.

I know this doesn't address your specific hands, but it is how I have dealt with being in a funk and it seems to work.

pokerpeaker said...

Oh, man, is it good to see you post again.
I 'm really sorry to hear that you're still running bad. It scares me, quite frankly, to see a good player like yourself run this badly; makes me think I'm eventually doomed.
I do have some advice, but I'm only a real money player since October, so I don't know how valuable you'll find it:
• Drop the ring games for a while. Just take a month off from rings. Play only SnGs. They're fun and will take away from the grind of rings. You might rediscover some aggression that way, and you might improve your reading skills.
• No more bonus chasing, at least not now. That makes you play longer than you'd like (at least it does for me) and prevents hit and run sessions that can make us lots of money.
• Realize poker is a pastime, not a job, and you don't have to do a pastime. Play X-Box (see my last post). Run. Short, sharp sessions of poker.

That's it. I doubt it's helped much. Please keep posting and hang in there. Good to have you back.

TripJax said...

Glad the job is going well.
Sorry to hear the poker is not.

Hope to see you posting more, but understand why it is tough right now...

cc said...

I would agree with mark regarding hand 24, although I'm mostly guilty of it as well. I think getting all-in in limit is either laziness on my part or a bad mentality. It affects play as well as it's easier to get called by folks if they know you're all-in or about to be. I actually think #30 is an interesting hand, either being a raise or fold pre-flop. You lose the hand anyways as I don't see AK getting out as you've described the table, but it's probably a good indicator that you are indeed a bit gunshy. #31 is a typical running bad hand. The only thing missing is when some guy win's a three-way pot several hands before or after with ATo and is called down by a missed gutshot straight draw and A9s that misses or something like that. Another broad topic that I'd be interested in your thoughts is the table itself. Do you get up earlier, stay later, or is this OK?

WillWonka said...


Yes, I was losing so fast that I didn't have a chance to reload in time for that hand and sometimes I do lose track of $ at table due to the multi-tabling factor; but I agree never should be all in. Unless it is just a hard stop loss.

I'm not sure I understand the table question.

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