Last night was one of those nasty poker nights I hope I can quickly recover from.I lost $300 after 4 hours of play but in truth probably shouldn't have been playing at all.Mark had text me to say he may not be up for our weekly ps2 fest and I was still feeling truly exhausted from the weekends fun.
My attitude was all wrong.Greed kicked in and kicked my butt.In all honesty my thoughts before starting were that I didn't feel like playing but that if I can make $185 in a few hours the night before I can easily do it again.
To be fair to myself I've not had a bad run of cards like it for a while either.Highest pair was QQ which was busted by an Ace on the flop.Didn't make one set from any pocket pair until I'd folded 66 to a raise and reraise only to see a golden 6 on the flop and a huge pot grow.
From experience I know that kind of situation is my worst tilt trigger.I believe Pokerroom use continuous auto shufflers but depsite knowing that when I see that my folded K10 would have flopped a straight and a huge pot and I'm already down I need show much more mental strength,brush it aside and move on.
I thought I'd managed to get back on track when I went from -$177 to -$88.Looking back that was when I should have gone to bed but greed and thoughts of pulling the whole deficit round took over and by 1am I was stuck $300 and went to bed as I realised I was simply getting more and more desparate to make up at least some of my losses.
In fact at that point of realisation I felt like I did years ago when I used to play slots and had just spent my bus fare home and was hunting round the floor of the arcade for enough change for one more game.It was the kind of feeling I feared when I first started playing poker with a £50 per month budget last October and though thankfully that kind of run is rare for me taking a glance into the pit of despair will probably do me good in the long run.
I should say that I don't want to give the impression I was into slots in a big way when I was younger because thats not true but age 15-16 when you feel the world owes you a living I learned that quickly from playing slots that it doesn't.
In many ways that early gambling experience probably means I have less gamble in me than most.I very rarely play slots these days and while I like the odd flutter on the football its only a couple of pounds a time and for fun more than profit.
At the poker tables I'm almost always the one with the made hand v the drawer rather than the other way although I will chase where I get the right odds.In many ways lack of gambool makes me bet bigger than most to protect my premium hands and as I play at low levels I make my money from the donkey drawers who call without odds.
The good news from last night is that I earned 135 player points and I'm well on my way to clearing my $96 bonus by Dec 20th.I also got an email from Interpoker who have scrapped their playing points system and are converting them to cash today.I have 4000 so that's an extra $20 in my account.
Patience,mental toughness,skill and bankroll management are the keys to good poker and thankfully the last part I seem to have got right and that means that while last nights loss was a nasty experience it doesn't dent my overall bankroll by too much and indeed part of the reason for keeping a decent size roll ( for the levels I play at) is to be able to deal with the swings that come with No Limit and in particular the 6 max game.
Last nights losses were at full ring tables and while 2 tabling does help with the folding I was still too eager for action and to get involved.I can see 30% of flops at 6 max and be the table rock but at full ring $1nl camping for monsters means seeing aprox 20% of flops on average for me not the 35% I was seeing last night.
I mentioned at the start of this post that my attitude was wrong and I've not changed my mind.It was almost as if I had a part time job and wanted to phone in sick but had forced myself to go to work as the money is good.Suggesting to Mrs A that she could give up her part-time job if I'm still doing as well by the end of April probably made me feel its even more of a job than the enjoyable profitable hobby it should be viewed as.
I'll probably be back at the tables tonight but will stop if I lose $100 not that I'm planning on that!
Last piece of advice to self: The $300 is gone.Last night is gone.Let it go.