Cash Session #3
Fri night/Sat morn 12am-6am
After getting some food and having a bit of a break, I was back at midnight for some more action ready to plough right through to the wee hours. I first sat in a decent 2-5 NLHE game but didn't really play any hands of note. There was a few huge hands at the table but they didn't involve me. Following a few big bustout hands, the game broke. I moved to another 2-5 table in the room but this game was playing very differently. The average stack was around 1.5k and it wasn't all that soft. I moved fairly quickly from that table and sat in a decent 1-2 NLHE game. I sat in for 150 (I generally buy-in short initially to gauge what the table is like. Getting in tough spots early on 200BBs deep isn't fun. Once I establish what the table is like, then I'm happy to play a bit deeper. Also, you can get some weird games where a 400 stack, may play like 30BBs, so in those games, you're actually better off having either 150 or 1000, stacks in between are just awkward to play). So anyway I buy-in for 150 and ended up getting a double up pretty early. There's an open to 10 followed by a few calls and I decide to just stick in my 150 with AQ. The original raiser called me and I won (he didn't show). I win a few small hands following this and am generally running well.
I then pick up 77 in the BB and flat following raise and a call. The flop comes QQ7 and I check. The player utg bets out and the player behind calls. It's an interesting spot, but given the table dynamic, I think a call is best. It's likely one has a Q, so I could get it in on this flop, but that said, if someone has a queen we're getting it in anyway, so I'm happy to try to keep it 3 handed for as long as possible. The turn comes a blank and the same action occurs as on the flop (ch-bet-call-call). The river comes another blank. At this point, I feel the utg player has a queen, and the mp player doesn't. Utg has ~120 left and I probably have around ~350 which mp covers. I can't remember the action exactly, but I think it was 25 on the flop, and 75 on the turn meaning the pot is around 350 or so. If I shove, utg will call with the queen, but surely mp will realise what I have and fold. However, if I check and utg were to value bet his queen again, mp will surely call and then will have to call my ~230 reship to win a pot of ~950. I feel this is the best way to maximise my value but unfortunately it gets checked around. I show my house, utg had QT and mp has aces. It's a funny old hand but I'm happy enough with how I played it. If I shove river, I surely get the utg's ~120 but I really can't see the guy with the aces calling me. We had some history and he def wanted to beat me in a hand so maybe he'll convince himself to call out of spite, but I really can't see how he can call it off with aces there. Expecting the utg to value bet the queen is pretty reasonable too, there's not much beating him but I guess I'm not too surprised with his check. Overall, I'm happy with the check as opposed to the shove on the river (anything between checking and shoving is definitely bad).
Following that, I played a hand against the aces villain from above. I 3bet pre with kings. The flop came ace high and he checked to me. I checked behind and called his barrels on the turn and river and was good. I left the game a short while later as I didn't feel there was too much point in staying much longer. Overall I finished up €480 with the majority coming from the 1-2 NL game (I think I was a slight winner in the first 2-5 game and a slight loser in the second 2-5 game).
Cash Session #4
Sat morn 6am-9am
Following that game, I walked around the cash room a bit. There was only about 5 games going so I decided to sit in a lively enough PLO game. The plan was to play for an hour before BbB and maybe get a bit of a spin-up.
Going up to the Irish Open, I was willing to treat it a little bit like a holiday. What I mean by this is, the IO is the one tournament where I'm happy enough to spend a decent bit of money on expenses. Usually I try to keep expenses at a minimum (ie. stay the least number of nights needed in the hotel, try not to spend money on expensive hotel food etc.). However, the IO has such a good buzz that I'm willing to spend that little bit extra. Also, I didn't play the main event, I was up solely for cash games. Basically, my mentality was to go up, enjoy the weekend and have a good time, and hopefully make a bit of money.
With this in mind, I was willing to take a shot at a few bigger games in the hope of winning a decent chunk of change - especially if I got off to a winning start. Generally speaking, there's not too much wrong with this. You give yourself a chance to either have a big win or a small loss. Obviously it's not very conducive to grinding, but it is what it is.
There's two types of decisions you make in your poker career. On-the-table decisions, and off-the-table decisions. There can be times, when it's okay to make a 'bad' off-the-table decision, but there is NEVER a time when it's okay to make a bad on-the-table decision (possibly with the exception of: if you win this pot, the guy will stab you, but if you're playing in that game, you've already made a bad off-the-table decision). So there are times when it's okay to leave a really good game or take a shot at a game normally outside your bankroll, but that does not give you permission to make bad decisions on the table. There is never an excuse to not play the most +EV poker you can play. It's ok to take shots and put yourself in a position where if a game goes well, you make a lot of money, but it's not ok to play a game with the sole intention of getting the money in the pot and hoping for the best.
You can summarize it by saying this: game selecting in a kamikaze fashion is one thing, just don't play in kamikaze fashion.
Needless to say, I sat in this game, and played like a moron (there's other words I'd like to use here, but I generally try to avoid bad or derogatory language in this blog :P). There's almost no strategic value in discussing any of the hands as it was just a case of me deciding to give money away. The worst of it was punting a ~500 stack in preflop with a double suited two-pair. It was a four-way all-in but I deservedly lost.
The whole incident was just terrible and totally unacceptable. It wasn't a standard case of tilt, it was just a total brain spasm with regard to attitude. I think writing and talking about stuff like this helps, and hopefully if the scenario re-presents itself again, I will identify it and deal with it better. Also, I hope it might help any readers that may find themselves in a similar spot.
So after that disaster, I got some breakfast and went to bed. The €560 6-max was on at 3pm the next day and the €675 PLO at 6. I had half considered playing these, but after such a horrible session, I felt maximizing my sleep was the best option!