Friday, October 07, 2005

Can I play any worse?

Went to the Gila River for the first time in months. I played in one of the softest 4-8 games ever and lost $175.

The first hour was spent folding bad cards. I knew I wasn't going to play well because I was having trouble following the action when I was out of the hand. A good player pays attention and trys to play along with the others in the game. Time and again I was missing possible flushes and straights on the board. Of course it didn't help that most of the players were playing any two cards so hand reading was becoming exceedingly difficult.

I dug for another $100 and went on a rush. My best hand was 4 sevens on the flop. I was in late position and I just called after a couple of bets in front of me. On the turn, a flush draw came up. Unfortunately nobody bet and it was checked to me. I decided to check and see if someone could hit a card. This was a horrible decision. When playing with a bunch of calling stations, make the bet.

The river made 4 of the same suit on the river. There was a bet and a raise in front of me. There was still 2 players left to act, plus the original better. I asked for time, so I could think about reraising or going for the over call. I decided to just call and hope others would come along. Unfortunately, everyone else folded.

So I won a big pot, but I probably left 5 bets out there.

Since I was obviously the tightest player at the table, occasionally I would try to make a bluff or a hyperaggressive move to sustain my action on my good hands. The problem was I didn't get much show down value because I would be forced to fold before the river or the table was not paying attention. I think the better strategy in that situation is to just play tight, solid poker. If I get a couple hands in a row where players start to fold to my bets, then it's time to open up. After all there was a very good chance that in this game it would not matter since nobody was paying much attention.

Eventually things started to go haywire. I did not hit a single draw all night. There was a fat guy in the 8 seat that just seemed to have my number. Every time I had top pair, he had two pair. If I had 3 of a kind, he had a straight or flush.

In addition it was smoky and incredibly noisy due to the band in the bar. Eventually it was all giving me a headache.

The only positive is that I had the discipline to finally get up from the table and leave when I knew I was not playing my best.

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