Thursday, September 07, 2006

Subtle Tilt

There are many forms of tilt. There is a raging tilt where you want to rip the face off of the guy who just ran down your pocket Aces with 5-2 offsuit. There is long term tilt where you become so beaten up by a relentless string of bad beats, that you become timid in your play waiting for the next beat to come and take your stack. There is good luck tilt where you are running so good that you start to take -EV chances because "I just knew I was going to hit the flush on the river". There are also the more sublte forms of tilt.

Last night I experienced the "I'm Tired of Being Raised All The Time" tilt. I played in the Wednesday Home Tournament again. I had nothing going early, but managed to maintain my original $40 stack. I finally got lucky and caught KK and doubled up when I flopped trips. Then in quick succession I busted two other players when I was dealt Ace-King in back to back hands.

With three players left, I had the chip lead against Medical Kory and Tavo. Kory is the guy who I beat heads up for my first and only victory in this weekly game back in August. Tavo is here for the second time. He's a little loose, but a pretty good player.

I figure since I had been playing pretty tight and I had shown down nothing but good hands, that I would start to bully people around. The next three hands that I was involved in, I raised preflop and then followed through with a continuation bet. Each of those hands, Kory raised me out of the pot. I was still in first place even though I had given Kory about $40 in chips over the last few hands.

On the Big Blind with A-6 offsuit. Kory calls, and Tavo folds in the small blind. I raise to $8 (4x the blind). Kory calls. The flop is A-K-9 with two diamonds. I have the Ace of diamonds. I lead out for $15. Kory raises me again. This time it's all in for $101 more. The other times he had raised me $10 or $20, so this was a big raise. He also just limped on the button, so I was not putting him on a big hand.

Because of the frustration of losing every pot to him, I could not get away from top pair and I called. Kory turned over Ace-Queen. I did not improve and I was down to 6 times the big blind. I eventually busted out 3 hands later.

One of the things I learned in the new Sklansky-Miller No Limit book is when you are at a No Limit table that you need to determine who you will play big pots with and who you will play small pots with. You can play the big pots with the loose-aggressive players with medium strength hands because a lot of times, your hand is good. If it's a tight player, you want to play small pots and chop away. If they come in betting or raising, you better have a really good hand.

Kory is definitely a player that I wanted to play small pots with. I broke my rule and paid for it with my tournament life. It kind of reminded me of one of the first times I ever played No Limit in a cash game at a casino. I had an old man on my right who was rock tight. He got involved in a hand with me where on the river I had the non nut straight. I bet and he raised me all in. If it is any other player at the table I should call the bet. Of course I call the tightest living human and he has the nuts and I lose to the one card that could beat me.

God damn this game is really hard sometimes.

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