Thursday, October 26, 2006

Have I Reached Bottom Yet?

The last week has continued the downward spiral in my bankroll.

Last weekend I spent a few hours at the Gila River casino playing during their Aces and Faces Cracked promotion. If you have pocket AA, KK, QQ, or JJ and get beat, you can win $200. The catch is that you have to be the first person in the room to do it, and once it is done, that hand is off the board for the rest of the hour.

On Saturday, I sat at a table for 4 hours and we did not have one winner on the promotion at the table. We also missed every splash pot drawing as well. So it was up to me to be a winner just playing cards. I finished down $45 after having pocket KK beat along with trips running into straights and flushes twice.

I came back on Sunday and this time one person at my table won $200 when his Jacks got cracked. But that was it for the winners. I have played in this promotion for probably 12 hours and the only time I won any money was when I agreed to chop with Robert if either of us won. Robert had his pocket Aces cracked and I was happy mooch a $100.

This past Sunday might be the worst I have ever played. My cards were not that great as I lost with pocket Kings again and with trips again. However, when I did catch a good hand, I missed numerous bets. In one hand I did not even raise with the top full house on the river, because I was convinced that my opponent had the same hand and we were in the middle of the Aces and Faces promotion. I was trying to get the hand over with quickly. There were a couple of times when I was dealt AK under the gun and did not raise, because we were in the middle of the promotion. I lost those hands when someone who would have folded if I had raised, caught a good hand.

I caught myself a couple of times and gave myself a pep talk to play better. But nothing worked. I ended up leaving down $200 after I decided to push my open end straight draw in a kill pot. I broke one of my cardinal rules which is to leave when I am losing. Even if the players are bad and I am playing tight, I need to leave if I am down a buy in. My table image is shot and I need to start over again at a new table or a new day.

Last night I played in the home game freezeout. There were 6 of us, using the new table that I bought for everyone. I played my normal strategy of tight early and looking for good opportunities to double up cheaply. I took some early pots from Greg and Devin.

After about 45 minutes, I started to go card dead and watched as everyone else was really aggressive preflop. Almost every pot was raised preflop. It's the same story every week in that Greg gets hyperaggressive and makes a dumb move. This time it was putting in a 3rd raise all in preflop with Ace-6 offsuit. Craig called him with pocket Queens and busted him.

Usually Devin plays way too passively and either loses all his chips on a bad beat or gets blinded into the ground. For some reason, this week he decided to play a little crazy. He ran some big bluffs including one against me. After Devin's bluff, I was down to $26 with the blinds at $1-$2. Then things started to turn around.

I became a human card rack. I picked up Aces against Devin and doubled up. Then I picked up pocket Kings and flopped a set against Mike. I doubled up there too. I picked up some other high pocket pairs and won some pots. We finally eliminated Jason and it was down to 3 of us with Devin having around $60 and Mike and I having $100 each.

I was dealt 10-7 suited in the small blind. Devin folded on the button and I completed. Mike checked. The flop was 8-9-Q. So I had the open end straight draw. Just to mix things up, I decided to check instead of semi-bluffing. Mike bet the pot and I called. The turn was the 6 giving me the nut straight. I checked again, and this time Mike bet the pot again. I went all in and he called immediately. Mike turned over Q-6 for two pair. I had him drawing to 4 outs and I will be over a 3-1 chip leader heads up. Then the poker gods decided to kick me in the nuts again and dealt the 6 on the river for Mike's full house.

That left me with $0.50 which was all in the next hand and out 5 cards later. The positive of the night is that I felt like I played pretty well. I won most of my bluffs, I lost the minimum on a couple of others, and I got good value out of my strong hands. I just got unlucky. Hopefully the next time I play well, I will get lucky too and win a big amount.

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